#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page: June 2005

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary


General Malaise and Confusion

Have I posted yet today? Oh, hmm, looks like I haven't...but oops, today is now tomorrow, since it's after midnight.

In the midst of trying to finish a proposal and get ready for a family vacation that we're leaving for on Friday, I've had the screwed-up fortune of first nursing my kids through several days of hurling all over the place, only to find myself afflicted with the same virus as of yesterday. Oh, the fun. I'm feeling better now--lucky for me it was only a 24-hour thing.

So we're heading off to San Francisco to visit family and friends. In case you're actually a stalker and not one of my readers, this will certainly make tracking me easier. See how thoughtful I am?

I'll post randomly when blog-worthy events occur. Because you know I'm bringing my laptop with me on the trip. You know that, right? Laptop goes where I go.


Farewell Temptation

The romance line that launched my career, Harlequin Temptation, is being published for the last time this month in North America. It's a sad thing to say goodbye to an industry icon that lasted 21 years and launched the careers of many much bigger authors than me, but there it is.

The final four Temptation novels, written by Heather MacAllister, Leslie Kelly, Wendy Etherington, and Kristin Gabriel, are in stores now, so if you've loved Temptation over the years, this is your last chance to grab them off the shelves.

All the Temptation authors will move on to other Harlequin imprints or other publishers, or both. Many, like me, can still be found writing for Blaze, which was originally an off-shoot of Temptation.

So farewell Temptation. We're gonna miss you!


Cracking the Whip

I'm skipping out for the weekend. Must crack down and get mucho work done in the next few days. I hearby vow not to blog again until Monday.

Must not indulge in desires to investigate pointless "research" questions like, "Which bra and panties at http://www.agentprovocateur.com does the heroine in my work in progress buy?"

But, if you feel like exploring this burning issue for me, go right ahead. Cast your vote. Should she buy Yasmine or Cookie? Sissy or Pearl? Or some other set entirely?

And while you're researching, answer me this question: why do so many of the Agent Provocateur models have bizarrely half-exposed nipples? Is this some kind of post-Janet-Jackson-wardrobe-malfunction trend? Are peekaboo nipples the new style?


Performance Anxiety

In the past few days, at least three people who are not my critique partner have commented to me that they have been reading my blog and think it's funny. These are people that I actually know (you know who you are)--not cyber-strangers of any sort.

My reaction: What? People are actually reading this thing?! People I know?!

My fear: Now I'll never be able to be funny again. Every entry from now on will be like the torturous annual composition of the holiday family newsletter. Me trying oh-so-hard to be funny and entertaining while simultaneously trying not to offend or confuse my husband's colleagues, my Great Aunt Margaret, my Granny, or any of the other 75 people on our mailing list.

Because, you see, when I write my books, and when I write entries for this blog, I'm writing it mostly to entertain myself. I'm writing without worrying about my audience.

It's a little bit like when you're in the bathroom getting out of the shower, and your favorite song comes on the radio. No one's looking, and you can't help but dance around naked. You probably do your best, most uninhibited, exhilerating dancing then. Or maybe you look hilarious, but who cares, because no one's watching.

You see how we're back to that whole Naked Page theme?

Actually, it's good for me to realize people are watching (or reading). Because, my writing means nothing without an audience. So the true test is to be able to keep on dancing (or writing) without inhibition, not caring that people are watching.

So go ahead. Read my blog. I might embarrass the hell out of myself, but that's probably when I'm the most entertaining.


The Good, the Bad and the Naked

There are good writing days, bad writing days, and then...those other days. You know, when the writing just doesn't get done. Stuff happens, life happens. Etcetera.

All I have to show for today is a naked page. It's not pretty. Tomorrow, I will start my manuscript on a serious workout regimine in the hope of avoiding any more of this ugliness.


A few of my favorite things

Since I don't have anything particularly witty or intelligent to say today, I give you a pointless list of stuff I love (but probably shouldn't), in no particular order:

1. pizza
2. cars
3. Google
4. Homer Simpson
5. McDonald's cheeseburgers
6. trendy clothes
7. The Food Network
8. Netflix
9. France and all things French
10. high-heeled sandals


You Know You Want Him

Behold: http://www.jamiesobrato.com. Superfly perm guy is now on my website.

Check out that expression on his face. He's in love with himself. And see what I mean about the perm? He looks like he wants to boogie, doesn't he?

Well, anyway, I also posted the Romantic Times review (the important part), and an excerpt of the book. Click on the books page, then click on the cover of Sexy All Over to get the whole enchilada (Superfly Perm Guy wants you to know that *his* whole enchilada is mightily impressive...and now I must stop channeling him).

