Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Life…As a Writer

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a great, productive weekend. Let’s make the best of the week ahead.

Life as a writer is sometimes crazy. There are stories running through our heads at every turn. Some days it’s hard to do my day job because a character is knocking on my brain, wanting out. But, when I finally sit down to let the character out, they are stubbornly sitting there with arms crossed refusing to come out.

Then, when you get a couple of days to do some serious writing, everything else has to be done. I try to do social media posts and write on weekday mornings. Of course, I need to train myself to wait on the social media posts until after I’ve written my designated word count for the day. Social media is like a leech, it sucks the time out of the morning.

What’s fun is when you have a great story come into your mind, but you’re in the grocery store… LOL! That’s why I have notes on my phone. Usually, I’ll stop where I am and at least get the basics down, if not, I’ll forget them until a much later time.

Oh, and then you have a deadline, but also a list of things to be completed. That’s when you get creative with your time. Even eating breakfast while typing. Ok, so my laptop has crumbs in the keyboard, but it still works.

So, how do you juggle things?

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


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Finding your audience…

Good morning! How do you figure out your audience? What am I talking about? Well, who reads your books? What age group? What demographic? How do I know this stuff? LOL! It’s called search and figure out.

The reason I know this is that I’ve been looking into promoting books. This is one of the questions asked: “Who is your audience?” It makes sense. So here is what my new series ‘Wishful Harbor’ brought to mind.

  1. Age group: 18 – 25 (This is just a start, but…)
  2. Loves Small Town life
  3. Loves sweet romance with a Happily Ever After
  4. Hallmark movie lover (So far we’re describing me… except the age group ;))
  5. Needs to get lost for a moment or two

Ok, so this is just a sampling, but you get the idea. The point is to steer the advertising in the direction of the above people. In other words, I’ll focus on hashtags that steer my tweets, promotions, and advertising toward this focus group.

Have you tried this concept? If so, how did it work?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…wishful harbor design


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Writing…A Resolution…

Happy New Year! Well, 2017 is up and running… New year, new you?

As I sit here writing this post, the Today show is talking about exercising for the new year. Many of you have made a vow to exercise more, but will you do it? I’ve made that same resolution, but have only stretched a couple of things. Now I’ve exercised my mind quite a bit, but not my body.

Another writer asked me if I had any writing resolutions… Don’t we all? I’ve seen several posts about writing resolutions. Some say they will write more this year… Some will publish the book they’ve been working on for a long while… Some say they will blog more… The list goes on…

The problem with this is that we still have the same amount of hours in the day. Yes, I’ve got my year of writing planned out and plotted on my calendar and schedule, but will I be able to see it through? Will I be able to squeeze out more hours in the day? Let’s just say that I’ve put my mind to staying more focused this year. We will see how that goes, but as of now, I’m behind…

Resolutions are a good thing because they make you think about your health, your relationships, and your career. Some people make drastic decisions just after the first of the year, vowing to make a change in their lives for the better. But, make sure that the changes you make are the best thing for you.

Will I write more this year? Will I publish more books this year? Will I make the New York Bestsellers list this year? Will I write full time before the end of the year? Will I write the novel of the year? These are questions I ask every year, but will they happen?

Have you made a resolution about life, relationships, or your writing? What are they?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Stories filling my head…Yikes!

Good Wednesday morning! It’s halfway to the weekend, so relax a little. You’ve got this.

As a writer, sometimes the stories fill my head and I can’t get them out fast enough. Some days it’s hard to focus on one story without the other stories trying to edge their way in. That’s my problem at the moment. I have so many stories running through my head that sometimes I think my head might explode.

The picture I have of my brain is a little hamster running on her wheel. Yep, that’s my brain for sure. So, how do I prioritize12551866924_826fc1afef this craziness filling my head, I outline. I have so many stories pushing for first place in line, but only one or two can hold that spot at a time. To help with the breaking in line syndrome, I sit down and outline the fussiest, pushiest stories. At least that puts them at ease, for a time, but soon they are pushy again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a problem exactly. As a writer, this is a good problem to have, you just have to learn how to keep your stories in line, which is the hard part.

So, how do you wrangle the stories running rampant through your brain?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Relaxing, yes!

