And for you men thinking erotica is women's literature, you have NOT read Liz—I've read some candid comments from men after reading her stuff, and she is making EVERYBODY happy... it is far more realistic than the theoretical sex written by virgins I so often see in erotica (erm, no offense... though it is honestly a HUGE compliment to Liz that I find this stuff so hot, as often the genre makes me roll my eyes)
So without further ado, I bring you The Beer Wench, Liz Crowe!
Reality Checks in Writing
by Liz Crowe
At certain times in the writing cycle I get utterly absorbed inside the lives of my characters. I find myself dreaming in their heads, thinking their thoughts, unable to focus on real people trying to have conversations with me. The only way to rid myself of this brain tickling annoyance is to Finish the Story. I can’t walk away from anything half or even three quarters done. It will make me patently insane. Deep wells of energy and caffeine must be tapped in order to further the cause of Finish the Story. Children go hungry** and dogs unwalked in the name of Finish the Story.
Polishing and humble pie stage accomplished, it’s time to submit. I’m one of those who must write the intro email about three weeks ahead so as to go back and stare at it, tweak it, delete it and start over a lot. Don’t even get me started on the evil that is a Synopsis. I usually write mine drunk I’m so sick of the whole thing by then.
Acceptance. Cue “Happy Dance with Squee” although both of those phrases makes me want to chew glass for some reason with its gag-reflex cutesy. So sue me. I sell beer for a living. We don’t happy dance or squee in the beer biz. We smack asses or other much more mature ways of expressing our excitement and support for one another’s endeavors. And overuse the Eff word.
|Tart's favorite *drools*|
The editing process, depending on your publisher, is long and drawn out and ends with galleys: your very last opportunity to hook dangling participles and stick punctuation marks back where they belong (how do those suckers escape?)
But simultaneously along in here the Great Promotional Machine takes a cough and a wheeze and fires up, carrying you along for the ride.
I write in one of The Most Crowded Markets Known to Man: Romance. I’m not exactly sure how I ended up here, to be perfectly honest. It was not at all what I read growing up. But the freedom to explore the human sexual animal thoroughly and honestly and without turning off the lights and shutting the door has been a thrill ride beyond anything I could imagine. That, and discovering all the ways to say … oh never mind. Different post. [may the Tart suggest Meaty Thunderstick?]
It works really. My real job involves making and selling craft beer. The Most Crowded and Fastest Growing Alcohol Sector Known to Man.
I fight daily with start ups, indie pubs, home brewers eager to find out “how I did it,” newbie authors with my various publishers asking the most basic questions like “how do you blog?”. The competition is fierce and grows daily. But one more similarity if you will indulge me is that both industries have a very pleasant underlying sense of camaraderie that I just refuse to believe you get between competitors anywhere else. We pay it forward daily, be it by posting yet another comment on a blog, sharing ideas, collaborating on stories or brews, hosting fellow writers on an annoying blog tour (thanks Hart) [*snort* Any time], or just being open to answering questions about process, craft or sales.
Somewhere along in here, I realize I’ve stopped dreaming in my Hero’s head, no longer wonder how my heroine would have responded to the jerk at my bar, and can accept that someday, hopefully someone else will read my book and take over where I left off all wrapped up in their lives. If so, then I can say: Mission Accomplished
Okay so here is the egregiously promotional bit as we hitch ourselves up to the Promotional Train:
My novel, The Tap Room Is Now Available.
It is a “choose your romance” novel….a pretty new thing in romance. And a tough thing to create, I assure you, but fun.
After finding out her alpha banker husband, Bradley, has been cheating on her with his bubble-headed PR girl, she puts all her passion and energy into making her microbrewery a success. Until one business partner, Trent, attempts to rekindle an old flame, and her other partner, Owen, admits his true feelings for her—what is a woman supposed to do?
Throw the hot new brewer, Jeff, in the mix, and it's a formula for disaster.
The daily stresses of running a small business, plus the ongoing turmoil in her personal life has Erin escaping to California for an industry event, where she meets Landon, a brewery rock-star-turn-consultant, who has been watching her and her company for a while.
When a family trauma requires her presence in Michigan, Erin is faced with an ex- husband who wishes for a reunion. Caught in the middle of all these men, she's even more confused by what she truly wants or needs.
Then the ultimate decision forces her into action: Newly acclaimed as the owners of Winter Street Brewing, honored by Inc. Magazine as Top Entrepreneurs, Trent, Owen and Erin face a buyout offer from a much larger brewery. What will she choose? Who will she share it all with?
**This is a Choose-Your-Own-Ending book.**
Available from Breathless Press, Amazon, Allromance Ebooks and a few other places but these are the easiest ones to navigate!
C’mon along folks! Help me choose Erin’s fate.
Buy it here:
Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town [three guesses which one]. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly. If you want a beer education follow her: www.a2beerwench.com. For writing related stuff: www.brewingpassion.com.
Coming from Liz:
The Tap Room: Sept 30
Specific Gravity (the final short story installment in the series): Nov. 25
Rebel Ink Press:
Player Conference (A Claw Mark Anthology short story): Oct. 3
Vegas Miracle (Novel): Oct. 17
Part of the popular 1NightStand Series:
Caught Offside: Oct. 2011
Turkish Delights: Nov. 5
Blue Cruise: Nov. 11
Tulip Princess: Nov. 20
Holy cow! That is break-neck pace publishing this fall! Good luck to you on all of it!