Gwen Hernandez

Author of romantic suspense. Scrivener expert.

No foolin’ (and cute babies)

man with kick me sign on his back

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day. Not because I don’t have a sense of humor or like to have fun. I just don’t enjoy when that fun comes at the expense of someone else. Who wants to feel like an idiot because they fell for someone’s “dire” news, or thought the plastic spider in their shower was real? Not me.

I did try to prank my dog. I told her there’d be no more afternoon walks or Kong toys filled with peanut butter. She called my bluff.

In case you get pranked today, here are some cute babies to cheer you up.

By the way, if you’re a BookBub fan, I finally got my author page ready to go, and now you can follow me on BookBub to find out about new releases.

Of course, I also announce new releases in my newsletter, at Amazon, on all of my social media sites, and here on the blog. So, you’re covered.

And no foolin’, I will have another Men of Steele book out this year. Maybe even two if the big move to Sacramento this summer doesn’t mess me up too much. Promise.

May your day be prank free and your weekend glorious!

Conferences. Podcasts. Fun.

Create Something Magical conference banner

One of the fun things I get to do every year is give in-person workshops on Scrivener to writing groups and at conferences. I don’t have many booked yet for 2016 because we’re moving from Boston to Sacramento this summer, but this weekend I’ll be at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference in Iselin, NJ to present two Scrivener workshops.

If you’re in the area, the book fair/signing on Saturday from 4-6pm at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin is open to the public. I’ll have copies of Scrivener For Dummies, Blind Fury, and Blind Ambition on hand, and there’ll be lots of other great authors too. I’d love to see you there!

Also, if you’re a fan of podcasts, I was recently a guest on the Writing Renegade podcast hosted by Carl Plumer. I talked. He talked. We both talked at the same time. 😉 It was fun. We discussed Scrivener, writing romance, a bit about self-publishing, and book covers. And it’s not too long. Just shy of 30 minutes. Check it out if you get a chance.

By the way, if your group or conference would like a Scrivener workshop, either live or via video, please contact me.

Have a fun St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and a fabulous weekend!

Springing forward

Daylight Saving Time

If you live in a part of the U.S. that follows Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to move your clocks forward today!

Despite the loss of an hour, I love this sudden leap into later sunsets. In fact, I kind of wish we stayed on DST all year round because winter could definitely use longer evenings. But I know the early risers bemoan the return to dark mornings (at least for the month or so it takes for sunrise to catch back up). 😉

I’m not sure changing the clocks works for its intended purpose of saving energy. It’s probably time to scrap the whole concept, but since my day just got longer, I’m not complaining.

Do you like DST (or your country’s version of it, if you have one) or do you think we should stay on Standard time?

ScrivenerClasses.com is finally here!

Woman get job

The wait is over! My new Scrivener training platform is finally up and running at ScrivenerClasses.com. The Intro course is up now, and is 40% off through Friday night at midnight EST.

What’s new?

  • Join when you’re ready to learn
  • Expanded content
  • Easy-to-digest lessons
  • Videos (40 of them!)
  • Plenty of screenshots
  • Downloadable review sheets
  • Badges for completing sections, and a finisher’s “trophy”
  • Mobile-friendly layout
  • 60 days of access to all of the above
  • Permanent access to the student discussion forum

What’s the same?

  • A Q&A forum where you can ask me questions (new forum, same old instructor 😉 )
  • My step-by-step approach to revealing Scrivener’s secrets
  • My commitment to helping you learn and love Scrivener

Click the button below to learn more, try out the free lessons, and register.

course button

P.S. I’m working on the Intermediate/Advanced and Compile courses now, and expect to have them live in the spring. Got questions about the new site or course content? Ask away!

Cupid: a (super short) romance

cartoon redhead cupid

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Back in 2010 and 2011, I wrote impromptu short stories based on a word or phrase for this blog every week. It became too time consuming to do regularly, so now I just write them for my romance newsletter, but here’s a quick one I penned about 6 years ago. I hope you like my version of Cupid. ♥

Cupid

Randi looked at the two bills and change in her hand. That wasn’t right. “Excuse me,” she said to the grocery clerk. “I gave you a ten, not a five.”

The cashier with the flame red hair—his name tag read Cupid, how lame—smiled sweetly and said, “I’m sorry.”

