Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dream Your Way to Your Writing Reality

Yesterday, I listened to an online broadcast by the co-creator of, `Chicken Soup for the Soul', Jack Canfield. The radio show was extremely inspiring. Mr. Canfield told the audience how fifteen years ago he had been invited to a `Come-as-You-Are' party, where the guests had to dress, act, and bring things to the party representing how they would like their lives to be five years into the future.

An interesting concept, eh?

So Jack made up some book covers and titles and broadcasted to everyone how he was so successful that he had been booked to make an appearance on the Oprah show. Susan Jeffers who went on to write, `Feel the Fear and do it Anyway', was also a guest at the same party. A number of college students had been booked for the evening to snap pictures of the guests mimicking the awaiting `paparazzi'.

Jack went on to explain how every one of the twenty guests he knew personally [there were 150 in total], went on to achieve great things. And as we all know, he eventually achieved great things himself with the `Chicken Soup for the Soul' series of books.

So as writers, how do we turn a dream into reality like Jack Canfield did?

While I can't speak for everyone, I can tell you how I am on my way to making my own writing dream come true.

As a student on the first counselling course I undertook in 1999, the tutor asked us what our future goals were. I had recently started writing again and attending a local writing group. Although, I had written a lot: short stories and poetry mainly, I had not had or tried to have, anything published at that point.

"I want to see something I've written published!" I said, without thinking too much about it.

What I'd done unwittingly was to voice what was already at the back of my unconscious mind, making it seem more of a reality that a dream.

After that, I got an Internet-ready computer and joined online writing groups, starting to submit my work to various websites. This process kick-started something inside of me and as they say, `Success breeds Success'.

I managed to get several articles and short stories published both online and in print publications, which made me realize that my dream was achievable. A few years later, I wanted to write a book. Who doesn't? Many people say when you mention you have written a book that they have always wanted to write one, sadly, few do.

I'd never written a book before but I had read them, lots of them.

The longest short story I had ever written was around 1,500, now I intended to write a novel of around 60,000 words!

I had a rough plot in my mind: the main characters, a beginning and an ending, but no middle? So how was I going to get from A to B?

Believe it or not, this `backwards plotting' can work very well as it can help the writer to foreshadow important plot points. This concept has continued to work well for me.

I'd like to be able to say that the book practically wrote itself, well it did, almost. But like most writers there were times when I got a little stuck and days when I would have to force myself to sit down at the computer and write whether I felt like it or not. The important thing was to get the book written and then go back and edit and revise.

I breathed a sigh of relief when after six months, I finally typed, `THE END'.

Surely, now the hard work was all over?

Not so.

The editing and revision process was in some ways harder than writing the book itself, that was a doddle compared to this! But not being one to give up, I ploughed on, finished the final draft to the best of my ability and submitted it to a publisher.

It was published in May of 2006. This year, I shall see the publication of three of my romance novels. Jack Canfield maintains that average people can do extraordinary things.

I don't have any degrees in writing, or journalism experience come to that, but I can put together an article, short story, or novel that people want to read.

I got to where I am as a writer by plodding on, persisting, and excreting bucketsful of perspiration of the brow; truly there is no other way. I am an ordinary person doing something quite extraordinary!

My tips to achieve your writing dream:

1. Vocalize it. Make your dream vocal. If you have never been published and desire to be, then tell someone! By vocalizing your thoughts you are making them real!

2. Visualize it. Imagine yourself [like Jack Canfield did] in five years time. What would you like to be doing? Do you see yourself being the author of a string of novels? Or freelancing for a local newspaper? Or maybe having your work published in a big magazine, like Cosmopolitan or Vogue? Meditate on this daily until this thought becomes a reality for you. Write down your goals and be specific.

3. Venture out. Step out into the unknown and take risks. Okay, you might not have had any articles/stories/poetry published before and think it is a bit cheeky to submit your work to a magazine. But at the end of the day, does it really matter as long as your work is the best you can possibly make it and you've researched the market well? Take a risk and submit it, if you haven't been published before, don't mention it. We all had to start somewhere. Fake it until you make it.

