Writer Get Noticed!

71aJvl4-hPLFirst off, I’d like to share that I have an interview on Writer CEO about taking off a year to write full time. And thats’s here.

https://writerceo.com/taking-a-year-off-to-write-how-this-romance-author-did-it/

And secondly, I’d love to share how that happened. I met Colleen Story from the Writer CEO at a Storymaker’s writer’s conference a few months ago. We sat down to eat lunch and I was chowing down on this amazing meal (I was  on a diet at the time and EVERYTHING was amazing, haha).  Fortunately, Colleen was super good at connecting with everyone around the table and even managed to break through my hunger and bad table manners to get a really interesting conversation going. Immediately, I recognized a kindred spirit. Colleen was thoughtful and inquisitive and asked me all about “my story” and how I got to be a writer. I told her about how I was taking off work for a year to write full time and she was very supportive and interested in how I got to that point. And that’s when she surprised me by telling me that she was teaching a class on her book, “Writer Get Noticed.” And how it was meant for authors like me who are working on their author platform and how to standout. Friends–THIS is what writer’s conferences are all about! I was super excited to meet someone who knew so much about what I was going through and who might have tips on how to get where I wanted to go.

Long story short, we discovered that we had A LOT in common, from writing musicals to our entrepreneur spirit and we struck up a pretty good friendship. And that’s when she asked me to do an interview for her blog. She told me that a lot of people dream of striking out on their own and trying to be a fulltime writer–even if just for a year–and even though my story isn’t super glamorous and perhaps even a little embarassing and pitiable (because HONESTLY, why haven’t I done this sooner?), I was happy to share it in the hopes that it might help anyone else in a similar situation that I was in. So, here’s to NEW FRIENDSHIPS, NEW DREAMS, NEW ADVENTURES, and a NEW LIFE!

And again, check it out here: https://writerceo.com/taking-a-year-off-to-write-how-this-romance-author-did-it/

What I’d teach… if I taught

adult athlete body bodybuilding

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I hate my ab workout–thanks A LOT Jillian Michaels! But I love what it does. You see what happened there? Instant gratification vs delayed gratification? There’s probably a reason that inspirational YouTube videos geared towards athletes work so well for writers too (and I’d venture to say there would be a crossover for all of your goals). I’m saying that Writing is like Exercising. There are definite correlations between an exercise program and getting your other goals done.

Hurts So Good: Do one thing that hurts but is good for you. One Sunday, a church leader gave me some good advice. He said make a list of things that you really want to do, NEED to do, dying to do… but you haven’t done yet because you’re scared of it. After you make that list, pick one thing–just one thing–on that list! And concentrate on that.

Make a goal. Set a schedule. Find a time: Self explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this part.

Warm Up: I heard a guy talking about his writing ritual at the conference. He sits down, checks his social media for ten minutes and then gets into writing. A lady in the class asked what the difference was between that and procrastinating! Oh, oh! Let me answer! One gets you ready for writing and one avoids it. You’ll know the difference. But this teacher reiterated something that I’ve heard from many goal gurus, which is: people work well with rituals, so find yours.

Feel the Burn: I hate pain. I will always run away from it when I’m not thinking, but… when I am conscious of what I’m doing or if Jillian Michaels is behind my ear shouting, “The way you approach this workout is how you will approach your life,” you better believe that I’m gonna try a little harder. Writing hurts a little bit too. Everything you love turns into work. The difference between failing and succeeding is whether you quit when you feel the burn… or if you keep going.

Workout Buddies: I touched on this on another post, but if you are someone who needs accountability with your exercising then you’re probably someone who needs it with your writing. So find people to report to!

Gym Rat: There’s the person who goes to the gym to be seen and there’s the person who goes for the workout. For results, you know who you need to be. Just opening your laptop won’t make that novel happen. We all get “Blank Page” syndrome where we feel frozen and feel like we can’t write perfectly and so we write nothing… but you need to throw the perfectionist out the window and get lost in the magic of the story instead.

Pulling a Muscle: I put Bengay on it! I wear a brace. I strengthen that muscle so it doesn’t do that to me anymore. I find the right equipment. I’m saying that when you hit a bump in your writing or any goal that you have, that you fetch yourself the right tools and then you get back to work.

Cool Down: Okay, I’m giving this another spin, but… take a deep breath and relax! I’ve recently come to a realization that we writers care far too much about what other writers are doing, what people think of them and their work, and even use writing to fill some sort of hole in their lives that writing will never NEVER give them! Which means you need to take care of those emotional problems and leave writing out of it. Treat it like a business, separate editing from people’s personal opinions of you, and stop caring what people think. 1–No one is thinking of you. 2–if they are, who cares or can control that anyway? 3–You’re usually projecting negativity from others anyway! Look up “Projecting.”

