April OWLs

Hoot, hoot, hoot, its the April OWLs (with apologies to ‘Little April Showers).

Once again, we had two fantastic OWLs for the month, one for before you’ve finished your book and one for after, with two fantastic presenters.  Details are below, so check them out!

Please note: our booking system doesn’t allow us to take bookings after the courses start, which, in both cases, is the 3rd of April – so don’t delay!

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You’ve written a manuscript – how to get it to the next stage? Self-editing bootcamp for writers will show you how to be objective about your own work. Structure is your friend! Edit your own manuscript: More details and booking here
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Spielberg Eat Your Heart Out!
Whether you’re a novice or more seasoned writer (mmm, seasoned), most authors face a major challenge: ‘How to successfully promote hundreds of pages of written text into one effective cover image, blurb, post, tweet…’. The answer is simple: You create a highly shareable, HD Book Trailer of Epic Awesomeness! Join our short course by clicking the link below on creating your very own Book Trailer so you can begin to get your books noticed! …Awesome Book Trailers: more details and booking here

There’s time for one more OWL this year!

5 Reasons to Take Short Story Writing

With NaNo going in full swing, and end-of-the-year deadlines looming, it’s the perfect time to add in one more project, right?

  1. Learn how to write short!

It’s a given, right? Every time I teach a workshop, some students say they tend to write LONG, so they’re looking for tips to tighten their storylines.

  1. Potential for publication

The ultimate goal in the course is to complete a short story, and submit it for a call. If you need that added umpf to hit “send,” this class may be for you!

  1. Gain inspiration

You can either come to the class with an idea, or discover a new one. Many people are amazed at the variety of Calls for Submission out there. Need a story idea? You may find food for your muse.

  1. Take a writing “break”

Turning toward writing short stories or novellas between longer works acts as a way to take a mini-break. Write a bridge between stories or perhaps a shorter piece to kick off a new series.

  1. Make an end-of-the-year goal

Yes, it’s December, and 2017 is sprinting toward us. It’s also the last push before the end of the year. Make it a goal to finish a story this year.

Hope to see you there! For more information, visit:

http://romanceaustralia.com/owl-writing-the-short-story-for-submission/

Louisa Bacio

November OWL 1. Self-Publishing for Beginners with Cathleen Ross

Ever wondered if self-publishing is for you but haven’t quite been able to navigate your way through to make the decision? Cathleen Ross has the answers in one of our two November OWLs

Course Dates: 01/11/2016 – 28/11/2016

Cost: RWA Member – $30. Non-RWA Member – $40.

Register at:  http://www.romanceaustralia.com/owl/25

cathleen-ross

Self Publishing Made Easy, coming in November 2016

 My name is Cathleen Ross and I’ve been self publishing since 2011. As a member of RWA for over twenty years, I’ve seen a lot of changes.  When I went to RWA in America in 2010, I saw a lot of known and not so well known writers taking their careers into their own hands and self publishing. They wanted to do things their way and self publishing gave them the chance.

I don’t consider myself particularly technical but I can follow instructions if they’re outlined properly. If you feel the same way then this online course is for you because I’ve got it down to 5 easy steps.

Since 2011, I’ve written and formatted twelve different books/novellas/short stories and one boxed set. And guess what! I’m earning seventy percent royalties on my work priced 2.99 and over on Amazon, which beats anything a publisher can offer. Bear in mind, that once you self publish you become the publisher which means you are responsible for buying a cover, the blurb, marketing and uploading your story. It is doable and fun.

As a pioneer in this country of self publishing, and a trainer with 30 years experience, I’m on a mission to make it possible for you because I think every writer shouldhave this skill. I will answer all your questions and encourage a friendly online classroom where students also chip in and help others. When I’ve run this course in the past, I’ve found some of my students are smarter with covers and writing blurbs than I am but I’m not fussed. The more you jump in there and participate, the more encouragement you’ll get from me so you get the best product possible.

