Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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When do you take the next step?

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Happy Labor Day everyone… I do hope all of you are having a great day!

Ok, so I’ve been pondering something for a while, but I’m still undecided. It’s the same feeling I had just before I pushed the button to submit my first book, Ghost Lover. The feeling is gnawing at my gut and won’t let me sleep, but as I’m a thinker, I’ve been thinking a lot.

So far, I’ve self-published 35 books, made it to the top 55 of Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest, received awards, but there’s still something missing. There’s further to go, but how far? How far do you go beyond where you thought you were going? As I said, it’s gnawing at me and I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of something, but what?

As I’ve researched, read, and followed the publishing world, I realized what I’ve been missing, an agent. So, I reached out to a couple of big time authors that have commented on my work and their consensus seems to be, I need to reach out to a literary agent. But, as this is a big step for me, and if you know me, that’s saying something. Do I do this? Do I give up some of the freedom I’ve had as a self-published author?

You may be wondering, will she or won’t she? I’m going to push forward and do it. This is the week that I put myself out there and see what happens. If nothing happens, I’ve lost nothing, but if something does happen, well, I’ll let you know.

SO, as always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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It’s Release Day…..

Breakwater Lane Front Cover

Good Thursday morning! It’s release day! Do I sound excited? Well, I am… Breakwater officially released today and I’m beyond excited. This series is so much fun to write and I can’t wait to hear from my adoring readers.

**Small Town Romance**

When Jordan Reed inherits her grandfather’s deli in small town Wishful Harbor, her life is turned upside down. Things start to look better when her childhood crush, Skylar, turns out to be her new contractor. When someone tries to intervene in Jordan and Skylar’s relationships the mysteries of Jordan’s family start to unravel. What she learns could change her life and her family’s reputation forever.

If you didn’t preorder your copy, it’s still only .99 for today only! So grab it now…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

https://www.amazon.com/Breakwater-Lane-Wishful-Harbor-Book-ebook

 

 

 


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Outlines, Notebooks & other such things…

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It’s Saturday morning and I’m ready for a little rest and restoration. Of course, you know I’ll be writing, it’s my Saturday thing to do. When you run a busy accounting office, most of your intense writing comes on your days off.

Take notes... You'll need them later...

Now with intense writing sessions, you have to use your time wisely. This is where detailed notes and outlines come in handy. When I sit down to write, I like to have everything at my fingertips. If I’m writing a book, say, for instance, Breakwater Lane, I want to have my character information close at hand. Why? Well, it helps me to just look at the character list beside me. If I forget a secondary characters name, I just glance at the list and keep going. But without this list, well, I’d have to go back to where I last wrote about them to check. That takes away valuable writing time.

Outlines are helpful…

I’m an outliner, most of the time. When a story comes into my head, I like to sit down and outline it while it’s fresh. If the story comes in bits and pieces as some do, then I just write down the basics of what has come to my head. As with Sky Ridge Series, I have in my head what each of the three books will be covering, but without the outline, I’d overtake the story from the next book. I want to make sure that each book covers its own situation.

Don’t let a lack of organization throw you off track…

Some people say that outlines mess them up and that’s ok. Everyone has their own style. It’s the way we’re made. But for me, outlines keep me focused on the story at hand. You might ask if I’ve ever changed a story from the outline? Yes, several times. Take, for instance, Finding the Right Time. I had it completely outlined, but my characters would not behave and they went off script. If you’re not a writer, that might sound a little off, but it’s true. Characters can have a mind of their own and they go off down the rabbit hole, leaving the outline in the dust. That’s when you pick up the outline, dust it off, then adjust as needed. It works, believe me.

Notebooks… Notebooks… Notebooks…

Now, I have notebooks for each of my series. I keep details about characters that are in each book. That way I keep up with who died, who left to never be heard of again and such as that. On my stand-alone’s, I don’t always have a dedicated notebook, just an outline with notes in the margins. I put the characters at the top, then the outline. But the notes in the margins can be added characters, character flaws or just location descriptions. Anything you think will be needed later, add it.

