Month: December 2011

On Romance Reading and Writing

I spent the week before Christmas on vacation in Providence, RI. Before hopping on that Amtrak train, I hit Barnes & Noble to stock up on a genre I’m further studying: romance novels. It’s a not-so-hidden secret that I’m a fan, and I’ve attempted to write one before, though half heartedly. This fall, I made major steps in that direction. I have 40-something pages of my first real shot at a novel almost done (the photo includes pages that are part of that manuscript), and I’ll be submitting a sample from that book to a competition in January. I have a pen name picked out, too, but I don’t know if I’ll use it. More on that in another post. While I’ve read romances and I’m a member of RWA, I’ve stuck to a few authors whose work I know I’ll love, so for vacation, I went judging books by…

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On bad books

I was in New York this weekend on a two-day writing retreat, and brought a book I’d expected to review for Guyspeed.com along with me (I stayed in Red Bank, NJ, which meant I had some down time on the train to and from New York). But the book was so rotten that I emailed my editor and said I just couldn’t do it – and this is a site that will list things that they hate. Could I have done that for this book? Yes. I didn’t, though, because I hadn’t read the whole thing. Two chapters was enough. In order to do a proper “I hate it” review, I’d have to read the whole thing (yes, I have ethics!), and I didn’t want to subject myself to that. Two reasons why the book was bad: 1. It was written by someone who said they were an ‘expert’ on…

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Let’s talk about Eloisa James

I’ve been doing some book review for this site, which is very fun. I’ve also been plowing through two tomes on personal finance, which is not very fun. And then there’s holiday and family stress, and I decided I needed a break. This year, those kind of reading/mental breaks have been spent with Eloisa James. Eloisa James is the pen name for Mary Bly, a Shakespeare professor at Fordham. I interviewed her back in 2009 for a story I wrote on the real lives of romance writers. I’d never read her books before, but included her because of her fun story, and because she lived in New Jersey. She was incredibly friendly and smart – a great interviewee. I read one of her books for the story, and enjoyed it, which surprised me because she writes historical fiction. Most of her books take place mostly in the Regency time period…

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