Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop- Oct 4, 2014

 

NaNoWriteMonthEmblemNaNo Writing Month: November’s Goal- 50,000 wordsFrustrated Woman

Nov 6 — Word Count 7,292

 

 

RWW

Welcome to Blog Hop. If you like to read romance novels of all genres, join the writers of Romance Weekly as we blog about writing, and sometimes try our hand at flash fiction . If you’ve made it here via Susan Scott Shelley’s blog–Welcome.

A big thanks to Sara Hegger for today’s questions–

SARAH wants us to tell about our three favorite book boyfriends. I gave this fun exercise more than a little thought over the past week. So many books, so many heroes, so many crushes over the years. It took a lot of effort to narrow to three.

I’ll start with my very first book boyfriend. It was the summer of my twelfth year, the summer my love affair with books began. It was also the summer I read Gone With The Wind, twice. In my imagination, Rhett was an exact replica of the man I believed would stand next to me on my wedding day. Clark_Gable_as_Rhett_ButlerOf course I was twelve years old, and my only frame of reference, other than my father, was the Ken doll I’d gotten for Christmas when I was seven. In my pre-teen vision, Rhett had a swimmers build, broad shoulders and a narrow waist and hips. He sported a confident stride that any female over the age of twenty would find appealing.

As I revisited my original make believe Rhett, I had the niggling thought he was vaguely familiar in my current life. Sure, Clark Gable made a stunning Rhett Butler, but Clark wasn’t the exact replica of my Rhett. My Rhett didn’t have a mustache, and he certainly didn’t wear silly ascots. I’d read the book twice before seeing the movie, and even though my Rhett had the same black hair and blue eyes, he wasn’t Clark Gable. He did have a slow Southern drawl, a heart-stopping-grin, and a wink that’d make any girl swoon. I was smitten with Rhett, pure and simple. And I loathed Scarlet, thought she was a mindless idiot to pine over the sniffling Ashley Wilkes when Rhett so obviously adored her. At twelve I didn’t understand character development. When I went to bed last night I still had that niggling feeling that my long ago image of Rhett was familiar. I woke at six-thirty and bam, Eureka! My twelve year old make believe Rhett is my husband. Go figure.

My second all time favorite book boyfriend is Cotton Malone. Love Steve Barry, and his Cotton’s so cool under pressure. Kind of like, oh I don’t know, maybe Johnny Depp? Johnny DeppThat kind of kick-ass cool that few people can pull-off. My youngest son is, what we southerners say, the spittin’ image of Depp. And trust me, young and old woman alike will oggle. They pass him phone numbers, follow him around airports, restaurants, down sidewalks and even an alley in Rome. In the beginning it was funny, now it’s more annoying than anything. But I digress. In my imagination, unlike Depp or my son, Cotton has blue eyes. I have a thing for blue-eyed men.

Whittling down my list, I passed over the obvious Heathcliffs of the world, and zeroed in on Eve Dallas’ Roarke. I’m in love with that guy. Antonio with ponytailBad-boy skirting the edge, dangerous, sexy, and let’s not overlook mega-rich. My kind of boyfriend–I mean book boyfriend.

Scuttle is that Nora’s given a nod to the screen options for her In Death Series. Antonio Banderas is my pick for Roarke. Who would you pick?

That does it for me. Let’s hop over to see who Elaine Jeremiah – the author of the riveting and sexy Reunion of the Heart, and The Inheritance, has pegged as her all time favorite book boyfriends.

http://elainejeremiah.co.uk

Saturday Shopping

woman shopping

SATURDAY SHOPPING SPREE —

Saturday shopping brings back many wonderful childhood memories. Every Saturday my mom, my aunt, and I went to town. My baby brother was forced to tag along literally kicking and screaming, he absolutely abhorred shopping. Twenty years later he married the all time queen of shopping, a true marathoner. Definitely Karma. As a teenager I roamed the mall, spending entire Saturdays browsing. As a teen I wanted to live at the mall– today not so much.

Somewhere around the age of twenty-something (a good many years ago), I lost a part of my DNA that all women are born with–a shopping gene. Poof, gone, evaporated into the stratosphere. The thought of spending a day shopping takes me to a state much like my brother’s prepubescent pout. Probably Karma again, but this time I don’t quite get it. Okay, maybe a little.

A Saturday shopping day with me looks something like this. I wake at five-thirty, boring but true, and Saturday is no exception. It’s a leftover habit from my previous life that I still embrace. I live on the water and the early morning sunrise is spectacular.

Sunrise on the river

The view’s captivating, and I thank God everyday that my husband talked me into living in this remote part of the world. I mean seriously, I’m forty-five minutes from a Walmart or a Starbucks. The later was really hard to get used to because I’m addicted to their green tea. And even though Walmart isn’t my favorite shopping experience, those suckers are everywhere.

