About dorisoconnor

Author of sensual, sassy, sexy romances.

Series and that pesky muse #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with my thoughts on series and how muses can frustrate not only us authors but also the readers.

I’ve touched on this subject before here, but it bears repeating, especially if you’re a panster like me.

I’m very, very aware that I have numerous series which still need completing, and yet, today sees the release of another new series, and I’ve had the acceptance on….. yep, you guessed it… anther new series.

*ducks the flying shoes*

giphy-downsized

I can’t help it, readers, I really can’t. As it happens I’m writing book two of the new series now, and then I will make a concerted effort to get to all my other series and add to them. I’m well aware how frustrating it must be when you, the reader, are waiting for the next one in your favourite series and the author goes off on a tangent and writes something else.

I can only speak for myself, but we don’t do it on purpose. I promise, we don’t. Well, I certainly don’t. I would love to be able to write a series in order, but it’s just not the way my muse works.

If it did, it sure would make my life easier. What I can promise is that all of my outstanding series will, eventually, be added to.

giphy (2)

Now, I best get off here and carry on writing. Contrary muse permitting…

And big thanks to all my awesome readers.

Stay naughty, folks,

D xxx

 

Ten Ways to tell…. #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Happy Tuesday, peeps, Doris here with what I hope will be a fun post. I may have mentioned before that I never set out to be an erotic author.

Oh no, not me. So, what happened? My characters knew better, that’s what.

Here are ten ways to spot an erotic author…

1.) Your characters never can keep their hands off each other.

giphy (3)

2.) You roll your eyes at purple prose.

giphy (4)

3.) You know every different way there is to say penis, without actually using that word.

giphy (5)

4.) Pussy, cunt, clit… etc. have long since lost the ability to make you blush.

giphy (6)

5.) You can’t help but check out hot bods you encounter… for research purposes of course.

giphy (7)

6.) Your google history is interesting.

giphy (8)

7.) Porn becomes research, even if it’s just what not to do… 😉

giphy (2)

8.) People make this face when they find out what you write.

giphy

9.) You blush when your child’s teacher wants you to come in and talk about being an author.

giphy (1)

 

10.) You have very sexy dreams!

giphy (9)

 

Feel free to add your own observations to that list.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

Acts of Terror and Charity Anthology Call #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with some somber Tuesday Thoughts. As you no doubt know I live in the UK which has been hit by three acts of terror in as many months.

I can’t even begin to describe that sinking feeling in my stomach when the TV gets interrupted for breaking news.

The latest attack was, of course on Saturday evening in London. You’ll all know the details by now, so I shan’t rehash the gruesome details.

I will only say this.

To those cowards who think they bring down the UK with their random killing spree of the innocents. Fuck you! and think again.

We are stronger than that. Hate will never win!

With that in mind, I would like to draw the attention of all you authors out there to this submission call for a charity anthology made by the awesome Lucy Felthouse!

 

Heart-768x630

As well as having been completely horrified and distraught by the recent terror attacks in the UK, I’ve also felt quite helpless. The latest attack at London Bridge spurred me into action—I might not be in a position where I can physically help victims, but I can do something. I can put together an anthology where all proceeds go to a charity that will help those affected. So that’s what I’m doing. Please consider writing something for this collection, and do share the call for submissions with anyone you think might be interested. Thank you.

United in Love (tentative title).

I want love stories about unity in the UK. About pulling together in the face of hardship and adversity. About solidarity. About positivity. I want heart-warming tales with a heat level of 3+—so hot romance to erotic romance. No closed-door sex or sweet romance. I’d like stories with a British flavour—so set in Britain. Authors do not have to be British or living in the UK, as long as the story has a British flavour.

I’m not looking for pure erotica, or BDSM/kink/similar. The emphasis is on love stories, and I’m looking to appeal to a wide variety of romance readers in order to maximise sales and therefore monies raised.

Stories should be between 3—6k (there’s a tiny bit of wiggle room, especially if your story is exceptional, but not much), with double quote marks around dialogue, double spaced, indents not tabs, UK spellings, and have been edited to the best of your ability. If you can get someone else to go through it once you’re done, all the better. I will be editing/proof-reading stories that are accepted, but the less work I have to do on that front, the more quickly the anthology can hit digital shelves and start earning money for charity. Stories do not have to be brand new, but they must adhere to the theme, and if they are previously published, please ensure you hold the rights to re-publish.

