Sunday, December 21, 2008

Piracy

Recently, I've read the discussion that says downloading pirated e-books is no different from taking a book to a used bookstore, or checking out a book from the library.

This is faulty reasoning.

The difference between USBs and Libraries and Pirate sites is that libraries and whoever took the book to the USB bought the book. It's ONE COPY. That $7 was paid, regardless of whether it sits on the original buyer's shelf or in the hands of library or USB patrons.

When somebody pirates a book, the book can be copied ENDLESSLY on thousands and thousands of computers. It's more like making photocopies and giving them away. The authors get no money for any of those pirated copies.

You have to remember: somebody like me makes damn good money, and piracy really doesn't hurt me that much.

But when you start talking about pirating some poor author who gets paid $100 a month in royalties, she's taking it up the ass. And make no mistake: that's all most e-book authors make a month. A few make good money, but most don't, particularly new authors.

Fuck me over if you want to. But DON'T fuck over that poor little author, because she's not making any money to begin with.

And these little e-pubs are now struggling desperately in the current rotten economy. Piracy can sink these little pubs very easily.

So if you download pirated books, you are contributing to the destruction of the very thing you love -- the ability of creators to create fine fiction. Yes, anybody can write a story and put it on a website, but it's not going to get edited by a professional, it will suffer in quality, and creators will not have the chance to learn from the process of working with a professional editor. Do NOT discount the value of editors to writers. The ultimate difference professional input makes in quality is like comparing something somebody puts on You Tube to GONE WITH THE WIND.

Another thing: let's say everybody gets pirated books, and ALL the pubs go under. People like me would have to find full time jobs doing something else, and all you would get out of my ass is short stories I write at night when I'm not working at Walmart.

Currently, I give money to CARE, to various other charities, and every fricking relative I have, from my son to my paralyzed brother in law. All that goes away. The classes I teach when I go to writer's chapters go away, because I could not afford to travel.

This is not idle speculation, because piracy has done serious damage to the music industry. Record stores have gone out of business; the CD selection in stores like BEST BUY is shrinking. I make a point of buying music. I REFUSE to go to pirate sites because eventually, you can make it impossible for these companies to make any money at all. They will go under. I do buy music at iTunes, and I often buy entire albums. It's a way to make sure artists can keep producing.

So don't steal from artists, whether it's downloading pirated books, music or movies. It's stealing, and eventually you will destroy the very artists whose work you enjoy.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

AK tries a new writing technique.

Hi, gang. I found a fantastic book at Barnes and Noble called "First Draft in 30 Days" by Karen Wiesner.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Draft-Days-Karen-Wiesner/dp/1582972966/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225885819&sr=8-1

is the link for Amazon.

The reason I bought this book is that I'm a plotter. I normally write one sentence for every scene that I plan for a book. In my last book, GUARDIAN, which I just turned in (Yay, me!) The plot did help, but then when I hit several of the scene, the book came to a screeching halt for a day or two while I brainstormed my way out of it.

So I started reading this book, hoping for a way to improve my productivity. I'm convinced that writing more books, better and faster, is the key to success. It seems that the authors that are really popular are productive as well as skilled.

(Many of them seem to be pantsers, too, but I simply can't pants. I've tried, and my muse doesn't work that way.)

The premise of this book is how to create a really detailed plot in a month. It's not a book in a month kind of thing. I've never been able to do book in a month. But this book gives you a schedule and technique to create characters, do a rough plot, then research, then add more and more detail to your plot until you know the details. You can then read and evaluate the plot and find any weaknesses that would keep the book from working.

In the end, you have a long plot about a fourth the length of your full manuscript. By plotting this way, you work out many of the missing details so you can blow through the book. I'm currently plotting a novella this way as an experiment, and it seems to be going well.

One of the techniques it suggests is to look for photos of settings, such as your characters' bedrooms, living rooms, etc. This is appealing to me, because I've always found it difficult to come up with good descriptions of locations that don't sound like what I've used before. I'm even rendering pics and storyboards of characters and scenes. The hope there is to help me solidify the story in my mind.

One of the new tricks I discovered was I did some long drives to Charlotte, which is 90 minutes from my town. That long drive gave my muse time to come up with all kinds of juicy details. The conflict I've come up with feels really strong. Too, one of the ideas I've come up with is the core of a new Mageverse arc for the next several books of the series.

Yesterday I finished character sketches for my hero, heroine and primary villain. I like the romantic conflict I've developed, and the interpersonal conflicts feel good.

I'll continue to blog on my progress and tell you how it goes. Thanks!

Oh, this novella will be in a Christmas anthology for 2009. I don't even know the title or release date yet. But I can tell you the story is currently called "Vampire's Ball." The core idea is that during the Dragon War (which we saw in MASTER OF DRAGONS), many of the Magekind were killed. So Arthur has decided to do a recruiting drive. The Magekind is holding a ball, to which they've invited a large number of Latents they believe can survive the transition. The latents are also expected to face a series of challenges. This will give me a chance for appearances by heroes from previous books, such as Kel and Reece Champion. The hero of the book is a Ridge Champion, a descendant of Reece's. His job is to work with heroine Katherine Danilo, a latent who is a fitness instructor.

Katherine has very good reason to become a latent, but at first Ridge thinks she's one of those who just wants to become an immortal witch. He soon discovers her motives are far more powerful -- and dark -- than that.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on the progress on my book!

Angela Knight

Angela Knight

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Angela Knight tours Michigan!

I'm going to be participating in a bus tour of Michigan's Wal-Marts. If you live in the area, you're more than welcome to come meet me. And there will be lots more authors there too, including Cherry Adair, among many others. It's going to be lots of fun!

