Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Our job as an author…

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Good morning! It’s Monday morning and I’m ready for a productive week. Of course, my hubby is on vacation this week, so I’ll get to see him a lot, which is a great thing.

So, as an author, what are we trying to accomplish? I’m not talking about earning money, I’m talking about with our words.

Here are my top five things I try to accomplish with the words that come from my heart…

1: First and foremost, I want to entertain my reader. I want my ready to enjoy what I write and to want more of it. I want them to smile, laugh and cry when they read my work.

2: I want my readers to be taken away to another world. With Tuscany, I wanted to make them feel like they were in Italy. I wanted them to feel the warm Mediterranean breeze on their face. With my Christmas books, I want this to smell the Christmas spices, to feel the joy of the season and to feel the cold of the snow all around them.

3: My readers should feel what my characters feel. I want them to feel the happiness, the sorrow, and the anger.

4: With the romance, I want my readers to get lost in it. I want them to experience the romance of the story. So many people tell me that they haven’t ever had true romance, so I want them to feel it with every book they read of mine.

5: And finally, this is what every writer should aspire to do and that’s to take your reader to another realm of reality. Whether you write romance, mystery or horror, you should strive to take away the everyday troubles of your reader. Help them get lost in another world, if only for an hour. But help them forget everything but the characters and stories that are within the covers of your work.

So, what do you want to accomplish with your writing?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Character Sketch – Jordan Reed…

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Good morning everyone! Today I want to talk about the main character in Breakwater Lane, the first book in the Wishful Harbor series.

Let’s me introduce you to the spunky, strong willed woman that brings Breakwater Lane to life. Her name is Jordan Reed. She was born in Georgia, but when her parents divorced, she moved with her mom to Denver. But as a child, she spent a couple of weeks every summer with her grandfather in Wishful harbor.

She’d enjoyed those summers. They’d cook together, go to the beach and climb the steps to the top of the lighthouse, then laugh as they reached the top. She’d gained her love of cooking while standing by her grandfather in his deli. Then, when her parents divorced, her mom moved her across the country. She no longer was able to spend her summers with her beloved grandfather.

But she carried on the love of cooking by going to culinary school and becoming a chef. Although her dream was to own a restaurant, she thought it was just a whim. Then when her grandfather died, she was called into a lawyers office for the will. Her grandfather had left her the deli. She was overwhelmed.

Upon arrival in Wishful Harbor, she wondered if she could live in a small town again. Would she be able to get by without the hustle and bustle of Denver? Then she set eyes on Skyler Evans and things began to fall into place, but there was something brewing in the small town of Wishful Harbor that would put everything she’d ever known to the test.

Ok, so, I can’t go much farther without giving away too much of the story, but as you can see, Jordan is a spunky woman with big ideas. You’ll have a love hate relationship with her. Tomorrow I’ll do a character sketch on Skyler Evans.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday’s coffee & writing…

Oh my, it’s Monday already! How did the weekend go by so fast?

So, this morning I’m hoping to be back on schedule with my daily writing. Of course, that was supposed to be last Monday, but life happened and that didn’t happen. I have itchy fingers and characters stomping their feet in my head, so… Writers got to write!

Two thousand words, here I come…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…words


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While I wasn’t writing…

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What a wonderful day to write! It’s rainy and a little chilly. Yes, I’m back to writing and so glad.

But what happens to me when I don’t write… What happens when tax season takes all my time and leaves none for writing… Well here goes!

1: The characters in my head go nuts. Really… They go nuts. They run around screaming and yelling, constantly! Some days I wonder if I’ll lose my mind before I can write again.

2: The untold stories are filling the space around the crazy characters. Every moment of my day is filled with thoughts of where my characters can take their lives. I name characters while I depreciate assets. Yes, one character might turn up named Asset, just saying.

3: I wonder around feeling unwhole. Does that make sense? To writers, it should. As a writer, we fill the voids with our writing and when we can’t write, it just makes a hole.

4: I’m terminally stressed when I don’t write. Writing is my stress reliever… so what happens when I can’t write, well, my stress level goes up, up, up…

5: The most important thing that happens when I can’t write is I get behind and have to catch up.

Ok, so, you get the picture. Writing is my stress reliever and it helps keep me sane in this insane world. Maybe you don’t have this problem, but I do. As an Accountant, wife, mother, children’s minister, and writer, I need to keep the characters at bay or my mind will explode.

Yesterday was my first time to write over 500 words in over four weeks. It was as though my head cleared of the fog and I relaxed. My characters were walking around in my head, whistling and happy. It was a great day. Now, as I sit here, preparing to get in my daily word count, which sounds great… I’m smiling.

Just a little tidbit, I have a new series coming this summer and I’m uber excited. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be revealing a few little things about it. But, you’ll have to be patient. Let’s just say it is big, real big, at least for me…

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Please help me get out of Twitter jail by going over to https://twitter.com/StephanieHurt4 and give me a follow. It’s hilarious that I finally get up to following 5000 and have over 4300 followers, but Twitter locks me down from following anyone until my followers go up. LOL! Yes, I just asked you to follow me on Twitter, I told you my mind has been compromised from lack of writing.

