Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Guest Post

Guest Post: Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan on Writing Dual Timelines

My Darling, My Disaster Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan

When we decided to tackle a dual timeline for My Rogue, My Ruin (MRMR) and My Darling, My Disaster (MDMD), we were so excited for the chance to write about two different couples falling in love under their own sets of circumstances, but over the same course of time. We had no idea what we were signing up for, but the challenge of making each story stand alone and yet having each one thread into the other was equally intriguing. We were especially delighted to write Gray and Lana’s story, and their belowstairs, secret master-servant relationship.

That said, doing a dual timeline story opened up a whole can of worms we did not anticipate. First, we created a document which included all of the days and hours we had to play around with for Gray and Lana to develop their relationship. In other words, if Lana was attending to Brynn as her lady’s maid in MRMR, she couldn’t be canoodling with Gray in MDMD. And since we know that our savvy romance readers would hold us to task, we had to be extremely careful to make sure those timelines were carefully aligned.

The second challenge we encountered were the few overlapping scenes. A couple of these scenes were relevant to both books, so we simply had to include them. While MDMD has a couple scenes drawn straight from MRMR, they’re from a totally different perspective—which was so fun to write. For example, one scene from MRMR shows Gray being a complete jerk. But in MDMD, the scene is shown from Gray’s perspective and the reader is given valuable insight as to why he’s being such a pain in the arse.

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Guest Post: Anna Schmidt’s Writing Routine

Last Chance Cowboy Anna Schmidt

I am what in today’s lingo is known as a “pantster”—writing by the seat my pants. [BTW I actively hate labels of any kind because I think they stereotype and classify whole groups of individuals, so PLEASE never ever call me by that or any other label.]

Okay, back to the question at hand: I write on deadline. It is a habit I developed in school—never starting my term papers or studies for exams until I was close to delivering them. As I age I find that time frame has to be stretched—it takes more time these days. That said, I am always writing—if I am out for a walk or running errands or listening to music, it is amazing how often something will crop up that I know I will somehow use in the story. So the simple answer is that I am always writing.

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Guest Post: Amy Sandas on the Best Piece of Writing Advice She Ever Received

The Untouchable Earl Amy Sandas

Once upon a time, when I was young and hopeful and naïve, I dreamed of writing romance novels. No. I yearned to write romance novels. I fell asleep thinking of my characters and their lives. I woke up missing them. I developed in-depth, real-time scenes in my head for the first kiss, the black moment, the resolution, and every poignant interaction in between. At one point, I went to a Tarot card reader (as one does when one wants desperately to know if ones dreams will come true) and this is what she said:

Just keep writing and the rest will come.

I walked away feeling bereft. Why? Because writing was the one thing I wasn’t doing. And I was afraid that it was the one thing I couldn’t do.

Now, of course I was doing some writing at this point and had been for years. Snippets of character description, short paragraphs or even single lines that would pop into my head at a time when the only thing I had to write on was a gum wrapper. On a few occasions, I’d even started a couple different novels. But I wouldn’t keep writing.

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Guest Post: “Romance Shamed” by Melanie Jayne

Better Melanie Jayne

I had heard this term on social media and while reading a few accounts I honestly thought it was much ado ‘bout nothin’, so what if you think what I write or read is silly. I’m always thrilled to see or hear that someone reads- period. To me the key is that people are choosing to read instead of watching TV, gaming, or doing the hundreds of other things that eat up our free time.

Recently I attended a lecture at my local library. A group of library employees sat at my end of the table and I took the opportunity to pimp, err market, my books. The woman next to me asked what I wrote?

So I answered excitedly, “ROMANCE.”

She turned her nose up and sniffed, “I don’t read that fluff.”

What???? Did this woman just snub me? I pressed. “I’m not sure what you mean?”

Then she shifted in her chair and started to look uncomfortable. “Well, it isn’t very realistic is it?”

I pasted a confused look on my face and asked, “Do you mean like the alcoholic murder suspect who solves the murder of the woman that she saw from the train? Or the orphaned boy who goes to a school for the magically gifted?” I could go on and on but I dropped it and chatted with the man to my left.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Guest Post: “Where I Write” by Asa Maria Bradley

Viking Warrior Rebel Asa Maria Bradley

Thanks for having me on the blog today to chat about my weird writing habits and where they happen.

Many of my writer friends create playlists for each book they work on. This gives them an ingenious way to quickly get their minds in gear to tackle the right story when they’re working on multiple projects. I am unfortunately not someone who can write while listening to music. When there are songs playing in my ears, I get caught up in the story they’re telling rather than my own. I prefer to write without a lot of background noise. It doesn’t have to be completely quiet, but I’m easily distracted by conversations and other sounds. This is why I’m not very good at writing in coffee shops either. I tend to eavesdrop on whatever people at the other tables are talking about and then inferring stories from that instead of moving my own fiction forward. While I was in school, I was like this when it came to studying as well. This often caused a problem since most of my college roommates preferred music in the background while preparing for exams and doing homework. Thank goodness for libraries that stayed open late.

