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#IWSG How Does Reading Affect Writing?

Writing can be lonely and disheartening, and I’m thankful for our monthly support group to lift up writers everywhere. Alex Cavanaugh started the group and has a great admin team to keep it going.

Thank you to these intrepid co-hosts:


This month’s question:
It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I’ve only heard about how much reading can help writing, and I’ve experienced those benefits myself, so I disagree with the notion that reading may interfere with originality in writing. Our imaginations are infinite–even if we read an idea that inspires our own work, we will produce a much different take on the story than any other writer.

It is true that particular genres sometimes flood the market (like paranormal romance around the time of my debut novel in 2010), but this phenomenon is probably more about following trends than about too much reading.

How has voracious reading made your writing better? Here’s how it has helped me:

1) Familiarity with the genre helps me improve my story’s structure (including pacing, voice, length, characterization). 

2) Reading increases my vocabulary and clarity. Occasionally, I jot down words or phrases that resonate with me, like in the murder mystery Defending Jacob that I just finished reading. The author described a TV news van barnacled with satellite dishes and antennae–a cool description, I thought. 

3) Reading absolutely stimulates my writing! When I read an amazing book, I can’t wait to get back to my manuscript and try to create a teensy bit of magic myself.
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#IWSG Favorite Genres

Happy June to all writers! Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting this support group.


Ack, I’m a little late getting my post up. My work has slowed down for the summer, and apparently my memory has slowed as well.


IWSG Day Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I write sports romance and romantic suspense–the same genres I tend to read. A newer genre to me is psychological thrillers. For book club this month, I chose The Silent Patient, a 5-star read for me that featured some great insight into therapy. 

A friend loaned me The Breakdown, another psychological thriller I enjoyed (here’s my review.) I rarely figure out mysteries when I read. Do you?

I wanted to read that same author’s debut, Behind Closed Doors, so I was lucky to find an e-audiobook at the library right away. I had so much fun listening to the audiobook that I promptly downloaded a romantic suspense favorite by Pamela Clare, Breaking Point. It’s 12 hours long and about 2 of those hours seem to be sex scenes–too much for me. But I love the plot and characterization.

After an 18-month hiatus, I finally started writing my next novel, a sport romance. I’m going to take it slowly and only write when I feel like it. 

Hope your writing is going well!

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#IWSG Genres We Love to Write #Marketing #NewRelease

Happy February, writers! Join us for our monthly group therapy, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

Hop over to visit this month’s kick-butt co-hosts!



IWSG Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I write multiple genres so I’ll mention one aspect I love about each:

Romance — A spark of attraction that deepens into intimacy provides emotional depth in the story.

Suspense — Torturing my characters by imprisoning them or sicking the Mafia on their tail creates needed plot conflict and hopefully keeps readers turning the pages.

Sports — The pursuit of excellence, against mighty odds, reveals character.

Psychology — Throwing characters into therapy is an ideal mechanism for character development and healing.


I’m gearing up for the release of psychological thriller (with suspense and romance) TWIN SACRIFICE on 2-28-18.

Thank you to all who shared my cover reveal, including IWSGers Shannon from The Warrior Muse, Jacqui from Word Dreams, Miranda Burski, Cathrina Constantine, and Nicki Elson’s Not So Deep Thoughts. Your support is awesome.

Here’s my marketing plan:

* Goodreads giveaway

* Facebook release party

* Netgalley listing for 6 months

* Pre-order Blitz and Release Tour by Book Partners in Crime Productions

* I made the ebook available on Amazon for pre-order and I’ll do author takeovers at a few friends’ Facebook pages

If you have additional marketing ideas that have worked for you, please let me know. Happy writing!

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Insecure Writers’ Support Group: New Year, New Adult

Happy New Year to all insecure writers out there! Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for bringing us together to vent, cajole, disclose, and lift up.

I write this post at midnight after just reaching 100,000 words on my WIP On Best Behavior. YAY! Of course I’m not finished yet but I’m only a couple of chapters away — home stretch, baby. And I feel extra giddy because it’s the third book of a trilogy. My first series!
Here’s my one complaint for today: Why does it take so loooooonnnggg to write? WAAH.
When you’re wrapping up one novel, do you already start mentally writing your next one? I have an idea for a New Adult romance percolating, and I can’t wait to get started…after I finish and edit On Best Behavior, and after a little break.
What’s the New Adult genre, you ask? If you’re unfamiliar with NA, it’s about characters ages 18-25. Read more HERE.
I love this time of life, particularly the university years. College and the beginning of graduate school was such a time of growth for me, and this potential for character change inspires me.
I’ve read some fantastic NA books, including Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia,  Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Easy by Tammara Webber (review HERE), and Where She Went by Gayle Forman (review HERE).
What do you think about New Adult? Love it? Hate it?
I think New Adult may be the hot genre of 2013. Do you agree? If not, which genre do you predict to be hottest?
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Genre Favorites Blogfest

That kooky author Alex Cavanaugh is at it again, hosting a fun blogfest HERE.

Genre Favorites Blogfest, September 17, 2012
One blogfest, four favorites!
List your favorite genre of:
Movie
Music
Books
And a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories! 
Okay, here goes:
1) My favorite MOVIE genre is…

DRAMA/ROMANCE

Titanic is my favorite movie (quit laughing!) and here’s a deleted kissing scene from the epic ship flick:
I also love The Shawshank Redemption, Speed, Godfather II, Terminator II, American Beauty, Gladiator, Die Hard, Moonstruck, Working Girl, A Fish Called Wanda, Grand Canyon, Prince of Tides, Ordinary People, and so many more.

2) Favorite MUSIC genre:

MAINSTREAM ALTERNATIVE

Now that’s an oxymoron! What I mean is that I love music that’s “alternative” but not too far out there.

My favorite song is With or Without You by U2.

Gah. What a beautiful, sorrowful song. Other artists I love are The Fray, Jack Johnson, Colbie Callait, Indigo Girls, John Mayer, Adele, Snow Patrol, and The Script.

3) Now, BOOKS! My favorite genre is…

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

…which isn’t a surprise if you know what books I like to write. I adore author Pamela Clare, and I also enjoy fiction and YA contemporary.

4) Finally onto my GUILTY PLEASURE…

NEIL DIAMOND!

I love singing along to his songs, and there are SCADS of good ones like “Forever in Blue Jeans”:

Thank you Alex for this fun hop!