Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello everyone. I'm sorry I haven't been able to contact you lately but apparently my internet has not been working at home so I using the internet from the library. I won't be able to talk very long since I have such a busy weekend ahead of me but I'll be sure to contact you by next weekend to update what I have been doing since I left more than four months ago. I should be able to post something soon so stay tuned. Dominique

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Finally on spring Break, maybe I'll write again

Been through a lot of stress lately. I'm trying to keep up with all of my assignments but I'm still afraid that I'm not going to pass one of my classes. I have fallen behind on my writing as a result of this. I hope and pray that this summer, I'll get a job so I'll be able to do whatever I want on the weekends. My other teacher wants me to take another saturday class but considering the stress I've been through lately, I'm not sure that's going to happen. Anyways, I'm going to finish reading one of those short romantic novels I started two weeks ago I got from Harlequin and try my best to finish my book.

Or get halfway finished at least.

I'll probably be writing and blogging a lot more since I'm on spring break. I better get started now before it's too late. See Ya.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year

I’m not going to be on my blog for too long. I’ve been experiencing problems since I was off for a month on my winter vacation. For instance, I can’t spend as much time typing on the computer like I used to for fear it will fade out before I get a chance to get anything out. I might not be able to write my blog entries the way I want to. I’m still working on my book but I’m a little behind on my schoolwork so I have to catch up with that. Anyways, I said all of that to say



P.S. I’ll see you again next month.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why I think Harlequin Desire rejected me

Hi guys, I’m back. I decided to do a follow up on my last journal entry to explain why I think they rejected my manuscript. When I first read my rejection letter, I’ll never forget how I felt. I was heartbroken but remained optimistic about sending them another project. Now that I looked back on it, I realized why they rejected me.

They rejected me for many reasons. One of the reasons being their guidelines. I didn’t bother to look at what exactly they wanted with their particular line. I just went on ahead and sent them anything. This is one tragic mistake I could have easily avoided if I would have just followed directions. In case someone wants a refresher on what exactly they’re looking for, here it is:

LENGTH: 50,000-55,000 (200 to 220 pages)At 55,000 words, Silhouette Desire books are filled to the brim with strong, intense storylines. These sensual love stories immediately involve the reader in the romantic conflict and the quest for a happily-ever-after resolution. The novels should be fast-paced reads, and present the hero and heroine’s conflict by the end of chapter one in order for the reader to understand what obstacles will impact the characters for the remainder of the novel.

The Desire Hero should be powerful, wealthy ---- an alpha male with a sense of arrogance and entitlement. While he may be harsh and direct, he is never physically cruel. He is capable of being saved and it’s up to the heroine to get him there. The Texan hero should own the ranch, not work on it, and the urban hero should be the company CEO, not a handyman.

The Desire heroine is complex and flawed. She is strong-willed and smart though capable of making terrible mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart. This is primarily her story so the book should be from her point-of-view. There is room for the hero’s perspective as long as his thoughts are centered on the heroine and their conflict. Instead of dividing the novel equally between both protagonists’ point-of-view, Desires should be more 60% heroine and 40% hero.

The conflict should be dramatic with such classic plot lines as revenge, secret pregnancies, marriages of convenience and reunion romances. Plots which focus on suspense, paranormal, or character-driven concerns are best directed else where. The story can be set anywhere in the world, but the tone should be true to the author’s voice.

Desire novels are sensual reads and a love scene or scenes are still needed. But there is no set number of pages that needs to be filled. Rather, the level of sensuality must be appropriate to the storyline. Above all, every Silhouette Desire novel must fulfill the promise of a powerful, passionate and provocative read.

I written all of this down to prove a point, the point being that it’s important to follow the guidelines. If you don’t, it’s an automatic rejection letter. Period. If your novel is over 55,000 words (By the way, I heard that they used the computer word count to determine how many pages it is so you better be careful if you’re writing it longhand), send it someplace else. If it has suspense in it, don’t bother sending it to them. Send it over to Harlequin Intrigue (You could read some more of Harlequin Guidelines here) or to Harlequin romantic suspense. If it has paranormal in it, send it to Harlequin Nocturne, not Desire.

Get my point? Good. Moving on.

My manuscript wasn’t rejected because of word count. The word count was two hundred and nine pages. I did pretty good in that department. My manuscript was rejected because of what I had written in it. Or better yet, what I didn’t write in it. Here is a piece of my first draft of ‘An Unlikely Reunion’:

Gloria Wyatt looked around at all pf the faces that came to Tara’s party. It was Tara’s twenty-fourth birthday party and everyone looked like they were having a good time.

“Oh, did you meet Maurice? Isn’t he a sweetheart?” Her mother asked as Gloria continued to look around. She finally looked back at her mother and realized that her mother had said something.

“I’m sorry momma, what did you say?” She asked.

