“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Romantic Suspense Group (#43) Getting-to-Know-You Blogfest. Short and sweet.

I know the Campaign is over, but Joy Campbell has been trying to organise this blogfest for months, however publishing her books got in the way, which is all good! How is 'Hardware' going Joy? 

So, better late than never. The Romantic Suspense group (#43) in Rachael Harrie’s Platform  Building Campaign is hosting a Getting-to-Know-You Blogfest during the week of November 13-19. 

It’s in the middle of NaNo, which is why we’re giving ourselves a week to drop by each other’s blogs and cement the connections we’ve made during this Campaign. The Getting-to-Know-You Blogfest is fun and easy.  We just signed up in the linky list and from November 13 to November 19 we'll be posting answers in response to the questions below. 

If you're in The Romantic Suspense Group and missed the email or forgot about it, there's still time to join up here and participate

This is what Joy asked us to do:

  • 1. Name two [romantic suspense] authors who inspire you.
This is difficult, choosing only two. However, two inspirational romantic suspense authors are: Nora Roberts and J.D.Robb. Nora, especially, writes many genres, of which romantic suspense is only one, but she is an awesome writer, not to mention prolific. 
  • 2. How did you start writing in your genre?
I like romance, but I also like a lot of suspense. And I adore crime thrillers so thought why not link crime and romance? 
  • 3. You've landed a meeting with your dream agent. Write a one paragraph pitch to sell your novel to him/her. (No more than four sentences)
This sounds like a lot of work during NaNoWriMo! Okay, let's go...here's my 'elevator' pitch for my second novel, In Search of the Last Cowboy.

Shakira Pearlman sets out to avenge her rape, but she's confronted by a police force crippled by inertia and a Senator father who's afraid a court case will hurt his chances of retaining his Massachusetts seat. Shakira refuses to accept the status quo as she's discovered she's not the rapist's first victim and fears she won't be his last. She pursues him across America following the trail of the honeybees. Her quest intensifies when she meets Detective Byron Bredemeier and falls in love. Together they must find the rapist before he strikes again.

  • 4. Sabotage or accident- which would put your female lead through and why?
Sabotage. It sounds way more interesting, but, on the other hand my protagonist above does meet with an accident... 
  • 5. Plotter or Pantser? Who are you?
Pantser. I try to be a plotter, but that comes along once I've got my idea, a few characters and a bit of a start. I'm at 12,000 words on my third novel, this one set in Afghanistan. Now the characters have all come by, we've had a getting-to-know you party, sorted out our cultural differences, and now I can sit down and get plotting or maybe I'll just go along for what's going to be a wild ride.

1.The Character Depot2.How Many Days In A Year?
3.Chris Eboch's Write Like a Pro! blog4.Kris Bock: Ordinary women. Extraordinary adventures.
5.Tara W.6.Kerrin Hearfield
7.Mynr Whitman Writes8.L'Aussie
9.Tina DC Hayes, Author at Large

Click on the names above if you'd like to read what they have to say.

  • I'd appreciate comments from one and all, especially regarding the pitch. Re-reading I think it's a bit clunky. What do you think? Does it interest you?


  1. Ohhh, but this sounds like fun, but don't know right now. "Remy Broussard's Christmas" is climbing in the charts - I'm excited beyond words - and must thank those who've purchased a copy.

    I loved your rapist angle - the approach works, except for one minor detail - we use "American" as an adjective (because it's impossible to turn United States into an adjective) but refer to our country, most of the time (this gets really tricky, difficult to translate; Canadians are also Americans, as are those in South America - sheesh! really tricky) as the United States or the States. Maybe it's just me, but if she pursued him across the United States or across the country (probably better, actually, as we know what this means) it would have appeared more native-born. Anyway, I think you've got a winner here.

  2. I still can't imagine writing a book without an outline...

  3. Kittie: Thanks for that lesson. These are the finer points I need to adjust. I might come by to ask you some more!

    Alex: Well plenty of us do and it works for us! Isn't it nice that we're all so unique! I think it is.


  4. Denise, please feel free to e-mail me at anytime at kittiehoward@gmail.com. You know me, I'll give you honest answers about our culture. I really, really do think you've got a great story in the making. I'll be more than happy to lend a Yank informational hand. We LOVE the Aussies here and want only the best for you. Don't hesitate, girl!!!!!