Which brings me on to the chosen charity. I’ve selected the British Red Cross. They’ve just set up a UK Solidarity Fund to help victims of terror anywhere in the UK—assisting with immediate issues and ensuring that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties. All money raised from sales of the anthology will go directly to them.

I want to move fairly quickly on this, so the deadline is quite short, I’m afraid. Stories should reach me no later than 14th July 2017. Ideally, I would like to publish the collection sometime during August. Please send your story to lucy@lucyfelthouse.co.uk with the subject: United in Love submission. Please refer any questions to the above email address.

Thank you so much for considering this, and please do share widely!

Lucy

 

So there, you have it. I will try my best to come up with something for this anthology.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

 

D xx

Migraine stops play #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hey, lovely peeps, Doris here. At the point of writing this, I feel like the proverbial stuff at the bottom of your shoe, warmed up, and spewed back out again.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up how I feel. So forgive me for not being able to string together a coherent post. I didn’t want to leave you hanging and wondering what happened to my post, however, so this is just a quickie.

I’ll be back next week with, hopefully, something clever to say.

I’ve been fighting this darn migraine for three days now, and screens make it worse, so I’ll get off here again.

Stay naughty, and above all stay healthy.

D xxx

“You don’t read that rubbish…” #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with her Tuesday thoughts, which will be short and sweet, and quite possibly ranty. You have been warned.

 

What brought this on, you may well ask? Well, the title will give you a clue! The above was actually said during a wedding dinner I attended this weekend. Now, don’t get me wrong the actual event was fab, and I really enjoyed myself, but as we were sitting around this table making small talk which folks we’d never met before the conversation inevitably turned to, “So, what do you do?”

My ever supportive and far too proud of me hubby announced that I was an author.

“Oh, really, what sort?”

All well and good until the subject of what exactly I write came up.

As per usual, the whole oh like Fifty shades came up. I just smiled sweetly and said, “My dear, I write far hotter than that.”

While the women at the table were supportive, you had to get one joker, who came out with the rubbish comment, not to me, I hasten to add, but to his wife, who was talking to me about my books.

Cue her reply, “No, but she writes it.”

Cue me, smiling not so sweetly at Mr. Clever Clogs. “Yes, that’s right, and I do very well, thank you.”

The expression on my face must have given me away. I know I have a very expressive face and probably looked ready to take his head off…. because he dropped the subject. Then again, my continued ignoring of his might have had something to do with that too.

Seriously, though…. grrr….

That was on top if the usual, “Oh, I should write a book,” and wink, wink, nudge, nudge comments. Is it any wonder I normally keep what I do to myself?

   Anyhoo, just had to get that off my chest. I shall never understand why folks have such a low opinion of the romance industry in general and erotic romance in particular.

On the upside I also met several folks at the wedding who are avid fans of my writing, so, ya know it swings in roundabouts.

They tend to be quieter than the neighsayers, mind you, but that’s okay.  I shall continue to ignore those that belittle the genre and continue to write what I love. Best way of dealing with them really, and well I know what my next villain will be called.

He may or may not find himself emasculated by a pint-sized, erotic romance reading woman…

 

*whistles innocently*

That’s all from me today, folks.

Do stay naughty, won’t you!

Dxxx

 

 

 

This crazy thing called life #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here, and as the title says, I’m talking about this crazy thing called life today.

Namely how it can derail you. I had a somewhat intelligent post planned, but then we had a really busy Monday, which involved a trip to the vets with the kitten for her post spey check up.

She passed with flying colours, bless her. You can see her fetching shaved bit here.

FullSizeRender (17)

Then our nine year old had two of his teeth taken out under IV sedation. He doesn’t like the dentist, doesn’t like anything in his mouth, and to top it all he doesn’t like needles.

Yes, stressful doesn’t even begin to describe that experience. He was very brave, however, and we got it done.

Phew.

He rather suffered afterwards with the after effects of the anesthetic. Picture him freezing cold in his pjs with a hoodie over the top, curled burrito style on his bed, shivering. Poor lil guy.

Well, he’s not little, he’s tall for his age, but ykwim. This mama’s heart hurt for him.

Anyway, despite all of that, I did manage to add 1000 words to my WIP. Not the one I was aiming to finish this week…

Fotolia_132552136_XS

Of course not, that would be easy, and you know my muse… she hops skipping and jumping all over the place. I’m consoling myself with the fact that I am writing, and as long as I listen to her demented mutterings in my ear my fingers fly.

Never argue with your muse, tried that, doesn’t work, at all.

