Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Oldest Living Romance Reader Tells All

Bet I caught your attention, didn't I? Heh heh. It will tie into this blog post, promise.

First, for those interested in reading a length interview with me, there's one posted on Bookloons. Here's a link, and it's kind of fun for romance industry people because we discuss the paranormal trend and changes that I've seen in the market over the past decade of agenting. Also about my book and series, but a fair amount about agenting.

Hope everyone's having a great week so far, and HUGE thanks to everyone for the lovely compliments on my sizzzzzzling new cover. Oh, and speaking of that, I had dinner at church tonight and sat next to my neighbor's ninety-eight year old grandmother who is a very spry, witty woman. I would love to be like her at that age! Anyway, someone was asking about my upcoming booksigning and she asked me about it (keep in mind she's extremely hard of hearing.) So, there we are in the fellowship hall and I'm redfaced and mouthing, "It's SEXY. I said SEXY. IT'S, no, you don't want to read it." Next thing I know I'm sharing a bookmark with her, including the steamy description. She reads the whole thing then announces, "I need to get this book!" She wants an autographed copy. So I may have just recruited my oldest reader! LOL.

Here's the link to that interview.
Hugs to all!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bring on the HEAT!

Big drum roll...I am SO thrilled to unveil for you my new cover!! I should preface this by saying that "cover days" in publishing are some of my favorites; in other words, I just love cover art. Seeing how my clients' works translate into that visual expression--and especially with how the packaging looks/works for the book, is incredible fun. It can also be frustrating: if a cover is terrible. If a cover is beautiful, but simply wrong. I feel really blessed that I've truly fallen in love with this next cover of mine for PARALLEL HEAT, the second title in the Parallel series.

You can't tell how cool this will ultimately look, by the way, because it will be printed on lovely foil, and in the background left will be alien writing--shimmering in a sort of holographic manner.

Let me know what you think! I can't wait to hear your thoughts.
hugs, D

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Lifetime Love

Do you remember when you first fell in love with reading? Can you pinpoint one particular book that began the love affair? I definitely remember riding the bus and reading my DICK AND JANE readers. There was a huge feeling of accomplishment to advance (I think this was the order) from the blue book to the pink one, then to yellow. But I think I fell in love with reading over time. Not sure if any single book truly signaled the beginning of my love infatuation with stories of all kinds.

Early favorites? Maude Hart Lovelace's BETSY, TACEY and TIBB stories. ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE SECRET GARDEN. ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS made such a huge impact that my friends and I would play a game about the young woman who lived on the island. Long hours were spent in the woods playing "the Kiranna game." (Spelling not remembered.)

Anyway, with this on my mind, I thought it would be fun to create an Amazon list of some of my favorites throughout the course of my life. By no means is this all-encompassing, nor does it include any client books for obvious reasons. Just thought it would be fun. I need to create part two because with only 25 titles to include, the list isn't fully representational. I did try to be diverse, not including say, every book by Lisa Kleypas. I didn't even include any, actually, because I can't pinpoint a favorite.

So, without further ado, here's my list of some favorites. And let me know which book made YOU fall in love with books. I'd love to hear!

Friday, March 24, 2006

So Exciting! has posted an interview with me! I'm all giddy, sci-fi girl about it too!

Here's the link:

Interview with Deidre on

Fun! Go check it out!
Hugs, D

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Publishing Phenomenon!

Knight Agency Link

It's an online kind of night and I had this good news to share for those who haven't seen it already, but with a bit more of the story. The publishing part, that is.
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is a publishing dream--and an agent's dream too. We sold this book to Baker Books and it published in fall of 2004. It's now, oh, about 17-18 months later and it finally hits USA TODAY. You think that happens often? Not very. :)

The book shipped 6,000 units to begin with, publisher promising that "we think it will grow." Or we "hope" it will. This is what usually happens with a smaller book, the publisher hoping that momentum will grow, but the truth is that the right amount of momentum rarely happens for midlist books like this one. Especially for memoirs at a time when Christian memoirs weren't doing well at all. Well, after a while of Don Piper speaking and touring to churches and doing everything in his human power to plug the book, God began to ignite a fire around this book. Then the wildfire spread and soon 10,000's of reprinted copies become hundred thousands. The book hit PW's bestseller list last fall and has never left, always just kind of hovering right off of the USA TODAY list (keep in mind, this is a Christian market book, so it's not like Dan Brown hitting the list.)