 

 


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Lost in the words…

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Good morning! The week is half over. I realized that I haven’t put a post on here in several days. But my head had been in my current manuscript.

So, with that thought, have you ever got lost in the words? I’ve been busy catching up on my word count. For about a week I didn’t write much and my word count suffered. If you’ve read many of my blogs you know that’s important to me. I have a set word count on the calendar and if I miss a couple of days, well, I go into a frenzy to get caught back up. But when you miss more than a couple of days, it’s almost impossible to get back on track. Notice I said almost impossible.

The characters have been running around in my head, forcing their way out. So, Sunday afternoon I sat down and let the characters take over. Let’s just say, I almost caught back up to where I should be. Hopefully this morning I will get back to task and be on track.

As a serious writer, you have to stay focused. Unfortunately, life slips in and things come up that interrupt that focus. When that happens, I sit back, look at my deadline, then divide it out by the days left. That gives me a new goal that has to be met. Which usually means a higher word count per day until I’m finished.

And as you know, I always have a couple of manuscripts in the works at all times, so get back to where I should be, I’ve put all of them aside to get back on track. The funny thing about doing that, the characters of the other manuscripts scream loudly in my head. Does that make me certifiably insane? No, that just makes me a writer!

Hope everyone is well and staying on track.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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My Characters are fighting me!

Ok fellow writers, you know what I mean when I say, ‘My characters are fighting me!’ It’s the craziest thing. You’ve got the outline, it seems to flow pretty well. The middle and ending are completely figured out in my head, but my characters are not flowing well in the front.

What do I mean? Well, let me explain myself. I’ve worked on the first couple of chapters, but they don’t seem to work. My characters are very familiar to me because this is the 2nd book in a series, so it’s not that. It’s having all the characters together at one time. Which is crazy, right? Every time I start working on it, everything seems off.

So, what do I do? One thing I’ve done is put it out of my mind completely, well not completely but out of sight. I’m taking a little break from it, then will go back fresh and start in the middle where the story is the strongest for me. Let’s just hope the front part comes to me as I write the middle and ending. Thank goodness for Scrivener!

Do your characters give you problems? How do you handle them?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

But one good thing about this one, the cover is beautiful and completed! Here’s a sneak peak!

Lacey's Choice front cover

 


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Start to Publish…

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Good Tuesday morning! I hope all is well with you. As for here in Georgia, it may be Spring, but someone forgot to tell the weather. It’s chilly again…

As for my writing, things are going well. I have several manuscripts in various stages of production. You might ask, what stages are you talking about? Well, here’s a simple guideline that I follow as I bring a manuscript full circle into publication.

1: Of course, first things first, the idea. Sometimes the idea for a book can happen months before I even start the first page of the manuscript, but when the idea comes, I put it down on paper, if not I’ll lose the excitement of that moment. I have a small notebook that holds my story ideas, some have come to be and others have incorporated themselves into other stories.

2. As you know from previous posts, I do an outline. It’s basic, but it leads me through the story, the bones, so to speak. I’ve told you before, most stories come to me in whole, or large lumps of information. The quicker I get that outlined, the quicker the story can come alive.

3. Now it’s time to schedule it into my calendar. Right now, I’m scheduled through the end of the year with stories flowing over into 2017. This way I know in the back of my head what I need to finish on this manuscript in the future, like blurbs, covers and such.

4. Once it’s time to start the manuscript, I sit down with my outline and notes from thoughts I’ve had along the line. Even as I work on other books, things pop up in my mind that would work with other works. That’s when I pull out the outline from my portfolio and jot down the thought for future reference. That way I don’t lose the moment.

5. It’s time to write. This is when I get in the structure and bones of the story, fleshing out the outline points and filling in the characters as I go. This is also when Scrivener is my best friend. All of the characters are lined up down the left of my screen, reminding me of names and people involved. This part of the writing is fast and unedited, very unedited. It’s the write by the seat of my pants, knowing I’ll go back later to correct.

6. Ok, so I have my rough, rough, rough draft ready, now it’s time to go back and fix the many errors, misspelled words, horrible grammar and left off punctuation that leads my editor to want to plot my murder. Now it’s ready to go to her for the red pen, this is the scary part!

7. As I wait for the edited manuscript to come back, I’ll work on covers, blurbs, advertising and setting up the pre-order for the book that’s being worked over.

8. Now the manuscript is back, needing some work and ready to be corrected. I input the changes, make additions and get it formatted. I add the front and back matter, then scan back through to make sure I’ve checked everything. Oh, and just for giggles, I go back through, doing a spellcheck. I’m human, I forget stuff.

9. Wow, it’s now ready for publication! This is the moment an author sweats profusely, hoping you haven’t left off anything major, forgotten to correct something and hope upon hope that your readers love the book you’ve poured your heart into.

This is why most people that say, ‘I could write a book and publish it, it’s too easy’, they don’t ever publish a book. A book doesn’t just appear when you have the thought, it’s a process, one that needs to be taken seriously. So many authors don’t take it seriously and when they hit send, it’s missing something or hasn’t been thought through. Take it seriously, it’s your reputation as a writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P. S. Don’t forget Lily comes out the 27th. Get your preorder now…

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