Skip to main content

Writing Progress - Sushi and Suspicions

I’ve been working on Sushi and Suspicions , a Christian contemporary romantic suspense which will be releasing in June in the multi-author box set Summer Suspicions . Trouble follows Liv on her vacation to Hawaii when she is framed for the theft of an antique rifle. Only a handsome investigator can help clear her name ... and maybe give her a reason to stay in the islands. If you want to read a snippet of what I wrote last week, check out my last newsletter !

Mt. Hermon recap

Captain’s Log, Stardate 03.24.2005

Got back from Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference on Tuesday afternoon. My friend Sharon Hinck and her daughter stayed overnight with us and left on Wednesday. It was wonderful to spend time with her, although we were both so tired from the conference that we just smiled and yawned at each other.

The conference was terrific. I learned a lot spiritually more than anything else. God had to remind me again to give up my control-freak tendencies and remember that my success or failure is all in His hands, by His will, in His timing. I also was reminded that this is a CHRONIC problem with me. He can be so gentle even in a rebuke.

God has a grand sense of humor. I hadn’t specified anyone for a roommate, I figured I’d just go with whoever I got matched with. Lori Kincaid is one of the nicest and funniest people on the planet. She and I hit it off. We’re both fiction writers, from California, and almost the same age. We were loud and obnoxious--or at least we giggled a lot--in the Fiction track with T. Davis Bunn, but he has a good sense of humor and didn’t get too upset.

The Fiction track was good, Davis had several tips and tricks I hadn’t heard before. He’s very knowledgeable about writing fiction, but I already knew a lot of what he talked about, so some of the time was a bit boring for me. I think next year, I will take the mentoring track. There is also a mentoring conference in November. Lori is thinking of going, so it would be lots of fun if I can go, too.

I met up with Charise Olson there, too, and she formed the third part of our loud-and-obnoxious group in the Fiction track. It was terrific to talk with her about our writing and hear how things went for her.

I was immensely flattered because Jeff Dunn from RiverOak Publishing remembered me when I bumped into him at breakfast on Saturday. He wanted to talk to me and we set up a meeting.

Jeff also talked to Rachelle Gardner from NavPress about me and told me to see her, which just made my day. I had spent a couple days worrying about the market fit for my manuscript and pitching but getting several “No, thanks.” Then Kelli Standish reminded me that it’s all in God’s hands, stop stressing about my career and my manuscript, that I don’t need to pitch at all. So I sat at Rachelle Gardner’s table that lunch and didn’t really pitch my manuscripts.

“Hi Rachelle, Jeff Dunn told me to talk to you.”

“Oh, okay.”

Hmm, not an encouraging opening.

“So what do you write?”

“Oh, I wrote a Chicklit with an Asian heroine, and a romantic suspense, that’s got an Asian protagonist, too.”

“Sounds great.” She fumbled in her bag, then handed me her card. “Send them both to me.”

I was so shocked I just gaped at her, while Charise, who sat next to me, was kicking me under the table to make me say something.

When I met with Jeff Dunn, he was interested in my suspense even when I told him it was more entertainment than deep spiritual lessons. He said that RiverOak wants to publish several plot-driven stories (as opposed to character-driven stories) each year. I’m to send him the manuscript.

I had sent the first chapter of my suspense “Furious Dragon” to Karen Ball at Zondervan and Christopher Soderstrom at Bethany. Karen had some positive things to say, but she thought I gave too much away. I guess the story didn’t stand out, at least for her.

Christopher, the darling man, was so cute, he wrote on the evaluation form: “I am Curious Dragon. Can I see the manuscript?” It was nice to know he remembered me from last year, too. However, he scheduled me right before the editor’s panel by accident, and stood me up. I sat at his table at dinner with Sharon and Kaetie, who both know him through his wife. We ribbed him a bit, but I got a chance to talk to him after dinner.

