Alyssa Cole is an agent-sibling of mine. Her story, Let Us Dream, is nominated for the 2017 RITA award for Best Romance Novella.
She is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who lives in the Caribbean and occasionally returns to her fast-paced NYC life.
In addition to writing, she founded and hosted the Jefferson Market Library Romance Book Club and taught Romance Writing for Beginners. She speaks on topics such as writing erotic romance, writing multicultural romance, and self-editing. She has contributed romance-related articles to publications including RT Book Reviews, Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance at Random, and The Toast. She has also started a bi-monthly column in the Romance Writer’s Report, Romancing the Globe, in which she chats with romance writers from around the world.
When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching anime with her husband or tending to her herd of animals.
I’m happy to have Alyssa join me on EMEPiper!
Introduction to Alyssa Cole and her work
Writing in series versus stand alone stories
Alyssa’s technique to manage her time writing: winging it in the past and recently using Pacemaker
On deadlines: self-imposed and contracted
Planning to pad time between deadlines and remembering we’re human
Difference in pace of writing genre fiction and literary fiction
On voracious readers: romance
How to prioritize when deadlines collide?
Alyssa’s Time Management Tip
Pacemaker: A Simple Flexible Goal Planner for Writers & Students
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Procrastination is a serious challenge for me. I find myself procrastinating all the time and I’ve rationalized to myself to make it okay. But it’s not.
Writing doesn’t happen while I procrastinate. No matter how much I think I’m getting done, I’m not doing the thing that matters: writing.
So here’s a short podcast on recognizing and defeating procrastination. After all, the longer this podcast episode is, the less time either you or I are writing. Give it a listen, then get back to writing. 😉
Planning to be at a con but not paying registration to be at said con, some call it “Bar Con-ing”, seems to be happening more and more and there are those who’ve taken the concept of Bar Con too far. Here’s the thing – Bar Con itself is a positive aspect of any con. The key consideration here is that Bar Con occurs because the con is happening. It’s a part of the con.
When you didn’t pay registration, but you’re at the con all weekend in the bar or lobby? Posting publicly in advance on your professional author pages or websites to tell readers you’ll be there and let you know if they want to buy your books? Selling books out of your bag or hotel room? Not cool.
When you’re sneaking into a panel or event to see friends? And oh, you didn’t plan to do it but you did? or it was for research? You didn’t pay registration. You’re hurting the con.
This is why we can’t have nice things, people.
Yes, there are amazing networking opportunities at a con, especially at the bar. Everyone goes to the bar eventually. And hey, if you’re not attending the con but you’ve set up some time to have drinks with an agent or editor or fellow author for networking while they’re in town? Cool. Or maybe you pick them up in the lobby and head off site for dinner. Great.
But “I’m attending… sort of” or “I’ll be at the hotel all weekend” or “come find me at the bar all weekend” and flying or driving long distances to get there? You are attending the con and not paying the con for the confluence of professionals and meeting of minds you want to take part in. The con suffers. You’ve hurt the con financially and if it deteriorates as more people like you do it, you wonder why.
You are part of the problem.
But the networking! “I need the networking and I can’t get ROI on the con itself”. I see this argument a lot from people. But did those people approach it in a constructive way? Reach out to agents and editors and industry pros who’ll be there to schedule meet up times that don’t conflict with con interests? Most of the time no. They sit at the bar where the magic happens because they might accidentally or randomly talk to an agent or editor who likes the convo so much they invite the author to submit their manuscript.
Yay! It could happen!
Yes, it could.
That agent or editor is also going to see the author doing this unprofessional thing. They will likely research the author online–because that happens when considering working with an author–and see that the author even posts about planning to do this unprofessional thing. Or the author posts after the con describing how they snuck into panels or events. Not only unprofessional but indiscreet.
The writing career is tough. I get it. I live it. There are also nuances to every situation that could argue for why what a specific person is doing is not hurting the con and is important for their life or career. Bar Con is a great thing and valuable to career building. It is.
However, people have jumped way the hell over the line in taking advantage of it –taking Bar Con too far– and then they wonder why their favorite cons deteriorate. They say they only do it to this one con because whatever but really it’s like cheating in a relationship. If they do it once, they’ll rationalize doing it again and again. I’ve seen this at anime, SFF, and romance conventions. It frustrates me when those cons go down under the weight of this sort of behavior.
I prefer to contribute to the cons important to me and support them, as opposed to cutting corners and cheating the con.
ETA: Brief recap to be clear…
Bar Con can be good when not taken too far. Meet ups and getting together can be super valuable. Bar Con in general = GOOD.
Sneaking into convention panels or events = BAD.
Selling at the bar or in the lobby or out of your hotel room = Tacky as hell. And Bad.
Camping out all weekend stalking agents and editors coming to the bar = Questionable results.
There can be times when Bar Con is great! It’s just lately, I’ve seen people take advantage to the point of extreme WTFery. There is the source of my rant.
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Since the publication of her first book in 2004, Melissa has had close to fifty romances published. She writes in genres from historical suspense to modern day erotic romance to futuristics and paranormals.
Along the way she has garnered an epic nomination, a multitude of reviewer’s recommended reads, over five Capa nods from TRS, three nominations for AAD Bookies and regularly tops the best seller lists on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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I am happy to announce the True Heroes series continues in 2018 with three new novels!
Alex Logan of Forever (Grand Central Publishing – Hachette Book Group) is editing these brand new stories. I am so very excited to be working with her.
Of course, 2018 seems to be a long way away. Both my publisher and I are already working hard on these novels. More details will be coming soon, including insight into the new setting and cast of characters as the True Heroes series moves into its next arc. I promise these stories will continue with strong ex-military heroes and heroines with the amazing service dogs who love them at their sides.