Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Romance Authors

It’s funny the looks you get when you tell some people that you’re a romance author. Some smile and ask what you’ve written, looking interested. Then you get the ones that roll their eyes and say “You write that crap?” That really just makes me steam over.

Romance novels are one of the biggest selling genres out there, but we still get the stigma of writing romance hoopla so to speak. I would like for one of those that roll their eyes to come on over and sit in one of our shoes for an hour of editing. They’d be saying, hey, I get it. It’s not that easy.

Writing is an art. Either you have it or you don’t. I’ve noticed over the years different writers come and go. They give under the stress of promotion and sales flucuations. It’s definitely not a get rich quick scheme, so if that’s what you’re in it for, you might want to move on to the next thing on your list.

As for me, I enjoy writing romance. It just excites me to get into a good romantic tale and to see where it can go. I have the control over that ending. I can take it in any direction I want to. I’m not a control freak by no means, but when it comes to where my stories go, my characters have to stand up and pay attention or they’ll get killed off in a nasty punch of the delete key. 🙂

In honor of romance authors, my friend Rosie Amber from the UK and I are teaming up to do a blog tour. It is Romancing September Across The World. We have 30 authors in 30 days. Rosie starts each day off in her time zone with a Q & A and then when the sun rises over Georgia I ask them a question and give them a plug for their latest book.

We have a great lineup of authors. I will have a list of the authors on my home page and Rosie will too. I will put a link to Rosie’s page below so that you can go over and check it out.

As always good writing and May God Bless You…

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/


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Behind the Books

As a reader you don’t know what goes into the books you read. You walk in a book store or browse through the lists of books on your computer, but have you ever thought about what happens behind the scenes to make that book that you hold in your hand possible. Well, let me enlighten you.

As a writer I can tell you there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make that book real. It’s a work in process, it’s the heart of the writer, and it’s the work of usually more than one person.

Steps to the birth of a book:

1: The inspiration – Without the idea or inspiration for the storyline, there’s no book. The author’s ideas, memories, or just inspirational thought puts the story together. If no idea comes about, how could you have a book. 

2: Now for me, the next step is the outline. Some authors don’t outline their work, but I have to do an outline as soon as the inspiration hits. For me storylines comes in huges waves. Most of them I know the beginning and the ending, but have to fill in the middle. Some come in a rush of completeness. 

3: Now is the time to put words to work. Fill in the outline. Make the story flow and ebb with the emotions, characters and time that it takes to make a story come alive. This process is the longest part to me. The inspiration can come in an instant, but to put it to play takes a little bit of time. Some writers could take years to put a story to paper and others on a mere week or two.

4: So your story is on it’s way to birth, but it needs something else. It needs a name. Wow, that’s a hard one sometimes. A couple of my books were named before the story was written, but most of the time the name comes well into the books pregnancy. But when it hits you, it’s automatic. You just know, yeah, that’s it. But at sometimes you struggle with the name. This is a big selling point of your book.

5: Ok, so you’ve got the story, the outline, the name, but what else is there. What about a cover? Every book needs a cover. Some covers are simple, yet expressive, some are extraordinarily elaborate. Your cover is what can stop a reader in their browse for a book. When I browse through a book store, more than anything, the first thing that grabs me is the cover. I’ll stop and check it out if the cover entices me, draws me in.

6: Well, the cover draws you in, but the description can make you say yes. This is the hardest step to me. How do you put a 300 page book into 400 words, give or take? It’s almost impossible. I have sat for hours working on this very thing. It impacts the sale of your work so you have to make it just right. I’ve actually published a book and then six months down the road went back in and rewrote the description. It actually started selling after the change. Amazing…

7: Well, now you think, you’re ready for publishing. No! A huge, wopping, No! It’s time for editing. Not just your read over, get someone else, maybe two or three others and preferrable people that are critical. This is very important. If the words don’t flow right, maybe you don’t see it, but someone not familiar with the story can. This is your baby, don’t you want it to be the best it can be. Don’t take constructive criticism to heart, but use it for good. It can make the difference between selling 5 or 500.

8: Well, it’s polished up and so shiny it gleams. What now? Well now it’s time to publish. Whether you go with a traditional publisher or you self publish, it’s a big step. 

9: Here we go, it’s time to advertise. This is a hard thing to do when you have to keep your name active on social media and everywhere a reader could find you. But during this time you’re trying to write other books and most of us work a full time job, run a household and do everything else that comes with life. A writer’s life is very busy. Remember that when you send fanmail and don’t immediately get an answer. That author may be shoulder deep in edits, stories or advertising.

10: Final step, not hardly, but the final one for this blog. Sit back, drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the glow of having a finished novel.

Maybe you have a few more steps to add. Hope this helps if you’re new to writing or even a veteran. Just enjoy the process.

As always, good writing, and May God Bless You…

 


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Victoria, Official Release September 15th

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Well, it’s official, Victoria will be released September 15th. It will be available for preorder on Smashwords.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and couple of other sites after September 1st. 

I’m really excited about this one. I’ll be doing a giveaway on Goodreads in the next two weeks ahead of the release. Also, will be doing a ebook giveaway, but those details will be released before the end of this week. Keep watching.

If you like historical romance, I hope you like this one. I’ve had it in the works for a while and am feeling a little release of breath as the release date is official. Finishing the final edits this week. 

As far as other releases, the first edition of my newsletter was released yesterday. If you want to get on board for September, please message me. So far so good.

But back to my release. I’ll keep you updated on the upcoming events tied to the release. 

Don’t forget to keep your eyes open starting September 1 for the start of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. Go over to Rosie’s page and check out her part of the tour also at 

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Facing Fears…

In life we have things to deal with. Sometimes we’re alright with them and other times we’re not alright. For me, one of my fears or phobias is the dentist office visit. I don’t know why, but I just break out in a sweat thinking about it. I try to avoid it. 

I know, it’s crazy but true. I even get nervous taking my son to the dentist for a cleaning. It has to be the sounds, smell, or something. We have a awesome dentist and he’s also a family friend, but still can’t handle it.

Well, today I have to face my fears. I was enjoying some chocolate chip cookies Saturday and broke a tooth. I sat there for a moment thinking no, not this. My husband said “Honey, it happens.” Maybe so, but I don’t want it to happen to me. That means I have to go to that place. You know, the dentist office. He laughed and said I’d live. I know that, but it’s the thought and fear.

Oh well, I’ve got to just be brave and get it taken care of. I’ve prayed on it and feel better, but nerves are still just jangled. I even tried to work on my book last night and kept thinking about it. I know, I have a problem.

As we go through life, we have to face many fears. One of them was publishing my books for the first time. I was actually afraid of putting myself out there. After I hit publish the first time, I broke out in a sweat. It was a fearful time. Should I put myself out there? I’m glad I did it. It’s been a huge learning experience. I’ve been strengthened by this too. 

Have you faced any of your fears lately? What were they? How did you handle it?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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How do you handle writer’s block?

It’s a mystery that doesn’t have a rhyme or reason. As a writer it’s devastating to say the least. The symptoms can vary from staring into space with fingers poised over keyboard, the sudden appetite for social media, and even in some instances headache with slight nausea (usually this is when deadlines loom over your head).

I remember in high school needing to write a paper on my favorite movie, Gone With The Wind. I thought great, I know this movie inside out. This will be a piece of cake. Of course I procratinated and wait until the last couple of days to do the work. I sat down with pen and paper, then it hit, writer’s block. What? I knew this movie, how could I not figure out what to write? This should be simple. But writer’s block has no mercy. I finally finished the paper at the last minute, but it wasn’t my best work. My teacher was disappointed because she knew how much I loved the movie. 

It’s the same with authors. We know the story that needs to be written, but the words just won’t come. I had that problem last week. I’m working on “Victoria” and it’s a historical romance. I started this book last year and I knew exactly what I wanted it to be about. 

Well, as writer’s block doesn’t pick and choose, it started off really well, but around 5000 words in, bam nothing. Then I picked it back up over the summer and got to almost 30,000 words and here it was. Like a monster in the closet, looming there, threatening my concentration. Amazing.

I’ve often talked about using outlines. I have one for this book. It was no help as the block was too thick. I listened to my writing music. I watched historical romances to help spur me on, but nothing helped. The headache loomed, the pressure between my eyes, it was terrible. I could see the story in my mind, but to put it in words, nothing. 

I struggled, I dreamed about it, I worried. Well, after a lot of surfing social media, staring out the window at nothing, it finally hit me. I’d been working so hard to finish it before the end of August, that I’d blocked myself. Meaning I’d pressured my brain into overdrive. What with work, home, everything in life, I’d put too much pressure on the story. 

I knew what I had to do. I had to step back, take a breath. That’s when I did what I said I’d not do. I put the manuscript to the side and worked on something else. Well, when I put it out of sight and mostly out of my brain, I was able to cleanse myself of the writer’s block. It worked. I was only away from it a couple of days when it all flooded in and took over. 

WIth a sigh of relief I’m almost completely done with the first run. It’s funny, all of my books have meant something to me, but this one means something different. It’s like a renewal of spirit. I have a great feeling about this one. The planned release is September 15th. It should be available for preorder around the end of August or first of September. I’ll put out the specific date as soon as it’s available.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Romancing September

As I’ve been telling you, Rosie Amber has partnered with me to host a dual blog across the pond. I’m really excited about this. We’ve finally received all 30 authors and are on the way to production.

Everyday in September we’ll be doing two blogs. One on Rosie’s page at 

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/ and one on this one. 

Why not do a blog regarding romance? Everyone loves a good romance, so why not get to know some of the authors behind the romance. It’s been interesting meeting all these wonderful authors. Several I already knew through blogs, their books and Facebook. 

It’s amazing the places these authors come from. I will not give away very much, but I will say this, we have them from all over. Interesting to say the least.

Here the link to Rosie’s list of authors that will be center stage each day of September. So mark your calendars and don’t forget to check out both sides everyday.

http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/romancing-september-tour/

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…