Getting Stronger: There’s a beginner and an advanced workout option with my ab video. And you better believe I had to do the beginner version when I first started out, but now when Jillian is shouting, “Wrap those legs around your arms,” I am! I couldn’t do a burpie to save my life, and now I can do those in my sleep. The point is that what is hard now, won’t be later… if you keep working!

 

 

 

Goal keeping… the fight!

Some people are great at keeping themselves on task… and I’m not one of those people. This can be a challenge as an entrepreneur and someone who LOVES LOVES the excitement of making a goal. Sooo I thought that I’d share a few tricks and techniques that I’ve used these past few months as I’ve been writing my books:

State EXCITING Goals, but BREAK THEM DOWN so they’re doable: BHAG means Big Hairy Audacious Goal–and by ALL means, make those hairy goals. Those are fun and thrilling… but that thrill dies down as the work comes. Soooo for those who get overwhelmed by these huge, exciting goals; break them down. You do this by filling in the blanks on the following statements: “Today I will…” “This week I will…” “This month I will…”

Instant Gratification vs Delayed Gratification: We’re hooked to that little adrenaline rush we get with those “likes” on our posts. Other things like eating healthy won’t give us instant results as biting down into that chewy chocolate caramel yummy! We love those stars on our foreheads. So how do we train ourselves to crave delayed results over the instant? We trick and train ourselves, of course! Wean yourself off social media by using apps to block it from your computer and/ or take it off your phone. Use time limits. And then here’s the biggest trick of all: break down your goal into little reward markers that you can celebrate NOW! When I need that extra oomph, I set a timer for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes of writing and then when it goes off, beautiful chimes or music happens! And Voila–I just found a way to give a longterm goal instant gratification! When I go on a walk, I did NOT lose ten pounds, but I went on a walk and I feel great. Take time to appreciate, find joy, and celebrate the little things on the way to your goal. In other words, be present!

Sunk Costs vs Lost Potential: I’m super tempted… MORE THAN tempted to throw my hands up in the air when I’ve wasted an hour or two and say, “This day has been a waste, I’m just going to bag it.” I get a bad review OR I eat triple helpings on my favorite dessert and… well, the same thing happens. Picking myself up after a percieved failure is key. Instead of looking back at the past mistakes, I have to force myself to look ahead. I listen to LOTS AND LOTS of pep talks for athletes on YouTube. I try to plan ahead to avoid falling into the same trap. I look at the time I DO have left, the skills I DO have, the next opportunity in store to try to make my next step a success.

Writing Journal: I think this works for every goal, not just writing. But we can be consumed by negative, self defeating thoughts sometimes. And when we are not aware of what’s going on in our heads then we can’t fight those thoughts. So I keep a writing journal and I write down my frustrations when I have them, my fears, my doubts, my insecurities, my bad habits, my challenges… and then I also write solutions. It helps me identify my biggest problems. And for a writer, this works super well because it ALSO gets me to start writing if I wasn’t doing it before.

Accountability: At the end of the day, I need to report to someone–I know, I know, some people don’t need someone else to put a star on their forehead or pat them on the head, but I do!! So check off lists and accountability buddies are for me! There’s something about writing down what you plan to do and then crossing it off! Instant gratification anyone? And then I text my accountability partners in the morning to tell them my daily goals and then I report to them at night. I tell other accountability partners as a revise my projects that I will give them 2-3 chapters a day. I tell my editor that I will give her my book at this certain date. And they ALL pat me on the head and tell me that I’m a star. Hey! People NEED cheerleaders, okay? I do the same thing for them and we have a great symbiotic relationship!

There are more, but my timer just went off to end my social media for the day and I need to report my writing stats tonight to my accountability partner so I can get her excited Bitmojis and “claps” on my phone! I wish you the best of luck with your goals and hope that some of my strategies help you out too!

“The Cove”–Billionaire Series

cove map

I stumbled onto this one and happily so! As you know, I’m an author and I have a couple of author friends, haha. Anyway, apparently it’s the latest rage (and a successful rage might I add) to get together with your author friends who write in the same genre and to write a series together that all takes place in one setting. *long explainer, I know!* But the point is that one of my author friends pointed me to these authors at Gelato Publishing who were writing a series called “The Cove,” about all these billionaires who lived in Seattle in one little “big” neighborhood.

This same group of authors also went to Seattle to check it all out over there, but I was late to the party and so sadly, I missed out *gentle weeping*! However, I’m from Washington and I’ve been to Seattle plenty of times to visit my brother on Bainbridge Island AND I’d already written a book that took place there (“Out of the Mouth of Babes”), so at least I had that under my belt!