DETROIT, MI
Friday, September 19

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Signing MEIJER #21 Kalamazoo
5800 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Signing MEIJER #50 Cascade
5531 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Signing MEIJER #158 Knapps Corner
1997 E. Beltline NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


LANSING, MI
Saturday, September 20

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Signing MEIJER #25 Lansing
2055 W. Grand River Avenue
Okemos, MI 48864

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Signing MEIJER #173 Ann Arbor
5645 Jackson Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

4:30-4:55 PM
MEIJER #32 Canton
45001 Ford Road
Canton, MI 48187

DETROIT, MI
Sunday, September 21


10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Signing MEIJER #57 Rochester Hills
3175 Rochester Road
Rochester, MI 48307

12:15 PM to 1:45 PM
Signing MEIJER #34 Royal Oak
5150 Coolidge Highway
Royal Oak, MI 48073


3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Signing MEIJER #67 Monroe
1700 Telegraph Road
Monroe, MI 48162


AUTHOR ROSTER FOR 2008 BUS TOUR

Cherry Adair
C.T. Adams
Jessica Andersen
Allison Brennan
Kathryn Caskie
Cathy Clamp
Colleen Coble
Kresley Cole
Jordan Dane
Deeanne Gist
Tom Grace
Kristan Higgins
Elizabeth Hoyt
Angela Knight
Leslie Langtry
Jade Lee
Robert Liparulo
Susan Mallery
Monica McInerney
Sophia Nash
Brenda Novak
Deborah Raleigh
Victoria Rowell
Gena Showalter
Chip St. Clair
Roxanne St. Claire
Sherry Thomas

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The deadline is approaching for Angela Knight's August onlline writing class

If you're interested, I'm teaching my next online class beginning in August for the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA. It costs $30 for non-members of the chapter. You don't need to be a member of RWA or Kiss of Death, though KOD members only have to pay $15. You need to sign up by July 27, 2008 to get in. You pay via paypal. There will be thirteen lessons, presented on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can find the class here:

http://rwamysterysuspense.org/2008killerinstinctsaug.html

To participate, you'll be sent a link to the class's yahoo group after you give your paypal payment. There is no set time or chatroom involved. You read the lessons and ask questions via e-mail, which I also answer via e-mail. You will also be able to download the lessons to your computer from the files section of the group and keep them.

Please note that I have presented "Dangerously Sexy: Putting Heat As Well As Danger in Your Romantic Suspense" before. However, I'm going to do a rewrite on it, and probably add some material to boot. And I will answer questions, which can be asked anytime, not just on days I'm giving the lesson.

Here's the Introduction of the class as a sample:

Dangerously Sexy: An Introduction

First, I'd like to thank you for signing up for my Kiss of Death class, "Dangerously Sexy: Putting Heat as Well as Danger in your Romantic Suspense." I hope you find it as useful and informative as the KOD classes I've taken since myself.

Putting sizzle in your romantic suspense is a topic I'm definitely familiar with. I'm the author of eight novels and more then twenty novellas that incorporate a blend of erotic romance and suspense. The combination has been an effective one for me. My books have hit a number of bestseller lists, including USA Today and Publisher's Weekly. My last novel, Warrior, is a New York Times bestseller.

This, however, is not a class on writing erotic romance. My intent here is to help you learn to use sensuality and sexuality - which are not the same thing - to give your romantic suspense more realism and power.

Sex is enormously powerful in human relationships, but it's often dismissed by romance writers as annoying and boring to write.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that we've all heard our genre dismissed as soft core porn for women. There's a temptation to say "But our books are not really about sex." Actually, it would be more accurate to say that they're about a lot more than sex. Sex is an inextricable part of romance, because like it or not, all romantic relationships are at their core sexual. If you ignore that dimension of your characters' relationship, you deny yourself and the reader key scenes of character interaction and development that are integral to the romance.

Another factor is that writers sometimes dislike writing sex because they're not comfortable with it. They've been taught that "good girls DON'T." But to pull off a good sex scene, you have to be totally honest in portraying the act of love in all its passion. That means revealing that you and your heroine DO like sex, and that can be really frightening. After all, you're talking about something very private, which you may have been taught not to discuss at all. What if people think you're kinky? What if – Oh, GOD – your mother, kids or preacher reads your book?

Thus it's often emotionally safer for writers to write one really mechanical love scene where the characters have sex in the missionary position for three pages with as little sexual detail as possible. No wonder people hate writing scenes like that.

The key is, don't worry about what this scene says about you. Hard as this might be to believe, it's not about you – it's about the COUPLE. How do THEY experience making love? Be honest. Do you really think this passionate, gorgeous, heroic young couple is going to thrust at each other three times in the dark, climax, and then roll over and go to sleep? A scene like that cheats the readers, the romance – and YOU, as an artist.

So tell it like it REALLY is.

Real artists take risks, folks. Great artists are brutally honest about what their characters feel, whether or not it's politically correct, whether or not Mother and the kids like it. If you're worried about it, do what I did: make a deal with Mother and the kids. "My books have scenes that are sexually explicit. I don't feel comfortable with you reading them." I pretty much guarantee that neither your mother or your kids WANT to read any sex scene you've written. Mine don't.

If you're really paranoid, use a pen name and refuse to tell anybody what it is. I did that too for a while.

But no matter what solution you arrive at, have the guts to show your characters' passion in all its emotional intensity. It's not easy, but if you really want to write a book that blows away readers and editors alike, that's what you have to do.

Which is why the porn accusation never fails to irritate me. As I've said more than once, "If it was nothing but porn, I wouldn't have to work so hard at it."

My objective in these classes is to demonstrate the techniques of writing deliciously romantic sexual encounters that also advance plot and characterization.

In our next three classes I will discuss the creation and motivation of heroes, heroines and villains and their respective attitudes toward sexuality. How can you construct these characters to maximize conflict?

Next we'll talk about creating a strong romantic suspense plot while simultaneously motivating sex and romance believably. After all, thinking about sex when someone's shooting at you is a little dumb.

In week three, we'll talk about the nuts and bolts of writing a highly sensual love scene. We'll explore ways to build romantic conflict during love scenes, and we'll dissect a love scene to see what makes it work.

In week four, we'll discuss language - just what do we call all these body parts anyway? We'll also talk about violence and sex - how far is too far? And finally, we'll look at building a believable Happily Ever After ending that pays off everything that went before.

Feel free to ask questions. I will be more than happy to answer, or at the very least, find an answer for you.

Best,
Angela Knight

Sunday, July 13, 2008

TIME HUNTERS: GUARDIAN

Thought I'd share a little about how things have changed on the TIME HUNTERS series. I had originally intended to do five books, but I developed a killer case of writer's block, and realized it was because I couldn't figure out how to plot that many books. So now it's going to be a three book series instead.

If you've read WARRIOR, you know that I included the first chapter of a new book called ENFORCER. As it happens, I couldn't get that book off the ground no matter what I did. Just wasn't working. And I was pulling my hair out.

About the same time I was struggling with that, my gallbladder went south. It's a side effect of gastric bypass, basically. The gallbladder stores gall for use when you eat fatty foods. If you don't eat much fat, the gall hangs out and turns into stones. Which then get shot out when you eat something like a hamburger. This is excruciating. First time it happened, I honest to God thought I was having a heart attack. My surgeon told me I was going to have to have the gallbladder out. I didn't much want to do that, but after five or six attacks in the course of a month, I decided pain sux. So out it came.

Now, I had to go on hydrocodone, (AKA Vicodin or Loratab.) First because of the pain of those damn stones, then because of the surgery, which HURT, then because my back went out because I was favoring my abdominal muscles.

(By the way, I developed a thankfully brief addiction to that shit, which I kicked by going cold turkey as soon as I realized I was hooked. Jesus, that was scary. DO NOT TAKE THAT CRAP one second longer than you have to. It's evil. Getting off it was no fun, either. The first three days I was miserable, because I craved the damn stuff so BAD. But I refused to get the prescription refilled, and now the craving is, thank God, gone.)

But while I was floating in my fluffy pink hydrocodone fog, Nick Wyatt came to call. Nick is absolutely the sexiest freaking hero I think I've ever created. He's half Xeran (Yes, the evil bad guys in the series) and he has cool psychic powers. To be honest, he was inspired more than a little by Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, except sexier. HA!

Thing was, I knew he wasn't the hero of ENFORCER. I also knew that if I put him in ENFORCER -- and I tried -- he would take the book right over. He was that hot. So I talked to Cindy Hwang, my editor goddess. Somewhat to my surprise, she told me to drop ENFORCER and do Nick's book next. ENFORCER will be the third book; Dona and Alerio will get their story, just not the way I originally planned it.

So now I'm writing GUARDIAN, which stars Nick and Riane Arvid, Jane and Baran's daughter. (Jane and Baran being the couple from JANE'S WARLORD.) I am really stoked about this book, and I think the fans are going to love Nick. I'm already in love with him.

In other news -- WARRIOR made the New York Times list! I am SO excited. Oh, yeah! Doing the dance of joy!

Anyway, wish me luck on GUARDIAN. Thanks!

Angela Knight

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The function of Love Scenes

By Angela Knight

There seems to be a perception among some that titillation is the main purpose of love scenes in romance novels. In reality, such scenes are a powerful means to explore and deepen the emotional relationship between the hero and heroine, to intensify the romantic conflict, and to develop both characters.

In order to take advantage of that innate power, a writer should make sure she has a good sense of the internal and external goals, motivations and conflicts that drive her characters, and that she understands how those goals, motivations and conflicts interact to intensify the romantic conflict between them. It should not be possible for both characters to get exactly what they need and want; if one character “wins,” the other must lose. If both characters can get what they want without a major adjustment in the thinking of one of them, the conflict just isn’t strong enough.

For example, your vampire hunting hero can’t achieve his goal of killing the vampire heroine. Instead, the course of the romance should change that goal so that he wants to love the heroine instead of killing her.

The love scenes should pay a key role in changing those objectives. As they make love, he discovers she’s not the vicious killer he imagined.

Of course, you have to motivate his going to bed with her in the first place. If he doesn’t have a good reason to risk his life making love to what he believes is a vicious killer, the reader is going to think he’s stupid. Is he trying to use himself as bait? Why does he think he can get away with this without ending up dead? Obviously, he needs to have some believable plan to keep himself safe, or we’re going to think he’s Too Stupid To Live.

You also have to address her motives for making love to a man who thinks she’s a killer. Does she know what he believes? Does it bother her? What about her hunger for blood? She needs to drink blood to live. Does sleeping with him trigger her hunger? How does that make her feel? Does she feel guilt, or is it something natural to her? Is she irritated with his fear of her? How does that play out in their love scenes?

Think about ways to demonstrate the personalities of these two characters. How do they view making love?

Does the risk of making love to her add to his arousal? She could kill him. For some people, that kind of risk is the ultimate high. If he’s an adrenalin junky like a SEAL or something, that could play a role in his motivation.

Does she view making love as a necessity, or as a joyful act of mutual pleasure?

Try to come up with a scene that would best demonstrate or intensify this conflict. How does it play out when they make love?

What does it say that the passion between them is strong enough to bring them together despite this conflict?

To make it more believable that they would fall in love despite all these forces, you have to make the love scenes themselves as intense as possible. Each scene should deepen the attraction and passion between the couple so the reader can literally watch their love grow.

You do that by using sensory detail. Each love scene should make mention of some kind of sensory detail in every paragraph, whether it’s taste, smell, hearing, or touch. How does it feel when he licks her nipples or clit? How does she taste to him? How do those sensations make him feel? What’s the texture of his skin, or the smell of his hair?

Concentrate on the emotional impact of those sensations. Make those reactions as intense as possible.

Give thought to the setting of the love scene. Location has a strong emotional effect. Hurried, hot love making in public is far different than slow, languorous passion in the bedroom. Use locations which intensify the emotional effect you’re going for, and vary them. Creativity is the key to eroticism in fiction as in life.

Think what kind of props you can use to intensify their emotions. If he’s still afraid of what she’ll do, what if she ties him up? Imagine his combination of fear and intense, kinky desire. And how will he feel when she does nothing except give him fantastic pleasure? He was at her mercy, and she didn’t hurt him. She has proven she can be trusted.

Maybe the bondage scene is the turning point in the relationship – the point where what began in fear and deception starts becoming trust and love.

You MUST have a turning point in the romantic conflict, and it must be as dramatic as possible. When you’re doing a huge 180 in attitude like that, the hardest part is making it believable. The reader has to understand WHY this incident would make the characters view each other in a different light. She also needs to understand why it would shake everybody up.

As a reader, I have read books in which the characters suddenly go from “I hate him,” to “I want to have his baby,” without any explanation at all. Nothing will make me slam a book into a wall faster. You have to motivate these changes in attitude for them to be believable.

The ingredients to one of these huge turning points are: A.) A dramatic incident where the characters confront their fear. (The vampire heroine gets tired of putting up with his paranoia and ties him up and screws his brains out.) B.) The reaction of the character to that scene. “Oh, my GOD! She didn’t kill me! And it was...wonderful. She’s not who I thought she was. She’s HUMAN in all the ways that count. I WAS WRONG ABOUT HER.” C.) A scene that follows that demonstrates the change in his attitude – maybe the next time they make love, he’s tender with her, not just hot and horny.

In the scenes that follow this turning point, their love becomes more intense, the tenderness in their actions grows, their kisses become more passionate.

That scene changes everything. And because it has changed everything, their attitudes toward each other changes, and they find the strength to confront the Big Evil Bad Guy and beat him. They couldn’t beat him separately, but together, in love, they have the strength to defeat him.

Then, in the final love scene, you pay off the novel. I usually make this the last scene in the book. The characters are deeply in love, and they trust each other without question. There’s humor, because humor demonstrates trust. We don’t have gentle, teasing sexual humor with someone we’re not completely comfortable with.

