- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
- Eye Candy
- Happenings at the Henhouse
- Music of the Coop
- Pop Culture
- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
- Squawk Friends
- Squawk Interactive: Captions, polls, etc
- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
Brought to you by CONNIE BROCKWAY, TERESA MEDEIROS, and ELOISA JAMES
We had so much fun celebrating our friendship by making our GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAszx2Ge9co ) that we want to give you and your girlfriends a chance to celebrate too!
We’d love to see your video tributes (5 minutes or less, please) to the special female friendships in your own life, either long distance or local. We’ll be running the contest for the next 4 weeks. Each week we’ll post our favorite “Video of the Week” on our Facebook pages and the GRAND PRIZE winner for Best Video will receive 3 autographed books from each of us (9 books total) along with a beautiful Sony DPF-D72 7-Inch LCD WVGA 16:10 DIgital Photo Frame .
The video can be musical or spoken word or whatever you want to do. Let your imagination run wild as you come up with a way to honor the joy and laughter (and chocolate) these treasured friendship bring to our lives!
OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES
1) Create your video tribute (5 minutes or less), post it to YouTube and set it to “Public”
2) E-mail the link along with your name and address to between February 16, 2010 and midnight March 16th 2010
3) Weekly winners will have their videos featured on the Facebook page of one of the authors
4) A Grand Prize Winner will be selected on midnight March 16th, 2010
Good luck and don’t forget to join us on FACEBOOK for more updates!
Join TERESA: http://www.facebook.com/teresamedeirosfanpage
Join CONNIE: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Connie-Brockway-Fans/234921542191?ref=ts
Join ELOISA: http://www.facebook.com/EloisaJamesFans
The first time I posted this, it only let you make one choice, but I think this will let you make multiple choices and vote again if you already have.
Make sure you read my blog below, then come back and vote for your favorite storyline!
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Last week, I put up a poll asking what you thought was wrong with romance novels. I knew this was a subject near and dear to our hearts, but I had no idea there would be over 1100 votes on the poll http://www.squawkradio.com/index.php/sblog/christina_dodd_asks_you_to_fill_in_the_poll and 121 comments on the blog. http://www.squawkradio.com/index.php/sblog/christina_dodd_asks_what_is_wrong_with_romance_novels_today I’m pretty sure all of us Squawkers read every comment, and we sent the results of the poll to our editors. What you said was without malice and so thoughtful and insightful, and the poll itself revealed so much, I’ve decided to try and interpret the votes and reply to a few of the comments. Please don’t yell at me, I can’t help it — I’m a numbers junkie and fascinated by anything I think will help me understand what makes romance work as the most popular genre in publishing.
So — the main thing that interested me in the poll was that opinions were so evenly distributed. NOTHING was a huge stand-out, and some of the virtual ties made me giggle —
Tied with 3% of the vote:
Heroine is a virgin (23)
Heroine is too experienced sexually (24)
I think we can safely say that some readers really care and some people really don’t, but most readers are willing to read either kind of heroine.
Another one that had me going was the wimpy hero vs. the alpha hero. At about 500 votes, that was tied, too, but around 800 votes, wimpy pulled away to win 35 to 19. So okay, alpha heroes may irritate, but not nearly as much as wimps.
The cover art one surprised me a lot (From the poll: cover art doesn’t portray novel correctly). I flung that one in at the last moment because I thought we needed something involving a concrete item rather than everything being conceptual, and the fact it was one of the top three things readers voted on amazed me.
Also, in the comments under the poll, Rene said...”One of the things that drive me nuts about a book is reading the back cover and getting an idea in my head how the book is going to be and then WHAM! Totally different book - hasn’t happened too often but often enough to tick me off!” Good point, Rene, and one I forgot to include that I’ll bet would have gotten a lot of votes!
Heymommy said, “One thing that was not included in the poll that really does make me throw the book against the wall is lack of editing/bad editing/no editing. What happened to proofreading? Big name publishers that used to produce quality work are now releasing books with typos, misspelled words, wrong gender pronouns, etc. and I can’t fully express just how distracting it is to me. One main reason I read as often as I do is to escape from my everyday life into the story. When I have to stop and mentally correct something in the book and think “oh, that should be ‘her’ not ‘him’ then I am no longer immersed in the story and I strongly resent that. When I purchase a new book, I feel I am paying not only for the author’s created story but also the printing, the cover art, the editing, proofreading, paper quality, ink, etc.” Okay, heymommy, that was another one I forgot, and I suspect it would have been a big vote-getter.
Lisa R spoke to one of my great fears as a writer when she said...”I hate rushed endings. There are some books I’ve read where it seems obvious the writer was hurried because of a deadline. The last couple of chapters didn’t have the same flavor as the rest of the book and everything was wrapped up too quickly and neatly.” She got some high-fives for that one!
Overall, as I looked at the preponderance of votes and tried to tie them together in some coherent direction, it seems the Big Complaint was that the books aren’t romantic enough. IrishEyes said...”What I don’t like in my romances and what I’m finding more and more is that the relationship is relegated to second place among all the intrigue and world building! I’d like for the relationship to be first. … If I want reality I’ll watch the nightly news.”
Look at the poll results:
Not enough romance — I don’t feel the couple fall in love (87) 8%
Not enough sexual tension — couple falls too quickly into bed (104) 9%
Not enough time spent getting to know hero and heroine as fully rounded characters (114) 10%
Issues faced by the hero and heroine aren’t big enough to make me care whether they overcome them (50) 5%
No sense that this hero and this heroine are destined for and can only love each other (60) 5%
Sex scenes have no emotion, just a recitation of physical acts (74) 7%
“>We certainly had some other triggers points — the cover art, the series question, and the lack of variety in setting and genre. But I can’t do anything about the cover art, or the lack of variety in setting or genre, and I like writing books in a series (although Teresa has completely different ideas there.) But story I can control, so as I finished my copy edit for TOUCH OF DARKNESS, I focused on the relationship between the hero and heroine, on upping the sexual tension and that sense that the hero and heroine were meant for each other. I made sure the sex was both hot and meaningful, and added details that would bring their characters into sharper focus.
Did I improve the editing? Oh, God, I hope so.
Do you think I interpreted the poll correctly? Do you see another trend in the results? I’m listening to anything you say, so speak now because I’ve writing a new romantic suspense and I need all the input I can get!
Then check back this afternoon when I unveil the bookshelves and storage in my office. Be prepared to drool …
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Every once in a while, I hear a reader ask, “Do you pay attention to reader reviews?”
No. Not just no — hell, no.
Is it because my ego is so big I think my prose is perfect? Is it because I imagine every word I write is gold?
Of course not. (You other Squawkers, just shut up. This isn’t your day to blog, and no one’s interested in your opinion, anyway.)
But a quick glance at Amazon shows that I have five star reviews for every book I’ve written. I’ve also got one star reviews for every book I’ve written. The opinions completely differ on almost every circumstance. A lot of the bad reviews start with something like, “I love Christina Dodd’s other novels, but this one sucks …” and a lot of the five star reviews start, “After the last awful Christina Dodd novel, I almost didn’t give her another chance …”
Listen to the reader reviews? Which ones?
For instance, for THE PRINCE KIDNAPS A BRIDE:
Review #1 — “The heroine was strong and feisty.”
Review #2 — “The heroine is just plain silly.”
For A WELL PLEASURED LADY:
Review #1 — “The first sexual encounter can only be viewed as rape.”
Review #2 — “Also, with the “forced seduction” it was definitely not rape.”
For CANDLE IN THE WINDOW (my first book):
“Being a fan, I had never read Dodd’s earlier work. Turns out, I wasn’t missing anything.”
For TONGUE IN CHIC (my 32nd book):
“I really love Christina Dodd, but this was just horrible. … Don’t waste seven dollars on this horrible book. Look to Dodd’s earlier work.”
My point? An author, while trying not to write the same book over and over again, is guaranteed to bore/horrify/delight her readers because all readers have different tastes. And viva la difference!
Just below, I put up a survey that asks the question What is wrong with romance novels today? I’ve stuck up every circumstance I could think of, but I know there’s no way I could fill in all the blanks. So think about what makes you toss a book against the wall, come back and do the survey, and tell us what works/doesn’t work for you, and why. Because I (and the other Squawkers and the publishers who lurk here) may not listen to random reader reviews, but we’re fascinated by articulate opinions put forth by the Squawkers — women (mostly) with very different tastes who are fans of six very different authors.
And my personal request — don’t give the politically correct answer. Tell me how you feel in your gut and in your heart. Because that’s what a good romance tale is — a story that makes you twitch and groan, talk back to the pages, and go to bed and dream of a great sex, high adventure and one hot man who wants you and you alone. To hell with politically correct. Let’s talk raw, untamed emotion!
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Sorry about the snafu-- let’s try this again!
It’s that time again. Time for the annual SQUAWK RADIO READERS SURVEY! Whether you’re a registered member here at Squawk or a lurker deluxe, we’d really appreciate it if you’d take the time to fill out our incredibly unscientific and rambling survey. Believe or not, by arcane means we are able to glean a few nuggets of priceless information out of these things and can use that knowledge to make this whole Squawk experience just as good as we possibly can! Thanks!
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