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Sophia Henry

Unorthodox Writing Process

Let’s  talk about the writing process. My process. Wait, what is that? 😉

Kidding!!

My process starts with an idea — which turns into a scene. The scene isn’t always the first scene of the book. Sometimes it is (very unlikely). I usually start in the middle. Because the scene that inspires me to write the book is usually somewhere down the line in the plot.

Where do I get my ideas? Songs, people, real life (this happens a lot), imagination. Ideas come from all over, I think we can all agree on that. You’re driving down the road and something ah-may-zing pops into your head–so you have to use the voice feature to dictate a note into your phone. Or you write random ideas on the back of a Target receipt (or–my personal favorite–airline boarding pass).

After I get that idea, I write the scene in as much entirety as I can at that moment. I know it will change. I mean, if I start in the middle, I have no clue what comes before that, so timeline and wording is going to change. But that scene usually dictates where I go next. Obviously they all come together, so the inspiration for plot is going feed from the scenes I’ve already written.

I write scene by scene until I have about one-third to half the book (25,000-30,000 words usually). Then I create a W-Plot and really plot out the book. From there, I start to put my scenes in order, using “Chapter” with no number. This allows me to see where I need to “fill in.” Sometimes I need to move entire scenes to a different section, re-write scenes that done’t quite fit–and yes–delete entire scenes that don’t work at all. 🙁

Is it confusing? Sometimes. Is it a bit unorthodox? Sure. Do I ever get stuck because I’ve written all the scenes I’m SUPER EXCITED about already? Sadly, yes.

But as writers, we trudge through. I know I’ll be excited about the entire book, just gotta muddle through transitions to get there.

Did I just say transitions? Yeah, I need to work on those. Still. Always be improving your craft, right??

Do you have an unorthodox writing process? (What is unorthodox, really? We’re all individuals and no one’s mind works the same way.) Tell me about it in the comments.

And keep on being you!!!

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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Burn Out is Real…and it’s Scary

I’m a burn out. Wait, wait! Let me rephrase that. I am burnt out.

I am in the process of writing my fourth book in a year and a half… During that time, four other books released. I know there are some amazing authors who can kick out a book every two months — or one month. I wish! But that’s not me, and I know that.

Let me be clear…I’m not complaining. NOT ONE BIT.

But I am admitting…
I’m burnt out.

As a debut author who had never signed a contract before, I didn’t realize how grueling a publishing schedule would be. I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be able to just put my head down and write as I did for years before I even tried to get a book deal.

Sure, I knew all about the other things that go into being an author—the editing and editing and editing, social media, marketing, conferences and continuing education workshops, author events and signings and more editing…and, of course, writing.

I signed my first contract in February 2015 and I haven’t been able to catch up yet. As soon as I signed that contract and put myself under a real deadline: Reality happened. Exhaustion and stress and life unraveling happened.

Real life doesn’t stop when you get a deal. And for me, it got a whole lot more complicated.

An entire re-write of my fifth book is staring me in the face. Minutes click quickly toward the date that it’s due (again). So how do I get my mojo back? How do I muster up the strength and energy to write the best damn book I possibly can?

I went back to my favorite place to write. A local French bakery in the “Noda” neighborhood of Charlotte called Amelie’s. It’s got such an eclectic vibe. There are always people there. Creative people. Business people. (Not that those two can’t be the same,) All ages from toddler to Betty White.

I settled into a seat and put my head down. No Internet. No writing companions. Just me, the music (because you guys know I need the music) and my laptop. And I wrote my ass off. I was there from 6pm to 2:30 in the morning. The next morning, I jumped out of bed and was back at a cozy table with black coffee and a delicious breakfast sandwich (eggs, spinach and asiago on a croissant—in case you want to get the full picture) by 8am.

The words were flowing. The ideas kept popping. It’s almost as if I had to get out of that pocket of life that was stifling my creativity and go back to this vibrant, happy coffee shop where I’d written so many words previously—before the contract.

Life. Moving. Jobs. Deadlines. Marketing. Motherhood. Social Media. Events. Separation. Moving. Kids. Time. Love. Loss.

There’s always going to be something. Find your happy place and get back on track. If that doesn’t work—mix it up. Try something you’ve never tried before (I just started yoga again after 9 years). Go where creative people are. Find meet up. Be in the presence of individuals who like the same things you do. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Find yourself. <3

After a few more sessions at Amelie’s, I’ve almost finished re-plotting and restructuring my current work in progress. And I’m going back tonight.

 

P.S. Photo: A scrumptious berry tart and dark chocolate covered strawberries. Happy Valentine’s Day to me. 🙂

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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It’s Not Just Romance…

Happy 2017 everyone!! I’m starting the year with a personal post ( a day late–sorry!!!). Because I want to start the year off the way I want the rest of the year to go. With kindness, love and positive energy!

Many of us read to connect, right? We want to feel all the emotions. We want to be one of the characters. Or we want to be kissing one of the characters. 🙂

When I started writing, I didn’t just think about character arcs, the love story, the plot and the big black moment. I wanted my book to TOUCH someone–maybe even CHANGE someone–or HELP someone. Is that weird? I don’t know. I just know that I wanted readers to walk away with all the warm fuzzies and a moral–if you will.

One of the biggest compliments I received on DELAYED PENALTY, the first book in my Pilots Hockey series, came from an editor during the query stages. The editor told me that he loved the book– and he didn’t like sports romances at all. (I’m paraphrasing).

DELAYED PENALTY is a story about an interpreter who falls for her client – who just happens to be a Hot Russian Hockey God. But the story isn’t all about hockey. In fact, hockey is not even the majority of the story.

The story is about Auden, a teenager on the verge of adulthood, still dealing with the constant cycle of grief and loss stemming from her father’s early exit from her life and her mother’s death. And trying to accept love when all she’s ever known is abandonment.

As many of you know, the grief from the loss of a parent (or anyone) doesn’t just stop. Not after a month. Or a year. Or 30 years. You don’t “get over it.” You learn to live with it. Auden’s backstory was  somewhat based off my own background. I, too, lost my mom very young. Every time something big happens in my life, I go through the stages again. The Denial, the Anger, the Bargaining, the Depression and the Acceptance. (5 Stages from: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book “On Death and Dying“). After thirty years, the grief cycle is on a lesser scale, but I still go through it.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to share my books with my mom? Wouldn’t it be awesome to hear her say she’s proud of me? No matter how many years pass, those thoughts are always going to pop into my head. I’m always going to pine for that approval, that unconditional love that only a mom can give.

I dedicated DELAYED PENALTY to all the Motherless Daughters out there. (SPOILER, sorry).
Though I’ve highlighted DELAYED PENALTY in this post, but I tried to do this with all of my books  If a fictional, Contemporary Sports Romance can help someone through the stages of grief, help them understand their feelings and realize they aren’t alone in those feelings, I’ve done my job as an author–and as a human being.
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Have you read a book that you thought would be a “fluffy” fun read, but ended up being affected by it?
Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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Holiday Gifts for the Book Lovers in Your Life

It’s that time of year where we start obsessing over what to get our friends and family. I’ve put together a mix of unique and practical gifts that are sure to make your Book Loving friends happy!

Literary Scarf

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I LOVE THESE. I bought an Alice in Wonderland scarf for my best friend two years ago. She adored it!

Don’t really like the classical literature options?? It’s okay! I found an Easy store that will make a scarf with the words you want on it. Which is a pretty cool gift for the AUTHOR or book lover in your life. (hint hint) Link: ESTY Store

 

 

 

Book Shaped Plates

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I can’t even handle how cute these are! I want a stack of them!

 

 

 

 

Stacked Book Tissue Box Cover

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This one is really clever. I mean, no offense to tissue makers, but even the decorative boxes aren’t that cute. Stack some books over that ugly box! Bonus — This one is only $15 on Amazon.

 

 

 

GIFT CARDS!!!

I know some people say that gift cards (and cash) are impersonal. But what I think is impersonal is getting someone a gift that they’ll NEVER use. Maybe I think a stacked-book tissue box cover is the bees knees, but a friend might think – why the F would I want that ugly ass thing on my counter?

WHEN IN DOUBT – GIVE A GIFT CARD!!