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Guest Post: “My Love for YA Romance” by Monica Murphy

Daring The Bad Boy Monica Murphy

The love started when I was a young adult (once upon a time). I’m going to totally age myself with the following: I remember going to the mall and visiting the B. Dalton bookstore (RIP). They had an end cap featuring various young adult romances, including those published by Silhouette. I started in on those books and fell head over heels, eventually devouring a TON of them. They set my young teen heart aflutter.

What’s funny is I read a bunch of them, but could never remember their titles, the authors, etc. Except for one. My absolute favorite book from that line was Love at First Sight by Elaine Harper. Oh, MAN I loved that book. It was so swoony and sweet and full of teen angst and featured the most popular boy in school. I eventually lost my original copy but a couple of years ago I found it on Amazon. I one clicked that sucker (I think I got it for around a dollar) and will cherish it forever. The cover is faded and it’s been abused but it reminds me of the one I owned, so it’s perfect.

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Guest Post

“I Once Thought Writing a Paranormal Romance Would Be Easy…” by Tina Donahue

Disciplining the Beast Tina Donahue

After penning dozens of contemporary and historical romances, I wanted to switch gears and explore the paranormal genre. At the time, I was well aware of complications in writing any romance. The author has to keep the lovers apart in a logical manner, bring them together in a way that makes sense, and then tear them apart again with the turmoil occurring seamlessly within the plot. No easy feat. Add to that problems in communication during historical times—after all, they didn’t have cell phones or the internet in order to get in touch quickly—and authors face innumerable obstacles they must overcome.

As I hadn’t written any paranormals up to that point, I reasoned the genre had to be easier. The heroine or hero or both have superpowers. They don’t need no stinking iPhones, they can communicate telepathically or beam in and out of each other’s lives like Captain Kirk and Dr. Spock did on Star Trek. Talk about freaking easy.

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Guest Post: Amanda Forester’s Top 5 Most Exciting Things About Starting a New Series

If The Earl Only Knew Amanda Forester

The beginning of a new series is an exciting time. The curser blinks at you on the computer screen and you pause a moment before beginning. This new book could be anything, the possibilities are endless. It’s exciting!  It’s terrifying!

Here are my top five most exciting things about starting a new series.

1. Freedom of imagination. In writing a new series I get transported somewhere new and get to explore a whole new world with interesting new people. It is fun to let the wheels turn and see where it all goes.

2. Freedom from insistent characters. At the risk of sounding slightly insane, Lady Kate has been haunting me. I have been thinking about her story for years. YEARS. She demanded I write it and now that I have I can have a bit of peace. Well, now I’m bothered by Darington to write his story…

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Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post

Guest Post: “Sex Talk—Co-Writing Hot Scenes in Cyberlove” by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Fast Connection Megan Erickson Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson are back! And not only have they brought us a hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the writing process, it’s also deliciously not safe for work. (Consider this a warning and a teaser!) That’s not enough? Well, hold the phone, because we’ve also got an excerpt of Fast Connection, out now!

A lot of people ask us how we co-write sex scenes. Is it fun? Awkward? Uncomfortable?

Well, let’s just say it’s a little bit of each but usually it’s hilarious (mostly because we are ridiculous). Over the past several months we amassed a list of amusing (to us) gems from our sex-related conversations, and we’re sharing it with you guys. Anyone looking over our shoulders were a little….taken aback but we know we can trust romance readers to get it. 😉

1.“So I got this really cool wall-mounting idea…”


S: This scene took place during one of the famous dirty Skype scenes in Strong Signal. That book was fun. Also, Megan said that to me at random one day. I’m pretty sure I just rolled with it and was all “tell me more!” By then, it was normal for us to pitch ideas out of the blue.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “What’s Wrong With the Box Again?” by Amy Lane

Fish Out of Water Amy Lane

I’ll be honest.  My first warning usually comes when a friend or a colleague says to me, “Oh, you’re so brave!”

Sounds like a compliment, doesn’t it?  Uh-huh. Brave—we all want to be brave, right?

It might be, but “You’re so brave!” for me is usually followed by an Amy Lane sized crap-bomb that could spatter a city block. When my nearest and dearest are saying, “You’re so brave!” they are not infrequently edging away from me, reaching into boxes for rain ponchos and checking to make sure their kaiju shelters are stocked for the shitstorm to come.

For example, when my bestie and beta reader got to the end of Immortal, she said, “Oh, Amy—you’re so brave to kill off both main characters and have their happy ever after happen as they wandered the forest around their homes after death.” This translated into, “People will hate this ending. They will loathe it. They will .gif bomb the crap out of you on Goodreads, and you won’t understand and cry on me until my cornflakes get soggy from 3000 miles away.”

And because I was me, I put my little tin hat on, grabbed my broomstick, mounted my dying pony and galloped right into that windmill and got knocked right on my ass.

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