Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Chit Chat

Happy Friday. I haven't posted in about a week, so it's time to catch up. Plus, I'm on vacation until after the 4th, so I have a little time to blather on. I don't have a particular topic, just a few things I've been meaning to mention, and now is as good a time as any.

First, the gratuitous, self-serving plug. FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION is still on the book shelves, but I don't know for how much longer. You may or may not know that category (i.e. Harlequin/Silhouette) books don't usually stay in book stores, grocery stores or your local Wal-Mart or Target for more than two or three weeks before they're cycled out and the new books are cycled in. So if you're thinking about buying someone's category romance (like FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION--buy early, buy often), you really do need to get to the bookstore quickly, because they don't stock a whole lot per store, and they don't stay in the stores that long. Fortunately, places like Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and the on-line versions of Wal-Mart and Target do have the books in stock online much longer. So it's not too late, even if your local store has sold out of FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION.

/Gratuitous, self-serving plug

Yesterday was my birthday. We're not big birthday people in my family. You're lucky if someone remembers it and says Happy Birthday. (I'm looking at YOU, brother dearest). But we do generally do the birthday cake thing around here, and I got to choose what I wanted. Now, if it were my sister's choice, or her kids, I'd have gotten a big rectangular flat cake with lots of frosting balloons, flowers and writing. But I'm just not into all that stuff, so I requested a simple Red Velvet cake. Yum. They bought it at the local Food World and it was delicious.

Hopping topics like a mad woman, last week, my editor asked me to do a cowboy hero for an "all heroes" promotion Intrigue plans to do next year. My first instinct was sheer panic. I'm that person you run into on writers' message boards who bemoans the glut of "Cowboy, Baby and Bride" books out there in category as it is. Plus, I was born in the city, I grew up in the city, and though I live outside the city at the moment, I'm in a suburban town, not the country, and my exposure to cows and horses is pretty much limited to occasional visits to my extended family in rural Alabama. I've never met a real cowboy, though I once attended a local rodeo. Yeah, I'm really the person to write a cowboy book.

But I actually do like cowboys. I used to watch Bonanza. I liked Tom Selleck in Louis L'Amour movies he did a while back. I read Zane Grey books as a child. I'm prepared, right?

Of course, I hedged my bets a bit when I started plotting . The bulk of the story is set in cities and towns along the road from Philadelphia to the Wyoming Rockies, not on a working cattle ranch. And my hero, while raised on a Wyoming ranch, left it to seek his way in the world. But I do think I understand the appeal of wide opens spaces and the sort of gritty, pioneer spirit that makes a cowboy who and what he is. The ideas of honor and responsibility and the siren call of the land appeal to me as well. So in spirit, I think I can write a cowboy and make him the kind of guy readers will love. With lots and lots of research.

I hope you'll also love the heroine who transforms his life and gives him a greater sense of what the word "home" really means.

I guess I'll let that be it from me for now. Since I'm on vacation, I'll try to blog a little more regularly this week.

4 comments:

Gina Black said...

I always liked the cowboy-in-the-city angle, like Marshal Sam McCloud. You might (ahem) be too young to remember that series . . .

Southern Girl said...

Happy belated birthday, Paula!! Excellent choice of cake to celebrate. The Sam's Club bakery, of all places, makes an incredible red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Good enough to make you slap your mama. ;)

Paula said...

Too young to remember McCloud, Gina? Me? Bwaahahahahah!

I think that Sam's Club must share their recipe with Food World, Shari, because this was the best cream cheese icing on a store bought cake I've ever had.

MaryF said...

Happy belated birthday, Paula!!