Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Off to RT

Well, I'm off to the convention!
I am looking forward to seeing everyone - let' s see:
plane ticket, check, purse, check, passport, check, bag all packed, check, presents, check, chocolate, check! (Double check)
I will write a full report when I get back!

Monday, April 25, 2005

what is porn, mommy?

No, I haven't heard that yet from my daughter - but I expect I will someday. What should I reply? For me, it's best to refer to the dictionary. You want to know what a word means, dear, look it up. Pornography, material intended to tittilate and stimulate sexually. Well, that doesn't sound so bad, does it? Unfortunately, like the word 'religion', the word 'porn' seems to embrace a wide variety of ideas. Most people when they hear or read the word 'porn', see triple XXX's and raunchy, tasteless pictures of nekkid guys and girls (and why not some animals thrown in too?) Men, when they hear the word porn are more apt to grin than women, who will frown. So even your sex will decide how you interpret that word. But let's get back to the dictionary definition. What is the matter with it? Well, for one thing, it doesn't conjure up the soft porn world of women's erotica - in fact, to get that, you have to put the word 'soft' in front of it. When you put the word 'hard' in front of it, you get a whole new world, one that probably borders on the illegal in most states.
So what do I mean when I say, 'I write porn for women'? Well, as a woman, I have a different vision of porn than men. What titillates and excites me isn't going to work for a male audience. Women are more sensitive to atmosphere, to the story surrounding the sex, and - a vital point here - the reasons why the characters are having sex.
But there is sex in my books. Graphic, fun, sweaty, sticky, bouncy, (because as someone so deftly pointed out, turbulence can be a good thing) and did I say graphic? Yes. There is no doubt that taken out of context, my sex scenes would be rated X, or sometimes two X's, depending how many characters I have interested, lol. There are sex toys in my books, and the descriptions leave nothing to the imagination. My books are for adults, and I would be extremely uncomfortable thinking that underage girls and boys could get them; So I am grateful to my publishers who have ratings and strict warnings about that on their websites.
At any rate, when I say I write woman's porn I am not hating my work, as some sensitive souls have said. I am celebrating the real meaning of porn. The one in the dictionary. You should read it sometime.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Convention!

Would you believe I'm packed already??? I am so nervous. Mostly because I'm already star-struck. I'm going to meet authors who's books I've read and loved, and maybe even get to talk to them!! I'm even nervous about meeting my roommates, lol. I have been in admiration of Ann Jacobs for so long...and I'm going to share a room with her! (OK - I know I sound like a doofus, but I can't help it. I'm really excited by all this!) I'm going to meet my editors, my author friends, readers who are on my lists (people I've been dying to meet for years!) So of course it's starting to really sink in now. I'm off to RT. Can't wait. Will write all about it. (Promised a friend an article about it for her newsletter - so I have to take notes, lol.)
I wish I had a digital camera. I must be the only person without one.
(I'm so nervous!!!)
(I think I have to unpack and repack a couple times - just to make sure I didn't forget anything.)

Friday, April 22, 2005

No longer a virgin...

A virgin romance reader ( http://tqof.blogspot.com/ ) read my My Fair Pixie and comments on erotica, women's porn, and literature as a guilty pleasure. I loved getting his take on the whole scene - (he's a lit major and voracious reader, but he was missing one genre...romance.) Read his comments and see if you agree!

(plus it's fun getting a man's take on the genre - but keep in mind he read a really raunchy novella, not a full-length romance novel.)

