February 25, 2010

KyAnn Waters Interview

KyAnn, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I live in Utah with my husband, two children, and two dogs. I spend my days writing and evenings with my family. I love sporting events on the television, thrillers on the big screen, and hot sex between the pages of my books.
How about a peek at your booklist?

Delicious Darkness - Paranormal - The Wild Rose Press
All Lycan's Eve - Werewolf - Ellora's Cave
The Cougar Meets Her Master - Contemporary BDSM - The Wild Rose Press
Impulsive Pleasures - Contemporary - Ellora's Cave
Eternal Rapture - Paranormal - Ellora's Cave
After Dark - Vampire - Ellora's Cavemen Jewels of the Nile Vol II
Hot Blooded - Vampire - The Wild Rose Press
With or Without You - Contemporary - Samhain Publishing
Rough Justice - Contemporary ménage - Ellora's Cave
Hard Ride Home - Contemporary m/m - Ellora's Cave
Wanderlust – Contemporary – Samhain Publishing
Executive Positions – Contemporary – The Wild Rose Press
Ice Man: Blood Slaves Series - Vampire m/m - Ellora's Cave
Iron Man: Blood Slaves - Vampire BDSM gay multiple partner - Ellora's Cave
Dark Man: Blood Slaves - Vampire BDSM gay multiple partner - Ellora's Cave (coming soon)
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down - Contemporary Cowboy BDSM - The Wild Rose Press
Roped and Branded - Centemporary Cowboy ménage - Ellora's Cave (coming soon)
Johnny Loves Krissy - Contemporary - The Wild Rose Press (April 30, 2010)
Cinderella Undercover - Contemporary Romantic Suspense - Siren Publishing (June 2010)

Titles Coming Soon
Nothing I can confirm as sold, but in the works is a new m/m vampire series, some hot romantic suspense, and a tall cowboy in a black Stetson.

KyAnn Waters - links

What song would best describe your life?
Little Wonders by Rob Thomas. Everyone has to go through rough periods in order to appreciate the good times.

To quote
"Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over..."

If you were a tool, what would people use you for?

I’d say I’m a widget. Widget = An unnamed device - a little device or mechanism, especially one whose name is unknown or forgotten. So either I’m a useless tool, or as I like to think I just haven’t figured out my purpose.

You can erase one embarrassing experience from your past. What will it be?

Just one? I’d need an eraser the size of Texas. However, I do regret forgetting the rings for my wedding. I should have known rings were going to be the bane of my marriage. Marriage yes, wearing rings, no.
16 years married - three lost rings
A husband who can find the humor in it – my real life hero. (but it’s strictly zirconium for me now)

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
I’m told I’m distracted when I’m writing so….
Don’t buy her nice jewelry, she’ll lose it.
Don’t get her a cell phone, she’ll lose it.
Don’t let her have the remote or the cordless phone, she’ll misplace them. (I will say that after a 6 month MIA, the cordless phone has been recovered. I’ve given up hope on the pink cell phone.)

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

I read everything except YA and inspirational. I like adult books with sex. I love a good historical – Susan Johnson and Nicole Jordan are at the top of my list.
Paranormal – Sherrilyn Kenyon and I recently read Larissa Ione
Contemporary – Susan Johnson again. I love you, Susan.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, etc?

Physical traits come last for me. I see my hero and heroine and their conflict first. Then the sexual chemistry. Once I have the “feel” of who they are, I can finally “see” what they look like. Often times, I’m changing hair and eye color in the middle of a book. The other issue I have is naming my characters. I don’t think I’ve written a single story where at least one character didn’t get a name change.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

Wow, great question. My personal favorite is Hard Ride Home but that might not be the right pick for everyone since it is m/m. A choice for a nice simple love story without a lot of kink is With or Without You. Rough Justice is kinky, funny and I think would appeal to most readers of erotic romance.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

Hopefully I’ve penned a stories that titillate as well as entertain. But also that makes you laugh at the some of the situations of the characters.

