Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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It’s Monday…all day…

Good morning! Why are Monday’s so rough? It might take the whole pot of coffee this morning. But on the good side, it’s slightly cooler this morning, so, I’ll be doing a little writing outside this morning before I head to the office.

As I’ve been telling you, I’m working on a Scottish Highlander series. I was almost done with the first book when it happened. I know, you’re asking what ‘it’ is, well, let me explain. Ok, I was typing along, loving the storyline when all of a sudden the story took a detour. It went downhill from there, but I kept trudging through, thinking it would get better, but alas, it didn’t.

Needless to say, I pulled back, read it from word one and found where the story went wrong, then did the unimaginable, I pressed delete for two whole chapters, two! It hurt, but on the other hand, it felt liberating. When I started back up, the story took on new meaning and the story is now going well.

It’s funny when you know something isn’t working, but you keep going anyway, just hoping it will change. Now, I’m working on getting back the two chapters of work and finishing up. Since this one will be sent to the editor that wants highlander romances desperately, I’ll be working on the synopsis for the two books that come after it. Yep, I’m submitting for a trilogy. Fingers crossed!!!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…2350462608_44a5fa8914

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Time? Who has Time?

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Time… it flies by without stopping… never ceasing. So how do we fit it all in? I’m often asked how I fit writing into my busy schedule with running my accounting office, being a wife and mom, being a children’s minister, life, reading, researching, among other things that fill my days. Well, some days it’s not easy.

How do I keep up with my word count and publish on time? I have a schedule of word counts, but that doesn’t mean that I make that count every day. Some days I don’t even type a word, but guess what, that just builds it up to the next day and so on… My daily word counts during tax season are low, but they add up quickly when I don’t meet my daily count.

So, how do you stretch your time? How do you fit it all in? I have some advice on that very subject. This is advice that I ignored years ago, but now I take it very seriously. Make a schedule and a list of what needs to be done daily. That seems easy, huh, but it’s not on most days. So what do I mean?

Here’s how I schedule my week. Sit down on Sunday afternoon and look at the week ahead. Look at meetings on the calendar, work that needs to be completed, deadlines, and anything else that comes into the week. Then prioritize the items that don’t have a specific set time, like meetings.

With tax returns and accounting, I look at deadlines for the week first, don’t forget to look ahead to the deadlines for the next week too. Then I sit down at my desk and make a list for each day. I number each task, start with the most important daily task, then work my way down. I know how many tax returns I can do a day, then I separate them and bind together each day’s work. That way I accomplish what I need to accomplish and meet my deadlines. But remember, if it’s not important to finish this week, don’t waste valuable time trying to fit it in. Put it on the next week’s schedule. That way you’re only accomplishing this week’s needs.

What about writing? This is where it gets tricky. If my day is filled with appointments and I have to work later than usual, well, my writing time suffers. I use the time after my hubby and son leave for work and school. I sit down with my coffee and write. If I’m behind on my count, well no blog that day and I don’t check social media until I’ve caught up on the count. That’s hard to do. A couple of days this week, I wrote when I came in for lunch. That helped too. (But now I need to clean the crumbs from my keyboard!) Also, I make my Saturday word count higher than my weekday, but only when I’m behind.

I know, you’re sitting back going, wow, she’s so organized, but don’t get the wrong idea. My life is always disorganized in one way or another. Like last night, I wanted to write at least 1000 words, but my brain just wouldn’t cooperate, so I read for an hour, which helped my brain to calm a little, but then it was time to go to bed, so I have an extra 1000 words to add to today. By the way, I need to get back to the writing.

How do you stretch your time? Don’t forget to schedule in some ‘me time’. It’s important to your sanity…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

A little note, Ridge is finally free on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Ridge-Five-Oaks-Ranch-Book-ebook/dp/B00TFOPOFI


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A Writer’s Brain…

A writer’s brain is a little different from just anyone’s brain. We have an extra chromosome or two in the ‘make it up’ zone of our brain. A writer’s brain is constantly thinking about the next scene in the book, the cover design, a character flaw, etc. You get the picture. Our brains are on overload most of the time.

