Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Edit until it hurts…

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Why does editing hurt so bad? For one thing, you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into the work, so yes, it will hurt. The other thing is, it’s hard to cut out what you think needs to be there.

But I have some advice, and I had to take this advice myself. In order to make the work the best it can be, then you’ve got to trim the fat. And believe me, it hurts, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see the better product. Sometimes I look at my editor and shake my head. But, once I see it in another light, then I’m better with it.

So, here is what you need to tell yourself, it only makes it better. Yes, you will have to do this multiple times.

Repeat after me… It only makes it better!

Now, let me tell you the worst thing that can happen, and this happened to me. One of my previous editors told me to get rid half a chapter and I had a meltdown, but once I took the plunge, I saw it worked and flowed better. And in the end, that’s our goal, to make our work flow. If it doesn’t, then the reader won’t enjoy the read.

So, edit without mercy and keep the tissues close as you do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writers stay healthy!

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I have the rainy Monday morning blahs… But sipping some strong coffee, so hoping this feeling passes. So, let’s dive into writers and their health. It’s a double edged sword…

If you’re like me, you work a day job and write in your free time, which leaves precious little time to exercise. Even full time writers don’t take the time to exercise. So, what do we do? The fact is, it’s important to get moving as much as possible. Yes, we love to chase the words, but are we doing it at the cost of our health.

Let’s look at some things you can do to help stay healthy and keep up with your word count:

  • Get in those steps! Try to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. Yes, I know it’s hard, but even on a rainy day you can walk inside. I’ve set a timer on my phone to make me get up and move. Today is my first day of keeping track of it better. I’ve been slacking since I had a book deadline, not to mention it’s tax season. So, get up and march in place for a few minutes, or walk to the mailbox a couple of times a day. Whatever it takes to get those steps up? Give Yoga a try. It’s a great mind clearing way to get healthier and stay in shape.
  • If you have to snack while writing, then grab something healthy. A couple of examples are: 1. Freeze some grapes and eat when writing. 2. Cut up an apple and get a little peanut butter to dip it in. 3. Eat low salt nuts such as almonds or cashews. 4. Yogurt with granola. 5. Cut up veggies such as carrots or even bell pepper and dip in ranch.
  • If you grab coffee, like me, then opt for no creamer, or less creamer. Maybe even grab some decaf at times. Also, remember those fancy coffees from the coffee shop add a lot of calories to your day. Opt for a simple cup of joe.
  • Tea is great, unless you’re southern like me and love it sweet. Change it up to green tea or herbal with antioxidants to help you out.
  • Last, but not least, stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. I keep a bottle of water with me all of the time. Get in your allotted amount of water a day. If you can’t handle plain water, then grab some of those no calorie flavorings. I love those. But staying hydrated is important.

Remember, the only way to get that bestseller seen is to be healthy enough to finish it. If you’re not here, then it won’t see the light of day. And as your fellow writer, I want to see you succeed and stay healthy. This goes for me. Let’s start this today!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tuesday Tax Talk…

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Good afternoon! It’s that time of year to get your tax papers organized and ready for tax time. Yes, I know, it’s a hassle if you’re not organized. Even organized people struggle with this time of year. Do I have this form? Did I make that donation before the end of the year? When did I buy my laptop for writing?

As an accountant, I understand the struggle. But, just take it one day at a time. Sit down with your check register and scan it. Make sure you grab all of your expenses for your writing business or the business that you’re in. Also this is a good way to find donations you made during the year.

Here’s a list for writers to use for expenses and other business can use it too…

  1. Writing programs – Microsoft office, Scrivener, Adobe, etc…
  2. Writer Group Subscriptions – Romance Writers of America, All Author, Bigstock, Etc…
  3. Writing Supplies – Pencils, Pens, Notebooks, Copy paper, ink, journals, etc…
  4. Equipment – Laptop, Computer, printer, etc…
  5. Advertising – Any advertising you’ve paid for…

The list goes on from here, but this gives you a good idea of where to start. And believe me, once you get into this, you’ll find more.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Organizing your Published works…

It’s another cool morning here in Georgia, but I’m warm and cozy under my blanket with my laptop. Today we’re discussing how to organize your published works. You may be asking what I mean, well, let me enlighten you.

With over 50 published books, sometimes I get lost in where every book is already published. I can’t remember which book is on which platform. Organization is needed even if you only put your books on one platform. So, here is what I do…

Platform Organization

First, I sit down and make a spreadsheet. The header includes all of the platforms that my books are on. The first column lists all of my books. This way I can mark off the books that are already on certain platforms. And this also helps when republishing older works with new covers. Doing this, I don’t miss out on having my books everywhere.

The moment I started working with this spreadsheet, I realized that I was missing several platforms for some of my books. This is missed opportunity, so everyday I work on at least one platform, updating files and getting my books everywhere.