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I swear I’m not pimping Amazon or anything, but it really is a GO-TO gift card for me because people can buy whatever they find on there! And I can send E-Gift cards –which is always a bonus! Plus, the Big A has a ton of cute e-gift card designs to choose from.

 

Comment below with with your favorite bookish gifst to get Book Lovers in your life! I’m sure we all would love new and creative recommendations!!

Happy Holidays!!

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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Cooking with Sophia – for beginners

Hello Hello!

I’m here to share my favorite recipe. It’s very easy, since I am NOT a good cook. I once had the fire department come to my house sirens-blaring because of my cooking. No joke. Don’t worry! There was no fire! Just a lot of smoke from me trying to follow very well written recipe instructions.  *I apologized profusely and also brought the firefighters doughnuts and coffee the next morning.*

Sophia’s Favorite Recipe

Cup or glass–I prefer a Tervis Tumbler. I’m not a fan of condensation.

Ice–or not.

Vodka–as much as you want

Add whatever beverage you like with vodka–or none at all–it’s great both ways

Grab a book. Relax and Enjoy!

*Please do not drive after consuming this beverage.*

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SOPHIA – WHAT BOOK SHOULD I GRAB?

I’m glad you asked. Because my fourth book, UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT released TODAY! And it stars a hot Russian hockey player. So the vodka fits perfectly!!

More Info:

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

Contemporary Romance.

Random House Loveswept

Sparks fly when a strong-willed Greek girl meets a cocky Russian hockey player on a singles cruise in this story of adventure, forgiveness, and LOVE. Discover why Kelly Jamieson calls the Pilots Hockey series “fun and flirty, warm and sweet.”
 
Kristen Katsaros wants a life full of adventure and laughter. After a difficult childhood, her motto is to live each day like it’s her last—because it just might be. So when Kristen’s parents send her on a post-grad singles cruise in the Caribbean to meet a Greek husband, she promptly hooks up with the hottest guy she’s ever met. Pasha’s decidedly not Greek, but Kristen gives him a pass because he’s got fun written all over his rock-hard abs.

Pavel Gribov, the cocky playboy of the Detroit Pilots hockey team, can score any girl he wants. But when a teammate drags him on a singles cruise, he can’t resist the chance to help out a drop-dead gorgeous damsel in distress by pretending to be her boyfriend. Before long, the fake fling turns intimate, fueled by something much deeper than lust.

Kristen and Pasha both agree to walk away once the cruise is over, but reality hits like a slap shot when Kristen finds out Pasha lied about everything. Just when she’s ready to start living again, the two stubborn survivors must decide if they can bear to lose the best thing that ever happened to either of them.

Also – I donate the first $500 in my royalties (yes, before I pay myself) to a different charity for each book. I’ve chosen the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for this book, as my heroine has CF. <3

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Buy Links:

Amazon // iBooks // Barnes & Noble // Kobo

Books-A-Million // Google Play

 

Thank you for letting me indulge in a NEW RELEASE post instead of a real recipe!! Happy Reading! <3

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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The Down Low on Life with a Multi-Book Contract

Hi ho! Sophia Henry here and today I’m giving you the inside scoop on what happens after you sign a multi book contract. 🙂

1. Celebration! Seriously. Dance and shout and let it all out because you scored a multi book contract with a publisher! That is awesome!! Congratulations! Get the celebration out of your system, because it’s time to…

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2. Write your butt off. Remember that first novel you wrote? I’m guessing it takes most of us more than a year to research, write, edit, rewrite, and re-edit that first book. It took me over three years w/ my first. You *probably* won’t have that kind of time again during your contract. Do you write slow? Save yourself some stress >> Be honest and realistic about how fast—or slow—you draft and build that time into your contract.

3. Editing. You will go through at least two—maybe more—rounds of edits on each book. The first will be developmental edits from your editor. Once you complete those your MS is sent to copy edits. (*Keep in mind you may go through more than one round of developmental edits to get the book where it needs to be). If you have a print book, you will probably have a page by page proof to go through after copy edits.

