writing

Been a while!

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my poor neglected blog. Life has thrown me some crazy curve balls lately but that’s okay! I’m still here and kicking. I’ll get through it all. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading on self-publishing. I’m learning a lot. One of the things I’ve learned is to not spread yourself too thin when it comes to social media posts. And so I’ve decided to put the blog on official hiatus and focus all my social interaction on Facebook and Instagram. I’m also in the process of building my newsletter list and respond to all emails from readers. If you want to interact with me directly, signing up for my newsletter is the absolute best way. Of course, I’ll continue to post updates here of upcoming releases and other book news. But you’ll see it first if you’re a subscriber to my VIP Reader’s list. 😉

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On #Writing Wednesday: The Art of Writing Organically

This post is dedicated to the age old question: Plotter or Pantser? On one of my forums, there was lots of talk about each writer’s process. I confess I am not a plotter. I can’t sit and write a ten page outline with everything that is supposed to happen in the book. I can’t fill out massive amounts of character worksheets that describe everything from physical attributes to what kind of ice cream he/she likes (and does that really matter in a fantasy with medieval elements?). I can’t fill out charts about conflict or the one thing that character really is afraid of. The post-it note system on a foam core board didn’t work for me either. Three Acts? Fuhgettaboutit. Seven Point Structure? Whatevs. I’ve thought a lot about this and reflected on how I wrote my last full-length novel. I figured out what my process truly is and it’s not plotting. It’s not really “pantsing” either. (If you’re not familiar with that term is means “writing by the seat of your pants” which means those of us who do that don’t plot a damn thing.) I’ve often lamented to my husband about how I wished I could plot more because when I get stuck, sometimes it takes me days to get un-stuck. His solution? “Well, why don’t you just plot?” Yeah, that sounds logical, right? But here’s the thing. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work for me. And every time I’ve tried I just get frustrated. One of the things…

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On #Writing Wednesday: It’s not just about love

I was recently asked this question: “Hey, do you write anything other than those love books?” My initial reaction? 😐 My actual response was, “No, I do not.” But I got to thinking about the question and then I was mad because there is so much more to romance novels than that. They are not just “love books.” They are stories about triumph, good vs. evil, relationships, beating the odds, coming of age, and many, many more themes. They could be set in space or in the Middle Ages or in Regency England or in a completely made-up land. They could be set in your hometown or a big city everyone knows. Maybe your characters is a farm boy tapped to become the next savior of the world, or a hobbit tasked with the impossible thing of destroying a fabled ring. You know these heroes–they are the every day Joes who become the hero that we, the audience, always knew they were. But just because it’s a “love” book doesn’t mean there isn’t more to it than that. I could point out annual sales of romances novels total somewhere around $1.08 billion dollars. Not bad for a love book, huh? (More statistics here and here.) My books usually have the same theme: good vs. evil, family, loyalty, honor. I love those unlikely hero stories, stories with the every day Joe who becomes the hero of the world. The little guy who turns out to be way more important than he ever thought he would be. I’m also really fond of quest stories. Pick…

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On #Writing Wednesday: Gut Instincts

I haven’t been blogging regularly and for that I’m sorry. I keep thinking I will get back to it and have a least a few posts a week but something always seems to get in the way or I get sidetracked. Fall is a really busy time of year for us with the high school boy and marching season. His schedule has been brutal. But now that marching season is over, we can breathe a little. Except his high school team is headed to the playoffs. Go Rebels! Anyway, this week I’m talking about gut instincts when it comes to writing. Everyone has gut instincts when it comes to making big decisions. Every time I’m faced with one, I try to listen to my gut. And every time I haven’t listened to my gut I’ve regretted it. This applies to writing as well. I’ll give you a for-instance. Several years ago, I had an urban fantasy I was shopping around. I thought it was a pretty good book. It took me a long time to write the book and I really believed in it. I had been rejected by every agent that accepted urban fantasy. My initial thought was the book was worthy of being with one of the Big 5. I’d gotten several requests for partials from agents but they always ended in rejection. Reluctantly, I started looking around for a publisher to sub to. I knew I didn’t want to go with my current publisher because it wasn’t a good fit (and…

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On #Writing Wednesday: Motivation

Today I want to talk about finding the motivation to get your butt in the chair and write. This has been something of an evolving thing for me. I started writing on my lunch hour several years ago when I was determined to make a go at this thing. I had an HP Mini (the predecessor of the tablets and 2-in-1s). The place I worked had a full-service restaurant in the building with lots of tables. I’d pick a corner table that was out of sight, out of mind, plug in my earbuds and start writing. It created a habit. Now I’m to the point where when it’s noon (or 11:30), my brain shifts into writing mode. I have an office now so it makes it super easy to close the door, inhale my lunch and write. I’ve gotten so good at this I can usually knock out around 1500-2000 words in an hour. That is, IF I know where I’m going in the story and what happens next. There are times, though, where I’m absolutely stumped. (That’s a post for another day.) In the evenings after dinner, I try to write at least an hour and get in more words. It is true what they say – you have to find your motivation to write even when you don’t feel inspired. There are all sorts of support groups to help writers achieve their motivation – from NaNoWriMo to whatever local writing group you’re in to even Facebook groups. Even…

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