*sighs*

Today is daughter #4’s birthday. She is 15. How did that happen? It seems like yesterday that she was born. Okay, I’ve had three more children since her, but still! 😉

So, where does this leave today’s post? Well, this rambling mess, lol.

To make up for my lack of anything writerly to say, I shall leave you with the inspiration for four of my current WIP’s. Yes, you read that right, four…..

*glares some more at her muse*

Duncan Crannach dragon shifter                        aea7bb36a1ca50d5d26096003355ddd6

738f4f076774ff00914e2503b4dd2752                        16142653_1187021441393972_802032089911822621_n

 

Right, now where was I?

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

People Watching #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here.

Let me ask you something, what do you see when you see this picture?

Do you see someone lonely, or do you see someone simply content by herself watching the world go by?

Well, I have to say that is always me. I’m not sure whether it’s an introvert thing, or a having been an only child thing, but being on my own, even in a crowd has never bothered me. Quite the opposite.

I love to simply sit and watch other people. It is endlessly fascinating to me, and, you know, people watching is the #1 research and inspiration tool in your author tool box if you ask me.

Take my night out the other day for a dear friend’s hen night. We went to the local casino and we had a great time. Not to gamble I hasten to add. Well, some in our group had a little flutter, I was content to simply watch, sip my numerous Gin&Tonics, have a little dance and observe the mating practices of the lesser spotted humans.

*giggle snort*

Not much seems to have changed since my high school/college days when I last frequented clubs of any kind.

There was the row of men sat staring at us legs spread wide in a display of testosterone which amused me greatly. Followed by gesticulating in what they must have thought was an encouraging manner and simply meant we dissolved into fits of giggles.

Then there was the guy who came across to give one of our group his friend’s phone number. Oh I did laugh, bearing in mind we’re all women of a certain age, and I’d have thought those were the antics of high school boys, not men.

Perhaps even more amusing was the fact that he did it a second time after the first attempt was thwarted by ripping up that piece of paper and sinking its remains in the wine cooler.

Then there was the guy in a suit whose dance moves could only be described as the ones of a monkey. (Hey, maybe he was an ape shifter, what you do you think?)

Or the guy whose trousers kept falling down so that he was treating all unsuspecting bystanders to a view of his butt crack. I barely resisted the urge to go up and pull the damn things up for him.

The old guy who was having a whale of a time on the dance floor, dancing with all the young ladies. Bless him, he did make me laugh, and all I can say is I hope I have that much energy when I’m an OAP.

Sidenote he was just the right height to snuggle up to the women’s boobs when he was dancing.

*giggle snort*

The primped to within an inch of her life seventy if she was a day plastic barbie doll lookalike, with her bleached blonde hair and the gravity-defying surgery enhanced boobs which kept on threatening to escape her dress.

The guy who got the death stare from me from trying to gyrate against me – and any other female for that matter –  on the dance floor. Yeah, not happening, mate. Wasn’t into that when I was younger, let alone now.

I could go on but you get the idea. Whether any of these observations will make it into a story… well, time will tell.

It was certainly an experience and we left before everyone got really drunk.

Oh, how could I forget the cleaners who also took to dancing along to the Madonna tribute act? Less said about her the better, really, bless her. Not an easy job I know being the live entertainment, but deary me.

Suffice to say she started to sound better the more G&Ts I had consumed. Funny that, eh?

Like I said we had a great time. As always happens at any gathering I attend I was asked whether I was all right, which never fails to amuse me. Like I said people watching is great fun for me. Don’t assume the one sitting quietly in the corner is not enjoying herself. Believe me, we do, and if you’re also an author, your muse will lap up all those observations and run with them.

The number of story ideas, I got from observing the people around me and the way they interact with each other. Try it, and see.

Not only will you get ideas you will also add depth to your characters. Observe how other people speak, their body language, the way they dress etc. The list is endless and endlessly fascinating too.

None as complex as human beings, after all.

It behooves those of us who write about them to show them in all their complexity.

So, keep on watching and dreaming up those stories, folks.

Stay naughty,

D xxx

Promo, Promo, Promo… #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Happy Tuesday, folks, Doris here. Now before you get too excited about the title, this is not a how to promo post.

Online Promo in blue

Heaven forbid! There is enough information out there about that. Every Tom, Dick, or Harry seems to have the latest must do.

You know the ones, do XYZ and you’re guaranteed sales….

Yes, well, my take on that, if anyone starts off with that, run a mile. NOTHING guarantees sales. The right promo helps, of course, but what will work for one author will not work for the other, and we all have to decide what level of promotion we’re comfortable doing, and most importantly can sustain doing.

