Wednesday night I sent off three more ideas (short paragraphs on each) to an online publishing company I’ve currently got a four book contract with. And yes, I know that’s a badly constructed sentence. It’s Friday, it’s been a long week. I’m only human, people! This was the same night I took a break from doing anything I didn’t want to do and wallowed in old Dark Shadows movies. I didn’t feel like working on my book, but it was easy enough to scribble (is there a comparable word for ‘scribble’ when one is typing?) down some ideas, two of them based of off stuff I’d started writing years ago to stave off boredom at work (and oh, do I miss having a job that left enough down time for boredom to set in…), the other something that started percolating when I drove past the Madonna Inn on the drive back from Los Angeles.

For all my caterwauling about outlines and synopsises, I’m finding it easier to toss ideas down on paper (or computer screen). It took me a half hour tops to do these three paragraphs and about a minute to dash off an email to the two editors at Ravenous (two lovely women who I had the pleasure of meeting when they were out for the RWA Cence a couple weeks ago). I went to bed feeling pleased with myself – I’d catered to my inner child (I WON’T work tonight! I want an Oompa Loompa NOW, Daddy!) and satisfied my inner task master (I wanna see RESULTS, people!). Yay, me!

So today I checked my email when I got to work and there it was: an email from the editors saying they loved all three ideas and when could I deliver the finished books?


In that moment I realized I now had six 200 page novels to write, not to mention my co-writing project (What Women Really Want in Bed) with the lovely Cynthia Gentry (more on my history with Cynthia another post!) due February 1st (and if any ladies out there would like to take our survey, please let me know!). I had a mild freakout, but then realized once February 1st is past, I have a very reasonable writing schedule. Well, not VERY reasonable (three months per book), but definitely workable. Champagne is the most difficult to write for me because it’s in a genre I’ve never attempted beyond the original short story and that was written as a gift. So my initial GAH!!!! subsided to a workable *gulp!*

I’m actually really excited about this. I still have two other projects (including the sequel to Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon) I want to work on and a full time job. But I also have a creative fire lit inside me that I haven’t had in years. I think about writing all the time (when I’m not thinking about food, sex or exercise). Little sparks of ideas keep igniting…and I keep saying to myself ‘wow, that would make a GREAT book..’ And then I remind myself I have to finish the ones I’ve contracted for already. And THEN I scribble the ideas down anyway.

Yes, there will be lots of sex in the short novels. But no more than you’d find in a Laurel Hamilton Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novel..actually, probably less since she’s been writing sex scenes that go on for THREE CHAPTERS, leaving those of us who love the first half dozen books in the series to ask ‘where’s the action, Laurel? More butt kicking, less butt…er…never mind.’ I probably won’t have my mom read most of these. But she knows I’m writing them and I like to think she’s proud of me for getting the work and has enough faith in my writing ability to know the finished products will be well written. Right, Mom?


I’ll get back to you on that.

28 thoughts on “Whew!

  1. Oh hey, that was fast, Marvin! Tell ya what – I’ll definitely send you a copy of it for review purposes. 🙂

  2. Thank you, Morgan! I am totally jazzed about it and I’m the one who gave myself the three month per book schedule. I can do it! The little writer that could… heh.

  3. Congratulations! Now you’ll really have to write a short story for the Penny Dreadful blog so you can practice cozy again! Omigawd, and so I can read something you wrote. My heart can hardly, er I mean barely, er….. stand the Nora Roberts moments of passion. 🙂

    Don’t forget NaNoWriMo for a huge writing burst!! Are we all in?


  4. Well, of course, the obvious question is what do you do in your spare time, except get yourself in deeper by coming up with more book ideas?

    Congrats on all the books you have lined up!

  5. Dana, I do want to take your survey! If you’ve emailed me about it, it’s gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere! So wonderful to have so many ideas sparking! You can do it!

  6. Teagan, please feel free to nudge me often! I need it. I’ve been waffling all morning trying to get motivated…and see what I’m doing? reading posts and comments! Bad Dana…

    Dani, I am still working on the sequel to MFH, for you and my mom! Nora Roberts…does she write any kissing scenes? 🙂

    Thanks, Helen…I am my own worst enemy any more…except having so many ideas is kind of jazzing me here… It’s a nice change from the couch potato brain I’ve had for so long…

    Pat, I’ll get the link and send it to you.

    Judi, i guess I need to join RWA now too! If I could just quit the day job, it wouldn’t be quite so painful, this 3 momth thingee…

  7. Dana congratulations! What a workload you have lined up, but when the words flow life is good. Enjoy and email me the survey for you and Cynthia. I ping you with the address.

  8. Just checked out the model on Ravenous- handsome, but I require skill as well. It means nothing if he does no how to use it! 🙂

  9. See now, Vivian, I’m delighted to know you found the Ravenous dude handsome – just goes to show my tastes aren’t the same as everyone else’s and I want people to be excited by the Ravenous stuff. As I mentioned, Holly and Lori are just the nicest, funniest people and I’m so pleased to be writing for them. I just dont’ wanna do the dude, skillful or not. 🙂
    I’ll definitely email you the survey!

  10. I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but was just wondering if you’d actually seen a contract for the work you’ve “sold” to Ravenous yet. Just wondering what you thought of the deal after reading the fine print.

