Writer Wednesday – Time

writing-timeWhen I first started in this business over 15 years ago.   A common thought was that you needed to quit your job and write full-time in order to be successful (i.e. make money).

Granted the Romance Industry is full of female writers, who maybe started out as a stay at home mom’s and wrote on the side.   I believe this is where the myth of full-time writing started.  I think of authors like Nora Roberts and Heather Graham whose mythology stories contain elements for writing from home.  If any of you think they were successful because they didn’t have a job, you’d be wrong.  Motherhood is a full-time job in itself, regardless of whether you work outside the home or not.

I read recently that John Grisham wrote A Time to Kill over three years while still working as a lawyer.

What makes these authors successful is not whether or not they wrote full-time, but that they wrote in every spare moment.

A book I’ve found helpful in carving out time is The Chunky Method Handbook by Allie Pleiter.  She breaks writing blocks down so that even the slowest writers among us can create a schedule.

What makes this so relevant to me is that as of December 1st of this year, I’m no longer employed with a company I’d worked with for 21 years.  I was released as a series of layoffs.

While my job took time away from writing, if I had made time for it I would’ve been more successful (i.e. written more books).  As I head into the new year, I’ll be looking at some serious goal setting.    For me it will be evaluating what Success looks like to me – Finishing Books.   I feel like everything else will fall into place as long as I just keep writing.

~Tina

 

 

 

 

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AuThursday -Kat Henry Doran

kathy_4june2016Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a nurse by (the) first profession. A volunteer position at the local Rape Crisis Service turned into a paid position and eventually I was promoted to Director of a four-county regional program serving more than 1,000 survivors of rape and child sexual assault, and their significant others, each year. Eventually, I went back to school and became a paralegal which turned into my current job as a legal nurse consultant.

So, what have you written?

Under Kat Henry Doran, I’ve written two full-length romantic mysteries, Captain Marvelous and Try Just Once More, both published through the Wild Rose Press. Try Just Once More won the Barclay Gold for best in romantic suspense several years ago

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

sh-cover_newWriting as Kat Henry Doran and Veronica Lynch, I’ve been part of four anthologies for TWRP:  Out of the Dark [Raising Kane] The Class of ’85 [ The List, Mad Dog and Archangel, Embraceable You]; Candy Hearts [For Keeps] and Haunting in the Garden [Caper Magic]. Each was a lot of fun to write. Currently, I am involved with an anthology out of the Maine Romance Writers group, Welcome to Serenity Harbor [my story is It Had to Be You]. Embraceable You was a finalist in the IDA contest a few years ago.

 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write when I can which isn’t often enough I’m sorry to say. Weekends are the best time for me, especially between January and April.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

If I do, I take a nap and wait for it to go away.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Loved it, laughed out loud in fact. I’m a huge fan of audio books and just finished Sandra Brown’s “Sting”. Great story, terrific ending. More recently, Nora Roberts’ “Obsession” knocked my socks off.

How do you relax?

I sew. I like to design and create tote bags and aprons. While I’m doing that, I listen to the audiobooks so I’m able to kill two birds with one stone. I sell those totes and aprons [along with other items] at craft shows so I travel a lot and listen to audio books while driving.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read what you want to write, particularly works by those authors whose message reaches out to you. Go to conferences, large and small, and take workshops. Listen to the pros who’ve been there and done that. Take rejection with a grain of salt and remember, your writing will always improve. Above all, listen to what others are saying about your writing. If more than two people say the same thing [as in weak POV or conflict or plot structure] about your stuff, pay attention. One person’s thoughts may be full of beans, more than one is telling you something. Listen to it.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

www.facebook.com/wildwomenauthors

www.wildwomenauthorsx2.blogspot.com

www.amazon.com/author/KatDoran

www.amazon.com/author/VeronicaLynch

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kat’s story TRY JUST ONCE MORE. ~Tina

AuThursday – Miguelina Perez

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Originally born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I first discover romance reading during my years in High School. I discovered Barbara Cartland, then Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I was hooked. From there I went to Harlequins. Back then they were clean which is what I was allowed to read. I move to the Washington, DC area back in 1985. Moved around a couple of times; including a stint in Texas for three years before coming back here. I used to have these little stories form in my head, but never knew what to do with them. Until one day I started hearing authors talking about the stories within them wanting to be written, I realized that I had been experiencing the same thing since I was very young. One written line led to another and then another line till I had a completed novel. I began with poems, prose and then short stories. By then I was confident I could write a full-length novel. Hence the Vicar’s Deadly Sin was born.

I am also the coordinator for the Lady Jane’s Salon Silver Spring. A gathering that takes place 8 times of the year where I invite local romance authors to read from their latest releases. We meet at the La Madeline’s in Bethesda, Maryland. It is my hope to connect readers and writers. Right now it is on hiatus but I hope to bring it back soon. I need to work on a way to bring readers in. So when not working, I am writing and doing anything that involves the writing romance world.

Which writers inspire you?

I love Nora Roberts and was honored to have met her twice at a picnic in her home. I have come meet some real talented and gifted ladies in my journeys to authorhood that have inspired me: Sally MacKenzie, Leigh Duncan, Mary Behre, Harper Kincaid, Ingrid Hahn, TW Knight…I can go on and on. I have been very fortunate.

So, what have you written? 

I have an anthology out called Pieces of Me, these contain short stories, prose, poems and essays. My romance regency mystery is now out called The Vicar’s Deadly Sin.

What genre are your books?

Right now VDS is a Regency romance mystery. It is called The Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery, Book 1 of the Seven Deadly Sins series.

What are you working on at the minute?

I am working now on the sequel to VDS called Angel’s Lust, The Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery, Book 2 of the Seven Deadly Sins series. AL will have a little of paranormal elements in it.

