Monday, November 28, 2011

Learning Something New...

Until a few days ago, I had no idea what "murmuration" was. I don't think I'd ever heard/seen the word before. If you don't know either or if do know and you'd like to see an amazing video example, click HERE.

Friday, November 18, 2011

On Not Being Tolstoy...

The last of my "Cinda Richards" backlist is finally up on is actually my first published romance novel. I've been thinking a lot about what an experience that was all those years ago, finally seeing something I'd written in print.

No, that's not quite right. I'd had other things in print prior to this--literary short stories published in "little magazines," an anthology, chapbooks, etc., sometimes to good reviews. Sometimes, even the rejection slips were glowing.

Oh, yes. I was known to hang out with the literary crowd. I won short story contests, gave readings here and there, went to teas as an honored guest in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Norfolk. I remember one such tea where the tea service was taller than most of the people attending. It was nice. And not the least bit lucrative.

Now if you know anything about the romance genre at all, you know that it is the consummate redheaded stepchild of publishing. The literati don't read romances, or if they do, they don't admit it. EVER. And what's more, they don't want you to waste your time reading "those books" either. It just won't do.

So I'm safe in saying that many of my literary acquaintances were surprised to learn that I'd written an about-to-be-published romance novel. Some were genuinely congratulatory (I think). Some assumed it was a vanity press project and were astounded to learn that a large New York publishing house had paid me to write it. And some wanted to kindly--and not so kindly--"save" me from whatever mental aberration was responsible for this particular craziness.

It was a bit of a...burden.

Here is my most favorite "helpful" remark: "Well, it's nice you got paid, but you know, Cheryl, it's hardly the Great American Novel."

Now here's the thing. I worked on it as if it was. I didn't "write down." I didn't condescend. I didn't wear a paper bag over my head. I didn't use a pen name for any reason other than the publisher required it. Instead, I learned the perimeters of the genre and I did the very best job I knew how to do.

Which brings us to the other thing. The title. Can you imagine the response in this rarified literary environment to a romance novel titled THIS SIDE OF PARADISE? And no it wasn't my idea. It was just one of those many things TPTB decide and the writer has to live with. I like to think, though, that F. Scott just might have cut me a little slack. We do, after all, have the same birthday.

Till next time...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day 11-11-11

This is a photograph of my mother, my aunt, and my two cousins, once removed. It was taken during the early days of World War II.

The young man (my cousin) was home on leave. He was in the navy, and I believe it was his last chance to see everyone before he "shipped out."

This was "before my time," but I'm still struck by the emotions I sense whenever I look at the photograph. Part of it has to do with the way my mother and her sister and cousin are standing, as if they are trying to shield him from things to come, and part of it has to do with my mother's sad face.

He returned from the War safely. His brother, who was also there that day but not in this photograph, did not. People in the family have told me that his mother believed he was incapable of taking the life of another human being, no matter the circumstances, and that he knew, in the way soldiers sometimes do, that he would not return.

This is my own personal connection to Veterans Day and Memorial Day. And it's a big part of the reason why I always, always vote.

I wanted to share it with you...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Makes Me Happy...

DA/SBTB Bestseller List



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vintage Kindle-Version Books Update

SUCH ROUGH SPLENDOR, another of my vintage "Cinda Richards" romances, is now available on amazon. My first "Cinda Richards" romance, THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, should be added soon.