Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Writing from your heart…

Good morning! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been super busy getting my latest manuscript finished and sent to my editor. I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the last couple of months while working on my newest project.

1: Write what’s in your heart. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t write, all that does is tamp down your inner voice. So, fill your pages with what your heart gives you and trust it.

2. Give your writing all that you have. When you get done writing each day, you should feel drained because you’ve put everything into it, but also feel accomplished because you’ve given your muse free reign.

3. Never write something that doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t feel right, then it shouldn’t be put on paper. Go with your instinct.

SO, do you write from your heart? That’s what I did with the manuscript I just finished. I’m satisfied with the results, which is surprising because I always have that little doubt with each piece of work. But not this time.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com


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Highlander’s Heart is out…#27

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Highlander’s Heart is out today! If you love historical romance, highlanders, Scottish men in kilts, well, check it out. Here’s the blurb:

The moment Laird Ewan Cowen looks into Evina McLeod’s emerald green eyes, the sparks fly. He needs a bride and she needs his protection from the evil Laird McKinney. When Ewan offers marriage in exchange for his protection, Evina has no choice, but the love that unfolds in the days before their wedding is unexpected.  Neither of them knew that McKinney had a hidden agenda. Evina was the pawn in McKinney’s plan and after they were wed, he would see his plan accomplished, ending Ewan’s life in the process with the help of a spy within Ewan’s clan. Romance, adventure, and secrets fill this book set in 1725 Scotland.

Can you believe this is #27 in my publishing career? I can’t believe it. Someone asked me the other day, ‘how many books have you published’ and I sat there, naming them off. Wow, I was surprised. But, time flies when you’re having fun…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 


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Getting to the Heart of Romance

As most of you know, I write romance. I also blog about romance and the need for more of it in our lives. As I’ve said many times, romance helps in so many ways.If you’re married, you need sprinkles of romance in every aspect of that marriage. If you’re in a relationship and it’s leaning toward love, well you need romance. It just helps out with even the most tense moment.

I’ve read hundreds, dare I say thousands of romance novels. Sometimes I have to laugh at the lengths a writer will go to when trying to tickle a readers ears. I know all about those lengths. I do it everyday in my writing. Are we giving people false hope? I don’t think so, but I recently read an article on just that. The writer talked about teen girls today expecting to find that one man that will give them the romance and life they’ve read about in novels. She talked about having a trend of romance novels that actually talked of real life interactions.

This made me think about my writing. Could a romance novel written from real life interactions make difference? Would the couple waking up with morning breath, totally avoiding one another until they’ve freshened said breath make a difference? What about those unglamorous moments when you have no make up on and your hair is scraggly? Do you write about that? Will it sell or will people laugh you right out of business?

If you take a long look at your own life, how many times have you had a muscled man rescue you and sweep you away to a beautiful location to propose and give you a huge diamond ring, then kiss you into oblivion? Really, how many times? What about a virile cowboy sweeping you off your feet and taking you away into the sunset on his horse? I know, I’m being a little far fetched, but let’s get to the heart of real romance.

In real life it’s the simple things. Maybe it’s a flower picked from the yard, a card to say I’m sorry, maybe it’s just a loaded dishwasher after a long day of work, but let’s get real about romance. For me it’s that look across the dinner table or simply a quick kiss as he passes me in the kitchen as I fix dinner. But in order to sell books, sometimes we have to go beyond the simple and blow the romance up to a higher level. But that’s what sells books, so we’ll continue to do it.

I can say that I haven’t heard of anyone being swept off their feet by a sexy vampire or shifter. But it makes for fascinating reading.

As always good writing, and May God Bless You…


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Exploring your heart…

I’m a hopeless romantic and if you haven’t gotten that through my blogs where have you been? In my writing I express the romance and love that’s in my heart. I hurt when my characters hurt and laugh when they laugh, of course my son thinks I’ve lost my mind much of the time. I’ll just laugh out as I’m writing. He just looks at me and shakes his head. Oh well, I have to be a little crazy to be an artist, right. 

