Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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While looking through the attic…

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.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!


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Oatmeal, coffee and romance…

As I eat my apple cinnamon oatmeal and  savor my second cup of coffee I muse over my newest manuscript. Writers block, well not really writers block, more like writers laziness has took over. I think it stems from way too much on my plate.

I did something yesterday that I really hate to do. I went shopping. It’s Christmas time and it was inevitable that I would have to hit the mall. I ordered as much as I could online, but I had to break down and jump into the frying pan of shopping. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate to shop, don’t know why, but I do. Of course my mom went with me as she loves to shop. We were stuck in traffic at a dead stop for over thirty minutes. That made the experience even happier. By the time we got to the outlet mall I was just a little stressed.

But while my mom stood in line in the store, I took my packages out to the sidewalk to sit and people watch. As a writer I get a lot of good ideas by people watching. I watched this elderly couple get out of their car and he helped with her coat. You could see the immense love shining in his eyes. They were so adorable as they walked to the sidewalk and started walking hand in hand. They would look at one another and smile, with eyes twinkling. It made things seem a little better.

It got me to thinking about romance and how you keep it alive through the years. You can love someone with all your heart, but not have romance. It happens everyday. But as I watched this elderly couple, i was in awe of the romance that just seeped out of them. It was obvious to anyone that just watched them that romance just dominated them. It inspired me to get busy writing. I was humbled too by the thought that even at their age they could keep the spark alive.

So as always, keep the romance alive. If you don’t have romance in your life, it’s not too late. Cook your sweetie a romantic dinner, light some candles, and sit in the candlelight talking. Don’t talk about the finances or the problems of the day. Just talk about each other. Make it special. You won’t regret it. Maybe send him a little note on his phone, but do make sure that he is the only one looking at the text. (Been there and it was so awkward explaining it to my son who read the text for his dad that was driving. Needless to say, he now waits til he gets where he’s going to read his texts. 🙂 )

As always, good writing and heightened romance. May God Bless you!oatmeal4


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Books are like Snowflakes!

You’re probably saying to yourself, what? I was going through my manuscripts that are in the works and was surprised at the varied topics. As I looked at them I thought about how different books can be. Just as with snowflakes, books can have so many different shapes, angles and looks.

You have so many genres. They include romance, children’s , christian, comedy, adult, science fiction, horror, and paranormal just to name a few. It’s amazing how many genres are out there now that weren’t available just a couple of years ago. If you have a certain thing you like, just Google and I bet you’ll find a book in that category.

Then you have the size. Books can be as short as 2500 words up to well the sky’s the limit. Books can be big in size or really small to where you can hold them in your palm. I’ve even seen different shaped books.

Well, then you get into the writing styles. Every writer has their own style. Some are more formal than others. Some have a dry style while others have a sweet style. It’s amazing when you pick up a book from a new author, whether it be a author that just jumped into the publishing world or one that is a veteran but you’ve never read from them, how different every author is. I’ve read some authors and been amazed at their descriptive abilities, but maybe read their second book and it was totally different. Some authors write many different genres. They jump from one to the other trying to make their mark in the publishing world.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that books are like snowflakes. If everybody wrote the same way in the same genre it would be a boring world. In my opinion the world of reading and writing is changing everyday. Every day a new genre is born and a new style reader. So get reading and try a new genre. You might be surprised at how much you like it.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!
snowflakes


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Locations. How do you decide?

One of my be issues when writing a book is location. Where does the story take place? Will it be a mythical place, a well known town, a town out of my head (That’s scary :)) or will it be a mega city? I try to incorporate Georgia in most of my work. I’m a Georgia girl so I’m proud of my state. My newest novel, The Winner is Love” is based in Atlanta, but the characters go to Colorado and discuss Beverly Hills and Montana.

How do you decide? Sometimes I just never name the town, but describe it in words, not names. Sometimes I even say for example the town is south of a big city. Some books I’ve read have designated towns that are well known. In reading their books I get to know the town and want to visit it. It’s funny how if a book or movie highlights a certain town how the visitors flock in to see where it was filmed or written about.

It is important to designate an area. Some may say why is that? Well you can’t write about heavy snow if the characters are based in the south. Also, beaches don’t exist in the middle of a landlocked state. If you want a snowy region, then stick with the plan. It makes it more realistic. I read a book once that I was so confused when I finished because the author had at the beginning mentioned the cold regional weather, then ended the book in a warm region. The characters stayed in the same town. Really!

So as you write you manuscript, think about the location. Make sure you stay true to the region in regards to weather, dialect and details. It can make all the difference in the way it works out.

As always good writing and May God Bless You!

By the way, if you haven’t looked at the calendar it’s Friday and the last day of November! Tomorrow we’re officially in the month of December and the holiday season. Yikes! Only 24 shopping days left. I’d better get busy shopping online.
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Christmas in the eyes of a child!

I did something yesterday I didn’t really want to do. I let my mom talk me into going to a couple of home improvement stores. At least half of Georgia was not at those stores. We were looking for a new Christmas tree for her.

As we walked through the Christmas decoration a small boy came running up to the counter and grabbed a stuffed Rudolph that was bigger than him. His eyes lit up with joy and he started singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I couldn’t help but smile. Before that I wasn’t  in the smiling mood.

The little boy had so much joy in his heart that Christmas was near, you couldn’t help but get the Christmas spirit. He went from one decoration to the other smiling and eyes twinkling. When he got to the section with items for Christmas villages I thought he would literally explode his smile got so large. There was Santa’s toy shop with dancing elves, a pond with moving ice skaters, a Church with ringing bells, a windmill with a spinning mill, and a carnival carousel turning with bright blinking lights.

It was something to watch. I remember when I was that way. It was a wonderful time. I have to admit I still have those feelings in my heart at Christmas time. My son is 13 and he still loves Christmas time. He has mentioned putting up the tree several times in the last two days. My husband is not a fan. If it was left up to him we would put the tree up two days before Christmas. Bah Humbug… That’s what I tell him.

So, get into the spirit of Christmas and think as a child with innocence and wonder. It will make your Christmas a lot more enjoyable.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you.

Just a Christmas reminder, my Christmas novel is coming out this week. Finally!!!

 


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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…