Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Radio Show

I've just heard that there were 25 downloads of the Radio Show I did with Nikki Leigh--and she hasn't even promoted it yet. I hope that's a goodly number, but I will leave it up to my readers to download some more and listen to it.

Just go down the page and you'll see the show with Dorice Nelson. That's me. I listened to it myself and horrors--I even enjoyed it. Nikki Leigh is one sweet gal for doing all those things for all the people she does things for, on a daily basis. I have never met another person who is so willing to share.......nice gal.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another rainy day

Today is one damned gloomy day. No sun. Rained in the morning. I was depressed so I decided since I was already there, I should do the income tax. We always get an extension because our accountant is so busy during the usual time for taxes. Anyway, I did the whole bloody thing and got it done by two p.m. And I'm still out of sorts.

I need to go into my bedroom, close my eyes and think up a storm. I have the prologue and the very first scene of Vengeance done. I've also written out several other scenes that would follow the first one, but, after going through them and being bored out of my mind, I found that they could be cut. They just didn't move the story forward and looked more like a police procedural than anything else--so they are gone. I do have one good scene that follows the first one and will probably work on it this afternoon.

In fact, I'm going to do that right now. Why don't you all go and listen to my Radio Show Interview. It was fun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Radio show

Today I did a radio show with author Nikki Leigh, a wonderful, helpful gal. We talked about writing for an hour, mentioning all my novels, my publisher and my plans for the future writing. Believe it or not, it was hard for this gal to sit still with a phone to her ear for the entire hour, but I managed--I think because Nikki is so very interesting and interested. If anyone would like to listen in, go to

I really enjoyed doing the show. It was fun, and she asked some really pertinent questions. Stop by--listen.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Interesting newsletter

Subject: [CynthiaSterling] Market News for week of April 20, 2008

Lace and Blade is accepting submissions for its second anthology of "elegant, sensual, romantic fantasy, emphasizing sharp verbal repartee as much as sharp pointed weapons, rapier rather than broadsword." Editor Deborah J. Ross is interested in "characters - both men and women - with vibrant personalities, complex, dashing, and very sexy. I'm particularly interested in stories that have magic and action, but in which conflict is resolved not by violence but by insight, creativity, and compassion. I'd love to see "win-win" endings, sense-of-wonder, plot twists and turnabout. Alternate sexuality is welcome; eroticism a definite plus; exotic, non-Western European settings also encouraged. Please read the first volume to see what I'm looking for." The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2008. There are no minimum or maximum lengths, though Ross says longer stories must be "extraordinary." Ross will pay a 2 cents a word advance against royalties. The book will be released Valentine's Day, 2009. Complete guidelines are available at


Plays is a magazine of one-act plays for children and teens. Editor Liz Preston is looking for plays about contemporary topics such as friendships, relationships within peer groups and family and community and school activities. She also welcomes plays about inspirational figures from history, comedies, mysteries, melodramas and skits. The plays must have plenty of action, believable dialogue and a fast pace. Pay is $75 to $250, on acceptance, for all rights. Go to to read sample plays from past issues. Submit your one-act play to Liz Preston, Editor, Plays, P.O. Box 600160, Newton, MA 02460


My friend, Katriena Knights ( did a terrific video for my upcoming book, A Soldier Comes Home. Check it out at

As always, feel free to pass along this newsletter and to encourage others to sign up to receive it. If you reprint or forward the newsletter, all I ask is that I be given credit for it. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to

Cindi Myers
A Soldier Comes Home, Super Romance, June 2008,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today, after running to the drug store, Curves and the post office, I intended to get some work done. I had started by clearing off the desk so I could use it for writing, which meant I have to clear out all the Romance Writer Reader (RWR) magazines I had thrown there. I had taken out all the good articles from 2006 and had them in a folder and only needed to do the same for 2007. Well, I did that today.

I was half-way into it when friend Carla Neggers called. We hadn't talked in a long time, so we had some catching up to do. And boy did we ever. I also had a question to ask her for the Saratoga group and did that. It was great hearing from her. She's one of my favorite people.