You created a highly useful Yahoo Group, Promotion_Loop_Schedule to help authors track promotion days on the various loops. Tell us how it works and what inspired you to create it. (please provide the link as well)
I started it because I was going to each group when I’d want to do a promotion and that was very time consuming. Minutes spent on promotion take away from minutes that could be spent writing. I also know it’s frustrating for loops to have drive by promoters, especially on days when an author is a guest host. This loop makes it easy for me to hop from loop to loop, see what is happening, do a bit of chat and promotion and then get back to my stories. Once I’d started the loop, I invited my friends and critique partners to use it. Anyone who can benefit is welcome to join. There is no chatter, just calendar reminders. It was a crazy summer and I didn’t have a lot of time to do updates, but I do try to keep the information accurate. Here is the link.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

What’s for lunch? Today it is a big juicy cheeseburger and a Diet Pepsi.

Thank you, KyAnn, for being with us today!

February 23, 2010

Writing Bi-Polar: I Suck vs. I’m A Genius

Welcome to a mini blog bit of Muse Therapy – D. D. Scott style – where it’s all about injecting life into tired and/or stressed out muses.
First, a huge thank you to Kayelle and Romance Lives Forever for inviting me to do a mini Muse Therapy Session!
I take it many of you may need a writer’s go-to-gal for your muse “disorders”. Bravo! Me too...and I’m the “therapist”! LOL!
Being Queen or King of your creative domain often requires “therapy” – Muse Therapy that is!
As a Muse “Therapist”, I give writer’s fun and fabulous tools to analyze their muses’ funks, rein in their creative divas and up their page counts.
Together, we discover what makes your muses tick. What ticks ‘em off. And what makes them dance like nobody’s watching.

But how do you know if you’ve been dethroned from your creative sovereignty? Here are a few clues. You know you need Muse Therapy When...

1. Your muses aren’t ticking. They’re ticked off.
2. Your muses are in a funk saying “up yours” instead of upping your page counts.
3. Even great sex or a new pair of shoes can’t rein in your creative divas.
4. The following sessions sound appealing:
** Unleashing Your Inner Sybil
** Writing Bi-Polar: I Suck vs. I’m a Genius
** What Do You Mean I’m Neurotic? No, I’m Not. Well, Not Exactly. But Okay...There Are Times When. Like You Need To Know That. Anyway, I Was Thinking, My Jeep Is Red
** Rorschach For Writers: I See Dead Lines
** Stimulants: When Coffee, Chocolate, and Martinis Aren’t Enough
5. Your word witches are on their way to publishing Oz but the Yellow Brick Road they’re bootscootin’ on...well...the damn thing never ends!
6. Everyone says your writing is a waste of time, a “hobby” that will never “pay-off”.
7. You feel the urge, however, to tell everyone in reason six to (I’m thinking of a phrase that starts with a 4-letter-word and ends with a ‘you’, ‘off’ or ‘me’).
Here’s the scoop...the secret to upping your page count isn’t done by hurling nasty insults at your muses. Oh no. You’ve got to wine and dine those divas. Whether it’s with coffee, chocolate, fabulous finds in some chic boutique, or with what I call Muse Therapy Trips, it’s all about pampering those chicks and chucks ‘til you get out of them exactly what you want...and then some.
But let’s face reality a bit. Trust me, I’m not in denial. Writing-for-publication is frequently painful. Sometimes as we write the books from our hearts we feel like shouting “This Book Is Fabulous” “I Am A Brilliant Writer”! Other days, it’s more like this quote from improvisational comic Robin Fairbanks:

“Some birds mate for life. There’s no divorce in the aviary world, apparently. I think that’s why they fly into windows, it’s the only way out.”

