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April 2015

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

I’m casting back a couple of years to tell you about my worst writing week ever. What’s the old cliché? Bad things come in threes (or more!) Alexander had lots of bad things happen to him over a long, miserable day (and of course, I’m referencing the book, and not the movie.) Publishing moves so slowly, my bad stuff was spread over a week. Your bad stuff may happen over a month or a season, but it never fails to come in a clump, in my experience.

Let me set things up by saying the months leading up to my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week were pretty awesome and encouraging! I’d finaled in a couple of contests, which led to two full requests. In the first contest, the wonderful, talented Angie Fox (NYT best selling author of The Accidental Demon Slayer—which is free on Amazon right now!) left her name and email on my judged copy. Of course, I contacted her and we struck up an email conversation. Once she determined I wasn’t a total weirdo, she offered to put me in touch with her agent, Jessica Faust, who was on my top agent list and happened to be closed to queries—except for referrals. I thought, this is Fate! This is meant to be! This agent will love my manuscript!itshappening

From the second contest I finaled in, Kevan Lyon, another agent on my top list, requested a full. Not only that, but I’d cold-queried a handful of other agents and got two more partial requests lickety-split. I was on fire! I hunkered down to wait for all the offers to pour in.

In the meantime, I realized that my manuscripts *might* need some work after taking a Margie Lawson class (which I highly recommend.) While I was waiting for the agents to begin fighting over me, I set out to revise my first two completed manuscripts based on Margie’s principles.

Then, the hammer fell. One Monday, I got a rejection from one of the partials I had out. That agent is no longer in the business, so that turned out to be a blessing. Then, the next morning I woke to find a nice, but terse rejection waiting for me from Jessica Faust. I won’t lie; I felt betrayed by the writing gods. Then later that morning, my account was hacked and a crazy email went to a good portion of my address book (and OF COURSE, I had saved Jessica’s email address, because we were going to be bffs, right?) It was a letter written by someone whose first language was obviously NOT English, pretending to be me and asking for money because I was stuck in Indonesia somewhere.

Not only was I horrified to have spammed countless people, but Jessica Faust emailed me back and hoped that I was okay and not in trouble. She was genuinely concerned. The fact she thought I had written something so grammatically challenged made me want to crack open a bottle of tequila, and it wasn’t even 9AM.rejection

After licking my wounds and not leaving the house for a couple of days, my optimism bloomed anew. All hope was not dead, I still had a full out with a kick-ass agent! Except on Friday, I received a rejection from Kevan. A very nice, very long rejection. And, those of you who have received a long, thoughtful rejection will understand how much better that is than a form email.

I remember reading that email a couple of times, and realizing she was right. That manuscript wasn’t good enough. But, the one I was in the middle of rewriting was better. I debated ten minutes, but decided I had nothing to lose, emailed her back, and offered her my second manuscript. She wrote back within minutes saying she’d love to look at it. A few weeks later, I had an awesome, wonderful, really good day when she called and offered to represent me.

I guess the point of my ramblings is that every writer is going to have really great days (signing with an agent, getting a book deal, receiving a great review) and really, really stinky days/weeks (rejection after rejection from agents, ditto from editors, bad reviews, disappointing sales). If you let the bad days crush you, then you’ll never get to the awesome days. And every writer has bad days no matter what you see on Twitter and Facebook. A very wise writer (ahem…Beth) told me, we all put on a happy face when on the inside we are a debilitating stew of insecurities and anxieties. You are not alone!

Sometimes success is less about talent and more about persistence and plugging away and improving day after day. So when the bad days come, put your chin up and believe that good days are coming! And, if they don’t get here soon enough, pmakers and dietour yourself one of these…

9 Comments

Changing How I Write…By Changing How I Type – Part Two: The Verdict

Back in February, I shared with you my crazy decision to teach myself how to type from scratch, and using an alternate keyboard layout called Dvorak, to boot. At the time, I still hadn’t made up my mind as to whether or not it had been a good idea, and I promised to check in again later with an update. Well, here I am.

So how has my experiment with learning to touch-type properly with the Dvorak layout gone?

First off, I’m not sure if I adequately explained this in my previous post, but using the Dvorak layout does not require the use of a special keyboard. It can all be done with software. I basically hit a button, and my computer automagically converts the QWERTY key I’m hitting into its Dvorak analog. I hit the key that is labeled J and H appears on the screen.

It means the learning curve is crazy steep, but it also does guarantee you become a touch typist by the time you’re done. Looking at the keys is flat out not an option.