Since I’ve been working on my Christmas romance I’ve experienced many feelings. I’ve been angry, happy, sad, mournful, cold, and then excited. This book runs the whole lot of feelings. I’ve tried to carry my reader into a new world. Hopefully one that they will want to explore further with the second book. Whoops did I just give away a secret? Yes I did. Well the cats out of the bag, There will be a book two for The Alpine Romance. It’s funny how it just hits you when something needs to be carried to another plateau.

I’ve also been working on finishing book two in the “Lean On Him” Christian series. This one has to be visited in spurts. The book has taken a toll on me emotionally. A couple of months ago I put an excerpt on Avon Romance submission pages and a kind lady came in to tell me how emotional that scene made her. It brought a smile to my face. My editor read the first chapter and when she turned to me she had tears in her eyes. Yep, it’s going to be a emotional romance. I just hope it inspires my readers to find romance and hold on to it, because you never know when it will slip away. Sometimes we lose the love of our life, but there’s always the chance to find love again, you just have to open your heart.

So to me, writing romance explores your own heart. Can you write romance if you don’t believe in it? I really don’t think so. I think you have to believe with all your heart that romance is real and that love can be found in the oddest places. Every book I’ve written has taken a different angle of love. Maybe it’s the love lost, then found again, or new love found, but held away by force. Whatever the way, the love always shines through. That’s what makes romance one of the top genres right now. We all need something to hope for, to wish for, and to know it exists if only in fiction. 

My challenge to you is this. Explore your heart to find the part of it that expresses how you feel. Pull on it until you’re just drained and then you’re ready to pour it out in fiction. Some days when I close my laptop I’m exhausted, but content. I’ve explored the many emotions of my characters and made it through. That’s what draws in the reader, the pull of your heart to theirs.

As always, good 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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Getting to the heart of a writer…

I’ve been asked several times lately why I love to write. Well, that’s an interesting question. I write for a lot of reasons. I enjoy it for one. It’s very satisfying to put my thoughts and whims on paper and then have people buy them. I love to sit down with an idea and watch it take shape under my fingertips.

You know it’s the writer’s bug you have when the simplest thing inspires you to write. Watching a sunset can inspire you, but when you have the writer’s bug even a lady bug crawling on  leaf can send you into a writing frenzy. Maybe that’s a little over the top but it’s not far off the mark. As a writer everything inspires me.

Sometimes I get an idea in the middle of the night and I have to get up and write it down. It will take over your thoughts until you get it down on paper. The heart of a writer is often open and raw. The only way to heal it is to write.

I know that if you have a true writer’s heart, then it’s a gift from God and you need to just open a notebook or turn on your computer and start writing. You only live once and if you’re meant to be a writer you need to at least give it a try. I’ve enjoyed every moment of being a writer. I’m so glad that my assistant gave me a nudge to publish the dusty manuscripts in my files. 

As always good writing and May God bless you…


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Your Heart! Is it protected from your writing?

You may be saying, what??? What I’m saying is simply this, as writers we put our whole heart into what we do, or at least we should. To me it’s like pouring out my soul when I write. I sometimes finish a writing session as feel so drained and other times I’m cleansed from the incessant chatter in my head by characters that just have to be heard. Writers, you know what I mean 🙂

When you pour your heart into something and then it doesn’t go well, how do your heart feel? Sometimes it really bothers me when sales are down and then an upturn starts and I smile. But my heart does a flip flop and sometimes I wonder if it stops for a second to bask in the good fortune.

My newest novel has been doing really well, which is exciting. The funny thing is and maybe it shouldn’t surprise me, but it seems that people are buying it and the first book in the series together. The sales are coming in twos. One day I did really well and the sales were even on both books in the series. Maybe I should do more series, ummm,,,

So back to the heart of writing. If you go into your writing with both feet forward and your heart encased in the whole process, make sure that you’re ready for some aches and pains. Writing is a process and sometimes it doesn’t go like we want it to, but other times it goes better than expected. My heart stays on a constant roller coaster. i just hope it’s up to the challenge 🙂

In romance writing you have to put your heart in it. Sometimes it’s a lot of your own heart that you write about. Your fantasies, your flops in the love department or just what you’ve experience in the heart department. Some of my favorite writing has been from my own experiences, changed a bit for obvious reasons. Don’t want anyone to think I’ve lived a fantasy life. 

