Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Cover Reveal Tomorrow!

Come by tomorrow for an exciting cover reveal! My newest manuscript that’s set to come out April 30th, A Light Upon My Heart is a Christian Historical romance.

I’ll give you a little hint of what it looks like, but tomorrow it’s the full deal.

Cover Reveal Hidden

I know, it’s not much to see, but it’s a special cover! Come join me and you’ll get a chance at a free paperback of this book. Just tag me in your share and I’ll put your name in the drawing. The preorder will be up soon too!

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Time? Who has Time?

medium_2908092283

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


2 Comments

Word Counts, Outlines and Covers…

small_3905010862

Good Friday morning! It’s been a busy week and it will only get busier. Tax season is in full swing and my calendar is getting full, but that’s a good thing. I included a nice, warm picture for all of you caught in the polar vortex and to those of us that just want to walk down that dock and plunge into the water, washing the everyday stress away. AHHHH… As as writer I can imagine it…

I’m often asked how I keep up with my word counts during tax season. To be honest, it can be really hard, but I manage somehow. As you know, I do an outline for each book. With each line of the outline, I try to do a certain amount of words, according to the final length of the book that I have in mind. The outline keeps me focused while my mind is scattered with thoughts of tax returns, numbers and deadlines, both book and tax.

Of course and I’ve said this often, writing is how I stay sane when it’s busy. Writing takes the stress out of my mind and takes me to another place, sometimes another time. When I’m finishing my work day, thoughts of putting words into a manuscript fill me and make the stress start slipping away.

Right now I have a rather high word count daily, but it’s supposed to be less. I originally had figured into my daily writing for tax season, only 2000 words a day. If I do more then good for me, if I do less, well, that has to be carried over to the weekend writing sprint. With my brain going over so much paperwork during the day, sometimes I just have to do something creative, other than with words. That’s when I start

With my brain going over so much paperwork during the day, sometimes I just have to do something creative, other than with words. That’s when I start working on covers for upcoming releases and preorder releases. Here lately, I’ve been struggling with the cover for a historical romance that’s coming out at the end of April. But it will come to me soon, just right now, it’s giving me the hiccups ­čśë

How’s your week been? Have you kept up with your word count? (I’ll catch up on mine over the weekend, I hope!)

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Just a little note… Seaside Beginnings came out Wednesday and it’s been a great success. I’ve received some of the sweetest messages about it. I’m so excited and awestruck at the response for this book about an over forty woman starting over.


2 Comments

Happy Endings…

cropped-book_2602038800.jpg

It’s Monday, already! I don’t think I was ready for Monday, were you? Over the weekend, I turned one book into my editor and started a new book, so it was a fairly productive weekend. But this morning, I’m just not feeling it…

Happy Endings… Does every book end with a Happily Ever After? Not all of them, but in the romance genre, they need to end on a happy note. Of course, if it’s a series that continues from one book to the next, then it might not be a happy ending, but the final one should be if it’s a romance. Why is that? Well, let me explain.

Did you know that most editors, well the big publishing house editors, have in their submission guidelines for romance that it has to have a happy ending, if not, they won’t even look at it? Have you ever thought about it? Romance is a special genre, well, in my opinion. When someone picks up a romance novel, they’re wanting that good feeling that a romance can give them. They want to be taken to another world, away from the one they’re in. Romance novels should move you, give you hope, maybe make you cry or laugh, but when it gets to the end, well, the guy should get the girl. That’s why it’s called romance.

Now sometimes, if you’re writing a series and the book ends on a cliffhanger, then the happy ending will come at some time, but the series should end on a happy note. It’s just a reality of writing romance.

Have you ever read a romance that ended badly? I have and it left me feeling horrible, not the usual feeling at the end of a romance. I was stunned, to say the least. I could have expected this at the end of maybe a science fiction, or other genres, but not romance. The guy didn’t get the girl and at the end, they went their separate ways. All I could do was think, ok, there has to be another book coming, but that wasn’t the case. I felt empty inside.

So, does your romance have a happy ending? Does your reader have that satisfied feeling? Think about it, don’t you spend the whole book trying to get these two together, so why would you throw that out the window at the end?

Just a little food for thought on this Monday morning…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


4 Comments

Introvert, yes or no?

Good Monday morning everyone! Can you believe the weekend is over? Of course, today is a holiday for many, but sadly, if you’re an Accountant or Tax Preparer, well, you’re hard at work. Of course, I’m on holiday in my mind, which brings me to the point of this post.

