Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Pitfalls of Writing Erotic Romance in a Series / P Nelson @pnelsonwrites

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The Pitfalls of Writing Erotic Romance in a Series
By P Nelson

One of the most popular genres of today is erotic fiction and books written in a series occupy most of the market share. This is because readers like myself, have invested time, energy and yes very real tears when we read how our heroes and heroines manage to finally achieve their happily ever afters.

The problem for authors is introducing these characters back into the story line of the current hero and heroine without detracting from the new story and without giving the old characters too onerous a problem they cannot solve without a major plotline of their own. After all, the new story is just that. A new love interest and a whole other set of problems for the characters to face.

How do I manage to weave established characters in my Doms of the cage Series? Sometimes with great difficulty. For example I have a running on/off Dom/sub couple who will eventually have their happily ever after, but I have invested so much plot line to them my readers are demanding the book appear sooner than I originally intended. The problem is that if I publish their story early the whole arc of the series will be ruined.

Hopefully, my latest novel The Heart of the Matter will be more of a success as the main characters from Take My Hand once again make a supporting role appearance along with the other quirky members of the Cage. There are some authors who come back to write further novels involving characters who have achieved their happily ever after, but they walk a fine line between ruining the original plot line of the story and enhancing the character development. When done correctly, the addition of previous heroes and heroines in a series can really take a series from good to great!

About the Author

P Nelson has just started her journey in Erotic Romance this year with her debut novel Take My hand. The Rehabilitation of Master Dillon is a prequel novel to Take My Hand focusing on the character of Master Dillon. Nelson calls Vancouver her hometown and is married with one young daughter. At 6.00pm most days she can be found with a G&T in one hand and either her daughter or a good book in the other.



About the Book:

Author: P Nelson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 205
Genre: Erotic Romance/BDSM

Eric Danvers thought he had found the perfect submissive before she was swept right out of his arms.

Now pining after the one woman he can’t have, Master Eric finds himself stuck in a gruelling cycle of emotional torture that has nothing to do with his BDSM lifestyle. Just as he was about to take a hiatus from The Cage and the lifestyle altogether, Master Eric is asked to take on the role of training Dom for one of the new subs. Rather than agreeing, he’s coerced into the role and finds there’s more to his new training sub than meets the eye.

Elizabeth Williams is a sub on a mission.

Elizabeth Williams has read every single book on BDSM she can get her hands on, and she feels as if this is the lifestyle for her. After saving up for an entire year and working an extra job, she finally had enough money to enter the couples training program at the most exclusive BDSM club in Vancouver. Unfortunately, as soon as Elizabeth and her boyfriend are accepted, he decides that he wants a different sub. Elizabeth decides not to let go of her dream and enters the submissive training program.

Master Eric soon finds that Elizabeth Williams may be more sub than he can handle. He loves her brattiness, but he knows it hides a pool of inner hurt that cried out to his Dom instincts to heal. Elizabeth falls for Mater Eric as soon as she meets him and really believes she cannot help her brattiness. She wants to give him her true submission, but she might not be able to set aside her past hurts to move on. Read the story of Master Eric and Elizabeth in The Heart of the Matter.



Monday, December 18, 2017

20 Questions with Mystery Author Pamela Samuels Young @authorPSY #20Questions

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Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.
An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.
Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.



1.     Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
Definitely morning.
2.     Do you outline or are you a pantster?
Serious outliner.
3.     Which comes first – plot or character?
4.     Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
I prefer quiet, but I often write in a coffee shop and can easily tune out the crowd.
5.     Favorite TV show?
Mad Men. So sad it’s gone. Just finished binge watching all 7 seasons.
6.     Favorite type of music?
R&B and gospel.
7.     Favorite craft besides writing?
8.     Do you play a musical instrument?
Not one ounce of musical talent.
9.     Single or married?
Very single. 
10.  Children or no?
No children.
11.  Pets?
No pets.
12.  Favorite place to write?
A coffee shop with cushy chairs and good food. I love Panera Bread.
13.  Favorite restaurant?
Cheesecake Factory.
14. Do you work outside the home?
Nope. Retired from the practice of law over a year ago. Yippee!
15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?
Marshall. Enjoyed it.
16. Favorite outdoor activity?
Walking along the beach.
17. Pet peeve?
People who talk in movie theaters.
18. Your goal in life?
To continue to write books that readers enjoy.
19. Your most exciting moment?
Finding out that I passed the California Bar exam on the first try. Second only to seeing my book on the shelf at Barnes and Nobel for the first time.
20. The love of your life?
Can’t reveal that. He might find out.

