April 18, 2009

Stories of passed and present

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:44 pm by ricsavage

It is funny, you write a story.. you promote the story.. and while you are promoting the story you start writing the next.. your story when writing it means everything to you it is so deeply personal.. and yet a couple of years after it is in print and you are working on your fifth story.. the first story is something of a distant memory. Well that was how it was for me with the story “The Anniversary” it is a story that for what is basically is a romance, deals with some pretty strong emotional subject mater.
When the book was released from, [www.blackvelvetseductions.com] (http://www.blackvelvetseductions.com/Crimson%20Z.html) and the story appears in the anthology the Crimson Z, I receives some complementary reviews. Over the following couple of years I have had a few comments. Then I received this
……

Richard, I don’t know if you will see my comments here, but I just had to say that I just read The Anniversary and I bawled liked a baby at the end. I have read several bdsm type stories, but they don’t hole a riding crop to your story here. Great action between Peter and Evelyn, for sure but to be expected in a bdsm story. But then you mixed the subgenre up by adding James, so vanilla he couldn’t tie a decent knot when he tried. That doesn’t matter one iota because his love for Evelyn is just a real and consuming as Peter’s was for her. Evelyn is a great conflicted heroine. When she gets in her car after leaving Peter, well I lost it just as she did. Who knew that a bdsm story could be hot and touching at the same time. Thanks for a great story. M M

What a lovely thing to say, I found myself reliving some of the things that produced the emotions I drew on when I first wrote the story.. What surprised me most was how deeply it touched me again.. My current work in progress “The Trainer” is also very emotionally charged and deals with deep relationship issues with in a D/s marriage.. Just kind of made me wonder how long the feelings would last for the current story… I guess time will tell

Ric

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October 12, 2008

The devil is in the detail

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:04 am by ricsavage

Had a little revelation the other day..  it was a combination of things  first a meeting with a great artist..  Chris Christoforou  not only a fantastic artist, but a really nice guy too.  we spent a lot of time talking on a wide variety of subjects, which will no doubt become subjects for subsequent blogs..  we did spend time talking about fine detail and the importance of good quality of reference material.  Following our chat I have been re-evaluating some of my own ideas in art work..  as a parallel to this I have been working on a new short story, a piece called “in the driving seat”  it was intended as a 2500 word short story  but it currently stands at about 11,000  I am working on the second round of edits. Thank you Laurie www.blackvelvetseductions.com    The editing process takes you a while to go through, and most writers sigh when they see the edits.  But the up side and it is a massive up side, you go deeper into the story and the characters.  Without going into to mush of the plot, after all I would like you to buy the story, it is about domestic discipline, spanking to be precise.  The first pass of edits got the story into a rough shape.  Beginning, middle and end.  The second round gets us looking at characters and there motivation and emotions.  I was sat at the pc this morning working on a letter to my editor and publisher and mentioned a bit of detail I was working on and suddenly a little light came on  and I drew a direct comparison between my art and writing.  The analogy I used with painting was.….  the devil is in the detail.. you can draw a tree  and it is a tree..  no question..  but there are lollipop trees, a ball on a stick and trees where you see every leaf, every detail in the bark..  writing for me is the same, the first pass is the sketch.  On the second  come the detail and third yet more detail and observation  detailed emotions is rather akin to fine detail painting.

 

With the current story “in the driving seat”  by and large I am happy, it has direction and is coming along   a bit slow but solid progress   the scene I am working on takes place in the kitchen and is prior to the spanking in the first found the woman is angry..  but in looking at the character and getting into the character, yes she is angry, but it is more than that, she is resentful.  The male lead has just ordered her to strip.  If I had kept is as angry she would tell him to bugger off, or maybe worse, to make the scene work, she has to strip so changing the emotion to resentful she will do what he says begrudgingly.  It was that parallel with fine detail which got me there, seeing the depth of emotion in the same way as I look for the fine detail in art.

August 17, 2008

Why Are You Writing?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:24 am by ricsavage

Why Are You Writing?

 

It is a question I have asked myself.  Along with, do we just right for ourselves?

 

I guess what prompted sole searching was this….  I have a friend, actually a life model from my art class that has written a rather nice book. It is a good story, a rather nice romance. I thought of BVS and had her pass it along to Laurie Sanders.  Chatting further, the life model told me that she didn’t want to do revisions, that as far as she was concerned the book was finished. I knew there and then that the book, unless vanity published, would not see the light of day. It is not enough to write, even if you write well. The stories need to stand on their own in the market place and they need to be commercial enough to sell.  It makes sense in my opinion to make the stories you write as market driven as possible by aiming at the market. Writing for your self is great fun, but writing with a view to publication is quite a different matter. 

 

I’m sorry if that turns our life passion into a commodity, but it is a commodity when you stop and think about it.  If you intend to get your words in print.

