Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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The book that started it all…

Good Thursday morning!

My writing life started when I was a young teenager and I picked up the romance novel that made my fingers itch to put words on paper. And that novel was Remembrance by Danielle Steel. After reading it, I began to devour her books, one by one. This also started my obsession with reading romance and writing it. I still have my collection of her books and the Harlequin books that I’ve gotten over the years. 

It’s amazing what an impact that a book can have on you. I’m so glad that I picked up that book in the second hand store. I just wish I’d thought about publishing my work a long time ago, but maybe it wasn’t time yet. 

So, what inspired you to start writing? If you’d like to tell your story on my blog, just let me know.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. : If you’ve never read one of Danielle Steel’s books, then I suggest you start with this one. 

Remembrance
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Authors & Rejection

It’s Saturday, a day to relax and enjoy life. So, before we get to the easy-going weekend, let’s talk about rejection. Ouch!

Every author has to accept rejection. It’s part of the job. But, it’s not always that easy. Rejection is also good for us. Yes, I said that, but it is a good thing. Sometimes rejection is just what the doctor ordered.

So, let me jump right into the explanation. When a manuscript is rejected, it should make us look into it more. With each rejection I’ve received, it made me relook at my manuscript with different eyes. Sometimes I find things I didn’t see before.

Now, with that being said, rejection hurts, but I read an article a while back that told how many rejections some of the biggest authors out there have received. Even their bestsellers that went mega-platinum were rejected a time or two before they were snatched up. So, that should give us hope beyond the rejection.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

close up photography of crumpled paper

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com


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Get up and move!

 

woman in black leggings while walking on brown road

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

 

Ok, so yesterday I was talking about moving some. It’s important, especially when you sit for most of the day. Since I’m an accountant for my day job and a writer, well, that involves a lot of sitting, which causes health issues.

I try to walk at least three to four days a week for 45 minutes or more each time. And recently I set a timer to remind me to get up every hour and move! Yeah, I struggle with this one, especially if I’m in the middle of complex figures or a storyline that is filling my world at the moment. But, I’ve made it my goal to get between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day. I use the health app on my phone to keep up with my steps. Since my mailbox is at the end of my steep driveway, I walk it several times a day.

Since I’ve started focusing on my moving, I’ve noticed reduced pain in my legs and I’m feeling more energized. Not to mention the health benefits and weight too. For many writers, this is a struggle, but with a little focus, you too can get moving.

Oh, and while I exercise and walk, I work through plots and scenes. It’s amazing how a brisk walk can remove writer’s block completely. Try it, you might be surprised. So, get moving and make a healthier you…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Outlining the story easier…

Good Tuesday morning! With tax season in full swing and a couple of manuscripts on deadline, I’ve been a little behind on my posts. But I found something that has helped me a lot.

So, as most of you know, I use Scrivener to get my manuscript typed up and ready to go. But, I had never taken the time to look into the outline part of the program. I’ve always typed my outline in Word or wrote it longhand, which was alright, but I had to keep it beside me, sometimes losing my place while going back and forth.

But now that I’ve taken the time to figure it out, I don’t know how I worked without it. In the program, you can have the outline points for each chapter on the same page that you’re typing on. It’s amazing. And you can also scroll the outline points back or forward while working, which helps you to keep on focus. This concept has made a huge difference in my writing.

If you haven’t started using Scrivener for your writing, then I suggest you give it a try. It’s great and keeps you on track. Not to mention your character bios are always at your fingertips and places. But now with the outline set up, wow!

As always good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s in a character?

Good Tuesday morning!

So, how do you form your characters? Do you develop them as the story goes forward? Or do you write a character sketch before putting the first word into the manuscript? In Scrivener, I always start out with a blank page for each character. Of course, I know basically who my character is. When I start a new manuscript, I develop their main character sketch, but what is included?

Name – Oh, this can take hours for me. I play with first and last name combinations. It’s crazy, but as a writer, I know that when the right combination comes across, it will pop. So, I scan name lists, Scrivener’s name generator, and even newspapers. Sometimes things just stand out.

Flaws – Ok, so maybe your main characters don’t have flaws, but I try to make mine less than perfect. Of course, my first books had perfect characters, but I want my readers to relate to my characters, so I add flaws. It could be as simple as having an attitude, but I make it a flaw at the time.

Looks – Does my character have blonde hair and blue eyes? That’s something important because you don’t want to suddenly say something about their auburn hair halfway through. You need to know what they look like or at least have an idea so that it stays consistent throughout the book.

Career – What does your character do? Are they a lawyer, doctor or maybe a rodeo king? It’s important to know this so that you can add elements of what they do to your character.

Hobbies – This is not as important as other attributes, but if it’s going to play a role in the book, then you need to remember if they knit or oil paint. Changing it midway can confuse the reader at times.

You may be saying, but why are these important? Every writer is different in how they do their work. For me, I like to get to know my characters. As I write, I like to know what my character might say or do and why. In Scrivener, I always have a character note that details things and I can add to it as things happen. Believe me, it helps to keep the process going forward.

So, how do you create your characters?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Words on a page…

Good Saturday morning! I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was wonderful. Now the Christmas season is officially in full swing, which excites me. This is my favorite time of year.

As for words, sometimes as a writer, the words are slow to come. It’s the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ that every writer fears. That happened this month with my Christmas book that’s being released in a very, very short time. The words were there, then I developed a horrible cold, needing medication which made my head go fuzzy. Well, the words came to a halt.

I sat with my fingers hovered over the keyboard, trying to form the story that was inside my head. I could see it, hear the characters screaming, but for some reason, the words wouldn’t come out of my fingers onto the screen. It can get frustrating when you’re up against a deadline and the words just seem to be within reach, but won’t come.

But then, as I lay awake, coughing like a crazy person, it all flowed in like a wave of a storm. The areas that I was unsure of, came rushing in. That’s when another problem reared its ugly head, I couldn’t type fast enough and my time became limited, with holiday preparations and life. But now, it’s on the page and almost ready for release day. Some stories come in like a lion, then others hold back, waiting until just the right moment to stream in.

The funny thing is, if I’d rushed the story, it wouldn’t be what it is. This story is such a sweet story and I know that taking the time to listen to my characters and taking a short break helped build the story.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…Hideaway Lane Cover


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Closing a story…

It’s looking to be a rainy Monday here in Georgia, but I’m smiling. This weekend I published Promises Forgotten, the 2nd book in the Sky Ridge Series. I’m super stoked about that release. But I have another surprise for my readers…

I published a book in 2013 that was left on a cliffhanger. The book held my heart in many ways, but the 2nd book seemed to stay just far enough away that I couldn’t get it to work right. Every time I started to write the 2nd book, it would slip away. Well, it all came flowing in a couple of weeks ago, coming in like a tidal wave. Then on Saturday, I wrote the last word with a satisfied sigh.

It’s so crazy. When I was writing the first book, Open the Heart, the continued story was at the tip of my tongue, but then it just went away. So, as some authors do, I put it away until it came back. I didn’t want to do the first book injustice or the characters. I’m excited that Lacey’s Choice is about to be published.

So, as I drift through this haze of accomplishment, I hope all of you have a fantastic day!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Lacey's Choice front cover