Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Romance is like coffee…

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Good Friday morning. Hope all is well with all of you. It’s Friday, so let’s have some fun and enjoy the day. Yes, there’s still several hours until the weekend, but it’s almost here.

With romance readers, there is always someone who wants something different. There are so many different genres to choose from. It’s sort of like coffee. Everybody likes it a different way. Some like it black, no sweetener or creamer, just straight from the pot. Some like it with a little sugar and a lot of cream, then others, a lot of sugar and a little cream. And don’t even get me started on the many flavors of creamer. As for me, I love mine with just french vanilla creamer.

So, here’s to hoping you find the romance genre you like and a good cup of coffee the way you like it. Whatever way you like your romance, I hope you enjoy it. Read a little romance and get lost for a couple of hours, it helps the mind and soul…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Our job as an author…

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Good morning! It’s Monday morning and I’m ready for a productive week. Of course, my hubby is on vacation this week, so I’ll get to see him a lot, which is a great thing.

So, as an author, what are we trying to accomplish? I’m not talking about earning money, I’m talking about with our words.

Here are my top five things I try to accomplish with the words that come from my heart…

1: First and foremost, I want to entertain my reader. I want my ready to enjoy what I write and to want more of it. I want them to smile, laugh and cry when they read my work.

2: I want my readers to be taken away to another world. With Tuscany, I wanted to make them feel like they were in Italy. I wanted them to feel the warm MediterraneanĀ breeze on their face. With my Christmas books, I want this to smell the Christmas spices, to feel the joy of the season and to feel the cold of the snow all around them.

3: My readers should feel what my characters feel. I want them to feel the happiness, the sorrow, and the anger.

4: With the romance, I want my readers to get lost in it. I want them to experience the romance of the story. So many people tell me that they haven’t ever had true romance, so I want them to feel it with every book they read of mine.

5: And finally, this is what every writer should aspire to do and that’s to take your reader to another realm of reality. Whether you write romance, mystery or horror, you should strive to take away the everyday troubles of your reader. Help them get lost in another world, if only for an hour. But help them forget everything but the characters and stories that are within the covers of your work.

So, what do you want to accomplish with your writing?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Just a little hint…

Good Saturday afternoon! Hope everyone is taking some time to enjoy life today. I’m finally sitting down for a little bit to write and blog. But, I have a little tidbit about my upcoming new series to dangle in front of you… so here goes…

1: There will be five books in the series…

2: The series is based around a small town on the northeast coast.

3: Each story has a connection to the other stories, so yes, they are connected.

These stories will be heartwarming and make you smile. I’m really excited about this new series and I can’t wait to introduce you to it. All five covers are completed and the series symbol is ready.

Hope you have a great Saturday and stop by my website at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com to sign up for my newsletter and stay up to date on all of the new releases as they come.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Getting the word out!

Ok, it’s Monday, are you ready for the work week? Me, not so much, but got to get moving. I’ve been asked so much lately about my advertising strategy that I’m writing the post to get the word out. So here goes:

When I first started publishing my books, I had no clue about marketing my book. Four years later I’m starting to get the hang of it. I even have a website where authors can advertise their books for a minimal fee and I use what I’ve learned on that site.

This is what I’ve learned that works, it really works:

1: Use a service such as Hootsuite to make many posts, even while you’re sleeping. I especially like to use this service when I have a new release coming out soon. I usually set up several posts and have them go through my WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook pages. I do different posts for each time slot, that way I’m not overusing the same thing.

2: Twitter is a really cool marketing tool. I actually see a bump in sales when I do Tweets during the day. Make sure to be creative with the 140 characters. I use my buy link and a savvy, short piece from the book. It really works people, but you have to actually do it for it to work šŸ˜‰

3: Facebook Ads: This I love and see lots of results. Facebook has made it easier to set up. One thing I love about this is you don’t inundate your friends and family with book ads. These ads go to where you want them too and go to people that aren’t friends on Facebook. I’ve gained many new fans from a simple Facebook ad. You can set up any price you want to and even the length of time you run the ad is up to you.

4: Website: Every author needs a website. There are so many places you can set up a website now, it’s amazing. but if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of setting up a professional author website, then get in touch with me, my company Horseshoe Publishing does this.

