Write Up - Newsletter from Author Teresa LaBella.
Welcome to the latest edition of my author newsletter Write-Up.
The name reflects my full-circle writer’s journey from journalist to fundraising executive, freelancer to author and the direction following our dream will take us. I invite you to join me on this journey while you compose your own life chapters and verse.
The delightfully warmer-than-normal February days in Iowa are counting down to snow forecast for the weekend. Just in time for a mini-road trip north to Cedar Rapids and an evening shared with authors Craig Hart and M.L. Williams at The CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids next door to Next Page Books. We’ll be reading the stories, that we created, from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28th. Join us if you can!
On March 16th, Craig will be back with me and author Remi Hunter at The Grape Life Wine Store & Lounge in Davenport from 6:30 to 9 p.m., selling and signing books and sipping a glass of white or red stocked by our host.
Then … no fooling! … I’ll be at The Book Rack in Davenport on April 1st from 11 a.m. until 1-ish launching “Love Unlikely,” the novella romance between Rachel and Drew that ties in and wraps up the New Life in Love trilogy. I just couldn’t end the McKenna family saga without a happily-ever-after hope for Marisa’s little sister!
Here’s a wee contest for you flash fiction writers! 4Wurdz Press is accepting flash fiction entries through March 31st. Entries between 750 and 1,000 words. Selected entries will be published in June. For more information, go to http://4wurdz.com/. Good luck!
Book covers with clever titles grab my attention every time and that’s how I discovered Margaret Locke. In “A Man of Character,” Margaret’s book store owner Cat Schreiber magically brings characters from stories to life. What’s not to love about that?
A lover of romance novels since the age of ten (shh, don't tell her mom!), Margaret Locke declared as a teen that she'd write romances when she grew up. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things, not penning steamy love stories. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader. Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fabulous kids, and three fluffy cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window); she's come to terms with the fact that she's not an outdoors person.
What and/or who inspires you to write?
The voices in my head?
No, not really. While characters DO pester me from behind the scenes (especially when I’m trying to fall asleep), what compels me to write is wanting to provide readers, and by extension myself, that heart-felt satisfaction, that emotional reaction to a Happy Ever After that I've experienced time and time again reading romance. There’s something so satisfying about crafting a tale that can make me laugh, cry, and think – and it’s what I hope to provide for others.
Where do you get your storytelling ideas?
Does any author ever have a legitimate answer to this question?
I don’t know. When I confessed to my husband that I wanted to write romance, my next thought was, “I need an idea.” I got quiet (a rarity, my husband will tell you) and then suddenly blurted out, “What if a woman figured out the guys she was dating were people she’d created in stories she wrote when she was younger?” I have NO idea where that came from. Truly.
But I took it and ran with it. I remember thinking at one point that Cat Schreiber, the main character from that first novel, A Man of Character, could sure use a sidekick. Suddenly Eliza James was in my head – and soon she demanded her own story. Which she got in A Matter of Time. My third book, A Scandalous Matter, produced two unanticipated characters who now would like a romance of their own.
I guess as long as I keep following the rabbit trails in my head, I’ll always have people about whom I can write.
What genres and authors do you choose to read?
Though I do occasionally branch out into mainstream or YA fiction, I’ve been a devoted romance reader since the age of ten (sorry, mom). Early on, I read just about every historical I could get my hands on – Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, Susan Johnson, Pamela Morsi, Betina Krahn. Now I tend to fall for Regency historicals most of all and eagerly scoop up anything by Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, Sarah MacClean, and Julia Quinn – and I have a host of new names to try from all the wonderful authors I’ve met or heard of now that I’m an author myself!
I read contemporary romance sometimes, too, but it’s historicals (and especially time-travel romances) that most resonate with me. I was a doctoral student in medieval history in my pre-kids days; love for history has long been a thread throughout my life. Now I just prefer it with a little more kissing.
What are you working on now?
My next book, The Demon Duke, which I’ll have out in the late spring (2017) is a pure Regency historical, no magical elements at all, unlike my Magic of Love series. It’s the first in my Put Up Your Dukes series, but at least a few characters will be familiar to my readers, because its heroine is the sister of A Matter of Time’s hero Deveric Mattersley.
What advice would you give a new author?
My favorite piece of advice came from Sabrina Jeffries, whom I was privileged to meet at the Virginia Festival of the Book a few years ago.
“Don’t write in a vacuum,” she told me. She’s so right! Don’t write alone – find other writers. Network. Read authors in your genre and in other genres. Go to conferences. Find a critique group. Get involved.
It’s awfully easy if you write alone to stop writing. Other writers and authors can help keep you going – buoy your spirits, give you practical advice and information, answer questions, provide promo support, etc. Many writers are by nature introverts, but making those connections has made all the difference for me, and I think they can make all the difference for any new writer.
Margaret loves to connect with readers! Find her at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Margaret-Locke/e/B00W62NPC0
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Go back to The Web Site of author Teresa LaBella