Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Writing in layers, like our lives…

As I sit and ponder writing, life and the many things we do, I see the layers of it all. Layers are all around us. We have the family layer, life layer, work layer, faith layer and so many more layers it’s crazy. As writers we have even more layers than most.

Some days my layers overlap and I have to push them apart so that I don’t get overloaded. Some layers are heavier than others but in the end they’re what makes us who we are. My writer layers come in multiples, sometimes when my writer layers overlap I get knocked to the wayside. That’s when my mind can’t stay on one story and the characters start running over one another.

Do my layers of life and writing run into one another? Yes they do. I’ve seen many days when I struggled with the writing layers, but that’s what makes a writer work harder. As the characters run around trying to get heard, I wrangle them into the stories that flow out of my fingers. The layers of a story unfold and then a new layer starts. Oh the life of a writer’s mind.

How many layers do you have? If you peel them back carefully can you find your true self. As for me, when I peeled back my writer layer I found myself. I hadn’t realized that I needed that layer peeled back. For many years I left that layer piled under so many life layers and once I revealed it I started a fresh start. My writer layer has brought me into a new world of wonder and other worlds.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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What if…

How many times have you asked yourself or someone else the famous question, What if…? Since I’m a writer and a dreamer I’m constantly saying What if… It’s part of my make up. The dreamer in me always has another way to do things and the writer in me says what if this character does this or goes there.

What if… I turn a book into a big publisher and they accept it, signing this big contract and a nice advance.

What if… My newest book goes viral.

What if… The book on domestic violence that I’m working on makes a difference in someone’s life. (That’s the goal)

What if… What if… What if… We’re full of lots of them, even if we don’t think we are. Think about it. How many times do you say this one simple phrase in a day, whether out loud or in your mind? You might be surprised. It only means you’re a dreamer. Think about it.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Living my dreams through writing

If you’re a writer you know where I’m going with this. As a young, starry eyed, very impressionable, soft hearted, dare I go on, teenager I started reading romance novels. As I picked up the first one I opened it with excitement. This was a new era for me. I could smell the new paperback smell, which of course is Heavenly. The book drew me in and pulled out the romantic in me. After that I was hooked on romance. 

This started my desire to be a romance writer. I’d sit for hours writing, that’s handwritting for those that don’t remember that, many manuscripts. I kept most of my old manuscripts. Of course now they’re old and yellowed now, but I still pull them out and read them now and then. Actually a couple of my books started from those old teenage dreamy romance manuscripts. Of course I had to do some changes to get them a little more up to date.

Through my writing I can live out childhood dreams. I’ve always loved horses. If you’ve read any of my books you will usually read about a horse or two. I have to say it’s helped with my desire to own a horse. I get to own them in my writing, even have a horse ranch in my writing. Sound crazy, hardly, just writing from the heart.

Then there’s my dream of traveling to Switzerland. I’ve had that dream for as long as I can remember. When I was in school I actually did a report on Switzerland. I even went as far as writing to the Swiss travel center and they sent me a whole package of information. I still have that package. In my newest book, Open The Heart – A Alpine Christmas Romance, I travel to Switzerland. I’ve enjoyed researching every aspect of it. It’s been my Christmas present to myself to revisit my dream through my writing. It comes out this weekend and I hope you will check it out.

What are your dreams? Do you work on making them come true or do you write out your dreams? Sometimes your dreams can inspire you in many ways. Mine inspire me to write. Writing from the heart is the best kind. It shows your true colors and your true heart. So as the Christmas Season gets into full swing do something from your heart. Make a dream come true for either yourself or someone you love. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The love of writing

Do you love what you do? Whether you’re an accountant, doctor, writer, factory worker or a housewife, you have to love what you do. It helps keep you going. I love writing. I also love being an accountant and children’s ministry director. It makes things so much easier when you love what you do.

When I have a story in my brain I look forward to every time I open my laptop. It’s exhilerating just getting the story out to everyone. Maybe what goes through my brain doesn’t appeal to you, but some people like it. According to some of my adoring fans they love it, which for a writer is awesome to hear. That means I’ve accomplished part of my goal and thats to reach someone with my writing. A couple have asked me several times, where on earth do you get all these story lines. 

What’s fun is when you’re writing and you actually laugh out loud or wipe tears. One of the stories that I’m working on is a Christian romance that is about grief and going beyond the loss of a spouse to find love again through faith. As I wrote the death scene I kept a box of tissues next to me. I wrote it while thinking of what if this was me. How would I react or feel? How would I handle telling my child? How would I move on from there? It was a very eye opening experience.