Now let’s talk about that crazy steep learning curve.

I’m not going to lie. The first week of this experience was hell. In order to learn, I used a free tutorial that introduced a few keys at a time, and offered lots of vaguely nonsensical sentences to practice on. I did a new tutorial or three every day. And it was awful. My hands hurt with all the new muscles I was using, asking those pesky, neglected other half of my fingers to pull their weight for once. I refused to let myself go back to typing the way I normally did, so basic emails could take me half an hour to curse and cry and bumble my way through. I constantly had to check my cheat sheet to remind myself where the damn X and V were.

Ten days in, I had the whole alphabet sort of down, but I was typing at about eighteen words per minute. For those of you not familiar with WPM, that means writing a typical 2500 word chapter would take approximately for-f***ing-ever. It wasn’t going to cut it.

So I took the internet’s advice and I practiced and practiced and practiced. I opened up books and stories I loved to my favorite parts and typed them. I took about a million speed tests, hoping I would suddenly, magically be able to type well.

It was still awful. Like trying to speak a foreign language and knowing you could do this so much more easily in freaking English. Without meaning to, I found myself spelling words in my head constantly, even when I wasn’t practicing. So. Annoying.

Then. Finally. Three weeks in, I was typing at about thirty words per minute—still insanely slow and about half my normal speed, but starting to approach at least being functional.

And there were moments. Brief glimpses that were like being in The Matrix and suddenly seeing the lines of shiny green ones and zeroes. I could see how maybe, someday, this wouldn’t suck.

iknowkungfu

Unfortunately, the holidays were over, my next deadline was beginning to loom, and I didn’t have any more time to dedicate myself fully to learning to type. I dove into edits feeling like I had a broken limb as I tried to make my fingers form words. It was hard, and it sucked, but it was okay.

I practiced and practiced.

Five weeks in, I was typing at about forty words per minute, though with a lot of errors.

Six weeks in and I started being able to type without thinking again, the words flowing out without so much effort. I stopped spelling in my head so much.

Seven weeks in, I started hitting fifty words per minute. My errors were getting fewer.

It’s now been four months, and I’m proud to report that I’m averaging sixty words per minute with ninety-six percent accuracy. Mind you, I started out typing sixty words per minute back before I relearned to type, but remember: I’m now typing just as fast as I used to after only four months. Even better, I’m hitting mid- to upper- sixties from time to time, which makes me pretty optimistic that I’m still improving and will probably continue to speed up with continued practice, whereas with the old way, I was absolutely maxxed out with nowhere up to go.

Maybe even more importantly, my hands don’t hurt, and I’m significantly more accurate. I’m even experimenting with using other writing software like Scrivener now that I’m not so dependent on Microsoft Word’s autocorrect capabilities, which used to be absolutely essential with how many letters I missed.

So, my overall verdict? It’s been a rough road, but in the end, it was totally worth it. Would I recommend it to anyone who already knows how to type QWERTY correctly? Nope. But to any two-finger typists out there, I would say it is absolutely worth giving it a shot.

6/6/15 – Edited to add that I’ve now  been at it for six months, and I’m typing seventy-five words per minute with ninety-eight percent accuracy, and I just keep getting better. Totally worth it!

11 Comments

More Than Just Your Average Man Candy

It’s Marvel Candy! Oh come on. Don’t act like this surprises anyone. This Thursday night is the US premier of Avengers: Age of Ultron! At least half of the Girlz on this blog are jittery with anticipation, so get in on the action. Let’s celebrate some superheroes!

First up, Steve Rogers. Obviously.

CA

I’m a little obsessed with the winky arm transistor magnet thingies. Hence this gifs top spot.

Baby threw a motorcycle y'all.. A motorcycle!

Baby threw a motorcycle y’all.. A motorcycle!

 

Next up, Natasha. And I will fight about it. 😉

nat1 nat2 Tony, being Tony. Then being Iron Man.

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tony2

Thor. Because he deserves more appreciation. thor

Clint. Hawkeye. Because he deserves hella more appreciation.

clint2 Bruce – Hulking out and taking robot names.

bruce1

 Quicksilver

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I don’t want to talk about what they did to this pretty man’s hair. I suppose it had to be done?

Wanda – Scarlet Witch

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Ngl, the fourth or fifth thing I’m most excited about is seeing her powers in action. Girlfriend gonna feck some shite up!

 

 Finally…

 THAT is a hero shot!

THAT is a hero shot!

5 Comments

That Slippery Synopsis!

sumner 4No, it’s not Man-Candy Monday. Though I believe he totally qualifies, Bernard Sumner has joined me today because of his creative process. A founding member of Joy Division and the somewhat reluctant frontman of New Order, the finest band of the 80s, nay, OF ALL TIME, Bernard Sumner has said that writing lyrics is a struggle akin to breaking a horse.  Well, sweetie, I get it. That’s exactly how I feel about writing a synopsis.

And shall I say it’s been awhile? The last time I had a project in the synopsis/submission-ready stage was….well, longer ago than that last time I Googled shirtless pictures of Bernard Sumner–and that’s been way too long! Sheesh, sometimes we get so busy, we neglect the really important things in life.

But anyhoo…the synopsis. I’ve read so many advice blogs, so many “magic” formulas. Some of it not-so-great (write a one-sentence summary of each chapter et voila), some of it very good, and usable–if I wasn’t hopeless at the whole process. All of this just increased the dread. I spent half a day writing and deleting the same opening sentence. My wild horse stood in the corner, snorting, stomping, and glaring fire.

Since I was getting nowhere, I was forced to return to my notebook. While not to the extent of a couple of fellow Bad Girlz (ahem, Jenna P and E. Michels), I’m a plotter. Before I write, I begin with a loose outline of the plot, including as many scenes as I can visualize at that point, and a definite direction of my story arc. I also do some fairly detailed character descriptions, with a focus on each one’s GMC. Each character sheet includes back story, the romance arc, and his/her individual character arc, referenced back to the events in the outline. All of this is hand-written, semi-stream of consciousness, and a total mess with arrows, doodles, and crap written everywhere.

And then, a funny thing happened. I realized my synopsis was already there. I had the loose plot, and my characters’ motivations, and their turning points. I only had to put them together in an interesting way, and not make it too damn long. That’s where the best internet advice came in. I found these pointers here and here.

  1.  I used third person, present tense, active voice.
  2. I hit the highlights, and left out most of the details. Just a general summary of the beginning, middle, and end, including resolution of conflict.
  3. What I did spend precious word count on was the emotional aspect of my story. I made sure I gave my characters a little background, and gave an impression of their motivation.
  4. One of the best pieces of advice I read was to tell the story in a conversational style. Before, I either fell into dry summary, or resorted to “In a world where…” Both were hard to do, felt unnatural, and produced sucky results. I even added a quote and a joke or two.

And you know what, I think it worked! There are a lot of great articles online for synopsis help. If some of the things you find strike a chord, but you still don’t know where to start, my advice is to return to your outline, or character sheets, or your beautiful color-coded plot board as the case may be. If you’re an incurable pantser, and you don’t have anything like that, it’s worth it to try. By investing the time beforehand in my story arc and my characters’ GMC, the advice gelled.

I may not have Mr. Sumner’s lyrical chops (it takes years of experience to get away with rhyming things with stinks), but do I have a synopsis!

8 Comments

Your Conference Survival Kit

With the beginning of writing conference season just around the corner (RT anyone?), and packing for trips on my brain, (I leave tomorrow for 4 full days of chaperoning nine, count them, nine, eighth grade boys for a school band trip to Universal Studios Orlando), I thought it’d be fun to share my must-haves for surviving the artic-blasted conference rooms and crowded hotel elevators of your next writing conference.

Clorox Wipes

cloroxwipes3

I’m not a serious germaphobe but I’ve read enough articles spouting the grotesque reality of what is and what is not typically cleaned in your average hotel room. Door handles, light switches, phones, and the lovely TV remote are often overlooked by the cleaning staff. Do you and your family a favor (who wants to bring home an unwanted and potential illness?) by swiping them down with a Clorox wipe. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Hand Antiseptic

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Conferences are usually packed with people, and often people you want to get to know. Shaking hands is encouraged, so too, is the touching of elevator buttons and door handles to enter rooms to meet these people. That’s a whole lot of hands, buttons, and handles. Multiply that by the number of people in attendance, and you have yourself a smorgasbord of bacteria waiting to make you ill. This is easily remedied with a quick dollop of hand antiseptic. The tiny potent bottles from Bath and Body Works are my favorite.

LUNA/Nutrition/Energy Bars

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Running down halls, slipping into events, and staying up past bedtime to chat with a new friend/editor can wear on a girl. Especially one who is used to a quiet house and hitting the sheets by ten. To keep energy and sugar levels up, I stick a LUNA bar ( in chocolate cupcake, need I say more?) into my purse before heading out in the morning. Gluten-free and good for me, I could do so much worse.

