Archive for April, 2008

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Writing Opportunity Update: Tips From the Editor!

April 25, 2008

Interested in writing for Nocturne Bites? Thinking of submitting your story? Read this first! Associate Senior Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle shares her list of the most common writing problems and reasons that submissions don’t make the cut.

By Ann Leslie Tuttle, Associate Senior Editor, Silhouette Nocturne and Silhouette Nocturne Bites

Nocturne Bites provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase exciting new talent while building our existing Nocturne series authors. I’m constantly scouring our electronic slush pile for that great voice and story to present to our readers. And I want to thank all of you who have submitted to Nocturne Bites.

While it’s been exciting to see such an enthusiastic response to the line, it’s also been disappointing to have to pass on so many projects by obviously talented writers. Fortunately, Michele Hauf‘s Racing the Moon (available May 1st) will soon provide an example of exactly what editorial we’re seeking–and I might add set a high standard in the process. But it’s our hope that this brief overview of some of the most common writing problems I’ve seen in the Bites we’ve passed on will better acquaint potential writers with our acquisition needs.

Tone. These are dark romances about characters realizing their love while they face and overcome larger-than-life situations. It’s high drama and, as the conflict escalates, so do the emotional tension and sensuality. Unfortunately, some of the recent submissions I’ve rejected have been too light in tone and more reminiscent of paranormal chick lit by bestselling writers like Mary Janice Davidson. Last Wolf Watching by Rhyannon Byrd or Scions: Insurrection by Patrice Michelle–both of which are available in Nocturne this month–are great examples of the type of editorial we’re seeking.

Plotting. Just as the word “bites” implies, these are short paranormal romances for the busy reader. But they still need to pack the full flavor of a Nocturne. Within the space of 10,000 to 15,000 words, writers face what seems to me a daunting challenge of setting up a special world, introducing readers to their protagonists, and outlining both the emotional and external conflicts. By the novella’s conclusion, the skilled writer has tied up all the loose ends and made sure there is sufficient basis for the protagonists to realize their love. And she’s certainly won my admiration in the process! Reunion romances can work well since the protagonists have a past. And for paranormals, the sense that the heroine is the hero’s destined mate and/or the strength of the attraction they feel can make the declaration of love at the end highly believable.

Characterization. The Nocturne Bites hero reminds me of a Medieval warrior. He’s pure Alpha and, although he can be demanding, arrogant and mysterious, he’s commanding, worthy of respect and impossible to resist. The Bites heroine is strong but she possesses a certain vulnerability. And, although she may have special powers that actually make her more powerful than the hero, it’s the hero who helps her recognize and accept her abilities. Both characters should be well developed and sympathetic to readers.

Sensuality. These romances can be highly sensual, but the story should not be all about their lovemaking and short on actual plotting and character development.

Pacing. Because these stories are action-packed and mission oriented, there is not much room for much extensive scene setting, introspection or interaction with secondary characters. The opening will ideally hurl the reader right into the heart of the story and take her on a whirlwind ride until she reaches the breathtaking conclusion in which the protagonists confess their love and the threat they are facing is overcome. It’s important that the writing not become episodic as the author tries to make too many leaps to move the story forward.

Point of View. Lastly, these novellas should provide both the hero and heroine’s POV. However, you might watch that it doesn’t become too formulaic with each chapter ping-ponging between the hero and heroine’s POV. And, just to make an obvious point, their POV should ring true to their character and his/her experiences.

Since the large volume of submissions we’ve received has not permitted me to personalize our rejection letters, I hope this overview will enable you to tailor your novella to meet our needs. I’m constantly looking through our submissions and hope that I will soon be working with some of you. In the meantime, I wish you all the best with your writing careers!

 -Ann Leslie Tuttle

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Author Sharon Sala’s Healing Dreams

April 22, 2008

What inspires an author to write a paranormal plot? Bestselling author Sharon Sala talks about the dream and the love that were her inspiration for the paranormal elements in her latest novel, The Healer

By Sharon Sala, author of The Healer

The Healer was a dream. It started with a wolf bringing a baby into an Alaskan hunting camp. I wish I could tell you why and where these “dreams” come from, but I can’t. All I know is that I’m forever grateful for them.

My fiance, Bobby, who died in June of 2005 used to talk about Alaska all the time. He, along with thousands of other men back in the 1970s, helped lay the Alaska pipeline. His stories about the tundra and the hardy people who called it home were fascinating to me.

He used to say he was going to take me back to Alaska some day and show me all the places he’d come to love. He was Native American of the Muscogee (Creek) Indians and told me so many things about the Inuit people of Alaska that he identified with.

His stories and my dream became one book, The Healer. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

-Sharon Sala

 

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Werewolf Lovers: Check This Sexy Cover!