About the Book:

Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery

A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare

The award-winning author of "Anybody’s Daughter" is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

20 Questions with Mystery Author Sean Keefer @thetrustnovel

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While growing up in South Carolina, Sean didn't realize it, but he was absorbing the styles, mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, dialects and the culture of his home.   Add to this the time he spent traveling the other Carolina for school and then North America for work, he collected a vast array of experiences and observations from which to draw upon and bring together in his writing.

After studying law in North Carolina, Sean settled in Charleston, South Carolina and instantly became enamored with the people as well as the city.  

One day he started writing and the words, generally, kept flowing. A page became a chapter which ultimately became a book known as The Trust.  After this the process started again and The Solicitor was the end result. Hopefully, if you are reading this you either have, or soon will have, your very own copy of one or both.   

The experience of taking two novels from conceptualization to print has been one of frustration peppered with increasing amounts of reward.  Each step from the first words hitting the page to ultimately holding a book in hand has been a personal reward.

When Sean is not writing he practices Family Law and works as a Domestic Mediator and lives with his Wife and an ever-expanding pack of rescue canines – the current count is 4.  As well, Sean can frequently be found wandering the lowcountry of South Carolina with his camera, playing guitar in assorted venues around Charleston or exploring the underwater world of the southeast.



1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I can write at any time, but I need a large block of time to be productive.

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?
I wrote my first book as a panster and I’ll never go back to that. It works for a lot of people, but for me I need a bit more structure.  I do a hybrid of outlining that provides a framework and helps me see the big picture.

3. Which comes first – plot or character?
I have some reoccurring characters who are priority, but I formulate the plot and then the characters make their entry.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
I need music and/or background noise. I enjoy writing in public - places like a noisy hotel lobby or a café/coffee shop are always really effective for me.  If I tried to write in a library or in a quiet room all I would accomplish would be a nap.

5. Favorite TV show?
I am more of a favorite television show de jur. At the moment, I am really enjoying The Deuce on HBO, but then again The Walking Dead just fired back up.

6. Favorite type of music?
I am a huge fan of guitar driven music.  Whether it be singer/songwriter, jazz, classic or any variety of rock and roll, if it has a guitar centered sound, I’ll give it a listen.

7. Favorite craft besides writing?
Composing, recording and performing music.

8. Do you play a musical instrument?
I do.  I’m a guitar player.

9. Single or married?
I’m married.

10. Children or no?
No children.

11. Pets?
Four dogs generally of the Australian shepherd variety.

12. Favorite place to write?
Somewhere in public with a good deal of background noise.

13. Favorite restaurant?
I’m from the South Carolina coast and we are stocked with great restaurants. As hard as I try it’s near impossible to narrow it to one. But I like creative modern menus with a nod to the classics that embrace fresh ingredients and that have a nice wine list.

14. Do you work outside the home?
I do. I’m an attorney.

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?
Die Hard.

16. Favorite outdoor activity?
I like being outdoors and generally center activities around time with the dogs.

17. Pet peeve?
People who aren’t willing to move beyond their comfort zone.

18. Your goal in life?
To always have a reason to smile.

19. Your most exciting moment?
It’s hard to narrow it down to a single event without watering down others. For me, it’s always more of a “What will the next exciting moment bring?” This helps motivate me for the day to come.

20. The love of your life?
My family.

About the Book:

Author: Sean Keefer
Publisher: Four Hounds Creative
Pages: 386
Genre: Mystery

When you make your living fighting for justice, the last place you expect to wake up is behind bars.

Attorney Noah Parks has spent his life keeping people out of jail.  When he’s charged with the murder of a candidate for Charleston County Solicitor he finds himself on the wrong side of the law for a crime he says he didn’t commit.

No longer fighting for others and now relying on the help of the few people he does trust, Noah must fight to clear his name and find the real killer before it’s too late.

His search will lead him through a maze of deceptions, lies, family turmoil and treachery that spans generations.

The Solicitor is set in historic Charleston and the surrounding South Carolina Lowcountry where under the surface things are not always as genteel as they appear.


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Back Story l How Not To Succeed in Hollywood by Marissa Thomas @marissat20

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Throughout high school and college, I always loved movies.  I thought it was amazing that actors got to live bits and pieces of a thousand different lives, not having to settle on just one.  When I grew up, I wanted to be an actress.  This was solidified by small appearances in school performances, and acting classes offered around my hometown of Minneapolis, MN.