I am what as known as a hybrid author, published with traditional publishers while also self-publishing my own titles.

The advent of commercially viable self-publishing has meant unprecedented  opportunities for authors to get their stories out to the reading public all over the world.

I’m going to show you how to prepare your manuscripts for self-publication and how to use three platforms Smashwords, Draft to Digital and Amazon so you can choose where and when you would like to self publish.

You don’t need to be a graphic designer. You do not have to know any HTML. You do need to invest time and energy in getting your book as good as it can possibly be.

Remember readers love buying ebooks. They don’t care who the publisher is so long as they are good, professionally produced books they love.

Come and learn an essential skill for your future.

Best

Cathleen Ross

 

Subjects to be covered in this four-week OWL

Information on selling platforms: Smashwords, Amazon, itunes etc; Steps involved in uploading a story; Editing; Covers; Formatting; Blurbs – what makes a good blurb, what to put in, what to leave out etc; Marketing / Advertising/ The latest sites/results and numbers; Business Practices, setting up bank accounts, issues with US payments etc; ITIN numbers; Accounting Issues either as individuals / setting up as a group publisher; Links  / info on where to find following services – covers, editing, etc; What makes a good BIO.

 

Cathleen Ross thinks self-publishing is akin to the invention of the printing press. Ahead of the wave, she started self-publishing in 2011 and has watched her income from writing grow. She believes this medium should be available to all writers. Cathleen is also published with Harlequin, Escape publishing and Random House.  Four of her titles, both indie and conventionally published, have hit the Amazon best-seller lists this year. Cathleen has the Smashwords document down to five easy steps that go to Premium status. She is a qualified teacher (BA Dip.Ed and Grad. Dip Communications Management) and a published author/editor. She has taught for RWA (Australia), The Society of Women Authors, RWA (USA) and run a number of online workshops. Please see www.cathleenross.com for a list her of publications.

cathleen-ross

 

October new releases

Whew! It’s October already. Competition season is upon us and there is no substitute for reading when it comes to improving your craft. It’s one of the myriad benefits of being a romance writer and reader – you can educate yourself and enjoy yourself at the same time!

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A Tale Of Three Publishers with Amy Andrews

It’s a brave new world in publishing.  New boutique publishers, traditional publishers’ new digital imprints and self-publishing are offering authors more options than ever before.  But what is it like to juggle multiple options?  We invited RWA past president, Amy Andrews, to tell us…

A TALE OF THREE PUBLISHERS

Firstly, let me just say how thrilling it was to attend the Gold Coast conference this weekend just gone. I’m suffering from beach and female-chit-chat withdrawal and my bed just wasn’t the same last night after the cloud-like comfort of my giant one at the QT.

I’m so excited about the absolute buzz that pervaded the conference – that it’s never been a better time to be an author (particularly a romance author) with all these new options open to us. New digital lines both here and overseas and finally finally Australian publishers telling us – we want your stories!

Yes, we have choices now. And you know what? You’d be mad if you didn’t explore and grab hold of every single one. The key, these days, to longevity in this business is diversifying. And I’m happy as a clam to now be working with three publishers.

So who are they and how do they stack up?

Entangled Publishing –

In case anyone didn’t hear my squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee from the bar on Sunday night at the conference, my Indulgence published by Entangled Publishing has just gone live. Taming the Tycoon had a gooooorgeous cover and well, who doesn’t love a good tycoon?

Entangled are the new kids on the block but they are making a huge impact with phenomenal success. They are young and smart and small enough still to be quick and nimble and their willingness to adapt swiftly to market has been inspirational. And their philosophy of “no book left behind” is heart-warming to authors who have suffered through decades of “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks”. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with them.