4. Market/Promote. While you are doing all the edits on the book to polish it to perfection, you will also be marketing and promoting. On Facebook. On blogs. On Twitter. On Instagram. Wherever you chose to have an author presence. 🙂 My advice is: take those posts to heart and make them the best they can be. Whether it’s an author interview, a guest post or an excerpt–this is what you ware showing the world about you and your writing. Maybe the blog only has 25 followers. It doesn’t matter. Promotion is promotion. 25 is better than Zero. AND if someone googles your name, that blog might come up. So always best at your best. Your brand is your career.

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5. Write your butt off. While you are doing all of this you are also (or should be) writing the next book in your contract—because I bet your deadline to have that to your editor is coming up soon.

6. Release Day! CELEBRATION TIME! Stop what you’re doing and celebrate today. I don’t care if it’s your 1st book or your 71st. Take the time to celebrate each accomplishment. You published a book (or 71 books). You ROCK!!

7. Release Day Continued… Don’t plan on doing anything on Release Day other than: answering calls, texts, FB messages and posts, Twitter, Instagram, commenting on blog posts. THANKING everyone who bought, read, shared, helped in any way with your book.

8. Write Your Butt Off. At this point you should be very close to turning your next book in to your editor. Can I just say that TIME FLIES when you have all of this going on. It goes in warp speed, I swear.

9. Edit. See above. Just because you’re a super awesome published author with an amazing book out doesn’t mean your second won’t need (major) editing.

10. Market/Promote. See above, but you’ll be doing it for Book 2…AND Book 1. You can’t forget about that puppy! Because it’s probably going on sale a few weeks before book 2 comes out and you want to get people into your series so they preorder book 2 or snatch it up on release day!

11. ARE YOU WRITING BOOK 3 YET?? BECAUSE IT’S DUE TOMORROW!! Okay, maybe not tomorrow, but all of these things will sneak up on you. You *may* need to ask for an extension. I’m not promoting it, but it happens. Be honest and upfront with yourself and your editor. If you are honest, changes can be made. Don’t avoid contact with the world because you’re embarrassed or stressed. We are humans, not machines. An e-mail or phone call is a glorious thing. 🙂

12. #2 through #7 above OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER until you die. Death may be a *slight* exaggeration, but the cycle continues so you must be prepared for it. It’s overwhelming and amazing simultaneously. YOU’RE AN AUTHOR!!

This post is not meant to scare. It’s meant to PREPARE. Because on top of all this–you have REAL LIFE. Jobs, family, root canals…Life doesn’t stop when you are writing. Honest and realistic are my favorite words. If you are honest and realistic with yourself and your editor: You’ll be happy, your publisher will be happy, your readers will be happy. WIN WIN WIN!

Has anyone felt the heat yet? Please share your words of wisdom from your magical and crazy experience. 🙂

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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And the Winner is…Not Me

If you’ve ever entered a writing contest, please raise your hand.

17507347 - young pretty woman hands up raised arms, screaming yelling isolated on a white background*Raises hand.

I have a secret to tell you. Well, it’s not really a secret, it’s more like advice for staying sane if you have ever entered a writing contest–Unpublished or Published.

Winning/Placing/Losing…never even coming close to any of the first two (raises both my hands like this chic in the picture) has no bearing on whether you can write well. It has no bearing on whether you will be published. It has no bearing on whether you will sell millions of copies of your books some day.

It’s a contest. Judged by humans. Humans who have their own tastes. And their own bias. It’s all subjective.

That being said, if you don’t have the absolute basic writing skills (grammar, punctuation… read this post).

IF YOU HAVE won or placed, I’m NOT taking anything away from you!! That is awesome!! You should be very proud! Because it takes a kick ass story and kick ass writing to be selected as a finalist or winner. That means multiple people thought your book rocked! And you deserve to feel proud and happy. I’ll take you out for a drink because I am happy for you.

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This is for the rest of us…the ones who haven’t (ever) placed or won. (still raising my hand). I don’t want anyone to think a contest is all or nothing. If you win you are guaranteed to get picked up by an agent or editor. If you don’t even place you will never be published. Ever!

It doesn’t work that way.

Contest judging is subjective, just like what a publisher or agent likes/wants is subjective. Maybe you wrote the BEST DAMN dystopian Young Adult book that was ever written, but dystopian isn’t selling right now…so you may not get that book published right now.

