Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Jo Beverley


I'll finish with a story. I was at a RWA Conference in Washington that was being held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. I was making my way to a workshop during the height of the conference and came upon a long glassed-in hallway that looked out over the gardens. On either side of the hallway were small conversation areas, chairs set up so that people could linger. As I made my way down the hallway I realized that the people sitting in those chairs were all the Grande Dames of Romance Writers, including Jo Beverley. The further I went, the more in awe I was. Somewhere in the back of my mind I always thought that this is what descending to Heaven would be like, passing all those that inspired you as you went along. 


I was greatly saddened to hear about the passing of Jo Beverley yesterday. When you've been reading romances as long as I have, you know who the great ones are and Jo Beverley was one of them.

Regency Romance has always been my escape. I could never write them, but I love to read them, and Jo Beverley was at the top of my lists. She came to the forefront in the mid-80's with characters that blazed their own path through the book store shelves. There are many authors today who probably wouldn't be allowed to write the things they do if it hadn't been for Jo Beverley and others who were writing at that time.


If you want to read more about Jo I've included this link to a great article from All About Romance. If you haven't read her books I suggest you skip on over to Amazon and pick up a few. There are 50 plus to choose from and none of them will disappoint.


By the way, I picked Lady Beware because I think it's one of my all-time favorites. Check out the reissue of her Company of Rogues titles!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Road Less Travelled


I have never been a traditional writer. Not by a long shot! But I do have a lot of respect for those authors that followed the traditional publishing path. There was a time when this was the writer's biggest "want"... a contract, a respected editor and/or agent, and the force of a publishing house behind your precious words. This is still a want for many authors today. But there is so much more freedom then there was in the past.

Frankly, I look at authors like Marie Force and I see a woman braving a new path. I'm sure it was often like searching blindly in a New England snowstorm, but she managed to persevere and flourish. Her work today outsells most authors and her success started as an e-Pub.

There is something to be said for straying from your charted course, or heading for the unknown. Where would all be if no one had ever ventured out on our own? That's anyone's guess.

The truth is that there is no real "true" path to publishing. Either way is right, for someone.





Monday, May 02, 2016

I Love Short


In a world filled with writers who love to write huge epitomes that total in the 100,000+ word count, I am one of those people who loves, short, sassy and succinct.

Hmmm, this has me wondering if it ever had anything to do with my love life?!

Anyway, when you start out writing advertising copy before you become a writer it can be hard transition to something longer. When I started out writing 20 something years ago (yes, I said 20) there was really no market for short romance. The only thing was either the Romance magazine or if you were already established, there might be a chance you were included in a publishing house novella.

All hail the entrance of E-Pub! Novellas are now more than the norm! They are accepted and often they are the so well accepted that there are authors out there making a respectable profit on their writing by going short. Especially, in the erotic romance genre... but that's a joke for another time.

Anyway, there is no reason for those of us who are length challenged to consider it an obstacle to publishing anymore. Instead, we can charge forth and publish! And publish again... and again! And, after all, in a society that is patience-challenged, having a ready library of reading material available is always a good thing!



Saturday, April 02, 2016

April Update!

I love April! More because there is just so much promise of Spring in the beginning of April. In Maine, we can't go by official dates. Instead, we are forced to wait until Mother Nature decides that it's time for us to get out an enjoy the sunshine.

Unfortunately, (or fortunately) today is an steely overcast gray. It's not cold, but it's not a basking sunny day either. This is probably for the best, as I really need to buckle down this weekend and get some planning and writing done.


If you don't know, I'm sort of in charge (along with some wonderful other people) in coordinating the SERENITY HARBOR ANTHOLOGY. This is set to come out in early Fall. We are hoping for beginning of September. The SERENITY HARBOR ANTHOLOGY is made up of a group of authors who wanted to write about our favorite place... Maine! So while Serenity Harbor can't be found on a map in Maine, the setting is going to be very much like the coastal towns that we love. All of the stories are centered around the harbor and the people that live and love there. As we go along, I'm hoping to feature some of the authors that are included and to let you get to know some of them before the book launches.

Just to give you a little taste of Maine to entice you to read the Anthology!


This was taken very close to where I work at Popham Beach. It's gorgeous!

Needless to say, I'm very excited about being able to work with some of my most favorite authors. I've known most of them for years, but I'm very glad to be bringing them and their stories to you. Stay tuned for more information.


In the meantime... Here's some social media links for you.

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/teaganoliver
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/teaganoliver

Hugs!







#serenityharbor #mainewriters #romancewins #mainelove

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Don't Hate Me

I know that this is not the public opinion right now, but I don't like the 50 Shades series. I haven't done more than browse through the book, hardly a full page read, but I am just not that into it.