Then, last week the book hit at 130 on the list. This week, it's at 132--in other words, holding steady. This is the sort of book I dream of at night. It shipped 6,000 copies and now has more than 650,000 copies in print.

Just sharing the joy!
Hugs, D

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Great New Site--and an Interview With Audrey Niffenegger

Okay, you guys all know how much I love the book THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. Well, there's a terrific interview over on a new blog, Writer Unboxed. It's a great new blog, and the interview with Audrey is quite fascinating, reading her process of writing TTW.

Here's a link:

Sunday, March 12, 2006

They Don't Know How I Do it!

How can Deidre do it all--agent, author, have a life. I don't see how she can possibly do all of that.

This is the question many ask of me—seeing that I’m a successful literary agent, mother, author, wife…friend, human being. The list goes on. I think it’s one reason why a few doubt whether I can juggle my agenting and author career simultaneously.

I thought it would be cool to let y’all get to know me better, and take a look at my life. For instance, what am I doing RIGHT NOW? I am sitting on my screened in back porch, with my kids (who are taking a break from water balloons and sandbox play in the back yard to have a snack), and writing a new blog entry on my laptop. The weather is perfect, probably 75 degrees, with partly sunny/partly overcast skies. There’s a light breeze reminding me of exactly why I live in Georgia and not New York City. Spring has come to the deep south, and probably won’t be departing again!

My wonderful husband and best friend is napping upstairs, I’m playing with the kids while working on my laptop—something that’s quite possible now that they’re no longer babies and getting older. At times I take breaks, doling out snacks or answers to questions: “Mommy, you know what I want? A book of potions and a book of magic.” I, of course, explained that I wasn’t behind her possible foray into sorceresshood.

Later today, the girls will head to bed at their normal hour, leaving a full night where I can write, blog, answer interview questions, or just hang with my husband and stare at him. We don’t tend to be much on the latter, we’re both too goal-driven. Judson has taken up guitar, and is now prone to sitting around jamming on his electric guitar until after I go to bed—or until I do. So what do I do during his jam sessions? I write. I edit. I work on my side-venture of being an author.

Tomorrow, it’s our girls’ intercession break, so they won’t have school all week, so I won’t have to get up quite so early. Still, I’ll be to the office no later than about 8:45 or so. Who will care for the girls? I have a nanny, Ms. Lolita (she has the best name in the world! Lolita Love—doesn’t that rock?), who will come and take care of them. Later in the day, her own daughters will come over, both of whom are about my girls’ ages. They’ll probably head to the park. They’ll definitely go to the grocery store (see, I don’t have to shop!) and at the end of the day, my honey will cook our dinner (another task that I don’t handle!)

I’m not sure if you see where I’m leading here, but I’m really blessed—my free time isn’t filled with the same tasks that occupy many working mothers, i.e. juggling in grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, dishes. THAT is how I have extra time, on top of agenting, to write. And you know, as much as many might envy me, I’ve worked my little behind off to get to this point, to have the kind of support at home that allows me to focus on what’s important beyond my agenting career. Not just what’s urgent, in other words, but the truly important elements of my non-agenting life—my daughters, my husband, my family, and my writing.

(Gotta share this—two people are walking down the street, and Riley—my three year old—just said, “see those people at that white fence. We really don’t know those people.”)

I’m so blessed; my life, both at home and professionally, is the richest, most amazing life any person could lead. If I weren’t careful, I could envy myself! LOL!
Hugs to all

Reflections in an Agent's Eye

Gena Showalter has an excellent post up on her blog about the originality of ideas within romance. She already does a great job addressing this topic, but I wanted to add my own thoughts here as an agent.

On any given day our agency receives roughly fifty queries; often several similar ideas will surface even within that small pool. On a submission level, we always see concepts repeated, sometimes many times over—and these are often “unique” ideas. The truth is, I just don’t worry about that too much as an agent, even while I’m submitting material—unless the ideas are so markedly alike that they compete with each other.