Shelve it. Keep it for later. Work on something else. It’s not necessarily bad writing or bad story. It’s just not right for right now.

Maybe, like me…your books really suck monkeys in contests. I’ve never placed in a contest for unpublished authors. I never placed in a contest for published authors.

But my book sold to the second editor who requested it. And it was my dream editor. I’m not bragging. I’m just telling you to KEEP YOUR HEAD up. Work on your craft. Keep submitting!

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be proud! A contest win or final is an awesome designation to have under your belt!! Congrats!! If you win or final, and you don’t sell right away, it’s okay.

You will get there!! Keep trying. Keep entering! Keep getting better. 🙂

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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Different is Good

Today marks one week since INTERFERENCE, Book 3 in the Pilots Hockey world released. I’m gonna tell you a (not very well kept) secret about my series. I want to be different. I’m trying to be different. I’m writing what I want to read. I’m writing the books I want to write. I might not fit into a box.

AND I LIKE IT!

Example #1: INTERFERENCE (Okay, technically this is Example 3, since all of my books are a little different, but work with me)…

INTERFERENCE Cover

In INTERFERENCE, the hero is the brother of a player on the Detroit Pilots minor league hockey team. He’s a police officer.

Sophia! Shame! Shame! How can you call this a hockey series when the hero of your book isn’t even a hockey player?

Because IT’S MY WORLD.

OH THE POWER! THE POWER!  *taps fingers together and laughs maniacally* hahahahahahahhahaha

Sorry about that. Sometimes being a writer goes to my head, because seriously, how often so we get to have control of the world?

Never.

And it’s pretty darn cool to be able to do what I want. Because–IT’S MY WORLD.

There’s a point to this post – I swear

  1. Write what YOU want. You don’t have to justify it to anyone (except maybe your editor, but I hope they are on your side if they signed you).
  2. Don’t worry about what people think.  My books all take place in the Pilots Hockey World. (MY WORLD). They are all connected by the characters in that world. I’m not pulling people out of dumpsters in San Antonio, they are all related to the Detroit Pilots hockey team. (Unless it’s your editor, of course)
  3. If you’re different, be different. Don’t try to fit into a mold you don’t fit in. Be you. Twist it. Throw a kink in the “expectation” of what people think they are going to get when they open your book. I don’t want to read the same story over and over. I want little twists. If that means calling a book about the brother of a hockey player part of my world, then Turbo Twist me up, baby!

If someone can’t get over minor things that you did–as the author who created YOUR WORLD–to mix it up and be different in your own way, that’s not your reader. And there are readers out there for everyone.

Don’t worry. You’ll find yours.

If you want to check out INTERFERENCE, I’d love that! It’s available major e-book retailers for $2.99. It’s also available on Audiobook! 🙂

And Happy TATAR Tuesday from my family to yours! (This is what we do in MY WORLD) 😉
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Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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My Life Away from the Computer Rocks!

If Writing is my Art, Music is my Muse.

Music inspires me. Songs inspire me. Bands (and the introspective hotties in them) inspire me.

The lyrics. The melodies. The bass lines. The guitar riffs. The drum beats.

In this post, I’m giving you a glimpse into my life outside of writing. Music is my social life. Whether it’s hanging out at places I can take my kids that have live music, going to concerts with my husband and friends, or just cranking the volume and dancing around the house. Music is always in my life. For example, here’s my concert schedule for the next 2 months:

May 24 – The 1975 in Milwaukee
May 25 – The 1975 in St. Paul
(Yes, I am flying to see The 1975 in 2 cities in two days! I LOVE them)
June 15 – The 1975 in Charlotte
June 28 – Twenty One Pilots in Charlotte*

*Schedule does not include the following shows in May that I WANT to go to, but haven’t bought tickets for yet… The Wombats, Silversun Pickups, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie.

Did I mention that I may be a teeny tiny bit obsessed with The 1975. As a throwback to my teenage self going wild over The Cure—I simply adore The 1975 right now.

