Thursday, January 31, 2008

Three Words That Best Describe Me Are...


I've had to be. Otherwise, I wouldn't be published. It took me six years to get my first and second books published. Without my innate stubborness, I would have given up after five. And hopefully, being stubborn will pay off. Like many others, my sights are set on NY. And I'm too stubborn to quit until I get there. Even if it takes another decade.


Again, something else you have to be in this business otherwise you might as well just give up and crawl back to your day job. Yes, hope is a four-letter word, as I so often tell my critique partner Judi. But it's also the only thing that keeps me going some days. And hope is as stubborn as I am because, the day after I've gotten five rejection, it's right there the next morning, waiting for me when I sit down to my computer and telling me, Maybe today is the day.


Writing is all about dreams, isn't it? If we didn't dream, whether asleep or sitting at our computer, we wouldn't be able to imagine a love story between vampires and werewolves or 20th century women and 12th century men. Or between the son of an Etruscan God and a woman with wings. We wouldn't be able to continue day after day, rejection after rejection, if we didn't dream about getting The Call. Or winning the RITA. Or hitting the NY Times list.

If I'm stubborn enough and hopeful enough and dream enough, I do believe I'll get there.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Three words that best describe me are...


Like Mari - I'd have to start with this. Being creative, leading a creative life, and encouraging creativity in my children is a big part of my world. I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was in my teens, but before that it was acting (and acting up, and acting out...). I've always been attracted to the ability to create and even my hobby - scrapbooking - has that aspect. My boys have inherited this fun gene from me and I love seeing what they come up with.


From what I write to how I love - if there's no passion involved, I dont do it. I was once at a seminar where they asked us to think about our purpose. One of the ways they guided us to the answer was by asking us to think about what we wouldnt live without (chocolate not included). Or what when it wasnt in our life, made our lives dimmer, duller. The answer for me is PASSION. That driving heat, that intense desire. A life without it is hardly worth it to me. One of the reasons I know I enjoy writing erotic romance is because I have seen too many women ignore the passionate and, yes, sexual side of themselves. That is like ignoring one of our great gifts, great powers as women. I believe that erotic writing, and reading, helps to put us back in touch with that part of ourselves.


I have a great sense of humor. Laughter is another big part of my life. Hey, I live with my husband and two sons - I had better laugh a lot. When I look at some of the long-lived celebrities I notice two groups: dancers, which makes sense because physical activity is good for you and comedians, because I really believe laughter is so good for you. George Burns, Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Lucille Ball. Stay off the dangerous stuff (yes, drugs) and laughter can really extend your life. I've always been told I have a great sense of humor and I do make people laugh a lot. One of my writing goals is to try to create that more in my stories. And when life's frustrations get to me (they get to us all), finding ways and reasons to laugh helps me to move forward.

Embrace who you are. Look at Julia Child - she ate whatever she wanted. Drank alcohol in moderation and regularly, and was a breast cancer survivor. I dont doubt that one of the reasons she lead such a long life is because she did what she loved. She did what allowed her to create what she wanted in the world, what she was passionate about, and have love and laughter in her life.

I wish you all the same,

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Three words that best describe me are....


I think as a writer, this is a must.


I try to figure things out before going bonkers. It is all in how you react to something. Hmm...take the whole LA Media thing. At first, I was angry. Then I took a few moments and examined the situation. No, my book is not being SOLD under that pub, the former MGP owner changed the name of her company (?!?!) with Bowkers and thus affected the publisher name appearing on B&N. The book IS out of print. (I had checked months ago directly with Lightning Source.)

Sorry, but yeah, I like to have control over things, like my career. I don't like bullshit. If I think someone is trying to pry away my rights as an author/person, I will fight it. I think readers/friends/fellow authors have seen me do this in the past with several publishers. Epublishing is so shady anymore, and we trust blindly on a few email exchanges. For example, I had a few books at MGP. The pay sucked. Seriously. I wasn't going to give them anything else. Then the owner started her bullshit, telling the authors they had to belong to the private author chat list. This is fine, I do that for all my pubs, but then I am told I have to be on individual email...while the authors on there chat 300+ emails a day on stupid shit like their latest trip to Taco Bell. Sorry, but I have no time for that. I wrote the owner saying I will go "Special Announcements". No, she said I had to be Indiv. Email. I said I either go Special or I quit. She immediately sent me a note that all my book rights with MGP would be returned. Hey, I saw that as a FAVOR! I told her contracting with MGP was a big mistake and took my books back. A few months later, the company closed. Now, I ask you, was that a load of nonsense or what??
Don't cross me. I won't take it. I don't do bullshit, especially involving my rights.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What I Like Most About Writing

I agree with the other Muses: creativity and cameraderie are both great pluses to writing. So is living lives vicariously through characters.

In real life, we all have those 'oops' moments: times when we said or didn't say the right thing.

My characters don't have to have those moments, unless I want them to.

If my heroine needs to say something brilliant and clever, or needs to make a cutting remark-- she's in luck. As the writer, I am sort of like her personal pause button. Because even if I don't have the words right then, I can easily leave the desk, go make myself a cup of tea or go for a run, all the while pondering the best rejoinder.

Sometimes I even sleep on it and wake up with just the right words.

So even when in my life an hour or a day passes, my heroine picks right up where I left her.

I wish we had a pause button like that for real life!

Friday, January 25, 2008

What I like most about writing is...

There are so many things I love about my job.

<--- That's one of them! The joy of getting a new cover, of seeing how a cover artist has interpreted your work. It's an amazing thrill! Isn't Sir Stephen handsome? Sins of the Knight releases on February 1, and I'm so excited about it, I can hardly think of anything else!'s everything about writing. The creative process--fashioning a vivid world and characters from a blank screen. A world that you pour your soul into and hope that someday readers will sink their teeth into and come away feeling happy and fulfilled.

Just gives me an ahhhh, feeling, you know? :)

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

What I like most about writing is...

Creating all the lives I want to live. If I can't do *everything* I want, I can put those things into my heroines and they can do them for me. My heroines can go to other countries, other worlds and realms, and indulge and enjoy all the variety that I really can't. They can meet (or be) vampires, fairies, or great cooks (nope, I'm not one of those). Dont get me wrong... I adore my husband, our children and my life... but oh, I do love to dream!

Truthfully, there is so much about writing and the writing life I love. I love the flexibility - I can write anywhere at anytime. I love that it is something I never have to retire from. I love the community of writers in my life. And, as I said, I love to live out my dreams. If I can dream it, my characters can live it and by extention so can I and my readers.

Here's to dreaming vividly!!!

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My Favorite Part of Writing Is...

Creating heroes.

Who doesn't like to dream about dark brooding males with broad shoulders, sleek muscles and big, uh, feet. The ones who don't talk too much but when they do, tell you how much they want you. Men who look at you like they want to devour you. All night. Men with strong hands and soft hair and oh, so cute asses. Men who won't hesitate to kill for you and will give his last bite of food to the scrawny mutt you couldn't bear to leave on the street.

Then there's Justin, the hero in my first Ellora's Cave story, "Seduced by Magic," (March 5). He's blond, which was a complete shock to me. Most of my heroes have dark hair. He's also a smart-ass, which I absolutely love. He has a ball-buster comment for everything. He's definitely not the norm for me, which is probably why he's also one of my favorites.

In upcoming stories, you'll get to read about dark-haired brooders, Antonin and Cam. Later, hopefully you'll get to meet their younger brothers, Rio and Teo.

And hopefully, you'll fall in love with my men just as I have.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Favorite Part of writing is...

...the friends I've made. True friends stick with you through the bad and the good. That pic of me with Annmarie is one of my favorites. Friends like Anya Howard (Desiree Erotique), Annmarie Ortega, Devyn Quinn, Adrienne Kama, JJ Giles, Tierney Linn, Shara Azod, Glen McCafferty, Tara Greenbaum, etc. and the Muses (of course!) all make writing worth while with their support.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Favorite Part of Writing Is...

My favorite part of writing is the creativity. I love creating characters and worlds of my own. I'm always coming up with ideas that get jotted down on a dry erase board I keep hung over my desk. (On the same dry erase board I have a birthday card a friend of mine sent me last year... two women talking to each other clearly in their 70s... and it says... "My pool boy thinks I'm hot." "You ARE hot. That poolboy is correct.")

But then when I think about it more... My favorite thing might be the friends I've made... people from all over the US and other countries. If it wasn't for writing I would have never became friends with Mari. Or Wendi, Pam, Pat, Andrei, Aline, Julian, Izzy, Leigh, CJ, JL ...

But I also love the book signings and conferences too. I'm not big on flying, but tell me it's to get to to a conference and I am there...LOL And I love meeting readers and other writers. It's almost like belonging to a club when readers and writers come together.

I think that trying to pin point just one thing that I like is too hard. It's a combination of so many things, too many to list here. But the one thing I can tell you is writing is definitely one of the best things in my life.

