Monday, December 30, 2013

We can learn a little something from everyone

This is my last post before we start the new year. Not entirely sure what I'm posting next year, but I think it's time to get back to some hard core writing stuff.

Also, there will be  a blog every week for readers. Writing blog will still post on Mondays, but the reader blog will post on Tuesday...which means you may have to scroll down to get to the writer post if you come to the site after Monday. :) But I'll remind you.

And now for the last blog of 2013...

In the finale for Dancing with the Stars, we heard the eliminated couples express their gratitude for the opportunity to have been part of the show. They hadn't merely learned how to dance (or how difficult dancing is); they'd fallen in love with their competitors -- made friends with the very people who wanted the trophy as much as they did. They'd tested their abilities. Each had had successes and failures, and to a person they spoke of how those failures had taught them lessons.

They'd made a few bucks. They'd gotten some publicity. But those things faded when it came time to really evaluate their experiences. What they would really remember was that they'd had a good time, reset their limits and discovered a new part of themselves.

Isn't that what we do when we write? Okay, granted, nobody likes making the money more than I do because I still have a mortgage. But I've also been writing a long time. If I didn't enjoy it, it would have driven me insane long ago.

Publishing isn't a sprint. It's a journey. Like those dancers on Dancing with the Stars, you should be enjoying it. You should be pushing yourself. You should be learning new things about yourself...and you should be noting the pronoun you that keeps turning up in what I'm saying.

You can't compare yourself to anyone else. You are running your own race. If you do it right, you'll have enough success. You'll make a little money. You'll get some publicity. But you'll also get the wonderful satisfaction from growing and becoming the best YOU you can be.

As long as we're writing ALL of us are successful. Not in the weird, everybody gets a ribbon for competing kind of way. But in the good way. In the way that says, if you're still in the game, you're still in the game. Your biggest success, your greatest novel, might be just around the corner.

So compete with yourself. Be honest. Study when you need to. Hold yourself back when you're not ready. Push yourself out front when you are. And enjoy it. In this month of December when we typically begin thinking about New Years Resolutions...maybe this year count your blessings, count your achievements...and be proud of yourself.

You've come a long way, baby. :)

Happy Reading ... and Happy New Year!

susan meier

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Enjoy the week! I know I will be. No writing for me. Just family, friends, food and fun. :)


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daring to Trust the Boss by Susan Meier

Daring to Trust the Boss

by Susan Meier

Giveaway ends December 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, December 16, 2013

The muddle in the middle

My recent book totally bedeviled me. I kept trying to tell one story. The characters were living another. I'm not the kind of author to let characters take over. I'm a dictator. LOL Or maybe my storyboard and I are dictators. But this hero and heroine had really odd pasts. And, you know, you can't walk into your future without taking your past into consideration. Only fools do that.


Come the middle of the book, my storyboard was obsolete. For me this is worst case scenario.

I made a new one and in two chapters it was obsolete too.

I ended up pantsing this book which took me an additional two weeks over what I normally need to write a book. It was so shocking to my system that I nearly panicked four times. But I didn't. :)

Though I have to admit, I needed new strategies to get this one written...and written well. Not just drafted and tossed at my editor for her to decipher! LOL

So...what did I learn?

That not everything can be tidily summed up in a storyboard.

I know...That sounds like blasphemy. But this story was unique. And if you stay at this business for any amount of time, you may find yourself with your own bedeviling book and need to write from the gut. Best to hear that now so you can be prepared and not think your book can't be written. :)

That some books are better coming from the heart <3 em="">

Frankly, I try to make sure my STORYBOARDS come from my heart. But there's nothing like an entire story that comes from the heart. I have no idea if this book is good or bad, but it is honest and sometimes our souls need that kind of breathing book. One where our heart and soul get to lead. :)

That slowing down, not panicking, giving yourself (or your brain) a little time to recoup might be necessary.

In other words, sometimes when you think you should push, push, might be better to take a day off. (Wincing here...not giving anybody permission to procrastinate...but reminding you that writing is a work of the heart and soul. Frequently, they don't have a schedule.) Talent, ideas, real story flow sometimes take thought. If you push to write, you may not write what needs to be written at that point in the story.

That if you're writing a book that takes place in a short amount of time, you might need to use a real calendar and keep track! LOL

Seriously. At a certain point I realized I had a 4-week book happening in two weeks. Not good. I got out a calendar and added some The following week...LOL and got myself on track again. Sometimes too much focus on the artsy part of writing causes you to forget you still have to keep track of things. LOL

And that's about it.

I hope this never happens again. LOL But if it does, I'll be ready too.

Happy Reading,

susan meier

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Long Awaited Garth Brooks Post :)

A few weeks ago, I had a bad cold and spent a Saturday and Sunday in bed. If you know anything about weekend TV, you know I was bored to the point of tears and ended up watching a "special" about Garth Brooks. But, man, am I ever glad I did. The show was designed so that Garth himself didn't do much talking. His friends talked about him, his work ethic, etc. After a while I started making notes. :)

And here they are ...

8 things about Garth Brooks that might change the way you write. (Sometimes I think I can find a blog in almost anything! LOL)

1. He loves music and wants everybody to love music.

That sounds pretty simple, until you really think it through. Because he loves music he promotes well...but he also writes, produces and sings the best songs. The best songs. And what does that mean for his audience? He doesn't shortchange them. They always get the best.

So...If you really, really, really love WRITING and your genre, you should be looking for the best ideas. You should be doing YOUR best when you write. Your love of writing (or your genre) should shine through your work.

2. He has respect for other musicians and songwriters.

You have to have a healthy respect for what you do and everyone who does it in order to be your best. If you only half-heartedly love romance, I genuinely believe it shows in your work.

If you're working hard, if it takes you months to write a book, if you study writing, if you tear your scenes apart again and again to make them perfect...So are your peers. Lots of people are working full-time jobs and writing. Lots are caring for kids, elderly parents or disabled adult children. We should never, ever, ever discount the trials and tribulations of other writers.

It just plain makes us better people to be kind to each other. And God likes that. :)

3.  He has a good range.

Garth might be a country singer, but his songs transcend the genre.  Because of #4...

4.  He loves telling a good story.

That's so true. His music is all about storytelling. And he does it well. He picks subjects that resonate, and he makes them vibrate with reality and emotion. Literally. LOL

I heard Elton John talk about storytelling and music once and it totally changed the way I looked at music. He said smart songwriters tell a story because people love stories.

Well, lucky us! That's our business. But that takes us back to not shortchanging your audience (something I talked about a few weeks ago in the Hybrids blog), to figuring out what they like to hear, to learning to write your story is the best it can be.

5. He is an entertainer.

And so should we be. People get a show when they go to see Garth. People want to be entertained when they read our books.

So many times we get caught up in word counts and craft that we forget we're entertainers. Nora Roberts wasn't afraid to break a few rules. Suzanne Brockman took regular romance "hook" or trope stories and turned them  on their ears. Laura Kaye's writing vibrates with sensuality, even as her characters charm you to death. LOL

When I pick up a book, I want to be swept away. And it took me a few books (like 20 -- sometimes I make my younger self sound like a real idiot) before I realized, as a reader, I wasn't special. All readers were like me. A book doesn't have to have tons of action or ideas that transcend the norm. The writer simply has to take her genre or subgenre's conventions and use them to entertain readers.

We are entertainers. So...entertain. :)

6.  He has a respect for his audience (very much, his friends said, like another successful guy...Frank Sinatra)

The pundits  used to tell us our audience was bored housewives. We now know that's not true. Our audience is lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, secretaries, nurses, business owners...Everybody.  You should appreciate the fact that a reader picked up your book. You should give her her money's worth. But most of all, you can't talk down to her.

Readers are very smart. If you write poorly, they will spot it. If you don't research, they will know. If you don't like what you're doing and "phone in" your book, they'll see it.

And they won't come back. So even your books with the tightest deadlines have to be your best work.

(I'm talking to myself here because I'm a week late and tempted to write fast and get this turkey in. Instead, I slowed down...God help make sure the book is the best it can be.)

7. He's never afraid to be passionate.

And don't we love that? Being passionate, I think, is part of being a good entertainer. And we're all in the entertainment industry.

I love category romance. :) I love the point in the story when the tension is so tight you know it could snap. The story could change. The characters could do something they regret. It puts me on the edge of my seat.

That's what I want to see in books I read. That's what I want to get into my stories when I write. Granted, I'm not always successful...but I'm not afraid of that passion. Not afraid to confront it.

In fact, smart romance writers use it! We are, after all, in the passion business! LOL

8. Even with success he remained a nice guy. :)

Ah, would that we all could be. Sometimes I think it's easy for the uber successful to be nice guys. Let's face it. They're making the money. Readers are stroking their egos. Their Facebook fan page numbers are through the roof. Amazon loves them. Agents call them out of the blue. Editors call their agents and ask them to write something for them...

Sigh. I could be nice if I were on top!

But the funny part of it is, the people on top have greater struggles than those of us hovering in the middle. There's constant expectation. Not just from their publishers, but from readers...AND THEMSELVES. When you are on top, you want to stay on top and there are thousands of wannabes nipping at your heels.

So whether you're on the top or in the middle or just starting out, know this:

You're going to have bad days. There will always be somebody who is doing better than you are. You will question your talent. There will never be enough hours in a day or days in a deadline...

That does not give you license to be mean.

In fact, given that we're all in this together, being nice to people is a way to form support groups, critique groups, lifeboat groups and make the friends who may someday save you. :)

But being nice is just plain the right thing to do. Jealousy, meanness and condescension only make you sadder than you already are. In other words, you're hurting yourself.

So grab your talent by the handle and get going. Don't worry about what anybody else is doing. Don't think you're better than anybody else. Don't worry that you're not getting the recognition you deserve. Just write your best book. Enjoy the process. And be a well rounded person. Enjoy your family. Love your spouse. Go fishing (or swimming or bingo playing or shopping). Have other passions aside from writing.

Because nobody's ever clearly the best. Rankings change. Genres go in and out of style. Things like Facebook get invented and change everything. :) Don't be so one-dimensional that you can't be happy unless you're the best. :)

And think of Garth Brooks. :) Be passionate, love your industry, love your audience, love your craft, love your peers, be a storyteller. A great storyteller. Be proud of yourself. :)

Happy Reading...


Monday, December 2, 2013

Genres, Sub-genres and Hybrids (oh my)

Again, because of thanksgiving, I'm reposting an older blog. This one from 2011. But when I read it, I thought, sheesh, this is really relevant...esp in these days of self-publishing. So wish me a happy day off and enjoy....

Genres, Sub-genres and Hybrids (oh my)

Sort of like lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

At the beginning of my Story, Theme and Idea workshop, I have each attendee condense his or her next book idea to one paragraph. Then I ask them the following five questions:

1. Is your paragraph clear. If it isn't, try again. Cut out all extraneous explanations and get right to the point. What's really going on in your story? Is it a bodyguard story, an older man/younger woman story, a mystery, a thriller? If it is, just say that!

2. From this paragraph, can I (or could an editor) tell your story is interesting, consistent, credible and compelling? 

3. Is something -- strong conflict, compelling goals, gripping motivations -- "missing" from your story?

4. Could you add something to your summary that might shoot your story idea over the moon?

5.  Should you rewrite your paragraph to incorporate the shoot-over-the-moon idea? And if you did, could you see yourself changing your book to match the new story summary? (Just in your head! Never start rewriting until you've tested things out first in a storyboard, story summary or with a could, might, must and should list!)

Okay...If you read all of those with your current story in mind, you were probably fine until #4...THE SHOOT THE STORY OVER THE MOON IDEA.

There's a lot, lot, lot we could talk about in terms of finding an idea to shoot your story over the moon, but for the purposes of today's blog GENRES, SUBGENRES AND HYBRIDS (oh my), I'm not going to tell you how to get these ideas. But rather, I'd like to talk about when a shoot-a-story-over-the-moon idea is good and when it's bad.

Bad? A great idea can be bad?

Yes. All because of two little things called genre conventions and reader expectations.

Oh, and did I mention that these shoot-the-story-over-the-moon ideas might be either why you get published or why you don't?

Lots to talk about.

Okay, so let's start with genres, subgenres and hybrids. In Susan Meier world, genres are obvious: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller, Sci Fi, Western (etc.)

In Romance we have tons of subgenres. Romantic Suspense, Romantic Mystery, Sci-Fi Romance, Romantic Thrillers, Traditional Romance, Sweet Romance, Medical Romance, Small Town Romance, Paranormals, get the picture. (Mysteries, Thrillers, Sci-Fi, Westerns [etc] also have lots of subgenres or types.)

