September 12th, 2008


Author Spotlight: Gwyn Cready

Today I am doing something a little different: Spotlighting the author you just HAVE to read: Gwyn Cready. Gwyn is the author of not just one, but two new novels for 2008:

Both of these novels are flirty, fun, contemporary romances. I've ordered Tumbling thorugh time and can't wait to read it, but I have read Seducing Mr. Darcy.

Not only is Seducing Mr. Darcy completely, falling down funny (I got some weird looks on the train for my barely-stifled laughter), it has a set up to die for: Flip, a smart and stubborn woman, travels back in time and has a one night stand with Mr. Darcy. Yep, THE Mr. Darcy. How hot is that? But when she gets back to present day, she realizes her actions have changed Pride & Prejudice, the beloved classic. The only way to fix it is to get back and try to undo her mistakes--to hilarious results. The set-up is so huge, a lesser author wouldn't have been able to pull it off, but Gwyn Cready does it--and does it so well, I found msyelf jealous! Her sex scenes are hot, her heroes are yummy, and her jokes hit all the right notes. This is a book you do NOT want to miss.

Today, Gwyn Cready generously answers a few burning questions. Pretend we are two ultra cool authors, hanging out and having fun. Don't we look like we could be besties?

So, Gwyn. Your heroes wear some pretty yummy under garments. If Mr. Darcy were a modern day man, what do you think he'd wear: Boxers or Briefs?
I'm going to have to go with boxers, but something outrageous, like paisley silk or dancing lobsters. Here's my thinking. He doesn't seem quite out-there enough to be in a black bikini, and only our husbands wear briefs, right? So that leaves boxers, but with a "I shall put my own haberdashery mark upon it" attitude

MMM. Yumm.

Next question: You say you're still holding out for a blurb from Colin Firth. In your wildest blurb-dreams, what would Colin say?
Ah, Colin... I would love for him to say, "Gwyn Cready's novels are as sexy and funny as she is" or "If you can't have me--and, let's face it, you can't--your next best bet is a Gwyn Cready hero," but I'd settle for "Should I be getting royalties for any of this?"

Is SEDUCING MR. DARCY your original title? If not, what was the original?
My original title was Breeching Mr. Darcy, which I still find highly amusing. 'Breeching," of course, means getting the pants on something, and that's a great metaphor for what Flip, who's ruined Pride and Prejudice by having a hot one-night stand with Mr. Darcy, has to do. But since Breeching Mr. Darcy was my second book and I had already lived through having the world's best title taken off my first book, I was pretty sure it was a title that was fated to amuse only me. My editor was kind enough to say that the flap copy writer smiled when she first saw Breeching Mr.Darcy, but we all knew it was going to have to change. [By the way, Tumbling Through Time is my first book, and its original title was Unbuckled, the sexiest word in the English language. Sigh.]

What's next for you? Any more time-travels?
Oh, yes. I'm writing a great time travel now. The working title is Stripped Bare (notice how I don't even pretend that's going to be the actual title.) I have not received word of the actual title. Here's the story: a long-dead painter comes back to life to settle the hash of the woman whose series of sexy, tell-all biographies is driving the dead art world nuts. If you saw or read The Girl With A Pearl Earring, you should be quite amused (and, again, thank you Colin Firth for the inspiration), and you should be quite amused even if you didn't. It's very, very sexy and romantic.

What will you do when you run out of Colin Firth movies to inspire your books?

Want more? You can order Seducing Mr. Darcy or Traveling Through Time on Amazon, or visit Gwyn's blog.

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jpsorrow has a great post up today about query letters, in which he asks people to post those queries that worked for them, and he's linking them on his blog.

I dont have a lot of advice to say, other than my golden rule: Your query is meant to intrigue and entice, NOT explain the plot of your novel. You do NOT have to tell us every element, you do not have to explain each major character, how they are related, or why they are in the book. You ONLY have to get an agent to think, "Hmm. Now that sounds interesting!" If you have a huge cast of characters, focus on the one with the biggest hook. Reveal enough to tease the agent, and that's it.

So, here is the query letter that worked for me, back in 2006:

Dear [Insert Agent Name],
I am seeking representation for my YA novel, THE JETSETTER’S SOCIAL CLUB, complete at 60,000 words. It is geared towards the upper YA audience who may have enjoyed GOSSIP GIRL or THE A-LIST.

Sophisticated New Yorker Jayla Cohen, country bumpkin Samantha Montgomery, and Hollywood hottie Allie Bennet have just one thing in common: their new careers as personal assistants to the stars. But there’s a catch--none of them get to choose the celebrity who they must cater to for the next thirty days.

Jayla is horrified to discover her assignment is a “redneck” racecar driver. Samantha is totally freaked when she finds out she has to assist an A-list Movie star...who happens to be her biggest crush. Allie is downright pissed when she learns that she’s going to be stuck with a spoiled pop princess--she’d wanted a hot, rich, male rockstar!

I’ve been writing for several years now, and at twenty-three years old, I have a good grasp on authentic teen dialogue and voice. I write a quarterly column for SisterDivas, an online women’s magazine.

I look forward to hearing from you, and sharing some of my work. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Amanda Hubbard

Now, i want to say-- I do break one rule: I don't need to mention my age. Proof that you can succeed even if you break the supposed "rules", but that doesn't mean you should go out there with that mindset.