I got my cosmetology license, so that I could have a side job, other than serving or bartending, while pursuing auditions. While surviving my first taste of real life, I built an amateur acting resume, and knew it was time to head to the West Coast.

 After moving back to Minnesota, I started doing hair again.  And, as all clients do, mine would ask me questions about how long I’ve been doing hair, and what salons I worked at.  When I explained that I took a break from hair when I lived in LA, they would ask me if I had any fun Hollywood stories to tell them.  After sharing all the colorful stories I could remember, my regulars started to tell me that I should write a book.  I laughed at them, asking if I should also name it How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.  After a year or two of hearing the same suggestion, I figured I had nothing to lose, and started writing.

How Not to Succeed in Hollywood is a comedic accumulation of my experiences trying to become a professional actress.  The main character, Lisa, is learning some good, some bad, and some extremely ugly life experiences.  But, her best friend Mike is right there for her, helping her find the humor in life, keeping her from going crazy and giving up. 

If readers find inspiration in my story, that’s a great thing.  But, deeper meaning or not, if all they get is a good laugh, then I am succeeding.   

About the Author

Marissa Thomas left her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue her dream of acting in Hollywood. Without industry contacts, she had to educate herself about the business. In How Not to Succeed in Hollywood, Marissa shares her experiences, both good and bad.
In addition to writing, Marissa is a licensed hair stylist. She also enjoys painting and produced the artwork for the cover of How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.



About the Book:

Author: Marissa Thompson
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 436
Genre: Humor/Fiction

In HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD, Marissa Thomas offers readers an inside view of one young woman’s journey to fulfill her dream of becoming an actor. The personal and humorous story of Lisa reveals the often difficult and inspiring process of navigating the entertainment industry.
The acting bug bit Lisa during her first elementary school talent show. After receiving positive reviews for her performance from her fellow students and impressed parents alike, Lisa basked in the high she felt from being on stage. She ventured further into the acting world as a teenager when she enrolled in a twelve-week acting program. Although plagued with some doubt about her potential to become an actor, the experience reignited the spark that had originally lead her down the road of performance.

HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD follows the staggered path that Lisa took on her journey to achieve her acting dream. Her love for acting expanded when Lisa entered college and began auditioning for plays produced by the theater department. Reassured by the exhilaration she felt while acting, Lisa made the decision to leave her home and move to Hollywood to pursue her passion, but first she had to tie up a few loose ends. After a whirlwind romance with a fellow student, Lisa found herself moving into her own apartment while juggling school and work, as well as taking the steps to fill out her acting resume. A car accident that resulted in serious physical injuries led to a slowdown in her momentum. However, Lisa’s best friend, Mike, who already had a solid plan to move to Hollywood, gave her the encouragement she needed to overcome multiple obstacles so that she could move forward with her goal.
Marissa wrote HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD to give “anyone curious about Hollywood culture another point of view from someone coming from a completely different world, aka the Midwest, taking the plunge, and immersing herself in a new life.” Marissa says the book is “the story of my life. I can’t tell anyone any surefire methods of getting cast for your dream project. I’m just sharing my life experience. Anyone with a relentless dream has to find sanity in the limbo between a self-motivated fantasy career and the harshness of having to survive real life in the process. We’re all human, and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Set a goal, and break a leg.”


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Monday, December 4, 2017

Don't Made a Resolution, Make a Habit - It's Never Game Over / Cristina G. @authorcristinag #itsnevergameover

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Don’t Make a Resolution, Make a Habit – It’s Never Game Over

By Cristina G.

