Welcome! (Please Scroll Down for New Posts)

Welcome to the website of Mindy Klasky, author of fifteen novels (including Fright Court, the As You Wish Series, the Glasswrights Series, Harlequin Special Editions, the Jane Madison Series, and Season of Sacrifice.)

Look around, read some blog posts, and click on other pages for more information about Mindy, her writing career and her editorial services.  If you would like to receive Mindy’s free quarterly electronic newsletter, sign up in the lower left corner of this page.

Thanks for coming by — and don’t hesitate to join in the conversation below!

Read More

Pics of Hot Men (and More!)

I’m not a big believer in “Man Candy Monday” and “Friday Man Wars” and the like – I understand what they’re doing on a sociological basis, as women take back their sexuality and proclaim that they can be sexual creatures before anyone can shame them for such and all that academic stuff, but it’s just not me, to post lots of pics of naked and near-naked guys.

That said, I *had* to looks at lots of pics of naked and near-naked guys to evaluate the covers for the Diamond Brides Series.  In fact, designing cover art was a major challenge for the nine-book series — and I’ve written about it at the Romance at Random blog today:

http://www.romanceatrandom.com/the-art-of-a-pitch-perfect-book-cover/

I’ve also drawn on my deep, dark past as a trademark lawyer to write another blog post — about trademarks, Major League Baseball, and how the Raleigh Rockets came to be.  You can read all that over at Nancy C. Weeks’ blog:

http://nancycweeksauthor.blogspot.com/2014/04/welcome-mindy-klasky-and-perfect-pitch.html

And, finally, I chatted about CATCHING HELL over at Book View Cafe (disclosing the not-so-secret truth that Zachary Ormond is my favorite of the Diamond Brides heroes… so far…)  You can read why here:

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2014/04/15/catching-hell-or-knowing-id-arrived/

So, stop by, see what I have to say, make comments of your own…  You know the drill!

Klasky-CatchingHell200x300

* * *

Past posts about the Diamond Brides Series include:

Read More

The Magic of Promotion

I’m back at Magical Words today, talking about the trials and tribulations (or should I say the *joy*!) of promoting a nine-book series.  Like, you know, my Diamond Brides Series :-)   Here’s the post – I’d love to see you stop by, read, comment, etc!

http://www.magicalwords.net/mindy-klasky/on-the-writing-life-nine-novels-in-eight-months-or-insanity/

Klasky-CatchingHell200x300

* * *

Past posts about the Diamond Brides Series include:

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

See You at AwesomeCon!

So, with all the flurry of activity around here, I kinda, sorta forgot to tell you that I’m going to be on three panels at AwesomeCon!  This large, new media convention is in DC at the downtown Convention Center over this coming weekend — it’s only the second year of the con’s existence, but it’s growing by leaps and bounds!  You can find me here:

Friday, April 18, 4:00 – 5:00 – Worldbuilding and Magic, Room 201.  I’ll join Jon Skovron, Lea Nolan, Stuart Jaffe, Jessica Spotswood, Gail Martin, Matthew Bowman, and Eric Menge to discuss what makes a believable fantasy world and a realistic magical system.

Sunday, April 20, 1:45 – 2:45 – Preparing a Manuscript for Submission, Room 209C.  I’ll join Tanya Spackman to discuss how to prepare a manuscript so your words are more likely to be read by editors and agents.

Sunday, April 20, 3:00 – 4:00 – Young Adult Literature, Room 209C.  I’ll join Cristin Terrill, Lindsay Smith, Jon Skovron, Lea Nolan, and Jessica Spotswood to discuss, um, young adult literature!

I hope to see you there!  It’s gonna be awesome!

Read More

Visiting Eight Ladies

And lest you think I’m sitting here eating bonbons and twiddling my thumbs on a launch day…

Klasky-CatchingHell200x300

I’m over at Eight Ladies Writing today, talking about rapid-release publishing and why it’s tailor-made for the Diamond Brides (because, really, what better topic is there, on a day when I’m celebrating my second book release in two weeks?)  There’s already a fair amount of discussion, with lots of questions and answers, so I hope you’ll join in!

Here’s the post:  http://eightladieswriting.com/2014/04/14/mindy-klasky-guest-blogger-rapid-release-publishing-or-one-writers-tale-of-madness/

* * *

Past posts about the Diamond Brides Series include:

Read More

CATCHING HELL in Stores Today!