  11. Hi, Concerned Author – thank you for taking the time to comment! yes, I’ve seen the contract and sgined it for my first three books and did read the fine print. i’m looking at this as an opportunity to a: make a bit of cash up front, b: get VERY disciplined with my writing, and c: possibly make some decent royalties if my stuff sells. It;s always a crapshoot, but I’m content with the contract and also know authors who have worked with the people at Ravenous before and gave excellent feedback.

  12. May I ask if you’ve had an attorney review the contract as well? I’m not saying that their contract is “bad,” I guess you can define that based on what risks you are willing to take. To me, it seemed like you had to give up a lot now and hope that it will pay off someday. A risk I’m not sure I’m willing to take. Best of luck to you if you are.

  13. Yes, every author should have every contract reviewed by an attorney. Usually it only requires an hour of said attorney’s time – money very well-spent. Question is… is it still well-spent even after signing the contract? Hmmm.

  14. My friend and fellow author who is also doing a book for Ravenous reviewed the contract and had someone go over it – she’s a stickler for this sort of thing so I didn’t see the need to get an attorney. And yes, I read it carefully too and compared it to past contracts I’ve signed that I DID have an attorney friend look at. So…I’m not worried, I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything and am quite content with what I will get out of this with or without a huge paycheck. Like the daily blog challenge, this is a great disciplinary exercise for me as a writer, one that I’ve needed for a long time. I really don’t feel I’m risking anything other than my free time for the next year. Thanks for the good wishes and the concern and here’s hoping I go cat bite free for a while and don’t have my hand on ice for another week!

  15. Hey, “Concerned” Author:
    Not to burst YOUR bubble, but I can’t say I’m impressed by your “helpful” advice, your “charming” demeanor, or your annoying habit of thinly veiling your snarkiness and ulterior motives with faux comradery and use of quotation marks.

    I’m not saying that your motives are “bad,” I guess you can define that based on whatever it is you are trying to pull. To me, it seemed like you have a serious axe to grind. Having met Holly and Lori from Ravenous myself, I have a more more favorable impression of them than you do. They strike me as very down-to-earth and supportive. If you’ve had a bad experience with them I wish you would come outright and say so rather than pretend to be just some friendly bystander. As it is, you just come across a clumsily-disgiused sock puppet for some less-ethical rival publisher.

  16. I have not had a bad experience with Ravenous (as an entity) or Lori and Holly (as individuals.) I am just trying to find out how authors who have signed with them feel about their experience considering conversations that have taken place on other blogs regarding what the relationship between the parties concerned is. It seems many people are questioning whether or not it is ethical for an agent to be wearing multiple hats and editing for a publisher that she is steering her clients to. I don’t have a problem with that, so long as the author is told exactly what is going on. I am a skeptic because the whole venture seems to good to be true. I’m just trying to vet the market. I really do wish Dana & Jill the best with their sales. I hope Ravenous is successful. Unlike some of the people on the other blogs, I tried to do some fact finding by contacting other authors who might actually know what the truth is vs. speculating and insulting people who were trying to share their experience.

  17. CA (as in Concerned Author), I appreciate your thoughts and your concerns. I personally don’t see anything wrong with an agent wearing multiple hats, if, as you say, the authors are aware of the situation. And it does sound to me like they are being apprised accurately of the situation. Best case scenario, this will be a great thing to be a part of. Worst case, not a lot of money will be made, but I think the Ravenous folks are sincere, honest, and going for the gold here.

    Excuse the Olympic metaphor… it just slipped out. Can’t get away from them…

  18. “More butt kicking…less butt…”

    AMEN to that! I was wondering if I was the only feeling that way. It’s not that I object to a little erotica in my urban fantasyland – but it needs to be wrapped in a story, and I liked Anita in butt-kicking mode.

  19. Holly, I am SO with you on that. Anita in butt-kicking mode was fun, but Anita in ‘gain a new power every book, stare into the mirror and wonder who is the monster, and have sex every chapter is not so fun.

  20. Wow, I’m “lovely”? Now I’m flattered. So excited for you and the upcoming novels. It’s inspiring me. And to all the rest of you: take our survey! 🙂

    I’m so excited to be writing this book with Dana. Our writing collaboration goes back many years. To junior high, even. Which was like, 10 years ago.

    BTW, I’ve also sold a story to the e-publisher in question, who has asked me to turn it into a novel. My attitude is, sure, I’ll give it a shot. The story has been languishing on my computer for many years, but I’ve always thought it could be a novel. I just needed a kick in the butt to get going. (Oh, and there’s the full-time job, and the kid, and the other nonfiction sex books that kept getting in the way.)

  21. Yay for all your success!!!

    I’d be happy to take the survey too.

    And agreed on Ms. Hamilton’s work. It’s a bit much lately.

  22. Yes, Cynthia, you are lovely. 🙂 And you’re not lying, we do go way back to Junior High. And it also sounds like however this e-publishing venture works out in the long run, it’s a positive for you as well as me. Sometimes it’s all in the attitude and expectations, y’know?

    THanks, Sheina! I’ve sent your contact info for the survey link. And glad to know I’m not the only one who starts yawning in those three chapter sex scenes.

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