What's on your TBR list?

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday
So, whatcha readin'?

Reading is a dangerous activity for me. I am one of those "must-finish-the-book" people. According to my husband, I don't actually read books. I devour them. If I start a book, the laundry piles up, the dishes linger in the sink and the children get to eat popcorn for dinner.

Speaking of my husband, when we were first married, if he wanted to spend the day playing a video game, he would always sweetly suggest we stop by a book store and pick up a few things for me. Oh, and while we're here...I'll just pop into this game store. Took me years to realize I was being had.

So, here is what is on my list for this summer:


What am I missing? What's on your list? I read just about everything, except horror. What is the best book you have read lately? Anything I should stay away from? Do you have a book coming out this summer that I should absolutely check out?
Tell Me Your Story!

Welcome Wendy Lyn Watson!

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

Wendy Lyn Watson teaches constitutional law to college students by day and writes deliciously funny cozy mysteries, with a dollop of romance, by night. While she does not commit–or solve–murders in real life, her love of ice cream is 100% true. She’s also passionately devoted to 80s music, Asian horror films, and reality TV. A native of Ohio, she’s lived in Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Texas, where she currently lives with her husband and four spoiled felines.

I am a fan of Wendy's Mystery a la Mode series. In fact, I have about ten pounds I blame squarely on Scoop to Kill as well as You Scream, I Scream. As I have mentioned before, the woman describes ice cream in a way that makes you swear it was almost as good as sex! The third book in the series, A Parfait Murder,  is due out this summer.

 Let's get to know Wendy
   Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?

I don’t have a specific routine, but I’m definitely a sprinter.  I have to think about scenes—let them percolate on the back burner—for quite a while.  Then, when I sit down to write, they come tumbling out.   Doesn’t really matter where I am when that happens:  couch, desk, coffee shop … it’s all good.

Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?

Honestly?  No.  At the risk of sounding hopelessly naïve, I really thought that once you sold a book the hard part was over.  Uh, no.  Not so much.  I also foolishly assumed the money would be better, that even mid-list authors would at least make enough money to live modestly.  Again, naïve.

    Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time   and living a normal life?

I don’t know if this counts as a trick, but I’ve redefined “normal”.  I’m not magic, after all.  At the end of the day, I’m working two full-time jobs.  I had to wake up and realize I cannot work two full-time jobs AND have a vibrant social life AND be a good homemaker AND get my Christmas cards out on time … something had to give.  Giving myself permission to let the laundry pile up was the best thing I ever did.

 What is the best advice you have received about this journey?

The only thing a writer can control is the words she puts on the page.  Write well and that is success. 

    What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that?

Every time I sit down in front of the computer I worry the words will not come.  I combat that fear by free writing.  Divorcing the writing from the task of spinning a story allows me to tap into a well of creative images and ideas.  I’m constantly amazed by what I dredge up during a free writing exercise.

     What kind of scenes do you have a hard time writing?

    The first scene in a story is always the most difficult for me.  Picking the precise moment to join a life in progress, figuring out what information is necessary and what can wait … that’s a lot of pressure!

    What sources do you use for inspiration? ( Music, movies, people watching)

All of the above!  I draw on my own relationships, stories I read in the news, random people I meet in the community, snippets of lyrics … it all gets mixed up and mushed together in my head. 

    What do you do when you aren’t writing?

I earn a living teaching government to college kids.  I spend “free time” hanging out with my friends, watching movies with my husband, napping with our cats, cooking, crafting . . .

    What is next for you?

I just finished up the third Mystery a la Mode (A Parfait Murder).  I’ve got a few projects in the hopper right now—another cozy series, a darker mystery series, a romantic suspense—and I’m trying to figure out which is the best fit for me right now

You can find out more about Wendy on her website or her Facebook. You can also find her blogging on www.killercharacters.com 

In honor of Wendy's Mystery a la Mode series, let's talk ice cream! What is your favorite flavor? Favorite brand? Weirdest flavor you have ever tasted/heard of? 

Let's talk about Sex

Thinking about Thursday
Let's Talk about Sex

Now that I have your attention, excuse me a moment while I make a private comment to my husband.
Honey, if you are reading this: you can go back to watching hockey, it isn't going to be what you hope!

For my writer friends, let's talk about sex. My apologies to all of you who now have a Salt and Peppa Song stuck in your head. Let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me...

Anyway, I am  wondering if  writing about sex is not in my skill set. Don't get me wrong, I am far from prude and have no problem reading about it. 
But, when I start writing I can only come up with about three synonyms for moan and even less for particular body parts. Therefore, my scenes are less than...enthralling ( I was going to say climatic, but the pun felt too juvenile). 

As an aspiring romance writer, this is a problem!

To quote Roni Loren, whose erotic novel Exposure Therapy comes out in early 2012 :  
"The best way to learn to write sex is to read a heat level above what you're writing and
then when you get to your own book, what you're writing feels mild compared to the other stuff."

That is great advice and, as of now, finding a heat level about mine shouldn't be difficult.

One of my mother's comments about the first (and only) manuscript I let her read was, 
"There wasn't enough sex to make it a romance novel. You should add more." 

That was creepy in itself. I don't know which is worse, having a mother who would be embarrassed at how erotic your book is or having a mother who doesn't think it is erotic enough....(hmm, guess I will save that question for my next therapy session.)

Honestly, I am not worried about what people think about me writing sex scenes. I am worried about what people will think about me writing bad sex scenes.

Romantic suspense is my niche and there are successful authors who write without it. Wendy Lyn Watson 's mystery a-la-mode series, for example. Warning: The way Wendy describes ice cream is like reading about sex!

So, what do you think? 

Can a romance novel (or in my case, romantic suspense) that is not historical or inspirational be sexy, hot and most importantly, sell without explicit sex? 

What do you prefer in your reading/ writing?

Do more readers want to see the bedroom door swing shut and leave the rest to the imagination? Or  have the entire fantasy played out before them?  

As always, thank you so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

Have a great weekend!