Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blog move

Hey everyone, I have moved my blog! I figured it was better to do it now than later, even though I know it's a pain. The new blog is actually on my website:


I've switched to wordpress--partly so that I could have the blog on my site but primarily, I will admit, for threaded commenting. I use livejournal for my personal blog and the threaded commenting is something I really, really miss on other blogging sites.

(For those of you who follow the livejournal syndicated feed, don't worry, you don't have to do anything. I will have the feed updated.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful Canadian wilderness at Pemberley.

1. A number of people have been asking me about e-books for In for a Penny. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to figure this one out; the deal is that Dorchester's e-book program is still a little new and the releases aren't quite simultaneous yet. But the e-book version is being uploaded to our distributor this week! After that it is up to the individual websites when it's available for purchase. Some sites are slower than others, but it should be available most places (All Romance, Books on Board, B&N, Sony, Amazon, etc.) at least by the end of the month. Thanks for your patience!

2. I may have mentioned this once or twice, but I'm a huge Kate Beaton fangirl. She was at the Emerald City ComiCon this weekend so I headed over to meet her! There was a pretty long line at her table, which made me both sad (I had to wait in it) and happy (Kate Beaton is successful!). She did a little drawing for everyone, which was incredibly generous of her, and mine is fabulous! I know she likes both Paul Gross and Jane Austen, so I asked for something about Paul Gross making a Jane Austen adaptation.

Paul Gross, for those of you who don't know, is a Canadian actor and filmmaker who starred in two of my favorite TV shows ever, due South, a buddy cop show about an ultra-polite Mountie and a wisecracking Chicago cop, and Slings and Arrows, about the crazy goings-on at a Shakespeare festival. (He was also recently on Eastwick.) He's a breathtaking, incandescent actor and one of the most beautiful men I've ever seen. Here he is in due South:

Constable Fraser with his half-wolf

He's also one of those artists who likes to write, produce, direct, compose the soundtrack, and star in his own movies, and...sometimes the results are not as great as the stuff where he just acts. (For example, in his curling movie Men With Brooms, the end credits roll over an original song called "Kiss You Till You Weep." Who thinks that's romantic? Show of hands?) So the idea of him, say, remaking Pride and Prejudice is hilarious to me. Anyway, here's what she drew:

A Mountie bowing to a Regency lady.

The scan isn't great (sorry!), but he's saying "Excuse me, ma'am, I heard you were looking for a husband. Allow me to assist." And underneath she wrote "Best movie of all time?" Answer: YES.

3. For Wodehouse fans: What if Bertie Wooster were secretly Batman?

4. I've been having great luck with romances recently. I just read Bound by Your Touch, Proof by Seduction, and Something About You, and loved them all. Which is actually partially a lead-in to me reminding you that if you want book recommendations from me, you can follow my reviews at Goodreads! (I say "book recommendations" because that's what I'm using it for--I have no problem with readers openly critiquing or even mocking books they don't enjoy, so long as they avoid ad hominem attacks on the author, but as a writer I think it would be kind of unprofessional of me to do it myself. If I don't like something, I just won't review it.) I won't be talking about what I'm reading much on the blog, but I love talking about books, so feel free to friend me and I'll friend you back!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

There's blood in the shoe

Last blog tour event, guys! I'm over at the Book Binge talking about Le Morte d'Arthur and from there, judginess in English literature and my ambivalent feelings about stories where people are punished for being "jerks," however the author happens to have defined "jerk." Here's an excerpt:

There's a strong strain of what I'll call "judginess" (it's a technical term!) in British literature. Virginia Woolf described it best when she said about Dostoevsky, "There is none of that precise division between good and bad to which we are used." The British reader is really, really used to a precise division between good and bad. You always know exactly which characters you're supposed to approve of and exactly how much. And the rules are very strict, especially for female characters.

That kind of story makes me uncomfortable. I don't mind a book having villains, obviously--In for a Penny has several. But I don't like stories where I feel like the author is punishing characters for being the wrong kind of person, or rewarding them for being the right kind. I don't like stories that feel punitive. I've never felt particularly good or triumphant about seeing mean people get their comeuppance. When I read the Grimm version of the Cinderella legend and discovered that the stepsisters had to cut off their toes and then have their eyes pecked out by birds, I was horrified.

It's not because I'm just a generous, empathetic person or anything. It's because I always had a sneaking suspicion I was the wrong kind of person, that I was a wicked stepsister and not a Cinderella.

Check it out!

By the way, I just looked up the Grimm fairytale again, and look at this:

"The two sisters were happy to hear this, for they had pretty feet. With her mother standing by, the older one took the shoe into her bedroom to try it on. She could not get her big toe into it, for the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, 'Cut off your toe. When you are queen you will no longer have to go on foot.'"


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Her bosom swelled

Penultimate guest blog! I did a Q&A with Gerri Russell over at the Chatelaines blog today. I talk about my writing process, the embarrassing yet hilarious things I wrote in high school, and what I do in my free time. And I'm giving away another book in the comments. Here's a sample:

GR: What influenced you to write about Regency England?

RL: I've always been a fan of romance in the comedy of manners tradition. Which mostly translates to "I love banter," and Regency romance usually has plenty of that. I imprinted on the era early: my mother read me the complete works of Jane Austen in fifth grade, and a friend loaned me my first Georgette Heyer when I was thirteen. We made dozens of trips to the bookstore to buy Regency romances together over the next four years and even exchanged in-character letters between Regency debutante friends like the ones in Sorcery and Cecelia. (I'm sure they were mostly awful, but we thought they were brilliant and hilarious. I remember in one of our favorite scenes, her character's hero opened his snuffbox with a delicate flick of his wrist--very common in old-skool Regencies--and accidentally spilled snuff all over her dress.) So it's probably not surprising that it's what I started writing. Plus, I think the clothes are sexy.

