Tag Archives: 52 Week blog challenge

Social Media is here to stay…. #MFRWauthor

Another Friday, another blog challenge topic from MFRWauthor. Heehee. This one’s another easy peasy one to write.

Up until I had my first book published, the only Social Media platform I used was Facebook. It kept me in touch with my daughter who’d been in college, and I had fun seeing the posts from all her friends.

Fast forward to June 2014. I signed my first book contract and was told by the publisher that I needed to have a social media presence in order to garner readers and followers. I think the first thing I said was “no.” All I wanted to do was write, not be on-line with strangers all the time talking myself and my book up. That thought went the way of the dinosaur when I found out how effective a marketing tool being on social media sites can be, and in reality, is.

With my daughter’s and my best friend’s help – both of whom are techy and marketing gurus, I started this website, joined Twitter, found Pinterest and Instagram, and became a Goodreads “author.” In addition, I developed a FB following on my author page.

By the time my second book was released, I was proficient in all these sites.

And every time I thought I was done, another “must be seen on” social media site emerged. Book Bub, Triberr, Tumbler, Linked-In came along and with them, my participation.

But this is a blog about our favorite SM platforms, so to be true to the challenge, my absolute favorite it TRIBERR. The reasons vary, but the main one is REACH,  a term that gives new meaning to what you really think it mean.

On TRIBERR I follow many book-, romance-book, and writing web-blogs. Each site has at least a reach of a minimum of 2000 readers. A few have hundreds of thousands. What that means is, if I a member of that TRIBE, ( and yes, that’s what it’s called!) and I post a new blog, the potential for people who don’t know me from Adam to see it is huge. Really huge. Of course, there is reciprocity involved in all this. If I want my blog posts to be seen, I need to publicize other blogs as well. Tit for tat; or in this case, blog for blog. Every morning I log onto my Triberr account and then scroll through the Tribes I am a member of. When I see interesting posts, or posts I feel will be beneficial for my followers, I schedule them on my Twitter feed. That way, my 2000+ Twitter followers, get to read things by people whom they do not ordinarily follow.

Get it?

If you’re a blogger, Triberr is a great place to garner new readership, so that’s why it is my current favorite SM site.

And you can follow me on Tribber ( and all my other sites) here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

Now, since this is a blog challenge and hop, visit the other authors here to find out what their favorite social media platforms are and why.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Romance, Romance Books

#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:

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 #Mfrwauthors, Characters

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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I’m not Inventor-y…

This week’s topic is a hard one for me because I’m not an inventor-y-type girl. I don’t even like to go to the beach, much less an island. If I got stuck on a deserted island, I’d probably be the first one the cannibals ate, anyway because, you know…I’m chubby! Lots of protein and fat.

But…..

So survival being the name of the game I’d need some kind of device that would be able to turn the water surrounding the island into water suitable to drink. It takes 3 minutes to die without air, 3 weeks without food and three days without water, so the water is a necessity. I know there are currently machines called desalinization thingies, but I’d need to be able to make this on the island from the raw materials around.

Don’t know how I’d do this, don’t have a clue where to being, but….that’s what I’d make. A thingie machine to make clean, drinkable water.

And then once that was off the drawing board and put into practice, I’d find a way to invent a pizza oven. Just saying. Food, you know?

Heehee.

Well, it’s uber obvious I’m not inventor-y, but maybe some of the other authors on this challenge are. Hop on over to their sites to see what they’ve come up with. And if it’s good, I’ll probably make arrangements to be deserted with them so I could survive.

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My bad habits…

oh, peeps, there isn’t enough space in one blog posting for this topic as it applies to me!

Quick look at some of them: I bite my nails, I stress eat,  I emotionally eat, I eat when I’m bored ( you get it: I EAT!) I have knee-jerk reactions to things, I’m impatient with people. The list goes on and on and…..

You get it.

So, instead of picking one of my own terrible character flaws to expound on in this piece, I’ll stick to a bad writing habit. (It’s easier and less demoralizing!!!)

The worst writing habit I have is that I am not focused. I tend to flit from project to project, book to book, plot to Pinterest, continually, taking forever to finish one thing.

Every night I make a list of the writing things I need to get done the next day. The list usually has between 5 and 10 items ranging from: finish current WIP plotline, to write Friday blog piece, to everything I have to post onto HootsuiteInterspersed into those writing necessities are things like: do laundry, go to bank, iron. Here’s yesterday’s list:

And every day my list is completed to about 90-95 percent. I rarely have 100% done because…you know….life.

But still. 90-95 percent is great.

Yeah, it’s not, really, though. The 90-95 percent stuff that gets done, does so in drip and drabs. When I should be working -totally invested in- my current wip, I will write a little, stop, do one of the things ( or more) on the list, then MAYBE get back to my writing again later on. After errands….laundry…..lunch.

It gets frustrating at times that I can’t just sit down and focus all my attention on the one thing that I want to, namely, just write.

