Confessions of a Museum Junkie

Any fellow museum addicts here?

Today I discuss my “problem” over at the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills. A big thanks to Kristan Higgins for hosting me today.

Stop by and say hello!

museum-junkies

 

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Are Authors Allowed to Have Opinions?

Once upon a time, in the dark days before the Internet, writers used to be inaccessible Titans of Storytelling. There was a mystique, a veil of awe, that separated the reader from their beloved authors. Many times, a faceless (unless there was an author photo) God who churned out books we love and who solely existed to bring us readers joy.

An intrepid fan could contact a writer via their publishers, snail mail or by attending a convention, book signing or other public appearance. Even then, the hallowed author of your favorite books/series/universe was somewhat of a celebrity, often rendering Roosteryou speechless. After all, chances were good that you’d approach the table, state your name so they could personalize your book, then you’d mumble something lame like – “I really love your books”, then move on**.

** quick aside – as a writer, we don’t think that’s lame at all. We appreciate knowing that readers enjoy our books.

Rarely did a reader learn or probably even try to discover the author’s political, religious or any beliefs at all. Nor as a reader, did we necessarily care – we just wanted them behind a keyboard churning out another book.

Ahh, how times have changed. Right?

Today, with multiple forms of social media, your friendly neighborhood author is just a mouse click away. The veil of mystique is shattered which begs the question – should author’s have opinions? How much is too much sharing?

Heck, do we even use our own names?

No doubt about it, there’s a fine line here between being yourself as a person and being a persona as a writer.

Some writers love to let it all hang out and are very vocal in their beliefs (example – Orson Scott Card). His very vocal views on homosexuality led to a firestorm that in all likelihood alienated fans. I know it made me think twice about him.

Other’s let the world know just enough about them to be enjoyable but don’t cross the TMI line (example – Kristan Higgins). Since Kristan and I are in the CTRWA together, I can attest that, yes, she is that down to earth, enjoys her man candy and loves her family. An ordinary person and a generous author with both her time and advice.

Does this mean writer’s shouldn’t have opinions? Are we not allowed to air our beliefs? Well, of course we’re allowed to have opinions and, hey, it’s a free country, right?

But again, it’s a fine line when it comes to what you say in public. So before you rant on Facebook or engage in a heated twitter battle, know the potential repercussions.

I like to apply the old adage – think before you speak (or type). And do unto others is also sound advice.Lollipops

Put yourself on the other side of the fence – think of yourself as a reader too. Ask yourself:

  • Does learning that your favorite author has a total opposite view than you change how you see them?
  • Would you stop buying their books if they expressed/ranted about XYZ?
  • Do you really want to know XXX level of detail?

For me personally, as a writer, I’d rather walk on the positive side and keep my personal views to myself, especially in the political arena. During the last election, I un-friended people on Facebook (fellow writers) because of too much political ranting.

And when I apply the reader test to myself, I find I’d rather hear about when the next book is coming out and what my favorite author has planned next. It’s not that I don’t think writers should have opinions, but I’d rather save it for face to face conversations or private correspondence.

I say –  be polite, accessible but leave a little of that old mystique.  Let the reader enjoy your books without too much information ruining their good time.

What do you think? Do you like to let it all hang out? Have you ever faced repercussions? Or have you found a happy medium?

Knowing When to Say No More!

Happy Friday everyone. Please be sure to visit me over at the Scribes today where I explain why – I’m an Incubator.

I don’t have much to say today. My mind is otherwise occupied with Mystic Storm (check out my post yesterday – Lucky Seven for quick glimpse). But working on a sequel has me thinking about when an author decides to end a series. Or at least move onto something else with the promise of another book in that universe down the road.

I’ll admit it, writing another book in the same world as Mystic Ink is not easy for me. It’s not because I don’t love the setting or the characters, but a tiny voice in my head knows that after Zephyr’s and Devlin’s book, I don’t see any more in the future.  That doesn’t mean there never will be anymore, it just means I have other stories to tell.

I might be better suited to writing standalone books (like Kristan Higgins), but in the paranormal romance universe that usually doesn’t happen. I can tick off a list of authors whose books are in the teens now or close to it. Some of them, I have long since stopped reading. They all started to sound the same after a while or the characters never seem to move on (or if they do it’s in a negative direction.)

One author I totally admire (and she was the impetus for this post) is Gail Carriger. Her latest release – Timeless –  is book 5 in her Parasol Protectorate series. It is also the last book.

As a fan, I should be crying.

But I’m not.

The books have all been fabulous adventures. Yet, I’m relieved that she stopped the series at a high point. (I’m not going to review her book. Instead, I invite you to visit Penelope’s Romance Reviews for her take.)

In my opinion, too many series have run into the ground with characters or plots that should have given it a rest a long time ago. I’m not going to pick on specific authors or series, but I’m sure everyone has at least one or two they can think of that fit this description.

Gail has another series coming out (The Finishing School Series) and I’m looking forward to it. I admire that she is working on something else and is not being “typecast” into one kind of book. I don’t know the reasons behind the decision (that it was hers or the publisher’s), but I applaud it.

Thank you, Gail! (and if its not too much to ask – I hope someday we get to see more of Lord Akeldama!)

