Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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A crisp, cool morning…

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Good morning! Here in Georgia, it’s finally feeling like fall. I love this time of year. And the fun part is, my writer’s brain goes into overdrive. Which gives my fingers a workout and my computer a heart attack.

I’m working on the 2nd book in the Wishful Harbor series. It’s actually based at this time of year, so I feel the cool, crisp bite in the air as I write the words. I can see the landscape around me. The leaves are turning and the sky is bluebird blue. As my characters walk up the sidewalk, I can smell the fresh crisp clean air. Yes, I get lost in the world of my characters everytime I work. It’s amazing the world’s I’ve seen through the eyes of my characters.

So, when’s your favorite time of the year to write?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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A peek into Breakwater Lane…

It’s Tuesday! We made it through Monday… Let’s talk romance, more importantly, Breakwater Lane which is coming out August 31st!

I wanted you to get a peek at Breakwater Lane. If you are a member of my Street Team, then you’ve seen the whole first chapter, but here’s a little snippet from the first time the two main characters are together in the book…

     She took a deep breath and turned the key in the lock, opening her new life.

     “Hey, can I help you?” A deep male voice said from behind her.

     Jordan jumped, putting her hand on her heart. “Oh my goodness. You scared the life out of me.” Jordan said as she whirled around, looking up in the most amazing set of eyes she’d ever seen. They weren’t blue exactly, but a greenish blue, almost the color of the water in Wishful Harbor just after a storm.

     “I’m sorry, are you Hank’s granddaughter?”

      “Yes.” Jordan reached out her hand to the man. “Jordan.”

      “Glad to meet you Jordan, for the second time.” The man grinned. “Skyler, Skyler Evans.”

     Jordan tilted her head, curious. “Second time. I don’t understand. Have we met before?”

     “We met behind the building. I was fishing and you were falling into the water. I dove in and saved you.” Skyler said, crossing his muscular arms across his chest with a grin.

     “Oh, I didn’t recognize you,” Jordan said with a giggle as she remembered the incident that he was speaking of. She also remembered the crush she’d had on it.

     “I can imagine. You ran away as soon as I saved you.” Skyler said with a little sarcasm lacing his voice. He remembered the spoiled little girl that she’d been. Now he saw a beautiful young woman but had she lost her spoiled ways.

      “Well, I was so embarrassed. I’d been showing off in front of you, then fell over the side of the dock.” Jordan said with a grin as she put her purse on the table, turning to look around. “So, you stayed here?”

     “It’s my home. I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Wishful Harbor.”

     “But didn’t you want to get out and enjoy life?”

     Skyler scowled, bringing his brows together in anger. “I see you haven’t changed a bit.”

     Jordan whirled back around to face him, confusion in her eyes. “Excuse me.”

     “You were a spoiled brat then, and I see you’re still a spoiled brat.” Skyler turned to walk out the door.

     At first, Jordan watched him walking out the door, then she ran after him. “Hey, wait a minute. Why are you calling me a spoiled brat?”

     Skyler stopped, not turning around. “Lady, you don’t have a clue about small town life. It’s a way of life that some enjoy. Not everyone wants to travel or go to large cities.” Then he turned around, looking down at her. “And I do enjoy life, every day.”

That was a short little peek, but you get the gist of the start of their relationship. It’s as turbulent as the water in Wishful Harbor during a storm.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Have you pre-ordered Breakwater Lane yet? Here’s the link:


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How many words?

Good Wednesday morning! It’s looking to be a warm one here in Georgia. Thank goodness I’m working inside.

As for my writing, one of the things I struggle with is how long should my manuscript be. When I set up my writing schedule, it was important to know what count I was shooting for. As I looked at the work in question and worked on the outline, my mind went to many questions and I’ll share them with you now.

  1. Can my plot sustain itself into a 50k+ book or only a 25K novella?
  2. Will my story hold together and is it long book worthy? (Some books are best left short and sweet)
  3. Do I have enough of the book in my head to make the book work?

I know the questions sound similar, but they’re totally different. My plot has to be strong enough to sustain a book. If not, all I have is a couple of pages of short story.  Then you have the story that goes into expanding the plot, is it strong enough to make a big book or a novella. I’ve had manuscripts before that I started out wanting a 50K+ book to come out of it, but soon I figured out that if I went past say 25K it would lose some of its strength. And who wants to read fluffy filler that is only used to expand the word count.

The biggie, and of course, if you’ve read my blogs long enough, then you’ve seen me talk about this before, is the story in my head strong? Most of my books come to me start, middle and finish style. If I can’t see the end of the book, most of the time I won’t schedule it until I do. If I can see the end, then I pretty much know the story has some merit, for one reason, then I know where it’s head and what it will take to get it there.

