Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Heading for NYC

Younger Daughter and I are headed to New York City.

We're going to Book Expo America (BEA), the largest book trade fair in the United States.   I plan to wander around, find out about great books, and pick up as many as I can carry.

But the main reason to go is that I'll be signing copies (i.e. uncorrected proofs1) of my debut novel Whisper Falls.   I cannot wait to see and hold a copy of my book.

If you're going to be at BEA on Friday, drop by the Spencer Hill booth and get a book!

  • Friday, May 31
    • Book-signing at Book Expo America (BEA)
      11:00 am, Booth 2567
      Jake Javits Center - New York City

1 Uncorrected proof - an uncorrected proof is a bound copy of the book. It is just like a real book, except the possibility exists that it might have a typo or two. An uncorrected proof is not available for sale, but it is the book in its entirety. Generally, publishing professionals (such as book store owners, librarians, and book reviewers)receive uncorrected proofs or ARCs (advanced reading copy) so that they can review the book in advance of its publication date.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Body language

My best friend and I were sitting at lunch the other day, and a hot guy walked by. So I said, "That guy is hot." (I'm eloquent that way.)

"Would you say that in front of your husband?" she asked.

"Sure would. And he doesn't mind."

She expressed some disbelief on his behalf, but it's the truth. It has to be.  It is my job to notice people.

I'm an author. I write stories where I must describe things. Human beings are the main things I describe.  Mostly, a story is about what my characters think and how they act. But their appearance (either the one they're born with or the one they create) can have a powerful impact on their thoughts, their actions, how other characters react to them, and--ultimately--how the reader responds.

Authors must be good manipulators of body language.

I know a dozen ways to say "blond."  If I call a girl "overweight", the reader has a different mental image than if I call her "curvy." I might give a minor character light brown eyes, but the hero's eyes are amber.

I pay attention to details. What is the shape of a person's face? Is it symmetric? Do they have scars? Facial hair? Does their hairstyle flatter or detract? How about their hands? Do they have long, elegant fingers? Is the skin supple, rough, or wrinkled? Are the nails long? Manicured? Dirty? Bitten? 

I might say that I find a guy attractive, but I could also write you a five-hundred word description to tell you exactly why. And it is likely that elements of that description will wind up in a book of mine one day.

Authors have careers that require understanding from spouses, but we're not the only ones. Actors kiss people who aren't their partners. Health care providers see and touch bare body parts as part of their daily routine.  The lady at the lingerie store knows precisely what bra size I wear just by looking.

My husband understands. He knows that a lot of what I say is simply exercising the tools of my trade.

Really. If I say you're hot, it's professional, not personal. Most of the time.