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!
If you’ve come over from Elaine Jeremiah’s website, welcome. She’s the author of “Reunion of the Heart”.
We have Vicky Mason to thank for her questions today.
1.) Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were going to become a writer? If so, what was it?
I’ve always jotted down stories in my head. Nothing great, nothing formal. A few years ago I decided to try NaNoWriMo. I lost. I made it to 35,000 words though and wanted nothing more than to finish the book. It took me two more years to finish it. When I was done, I had no idea what to do. Luckily, I found a local Romance Writers of America chapter nearby. The day I joined in February 2012, I became focused on making writing more than hobby. Since then, I’ve finished eight other manuscripts and sold seven of them.
2.) When you write a story, do you see it unfold as one big picture, or do you add layering in subsequent drafts?
Even when I know the beginning, middle, and the end of a story, I always add subplots and additional layers into a story as I write. These are generally the best parts. The car that only starts after a push and shove, the chocolate that always remains on the heroine’s lip after eating a donut, or the hero’s fear of flying. Not plot points, but the icing on the cake!
3.) How many drafts do you usually write before you send your work to your editor?
I edit as I write, so my work has already been edited about three times before I finish a manuscript. I then print it out and edit it another time. Finally, I read it out loud to make sure everything flows.
My critique partners then pick it apart it. I send it to my agent after I have a solid draft. Then my editor sees it.
Hop on over to Raine Balkera’s blog to see a bit of her writing history and techniques.
I was tagged by Jodi Linton to join the Meet the Character Blog Hop. Jodi is the author of the Deputy Laney Briggs series. Jump back to her site to meet her red hot cowboy Gunner.
My character comes from a novella I co-wrote with Susan Scott Shelley “Tackled by the Girl Next Door.” Susan wrote all about our heroine on her blog, so if you want to know more about Samantha O’Brien, check out her post. http://www.susanscottshelley.com/#!Meet-My-Character-Samantha-OBrien-from-Tackled-By-the-Girl-Next-Door-Part-1/ct9f/760C57F4-FBBF-4D83-BD7E-048BDD0CEBE6
I’m introducing Jason Black, our hero. He’s a former pro-football player who came back to his hometown for a few months to figure out his future. In Sam’s words, he’s “six feet four inches of chiseled perfection.”
Jason sees Sam as a good friend, the person he can relax around and be himself. Sam, however, has started seeing him in a whole new light. “They’d shared countless meals over the years. Everything felt nice and easy with him by her side, but she wanted more. Friendship with Jason was wonderful, but the sparks that flew whenever he touched her hinted at something explosive and amazing. More than anything, she wanted fireworks.”
Sam never makes a move toward Jason and their relationship remains neutral until he opens his eyes…
“The treadmill hummed in the background. When Sam started running, her feet created a drumbeat rhythm. He turned up the volume to drown out the sound. A few minutes later, he glanced back at Sam to ask if she wanted some water from the kitchen. His eyes froze on the image behind him. Someone had stolen Sam and replaced her with a knockout in black Lycra shorts, sporting rock solid abs and breasts attempting to escape the skimpy jog bra. Where did those breasts come from? Sam didn’t have breasts, did she? She’d always dressed in baggy sweatshirts, sweaters, or those hideous boxy suits she wore to work.
When she smiled at him, he noticed a dot of chocolate he’d missed at the corner of her mouth. Damn, he was hungry. Heat shot straight to his groin, creating an unwelcome inferno.”
Once their attraction breaks into the open, their previous comfortable existence becomes twisted up. Can they return to the comfortable friendship they enjoyed? Do they want to?
Next week, join Betty Bolte as she gives some insight into one of her characters. Her new release, “Remnants,” a beautifully written romance with ghostly elements comes out October 27th, 2014. Just in time for Halloween!
Also check out Adele Downs. Her new romance is
COMING OCTOBER 7, 2014 from Boroughs Publishing Group!
I hope you popped over from Jo Richardson’s blog. She also created our flash fiction challenge with this picture.
Here’s my try…
He was there in front of her. Camouflage uniform, serious expression.
“I have to go.” His hand reached out to urge her closer.
She nodded. Every organ inside of her was jumbled and aching, especially her heart. She couldn’t speak. What could she say? Goodbye wasn’t an option.
She lost control when he stepped to her and kissed her lips. His kiss soothed the trembling of her mouth, his hand curved through her hair in a soft caress. It wasn’t enough. She wanted more.
There was no hurry in his movements, he simply held her close, tasting her, calming her, loving her. Her tears flowed down into the kiss, making the sweetness of his tongue turn salty and sad.
The calls and shouts of the people around them penetrated the moment, but she couldn’t lift her head from his. Perhaps if she didn’t let go, he could stay, and this moment would last forever.
His hands gripped her shoulders and squeezed. The pressure hurt, the pain forced her to lift to her eyes to his. Her hero, the man she’d committed her life to was crying. He must have seen her shock, because he wiped some of the tears streaming down his face and laughed.
“Is it harder to leave or remain behind?” he asked, his forehead leaning against the top of her head.
“It sucks either way.” She pressed her lips into his, and they kissed again, a harder, more intense kiss than before.
When he finally pulled apart, he clasped her face in both hands. His expression serious, his eyes still moist. “I love you, Kate. Take care of yourself.”
A final kiss, a tender squeeze, and he headed to the airplane and an unknown future.
