Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Welcome to My Guest Author: Tracy Sumner

Today I welcome Author Tracy Sumner to my blog!  Tracy has an ebook of her award winning novel to give away & a kindle to two lucky readers.

So over to  Tracy....

Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to be a guest author posting with Serena Tatti!

This quote really resonates with me – and will introduce our writing craft topic for today!

Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.
~Anton Chekov

You got it. Show, don’t tell.

What, exactly, do we mean by show, don’t tell?

Telling the reader what to think, instead of showing them enough to generate the “mental picture”.  The glint of light on broken glass.

There are ways to get around telling. Using metaphors and similes is a good one. Instead of saying a character is fat, show them lumbering along the street, breathing heavily as they take the stairs. Show the person through descriptive language.

In fiction, we’re setting scenes that create a world in the reader’s mind. Descriptive language paints the picture.

A tip that helps me is to remember to use the senses. What would the character hear in the scene? Smell? Expressions on his/her face? What is the motivation for the scene that may have them sprinting versus walking?

This is a scene taken from my novel TIDES OF PASSION. What insight does it give you about the hero, Zach Garrett?

Zach closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the chair, remembering. The crash of waves in the distance and the rustle of pine branches in the breeze soothed him. A little. "She was fragile. Like an angel made of glass. The kind they blow until it's so thin you think it'll break if you touch it."

He had often been afraid to touch her, to hug her with even half his strength, but that was far too personal a memory to share.

Combined with great dialogue, you can share so much about a character with a reader. And, yes, we are telling some, too. Of course! But it’s descriptive. And the sound of the ocean in the distance and the hero’s pain in remembering stay with the reader.

In short, we need to provide details for the reader. Show the character complaining, don’t say they’re negative. Show them abusing a waiter or stealing a napkin, instead of saying they’re cheap.

Read more about Tracy Sumner and her books (including lengthy excerpts for all new releases) on www.tracysumner.com

Purchase TIDES OF PASSION: http://www.amazon.com/Tides-Passion-Seaswept-Seduction-ebook/dp/B005WVPFH0

Purchase TIDES OF LOVE: http://www.amazon.com/Tides-Love-Seaswept-Seduction-ebook/dp/B0066B1XTY

Tracy’s story telling career began when she picked up a copy of LaVyrle Spencer’s Vows on a college beach trip. A journalism degree and a thousand romance novels later, she decided to try her hand at writing a southern version of the perfect love story. With a great deal of luck and more than a bit of perseverance, she sold her first novel to Kensington Publishing.

 When not writing sensual stories featuring complex characters and lush settings, Tracy can be found reading romance, snowboarding, watching college football and figuring out how she can get to 100 countries before she kicks (which is a more difficult endeavor than it used to be with her four-year-old son in tow). She lives in Charlotte, NC, but after spending a few years in “the city”, considers herself a New Yorker at heart.

 Tracy has been awarded the National Reader’s Choice, the Write Touch and the Beacon – with finalist nominations in the HOLT Medallion, Heart of Romance, Rising Stars and Reader’s Choice. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. She loves hearing from readers about why she tends to pit her hero and heroine against each other and that great novel she simply must order in five seconds on her Kindle.


TIDES OF PASSION, the National Reader’s Choice for Best Long Historical, debuted as an ebook in October 2011. The second novel in the Tides series, TIDES OF LOVE, arrived in November. Tracy’s holiday novella, which begins the new Southern Heat series, TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL, hit mid-December 2012. Watch for the next Heat novel, TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, in late January.

Tracy would like to give away an eBook copy of TIDES OF PASSION to one lucky reader and a Kindle to one really lucky reader via her website drawing! To enter the eBook drawing, leave a comment on her post at Fiction Vixen; for the Kindle drawing, please sign up for her newsletter at www.tracysumner.com

Monday, 9 January 2012

Welcome to my guest author: Nina Jade Singer

Today I welcome Author Nina Jade Singer to my blog! And she's got a book to give away and an Amazon gift certificate for one lucky reader! So over to Nina....
My Writing Process

Hello everyone, I’m so happy to be here today with Serena (which, by the way, is the name of the heroine in one of my stories). My first book, Secrets of the Knight, was recently released from Crescent Moon Press.

