Hello, world! Long time no post! But, you see, there have been so very many things to post about, and so little time. So I'll just save that for a later date. For now, however, I have a super treat for my paranormal romance lovers out there in the form of a guest post by author Lisa Sanchez about improving as a writer and her valuable experiences along the way. If you have any interest in writing or are simply fascinated by the journey an author takes, see below. And BONUS: You'll get to read about Lisa's new release, Cursing Athena! Yay!
I was so excited when Jen asked me to write about how my writing has changed from my first book, to now. It’s something I think about quite a bit, more often then not wondering what possessed me to query some of my earlier work. Holy smokes, lol!
Writing groups, critique partners and the like are invaluable sources of support for writers. When I began my journey toward publication, I didn’t belong to or possess either of the above. I knew my stories, pictured them in my head like a movie just as I do now, but the words that ended up on the page were uptight, bland and to be honest, a bit wooden. I hadn’t yet discovered my voice.
It was around this time that my sister introduced me to a friend of hers who also enjoyed writing and was (is) a member of the San Francisco chapter of RWA. Sweet, and happy to help, she let me tag along with her to a meeting, and I have to say: my writing has never been the same. I mean that in a good way! I learned the importance of writing groups, critique partners, and author loops, and threw myself into a world I had no clue existed. A world filled with authors and industry professionals who were more than happy to help me succeed and achieve my dream. People who were “in the know” told me to let go, to stop worrying about how I felt I “should” be writing, and to just write what was in my heart and head. Once I took their advice, my world changed, and my first novel, Eve Of Samhain was published soon after.
If you’ve read any of my Hanaford Park books, you’ll note I’m very comfortable writing in first person point of view, as well as in the paranormal genre. I enjoy getting deep inside my lead character’s head and showing the reader what he or she is thinking/feeling, and I’m all about the monsters who go bump in the night. Eeck! But, comfort is a funny thing, and I didn’t want to get stuck, or pigeonhole myself into writing just one type of story/book. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and wrote a contemporary erotic suspense. The experience was quite unlike anything I’d done before. When writing paranormals, if your character gets into a crunch you can always poof them out of a hairy situation with magic. You can’t do that in a contemporary! I discovered, while writing this particular story, that I’m pretty good at writing shmexy times. My good friends quickly dubbed me the “Smut Queen” and my following works have been significantly hotter than my earlier stories. Meeeeeeow!!, to stop worrying about how I felt I “should” be writing, and to just write what was in my heart and head. Once I took their advice, my world changed, and my first novel, Eve Of Samhain was published soon after.
Over the past three years, not only has my writing style and genre changed and expanded, but also the manner in which I write. I’m slowing down. And no, I don’t mean the ideas aren’t flowing. I’ve got a desktop full of story ideas and opening chapters. What I mean is that I actually write slower. I’m more critical of myself, which I attribute to experience, classes, conferences and the bevy of helpful criticism I’ve received from my peers. I wrote my first novel, Eve Of Samhain in just over four months. Faythe Reclaimed, the third installment in the series, which is due to release this Spring, took me just under a year. Biiig difference, lol! I spent a good amount of time beating myself up over the slow rate at which I write, then finally gave up and accepted the fact that I write at the speed I write, and I can’t compare myself to anyone else. Comparing yourself to your peers in the publishing world will drive you nuts. Be who you are. Write the story that’s in your heart, the way you see it, and at the pace that’s comfortable for you. Following the above steps, along with securing critique partners and peers you can trust to give you an unbiased opinion of your work, will give you your best shot at writing the best book you can. And that’s what we want as both readers and writers, yes? To end up with a fabulous, engaging story we can’t put down.
Thanks again, Jen, for letting me visit your blog today. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Happy reading!
Thank you, Lisa!!
Check out a book blurb to learn more about Cursing Athena!
For Danika, the only thing worse than going commando while wearing a fugly, silver bodysuit, was dealing with her deadbeat, ex-husband James. Catcalls, unwanted groping and lecherous stares weren’t really her cup of tea either, but she’d endure all of it and more if her new job serving cocktails at Masquerade meant ridding herself of his mountain of debt. It was just a job, after all, and what choice did she have with James' creditors breathing down her neck? What she didn't bargain for, however, was falling heels-over-head in lust with a two-hundred-plus pound, shape-shifting immortal from Ancient Greece.
On a mission to take down a parasitic demon, Ty doesn't have time for distraction. Not even when that distraction could prove to be his possible life mate in the form of sweet, innocent, yet sexy-as-hell Danika. But when the leech he’s hunting goes after the cocktail waitress, all bets are off. Unable to resist her siren call any longer, Ty surrenders himself to Danika, body and soul, treating them both to a night they'll never forget.
Author website- www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.