You haven’t heard of The 1975?? Oh my. Start googling now. I tried to upload some concert clips, but for some reason my movies are telling me the file is not found. (I type this calmly, though I’m panicking on the inside!!! My adult life in concerts–gone??? A freakout for another time, like 5 seconds after I post this…)

Music is my muse in many ways. Matty Healy, the lead singer of The 1975, inspired Aleksandr Varenkov’s hair in DELAYED PENALTY.

IMG_9365Matty’s hair is EPIC!! It’s difficult to see just how glorious his locks are in this pic. Again, just google him.

Every key scene in each book I write is inspired by a song. No joke. If you look at my playlists for each book, you can piece together which song inspired a certain part of the book.

When I write I listen to a ton of stuff: The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, The National, Frightened Rabbit, Catfish and the Bottlemen, James, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Poe, Shakira, The Griswolds…there are hundreds of artists.

When I write sexy scenes I listen to a lot of New Politics.

 

Let’s jam together. I love trying new bands or rocking out to old favorites, so hit me with you favorite music in the comments below!

*Meanwhile, I’ll try to find some personal concert footage I can upload. 😉  (NOT FREAKING OUT. YES, I AM.)

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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I Happened Upon a Jeri Smith-Ready Twitter Party…

Many of the Bad Girlz are posting about our favorite books or books that inspired us to become writers. Like many of you, I’ve been writing my entire life. At Central Michigan University, I majored in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing and an Emphasis in Poetry. That’s my degree. hahahaha

Because I write really crappy poems (you can read one of them in my first book, DELAYED PENALTY), I knew I’d never make a living at poetry. I didn’t think I was good enough to write a novel, so I stopped working on my dream of being published.

Fast Forward to 2010. My first son was born and I chose to stay at home with him. That lasted five seconds. For real. I still stayed home with him, but I had to do something else. So I started writing again. And I finished my second novel. (I wrote my first novel in high school. hahahahahaha) And then the novel sat on my computer–just chillin’.

It sat because I was scared. It sat because I had no confidence. It sat because it was more about doing it than getting serious about publishing. I already knew my poems sucked–my novel probably did, too.

Shade coverIn 2011, I joined Twitter. And found voracious readers (like me!). And authors, agents, editors, bloggers and…WHOA! I didn’t know anyone else in my real life that fan-girled over books like I did. But here they were–my people!!

One night, I happened upon a thread on Twitter. Fan-girls were talking about book series–The SHADE Series by Jeri Smith-Ready. I started following the party hashtag and tweeted something about how awesome the book sounded and that I was going to read it. (YA paranormal – my favorite genre!!!)

AND JERI SMITH-READY TWEETED ME BACK!!!

She did. At that time, I couldn’t believe an author would tweet me back. They’re larger than life. They don’t talk to fans. They don’t…YES, THEY DO.

That party changed my world. Dare I say, Jeri Smith-Ready changed my world. I got excited about the interactions between authors and readers. I got excited about the community of people and knowledge sharing I had access to through social media. Which made me excited about revising the manuscript that had been sitting for a year.

Through #TeamKilt, I joined an online book club, Time Zones Will Not Defeat Us Book Club or #TZWNDUBC –if you ever see me post that. My Time Zones girls quickly became my best friends. They didn’t even know I was a writer. We developed our friendships over all the books we loved and fan-girled over. When I told them I decided to submit my book to agents and editors: They beta read for me. They critique for me. They became my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. From England, Australia, and Mexico to New Mexico and more.

My TZWNDUBC Girls 2In 2012, with a renewed love for all things writing, I went to RT Booklovers Convention for the first time and met Jeri. She’s just as awesome, smart, and kind in person as she is in her Twitter parties. Two years later, I met members of #TZWNDUBC at RT in NOLA. A year after that, I met even more members at RT Dallas.

So when you ask me what books or authors inspired me to write, I’ll tell you: Martin Cruz-Smith’s Gorky Park (series), Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Rachel Gibson’s Chinooks Series to name a few.

But when you get down to it, Jeri Smith-Ready launched my renewed love for writing. And her wonderful paranormal series introduced me to my best friends–who knew me when my name was Wendy–and have continued to cheer for me the entire way.

SHADE, SHIFT and SHINE are the books in the Jeri Smith Ready trilogy that changed my world. What book(s) changed your world?

Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.

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