Thursday, April 21, 2005


I just posted at a blog and re-read what I wrote, and decided I sounded horribly pedantic.
Does that happen to you? You want to respond to a question, and you come off sounding like Miss Manners zeroing in on a person who reads someone else's mail.
Is it because I'm a Leo? Leo's are supposed to be egotistical, so that means we think we know better than anyone else (just ask my kids - this is so true) but I don't necessarily want everyone to think I'm egotistical. Even though, according to my horoscope, I can't help myself.
It's not that I think I know better than everyone else, it's just that, well, faced with a question I feel obliged to come up with an answer.
Instead of an egotist, I prefer to think of myself as an epicurian. I'd like everyone to relax and have a good time - and not bother about what other people think or tell you to do.
(This excludes my kids, who still have to listen to me.)
Leos are also supposed to be good dancers, which is Not true, and they are supposed to be party people - and a party has always been my idea of one of Dante's innermost circles of Hell. I think (reading horoscopes here) I'm a lot closer to my Chinese horoscope which happens to be a Rat.
(How can I be egotistical and admit to being a Rat?)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I just got my bookmarks today - they didn't come out the color I expected, but they are very pretty, and I have 500 of them, so I can spread the joy.
Actually, I have to stuff one bookmark into 400 bags at the RT convention. I figure that will pretty much wipe me out for the entire convention, lol. I get in Wed. night, around 5 pm. I have to go straight to the conference room with my bookmarks, because there is an Ellora's Cave party that evening, and since these are the Ellora's Cave bags, no one will be there after 7 pm, so I have to hurry.
The theme of the Ellora's Cave party is 'What's your Fantasy?' I was thinking of going as a naughty school girl (mostly because it's an easy costume to throw together - who doesn't own a white shirt and a tie?) But then I heard other authors going as naughty school girls, and thought I didn't want to be part of a class. I am stuck here. Any suggestions? I know it's supposed to be my fantasy, but that's silly - because my fantasy would be a viril pirate (thought you'd like that Wynn, lol) or a rough and tough cowboy - (or a polo player...lol)
So I have to dress up like someone else's fantasy, obviously.
Which would be...........?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

So many books

So little time!
I have a TBR pile a mile high - and I am in the middle of a really good book. I also just finished critquing a novella a friend wrote and I just loved it - she wrote it in first person, and I have to admit that I like that POV. When it's done well it draws the reader in. It's also unusual to have first person in romance and erotic romance novels, so it's refreshing when I find a book written that way. I also like to skip around in genres - reading romance, mystery, historical fiction and science fiction / fantasy books. Do most people like skipping around? Or do you stick with one favorite genre?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Vampires VS Werewolves

As Jessica in 'My Fair Pixie' so succinctly points out - "What's so romantic about a centuries old stiff?" Of course, Sebastian has his good points. He looks good in black, he can't hog the mirror, and he's not underfoot all day long. He's easy to feed, and if Jessica ever gets to the point where she wants to murder him...he turns to dust and she can just vaccume him up.
But vampires are on the top of the list when it comes to romance novels. They are strong, the ultimate debonair, and being so old, tend to be incredibly cultured and witty. (So why they go after bimbos is beyond me...)
Werewolves are next on the list of incredible heroes. The call of the wild. The man/beast, or the beast within the man just barely controlled by the heroine. Werewolves have their bad points too - they shed, for one thing, and that doggy smell when they get wet can be a real turn off. But who can resist a man with such a wild streak in him?
Which is your choice? Vampire....or Werewolf?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

porn for women

On another blog a reader wails to her hubby that she's reading Romance, for God's sake, not porn for women. Hubby chuckles and rolls his eyes. Yeah sure. What's the difference?
What's in a name? A rose is a rose...as the saying goes. So romance, especially the hot and sticky kind I write, is woman's porn. Well, I will be the first to admit it's a Hell of a lot closer to porn than literature, if you're thinking in classic terms. Also: (and this has been hashed and rehashed until it's stale) in the dictionary porn is not a derogatory word. It's become synonymous with magazines you wouldn't want anyone in your family hiding under the bed, or dark, smelly cinemas full of men wearing raincoats and fedoras.
I write my erotica books to entertain, to titillate, and for a good, fun read. But I have no illusions that my books will end up somewhere on a 'must read' list of classics. And how would you describe this 'must read' classic: 'The Story of O'? Porn for women is the first thing to come to mind. Admit it.
So let's not be hypocrites. Romance books are fun fluff - and what is wrong with that?

