Tuesday, June 18, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit -- why romance don't get no respect

I write romance and humor because I love both happy endings and a good laugh.

But from movies to television to books, stories with comedy and happily-ever-afters get lower rankings, ratings, and are less esteemed compared to dramas of the same caliber.

As Rodney Dangerfield says, "I don't get no respect."

But why? That's one of the things I never understood. For years I beat my head against this one seemingly universal truth.

Dramas are more significant.

Then, many years ago when I was reading Hero with a Thousand Faces, I got a glimpse why. And also an understanding that drama's crown as highest art form was not always the case.

Modern literature, you see, is a courageous facing of the sickeningly broken life within and around us. It's heroic to face those disheartening facts, not with complaint (or sarcasm), but by turning it into art. A happily-ever-after is less courageous. Worse, it's not true and can't be taken seriously.

Thing is, HEAs in the ancient world were high art. Why? Because stories with a happily-ever-after represented the transcendence of the tragedy of man.

Take that, drama. :)

May you continue to laugh in the face of drama and may all your HEAs be transcendent.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

photo credit: 035/365: Valentine's Day
2013-02-04
 via photopin (license)
The Story I Thought I'd Never Write--originally posted December 9, 2015.

Passion Bites released yesterday, and I couldn't be more thrilled to share Luke & Alexis's heartfelt story with you.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure if Luke's story would ever be written. I usually write first loves-- because I'm deeply committed to grand passion, to love that lasts an eternity. Luke, as Biting Love series readers know, has lost his wife. How did I deal with that, help him heal emotionally?

Strangely, it was a woman whose own emotions are clogged who finally emerged from the pages as Luke's savior. But just because Dr. Alexis Byornsson's emotionally frozen doesn't mean she doesn't have feelings, quite the opposite! ...although she does her darndest to deny them.

Bringing these two together was the hardest and yet most beautiful and fruitful thing I've ever attempted. The finished story still brings heartbreak and finally tears of joy to my eyes. And of course the usual Meiers Corners laughs and cold-drinks sex too.

Have I succeeded? Please read Passion Bites for yourself and let me know.

First there was Logan's story in Biting Me Softly, then Synnove's in Beauty Bites. Now meet his brother Luke and her sister Alexis as they struggle to find their way in Biting Love book 9 Passion Bites.  

A broken vampire and a driven doctor, seized by a passion neither can afford.

Dr. Alexis Byornsson has her hands full in the ER when her patient’s uncle blows into the exam room. Stitching up a five-year-old’s cut is hard enough without a blond god distracting her all to hell.

To say she’s furious is putting it mildly—not that anyone would notice. Not with the legendary control that’s earned her the nickname “Dr. Frozen”.

Luke Steel never knew a woman chastising him could be so sexy. But for the first time in three hundred years, passion stirs in his gut—along with panic. Since his wife was taken before his eyes in a brutal attack, he’s sworn he’d never feel that powerless again.

Almost before either Luke or Alexis realize what’s happening, they’re sharing a blazing kiss that shatters her logical armor and unleashes his wholly unwanted mating instinct. And spurs a closer-than-skin enemy to put into motion a devastating plan for revenge.

Warning: This book contains a hot doctor and a hotter vampire messing up sterile surfaces. The usual rogue shenanigans, but this time covering deeper motives. Hang on to your stethoscopes at what’s revealed!

Kindle | Nook | Samhain | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | UK Amazon

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June 1T Status Update

Setting programming aside for a few weeks in favor of catching up on some writing.
  • Hot Chips and Sand is 99 cents this week only!
  • Next round of edits for Night's Kiss coming this month
  • New Vampire Vignette started that's frankly a hoot to write
  • Chicago's Chosen cover should be finalized soon
  • One-credit eight week summer class
  • Band starts
  • Getting back to Soul Mates 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

3T Writing Tidbit

One of my gurus is Michael Hauge of Story Mastery. I get his emails, which I highly encourage authors to consider.

He's a big proponent of storytelling as a means to connect with consumers. Does it work? All I can say is that his story he told about his book Storytelling Made Easy made me rush out and plunk down the cash to buy it.

After reading his latest newsletter, here's something I came up with about how to frame a blurb.

Your story is an emotion-driven story about people.
Your blurb is an emotion-driven story about your story.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

Overcoming fear--Guest Cheryl Yeko, Author and Acquiring Editor--originally posted November 12, 2015.

Cheryl is a wonderful inspiration with a great sense of humor. I'm thrilled to have her as my guest today. Please welcome her to Magical Musings!

