Monday, April 7, 2014

Feeling rejected?



Okay, so I've been crowing about my contracts this year....and yes, after 50 published books, I still happy dance because a contract for me is a validation that I have worth as a writer.
Yes, I get rejections and I know all authors have faced rejection at least once in their writing career.

For me, a rejection doesn't mean my life is over. Yes, it is depressing especially when I want my story published by a particular publisher. I'm just like everyone else, I want to have a great agent and see my books out there in the local book store or even better on the NY Times Bestseller List....I mean who wouldn't?

But it's horses for courses, some stories are not a fit for certain publishers that doesn't mean another publisher won't fall in love with your story. When I first started, I sent my YA to all the wrong publishers and those ten 80K+ stories about witches and warlocks are gathering dust because I gave up.
I had no feedback and no idea  how to improve or who to send my work to.

One day I guess I'll get time to read the old M/S again- they are very funny, I remember crying with laughter writing them and so did my BETA reader. Ah those were the days :-)

How do you handle rejections?

What upsets you the most?

We've all had them from JK Rowling  to Stephen King  from the form rejection letter to the one liner....declined.

What upsets you the most?

Me, well  I'd prefer a " thank you for submitting but your story isn't right for us." form letter than one that is condescending.

The best comes from a publisher who actually gives a little feedback.

Feedback...good or bad is valuable.

So what do I do if I receive a rejection letter? I feel rejected LOL....then I submit it to another publisher and write  another story.....NEVER GIVE UP  :-)
HC

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How to prevent "word blindness" during editing by H.C. Brown

Many of us  suffer from what I call "word blindness". The brain is a wonderful part of our bodies and it's function is to get the correct information to us at speed. This is why when we see  a jumble of words on a page so long as the first and last letter are correct our brain makes up the middle.

For example:

In a perxect woxld we woxld axl be rxch

In a perfect world we would all be rich.

Okay, so when we are reading through our manuscripts our brain tells us it's perfect.

I have found a simple solution to this. Most editors will tell you to put the M/S away for a few weeks and then go back to it. Or, print it out and read it.

So what if we haven't got three weeks to spare?

The solution  came to me by accident. I posted a critique on my critique group wall and it came up in a different format. I noticed errors straight away.
So the solution is:
Copy your m/s into another  document to keep it safe.
Every time you sit down to edit, select all and change the font to a significantly different one.
Or change the background color of your page.

At the end of your polishing  it is easy to revert back to the original font.

Common problems:

 Learning how to show and not tell a story.

Telling: She felt hot. She blushed.- Wrong.
Showing: Her face grew hot.  Heat rushed into her cheeks.- Correct.

Telling: She felt cold.- Wrong.
Showing : An icy breeze brushed her skin.- Correct.

Putting the re-action before the action is a frequent error.

She screamed as her feet caught fire- incorrect.
Her feet caught fire and she screamed in agony. - Correct.

Head hoping- how to keep POV.

  By adding adjectives to the  second character you can easily keep the main character's POV.

Lucy lifted her chin and gazed into John's blue eyes. ( Lucy's POV- why? Because she can see his blue eyes) John took her shoulders and bent to kiss her succulent lips. ( John's POV...why? Because he can see her succulent lips)
This is head hoping so we need to keep  Lucy's POV.

Lucy lifted her chin and gazed into John's blue eyes. John 's expression became intent, he took her shoulders in his large hands and bent to kiss her. ---- Here we can see John through Lucy's POV.

I hope this helps.


H.C. Brown

Monday, March 17, 2014

How to show not tell by H.C. Brown



Showing and telling is like a switch in your head...okay. We just have to turn it on. I've  sat in lectures/workshops but over the years I've taught and tutored I've come to the conclusion that our brains can only absorb so much information and then we get confused. So I've picked out a few things you need and set them up in a  way to turn on your lights :-) If I am correct  print this up and keep it close by as a reference when you are writing,  it will help a lot.

Telling: She felt hot
Showing: Her face grew hot.

