Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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5 things every author needs to know…

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Good morning! Writing… Writers block… Publishing… The life of a writer. It’s a roller coaster and not for the faint of heart. Here are the top 5 things every author needs to know about starting to write and publish…

  1. It’s not as easy as it looks. Let me be very clear about this, writing isn’t easy. There’s more to it than simply writing words. You’ve got to make sure to plot, plan, and organize those words to where the reader can get lost in the world you’ve created. If you don’t do it with an ebb and flow, then the reader will lose interest and move on. So, don’t think it’s just putting words on paper. There’s so much more to the process.
  2. Writer’s block is real! Every author has experienced writer’s block at one time or the other. It’s a helpless feeling and only perseverance gets you through it. You can get past it, just have confidence. Keep writing and working on other projects.
  3. Editor’s are essential. Alright, let’s all say this and put on repeat! Editors are essential. Even the most savvy writer can’t find all of the mistakes or bad wording in a manuscript. To be honest, editors miss some too. But let’s be honest, when we’re reading our own work, it’s hard to be completely harsh. An editor can help to reword things so that the story flows better. And some changes, even though they can hurt, are necessary.
  4. Read everyday… It may sound crazy, but reading actually helps you as a writer. But read in the genre that you write in. I’ve been reading books that the author wrote with such clear, precise wording that I was inspired. And I’ve read books that lost me from the first page. When I read things like this, it helps me to look at my work differently. Try it.
  5. Know your audience. If you write sweet romance, then don’t go too heavy on the love scenes. Advertising a book as one genre, but the book actually leaning more in another direction can make readers not trust you. So, know who you’re pushing this book to. The same with mysteries turning into nothing more than a romance with nothing to solve. I’ve read books like this and it is disheartening. Also, make sure if the book is erotic, let the reader know.

I could keep going, but you need to get back to writing and so do I. But I hope this helped you a little.

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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Tuesday Writing Tips…

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, we made it through Monday so yeah to us…

This morning I wanted to talk with you about writing. What’s that? Yes, I love to talk about writing. I receive dozens of emails each week asking me about writing. So here goes and first let me say this is my way of writing, it may not be your way.

Writing Tips by Steph – Catchy phrase, well maybe not but that’s my first tip I want to discuss and it’s the title of your book. Many authors have asked me how I get my titles. It’s a tough question, but when it comes to you it will be like a light coming on in the dark abyss of the writing brain. Some of my titles have come before the story, odd but true. Then others as I’ve been in the process on writing. It’s very important to have a notepad close by as you write. Ideas pop in your head as you write and if you don’t write them down at that moment they could float away into the vast abyss of a writers brain. Make sure that your title isn’t so long that it loses something. Some titles are one word wonders. Also don’t call it “Christmas Mystery” if it’s not a mystery.

Cover – Oh this is one of those things that could make a reader walk by without a second glance. Make sure your cover inspires or brings out something from the story, but don’t give away any secrets. Also don’t overdo it. Some authors try to put several elements on their cover, but then you overcrowd and it causes confusion. Simple covers, but effective are really good. When I talk with authors that call on Horseshoe Publishing to design their covers, I always say, “What does your book say to you?” Does it scream horror or sweet romance? Does it need to be really warm or cool in color?

Blurb – Oh the horror of writing a blurb for the back of your book. The hundred word blurb is harder to me to write than the 50,000 word book in most instances. A couple of my books actually happened backwards. I wrote the blurb before the book, but I don’t always suggest this. Make it simple, but mysterious. Don’t give a spoiler that will make the reader put it back.

Author Page – This is very important. Tell a brief bio and then put a list of your books. I always separate mine by series and stand alone’s. I also try to include an excerpt from an upcoming release at the end just before the author page. It helps sell it too.

Editing – Make sure that when you hit “PUBLISH” that your work is the best it can be. If you just write it and publish it without a second glance, well most likely that’s the only glance it will get. I checked out a book the other day and read the sample that was provided, let’s just say within a couple of sentences I knew it wasn’t making my TBR list. The spelling and grammar were terrible and that was just the first couple of sentences. What’s worse is it was simple mistakes that were blatantly obvious. Always read over your manuscript after you do a quick edit. Then edit it again. I usually find so many errors in the second edit that I missed. Then I read it out loud. Amazing how many changes you make after you hear it. Remember we’re writers and we’re not perfect, yes I said it, we’re not perfect.

I hope some of these tips helped you in a way. I love writing and talking about it. It’s always fun to get emails on the subject. If you need help with any of the above just jump over to www.horseshoe-publishing.com and let us help you make your manuscript stand out among the millions of others.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…