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Saturday, March 31, 2007
Yes, indeed. Romance, not just for romance readers anymore.

Some time ago, I wrote an article about "Perceptions of Romance" for a friend of mine, Sandra Ruttan. Sandra, in addition to being the author of a newly published crime fiction novel -- SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES -- is also a kick-ass blogger and and editor for SPINETINGLER.

SPINETINGLER's March edition went live last night and my article is in it!

Also, I don't sound like an idiot!

I fiddled and fiddled with that article and finally sent it off to Sandra, praying I didn't sound like a complete bubble-headed moron, and I don't!

However, enough about me (ok, not really, but I *am* capable of focusing elsewhere for short periods of time). SPINETINGLER is amazing! There's a lot of really great short fiction -- the kind that curls your hair and gives you the most delicious heebie-jeebies -- as well as interviews with some great crime fiction authors and reviews of their books.

A highly recommended read. I plan to take my time and enjoy this magazine from e-cover to e-cover.
3/31/2007 09:13:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

New Group Blog

Friday, March 30, 2007
Here's news! A group of paranormal writers, including yours truly, have gotten together for a new blog. We're calling it BEYOND THE VEIL. There are 10 of us now with more to come and we'll blog every day Mon-Fri with the weekends open to guest bloggers.

We've only been open since Wednesday and today is my first post. Please go visit so I don't feel lonely!

Oh yeah, I'm blogging about the Not Quite Dark side of paranormal romance.
3/30/2007 09:09:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Things I Would Like to Blog About

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
But Shouldn't.

Because I'm supposed to be a professional here and you can't go around slamming people who are in your field. Or really even snarking on them, even though it's unbelievably tempting. Especially when they're selling 18 gajillion copies and you're...not. Because that just looks bad.

But I can't seem to help myself, so here goes.

1. Series that jumped the shark* five books ago.

I mean, really. Publishers must be riding all up these author's rear ends to make them keep writing these stories. Maybe it's me, but after about five books, I'm pretty much ready to move on. If you're going to introduce me to a family with 16 children and they each get their own book...well, I'm probably not going to get on that train. Because, you see, it's never just the children, is it? No. It's their cousins. And best friends. And their best friend's cousins. And their biggest enemies. And their biggest enemies best friends' cousins. They ALL have to get their own freakin' book.

Seriously. Stop while you're ahead.

Kudos to Angela Knight, by the way, for finishing off a connecting thread in her last book, Master of Swords. I'm so glad she brought that to a graceful conclusion and that the new Mageverse books will have something fresh going on.

2. Series or authors that you can't stop reading, even though they jumped the shark five books ago.

It's a sickness, I tell you. I was talking to Jax this morning about books that we know are bad. If you ask us, we'll tell you they're bad. But we keep reading them. Why?!? Why do I do this to myself? The poorly drawn characters, the recycled plots, the repetetive love scenes. But, as I said, it's like eating stale Easter Peeps. They're disgusting. But you just keep nibbling on 'em.

*Thanks to Kristen for reminding me of this phrase, which means, according to the Urban Dictionary: a term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity.
3/28/2007 11:25:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments

RITA and Golden Heart Finalists!!

Monday, March 26, 2007
These are the folks to whom I wish to give a very special shout out!

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements RITA
AND Best First Book RITA
Gemma Halliday, Spying in High Heels from RD and my CP

Best Romantic Novella RITA
Sylvia Day, "Her Mad Grace" in BAD BOYS AHOY! who I've known forever somehow even though I don't keep up like I should.

Best Short Contemporary Romance GH
Gail Fuller, The Runaway Heiress from eHq

Best Long Contemporary Romance GH
Anna Sugden, Mortgaged Heart from eHq and Brit Pack member

Best Romantic Suspense GH
Bronwyn Clarke, Falling into Darkness from eHq. She's also doing a research project on online romance communities. Go to her website and check out the survey she's doing for her PhD.

Best Inspirational Romance GH
Gina Welborn, One Day from RD and my CP

Best Paranormal Romance GH
Kristen Painter, All Fired Up from RD and my CP

RWA has now posted the lists of all the RITA Finalists and the Golden Heart Finalists.
3/26/2007 10:53:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 1 Comments

Guest Blogging

Friday, March 23, 2007
I'm blogging over at Romantic Inks today.

The topic is Planning. Or not. And it's got nothing to do with plotting vs pantsing. Well, it might be a metaphor, but you can take it as you like it.
3/23/2007 05:39:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

RIO Results!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Holy cats!!!

For some reason, I didn't think the RIO results would be posted until the end of the month, but they came out today!

Come see who the reviewers thought were the best of the year at the RIO blog.

How did I do? Funny you should ask.

I tied for 3rd in the Debut Novel category!!!