The second volume of my Diamond Brides Series, CATCHING HELL, is in stores today.  Each of the Diamond Brides books is a fully self-contained hot contemporary romance — you don’t have to read the other short novels in this series to enjoy the one in your hands (or on your ebook reader!)

Klasky-CatchingHell200x300

Here’s what CATCHING HELL is all about:

Anna Benson is an eager “May” to Zach Ormond’s downright sexy “December”.

At age thirty-seven, Zach is a veteran catcher in the last years of his contract, grateful for a no-trade clause that will let him retire a star in Raleigh.  Twenty-five-year-old Anna has grown up in the Rockets’ front office; her grandfather has long groomed her to take over the team.

When Zach finally realizes Anna is no longer a star-struck kid, their passion flares like a game-winning grand slam.  But after a freak accident injures a young phenom and forces the team to land a new player, Anna must sacrifice Zach for the Rockets, convincing him to forfeit his hard-won no-trade guarantee.

There’s hell to pay. He’s doing everything in his considerable seductive power to make her keep him—on the team and in her bed. How can Anna and Zach live happily ever after when their romance will destroy the team they love?

I know authors aren’t supposed to play favorites among their literary children, but I have to admit that Zach is my favorite of the Diamond Brides heroes… so far :-)

You can read a snippet here:  http://www.mindyklasky.com/index.php/books/passion/diamond-bride-series/catching-hell/

And you can buy your electronic or print copy here:  http://www.mindyklasky.com/index.php/books/buy-books-here/#catch

We’re two weeks into the baseball season.  How are you celebrating spring?

Read More

The Best-Laid Plans

Often, I’m asked what it’s like to write full-time.  Generally, I answer by explaining that I write on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and I do all my admin work (publicity, promotion, marketing, website updating, etc.) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I restrict my socializing to Tuesdays and Thursdays as well, and I fold in grocery shopping, laundry, and other errands on those days.

But that’s only part of the story.

Every day, I have a to-do list, outlining the specific tasks I need to accomplish.  But some days, new emergencies arise, knocking that to-do list to hell and back.  Take yesterday as an example.

Interruptions

Yesterday was a packed day.  I had my exercise class first thing in the morning, and then a long list of publicity and promotion items for the Diamond Brides Series.  I intended to knock off work early, at 2:15, because I had tickets for my first Nationals game of the year, which had a 4:00 start.  (Spoiler: They won, 7-1!  Yay!)

So, I settled down to work quickly and efficiently after my exercise class.  And in my inbox (newly arrived since my scan of my inbox upon awakening) was a new contract to review.  The contract is for me to grant new rights to a publisher for works previously published; it’s an interesting opportunity, but it requires some reading, parsing of options, and decision-making.  I squared away that document and got back to work.

And a new thing hit my inbox:  a new writer who I’ve been mentoring was getting ready to launch a book on Nook Press (Barnes & Noble’s ebook publishing arm.)  He needed an .epub version of his document — stat.  (And for a variety of reasons, including the amazingly cool volunteer work he’s doing in Sierra Leone, I’m generating his ebooks for him.)  Time out to create an .epub of his book.  I squared away that project and got back to work.

And then the phone rang.  A recruitment company was calling to ask for my reference for a woman who worked for me several years ago. (The woman had recently asked if I would serve as a reference, which I agreed to do, gladly.)  The recruiter wasn’t expecting me to be home, apparently, because she’d only left herself ten minutes before she had to go to a meeting.  She begged my indulgence, rang off, and then called back half an hour later.  I squared away that interview and got back to work.

Ultimately, I completely my to-do list, even with those three fairly substantial additions to the morning.  But a writer’s life is never calm and boring and predictable.

I have strategies for dealing with the interruptions — I close my inbox for chunks of time during the day; I only answer phone calls from known numbers during the day, etc.  But sometimes, the best-laid plans…

How about you?  How do you cope with interruptions in your daily work?  Do you protect your creative work with the same vigor?

So I’m going to hit “publish” on this post, before something can interrupt me :-)

Read More

When is a Character More Than a Character?

One last blog stop this week – I’m over at Maria V. Snyder’s blog, talking about how to make stock characters (e.g., a hero and a heroine in romance novel!) interesting and unique.  Here’s the post – I hope you’ll stop by, read, comment, etc!

http://officialmariavsnyder.blogspot.com/2014/04/guest-post-creating-pitch-perfect.html

(Maria was one of my first published-writer-friends, and we still get together several times a year for writing retreats.  She was present at the creation of most of the Diamond Brides Series, even when she didn’t know the details of what I was writing, while we were tucked into our various corners of writing getaways!)

