Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Is it your opinion or not? Truthfully!

Good Wednesday morning! Hope all is well with all of you. As for me I’m a little perplexed to say the least. Being a writer I use social media to advertise and promote my work. I’ve grown a tough skin over the last couple of years regarding the remarks that can be scathing and my opinion is it’s your opinion, or is it?

You may be wondering why I say it that way, well here goes. I was scanning Facebook last night and came across several really scathing posts regarding someone local. The bad thing is it all started from one side and it wasn’t pretty. It actually put a bad taste in my mouth regarding social media etiquette. Should you comment on a post that you’re not personally familiar with? It would be like posting a review of someone’s book without ever reading the book, just going with the flow of what others say. Is it right to do that?

Why is it that in today’s world we follow the leader and don’t go with our own hearts? We jump on the social media band wagon and destroy someone without knowing the facts. The problem with this is that every story has two sides. When we don’t know the whole story we shouldn’t push forward. It’s called everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty, it’s the American way, or have we steered away from that? As I sat and glanced over some of the comments I was amazed at the audacity of some of them. The pitchforks were raised and the witch hunt was started. Does anyone remember the ramifications of the witch hunts? Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, get both sides before you share or comment because someone’s life is at stake and many times these types of things affect more than just the person that you’re directing your anger toward. Think about all those that can be affected in the background.

I’ve written many posts regarding reviews, the good and bad. If you put yourself out there, you’re setting yourself up for people to throw darts or compliments at you. Have you ever noticed that if you get a good review, other reviews similar start appearing, but also goes with bad reviews. I’ve received some really great reviews and I’m eternally thankful. Of course I’ve received some nasty reviews, but I always use the ones that are done in taste as a learning experience. I actually followed one critical review with a rewrite. The rewrite actually went to the top 10 on Amazon charts for several weeks. It was a good review in my eyes. But then you have those that see a bad, scathing review and they suddenly want to add to it. The funny thing is, well actually it’s sad, a couple of bad reviews I’ve received were obviously not from an actual reader. They even got the story wrong in the review. It’s the same with the witch hunt’s that span across social media.

Should we learn social media etiquette? I think we should use tact when sharing or commenting. Can you imagine a social media without all the negative thoughts? I’ve seen more and more people stating this on social media. They want to see the negativity brought down a little. Of course some negative posts are beneficial if handled correctly, not just for the benefit of someones ego, but full of facts.  It would make for better reading in the early morning as I sip my coffee, but of course this is my opinion, possibly not yours.

What are your thoughts on social media etiquette? Would you enjoy a nicer experience?

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

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What’s up with people these days?

Have you noticed people these days are more opinionated? People have always had an opinion, but with social media taking over, it’s more apparent and out there everywhere. The reason I’m posting on this is the way people do things.

Take for instance. I received a review on one of my books. The person gave me a 1 star review which is their opinion and I can take criticism, but only when it’s constructive. The review simply stated “Pease relieve my mind. Whyis tender flame and moonbeames and roses using the ssme names but different stories. Nothimg is mention about others that were mention tender flames. What happened to sarahs baby……..damn why wright two books using wes and sarah”. I copied this from the actual review. Does anyone see anything wrong with this review other than the spelling and nasty word?

Now don’t get me wrong, Criticism is a big part of writing and I use constructive criticism for good. My issue is that Tender Flames and Moonbeam & Roses are two entirely different books and many writers use the same character names in different books. Why do people do this to writers? Moonbeam & Roses is a stand alone book and Tender Flames clearly states it’s part of the Flames of Love series. I just don’t get it. Let us know what you thought about the book, not the characters names. That’s a odd point.

Opinions run rampant, but when your opinions are not constructive but destructive should you voice them? Many people like to voice destructive opinions publicly. It’s bad for those that are public figures. Look at how movie stars get raked over the coals. If they make one misstep or wear the wrong color shoes with the outfit they get a social media dress down.

So, what’s up with people these days? Some people are like moths to the flame when it comes to negativity. I can say this, when you do a review for a book whether it’s a 1 star or 5 star, make sure it’s relevant to the book. What does it matter the names of the characters? When you watch a star do a interview, what does it matter the color of their shoes or the way they combed their hair? Look at what they’re saying or their acting skills, not their fashion sense.