Head on over to Leslie Hatcher and enjoy her flash fiction story!
You may have arrived from Susan Peterson Wisnewski’s “Meet My Character.” If not, go check out her blog http://www.spwwrites.com/blog/. She is the author of Secrets in San Remo and Chasing the Rainbow, both romantic suspense novels. She will be releasing a new series of paranormal thrillers this fall, tentatively titled Adams Thriller I, II, & III.
MEET JESSICA WONDER, from CODE RED, my newly released novella from Boroughs Publishing.
Instead of describing the heroine of the story- I thought I’d give you a piece of backstory. A tiny slice of why she acted as she did in the first scene of the book!
Jessica had never met his family although they’d been engaged over a year. Somehow, it had never mattered. When Robert had arrived in her life, she just accepted the fact that he’d drive through a few times a year between his parents’ house and his work at the University of Toronto. Now it mattered.
His death came to her through a bare bones obituary, listing only his funeral arrangements and the car accident that took his life, not from a phone call of a family member. A family she’d never be part of now. It took three hundred dollars she’d had to borrow in order to travel to the small town of Eagle’s Den where his family’s farm was located. She was late and didn’t have time to meet the people who would never be her in-laws before the funeral. Instead, she hustled through the parking lot to the back of the small white church and into the cemetery. Her dark blue dress with the Peter Pan collar seemed appropriate among the twenty or so people wearing somber dresses or plain black suits and standing around the casket. She would have fit in nicely in this town.
Jessica sought an older couple being consoled by loving touches and warm hugs of neighbors and friends. She wanted to comfort the parents of the man she loved and gain some comfort as well. But the attention of the crowd fell on a little girl, so tiny and cute in a pink dress, carrying a teddy bear. Her blonde hair was like Robert’s.
A thin elegant woman with dark hair and big brown reddened eyes hugged the girl close. One of the well wishers placed a hand on her shoulder.
“I’m so sorry. Robert was an amazing man. I remember your wedding as though it was yesterday.
“Thank you.” The woman gazed down at the little girl. “I can’t believe he’s gone. He only had one semester left before he graduated and we could move back here.”
Pain cracked the woman’s voice and shot something lethal into Jessica’s heart. He was married. Jessica inhaled, but her windpipe had tightened and not much air could make it through. It wouldn’t have mattered, because her chest felt as though a boulder had smashed into her, leaving her breathless and sore. He had a daughter and a wife and a life without her. The love of her life was a lying, cheating, sack of shit.
No wonder she’d never met the family. No one introduces the mistress to Mom and Dad. She pulled the tiny diamond and gold off her finger, scraping the knuckle until it bled. She walked over to the casket, already dropped into the hole that would keep him away from her forever. Although the mourners may have noticed her, the blurry images caused by tears she was now embarrassed about shedding provided a shield from caring about what others thought. She tossed the ring back to the demon asshole who had used her for sex and offered only the illusion of a future in return.
She raced back to her car, struggling for breath, and drove away. Her hand pushed back her dark hair, eerily similar to the almost black waves flowing over the shoulders of Robert’s widow. Jessica needed to change that. Red. Like blood, like hate, like sex disguised as an act of love.
Next week, catch Susan Scott Shelley‘s Meet My Character.
Susan Scott Shelley is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense who spends her days writing about tough heroes, smart heroines, and love being the strongest magic there is.
For as long as she can remember, she has been in love with Love, and the sweeping grand gestures, heart-sighing moments, fiery passion, and quiet comforts it entails.
She currently resides outside Philadelphia with her very own Superhero.
Her favorite things include running, sports, hard rock and old Hollywood movies. An unapologetic optimist, she believes life should be lived with laughter and a sense of wonder.
Tackled By the Girl Next Door
by Susan Scott Shelley and Veronica Forand
The Wild Rose Press
Available October 15, 2014
When a retired professional football player returns home to sort out his life, he finds his future in the girl next door.
1.When do you decide that you’ve done enough editing and changes would now be making it different, not better? So it’s the time to submit
My finished draft goes to my critique partner before anyone else. She finds plenty of issues with my plot, characters, and strangely worded sentences that made sense when I first wrote them down. From her notes, I make changes, reread the book out loud, and then send the manuscript to two other critique partners who challenge character motivations and anything that pulls them out of the story. After revising from their comments, I send it to my agent for her opinion.
2. When and how do you accept change advice by rejection letters and critique partners?
My critique partner has a fantastic grasp of my voice and understands what emotions I’m trying to layer into a scene. I use her suggestions almost 99% of the time.
When I began writing, I tended to ignore good advice because reworking major components of the story seemed overwhelming. I’d once received a critique about how my heroine came across as unlikeable. I didn’t care. I liked her. The drunken little felon haunted me in several rejections from various agents and editors. They loved my voice, hated my heroine. I’ve learned my lesson. When I hear the same critique over and over again, I take the advice seriously.
3. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your day or do you create your day around your writing?
Finding time to write is never a problem. I prefer writing to just about anything else. I use every moment available to move my work forward. Housework tends to suffer. If forced to choose between writing and the laundry, I pick writing every time.
I force myself away from my computer to be with my family, especially when I’m writing a scene that is completely formed in my head and ready to be written. Now that the kids are back to school, my schedule has more structure and I can carve out a balance between writing time and family time.
When not writing, I exercise, read from my huge “to be read” list, and spend time with my family.