Throw Back Thursday – When I Started to Write

When I first started to write I simply knew I would be the next big one. The next Stephanie Meyer or <Insert famous author>.  This wasn’t because my vampires sparked, because well, they didn’t.  No.  It was because I had something to say that would bring joy to people. Little did I know that the average it takes a person to get published isn’t exactly a fact, but it is founded on facts.  The average I last heard was 8 years.  Is that true today? I would say no.  Why?  Well now there is self-publication and therefore one more statistic.

Okay – enough depressing words.  So for fun. 

If you are a writer – what is the first thing you tried to publish?

If you are a reader – what have you thought of some authors new releases vs. their later releases?

 

Here is my embarrassment.  Mind you I started to seriously write during the vampire craze about 7 bad ideasyears ago.

Seventeen year old girl who is human, falls for a vampire that is a friend of her vampire family.  Yes – a human raised by vampires.  There’s some crazy vengeance from a few hundred years of feuds, some trips to Ireland and Italy.  Shopping in France.  A crush from a human boy – so a small love triangle.  Love struck girl is kidnapped, but don’t panic.  There is an over indulgent HEA – because all my stories are happily ever after.  The end!

You can laugh now 🙂

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Beach Reads Blog Hop Giveaway

Beach Reads Roane

 Welcome to the Beach Reads Blog Hop!  Where all your beach reading needs are taken care of – er, or something like that.  I personally don’t do beaches much.  I burn. Granted I am bright red afterwards, instead of Caspar the Friendly Ghost white.  So whether you do the beach or read indoors, have some fun with our giveaways!

Enter Here!

FIRST prize is an ebook copy of For the Love of Murphy and one of a kind Pendant key-chain!

SECOND prize is a one of a kind pendant key-chain and book marks!

(Please note if you are outside the US you are most likely only eligible for the ebook – sorry!)

ALSO

Don’t forget to enter for the Kindle Paperwhite GRAND PRIZE!

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For the Love of Murphy

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Genre: Romance Anthology (Sweet)

Release Date: March 17, 2014

Keywords: Romance, Anthology, Sweet, Murphy’s Law, Short Stories

Description: They say love conquers all, but whoever “they” are, must not have heard of Murphy’s Law — whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

These five tales of sweet, accidental romance prove Cupid’s arrows are a lot tougher than they seem, and sometimes it pays to be unlucky.

No Wrong Turns by Lisa A. Adams

Falling For You by Michelle Ziegler

Coffee and Cufflinks by Annabelle Blume

A Slippery Slope by Rebecca Hart

The Shamrock Incident by London Saint James

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Don’t forget to visit the others on the tour.

Terri’s Love Triangle and Love’s Sorrow Release

Okay – seriously?  I know what you were thinking when you read my title.  Remove your mind from the gutter.  This is a relatively clean-ish blog.  <shakes head>  Now that that’s settled.

In celebration of Ms. Rockenski’s release, Love’s Sorrow, I asked her what her favorite genre to write is.  Okay, I was rather fascinated by her way of writing fantasy and historical romances.  They are incredibly different.  Terri, the floor is yours.

Which is your favorite genre you write & why?

I’m going to cheat!! I have two loves—fantasy and romance—and they both have their traps and joys.

Fantasy—it’s easy to steal from others’ ideas, but is there really anything new anyway? World-building, magic, plots—pretty sure it’s all been covered in this genre. That being said, those pitfalls can also be the most fun.

Creating a world where anything is possible, limitless possibilities, really, all conjured from the recesses of your mind. Weeeee!

Romance—this genre has its own issues and pleasures. Pacing has to be the biggest hard-not-to-blunder one in my opinion. From the meeting to the falling in love to the HEA there needs to be a natural, believable progression.

That HEA for your characters is the most rewarding writing experience ever, though. Giving that fairy tale ending to the voice in your mind = priceless.

What’s your favorite genre to write? How ‘bout read?

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Title:  Love’s Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1)

Author:  Terri Rochenski

Publisher:  Roane Publishing

Release Date:  April 21, 2014

Keywords:  Sweet, Historical Romance

 

f560f-lovessorrow_coverfinalBlurb:

Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.

 

Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow’s unrelenting waves of grief.

 

Purchase Links:

Print: Createspace (Best Option)/Amazon

eBook: Amazon/ Bookstrand/ Smashwords

 

Tracey Hanlon PhotographyBio:

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

 

Ms. Rochenski’s Links:

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Link for Love’s Sorrow on Goodreads

 

 

 

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 Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!!!

Giveaway Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

 

 

Fun Fact Friday – Author Jennifer Eaton and Where She Writes

When you think of an author, do you think of a pristine writing space?  Space that is whimsical and orderly?  Ha, I don’t.  My space looks like something blew up.  Well I find it fascinating to know that I am not the only one.  I am sure when I told Jennifer she was my Fun Fact Friday victim she didn’t envision me doing a post a her desk.  But frankly that is a fun fact to me.

She likes Barbies and fish.  She has graphic design software.  This woman is someone I can relate to.  The Fun Fact is that you can write in whatever space is you.  Your writing doesn’t have to be an alter ego. In fact, you will write better if you let yourself come through.  Surround yourself in whatever makes you happy.  For me, I LOVE Post-it notes!