Hi, Mary. Thank you for inviting me to visit with you at Magical Musings. I thought it’d be fun to talk about my editor experiences with Soul Mate Publishing, and how it led me to join Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking.

I signed my debut novel with Soul Mate, Protecting Rose, in 2011 and it went on to win the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romantic Suspense.

Shortly after, Debby Gilbert, Senior Editor and founding member of Soul Mate, approached me and asked me to come onboard as an editor, which I agreed to. I started out as a copyeditor, but moved quickly to an acquiring editor.

Today, I’m a senior acquiring editor, and still occasionally take on a copyedit here and there, depending on my workload. I also have my hands in the administration side of Soul Mate, including Newsletter creation and Cover Art Coordinator. It all keeps me very busy!

I love what I do!

As an acquiring editor, I have attended conferences and taken pitches. Although I was at first very nervous, it became easier and I signed some really good authors from these pitch sessions. Here’s a photo of me at my first editor panel. I was so not prepared for this, and had no idea I was even on the editor panel until I walked into the room. Let’s just say I was scared shitless. But everyone told me I did okay. LOL. I’m taking them at their word.  {Mary says: She did great!}

I also routinely conduct pitch sessions on blogs and at Savvy Authors online pitching. Recently, Debby asked me and Senior Editor Char Chaffin to attend RT, to not only take pitches, but also hold a Soul Mate Spotlight. I decided it was time to perfect my public speaking skills (or lack thereof) and overcome my stage fright. So, I joined up. My first six months I just sorta sat there, too nervous to do any speeches. But I was learning nevertheless just listening to the wonderful speakers.

I felt totally out of my element in this setting with these highly trained business professionals who were looking to become more proficient in their careers. Before I quit my job to write and work full time with Soul Mate Publishing, I was a legal assistant. A great job, yes, but it required no public speaking. So, this was quite a change for me.

After a good, long while, my fellow members began to gently nudge me to step forward and take a chance. Although I’d completed some member rolls, such as vote counter or word master, small things that didn’t require me to stand in front of the group and talk, I hadn’t done any speaking per se. Unless you counted Table Topics. That’s where they ask you to stand, giving you a question you’re supposed to answer in a story format, lasting between 2-3 minutes. Well, let’s just say I did not excel in this role. LOL. I hated it, and was always nervous.

I continued to attend the meetings, determined to succeed. I even managed to walk away with the best Table Topics ribbon once. But, of course, the question was, “You’ve been given an award. Roleplay your acceptance speech for this award.”

This was easy. I just pretended I’d won the RITA. It was great!

After about eight months of sitting on the sidelines, learning, I finally gave my Ice Breaker Speech and walked away with my first Best Speaker Ribbon. I was super thrilled. It took a while before I worked up the courage to do another speech. But right before I went to the Romantic Times convention, I practiced the Soul Mate Spotlight presentation on them, with PowerPoint visuals, and it went very well. I received a lot of great feedback that helped me perfect the presentation for RT.

Then, just last month, I gave two more speeches, and again walked away with a Best Speaker Ribbon on one of them. Seems everyone loved my speech on Sentence Structure and Punctuation. Who knew English grammar could be so entertaining!

I’m feeling more comfortable now, and have actually begun to look forward to attending the meetings, instead of dreading it. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to prepare the speeches. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Since I’m a writer they asked me to write the introduction for their website, and somehow that escalated, and now I’m Vice President of Public Relations for my club. They recently approached me and asked if I was interested in considering this position on a national level...I’m thinking about it.

So, I’ve gone from knee-knocking afraid of public speaking, to taking Best Speaker awards, and holding a leadership role with the club. How’d that happen? Crazy! But, I’m having fun...and isn’t that what life is really about.

When I’m not working for Soul Mate, I’m writing. I have two new releases coming up. A steamy short story, Christmas Eve Surprise, is due for release in November, along with seven other stories from outstanding Soul Mate authors titled, Sizzle In The Snow.

I created a fun little book trailer for this anthology and would love to share it with you.

I just completed my ninth novel, Between Midnight and Dawn, and it’s due for release in early 2016. So look for it! 

Where Love Always Wins: http://www.cherylyeko.com/ Soul Mate Publishing
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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 1T Status Update

This May brings the last few weeks of classes and final projects. After I'm done with the semester, it'll be summer!

Ah summer. When we can finally relax. I plan to hit the Vampire Vignettes, Soul Mates, and scope out the final Ancients book. Plus a few other summer projects. And yardwork. And American Legion Band. Oh, and one one-credit class... (so much for relaxing, lol).