For instance, I’m shopping two witch paranormals right now, each very different. Did I send those out on the same day? No. Do I think the presence of both proposals circulating will lessen their chances of selling? No. I believe that editors have unique tastes and what works for one editor in a witch romance won’t necessarily work for another. So I've put both projects out in the market, and will now see how it all plays out.

The important thing to realize is this--every book is unique because of the author's voice and their own original fingerprint. Their own twists, their own characterizations. Ten authors will take the "same" idea and interpret it differently.

But back to the witch books I'm shopping. Once I place both titles and they're on the shelves, side by side, what then? A witch book is no more unique than a vampire book is from another vampire. Or a werewolf from another werewolf book. It’s all in the execution. One author’s hysterically funny witch book is another author’s melancholy, angst-ridden witch book. This is what I love about agenting—any core concept receives the unique imprint of its author. I will never grow tired of this business precisely because every day, every author, every project is unique in its own way.

Like Gena, I’m weary of seeing Amazon posts where “reviewers” toss accusations of copycatting around freely. In this current market, there are particular types of books that are selling; that’s what editors want. That’s what reader’s want. It doesn’t make the authors’ works derivative. Nor are they writing in a vacuum—they are a product of their times (pop culture, novels, media) like every other author alive right now. Naturally their work bears the stamp of the times within which they live.

Susan Grant and I recently had a fascinating conversation, which Gena mentions, because I gave her an ARC of Parallel Attraction. She wrote me, saying she nearly had a heart attack because as in my novel, her upcoming August release, Your Planet or Mine, also features the alien hero and human heroine meet as children. Her characters are much younger than mine (who meet in their teens), but nonetheless, it was concerning to her. She worried that readers might think she’d copied my slightly earlier release—which would clearly not be possible with her book coming out just four months later. I reminded her that there are no new ideas under the sun. That each of our takes on this idea is unique. And that of course it’s an inherently romantic idea, the concept of a hero/heroine first meeting in their youth. It’s natural for authors of integrity to want readers to know that their ideas are original. In Susan’s case and my own, we didn’t even know each other while writing our books! But I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone ridiculous Amazon poster claim, “This book starts out just like….” Probably about ME, not Susan, since I’m the new author. And I’ll feel as upset and frustrated as Gena does right now.

These posters on Amazon need to think long and hard before they toss out accusations of plagiarism and copying ideas. They’re besmirching the integrity of good people without really considering the ramifications of that. In fact, I think these posts should be directed to Amazon with a complaint. But that’s me, and integrity, honor, and character matter a great deal to me.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Big Finale Knight: BSG!!

So we get 90 whole minutes. And certain friends of mine who have spoilers have told me the Battlestar finale is going to be AMAZING. Amazing. I love that word. It basically got me through a highly stressful week!

Anyone else psyched about this finale? What are you speculating will happen? My money is still on No More Mr. Nice Gaius being a cylon. Plus, I would wager he's going to be our next president...isn't THAT a frightening thought for humanity in BSG land?

Thoughts anyone?


We linked to this over on TKA blog, but wanted to be sure I posted it here for you guys to check out. It's just a partial look at some of our clients, and that's why we'll have PART II also.

In addition, if you haven't visited the TKA blog today, be sure to check out the family archives. :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ta Da! Drum roll....

Hi, Gang!
Guess what? The second half of my excerpt is now posted on my site! You just go to:

Parallel Attraction Prologue

Click through, and you can either re-read the first half or click straight on to the rest.

I can't wait to hear what y'all think!
Hugs, D

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Gold!

I'm enjoying watching the Oscars tonight, but am disappointed that my boy Jake G (yes, he IS mine--just ask Jud. Grin) didn't win for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Still, he was fun to watch on the red carpet.

So far, the funniest thing was the montage that supposedly proved that there had never been any homoerotic subtext during the classic westerns. Lots of "take my piece" kind of moments, and quite hysterically done. I'm also laughing at the "ads" lobbying for best actresses. Especially the one for Reese's "all American ad." Is it me, or was this year's Oscar ceremony a bit more fun? Not nearly so boring?

