Archive for vampires

What I’ve Got on the Shelves

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by gerrybartlett

I’ve been remodeling my office and it’s been a pain. First, I had to clear the clutter. I had files going back to the eighties. And I hate to throw away anything. There are still decisions to be made about a lot of it so they’re in a closet for now. Then I realized I was a book hoarder. I am doing a massive book giveaway. Don’t ask. That’s being taken care of. I’m donating or selling a lot and some special people are getting some of them. Yes, I will be mailing soon. If I can get to the envelopes.

One of the first things I did after the paint dried was put up my rows of published novels. I think we get so caught up in the daily grind that we don’t always take time to realize what we’ve accomplished. I started writing back in the early eighties. Remember those files I mentioned? Some of them are from the first workshops I attended. They are full of advice that just won’t fly now. I also have my first novel written on a Smith Corona typewriter. What a pain to use white-out and carbon paper. Yes, youngsters, that’s what we did. God forbid you had to make major changes in a manuscript. 

I found my first rejection letter there too. It was from a line called Second Chance at Love. Very complimentary for a first book and the editor asked to see more. I didn’t see the good things, just saw no and quit writing for a while, like years. Bad, Gerry. Then I joined Romance Writers of America and found a support group. I struggled along, writing more manuscripts, learning craft from published authors who volunteered their time to teach workshops. I went to my first national conference and was blown away when I saw Nora Roberts speak. Her advice? Put your butt in the chair and write every day. I came home jazzed, determined to succeed. 

Finally in 1998 I got the call. I sold my first two books, romantic suspense. In 2000 I sold a Regency historical. But I found my real success when I stumbled on a vampire named Gloriana St. Clair. I had a hook–she was bloating when she was turned in 1604. That one thing made my book stand out enough for me to finally snag an agent. I’d been trying since the eighties with no luck. This was 2003. Yes, it was a long, long journey.

Since then I’ve had ten contracts for Real Vampires books with the tenth, Real Vampires Know Size Matters, coming out this December. Writing has become a job, not always a thrill ride. So I put those books on the shelf to remind myself that I have to be proud of what I’ve accomplished. It was a miracle that I got published at all. Some of the writers I started out with never did manage it. I have two books that were translated into German and I get fan mail daily. I am blessed and I know it. I need to keep the joy in the writing and stop worrying about my clutter and the hassles of the publishing world. Yes, I’m behind on everything. That mailing will get done. Just not today. And who knows when this office will finally be as perfect as I’ve dreamed it would be? 

But here’s my bottom line. No one is harder on us than we are. What have you done that you refuse to give yourself credit for? Did you finish a project? Complete a course? Get a degree or win an award? What are you proud of? I’m really proud of the fine son I raised. He is a great father and husband. And he can fix my computer!

Post here, I’d love to know what you have been doing. And I’ll pick a random poster to win a gift card, Amazon or Barnes & Nobles, your choice, by September 30 just for sharing. So come on, brag a little. Where else are you going to do it? Oh, yeah, those frogs? I collect frog princes. I was lucky and found my prince a long time ago. Now that he’s gone, I’m afraid it’s all frogs out there but you never know…

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What is Love?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 21, 2013 by gerrybartlett

I’ve always thought of February as the month for love. Valentine’s Day is in the middle of the month and I was married on the 26th, many years ago. I’ve talked before about my own marriage and you can read my love story in another part of this website. Recently Dear Abby answered a letter from a heartbroken reader who was trying to get over a failed romance. Abby had a good definition of what real love is and I’ll paraphrase it here. She said someone who loves you makes you feel strong instead of dependent. He or she appreciates you for the person you are and isn’t threatened by your successes. He or she supports you when you do well, celebrates your triumphs and hugs you after your tragedies. Sound familiar? I hope so. I know when I was struck by Cupid’s arrow, I was more interested in chemistry than those important things. Luckily, I was supported in every way. No one was more thrilled than my husband when I sold my first book. I was a young, immature girl when I met and married him. He helped me grow and change, encouraged me in every way. And the chemistry was good too.

It’s funny. I write romance because I love to read about that first meeting, the way two people connect and find the one person who makes them stronger, feel loved and cherished. I read those books long before I met a man who could do that for me. I was looking for a fantasy man. The reality was much different. There were money issues, the details of daily life that dragged at us. Men raised in the era John was didn’t understand shared chores in the home. I had to battle for every emptied dishwasher or trash run. Argh. Chemistry can only take you so far. Know what I mean? But if there’s more, the respect, the encouragement that Dear Abby was talking about, then you work through the daily grind and come out the other side. Raising children and living through lay-offs may make bedtime lose its magic for a while. But a hug at the right time, an empty dishwasher just when you needed it, can go a long way to helping you remember why you fell in love in the first place.

I write about vampires. Weird paranormal creatures. But the emotions are all human. Glory has been looking for true love ever since she found herself a widow in 1604. Yes, she has Jerry. But she doesn’t trust that bond. He’s too controlling, too protective. And she’s too insecure to believe that he won’t eventually tire of her. Yes, that’s crazy on her part. But insecurity isn’t always rational. So what if he’s stuck around for four hundred years. He could finally walk away. So she keeps looking around. Thinking maybe she should have other options. Wrong? Probably. I don’t know if you’re Team Jerry, Team Rafe or Team Ray. But I’ve always been Team Glory. She has to realize that she needs to relax and just see what happens if she believes in herself. There’s a lot to be said for loyalty. And chemistry. Glory needs to decide where she finds both.

So how did you meet your love? Or are you still looking? Comment here for a chance to win an autographed copy of my March 5 release, Real Vampires Know Hips Happen, and a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Nobles. I’ll pick a lucky winner on that release day, March 5. Good luck! And I can’t wait to read your stories.