My blog has moved!
July 14th, 2011

I have a new blog. If you want to stay up to date on new posts, please stop by.

May 26th, 2011

Feel like giving up?

Stop and read this story of persistence first. Author Dick Wimmer,who died recently, submitted one book for 25 years before getting published.

Read it then get back to work.

Oops I’d wanted to post this a couple of weeks back but things got busy (working on my site redesign, deadlines, email etc…). Anyway, if you’re an author (or know an author) you may enjoy my interview with Mo of MMB Author Services.

Life Imitating Art
May 17th, 2011

This doesn’t usually happen. When I’m working on a book it doesn’t reflect my life in any way, but that was before I started working on SECRET PARADISE.

No, I’m not escaping to a gorgeous island or having a hot fling with a tycoon (shame). However, my main character Nikki is an interior designer. You’ll first meet her in ALL I WANT IS YOU (October 2011).

Now how does this imitate my real life?

Well I’m currently in the process of getting my website redesigned. I’m working with a web designer and have to answer lots of questions about colors and composition etc… It’s a lot like redesigning a room—what base color do I want? Should I use drapes or blinds? Do I want to paint the walls or select expensive ‘dramatic’ wallpaper? What’s my focal point? Do I need to change the covers for the light switches, on and on…

It can be exhausting (you wouldn’t believe how many different shades of yellow there are). Working on this project has helped me understand Nikki more: Her attraction to the visual nuances of life and what skills she needs–space perception, layout, flexibility, creativity–that makes an excellent interior designer.

It’s been good trying to put into words what I want my new site to look and feel like and this process has given me great ideas for scenes and conflicts in my manuscript. Unfortunately, you won’t see Nikki’s story until spring of 2012, but I plan to have my new site up by June.

Hopefully, I will have achieved my goal.

Do the Work
May 9th, 2011

I’m a big fan of Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art so when I heard that his latest book Do the Work was free on Kindle, I had to tell you about it.

It’s a book that’s a call to action. Whether you have a symphony you want to compose, a novel you want to write, or a sweater you want to knit, this book will guide you through your doubts (what he calls Resistance) to completion.

I don’t know how much longer it will be free on Kindle, but it’s worth a try (and remember you don’t need a Kindle reader, you can download Kindle for PC and other mobile devices)

Don’t let your dreams fade, do the work to make them come true.

Judy Mays is an author of erotic romance novels. Judy Buranich is an English school teacher. These two women are also the same person and that’s a problem for some parents in Pennsylvania.

I’d wanted to write about the Judy Mays incident when I first heard about it, but after watching the news report I couldn’t stop laughing. Especially when a parent said…

“Now my son knows, so how is he thinking when he’s sitting in her class knowing what she does on the side,” Apple said.

Really???? If you don’t think that statement’s hilarious, please stop reading now because what I say may offend you.

When will people give women credit for having imaginations? When will people understand that women can live their lives one way, but live creatively in another? How come a man can write about a serial killer stalking women and chaining them up in his basement and NO ONE will imply that he might do that in real life. But if a woman writes about meeting a man in the produce section and getting it on in meats, all of a sudden she’s either perverted or a danger to children?

It’s not only women writers of course; female readers are thought to have no imagination either. Some misguided feminists like to suggest that romance novels are at the route of domestic violence. Again, let me get this straight. A man can read about a chap (hello James!) who boinks a lot of women without getting a single STD and no one worries about male promiscuity. But a woman who reads about a lady taming an overbearing beast of a man is said to be headed down a dangerous road of physical abuse (because of course women can’t distinguish fact from fiction). And yet as feminists they claim that women and men are equal?

Okay, perhaps it’s just me. I’m reading too much into it. My feeble female brain can’t comprehend. Fortunately, Judy Mays has plenty of supporters and they spoke their minds.

And her books are selling like crazy!!

Imagine that.

If you haven’t read BENEATH THE COVERS yet, you can get a sneak peek over at Rom Con. If you post a comment you’re eligible to win an autographed copy!

