All posts by theadevine

The Procrastinator

Thea here, confessing I’m a world class procrastinator. I am distracted at the drop of a syllable, generally by bright and glittery things — like the tv screen.. I don’t know how I get things done.

I only know I have this interior war everyday about what NEEDS to be done, which is: do I write vs do I clean, and since writing is so much fun and I feel so guilty, I lean toward cleaning. But then, cleaning is such a chore and takes me away from writing … so I find reasons to avoid doing that.

Generally, when I’m on deadline, I can with good conscience clear the decks and drive everyone nuts in service of my finishing The Book. I recognize that this is NOt a healthy work habit. I’ve been analyzing my incessant complaints about how I never have time to do anything.

My Mom always used to ask, who’s stopping you?

There’s a rock hard question to stop you in your tracks. How do you explain to a not-writer? The dishes are piling up. The laundry needs to be done. I have to write. Mom would then say, so — load the dishwasher, do the laundry and write.

She just didn’t understand.

I need that time not to do dishes, laundry, writing. And I haven’t read a book in months. I watch too much tv. I’ve become an expert at manipulating my husband and son into the kitchen to make dinner. The day doesn’t have enough hours for me to avoid chores and writing.

Right now, I’m working on revisions for Beyond the Night, the long-awaited sequel to The Darkest Heart.. I promise you, I’m doing them in a timely manner. After I watch Kathie Lee and Hoda. After I procrastinate a couple of hours over this post … By noon. After lunch. Promise.

Anyone else a procrastinator? What’s your excuse?

Thea Devine is the author of over two dozen erotic historical and contemporary romances. Beyond the Night, the sequel to The Darkest Heart will be a September 2014 eBook release from Pocket Star.

HOW FAR THE BAR?

Greetings, everyone. Thea here today. This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at t CTRWA March meeting about writing erotic romance from my perspective. Which admittedly goes back at least twenty years, when one of my historical romances, Beyond Desire, was the first romance to be reviewed as erotic romance — a totally new designation at the time. And not one that publishers jumped on either.

That took the publication of the anthology, Captivated, in 1999. Labelled “tales of erotic romance,” it flew onto the USAToday bestseller list in no time. And even then, the industry sat back and watched as the follow-up anthology, Fascinated, zipped onto USAToday as well.

There were constraints at the time as to what terms you could use, what body parts you could name, how far you could go.

Twenty years later, 50 Shades changed everything.

Now everything is on the table (and in the bed) as far as combinations and sex — front, back, side, upside down, inside out, casual, meaningful, manacled, chained, blindfolded, whipped, flipped, one night stands, one day, one hour get it on and get off, no commitment, scratch the itch and over you go.

So now that there are readers for every sexual taste, where’s your line? How far will you go? You could push the bar even further — male/male, female/ female, triads, quadrads, and any multiple combination of that; bestiality, hard core bondage/domination/punishment, corset discipline, flogging, gagging, needle play, fire play … .

And so my question to you, which I asked at the meeting as well, is — do you feel the need to compete with 50 Shades? To push further? To define the bar rather than straddle it? To be the one to make waves? Or you do have your own strict won’t-go-there parameters?

Thea Devine’s books defined erotic historical romance. She’s the author of 27 historical and contemporary erotic romances and a dozen novellas. Look for “Beyond the Night”, the sequel to “The Darkest Heart,” to be released as a Pocket Star eBook, fall 2014.

What Were You Writing When

Hi everyone. Thea today, thinking about the past. I mean, what did I write about before romance? It seems to me I always loved romance, even in the biggest blockbuster male dominated best-sellers back when. As I’ve mentioned before, reading Nancy Drew got me started writing — about intrepid girl sleuths.

But then, around high school, I started writing about family (my grandmother who truly believed there was a Jewish tube in the radio by which shows in Yiddish were broadcast); the choir — and what I intuited at age seventeen in that fiction; in college, I wrote all about my friends and acquaintances. And finally, grown-up sensual romance and one historical romance I still haven’t finished.

I still have some of the writing I did back then. I think I’ve mentioned that I can see in it vestiges of the way I write now. I kept it, not as a souvenir of my journey, but because I’m a pack rat.

But I love being able to track where I came from to where I am now.

