Thursday, November 30, 2006

Farrah Rochon Newsletter - Launch Edition

As promised, here is the first edition of the Farrah Rochon newsletter that was sent to members of my mailing list. If you haven't signed up yet, you missed out on winning a cool prize. Remember to sign up!


News from Farrah Rochon

Greetings, all!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here's to a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. I always look forward to this time of year with its festive music, cheerful decorations, and the spirit of giving that suffuses the air. Oh, and lets not forget the eggnog. :)

There are quite a few things to cover is this inaugural edition of the Farrah Rochon newsletter, so let's get to it. Here's the rundown:

1. Three months to the release of Deliver Me
2. Surprise contest! Winner announced below!
3. Blog-a-licious!
4. The Farrah Rochon Store
5. 2007 RWA National Convention

Here are the details:

Deliver Me in stores on February 27th!
Three short months from today (less than three, since this went out on Monday), my debut novel, Deliver Me will hit bookstore shelves across the nation. Things have been moving at such a fast pace; I’ve hardly had the time to stop and soak up the experience. However, I have a feeling it will really hit home when I walk into Barnes & Noble and see my name on an actual book. The anticipation is overwhelming.

Just a reminder, if you see Deliver Me out before the February 27, 2007 drop date, do not buy it, and let the booksellers know that it should not be shelved. Buying a book before the official on sale date is definitely a no, no!

Surprise Contest
In celebration of the launch of the newsletter, the three-month mark to Deliver Me’s release, and the start of the holiday season, I decided to run a surprise contest for the mailing list subscribers. The contest winner is MICHELLE TAYLOR of Michigan. Congratulations Michelle! She wins a decorated tote bag filled with promotional items for Deliver Me. You can check out the prize in the entry of today’s blog. Speaking of the blog…

Look who’s blogging
If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to stop by my blog: The Farrah Rochon Blog! The topics run the gamut, from what’s going on in the writing world to new discoveries that happen along my road to publication. Stop by often!

Shopping anyone?
Take a look at the new Farrah Rochon store! There’s something for everyone. T-shirts, mugs, and the cutest teddy bear are just a few things you’ll find. There's free shipping with a minimum order. Check it out at the following link: The Farrah Rochon Store!

RWA Does Dallas
The great state of Texas will be the host of the 2007 RWA National Convention, and after five years of attending as an aspiring writer, I will finally be there as a published author! The RWA Convention will be held July 11th – 14th at the Hyatt in Downtown Dallas. The massive booksigning, with over 500 romance authors, will kickoff the convention. You’ll be able to find me at my very own signing table! Find out more about the convention at RWA National.

Well, that about covers it. Stay tuned for more info as the release of Deliver Me draws near.

Until next time,

Farrah Rochon

Monday, November 27, 2006

Surprise Contest!

For those who subscribe to the Farrah Rochon newsletter, a surprise contest was held today in honor of the three-month mark to the release of Deliver Me!

The contest winner is MICHELLE TAYLOR!

Michelle won a cool tote bag filled with a bunch a promo goodies! Included are autographed bookmarks, Read A Book By Farrah Rochon ink pens, an autographed coverflat, and a cool calculator keychain. Best of all, Michelle can use the tote bag whenever she goes book shopping. You can get at least ten books in that baby!

Here's a picture of the prize:

Haven't signed up for the Farrah Rochon newsletter yet? What are you waiting for? Visit today and join the mailing list. You never know when I'm going to hold a cool contest.

I'll post the highlights of today's newsletter in tomorrow's blog.

Again, mucho congrats to Michelle!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks

It has been quite a year, to say the least.

Last year at this time, I wasn't happy with my job, the desire to write was virtually non-existent, and things were still very much chaotic in the wake of a storm by the name of Katrina that blew through these parts. And while I still had an abundance of things to be thankful for, namely that my house was still standing and my family was alive and well, it just wasn't the same at Thanksgiving time. There was a somber mood in the air.

What a different 365 days make!

