Welcome to The Writer's Challenge

I'm updating weekly-ish and whenever something exciting happens, so please come back often, browse the archived information,
and use the search feature to find information!
Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gasp! Shockingly hot new cover art!

Hello Fellow Writers!

I got my new cover art for Chastity Belt, an erotic romance that's going to be released in Ellora's Cave Taboo (BDSM) line sometime this year.

This cover is designed by Syneca from the Ellora's Cave Art Department. Thank you Syneca, this cover is totally hot!

What do you guys think?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Woot! Hollywood Spank blurb and excerpt are up!

Hello Fellow Writers!

My third Ellora's Cave book Hollywood Spank is releasing March 9th, and I went onto the EC site today to find.... my book! on the Coming Soon page! Squeeeee.......

I don't want to put the excerpt here because it's really for adults only, so if you're interested please click here to read it!

On another note, DH and I went to see our accountant today, and learned all sorts of fun things about being a small business as an author, and what sorts of things I can write off. Even if you're not making money yet, if you're pursuing it as a money-making career you may be able to write off certain things, so be sure to ask your CPA about that!

Monday, February 21, 2011

How Darah Lace Made her First Sale

Hello Fellow Writers!

I've asked multi-published erotic romance author Darah Lace to tell us about her very first sale:

Darah Lace: Ah, my first sale... In the fall of 2005, a few of my buddies convinced me to take my really hot and steamy writing to erotic and to submit a short story to Play Girl. So, taking their advice, I popped out a short story titled Party Girl (PG). Now this was my first attempt at erotic but it was also my first attempt at first person. The former I fell in love with, but the latter, I admit, is not my cup of tea and I haven’t tried it since. Maybe someday.

Anyway, while tweaking PG for Play Girl, The Wild Rose Press opened its doors for submission. Wheels started turning and tweaking became revising. PG had to be a romance and it had to be longer. And the characters had to have some kind of history. Not necessarily with each other, though they ended up with one anyway. The story went from sexcapade to erotic romance, and I’m proud to say PG aka Yesterday’s Desire was the first Scarlet Rose published with TWRP in June of 2006. Yay! My first sale!

Darah has a new book with Ellora's Cave called Bucking Hard. Here's the blurb:

All her life, tomboy Bradi Kincaid has wanted two things—a career as a veterinarian in her hometown of Grayson, Texas…and Mason Montgomery. Problem is, he’s her best friend and, according to him, she’s “one of the guys”. Convinced he’ll never see her otherwise, Bradi comes up with a sure-fire plan to get over Mason—flirt a little, dance a lot and get laid.

What Mason imagines doing to Bradi is just all kinds of wrong. But the woman on the dance floor isn’t the girl he grew up with. She’s hot and sexy and turning him on. Him and every other man in the bar. She’s also had too much to drink and is unaware of the trouble she’s inviting. He does what any friend would—he steps in, then sets out to teach her a lesson.

But before the sun rises, Mason discovers Bradi has a thing or two to teach him.

Sounds great! I love the name Mason - in fact, the Hero in one of my WIPs is named Mason too! You can read an adults-only excerpt here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cat Grant: Things I Wished I’d Known When I Started Writing

Hello Fellow Writers!
Today I'd like to welcome multi-published author Cat Grant to The Writer's Challenge. Take it away, Cat!

Things I Wished I’d Known When I Started Writing

Cat Grant: I’m one of those people who can’t not write. Don’t get me wrong—I can, and frequently do, go weeks without setting words to virtual paper. I go great guns when I’m waist-deep in a new project, but once that’s done, I need a little while to recharge my batteries before starting something new. I relish my relaxation time as much as my work time, but I know without a doubt I could never go the rest of my life without writing. Once the words and the characters have me in their grasp, I’m a goner.

But it wasn’t always that way. Despite the fact that I’ve been writing since grammar school (way back in the ol’ horse-and-buggy days when we actually used pens and paper!), it took me most of my adult life to get published. In retrospect, I think it was because I couldn’t get out of my own way. I was by far my own worst critic. Nothing was ever good enough. I had no idea how to plot, so most of my stories stalled out around the halfway point. On the rare occasions when I’d finish something, I’d turn around and start rewriting it from scratch. Now I can see this was simply a delaying tactic, an excuse to keep me from finishing anything, and thus not have to submit it anywhere and risk rejection.

Finally I decided it was time to put myself out there. I started writing sci-fi and fantasy short stories, for the burgeoning new online zine markets. For five years, I racked up rejection after rejection. It was horribly depressing. At last I took a good, long look at my work, and realized all those editors who’d said no were absolutely right. While I loved reading sci-fi and fantasy, I had no feel for writing it. My stories had interesting characters, but no interesting ideas and absolutely no grasp of science.

So I needed to find a new genre. I’d written a great deal of fan fiction over the past decade, and realized my strengths lay in writing relationship stories. So I wrote an erotic romance novel and started submitting it to various e-publishing markets—and still I got rejected. Why? Because I had page after dull, boring page of my characters sitting around thinking instead of doing. When that realization finally dawned, it was one of those “Aha!” moments that changed the way I wrote forever.

