Monday, 18 February 2013

Welcome to My Guest Author: Suzanna Ross

Today I welcome Author Suzanna Ross to my blog!  

Suzanna is giving away to one lucky commenter a copy of her previous release Trust In Me or a copy of her Short Story Book.  So over to Suzanna...

The Magic of Writing Friends

I’ve been trying to establish a writing career for a long time. Such a long time that I wrote in
the days before word processors – and in the days before the Internet. And I wrote when there
were no writing groups geographically close enough to join.

It was a very lonely and scary place to be.

In those dark days of being alone with my writing, my sales successes were limited: A
handful of short stories. An article and filler or two. Obviously, each hit was to be celebrated,
but they were very few and far between. Besides, even when I did make a rare sale, who was
there to tell? My family and non-writing friends didn’t understand.

Then I found the online writing community. And I did nothing but read writing blogs and
online forums for weeks. It seemed Christmas had arrived with the discovery of the like-
minded members of these groups.

My first tentative steps into blogging were ignored. But, gradually, I gained the confidence
to comment on others’ blog posts – and those comments were returned. Friendships were
formed. Eventually, these friendships developed into invitations to join private groups.

And my hit rate exploded.

Yes, I do think my writing has improved in that time – but that can be attributed to my
friendships with other writers, too. Because these friendships – some involving critiquing and
being critiqued – have increased my confidence in my abilities. And increased confidence can
only result in better writing.

I’m no longer in that scary, lonely, place. Now I have people I can tell when I make a sale.
People who are pleased for me – and who share their own successes, too.

The writing community – real or virtual – is a great thing to be a part of.

Above all, the generosity of writing friends is endless. They’ll spend time reading my work
and tell me straight if the story isn’t working. They’ll help me to find solutions to problems
that I might not see a way out of. They’ll talk about my characters as though they’re real
people. They cheer me on when I’m feeling down and talk me out of it when I’m ready to
give it all up. And, they’ll share contact details, submission guidelines – and shout if they
notice something they think might benefit my career.

Most of all, they cheer loudest of all when I place a piece of writing. At last, someone to tell
who actually cares.

Even if I haven’t met most of them in real life, these are real friends. People I turn to first
when thing go wrong – in my writing or in my real life.

And they’ve made a world of difference.

Honestly, the single best thing I’ve done for my writing is to make friends with other writers.

Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog today. And for the opportunity to write
this post – because it’s made me realise just how lucky I am.

Suzanna on the Web:

Blurb - Hidden Heartache:

Dr Emma Bradshaw’s life is disrupted when Nick Rudd arrives back in town to take up a post at the GP practice where Emma works. The bad boy attitude is still very much in evidence, but Nick is a doctor now – against the odds – and Emma’s forced to work closely with him. Not so easy to ignore the love of your life when you have to see him on a daily basis. And Nick’s getting perilously close to breaking down the barriers Emma’s built to protect herself from the tragedy in her past.

Nick thought, as a doctor, it would be easy to command respect from the residents of his hometown – and most are pleased to see how well he’s done. But, the one person he wants to impress remains unmoved. Emma is keeping her distance. And she’s changed – the fun loving girl he knew has gone. She’s hiding something big, he’s sure, but she’s not telling. He can’t blame her – he knows he let her down badly in the past. But now he’ll do anything to rekindle the trust and love she once showed him.
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Monday, 4 February 2013

Welcome to My Guest Author: Juanita Kees

Today I welcome Author Juantia Kees to my blog!   So over to Juanita...

Do you Love your Characters?

Building a story is like building a house. I discussed this topic in a post about Writing from the Heart on Rachael John’s blog last year. Heart and a good foundation is what helps you and your characters build a riveting story that will engage the reader from start to finish. Add to the mix the walls to make the story strong, and windows to peek into the heads and the hearts of your hero and heroine. The roof is the finishing touch to protect your investment and the people you care about most…your characters.  But their journey doesn’t end there, it’s only the beginning.

I went on to discuss the welcoming party in Write a Book, Bake a Cake which takes a look at the importance of editing your manuscript for submission. Writing is only a part of the incredible learning journey to publication. The more you write, the more confident you become. Research, critique partners, writing groups, contests and workshops all play a big part in helping you hone your craft.  Think of these as the ingredients for a fluffy chocolate cake batter. Leave any of the ingredients out and the consistency of your batter could let you down.
But what about the most important part of all in the story—the people? Who are they? What are they like? Are they heroes and heroines readers will love? Imagine a good, solid house with strong walls and a new roof, pretty gardens and rolling lawns, but the rooms are empty. Void of life, love and laughter. What brings life to the house? Is it the furniture, the paint on the walls, the shiny appliances in the kitchen? Absolutely not! What brings life to the house is the characters.

Readers read to find magic in a story, an element of happiness, hope and escape from the dramas of the real world. By building good, solid characters you can help them find that escape. I recently read a book where the heroine’s daughter was a whiny little girl whose bottom I wanted to spank for the temper tantrums she threw and the distress she caused her mum. Is that a criticism of the author’s writing? No, I’m giving the author huge credit for creating believable four-year-old behavior that drew me right into the scene and made me want to give the girl’s mum a big hug.
In Fly Away Peta, I created a feisty heroine in Peta; someone I hope readers will relate to in her fierce fight to protect her daughter against the dangers of life and heartbreak, while she battles her own demons. And Jaime—gorgeous, strong, delectable Jaime Caruso—a man who jumps feet-first into the fray to fight for the woman he’s loved forever, no matter what danger she’s in.

And if you enjoyed Jaime and Peta’s spirited characters, you are going to love TJ and Scott in Under the Hood, due for release from Escape Publishing in March 2013. This energetic story stars yet another feisty heroine not afraid to step forward and a delectable hero who can’t resist her charm or her dilemma. Together they fight to save a teenage gang from the grip of crime and drugs, all while resisting the temptation to fall in love.
Thank you to my lovely friend and editing buddy, Serena Tatti for hosting me today and letting me waffle on about building houses, baking cakes and creating characters. For a handy guide to creating character profiles, I can recommend Valerie Parv’s The Art of Romance Writing. It’s a guide that’s stood the test of time and a book that holds pride of place amongst my reference books, as battered, dog-eared and full of post-it notes as it is.

Blurb: Fly Away Peta from Eternal Press
The time has come to face her worst fear and the clock is ticking…

Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small Western Australian country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart; the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.
The search for Bella brings them together. Secrets and lies keep them apart. Will Jaime and Peta renew their love in the face of danger or will he let her fly away again?


Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now proudly Australian, Juanita is a freelance writer of book reviews, blogs, web content, advertorials, newsletters, resumes and training manuals. She has written articles on business management for Stanford Who’s Who, New York, USA.
Having completed a diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing through the Australian College QED, Bondi, NSW, Juanita is a freelance editor for Damnation Books, Eternal Press and Escape Publishing, and proofreads scientific text books for Elsevier Press, Oxford, UK.

Juanita gained her professional experience in the motor industry as an administrator and Customer Care/Quality Assurance Coordinator conducting audits; writing and proof-reading reports, operating procedures, company policies, capability statements, newsletters and customer correspondence.
Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. She conducts interviews with fellow authors and writes book reviews, as well as the odd blog about the frustrations and delights of being a writer.

When she’s not writing, editing or proofreading, Juanita is the cleaning fairy and mother to three boys (hubby included, his toys are just a little more expensive). Her not-so-miniature Daschund, Sam is her critique partner and keeps her company while writing.
Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to enjoy her writing journey with her at:

On the Web:   
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Write from the Heart