As you can see from this map, my characters live on lot 3 and 8… as you can NOT see on this map, my name is Stephanie, not Kaylee, haha, but she has gone to do other super successful and fantastic things and scored a trip to Seattle while she was at it so it’s cool.

However, billionaire books are an entirely NEW genre for me, but I thought, hmm, I’ve been reading regency historical books since I’d learned how to get into my box of books under my mom’s bed, and it’s pretty much the same thing, just in a different time period, so I’m giving it a go! I’ve also been reading my friends’ books as they’ve been released, enjoyed them thoroughly, and felt like I got some good pointers on how to go about 🙂

And let’s just say, that this has been a really fun writing challenge. My characters in this book own a yacht… which I’ve had to do lots of research on because surprisingly (not surprisingly) I’ve never been on one. And then they just HAD to love water toys, and so now I’m looking up all that stuff too… even though being out in the water terrifies me! I just saw Jaws too many times as a kid, I think. And now I’m getting all snobby and I’m like, well, a “millionaire” would NEVER be able to afford such things, but a “billionaire…” Haha, and OF COURSE I have to throw all my twists and adventures in there because I just can’t stop doing that! Luckily these authors that I work with are very laidback and allow me my strange writing quirks.

With that said, let me introduce these authors at the Cove:

Lucy McConnell
Erica Penrod
Amberlee Day
Maria Hoagland
Holly Stevenson
Chelsea Hale
Christene Houston
Stephanie Fowers (me, of course!)

Welcome to The Cove!

With heavy iron gates, two security stations, and a groundskeeper’s cottage, The Cove has everything a billionaire could ask for in a home. Dubbed Billionaire Bachelor Cove because of the resident’s single status and income portfolios, The Cove is the perfect place to hide away from the world. But, as the residents soon find out, they can’t hide from love.

Can’t wait to release mine too… and to get back to writing! Hope you enjoyed the update!

Hello everyone! Can you believe this beautiful weather? Beach days, hiking season, and lazy summer days are on us! Meanwhile, I feel inspired to write, write, write!

I’ve just finished up the first draft of my latest novel and have given it to my beta readers! I will be announcing the title and its release date SOON… it’s pretty good if I say so myself! I’m now on chapter 3 of my Billionaire novel that I’m writing with Gelato Publishing, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. Let’s just say that my plans to write full time are coming along nicely!

Can I tell you though? I know NOTHING about how a billionaire lives! At least with my characters 🙂 I’ve been researching yachts and all sorts of water toys for this new book, not to mention security intels and Texas Hold’Em. And now I’m getting all snobby like, well, a million dollars won’t buy anybody anything… you DEFINITELY have to have a billion. Haha. Anyway, they say write what you know, but I think… well, that was before google searches.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this! As Julian Smith says–“I made this for you!”

In the Pursuit of Eden

I’m very excited to announce that my new book, “In the Pursuit of Eden” came out today! No April Fool’s joke!

41NoElcwMJL

 

Hunter’s made a habit of saving Ivy in their search for Eden’s treasure. She’d be more grateful if he didn’t put her in danger in the first place. Now that the two have made an uneasy truce in order to find the truth, Ivy realizes that he fights a shocking past that’s tangled up in hers. Will she put aside their differences to save him?

Check it out here!

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Eden-Stephanie-Fowers-ebook/dp/B07PS4YB7G

Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1090491131

 

Hello Readers!

41NoElcwMJLSo it’s been a while since I’ve touched base with you and I wanted to give you an update on what I’m doing as a writer… and maybe as a person. Who knows? First of all, you might’ve noticed that I have A LOT more content that has come out in the last few months. “Out of the Mouth of Babes” was released on October 29th of last year, and now “In the Pursuit of Eden” will be released on April first–no joke, haha. AND I’m working with Gelato Publishing to release 2 Billionaire books this year, PLUS I’m almost finished with the rough draft of my latest novel (title to be released soon because… pssst, it’s THAT good and I don’t want anyone to take it before I do!).

417B0REzYFL._SY346_So what is the reason for all this productivity? I quit my day job. It was a RISKY move… for me because I’m all about security! But… I had saved up enough money to live (very frugally) this year so I could write as many books as I could and see–just see if I could live off of this. I’ll be honest– it’s a slow process getting back to my former successes. I set myself back for four years since I’d worked on film during that time and I’d lost a lot of footing in the book industry. So now I’m ni the process of reconnecting with my readers, other writers, other professionals. I’m also learning new marketing techniques. Guys! It’s soooo different! But I won’t bore you with the details… just yet! Add to those challenges, my mother had some health problems that put her in the ICU for a month, then rehab for 3 months after that…. AND I lost some productivity there (though I can NOW set a book in a hospital, rehab center, assisted living if I have the inclination–so silver linings!)