Remembering Beverly
April 26th, 2011

In case you haven’t heard, author Beverly Barton died suddenly last Thursday (4/21/11) of heart failure.

I’ll always remember her as the woman in white.

I was in Washington DC and it was the first time I’d attended the Book Expo of America, the largest book trade fair in the United States that held every year. Rows of publishers, trade booths, authors, librarians, book buyers, and celebrities filled the walkways. And there she was.

My mother saw her first and pointed her out to me—a blond woman dressed all in white, wearing a wide brimmed hat: Bestselling author Beverly Barton.

I walked over and asked for an autograph and a picture and she was gracious enough to oblige. In her sweet southern twang she asked a little about me (I told her about my current release) and left her feeling great. From that brief incident I learned three things:

1. Don’t be afraid to stand out. In a crowd of people Beverly was a beacon of light not just because of her clothes but because of her disposition. She was open and warm and made me feel welcome. Which leads me to lesson number 2

2. Be generous with your smiles. Before meeting Beverly I’d approached another author who treated me as if I had a contagious disease and as she wrote down my name she made fun of it (and actually spelled it wrong). I’ll never forget that treatment.

3. Live fully. Through her kind gestures, her works, her life will be remembered. From her website it was evident she had a loving family, friends who adored her and a career that produced more than 70 books.

Thank you for your bright light, Beverly. May it always shine.

Today I’m over at Writerspace talking about the power of trilogies and why readers and writers enjoy them.

So have you heard about the book that’s outselling big titles like Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code? It’s called What Every Man Thinks About Apart from Sex by author Sheridan Simove and it’s a worldwide bestseller.

And it’s blank.

Yep. There’s not a word inside and some authors are upset. They think of all their hard work and they cringe watching a guy with a clever idea reach the bestseller lists and rake in lots of money.

But I’m not upset…really. Why?

Because it’s a joke. A gag. And gag books are nothing new.

Ask Rich Ferguson who has a bunch of blank books with titles like What Women Know About Men, Sex After Marriage or Why I Love My Job.

Or Zelma L Stitlar Ph.D the author of Everything Women Know About Men.

Years ago I had the good fortunate to meet their predecessor at a conference. Dr. Alan Francis had written the bestselling blockbuster Everything Men Know About Women (Expanded and Updated with a Groundbreaking Ending) and was going to share (with an eager listening audience) about the benefits of creativity.

I learned three things:

First, I learned that the good doctor was a woman named Cindy Cashman who’d, with her partner, come up with a pen name and a great gag book that sold millions. Ms. Cashman (which I thought was an awesome surname) shared her rag to riches story and inspired a number of people in attendance.

Second, I learned that ‘clever’ or ‘creative’ nonfiction titles sell books.

Third, I learned that books are products. Not produce that spoils, but products that can be purchased. If someone likes a product, they’ll buy it. Remember the pet rock?

End of story.

I think authors need to relax; their job is to create not to compare.

Hitting a bestseller list or winning awards has nothing to do with writing. Mesmerizing people with your stories or educating them by sharing your knowledge is a gift: To yourself and to the world. But most of all I believe in having fun. For me, that’s true success.

buy at barnes&
buy at

buy at barnes&
buy at

buy at barnes&
buy at

Dara's Newsletter

Sign up for Dara’s monthly newsletter to find out about contests, upcoming releases and more.

* Email

* Confirm Email

I prefer to receive emails in Text format


A Newbie's Guide to Publishing
Argh Ink
Dean Wesley Smith
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Novelists Inc. blog
Romancing the Blog
Southern Fried Chicas
Writer Beware Blog

Recent Posts

June 2019
« Jul    

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
For Readers: Bookshelf | Ebooks | Upcoming | FAQs | Fun Stuff | Contest | Newsletter
For Writers: Bookshelf | FAQs | Articles | Links | Fun Stuff
For All: Home | Blog | News | Contact | Meet Dara | For Media | Site/copyright | Bookstore