Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Monday Coffee Thoughts…

Good Monday morning! I hope your coffee is flowing freely. Now, as for my coffee enhanced thoughts, let’s talk about characters…

There are many different aspects of a character that you write. So, let’s get right into the conversation. Now, when you start a new story, you have to introduce your characters. But you can’t properly introduce them without knowing them. That’s where a good character write-up comes in.

With a character write-up, you need to get into as much detail as possible. Here are the different elements I put into mine.

  1. Description – Eye color, hair color, flaws such as scars. Age of character is important.
  2. Attitude – Is the character a gentle soul, or a sharp tongued character.
  3. Occupation – Cowboy, secretary, businessman, or whatever they do.

This is only a couple of items, but you get the idea. I always leave plenty of room to add new things that come about as I write. It’s important to keep things the same. Readers notice if your main character has blond hair at the start, then dark hair in the middle.

Make sure that you keep a notebook for each work so that you can keep up with everything.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget, Broken is coming this month!!!


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Writer’s Block… It happens!

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Good morning! Yes, I said it. If you plan on being a writer, at some time or the other you will have writer’s block. And the worst part is, it normally comes when you are on a deadline or a wordcount needs to be met. It’s never during a convenient time.

But, what can you do when it threatens to sideline your work? Well, I tend to sit back, take a breath and focus on something else. If I’m stuck at a particular place in my manuscript, then I skip ahead. Sometimes that works to get the creative juices flowing.

Other times I go back and read over what I’ve written. It can make the story come alive again. Or even I will go to the next story I’ll be working on and at least work on the outline.

To me, Writer’s block is like when your mind freezes up. So, you have to jolt it back to reality. That’s why I keep doing something with my writing. Whether it’s a step ahead, a step back or a step in a different direction, I make it count.

That’s why I love having a detailed outline to go by. When I get stuck, I have it as a reminder of where the story is headed. And if I need to go ahead to another chapter or place in the book, I can without getting lost in the details. Then once the block has passed, I can get back to where I left off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Promotions that work…

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We’re halfway to the weekend and I feel as though I’ve been back pedaling. So much to do… So little time…

My latest book release went better than I expected it would. And I owe the success to the stacked ads and promotions that I ran surrounding the week of release. I’d read about doing this and was a little skeptical, but now I know it’s the thing to do. But for today, I want to talk about the biggest boost promotion that helped me.

I did run about 5 different ads for the release of SAFE. The sales began to rise, but they weren’t spiking enough to hit a bestseller list. That is until my double ad that I ran on https://faithfulreads.com/. Within an hour of the promotion hitting the Faithful Reads website and social media accounts, my sales began to go up at a rapid rate. All through the day they continued to rise.

Now, you may be saying, how do I know it was the ad through Faithful Reads that helped so much. Well, I kept up with all of my sales on the days that the other ads ran. And then when the Faithful Reads ad began, it was evident what worked. By the end of the day of the promotion, I was sandwiched between four top authors. It was exciting as I watched the rank rise. Then as the promotion was about to end, I hit #3 on the Amazon charts. The first and second place books were top ranking authors, so I was thrilled to be #3 behind them.

Over the last couple of years I’ve used Faithful Reads many, many times. They’ve always proven successful. And the fact that to run even a double ad with them is reasonable only adds to the awesomeness of using them. But remember, this promotional site is for clean books, no erotica books and no short stories, only books over 50 pages.

Their prices range from $30 to $65 per ad. They join with eReader Cafe for double features which cost the $60 or $65. And I can tell you this, it’s money well spent. They never disappoint. As an author, I’ll always use them for my promotions, and I hope you will as well.

www.faithfulreads.com

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday… One cup more…

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Good morning! Wow, after a busy weekend, it seems like it flew by. I may need two pots of coffee this morning. And it’s rainy outside, so the yawns are long this morning, but I have at least 1500 words before I go to the office.

