Tag Archives: Writers on writing #WritersonWriting

A visit with my friend, #author Judy Kentrus

Every now and again you meet a person who you know is going to be special in your life. Author JUDY KENTRUS is such a person for me. We met last year at the NECRWA  conference and realized we both had a passion for telling stories about real people who weren’t in their 20’s and 30’s, but a wee bit older. We call what we like to read and write Seasoned romance and romancelandia is finally getting on board with the concept of love over the age of 40! And thank you, Jesus, for that!

Anyhoo… Judy is a prolific and talented author and she stopped by a bit ago and let me interview her about her writing and her personal life. I’m so pleased to share a little something from her latest release,  A CHRISTMAS WISH, with you  as well.

Judy, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

There’s a little person that dances around my head with ideas; characters that demand their own story – some from my other books; it also fills a void in my life…

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Seasoned Romance. What would a story be without comedy and mischievous kids. My characters are in their late thirties, forties and fifties. This age range opens up a world of HEA opportunities: starting over after a breakup/divorce; second chances, finding love later in life; empty nesters hoping to rekindle their love, etc. In The Wedding Gift, three ninety-year-olds, The Lemon Sisters, they formed a singing group, “borrowed” a van so they could crash the bridal shower.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

I’ve an eclectic taste in books, right down to graphic novels like Captain Underpants and Dogman. Romance heads the top of the list, but a variety of books offer insight to all the genres so I don’t get bored.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I write every day, at least six to eight hours. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, boot up my laptop and write it down. If I’m not writing a book, I’m doing research. My daughter teases me about what I’ve researched, right down to how to sabotage break lines on semi, the ingredients in crystal meth, or how to give lap dance.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

I have an office with a desk top computer. On the wall to the left of my writing area, is a dry erase board with my writing schedule that keeps me on track. It’s filled for 2019. Two large windows overlook my backyard. The wide windowsill is filled with a variety of houseplants. Since I live in the Poconos, my daily visitors are deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, red fox. Occasionally, black bears and their cubs meander up the driveway.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?

Total quiet? What’s that? My daughter and her family live with me so my two granddaughters – six and eight – keep things lively. They respect that when my office door is closed, I’m working, but… Yup, tunnel-vision.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

Music? Absolutely. I love Sirius and Amazon Prime music. Depending on my mood, I listen to country, easy listening (depending on what I’m writing) old-school rock, the 70’s, 80’s. In every one of my books, I reference music. In my book Tea in Time, I had my character do a lap dance to Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night.”

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

My current WIP is my US Park Ranger Series. I read about the problem National Parks are experiencing with makers of Crystal Meth. I had a character shouting in my head – “Pick me! Pick me!” I also have a US Park Ranger living in my community and he agreed to be interviewed. I was blown away by what these Federal police officers have to face and decided to do a series.

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

I’d say it’s fifty-fifty. Plots play an important part of a book and drive the story, but it takes strong characters to move it along. My characters have a tendency to take over the storyline and take me in directions I never planned. I also like to people watch. Many times it leads to what if…

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Driven, hard-working, dedicated,

Judy, my friend 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!       I LOVE to bake, especially cookies. My family calls me the Cookie Queen. 
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you?  My first love was my husband. We met when we were 14 and never broke up.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…  The day I married the love of my life.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? I like boxers, but my guys have a tendency to go commando.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Lipstick (this is funny because my daughter works for L’Oreal) 
  6. What three words describe you, the person? Loving, kind, sentimental.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I’d like to sing with him and Billy Joel – “Only the Good Die Young.”
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?  I love Eve Dallas, the Lieutenant from Nora Robert’s In-Death books. I’d do a ride-along on one of Eve’s cases. (Knowing her, she’d object to the intrusion, lol.) Then I’d have dinner with her and Roarke at their mansion. (Peggy here: SEE??? this is why we are friends!!!! that’s my answer to the question every single time!!!)