Check it out!

That "delicate flick of his wrist" thing was a running joke with us, actually. We had a whole series of them, but right now the only other one I can remember was we would say "Her bosom swelled" (another common sentence in old-skool Regency romances) and then make gestures like our breasts were exploding. And then laugh really hard. We were a sophisticated lot.

Tell me about an in-joke you and your friends had when you were a kid. Do you still think it's funny?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good Romance

We're entering the home stretch! Today, in my pen-penultimate [Edit: I have been informed the word is "antepenultimate"! How cool is that?] blog tour event, I was interviewed by Vonnie Hughes over at her website. I get to talk about all kinds of things, like why I think having an agent is great (and specifically why my agent, Kevan Lyon, is great!), what eras of history I love besides the Regency, where I get my ideas, and Romantic Protagonists Who Are A Little Too Awesome. Plus I'm giving away another signed book. Check it out! (And look around Vonnie's site while you're over there, it's filled with great stuff. I especially like the picture of a lady's muff-pistol. Also, is it just me, or does "muff-pistol" sound a little dirty?)

In other news, I downloaded Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga's albums from Amazon yesterday. I've been watching their music videos quite a lot recently, especially Bad Romance and For Your Entertainment (I feel a little weird about "Bad Romance" because I think she might be making fun of romance novels...but I love the video so much I'm willing to overlook it). I love music videos a LOT. Tell me your favorites! YouTube links a plus.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Did you know Captain Kirk has a medal for Conspicuous Gallantry?

Two new blog tour things up today:

1. I was part of my first podcast yesterday! I was a guest on Danielle Monsch's Romantically Speaking. Here's her description of our conversation:

So what was discussed? Georgette Heyer vs. Jane Austen, East Coast vs. West Coast, Gerard Butler vs. Christina Hendricks, and Kirk vs. Picard.

I'll give you a hint as to how that last conversation went:

ME: Kirk.
DANIELLE: Oh, definitely Kirk.
ME: I love Kirk a LOT. Plus he's really cute.
DANIELLE: I don't like William Shatner though.
ME: Oh, of course not! Ugh.

I haven't actually listened to the final recording yet (I'm going to do that after I post this) but I had a lot of fun talking to Danielle. I'll tell you a secret, though: after I got off the phone, I thought to myself, "Did I talk too much? Did I monopolize the conversation?" How sad is that when I was being interviewed? Also, if you enjoy rants, this is the podcast for you, because I was unable to resist sharing my issues with "geek chic" TV, 300, and many other things.

Leave a comment if you listen, okay? I'm guessing podcasts don't get as many comments as blogs simply because a lot of people listen to them away from the computer, and Danielle puts a lot of work into this thing and it's awesome.

Anyway, you can download that here. I'm going to have a guest post going up on her blog soon too!

2. I have a guest post up at MuseTracks. I don't know how to talk about it exactly so I'll just repost the first few paragraphs:

When Marie-Claude asked me to write a post that would help inspire unpublished authors, I knew immediately what I wanted to talk about. And then I put off writing the post for weeks. Because the three years between when I started writing In for a Penny and when I sold it were the three worst years of my writing life, hands down. Possibly the three worst years of my life, period, except I think junior year of high school still has that honor (and yes, I know that’s only one year, but it felt longer).

I started writing In for a Penny in mid-January 2006. By mid-March I’d written a hundred pages. Things were going great, the book was flowing, I felt confident that this would be the one that would sell. My goal was to finish the book by Rosh Hashanah of that year (the holiday falls in early to mid-September), and I thought I could do it.

At the end of March I found out my mom was dying.

It was a tough one to write, which may explain why I've already got an addendum (copied from the comments section):

"I want to qualify my initial statement that those were the three worst years of my writing life–that third year of taking a break from trying to write for publication was actually a great year for me, personally and in terms of writing, and I’m proud of a lot of things I wrote then. It was just an awful year for romance novel writing. This is what I get for going back and figuring out the chronology AFTER I wrote the intro, and also for writing emotional posts late at night!"

It's important to me to clarify that, because I do care a lot about what I wrote that year, and about all the people who read it, and about my friends who are reading this post, and I don't want them to think that I don't value those stories or that I was secretly depressed and miserable that whole year. So.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Severed Hand of Franklin

1. I'm guest-blogging over at The Season today! I talk about costume drama monster movies I'd like to see (like vampire Crusaders or Lieutenant Hornblower and the Kraken). The person to suggest my favorite costume drama monster movie concept in the comments gets a signed book!

2. I wrote a feature for the Dorchester website. My heroine Penelope from In for a Penny has a habit of making lists (um, you can probably tell from this post that I based that on myself), and three of her lists are up here: one from when she was eleven, entitled "Reasons Why Lucy Hopper is the worst girl in the world," one set after the end of the book called "Possible Christmas gifts for Nev," and a list of baby names with annotations from Nev!

I had a lot of fun making them--the font for Penelope is designed to look like Jane Austen's handwriting, it's really cool and you can get it here, and the font for Nev is supposed to look like Byron's handwriting and you can get it here. I sort of love that, because man would Jane Austen and Byron have a TERRIBLE marriage.

3. Yesterday was my official release date! Yay! BUT I have yet to see the books on shelves anywhere. I've been checking the B&N websites "find in stores" feature obsessively and it isn't in stock anywhere yet! I'm assuming this is why it's listed as a March release, but I want to see my book on the shelf! If anyone sees it, let me know okay? And if you send me a picture, I'll send you a signed book! (Open to first three people only. I mean not that I expect more than that but you know, it's important to set boundaries.)