So here I am living in the middle of nowhere, with a list of items as long as my Standard Poodle. Finding everything on the list will require visiting a minimum of four stores, not to mention the ninety-minute drive into Savannah.

First stop is Ferguson’s. We’re remodeling our kitchen and I have a price comparison spreadsheet that would make my college Statistics professor beam with joy. I’m also equipped with a file of printed cooktop ads featuring the range with the pretty red buttons– the one I’ve coveted for twenty years. The one that’s most likely out of my price range, but a girl can dream. I also have twenty different photos of French style refrigerators, wine coolers, dishwashers, and ice makers. I’m armed and dangerous, no sales person will have the upper hand. Game on!

Twenty minutes into a face-to-face with the pretty and petite and a tad bit petulant, not-a-day-over-twenty-two, Melissa, I admit to myself that I’m way over my head. BTU’s and downdrafts and double burners and my head is swimming. I stuff a few more brochures into my file, sulk away, and head into the downtown shopping district to wallow in my confusion.

I cop the last vacant table at The Tea Room on Broughton Street, and figure my luck must be changing. After a to-die-for crab quiche, pot of tea, and a diet-chrusher-ten-pound chocolate torte, I decide to browse the shops and leave the kitchen designing behind for now.

My first stop is the shoe store two doors from the cafe. This particular boutique reminds me of my all time favorite shoe store in Gainesville–The Cobbler. This Broughton Street boutique has Ferragamos and those puppies are on sale. Ferragamos and Stuart Weitzman– two other brands I love but can’t afford. Unfortunately even on sale, today is no exception.

I wander through several more shops, and spend over an hour in an antique store for no apparent reason. I own one antique, a beautiful Murano glass bowl given to me by my sister-in-law who recently died of Alzheimer’s. Even though antiques are not part of my home décor, I love to amble through the shops, touching, and feeling the pieces. They seem to have a soul, a story to tell. Savannah’s overrun with antique stores, and the merchandise is all lovely, but it’s the owners that are the most intriguing. They make such fascinating characters for my stories, but I digress.

It’s four o’clock, my feet hurt, my tummy’s full, and I’m pining for my river. I want to sit on the dock, have a glass of wine, and commune with the dolphins who visit twice a day.

I’ve spent seven hours shopping, and other than a new blue and white teapot cozy, I’ve nothing to show for my time. I warned you–my shopping gene has vanished. Sunset on the river

 Arrived just in time to see the sunset on the river…

RWW Oct 7, 2014

RWW

Welcome to Blog Hop. If you like to read romance novels of all genres, join the writers of Romance Weekly as we blog about writing, and sometimes try our hand at flash fiction . If you’ve made it here via Mikki Cober’s blog, Welcome.

A big thanks to Beth Carter for today’s questions–

Which type of character do you prefer writing about: Sexy, romantic, sweet, quirky, mean, old, young, smart, silly or other?

I really enjoy quirky characters. Those men and woman who are slightly off-kilter. They can be funny and lighten the mood in a scene, or caustic and to the point, blurting what everyone else is thinking but would never say.

Yeah–those are by far my favorite characterQuirky Charcter E Cards. I strive to have one eccentric  per story.

 

 

 

 

Have you ever killed off (or gotten back at) an ex in your writing? On paper, of course.

Not yet, but it’s a definite possibility in my next book. The reunited couple. I like the idea of the tension, the backstory that the hero/heroine know and must slide into the story in little snippets for the reader. That’s the plan anyway.Mug

My family seems to be a little worried about this issue– this cup was in my stocking last Christmas.

 

What hobbies do you have that you incorporate in your writing?

I love horses and have owned them most of my adult life. Although they’ve never been a main focus, somewhere, someplace, somehow, one tends to slip into my manuscript. My favorite setting is a gorgeous barn. I spend hours researching, writing beautiful descritions, so far those scenes haven’t made the final cut. That’s probably telling–I’m just not sure what it tells. gardeners-know-all-the-dirt-vintage-sign-125-p

Gardening is a favorite pastime and my current hero has a beautiful estate with a lovely rose garden. One day I’m going to write a heroine planting a rose bush, and digging up a dead body.  Okay, maybe not.

That does it for me today. Let’s head over to Nora Mangano and and hear about her favorite character type.

http://jeanne1965.wix.com/finding-lanora#!blog/c112v

RWW – Sep 30, 2014

RWW

Welcome to Blog Hop. If you like to read romance novels of all genres, join the writers of Romance Weekly as we blog about writing, and sometimes try our hand at flash fiction . 

If you’ve hopped over from Elizabeth Janette, Welcome.

Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were going to become a writer? If so, what was it?

