Monday, October 30, 2006

The Wait is Over...Let the Waiting Begin

Yesterday was the end of voting for the first round of the American Title III contest. Eight of the ten of us will go on to the next round. Voting starts Nov. 13. I'll let you know then whether I'm on the ballot or not. I'd tell you sooner, but then I'd have to kill you ; )

So stick around. You never know what I might come up with...


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Haunted Wins FF&P Contest's Romantic Elements Category

I'm pleased to announce that Haunted has won the Romantic Elements category in the RWA's Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Special Interest Chapter's On the Far Side contest. This is an annual contest for those who write fiction with an otherworldly twist. Or set in the future. Or with time travel. Or containing elves, warriors, etc. Or, in my case, ghosts.

Congratulations to all the contestants, and thank you to the first round and final judges. Also, a big thanks to the contest coordinators, Andrea Wilder, Amber Wentworth, and Victoria Stark who kept things running smoothly. Well, it went smoothly from my point of view : ) I was a judge (not in my category, of course) as well as a contestant, and these three ladies were available to answer all kinds of questions we came up with.

The On the Far Side contest is a great way to receive feedback from other writers who "get" your ideas, as well as having a chance for your work to be seen by agents and editors who handle such a varied genre/subgenre. The contest gets better and better every year. Way to go everyone!


Talk About Your Short Stories

Wired Magazine asked established science fiction, fantasy and horror writers to write a story in six words or fewer. Six! I can't even say good morning to someone in less than five. (Though you can't count before coffee greetings, because grunts aren't real words, right?)
Anyway, go check out the site. These people are amazing. I want to be like them when I grow up.


Monday, October 23, 2006

You Know It's Been a Rough Week When...

I appreciate how lucky I am that I can stay home and work on my writing (when I'm not surfing the 'Net or I.M.-ing friends) rather than have to go out into the real world and find a job. So my life should be fairly easy, or so you'd think. But alas, things go as awry for domestic goddesses such as myself as they do for anyone. I won't go into details because what may be a snafu-filled day for me would probably make a more organized person sneer with contempt. I admit I have my wimpy days.

So for me, I know it's been a rough week when the hype about a disposable razor lives up to its claims of smooth skin without irritation and brings a tear to my eye.

What's yours?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Week to Go

Just one week left in the first round of the American Title III voting. While it seemed like a long week, I’m sure the coming week will seem even longer. Though it’s hard to know whether that’s from nerves about the contest or the fact my kids had this past Friday off (in-service day for teachers) and will have Thursday and Friday of the coming week off (parent-teacher conferences). Needless to say (but alas, something is ALWAYS said after ‘needless to say’) I haven’t gotten as much done as I’d hoped. I did crit a couple of chapters for my pal Sharron. That’s writing related, so it counts. Right?

My fellow finalists and I exchanged a flurry of emails at the start of the week, supporting each other during server miscues and other unexpected glitches. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m honored to be part of this group.

I received notes from friends and family who overcame my ineptitude at imbedding links in emails and managed to vote. Thanks, all!!!

So I’ll get back to writing. Or start the laundry. Actually, I’ll be doing both today. And you thought all we writers did was sit around, drinking and commenting on the ironies of life or what have you. I’ll do that during the spin cycle.


Monday, October 16, 2006

American Title 3—And So It Begins

As of 11a.m. EST today, the polls for voting on the first line of the American Title 3 finalists’ novels has begun.

Am I nervous? Yes. And no.

Yes, because now it’s up to you to vote and tell the Romantic Times and Dorchester whose line grabs you the most. Because there will be comments from the three judges, and while voting is anonymous and somewhat distant, direct comment can be nerve-wracking. I want you to like my line best and there are 9 others saying the same thing and only 8 of us will go on to the next phase!! ACK!!!!

No, because I’m happy just to be here. I’m not being humble when I say I was surprised to get this far, or that it’s an honor to be a finalist. No matter how much I like my work, or if my critique partners, friends and family tell me how good it is, when a complete stranger who has no cause to spare your feelings tells you you’re good enough to be one of ten in a national contest, it’s a rush. Being in the company of writers whose works have won or finaled in numerous contests, including some biggies like the Golden Heart, is an incredible stroke to my writerly ego.

Do I want to win? You betcha! But it’s icing from here, folks. I got the cake when I got the “You’re a finalist” email. (And as thrilled as I am about this contest, I’m still hungry to be multipublished no matter what the outcome.)

So go to or send a blank email to webmaster@romantictimes.dom with HAUNTED in the subject line and there’ll be a little something special in it for you ; ) Okay, not really, but I’ll be VERY happy, so that has to be worth something. Go. Vote. And thank you!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Building Exposure Muscle

The first round of voting for the American Title III contest begins in a few days (October 16, in case I hadn’t mentioned it before) (which happens to be my husband’s birthday, so maybe that’s a good sign!). My fellow finalists and I are understandably nervous. I’ve finaled in contests before, and while I almost always get antsy when I send in entries, I recover quickly and get on with my life. This one is much bigger and has me feeling more naked than usual.

