May 8, 2013
It’s time for From Fact to Fiction to go on hiatus. Keeping up with posts while writing and editing on deadlines, posting on individual websites and guest blogs, and tending to our families’ needs has proven too complicated. We started with daily posts, which tapered to weekly posts, and we are now sporadically posting at best. That’s just not the way to run a blog–at least it’s not the way we wanted to run this one. I won’t say goodbye, because we might be back sooner than I think. I have some ideas for how to liven this place up. Until then, take care. Write lots. And we’ll see you soon.
April 24, 2013
While driving home from a lacrosse tournament the other weekend, my husband and I listened to Mackelmore’s latest CD, The Heist. We’ve been listening to his music since before the widespread popularity of Thrift Shop, and he is by far our favorite “rapper.” His songs are catchy and creative. He’s also a masterful story teller.
I don’t remember when I stopped tapping to the beat and singing along in favor of really listening to the words. It’s been awhile now. Each time I listen, I’m struck by the brilliance in his words. He’s a writer. Like me. That’s cool.
There are writers everywhere. Just because their words don’t form an article or a book doesn’t mean we don’t share the same creative ups and downs. It’s a comforting thought. :)
April 17, 2013
An opportunity arose for me to participate in an anthology, which meant writing a short story (5K-10K words). I realized I’d never written a romantic story so short, and I wasn’t sure where to begin. I did a little research on writing short stories in general, and ideas formed. But before I start writing, I want to read similar works. Can anyone recommend a romantic (non-erotic) short story that falls in the 5K-10K range? I’d very much appreciate any leads you can give.
April 10, 2013
It doesn’t matter what a writer writes. The key to success is finding an audience, but finding that audience isn’t easy. We write words we think have value. Maybe an editor has confirmed that belief by contracting the work. But it’s safe to say most—maybe all—writers measure their success on the size of their audience. Whether we’re blogging or selling novels, we can measure readership to a certain extent, and that’s a blessing and a curse.
I’m new to this published writer thing, so I have few tips to give on finding an audience. I suspect even with years under my belt my tips would be vague. I’m not sure it’s something that can be charted and replicated. If it were, wouldn’t everyone be following those steps to certain success? I’m open to suggestions, though. How did you find a readership for your blog, site or book? Is it simply a game of luck and long-term visibility?
April 3, 2013
I’ve been writing with publication as a goal for years now. Certainly other people have been at it longer than me. I’m no expert. But I thought I’d be more settled by now. With one book published and two more slated to follow this year, I expected to feel differently, more capable, more efficient. It’s pretty annoying to fall into old habits. I’m distracted by promotion. I’m letting my personal life get in the way. I’m worried my work sucks. I’m…the same writer I was before my book was published. Isn’t that a kicker? Publication isn’t a cure-all. It’s not some panacea for procrastination, fear, lack of focus and doubt. In fact, it’s no match for those things. Like it or not, those things are part of being human, and just like I had to learn to live with them as a child, I have to learn to work with them as a writer.
March 27, 2013
After promoting other people’s debuts here, it feels weird to be promoting my own, but here I am. Save My Soul: Book One in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series was released March 25. What I like most about this book is it’s not what normally passes as category-length, contemporary romance for me. When I wrote it years ago, I was heavily influenced by paranormal’s popularity, and honestly, I was in a confusing space in my life.
Rather than prolong this self-promotion, I’ll leave with this. Nicole said it best: “If you like vivid writing, sparkling sexual tension, and emotional reads check out Save My Soul.”
For more about Elley and her books, visit her website.
March 21, 2013
When you’re a writer you read for more than enjoyment, which means you often get stuck in ruts of reading the same type of thing because it’s what you write or it’s published by a publisher you’d like to write for. That’s been me lately, reading only mainstream, contemporary romance. So I decided, enough is enough.
My first step outside the usual was easy. As a Downton Abbey (PBS) fan, I could no longer put off reading a book by an amazing friend, T.J. Brown. So I downloaded Summerset Abbey. It’s a historical trilogy (Edwardian), surrounding the lives of three young (unconventional) women. Even the cover is sumptuous!
Then, I dove into a biker book (an advanced reader copy) with an uber-alpha hero. I didn’t even know such a hero existed. Lol. I don’t always like the hero’s rough edges, but I find the whole thing compelling. It makes me think as a reader, makes me realize I’ve been reading as a writer too long.
Have you read outside your comfort zone lately?
March 13, 2013
When I wrote and edited non-fiction, writing romantic fiction in my spare time was a release. My stories were made-up and barely plausible, and I loved them. My reading tastes were similar—the grander and more far-fetched the better (as long as the stories were set in present times and had a happy ending). My writing and my reading were an extension of my imagination—convoluted and lofty. *grins*
But then I quit my non-fiction job and started writing fiction fulltime. And the longer I wrote fiction and learned about the publishing industry, the more my writing “calmed down.” I strove for stories that would resonate with readers, paint a truer picture of interpersonal relationships, not alienate with too much wealth, power or beauty, and seem plausible. And damn, I struggled, because my brain doesn’t naturally work like that. Crazy things happen in there.
I’m reading a book right now that I suspect a few people will brush off because it’s a real stretch in the plausibility department. There’s no major angst and little heavy backstory and emotional scars. What’s there is handled without melodrama. And while there’s sexual tension, so far, deep into the 80,000-word book, there is no rush to hit the sheets. It’s a funny, flirty, far-fetched love story, and I ADORE it. I’ve missed books like this. Why aren’t we writing fiction anymore? (I say that tongue-in-cheek of course.) Why is everyone so broken and realistic?
Now, that’s not to say I don’t like a good meaty read with darker characters. I do from time to time. I understand the arguments for realism in fiction, but I happen to be one of those people who prefers to read about the impossible happening. (Maybe that’s because I don’t believe anything is impossible—but I’ll save that for another post.) And I don’t know…maybe this isn’t an issue in other genres. The bottom line is I worry the pressure on writers, especially new writers, to follow the trends and write to specific publishers and even people (editors, agents, other writers, friends) will sanitize the fiction pot. It sure as heck takes the joy out of writing for me.
It comes down to personal preference. It ALWAYS does. That’s why they say write the book you want to read. You won’t please everyone with it, but when it hits the hands of a likeminded person, you’ll make their day.