Jack Canfield decided he would like to be an international speaker. He had cards printed saying so, although he hadn't as yet spoken overseas. He chose a country, Australia, as the country he would like to speak in. And do you know what? Sometime later, he received a phone call asking him to speak in Brisbane! He had created his own reality.

The principle behind this is, if you BELIEVE you can do something with all your heart and ACT as though you are what you INTEND to be, then you Will be what you Desire to be someday.

Hear Jack Canfield's inspiring interview here [click on interview for March 22, 2005]:


Lynette Rees lives in South Wales. She has had many articles and stories published, both online and in print. Some of her publications include: Ocean Magazine, Vibrant Life [US]; Horizon Magazine, Suite 101 [Canada]; Living Now [Australia]; Writers’ Forum and Carillon Magazine [United Kingdom]. When Lynette is not writing, she works as a counsellor for a local cancer charity. To learn more about Lynette Rees, please visit Send an email to Lynette at or join her Yahoo! group to join in the fun with other readers as well as Lynette!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Newsletters - do you have one?

I've been working on a newsletter to announce my upcoming print release. I looked at some of the newesletters from other writers and came up with a short list of pertinent info.

You need to mention right up front the most important thing - whether its a new contract, a contest, a new release, or a booksigning. Make sure people know how to buy the book! You need to let everyone know where to find you - your appearances in person and online. You should have something tantalizing about the story or about how you write.

Other elements you might wish to include are what you're working on now. For my first newsletter, I wanted to ask people to spread the word, so I enlisted them all to help with marketing.

Also, its useful to have the tone and physical appearance of the newsletter reflect your personality. I wanted something light and easy to read with lots of bright colors.

If you'd like a copy of my first newsletter, email me at and I'll send one to you. I'm mailing the bulk of them out via email so that the hyperlinks will take people to online sites, but I also have a few to mail out snail mail for the folks who don't use the internet.

Best Wishes!! Maggie Toussaint

House of Lies, romantic supsense, ISBN 1601540310

Saturday, February 24, 2007

To Love Again - Out Now!

I'm really excited!

My short story, To Love Again has been released as a $1.50 download by The Wild Rose Press.

Ellen is running late to catch a train to catch a plane. But as she packs, she wonders if she’s doing the right thing. Harry is there at the airport, waiting for her. She also knows he’s waiting for much more. He’s hoping this holiday together will cement their relationship. Does she want it to? Does she need it? Can she start another chapter of her life, which includes a man again?

Regards, Anne.~

Seven Ways To Inject Suspense Into Your Novel

Certain genres are renowned for being more suspenseful than others: horror, crime fiction and romantic suspense, but each and every book, no matter whether it's an Historical Romance or a Paranormal Fantasy, HAS to have a level of suspense interwoven between the pages!

All stories need to have this element, otherwise the reader isn't going to want to turn the page, it's as simple as that. So if you're interested in what makes a suspenseful page turner, then please read on...

Creating conflict in your novel is a given, otherwise there would be no story. If all went smoothly it would be as dull-as-dishwater, wouldn't it? They all lived happily throughout the story and ever after, yawn...

I've listed seven ways you can inject suspense into your novel:

1. Introduce your characters to their worst nightmare!

Find out about your characters beforehand. If possible, write up their likes and dislikes etc, and most importantly of all, find out what it is they fear most? What is it that causes their hearts to thump loudly, beads of perspiration to form on their upper lips, and the hairs on the back of their necks to stand on end? Find out what that thing or things are, and then give it to them, both barrels. For example, if your heroine is petrified of flying because her parents died in a plane crash, create a story where she HAS to take a journey on an airplane. If your hero fears water because he almost drowned as a young child, put him in a position where he HAS to get back in the water to rescue someone.

