Good Wednesday! It’s chilly here in Georgia. My fingers are stiff and it makes writing difficult, but I’m forging on.
I hear people all the time say, ‘I can write a novel. How hard can it be?’. Sometimes I just let it blow over my shoulders, then other times I look at them and tell them what it takes to write that novel. Usually by the time I’m done, they have changed their mind. So, let’s go through some things it takes to put those words on the paper.
Now, don’t get me wrong, anyone can put words on a paper, but… Words on a paper… What a concept…
To write a novel that actually makes sense, you have to get it in the right order. Make sure that you don’t bust the bubble too early and lose the reader. You have to focus on the ebb and flow of the story line. If you write in a up and down motion, meaning there is constant conflict, then resolution, then more conflict and more resolution, the reader will grow tired. It’s important to have a story within the conflict and resolution. The reader needs to be pulled into your story. It needs a purpose.
And an important part of writing is patience. The words don’t write themselves. You have to be patient as you put your story together. If you just haphazardly write, then you’ll get the wrong result. The story needs to be polished and ready before you send it out. Believe me, I’ve been impatient before and the results were less than mediocre. I’ll never do that again.
So, when someone says they could write a novel, explain to them the process. And I’ve only touched on the many intricacies of getting a story completed that will sell and bring you joy. There are so many facets of the writing process that it would take many posts to accomplish.
It’s crazy how things are changing in the world of romance. I remember racy romance novels being sold in back rooms or passed under tables and kept hidden. Now they’re mainstream. The first romance I read enlightened me to a world of romance and made it hard to look back. I moved forward and read easily thousands of romances through the years.
But the one thing that stayed true was the romance. Whether it’s a racy, wild romance or a sweet Christian romance, the one thing is that romance is romance. It may be portrayed in many different ways but when you get to the bottom of the pot it’s still the same. Romance is a part of being that stays the same through the generations, it’s just the way we put it out there.
I guess that’s why romance novels are the most popular fiction out there. People are drawn to it in droves. Back years ago you wouldn’t have looked at a romance author twice. Now they’re on the bestsellers lists and getting the respect they’ve earned for so many years.
I’m proud to call myself a romance author. I don’t have anything to hide or shy away from. I write from the heart and if you don’t like it, then that’s your opinion. Romance isn’t for everyone, but it’s what I like and what I love to write. So do what you like and write in the genre that makes you happy.
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.
If you’ve read my bio then you know I’ve been writing for many, many years, but only started publishing in the last two years. For me it all started when I was a tender, young teenager and I picked up the first Danielle Steel book, Remembrance. I was entranced in the splendor of her writing. The story took me across the ocean to Italy and I was carried away with the story.
The story filled me with inspiration and helped kickstart my career as a writer, but of course I didn’t know that at the time. The book was filled with so many emotions such as anger, romance, love, grief, sadness and excitement. I was lost to the great romance book. I even wanted to go to Italy and experience this feeling there.
I read this two inch thick book twice that summer. The next year at school I actually did a book report on the book. My teacher was skeptical at first, but then she allowed it. Let’s just say, I turned many listeners over to Danielle Steel fans. I found myself scanning books in the store many times to grab her books.
Now, back then we didn’t have Amazon, so there was no looking up online. Then I was given a membership in the DoubleDay Book Club and that really did it for me. With the membership I was given several free books and yep, they were all Danielle Steel. When they arrived I was in awe. I was the happiest girl. I remember inhaling the scent of the newly printed pages and believe me when I say that I still do this with new paper backs.
I still have those many stories that I handwrote so many years ago. Although the writing has faded slightly, I can still feel the same excitement as I read them. Some of my books that have been published started from those books.
Do you have a author that’s inspired you? Tell us about them.
Saturday afternoon I ventured into my attic which is taking your life in your own hands. I’m, how would you say it, a pack rat. I confess, it’s a thing I inherited. When I was younger I had a book issue. I’d buy books everywhere I went. Needles to say I have a lot of books. Yes actual physical books. You remember those right?