“Maurice, Tara’s boyfriend. Isn’t he sweet? He is such a gentlemen don’t you think?” Her mother asked.

“Yeah, he’s really great,” Gloria said. After her mother went to go get something to eat, Gloria sighed.

“Hey Gloria!” Gloria turned around in order to see her nephew Brandon walk through the door and giving everybody hugs. He gave Gloria’s mother (His Grandmother) a hug before he came to Gloria.

“Give me a hug girl!” He said.

“Hey Brandon! So good to see you.” Gloria smiled and gave Brandon a hug. While they embraced, Gloria saw that there was a woman right behind him.

“Who’s that?” She asked after the hug.

“Oh, this is my girlfriend Maria. Maria, this is my auntie Gloria.”

“Wow! She does look young…and short. Not that there’s anything wrong with it---”
“It’s fine. I get that all the time,” She said, trying not to make Maria feel uncomfortable. Maria nodded her head and then followed Brandon to the living room.

Great! Gloria thought. Everyone has a happy lifestyle except me.

Snoooooooze. Boooooring. There’s no emotion. No conflict. Nothing to keep me interested in this story whatsoever. There’s a lot of dialogue and summary but it isn’t moving the story forward at all. We don’t know who Gloria is or why she’s even at the party in the first place. It makes me wonder if this scene was even relevant to the story I was trying to tell (The rewritten version is much better). They wanted to know Gloria Wyatt (I changed the name to Wright) and why she came to the party in the first place. Who were these people and why are they important to the story? Are they even important to the story or could you delete them and focus on the hero and heroine?

When I went back to it, I decided that I wasn’t going to delete the secondary characters in the novel. As a matter of fact, I decided to turn it into a Harlequin super romance novel instead. Harlequin Superromance is a long contemporary romance novel that’s between 80-85,000 words (They just changed their word count starting in January 2012 from 60-65,000 words to 80-85,000 words which I think is great). With Harlequin Superromance, you’re allowed more freedom to write whatever kind of story you want provided that the romance is the central story of the main plot. One of the main reasons why I decided to write my story to Harlequin Superromance is because I’ve decided to keep the secondary characters in my story and make them beneficial to the overall story I’m trying to write for them.

Anyways, I think I covered the two reasons why I think Harlequin Desire rejected me. Now that I looked back on it, maybe it was a good thing they rejected me. Will I ever write for another book for them in the future?

I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. For now, I’m sticking with SuperRomance all the way.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Starting something new for the New Year!

Happy new year everyone! I’m trying to enjoy myself the best way I know how. My new project is going very well. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up starting the second chapter very soon. I’m still working on Bandit but I’m starting to have second thoughts about turning it into a YA novel. I might turn it into a paranormal romance and sent it off that way since I’m falling in love with my story. For the longest time, I’ve always loved romance. Even when I was doing my YA novel ‘Bandit’, A little voice inside my head told me to change it into a paranormal romance but I ignored it until now. Who knows? Maybe romance is the path I was destined to choose in these tough economic times. I’ve been reading romance novels ever since I was a little kid and always dreamed of writing one but thought I could never do it.

Well, this time is going to be different.

Maybe it’s time that I stop fighting this voice in my head and being so afraid to take a risk. The book that I’m working on is actually a rewrite of a manuscript I sent out back in September 2007 to Silhouette Desire called ‘An Unlikely Reunion’ When I first sent it out, they gave me a form letter stating something like this.

Dear Author,

Thank you for the opportunity to review your current project. Unfortunately, your story does not suit our current needs.

We apologize for using a form letter, but we handle a heavy volume of submissions and, due to time constraints, are not able to respond to each one personally. Please rest assured that everything that crosses our desks gets full consideration .

I wish you the very best luck placing your book elsewhere. And should you feel you have a manuscript suitable for Silhouette Books in the future, I strongly hope you’ll feel free to query me again.

Thank you for thinking of Silhouette


Diana Ventimilgia

Diana Ventimilgia
Assistant Editor
P.S. That really wasn’t her signature, I just used it to explain what the letter looked like.

To this day, I still kept this letter because of how inspirational it was to me. Sure, it was just a form letter but at that time, I had also got another rejection letter from a teacher in that same year that kind of dampened my spirits. Years later, I entered into a contest for the Harlequin Medical line and kept the rejection letter from them as well. It was called ’A nurse’s Plea’ and I sent it in back in August of 2010.
Here is another form letter they sent.

Dear Ms. Gibson,

Thank you for submitting A Nurse’s Plea for our consideration

While we appreciate the care and attention that has gone into the preparation of your submission, regrettably we feel that your story and characters are not sufficiently developed for publication in any of our publishing programmes.
Here are our top tips to bear in mind for your next submission:

1. Ensure that your story and conflict are Character-Driven.

2. Focus on the internal emotional conflict of your characters

3. Use secondary characters to add richness and depth to your central romance but don’t let them take over!

4. Target your work to a particular series - this means you need to read current books in the series you are aiming for and understand what that series delivers to the reader.

