Next month Iím planning a
very special February edition of Marciaí Romantically Yours. Iíve managed to convince
Dave Madden - Reuben Kincaid of the Partridge Family (boomers may remember the
amiable band manager of child stars David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce,) to tell
all. Dave has graciously agreed to be Februaryís interview. While Daveís never
really been associated with romance, other than by wisely marrying Sandra Madden,
one of my favorite romance writers, heís in a business that can be equally as
challenging as the writing world.
has also written a humorous book about his experiences in show business. It is
cleverly titled Reuben on Wry. Rather than ruin the surprise, Iíll let him tell
you all about his colorful life next month. Youíre in for an exciting, fun, read.
This month meet Michelle
Celmer who penned the eleventh book in the Mediterranean Nights Series. Michelleís
story about transitioning from mother of three to popular romance author is inspiration
Make it a fun
January and continue to write.
Editor -- Romantically Yours
Tools of the Trade
The Reality of this Writing
think you have what it takes to write a novel. Now how to get started? Even more
important once youíve made the decision to write how do you get published? Do
you get an agent or do you submit directly to the publishing house? After a while
the conflicting opinions you get from the experts in this field get increasingly
of the matter is that writing your novel is one thing, but getting it published
in todayís market is even harder. Times are tough and editors are even more discerning
about the kinds of manuscripts they make the decision to purchase.
probably heard this a time or two but let me repeat this again. Voice sells and
youíll need to sound original to a group of people reading hundreds of manuscripts
a week. Donít try to sound like your favorite author. Be yourself and bring your
personality to your writing.
you require a lot of hand holding think again. The days of the nurturing editor
are no more. Frankly this overworked group barely has the time to do what theyíre
paid for -edit. Only you can turn your manuscript into a masterpiece.
one agent recently reminded me, editors are not necessarily looking for brilliant
talent today but a brilliant product. The whole thing boils down to sales. Writing
is a business.
me to the subject of marketing. Writers have to be marketers too. Donít expect
the publishing house to do that job for you. Know what you want and what your
reader is expecting. Examine why you want to write, and the market you want to
write for. Think about what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Make
sure you have clearly focused goals and then go to it.
rejection. Not everyone is going to like your writing, or get what you have to
say. Learn from every rejection you plaster on the wall above your desk. But even
more important keep writing and not because you want to, but because you have
Writing is a love
Georgia Romance Writers/Carolina Romance
Heart of Dixie Romance Writers
Writersí Workshop with Bob Mayer
February 09, 2008
Hilton, Atlanta Northeast
First Coast Romance Writers
March 28-30, 2008
Speakers : Suzanne Brockmann
with author Michelle Celmer
Celmer is an inspiration for anyone who says theyíre much too busy to write. Married
with three children, and a house full of pets, this prolific author makes writing
seem easy. Sheís got book number 11 in the Mediterranean Nights Series and sheís
going to be one hard act to follow. Iím number 12. For more about Michelle log
Tell us about your life
before the writing bug bit? What prompted you to seek a career in romance writing?
A lot of soul searching.
I thought I would always be happy as a stay at home mom, like my mother, but when
my youngest started depending on me less, I started to feel as though I needed
more. Iíd had a few false starts with writing in the past, but knew that deep
down it was something I wanted to do. I finally got off my duff and took a college
English Comp class, and that was the push I needed. I chose to write romance because
I had been reading it all my life. The satisfaction of the happily ever after
appealed to me.
said author Jennifer Crusie inspired you to write your first book. What was it
about reading her first book that did it for you?
I canít say for sure
what it was. I just connected to her style and voice. She made me laugh out loud
and even shed a few tears. Her characters moved me. And I knew that was what I
wanted to do.
is your least favorite thing about being a writer, and what is your most favorite
favorite would be the alienation. Writing can be a lonely business. My favorite
thing? Itís a toss up between not having to leave the house to get to work (especially
in the middle of winter) and working in my pajamas. Honestly, it doesnít get much
better than that.
