I finished writing Defending Evangeline yesterday! Woot! It’s longer than my usual story, and it about killed me!
Today will be a busy one. I have to do a final readthrough before I ship DE off to my sister. The story “lives” in her Brotherhood Protectors–Team Trojan world. As soon as I finish that, I’ll be editing one final story for the Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, which releases October 12th! Then it’s straight to another author’s story I have to wrap up the edits for by Friday! Yes, a big busy day!!! Oh, the glamorous life of an author-editor!
Tomorrow, I start another book with a VERY SHORT deadline. Yeah, I’ll be typing until my fingers are little stumps—oh, wait! They already are! But enough whining.
Let me know what stories you’re looking forward to reading, not just mine!And be sure to enter the contests I have listed below. They’re still open!
I’m on a downhill slide to the finish line with my story Chase! So, I’m keeping my head down and not letting distractions interfere with me reaching The End. The story is ten times sexier than I thought it would be, but that’s because Chase is a very high-T guy. Yup. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. In the meantime, be sure to check out all these open contests! Two of them wrap up tomorrow, so enter today!
I spent years in the Army, years in a corporate cubicle, a stint in a classroom, a non-profit, etc. My time was mine to manage inside my employers’ bubbles. In fact, I was a project/program manager for years, and I planned work for others. None of that really prepared me for being a self-employed, full-time writer.
Most days, I happily hit the keyboard. I’m enthused about my story that has a drop-dead date to complete or I’m staring at a deadline to return a set of edits. Deadlines do help with motivation. However, there are days when I have my lovely month-ahead calendar sitting in front of me, with all the work parsed into numbers of pages to get me to the finish line within a very doable timeframe, when I look at it and think: But I don’t wanna. Not today.
This week is soooooo hard. It’s the last week of school for our four online students. Their mother and I have been their support/mentors/tutors all year long, bending our work schedules around theirs to make sure everything gets done.
Online schooling is hard. But we managed to help all four kids, 7 through 16-years-old, get through it. And we managed to have fun along the way, with family movie or game nights and special dinner rewards, and with limited excursions to the park or the flea market (large areas, few people). We’ve followed the rules and kept everyone healthy and happy for 14 months. We’ve drawn closer as a family because we had to be each others’ friends and playmates.
During all of this, I have managed to write. Not as prolifically as I did maybe eight years ago, but more so than I did three years ago. I carved out hours in my schedule to retreat to my “mole hole” and write.
So, why am I dragging ass lately? We’ve made it through a huge commitment. Next year, we’ll only have one child staying home because the rest have been vaccinated, and all of us have learned how to use a mask. Next year, should be easier, right? A cakewalk, really.
So, back to why I want to blow off today… There’s not anything special happening to draw my attention. I simply don’t want to open the files I need to open and bury myself in another world. I want to drink some coffee, sit on the back patio, and play some Charm King on my phone. Something that will add pages to write to all the days that follow.
In my brain, that seems like a wonderful tradeoff—until tomorrow morning comes.
I love this quote…
My answer today is tomorrow!
For a chance to win your choice of a download of one of my books, share a motivational quote or tell me how you deal with self-motivation. Are you a Last-Minute-Mary or do you do today so tomorrow is free?
Hello, my name is Anna Hague, and thank you to Delilah for letting me be a guest blogger.
As I’m sure many authors do, I get asked many questions about my creative process. Where do you get your ideas? How can you come up with so many stories? Are your characters hard to write? Where do you get your names?
Bingo! I think that may be one of the hardest parts of writing. Your characters’ histories and personalities are important, but their names have to be perfect for their character. I was once halfway through writing a book for a publisher, and it wasn’t working. I didn’t have a tight deadline, but nonetheless, I had a tentative deadline for a book I wasn’t happy with. What was wrong with it?
I read through the entire manuscript searching for the problem. Every time I read the hero’s name, I cringed. This guy wasn’t a Jason Mathews—not at all. His name removed every bit of sex appeal I knew this guy had. Who was he?
One evening, I was watching Dateline. I love analyzing where exactly the criminal went wrong in case I need to commit the perfect crime. The lead detective’s last name on this murder investigation was Caldera. The name danced into my brain, reclined on red velvet sheets all while eating 70 percent dark chocolate. Conjuring up images of my dark-haired hero with olive skin, the name Caldera personified who I wanted him to be.
Now, for the first name. This is where I have a treasure trove of possibilities. In my other job, I’m a sports journalist, and for the last several years I’ve taken a less stressful version of the job and do freelance reporting for our local high school sports. Every event I go to, I grab a program or lineup list. These team lineups are priceless, and almost every name I have in a book has come from these lists.
