Monday, November 29, 2010

The Gab Wagon: Dear CBS and DirecTV

The Gab Wagon: Dear CBS and DirecTV: "You suck. Three times during the 2010 football season, my team, the New England Patriots, have been on regular TV (i.e. the local CBS affil..."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Guest Blogger Jenny Schwartz

Hi Natalie! I'm so pleased to be here. Sure, it was a long swim from Australia, but I had my waterwings and—apart from the odd collision with a cargo ship—I made it easily. The exercise was a great way to work off some of my excitement that Angel Thief is releasing Monday. Monday! Happy, happy, happy.

Like me, Angel Thief has an Australian background, so I thought I'd use this post to share with the world three things that they mightn't know about Australia.

One. We put all our politicians in jail as soon as they're elected. It saves time.

Two. We smear a concentrated mush of veggies boiled in beer on our toast.

Three. We drink BEER.

Oh wait. That's Terry Pratchett's The Lost Continent. Australia is nothing at all like that. Nope, never drink beer, never eat Vegemite, never elect crooked politicians. Boring, really. Just stunning landscapes, unique animals, friendly people, sunshine, beaches and barbeques.

So, how about three facts about me as a writer?

One. My earliest reading obsession was with the work of Enid Blyton before I graduated to Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon and the Asterix comics. After that, there was no holding me back. I read and read, and that led naturally to writing.

Two. I'm a caffeine addict. Coffee in the morning. Tea in the afternoon. I can't imagine the writing life without caffeine. Actually, I can't imagine life without caffeine!

Three. Becoming a writer has increased my respect for all authors. I know now how tough the journey is and how inescapable. The other day I was wondering why the hell the Rolling Stones are still touring when they're wealthy enough to do absolutely nothing. Then I imagined (and it was a stretch) being a millionaire author, and I realised I'd still be writing. It's not about the money (though we need it to live). It's about an addiction to creativity. Once your brain has learned the thrill of storytelling, there's no going back.


Angel Thief releases November 29 from Carina Press

She’s breaking the rules. Again.

An archivist in the heavenly library, Sara must follow protocol when it comes to curating the knowledge of the universe. But "liberating" an ancient text from the collection of a human—an Australian drug lord—could save a boy’s life. Sara has no way of knowing that one of the man’s other treasures is a sexy-as-sin djinni, bound by a wish to guard the estate.

He’s only following orders.

Filip is compelled to turn over intruders, even celestial ones, to his master. When he catches Sara in the library, he isn’t above indulging in some sensual kisses with her, or using her to trick the mobster into wasting a wish. It’s what he must do to preserve his facade of freedom and protect his heart.

But the kidnapping of the drug lord’s daughter forces Sara and Filip to work together—bringing out the hero that lurks within the soul of the djinni, and the passion within the angel.

You can find Jenny:
at her website
or on Twitter @Jenny_Schwartz

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coming Friday: Guest Blogger Jenny Schwartz!

On Friday, I'll be hosting guest blogger and Carina Press author Jenny Schwartz right here!

A little about Jenny, from her website:
I live in Western Australia where the Indian Ocean is bluer than heaven. Not that I live beside the sea -- I wish. Seaside prices are astronomical. Fortunately, I'm a big fan of suburban living -- friendly neighbours, backyard visitors (birds, lizards and ladybugs) and room for a straggly herb garden.

Confession (because every bio requires a deep, dark secret): Perhaps the best thing about being a writer is that you can read and read and read -- and call it research!

Jenny's Carina Press release Angel Thief releases on Monday, November 29. But join us here THIS Friday (in your post-Thanksgiving or post-shopping stupor) to laugh and learn. See you then!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I

No spoilers! :)

I took Number One to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter Thursday night. Yes, it was a school night for her and a work night for me. She was dying to go, so a couple of weeks before, I told her that if she could get all her teachers to certify that she had no tests or quizzes and would not suffer academic deficits, I'd take her.

To my amazement, they all signed. Most with laughter. One said he was proud of me. (I think the same one who ended up giving her a quiz anyway, but at least they could use their notes.)

So we left the house at 10:30 and headed over.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Gab Wagon

I'm blogging today at The Gab Wagon about what's making this week such a good one for me. Check it out! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Look! Twice in One Day!

I'm writing a new book for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and doing so in the full spirit of the event. In other words, I'm writing crap, ignoring that it's crap, and focusing on moving forward. Every few lines, I have to give myself permission to leave it alone, but I'm not comfortable with putting out crap. It seems as if the less I focus on quality-first, the less quality comes out.

At the same time (well, alternately, not at the exact same time, that would be impossible), I'm reading a book that's just amazing. The richness of each sentence, the clarity of description and action—but perfectly chosen, so it's not getting bogged down in detail. I'm in awe. And it drives me nuts.

Because I can't do it. That's how I feel right now. It's ridiculous. I know for a fact that it doesn't come out that way for her, she's said so. First drafts aren't supposed to be polished. I've written books I'm very proud of, and all of them took many, many passes before they became that way. Still, as the words flow from my brain to my fingers onto the screen, other words join mentally join them:



You used that word six times already.

Vary your sentence structure.

Stop using "then."

You'll never be as good as her.

I'm well aware of the dangers of comparison, and I generally avoid it. But this is a special case. I mean, she's a Patriots fan. We both write romantic adventure, so I feel we have a similar audience. When a book is nothing like mine, I'm not as humbled by its awesomeness (like, say, anything by Megan Hart).

So I have a couple of choices. I can let it get to me, and lament my apparently diminishing skills. Or I can finish reading her book before I go back to writing.

I think I'll go with plan B.

Taking a Breath...Again

I'm sure this blog has been abandoned by readers, since I've been going for longer and longer stretches between posts. Things have eased back a little again, though, yay!

My line edits for Fight or Flight are done, turned in, and accepted.

Soccer is over, so no more practices and games taking up five days a week.

The fall play is this week, so paint crew is over, so no more daily pickups at school.

Freelance work has evened out, mostly. *knock wood so it doesn't dump on me again!* I like it spread out, of course.