Telling : She felt cold/ she knew it was cold

Showing: An icy chill seeped through her blouse.

Telling: He realized he'd hit his head/ he banged his head.

Showing: Pain shot through his temple.

 So go through your manuscript and do a search for she/he felt, knew, thought, was.....these are usually signs of telling unless in dialogue.

Reaction before Action. On the whole using "as" is a lazy way of writing and it's the way we speak which makes it even more confusing. So do not to use ‘as”  to join two actions that are happening in a sentence out of sequence. Remember an action is followed by  a reaction.
Wrong:
 She screamed as the house caught fire.
He flinched as the door burst open.

 Correct:
Flames licked under the door and a curls of acrid smoke burned a path into her lungs. "Help!"
The door flung open and smashed against the wall. Hairs rose on the back of his neck at the sight of the demon.

Dialogue Tags:
These are unnecessary and, he, said , he replied etc are redundant. If two people are in a conversation, if one speaks then the other is replying. The reader doesn't need to be told this. Every publishing house I've been with have insisted they be removed.

Using Action Tags,  you set the mood of the scene so  think about this:

"How dare you," John said angrily.
"I'll  do whatever I please," she replied.

What  image does the above dialogue give the reader....not much.
So by removing the dialogue tags and adding action you create the mood of the characters.

John slammed one large fist into the table overturning the bud vase. His hard gaze lashed her face."How dare you."

Jane couldn't face him and her attention went to  the trail of water spilling across the desk. She gathered her courage and lifted her chin. "I'll do whatever I please."

Can you see the mood of both the characters?

Using the action tags with the dialogue adds what I call ambience....the mood, feel, scent of a scene.

Keeping POV.

In the scene above, can you tell who is the POV character and why? It's Jane because she sees his "One large fist." and we have her inner thought "Jane couldn't face him." Always add an adjective to the other character to keep POV. Remember only the POV can see, eye colour, a twisted smile, large hands, brown hair etc.

Pause and EM-Dash.
In dialogue when a person pauses in conversation you use the three dots . . .
Am EM-Dash is when speech is cut off  by an interruption of another person or action:

“Oh darling . . . please don’t go.”  (Pause in speech.)
“John I —”        ( Interrupted )
“Don’t say another word—” He threw the papers in her face. “—just look at these.” (Interrupted)




 Hope this helps :-)
HC

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Club Flogger's Collections 1 & 2 Available now!


Three of H.C. Brown's bestselling Club Floggers  books in each volume



                                                 Buy Link
 Buy Link



New Release :  Club Floggers Book #9 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Release- Roll Play- Club Floggers 9

Buy Link

H.C. Brown's Best selling Club Flogger's Series continues with some crazy antics from rockstar Seth and his Dom, Kall. Seth, drummer of the famous rock band, Cold Heat, enjoys a little role-play and Kall takes his pup on a hot ride over the edge.
 


Excerpt:

"Don't look at me, keep your mouth shut. I’m gonna let go of your hands. Pull up your pants and hold them but leave that hot cock exposed for all to see. Good boy, now walk back to the studio." He shoved Seth in the back.
How does he know about the studio? It’s the biggest kept secret since Roswell. Freezing air cut into his skin and his balls ached. The man’s cold hand rested on the bare skin of his back. With every step Seth glanced around the empty street, surely, someone would come.

"Stop. Turn around and put out your hands." He pushed Seth against a tree surrounded in shadows.
Seth complied. The frozen bark scratched his back. The stranger grasped his wrists in his large hand and lifted them high in the air. Fear strangled the cry in his throat.

“Move and I’ll cut off your balls. Understand boy?”

Seth gripped the tree behind him. “Yes, Sir.”

The man gazed at his shrunken shaft, his breathing ragged. The knife pressed against Seth’s belly the man dropped to his knees and lifted the edge of his balaclava. He had full, luscious lips, and dark stubble dusted his chin. Seth swallowed. He resembled his Dom, had his lips, his chin, but not his voice. Could this be Kall acting out his wildest fantasy?