Introduce them to their worst nightmare and watch how they react!

2. Lull them into a false sense of security

When your character is really frightened of something, throw in a red herring. For example, if your heroine thinks she hears a noise outside, allow the plot to let her fears grow and grow. Let it be something quite innocuous, like the dustbin blowing over in the wind. Then, when she has reassured herself, breathing a sigh of relief, petrify her to death by placing a prowler outside her back door!

3. Throw the spotlight on at least two people

This might sound a little obvious, but for goodness sake, don't make the villain of the piece stand out a mile. Instead, have suspicion fall on at least two, possibly three characters. This will have the effect of your reader not really being sure until the end, when the other shoe falls! But, by all means, leave some clues and some red herrings along the way!

4. Pacing

Pacing is important to create suspense. In general, short, snappy sentences will enable the reader to race ahead so they feel their heart is beating in time with the frightened protagonist. Longer sentences tend to slow things down. You might want to speed things up for a car chase or slow it down for a love making scene. Imagine your novel as if you were watching it on the big screen. How would it be filmed? What would that particular scene look like to the audience?

5. The calm before the storm

Make use of the weather to good effect. Thunderclouds brewing overhead, often give the reader the feeling that something is about to happen [prophetic fallacy]. A bolt of lightening hitting the night sky, power lines down, a stranger at the door, etc. Think of the last time you watched a horror film; didn't the weather come into somewhere?

6. When all goes well, throw in a dead body!

When you hit a sagging middle of a novel, and you find there's no where to go, try throwing in a dead body. This doesn't necessarily mean that a character has to be killed off, although you might want to do just that, it can mean that something unexpected happens, such as the birth of a baby, etc. Something that injects a little more oomph into the plot!

7. Setting

Setting is very important as a tool to create suspense. What about that dark stone staircase covered in cobwebs? Or the elevator that suddenly stops in between floors? Choosing the right sort of setting can make or break a novel. And sometimes, placing the object or person the protagonist fears in an innocuous setting can make the story all the more horrifying.

Be cruel to your characters and watch them run for their lives!

Friday, February 23, 2007


Hi, my name is Lyn although I write as 'Hywela Lyn' (my first two names). I thought it was about time I introduced myself. I have recently had my first novel, a romantic science fantasy accepted by Amy Herald of the Wild Rose Press for the 'Faery Rose' line. I'm really thrilled about this and am currently working on the sequel.

I live in England, although I was born and lived most of my life in rural Wales which I love dearly. I am very fond of all animals, especially horses and have three of my own, which I ride 'Western' style. I enjoy reading romantic fiction, especially Westerns and Science Fiction, although I will read anything. I'm so happy to be a member of the Wild Rose 'garden' and am enjoying reading the blog entries here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The promise of springtime

Am I a supple stem, flush with new growth, or am I a brittle remnant of last year's heyday? That's what I'm thinking about as I look out my window today. Long supple strands of pampas grass out there in my setting of coastal Georgia, but many of you in the north have the delight of ice and snow.

Winter is drawing to a close, and with it comes the promise of spring. What will spring bring for you? A bountiful season of sowing new stories? A look back at past bountiful harvests?

For me, spring is a wonderful time of awakening. Just like our romances have black moments, our ardous winters prepare us for the glory of spring, and, I hope, many wonderful new and exciting stories at The Wild Rose Press.
Be sure and check out my House of Lies. Here's a recent reveiw: "Sparks fly as two well-crafted characters tangle with a crafty villain in House of Lies. Maggie Toussaint is an author to watch!" --Tracy Montoya, Harlequin Intrigue author.

Maggie Toussaint

House of Lies, romantic suspense, ISBN 1601540310

Tips for New Writers

Hi! My name is Sonja Foust and I'm a new author at the Wild Rose Press. I'm excited to be a part of such a smart and sassy crowd. I wanted to make an appearance on the blog as soon as I heard one existed. (I know, I'm such a pop culture hoochie, but I absolutely love blogs.) But I wanted to make sure I had something to offer first. So here you go, and I hope you find it helps you out!