Now... back to time traveling vampires for me... A writers work is never done... but always fun... LOL


Saturday, January 19, 2008

If I could go anywhere in the world...

Okay, I’ll be the odd one out. It’s not Italy for me.

I would love to go to Scotland. I’ve dreamed about it so many times, seen romances play out against the background of lush, green hills and old stone structures in my dreams, that I feel like I belong there.

I want to sleep in a medieval castle. I want to stand among a ring of standing stones. I want to see in person the places I have sent my characters. I want to say, “No, thank you, I would not like any haggis today.”

However, I don’t like to fly (but I will do it when necessary, just ask Mickey Mouse). And my husband doesn’t like boats. So getting there might be trouble, because I’m not going anywhere without my hubby.

Plus there’s the whole idea that maybe I have built it up in my mind as this wonderful, mystical, pure, fresh place, and maybe I’d be disappointed if I saw the real thing.

I’d like to think all of Scotland is like my calendar pictures of that country, but I am not that naive. Still, when so many of the people in my head live there, it’s got to have something to recommend it, don’t you think?


Friday, January 18, 2008


Italy, without a doubt. And I’ll tell you why in a sec.

But first…Hi. How are ya? I’m Stephanie Julian but feel free to call me Steph. I’m a writer, a mother, a wife and yes, I did put writer first.

It’s taken me a little while to find my writing niche but I like the erotic paranormal world I’ve created and I think I’ll play here for quite a while. Which Ellora's Cave is so graciously allowing me to do.

Which brings me back to why, if I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go to Italy.

Back a few years, when I first started writing paranormal, I’d decided I wanted to write about something other than vampires, which I absolutely adore but which Maggie Shayne could do so much better than me. What wasn’t being done? Well, witches and fairies were still mostly the realm of fantasy, not romance, so I thought, hey I can do that.

But I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing—Celtic. No real trace of English or Irish blood in me. So I started to do a little research and hey, the Italians (I’m second generation on my dad’s side) have something called streghe and folletti. And just like that, I had my world. Took me a few years to perfect it, of course, and that’s an ongoing process. But I had my framework, tied into my heritage.

And I’ve actually been to Italy. I’ve been to Rome and walked in the Coliseum and the Forum. I’ve been to the Piazza Navona and threw coins in the Trevi Fountain. I’ve marveled at Pompeii’s ruins, Capri’s grottoes and the amazing city of Venice. Knowing that you walk the same streets the ancient Romans, Greeks and Etruscans walked 2,000 years ago is mind-boggling. And inspiring. And oh so cool.

I hope to get back there someday. And be inspired some more.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If I could go anywhere in the world...

It's hard to pick just one place. I have a bit of a gypsy heart and love to travel. There are so many places where I want to spend time. First, I want a huge budget to really be able to do things in style.

In the United States I would like to visit Colorado. I was born there, but we left before I was two, so I dont remember it. I've been to New Orleans, and I very much want to go back and spend more time there. I have a passion for the peace and beauty of Vermont, and hope to be able to have a vacation home there some day. And there's nothing like New York City. I grew up less than an hour from Manhattan and I love spending time there. I am a total city mouse. And as a Jersey girl, I can tell you that the Jersey shore is a great place to vacation.

Overseas... I was in London for my honeymoon and I want to return. Shopping, theater, bookstores, and high tea. A great way to spend time. I've never been to Paris, and as a hopeful romantic and city girl, I look forward someday to spending at least two weeks there. And then there is Italy, which some of my fellow Muses have mentioned. I would love a month or more there. Starting with tours of the cities - Rome, Florence, Venice. Shopping, sightseeing, shopping (need more shoes!). And then after the tours, I want to retreat and recoup for two weeks in Tuscany. Have you seen the movie "Under The Tuscan Sun"? I don't know that I'd move there, but I would want to relax and breathe in the warm Italian sun. Take in the culture. Soak it all up.

For now... I'll settle for traveling in my stories. Coming later this year is RETURN TO XANDER which will appear in the September '08 Caveman anthology from Ellora's Cave.

Until next week, may your travels be wonderful,

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If I could go anywhere in the world...

...I would go to Italy. It is a lifelong dream to go to Rome and visit the Sistine Chapel, travel to Florence to see the David by Michelangelo, and float in a gondola in Venice. I love Italian Renaissance art, so that would be my dream vacation. Just me, Italian art, and my charcoal and sketchbook. Heaven.