5: Blogs: This is very important to authors. It gives you the chance to talk about anything, but I suggest leaving off political topics, only for the reason of making someone angry. Blog about your life giving readers a look at what you do other than writing. It’s amazing the response you’ll get.

So, these are only a part of my marketing agenda, but I’m short on my word count this morning, so I have to get back to writing. My assistant gives me the evil eye if I get too far behind on my schedule.

One last reminder before I go, if you don’t have the time or drive to do any of these and want help, check out my new advertising site www.freshfromthebook.comĀ and for a minimal fee, we’ll get the word out for you.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Learning from others…

Good Monday morning! It’s drizzling rain here in Georgia, but that’s alright, we need it. Also since it’s Monday it kind of meets with my mood.

Today I want to talk about how you train as a writer. Some people say, ‘it’s easy to write, anyone can do it’, but that’s not the case. Writing takes more than you think to get from start to finish. You can sit down and write an idea for what you want, but it takes more than just an idea to get the full story. I’ve had ideas before and thought they’d be good, but they didn’t have enough filler to actually make a book.

I like to study what my favorite authors do. You may be asking what I mean, well it’s quite simple. I read lots of books in the genre I write. As I read, I’m looking at the sentence structure, paragraph lengths, the setup of the characterizations and the way the book is brought to the end. It’s amazing what you can learn from doing something you love, reading.

Then of course I read posts from other authors, writing magazines and even study courses. So, do you still think it’s all that easy? I’ve learned more English in the last three years that I’ve been publishing, not just writing. English skills are very important when you’re writing. Hey, I was thinking backwards for a while, but once you get into the business you realize, it’s more than just words on paper.

Several authors I follow have businesses that help other authors. All authors should want to help each other. It’s amazing the things you can learn from other authors about their own mistakes and how to correct them. I also join many Facebook writing groups, which just by reading them daily I can learn so much. Try it, you won’t regret it.

So, do you learn from other authors? If you’re struggling with something in your writing, there’s always someone out there or an article that can help you out.

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


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Beach Sale!

Beach Sale

It’s summer and the time to go to the beach. If your not headed to the beach, but maybe a staycation at home, then now’s the time to fill up your Kindle. We all know that summer is our time to give back to ourselves. For me that means getting in some reading while sitting in the shade, sipping cool, sweet tea.

With that thought in mind, I’m offering a huge Beach Sale on all of my standalone e-books through Amazon. For the summer they will be .99, yes that’s right, .99. What’s a little sacrifice among friends. So head over to my Amazon author page and grab a couple or all of them before the summer ends. I might extend the sale to other sites where my books are available, but for now it’s only Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Hurt

As for now, good writing, and May God Bless You…

By the way, try to stay cool!


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Researching the craft…

Good Wednesday morning! It’s beautiful this morning here in Georgia. The sun’s streaming through the window and the birds are chirping happily, but according to the news we have weather headed our way for the afternoon, but this morning I’ll enjoys the beauty in front of me.

Well on to today’s topic, Research. No matter what genre you write, a little research is needed. For me I read constantly and watch a lot of romance on television. It’s a must when you’re a writer. I try to keep up with what’s new and happening in the romance field.

As for watching romance on television, all it takes is a spark and off to the writing I go. My favorite station is Hallmark. The romantic movies give me inspiration and also an idea of ways to make a story flow. Remember, all of these were written by someone. Some of their movies are actually based on romance novels, which is exciting. Especially if I’ve read the novel, then I sit and compare it.

Of course I’m a avid reader, constantly plowing through the thousands of books to get to the one that just pops out at me. Sometimes it’s the cover that pulls me, or maybe the title. A cover can sell a book quicker than the blurb, really, it’s happened with me. I’ll see a cover that just pulls me in and that’s it. Of course I’ve been disappointed, but even a badly written novel can offer research ability. I make notes of what turns me off about the book. Maybe it’s wording or just the scene placement. But reading is a fun way to research about your genre.

Another way is to scan Amazon. Yes, I said scan it. Type in the genre or sub genre you’re currently working on, then see what’s selling. Look at the covers, the blurbs and the reviews, which are important. This will keep you current with the pull of the readers.

