On November 16, my novel, California Sunrise, will be included in a new bundle entitled Romance in Color. Each story in the bundle contains multi-cultural heroes and heroines, more reflective of our country as a whole than many of our bookshelf offerings.
One of my fellow authors in that bundle, Ellen Parker, also has a new book coming out on October 23. Congratulations, Ellen! She’s penned a post for my blog for all of you who are aspiring authors, as well as readers. At the end is also a blurb about the new book, Stare Down, which is available for pre-order.
Welcome Ellen …
So you want to write.
Have you thought about writing a story? A memoir? A novel?
Allow me to give you a bit of advice. No, don’t close your eyes and ears. I’m going to keep it simple.
Read articles and stories on subjects you enjoy. Move out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you enjoy historical fiction, try a futuristic novel. Or a contemporary thriller. Or a serious biography. This does not need to be expensive. Check out your local library or talk to some friends and arrange to swap books and magazines on a more private scale.
One thing which gets me to read more widely is a book discussion group. We seldom read a work which I’d select on my own. (Of 20 plus books I’d already read two.) A few of our selections were hidden gems. A couple others have indicated authors to avoid.
Books which I disliked have value. Why did I dislike it? Was it the premise? Did the author use poor grammar and writing? Did the time jump around and get confusing? (My personal preference is linear stories.)
Okay. You’ve decided on a topic and you’re ready to sit at the computer and write. Are you? Are your characters full people with a mix of good and bad traits? Do you know their world—historical facts, real world, or creation in outer space—well enough to be consistent?
If you’re able to sit down and write your story from beginning to end without multiple detours for more reading and research, I applaud you. You are truly a one-in-a-million author.
Don’t despair if you feel as if the writing is all detours and dead ends. When you get stuck take a little time to do more research. Take a walk and think about a plot point. Try a task or activity your characters engage in. Keep asking “what if?” Make a list including some wild ideas. You never know what’s going to stick and feel right coming out of a character’s mouth or running into the scene.
One final bit of advice for after you write the magic words “The End.”
Revisions and edits will arrive soon. Grab the moment and share it with a friend, food, or a good browse in a book store.
Raised in a household full of books, it was only natural that Ellen Parker grew up with a book in her hand. She turned to writing as a second career and enjoys spinning the type of story which appeals to more than one generation. She encourages readers to share her work with mother or daughter – or both. When not guiding characters to their “happily ever after” she’s likely reading, tending her postage stamp garden, or walking in the neighborhood. She currently lives in St. Louis.
Tucking a weapon into a holster is part of getting dressed for Detective Maylee Morgan of the St. Louis Police. Her new assignment is the case of an unidentified body, and she soon discovers her new neighbor is more than a potential jogging partner.
Surgeon Dave Holmes is optimistic about his future. He has a new job, a new apartment, and an immediate attraction to a woman running in the park. He intends to discover more than her beautiful legs and unusual name. Then his boss is murdered and Dave lacks an alibi. Maylee’s questions and the handgun on her hip revive horrible memories.
Maylee’s search for hard evidence clears Dave, but brings her to the personal attention of the killer. In a tangle of career, family, and budding relationship all their lives could unravel if the wrong thread is tugged.
Ellen’s most recent sweet romantic suspense, Stare Down, is available in electronic and paperback format on:
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