Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Some of my favorite authors - whether they wrote a few books or dozens - are prone to repeating themselves. They use the same name for a character more than once. They repeat a significant plot device. I used to be surprised when I found these very accomplished and best-selling authors falling prey to this. Was it laziness, I wondered? Or were they so fond of the name/device/whatever that they consciously chose to repeat it? I vowed not to do this in my own writing.

And then found myself doing it! And after just three books! D'oh. As I continue to revise the first novel I set out to write, HEAVENLY MOVES, I keep realizing how I've unconsciously repeated myself over the years. For example:
  • A red VW Bug figures prominently in ROMEO FAILS, coming in February 2012 from Bella Books. (and you thought this was a commercial free blog :-)) As I'm rewriting HEAVENLY MOVES, which I started more than a decade ago, I realize a minor character in that story drives a rattletrap old orange Bug. Now, perhaps nobody but Perfectionist Moi would care about this, but said minor character now drives a rattletrap old orange Karmann Ghia. Whew - problem solved.
  • In SHADOW POINT, a rock formation is said to resemble Bing Crosby. In HEAVENLY MOVES, an investigator is said to resemble David Crosby. Why, Brain, Why?! Oh, well. I'm letting this one stand. Because (a) SHADOW POINT is already out and (b) dude really looks like David Crosby!
  • It is without the slightest trace of embarrassment that I now reveal I loved "Laverne & Shirley." Like those wacky gals, the protagonist of HEAVENLY MOVES keeps a baseball bat in the corner as a home security measure. A baseball bat also appears in SHADOW POINT. Say... wait a minute... isn't that a baseball bat in the corner of the room where I am typing this right now? No, of course not. It's a softball bat. Toooooootally different.

It's humbling to realize that I have so quickly sunk to repeating myself in my writing. I'm trying to be more vigilant about this now. Except for Bing, everything else above has some root in my past. As I noted in a previous blog post, however, just because it happened in real life doesn't mean it belongs in the story.

So, Humility Is Good.

But... I think a novelist needs a healthy dose of arrogance as well. If you write a novel, there will be many, MANY people - family, friends, so-called friends, acquaintances and total strangers - who will tell you You Suck. You have to believe in yourself and in your novel and persevere. It's a tough business. It's a tough world.

Don't give up. And that bears repeating!

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"There doesn't seem to be anybody else who agrees with me."

Zero 7

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mad Love

What could be better on Valentine's Day than a little love for SHADOW POINT? (the correct answer is NOTHING!) I was notified yesterday that I've been selected as one of six 2011 winners of the Alice B. Lavender Certificate for lesbian fiction debut novels.

And the winners are:
  • Amy Briant, SHADOW POINT
  • Nat Burns, TWO WEEKS IN AUGUST
  • Gina Daggett, JUKEBOX
  • D. Jackson Leigh, BAREBACK and LONG SHOT
  • Kristin Marra, WIND AND BONES
  • Amy Dawson Robertson, MILES TO GO

Four of the six are published by Bella Books - go, Bella! Go, Bella authors! (those are the green ones above)

Paraphrased from www.AliceBAwards.org: The Alice B. Committee is a group of lesbians in southern Arizona who choose to support and encourage writers of lesbian fiction by recognition of excellence. The Lavender Certificate is given annually for debut novels that were read by the committee during the previous year and judged to excel.

My thanks again to the Alice B. Readers Appreciation Award Committee! I'm so honored and pleased by their selection of me and SHADOW POINT for this recognition. It's thrilling to me whenever someone tells me she's read my book. It's even better when people like it! This is such a lovely and unexpected Valentine's surprise. The support and positive feedback from this Committee are greatly appreciated by me. I've already read some of the books on their list, but now I have some more new titles to explore - always a good thing for a reader AND a writer. :-)

Saturday Quote-O-Rama! (on a Monday)

"I don't feel tardy."

D. L. Roth

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"Your WHAT?!

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin ROOF...
rusted."

The B-52s

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Readers Are Saying

Hey, some lovely people (who I don't even know!) are saying some fabulous things about SHADOW POINT. Their edited feedback, which I've come across in different corners of teh interwebs, is below. Rock on, lovely people!

"What a debut book! ...a page-turne(r) that is hard to put down... loved the experience!"
MA

"Wow!! What a thrilling ride... Excellent book... I hope Amy writes another book soon."
NS

"...really enjoyed Shadow Point. I couldn't put it down once i started. Wonderful storyline."
PS

"I couldn't put the book down... If you enjoy a good ghost story, pick this one up. Amy Briant did a heckuva job with her debut. I look forward to her next."
CP

"...a wonderfully feisty heroine. She'll win the heart of every carefree single lesbian... What follows is a wild and exciting ride as Madison, Pipe, Katie, and a wonderful English bulldog named Henry the Eighth battle the forces of evil on Shadow Point. A gripping first novel...
RL