Harlequin –

I’ve written 29 books, both for the Medical and RIVA/Presents Extra/KISS lines for this hugely successful international publisher. HMB have defined “romance” for decades and need no introduction. One of the highlights of the conference was receiving my 25th pin on Thursday night at the Harlequin authors dinner which included some lovely words from my gorgeous London ed Lucy. For eight years they have taken my stories to the world – THE WORLD – with translations in over a dozen languages. In a world dominated by the 50 Shades hype that tells you you’re intellectually inferior to enjoy romance, I have loved being part of the Harlequin family and am proud to call myself a Harlequin author.

Harper Collins Australia –

Writing single title is an entirely different beast to writing category romance but some things never change – the relationship with your editor. And working with Anna Valdinger on the tandem novel Sister Pact I wrote with my sister has been a truly wonderful experience. From edits to story direction to cover concepts it’s been an interesting ride being out there in the Australian market with all the other “big” books but she’s been with us every step of the way. The local market is much smaller and much, much harder to “crack” and that had been a true learning experience. But I’m so happy that it’s opening up to more of us.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have three different, diverse publishers who are invested in me. Me. So my advice is to get yourself out there and take advantage of all the new choices that are around today. And don’t lock yourself in to just one place. Once upon time that was the done thing but remember, this is your career and you have to do what is best for you.

And sometimes that means sharing the love 🙂

Amy Andrews writes category romance for both Harlequin and Entangled and contemporary women’s fiction for Harper Collins Australia under her real name Ali Ahearn. She was on the RWA national executive for six years during which time she organised two conferences and undertook a two-year term as president. You can read more about her at www.amyandrews.com.au

Keep Writing – by Anne Gracie

Today we have a guest blogger, the lovely Anne Gracie, with a post on getting yourself going – just in time for 50k in 30 days!
If you like this, and want more Anne, she is involved in a Winter Writing Workshop this June in Melbourne.  Details at the bottom of this post.

Hi all, Anne Gracie here. I’ve spoken in a few places about the importance of writing regularly — I firmly believe that writing is like a muscle, and the more you do the better you get. The trouble is, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to write.

Or is it?

How much time do you really need to write?

I take quite a lot of writing classes, and in almost all of them I ask participants to do at least one writing exercise. To start with, we talk about some idea, toss around a few possibilities to get the mind spinning, and then I say, “Write.” (Oh, the power <g>)

And for 10—15 minutes, people write. Sometimes it takes them a few minutes to get going, sometimes there’s a false start or two, but usually after a few minutes everyone is writing. And by the time I say “Stop.” most people aren’t ready to stop — they could go on for quite a bit longer. But in that 10—15 minutes most people write around a page — some do more, others less, but for most people, it’s around 250 words.

If you wrote 250 words a day every day for a year, you’d have a novel.

Or, to put it another way, if you wrote for 15 minutes a day, every day for a year, you’d have a novel.

Ok, you’d probably need to put in some longer stints, and do some rewriting, but the hardest thing about starting writing is . . . starting.

I know. I’m a champion procrastinator. I tend to put off starting, knowing I’m going to be chained to the computer for the rest of the day — or thinking it. It’s not actually true. But even if I’m seated at my computer, all ready to work, I still come up with all sorts of reasons why I’m not going to start writing just yet — I need to check my email and see if my editor or agent has written, I should just pop into facebook or twitter for a moment, after all, social networking is important, etc. — the excuses could go on for hours.

So for me, the way to start is to do a writing exercise of some kind. Just for fifteen minutes.

One of my favorite writing routines is what I call “doing Dorothea.” It’s explained more fully here ( http://www.annegracie.com/writing/DorotheaBrande.html ) but basically it involves doing two planned stints of writing every day. The first is first thing in the morning, and the second is when you make an appointment to write — you look at your schedule for the day and work out a time when you’ll have 15 minutes free to write. And then you keep that appointment religiously.

Once you start doing that for a week or so — the morning writing and the appointment to write — you’ll find that your resistance to starting is slowly disappearing. And your writing muscle is getting stronger.

