Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Feeding the beast…

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Good morning! I’m not sure about you, but it feels like a Monday today. Maybe it was the long weekend…

Now, on to the post. Feeding the beast… The beast for an author is our overactive mind. And sometimes just writing doesn’t feed our overwhelmed minds. We have to keep feeding it or the crazies set in. Most writers have stories, characters, and words whirling around all of the time. Some days it’s hard to concentrate until I’ve written some of it out of my mind.

But, writing isn’t the only way to feed the beast. One of the great ways is to read. And try to read something out of your normal realm. It helps to give yourself a challenge. Read a new author… Read a new genre… Read…

One of the ways I feed the beast is to outline, or rework an old manuscript. I even revisit a discarded story that didn’t get anywhere. Anything to challenge my writers brain.

So, try it out. Exercise your writers brain. Feed it with reading, working, writing, and even learning more about your work. It helps.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Inspiration looms everywhere!

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Have you ever thought about where your inspiration to write comes from? I think a writers brain is in constant motion. We see everything and process it as though it was a story. So many people ask me where all of the story ideas come from that I write about. I tell them it all comes from my overactive writers brain.

Do you ever go to the park and sit on a bench to just people watch? It’s fascinating, really. There are so many different people in different situations that pass by. You may see something that inspires your next novel. Maybe a couple walks by holding hands, whispering and smiling. It inspires a romantic tale. Or a man walks by with a trench coat on and a scary look on his face. You’re inspired to write a mystery.

The inspiration is endless if you think about it. Music you hear… Movies you watch… Stories you hear… And Life. Maybe something happens in your own life that inspires a story. I can look at a picture and it will inspire a story. Take for instance a beautiful picture of a foreign land. You may be inspired to write a international crime thriller.

So, where does your inspiration come from? One of my bestselling series, the Five Oaks Ranch Series came to me as we drove home from a beach vacation. I’d been playing with the idea of writing a ranch series about a family, but most of the elements just weren’t there. Then I began to see street signs as we drove down the interstate. The names of streets and towns began to fill my head. Soon I was searching for a notebook and pen in my writing bag that goes everywhere with me. From something as simple as street signs hanging from overpasses inspired a series. And with that inspiration, a series was born.

Always have pen and a notebook ready for that moment when inspiration strikes. It can happen anywhere, at any time.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Finding time to write…

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Good morning! Do you struggle to find time to write? I know that I do. Some days are harder than others. Especially during tax season. But, it’s important to find that time.

But how? Sometimes we have to just become more organized with our time. If you do better writing in the morning, but you have to be at work at 9, just get up a little earlier. You could even make sure that everything for your morning routine is ready the night before. Go ahead and set your clothes out. That gives you an extra few minutes the next morning.

If you want to reach a certain word count when you sit down to write, then time yourself. If you can write 1000 words in thirty minutes and you want to get in at least 1500 words everyday, then you need to set aside forty five minutes to write. Now that you have an idea of the time you need, then schedule your morning to make time to write.

One thing that helps me is having an outline. I try to get in one chapter a day or more if time allows. Since I use Scrivener, when I finish a chapter, I stamp the section of the outline as done. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment. And I don’t know about you, but when I get to write in the mornings it just makes my day go much better.

So, get yourself a schedule and make it happen…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Safe comes out on May 12th, so preorder now to have it ready for you to dive into on Wednesday!


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Don’t rush it… Patience needed!

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What a dreary Monday! Monday’s are a struggle, but when you wake up to rain and bone chilling cold, well, it puts you in the wrong mood. So, let’s talk patience. LOL! Yep, that word that we’ve forgotten existed…

Patience by definition is the ability to take things in stride, not rush into something, without getting upset. In other words, even though you want to do something so badly that you hit the start button before you have everything ready. And that’s where you get into trouble.

Here’s what the Bible says: Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

And I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you have a new release coming. Here’s an example: You’ve finished your current work in progress, but you need to edit, then send to your editor for more edits, then add those new edits, market for the new release, make sure the cover is ready, etc… You get the point. But the problem with all of this is that it takes time to do all of this, and all of this is important. If you jump into the pot before the grease is hot, well, you’ll just end up soggy.

It’s like putting a puzzle together. You can’t rush to the last piece without putting all of the other pieces together first. It’s impossible, so you have to patiently put the other pieces together. The same with publishing a book. One step at a time…

So, here’s my advice and believe me, I’ve been there and done that. Make sure to check all the boxes before you hit submit. You wouldn’t publish to Amazon before you had a cover, would you? Then don’t publish before you’ve got the steps completed in order to put out the best book you possibly can.