So, how do you reboot after a busy weekend? Coffee? Tea? Soda? This morning I gave myself a treat. Normally I just drink black coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon, but this morning I added just a little French vanilla creamer for a boost. Well at least for the first cup…

Now, as I settle in to write and get in my word count, I’m refocusing on Broken, book 2 of the In Harm’s Way series. Book 1 has far exceeded my expectations in sales. I’m so psyched about book 2. I’ll be sharing the cover this week, or at least a peek at it. And if you think Safe was suspenseful, just wait until you start Broken. I’ve had to take a moment several times as emotions overwhelmed me.

So, hope you have a great Monday and enjoy at least one more cup of whatever it takes to get your eyes open… For me it’s always coffee.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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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Sunday Morning Coffee & Blessings…

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Good Sunday morning! As I sip my coffee this morning, I’m thinking of the blessings that abound in my life. I have an amazing family for which I’m so grateful. I have a career as an accountant and it’s blessed me beyond words. And my writing career has taken me to new heights as each book builds on the last. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways that sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve all that He’s given me.

Some days I just sit in awe of everything that’s good in my life. Now don’t get me wrong, there is bad in my life too. But I strive to keep it from taking away from the good. Sometimes I let my writing take the bad away. I lose it in the words.

So, my advice to you on this holiday weekend is to take a long look at your life. Even in the darkest places we need to count the blessings that we do have. And you don’t have to be a writer to write out your bad days. Grab a journal and write in it every day. If you’re having a bad day, then write it down and forget it. Leave it in between the pages.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Notebooks, Journals, & Pretty Note Pads…

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Good morning all! Most writers have a love of notebooks, journals and pretty note pads. There’s something about a colorful notebook that just inspires you. Then there are those that are so pretty that you hate to write in them, but you just have to. It’s like some sort of code.

My husband and son just roll their eyes when I buy another one. I have them everywhere so that when the mood strikes, I can make a note for a story. Is it a problem? For me, no it’s not. But others think that it is. Good thing I don’t set my ways on what others think.

There are so many different kinds. Spiral, leather bound, lined, plain, colored, floral, designer, sticky, big, small, thick, thin, the kinds are endless. But it doesn’t matter, they are work the way you want them too. Each of my series have their own notebook, not to mention numerous notepads with notes on characters, places, and scenes.

So, are you itching to buy a pretty notebook or a nice journal? I do think I might need to run out and get another one, just in case I use all the many I have now.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Ad Stacking… It works!

Good morning! I’ve been missing in action for a couple of weeks. With the end of tax season, a book release, and a short time off to relax, it’s been a little crazy.

You may be asking what ad stacking is. Well, I just learned more about it lately myself. So, I’ll try to explain it and not get too far out there while doing it. Here goes!

Ad stacking is when you run ads for several days before, during, and after a book release or promotional period. It helps to bring your book some attention before the release day. Then on the day of release. But you keep the ads running even after the day of release. That way it keeps the momentum going. And I can say this, it works.

For the release of Safe, I placed it on preorder for about five weeks. Then a week before the release date, I ran a ad for a couple of days, then on another site I ran an ad for the three days before the release. On release day I did a double ad. Then I finished it off with a ad on the day after the release. It was an amazing release, not to mention it help some of my back stock gain some momentum. Safe went all the way to #3 on Amazon in three categories. Not to mention it got pretty high on Barnes and Nobles ranks as well.

Now, I’m not saying it will work this way for everyone, but for me, it was a winner. When Book 2 of the In Harms Way Series comes out, I’ll be doing it again, but I may ad another element with another vendor. But I’ll do it again. And it didn’t break the bank either. So that makes it a win win…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If you haven’t checked out Safe, then here’s a link for 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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Upcoming Release and Coffee

It’s Monday, all day long! Anyone else struggling this morning. Working on my second cup of coffee and pondering life. Then I realize that’s a little too deep for a Monday morning. So, I’ll just focus on putting one foot in front of another and getting some taxes done. Tax season is kicking my butt this year.

On an exciting note, I’ve set the release date for SAFE. It will be coming out on May 12th, but you can preorder it now for only .99. I can’t believe it’s almost release day. This novel took me on a wild ride into another genre and I’m not sure that I can go back. I love writing Mystery/Suspense/Romance. It’s the elements of danger, excitement, and a little romance that gives it the edge I’ve been looking for.

So, As always, good writing and May God Bless You…