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Archive for the 'On writing…' Category

Melanie Jayne: This Writing Thing…
Friday, December 28th, 2018

I’ve spent some time this last month thinking about being an author and what it means to me. A few weeks ago an aspiring author was telling me she models herself after me.


My career is a work in progress. The more I learn, the more I find that I don’t know a thing. Publishing is constantly changing and the demand for Romance is high, but so is the output from authors. I love that Indies have broken through the barriers and can give readers what they want and what they didn’t know they needed. The days of Gatekeepers are done and readers can find a story about almost any combination of partners and players. We are also faced with a tough economy, declining sales, sky-rocketing advertising costs, and a genre that is filled with many sub-par to downright crappy books. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and some feel the need to not only state in a review they didn’t like the book, but to attack the author personally.

So What’s A Writer To Do?

  1. You create a village of support. Find your tribe. This doesn’t happen overnight; you will gain and lose members of your circle. You hold on to those that are kind to you and then repay them with the same.
  2. You get over your damn self. This world is filled with ego. I believe that you have to have a healthy one in order to survive. However, diva-like ways are not acceptable. Think before speaking and then think again. Do not become a professional victim, instead be the one that others turn to for strength. Please know that in order to succeed and survive that you have to hustle every day.
  3. Give back. When I was starting this journey, I had author friends share great advice with me. I was disheartened to find that one of my favorite authors, and friend, was not helpful. In fact, she looked at me as someone who was trying to take money from her pocket. She is an award-winning author who hits lists with almost every book in no way was I her competition. I decided not to be like her. If you are new, ask me and I will try to give you a good and very honest answer. I’m a cheerleader—I want you to succeed because then I can enjoy your victories.
  4. Like REO Speedwagon says, “Roll with the Changes” (Google the 80’s band). Enjoy the highs and trudge through the lows. In this business, it can change within the next hour. Turn off social media, talk to your trusted friends, take a walk, love on your pet. It will get better!
  5. Get a Team and treat them well. In the beginning, I had “people.” It took me about two years to figure out that they weren’t giving me their best effort. So I broke up with them and I found other people. My Admanistrative Assistant dropped into my life because we both worked the overnight shift and were bored out of our heads. He read and wanted to learn more about how a book is created, and I have the talent of breaking a computer, so he taught me how to do things without making the screen go blank. I use two cover artists for different series and I adore them both. I speak their creative language and designing covers is a joy. Finding the right editor took time. I started with a highly recommended company, but the critiquing style nearly broke me. I lost my confidence and dreaded the day when the returned edits hit my inbox. When I finally had enough, I started looking around. The relationship with your editor is one of faith, guidance, and a good bit of hand-holding. I trust this person with my most intimate thoughts regarding my ideas. I took an online class and loved how the instructor handled some pretty zany ideas. She never said, “That sucks,” or “Are you insane?” Instead, she gently offered a different direction or explained how the idea could be better served. I mustered my courage and asked if she was taking on new clients, she was, and we are still together. She knows I will never handle commas correctly and I trust that she will make my story better, so I listen when she shares her thoughts. She is a nurturer and that is exactly what I need.
  6. Know when it is time. If you are unhappy, dreading “writing time,” or cringing anytime you think about your career—get out. Life is too short to do something that makes you miserable.

So yeah, I’m an Author. I love what I do even through the tough times, the uncertain times, the days where I reread what I wrote and wonder how I could have done it any worse. To me, all of that is part of the deal. The good outweighs the bad. Because of writing I have made friends all over the world, traveled to events where we discuss books, I’ve met artists that I admire, seen more than my share of stupidity, and listened to hurtful comments and wondered if I belonged. Still, every morning I wake up and look forward to sitting down with my laptop, sharing the scene that plays over and over in my head, and telling you my story.

Stay Strong and Remember what REO preaches.


Rose’s Online Plotting Bootcamp, January 14 — February 9, 2019
Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Rose’s Online Plotting Bootcamp

Moms CammoRose

Permission granted to forward

This message is for any authors or aspiring authors who might be interested in some intensive help developing their next stories.

Don’t let that word “intensive” scare you away; I’ve led newbies, as well as multi-published authors, through our plotting process numerous times. Everyone comes away with new knowledge and insight, or at the very least, some terrific brainstorming support!