"Ask me to suck you, boy."

Seth trembled. Dear God what was happening? The knife pressed against his flesh. “Please suck me, Sir.”

The stranger lowered his head and groaned.

So damned good, Seth shuddered with the thrill of forbidden excitement. His captor’s tongue flicked out like a snake, circling the tip. Then his warm mouth surrounded him suckling and tugging him into erection. The stranger growled in appreciation and bobbed his head.
Seth panicked. He shouldn’t be enjoying this. . .fuck! "Please . . . I can't . . . I can't do this."

"You are and you’re loving it. I can taste how much you want me." The stranger ignored Seth's pleas, and suckled harder.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tamsin Baker's New Release from Escape Publishing!

Too Busy for Love
By Tamsin Baker

 Blurb:
He needed a job — he never expected to need his boss.

Thomas's life can be pared down to one principle: Be as successful as possible by being as single-minded as possible. But his commitment to his goal is tested upon returning home to his mansion and finding his gorgeous new gardener in his library.

Luke is a student, and his new job is perfect: decent income and a place to study that's quiet, peaceful, and stocked with useful resources. The last thing he expects to find there is a stunning man who offers to open up all the doors that Luke has yet to be brave enough to peek behind.

Thomas is happy to wait for Luke to come to him, but when he does, Thomas has no intention of holding back...



Excerpt:
I’m studying architecture and you have some pretty awesome textbooks. I was just making some notes.”
Thomas nodded mechanically and sat down in the chair opposite Luke. This was not what he needed— to find out his gorgeous, young gardener was intelligent too. Crap.
Talk! Just talk to him. “How long have you got to go?” He choked out.
Luke groaned theatrically and rolled his eyes. “Two long years. But I’ll get there.”
Thomas smiled at the artless way Luke had of moving and talking. But the question was, was he gay?  Were his smiles a come-on, or the act of a guileless young man?
Luke’s blue eyes sparkled. “You’re home late, sir.”
Thomas opened his mouth and said something he had never murmured to a staff member before, “You can call me Thomas if you like.”
Luke cocked his head in an adorable way, his blue eyes showing surprise and pleasure.
“Sure...Tommy.”
Thomas couldn’t stop the moan that escaped his lips at the sound of such a nickname from this gorgeous young man.  A name he had banned all previous lovers and friends from using. He didn’t like the sound of it, it sounded common. Well, it used to.
“I don’t usually let people call me that.”
Luke stood up and smiled. “Really? Why not?”
Thomas stood up also and moved forward so that they almost nose to nose. His need to touch this guy was an almost painful yearning. Luke’s eyes widened in surprise but the pupils dilated in arousal also. Thomas followed his instincts and pushed forward.
“Because it sounds like something my lover would call me.”
Luke blinked several times but didn’t move back.
Thomas took that as assent and lifted his hands to cup Luke’s jaw. His skin was soft, with the faintest feeling of bristles against his palm. He brought his face a scant inch closer.
He felt Luke’s gasp against his lips but pressed forward and moaned as their skin met. Luke’s lips were soft, juicy and full of potential. He stepped closer so that their bodies were touching, Thomas’ cock hardened as it rubbed against the younger man. He groaned again and coaxed Luke’s lips open.
            Luke opened to him slowly and Thomas took advantage, tasting and licking the inside of Luke’s mouth. Enjoying the softness, the way Luke’s tongue hesitantly met his.
The soft moan Luke emitted caused Thomas’s body to harden unbearably, and then Luke was pushing him back with a gentle hand.
Thomas’ head was swimming as though he was drunk and he staggered back a few steps so that he was in the centre of the room again. He was dizzy with pleasure and was throwing caution to the wind. He knew he should have spoken to the head gardener first to find out what sort of employee Luke was. He should have talked to his lawyer, but he didn’t. He just opened his mouth and said what he wanted.
“I’m gonna have a bath. Wanna join me?”
Luke’s mouth fell open as his eyes scanned down Thomas’ body. Thomas knew his erection would be obvious in the dress pants he wore. It was hard and uncomfortable, but he didn’t care. Luke needed to see what was on offer.
He reached up and pulled his tie down, part of his seriously lust-fogged brain wondering if he was about to be sued for sexual harassment.
“Well?” He raised an eyebrow at the beautiful boy still staring at him.
He threw his silk tie down onto the chair, shrugged off his jacket and began unbuttoning his shirt. His stomach tightened in excitement as he waited for Luke to make the next move.