Using Fairbanks’ analogy, we’re the birds mating for life with our writing careers. Flying into a window instead of battling brutal publishing industry winds isn’t far off base at all...is it?
If you’re like me, it doesn’t even take an entire day to drop from the highs to the lows. I fly between extremes within a couple hours. Okay. Who am I kidding? Let’s get real. I can go from top to bottom in mere minutes.
Lucky for me, though, I’m not the only bird in the crazy tree. And neither are you. Apparently, there are flocks of crazies trying to nest in our writing life trees.
Bibliographic statistic powerhouse Bowker estimates two million manuscripts are turned in per year. But...and boy is this a big ‘ole But...only 2.4% of submitted manuscripts were published.
No wonder writers are crazy!
We “get” that!
Our craziness as writers, in my psychology-major view, is easily boiled down to this conclusion...
The publishing industry makes writers Bi-Polar
What other industry can be mocked by some cute door hanger reading “Writer At Work: Slide a synopsis of your problem under the door and I’ll get back to you in 8 to 10 months...”
So what are we supposed to do for every freakin’ submission’s eight to ten months?!
I suppose and propose that dealing with our bi-polarity is certainly a valiant start.
But what does it mean to be Bi-Polar? The Employer’s Guide to Hidden Disabilities - yeah, that’s right...now leading psychologists are warning employers about writers - defines Bi-Polar Disorder as:
“...what was commonly known as manic-depression, involves cyclical periods of severe depression with periods of extremely elevated or irritable mood known as mania. It affects approximately 2.3 million adult Americans – about 1.2 percent of the population. Cycles, or episodes...typically recur and may become more frequent, often disrupting work, family and social life. When in the depressed cycle...symptoms of a depressive disorder [occur]. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy...social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment...A variety of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder...”
Recognize the numbers two million and roughly 2%? Yep, publishing numbers. Go figure! A writer’s success rate mirrors the percentage of the population diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Writers don’t need pills, people! We need publishers!
Face it...as writers, some days we shout “I Suck!” while other days we’re strutting our stuff declaring “I’m a Genius!”
RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and bestselling author Jennifer Greene aka Alison Hart “gets” our sanity struggle. “Since we’re talking about mental craziness in general,” she says, “I have to say that multiple personalities aren’t just for criminals any more. This is so ideal for writers...”
Let’s look at another example of “nutsy” writer behaviors. See if this anecdote has you and your muses thinking ‘yep...that’s me’.
Meet Staci, a single mom who’s a mad scientist by day-job and an unpublished, struggling writer of elf stories whenever she can fit it into her schedule – which, thanks to my Muse Therapy Online Classes, is now every morning at 4:30 A.M.
Staci went from thinking Bi-Polarity concerned “sexually confused polar bears” to taking serious stock of her ‘I Suck’ writing-for-publication moments. She put it this way:
“I’m a genius. Because I’ve determined that when I suck at writing, I do it with style and panache. I do not allow myself to wallow in misery, self pity, my insecurities, or bi-polar-ed-ness any longer than is necessary for my brain to register that something inside me isn’t happy. I know, I sound like a hard ass, but the truth is I can’t [wallow in misery]. Because if I do, then I become a victim and I made a promise to myself that I would not be a victim of my own and/or others’ insecurities. If I do it right, then it’s my kudos. I do it wrong, then it’s a learning opportunity for me to do it right the next time. I just suck it up and move on.
And if that doesn’t do it, then I just sit back and think on how different the world would be if some of the world’s most notable people just sat back and said (after running into a stumbling block)...I give up.”
Like Staci figured out, to deal with the doubts in our crazy writing-for-publication journeys, at the very first moment you have them, you must acknowledge you have them. I know that sounds too simple, but it’s the absolute truth. Only after you’ve stepped up and recognized your doubts and how they make you feel, can you then find fun and fabulous methods to send them packing.
We learn how to do just that in Muse Therapy! Whether it’s identifying and naming your muses, collaging your ideas, or using LOL signs and great author quotes and books, it’s all about what makes your muses keep dancing and cranking out pages even when the doubt demons aren’t cheering you on!
You must stare down the doubt monsters. When you do, you’re onto something major. You know the demons are there, but you’re ready to learn how to beat ‘em!
So what are some fun and fabulous tips to keep your “nuttiest parts” in the corner? What do we do on those terrific days when our muses are dancing like more than Stella has her groove back and then the polar opposite days when the damn mailman rears his arrogant ass with one of the following pearls of rejection? What can we do about our career path’s inherent bi-polarity?
Here are a few tricks that keep my Carrie Squad forging ahead toward Bestsellerdom:
1. Use bitchy signs and sayings. Here’s a peek at a few of my favorite mood-inspiring quips:
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘...holy shit...what a ride!’” – Mavis Leyrer of Seattle, age 83
“Do Not Disturb: Mind at Work (Disturbed Mind?)”
“Back off! I’m on a roll!”
Keep a Word Document or a Shoebox filled with quotes that inspire you. Here are a few useful tidbits from my “Quotes To Live & Love By” document:
“When the world says, ‘Give up’, Hope whispers,’Try it one more time.’” --- Author Unknown
“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” --- Mark Twain
“Even though you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” --- Will Rogers
How about collecting fun and fabulous comics that make you LOL and keep you goin’ for the gusto?
Writing is our job, BITCHOKs! We’ve got to keep our butts in our chairs and our hands on our keyboards!
We get past the doubt – the ‘I Suck’ (Shitty Mailman Syndrome) – by writing through it and producing the ‘I’m a Genius’ moments!
But what if the feisty glam girls of your bestseller are still pouting? What if they’re demanding you dig deeper to uncover their inner conflicts, make them work-it harder for your characters?
Don’t worry. You’re among many creative gods and goddesses battling the same devils...regardless whether or not we’re wearing Prada.
Throughout my Muse Therapy sessions, we explore each of these disorders. We divulge each disorder’s preferred behavioral manifestations then discover fabulous tricks to banish them from our writing kingdoms.
I hope to see you “in therapy” either during my online class sessions or during my live workshops. Check my website http://www.DDScott.com for dates and locations.
‘Til then...keep your muses happy. Pamper them silly. They’ll be glad you did and so will you.
And in the mean time, what are some ways you can deal with publishing’s bi-polarity that won’t get you booked into your county jail?
How do you get through your I Suck and I’m a Genius moments?
There’s plenty of room for your troubles and ideas in our writing-for-publication nuthouse so chime in...!
Sexy, Sassy, Smart Muse Therapy Wishes --- D. D. Scott

