Love And Laughter Are The Best Medicine


Reading any book is an emotional experience. You experience, joy, pain, sorrow and a myriad of other things.

Reading romance allows you to rediscover something that you may have felt long ago or perhaps something you hope to experience in the future. Do you remember the first time you fell in love? The anguish, the joy, the pain in your gut, the pounding of your heart and that was just when you caught a glimpse of your love. It becomes almost impossible to do anything that doesn’t involve your lover, being apart is agony. Fortunately, the strength of the physical and emotional reaction of love wanes with time. We are still in love but the way we react changes. No longer caught up in passion and the madness of desire our relationships morph into a comfortable life where we fit together on an emotional and physical level. When you pick up a romance novel and follow the path of the hero and heroine some of those magical feelings of falling in love are recaptured. Continue reading “Love And Laughter Are The Best Medicine”

Racy Romances And A Scandalous First Lady


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I just told a male co-worker not to buy my new book.  “Thanks for the support,” I said, “But it’s a racy romance and I don’t know if you would be comfortable reading it.”  He looked around and whispered, “Are you embarrassed about it?  Is it like a Penthouse letter?” To which I replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t read Penthouse.”  After I told him that it was no sexier than anything else on the market right now, he said he would still buy it for his wife.  And I felt bad that I was almost embarrassed I wrote such a story.

Because I’ve also told my parents not to buy it.  And a couple of friends.  Why would I do that when they are all very pleased for and proud of me?  While I would appreciate the sales, I don’t want them reading my book.  Unfortunately I keep falling into the trap of thinking it’s because it is not a nice girl book and I’m supposed to be a nice girl. Continue reading “Racy Romances And A Scandalous First Lady”

Writing for the Inspirational Market


John Jakes, bestselling author of North and South, says: “Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” Following that advice, I include my Christian faith in all my stories. Years ago, another member of my local RWA chapter said I was not a romance writer because I wrote Christian novels. I was so stunned I didn’t think to ask what she meant, but apparently she and I have different definitions of “romance.” Continue reading “Writing for the Inspirational Market”



Writing with a Collaborator

When I attended the RT Booklovers Convention last month, I got a lot of questions about writing with a collaborator.  I didn’t really expect that, so I thought I’d share some thoughts now that I’ve had time to think up a better answer than, “Um…”

One way to organize our thoughts is to use the traditional “reportorial questions”:

1.  What – What is collaboration?  How is it different from a beta/CP relationship? Continue reading “Collaboration”

What is “Emotional Punch” and Why Do You Need it in Your Romance Novel? Part 2


To intensify emotional punch you must steadily increase the emotional problems of your protagonists in a story.

Think about your current heroine and hero. Are they troubled by internal doubts? Do they face self image problems? Do they have reasons for feeling they don’t deserve unconditional love?

 My story is a ménage so we have two heroes. The back-story wound for the more Alpha of my heroes is that when he was a tiny boy his mother often left him to go on adventure holidays. She was an adrenaline junkie who died in a sky diving accident when he was seven. So he has some bitterness and abandonment issues.  My other hero has a scar on his thigh and the reasons for this are left a mystery that I hope has some emotional punch on reveal. Continue reading “What is “Emotional Punch” and Why Do You Need it in Your Romance Novel? Part 2”

Screen to Scene: Dialogue


As a writer, my biggest distraction is the television.  If I’m going to give into my greatest weakness, the least I can do is multi-task.  Story is story and writers know you can use steal from anywhere.

If you are going to watch television, go for the good stuff.  “Storage Wars” is addictive as all get-out but you aren’t going to get anything out of it except an annoying habit of saying “Yuuuuup!”

Don’t say that. Continue reading “Screen to Scene: Dialogue”

Which Season is Your Book In?


Ever notice how your story goes through phases while you write? Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes, you wish it had a neck so you could strangle it. Sometimes it’s cooperative, other times, you wonder why you started writing it. Each story you write, like every year, has its seasons.


We start with the inklings of an idea, aka winter. We huddle up against the cold, wondering when it’s going to bloom and grow. There isn’t much color, the trees don’t have leaves. Nothing is in bloom, and we start to think that things will ever be different. It’s cold, lifeless. At this stage, we tend to panic because the story isn’t coming, and we think nothing will ever happen. But even in winter, things are happening. Life is under that dead exterior. We just can’t see it. Under the ground, new life is taking hold, getting ready to sprout.  That idea is in the dark recesses of our mind, slowly, slowly starting to form. Continue reading “Which Season is Your Book In?”

What is “Emotional Punch” and Why Do You Need it in Your Romance Novel? Part 1


One of the most common comments from editors rejecting romance manuscripts is “this story needs more emotional punch.” But what does this really mean?

Emotional Punch in a romance is created by the amount of empathy a reader feels for your characters. It is the rapport she feels for your hero and heroine and her emotional involvement in the steadily growing pace of a story. It is this emotional development that gives a romance its page turning quality. Continue reading “What is “Emotional Punch” and Why Do You Need it in Your Romance Novel? Part 1″