Patience is something we have to work on. Me included. If you feel like you’ve just got to do something, then start on the next project and market like crazy for the one you’re about to release. But make it right the first time and the patience will pay off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Organizing your Published works…

It’s another cool morning here in Georgia, but I’m warm and cozy under my blanket with my laptop. Today we’re discussing how to organize your published works. You may be asking what I mean, well, let me enlighten you.

With over 50 published books, sometimes I get lost in where every book is already published. I can’t remember which book is on which platform. Organization is needed even if you only put your books on one platform. So, here is what I do…

Platform Organization

First, I sit down and make a spreadsheet. The header includes all of the platforms that my books are on. The first column lists all of my books. This way I can mark off the books that are already on certain platforms. And this also helps when republishing older works with new covers. Doing this, I don’t miss out on having my books everywhere.

The moment I started working with this spreadsheet, I realized that I was missing several platforms for some of my books. This is missed opportunity, so everyday I work on at least one platform, updating files and getting my books everywhere.

 PublishedAmazonKUB&NKoboAppleSmashAudibleGoogle
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

Book Organization

Now, you may be asking how this is different. Book organization is a spreadsheet similar to the above one, but this one is book formats. In this one, I just copy the previous spreadsheet and change the header. In the header I input Ebook, Print, Audio, Front Cover, Back Cover, Blurb, and Publish date.

This has helped me to keep up with what needs to be done for each book. It’s like a checks and balances, but for books.

 outlinecharacterfrontebookblurbexerptprintbackspine
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

I do hope this helps you in some way. It’s helped me a lot.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tax talk… It’s almost that time!

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I know, the dreaded TAX word. As an Accountant, this is the time to gear up for the new season that is coming in only two weeks. 2020 was a crazy tax season with extended deadlines, call meetings and lots of questions. Let’s hope 2021 goes smoother.

But, as a author, there are many things to think about. If you’ve earned royalties, then you’ll need to file that. I do have some light at the end of that tunnel though, expenses…

Here are some of the expenses that an author can claim:

  • Writing Programs
  • Educational courses to help with writing
  • Office supplies – pens, paper, ink, notebooks, etc.
  • Subscriptions to writing sites or programs
  • Fees for book signings (Hopefully you were able to get some in before things changed)
  • Advertising
  • Computers (Remember to delegate the percentage you use it for writing.)

That’s just a small list. But, hopefully you did great this year and need to claim some expenses.

So, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Gifts for Writers…

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Good Tuesday morning! Are you doing the same as me, struggling to figure out what to get those loved ones that are hard to buy for. Well, if you have a writer on your list, then here are my top 5 suggestions that are a little out of the norm, but for a writer, are perfect…

  1. Give them a writing program. What am I talking about? Google writing programs. My favorite is Scrivener. But there are several out there and most are reasonable when you’re thinking about a gift.
  2. Give them a subscription to a creative website. There are so many that it’s impossible to name them all, but some that I use are Bookbrush.com, AllAuthor.com, etc.
  3. Also, a great gift for a writer is laptop if you’re looking to spend a little more. Make sure that it’s set up for graphics and writing applications.
  4. And don’t forget about journals, planners, pens, pencils, cute notebooks, writing desk, laptop bag, decorative note cards, wow, I could go on and on. Do you see a trend here? Every writer loves something to write on.
  5. Last but not least. Most writers have a love for coffee or tea. So think out of the box. Put together a basket of mugs with tea bags, coffee pods, warm throws and chocolates. Writers spend a lot of time in their own world and they need to be caffeinated and cozy.

So, I hope some of these helped you and made things a little easier. Of course, some of the above items might be good for college students, someone needing a little push into being creative and also, creative people.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!

PS: Don’t forget to gift friends books from authors. You can send ebooks through most ebook platforms.


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Dreams – We all have them…

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Dreams fill our nights and guide our days. Some dreams are just imagination, but some dreams are real. Let’s explore them…

As a young girl, my dreams were filled with horses, grand pianos and writing… Well, I’ve made one dream come true, writing. And through my writing, my dream of owning horses can come true. If you’ve read any of my books, then you know most of them have horses in them. It’s my way of living one of my dreams.

Do you live your dream or just dream about it? Always remember that some of our dreams are right in front of us, we just have to focus on them. So, will you make it happen today?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Wednesday Wisdom – Be Yourself!

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It’s Wednesday, we’re halfway to the weekend! Today I want to talk about something that affects most writers. What is that, you might ask. Well, it’s being yourself in your writing. What? Go against the grain? Yes!

As writers, we have our own style and if you didn’t know it, our own brains. When a story comes to us, it’s from us, not what current trends dictate. We need to stay true to what we know and love. If you do that, then it will show in your writing. But if you try to write to make the trends happy, it won’t be from your heart. So, be yourself in your writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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