It’s a crazy statement, I know. But all authors have an element of crazy in them somewhere — at least I don’t think I’m the only one. How can we not? We have to balance our lives, family, and day-to-day responsibilities with the art of storytelling. We create lives, personalities, likes, and dislikes. It’s like giving birth without the added weight gain and late-night bottle feedings.
Or is it?
If we’re not careful, we drink too much coffee, eat too many snacks — instead of real food — and position ourselves in front of our computer screens for hours on end. Thus, weight gain. Late-night bottle feedings come in the form of waking up in the wee hours of the night, jotting down notes or a scene that’s been plaguing us all day.
How do we stay sane? Where do these fictional people come from? Why are we not wearing straitjackets?
My best guess is because we’ve learned to blend in with the rest of society. Thankfully, readers are intrigued by our stories, which helps me to keep the purple straitjacket tucked away.
All jokes aside, it is my opinion that writing is the truest form of self-expression, healing, and finding a way to cope with whatever ails you. Whether you journal, blog, write a memoir, or take your life experiences or pull from those around you and write a book. No matter what avenue you take, writing is therapeutic.
I love to create the characters in my stories. As an only child, I spent a lot of time alone, playing with my baby dolls, stuffed animals, and Barbies. Each had a name and a voice of their own. I spent hour after hour making up stories and creating adventures to entertain myself. Each story had a Happily Ever After. From time to time, I would get the tape recorder (remember that old-fashioned form of electronics?) and make cassette tapes of my little adventures to share with my parents. They, of course, thought my tales were funny. Little did I know that form of storytelling would eventually lead to a writing career.
I still use a recorder — digital now — to record my ideas for my books. No dolls allowed; I leave that to my daughter. The tales are no longer about a princess riding horses and marrying a prince. Now the stories deal with real-life experiences. Not all are my own, but they are real, they do happen, and there is heartbreak and pain. But through it all, there is happiness and love.
After creating the heroines in my books, I realized something. In each character — as different as they are — there is an element of me. The woman I once was, the woman I am, the woman I secretly wish I could be, and the woman I aspire to become. Multiple Personality Disorder at its best. By telling their stories, I’ve found a way to work through the pain I've experienced to find happiness in my family and the ones I hold dear.
Along the way, I’ve made friends I never would have known and gained knowledge I never would have attained. In short, I’ve not only learned how to become a better writer, but I’ve also learned more about myself. Writing has allowed me to make a mark of my own outside of being a wife and a mother. I have discovered something I love, something I’m good at, and something that unless I actually lose my mind, no one can ever take away from me.
There’s not a morning I don’t get up with an idea that I’m anxious to put on paper. Seeing the Butterfly Memoirs go through several different stages of evolution over several years taught me so much. Adding to the story, taking away, fine tuning, and finessing … it’s all the part of telling a story — with heart, care, and attention to detail.
If you’re thinking about writing a book, watch out for those doctors with those special white coats!
By the way, my straight jacket also has butterflies! LOL!
Great news! If you’d like to learn more about my characters, my first book, a romantic women’s fiction with heart and soul, is absolutely FREE for a limited time!
Hope you enjoyed this insight into my writing world!
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Carmen DeSousa: I had to stop writing when I broke down over a character dying, and I’m the psycho who killed him.
When I sit down to write a novel, I generally have no idea where I’m going. My typical start of a story is usually the main character—whether it’s the male protagonist or the female protagonist—and whatever issue they are facing.
From there, I just ask myself questions:
The great thing is, just like the reader, I never know exactly what my characters will do. Sure, I know I want a happily ever after, but I also know that not every character will get a happily ever after. And the detours they make along the way sometimes even surprise me. Why? Because I allow my story to progress naturally.
I typically write two thousand words a day, and then every night I read the last few chapters to make sure the story flows, marking any areas that need addressing, and then go to sleep, allowing the characters to come alive in my dreams. And ohhh how they do. It’s not unusual for hubby to see me typing on my iPhone’s notepad in the middle of the night. Often it’ll just be a great line or a missing link I was in search of.
