Stephanie Hurt – Author/Accountant/Children's Minister

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Dreams of days gone by…..

Does your past ever come back to haunt you? Maybe in a dream or memory that slips in through the cracks in time. We all have moments when we sigh and remember something from the past or maybe it’s someone. It could be a favorite pet, an old, dear friend, a lost loved one or maybe even a former love. But we all have a past no matter how much we try to say we don’t.

I’m often asked if my writing reflects my past. Usually I smile warmly and wink. As a writer I do pull from things that inspire me. Sometimes I do pull from my past but I make it something new in my writing. Writing has a way of making the past come alive or maybe put the past to rest. 

I’ve spoken with many authors that use their writing to put the past to rest. Maybe they have a lover that never left their heart, but left their life. They write about the experiences shared with them and then try to lock it away in the book. Some say it helps and others just shrug and go on with the memories clouding their minds.

I try to put the past in the past where it belongs, but some memories are vivid in my mind and they are pleasant to revisit from time to time. The smell of horses makes me go back in times to my earlier years. As you know from my writing, horses are something that inspire me. When I get the scent, even in a faint wind, I have to smile. For many reasons I smile, but I smile none the less. I just adore horses and they played an important role in parts of my past. For those that knew me in the past they know it’s the truth.

One of my big dreams was to become an author. Well that dream has come true and recently I made it to Amazon’s bestseller list which was an exclamation point on that dream. It was humbling and exciting at the same time. The fans have made it a special time with their letters and emails. They live out my dream with me in every word I write. 

So, which of your dreams have come true? Does your writing reflect them?

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour

Calling all Romance Authors for the second year of Romancing September Across The World.

Romance September 2014 cover (1)

We are looking for any Authors of Romance who wish to promote their book in 2 locations across the world in 1 day during the month of September.

Rosie Amber and I are once again joining forces to Romance our way through September.

On each day there will be a first post from Rosie in the UK promoting that day’s Romance Book as a question and answer guest post based on the author’s book, with a photo of the author, a book cover picture with buying and author links.

Next when the sun rises in beautiful Georgia, USA I will publish my post where authors will be giving their answers to her questions….Plus there will be the book bio/description, book cover, author picture and buying/author links.

Double posts, double exposure!

Books will be allocated a date from 1st-30th September. We will take bookings from now until all dates are full, on a first come first served basis, special requests for dates may be available, ask early if you need one. Please don’t ask to change your date once booked, it’s an admin nightmare!

What you need to do;

Contact us immediately via the form below or by e-mail, and we will book a date, tell us the title of your book  (We are unable to use any book that featured in last year’s tour) Only 1 book per author please.

After confirmation of your place we will need the book bio/description, Book cover j-peg, author picture j-peg, all buying and author links.

PLUS; Your answers to Stephanie’s questions.

Questions:

What inspired you to write this book?
 
What’s your favorite part of this book and why?
 
What is your philosophy on writing and life? 
 
Name your three favorite books that you’ve written — feel free to list buy links 
 
What are your goals for this year? 
 
If you had to give one piece of advice what would it be? 

I will compose individual questions for each book which I will e-mail to authors, please reply as soon as possible.

Book the date in your Diary, tell all your fans and help us promote the tour as much as possible.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Sleepy Friday Morning

It’s overcast here in Georgia. The temperatures have been amazing the last couple of days. But today starts a seven day trend of ran, storms and just plain out nasty weather. The overcast darkness makes me sleepy and it’s hard to stay awake.

My night consisted of fighting with the bed for about two hours, then going to the den to curl up in the corner of the couch to read for about thirty minutes (actually read for 2 hours) and then going back to bed and finally drifting off to sleep. For some reason my sleeper was not working last night. Don’t you just hate those nights when you’re sleepy but once your head hits the pillow it goes away.

So this morning may be a pot of coffee instead of just a couple of cups. I have managed to get in about 850 words this morning so I guess that’s a good thing. Of course my current WIP may be one of the reasons I’m having problems sleeping. The characters keep screaming in my head. I’m at a pivotal point in the story and it’s exciting…

So how’s your Friday morning going? I hope you’re planning a fantastic weekend. For me I have a wedding to attend tomorrow and you all know how I love weddings. They inspire me as a romance writer. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The start can be the finish!

I’ve read hundreds, no probably thousands of books in my lifetime. No, I will not say how many years I’ve been reading, let’s just say many years and leave it at that. In those years I’ve read some good and some bad books. Not too long ago I came across a gem. As I read the Prologue I was mesmerized by the writer’s ability to bring about the meaning of the book in the first few pages. It helped the story become more alive as I read chapter to chapter.

In researching writing types I’ve often run up on an article either supporting or not supporting prologues in books. For me, it’s a matter of need, not necessity. I do have one book with a prologue but it’s a necessity. The book takes place in the present, but the prologue sets the stage for the book without over stating what the book is about. Of course I could’ve put this information into the dialogue as I went along, but I tried to give it a sense of purpose. Maybe it was a good idea or maybe it wasn’t.