Band-Aid Blister Pads

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If I were allowed only one item on this list, the blister pads would be it. I’ve resolved to only bring ‘comfy-cute’ shoes to conferences, but I inevitably slip in a pair of heels that have my tootsies screaming in pain by night’s end. The blister pads are life-savers. I slap one (sometimes two or three) onto my feet and elicit sighs of pleasure. They are also great for Disney/Universal trips. (Can you guess what I’m shoving into my luggage right now?)

Chapstick/Lip Balm

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A healing, moisturizing lip treatment is a must in the dry frigid air belching from the hotel vents. Having bits of skin flaking from my lips isn’t something I want to sport while talking with a potential agent. In order to keep my mouth happy AND looking pretty, I use a tinted lip balm free of petroleum (which happens to make my lips burn) from Burt’s Bees. The Red Dahlia shade adds just enough pop to make my pout stand out.

Feminine Hygiene Products

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It never fails. I’m a week out from my special date with mother nature when Murphy’s Law kicks in and I’m scrambling in the ladies room, trying to be ‘creative’. Avoid the embarrassment and come prepared. Pack a tampon or two. Or three. They’re small and don’t take up a lot of room in your purse. You’ll thank yourself later. Promise.

Breath Mints/Chewing Gum

icebreakers_mints_Coolmint

 

There is just something about hotel food that hangs around hours after you’ve eaten. It doesn’t matter that I consume copious amounts of water, my breath still suffers. In order not to scare away an acquiring editor or a soon-to-be friend, I pop a mint into my mouth. Mints are a tish more professional than gum, but whatever your pleasure, please remember to share. That lady next to you needs a mint too. Trust me.

This list could go on and on , but these items, outside of the typical clothing, shoes, and regular hygiene essentials necessary for a business trip, are enough to ensure good times are had at your next conference.

Happy Packing!

 

6 Comments

Writer Demons

As a writer, do you ever have those moments of weakness when those evil little writer demons whisper self-doubt and sabotaging thoughts in your ear?

It happens to me all the time.

You’re never going to make it. 

Will people even care about your characters or the story they have to tell?

If you haven’t been published by now, what makes you think you ever will be?

And this is one of their favorites: Do you really think you’re good enough to compete in this tough market of talented authors?

Stupid Writer Demons!

Seriously though, if you’ve had these same questions floating around your head, stop feeling guilty about them. I believe we all question our abilities at one time or another.

When I go to conferences, I sometimes get the opportunity to meet or hear from some big names. And do you know, most of them have said, like me, they still hear from the writer demons. Even if it’s their thirtieth book, they occasionally worry rather or not their next project will be as good as their last.

As writers, our work is based on creativity. Subjective creativity, I might add. And that equals vulnerability. And of course, vulnerability comes hand in hand with self-doubt and insecurity, hence, giving the cruel little writer demons a place to run amuck.

We’re lucky when it comes to mastering the technique of writing. There are plenty of resources out there to help us improve our craft. There are workshops, books, on-line classes, that teach the skills to become better writers.

However, the creativity comes from within us, our own personal built-in gift to the world. I refuse to let writer demons or anything else take that away from me. I hope you don’t either.

Shut off the negative voices for a while and listen to me instead.

You are talented. 

You are creative. 

Your story will entertain and delight thousands of readers. 

You do have what it takes. 

There. Isn’t that better?

So take your hand, swipe that mean little demon off your shoulder, and get to work. That’s what I’m going to do.

Let me leave you with three quotes by Ernest Hemingway, I feel are appropriate for this topic of self-doubt.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

“Now is not time to think about what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is.”

(And one of my very favorites)  “Courage is grace under pressure.” 

Remember to DREAM BIG!

16 Comments

Action Scenes for the Preoccupied and Befuddled Writer

I am easily confused. There. I said it. Know my secret shame.

For a year, I thought I was a year older than I was in reality and even celebrated the wrong birthday. Then, there was the time…(s) *winces at the plural of that word* I drove to the wrong state when navigating the interstate. We won’t discuss how this happened more than once, but let’s just say it’s been a hard mishap to live down in my family. So, when I attempt to tackle the writing of a book, I’m super organized about the process. Surprising? Not really.