When I enter contests or submit to agents and editors, there’s a comfortable barrier of anonymity. Many contests require no identification on submissions. Works for me. Agents or editors reading my query may struggle with pronouncing my name--if I’m lucky enough to have garnered that much attention : )—but they don’t know who I am.

The American Title contest is my first experience where so much exposure is expected and encouraged. Self-promotion does not come naturally to me, but I’m working on it. I know that when I get published more will be necessary if I want to sell well. Which I do.

I’m not afraid of going out there and getting people to read my work, I’m just not used to it. I’ll equate it with something else I recently started: working out. The first few days of hitting the gym had me achy and wondering what the hell I was trying to do to myself, but after a month now, I feel pretty good and look forward to it. It’s good for me. In time it’ll get easier. And if it seems too easy, then maybe I need to push harder. I have to look at publicity that way too.

So, pass the Ben-Gay. I’ve got work to do.

Labels: ,

The Name Game

One of my friends suggested I blog about my last name. For such a short one, it’s a toughie to pronounce, and my husband and I have heard many interesting variations.

It’s German, not French. There’s even a town in Germany called Pegau. We pronounce it “pe-GAH”. Sort of sound like a chicken when you say it: “pe-GAH” There you go. It can also be pronounce “pe-GOW”. Our oldest daughter says “pegga.” We don’t know where she came up with it, but it’s better than some. We’ve heard “pe-GO” and “pe-GOO” and “PEE-goo,” which sounds terribly painful. But I appreciate the attempt and will answer to just about anything close.

Probably the most amusing/frustrating thing to us, however, is the spellings we get. What cracks me up is when I know I’ve carefully filled out a form to receive some thing or another and it’s sent to Cathy Pegan. Or Pagan. Or Tegue (what the…???). I’ve used block letters in your little spaces! Do you think I can’t spell my own name? I can just see the person filling out the order:

THEM: “P-E-G-A-U? That can’t be right. I’ll just change this letter here and here so the poor twit who can’t spell her own name is sure to get her dingle-hopper in a timely manner.”

ME (upon receiving said dingle-hopper a week later than expected because, heck, this is Alaska): “Tegane??? What the…? Arg!”

I hold not a speck of animosity toward folks who look at my name and massacre its pronunciation. Hell, it took me over two years of marriage to get it right and I’m STILL finding myself messing up after 14 years! But please, if I’ve written it for you in a clear manner, don’t change the spelling. Give me a little credit.


Friday, October 06, 2006

AT 2 Finalists Offer a Hand

First, I want to extend a huge thank you to the AT 2ers for giving us advice and support. And to Janice Lynn and Gerri Russell, the AT 1 and AT 2 winners, respectively, for coming aboard the group Lindsey Brookes started to help answer our myriad of questions. You’ve been very good to us, and we all appreciate it!

Starting today and running through Oct. 15, the finalists of last year’s American Title contest will be posting interviews with each of this year’s current finalists on their blog here . We were asked the same questions, so it will be interesting to see how they were answered. Here’s the schedule:

Jenny Gardiner: Sleeping with Ward Cleaver (interview date 10/6)
Judi Fennell: Beauty and The Best (interview date 10/7)
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom: Barbie and the Beast (interview date 10/8)
Sally Stotter: Dare You (interview date 10/9)
Cathy Pegau: Haunted (interview date 10/10)
Meretta Pater: Rising Sin (interview date 10/11)
Lindsey Brookes: Operation: Date Escape (interview date 10/12)
Kim Howe: One Shot, Two Kills (interview date 10/13)
Raz Steel: Pass the Kryptonite (interview date 10/14)
Kate Carlisle: The Kama Sutra Chronicles (interview date 10/15)

You’ll note I’m slated for the 10th, but be sure to read all the interviews. These folks are talented, fun, funny and sweet. I’m honored to be in their company.

The writing community is an amazing place. From offering advice on formatting to sharing research ideas, from celebrating sales and contest finals to commiserating about rejections and bad reviews, and much, much more, the writers I associate with are always willing to lend a hand or an ear despite the fact we are all vying for a limited number of coveted publication spots. Is it like that in other businesses? I don’t know, but I doubt it. And it makes me glad I chose this one.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Deadline Hell

No, not mine. My friend Sharron. I'm one of her crit partners and have had the privilege of reading her work before most everyone else. And though this week has been running her ragged, she took the time to look over a few things for me. THAT, dear readers, is friendship. And I'm lucky enough to have several in this business willing to put up with my dumb questions and thick headedness, especially when it comes to technology. But more on my gushing about helping hands in our next episode.

Labels: ,