This is what I know…

May 31, 2009 at 10:34 pm (General)

Nothing about shapeshifters today. Sorry, but I’ve been thinking about the things I’ve learned over the years regarding this fabulous, fickle business called publishing.  I sold my first book in 1993.  I still consider myself a youngling in this business.

It’s interesting to watch the years go by, to celebrate the successes of friends and authors I admire.  To watch some authors shoot to the top; some will stay there, some will disappear without so much as a goodbye.  It’s weird to think back when I was first published (late 90s) and remember some of the big names.  Where are they now?  Some did disappear off the face of the earth.  Others petered out slowly.  Some are still writing, whether quietly putting out a book or two a year, or tossing out a couple bestsellers with a big splash from marketing.

These are some of the things I’ve learned in my sixteen years involved in the fabulous and fickle:

An author should never, and can never, compare themselves to any other author.  Nope, not even the one who writes the same creatures as you in the same paranormal genre for the same publisher.  You two are very different.  Accept that.

Editors come and go.  Treat them well, and never burn bridges.

If you’re in this business long enough, you will be orphaned.  It’s upsetting.  Get over it.  The editors do.  

This is a business.  Your editor is not your best friend (but you can be friends), and she usually knows how to make your good book great.  That’s why it says ‘editor’ on her door.

Don’t gossip or talk trash about any author, editor or reader.  With Twitter and blogging and Facebook and IM’ing, I promise you, the moment it’s left your mouth, or has been imprinted in cyber-space, five minutes later, half a dozen people will know.  You do the math on the rate juicy gossip spreads.

Fall in love with your characters.  Torture them.  Learn what makes them tick.  Cry with them, and share their joys and sorrows.  When your editor tells you to cut a certain loved character from the story…just do it.

Learn the names of the people in the art department, the marketing department, the receptionist who answers the phone at your publisher.  They are all are part of making your book what it is.  Even the mailroom guy is necessary because he hands your masterpiece to your editor.

Read your contracts from word one to the last word.  Yes, even if you have an agent and have been with him/her for a decade.  We’re all human.  Everyone makes mistakes.

Just because you sell one book doesn’t mean you’ll sell another.  It’s good to celebrate every sale, promotion, and reached goal.  But don’t get ahead of yourself.  Keep writing.  That is what a writer does—write.

Know the rules, then break them.

Read in your genre and out of your genre.

Be honest in real life, but it isn’t necessary to be brutal.  (Unless it’s part of your story.  Brutal honesty in fiction is very necessary.)

One closed door may lead to another closed door, and yet another.  Persistence does eventually pay off.  Keep knocking on doors.

Don’t be in a hurry, either when writing or when trying to climb the ladder.  

A bad review never hurt anyone, nor does a bad cover.  Mope about it for half a day, then get over it.  (Same goes for rejections, but you’re allowed a full day of moping for those.)

And lastly, just write.


So, authors, have you any words of wisdom to add to the list?

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Werewolf Series In Sourcebooks Catalog

May 29, 2009 at 12:16 pm (General)

C24S0095You can do a search/find for Destiny of the Wolf, page 56 and it shows all my wolf titles so far,  although I’ve sold two more in the series! 🙂

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May 28, 2009 at 9:55 am (General)

Wildlife photographer, Tessa Anderson, has to prove her brother is innocent of the murder charges against him. But when she discovers a half-dead, naked man on her beach who looks like a mythical Greek god, shes got a whole world of new troubles to deal with, least of all how he affects her with just a look, a touch, a whispered word.
All Hunter Greymere remembers when the enticing female human rescues him is a hes lupus garou. Whether he was pushed from the Oregon cliffs or fell is a mystery. Intending to keep a low profile at Tessas cabin on the coast, hes drawn into her troubles while investigating the truth about his own past. But he finds that living with humans causes more problems than he ever believed possible. His animal instincts war with his human halfhe wants the intriguing woman, who attracts male lupus garous like one of his own kind, but he knows he cant have her for goodunless she becomes one of them.

Secrets abound in the quiet coastal community, but can Tessa and Hunter uncover the truths before its too late? 