So most mornings, whether I’m doing Dorothea or not, I’ll sit down at the table, set the alarm for 15 minutes, and write. I’m not a great typist — I’m fast but the typos fly —and for me, handwriting is the easiest because the typos invite in the internal editor, and for this exercise, I don’t want that internal editor anywhere near me. But there’s no right way to do it — go with whatever suits you best.

And by the time the timer goes off, I’m well into the writing zone.

There’s also a secret to making your fifteen minutes really productive.

Remember when I said that in my writing classes, we talk about the scene we’re going to write, and toss around some ideas before we start. It really helps if you can think a bit about your scene before you try to write it. Once you get into the habit of this, you’ll find you can plot while you’re going all sorts of other things, and then, when you come to write, the scene will just flow out of you.

Start by writing a list of “what-ifs” — brainstorming possibilities for the scene.

If you find yourself unable to decide whose point of view, or whether to have the scene on a bus or in the bedroom, or make them fight or make love, just toss a coin and go with the flow. You can always rewrite, and it’ll be stronger for the rewriting.

And if you don’t have a scene in mind, try the “classic” kind of writing exercises:

* mood pieces inspired by scents or sounds or places:

eg the smell of a bakery early in the morning

eg sound of rain on the roof at night, a feeling of safety, a time to dream…

* write an ‘in-the-moment’ piece from your character’s point of view.

Where are they? What are they seeing, smelling , hearing, touching, etc.

* recreate an important memory from your character’s childhood:

– have them tell someone.

* write a conversation between two characters where one of them is trying to conceal something

* a piece of sexy flirting – just hurl the dialogue down. It might sound stiff at first, but soon it’ll flow.

* your character comes into a room unexpectedly and finds. . .

* think about a situation a character would hate and put them into it. Then write the scene.

Start a file of possible exercises. I have a box of little cards with idea and writing exercises on them. There are times when I just want to write something different, and so I pull one out at random and write in response.

It doesn’t matter if you never use any of these scenes — it’s only 15 minutes of your day, and you’ve strengthened your writing muscles anyway and added to your toolbox of writing techniques. But I bet you’ll find that you use a lot.

So start exercising those writing muscles and get into a routine of writing. There’s only one way to write a novel — word by word, page by page, fifteen minutes by fifteen minutes.

Winter Writing Workshop

Anne Gracie is taking writing workshops in Melbourne on the weekend of June 15th—17th, along with Crime writer Shane Maloney and Kate Forsyth.

It sounds like a wonderful weekend of workshops and Melbourne Uni is a lovely venue (Ed.)

More information here:

http://winterwritingworkshops.weebly.com/

First published by Harlequin, Anne Gracie is now with Berkley USA/Penguin Australia. She’s a three-time RITA finalist, has twice won the Romantic Book of the Year (Australia) and the National Reader’s Choice Award in the USA, and was listed in Library Journal (USA) best books of the year. Five of her books have received DIK (Desert Island Keepers) status on All About Romance, and she’s been translated into sixteen different languages. Anne is proud to be a Lifetime Member of Romance Writers of Australia.

www.annegracie.com

A Day in the Writing Life of … Chris Taylor

This week we are featuring a day in the writing life of Chris Taylor who writes romantic suspense and who recently made the finals in the single title section of this year’s RWA Emerald Contest. Welcome, Chris.

What time of the day do you write?      For the last three years, I had the luxury of being a stay-at-home mum to five children. I used to write every day from 9am until about 3pm, only taking breaks for morning tea and lunch and when my three year old demanded my attention (sometimes more often than others!). This year, I returned to part time work (3 days a week) and I’m finding it hard to get back into a regular writing schedule. At the moment, I write mostly at night after the kids have gone to bed.

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place?      I have a great office with a huge screen desktop, fan, bottle of water and tube of lip gloss all within easy reach. I have a wonderful view outside my window onto the Nandewar Ranges, which is lovely.  I always take my laptop if I’m out and have it at the ready if I get a spare moment to work on my WIP. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to block out a lot of extraneous noise and distraction and just focus on my work (comes from years of living with 5 young kids!)