Once I had all the articles, agent/editor and market news separated from the magazines, I needed to go to lunch. That was about 1 p.m. I no sooner finished than my artist friend, Barbara Garro, called and wanted to stop over--and so she did. It is now 3 p.m. and I'm waiting for the handyman to show up. It doesn't seem like I'll do any writing today. You know--I'm getting sick of all this.........lolol

Monday, April 21, 2008


For some odd reasons, Mondays seem to be the day to get multiple errands done. You think if you get them done on Mondays, the rest of the week will be free so you can write. How come it never works out that way?

My office is already so hot that I can barely work in it, but the handyman will be here tomorrow. Hopefully, he'll be able to set my AC up and get the deck ready for play-time. Maybe, he can even put up the screen house we have. If he can, then I can enjoy the outside without all the bugs. Wasps are having a field day this year and are out earlier than ever.....many more than all last year put together.

This afternoon, I'm off to Bennington, VT. I have a doc's appointment, then a meeting with the gal who does framing. The appointment is so late in the afternoon that it seems to kill the whole day.

Today, I wanted to work on the "finding the box" scene in Vengeance Is Mine. I have to have the heroine trying to load a fractious two-year-old thoroughbred on a two-horse trailer. I know it's often not an easy thing to do, so I will make it particularly hard for her. . .need to have her too busy to pay attention to the box and where it's going. Then the last scene in the first chapter--in her dad's attorney's office, for what might be a shocker for her. I hope to end the chapter with that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Movie to see

I just read this discussion on a site and thought those of you who are iinterested in Kipling might enjoy this movie.

IN discussions of Kipling, no word comes up more often than paradox: he was the prophet of both empire and its decline, a white supremacist and a connoisseur of exotic cultures, a fabulist and a master of realistic detail, a friend of the common man and a foe of democracy. But never had his conflicted nature caused him so much grief as when he used personal influence to wheedle a commission in the Irish Guards for his severely myopic son John, known as Jack. With tragic inevitability, Jack, who was just 18, was killed in his first military engagement, the Battle of Loos, in September 1915.

TV Review | 'My Boy Jack': A Different Kind of Kipling Adventure (April 18, 2008) The anguish that Kipling inflicted on himself and his family is the subject of “My Boy Jack,” a co-production of the British company Ecosse Films and the ITV network with WGBH, Boston, to be shown as part of the “Masterpiece” series on Sunday on most PBS stations. (Check local listings.) Adapted by David Haig from his play of the same name, the film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Jack; Kim Cattrall as Carrie, Rudyard Kipling’s American wife; and Mr. Haig himself as Kipling.

To add to the paradoxes, the film was shot primarily in Ireland with an Irish crew. Though many of Kipling’s most popular early characters (Private Mulvaney in “Soldiers Three,” Peachey Carnehan in “The Man Who Would Be King” and Kim in the novel of the same name) are Irish or half-Irish, Kipling grew virulently anti-Irish in response to the rise of the Irish independence movement in the early 1900s. He called Dublin a city of “dirt and slop,” and the Irish Home Rule Bill of 1912 an invitation to “Rebellion, rapine, hate,/ Oppression, wrong and greed,” as well as the domination of Ireland by the Roman Catholic Church. Under these circumstances Kipling must have found it mortifying to discover that Jack’s only military option was an Irish battalion.

Mr. Radcliffe noted that a scene in which Kipling addresses a “roomful of Republic of Ireland children, about 50 of them, all waving Union Jacks” carried a “massive political irony.” The film’s director, Brian Kirk, a native of Northern Ireland, observed that the scene originally ended with the “entire audience singing ‘God Save the King.’ ” This idea was scrapped, he said, to avoid having the British anthem sung with a “Dublin lilt.”

The creators of “My Boy Jack” were aware of Kipling’s torturous relationship with the Irish but felt it had to be omitted from the story. For Mr. Haig, the family’s reaction to its loss was the strongest component of the drama. “The Irish nationalism was something I was prepared to sacrifice,” he said.