I was chatting with some writer friends the other day and we started talking about all the different ways we write. Not only did I find it fascinating how varied our methods were, I realized I wanted to try some of the things my friends were doing. Then I got to thinking that I wanted to do sort of the same thing in a blog post, just to kind of ‘talk’ to you all about the process that works for me.

So today I’m going to tell you a little about how I get from a story idea to a completed manuscript. I’m hoping you’ll perhaps find bits and pieces that you may want to give a try. And I’d love to hear about your own process if you’d like to comment at the end.

The original idea usually comes to me when I least expect it – something someone says triggers a thought, or I’ll think of a ‘what-if’ scenario. A lot of writers will tell you that they come up with a character first. I have yet to have that happen. With me, it’s the idea or premise that usually comes at the very beginning, typically in the form of a problem or conflict. Then I start to thinking about what type of hero would tackle such an issue. What characteristics would he need? That’s right, I always ‘see’ the hero before the heroine. Once I’ve got a vague impression of the hero (I don’t go too far in depth at this point), this is when I start imagining what the heroine might be like. What kind of woman would attract the hero I’ve come up with? At this point, most of these ideas are still all in my head.

Now comes the harder part:

I start trying to flesh out the story. I place my characters in the setting I’ve decided on. Usually it’s New England, where I live, or some place I’ve visited that’s particularly called to me. I try to come up with about 2 or 3 solid scenes to get story going in my head. Secondary characters start to walk in of their own accord. My primary characters begin to ‘talk’ to me and tell me what they’re like. Once I know more about them as people, I start doing character write-ups. My write-ups usually include everything from eye color to the model car they drive.

Ninety percent of my character details never even make it into the manuscript. But my hero, heroine, and secondary characters start to become real. Then I go back to the plot. And this is where things start to get somewhat difficult for me. My exciting discovery stage is now over. I have to think of ways to keep the excitement going. And the only thing that works for me is to keep the discovery stage going. This is one of the many reasons I can’t bring myself to outline. If I outline, I know what’s going to happen and I won’t want to actually write it. Believe me, I’ve had it happen and it hasn’t been pretty.

Instead, I try to think about the story constantly. Whatever I’m doing in my daily life, I’m still thinking about plot points. As ideas come to me, I try to jot them down as quickly as I can on an index card or notepad. This way, I know what I’m going to write when I sit down at my desk. At this stage, I’m not worrying about pretty words or flowing script. I’m doing what is known as ‘throwing mud at the wall’. Having fun with it. This is merely my exploratory draft. 

The next step is the revision process, which really depends on how much mud has been thrown. This is when I reach for those words that are just right. And of course, there’s all the editing. Some stories take longer than others. Some take more effort. But it’s always the same sense of aaaah when I finally type ‘The End’.

So this is what has worked for me. Maybe I’ll need to try something different a few manuscripts from now. Let me know what works for you!

Nina Jade Singer

Several years ago life forced Thomas (Bo) Bowden to give up everything, including the woman he loves, and take refuge on a Caribbean island. Little did he know, he was taking the first step to fulfilling his mystical destiny.

Nicole Balian has come to the small island of Trenado to find a missing teenager. She's shocked to the core to find her former lover instead. And the attraction between her and Bo is as strong as ever.

Working together to solve the unexplained disappearances plaguing the island, they find themselves in a frightening world of voodoo and magic. Trenado's history is shrouded in supernatural mystery. The danger they face serves to reignite their love. But as Bo fights an ancient evil that haunts the island, will Nicole be able to save the man she loves? Or will she lose him once again, this time forever?

Buy Link: Amazon

About Nina Jade Singer:

I've always loved stories of the supernatural. With mystery,  suspense, and a good dose of romance.

Nina on the Web:


One lucky commenter will receive Secrets of The Knight. Followers and commenter’s of the blog tour will go in the grand draw of an Amazon Gift Certificate of US$100.00!


For the full itinerary and more chances to win, check the AUTHOR PAGE!