Here's a direct link for those of you who can't be bothered to click more than once: http://www.jamiesobrato.com/sexy_all_over.html


He's Superfly

Superfly Perm Guy is coming soon to a website near you. Yes, it's true, I've given my web mistress the book info and cover for my July release, Sexy All Over, and I will announce here as soon as the stuff is on my website.

I can feel your anticipation through my computer. You're trying to imagine what he looks like, aren't you? Oh, wait, you don't know who Superfly Perm Guy is? Well. Lemme tell you.

He's the dork who some how ended up on the cover of my July book. The actual hero in the novel is HOT. I mean, even my editor got all infatuated with him (dear editor, if you're reading this, you know I'm just exaggerating for comic effect, right?). I'm STILL infatuated with him, myself. He's tall, lean but muscular, scruffy, with longish (to his shoulders) wavy dark brown hair, and do-me brown eyes. You know the type. He's a rebel.

So instead of a guy who looks anything that, I get Richard Gere with a perm on my cover. I know, I know, I've whined about it all on a previous blog, but it bears whining about again. Well, maybe not.

But making fun of my cover makes me feel better. I mean, this guy looks like it's 1979, age of the Boogie Nights, and even though he knows theses are the last days of disco, he's still gonna get his groove on. He's still gonna party. 'Cause he's superfly!


Bad, Bad Nipples

I heard about a news story this week claiming the makers of Desperate Housewives have to digitally remove Teri Hatcher's nipples from the show. Apparently, with all those tight shirts she wears, and with temperatures during filming often quite cold, her nipples get hard, and the show's producers are afraid America will have a cow over erect nipples.

Wow. Are we really that uptight?

In other less exciting news, I finished revising my synopsis earlier this week, as planned, and am now rewriting chapter one of a proposal I started a few weeks ago. I would normally bristle at the idea of throwing out an entire chapter and rebuilding it from scratch--especially a first chapter, since they're the hardest to write--but this time, no bristling. I'm not sure why.

I'm thinking maybe the original chapter just helped me get in the groove, get to know the character, and so it served a purpose. Maybe having written it will make the new chapter 1 go much more quickly.

Oh, the optimism! Can you see it dripping from your computer screen?

I'm going to go figure out how to work erect nipples into my new first chapter. It'll be a sort of nod to Teri Hatcher and her out-of-control nipples.


Going Straight to Hell

If you're in the market for new thong panties...

I know the following website is wrong and offensive and that I'm possibly going straight to hell for providing a link to it, but it's sooooo funny:


I can't pick a favorite, but I kinda like the Holy of Holies thong. Also the Bush Cuntry thong. Which one's your favorite?


Don't Believe the Hype

So I got a really complimentary review of my July book yesterday from Romantic Times. Usually my attitude toward reviews is: if it's a good review, the reviewer was probably smoking something, or maybe she just gives everyone good reviews, and if it's a bad review, the reviewer was probably smoking something, or maybe she just gives everyone bad reviews.

If I believe the good hype, that means I have to believe the bad hype too, and vice versa. Right? Well, some people don't buy into this line of thinking. (They're probably smoking something.)

But yesterday I was in an uncharacteristically perky mood and decided to just be happy with the review. I chose, for a day, to believe the hype.

In high school, I dated for a short while a guy who was mostly a typical jock--a basketball player, since I go for tall, lean types. He had a huge ego, an adolescent sense of humor, and pretty much nothing to recommend him other than the fact that he was cute.

Oddly, he taught me one of the most memorable lessons I've ever learned. He gave me a compliment one day, and I responded with some stupid teenage girl response like, "Oh no, I don't have a nice smile at all." He then told me that when someone gives you a compliment, you're supposed to say thank you. Nothing else. Just "thank you."

I don't know why I had the sense back then to take that surprisingly good advice to heart, but I did, and it only occurred to me yesterday that it applies to book reviews too.

So, thank you, RT reviewer.


Synopsis Purgatory


Let me say that again: URGH!

Have I mentioned how much I hate writing synopses? The thing I hate more than writing them is revising them. URGH.

What's a synopsis, you ask? It's a summary of a novel, written before the book is written for the purpose of driving the author and insane and hopefully also selling the unwritten book to a publisher. Some weird, masochistic authors actually love writing them. I have a strong urge to chase down these authors with a torch in one hand and a pitchfork in the other.

Anyway, I'm revising a synopsis. Have been revising it for over a week now. Mostly this involved staring at my computer screen, deleting a sentence, writing a new sentence, and then deleting it too. Then I check my email. Then I go check out the sale at the Victoria's Secret website. Then I go to the kitchen and get myself some tea. On my way there I remember the laundry needs doing, then I realize I need to start dinner, then someone calls on the phone, then my kids get in a knock-down, drag-out fight over a pink dinosaur. Then I notice the garbage needs taking out. Whenever I finally return to my computer, I see that my critique partner (Hi Cindy!) has written me an urgent message about an American Idol contestant that requires an immediate reply.