When I finally finish the novel, I take an entire day and read from beginning to end, making sure the story flows and that there are no holes or contradictions.
I’ve read this story almost thirty times at this juncture. How can it surprise me, how can it make me cry? And yet, here I am, sitting on the sofa, my afghan curled around me, and I’m bawling over something that happened.
Hubby, who has been sitting quietly by his computer—because he knows it’s read-through day—whips his chair around to face me and asks, “Are you okay?”
I swipe away my tears and answer, “Yes, I just can’t believe that happened.”
“Wait. I thought you were reading your book?” he asks.
“I am,” I answer. “But it still makes me cry.”
He shakes his head and goes back to typing his nonfiction.
One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
Well, I’m always surprised, and I always cry when something happens to my characters, so I hope when you read my books you will, too!
If you enjoy stories that blend happy and sad, romantic and suspenseful, click the link for your favorite retailer below and grab one of my free books. If you’ve read all my books, make sure you pre-order my new release, Erik’s Revelation, at the $0.99 introductory price, so you’ll know why I was crying!
Until next time, happy reading!
Learn more about Carmen: www.WrittenMusings.com/CarmenDeSousa
Or visit one of her author pages to grab one of her bestsellers!
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10) You can explore mysteries, what-ifs, and universal truths, and you can solve them in whatever way you want. You can stretch your imagination to the outer limits, and make your readers believe, even for a short while, in magic.
9) Whenever you space out and forget where you’re going, or spend two hours in the bath, you can always blame it on the people in your head who, at last, decided to reveal their deepest secrets. (Of course, if you tell this to someone who doesn’t write or read romance, they might send you on an expense-paid trip to the funny farm!)
8) You can buy books as a legitimate business expense. Better, you can read books as a legitimate part of your job.
7) You can go to work in your pajamas if you want or, at the least, sans panty hose, makeup, and an 18-Hour bra.
6) You can have torrid affairs with sexy men and not risk divorce or the fiery gates of hell.
5) You can be the woman you always wanted to be: braver, thinner, sassier, with perfect skin and thick hair. Or the woman you never wanted to be: a bitch, a murderer, the opposite sex… You can be whatever you want for a while, without any repercussions.
4) You learn to develop a balanced sense of self. You’re dancing with angels when a reader tells you you’re the best thing since the discovery of chocolate; you’re in the dregs of self-esteem when your editor tells you your latest book stinks worse than limburger cheese.
3) You can tell your mother she was wrong… It’s okay to tell stories after all.
2) Writing is the one place in your life where you can be God and control your world. If your characters let you, that is.
1) The best, absolutely number one part is knowing that what you love doing will touch someone’s life and take them away from their troubles for a while.
I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I love writing for you!
If you would like to read a little more about what Tina writes, follow the links below to download one of her FREE bestsellers. She also has a $0.99 deal this week only! Tina's stories are available in print, eBook, and audio formats at your favorite retailer.
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Romance - Suspense - SEALs!
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When six couples arrive in sunny Miami Beach, they vow to place life troubles on hold and enjoy a child-free weekend. But even paradise can’t whisk away problems…
Grab the final book in the series from your favorite retailer!
What readers are saying about the Butterfly Memoirs:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I loved how the characters got to really know each other despite the ethnic differences... M.J. Kane has just found another fan." — VINE VOICE
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "A Wonderful Story of Love and Triumph." — Hopeless Romantic, AVP
Don't miss this Stand-Alone Romantic Women's Fiction!
His daughter wants a mother. He needs help pulling off a job before Christmas. Will the new woman in their home bring joy, or tear their world apart?
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What readers are saying about Jackie’s books:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Ms. Weger’s writing style is honest and down-to-earth. Her characters are well developed, realistic, and draw you in quickly.” — Big Al’s Books and Pals Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Jackie Weger writes fluently, understandably, makes it flow with pitch and power.” — Read Along with Sue
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Jackie Weger is a gem. I found her writing very unique and comfortable and so annoyingly beautiful.” — Coffeeholic Bookworm
When Clare sees a plane go down in the desert behind her remote home and goes to assist, the sexy pilot, Quade Bonahan, kidnaps her. Since the men who downed his plane are shooting at them, she has no choice but to go along with Quade, at least until she can escape... READ MORE
What readers are saying about Tina Wainscott’s books:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Wainscott delivers unusual and satisfying romance with a supernatural twist." – Publishers Weekly
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Tina has unforgettable female protagonists and action-packed, almost haunting plotlines." – Janet Evanovich New York Times bestselling author
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Tina Wainscott always delivers … I love to curl up with anything she writes.” New York Times Bestselling author Heather Graham
If you enjoyed Until I Die Again, you will absolutely LOVE One Last Promise!
All the books in the Love & Light Collection are stand-alone stories that can be read in any order! Start your journey by clicking your favorite retailer icon below!
New to Tina's Books?
Here are the FIRSTS in three of her Bestselling Series...
A summer romance gone terribly wrong.
A second chance that could go incredibly right…
Years after the car accident that separated Raleigh and Mia -- a young couple in love, but from opposite sides of the track -- Mia returns to the Florida coast for her grandmother’s funeral.
She can feel Raleigh’s presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps, but opening her heart to him again seems impossible. Staying away might be harder still... Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.
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Every once and a while, we all need a new look! Even books!
Hope y'all like these new covers! We really tried to find images that not only conveyed the stories, but also the characters.
Jackie Weger has been writing romance novels between life events for thirty-five years. She's a traveler of our good earth by foot, boat, bus, train, plane and pickup, but usually only gets as far as Walmart.
Men as Wild and Rugged as The Last Frontier Itself
Five brothers risk their lives to rescue those caught in the death grip of the Alaskan wilderness…and risk losing their hearts to women as tough as the Land of the Midnight Sun.
The siren call of Alaska’s untamed wilderness, vast mountain ranges, and majestic glaciers draws thrill-seekers from around the globe. But with more unsolved missing-person cases than anywhere else in the world, the Alaska Triangle has an ominous reputation. Enter the Midnight Sons, five brothers who risk their lives to rescue those in peril.
Being a hero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, though. The pay sucks, as does the fact that the team leaders have to be ready to spring into action 24/7, 365 days a year—a lifestyle not conducive to a healthy love life. Worse, while the brothers are experts in their individual fields, they each harbor inner demons and secrets that threaten to tear their family apart… and jeopardize any chance of finding the women who could complete them.
Carmen's stories overflow with romance, suspense, a hint of humor and, of course, a few Kleenex moments. After all, what would a great story be without an emotional event setting the stage? All her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic, and will make you cry, laugh, love, and hope. Although some of her books include supernatural or ghostly beings, her stories dance on the edge of make believe. Her hope is that as you read her stories, you'll wonder, "Hmmm...what if?"
Currently, she lives in Arizona with her husband of twenty-nine years and a very spoiled "rescued" calico they lovingly refer to as “Baby Kitty,” even though she's twelve years old. Carmen enjoys learning about different American cultures, so she moves a lot. She's lived on both of Florida’s coasts: Cocoa Beach and Tampa Bay; Charlotte, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Bullhead City, Arizona; the Northern Central Valley of California, and now she lives in "The Heart of Arizona." But she's always looking for her next adventure, so she travels every chance she gets.
Most of her novels share some of our favorite hobbies, mostly, anything to do with the great outdoors. Both she and her husband love to read on the beach—or in a coffee shop if it's raining—and if the weather is really nice, they go kayaking or hiking. Carmen says she rarely spends her days off at a movie theater or the mall. In fact, she claims to hate shopping, and laughs that her husband would rather do anything other than watch a movie when she's already read the book. :)
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