Monday, October 26, 2009
I know I asked for this in my long post to start off our part of the paranormal month, but would love to hear your answers. Not just our wonderful and so talented authors, but readers also.
Thanks for all the authors, readers, and editors do to make Faery an awesome line at The Wild Rose Press!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
How hot and spicy can our line get? Well, personally, I’m a big fan of “the hotter the better.” But there’s something to be said for sexual tension. Nothing beats two souls searching for each other with a gut-wrenching need who have to overcome a conflict keeping them apart. We ache for them, we cry for them, we lust for them.
Mmm, star-crossed lovers finding each other across time and space, or different realms or planets, fighting a common goal, or just fighting to stay together...FAERY ROSE is all of that and more.
Heat levels vary. During sexual scenes our authors may close the door or leave it wide open. So what do you think the difference is? Language. Description. Details. Yes, all that and more. Language drives the rating. It’s a whole different story. While we keep our description from turning into Purple Prose without being crude, our FAERY ROSES may blush pale pink or blaze hot pink, but if they turn SCARLET, you’ll find those in the Wilder Rose Press catalogue.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
“Writing fantasy is so much easier than writing something from real-life, like a historical. You can make stuff up as you go and never have to research anything!” –Newby Paranormal-Author
Almost. Paranormal fans, who often read bucketloads of scifi and fantasy, expect the worldbuilding to be consistent.
“That can’t really happen.”
Often in a paranormal romance, one small element of reality is tweaked but all else remains the same as real, contemporary Earth. For example, a talking dog. Reader accepts that the animal can talk and reads along blithely accepting this. Until you have the talking dog unlocking doors and cooking dinner or doing anything else that requires opposable thumbs. “Dog’s can’t do that,” the reader says, ignoring the fact that dogs can’t talk either. Why is one believable and not the other? Unless you show in the beginning that this dog can magically perform human-like deeds, the physics of our world deny the possibility in the reader’s mind. Think of Scooby Doo. He’s cartoonish from the beginning, so we accept that he does human-like things.
“That’s so unrealistic!”
A film example is from the recent “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie. At the opening of the show, the three chipmunks are singing in harmony while loading nuts into a hollow cavity in a fir tree. Singing chipmunks = acceptable. Hollow fir tree = not found in nature…also, where did the nuts come from in a conifer forest? Add that chipmunks are ground sqirrels and a burrowing species...Little details like that can kill the suspension of disbelief.
“Who believes this stuff?”
While flying across rooftops on wires kung-fu fighting in slow motion works in Hong Kong cinema, it doesn’t work in a Hollywood action flick. Why not? Different audiences have different expectations of the level of realism. Do stars of a Hollywood romance suddenly burst into a song and dance number rather than getting’ busy? No, but that’s expected in a Bollywood film. Readers loyal to books about Celtic magic want every book to follow the same general rules found in the literature pertaining to Celtic legends. Wiccan followers know the main tenet of Wicca is “harm none,” so if your Wiccan character brings harm to anyone through use of magic with no three-fold consequences, your story loses believability.
“Well, that was convenient.”
When you create your own fantasy world, you get to decide how magic works or not in your setting. But change the rules of your magical creation for even one sentence and you’ve lost your audience. “Hey, how come Brilliant Hero can do X with his magic in chapter one, but on page 200 suddenly Brilliant Hero can’t do X anymore right when it’s crucial to avoid Scourge the Villain and save Damsel? Why didn’t he just do X again and avoid the problem?” If there is a logical explanation for why Brilliant Hero suddenly forgot that spell or couldn’t work it, make sure the reader knows before you get there. If one character has a limitation on his or her magical ability that other magical characters do not share, let the reader know the why of that.
Follow your own rules
Establish your non-real-earth rules early and clearly then follow them. Readers, editors and agents of paranormal romances have the expectation that what you establish during the first chapter will hold true throughout the book. Want to tweak the rules later as you write further in the manuscript? Great—but return to the beginning and establish that as the rule. As long as you are consistent with your worldbuilding, your readers will accept whatever strangeness you want to dish out.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Sporting a swirling cape and sinister mustache. Camouflaged as part of the team. Skulking in the background—human? Or not?
