Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We don't have the full moon tonight, but I'll be out trick or treating with the boy. He's going as Ironman. Me? I'm going as.... something. It'll have wings. That's all I know at the moment. I know, I'm so prepared. LOL

Just an update: I'll be the featured author at LASR for the week of November 9th, which works out well because my next release Unbound Trust releases on November 15th! I also have a Christmas short releasing on November 1, An Angel's Choice. More details on both coming soon!

One other thing I found today. A link for an EPUB reader! It's a FireFox addon so it's iffy for Mac (from what I understand)* but I just loaded it and ran a test on it and it's wonderful! Granted I don't read a lot directly on the computer but if you're open to it, check it out:

*note: Apparently it does work on Mac. Check the directions and comments on the TeleReader blog for details.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head The aftermath of Authors After Dark

Okay, I've made a few realizations. One, Kodak will never make a fortune off of me. I'm not a camera junkie. I took like two pictures and both are too dark to see. Second, I love meeting other authors and readers. I went total *squee**fan girl* over a few (you know who you are). Third, I'm going to make this my annual Get The Hell Out Of Dodge trip. Seriously. It was a fast weekend, but it was sooo much fun. So expect to see me again next year, because I'm going to be there.

There are some awesome photo albums out there already. One can be found on Kim's FB page, here, and they're all tagged too. She did a great job getting a bunch of us. Let me see if I can name everyone I got to meet for the first time.... *deep breath*

Joey Hill

Rosemary Laurey


Jennifer Armintrout

Cat Johnson


Tilly Greene

Selena Illyria

Samantha Sommersby

Eliza Gayle

Judi Fennell

Stephanie Julian

Leigh Ellwood

Kayleigh Jamison

Teresa Noelle Roberts

Stella and Audra Price (and the happy ninja! LOL!)

Jacquelyn Frank

Mechele Armstrong

Jo Lynne Valerie

I also got to reconnect with Cathy Clamp of 'Sazi fame. :) My roomie was Linda Mooney, and all three of us are Texas gals! Now there was some southern fun!

Now don't you wish you could've been there? Guess what? We're doing it again next year! It'll be bigger and better and so much fun! You know you want to do it. So start planning now.

Why? Well here's the real reason: It's a chance to escape! Seriously, it was the first weekend I've had to myself in two years. I got to leave it all behind for a few days and I'm already ready to do it again. The food was awesome! There was a great party Saturday night and some really awesome panels (I did three). There were prizes galore, books, baskets, bags, candles, bath sets, stuffed animals, perfumes, chocolate, jewelry... And this was all to win or be drawn for door prizes!!! There were a ton of free books and the bookstore, which I was a total bad girl at. AND it's so much cheaper than just about anything and everything else out there.

So start planning on it (tentative dates are late September 2010, Thurs-Sun. See? It was so much fun we're adding a day!!). I'm going to be there. Are you?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Update: Books on Fictionwise!

Hey everyone! Sorry to make this a short announcement but I'm working on getting the house packed for a move coming up.

Book 1 and Book 2 of the Aiza Clan Shifter Series are now up on Fictionwise ( and reduced 15% for New Releases.

Trusting Delilah

Roman Aiza is the second born son of the Aiza clan. He also owns and operates a private security company and has an ongoing contract with one of Florida's most influential residents. He is patrolling at a party when he encounters a woman who will haunt him. A woman who at their first meeting, manages to walk right out of his hands when he follows her for trespassing. She manages to do this without giving Roman a single reason why she is in the depths of the house he is protecting. When he does finally locate her days later, his goal is to prove that his instincts are wrong. She is not the woman that all of his senses are clamoring for. Yet when the daughter of Roman's largest and closest account is kidnapped and held for ransom, will they be able to build a trust between them? Or will their own secrets keep them apart?

A Trust Earned

Selene Aiza is a very compassionate woman by nature, and fiercely protective of those she cares for. A renowned doctor with gentle patient skills, she prefers the wild country of western Oregon and the secluded hospital where she can help the people who truly need her assistance. And in the depths of those wooded wilds she can keep her secrets well hidden. She is safe until the man she encounters by pure chance becomes the hospital's first choice as co-administrator. Her secrets and her very life fall into jeopardy, and only he can save her. He could also destroy her.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New York, New Yooork!!!

Here I come! I'm all checked in and ready to go for tomorrow morning. I'm nervous, excited, headachy (sinus pressure), and ready to see everyone!!