The women in my novels, written and to be written, include an Allee, Haley, Emma, Sabrina, Evangeline, Rose, Avery, Lily, and more. My men are Jamey, Cameron, Tyler, Keller, Devon, Adrian, Maverick and Jordan.
Maverick was perfect for Thunderstruck because it’s set at a ranch in South Dakota. When I was writing the paranormal story, I found two kids on the boys’ soccer team named Maverick and knew I had the right name. Who became Mr. Caldera? Jordan. Jordan Caldera replaced Jason Mathews, and then the story sizzled.
Still on my list of athletes are Cannon, Thunder (who incidentally batted back to back in the baseball lineup), Gator, and Tremor. These are real names, not nicknames, and somewhere there has to be a story for all of them, but right now, they’ve yet to wander onto the page. Right now, I’ve got a Rose and Aaron and a Devon and Lily to deal with.
Thank God for high school sports.
Check out the word search below and find ten names I mentioned in my character list. Email me with your answers, and I will choose a random winner for a $10 Amazon card. Contest ends June 1. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Anna Hague spends part of her days in the writing cave creating her own spin on love stories. The other part of her days, she is a freelance sports reporter crafting stories about a variety of athletic events including high school, college, and professional level sports.
Anna reads all sorts of love stories, and she writes the same way. She has an erotic romance series with Wild Rose Press and has published the contemporary romance Heart Series and opened up the paranormal Storm Canyon Series with the first book Thunderstruck.
She lives in Central Indiana with her husband, three parrots, and two dogs.
Her motto: Creating different paths to love because different is the only way I know.
Greetings all! When I brainstorm ideas for blog posts, the first question I always ask myself is what are readers interested in and what new something about those topics am I able to bring to the table. My default answer is always: books. But what specifically about books? Romance. Yes, but that’s still vague. So, then, I began to think about the different kinds of romances—historical, regency, erotic, romantic comedy, inspirational romance, speculative romance, romantic suspense, etc. I asked myself what I could comment on each of them that would be noteworthy.
My second act when deciding on a theme or issue is to scroll through my past posts to avoid duplication of topics, unless it is my specific intention to update an older post that has become obsolete. I always want to provide fresh and interesting content, and that can be made difficult when blogging weekly, especially when one has been doing it for years. I also want to ensure that I write accurate information. There’s nothing worse than reading an article that is jammed with misinformation, incomplete, or not well thought out.
This brings me to my third question. I must ask myself if there is another material available for me to write a post that will do the topic justice. Let me tell you, this topic came extremely close to failing to meet this criterion. I’ve had plenty of blog ideas that I’ve had to nix simply because I did not have enough supporting documentation. Search engines for this subject were not my friend, and part of that has to do with the name which I’ll briefly discuss later. I wasted hours reading through articles that didn’t help. (And as an aside, this is how writers and bloggers fall down that proverbial writing rabbit hole. They begin searching for one thing and end up looking at everything else that gets thrown in their path on their search. I don’t know how many times I catch myself asking, “What’s that?” Then, off I go to chase the white rabbit knowing good and doggone well what happened to Alice. Forget finding the queen. Off with my own head. One would think I would have learned by now. But anyway…
Today was no different than any other day for me deciding on a topic, except I found myself having a hard time focusing. Nothing was popping, and everything seemed a distraction. I finally decided to revert to my handy dandy massive pile of spirals that I have stacked in a box. This is where I take notes when working on novels or important takeaways from edits. Truthfully, there’s no telling what one will find in those things. But I digress. As I flipped through one of my writing notebooks, I noticed a question that I had scribbled in the margin and had long forgotten. But I do remember the conversations that followed. An idea began to formulate. Read the rest of this entry »
Being a writer—no, being a successful writer—isn’t only about getting words on pages. I wish it worked that way, but in the real world, or at least for the independently published authors…
We write a book
We scrounge for cover art to hand to the cover artist
We look for decent editors (or in my case since I am an editor, good beta readers to find my errors)
We pay or learn to format our books ourselves
We upload the books on all the platforms where people buy books
And then…we try to figure out how to get people to notice our book amid the millions of books available on all those platforms.
And that’s where you can really fall down that rabbit hole and waste an inordinate amount of time while you try to figure out what works.
I have a website. That’s a must for authors—the first order of business for any author.