For those of you who are anxiously awaiting the release of the movie, I hope you have a wonderful time. I hope it lives up to all that has been built up about it. That's usually a hard row to hoe. I see very large resemblance to the excitement that came out over the Twilight books. I was there for the book release of the first one... at Midnight, with my daughter, along with a ton of other teens and their moms who were gushing about the book.

I kind of get the same vibe about this one as I did about Twilight. Would I want my daughter in that situation? Would that be a healthy relationship for her? Probably not. But I am not the guardian of all those people out there.

If this is your cup of tea then I sincerely hope you enjoy it. For me, I'm on to something else. And that's my prerogative as well. :)

Have a great day!



Monday, February 02, 2015

Tax Time: Writer's Favorite Time of Year

It's snowing here in Maine again!!!! Big surprise, I know. But we have 2 to 3 more feet of snow expected this week. The kids have already had 4 out of their 5 allotted snow days. At this point, they'll be going to school until July.




Annnnnyyyyyywwwwwayyyyyyy, it's that time of year again! Most really don't look forward to it, especially if they have to fill out a schedule C, but I actually kind of like it.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm an organized writer... far from it. But I do appreciate any activity that requires putting things neatly into boxes or sorting things out. Puzzles, love puzzles! Maybe that is why I enjoy being a bookkeeper. It's all about task orientated activities.

Okay, I've seen lots of questions going on in email lists that are geared toward taxes and much of what I see are very simple questions that get twisted around. If you are experiencing dizziness, anxiety, loss of sleep you may have a problem with doing your taxes. Or you are taking the wrong medication. Either way, if that is the case then please take them to a professional. And by professional I mean someone who has been doing them for a long period of time, has experience with creative business taxes and just plain gets it.

I am not the tax expert, but I have felt confident enough to do my taxes since becoming a writer. Judging on my income I may be a better tax preparer than a writer... but I kid. Sort of.

Some things I hear often hear are:

WRITING SPACE EXEMPTION: Do you need to have an office to claim the exemption? Yes, but not necessarily in the terms that you may think of when you call it an office. It needs to be a dedicated space. If you have a closet/turned office, but the rest of the room contains a bed for a guest room, you can claim the size of the closet (as long as you aren't storing clothes over your head while you use the office). Use the kitchen table? As long as you don't use it continually to eat dinner on you could claim that 4x6 foot space. Just keep in mind that claiming the office exemption is something the IRS will look at if your return is flagged. Best if you don't claim it if you don't have to...

USE OF CAR: Unless you have a vehicle that is used for business only you need to determine the amount of time it is used. More often than not, it's better to go with a mileage claim instead of determining the amount of usage of the vehicle. I would add that you should not overlook the opportunity to use your car as a promotional tool. It goes further toward claiming if you have a decal with your name and website on it. I did this for several years.

Also, keep a log of travel mileage including any trips to the library or day trips for research. If you have the documentation to claim it and it is a legitimate expense then you can feel comfortable claiming it.

that said...

TRIP EXPENSES: Despite what my husband would love to believe, a trip to pick up our daughter from college can not be claimed as a writing/trip expense unless it is solely for research. Also, any amount of hotel expenses have to be divided by those who roomed with you and that leads us to...

MEALS: Another one of those things that it just doesn't pay to cheat on. If I go to a conference then I can claim my meals. I keep receipts and keep track of tips added to bills. Keep a small envelope or folder with you when you travel and it will help to keep in place until you can log it. Also, keep in mind that the IRS will only let you claim 50% and there are stipulations on that. For more information: check out IRS Publication 463.

There is tons more, but I would encourage you to read the IRS publications involved with the Schedule C. Even if someone else is doing your taxes for you, you need to be sure to keep track of the right information to make their jobs easy.

I will most likely be posting on this again in the future. As always, a disclaimer pertains to my tax posts. I AM NOT A TAX EXPERT. MY INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE ABSOLUTE FACTS. PLEASE CHECK WITH AN EXPERT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.  

Have a wonderous day!


Monday, May 05, 2014

I'm over on at Maine Crime Writers today talking about my other passion... Ghost Hunting! Check it out!



Monday, April 28, 2014


When my dear daughter was home from college I took the opportunity to have her take some new photos for me. I think she did a wonderful job!




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Community


This is the picture that I posted on my Facebook page yesterday to honor my Irish roots. It was all in fun, but it also served another purpose. You see, I've had a friend has been really sick for the last week with the onset of Guillan-Barre Syndrome. It's a disorder when the bodies immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system. Today, my longtime friend Kert lost his battle. The worst part is that it wasn't his first battle with it. He fought it 18 years ago and made it. Somehow, we all expected that this time would be the same. But despite the hope, we lost a good friend.

So why the pic? Because this was exactly what he would have done or liked. He would have enjoyed the sheer idiocy of it. So for him, I'm keeping my pic the same for the rest of the month. And for him, I'm going to talk about Community in writing.