I don’t know you, but I am struggling with keeping in shape.
Because I love eating and I dislike going to the gym.
Despite my fatal attraction to food and the missing gym membership card, I am in great shape.
The secret?
Discipline – the main subject in my self-help book, “It’s Never Game Over.”
Weight it’s only one of the issues we might have, depression is another one. Then there is the lack of motivation, faith, trust. And the list could continue indefinitely. I am sure you agree.
We all have a dream, but life is tough and incredibly hectic. We seldom find time to do everything we would like to, so we sit in front of the TV, or computer, and get lost in random shows every night.
“What is the point? I will never be successful. There is too much competition, and the market is saturated.”
Days, months, years go by, and we suddenly realise that life itself is passing us by.
Time is not a boomerang. Once it's gone, you’ll never see it again. But we know that, right?
Nobody lives forever… unfortunately or fortunately.
If you have a dream, you need to act now.
The competition is indeed ferocious, but the market will never be saturated if you have an original product. That could be a book, a coat, a kitchen appliance, a method, or a toy; anything really.
You know who Steve Jobs is, right? Who doesn’t?
Can you imagine a world without Apple?
I can’t, and believe it or not, I own no Apple device. I am a fan of genius, but my pockets are not that full… yet.
Steve had many issues with building this empire, but he never gave up. His dream was bigger than any other. So was his discipline.
With so many people wanting the same thing, you need to be tireless and outwork those around you.
Start with forging your character. Make a paradigm shift.
·        Depression can be overcome.
·        Happiness can be learned.
·        Self-esteem and self-confidence can be built.
·        You can lose weight and find love. But mostly, you can heal and transform your life.
·        You can make a name for yourself.

You just have to believe you can, and you are halfway there.
Read my book, take notes, apply them in your day-by-day life and you’ll see the results.
If you don’t see them is because you didn’t work hard enough. You were not disciplined and gave up too early.
I learned the hard way that if you have a dream, a goal, and a purpose, it’s never game over.

About the Author

Cristina G. was born in Romania during one of the harshest communist regimes that ever existed.

The tenth child of a farmer’s family, she has six sisters and used to have four brothers, now only two.

Aged eight, she read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and fell irremediably in love with books. Since then she kept dreaming of writing for many years, and she wrote a lot, but never thought of publishing.

In 2012, after living in Italy for ten years, Cristina became a blogger.

In June of 2014, with the help of a British friend, she moved to the UK. Here, although her expectations were not great, Cristina fulfilled the dream she never dared to dream before.

Cristina G. is now a registered author and dedicates her life to writing focusing on human behaviour, emotions and feelings.

Her latest book is the self-help/nonfiction, It’s Never Game Over.



About the Book:

Author: Cristina G.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 145 ebook/268 paperback
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help

It’s the end of the year but you have the impression it’s the end of your life?
Start the New Year with a plan. Don’t make a resolution, make a habit!
Whatever your situation might be now, you have the power to change it.
           Depression can be overcome.
           You can lose weight and find love.
           You can heal and transform your life.
Believe you’re happy, and you’re half way there.



20 Questions with Self-Help Author Bever-leigh Banfield @beverleigh4you

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Bever-leigh Banfield, M.F.A. is a writer, actress, voice over artist, host and speaker. She has penned numerous celebrity interviews, one of which, published in Essence magazine, won the American Diabetes Association National Media Award for journalism. As an actress, Bever-leigh has performed in television shows, movies, Broadway and off-Broadway theater and national commercials. Her voice has been heard in TV and radio ads, as an ABC network announcer, in animated films and cartoons, and as narrator of planetarium space shows at landmark Griffith Observatory in Hollywood. Ms. Banfield holds an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama and a B.A. from Stanford University. She has lived in Europe and the Caribbean, and traveled in Africa, South America, and across the United States. She has been gifted with psychic perception since childhood, and as an intuitive, has experienced a vision of world peace. Creating is her joy. Her debut non-fiction book You Can Change The World is about helping you be who you are meant to be, and do what you are meant to do - live your dreams, and change the world for the better!



1.      Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I’m a morning writer. Definitely. I love the feeling of getting up early – even while it’s still dark – and streaming my thoughts through my computer into other people’s hearts and minds before they know I’m coming – LOL! When I write fiction – I have a debut suspense-thriller coming out in early 2018 – there’s the joy and excitement of having the characters talk to you when the day is fresh and new. There’s the wonder of what’s going to happen next. And then, as I wrote You Can Change The World, there was the promise of doing just that, changing the world. Having other people’s lives uplifted by my first, unfettered thoughts of the day. The morning vibe is almost meditative. That’s when it’s most peaceful, when I have the feel of nature all around me, when I really can hear the whisper of the universe with all its quiet wisdom. Before anything stirs.

