Submitting Your Proposal? I Did.

23 Feb

Nothing seems more stressful than having to pare down a novel into a page or two synopsis, or worse yet a back cover blurb. As an author of romantic comedies, my characters and story lines tend to run in the hundreds of pages per book, with plots and subplots carved into the running chapters.

Yet submitting to an agent or publisher means first drafting a query letter, including a short blurb or paragraph encompassing the essence of the story hooking the person into wanting more. An elevator pitch, if you’re familiar with the term, describe your book in the few seconds you might have if a literary agent or publisher stepped into an elevator with you. Not many details, but must grab the person’s attention through emotion s or action.

If you pass this hurdle, next is submitting a synopsis of the book. In two to four pages you must describe the highlights of the plot and subplots, the ins and outs of the main characters and reveal the ending. Shocking, I know, but the publisher or agent needs to know you have a tightly wrapped up ending, nothing dangling in midair by the last page.

I just sent a proposal packet to Crimson Romance for the sequel of “Her Ghost Wears Kilts.” Now begins the waiting – will it be accepted or not? The new book is titled “Frolic and Foibles” sharing the same crazy characters with a new villain. Think good thoughts to the publishing fairy it will be picked up for 2015.

Baillie Makes Her Interview Debut

6 Oct

On the first stop of my Pump Up Your Book virtual book tour, The Literary Nook interviews the main character of Her Ghost Wears Kilts – Catharine Anne Baillie. Find out what this protagonist really thinks.

How sheltered was I in my bookstore all those years? I’d never met such an oily psychopath.
– See more at:

Image by Pump Up Your Book, virtual book tours.

Image by Pump Up Your Book, virtual book tours.

The Sequel … So it begins

29 Aug

Those of you who haven’t read Her Ghost Wears Kilts published by Crimson Romance yet may not want to read any further. I advise you to click off the blog and spend this time grabbing a copy of HGWK instead for an enjoyable adventure. The following paragraphs may contain character content you’re not ready to know. Once you’ve finished reading, c’mon back and be excited with the rest of us.

Yes, I’m finally working on the sequel to my paranormal romantic comedy and thoroughly enjoying being back with the cast of characters I came to love. Of course, Gillian Nation himself returns. The man has been a supporting actor in both Changes in Attitude and HGWK, so he’s on a roll and has his own fan base.

Last night I sat in the stadium bleachers by the JV field of Black Lake High School, purportedly watching the youngest Bown boy go through his drills and plays of Thursday practice. However, most of those two hours, I had my head bent over a blank notebook and found my pen racing through scenes and concepts for the new book. Pages filled with black ink and adrenalin made my heart pound.

The male lead actor in the story is named Brugh (sounds like Hugh). Yes, just like the fluffy four-footed love in my immediate family. But do note as this is important, the pup was named for the character, not the other way round. The character Brugh had already materialized for the sequel before I made the commitment to fall in love with the two Pomeranian puppies.

Enough for now, I am hoping the three-day weekend ahead will be writing and laundry with breaks of lavish attention for Brugh and Bouncer. Enjoy yourselves and be safe.

Outlander Obsession

28 Aug

Having just finished the latest Diana Gabaldon book in the Outlander series, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, I am still under the influence of a Claire and Jamie hangover. Enmeshed in the details of the Revolutionary War era, time travel and the highlands of Scotland, I savored every page as I have of the first seven books.

Over the last three weeks, though, I’ve been thrown back into the sci-fi romantic adventure world of the first book Outlander through the first three episodes of the new Starz cable series of the same name. The delightful and dedicated actor Sam Heughan is beginning to grow on me and dissolve my “larger than life” image in his portrayal of Jamie Frazer. The poor actor has quite a task in front of him.

Are ye one of us, now kilt krazy and eager for more of Claire and Jamie?

My romantic comedy Her Ghost Wears Kilts is like a kilt-wrapped candy bar next to the thick detailed tomes of the Outlander series. But after digesting the deliciousness of Gabaldon’s work, you might just want sink into its warm, fuzzy tale until the next exciting episode on Starz.

4.5 Star Review

9 Oct

Time has swished by as quickly as the blustery Northwest winds outside have scattered falling leaves. Too fast. I’m nearing the end of my  first virtual book tour with much gratitude to Bewitching Book Tours for making it doable and quite an experience.  This month-long adventure still has an exciting week to go.

I received a fabulous review from Lexi at Book Bliss last week that I wanted to share. She nailed quite a few components of the book and made my day. HGWK is more romantic comedy than typical paranormal and I cheered reading Lexi’s remarks about the hilarious side characters.

