Monday, March 30, 2009

People Are Weird

Well, it finally happened - I'd heard about it, but found it hard to believe until it happened to me.

While at my booksigning on Saturday, I was sitting at a table, stacks of books in front of me, with a tabletop poster of my cover prominently displayed (see post below for a refresher of what said cover looks like). A woman came up, glanced at my books and the poster, and said, "Oh, what kinds of books are these?"

I'd barely gotten the words "paranormal romance" out of my mouth when she interrupted me with a wave of the hand, a toss of the head, and a snide, "Oh, I don't read books like that."

*Um... hello.... do you see the covers right in front of you? Is there really any mystery involved in what they might be about?*

And then, without missing a beat, she stood there chatting about how she used to live across the street from a well-known romance author who shall remain nameless, the author's husband, the author's children, and the fact that her house was so over the top that it was clearly the kind of house a romance author would live in. HUH? (Did it have hearts dripping from the windows? Cover models in flowing white shirts and tight leather pants coming and going? Was it painted lavender and trimmed with lace? I didn't bother to ask.)

Luckily for me, the author sitting next to me had clearly dealt with people like this woman before, and managed to chat pleasantly with her while I did my best to pretend she was invisible. :-) Then she finally walked away without buying a book, having, in my humble opinion, wasted ten minutes of my life simply so she could brag about knowing a famous author who she clearly considered beneath her!

People are weird. Ever met any of them? :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book Signing Today from 12-3p

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, please stop by and see me today at the South Tampa Barnes & Noble at 213 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., where I'll be signing copies of my latest book, You're the One That I Haunt!

I'll be joined by USAToday best-selling author Julie Leto, and a variety of other authors I haven't met yet. :-)

Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RITA© and Golden Heart© Awards!

Today's a big day in the world of romance writing, because it's the day that the nominees for the two biggest awards in romance publishing are announced!

A little background on these awards:

The RITA is the romance-publishing industry's highest award of distinction, and is presented annually to the best published romance novels of the year. The award itself is a golden statuette named after RWA's first president, Rita Clay Estrada, and has become the symbol for the best in published romance fiction.

Up to 1,200 romance novels from 12 different categories are entered each year in the RITA competition. After the first round of judging by fellow published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists. Once the RITA finalists have been revealed, they must then wait until RWA's National Conference each July to find out which books will win the coveted RITA Award. The names of the winning books are kept secret until the final night of the Conference. The RITA and Golden Heart Award Ceremony is a formal event similar to the Oscars where the winners are finally revealed and honored.

The Golden Heart is a contest for unpublished writers. It brings manuscripts written by unpublished RWA members to the attention of the publishing community and celebrates excellent, unpublished writing. (I have no idea why the only picture I could find is silver, when the heart itself is gold! LOL)

Each year, over 1,000 manuscripts are entered in the Golden Heart contest by writers who have yet to sell their first romance novel. Similar to the RITA Award contest, the Golden Heart contest has 10 different categories with only one winning manuscript per category. In the preliminary round, the 1,000 manuscripts are read and judged by members of RWA, who narrow the field down to approximately 100 finalists. The final round of the contest is judged by acquiring editors from romance publishing houses. Many Golden Heart finalists sell their manuscripts to publishers as a result of the exposure from the contest.

The winners of the Golden Heart contest are revealed alongside the RITA Awards at RWA's Annual Conference every July. At the formal Award Ceremony on the final night of the Conference, the winners of the Golden Heart contest receive a gold, heart-shaped necklace in recognition of their achievement.

I was lucky enough to win a RITA last year, but I certainly don't expect lightning to strike twice! Instead, I have my fingers crossed for many of my writing friends, that they'll get that super-exciting phone call today telling them that they've been nominated!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Writing Raw

Aspiring writers take note! Writing Raw is a literary sharing website where writers can upload, view and share their writing. I love their mission statement:

Our goal at Writing Raw is simple - to serve the literary community with the opportunity to have their work online and out in the world. Who knows who may see it! In this world of disappearing literary magazines, Writing Raw is providing the blank pages for writers to fill.

It's not a huge site, but any site that showcases aspiring writers for free and promotes the writer within is okay by me! (Check out their "Exercises" page for inspiration on breaking through writer's block or jump-starting a new idea.)

Anyway, when they contacted me and asked me to do a short interview, I didn't hesitate. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Sue Ahn of Vancouver, B.C. is the lucky winner of these gorgeous vintage earrings from the "virtual store" of Handbags and Gladrags!

I must admit that I hate to let these beauties go, but a promise is a promise! :-)

Thanks so much to the 200+ people who entered my February/March contest in the hopes of winning these earrings, and please check back on my website in April to see what I'll be giving away next.

(I love contests - they make me feel like Santa Claus!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top O' the Mairnin' to Ye!

*says Terri in her best Irish accent*

Yes, I'm Irish (at least a part of me is), and so I'm wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm wearing green, and have already pinched Captain America for walking out the door without even a touch of it. You can keep the green beer, however... it's red wine only for me!

