Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Throwback Thursday – A family saga…

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Good Thursday morning! I know, I’ve been awol for over a week, but I have a great excuse. Between work (Accounting) and writing, plus my bathroom renovation, I’ve been out of pocket. But, I’m back. Did you miss me?

Today I want to talk about writing a family saga. If you’ve read my Five Oaks Ranch series, then you know it’s all about the Cauthen family. Each book explores the life of each sibling. You can’t help but fall in love with them. They have a personality all their own. Even a couple of times you might not like them, but then they pull you back in.

If you haven’t read this series, then grab a copy today. Ridge has been in the top 100 on Amazon for going on two years for Sagas and Anthologies & Collections. It’s amazing the rate that the others are selling. I’m in awe of the fascination my readers have for this series.

Have a great Thursday and remember, grab a book, it’s the best way to keep the mind busy and active…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Dreams of a young woman…

It’s Friday! Hope you have something great planned this weekend. As for me, we have VBS at Church next week, so I’ll be busy setting up this weekend, then Sunday we’re having a huge celebration to kick it off. I love the excitement that surrounds all the preparations, but I really should lay off the coffee when designing the decor for VBS.

Dreams… We all have them… I’m not talking about the dreams you have while asleep, I’m talking about the ones that push you forward and make you strive to do what you love. When I was a preteen, all I dreamed about was being a concert pianist and playing at concert halls all over the world. I spent at least two hours a day practicing. Also, I took piano and organ lessons for several years. I was lucky enough to be offered the chance at a full scholarship in music, but at the time, I was engaged and turned it down. (And I’m no longer with that man, so that was a bad move) But, everything has a reason. If I’d gone through with that, where would I be today? I often wonder that.

Another dream as a child was to write. Well… I’m living that dream now, although it took me a while to realize this dream. When I was a teenage girl, I’d lay across my bed and fill notebooks full of stories. Some were crazy and unbelievable, but others, well they had some merit. Ghost Lover, my first published novel, and my first bestseller was based on one of those stories penned by a dream filled teenager.

Some days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not literally dreaming. The stories still fill my head and some days I sit in a daydream, living out the stories in my mind. But, isn’t that what a writer does. To me, the stories take on real life. The characters become important and like old friends. My daydreams then spill out of my fingers onto the pages of the books I’ve published. It’s such an exciting thing when you write. Your daydreams come to life.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Highlander’s Son is coming in just days…

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When the plot changes…

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great 4th…

I’ve been working on the first book in my newest series and it’s going along well, but a change has come over the story. Of course, I blame the characters for the turn in the plot. I had the story figured out, then midway, a bump in the road turned into a whole new world.

But, do you go off down the rabbit’s hole or not? My advice is to always make sure the plot is going somewhere. What do I mean? Well, you have to double check where the plot is headed and can you make it work. Don’t go down the plot black hole. I’ve been there and it’s a painful way to go.

With the new plot line, I’ve checked all the different roads it could take and I’m satisfied with the direction it’s headed. I even outlined the new plot and it works. So, now I’m off to finish the story so I can share it with everyone.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

Just a little promotional reminder… Highlander’s Son is coming in a couple of days! highlanders son front cover

 


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Social media promotions…

It’s Tuesday, which means we made it through Monday!

I want to talk with you about promotions. As authors, we constantly struggle with how to promote our books. Do we spend money? Do we wait and see how it goes? What do we do?

I’ve asked these questions many times. Advertising can be expensive, but there are less costly choices. You may be saying, but what do I do now? Promote, I say promote. I’ve been doing a little experiment with promotions. It’s amazing what I found out. Now, don’t get me wrong, paid advertising does have its great points and bad points. But, today I want to talk about promotions.

I went a whole week without promoting my book on social media. Let’s just say my sales went down. So, the next week I promoted to one site. Guess what? My sales started back up. I added several sites to the promotional train and boom, my sales went up.

Now, I’ve been doing steady promotions on several social media sites and what I’ve found is that every day I have sales, instead of gaps. Also, it’s helping to grow my platform, which is good.  I’ve gained several newsletter subscribers too.

A great point of social media promotions is that they are free! What’s better than that and you still get results. Try it out. Do the test and let me know how it goes for you…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Don’t forget to promote on your blog! Here’s mine:

myBook.to/Tuscany Take a trip to Tuscany and fall in love with Lana and Romeo!

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Editing is like Detoxing for writers!

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Good morning! As you can see, I’m eating healthy. This week I’m doing a mild Grapefruit detox, trying to get the bad stuff out of my system so I can jumpstart this summer weight loss. So far it’s working, but we’ll see…

Editing… That word that writers have a love-hate relationship with. But if you think about it, Editing is like detoxing the work. When we write, we go straight to the point of the matter, but sometimes, we need to take a step back. We need to analyze what we’ve written.

Take for example: Words misused or misspelled. If left to sit in the gut of the manuscript, it will weigh your work down. Here’s a piece of advice from someone that sent out a piece of work that had some extra unwanted weight, for this example we’ll call it sludge. Don’t let your baby go out without making sure everything is clean and ready. I sent out a manuscript, to the world, and it wasn’t ready. Some of the comments were nice, but held a little advice, ‘go back and edit’. They all said it was a good story, but it needed to be looked at again to make it a great story. Needless to say, this was in the first year of my publishing career.

So… I went into detox mode. I sat down with my manuscript, printed in double space and a red pen. Yes, a horrid, red pen. A writer’s nightmare, but I took a deep breath and did it. I actually cringed with the first page and it got worse from there. I printed every comment I received and used them as a guideline. As I delved deeper into the story, the sludge was so heavy that I couldn’t believe I’d actually sent this out into the world.

Needless to say, I almost used up all the ink in the pen. Now, don’t get me wrong, the story itself stayed the same, but the wording was a little different. I gave it a lot of grapefruits, I mean editing and to my surprise, when I sent it back out as a revised edition, some of the same people reviewed it again. They loved it. I’d taken the heavy bags of sludge that kept my story from taking flight and it became a bestseller within a couple of weeks.

So, when you finished your masterpiece, go back through it again and again. Then send to your editor. If you can’t afford an editor, then you have to be the chief and pull on your gloves. Make the hard choices, delete the bad grammar, and make your work soar!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Can’t sleep…then write!

Good Monday morning! It’s rainy and dreary here in Georgia, so I’m half asleep and needing a nap…

Have you ever had a night where no matter what you did, sleep just wouldn’t come? I had one of those last night. Finally, after tossing and turning for over an hour, I got up. I wasn’t in the mood to watch television, so I wrote. It’s amazing how well your mind works in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. I finished a chapter and started another.

As I sat in the quiet of the night, not a sound from anywhere, I wrote. Even though sleep wouldn’t come into my brain, the story flowed like a river in the rain, freely… Finally, after I got that part of the story out of my head, I was able to close my laptop, walk to the bedroom and fall asleep. Needless to say, I feel sleep deprived this morning, but I was able to further my story…

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…