 So what do you think? Would you pick up this guy on a beach and take him home with you???

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Amazon Ink is in the wild…

May 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm (General, Lori Devoti, New Releases)

Amazon Ink, urban fantasyYesterday was the official release day for Amazon Ink, and I wanted to blog here today about the shifters in it, but there is a tiny problem…the fact that there ARE shifters in AI doesn’t come out until a really good way into the book. So, I can’t really talk about how I used them. Sigh.

Instead, let’s talk totems. Animal totems are hugely important in Amazon Ink. I’ve used them in other books too, but not as obviously.

Animal totems are frequently used as spiritual guides. Seeing a bear in a dream, for example, may mean you need to take things slow and give them more careful consideration. Bears are courageous and strong too—perhaps that is the power you need to tap into. A leopard, however, is more active and aggressive, and snakes may be charismatic but vain. (And all of these will vary a bit depending on which culture you look at.)

In Amazon Ink, my Amazons have two totems–one for their tribe and one for them personally. They choose their personal totem and have it tattooed on their right breast around puberty. Their family totem is whatever their mother’s family totem was and there are only twelve animals used. Through these tattoos they gain the strength of their totems. So, choosing their personal totem is a huge decision.

In the book, I don’t divulge every characters totem–it is rather personal information, but for example I gave a hearth keeper a bee and a warrior a horse because to me those are the strengths those characters would have wanted to play up.

So, if you could pick your personal totem, what would it be? What animal strength or talent would you like to add to your own? Here’s a web site to help you with your choice…

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May 25, 2009 at 8:33 am (General)

This post is not meant to be a political statement, but only a realization that good and evil exist and battle in the world today, just like what I write about in my Shadowmen Series, good wars against murderous evil and the heroes and heroines are the only thing that keep the evil in check and good alive.

Today is a day to honor Warriors who have sacrificed everything to battle evil.  Book 3 of the Shadowmen Series, Kiss of Darkness, is dedicated to all of those who serve in the armed forces.  The hero of the book, though he has his reasons for being ex-military, in the very depth of his heart he is a warrior who will pay any price to battle evil and does.

The freedoms we have in America today were paid for by the blood, sweat, and sacrifice of those soldiers who were willing to give everything for us.  The reality of this was brought to the very center of my heart by the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and the courageousness every man and woman who now serve and  have served in the armed forces since America as a nation came into being.  As I watched the towers burn and collapse that day with all the horror, hurt, and anger of it filling my heart, I knew that no matter what it took, I didn’t want to turn on the news twenty years from now and see the building where one of my children worked going up in flames because evil was allowed to reign unchecked.
No world is perfect, no human being is perfect, and no nation is perfect thus no battle fought will ever be perfect.  But good and evil do exist within the hearts and minds of men and when evil takes root and murderously rises to power then good must meet the challenge or all would be lost.  It is that courageous good that is embodied in those who serve in the armed forces.  It is the selfless response to fight against evil that drives our warriors every day and enables good to thrive and win.
Have you ever asked yourself what the world would have been like had good not battled Hitler’s evil and he’d become powerful enough to control the world and spread his sickness throughout?
You say that would have been impossible and I would agree based simply upon the fact that good rules the hearts of warriors throughout the world and they stood against it.
But then, so much of me would have belived Hitler’s irrational evil and murder of millions couldn’t have controlled an army.  That it couldn’t have ruled a nation.  That it couldn’t have overtaken other nations and it did.
So who is to say how far the radical evil in today’s world would have gone if left unchecked.   Some might say that this battle, this war wasn’t necessary.  And I ask you was there or is there today any point that our heroes weren’t and aren’t battling against a murderous evil?  It may not have Hitler’s face upon it but the intent to kill, destroy, and annihilate at any cost by any means is the same. I ask you at what point would you have deemed a stand against the evil necessary?  How many more people should have been murdered to make it acceptable?
If good doesn’t battle evil then the loss of life is tenfold, and the the longer evil goes unchecked the greater the price to stop it will be.  The war with Hitler proved these things true.  How many were murdered by Hitler in comparison to those died stopping him?
How many more Americans would have died if our military hadn’t stepped into battle when they did?
I know that I thank God, Country, and all of our Military Warriors every day for the good in my life and nation even though it is imperfect.  I honor you heroes in my heart and can never express a thank you worthy enough for the price you pay.
But I’ll say it anyway.



jennifer st giles

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What Inspires You???

