Saturday, December 30, 2006

For those who missed it...

The Farrah Rochon Newsletter
December 2006

Christmas Day has passed, and now it's time to get ready for the big New Year celebration. I'm planning to spend New Year's Eve cheering the New Orleans Saints to victory over the Carolina Panthers. Go Saints!!!

Anyone out there making resolutions? Looking back over the resolutions I made at this time last year, there were quite a few that fell by the wayside (that whole losing weight thing gets me every year). However, there was one resolution that I fulfilled...I sold a book!
There are just a couple of things to cover this time around:

1. Two months to go
2. Deliver Me available for pre-order on Amazon!
3. Another surprise contest!
4. Google Me!

Two months to go!
In just two short months, the love story between Dr. Monica Gardner and Dr. Elijah Holmes will be released to the masses. I've been knowing these characters for three years now, and I'm so excited that others will get to meet them. I have the countdown to the release of Deliver Me on my website. Be sure to check it out!

Pre-order Deliver Me on Amazon!
Deliver Me is now available for pre-order on And remember, if you spend $25 or more on Amazon, shipping is free!!! So, buy a copy for yourself and a friend. And another friend. The book is only $6.99. You can go crazy and buy copies for the entire neighborhood. Okay, maybe not the entire neighborhood, but it is a great way to make friends. :) Click here Deliver Me. Or, go to the Farrah Rochon website and use the link there.

Another Surprise Contest!
I wonder how many of you will actually be surprised when I announce another winner next month for these "surprise" contests. Anyway, to commemorate Deliver Me finally being available on Amazon, a lucky member of my mailing list can pre-order her copy of Deliver Me with the $10.00 gift certificate to she just won. And the lucky winner is...Ka'Leyon Young of Louisiana! Congratulations Ka'Leyon!

Google Me!
Lastly, if you're sitting at work without much to do, Google Farrah Rochon. You'll see that I'm popping up in tons of places. I was recently added to the Road to Romance ( website. Check out my page in their First Timers Club.

Well, that’s it. Have a safe, healthy and happy New Year’s Eve celebration. Here’s to an exciting 2007!

Until next time,
Farrah Rochon

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy, Happy Holidays

Ummm...okay, I'm trying really hard to keep that Christmas spirit alive, but after the day I've had, man, is it hard to be my normal sunshine and light self. Traffic jams, angry shoppers, bare shelves at Walmart (okay, so maybe I shouldn't have waited until the last minute to do my Christmas shopping--I had a book to write, okay!). But, despite the hustle and bustle, I'm determined to keep a smile on my face, drink egg nog (with Bailey's mixed in), and be merry. Everyone, just make a darn pledge to be merry, okay? Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What's in a name?

For those of you who don't know, Farrah Rochon is not my real name. Well, Farrah is, but Rochon is a pen name.

Orginally, I'd chosen to write under the name Fallon Rochon. Oooh, isn't it musical? It just rolls of the tongue. But at the urging of a few friends and my mother, who wanted me to use at least one of the names she'd given me at birth, at the very last minute I decided to keep the first name.

Ever since the news of Deliver Me's release and the launch of this new Farrah Rochon person, people have been asking how did I come up with the name. There has been much speculation. Some have suggested that each letter in ROCHON is from a significant person in my life. Others have asked if the actress Lela Rochon is my favorite.

Uhh...yeah, right. First of all, I'm just not that complicated people. Either of those would require putting in some thought to the whole name-picking process. And, well, that's just not me.

For those who want the scope on how I chose my pen name, here it is: I got it from THE PHONE BOOK!

That's right. About four years ago, one of the writing contests I entered asked for a pen name. I thought to myself "hey, I think I want to write under another name." So, I took out the phone book, opened it to a page in the "R" section, closed my eyes and pointed. That person's first name was "Fallon" (guess it's a good thing I didn't point to a guy's name). Then, I closed my eyes and pointed again. The last name was, you guessed it, "Rochon". That's all there was to it.

So, when someone asks "What's in a name?" All I can say is: Apparently, not much.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Writing Contests...The Good, The Bad, and the Unavoidable

If I decided to take a poll on how aspiring writers feel about entering writing contests, I'm certain the answers would run the gamut. From I hate those stupid judges who know nothing about writing, to contests are the best thing since sliced bread.

A low score, and harsh (though possibly accurate) comments can crush the dreams of an aspiring writer. I've had some down right nasty things said about my books. Some of them, while hurtful, were true, and I became a better writer after taking the advice offered. Others were just mean-spirited and I am convinced the judges were just bitter hags sitting on top of a massive pile of rejection letters and wanting to inflict pain on anyone who even attempted to write. The key is I didn't allow those mean judges to get to me. Well, at least not that much.