Is there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?     My inspiration for my characters often comes from a song. I love country music and anyone who knows anything about country music knows that the songs are usually tales of woe and bad luck – he’s lost his girl, his horse, his dog. . . you get the picture. If I’m getting nowhere with a story, I will often play the song that initially inspired me over and over and try and “become” the story the singer was aiming for.

 What’s the first think you do before you begin to write?      I like to re-read anything I’ve written the day/night before first thing the next day before I sit down to write anything new. I edit as I go although sometimes I know something’s not quite right and I just can’t find the right words. During these times, I write the passage in bold and underlined, so I can find it easily later and have another crack at it.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?      I am more of a plotter. I usually do a rough, handwritten draft before I start writing anything on the computer, just in general point form. Chapter by chapter, I set out the main points I want brought out in each chapter. This can change as I begin actually putting my draft  down in book form, but I do refer to my initial draft quite frequently and the story does tend to stay fairly true to my original draft. Occasionally my story takes a completely different turn and I then adapt my draft accordingly.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?     I try very hard to set writing goals every day. Before I returned to work, I had a goal of writing 3000 words a day, which I usually met. At the moment, I’m a little more relaxed and my writing output has definitely suffered. I’m determined to get back into setting a daily goal and having regular writing sessions.

What writing tools do you favour?      Apart from my very first handwritten draft which really only covers the three or four major points which will arise in each chapter, I write everything on the computer. I’m lucky to be a fairly fast typist, and couldn’t imagine writing a book longhand. I am very much in awe of any writer who can accomplish this!

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?     I do keep a timeline separate from my WIP so I keep a handle on whether it should be day or night the next day, the next week etc over the course of my story. I also do a character profile on each of the main characters before I start and this gets added to from time to time as the story develops.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?     I have a really, really good office chair and footstool that do their best to keep my posture correct. I tend to suffer from mild carpel tunnel syndrome too, so I generally wear wrist supports if I’m going to be at my keyboard for the day. I always have a bottle of water on my desk and usually go through three or four bottles a day if I’m in the zone.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?      My desk is usually quite tidy. I hate working in a messy environment and I’m a very organised person. At the moment, my desk is a mess and gives me mild stress every time I sit down. I’m in the middle of preparing three quarterly BAS statements for my husband’s business and organising an overseas trip for me and my family. There are passport applications, photos, tour books and other paraphernalia spread all over the place!

What is your favourite form of procrastination? Do you have any tips to beat off that old foe “procrastination”?     Procrastination can cripple all of us. The biggest thing I try to do is visualise the scene I’m intending to write before I write it. Ie. I will think about the scene while I’m in bed or on the toilet (sorry , too much information!!) and try and get a clear picture of what is going to happen, what’s going to be said, etc. That way, when I do sit down to write it (usually the next day), the scene is already in my head – I just have to get it down. The other way I fend off procrastination is to set a daily writing goal – I know I will have to keep banging away at the keyboard until I reach it, so the longer it takes, the longer I’m in there. . .

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?   The last thing I do after any writing session is SAVE my work at least THREE times – to my desktop, a USB stick and to my online backup. Those hard-fought words are just too precious to lose.

You can read more about me and my books at my website www.christaylorauthor.com.au

 Thank you, Chris, for sharing a day in your writing life.

Bundaberg Writefest

From time to time, our members, being the fabulous writers, presenters and cool types that they are, are invited to be involved in non-RWA writing events (yes, we share them, we’re generous like that).  One such event is the Bundaberg Writefest, the annual festival of the Bundaberg Writers Club, which is on NEXT WEEKEND at CQ University, University Drive, Bundaberg (Queensland, for non-locals!)  RWA Member Kerri Lane (aka Kaz Delaney) is presenting and provided us with this write-up to whet your appetite.  Places are going fast, so if you are interested, you might want to pop over here and check out the booking details.

