Writing

Why I Love Dracula: A Writer’s Muse

Denny's MermaidsI woke up this morning and was thinking – what should I blog about today? The view on the lake outside my window as the sun touches the treetops, or the sound of the birds singing in the early morning, their songs never as sparkly as in the first hours of a new day. Then a thought struck me and I knew exactly what I had to write about, what I was bursting to write about…

Why I love Dracula so darn much!

Note – this is not a question. It is a statement of absolute fact and here are the Top 11 Reasons Dracula is the Best Vampire Ever!

The struggle between control and lack of control is epic. Passion on a stick (or fangs). Fangs (creepy, but somehow, sexy). Sex appeal (bad boy, the ultimate bad boy, maybe the first bad boy). Sidekicks (the odd man who carried around his coffin). Burning to ashes in daylight (any vampire story…
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Back to Work

598931_442334515849916_239845262_nAs you read this I’m embarking on an exciting journey… I’m returning to the workforce. Today is my first day at my new day job.

After years of staying at home with my children, volunteering at school or helping out with a field trip at the drop of a dime, and writing, always writing, today I’m returning to the land of the gainfully employed. It was a tough decision but one that’s been in the works for a long time. Now that my oldest is driving, my youngest is in high school and all those fun college bills are a heartbeat away—it seemed like the right time.

I kind of remember what it was like to collect a steady paycheck and receive a W-2 at the end of the year, but it’s been awhile, and I’ll be honest, I’m a little terrified. I’m not sure if that is fear for myself, or for the unsuspecting folks I’ll be working with. After all,…
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Risk Takers: What Romance Authors Do for Love…

Denny's MermaidsThis morning I decided to follow-up a week of amazing posts at the Waterworld Mermaid blog with a post about taking risks. Yep. You  know who you are – you jump off the deep end of the pool blindfolded, you sky dive, you climb mountains, you run marathons, you raise kids, you quit your job to write full time (and haven’t sold a book) – okay that last one is crazy, but she sounds a lot like me:)…

So here’s my list of risks that romance authors take for the love of writing books!

I took a sabbatical from my full-time gig and for the next few months, I am a full-time writer ! And no, I haven’t signed a contract with a publisher (or plan on self-publishing), but hey, I have faith that if I focus good things will come from this decision. I am fortunate. I can afford (kind of) to take the time away from my EDJ…
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Learning to Keep Your Balance

Did you ever have a moment where a challenge you’ve known of for a long time seemed seemed to suddenly, magically resolve?Susan Mermaid

My lovely, talented, rapscallion son, Skitch, graduated from college two years ago.  He needed five years to complete his studies in engineering.  I was happy to give him that extra year – he chose a very affordable state school and I had (at the time) sufficient funds to help out.  We were thrilled when he was ready to fly the coop, get a job and spread his wings.

squidolin6But the graduation gift…  what to give this only son, who spread himself among so many interests and passions?  He suggested, and hubby liked the idea of, an electric violin.  But the best electric violins cost many thousands of dollars.  They need accessories, expensive ones.  We don’t know anything (much) (nothing) about electric violins.  And even Skitch wasn’t sure which one…
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Authors Want to Find Readers? Well, Say WATTPAD?

imgres-4Wattpad.com is a website that claims 15,000,00 monthly users and has a tag line that calls itself – The Future of Reading. If you already know about Wattpad, please share your experience, thoughts, opinions. But I didn’t know about them, so I did some reading and am summarizing my findings here.

My headline is a bold statement that sounds as if  I’m endorsing WattPad, but no, not endorsing, but I got curious. And if you already know all about it – and have experience with it, positive or negative, or found it wasn’t quite ready for authors – please comment below – because WATTPAD has potential as a place to find romance readers IMHO.