Everyone coming, however you're getting there, take care! See you in Suffren!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head This week I'm going to New York!!!!

I know, batten down the hatches, it's gonna be a wild and crazy time!

New York, here I come. Now quit screaming! I'm not that bad, usually *wink*. I'll be with my writer friends for the Authors After Dark Reader Con in Suffren New York. I'm going to be taking my camera, so I should have some eviden... I mean good pictures to post after the weekend. *evil* There's going to be costumes and ice cream, great food, great books, ice cream, events and panels, more authors than you know what to do with...and did I mention the ice cream? *VBG*

Okay, so while it may look like a great vacation, it's going to be two and half days of constant motion with enough time to pass out in between for a few hours. I plan on sleeping the whole ride back if that tells you anything, and it's a four hour plane trip! 

So I want all you guys to hang out, and behave, or at least pretend to behave and I'll share what I can (Can't give out all the good secrets, y'know) when I get home.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head Are Literary Agents going the way of the Travel Agent?


Let me explain. I was a travel agent for about three years. (My specialty was Las Vegas and cruises yeah baby!) A great career idea with some stupendous perks, but it was at the worst time possible to try to earn a living at it. The Internet stole a huge chunk of what was a travel agent's business: Direct personal reservations. Flights, cars, hotel. Now you can get those on any number of websites, often in strong competition with the providers themselves.

How does this relate to the publishing industry?

Let's look at this in segments. First you have the POD (Publish on Demand) ideal of self-publishing. Not always the best route for every writer out there. Like any other avenue, it has pitfalls, but it also has great potential. You don't need an agent for any portion of it, either. (This is a different topic from the POD of the Espresso machine, mentioned here.)

Then there's small press, or e-publishing who go to print. Again, there's no agent involved. Typically there isn't quite the amount of risk because you have a publisher creating cover art, providing editing services, and if possible, some form of promotion. However, a huge chunk, if not all, of any print sales fall on the author. Don't expect any small press publisher to get you on your local or national bookstore shelf. A very nominal few can, however it is a finite few and not all print books have this benefit. The RHC (Royalty Held for Credit) is a huge cut into the author's pay for returns, which are going to happen. Book stores do not "risk" profit on anyone.

Above this you have 'no agent required' New York houses. Harlequin is one. At a glance, this looks like a wonderful option. For some it is. But beware. Harlequin has annual book requirements. You can't "do it when you get to it". There are deadlines. Then there's also the latest advance decreases and decreased book runs, not to mention the very real short shelf life of a New York title book.

Lastly, there are the agents. They have the clout to stand up for authors with those remaining houses who like to have their submissions filtered. Some have specific tastes, or contract for particular houses in mind when they do sign a book and its author. For many, this is the holy grail of writing. An agent = a New York sale!

Um... No, it doesn't.

There is no such thing as the Holy Grail in publishing any more, if there ever was. Unless you've been living under a rock the last five or so years, the industry is changing, and as of last year is making some of its largest and most profound changes to date. Agents are still in demand, kind of. As you can see, there are more options available now than ever before, and more are coming. Just like when there was only the travel agent and their knowledge, you suddenly have beaucoup websites with information, pictures, reservation tips, and special prices to entice any buyer to jet to Jamaica on a whim.

Today, there are boutique travel agencies. Want to take a trip to the Himalayas? Want to cruise the Continent and the Med? A travel agent really is the best way to go there. There's passport issues, possible unrest in the area, things that the generic booking site won't be able to tell you. But want to fly from Denver to London and visit the Eiffel Tower in France? You can do that, plus rent a car and book a hotel in about an hour on line. A huge portion of the travel agent's business has evaporated into the ether of the 'net.

Will Literary Agents follow? To a degree, yes. I don't think their dissolution will be as devastating or as deep but as a friend points out regularly, "The landscape is changing". What it will look like when the dust settles, no one knows, and in truth, that's part of the problem. No one knows what the transformation will bring when the new era of publishing breaks free of its chrysalis. There are more options that don't require agents, just as there are options that don't require you stepping anywhere near a New York publisher. There's distribution which is becoming paltry at best for a new author if you're with New York, or the expected zilch distribution for small press. Agents have little control over that aspect anyway. To me, it's a wash. The only way to make a dime in a writing career is being proactive and kicking your own butt on a regular basis to get it done. Publishers no longer coddle writers. Those million dollar contracts? Not in fiction, folks. Sorry. 