Because, you see, the flip side to the low score is getting a high score. Oh, yeah.

I've never used illegal drugs in my life, but if the feeling is anything akin to what happens when I get a 98/100 on a contest, I can totally understand the drug epidemic. Receiving kudos for your hard work is electrifying. When someone you don't know (and who doesn't know you) showers honest praise over your characters or writing voice, you have no choice but to smile like a fool for days and days.

Someone who I'm sure is still smiling is my good friend Cynthia Justlin, who just received first place in the Where the Magic Begins contest. Talk about a HUGE accomplishment! I cannot wait until some smart editor buys Cynthia's book, Her Own Best Enemy. I will be the first to pre-order it. Congratulations again, Cynthia!

It's amazing to place in a writing contest, even if it's not the top spot, but you just never know what you're going to get. And that's where the unavoidable frustration comes into play. Often, you'll get both high and low scores in the very same contest. Yet, that's what happens with books, too. Everyone will not love your book, but thankfully, everyone will not hate it either.

So, if you're contemplating entering a contest, I think you should go for it. If nothing else, it will help you get thicker skin and be prepared to handle how the public reacts once your book hits the store shelves. (I guess I'll find out if this statement is true in a few months).

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

An Ugly Truth for Writers: Sell-Through

Over on the Dorchester Bulletin Board, there's a discussion taking place about buying used books, and to an extent, loaning books, and the affect both have on author sales. I'll admit it, I've been guilty of both. However, this discussion has been a huge eye-opener.

Following are some cold, hard facts on just how detrimental buying used books, or loaning out books, can be to a new writer (printed with permission from Deborah MacGillivray :

Less than 15% of writers across the board make enough money to barely live on. For every writer I know writing full time, I know 100 who would love to write full time but cannot. Also, remember if a writer were to live on their writing, all health care and retirement plans is out of their pocket, too.

I don't think people realise there will be authors -- great authors that had a chance for a long term career let go by publishers because 2-6 books didn't make sell-through. If you are not familiar with the term - sell-through is where the print run of 20,000, sells 1/2 of that. At that point, a writer's advance is paid back, and they and the publisher both start looking at profits.

Some new writers taken on by publishers often see print runs of 10,000. So their sell through is a 5000. If 1000 people buy her book, and each of them give the book to four friends, then she has just lost the possibility of sales on 4000 books!! At that point, if all those friends who had a free read and bought their own book, the writer would made sell-through.

It's important to hit that target. It's important that your book doesn't get sent back by bookstores. If a bookstore order 15 copies and sends back 10 copies, your second book order from that same bookstore will be FIVE copies. It's a downward spiral.

Used books keep writers from making decent money-- not BIG money, but decent money. But worse, used books -- book that are selling used when they could be purchased new, are seeing those same writers losing out the chance to continue their career.

I could name several dozen writers who have been cut -- wonderful writers -- 2-6 books out, but the sales weren't there. Not all was because of used books, but how many were? Too many, I fear.

I had a friend call me tearful, her friend wrote beautiful Westerns for Dorch and she just loved her writing. She was let go, because her numbers were just not there.

You think a writer's life is cool. Trying sleeping with that on your mind every night!

You know what this means, right? Do NOT loan out your copy of Deliver Me. Just say no! Tell your best friend to get her own. Or, better yet, you can buy it for her--or him--as a gift. :)

To read the entire discussion, jump on over to the Dorchester Forums:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Way back in 2005, I embarked upon a new journey. I'd taken the journey before, with different people who all had different personalities, struggles, and goals in life. Each journey has taken me in a new direction, but all have been fun times.

Of course, I'm talking about writing a book, a journey I hope to take many, many more times. I'm just hoping it happens at a faster pace. Yet, I still rejoice, because after nearly two years, I am finally finished the second book in my Holmes Brothers series (titled Toby's Book on my computer...hmmm...maybe a "Name Toby's Book" contest is in order). It's been a bumpy ride, to say the least. I've changed jobs several times, weathered Hurricane Katrina, contemplated joining the circus, and ultimately, found my writing mojo and finished the book.

Now comes the hard part: Selling it! *grumble, grumble* *sigh, sigh*

When you read Deliver Me (I know every single one of you out there are clamouring for it), you'll meet all three Holmes Brothers: Alexander, Elijah and Tobias. I'm hoping I put in enough hints about both Toby and Alex that everyone will want to know their stories, too.

I'm satisfied that I finally know Toby's story. I must admit, it's a good one. :)

Onto the next book!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Do you know Judith McNaught?

If you haven't heard of her, I suggest you hop on Amazon, or, or head out to the nearest bookstore NOW!!! Whether you love heart-stopping historical romances, or chilling suspense tales, Judith McNaught will take you there. Her magical writing will leave you enraptured, I promise.

But, to me, the incomparable JM is so much more than just an amazing storyteller. If not for her, I would not be where I am today. It is because of her wonderful stories that I met an amazing bunch of ladies who encouraged me to write. They have served as cheerleaders through four very grueling years of rejection letters, stubborn characters, and stories that just refused to work. And, if it were not for Judith McNaught's books, I never would have found them.

Not only is Mrs. McNaught a fabulous writer (that's an understatement--she's really the BEST if you love stories that stick with you forever), but she is also great to her fans. This past summer, she invited a group of her loyal--sometimes fanatical--followers to a private affair in Chicago. While there, Judith surprised me with a special toast commemorating my first sale. I get chills just thinking about how nervous and overwhelmed I was standing in her suite, sharing champagne with THE Judith McNaught.

On the "Amazing Things To Happen In Your Life" list, this one ranks pretty high up there.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Where I write

Some people need complete quiet when they write. Others listen to music to put them in the mood to pen stories. Me? I can deal with either, but my favorite writing spot is the place with overpriced coffee and unbelievably fattening--but extremely yummy--pastries. We all know it. It's STARBUCKS!

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm pushing the fanatic envelope when it comes to Starbucks, and coffee, in general. Blame it on my dear departed grandfather who used to serve us grand kids Community Coffee and buttered toast when we were little. I've always loved a good cup of strong coffee.

I discovered Starbucks was my ideal writing environment about three or so years ago. I'd just started Deliver Me (available 2/27/07 -- mark the date!) and needed to find a place without outside distractions. I do not have WiFi on my laptop, so there's not internet to pull me away. I stepped into a local Starbucks and found my little slice of writing heaven on Earth.

Unfortunately, my fav writing spot was out of commission for over a year after Hurricane Katrina blew into town. During that time, I also discovered being fixated on one writing place isn't a good thing. It took shopping around at a lot of other writing venues to finally find somewhere to work. However, for the last few months, my Starbucks has been operating under limited hours. Thankfully, my ideal writing time falls within those hours.

Here's a picture of where my characters come to life:

And here's my favorite Barista, Tracie, who greets me every morning by name and makes me feel so special. :)

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Friday, December 01, 2006

A creature of habit

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a creature of habit.

There's something comforting about the familiar aspects of life. If we are granted the gift of waking up in the morning, most humans tend to go about their day following a certain routine.

I need the structure that following a routine provides. Without it, I feel like I'm wasting time. I'm the type of person who needs to-do lists. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I check something off is as close to a drug-induced high as I'll ever get. It's remarkable. But, the flip side of the coin is the disappointment that comes when I go through an entire day without checking off a single item. Now that's remarkably horrible.

So, in order to keep the heady sensation of accomplishment going, I decided to physically write out a schedule. Here's the routine I've tried to establish this week:

6:15 a.m. - Wake-up and prepare to run (umm...didn't really stick to that this morning. It was more like a 7:30 wake-up time).
6:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. - A two-mile run along the Mississippi River. (Nope, didn't happen this morning).
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. - Check email, eat breakfast, dress for writing and work.
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. - Head out to my fav writing spot (this morning, the drive took more than twice as long as I drove around town searching for a place to get an inspection sticker for my car. Mine had been expired since July. Shhh...don't tell anyone.)
8:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - WRITING TIME.
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Drive to the day job.
12:00 noon - 6:00 p.m. - WORK. (Okay so the word "work" is relative. You see, I work for the coolest company in the world, and during these six hours, I'm allowed to conduct all the things I have to do on the business side of writing. I'm also allowed to write. In fact, when I was working on the revisions for Deliver Me, I was granted time to work with limited interruption from my co-workers. What can I say? I'm blessed.)
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (depending on traffic)- The drive home.
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - Feed my television addiction.
10:00 p.m. - Midnight - Prepare for the next day, and get in a little recreational reading.

Over the course of the past week, I've discovered places where this schedule should be tweaked a little. For instance, life is filled with errands that just cannot be avoided (going to the post office, especially when you have to mail out review ARCs, and bookstore mailings, going to the bank, putting gas in the car, etc). I didn't really think about those as I was making out the schedule.

Additionally, I'm not sure those six hours of sleep are working for me. Well, maybe if I'd actually gone to bed at midnight, but for the most part, it's been closer to 1:00 a.m.

So, if this new routine is really going to work for me, it looks like this creature of habit will have to establish the habit of following her schedule.