I have a blog. Now, authors say blogs are dead, but I think mine does okay. See the number of folks on the left who get this daily post mailed straight to their inbox? I choose to continue this blog because it serves as my “face” to the real world out there. I talk about what’s real in my life. I talk about my books. I invite other authors to come to talk about their lives and their books. It’s a friendly place. But as an author, I have to do so much more.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… Gah. How can I be in all places at all times? Simply put, I can’t. And I do not want to pay someone to manage my social media, even though I’ve seen some authors who have the right support do very, very well. You see, I tried it, but it was work managing that support and I don’t really want anything more on my plate. I’ll do the occasional Facebook and Amazon ad and call it done.
And then my dd offered to do something for me.
She noticed all those lovely, luscious book memes on Instagram and Facebook and wondered why I wasn’t doing them. I told her flat out I didn’t have the time or the talent. Since she’s got online school to supervise every day and has to sit in the livingroom or dining room with the kids anyway, and it doesn’t take up every second of her time, she said she’d give it a shot. It looked like fun to her. Fun?! Of course, I worried about what those ads might look like because her taste and mine are not the same, and she doesn’t read romance, doesn’t get the genre at all.
But hey. She wanted to help.
So, for a little over a month now, I give her a cover and maybe a snippet about the book or a piece of an Amazon customer’s review and off she goes.
I told her donuts and the color pink feature in my latest release, Preacher…
And I thought, That’s alright. At least people will stop and look.
And then she saw my cover for my next release, Hardman, and asked whether I had more art with this guy because she said he was hot! This one’s simple. Stark. Sexy. I like it!
And she’s only gotten better. I wanted her to go back and do memes for books I already have out there but folks might have forgotten exist or had no idea they existed…
I had this Texas Cowboy story about a wild-child judge’s daughter who gets caught going Lady Godiva on a motorcycle by a pair of Dom deputies… She found this art!
The story that followed was about a schoolteacher voyeur spying on a deputy’s playroom. This one’s just too cute!
When she put all the Texas Cowboys together, she did this and I snorted with laughter.
My favorites so far? I love, love the biker girl and voyeur girl, but I love this one too!
And has it helped? I really think so. When I look at my sales on Amazon, there are more of my older titles selling, so I’m going to keep her employed for the longterm doing my memes. She’s becoming a goddess (and a godsend—just one more thing I don’t have to worry about)!
What do you think? And which is your favorite image from the ones I provided. Comment for a chance to win a backlisted title of your choice!
I feel like I have to explain my desk before I start. 🙂
The document on the bottom is my bloggers’ schedule. Duh. Anything that says “DD” is mine. So yes, I do “pencil” in my guests on a hard copy. The squishy toy on the left is a fish squishy the 7-year-old gave me when she heard I was scouring the house for the stress ball my physical therapist recommended I exercise my hand with. She said it would be better because it’s softer. LOL. She’s really sweet. The tile on the right says “Artist” and it was from the 16-year-old, who gave it to me for my birthday this year. I love messy paintbrushes—to me, they are a testament to the work that, lately, fills my “well” with happiness. The pretty jar holds a tiny, very fragrant candle I light when I want to improve my mood. And in the bottom right corner is my mom’s mousepad with all the presidents through 45 on it. I gave up my Thor’s hammer pad for mom’s…well, because. I like touching something she touched every day.
So, to the cards…
I have this “Women’s Empowerment” deck of cards sitting on my desk to the far side. It was a gift. I generally don’t like the new age stuff. I prefer tarot cards, famous quote books, etc., for my daily inspiration, but the WE cards are pretty. I opened the box and looked for a card that “called” to me today. These two made me pause.
The first reads, “Be still my mind. Be here now.” I’m not a “now” person. I’m a dreamer (a great thing to be for a writer, BTW!). However, I have work to complete and need some focus, so this thought helps.
The next says, “I enjoy the ups and downs of everyday life. Only the present moment is real.” I do appreciate the ups and downs. If we didn’t have them, life would be boring and we’d never learn a thing. The “only the present moment is real” thing is also very true. What you do now defines who you are and will be. So, today I will write because I want to be a writer. Writers who don’t write are just dreamers without the proof of the stories spinning in their heads.
So, does any of that help me begin my workday? Um, yeah. I guess. As soon as I hit “publish” to post this blog, I will begin “the work” and then I can claim to be a writer once more.
My philosophy isn’t deep. It’s self-serving, right? I need a kick in the ass because I have a minimum of 2,000 words to write today!
If you’d like to deliver that kick, tell me how you go about girding yourself to do “the work” of being who you are for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!