May 24, 2009 at 11:30 am (General) (, , , , , )

I’ve been listening to music that my daughter bought for me at the medieval fair. It’s lively, gypsy-like, with Middle East tones, really inspirational. But pictures also inspire. When I’m working on medieval stories, I love to look at pictures of castles. I have a calendar of them above my desk and for this month it’s a beautiful picture of Doonagore Castle, Doolin, Co, Clare, Ireland near the cliffs of Moher. I look at the tower, the arched doors in the six-eight foot walls surrounding the tower-house. Easy to go back in time and write about another era. 🙂

For a lot of romance writers, pictures of hunky guys inspire. 🙂 But since I write about wolf shifters, I have to include the wolf in the equation. So here are some pictures that inspire me. 🙂

f you’ve got the wolfish guy, the woman has to be just as wolfish!But I wouldn’t do the pack mentality justice if I didn’t feature a wolf pack showing off their teamwork and cooperation.

Whether it’s before the shift or afterwards, these guys are well worth checking out!No matter what, these wolfish characters take the proper gear with them wherever they go!Research definitely inspires.

Terry Spear

We made it through graduation! The only incident was the fire alarm went off during the ceremony! But we didn’t evacuate and they finally shut the alarm off. This evening I’ll be commissioning a friend of my son’s at the commissioning ceremony. All the students who were being commissioned after graduation received a big round of applause which was nice. 🙂 I’ll be commissioning my son later….

So what inspires you when you’re reading or writing?

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Faeries shift too!

May 22, 2009 at 1:13 am (General)


Yep, they do. Out next week is the FAERIES GONE WILD anthology, featuring my novella, “Dust Me, Baby, One More Time”. My heroine is a shapeshifting tooth faery. Her usual size is what we would call ‘normal’, human size, that is. But she shifts to the small, teeny-tiny faery size when she’s working her night shift, fluttering from house to house, collecting teeth. And the hero, Dart Sand (he’s a Sandman) also shifts small for his night work, which involves dusting people to sleep. They both may look exactly the same after the shift, they’re just smaller (or bigger, depending on which way they shift).
So does that count? I know we’re used to shapeshifters actually changing appearance from one form to another. But I think a size shift works as well for the category.

A bit about my story: This anthology is a collection of funny stories. I think mine is actually a bit goofy. It’s difficult for two nightworkers to have a relationship, especially when Faery bans fraternization between nightworkers. (Because, you know, if they were fraternizing then teeth would start piling up and heck, everyone would have insomnia because the faeries are off, well…you can guess.) 😉 Fans who picks up this book may be surprised, because usually I do dark stuff. I have been told some of my Nocturnes are funny, which baffles me. I just don’t even get my own humor, obviously. Heh. Well, I did have fun with this hero. You see, he has a bit of a problem with premature…dusting.

So if you’re in the mood for light and weird, give this one a try.

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The bike for your shifter

May 19, 2009 at 11:12 am (General)

By Teresa D’Amario

So last weekend I had the exciting opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach and enjoy Spring Bike Week.  Without getting into the politics of Myrtle Beach, I can tell you it was nothing like previous years, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy ourselves.  I saw alot of different bikes, from the standard Harley, to the decked out, to the dull paint to the flashy. I saw three wheelers with two wheels in the back, two wheels in the front, and in one case I saw the third wheel was in direct line of the regular first and second . I saw side cars, and I saw trailers, and I saw motorhomes.

And then there were the pinstriping paint jobs.  Men used with tiny brushes to draw the most delicate of lines.  One even used feathers. He did the most awesome work – from the subtle to the flashy.  From the delicatetankpinstriping of old to the fascinating flaming tiger heads.  He did bike tanks, flanks and saddle bags, andhe even did helmets (thoughthat wasn’t his specialty).  Watching him work was awe inspiring.  Who sits there in the afternoon heat for 10 days just to let people watch him paint motorcycles?  It has to be a tough job.  But then again, he must enjoy it and the travel, as he’d come all the way from Ohio to work.

