Tag Archives: #Mfrwauthors

#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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Things only my family would understand

Goodness! Week 10 already. Today’s topic is a little, well, I don’t want to say intrusive, but it kinda is, because I’m wondering if I have to explain WHY only my family would understand. I’m gonna take the easy way out here and just list them without explaining why. It’s not only easier, it’s less embarrassing. You guys have enough imagination, you might be able to answer why I’ve listed these things. If you can’t…oh well!

In no apparent order, only my family would understand:

  • my insane, almost pathological need for privacy
  • why shopping gives me a panic attack
  • my love for old black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s
  • the reason I don’t remember my sophomore year in college
  • why I consider mayonnaise sandwiches comfort food
  • my uber-defined personal space bubble
  • my issues with food.
  • the reason I dislike Tom Brady
  • why I’ve dyed my hair since I was 16

It’s gonna be interesting to see if the other authors on this blog challenge put up their reasons and don’t take the embarrassed coward’s way out that I did! Click on their links and find out.

 


7.

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Words to live by…..#MFRWauthors

There are sooooooooooooo many ways this blog title could go. I think the movers and shakers and powers that be at #MFRWauthors and MFRWorg. do that intentionally: give you a title that’s up to YOU — the writer — to interpret.

Do I tell you the words that I try to live each day by? Justice, fairness, romance, HEA?

Do I tell you my favorite combination of words that get me through the day? My inspirational, motivational quotes?

Do I offer you some of my favorite book titles and books that lend themselves to making my life better?
See? It’s hard to interpret just exactly what’s meant by this title.

So, I’m gonna throw a dart at the wall and tell you a couple of motivation, inspirational quotes that I try to live each day by, and that I hope will inspire and motivate others.

Ready?
#1 

— people say I’m a hardass. I think that quote proves it, no?

#2 

Always do better once you know how to. Always.

#3

Another way to put this one is: don’t be a lemming, be a leader.

#4 and this one is a shout out for everyone, not just me:

–and for all the doubters and haters out there, #5

It’s gonna be fun to see how the other authors participating in this blog hop field this title! Click on their links below and see.

5.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance

Managing my writing time….

I’ve mentioned before that I’m blessed and lucky to be retired so I can write whenever I want, for how ever long at a stretch I want. This usually adds up to 5-9 hours daily, depending on everything else in life that needs to be taken care of : laundry, grocery shopping, exercise.

But….there was a time not too long ago where that wasn’t the case. I worked outside my home at a job I detested, so writing was relegated to the back burner. During that time I’d sneak a few minutes before getting ready for the day to jot down a few lines of dialogue. Or I’d bring my lap top to work me so and take a solitary lunch so I could finish a scene. My menopause insomnia ( don’t laugh. It’s a real thing!) was good for one thing and one thing only: I used my inability to sleep to write in the middle of the night when everyone else was dreaming. My first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, was completely written between the hours of 1 and 3 am.

My husband worked, my daughter was out of the house, so it should have been easy to eek time out of the day to write. But it wasn’t because, you know….life.

Balance is a hard work for some people and for me it’s one of the most difficult concepts to accomplish. I never felt like I was giving my all to anyone or anything when I was working and writing. I am in awe of writers who have small children, volunteer at their school, plus work and have husbands/wives they need to care, in addition to homes that need to be tended. And by tended, I mean cleaned! Those writers truly have super powers that I do not possess. They can write a book, bake cookies for the school fund raiser, prepare nutritious meals for dinner, and everyone has clothes to wear, even on laundry day.

These writers have found their inner balance between writing and life.

I never did. It was only when I retired from that despised job that I was able to finally devote the time necessary to each part of my day and not feel as if I was cheating some aspect of it along the way.

So the title of this piece is Managing my writing time. I’m doing pretty well now that I don’t  have any place to be during the day light hours – and by that I mean I don’t have to go to a job location. All my friends still work, so there is no one I can get into Thelma and Louise trouble with during the day and the last time I went out to lunch on a weekday was way back in the beginning of the summer. I have no life, really, and I think I’m doing just fine!

Find out what the other authors in this blog series do to manage their writing time because they all have, you know…lives! I don’t! heehee

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

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

2027…

Because I have a scientific background, I’m a planner. That’s why I classify myself as a plotter for writing. But I digress….