Thank goodness. Randi sagged in relief and smiled back. She hated confrontation.

He put his hands on the counter and peered at her. “Apparently you mistook me for someone who cares.”

Randi glanced behind her at the empty checkout lane. “Excuse me?” Her face heated. What could she say to that?

The cashier just laughed and turned away to chat with the girl at the neighboring register, giving Randi a view of the wings painted on the back of his shirt. He was taking this Cupid thing too seriously.

All she’d wanted was some cookie dough. Hey, give a girl a break, it was tough being lonely.

“You should talk to the manager,” a deep voice said from behind her.

Randi spun and looked into the handsome face of her neighbor, Eric. Oh, God. He would see her like this. Sweatpants, hair in a bun, buying cookie dough, and not an assertive bone in her body. And alone on Valentine’s Day.

Although, so was he.

“Hi, Eric,” she said, her voice high and thin. She grimaced and could feel the blush creeping up her neck. Just kill her now. “No, it’s okay. Maybe I did give him a five.” She hadn’t, but it wasn’t worth the trouble.

He glanced at the tube of dough in the plastic shopping bag and grinned. “Looks like we both had a craving for something sweet.” He held up his bag and showed off his tub of ice cream. “Wanna share?”

Randi glanced back at the cashier. He grinned, winked, and mimed shooting an arrow. She blinked and he turned away again. Nah.

Eric took her hand and she smiled. On their way out the door, she snuck one more look at the cashier, but he was gone. She frowned. “Did you see…”

“What?” Eric asked.

She shook her head. “Never mind.”

He leaned forward and gave her a quick kiss. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Randi.”

Oh, yes. Yes, it was.

The secret is out: Author In Progress is coming soon(ish)

paper wrapped book with "coming soon" tag

I’ve had such a hard time keeping this a secret, but I can finally tell you I’ll be adding another nonfiction book to my oeuvre (sorry, I couldn’t resist using that word). I’m part of the forthcoming Writer Unboxed (WU) collaboration published by Writer’s Digest Books, Author In Progress: A no-holds-barred guide to what it really takes to get published (Hint: It’s less about adverbs than you think.), edited by the awesome WU co-founder, Therese Walsh.

Due out in November (I know, not exactly around the corner), Author In Progress went up for pre-sale yesterday. The collection of essays from all of Writer Unboxed‘s regular contributors guides you through the entire process of writing a manuscript, including how to deal with the frustrations of writing and pushing through when you think your work, uh, stinks (hint: that’s the section my essay’s in).

I’ve only read my own part, so I’m excited to get my hands on it! With such an all-star cast, I’m confident the book is going to be fantastic, and I’m honored to be included.

Author In Progress is something I hope every writer—at any stage of their career—will find useful. And with the November timing, I see this on many holiday wish lists. *marks calendar for holiday giveaway*

Waiting for Scrivener class news? It’ll be coming much sooner than this book. I promise. 😉 Happy writing!

Building a better Scrivener course

Thin line flat design of website building process. Modern vector illustration concept, isolated on white background.

In late December, I began a search for a better way to teach my online Scrivener courses. Honestly, I’m always trying to improve, but this time I wanted to take a big leap forward.

I was looking for a way for students to sign up any time of the year and start taking the course immediately, while still allowing me to interact and answer questions. I wanted a platform that would be easy to navigate, let me incorporate video into the lessons that need it most, deliver content in easier-to-digest bites, look great on mobile devices, and make learning more fun.

I found one that hits just about all of my criteria, and I’m working hard to get it set up. But, holy cow, it’s taking W-A-Y longer than I anticipated. I won’t be rolling it out this weekend (as I had originally hoped), but my goal is to have everything running smoothly for the Scrivener Intro courses by mid February. Which was when I had planned to offer those courses again anyway.

Now that I know what I’m up against, I’m confident I can meet that goal.

The changes are a lot of work, but I’m having fun with it. I love digging into the tech side, thinking about how to make Scrivener easier to learn, and how to provide a better experience for everyone.

And I’m excited about launching the new site because it’s seriously going to take the learning experience up a notch.

My Scrivener newsletter subscribers will be the first to know when it’s ready to roll (at a discount for early birds), so if you don’t want to miss out, be sure to sign up today.

I hope your new year is going well. Keep writing and reading and enjoying every day!

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