My maiden name is Bohannon, which, if my research at the libary is to be believed, is really an elongated version of the name "O'Hannon". Elongated, yet shortened, because it was apparently once the custom in Irish villages to refer to male children as "Boy of so-and-so". Thus, Bohannon came from the phrase "Boy of O'Hannon", i.e., Bohannon.

I've been to Ireland, and it was there that I finally believed my uncle when he told us our family originally came from County Clare. I've never felt more at home or more at peace with myself than I did in Ireland - exploring the colorful city of Cork, driving along narrow little country roads that didn't look big enough for even one car (much less two!) wandering a countryside filled with rich shades of green and unexpected stone circles, quaint flower-laden cottages and genteel old manor houses, and roadside pubs that fairly begged a traveler to stop and stay a while.

My favorite souvenir of that trip sits above my front door: a metal plaque with the Gaelic phrase, "Cead Mille Failte". Almost impossible to pronounce, but I'll give it a try: "Ka-yud Mal Fal-cha", and it means "a hundred thousand welcomes".

So a hundred thousand welcomes to my blog, and may the luck of the Irish be with you today!

Monday, March 09, 2009

It's Never Too Late to Have A Happy Childhood...

I'm in a playful mood this morning, because I just turned in the completed manuscript of my upcoming November 2009 book, SILENT NIGHT, HAUNTED NIGHT! Not only that, but I've already seen the cover (though I'm not allowed to show it to you yet), and it's pretty awesome!

So much work goes into each of my books: months of writing, researching, re-writing, tweaking, editor revisions (which means more writing), emotional angst, hair-pulling, aha moments and uh-oh moments, and lots of guilt for ignoring my friends and family while I'm sequestered in my writing cave (a/k/a office). By the time I've finished, I feel elated, relieved and ready to do something different for a little while - something that requires using a different part of my brain. I'll still have to do copyedits once it's been nitpicked to death by a copy editor (remove this comma, use a semi-colon instead of an em dash, "kinda" is not a word, etc., etc., etc., but that's a good month away.

And yes, I'm already mentally plotting and planning my next book (because that's what we writers do), but today I want to play a little!

As I type this, I'm busy downloading a spooky adventure game that I've been wanting to play for a while. I consider it a reward for working so hard. I'm going to play it and do my best not to feel guilty about the time I'm going to waste on it!

Besides, it's spooky. :-) I can always salve my guilt by calling it "research".

I do love a good adventure game, but they seem harder and harder to find these days. I'll let you know if this one is worth it!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Seventeen years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. (Well, technically that's not true, because I'd given up on dreaming about the perfect man - which is when he showed up!)

As sappy as this sounds, I'm more in love with him now than I was when I married him, because he's proven to me, over and over again, that we're truly in this thing together. No matter what life throws at us, we deal with it. When life hands us lemons, we make lemonade. When one of us feels like crying, the other one makes us laugh. When one of us is sick, the other one takes care of us. When one of us feels like pulling our hair out, the other one gently removes our hand and holds it.

We've got our stupid little inside jokes that nobody would ever understand (most of them involving monkeys and sometimes aliens, toilet paper, and ridiculous pet names) and every single day, as soon as he comes home from work, we unwind with a glass of wine and talk about our day. Seventeen years, and we've yet to run out of things to talk about!

Oh, and he made me breakfast this morning, as he does many mornings. We won't be going out tonight, because we have a family function to attend, but we don't need to. I like to think we show each other how much we love each other every day.

So here's to marriage: When it's good, it's pretty darn good! I hope yours is good, too.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Revenge Of the Nerds

What was your high school experience like?

Were you a cheerleader, into sports, popular, lots of boyfriends? Or were you like me - the straight A student who hated dressing out for PE, belonged to the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, and gave up her free period to volunteer as a teacher's aide?

Yep, I was a nerd, and most of my friends were nerds. So when I got an email from someone at my old high school letting me know that our graduating class now had a free private alumni website (as opposed to, who you have to pay for if you want to contact anyone), I couldn't resist going to check it out. Very nice, actually, and one of the suggestions it had for your "profile" was to put up "Then and Now" pictures, so that everyone could see your face how it looked in high school, then see a recent picture of what you looked like now.

I honestly can't believe I'm about to do this, but I'm going to show you my "Then" and "Now". :-)

First, the "Now':

And here's the "Then":
Prepare yourself...
Are you ready?
Here we go...

Yes, it's me. LOL Amazing what losing a few pounds, a pair of contacts, and a change in hair color and style can do, isn't it? If you compared your "then" vs. "now", what would the biggest change be?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Prithee, Fair Maiden.. How Accurate Can You Be?

I took this quiz at Blogthings today, entitled "What's Your Medieval Profession", and was pleasantly surprised at the answer! (Alas, poor Yoric... I knew him well):

You Are a Playwright
You are a highly literate wordsmith. You love both reading and writing.
You are also a natural storyteller. You can turn a mediocre anecdote into a riveting tale.

You find people and all aspects of life fascinating. No topic is off limits for you.
In modern times, you would make a good filmmaker or novelist.

Take it, and tell me how it worked for you. :-)