I would like to have an agent to move my career to the next level, but by the time I find one willing to take a chance on an untried nobody (remember, without a New York track record, you're still a nobody to New York regardless of previous publishing records) I may not have a need for an agent. And that in truth may be the blow of extinction for many. If there's no need, they will fade away, just the same as the world-wise travel agent has. I feel the loss of their experience and knowledge would be huge, but who's to say in another ten years what will be available to the new writer just getting their feet wet?

Different publishing models, different roads to get there. How will an agent play in the new landscape? How much will their expertise be needed, by either side of the publication model? Will New York still be the final step to an author throne with so many now turning to e-publishing and ebook formats for their own profits, where so many authors and writers have begun their careers? Authors will have to be proactive about their writing if they want to see it move forward, there is no escaping that. Publishers won't waste time on those who aren't. Slackers get fired. Writers who aren't working their careers will be dropped. New York already does this, and oftentimes there is no second chance for a new contract afterward.

Watch how the landscape changes over the next year. Expectations were fall of '09 for a sign. That didn't happen, because it's still changing. All we can do is hang on for the ride. And write.

Monday, October 12, 2009

FTC Clarification

"...The FTC does not have the authority to impose a fine for a violation to the FTC act," says Cleland who heads the FTC's division of advertising practices. "There is a provision that allows for a proceeding in federal court that allows for imposing of a monetary penalty for violation of trade regulation laws. The guidelines are not trade regulation laws."

"...If people think that the FTC is going to issue them a citation for $11,000 because they failed to disclose that they got a free box of Pampers, that's not true. That's not going to happen today, not ever."

Diana Castilleja

Diana Castilleja || Diana DeRicci

Crowning A Warrior King || Print
Aiza Clan Shifter Combo 1&2 || Print
The Eternal Kiss || Print

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

I did it again! I know, I know... I seriously need my head examined, but it's not MY fault! Seriously.

I have four releases in November. Two for me, and two for my evil twin. *sigh* Didn't I do this in the spring too? It feels vaguely deja vu-ish, like I did. I should know better. Apparently, I don't.

So that being said, I have a very full couple of months coming up. October is Authors After Dark in New York. Yay!!! I'm so nervous. I've never done anything this big as an "author". I've gone to RWA as an attendee, but um... I was on this side of the table. And had an absolute blast, but now people are going to want to take their picture with me. Cripes! When did that happen?! LOL

I'm really excited to be honest. Three days of frivolity, craziness and loads of good times. Panels, mini-events, the signing, and food. Thank goodness for that! I understand there's going to be a huge amount of goodies to be given away, free books, tons of AAD swag and a lot of the authors have pitched in with raffle baskets. There's no way anyone can leave without something. Just not gonna happen.

Then in November I have the last of my book signings. Right before Christmas. Did you know books make great Christmas gifts? What's better than a chance to escape reality for a gift? I've given book store gift cards to my best friend and her DH for years for Christmas. We're all total bookaholics.

In fact this year, I'm going to do something totally different. I'm going to be offering gift certificates for purchase of books. I'll have details in the next week or so. But basically, you'll purchase the certificate and it can either be done via email or snail mail, you give it to your best friend/buddy/favorite reading fanatic and they get a book for Christmas! How awesome is that? Have friends who prefer print? I'll ship. Have an avid ereader addict? Can cover that too. See? How easy is that? So, more coming soon on that.

The other thing on my brain this morning is how fast this year has flown by. Really. Did y'all catch the license plates because I totally missed them. It's already October, and we have *counts fingers* roughly eleven weeks until the end of the year, ten-ish until Christmas. Now, I'm not a huge proponent of New Year's resolutions, but I do usually have a plan, and right now, I think I'm on track for '10. I'm keeping busy, and come early next year, I'll be setting up a whole new schedule. It just blows my mind that it's already time to think about it. That's why time seems to go so fast when you're an adult. Because you're always looking ahead, to the next payday, the next month, the next big event. Living in the "now" is so wasted on the young.

So, for now, I'm going to think about today, and just enjoy the moment. I have enough looming in my future to keep me occupied for weeks to come.

Until next week....

Friday, October 2, 2009

New publisher!

Congratulations to Eirelander Publishing!

Opening today : Eirelander Publishing

Wishing you many wonderful years of success!