Writefest or Droolfest?

Bundaberg Writefest   19th-20th May, 2012.

It’s going to be a hot time in old Bundaberg next week and I can hardly wait!

What’s going down?

The famous Writefest!! I was absolutely stoked when organiser Sandy Curtis invited me to share the stage (figuratively speaking) with some amazing people.

Honestly! When I read the names of the other speakers I immediately went into drool mode and started plotting some bizarre sci-fi manipulation that would allow me to be in two or three places at the same time! Holograms anyone?

Yeah, well – considering that my technological proficiency leaves a lot to be desired, maybe that’s not going to happen. I mean – hello? I’ve had my new Smart Phone for a week now and so far I can work the torch and give minute by minute weather reports! You want to shed light on your immediate surrounds or know if it’s going to rain tomorrow? I’m your girl…   Holograms? Cloning? Deep sigh…

I think it’s safe to say that See-Thru, Mini-Me won’t be out front offering writing insights – but thinking, breathing me – will be.

And so what will ‘Thinking-Breathing Me’ be talking about? Well I’m quite excited as I’m going to be offering my thoughts on how to get published in the Education Market – which has been a huge part of my life for sixteen years or more and has resulted in over 60 books – and also in an unrelated session, my alter-ego Kaz Delaney will be offering thoughts on what it takes to be a YA author – which just happens to be my other passion and has resulted in 11 books so far!

I’m also stoked that my amazing editor Rachael Donovan from  Allen & Unwin will be taking pitches as well. It’s kind of our first public date and I’m pretty pumped. What to wear… What to wear…

Just as exciting is that the lovely Lindy Cameron, founder and publisher of Australia’s own Clan Destine Press will also be conducting author/publisher interviews.

And if that doesn’t make you weak at the knees, 😉  – there might just be a couple of other people who’ll do it for you.

  • Marianne de Pierres who writes sci fi and fantasy
  • Dr John Clarke who’ll get inside the criminal mind.
  • Meg Vann manager of the Australian Writers Marketplace – on digital publishing.
  • Marianne Delacourt Humorous-crime writer
  • Lisa Blainey-Lewin Twine Marketing Publicist  – marketer

For more information on all of the presenters, click here.

This year’s WriteFest also includes a a full day Master Class on Sunday with RWAust member and respected workshop presenter Louise Cusack!

Here’s the blurb:

International Award winning fantasy author and RWA member Louise Cusack will be teaching the Sunday Masterclass (sadly, now fully booked – Ed.) on From character to plot: creating page-turning novels from the characters up, a prelude to her workshop at the RWA conference in August.  As well as writing novels, Louise is also a professional manuscript assessor and writing mentor, with four of her clients published by major print publishing houses and many more finaling in competitions and development programs.  Louise will be in attendance on the Saturday of Writefest to speak to writers individually about their manuscript assessment and mentoring needs during the day.

There’s not much time and not many places left – but I truly urge  you to run – not walk (surely you can run in stilettos?) to the Writefest website and check it out.  You won’t be disappointed.

www.bundywriters.com

www.kazdelaney.com

A Day in the Writing Life of … Sharon Sherry

Today we welcome, Sharon Sherry, who has kindly agreed to share a day in her writing life. Sharon writes in the category Sexy line and is looking forward to her trip to NYC in September where she hopes to get more great ideas for her writing.

What time of the day do you write?      Mornings now. I used to try and write at night after coming home brain dead until I read one of the RWA ladies say that if you have a busy job that requires you to think a lot, write BEFORE you go to work.

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place?      I hadn’t written for the longest time and have recently started again. I have an office that I rarely use as I often find myself sitting at the kitchen table.

 Is there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?      I think about all the wonderful women I’ve met who are successful…and want to be amongst them as a published author. To do that, one needs to actually write! And so it goes. 