It’s also a very passionate scene, with lots of soft touches and gentle kisses as well as hot sex. And the hero should – possibly for the first time -- say something really romantic to her in the afterglow. Men don’t make declarations of love – and mean them – easily. As readers, we know when this hard-edged vampire hunter tells the vampire she’s the center of his life, he means it. And we just melt.

Deliver that scene with all the emotional intensity you can, and the reader will search for every book you’ve ever written and buy it. And as for the editor – she’ll snap your book up and pay you a nice advance, because you’re the writer she’s been looking for.


Sincerely,

Angela Knight

Friday, May 23, 2008

Point of View

I wrote this lesson for my class on writing love scenes. I like the way it turned out so much, I thought I'd share.


By Angela Knight

Point of view is one of those concepts that gives newbies fits. One reason for this is that the effect of POV can be very subtle – so much so that most readers don’t notice it at all, so new writers don’t understand its importance.

There’s an easy illustration of POV that should clarify the issue. It’s a gimmick often used in television mysteries where they don’t want to show the identity of the killer, so the camera is positioned as if it’s looking out of his eyes. You can see the knife in his hand, you can see the victim, but you can’t see the killer’s face, any more than you can see your own when you’re not in front of a mirror.

That’s point of view. You’re in the character’s head, experiencing the scene as if you were that character. You think his thoughts, you feel the sensations he feels, you hear what he hears.

Most writing teachers will tell you not to switch point of view in the same scene. That’s called head hopping, and it’s considered a deadly sin. Why?

Let’s go back to our knife-wielding television killer for a moment. Imagine that the bad guy is in a fight with other bad guys, all armed with knives. Now imagine that every shot, the camera switches to the point of view of a different person. One minute you’re swinging the knife, the next it’s coming at your chest. Or you’re in someone else’s head completely, and you’re in a different fight.

In all my years of watching television, I have never seen that done. Why? Because it would confuse the hell out of the viewer. He’d have no idea who was doing what.

The reader has the same problem when you head hop. It throws her completely out of the scene as she tries to figure out whose head you’re in. Any time she has to stop reading and go back and reread to figure out what’s going on, you’ve thrown her out of the story. Confuse her too much, and she’ll just stop reading.

So head hopping is bad. Yet Nora Roberts, the highest paid romance novelist of all time and my personal goddess, switches POV constantly. I’m reading her latest right now, and I couldn’t help but notice how she does it.

First, Nora only switches POV when she’s got a good reason. In most cases, one POV per scene is a really good rule, and I suggest you stick to it. It jars the reader less. But there is one kind of scene where being in the heads of both characters is a benefit, and that’s the love scene. And the only way you can show how making love affects both characters in one scene is with a POV switch.

So how do you pull off a switch without confusing the reader? Well, there’s the line break – skipping a line to indicate a switch. Then you start the first sentence of the new POV with something like, “John bit back a moan as Mary ran her tongue over his nipple. God, she was good at that.” By using John’s name first thing, we clearly tell the reader whose POV we’re in, so there’s no confusion. (Note: I don’t use, “God, she was so good at that, John thought.” “John thought” is redundant, since it’s obvious we’re in John’s POV.)

Really, you don’t even need the skipped line. Making the switch with a new paragraph is fine. But in both cases, you absolutely have to start with the character’s name, and a sensation that plainly shows we’re now thinking his thoughts.

If the line was simply, “John moaned,” the reader will probably assume we’re still in Mary’s POV and Mary heard John moan. But by adding a sensation and then a thought, we establish that we’ve done a POV switch. “John moaned at the feeling of Mary’s wet, hot little tongue flicking over his nipple. God, she’s good at that.”

Now, there are little niggling things about POV you need to keep in mind.

Let’s get back to John and his sensitive nipples. “John moaned at the feeling of Mary’s wet, hot little tongue flicking over his nipple. God, she’s good at that. John’s brawny pectorals flexed and his blue eyes darkened in reaction.”

If you’re deep in John’s point of view, he can’t see his own blue eyes darken. Nor can he see himself blush, or a hard frown cross his mouth. You’ve just jumped cameras again, changing POV in the same paragraph. Now your verbal “camera” is located outside John’s body, as if you’re watching John instead of being John. This is BAD, and is considered the mark of an amateur.

What you can do is show what John feels when he experiences, say, a blush. “John felt his cheeks heat. Oh, great – now he was blushing like a sixteen-year-old girl.” That tells the reader he blushed without jumping POVs.

Also, watch the tone of John’s POV. You don’t want him to sound like a woman. That line, “John’s brawny pectorals flexed” was definitely not in John’s POV. It’s an out-of-character line, because John probably doesn’t think of his pecs as “brawny.”

When you’re in deep point of view, you have to stick to the language and thoughts the character would use. Thus, John is not going to think about the heroine’s “lovely brocade mauve curtains,” unless John is an interior designer. Most men wouldn’t know mauve if it bit them on the butt. And “lovely” is a word men just don’t use unless they’re talking about a woman.

You want John to sound like the butch Alpha Male marine he is, right down to the frequent “motherfuckers” strewn through his thoughts. (Though if he’s a banker or something, I’d probably go easy on the “motherfuckers.”) By using the technique of being deeply in the character’s head, you can create a very strong sense of him as a character. Readers feel he’s real.

And that’s what you want.

By the way – when switching POVs during a love scene, I still wouldn’t do it more than once. It’s too jarring. We want to experience how each character feels during that scene, but we don’t want to give the reader psychic whiplash.


--Angela Knight

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A preview of my May class on writing romance

Hi, guys. This may, I'm teaching an online class on writing love scenes for my RWA Chapter, Carolina Romance Writers. Here's an excerpt that should give you some idea of what to expect if you'd like to take the class.

Introduction:
FROM MILD TO WILD: CREATING SEX SCENES THAT ARE MORE THAN THE SAME OLD BUMP AND GRIND

By Angela Knight

If there’s one aspect of romance that we as a genre have trouble with, it’s love scenes. After all, many of us grew up being told that when it comes to sex, “Good Girls Don’t.” Or if they do, they’re not supposed to like it.

In reality, I think we’d all agree that a sexless marriage would be arid and dysfunctional. Not to mention doomed; what man is going to put up with a wife who doesn’t like sex? Yes, he may love her, but if she hates his body and hers to that extent, somebody’s in desperate need of some serious therapy. And what kind of husband would force his wife to do something she hated? I think the technical term for that is “rapist.”

We don’t publish that sort of thing anymore.

Of course, you could create a heroine who is sexually screwed up to that extent, but readers would expect her to have her head on straight by the end of the book. Otherwise, your couple is not going to get that promised “Happily Ever After.”