For example: I road with my son to pick up breakfast yesterday. As we headed home with the breakfast and coffee my mind was reeling with storylines. Then the smell of the coffee hit me and my mind went to a whole different storyline. What’s up with that? 

Now, I’ve had several stories come into my head that didn’t really pan out. They kind of fizzled out after the first thought. But the problem with that is the story still roams around in my head trying to gain a little extra thought. One of those stories just recently went through my head and now it’s actually a finished book. “Safe in the Pirate’s Arms” was just one of those stories. I’ve been playing with the thought for a while, but it never really seemed to work itself out. Then one day it found it’s legs and my brain ran with it.

Again, I have to say a writer’s brain is a little different. One writer joked on social media the other day about someone that wronged her and she turned it around to a murder mystery. I had to giggle because as a writer we can take care of those people that bother us, but we do it differently. We take care of it through fiction, not action. It’s a way to get rid of it and go on to another story. Having a writer’s brain can be useful in that way, right?

The only problem is, some days my brain doesn’t go quiet at bedtime. I’ve spoken about this several times as it is a constant. But of course I do have writer’s block from time to time and would love to have those moments back. I had one of those moments on Saturday and if you follow my blog faithfully you know that’s one of my favorite times to write. I had it all scheduled out. I planned on getting Emma Rose fleshed out, but guess what, a wall of pain was erected and I spent the morning nursing a headache that refused to let creativity in. I did get in several romantic movies, I guess you could say I did research of sorts.

Do you have a writer’s brain? Can you look at something and a story unfolds? If so, put it in print. Get it out there, you never know, it could be the next big thing…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Authors are like bees!

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Ok, I know you’re saying, now where is she going with that? Well, let me explain. I was watching a bumblebee buzzing around my flowers and I was thinking about the pollination process. If you think hard about it you’ll get where I’m going with this 🙂

As authors we start with the seed that grows into a flower which of course is our book. Once we’ve completed our work of art we start spreading it everywhere. Then of course other authors or bees in this analogy, spread it to other places and so on and so on. Are you getting the picture?

Of course we do want to make sure to cross pollinate too. We need to work together as authors and helps other authors promote. It’s a win, win. Have you noticed that we do a lot of promoting on other authors sites and them on ours? I was asked by a non writer once why we do that and I laughed. I told them it may sound crazy, but it still gets our name out there.

We all have followers that read what we post. Then of course if we recommend a book they’ll go over and check it out, then also when we cross pollinate, the original author gets more views from the other authors followers. It may sound confusing, but it’s really quite simple. It’s like a pyramid, but legal. 

So, have you cross pollinated lately? Don’t forget about Romancing September Across The World will start Septemeber 1st. I’ll be posting more in the next week regarding it. But I’ll tell you this, we’ve got 30 awesome authors involved and it’s going to be a great chance to do some pollinating, ummm…. you know what I mean, sharing 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

For more info:

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

Also, the countdown is getting close for Safe In The Pirate’s Arms…


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Romance and the world today…

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.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Back up and refreshed!

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.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Upgrading Computer today!

As an Accountant and writer I’m attached to my laptop several hours a day. Today is going to be a test of my patience. I’m carrying my laptop to the shop to be upgraded and added to. Believe me when I say I’ve backed up my computer on two different external harddrives. I’m being over cautious I know, but I have a lot on this computer.

It’s crazy how dependent we become about our computers. I’m actually not looking forward to several hours unplugged. So if you notice my social media presence is really low today, that’s why. I’ll let you know later how it goes. My computer guy has assured me several times that everything will be alright, but it’s my baby, errr, my computer.

So, keep your fingers crossed and the next time I talk with you I’ll be on a newly renovated version of my old laptop. Yikes, just saying that gets my nerves all jittery.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…