What say you? Do you like never-ending series by your favorite author? Or would you rather they wrapped it up?

An Ode to Scar

Yay! It’s Friday! Don’t miss my post at the Scribes – Kung-Fu Ya! and with the Soul Mate Authors – Let Me Entertain You!

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It all started with an innocent photo taken by Kristan Higgins while filming her book trailer of MY ONE AND ONLY.

My husband, the good sport that he is, agreed to play a biker dude named Scar who is a romance addict.

Since then, Scar has taken on a persona of his own. I’ve made two new friends on Twitter based on curiousity alone (who’s that smiling man behind you?)

So here is my Ode to Scar.

Scar – how I love thee, let me count the ways:

1.  You agree to attend CT RWA events which require you to dress up.

I make this look good.

2. You color my hair for me and you do a great job. Sorry. No photos. You’ll have to take my word for it.

This has nothing to do with coloring Casey's hair.

3.  You unashamedly pose with Kristan’s new books and let her post your face on her Facebook page. Yes, he’s been know to blush at the comments.

I AM Kristan's number one fan!

4. You agree to be filmed with a tattoo that says “I heart romance.” And you say the words, “I’m a romance addict” so everyone on the internet knows it.

"Hey. I'm Scar. And I'm a romance addict."

5. You let me photograph and blog about your great burger challenge defeat.

Nom! Nom! Nom!

6. And you love me, you really love me. Thanks honey!!

Yes, his shirt does say – “My weiner is bigger than yours.” Priceless.

It’s All About Me (and Scar)!

I’m at Sharon Buchbinder’s blog today – stop by and say hi!

And if you missed it, my hubby in his role as Scar in Kristan Higgins’ book trailer for MY ONE AND ONLY
http://sharonbuchbinder.com/blog/2012/03/06/interview-with-casey-wyatt-author-of-mystic-ink/

Into The Groove

Happy Friday everyone! Please remember to join me at the Scribes today. Today’s topic – Let’s Hear it for the Doubt Monster. Yup, you read that right. I might just have something nice to say about the pest this time.

It’s taken all week, but I’ve finally gotten back into the groove.

Now that I’m convinced the power is staying on, I’ve been able to work on my NaNo novel (I hate it, the book is crap, but I’ll get over it). I’ve also been critiquing several of my fellow writers books (keep those pages coming, ladies). And I’m finally making edits to The Undead Space Initative.

One fringe benefit to no power last week, I actually read an entire book – Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth (highly recommend it – who could not love the President’s Vampire?). After I devoured that book, I read Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins (another home run – a great read – fantastic job Kristan!).

Overall, it’s been a fairly productive week. My only regret – I haven’t worked on plotting the sequel to Mystic Ink. So much to do, so little time…

So tell me, how was your week? Share please! I’d love to hear how you’re all doing.

We Have Kristan Higgins!

Please join me today over at the Scribes as we welcome NY Times/USA Today bestselling author Kristan Higgins . She graciously answered our interview questions and brought an excerpt from her fabulous new book UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

Read this book!

Much to my delight, she also provides a suprisingly different insight on my nemesis, The Doubt Monster.

 
Stop by leave a comment, ask a question. Don’t miss out!  Hope to see you there!

All’s Quiet on the Writer Front

Happy Friday everyone. Please remember to visit the 7 Scribes today – I am the Author Goddess.

Here’s how I’ve been keeping busy while I wait for feedback on The Undead Space Intiative.

  • A few days ago I received some awesome news – I finished first place in another contest. While it’s excellent news to receive, winning contests hasn’t really brought any offers from the editor judges. But that’s okay. As I reported last week, I have actually submitted to more publishers and plan to continue to do so.
  • I have spent most of this week working on the synopsis for The Undead Space Initiative. And I use the term “working” loosely! For some reason, writing an entire novel is easier than a two page synopsis. I’m down to the basic information and now all I need to do is polish it up.
  • Completing the synopsis (and, drat, I need to do a query letter -groan!) frees my mind to work on Devil’s Advocate. I have the main characters but not a fully formed plot. The plot is stewing in the back of my mind this week.
  • And I am taking two classes with a third one starting next week.

None of the aforementioned activities includes my full time job, family (also a full time job) or time spent doing other things like reading, Scribes stuff, Twitter. etc.

And speaking of  the Scribes – we have been very busy booking guest bloggers including: Frankie Roberston, Sandra Orchard, Julia Rachel Barrett, Kinley Baker, Jennifer Fusco, and Kristan Higgins.

I hope to see you all next week. Until then – happy writing!

CT Fiction Fest

Hi all,

Next month, on May 14, I will be attending CT Fiction Fest. The event is sponsored by the CT Romance Writers. The keynote speaker this year is Eloisa James!!

There will also be 13 agents and editors such as Bantam Dell (Random House), St. Martin’s Press, Harlequin, The Donald Maas Agency, Irene Goodman Literary Agency, and Curtis Brown to name just a few. Each participant is guaranteed two appointments.

Workshops and special speakers include: Kristan Higgins, Jessica Anderson, Anton Strout, Toni Andrews and more.

Check it out!

http://ctrwa.org/ignite-your-muse/