So on this Saturday as you go about your house cleaning, your chores, your errands and hopefully your writing, put your heart into it, but put a protective hedge around it. Don’t let the downs affect your heart, keep the heart pumping and keep writing 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Priorities & Regrets

How do you rate your priorities? Do you have a good system of how you stack them? I’m feeling kind of philosophical about this issue. I found out this morning that an older gentleman that lived next door to my mom’s lake home passed away during the night. I’ve known him most of my life and he was a special person to our family.

It started me to thinking about the last time I saw him. He was riddled with sickness from cancer and he didn’t want me to see him like he was. It was really sad, but I made him talk to me regardless. I could tell it hurt him for me to see him so broken.

I feel like I didn’t do enough. I didn’t have time to go see him when he was hospitalized. I didn’t take the time to go see him when they brought him home to die. In one respect I was trying to respect his feelings, but should I have done more. My heart aches at the could haves and should haves. 

Do we take for granted that things will fix themselves? Do we take our friends and family for granted? Do we think they will be there tomorrow so go then? Do we have the Scarlett O’hara theory of “I’ll think about it tomorrow”? 

I just feel so depleted. I know he’s better off, but did he know that I cared. I hope he did. He was a sweet, precious man. So my thing is this, don’t wait until tomorrow the things that can be done today. Take that time. Make it work somehow.

As always, Good writing and May God bless you…


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Do you believe?

Sorry that I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days, but the bug that’s going around struck me down on Tuesday and knocked me out of the living for a couple of days. Two shots later (OUCH!) and two meds I’m on the mend.

My blog today is the magic of believing. You may be saying to yourself, believing in what? Well here’s what I’m talking about. During Christmas I’m transformed into a big kid. Well I’m always a big kid, but during Christmas my inner kid comes alive.

Do you believe in Santa? Well, I do. Or at least the spirit of Santa. I mean St. Nick was a real man that lived a long time ago, but his legacy lives on today. I’m talking about the legacy of giving. It’s sad that most people only have the giving spirit at this time of year, but it’s true. As for me, I gaze at my tree all decorated in red and gold balls, snowmen, my sons handmade ornaments and snowflakes, oh, yeah, and don’t forget the angel on top, it makes my heart a little giddy. I smile and the spirit of the season washes over me. I close my eyes and remember the feeling of knowing Santa would come soon and it always made everything alright. I love to watch the magic of Christmas shine in a child’s eyes as they look at decorations or talk to Santa. It’s awesome. The magic is that they don’t have to see Santa put the presents under the tree to believe he put them there.

As with Jesus. As you know if you’ve seen my profile, I’m a children’s minister and I take that responsibility seriously. I often have to explain to the children that even if you can’t see something it doesn’t mean it’s not real. As with Santa, they can sit on his lap (Well the one the mall hired) and it’s makes it more real. With Jesus they feel it. Sometimes they just look at me, but when the Spirit hits them, they usually come up to me and say, now I know what you meant. It warms my heart when I see that look come over them. When they start to truly believe. The way a child believes is so surreal. They haven’t had all the worldly wrongs touch them and shade their eyes. They believe with all their hearts, which is what you should do.

Now on the love. So many people say love doesn’t exist. They say it’s just temporary lust or the need for someone to spend time with. Not! True love does exist. It’s not something you can see as a physical thing. It’s the look in a persons eyes and the feeling in your heart. That’s one reason I love to write about romance and love. It’s one of those feelings that can totally take you to another realm of feeling. Love can also take you to your lowest point in your life. I know some of you are shaking you head and saying is she for real. Well, open your heart and let love in. That’s the problem today, people don’t slow down and just let it take over. Sometimes they overlook love for practicality. I mean people, you only live once and you should experience the phenomenal feeling of true love. It’s awesome and magical.

Well, that’s just a few things that I believe in. I believe in the magic that can be inspired inside the heart. Just open up and let your guard down. You might be surprised at what happens.

As always, good writing and May God bless and keep you!

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