Monday, December 12, 2016

Celebrate the Holidays with #RomanceNovels from #MFRWauthor @MFRW_Org

Retweet Day for #MFRWauthor - Join the fun

For this month's Retweet Day on Twitter, we'd like to invite all Marketing for Romance Writers to set up tweets for their books.

Go into Twitter and create a tweet . Make sure to use #MFRWauthor or MFRW_Org

Once the tweet has been posted. Click on the ... (three dots) in the right hand corner.

This will give you the option to (copy link to tweet). Copy this link and put it in the comment section of this post.
Remember to visit the blog on November 9 and retweet everyone on the list.

Also in an effort to help people find tweets to share of yours, click the ...(three dots) again and pin your tweet to your profile page. This will give you a count of how many people retweeted your post.

Don't forget the Rules

1. Have #MFRWauthor or #MFRWorg in the tweet. (This retweet day is to promote each other and our group.)

2. Do not use profanity or sexual explicit graphics. Keep it clean for all age groups.

3. Return on Retweet Day and click each link and share everyone's post on twitter.

4. Click the G+ symbol on the tweet so you can see where you left off, and to add a little more visibility to the post.

5. No more than 3 hashtags in a post. Anymore than this and Twitter believes it is spam.

Here's to a great day of retweets,

Tina Gayle
free read

Saturday, December 10, 2016

YAHOO...You've Got This Covered...December Quickie #MFRWAuthor

I think we all agree Yahoo isn't the most perfect method of group discussion. It's just the one we're all using. We can complain, rail against the restrictions, search out our inner diva. But if we want to join and post to groups, for now it's Yahoo.

Most complaints have to do with "How can I get OUT of this group?" Generally accompanied by tremendous angst. The answer is simple enough since Yahoo is designed for self control. Scroll down to the bottom of your most current Yahoo message. You'll see, in blue,Visit Your Group. Look over to the right of the screen and you'll see, in even tinier letters:

Click on that middle word "Unsuscribe" and follow the prompts. Easy-Peasy, isn't it? Took me a while to find it, I was visiting the group and flailing around for a while, until...huh, lookie there!

If you want to stay in a Yahoo Group and reduce the number of daily messages you can "Visit Your Group" and set your message delivery to "digest only." Please, if you do this, and choose to answer an e-mail, be VERY sure to delete that loooong trail of messages following your reply. Your fellow group members will appreciate this and no doubt share good wishes.

I send those Good Wishes in your direction, along with expectations of many wonderful words written in the new year.

Mona Karel is the writing alter ego of Monica Stoner, who can be found running her Salukis around
the dog show ring, or elbows deep in garden soil, and not often enough in front of her computer, searching for that perfect phrase to convey deep emotions. Her recent books include the Stormhaven Love Stories, Romance with a bit of suspense, a bit of humor, and a lot of love.

 She helps out MFRW by moderating posts and answering how to questions. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Creating Conflict in Novels @kayelleallen #amediting #MFRWauthor

According to Wordweb, conflict has many shades of meaning, including a disagreement or argument about something important; opposition between two simultaneous but incompatible feelings; a state of opposition between persons, ideas, or interests; and opposition in a work of drama or fiction between characters or forces (especially one that motivates the development of the plot). The point being that conflict involves problems. No problems, no conflict.
No conflict, no story.
But what type of conflict works best for a solid story? Let's look at three major types: internal, external, and romantic.

Internal Conflict

An internal conflict often revolves around an emotional struggle. Generally, an internal conflict arises from a character's backstory. Something has occurred that threatens their ideal mental/emotional state. What they believe does not go along with their physical reality. Suppose your story was a romance set in a time when marriages were arranged. Your hero has no intention of being "married off" to a rich woman who does not respect him, or that he could not respect. However, his family fortune has been lost (not through his fault) and if he doesn't solve his immediate problem of finances in order to care for his younger siblings, they will all end up on the street. He must marry a woman of means, and fast. While he does have an external conflict (the threat of homelessness) his major conflict is internal (marrying someone he does not love and respect). How he behaves in this situation is driven by how he overcomes or resolves his internal conflict. It is not necessarily a direct solution to his inner conflict that ends the problem. He might find another way around the issue. In a gay romance, the internal conflict might be fear of rejection, facing reality as a gay person, or being ostracized from family. Overcoming the internal problem drives the resolution of the conflict. Therefore, it drives the plot.

External Conflict

For an external conflict, a force or problem exists outside the character. In the example above, the hero faced homelessness. A heroine might be in a situation where she must rescue someone. External conflicts mean that situations and/or physical threats or needs cause a problem. To solve it, the character must find a physical solution. A thriller or suspense might involve a race against the clock before a killer strikes again. A scifi might include an alien invasion threatening to decimate the planet. A medical thriller involves doctors racing to find a cure for a horrific virus, and so on. All these conflicts erupt due to an external cause. External conflict requires a threat from outside the main character(s). In a well written, multi-layered story, internal conflict exists as well, but the external problem drives the action.

Romantic Conflict

A romantic conflict involves struggle between the main characters. A strong external (physical) conflict collides with an equally strong internal conflict. The immovable object meets the irresistible force. Something must give or there will be no end of the conflict (and no romance).
Solving one conflict often still leaves the other, keeping the couple apart. Finding a reason to let down inner walls and trust the other person requires character growth and change. This leads to a resolution of the conflict.

Plot Forces Conflict

Plot is a scheme or plan. In a story, plot escalates the problems between the characters' internal and external conflicts. The situation of the hero needing a rich wife to provide for his siblings is made worse by the requirements of society. He must court the bride-to-be and appear to enjoy it. He must tread the tricky waters of a society ball and not allow his family's name to be sullied. He must hold up his head when hints of his lost fortune surface. The plot escalates when the youngest sister falls ill and needs medical attention, or the bank demands money, or the landlord begins showing the house before the family has moved out. Things are getting worse. The plot is what forces the hero into an external action despite his internal conflict. He must handle the situation and take care of the problem.
In a romance, finding an equitable end of the conflicts, internal and external, results in a love match that solves the problems brought up during the story.
When I wrote Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, I had a huge challenge on my hands. I wasn't writing my usual genre, which is romance. This story is pure science fiction. Using a strong conflict helped me create a platform on which to layer the characterization and thereby create the conflict. Here's the plot:
Pietas is an Ultra, an all-but-immortal warrior who leads the fight against the oppressive human race that created his people. But when he's captured and exiled to an alien world, his only ally is Six, a human who's been as betrayed as he was. To cross the continent and rejoin the other Ultras, Pietas must overcome his distrust of humans, and rely on the mortal.
Simple, right? One would think. But I had to get two enemy warriors to depend on each other to cross half a planet on foot. To do that, I had to put them on an equal basis. When one character is a human (albeit a six-feet tall special ops soldier) and the other a seven-feet tall immortal best-of-the-best warrior, that's not easy. I had to amp up Six's abilities, and somehow reduce those of Pietas. How does one trap an immortal with unmeasurable strength, an eidetic memory, and a sixth sense for trouble? Solving that enabled me to spring the plot into action.

Conflict is Muscle

Plot is the spine, the various settings are its bones, characters are its flesh and beauty, and conflict is its muscle. When you end the conflict, you end the story. And your readers will live happily ever after.

About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, and author of the conflict-driven military scifi Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas.
Romance Lives Forever Reader Group

Sunday, November 20, 2016

#MFRWauthor-to-author: Benefits of Self Publishing @gemwriter Claire Gem

Why Claire Gem Chose Self Publishing
I began my published author career with not one, not two, but three small publishers. My experience with them taught me many things, the least of which was patience. Which I don't have a lot of.

The first publisher did an awesome job editing, gave me the cover I asked for, and then nothing else.

The second did a crappy editing job but gave me a wonderful cover.

The third did outstanding edits, but forced me to change the title and sprung a cover on me I still have nightmares about.

Which is why I created Erato Publishing, published HEARTS UNLOCHED in eBook, Paperback, and Audiobook, and will never, ever look back. I am a control freak who also happens to be lucky enough to have a sister who is a graphic designer (and loves designing book covers) and a husband who is patient (and smart) enough to stay out of my way when I'm struggling with formatting issues.

My new release, HEARTS UNLOCHED, is a story that came to me, quite literally, already written. My husband grew up in the area of the Catskills in New York where the book is set: Sullivan County. We were visiting the area last fall when he began reiterating the urban legend about Loch Sheldrake—a lake so deep nobody has ever found the bottom.

So deep, it was the perfect place for the mob to dump bodies back in the day.

Sullivan County is littered with abandoned hotels, resorts, and convention centers. Back in the 50s and up until about 1970, the area enjoyed a prolific tourist trade from folks who lived in nearby NYC, only about two hours away. But after plane travel became more affordable, the tourist trade dried up and died. Many of the hotels were taken over by Jewish religious organizations, burned to the ground, or still stand forgotten and rotting.

As we drove around the lake, I began a ""what if"" conversation with myself. What if there was an abandoned hotel on the shores of the ill-rumored lake? What if there was a Jewish interior designer from Manhattan who owned a weekend house on the lake? Who was also psychic?

What if a sexy Italian investor bought a crumbling hotel on the shores of Loch Sheldrake? What if, after bumping into each other and producing some rather impressive sexual sparks, the investor hires the designer to renovate his hotel? But what if there's a ghost—a poltergeist—connected with the property who has a very personal interest in the psychic designer? Kate's aunt disappeared from the place fifty years ago.

Hearts Unloched

Interior designer Kate Bardach loves her single girl’s lifestyle—living in Manhattan and spending weekends at her lake house. She’s passionate about her career, reinventing old buildings. But there are some projects she can’t take on because of the spirits trapped there. Kate is psychic—she sees dead people.

Marco Lareci is one of Wall Street’s most successful investment brokers who’s achieved all of his life’s goals—except for finding his soulmate.  His latest project, an abandoned resort on Loch Sheldrake, needs a savvy designer to transform the crumbling complex into a boutique hotel. When Marco meets Kate, he can’t believe his luck. She’s the perfect match for his business and his heart.
Marco’s body excites Kate even more than does his renovation project. But the haunting there, a bonafide poltergeist, affects her on an intensely personal level. Kate’s aunt disappeared from the place fifty years ago.

Will the spirit doom Kate and Marco’s love, or drive them closer together?

ABOUT Claire Gem
Claire turns the paranormal romance genre on its ear by combining the elements of gothic horror, mystery/thriller, and romantic suspense—in present-day settings. It’s a genre she calls New Gothic.

She also writes intensely emotional contemporary romance with a touch of humor under the Claire Gem Contemporary line.

website  |  blog  |  facebook  |  pinterest  |  amazon  |  goodreads

Sunday, November 13, 2016

#MFRWauthor-to-author Tips: Writing Resources @ColleenSMyers

Writing Resources I Found Helpful
I  thought about all the things I ended up stumbling onto as a new writer and decided to try to make a decisive -yet somewhat short- list of things I found useful as I was getting started.
If anyone has any resources they want to share, please add in the COMMENTS.

Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
William Strunk and E.B. White,  The Elements of Style
Debra Dixon, GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict

Writers Digest – It really is the one stop shop for classes and information.
Romance Writers of America – Membership, contests, and writing groups support. Truly amazing. This is romance specific.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America -- Organization that supports Sci-Fi/Fantasy writers.
National Novel Writing Month--- Sign up and write a novel each November.

Agent Querying Resources:
Query 101: The Basics: Where Do I Begin -- A nice article to get you started. Resources for writers.
Query Sharkor Nathan Bransford’s Query Forum -- Both let you post queries, get feedback.
Twitter – I’m serious, there are a bazillion places to connect and get critiques.

Twitter hashtags:
#amwriting,  #askagent,  #tenqueries,  #querytip,  #pubtip
#MSWL (manuscript wish list)
Contests:  #pitmad,  #pitchmadness,  #qeurykombat,  #pitcharama
#writeclub – someone always doing word sprints here -- or #1k1hr

Twitter peeps to follow:
@brendadrake – She runs pitmad/pitchmadness – Awesome lady
@MKDB – Margaret Bail, literary agent, queen of tenqueries
@michelle4laughs -- Michelle Hauck, author and host of Query Kombat
@sc_author -- Blogger, founder of #WriteInclusively.

Special mention to Brenda Novak’s Diabetes Auction where there are unlimited donated treats for authors for a good cause!

Critique groups:
Yes, you do need one. There is #cpmatch done about every 6 months. Always get a second pair of eyes looking at your MS. My group is full of awesome people: @patchi_writes, @earthrelic,  @chellewrites,  @ainsleywynter
Facebook also has a lot of resources for this. Check it out.
Go local. Yahoo has lots of groups where you can find local groups or meet ups. I moderate my local RWA chapter Three Rivers Romance Writers.

When writing your first novel, I recommend you get an editor. Mine was Mary Harris.
Another editor I had look at my query letter and synopsis was @Cslakin

And, of course, all things MFRW are a necessity!

This is a work in progress as I learn more. I deliberately kept it short so it would one page anyone can reference but if you have anything to add, please contact me.
Happy writing!

ABOUT Colleen S. Myers
Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antartica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently she is working on Whole Again, a contemporary romance that she hopes to see published in the future.

Colleen's latest book is Can't Forget with Champagne Books.
Is it better to be safe or loved?
Winner of the New England Readers Award!
Four months have passed since the E’mani—those pale alien freaks—destroyed the Earth and scooped up the remains. Elizabeth “Beta” Camden was one of those taken. But she escapes and confronts her prior captors successfully with the help of their enemies. Yet she knows the Imani won’t forget about her. She should stay vigilant and ready. Her heart refuses to listen. Beta falls in love with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.

Too bad she was right.

This time the E’mani don’t come in force. This time the E’mani slip in silently. And any hope she had of a peaceful life is lost. Beta knows what she has to do and it isn’t play house. She leaves in the dead of night to find the E’mani stronghold and end them once and for all. But love is a tricky bitch. And Marin refuses to let her throw her life away. It takes a threat to his safety to make her realize, if she can’t forget her past, she won’t have a future.

Connect with Colleen