While lessons and exercises will be posted throughout the month of January, this is truly a self-paced class. We all have busy lives, and the workshop is designed to accommodate any schedule. Enjoy the pitch below!


Dates: January 14 – February 9, 2019
Last date to register: January 14, 2019
Cost: $50.00—cheap, considering everything you get!
Your DI (Drill Instructor): Delilah Devlin
Offered through:

What you can expect:
LOGLINE (Lunges)
PREMISE (Pushups)
CHARACTER (Strengthening exercises)
Breaking through the STORY STRUCTURE stronghold
Battling the PLOT LINES

We do more in one month than some people do all year! Get tough! Get motivated! Get plotting!

Join your Drill Instructor, Delilah Devlin, to learn a methodical approach to harness your creativity in order to produce an in-depth plot for your next novel.

Sound scary? It is!!!! Especially when you’re staring at an empty page without a compass and a map to guide you through the novelistic jungle. Your DI will lead you through four weeks of tactics, exercises, and training that will help strengthen your abilities. Delilah will accomplish this with weekly lessons, bi-weekly chats, and daily online communication. Join her for bivouac in January!

Join this elite force now!

For those who don’t know, my sister and I co-founded the website for writers called Rose’s Colored Glasses in 2004. From that site, we run a critique group and provide workshops—some free and some for pay. In January, I will be leading a month-long plotting bootcamp. It’s a great time to join—something you can do for yourself to kick off the New Year with a bang! Join me if you can! ~DD

How’s our workshop different from every other one out there? I’ll provide feedback and brainstorming every step of the way!

Interested? Follow this link to sign up:

And feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think might be interested with my thanks!

Delilah Devlin
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author & Freelance Editor
Get in bed with Delilah. Everyone else has!

FREE Class starts tomorrow!
Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Just a reminder, folks! My free class, WRITE 50 Books a Year, begins tomorrow—just in time to start making your 2019 plans!  Not signed up? Here’s the link to the Yahoo group: FREE CLASS

Kimberly Packard: The Story Spark
Friday, December 7th, 2018

I have this theory. That stories are born, not made. They are alive and floating around in the universe waiting for their author to pluck them from the stars and put them down on paper. These stories hit with a whoosh. Sometimes coming out nearly fully formed. (Coincidentally, author Elizabeth Gilbert and I share this same theory, as evidenced in her awesome book, Big Magic.)

I’ve been gifted a few stories this way and it always feels a bit like an electrical shock followed by an exciting ride on the world’s best rollercoaster.

For my newest novel, Vortex, I remember the whoosh perfectly. I was watching post-tornado coverage on TV and had this vision of a small girl being found in the rubble with no recollection of who she is or where she came from. I spent several days thinking about that little girl, wondering what her life would have been like. Where did she come from? Was anyone frantically looking for her? And, who did she grow up to be?

Sometimes the whoosh isn’t a whoosh. It could be a seed of a story that grows out of an off-handed comment.

Several years ago, I worked in public relations for a Fortune 500 company. I was getting antsy to get a press release out and was annoying my contact in the legal department to hurry up. When he quipped that he was just trying to keep me out of jail for accidentally committing security fraud – there it was – a quiet whoosh that grew louder as that “what if” became a story. That off-handed comment became the genesis of my Phoenix trilogy.

Whooshes can even come in dreams.

My current work in progress came to me in a dream. In this dream, I was speaking with one of the main characters, a man who runs a very unconventional business that grants dying wishes. When I woke, I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote down everything I could remember.

Much like an old wives’ tale of a child’s birth, I think the way these stories come into the world says a lot about them. Vortex hit me in a whirlwind and the story felt that way as I wrote it. Phoenix had a slower burn, thus the trilogy. And Dire’s Club is much more character driven than anything else I’ve written, which would make sense for a story that started with a character whispering to me in a dream.

Stories are like children. Every one of them is different. Some are headstrong and stubborn (ask anyone who’s tried to control a plot). Others are quieter, making an impact with soft words rather than a shout. And all of them need a parent – an author – to nurture them and give them the opportunity to live up to their fullest potential.

Whether they came in with a whoosh or a whisper.


[Cover’s coming!]

Constant spinning, round and round and round, temperatures rise and fall from stifling heat to chilling cold, emotions run high in anticipation of what will happen next… there’s a fine line between surviving a tornado and falling in love.

