Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Polishing it up!

When you start a new manuscript your mind is on the content. Which it should be, but there comes a time when you have to polish the writing. A time to create a cover that will represent your words.

A big polish is the editing. Is it important? Well, yes. If you just write the book and publish it without going back over it, that would be writers suicide. I’ve found throughout my short writing experience that the first read through after finishing a manuscript usually prompts changes, additional wording and even total chapter eliminations. It can really open your eyes for character changes and minor tweaks.

After the editing is done, are you happy? If you are like a lot of writer you may never be completely happy with your work. I know I’m my worst critic. I over analyse my work. Even after it is published I’m constantly saying “I wish I would have written that part differently.” My editor just shakes her head and laughs at me. I can’t help it, I can be a worrier.

Then you have the almost impossible task of writing a paragraph that will sum up the whole book. How on earth do you describe your book in just a couple of words? This is harder than writing the whole book. If you don’t say just the right thing will people even give it a second look? Will you be able to express the real feeling of the way the book should be perceived? The next time you read the back of a book, remember the author had only so many words to describe their whole piece of work, don’t judge a book by it’s description.

Also, sometimes don’t judge a book by it’s cover. When you select your cover art you have to put into one cover the whole feeling of the book. If you write romance you have to express a feeling pulled from the book into the cover. If you write horror you have to put some of the fear into the cover to pull in the reader. But you have to be careful not to show the end results of the book. You have to leave some mystery.

Well, that’s just a few of my writing ramblings. Maybe some of this helped you, maybe not. It’s just the opinions of one writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

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Why is all I can say?

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.

May God Bless you and your family!


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Social Media! Oh Me!

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.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!this way, that way


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Letting Characters take over…

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.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

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Black Friday! Not Me!

Ok, so I’m not sure if other countries have Black Friday Sales, but in America people go nuts. Why? I don’t like to shop on a regular day, I’m sure not going to go on the day 95% of America is too… People camp out at stores waiting for them to open the doors at or before daylight on Black Friday. That’s if they didn’t go right after filling up with turkey and dressing to the stores that opened on Thanksgiving night.

How on earth can you get your mind wrapped around Christmas shopping when you are miserable from eating so much? It amazes me how many people live for Black Friday. I guess I’m just weird, but I don’t like shopping and especially standing in line.

As for me, I shop online. Cyber Monday I will sitting at my laptop clicking away. All I have to do is find what I want and then click checkout. No lines, no angry people snatching items out of your hands, and no driving anywhere. I can shop in the comfort of my own home, sitting with a cup of coffee, just enjoying the Christmas season.

So, now that I’m done with my Black Friday rant, hope everyone is pleasantly full from their Thanksgiving meal. As always, good luck writing (remember November is almost over) and May God Bless you…


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The mind of a writer!

The road we take as a writer is not always beautiful and lyrical. Most of the time it’s frustrating, nail biting, and down right scary. As I sit and watch the light mist fall outside my den window, I ponder what makes a good writer, what makes a bad writer?

The mind of a writer takes on several layers. A writer can swing from one emotion to another rapidly. It’s funny how quickly things change in the mind of a writer. I know personally I have had an idea about how a book would go and suddenly halfway through it takes a different turn. Sometimes I sit back and say “Wow, didn’t see that one coming” then I laugh to myself, why would I say that knowing it came from my own mind. Sometimes I think I have two brains, one the inner writer and two the outer person.

As a writer you usually see a story out of the simplest thing. I picked up a beautiful bright yellow leaf and looked at it. My mind exploding with possibilities. I traced the veins with my brain, suddenly thinking about a story line about the road less taken or maybe even a story line of the winding roads of life. Yep I got all that from a leaf.

Last night I was helping my son feed the dogs and he picked up a bowl outside and grabbed a slug. He immediately said, “Gross!” I immediately thought of a story about a person being a complete slug and how they pulled themselves out. This being thought of as I showed my son what happens to slugs as salt is sprinkled on them. Now that’s scary.

At Christmas time I get nostalgic and that brings on a wave of new writing possibilities in my mind. I can’t seem to stay on the same piece of work, I’m constantly swinging from one to the other. My mind saying you’ve got to do this, not that.

Don’t get me started on how music effects my writing. I have a long writing playlist. I use this while writing. It inspires me. It ranges from classical, country, classic rock, love, and just plain crazy. That might be my next blog post, the playlist of a writer.

Well, I’m through rambling. Aren’t you glad? As always good writing and if it comes through your head, write it down immediately and spread it into a story. You never know. May God bless and keep you.


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First Press Release!

http://www.prlog.org/12014198.pdf

Well, it’s official. I have completed my first Press Release. It was scary at first. I was nervous about it. My first thought was ‘what if I leave something out’ or ‘What if I say the wrong thing’. It was published late yesterday afternoon and this morning I had 70 hits and 1000+ headline impressions.

The world of self publishing has been eye opening. It has been a wild ride and an exciting one too. This press release is for my newest novel “A Love Never Lost” which has done better than I had even hoped. So, if you have a moment go by and check it out. Would love to hear some comments.

Hopefully, God willing, my current work in progress “Rekindled Flames”, the second in the “Flames of Love” series will be out in the next week. It is second book after “Tender Flames” and this one is a holiday book, so it’s release comes just in time.

So smile today is Friday and the weekend is a few hours away. Still praying for our neighbors to the north.

As always, good writing and May God bless you!