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History from the Horse’s Mouth

Behind the Scenes & Between the Sheets: The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation

Behind the Scenes & Between the Sheets: The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower

Behind the Scenes & Between the Sheets: The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress

Behind the Scenes & Between the Sheets: The Major’s Faux Fiancee

Behind the Scenes & Between the Sheets: The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride

Behind the Scenes & Between the Sheets: The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway

Behind the Scenes: Must heroines be virgins? Dark Surrender

Writing Process: Erica attempts National Novel Writing Month

Book Trailer: Too Wicked To Kiss

Author Timeline

09/2017
Release day for Lord of Temptation, book four of the Rogues to Riches regency romance series

09/2017
Erica spends four days with readers at the Historical Romance Retreat, and participates in a multi-author book signing open to the public

07/2017
Release day for Lord of Night, book three of the Rogues to Riches regency romance series

07/2017
Erica launches Historical Romance Book Club, open to all readers

05/2017
Release day for Lord of Pleasure, book two of the Rogues to Riches regency romance series

04/2017
Release day for Lord of Chance, book one of the Rogues to Riches regency romance series

03/2017
Release day for Romancing the Rogue, the third Passion & Promises standalone romance

01/2017
Erica becomes president of Novelists Inc, the professional international organization of multi-published novelists

08/2016
Release day for All I Want, romance eight of the Dukes of War regency romance series

03/2016
The Duke’s Accidental Wife hits #9 on the NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

03/2016
The Duke’s Accidental Wife hits #36 on the USA TODAY BESTSELLER LIST

03/2016
Release day for The Duke’s Accidental Wife, book seven of the Dukes of War regency romance series

01/2016
Erica becomes president-elect of Novelists Inc, the professional international organization of multi-published novelists

12/2015
Release day for The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway, book six of the Dukes of War regency romance series

09/2015
Release day for The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride, book five of the Dukes of War regency romance series

06/2015
Release day for The Major’s Faux Fianceé, book four of the Dukes of War regency romance series

04/2015
Erica presents a romance workshop for the Tampa Area Romance Authors in Florida

03/2015
Release day for The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress, book two of the Dukes of War regency romance series

02/2015
Release day for Premiere, a collection of romantic tales from Romance Writers of America

12/2014
Release day for The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower, book one of the Dukes of War regency romance series

11/2014
Release day for The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation, prequel to the Dukes of War regency romance series

08/2014
Tempted By His Touch stays on the USA TODAY BESTSELLER LIST for a second week

08/2014
Tempted By His Touch hits the USA TODAY BESTSELLER LIST

07/2014
Erica and nine other historical romance writers release Tempted By His Touch, a limited edition boxed set of ten full novels by ten great authors for only 99¢

06/2014
Release day for DARK SURRENDER, the second Passion & Promises standalone romance

04/2014
Erica presents a romance workshop at the Florida Writers Conference in Orlando, FL

12/2013
Release day for LET IT SNOW, the first Passion & Promises standalone romance

12/2013
Release day for MIDWINTER MAGIC, written under the Katie Spark pseudonym

12/2013
Release day for ONE ENCHANTED SEASON

10/2013
Release day for TIS THE SEASON

04/2013
Erica launches new Facebook Page

12/2012
Release day for CHARMED (aka Love, Lust, & Pixie Dust), written under the Katie Spark pseudonym

11/2012
Week-long writing retreat in beautiful Costa Rica with fellow authors Karen Rose, Emma Locke, Courtney Milan, Elissa Wilds, Melody Monroe, and Wendi Darlin

09/2012
Erica Ridley and Diana Cosby go to Lady Jane’s Salon in New York City to read from our vampire romance anthology BORN TO BITE

08/2012
Release day for BORN TO BITE with Erica Ridley, Diana Cosby, and Hannah Howell

07/2011
Erica autographs copies of TOO SINFUL TO DENY at the RWA literacy signing in New York City

04/2011
Release day for TOO SINFUL TO DENY! Launch parties in Tampa, FL and Elkhart, IN.

11/2010
Erica launches 1813 Unauthorized Scandalsheet with chances to win a free autographed advance copy, and the infamous online Regency Pirate Translator

08/2010
Erica will be autographing and reading from TOO WICKED TO KISS at Lady Jane’s Salon in New York City! (Manhattan)

07/2010
Erica autographs copies of TOO WICKED TO KISS at the RWA National Literacy Signing in Orlando, FL

04/2010
Erica signs at the Annual Readers Luncheon in Portland, OR, the Chicago Spring Fling in Deerfield, IL, and at Barnes & Noble in South Bend, IN!

03/2010
Release day for TOO WICKED TO KISS! Launch party in Tampa, FL and a multi-author group signing in Carrolwood, FL.

Bad Jokes

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Spanish, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

An aspiring author comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

“It was terrible,” she sobs. “I was cooking when the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove catching fire. The house went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is—”

“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” the man says. “My agent called?”

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

A writer dies and is given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decides to check out each place first. As the writer descends into the fiery pits, she sees row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they work, they are repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

“Yikes,” the writer says. “Let me see heaven now.”

A few moments later, as she ascends into heaven, she sees rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they work, they, too, are whipped with thorny lashes.

“Wait a minute,” says the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”

“No, it’s not,” replies a voice. “Here, your work gets published.”

Q: What do you call Santa’s Helpers?

A: Subordinate Clauses.

Q: What does Santa call his wife at tax time?

A: A dependent Claus.

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.
Three men: an editor, a photographer, and a journalist are covering a political convention in Miami. They decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumble upon a lamp. As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says “Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you each one wish.”

The photographer goes first. “I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in the Virgin Islands with no more worries.” The genie grants him his wish and sends him off to a beach-side paradise.

The journalist goes next. “I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean, with no more worries.” The genie grants him his wish and sends him off to Europe.

Last but not least, it’s the editor’s turn. “And what would your wish be?” asks the genie.

“I want them both back after lunch,” replies the editor, “the deadline for tomorrow’s newspaper is in ten hours.”

Good Quotes

“A book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then.”
– C.S. Lewis
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
– Anton Chekhov
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
– Elmore Leonard
“I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.”
– Groucho Marx
“For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“The mark of a really great writer is that he or she gives expression to what the masses of mankind think or feel without knowing it. The mediocre writer simply writes what everyone would have said.”
– G.C. Lichtenberg
“Almost anyone can become an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.”
– A.A. Milne
“People have writer’s block not because they can’t write, but because they despair of writing eloquently.”
– Anna Quindlen
“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”
– Isaac Asimov
“What I like in a good author isn’t what he says, but what he whispers.”
– Logan Pearsall Smith
“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”
– Mark Twain
“You must write for children the same way you write for adults, only better.”
– Maxim Gorky
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
– Jack London
“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
– Mark Twain
“An old racetrack joke reminds you that your program contains all the winners’ names. I stare at my typewriter keys with the same thought.”
– Mignon McLaughlin
“Find out what your hero or heroine wants, and when he or she wakes up in the morning, just follow him or her all day.”
– Ray Bradbury
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
– Richard Bach
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
– Rudyard Kipling
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
– Samuel Johnson
“The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.”
– Raymond Chandler
“Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself – it is the occurring which is difficult.”
– Stephen Leacock
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
– Toni Morrison
“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”
– Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith
“It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”
– Sinclair Lewis

Office Madness: Before & After (Part II)

I promised pix of my newly reorganized office, and then I got crazy-busy and haven’t completely finished moving/unpacking. As mentioned yesterday, I’m so excited about it that I simply can’t wait to share photo evidence of the transformation with you!

Without further ado, viva la transformación of the Wall of Work!

OMG, Erica. Words fail me.
OMG, Erica. Words fail me.
Can you even reach the research books above the top shelf, shorty?
Can you even reach the research books above the top shelf, shorty?
Cube shelves assembled, desktop cut and placed, paint can handy…
Cube shelves assembled, desktop cut and placed, paint can handy...
It’s starting to look like there’s an office beneath the junk heap…
starting to look like there's an office beneath the junk heap...
OMG! Desk space AND research books right where I can reach them!
Desk space AND research books right where I can reach them!
Squee! Desk space and floor space. All in the same room! Hurrah!
Desk space and floor space... All in the same room!

