Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Author schizophrenia

Today is the release date for my Ellora’s Cave quickie, written as Blair Valentine. Surrender the Night is a vampire tale. Lots of hot sex, some humor, the usual weird combo.

Writing erotic romance under a pseudonym is changing my personality. Once I was a mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper…whoops! That Clark Kent, my OTHER persona.

Blair is different. She writes whatever the hell she wants and doesn’t give a flying pig’s fart if it gets published. She writes because she has these crazy story ideas in her head she must get out. She loves writing for Ellora’s Cave. Her editor is great, the response time is amazingly fast, and the publicity staff sends out her books for review. She’d like to sell lots of books, but if that doesn’t happen, she’s okay with it.

She doesn’t look at other authors and cringe, thinking, “Gee, I wish I could write like Twanda Tittles, the NY Times best-selling author whose last tome, CRAVING THE HAIRY SCOT, got a starred Publisher’s Weekly review and is optioned now for film! Twanda is such a terrific writer, even if she can’t conjugate her verbs. Why can’t I be more like Twanda? Will I EVER get another book published? Will Romantic Times EVER recognize one of my books as a Top Pick? Will Kathryn Falk EVER remember MY name?”

Blair thinks Twanda is a blithering idiot whose last two brain cells are fighting each other. Blair doesn’t sit by the phone, watching it grow cobwebs, waiting for her agent to call. Blair doesn’t keep up with industry news and fret because she’s not part of it. She loves to write for the sake of writing, not for the sake of putting out another book and trying to advance a career that’s gasping in ICU on a ventilator.

Blair loves the good reviews she receives, but if someone shreds her book, she doesn’t care. Blair enjoys the relative anonymity she has, for it frees her to write whatever the hell pleases her. She’s not worried about crafting a book to please her fan base, because she has no fans. She’s not worried about delivering a book to meet her publisher’s expectations. Blair is free from author branding, a publishing tool that can advance a career, but can restrict an author's writing.

Blair is writing a proposal about a sexy, very alpha ex-gunman and the virgin he’s determined to tame. When she sends it out, she’ll bid it adios and forget about it. She won’t anxiously watch her mailbox every day, praying it doesn’t contain a rejection letter. She won’t even worry that she wasted energy and anguished over writing the proposal because she didn’t. She’ll mail the proposal and move on.

Blair’s biggest nemesis is an author named Bonnie Vanak. Bonnie keeps threatening to unhinge Blair’s peace of mind. Bonnie worries. Frets. Agonizes over everything. Bonnie is an obsessive author.

Blair keeps telling Bonnie to shut up, get her writing booty into a chair. Tell the world to shove it, and just CREATE. WRITE. Bonnie admires this.

Bonnie likes Blair. She’s glad she has another book out. She wishes to emulate her.

Hell, it’s worth a try.

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