Friday, January 26, 2007

I love to shop

I’ve been buried in revisions and deadlines for what seems forever. Yesterday, after working four hours straight, I hit the wall and took a break. Headed for Pacific Place, an upscale mall in downtown Seattle. There I met Ann Defee, who also blogs here, for lunch and a few hours of chitchat (all right, a little gossip, too!), laughter and shopping. Late January is a great time to shop for clothes, because the sales are amazing. Not only that, the day was perfect—sunny and a balmy 57 degrees.

Hanging out with a writer friend always relaxes me. Writers understand when you’re so burned out from writing, you can’t think of the right word for something. Word exhaustion, a clever writer aptly named it. Non-writing friends think you’re… well, getting old. But writer friends think, she used up all her words writing today.

So when I told Ann, “I haven’t found a new whatchamacallit yet—that thing you put on your bed?” She supplied “bedspread” and we both laughed about it.

Several hours later I came home with a smile on my face, several cool new tops and pants (all on sale!), and a head full of words. Yep, the word exhaustion was gone. So thanks, Ann!

Today I’m refreshed and ready to plunge back into work.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let's Talk Stories

Harlequin American Romance Authors

I'm not sure this will work, but I thought today was my blog day. Found out it was yesterday---sorry. I'll pop in today anyway. I have a writer friend who asked an interesting question of me---"why aren't publishers buying stories about families any more?"
I thought they were. Hope they are as I love to write family type stories. Now I wonder if they aren't buying as many new authors with family stories. There are a lot of paranormal, other world stories being bought right now. Even in the Harlequin lines I'm wondering if new books being bought don't focus on family as much as on straight hero/heroine romances. No added secondary characters. I read a lot. It seems to me there are families in the books. But I remind myself those were bought a year ago. So what say all of you who have sold recently? Families, no families, and what is the focus?
Roz D. Fox

Monday, January 22, 2007

Simply A Surprise

I received some great news last week. One of my writing friends emailed a congratulations. She saw on a list that Simple Gifts was nominated by Romantic Times Magazine as one of their favorite Harlequin Americans of 2006. Saying this was a surprise was pretty much an understatement. And because I was so surprised, I quickly wrote my friend back and told her that I thought she had made a mistake. Maybe she'd mistakenly pressed SEND to the wrong girl?

Well, Cathy wrote me back with a big : ) and said nope, she had it right...and listed all five Harlequin American Authors who were nominated. I called in my husband and we stared at the list on the screen together: Laura Marie Altom. Pamela Browning. Shelley Galloway. Debra Salonen, Marin Thomas. Yep, there I was, neatly stuck in the middle of such a great group of authors. So amazing!

Don't you love surprises like that? Unexpected ones which take you so off-guard that you can honestly say you're shocked? I don't think they happen too often in each one is very sweet, to say the least.

Well, after I made my two teenagers come look at the screen, too, (Um, good job, Mom) I did the only thing I could do...I called my critique partner, Heather Webber. Luckily, she was home, and luckily, she finally made it real..."Yay!" she called out, then said she felt like crying. So, that's what we did. I stood in my kitchen, talked to Heather, and cried with my writing buddy, because she knew how much Simple Gifts had meant to me, and how much writing for Harlequin means to me. I think I mainly got all teary because it's nice to have girlfriends who can give you an really nice suprise on a Sunday evening, and to have girlfriends who will pick up the phone and be thrilled for you...just because.

So, congratulations to Laura and Pamela and Debra and Marin. And here's to good, very sweet, totally unexpected surprises. I hope everyone gets a sweet surprise one day very soon.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Harlequin American Romance Authors

Harlequin American Romance Authors

Hello from sunny Texas! As I walked into my kitchen this morning, I knew something was different. Gone was the constant rain, drizzle, mist, sleet, snow and ice. I suddenly realized that I was not living in Seattle, but indeed, resided in suburban Dallas! What a nice surprise after all the bad weather. My heart goes out to those in the midwest who are still iced in, without power or otherwise stranded in the ice.

I'm working on a Christmas book - the first of my career. TEXAN FOR THE HOLIDAYS is the second book of my new Brody's Crossing series and will be released in December 2007. It's been a lot of fun writing a Christmas book over the actual holidays, but now the ceramics, candles, photos, lights, greenery and ornaments are going back into storage (eventually, I tell my husband!) and still my characters are in the joy of the season.

Prolonging Christmas through my characters is giving me a chance to relax a bit after the "real" holiday is over. You see, our December was quite hectic. Our daughter (my only child) was married on December 30 in Las Vegas, and as soon as we returned, I hosted a reception at our house for them. The trip to Las Vegas was delayed for almost an entire day due to storms at the airport, so we drove to Austin and flew out of there. There were multiple false fire alarms at the hotel, a missing wedding gown, and much illness in our wedding party. Overall, it's amazing that one of us didn't say, "Have you thought about going downtown to the JP?" But we didn't, and the wedding was beautiful.

A couple of friends (not my writing friends, because they know better) said that I should use all the mishaps in a book. I told them that no one would believe everything that happened to us if it were in a book. Truly, things like this only happen in real life - well, except maybe for Jennifer Crusie books, because she can make me believe almost anything could happen. Have you ever read what happened to the dead body in WELCOME TO TEMPTATION? Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to convey is that I have to make up almost all the silly things that happen in my books. One exception is the incident in TEMPORARILY TEXAN, my July 2007 release when the hero, Troy, tries to teach his Yankee vegetarian houseguest how to country-western dance. Yes, I actually sent a shoe flying across the dance floor when I tried the Cotton-Eyed Joe. Needless to say, I'm a writer, not a dancer!

Thanks for taking time to read the Harlequin American author's blog. If you'd like more information on my upcoming releases, please check my website.