Needless to say! I AM determined. Each day I wake up at 5 in the morning, make my goals for the day, report to my accountability partner, and write until late into the night. I might JUST MIGHT take up dog walking to supplement the income in a bit… we shall see. Lol–plus that would also be great fodder for a future book. But, I just wanted to say that I’m back for AT LEAST this year, so be sure to watch for my upcoming books and my promotionals with other authors too (because without each other, we just wouldn’t make it)!

And by the way, just in case you’re wondering, working this hard feels GREAT! There are difficult times where I feel like I’m dragging or when I don’t believe in myself (I keep a writing journal for those days), but on the whole I really, really love what I do!

Thank you for letting me share with you!

Stephanie

BTW: to preorder “In the Pursuit of Eden,” the link is right here: https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Eden-Stephanie-Fowers-ebook/dp/B07PS4YB7G  Print coming soon!

 

A Tip of the Cap by Rebecca Connolly

With Cap in hand…

Malcolm Colerain, Earl of Montgomery, needs a wife. He has four children, a peerage, and a demanding secret occupation as a member of the London League; all of which give him a fulfilling life, so a proper marriage of convenience is all he seeks. But when he meets Elizabeth Owens, things begin to change. Distance becomes difficult, convenience becomes rather inconvenient, and his exciting life as a spy turns on its head.

…Love comes to call…

Beth Owens seizes the chance to marry the handsome and striking Earl of Montgomery, marriage of convenience or not. Her heart is his for the taking, and she is determined that he eventually will. But the more she learns about her husband, the more he puzzles her. He has secrets, she is well aware, but just how many and how deeply do they run? And when she finds a few secrets of her own, will they ever have a chance at love?

 

 

 

“I hope you don’t mind that I asked Mrs. Granger to introduce us, Miss Owens,” he said, somehow smiling in his tone but not with his mouth.

Beth shook her head quickly. “Not at all, my lord, I am grateful for the opportunity.”

He opened his mouth to reply, then closed it, cocking his head in confusion. “Were you, indeed?”

She nodded meekly. “Yes, my lord.” She opted not to say more, trying to remember how to be demure and polite when faced with a powerful man who could give her a desperately-needed position.

Impertinence would not be appreciated, nor would rambling. Beth tended to be inclined towards both.

Lord Montgomery propped his elbow on the arm of the sofa, hand positioned in a thoughtful pose against his face. “Tell me about yourself, Miss Owens, if you please.”

Beth straightened up, praying her hands would remain gracefully clasped in her lap. “I am from Oxfordshire, my lord, near Abingdon. My godparents sent me to finish at Mrs. Rampton’s School in Berkshire where I received an excellent education, giving me all the skills and knowledge that a competent and capable governess ought to possess. I am learned in French, German, and Latin; I have skills in penmanship, arithmetic, as well as prominent literature. I can teach deportment and manners, as well as…”

“Miss Owens,” Lord Montgomery interrupted, a deep furrow between his brows, “I don’t wish to engage you as a governess.”

Beth stared at him for a moment, then sighed heavily and let her shoulders droop a little. “No, of course, you don’t.” She was not entirely sure if she were disappointed or relieved, but she suspected it was an odd mixture of both. In truth, she would have to admit that arithmetic made her itch, and her German accent sounded as though she were ill. Her aggrieved headmistress had maintained that Beth’s skills in deportment bordered on ‘just enough to not be shocking’, so she really would have been quite hopeless.

Her reaction seemed to amuse him. “Why would you think that was why I asked Mrs. Granger for an introduction?” he queried, that sort-of smile returning to his face.

She stared at him rather blankly. “Why else would you want to meet with me, my lord?”

“That… is an excellent question,” he said slowly, his thumb grazing his jaw absently as his gaze fixed on her.

It was all she could do to not fidget under such a gaze. “Yes, sir?” she prodded, smiling nervously.

His lips quirked with an ironic tilt. “I haven’t yet decided, Miss Owens.”

Beth smiled in earnest now, laughing at the bizarre twist of their conversation. “Will you tell me when you have?”

Lord Montgomery gave a slow nod. “Most assuredly.”

 

 

I went into this book knowing that I was going to like it, but not thinking that I was going to love it. But I was SO into this book. I loved the characters and just had no idea where the story was going-which I loved. I love how this book really seemed to connect the previous London league books with what’s to come. There are so many questions in my head after reading this that I’m dying for the rest of this series! And to find out more about the rest of the London league!

I truly think this is my most favorite of all Rebecca Connolly’s stories!!! I love it when I can laugh and cry in the same story. This has the perfect balance of all the feelings here. Seriously. I cried twice. And laughed much more. Of course.

I am still in my happy place after reading that amazing book:} It was pretty near perfect:} I loved it so much.

 

 

Author Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ends 2/25/19

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