Are you an introvert? The Huff Post did an interesting article recently with several points to think about. As I went over each one of them, I got the confirmation, I’m legit. I have almost all of the symptoms, but that’s alright. It’s not like I’m crazy or anything, well, let’s just say I’m not ready for the straight jacket, not yet.

I don’t go out a lot, which is alright with me. Actually, my husband is the same way, which works really well. I’m perfectly content, sitting at night by the fire, writing. I slip into the world of my characters and don’t need the world outside the house. Many worry about me, saying I need to get out, that it’s not normal to be content staying home. But, that’s me. Others have to have the outside world to feel normal or find happiness. I don’t and that confuses people.

As most writers can tell you, we see more of the world in our writing than most see in their lifetime. Just last Summer, I went to Tuscany in my writing world. It wasn’t crowded and had no lines to wait in. I got to experience it through the eyes of my characters and it was wonderful. Let’s just say, I had a craving for Italian food while writing this one.

Just because I enjoy the solitude of my home, doesn’t mean I’m antisocial. I’m with people a good bit of the time. I don’t avoid business meetings, Church, family get together’s or anything like that. I just don’t need to go out, just to go out. I’ve made my home a place where I’m completely content spending my free time. It’s beautiful and feels me with happiness to just sit and enjoy life. By the way, I do enjoy life to the fullest and don’t feel like I’mo missing out on anything, no matter what anyone says. I love my life!

So, are you an introvert? If you’re a writer, then 9 times out of 10 you are. Embrace it!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-real-reason-introverts-dread-small-talk_56854922e4b06fa688823798?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

 


Leave a comment

Christian Romance Writers

It’s Friday, finally. Good morning! Here in Georgia, it’s rainy and windy, but it’s Friday, so that’s good.

I’m a writer of romance, many genres, but my favorite is the Christian or wholesome genre. Several authors have messaged me before, asking how I write a wholesome romance and still have romance in it. Well, that’s easy, romance isn’t just about the intimate parts of a relationship. It’s the little things that you do. Romance can be a kiss, a touch, a look, or even a candlelit dinner. Maybe it’s just sitting by the fire quietly after a hard day at work.

Faith is a big part of my Christian series, “Lean on Him”. I wanted to integrate the needs of today’s Christian and add some romance along the way. The deep relationship that my characters have with one another and with Christ make these heartwarming. But they have their own set of problems along the way. Nobody has a perfect life here on earth, no matter how much you want to. We all have tragedy┬áhappen, mourning of a lost loved one, and mental issues that bring us closer or tear us apart, but it’s our faith that brings us through to the light. It’s all in how you handle it.

So, do you or have you ever read a Christian romance? I’ve been hooked on Amish Christian romance series lately. They’re interesting and leave you feeling good, which is the goal of a writer, right? Right!

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

By the way, if you get a chance, go by faithfulreads.com and check out my book that spotlighted with some great Christian writers today!

3 book ad


6 Comments

Writing Courses…

Ok, I know we’re busy writing the next big one, but have you considered taking a writing course. For the last six or more months, I’ve been taking a couple here and there. It’s been really enlightening. Actually, a couple of them made me rethink a couple of my works in progress to the point I rewrote several scenes.

What kind of courses, you ask? Well, I’ve taken one on Facebook advertising which was very helpful. Maybe you’re thinking, well that is too easy to need a course on, but no my friend, there’s a whole world of ways you can do your ad. I was amazed at the things I didn’t do with some of my former ads.

Then, of course, the marketing courses I listened to. I’ve been going about my marketing in the wrong direction. Who knew? Not me! Lately, I’ve been using some of the concepts I learned, like tags on my books, rewriting my blurbs, how I send out tweets and what I send out. Incredibly I’m seeing a positive upturn.

Then comes ┬áthe writing courses. These will make you sit up and think. I’ve learned so many ways to make my individual voice stand out. It’s amazing what you can learn about not using adverbs and how best to use commas. Yep, guilty as charged. Some of the writing techniques I learned from bestselling authors has made my daily writing so much more productive.

So, have you tried a writing course lately? All of the one’s I’ve sat through online were free and by bestselling authors. As with many things today, some of them only give you an introduction, then want money for the more advanced courses. I’ve used what I learned from the introductions and put them to good use.

As always Great Writing and May God Bless You!