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to see your work, and thank you for thinking of Harlequin Mills & Boon.

Yours Sincerely,

Editorial Department

I’ve kept them both because these letters gave me inspiration to keep writing in whatever genre I was writing in. Now that I’m rewriting this book, I think that after years of writing some books that really didn’t satisfy me that way that I wanted them to, I think I’ve finally found what I want to do when it comes to my writing career: I want to write romance novels. So for my new year resolution, I’m going to stop being afraid of what I want and go for it.


P.S. The next journal entry will probably be on why I think they rejected me. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Finishing Bandit, Working on new project

Today, I decided that since I’m off for a whole month from my schoolwork, I’ve decided to work on a new project …in a different genre. I know, I know, I have been saying I’ve wanted to write a YA novel for the longest time but I’m still working on the final chapter of Bandit but it’s time that I took a break from that book for awhile (After I finish the final chapter of course) and try to focus on something else for awhile in a different genre. I know exactly what that genre is going to be (Romance) and I’m going to start a romance novel over the holidays. Knowing that it’s going to take me longer than a month to write the book, I’m going to have to go by a strict schedule to get all of it done.

If I want to become a full time writer, I have to set deadlines for myself so that when the time comes for publishers to ask for my work, it’ll already be in on their desk or in their mailboxes ahead of time. I need to get on the ball with everything and stop being so lazy about doing what I have to do in order to succeed in the publishing world. I know that I want to be an author but I don’t want to be one of those people who’s all talk and no action. I want to be different.

I am going to be different.

Maybe that’s what should be my new year’s resolution: To stop being so lazy in getting things done and DO THE WORK.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

self-publishing, traditionial publishing, Bandit, blog about publishing

Hi, I know it’s been awhile since I wrote, I’ve been too busy trying to catch up on everything but I recently went to Alan Rinzler’s blog and found a lot of interesting articles about writing and publishing. One of the articles that peeked my interest was the article on writing short stories exclusively for Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble NOOK. I have been thinking about writing a short story exclusively for Amazon Kindle and other devices so that I could market it on facebook, twitter, you tube and finally my blog. I’ve been thinking about doing a short Christmas story with the same characters in from the first book in my book series ‘Bandit’ so that people could read it and if they enjoy the short story, maybe they will be able to tell the literary agent or publisher to read more of my work. Who knows? It’s something to consider right?

Another thing I’m thinking about considering but will probably not jump into it right away is self-publishing. Of course, my biggest dream in the whole wide world would be if I could get a literary agent, rewrite my manuscript to it’s fullest potential, get a publisher, do more rewrites, sign a contract, get my first advance, more rewrites, get the second and third cut of my advance, use that advance to promote my work, pay off some of my loans, write the second and third book of my series (rewrites included) and then get another contract for three more books with the secondary characters I’ve introduced in the first book of my novel.

Not so much in that order of course.

But since I have a backup plan in the works in case my dreams of being a published author with a traditional publisher doesn’t come out the way I planned, I’ve decided that if I don’t go anywhere with traditional publishing realm that I could save up some money from my second job as a special education teacher to self-publish my book and promote my novel myself so that whatever amount of books I sell, I’ll be able to keep the money myself instead of sharing it with other parties. I think that would be pretty cool right?

Either way it goes, I’m not giving up on my writing dream… not now, not ever.

Well, I don’t know about you guys but I had a wonderful thanksgiving. I caught up on some things, relaxed a little bit, Thought of some new ways to promote my work…but I have to admit that I’m enjoying sitting at home and writing all the time instead of going to school, coming home, and having to write homework…


The good news is that the fall semester is almost over and I’ll be able to enjoy Christmas by catching up on some things like finishing up the second outline of my next manuscript for the Truson S.E.T. series, practicing my math skills to pass an exam I have to take in order to get into graduate school, and just working on my writing altogether.

But first, I have to get through these last two weeks of the semester than I’m home free…


Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

I can't really post anything today because I don't feel well but I wish everyone a



Monday, September 19, 2011

A world based on technology? I hate it, almost finished with Bandit

I know it’s been awhile since I posted my last entry. I’ve been so busy with school, catching up on assignments, and trying to finish the final two chapters of Bandit. It’s already been nine months since I wrote and rewrote this book which have been the longest time I’ve ever stayed on one project. I haven’t caught up on my reading (Shame on me) and have been depressed about Borders closing down for good.

I don’t know about everyone else but I’m personally pissed off about this. I like the feel of a book in my hands as I turning the pages to see what the next adventure is going to be. I remember those commercials where someone would be reading a good book by the fireplace before they even spoke a word. I miss those days. As time goes on, I know that we are going to depend on technology for our everyday lives and I hate it.

