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January 21, 2005: What a Fantastic Month It's Been! (well, except for that visit to the ER)

What a fantastic month it’s been! And I’m not just talking about my mother-in-law’s holiday time homemade donuts. Or the coffee beans my best friend sent me from Portland, Oregon.

My Signet editor accepted my revisions, with only two sentences requiring clarification. She’s sending the book to be printed in galleys for my copy edits. She sent me the back cover blurb and asked me to send her my dedication page. Dedication page! Like a real writer!

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I finally got pictures taken for my book jacket and my website, and I look as good as I possibly could (except for the pimple I woke up with that morning – I thought being 40 meant you no longer had to worry about blemishes. I thought wrong). I sent the photo to my web designer, along with some of my favorite fabrics and designers (leopard and Elsa Schiaparelli, respectively) as inspiration for my web site. I hope I’ll be able to go live with my site within a month.

My agent told me the third draft of my second book was terrific, and to keep doing whatever I was doing. No dummy, I am.

And I have come up with some attainable goals to finish my second book by the end of March: 5,000 words a week.

I’ve also gotten the Worst Flu Ever, which means for more than a week I’ve been achy, wheezing and coughing (I ended up at the ER for my asthma, where I got steroids. Good thing there’s no random drug testing for romance writers).

I was still able to write, however, so when the first passionate kiss came along, I attacked it with gusto. There I was, sitting at the laptop in our living room, a steaming cup of tea next to me, sore lungs, hacking cough and body aches. Trying to feel sexy. Since my heroine is really inexperienced with men (she’s a widow, although not a virgin widow – that device has been done to death, and I couldn’t face myself if I used it), and very insecure (not that I write what I know, but . . . the thought of writing a feisty, confident heroine makes me cringe. Okay, I do write what I know), it wasn’t so hard to write the scene, which is still only halfway done. Even though even typing the keys made my fingers hurt.

A similar situation occurred when I wrote my first book, the one that will ultimately get published as a traditional Regency. I was writing possibly the hottest sex scene in the book in July’s worst, humid heat with back spasms. Wearing a back brace. Writing about my heroine having sex in a bumpy carriage. She was confident, sensual, able to move without crying: everything I was not. Since the book is a traditional Regency, I had to edit out a lot of the more graphic details later, but while I was writing, I kept laughing at the incongruity of it all, the humor of which I think helped me write the scene. So maybe my pal Nietzsche is right:

That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.

Or at least doesn’t interfere when it’s time to write a steamy scene.

I also wrote my bio, which I include here:

Megan Frampton’s love affair with books began when her gormless parents (not an ounce of gorm between them. And let’s not even mention feck) moved her to a remote town in New Hampshire where there was only one television station.
And then the TV broke.
She devoured every book of fiction in her well-read parents’ library, finding special joy in Barbara Cartland (she was young, remember), Georgette Heyer, C.S. Lewis, Anya Seton and the fairy tales collected and translated by Andrew Lang. Eventually, the TV was repaired and Megan’s family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she managed to develop some social skills and kept reading. Megan majored in English literature at Barnard College with a double minor in political science and religion. She worked in the music industry for 15 years and ended up marrying one of her former interns. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and her son.

And meanwhile, I keep plunging on with my second book, which is a lot sexier, a lot more conflict-driven, a lot less mannered than my first. Not to mention a lot harder to write. As I said at the outset of this journal, my hope is to forge a career writing Regency-set historicals, not traditional Regencies. I enjoy reading both, and definitely cut my teeth on the latter, but I think trads are ultimately too limiting for me, and the print runs are lower, which means less money. Getting paid for what you really want to do is good; getting paid a bit more for what you really want to do most is even better.

Thanks for reading.

-- Megan

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