Is this procrastination? Distraction syndrome? Or is it just the flitting and meandering mind of a woman whose husband claims “has too much time on her hands?” HeeHee

I truly don’t know. My mind never rests, never stops, never says, “Whoa there, Nelly. Let’s focus on one thing at a time.” NO. My mind is like the genie in the Disney Aladdin, in constant motion, never calming, never taking a breath, always in motion, going from one thing to another.

 

 

 

 

It’s exhausting.

And you know what else it is?
Me. That simple.

So, bad habit, curse, or just the way I’m made, my mind will continue to meander. My thoughts will continue to jump from one thing to the next with lightning speed. My focus will remain….un. (Focused, that is!)

Want to read about other authors and their “bad Habits?” click on the links below and visit them. Leave some love. Or support. Or  encouragement….or, wait…is it raining? let me go look…..

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Strong Women

Open doors…or closed doors?

My, my, my….there are so many ways to interpret what the title of this week’s blog challenge is. I’m going to go with the first thing that came to MY mind when I read it, namely, as a romance writer, do you write sex scenes openly, or do you leave them for behind closed doors?

The first actual romantic story I ever read was Pride and Prejudice. 

The sexiest thing about that book was its lack of sex. No hand holding, no touching except with gloves on and while dancing, no stolen kisses behind chaperone eyes. Lingering looks and side glances were the extent of the sexual tension shown. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it tension. More…expectation.

For hundreds of years after that book was published, the majority of romantic fiction remained the same. The hero and heroine fell in love, had their troubles, then got married. The End. The wedding night was never detailed; their children seemed to be sent from God as immaculate conceptions. You literally didn’t know how they got it on in the bedroom.

Even in the movies things weren’t shown. Remember the great staircase scene in Gone With The Wind?

A drunken Rhett scoops his wife, Scarlett, up in his arms and carries her up that grand staircase, the light fading behind them the higher he goes, his intent obvious. End of scene. Cut to the next morning with Scarlett lounging in bed, a girlish blush on her cheeks, and our imaginations left to run rampant on what occurred after the fade out and the bedroom door was shut in our faces. (Click here to see the actual filmed scene)

Fast forward a half century.

A little independent movie called The Devil in Miss Jones opened and sex – raw, in your face ( and every other body part) sex between two people…and even more than 2 people at once – was now on view for all to see and be…entertained by. It wasn’t shown in back street, urine smelling alleyway hole-in-the-wall porno theaters, but right on Main Street, USA movie houses. The people who stood in line for hours weren’t pedophiles or sex perverts ( although, I’m sure there were a few of those!) but everyday men and women, NORMAL people who were intrigued -and let’s be honest, titillated – about this movie and its usually forbidden subject manner.  It became an overnight cult classic that was accepted and viewed by the mainstream majority.

If you could watch sexual acts among consenting adults openly in the movie theater, sitting next to your neighbor, your boss, your politicians, even your doctor or dentist, why the heck couldn’t you buy a book and read about it openly as well?

Jacqueline Suzanne thought the same thing and wrote a little fictional tome called Valley of the Dolls.

 And while this wasn’t classified as a romance story but as literary fiction – nowadays it would be referred to as Women’s Fiction – it was a runaway bestseller and the major reason it was is because it talked about people having sex — and showing it!! All kinds of sex in all kinds of places – and I’m not just referring to locales, but to different orifices! (Orifi?)

Writers Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss thought the same thing. Why couldn’t you show the physical side of a relationship? In detail? 

This new openness about sexual acts opened that bedroom door and they invited us in. All in! Before those two burst on the romance writing scene, if you wanted to read about what consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedrooms, you had to go to a certain brand of book shop and wander in the erotica section because that’s where the books with sex were kept. Or behind the counter and you had to – blushingly – ask for them by name and author.

 Rogers and Woodiwiss made it acceptable for the average romance reading MOM to buy a book with detailed sex scenes in them at the town independent bookstore, or the local Walmart, Target, and KMart.

Once that bedroom door was opened, it hardly ever closed again. Sweet romances still sell – a lot – but the majority of romance books written and sold now all have open bedroom ( and every other conceivable place and room) doors.

I’m with the majority on this one. I like reading about open bedroom doors and I write about open bedroom doors. In its baldest sense, I have an open door policy for my writing. Pun intended. I read all genres of romance except pure erotica. I do, though, read and enjoy erotic ROMANCES because –HELLO!!!– romance is the major part of the equation. A really good writer can devise a “love scene” where you never even realize the physicality of what you’re reading as much as you do the emotions involved in the physical aspects of what’s on the page. And let’s face it, if you’re getting a little…turned on…both emotionally and physically by what you’re reading, that author has done her job. I long to be that type of writer!

To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,

“Sex is natural, sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun
Sex is best when it’s, one on one”
from I WANT YOUR SEX

Now, there are a bunch more authors in this blog challenge who may have interpreted this blog title just a little bit differently than I have. Let’s hop over and see what they’ve come up with, shall we?

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women