Oddly enough I am writing a book that takes place in Rome, Italy. My hero whisks the heroine off to Venice for a weekend of sex and romance. (He is desperate to get her to agree to marriage...but he hasn't admitted to himself or her that he loves her. Men!) The book keeps changing in title, but at the moment it is called Seduced by the Italian Millionaire. Yeah, it is targeted to Harlequin's Presents line. I like the rich man fantasy. I can't help it. Hubby says I married the wrong guy... LOL!


Monday, January 14, 2008

If I could go anywhere in the world...

I'd love to go anywhere that would require me to have a passport. I've never had one, but have always said I'd get one and travel. The only time I've been out of the US was when I went to Niagra Falls with a friend of mine in the early 1990's. It was one of those road trips from hell... flying to Detroit and driving to the Falls from there... As a matter of fact, speaking of passports... my friend Kelly asked the woman at the Canadian checkpoint to stamp her passport and the woman refused. She explained it really wasnt necessary to get into Canada. While we were talking to her, a woman came in with her dog... and had her dogs passport stamped... It was one of those really funny moments when you stand there and think to yourself... What just happened?? LOL Anyways, I'd go to Italy... England... Egypt... France... keep going until my passport was full... : )

take care and happy travels!!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Catherine's 2008 Outlook

My Cerridwen novel, RETURN TO ME, came out December 20,
so I am hoping the buzz from that book continues to build.

I have an ebook novella coming out from in February.
THE DOCTOR NEXT DOOR is a sexy little story about a romance writer
who has been using her hot ER doc neighbor as a model for the hero in her books, only he doesn't know!
When he finds out, it makes him want to get to know her better...
after all, he thought she was little Miss Innocent, until he read her books!

I'm still writing, still working on new ideas, still sending out my work.
This feels like it's going to be a big year for all of us here at Passion's Muses!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dawn's 2008 Outlook

2007 was a great year for me. Honestly, it's going to be hard to top. I made my first two sales in January (first to Samhain then Ellora's Cave) and closed out the year with a 3-book deal, at auction, to a New York publisher. It still feels unreal, as if I'm going to wake up tomorrow and all the events of 2007 will be part of a fuzzy dream.

2008 is going to be The Year of Writing for me. I plan to write three full-length novels. Hopefully in 2009, I'll get to reap the benefits of all the writing I'm preparing to sit down and do. I'm just hoping I can write some great stories that allow readers to escape for a while and come away feeling good. :)

So, 2008 here I come! I have my work cut out for me, but I want to do the very best I can.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mari's 2008 Outlook

Hey everyone.

I don't know about most of you, but I am drained from the holidays. Is it me, or is it really hard to get back into the swing of things? I am trying. I went to my local chapter writer meeting this past weekend and got some valuable help with m current WIP's plot. I am working on a Harlequin submission. I really like the Presents line, so I am giving it a shot. There is a contest going on for aspiring authors to win a Presents editor for a year. Check it out over at It would be great for someone just starting out. I asked about ebook published authors entering and I wasn't specifically responded to about it other than the prize is NOT a contract but advice from an editor. I don't know, but getting before an editor is key, not necessarily winning. A contract is the goal, right?

Yeah, my goal for 2008 is to get into NY. Yes, I do have a novella coming out from Pocket, and I am thrilled about it. However, I want more. I am making the effort this year to sub to Harlequin. Not necessarily the SPICE line though. I am pretty happy writing erotic for EC, and my NY desire to write erotic is not overwhelming. I'd be happier writing more along the mainstream lines like Presents, Blaze or Nocturne. I did sub to Nocturne last year and it was rejected. No big. I got lots of ideas, but I haven't been reading much paranormal.

I love my pirates at EC and plan to continue them there. They like my pirates, and I am content to let them have fun in the Cave. Yes, I am planning sequels to Sea Hawk's Mistress and Crossed Swords, but I am focusing on Harlequin right now.

At the moment I have a few things planned for 2008 on the release slate:

Royal Bondage, Pocket Books (May 2008)
Pirate's Mistress, Ellora's Cave (early 2008 - in time for RT)

I am planning on a few conferences this year. I plan on RT, of course. Also I intend to go to the Southern Lights conference in Jacksonville, FL. Later in the year I plan on the Atlanta Moonlight & Magnolias conference. I want to go to the Chicago Spring Fling and RWA Nationals, but we will see about those.

So, Muses, what is the outlook for 2008??

Monday, January 7, 2008

Congrats Dawn and Rowan

Congrats to Rowan and Dawn. Both had stories chosen for the 2008 EC "Caveman" anthologies.


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