 

If our books were a can of beans with an interesting label and a pretty picture people might stop and look at it. They might even pick it up. But when they read that the beans were strawberry jelly and curry flavored, they would put them down again. I wouldn’t advocate making the product bland just for it to fit in. I am more in favor of individual, unique, thought provoking, and challenging writing. However, it makes sense to cut out the things that don’t work from the outset.   If you are told that wimpy beach bum heroes just don’t sell, and that rugged dependable types do sell  it kind of makes sense to do more of what the consumer wants (rugged dependable type heroes) and less of what they do not want (wimpy beach bum type heroes). 

 

I suppose as I have asked the question I should answer it for myself.

 

Why do I write?  I love it..  it is as frustrating as heck but I love writing and drawing, it is my life.  And I suppose I am optomistic enough to think someone might be interested to read and look at the work I do

 

Happy writing and make every word count

 

Ric

August 1, 2008

Ask not what your publisher can do for you.. but what you can do for your publisher

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:38 pm by ricsavage

I know I am preaching to the converted here. 

 

I was in a writer’s forum the other day and I was struck by the general attitude the writers took. The attitude of many of the authors was, “Well.. I spent all that time writing the book, the least the publisher could do is ALL the promotion.”  I found the attitude strange.  It was almost the writers were washing there hands if the project.  The publisher can’t autograph the books or set up signings on my behalf writers, even if they wanted to. The best the publisher can do is to send out some direct mail pieces to their readership or to bookstores. But they can’t promote the book in the same way I can as an author.

 

I really can’t see what authors expect to gain from taking the stance that publishers should do all the promotion.

 

From my prospective, and I might be on my own with this, though I hope I am not, getting a story into print has been one of the proudest moments of my life.  I have been writing without success for years. Finally hitting the right combination of story and the help of an editor that believes in me I am in print.  That story took about a year from concept to print.  I wanted the whole world to know..  I can’t understand a writer who wouldn’t.

 

The writers in the forum seemed to think that, with the book in print that is the end of the process for them, that once the book was published it was just a matter of sitting back and waiting for the royalty check to pop through the door. 

 

As JFK put it “Ask not what your publisher can do for you.. but what you can do for your publisher…” or at least I think he said that.  I see it as a symbiotic relationship between myself and my publisher.  I want to get the book out there.  They want to get the book out there, book sales being the result, hopefully.  So surly everyone is on the same team rather than a “them and us”  we all want it to be a success, surly that’s why we wrote it..  right?? 

 

I was struck by the irony that many of the authors didn’t seem to see royalties as being connected to promotion and promotion leading to sales, like the “Royalty Fairy” was mysteriously popping a cheque in the post. There was kind of a “not my problem” feeling to it.. 

 

It all goes together as one circle.  Promotion leads to sales and readership which leads to more sales and a larger readership.

 

For the actual promotion, I have a little list of ten things to promote that I try to do every week.  My list isn’t just for promoting my writing but is for promoting my erotic art as well but the principal is the same.  The top ten is an aspiration list, with the most important tasks down to less important tasks.   I rarely do all ten, but I feel if I have done at least two or maybe three of the things on my list, then I have done something and one piece of promotion is better than no promotion. It all adds up.

 

I’ll get off the soap box now

 

Ric

July 24, 2008

Can you be Just to close to the work?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:18 pm by ricsavage

Can you be Just to close to the work?

In a physical and emotional sense I believe you can..  my approach to this is two fold as artist and writer.   First as an artist you can be just too close you really don’t see a project clearly at the time.  On many occasions I have painted a picture, which I loved considered it to be a good work, to revisit it a few years later and think “what the heck was I up to when I painted that?”   and the reverse is true..  a painting that I considered a bit lack lustre at the time with the benefit of hindsight looks a valid piece of art..  the same is true of writing  though sadly a lot of my early stuff was so shallow I would be to embarrassed to show it to anyone now.  It is all apart of that growing process..  I guess one of my hardest learnt lessons so far in writing is, keeping it in a point of view and deep characterisation.  It is important to fix your point of view and keep it there and if you switch to another view point make a clear transition.   But of course when writing you can’t always see it..  You are too involved..   For what it is worth..  My ten cents..   Sometimes it is good to step back and look at the BIG picture, either art or writing, is the structure good?  Does the idea work over all?  Is the plot strong? 

 

Cheers….  

 

Ric

My first BVS blog post….

Posted in Arty tagged , , at 8:16 am by ricsavage

A shameful admission..  and I humbly apologise to Laurie and all of the BVS family.

 

An introduction to those I have not met or worked with, my name is Richard Savage most people call me Ric.  I am an artist and writer from the UK.  I still get a thrill, every time I write that I am an artist and writer.  My main art subject is erotic in one form or another..  if you are interested you can see my stuff on www.swage.net   there is more to my art than erotic I am working on a more main stream web site at www.savagestudio.net  this is still under construction.