True to my last-to-know world, I was introduced to Wattpad at RWA National Conference 2013 at a workshop called Marketing Outside the Box with Darynda Jones, Angie Fox and Kieran Kramer and Stephanie Dray. It was an excellent panel, got smart insights…
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Unwind…

Image How can it possibly be August already? Vacations are winding down, and before we know it the kidlets will be back in school. Orientations, school supply shopping, and Back to School nights are right around the corner. As well as soccer/ football/ cheerleading/ field hockey practice/ symphony rehearsals/ robotics and homework. But this year my children aren’t the only ones preparing for a change in schedule and workload… Due to furloughs and the skyrocketing costs of college (I have two teenage daughters) I will be returning to work full time in the very near future. In addition to writing, this summer I have been taking online classes to increase my marketablility in preparation for this eventuality. I don’t mind returning to the workforce. In fact, most writers have a “day job.” But this summer, between the kids, the online classes and certifications, preparing and shopping my resume and trying to fit in writing time… I’ll be honest—my brain is full.


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Writing the Synopsis with Diana Cosby

Dana MermaidNot so long ago, I was certain that no one on the planet despised writing a synopsis as much as me. I would rather have put my beautiful, complete manuscript in a drawer, and moved on to write another entire book than to condense a 100k story into the 3-5 pages necessary to submit my work to an editor or agent. I always found it difficult to know what to put in and what to leave out, or how to convey the ever-important backstory that makes the hero and heroine who they are, without overshadowing the story actually being told. And then, I was fortunate enough to win a synopsis and three chapter review from the fabulous Diana Cosby, an international bestselling author who also happens to teach a class on writing the synopsis. Besides being one of the nicest people on the planet, she did such a wonderful job of helping me to understand and conquer my fear of the…
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Who You Calling Crazy?

My love for Mary Jo Putney grew exponentially this month when I heard her speak at RWA Nationals. She received the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and gave one of the best speeches about the writing life that I’ve ever heard. My favorite line? This one:

You don’t have to be crazy to be a writer, but it sure helps.

*Cue lots of knowing laughter.*

Ah, the writing life. It makes us all a bit batty even if we weren’t before. Why? Well for us planners it’s because we work things out in our heads (or our forrest-killing line of Post-It notes) and then this happens:

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If you’re a freak like me that makes you do this:

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But that never gets the job done, so I suck it up and make a new plan. This is what I tell my characters:

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RWA Nationals, Research, and I Think I’m Writing a Book about Firefighters:)!

One of the things I enjoy about RWA Nationals is that each year I not only meet new people and connect with old conference friends, but now I’m joining RWA Chapters and actually know why I’m joining them. And yes, it has taken me a while to get with the program.

Today, I’m writing about the RWA mystery/suspense chapter, Kiss of Death – KOD. Where have you been all of my life?

I joined KOD a couple of months ago after fellow Waterworld Mermaid Avery Flynn (the organization’s President-Elect) suggested I check them out since I was polishing my contemporary romantic suspense, CHASING DAMN. Well, I spent yesterday with the gals and guy from KOD, participating in the first leg of the KOD Conference – the TOUR (which was spectacular) and attending the annual meeting and dinner last night.

DSC_0284I believe I may be in love with RESEARCH – as well as the fantastic firefighters we met at the Station…
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#RWA 13 National Conference in A.T.L – Day 1 (A Day Early:)!

Denny's MermaidsReporting from Atlanta and the RWA 2013 National Conference – it’s Mermaid Denny! Here we go, people!

Okay, I was supposed to post yesterday, but after a long drive (started our Road Trip Saturday from DC to Greensboro, NC to Savannah, GA to Atlanta), we did dinner and went down! I did, however, take a couple of iconic shots (yes, I am labeling them as such), which you will see bunches of (I’m just betting) online. Those shots – the hotel lobby ceiling (space ship futuristic and wonderful) and the cool elevator promotions – last year’s signage inside the elevator has given way to a whole new bag of book/author promotion that I just LOVE (the marketing girl in me Salutes RWA for this very cool signage).

Even this early in the AM, I give you the unexpected:

I won’t be able to share these photos because CRAZY Instagram doesn’t give you access to your own photos after you’ve uploaded…
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