I’m very happy as well as excited to introduce a friend of mine, Roxanne St. Claire as my guest today. Rocki is busy busy busy, but she graciously (hah, you should have seen me twist her arm) said, “Of course!” when I asked her to stop by and chat.
Aside from being a great gal, Rocki is a national best selling author of sixteen novels of romance and suspense. She’s a three-time RITA nominee (two this year!) and is currently writing a series for Pocket Books called The Bullet Catchers, featuring a cadre of unspeakably hot bodyguards and security specialists (it’s true I’ve read them, currently reading TAKE ME TONIGHT, yowza). Her latest book, is TAKE ME TONIGHT, the third in the Bullet Catcher series (although they can be read in any order and stand alone) is available everywhere…. web site is www.roxannestclaire.com
Rocki and I along with Allison Brennan are doing a paranormal together titled WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE, which releases in January 2008! It’s all very exciting.
I’d attach the cover of TAKE ME TONIGHT but as you all know, I have my limitations. If anyone would like to walk me through the process I’m game. So without further adieu, the incomparable, Roxanne St.Claire!
Also Rocki will be giving away a copy of TAKE ME TONIGHT to a lucky commenter!
What’s on my mind…is what’s on my mind.
Hello everyone! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here and want to extend a flurry of air kisses to Karin, my buddy and soon-to-be co-author when our antho is released next year, for the invitation to join you today. I love the energy and attitude of this blog â€“ no surprise since a major Fun Girl is at the helm â€“ and hope I can add a little of my own mojo to the party.
Karin asked me to blog about my journey to publication, not just “connecting the dots of what happened” but how I felt and what I thought about at that time. And that fits perfectly with what’s on my mind today.
I’m thinking about thinking. Can you tell I’m reading The Secret? Are any of you out there Secret readers? Have you seen the movie, read the book or soaked up the concept yet? For those of us who are craning our necks as we peer up at the slippery slopes of Mt. Publishing, hoping to get higher, The Secret â€“ hell, any secret â€“ has a definite appeal. But, be warned, this book might also make you want to ball your hands into fists and howl at the moon.
First of all, let me say that I am not a Self Help Book kind of girl. I’ve read about four in my life â€“ including writer’s craft books. (Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird are the only two “craft” books that I’ve read beginning to end.) I just don’t get turned on by advice books, except for a few when I was battling infertility and then, having won that war, when I was basking in the pregnant glow.
I did not see Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret, when she appeared on Oprah, but only hours after that show aired, I received three emails from friends who wanted to bring it to my attention. Once the book, and concept, hit my radar, I couldn’t seem to escape it. Everything I read or heard seemed to corroborate the way I live my life and, validation-seeker that I am, I bought the book.
If you haven’t read it, let me summarize. And while this may seem like a gross oversimplification, it is the truly the essence of the book: You are what you think. Or, if you have a slightly more jaded eye, try: You get what you think.
The author and her many experts put forth this theory in a variety of ways, offering quotable quotes, examples, testimonials, tips and “shortcuts” in a precious undersize hard cover that is as lush to the fingertips as it is to the eye. Subtle artwork, pleasing fonts, soothing design elements and creamy faux parchment paper all make the mere act of holding the book a sensual pleasure. (Go Simon & Schuster!) There is evidently a companion DVD, but I have not seen it yet.
The message is simple (ridiculously so, some say) and it is repeated (too often, others say) and it is not new (ancient, in fact, says the author).
The Secret is all about the laws of attraction, putting forth the precept that our thoughts (all 60,000 per day, including those that are spoken to no one, ever, ever) are physical entities that are â€“ this gets into quantum physics, so hang with me, right-brainers â€“ transmitted into the universe and reflected back into our lives as what we “have” in life. The book states (ad nauseum) that when we stop thinking about what we don’t want and start thinking about what we want, we will attract it.
Do you believe that?
The reviews are mixed, ranging from “this is new age BS that is nothing more than a recommendation that we think positive” to “this changed my life.” My own reaction to the book is somewhere along the continuum of spine-tingling confirmation to a great big eye roll, and, quite frankly, no small amount of disgust at the emphasis on financial and material gain over fundamental contentment with what you already have. And don’t even start me on how repetitive and simplistic the book is, purporting the basic tenet that all one has to do is think, as opposed to, say, work, produce, create, network, sweat, toil, rise before dawn and, in our case, write.
But I can tell you this: During my road to publication, and every step of the way since, I have felt the power of this concept and, yes, I’m stepping out on The Secret limb to announce that I believe that visualizing and expecting certain things from the world at large can and will influence and impact the ability to attain them. Nowhere in my life has that been truer than on my writing journey. (With the possible exception of those years of infertility I mentioned above. Different blog.)
Yes, yes, yes, you have to write a fantastic book in a fresh voice with an original premise that still meets market demands, deliver it to the right editor/agent’s desk and then garner all manner of luck, timing, serendipity and celestial alignment to get a contract. You know how hard that is, or you wouldn’t be here, seeking support and guidance and the will to go on. To be perfectly, brutally honest, not everyone who wants to write that book is capable of it, and no amount of visualization is going to write it for you. Sorry, Ms. Byrne, but there is doing involved in getting. But if you are capable, and if you have written such a novel, then sending the right message with it might help that fantastic, fresh, original, market-ready book see the light of day. Can’t hurt, huh?
Karin asked how I felt on that journey to selling my first book. I felt certain. Oh, yes, I felt stomped upon and flattened by the heel of each and every frequent rejection. I felt terrified that I’d embraced the Impossible Dream, and frustrated when it didn’t happen fast enough to suit impatient me. But I always felt certain.
Once I’d finished a manuscript, entered and finaled in contests and began to learn the ins and outs of this business, an utter belief that I would be a published romance novelist settled over me like that first sip of a good martini â€“ numbing my fears, reducing my doubts, enhancing my confidence. Over and over people would tell me they just “knew” I would sell â€“ they could feel it. What radiated off me, other than a whiff of White Linen, I hope, was my own belief in my fate and my direction. And after I sold, those thoughts didn’t stop. In fact, four years, sixteen books, numerous editors, and a helluva lot of hot heroes later, I’m still certain of what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’m not sure how I’m going to get there (this is very similar to the way I plot a book, by the way), but I’m certain, barring circumstances beyond my control, I will. And, I assure you, I do think about it every single day.
I can’t tell you how to write your book in your voice, how to tell your spectacular story. I can’t tell you who to submit it to, what to include in the query letter and when it will get read. I can’t tell you how to craft a plot, a character, a GMC or a dark moment. I can, however, remind you to send that message of certainty to the universe in every word, deed and thought. I don’t recommend a cocky attitude of entitlement â€“ that won’t get you far in this business. But confidence, and a bone-deep conviction that you can succeed, will make a difference. And that could be the difference between a rejection and a contract.
Say what you will about The Secret â€“ and, please do, it won’t offend me and will make for a lively discussion today â€“ Rhonda Byrne has owned the top slot on the New York Times bestseller list since the book came out. Nothing in it is new, and the author readily admits that on almost every gorgeous page. But her style is fresh, the market is ripe and the publishing gods are clearly on her side. She must have been thinking something right.
So, tell me, ladies, friends, writers, dreamers and thinkers…do you believe in The Secret?
Thank you, Rocki, loved this post!