Friday, January 12, 2007

The Book's Soundtrack (or the musical part of the writing process)

Okay, I needed an excuse to put Kenny Chesney in a blog. He's my favorite country artist and he just won a People's Choice Award for fan-voted favorite male singer, so I guess he's also a lot of people's favorites. (For more, go to Congrats to Kenny on this achievement.

I dedicated a book to Kenny (and have the autographed thank-you photo to prove it) and have just about every one of his albums. Most of them have been the soundtrack behind my books.

When I'm writing, many times I have music playing. I set the CD or windows media player to repeat, so oftentimes the CD is played at least three times without my even noticing that I've listened to it over and over. I've written books to greatest hits albums of my favorite 80s bands (yes, I'm a child of the 80s--high school 83 and college 87). I've put in new artists I find and let the CD play. Brain research shows that listening to music can help get a person in her "right brain" which is the creative side. (The left is the logical part--when I edit the room is silent, which is the way I read a book.) Many author besides me have music playing.

Right now I'm also hard at work on Picture Perfect (working title), my November 2007 American. I wrote that to Trent Tomlinson's Country is My Rock, Montogomery Gentry's Greatest Hits, and REO Speedwagon's Greatest Hits.

So do you write to music? Or are you one who has to have silence?


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Benefits of Marrying a Writer

My husband is also a fulltime, stay-at-home writer. A lot of people ask, "So, how's that working for you?" My answer is, there are a lot more advantages than drawbacks. Here's my top ten list of advantages:

10) "I'm going down for coffee. Want me to get you a refill?"

9) No one in this house ever says, "Why don't you go out and get a real job?"

8) I never have to pick up the dry cleaning--because there isn't any. Our work wardrobes consist of sweats, jeans, T-shirts and occasionally, pajamas.

7) There's always someone around to brainstorm with or critique my work.

6) It's cost-efficient. We only have one color printer between us, for example. We can share reference books, an Internet connection and a P.O. box. We ride together to our writers' meetings. (Separate offices are a must, however.)

5) If I run out of paper, he probably has some. If he runs out of envelopes, I probably have some. If we both run out of stamps, we can walk to the post office together.

4) We always have someone to share a room with at writers' conferences. (This can also be a drawback; I sometimes miss the "slumber party" atmosphere of the old days.)

3) I have someone to share the good news with, someone who will celebrate with me unconditionally.

2) I have someone's shoulder to cry on when I get a rejection--someone who really understands!

1) Which brings me to the number-one benefit of having a writer spouse--mutual encouragement. Writing can be a lonely business, but when I have doubts, when I'm down or when I'm taking a big risk with my writing, my husband is always there to cheer me on, and I like to think I do the same for him.

Bonus Benefit: When I want to hang out all night with a group of hunky firefighters, he doesn't blink because it's "just research"!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Surprise Blogger--Kathleen Scheibling

Happy New Year to all American Romance authors and readers! Is it too late to say that? I hope not because I feel like celebrating, and I’ll tell you why.

We started off 2007 with some great news. Our Great American Romance Contest closed on the last day of the year and we’ve received hundreds of entries! I’m absolutely delighted with the response – and hoping I find some gold in the pile. Now I’ve got a lot of reading to do. Winners will be notified in February, and then we’ll announce the winners on in early March.

I’m excited about our line-up of books in 2007. We have two new authors appearing this calendar year, as well a few authors who are new to this series. And we’re still looking for new authors – who knows what the coming year will bring?

How many of you are coming to Dallas for Nationals? I think this year we’ll host a meet and greet for our authors. Last year in Atlanta I realized that many of you writing for the line haven’t met before, or have only met online. So we’re going to have ourselves a party. That’s something to look forward to this summer.

Linda – thanks for posting your cover for ONCE A COWBOY. Aren’t our covers looking fantastic? I love the work our art team is doing. This cover is a bit different for us, but we couldn’t resist once we saw this shot of a hunky cowboy. This model is actually a firefighter in real life! Can you imagine how many girls he has chasing after him? We all want to meet him and are begging Tony (our art editor) to let us come to a shoot. We have promised to behave ourselves. Although that doesn’t mean I can’t start a little trashcan fire on the set and yell, “is there a firefighter in the house?!” just to see him in action.

OK, I better to get to that pile of contest entries. It looks as if 2007 will be a busy one – what else is new?

Cheers to all of you out there for all the work you do. Thanks for making 2006 a successful year for American Romance. Here’s to an even better one.


Sunday, January 07, 2007



It’s a new year and I have a new American coming out in February, Once A Cowboy. I’m excited because I love this book. I’m hoping everyone else will, too. And it has a fabulous cover—a sexy cowboy. You can’t get any better than that. I’ll try to post the cover so you can see it. Hope it works.

Is it just me or have the American covers been great lately? I’m liking them all. What do you think? Have you noticed a difference in the covers? Now here’s the big question. Does a cover influence you when you buy a book?

When I’m in a bookstore, a good cover will attract my attention. However, for me it’s that back blurb that’s the selling point. Of course, an author’s name does that, too. What’s the selling point for you?

Happy new year to everyone. Here’s hoping for mega sales for American in 2007.

Be sure to check in tomorrow. There’s a rumor going around that a Harlequin editor might stop by.