                                                      About the Author:
Tamsin Baker is an Aussie girl who only discovered erotic romance twelve months ago. Before that she read sexy romance, skipping the plot and looking for the ‘good bits.’ Since then she has written and obtained twenty contracts of varying lengths for her erotic romance and erotica novels. She absolutely LOVES reading and writing it! She has two other jobs, kids and a hubby too – but writing is a passion that she has to indulge for fear of insanity.
M/M is a passion of hers so even when she writes ménage, there is always an M/M story. She particularly enjoys writing Female dommes, but she loves experimenting in all genres. She is learning to write and read more, one step at a time. Soon, she’ll have stories published in every sub-genre of erotic romance – well that’s her aim anyway.


Author Links:


Buy Links:

Amazon:

ARe:

Escape Publishing:


Monday, February 24, 2014

In The Hot Seat With H.C is author Willow West




Welcome Willow West   can you tell my readers a little about you?            

Willow West is a contemporary author. She likes to write about strong female characters engaging in titillating activities. Willow likes the slightly unconventional and reminds us that not all heroes and heroines are perfect. Willow writes and works as a copywriter. She lives in with six children in a house that is full of love. If she could write anywhere, it would be in a breezy attic overlooking the ocean.









Q:  Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?
M.I.L.F. is my first book. It tells of carries, a financially struggling widow who finds herself making an income by selling sex. Her appeal to her daughter’s handsome young friend leads her on a journey of hilarious misdemeanours.
I like to write modern books that many not conform to the tradition love stories that I, along with many, also like to read

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
I work full time and have six children in my care. I also write part-time for a web design company so neither really applies. I write on the rare occasions that I have nothing else to do!

Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
No, I really should but I have to just get started. I wrote and write until my ideas are spent and then I re-read and make notes at the bottom of where the story will go next. I then give it to my friend to read. She suggests places where I could add bits in. I t works for me!

Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?
Hard to say as this is my first book sand there isn’t really a hero. There is a messy father/son love triangle and I ended up not sure who I wanted Clara to be with. I actually wrote three endings and wildly disagreed with everyone about which one I was going to use. I even toyed with a multi-choice ending where the reader decided...(You’ll have to read it to see which one won.)
Q. Coffee or tea?
Depends what time of day; tea for breakfast and at 4 pm then coffee for elevenses and before I go to bed.
Q. Beach or countryside?
Beach
Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
So far, the story was mainly set in a house, although court was featured at the end. Watch this space!

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
It just comes to me. I do a lot of talking with my critical friend so much so that she often feels as if she has read the whole book before I even hand it to her!

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
Yes, send the kids to Timbuktu and win the lottery!


Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
I have been very lucky that I had a contract not too long after I started writing,. Since then, I have had every book I have written signed by SteameReads. I am very blessed in this regard. I cannot stress enough the need to have a critical friend read your work. They often pick up things that can improve your work and give it that polish. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to submit. Sit on the book for a while, start another then re-read. Be honest with yourself. Is it a book you would enjoy?



Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
I like all sorts of books. At the moment I am trying to get through all the books by my Facebook writer friends. I know many of them have read some of my other books in my fantasy genre (Loretta Laird) so I try to return the favour. I like fantasy and romance best.


Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
I move between. Sometimes, I just have an urge to write one book or a new idea comes to me. At the moment I have four on the go.