A very quirky book with something for everyone to love really from drag queens to romance to sentient ghosts! I thought it was great having a non conventional hero, it upped the book a lot adding different plot obstacles that aren’t always present. The world building for the rules of the afterlife was well thought out and I hope to see some more from it because it was laid out so well. The overall concept was strong.

However there were two elements that threw me out for the perfect 5 star review. The first was I almost felt it was too amusing for the category it is listed in. I loved the comedy but wasn’t expecting it to be such a central focus on the book and to an extent, felt it took away from the rest of the novel in some experience. The other was my strong love of the supporting characters of the main. Now anyone that’s been reading these reviews knows that my number 1 book love formed for a supporting character in book 1 and his book wasn’t until book 10 so it can happen. However I felt these supporting character and their hilarity stole the show and I would’ve liked to feel more invested in the romantic leads, Baillie and Kai, who were both fantastic separately but together I wanted a bit more.

My next virtual book tour will include more chick-lit or light heart, contemporary romance blogs. Focus more on the frolic instead of the super-natural. Any suggestions or blogs you’ve run across that might be a good fit, please let me know. I’d love to see sales soar this autumn for “Her Ghost Wears Kilts.”

The Importance of Reviews

14 Sep

Doesn’t that sound impressive? So literary and that is the point. It’s hard to believe how valuable reviews become when a book is first launched. It’s a written word-of-mouth opinion that travels across the country and sometimes around the world. I want to encourage you, whether it is my books or others you are reading, that when you are done, you post a review at Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes & Noble. Your fifty to a hundred words may be the catalyst for the next person to purchase a copy of that title.

As an author, there is sweet sensation when the first reviews are posted from readers who purchased a copy and enjoyed the adventure you created. A review is your way of contacting the author and letting them know how you felt about the book. Though I’ve shared this on my fb fan page, here is a copy of my first review:

A fun, romantic romp!,

September 8, 2013

First of all, full disclosure here: I admit my own bias toward any novel that includes a ghost as a sentient character. And in this one, not only is the ghost entertaining, he’s Celtic as well! Bonus points!!

Having said that, let me also say that if the spirit world is anything like the world Kathleen Shaputis depicts here, I think I’m pretty much ready to cross over!

I loved this book because it is romantic without being cheesy or sappy, ghostly without being Gothic, and it never takes itself too seriously.

When Baillie, the goofy but lovable protagonist, is told she has a ghost trying to communicate with her, she tries everything to deny his presence–until the news arrives that she has inherited a castle in Scotland, where she ultimately finds herself face to face with the lord of the castle himself (in ghostly form). For its humor, the book reminded me of the old TV series of my childhood, “Topper,” which I loved.

It should be noted here (for lovers of drag queen hilarity) that the characters of Rafael and T-Cup are especially memorable.

Kudos to Shaputis for offering a fun page-turner with a great sinister villain and several unlikely heroes (including a horse). Charming, quick read!

As an author I am more in tune with the importance of reviews, and find I must take the time to share my thoughts and a few words with the world about the books I’ve read and enjoyed. But just as important is hearing from the working mother in Kansas City or the reader flying to Ireland for vacation and has taken a copy of your book to read on the trip. The only way the author will know your reactions is by reviews.

Make leaving reviews a habit of choice, let the author know their hours of sweat and strain paid off. And let me know who your favorite character of “Her Ghost Wears Kilts” published by Crimson Romance is after you’ve read the book. I look forward to hearing from you.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule is Here

6 Sep
Get ready for a whirlwind, exciting virtual book tour set up by Bewitching Book Tours.

Get ready for a whirlwind, exciting virtual book tour set up by Bewitching Book Tours.

On a wet, wild day in the Pacific Northwest with lightning and thunder as background music, I received my tour schedule from Roxanne Rhoades at Bewitching Book Tours. And with the horrific and beautiful weather outside came the cancellation of football practice for my grandson. Perfect. Gave me time to set up the tour schedule page here and share the good news.

However, the lights are starting to blink, so it would be frustratingly ironic if the power goes out.

I love interviews – radio, television and blogs. Yes, I am a media diva – spreading good cheer, fun stories and information wherever I go. Though the last time I had national exposure and drive-time interviews on radio stations back east, I was about forty pounds lighter. The best thing about virtual tours is I’m behind a computer screen. Ruh-roh, what about Skype? Hmm, well, so far none of the interviews are live or taped.

According to the count down on my blog, it’s ten days before the start of the tour. I’ve been given instructions for my first few events and can’t wait to plunge in with anecdotes and fun facts of being a writer and publishing a paranormal romantic comedy.

Let me post this while the power is still on.