Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Old Funny - Dating in DC

Okay, I'm trying to design a new, slightly more fancy website so I'm going through my old one to see what I will carry over. As I explore some links to old interviews and stuff to see if they still work, I came across this blog that I wrote last year just after I released my book. I thought since I have a blog that people actually read every now and again, I'd share this with you. I hope you enjoy. It gave me a chuckle (sometimes I don't know where I come up with this stuff. lol)

A Maryland Chick-lit Writer’s Inspiration by K.L. Brady, Author of The Bum Magnet

by Serena on November 25, 2009

Michelle at GalleySmith started this great blog craze about highlighting local authors on The Literary Road Trip. I’ve been a bit lax in participating, but I do have some of these great local authors lined up with guest posts and interviews. I’ve just been slow to post them.

K.L. Brady, author of The Bum Magnet and a local Maryland author; you can check out a list of her appearances or read her latest blog posts. Today, she’s here to share her inspiration, with some local flare. Give her a warm welcome.

As a “chick lit” author—which by my definition means I write about female characters and their relationships using heavy doses of humor—my experiences while residing in Maryland and D.C. have certainly inspired my writing. I lived here during my childhood and for most of my adult life. From Hillcrest Heights in Southeast D.C. to Forestville, Fort Washington, and Cheltenham, Maryland (which is Upper Marlboro with higher real estate taxes). I’ve seen this area through the 1970s gas crunch, a major hurricane, mayoral sting operations, planet-sized potholes, two recessions, political turmoil, a terrorist attack, and the first African-American president. And through it all, one thing has remained constant: women still outnumber men. This condition makes for a, shall we say, “unique” dating experience for the women in the area and provides me with more writing material than I can feasibly use in one lifetime.

If we want to be modern women, we eventually have to adapt to the new times–but I refuse. Unfortunately, I’m a child of D.C’s 60s and still have old-school leanings when it comes to love and dating. I believe men are supposed to call first – and no, a text message that reads “whatchu doin 2nite?” does not constitute invitation. I believe men should ask you “out” on real dates. “Out” means not “in” the house – microwave popcorn and a DVD do not a date make. And no, dinner does not guarantee that you will get “dessert.” When women like me stay committed to our rules, the selection of women is so plentiful that men can quickly and easily move on to the next target, many of whom don’t impose any rules. So, for men in the Maryland-DC area, dating is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. For women, it’s more like a rice cake—dry and unsatisfying.

People often ask me where my sense of humor comes from and why I incorporate so much into my writing. The answer is simple: I laugh to keep from crying. When you haven’t had a decent date since Jesus was a carpenter, you have to laugh to keep from crying. When you’ve reached level of financial success such that your blip on a man’s dating radar reads “sugar mama,” you have to laugh to keep from crying. When your heart’s been stepped on so many times that it can double as a Dance Dance Revolution Mat, you have to laugh to keep from crying. Some might consider such a dating life depressing, sad, or lonely. For me, it’s entertaining and replete with writing material. Without experiencing another relationship, I could write for eternity based on the life I’ve lived until today. And I view that as an enormous blessing–because if I write a hundred books one of them is bound to be a bestseller.

Ahhh, but fret not single ladies in the metropolitan area, there is a small glimmer of hope at the end of the grim, dark tunnel of DC dating. It’s called “relocation.” However, until your big moving day comes, stick to your rules, persevere…and laugh through your tears.

Thanks again K.L. Brady for a great guest post. If you have enjoyed this guest post, stay tuned for my review of The Bum Magnet.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm On the Other Side

Okay... so today I had my first in depth discussion with my editor, so it was really my first chance to get a taste of life on the traditional publishing side. I thought I'd share some of the experience with you.

So, the first thing we talked about was the cover. As a self-publisher you get full control of your cover design. I actually consider that a perk. Right now, I sit here on pins and needles waiting anxiously to see Simon & Schuster's concept of the cover. She kind of eased me into the idea that it's a "romance"- like cover. When you say "romance cover" to me, I picture a half naked woman draped in some kind of scarfy thing, wind-blown hair, and some muscular mandingo type hovering nearby. I don't know if that's what my cover will actually look like, but whatever the outcome, it HAS to be better than what my imagination has conjured up.

Next, she asked me if I had a list of people that I wanted to send the book up. I was like, hold up. Wait! I don't have to send the books out myself? I thought those might come from my author copies. Au contraire mon frere-ette. I will have a publicist that will be assigned to the book who will handle publicity. More than that. They will send out review copies on my behalf and print up galleys. That's a whole lot of different from self-publishing where I would bear the cost of all that stuff myself. And the publicist will actually set up a blog tour near publication time. I had to do that myself as a self-publisher (and I don't think I did it as well as it could've been done).

Soon I will get a log-on for the Simon and Schuster website so that I can set up a webpage on their site...more great PR. They also allow you to use their studios to produce a video which I hope to do as well. It would cost me a pretty penny to do that professionally and the service through the publisher is free to authors (and will ensure I have yet another great reason to roll up to New York!).

The best part about all of this is that it's happening while I'm diligently working on my next novel. Definitely wouldn't have happened as a self-publisher.

So...we'll see how things go on the cover front.

Stay tuned for my next report from the other side where I will discuss...the cover!