These subgenres actually came about because somebody was bold enough to write a HYBRID.

Simply put, a hybrid is a combination of two things that create a third. Romance with Suspense = Romantic Suspense. If that third thing catches on with readers, it becomes a subgenre. Publishers even push this. (Taking advantage of the excitement over a new thing, they publish lots of that thing until it becomes a subgenre or sadly fizzles from oversaturation.) [By the way, I'm not talking fancy here. Just down to earth so you "get" what I'm saying.]

So it almost seems that we're saying if you want to become wildly successful write a hybrid.

Yes and no.

Hybrids are fun. They are fun to write. They are fun to watch when they come out to see if readers love them ... or to see if they create a new subgenre. But hybrids are hard to shelf. And before the days of over-the-top self-publishing, lots of publishers didn't want to touch them. Why? Just because they are hard to shelf? Yeah. Basically. Except there's another bugaboo in there. YOU may like the combo you've chosen, sweet paranormal romance...but will anybody else?

Sexual tension, sexual curiosity, great sex and general weirdness [read: great imagination on the part of the writer] typically sell paranormals. Readers of "sweet" romances generally don't like weird or unusual things. They want the writer's imagination spent on unique twists of their own particular subgenre, not weird things.

I can't see a true "sweet" romance reader liking a true paranormal. And if you water down the paranormal aspect of your story enough that it's a "sweet" romance, then I can't see paranormal readers liking it. And if you don't water down the paranormal elements, then you don't have a sweet romance.

Get the picture?

So, writing hybrids is fun, but you can't say for sure your particular hybrid would hit a mark or find an audience...At least not one big enough for traditional/legacy publishing. Which means you might make some money self publishing but I think that's another blog! LOL

So when does a hybrid catch on?

When you mix the right two genres (obviously) but also when you target an audience and reach them.

What do I mean? Years ago, I wrote a book called IN FOR LIFE. It was a romantic suspense written for Intrigue. Intrigue is a category romance line. So my first responsibility (yes, it is a responsibility) to readers was to give them a category romance. I had to hit all the conventions of a category romance to satisfy readers and I used the suspense of the story to further the romance. Why? Because it was a category romance. I was writing for category romance readers so I was pleasing them. Plus, it was a nice [easy, fun] way to up the sexual tension as well as the general tension of the story.

The suspense and the romance drove the story equally.  The suspense and the romance braided together. Each impacted the other.

I did my job by knowing my audience and giving category romance readers what they wanted, even though the suspense played as great a part in the story.  Now, the book might not have pleased straight suspense readers as much as it pleased category romance readers. But I was writing for category romance readers. It was my job to please them.

And that's another risk of a hybrid. You won't necessarily please all the readers of the original subgenre. But the interesting thing about romantic suspense is that, if written well, most romance readers will love you.

So the trick to writing a hybrid is to pick an audience and speak to them.

But that's also the trick to writing a category romance, building an audience and becoming successful.  It's also the trick to writing a great single title romance, building an audience and becoming successful. It's also the trick to writing a great ANYTHING and becoming successful.

And it's also why you can write a truly WONDERFUL story that doesn't get bought.

And here we come to the point of today's blog.

Lots of people can and do write fantastic stories that are never bought or don't find an audience because whatever they chose to shoot the story over the moon shot it right out of their genre's, subgenre's or line's conventions.

Remember our sweet paranormal? Hard to please those two groups of readers in one story. But it's also difficult to please readers if you have graphic murder scenes in a sweet romance. Or not enough romance in a romance because your external story was so good you focused on that instead of the hero and heroine. Or too much romance in a straight suspense or mystery.

So when you're coming up with your idea, you have to be aware of your genre's conventions. Will what you're considering to shoot your idea over the moon actually shoot it out of contention?

Hum...something to think about!

If your publicity material says, my book will appeal to EVERYBODY, I cringe. My mother does not like romance novels. [Sad for me, huh?] She will tolerate a romance [like in a romantic suspense] but it had better take second place in your story and not be too sappy. If you appeal to her by watering down the romance or not having a romance, then you're not going to appeal to me because I only seem to like books that have romance in them. And I want the romance in front. Most important. With a nice helping of sap, thank you very much.

Do you see your quandary?

You cannot appeal to EVERYONE. But you can appeal to a large audience. My mom and I don't fit into the same subset. But there are plenty of other people who like romance and sci-fi being 50/50 in a book. [I'm one of them.] There are lots of people who like romance and thriller being 50/50 in a book. There are lots of people who like romance and military [new subgenre in my opinion] being 50/50 in a book. There are lots [and lots and lots] of people who like romance and paranormal being 50/50 in a book.

My mom just isn't one of them! So you're not speaking to her. Don't let that trouble you. There are plenty of romance readers out there. She'll find her own books. LOL

So the trick to a good hybrid is to pick a good, stable, solid audience and speak to them, spicing up your story with something else that you can easily give 50% of your story to without taking away from the romance that will draw the audience. In fact, a hybrid works best when the romance enhances the "other" story and the "other" story enhances the romance.

And that takes us back to when a shoot-the-moon story idea is bad. And why having too good of an idea might get you rejected.

Lots of writers tell me they use the question: What's the worst thing that can happen right now? And that's what they create as the next scene in their book. And that's how they "up" the tension in their story.

I remind them that full-scale nuclear war is the worst thing that could happen. Aside from planet-destroying asteroid strike. But that doesn't fit every book.

Actually, the whole planet-destroying asteroid strike would immediately end your book. :)

Anyway,  the question 'what's the worst thing that can happen right now' needs to be tempered by your genre's conventions. Just as a sweet paranormal doesn't make sense [though right now I can see eight of you deciding to prove me wrong! :)] if your shoot-over-the-moon idea doesn't fit your subgenre, story type or line, it won't make your book better.

Especially, if something about your shoot-the-moon idea alienates readers. Or doesn't fit the conventions of the line, subgenre or story type.

So when shooting your idea over the moon, really think about your story. Think about your AUDIENCE. Think about reader expectations for your line, subgenre or story type. Don't put an asteroid in the middle of a category romance, unless it's a small one that's needed for the external conflict and you can somehow use it to up sexual tension and strengthen the internal conflict!

Think about whether your shoot-over-the-moon idea enhances the story or takes over the story ... or makes the story feel irrelevant.

