#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary


New Website and Blog

Big changes afoot at jamiesobrato.com! I've done away with my old website (sob) and moved it along with my blog to WordPress.

I guess that means I'm saying goodbye to my Blogger blog. WordPress is groovy in ways that make the move worthwhile. I'll keep this blog at least during the transition. I doubt I have the fortitude to move all the content, but that's okay. Does anyone really need to dig back in the archives for our old discussions of panty preferences and such?

If you've moved a blog before and have any tips, I'd love for you to pass them along.

I know my new web presence isn't anything fancy, but I'm really happy to have complete control over it now, and eventually I'll get it all customized and flashy--just give me time. For now it still provides a place to find out about my new releases and waste time chatting on the blog.


Free Books!

Harlequin is celebrating its 60th anniversary by giving away 16 free ebooks. You can download them here:


If you have an iPhone, you can get the books easily on Stanza, which is a free app. If you don't have Stanza yet, just download it, and then in a matter of a few minutes you can download all the free HQ ebooks. I've been reading mine on my phone all week.


Tweet Much?

Come follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamiesobrato

I may not be an early adopter, but I'm an enthusiastic one. What? You don't use Twitter? You're not sure why you'd ever want to in a million years? I wasn't sure either at first, but I've decided it's a great low-time-commitment way to stay in touch.


Cough, Cough

I'm still trying to get over the flu. As January passes me by, in my heavily medicated haze I'm only vaguely aware of the time lost. I almost have to laugh at how motivated I was at the start of the month. I had resolutions, and a long list of goals so detailed I had to subdivide them into what I would accomplish monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly. And I was working through that list diligently, accomplishing things like crazy, somewhat amazed at my own wildly productive state.

I was, perhaps, overdoing it a bit. Maybe putting too much pressure on myself. And so, me and my long list of goals ended up with a weakened immune system. Is the virus nature's way of reminding us that we with our detailed goal sheets are not really in control?

Did you set goals for this year (and this month and this week and today and an hour from now)? How's that working out for you?


Come Chat with Me at EHarlequin

Oh, the flu. Cough, cough. Woe is me. I've mostly been in bed for the past week, and I'm starting to go a little stir crazy.

I'm chatting this week over at Eharlequin, and the message board is pretty darn quiet right now, so come on over and post a comment! Pretty please?

The topics I'm discussing are balancing contrasting elements in stories and writing for different lines. Here's a link:


(I noticed my original link wasn't working properly, so I'm trying the one above now...we'll see if it works.)


The Ever-Shrinking Novel

I started reading a Madeline L'Engle book, Many Waters, with my kids recently. It's a much longer-than-usual novel, especially for kids, with meandering chapters and small print. And while I consider myself to be a reasonably literate person, I have to admit, I find myself looking ahead and thinking, when is this #!@&! chapter ever going to end?

That's not because it's a young adult book, either. I love reading YA novels. I'm also re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, The Poisonwood Bible, and a friend remarked to me the other day when I mentioned it that she thought the story went on way too long. Indeed, it's quite long, but in this case I savor it--I don't want the story to end. It's a rare book I can say that about.

Meanwhile, my own stories tend to be spare, and I always strive (thought don't always acheive) to write fast-paced page-turners. I like this as both a reader and a writer. I'm part of the trend of the ever-shrinking novel, I guess.

Publishers cite printing costs and competition with other media as the reasons for novels getting shorter and shorter. Do we even care? Is anything being lost as novels get shorter?


A Change of Pace

My first Harlequin SuperRomance novel, A Forever Family, arrived in stores today. I'm so busy with other projects and life in general that I haven't done anything to celebrate, but I should. This book probably saved my creative life last year when I wrote it.

After sixteen novels in a row (not counting the ones that weren't published) all in the same style and tone, I was getting more burnt out than I imagined possible. I was beginning to think I had nothing left in me when I sat down to write each day...and often couldn't write much at all.

Then I started working on this book, and all the exhiliration writing once brought to me came back. I remembered why I'd dreamed of becoming a writer in the first place.

When I re-read A Forever Family now, I see things I would do differently if I had the chance to write it again, but it still represents a...dare I say it...joyful (yes, joyful) process for me, and for that reason among others, it's my favorite of any novel I've written.