So, when you sit down to start a manuscript, do you have an idea on word count or is it a fly by the pants sort of thing? Since I’ve started scheduling my books and my writing time, I have to keep the status quo, but I was one of the pantser’s for several years.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…

 

 


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Writing the First Draft…

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Writing the first draft is something we as writers need to do. Yes, I struggle with this one. My OCD brain refuses to keep from editing my first draft. But every writing course or professional editor will tell you that the first draft should be just that, a draft. So I’m working on this with my new manuscript I started this weekend, Lacey’s Choice.

You may be asking, is it going well? NOOOOOOO!!!!! My brain refuses to leave a bad sentence, misspelled words, or even a wrong name. I’m struggling with this, but I can say it helps me write faster. The one thing I have to do is force myself not to look back at what I just typed. Why is this so hard for me?

So, do you have a messy first draft or a very meticulous one? My editor and assistant always laughs at my first draft because it’s always clean. She tells me all the time, give me some misspelled words or something. LOL! Yes, I’m struggling to be a sloppy writer 🙂

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Fascination

Fascination, now that’s an interesting word. It means, the power to fascinate someone; the quality of being fascinating. What fascinates you? For me there are many things, like people, they fascinate me. I love to sit and watch people engaged in conversation. The facial expression, the way the get animated telling a story. It’s amazing, the different things you see in their eyes.

Actors, they fascinate me how they weave a story from memory. But it’s not only the memory part, many people can memorize words, but they can’t show you the words. Actors show you the words in their actions, reactions, and expressions.

Words fascinate me. Amazing, huh, since I’m an author. But seriously, the power of words is vast and complex. As a writer, we can create a life that’s not real, but for us a we write it, we can bring a character to life, give them feelings, expressions, features, all with just words. Then we can bring them to our readers and carry them away to other worlds, countries, or times. Amazing, the power of words.

Life is fascinating. Look at the stages of life. We start out helpless babies, then grow into children, teenagers, young adults, middle-age adults, then as we grow past senior adults, we sometimes become helpless again, back to where we started. We’re given a short amount of time of this Earth and it goes by in the blink of an eye, but how do we make our mark, leave our legacy. Deep stuff!

Ok, now to yesterday’s contest, if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, then you know I didn’t make it, but I’m not sad or upset. It’s part of the process we call writing. What fascinates some people is the fact that I’m not upset. But that’s not me, I move forward, not backward. So, on with other contests, other submissions, and other publishing.

Since it’s Thursday, I’ll give you some Throwback Thursday. This is one of the books that the research fascinated me. Reincarnation, dreams, and finding the right time all mixed into one book that filled my thoughts for months before I wrote it.

Here’s a little excerpt:

He bowed his head and shook it from side to side. “I don’t understand how a man that’s been dead for over one hundred years can just take over your heart. How can you even think about going back to him? If you love me, how can you love him too?”

Finding the Right Time

Finding the Right Time front cover


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Coming out of the rain!

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Good Tuesday morning! It’s wonderful to look outside this morning. The sun is streaming in through the windows and everything looks great. We’ve had rain and dreary weather for over a week, so the sun shining this morning makes me smile. Although it’s a little cool this morning, I’m not complaining one bit.

As a writer I go through many phases of writing. Some days I feel like it’s raining in my brain and the floods of thoughts seem to overtake me. It can be overwhelming, but then the sun comes out and the writing begins. I’ve been coming out of the rain for the last couple of days. During the busiest part of tax season I had so much going on in my mind that I couldn’t get a hold on my writing.

Now that the sun has come out I can’t seem to write enough. Of course I still have to go into the office and do accounting, but my mind is still focusing on the stories that cross back and forth. I’m a major multi-tasker so usually I have a note pad handy for those moments when I can’t get them to stop screaming at me. Some days as I do data entries which usually I do this automatically after over twenty some odd years I can do these in my sleep, I use my dictation app on my phone and write as I work. Yep I’ve got it bad.

If you’ve been following my blog the last couple of days you know I’m doing a fun giveaway of Ridge. This is because Oakley is coming out really, really soon… So keep up with all the news and subscribe to my website at stephaniehurtauthor.com for updates. Also, watch out for the questions that help you rack up points for chances to win a copy of Ridge.

I hope you enjoy your day and make the best of it!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Here’s a little reminder of the giveaway rules and today’s question:

Do you prefer a moonlit stroll in the country or on the beach?

Ridge Giveaway


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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  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…