Not sure there was a defining moment in my life where I knew I was going to become a writer, but there was a defining moment when I decided to dip my toe into the water and take a class, see what might happen.  A class requirement was to actually write a story. Imagine that? Not sure what I expected, but I was a little surprised that the story that had burned into my subconscious for the past year found it’s way to the page.

I was smitten after writing my very first scene. A goner. Completely submerged.

I came up for air, around the time I received my first class critique, and started reading every craft book I could find. One of the first, and still one of the best I’ve ever read, was Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I continue taking classes, and honing my craft, just a little more focused on pushing my WIP forward.

No facebook imageNo twitter imageNo cell phone imageThe commitment to my butt-in-the-chair, no social media, no telephone, six-hour writing day is my mantra. Social Media is strictly 4PM to 5PM in my writing day. This little rule has made a huge difference in my output. I’m sold!

When you write a story do you see it unfold as one big picture, or do you add layering in subsequent drafts?

I’m a Scrivener writing program girl. I religiously use the cork board to work out my scenes, group them in chapters, work out my characters and their world, and always-always know my ending first, then my beginning, before I write the first scene.

One of the last things I do before I begin writing, at the point when I’m kicking, punching, and screaming to get the first scene down on paper, is to visualize the story in my head, scene by scene (no dialogue), just let it roll through like a silent movie. If it rolls without a hitch, and there’s no sticking at any point, I write.  Fim image

Layering is tricky, and sometimes I add it in the second and third drafts, especially if one of my characters is boring. Either the character has to go, or we (character and me) have to figure out how to make him/her more interesting.

I try to get most of my layering accomplished in the pre-writing/plotting stage. The Snowflake method has worked really well in the past. Love Randy!

How many drafts do you usually write before you send your work to your editor?

Not sure why, but three seems to be the magic number. Keeping in mind that I use a mentoring editor before I submit work to an agent or publisher. Depending on my mentor’s critique, I may need an additional edit, or two, or three.  woman typing on a keyboar

That’s it for me today.

 

 

Let’s cruise over to see what J.J. Devine has to say. JJ Devine's Cheyenne Bride

http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer

 

 

9/16/14 RWW Flash Fiction

RWW

 

Welcome to Blog Hop.  If you’ve arrived via the talented J.J. Devine, thanks for hopping over. If you like to read romance novels of all genres, join the writers of Romance Weekly as we try our hand at flash fiction . 

Our flash fiction was inspired by Jo Richardson and this image:

large

Promises– 

The birds had disappeared. Clouds were rolling past at a startling speed, whipping the river into a whirl of anger, matching Libby’s mood. She sipped a Chardonnay to steady her nerves.  sad-woman-looking-out-window

Ten hours and twelve minutes ago she’d been happy.  Blissful. Ten hours and twelve minutes ago Libby hadn’t known Jessica was pregnant. Pregnant with Chapman’s child. Ten hours and twelve minutes ago Libby believed Chapman loved her. Believed tonight’s dinner was compensation for his eighty-hour workweeks. Now she knew the truth.

The text was seared into her memory.  Please don’t bail– Stand by me. I can’t be pregnant and single. I’m sorry.

Five years and nothing had worked. Not drugs, hypnosis, in vitro, nothing.  Five years of hope now lost.  But now Chapman would have his baby.

Libby checked the mirror. At least she’d look stunning. She’d order champagne, toast the new father. Hold her head high and pretend her heart wasn’t shattered. Chapman would count on Libby not crying. No public scenes. Not even when he admitted breaking his sacred promise. Not even when her husband asked for a divorce. Not even then.

She walked to Brasserie 529, only three blocks from their  brownstone. They’d sell. No way Jessica’s was living in her townhouse.

Chapman waved her over. Sapphire eyes sending shockwaves through her body, as if they were teenagers on a first date. But he wasn’t hers–not anymore.

Champagne. Wrapped box. Consolation gift? Hands shaking, she untied the lavender bow. Airline tickets?

Chapman’s beaming smile. “Three weeks and a villa on Lake Como,” he said. “I landed the Jamison account, a bonus, and three weeks vacation.”

“Jessica?”

“Back at work, pregnant and getting married. But she’ll cover for me while we’re gone. I’ve been covering for her all month. She owes me.” Chapman cupped Libby’s face, his lips barely touching hers, and whispered, “I love you, Libby. Child or no child, adoption or fostering, I promise it doesn’t matter.  All I want is you.”

<<<<>>>>

Hope you enjoyed Promises. Now join me in hopping over to read what A.S. Fenichel, author ofhe Psychic Mates Series, has posted. Her flash is sure to be steamy and sexy. kanesbounty

http://asfenichel.net

9/9/14 RWW Weekly Hop

RWW

Welcome to Blog Hop.  If you like to read romance novels of all genres, join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all…about our writing.