February 22, 2010

Does Your Muse Need Therapy?

Who needs therapy more?
You, or your muse?

D. D. Scott’s romantic comedies are all about sexy, sassy, smart, career-driven women and the men who complete them. They're a bit chick lit with a gone-country twist. She’s agented, and her series BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - think Sex and The City meets Urban Cowboy - is under consideration by several NY publishers.

She writes stories with big hearts and a bunch of sass. Once a small town newspaper crime reporter and a HarperCollins Publishing Returns Center Executive Assistant, she's learned great fiction comes from the street as well as which jacket covers meet early deaths.

She's a member of Indiana RWA as well as RWA's Chick Lit Writers of the World and ScriptScene RWA plus serves on RWA’s History Committee for the National RWA Board. She's been featured in both Indiana RWA's and ScriptScene's chapter newsletters and been a guest blogger on Romance Writers on the Journey, Inside the Writer’s Mind, Daily Dose Fantasy Romance, and Romance University. She’ll be guest blogging next at Romance Lives Forever (2/23/10). She is linked to on Romancing the Blog and also has an active blog of her own on her website at http://www.ddscott.com/.

Currently, she's driving her darling hubby nuts preparing for her Muse Therapy Live Workshop for GCCRWA’s Silken Sands Conference next month in Florida and the 2010 RT BookLovers' Convention in Columbus OH in April. In addition, she’s also a bit anxious and driving her DH even nuttier waiting to hear whether or not she’ll be doing an article-based Muse Therapy series for RWA’s RWR magazine.

For updates on her books, her sexy, sassy, smart neurotic writer’s life blog, and for a schedule of future muse therapy sessions, visit her website www.DDScott.com. While there, sign-up for her mailing list for chances to win fabulous tchotchkes.
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