Don’t forget that if you’re writing about something specific like say rodeo, you’ll need to check out some reading on the subject. I’ve learned a lot about the rodeo since I’ve been writing Chase. As I get to a certain spot where I need a rodeo technical term, it’s off to Google. It’s amazing what you can learn. The other day I got caught up in a article and it actually inspired a whole scene that I’d not planned. Remember, I’m a outline person, but that outline can change šŸ˜‰

So, do you research your genre? If not, I suggest doing a little checking. It’s amazing how much fuller your writing can be when you delve into the subject at hand. You might be pleasantly surprised.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Oakley is now available!Ā http://www.amazon.com/Oakley-Five-Oaks-Ranch-Book-ebook/dp/B00YLNDNOM


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March Madness Sale!

Every week day in March my sight will be having a different sale!

stephaniehurtauthor.com

Don’t miss out on these deals!

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A Writer…Maybe…Life…Definitely

It’s Sunday morning and raining here in Georgia. At least the temperatures are warmer than freezing and we can partially thaw out. As I prepare for Church and get dinner precooked I’m thinking… always thinking. Maybe it’s a story to write, part of a work in progress or a life thought, but I’m always thinking. Guess what? Are you ready for this? You’re always thinking too…

Some people come up to me and ask how I write. Well it’s like life. I put one word in front of another and form a story. In life we live one moment at a time and in writing we do one page at a time. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but the concept is. Anyone can sit down and write something. It might not be publish worthy but they can write. Some days what I write isn’t worth anything but throwing in the trashcan.

The other day I sat reading a work in progress and it didn’t appeal to me. Unfortunately I was over 6000 words in when I decided I’d put it to the side and come back to it. Then a day or two later something happened during my travel through life and it was like a light bulb turned on. I sat down with my new iPhone app that dictates for me and I restructured the story and deleted the whole 6000 word manuscript and replaced it with the new one. Now I’m happy. Life stepped in and made the corrections.

Writer’s watch life go by and snag snippets here and there, putting them into their work. We experience life just as you do, but for some reason a writer sees things in a different light. We put a flourish on the simplest task and enhance it into something that could change someones life or maybe their way of thinking. Amazing what a day in the life of a writer holds.

I watched The Fault in the Stars last night for the first time. I’m speechless… Now reading the book is in my future. The story is full of life lessons, some hard earned. I’m not planning on giving anything away or spoiling it for you if you haven’t Ā seen it, but I will say this. It’s a phenomenal story and as a writer I sat in awe. This is from a fellow writers words that came from life. Amazing.

So, I’m a writer some days, some days not so much, but I live life every day and so do you. Do you put one foot in front of the other as you walk? Sure you do, but do you live life for every moment. Grasp it and hold on to it and one day you might write it down and become a writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Are things getting too easy?

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In the world today everything is digital, electronic, wireless, the list goes on and on. But when I sit and think about only ten years ago I realize the changes have been dramatic. We’re making things too easy to do. Of course we’re busier than we used to be, aren’t we? Or we’re just too plugged in and it looks like we’re too busy.

Take books for instance, only ten years ago when you wanted to read a new book you went to the brick and mortar store to purchase that book. Now most people just go to their reading device, either their tablet, phone, reader, etc and they just download it in minutes. No need to leave the house, just click and read. What happened to the feel of an actual book in your hands?

Then of course there’s the new gadgets where you no longer have to take a wallet with you. Are you kidding me? Now you just pay with your phone app. Really? Have we gotten to the point where we can’t even pull out cash and pay? Yes we have. We’ve made things too easy.

Guess what? With the easy comes the criminals. We use our debit cards at the gas pump to save a 10 second walk to the counter. Then someone uses a portable reader and steals your number. The next day your account is empty and you’re thinking “Now what?”. Yep, that’s not a good feeling.

Oh and then you have everything wireless. No longer do you have wires connected to all your computer components. It’s amazing that I can sit in my den and print in my office. If I wanted to I could just work in my house and occasionly walk out to the office to collect printed pages.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love some of these easy things. They’re making it possible for us to do more in less time, but with that easiness are we getting lazy? I don’t know, but it’s something to think about. I started reading a book series this week that’s actually paperback, yes people, paperback. I’ve actually enjoyed holding an actual book. But as I usually read with my reader, yep, I’ve pressed my thumb to turn the pages several times and then realized that I actually had to turn the page physically.

So, my question is this, “Have we made things to easy for us?”

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…