I suppose we all have a path to take before we find that sweet spot in writing that feels like the right fit. Did you? Or did d you always know? Or did you try on several genres? Was there an “aha” moment.

Look for Thea Devine’s sequel to The Darkest Heart, a September 2014 Pocket Star eBook.

Take Two Tablets & Call Me …

Happy New Year everyone. Thea Devine here today and this is a rant.

I’ve never felt a particular urgency to own a tablet. I mean, I’ve kind of wanted one but not to the extent that I’d talked about it a lot. I figured sometime in the future — you know, as a reward for finishing a book or something –I’d get one.

This Christmas was the day. A tablet was one of John’s presents to me. I was speechless. But not for long. I was so intimidated it took me two days to get up the nerve to open the darned box — the deep box that said it held all the answers.

The tablet lay in its own bed. When you remove that, you find the plug and transformer and a small square of paper that tells you to “press start.”

That’s it. It assumes you know where “start” is. Okay, it’s not that hard to figure out, but still — the rest is silence. I am not intuitive girl. If it’s not immediately obvious, I freak out (figuring I’ve destroyed something critical). I hate passwords and the device required at least four and then I couldn’t figure out which to use where, which got me totally tied up until I was told Siri wasn’t working and I needed to get on the internet.

I stopped right there. This was no fun. This was generational. I knew everybody else in the world had already easily figured out everything about the device — it’s a best-selling item, for Pete’s sake. My two year old grandson probably would have had the thing going in no time. He already knows how to scroll. Half the battle right there.

Well, they just have to label these devices — for millenials who know everything and for technologically inept pre baby boomers — including reams of paper explaining things.

I did ask John to promise not to divorce me if I wanted to return the tablet and exchange it for a different device. He said he wouldn’t, but I’ve caught him looking at me speculatively now and again.

I exchanged the tablet for a laptop whose screen detaches to become a tablet (made sense to me). I don’t entirely get it yet, but it is at least a little less opaque. It’s those colorful tiles on the home screen. And the swiping thing. I really like that.

And it came with a diagram with all the connectors highlighted and instructions on how . That’s all I needed. A little hand-holding. Some understanding and guidance. And a couple of aspirin tablets on the side.

Have you ever been frustrated with a device? Or are they an open book to you?

Thea Devine is the author of twenty-seven erotic historical and contemporary romances and a dozen novellas. She’s currently working on an erotic contemporary romance.

A Christmas Moment

Merry Christmas everyone. Thea Devine here, and I wish you all a happy and productive New Year.

This is my favorite time of year, for all the cliched reasons: joy, hope, love, new year, new beginnings, family, friends, gifts, drowsing by the fireplace, cozy in my house as it snows. I love Christmas. My boys have said I become a child at Christmas.

You bet. Why not?

We get to see family and friends, and best of all, I get to shop for presents. I’ve always loved the shopping part.

Years ago, when we lived in Brooklyn, we exchanged presents with a small circle of friends — until, that is, the Christmas that we and one couple in the group gave each other exactly the same gift.

I don’t remember what it was after all these years, but I do know it signaled “enough.” We knew each other so well, too well, that nothing more needed to be given — or said.

A Christmas lesson for us all.

Thea Devine is the author of 27 contemporary and historical erotic romances and a dozen novellas. Five of her early books are available in Kindle editions. Look for the sequel to “The Darkest Heart” in 2014.

The Red Chest

So John and I went to our town’s thrift shop, as we habitually do on the weekends. This Saturday they were having a Christmas sale: ornaments and decorations galore. Best place to shop for anything. You can always find something. I snapped up a Hess race car for the grandson and a brand new cellophane wrapped notebook for one of the Bad Girl’s Bags that I periodically offer in my contest on my website. John wandered around looking for luggage and ties. I felt we’d already struck gold.

And then I saw it. It was on a lower endcap shelf right opposite the check-out counter. About a foot and a little tall, antique red with incised gold decorations that looked Asian, domed lid, decorative keylock and feet. Inside, a green felt lined compartment. Twenty dollars.