Thus we have to assume our heroines like sex with their handsome heroes, no matter how virginal they may be, even in sweet romances where the bedroom door remains firmly closed. So our heroines do enjoy sex.

It’s romance novelists who don’t.

Or at least, many of us don’t like writing about it. All together now: “It’s just Tab A in Slot B!”

I’ll grant you, the mechanics of sliding Tab A into Slot B may be the same, but only if you leave out characterization, emotion and the development of the romance.

My husband and I have been married for 24 years now, and I have no idea how many times we’ve made love. But every single time is different, depending on what happened that day, what mood we’re in, and what we decide to do to spice things up.

Strawberries, anyone? Whipped cream? No chocolate, though: it gave me a rash last time....

THE CRAFT OF LOVE

As a writer, I pride myself on writing love scenes that are vivid and emotionally intense. Readers read romance because they want to experience – or re-experience – the humming thrill of falling in love with an incredible, sensual man.

In fact, romance novelists who expect to find success must pay more attention to love scenes now than ever before. The newest generation of readers were raised on MTV and Sex in the City, and they do not expect us to primly hold back because we’re afraid of being called sluts.

They want us to show them what amazing lovers our heroes are, not just tell them that everybody had a really good time. What’s more, editors know that, and they’re looking for writers who are not afraid to deliver.

But selling books is not the only reason to write good sex. Love scenes provide writers with a way to depict emotional intimacy and romantic intensity with a power that can’t be achieved in any other way.

What’s the first law of writing good fiction? “Show, don’t tell.” There is no better place to show the sweet flowering of a romance than in bed. That’s where our characters are most naked – and not just physically.

Think about it. Why do sex scandals grab headlines? It’s because we all know that a person’s core character is revealed by what he does in bed – or in a men’s room. He can make speeches about family values all he wants, but if he’s assuming a wide stance somewhere, we know what’s really going on in his head.

The way our heroes and heroines make love tells us volumes about what they think of themselves and the opposite sex. If they’re tender and concerned for the other person’s pleasure, that says something. If, on the other hand, all your hero is interested in is his next orgasm, that says something too.

Even more revealing is the way in which his lovemaking changes throughout the course of the book. Yes, he may know how to make a woman’s toes curl from page one, but how does making love to this particular heroine effect him? Does his concern for her pleasure increase until his focus is solely on her joy rather than his own? That says volumes about his evolution as a hero.

And it also tells you a great deal about how the romance has grown.

GROWING THE ROMANCE

Every scene in a romance must do one of three things: develop the characters, develop the internal or external conflicts, or develop the romance. Otherwise it should be cut.

That definitely includes the love scenes. You can write the most sizzling scene ever put on paper, but if all it does is give the reader a thrill, it should be either rewritten or cut.

If there’s one mistake I see erotic romance writers make, that’s it: love scenes that don’t do anything. Sex scenes that are only there to give the reader a buzz may be fine in porn, but that’s not what we’re writing.

The focus in a romance is always the romance: the growth of love between two people, with all its rocky missteps and luscious pleasures.

Which is why traditional romances with three-page generic love scenes are every bit as bad as pointless erotica. If you’re including a love scene solely because your editor demands it, you’re doing something wrong. And you’re missing a golden opportunity to advance your story.

It’s my intention with this class to demonstrate how to craft love scenes that make your romance truly romantic.

Over the month of May, 2008, I will post a total of fourteen lessons, on the CRW Yahoo Group for the class. There will be one each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are welcome to ask questions whenever you like, and I will do my best to answer.

Lessons will include:
The three functions of love scenes in romance
Character development
Heroes
Heroines
Mapping the romance with love scenes
The First encounter
Middle encounters
Last love scene of the book
Conflict
Creating appropriate levels of sensuality, whether for erotic romance or traditional
Sensual detail
C, F and P words – what language should a romance writer use?
Conclusion

I hope you find the class useful, as well as good fun.

***

If you'd like to take the class, you can sign up here:

http://www.carolinaromancewriters.com/may08.htm


Thanks!

Angela Knight

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Half of Me



As of today, I have officially lost 150 pounds. Dayam. Yep, both of those pictures are me. Actually, I've lost weight since the one in the green suit -- another twenty pounds or so. I'd take a more recent picture, but you'd see my red nose and haggard face from bronchitis, and I frankly don't think either of us needs that. And yes, I did lose that last stubborn six pounds from being sick as a dog the last week. Heck, I'll take what I can get. So anyway, I thought I'd discuss the things I've learned about myself and about weight loss the last 19 months.

1.) Gastric bypass surgery is not a magic wand. I thought it was. I thought I'd just plunk down my $26,000 (ACK!!!!) and viola!! Instant skinny woman.

Uh, no. A lot of people think it is that easy. They think it's the easy way out, that Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig is so much harder. Well, yeah, in some ways, it is easier. In all the hanging-over-the-toilet-throwing-up ways, no. In all the I-look-like-I-survived-a-knife-fight ways, no.

(That's my husband's standard line, by the way: I'm his knife-fighting kitty. Right after I had the laproscopic surgery, I was left with five small horizontal cuts at different points on my stomach. Mike, who is a cop, said, "You know, I've seen people who've been in knife fights that had injuries like that." That's when he threatened to punch the first person who said I took the easy way out. He spent a month sniffing bandages and watching me for signs of infection, so he's entitled.)

WILLPOWER, MY BUTT

Let's be clear here: I would never have lost the weight without the surgery. Period. Partly because I didn't believe I could do it. I'd watched my Mom struggle with obesity for my entire life, lose 80 pounds, TWICE, and gain it back both times. I knew I just didn't have my mother's ferocious willpower. I was screwed before I even started.

But you know what? I have a LOT more willpower than I thought I did. I realized that the first week after I had the surgery. I was staggering around the kitchen, sick as hell, hungry. And my husband had made himself and my son toasted garlic bread with butter. I was DYING to eat a piece of that bread, but I knew it would kill my butt if I did. So I didn't. And I thought, Damn, I have more willpower than I thought.

It was never about willpower. It is about consequences. For me, overeating never had immediate consequences. The consequences come later, quietly, in additional pounds, not in ways that you really feel as instantly painful. Gastric bypass gives food instant consequences that are highly unpleasant RIGHT NOW, and that makes it easy to say no. When you know that if I eat this chocolate cake, I'm going to be sick as a dog for the next ninety minutes, you freaking don't eat the chocolate cake, because it ain't worth it. Nothing tastes that good.