Who are your favorite
authors (other than Jenny Crusie) and what is it about their writing that appeals
are so many authors I love. But if I had to choose, I would say, Susan Elizabeth
Phillips, when Iím looking for a deeply emotional journey. The Janet Evanovich
Stephanie Plumb series when Iím in the mood for a quick, hilarious read. Patricia
Cornwell when I need a dark, riveting psychological thriller. And Joy Fielding,
who writes a little bit of everything and always keeps me glued to the page.
Did you really get over
one hundred rejections before getting the call? If so how did you stay motivated?
really did, and I have the letters to prove it. And those didnít come without
a meltdown or two (or three). There were times when I was really close to throwing
in the towel. Thankfully, Iím stubborn (my family will confirm this). You have
to really want it, and I did, so I just made myself keep going.
Starstruck is the number
11 book in the Mediterranean Nights Series. I have number 12, closing the series.
Something tells me you are going to be a very tough act to follow. Tell us a little
about storyline and how you went about doing research.
Claire Mackenzie is an
ex Hollywood wild child who left the urban jungle for a quiet life in British
Columbia. Sheís accompanying her screen legend grandfather on a fifties themed
cruise on Alexandraís dream. When she meets Liam Bates, the ships charismatic
cruise director, sheís sure heís using her grandfather to get ahead in his own
acting career. But as much as she canít believe Liamís charms arenít an act, sheís
having an even harder time resisting them. Researching this book, all I can say
is thank God for the internet! Iíve never been on a boat larger than the ferry
to Mackinac Island up in Northern Michigan. I spent hours combing web sites and
printing out photo reference. And Marcia was an amazing source of info! I donít
think I could have pulled it off without her help.
Youíve said youíve tried
your hand at every craft under the sun. What are some that youíve tried? Have
you written about any of them in your stories?
I used to sew, both crafts
and clothes. Iíve done needlepoint, painted ceramics, crocheted. Iíve dabbled
in jewelry making and every year I make homemade Christmas ornaments. If itís
out there, Iíve probably tried it. Iíve never really used the experiences in a
book though. At least, not yet.
What was the biggest
challenge you faced writing a continuity with eleven other writers? Would you
do it again?
was the biggest challenge. Everyone puts their own touches and spin on the story
and by book 11 that is a LOT of information to keep straight. The key was keeping
every piece of correspondence and taking oodles of notes. This was my second continuity,
and yes, I would love to do it again. I love to challenge myself. And working
with the other authors is always a blast.
How many books have you
written to date, and how would you categorize your writing? Contemporary? Chick
write strict contemporary category, but some day I would love to make the move
into Single Title, then Womenís fiction. The contract I just signed will bring
me to 17 books. But I have another half dozen in a box under the bed that will
never see the light of day. And believe me, this is a good thing! They were purely
for practice. When I hear of an author selling the first book he or she wrote,
it astounds me. I wish I had been that gifted!
What words of advice
would you give a new author just getting started in the business? What was some
of the best money you ever spent in marketing yourself?
The best advice I can
give is be persistent and always challenge yourself by trying new things. It should
always be about doing it better than the last time. As far as marketing, the best
way to market yourself, in category romance that is, is to be prolific. I shoot
for 3 - 4 books on the shelf a year. With no more than six months in between releases.
Fans canít read what you donít produce, so you have to keep them coming.
And finally whatís next
for Michelle Celmer? Anything you care to share?
The most exciting news
in my life presently is that this spring Iím going to be a grandma! Words cannot
express how excited I am. And in addition to the Mediterranean Nights continuity,
Iím launching a series for Desire titled Royal Seductions. The first two books
will hit the shelves in June, and the third in October. Books four and five are
expected some time in í09.
It should be an exciting year both personally and
Looking for new authors
Ave Ste 440-438
Mira Loma, CA 91752
in African American Romance
70,000 -75,000 words
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Did you know?
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can log onto http://www.rwanational.org/to read the current issue
ABOUT Marciaís ROMANTICALLY YOURS *
Yours is a FREE monthly newsletter. I would love to hear from you. Please send
comments, news, research, or story ideas directly to Marcia King-Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.