Shannon Stacey
Wheeeeeeeeeee!

I got my box of GH entries to judge today. And I made the mistake of looking at my calendar–my chapter meeting isn’t the Saturday after next as I thought. It’s this Saturday coming. Not good. Since I’m the Secretary and the Newsletter Editor, you can guess what I’ll be doing in the near future. Oops. I don’t know why THIRD Saturday is so stuck in my head.

On a positive note, my hero’s finished masturbating! YAY! Tis a good thing, because pretty soon we were both going to start chafing.

I was also slapped upside the head with an epiphany while waiting for the short kid to pee in Walmart, because we’d walked all the way back to the truck before he announced he had to go and he knew he was going to suffer if he didn’t squeeze out at least a few drops.

I’m afraid of rejection. (I didn’t say it was an original epiphany) I was thinking about a conversation with the husband in which he said (basically) “Did you wash my blue sweatshirt? Have you started the year-end paperwork for the company yet? Where’s the charger for my drill? Did you finish your book yet? Wow, the house is trashed.”

My response: “Yes. No. F-d if I know. If I don’t finish it, they can’t reject it. And bite me.”

It was meant to be off-the-cuff. I mean, in the last several plus years I’ve gotten rejections. Good rejections, too. Yeah, I ranted and raved and drowned my sorrow in chocolate. But it’s a learning curve. So anyway, back to the epiphany–my subconscious coughed up a nasty little tidbit for me.

I know the how-to, the why-to, the who-to, POV and GMC and BM and I’ve memorized The Writer’s Journey and Writing the Breakout Novel, and blah blah blah. So now that I have the tools, if I get rejected it’s because I’m just not good enough.

Not that a writer isn’t always learning and honing her craft–I’m aware that you learn and grow or you stagnate like Thanksgiving leftovers. I didn’t say it made sense. My subconscious rarely does. I’m also terrified of any discussion regarding the scope of the universe, and if you talk long enough about the rotation of the earth and spinning on its axis, I’ll get dizzy and throw up. (Earth Science was a bitch.) But the cesspool in the darkest regions of my mind is telling me I’ve got no more excuses for the next rejection, other than just plain old didn’t cut it.

And then he peed and we left.

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Why EC?

I’ve been asked a few times over the last several months why I want to write for Ellora’s Cave. So why do I?

I’ve spent the last three or so years targetting The Company. (If you know me, you know who that is. If not, you’ll figure it out. If you still don’t know by the end, I don’t know how you ended up here other than sticking ‘masturbation, horny, and pearly orb’ in your search engine, in which case your X-Box is getting cold). There are some really appealing things about The Company. No agent needed. No more promo than you’re comfortable with. Stability. I’m a fan of the books already.

BUT.

Say I’ve got this manuscript. 80,000 word romantic suspense with an Alpha hero and…a secret baby. Great. And my next manuscript is an 80,000 word romantic suspense with an Alpha hero and…a reunion. Well, what if the next thing my muse coughs up is a 55,000 word romantic comedy with an Alpha-ish hero who falls in love with an alien who’s never been allowed physical contact, but is handy with the toys?

******screeching halt*******

OMG! We can’t do that! Our scientifically-researched demographic target might not like that! Or they might, but we can’t take that chance because the monstrous retail giant that represents itself with the most annoying, bouncing happy face EVER might not like it. They might like a vampire, as long as he’s contrite about it. But we’ll pass on that menage in space, thanks.

I’d like to write for The Company. Still working toward that. But for the last year or so, writing stopped being fun for me. It became a chore that, like turning my husband’s dirty socks right side out or mopping the floor, was put off until…tomorrow. Too much worrying about being “in the box while not so in the box it’s not original, but not too original because our readers like and buy the box, even though they complain about the box.”

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil–it was always my joy. Well, several years of seeing the inside of the industry and worrying and obsessing and trying to conform without conforming killed it.

And, dammit, I want my joy back.

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Clean Up in Aisle 5…

I think I’ve done (most) of the Shannon Can Yous for the day, so it’s time to work.

In reading over the scene I worked on yesterday, I’m getting the impression that, instead of an orgasm, my poor hero is having a seizure. Maybe the C word I was going for wasn’t convulsing.

So first stop–the thesaurus. SPASM! SPASM! (I am NOT going to the library to check out French Kiss for the 683rd time. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not.)

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Write what you know? Sure…

Yeah, I spent most of the day fiddling with a male masturbation scene. In his POV. *groan*

Like I have ANY idea. It seems like most scenes of that nature I see are in the heroine’s POV. You get the visual without having to delve too deep into the pre-orgasm male psyche. But that won’t work because she’s in the next room. *sigh*

The bare bones scene was done a long time ago, but I need to make it more than a rub and a grunt, so I toil on, trying to get in touch with my inner masturbating masculine side. (I don’t appear to have one, and I can’t really say that I’m sorry about that.)

I’m hoping to finish THAT up tomorrow, without three boys running amok through the house. They definitely don’t help.

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Adventures in romantica buying…

We took the boys to Toys-R-Us to spend their Christmas money/gift cards today. There is nothing like wandering a toy store with two kids with $50 each in their pockets. To help in my recovery, I left the husband in the truck to undo the 496 grey-wire twist ties holding 4 toys in their packaging while I dashed into Borders.

Now, I love romantica. If you’re going to write sex, write sex–hot, steamy, and nary a love-lance or heaving pearly orb in sight. And I love books from Ellora’s Cave best of all. (They’re actually who I’d most like to get The Call from this year–or The Email). When Borders starting carrying EC’s books, I wanted to throw a party! EC in print! Woooohoooooo! I’ve never really thought of the covers or anybody’s perceptions of what I’m reading.

Today I was after FETISH by Sherri L. King. A couple of people who share my reading tastes and whose opinions I trust recommended this as an “OMG, you haven’t read it yet? You HAVE to read it!”, so I was thrilled to find it at Borders. Now, the cover of this book is HOT, and probably one of my favorite EC covers yet. But, the cover and the title combined…I managed to run into not only an aide from the short kid’s preschool, but a very judgmentally religious friend of my stepmother’s. The only thing that stopped me from sliding it under my coat was the thought of trying to explain to the husband why I was arrested for shoplifting romantica.

And do I get one of the bored cashiers who don’t even make eye contact while muttering “Would you like to sign up for our online newsletter?” in a “Can I just shoot myself now?” monotone. No, I get the kid who obviously just lost his virginity to a bar of ivory soap and a wad of wet paper towels. He scans Fetish first, then sets it to the side. Looks at me funny. Scans my RT magazine, then slides it UNDER Fetish, and looks up at me. Scans the husband’s Formula 1 magazine, slides it UNDER the stack, looks at Fetish. Looks at me. Scans the little tin of Burt’s Bee’s Lip Balm, then…yup, slips it UNDER the book he’s ogling, then looks at me again.

Outwardly, I’m giving him the arched-eyebrow Look of Death, telling him ‘go ahead and say something. Watch me take you from nosy to sobbing for your mommy in 5.2 seconds’. Inwardly, I’m realizing just what makes romantica by e-book so very popular. No horny dweebs wondering what the dumpy housewife needs with a book like that.

(And I’m not very far into it yet, but it’s looking to be DEFINITELY worth the adventure) (And the adventure wouldn’t count as writing, but it did give me a ‘glimpse’ of understanding of the market/format/whatever you call it.)

Now I’m off to continue the internal debate on deleting Jawbreaker and Solitaire from my iPAQ.

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