The film tells the story of Jack’s induction and military training; depicts the Kiplings’ squirearchal lifestyle at Bateman’s, their Jacobean manor house in Sussex; and explores the family tensions over Jack’s brave but foolhardy enlistment. It builds rapidly to an extended trench warfare sequence, portrays the soldiers’ terror in raw detail, then hurls them onto the battlefield, where Jack soon disappears and is reported missing.

Next comes the more somberly hued aftermath, when, as Rebecca Eaton, the film’s executive producer, put it, the Kiplings must face the “unspeakable” possibility that they have lost a child, one they “have purposely put in harm’s way.” To find their son the Kiplings exploit every avenue: the Red Cross, army hospitals, influential friends.

In the latter part of the film Ms. Cattrall, who earlier relied on, in her words, “silence and subtlety” to convey the strength and will beneath Carrie’s placid Edwardian demeanor, shifts to a higher dramatic gear. Without a hint of Samantha Jones, she takes charge of the process, refusing to sleep as she pores over 4,000 photos of captured English soldiers. Later she murmurs, “I’ll find you, Jack.”

The revelation of Jack’s fate comes with an added psychological dimension. Pvt. Michael Bowe (Martin McCann), the sole survivor of Jack’s Irish platoon, arrives at Bateman’s and gives a shattering account of Jack’s last hours, speaking in a pronounced brogue. The whole family achieves a measure of catharsis, and even the self-assured bard finally disintegrates into sobbing.

These sequences may be consistent with the filmmakers’ overall design, but the real-life Kipling never broke down. And, it can be argued, he used his art to avoid the truth rather than face it, versifying that his son “was killed while laughing at some jest” and that at least “he did not shame his kind.” No one really knows how Jack died.

Asked if he thought Kipling would have liked “My Boy Jack,” Mr. Haig replied, “On one level he would have resented any deepish investigation into his family.” But he said he liked to think Kipling would have found a “generosity of spirit and sensitivity” in the film.

Kipling might have been quite pleased by what is, after all, a meta-Kipling yarn. Like Harvey, the adolescent hero of “Captains Courageous,” Jack transcends a cosseted boyhood to become part of a manly, rigorous corps, inspiring his somewhat hapless Irish recruits, besting them in push-ups and, despite weak eyesight, in marksmanship as well. Later he leads them valiantly “over the top” and dies almost as heroically as Akela, the venerable wolf chieftain in the first “Jungle Book.”

As for the Irish, they figured in Kipling’s major act of authorial contrition. His two-volume history “The Irish Guards in the Great War,” published in 1923, was a commemoration of the English officer class represented by his son but also a rediscovery of the loyal Irish Tommies of old. (He quotes one as saying, in a drenching rain, “We was just dhrippin’ Micks.”) In this role Kipling almost managed to love them again.

Friday, April 18, 2008


The Cambridge Fiction Writers met today. We conducted our meeting outside on the deck. The weather was too beautiful to be indoors. We only had two folks that shared their work, but the feedback was fascinating. We're getting away from line by line critiques. I get the feeling that we're all becoming better writers, noticing more about the craft and giving better feedback. It sure feels good.

Tomorrow, the Saratoga Romance Writers meet. One of the gals and I drive over to Saratoga together and get a wonderful chance to chat. The meetings there are a bit different. I think the gals there are quieter about giving feedback. Nevertheless, I still learn something new.

I've written the Memorial Service scene and have pretty much decided what scenes can be cut from the first chapter. Tomorrow, I'll write some more..........

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A bit more

I finally got the Memorial Scene onto my Alphie and am about to put it on my computer. I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm writing my first draft by hand (in pencil or pen, whichever comes first and is available), then I'm copying it onto my AlphaSmart and then relaying it onto the computer.

I've lost track of my Book in a Month work, but I felt it was crucial and it gave me ideas, that I think I'll go back to it. I'm going to start all over again, instead of just trying to restart from where I left off.

