Saturday, July 30, 2011

Of Authors and Rockstars - A Must Read

"Step up into my biblio-crib, son. Over here, I got a bunch of human babies crawling around a terrarium. In that room is where I keep all my beta readers — yeah, that’s them, feeding each other figs and playin’ Naked Twister and shit."

As much as I wish I could claim rightful credit to the quote above, it is a product of Chuck Wendig's brilliant, if slightly twisted, mind. Why do authors need to be more like rockstars? Chuck lays it all out in Turning Writers into Motherfucking Rock Stars. Read it. Love it. Pee on something in public. (If you don't get the last one, you obviously haven't read the post yet. Go now!).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Of Contests and Categories

MCRW's annual Melody of Love Contest for unpublished romance manuscripts is now accepting entries for 2011. This is our 13th year for the contest and our first year to include a YA category, so if you know anyone who writes YA romance or YA with romantic elements, feel free to send them our way!

Receipt Date of entries (25 pgs or less): September 1, 2011
Fees: $22 MCRW member fee; $27 RWA member fee; $32 Non-RWA member fee
Eligibility: Not published in category entered (see rules for specifics)

Categories and Final round judges:
Historical: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Literary Agency
Contemporary: Latoya C. Smith, Grand Central Publishing
Paranormal: Angela James, Carina Press
YA: Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks Fire

Need more incentive as to the awesomeness of this contest? Check out past winner Isis Rushdan's Contest Breakdown, in which she dissects the benefits and drawbacks of different writing contests and just so happens to give the Melody of Love contest a glowing review.
For more information, click here
Contest Coordinator: Jody Wallace (

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Of Luncheons and Commemorations

Vampires, werewolves, and angels are popular icons in today’s fiction. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks combines them all in her popular Love at Stake series, and now she is bringing them to the annual Romance Readers’ Luncheon sponsored by Heart of Dixie, the north Alabama chapter of RWA. Sparks is the featured speaker for this annual event celebrating romance and literacy in the north Alabama community. Registration is open for the 14th Annual Heart of Dixie event, held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL, on June 4, 2011, from 11am until 3pm.

Special guest author Kerrelyn Sparks will share her vampire world during the keynote speech, host a table, and sign books at this year's event. Attendees will enjoy a delicious garlic-free lunch and blood-stirring conversation with fellow romance readers and favorite romance authors including Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones, Lynn Raye Harris, Kimberly Lang, and more. HOD will also honor founding member Beverly Barton.

A dear woman who is greatly missed

Kerrelyn Sparks’s first paranormal romance, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, zoomed out of the bat cave so fast it became the Borders bestselling debut romance of 2005. Each book in the Love at Stake series has become a USA Today bestseller, and the fourth book, The Undead Next Door, landed on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Sparks lives in the Greater Houston area with her husband, children, and a house full of garlic, but so far there are no vampires in her family.

HOD's Annual Luncheon also includes mysterious door prizes and celebrations. A book fair and autograph session with the attending authors following the luncheon is open and free to the public at 2pm. Profits from the book fair are donated to a local literacy charity.

Join us as we celebrate romance in all its spine-tingling forms! Registration is $25 and must be received by May 22nd. Seating is limited, so register today. More information and registration forms can be found at or call 256-586-5962.

 *** Permission to Forward Granted & Encouraged ***

Friday, March 25, 2011

Of Congratulations!

Finalists for RWA's RITA and Golden Heart awards were named today. Congratulations to author, fellow MCRW member, and friend Annie Solomon, a finalist for the 2011 Romantic Suspense RITA for Two Lethal Lies.

A love to die for...

On the run since his daughter was born, Mitch Turner has concealed a truth so dangerous, its discovery could jeopardize both their lives. But when a series of shocking murders hits their newfound home, the trail leads straight to Mitch. With the police out for blood and his daughter ripped from his arms, he has nowhere to turn--until a beautiful stranger offers her help.

Neesy Brown has made mistakes in her life, yet she refuses to believe this mysterious man is a killer. There's a strength in his broad shoulders that draws her to him and a weariness in his eyes that she longs to ease. As the murders tear her small town apart, she vows to help Mitch find his missing child. But a cunning predator is pulling them deeper and deeper into his fatal game. And the price of losing is the child--and the future--they could both share...

Congratulations to Annie! May you soon have a second RITA gracing your shelf!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Of Trading Cards and Trends

Baseball cards. Pokemon cards. Country Music trading cards.

It was inevitable.

Growing out of twitter conversations (#romancetradingcards - seriously, how awesome is twitter?), the romance genre is now getting in on the trading card action. Participation is open to all. Authors are responsible for the creation and printing of their own cards. Cards can feature any romance character (hero, heroine, villain, beloved sidekick, etc) across any romance subgenre. Authors are invited to bring their cards to book signings, conferences, and events for readers to collect and trade.

Worried your creativity levels may not be up to snuff in terms of card design? Companies like Hot Damn Designs offer formatting, stock images, and more.

Participating authors can be found at, where card images and links are listed free of charge.

This is such a great idea!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Of eBooks and Emerging Technology

Two inventors in St. Petersburg have devised a program that will allow authors to digitally sign and personalize ebooks.

From the article, Local inventors create way to autograph eBooks, by Jonathan Petramala:

Local author and inventor T.J. Waters and his friend developed Autography, a place for the author's signature.

"Basically, what you do is pull up a copy of your book as the author, and it inserts a blank page behind the cover and you sign whatever you're going to personalize for somebody," Waters said.

Waters can sign from his iPad, and that message will show up on the eReader within a couple of minutes on a newly created page.

"What we've also been able to figure out is how to do this remotely," Waters said. "So an author could be sitting in his home or a facility like this and doing a book signing in Cleveland."

It will be interesting to see how well this app works, across which platforms, and how widespread it becomes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Of Steampunk and Sucker Punch

Steampunk is everywhere lately! If you thought the Panic! at the Disco video for The Ballad of Mona Lisa was cool (and I did), check out the upcoming full length feature Sucker Punch.

From the official website:
Sucker Punch is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary.

Watch the trailer here.

There are few things I enjoy more than truly kick ass heroines. I cannot wait for this film! Sucker Punch opens nationwide March 25, 2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Steampunk! at the Disco

After a lengthy absence (or at least it seems lengthy to me), Panic! at the Disco is back with a new single, The Ballad of Mona Lisa. What's the best thing about the video? Apart from the song being great, the video is steampunk inspired.

Oh Panic!, how I've missed you. Steampunk only makes me love you more.