 PublishedAmazonKUB&NKoboAppleSmashAudibleGoogle
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

Book Organization

Now, you may be asking how this is different. Book organization is a spreadsheet similar to the above one, but this one is book formats. In this one, I just copy the previous spreadsheet and change the header. In the header I input Ebook, Print, Audio, Front Cover, Back Cover, Blurb, and Publish date.

This has helped me to keep up with what needs to be done for each book. It’s like a checks and balances, but for books.

 outlinecharacterfrontebookblurbexerptprintbackspine
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

I do hope this helps you in some way. It’s helped me a lot.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Wednesday Coffee Thoughts…

Wow, we’ve made it to the midweek crunch. So, what’s running through my mind this afternoon? Glad you asked. Here goes…

Do you read other genres than you write in? I write romance, so I mostly read romance novels. But to my surprise, I talked with other writers that don’t read the genre they write. How is that possible? Just a little thought that ran through my mind as I sip my coffee this afternoon…

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Tax talk… It’s almost that time!

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I know, the dreaded TAX word. As an Accountant, this is the time to gear up for the new season that is coming in only two weeks. 2020 was a crazy tax season with extended deadlines, call meetings and lots of questions. Let’s hope 2021 goes smoother.

But, as a author, there are many things to think about. If you’ve earned royalties, then you’ll need to file that. I do have some light at the end of that tunnel though, expenses…

Here are some of the expenses that an author can claim:

  • Writing Programs
  • Educational courses to help with writing
  • Office supplies – pens, paper, ink, notebooks, etc.
  • Subscriptions to writing sites or programs
  • Fees for book signings (Hopefully you were able to get some in before things changed)
  • Advertising
  • Computers (Remember to delegate the percentage you use it for writing.)

That’s just a small list. But, hopefully you did great this year and need to claim some expenses.

So, good writing and May God Bless You…


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It’s So Simple… Just Write!

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Good morning! Many writers worry about losing their writer mind. Not in a crazy loss of sense, but the loss of the words that flow from their mind. Well, I have good news.

Just Write!!! Write a little bit everyday. Even if it’s just a few words, write! Writing is like riding a bike, get back on when you fall off and keep going. You’ve got this!

Ok, now do you get it.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writer’s Retreat – At Home…

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With things as they are, authors are missing book tours, book signings, and the loved Writer’s Retreat that a lot of writers do together. But, we can still do these things. It won’t be the same as it has been, but we have to persevere through this.

So, let’s dive in. If you had planned a Writer’s Retreat and it’s been cancelled due to restrictions, then I have good news. Have it at home. Find a place inside your home that you can turn into your retreat. Maybe it’s the corner of your living room or bedroom. It doesn’t matter where it is. Hang up pictures of a place that brings you inspiration. Play music to inspire you. Burn scented candles that remind you of the place you were going. But make it your own private retreat.

Set up a place to write, facetime with fellow authors, and enjoy a moment to yourself. Have a conversation with writers on social media. You can get feedback from others virtually. But make it work for you. You’ve got this, so create your oasis and get lost in your writing.

I know it’s not the same as having fellow authors sitting with you and feeding off one another’s thoughts, but in times like this, we have to get creative. The important thing is to get the words out there for our fans. They need those words to have a retreat of their own.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Podcast coming…

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Yes, you heard me right. I took the Podcast plunge. The Coffee & A Good Book podcast will be up and going soon. I’ll keep all of you updated. I’m excited and nervous, all at the same time. Being in front of the camera is out of my comfort zone, way out of it. But in front of the microphone, I feel a little less intimidated. We’ll see how it goes.

The podcast will feature author interviews, book reviews, lots of coffee talk, NO POLITICS, romance talks, writing talk, and more book talk than you can get through a short podcast… If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know how much I love writing, books and coffee. So, this made me want to keep the talk going, but this time in a different format.

Keep watching for the release date. I can’t wait to connect with everyone.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Why authors are important…

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Good Saturday morning! I want to share a little something with all of you. Not long ago I had a fan message me. She went on to tell me that my book had made her day. It helped her through a bad day, making things seem not as bad as it seemed.

Well, that message got me to thinking about the importance of authors in this world we live in. With so much uncertainty and despair, we as authors can spread a little joy. Or at least give someone a way to get lost for a while. As for my way of thinking, I consider authors important to our sanity. We have to continue writing the words that fill the imaginations of people all over the world. It only takes one book to give someone a chance to step out of reality, if only for a moment.

Romance authors have the chance to take someone to another time or place and give them a little romance to warm their heart. We can help someone realize that they are not alone in this world, but that love is all around us.

Mystery authors can add some intrigue to someone’s life. They give them a purpose, such as solving a crime or getting lost in a crime thriller.

Horror writers take us on a roller coaster ride with exhilarating chills. Fear can make the adrenaline flow in a sedentary time.

Self help writers can teach us ways to do things differently. We all need some help from time to time.

Now, there are many other genres to talk about, but for now, this will have to do. I have a deadline and maybe I’ll be able to get lost in a book for a while today.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…