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Shining a Light on Diversity Issues

Cartoon of people looking up at light with text: Shining a Light on Diversity Issues

In gearing up for the release of Pure Sacrifice, one frustrating experience was beyond my control. I’ve mentioned before that we should avoid assumptions about our characters, so I waited until I heard a voice that resonated and knew my paranormal character for this book wouldn’t be white skinned. Great! Except…

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July 28, 2015

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Balancing Conflict in Romance Stories

Surfboarder balancing on a wave with text: Balancing Conflict in Romance

One of my commenters asked a great question last week that gets to the heart of the balancing game we have to play when writing romance. The characters have to be perfect enough for each other to make a believable couple, but there also has to be enough conflict between them to sustain a story.

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January 22, 2015

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The Best Reason to Blog — 2014 Edition

Harvest basket of colorful decorative gourds with text: The Power of Gratitude

Every Thanksgiving, I write a “the best reason to blog” post because gratitude is such a powerful tool. Thinking about what we’re thankful for forces us to pay attention to our priorities. The daily grind can make us forget why we do what we do, but being grateful for the good things reminds us of what matters most.

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November 27, 2014

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The Character Debate: Strong and Vulnerable?

Movie promo image of Gamora with text: Can a Character Be Strong and Vulnerable?

If we want our protagonists to seem heroic, they need to have strong traits. Yet at the same time, if we want our protagonists to be relatable, they need have vulnerabilities. This is never an easy balance, especially when clichés fill our heads about what a “strong character” means.

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August 14, 2014

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Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!

Question mark surrounded by text: The Beta Reading Worksheet -- What to Ask & What to Answer

Many of us find beta readers by offering to exchange our work with other writers in a “I’ll give you feedback if you give me feedback” arrangement. That structure means we have to do a good job with our feedback if we want to continue the beta buddy exchange program.

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August 12, 2014

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Lessons from RWA14: Help for Slow Writers

Snail crawling against black background with text: Help for Slow Writers

One of the RWA workshops I most looked forward to was Courtney Milan’s “Slow Writer’s Guide to Making a Living” presentation. Judging by the crowd, a lot of writers struggle with the pressure to write faster and the worry that our slowness will prevent us from reaching our goals.

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August 7, 2014

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Lessons from RWA14: Techniques for Sales Success

Looking down a funnel of dollar bills with text: The Keys to Sales Success

This past weekend, author Hugh Howey shared Liliana Hart’s self-publishing method, which she calls “5 down and 1 in the hole.” It’s easy to look at her self-publishing success (over 2 million ebooks sold) and chalk it up to luck. However, I heard advice that complemented her technique throughout the RWA Annual Conference.

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August 5, 2014

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The Future Is Here: Self-Publishing and RWA

Crystal ball with text: The Future Is Here, Do You Have the Right Attitude?

When changes happen gradually, we’re not always aware of them. My every-other year schedule for attending the RWA Annual Conference allows me to see the changes in the organization like a distant relative. I hadn’t attended the National Conference since 2012 and the differences from then to now were profound.

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July 31, 2014

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The Value of Failure

Signpost of "Success" and "Failure" with text: Don't Be Afraid of...

My regular readers know I’m a perfectionist, but I try not to let it hold me back. However, facing various choices and issues in my writing career have forced me to recognize that sometimes I do suffer from a related fear. And that fear does hold me back.

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July 29, 2014

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