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Back from the Brink

Monday, February 26, 2007
I'm healthy again! Or at least at roughly an 85% solution, which is good enough for government work.

It seems like the first thing I let slip when I'm ill is the blogging. For which I deeply apologize. (Like y'all are waiting with bated breath for each pearl of wisdom and wit that drips from my fingers. *gg*)

But through the worst of my bronchitis, when I couldn't sleep, I wrote. Yes, indeed. In true Sela fashion -- also known as "Let me throw myself into a seething cauldron of hell and see what happens" -- I started a new project. With a deadline that is now less than a week away.

Seems Samhain is looking for entries into a Celtic themed anthology. When I first heard about it, I didn't think about it too much. After all, I had a project or two I was already juggling and I didn't think I really had anything in my idea file that fit.

But again, as usually happens when I'm ill, I get sick of whatever I'm working on and start casting around for projects to take my mind off my misery. That's how I dug up the Selkie story. It doesn't have a title and a week ago, it only had about 350 words. Now it has over 8K and I've got 4-7K more to work with. It's coming together. Quickly. I realized this afternoon that I'd have to rework a small segment, but it's still working out.

So what diseased portion of my mind thinks it can only work when there's an axe on a pendulum slicing ever closer to my throat?

I need to finish the rough draft by...well, tomorrow night...so I can turn it into my crit group, rework the roughest bits and submit.

Never fear, the copy will sparkle grammatically. It's the story I worry about.

It's always the story I worry about.
2/26/2007 06:29:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

Still sick

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Although I actually got some sleep last night after a particularly vicious coughing spasm which had me in tears. I hate bronchitis.

To take my mind off my misery, I've dived headfirst into another paranormal romantic comedy with a vaguely Celtic theme. In a twist of serendipity, this also takes my mind off the steaming pile of crap aka Daughter of Privilege. *sigh* DoP is so serious. Part of the trouble is that I received a bit of a knock back on The Virgin Courtesan and I needed something new and funny to recover.

Will keep you updated.

Also, many thanks for the notes on my previous entry. Glad to hear that Ghost Rider is good. I was hoping for the best because I really want to see it. And I LOLd at Robin's comment about making a cough sound stylish! Of course, actually LOLing made me cough more. Until I'm better, I'd better stick to *gg*ing.
2/20/2007 12:55:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments


Saturday, February 17, 2007
I'm sick. Usual yearly bout of après-cold bronchitis. I was supposed to go to my local RWA chapter meeting today, but I didn't sleep hardly at all last night and I just wasn't up to it. We're most of us sickly here today, so we're lounging. I'm about ready to go back to bed and watch National Treasure for the thousandth time. It's a good thing looking at Nicolas Cage never gets old.
2/17/2007 01:25:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 13 Comments

All the News That's Fit to Print!

Thursday, February 15, 2007
I'm in the newspaper!

A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by The Current, a bi-monthly paper that features local news for different neighborhoods around STL. It came out yesterday!

The article is primarily focused on the release of DREAMS & DESIRES, the charity anthology for which I wrote a short story. I really want to see this anthology succeed, so any publicity is good. The paper goes into every mailbox in the area, and it's the sort of thing that people always leaf through, so I'm hoping for a lot of response.

Anyway, that's me in the picture. It's not a bad photo. That's just how I look, I'm sorry to say. My glamour queen days are far behind me now. *gg*

In other news, I finally finished writing an article on Perceptions of Romance for Spinetingler Magazine. I couldn't believe how difficult it was to write and catch the tone I wanted, neither preachy nor defensive. Hmm. We'll see how it really turned out.
2/15/2007 10:47:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
In honor of the moment when you recognize The One, Romance By the Cup is a Free Read now posted on my website!

Romance Divas asked its members to write something for their very own E-Book Challenge and received dozens of responses -- something for every whim. Historical, contemp, paranormal and inspirational. From sweet to XXX, possibly even some m/m if I know a couple of our Divas.

Romance By the Cup is a short, sweet contemporary first meet story. No X's here!

Miranda Howard is an artist who recently got screwed over by her agent, so she had to quit coming to her favorite coffee shop to economize.

After returning to her favorite java spot, she strikes up a conversation with another regular. One problem, she thinks he's a bit too stuffy for his own good.

First impressions aren't always foolproof, sometimes you just need to order Romance by the Cup.

You can find more Free Reads by other Romance Divas, too! Just click here for the complete list.
2/14/2007 08:30:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

Monday Meander: Happy Anniversary To Me

Monday, February 12, 2007
Five years. Give or take a few days.

It's been five years since I sat down at the computer, still damp from a shower and wrote out a scene that had just popped into my head. It was a futuristic mail-order bride story.*

Frustrated with how badly it translated from my head to the page, I realized that all my previous experience in writing articles and papers for school didn't count for anything when writing fiction. So I googled "How to write a romance novel." I wasn't looking for a formula, but that's what I wanted to write.

I found e-Harlequin and never looked back. I still count the Struggling Writers and the Brit Pack among my best buddies and I've been extremely fortunate to meet several of them over the years. And I will forever maintain that I honestly didn't mean to flash the BM!

