Attn: All The Single Ladies – Write Those HEA’s!

~ By Melina Kantor  We’ve all heard romance authors say some version of this before, right? “I’d like to thank my husband. It’s because of him that I’m able to write happy endings.” It’s a sweet sentiment, and a very nice thing to say during a RITA acceptance speech or in an anniversary wish on Facebook. Maybe, for these authors, getting married was a path to writing romance. As long as they aren’t giving their husbands credit for their own accomplishments as writers, that’s great. They’re lucky women. But we single romance writers can also write heartwarming, gorgeous, happy...

Halloscream 2014

~ By Celia T. Lucente  Note: As writers, any experience we have a tendency to be observant. Any experience we have can turn into research or inspiration for a story. We take notice of everything, don’t we?  Here are Celia’s notes from a trip to a haunted house. Can you imaging a scene where your characters visit the haunted house? What places have you visited that made it into one of your books?  Leave your ideas in the comments.  Halloween may be over but the memories will long haunt my mind.  Today I’ll provide my annual review of the...

I Can’t Draw and Other Lies I Tell Myself

~ By Jennifer Lohmann With five published books under my belt (one a National Reader’s Choice award winner and another an RT Magazine Seal of Excellence pick), I should be pretty confident I can write. I mean, I’ve done it before and people seem to like my books. They buy them and they say nice things. So I can write. Right? Right? Inevitably–and we all do this–I get to some point in a new project and think, This is terrible. Or, I’ll never finish. Or, This won’t be as good as my other books. I’ll disappoint my readers. Y’all...

Inspiration– Write that first book and forget about it? Are you insane?

~ By Vicki Batman I’d always wanted to write. That seemed to be the sentiment of most writers who are huge readers. I wanted to write like Dick Francis, an English mystery writer whose work centered on the horse racing business. I gobbled his work like good chocolate. My method for writing my book? That was…odd. Why? Because I didn’t exactly know how to do it. I had no extensive background in writing. Wasn’t an English, Literature, Journalism major. My degree is in Clothing and Textiles. I wrote good papers and some decent poetry. And like I’d already said,...

I NEVER GAVE UP

~ By Lisa Dyson Fifteen years. That’s how long it took me to sell a manuscript to a publisher. Fifteen years of constantly writing, learning craft, submitting, and getting rejected. I entered contests for fifteen years. I was even a runner-up in Harlequin’s Epic Romance contest for their Everlasting line. I got to work with an editor! She passed my complete manuscript to the Senior Editor and I thought this was it. I’d finally sell. The Senior Editor called me, but not to buy my manuscript. Harlequin was discontinuing the line. She was very sorry, but not as sorry...

A Dangerous Trip Lands Me a Spot on the NY Times Bestsellers List

~ By Kimberley Troutte They say write what you know. In my case, a naïve girl’s experiences became fodder for a novel. Travel with me back in time to the summer I was seventeen and went to South America. Keep going back…back…no, too far!  We’re talking the early 80’s, not the Dark Ages. The plan? My friend and I—two teenaged girls—would travel from her small town in Venezuela at the foot of the Andes to the bustling, crime-riddled city of Bogota, Colombia. I didn’t say it was a good plan. Drug cartels were just starting up in those days....

Setting: A Product of the Environment

~ By Meda White When I wrote my first contemporary romance novel several years ago, I knew at least part of it would be set in the South. I suppose the old Write What You Know advice is deeply embedded in me. Georgia born and bred, hearing and re-telling area stories is what my family does for entertainment. Part of me wants to share my heritage with the world. Interestingly, I enjoy learning about other cultures. I find them fascinating. I love to travel and experience them firsthand. Travelling inspires me to share other places and parts of the...

Finding Inspiration in the Little Details

~ By Babette James When I’m writing, sometimes the scenes come clearly, the words flooding out with exactly what I want to say. Other times, all I get is the bare bones bridging from Point E to Point L. Sometimes there are the days pulling teeth would be easier. Then there are those days where what comes next is a big, foggy blank, even when your mental picture, outline, or synopsis says, “This event happens here.” When I get stuck, one of the ways I can look for inspiration and try to prime the pump for what needs to...

Giving Thanks

~ Jim Cangany Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends! Tomorrow’s the day we U.S. residents celebrate the kindness the Native Americans showed the Pilgrims by giving thanks for our many blessings. Back when I was a kid, when somebody asked me on Thanksgiving what I was thankful for, I’d say something deep like mashed potatoes or grandma’s coffee cake. When I was in college, I was usually thankful that I didn’t have a paper due the Monday after the long holiday weekend. As the days have gone by and my hair’s gotten a little grayer, the things I’m thankful for have changed....

Jo March on the Writing Life

~ By Hope Ramsay Little Women, is not exactly contemporary literature, since it was published in 1868, although it was contemporaneously written.  It’s not even a romance, exactly.  It’s more of a YA novel with strong romantic elements. It’s also a classic.  And I’ll surmise that a hefty majority of contemporary romance authors have read this book.  I wouldn’t be surprised if an equally large number of us bonded with Jo March, the main character of Louisa Alcott’s masterpiece of American children’s literature. I certainly connected with this character when I first read the book at age twelve.  Jo...

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