Natalie Dae

All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

So I subbed my rejected book yesterday to another publisher and got a fast response. An R & R—revise and resubmit for those new to the term—with the golden words telling me what was wrong with the book. Man, I was so glad to get that email. As I said yesterday, it’s hard for us to see our own mistakes, and I just COULD NOT SEE where that book had gone wrong, although I knew something was off. That’s frustrating, isn’t it? Being in that situation? It’s like: Look, Book, there’s something up with you, and I can’t fix it because I just can’t work out what the deal is.
Well, now I do, thanks to a fabulous editor who, in one sentence, gave me a lightbulb moment. Then, after I replied with my thanks, she followed up on an easy fix—much easier than the difficult overhaul my mind came up with. I tell you, I’ve never understood authors who don’t like outside input on their books. Sometimes I take the harder route on revisions, and if I was stubborn and said, “No, this is MY baby, not yours!” I’d be putting myself through a shitload of extra work next year when I come to revise the book. The editor’s suggestion was so easy, so obvious—damn my blinkers!—that I’ll have the book fixed in no time.
It doesn’t even matter if, when I resubmit, it gets a rejection, because I’d have had the chance to grow and learn some more—something I love about this profession—so the work I’ll be putting in will be well worth my time and effort. But I’m left frustrated at myself because of my failure to SEE. Yes, we get close to our books, I know that, but for God’s SAKE! Why can I see things in other people’s manuscripts yet at times, with mine, I can’t? It bugs the hell out of me.
Still, with valuable people like that editor on the planet, we authors can’t go wrong so long as we take their advice in the spirit it was meant—to help us.
I’m so pleased my book may not end up in a forgotten file. I’ll get Christmas out of the way, hopefully finish my vampire book, and then dig in with revising the story I thought would never see the light of day.
Ah, happy days!
On another subject, but related… Today I received a contract that was a surprise to me because it was electronic. I’ve never had one of those before, and it’s just too cool for words. You get to either have a standard “handwritten” font when you click to sign, or you can sign it yourself using the mouse. It’s so immature of me, but I was well excited by this contract. It’s too groovy, and I hope I’m lucky enough to get more contracts from this publisher just so I can sign my name with my mouse! HA HA!
Yes, I think I need to get out more…

On another fabulous note—man, things are just happening for me at the moment, WOOT!—I have been asked if I would like to create cover art for Total E-Bound. What a lovely thing to be asked. Of course, I can’t say no to that! What more could I ask for? I get to write and also indulge in my other love—Photoshop.
And, you know, sometimes there is someone or something looking out for us. The other day I needed just 50p to put toward my boys’ dinner money. I had the cash in the bank, but I didn’t want to draw out a tenner just for that 50p, because you know how it is, that tenner would have just disappeared once it got into my grubby little hands. I didn’t want to use the remaining £9.50 that would, to be honest, have just been whittled away on stuff like sweets for the kids or a bottle or two of Coke, when it was supposed to be paying some bill or other. And guess what? As I walked along, I’m buggered if there wasn’t a shiny silver 50p on the ground. Usually it’s pennies, or if you’re lucky, a whole 2p (LOL), but that day it was 50p. I wondered, as I am wont to do, about fate and all that jazz, and how things work out in the end if you just have faith, and at the moment I’m inclined to believe that’s true. Okay, there have been times in the past where I’d swear that was bullshit, and I’m sure there will be times in the future I think that too, but d’you know, life is just effing great for me right now, and although part of me thinks “About time too!” (long story…you don’t wanna know!) I am truly grateful for this sudden turn of events.
I’m grateful, humbled, blessed and just so pleased that the “good stuff” is going on.
I hope all good things come to you guys too. That all your dreams and needs are met. That if things have been poo, they pick up 100%. We all deserve some goodness from time to time, eh?
Have a great day, folks!