Only 5000 More Hours to Go

I'm in the middle of reading Malcolm Gladwell's latest, Outliers. In one section, he suggests that a primary factor separating the truly great from the merely average is number of hours spent practicing one's skill, whether it be a playing a sport or composing music or writing or whatever. He says 10,000 hours seems to be the magic number that most people have spent practicing their skill before they reach greatness.

Okay, I think, I've spent most of my adult life writing, and if it takes me X number of hours to write a book, how many more hours do I need to spend writing before I find my work in college anthologies of great American literature? I did some very rough calculations (because really, I have no solid idea exactly how many hours it takes to write any given book--and do I count the hours spent staring off into space trying to think of my next line, composing email, etc?), and I discovered that I'm maybe halfway there.

Only 5000 more hours to go. Look out Hemingway.


The Long and Short of It

Up On the Housetop, the novella I have in the Harlequin Heating Up the Holidays anthology this month, is my first time trying out that form. At 100 pages in length, I thought it would be easier to write--and take less time--than a full-length novel, and I was dead wrong.

I've written around 16 novels (more like 20 or 21 if I count the ones that never sold), so when I sit down to write fiction, my brain automatically starts coming up with stories that take 300 pages or so to resolve themselves. This made readjusting to accomodate a shorter story difficult. It required writing tighter and toning down the conflict, while reimagining a story arc that isn't so wide.

I think it took me about two months to write the novella, which is about how long, roughly, it takes me to write a 300 page novel. So much for my carefully planned writing schedule.


Heat Up Your Holidays

My latest book, Heating Up the Holidays, arrived in stores this week. It's a novella anthology featuring stories by me, Jill Shalvis, and Jacquie D'Alessandro, and it has firefighters--lots of firefighters! Check out the cover, excerpt, etc. in the books section of my website.

I'm thinking it'll make a fab stocking stuffer for the romance readers on your holiday shopping list.


Cover Ruminations

Why, oh, why, are the hero and heroine on the cover of Seducing a SEAL so shiny? Anyone care to venture a guess? Are they all oiled up for a wrestling match? Are they merely wet from the rain? Or, like Labrador Retrievers, is that the protective oil their hair produces to keep them from getting too wet? The heroine especially looks like she'll slip from the hero's grasp if he tries to embrace her any more passionately.


Guest Blogging with Bunny

Today I'm blogging over at www.plotmonkeys.com, and for once I think I came up with a pretty useful post about editing/writing/etc. Check it out and you'll get to see a picture of one of my adorable bunny rabbits, Robin Williams.


Girl Talk Updated

Check out the latest Girl Talk conversation, in which Cindy and I debate the merits of procrastination. How could procrastination have any merit, you wonder? Well, read on: http://www.jamiesobrato.com/girl_talk.html


Guest Plot Monkey/Lost Reader Mail

I'm blogging today over at www.plotmonkeys.com on The Art and Craft of Knowing Nothing. Check it out.

Also, if you've sent me an email in recent months and haven't heard back, it's likely because I had a hard drive crash and lost all the data on my old computer. I tend to save up reader mail to reply to all at once, and I am sad to say I lost lots of reader mail that I hadn't replied to yet. so please know I'm not ignoring you! I do have emails from the past month, but my new email and internet situation have been pretty unreliable and it's kept me from catching up on everything yet.


Get It While It's Hot

It's hot whether you get it or not, but SEX BOMB arrived in stores yesterday. Yay! I feel like celebrating, because this book was no easy birthin', I tell ya. Just ask my beloved editor.

It took forever to write, from day one, involved much bleeding on the page, and for whatever reason, it was hell to edit. And edit. And edit again. The end result is a book I love though, so it's all good. And Romantic Times loved it too, even gave it their 4.5 star Top Pick review, which gave me some much-needed validation for all the hard work. Here's the juicy part of the review:

"Hot, funny, exciting and unique, Sex Bomb by Jamie Sobrato is a wonderful book. Ellie is a truly original heroine, and Christian is drop-dead attractive."

Aw shucks. I'm blushing.

And on to other matters, yeah, I've been a lousy blogger of late. But I hearby announce my intentions to start posting daily again. Or semi-daily. Or something along those lines.

Anyone have their own good news or bad news or whatever to post???