If you have a mysterious brother come home about 2/3rds of the way through your historical and even the heroine thinks he's hot, and he's the one who reveals the hero's secrets and maybe even the one who saves the've just blown what might have been a good story. Sure, having the brother come home might have been exciting. But if he upstages your hero, he failed. He didn't enhance the story. He ruined it.

Think through your shoot-over-the-moon idea the same way. Make sure you don't come up with something that's outside the realm of what readers want, and make sure the idea enhances the story...doesn't overshadow your story or make it irrelevant.

And that's about all the time I have today. I do have to write this week. (Though my poor body is trying to catch a cold and would like nothing better than to lay about in bed watching reruns of Gilmore Girls.)

So, try to give your story something wonderful, something with umph (like a shoot-over-the-moon idea), but respect your readers and what they want to read, and, also, don't ruin your original story with it.

Make it something that flows naturally from the story/conflicts you already have going.

That's the real trick to a shoot-over-the-moon idea, and readers will love you for it. [So will editors.]

And don't forget you're always welcome to post questions or comments on this blog.

Happy Reading,

susan meier

Monday, November 25, 2013

What Makes a Book Great

Given that this is Thanksgiving week...and the turkey and I are busy...I'm recycling a blog I did for Romance University this summer. Some of you may have seen it, but even if you did, it's a good one to reread.

Have a wonderful Thursday. May you be blessed with gratitude for the good things in your life -- because gratitude itself really is a blessing.

What Makes a Book Great...

We could ask that question to 800 readers and probably come away with 800 different answers. Some readers like great characters. Some love great plots. Others like certain kinds of books. Paranormals or Erotica or Western Historicals.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what kind of book you like or what kind of plot you like. All the books that most of us describe as great have one common denominator…They hold us spellbound.

And how do you hold a reader spellbound?

You catch her attention and you keep it.

Donald Maass talks about having tension and micro tension on every page. To me that’s just a fancy way of saying always have your character dealing with something. What makes trouble in an erotica is going to be different than the trouble you’d find in a suspense. Which would be a tad different than the trouble you’d find in a thriller. Which would be different than the trouble in a contemporary romance.

So you need to know your genre, and you need to know your readers to understand what’s going to put them on the edges of their seats.

But notice the other common denominator here? It’s your character. It won’t matter if you always have your character dealing with something, if readers don’t care that he’s dealing with something. So the second rule of holding readers spellbound is to create a character they care about, someone they can root for.

In my Rita Finalist, THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHTER, the hero is a recovering alcoholic. I had to get readers on his side immediately. So scene one, page one, he sees the heroine, his ex-wife, in the lobby of the local hospital. He’s just finished his annual checkup as CEO for his family’s conglomerate (for insurance purposes J) and she’s visiting her father (who’d had a stroke). His heart immediately stops. He adored her, but he lost her because he drank. He doesn’t make excuses. He doesn’t pull his punches. HE LOST HER. He takes responsibility.

There’s nothing like having a potentially troublesome character take responsibility to make readers edge closer and want to hear a bit more about him. When we see how he still pines for her, notices her pretty hair, her little butt, her cute smile, well, our hearts melt a bit. And we’re sad for him. Because even though he lost her in the past, he isn’t that same guy now. We know that simply from how he took responsibility.

The late Black Snyder calls this saving the cat. Always give readers a glimpse of the character you want your readers to root for doing something noble, or kind, or honest, or generous. He can literally save a cat. LOL But it’s better if the action that he takes somehow relates to the story.

When Max takes responsibility for losing his wife, (ruining his marriage) even though the very fact that he ruined his marriage should make us distrust him, we become curious. So when he remembers that as part of his twelve-step pledge he has to make amends to people he hurt, and he walks over and tells her he’s sorry, we’re totally on this guy’s side. We see he isn’t weak. Fighting his alcoholism has made him strong. And strong, honest, responsible people are likeable.

So when we discover the heroine left him because she was pregnant and is keeping their eight-year-old daughter from him, we are righteously indignant for him. We believe this strong, honest, decent, struggling man has a right to see his child.

And we root for him…

As we watch the story unfold, we want the heroine to let him see his daughter. And as we grow to like her, understanding her reasons for keeping her daughter from him, we want them to get a second chance at love. We want him to win back the heroine.

Against impossible odds, he takes one step at a time, one day at a time, and doesn’t just recommit to the heroine, he wins the heroine’s heart again.

Until, in the black moment, he realizes he can’t promise her forever and forever is what she needs. Then we are as crushed as he is.

Edge of your seat? Yes. Because you like this guy.

So the first rule of writing a great book is to hold readers spellbound. The second rule is to give readers someone they can care about. The troubles you give to this character will only mean something to readers, will only hold them in breathless anticipation, if they care about the character.

And the third rule. Write well. Don’t be sloppy. Think through your plot. Chose and write great scenes. Use great words…or at the very least use the appropriate word. Learn and practice good grammar.

Readers are paying money for your books – sometimes lots of money. They deserve to be entertained. They also deserve to be surprised, pleased, even excited by your good writing.


So keep them spellbound with good characters who appear in well-written scenes with good grammar and perfect word choices that pull them so far into the story they start seeing pictures not reading words…and those readers will say YOUR book is GREAT.

Happy Reading… (And Happy Thanksgiving!)

susan meier



Monday, November 18, 2013


Lots of people start writing believing that they will never want to stop. They will die with a pen in hand or their fingers on the keys of a laptop.

As the years go on, they see their friends fail and sort of fall to the wayside...Still, THEY persist. They are sure, in their guts, that they have what it takes to write forever.

Then suddenly they begin to realize that authors they loved are dropping off the grid. Worse, they notice that some of their favorite bestsellers falter. Or disappear.

And they wonder, as I once wondered, does anybody survive long term?

Well, yeah. But they aren't always the people that you think.

First off, if you're in this for money, two things will happen. Either #1, you will realize you're not going to be one of the ones who gets rich and you'll reevaluate -- Read: you'll realize you made more money clerking at Walmart and go get your old job back. [I borrowed from Peter to pay Paul to be able to keep writing. Some days it's like a drug to me. (LOL!) That kind of passion will keep you going.] Until your royalties and advances (and readership) grow and you can afford to quit your day job and still eat. :)

Unless, #2, you make a lot of money really quickly and, if money was your goal, you're done. LOL!!! You buy a beach house, realize you'd rather spend your time learning to cook and golf, and suddenly you're not writing anymore.