What’s it about?

A new force is in town and young maidens are going missing and being sacrificed. The young ladies are up to their investigative snooping, but this time around, Jane newly engaged does not have her heart in it-she is focused on her upcoming wedding to Sir Hugh Cameron. So Margaret is the one trying to find out what is going on.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time when you work full-time. But what really gets me is people telling me to write within the constraints of what a publishing house dictates you should write. For example, Random House was interested in VDS and when they asked where is the sex? I said it didn’t have any. VDS is sort of a Jane Austen meets Nancy Drew. That quickly closed my pitching of the novel. I totally understand readers want sex, but VDS was never that type of novel. So after beta readers and more beta readers, and then getting an affordable editor, I published it.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

When you have the scenes in your head and you transform them into the paper. Writer’s block can be a true pain, so I try not to let it control me. Writing your story – When the characters come to life and you create the world in which they live in and interact with the secondary characters.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I have several sites. The main one is www.miguelinaperezauthor.com. I have another site where I do author interviews and reviews, www.theregencyinkwell.wordpress.com, but it has taken a side trip since I am trying to market VDS and finish book 2.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Sure:

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin

A Touch of Romance…A Touch of Regency…A Touch of Murder… Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard have been friends since the age of twelve. Together they share their dreams, hopes and a love for reading. However, it is their wild imagination and a penchant for solving mysteries that will test their abilities when the Vicar of Dover is found murdered. The young ladies are joined by two gentlemen, also eager to find the murderer in order to prove to the ladies that detecting is a man’s job, though the gentlemen find their beauty, wit, and pride more troublesome than solving a murder. The Vicar’s Deadly Sin is a delightful and witty Regency romance mystery about two friends and their love for solving crimes while keeping society and its rules at bay.

Join me next Thursday when I interview writer Kathryn Lively. ~Tina

AuThursday – Juniper Bell

Please welcome fellow LSB author Juniper Bell. 

First of all, thanks for having me here on AuThursday at the Clog Blog!

Tell us Juniper what inspired you to write your first book?

 I was inspired to write my first book during a tough time in my life. It was a kind of escape from everything I was dealing with. I’ve always been a fan of romance novels, especially when in need of some comfort and hope. This particular time, it suddenly occurred to me that I should try to write one. I’d written short stories and screenplays, but never a full-length novel. Turned out… I absolutely loved it.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

That’s a tough question to answer. I’m sure I do have a specific writing style, but I’m not sure how to define it. I like to write deep POV, I like to keep my stories moving, I like some humor mixed in with the emotional development. I don’t like to go overboard with the “prose” – to me, the story and characters are what’s important.

Q:  How much of your books are realistic?

I think (hope!) they’re emotionally realistic. I spend a lot of time on characterization and really knowing my characters. But since I write erotic romance, some of the situations are more in the realm of fantasy. A receptionist and her two bosses in a three-way? It’s probably not going to happen in real life. It’s not meant to be “realistic” in that sense, but as a fantasy, it’s real. And the setting is very realistic (bland office in a dead-end Long Island town – definitely realistic.)

Q:  What are your current projects?

My current release is the one I mentioned above, “Training the Receptionist” from Samhain. It’s an erotic novella about a receptionist who finds her naughty dream job at the firm of Cowell & Dirk, where she answers (very personally) to her two sexy bosses. 

Q:  Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My critique group has been wonderful to me. When I first started writing I had no idea about the publishing business … particularly e-publishing. Their experience and support really helped me find my way to publication. Not to mention help me get my books in shape to send out! We cheer each other on, which is so important in this crazy business. I really don’t know where I’d be without my critique group.

Q:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

For me the most challenging moment is when I read over my first draft and see all the problems, all the things I want to fix, the characters that don’t work, the sex scenes that could be hotter … and so on. I’m a big rewriter, I start with a rough draft and keep refining and improving until I’m happy. But rereading that first draft … yeeow, that’s painful!  

Q:  Who designs your covers?

I’ve been so lucky with my covers! Tuesday Dube, KaNaXa, and Scott Carpenter have done my covers. How blessed am I? I love all my covers.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

I love Nora Roberts’ advice: Butt in the chair. That’s really what it comes down to. Just keep on writing. If you win a contest and you’re on top of the world? Keep on writing. Get a bad review and want to jump off a cliff? Keep on writing. It’s the answer to everything. LOL. Other than that … pay lots of attention to motivation and conflict. Makes sure you understand why your characters do what they do. And conflict keeps things interesting. It gives the reader a reason to keep reading.

Q:  How do you make time to write?

 This is, hands down, the most important thing you have to do as a writer. You have to give yourself that time, because without it, nothing happens. Personally, I try to think of it as a job. Certain hours of the day belong to writing. I get very upset if something disrupts that. I need that time, psychologically. I get crabby if I can’t write. I build the rest of my day around it. Of course, things happen, I get pulled away, and then I just go with the flow. But then I’ll usually try to make up the time later. Over time, I’ve trained my family to take my writing time as seriously as I do.

 Q:  What do you feel is the biggest misconception about e-publishing?

 That it’s somehow “less” than print. There are wonderful authors, editors and artists working in e-publishing. I look forward to the day when e-publishing gets the same respect as print.

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

 My website is http://JuniperBell.com and my blog is http://authorjuniperbell.com. I’m also on Twitter as @AuthorJuniper and on Facebook.

 Q: Do you have a sexy excerpt you’d like to share with us?

 Absolutely! I’ll share an excerpt from “Training the Receptionist.” Thanks again for having me, I had fun answering your questions.

Join me Saturday for the Saturday Sexcerpt of “Training the Receptionist”

Until then be Naughty,

Tina