Original Source Kelly Said

Author Jennifer Eaton is an author of TWO new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas.”  Visit her blog for more information.  Her stories are getting AMAZING reviews so check out these two books.  (E-books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and Smashwords.) Get into the Christmas Spirit!!

For the Love of ChristmasMake Believe

Related Links

Amazon – For the Love of Christmas

Still Moments Buy online

Fun Fact Friday – Kristin Nelson and What She Wants to See …Maybe

The Nelson Literary Agency is probably one of the most informative agencies I have found.  Yes there are others, and feel free to enlighten me on them in comments too.

Kristin Nelson, the founder of Nelson Literary and an agent, can’t quite sum up what she wants in submissions.  The good news is, she can’t because she feels like genre categories are limiting. What that means for writers?  Well it means that not all agents feel like you are limited to exactly the definition of a category.  Do you write romance with a hint of horror?  She isn’t going to list horror on her web site, but she’d probably love to see it.  The key take away is that if your book can fit into one of the major categories an agent wants to see, try submitting.  I have no idea how she would market a cross genre book but that’s for her to know and you to find out.

Always follow submission guidelines and obviously play up the parts of your book that fit an agents request, but don’t be afraid to send something with a bit of a genre twist.

Do you know of other agents who blog helpful information?  Share their links here for other writers.  If the agent is geared towards one genre more then another list that.  Happy Friday.

Fear and Making Our Characters Real

Fear is a part of life.  It is what drives us to run for the hills, or the bathroom, or your husband, or a shoe.  My irrational fear of spiders is what has caused me to have a huge knot on my shin and nightmares last night.  I will not be cleaning out my basement for another month or two.  DO NOT, I repeat do not believe a man when they tell you “it’s fall, all the spiders are dead.”  Dead my foot.  Mr. Creepy-Crawly attacked me and is now in the bottom of a trash bag – don’t worry pro-spider people.  He isn’t dead.  One large, extra strong, ultra puncture-proof trash bag and some very interesting maneuvering got the spider and his  home into the bag without making contact.  I am not proud, I fully admit I screamed loudly, jumped around frantically, did the whole “ew” shake my hands thing, and in the end I survived.

These kinds of experiences make characters seem alive, more real.  Everyone has to be afraid of something and sometimes that fear defines them.  In romance the fear that drives your character is generally nothing like in a horror book, it just wouldn’t be believable.  For me my characters fears are something that I too fear because I can speak from first hand experience.  My characters will never be spider friendly and most likely will never go gallivanting in a dark basement – unless I need her to have a heart attack.  Those are fears a lot of people, mostly women can relate to and I tend to use them for a break from the romantic story.  I write contemporary romance.  Romances set in today’s world.  I write about an everyday woman who goes through some sort of extreme situation.  Hopefully her random fears help you relate to her even if you won’t ever be in her predicament.  Sometimes a fear such as loss or failure can actually be the driving force for the story.

When you add real elements to your story, such as fears, make sure you are thinking of your audience.  Vampires most likely won’t fear a poisonous spider, Superman will always hate kryptonite, Elizabeth Bennett won’t ever fear a zombie (well actually in recent book releases she might.)  Fear can add comic relief, a driving force, or just creepy elements.

What fears do you instill in your characters?  Where do you pull them from and what are your trying to accomplish by your fear of choice? 

<Creepy Laugh> Happy Halloween Week

Fun Fact Friday – Jennifer Cruise isn’t Funny?

If you asked yourself who you were, what adjectives would you use?  Witty?  Caring? Interesting?  What is your writing like – if you write anyway.  Well author Jennifer Cruise, whom I find to have some great one-liners wouldn’t describe herself as funny.

I would not describe myself as a funny writer, nor would I describe my books as comedies. I may be the only person in the world who thinks I don’t write comedy, but that’s okay because when it comes to defining me, I’m the only one who counts. I’ll take “sharp,” I’ll take “true,” I’ll take “obsessed with community,” but I will not take “comic.” That’s not me.  Jennifer Crusie

How we see ourselves usually doesn’t line up with how others view us.  Is it crazy that a Romance writer who writes some comedy romance wouldn’t see herself as funny?

Am I Stuck in One Genre?

For a writer who is yet to be published it might be a concern to which genre do they try to get published in.  Whatever you start in could set you up for great success, but could limit your chances of changing over in the future.

Several authors I have loved since the start have been making a change from romance to paranormal romance in recent years.  Are they doing so successfully?  I would think yes since they have not stopped with one book.

There are several authors out there who have adopted pen names in order to change between genres or even just transition from major series.  I understand changing to a pen name for a drastic change in genre but fail to understand the change from series to series.  This approach can get a little confusing to the reader who is trying to figure out what other books their favorite author has written.

The question is, once you start in a genre how hard is it to transition to another?  As a writer waiting to get their first contract I think you will write in whichever genre gets you the ever elusive agent or publisher.  But when all is said and done what if you heart really wants to write something different?

How many genres have you written in before being published, or while you are waiting to be published?

