Dawn Meadows

A Romance Writer's Blog

Real Men and Their Flaws

My eldest son, who recently turned fourteen, reminded me the other day that men have flaws that often times do not end up in romance novels.  But maybe some of the flaws should find their way onto our pages.  Can’t our heroes be more realistic and still charm the socks off us?

My house was a bustle of crazy insanity early one morning, as all five of my kids ran around trying to gather their things for school at the last minute.  My oldest son complained that he couldn’t find his jacket.  As I rushed through the house helping the younger kids gather backpacks, I gave him ideas of places where it might be, but he insisted that he’d looked in all of those places.  He stood in the middle of the living room looking lost.
Once I had everyone together at the door, I opened the entry closet to get my youngest son’s jacket and stopped short.  There, hanging on a hanger, plain as day, was my oldest son’s jacket.  I took it out and waved it in front of him.  

“What!  That wasn’t there a minute ago.  I just looked in there,” he said to me with a slack jaw.

I could only shake my head and do my best to stifle a giggle.  I told him, “You have now officially entered manhood.”

And that got me thinking about romantic heroes.  Color-blind ones who need help making sure they don’t wear one blue and one black sock.  Ones who continually misplaces their car keys.  Or one who is a neat freak that gets bothered when the heroine drops things on the floor.  Flaws that can be annoying, but really, they make the man real.  He can still save the day, team up with the heroine to get things done, make decisions, fight for the girl and all the other wonderful things heroes do.  

Just something to think about.

Novella Submitted

Well, I did it.  My first time submitting to an epub.  I've got the category romance subbed with Harlequin while I still have queries for it out to agents, and now the first novella in what I hope will turn into a series is in an epublication editor's inbox. 

In three years, I've gone from taking up my dream to become a published author to this point.  I'm really proud of what I've accomplished so far.  I've still got a long way to go, but just knowing that I began this journey, took my time with it and have gotten to where I have more than one finished, polished work out there on offer makes me want to pat myself on the back.

I spent time in the playground (created world) of someone else, creating stories with characters not my own.  Thank you, Joss Whedon, for allowing your fans to play that way.  I learned about story structure, beta readers and proper formatting.  I also found a great bunch of writers/readers online that I now call friends.  During this time, I worked on my grammar, sentence variety and dialogue.  I enjoyed every minute I spent writing stories that I could never make a dime off of.  Stories that fellow fans could enjoy. 

When I felt like I could do original fiction justice, I still had a lot to learn, but I had the confidence to know I could finish a story if I put my mind to it.  I knew I could handle tough critiques and many hours revising and editing my stories.  And I enjoy every minute of the process.  I don't find it tedious or boring.  I love writing the first draft; I look forward to making corrections and adding and subtracting from the first draft.

I won't lie and say I enjoy writing query letters or synopses, but I love when they are finished to my satisfaction. 

I'm still not good at hitting send when I query an agent or submit a package to a publisher.  I get jittery.  My hands tremble, and I feel like I'm going to be sick.  I wonder if that will ever go away?  Probably not.  A little fear is a good thing.  It will keep my on my toes, and help me to stay diligent and professional.

I will be very disappointed if I get a rejection on the novella, because I love that story and I love the epub that I have subbed it to.  They are my first choice.  There are others out there and I do have a second and third choice that I'd be happy with, plus four others that I would be okay with.  After that, there are still options.

So, now, I will keep busy writing the two works in progress that I am most interested in right now.  I've got 14,000 of the sequel to the novella written and just under that amount of my single title fantasy story written.  Plenty to do to keep my mind off possible rejections.

Taking Care of Myself This Year

I am going to be good to my body this year.  To kick things off right, I've joined the Romance Divas team for the Biggest Loser Pound For Pound Challenge.  I've pledged ten pounds.  Wish me luck!

A New Year

The future looks bright and I'm raring to go!  I'm a list maker.  I make many lists every day.  One for things I need to purchase, one for chores I need to do around the house, and one for things I want to do by the end of the day to further my dreams to make a full time career out of my writing.  There is something so satisfying about crossing off items accomplished.

Now that we are in a new year, I need to think about my year long list of goals I wish to achieve.  I try to stretch myself with big goals, but have a few easy to accomplish ones as well.

1.  Submit All Business to an epub this Friday.
2.  Write the sequel to All Business by February 1.
3.  Continue to seek an agent and/or submit Do Not Disturb to publishers that take unsolicited manuscripts,      including epubs.
4.  Complete my YA Fantasy novel, do rounds of edits and be ready to query agents by September. 
5.  Work on the third novella in the All Business series. 
6.  Complete my Paranormal Romance.
7.  Work on Contemporary Vegas Romance.

By the end of the year, I would like to have a contract for All Business and hopefully one for the sequel.  I would also love to have a contract for Do Not Disturb, but I'm more confident about All Business.  If I can't find a home for DND by the end of the year, I plan to self-publish either on Smashwords or with CreateSpace.  I want to have books in all stages of planning, writing and submitting.  I would also like to improve my photoshop skills as I love making book covers.

What are your goals for the coming year?
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