I was honest with him and said I couldn’t really see the CBA being ready for a Silhouette-Bombshell-type suspense, not until the romantic suspense genre became more popular and established, like Harlequin’s Intrigue line. I pinned him down and flat-out asked him if he thought I should send the manuscript in now, or wait for a while, and he asked what I wanted to do. When I mentioned I still need to put the manuscript through a final critique and revision (neglecting to mention I also need to finish that last chapter or two, sorry for the fib, Chris, if you’re reading this!), he said it would be fine to send the manuscript after that was done. He was also honest and said he’d check around the publishing house, ask people’s opinion on if there was a fit for this type of story in the market.

I mentioned my Hawaii Chicklit/suspense, and he first talked about how Bethany hasn’t had a Hawaii-set story in about seven years, but in the next breath he talked about how it didn’t sell very well seven years ago. !!! However, when I asked if I could send him my Chicklit/suspense when it was done in a few months, he said sure.

To be honest, I think if I were to brand myself with a certain type of writing, I’d rather write funny suspense/action rather than serious suspense/action. So I have mixed feelings about sending the suspense to the publishing houses. But I guess it’s all in God’s hands, and Sharon mentioned that the suspense might put my name out there in a positive way so people would recognize me when the Chicklit/suspense arrived on their desks.

One thing I learned this year is that I’m interviewing the editors as much as they’re listening to my pitch. I need to get to know them, to see who I would like working with. That was such a revelation to me, such a different way of thinking.

I acted like a junior higher and stayed up late talking with friends. One night, Meredith Efken, Lori and I stayed up until 3am chatting in the coffee lounge. Two nights later, Meredith, Lori, Charise and I stayed up until 2am in the coffee lounge with Steve Laube and his posse. That was fun--Steve has the funniest stories. We were also congratulating my friend Laura Jensen Walker for winning the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter award.

After we quit the coffee lounge, Charise went back to our room to use the restroom, and we ended up talking (or rather, whispering so we wouldn’t wake our next door neighbors) for another half hour. It was raining cats and dogs outside, so she wasn’t really in a hurry to leave. We were cracking each other up but trying not to make noise, my stomach hurt like crazy. Lori left the room to use the bathroom, and then the power cut out. We found out later that a tree fell on a power line. The emergency generators kicked in, but we still didn’t have power in our dorm. Poor Lori had to find her way back to the room in pitch blackness--she almost headslammed into a wall. Charise ended up calling in the power outage and managed to get home okay.

Summary of Mt. Hermon experience: Boy am I tired.

Writing: I need to revise the first half of my suspense and get it to my critique “team.” Then I will finish the last few chapters, revise the last half and send it to be ripped to shreds (just kidding, girls). THEN I will send it to my agent, whom I forgot to tell I was going to Mt. Hermon (bad Camy, bad Camy), and ask him to send it to the editors who requested it, as well as other houses who might be interested. Then I will start work on both the Chicklit novella for the anthology and my Hawaii Chicklit/suspense. I will be super busy for the next few months, that’s for sure.

Diet: I actually ran on Saturday morning, about half an hour. But I ate rather poorly the last few days (including today), poorly as in “I want to stop eating but I can’t close my mouth.”

Comments

look at you and all your requests girly girl! sounds like you had a blast! I'm glad.
Pammer said…
(((((((((Camy))))))))) I am sooo proud of you girlfriend. I was dying of curiosity all week. You, uh, probably guessed that from my numerous messages, huh? (blushing). I apologize. :0)
Praying for you.
Pammer said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pammer said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pammer said…
Sorry, I probably don't need to say anymore, do I?

Popular Posts

Get my short story, White Soup, FREE!

“White Soup” is a short story set in my Christian Contemporary Romance Sushi series. It takes place after the events in Weddings and Wasabi . Originally this short story was in the anthology A Recipe for Romance which is now out of print. But now, "White Soup" is available free if you sign up for my newsletter! What’s up with the white soup? Originally, I heard about white soup from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (FYI, my Sushi series short story is NOT a Regency romance). Mr. Bingley is talking about the ball he plans to host at Netherfield: “If you mean Darcy," cried her brother, "he may go to bed, if he chooses, before it begins—but as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards.” I researched white soup and made it, then blogged about it here . But then I made the recipe again, simplified and a bit more hearty, but definitely not what Bingley served for dinner, and I b