If you’ve arrived via Josie Malone, thanks for hopping over. Don’t you just love her book jackets, they spark all kinds of sexy thoughts this Tuesday morning. Beth CarterJosie Malone

 

Today’s fun and challenging questions are from              Beth Carter, author of  Thursdays at Coconuts. I adore that title.

 

1. What’s your favorite aspect of novel writing? Dialogue? Setting? Conflict?Narration? Explain.

I like to write fun and snappy dialogue. Love it when my character has the perfect comeback line, the one I never seem to have at the right time. That’s my favorite kind of writing, and for some reason  it’s usually my antagonist’s dialogue.

Striving to reach a reader, create words that resonate on the page, making them like your character, even if he’s a bastard.– that’s my goal.  I think it’s the objective of most writers.

JD

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

 

2. How do you choose the setting for your plot? Are they always similar settings or does it vary? (i.e., small town, big city, castle, etc.)

My setting dictates my story.  In my last career, I had the opportunity to travel most of the world.  It was an International Sales and Marketing company with two offshore offices. You learn a lot about a culture when you travel for business versus pleasure. I also lived in Brazil as a teenager. I try to write a story that could only be experienced  in a particular setting.  Something unique.  A way for my work to stand out in the crowd.

River in the springI’m currently doing the fourth rewrite on a book set on the Georgia coast. The setting is the veiew out of my office window. It’s not exactly an exotic locale, but the South definitely has a distinctive culture and I’ve tried to bring a little of that into Changing Tides.

My current WIP is set in a restored monastary in Antiqua, a place that touched my heart. The backstory is in my novel section on this website.

3.  I’m a big six-word memoir fan. (Hemingway even wrote one.) Describe your writing day using just six words.

One AM: 2000 words: six AM 

That was my writing day on Monday. I was back in bed by 6:15. Every day is different, but I’ve learned to not fight insomnia. I take advantage of those middle of the night eureka moments, otherwise by morning they’ve vanished.

Baby ShoesI’ve never read a six-word memoir that tops Hemingway’s:

For sale: Baby shoes: Never worn. 

 

 

That’s it for me today. Let’s head over to Jeanne McDonald, author of The Truth in Lies, and read her six word memoir.

Jean McDonald

http://jeannemcdonald.com

9/2/2014 RWW

RWW

Welcome to Blog Hop.  If you like to read romance novels of all genres, join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all…about our writing.

Collette       If you’ve arrived here via Collette Cameron http://blueroseromance.com , welcome.

 

 A big thanks to Ronnie Allen for our questions today.   

1. When do you decide that you’ve done enough editing and changes would now be making it different, not better? So it’s the time to submit.

Deciding when to let go of a story is one of the most difficult tasks for me as a writer. When I’m close to the end, I stick a Hemingway quote on my wall, “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”  

Knowing when a story is finished, letting go after checking, re-checking, and then checking once more, is tricky. There’s always one sentence that could be stronger, cadence that’s a smidgen off, dialogue that could be tightened. But when my mind begins to wander to my next story and away from my WIP, when I’m tired of rehashing the same chapters over and over, I put it away for a while and work on something else. In a week or so, I pull it out, print a hard copy, and wander outside and find a comfortable spot, or in the winter I sit in my favorite chair by the fireplace, somewhere other than my desk, and read the entire manuscript Hemingway Writinglike any other book. If I can get through the entire story, and changes would be minor, it’s time.

2.) When and how do you accept change advice by rejection letters and critique partners?

When I first started writing rejections and critiques were difficult. But I’m stubborn and if someone doesn’t like my work, especially if they are knowledgeable and honest, and can point out my weaknesses, I take a few days and let their comments percolate, and then I make changes. There are times when a comment is so obvious that I slap my forehead and wonder how I let that slip by.

One of my favorite quotes is by Hemingway. The great man himself said, “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” (I’m stuck on Hemingway today).  Rejections and critiques are part of the business, they make us better, force us to reside for a few hours in a magical place inside our head, a place we didn’t even know existed. And I try to remember, professionals are writers who didn’t quit.

3.) When you’re not writing, how do you spend your day or do you create your day around your writing? 

I usually write six days a week, one of those is a half-day. My kids are grown and out of the house, my husband is supportive, and even though he sometimes complains about not having enough time together, he understands. If life calls me away during my normal workday, I wake up early, usually around 4:00am, and get a head start. I make a point to write six to eight hours a day. But if I have a super day and hit my 2,000 daily word goal early, I celebrate. I ride my bike, read a book for pleasure, swim, garden, or anything that’s fun and away from my office.       

That’s it for me. Let’s roll over to the talented Kim Handyside and see how her writing days are spent.

http://kimhandysides.com