But some people fall for a different reason. A sadder reason. They fall the day they realize writing is hard. Getting published is even harder, unless you self-publish...then you learn that marketing sucks. Or is hard. Or is impossible. Or you feel like you're always saying, "Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book..." and that's not your passion...and disappointment sets in...and we all know what happens when disappointment sets in. You ease off. Until one day you realize you're not writing anymore.

Those are the faltering reasons you "sort of" have control over. What about the ones you don't? Like...

Some people are blessed with good, solid success early on. They couldn't sell to category but ye gawds they exploded in single title. Or no traditional publisher wanted them, but they self-published and sold 100,000 copies of their first book...or even 300,000. They write another book and another book and another book and suddenly readers drop off. Why? Because they're actually rewriting the same darned book over and over and over again. They think it's their formula, and it might be, but after ten books even the not-so-bright reader among their followers will see the pattern and move on to the next pretty, shiny author. And then they falter. They either have to reinvent themselves [which isn't easy] or they say, "I had a good run," and move on.

Or some authors get sloppy after their first book. After the success of selling to a publisher or having success with their first self-published book, they think they've "made it" and they write fast and furious and put out things that aren't as good as their first book. Readers forgive a bad book or two, but once you form a pattern of writing poorly [which can be construed as talking down to them] they eventually flee. And it's hard to come back after that kind of desertion...unless you take a new name. LOL

The only people who really succeed for the long haul are those who realize you're starting over with every book. That readers always want a good story. That readers always want a well written story. And that if your goals revolve around money, you might as well hang it up now because the money is inconsistent. LOL Now, you can use money for a motivator. But it can't be your only reason to write.

You must acknowledge and respect the fact that writing is hard. And want to do it anyway.

You must love telling a good story. (Which by default means you must know what a good story is! LOL)

You must be willing to put in long hours, not because you "have to" but because you love your stories so much (and your readers so much) that long hours are worth it...almost fun...because that's what it takes.

You must have an idea of what readers want from you (so you can please them) but never shortchange them by writing the same book over and over and over ... even though you change the characters' names or the town they live in or their profession...You must know there's a difference between writing within the conventions of a genre or subgenre and writing the same story over and over and over.

You really have to learn what a good story is, what brings readers to your work and how you can manipulate that so that readers always feel your story is fresh and new.

At some point, you have to realize this isn't a job; it's a calling. You have to love/hate being called, respect your readers and do your best. Always.

And you will survive for the long haul.

Happy Reading
susan meier

Monday, November 11, 2013

Process Again...This Time Editing

The past two weeks, we've talked about process. Not How-to-Do-Things, but figuring out the process YOU use to start a book, draft a book, and now edit a book.

Why? Because once you get a process, the real one that works for the type of brain you have and your habit style (which I think is a term I just made up LOL!) then you will either get more work done...or the work you get done will be of a better quality. Either way it's a win.

So today we close out this three-blog series with editing styles.

I edit every morning. Yep. Every day I go over what I wrote the day before because with my "fresh" brain, I see things I had missed when I was drafting. Especially descriptions. When we draft we're so focused on story that we sometimes skimp on descriptions. I get them in the next day. And that usually accounts for my first two pages of the day. LOL

I also edit every Monday morning. Every Monday morning I start on page one and read everything I have, changing sentences, beefing up descriptions, fixing typos. But I also see the flow of the entire story so far. That helps me to make sure everything is going in the direction that I want, that my tone is consistent, that my character arcs are working...and not going wonky on me.

Others like to do an entire draft before they edit. I love that system (and admire anyone using it) for one very good reason. Everything about your story is set. You will not find yourself spending two days editing a scene, page or paragraph that ultimately gets cut because your story changes drastically. Nope. If you've drafted correctly, you now know your story. So there'll be no days or weeks of perfecting things that get cut.

Making that a time-saver system. LOL

Others edit in chunks. They write the first 100 pages and edit them. Then write the second hundred pages and edit.

That system is kind of like mine. In a way, I can't go too far ahead unless I know what I've already done is pretty good...or at least working. I'm sure the chunk editors among us feel the same way. LOL

At one time, I would draft a book, edit the story (make sure the arcs and raised stakes worked), then edit the scenes (making each scene properly dramatize the journey step it illustrated) and then edit the words...sentences, words, grammar...  Because we write on three levels. Story. Scene. Word. It takes a different kind of talent and a different skill set for each one of those phases. So if you work on one phase at a time, it's easier to focus. Time management experts call this task batching.

The three-phase approach (story, scene and word editing) is another system that works very well.

But notice the organization in all of these systems. My friends and I don't just wake up one day and say, "It's editing day!" We have systems. Habits that clue our brains in on what we're doing so that they wake up and go in the direction in which we need them to go.

So editing is another process. Another thing you should be making notes on as you try to figure out your entire "how I write a book" that you can use it again and again and again so that you form habits that serve you.

Because that's really the bottom line to high quality/high productivity. Either being incredibly talented...or finding the systems that work for you.

Happy Reading

susan meier

Monday, November 4, 2013

Your Process

Last Monday, I talked a bit about keeping track of how you start a book. Do you start with an idea? Do you have character sheets, or, like me, do you "find" your characters in several different versions of the first three chapters? Do you storyboard...SHOULD you storyboard. LOL

This week, we're going to take that a step further. What happens after all your prep time?

You're going to groan when I tell you this (and I'm knocking on wood so I don't jinx myself) but I'm a very systematic writer. I literally write my book 10-12 pages at a time. Tuesday through Saturday, I write ten or 12 pages a day, just by reading my notes for the next scenes/chapter and fleshing it out.

Other people aren't that organized. Some people mood write. Which is, of course, writing happy scenes if your happy and the darker scenes when you're angry or frustrated. Personally, I love that system. I've skipped ahead to bad scenes in my books on days when I was ... not quite happy. LOL And I wrote my entire second book that way. It was actually kind of fun, though I ended up with a little more edits than I I kept groping for a better (for me) system.

Some people write in chunks. I have friends who piddle with a page or two every day until one day something comes over them and they write 30 to 50 pages. I gape in awe. (My fingers would be numb.) But that's their process. Their stories percolate a little longer. But if they get 50 pages every Friday and 50 on Saturday, they beat my nice consistent, steady flow for the week!

Some people write out of fear. Deadline is ten days from now...must write fast. LOL

Some people CAN'T write out of fear. They freeze. So they need to start early and keep pushing themselves to get done before their deadline is close...or they'll freeze. Which, if you think about it, is a kind of fear itself but I never question anyone's process. :)

Some people speed write (a la Candace Haven's Fast Draft process) and get their draft done quickly so they have lots of time to edit.