I also did the scene between the cop and Ayden--but I don't know how much of it I'm going to keep. In fact, I don't know how much of any scene I'm going to keep in the novel--or whether I'll keep a scene in. I guess I have to write in a linear fashion so I know where I am and where I'm going for any given moment. Not all the scenes I write are necessary to the story. Much of some of them can be put elsewhere--so my main claim is: I have to finish the first draft of what has become an entirely new book, a new Vengeance Is Mine.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Still working

I'm a bit pleased today. Over the weekend, I wrote the first draft of the final scene. Of course, it was in order, but the idea came to me and I thought I'd better get it down before I forgot what I wanted to say. After writing it, I finally put all the things I'd written (in order) into my Alphie and have since transferred them to my computer. I will do the flash drive before I leave the office for the day.

I have the opening scene pretty well done--starting with the antagonist. Chapter 1 will be all the set-up information needed for the protagonist--whose name I decided to keep Ayden, which some folks tell me is just a guy's name. Not so. Scene 1 will contain the first murder, scene 2 might be when she wakes up or I might jump right to the Memorial scene or go to the Lawyer scene. My goodness, such decisions to be made. Maybe I'll write them all and see which I like best...just as long as I go on.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


So far this month, between my husband and myself, we have over six doctor or dentist appoinments. Now, for some reason, I find that excessive. Who can pay all those people in one month, even if you do have insurance.

Tomorrow, we go to Bennington, VT for tooth extractions. I drive, he suffers having his teeth pulled out. While he is in the dentist's chair, I'm going to rush off to Staples and get a bunch of stuff copies.........63 pages worth, done three times. A friend of mine and I intend to use the papers along with the Book in a Month by Victoria Schmidt.

I'm also going through all my 2006 and 2007 Romance Writers Report magazines. I'm taking out the pertinent information and articles and tossing the books. I have no more room in my office. And, of course, anything that keeps me from writing is okay but bad for my system.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Restarting what I'm supposed to be doing--every day--is a swift pain. I never seem to get ahead of the writing game. Something else to do most often gets in the way. Doctor and dentist appointment seem to be taking up the first week of this month.

I did get a start and slowly wound down to doing just the emails and the blogs--and not ever doing those in any rythmic way. I am now wasting my time going though two years worth of "Romance Writers Report." I am taking out all the craft,market update, agent/editor, and RWR News articles, throwing the magazines away and keeping the good stuff. Will I ever get to read this? That is certainly the question. I'll try. I know I will, but will I get bored and toss it all away--probably.

I did manage to start a scene while waiting in the dentist's office today. I figured out that it was going to be important later on in the novel. This is the first time that I have written in other than a linear fashion, but it seems like fun. As I get an idea for something, I write it down and make a scene--at least, of dialogue--and save it to the computer, via the Alpha Smart. Let's see how this works.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

An Important Article for Authors

From the Wall St. Journal I thought this article was important enough to post to my blog a second time today.

HarperCollins Turns Page in Publishing
New Imprint to Squeeze
Advances to Authors,
Won't Take Returns
April 4, 2008; Page B7

Marking a radical departure from traditional book-publishing practices, HarperCollins Publishers says it will launch a new book imprint that won't accept returns from retailers and will pay little or no advances to authors.

To be headed by veteran publishing executive Robert S. Miller, the imprint also likely won't pay for more desirable display space in the front of bookstores, a common practice. Instead, the as-yet-unnamed unit will share its profit with writers and focus much of its sales efforts on the Internet, where a growing portion of book sales are shifting.

The new venture is aimed at improving the economics of book publishing, which has long been hobbled by the need to pay for space in stores and take back unsold books from retailers at full price. The practice of paying authors advances -- offset against future royalties -- also can be costly for publishers when books bomb.

HarperCollins's decision to try a new approach comes at a time when book publishers and retailers are battling to generate new sales and attract more readers. "This is the right time to experiment with a new business model," said Jane Friedman, chief executive of HarperCollins. "We have to look at a changing marketplace."

HarperCollins is a unit of News Corp., which also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Of all the changes proposed by the new imprint, the end to book returns may be the most far-reaching. The current practice encourages retailers to order huge quantities of potentially hot new titles, sending back those that don't sell. Publishers, keen to snare as much retail space as they can for new titles, are happy to oblige. But it means publishers are printing far more copies of books than they need to -- between 30% and 40% of all consumer books shipped are returned to publishers, according to publishing veterans. Returns are also common in the DVD and music businesses, and affect some videogame titles.