Klasky-PerfectPitch200x300

Past posts about the Diamond Brides Series include:

Read More

Under the Mango Tree

One of the real pleasures of working as a writer is meeting new writers who are just starting to figure out their way around the publishing world.  I talk to several dozen new writers a year, advising them about how to finish their books, how to get published, and how to find the reading audience for their work.

Over Christmas break last year, I met with another one of these eager new craftsmen, Michael Gibbs.  Although Michael is the adult son of a friend, I’d never met him before.  He’s currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone.

Michael had an ambitious plan.  In his effort to teach his students English, and to help them understand their own rich cultural heritage of storytelling, he wanted to collect stories from Sierra Leone’s oral tradition.  (Much of the oral tradition is dying, as the country struggles to recover from years of brutal civil war.)  He envisioned his students learning enough English (which, for many of them is a third, fourth, or fifth language) to write their stories.  They would learn about revising their work.  They would learn about computers, as he typed and formatted their work.  And the collected stories could be made available to a broader audience, with all profits from sale going to the students’ village, to help build desperately needed infrastructure and supplies.

I listened to Michael’s plan, and I was impressed.  I also though he didn’t have a chance of completing his project — there were too many barriers with regard to his students, and those didn’t even begin to take into account the obstructions from local government, Peace Corps bureaucracy, and the challenge of creating an electronic book when electricity typically wasn’t functioning!

But Michael did it.  And the stories he edited are now available in Under the Mango Tree:  Tales of Kamakwie, which can be purchased at Amazon.  All profits go to the people of Kamakwie.

Mango

When I read these stories, I was most struck by how much people reveal their culture when they tell their stories.  Even the fables that were familiar to me took on a different tone when viewed through the Kamakwie lens.  This collection of stories is an excellent educational tool for any writer struggling to illustrate “the other.”

I hope you’ll buy the book.  And spread the word.  And support the fine work of Michael Gibbs and the people of Kamakwie.

Read More

Pin the Veil on the Bride

Hello there!  Today I’m over at the blog of my good friend Deborah Blake, talking about Pinterest, and how I use it in connection with the Diamond Brides Series:  Pinterest Pleasures

Stop by, read, comment (and say wonderful things to Deborah, who is busily launching FOUR books this year!)

Klasky-PerfectPitch200x300

Past posts about the Diamond Brides Series include:

Book View Cafe:  How I Learned to Stop Worry and Love Baseball

Patricia Burroughs:  How a Baseball Virgin Becomes a True Fan

Doranna Durgin:  It’s Not the Length, It’s What You Do With It (Writing Short Novels and Long Novels)

Pamela Freeman:  What’s in a Name? (Writing Fantasy Adventure for Kids and Spicy Romance for Adults)

Mary Robinette Kowal’s My Favorite Bit

Magical Words:  On Characters (Baseball Players and the Women Who Love Them)

Magical Words:  On Plot (Baseball Games and Beauty Queens)

Joshua Palmatier:  Author Interview

Read More

The Joys and Woes of Collaboration

When I was a kid, I used to hate group projects in school; I strongly believed I’d rather do all the work myself than juggle a collaboration with a classmate.  As an author, I’m in awe of people who make collaborations work.  One of my Book View Cafe colleagues, Irene Radford, has made a collaboration work.  I asked her to share a bit about how and why she chose to work that way, when she wrote The Lost Enforcer with Bob Brown.  Of course, Irene and Bob collaborated on their response to my question :-)

* * *

lost enforcer 3

In your favorite book shopping venue you stumble across a book written by 2 of your favorite authors. Joy, oh, joy. This has got to be the best book ever written.

Or is it? Have the authors brought their best to the table or have two egos warred with each other, each suppressing all but the worst of the other?

We’ve seen both happen. As an author Irene has tried collaboration twice. The first time was an unmitigated disaster and had to be abandoned by both parties to avoid bringing in the lawyers. The second, with Bob, though, has proven much more successful.  What was the difference?

Remember the old carpenters’ advice: measure twice but cut once.  When contemplating entering into collaboration think twice, and commit for one project at a time. Think long and hard about what each will gain, what each can contribute, and why you want to share.

In both cases for Irene, she was the more experienced or better selling author. By attaching her name to the other author she gave their careers an endorsement. They gained from her reputation and visibility. In return, she gained fresh perspective, enthusiasm, and imagination.  This at a time when she’d started to feel sluggish and repetitive in her writing. We both gained.

