#MFRWauthor Blog Challenge. Character profiles

I’ve talked a great deal about how much of a people watcher and relationship voyeur I am in previous blogs on my website.  I have to admit, people watching is the best way for me to develop characters. Watching how strangers  act, listening to how they talk and treat others, how they speak, the gestures they make, all go toward making a character more life-like on the page.

But what happens once I see and know the character I want to write about? Well, then I do an indepth profile of them using a worksheet developed by ONE STOP FOR WRITERS and authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. One Stop is a paid membership service to their on-line support system which lists thousands of characteristics inherent in the human personality. Many of you may have heard of their breakout book THE EMOTION THESAURUS.

I own this book in print and believe me when I say it’s dog-eared, yellow markered up, and used almost daily. I also own an ecopy of it so I can always have it with me when I’m working and not home. To go along with this book I also have copies of the others in the series:

      

Each of these books is an excellent, must have reference book when writing anything emotion-worthy and characteristic-driven about your characters.

I also have a Book Bible for each book I write that lists all the characters, their physical characteristics, their relationship to one another, and their GMC’s. Because I write so many book in series, this is a fabulous way for me to ensure I never give a character green eyes in chapter one and brown eyes in chapter 8. Plus, if I’ve killed off their beloved cat in backstory, I can’t show them petting the cat in chapter 2. My mind is so chockfull of “stuff” that trying to remember each detail is just a wee bit of  a hardship for me. Having it readily available at a few taps of my fingers is paramount in keeping everything flowing smoothly.

Character profiles have come a long way since the times when just listing the physical details was the only thing important. Readers are invested in their fav characters and series and have looooooooooooong accurate memories when it comes to the minutia. If you have any doubt of that just ask anyone who is a long time soap opera watcher about the backstories of any of the main characters. They will give you chapter, book, and verse in major detail. Why do you think it’s called a “show Bible?” ( see what I did there? Bible…chapter, book, verse?)

Heehee.

Since this is blog hop, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

AuthorBlogHop

Looking for me? here I am:

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Thoughts from the Dentist’s chair

Had to get my teeth cleaned today. So NOT my favorite thing to do. But while I was sitting their, reclined and held captive while my tech did her thing, my mind started strolling through all the crap that I usually filter out every day just so I can work.

Things like:

~did I take something out of the freezer to defrost in time for diiner

~ can I put off doing the laundry for one more day or will we wind up without clean underwear tomorrow

~ how can I get more readers

~ will I fit into my clothes by the time RWA rolls around

~should I get my hair cut? Get botox? Get a face lift?

~ who really shot the deputy ( if you get this one KUDOS to you!!!)

~ where do I want my life to be in 5 years? ten? Will I even make it to 10?

~why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways

~ does menopause ever end

Believe me, there’s a whole lot more than just these examples that shunt through my head and annoy me everyday if I let them.

Le sigh…a writer’s life.

Looking for me? here I am:

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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My first #audiobook review

I’ve talked ad nauseum here on this blog about how important REVIEWS are for an author. It can mean the difference between a new author’s name getting out there in a positive light, and sales death on Amazon. Well, audio books – which are now all the reading rage – have their own importance for reviews as well. I tell you all this because I just received my very first audio book review for 3 WISHES and it warmed my heart.

You can click on the link to see it, but my favorite line? This one: “It’s a 5 star listen “

 Sniff sniff! And this is a review from a person I don’t know from Adam so that makes it more wonderful.
Le sigh. A nice was to start a Tuesday, no?
If you’re looking for me, I’m probably here:

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and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Post Writing Conference High…

 

SO I’m back home after spending a few days in Burlington, MA at the NECRW 2018 Let Your imagination take Flight writers conference. Tired doesn’t begin to describe me today. My bones are weary!

This year, I made a concerted effort to put my little introverted self out there and meet new writers. Those of you who know me, probably think I’m having some kind of stroke by referring to myself as introverted. But I am, truly. Even though I’ll talk to a rock, I still get ridiculously nervous and feel I’m being judged by people I’ve just met.

But that’s my hangup, so….

Lots of fun and informative times at the conference.

First and foremost, met the amazeballs and national writing treasure Beverly Jenkins. She gave a master class on setting and world building that was so spot on, it’s no wonder she’s the fabulous writer she is. Every writer – whether of the romance genre, or truly, an other genre, could learn something from this brilliant woman that would elevate their writing to heights never thought of before. I have 6 pages of handwritten, excited notes from her class and can’t wait to start putting them into practice.