I noticed that the pasteboard boxes that contained my books were looking a little worse for wear. So I had some extra plastic bins so I decided to take on the task of going through my books and putting them neatly in the bins. It was like a journey through my history. I laughed as I went through the different types of romance genres I’ve gone through in my 44 years. I love history, so I went through a rather lengthy historical romance stage. Everything I bought was a historical romance.
There are a couple of books that I hold close to my heart and have been known to reread several times. One of those was a book named “Violet Fire” by Jo Goodman that was published around 1987. It’s an awesome romance. It’s actually the second copy of that book I’ve owned. The first one I let an old family member borrow it. She passed away not long after that and the book never resurfaced. Not sure what happened there. I was lucky to find a copy a couple of years later in a second hand book store. You would have thought I’d found the Ark of the Covenant. I squealed and danced. Needless to say I was happy.
Well, I thought I’d lost it again as I couldn’t find it a couple years ago when I wanted to read it again. I thought I was just destined to not get to read it again. I picked up one of the boxes at the bottom of the stack and guess what, there it was with a couple of other books I thought I’d lost. I let out a whoop and my son came to the bottom of the attic steps. I assured him that I was fine and did a little silent dance. I’ve read every small moment I had. Funny how your hand cramps when trying to hold an actual book. I love it… My Kindle feels a little left out, but it will get some loving real soon.
It’s crazy how you find a book that you love and you just have to read it every once in a while. If you ever find this book on Amazon or in a book store I suggest reading it. It’s rather lengthy, but really good. I like Jo Goodman’s writing and this is one of my favorites.
Romance is so elusive and sometimes hard to find unless you’re reading it in a novel. That’s the comment I hear so often. I don’t believe this state of mind that many people have. Romance can be found, lost, and revived. Still a skeptic?
Romance has been around since the first day of creation. Some people search for it as they would gold in the hills. Sometimes you have it and just don’t see it at all. It’s that simple touch from your lover that sends tiny tendrils of goosebumps up your spine. It’s that simple look of pleasure that you share across the table.
Have you ever wondered where romance hides? Everyone has a moment when you think romance has gone away. Maybe it’s when finances are bad, tragedy looms, or when a marriage fails. Romance is still there, we just as humans put it behind our heart and refuse at times to pull it out again.
As a romance writer I try to bring romance into everyone’s heart. It’s one of the biggest sellers today, romance. Everyone wants it, but what lengths will they go to? Some will spend a fortune buying gifts to show romance, but true romance can’t be bought. It’s a part of you. A kiss is free, a look is free and a touch is free. Give it a try. You might enjoy finding a little romance.
My heart is heavy as I write this post. The news of the tragedy in Connecticut is devastating. Why would someone walk into a school and kill innocent children? Those children had done nothing to that gunman. They were just going about their day with Christmas on their minds and innocence in their heart.
When I picked my son up at school today the first thing he said was “Mama why?” How do you explain to your child the reasons behind someone insane? How do you explain the senseless murder of children? I put my hand on his and told him that unfortunately in this world there are really bad people. He said their school was on lock down today. It made me feel good that his school was being proactive even as far away as we are. At least knowing his school is taking measures to keep them safe makes me feel somewhat good, but those parents in Conn. sent their children to school this morning thinking they were safe too.
As we go about our lives this weekend, take a moment to say a prayer for the children and adults who lost their lives. Also say a prayer for the parents who have to bury their children before Christmas. I can’t even imagine to understand how they must feel tonight. I grieve for them and pray that one day maybe they can come to grips, but I doubt they ever will. I don’t think I could. The anger is so real in my heart and I’m not the type of person that gets angry easy, but when you mess with children it angers me.
Please hug your children and thank God they’re safe. I know that’s what I did.
What do you do when you get down to the last chapters? At this point you need to building up for the end, but how?
