Sunday, April 29, 2007

Research handouts on my website

I'm at the Romantic Times convention in Houston, and away from my desktop. However, I would like anyone interested to know that most of my handouts are posted on my website

Normal service will resume as soon as possible!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Taxes, toothache, and colonoscopies

Fictional alien heroes don't have to worry about taxes, toothache, and scheduling colonoscopies.

I wonder if they should?

Nah! We don't read Romance for everyday unpleasantnesses. We want escapism. But on the other hand....

Toothache would be an interesting twist in a vampire romance... I've suggested this to vamp-writing friends in the past. For myself, I don't write about vampires. If I did, no doubt I'd be looking for horrible humor.

Imagine if a vampire went to a normal dentist! My dentist happens to be an attractive female. One could do quite a good riff on Red Riding Hood, with the big bad wolf (vampire) in the chair. The problem for the vampire is that it's really hard to lunge from a reclining position. I suppose dentists' chairs are a struggle to rise from for a good reason!

Usually, I suppose, one thinks of mad King Ludwig of Bavaria who did not go to the dentist, who had rotten teeth, and who may have been driven mad by his own dental pain. A vampire who needed a root filling in his canines would probably seek out softer food.

Taxes ought to be an issue in an Empire, oughtn't they. In my Gods of Tigron trilogy, so far I haven't dealt with monetary tribute. Virgins are sent to the Royal Side of the planet (which is really a moon) for the amusement of the Imperial family, which is a bit like the Graeco-Roman mythological habit of staking out virgins to appease ravenging dragons and sea monsters.

Colonoscopies.... Torture springs to mind, not to mention ritual humiliation.

On that happy thought, I'm diving back into preparing my handouts for the Romantic Times workshops, (I'm speaking on Swordsmen, Research, and newsletters) and also into arranging drive-by signings at Barnes and Noble stores as I pass through Fort Wayne, Avon Commons (Indianapolis), and points south on my way to Houston for the convention next week (April 22nd through 30th).

Best wishes,

  • Rowena Cherry
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Better still, have sex.... and other bits of good advice

    Today, after I'd already printed off 70 full color flyers touting the virtues of Insufficient Mating Material (at a probable cost of $35 and the better part of a day that could have been better spent), I realized that I wasn't taking my own advice.

    Around noon, I suggested to someone I don't know --hark at me!-- that, if she was going to put out an 8.5 x 11 poster to draw attention to her bookmark holder in promo alley at the Romantic Times convention, a page full of font 12 reviewers' quotes was not the way to go.

    Have an eye-catching bit of cover art. Better still, have "Sex" in an excerpt snip, I advised. Have it as big and as bold as you can.

    About an hour later --because I'm slow like that-- I looked at what I was printing off for my own purposes, and discovered the metaphorical plank in my own eye.

    If I were bigger, and bolder, I'd ask the advice of Brianna or my editor, or someone like that about my own promo materials.

    I'd taken a "flyer" with my cover art, the front matter excerpt, a blurb, and some reviewer quotes, and I'd added the best of the signature file quotes that some of you so kindly helped me to whittle down to the most interesting.

    Four of them.

    To whit:

    If you neglected to warn Djetth that you were going to shoot him down...

    Do you often have meaningless sex....

    "Sweetheart.... I know what you want me to say. Here's the problem: I'd probably be lying."

    And the "I like marshes..."

    I inserted them according to where I thought I had space. How dumb is that!!!!

    So, having slept on it, I split up the "Do you often have meaningless sex" and put that line in bold letters across the top of the page above the cover art (which shows a guy on top of a girl in a From Here To Eternity pose).

    I put the "Not recently" underneath.

    That's my new front page of my folded flyer.
    Maybe, as a conversation starter, I'll ask people which they like better.

    I'm not wasting my $35!!!!

    What good promo advice have you all given or received.

    Do share! I'm giving a talk on this sort of thing at RT, and with your permission, I might quote you.


    Thank you for joining in.

    Best wishes,
    Rowena Cherry

    My alien wedding dress

    Last week I collected my remodeled alien djinn wedding dress. It's the same dress as last year, with $450 worth of renovations!

    Good grief! How could it possibly be worth that. I could get married for less!!! I could probably stage an alien royal wedding for that amount.

    Actually, I probably couldn't, because I probably couldn't find a cover model that cheap to play the part of the seven-foot tall alien hunk, and if I could... I wouldn't have the budget to dress him.

    So what on Earth did I have done?

    A better ruff. It looks like I've got a huge, mutant butterfly on the back of my neck.

    I've got a bunch of Martha Stewart Christmas decoration flowers (bought at 70% off, right after Christmas) sewn onto it.

    My waistline got dropped (lower, not altogether!) and my bust got trimmed (no thanks to the Victoria's Secret rubber bra, which is a not-altogether docile underpinning of the costume).

    I've new tulle because the hoop was a liability, and flounces and furbelows and patriotic bunting, and new over sleeves.

    And, I'm portraying my most recent Imperial bride, the Princess Martia-Djulia (Marsha-Julia) who is totally frivolous. The only thing I probably won't do to complete the illusion is dye my hair platinum blonde!

    Best wishes,
    Rowena Cherry

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Google and you shall find. Archimedes, beware!

    Recently I've been mystified to receive emails from readers (other authors' readers, I think) containing phrases like,

    "You write erotica..." or "As an author of erotica..."

    To the best of my understanding of that genre I do not write erotica. Here's why.
    My heroines do not make love to more than one hero per book, nor does the hero make love with anyone other than the heroine once they have met. Every book ends happily, which means that the hero and heroine decide to get married and live monogamously.

    So, my correspondents' assumptions presented a challenge.

    Today (because my horoscope is negatively aspected for more serious endeavours) I decided to Google (or google) "Rowena Cherry" and "erotica".

    Eureka! But not in a good way.

    My Search produced several obliging quotations, most containing ellipses (those three or four dots that are a heads-up that words have been omitted.) However, the casual searcher could definitely receive the wrong impression.

    Since I was familiar with the review most quoted, I did a second search:

    "Rowena Cherry" and "not erotica"

    Eureka, again! The very same reviewers' quotes came up, but instead of the ellipses was the word NOT.

    It would seem that Google obliges the searcher by giving them what they are looking for! No more. No less. How dangerous!

    Nevertheless, Google is still my favorite stock pick, and my favorite Search Engine. I shall just have to remember to be scrupulous about clicking the links on even the most obvious-seeming quotes that appear to prove whatever I am seeking to prove, before I leap out of the proverbial bathtub, crying Eureka, and thinking that I've found proof of whatever I was searching for.

    Best wishes,