Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Stepping up the game…

Good Monday morning! Wow, the weekend seemed way too short, but today is a new day. With a new day, starts a new game…

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, well, it’s promotion of our books. Look, you know as well as I do that the competition is steep. We have to make sure that our book outshines the thousands of other books in our genres. Some days it seems useless, but then the writer in me say, keep pushing.

For me, I’ve stepped up my game. How you might ask? Well, here’s how. I’ve stopped trying to be on every social media site out there. That’s just plain out exhausting and a waste of writing time trying to keep up with all of it. My main goal is to blog, keep my website interesting, and promote on a few social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Also, I’m making sure that all of my more than 30 books are on Allauthor.com. If you haven’t checked out this site, I suggest you do. You can put up to four of your books on there under the free membership and then set up automatic tweets. With as many books as I have, I went ahead and did the paid membership.

Don’t forget to build up your newsletter subscribers. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my newsletter and blog. Which if you can, keep posting several times a week. make it interesting and fun.

So, how will you step up your game?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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When the plot changes…

Well, it’s a foggy Saturday morning in Georgia.  That sounds like the opening line of a story. Yes, I’m in a writing mood this morning, so watch out word count, here I come.

Speaking of writing, have you ever been in the middle of a manuscript and the plot changes. I mean, you’re headed in one direction, then the story takes a turn in a different direction. That’s what happened in the manuscript I just finished. You see, I had it all figured out. I thought I knew where the characters were headed and what the ending would be like, but guess what? The plot changed. (The plot is the direction the story is going, like directing the main events that lead to the ending, you know, the backbone of the storyline.)

Sometimes when you’re writing a story, the characters seem to have a mind of their own. In Highlander’s Son, I had it all in my mind, but something wasn’t working. Now, the outline looked good and when I sat and plotted it out months ago, it seemed to work well. But once I was deep into the manuscript, over halfway completed, I realized that the plot was changing. I had to make a change or the story would flop.

It’s scary to change the plot of a story when you’re almost done. But once I got it in my head where the characters had to go to complete the story, I was on a roll. It turned out that the plot change worked and the story was complete.

Highlander’s Son took a turn in the plot and headed in a totally different direction. It’s at that moment that you throw the outline out the window at 70 mph and never look back. I have to say that when the plot changes, sometimes you have to just follow it’s lead or you’ll end up with a manuscript that is cut up in the editor’s floor, never to see the light of day.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Here’s a look at the cover for Highlander’s Son, which is coming out very, very soon!

highlanders son front cover


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Finding your voice…

Good morning! Life is good…I’m up and the sun is shining. Yes, it’s a good day!

As a writer, have you found your voice? I was told by an editor at Harlequin that I had a voice for romance. Do I mean the voice that comes from my mouth? No, I mean the one that comes from my head. That editor, although she was sending me a rejection letter, which by the news that came out this week, I’m glad I got that rejection in many ways, but she told me something that has stuck with me. She told me that they loved my voice as a writer.

There are writers that if you follow their work, you’d know it anywhere. I’ve been told that my writing is that way. What about you? Does your voice stay steady? Does your writing show the inner you?

In writing workshops, they always harp on finding your voice. I used to sit and think, my voice, I don’t have laryngitis. LOL! Now I know it’s the way I tell a story, or as the Harlequin editor said, the way I spin a tale.

So, have you found your voice?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Hashtags – Useful or not???

#23173416364_e8f8ee489e_sGood morning! Hope all is well with all of you.

Hashtags, do you use them or not? Well, I’ve been in and out on this subject, so I did several posts on Instagram and Twitter, using popular hashtags and the response was surprising. I started gaining followers and the retweets, likes and even comments went up in numbers. Not to mention my sales did a nice run up the scale.

Now, is this coincidence? Could be, but I think not. The reasoning behind this comment is that I have over thirty published titles and I did the test on only a couple of them. One was a back stock title.

I used the promotional methods that I learned in one of my latest promotional studies. Everything pointed at using hashtags that were similar to your book.  For example, I promoted Tuscany with #Italy #Tuscany #Oliveoil #amreading #truelove and I had several followers from the tourism industry and even some from the olive oil industry. (If you have read Tuscany, then you know why I hashtagged olive oil).

I even went one step further with the test, just to have a random selection. I used pictures from my personal everyday life and hashtagged the different things pertaining to the picture. Like our bbq chicken on the grill. My husband laughed at this one because, within minutes of posting it, I received several likes and comments from grillers, bbq restaurants and the like. It was great. Now I had my answer.

So, do hashtags work? Well, according to my little study they do. Have you had success with hashtags? Either way, let us know.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing changes your life…

Ok, so it’s Thursday and the weekend is right around the corner… With that being said, what’s changed in your life since becoming a writer? A lot if it’s anything like mine. So, without any further rambling, here are some of the things that have changed…

  1. I now have a blog… The funny thing is, I used to just think of blogs as something other people did to pass the time. Now I blog almost daily and it’s so enlightening and helps promote my books, along with helping other writers.
  2. I’ve met so many wonderful people from all over the world. So many new friends…
  3. Now I have a major stress reliever. Writing helps to clear my head, literally. With all the stories and characters running through my head, I can let them out.
  4. I now have an extra income coming in, which is helpful.
  5. My writing has opened doors that had been closed before.

This is only a small number of ways my life has changed, but there are so many more.

What are some things that have changed for you?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Finding your audience…

Good morning! How do you figure out your audience? What am I talking about? Well, who reads your books? What age group? What demographic? How do I know this stuff? LOL! It’s called search and figure out.

The reason I know this is that I’ve been looking into promoting books. This is one of the questions asked: “Who is your audience?” It makes sense. So here is what my new series ‘Wishful Harbor’ brought to mind.

  1. Age group: 18 – 25 (This is just a start, but…)
  2. Loves Small Town life
  3. Loves sweet romance with a Happily Ever After
  4. Hallmark movie lover (So far we’re describing me… except the age group ;))
  5. Needs to get lost for a moment or two

Ok, so this is just a sampling, but you get the idea. The point is to steer the advertising in the direction of the above people. In other words, I’ll focus on hashtags that steer my tweets, promotions, and advertising toward this focus group.

Have you tried this concept? If so, how did it work?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…wishful harbor design


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Monday Morning…Not Ready Yet!

Good morning… Wow, 6:15 came early this morning. I had a busy weekend and that makes for a groggy Monday morning. But, I still plan on getting in at least 2000 words before I go to my day job.

I worked on three of my manuscripts yesterday, getting ahead on one that I’d been stumped on. Thankfully I rounded the corner and the story opened up in my mind. So, Highlander’s Son will be out soon. Of course, it is a novella to finish out the series, but for those that have been asking, yes, it’s coming before the end of May!

As for my other works in progress, they’re coming soon also. Lacey’s Choice is coming along great,  and Promises Forgotten is totally outlined and ready to get going. As for the others in process, I’ve put them on the back burner until these three are completed and in my editor’s hands.

So, what are you working on this morning?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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