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

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Francis Ray’s “A Seductive Kiss” Drawing – The Winner Is…

Thanks to all of the visitors to the Mermaid pond last Friday! And a huge thank you to Francis Ray! I truly appreciated your taking the time to join us. So I wanted to say thank you one more time!

Also, I wanted to announce the winner of the drawing – Carlene Love Flores…email me so you can get your copy of “A Seductive Kiss” in the mail!

NYTimes Bestselling Author Francis Ray Swims with the Mermaids

I am absolutely thrilled to have one of the legends in contemporary romance joining us today at the Waterworld Mermaids’ pond. So please spend a few minutes learning more about her, or if you’re already a fan, asking her questions about her upcoming releases. And if you’re very good, she may share a bit more about the ingredients that have helped her remain at the top of your game for 45 titles! So, ladies and gents, NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author, Francis Ray.

She is a native Texan and lives in Dallas. A graduate of Texas Woman’s University, she was nominated for Texas Woman’s University Distinguished Alumni Award.  She gave the winter commencement address winter 2010.  Ms. Ray’s titles consistently make bestseller’s lists such as Blackboard and Essence Magazine. INCOGNITO, her sixth title, was the first made-for-TV movie for BET. She has written forty-five titles to date. Awards include Romantic Times Career Achievement, EMMA, The Golden Pen, The Atlantic…
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Five Marines Come Swim in the Waterworld Mermaid Lagoon

Being a mermaid, I’m a Navy girl – of course. But if I had to pick a second favorite branch of the U.S. military it would be the Marine Corps. Especially if they all look like the movie Jarhead. Mmmmmm. Sorry, what? I got lost in my happy place there for a second. :)

While I don’t have any Hollywood Marines (really who needs ’em), I have something even better. Five mystery Marines giving their answers to my guy think questions. Take it away fellas!

Scenario: Two Marines are at a bar.  One has just been dumped. His buddy is there for him, drinking as well, but trying to stay slightly more sober for when they need to leave.  What would the buddy possibly say to his friend who just got dumped?


Marine 1 – Hey man, there’s tons of women out there.

Marine 2 – How did it all get this far?

Marine 3 – It’s just a girlfriend, there’s…
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The Waterworld Mermaids Proudly Welcome Avery Flynn

 “I do believe I can arrest you for looking at someone like that. You’ve got to be breaking some indecency laws.” 

Taking a deep breath, she recovered her bearings. Mostly. “You’re out of your jurisdiction, sheriff.”

– A Dry Creek Bed, Avery Flynn


I read a lot of new authors in 2011 but one of my favorites was our very own Avery Flynn. I was first introduced to the town of Dry Creek, Nebraska in Up a Dry Creek and I’m thrilled to announce the sequel, A Dry Creek Bed is available now! I highly recommend both books and I’m not just saying that because Avery is offering a New Year’s hangover cure gift basket to one lucky commenter (U.S. only) today.  

In the meantime, I had the pleasure of interviewing both Avery and Hank Layton, her main character and, dare I say hunky, sheriff of Dry Creek. Welcome Avery and Hank!

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Megan Hart Swims with the Mermaids

The moment I walked by the shelf and was stopped in my tracks by the beautiful, haunting cover for Megan Hart’s novel, Precious and Fragile Things, I knew I had stumbled upon something special.  I was not leaving the store without that book.  That was last year’s New Year’s gift.  This year’s will be Megan’s upcoming January 1st release, All Fall Down.  The thing I admire most about Megan and her writing is that she’s refreshing and honest and not afraid to go where the story needs to go—beginning, middle and end.  Oh, and did I mention she’s a fellow Depeche Mode fan?  Yep, she’s just sort of fabulous like that.  Without further ado, let’s welcome Megan to the pond!

Getting a tattoo of your favorite band, or any tattoo for that matter—a yes or a no?

I’m all for tattoos, but I’d caution anyone thinking of permanently marking their bodies to make very,…
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Janet Evanovich Swims with the Mermaids

Sometimes you just connect with a character. That’s me with Stephanie Plum – of course, I finally married my Jersey boy, but Stephanie and I definitely have the car problems in common. Don’t even get me started on the time I was stranded on a lonely stretch of  I-80 in Nebraska with a smoking engine. Not good.

So imagine how excited I was to get to interview Janet Evanovich. Yeah, I squealed and I’m only slightly ashamed to admit. The woman is a writing hero of mine. Reading her books featuring Stephanie Plum, Alex Barnaby and Elizabeth Tucker make me happy. Usually, I tear through them in one sitting carried along by the action, humor and story twists.

“It turns out I’m a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests. My favorite exercise is shopping and my drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles,” Janet writes on her website. “I read comic books and I only watch happy…
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Carol Ericson Swims with the Mermaids

I have been lucky to belong to the GIAM writing communities for a couple of years now and the support, motivation, and friendship I’ve made has been amazing.  One of my support network is the very lovely Carol Ericson. Besides being one of the most popular Harlequin Intrigue authors, she has ventured into the area of self-publishing and has had great success with that as well!

And . . . you gotta love a woman who jumps in the middle of the Mr. Romance contestants and gets a pic for drooling posterity . . . sigh . . .


1. Set the scene for us, where are you and what are your three favorite objects within arms reach.

I’m on a tropical beach and the objects within arm’s reach are a Georgette Heyer or Victoria Holt book, a Diet Coke, and my husband (not necessarily in that order).

2. Are you a…
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Sarah Wendell Swims with the Waterworld Mermaids

Smart girls don’t like romance books. It’s totally true. I read it on the internet. Also, girls who wear glasses are not hot; airbrushing models in magazine ads is a total fallacy; and every man should shave their chest hair.

Ha. Could you imagine what a sad world we would live in if all that were true? Epic fail to use the parlance of our times (yep, watched The Dude last night). So imagine my delight in having Sarah Wendell joining us in the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon today. Sarah is not only one of the founders of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, but she has written two books about romance novels and their importance. You guessed it, I have a total girl crush on her and after reading this you will too.

Take it away, Sarah!

Set the scene for us, where are you and what are your three favorite objects within arms reach?

I’m in my office….
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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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