Susan Scott Shelley and I sold two novellas based on the fictional hockey team the Atlantic City Hustlers to Entangled Lovestruck last week. We’re excited to be included in Entangled’s new imprint Lovestruck. Expect the first one out in time for the Christmas rush.
Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well, you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all…… About our writing of course! Every Tuesday we’ll all answer the same questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site, we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride. Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.
Have you come from Romance Writer Kim Handysides’ blog? http://kimhandysides.com Great. If not, jump back after reading this.
This week’s cool questions come from Jo Richardson.
- How often do you write?
Most days, but not everyday. I write as long as I can when no one is at the house with breaks for Facebook and walks to clear my head. At least two hours of writing are done each day wile I’m sitting in the car waiting for my daughters at their activities. With no Internet access and complete silence, it’s one of the best places to concentrate.
- Do you think it’s important to your craft to write as much as you can, and as often as you can?
Yes and no. No one can improve in writing skills if they don’t actually write. And over time, I feel like I’ve improved some basic skills in writing like sentence structure, avoiding passive sentences, showing v. telling, etc. The more I write, the more my writing is closer to where I want it to be on the first draft.
Writing alone, however, doesn’t make a good story. I’ve read stories where it feels as though the person rushed through to finish, but never connected to the characters. A quick first draft is great, but if the time is never put in to solidify the plot and flesh out the characters, then the story can fall flat. There needs to be time to think and plot and come up with creative ideas. I’ve taken days to play with plots and make sure that everything is interesting throughout the story. Many of those days, I don’t add any new words to the story.
I’ve tried to write super fast, but I’m so picky about word choice that it’s nearly impossible to write straight through a scene without pausing to use a thesaurus or Google a location or flight schedule or other random fact. My pace is also slower than most people because I hate leaving a sentence unfinished. If a word isn’t right, I obsess over it until I find the perfect way to phrase my thoughts. One sentence can take ten minutes if I’m struggling with it.
- What is your opinion on the saying “if you don’t write every day, you’re not a writer”?
If a person writes, he or she is a writer. Writers may only be able to write on weekends, on vacation, or maybe every Thursday afternoon when the kids are at soccer practice. That said, practice is important in any craft. And if a person wants to be successful, he should improve his chances by writing more.
Write because you love it, practice because you want to improve, and work hard because you have goals.
You’re now in for a treat, Ronnie Allen is the next stop.http://ronnieallennovel.com/gemini/blog-1 Her book “Gemini” will be published soon. Psych’ meets ‘House.’ An assertive, sometimes aggressive screw the protocol psychiatrist who happens to be psychic & clairvoyant, uncovers and then tracks a female psychopathic predatory murderer.
Congrats to Kim Handysides! She just sent out her debut contemporary romance, titled “Stolen Kiss” to the editors this week! Be sure to keep your eyes out for this one!
And Leslie Hachtel just signed a contract for “Captain’s Captive” with Black Opal books! Congrats!
Gemma Brocato’s first two books in the Five Senses Series are on sale for a limited time on Amazon:
Susan Peterson Wisenwski’s book, “Chasing the Rainbow” is on sale on Kindle through 7/18/14 so grab your copy for only $.99cents!
And don’t forget to join us for the Multi-Author six month anniversary party on facebook! Lots of prices to be won… including a Kindle!!
Here is the link to join us!
‘Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course!
If you’ve come from Tessa Gray’s blog, welcome. If not, go back… http://www.tessagray.com. Women’s Fiction author, Tessa Gray, writes stories set in the tiny West Texas town of Alpine. Check out her newest release. But come right back!!!
This week’s questions are brought to us from Jeanne McDonald.
1. How did you go about choosing the names for your characters?
The minds and personalities of my characters form long before I name them. My daughters or the name generator on Scrivener offer me the most character names. Occasionally, I look up popular names in certain years to find something that’s not too far fetched for the age of the person I’m writing about. I’m rarely tied to a name. On certain occasions, my character’s names have changed by the time I’ve written half the story. Family and friend names are mostly avoided, especially if that character will be having sex on the page or will be killed. This helps me avoid awkward Christmas parties.
2. Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?
You could say that I pitched my way to my new series. The seed of an idea for the series came from my very first pitch to an agent. I had planned two books about sisters and the agent suggested I add a third sister because three of anything is better than two. The problem was I had already completed the first book and didn’t know where to put her. I made her estranged and shipped her off to Paris to deal with later.