This situation also set up a working process where Irene was the “senior” writer with a more honed skill set, but Bob was the creative driver.  This led to each having a limited veto power.  For questions of style and technique, Irene was the senior, for progression of the story, Bob took the lead.  But like any leadership role, it requires the consent of the governed.  Many a bad plot idea was patiently commented on until the faults were self revealing.  While Bob, would apply the same process on points of style.  Both gave in to the partner’s points only after expressing any concerns and no matter how tempting the moment might have been.  The words “I told you so,” were never uttered.

For the second book in our collaboration we will follow much the same pattern, but now Irene will have a stronger voice in story and Bob will have a stronger sense of style points.  Both will blend as we approach parity. We both understand that this is not Irene’s book, or Bob’s book, but our book.  And like parents, we want it to grow into a solid work that the readers will like.

The next thing to think about, is trust.  A collaboration is much like a marriage, only more intimate and open. As in a marriage, you have to trust your partner to bring to the table the same level of commitment as yourself. Do you trust your new partner to listen to your concerns as well as your exiting (to you) ideas? This is one of the most important things in a collaborative relationships. In Irene’s first collaboration the relationship dissolved when neither could trust the other not to sabotage then entire project over an active or passive narrator, a point of view character, a word choice, or a level of sensuality. We made sure that a high level of trust was established early on, and it paid off with a successful collaboration. So successful that we look forward to doing at least two more books in the series.

Respect goes hand in hand with trust. Every writer has a different creative process—Irene’s is long and slow, Bob’s comes in flashes of brilliance. We also have different working schedules and contracts for other work. We have to respect that and work with it, rather than against.

Respect is born through communication. Lots of it. Every brilliant idea needs to be shared before including it in what we called the Master Document. Sometimes one of us will write a scene and then share it and talk about it, other times we spend an hour on the phone thrashing through the consequences further into the story if we include it. Either way we talk. Often. With honesty—no secret agendas or subplots. We email. And we meet up several times a year as SF/F conventions for longer and more involved conversations with dueling laptops. We live 200 miles apart and have a mutual friend half way between who loans us her dining table where we spread out pages, reference books, notepads, etc. We foresee Skype in the near future—but this requires rigid scheduling and may not happen.

Like any great partnership, a prenup is in order. This doesn’t have to be written in stone or signed in blood, but you need a strategy for walking away if things do not turn out well or you discover that a premise does not a story make. You can start with a simple statement of how you intended to share royalties. Then decide how you will split the assets.  Who can take which characters or sub plots to other projects, or if the book must die and be buried intact. Being able to end a collaboration on friendly terms is a valuable asset in and of itself. It leaves doors open while closing only one behind you.

The actual writing process will be different for every book as well as every collaboration. We do a lot more outlining on the collaboration books so that we both know where the book is going, how it gets there, and why. Side trips are allowed if discussed. Once the plot arc and characterizations are set out we choose the scenes we want to write and where they fit in the book. One will write, the other will edit, and then the initiator will go back over it. Then it can be included in the Master Document. Final edits of the complete Master Document can eliminate or re-arrange scenes. We always know who has custody of the one and only Master Document and formally acknowledge the passing of it back and forth. That saves a lot of headaches in continuity and which is the latest version.

Planning is essential in a collaboration. Remembering why you trust and respect each other enough for honest and frequent communication has to come before letting the story flow. That opens avenues of creativity above and beyond the limits of any one writer, and truly can achieve the best of each, and possibly something more.

~o0o~

Buy link: The Lost Enforcer (on Amazon)

Bob Brown lives, works, and writes with his two pugs, two cats, and several dozen chickens in Washington State. He is the author of numerous short stories and the recently released children’s book, The Damsel, the Dragon, and the KnightHe is well known in the science fiction convention community as RadCon Bob, due in part to the nature of his work as a Health Physicist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where he supports clean-up of nuclear waste left over from the Cold War. Bob is an avid gardener and a teller of chicken jokes.  You can follow Bob on Facebook: Bob Brown or www.bobbrownwrites.com.

~o0o~

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species, a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon, she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon, where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck.  A museum-trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family, she grew up all over the U.S. and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history to spiritual meditations to space stations, and a whole lot in between.  In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P. R. Frost and space opera as C. F. Bentley.  You can follow Irene Radford on Live Journal: rambling_phyl or on FaceBook: Phyllis Irene Radford, or at www.ireneradford.com. Her latest publication from DAW Books is The Broken Dragon, Children of the Dragon Nimbus #2.

Read More
Email Newsletters with VerticalResponse