Like with most things, consistency is the key here.

There is no point having a blog, if you don’t blog, for instance, or only do so every once in a blue moon. I aim to have a blog post up every day. This isn’t for everyone, and some weeks I don’t manage it, but I will always have a Tuesday/Wednesday/Sunday post up at least, because they’re memes I participate in every week, and you know what. They get tons of views.

So, if you have a blog chose a day/days that you will always put something up, no matter what, and you will get readers checking it out.

Likewise, if you have a website – and as an author, you really, really ought to have one of those – then for the love of all that is holy make sure it’s up to date. Links work etc.

It’s frustrating for a reader to come on your website and not find the latest info they’re looking for.

Those are the basics really, the staples of being an author if you like. That, and having a social media presence.

Again, whichever platform you use, be consistent and be there. I was on Facebook a long time before I ever published a book, so that’s where most of my promo efforts are located, and when I say efforts, they simply contain in sharing my new releases, maintaining my author page on there, and above all to be social.

There is no need to bash your readers over the head with endless promos. Be engaging, be you, and they will naturally seek out your books, if you write in a genre they’re interested in.

And if you don’t? Well, guess what. That’s okay too. I’ve got many friends on FB who wouldn’t dream of reading my book, yet I value my interactions with them.

You are so much more than the books your write. Let your personality shine through, concentrate on writing the next book and the rest will fall into place.

Ah, but Doris, you say, that’s easy for you to say. You’ve been at this for five years now. You have a good reader base, yadda, yadda, yadda.

True, but I’m not doing anything differently now than I did when I started back in 2011 when I got my first contract.

I had three books out with three different publishers in the space of three weeks back then. Why? Well, one, because I don’t believe in putting all our eggs in one basket (proof in point, two of those publishers don’t exist anymore) and two, I’d been in a mad writing frenzy for a year and had lots of manuscripts available to me.

I have continued to be a prolific writer, though nowhere near as productive as some authors I know, who I’m convinced cannot do anything but write.

Personally, I prefer to have a life, spend time with my family, and get that work, write balance right. Because that is important too, you know, folks.

all the work not doing

Give yourself time off from all that hard work, be that writing, or indeed the dreaded promo. Your stories will be all the better for it.

Nothing sells books as well, as more books. Think about the last time you discovered a new to you author, whose work you love. Remember that squee-worthy moment when you checked him/her out and discovered their backlist? Yeah, never underestimate the power of the backlist.

I’m a happy bunny indeed when I discover an author I love has lots of books I can gorge on.

Never forget your best promotional tool is to keep on writing. I know not everyone can write fast. For some getting two, three books a year out is a big thing, and that’s okay. If that’s the way you write, then you just have to go with it, but I’d say being you out there on Social Media becomes even more important.

Don’t be that author, who promotes the one book over and over and over. It will not gain you more sales, it will just make folks roll their eyes and yawn.

If you have a backlist, mention one of those. If you have an upcoming release, mention them. If you have nothing to promo, then post kitten pics…

Side note: I do love kitten spam! *smiles*

Seriously, though, you get the idea. Be YOU.

By all means, try out different promo hats to see what fits but don’t get too hung up about it. Don’t feel you have to try the latest craze that everyone is going on about, especially if you’re not all that comfortable with this whole promo thing.

Here at the Naughty Quills we covered this topic a few times, so, if you haven’t already, check out these posts:

Marketing Materials

An Author’s Backlist

Promoting Your Work

Anatomy of a Promo Kit

Newsletter Importance

Building Readerships & Relationships

Think that will do for now. Your head will spin if you read all that.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, won’t you!

D xxx

 

Make a Choice #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, peeps, Doris here with some thoughts on choice. Our lives are full of choices, aren’t they?

We get up every morning, chose what to wear, what to have for breakfast, etc. etc.

Those are what you might call the easy choices, though, when you have several teen girls in the house, the choice of what to wear is anything but easy. It’s more like this.

However, this post isn’t about clothes, but the choices we make as authors, in particular how to conduct ourselves online.

Here on the Quills we said many times over that as an author, you, are your brand. Whatever you put out there, your readers will see, take on board, form their opinion on you,  the author, the person, and ultimately your books.

And you have a choice to make. Do you want to be known as the author, who bitches about everything and everyone all the time?  Do you, I mean, really?

We all get off days, lord knows I have plenty, but does the whole world really need to know about them? I like a good rant as much as the next person, and yes, sometimes they happen on FB, but most of the time, I keep my ranting in private.