I plan. For everything, Disasters, worst case scenarios, major illnesses, disease, pestilence, and plague. I have enough non-perishable food to last through the next zombie apocalypse, and if we get hit with a nucelar warhead, we’ll have clean water to drink..and douse ourselves in (!) So it’s no secret I’ve got a plan for the next ten years of my career.

Originally, when I started writing full time in 2015, I had a 5 year plan. I exceeded all the goals on that plan by 2017, so I broadened and increased it to 10 more years at the beginning of 2017.

Here are a few things on that new career plan:

Get an agent

Have at least 1 NYTimes and USA Bestseller, if not more.

Have a movie made out of one of my books – a good movie, at that, None of this wrecking the story by putting it on film crap!

Have at least 2 books per year, if not 3, published every year

Make enough money to hire a personal assistant who will do all my web media. ( since you all know how much I hatehatehate self marketing!)

Win a RITA ( or 2)

There are more things, but I didn’t feel I needed to share everything.

So…check back in 2027. Until then, I’ll be working on my plan.

Check out the other authors in this blog challenge and see where they see themselves in 10 years. This should be fun!’


12.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A fiery Artist and a Horse Whisperer find love in Passion’s Palette; #MFRWBookHooks

PASSION’S PALETTE, book 5 in the MacQuire Women series, releases on 8.4.17.

Blurb: Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Excerpt:

Standing before her, his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, he wore a look of bashful sheepishness. “I guess I owe you an apology,” he said, tilting his head to one side. The sun was full force on his face, one eye winked closed from its glare.

“You don’t look apologetic. You could have told me you were David’s partner,” she said, cringing when she heard the whine in her tone, “instead of allowing me to believe you were one of the moving men.”

“Now, hang on a sec,” he said, moving closer to her. “You were the one who assumed that. I never told you I was one of the movers. In fact, you never gave me a chance to tell you who I was. You just assumed. Incorrectly, it turns out.”

“You could have said something,” Serena blurted, her lower lip pouting outward.

Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press

Check out the other authors in this Book Hook Blog Hop:

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Choices, choices!

 

Paperback, ebook or audio?

Which do you like best? I’m going to answer that question backward. Why? Just listen…

I’ve never been able to listen to an audio book without my attention wandering.

When we first moved to New England ( and even still to this day) we would travel to NYC to visit relatives frequently via car. My husband is the main driver in the family, so I have always been relegated to the front seat passenger side. You can only talk so much in a car before it gets: distracting, boring, tiring, so that means I usually need something to pass the 4+ hours ( without traffic) it takes to get to our destination. I tried listening to audio books when we first started these treks. Five minutes in my mind would start to wander or drift, or I’d slip into sleep. Just listening to someone’s voice – no matter how riveting the book was reported to be – was mind numbing to me. So, not a fan of audiobooks.

 

I had an original Kindle. You know, like ten years ago when it costs $300+ dollars!!

Again, I purchased it mainly because we travel so much and carting heavy books around, because I like to read hardbacks, was getting to be too much in luggage weight. I took the Patricia Cornwall book Scarpetta to England and the flight attendant said I had to stow it because it was so heavy! SO the Kindle seemed perfect. And I do love my Kindle. I have my account and the app uploaded on all my devices from phone to computer to iPad so I am always able to read wherever I am.

But….

There is just something about a book.

I love the way a library and an old book store smells. No, not musty and damp!!! But like you just sense down to your bones the millions of words and pages living in those places. I like holding a book, especially if I’m sitting down in a cozy, favorite chair, by a  warm fire on a cold day. I fully realize it’s wicked easier holding a Kindle when you are standing in line waiting to get on an airplane, or on the subway, and that’s another reason I love my Kindle: ease of holding. If I read my Kindle before bed, though, my brain tends to not shut down easily. A battery of psychologists did testing that postulated this is because the pixels and the other cyber stuff of devices forces your brain to stay awake by stimulating it. Reading a regular book, on the other hand, is calming to your brain.

Ahhh, a book….turnable pages filled with inky thoughts and ideas…something solid, that has weight – both in ounces and substance(!)

SO for me, it’s never really a contest – a real book all the time. ( With Kindle a close second!)

Stop by the other authors in the Blog Challenge and see how they like to read….

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