Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Popping In for a Minute

I'm busy with revisions! So I'm not keeping up well with my blog. I hope you'll stop by again later and won't give up on me. I'll be done with revisions soon and will be able to catch up.

For now, I'm writing and sneezing. Yes, the pollen is terrible here! The scale on the news at night goes to about 120. Our count yesterday was over 5000! I can actually feel it between my teeth like grit. And it looked hazy outside yesterday as the pollen blew around.

This was all new to me when I moved to Georgia 20 years ago. One day, I came out of the CDC, where I was taking classes, and found my car coated in yellow! I about flipped. I was afraid it was something dangerous coming out of one of the labs. :) But others nearby assured me it was normal-- pine pollen.

So I write and sneeze and wipe yellow dust off everything. Maybe by the time I write again, it'll rain and wash most of it away in big yellow puddles. :)


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Art Fact Sheets

I'm trying a new blog look, so don't let it throw you off. You're in the right place! :)

I first tried a nice bright pink, but even I, who loves pink, couldn't stand reading it for very long. So I'm trying this new template. Let me know what you think of it.

Now, on to my post.

Writing for Steeple Hill (Harlequin) has been a great experience. One of the opportunities I've had is to fill out what they call an Art Fact Sheet. For any unpublished writers reading this post, I thought I would tell you what information is on the sheet so you can think about it as you're writing your book. Other publishers have something similar, so it can be helpful to keep track of this information. I believe Camy Tang blogged about this after her sale to Zondervan. So check out her site as well.

Some of the information they want you to include on the sheet includes:

*Themes of the story

*Key emotion/mood trigger

*Story synopsis--very short, maybe 4-5 paragraphs (Ack! A writer's worst nightmare. :))

*A short questionnaire that includes these questions:
1) What is this book about (beyond plot description)? How would you describe it to your friends? What is the takeaway?
2) For the key relationship in this book, what is the turning point or climax? Please describe.
3) What are the overriding themes that run throughout – the bigger message?
4) What is the significance/inspiration for your title? Is it metaphorical or literal?
5) What interesting visual elements (either object or place) have great significance in this book?

*A basic character description for the two main characters (hero and heroine) which includes physical characteristics such as hair and eye color, age; occupation; then other items such as first love, a trait, other info you want to give.

*A section on the setting that includes: location, interesting visual elements, time of year/holiday/season

*Then a section for you to list 3 scene ideas that might make nice cover art. You'll answer some questions about a "moment in time" from your story that you might like to see illustrated on the cover of your book. These scenes can include people or not.

I hope you found this helpful. It was fun for me to fill out the fact sheet! Well, except for having to figure out that very short synopsis. :)

Oh, and another thing to consider is that they're willing to look at photos/pictures you might have collected of people that look like your characters or of the setting, etc.

Just for fun, what is the theme of your current WIP (work in progress)?


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Writing and Music and the Sense of Smell

I love writing. And I love music. And I love to write with music playing in the background. In fact, on a couple of my books, I've had a "theme song" or "theme CD". One was a Jaci Velasquez song, "I Will Rest in You," that inspired my manuscript, When Lightning Strikes. Another was an entire CD (one of the Women of Faith conference CD's) that I played a lot while writing the beginning of another manuscript. It got to the point where I needed to play that CD to get into the flow of the book each time I sat down.

I've also had particular scents that go with books. My main character in the story that just sold uses shampoo and body lotion that is peach scented. While I wrote the book, I used peach scented gel scents near my computer. And any time I need some inspiration on a book, I burn an essential old by Jurlique, one called Wise Woman, another called Clarity. For some reason both of those get the creative juices flowing.

Okay, I know I probably sound wacky. And maybe some of it is in my head. But hey, if it works.... LOL

Back to Christian music. What an outreach. I switched over to 104.7 the Fish (in the Atlanta area) a few years ago when the radio station started. My husband had it playing in his car, and I enjoyed it. Once I started listening, I found that I was much more relaxed while driving. And my overall mood improved! I had been listening to an alternative music station, and the songs had been getting weirder, and were, I guess, agitating me.

Truly, I feel that the switch to contemporary Christian music changed my life.

Hope you're having a great week. Hop on over to the Faith group blog tomorrow. I'll be posting about a nostalgic (well, almost traumatic) moment I had today.

Hmmm. It just occurred to me that I was listening to a David Crowder song today when the incident happened. A very mellow song. I wonder if it had any bearing on my reaction....


Monday, March 05, 2007

First TV Interview!

I had my first TV interview taped last week! I guess I need to be honest and admit it's a local cable channel. But it was very exciting. And it's some local publicity for my book.

The show features people in our community. The host is a friend from church. She tried to reassure me (when I about chickened out) that it would be just like a chat between the two of us. Well, let me tell you, once I walked into that studio and saw the lights, the cameras, the set, I about turned and ran. But she was a great interviewer, and I ended up enjoying myself. (We won't talk about the fact that I realized I was sitting like a zombie and tried to move my hands some, hitting the glass table with a thunk!)

I'll be able to see the results this evening with live streaming. (We have satellite, not cable.) I'll be sure to let you know how it went. Of course, I thought of a gazillion things I wish I had said after the fact. Next time, beforehand, I'll give her some questions to ask me. She did say she would have me back when my book releases. Maybe the second time will be easier. :)