 

Bonus round

 

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound – my husband’s voice
  2. Least favorite sound – ping from a cell phone
  3. Best song ever written – To Where You Are, by Josh Groban
  4. Worst song ever written – Who Let the Dogs Out
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Sean Connery and Julie Andrews
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – Kathleen Woodiwiss, the Author. She was an incredible writer and I’d love to have her writing expertise. (Peggy here: I swear we are sisters from another mister!!!)
  7. What turns you on? Music
  8. What turns you off?  Rude, obnoxious people
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “You don’t look like your picture.” (I know six words)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Summer: Temp: 80, sitting on the deck, enjoying the sunshine, music playing, drinking ice coffee, laptop on the table in front of me, and looking forward to having dinner with my husband.       In the winter, sitting in front of the fire in our family room, writing, and looking out the window at the falling snow, drinking hot chocolate.

(Peggy here: Can you see why I love this lady so much??!!)

 

A CHRISTMAS WISH

 

Caleb Hughes Thompson, owner of Hughes Department Stores, business-driven world is shattered when he receives a letter, written by his recently deceased brother. Daniel thrived on high adventure and lived each day as if it were his last. His dying wish is to have Caleb locate his daughter, the result of a one night stand. He was to start his search in Eden Prairie, Kentucky.

Erin MacKenna is a single mom and a third grade teacher in the Abraham Lincoln primary school in Eden Prairie, Indiana. One crazy night of indiscretion resulted in the most wonderful gift she’d ever been given, her daughter Danielle. Not wanting to damage her daughter of a preacher reputation, she tells everyone she’d was artificially inseminated.

Caleb needs someone to help plan their in-store holiday promotion, Santa Traditions. A teacher in the primary school would qualify to help him   It would also be the perfect place to start searching for his niece.

BONUS SHORT STORY: Danielle’s Snowy Wish

Formerly KW: Undercover Heart

Excerpt

Caleb Hughes Thompson looked out his wall of windows that overlooked Indianapolis. Their building was surrounded by skyscrapers, but he had a perfect view of the historic Soldier and Sailor’s Monument. In the ten years he’d lived here, he’d never taken the time to walk to the top of the monument. He had a bird’s eye view of the holiday tree lighting ceremony they had ever year, but he was too absorbed in his work.

In a little while, he had a meeting with department heads to review the holiday marketing for their two hundred department stores throughout the country. This would be their biggest push to achieve the company’s financial goal before the end of the year. Their online sales had already surpassed initial projections. He had seven weeks to prove his new marketing strategy would double their in-store sales.

As of an hour ago, his focus had changed.

He pushed his glasses to the top of his head and gently brushed his eyelids, trying to erase the burning sensation in his eyes. Crying had never come easy, but his body had sought some relief. The letter he’d just been given from his deceased brother would change his life, his priorities. His future.

He walked across the thick carpeting and settled in his high-back leather chair. With a slightly trembling hand, he picked up the letter written in his brother’s own hand six months ago.

Caleb, since you are reading this, I’m dead. Don’t cry for me. I’ve avoided responsibility, lived my life carefree, just the way I wanted. I knew there would be a high risk in this climbing adventure so I left this letter with our lawyer. You need to sit down before you read further.

            I’m pretty sure I have a daughter.

            Now close your mouth while I explain. About nine years ago, Ned, Paul, and I met three girls in a bar in Galveston Island. I know I slept with one of them because my pillow smelled very sweet. I also found a pair of pink panties.

            Ryan worked at Marshall’s Stables before he took the bar exam and sometimes helped with the kids when they rode the horses. This little girl fell off her horse and hurt her foot. Ryan removed her boot and sock and was shocked to see the little hook in her pinky toe. He made a joke and asked her if she got her cute toe from her mother or father. She said her father because her mom had pretty toes. The little girl had a great laugh and called it her candy cane toe, the same thing we called our toes at her age. She was about six or seven and had reddish-brown hair. Unfortunately, Ryan never got her name. I haven’t lost my mind, but I plan to look for this kid when I get back – if I do.