My point...

There are lots of systems. Just because you don't write like your friends, or systematically like me, or fast like some of my friends, that doesn't mean your system is wrong. It makes you you.:) And apparently the world needs a you...otherwise, you wouldn't be here

So begin to figure out your system. Don't make it the iron hand of the law that you can't break, but try to see how you write, what days you write best, how much thinking/percolating time you need, how you react to deadlines and then use what you learn.

Remember what I said last week...Don't reinvent the wheel every time you write a book. Your brain responds to systems and habit. So start keeping track of when and how you write best...and use that information, and you'll probably notice an increase in productivity.

And happiness. Because aren't we all happier when we're writing?

Happy Reading

susan meier

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tricks and Tips

I went to a webinar this week where the W plot was explained. I'd seen this before, of course, but the way this presenter explained it, it suddenly clicked with me. Choirs of angels sang. My new book didn't merely make sense; the storyboard virtually wrote itself.


Had you asked me two weeks ago what I thought of the W plot, I probably would have hemmed and hawed and said I don't use it. Today, I could gold plate it and send it to all my friends as a Christmas gift.

How does this happen? That one day a tool seems ineffective or not for you, and the next it's your greatest gift from God?

Sometimes, we're not ready for a trick or a tip when it's explained or taught in a workshop. I know. I know...after 50+ books I should have been ready years ago...but I wasn't.

Or maybe it's the teacher.

This particular teacher, Liz Pelletier from Entangled Publishing, was very knowledgeable and very casual about the W. It was like they were old friends or lovers. She knew this technique. That came through in her teaching.

Anyway... My point in this post is to be open minded. You never know when somebody's trick is going to click for you.

But my second point is that you -- yourself -- should begin making a list of tricks and tips. Every time you begin a new book, you shouldn't reinvent the wheel. You need a synopsis. You may need character studies. (I personally get to know my characters in the first three chapters...not a technique I recommend (LOL) since I tend to rewrite those three chapters five different ways until I find the characters I really like.)

You may do a storyboard or an outline. (I can't work without them.) You may have character lists, research forms...whatever. These things aren't just ways of accumulating the information you need for your story. They are also triggers for your brain. I think I use a different part of my brain when I come up with a story and another part when I'm bringing scenes to life. So stimulation is good. :)

I, personally, have also created some forms and techniques. Like the could, might, must and should list and the trusty list of four (five if I feel like explaining REAL subplots which I usually don't). One paragraph story summaries help me focus my story. I have four different types that give me four different versions of the story so I can choose the one that works best...before I storyboard. I work hard to figure out my stories because it saves time and revisions.

And who doesn't want to save time...or lessen revisions? If you want a career as a novelist, especially a romance novelist where the more books you can produce per year the better, figuring out your process is a time saver. It helps you develop routine and order, habits -- if you will -- that allow you to consistently produce.

So keep trying new tips and tools and start taking a look at your own process. Keep notes or a binder with your tools/forms in it. And go back to that every time you start a book. Form a habit that will serve to jumpstart your brain and also get you working in the right direction right from day one of a new book.

Happy Reading

susan meier

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Last Wednesday, I turned in a book. Thursday I drove to New Jersey (5 hours) for the NJ RWA chapter conference. I ate too much. I drank too much. And, oddly, I may have learned too much. Damned social media. I swear potential Facebook posts are leaking out my ears. Anyway, this morning, when I got up, none of that mattered. I have a book due December 1. I'd done a proposal (with three chapters) so I kinda have a jump on things. There was one bit of the story the editors didn't like (read: desperately hated) so I'll be lobbing that off. But otherwise, I have a start. Except... Now that I've been to Madeline Hunter's workshop on conflict, I think I'll hold my idea up against her concepts of what makes a strong conflict. And maybe I'll give some thought to Eloisa James's idea of starting a book at the black moment...Because, well, honestly, the most dramatic, most interesting, most desperate stuff happens after the black just think how intense your story would be if you formulated (or in this case reformulated) the beginning to be an 'all is lost moment' and went from there? Hum. Maybe I can't forget about that conference after all? Except I do not think I'll find somewhere to use Stephanie Dray/Draven's Egyptian fun facts. Anyway, my point -- I always have one -- is that you can learn everything there is to learn at a conference (or workshop or online workshop) but if it doesn't pop into your head when you need it, it's worthless. So when you get done with a workshop, or return from a conference, review your notes. Decide to use (or at least experiment with) the information you received. And if you haven't been to a conference or workshop recently, get a tape. Get NJRWA's tapes. Get the tapes from Nationals. Or analyze the book you're reading or the last three books you read. It doesn't matter if a book is good or bad, you can learn something. Always be learning! Always be growing! Because that's the only way you (and your work) will get better. And it's only by getting better that you achieve your goals. ___ BTW, I'd love to hear what YOU'D like to read about in this blog. Comment with a suggestion for a Monday Morning Writer's Blog and be entered to win a copy of SINGLE DAD'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. Happy Reading, susan

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We're participating in this...
Writers looking for a little inspiration...please scroll down. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Books that get noticed

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a post for Romance University. I decided to write a little ditty about what makes a book great. It was a good, solid post. :) But I think I missed something.

How do I know this? I had a conversation with a PR person about what Shirley Jump, Jackie Braun, Barbara Wallace and I would be doing to promote our anthology, THE BILLIONAIRE'S MATCHMAKER -- which is releasing today through Entangled Publishing! Yay! Since I don't have the attention of a PR person very often, I asked if any of this stuff, blogging, branding, giveaways, and Facebook events would actually help to sell books and she said, "I don't know."

Honesty. Gotta love it.

We then got into a discussion about why one book catches fire and another doesn't and she basically said no one knows why. But some books just take off. We discussed "trope" titles. We talked about author recognition. But in the end, we were no further ahead than when we first spoke. There is no definitive "thing" you can do to get your book noticed.

Of course, that bugged me. Not only to I love to analyze, but also I believe there is always a reason for EVERYTHING. LOL

So I noodled it around a bit but came to no conclusions. Then one night, as we were watching TV, something on the show reminded me of Sandra Brown. Yee Gawds. I remember the first time I read her. I immediately called six friends and said, "Have you read this book? This author? You have to."

