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Fun, sexy reads

Fun, sexy reads

Looking for fast-paced, sexy romantic suspense with military heroes? All books in the Men of Steele series are connected but can standalone. Find fun facts and excerpts on each book's page.

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Scrivener Training for Everyone

Scrivener Training for Everyone

Need help with Scrivener? I provide Scrivener training to individuals and groups all over the world through online courses, in-person workshops, and private training sessions.

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Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

A great reference for new and experienced Scrivener users, a guide to software and apps that help with productivity, and essays on every facet of writing from the Writer Unboxed contributors.

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In Conference (RWA in Denver)

Closeup of Gwen, Serena Bell, and Jaycee Lee laughing

Serena Bell photobombed me and Jaycee Lee at the RITA Awards

I love a good writers conference, and this year’s Romance Writers of America’s National Conference in Denver did not disappoint. Sure, the hotel was a bit of a maze, but the workshops, speakers, and socializing opportunities were fabulous.

And downtown Denver is a gem.

Tan, four-story building painted with mural of a man in a cowboy hat playing guitar

Mural on 16th Street

Locks attached to a bridge railing overlooking the South Platte River

South Platte River

Smiley face icon stuck between two buildings above an alleyway

Even the alleys had fun in Denver

Art installation that looks like giant air fresheners hanging over an alleyway

Need a spot of fresh air?

I only remembered to get pictures with a few other people, but it was nice to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and finally meet online friends face-to-face. My Scrivener workshop went well—at least based on feedback from those who stopped by my signing table or caught me in the hallway. Any haters ignored me, lol—and I had fun signing books at my first RWA literacy autographing (which raised nearly $40K for the cause!).

Laura Griffin and Gwen Hernandez at the literacy signing

With Laura Griffin at the literacy autographing

JoAnn Ross and Gwen Hernandez closeup

With JoAnn Ross

Do you have a favorite conference experience, writing or otherwise?

Compile help at Writer Unboxed

laptop open on a desk in front of a window with trees in the background, and post title across top

Want to know how to create a DOCX file in Scrivener 3? Turns out Friday the 13th is your lucky day. Head on over to Writer Unboxed to learn more and ask me your Scrivener questions.

If Compile is a topic you could use additional help with, stay tuned for online class news, coming soon.

I’m off to the Romance Writers of America conference in Denver next week. I hope to see a few of you at the conference or the literacy signing.

Enjoy your weekend!

Signing Books for Literacy

Any chance you’ll be in Denver next month? If you’re nearby and you’re a fan of romance, don’t miss the Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing on Saturday, July 21st.

literacy autographing promo graphic

I’ll be there—with about 300 other romance writers—signing Blindsided and Running Blind for charity. As an author and avid reader, adult literacy is an issue close to my heart. (To that end, I recently started volunteering as a book club leader for the LA Public Library’s literacy program.)

Thanks to awesome readers like you, since 1990, RWA has raised over $1 million for literacy organizations. According to ProLiteracy, that’s enough to help 40,000 adults learn to read!

I hope you can join me to support the cause, and take home some great reads in the process. I’d love to say hello, sign a book or two, even take a selfie with you. 🙂

The Deets

  • FREE admission, open to the public (no advance tickets required)
  • 100% of the proceeds go to ProLiteracy and the Literacy Coalition of Colorado
  • July 21st, 3-5 pm, Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO

Memorial Day

Redondo Beach veterans memorial with flag at half mast

Veteran’s Park – Redondo Beach, CA

Today I honor and remember those military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for my country. Happy Memorial Day!

Scrivener How-To: Using Snapshots

Happy Friday! I’m at the Writers in the Storm blog today talking about how to save your words in Scrivener with the Snapshots feature. I hope you’ll check it out. I’m traveling and may not be able to respond quickly, but I’ll pop in to answer questions when I can.

Cheers from Alaska!

Blockbuster Video storefront

Turns out Internet isn’t cheap here…

How to fail at writing

 

Quote by Thomas Edison, "I have not failed. I have just found 9999 ways that do not work." in blue lettering on white.

I’m all for the idea that failure is merely figuring out what doesn’t work, finding out where you need to focus your energy, and that it’s an important part of the learning process that we often stigmatize to our detriment.

However, I really wish my method for producing a novel didn’t resemble Edison’s light bulb-inventing process as much as it does. I’m mainly a pantser—a seat-of-the-pants or “organic” writer—who doesn’t plot my books in advance. (Believe me, I’ve tried.) For a logic-oriented person who likes to make lists, and plans just about everything else in her life, this is disconcerting, irritating, annoying, and a long list of other synonyms.

For my books, I have learned that I need to understand what the antagonist is doing and why, or I won’t get past the first quarter of the book, no matter how exciting my initial premise. Without the villain’s goal and motivation, I can’t figure out how to escalate their actions against the main characters in a way that makes sense.

I also need to know the inner conflict between the hero and heroine (what’s keeping them apart), and the outer conflict (what’s keeping them together). The latter usually relates back to the antagonist/villain, so it’s all linked.

In order to determine these things—because even when I think I have them, I usually don’t—I must write. I write scenes (or partial scenes), discard them, write new ones, repeat. Every scene (or set of scenes) is a method for testing an idea. It also spurs my subconscious to go to work on the story in ways it just won’t if I’m only sitting around thinking or making lists of ideas.

Eventually, I do nail it. (Hopefully, it doesn’t take 9,999 times!!) And once I have the early stuff figured out, the rest of the book comes together much faster. Not fast exactly, but faster.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why it takes me so damn long to write a book, mystery solved.

I’m slowly learning to, well, not love, but at least work with my method. Honestly, I feel lucky I have a process at all. I’m writing, so life is good.

How about you? Do you have a process for writing—or anything else—that frustrates you, but ultimately works?