            You need to try to locate this little girl. I’d start in Eden Prairie, Indiana where Marshalls’ is located. This is just between us. No lawyers and don’t tell Mom and Dad. Don’t even know for sure if this kid really exists.

            Right now you are cussing me out, calling me irresponsible, why didn’t I use protection, how the hell are you to find a kid that may or may not be your niece?

            Get it, Caleb. Your niece.

            She’s probably the only grandchild Mom and Dad will ever have, unless you decide to become a father at forty-two. Just make sure the kid is okay. If you can confirm she’s my daughter, get to know her. Who knows, some day you might be able to tell her about me. She’ll also be very rich.

            On a personal note from brother to brother, you feed on ambition and success, but you’re choking behind that big-ass desk. Get out of that damn office. Take it from me, it’s time you changed your diet. You’ve got lots of money, but a very lonely future. Find someone to love.

            No one ever took us for twins, but you were the best brother. I never said it much, but I love you Caleb. If St. Peter actually lets me in, I will keep a watch over you. If you’re doing something wrong or heading in the wrong direction, I’ll send down a message, better yet, a lightning bolt in the shape of a boot and kick you in the ass.              

Daniel

            Caleb removed his glasses and rubbed his hands over his damp cheeks. Maybe Danny hadn’t been wrong living the vagabond life. He was always warm and giving, a little-known philanthropist, but every day had been an adventure. Was it time he took his brother’s advice and changed his diet? Would he be able to find this little girl?

Buy Links: Amazon // B&N // Kobo

A little more about Judy

 

I’m a romantic at heart, having married my high school sweetheart, who is still the love of my life. While raising our two children, I was a “closet” writer and managed to complete four books. With the e-book explosion, I bottled up my courage and selected my favorite book, reworked the story line, and self-published “Elusive Obsession,” November 6, 2013.
I like to create characters that the reader can relate to/with. Sometimes while writing a scene, I find myself laughing out loud at the hilarious situations I literally toss them into. They’re not perfect with beautiful bodies, they make mistakes, their not afraid to say I’m sorry, they are not afraid to compromise and they suffer all human emotions. Most important, they love with all their heart..
I like to read books with a “twist” or two in the storyline and you’ll find these OMG situations in my stories. They are stand alone books, but I bring the characters from the first book into the follow-up story. I’ve already got readers clamoring for the next book, “Maid to Order”, that centers around Russell, a character from “Elusive Obsession.”
My characters also love to spend time in the kitchen and whip up their favorite dishes and treats. You’ll find a yummy dish or sweet from the books on my website: judykentrus.com.
I hope you enjoy my books and I love to hear from my readers.

You can connect with Judy here:

Amazon // Goodreads // Website // Facebook // Twitter

 

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Being thankful…

This week I was lucky and proud to have a blog posted on LOVE ROMANCE READS. Since we’re coming up on Thanksgiving next week here in the US, I wanted to write about something I’m thankful for. Here’s the link so you can check it out:  https://www.loveromancereads.com/4/post/2018/11/what-are-you-thankful-for-by-peggy-jaeger.html

 

 

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Where do I Begin? #MFRWauthorBlogChallenge Week 42

So, last week we discussed when to end the book. This week it’s how to begin it. Or more importantly, where to begin it.

I’ve heard from several traditionally published authors that most editors despise a prologue. They find them wordy, too backstory-laden, and don’t do much to push the story forward or get readers engaged.  They think most prologues are too much tell and not enough show. The editors feel  writers should be able to weave all the story details they want to tell before they tell the actual story, into the actual story and not weigh down the beginning with details that could be divulged elsewhere.

There’s something wise about this, I think.

But….

The very first book I had published, SKATER’S WALTZ, had a three page prologue that showed my heroine winning her first Olympic gold medal. I felt it set up her emotional makeup and allowed the readers to know a bit about why she was the way she was when the book opened in chapter one.

 

My editor ( whom I lovelovelove with all my heart) didn’t agree. For all the reasons I gave above she felt we should nix the prologue and start the story in chapter one. Since this was going to be my first time being published I bowed to her wisdom, bit my lip, and agreed to trash the first 3 pages.

Did I regret it? At the time, yeah. Do I now? No, because she was right. The book started where it needed to start. And I was able to incorporate those winning moments into the story without any problem. Where I placed them actually made sense for the scene, too, so yay for that!

Fifteen books later and I still struggle with wanting to put in a prologue for some on my novels. It still feels right to me and I get all angsty about giving too much info away at the beginning and knowing when to pull back. Or thinking the reader simply needs to know these details now so they’ll understand where the story is going. I think I’d be a better writer if I remembered to simply tell my story the way it should be told – with the reader learning everything she needs to know as she is reading the book and not beforehand. Foreshadowing is a good literary tool when used effectively within the story. But too much is, simply, annoying.

Many famous and well-selling authors use prologues all the time and their readers don’t seem to mind. I certainly don’t. I like a good prologue because to me it sets the story up, let’s me know that something good ( or evil) is coming, and gives me a sense that the past events that happened to these characters is going to mold their story.

I’ll be honest and tell you I haven’t published a book with a prologue yet. Have I written them? You betcha. Published? No.

Maybe one day…..

Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop think about prologues. MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge.

And, when I’m not struggling over whether to include prologues or not in my stories, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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It’s #GoddessFish 10th anniversary and I lovelovelove a party!

 

I’m so stoked today to introduce you to two women who have become very near and dear to my heart – both the real, beating one,  and the publishing one! The powerhouse women behind one of the most successful author promotion companies out there, Marianne and Judy of Goddess Fish Promotions. This dynamic duo is celebrating 10 years in business and they’re on a month long anniversary tour promoting their author services. On a personal note, I’ve used Goddess Fish for 3 of my book releases and they have all been widely and wildly successful, mostly because of these two fab ladies! Let me introduce them to you now, and stick around because even though it’s their anniversary, they’re giving away chances to some really great gifts!

Without further ado, here are Marianne and Judy

Welcome to the Goddess Fish Promotions Tenth Anniversary Month Long Celebration!

Who is Goddess Fish Promotions? And what do we do? We’re glad you asked!

We didn’t want your visit here to be dry and boring, so we decided to have a poetry competition and put what we do into verse. Here are the initial entries:

Marianne:

Roses are Red.

Violets are Blue.

I’m awful at poetry.

Coffee.

Judy:

We can edit your book

find things you didn’t see

It will be fun to look

at the changes from me.

(Yeah, for some reason, Judy won!)

Even better, her poem is correct. We DO offer editing as one of our options. Here are a couple of testimonials from clients:

I worked with Marianne on a complete edit and was very happy with the results. Her feedback was clear, easy to follow, and she probed on things I hadn’t thought of. She was also responsive whenever I had questions and helped me work through a few issues. Her feedback and guidance improved the quality of my manuscript, all at a very fair price. I’m working on my next book and plan to use their services again.

-J B Glazer, author, In Search of Mr. Anonymous

Choosing the right editor for a project is incredibly important to an author. Let’s face it, we want the best for our books. When I was considering editors for my first indie-published book, Regenerate, I naturally thought of Goddess Fish Promotions–and I’m so glad I did.

Marianne Arkins and Judy Thomas are incredibly attentive and professional during the entire editing process. Their input was invaluable and the story is much stronger because they cared enough to help unsnarl plot points and find order in the chaos..