Same with Nora Roberts. Same with Gina Showalter. Same with my friends Shirley Jump and Deb Mullins. Same with Lori Handeland. Jennifer Probst. Jill Shalvis. Kristen Higgins. And a few others whose names escape me now.

I've done some jumping off my chair and reaching for the phone to insist my friends read certain books. LOL I was familiar with the concept. :) I'd seen great books. I'd word-of-mouthed great authors. All I had to do was think about why I'd called. What was it about those books that made me HAVE TO promote them? LOL

The answer is kind of obvious.

If, when you start writing a book, you would imagine some woman in Iowa (or Pennsylvania or Texas or Alaska) reading it, her heart beating a little faster, and her entire person engaged in your story, and then imagine her jumping off her chair and calling three friends, saying, "Have you read this author? You have to." you wouldn't be able to turn in a second-rate story with schleppy characters and so-so writing. (Not that you do. LOL. I'm just sayin'.)

If you want someone to jump off her chair and call the neighbor and tell her she's bringing your book to her house immediately and then watching her read have to write something worthy of that kind of reaction. Something magnificent.

Over the past few years, the editors at Harlequin have been pushing me to make my stories meatier, my conflicts gut-wrenching. My own personal study has been geared toward scenes that drawn in readers and writing that is so good it appears effortless. (Yes, effortless writing is hard work.)

So once I made the connection that the authors I promoted through word of mouth wrote better, wrote stories that held us spellbound, I realized why the eds were pushing me toward a bigger version of what I had been doing for the past few decades.

Their job is to get a book out of you that sells. But to really sell, you need to write something that forces Matilda off her chair, running for her phone to call her friend Bayberry and tell her she has to read your book.

So look at your current WIP. Would it inspire anyone to leap off her chair and call a friend? I don't care if it's a category romance or a contemporary mainstream; you can work within the confines of your genre, subgenre or story type and find a way to make your book fantastic. If you're the kind of person who comes up with great stories but can't quite make them need to work on your writing. Something about your scenes (which includes pacing and release of information) or your words (description, dialogue, POV) is off. If you're great with scenes and words, dialogue, POV, action...then maybe your stories (the combination of characters and goals, motivations, and conflicts) don't quite hit the mark.

If you're not making readers leap off their seats in excitement to share your book -- your name -- then you have some work to do.

Note, please, that I'm talking to myself here too. I don't think anybody's ever leaped off a chair for me. Though I did get a review on THE SINGLE DAD'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE that said, You have to read this book. :)

So maybe I'm getting closer. LOL

Happy Reading

susan meier

Monday, October 7, 2013

Do I really think I'm going to grow?

A few months ago, I bought a book by John Maxwell called the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. I was happily reading it in bed one night  and it dawned on me...I'm sixty. Do I really think I'm going to grow? Do I even want to grow? Am I too old to grow? How to I want to grow?

And, please, Lord, don't let it be size-wise! LOL

Though I'm a tad (cough, cough) older than most of you, I think those are actually some good questions all of us should be asking ourselves about our careers.

Do I want to grow?

How do I want to grow?

Where do I want to be next year, five years from now, ten years from now...twenty?

Lots of us set goals or make plans or dream dreams about accepting a Rita, or being an NYT bestseller, or even just snagging a publisher or agent...but we don't do anything different or special to make those dreams come true.

What's the saying...if you keep doing what you've always been doing, you'll get what you've always gotten.

So wouldn't it make sense, then, that if you want to be an NYT bestseller...that you should write something different, or write in a different way (perhaps better?), or spend more time writing or shake up your schedule and write before work instead of after... or something? Anything?

Yet most of us don't do anything different. We dream the dreams. We write out the goals but we forget that to get something different, a new result, a BETTER result, we have to do something different, something new, something better.

Lots of times that's learning. Sometimes, it's better time management. Or maybe even just focus. We must focus our energy on that goal or dream or vision.

But no matter which it, time or focus...we have to do something different.

So, today, think about those questions.

Do you want to grow? If so, how? Who do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish?

And what do you have to change to be that person, accomplish that goal?

Happy Reading

susan meier

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Single Dad's Christmas Miracle by Susan Meier

Single Dad's Christmas Miracle

by Susan Meier

Giveaway ends October 07, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, September 30, 2013

Taking Advantage of Real Opportunities

During a class I taught last month, I wrote an "extra" email explaining the difference between single titles and category romances. For good measure I wrote a bit about main stream romances.

One class participant wrote an email back asking, Well, why does it HAVE TO be this. And why do I HAVE TO DO that.

My reply? You don't have to do anything. Seriously. What's the saying? You don't have to do anything except die and pay taxes. LOL The demarcations I outlined had to do with traditional publishing and what editors and publishers wanted to see from writers. In this day and age of self-publishing, I told him, you can write anything you want and call it anything you want. There are no single title and category police. :) There are no thriller or mystery police or horror and zombie police or...well,  any writing police at all.


There is a little thing called reader expectation.

Granted, most readers probably do not know the terms single title and category romance. They don't understand genre fiction versus mainstream. They probably call them little books and big books. But when they dive into a book, expecting a big story -- because you've written a lot of pages -- and they get a super long category romance, they're going to know.

Some people might not be disappointed. Personally, I love the focus being only on the hero and heroine's story. If you can find a way to turn that into 400 pages instead of 250...I'd buy everything you wrote. :)

But if you write a book about two frogs and call it a romance and thousands of unsuspecting readers buy may find yourself in a spot of trouble with readers.

Still, that's the least of our worries as writers. Our real problem is...if enough people write books about two mating frogs and call them romance novels, and enough people write really long category romances and send them out there like single titles, and enough people write books with a big story and only a little romance and call them romances...all those wonderful lines we rely on to guide readers to the right books will be lost.

What does this have to do with taking advantage of real opportunities? Well, instead of fretting about the differences, the boxes we seem to be put in, the demarcations between single title and category...between genre fiction and mainstream fiction...why not use them?

Why not give readers what they want?

If you know readers like deeply emotional scenes why not write them?

If you're planning to sell to people who like humor, why not make them laugh?

If you're planning to sell to single title readers, why not write a book that gives them ups and downs and highs and lows and a bigger broader story?

Why do we want to fight the things it's taken publishing decades to establish as SELLING TOOLS? LOL!!!

We've spent the past few years applauding the fact that we could paint outside the lines and I think we may have forgotten why the lines existed.

