Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Release Day by Marta Perry

It always seems to me that book release day ought to be a bigger celebration than it is! Today is the day my new Amish romantic suspense, HOW SECRETS DIE, comes out, and it slips past like any other day, with laundry to do, supper to cook, a garden to tend, and a new chapter to finish. Where are the fireworks?!

Seriously, I suppose the actual birthday for a book, at least where the author is concerned, is the day we hit Send and shoot the completed manuscript off to our editors. That's the moment when our baby is launched on the world, so to speak, because someone other than us will see it. Will they ooh and aah over our triumph? Or will they be quick to point out that the baby's face is a bit red and it has no hair? We don't know yet, so for that moment, we can revel in the satisfaction of having completed yet another book.

I'm been writing for so long that I remember the days when I either used a carbon paper while typing the final draft or paid way too much to have it photocopied. When the book had to be done at least a week before its due date to allow for it to be mailed to New York. When the gremlins in the mail room actually lost your manuscript, and you only found out weeks later as the result of a plaintive phone call from your editor. Ah, yes, those were the good old days!

Seriously, though, I'm celebrating, all by myself. HOW SECRETS DIE is my 50th Harlequin release and my 60-something book. So lift a cyber glass of champagne with me and celebrate all the scribes out there who toil away in what must be the loneliest occupation on earth. Congratulations to all of you, and may your writing be swift and your ideas flow!

Marta Perry

Monday, June 27, 2016

Laurie W. is the winner of our quarterly giveaway!

Congratulations to "Laurie W." for winning our quarterly giveaway basket! (Laurie, I’ve emailed you so please contact me if you didn’t get it.)

Be sure to re-enter every quarter. Click here for the entry form.

Also, get extra entries by commenting on our blog! (One extra entry per person per blog post.)

Get a peek at the new giveaway basket here.

Thanks for reading and loving Love Inspired romances!

~The Love Inspired authors

Monday, June 20, 2016

Inspiration is unexpected places.... Roxanne Rustand

Inspiration for creative projects--arts, crafts or writing--can come from everywhere. Do you enjoy working on creative projects?  Where has some of your inspiration come from?

I've never lived in Wisconsin, but I love the state...the deeply rolling, scenic southwest, the breathtaking bluffs and streams and beautiful forests of the eastern border, the myriad lakes of the north country, which blazes with color  in the fall.

I've ended up setting several series of books there, because it all seems so perfect for a story setting. I took these Wisconsin photos a few years back.

My current five-book Love Inspired series, Aspen Creek Crossroads, is set in a fictitious town along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border and has been such fun to write!

The third book in the loosely connected series, The Single Dad's Redemption, is out at the beginning of July, and I had such fun "spending time" with the folks of Aspen Creek once again.  They've begun to seem like old friends, and I know I'll miss them when the series in done.

Is it just me, or do you remember characters in your favorite books? Think about them later, and wish there were more books to  read about them? That happens to me all the time when I read a favorite author!

Best wishes to you all for a summer of  sunshine and plenty of time to read!
Roxanne Rustand

The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016
An Aspen Creek Christmas,     Love Inspired 11/16

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Odds and Ends by Leann Harris

I am a geek and readily admit it. The other night on the ACH channel they had the program What History Forgot, and talked about actress Heddy Lamar and what a genesis she was. During World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.
I was so awed by this information, and told my husband, thinking to surprise him. Yeah, he knew. He was in the army and was a munitions officer and a physicist. I didn't stump him. But he still can't find yeast in the kitchen cabinet.

Monday, June 6, 2016

WHAT DO THEY SEE? by Marta Perry

Your characters, I mean. What do they see when they look around them?

Most romance authors I know search diligently for just the right image for the hero and heroine of the story, collecting photos of actors in various roles, imagining them with different clothes or different hair color, seeing them walking through the plot. When it's time to fill out the all-important cover art form, a picture of the heroine is well worth a thousand words.

But setting is also a crucial part of any romance, and for the author, that means visualizing the surroundings before plopping the characters down in them. To mean, pictures are invaluable in this process. Even if the setting is one I know well, looking at a photograph or painting will push me to select just the details I need.

Take the lovely rhododendron in this photograph. I'm currently writing a book set in north central Pennsylvania in late May. If I were doing this writing in December, I might be hard put to remember exactly what was blooming at this time, to say nothing of how it looks and my reaction to it. But the photo, saved with the date, is there in my file to remind me, and the rhododendron with its enormous blossoms was just written into a scene.

When I'm planning a new series, one of the first things I do is begin to collect images of the place which inspired the location of the books. For me, it's much easier to begin with a real small town and then make the changes the plot demands than to start from scratch in creating the story world. Since the same location will be used for each book of the series, I try to collect photos taken in different seasons.

For instance, my upcoming Love Inspired Amish series, The Kings of Lost Creek, will take place over a span of many months. Each book will have its own distinct feel, and while readers like to return to familiar settings, I want to highlight a different aspect of that setting for each book. So building my treasure trove of images will be helpful over the long haul of writing a novella and three full-length novels.

The novella, coming out in November, will require the snowy scene, but once I move on to the next book, it will probably be spring. And the creek, which figures in the series' name, has to be included. Of course, that part of it will be easy--all I have to do is look out my window to see the creek!

The pictures provide more than an identifiable image, though. If I look at the creek picture, I remember the feel of the cold water splashing over my feet on a hot summer day. I hear the birds chattering in the trees, and I can taste the wild raspberries that grow along the bank.

Happy Imagining!
Marta Perry