Friday, February 25, 2011


Gone to DFWCON!



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Angi Morgan

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday


Angi stopped by to talk about her latest release 
 as well as her previous book 
 She also has a give-away for you!

Let's get to know Angi!

   Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?
I wish. Seems the more I try to have a routine, the more the universe decides to send family, friends, even strangers to the door/phone/whatever to slip me off track.  I actually write all the time. Anywhere. But I wrote .38 CALIBER COVER-UP sitting on the front loveseat with my knee propped up after knee surgery. It kept me typing on my laptop. The “short” nine-week-until-it’s-due contract kept my behind glued to the loveseat. My doctor actually liked the concept of me not doing a thing except my knee exercises.

  Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?
It’s better than what I imagined. I didn’t have any illusions. I’d heard for years that you just exchange one set of problems for another when you sign a contract. No illusions. But what I didn’t count on was the social media aspect and never never never having enough time for it.

  What is the best advice you have received about this journey?
Cherry Adair and Sharon Mignerey spoke to me when I first sold, after the congratulations, they both said: Don’t get wrapped up in the sale or the promotion. Write. An author’s job is to keep writing.

  What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out?
The best advice? Learn about social media BEFORE you sell. It’s the way publishing is heading. If you aren’t comfortable...get that way at your own pace PRIOR to selling when you’ll be so busy your head will be spinning from all the fun. Do it now. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off.

  You mentioned once that your new book is based on a character from the first book who marched in and demanded his own story, tell us about that.
Erren came to me when he was around twenty years old (2003), much too young to be a hero. But his character was very vivid and he definitely stole the scenes (See Jane Run). During the 2009 revisions (Hill Country Holdup), Erren was suddenly 28 years old, a burned-out DEA undercover cop, who envied the relationship of my hero & heroine. And again, I had to hold him back from stealing the end of the book away from Steve. Erren definitely has lots of character.

 Jake Gyllenhal
Angi's inspiration for Erren

  What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that?
I don’t believe in burnout. I think writers are completely insecure and very needy. LOL  And when we get discouraged, it’s easy to say, “WHY AM I IN THIS BUSINESS?”  But ultimately, it IS a business. We can do everything we can to prepare to sell, but the actual purchase of our work depends on timing, the market, and personal taste of the editor (which I think continually grows).  Interesting question--ME? Run out of stories?  Actually, when writing .38 Caliber Cover-Up, I think I finally “GOT” what an Intrigue is. And since I want to write for the line a long time, I went through all my story ideas and none of them seemed to really fit what I wanted to do. I was definitely worried that I wasn’t coming up with anything new.  Then I submitted the story. Gave myself some time off...and there they were. The new characters, the new titles, the new ideas. I went to San Antonio to work, research, and relax... and there I was plotting a murder at the bowling alley. I went to the State Fair with the family... and sure enough, I was plotting a murder by corn-dog-stick. And when in New York City... getting on the plane...watching the taxi line... YEP YEP YEP... story, story, story. 

So if you’re fighting writer’s fatigue or burnout or a block. Switch your mode of writing (laptop/pen & paper), switch your seat (desk/outside/mall/soccer practice), and then write about your surroundings. HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP began as a writing exercise on getting sounds and smells into my writing.

  Tell us about the blogs you participate on and what is interesting about them.
My personal blog? I’d like to have one connected with my website. It’s that time thing again. LOL  But I did begin a new blog on December 1st with six other debut authors. Get Lost In A Story features authors and their new releases at least five days a week (sometimes all seven). Lots of fun information for readers, lots of prizes, and lots of great authors. I blog on the Intrigue Authors blog at eHarlequin every other week. I’m a regular contributor on the Daily Dose  as part of the Bloody Pen Sisterhood. A regular contributor on Blame It On The Muse where the focus is inspiring/helping writers.

  I understand you  visited the inner sanctum of Harlequin in New York, tell us about that!
It looked like a regular office for the most part with the exception of “super” authors’ book covers on the wall and books on the shelves.  Can you believe that my batteries went dead in my camera during the visit? But I have some cool pictures of the outside of the building on my Facebook page
Harlequin in New York

Harlequin in New York in the famous Woolworth Building

 Your husband went on stage with you won the Golden Heart award. It is such a sweet story.