The villain plays a dark and important role. The villain himself (or herself) may possess their very own point-of-view. He may lurk as a menacing presence, foiling the best efforts of the hero and heroine to save the day (or night—it is paranormal month here at The Wild Rose Press) through the hero and/or heroine’s POV. His point is to help drive the plot, give cause to the story, to help force the hero and heroine to grow.
For a strong villain—a worthy opponent—this character, whether human or supernatural, needs some special attention and devlopment right along with the other characters in the story. A hastily contrived antagonist to throw a wrench in the works ends up quite obvious and a turn-off. Please don’t expend all of your creative energy on the to-be-happy couple. Don’t just call him sinister, make him that way. Being smelly and ugly doesn’t mean he’s evil. That just means he was blessed with poor genetics and needs a bath. Infuse him with actions and an aura that make the reader’s neck hair stand on end.
The villain can break a story as much as an ending that leaves you scratching your head. Don’t let your villain float. Give him a connection to the characters that truly makes it a feasible relationship. Random, ambiguous villains bug me as much as flat heroes and heroines.
Design the darker side to fit, meld, blend, to truly belong to the story as the heroine and hero belong. A villain needs a personality too. Strengths and weaknesses, quirks and flaws, maybe even the occasional redeemable quality.
Just make sure they can be defeated in the end.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Although, a lot of readers and authors think paranormal is filled with Vamps, Weres, and Demons, there are other entities that are served up on the Faery Rose line. Below will give you just a glimpse into what we have for readers and what we want from authors, whether you are pubbed already or looking to break into the literary world of romance.
Fairy Tales are not just for children. Our recently revamped Faery line is a place where you can allow your imagination a free rein to create romance with mystical and mythical characters. Picture if you will, a faery hero who is not the cartoon equivalent but a strong sensual male who knows what he wants and goes after his leading lady. Dragons don't just frolic in the mist but turn into mortal men and women with love and lust on their minds. Elves who are not meek or from Santa Land but have minds and hearts of their own, looking for love with a bit of mischief thrown in. Ghosts who come back to life for the love of their life and wizards, warlocks, and witches who crank up the romance like they spit out a spell. Futuristic worlds, filled with science fiction warriors who can wield a sword as well as a laser and not afraid, be they woman or man, to go after what their heart desires. Time travels moving through centuries with the hero and heroine seeking not the secrets of the ages but love. Sweet, sensual, spicy or hot, authors wishing to query should be acquainted with our guidelines for submissions.
Now, having read the above, the key word is romance. We at Faery want what any other editor out there craves--a tale of romance that will transport us out of our daily grind, make the world's problems go away for a bit, and something that will make us remember the book long after we turn the last page.
My personal favs for Faery subs are time travels that bring the past to the present. I also have a soft spot for Science fiction or futeristics, whichever you prefer. My main goal, however, is to find a manuscript that I would buy myself. That is how I judge a submission and it is what I tell the lovely editors on Faery.
Authors should never be afraid to explore the unusual but make sure you keep on top the main ingredient, romance, in what you submit.
Now, readers, I would love to hear from you!! Tell me what you want!! Tell me what makes you crave in a book, and what you would stand in line
Next, and you will be hearing more from Frances Sevilla, a culmination of questions and answers for our writers.
How should you decide which line is right for your manuscript?
Read the line descriptions. Faery Rose for instance... Faeries can be both good and bad. Are we all rainbows, lollipops, and starlight? No. Our time travel can take you to dark places. Some of the witches in our books may practice black magic. Our ghosts can be gruesome. We might be a sweet romance or spicy hot romance, but we are always ROMANCE.
What do we represent?
The promise our line makes to our readers is a HEA [happily ever after] for the hero and heroine. One other thing—perhaps the most important thing—is that this story is about THEIR ROMANCE. They may have to overcome demons, travel to distant planets or through time, but they should do it TOGETHER for most of the story.
So if you think your book fits into the Faery line, read a few of our free reads, and then do your homework. Look at what we don’t want for the line, and then make sure if we request your full manuscript, that you format it to our guidelines. Make the editor’s job as easy as possible to accept your book.
