Candy Hearts – RED HOT by Kayden Claremont

Source: Candy Hearts – RED HOT by Kayden Claremont

What did you read in 2015?

In 2015, I didn’t writbest books of 2015e much, but apparently I read a whole lot.

I finished 70 books—some paper, some e and some audio. (There were 5 more I started but didn’t finish.)

The way they break down is interesting:

1 ghost story romance
2 literary novels
3 middle grades
10 mysteries
7 thrillers
8 urban fantasies
1 sci-fi
And 37 Young Adult novels

But Gina, that’s only 69.

Yes, 1 read only 1 non-fiction book this year.

And of that 70 books, 4 were re-reads.

Each year I vote for BOOK OF THE YEAR.

Of the 37 YAs I read in 2015, I’d say my fave was ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews, although DUMPLIN‘ by Julie Murphy ran a close second. And if you liked DUMPLIN’, read THE JOCK AND THE FAT CHICK by Nicole Winters.

Of all the others… The two Cormoran Strike mysteries, CU
and THE SILK WORM by JK Rowling w/a Robert Galbraith. Interesting to contrast Striker with Reacher, having just mainlined 32 of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books before reading the two Galbraiths. And there’s a third Cormoran Strike book out now. I’ve put a hold on the various versions at the library. Whichever one comes first: audio, e or print, I’ll grab that and cancel the others.

So that’s what I read in 2015. How ’bout you?



My stalker story is creeping me out…

eyes in the night

I thought, “Stalker. Guardian angel. It’s a fine line, really.”

Who better to protect you than someone who’s watching you all the time anyway?

But, gahhhh! The story is seriously creepifying. It’s for a mystery/crime anthology. May think about changing it.

Oddly, writing this one is like pulling teeth, and yet… it’s writing itself. I did not know there were multiple stalkers when I started writing. Hmmm.




2014 vs 2015 vs 2016

In 2014, I was tremendously productive. I wrote new books, re-wrote old ones, learned how to self-publish, including formatting, hooked up with an awesome cover artist, opened a business, opened author accounts at all the major etailers, attended conferences, joined Weight Watchers and read books. In the end, I’d lost 15 lbs. and self-published 8 books!

all SP covers as one

In 2015, however, I wrote the first draft of a YA contemp book, and edited a gay historical. I wrote a couple of YA shorts that need more work. So in fact, I have pretty much nothing to show for 2015.

I think one of the differences is that in 2014, I set goals: yearly and monthly. I also goaled daily with my friend Joan Leacott.

In 2015. No goals. In fact, after I raced through the first draft of UNPLUGGED, I gave myself permission to relax. And I think I fell off the productivity wagon.

The day I left the full-time job in 2010, I made a point of keeping the nine-to-five schedule. Every day I walked the dogs, did non creative stuff in the morning, then wrote new words or edited existing words all afternoon. In the evenings I socialized, watched TV and read. In 2014, I restricted myself to 2 hours of TV a night.

But since around April, I’ve watched a lot of TV, and written not much in the way of new words.

I also gained back all the weight I lost in 2014. So in retrospect, 2015 was not my year. But don’t get me wrong. I was happy enough. I entertained visitors, was a guest at cottages, and toured China. I lost my dear old dog, Billie. I have a couple of big, ongoing issues in my life, counterbalanced by having a lot of good friends.

I’m hard on myself. But I also know about re-filling the well.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do set goals. And sometimes goals set themselves. My sister-in-law lent me a beginner yoga DVD on Boxing Day. I’ve done yoga 4 days in a row–25 minutes of much-needed stretching. My muscles ache now from use, not from disuse–somehow it’s a much healthier pain. And while the yoga itself is difficult, making myself do it… is not.

Here are some goals I’m setting for 2016: The first one I’m working on this very minute–to return to blogging. You all want to hear my every thought, right?

So… my goals for 2016:

–Blog regularly.

–Finish 3 short YAs for various purposes. Two are drafted, one is still in my brain.

–Get back to UNPLUGGED. My agent probably expected it months ago. Let that be motivation for me.

–I will get another round of edits on RE-INVENTING LOVE, the gay historical. Hopefully that won’t take me another five weeks to do. (The first round was painful–I think I committed the cardinal sin of submitting before it was quite ready.)

I anticipate being done with all of this by June. My rule of thumb, however, based on years of experience is… if I think this will take six months to do, double it. Oh, look. I’ve got goals for 2016.

Let’s get productive!


It’s always the author’s fault

I picked up a book from the library yesterday and began to read it last night. Yikes! Is the type small. It’s like the anti-large-print book. I’m lucky. By taking off my glasses, I can read it just fine, but most people can’t.

The book was printed back in 1987. So every single copy sold was hard copy. Someone walked into a bookstore (this predates Amazon by 7 years), looked at the type and put it back on the shelf.

The publisher had a choice to produce a larger book, but chose to save on paper and ink. Then when it didn’t sell, I’m sure they blamed the author.

Why does publishing continually shoot itself in the foot and then say we’re the problem?

Here’s a shot of a recent Stephanie Plum mystery which I’d just finished re-reading next to “Double Whammy” by Carl Hiaasen:

small type








Luckily, he went on to be a popular bestseller. But it’s one more thing for us authors to watch out for if we get a print deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I *want* a publishing contract with a print deal, I just want to be wary of the things that could go awry.

I Got You!

I Got You CoverOnline pal Jamie Lake as a new m/m book out. She writes heartfelt, spicy gay erotic romance. I GOT YOU is bound to be every bit as good as her previous books.

The blurb alone gives me shivers:

When college student Jake is left for dead on the side of the road, he has one thing on his mind: Learn to defend himself against the men that gay bashed him. And fight back or die trying.

Check it out. You know you want to…

No Facebook in China

Or Twitter or YouTube, etc. So updates on my exciting tour of China will commence upon my return. 

Assume the Position!

Can false arrest lead to true love?

Assume cover FINAL AReFind out in this sexy read, now sporting a hot new cover courtesy of graphic designer Jamie Lynn Miller.

Only 99¢ at all your fave etailers. Get ASSUME THE POSITION now: / Kobo / AllRomanceEbooks, iBooks, Barnes and Noble and more!

More details and an excerpt here.

Do you write for money or what you love?

My response:

My books Venn








Need Help with Word?

Joan really knows her stuff. You can’t lose!

Woven Red Author Services

Do you prefer an in-person approach?

If you’re attending the Romance Writers of America annual convention in New York this year and would like some personal help with Word, please use the form below to set up a meeting. Or flag me down whenever you spot me. I’d love to help you tame the Word beast.

NJbooksigning2 Do you prefer an online course?

Sign up for the next session of Mastering Word for Fiction Writers, starting August 30th, four weeks ,$40, sponsored by Author E.M.S.

View original post


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,359 other followers

%d bloggers like this: