Sunday, February 10, 2008

In Memory of Dawn Thompson

I was greatly saddened to hear of Dawn Thompson's death this morning. Deborah Macgillivray, Dawn's friend, announced the news on the Night Owl Romance listserv, saying that " Dawn Thompson is dead. She died Friday around 2pm. She went peacefully, life finally granting her that single blessing when it had taken so much more from her." Deborah ended her message with the words "The world lost one of the best and brightest with her passing." I had just discovered Dawn's works during the fall (I got mixed up and started with the second book of her trilogy) and enjoyed her books so much that I gave some of her work to my mom and sister. I can't believe we won't be receiving any more new works from Dawn; she's a wonderful author, and her legacy lives on in her work.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Interview with Historical Romance Club

In January, I was pleased to be interviewed by Sandra Marlow at the Historical Romance Club. I answered questions about my work and about what inspires me; since it's my first official interview, I'm excited to see it live on the website.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dr. Phil's Personality Test

This personality test has been circulating around the Internet, and even if it's not the most in-depth test, it does seem fairly reliable. Supposedly, the test originated with Dr. Phil when he visited the Oprah show, though I haven't been able to verify that fact. At any rate, the test is copied and pasted below, so enjoy!
I received a 34.

1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
B) during the afternoon and early evening
C) late at night

2. You usually walk...
a) fairly fast, with long steps
B) fairly fast, with little steps
C) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
D) less fast, head down
E) very slowly

3. When talking to people you. .
a) stand with your arms folded
B) have your hands clasped
C) have one or both your hands on your hips
D) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
E) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with.
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
B) your legs crossed
C) your legs stretched out or straight
D) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with....
a) big appreciated laugh
B) a laugh, but not a loud one
C) a quiet chuckle
D) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you...
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
B) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
C) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted. .
a) welcome the break
B) feel extremely irritated
C) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
B) black
C) yellow or light blue
D) green
E) dark blue or purple
F) white
G) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are...
a) stretched out on your back
B) stretched out face down on your stomach
C) on your side, slightly curled
D) with your head on one arm
E) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...
a) falling
B) fighting or struggling
C) searching for something or somebody
D) flying or floating
E) you usually have dreamless sleep
F) your dreams are always pleasant


1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c ) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 ; (e) 6 (f) 1
Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS : Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS : Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS : Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS : Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature..

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you' re boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

Romance in Publishers Weekly

I was thrilled to once again see the romance genre featured in Publishers Weekly. In the article "Publishers Stand By Mass Market Paperback," Jim Milliot says that mass market paperbacks, especially romances, are still popular with publishers, despite new formats. And, in good news for historical romance writers, "There was widespread agreement that, among the various mass market categories, romance continues to enjoy solid sales gains, helped by what deGuzman called a “resurgence” in historical romance." Perhaps unsurprisingly, paranormal romances are also still big sellers. Milliot discusses premium paperbacks at length, which was useful since I'm not familiar with the pricing and reasoning for this new format.

P.S. If you have a little extra money floating around, the London Book Fair will be held in Earls Court, London from April14-16th.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Courtesy and the Romance Genre

Recently, I was browsing through a popular romance website,, and was interested in finding out the winners of the 2007 Best Book of the Year. I was disturbed to read the introductory letter from the webmistress, which stated that it was supposed to be a fun contest, and, hoping to make the process more efficient and organized, she changed some of the categories. Unfortunately, and this is the disturbing part, some authors/nominators sent in "impatient ranting emails" about the changes, and further, "I’ve received emails the likes of which I never thought I’d get. Obviously our contest has made many people very unhappy and that was NEVER our intention." Many of the folks who run romance-friendly websites do it for love of the genre and are not getting for their work, and I imagine reading nasty emails must have some effect on how they perceive the genre and its writers. I also realize this is part of a larger problem that Lynne Truss discusses in her book, Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reason to Stay Home and Bolt the Door. Rudeness is just part of our everyday lives, but need it be a part of our profession?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fun Website: Longmire does Romance Novels

I can't believe I've never run across this website before. Basically, the guy who runs the website takes romance novel covers and then has fun with them. If you're easily offended regarding the genre, then avoid it; otherwise, it's a fun site to visit. Also, if you're technologically savvy, you can send in your own artwork, and he'll post it on the website. The image I posted below is particularly funny to me since I write historical romances.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Outlander Graphic Novel

For those of us interested in the intersections between the romance genre and the graphic novel, the news that Diana Gabaldon will be publishing an original Outlander graphic novel is tremendously exciting. According to her website, " The new story, starring Gabaldon’s beloved characters Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, opens with Murtagh, Jamie’s godfather, awaiting the return of his godson to Scotland, and the fulfillment of a vow made years before. The graphic novel will be approximately 192 pages and will publish sometime in 2009." If you want to learn more about this topic, the RT Booklovers Convention will host a workshop entitled Fiction in All Its Forms: Exploring Opportunities in the Manga, Anime, Graphic Novel and Comic Book Markets, which will be hosted by Anne Elizabeth.

P.S. On the plagiarism front, the romance community is directly attacking the issue at the RT Booklovers Convention, Bertrice Small, Jennifer Blake, and Roberta Gellis will be presenting a workshop entitled How to Use Historical Facts Without Crossing the Line Into Plagiarism.