Monday, September 29, 2014

Writing What You Know

One piece of advice beginning writers are often given is to write what you know. This is great advice if you live an adventurous life, have traveled extensively, or are in a profession such as first responder, anything in the medical field, a pilot, work in finance etc. But what if you are a bit timid when it comes to doing adventurous things or work in a humdrum office job where the most exciting thing that happens is when the office gets a new copy machine?

I'm not saying this is true in my case. (Okay, it is. I admit I'm not at all adventurous. I'm always worried about something bad happening like breaking a leg or worse.) So how do I go about writing about things I know nothing about?

I take my research on the road to learn how to do some of the things my characters need to know. I've taken a gun safety course and gone to a shooting range where with the help of an instructor, I learned how to load and shoot various types of pistols from a .22 all the way up to Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum. I've gone to seminars given by medical examiners, police officers, and a crime scene technician. My nephew is a firefighter for the city we live in. His girlfriend is a paramedic. While I haven't done it yet, both have offered to arrange a ride along with them to observe a typical shift. My sister is a registered nurse so I often pick her brain when it comes to medical questions. Of course, there's always research books and the internet. One just has to be careful to verify any information taken from the internet.

You can write what you know even if you know nothing about the profession etc. when you first start your novel. Pick the brains of family, friends, or attend seminars/classes offered on the subject you need to know more about. It's amazing how helpful people are when you express an interest in what they do whether it be their profession or how they enjoy their leisure time.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This I know for sure...

Worrying about something doesn't help the situation, but sometimes you can't stop yourself from doing it anyway.  Someone recently sent the following quote to me so whenever I find myself worrying, I try to remember to view the situation in a more positive light and hope things are happening so I'll be in a better place, whether it's physically or mentally though I hope it's both.

"Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Please Welcome My Guest

Please welcome my guest, Rachel Brimble. Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance and a further three in 2013. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013 and she has since signed for three more.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Balancing Contemporary and Historical Romance - How I Divide My Writing Styles

I often get asked how I divide my time between contemporary and historical novel writing and in an ideal world, I like to alternate the two subgenres to keep my writing fresh and interesting. For the reader and me!

I began my career writing contemporary because I’d always been told to ‘write what you know’. I have devoured romantic suspense for as long as I can remember and so my first two novels with The Wild Rose Press were romantic suspense. I then wrote a romantic comedy. Throughout writing and promoting these books, my mind started to wonder whether I could attempt an historical….after all, I didn’t ‘know’ how to abduct or murder anyone as the characters did in my first two books :o)

Like most (if not all) writers I read voraciously and reading historical work, whether novels or biographies, is amongst my favorite choices. I love history! I am drawn to British Royal history especially, but also love the social and industrial changes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. As I was, and still am, intimidated by including real people and events in my work, I decide my first attempt would be Victorian and focus entirely on fictional characters and their emotions.

Emotion is key in romance. Love, hate, revenge, loss, joy and tenacity would have been felt in the same way in the late 1800s as they would today. So with this thought at the forefront of my mind, I dove straight in and wrote The Arrival of Lily Curtis (The Wild Rose Press). It sold a lot more copies than my previous contemporary work so that gave me the confidence to continue.

Today, I am lucky enough to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington.  I love that my writing has fallen into a routine that I find so satisfying. I now aim to alternate my releases between contemporary and historical…although this year, it is a little more heavy on the contemporary!

The Temptation of Laura is the sequel to my debut with eKensington, The Seduction of Emily. Laura
started out as a secondary character in the first novel, but even as I was writing her smaller part I knew she deserved her own story. Laura is a prostitute struggling for a better life while harboring a lifelong love of the theater. When her path crosses with stage star, Adam Lacey, her entire life is bound for a stratosphere beyond her wildest dreams…

Here is the blurb & buy links – look out for book three, What A Woman Desires coming in January

The Temptation of Laura

Laura Robinson has always been dazzled by the glamour of the stage. But perhaps acting and selling one’s favors are not so different—for Laura must feign pleasure with the men she beds to survive. Now, with her only friend at death’s door and a ruthless pimp at her heels, escaping her occupation seems impossible. Hoping to attract a gentleman, she attends the theater. Yet the man Laura captivates is no customer, but a rising star and playwright…

Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams…?


Katherine here - Rachel likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. She would love to hear from you!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wearing A Tiara

 I'll be wearing a tiara and visiting with The Plotting Princesses tomorrow, Tuesday, 9/23. I hope you'll stop by and check out my answers to their fun interview questions. Link: The Plotting Princesses

Friday, September 19, 2014

This I know for sure...

Whenever life seems to going along well, something happens and knocks you off your feet.  This seems to be happening a lot lately. I feel like I no more than get back on my feet when life decides to knock me back down. It's been a rough two months since I suffered the sudden death of a family member at way too young of an age.

I've been trying to be positive and looking for the best in each day. Some days are easier than others, but lately, especially this week, things have been occurring that I have no idea how to find anything positive in them. I've been coping by trying to keep my head down and focusing on just getting through the day.

You know that old saying, "bad things happen in threes," well I'm up to about five now and am ready for change in whatever is responsible for this streak of terrible things occurring. I don't know if you call it luck, fate, or karma or something else all together.

I hate to think I've been so terrible to someone that karma is doing this to me as some sort of payback. I always try to treat people the way I want to be treated so I don't think I've intentionally done something so terrible that the universe feels I need some sort continual or ongoing punishment. But it sure seems that way.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Managed 10 pages of new material last week. Not as much as I wanted, but I'm still moving forward. I hope to do better this week.

News from the publishing world: This article is geared more toward self-published authors, but I felt it had information anyone who is trying to promote their work could use. Link: Advanced Marking Tactics For Indie Authors

Quote of the week:  "If you don't make the time to work on creating the life you want, you're eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you don't want." ~ Kevin Ngo. I'm not saying I don't like my life now, there's just some things I'd really like to change or have change.

Health news: According to research in Physiology & Behavior: Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience yawning helps your brain. When you yawn, you inhale deeper than normal exchanging warmer air with cooler air. This is good because the brain operates more efficiently when its cool.

Random things:  There's nothing like the soft purr of a cat cuddling up next to you after a hard day at work. 

Random photo of the week:

This a Halloween wreath my nephew's girlfriend made for us. I can't wait to hang it on the front door.