Welcome to Julia Talbot's blog!

Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my partner BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snippet of WIP for Snippet Saturday

A bit from my WIP for DSP

Okay, so this was when he wished he ate better. Oh, he wasn’t lumpy. No, he was too skinny, his ribs jutting out a bit. He forgot to eat, and God knew he used to scoff at people who said that. Then he’d done his intern years.

“Mmm.” Nate touched his skin, stroking his collarbones, then his nipples. “Pretty.”

The nipple thing made his toes curl. No one had every touched him there except maybe him when he bathed, and the sensation surprised him completely. His cock jerked, his hips pushing up.

“I know, right? So sensitive.” Nate plucked at them again, squeezing each bit of flesh between his thumbs and forefingers.

“Fuck!” He arched, his whole back lifting off the floor. “Nate.” There was no way he was gonna humiliate himself by coming from this, but God, it felt good.

“Not so fast,” Nate said, seeming to read his mind. “Need to get your jeans off, too.”

“Please.” Was he begging? Dusty was pretty sure he was begging.

Nate skittered back and undid the button on Dusty’s jeans, then began tugging them down. “Come on, Stubborn fucking cloth.”

Dusty tried to help, but he just got more tangled up, and he burst out laughing, nerves getting the better of him.

“Shh.” Nate kissed his mouth, the position awkward, but the contact perfect, calming Dusty down. “That’s it, man. Just breathe.”

“I’m trying. You know how much I’ve done this, right?” He held up a hand, fingers and thumb forming a round, the zero obvious.

“I know.” Nate paused, smiling at him, looking right into his eyes. “I’m fucking honored, man. I am.”

“Just be here with me, okay?” He touched Nate’s cheek, feeling the stubble there, rough at the end of the day

Copyright 2015 Julia Talbot XXOO


Friday, January 23, 2015

Freaky Friday

My F key is going out on this comp...

You have no idea how often you use your F key until you start to lose it.

Here's something freaky from our house.

Aaaaand here's a bear, since that's what I'm working on

Also, Drive Your Truck is up at Amazon or preorder!



Monday, January 19, 2015

Writing in More than One Genre

I was following links recently, reading reviews of mine and my wife's books. I know, I know, never read reviews, even if they're not yours. Still, I was curious to see what people were saying, especially since the ones I was reading of mine were for an old book that had recently gotten some new attention.

One reader said, of a historical, that the book was fine, they just didn't like historicals.

Instead of getting hysterical, as I am wont to do, and screaming, "It's clearly marked as a historical! Why would you do that?" I got to thinking how this is what happens when you write more than one genre, in our out of romance. I write contemporary, paranormal, historical, western, and then drill down to m/m, f/f, menage and more. If you're a fan, you might buy a book just because it's me, (flattering!) and then find out you don't love the theme/genre.

Hey, it could be worse, I could be my wife, BA Tortuga, who gets accused of letting her best friend Sean write her books when she does BDSM, and who also writes non-romance horror O.O

What I'm saying is as a writer, I have to understand that a reader can read one of my contemporaries and love it, and grab the next book and go, ah man, that has spanking! Hated it.

This is what I get for writing in more than one genre, and I remind myself that I should be grateful for it. The ebook age has really allowed authors to explore what they love to write. Back in the day of the big six only, you often got pigeonholed into one genre, and if you switched, it was a huge career move.

Now it just leads to an occasional baffled reader, and that's okay. We all love what we love.

So, do you read in more than one genre? Will you follow an author to an unfamiliar one just because it's their book?




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Don't wait for perfection

"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." (Margaret Atwood)

Yes. This. If I wait for my first draft to be perfect, a la Mozart, I will never publish anything. If I wait until every typo and comma splice is perfect, I'll be waiting forever. I want to get books out there, so I have to balance my need for all my books to be perfect with the ability to let go and just send them out to the world.

I was recently chastised in my no longer day job for sending an email that had one typo and one missed capital letter in it. The author who took me to task in a rather nasty manner for it said as a publisher I should communicate in a more professional manner, and that sloppiness made her worry that I did poor work. Now, to be fair to me, I was out of town, wanted to make sure she knew I had gotten her email, and slap-dashed a response from my iPhone. Did that make her wrong? No. As an author, words are my business, just as they were as a publisher. I should absolutely strive to be professional, and to put my best work out, whether it's a submission email, a manuscript, or a blog post.

However, we have to forgive ourselves if there's a typo or a mixed up there and their. (Ahhhh. One of my peeves.)

