This has been a hell of a year. And, yeah, I know it’s too early for a year in review thing, so I’ll save that. But, like, for real. First of all, the publisher for my Vegas books isn’t publishing books anymore. Right in the dang middle. Well, two-thirds of the way through. So, I self-published. Which has been a long learning curve. (I’m totally still learning because there is so freaking much to learn.) For now, they’re all three available in Kindle Unlimited so go read the hell out of those, lovelies. Second, I went back to the day job. It’s a different day jobRead More →
I plot. I spend weeks figuring out characters, locations, and flaws. And then I dig in deep. I plot my story out, by acts and beats, down to each and every scene of my story. And, sometimes, those scenes have beats and entire stretches of dialog in the notes. Thinking Through Our Fingers: In the Mind of an Outliner – Arcs and Structure. This is front loading a story with lots of work. I know this. But as a teacher, mom, wife, and all the other things, I realized I was doing more work trying to keep a story in my head than taking theRead More →
Today my book, My Fake Vegas Boyfriend, was released. (Did you know you can read Chapter 1 right here, on my site? Check it out.) This is book one in my Viva Las Vegas series and the other two will be released in April and June. There’s so much I love about this series–the characters, the setting, the clothes, but today? The music. There were 3 songs that inspired this book (and then, in turn, it became a series because I wasn’t ready to leave that world). The songs may not have been out in 1958 (when the stories take place), they may be olderRead More →
Note: This post is about Exactly Like You, which is on sale this week until December 1. Here’s a quick buy link from Amazon or hop over to the book’s page for a list of retailers. Further note: I discuss in this post heroines I’ve written with depression and one who is a former cutter, so trigger warning. When I wrote my last book, Exactly Like You, I wanted to do something I didn’t often see done–tackle depression in a hero/heroine. I know I’m not the first to write about this, and won’t be the last. And that’s great news because the stigma associated withRead More →
In the last few months, though, I’ve started to feel a little discomfort. Writing is highly personal. I’m not saying I act out the risque scenes in my novels at all, but I do fill every sentence with a bit of my soul. And that, for me, is far more personal. Do I really want to deal with people being able to climb inside my head that way? Not people, reader people or other writers–they get it. But, say, those I come in contact with at work or who attend church with me.Read More →
1. String two guys along. Not speaking of menage stories here. I’m saying a heroine does not spend the entire story unclear on whether she loves the hero enough to cut loose her backup guy. I don’t like women who do this in real life, I don’t respect them. I will not respect a heroine who pulls this trashy crap.
2. Run away. I know, I know this one happens all the time. I’ve read them. And enjoyed them. But… it’s not entirely satisfying.Read More →
Last week, I added a parenthetical remark to my list of things a heroine should do. That aside sparked the idea for this post. I’m limiting myself to ten randomly chosen ideas (broken into two weeks–my words go on and on!), but there are probably a million more. Please add yours in the comments.Read More →
When he screws up (and I don’t mean by being unfaithful), when his back is against the wall, when whole worlds wait in the balance–she doesn’t wait at home and hope he can put everything right again. She’ll be right by his side, standing up for him or wielding a gun and shooting it out with the bad guys. It’s not about him needing her help–though he does, we all need help when we reach our biggest crisis–it’s that she wouldn’t dream of letting him face it alone.Read More →
He sees things in her that others don’t. Maybe that she doesn’t even see in herself. Take my super independent chick from above. Everyone else thinks she cold-hearted, calculating even (because, hey, that’s what our society thinks of women like that–but that’s another post). But he sees that she has a soft side. Maybe he recognizes it in the way she take time to comfort a person because she can relate to them. Maybe, instead of kicking someone when they’re down and climbing on top of their unconscious body to plant a conquering flag in their backside, she offers to help.Read More →
To me, especially when writing romance (which, I do), the two main characters have broken places*. It’s not that they couldn’t get past what’s dug in deep or that they’re incapable of healthy relationships. It’s that, just like in real life, we sometimes make bad choices when it comes to who we date and those bad choices can often be seen through a filter of our experiences. I know people can grow into their thirties, forties, fifties or older before finding what makes them choose people who are wrong for them.
In romance, to me, it’s about coming upon this person who is actually a perfect fit. Not perfect. Perfect is dull. But perfect for the character. And then it comes down to this push-pull that they’re just right because of how they not only soothe, but embrace, the broken places except the character isn’t ready yet because they need to grow. Need to arc, if you will.Read More →