It only takes a second to lose that train of thought…

So, to sum up, my rambling from above, if you feel disoriented or unorganized when writing, it’s normal. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself. These are just a couple of the things I do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Ants! Ants! Everywhere…

Ants

Good morning everyone! Oh and let me say good morning to the ants that are invading my house… To say I’m overwhelmed, well, that would be an understatement. But, in the south, it’s a part of summer.

Ok, so let me explain the new adventure at my house. It’s called the follow the ants and find where they’re coming from. The game isn’t fun. It’s not glamorous. It’s not productive for my writing. But, for my sanity and my family, I play this game daily.

Let’s start with this morning. I’m laying in bed, enjoying the peaceful bliss of the last moments of sleep when my hubby kisses me goodbye before work, but whispers, not sweet nothings, he informs me that ants got on him while eating breakfast. Well, needless to say, I got up and made my way to the kitchen.

Now, you know me, I’ve got to have my coffee before I can function, so, I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to watch the news. After one cup of coffee, I was ready to check out the problem at hand. LOL! One inspection of the kitchen pantry and I needed another cup of coffee. Those little menaces were trailing up behind the shelves and straight into a box of honey nut cheerios. Millions of the little suckers.

What’s amazing is when I trailed them back down the wall, across the entry way, through the entire kitchen and dining room, around the corner and down the hallway, which is rather long, I found them. They were coming out of nowhere, just appearing, but upon closer inspection, they were coming from behind the molding. Really?????

How on earth did these tiny pests smell my honey nut cheerios from that far away? They only were going to the cereal. But by the way, they were marching through my house, you’d think they were headed to a feast laid out across the counter. So, in disgust and anger, I tossed my box of cereal out the back door and began sweeping up ants. Did I say I’d only had one and a half cups of coffee? Yeah, that’s why I was sweeping them up. I needed more caffeine for my brain to actually work well with itself.

So, now as I sit here, typing my post, the fumes of the poison (household safe) I sprayed fills the house, I have to ask, what is the purpose of these little insects? I mean, do they actually have a purpose other than driving me insane?

Ok, so, rant over. Hope everyone is well on this Friday morning.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

By the way, don’t forget that the pre-order for Breakwater Lane is still going until August 31st when it releases. Also, hop over to Love Kissed Promotions for the chance to win a Kindle, just click here August Preorder Sale & Giveaway


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Hitting Publish…

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Good morning everyone! It’s a great morning to be alive. I’ve just submitted the final edited version of Breakwater Lane and I feel so nervous. When you put your work out there for the whole world to see and read, well, sometimes it’s overwhelming. Even after over 35 published titles, I still get the major butterflies when I push that button.

I love the newest messages on Amazon. This one had me getting another cup of coffee. Of course, you all know it doesn’t take much coaxing for that to happen.

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Does it ever get old seeing your manuscript in your hands? Never! My hands shake as I hold the manuscript and I never take it for granted. This is a special honor to me that I’ll always treasure.

So, what do you do just before hitting the magic button? For me, I stress over the manuscript, reading it over one last time, then my finger hovers over the keyboard before touching enter.  I hyperventilate for a few minutes, then I push the button and watch the wheel spin.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

 


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As we grow older…

Good morning! Last night I attended my 30-year class reunion. I don’t feel like it’s been 30 years since we were all crazy high school students just making our way through class and life. But the funny thing is, it has been.

We all grow older, but the heart stays the same in many ways. As I spoke with everyone last night, I realized, we haven’t changed that much in 30 years. Everyone has the same smile, the same laugh, just maybe a few added wrinkles from many years of life and laughter. But at the heart of it, we’re all still the same people we were 30 years ago when we walked across that field, scared to death of what lay ahead, but sure we’d make the world a better place.

It’s crazy the memories that flood in when you get together with people from your past. Some are good, others sad, but mostly, you remember all the many aspects of those years together. Most of us were in school together all the way through, which meant we spent a lot of time together. Even after all these years, we know one another and nothing can erase the memories we’ve shared, even time.

So, now you know I’m a sap, not that you didn’t know that already. And yes, as I watched the video of our pictures scrolling by, I had a tear dot the corner of my eye. We can’t go back to that wonderful time, except in our minds, but we can remember the days when we were fresh and new beings just trying to get by. We can remember the ones we’ve lost over the years and smile, knowing that we were part of this great thing we call life.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…