A close encounter with a tornado, during the final months of her doctoral studies, jogs a lost memory to the surface. Desperate to relive the vision and find answers, storm chaser Elaina Adams continually puts her safety at risk by placing herself in the path of dangerous storms.

When betrayal strikes, Elaina is forced to pair up with Robert Tucker. “Tuck” owns a storm chasing tour group and only cares about two things: chasing tornadoes and making his next buck.

Seth Maddux was climbing his way to the top as the star meteorologist for the Forecast channel, but an embarrassing outburst on camera sent his career on a downward spiral. Hoping to reignite his career with a promising field assignment, he meets Elaina and a different kind of flame sparks.

Family secrets surface and passions explode in this twister of a tale.

Vortex is a story of family, love, identity and determination set against the thrilling backdrop of Tornado Alley.

About the Author

Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of edgy women’s fiction. She began visiting her spot on the shelves at libraries and bookstores at a young age, gazing between the Os and the Qs. Kimberly received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and has worked in public relations and communications for nearly 20 years.

When she isn’t writing, she can be found running, doing a poor imitation of yoga or curled up with a book. She resides in Texas with her husband Colby, a clever cat named Oliver and a yellow lab named Charlie.

Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors. Other published works by Kimberly includes a Christmas novella, The Crazy Yates, and the sequels to Phoenix,Pardon Fallsand Prospera Pass. Her latest novel, Vortex, will be released in early 2019.

Follow Kimberly online at, Twitter or Instagram @kimberlypackard, or Facebook,

Another Crazy Month!
Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

What is that, you ask?

That’s my pie-in-the-sky plan for December. I keep a calendar like this every month to keep track of what I have to accomplish. Always, always, something drops off because I’m always too ambitious. But I’m a dreamer.

If it’s not too tiny on your screen, you’ll see I plan to have three releases this month: Wolf, this Friday; Stepbrothers Stepping Out — With His Client, on the 18th; and maybe, if I finish it in time, the last of the Stepbrothers Stepping Out —With His SEAL Team stories (just in time for the holiday!) on December 24th.

Days 1-3, you’ll note there’s a lot of light blue. That denotes what I’ve already accomplished. The red numbers? Words I wrote. See the bright green? That’s a FREE class I’ll be teaching for authors, called “Write 50 Books a Year!” So, yes, amid all the writing, I’ll be teaching. And I don’t have any editing tasks reflected here, but I expect two books in this month to edit—two long ones! And when they get here, my plan will likely have to be rejiggered again.

Why am I sharing? Because, sometimes, I wonder if folks think I sit eating bon-bons all the time. Not reflected in this schedule are the following: blogging, organizing critique rounds, reading-answering a gazillion emails a month, organizing promo for releases, sending out newsletters, etc.

I work. And it’s more than a full-time job…

I did it!!!!!!!
Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Wolf (Montana Bounty Hunter)The past few days have been sooooooo stressful! I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, but I finally got to THE END!

And none too soon! Wolf releases this Friday! I shouldn’t admit this, but I wasn’t sure I’d get there. The main reason? I didn’t know where the story was going. Most times, I have notes jotted, a plan of some sort, but for Wolf I just had no idea!!!!!

Every day I sat in front of my computer and thought, What happens now? And somehow, when I placed my fingers on the keys, the story came. I was helped along quite a bit by Reaper. Do you remember him? The hero of the first book in the Montana Bounty Hunters series? He plays a major role in the story. His gruff, cranky, attitude-filled voice was hovering beside my ear. I heard his voice, and he led me forward every time I thought I was empty, without words.

It’s weird to say it, but it’s true. Sometimes, I feel as though I’m not the author at all. And there you have it. Like a lot of authors, I’m sure I have a mental illness or somehow I open an alternate universe where these “characters” slip through and reveal themselves. All I do is sit, let my fingers hover over the keys, and let them come.

I hope you’re looking forward to Wolf! I can’t wait to see what you think!

Writing like my hair’s on fire…
Friday, November 30th, 2018

Here I am again. Crunching up against a deadline. I have a story to wrap up by Sunday. No wiggle room at all.

So, today’s post is shoooorrrrrrt!

I have my head down but have no idea where my story’s going. I need a cup of coffee to clear the sludge from my brain. So, I’m heading to the pot now!

Any encouraging words for me, y’all?

(Told ya this would be short! 🙂 )