Seasonal Changes And Genre Swapping #MGTAB

While we step into Autumn and adjust to its whims, I’m reminded of the changes a busy author can embrace or forgo, when it comes to her writing.

For those of you who don’t know me, I began my professional writing career penning within the romance/humor genre around 2010. My first successful novel Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems began as a journal I’d been keeping when I was contemplating entering a relationship with a possible boyfriend. Originally I’d thought to publish the story as a nonfiction piece, until a workshop leader at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference suggested I present the story as fictionalized nonfiction.

Many months later, and after my marriage to Joe, I self-published Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems which won several prestigious awards, and for that I remain humbled and grateful. Although I soon penned a sequel called The Sugar Ticket, unbeknownst to me, my muse was about to turn traitor and venture into uncharted territory.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G767LJY

“From the award winning Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, the beloved Cindy and Jay DeMatteo return in the sequel The Sugar Ticket, a tale that chronicles their marital journey as they attempt to alleviate a sour past and embrace a sweeter future together. Enjoy their light-hearted humor and occasional rants, while they meet their daily tribulations head on. Cheer them on as they face the most fundamental challenge of all: Staying in love forever.”

When I was invited to join the Author’s Billboard three years ago, the opportunity to work with these talented, award-winning, bestselling novelists presented the opportunity to embellish my RomCom comfort zone, and explore other avenues such as suspense, mystery, and sexual innuendo. However, the comedian that encompasses sixty percent of my muse continued to insert hints of humor into all of its endeavors, while taking chances on genre swapping – which according to many in the writing industry claim is a big no-no, and confuses a reader’s fan base.

Example: Turning Up the Heat – A genre switcheroo and FREE this weekend:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075L4FSWL

“Mark and Malibu are happily headed towards matrimony, until an old adversary sabotages their plans with a devious scheme. TURNING UP THE HEAT has the perfect recipe for every reader’s taste. With Romance as the main ingredient, add a pinch of Suspense and a dash of Mystery for an Unforgettable Main Course that’s sure to satisfy your reading hunger.”

So, my point is when an author sticks with her dynamic and original genre of choice, the success rate of her series/novels is probably greater than mine, and well deserved. I may be a ‘genre-hopper’, but at the end of the day, I’m still penning comedy in all of my stories, whatever their current label, and having fun doing it, too.

Speaking of dynamic reads, catch up on one of our Christmas collections, to put you in the mood for the Holidays. Sweet and Sassy Christmas – A Time for Romance –

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076GBDV98

“Some are Sweet and some are Sassy. Eleven holiday romances to captivate and seduce. NYT & USA Today bestselling authors have joined together to bring you tales from early America, abandoned puppies, military heroes, doctors and more. Get a warm drink, find a comfy seat, and enjoy an armchair cruise into the world of Christmas lovers and their unique stories.”

Oh, and if you haven’t already taken advantage of The Author’s Billboard Contest, please do so – We’re giving away Gift Cards, eBooks and other prizes! Just click on this link to enter: http://authorsbillboard.com

Happy Autumn, Everyone!

Glass Gems in a Teacup – Memory Aids

For all of us, there are certain things you need to do each day. As you get old, or just really busy, and the days start melding together, some things become so automatic that you can’t remember if you did them or not. One of these things is getting enough water to drink. If you don’t have enough water in you to hydrate your body, you get deep wrinkles and dehydrate. It’s one of the reason old people look so old. Coffee and tea actually rob the body of water, so you can’t count cups of tea as water. Even fruit juice doesn’t hydrate as well as plain water.

I found that when I got to the end of a day, I didn’t know if I had drunk more than two or three glasses of water. When I didn’t drink enough, I’d get terrible cramps in my legs during the night. I tried a checklist, but would forget to check it off. Finally I devised a system that worked well for me. See if you like it. I use it to keep track of other things too. You might want to show this idea to your elderly relatives, who tend to forget things that have become routine.

I bought clear flat glass gems from the craft store, the kind used in flower arrangements. Depending upon the size of your water glass, you will want 6 or 8 of these. I prefer the flat gems to regular round marbles, as they don’t roll off the counter. Also the clear gems remind me of water, so I know what they are for.

Next get a small container, like a teacup, and something to put under it, like a candy tray, small basket, or a large saucer. Since this is going to sit out on your counter, you want something pretty that looks like a work of art. Here are some sample containers.

When you finish drinking a glass of water, toss a gem into the cup and refill your glass with water. Set the full glass beside your counting display. When you’ve drunk that water, you toss in another clear glass gem.