I know a lot of the readers of this blog are also writers, so I've put together a list of tips for new writers (romance or otherwise) that I've learned from personal experience. Enjoy!

1. Write what you love. Don't write for the market. Don't target. I know some people say it's a good idea, but I can't work like that. Especially on your first book, write about what you love. It will be better that way, I promise.

2. If you don't know what you love, take some time to figure it out. If you get part-way into a book and don't love it, it's ok to stop and start again. Sometimes it takes a few false starts.

3. Write an entire book before you start pitching around to editors and agents.

4. Make a schedule with deadlines and keep working on a project always. Don't wait around for people to get back to you. Push ahead.

5. Get a website! Believe it or not, agents and editors actually do look at them. I've heard of cases where an editor/agent rejected a manuscript that a writer sent in, but then asked to see a different one that was listed on the writer's website. That's why I keep a list of completed and in progress books as well as a list of "proposals," which are really just blurbs of ideas for books I haven't had time to write yet, but will eventually. Usually only published authors get to work from proposals (the lucky dogs), but it can't hurt to have a few floating around, just in case.

6. Have a Bad Day project. I'm moody, I admit. This is the reason I keep a Bad Day manuscript around to work on when I'm just not in a Happily Ever After mood. I may never finish it, and even if I do, I'm willing to bet no one will publish it (at least not any romance line), but at least I'm working, even when I can't squeeze out any rainbows. And who knows? Maybe when it's done, I will have written the next Catcher in the Rye. Mother would be so proud.

What are your tips and tricks from personal experience? Please leave a comment if you've got a tip, and stop by my blog sometime! I love visitors!

Sonja Foust

LOVE IN SHADOW: coming soon from The Wild Rose Press

Sunday, February 18, 2007



Just wanted to stop by, say Hello and introduce myself.

I am Pamela S Thibodeaux and newly contracted through The Wild Rose Press.

My novel, The Inheritance was recently accepted for the White Rose Line.

Looking forward to chatting with you all!

IMW, if you'd like to know more about me and my other published works, visit my website at

Until later remember....Love is a Rose and we're called to be roses in the jungle of life.

Romance Readers' Pet Peeves

Just introducing myself here. I'm a new Wild Rose Press Author, new to TWRP, not to writing of course. We're all romance writers here but as well as that, we are romance readers. [At least we ought to be if we write in that genre!] I thought I'd share this article with you. I wrote it some time back-- it's regarding romance readers' pet peeves. Read the article and let me know what your pet peeves are!

Romance Readers' Pet Peeves

I thought it might be a good idea to talk about over-used phrases in romance novels and short stories. This isn't just for me to have a moan and groan, but for you writers to consider avoiding over-use.

We've all done it at some time or another -- picked up a book by a well known or even not so well known author and put it down again, wondering if it is worth carrying on reading through to the end.

Why? We've got fed up of over-used phrases. I'll give you an example. Recently, I got into the writing of a popular romance novelist. Her books excited me, I couldn't put them down. After reading 3 of them, I purchased yet another, only to be very disappointed. I got the impression this was a book she had written in haste.

Why? She used the same phrase over and over. She used it so much in her book, it's now my most hated phrase. What is it? "She rolled her eyes."

I know a lot of writers use this phrase from time to time. I think they can get away with it if it's used very sparingly. Personally, I don't like the phrase, as to me, it conjures up visions of two disembodied eyes being rolled across the floor. I rarely use it.

The author used this phrase so much, I even found it used twice in the same sentence! I got the impression the book she had written, although the plot was excellent, was written in a hurry.

Another phrase I've noticed popping up in romance novels is the 'over-stuffed armchair'. To be honest, I'm not even sure what an over-stuffed armchair looks like. Is a chair like this so bad that polyester filling oozes from its insides? Do customers have a right to complain if they have purchased an 'over-stuffed armchair'?