Once it’s out there on the interwebz it’s there to stay.

By all means, share personal stuff that you are comfortable sharing, have your opinion, but express it respectfully and not at the expense of others.

Like the author who likes to poke fun at other authors by quoting lines from their books, and ridiculing said scene.

That is just not on. I have stopped reading an author who kept on getting her giggles like that, and while no names were ever quoted, it’s just bad form.

Don’t be the mean girl in the author playground.

While I’m on that subject, don’t be that author, who appears clueless about her own success. The Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it posts, I’m so nervous about this new release… etc .. when your readers would no doubt buy your shopping list, were you to put it out there, get old fast.

I exaggerate on purpose, here. Of course, you can and should squeal about your success. Of course, you should thank your readers, just sound like you actually mean it, ya know.

Readers are awesome, and they deserve to be praised. Just stop already with the fake surprise when you’re on top of your game and pretend you don’t know it. What is that all about?

On the flip side of that, don’t be a diva either and think you’re better than anyone else because you’re outselling them. Nope, doesn’t work that way, and it will not gain you any friends.

Don’t be that author who tears down a reviewer for daring to not like your book, especially if the review is a constructive one. And even if it isn’t, rise above it. That reviewer is entitled to his/her opinion as much as you are.

Don’t like something your publisher does? Well, then take your stories elsewhere, just be sure you do it for the right reasons. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Then again, it might be. You won’t find out unless you try.

Choices, see we all have them.

I can hear you all wondering what on earth brought this post on. Well, a myriad of things, to be fair. I’ve lost count on how many times I was going to wade into something on Social Media last week, and then deleted that post, or reply, before I hit send.

Try it, it’s therapeutic. You get whatever it was off your chest, without adding fuel to the fire, and you can get on with your day safe in the knowledge that you haven’t fallen into the trap to think your opinion is more important than anyone else’s.

And being devil’s advocate here, that goes for this blog post too. I’m fully aware that I’m ranting a tad today. Forgive me. It’s coming up to that time of the month and I turn a bit like this…

 

 

That’s all from me today, you’ll be pleased to hear.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

 

 

 

Measure Your Own Success #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here, with my thoughts on Success.

 

In particular how you define success. And you know, this will be different for everyone, and if you start comparing yourself to other authors, well, then, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed.

There will always be someone who is more successful, or who you perceive to be more successful. And you know this whole successful thing is relative.

Yes, I think we can all agree that there are those authors, the ones that immediately spring to mind, because everyone has read them, or at least has heard of them.

You’ll find them in every bookstore, on posters in public transport etc.

Fame and success right there, I guess.

I’m not talking those authors, however. I’m talking you and me, the average run of the mill person, who also happens to be an author.

How do we define our success?

Well, the obvious one is to look at your sales. I just did an interesting exercise of working out my average sales per book with both of my publishers. It was a rather eye-opening experience, and it made it clear to me where I should be sending the majority of my books in future.

I’ve gone with my gut on these things in the past, but as hubby reminded me this is a business, and it deserves a calculated approach. In my case a calculator-wielding hubby, lol. Seriously, I’m useless with numbers.

So, that is certainly one way to measure your success. However, if you only look at your sales, you will probably end up disappointed. It goes back to there will always be someone who sells more than you do.

money-bag-clipart-Money_Bag2_Money_Clipart_Pictures

I don’t believe money can ever be your sole motivation to write. If it is, you will a) end up disappointed, or far worse, b) sell your soul and integrity to the devil, and simply churn out things that you know will sell.

And that, my lovelies would be a such a shame. Of course, we all need to eat, and if you write full time with no other income, then yes, to a certain extent you will have to do that.

No judgment here. Every one of us authors defines their own career paths, and what is right for one will not be right for the other.

However, if you’re one of the multitudes of authors who write in addition to an evil day job, or to simply contribute to the family income like I am, then you can be more discerning in how you define your success.

To me, in its simplest form success means being a published author. Every time I type those magic two words – The End – I get such a buzz. It’s  hard to describe if you’re not an author, that sense of achievement.

Then there is that magic moment you get your publisher’s e-mail to say they would like to publish the book. The buzz of release day, and the oh so precious reader comments.

Never underestimate the power of that. A reader saying they enjoyed your story. That you lifted them up on a bad day. Even if that book tanks, to know that you reached that one reader… success in my book.

So, be who you need to be, and define your own success, peeps.

Make Your Dreams Happen

That’s all from me today, folks.

Do stay naughty and count your blessings. You’re more successful than you think!

D xxx