I’m likely the most plotsy plotter you’ll ever meet, with a giant cork board in my office where scenes are tracked and color coded, and graphs of characters hang beside timelines in organizational harmony. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? *sighs*
Plot Board 7-4

But, even with this level of organization, there are scenes I struggle to write. Action scenes have a lot of moving pieces in them—not the best for this befuddled author. But, they are also necessary in every story. So what’s a Bad Girl to do? I use two tactics that I picked up from football and spy movies—obviously, because that’s not random at all.

The first concept has helped me ever since my editor wrote in the track changes of one of my books, “There are a lot of people running around in the woods. ???” I knew then I needed a way to track characters movements so that I wouldn’t lose anyone as I wrote; and I wouldn’t lose my readers as they followed along.

The Football Locker Room White Board

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I use a version of this in my office to track characters’ locations. It’s helpful in climactic scenes where bad guys are surrounding the heroine. Or, as you can see in this example, when characters are moving around at a party and the scene crosses over between 2 books. The use of a whiteboard makes complicated scenes easy to see as you write.
white board diagram

The second concept I’ve recently added when I found myself getting lost in my own scene. “Wait…She can’t trail her hand across his bare chest when he’s still fully dressed.”

Where did I look, but to spy movies to solve my problem? At 08:00 hours, we’ll meet at the ridge line above the enemy camp…It works for spies. Why not use this idea to simplify complex scenes?

The Spy Movie Action List

Daniel Craig as James Bond, wearing an Omega 2201.50 Planet Ocea

I’ve started listing out a play by play in a bullet point type of list. I change the text color in my document to red and then delete the list as I write in standard black type. It keeps everything in the scene moving along in the right direction, and allows me to focus on the emotion of the moment and not what comes next in the scene.

He sees her across the room and moves in her direction.
She escapes the conversation she was in and turns for the door.
He catches up with her on the front steps and they move into the shadows.

I hope these organizational tips from a mixed-up Bad Girl are helpful! Happy writing!

Are you easily confused? What tactics do you use to stay organized? Let’s chat about it!

20 Comments

Getting Your Story Back on Track

Picture this…

I’m chugging away with E. Michels and Lori Waters on one of our Tuesday writing marathons.  My goal is to hit at least 1500, and this particular day I blew it out of the water.  By the time 3 o’clock rolled around and I had to put on my gym mom hat, I had just over 2200 words in.  May be small potatoes to some of you but this is a huge deal to me.  I was on fire!

Only…I wasn’t.

I should’ve been sitting at the gym that afternoon wondering what sort of wine I would drink when I got home, but instead I was trying to figure out what the funny feeling was in the pit of my gut.  No, it wasn’t gas.  It was my “writey” sense attacking my “you just kicked ass” sense, and I really didn’t understand why.  I mean, the words had flowed so easily that day.

So I texted my marathon buddies and asked if they’d ever written a killer scene that just didn’t feel like it fit.  E. Michels asks, “Were you forcing your characters or is it a POV issue?”  Without much thought I say, “I just don’t think my characters would do what I had them do.”

Truth is, deep down I knew that’s what the problem was.  But I’m a diehard plotter with boards and sticky notes and everything!  It’s hard to admit that maybe I need to re-evaluate my story.  What’s also hard is for me to except that I just spent six hours of my precious writing time writing a scene that, in the end, didn’t increase the word count on my manuscript.  It’s a hard pill to swallow, and I just needed someone else to get me to admit it.  I needed someone to give me permission to scrap it and start over.  And I thought that maybe some of you needed the same, so here are a few tips on how to make it easier to find your way back to where you need to be.

1.  The first problem is admitting you’re lost.

Look on the bright side.  So you wrote one scene that needs to go.  It’s better than ignoring your gut and writing the rest of the book in the wrong direction, right?  And it’s not necessarily wasted words.  Cut them out and place them in a “cut scenes” file.  With a few tweaks, there may be another manuscript you can use it in later.

2.  Get out of the map.

joeymap1joeymap2

I love this episode of FRIENDS, don’t you?  But where Joey needs to get in the map to find his way, sometimes I find I need to get out of the map to find my way.  I get so bogged down on word count that I don’t take the time to step back and look at the big picture.  Where are your characters in their intended arc?  Is the plot still moving at the right pace?  How many words do you have left and can you fit in what’s still needed.  A few quick checks may be all it takes to show you where you need to be.

3.  Remember the basics: GMC

This one is usually the one that gets me moving again.  Often times I’ve considered the overall GMC of the manuscript, but I haven’t spent enough effort looking at the short term GMC’s between my turning points.  Or maybe I did, but I’ve discovered something about my characters along the way that changes their goals or motivations at this particular turning point.  Remember, writing is a dynamic process so it’s okay if things change along the way.

