Archive for March, 2012

Catch Up Blog

I have been so bad lately about blogging. There’s been lots going on.

The biggest news is, the first two Project Justice books made the finals of the Rita competition! The call took me completely by surprise, as I’d forgotten what day the notifications were going out. I tried to be calm but I’m afraid I shrieked a bit.

Once Rob scraped me off the ceiling, I had a new set of problems. They gave me a deadline for providing five more copies of my books and an author photo. I am completely out of my first book. I’ve never done that before, but this book has always been in short supply. I wasn’t able to order an extra box even when they were new. So now I am reduced to ordering used copies from Amazon, one at a time, and hoping they show up in time that I can send them.

And the photo … oh, dear God. I haven’t had a proper portrait done in years. I have a couple of semi-flattering snapshots I’ve been using for guest blogs, facebook, whatever, but this picture will be blown up to about twenty feet wide on a screen in a huge ballroom, and a snapshot won’t do. So I bit the bullet and found a professional photographer. He was all the way out in Venice, but I really liked his portfolio and he was reasonable. I should bet the proofs soon, and he said he can turn around the final image pretty quickly. I also forked over the dough to have my hair and make-up professionally done. If I don’t win the award, at least I got a new picture!

Tomorrow is April 1, the first day of Script Frenzy. Script Frenzy is like NaNoWriMo, except that instead of writing a novel in a month, you write a screenplay. I haven’t written a script in a long time so this will be good for me. I am taking one of my failed novels and seeing if the story will work better as a movie.

And finally, I am STILL painting my office. I’m on the second coat of enamel for the woodwork; can’t wait until it’s finished! Once I can move all my junk back into one place, instead of having it spread all over the house, I will be so much … I was going to say happier, but I’m happy. More at ease, maybe.

That is pretty much my life. It’s raining (almost always a happy thing in Southern California) so I think I’ll head for bed with a good book.

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I just signed up for Script Frenzy, which is the screenwriter’s version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to finish a script, start to finish, in 30 days. Which really isn’t that hard; every script I’ve written has been finished in less than a month. It’s only 100-110 pages, most of it dialogue.

I had big plans to pursue screenwriting when I moved to Southern California. But almost immediately after I moved here, I sold to Superromance and I’ve been caught up in that. Six books later, still no script. I’m hoping this will jump start me.

But I have no story in mind, and I must find one before April 1. That goal in mind, I consulted the Script Frenzy plot generator. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Tired of a monotonous day job, a single mom of six discovers the cure for a broken heart.

2. After a painful sneeze, a group of urban cannibals gets trapped in an elevator with Dr. Phil.

3. On a remote island, a guilty judge is kidnapped by the Russian mafia.

4. After losing one million dollars at the circus, a stoned principal is mistaken for Elton John and goes with it.

5. After winning the World Series, a wily group of drunken sportscasters rushes an elite southern sorority.

6. While studying for the SATs, a posse of snobby teen vampires sets out to shave a sasquatch.

7. Unable to find true love, a nuclear physicist with a broken heart accidentally eats a year’s supply of Viagra.

8. In the back of a pickup truck, an 80-year-old graffiti artist decides to rid the world of bad pop music.

Some of these are obviously not script-worthy. But others contain the seeds of workability. Snobby teen vampires trying to get into college is kind of funny. ¬†Drunken sportscasters mixing it up with an elite sorority–I could do something with that.

If you’d like to generate your own plots, go to scriptfrenzy.com. You don’t have to sign up to play with the generator. But why don’t you? Join me in the insanity!

BOOK GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away three Project Justice books: NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, A SCORE TO SETTLE and OUTSIDE THE LAW (that’s the new one!). All you have to do is visit my facebook author page,¬†http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kara-Lennox/181382008567736, “Like” it, and leave a comment somewhere on the page telling me so. If you’re already a fan, just leave a comment so indicating. I will draw a name from all the fans/commenters.

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What the agents have to say

Today at the Orange County Chapter RWA, two agents spoke to us about trends, what they’re looking for, and what publishers want. Jill Marsal and Kathleen Rushall of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

They spoke about how publishing has folded in on itself, so that there are fewer editors to submit a project to. Lower print runs and lower advances are the bad news. Expanding opportunities with small presses, digital first publishers and self-publishing was the good news.

The one thing I was really surprised to hear was the rising popularity of romantic suspense. Yay! Although I enjoy writing a great many different types of book, romantic suspense will always be my favorite.

The young adult market is the only one that has seen expansion recently. If you’ve got a yen to write one of these, now is definitely the time. A wide range of subject matter will fly with YA publishers, including sex (if done contientiously) and touch subjects like abuse and suicide.

But traditional publishers are looking for books that can go big, selling a minimum of 50,000 print copies. Midlist is almost non-existant.

I really enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm of these two women.

I also signed copies of my new book (Outside the Law). I actually sold out! So nice to have such supportive chapter mates.

After the meeting, Rob and I went on a letterbox hunt. “Letterboxing” is my new hobby; it involves hidden boxes containing a rubber stamp and a log book. You bring your own rubber stamp, stamp, stamp the box’s logbook, use their stamp to mark your own logbook, then put the box back where you found it for the next person to find. Clues to the letterbox locations are found online. We found our first one yesterday and our second one today. Yay!

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