Friday, February 24, 2006

It's the little things

Well, here it is, zero-dark-thirty, and I'm finishing up my work day. It's been a really good one. Not because I got a lot of pages written. Heck, I spent abotu twelve hours trying to complete my art fact sheet for the fairy book for Harlequin. The art fact sheet, if you haven't met one in person, is the information an author gives the art department about her book so they can create a cover....actually, so they can ignore it completely while making a cover. The new art fact sheets have been computerized, and that was such a successful idea, that if you live anywhere in a five-state radius from me, you should have heard my shreeks(how DO you spell that?) of frustration.
So it left little time for actual writing. However, I overcame a stumbling block today that's important to me. It also will help illustrate how God is in the details in writing. The book I'm doing for Silhouette is the first of a trilogy about an Irish Faerie clan in Sligo, whose queen is Mab, or Maeve, if you will. They have been going along pretty happily until the moment my hero falls down a fairy rath and right into their living room. Drama and comedy ensue, but also an attack by the bad, bad fairies. Okay. That works. I get itchy anymore if I don't have at least one fight scene or gunshot per book. The only problem with that idea is that the only really bad fairies I know about from my research are called air fairies. Yeah. Not particularly scarifying. So I really had to find them a good moniker, or they wouldn't terrify anybody. I do have to say that I've had great fun investigating gaelic names and translations, and, of course using them with impugnity.
So there I am trying to find a name for a clan of fairies who are patriarchal(obviously Mab's clan is matriarchal), and once upon a time, a postive, powerful clan. Recently, though, they have become dark and fearsome( you know what happens when kids hang around with the wrong crowd). So I needed a portentious name, but one that could be interpreted for good or evil. I searched and I searched, and finally I found it. My patriarchal fairy clan is the Dubhlainn Sidhe. The Fairies of the Dark Sword. Cool, huh? Okay, maybe it doesn't send you into raptures, but the minute I had their name, I knew exactly who they were. Tarnished knights who have been influenced by powers beyond their control. Redeemable, of course. The hero of the third book in the trilogy is Liam the Protector.
Symbols are very important to me. The dark sword is my symbol for my dark fairies. The symbols for the series, tentatively called Daughters of the Glen(or the Mists or Myth), are the three Filial Stones which rule the world of faerie and must be in their right place to maintain balance. But that's a topic for another post. Good night, all. It's time to curl up with my cat and dream about the clash of fairy courts. More fun, certainly, than dreaming about art fact sheets. I did that last night.

Eileen/Kathleen the evil twins

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

the business side of show

I was going to get a lot of writing done today. My husband is in South Africa, the rat, so I have no set family schedule to work around, which means I can write, then nap, then write, then nap. The problem is that instead I had to do an interesting thing called an art fact sheet for my next book for Silhouette. It's goint to launch their new line, Nocturne, which is a kind of dark paranormal line. Art fact sheets are a necessary evil, so that the artist at least has an idea of what you're looking for. Not that he actually always follows it, of course. I had a book once called "A Prince of a Guy," about fictitious European royalty. I sent photos of Bruce Boxleitner in a Lauren add(tuxedoed and everything) for the prince hero, and, I think, somebody like Meg Ryan for my secretary heroine. Instead I got a narcoleptic Anthony Newley about ready to fall into a fountain. Fortunately Vanna White holds him up. In return he (and a suspiciously placed rivet) held her dress up.
So giving them physical info may be optimistic, but it's better than nothing. Well, it was until they computafied it. Now I have to pick from a list of traits--giving my character only one--personalities and themes. I ended up wanting to jab a sharp pencil in my eye. So I'm blogging to feel better, then catching another of those two hour naps. Hopefully I'll be able to rejoin Mab, Queen of Fairies and her lovely daughters Nuala, Sorcha and Orla in the morning.

eileen/kathleen, the evil twins

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

blogging is easy. Writing is hard.