As I wrote the second book, I obsessed about the third sister. Why was she in Paris? What was she like? A Bostonian blueblood by birth, the character had black hair and an edgy personality. She loved art, but wasn’t an artist. I named her Alex. When I completed the second book, I dove into her story.
An agent at a different pitch session at a different conference suggested I focus on the hero’s brother for the sequel instead of the sisters, because romance readers tend to follow male characters more than female characters. I wrote his story and then his best friend’s story afterward to give me that magical third book. I placed the original two books on the sisters in storage for a while.
Ironically, an editor I pitched at a conference gave me the title of Alex’s story Untrue Colors.
The brother centric series, led by Alex my heroine, just sold to Entangled Publishing. The moral is that listening to agents and editors’ suggestions at pitch sessions can help add the magic ingredients that take a manuscript from the slush pile and turn it into a sale.
3. What methods do you use to ensure you have no plot holes (journal, storyboard, outline, editor, etc.)?
I plot before I write, but I usually rewrite the plot toward the end, because I’ve missed some poignant fact that screws up the entire story. More important, I rely on critique partners and beta readers to find my plot holes. They’re good and not afraid to completely challenge my story. I’ve had eye color wrong, dates wrong, and once I wrote a story about Delphi when I meant Delhi. In other words, I need help. A CP once told me my heroine would never whine in the dire situation I’d placed her in, and my hero wouldn’t be such a jerk to her. I rewrote the scenes, because she was right and the book is better now.
The next stop on the blog hop is Daphne and Golden Pen winner Susan Scott Shelley. http://www.susanscottshelley.com/#!blog/c1cod. She’s not only an amazing writer, but she’s insane enough to be my critique partner and has endured writing some novellas with me as well! Our first published work is “Tackled by the Girl Next Door,” published by The Wild Rose Press in October 2014.
‘Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.
Have you come from www.kimhandysides.com ? Welcome. If you missed her blog post, GO BACK!!!! Her answers are great.
This week’s questions from the lovely Tessa Gray.
1. Do any characters you’ve written into your books remind you of yourself? Explain which ones and why.
Most of my female heroines have personalities and traits I’d love to possess, but don’t. One is a computer expert, one speaks over twenty foreign languages, and another has an expert understanding of firearms. I’m horrible with computers, as many who tried to post on my site last week learned. My foreign language expertise consists of broken French, broken Spanish, and the ability to order a beer in German. As a romantic suspense writer, I should know all about firearms, but I have trouble remembering the difference between a 9mm weapon and .38 caliber one. I’m getting better with all three things, but my characters are masters in their fields.
My heroines embark on adventures to foreign countries and strange situations and meet people who challenge them in everyway. I’ve lived in some of those foreign countries, but most of the danger they’ve experienced are beyond any danger I’ve come across in my life. I strive to make their adventures interesting to me and, hopefully, by extension to other readers.
2. Was there a teacher or mentor in your life who helped nurture your writing?
My mother has been a huge influence on my writing. She’s never doubted my abilities or questioned whether I could succeed. She’s also a wonderful role model. She takes on mountainous tasks and succeeds beyond expectations, whether it’s building a school from the ground up, taking a hobby in photography and making it into a successful business, or tutoring kids who have nothing and making them believe they can succeed against overwhelming odds. She has a never give up attitude and that makes all the difference when trying to become published. With her on my side, nothing is impossible.
3. Every author has that moment when they doubt their ability to write. When that happens to you, how do you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and continue? What do you do to inspire YOURSELF?
When I decided to write full-time, I had to let go of certain fantasies about writing. Writing is not an activity I do while sitting calmly with a cup of coffee and creating wonderful stories inspired by the Monarch butterfly that landed on my finger in the middle of a garden on a sunny day. Although there are times when my stories form in my mind with the precision of a 3D action sequence, more times than not, I must kick and prod and yank the stories from my subconscious.
I also find that given the choice, I’d rather go for a walk or play with my kids than write five sentences when I have no inspiration. Why? Because writing is difficult and making something interesting and fun to read takes major brain power. Instead of procrastinating, however, I sit at my desk and write, not everyday, but very close to everyday. Some days are wonderful and others are wretched journeys into depression, but I write anyway. Soon, I have a decent story that requires even more work to make better and then more work to become worthy of posting to the world.
The secret to getting over a bad day of writing is to continue writing until I have a good day. The more I write, the more good days I have.
Thanks for stopping by. Head over to http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer and