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Tag Archives: Time to Write

Hidden Diversions

Romance Lives Forever welcomes
Selena Illyria to the blog for an article on writing and writer’s block. This article
could have come from my own heart – after reading it, I felt I knew my friend Selena
much better. If you’re a writer, you owe it to yourself to read this. If you’re
a reader, this might make you appreciate writers a little bit more.
I’ve been
meaning to write this blog for quite some time but something or other always came
up. Over the past few months I’ve been having computer issues so that didn’t help.
Those issues made both editing and writing difficult. I was in panic mode during
those times; it was a fight to get in every edit or finish a sentence. After I turned
in my edits, which was a relief, I still had a book to finish but soon it became
evident that my old laptop wasn’t up to the task. Recently, I was able to get a
new laptop that would allow me to continue with writing and other things, which
was a relief. That sentiment didn’t last long.
As I waded
back into the world of writing it became clear that I was in trouble. For weeks
I’d been going around in manic mode to get things done. And once my edits were done,
I started to seep into depression with every day that I didn’t get to write or I
didn’t get to write enough. That depression turned to anger and stress. I became
mired in frustration at my inability to get anything done. I thought that getting
a new computer would help with all those emotions. It didn’t.
Now I
was in a new form of hell. One where every word was like pulling teeth or mucking
through molasses. No word was right or enough. I found myself falling backward into
old bad habits that I’d been trying to break after my burnout a year before. I became
angry at myself, frustrated that it wasn’t as easy at it once was. That my mind,
fingers and brain didn’t seem to want to cooperate or work with each other like
they used to. Even though I knew I couldn’t go back, I still wanted to recapture
that hubristic little shit that I was when I first started. When you finish your
first book and get it published you’re on a high. You can do anything, write anything.
Book after book can pour out of you like water. Phrases like writer’s block or burnout
don’t even apply. They’re like distant lands you’ll never visit and have no intention
of stopping in, not even for a moment. Those two things would never happen to you,
because you’re kick-ass, you’re made of so much awesome sauce that it comes out
of your pores.
Yeah right.
Then they both come and you get your ass handed to you, even if it’s temporary or
lasts longer than a week or month. The first time burnout happened to me, I needed
a few weeks to recover. Then those periods lasted longer and longer until it seem
never-ending. Now, I find myself in a new kind of Hades, one where I can finally
write but the words aren’t coming. Everything I put down sucks and my internal editor
is playing kickball with every sentence, comma, and my confidence.
The one
thing you never truly understand until you become a writer is that it’s truly a
solitary career. No one else can write what you write. Your editors can clean up
your work, improve your voice, and your publishers can put out your books, but in
the end, they can’t write them for you. They don’t have your voice or vision or
phrasing. You can write with a partner but you still have to pull your own weight.
And none of those people can give you confidence when you fall down or start to
wonder how you could ever have gotten published in the first place. Things get doubled
or tripled if you have people in your life that question why you write or make you
feel like crap because you don’t have “a real job.”
After
much wallowing, hiding in reading “comfort books” and pretending that
I’d get to writing the next day, eventually I had to stop hiding. So, I opened my
story and got back to work. Unfortunately I’d ended with a sex scene. Nothing says
sexy like depression. *rolls eyes* And that’s when the self-doubt and self-hatred
started. Writing the sex scene was painful and I’m still not done with it. Nothing
about it screamed emotional or enticing. I had to stop before I sabotaged myself,
but I still had to write. So, I put away that story, for now, to try a palate cleanser,
to write something that wasn’t contracted and something that wasn’t paranormal (which
the other story was). It wasn’t perfect, if an editor saw it there would be lots
of knuckle wrapping and tsk, tsk, tsking, but in the end I’d written something,
anything and it was pretty good. I had accomplished something.
Recovering
from all the pain, heartache, self-doubt, frustration, writer’s block, and writer’s
fear will take time, and baby steps. But in the end I am a writer and damn it, this
is what I’m meant to do. Even if it is painful, it’s my job and I love it even if
it can be a pain in the ass at times. Also, I know that I’ll make it through this
patch because I’m surrounded by awesome people. One more thing: I’m stubborn.
For more information about
Selena’s latest release:
Blurb:
Their passion may be the
death of them…
Werewolf Chief of Police
Torger, is running into walls while tracking the Draven’s Crossing serial killer.
No matter what he tries to do, he can’t find the clues needed to stop the terror
that stalks the streets of his city. Things aren’t helped by his attraction to the
dragon shifter and Draven City News Reporter, Isadora Jones. With political pressure
and bodies mounting, can he get through all these distractions and find the truth
before it’s too late?
Reporter Isadora Jones wants
to help with the investigation into the serial killer but Torger refuses to let
her. She decides to do it on her own, but her world goes upside down when the killer
sets his sights on her. Under Torger’s protection, they start to put the pieces
together but will it be too late for them?
Things go from bad
to worse when another killer appears. Draven’s Crossing just got a whole lot more
dangerous.
Buy Links:
Purple Sword Publications:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
ARe
For Men Like Us

Romance Lives Forever welcomes Brita Addams to the blog
for an article on why it takes so long to write.

What took me so long?

I have asked myself that question
many times. Given that I’ve read all my life and aspired to be a writer since
middle school, even I am astounded that it took me so many years to actually
sit down and write for publication.
The simple explanation is that I
didn’t feel I had anything to say, but, as I said, that is the simple answer
and partially untrue. The truth of the matter is, I never knew my niche. My
thoughts were scattered to the four winds, interests in any number of directions,
and nothing concrete to anchor me.
Then along comes life and that
conspired to put my passion for the written word on the back burner, save for
the constancy of reading.
There was also the niggle in the
back of my head, that I couldn’t cut it. In seventh grade, my teacher, Mr.
Green, sent one of my short stories off to a famous writer, Hal Borland. I had no idea
until Mr. G. called me to his desk one day and showed me the paper, with myriad
comments in the margins, most of them positive, others constructive. He
explained that he thought the paper good enough to send to Borland, author of
one of the books we had read in English class. The final comment, at the bottom
of the page, was, “This girl has talent and shows great promise.”
Excited, I took the paper home
and showed it to my father. Now, Dad wasn’t a particularly encouraging fellow,
having never overcome his lifelong depression and issues that followed him to
the grave. He was also a frustrated writer, though he never got past the first
draft stage in anything he ever wrote. Anyway, he looked at the paper, got very
angry, and ripped it up. Amid mutters of “wasted time,” he stalked
off, leaving me upset and discouraged.
Now I say this because I hope that
others won’t let something like that to do then what it did to me. I never
wrote another word, save for continual journals and articles for the local
newspaper. Every time I picked up a pen, I heard those words that my father had
said. Isn’t it strange how words meant to hurt often drown out even the most
encouraging?
In later years, I often wrote
letters for friends who’d read things I had written, but that was the extent of
it. Something was missing, something that lived in my heart, while I refused to
let grow. My husband and I raised our children and went on with life. I still
read constantly, but by then, life was so busy, that writing wasn’t even a blip
on the radar.
One year for my birthday, my
husband gave me several of Philippa Gregory’s books, particularly The Other
Boleyn Girl and Earthly Joys. I have always loved non-fiction, have read
biographies and historical accounts for as long as I can remember. I hadn’t,
however, read romance. Gregory combines both, taking real people and creating
circumstances around them that tell a story that has some grounding in the
truth.
After devouring everything I
could by Gregory, I sought out other historical romances, not particularly
worried if they featured actual people, historical was enough for me. Oh, my,
did my world open up. I discovered Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, and so many other
wonderful authors, and I couldn’t get enough.
After reading hundreds of
historical romances, my creativity came to life. I started plotting stories
long after I turned the light off at night. I got excited and told my husband
about the stories and patient man that he is, he listened. One day, he asked
me, “Do you think you could write a book?”
Thank God he did, because I
haven’t stopped since.

Previous Books

Tarnished Gold
Tarnished Gold

In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded
streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a
secret that his country hometown would never understand. 

After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay
gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good
looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame
breeds distrust. 
Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He
wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through
Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants
to be. Love without trust is empty. 
As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public
tolerance of Hollywood’s
decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s
studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box
office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished
gold.
Read an excerpt and purchase the Tarnished Gold ebook
or print,
signed by the author (if one of the first twenty sold.)
ForMen Like Us, which takes place during the Regency in England. You
can find it at Dreamspinner Press. Just click the title to be magically
transported.
For Men Like Us
After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at
Salamanca,
hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting
again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at
a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors
he witnessed.
The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to
commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used
the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives
Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.
When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains,
“The streets are dangerous for men like us.” 
Serenity’s Dream
Lucien and Serenity – the rewritten, expanded version of the
first book in my Sapphire Club series.
Serenity Damrill has returned to her husband, Lucien after a
ten-year absence. She carries with her a secret that could destroy her life and
possibly all that Lucien has built.
Lucien was quite happy in his life running the Sapphire Club
and has no need for the frigid wife who deserted him the day after they were
married.
Can Lucien teach Serenity that her fear of the marriage bed
is unfounded? Will Serenity’s secret be the death knell for their
marriage? 
You can purchase Serenity’s Dream – Lucien and Serenity at Amazon

About the Author

Born in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in
the sultry south for many years. Brita’s home is a happy place, where she lives
with her real-life hero, her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. She writes,
for the most part, erotic historical romance, both het and m/m, which is an
ideal fit, given her love of British and American history. Setting the
tone for each historical is important. Research plays an indispensible part in
the writing of any historical work, romance or otherwise. A great deal of
reading and study goes into each work, to give the story the authenticity it
deserves.

As a reader, Brita prefers historical works, romances and
otherwise. She believes herself born in the wrong century, though she says she
would find it difficult to live without air conditioning. Brita and her husband
love to travel, particularly cruises and long road trips. They completed a Civil
War battlefield tour a couple of years ago, and have visited many places
involved in the American Revolutionary War.

In May, 2013, they are going to England for two weeks, to visit the
places Brita writes about in her books, including the estate that inspired the
setting for her Sapphire Club series. Not the activities, just the floor plan.
A bit of trivia – Brita pronounces her name, B-Rita, like the woman’s name, and
oddly, not like the famous water filter.

Giveaway

Ebook giveaways at each stop. Random commenter’s choice from
my backlist
Serenity’s Dream

Signed 8×10 glossies of Jack Abadie

Grand Prize is a Kindle, along with the winner’s choice
of five (5) of my backlist titles, sent to them by email.
Rules: 
Leave a comment at one or all the stops. At each stop, a
random commenter will be selected to win their choice of backlist book
(Tarnished Gold excluded.) This selection will be made daily throughout the
tour, except where blog owners wish to extend the eligibility. Be sure to leave
an email address in your comment. 
All names of commenters and their email addresses will be
put into the drawing for the Kindle, even if they have won the daily drawing.
The more comments you make the more chances you have to win.
Other prizes include five (5) 8×10 glossies of Jack Abadie,
signed. The winners will be selected on April 10, from all the commenters at
all the stops, and notified by email.
The Grand Prize winner will be selected on April 10th and
notified by email. Once I have heard from the winner and obtained a shipping
address, I will order the Kindle and have it shipped directly to the winner.
They will also be eligible to select five (5) of my backlist titles and I will
email them to the winner.
Contest valid in the United States.
Full schedule for the Tarnished Gold Virtual BookTour

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