Friday, January 11, 2008

Cool Octopus

My partner forwarded me this article about an octopus who loves to play with Mr. Potato Head. It's worth it for the photo alone.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

F,F&F's Top Ten

Over at Fangs, Fur & Fey someone started a meme about the top ten ways you can tell this novel was written by me. I like this question because I think it gets to some of the subconscious things that crop up repeatedly in authors' fiction. I didn't go terribly deep with this list, because I think there are also usually some issues with family that come up in my books as well as moral questions, but here's what I posted to F,F&F:

1. Sex happens early. In fact, in my first novel my editor kept asking me to slow down the romance. (I guess this just means I fall into bed easily and often. Oops.)

2. People drink a lot of coffee, and a lot of the action happens in coffeeshops. (Hmmm, I wonder what I'm doing right now?)

3. A character's religion is often central to the plotline. Also, someone in the novel practices an off-beat religion/spirituality. There is also often a reference (usually a joke) regarding my religion of origin -- Unitarian Universalism.

4. There is a hidden GLBT character in every novel, usually in the background.

5. There is a character who isn't white -- usually a secondary, but important, character.

6. At some point someone speaks a language that isn't English.

7. My geek roots show. Someone (usually my resident geek boy, William,) will make a reference to gaming, comicbooks, Monty Python, Star Trek, Star Wars, or other things that demonstrate his (and consequentally my) geek cred.

8. A character listens to country western music.

9. A Wisconsin/Minnesota joke/reference is made at some point. There is a lot of talk about the weather, fish fries, beer, the movie Fargo, and other things specfic to these two states. Someone sees a cow in a field at least once a novel.

10. I describe Madison, Wisconsin as "strange and liberal," and someone takes a stroll down State Street.

So, that's me. What about you? Do you have any hidden themes in your writing you care to share? It doesn't have to be ten... name just one!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Love Scene Workshop

-------Permission to Forward------------

DATES: February 4th-17th, 2008
INSTRUCTOR: Jenna Petersen aka Jess Michaels
COST: FREE for FTHRW members, $15 for all others

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Hot is well, hot, right now. But not every author is comfortable with the intricacies of sensual love scenes. In this three part presentation, sensual and erotic romance writer Jenna Petersen (Jess Michaels) breaks down the key elements a powerful love scene should contain.

Part 1: Character -- Remaining true to your characters when they take off their clothes. Virgins versus concubines and other ways to throw your hero and heroine out of character.
Part 2: Plot -- Don't lose the thread just cause they're in bed. Why the story can't stop for six pages. How to fold plot elements into your love scenes and keep the conflict and tension high. Why consummation doesn't mean the end to conflict.
Part 3: Emotion -- It's not just slots and tabs. Trust me. Exploring the love scene beyond lust to anger, fear, love and more. How tension can build to and from love scenes.
In addition, Petersen will give tips and hints on how authors can be more comfortable writing their characters in bed. Petersen will conduct Q&A and provide examples.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:Jenna Petersen started writing full-time in 1999 when her husband said, "You're only happy when you're writing, why don't you do that?" In 2004, her dream came true when her literary agent called to say she'd just sold two books to Avon. Her releases include: Scandalous (October 2005), From London With Love (August 2006) and Desire Never Dies (January 2007), Seduction is Forever (October 2007) and the upcoming Lessons from a Courtesan (August 2008). She also writes erotic romance as Jess Michaels, and helped launch the Avon Red line with her novella in Parlor Games. Her next Jess Michaels release is Something Reckless (May 2008). She's been a Bookscan and Waldenbooks Mass Market bestseller. In addition, she has run The Passionate Pen since 1999. This popular site for aspiring authors gets nearly 200,000 hits per month and contains information on literary agents, publishing houses, articles about writing and the industry, links and Jenna's Diary toward and beyond publication. You can find her at and at .