 

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Does writing relax you? When you’re writing, do you feel better than you did before you started putting words to paper or laptop? For me, it’s a relaxing time spent. So many people don’t understand that point.

I have people that tell me, ‘you need to take some time off from writing and relax’, but they don’t understand, when I’m writing, total relaxation comes over me. It’s the moment that I can get totally lost in another world for just a little while. Even during the busiest part of tax season, I’d find a few minutes to write. That way I had a little relaxing time.

Do you relax while you’re writing? Now, I know that when you’re getting close to a deadline, things can get a little intense, but be honest, even in those moments you’re probably still enjoying yourself, or I hope you are. Becoming an author has been such a refreshing step away from the craziness that can envelop you.

So, does it relax you or stress you out? If it stresses you out, you need to figure out why.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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When writing Historical Romance…

Have you written historical romance yet or a historical thriller even? To me, writing historical romance is more difficult than contemporary. Why? Well, let me explain.

As I was working on ‘Lily’ yesterday, I got to a part where they were stepping off the train in a new town. That sounds simple, but then I thought about the towns description. Now this part is based in the late 1890’s, so what was around in that time period? Were there still wagons around, had the car been invented (no, I couldn’t remember when the car was invented), or did some towns have electricity then?

The funny thing was, in one part, and yes, it’s still a clean, Christian historical romance, but as the couple walked down the sidewalk they come across a ‘brothel’ and since my main character ‘Lily’ is from a small, Georgia town, she asked about what it was. So, I looked up words for a brothel from that time period, gee I hope nobody looks at my Google searches! Needless to say, the thesaurus was my friend, yet again.

There’s so much to writing historical literature that many don’t think about. Your character can’t simply walk into a room and flip the light switch. Yeah, I had my character walk into a dark room, then realized she needed to light her lantern, so I went back and wrote that in. I had a giggle about that one. Poor thing, I left her in the dark for 5 whole paragraphs before I realized my mistake.

Since I’m writing four historical romances this year, all from different time periods, Google will be my best friend. It’s a good thing that history was my favorite subject in school, but of course, that was …. many years ago, we won’t go into the number of years. As my son puts it, I am part of history, meaning old history. LOL!

So, have you tried writing historical romances? Did you have a hard time keeping it historical, without including more contemporary elements?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

By the way, Lily is now up for preorder!

 


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Introvert, yes or no?

Good Monday morning everyone! Can you believe the weekend is over? Of course, today is a holiday for many, but sadly, if you’re an Accountant or Tax Preparer, well, you’re hard at work. Of course, I’m on holiday in my mind, which brings me to the point of this post.

Are you an introvert? The Huff Post did an interesting article recently with several points to think about. As I went over each one of them, I got the confirmation, I’m legit. I have almost all of the symptoms, but that’s alright. It’s not like I’m crazy or anything, well, let’s just say I’m not ready for the straight jacket, not yet.

I don’t go out a lot, which is alright with me. Actually, my husband is the same way, which works really well. I’m perfectly content, sitting at night by the fire, writing. I slip into the world of my characters and don’t need the world outside the house. Many worry about me, saying I need to get out, that it’s not normal to be content staying home. But, that’s me. Others have to have the outside world to feel normal or find happiness. I don’t and that confuses people.

As most writers can tell you, we see more of the world in our writing than most see in their lifetime. Just last Summer, I went to Tuscany in my writing world. It wasn’t crowded and had no lines to wait in. I got to experience it through the eyes of my characters and it was wonderful. Let’s just say, I had a craving for Italian food while writing this one.

Just because I enjoy the solitude of my home, doesn’t mean I’m antisocial. I’m with people a good bit of the time. I don’t avoid business meetings, Church, family get together’s or anything like that. I just don’t need to go out, just to go out. I’ve made my home a place where I’m completely content spending my free time. It’s beautiful and feels me with happiness to just sit and enjoy life. By the way, I do enjoy life to the fullest and don’t feel like I’mo missing out on anything, no matter what anyone says. I love my life!

So, are you an introvert? If you’re a writer, then 9 times out of 10 you are. Embrace it!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-real-reason-introverts-dread-small-talk_56854922e4b06fa688823798?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular