February is the month of love,
a fitting time to create steamy love scenes. Hopefully by the time I translate
them to paper my hero and heroine will have established some kind of relationship
to make their coupling believable. Ah such angst!
okay. So how was your Valentineís Day? Were you treated to the usual fanfare of
flowers, candy and confessions of love from long lost admirers? A strange thing
always happens to me during this time of year. Usually I hear from people I havenít
seen or spoken to in years. At times itís a nice surprise to become reacquainted
at other times not.
made this month even busier is that its Black History month. As a result I did
several book signings and even recorded a podcast for the Sankora Literary Society.
If youíll type this link into your browser youíll hear me talking - Marcia's
Podcast. Please overlook the barking dogs at the very end. Iíve come to expect
disturbances from my menagerie of animals. Makes me human doesnít it?
good news. Dave Madden is my featured interviewee this month- Dave is best known
for being Reuben Kincaid of the Partridge Family fame. He and his lovely wife,
Sandra Madden; one of my favorite romance writers, also a good friend jointly
penned Daveís memoirs titled Reuben on Wry.
I know this is a departure from our usual fare. But I thought it might be fun
to have a stand up comicís take on this crazy romance business. Read on and you
just might smile.
month share the love and continue to write.
Editor -- Romantically Yours
Tools of the Trade
not alone if -
to scrap large portions of a manuscript after giving it your all.
writers we have to be smart enough to know when something just isnít working.
If you know itís not working then be sure your reader also knows. Rewriting is
an important part of the writing process. But there are times writers get so close
to their work they can no longer be impartial. Check your ego and give yourself
a heart to heart talk. Sometimes all thatís needed to fix a manuscript is the
introduction of new characters, a change of setting, or a change of point of view.
These simple changes can keep a story fresh and moving.
not alone if -
so close to your novel that you miss the big picture. Your gut tells you a major
demolition is needed now what?
with your gut feeling. If you no longer believe in your book or your characters
seem not to work then something is wrong. If youíre a seat of the pants writer
(which I am) - someone who works without an outline, then maybe you need to back
up to the point when your adrenaline was still flowing. Take your character in
a totally different direction and see if that helps.
not alone if -
bogged down and just canít get past a particular scene.
another. Begin something fresh. Change the setting, introduce a character. Get
those creative juices going again. Another little trick is to start writing in
first person. First person is very freeing and thatís when the real thoughts of
your character come out. Once youíve gotten into that personís head and heart
switch back to third person.
not alone if -
difficulty making your characters individuals. This goes way beyond appearance
weíre talking dialogue here.
in mind each character has a unique personality. You should know what this person
looks like, sounds like, and even eats. You should know what drives them and what
really makes them tick. An exotic dancer uses totally different language and inflections
than a woman running her own company. She will be driven by totally different
motivations. The true test is to write a full page of dialogue with no description
or tag lines (he said, she said) and see if you can figure out whoís speaking.
Youíre not alone if -
You angst over whether youíve chosen
the right name for your characters.
characters names should reflect who they are. If youíre going for strong Alpha
type then you might not want to choose Jamie (nice as the name is,) or Brent.
If youíre looking at the country club set then safe to say Towanda or Fannie just
not alone if -
your manuscript a hundred times and are still receiving rejections.
yourself off and send it out again. Stay true to yourself and stop revising in
the hope that some other house will like it. Manuscripts get rejected for a host
of different reasons that might have nothing at all to do with your writing. It
may not be right for a particular publisher. The house may have filled all of
its slots, the setting or characterís profession may not be something that sells.
Keep at it and continue to write that book from your heart.
is like loving. There are bumps and there are bruises. But the highs are just
so worth it.
First Coast Romance Writers
March 28-30, 2008
Speakers : Suzanne Brockmann
NY Romance Writers
March 28-29, 2008
Comfort Inn & Suites
Fee: $80.00 non members
April 11-13, 2008
Hampton Inn Resort
Pensacola Beach, FL.
Registration - $145
Speakers: Sherrilyn Kenyon
April 04-06. 2008
Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
Registration: RWA Members $228 - non Members $248
INTERVIEW with actor Dave Madden (Reuben
Kincaid of the Partridge Family)
baby boomers may remember Dave Madden as the affable actor who played Reuben Kincaid
on the Partridge Family - a sitcom that was wildly popular in the seventies and
still has a cult following. This talented actor is married to romance writer Sandra
Madden see http://www.sandramadden.com/. When you read Daveís
responses keep in mind he was once a stand up comic. In a joint venture Sandy
and Dave penned his memoirs, a funny and whimsical account of his life. For more
on Reuben on Wry, his new book log onto Reubenkincaidbook.com.
When did you know you
wanted to become an actor? Was this something you studied for or fell into?
time is it now? My entire life is something I fell into. It certainly wasn't planned...even
by my parents. I started out as a magician, then a stand up comic, then an actor...mostly
because it was handed to me by a producer. Yes, "fell into" would be an apt description.
started out as a stand up comic. Tell us a little about your stint on Laugh In
in the late nineteen sixties.
out as a magician actually. Laugh-in was my second series. Once again, handed
to me. Rowan and Martin were looking for a comedian who could do 25 minutes, for
a live tour. They had seen me work and hired me...that was it. The words "fell
into" come to mind. Laugh-In was fun...but not as much fun as it appeared to be.
It was basically an edited show...not at all done like most variety style shows.
It was shot over a period of 3 days.
as a Canadian actor. Why did I think you were a nice boy from the Midwest? Tell
us about the move to Indiana and why it came about?
was born in Canada but was never a Canadian; in the depression era it was cheaper
to have children in Canada than in the U.S. I spent most of my life from age 5,
until I joined the Air Force in 1951, in North Terre Haute, Indiana...before 5,
I lived mostly in Port Huron, Michigan. I was not married at the time so I just
vegetated...until I was shipped off to North Terre Haute to live with my Aunt
and Uncle. Not enough room in the computer to explain why.
Youíve had acting
roles on the Partridge Family, Alice, Happy Days, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island
and many other popular T.V. Shows, yet you are probably best known for your role
as the curmudgeon manager on the Partridge Family. What did you like most about
your role on that show? What did you like least?
was not a curmudgeon. Certainly not by dictionary definition. What I liked most
about doing the show was the money...what I liked least...was the money...I would
have liked more. All seriousness aside, playing someone who is constantly "put-upon"
is fun to do. What I liked least? The interminable boredom of waiting to shoot
scenes. Filmed shows are like that.
are the voice of Bernard Walton, the janitor on Adventures in Odyssey. Could you
tell our readers about this role and a little about Adventures in Odyssey?
a Janitor...a window washer. Yes, I've been on the show for 20 years (just can't
seem to get those windows clean) A long run for an actor. If you think Reuben
was a curmudgeon, then you would probably have the same opinion of Bernard. "Occasionally,
short tempered" would be closer to it from my point of view. Odyssey comes out
of an organization called "Focus on the family" which is officed (is there such
a word?) in Colorado, but records in Burbank California.
you and your talented wife, Sandra Madden; a romance writer, jointly penned your
memoirs Reuben on Wry. Tell us about this venture. How did it get started and
what has the response been thus far?
(my talented wife) did most of the actual writing. I threw in some anecdotes she
didn't know about and answered a lot of her questions. I would never have done
it otherwise. I think she's a little sorry she started it (I've lived a long life)
but it's over now. (the book, not my life) It will be nice for my kids to have
an accounting of their strange father. The response thus far? I don't remember
any, except from a few friends and an ex-wife. The ex-wife hated it and is threatening
to sue. The friends...well, what are they going to say, right?
can the reader purchase a copy of Reuben on Wry?
way is to check my website: Reubenkincaidbook.com where they will find 3 places
to purchase it...a fourth might be the dumpster in back of my ex-wife's house.
your opinion what makes for a good romance novel?
things...a good writer, a good romance, a good agent/publisher, and the good sense
to never ask that question to an actor. What do we know?
complain their significant other isnít romantic enough. What advice would you
give to keep the fires burning?
someone more "significant" or find an endless supply of Viagra.
are many similarities between show business and romance writing. One minute youíre
the flavor of the month, the next you arenít. How do you stay motivated? What
keeps you going on?
never been "the flavor of the month" I've always been sugar free vanilla...I really
don't have to stay motivated...I'm retired. When I was working, money and the
fear of unemployment kept me pretty motivated.
a detailed synopsis (2 to 5 pages describing setting and main characters and outlining
full plot, including resolution), the first three chapters and the final chapter
of the manuscript via email as an attached file (doc or rtf format) to :
They are an e-publisher and all of their work is done electronically; they do
not accept paper submissions.
are also a number of special projects for which they are soliciting submissions.
The Calls for Submissions describes these and provides specific instructions on
how to submit for these projects.
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal / Horror, Mystery / Thriller / Suspense,
Sci-FI / Fantasy
Press, Inc. DOES accept e-mail submissions.
mail Submissions to:
P.O. Box 48889
Tampa, FL 33647
should include the following items:
letter including word count and genre.
for the Standard Manuscript Format:
Information should include the following:
(and pseudonym if applicable)
address (if available)
Web address (if available)
Manuscript return requirements:
a self-addressed, sufficiently stamped envelope large enough for your manuscript.
Do not send money or money postal orders for postage. Partials or manuscripts
outside of the United States will not be returned.
Did you know?
to a Harlequin survey of 2000 people, 36% of men and 74% of women enjoy reading
romance novels. Weíre in the right business then.
*ABOUT Marciaís ROMANTICALLY YOURS
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