A quick vlog: a little bit of magic

Hi friends! Yesterday, I was out for a walk in a nearby wetland with my buddy Rosco. As I walked, I plotted my next book (I think contemporary romance, set in Portland). The sun was shining, and there some amazing birds calling, and I was suddenly overwhelmed by how lucky I was to be in that place, living a full, magical life. So I took a little video, and thought I would share it with you all.

So here it is! I hope you find a little bit of magic this weekend, too. :-)

Novel or Novella?

By now, everyone knows the growth of e-readers is propelling big changes in the way readers read, and authors write.

One change I see is the growth of the novella as a viable alternative to the traditional, full-length novel. In the past, novellas were hard to market and package. Publishers had to put several together into one book in order to make them commercial, and that meant that readers had less choice when it came to authors and story lines. You couldn’t just pick out your favorite author or series. You had to take them all. Which could be fabulous, but also limiting.

With e-books, everything changed. Publishers can now develop and market novellas tied to established series, or as stand-alone works. Novellas are short and intense; they can deliver happily ever after, but must do so without the complete world-building, subplots, and description of a full length novel. They are typically priced well below a novel, and can be easily consumed on a phone or e-reader, while waiting for the bus or working out at the gym.

So my question is: have you read a novella recently? Do you enjoy them? What drives you to buy a novella rather than a novel?

Instant Stress Relief

I’m running in a million different directions right now — I’m teaching my first law school class at Lewis and Clark, working part-time in the utility biz, doing outreach for the Honoring Our Rivers student anthology (19 days left for entries!), finishing up copyedits for Rules of Negotiation, and planning my promotion schedule for the March launch of The Talents and the April (long-awaited!) launch of The Marked. Needless to say, I’m a teenie-weenie bit overextended. So, of course, I reached out to social media. :-) I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions for quick stress relief activities, and I got GREAT responses

Now, I know I’m not the only one who occasionally takes on a bit too much, so thought I should pass these along. If you have other ideas, please let me know! My goal is to get through this all without my brain exploding, and I figure I can use all the help I can get. :-)

From Jess (a yoga instructor!), I got a great suggestion for breath work: ‎”4-7-8 breath is my fave. Inhale for the count of 4, hold for 7, and exhale through the mouth for 8. Stay relaxed when you hold for 7, and imagine releasing stress when you exhale.”

Dear friend (and bride to be) Sarah suggests: “Cat in the lap.”

From Marianne, my lake buddy: “our dentist has a huge fish tank in the lobby, aside from the irony of going to the dentist’s to relax, watching fish is always nice!” (Thanks for reminding me that I’m way behind on my teeth cleaning, BTW!)

YA Bad-Ass Jen Violi (2012 Oregon Book Award Nominee!) suggests: “Put on your favorite dance music (or just play it in your head) and shake it all out–whole body, top to bottom.”

Susan Gee Heino, fabulous Regency author (on whom I have a huge crush, but don’t tell her I said that) has great advice: “Schedule a couple naps. Sometimes just knowing that you have time and permission to shut down for a bit makes the stressful times easier to take.”

I got lots more great suggestions, including dog-walking (yes!), drinking (of course), comfort food & sweets (which, of course, I was already doing), and yoga. I loved them all!

I hope these are useful — please share in the comments if you have other ideas for me, or the rest of the world. I think we can all use it!

(and now I’m going to walk the dog while drinking something sweet, breathing deeply, and thinking about fish.)

The winner is…

CANDACE!!!

Candace, email me (inara.scott at gmail dot com) with your address so I can send off your prize!

Thanks everyone who stopped by and commented, I really appreciate the good wishes and can’t wait to share the book. :-)

Using that law degree

Many of you probably know that I practiced law for ten years before quitting in June of 2010 to spend more time writing. I worked in private practice for five years, and then went in house to work for a utility company. Basically, I did the corporate law/publicly traded company/management thing for a decade, and during that time, I had to fight like hell to strike some sort of balance and create a life that wasn’t just about work.

Throughout all those years, my husband was my anchor and my sanity. Whenever I would start to get overwhelmed, he’d bring me back to earth. When I took myself too seriously, he made me laugh. When I worked long days, he picked up the slack. At every turn, he inspired me with his utter dedication to our kids. Really, he saved me from becoming a workaholic, and I often wondered: what would I have become if I hadn’t met him? What if I didn’t have a husband and kids to ground me and give me a reason to come home?

Answer: I would have been a very lonely person. A lonely person in desperate need of a happy ending.

And thus, a story is born.

In 2009, I started writing my what if. I took one smart, ambitious lawyer who was much more confident about her ability to write a brief than land a man, and buried her in her job. Then I went about finding her a mate. Someone to save her from herself.

His name, I’m happy to say, was Brit. And he was rich, gorgeous, and more than up to the job.

(In case you’re wondering, my husband is also handsome and brilliant…but perhaps not quite as rich as Brit. LOL.)

In late 2011, I sold that story, which I called Rules of Negotiation, to Entangled Publishing.

Oh yeah, this is the SQUEE part!!! I’ve got a new book coming out!! :-) :-) SQUEE!!!

I’ve been keeping this (sort of) under cover for months, but it’s time to come clean. In February (um, that’s like a month away) I’ll be one of the authors launching Entangled’s new Indulgence line. Indulgence, overseen by Editorial Director Lori Wilde, is a line of short, sexy romances with modern heroines, alpha heros, and lots of happily ever after (my favorite!). You can read more about Indulgence here.

This is a sit-down-and-read-in-one-gulp kind of book, a romantic fantasy about a woman who finds true love despite all her best efforts to hide from it. I couldn’t have been happier than to sell it to Entangled, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you! (Actually, just those of you over 18–this is an adult book, after all. ;-) )

Now, a new book deal deserves a giveaway, so in honor of Rules of Negotiation, I’d like to give away a copy of my October 2011 Entangled title, Radiant Desire. It’s a hard copy, too. Yum.

Be sure to leave me a comment, and please check back to see if you’ve won!

HUGS and HAPPY DANCES!