Since then, I've found other groups, such as the incomparable Romance Divas, but I hope I never forget the group of folks who taught me so much those first couple of years.

*Strangely enough, the Steampunk that's simmering at the back of my head right now is also a mail-order bride story. Plus ça change, plus ça reste même.
2/12/2007 08:57:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Back to the Drawing Board

Friday, February 09, 2007
I passed on the partial in a week thing. It just wasn't going to happen. It's ok. I still ended up with a beginning which I may or may not keep, plus several pages of notes and character development.

So first, Daughter of Privilege. I'd love to be done with this by the end of April.

Next, Definitely Dead. Tentative deadline for this is end of July, right after RWA.

Third, this Western Steampunk thing. It doesn't have a good title yet and I need to do a lot of research first. Not to mention that I think it'll be the sort of thing where I throw away a lot of false starts again before I get to the right story. End of the year, maybe?

Who knows. There's never a shortage of ideas. It's the capacity to write it all that I worry about.
2/09/2007 09:45:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments


Thursday, February 08, 2007
Briefly mentioned it in the comments of my previous post, but I recorded the BBCs newest version of Jane Eyre starring Toby Stephens. I first encountered him in Pierce Brosnan's last Bond film, Die Another Day, as the uber-cute uber-villain, Gustav Graves. He looked familiar, but that's because he looks so much like his mother, Dame Maggie Smith. He's done lots of period drama, but this was the first one I'd seen.

Oh. My. God.

It was a brilliant show. Very close to the original in some respects, not so much in others. I'm ok with that. He was wonderful. Or is it just that he's sooooo good looking? Either way, I'm hooked.

As far as Definitely Dead, goes, however, this is unhelpful.

I went to the gym this morning and read a few chapters of The Marshall Plan For Getting Your Novel Published. Good advice, especially for writing query letters and synopses. All necessary tools.

But nothing on the wip. I will now go wrack my brain for more words.
2/08/2007 12:43:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments


Wednesday, February 07, 2007
It's not going quite as well as I'd hoped. As I recall, I threw away everything I wrote the first week of THE VIRGIN COURTESAN.

So far, I have the first two pages, ending with a statement that apparently means something, but I don't know what. And I have a little bit of goal/motivation stuff written on the side. More stuff that means something, but I don't know what.

Good grief. How does this happen? How do you start with a bunch of notes that raise more questions than answers and end up with a story that doesn't sound like it was written by monkeys on crack?
2/07/2007 12:06:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 9 Comments

Definitely Dead

Monday, February 05, 2007
I've got a week to write a partial and synopsis for the follow up to NOT QUITE DEAD featuring one of the secondary characters. So I've been brainstorming today and have come up with a few things.

Meet Richard St Ivraie:

And Genny Rose (christened Eugenie Róisín) Landry:

Now all I have to do is write the damn book.
2/05/2007 03:05:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 10 Comments

Mrs. Giggles Strikes Again!

Sunday, February 04, 2007
In a very speedy turnaround, Mrs. Giggles already reviewed THE VIRGIN COURTESAN!

Ok, so it didn't blow her skirt up as much as NOT QUITE DEAD. I'm still very pleased!

She calls the story readable and enjoyable and, I like that Domenico and Nerina manage to interact and bond in a credible manner so the romance can be quite convicing as a result.

But this is my favorite part:
The premise requires a heroine who is intelligent yet in dire straits to work, but Nerina comes off only as an intelligent and smart heroine.

I mean, it's hard to find a downside there! Overall, she found that Nerina was a bit too modern for the historical setting. It was one of my fears, but I so enjoyed writing her that I may have sacrificed historical accuracy for a fun story.

It sounds like I succeeded!
2/04/2007 09:24:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

DREAMS & DESIRES gets a 90 from Mrs. Giggles!!!

Friday, February 02, 2007
Dreams & Desires is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a while. Just when I'm convinced that it's some kind of cosmic rule for anthologies in general to be disappointing in one way or the other, I find myself laughing quietly to nearly every story, sighing softly at many of them...

Dreams & Desires is a charity anthology and net proceeds will go to women's shelters. That's not a bad way to spend $7.99, really, but how lucky for me that I end up feeling that I am getting much more than I gave when it comes to this anthology. Nearly all the stories work very well in entertaining me and many make me chuckle, giggle, or even sigh.

Read the whole review at Mrs. Giggles.

Check this out!

"Sela Carsen proves that she is no fluke by giving me an enjoyable short story, 'The Christmas Prize.'"

I'm not a fluke!!

And on that note, I sent her THE VIRGIN COURTESAN today. Eeek!
2/02/2007 10:05:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments

Thursday, February 01, 2007
It's Time for Our Virtual Launch Party!

It's finally time! Tonight is the Launch Party for the Freya's Bower charity anthology, Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance and Erotic Tales by Jenna Bayley-Burke, Faith Bicknell-Brown, Amanda Brice, Sela Carsen, Rachelle Chase, Gemma Halliday, Candace Havens, Zinnia Hope, Jackie Kessler, Susan Lyons, Richelle Mead, Debbie Mumford, Rhonda Stapleton, Bebe Thomas, Emily Veinglory, Sasha White, Lois Winston, Shaunna Wolf, and Kit Wylde.