And in a sweet little twist of fate, I also got a 4.5 gravestone (that's way too cute) review from Michelle Puffer at the Gotta Write Network.

She said:
Not Quite Dead is an often amusing, well-written, romp of a read. It carried me from beginning to end with lighthearted touches, genuine feel-good romance and even some centuries-old evil. If you are looking for a fun, quick read that's a bit quirky and sentimental too, I'd suggest Not Quite Dead.

Hot damn. I tell you what, if I didn't have to go out and rake leaves in my muddy backyard, I'd say that today was definitely my day.
3/21/2007 11:39:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments


Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I finally joined a real live RWA chapter this weekend. Went to the chapter meeting, where we talked about how to make media interviews work for you. Essentially, keep your eye on the prize. You control the message.

Branding was mentioned. Not the moo cow kind, either.

Intellectually, I understand the importance of creating a brand. Something that, as soon as readers see your name, they know what kind of story they're going to get. The biggest names don't even have a brand stated in so many words. If you pick up Jenny Cruisie or Nora Roberts or Sherrilyn Kenyon, you know what you're going to get. They don't need a marketing slogan anymore.

But the rest of us? Need a brand. Something to set us apart from the pack.

So what's my brand? The Divas have been helping me out. The same words or ideas are mentioned over and over when people describe my writing.

It appears that my overstated caffeine addiction sticks in people's minds, which I find amusing.

Also, I seem to write in paradoxes. Intense story/funny voice. My titles are often a little paradoxical, too. Not Quite Dead. The Virgin Courtesan. I like those twists.

People call me quirky. Sassy (For some reason, I've never liked that word. It's like "feisty." I hate feisty.) Southern (natch). Smart. Witty. Snarky.

The key is finding a phrase that encompasses those themes. I just haven't been able to put them together in a clever way yet. Doesn't say much for my wit, does it?
3/20/2007 09:46:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 13 Comments

I made it!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007
YAY! I'm in the Celtic Anthology!!!

Of the three stories submitted -- we all made it in! (Yes, feel free to read that with your eyebrow quirked.)

However, Angie is not known for blowing smoke, so when she said they were all fabulous books and she loved them, I believe her!

Together, we come in just under 50K words, so we've been given the opportunity to expand our stories. For once, this is good news! I like HEART OF THE SEA, but there are things I'd like to fix and fiddle with. Yay! I'm so glad I get that opportunity. The deadline for the expanded stories is May 15.

Hmm. I wrote the whole thing in 10 days. And she's giving me two more months to play with it. Think I'll make it?

In any case, I'll be together with Carolan Ivey and Gia Dawn.

Yay US!!!
3/18/2007 10:06:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 19 Comments

I forgot

Saturday, March 17, 2007
I forgot what it feels like to wait for a submission.

I mean, I've done this before. Obviously. But I can usually put it out of my mind and move on. After all, there's nothing I can do to make time move faster, right?

But I am spitting nails over this submission to Samhain. Part of it is because there's a firm-ish deadline on when she'll announce the Chosen Ones. Usually, you don't know. This time, I do.

So I'm watching the clock. Tomorrow, she said. What the hell? There are a whole 24 hours in tomorrow! Which one?
3/17/2007 03:23:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 14 Comments

We Made It!!

Friday, March 16, 2007
The High Holy Grail of romance publishing has been reached!

Samhain Publishing has achieved RWA recognition! They've been open for just over a year and have completed the Twelve Labors of RWA -- or whatever mark they were supposed to achieve -- to become one of the pantheon.

Congratulations to Samhain Publishing, Crissy Brashear and all her wonderful staff!!!
3/16/2007 08:48:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

Back to Earth -- a Mini Rant

Thursday, March 15, 2007
While I could still fit my head through the door, I figured I'd better do the grocery shopping yesterday. It seems that my children have no concept of my proper place in the world. That is to say, High, Mighty, Exalted and Really Shouldn't Have to Shop for Groceries.

(To say nothing of the boo-boo on my finger. A window sash fell on my knuckle and mashed it the other day, so I have to wear a bandaid. Trouble is, it's my middle finger. I was very concerned all the way through the grocery story that people would think I was flipping them off. Should have worn the Spiderman band-aid instead of the flesh-toned one so they'd have some warning.)

Anyway, I needed sugar. I haven't had to buy sugar since the Great November Stock-Up for the holiday baking season. So it came as a huge surprise to me that the sugar companies -- one and all -- have begun to stiff people on sugar. 4 lb bags.

My canister holds a 5 lb bag of sugar. Since I got married and started actually grocery shopping, I've bought 5 lb bags of sugar. In November, I bought 5 lb bags of sugar.