April 17, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

Into sexy werewolves? You’ll love this!  In case you haven’t already seen it on Michele Hauf’s website, here’s a sneak peek at the first Nocturne Bites cover, on sale May 1st:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it gorgeous??  I love how the hero is captured mid-transformation, and manages to look both hunky AND tortured — every muscle rippling as he fights with every ounce of his being against his curse…

Yum! 🙂

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Author Merline Lovelace’s Telekinetic Mind Games

April 15, 2008

What if your true love could read your thoughts? Known to romance fans for her action-packed, sizzling romantic suspense, former Air Force officer Merline Lovelace tackles telepaths and telekinesis in her newest paranormal romance novel from Silhouette Nocturne, Mind Games

By Merline Lovelace, author of Mind Games

Mind Games, my April release for Silhouette Nocturne, is a little different. I got the idea after reading a book called Men Who Stare At Goats. It’s about the US Army’s experiments in the early sixties with psychokinesis — aka telekinesis and remote influencing. The military hoped to find a way of getting into the enemy’s head. I know, I know! It sounds really whoo-whooy and far out. But then again…

The more I researched psychokinesis, the more fascinated I became. Especially when I discovered that one of my alma maters had set up an institute to study just this kind of psychic-related phenomena.

Yep, the revered, ivy-covered Princeton University, which I infiltrated as a subversive female several years before it officially went co-ed, funded an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers to study mind over matter.

So of course I had to make the hero of Mind Games a Princeton professor. The heroine is his former graduate lab assistant, now a USAF undercover operative. She’s not real thrilled about having to work with the man she believes used his psychokenetic skill to seduce her. Throw in a half-wolf, half-dog, a missing scientist, and a megalomaniac billionaire, and the fun begins.

I hope you enjoy reading Mind Games as much as I enjoyed writing it!

-Merline

 

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Werewolves or Werecats: Who’s Your Mate?

April 10, 2008

By Jenny B

We’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to were-creatures like werewolves and werecats in Rhyannon Byrd‘s and Rachel Vincent‘s books, and that got me to thinking: who would my ideal paranormal romance hero (or heroine) be — a werewolf or a werecat?

What would you choose?

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NYT Author Rachel Vincent’s Rogue WereCats

April 8, 2008

Are you a werewolf lover? Prolific paranormal romance author Rachel Vincent‘s latest novel, Rogue — which just debuted on the New York Times bestseller list! — features a different breed of paranormal protaganist: WereCats!

By Rachel Vincent, author of Rogue and Stray 

In Stray, my first release, I wrote about Faythe Sanders, a young, passionate werecat who still had a bit of growing up to do. In that first book, she learned what it truly means to be independent, and how freedom isn’t really free. It comes with a lot of responsibility, and a duty to help those who can’t help themselves. Of course, in Faythe’s case, it also came with an opportunity to kick some serious bad-cat tail in the name of her Pride.

In Stray, we saw Faythe make a couple of very important choices, one regarding her career, the other involving her personal life. So what can we expect from her in Rogue, the second book? I’m glad you asked…

Faythe has promised to serve as an enforcer for her father for two and a half years, and she takes both that promise and her new job very seriously. And as it turns out, she’s pretty good at what she does. She’s now working alongside her brothers and fellow enforcers–yes, including Jace!–trying to figure out who’s killing tomcats, and how those murders are connected to a string of missing human women. Fortunately, she’s a fast learner.

As for her love life…well, that’s a little more complicated.

We all make mistakes when we’re young, and Faythe is no exception. But in her case, one of those past mistakes is intruding on her present and making a real mess of both her job and her personal life, leaving Faythe to try to fix things before anyone else pays to right her wrong.

Faythe and Marc truly love each other, but as their job gets hectic and difficult truths come to light, they begin to wonder if love will be enough to hold them together. Because this time, taking responsibility for her past might just derail Faythe’s entire future. She has a choice to make, and it won’t be easy. But then again, for Faythe Sanders, nothing ever is…

Things are getting tense in the werecat world, and we’ll see even more of this in Pride, the third installment. Faythe is in the unique position to change her world for the better, but like all great changes, this one will come at an immense personal cost. A revolution is on the horizon, and Faythe will be leading the charge-if she lives long enough to see it.

I love seeing the world through Faythe’s eyes, and every time I finish writing one of her stories, I can’t wait to dive into the next one. So if she sounds like someone you’d like to get to know, I hope you’ll pick up Stray and Rogue.

And for those of you who already have… Welcome to the Pride…

-Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://rachelvincent.com/

http://www.urbanfantasy.blogspot.com/

 

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The Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, and Rachel Vincent Show!

April 7, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

Like your paranormal romance with a side of wit and charm? Check out this awesomely hilarious author video, another in an apparent series hosted by Jill Monroe, starring two of my favorite paranormal authors, Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld) and Rachel Vincent (Rogue):

Again, making the point that author videos can be funny and irreverent, while still promoting the author and her books.  Well done Jill and Gena for making another genuinely entertaining and promotional video!