So take a minute to appreciate the differences, to realize that you're in the entertainment business and the easiest way to entertain is to give the readers what they want.  And sometimes that's going to mean coloring within the lines. :)

Happy Reading

susan meier

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Giveaway at I will be giving away several copies of SINGLE DAD'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE next week!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Single Dad's Christmas Miracle by Susan Meier

Single Dad's Christmas Miracle

by Susan Meier

Giveaway ends September 28, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, September 23, 2013

The power of the pen

Friday, I was a tad burned out so when we packed to go away for the weekend, I left my laptop behind. I did not want to write...or see anything on the Internet. LOL Some days you just need to unplug! Plus, we had plans to golf all day Saturday and half of Sunday. There wouldn't be time to write anyway.

We arrived at my sister-in-law's house only to discover it was to rain all day Saturday and we wouldn't be golfing...I would be wasting time.

Well, I told myself...It doesn't matter. I needed a break. So, of course, a full-blown scene appeared in my head as I tried to fall asleep on Friday night. I crawled out of bed, found a receipt in my purse and a pen, and scratched out the important details, while my husband slept.

Saturday morning we drove to a discount department store and I bought a notebook. When we returned to my sister-in-law's I wrote five scenes. Luckily, I know shorthand. LOL

I haven't used a pen and paper to write in a long time, but it was fun. And I got a lot written. But I also think the switch of media from keyboard to pen loosened something in my tired brain. :)

I am (as you all probably realize) a creature of habit. I love habits. I believe good habits serve us well, keep us on track, nudge us to do things that we'd otherwise blow off.

But every once in a while it's a good idea to shake things up. To do things differently. To wake up your brain and give it a chance to stretch.

I'll be typing out my scenes in a few minutes and I know that will jumpstart my brain and ideas will be hopping around in my brain like popcorn.

Can you think of a better way to start of Monday than with five scenes to type that will jumpstart your brain?

Maybe we should appoint Saturday or Sunday as Power of the Pen day and scribble just enough to jumpstart our Mondays!

Happy Reading

susan meier

Monday, September 16, 2013

When I love being a writer

I had one of those days on Friday. The kind that makes you glad you're a writer. I woke early and immediately opened my laptop to make words. I'd written a chapter the day before that I knew was in the wrong order. The hero had to tell the heroine something before it would make sense for her to do something else. (That's all the more detail I can give you...the book's just too funny to spoil.) And somehow or another I'd written them in the wrong order.

Anyway, I decided that before I'd make new words I'd fix the old ones. I switched the scenes and then had to fix the references since the order had changed. But as I was fixing and repairing, I found a word or two that could be better. I pumped up descriptions. I made dialogue funnier. And ended up adding four pages.

When I was done with that chapter it sang. But, even better, I felt like a writer again.

We spend so much time working to hit word counts, speed drafting, worrying about hitting plot points and just plain left-braining through our books that we sometimes forget writing is an art and that our right brain would like to come out and play too.

We also forget that most of us became writers because we like the art of it. We enjoy playing with words. We enjoy a fun turn of phrase. We like build ups and surprises. Twists. Turns. Great descriptions.

Don't deny yourself the pure pleasure of writing well. You may not be able to do it every day. You may have to do those 1000-word sprints three times a day or have to hit a weekly word count to make a deadline. I get that. But one day a week or maybe one hour a day...wouldn't you like to go back and take a look at your words? Play with dialogue. Create descriptions that sing?

Of course you would.

If you're denying yourself that pleasure...that could be part of the reason you sometimes feel burned out or disconnected from your work. You need that pleasure to feed your soul.

So give yourself that day or that hour and make your writer's soul happy again.

Happy Monday


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Hop Over

The September is for Sequels Blog Hop is over...

My five winners are:

esined615 at yahoo dot com

evamillien at gmail dot com

mestith at gmail dot com

sstrode at scrtc dot com

Thanks everyone for participating!


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Word Is Out

By now the word is out that I've agreed to a contract with Entangled to do three books for their Bliss line. The champagne corks have been popped. I've had a nice dinner out. Congratulatory emails have been exchanged.

And now I have to go to work. :)

We tend to think of getting published (signing a contract) as a sort of finish line -- a goal we accomplish - when in truth it's like the light turning green at an intersection: the signal that we can now go.

As you've probably guessed, I already have storyboards and chapters for two of the books. (I saved book 3 so I can take advantage of what happens in books 1 and 2 to make that story better.)

So now all I have to do is sit down and write. (I make it sound so simple, don't I? LOL)

What will I do?

1. Set a schedule. I know how I write. I reread everything I already have every Monday. (Which means by the time I'm done with a book, chapters 1, 2 and 3 really sparkle. LOL) So I have from Tuesday through Saturday to draft. I take the number of weeks I have to write the book, divide that into the number of pages I need and ... that's how many pages I have to do each week. I divide that by five...and that's how many pages I have to get a day. [NOTE: I give myself Sundays off. I figured if God decided a day off was important enough to make it a commandment our bodies or brains must need it.]

2. I read my synopsis, existing chapters and storyboard. I cuddle up to the story. I usually put enough in my storyboard to KNOW what the story is about...but it's the one-paragraph story summary that connects me to the emotion. So I paste that on my computer. :)

3. I start writing. I don't hem and haw. I don't make excuses. I don't say, Fridays are my best day, I'll get 20 pages on Friday and everything will be okay. Nope. I buckle down. IMMEDIATELY.

4.  I keep the promises I make to myself. I've been blessed to have been "bought" by two publishers. I have goals. I have dreams. I someday want to own a beach house (just kidding...sort of). I won't accomplish my goals or see my dreams come true if I don't do the work today.

Today...right now...THIS MINUTE is the only reality. If you don't start in THIS MINUTE you will talk yourself out of the next minute and the next minute and the next minute and before you know it the day will be shot.

So get busy. As soon as you hit the time slot you've allotted to write GET BUSY.

Do it now. :)

Happy Monday


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

to see this week's writing post

you need to click on Just Do It on the lower righthand side in blog archives. Sorry about this. The blog hop posts just kinda took over! LOL susan


September is for Sequels! I love sequels. I love to read them. I love to write them! In the past few years I've had several "duets" for Harlequin, books that tell the story of brothers or sisters. To celebrate September is for sequels I'm giving away five copies of my Rita nominated book, THE TYCOON'S SECRET DAUGHTER and its sequel NANNY FOR THE MILLIONAIRE'S TWINS! Comment below to be entered in the contest. susan

september is for sequels!

And...visit all the links below for more chances to win sequels!