I can’t wait to work with them again. Truly, a top-notch editorial team! – Sarita Leone, award-winning author of Regenerate

We also offer Virtual Book Tours, Graphic Design, Social Media Promotion and more. You can see more testimonials here.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little (more information is below) and we’d like to do the same. We’d LOVE to see a little poem that tells us a bit about you in the comments. We’ll be awarding random book giveaways and $5 Amazon GCs to some of the best poetry we find. It might not be at every stop, but when something really makes us smile, we’ll reward it! Come on, be daring…

And now, more about us:

 Goddess Fish Promotions

Goddess Fish Promotions was established October 14, 2008. Why? Well, when Marianne became a published author and got her the first taste of trying to promote a book on a budget, there was only one other virtual book tour company in place at the time, and their fees were simply too high for a small press author. After coordinating and running her own tour, she knew other authors could use the same service for a reasonable price. Thus, Goddess Fish Promotions was bo

Because both Judy and Marianne were authors and editors prior to running Goddess Fish Promotions, they approach the business with a unique point of view, and treat their clients how they would expect to be treated.

 

The people behind the fish

 

Judy Thomas

Judy has a college degree in English and she’s worked in retail, education, at her local library as well as an editor for a small press and for the now defunct ShadowKeep Ezine. She’s also a published author so can see things from both sides of the fence. In 2013, she “retired” and now spends her days helping authors make their dream come true—as well as working as much as she can with her local theater group.

Marianne Arkins

Grammar freak and coffee lover, Marianne wrote her first novel at ten years old, built her first commercial website in 2000, and published for the first time in 2006. She worked as a professional editor for just over a year, and knows what it’s like to write, edit and promote a book on a budget.

Connect with Judy and Marianne (aka. Goddess Fish !) here:

website // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //Instagram //Google+ 

And now for some fun stuff: Giveaways!!!!

Click on the link(s) that pertain to you below for chances at gift cards and promotional services  

For Everyone: One $50 Amazon/BN GC, two $25 Amazon/BN GCs, Two $10 Amazon/BN GCs

For Authors: 2 $10 GC for any Goddess Fish Promotions service, Winner’s choice of either a free blurb blitz (2 wk) or book blast (5 day), 50% off any tour (excludes Review tour or Full Service Tour), 4 free 25 page complete book edit, 2 Winner’s choice of teaser or social media cover graphic design

I love a good speed round, ala Bravo’s Actor Studio questionnaire, so here goes

Napkins or paper towels?

Judy: Paper towels and paper napkins each have their place. I have some cloth napkins that I use to make the table look pretty at Christmas. Does that count?

Marianne: I honestly don’t use paper napkins… paper towels are so versatile!  They’re towels, they’re napkins, and in a pinch they can even work as facial tissue or a coffee filter.

When it comes to placing toilet paper on a roll – over or under?

Judy:  Over…unless there’s a toddler or kitten in the house

Marianne: Over. Always.  I had a roommate who was an “under” gal, and we nearly came to blows.  We finally decided whoever used the TP roll up got to put on the new one in the manner they chose and it had to stay that way for the duration of the roll. I’m pretty sure we ended up using a TON of toilet paper because whoever wasn’t happy with the way it was put on wanted to get through it as quickly as possible.

How did you two meet?

Judy:  We were in an online writer’s group together at Writer’s Village University and magic was born!  However, since we there are 1200 miles separating us, alas we’ve never had the chance to meet IRL.  Everytime we try to plan something, something happens. I have faith that one day it will happen though.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Judy: Love what you do and do what you love.  If you are miserable in a job, you are going to be miserable most of your life– and life is too short for that.  If you get up and hate the fact you are going to work, find something else to do that you enjoy better.

Marianne: Follow your dreams, and don’t let anyone steal them (especially in the name of practicality).  Do what is right for YOU and not what everyone says you should do. I had a drama scholarship for college that I gave up because it wasn’t something I could ever use to support myself realistically.  I regret that every day.