As I work on the ending of my newest book, I ponder this question. Just as my last novel, “The Winner Is Love” I wonder, is this the end? Well with that one it wasn’t. I didn’t know it when I started writing it. I had plan a simple, sweet Christmas romance that would end at the words The End. But guess what, as with any writer I had to listen to my characters and my heart told me their story is not done.
My newest book is the 2nd book in a series and I don’t know whether I want it to continue. But if I don’t continue it, how do I end it? Do the lovers ride off in the sunset never to be heard from again? Do I kill them off in a lovers quarrel? What am I saying? I can’t kill them off, that would be murder.
The ending of a book can be as important, or even more important than the beginning. I’ve read books before that the ending left me baffled. Some have left me angry and others ready for more. If you are planning a next book, you have to leave the reader wanting more. You have to give just enough information to keep them hooked for the next book. If you’re ending it there, you need to make the ending mean something. If you end the book wrong, will the reader want to read anything else from you.
I have to admit that I’ve read some books that the ending made me so upset that I didn’t have the heart to read the authors list of other books written. I just couldn’t do that to myself. You know how it is when you’re watching a movie and the main character that you’ve fell in love with dies in the last scene and bam, that’s it. Finished, the end, done! Makes you want to throw something at the TV. Books can make you want to throw your Kindle.
What do you like in an ending? Do you like the explosive ending, where you are just floored? Do you like the sweet, tender ending where you just melt and have to sit quietly for a moment and reflect? (Maybe that’s just me 😉 ) Or do you like the nail biter ending where you get left hanging on the edge of the cliff? Let me know your thoughts. I love to hear what everyone thinks.
Well, it’s official. I’m now on Facebook. My books have been on Facebook for a while, but now I am personally. I’ve been fighting it forever. My assistant has been telling me I needed this for my Author platform. Well, I did it. I broke down and joined the millions of people on Facebook. It’s a little daunting. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get into telling everyone what I had for breakfast. Yikes!
I have never been Mrs. Social Butterfly. It took my assistant forever to get me to publish my books. She said it was like pulling teeth to get me set up on Twitter. It’s funny because now I’m on every social media site I can think of. It’s crazy how being a published author can change your life. All of a sudden people want to know what I think. Me! Plain, nutty, me!. I had someone ask the other day what I drink while I write. Really!!! I told them with a smile, sweet tea. I’m a southern girl, gotta have my sweet tea.
So if you get a chance go on over to Facebook and friend me. I will friend you back when I figure out how to. You may be laughing but I’m serious.
On a book note, go over to Goodreads and check out my new book giveaway for “The Winner Is Love”. It goes through December 31st. It is available to US, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Canada. I think that’s all of them.
OK, so as I often do, today I muse over writing. I spend a lot of my time fighting with my characters. They seem to have minds of their own. If you’re not a writer, you probably think I need the men with the straight jackets. Well, maybe I do need a straight jacket. 😉 But as a writer this is a real fear. If you let them take over, what will happen?
As I’ve told you before, I have another new book coming out in the next week. This one is my New Year’s romance which is the 2nd part to “Tender Flames”. Well, since I was under the weather last week, I got way behind in the manuscript. As I tapped on the keys last night, one of the characters took over the writing process. I had a planned way this book would end, but guess what. As one of the characters evolved in the story, she took over the ending and totally blew it out of the water.
So my question is this, Do we as writers need to let the characters launch a hostile takeover, or do we take back control? Basically if we take over, are we hurting the story? As I sat and let the character take over, I realized maybe she had a point.
Ok, so maybe it’s my brain that does the takeover. Or maybe it’s my heart. As most of you know I love romance and anything about it. Maybe the story didn’t have enough romance or maybe it had too much. But as the story goes, I was pleased with the end results. If all goes well, the story will be ready by the end of the week. Most of the early edits have been completed and the cover is awesome.