It’s hard to see the flaws in one’s work because we’re so close to it. We know exactly how much sweat went into polishing that story until (we think!) it shines, and then comes that awful punch in the gut when someone else doesn’t love it as much as we do.

But all rejections happen for a reason. I tend to think of them as a test. It’s the universe’s way of asking, “How badly do you want to be published? Are you willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means ripping this book apart and starting over?”

I’ve got a bunch of inspirational quotes about writing tacked up on the wall above my desk. One of them says, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” As someone who took 48 years to get published, I’m living proof of this statement.

Believe in yourself and your work, even on days when it feels as if no one else does. Keep writing, keep submitting. Don’t quit!

Cat Grant's book Entangled Trio comes out February 18th at Ellora's Cave.

Here's the blurb:
Renowned mezzo-soprano Colette DuPlessis is carrying on a torrid affair with her costar, handsome young tenor David Lewis. David wants Colette as more than just a short-term fling, but she must return home to Paris—and her husband, conductor Aleksandr Petrovsky.

Though she and Aleks have an open marriage, Colette vows never to see David again. But when her new costar cancels right before opening night, she has no choice but to suggest David as a replacement.

It doesn’t take long before Aleks notices the amazing chemistry sizzling between David and his wife—and realizes he’s attracted to the gorgeous young singer himself. He and Colette quickly make it their mission to seduce him. The three of them explore the far reaches of pain and pleasure. But Colette and David soon learn they must guard their hearts closely, or risk losing themselves within this entangled trio.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Sold! To Ellora's Cave - Chastity Belt

Hello Fellow Writers!

I have exciting news - I sold Chastity Belt, a BDSM erotic romance, to Ellora's Cave Taboo line. I'm very excited about this book - I already have sequel planned. This is the first book where I wrote m/f/f menage scenes, and it was *fun*!

So for anyone keeping track, this is my fourth sale to Ellora's Cave. Punishing the Art Thief and Ginger Snap are out now, and Hollywood Spank and now Chastity Belt should come out this year. I also have a book coming out with The Wild Rose Press called Taste of Candy, and a story in the Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Agony/Ecstasy Book Cover - Revealed!

Hello Fellow Writers!

Here's a sneek peek of the Berkley Heat Agony Ecstasy book cover, which will be in bookstores everywhere December 1st. My story "The Wooden Pony" will be in this anthology!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My First Advance! Woot!

Hello Fellow Writers!

Today is a momentous day in the Evers household. I got my very first advance for my writing, for the Berkley Heat Anthology Agony/Ecstasy. I'm so excited, I can't wait to go to the bank tomorrow with my check, LOL!

To celebrate, I'm buying myself an extravagant (well, extravagant to me at least) gift. Since I already have and love the Roomba, now I can get the Scooba. The Roomba is a robotic vacuum that vacuums for me. I have it roam around the first floor of my house every day. The Scooba mops, which means now I won't have to clean my floors manually at all! Tee hee :) If only I could find a robotic duster...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Write a Novella in 30 Days

Hello Fellow Writers!

Right now, I have two books under contract (Hollywood Spank with Ellora's Cave and Taste of Candy with The Wild Rose Press) that still need edits done. I also have two completed manuscripts (Protecting Emily and New Developments) that I need to do more revisions on when I get notes back from my beta readers.

2014 UPDATE: I've gotten the rights back to both Hollywood Spank and Taste of Candy, and re-issued them myself. Taste of Candy is available for free! Protecting Emily was retitled The Pulse and sold to Simon & Schuster Pocket Star as part of a 6 book deal, and New Developments was retitled Snowed in with the Tycoon, and I self-published it. And the novella I wrote in a month by writing 1k words a day? That was Bedhead, and I sold it to Ellora's Cave. Now, back to the blog post...

But, I can't spend all my time working on books I've already written. I need to write new material. That's why I've made a goal for myself that in the month of February I will write a complete novella, 25K words.

I've already written the blurb and one-page synopsis, something I don't normally do *before* writing a book, but I had to in this case since the novella (tentatively titled Bedhead) is going to (hopefully) be part of a proposed series some other Ellora's Cave authors and I cooked up. (Update: It's a three-book anthology in paperback from EC, called Skin Deep!)

In order to write a 25k novella in 30 days, I will write 1K a day. Yup, it's The Writer's Challenge. In this case, if I write 1K a day I should have a couple days left over at the end of the month to reread and edit a bit before I send it to my beta-reader. I'll be using a different beta-reader than usual for this one since I need to have someone who knows the series bible well.

By finishing my novella in a tight time frame, I'll have time to revise it completely if needed. It seems everything I write needs to be completely revised. I'm not complaining, I know it's part of the process, but I'm looking forward to the day when I can write the words The End and just ship it right off to my editor and have it go straight to copy edits! Ha, in my dreams. :)

So there ya have it. To write a novella in 30 days, first figure out what you're going to write. What's the hook? Who are the main characters? What's their conflict? Then write the "back cover copy" blurb. Then write a one page outline of the main plot points you intend to hit to keep your story on track. 

Then write 1k a day to and from those plot points and Bam! Novella in a month.

Anyone else feel like doing this with me? We can cheer each other on!

Update: BEDHEAD did indeed get written and sold to Ellora's Cave! It's available now wherever ebooks are sold. :)