Bonnie Vanak will be signing copies of her new werewolf Nocturne, Enemy Lover, at the Altamonte Mall, Center Court, 451 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, Florida on November 1, from 2-5 pm.
Meet Bonnie and 18 other romance authors and stock up on wonderful holiday reading. Barnes & Noble will donate 20% of proceeds from book sales to Central Florida's non-profit Adult Literacy League. Be sure to shop early, because the first 75 book buyers will receive a FABULOUS goody bag stuffed with free books (most of them autographed), bookmarks, postcards, pens, chocolate, and other promotional goodies.
I finished Baylor and Katia's story over the weekend, but something just wasn't right about it. So I edited Sunday night.
And then last night, I stayed up until midnight, editing some more. As I'm doing this, the scene flashes through my mind from SHE DEVIL, where Meryl Streep as Mary Fisher the famous romance author is writing on her hot pink laptop, musing over "love buttons" outside her multi-million dollar oceanside home.
Ah, the glam life of an author. I'm an author. And this was my day today.
5 a.m.: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...RINGGGGGGGGGGG!! wha??? Oh. DH is up for the day.
5:30 a.m. Drag my butt out of bed and turn on the computer.
6 a.m.: Kiss DH good-bye. He turns off the light in the computer room, a natural reflex from turning off the lights when he leaves. I grumble.
7:30 a.m. Finally decide BROKEN SOULS is done, as much as it can be. Feel better about turning it in. Fire off email to my Nocturne editor, attach file. Feel sense of accomplishment. I am DONE, I think. For now. 7:40 a.m. Realize I'm running late, have to drop dog off at the vet.
8:15 a.m. Take Tiger with me in car to Dunkin Donuts. Clerk peers at Tiger as if the dog will drink the coffee. Drop off dog, rush to work.
8:35 a.m. Arrive at the day job. Drink coffee, check email.
8:50 a.m. Director wants to get together for a "short meeting." I glance at watch; have another meeting in an hour. Forget to bring coffee to "short" meeting.
10:10 a.m. Short meeting is over, now I have a project to write that is due, like, now. I catch the person I'm supposed to meet with at 10:15, postpone that meeting for another 20 minutes. Go back to desk, gulp down cold coffee.
11:10 a.m. Meeting over, another project to write.
11:15 a.m. Drink more cold coffee, start work on project due, like, now.
11:30 a.m. Vet calls, Tiger is ok, just severe dry eye. Need meds, treat 2x a day. Pick him up after 3 but before 5.
Noon: Lunch hour. Drive home to let out Dolce, the other dog, the Shih Tzu we adopted three months ago. Walk in house, greeted by lovely odor of... Walk into living room. Dolce greets me by wagging his tail furiously, toy in mouth. He's deposited several "gifts" in the living room.
12:15 p.m. Clean up gifts, clean rug.
12:25 p.m. Nuke lunch, turn on computer to check email. Email from my Dorchester editor. He asks if I have a name for the new historical, a synopsis and can he have them ASAP and that book is scheduled for May 2009.
12:26 p.m. Realize I have an August 1 deadline and only 50,000 words and a day job. No book title, no synopsis.
12:27 p.m. Email back my editor with synopsis: "Boy meets girl, has sex, feels guilty, marries girl, girl divorces boy and runs away to Las Vegas to work as nude Elvis impersonator. Boy is heartbroken and shoots self. Title: The Naked and the Dead." I then add, "JK."
12:28 p.m. Editor emails back, "Sounds good to me." He adds, "JK."
12:34 p.m. Realize my lunch is still sitting in the microwave.
12:40 p.m. Gulp down lunch while Dolce gives me pleading look and tries to look as adorable as possible to beg a bite or two. I resist, grab Diet Coke and give him dog biscuit.
1 p.m. Back at work. Finish work project due, like, now, and turn it in.
2:10 p.m. Tackle next work project, newsletter article, Begin searching web for fascinating and disgusting facts about chagas disease.
2:20 p.m. Find interesting article, Print it out and gleefully read aloud to co-workers. "The disease is caused by blood-sucking insects who bite the victim and then defecate on the person's face, depositing the parasites that carry the disease. Death is possible if not treated."
4 p.m. Realize I have to pick up Tiger at the vet. Blood-sucking insect article will have to wait until tomorrow.
4:25 p.m. Pay bill at vet's and Tiger watches my face turn green as I sign charge slip.
4:45 p.m. Home, Dolce greets us at the door with a toy. Realize the dog needs to be walked before he deposits more "gifts." Looks like rain. Swap leashes on dogs. Walk dog to the accompaniment of thunder and distant lightning.
5 p.m. Take Dolce home. Tiger greets us at the door, looking scared. He hates thunder. Dolce decides since Tiger is scared, he is scared as well. Give both dogs biscuits to calm down.
5:05 .m. Put dinner on. Pork chops. Tiger and Dolce decide they are not scared and nose around my ankles as they realize DINNER is on.