We also have to stop futzing with our work so our publishers can make a final copy. The line edit stage is not the time to add 40K. Not kidding. Don't do it.

Most of y'all probably know how I hide in November from the ubiquitous Nanowrimo. I do that monthly, maybe more if I'm on a lot of deadlines. I get tied of the endless word counts and freaking out and cheering. Ironically, though, it was Nanowrimo that taught me to write. Just write. Don't stop to edit, don't worry if things go off the rails. Fix it afterward. If you wait around for perfection, that book will never get done.

I embrace that now. Maybe a little too much if you listen to my editors. (smirk) But sometimes you have to go for it. So go for it. Love your imperfections. Then get a good beta reader who can stamp them out for you!



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

my to do list hates me

I was supposed to post an excerpt to Drive Your Truck yesterday.

Instead I went to the foot doctor and got out of the walking boot O.O


Boo for the to do list though. And boo for me not being able to find my final galley darn it.

So, here, have a hot dude.



Friday, January 09, 2015

Why is self-editing so hard?

Hey, y'all!

It's been a busy holiday season for me, not just as a person, but as a writer. I've been looking at edits, proofs, galleys, and marketing documents, and one thing has become painfully clear.

It's almost impossible to edit yourself and do it well.

I have to admit, one of the files had been through two beta readers, and it was still not up to what I want a MS to look like when I turn it in for submission.

So, why is self-editing so hard?

1- Objectivity- it's hard to be objective about your work. Come on, admit it. When we get even a super positive edit from someone we rant and rave about how the editor just didn't get what we meant! How dare they! Then, if we're professional, we suck it up and make changes. Still, it sucks, and that's why we can't do it ourselves. On the flip side of that coin, we can read it and fiddle and fiddle and make changes and never turn in the file. At some point, we have to stop making those changes and let the words go.

2- Distance- In the book industry, we rarely have time to really set a book aside for 3-4 months and then come back to it when we have distance. If we're trying to make even a partial living at this, we're writing to deadline. So, we never get enough distance to see the mistakes we make.

3- Familiarity- As writers, we know what we mean. We know our own words. We turn a blind eye to our bad habits. That's why they're bad habits, right? We overuse words and phrases. It's tough to edit them out when we love them.

So, what do we do to get past our lack of clarity about our own work?

Get beta readers. Good ones. If someone isn't a good one, well, you can be nice and let them read, but don't depend on them. If you're self publishing, put aside money to hire an editor freelance. If you can't afford that, then change the format. Seriously, make a PDF of the file and read that. We see different things in different formats.

Read it out loud. I especially espouse this with dialogue and with marketing materials. Blurbs. Read them aloud. If you stumble, change what you tripped over.

Put it away. Even if it's just for a week. Don't poke at it like a sore tooth. Go dancing. See a movie. Come back to it with fresh eyes.

Make notes as you write. Names. Hair color. The dog's name. Refer to this list on your read through. Do a search for hair and eyes and tall and such to make sure they're consistent for each character.

Finally, admit that sometimes we let embarrassing mistakes happen, and pass by us, and send that MS in. Self-editing can only take you so far. Even if it is so darned hard to figure out, you do the best you can and move on.



Wednesday, January 07, 2015

catching up on the important stuff! Books!

Man, I am so far behind on promo. I know, I said promo and a lot of folks will tune out, and that's okay. It's a bombardment.

Still, I'm pretty proud of some of my recent accomplishments.

elemental ops 4, Vanished, is out at Changeling Press. It tells the story of Shannon, the team medic, and Gig, team techie. More dragons, more plot, hot, if awkward and silly, sex! I love my dragon boys, which is why I'll do an offshoot series this year starting with Chino, the one El Ops member who didn't find his dragon at Keon's compound.

Find it here at CP, and here at ARE. Also at Amazon now!

I have a couple of re-releases out from my self-pub imprint Turtlehat. Offerings is a historical Roman m/m and A Pirate's Paradise is a time travel pirate historical. Offerings is here at ARE and also at Amazon. Pirates is here on ARE!

Finally, I have a book up for preorder at Dreamspinner. Drive Your Truck is a 40000 ish word novela, one of the longest books I've written in about three years. I'm so proud of it. It's a contemporary about a cop and an ex-Navy Seal who hook up at a funeral. Seriously. Woo. There's a basset beagle mix, a pregnant sister and sister in law (she married the Seal's brother and the cop is her brother!) and all sorts of reckless behavior. It's out the 28th. Get in there get it now. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5988

I think that catches me up! Woo.

Hugs all around