4.  Check your threads

Perhaps the reason the scene doesn’t make sense now is because you’ve lost a thread along the way that was supposed to lead you here.  The more threads you have, the harder it can be to keep track of.  So write them down and check them often.

5.  If all else fails, stop and ask for directions

Talk it out with someone else.  It could be that you just need someone to give you permission to admit you’ve lost your way, like I did.  They may raise a question that leads you to find your answer. Sometimes someone who’s disconnected from your story will be the one to connect it.

I hope this helps you in some small way.  I’d love to hear any other ideas you have.  How do you find your way back to your story?

5 Comments

Pinteresting

I’m on vacation this week. Not any place warm or exciting like Florida or Hawaii. Nope, I’m in Fargo, ND as I type this post, looking out at brown grass and bare trees. Even if I’m not sunning myself in 80 degree weather, I am still on vacation time, which means I’m deplugging. And as I was sitting here racking my brain to think of a post, I realized that if there’s any time to do something fun, it was now. 

And so I give you: Pinteresting. Yes, it’s a verb.

Now, I’ve been Pinteresting in my personal life for several years. I’ve amassed something like 8,000 pins, all categorized obsessively. I use it for birthday party planning and recipe hoarding and gift making ideas and holiday decorating. But I don’t use any of those professionally.

Oh, no.

Professionally, I use boards that look like this:

hero inspirationAnd this:

hero inspiration 2Annnnnnnd this:

hero inspiration 3This whole authoring thing…it’s a tough life I lead. It really, really is.

But in all seriousness, Pinterest is a goldmine for authors. Yes, I have a board titled Hero Inspiration that is brimming with delicious hotties to feed my eyeballs. But I also have boards for Heroine Inspiration. Couple Inspiration. Places & Spaces. Not to mention boards for each of my books.

See, I’m a planner (shocking, I know). And as such, I like to be able to have a place where I can shove any/everything pertaining to my books (past, present, or future), so I can reference it at any time. Plus, it helps me while writing. Whenever I’m blocked on a certain scene, I like to pop over to Pinterest and look at pictures of who I’ve envisioned as my hero or heroine. Or I like to look at the snippets I’ve got on the Couples Picspiration board. Or I like to browse and see what others are pinning. Maybe I’ll come across some totally random, but totally perfect link, and it gets me out of my funk.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have some Hero Inspiration studying to do… I am on vacation, after all.

2 Comments

Tanya Celebrates the Release of her Blaze Debut

As experienced as I am, it feels like my first time all over again.

Er, perhaps I should clarify–I’ve published many books, but Good with His Hands is my first hot contemporary romance for Harlequin Blaze. I…may have done an undignified happy dance when I spotted it on the rack at a local bookstore last Friday. I couldn’t help myself–this book was so much fun to write and I’m excited to share it with readers. (Besides, the chances of me being dignified are, well, nonexistent.)

blaze

The heroine, jilted bride-to-be Dani Yates, is feisty. On why she grew up wanting to be a fairy-godmother rather than a princess: “Princesses hid out with dwarves or in towers–or, worse, in comas. Fairy godmothers get shit done.”

The hero, construction supervisor Sean, is sexy: He crossed his arms over his chest, giving her a great view of corded forearms, and grinned. “I’m not a workaholic…but I don’t stop until the job’s done to everyone’s mutual satisfaction.”

And the book is funny. One lovely reader made my year by posting to my FB page that she laughed more in the first 50 pages than she did in the past half a dozen books she’s read put together. Writing a plot for the Wrong Bed miniseries allowed me to use my love of a Shakespearean romantic-comedy device: mistaken identity. (Not that he invented mistaken identity, but catching plays at Atlanta’s Shakespeare Tavern is one of my favorite ways to spend Girls’ Night Out.)

Dani has been dumped before her wedding. She thought she’d made her peace with that, but to add insult to injury, her ex elopes with someone else. Coming up on the day of her would-be wedding, Dani is the recipient of lots of well-meaning pity texts and people calling to check on her. Rather than wallow, she impulsively decides to celebrate her newfound freedom by hitting on Bryce Grayson, the hot architect who works in her building. How was she supposed to know Bryce had an identical twin?

If you like mistaken identity plots–or simply enjoy funny, sexy stories–I hope you’ll check out Good with His Hands. It’s on bookstore shelves, as well as available through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Happy reading!

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