This is how it's taken me over a week to revise a synopsis I'm still not finished revising. Urgh.

I must finish it today. I WILL finish it today. You heard it here first.


This is Not My Life

One of the things people ask me most frequently when they find out I'm a romance author is some variation of, "So are your books based on your own life?"

Ummm... NO.

Not any more or any less than any other author's fiction is or isn't based on their lives. How's that for a confusing answer?

The books I write are contemporary fantasies for women. And I don't mean "fantasy" as in there are alternate universes or wizards or little men with big hairy feet. I mean "fantasy" as in escape from harsh reality.

I got married young, finished college, traveled around Europe for years on a shoestring budget, and had a couple of kids. Along the way I also wrote some books and have been lucky enough to sell some of them. I've had an extremely fortunate life, but not one that would be very interesting to read about.

I don't base the plots of my books on anything that's happened to me, although many of the little details in my books are a strong reflection of who I am and what I've done.

That's why I write fiction. I can make exciting stuff happen. It's really that simple, but trust me, my life's not THAT interesting.

Oh, and the love scenes? Yes, people actually ask me if I rehearse those. Well... Use your imagination.


Shameless But Friendly Promo

News Alert! News Alert! My friend and critique partner, Cindy Procter-King, has a romantic comedy available now, Head Over Heels. Check it out on her website, http://cindyprocter-king.com.

Cindy's writing is funny and sexy and overflowing with wit, so go on over there. Read the excerpt. You'll see. Don't forget to stay and poke around her very groovy site for a bit.


Kill the Drama

A blight has fallen upon my house. Well, not exactly a blight. More like, a cold that won't go away. My two year old and I sit around hacking, sneezing and generally sounding unhealthy, and this has been going on for almost two weeks. It's like we've caught the New and Improved Long-Lasting SuperCold. It's like we've won the germ lottery.

Woohoo. I think I'm going to celebrate by lying down for a while.

Oh, but I've got writing to do, so no lying down just yet. Today I'm revising a synopsis (a story summary/outline), which I'd fully intended to finish last night. Instead, my husband suggested we watch a movie, and Netflix had just sent us The Notebook. It was not a movie I had wanted to watch (because I knew it would be a tear-jerker), but he'd insisted we order it anyway. He is convinced that any movie Netflix users give more than 4 stars is a must-watch.

But here's the funny part. As the movie was starting, he looked at me and said, "Why did you want to watch this?" I had to remind him that he's the one who picked it out, even with my insisting I didn't want to watch it.

So instead of working, I sat on the couch crying hysterically. (I might be called the overly sensitive type--I think I cried for a full-on 30 minutes or more at the end of Titanic.) This is why I write light, humorous stories. I can't hang with the heavy stuff. I already know life is rough--I don't need to be reminded in my fiction.

But oops, this synopsis I'm revising is supposed to be humorous, and it's reading like serious melodrama at the moment. I'd better go make sure no one important dies at the end...


Penis Fractures--Who Knew?

A friend passed on an article about a guy in Boston who tried to sue a woman who fractured his penis during an overly enthusiastic round of sex. Curious about how a penis could--God forbid--be fractured, I googled the subject and found myself instantly enlightened.

It's true. Penis fractures happen! They're rare, but they happen, and they are, as you can imagine, extremely painful. The article I found even described a "loud snap" that accompanies the fracture. Yikes!

Apparently, the most common way these fractures occur are when the woman is on top, the penis comes out during intercourse, and the woman comes back down too hard and it gets jammed into her pelvic bone. It can also happen during masturbation...but I'll spare you any more gruesome details.

The question I have though is, why don't more people know about this kind of injury? I'm not usually a fan of conspiracy theories, but here is a case where I might buy into one. I mean, imagine the reaction of the first guys who discovered the penis fracture. Would they really want women to know about this kind of thing, fearing it might become a sort of self-defense technique or means for revenge?

Imagine how much power women could wield if men knew they if they tried anything sleazy--bam, broken penis.

There could be self-defense classes (albeit awkward and possibly hilarious ones) teaching the technique to women. Though I suppose it might be hard to find a man willing to be the instructor.

Imagine, if every woman knew how to fracture a penis, how much birth rates could drop, how many more teens would wait to have sex until they're mature enough to handle the consequences of a fractured penis--imagine how much more self control men might demonstrate.

Just imagine. (Insert surge of John Lennon music here.)

I'm not advocating a world where penis-bashing is the norm. I mean, some of my best friends have been penises.

I'm just sayin'. In a world where women are usually victims, I think there's an opportunity here for us to put the fear of penis fracture into the male gender.