I was just visiting one of the many lists to which I subscribe, this one Dorothy-L. I mostly lurk on lists these days, which is frustrating. I join a list to visit(I'm a great visitor. One of my best traits is that I play well with others). Then I visit and visit and visit, and all that time I should be writing and writing and writing. So I have a choice. I can play or I can work. And think about it. If you have a choice between scrubbing toilets(which bears a striking resemblance, some days, to writing) or answering mail, which would you choose? Naturally, I choose mail. It's like always having presents to open that are just for me. I can talk about anything and everything--the post I want to answer on Dot-L tonight is about Oprah and James Frey. Much more fun ranting about other authors than reaffirming the fact that I'm one. It reminds me of my favorite Ken Kesey quote. "Being a famous author is a wonderful thing. The only problem is that every once in a while you actually have to write something."
So saying, I'm going to end now and go in and actually write something.
But stick around. I know I'm going to need to vent about something, or share a silly "how I collaborated with Jen Cruise and Anne Stuart" story. Just remember. The more often I post, the less often I'm actually writing.

eileen\kathleen the evil twins

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Evil Twins themselves

So, there I was, perfectly happy writing suspenses and the odd romance(yes, all my romances are odd), when I hit a snag in suspenseland. There is going to be an industry-imposed hiatus on Eileen Dreyer's suspenses for a bit. I'm really not happy about that, but all I can do is keep trying. In the meantime, I've gotten back in touch with my inner Kathleen Korbel, and voila! I'm contracted for three romances for Harlequin, and the aforementioned Three Authors in a Book deal with Jen Cruise and Ann Stuart. Since that's the fun one, I'll probably be talking about that for a bit. In the meantime, I'll be tucked in my cozy office--rather than outside in the near zero weather, which I abhor more than American Idol and tofu--working on this new concept of collaboration.
As I do, I hope to give you a better idea of who the evil twins are(I always say that Eileen is reponsible for the phone bill and Kathleen never cleans up her bedroom).

Eileen\Kathleen, the evil twins

Friday, February 17, 2006

Jenny Made me do it 2

I really have been meaning to start a blog for ages. I love sharing information on my writing day, my research, little tidbits of stuff I learn along the way (my kids call me the Jeopardy Queen). But, as anyone who's been near my website will tell you, I'm the world's last luddite. Not necessarily by choice. I think it's a bent chromosome. The good news is I gave birth so that I'd have a computer expert handy(and here I'd always thought I'd done it so I'd have somebody to do the dishes and mow the front lawn). So, since the chatting is never difficult for me, I had my son help with the computer-input side of it, and here I am.
As for the Jenny made me do it, part, that's easy. I sometimes need a bit of a nudge to get off center, and that nudge(okay, my ribs still hurt) was provided by the inestimable Jenny Cruise. She and Anne Stuart and I(or rather, the Kathleen Korbel I) are working on an anthology together. We are really pumped about it--especially the part where we spent three days in an apartment in New York brainstorming. Is this a great job or what?--and Jen, especially. And if you know Jen at all, you'll know that she is genetically incapable of doing anything halfheartedly. So, she and Anne and I are going to be linking our blogs in the soon as I figure out how to do it--so we can cross talk about the project(Jen's already begun. Check her out. It's a hoot). In the meantime, I'm going to fill you in on what's going on in with my writing, research, the changes in my writing future, and the reason behind the change in my website.
So, stop by any time. I'd love to hear from you. I can't wait to share this odd process of creativity, especially the new experience of collaborating. Never done it before. Never knew it could be so much fun--or so frustrating. Both EileenDreyer and Kathleen Korbel will be posting about their projects(yes, I am evil twins. It'll probably be the official title of the blog from now on), and anything that crosses their devious little minds. Join the fun.

eileen and kathleen--the afforementioned evil twins

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

jenny made me do it

This is the first in a grand experiment for me. As you know, my web page claims I've entered the 21st century. Blogging, I guess, proves it. I will try and be dilligent and informative and fun. And I can take some of the burden off the rest of my site for fun little factoids, which I love to share.

eileen/kathleen, the evil twins