"Dear Sir:

The armchair I purchased from your store last week looks decidedly over-stuffed. If you do not send someone around to remove some of the stuffing, then I shall be forced to contact the 'Armchair Police', who will investigate the case.


Mrs. Couch Potato."

Other readers have their say:

* How did she manage that?

Ami Weaver says the phrase she dislikes is: "She schooled her features..." Ami goes on to say: "How do you school your features? This one is perhaps not overly common, but there is one author in the category romance arena that uses it constantly. And it makes me cringe."

* How ridiculous!

Hilary Evans from Iowa says: "I review erotica on a regular basis, and I have to say my pet peeve is any pair of 'moist panties' throughout the novel. It's the most ridiculous saying, and some authors just use it over and over and over. Ugh!"

* Was she right or was she wrong?

Heather Truett says: "I recently read Queenmaker by India Edghill, and she ended almost every chapter with ‘She thought she knew, but she was wrong.’ Now, I notice that kind of phrase everywhere. Every character always thinks they know..."

* Over-active head movements

Amie Cleghorn says: "I read this book one time where 'She tossed her head' all the time. When she wasn't tossing her head, she was shrugging her shoulders. And, yes, she could speak!"

What over-used phrases do you dislike when reading a novel or short story?

Well I'll just get back to my over-stuffed armchair, sit down for a read, toss my head and roll my eyes, thus schooling my features. Hopefully, I won't have to step over any moist panties en route!

Lynette Rees author of It Happened One Summer and Return to Winter

Friday, February 16, 2007

Twilight's Kiss has been released!

I'm very happy to announce that my faery rose novel, Twilight's Kiss has been released in ebook format to be available in print in April! Woo-hoo! I'd like to thank my editor, Amy Herald and of course RJ for giving me such a wonderful cover!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A New Way To Celebrate Valentine's Day

Halloween has been designated as the official Wild Rose Press Editor Appreciation Day, BUT ...

What could be more appropriate than a day full of red velvet roses, deep dark chocolate and loads of LOVE to give special recognition to the editors (authors & readers too) who devote their lives to celebrating romance?!

So Happy Valentine's Day to the significant others who make our hearts beat in a strong and steady rhythm of love.

Happy, Happy Unofficial Romance Editor/Author/Reader Appreciation Day to all ... especially Roseann Armstrong, Senior Editor of Champagne Rose!

Susanne Rose "Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette "The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author ( with "The Christmas Promise" in the Subject Line. You'll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe. "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Remember the days when all your Valentines gift giving could be taken care of with one box of twenty-four cartoon Valentines, complete with heart shaped suckers? If only life stayed so simple, and postage free.

I know I have friends and family I need to send cards to, but by the time I get organized enough to buy the cards, find my address book to get them where they need to be, and head off to the post office to mail them because I am out of's May. It's embarassing to send a Valentine to people who get your birthday card to you on time.

This year, I am solving that problem. I'm sending my nearest and dearest e-book Rosettes from Wild Rose Press. They are so short even the e-book phobic can take the time to read them, and have a but of romance to put a smile in their day. Not that I'd tell them, but Rosettes are cheaper than a card, and don't even require postage! Go on, spread the love!

Jenna's reccomendations ::
For Mom........... For Mom-In-Law.......... For Grandma

For Auntie Fun...For Single Sister...For Married Sister

For Best Friends...For Carpool Chicks

Monday, February 12, 2007

Valentine's Day is a-coming!