I wish Matt Dillon had gotten an Oscar for CRASH--his role made that movie for me.

Oh, and then there's John Stewart's definition of pimp, as in Hustle and Flow: "Sort of like an agent, with a better hat." Ahem. Just don't let any pimps try to write books, or we'll be in trouble.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Night at the Apollo

It's not fair for the girls to hog the blog space. It's Friday night, time to watch Apollo be with the WRONG girl! Why is it so hard for Ron Moore to write a storyline that doesn't involve separating the couple everyone's rooting for? It seems to be against his consitution.

Also, I've uploaded a post that's been on my mind for the past year, so I hope you'll all give it a very thoughtful read, and feel free to "react".

Hugs! Deidre

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'm Chatting Tomorrow at Noon!

Hey, Gang:
I'm doing a chat in the TKA chat room tomorrow at Noon EST. Would love to see you there! I know many of you also visit that blog and probably know, but thought I'd let you know.

Meanwhile, am winding down on PARALLEL HEAT. Got some amazing research info from a fellow writer today, including pictures of the USAF base that figures into the story. The wonderful woman sent me pictures! It's amazing to me how life conspires to bring you exactly what you need creatively. Take Julie Ramsey at my office, for example. As some of you will find out (and some already know! Thanks for the plug, Jax!) part of Parallel series involves fighter pilots and aerial action. Not major amounts, but enough that when she showed up for her interview and formed me that her father is involved at Lockheed, and that she could help me get a tour, and so forth, I knew that it was meant to be. And guess what else? Julie has proved a font of interviewing opportunity, arranging for me to interview an FBI linguist right when I needed it, and so forth.

Then today the fellow writer has precisely the information I need. I love it! Research is such an important part of bringing a book alive for me. If I can, I like to have visited the setting--or be planning to visit it--for the stories that I write. Clearly if the book is set off-world on some imaginary alien planet, well NO, can't do that. But I can at least draw on elements of a place I know. It's almost like method acting.

I'm not advocating this for all writers; I'm just saying that for me it breathes extra life into the world, making it more vivid. I'm lucky, too, that in my lifetime I've traveled pretty extensively. Not all at one time, but over the years. I've biked across Europe, traveled Europe by train, studied in London, ridden across the country four times. Spent time out west in a camper. You name it. In fact, there are only three states in the US that I haven't visited, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. I hope to add those in the years to come.

Anyway, that reminds me that my four year old has a bday coming up! And we plan to give her a Dora the Explorer party because she's just so into her (she really IS that into you, Dora!) We're going to make party compilation CD's that are all about traveling and exploring. THe first song on the CD? ROAM by the B52's!


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wormholes, Hyperspace...or Perhaps Just Wayne and Garth's Suck/Cut

So, I'm days away from delivering PARALLEL HEAT (too bad it's not on Amazon, or I could do my cool hyperlink action.) I am in the final descent, seatbacks and trays are in their upright positions, and I discover that suddenly I want to play. I'm talking a total worm hole threatening to suck up all my time. It's like, "Wow! I haven't been to Gena's blog lately...wait, Diana has stuff to comment and respond on... Ellen Fisher? I need to check up on her!"

I'm not publishing newbie, quite obviously, nor am I completely out of touch with my personal motivations. It's become evident to me that some part of me is afraid to finish the novel. Perhaps because I fear I can't--I still have a big battle scene to fill in--but more likely because it's natural for writers to resist giving up their characters. Only, mine get picked right up for book three, so maybe I'm wrong. Maybe, after working four weekends straight, I'm simply feeling deadline spring fever, all the more because it's gorgeous here in Madison, all aflutter with new life.

What amuses me isn't really the cause, but rather the effect: I just found myself on a Battlestar Galactica fan board. Yes, a fan board, something I essentially swore off when the television town of Roswell boarded itself up. It was an innocent misstep, truly--there I was on, and the list of boards popped out at me.
It was then that my inner author shouted, "ENOUGH is ENOUGH!"

So, in an extreme act of will, I plan to spend the night writing until quite late, hoping to get at least fifteen pages down. That should leave about another fifteen, then as amazing as it is, I will be DONE. Until I get my revisions...
And then I start all over again.