2.      Do you outline or are you a pantster?
Total pantster. It’s almost Shakespearean. To be or not to be. I think it’s kind of like the whole PC v. Mac standoff. Now, there’s a ridiculous battle for you. I’m a PC girl, but if a Mac does it for you, I think that’s super. Everyone’s different. It’s not better or worse, it’s what works for you. You definitely have your my-way-or-the-highway folks where outlining is concerned, but I’m not one of them. In fact, I conducted an interview once with a fairly well-known mystery author, and he got very offended when I asked him the same question you asked me. He told me he wrote 120-page outlines, and I guess something in my face (I’m a professional actress, after all) made him ask if I outlined. When I said no, he blew a gasket and launched a diatribe. Just when I was enjoying how differently his creative process came to him. As he ranted, though, all I could do was sit there and listen, thinking how he could’ve been halfway to a book by then. Or a third, at least. LOL! There’s joy in our differences if we let it be. Some people like everything blocked out, and that’s a good way for them to go because it can produce great art. But for me, by the time there’s a big outline, all the suspense drains out. It’s like a balloon deflating just when the party’s getting started. I want to be open to new thoughts and revelations as I go. I have a general idea of what I want to say, but I love the discovery. If you leave yourself open to the magic along the way, that’s the joy, at least for me. I like to read the story as I write it, the way the reader does, whether that’s a truth about life and how best to live it or if the heroine is going to survive. All of life is a story, and I love to see it unfold. I tried to write You Can Change The World based on a PowerPoint I had for speaking, but after it started off slowly a few chapters in, I had to go with instinct, the way I always do.

3.      Which comes first – plot or character?

For me, character. My stories can sometimes seem plot-driven, but the characters make choices, and that’s what drives the plot. Just like in real life. We have thoughts that give us feelings and beliefs, and we act on our beliefs. That’s what makes stuff happen. That’s what brings other people and events into our lives, what draws circumstances and situations to us. We see what we believe, not the other way around.

4.      Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?

Quiet. Shutting down the chatter lets insight speak. Sometimes a little music might work, but silence is golden.
5.      Favorite TV show?
I love “Queen Sugar”, created by the fabulous Ava Duvernay. It’s on OWN, Oprah’s network. It’s based on author Natalie Bazile’s amazing novel of the same name. Outstanding performances, sumptuous cinematography, sensitive direction, insightful writing. And it will frequently have an all-woman crew, which is pretty much unheard of. It’s a family drama. Really groundbreaking.  

6.      Favorite type of music?

That’s a toughie. I LOOOVE music. I can tell you that the Sirius XM in my car is most frequently tuned to the Heart & Soul station that plays mostly R&B and pop love songs. At home, I’m more of a Zen meditative music person. Very chilled.
7.      Favorite craft besides writing?

How much time have you got? LOL! I paint, design jewelry, create accessory items like pillows and purses, dabble in graphic art. Creating something that was only in my head at one point into something people can enjoy is my PASSION!
8.      Do you play a musical instrument?

Yes. Flute. And a little guitar. I’m going to start taking piano lessons when I get two seconds to rub together.
9.      Single or married?
I was married for most of my life to my soulmate. He passed away in 2013.

10.  Children or no?

No kids, but I get tons of joy from my 9 nieces and nephews.
11.  Pets?
No pets.

12.  Favorite place to write?
My home office.

13.  Favorite restaurant?

No fave restaurant in particular, but my top restaurant foods are Chinese, Indian and Italian. I’m a veggie.
14.  Do you work outside the home?

I am a professional actress and voice over artist, so I work – and always have worked – outside the home, but never in a 9 to 5-type job. I also have a unique and interesting part-time gig as live narrator of planetarium space shows at Griffith Observatory in Hollywood.
15.  What was the name of the last movie you saw?

I just watched “London Has Fallen” a couple of nights ago on Netflix, with the jaw-dropping actor Morgan Freeman whom I respect and adore.
16.  Favorite outdoor activity?

Long, long walks at the beach or hiking in the hills. Sounds like an online dating profile, but that’s my sweet spot.
17.  Pet peeve?

I try not to have any, but I must say, the cruelty, callousness, combativeness and unchecked greed in our societal discourse and behavior these days is not an up.  

18.  Your goal in life?
To do God’s will and, you guessed it . . . to change the world for the better.

19.  Your most exciting moment?
Oh, I’ve had so many. Have so many. Countless. Every new moment. I live in the now. And I believe the most exciting moment is yet to come . . .

20.  The love of your life?

My deceased husband, and my Mom and Dad, whom I love with all my hearty
and cherish beyond measure.