Did you catch the last part of my sentence: I HATE IT.

Pretty soon, traditional classroom will be converted to online classrooms from home. Bookstores that are still around now will be gone within the next five years, replaced by the Ipads and androids of the future. People will start to rely on machines to do everything that they are supposed to be doing themselves (Gardening, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, cleaning the toilet etc.).

I fear the worst for America.

If we become too dependent on technology, I fear that we will end up becoming the fattest and dumbest people in America, hands down. I mean, look at where society is now. Who needs Standard English when we got twitter consuming us to say what you want in fifty words or less? Who needs to go out and meet people when you can talk to them on face book? This is why obesity is so huge. People are not going out to exercise because they feel like they don’t have to. As long as they got the TV and the internet, why bother?

Anyways, that’s my journal entry on that. As for my story, there’s really nothing to report. Like I said, I only have two more chapters to go before I’m finished. Can’t wait until I get there. I might have to read the latest draft one more time so I’ll be able to keep my story straight. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life just yet. A lot of drama is going on in my life right now that I refuse to talk about here. I’ll try to see if I can do another journal entry before the month is out. If not, I’ll catch you next month.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three more chapters to go before the completion of Bandit, confusion on what I want

I was supposed to do this entry sooner but I’ve been too busy writing and reading books that provided me with great ideas on how to improve the novel I’m working on. I just recently read a very old book called The vampire Memoirs by Mara Mccuniff (who just so happens to be the main character of the book) and Traci Briery (the author herself). The book is about Mara’s incredible journey from the time she was born back in the 4th century (in case you’re wondering, she was born and raised in Britain and had a father that wasn’t very kind to her half of the time) to how she landed in Los Angeles. It tells the story of how Mara became the human daughter, wife, and mother that the readers adored to the smart and slightly nieve vampire the readers basically feels sorry for.

In the book, Mara turns into a vampire unwillingly by a slime ball of a master who been roaming around the earth, killing innocent women and turning them into slaves for years. After the master (I think his name was Arygar) kills Mara’s husband during a special dinner event (I can’t think of what it was exactly but it had something to do with politics), Arygar takes it upon himself to bite Mara and turn her into his vampire bride forever…without her consent. Despite his attempts to swoon Mara into making love to him, All Mara wants to do is escape and that’s exactly what she does.

I’m going to stop there because I don’t want to give too much away even though the book is out of print. There might still be a way to read it at your local library if it’s possible. Besides, there are other things on my mind right now besides talking about the vampire memoirs. I’ve always dealt with this problem every time I’m getting closer to finishing a manuscript. I always write in one particular genre the whole way through whenever I’m writing. For awhile, focusing on one manuscript at a time worked for me but now I want to tackle another idea…in a different genre. I always hate it when this happens because I feel like if I tackle a new genre and start working on another project that I’ll be abandoning the previous project I’m working on.

Don’t get me wrong, I know form the bottom of my soul that I’m going to finish my first book for the Truson Super Elite Team series (three more chapters left to go? C’mon!) and I’m even working on the outline for the second book of the series but I can’t help but wonder what could happen if I spread my wings and tried to do something in a different genre. Who knows? If my YA novel doesn’t work out, I may have a future in another genre (By the way, I’ve decided NOT to disclose this information on which genre I want to attack for fear I might not go through with it if I do).

Overall, I’m going to stick with my original plan of writing YA but if that doesn’t work out, wouldn’t it be best to try something else just in case things don’t go as planned?

Sigh. Shrug.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Words from twilight, five more chapters to go

Title: Words from Twilight

31. Gruffer - Having a rough or brusque manner, voice, or countenance; harsh; surly.

32. Obstinately -Persistently and unreasonably resolved in a purpose or opinion; stubborn. Hard to control or cure.

33. Vehemently - Arising from or marked by impetiously of feeling or passion; ardent. Acting with great force or energy; energetic; violent; furious.

34. Ogle- to look at with admiring or impertinent glances. To stare at; to look at. To look or stare in an admiring or impertinent manner. An amorous or coquettish look.

35. Defiantly - Showing or characterized by defiance. The act of defying; a challenge. Bold opposition; disposition to oppose or resist; contemptuous disregard of authority or opposition.

36. Derision - The act of deriding; ridicule; mockery; scornful laughter. An object of ridicule or scorn.

37. Sullenly - Obstinately and gloomily ill-humored; morose; glum. Depressing; somber; slow; sluggish; melancholy Ill-omened; threatening.

38. Converge - to cause to tend toward one point. To move toward one point; come together in gradual approach. To tend toward the same conclusion or result.

39. Gratuitous - Given freely without claim or consideration; voluntary. Without cause, provocation or warrant; uncalled for; unnecessary.

40. Warily - marked by keen caution, cunning, and watchfulness especially in detecting and escaping danger.