Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kate Duffy's Obit

Beloved by so many in the romance book world, Kate Duffy, editorial director of Kensington Books, has died after a long illness. She was 56.Duffy won a range of awards and published or worked with such writers as Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Lori Foster, Heather Graham, Judith McNaught, Mary Janice Davidson, Jacqueline Frank and Mary Jo Putney.During her career she was an editor at Popular Library, then worked at Dell and Simon & Schuster, where she was the founding editor of Silhouette Books. After working at Pocket Books, where she founded Tapestry Books, she joined Harlequin Enterprises, where she founded the Worldwide Library imprint. At Kensington, she established Brava Books.There will visitations this evening, Wednesday, September 30, 3-6 p.m., and 7-9 p.m., at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel <http://news. shelf-awareness. com/ct.jsp? uz2493019Biz8669 094>, 1076 Madison Avenue (at 81st) in New York City.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rambling To Me

Since no one seems to read this blog, I'm going to write this just for me.

I got the news today that Kate Duffy, executive editor at Kinsington Books, had passed away. The news hit me harder than I'd have expected. I didn't know her well. I only knew her from Heather Graham's New Orleans workshops. I was the first winner of her Dufey Award, for best query letter. Through that I got to know her after I sent her the manuscript for the novel described in the query. We exchanged a few emails about writing, and publishing and what it takes to make it in this business. One thing about Kate, she shot from the hip, shot straight, and never let the gun smoke drift up your skirt. She had mentioned not long ago that she sometimes felt badly for having to reject so many writers' works. But as a friend of mine told her, sometimes we writers need that slap in the face to make us realize we need to get serious or move on.

Kate, I had a dream that you would be that big-time-edtor who would one day say, "Charlotte, this one is good enough." Now all I can do is try to write one good enough, and say, This one's for you, Kate."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember the Alamo

And remember the Twin Towers. We are strong. We survived. But we must never forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rambling Mind

I don't really don't have a topic tonight. Guess I just want to do something other than work on EPICon or read the first five pages of contest entries.

It's surprising how much you can tell about a book with just five pages. Out of the entries I've judged so far, two have great hooks. I mean "don't want this to end" hooks. Two others are bland. But one thing about judging a contest like this is it makes you rethink your own first few pages of your WIP. Do I have a good hook? Will I capture the reader? Or will an agent/editor read them and think, what a hack?

Do you ever sit back and wonder how you can be so confident in life, but so insecure in the pages of the novel you put so much of yourself into? I stress over every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter. Then when I type in The End, I stress over The End. Is it a good ending? Should I have gone further into this part or that part? Did I miss a comma? Should that comma even be there?

I entered my novel, Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance in a contest. That little voice in the back of my mind keeps asking, "Who do you think you are? That book isn't good enough to win any contest, much less that one!"

Some days I want to walk away. Say to hell with it. I'm not a Faulkner or Hemingway. Then other days I think, "Hey, they had to start somewhere, too. I'm sure even Faulkner and Hemingway had rejection letters filed away. Lord knows I do. Not quite enough to paper the bathroom walls yet.

Okay, rejection letters...I've received those useless form rejections. They tell me nothing of why the work was rejected. Just...sorry, Charlie Girl. But I've received a few personal rejections, the ones that say close but no prize. Those are becoming flimsy from my reading them so many times, trying to read between the lines. I've not mastered that talent yet. But I'm working on it.

Okay. I'm finished. Go back to your regular scheduled reading. ;)