When Just Ella had been out for just a few weeks, Amazon took notice of the fact that I was selling a few copies a day, which meant I was quite a bit more successful than a lot of self-pubbed authors, so they picked it up and marketed it for me. That made all the difference. I had the power of the great Amazon marketing machine in my corner and my sales shot up. Continue reading
The KindleScout campaign for Keeping Kinley has officially ended. Thank you so, so much to everyone who nominated it! Whether it’s chosen or not, it’s been a great experience. I hope you all enjoyed reading the first couple of chapters and I’m excited to get the rest of the story into your hands.
As I was going through my manuscript (yet again) and looking over different files, I found a prologue that I toyed with using. In the end I decided it was unnecessary (as most prologues are) and it went into my ‘deleted’ folder. However, I thought it would be fun to share it with y’all, because I do like how it turned out.
The Prologue that Wasn’t: Continue reading
When I start reading a book, there are many factors that might prevent me from being able to immerse myself in the story. One of the biggest is unlikable characters. I imagine that’s the case with many readers, especially if you enjoy character driven books. We don’t want to cheer for a character that we just don’t like. Sometimes I don’t like characters because they’re boring, other times it’s because I don’t respect them. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that writing likable characters is essential for an author’s success.
What’s the first step to writing likable characters? You have to actually like them yourself. If you don’t love the characters you create, then how can you expect readers to love them? Continue reading
Originally I had planned on releasing Painting Rain by mid-December. However, with the rewrites required, and other unforeseeable issues, I gave up on that deadline and allowed myself to focus on Christmas and family. I haven’t done much with it for the past several weeks, but now that out-of-town family is gone and the festivities are finished, I’ll be able to get back to work. I need to complete my final read-through before sending it off to copy editors. Once that’s done, I’ll finalize the cover and make it available for pre-order. I expect copies will land it reader hands in 4-6 weeks.
I spent the second half of last week in Bear Lake with five other writers. It was our second annual writing retreat. The point is to get away from our usual days of work, family and kids, and focus just on our craft.
Another question from my FB page. Someone asked where I get inspiration for my heroes. So here’s my attempt to answer:
Firstly, none of my characters are based on real people. I have utilized little quirks from people I’ve known and incorporated them into some of my characters, but that’s the extend of it.
I had a reader ask on my FB page where I came up with the original concept of Ella and her sisters.
The first few scenes that I wrote for Just Ella were so bad. They were stilted and awkward, the dialogue was contrived, and I was trying to write in the style that Jane Eyre was written in, which didn’t work since I’m not Charlotte Bronte. I didn’t have a handle on the old timey speech, and I didn’t really know who Ella was.
Short answer: Yes.
I’ve been surprised at how many people ask this question. I doubt it will come as a surprise that out of all of the sisters, Lorraina was my least favorite. But I couldn’t just keep her as the token brat throughout the books. It didn’t feel realistic. So when her storyline started to progress in Missing Lily, I appreciated the chance for her to grow. Yes, she was still selfish and overly critical, but I started to better understand the reasons behind it, and I was able to make some headway with her character development. However, by the end of Missing Lily, I still didn’t like her enough to want to write from her point of view. I couldn’t empathize with her enough.
While I was still in the middle of writing Missing Lily, I started contemplating my next project. I decided that I didn’t want to do another princess story. I was done with those. I tried starting the story of Gavin’s younger sister, Kinley, but it never grabbed me. I thought about telling the story of Brinna, Gavin’s jilted fiancée, but I barely got beyond a couple of paragraphs with her.
As you know, my decision to not do another princess story didn’t pan out.
I had always liked Marilee because she was fun and made me smile, but I knew that she wasn’t mature enough for me to want to be inside her head for an entire book. I knew that if I was going to make her a heroine, she’d have to grow up, and she’d have to do it the hard way.
I’ve read a lot of books. (Shocker.) And most of those books are romance because I love reading about those feelings—the discovery of attraction, then waiting on pins and needles to find out if the other person feels the same way. There is something so basically human about finding love. However, I think many authors get stuck on attraction and have a hard time moving on to meaningful relationships. When I’m reading a book, there is only
so much physical description that I can take. If the hero’s rock hard abs are the main focus, it’s tough for me to take it seriously. I tend to roll my eyes when the heroine’s berry red lips and tiny waist are expounded on. Physical description is fine. It’s good to know that the hero and heroine are attracted to one another. However, should that really be the characteristic that is focused on the most? Do we need to keep going back to the fact that she is the spitting image of Aphrodite and his physique is like the statue of David?
My objection isn’t just that it’s redundant, or that it flattens the characters into nothing but their physical attributes.