You see, I come from a very small fishing community. The place itself is part of a larger town, but like most parts of Maine it is broken into areas. Mine is Cundy's Harbor. Several years ago I attended a workshop given by Jennie Crusie regarding Community as Character in writing. This sounds odd, but really it's such a big part of what we do. We create fictional places, populate them with fictional people and bind them together with fictional bonds. But as writers we know that all of this comes from what we see around us. What we've experienced. Those things that live within us.

I was blessed to have the upbringing I had. I lived in a town that was one main road in and out. No street lights, few stop signs, and everyone eventually knew everything there was to know about you. Whether you wanted it known or not. I still consider it home even though I haven't physically lived there for over 20 years. It's my safety net and it's the place I retreat to when I feel threatened.

The people that make up these kinds of communities are good and bad, happy and sad and they experience joy and loss.  They are the lady that runs the restaurant, the minister and his wife, the guy who heads up the volunteer fire department, the lady that rarely speaks to anyone, only waves from her window. It's my grandmother who lived in the house beside the road and across the street from her brother and his wife. It's Sid who sold us penny candy out of the case when we were supposed to be on our way to Campfire Girls. It was long summer nights spent out until the moon was high in the sky. It was getting one of the local boys to give you a ride in his skiff and it was Halloween parties when you mother played the fortune teller.

These are the kind of rich details that make up a community. They are the kinds of details that make people like me want to share that world with others. People like Jennie Crusie and Deb Macomber understand this. They know that people identify with it and even if they've never lived in a harbor, they can identify with it.

I hope I'm a better person for it and I hope that I can do it justice. For my friend Kert... you will be missed. If I had a glass I'd raise it. But maybe I'll just immortalize you in fiction. You'd like that. Best wishes friend. Say hi to my mom and I'll see you on the other side.





Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Cry for Help






I've been working hard on the revisions of Stealing Thunder and having a hard time with the ideology of the force that creates the backdrop for the storyline. My mind kept wandering back to an episode of Castle. The Scared To Death episode where he calls Wes Craven for help with a case. So far, I've replayed the clip multiple times and I think Mr. Craven just may help more than Castle get his butt out of this alive.



Enjoy!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Thoughts and Things

Last week was a very LONG week.

It started off with a trip to the hospital for a CT scan of my neck and ended with a houseful of teenage boys sleeping in all positions on my furniture. (BTW, the CT scan was fine.)

February may be a short month, but it feels tons longer here in Maine. Granted, we've had a lot less snow than my daughter is experiencing in Eastern Pennsylvania, but it's enough to make us feel as if it's never going to end.

Hubby is in heaven with the ice fishing. He's been ever weekend so far, but I'm not one to sit my cold butt on the ice. Give me a snuggly warm blanket and a coffee and let me curl up on the couch with my Kindle. Enough said there....

ABOUT THE WRITING
Total words last week: 298 (Stealing Souls) Yuck! But there were outside influences. (See above).

Speaking of Kindle, I ran a countdown promotion on OBSIDIAN and THREE TRUTHS last week. What is a countdown promotion? Well, I was wondering the same thing and after checking it out I came to the conclusion that it's another avenue for getting your books out there. You sign up on the KDP dashboard for a specified amount of days and it will offer your book at a discount for those days. The amount of the discount is graduated. That is, the first day of the countdown is the lowest price, and each consecutive day is a dollar higher. One of the books I went for two days and the other for three. I based it on the regular price of the book. If the regular price is 3.99, the first day would be .99. The second 1.99. And so on... The other part of this is that they are listed on a countdown sales list. I couldn't find the list. But I'm told it's there.

So, how did the promotion do? Not bad. I did get some sales out it. Over all, they were more than I'd had on those two books for awhile. I'll take them. Will I do it again? Yup. I think I'll do it when I release Stealing Thunder. This will be a good promotion to help get the sales going for Stealing Darkness, the prequel novella.

OTHER THINGS
If you haven't heard the buzz about Marie Forces' latest book, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, then you should check it out. Marie is the Queen of creating a following... right up there with J.R. Ward when it comes to the rampant devotion of her readers. But the devotion is well deserved when the authors consistently provide great books, satisfying stories and all within a reasonable time period. The other part that makes Marie successful is her accessibility. She is very down-to-earth with her readers, and they feel close to her. That makes for a great reader/writer relationship.

ON THE KINDLE
Well, I just downloaded ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE today, along with a novella from Deb Marlowe called A SLIGHT MISCALCULATION. I'm in the middle of reading TO TEMPT A VIKING, a Harlequin Historical from Michelle Willingham. So, it may be awhile before I get into the new stories.

That's it for last week. More medical test this week, but hopefully now that the birthday party is over and the tests are done I'll be able to get more writing done. Then again, I still have the taxes and FAFSA to do. :)

Happy Writing and Reading!




Midnight, strange mystic hour, when the vail between the frail present and eternal future grows thin.
~ Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe