For Writers

A behind the scenes look at writing romance and getting published.

On Tour

Book promotion has changed. Writers used to have to travel the country, schlepping from bookstore to bookstore for an endless round of book signings and readings. It gave you an opportunity to meet your readers face to face, and helped cement all-important relationships with booksellers, too. But the traditional book tour, being time-consuming and expensive, is […]

Price Wars

The price war between Amazon and Wal-Mart is heating up. Maybe the two retail behemoths will battle to the death as they bleed from the bookshelves by selling the season’s most popular hardcovers at a loss. More likely, they’ll both be winners, since the publicity surrounding the battle has hit every major media outlet from […]

Harlequin Horizons

Today, the romance blogosphere is abuzz with news of the launch of Harlequin Horizons, a vanity/subsidy press created by a cooperative venture between vanity press Author Solutions and Harlequin Enterprises. The news has spewed the self-publishing vs. traditional publishing debate all over the romance-themed websites and comment boards. Within the romance community, Harlequin is a […]

Time Passages

One of the hardest things about writing a novel is keeping track of time. Not just keeping track of the time you spend lost in your imaginary world–although that’s a problem too. When you’re in the zone, a day passes in a blink. No, it’s the time passing in your novel that’s hard to keep […]

Ten Simple Rules

 November is always a busy month. There’s Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations to get done, and the bookstore is always busy. Now I’ve gone and tossed another task into the mix: I have revisions due on my second book on November 30th, and corrections to Cowboy Trouble are due by November 25th. That’s what I get for always […]

With friends like these…

… it often seems as though the “best friend” character has more of a personality than the heroine. It’s the spunky sidekick who boots the heroine in the butt and gets her moving. It’s the feisty best friend that speaks her mind and starts all the trouble.

So maybe the book should be about the best friend.

Day One

Today I started a new book-typed “Chapter One” and just kept on going. Nothing compares to the feeling you get when your story begins to fly out from under your fingers and the novel’s voice finds its rhythm. That hot surge of creativity feels a lot like…well, never mind. I’ll save that for the love […]

I Love You Guys

If you’re a writer, you need a critique group. This is a stunning epiphany for me. I didn’t always believe it. After all, I wrote my first two books without group input. I managed to acquire a drop-dead fantastic agent, and I now have my first publishing contract. So who needs a critique group? You […]

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I have a lot of experience with rejection. You’d think that would be a bad thing, but it’s actually a triumph. I’m proud of my rejections in the same way a warrior is proud of his scars, but with one important difference: every painful scar brings the warrior closer to the end of his career […]


We went to see The Proposal tonight, with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, so I was excited to see it. The comedy part was great, but I felt like there was something missing in the romance. When the characters finally came together, it somehow didn’t seem believable.  What was missing […]

Making the Bad Guy Good

I’ve been struggling with the antagonist in my new book. So has my protagonist, of course, but she seems to be winning. Up until today, I wasn’t doing so well. It’s hard to write a villain without resorting to stereotypes. You set out to create a believable character, and before you know it, you’ve got […]


Everything happening tonight seems to be part of a nefarious conspiracy on the part of the entire universe to make me realize that I am lucky. I’m en route to the Romance Writers of America Conference in Washington. I’m spending the night at the Springhill Suites on Tower Road so I can catch my early […]

The Hard Part

I finished my revisions. I finished them a day early. I should be excited, happy, proud—right? I’ve gone through my editor’s checklist, and I’ve addressed every issue, and addressed them well. I reread the whole thing today, and I was actually impressed with what I’ve accomplished. I thought the book was the best it could […]


I can’t imagine writing without a computer. In fact, I’m not sure I’d be a writer if some genius hadn’t invented the word processor. Being able to cut and paste and move things around is essential to the way I work. For better or for worse, I live and die by Microsoft Word. But the […]