Join the authors tonight in Gemma Halliday's chat room from 5-7 PM PST (8-10 PM EST).

Um, Sela? What's Dreams & Desires?

Just look around the web. Everyone is talking about it :

Dionne Galace's blog
Lois Winston over at Caridad Pineiro's blog
Candace Havens radio promotion :: 96.3 KSCS
Idea Boutique
The Knight Agency Blog
Dear Author
Vamps & Scamps
Sparta Independent Newspaper
Joanne Rock’s website

Lots of other authors will be on hand to gab, and we have tons of great free prizes to give away. If you can't make it tonight, we'll be in the Romance Divas chat room Thurday, February 15th during the same times.

Just what kind of prizes are we talking about? Look at this swag!
Sela Carsen Not Quite Dead (ebook, novella) & The Virgin Courtesan (ebook, novella)
Amanda Brice She's Got Legs (ebook, novella)
Debbie Mumford Magic Glass (ebook, two novellas)
Candace HavensCharmed and Dangerous (signed book) & Charmed and Ready (signed book)
Kit Wylde Last Chance (ebook, novella)
Rachelle ChaseSex Lounge (ARC)
Susan Lyons Champagne Rules (signed book)
Richelle Mead Succubus Blues (ARC)
Jackie Kessler Hell's Belles (signed book)
Sasha White Bound (signed book)
Lois Winston Talk Gertie to Me (signed book)
Rhonda Stapleton Stripped (ebook, novella)
Jenna Bayley-BurkeIn Silhouette (ebook, short), How About Tomorrow (ebook, short), Dream Ring (ebook, short) & If We Listened (ebook, short)
Gemma Halliday Spying In High Heels (signed book) & Killer In High Heels (ARC)
Emily VeingloryGrave Heart (ebook)

Dreams & Desires, a charity benefit anthology
ISBN: 1934069221 (paperback)
ISBN: 193406923X (hardcover)
2/01/2007 01:12:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

Dreams & Desires


Did you know that 95% of abuse victims are women? Every year four million women are assaulted by their spouses or partners. Freya's Bower Publishing is hoping to do a small part to break the cycle of abuse.

On February 1, DREAMS & DESIRES: A COLLECTION OF ROMANCE AND EROTIC TALES will be available. This anthology features short stories in a variety of romance subgenres from 19 talented authors. The stories range from sweet to sizzling.

Not only did the authors contribute their stories to this anthology, but all the editing and cover art were also donated. All net proceeds - that's 100% of the profit - from the sales of the anthology will go directly to a battered women's shelter in Florida. There have been other anthologies published for charity in the past, but most of those have only donated a portion of their profits. With DREAMS & DESIRES, every penny of profit goes to help women and children in dire circumstances.

Please help make a difference by purchasing a copy of DREAMS & DESIRES. As an added bonus to contributing to such a worthy cause, you'll be rewarded with 19 great short stories by some of today's rising authors.

"The Forest for the Trees" by Jenna Bayley-Burke (sweet; contemporary)
"Song Without Words" by Faith Bicknell-Brown (sweet; contemporary)
"Love @ First Site" by Amanda Brice (sweet; chick lit)
"The Christmas Prize" by Sela Carsen (sweet; contemporary)
"Romance for One" by Rachelle Chase (spicy; chick lit)
"Confessions of a Bombshell Bandit" by Gemma Halliday (sweet; chick lit)
"The Velvet Mask" by Candace Havens (sweet; contemporary)
"Road of Misgivings" by Zinnia Hope (sweet; contemporary)
"To the Core" by Jackie Kessler (tangy; paranormal)
"Taking the Alleys" by Susan Lyons (sweet; contemporary)
"Brushstrokes" by Richelle Mead (spicy; historical paranormal)
"Red's Merry Mischief" by Debbie Mumford (tangy; fantasy)
"Baring It All For Mr. Right" by Rhonda Stapleton (sweet; chick lit)
"The Wedding Policy" by Bebe Thomas (sweet; historical)
"Blood and Feathers" by Emily Veinglory (sizzling; M/M paranormal)
"The Mirror" by Sasha White (sizzling; contemporary)
"The Reluctant Bridesmaid" by Lois Winston (sweet; chick lit)
"The Forge: Jezren Dark Sky" by Shaunna Wolf (tangy; sci-fi)
"Secret Valentines" by Kit Wylde (sweet; contemporary)

DREAMS & DESIRES is available as an eBook for $7.99 (ISBN: 1-934069-36- 1), a
paperback (ISBN: 1-934069-22- 1) for $19.95, and a hard cover (ISBN:
1-934069- 23-X) for $29.95. The paperback and hardcover are available from
Barnes & Noble online. The books and the eBook are also available through Freya's Bower. The book is also being sold at Borders and distributed by Ingrams. If your local bookstore doesn't have it, they'll be able to order it for you. Just give them the title and the ISBN number.

Together, we CAN make a difference!
2/01/2007 09:45:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments


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