How many novelists does it take to change a lightbulb?

I posted this in the comments at The League Sunday when I was slap-happy from edits. Since I am still slap-happy, I’m moving it over here. Feel free to add yours in comments!

How many novelists does it take to change a lightbulb?
a. Romance novelist: 2. And the bulb glowed happily ever after.
b. SF novelist: none. Lightbulbs are no longer necessary in the future.
c. Urban fantasy novelist: 3, forming a triad of power to overcome the burned out bulb. (Optional: 4th will perform rite to make certain bulb is dead and stays dead.)
d. Literary novelist: none. The bulb learns to accept its inert, burned out state as a metaphor for the human condition and ceases to struggle against the darkness.
e. Horror novelist: 1 goes into the room alone with the new bulb, and then he/she is never seen or heard from again.

Reviews for Wicked Hot are trickling in

FAR Recommended Read

Fallen Angel Reviews, 5 Angels and a Recommended Read! (squeeee)
“Charlene Teglia has turned something old into pure gold with her unique voice and talent at characterization. I highly recommend this sensual feast to erotica lovers everywhere.” – Hayley

Night Owl Romance, 4 Hearts
“Charlene Teglia has introduced us to a hot new alpha male. Move over vampire guys, step aside werewolf men, enter the Nephilim. Charlene’s vision of angels and demons is something completely new that I haven’t read in any other book…this book is a keeper.” – Roxanne Rhoads

And from Genre Go Round
“This wickedly hot romantic fantasy is filled with sexual encounters of all kind including ménage a trois and light bondage that enhance the intriguing story line. The dilemma of loving the enemy is devilishly designed in Charlene Teglia’s evocative XXX supernatural romance.” – Harriet Klausner

Happy Monday, all. I’m finishing revisions on Animal Attraction. The end is in sight.

Contracts and partials and spec work (oh my)

An interesting discussion over at Exploding Cigars still has me thinking about the merits of finishing the book vs. shopping the partial. I see both sides of this. In some cases, writing the full book on spec is the right thing to do. In other cases…maybe not.

While it would be lovely to think any book I finished would eventually find a home, the truth is there are no guarantees. So writing a book on spec might be its own reward creatively and craftwise, but from a practical standpoint, it means tying up potential earning hours for something which may not earn anything. Since I can’t write an unlimited number of books per year, this is significant.

While it might be lovely to think that all my ideas are genius, the truth is that if everybody passes on a partial…maybe the idea was not so good and I’d be better served coming up with something new and stronger instead of investing valuable time and energy in a project nobody wants.

Then again, I have a project on the side that is unlike anything else I’ve done previously and I fully intend to write it on spec rather than trying to sell on partial. Because it IS unlike anything else I’ve done, I think it will be easier to sell as a complete book. And I don’t want to burn potential sales by sending it out too soon, before it’s finished. The complete is a lot less attractive if it’s already been passed on by all the major houses because the partial came from an author who’d never published in X genre before. (Although actually I have, but not a full novel so the reasoning still holds.)

I have another project I’ll write on spec because I love it with a burning love and if it doesn’t sell I don’t care. Sometimes creative satisfaction is reason enough.

Obviously, I can’t afford too many of these in a given year, because I can only produce so many books per year and I have bills to pay. Spec work is an investment in the future, however, and if I’m not investing in my future, I’m not setting myself up for long-term success. It can’t all be about the immediate reward.

I think the ideal schedule allows time for completing contracted work, time for proposals for future work, and time for spec projects which may lead to future income directly via sale or indirectly via building the author’s skills. I’ve learned something from every project I’ve finished. I’ve also learned that there is a point at which the ship sails on a project, so if you don’t finish it while it’s in port, it may never be complete. This could be a good thing if the idea is a dud, or it could mean you let an opportunity slip away.

weekend heat wave

It’s supposed to be ridiculously hot this weekend. My beat the heat plan: huddle next to the AC vents while whacking away at the new, improved version of Animal Attraction. Let’s hope my laptop doesn’t overheat. 😎 Good timing, we just put blackout curtains on the kids’ windows and that should help their rooms stay cooler. (The main concern was blocking the light at bedtime, but there’s a side benefit.) I’d better get the kids’ wading pool filled, too.

Wolf’s Touch (SMP #5) is prowling around in the back of my head, too. I haven’t gotten too far with it beyond R&D, but it wants out on the page. So, I have to get this stuff out the door and get to writing.

Happy weekend, all! Hot weather’s a good reason to go to a cool, dark, theatre and Wanted is out.

TV for DVD; is it just me?

Paperbackwriter commented at Shannon’s yesterday on writers blogging about TV, and it made me wonder: am I the only one who doesn’t watch TV?

I don’t. We have a TV. The kids use it to watch episodes of Backyardigans, Veggie Tales, Little Einsteins and Leapfrog DVDs (I highly recommend Leapfrog’s Letter Factory, Word Factory and Storybook Factory for helping little readers learn to read). We use it to do our 12 Second Sequence workouts twice a week, which are on DVD.

In other words, the TV is a DVD player. We don’t watch channels. I don’t think we even get reception. We haven’t watched TV as TV for years. We don’t miss it.

We do buy episodes of shows we’re interested in; Monk, Firefly, Bleach. But mostly, the TV is for kid entertainment and education. If I have free time, I’d rather read a book than watch TV. I always have. In fact, in a high school creative writing class I was totally lost when assigned to write a script for one of 2 or 3 popular TV shows…none of which I’d ever seen. (I could have written a Star Trek script, but that wasn’t on the list.)

So, I’m a writer and I don’t watch TV. I really can’t be the only one, can I?