So I have plenty of willpower. I always did. I just never wanted it badly enough. Now I do. I have experienced what it's like to walk around without 150 extra pounds on my body, and let me tell you, it's a HELL of a lot easier. I am a devout lazy person. I don't like carrying around 150 extra pounds. It sucks. It hurts. Getting off the toilet hurts. Walking around the block hurts. Not being able to breathe sucks. Now I stride everywhere I go, and I like it.

I was thinking about this today. If you asked me to pick up 150 pounds and carry it right now, there is no way on God's green earth I could do it. And I've been working out. I've got biceps now and everything. I'm a lot stronger. But I couldn't do it.

I always thought I was lazy. People always think that fat people are sooo lazy, they don't want to work out. Well, think about this. Strap 150 pounds on your body and get on that treadmill and carry it for a mile and a half for thirty minutes. I defy you.

No wonder obese people don't want to work out.

Yet I used to do that three times a week, every week. That took a hell of a lot of willpower and determination I never gave myself credit for.

I think a lot of obese people sell themselves short because everybody else sells them short. They just look at the weight and think, "Ah, you're lazy, and that's why you're fat." But we're not. We can do it.

We just don't think we can.

Secrets of the Roux-en-Y Sisterhood

I learned a few things over the past 19 months about losing weight. First off, I learned that protein is key to weight loss. They tell you it's all about cutting calories, but let me tell you, if you ain't getting enough protein, you can't loose weight no matter how you try. Gastric patients only get about 300-600 calories a day those first few weeks, so cutting calories is NOT a problem. And yet sometimes we get stuck. That's because we're not getting enough protein. Without protein, your body doesn't have what it needs to metabolize the fat.

So for us, all the focus is on getting in the 68 grams of protein you have to have every day to live. That's more complicated than you'd think, because your body can only absorb about 25 grams at a time. So you can't just eat one big bar or something. You have to make sure you get it in usable chunks. I found a nifty protein drink I loved here: http://www.bariatriceating.com/achievone.html


It's called Achieve One Cappuccino drink, and it's the only protein drink I was ever able to stomach at 20 grams a bottle. It can be hard to get, but it's worth it.

EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR MORE THAN JUST YOUR BUTT

I also discovered that exercise is my life-saver. For all that I always hated to work out before my surgery, I realized that it was the solution I've always been looking for when it came to stress and anxiety. Unlike antidepressants, it's instant -- you don't have to wait six weeks for it to kick in. A good work out can burn off more screaming stress than anything I can think of, with the possible exception of good sex.

I have come to see it as a necessity for my mental health, not just something I do to look good in jeans. Cause frankly, my jeans aren't a good enough incentive. Keeping myself from going batshit, however, is.

SOMETIMES YOU'RE NOT HUNGRY, YOU'RE THIRSTY

My Weight Watchers leader says this, and it's true. The nerves in your stomach that detect hunger also detect thirst. So if you're hungry, and it's not time to eat, drink something instead. That may be way you really need.

Anyway, those are a few of the lessons I've learned on the way to becoming half the woman I was.

By the way, soon after I started work on this blog, I learned that Shifter, my new anthology, hit #14 on the New York Times list. So I have TWO major things to celebrate today!

So I'm doing the Kermit the Frog dance of ecstasy!

Monday, March 03, 2008

SHIFTER HITS BOOKSTORES!



Dear gang --

For those of you who are anxious for an Angela Knight fix, my new anthology, SHIFTER, featuring "Mad Dog Love" will hit shelves Tuesday. SHIFTER also features work by Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, and Virginia Kantra, all wonderful authors who have penned steamy, delicious stories for the anthology.

I've written 20 novellas since my first was published in Secrets 2 back in 1996. I've got to admit, "Mad Dog Love" is my favorite of the lot. I just loved the idea-- a futuristic werewolf finds himself a slave, and is not happy about it.

Rance Conlan is from a world three hundred years from now --a planet so dangerous, people had to genetically engineer a race of werewolf protectors just to survive there. But Rance isn't just fuzzy. He's also an interstellar trader who is helping a group of revolutionaries fight a neighboring interstellar empire. Rance hates the empire because slavery is legal there, and its slavers frequently capture and collar citizens of the Freeworlds.

When our story opens, Rance has been betrayed and captured himself. To his fury, he finds himself sold to a beautiful mystery woman who is on the run from assassins. Here=s an excerpt:

Market Station,

The Lorezo Interstellar Empire,

The year 2450

Rance Conlan prowled his cell like the caged wolf he was, anger boiling through him with every long pace. There was nothing to divert his rage, since the cell held only a cot built into the floor and a toilet unit that thrust from the wall. Both were stark, white, and rounded, without so much as a sharp corner he could put to bloody use.

Not that it mattered. All he had to do was Shift, and he'd have fangs, claws and two meters of werewolf muscle at his disposal. Trouble was, the slave collar wouldn't let him Shift.

One of the new slaves sobbed in her cell on the other side of the bulkhead, her voice thick with despair and aching grief. Her tears scraped at Rance's Freeworld-bred instinct to protect and comfort. Adding to his frustration, the doorway of his cell lacked either bars or barrier field, creating the illusion that escape was possible.

Unfortunately, Rance knew better. If he so much as stepped over the threshold, agony would cripple him.

Bloody collar.

He glared at the empty doorway in brooding fury. All his life, his Nanobot system had provided him with absolute control over his body. The molecule-sized robots traveling through his bloodstream gave him the ability to heal any illness, tap superhuman reserves of strength, communicate over vast distances, access any fact he needed to know. Even Change into something not quite human.

On the savage world he called home, a man had to be more than a man to survive.

Rance's Nanos had given him that kind of power -- until slavers had captured him three months ago. The collar they'd locked around his neck had reprogrammed his Nanosystem and turned it into the instrument of his enslavement. If he attempted rebellion now, the 'bots would plunge him into a screaming red hell.

But that wasn't going to stop him. Nanos or no Nanos, he'd find a way to escape. The traitor who'd handed him over to the slavers was damn well going to pay.

"Mad Dog!" The voice rang down the corridor, arrogantly nasal. The sobbing from the cell next door cut off as if a switch had flipped.

Smart girl.

"Mad Dog, I've found a potential buyer." The slaver strutted through the cell doorway with two hulking cyborg bodyguards at his heels. "An Aristo courier looking for a werewolf bodyguard. And you'd better not space the deal, or you'll curse your mother for birthing you into hell."

Ortio Casus had a taste for melodramatic threats. Trouble was, he also liked carrying them out.