I wanted it. Like, right then. I saw it in my house, a point of color on a table, or the hearth. People, you will be glad to know I exercised extreme restraint. I consulted with John. He liked it too, but “what would we do with it?” We’re at the stage now that anything coming into the house has to have a definable function. We couldn’t think of any. We left without the chest. I felt very mature.

An hour after returning home, I was still trying to think of some practical purpose for “my” chest. Not easy — I hadn’t taken measurements (and I carry a mini-measuring tape in my pocketbook too), so what was the point? Research? Then it struck me: it could house our favorite CDs — the go-to music we never get tired of listening to. Genius! I posited my idea to John who sighed and said, “If you really want it that much –”

People, he went back to the thrift store and bought the chest. He is soooo one of the good guys. Once it was in our living room, we discovered CDs would not fit into the chest the way we thought. At that point, we had no clue what else the chest could be used for.

A while later, John had a super thought: the chest was a tantalus: a container for decanters. Immediately we hopped to, and brought out several decanters and tried to fit them into the chest. No luck. One was too wide, the other too tall, another too round.

Well, after some consideration we shifted a few things around and my lovely chest now sits on a table right where you enter the living room, the shot of color and exoticism I’d initially envisioned. And maybe that’s all it ever needed to be.

Have you ever forgone buying something on impulse and regretted it? Or bought something that you didn’t know what it was and what to use it for? How did you solve that problem?

Thea Devine runs a monthly contest at http://www.theadevine.com. She’s the author of 27 historical and contemporary romances, and is a Romantic Times Booklovers’ Romance Pioneer honoree. Look for “Beyond the Night,” the sequel to “The Darkest Heart,” in 2014.

When the Sound Stopped

Thea here. Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, everyone.

Now, you know I’ve confessed to being a tv-holic. But people, I can’t watch everything. So when some gremlin snuck into my remote and rendered my tv silent for four days, I was near to losing my mind. How was I going to catch up on Revenge, The Good Wife and Homeland? Was I really going to have to sit in my kitchen to watch Wendy Williams? Or raise the sound on that tv so I could hear and watch in the living room? What about Thursday, and Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal? The #@#$% tv was ruining my life.

You guys should understand: I watch these shows for research. There are writerly lessons to be learned from them. I got hooked on Pretty Little Liars because I loved the premise — and then the whole onion peeling of the plot was fascinating. And Scandal — the twists! the turns! The yes I will, no I won’t. Delicious. And the burning question: how could I apply those strategies to what I was writing?

Now I told John this. I won’t say how he responded except I will never ever try to explain my tv viewing habits to him again. I will be as kind as he was after we’d moved and I told him two months later I wanted to move back to the house we had moved from (he didn’t divorce me). In all fairness, the analogy of house:move=tv:research doesn’t quite equate, but you get the idea.

I really thought the solution to the silent tv was simple: something in the remotes, you know? There were two of them and my oldest son, John and I all fiddled around with them for days and nothing happened. We disconnected all cords and reconnected. Nothing got grounded. Score: TV reception perfect. Sound: 0.

I finally called the appliance store where we purchased it. Two days later, the repair person determined it wasn’t the tv, it was the cable box. He did not leave me hanging, thank goodness.

Listen carefully, people — this may save your tv viewing life. He disconnected the cable box from the tv and pressed the power button on the cable box for a minute. He then replugged the cable box and voila! SOUND!!!!!

People! It was Thursday!!! I had Grey’s Anatomy back. And I didn’t have to watch Scandal in the kitchen with an aching back. And this weekend, I and the Mentalist finally found out who Red John is. How do you put a price on priceless?

And life is back to normal. I know you’ll be happy to know I caught up on nearly everything, though John is absolutely certain I watch Vampire Diaries every day. (I wish). However I have taken on Almost Human and Hostages and I’m thinking about catching up on Blacklist, Dracula and Sleepy Hollow.

Really — you guys get it: too much is never enough, right??

Have you had a tv-is-ruining-my-life moment? How did you handle it? What did you do? What did your husband or significant other say?

Thea Devine’s books defined erotic historical romance. She’s the authors of 27 historical and contemporary romances and a dozen novellas. She was a freelance manuscript reader for many years, and is a Romanic Times Booklovers’ Romance Pioneer honoree. Look for the sequel to The Darkest Heart — Beyond the Night — in 2014.