(4 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and also let you know that I will be taking an extended break from tNBW, starting in December. I've wrapped up what I can do on this site with my current WIPs, and for the moment, professional and personal obligations are keeping me from getting a meaningful start on anything new. So, until I have something to offer and time to reciprocate, you won't be hearing from me.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to all my critique partners, whose criticism and encouragement has made me a better writer, and whose stories always kept me entertained. Also, many many thanks to Sol for keeping this all going! tNBW is an awesome place, and I'm going to miss it.

I do hope to be back next year - maybe late spring/early summer - so with any luck and a little bit of help from my muse, this won't be the last you hear from me. Until then, take care and keep up the good write!

Hi Sol! I've done both small press and self publish; would be happy to share my experiences.


(9 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)



(18 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thanks, Sol!


(5 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I've run into the same problem on my profile.


(3 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Congratulations, Janet!


(27 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I would say either one or two; my personal preference is #1. I like the simplicity; there's something magical about the imagery. #2 feels a little too busy.

If you use #2, I would suggest removing the train at the bottom left corner, and making the author name a little bigger.  You know I love trains, but the pinned image stands out and tends to drag my eye to the bottom left-hand corner, rather than keeping it on the more central images of the mountain and the woman.

They are all beautiful, really. Your daughter is very talented!

Jeanne M. Bannon wrote:

I'm sure whatever you decide will be right for you. Personally, I now prefer self-publishing over traditional publishing because I am in complete control. I've been there, done that with both trad and self pubbing. I don't like not being able to choose my own cover and I don't like relying on the publisher to send me a sales report. I much prefer having a peek at my sales whenever I like. I don't really trust traditional publishers. However, that said, if Harper Collins or Random House came a callin', I'd sure as hell sign on the dotted line smile Let us know what you decide.

I've done both too, and enjoy both options for different reasons. Rolling out The Silver Web trilogy as a self-published work has been a great experience, but to be honest, I need a break from having everything on my shoulders. More than anything, I'm willing to sacrifice a little control if it means have more time to actually write. And I enjoy the community experience of being part of a small press. That being said, if I'm not satisfied with the options for The Hunting Grounds, I will go ahead and self publish it as well. I think that's a huge advantage of being an author in this day and age - there's always an alternative to the "traditional" route.

Janet Taylor-Perry wrote:

Warning--Black Rose is not the way to go. Talk to ceridwen on here.

Also, wanted to let you know that it's confirmed - the place Ceridwen had her bad experience with is not the same press that has expressed interest in The Hunting Grounds. Ceridwen signed a contract with "Black Rose Writing," whereas I've been talking to "Wild Rose Press." Wild Rose Press has a "Black Rose" line, but it is not in any way associated with the other operation.

I've been researching Wild Rose Press through other avenues, and by all accounts, it appears legitimate, even well respected. A small press, but solid. I've got a little time to think about my options. Meanwhile,  I will try to post a few more chapters...

Janet Taylor-Perry wrote:

I haven't read all of it yet, but I'm back in the saddle. Give me a little time & I'll let you know.

Thanks, Janet. smile

Jeanne M. Bannon wrote:

Hi Karin,
I always go with my instincts. What feels right for you? One good thing is that you're not shy about writing sex scenes - that was always my problem and I'd refused a publisher or two when asked to add them. That said, sex sells. Consider that seriously. If you want more sales, then keep the heat level where it is. I haven't heard anything about the publisher. Can't help you there, but congratulations on the offer. I wish you all the success in the world!

Thank you, Jeanne!
I think my instincts are in an epic battle with my Catholic upbringing right now. wink
That's a good point about sex selling. Of course, in an ideal world, I'd like the novel to sell on more than the merits of its sex scenes, but sometimes you've gotta say, "Whatever it takes."
I actually consider myself shy when it comes to crafting & sharing sex scenes; tNBW has given me a 'safe space' to explore that part of story telling. To be honest, I find sex scenes a pain to write, but I've also always considered sex a natural part of my character's lives, and so I try to make it a natural part of the story. And in The Hunting Grounds, sex is a very important part of Helen's journey. I would have never pegged tHG as "erotic," but I guess somewhere along the way I crossed the magic line. So, I don't know...Lots to think about.

I discovered this afternoon that there are actually two publishing operations that carry the name "Wild Rose:" Wild Rose Press and Wild Rose Publishing. (There is also "Black Rose Writing," which is another entity altogether.) According to Predators & Editors, Wild Rose Press is legit and gets overall good reports; while Wild Rose Publishing is not recommended. Wild Rose Press is the one that's expressed interest in tHG. It's a small press but looks to be a solid operation.

rhiannon wrote:

Karin:  As far as pulling your story, leaving your faithful reviewers bereft, I'll just whisper three little words in your ear:  "Give complementary copies."  lol

To tell the truth, I'd prefer to have your feedback before the book goes to press. But barring that, I may consider handing out a few ARCs down the road. In exchange for fair & honest reviews, of course. wink  But we're getting ahead of ourselves...I haven't signed the contract yet.

Mariana Reuter wrote:


If you receive any advice from ceridwen about Black Rose, would you be so kind to share it with us? It's not that any of us have already been contacted by Wild Rose publishers, but I've heard so much about publishers scamming writers, that it's important for all of us to be aware.



Certainly, Gacela! So far, I've heard good things & bad things about the press. It seems they had a rocky period, especially when they were starting out, but they were also voted best small press several years in a row by RWA. I've sent Ceridwen a note & am waiting to hear back from her. Will let you know as the story develops. smile

Janet Taylor-Perry wrote:

Warning--Black Rose is not the way to go. Talk to ceridwen on here.

Thanks, Janet! I'll do that.

Thanks, njc, Rhiannon, Don & Tom! I haven't had a chance to talk with the editor yet - I only have her email to go off of - but the more I think about it, the more I suspect it's a language thing; certain words, as Don pointed out, that they may not like. To quote from the editor's email:

"...the love scenes are written in language we only allow in our Scarlet (erotica) line."

Surely they are talking about the body parts, as opposed to my metaphorical star-drenched galaxies & so forth. If that's the case - if it's just a few words here and there - it seems it would be an easy fix to keep the novel in Black Rose. (Although honestly, I don't understand what's wrong with naming a body part or two; but that's a rant for another day...)

I am really not familiar at all with erotica as a genre, but from what I understand, sex kind of has to be at the center of the plot, which is not really the case with tHG. I worry that if tHG is marketed as erotic romance, fans of erotica won't be satisfied. And of course, fans of paranormal might not pick it up at all. So....

I should get a chance to talk to Black Rose's editor sometime this week. I'll keep you posted. I'm pretty sure, if I sign a contract, I won't be able to post the rest of the novel publicly on tNBW. But I am thinking about creating a private group for regular reviewers (that is, all of you!) who might be interested in finishing their critique of the novel. I'd love to be able to count on your input all the way to the end.

Whatever happens, you'll be the first to know. Thanks again!

This message is meant primarily for the following folks:

Don Chambers
Tom Oldman
Jeanne M. Bannon

...as well as anyone else who has been providing regular reviews for my paranormal romance/thriller THE HUNTING GROUNDS. I was going to post this thread in one of my subgroups (e.g., Romance), but it turns out you all are scattered across 3 or 4 of the groups I belong to, so I'm posting here instead. Hope everyone sees it.

First: I have some great news. Wild Rose Press is interested in publishing this novel!!!! [happy dance] I just found out this weekend, and I couldn't be more thrilled. By all accounts, Wild Rose appears to be a solid small press and, I think, a very good match for this story. (But anyone who has words of caution, please speak now -- I want to know.)

Now, the dilemma: I submitted THE HUNTING GROUNDS for the Black Rose line, which does most of their dark, paranormal stuff. The editor, Lara Parker, likes tHG very much, but apparently the heat level is a little too high for Black Rose. So, she's giving me a choice: I can tone down the heat level to keep tHG in Black Rose, or keep the heat level as is and have the novel placed in their Scarlet Rose line instead.

If tHG is published through Scarlet Rose, it will be marketed not only as dark/paranormal, but as erotic romance. (tHG doesn't quite make the cut for erotica, though Scarlet Rose publishes erotica as well.)

So here's my question: What do you guys think? Would the story lose something important if I toned down the sex scenes? Or would the novel read just as well (maybe even better) with a little less heat?

And for those of you familiar with the marketing end: What are the pros/cons of going for a straight paranormal/thriller market vs. a paranormal/thriller/erotic romance market?

What would Helen say?
What would Nathan say? .
..Strike that. We all know what Nathan would say.
What do you say?

All of you have been such great reviewers and I have a lot of faith in your perspectives on how to make this novel the best it can be. I would really really appreciate your input as I consider where to go with this decision.

As a point of reference, let me just add that chapter 16, the last one I posted, is the high-water mark in terms of sex scenes. There is one more amorous encounter later in the book that is equally explicit, but chapter 16 is about as far as I push the envelope, generally speaking.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. You guys rock. This opportunity from Wild Rose couldn't have happened without your constant feedback & encouragement.


(7 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Congratulations, Janet!


(4 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

amy s wrote:


The cheek wound is excellent, but realize it is nearly impossible to have a cheek flapping in the wind without cutting a branch of the facial nerve, which will make it impossible to either puff his cheek or smile on that side of his face.

And yes, I think there needs to be more detail about the duel.

Hi Amy! I think this comment is meant for someone else's story; I don't have any duel scenes at the moment in my stories.


(25 replies, posted in Romance Inc.)

bimmy wrote:
Janet (AJ) Reid wrote:

Just went to add Aidon Ice to my reading list ... so far, A+ for the cover! big_smile


Yeah, my mouth is still kind of watering over that one, too. wink


(25 replies, posted in Romance Inc.)

Hello, Bimmy! I had a look at chapter one. I think you're onto a fun story! My current WIP is a paranormal; not sure if that's what you're looking for, so if you're not inclined to reciprocate at the moment (because you're looking for romances without fantasy elements), don't worry about it. Good luck with the new novel!


(15 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Thomas Vandenberg has done both artwork and cover design for my fantasy novels. I can put you in contact with him if you're interested.


(17 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

Congratulations to all the finalists! A great list of authors and stories.


(4 replies, posted in Romance Inc.)

Thank you, Janet and Tom. Hugs to you both. smile


(4 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

Hey Everyone,
Life has kept me away from tNBW for several weeks now. Please accept my apologies. I have a back log of reviews that are waiting for reciprocation, and I will start whittling away at those over the coming month. I'll be repeating this message in the Romance group, so don't be surprised if you experience a little dejavu. I'm really looking forward to getting back into people's stories (or getting started on your new projects, whatever the case may be.)

Pura Vida.


(4 replies, posted in Romance Inc.)

Hey Everyone,
Life has kept me away from tNBW for several weeks now. Please accept my apologies. I have a back log of reviews that are waiting for reciprocation, and I will start whittling away at those over the coming month. I'll be repeating this message in the Medieval Fantasy group, so don't be surprised if you experience a little dejavu. I'm really looking forward to getting back into people's stories (or getting started on your new projects, whatever the case may be.)

Pura Vida.