   I tore up my knee doing my day job, most recently...but in my younger (much younger) days I played Powder Puff football, was on the drill team, and was a catcher for adult softball. I have no cartilage. So when conference rolled around, I was on crutches. Had to promise my surgeon that I'd visit DisneyWorld in a wheelchair. But I was up for the Series: Suspense & Adventure Golden Heart (RWA unpublished writing award).   
   The person in charge said: Angi, the hotel wants to put in a ramp... "Nope. No way. If I win, Tim will be here to help me on stage." And then it happened. I won. He tried to stop at the top of the stairs and I brought him all the way to the lectern with me. Being superstitious, I hadn't written an accept speech, but I'd practiced a couple of things: thanks, the book sold, too many people to thank by name...and no one knows who the book's dedicated to: only Tim. I've shared the story of why Tim encouraged me to write before, suffice it to say, he was surprised. My guy's supportive. He's terrific. And he never stopped believing in me.

  What's next for you?
Keeping my fingers crossed that the series I’m proposing is accepted. It’s about...well, my titles say a lot: San Antonio Showdown, Ambush at the Alamo, & River Walk Rescue.  And of course, I’ve got that airplane/taxi line story-line that’s just waiting for a hero and heroine.  What’s next? I’m hoping for a long-line of Intrigues (and maybe a four-book Scottish Time-Travel somewhere in the future).

  What has been the best part of this journey for you?
The people who are genuinely happy for me. The many writers, family, and friends who are excited with each step of the journey. But most of all...the professional acknowledgment that holding the book in my hands means. God above knows I had lots of support and help along the way, but... “I FINALLY DID IT!”

 Thank you  for sharing your story with us.
THANKS SO MUCH for the interview, Dawn.  Each time I write down answers about my writing journey, it makes me more appreciative of how many people and how much work I’ve actually put into my writing career. I really hope fans love my books so I can keep writing & creating the stories.

I have a copy of Hill Country Holdup for one of the commentators. I can only mail to US residents only, but I have an electronic ARC if the winner is located internationally, or in Alaska or Hawaii.  THANKS AGAIN !!

You can check out more about  Angi at
 Check out the book trailer for . 38 Caliber Cover-Up   
 Check out the book trailer for Hill Country Holdup                                              

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bursting my bubble

Thinking about Thursday

       When I was fourteen and still openly dreaming of being a writer, my 8th grade English teacher made the off-handed comment,
"There are no original ideas left. Everything you can think of has been done in one form or another."

       In his defense, we were learning the three basic story conflicts
Man vs. Man
Man vs Nature
Man vs. himself

(See, Coach Washington, I remembered. You should be proud.)

        He didn't mean to imply that we were all doomed to repeating the same stories. But, that simple statement nagged at me for years. Was it possible ALL the stories of the world have already been told? 
Mine hadn't, of course. My ideas were original... right? 

       Now, 15 (okay, 20 plus) years later, it still echoes in my mind. Especially in moments of insecurity when I have visions of agents rolling their eyes at my manuscript thinking,
" I've heard it all before."  

      So, what do you think? Have all the stories been told?
And if they have, is that a terrible thing? Don't we read romance with the full knowledge it will end happily ever after? Don't we read mystery with the expectation the perpetrator to be caught and justice be served? Don't we feel cheated if the killer gets away or the couple doesn't get together? 

Do you take comfort in the same old stories or do you long for something with a twist? 

Be sure you stop by next week for Tell Me Your Story Tuesday.
I am featuring the fabulous 

She will be talking about her journey to publication as well as her latest release .38 Caliber Cover-Up. I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

This is me. My mother would tell you I had been screaming my head off all day when a friend of hers came over with a new camera. They laid me on a black sheet ( don't ask, I never have!) and her friend snapped this picture of me laughing.
       So, who do you want to be when you grow up? Before the sensible idea of idea of becoming a teacher overtook my dream of being an author I wanted to be Judy Blume. I read everything and, I mean, everything she wrote. Later, I realized maybe some of her books should have waited until I was a bit older. 
       My teenage years, I wanted to be S.E. Hinton.  Several of my early manuscripts scream,
                              "I just read The Outsiders... again." 
        I will admit to a brief Stephen King stage. But, honestly, I am a big, fat chicken and only forced myself to read his work because everyone else my age was. I can only guess if all of them were sleeping with their lights on, too!
      Now that I am settling into a writing style, I have a new set of author crushes. Sandra Brown, Janet Evanovich and Nora Roberts as J.D. Robb. (Of course, to quote Rosemary Clement-Moore at a recently workshop, "We all want to be Nora Roberts.")

 As I learn more about myself as an author,  I find myself still wanting to me only with their contracts and royalty checks. 

     So, tell  me your story? Who do you want to be when you are a grown up writer? How have your "author crushes" changed over the years?

Bonus question: If you could have dinner with a favorite author, what book/character would you want to discuss and why?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Help me prep for DFW CON

Thinking about Thursday

Yes! This IS the world's ugliest snow man!

THANK YOU DFWCON and JEFF POSEY for writing a blog in response to my blog and answering all my questions in depth! You ROCK! I can't wait for the conference!


