Category Archives: Books

Post-Workout Ramblings…

I just finished a nice, vigorous workout. That’s always fun. I’m hot. A little sweaty. (Okay, a lot sweaty.) My hair is up but messy and falling down all over the place. I need to jump in the shower. I also need to toss a load of laundry in the wash. Not at the same time, though. After the shower. Or I could reverse that. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.

I wrote for a few hours today, which really wasn’t enough. I read a book most of the morning and into the early afternoon, then I started working. (I’m bad… I know. 😉) My husband is bringing home take-out though. Which means I don’t have to cook anything, and I’ll probably work for several more hours tonight.

While I was working out I was thinking about how much stuff I have to do. Work-related, not regular-everyday-life related.

It’s a lot and overwhelming when I end up thinking about all of it at once. Which I shouldn’t do, but still catch myself doing every now and again. (Hey, I’m only human! 😂) It’s okay though; we’ll get it. I always say we, because it’s never just me. And between God, myself, my husband, and everyone else who supports me… we’ll get it. (Might take a minute, but we’ll get it! 😉)

I’m off to take care of the shower and the laundry now. See y’all tomorrow!

Heather. ❤️

Quick Pop In!

It’s Sunday night, and I’m busy writing. Some days it’s like pulling teeth, others it’s a breeze. Today, it’s been great. ❤️

As of this moment, I’ve written 1,584 words. About 4 hours worth of writing. That’s roughly about 6 or 7 pages, in case pages is a better breakdown for you than words.

It’s flowing though, and I don’t want to mess that up, so I’m going to bounce back over to the manuscript. As I ended one chapter and began another I realized I hadn’t written a blog post today. I committed to one a day, & usually write them a day ahead, so this is your one!

Yes, it’s a little skimpy, but don’t worry, you’ll read enough from me this year that I’ll more than make up for it. 😘

Have a great Monday, and I’ll check in with you tomorrow!

Incompetent Construction Workers? We Can’t Have That!

I’m hard at work over here, watching Youtube videos of bathroom remodels.

Research never ends. Never, never, never, never, ever ends.

I know a little bit more than one might think, mostly because I regularly watch a few Youtube channels that are currently remodeling houses or building small ones. And so I have some very, very limited knowledge, right? Like I can picture it all in my head… but the terminology, when it comes to being precise, that eludes me.

However, I’m about to dive into a scene where a couple construction workers are remodeling a bathroom, and it needs correct terminology and all that hooplah. So I am doing my due diligence. It will be a good scene that makes perfect sense….. eventually. (Hopefully!) I’ll watch some videos and nail it as best I can, then when I edit later down the road, I’ll work at it even harder.

For anyone who thinks writing books means you just sit down at a computer and write, and that’s it…. No, no. Definitely not.

I called my Dad last year and said hey, “When a car battery is dead, and you hook that little thigamigy to the battery, what’s it going to read to indicate the battery is dead? And what does that reading mean?” He explained all about batteries. Good ones and dead ones. Then I googled what the thigamigy was called, and in the end my character knew what he was doing when he tested a battery. He doesn’t look like a big ole’ dummy now.

I called my Mom last week and said hey, “How much of a sentence can toddlers, going on about 3 years old, actually string together?” — Cause see, I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t know what that’s like. — So we talked about it a little, then I read the dialogue I had for the character and Mom said, yeah. Sounds about right. — I’m taking everything I’ve ever seen or heard from kids I’ve been around, and what I see on tv, things like that, and utilizing everything I can. Including, calling my Mom, who raised both me and my brother, so she ought to know.

Research, looking it up, asking questions, phoning it in, even the smallest of smallest things, it may only take up two sentences in an entire book, but if you don’t know, you got to find out. Because somewhere out there is a reader who is going to know, and they’re going to know if you knew, too.

Which is why research never, ever ends.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to watching remodel videos, that way I don’t end up with the most incompetent construction workers ya ever saw!

Talk Later,
Heather.

Keep Reading…

My Thursday went like this….

I woke up. I took the dog out. I put out some bird seed. I started re-reading a historical romance novel. I stopped to eat lunch. I resumed reading. And then I read, and I read, and I read. Never even changed out of my pajamas.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Heather, you should have been working. But hear me out. I was!

I am only a writer today because I have been a reader for years. I would never have been able to write two entire full length novels if I hadn’t spent so much time reading over the years. I only know how to craft romance novels because I’ve been reading them religiously since I was fourteen. I know the pieces of the puzzles I need to put them together like the back of my hand. Don’t ask me to write a thriller or a mystery or a dystopian novel though. While I enjoy reading them from time to time, I’d be lost in the sauce trying to write them.

And I know when I’m reading I’m not getting any writing, editing, marketing, or networking done, but I am continuing to hone a craft, and that is just as important. Now when I read, I see the words through the lens of a writer. And an editor. I learn as I go. Even more so now, than I did before I began writing.

Always make time for reading as a writer. It’s truly important!

Much Love,
Heather.

