Thursday, February 28, 2013


If you know me, you know I like to write my ya novels with steamy romance.  I don't force it, but it often fits with my characters and I want to be true to them.  Emotions and hormones run high in teenagers.  Pretending they don't isn't realistic.  It's a time for experimenting, taking risks, and pushing the limits.

For a while I thought I was alone in this, until I came across the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. I'd always seen it in the bookstores but never read the series.  I'm so glad I did, because it was hot, hot, HOT! I loved it!

Then I read everything else she's published, and I wanted more.  I found Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry, and Jennifer Echols Forget You and Going Too Far.  It opened my eyes to a whole new world in young adult novels.

I realize these books might not be for everyone, since they have some really steamy scenes and, yes, sex!  Which is why I'm adding this post today.  I found a blog from Shelly Watters--IS IT HOT IN HERE, OR IS IT THIS BOOK?--about this very thing.  As I read it, I thought, This is exactly how I feel.  So, of course, I had to share it with you.

Check it out in the link below and please leave your thoughts on this subject for me.  I love hearing them!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Importance of Writing Believable Characters

How badly do you struggle with this?  For some people it comes naturally.  For others it's a challenge.  I understand that making a character real and flawed adds to believability, but I also find my mood effects how well I write them.
My goal is to write characters that make you . . . 


Gasp with fear      

Fall in love        

While searching the internet for helpful ways to accomplish this, I found a list from Melissa Donovan and thought I'd post it below.
12 Character Writing Tips To Help You Develop Characters That Feel Like Real People:
1.    Backstory: we are born a certain way, but our life experiences continually mold and shape us. Each character has a life before the story. What is it?
2.    Dialogue: the way we talk depends on the language we speak and where we live (or grew up) but there’s also something unique to each person’s style of speaking. We repeat certain words and phrases, inflect certain syllables, and make certain gestures while we speak.
3.    Physical Description: our primary method of identifying each other is the way we look; hair and eye color, height and weight, scars and tattoos, and the style of clothing we wear are all part of our physical descriptions.
4.    Name: Esmerelda doesn’t sound like a soccer mom, and Joe doesn’t sound like an evil sorcerer. Make sure the names you choose for your characters match their personalities and the role they play in the story.
5.    Goals: Some say that a character’s goals drive the entire story. He wants to slay the dragon. She wants to find love. Goals can be small (the character is shopping for a new car) or big (the character is trying to take over the world). Come up with a mix of small and large goals for each character.
6.    Strengths and Weaknesses: Villains sometimes do nice things and heroes occasionally take the low road. What are your character’s most positive and negative behaviors and personality traits?
7.    Friends and Family: these are the people in our inner circles, and they have played important roles in shaping our personalities and our lives. Who are your characters’ friends and family before the story starts? What new friends will they meet once the story begins?
8.    Nemesis: a nemesis is someone with whom we are at odds. This character doesn’t have to be a villain, but the goals of the nemesis definitely interfere with your character’s goals.
9.    Position in the World: what do your characters do for a living? What are their daily lives like? Where do they live? What is a character’s role or position among his or her friends, family, or coworkers?
10.  Skills and Abilities: a character’s skills and abilities can get him out of a tight spot or prevent him from being able to get out of a tight spot. Skills can be useless or they can come in handy. Does your character have an education or special training? What can he do?
11.  Gestures, Mannerisms, and Quirks: One character chews her nails while watching movies. Another runs his hand through his hair when he’s trying to figure something out. Give your characters identifiable quirks and behaviors, like real people.
12.  Fears: An old fiction writing trick is to figure out what your character is most afraid of, then make the character face it. We all have fears. Characters should, too.

Although some of these techniques seem long, I've heard them mentioned at SCWBI conferences by many published authors. 

One thing I like to do to get in the mood is listen to music that fits the scene or chapter I'm about to write.  I once read that to create a real character you have to go deep and reveal secrets and traits that show fault and vulnerability.  It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to do this, because we usually hide these things in ourselves—keep them private.  But showing the dirt is what makes us real and is what will make your character/s relatable on a profound level.  Isn't that what we strive for as writers and what we love as readers?

If you have helpful tricks or techniques you use to create believable characters, please share them below in a comment.  As a writer, you can never get enough advice. 

Thanks and have a creative day!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pinterest. How Did I Ever Live Without You?

Finally started my Pinterest page.  At first, I wasn't interested in making one, but now I find it addicting.  As in, I could spend all day doing that and nothing else.  So not helpful.

Anywho, photos that relate to each of my three completed novels, including Club Neverland, are up for your curiosity.

If you have a Pinterest page and find it addicting, too, tell me about it in a comment below so I can check it out.

 Checkout my Pinterest page.  Hope you enjoy it!