Follow these fabulous women as they take on the world for the month of October:

October 1: T’s Stuff

October 1: Let me tell you a story

October 1: White Sky Project

October 2: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

October 2: Harlie’s Books

October 2: Independent Authors

October 2: Bookish Reviews

October 3: Romance Novel Giveaways

October 3: Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’

October 3: underneath the covers

October 3: Tory Richards

October 4: Kimmi Love

October 4: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

October 4: Books,Dreams,Life

October 4: FUONLYKNEW

October 5: Author Deborah A Bailey

October 5: Rainy Day Reviews

October 5: Christine Young

October 5: Books Direct

October 8: Angel’s Guilty Pleasures

October 8: The Tired Buyer

October 8: The Layaway Dragon

October 8: Lampshade Reader

October 9: Nickie’s Views and Interviews

October 9: Bookaholic

October 9: Writing is my Oxygen  ( hey, that’s me!! HEE HEE)

October 9: Travel The Ages

October 10: Mythical Books

October 10: Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored

October 10: Wake Up Your Wild Side

October 10: Kit ‘N Kabookle

October 11: Beyond Romance

October 11: The Bibliovert

October 11: Dena Garson-Real… Hot… Romance

October 11: Harlie Williams, Writer

October 12: The Book Connection

October 12: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

October 12: Nana Prah’s Blog

October 12: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’

October 15: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess

October 15: Danita Minnis

October 15: So Many Books

October 15: Reviews by Crystal

October 16: The Reading Addict

October 16: BooksChatter

October 16: Casey’s Corner

October 16: Locks, Hooks and Books

October 17: Just Books

October 17: The Avid Reader

October 17: Linda Nightingale … Musings

October 17: A Hippie’s Bookshelf

October 18: Jane Reads

October 18: Bayou Book Junkie

October 18: Sybrina’s Book Blog

October 18: Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden

October 19: fundinmental

October 19: All the Ups and Downs

October 19: Blog of Author Jacey Holbrand

October 22: Lisa Book Blog

October 22: One World Singles Blog

October 22: Mixed Book Bag

October 22: Books in the Hall

October 23: Fabulous and Brunette

October 23: Wendi Zwaduk and Megan Slayer

October 23: Emily Carrington

October 23: It’s Raining Books

October 24: Erotica For All

October 24: Laura’s Interests

October 24: Book Bite Reviews

October 24: Welcome to My World of Dreams

October 25: Where Landsquid Fear to Tread

October 25: Hearts and Scribbles

October 25: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

October 25: Straight From the Library

October 26: Bookstanista

October 26: Sharing Links and Wisdom

October 26: Jazzy Book Reviews

October 26: Readeropolis

October 29: Dawn’s Reading Nook

October 29: Regan Black

October 29: Books,Dreams,Life

October 29: Long and Short Reviews

October 30: Andi’s Book Reviews

October 30: Edgar’s Books

October 30: Iron Canuck

October 30: Deal Sharing Aunt

October 31: Bri’s Book Nook

October 31: bookish bibliophile

October 31: books are love

October 31: Two Ends of the Pen

 

 

 

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Don’t judge me for my secret snack choice!

Shhhhhhh! 

No one is allowed to know I have a secret stash of  these…..

In my office drawer.

Don’t tell. Please. Pretty please.

heehee….

Let’s check out some of the other authors in this blog to see what they hide to snack on… MFRWauthorblogchallenge

and when I’m not snacking you can find me here:

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

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My Theme song….no surprise!

No explanation necessary. Easiest blog to “write” ever.

My theme song: I Will Survive

Because of everything I’ve endured through my 58 years, this Gloria Gaynor classic could have been written for me. Plus, it’s an 80’s hit, a time when I was in my prime. Hee hee.

I can remember driving around at night with my friends ( remember when that was a thing? Gas cost, like $0.65 cents a gallon and we could actually DRIVE around and not worry about wasting money!) and blasting the radio so we could commit all the songs we loved to memory. I WILL SURVIVE was a major hit in 1978, the year I graduated from High school and started College. It was the year I moved out of my parents home forever, asserted my total independence from them, and started supporting myself financially. It was the year of big hair, platform shoes, the first minting of the Susan B. Anthony coin release, and the release of GREASE, the really last great movie musical – in my opinion.

Happy Days and Charlies Angels ruled the tv watching universe, and the first test tube baby was born in England.

Jimmy Carter was our President, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Elizabeth Windsor sat on the throne in England. She still does!

1978 was a really good year for me. And, apparently, the world.

