Dana Rodgers

Time To Recharge

Last weekend was definitely stacking up to be busier than usual, and that’s saying something in my life.

Friday—Pick up race packets for my husband and fifteen year old daughter for Sunday’s Fredericksburg Historic Half Marathon. Translation: Drive over an hour through I-95 traffic, which is typically thicker than molasses, then wade through crowds at the Fredericksburg Convention center to pick up race numbers, etc. then fight I-95 traffic, again for over an hour, get back home where my fifteen year old daughter would be getting off the bus along with friends for a study group/sleepover combo (this is an every other week event and it was our turn to host).

Saturday—More teenagers coming over to work on major English project due this week. Translation: My house is going to be invaded by teenagers eating me out of house and home while they make a movie for a school project.

Sunday—Husband and daughter running Fredericksburg Historic Half Marathon. Translation: Get…
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The Naked Truth About Conferences

 

April is always busy in my household because it’s birthday month. Between my immediate family, siblings and grandparents we have six birthdays between March 31st and April 19th. But April has been crazier than normal this year. Why, you ask? Conferences! Two of them in one month!

Writing is such a solitary endeavor, just you and your computer, and in my case, diet coke and a large black and white cat who thinks lying across my keyboard is the perfect way to get my attention. But, regardless what your normal writing routine is, it’s nice to get out into the world once in a while. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to go to my first conference three years ago and discover there are other people in the world that talk to fictional characters as if they are real people. And for the most part,these other people are completely sane!

They are also kind, considerate and some of the most supportive people you’ll ever meet. They understand how important a kind…
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How Important Is A Review?

When I was growing up my father used to say, “You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you’re never going to please all of the people all of the time, so stop worrying about it and please yourself.” I have found that little pearl to be wise advice because let’s face it, everyone has an opinion.

Reviews are part of every author’s life whether they like it or not. It doesn’t matter if the review comes from family, friends, a critique partner or the intended audience of readers and reviewers. For most of us, those reviews represent a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, it’s nice to know what you are doing right and that there are people out there who love your work. On the other, who enjoys hearing how much someone disliked something that took months to write?

I always find it interesting how different people…
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Rachel Aaron Swims In The Mermaid Pond

Today we are joined by the very talented Rachel Aaron, author of The Legend of Eli Monpress novels, an adventure fantasy series from Orbit Books starring an irrepressibly charming wizard thief and the poor saps trying to catch him. “The Legend of Eli Monpress,” an omnibus of her first three books, is available at bookstores everywhere. Her fourth book, The Spirit War, comes out June 2012. Yesterday Rachel shared her secrets to increasing her writing productivity from 2,000 to 10,000 words a day, now we are going to learn more about Rachel and her latest release.

Welcome back to the mermaid pond Rachel. Please tell us a little about yourself.  I’m the author of The Legend of Eli Monpress, a fast, fun adventure fantasy about a charming thief and the band of colorful characters who make his life more interesting. The first three books are out now in The Legend of Eli Monpress…
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Rachel Aaron — How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

Back in December, when I was sick and not feeling very productive, I stumbled across this wonderful blog post by Rachel Aaron, author of The Legend of Eli Monpress novels. Rachel has found a way to manage her writing goals and increase her productivity dramatically. I was so wowed by Rachel’s no-nonsense approach I asked if I could share it here. She has graciously agreed, so join us as she discusses her process of discovery and path to success.

This is a long read, but if you haven’t seen it before you’ll be glad you took the time. If you don’t have time now, please stop back when you can or go to Rachel’s blog for the original post.

And don’t forget to join us here tomorrow, when I will have the honor of interviewing the very talented Rachel Aaron.

 

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

When…
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Season of Change

I’m an overachiever. Yep, I’m admitting it. And if you don’t believe me just ask my husband—it drives him crazy. I tend to organize and make lists, heck even my extensive movie collection is alphabetized and categorized by genre. Not kidding. My books would be too if I could talk my husband into building me more bookshelves. Maybe when the basement is finished?

Every year for the holidays I wind up making a giant list of what needs to get done, then when I accomplish it… I celebrate for about thirty-seven seconds before making another list, and then another. So in truth I probably got the important stuff done way back with the first list but then I spend my holidays killing myself to achieve more and more, and only wind up making myself crazy.

But this year was a little different, I got sick right after Thanksgiving and I’m still recovering. I’ll just say that bronchitis sucks and…
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Just Show Up

It takes a brave man to swim in the mermaid pond but I think today’s guest is up to the task. Derek Dodson has a Master of Education in professional counseling, and was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for a number of years working with at risk kids and families. He is an accomplished musician (guitar/bass), has a number of black belts in martial arts and is knowledgeable in Chinese, Okinawan and Japanese weapons. Derek has been a college athlete, a rodeo rider, fought as a semi pro kick boxer, and even worked as a bouncer in some really bad bars when he was working his way through grad school. This has probably come in very handy as Derek is also married with four—yes, you heard me right—FOUR beautiful daughters.

And did I mention he also writes romance?

Derek has published several “forgettable articles and lots of academic crap” in his areas of interest, as well as written music and poetry. He began writing fiction a wee bit more…
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Anita Clenney Splashes in the Mermaid Pond

Today we are joined by NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney. She grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel–lasted half a day)…she realized she’d missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. Anita has agreed to share with us a recent chat she had with Cody MacBain, hero of her second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior.

Anita: I’m sure you have better things to do, Cody, but thanks for joining me.

Cody: We’ll have to make it quick. I have…
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Colors of Fall

For some fall is about buying a new backpack or lunchbox, sharpening those pencils and sending your children back to school. For others fall is symbolized with tailgating and crowding into stands to cheer on your favorite football team.

While the pools have closed, fall sports have begun and school has been back in session for a few weeks now, fall did not in fact officially begin until yesterday, September 23rd.

So what does it mean the first official day of fall? Well it’s more than the beginning of a new season. It is the autumnal equinox. Equinox derives from Latin’s aquaeus meaning equal and nox meaning night, and is appropriate since this is the time of year when night and day are almost equal in length. This happens twice a year, once in the spring (March 21-22) and again in the fall (September 22-23), when the earth’s tilt is neither toward nor away from the sun.

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“To Be Or Not To Be?”

“To be or not to be?” Okay, maybe that’s not exactly the question. The real question is whether to write under your own name or under a pen name?  Well, there seem to be a lot of differing opinions to that ever-important question.

First, let’s start with why someone might write under a different name. Well, why would a super hero have an alias? For privacy of course. A lot of people choose to write under a pen name for the same reason. I mean think about what would happen if everyone knew you were a super hero? Fans hassling you all the time to sign autographs, take pictures with them, begging you to make public appearances so you can rescue their cat out of a tree. I’ll be honest, I suck at getting cats out of trees but it might be nice if someone, someday thought I was fabulous enough to ask for my autograph. :-)Read the Rest…

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