Rance ignored the little bastard, all his feral attention focused on the two 'borgs. They were as powerfully muscled as their boss was thin, dressed in steel gray Nanotium body armor and black-visored helmets that concealed their faces. And they were entirely too alert, apparently well-aware of just what Rance was capable of.

Bloody hell. All he needed was a moment's inattention. Even a little boredom would do. Too bad they were so well-trained. Probably ex-Imperial Marines. Especially the leader of the two, Captain Aaren, who'd first hacked into Rance's Nanosystem...

“Did you hear me? I said I’ve found a potential buyer." Casus glowered, jerking his weak, bearded chin upward in irritation. As usual, he was dressed like the Aristo fop he longed to be: gaudy velvet and too much lace. But what interested Rance was the glittering array of rings he wore on every finger. One for each slave in the cells.

Rance suspected the big ruby on Casus's right hand controlled his particular collar. It’d be interesting to bite the ring off that spidery finger and find out. A quick Shift to wolf form, a snap of razor fangs, and....

The pain slammed into his groin so fast and brutally, his knees buckled. Rance crashed to the floor, his body jerking into a helpless fetal ball. He gagged, struggling to breathe despite the sensation of a big fist slowly twisting his dick with sadistic strength.

Fucking Nanobots.

He must have met Casus's gaze again. The little prick hated it when he did that. Probably because he could see the patient death waiting in Rance’s eyes.

The pain abruptly ended, leaving him to collapse in sweating nausea.

“If you ruin this deal for me, I’ll see you dead!” Casus snarled, red-faced and quivering. “You’ll scream for days, Mad Dog. Days, do you understand me?” He raised the riding crop. “Do you?”

“Yes ... master,” Rance gritted, because to do anything else would bring more punishment and accomplish nothing. Slavery had taught him he couldn't afford empty gestures, no matter how satisfying it might be to spit in the bastard's face.

He had to pretend to submit, regardless of the humiliation. With any luck, a new master would be less wary than Casus. Rance would only need an instant’s inattention to do his killing and make his escape.

Mollified by Rance's pretended submission, Casus drew himself to his full height -- such as it was -- and straightened his lace cuffs with a fussy jerk. “Good. My guards will prepare you now. But if you dare meet her gaze with those yellow mad dog eyes, you’re a dead man. One way or another, I want you out of my stable. Either she buys you, or...”

Rance concealed a frown. She?

***

Zarifa Lorezo pushed the heavy gold drapes aside and stared out the porthole beyond. An Imperial Courier maneuvered to dock at one of Market Station's other arms, its thrust nodes glowing blue as it edged into its assigned slip.

Was her vicious fiancé aboard? Gerik often used courier ships on his secret missions for the Regent.

Zarifa sent up a silent prayer that he wasn't on that ship. She'd tried so hard to lose him. The course she'd flown had been almost ridiculously intricate -- making orbit at one world only to immediately blast into Superspace headed for another. Her trip here to Market Station had taken more than a week longer than it would have by direct flight.

Still, she was only delaying the inevitable. Gerik Natalo would catch up to her sooner or later. They didn't call him the Regent's Fist for nothing. He served his father's whims with fanatical devotion, and Umar Natalo wanted her back.

Zarifa’s right hand tightened on the hilt of the sword that hung at her hip. As she shifted her booted feet restlessly, a thin knife of agony stabbed her ribs. She stifled a hiss. The wound was almost healed, but the pain remained, a silent reminder of Gerik's last attempt to bring her in.

Her new system had been worth every Imperial she'd paid for it. Less than a week had passed since the bastard had driven his sword into her side. She’d have bled to death if not for the Nanos that had accelerated her body's healing. Yet she had no illusions: if her fiancĂ© hadn't been intent on taking her alive, she'd be a dead woman now. The Regent's Fist was simply too powerful, too skilled. Too deadly.

She had to make sure she had a protector before he caught up to her again.

“Lady Selan?”

Zarifa whirled, damn near drawing on Casus before she managed to stay her hand. She slid the sword the inch back into its sheath and wiped the feral determination off her face. “Yes?”

The slaver gave her an oily smile, gaudy in his yellow silk waistcoat and green velvet jacket. A tradesman with pretensions, her father's ghost whispered. His eyes flicked nervously to the white-knuckled grip she had on her sword hilt. She wondered how quickly he’d sell her out if he knew who she really was. He’d call the Palace before I was halfway out the door.

Luckily, the image her Nanos projected would keep him from recognizing her. Between that and her cover identity of slightly shady Aristo courier, she should be relatively safe.

Unless Gerik showed up with a warrant for her arrest....

Casus sketched an elaborate bow. “The slave is ready for your consideration, milady.”

“Good. Show him in, please.” Zarifa squared her shoulders and braced her booted feet apart as the slaver turned to gesture at one of his men.

The thought of buying a slave set her teeth on edge. If she'd had her way, she'd have outlawed slavery years ago. If it was illegal to enslave Imperial citizens, it should be just as unconstitutional to kidnap and collar Freeworlders. Unfortunately, the Regent had ignored all her arguments. She suspected he was probably involved in the slave trade himself.

Umar did love his money.

And wouldn't it be ironic if one of those slaves turned out to be her salvation? Too bad she couldn't afford more of them. She'd be happier with a whole phalanx of werewolves to escort her on her mission. Unfortunately, buying the ship had left her funds so drained, one Shifter was all she could afford.

Frowning, Zarifa used her thumb to twist the diamond ring that rode her right hand, a nervous habit formed in the last stressful month. The intricately engraved band felt cold on her finger, heavy with old debts and lost honor.

The door whispered open. Zarifa looked around just as one of the guards led the slave in on the end of a silver chain.

And she forgot everything else.

The Shifter prowled between the overstuffed pseudo-Victorian furnishings, naked except for a gleaming black collar around his neck. One sweeping glance branded him on her senses -- the hard, angular features, the broad, powerful curve of his chest, the ripple of brawny arms and legs. The swing of his heavy sex between his thighs....

She looked away, feeling her cheeks burn. Right into Casus’s amused, faintly contemptuous gaze.

Alarm jolted through her. I'm blowing my own cover. The jaded Aristo she was pretending to be was not the kind of woman who'd blush at the sight of a big cock.

But my lover was nothing like that, a tiny voice protested.

Zarifa ignored it. She had a role to play.

She started toward the Shifter with as much swagger as she could manage. He didn’t meet her stare even when she stopped bare centimeters away.

Her eyes were on the level with his small, dark nipples. She looked down, along the rippled plane of his hard belly, deliberately forcing her gaze to his sex. Sweet Lady, how big would it be fully erect?

She ordered her Nanosystem to cool her cheeks before they could heat again.