Blessings have overflowed in a major way. My family remains happy and healthy, and even though I did lose my precious grandmother this year, I can rejoice is the 85 years she spent on this earth.

Additionally, over the course of this year, I gained a new sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and step-niece. I landed the BEST job, working for the BEST company ever. And, best of all, realized my life long dream of selling a novel. Sometimes, I have to stop and mentally pinch myself. After dreaming about this for so long, it doesn't seem real.

I am grateful for every morning I am allowed to rise, for every breath I am granted, and I look forward to expressing my gratitude on the day especially set aside to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dining with a NYT Best-seller

This past Friday, I, along with several other writers, had the privilege of attending a dinner with New York Times best-selling author Lisa Gardner.

The author of some of the best suspense you'll ever read (I'm currently reading her chilling novel, The Third Victim) was in town to speak to my local RWA chapter. Her presentation, Seven Secrets to Romantic Suspense, gave wonderful pointers on how incorporating research can catapult a bland piece of writing to the next level.

Here's a picture of me and Lisa at dinner.

If you're in the mood for mind-blowing suspense and a sexy romance, check out Lisa Gardner. You will not be sorry.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Don’t judge a book by its cover…yeah, right!

Which intellectual genius came up with that saying? Clearly, he or she did not take into account romance readers.

In my opinion, book covers rank at the top of the “most important selling tools” list. It’s what pulls people to your book on the shelf.

People use a book cover as an indicator of what the book is about. A picture of a murky lake, with a full moon high above? That’s probably a creepy horror novel. A running couple being chased by headlights? I’ll bet that’s a romantic suspense.

When I sold Deliver Me, there were a number of different ideas for the cover floating through my head. The main characters are doctors, so I thought about a medical theme. I envisioned a cartoon-type cover, with two people in white coats embracing, or maybe two hands meeting over a stethoscope with a heart. Okay, so the stethoscope with the heart is cheesier than the lasagna I ate last night, but you get the picture. I thought I would get something light and fun. What I did not expect, was a model with this dark, dramatic look. To say I was unhappy is understatement, size XXL.

What many people outside of publishing don’t realize is that authors, especially tiny little tadpoles like me, have no say in what cover goes on their works of art. Actually, even some of the bigger fish have no input. So, if you’re unhappy with the cover, you basically just have to deal with it.

Then, sometimes, you’re lucky and the editors at your publishing house actually take the time to explain why they chose said cover. They make you realize that even though your book is a pretty light-hearted romance, there are some not-so-light themes. For instance, Deliver Me is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, and while it does not harp on the storm’s devastation, but, in fact, show’s the city in its current recovery stages, it’s still not all sunshine and roses. Additionally, the book features a character who suffers from a serious mental health condition. Fascinating, but not necessarily humorous. As I re-read the book (for the 50th time), I understood why a cartoon cover would have been a bit misleading, and why that provocative look works. I guess those darn people in the art department really do know what they’re doing.

So, go ahead, judge a book by its cover if you want to. There’s a lot that goes into them.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In the words of James Taylor...

Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.

Actually, I am blessed with a bevy of the most fantastic friends on the face of this planet, and I would be a lost little lamb without them. My friends have come through for me in the biggest way as I wade my way through these murky publishing waters.

Take for instance my new publicist, Tara. Since becoming my publicist a few days ago, she has whipped my promo butt into shape like you would not believe. I have a plan now. I have vision. Wow!

In my opinion, Tara is THE blogging queen. She uses these virtual sounding boards as a way to stay in touch with friends and connect with new people. I had no idea how much power a blog held until Tara clued me in. Hopefully, under her tutelage, I'll learn my way through the blogging world, too. :)

You can read her ramblings at, which is so cool that it was actually mentioned in the freaking New York Times! I told you, this girl knows a thing or two about blogs.

And I'm lucky enough to have her as a friend. Aren't you jealous?