Valentine's Day. A time for cards. For flowers. For chocolates. And for books. Why not send your Mom an e-book this year? It will take her mind off of the solitaire, bridge, and freecell she's playing on the computer!
Anyone have an amusing story for Valentine's Day? Here's mine. Some years back, my husband and I were looking at lawn tractors on Valentine's Day. While some may not think this was romantic, we wanted one heavy duty enough for a snow blade, and they sometimes go on sale in February. Anyway, due to the cold winter temperatures, my wedding ring slipped off, unnoticed. Back at the car, I noticed it was missing. And then I got all weepy and distraught. My husband combed the car, the snowy parking lot, and the store, until we found it on the deck of a tractor we'd climbed all over. We were so relieved and happy we went out for ice cream. Never did get that tractor, but the ring - I still treasure it.
Maggie Toussaint
House of Lies, ISBN 1601540310

Monday, February 05, 2007

New Interview - Christine Columbus

Have you hopped over to my blog to check out last Thursday's interview with Christine Columbus, one of The Wild Rose Press fabulous authors? If not, I'm sure Christine would appreciate you checking it out and leaving her a comment. She's a very warm, and fun personality.

The flip side of writing - Marketing

Hey out there!

I wanted to share my thoughts about marketing. We've got a great marketing department at The Wild Rose Press, and I strongly urge new authors to follow their advice. You can have the greatest book in the world, but it won't sell if folks don't know about it.

Be forewarned that marketing takes chunks of time away from writing. Once your book comes out, you have to apportion your time to do both, and its best if you get started before that all important release date. Get your website up and running, link it to a lot of other sites, and encourage people to visit your site. While you're cruising through cyberspace, notice what other authors are doing. Are they holding contests? Are they using a unique hook to steer people to their site? Brainstorm ways to drive people to your website.

Write a writing article or two and get them published. RWA chapter newsletters are always looking for articles from their members, as are most writing magazines. You might write an article for your local paper, or interview an established author in your town or online. These are all ways to develop recognition of your name and your book title.

Develop marketing materials. Maybe it will be book marks or fliers. Maybe you'll chose to write a newsletter each month. Whatever you do, develop a mailing list of people who are interested in what you do. Keep that list current and use it to promote your work.
Make personal appearances. Online this translates to author days and chats. For a print book, this means signings and appearances. Appearances aren't bad for e-book authors either. Conferences, writers organizations, yahooloops, whatever - get your name out there. Have a signature tagline of a line or two that tells about your release and how to get it.

Consider doing a book trailer. This effort will take time from writing, but the multi-media approach may very well pull in more sales. And sales is what publishing is all about. Writing is personal, but publishing is about sales.

Get out there, troops! Sell those books!
Maggie Toussant
House of Lies, available now from The Wild Rose Press

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Book Trailer---FOXFIRE

I finally put together my very first book trailer. Let me know what you think!

Carol Ann Erhardt


If you know something only in your dreams, should you dare try and make it happen? Even if it means starting over and risking the disapproval of your family? Vanessa and Nick are searching for a sign that their dreams might come true. Vanessa only hopes she can find her dream ring…

Rachel and Evan Hansen are getting a taste of their own medicine. As teenagers they ran away and eloped, and now their daughter wants to follow in their footsteps. Looking back, Rachel and Evan wonder what would have been if they'd listened to the warnings instead of trusting their hearts.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Beautiful Book Cover

I am so excited. Yesterday I received my print copy of FOXFIRE. What a lovely cover! My husband oohed and aahed it too!

FOXFIRE is a romantic suspense in the Crimson Rose line if you'd like to check it out. The colors are so vivid and eye catching!

I believe the covers for Wild Rose Press are some of the most impressive in the market. HIT AND RUN, my first release in the Crimson Rose line was fabulous, too.

Check them out at

Eating Humble Pie

Hello everyone. Long time since I've posted, but wanted to take this opportunity to eat some humble pie. For those who don't know, I interview a different author on my blog every Thursday. Today is Christine Columbus' turn BUT I forgot to post the blog before I left for my day job. My humble apologies to Christine. It will be posted later tonight, so if you get a chance, please stop by and leave a comment for Christine on my blog. She's a great author and a very fun personality. I enjoyed interviewing her. And for those who might have missed it, I interviewed KyAnn Waters last Thursday. What fun that was!