HarperCollins hopes to cut retailers' returns. Above, sale books at a Barnes & Noble in Illinois.
How retailers will respond to nonreturnable books isn't clear. A spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble Inc., the largest U.S. book chain by sales, said the retailer will need to learn more about the plan before commenting. Several years ago, Barnes & Noble Chief Executive Steve Riggio said in an interview that he would like to be able to mark down books rather than returning them. Eliminating returns, he said at the time, would "revolutionize the book business and revitalize the book business."

Eliminating returns has been tried before -- unsuccessfully. Back in 1980, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. announced it would provide retailers with larger discounts and end returns. Orders fell off, however, and the publisher reversed itself.

Now, though, the book industry -- both publishers and retailers -- is under intense economic pressure. HarperCollins's operating income fell slightly in the six months to Dec. 31, News Corp. reported in February, on lower revenue. This year is expected to be tough for book sales. Both Barnes & Noble and Borders Group Inc. have warned investors that their results will be affected by the economic slowdown. Borders last month put itself up for sale, warning it faced a potential cash crunch in coming months. The retailer Wednesday delayed filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission because it is in new financing discussions intended to address its liquidity issues.

"Other publishers have tried to sell their books on a nonreturnable basis in the past, but this might be the right time," says Lorraine Shanley, a partner in consulting company Market Partners International Inc.

Mr. Miller, who is stepping down as president of Walt Disney Co.'s Hyperion book publishing arm to run the new imprint starting April 14, said in an interview that booksellers are also unhappy with the returns system. "There's so much inefficiency in our business, so much waste, that it's time to at least experiment with approaches that can eliminate waste," Mr. Miller said.

The new venture is expected to publish about 25 titles a year, emphasizing shorter hardcover titles priced at about $20.

Mr. Miller, 51 years old, said that many authors who currently receive large advances won't be interested in the new model. However, he thinks he will attract major authors who have a book in the desk drawer that doesn't fit their image, as well as up-and-coming writers.

Mr. Miller, who started Hyperion in 1991, will be succeeded at that label by Ellen Archer, who will retain her existing position as publisher.

Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at

Working somehow

Despite the many doctor appoinments this past week, I have managed to do some writing. There's something about Waiting Rooms that seem to push me off in other directions.

I am working through (although not completely successfully) Book in a Month, by Victoria Schmidt. I am following her directions and reading the proper material for each and every day. Sometimes, by the time I'm finished reading and trying to work out what she's asking for, I don't have a lot of time to write on the actual novel itself.

Today, I intend to get all that I've written so far onto my computer, including my version of her worksheets. Once I have them so that I can print them out, I should be able to fill in the blanks and still be able to write on the novel itself. Am going to try it right now..............

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Scottish Mystery

Mystery of severed head found on Arbroath beach from This might make for a wonderful new suspense novel. I'll keep it in mind............

View Gallery
By Frank Urquhart

THE two little red-haired sisters were playing happily on the beach in the spring sunshine, without a care in the world, when they spotted a black plastic bag among the flotsam near the high-tide mark.
Curious, the girls, both younger perhaps than ten, peered inside. A split second later, they were running for home – horrified after finding the severed head of a dark-haired woman.

Last night, the gruesome discovery – and the subsequent find of a severed hand in a similar plastic bag less then 100 yards away – had sparked what was, in all but name, a huge murder inquiry in the seaside town of Arbroath.

There have been further developements this morning as police investigating the discovery of the body parts announced that they have found a second hand.

As detectives sealed off the area and began a detailed forensic examination of the beach where the remains were found, police forces throughout the UK were flashed details of the discovery in the hope of identifying the victim. DNA tests, dental records and fingerprints will be used in an attempt to find out who she was.

Tayside Police said they could only treat the macabre discovery as a "suspicious death". But once the cause of death is established, it is certain to turn into a murder investigation.

The drama began shortly after 10:30am yesterday, as the sisters played on the Seagait beach, which is overlooked by a row of private homes and holiday cottages. They spotted the black plastic bin bag on the beach and decided to peek inside.

The terrified children then ran to their home nearby to tell their mother, who immediately telephoned the police.