Why did your manuscript get rejected?
First, ask the big question... Is it a rejection letter or a revision letter?
One of the biggest mistakes a new author can make is misunderstanding this concept. Agents and editors may not tell you to change something unless you are contracted with them. Before you’re contracted they may suggest changes they think will move your manuscript closer to a contract.
Let’s say you get a letter you think is a rejection. What should you look for?
Is the letter detailed with a few SPECIFIC suggestions for ways to revise the manuscript? Then do it. You haven’t been rejected. Resubmit it.
Are there pages of suggestions? Someone has taken a great deal of time to review your work. They wouldn’t do that if they weren’t serious about encouraging you. You haven’t been rejected. Do it and resubmit.
Are there major revisions suggested? If so, your decision may be more difficult. Send a letter back advising what you are willing to change and what you are not. The ball is in the agent’s or editor’s court. They may have to reject your manuscript based on your answers.
When is it really a rejection letter?
When the letter states that the manuscript does not comply with our publishing or line guidelines, it probably means you should find a different home for your manuscript.
One of the hardest things for an editor to do is reject an excellent manuscript because it doesn’t meet The Wild Rose Press or Faery Rose guidelines. An excellent story, plot, characterization, and voice won’t work if we don’t publish your specific type of story.
We are looking forward to keeping you entertained, interacting with readers and writers during our part of the paranormal month here at The Wild Rose Press. You will be seeing the editors I am so proud of, Claudia Fallon, Sarah Hansen, Kelly Schaub, and Frances Sevilla, when they post some of the ideas dear to their heart!
Remember if you never open a book either print or ebook, you will never be able to find the treasure inside!
Hugs! Amanda Barnett/Senior Editor/Faery Rose
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Greetings from the frozen North!
Well, not totally frozen yet, though we have had a couple of overnight frosts. Past time to bring the tomatoes in; we had two red ones this year. Whoo-hoo! I'm afraid that's more a comment on my gardening skills than the climate. Lucky for us, I put more time into my editing than into the garden.
I'm a grammar-, spelling-, punctuation-Nazi from way back. I have to constantly remind myself that not everyone shares my passion for the minutiae and arcana of the English language. I feel incredibly privileged to be allowed to indulge my editing vocation and paranormal avocation at the same time. Talk about a dream job!
This month the Black Rose editors and authors are dispatching from the dark side. Stay tuned for everything you ever wanted to know about spooky beasties, All Hallows Eve traditions, and how to ward off the fangity critters out there. As well as garlic and silver, I've heard that rowan berries and red thread are helpful. But I've yet to learn how to tie up a werewolf with the red thread. Or maybe it's for flossing those fangs?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
How many times have you found yourself wondering just what exactly are succubae and incubi? And what the heck do they do, anyway? Well, if you’re like me, quite often, that’s for sure.
So, dear Readers, with a bit of time on my hands (ha!) over here on the Dark Side of the Garden, I’ve taken it upon myself to do some research into the matter. It appears different theories exist regarding the creation of these infamous, highly-sexed creatures of the, uh, bedroom. Yet, according to the esteemed Sanctum #11: Inquisition, which I’m sure you are all familiar with, “the leading theory was that a warlock or warlocks were trying to create more of their kind the old-fashioned way: by breeding them.” The incubi and the succubae of medieval European folklore visited men and women during the dead of the night to engage in sex, ultimately to produce doers of great evil or powerful warlocks. It was believed that “the most famous child of such a union” was Merlin the Magician. Wow!
Now here’s the unrequited love story part. No HEA here…
A few years before he painted The Nightmare (1791), Johan Heinrich Fussli had fallen passionately in love with a woman named Anna Landholdt in Zürich, the niece of his friend, Johann Kaspar Lavater. Fuseli wrote of his fantasies to Lavater:
Last night I had her in bed with me—tossed my bedclothes hugger-mugger—wound my hot and tight-clasped hands about her—fused her body and soul together with my own—poured into her my spirit, breath and strength. Anyone who touches her now commits adultery and incest! She is mine, and I am hers. And have her I will….
