If you would like to get updates on new releases, contests, appearances, prizes, etc. sign up for my newletter, Callie’s Comments.
If you would like to get updates on new releases, contests, appearances, prizes, etc. sign up for my newletter, Callie’s Comments.
A group of Historical Romance authors have put together an excellent video on Historical Romance. Take a look, they did an excellent job: Historical Romance Video
I’m so excited to announce that Robyn DeHart, Sabrina Darby and I will be hosting a release party for our Entangled Scandalous books:
Disgrace by Callie Hutton
Lord of Regrets by Sabrina Darby
Misadventures in Seduction by Robyn DeHart
Come join the fun between 8 and 10 PM Eastern Time. Goodbye Summer, Hello Romance
As I sit and write this, it is 8:25 PM the night before my 13th book releases. The Lady’s Disgrace is the third book in my Marriage Mart Mayhem series. Soooo, one would think after 12 other launches, one would be pretty calm and blase about the whole thing. If that’s what one thinks, one would be wrong. Very wrong.
I remember the night before my very first book, A Run For Love, released I had this horrible urge to climb into my closet, curl up in the corner and suck my thumb. I just knew the entire world would be pointing at me and laughing “did she really think she could write? How funny!”
Now I stay out of the closet, but I must admit that chocolate plays a big part in my pre-release evening activities. As does chips, soda pop and more chocolate. Yes, I will say it: I’m an emotional eater!!! There. Got that off my chest. Whew!
I love to tell stories. I spent a great deal of my childhood telling myself stories on long car trips, trying to fall asleep at night, or when one of my boring relatives had my ear and good manners prohibited me from telling them how truly boring they were. I made up stories when I traveled back and forth to work. For a while I had a job in New York City that required me to take a train every day. I saw the same people, and began to match them up in my head. This man was married to that woman, but was having an affair with this woman, whose mother — sitting alongside me — disapproved. And so it went.
Eventually, my imagination nudged me one day and said, “How about writing all this stuff down, put it into a book, and see if anyone is crazy enough to publish it for you?” What a major surprise when a publisher did offer to buy A Run For Love. That was after quite a few rejections, though. But I was on my way to telling stories that not only did people want to read, but they actually put down hard earned money to buy the right to do that. Amazing.
So, now I send my 13th ‘baby’ out there for the world to see, enjoy, criticize, laugh over, cry over, or toss aside. Probably a little bit of it all. But number 14 will arrive in my inbox this week from my editor to start edits, and I’m almost finished writing number 15. Lots of stories to tell. Lots of chocolate to consume. Lots of closets to stay out of.
My two BFFs and fellow authors, Cheryl Yeko, Char Chaffin, and I, have put together a newsletter. The first issue is Monday, February 10th. We’re very excited about this new venture. Our newsletter will have information on our writing life. We’ll share tidbits about our family and the world of a romance author. We’ll also have contests and free stuff!!
Starting tomorrow, you can sign up for the newsletter here: http://www.cherylyeko.com/2014/02/the-power-of-three.
If you want to subscribe now, send your email address to: email@example.com, and we’ll get you on the list.
‘Hope to ‘see’ you soon!!!
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And the author said ‘damn’
I need to get this book
Into my publisher’s hands
Her children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While she got two aspirins for the pain in her head,
Mama in her kerchief and papa in his cap,
She hoped this last revision would be but a snap
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
She hopped from her laptop to see what the hell happened now!
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave a luster of midday to objects below,
When what to her wondering eyes should appear
But her hero dressed as Santa without any beard−or shirt
His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples how cool!
His cheeks were like roses, his chest made her drool
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Fixing the scene where she’d made him a jerk,
And laying his finger under her chin,
He gave her a kiss as wicked as sin,
He sprang to his horse, to his horse gave a whistle,
And left her alone with nothing but sizzle.
But she heard him exclaim, ere he rode out of sight
Get your ass back to work, it will be a long night!
I’m part of the Entangled Publishers Halloween Hop! Be sure to click on the link near the end of my article so you can follow the other fabulous authors during this Hop.