Zarifa looked up into the Shifter's face. His eyes still refused to meet hers, but she saw now they were the color of ancient coins, a bright gold that was not entirely human. His hair was a rich, deep sable that gleamed like fur, cut ruthlessly short, yet still showing a hint of curl. She could almost feel the smooth silk of it against her fingers.

God, she craved the touch of another human. Entombed in her fortress of fear, she hadn't dared let anyone close. Especially a man.

Especially a man like this.

True, he wasn't the most handsome male she’d ever seen. The aristocracy habitually sent its most beautiful sons to her court in hopes of attracting her eye. Despite the breathtaking power of his body, the Shifter's features were too rough for that kind of perfection. His nose was a bit too flared across the nostrils, his deep-set eyes too feral, his cheekbones not quite knife-edged enough, his chin a little too stubborn.

But it was his mouth that fascinated. His lower lip was full with the promise of lush eroticism, yet his upper lip was thin, with a faint twist that suggested pain and bitterness.

Gold coin eyes darted up to meet hers. For an instant, they blazed hot with male interest as those beautiful lips curved into a knowing smile. Then he looked away, leaving her heart pounding in desperate lunges as she remembered everything they said about Shifters.

She could have him. Have him as she’d not dared to have a man since the Regent had ordered her lover’s murder. Six years, she’d lived like a Lady’s Nun, not daring to allow so much as a stolen kiss from the beautiful men who surrounded her. Fearing what the Regent would do to protect his power and keep the way clear for his son's claim. Only Gerik had touched her, and his hands had not exactly been welcome.

But she could have this wolf. Buy him. Own him. Take him to her bed.

You’re letting him distract you, her father’s ghost whispered. You’re not buying him for sex. He's a means to regain our lost honor. That's all.

Zarifa forced herself to step back. Forced her eyes not to drop to his lengthening cock. “I need a protector. Can you fight?”

White teeth flashed in a hard, reckless smile with just a hint of viciousness. “Yes.”

She flicked a glance at the guards in their gray Nanotium armor. “Show me.”

“Now, Lady Selan...” Casus began nervously.

But the Shifter was already moving, spinning, one bare heel lashing out to slam into the nearest guard’s armored belly. It must have hurt, but he didn’t even break step, pivoting to ram a fist into the man’s faceplate, following up with a series of furious hammer blows to the 'borg's head and body. Blood flew in a crimson arc, but it was from the Shifter’s own splitting knuckles.

Yet he didn’t seem to feel the pain, his face twisted in an animal snarl as the guard stumbled back from the fury of his attack.

The second cyborg dove at him with a roar. The Shifter ducked the charge and danced back, throwing another brutal punch. And then another, and another. More blood flew from his hands.

Zarifa caught her breath. The rage in him, the fury boiling to the surface to spill from his pounding hands and savage kicks --- it was as if the Lady herself had given Zarifa's own frenzied, angry frustration human form.

But human as he was, he couldn’t hurt his guards, could only break himself against their armored bodies.

“Shift!” she snapped, feeling wild and reckless. “Shift now!”

Gold eyes flicked to hers. He bared his teeth.

“No!” the slaver gasped.

But sable fur was already spreading over the Shifter’s bare skin, his body bulking even larger, his face lengthening into an elegant muzzle. His ears rose into lupine points as his big hands and feet grew deadly curved claws. He turned his feral golden eyes on the guards....

Down!” Casus roared.

The Shifter roared in agony and dropped to the ground as if he’d been shot. The fur melted away as his body returned to human form, writhing and kicking in anguish.

Zarifa knew exactly how that felt. The pain. The helpless, searing rage. The black shame of being a puppet to callous men.

Her gaze shot to the slaver, who wore a smile of grim satisfaction now. “I told you what would happen, Mad Dog,” Casus spat. “I warned you.”

The next thing Zarifa knew, her sword was in her hand and pressed hard to the slaver’s throat. A tide of red washed over her vision. It seemed she could almost see the slaver's blood streaming under her blade. Casus's thin lips pulled into an O of terror.

She bared her teeth. "Let. Him. Go."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Come take a look at my new Podcast with Gail Martin

I met Gail Martin a few months about at a reader's even in Charlotte, NC. I was very impressed with her and her wonderful book, so when she asked me if I'd like to be interviewed for her podcast, I gladly said yes. Here's what Gail had to say in her blog:

I had a great time talking with Angela on my Ghost in the Machine podcast
http://gzmartin.audioacrobat.com/rss/gailzmartinpodcast.xml . Even though
Angela writes paranormal romance and I write fantasy adventure, it was fun
to share our love for vampires and the supernatural. I’m much more
interested in a story if it has ghosts, vampires and haunted houses—with
some romance as well!

It’s fun to see how much “our” type of fiction has gone mainstream.
Finding a romance book with a hint of anything ghostly or supernatural used
to mean digging through a handful of “gothic romance” titles. Now,
vampires, werewolves and supernatural romance rule. It’s blurred some of
the old lines between romance and fantasy, which is a good thing. I do a
lot of book signings, and I see how people wander through bookstores. Most
people head right for their favorite section and never look around at all
the great books they might like that are shelved elsewhere. After talking
with Angela, I wandered through the romance isle and was delighted at the
types of stories I found that had a great mix of paranormal and passion. I
dare you to explore the fantasy aisle where my Chronicles of the
Necromancer books are shelved (The Summoner, The Blood King), and you might
just discover that there’s more than a dash of romance spicing up tales of
magic and mayhem! Gail Z. Martin—www.ChroniclesOfTheNecr
omancer.com

Please drop by and take a look at her site!

And here's what I have to say about Gail in particular and SF in general...

I was really honored when Gail asked me to be interviewed in a her podcast on her website. I had a ball talking to her about creatures that go bump in the night, and why writers and readers can't seem to get enough of them.

I'm also a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, and have been for years. True, I write romance, but I also love having my imagination and sense of wonder challenged. That's something Gail does with flair!

Urban fantasy is another genre that really speaks to me. I'm hooked on Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, along with Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books. I adore the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, as well as Pat Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. Other keepers include anything by Wen Spencer and Lois McMaster Bujold, who is simply wonderful.

As a writer, I've recently begun work on a new science fiction romance series called TIME HUNTERS. The heroes are genetically engineered cyborgs who leap through time in pursuit of time traveling criminals. I just finished the first book of the series, Time Hunters: WARRIOR. Look for it in July.

For more about my work, check out my website at www.angelasknights.com. I'm in the process of having the site revamped, and I hope to have it up soon. Thanks!

Angela Knight