Sunday, December 14, 2008

Revision, revision, revision

Have you ever plucked your eyebrows and thought, "Huh, missed a few." So you go back and pluck a few more, but that creates a weird arch in your brow. So you pluck a few more, but you start to look like an angry Disney villian. So you keep going and going, creating more problems as you solve old ones. And the next thing you know, you're having to draw your eyebrows on with eyeliner?

Well, that's how it feels to revise a manuscript for the fourth time.

In the last four drafts of my new book, I've added characters, deleted characters and given their lines to other characters, created dramatic tension between the main character and her father, only to practically delete the father altogether in latest draft. At the point, the book will have a surprise ending for ME, because I can't remember which one I'm using.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate having an agent that is honest and patient enough to work with me through four drafts. But I'm starting to feel like I'll be drawing on my book's eyebrows with eyeliner.

But now I need to get back to pluckin'.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

MY FIRST REVIEW

This is my first-ever review. I'm really happy with it, especially since the reviewer was a guy in his 20s, not exactly my target demographic. The paper doesn't allow linking, due to subscription requirements, so I'm reprinting with permission.

"Nice Girls" Offers Story to Sink Your Teeth Into
BY ADAM SHULL
ashull@paducahsun.com

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
Try to laugh while imagining this. You get fired from a job you love, a job that was probably the only stimulating part of each day.

You get drunk to get over it. Then someone mistakes you for a deer on the road and shoots you. A vampire saves you at the last minute by turning you into the undead, making you immortal. He makes you a vampire.

Not all that funny?

Molly Harper makes it a riot. Being undead and experiencing the vampire world has never been more funny than in Harper’s first novel, “Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs.”

The book is billed as a paranormal romance. But don’t let it fool you.

While Harper’s book brings home the bacon on all the “girly” romantic themes (on-again, off-again boyfriend issues, the neutral guy friend), her breezy storytelling takes the story to a hilarious place that is uniquely Southern.

The comedic feature comes from Harper’s wit. She could make installation instructions side-splitting. Example: when her main character, Jane Jameson, describes vampires. “Vampires have bright eyes, glistening white teeth, unnaturally smooth skin, and a certain animal magnetism. If they aren’t pretty, they starve. It’s sort of like life in Los Angeles.”

The first in a series, “Nice Girls” centers on almost-30-year-old Jameson (a true “plain Jane”) who gets fired from her job as a librarian in her small Southern community of Half-Moon Hollow, set in Kentucky. Given a Shenanigans restaurant gift certificate rather than severance pay, Jameson goes on a bender to wallow in her self-pity.

During the ride home her car, nicknamed Big Bertha, breaks down and the bloodlettingbegins. A drunken driver mistakes Jameson for a deer and shoots her. An attractive, mysterious vampire named Gabriel turns Jameson into a vampire to avoid her death.

From there it’s a fastpaced journey on which Jameson finds her footing in a new world, all while discovering romance, being framed for vampire murders and keeping her smothering mother at arm’s length. Imagine Pam from NBC’s “The Office” turned into avampire and you’re pretty close to Jameson.

What stays with you through the book is how Harper combines the light, cheap-thrill feeling of a Harlequin romance with just enough splashes of insight into a Southern woman’s life to feel impacted but not in a cliché or facetious way. Jameson talks about her decision to live in her hometown like some real women from Kentucky. “Despite living there for most of my life, I’d never felt I was part of the Hollow. I was accepted, but I didn’t belong.”

There’s also the accurate description of Southern females. “This was the way Southern women worked — all peaches and cream laced with arsenic,” Jameson explained. Harper even uses the word “Mamaw” true to Southernform.

You put down “Nice Girls” feeling like you just heard a comedy routine that got at a little truth about living in the South. A South with vampires, werewolves and duels to the death.

Outed in my hometown

My very first press interview ran today in my hometown newspaper, THE PADUCAH SUN, complete with a review and a picture of my giant man hands holding a copy of NICE GIRLS. And yes, that is a library stack behind me. We were going for character authenticity. I'll post excerpts from the review, which was awesome, later today. (Thanks, Adam.)

I woke up with this weird sinking sensation in my stomach this morning, feeling sort of "exposed." Up until now, my friends and family, and people who'd stumbled across my blog had heard about the "vampire author" thing, but now, everybody knows. As long as they have a newspaper subscription. And thanks to reporter Adam Shull's repeated use of the phrase "steamy love scenes," they know I have a slightly dirty mind.

But it was pretty cool to sign my first autographs for the ladies who work at my kids' preschool. And to tell my husband that he was now my kept man. ("Dance, my cabana boy, dance.") I'm just saying there's a reason I'm a writer. I like to hide behind my computer monitor.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

mollyharper.com HAS BEEN LAUCHED

I have officially launched my homepage, www.mollyharper.com

I am very excited about the site, where you will be able to find information about the NICE GIRLS series and its author, excerpts from the books and a calendar of upcoming promotional events and contests.

Special thanks to Jim Nilson and Megan McCarty, the creative and technical geniuses who put the site together.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reporters: A Study in Neuroses

Reporters are neurotic people.

I had my first ever press interview last week as an author, with the paper I served as a reporter for six years. It was absolutely bizarre to be on that end of the notebook, so to speak. And even though I spent years explaining prior restraint - a reporter's right not to show a source a story before going to press- to people I interviewed, I still found myself wanting to ask if I could see the story before it went to press! I totally understand the paranoia now!

That said, the reporter, Adam, was very gentle with me. But during the interview, I was sitting there wondering if I was saying the wrong things, if I sounded like I was bragging, if my mother was going to read the interview and sue me. And still, I could not seem to stop talking!! What I would have considered the end of the interview (back when I was reporting) came and I just couldn't seem to shut up.

As I was driving away, I kept thinking of the things I should have said or how I could have phrased something better, and basically kicked myself.

And then I read this.

www.adamshull.blogspot.com/2008/12/writers-writer.html


Apparently, Adam felt as weird about the whole thing as I did.

So now I feel better.

Check out Thursday's Paducah Sun for the Current section, where you will find yours truly featured.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Meet Mark Henry.

As we have discussed, I hate zombies. But I like Mark Henry, author of the hilarious/horrifiying HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED. Mark has relaunched his web site with a little help from webmistress extraordinaire Terri Smythe.

As Mark put it, "There'll be contests and foul language and Amanda's blogging about the wonders of the season in "A Very Zombie Christmas."

Check out Mark's site at markhenry.us

Or you can join his yahoo group at groups.yahoo.com/group/markhenry

Also check out the link on Mark's site to ZombieHarmony.com, a dating site for zombies. So wrong, but so right.