Do you start your first sentence with a cliff hanger? Some do and it can be alright if it’s written in a way that doesn’t give away the storyline right off. You need to leave some mystery in it so that the reader has a reason to go on. If it’s a murder and you start off with “The butler killed her because he knew that he’d never have her,” well enough said. Why go any further if you know the butler did it and you also know why? Of course there are some diehard readers that would keep going to find out how, but for me it would be a done deal.

When we were young most of our reading started with “Once upon a time…” but as a romance author that would be a little cheesy, but only if mishandled. I actually read a really great romance novel that started with exactly those words and it was handled wonderfully. 

Every starting sentence needs to have something special. To me this is the hardest part of writing, besides the blurb which you all know I hate that part of writing. For some the first sentence is right there in front of them. It comes with the story as it enters their head. I’ve had that happen a couple of times, but only a couple. 

I’ve written the first sentence of one of my current works in progress about five times. Funny how the further I get into the story the less I like the first of the book. Of course this is my first pirate romance so maybe it’s the strain of jumping into another sub category genres. With my cowboys I usually always have the opening line happily cemented in stone by the first couple of chapters, but my pirate has me still looking back even after over 20,000 words. 

So, how’s your first line going? Is it all that you want it to be? If not, read it out loud and see how you like it. I usually look back at other writer’s work to see how they started their works and see how it sounds. Keep it simple, but draw in that reader. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Great related article:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-prologues-3/

 


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Saturday Writing…

What’s your best day to write? For me, I like to write on Saturdays. It’s quiet, no business to take care of and usually have the house to my self. Today I’m working on a couple of pivotal scenes in Emma Rose and Safe in the Pirate’s Arms. Hopefully one or the other or maybe both will be available in the next week or so.

I’ve learned a lot about writing in the last two years. It’s not as easy as it looks. So many people tell me that one day they’ll write something because it looks so easy. I just smile and wish them luck. Some days it’s easier than others, but the writing is only part of it. There’s so much more to it. 

Writing consists of many parts. First you have to get the idea down. But some ideas don’t pan out to actual books. Amazingly enough, I’ve had so many ideas for books, but after a page or two the story fizzled out. It has to have depth enough to hold up the story line for several chapters or it will just collapse in on itself.

Of course after it’s written, you have to edit, then reedit then edit again. Don’t forget the cover and blurb. The blurb is the hardest part for me, even though it consists of only a few words. I’d rather write a 100,000 word book in a weekend than to sit down and write a blurb. One is impossible and the other is nerve wrenching.

Then of course, whether you go with a traditional publisher or you self publish, the promotional part of writing is never ending. It’s the promotional effort that get’s you out there. If you stop promoting for a week, then you can fall behind.

As I said, writing is not so easy. But for some reasons Saturdays make it easier.

As always, good writing and may God bless you…

 


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Back up and refreshed!

Well, thanks to my brilliant computer guy I’m back up and running with a totally refreshed computer. I spent last night reinstalling all my programs and back ups. I always worry when doing this because I don’t want to lose any information. It’s amazing how attached we get to technology.

As for my writing, I was unable to get any done last night and I wanted to so badly. As I sat waiting on Office to reinstall my mind was whirling with characters that were screaming in my ears. I even dreamed I was on a pirate ship. 

I’m excited to report that the republished version of With All My Heart is still doing well. It’s now in the top 20 on Amazon. What’s funny is the original version is free on Amazon and is at #8. How crazy is that? All of my books have started hitting again. I guess it’s true if you get a bestseller then you hit the right algorithim on Amazon. It’s been refreshing to say the least.

As I sit here watching Lonesome Dove and sipping my coffee I’m content, for now. Of course now I have to put my books on this computer. My fingers are itchy and ready to get back to work. If you’re wondering why I’m watching Lonesome Dove so early this morning, well it’s one of my favorite cowboy movies. I recorded it a couple of nights ago, It was my dad’s favorite too. We used to watch it everytime it came on. 

Of course watching all these cowboys and horses makes me ready to start my newest cowboy romance, but no, I’m going to be strong and finish Emma Rose and Safe In The Pirate’s Arms. At least Emma Rose has horses in it. I’m a country girl, what can I say.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Upgrading Computer today!

As an Accountant and writer I’m attached to my laptop several hours a day. Today is going to be a test of my patience. I’m carrying my laptop to the shop to be upgraded and added to. Believe me when I say I’ve backed up my computer on two different external harddrives. I’m being over cautious I know, but I have a lot on this computer.

It’s crazy how dependent we become about our computers. I’m actually not looking forward to several hours unplugged. So if you notice my social media presence is really low today, that’s why. I’ll let you know later how it goes. My computer guy has assured me several times that everything will be alright, but it’s my baby, errr, my computer.

So, keep your fingers crossed and the next time I talk with you I’ll be on a newly renovated version of my old laptop. Yikes, just saying that gets my nerves all jittery.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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