The Year of the Rabbit
Published on January 1, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 1034

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year 2011 is the Year of the rabbit, which begins February 3, 2011 and ends January 22, 2012.  The rabbit is a lucky sign, said to bring quiet and respite after the year of the tiger.  The rabbit signifies calm, diplomacy, sensitivity, and consideration for others.  So 2011 should be a moderate year with an easygoing pace.  This sounds good to me.  Happy New Year!!!

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Writing Contests
Published on December 6, 2010 by lahilden | Views: 944

Writing Contests                                                                  December 6, 2010


Submitting your book, poem, or blog to a contest and opening up your work for criticism can be difficult, but it can also be a wonderful learning tool.  After finishing a novel, I like to enter it in a contest.  Feedback from actual readers of my genre is my reward.

Most of us have family members who like to read books, and they’d be happy to read our work, but does your kin read Historical Fiction, do they read Romance with steamy sex scenes?  Do they read poems or novellas? 

Here’s an important tip when entering a contest, find a contest that will fit your story, do not rewrite your story to fit a contest.  If you feel the beginning of your book fairly rockets off the page, then fabulous, most of the entries are for the first 25 pages.  If you feel the chemistry between your characters is the highlight, then perhaps the Between the Sheets Contest is for you.  My point is regardless what you write, poetry, novels or even blogs, there are contests out there for you to shine and have your words read.

The cons of contests.  And of course there are some. 

You usually have three judges read your work and truthfully, it seems 7 times out of 10 there is one loony-toony in the bunch.  A person who perhaps just didn’t understand what your story or poem was trying to convey, or for some reason they were bent on criticism the day they decided to judge your work.  Here’s my advice, read back what all the judges had to say, then put the results away.  Trust me, your brain will go over some of the comments in the next few days.  Then when you are ready to hear your possible flaws, get your results back out and look for patterns.  If two of the three readers commented on the same scene, then you should probably go back and look at the scene.  I’m not saying you have to make the changes, just consider them, and see if you can understand the readers’ comments.  In A Necessary Heir, I realized I had too much back story in the beginning and once I removed it voilá, finished. 

At the bottom of your contest pages, you will be able to see the reader’s credentials for judging your work.  Authors tend to be more critical than normal readers, but the comments can be useful and perhaps make your work better than you imagined.

So tell me, have any of you entered any contests lately?  I’d love to hear from you.


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Published on October 31, 2010 by lahilden | Views: 1071

Becoming published in a top publishing house is a daunting and difficult task.  With the current recession and e-book soar, the task is Herculean.  I’ve often been told that getting your book in front of the right person all comes down to who you know in the industry.  I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America for over ten years, but still, I don’t know a single person in New York.

Skip forward to the digital revolution.  As of August 2010, e-books were up 172% (according to 14 publishers sales reports sent to AAP’s monthly sale estimate.)  Since e-books are lower priced when compared to hardcovers, this means less money for publishers, so fewer retailers are buying titles, which means there are even less new writers being accepted into a big house. 

Given the fact that I loved it when May Chen from Avon told me she liked my voice (really the compliment will probably never leave me) but when I still received a rejection letter from Avon, I was frustrated.  So when I purchased my Kindle and began to buy more and more e-books, I thought, why not. 

I hired myself a great copy editor, who then recommended someone to design my cover, my webpage, and to format my books.  These two people have helped me carve out my dream and bring my books to readers, which is all I ever wanted.

The first book I’m releasing is A Necessary Heir.  This story takes place during the Regency Period in London, England, which is my very favorite time-period.  A Necessary Heir will be available through my website,, Barnes and Noble, and wherever else I can place it.  The book will be available in e-book form, and you can purchase it in paperback as well.  I hope to have my new Time-Travel novel, London’s Quest, published early next year. 

Let me know what you think of my Regency romp.  Remember reading makes people more beautiful, at least I like to believe this is so.  Happy reading.

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