Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Writing and Watermelon

It’s the middle of the summer and watermelon is in abundance here in the south. As I was having a way too big of a piece for lunch, I started to think about the similarities. Well, I know you’re thinking here she goes on another wild rabbit chase, but I do have a method to my madness 🙂

I was looking at my watermelon and noticing how the top inch or so has no seeds and then as you get into the middle it is almost completely seeded and then toward the rind for about a inch no seeds again.

In writing you start a book out with a solid story beginning. Always trying to make the story plausible so that the reader stays interested past the first chapter or two. Then you get to the middle and that’s where the real story just pops out and goes in every direction to fill in the body. The middle is full of the dark secrets of the story like the seeds of the watermelon. There are so many elements of the middle story. Then you get to the last of the book and you’re bringing it in tight again for a clean finish. One that will leave the reader wanting more if it’s a series or leaving them completely satisfied.

So, how’s your story going? Do you have your solid beginning and ending? Is the body of your story full of seeds that lead to the finale of a lifetime?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Time to Write

As a writer you have to make time to write. If not, you’re not writing. I sometimes struggle with this as I’m a busy person. As I’ve said before I’m an Accountant, Mother, Wife, Children’s Minister, Blogger, and Writer. My philosophy is you only live once so live everyday like it’s your last.

Some days I get frustrated because the characters of my books are running around screaming in my head, but it’s alright. I know that they’ll find their voice. Do you have a hard time finding time around life to write? Do you struggle with your characters being louder than everything?

Oh, and I forgot to add that I now have a small publishing service called Horseshoe Publishing. Yep, I’m a glutton for punishment. Not to mention my assistant is leaving me in two weeks to finish up college at the University of Georgia. I’m so proud of her, but that’s for another post as I’m already tearing up just saying it out loud. She’s also my niece, so I’m a proud aunt.

Let’s just say time is on short supply and I need at least 36 hours in a day. Go over and support my writing and maybe I can eliminate one of the jobs. Just kidding, I love what I do. Well, you can still go over and support my writing if you want to. I’m not a pushy person as you well know from my blogs.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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“Victoria” Cover Reveal

I think this has been the hardest book cover for me. I’ve had in my mind what I wanted since I started to work on this book back last summer. But what’s funny about my mind is that it has a mind of it’s own. No really 🙂

I sat down with my cover designer and drew out what I had in mind. Well after several eyebrow arches and looks of “What?” later, she told me to hunt the pictures and we’d put it together. 

As I searched the pictures I found two really cool antique looking photos and well, let’s just say that was it. My mind changed and the cover took on a whole new look. What’s even funnier is that the book that started out as a stand alone has turned into a several book saga. Well, I’ve always said the mind of a writer is crazy and takes many turns. Here’s that curvy road of my mind. 

So without further talk, here’s the front cover for “Victoria” the first book in the “Women of Magnolia Hill Saga” :

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Let me know what you think. I’m so excited about this one. It took on a life of it’s own and with my very talented cover designers extraordinary talents it’s done. Now I’ve got to get the book done. It’s over 20,000 words and hopefully will be 3 or 4 times longer when finished. 

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You…


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It’s raining outlines…

Here in Georgia we’ve had a years worth of rain in just weeks. When we walk in our yard we have to slosh through puddles. The grass is spongy. A little sun would be a nice reprieve. I know I saw the animals pairing up this morning 🙂 (Just a little Noah humor). Yep, I need to see some sunshine and soon…

As I sit on the couch with the recliner out and my laptop in my lap, I watch the rain. The lightning moves in and out daily. It’s good writing weather as we can’t go out and lounge in the pool or sit in the sun. Even working the garden is a chore due to the Georgia red clay.

But the blog is about outlines and writing. I know I’ve talked about them before but this is a little different. As I hinted before I’m working on a historical romance and it’s based around the Civil War. Well, I had to do a outline of the timeline of the Civil War. But that’s just the start.

To keep up with the family tree which is going to get tricky, I’ve started a type of family tree outline. As this is going to be a Saga and go through to today’s time I’ve got to make sure to keep the mamas and papas and kids straight. Now as a writer this can get crazy if you’re writing and forget who belongs to who.

Well, then there’s the outline for the story itself. I definitely need this to keep me straight. I don’t need to kill anyone off that’s important for future parts to the Saga.

By the way, it will be named the “Women of Magnolia Hill Saga” and the first book is “Victoria”. I’m already almost 20,000 words in and only part of the way. This is going to be a long one, so get ready.

So far I’m up to 3 outlines for this story. Usually I only have one, so this is a record breaker for me. Do you use outlines? If so, have you ever had multiple outlines for one book?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Do you like it long or short?

Well, do you like it long or short? You may be scratching your head and saying, well that’s it, she’s finally lost what’s left of her brain. What I mean is reading. Do you like a long novel or a short easy read?

I was reading a post yesterday about a study done on how many actually finish a long novel. It intrigued me. I started thinking about all the books that I’ve started and they were good up to a point, then about 100 or so pages in I lost track of where the book was going. But then later I pick it up and finish it on a rainy day.

I’ve written long and short books, but I get the better response from the short ones. Amazingly enough a lot of people prefer a short, easy read that get’s to the heart of the story quickly and keeps them enthralled for a couple of hours. Several publishing sites actually have a special segment of publishing call short reads or lunch time reads.

When I was younger the craze was the long novel and now it seems the shorter the better. I was going through some new books on Smashwords.com the other day and over half of them were less than 10000 words. Amazing.

I guess that’s why my shorter novels sell better. Funny isn’t it. We’ve gotten to such a busy way of life that we’ve even shortened our reading time. Oh, we still make time for reading, but we want to do it in record time so we can go out and get busy again. Oh well, I’ll just write what I feel like I need to get my stories across and hope it passes the test. 

So, let me ask again, Do you like it long or short? See I told you it wasn’t a crazy question…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Romance the genre

Have you noticed the number of genre’s in the romance field. It’s amazing how many sub genre’s there are. When setting up for your book to be published they ask what genre. You have to make sure you hit it right.

One of the first publishers I looked for in a romance was Avon. They always had a great selection. I remember years ago you had historical, contemporary or series. The historical covered anything not contemporary. Now you have the different time periods. You have so many sub genres. What’s funny is some of them are so new that I have to google them to see what they include.

When publishing you have to make sure you put your work in the correct genre. Then let’s don’t forget tagging. That’s for a whole new blog post.

But for me romance is romance. Everyone needs a little romance no matter how you get it. I’ve been reading romance since I was a teenager and it’s still the same. Now you just have a lot more to choose from. I used to sit and wait for the next book to come out, but now you just go to your favorite book site and choose from thousands and thousands in every subject you want. If you tried to read everyone of them, you’d never make it.

If you want to check out some great romance and reviews go over to avonromance.com. They offer a great selection of romance and commentary that keeps you intrigued. I’ve enjoyed being a contributor on their site. I know you won’t be disappointed.

As always, great writing and May God Bless YOU…