Yesterday, I was forced to buy a 4lb bag. It was either that or the 10 lb bag and I don't have the room to store one of those. So I had to buy this pansy-ass 4 lb bag of sugar.

What really burns my britches is that I'll bet it cost me just as much as I used to pay for 5. Oooooooh, I was so mad!!! Then I realized that it's been happening for years. Remember when you used to buy a pound of bacon? It's 12 oz now. Lots of things that used to be packaged in pounds are 12 oz. And now the sugar. Flour won't be far behind.

Dh even half-jokingly said that soon they may start packaging eggs by the deca instead of the dozen. I shudder to think he may be right.

*sigh* It also torqued me off that I had no other choice. It wasn't one brand of sugar, it was all of them. It's a conspiracy, I tell you! A conspiracy!
3/15/2007 09:12:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

They Like Me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
They really like me!

Late last night I got word that NOT QUITE DEAD had been shortlisted for the Reviewers International Organization (RIO) Award of Excellence in the Debut Book category!


I'm in some pretty exalted company and I feel like a country rube starin' at all them city folk in thar purty clothes.

In fact, for a complete list of the Glamourous Ones, see the RIO blog.

I got this nifty banner from them, but Blogger's being a pain and won't let me post it. But who cares?

3/13/2007 02:54:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 25 Comments

Monday Meandering: Starting Over

Monday, March 12, 2007
First, for Anna. Blogger won't let me load any of my Clive images! So sad! But very glad you finally get him. *gg*

Second, I'm hitting it hard again. Hitting the keyboard, that is.

Since December, I've written two short stories in a mad rush. Didn't I tell you people not to let me do that again after I finished the first one? Hmph. Some friends.

Anyway, that's done. It's time to get back to work on Daughter of Privilege and FINISH THE DAMN BOOK. The word counter in my sidebar is probably wrong since the last time I worked on it, I slashed and burned my way through a couple of chapters. I vaguely remember deleting the first chapter entirely. I also remember deleting a lot of sex. At one point, I considered re-titling it to Horny Lust Bunnies on Fire. Probably ill-advised.

In any case, today's the day I go back to it. Today is actually mostly for reading. And probably some weeping. A little gnashing of teeth, a little sackcloth and ashes.

Hopefully, a glimmer of hope.

We'll see.
3/12/2007 09:49:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

Blog Linkage

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Today, I'm just linking randomly from my sidebar. News of the weird, in a way.

Anna has a new wardrobe, but she's headed out to the back of beyond. All the while, waiting for her very first book to come out at Medallion. Squeeee!!!

Julie is talking about writing sex in the first person. I never even thought about the problems that might engender. Hmmm. Worth a look.

Michelleis, as usual, brilliant. This post is about using sun sign astrology, not as a form of mysticism, but for character development. She also uses enneagrams and she's very detailed and methodical. She's my character development hero. *gg*

I'm sure she might not think so, but Nell has a really interesting life. Something different (not always nice, but different) happens to her almost every day.

Vanessa is in the midst of moving into her brand new house, but in the meantime, she's got a cute little poem up on her blog.

Sasha also has an interesting life. Footloose and fancy free, though one gets the impression that sometimes she wouldn't mind being tied down. ;)

Sandra Ruttan, who is my source for all things crime fiction, is talking about the non-anonymity of blogging. She also has a new post up at In For Questioning about a new place for crime fic writers called Crimespace.

Bernita is one of the best bloggers I know. Yesterday's blog about genre classification is typical of her brilliance.

I've discovered that Ivan has a theme for his blog. What goes up, must come down.

Never know what you'll find over at Babe's blog. This time it's apple peelers. A very useful tool.

More catching up next time!
3/07/2007 10:36:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments

Did It Again

Saturday, March 03, 2007
Pulled another story out of my, er, ear.

At about 2:30 this morning, I sent HEART OF THE SEA out to Samhain for their Celtic Anthology. Should hear something within two weeks.

I'm getting too old for this crap. Thursday night I was up until 3:30 writing until I hit The End. Then I sent it out to my crit group still minus a love scene.

Last night I pulled together the crits and suggestions I recieved, wrote sex with my fingers fumbling all over the keyboard in exhaustion. I think it took twice as long to write just because of all the typos I was making.

Did all the formatting prettiness to it, got it all bundled up to send away and went d'oh! Forgot the one-page synopsis! Have no idea how coherent that is. Then realized I needed a 200 word blurb. I hate writing blurbs WAY more than I hate writing synopses.

But it's done. Out of my hands, even though I still keep thinking of things I could have done better.

One of my cp's says she likes this better than my historical. While I had fun writing The Virgin Courtesan, I can see her point. I think my voice is better suited to contemp. Doesn't mean I won't still branch out for kicks and giggles, but I think it's something to keep in mind.
3/03/2007 12:31:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments


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