Halloween makes me think of a new plan to stimulate the economy that doesn’t include bailing any big shots out. On October 31, all adults will dress in a ghost or goblin outfit to go trick or treating. However, instead of carrying a bag to collect candy, they will carry a bagful of their monthly bills. After ringing their neighbor’s doorbells, yelling “trick or treat” (in a high voice, of course—so they sound like kids), they’ll deposit one of their unpaid bills in the mailbox and steal away into the darkness. When all the bills are gone, they get to go home and have a margarita—or sinful beverage of choice. Only past due bills will qualify.
Of course I realize the flaw in my plan. No one will likely pay someone else’s bills (unless they’re less than theirs). But think of the interesting conversations generated by your neighbor knowing who and what you owe. “Harold, do you know the Spencer’s owe there months back payments on Laura’s braces? No wonder the poor child was here Saturday trying to sell her Science exam to David.”
At the very least you would lose your bills long enough to have a legitimate excuse for not paying them this month, and the diversion could be more entertaining than the latest reality TV show. This, my friends, is real reality.
Halloween is, of course, one of our favorite holidays. Surveys tell us (I sound like a TV game host) that next to Christmas, Halloween is children’s favorite holiday. Personally, I prefer Arbor Day, but since I’m no longer a child, I don’t count.
There is something magical for me in this holiday called Halloween. When I was a kid, I spent many hours dreaming up a beautiful, custom-made princess costume with a wand of gold and a long, flowing blonde wig. I was equally thrilled when my mom brought home a Superman costume on special at Walmart.
In those days most of us went trick or treating in the afternoon, right after school. I lived in a neighborhood with roughly eleven thousand children (baby boom era), so it was no small feat to return home with a full bag of candy. But we managed every year.
After dinner on that sacred day, my folks would pile all of us in the car, take a head count—throw out the extras—and to grandmother’s house we’d go. This was probably the best time. Grandma always saved the most favored candy for us, as well as special cookies or cupcakes. In fact, the day was not considered a success unless at least one of us had to throw up on the way home.
My youngest is now a college student of twenty-one, and still celebrates the holiday. She and her friend dress up and terrorize kids who ring the doorbell before they give them candy. She picks out (and buys, bless her heart), her own costume. I wanted to be beautiful as a child, she wants to look as gross as possible. Times change.
I’ll be busy Halloween night. While hubby hands out candy, I’ll be loading my bills into a wheelbarrow.
Now where did I leave the gorilla mask I got on sale at Walmart?
So here I sit, staring at a blank screen, knowing I have to write a guest blog, and not one single thought comes to mind. I hate this computer screen.
Then a song pops up in my head. “I never promised you. . .” I can’t think of the rest of the line. Who cares, you say? Right now with nothing else going on my brain, I do. So I add “a rain barrel.” No, that’s not right. I try “a love life.” Nope. I tap my foot in rhythm to the song. Can sing it almost all the way through until I hit “I never promised you. . .” when it all comes to a screeching halt.
My fingers itch to click onto the internet and do a search. Not going to happen. I need to get this post written. I sigh. Go to the kitchen and put on a fresh pot of coffee. Stare out the window. Run the song through my mind again. “I never promised you a . . .” Maybe it’s “hop in the sack?” Getting desperate at this point.
I notice dishes piled in the sink. Check the dishwasher. Clean, so I put them away. Load it up again, and start it. “I never promised you a . . .” Hmm. “good time?” Pour some coffee and spend five minutes searching every cabinet for my favorite coffee cup lid. Humming this blasted song, I return to my desk.
The screen is still blank, the magic word fairies having deserted me on this one. My index finger hovers over the internet key. I yank it away, and then hold a conversation with my dog. She yawns and lays back down, ignoring my dilemma. I thought she knew her place as my best friend.
My eyes skim the room. The coffee table is coated with dust. I get up and grab a dust cloth and can of Pledge. “I never promised you a . . .” What fits, for heaven’s sake? “clean house?” Ha. Hubby can vouch for that one.
Back in my chair, my hands smelling of lemon, I stare at the internet key. I dare it to draw my finger. I win−I’m a strong woman. “I never promised you a. . .ton of money?” Nah, I know it’s two words, just can’t think of them.
All right, I have to get serious here. Why is it so much easier to write an entire book than it is to write a short guest blog? One of life’s little mysteries it seems. I try to block out the song by singing another one to myself. Then another—and another. Pretty soon I’ve given myself an entire concert, but I still can’t remember the last two words of that line.