Monday, November 13, 2006

For Aspiring Writers: Contests

When I began writing, or maybe I should say when others discovered I was writing, I began sharing it with friends and family, and received wonderful feedback. However, I could not shake the feeling that people were just being nice. Be honest, could you really look your friend in the eye and say "I'm sorry, but your writing sucks!" That would be cruel. Sometimes necessary, but cruel.

One day, as I was flipping through my Romance Writers Report, the official magazine of RWA, I ran across the contest section. Aha! Just what I needed, unbiased eyes to provide real feedback on my writing.

My hands trembled like a candle wick in a match factory every time I went to mail off a contest entry, but for the most part, entering those contests were invaluable on my journey to publication. The high scores provided the ego stroke that was sometimes necessary when I was feeling really blue about writing. Those low scores and harsh remarks helped me to form the thick skin that is so needed in this business.

Pardon the interruption as I revert to age eight in order to address those low scoring judges:

Ha Ha Ha, I'm getting published! Take your 48/100 and shove it up your you know what!

Back to the regularly scheduled blog entry.

The point is, contests can be a great help to aspiring writers, no matter where they are on their own road to publication. For those who are just starting out, you can get some of that unbiased feedback that can give you an indication whether or not you're heading in the right direction. For those who have been in this game for a while, contests can get your manuscript in front of some really big names in the publishing biz, since nearly all contests have either agents or editors as their final judges.

For those thinking of taking the contest plunge, here's one that's being held by my RWA chapter. It's very easy to enter, and top prize gets your entry in front of powerhouse agent Pamela Ahearn (think Sabrina Jeffries and Steve Berry, she's their agent).

You must act quickly...entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, November 15th.

Here's the skinny:

Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America Chapter No. 42

The Dixie Kane Memorial Contest is a writing contest in honor of the late Linda Kay West, who wrote as Dixie Kane. A member of SOLA and RWA for many years, Linda served in numerous board positions. She shared her knowledge of writing, publishing, and law generously as a speaker at SOLA's meetings and conferences. SOLA created the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest to encourage aspiring writers to hone their craft and submit their work.

Sponsor: SOLA, the Southern Louisiana Chapter of RWA
Fee: $15.00
Deadline: November 15, 2006
Eligibility: Not contracted by RWA-approved publisher in book-length fiction in the last (5) years by deadline date.
Enter: Just a taste--first five (5) pages double spaced and a synopsis (one page, single-spaced, not judged)
Categories: Short Contemporary, Long Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Single Title Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Inspirational, Novel With Romantic Elements

Top prize in each category: Top of the slush pile and reading by literary agent Pamela Gray Ahearn (The Ahearn Agency) and a certificate

Other prizes: Certificates for 1st-3rd places; names published in RWR contest winners' page and posted on SOLA's website,

FMI: For entry form and rules visit, or e-mail, or send SASE to N. Genovese, 237 Pi Street, Belle Chasse, LA 70037

Good luck and keep writing!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mini Graduation

Don't you just love graduation?

Pomp and Circumstance. Caps and Gowns. Long-winded speeches from people you don't know.

Ahhh...nothing like graduation.

Well, I didn't have one of those graduations, but I did take another step forward on the road to publication. Yesterday morning, I was accepted into the Romance Writer's of America's PAN organization.

Timeout for the happy dance. *Go Farrah, Go Farrah*

For those who are not familiar with the term, PAN is short for the Published Authors Network. And, of course, the main criteria is that you must be published by an RWA approved publisher. I'm now able to join email loops where fellow published authors engage in industry and craft-related discussions. Also, at the RWA National Convention, I'll be able to attend PAN-only workshop sessions.

Still doing the happy dance.

The only downside to becoming a resident of PAN-land is that I have to leave RWA PRO. PRO is for aspiring writers who are making significant PROgress with their writing careers. I've been a proud PRO member for several years, and I cannot express just how grateful I am for all the wonderful info I've gleaned from those ladies (and gentlemen). However, the whole point of PRO is to one day make it into PAN.

And I've made it!

P.S. Mucho congrats to a friend who has earned the rights to a real graduation. Congrats to you, Dr. Wyatt! :)