Officers found the hand in another bag 100 yards closer to the town's bustling harbour.

John Carswell, a builder working on a new house only 50 yards from where the head was discovered,

said neither of the two bags had been there when he removed debris from the sand-and-shingle beach the night before.

He said: "I cleaned up that beach at 4 o'clock last night – every bit of rubbish on it – and there was nothing there. I have given the police the bag of rubbish I collected at the time. There was some clothing in the rubbish I collected – that's all."

His son, also called John, had been working in the new house when he spotted the two girls on the beach.

He said: "I was working in an apartment, fitting a bathroom beside a window, looking down at the beach.

"There were two red-headed little girls, one aged about six, and the other four or five, and they were playing at the water's edge. They were on their own – everyone around here looks out for the kids and makes sure they're OK.

"I saw them poking about a black bin-bag, when they suddenly took off screaming in a hurry, which I thought was a bit strange.

"I saw them come back with their mother, and I asked her what was going on.

She said she thought the girls had found a head, and that she had called the police. Police officers came down, and then CID arrived. They went to the black bin-bag, and when they opened it up, I saw some hair, and it was plainly a head."

The bag containing the head was covered by a fish box until a forensics team arrived to begin a detailed examination.

Officers later produced a blue tarpaulin to cover the gruesome find, which was then removed so it can be given a more detailed examination.

Detectives have said it is too early to indicate whether the two bags had been deliberately dumped at the site or had been swept in on the high tide.

The investigation is being headed by Graham McMillan, who was promoted to the rank of detective chief inspector only yesterday. He said: "The remains have been found in what are very much suspicious circumstances.

"This morning, two girls were playing on the beach when they made the discovery. They had looked inside the bag and suspected it was a human head.

"They were obviously very distressed by that and went home and reported the discovery to their parents, who reported it to the police. Officers who arrived confirmed that it was the head of a woman.

The bag was close to the tide line and there is the potential that it was washed up on the beach. There were fairly rough seas and it was quite windy last night.

"A hand was then found in another bag further along the beach towards the harbour. From a cursory inspection, it appears to be a female hand."

He declined to reveal how long the remains may have been in either of the bags.

Mr McMillan said that officers had swept the beach for about a quarter-of-a-mile in each direction of the grim discoveries but had found no further evidence of human remains.

He praised the two little girls who made the find. "They were obviously upset by their discovery, but they did the right thing. They are being supported by their parents now," he said.

The Home Office Large and Major Crime Enquiry System (Holmes) is being used by Tayside Police to assist in the investigation.

Mr McMillan said: "We are investigating the national missing persons database, and so on.

"We are obviously checking for reported missing persons to see if there is potential there, but we would also like to appeal to anyone who has maybe got concerns for a friend, relative or an acquaintance that they haven't seen for a wee while."

It is understood, however, that no-one whose description matches that of the woman whose head was found on the beach has been reported missing in the area.

Jim Millar, a local councillor, said the gruesome find had stunned the Angus town.

He said: "The community is very shocked, and we are obviously very sorry for the two children who made this grim discovery.

"This is something you might find in a Rebus book rather than our seaside town."


THE case recalls that of Barry Wallace, whose severed body parts were found dumped in Loch Lomond and in the sea near Troon, in Ayrshire, in December 1999.

The 18-year-old was last seen staggering away from a taxi rank towards a nightclub in Kilmarnock at about 1:30am on 5 December, 1999, having spent the evening at a Christmas party with colleagues from the Tesco store where he worked.

A huge search was launched when Mr Wallace failed to return home. Police divers discovered his dismembered arms and legs during a training exercise at Rowardennan, Loch Lomond, later that month.

Mr Wallace's head was found a week later by a dog walker at Barassie Beach, near Troon, 60 miles away.

His torso was found after a police search at Manse Bay, Balmaha, Loch Lomond. Mr Wallace's killer, William Beggs, then aged 37, took him home before sexually assaulting him and dismembering his body.

Beggs was extradited from the Netherlands to stand trial for murder in Edinburgh in 2001. Judge Lord Osborne ordered him to spend at least 20 years in jail.