YOUR TURN: So, are you as proud of me as I am? Can you believe the utter transformation of my office in less than a week’s time? Yay, Target storage cubes! Yay, Home Depot slabs of laminated particle board! Yay, brand spanking new office!

Office Madness: Before & After (Part I)

I promised pix of my newly reorganized office, and then I got crazy-busy and haven’t completely finished moving/unpacking. However, I’m so excited about it that I simply can’t wait to share photo evidence of the transformation with you!

As you may or may not know, I’m a crafty person and giant scrapbooker, so my office has always been dual (triple?) purpose: working/writing, and arts/crafts/scrapbooking. (And to be honest, I use the artsy stuff in my work/writing life, too, when I’m designing or making story boards and collages and other stuff.)

Today, I’d like to show you what I like to call the Wall of Scrap. (Tomorrow will be the Wall of Work–stay tuned!)

How can you scrapbook in that mess?
How can you scrapbook in that mess?
Why does it have to get worse before it can get better?
Why does it have to get worse before it can get better?
Yay! Cube shelves made, table top cut and placed!
Cube shelves made, table top cut and placed!
Oooh! Look, you can see everything, and find everything. Amazing!
Oooh! Look, you can see everything, and find everything. Amazing!
What? There was a couch under all that crap? Huzzah!
What? There was a couch under all that crap? Huzzah!

YOUR TURN: So, whaddya think so far? An improvement to the Wall of Scrap? Can’t wait til tomorrow when I get to show you the Wall of Work!

Challenging Yourself, Win or Lose

I have the (pleasure? horror?) of being snowed in 1,000+ miles away from home, as I flew north this weekend to visit family for the holidays. Internet is sketchy because there’s no wifi (what kind of Neanderthal house is this?!) but I’m scrambling like crazy to finish Touched.

Two things about that: Realism vs Procrastination.

As you may know, I’m a long-standing advocate of setting specific, quantifiable, realistic, attainable goals and holding yourself accountable to them.

I did not make my (internally-motivated) goal of finishing Touched by Thanksgiving. In fact, I’m in danger of seeing Christmas before my agent sees the manuscript.

Why? I think it was my old nemesis “realistic”. Finishing by Thanksgiving (an arbitrary deadline, to be sure) may have been theoretically possible, but possible != realistic.

And so… and so, once the deadline came and went–and, granted, Life reared its hectic head in the form of germs and cross-country plane trips and omnipresent client work and so on–once making the deadline was an impossibility because the date had already passed, so too went a big chunk of my drive.

I mean, partly I was rewriting because I love to write and I love this story, and partly I was rewriting because if I want my agent to lay eyes on it, then (duh) I have to send it to her, but also partly I was revising because I’m self-competitive by nature. Ain’t never seen a goal I didn’t want to meet or beat. I work for what I want, and in general I tend to succeed. But when I woke up Thanksgiving morning with the new goal of making it out of bed without coughing my lungs onto the floor, well… it was all too easy for justifiable delay to slip into that insidious beast Procrastination.

Now, as mentioned, I’m scrambling to finish, despite being snowed in a house with more family members than beds and a single non-wifi Internet connection. Because it’s almost time for that end-of-year standby, New Years Resolutions, and I am determined to begin my super-secret new project on January 1. I will start it then.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post!

Goals, Wishes, & a Reality Check

Today I posted a giant essay on GOALS (how to make good ones and how to achieve them) over on the Manuscript Mavens blog. I won’t regurgitate myself here, but I’ll wait for you if you want to go read it.

(No really–go take a peek)

Back? OK. (Did you really go? I hope you left a comment over there. I’ve got my eye on you. *g)

I wanted to do a New Year’s Resolution reality check at the halfway point through the year, but with one thing or another, I ended up a month behind. Better late then never, though, so here we go.