I have other glass gems that are colored that I use to indicate when I’ve taken my vitamins or done some exercise.

A small slip of paper in the cup reminds me of what color I use for each thing.

The next morning, dump out all the gems and start over again. This is fun and easy to do and keeps you from looking around for a pencil every time something needs to be checked off. A full cup of gems in the early morning means you haven’t had any water so far that day, and is a better reminder than a piece of paper with a checklist on it.

Let me know if this idea works for you.

In one of my pioneer Trahern books, Ruth Trahern knew she wasn’t “The Prettiest Girl in the Land,” but she wanted a husband, and set out with her rifle and a stray dog to find one. Ruth could take numbers and make them dance. She figured there must be some jobs for a woman who could calculate in her head, so left the Tennessee mountains to find a job which would take her to California, where she hoped to find her a man. This book is free on Friday, May 31. .

Word Spinning on the Road!

Last weekend, my husband and I took a day trip (from Oregon) to Washington. He was driving, so I figured I’d work on the two novellas I have due in March. Of course, my brain split focus and distracted me with ideas and scenarios for a third story! The more the merrier, I guess.

I opened a file (turned to the first page of notebook paper in my dollar store binder) and started entering data (writing with pen). When my inspiration evaporated, I fast-forwarded (dog-eared a dozen pages or so) and wrote the title of my next WIP (Work In Process), automatically date stamping, titling, and page numbering each sheet.

I realized a few interesting things during the trip. First, my cursive writing has degenerated. I could barely read it! I switched to printing. Not too bad, but not neat and consistent as it was in high school or my early invoice-writing days. I think typing has atrophied the fine motor skills required to produce the round and rhythmic script my elementary school teachers worked so hard to get me to master.

After penning my first blast of ideas on paper, I did something I had to laugh at. My ring fingers automatically reached down to hit control and s keys at the same time: the shortcut to saving a file. Not a keyboard in the truck other than our smartphones, but my well-conditioned (experienced?) brain wanted to make sure data wasn’t lost. Backing up my work? That would have to be a quick snapshot of each page, just in case I lost (as in misplaced) the in process manuscript before transcribing it to Word and saving in Dropbox.

And that’s how this author writes on the road.

How about a sweet romance with a surprise ending? Check out THREE ARE ONE, part of SWEET AND SASSY BRIDES.

 

Looking for a few great books for this weekend? I have loads of stories Free to Read with Kindle Unlimited or you can download one or both of these Single Daddy Club stories by Donna Fasano. I’m curious to know if Team Jason is more popular or do readers favor Team Reece. Either way, once you’ve finished reading, remember to write a review: the best way to thank an author and let her know what you like about her work.

*Remember: Book Bites are always FREE! Enjoy the first chapter of scores of stories by The Authors’ Billboard writers. A comprehensive list of books is here but the books are also available on Nook, Kobo and Apple.

What is RWA?

In case you didn’t know, RWA stands for Romance Writers of America. I’m a member and right now (July 20, 2018), we’re nearly finished with our annual conference. This year it’s being held in Denver, Colorado. Talk about a tremendous number of folks gathered with the same goal in mind!

Nearly two thousand women and a few men are here to find out how (or to share how) to make a writer’s HEA (happy ever after) story become a hit with readers, whether through fine-tuning the craft of writing or exploring the best ways to promote the works.

One of the nice things about this group is that there isn’t any ego-fueled competition. Even at the award ceremonies, the women (all were women this year) were saying how they felt like sisters and honored to be nominated. It sure looked like they were truth-telling, too.

What’s your favorite flavor of romance? Are you into romantic suspense, sweet and/or sassy, how about a little rom com (romantic comedy)? Would you like to know what

it feels like to fall in love with a prince or duke, either now or in the past? How about lovin’ on a vampire or a werewolf in a paranormal adventure?

They may all be considered ‘romance,’ but there are so many sub-categories, there’s never a reason to be bored. Loads of diversity here!

My author friends and I have put together a huge variety of box sets for you to enjoy, all available for only 99 cents each or free to read if you have a Kindle Unlimited account. (Search my name or some of the other authors to find more sets)

Click on some of the links and find out why I finally gave in and admitted that I am a romance writer — and proud of it.

Oh, and if you can’t wait for a new solo book from me, ONE ARCTIC SUMMER is live today! If you want to wait until the end of the month, it’ll be in SWEET AND SASSY AT THE BEACH. Either way, it’s a great story of a sassy college grad who learns what life is really about when she visits Barrow, Alaska in 1994, the coldest and warmest city in North America.