Bethany House Publishers Cover Survey Invitation

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this from Bethany House Publishers: Hello Reader, We at Bethany House Publishers appreciate our readers opinions about the books we publish. Occasionally, we seek your input about upcoming products. Currently, we are conducting a survey about the cover image for an upcoming novel. For your time, we are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this survey. You will be able to choose from ten recent Bethany House novels, and there will be ten winners. Winners will be notified within two weeks. Click here to take the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation, and feel free to forward this email on to your friends or link the survey on your website. The survey will be available through Monday, September 17. Thanks for your time and your opinions. We value your feedback. Sincerely, Jim Hart Internet Marketing Manager Bethany House Publishers

Fun facts about Naomi from Deadly Intent

6 reasons why you will enjoy Deadly Intent: 1) It's set in a SPA! 2) Devon (the hero) is totally HOT! 3) Did I mention the SPA? 4) Naomi (the heroine) is cute and fun 5) Naomi is a massage therapist! 6) Naomi is a massage therapist in a SPA! Naomi is 27 years old, and half-Japanese, half-Caucasian, so she looks a little exotic, but not too much so. I pictured her to look like Natalie Portman. I admit I named her after a girl in the youth group at my church because I honestly couldn’t think of a name. Also, the real-life Naomi is half-Japanese and half-Caucasian just like my character. My character Naomi’s personality isn’t based on anyone I know, but I always thought being a massage therapist would be a cool job, so I did a lot of research for Naomi’s career and for the spa. Naomi’s a maiden or Persephone archetype. They tend to be easygoing and carefree, but Naomi has been thrust into a more responsible role by her father, who just had a stroke. Worried about the future

Guess what this is from A DANGEROUS STAGE

Can you guess what this is? I’m on the Sweet Romance Reads blog today with a little info on the strange sweet my character is making in A Dangerous Stage . Check out the blog post here.

Writing Progress - Sushi and Suspicions

I’ve been working on Sushi and Suspicions , a Christian contemporary romantic suspense which will be releasing in June in the multi-author box set Summer Suspicions . Trouble follows Liv on her vacation to Hawaii when she is framed for the theft of an antique rifle. Only a handsome investigator can help clear her name ... and maybe give her a reason to stay in the islands. If you want to read a snippet of what I wrote last week, check out my last newsletter !

Gritty Christian Suspense

I’m participating in this promo. Click on the graphic to check out all the Christian suspense books available and stuff your eBook reader! Gritty Christian Suspense

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Psalm 91:2

Psalm 91:2 Dear Lord, Thank you that you are so close to me that I can be confident that you will protect me like a fortress. Thank you that I can run to you as my refuge whenever I am afraid or anxious. Thank you that I can trust completely in you to take care of me and lead me in your paths. Amen 詩篇91:2 親愛なる主よ、 あなたが私の近くにいてくださり、要塞のように私を守ってくださると確信できることを感謝します。私が恐れたり不安になったりした時、いつでも避難所としてあなたに駆け寄ることができることを感謝します。私の面倒をみてくださり、あなたの道に導いてくださるあなたに完全に信頼できることを感謝します。 アーメン

Cleo’s Drawstring Purse knitting pattern w/ @KnitPicks CotLin

Kari Trumbo is one of the twelve authors who participated with me in the Christian Contemporary Romance anthology, Save the Date . Kari’s novella in the anthology is titled January Hope . In celebration, I wrote a knitting pattern for the lace drawstring purse used by Kari’s heroine, Cleo. (In case you missed it, here are the links for my interview with Kari part 1 and part 2 . Tomorrow I’ll post an excerpt of one of Kari’s other books, Better Than First .) This is a pretty and practical little bag used by the heroine Cleo in Kari Trumbo’s novella, January Hope . Knit in a cotton/linen blend yarn, it’s just large enough for a cell phone and a small wallet. In the book, Cleo’s bag was a coral shade, but the bag I knit here is a chocolate brown color. The lace pattern is the Double Rose Leaf stitch pattern originally published on page 195 in The Lady's Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1847. ( You can download a scanned .pdf of the book from Archive.