 

I love what I do and I love that I have found a home at Black Velvet Seductions.  I have done some covers for BVS and I have very much enjoyed working with everyone.  I have found this a very nurturing environment.  My first three stories have been published here and I would not consider moving.  Laurie is great to work with, she is the most democratic and helpful publisher I have ever known.

 

The first one written..  I look forward to working with you all in the near future

July 12, 2008

MUSE Online Conference For Authors

Posted in Free Workshop at 2:41 pm by laurie979

For those who like to attend writing conferences…and for those who like the learning but not necessarily the cost, there is the MUSE Online Conference. Details are below. It is a great conference. I taught a workshop there last year and I recommend doing that as a means to promote your books.

Here’s the scoop.

Please pass this email to all your writing buddies and let them know
that registration for the Muse Online Writers Conference is now open.

DEADLINE: September 1st, 2008.

Don’t miss this annual FREE conference offering you tons of FREE
workshops and chat workshops for one entire week.

HELD: October 13 – 19, 2008.

SITE: http://www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com/

Please click on REGISTRATIONS and register today.

If for some reason you have difficulty registering, feel free to email
me at: museitupeditor@ yahoo.ca

Thank you

Lea Schizas
http://www.leaschizas.com

July 11, 2008

For Authors Who Are Not Going to RWA Conference

Posted in Workshops for Authors at 6:51 pm by laurie979

I heard about this online conference for authors who are not going to RWA’s conference and I thought that BVS authors might find the information useful.

PERMISSION TO FORWARD GRANTED

Not going to the RWA Conference? The Romance Divas annual Not Going
to Conference Conference will make you feel a bit less deprived!
Amazing workshops, a star-studded guest list and awesome giveaways,
all right here on the Diva forum! Don’t miss it! Best of all, it’s
FREE!

All you have to do is register (also free!) to become a member on the
Romance Divas website.

http://www.romancedivas.com

Watch for the special NGCC workshop areas on the general forum and in
the Steamy section!

Here’s a bit of a schedule update for the Q&As and Workshops…

Wednesday, July 30

Paula Guran, Editor, Juno Books
Q&A on Creating Kick a** Heroines

Laurie Rauch, Editor, Samhain Publishing
Workshop on What Happens After the Contract (aka Editors are People
Too!)
*Laurie will be at that other conference that I think a few people
may be going to so we’ll be posting for her and she’ll pop in to
answer questions that may arise when she can tear herself away from
all the horribly boring goings-on

Thursday July 31

Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary
Q&A on Inspirational Romance Stories and the Inspy Market

Sandra Schwab, Historical Romance Author
Workshop on Historical Accuracy and Anachronisms

Friday, August 1

Yolanda Sfetsos, Author of Guarded by Stone
Q&A on Paranormal and Urban Fantasy World Building

Katie MacIver, KatieDidDesign
Workshop on Website Design and Color Selection

Saturday, August 2

Joey W. Hill, Erotica Author
Workshop on Plotting Erotica and Erotic Romance

Rhonda Stapleton, Editor and Author
Workshop on Style and Voice
*Rhonda will also be at that other conference.

<!– –>

June 2, 2008

Free Workshop on Online and Offline Promotion

Posted in Free Workshop at 12:59 pm by laurie979

Coffee Time is hosting an online workshop on online and offline promotion. It is on their forum board so is the kind of thing you can drop in, read, and participate in at your leisure. You can visit the forum here.

No matter how good any of us are at promotion I am sure there are things that each of us can learn and do better. I will myself be dropping in and reading the posts.

I hope to see all of you there too.

May 30, 2008

Free Class on Using Web 2.0 (MySpace, Facebook, Etc.) To Sell Your Books

Posted in Workshops and Classes at 6:39 pm by laurie979

Hi Gang,

I received this from Rebecca’s Reads. It is an opportunity to take a free telephone class on how to use Web 2.0 (basically interactive websites — My Space, Facebook, Twitter, Shelfari, GoodReads, Etc. to connect with readers and sell books. You can get a free report just for following the link and signing up…but seems like a great opportunity to learn something new. I am hoping to attend.

Here’s the Invite:

Join us for a free teleseminar on Wednesday, June 4 at 8 PM EDT and learn of the exploding trend known as Web 2.0. You will discover a variety of strategies and tactics to help you leverage the power of Web 2.0.

What you’ll learn in this 60 minute FREE teleconference…

  • What is Web 2.0
  • How Web 2.0 & Social Media can immediately impact the way you market your book
  • Understand what you should be doing to create your own Social Media Optimization Plan (SMO)
  • Common mistakes to avoid – that can get you shut down fast
  • Have Fun learning about something that is new, cutting edge, and will open up a whole new world of interaction for you to:
    • Increase communication with your readers
    • Generate more Web Traffic
    • Build up your Lists
    • Increase your Credibility
    • Learn tips that you can put into place immediately in your SMO

All of which leads to increasing the profitability of your book!


Please go to www.imarket20.com before Wednesday, June 4th at 8PM EDT for details and to sign up and take advantage of this complimentary teleseminar.

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