That’s what the “Lean on Him” series is all about. It’s to help people realize that faith can get you through life’s many facets. Life throws so many things at us and sometimes we need to be reminded that we are stronger than we think.

Another thing I love about writing is living my characters lives through their eyes. I emmerse myself in the character and imagine the way I’d respond to certain things. I get to live anywhere in the world through my characters. I get to experience things, ride horses, own a ranch, go to Switzerland (childhood dream), and so much more. Through my characters I get to right wrongs, build faith and just be myself. It’s a wonderful feeling. 

Fans help make it a wonderful experience also. Hearing from those that love my books helps inspire me. It’s great when someone sends me an email and asks when’s the next book coming out. Some fans keep up with me through this post, my Facebook, Twitter and other areas. It’s awesome to talk to someone from across the world that has been touched by something in one of my books. That makes it so worth every long night, neck strain, finger trauma and everything that comes with being a writer.

So, come join me for the adventure that is a Writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Following the crumbs…

I’m just going to say it. Yes, I started another work in progress. I readily admit I have a problem. It’s called writers overload. I have way too many stories spinning in whats left of my brain. The story is the Christmas story that should have been started over a month ago, but I was working out the pieces and how to’s. I’ll give you a little hint, it’s going to be part of a lifetime dream of mine. I’ll get to live out my dream in fiction.

As for writing, we have to follow the crumbs to get to the goal. Each chapter, each outline piece is a crumb. Sometimes the crumbs are more visible than others. When the crumbs are large and right in front of us we can write for hours without stopping. Then other times the crumbs are so small that we have to search for them. That’s when writer’s block comes in and our mind strays away from the task at hand.

When writer’s block hits you have to step back. The more you try to get it back, the further you’ll push it away. Maybe it’s another story that needs to be finished that’s taking over. Maybe it’s something in your personal life like a load of laundry that’s calling out to be put away. Go put it away and then sit back down. 

Another problem I have is the inevitable sore neck from sitting over the laptop tapping out my thoughts. I’ve learned that when my neck gets tense I have to step away for a little bit. The tense feeling overwhelms the writing ability. It takes over the thoughts and ideas. Usually I do some neck rolls and stretch, then take a little walk to loosen up. If you’re not careful it will compound itself and the next day will be out completely.

Hope everyone is having a great Monday. Enjoy this day and remember, it’s only another day of the week, try not to think of it as Monday. Yeah… Right… Time for more coffee 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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When the words flow…

Have you ever had a moment when the words just flowed from your fingertips? As a writer this is wonderful. It’s the times when your fingertips seem to stop up that’s a problem.

Another problem is when too many stories flow from your fingertips. That’s my problem, again. It’s of course a good problem to have, but then your mind seems to be a web of stories. As you work on one story, the other lobe of your brain is working out the outline for another story. I actually dreamed about one of my stories last night. It’s filled my head so much that even my subconscious can’t get past it.

So, hopefully the five different stories I’m working on will come together quickly. My brain is on overload and with tax season over I have a little more time to finish and polish. I’m just giddy with the aspect of five stories before Christmas. One is a Christmas story so that’s a good thing. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Never Give Up Your Dream…

Well, the SYTYCW2013 emails have been sent out and I didn’t receive one. I’m not sad or mad or upset, just gives me more drive. There was 640 really good entries and the editors had to choose only 50 to go on to the next step. I don’t envy their job. But you never know, my work was read by an editor at Harlequin.

I had a really nice message from a fellow author that’s published with Harlequin and she gave support and her experience. She entered last year and she too did not get picked. Well guess what, she still heard from one of the editors and now has published a couple of books through Harlequin. They told her that all though for the contest they can only pick 50 that doesn’t mean that they don’t look seriously at the others. 

So, I still have hope. Anyone that knows me wil know that I’m resilient. Writing is a dream passion of mine and it’s been such a crazy year and a half. I’ve been featured in two magazines and several blogs. Also this week I’ve been honored with being featured as the Must Read of the week in the Southern Writers Magazine blog. Here’s the link: http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/. Scroll down and I’m on the right. Then when I was on a Children’s Ministry website getting a game for last night I noticed a Barnes and Noble advertisement. I had three of my books featured in the ad along with some other great reads. Needless to say I did a happy dance. So I’m still on a high right now.

As we move on from the drama of the contest wait, there’s always some writing contest going on and our name is out there. Let’s focus on what we as writers do best, let’s write. You never know when that call might come in saying, “We want you to write for us.” 

Good writing and May God Bless You…