The Dreaded R

Rejection. Does it bother you? I can’t say I’m particularly fussed by it one way or another. I received what some may say is the dreaded R this morning and submitted it elsewhere right away. What one publisher doesn’t want, another might. Then, if it’s rejected again, it’s time to have an objective look at the book and try to figure out why it was rejected. Not all publishers have time to give feedback as to why they didn’t want your book—understandable when there are only so many hours in the day, and then if the publisher/editor gives a reason, it opens up the floodgates for an email discussion that the publisher/editor doesn’t have time for, and then the possibility of, “Oh, whyyyyyyyyy? Can you just look at my book again? He did this because of this, and she acted this way because, because, because…” Been there as an editor myself, and it can be hard to extricate yourself from this type of interaction. But, on the author side of the fence, we can be left in a quandary as to what needs changing in the rejected book. As we all know, it’s not always easy to see our own mistakes, and it isn’t until an editor points them out and we slap our foreheads that we see the glaring errors.
Still, if at first I don’t succeed…and if at second I don’t succeed…and if on the third try I don’t succeed… But on the fourth time out, that book isn’t going anywhere but my files, where I’ll let a good length of time go by before I look at it again. Of course, it may well just be utter shite and no amount of revising will help, but hey, that’s the way of things sometimes.
On another note, the big freeze that was due to arrive yesterday…didn’t. Of course it didn’t. I suspect the weatherman’s prediction will come true days after he said it would, but if I hadn’t gone food shopping yesterday, you can bet your ass it would have snowed overnight so I couldn’t get into town today. Such is life!
This morning I spent a little time creating some cover art, and now I think I need to get back to a WIP and write a fight scene I’ve been putting off. It might not be as bad as I’m thinking it will be. A new day brings new perspective and all that.
Well, that’s all from me today, loves. Hope you have a great one yourself!

Think Kink

I’ve said before on Four Strong Women: I don’t like change. It takes me a while of thinking about something before I actually do it. I stay with the same publishers because it’s comfortable, and every so often—maybe once a year haha—I venture “out there” and sub elsewhere. On Saturday, after speaking with Tess MacKall, who had great things to say about Total E-Bound, I subbed my 10K tale, Think Kink. I think I got the fastest acceptance I’ve ever had from a new publisher—2 days. Yesterday I got a contract offer. Sue Swift said some lovely complimentary things about the tale, and I sat thinking: Is she talking about MY book? Funny. I’ll never get used to this business. Every sub to a new place has my belly in knots.

Ever since receiving that email, I’ve had that icky feeling I get when I’m venturing into something or someplace I’ve never been before. I joined the groups there and have that “new girl” feeling, where you wonder how the other authors will take you, whether you’ll “fit”. So far I’ve had some lovely welcomes, so I’m happy, even if still a bit nervous.

Think Kink is a ménage. I had no plans to write one, but Tess and Regina Carlysle goaded me into trying. I must say I enjoyed writing it—whether it was because it was new territory for me, something different from my usual, I don’t know, but it came together pretty fast and I didn’t stall once. I may possibly write another—the characters are left where I could make a series out of them. Not sure. I don’t want to commit in case my effort was a one off.

So, I’m also waiting on a response from another publisher I’ve had my eye on for a long time, but I’m expecting a rejection. The lady there who reads the subs is, from what I’ve gleaned, very hard to please. *bites nails* She knows what she wants and what’s right for the market. If I get a contract offer there, I think I’ll throw up. Nice. But I still have a few weeks left of waiting time for that one—14 weeks from sub to hearing from them.

Well, that’s my latest news. Whatever you’re doing today, have a good one!

An E Reader…At Last

Gem Sivad’s Five Card Stud on my funky e-reader. Buy this book. You won’t regret it, trust me! (Ellora’s Cave… BUY HERE! GO! NOW!)

For around 4 long years I’ve wanted an e-reader, and yesterday I finally got one. When they first came out, I wasn’t prepared to pay the price they were—not when I could buy a brand new computer for the same money. So I waited. And waited. Until the price went right down as I knew they would. I mean, think back to the price of a DVD player then compared to now.

I chose the Sony pocket reader. Five-inch screen and a groovy pink, a veritable beaut of hand-held goodness. The first book I loaded on there was Gem Sivad’s Five Card Stud…and I haven’t looked back. First, the book is bloody excellent so far, and second, the screen appears just like a book page. The only downside is it doesn’t have a backlight—something I discovered once I got it home—but considering the price, I’m not complaining.

So, I’m a happy camper now. Reading e-books on the computer or laptop didn’t really do it for me. It was too much like looking at a manuscript and reminded me of my editing days, so I tended to switch into editor mode instead of reader mode. Now I’m just a reader, and I can’t say enough how wicked this e-reader is. It even makes little bookmarks as though I’d turned down the page corner myself, and you can make typed notes or handwritten ones with the stylus. There’s a dictionary too. Can’t you just tell I love it?