Let’s see what the other authors in this hop have the song that sums them up. MFRWauthorWeek34

And if you’re looking for me, I’m never far. Just a click away:

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

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Thoughts…

In May, the movie BOOK CLUB was released. It starred 4 of my favorite actresses of a certain age, my absolute fav being Candice Bergen. The plot dealt with 4 women all over the age of 50 ( way over!) and their attitudes towards aging, their bodies, their sex lives ( or lack of such) and society’s views, in general, about romance, romantic love, and yes, SEX, after the age of 40.

And just who exactly decided 40 was the cut off for all things romance? Just askin’.

Any hoo. The writing was fab, the jokes, although sometimes raunchy, always spot-on, and the dialogue was like listening to people I know speak to one another. In other words, the movie spoke to me.

The reason I’m writing this post isn’t as a review of the movie or a request to rent it – although you should! No. After watching the movie I began to think about the romance publishing industry overall, and how it can be a little insular for its writers.

Case in point – all the talk of the lack of diversity this year. I’m not going into depth on this point, but do some research and you’ll see why I’m applauding all the AOC ( authors of color) who are FINALLY being given a rightful seat at the table and a voice. It’s been a long time coming and still has a loooooooong way to go before true equity, equality, and financial parity, but 2018 has certainly been the beginning of the journey.

Diversity encompasses more than just color and ethnicity in my opinion, though. There is a decided mood of AGEISM in the romance publishing world. Whoever decided  40 was the age cutoff for heroes and heroines in romances  in order for the book to be successful or even published should be made public so the writers – such as myself – who are over this age can confront him/her and give them a good, hard dose of reality.

I am 58 years old. I have never been shy about admitting my age because, a. I’m proud I was able to live to it(!) and b. I think I look pretty good. I know I certainly feel good. Vibrant. Healthy. And when I say healthy I mean in all aspects:  medically, physically, spiritually and yes, SEXUALLY! And since I am medically sound, physically well, spiritually intact, I do, therefore HAVE SEX.

Okay. No more capital letters. You get what I’m writing about.

The traditional romance publishing industry seems to be loathe to publish any stories where the main characters, the hero and heroine, are 50 years plus. I don’t know the actual reason, but I bet it’s based on two things: money and the “eeww” factor.

Money first. Publishing, like all businesses, runs on the ability to bring money in, in essence, to make a profit. So far, the romance books that have been released into the book reading world have mostly been about main characters below the age of 40 because these sell. But…Baby Boomers and the generation that came after them are now all in their 50’s 60’s and 70’s. And they read. A lot. Why, in an industry where money is king, publishers haven’t tried to tap that market with age-appropriate romances is a mystery. I’d make a bet that if they did, the money would not only flow, it would increase exponentially.

The “eeww” factor is an easy one. No one likes to think of their parents or grandparents involved in a passionate love affair or having – God forbid and close my eyes – sex. Well, suck that up, buttercup, because how do you think you got here? You weren’t hatched. You weren’t found in a cabbage patch. You weren’t an immaculate conception because so far in history there’s only been one of those and you’re not it. You ancestors had sex. Your parents and grandparents are still having sex. Your grandparents and parents are ROMANTIC beings. Get over yourself and realize that.

The reason I am so fierce about this topic is because several years ago I was a judge in the annual RITA contest for RWA. I was assigned 9 contemporary romances to read by varying authors, all of whom I’d never heard of. Every book dealt with a heroine in her 20’s. Every. Single. Book. And they were obnoxious, self absorbed or whoa-is-me heroines. Pathetic. Right then and there I wondered if there were any books out there about women like me, my age, my temperament and with my concerns.

Here’s a hint: There weren’t.

Since then, several authors have started penning romance books for and about people over the age of 40, but these authors have done so independently – the big five traditional publishing houses nowhere to be seen. That speaks volumes about how the industry feels about my generation.