    And thanks for your support of Remy. I'm truly touched! (Okay, I'm super sensitive. *sighs*

    (Also, my former roommate from Okinawa days lives in MA so I can easily cross-check any questions you might have about that region. It's a bit different up there, again a bit tricky. But Pauline's a native and will tell it like it is. Please don't hesitate to asks!!!)

  5. Hi Kittie. You're definitely so sweet. It'll be great to know I can come to you to get my facts/expressions right and yes, I know you're a straight shooter.

    And the Aussies have just let the Yanks set up a new military base in Darwin. Not sure what that means yet but I'm sure I'll work it out. It is a strategic spot, wide open...

    I'm glad you like the sound of my tale...


  6. Denise, I love the pitch of your novel. It definitely sounds like one I would read :-)

  7. Sarah: Thank you. I just need to finish editing it and many other projects. How's NaNo?


  8. Loved the sound of this, would love to have the time to join in. You've made me think - this grown-up novel I'm writing ... what is it? Romance, fantasy, farce.... have to sort that out! You seem much better organised.

  9. Carole Anne: I'd be interested to hear more about your grown-up novel.


  10. Sounds intense. You know, I've never even watched the movie The Accused due to the intense subject matter. Too sensitive.

  11. L Diane Wolfe: Well life happens.


  12. Denise, love the sound of your novel! Would definitely read it!

    All the best!

  13. Romance Reader: Thank you!


  14. Oh Yes! Like the sound of your story!

  15. Great pitch, my friend. And I love the title, In Search of the Last Cowboy. I'm really anxious to read this one!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  16. That novel set in Afghanistan sounds like an interesting one. Interesting pitch too that makes me want to check out the story. Not too sure about the honeybees. I don't think I got that. Is that about the other victims or is that a colloquialism? Flying by now, but will send you my thoughts on the pitch later.

    Thanks for the mention on Hardware. You won one of the copies ya know.

  17. Ann: Thank you.

    Joy: Yes that could be confuscious! She works in the bee industry and the beekeeper is the bad guy.

    Thanks. Just downloaded my copy of Hardware!


  18. I think you could basically cut this -- as she's discovered she's not the rapist's first victim and fears she won't be his last.

    I don't need her reasoning, as I'm perfectly willing to accept that a rape victim would want revenge, and you already told us she did in the first sentence. Just go from "Shakira refuses to accept the status quo" to your next sentence "and pursues the rapist across the country."

    I was both intrigued and puzzled by the honeybees. I wondered if it were literal or metaphor/slang. I'd either cut the reference or add a more complete sentence that explains better. Since it is an unusual angle, keeping the mention would be good, though the pitch is still intriguing without it.

    This feels a little flat -- Her quest intensifies when she meets Detective Byron Bredemeier and falls in love.

    Is it really that easy? Typically romance novels have tension between the leads, and a woman who has been raped and then ignored by the police probably wouldn't be quick to trust men in general, or a detective in particular. (I'm assuming calling him simply "Detective" implies a member of some police force.)

    I don't know the details of your story, but maybe something along the lines of: "She really doesn't want help from Detective Byron Bredemeier, no matter how sexy he is, but he may be her only hope to find the rapist before he strikes again.

    Kris Bock
    Rattled: romantic suspense in the dramatic and deadly New Mexico desert.
    Read 3 chapters: www.krisbock.com

  19. Hi Kris:
    Wow! Thank you for the critique of my dodgy pitch. Well, said agent I hope would be intrigued enough to ask more questions, as you have. The honeybees definitely have a place and need to be in the pitch. I wrote this quickly for the blogfest and of course I will work on it more. I was waiting for a few more criticisms before I improve it.

    I really like your take on Detective Byron. Thank you!


  20. You did well writing a pitch quickly! It read fine to me. I was a bit thrown by the honeybees, but intrigued at the same time. Good luck, Denise.

  21. Shakira Pearlman! What an interesting name to go along with what sounds like a very interesting story! Love that her father is a Senator. I'm wondering what he thinks, if he knows, of her plans.

  22. Glynis: Ah, those honeybees got some attention, not all good, but...

    Samantha: Glad you like the name (so do I obviously) and I do so love American politics! I'm sure daddy doesn't know more than he wants to.



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