5:15 p.m. Turn on TV for moment to see radar, see that CHRISTINE is on TV. Oh boy! Settle back to watch, just for a minute. Figure this is my reward for getting up at 5:30 a.m. for final editing on Nocturne Bite.
5:20 p.m. Dh arrives home; had to visit a friend's house. "It's pouring." He switches TV channel to see radar to confirm this. Sigh.
And for tonight... after dinner, it will be reading over what I've written for THE NAKED AND THE DEAD, aka, unnamed Egyptian historical #7. Coming up with a title and a synopsis.
Hopefully, by 11 p.m. bedtime. Start process all over again tomorrow.
I have this morning to write. This afternoon, DH and I are going on a river boat tour and then meeting a friend for drinks in the same bar where Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson filmed "It's Five O'clock somewhere." It's a Tiki Bar on the water, sandy beach, great view.
In the meantime, I'm trying to revise the Nocturne Bite that was due, uh, yesterday, but that I got an extension on. And as soon as that's done, I have 2 months to finish the Egyptian historical that I have only 50,000 words on.
I have two months to write 40,000 words. Now, I'm a fast writer, but the day job demands have been pretty intense lately, and I get home and I'm so tired at night I fall asleep. Little writing done.
So I guess I had better speed up. And quit blogging and get to work! After I walk the dog... he's so cute. A little furball. I call him fluffernutter, after the marshmellow treat.
Crazy year and it's only March 1. Finished two, no three, big projects on my plate. ENEMY LOVER, my next Nocturne, is approved by my editor. No release date yet. I turned in my Nocturne Bite and just mailed out yesterday a proposal for Nocturne. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, I'm still sighing over Rafe and Emily, the couple I wrote about in the proposal. Rafe is a hot Cajun and loves those spices. I'm listening to hot Cajun music now. Professor Longhair, Beau Soleil (they rock!) and thinking of New Orleans, magick, music and good times. Rafe rides a Harley, wears black leather and oozes charm. He adores a pinch of Cajun spice with his dinner.
Me? I had horrid stomach problems this week that flatlined me, forcing me to take a day off work as I drove all over, trying to find a pharmacy that had the prescription meds my MD wanted me to take. If it got worse, she advised me to go to the ER because it could have been very serious.
Wanting to avoid the ER, I tried to find the meds. Found them, took them and promptly proceeded to hurl again, as I had for the past 24 hours, which is what happens when I have a bad case of acid reflux or I watch too much American Idol.
I'm better now. Sticking to the Cajun music, and letting only my characters in books taste those hot Cajun spices. Werewolves don't get heartburn. Only their authors do.
This is one of the children I'm going to visit next week. Because that's my job, seeing starving children, talking with their grieving parents and bringing home the grim reality of Third World poverty to people in the US so they can donate money so we can buy food and medicine and support programs that keep them alive and make them better.
Perfectly logical. And Perfectly heartbreaking at times.
Two weeks ago I was seeing malnourished children.
Next week I'll be doing the same. I'm feeling a tad exhausted right now.
But this is my job and if I'm to do it to the best of my ability, it's what I must do. I have to get up close and personal with the worst of the worst, the most heart wrenching, the ugly side of poverty. It's called being a professional. My own personal feelings can't interfere with what I have to do to get the job done. Even though I might be tempted to cry because no child should have to suffer like this, and part of me is closing my eyes and saying, "Not another one, how many more? How many more must I visit and how many more will die before I get there? How much more of this can I take, going on 15 years of doing this?"
I do what I must to get the job done.
The same is true for writing romance. I'm in a gray place right now, hovering between exhaustion and uncertainty and wanting to chuck it all away and run away to a nice place like Tahiti. Or Brooklyn. I hear Brooklyn is cold this time of year so I'd have to buy a space heater.
I'm dealing with rewriting a rejected book and a proposal rejection, two realities in the publishing world. Part of me feels like pushing it all aside and walking away. Running away to Brooklyn and abandoning the laptop, manuscript, the haunting images of starving children chasing me back to the US, the deadlines.
But instead, I stayed up last night very late, writing, rewriting, writing some more, when all I wanted was sleep as I have to work at the day job today. I'll have little chance to get work done next week, so I did what had to be done. Some people think writing romance is very glamorous. Maybe they imagine that we're all like Mary Fisher in the move SHE DEVIL, wearing our pink outfits sitting at our pink laptops, gushing about terms like "love buttons" while sipping mineral water. Some days it's fun and zany and terrific. Others it's damn hard work. It's a business, and you do what you must to get the job done.
It's called being a professional. Life interferes, deadlines are extended, editors are gracious and understanding, but in the end, you as author are the one who must deliver.
At the day job, I deliver the heartbreaking truth of starvation. At the part-time job of romance author, I deliver the manuscript on deadline.
That's it in a nutshell. No excuses. I can whine all I want, but it won't get the job done. So the answer is just do it.
Like the school official's wife now popular on You Tube who admonished a kid for calling her house asking why there wasn't a snow day, I tell myself the same thing. ""Get over it, kid, and go to school!"