Monday, July 31, 2017

5 Things I Learned at RWA 2017



#5 Pick Five Things You Learned and Apply Them to Your Writing

Everyone comes home with a long list of things they're going to do to make them a more efficient and prolific writer. Seriously, how many of those things did you accomplish or still practice after your last conference. By keeping it simple and making your five choices realistic you're more likely to meet those goals. 

#4 Create a FB Author Page / Update Pinterest boards

I've been meaning to do this for some time.  You need to have a profile page first - which I had. It wasn't difficult to do an author page. You create a banner, pick your audience and start posting. Followers will come.  

The most difficult thing about going on Pinterest is getting off. Update your Pinterest boards and make your books or writing info the first board.  Make sure you add a description to each board and pin. It will help send traffic your way. Always include your website or blog address.

#3 Check Out Neflix and Amazon Prime for Research.

My current WIP is targeted for Intrigue. I found a great show on Neflix for understanding what goes into being a bodyguard for celebrities and dignitaries. Prime has a list of documentaries on Military History direct from the men and woman who experience it.

#2 Make a Productivity Chart

I always liked lists. Some lists are floating around in my head while others, I actually write down. Keep your expectations realistic for your life style, writing ability and goals.  Know what you're capable of. I'm not a fast writer so I set my daily goal for 500 words. Aim higher if feel you need to, but don't discredit a lower limit. In a week you can have a chapter. Meeting those goals will help you understand when you expect to complete your 1st, 2nd and 3rd drafts.
I like to do my stuff (exercise, social media and blog) in the mornings.  I restart my day at 2pm when I sit down and write for 2 - 3 hours.



Nothing will get done if you don't put your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard.
It's approaching the 2:00 hour so I'm off to reach my goal for the day.


#1 1/2  Eat Chocolate Everyday


Friday, May 5, 2017

Conception of a Sweet Romantic Series

Writing series romance was not something I planned to do.

When I wrote the first book in my Love by Chocolate series, I never imaged I would create a four book series plus one novella. 

Somewhere in the first book I realized one of the minor characters, Chloe had a chocolate story to tell. Since the heroine in Chocolate Secrets, Alex an ER nurse had no intention of continuing on with the family business someone had to tell the next story. The chocolate was calling and Kooky Chloe was the one to tell it. Book 2, Chocolate Magic was born.

Chloe's life is a puddle of melted chocolate, but help is on the way. Alex is back and a new friend Maddie is introduced along with a sexy hero who has no time for chocolate. Maddie, a trained pastry chef has her own puddle to wade through. Book 3, Chocolate Muse became Maddie's story.

An editor once told me that the nice thing about reading a series in order is that the reader meets old friends when previous characters make a cameo appearance. Readers who have been introduced to  characters also their share secrets. For readers who are picking up the book out of sequence a short paragraph intertwined into the story can explain their role in the hero or heroine's life.

The setting, a rejuvenated Brooklyn neighborhood was already there for Book 4 when I placed Lily's little pastry shop at 4 1/2 Smith Street.  Chocolate Couture steps out of the setting and crosses the bridge opening the potential for a different backdrop for another story. I haven't gone there yet. 

Doing chocolate research is the best part of writing a series where chocolate becomes a character. But what to do with all that info? That's how the idea for my novella, Chocolate and Sensibility came about. 
Topical rainforest walk at Fairchild Gardens.
I took the information I had about chocolate production and set the story in the topics. The story belongs to Luis and Sophia, but it's a prequel to Lily's story. 

When writing a stand alone story, I'm never sure where the story will take me. Imagine the places you can go when writing a series.