Unless by some chance you have been hibernating in a cave or lucky enough to be on a tropical vacation, you have heard that most of us in Texas are buried in ice. And that is thing, for those in the North laughing at us because we can't deal with "a few inches snow", this isn't snow it is ICE. You can't drive on it, you can't walk on it, you can't even make snowmen from it. My friend above is from February 2010.    Anyway, I am trying not to think about the ice today or the fact we are still going to be going to school in July if it doesn't all melt soon! 

Today, I am thinking about:

  Registration was my Christmas present from my husband. (LOVE HIM!). I wanted to attend the Texas Two Step Conference last year  *shout out to my local chapter NTRWA*. But, honestly, I was a chicken. I wasn't involved with the chapter yet. I was unprepared and, although I am far from a shy person,  I didn't want to go alone. 

That brings me to today and DFWCON. Excited doesn't begin to cover it. I am counting down the days like it is the last weeks of school! I am a firm believer that preparation is the enemy of anxiety. I know that writers are a friendly, accepting group, but they are a culture and all cultures have rules.

So, I am asking for help with the preparation. I have never been to a writing conference before:
What do I need to know 
I don't mean like, "Don't slip your manuscript under the bathroom door". I have been a mom long enough to appreciate the opportunity to "do you business" in private and I really don't want an agent associating my work with bodily functions. I mean more brass tacks type information.

What should I wear? Bring a  spiral notebook or a laptop? Do I take my camera? Should I introduce myself with my real last name or my pen name? Do I need business cards? What should I wear? Oops, did I already ask that?

So, can you help me? What do I need to know that I don't even to know to ask? What is your experience with writing conferences? What do you wish you knew before you first one?


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Say Hello to Jeanne Guzman

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Featured Author:
Jeanne Guzman

             Hello out there, my name is Jeanne Guzman and I write Paranormal Romance.  Married to my best friend for 28 years, 4 wonderful children, and 7 (yes, you’re reading that right) grandchildren.  

          I’ve been 38 for 8 years now and have no intention of getting any older.  I’m also the keeper of the zoo with 4 dogs, a cat, a rabbit and 6 fish. 
           I have the first book in my “Dragon Hunters Series” titled “Dragon Lover” making the rounds to agents and editors, and my fingers are crossed and a candle is lit in hopes that I hear back from one particular acquisitions editor soon.   

            If you get a chance, stop by my website 
and read a snipit of Dragon Lover.  

            Or, if you’re in the neighborhood, 
look for me on Facebook.

             Until we meet again, God bless America, and God bless Nora Roberts.

Let's get to know Jeanne better!

    Dawn:      Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?  

     Jeanne:  I have a very strict routine. 
 I get up every morning, make that first cup of tea (I don’t do coffee) let the dogs out (they sleep in my office), turn on my computer, then I sit in front of the empty screen until my brain kicks in. 

Dawn:     Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?

Jeanne:  Well, I thought all I had to do was write a book, send it into the publisher, and within weeks I’d have a check in the mail for fifty thousand dollars.  I’m sure there are others out there that are laughing right now, I know I am.  It’s not that easy.  Writing is work.  It’s blood and sweat and tears.

     Dawn:     Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life?

 Jeanne : I find that any time I have the house to myself is the best time to write.  Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night, mostly it’s Monday through Friday from sun-up until my husband gets home from work.

     Dawn:   What is the best advice you have received about this journey? 

Jeanne:  Never give up.  If writing is your dream, then write.          

    Dawn:    What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out?

Jeanne: Forget whatever it is you thought you knew about writing and do your research.
    Dawn:   What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that? 

Jeanne: I think the answer to all three of those questions is critique partners.  I’m lucky to have two of the best at my disposal.  They push, prod, browbeat, and are there to dry my tears when I need them.

   Dawn:   What sources do you use for inspiration ? 

      Jeanne: My inspiration comes from several different sources. 
      A certain song can inspire a scene, an actor or model can inspire a character, 
      people  watching can inspire a  storyline, and family can be there to give advice
      on where to go from the blank page. 

Dawn:    What do you do when you aren’t writing?  

Jeanne:  When I’m not writing, I’m traveling around in my motor coach with my husband and my youngest children, Oso and Dakota (my Yorkies)
    Dawn: Tell us a bit about your work in progress.

  Jeanne:  My work in progress is the second in a paranormal series.  It has a working title of Dragon Within and it’s about an orphaned girl who grows up to rid the world of evil, about a dragon who’s soul mission in life it to protect her and their journey to find happiness and love (this is a romance)

Dawn: What is next for you?
Jeanne: Next—book 3 Child of the Dragon

Thank you so much for stopping by! 
Check on Jeanne Guzman on her website