In Case You’re Interested In An Update…

Hey Everyone! 😀

It’s Saturday night, well, technically it’s early Sunday morning… but, that’s really neither here nor there.

Exercised a few hours ago, fresh out of the shower, and now I am sprawled on my couch watching Elementary on Hulu. — I am living the life, let me tell ya! 😉

Quick update! — Also. I haven’t blogged in a while & as my fingers are flying across this keyboard I can’t tell y’all how much I’ve missed it. Of course, I spend a great deal of time typing, but still, this is different. It feels different. Novel writing & blogging are two different beasts.

Let me tell y’all where I’m at!

Book 1: Forgiving Annaleigh! — Completed. Although I am currently reading back through it & looking for any errors that may have escaped mine or any of my lovely beta reader’s notice. — It happens, y’all. It happens. — The book cover. Much closer to being completed. Hang tight, I’ll start marketing for Forgiving Annaleigh very soon. Every day is a day closer to publication, although I don’t have an exact date for that yet… there are a lot of ducks to get in a row… I’m wrangling them, bear with me. 🙂

Book 2: Chasing Charley! — Is roughly 55,000 words along! Whoo-hoo! 😀 We are over half way there, just 30,000 words or so to go… which won’t take as long as you may think. I’m steadily working on this book week in and week out, amidst all the other things I’m doing. — Side note about this one. — It’s special. Near & dear to my heart, as Charley’s story is the closest thing to my very own story that will ever be put to paper. She’s not me & her story isn’t exactly the same as mine, but she’s a lot like me, and it’s very, very similar. — As soon as it’s complete… I’ll jump into editing & that book cover comes next. — Hopefully, it won’t be long after book 1 comes out, that you’ll be seeing book 2!

Book 3: Loving Lynsey! — Stay tuned! I have several scenes mapped out & I’m super excited to get started with this one! I won’t start it until book 2 is complete though, but it is in the early planning stages. I’ll dive in much deeper once I’ve finished writing Chasing Charley.

As for this Sweetgum Valley Series, there are a lot of books to come! This is just the beginning. I have big plans for this small little world that I’ve created and all these characters that I’ve grown to love.

I cannot wait to share them with you! Hang tight, they’re coming. 😀

Now that you’ve been sufficiently updated, I’m going to focus on Sherlock over here solving crimes on my tv. 😀

Much love,
Heather! 🙂

What Will It Be?

I come seeking advice!

To curse or not to curse? Where to curse, when to curse, why to curse? What to do?

So here’s the deal. — I write novels. One of my big things is authenticity. Is it relatable? Is it raw? Is it real?

I feel like in certain situations, cursing is all of those things. There are other people who do not, however.

My novel isn’t slap full of them and they aren’t on every page. But, they are there, sprinkled about. — They are there when someone is angry. They are there when someone is passionate about something. They are there when the guys are hanging out, drinking beer, and shooting pool. — While they are not everywhere, they do crop up when it is authentic for them to be there.

So this battle is always raging, like, what do I do?

To be clear, they don’t bother me. My big thing is that I know they bother other people. Readers. Not all readers, just some.

But readers matters. To be a writer, to publish novels… you need readers. I’m also aware that every one is different. Every reader is different. And not every book is for everybody. That’s okay. It’s more than okay. That’s how this works.

I think the big question is… how true do I stay to the story and the characters, and the authenticity of the situations they are in? And how much do I altar for readers? Because some readers aren’t going to bat an eye. Some are going to take one look at the first curse word and never pick up another of my books again.

And if you want some real honesty. I’m not so sure I’d think twice about it except I have family and friends that are going to be sorely disappointed at the first curse word.

I kind of feel torn in two about it. To stay true to the characters and, to me, I will have to disappoint a certain group of readers. Some that I call family. Some that I call friend. — So I think that’s where this stems from the most.

At this point… what is already there is not being taken out. I’ve already battled through this some when I was writing it. — Now I’m editing it and near the beginning and just slipped one in after someone nearly ran their car off the side of a mountain. — Seemed appropriate given the circumstance. — But then I worried one so close to the beginning would put people off at the very beginning. — And then I wondered should I worry about that, given they will come upon them eventually? — Or how many people would see it that early on and assume they are everywhere and quit before they get very far?

So maybe a large part of this is me not knowing how to handle people I know, having problems with my work. And that’s where the majority of it stems from, I think.

I can’t please everyone, and I know that. Not everyone will like it, and I know that.

It just brings up the question, how much do you change to appease one certain group of readers… or do you not, and focus on the readers that will enjoy it as is?

I don’t intend to market this as a “clean romance.” Mostly because I don’t believe it is. While there are no graphic sex scenes, they do talk it about it, and there is some alluding to it. There are also curse words around and about, as well as alcohol consumption. So readers looking for clean romance aren’t exactly my target audience, so maybe that should be my answer? — Maybe I answered my own question. — Focus on my target audience and don’t worry about anything else?

What do y’all think? Lemme know. 🙂