Today’s throwback is to the book fair at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Reader and Writer Conference! The book fair is open to the general public and this year it will be held on Saturday, March 24, from 4:30 to 6:00 at the Renaissance Woodbridge in Iselin, NJ. Conference registration is also now open and there is a great line-up of workshops, panels, games and social events for both readers and writers. You can find out more at www.lsfwriters.com!
Oh the weather outside is frightful and I’m having dreams of warm summer nights and strolling through the ocean’s wash. If you’re having the same kinds of dreams, check out ONE SUMMER NIGHT. It’s specially priced at 99 cents and will totally get you back in a summer mood! Not a bad deal for a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Fall Romance!
I’m looking forward to the Liberty States Fiction Writers Reader and Writers Conference in March! I’ll be a speaker there, will attend the book fair, and I’m sponsoring the Mardi Gras themed after party on Saturday. It looks like it’s going to be a great conference and I hope some of you will be able to make it. Did I forget to mention we have giveaways for you, like free books from some of our speakers? Thanks to awesome Dee Davis for this donation, but also look for donations from the wonderful Julie Kenner, myself and others like Sourcebooks! For more information on the conference and to register, please visit http://www.libertystatesfictionwriters.com/conference/.
You’ll have to excuse as I’m a little punch drunk today. No, not too much wine, just a lot of work! I was up until close to midnight finishing up a project!
But speaking of wine . . . Some wine fun for you today!
Have a great Wednesday and don’t forget to check out all the giveaways going on for ONE SUMMER NIGHT! You can find them all on my Facebook Page and on Twitter and on Instagram.
My mom was an amazing lady. She had courage and wisdom that inspired me throughout my entire life. She told me that anything was possible if I worked at it hard enough. She also told me that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. She was right about both. Whether it’s a relationship or being a writer or trying to lose weight, it’s not easy, but if I want it and since it’s worthwhile, I need to not give up!
Now that I’ve got your attention . . . LOL!
I sometimes hear that a writer is waiting for inspiration or for the muse to hit to get started on a story. It makes me wonder what will happen if the muse is missing or that inspiration never materializes. It makes me wonder about what I write since I’m not the kind to sit and wait (for anything actually) and I just plopped my butt in the chair one day and decided to write.
Of course that was after a 5th Grade class assignment revealed to me that the stories in my head could become like one of the stories I loved to read. After writing my first book in the 5th grade, working on stories through high school, college and law school, it took a long time for me to say, “I’m finally going to do this.”
I haven’t looked back from that moment. I sat and I wrote. Every day. I didn’t sit and wait for inspiration and a muse because I’m the kind of person who believes that you make your own luck. That you control your destiny and that if you want something, you need to go for it full tilt like Don Quixote at the windmill.
Is it easy? Not always, in fact, most times not. There’s work and family and friends and a thousand other things that can pull you away from that story you want to write. You’ve got to want to write that story really bad and you’ve got to let the people in your life know that you want to write that story really bad. If they love you, they’ll understand and be supportive. They’ll celebrate with you when you say you’ve finished the story of your heart. They’ll hold you when you get that first rejection letter. They’ll be at your side when you get that box of books that says you’ve been published.
But that will only happen if you sit down and write, the muse be damned.
I’ll leave you now with a quote from a woman who was a friend, mentor, and most importantly, my mom: Nothing worthwhile is every easy.
Whenever I do a chat I often get asked the same question: Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
For me, the inspiration comes from a character that pops into my head. That character is just there, screaming to get a story. For example, many years ago when I was first writing contemporary romances, I had a very determined and hard ass female character interrupt the book I was writing. She just kept on showing up and demanding I listen. She was nothing like the other characters I’d been writing. She was dark and tortured. Troubled. Certainly not the kind of character I would put into one of my contemporary romances.
As much as I tried to get back to writing the story to meet my publisher’s deadline, that character would not go away and so I finally took a moment to write a chapter with her in order to understand her better. That’s when I knew it was time to try something different and Diana Reyes and The Calling Vampire series was born.
It was a lot like that for the new series since I wanted to get away from the darkness of the romantic suspense and vampire genres and into something that could show people love and lightness. To do that, I wanted a series of spunky heroines who had their issues, but who would eventually find happiness in their lives.
This time it was four characters who came to mind – Maggie, Connie, Emma and Tracy.
But even as I’m starting to work on #3 in that series, I have a character that’s coming to life in my brain. A young widow with a small child who runs a cheese shop in the fictional Jersey Shore town of Sea Kiss. Spin off time! LOL!
Once I have the basic idea for a character, I spend some time learning about who they are and what issues they have. What they need to be fulfilled. After that, I try to craft a hero that will bring out both the best and worst in that character and from there, the story emerges. I want that story to show the growth in those characters as they heal their wounds and find strength both together and alone.
And that is the character driven life.