Everyone has their opinion about something or someone, that’s their right, but should they go crazy with how they express it. I guess my upbringing taught me to not sling mud and to watch what I say because I could be on the receiving end one day. Boy was that ever right. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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In A Writer’s View…

Have you ever thought about what a writer was thinking when they wrote their books? Take for instance Romeo & Juliet which is a great, tragic romance, but what on earth was he thinking. I just wonder how popular he was at the time of his big debut. Did he get good reviews? Maybe he would have made it to the top of the New York Bestseller’s list if it would have been available then.

Then you have some of the more recent literature and you wonder where they learned about what they wrote about. Sometimes I wonder if horror writers sit around and try to figure out the grossest way to kill someone. Makes for good conversation over dinner with friends. “Hey, how would you like to kill someone?”. Good way to end up alone on Friday night.

Oh and don’t let me forget romance, my favorite genre. I’ve read some books that I wonder if the writer had experienced personally what happened in the book because it was so real. Then other times I wonder if they even know what romance is. I’ve read romance novels that don’t even show any romance and yet they’re supposed to be a romance. 

I’ll tell you how I feel when I write. If it’s a sad part I usually cry. That’s when I know I’ve gotten to the core of the emotion. Then when I’m writing a really sweet, romantic part, well I usually cry again, but the point is I try to put as much emotion as I can. I was writing a part the other night where the main character was very angry and I laughed when my son asked why I was scowling so hard. I was actually angry with the other character. I guess that’s getting lost in the Writer’s view.

In my opinion God gave us emotions and we need to show them. Well sometimes we need to know when not to show them, but in writing the more emotion the better. Make the reader feel what you feel. I’ve had fans tell me they had to use a box of tissues reading one of my books. One even said they started really liking cowboy romance after reading on of them. I try to make my cowboys have feelings, but still be ruggedly handsome and able to take care of any situation.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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How do you take it?

Take what? Well as I fixed my first cup of coffee this morning I had a thought. We’re all different. Some like their coffee high octane, completely black with no cream or sugar just straight coffee. Some like artificial sweetners and cream. Some like real sugar and no cream. As for me, I take it with one pack of Splenda and a little french vanilla creamer. That’s what it takes to get me going…

It’s the same with reading. As a writer I’ve come to know so many different types of writing. It’s amazing how many genres of writing there is. In romance you can find so many genres.  I sat and tried to figure them all out. What’s hard is to figure out which one your work fits in.

I’ve had to learn what heat levels meant. That was fun. I’ve had to learn what tags were and how they relate to your work. Some readers only read certain heat levels or from certain tags. It’s always interesting to look at the percentages.

I had a reviewer tell me one of my books would have been better if it would have been given some tequila and heated up. She gave me a great review, but thought it needed more heated scenes. As you know, I write my books on a lower heat level. 

My editor laughs when I see a new genre come out and I have to go what’s that. Especially if it’s a abreviation. Sometimes I’m sorry I ask the meaning 🙂 But my opinion is this. Everyone needs something different and that’s what makes the writing world go round. If we all wrote in the same genre and heat level, it would get really boring and we’d be out of business really quick.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Outlines and writing between the lines.

If you’ve read my blogs before you know I like to do an outline of my book ideas before I start writing. Most of the time that is. Sometimes when I get the inspiration for a book I can’t quite see the middle and end, but if I do I make sure to jot it down in the order I see it happening.

The problem is sometimes the filling in of the chapters between the outline sections. One of my reviewers wrote that they loved the book but wanted more descriptive matter. They wanted to know more about some of the characters. So, in my latest works I’ve been really working on more descriptive matter. But on that same note I’ve been careful not to just jumble up words for the sake of words on a page.

Have you ever read a book that had too much descriptive matter and not enough actual needed matter? Recently I read a book that was just such a creature. I ended up skipping parts of the book as I got bored with the long drawn out descriptions given. That’s what I’ve tried to keep from doing in my work.

So how much is too much or too little? I guess that’s up to the writer. Regarding the review of that one book, some of the places that I didn’t elaborate, I felt like it didn’t need any further explanation, but that was just the way it came into my heart. But when the reader reads it, they may not get the point that I’m trying to make with less words and more heart. It’s a double edged sword. 

Oh well, we can’t please everyone. One article I read from a well known author said to just please yourself and make it your own. She said if you strive to please everybody all the time you’ll lose that part that makes your own work special. It makes sense.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…