A belated debut novel!

12:24 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Forgive me, if this post sounds a little loopy. I'm running on very little sleep! Hehehe!

It was April 2008, and I'd just finished my first manuscript: a 90,000 word historical romance about a bipolar man who tried to kill himself. I was ecstatic to send it out to all of my favorite publishers, convinced that Not Even My Mind would be my debut novel.

It wasn't.

Fast forward four years, and the little story that began as a 15-year-old's Inuyasha fanatic has been reworked and rehashed within an inch of its life. In fact, going back to the original version, I can see a single line, scene, or character who isn't drastically changed. This is probably a good thing, but in hindsight, I could have just started a new book.

At any rate, I'm proud to announce that Clockwork Kiss, formerly known as Not Even My Mind, has been picked up by the ever wonderful Liquid Silvers! It's the second installment to The Blackwell Legacy and after a fairly brutal revision, I signed the contract today!

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Another shiny new cover!

1:10 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Today is a good day: the sun is shining, my cat didn't grow up on anything while I was sleeping, and oh yeah… I have a new cover!

This is for my naughty little m/m creation. It's a little different than what I'm used to doing, it's Sci-fi. During our summer vacation, my Dad unwittedly challenged me into writing outside my usual brand of Paranormal. Silly man, telling me I can't do something is the fastest way to get it done!

This is the result!



March 19th, 2012!

Available at:

Liquid Silver Books, All Romance, and Amazon

Light Can Be Gentle
by: Nina Gooden
ISBN: 978-1-59578-905-1


And a Blurb for your reading pleasure:
In the shadows of post-Apocalyptic Earth, a new race of being has emerged. They are The Lige.

Created by desperate scientists within the Forgotten Colonies, Ligers were engineered for the sole purpose of reuniting humankind with its home planet, currently overrun by Beasts. However, when an unexplained explosion forces the debilitated weapons to flee to the arms of their enemies in the Military, they quickly realize they will not be saving the human race any time soon.

Hagan has always known he was different. He did not belong in the human world but could never be a part of the struggling Lige. This all changes when a mysterious man appears, claiming to have what both groups need in order to overcome the creeping threat of the Beasts.

“Come with me. Trust me. I need you.” His dark, libidinous voice calls to Hagan from the depths of his psyche. It pulls him forward through an existence he does not want toward a destiny he fears he cannot fulfill.

It is Hagan who must bridge the gaps between worlds. There is a power hidden within him, a power that can strengthen the weakened Lige and protect the remainder of humanity. He is the only one who can fight off the threats they do not see coming and the extension of both races, but only if he is willing to trust the stranger with his heart and body.

Did I mention, it's interracial? No? I should have.
...did I mention the BDSM? No? Darn it.

I have to once again, give mad props (yes, I did just say that) to April Martinez. She's  a dream come true. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to kidnap her and force her to do covers in my basement...

just kidding...

kind of.

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Is The RWA Conference worth it?

1:05 PM Nina S. Gooden 2 Comments

I feel as if this is going to be a particularly long post, something that I don't do that often. I'll try to keep it short but I imagine it'll be a little bit rambling, --even more so because I'm dictating it-- so I apologize for that, but I've got to get this off my chest.

When I was a kid we never spoke about money in my family. It's only in recent years that I've realized how rare that is, but that's just where it is. My family and I never spoke about money, whether we had it, whether we didn't: it was just a topic that my dad was  really uncomfortable with so we avoided it. Even though I can understand why he didn't want us, as kids, to worry about our financial situation, I've found that as an adult it's given me an aversion to the most basic of monetary conversations.

Something as simple as my husband asking me if I have enough in the bank to pay such-and-such bill, is pretty much enough to send me into a fit of sputtering. And that's my husband.

I tell you guys this because I want you to understand how uncomfortable I am with this post. It's something that I wouldn't write out unless it was extremely important to me.

Well, getting to the nit and gritty: I'm not sure if I should spend the money for the RWA Conference.

First off let me say that I don't have anything against the RWA. I understand that for some writers, it's a valuable tool and support system. Unfortunately, I also think that writing is a very personal and at times solitary endeavor. Not so much that I like to sit in dark rooms and write on a typewriter while Tchaikovsky blares in the background,but that the process of writing is very individualized. What may work for one writer does not always work for all.

And that's where I come to my problem with the RWA. When I first signed up to be a member, I thought the organization would be…more like what I understand now is a critique group. I thought it would be large groups of individuals, getting together, not only to discuss their craft, but to work on it. In my mind I had images of women with ink stained fingertips surrounding a board table, or swarming a library, while they discussed characters, love, and cheesy gimmicks.

I suppose that's what happens when you idealize something, only to be disillusioned later. It's not so much that I'm disappointed with the way the organization works. There are many merits to what RWA does. They are a good source of information, and being a member does establish you as someone who is serious about a career in writing. In addition, RWA provides a common thread between you and whatever editor or agent you are attempting to pursue. These are all good, valuable inputs to any career, but only if you are a person who will utilize this leg up.

I feel as if being a member of RWA doesn't establish me in the community. I've signed up for all the newsletters, joined all the forums, and I've listened to all of the advice, only to feel that much of the progress I've made in my career as of late has had little to do with any of that. My Chapter members are fantastic and fun, but I'm not sure what we do during our meetings, besides raffle off baskets and pay to listen to other people talk.

There are contests you can enter, and workshops you can go to, but I feel that much of the information that's being circulated can be found in other avenues.

A few months ago I attended a workshop by a talented and prestigious editor. While she was smart and funny, I walked away from that class (which I paid $35 for), with information that I already had from an entry level marketing class. In fact, almost all of the information I got from that seminar is fairly common sense: if you want to sell books, write good books. If you want to build a brand, connect with and please your customers.

It's not that I think that the efforts are wasted. I'm sure that there was somebody in that class who didn't know that. And of course I'm not saying that I already know everything about publishing (far, far be it from me), I'm just saying that many of the things taught to us by these web classes can be learned through good old-fashioned experience.

I appreciate the effort, but I just find myself unsatisfied with the end product.

It was my understanding that RWA would serve more as a union guild for writers, and less as a grouping of resources that may or may not be utilized. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I've missed something valuable in the whole process. The point of this blog post is not to debulk RWA as an organization: some people swear that it's helpful, that it works. Some authors find these tools to be invaluable to their growth as writers, I'm just not seeing it.

Anyway, this brings us to the actual purpose of this post. Is this conference going to benefit me as an author?

I sat down with my husband to figure out how much attending would cost us, if he also wanted to take the trip but not attend the Convention:
  • First of all, if I register before April 9 the fees are $495.
  • We live in Las Vegas, and currently the cheapest price to fly is $130 per person.
    • It's important to note that this price will land us in Los Angeles, which is 35 miles away from the convention. I'm hoping that there will be shuttles, but if not we will also have to pay for some kind of transportation, perhaps a taxi.
    • We considered driving as well, in which case we will have to factor in gas.
  • The hotel costs for the duration of the conference are hundred $199 per night. Just for those three nights, that amounts to a little under $600.
    • In order for our flight to be there in time for the first workshop, we will have to leave the day beforehand. This will add an extra day to our hotel stay.
  • This does not include meals.

Ultimately, there is some wiggle room in travel depending on which way we go. There are also other hotels, but that still presents a problem of transportation. In the end, I could easily pay about $1000 for this trip.

Now, I don't mind paying the money. I started saving early, so the funds are there…but is it worth it, given how I feel about workshops and speakers?

After careful consideration, the only real reason that I would like to attend this meet and greet, is to meet the writer friends that I found on Twitter. This is a great group of gals, they're supportive informative, and everything that I thought the RWA would be. But realistically speaking, I could fly to each of their home towns, spend a one-on-one weekend with them, and fly back, for the same price.

I understand that networking is an important part of this business, but I'm just one of those people who prefers to meet people through my work. Yes, I could find the perfect agent at this Conference. I could bump into him or her at the buffet line, get to talking about how much we love cheese cubes, and cleverly seque into how much the heroine of my Paranormal Romance loves cheese as well... or I could send them a query letter. Yes, this way I get to make a personal connection with somebody who would being knee-deep in something that I've spent a good chunk of time on, but I'm not sure I'm willing to pay $1000 to rub shoulders with someone who's probably rubbing shoulders with thousands of other authors.

There's something just so...cluttered about the whole environment. Classes to make me a better writer? I'm not sure if I want them. Or if I need them. I've always learned better with my hands dirty, you know?

But if I've missed something, please let me know. If this is a glaringly beautiful opportunity that I'm just too blind to see, explain it to me. I see from Twitter that a lot of people are really excited about this conference. They say that it's got great speakers, a fantastic production schedule, and cookies from the dark side… but I'm allergic to cookies.


 

2 comments:

Balance!

5:56 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments


Must. Keep. Editing.

I've been working my poor little fingers to the bone, lately, which is good for productivity, but bad for my husband. Who is eating way too much fast food. Le sigh! Finding a balance between the writing life and the family life can be a bit of a pain. I always thought that, because writers can set their own hours, it would make things easier.

Poor, misinformed me.

For writers like me, that just means it's that much easier for me to be so completely absorbed into a project that everything else is completely ignored. It's pretty bad. Still, I'm super excited about the progress I'm making. Clockwork Kiss was actually one of the first books I ever completed. It never got published because...well, to be honest, it was pretty shitty. Don't get me wrong, I worked my butt off on it, but at the time I was...maybe 14. Since then, I've always gone back to it, typing away. Fixing little scenes, reworking characters, that kind of thing.

After A Clockwork Christmas was published I decided to hit this story hard. It's from the same series so why not? I have a lot of the first versions of the book saved. I can honestly say that it is nothing like the original, which is mostly a good thing.

Right now, I'm cleaning it up, fleshing out the characters, and chopping away at the word count, since I started at 128,000 words. That's way too much. Like...way, way too much. Right now, it's at an even 100,000. Yay. Still, I want to rid of at least 5k more...while adding two more scenes that I think are vital to character development. Meh. Balance. Once again, I'm not very good at it.


My DA from this post if by the oh, so fantastic Rui Ricardo! Check out his DeviantArt page here!


Ricardo, Rui, and . "Writer." http://www.rui-ricardo.com. DeviantArt, 03 03 2009. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs44/f/2009/062/8/9/Writer_by_rui_ricardo.jpg>.

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Six Sentence Sunday.

11:44 AM Nina S. Gooden 1 Comments

So, there's this nifty little thing I discovered! So what if I'm a little late? Anywho, it's time for #sixsunday, which is a Twitter  event (as far as I know) where authors take six sentences from something they're working on or have finished and post them onto their blogs. Easy, right?

 Here's a snippet from Clockwork Kiss, the second installment to The Blackwell Legacy that I'm currently editing.



Open, just open up.

The world around her shimmered once and then flashed away into a black and white shadow form of what was left. A chill skittered up her spine but she ignored it as the atmosphere trembled with every breath she took. The flames were back, bright blue and standing on the edge of her vision as if waiting patiently to consume her.
Eliza tried to fight the semi consciousness that pricked her vision but found herself too weak to do so. A weight seemed to be pulling her down, dragging her into a blackness she couldn't muster up enough energy to be afraid of.


For more writers and their own little snippets, check out the Official Six Sentence Sunday website.

1 comments:

Happy New Year!

10:55 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

 I know, I know, I'm a little late. Sorry about that, I've actually been...well, horribly-disgustingly busy. Ah, well, you know how that goes.

I get the feeling that this is going to be a big year. There's all the standard stuff: elections, apocalyptic predictions, book releases. But on top of that I just get the feeling that this is going to be my year.

It's probably pretty normal to feel on top of the world at New Year. All the failures of the previous one seem so far behind. The possibilities are endless. Or so they seem. Even so...yeah. It's going to be a good one.

 My deviant for today is actually from one of my favorite artists on DA. Her name is Kaze-Hime and she's got tons of great stuff. Ya'll should check her out!






Citation:
Hime, Kaze, and . "SS: Cherriuki." Hollee, Canada. DeviantArt, 24 12 2011. Web. 3 Jan. 2012. <http://kaze-hime.deviantart.com/?offset=10

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