Fussli's marriage proposal didn’t meet with Dad’s approval and lovely Anna married a family friend soon after. It’s said that The Nightmare, (see art below) then, can be seen as a personal portrayal of the erotic aspects of love lost.
Well, if Johan is portraying himself crouching on the beautiful Anna’s midsection, no wonder Daddy didn’t approve!
Editor, The Black Rose Line
Monday, October 5, 2009
As we begin the favored month of those of us at Black Rose, it's a time to reflect upon what it is that brings us to the dark side. People often ask me if I'm a glass half-empty kind of person since I lean so far toward the strange and unusual. I like nothing better than a good vampire or a hunky shape shifter. Still, I must answer them with a firm, no. I'm very much glass half-full kind of person. It's what I love about the dark paranormal romances. You see, it's like this for me...in a Black Rose story you get the age-old battle of good vs. evil along with all the wonderful emotions of an evolving romance. I always know I'm going to get three things: a chill, a thrill, and a happy ending. First, something in each story will give me the oh-factor whether it's a vampire, a demon, or a werewolf. Second, the romance is going to be hot and exciting. And, finally, good will always win and the lovers will find a way to be together regardless of the odds stacked against them. Seriously, how can you beat a story like that??
Now, as a storm brews outside my window and darkness is beginning to fall, it's time to run upstairs and turn on the light in my bedroom...just in case.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
get as submissions.
There is always something you can count on when you evaluate a sub for Black. Exciting, different, and hopefully it holds your attention.
We have some amazing authors on Black as well as TWRP. I'm proud to be an editor to several here on the Black Rose line as well as others.
So, let's make this a wonderful month for all the things that go bump in the night!
Amanda Barnett/Editor Black Rose and Senior Faery Rose
Thursday, October 1, 2009
WELCOME TO PARANORMAL MONTH AT THE WILD ROSE PRESS:)
I am Callie Lynn Wolfe, Senior Editor of the Black Rose Imprint here at TWRP. I have been with TWRP from almost the beginning. I have been fortunate enough to watch this company grow and thrive under the tender cultivating efforts of RJ and Rhonda. I have also watched the Black Rose line grow and it still is. I absolutely love the darker side of the garden and my mission is to see it thrive.
That said, I wanted to tell you a bit about the line, our new blog and what we've got up our sleeves this year to celebrate Paranormal Month.
As you all know, we ran the Got Wolf? contest last year. This year we are celebrating the winners as well as the release of the two Anthologies. I am excited about both books and the collection of stories they hold. We will start October off at the Black Rose blog with the various authors of Got Wolf, so please don't miss any of that. Then we will slide into discussions about the many different aspects of Halloween/Samhain legend, history, tradition and all the creatures that make up the term Paranormal. The darker side, that is
For the next week or so the Black Rose editors will drop in and talk to you about themselves and the upcoming events.
For more information on submission requirements for Black Rose, please visit our guidelines page.
Below is a brief description of what we look for in our stories:
The Black Rose Line at The Wild Rose Press is actively open for spicy to very hot story submissions.
The darker side of the garden seeks steamy, Alpha male or female weres, to die for vamps, or any other delicious mystical creature you have locked up in your wildest imaginations. These stories should include vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, and mystical creatures of all types. The stories are darker, but must have a strong romance theme as the central story thread. We are open to a wide range of stories, and because these creatures tend to be sensual in nature, Black Rose accepts manuscripts that fit the Sensual, Spicy, and Hot ratings parameters, but sex should not be used as the main story thread.
Black Rose is open for submissions as we speak, so if you have a dark tale to tell we're your line.
I want to mention some other great perks this month for Paranormal month. All paranormal books will be on sale all month! So please do hop over and check them out. We have a wonderful selection to choose from.
One other thing I'd like to say. Keep an eye on the The Black Rose Blog daily because you never know when someone will be offering a prize or giving away free stuff and books. This is our month, and we're up to no good or should I say lot's of ghoulish fun:) Don't miss a trick or treat.
We look forward to haunting you all month long. Welcome to the darker side. Step on in and feel the chill. No worries though. I'm sure one of our HOT heroes or heroines will be along shortly to warm you up.