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
I suppose I do but it is more like when the muse stands no chance of getting a look in!

Q. What motivates you to write?
It is just something I feel I need to do. It is just natural to me to have my laptop open and be writing whenever I sit down.

Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
Get it reviewed by a friend or friends then do some research about publishers. Make a few Facebook author buddies and ask around.
Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases?
M.I.L.F. was released last week so grab a copy. My Passer series by Loretta Laird is up to two out of three books. I have submitted book three and await my contract!

Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?
I love the Julie Walters movie about a brothel and one day I just imagined a lady who enjoyed sex offering it to help pay her mortgage and bills. I researched a couple of court cases from the UK and a story was born. I wanted Clara to just happen upon it really with the focus being on the comedy of it rather than the seediness.
Blurb:
Clara is a widow. She has a grown up daughter and she is alone with growing debts. One day, she discovers that her daughter's friend has always considered her a M.I.L.F. (Mother I'd Like to Fuck). One thing leads to another and she ends up fulfilling his youthful fantasy. Later on, his father suggests that she capitalize on the assets she has. Before long, she is entertaining as series of unusual men and releasing their hidden desires. A heart-warming and funny account of one woman's journey to make ends meet.

Excerpt: 
Dean
Dean was nineteen. He was working part-time in Clara's garden, doing odd jobs, and mowing and trimming some of the undergrowth that lay abandoned. He'd been friends with Frankie since school and when she'd left for university, he had kept coming to do the garden and any odd jobs that Clara had neither the time nor the inclination to do. Clara was not always home when he came over but when she was, she'd offer a cold drink or piece of cake and a chat about football scores or his latest nights out and parties.
One October day, the sun was concluding its daily journey through the sky and Dean had popped into Clara's kitchen for a cold drink and a chat. Clara liked to look at the young man. She felt guilty admitting it, but she did. He had an old soul and was happy to sit and chat with her, always interested in her latest editing project or news about Frankie. Clara had always hoped that something would develop between the two young people but it was not be.
“So what’s new with you?” Clara asked after Dean had gulped down a tall glass of iced water.
Dean’s sun-kissed cheeks reddened instantly and he looked from side-to-side around the room with an awkward air.
“Oh!” Clara said with a wisdom that comes to one with age and experience. “A matter of the heart, is it?”
Her gentle teasing extracted a muffled mumble about a girl that he'd met and who he was hoping to take things to 'the next level' with. Clara was delighted and urged him to tell her everything.
At this, his face dropped and he lowered his head down.
I just don't know about all that stuff,” he moaned. “You know...” he added with a desperate look in Clara's direction.
Sex,” she finished the sentence for him. “You mean you've never...never done it?” she asked in disbelief.
Dean was a quiet, well-mannered lad but she was sure, with all his talk of parties and drinking, he would have had some experience.
What about your friends?” she asked. “Don't you talk about it with them?”
Huh!” snorted Dean. “They're all talk! I just don't know where to start. I don't want to disappoint her, you know,” he added shyly.
Clara reached for the chilled bottle of white that she'd been saving for later on that night and poured herself a large glass. She indicated at the second glass with her eyes and received a nod in return. The glasses were large and the bottle dripped its dregs into Dean's frosted vessel. Clara took a long drink as she considered her options. She looked at the desperate looking young man before her and knew her next words could make all the difference to his confidence. Dean lived at home with his dad. His mum had left them when he was eight and he had no siblings. Martin, Dean's dad, had done a terrific job bringing up the lad but Clara could see why he may not be able to ask him for advice on girls. With Frankie away, she was the obvious choice. The wine had started to give Clara that familiar glow and her tongue loosened with its effects.
Girls,” she started, “will be impressed that you care enough about their needs.”
Dean flushed at this compliment and looked up at Clara; his dark eyes filled with gratitude. She leaned over to take his empty glass and prepared to open a second bottle. Dean reached out to help and their hands met as they both grasped the cylindrical object. Clara was shocked at the spark she felt and drew her hand away at once.