The saying is true. All good things come to those who wait!

Writing…At Last!

Sometimes I like taking time off from writing. It gets to the point where I sit here procrastinating rather than continuing my tales. Time wasting. Internet browsing. However, there’s also the opposite, when I’m busy with other things and can’t write, and I get the need to creeping up on me, characters from books starting to chatter: Oi, have you forgotten about me? I’ve been left stuck in a tree for a month. My arms are aching! OR: Hey, you left me in a delicate position. I must be the only man on the planet to have maintained a state of excitement for two weeks!

Yeah, yeah, I heard the whispers, and now they’re up to “normal” voice volume. Thankfully, today I can write and stop them getting to the shouting stage. The shouting stage isn’t nice, because by that time I’m so frustrated I can’t write due to other jobs that need doing first, that I become a total grouch. Depressed, angry, everything annoys me, etc. I’ve finished a few projects I had on the go and, despite having two more things on my to-do list, I’m taking the weekend to write.

I’ve had Jaime Samms’ chapters of our latest novel sitting in my to-do email folder for a little while now. It’s been waving every time I go in there to check what needs doing next. Asking me to open it. Go on, just peek. For a minute… But I knew if I peeked, I’d write and forget about the to-do list.

Last night I peeked. And yep, I’ve forgotten about the to-do list. Jaime has taken the book in a very cool direction that ties in very nicely with my previous chapters. I can’t help it, can’t resist. I’m diving in to write about my heroine’s situation and my bad guy’s dilemma, bringing all the characters together for Jaime to deal with when I send it back. (Mwhahahaha!)

This book is called The Dreaming and should reach about 80+K by the time we’re done. A veritable m/m delight that delivers two cop lovers, a ballsy heroine, and a mixed-up killer. Oh, and also a mixed-up female who came along a little while back, plus a whole realm of people who aren’t of this world… It’s a thriller, drama, paranormal, horror, romance…a good old mixture of genres that blend very well.

I love it. So now I’m going to get on with it!
Can we shout hooray? Yeah? HOORAY!

Have a great weekend!

Paranormal Activity Review

So, after hearing the hype about Paranormal Activity 2, we watched the first one last night. I’ll admit to being bored for the first half, found it a bit overdone with the “we’re showing you how much we make this look just like a home movie” angle. Yeah, much like looking at other people’s holiday snaps. Really boring. I “got” the idea in the first ten minutes. No need to bash me over the head with the tedious showing of their life prior to catching the demon on tape.

Once the first night of catching footage began, the boredom lifted a little, but I still had the urge to wander outside for a cigarette or bugger off into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, maybe even a massive chicken roast dinner while I was at it… Anyway, we soldiered on, and around ¾ of the way in, the film finally got going. I got chills, goose bumps, and, when the demon lifted the bedsheet, I reached out to grip Hubby’s thigh.

The guy, Micah, irritated me. Even after having irrefutable proof that something nasty was messing with them, he still antagonised the demon and encouraged it to come after them. Of course, his actions don’t justify him being killed, I don’t mean it like that, but I do wonder if he’d just left it alone whether the demon would have remained quieter without going as far as it did.

The spookiest bit for me was when the woman, Katie, stood beside the bed for hours, unaware she did so. And also the knowledge that the demon had possessed her. Where did she go after killing Micah? Did her possession change her into a “being” without a body and she went up into the roof space with the original demon? Or is she out there somewhere as a human, still possessed, doing all manner of demonly things to other people? Wondering if film two deals with that.

We went to bed after watching, and my mind lightly churned over all the fascinating aspects of such a thing happening. That many of us could have demons in our houses and not even know it. So of course, even though the film hadn’t freaked me as much as it could have, and I hadn’t given it too much thought, I did wake up in the middle of the night, sat up and wondered if I’d heard a noise or whether something else had woken me. And then I moved to hug Hubby and he woke, gripped my wrist and gasped before falling back to sleep, unaware he’d even done it.

So I guess you could say the movie did its job. Disturbed us, settled in our subconscious, even though we didn’t find it as scary as we’d expected. And I’m not going to be clamouring to watch #2 either. My son said it was “horrible”. LOL

Snow… Love it or hate it?

Come and join me, blogging as Sarah Masters, on Four Strong Women today!