Monday, April 11, 2005

a writer's bravery

I have worked on a book for two years, and now that it's just about finished, have come to the conclusion it's good for the trash bin. Am I upset? Not really. What upsets me is being blind to the book's faults for so long.
Actually, it won't get thrown away, not completely. But it needs Major revisions, and the best thing to do would be to take it apart at the seams, toss away everything I don't need and that doesn't advance the story, and start again from the bare bones.
I'll do that in September. Right now I'm going to work on a science fiction novella and finish that (my editor at Changeling Press will be So happy she doesn't have to harass me for six months, lol) And I also have the sequel to a YA book I need to start working on, because I'm going to be really brave and say that my book 'Horse Passages' (due out in December 2005) is going to do extraordinarily well, and my publisher will beg for a sequel.
I truly think that one must be brave in this business. How else can one throw away two years of work with a shrug?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Hubba hubba hunk!

Oh my. I just love the face of the guy on my new cover for Revelations.
He's sooooo...perfect.
When you write a book, you have the characters in your head and you see them perfectly. Then you get your cover and it's not always what you thought your character looked like. (I mean, that's fine by me - never judge a book by its cover etc. etc.) But this guy's face is even Better than I imagined my hero - so how's that for a compliment?? (click over onto my site to check out the hunky cover at www.samanthawinston.com

And if you like judging books by their covers, trot over to this site:
and vote for your favorite best, (and worst) covers of 2004.
OR - http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/C12/
Where really awful covers get hysterically trashed.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

2,000 pages!

I received several requests for the full Iskander series. (Now a trilogy) So, blithely I called Ann and asked her to print up and send it out, and let me know how much I owed her for the trouble.
Did you know that the 2,000 page trilogy takes up a whole box and weighs 25 pounds? That's two-thousand pages. Twenty Five pounds. I'm praying the delivery boy doesn't drop it on anyone's foot. I can't imagine that would make the agent / publisher feel any more kindly toward the book. Has anyone else (besides Diana Gabaldon) sent off such a mammoth to their agent? I'm wondering what the agent I sent it to will think.
"I'm sorry - there must be a mistake. I didn't order a washing machine." Or, "I can't believe she sent the WHOLE thing."
(a request for a full means the whole thing, right?)
I'm wondering if the agent will be at the RT convention, and if, in that case, I should seek her out and apologise abjectly, or avoid her altogether.
Maybe she has a particular slush pile reader she hates and she will gleefully point to the refrigerator-sized box and say, "Read this by Monday'. This same monster has gone to several publishers as well, but for some reason, I imagine publishers are more equipped to handle half-ton deliveries than agents. (Boxes of books arrive all the time at the publisher, right?)
I hope I haven't committed a literary 'faux pas'. At any rate, I certainly owe Ann a great deal - paper, ink, postage, and some new shoulders...

Monday, April 04, 2005


I posted twice, and the internet ate it!
Technology is working against me today. :-(
Well, it's nice out, so I think I will go garden - there is suddenly so much to do now that spring has finally appeared!
I did post about writing, but since the post got eaten, I lost my inspiration, lol.
Inspiration is a fragile thing, it can evaporate like steam from a kettle. (Or like a post eaten by the internet!)

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I am just starting a book, and have another book coming out in April, and another (My Fair Pixie) that just came out last week. All three are novellas, but they need as much promotion as a full length novel. So, I'm out there promoting. Last night I spent 6 hours online at a chat loop reading fortunes and giving prizes as part of my promotion for 'Pixie'. And next week I'll have to think of something to promote Revelations (The Tarot worked pretty well - maybe I'll try that on another list, but not so many hours - it wiped me out. I've been sleeping all day.)
Promoting includes announcements: Online, on my chat lists, on my newsletters (I have three) and on my website. It also means trolling other lists I don't usually hang out on and posting 'Promo' posts (which most people skip - so I don't know if they are that effective.) *sigh*
It means going to conventions, which I like. I have one coming up end of this month (and I still don't have my bookmarks - Grrrr) and one in May in Germany, which is a lot of fun. (And a helluva lot cheaper than the RT convention. Shheesh. Don't they know authors are on a budget???)
Well - as long as I'm promoting - head over to www.ellorascave.com and get a copy of My Fair Pixie!