My dog lifts one eyelid from her position at my feet. I guess all this singing is disturbing her beauty rest. My daughter enters the room, dressed for dirt digging. She’s decided to take on the job of family landscaper. Just hope she finishes it this year.
“Hey mom, suppose I put in a rose garden this year?”
“Yes!!” I shout, doing a fist pump.
“Wow, you’re really into roses, aren’t you?”
I burst into song. “I never promised you a rose garden.”
I’ve stunned her speechless. The dog lumbers off into the next room. I glance down at my computer screen, amazed to see this little rambling has given me my blog. Ha! Done.
I’m a combination plotter and punster. When I begin a new story, I generally know what it’s going to be about. No exact beginning, middle and end, though.
Then I sit down and start writing, pretty much letting it flow. When I get close to the dreaded ‘middle slump’ I will do a chapter by chapter outline. Nothing definite, but more along the lines of ‘in this chapter, they have sex,’ ‘in this chapter she discovers ‘the secret’’, and so on.
Most times that works. But then there are the books where your characters sneer at your plan and will not cooperate. They won’t do what you want them to do, or they do something so unexpected, even your vague outline will no longer work. I’ve found sitting and arguing with the character rarely helps. Some characters and merely too stubborn.
I ask them what’s wrong, but often I have to guess. One time I was writing a pivotal scene between a retired OSBI agent and a Chief of Police. Very tense moment. They’re trying to figure out who’s after the heroine. She happens to be the OSBI’s girlfriend, and the COP’s sister. The men are stressed, anxious. Looking for answers.
They’re sitting in the COP’s office. Staring at each other across the messy desk. Saying nothing. I was getting a bit annoyed. Come on, guys, this is important. Think of something. The nitwits just sat. I poked the OSBI agent in the ribs. Nothing. I waved a hand in front of the COP. He might as well have been blind.
I pushed away from my computer and paced. Two men, doing nothing to resolve this problem. What the heck’s the matter with them? Then I had an aha! moment. I furiously hit the keyboard and pounded out the scene. I took them out of the office and put them into a bar. Placed a cold beer, dripping ice, into each of their hands.
I couldn’t write fast enough. They wouldn’t shut up.
Ordinarily, my muse and I get along quite well. She arrived when I was quite young, actually. She wasn’t all that helpful during my school career when I had to write those exceptionally boring, and pointless, term papers. Except in my creative writing class when she really jumped front and center.
As a young child, she helped me tolerate long family car trips, where I was always squished in the middle of the back seat between older sister and younger brother. She also helped me fall asleep at night, when she would weave amazing stories where I was the star. Beautiful, smart, rich—all the things a little girl dreams of.
During my various careers she either trudged with me to the office each day—when I worked for corporate communications at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City, or lapsed into a coma when I sold insurance. But she was always there at night time when my head hit the pillow and we continued with the story of my fabulous (read: pretend) life.
About three years ago, we became BFF when I wrote my first book. God, I loved her. She arrived each morning, glowing with good health. We put our heads together and wonderful things spewed forth from my laptop. We high fived each other on a regular basis.
That lasted about six months. Then I noticed a change in her temperament. The only way to describe it is—grumpy. Sometimes she smiled and shone like a brilliant star, other times she groused about the lack of coffee and needing a nap.
There were days she disappeared completely, but when she returned never gave me a clue where she’d been. Said it was a secret. Ha! Other times she hid in the back of my bedroom closet, arms crossed, and snarled at me, even though I warned her about deadlines. Bribery didn’t work very much either. Eventually, she would dust herself off, work like the devil to reach that deadline and then offer a smug smile.
The worse time, and it’s only happened once, my muse took a vacation. Days and days of the black hole as I stared at a blank computer screen, and wailed in agony for her to return. I called, texted, FB’d, tweeted, skyped. Nothing. She was gone. I pounded the keyboard, paced the room, wrote gibberish, then violently pushed the ‘delete’ button.
She returned. With absolutely no explanation, and merely raised her eyebrows with disdain when I told her how much I missed her. She coolly brushed me aside and wrote up a storm.
Come to think of it, she’d make a great heroine, but she refuses to let me write her.