What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?      I make that heart-starting first cup of coffee. There’s no point talking to me until then.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?      I have morphed into a plantser…that’s a pantser who’s trying hard to become a plotter (they’re so much better organised). I used to edit as I went until Cath Evans got me out of the habit during an early BIAW. Now I go hell-for-leather while the muse is on my shoulder and worry about editing later.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?      As I said, I hadn’t written much – only just returned to it in the past few months – so the schedule is simply to put something on the page.

What writing tools do you favour? Long hand, computer ….. I love the computer…and the message area on my smartphone where I put those little thoughts that occur on the bus on the way to work. A fun toy I enjoy is Write or Die (set a word goal and a time frame and go for it!). I have downloaded Scrivener but haven’t had time to learn how to use it and I don’t want to waste a day of the 30 day trial they give you.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?      I have a GMC laminated page that I’m trying to use as outlined in Deb Dixon’s GMC book… as well as an image board to keep my characters and settings firmly in mind (gotta love the McGrath home sales book…wonderful inspiration for all those mansions I like to write about).

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?      By changing my writing time to before work, it’s write, write, write, rush into the shower and get ready and get out the door. That is my exercise for the day!

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?      Different coloured fine pens for editing and doodling, a vase of glass roses from my Mum, headphones to drown out distractions, the post-it notes I use when rogue thoughts appear or a GMC needs changes, the image boards to keep my characters in my sights when my thoughts wander.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?      Procrastinate? Me? I confess that reading works by other writers (aka “research”) is my favourite. There’s that old hint (and I paraphrase) “You can fix up something you’ve written, but you can’t fix an empty page”…so I start with a mind map to get the creative juices flowing again. Sometimes a mind map takes me to some cool places.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     A word count and a big, fat sigh of satisfaction that I’ve done it!

I don’t have a website yet but finally have a Twitter presence “@ssherryaus” but it’s mostly about following my author friends and supporting them by re-tweets and comments. It’s good practice for the time when I’m announcing great news.

 Sherry, thank you for sharing your writing life with us.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Erin Moira O’Hara

Today we feature a day in the writing life of Erin Kuhne who writes stories of romance, adventure and suspense under the name of Erin O’Hara. Welcome, Erin, and thank you for participating.

Where do you write?      I have a beautiful old antique desk in the corner of an alcove and this is where I usually do my writing.  We are in the process of building a new home at the moment and once it’s finished, I will have my own study, opening onto a Tuscan courtyard and I can’t wait.

Is there any special rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?   I always make a cup of tea before I sit down and again whenever I’m struggling with a sentence, word or scene and it always seems to work.

What time of day do you do your writing?     Because I work three of four days a week, I do most of my writing in the evenings or weekends if we aren’t doing anything else and I always read over the previous days work, usually finding something to change or correct.

Are you a plotter / planner of pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?     I’m a Bitza. I have an idea and I try to plot and plan but next thing I know I’m off on a tangent creating as I go. I also edit as I go and again when I read over my previous days work and again at the end of the chapter. I think I’m a compulsive tweaker.

Do you use whiteboards, posters or visual aids to help in your creativity?     I use a whiteboard, the Internet, poster notes, collages and writing pads, although most of my writing ideas come to me as I’m writing or when I go to bed and think about what I’ve just written.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?     Heavens I can name more than five. I have a corkboard on the wall with photos, sticky notes, friend’s emails, goals and upcoming competitions, plastered all over it.  On my desk I have photos, a cup full of pens, some writing craft books an old bankers lamp and my computer.

I have recent created both a website and blog and you can find out more about me at : http://erinmoiraohara.wordpress.com

 I also belong to a great writing group called Hunter Romance Writers where I have a little blurb about myself and my writing. You can find us all there under; http://hunterromancewriters.wordpress.com

Thanks, Erin, for sharing your writing life with us and thank you also, for the plus about our group – wink.

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