If, like me, you are a woman of a certain age who enjoys reading and writing romances, do yourself and everyone else a favor and contemplate a more mature heroine/hero, possibly along the same age lines as yourself. And if you are an editor or an agent and reading this, first #blessyou(!) second, consider well written books about people who aren’t less than 40 years of age. People 40+ have the same concerns, problems, conflicts, and romances as those below it.

Okay, enough of the PSA for today. If you like reading romances about people over 40, these are my two favorite romance authors writing such: Judy Kentrus and Roxanne St. Claire.

If you’re a facebook girl you might want to check out the Seasoned Romance group on FB

And if you’re looking for me I’m either out writing a romance about a woman in her 50’s or here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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The voices in my head!

I’ve been away from my computer for a week and forgot to write this post before I left, so it’s gonna be a short one!

As far as writing goes, I basically wait until I “hear” a voice in my head to determine if I’m going to pen the book in first person ( my main character talking) or third ( multiple viewpoints). I’ve done it both ways.

When I write in third person POV my books tend to be longer because there are more heads to get into. The major pitfall, though, I find with 3rd POV is that I sometimes forget whose head I’m in!!! I’ve been known to start a scene in one character’s head and without a page break, creep into someone else’s. This is problematic to be sure! Editing is key here.

In first POV I tend to write my funnier books. I never used to like first POV until I realized how much better the snarkiness, the comedy, and the plain funny sounded coming directly from a character’s mouth.

I have two new books coming out in a few months and both are in first person AND both have humorous elements, so…

Let’s see what some other writers in this hop use for viewpoint and why! MFRWauthorblogchallenge

and please follow me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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A different track?

It’s been a little over a week since I got home from the RWA 2018 conference. Last week I basically played catch-up with my life.  Laundry needed to get done, groceries needed to be shopped for, I had to pay a passel of bills, clean my house, visit and check on my mother, the car was scheduled for an oil change and tune-up, I had a repeat mammogram, a weeks’ worth of blogs to write, PLUS I had a deadline for edits due yesterday on a second holiday release, and my final audio chapters had to be listened to and corrected before the book goes to Audible.

Oh, and let’s not forget I needed to reconnect with my husband and daughter.

Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D?

So, because I’m only one woman and even I – Miss Chronic Insomnia – sleep 2 hours a night, I am doing something I’ve never done before with regard to my writing.

Get ready for it, because it’s a doozy!

I, Mrs Writing is my Oxygen, am taking a bit of a writing break.

I know. Shocked the s**t out of me, too!

I’ve never actually had a vacation from writing before, even when I worked full time. I always wrote in the evenings, on weekends, and when we traveled.

But I’m going to give myself 2 weeks off starting in a few days. I need to rest my brain and re-examine my career. This has been a busy year, writing and publishing-wise for me. I had one book come out in April ( CAN’T STAND THE HEAT), and I have at least 2 books ( DEARLY BELOVED and CHRISTMAS & CANOLLIS)  and an e-book (HOPE’S DREAM) coming out before the end of the year, plus 2 Audible books.

That’s a lot.

Really. A lot.

So….let’s see if I survive this little vaca from writing everyday. I just might not be able to….breathe, and by breathe, I mean make it out on the other end alive!

Hahah. Dramatic, thy name is Peg Jaeger.

Any hoo. I’ll report back after my self imposed exile ends. Until then, I’ll be scheduling some stuff  on Hootsuite I’m writing a head of time, so you’ll still hear from me regularly.

When I’m off the grid – and even when I’m on it – you can find me here:

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

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My favorite Holiday Memory…

I’m at the RWA conference in Denver this week, but I didn’t want to miss a week of this blog challenge since I’ve written a piece every week since we started! Yay, me.

Any hoo…

The topic this week is a my favorite holiday memory, and there really is only one that comes to mind. I wrote about this back in May of this year, so I’m reposting it here now, because it fits with today’s prompt.

My favorite holiday  memory

And since this is a blog hop, make sure you hop on over to the website to see what the other authors participating have to say about this challenge prompt.

MFRWauthorBlogChallenge.

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