Friday, October 27, 2006

What they don't tell you...

You get THE CALL. Your life-long dream has been fulfilled. You're on Cloud Nine.

But, wait! There are a few things they don't tell you until after you've signed on the dotted line. Here are just a few of them:

1. Self-promotion will suck the life out of you.

2. You must spend hours researching independent booksellers, libraries, book distributors, and thinking of creative ways to get them to stock your book.

3. Postage rates are a b*tch. (Well, they didn't have to tell me that, it's something I already knew).

4. You'll soon be on a first-name basis with the people at Office Depot--all three locations in your metropolitian area.

5. You'll need to stock up on a supply of Mylanta for the quesy feeling in your stomach after you send out your first Advance Reader Copy for review.

6. Press Releases and Author Bios and are not easy to put together when you've live a boring life. Too bad they can't be fiction.

7. Postage rates are a b*tch. (Oh, wait, covered that one already).

8. You'll get sick of your own book after reading it over and over for revisions, galleys, etc.

9. You will have zero time to actually have fun on the internet since all your time will be spent trying to come up with creative ways to promote on a very small budget.

10. Postage rates are...well, you know the rest.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Apparently, I write porn...

Well, that's what Fred Head thinks.

According to the Democratic candidate for the state of Texas' comptroller's office, romance novels equal porn.

Here's the deal. The Republican candidate, Susan Combs, published a romance novel under the Kismet line in the early 1990's. And, in order to sully her name, Mr. Head has taken the position that Ms. Combs writes "pornography" and has even compared her to disgraced Congressman Mark Foley.

I wonder if his competition had written a horror/slasher novel, if he would be blamed for the rash of school shootings that have taken place over the past month? Or, if his opponent had written a legal thriller, would he have been likened to the Enron or World Comm executives? If a romance writer is considered to be in the same boat with a pedophile, then surely the same goes for those who write about embezzlement, right?

Needless to say, angry romance writers took Mr. Head's words as a personal attack, this romance writer included. Mr. Head has received tons of emails, and has lost many more votes than he realizes.

Due to the overwhelming response from RWA members, and romance readers in general, The Houston Chronicle published the following story:

To read more about the backlash from Fred Head's statement, search the various romance writer websites and blogs. Romance has been unjustly clouded by this horrible image for far too long. I encourage all romances readers to let Mr. Head know the difference between a romance novel and porn.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Today, I had one of those extremely cool first-time author moments. I opened a large envelope from my publisher and found the galley copy of my manuscript, along with about 100 cover flats!

I'll admit, I wasn't all that jazzed about the book cover when I first saw it. But after holding it in my hands and running my fingers across the embossed lettering, that cover looks pretty darn nice. It has my name on it, for Pete's sake! There is a book cover with MY NAME on it! This whole author thing is starting to feel soooooo real.

The galley has to be returned to the copy editor by Halloween Day, so book #2 will be pushed to the side for yet another few days. However, I'm still planning to have it complete by that mid-November deadline.

Any time management experts out there? Looks like I'm going to need it!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Experience

Anybody who knows me knows that I luh-huv Starbucks. No, I don't particularly like coughing up four bucks for a cup of Joe, but for the zen-like feeling that comes over me when I sank into my favorite chair with the laptop opened to my latest work-in-progress, it is well worth the money.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I discovered there is a dark side to Starbucks. It's called People. In particular, it's the people who don't realize that Starbucks is not for socializing, it's for working.

I know what some of you are saying. It's a coffee shop, not a library.

Yes, I know this. But my local library doesn't serve White Chocolate Mochas and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, and it doesn't have Frank Sinatra crooning out of speakers discreetly stuck in the corners. It doesn't have the background chatter of the two retirees that meet every morning and sit at the round table next to the coffee-by-the-pound display.

You see, I need these things to write. They calm me. They help me find that inner peace that puts me in the mood for writing. I need them!

What I don't need is a group of high school girls bouncing around in their plaid skirts and giggling like they've just knocked over a dentist office and made away with a canister of laughing gas.

And I certainly don't need the soccer mom with the toddler who ran all over the place, crawling under chairs, and singing some annoying little song that probably came from Barney or The Wiggles. Of course, she couldn't pay much attention to the toddler. She was too busy ignoring the infant in the stroller who wailed for a full ten minutes.

Oh, and the guy on the cell phone? Didn't need to know that he beat his friend, Jeff, at golf the previous weekend. I could have gone my entire life without that info. But, apparently, the five people he called needed the hear about Jeff's poor golf game more than they needed to take their next breath. They also needed to hear him belt out an annoying laugh from the bottom of his lungs. Or maybe he figured the people at the Quizno's two storefronts down needed to hear the laugh, because I'm more than sure they could.

Okay, I realize I'm being a wee bit pushy. It's a free country, and folks have the right to brag about their golf game or completely ignore their children in any Starbucks they chose.

But really, people, does it have to be MY Starbucks?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And the journey begins...

I've heard that anybody who's anybody has a blog these days. And, since I definitely consider myself somebody, I figured I'd better jump on the blogging bandwagon pretty darn quick.

Okay, fine. So it's taken me more than a few tries to actually make it onto the bandwagon, but I'm here now, and if you haven't hit the "back" button or that little red "X" in the upper right hand corner of your screen, then I consider myself lucky.

I've contemplated exactly what the Farrah Rochon blog should encompass. Really, I've had seriously mind-numbing conversations within my already cluttered brain about this, and since I still cannot find the perfect theme, I've decided to just shoot from the hip.

Watch out people, this could get scary.

For this first attempt at blogging, I'll pick something extremely relevant to what I'm currently going through right now: The Second Sale.

*cue creepy horror movie music*

There's nothing that can compare to the feeling you experience when you get THE CALL, or in my case, THE EMAIL (that's the topic of another post). Elation doesn't begin to describe the emotions that surface when you find out that after years of hard work and sacrifice, stupid characters doing stupid things, sentences that just won't freaking work, you've finally sold your first book. Family and friends smother you in hugs and kisses. Your internet friends (waving to my Dreadnaughts) shower you with the most touching emails and phone calls. All is right with the world.

But what happens when you've turned in your final revisions and that first book is off to the presses? You have to write a second book, that's what!

When I sold DELIVER ME, I was nearly done with the extremely rough draft of the follow up featuring the Holmes brothers, currently titled "Toby's book". (Note: I am not good with titles). I knew the story needed serious rewrites, but hey, I'd been there and done that with four previous books. This wouldn't be a big deal.

Uh, yeah, right. Tell that to my brain right now.

The difference between those rewrites and this one is that the others lacked the pressure of knowing both my agent and editor will soon read them. There was something they saw in DELIVER ME that they will undoubtedly expect to see in the next book. I only wish I had a clue what it could possibly be. What about this book stood out from the countless manuscripts that crossed their desks?

There is a certain measure of safety in the thought that you're simply writing for yourself. It freaks me out that I actually have to live up to someone else's expectations. Talk about pressure!

However, I plow ahead. I am diligently working toward that second sale, which will hopefully turn into a third, and forth, and fortieth. You get the picture. I'm in this for the long haul. So, I'm firmly throwing those pesky insecurities out the window and working to make this book even better than the last!

Stay tuned.