From the phenomenal and tech-brilliant Nam Patel I seriously increased my knowledge base of keywords, SEO’s and how to navigate through google. Nam is the kind of brilliant person who is able to break down complex knowledge principles to an understandable language for tach-no-savvy’s like me!!

I’d never heard the term Fan-Fiction before until I took a class with literary agent Courtney Miller Callahan on the subject. Boy, did I get an eyeopener!

Of course there were other workshops I attended, but these three ladies were by far the best and brightest of the bunch!

Now, I’m off to start building a better world and setting for my characters, then I have to update my internet accounts, and finally, I may just take a quick trek through a few fan fiction pages to get an idea of what this whole subgenre is really about. I can smell a potential story line here for a couple of people who need an HEA in their lives!

Of course when I’m not writing you can find me here;

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Author Branding, Candy Hearts, Food lover, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

#SaturdaySeven #LASReviews

I’m at a conference this weekend, so I’m going to make this short and sweet.

The 7 elements I think are essential in any great romance story.

  1. a heroine with backbone that I can imagine myself being
  2. a hero I can fall n love despite foibles and flaws
  3. a villain/protagonist who isn’t a characature
  4. a plot that is plausible with conflict that is real not contrived
  5. a setting that is real
  6. an HEA ( duh!)
  7. secondary characters that are more than just walk-ons and that enrich, contribute to, and foster the h/h’s journey to love

Check out the other authors in this hop to see some of their favorite “7 things” Seven Saturday

 

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Books are like children: I hate to pick favorites…but

How is it possible this is week 17 in this blog challenge??? I used to laugh when people said “time flies,” but you know what? No lie!! It does.

Anyhoo.

Today’s challenge is to write about your favorite romance genre to read or write.  Mine is the same for both. I am a dyed in the wool contemporary romance lover, writer, devour-er. There are sosososos many fabulous Contemporary authors out there to choose from to read ( me among them. HeeHee!) that I’ve never gotten tired or bored once with finding new talent and storylines to inhale. And by inhale I mean, READ.

I’m a live in the present kinda girl – in life and books, apparently. Planning for stuff gives me agita. I’ve never been one to live in the past. I have a hard time suspending my disbelief of vampires, warewolves and ghosts. I’m not into whips, chains and ball gags ( I actually gagged thinking of that last one), and time travel gives me a headache. Although I have a friend who writes time travel really well and makes it easy for me to understand.

So that leaves me with the here and now. Reading about people living in the world today, with all the struggles, problems, and conflicts that abound from doing so is pleasurable to me. I like knowing that a gal who could be me is finding her way in life and love. Not to knock any other genre because they are all fab, but contemporary is it for me.

Let’s see what the other authors in this blog hop are saying: links

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Conference season, like Hollywood Awards season, is a big deal to a writer.

Every year when the Hollywood awards season starts – you know: the Screen Actors Guild awards, the Oscars, the Golden Globes, — I start to get excited because for me that means the beginning of WRITERS CONFERENCE TIME.

No lie. There is literally a romance writers conference every single month from now until December, and I’m going to a bunch of them this year.

The very first is taking place this weekend in Burlington, MA with the NECRW LET YOUR IMAGINATION TAKE FLIGHT conference and book signing. I’ll be cavorting, mingling, and networking with hundreds of romance writers like me, and even participating in the big book signing tomorrow night.

So, if you’re in Burlington, MA area and you love to read romance, stop by the Marriott from 6-8 tomorrow night and meet over 50 of your favorite and most popular romance authors of every genre. Buy some books. Have a ball. I know I will!

And because you know me so well, you know I’ll be blogging about this event daily, letting you in on all the workshop info and little tidbits of publishing knowledge I gather. Plus fan-girling over all my fav authors!

Hope to see you there!

And if you can’t make it to the conference to see me, you can always find me hereTweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

and one last thing: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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The life of a writer in the new age of publishing

So a few days ago I shared that one of my books from The Wild Rose Press is being offered through Audible.

3 Wishes went livelivelive to the book LISTENING world on April 17. So far, I have had some pretty good feedback on it from friends, so I wanted to share how the process came about and what I had to do to get the work out there in audiocyberspace.