Romance Sub-genres Continued…

Thank you Kelly Hashway for reminding me of some ‘newer’ sub-genres.  Yes these genres have been around for awhile but they are still more on the emerging side of romance.   Steampunk and Dystopian Romance.
Remember what makes a romance, a romance.  The additional plot points that would ruin the book if removed.  That being said here are the best definitions that I can think of at the moment.  Please feel free to add your opinions or questions.

Steampunk Is actually a sub-genre of science fiction.  It is an alternate history generally falling in the Victorian era.  Combine the themes of the era like corsets, social protocol, and cravats with technology that is generally steam powered.  Add in the romantic elements which are usually a strong female and male character that typically challenge the ideology of the times and ta-da you have a Steampunk Romance… well sort of.

Dystopian Romance Is generally a romance that takes place post a major world altering event.  There actually might be a split here from post-apocalyptic but I am not going to dissect this at the moment. The characteristics that build these books are human suffering and or misery, marred by oppression, squalor, disease, and/or overcrowding.  Add your romantic elements and somehow these books might not be super depressing.  There is a MAJOR box office hit that started as a book that fits this category.  Can you guess it’s title.

One more genre that I thought of which could be sometimes confused with Steampunk, but separates itself on a different level by what emotions it tries to invoke is, Gaslight Romance.  Gaslight Romance can also be called Gaslamp Fantasy.

Gaslight Romance Although these stories can be composed of strong romantic elements they also try to bring about fear, apprehensions and an array of intense emotions in the reader. The time period is usually Victorian/Edwardian era.  Gothic literature might be the strongest influence for these stories. According to Wikipedia this is an old genre but I’d never come across it until recently.  So think old world mystery with paranormal and supernatural elements and few to no inventions.
Is anyone else seeing why it can be so hard to find what genre you really fit into.  The sad thing is so many good books fit a number of elements that cross genres and sub-genres, yet you have to pick one to be marketable.  I am working on where I fit how about you?

Let’s Talk Romance and the Genre

What do I write again?

The lines between definitions seem to blur when you get into category romance.  This is also true for other sub-genres, such as Commercial fiction vs. category fiction vs. literary, etc, etc.  Since I write romance this is where I intend to focus.

If you go to Romance Writers of America you will find a small subset of romance categories.  One sub-genre they do not mention is chick-lit.  Chick-lit is somewhat controversial.  Is it more romance driven or would it fit more into literary fiction?  It seems like most women would agree it is more Romance but with sass and drive.

I go back and forth whether my books are chick-lit or contemporary.  Contemporary romance is very broad.  Everything that is set after ’45  would fit this category.  I can’t go wrong there, but I would rather market my book properly.

Let’s go over the romance sub-genres.Romance and it's many faces

From the Romance Writers of America sub-genres are: Contemporary Series Romance, Contemporary-Single Title Romance, Historical, Inspiration, Paranormal, Regency, Romantic suspense and Young Adult.

 

  • Contemporary Series Romance Usually anything set in modern day but in Romance the specific date is after the war times, post 1945. These novels focus on a romantic relationship.
  • Contemporary-Single Title Romance Same as above except this is a single title, one book.
  • Historical Romance
    If you have contemporary then you have an opposite.  That is historical.  In Romance that means anything before 1945.  There is no specific region needed for historical.
  • Inspirational Romance
    Sometimes this is called Christian Romance (thank you Amazon).  They are one in the same.  This sub-genre has spiritual or religious elements that play a major role in the romance. Granted I have read some books where I wouldn’t call the spiritual elements “major”.
  • Paranormal Romance These novels are set in a alternate world. That can be future or  fantasy, and paranormal elements are a major portion of the story.
  • Regency Romance
    Think British.  These stories have the majority of the plot taking place in Britain during the regency period.
  • Romantic Suspense
    If your mystery or thriller has a lot of romance, this might be your genre.  The plot is filled with not only suspense, mystery, or thrills, but also has a romance that the story couldn’t survive without.
  • Young Adult Romance Romance geared towards young adults.  This is a tricky thing to define.  These days some romance in a YA can be a little more adult that was accepted a few years back.

Other genres that the RWA does not mention are Gothic and Erotic.

  • Gothic usually brings to mind creepy visions of the past.  Castles, grand homes, you know the creepy old Victorian.  These stories usually have thriller elements, suspense and maybe other elements of the other genres.  It’s sort of a soup.
  • Erotic Romance focuses more on the sensuality of the story rather then the love.  A happy ending, a lasting relationship, those are not necessary for an Erotic novel although usually they squeak in.
  • Chick – Lit usually is defined by being a light-heated usually witty take on life.  These stories deal with real women’s issues generally in the corporate world, on weight issues, dating disasters etc. It’s the humor that makes it different from mainstream women’s usually.  These books normally have elements of romance but don’t always, which is why I would guess RWA does not recognize it. To see more

The biggest thing to remember is if the romance could be removed without ruining the story, most likely you are literary or some other genre.  The romance  in a romance genre carries the story no matter how many subplots there are.

I will work on a list of authors as examples for each genre next time.  Does this cover it or did I miss the boat?