Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finding the Little Red Dress

You all know what I mean by the perfect little black dress, right? Well swap that out for a fiery red one that hits right above the knee and shows off your cleavage in a spicy display.

That almost sums up the one I wore to The Gathering in Atlanta, but I think more people commented over the Zsa Zsa star pin I’d tacked in the lowcut V, so I didn’t show too much.

In reality the dress I’m talking about isn’t an actual dress…it’s a symbol, an icon even, of one of the lines at Harlequin Enterprises.

So why am I gushing over something I can’t even touch? Because the e-mail that delivered itself into my inbox was just as ethereal. I couldn’t touch it, but that didn’t keep me from letting out a whoop (along with several of my chaptermates). It seems an editor at Red Dress Ink wants to see the full manuscript of BLITZ ME BABY!

I went to eharlequin.com so I could send my co-workers a link with my good news. Contemporary, Edgy, Witty, Sophisticated—is what Red Dress’ tagline boasts. The adjectives do sum up the perfect party dress as well as the girl in it. Their animated gif did go on to say—Quirky, unforgettable characters you expect—which sums my heroine up to a T. (And yes, I knew all this beforehand or I wouldn’t have submitted, but who really expects something other than a rejection?)

Of course one can never do too much research, so I drug my bf to the new neighborhood B&N to scan the shelves for the “little red dress”. The only way to put your best foot forward is to see what everyone else is sporting to the ball. I took half, and he took half of the fiction section, though we found only about a dozen titles (as well as Bantam’s rooster insignia which he announced was the red cock).

From the leads I ran down (in my comfy sneakers) I noticed that almost all of them were written in first person. The only thing I’d written in that POV was the erotic boundary-stretching story I’d written in college, my YA sleuth book, and my latest cat shifter novella (because the hero refused to submit!) However, I was happy to see that the books had longevity past a month (unlike the other Harlequin series titles). After reading quite a few pages I noticed that most of them were tongue-in-cheek, frolic-filled journeys, which suited BLITZ ME BABY’s storyline. Then I really went off on a daydreaming tangent and imagined readers complaining about paying the trade-size price. That negative notion got whisked away by the reality that everyone I knew would love to plunk down a few extra bucks to see my work in print. I know, I know…I really should’ve reigned myself in because nothing ever comes of dreaming big. Been there, done that and got the burn marks to prove it.

So what does this have to do with paranormals? Nothing really. Though I can say I did think long and hard about mixing in magic with my mythological overtones. In the end I decided there was already plenty of that kind of book on the market and I didn’t want to follow the same path. (Unless of course the editors want me to, because we all know who’s the boss.)
Hmm…it might be time to play dress up for a red-hot promo picture in my sassy smock after I shrink my big head. Maybe this time I can even get my bf to play fashion photographer a la Nigel Barker.
In other news, CRASH INTO YOU didn’t get picked to be part of Samhain’s ON THE PROWL cat-shifter anthology. I’d dreamt of having another book to announce, but like usual things didn’t pan out. Hopefully Samson and Carey’s story will do better in the Brava Novella Contest. Make a wish for me!


Lynda K. Scott said...

Skylar, I'm making a wish and I've got my fingers crossed for you!

Skylar Masey said...

Thanks Lynda! I can use all the help I can get :0) Did you end up entering the BRAVA contest?

BTW, do you (or any of the other girls) do Gather? I signed up there the day before yesterday and am still trying to get the hang of things. Next week, they're supposed to post the first chapters for voting in the First Chapter Romance contest. So far I've gotten 1 snarky comment and 2 good ones (plus a comment on my HEA pic from a guy).

Lynda K. Scott said...

Nope, I didn't do Gather. Got too busy at work and forgot all about it.

Skylar Masey said...

You can still sign up to be a voter and leave comments on the chapters. They are running an incentive program from Borders where people who post "the most insightful comments on each of the 25 winning submissions in the first round, plus each of the five winning submissions in the second round will win a $50 Borders Gift Card!"

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Congratulations, Skylar! That's so awesome. Fingers crossed for you, knock 'em out!

Xandra Gregory said...

Congrats on the RFF, Skylar! Good luck!

Skylar Masey said...

Thanks for the well wishes Jenn & Xandra!