Walking through the bikes was fun.  Looking at this paint job or that one.  There were bikesthe glittery ones with the metallic paints, polished to blind you in the afternoon sun.  There were the traditional flames in the back, Ghostrider incongito.

Then there were the ones who went above the average, utilizing the pin striping wizards to their maximum potential.  There was the dragon bike.  The sinuous beast appeared to wrap it’s body around the bike.  His gas cap was a dragon. Hisdragonmirrorhandlebars were dragons, and heck, even his mirrors were shaped like the dragon in flight.  Talk about awesome.

Then there’s the full out paint jobs like the guy who had them paint the skull with flames on his bike.  Now that was just awesome.  We happened upon the bike just as the artist (and I use that term with total respect) completed his tasks.  As it’s a person’s art, I felt weird about taking photos, so none here. Sorry bout that.  I think the artwork was more interesting to me than the variety of bikes, though there were plenty of drool worthy bikes as well.

In most of my books, the male shifter has his own motorcycle.  Sometimes it’s not what you expect (One had a small dirt bike), and others it is – the rumbling engine of the Harley which saves the day.

So take a moment and tell me, what’s the bike YOUR Shifter would ride?  The three wheeler?  The dirt bike?  The harley? Or even any other brand? Pop it in, I wanna know!   Ride to be Free, Free to Ride!

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When I Become My Ideas

May 12, 2009 at 7:00 am (Marcia Colette) ()

I have my lovely co-blogger Michele Hauf to thank for topic, though she probably doesn’t realize it.  I’m in deadline hell, so coming up with a subject that doesn’t involve edits or revisions is like asking me to speak Russian backwards. 


Writers are always asked where their ideas come from.  I’m one of those writers where I can honestly say my ideas come from everywhere.  However, I can be more specific than that.

First, let me preface this by saying I’m at the end of my first trimester.  :mrgreen:  When that home pregnancy test read positive, I started doing a lot of research (and happy dancing) about pregnancy, from what to expect with my week-by-week progress to what I needed to be on the lookout for when it came to miscarriage.  From multiple births–I was on fertility drugs for my last attempt–to weird morning sickness signs.  I had no idea that nosebleeds was one of them as well as someone reporting itchy feet on a message board. 

There’s also the process by which this came about.  You see, doing the deed–though fun–wasn’t going to work in my special case.  😀  I needed a little help from a reproductive endocrinologist.  I *heart* my RE.  I had to have surgery back in October to get my body ready and suffer through an endless waiting period in November while everything healed up.

My journey started the first week of December 2008.  That means I have six months of paranormal romances and urban fantasy ideas collecting in my brain.  Every time that extra line didn’t show up on my pregnancy test, it spurred a new plot in my head.  What better way to stave off the disappointment? 

So what does all of this mean?  My paranormal ideas come from everyday life, but only those events that have a huge impact on me.  Whenever someone says I should write about so-and-so and this-and-that, I pretty much nod my head and smile.  That’s my polite way of saying, not gonna happen.  Not only that,  but I always suggest they write that story since they know it best.  Now that my stomach is about to do some shapeshifting of its own, that means I’ll have seven months to come up with some even crazier ideas before I realize my writing time has been cut to nothingness.  Fingers crossed that my experiences don’t turn into horror stories.  😉

Would you like to see a story based on a particular event in your life?  And if so, what would it be?  Trust me.  We’ll find a way to make it a paranormal.  😈

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Favourite Shape Shifter Nomination

May 12, 2009 at 6:52 am (Deborah Cooke) (, , , , , )

Erik from KISS OF FATE has been nominated as favourite shape shifter for this week’s contest on Bitten By Books. You can pop by their site this week HERE to vote.

Pretty serious list of nominees there – it’s nice to be in such company!

Deborah Cooke
Alive & Knitting blog

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