Thursday, April 26, 2007
Posted by Kayleigh Jamison at 6:03 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I woke up earlier than desireable this morning with a raging headache, and apparently, the urge to wax philosophical in my blog. It's slightly refreshing, as I've not felt that pull for quite some time, but as usual, it comes at an inopportune time. Doesn't it always?
Various statistics and such have shown that authors generate readers from their blogs. Even if no one is commenting (and no one ever is), they are reading. Aphrodite's Apples website traces a large portion of its incoming traffic back to our blogs. And, I guiltily acknowledged at 6am this morning when a raging migraine tore my brain out of sleep, I hardly ever post anything of substance in my blog aside from news. But folks, here's why:
Some of you know a great deal about my tribulations as a law student. Others don't. So, if you listen to me bitch and moan on a daily basis, feel free to skip the rest of this diatribe. It's going to be a doozy.
I am about three weeks away from finishing my first year of law school, and quite successfully I might add. Last semester I ranked in the top 30% of my class (that's all first year students), and got the highest grade in one of my classes, which we fondly refer to as "booking a class." That's quite an accomplishment if I say so myself - and I freely admit my ego is huge. I know what I'm good at and what I'm not, and I try to stick to those things with which I can shine. Who doesn't?
So how do I manage law school, editing, and writing? I honestly have no idea, other than the fact that I rarely sleep more than 5 hours a night. I spend a lot less time studying than I should. If I studying more, I could probably be in the top 5% of my class, or even the #1 big cheese. But I am just as dedicated to this persona, to being Kayleigh, as I am to being the next big thing in the legal world. Call me ambitious. I certainly am.
There are more romance authors in the legal profession than I realized when I first started this venture and that gives me hope that it's doable. But law school is not an easy task. It is, quite simply, hell. Three hundred or so pages of reading per week, plus attending class (which is required, if you miss more than a certain percentage you automatically fail), plus studying, plus out of class assignments, like the oral argument I have tonight at 7pm, which is a "mock trial," of sorts, where I argue against a classmate on a motion we've presented for a fictitious case.
First came the case assignment: a man and woman, unmarried, lived as a couple for several years. In the fictitious state where the case is being tried, there is no recognition of "common law" marriage, but think of it in those terms if it helps. After unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant, the couple sought in vitro fertilization treatment, and learned that the woman suffers from a genetic condition which makes traditional conception nearly impossible. They underwent a round of IVF treatment and signed an agreement stating that any unused "preembryos" would be frozen and stored for five years; and tht if the couple separated the preembryos became the property of the woman. A daughter was born. Shortly thereafter, the couple did end their relationship. Now, the woman is 37 years old and wants to have a second child. She would like to use the frozen preembryos to do so. The man doesn't want another child. He has sued her, seeking a court order for destruction of the preembryos. She wants permission to implant them. I represent the woman.
Here's where it gets tricky. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution deals with the right to privacy. The Supreme Court has ruled this covers a person's right to procreate, or right not to procreate, decided in a little case called Roe v. Wade. I myself am vehemently pro-choice, and yet, here I am arguing that this man should be forced into fatherhood against his will. It's a slippery slope, to say the least.
Opposing counsel for this argument - another student from my class that I've been paired to argue against, who represents the man - is a friend of mine. I like her quite a bit, but the truth of the matter is that I'm going to rip her to shreds tonight. She frequently quotes Ghandi and preaches a "love and be loved" attitude whenever confronted by the competitive and somewhat immature atmosphere of law school life (yes, it's like being back in the 10th grade). That's all well and good. It keeps her sane, I'm sure. But I don't plan on going into this hearing tonight with a chai and a stick of incense chanting "ohm" and working everything out peacefully. I plan to win.
I'm going to win.
Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm not going to insult her, to raise my voice, none of that. But I am going to be subtly ruthless. It's how I won my last argument - the first I've ever done. It's how most battles are won in the courtroom. Come in with your claws sharpened, and hide them in your lap. Smile just enough to set them at ease, but don't let your fangs show. Attack their logic in polite, subtle ways so that you've got them backed into a proverbial corner before they even realize what you've done, and watch them sputter and squirm as they search for a way out - when they realize you are firmly planted between them and the only exit, they deflate like a day old balloon and it's at that moment that you smile just a little bit wider, fangs displayed this time, and think to yourself, "gotcha."
Success in this profession requires quite a bit of ruthlessness, in one form or another. Is that why lawyers have such bad reputations? Possibly. But we're not the only ones to dance this dance.
And the writing field is not much different. In fact, I'd say it's worse. For all the comraderie, there's a damn lot of backstabbing and maneuvering to get to the top. It's a tiered system, like anything else, with thousands of writers pining for that coveted status of "published author," and thousands of "authors" seeking that ellusive status of "bestseller."
Publication is not the top of the food chain; it's not even half-way up. And there's no way to avoid the fact that you will, at some point, climb on someone else to get to the top. But there are ways to go about this quest for fame that are better than others. Keep your claws in your lap. Smile without showing your fangs. And don't backstab your friends.
The nature of this business is one of rabid incest, unending gossip, and fire-fueling secret fodder. My business moves for my writing career are just that - business moves, people. Don't read into it any more than is there. Don't interpret my signing a contract with one publisher or another as a way to involve myself in ongoing controversies. It isn't. I was not lured, seduced, or solicited in any way by any publisher. I am not now, nor have I ever been, embroiled in said controversy.
I'm just here to write.
And to win. I like to win.
With a smile.
Posted by Kayleigh Jamison at 5:55 AM
Monday, April 09, 2007
Eyes Like Yours, a contemporary paranormal piece has been accepted by Red Rose Publishing and will be released this summer.
I have been extended an invitation to join the ranks of Tease Publishing! Tease is an invitation only publisher, who will not have more than 20 authors when all is said and done. So far I'm the only historical author they have invited, and I'm thrilled!
Posted by Kayleigh Jamison at 8:29 AM
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Aphrodite's Apples Press is sponsoring a Marketing and Promotion Workshop, open to all who wish to attend!
Stella and Audra Price are a powerhouse sister team who write dark fantasy erotic romance. They have books published with Mardi Gras Publishing, PHAZE, and Forbidden Publications, and upcoming releases with Tease Publishing and more. They've got 8 books out now, and will have 10 by May. All of their books explore the Eververse - their self-constructed, gritty world with creatures from humans to demons, weresnakes to vampires, unicorns to fallen angels. Sugar & Sin: A Tale of the Eververse was LRC's Best Erotica of the Year and Best Book of the Year for 2006. Personally, I've read everything they've put out and love it all.
The sisters are also highly successful at promotion. When I purchased their most recent release, Fire in His Eyes, they sent me a promo packet, which contained magnets, book marks, book thongs, business cards, buttons, stickers (which say "I do it demon style"! i now have that clipped to my laptop bag and i cart it around law school) and more. Not only does Stella know what works and what doesn't, she knows where to get materials for her promo, and where to get it cheap, if not free. You do not have to spend a thousand dollars to promote yourself.
Stella has agreed to come and talk to us about how to promote effectively. Mark your calendars for Saturday May 5th on our Yahoo! Chat Group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group
Feel free to invite other authors you are friends with, and come ready to ask away.
Posted by Kayleigh Jamison at 3:36 PM
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The authors of Aphrodite's Apples will be participating in a live 3-D chat at The Romance Galleria on April 30th at 9PM EST. This is a new venue, and it's kind of like chatting on WoW or Evercrack. *laugh* We are announcing this chat a few weeks ahead of time, because participants will need to download the site's special interface software. You will need to visit the site in advance at http://www.theromancegalleria.com/downl
If you plan/hope to attend, please RSVP to our chat coordinator at kstrauss AT aphroditesapples DOT com and we will send you a reminder around the 27th. The more, the merrier! :)
Posted by Kayleigh Jamison at 11:21 PM