Distractions, Distractions While writing under tight deadlines—which I prefer—I still manage to get distracted by The Shiny. It happens. A lot. The Shiny can be anything from a thought I have, to someone coming in and chatting while I’m trying to work, to needing food because I’m ready to eat my laptop. I get distracted from the realities of day to day life by writing. I also have the attention span of a toddler hyped up on sugar at times, and therefore can’t listen to music as I write. I’ll end up singing at the top of my lungs, scaring the dogs, making the grandkids cry, and sending the cats into permanent hiding. Let’s hope no one ever films it and posts it to YouTube. Don’t even get me started on the dancing…if you could call it that. The thing is, distractions aside from writing actually help me with writing more often than not. They take me out of a stubborn place in my head, and force me to take a break. Not always, of course. Sometimes I just end up doing nothing constructive and panicking over the deadline afterwards. Then comes massive quantities of coffee and chocolates to ... Read More »
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Finally, the voting has opened for Readers Choice for BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Spread the word! Let your friends and fans know to vote for you, as well as other authors they love. http://btsemag.com/redcarpet/2014_ReadersChoice.html Please check to see what category your book was placed in. Dawn had to organize them in a way that kept the categories in balance due to the wide diversity in genres and subgenres. This will help the odds in winning. Voting ends November 21st at midnight. Read More »
When it comes to writers groups, some people whisper behind my back. They call me easy. They say I’ll join anything. Start a writers group, he’s yours. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true… even if all the evidence points the other way. As I’ve shown in the previous articles in this series (here and here), the groups I attend fall into distinct categories, at least in my opinion: • The Critiquing Writers Group • The Reading Writers Group • The Writing Writers Group My reason for juggling memberships is very specific. For all the benefits I gain from each one, none of them absolutely nails what I’d like to get out of the perfect writers group – and yet, together, they deliver a satisfying spectrum of activities and advantages that I’ve come not to rely on, but to relish. Obviously so, since three nights a week I’m out on the town in one bar or another, hanging out and scrawling away like some ink-stained harlot. Fine, you win: I’m easy. But before you accuse – I can claim, without fear of contradiction, that I’m not joining all these groups as an excuse to get out of spending ... Read More »
Why I write Interracial Romance When I first wrote a story about a Japanese ex-Marine falling for an African American businessman, it was rejected by the first publisher I sent it to. Not because it was a horrible story, they loved the story. They just didn’t think a Japanese man would ever fall for an African American because apparently the Japanese see African Americans as “dirty.” To say I was mortified would be an understatement but I was more disappointed than anything else. I mean, I could not understand why they didn’t love my cultural blend as much as I did. My obsession with the people of the world began when in grade 5 in Jamaica, my Geography teacher got us penpals from Africa – I’m talking Ghana, Nigeria, Zaire (Congo). As a child from such a small country, an island in the Caribbean Ocean, it seemed like such a huge deal being able to connect with someone so far away, to hear about their lives and loves. Over the next year, I had an amazing time learning about this little girl, living in Ghana. Her world was so much different than my own even though she was ... Read More »
I never grew up. I admit it proudly. I’m thirty years old and I still love cartoons, I have the entire collection of Disney animated movies, and my bookshelves are brimming with children’s books. But I think being an adult is, in some ways, highly overrated. There’s a sense of wonder and magic to the world when you’re a kid that you are expected to leave behind as you age. No matter how old I get, I never want to lose that. So what does this have to do with romance writing? Well, everything, really. Let’s take those fairy tales, for instance. What has made those stories last for hundreds of years? Nearly every culture in the world has a version of the Cinderella story. What makes the tale resonate so loudly for so many? There’s many reasons, of course, but to me, it’s the happy end. It’s the knowledge that, no matter how bad things get in the middle, everything will work out and the couple will get their happily ever after. Good always triumphs over evil. The bully always gets punished. And the main character is going to find true love. It’s why I personally read romance. I ... Read More »
Crossing Mediums I have something of an obsession with YouTube. Not just the viral videos that everyone checks out; I use it for music, I watch daily vlogs from all kinds of users, gaming videos, you name it. More than once, I’d considered making a channel of my own for any or all of those purposes. YouTube, more than anything else, is my worst distraction when I’m trying to write, so it just made sense to figure out some way to make my Achille’s heel into something productive. There are loads of vlogs from travellers, web personalities, and gamers, but one group that I saw was largely missing was authors. There were a few examples, but nothing cohesive, and for the most part, these were people who were pursuing a career in writing but who had yet to publish their work. I love reading interviews and posts by my favorite authors, talking about their writing process, or giving insider information about their books and characters that never got into the novel itself. So one night when I couldn’t sleep, I built up a Magyver-ed tri-pod out of video games and hardbacks, propped my phone on top, took a seat ... Read More »