Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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…


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Feeling a little overwhelmed…

If you’ve followed my blog you’ve heard me speak of my editor and assistant quite frequently. Well, it’s with a very proud, but sad heart that I do this post today. She’s also my niece and has worked with me for about 5 years. She’s been my right hand, my cover designer, my editor, my shoulder on many occasions, and my friend. 

She’s been accepted to the University of Georgia and will be leaving me. I’m so proud of her. She’s been going to college locally for 2 years. Now she’ll be moving to Athens, Georgia which is a couple of hours away. Her major is Poultry Sciences.

We have three more work days together and I feel like I have to get every cover designed for all the works in process. She’s reassured me that we’ll work via internet and phone. Also we’ve started up a publishing business as partners so we’ll be working long distance together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud of her and this is her dream, but I’m sad to lose her. I know she’ll go really far and one day she’ll be at the top of her career. So this is a shout out to her. She’s amazing.

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


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Ghosts from the past…

I’ve often been asked where on earth do I get the ideas for my books. Someone even said that I must have led a really exciting life. I only laugh and say that most of my work is from my brain not my memories.

I have included some past memories into the writing of my books, but I’ll never tell which ones. Why is it that when you’re a writer, people automatically think you only write about your life experiences?

My own mom actually was afraid to read the first book I published because she thought she might recognize herself in the book. I reassured her that she was safe. Now she’s one of my biggest fans. I do have to admit to using friends and family members as role models for some of my characters. 

One thing I can say is that writing has helped with getting rid of my ghosts from my past. Especially my dream of owning horses and having a horse farm. Well, what can I say, I’m a country girl. As a writer I can live my dreams and go to places I only dream of going. It’s a pretty cool thing being a writer.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…


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Life: You’re the Author

In life we write our own stories. We determine how our life goes. God created us, but he gave us life choices. How do we choose? Which road do we go down? Is grass and dirt starting to take over your road?

In life we make the decisions that take us to the next part. Decisions we make mark the future for us. If you decide to drink and drive you’re deciding your life book could end on the drive home. If you decide not to take the job offer and then find out there’s nothing else available, then you made that decision to stay unemployed. (Sometimes that’s the best road to take.)

As an author I’ve thought about the life I’m writing for myself. Do I want to get to the end of my life and look back only to wonder what I accomplished? No, I believe in taking the bull by the horns and stepping out on faith. It’s just like a review on a book. Do you give your life a 5 star rating or does it fall flat at 1 or less?

Think of your life as a book you’re going to sell. Would you want to read about your life? Have you done anything remotely special? We all have moments in our life that are spectacular. Those moments can include marriage, the birth of your child, and vacations. But what about the in between moments. 

My challenge to you is to live life. Experience the moment. Don’t let life come to a close without enjoying what God has given you. Go ahead, write the great american novel, or try to. At least you can say I tried. Don’t come to the end and say I wish I would have…

As always good writing and May God bless you in all you decide to do in life. Remember to keep Him in your life and all will go well. 🙂


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Friday Morning Giggle:)

Good morning my wonderful friends. It’s so awesome to have so many people to share with. Between my family and friends I’ve been wonderfully blessed. Well, I guess you’re wondering what the giggle is all about.

Well, I was checking my sales stats this morning and I had to take a second look. My sales took a nice turn in December on major sales engines like Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, Apple and Sony. I did a little happy dance and did a lot of giggling. Thank goodness I was alone or my husband may have had me hospitalized. Nah! He’s used to me and my quirky ways. Good thing 🙂 He was the first one I called and he was ecstatic. The first comment was “Baby that’s awesome. You’ve done well.” I reminded him that we’ve done well. You can’t do this without a good support group. Especially from your family and family

The second was my assistant/editor. She was excited. “Finally people are noticing the books.” Then she reminded me that the manuscript I’m working on is not completed. 

Well, I’m no where near ready to quit my day job… Just excited to get over that invisible mark I’d drawn in the sand where my writing was concerned. I just wanted to share with you guys my happiness. This has inspired me to try and push through the cobwebs in my brain. Yeah good luck with that one. LOL

Well, good thing I don’t write to get rich. (Although it would be nice to make enough to make writing my primary career and accounting a hobby.) Dreams are fun. Especially when you see them edge a little closer to reality. God has blessed me throughout this conquest. I owe Him the credit for my writers brain and heart.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

 


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Where your writing takes you…

As I start this post I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was wonderful. Now on to the clean up and take down and enjoying time with my son. My husband says it looks like Christmas threw up in our house. So I like to decorate. What? On to the post…

Where does your writing take you? It can take you to different countries, different lives and let your dreams come true at your fingertips. When you are writing open up your heart and experience it.

As I write I usually try to throw in a fantasy or something I love. That way I get to live the fantasy and make it come true for my characters. I get to do the things I wouldn’t dare do in real life.

Through my characters and lots of research, I get to go to places that I have dreamed of going. It’s so much fun to experience the places through my characters. If you put enough descriptions you can carry your reader off to places beyond their Kindle, Nook or paperback. You can take them to exotic destinations with the sun dancing on the clear blue water or even take them to snow covered chalets with crackling romantic fires.

The sky’s the limit when writing.  Give your reader and yourself an adventure, you both deserve it. So get writing and live your dream through your writing. Go to that place, or do that thing you want to do, live the dream.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!