About the Book:

Author: Bever-leigh Banfield
Publisher: Twinkle Entertainment
Pages: 366
Genre: Nonfiction


You have an ultimate magic within you, capable of transforming yourself, your life and everything that exists. You needn’t fear change, leave it to others, or get stuck with whatever happens next. You can pull heaven right out of your hat with the alchemy of your heart and mind. You just have to know how to use your abracadabra presto change-o. You can make things disappear or pop up because you are the change you crave. Your dream is a reality somewhere, ready for you to experience it by making change your BFF. Tap into who you're meant to be, and the special thing you're meant to do – with this book about your mission in life, and how you can have it materialize to be happier, healthier, wealthier, wiser, and make the world a better place. 

Book Trailers:



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

How Do Writers Build Authentic Characters? / Emma Hartley @theemmahartley

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How Do Writers Build Authentic Characters?

How do writers build authentic characters?  How do we come up with our ideas?  These are the questions I am most often asked by aspiring writers and readers alike.  I will venture here to discuss some of the motivations and inspirations I use for story and character development, with the caveat that everyone does this differently.  These are my methods—they are not for everyone.

Most of my characters grow from seeds.  They might start out with a vague characteristic such as hair color or an unusual mannerism, then germinating into a more fully developed person as the story grows.  Elwyn, in THE NATURE OF ENTANGLED HEARTS, for instance, grew from the seed of my own insecurity.  She avoids mirrors and dreads her reflection.  Those simple characteristics allowed me to grow Elwyn into the dynamic, complex and nuanced character that she is.  Writing in her voice allowed me to show her feisty attitude, her temper and her creativity.  Her inner landscape is rich.  These characteristics blossomed as I wrote in her voice.  To continue this growth, I asked a million questions.  Who is she?  What does she love about life?  What bothers her?  Is she clumsy or graceful?  Is she smart?  Is she driven?  Does she question the world around her to the point of incapacity sometimes?  Why would she sabotage her relationships with men?  As I asked myself these questions, and as Elwyn grew into the character she is, I realized many things about her.  Her past was illuminated, her motivation to create her artwork became clear.  She grew out of that tiny seed into a person as real as you or me.

My plots grow in much the same way.  They germinate from small ideas – tiny moments from my own life that perplexed me or vexed me, moments that made me ask questions about the nature of love, of consciousness, of the universe around us.  These essential questions helped me grow my stories into fully formed plot lines.  I weave many threads together into riveting conclusions.  I don’t always see the endings until I am close to them.  It’s rare for me to see the ending of my story at the beginning.  My writing style is linear, and the story grows with my characters.  Once I get to the mid point of my work, I can start mapping out the trajectory of the plot and I will often make a rough outline for it. 

I love working in this organic manner.  Growing stories and characters from seed is a fulfilling and rewarding aspect of writing for me.  It’s like watching a child grow up – I am so proud of the people my characters become.  Even if they have made some iffy choices along the way, because let’s face it, who hasn’t?  Part of the fun is letting the characters’ lives unfold authentically, which, in turn, drives a riveting plot.

About the Author:

Emma Hartley is an author and artist living in picturesque Maine. She has been writing and making art since childhood and has been insatiably curious and industrious her whole life. Emma was a double major in English and Fine Arts and she received her Masters in Art and Design Education. She is a specialist in ceramics and includes much of this expertise in her novel The Nature of Entangled Hearts. Her other interests include playing drums, making art and exploring every square inch of the Maine coastline. The Nature of Entangled Hearts is her first novel.




About the Book:

The Nature of Entangled Hearts is a fast-paced, edgy, romantic thriller, with a subtly supernatural twist.  Enter the story of Elwyn and James, two strangers entangled by their past-life experiences,
who are mired in an unquantifiable present.  Throughout the novel they work to understand the bonds that hold them together, just as an unforeseen danger threatens to tear them apart.
Elwyn “Derrin” Derringer is a ceramic artist and a professor at the local college of art in Portland, Maine.  She has always felt insecure and disconnected, unsure of how or why she fits into the world, seeking through her art to fill in the missing pieces of herself.  When Elwyn’s eyes lock on those of a stranger across the market, everything she has taken for granted as reality is thrown into question.  Understanding blooms in fits and starts, interrupted by her fears of attachment and eventually by the unwanted attentions of an obsessed and disturbed art student.

Throughout the novel, Elwyn discovers reservoirs of strength and independence as she faces these challenges, endearing the reader with her feisty nature and her fierce desires to create authentically, to love intensely and to transcend the destructive links to her past.  “The Nature of Entangled Hearts” takes us on a thrilling ride through past and present, through love and dread, through loss and reclamation, leaving us thankful that we don’t understand all the mysteries of the universe just yet, and reminding us never to take our lives - or our loves - for granted.


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