Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Getting Closer!

It's been a big weekend around here.  Not only have I been reviewing my galley proof (that's the part where you get to see pretty much the next-to-finished product), but I also received and completed my requested cover art specifications.  Now that is an exciting step!  Actually seeing the cover art may be a cause for celebration with a preferred alcohol beverage of my choice.  When i write, I am very visually inclined.  It's basically like watching a mental movie and then transcribing it.  If anybody ever wants to make a film adaptation of anything I write... well, that's going to have to be a hell of a patient director!

Anyway, I think that's all I've got for right now.  Just thought I'd share a quick update.  I'd be on my way to the big Red Carpet tonight, but I've got this slight, annoying cough.  Decided to sit this one out and let Anne Hathaway have my ticket :)

Is it spring yet?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And we're live in... 3, 2, 1!

I've now had some time to get a couple of different posts up here in the blog, so i think it's about time to "go live" with it.  Whether i will do regular weekly updates or not, i can't say.  All depends on whatever else is going on, as usual.  But I'll mostly be talking about writing and reading here, will try not to go too off topic.  If anyone has any technical questions regarding this blog stuff, do ask someone else, i can assure you i haven't got a single clue!

Just this morning i finished up Round 2 of the official edits to my upcoming novella Possession (due for release in eBook format in late March - wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more!)  The second round was done in literally about five minutes.  The editor assigned to my book is easy to work with and the "review" tab in MS Word is definitely designed for this level of editing.

The message i received back from the editor i'm working with read as follows:

Thank you, Jessica. It was a clean manuscript; that's always helpful.

"Clean manuscript" - now those are lovely words!

Coming soon, expect more info and promo type stuff about the novella.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Felicia Watson's "Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela"

When I first saw the title of this book, my eyebrows jumped in surprise. It's not every day I find a M/M romance story set in my town (the 'Burgh!) let alone one with the names of two of our beloved but unpronounceable rivers right in the title. After reading the blurb, I was definitely interested in more than just the title. This sounded like quite a difference from most romances and I was eager to see how all these unconventionalities worked together. 

Under Felicia Watson's authorship, they worked perfectly. 

As a lifelong, native Pittsburgher, I was really thrilled to see that Felicia understood the city well enough to know that when you set a story in Pittsburgh, you don't just have a setting, you have a whole character to bring to life. That's what Pittsburgh is, a character in and of itself. It was a great experience that made the story especially real for me, especially since some of the settings are in favorite local neighborhoods of mine, and one is actually half a mile from my home! 

The actual human characters are just as real and outstanding. They are all exactly the sort of people that make up a city like this - genuine people, faults and imperfections and insecurities all included. The romance between Logan and Nick starts out as a wary one and is quite unlikely, each man being on his guard around the other. They both have some real personal issues to contend with and Felicia doesn't sugar coat any of that. 

This story could be an allegory for Pittsburgh life in general. It is a gritty, sooty tale of two men who are immensely proud but not always comfortable with themselves, who have some bitterness about their past and doubt about their future. It's not at all your usual love story, it's far more real, but just like Pittsburghers, what we lack in "glitz and glam" we more than make up for in heart. 

"Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela" is excellently written and compelling on several levels. The characters are real and sympathetic, and the setting alive. I started reading on a Saturday afternoon and finished on Sunday morning (only stopping to sleep since that Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday!) Logan and Nick are a testament that love doesn't need a pristine place to flourish, it grows just as strongly in the cracked sidewalks and Belgian bricks of steep city streets as anywhere else!