The Top 10 Goals for 2007 I posted on January 1 are as follows:

10) Attend the national conference in August
09) Attend all local monthly chapter meetings
08) Meet with my local CPs at least once a month
07) Be more active (and interactive) with my online CPs
06) Query and/or pitch at least 5 agents
05) Query and/or pitch at least 3 editors/publishers
04) Enter at least 4 contests
03) Blog at least once a week
02) Write two novel-length stories
01) Do something writing-related every single day

Now, to be good goals, they must be specific, quantifiable, realistic, and attainable. Let’s see.

10) Attend the national conference in August

Check. I did in fact achieve this goal. Although I achieved it in July, since that’s when the national conference was. Next year I’ll add “learn how to read a calendar” to the list.

09) Attend all local monthly chapter meetings

Fail. I missed a couple meetings due to being out of the country. Although this goal was specific and quantifiable, in retrospect it may not have been particularly realistic or even attainable, given my schedule. I will reword this when I update. This item belongs on an ideal-world Wish List, not a checklist of goals.

08) Meet with my local CPs at least once a month

Fail. Being out of the country for six weeks at a stretch kind of killed this one for the same reasons as above, but also my local CPs had their own life issues tangle up our potential together-time. Therefore, this goal was neither realistic nor attainable, right from the start. Again, this is an ideal-world Wish List item, not an achievable goal.

07) Be more active (and interactive) with my online CPs

Check. We met up at the National conference, started the Manuscript Mavens blog, and email almost daily.

06) Query and/or pitch at least 5 agents

Check. This is a good goal. It’s specific, quantifiable, realistic, and attainable. “Get an agent” is not a good goal, because getting an agent is as much a function of luck and perseverance as it is skill and talent. I pitched a total of three agents and queried a good dozen before I ended up signing with Lauren Abramo of the Dystel & Goderich literary agency.

05) Query and/or pitch at least 3 editors/publishers

Fail. For multiple reasons. I did pitch one editor at National, but did not otherwise pursue this goal. I decided it was much smarter to get an agent, instead, and let her submit proposals to editors at publishing houses. If that process happens this year, I guess I will indirectly achieve this goal.

04) Enter at least 4 contests

Check. Jury’s still out on one contest I entered, but I ended up triple-finaling in the TARA Contest. Which, I’d like to point out, is a nice accolade, but did not lead to the agent, directly or indirectly. Goal #6 led to the agent.

03) Blog at least once a week

*maniacal laughter* Er, check. Clearly, I have an addiction. I blog here at least once per weekday, even when I’m not in the country. I blog over in Mavenland every Monday. And I have the non-guest Friday slot over on Romantic Inks. So, yeah. At least once a week.

02) Write two novel-length stories

Not yet. I wrote and got agent representation for one story, and am 2/3 through the second Nether-Netherland book, although I may revise a previous story before finishing that one. I am still hoping to make this goal this year.

01) Do something writing-related every single day

Fail. Like #s 9 and 8, this goal simply isn’t realistic or attainable given a) my erratic schedule and b) life.

So.

It’s time to revamp the goals for the rest of the year. They are now:

10) Schedule a writing retreat for sometime within the next 6 months
09) Attend all local monthly chapter meetings if in town to do so
08) Attend weekly Maven chats if Internet access is available
07) Polish TATTF and send to agent
06) Finish first draft of DATD
05) Revise Touched
04) Read an average of 1 book per week
03) Blog at least once per weekday
02) Visit my blogroll at least once per week
01) Do something writing-related every workday with Internet access

What changes did I make?

Well, some of the goals are completely different, as I removed those I’d already achieved and those that were impossible. And some of the goals now have more sense-making caveats, such as attending all chapter meetings if I’m in town, as it’s dreadfully difficult to make them from out of the country.

Some of the goals are harder than others and some are more time consuming than others, but writing is a profession, and success isn’t for the lazy.

If I want to be an author, I have to work at being an author.

That said, all goals are not created equal! You have to make the goals that are right for you. You do not need to attend retreats or conferences or chapter meetings in order to be an author. You do not need to blog or enter conferences or even get an agent in order to be an author. Only you can determine the goals that are right for you.

YOUR TURN: I hope you *have* determined the goals that are right for you! Care to share any of them with me? Are you a goal maker or a goal breaker? If you made New Year’s resolutions back in January, how’s that going for you?