About a year ago the WRP first notified authors they were going to start offering books on audio to get into this fast moving and rapidly growing market. Right now, audio books are the number one choice of millenials over e-readers and print version books. I know this as fact because I have a millenial for a daughter and she ( and her friends) are always on the go, busy, traveling and working. To devote the time it takes to sit down and actually read a book is time they don’t want to take, so they tend to listen to things like podcasts and books on tape ( or audio as it’s called now) while they are exercising at the gym, traveling for work, even in the car on the way to work. I will admit I hesitated for several months before I ever decided to dip my foot into this market.

First, I had to agree to a seven year extension of the book contract. Then I had to write and audition piece for the potential narrators to read and to, well, audition with. Once that was done and sent back to WRP I waited. And Waited. After about 3 months I received my first audition to listen to. The narrator wasn’t…right. It’s difficult to explain but hearing my words through her interpretation and “voice” wasn’t a good fit, so I rejected her. Guilt, party of one?

Audition 2 was better. The voice was engaging and younger, sounding as if the person was in their 20s-30s, so correct for the POV character. I accepted her and then she narrated the entire book, which I listened to 3 times for approval. There were some words she’d pronounced incorrectly, some phrases I wanted her to change, so that added another 2 months to the process.

Finally, On April 17, the audio book was released into the world, more than 6 months after I initially agreed to it. This is a long process, to be sure. In a perfect world I would narrate my own books because they are written in my voice – truly, my voice – the heavily Brooklyn-d accented, NewYorker voice. But alas, that’s not gonna happen in my lifetime.

If you’re an Audiobook listen-er, here are the links to 3 WISHES.

It’s available via Amazon, Audible, and i-Tunes.

Happy listening.

And if you need to listen to me talk ( Heehee) this is where you can find me:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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It’s Tuesday, so that means…menopause talks

I’m over on my alter ego blog site, MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE talking about….well, you need to read it to really know now, dontcha!! heehee. Stop by. Leave me some love.

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A new day…a busy week…a hectic life

My life has been a bit…on the constant go…of late. A new book release, a new audio book release, edits for my Christmas release, an author appearance, and two virtual book tours. All in the past 2 weeks. Plus, all the social media promotion involved in each and every one of those things so I can get the word out my work and, you know….make a living! HeeHee. Add in the book reviews I need to get done for Netgalley and then the 3 personal friend reviews I’ve been asked to do for soon-to-be-released books AND the judging I need to get done for a romance writing contest I’m involved in, and…Yikes!!

When I set out to write full time three years ago after the publication of my first book, I thought I’d spend my days happily inventing new characters and situations that would bring them together, pull them apart, and then reconnect them for their HEA. And I have done that, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved every millisecond of being able to devote myself to writing.

But….

It’s all the OTHER stuff that goes along with wanting to be a published author that’s starting to make my life a little harried. Strained. Busy. Swamped. You get the idea.

 

The social media stuff alone is mind boggling at times. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m actually grateful for my menopause insomnia because I’m typically awake and out of bed by 3:30 every morning. From the moment after I get myself situated with a cup of tea, I’m at my desk, posting my SM stuff for the day through the scheduling app HOOTSUITE. There’s even a group of other insomniac writers like me on Twitter  with the Hashtag (#) 5amwritersclub. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone when the rest of the nation is still slumbering!

If I was a million-seller author by now, I’d have a publicist and a media consultant do all this for me. Can you imagine how much writing work I could done in those 3 hours in the middle of the night every day? I can tell you how much: my first book was written between the hours of 1 am and 3 am for 3 solid months when I first hit menopause and was afflicted with this sleeping disturbance. Now that I’m a seasoned writer and edit as I go, I could turn out another book every 45 days just by writing during the hours I am usually doing the media stuff! Mind boggling!

There’s an old saying that, if you want to get something done in a hurry, give it to a busy person. While that may be true more times than not, it also makes the busy person feel overwhelmed, stressed, and – in my case – sleep deprived.

And I just realized how this sounds like I’m a whining 3 year old. I’m not ( well, maybe just a titch!) Before the advent of social media ruling the world, I really wonder how authors did it. How did they get the word out effectively about their work? How did they get new readers? Who helped them?

All questions that will, for now, remain unanswered, as I need to go and schedule today’s posts.

And if you’re looking for me, here’s where I am ( see? I told you I was busy!! Heehee)

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges