Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Friends with Candace Havens

Welcome to Friday Friends with our special guest, Harlequin author, CANDACE HAVENS.

Thank you, Candace, for being with us today.

HWH: First, tell us about your new book scheduled for release on February 1, 2010, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE.

CH: Thanks so much for letting me hang out with you! TAKE ME IF YOU DARE is a romance set in Bangkok and Phuket Beach in Thailand. Jackson is a recently burned CIA agent who is trying to get out of the country. Mariska is a detective on a the hunt for a missing man. Jackson agrees to help her, but he has his own agenda. He wants to use her resources to get out of the country, but he can't keep from falling for her. Mariska knows Jackson is a dangerous man, but she can't seem to walk away from him. When they come together it's hot!

HWH: WOW! I've always been a fan of the Blaze series so I'll be sure to watch for this one. While writing this story, tell us which one came first, the characters or the plot?

CH: The characters always come first for me. I had an idea for a mostly female detective agency. But Jackson, the burned CIA agent, is really who set this story in motion for me.

HWH: Besides having a sexy novel being released, you're also an award winning author for your paranormal romances. Tell us, during your writing journey what’s the best writing advice that you’ve been given or read?

CH: The best advice is the same I give: Sit your but down and write. People talk about writing, or how they don't have time, but if they took that time that they are complaining, to write, then they'd be more successful.

HWH: LOL. That’s funny and true! So tell us, what do you think makes a good romance novel?

CH: The characters. You need quirky, real people who make you want to take that journey with them.

HWH: With TAKE ME IF YOU DARE being your 7th novel, what have you learned while being published that you wish you knew before you were published?

CH: Wow! That it's a roller coaster ride. It doesn't matter what level you are at. There are good times and bad. There is always the chance for rejection. But you have to focus on the one thing you can control -- The writing!

HWH: Great advice! Thanks so much for being with us, Candace. Best of luck to you and please come back and visit any time.

To all our viewers, Candace will be here today to answer your questions. Be sure to check out her website at

Have a great weekend everyone and before you go sign up to be a Heroines with Hearts FOLLOWER.

We hope to see you next week when our special guest will be author, PAMELA BRITTON.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Writing Strengths

I’ve been told that my main writing strength is my dialogue. Maybe that’s because I can hear the characters talking inside my head.

When I was writing my ‘West Wing’ fan fiction stories, it was easy because I could hear the voices of all the characters in the show. But it also happens with my own created characters. Somehow their voices and what they say comes naturally to me once I get to know them. So I don’t really think about dialogue, I simply let the characters talk.

I can see them too, in my mind’s eye. Again that was easy with West Wing stories, but in my original stories, the characters take shape and form for me. I don’t have to think out how Jack might walk, I can see him walking. I don't have to think about Abbey's mannerisms, she does them in my mind's eye.

And I can also feel their innermost thoughts. Not necessarily what mine would be in the same situation but theirs.

Other strengths? A willingness to be continually on a ‘learning curve’ and a real appreciation of critiques which help me to improve.

But mainly and simply, a love of writing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Writing Strengths

Love of words.
Love of romance.
Willingness to admit I have much to learn.
Willingness to admit I have learned much.
Being able to do horoscopes for my main characters.
Completing a full story arc.
Loving it when the characters or story take over.
Loving the partnership relationships with blog and loop members.
Believing I will be successful.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Prize Winner

The winner of the e-copy of Kathleen O'Connor's book 'Men of Paradise' was Debra St John, who left one of the several comments on Kathy's interview last week. We finally tracked Debra down, thanks to Kathy's help, so the book prize is being sent to her. Congratulations to Debra!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interview with Christine Columbus

Christine Columbus’ “The Perfect Country and Western Story” will be released by The Wild Rose Press on February 5, 2010.

“Alexandra has the Stetson hat, now all she needs is the cowboy. But with three days and over 50,000 faces to search, will she be able to find the man who stole her heart? Ben still can’t believe he was foolish enough to let the beautiful thief walk away with his autographed Toby Keith cowboy hat. If the heart breaker dares to show up at Country time again this year, he’ll not only be looking to get his hat back, but aiming for a little payback as well.”

Christine, welcome to Heroines with Hearts!

1. “The Perfect Country and Western Story” is a great title. Please talk about your novel’s plot and how you came up with it.

I was at WE Fest in 2006 sitting around the campfire with my daughter, sister-in-law and nieces when I told them an editor suggested writing a story surrounding a cowboy hat. I liked the idea of a backwards Cinderella story where the woman had a hat and was looking for the cowboy that could wear it. So, sitting around the campfire we began to plot. I left the concert filled with ideas. When I started the story all I knew is I had a woman with a Toby Keith autographed hat and she needed to find her cowboy at an outdoor concert.

2. You write deep POV that really explores both Alexandra’s and Ben’s inner turmoil as they struggle to reunite. How do you balance deep POV and action? How do you deal out emotional insights and information while keeping the story moving forward?

I struggle with emotion and insight. Dialogue is easy for me, I can hear what the characters are saying, but I don’t take the time to try and figure out why they say what they do. After the third or fourth time through the story at the prodding of my editor I begin to flesh out the reasons why they say the things the do.

3. How do you edit? Do you use a critique partner or group? What have you learned to look for when editing your work?

Editing…I have a lot of family and friends that I badger. Will you read this again? I feel like an eye doctor after a while…What do you like one or two…two or three…three or one. Thank goodness, everyone is very supportive and helpful. Although I did have one of my sisters tell me… no more. Unless the story is completed she doesn’t want to read it because she has all these characters with only partial stories to wonder and worry about.

4. You have sold nine short stories to The Wild Rose Press’ Sweetheart Rose, Rose Petals, and Champagne Rose lines. Did they request this new full-length book, or did you submit it? What can you share about working with The Wild Rose Press?

I love working with The Wild Rose Press – in my opinion they are the best. I actually submitted the story as a short, but after a number of suggestions from the editor the story bloomed into a novel. I really like writing shorts because I have a very short attention span and I lose interest quickly. So, writing a novel takes a lot of discipline for me. I try to write every day. I generally get up an hour before work and write at that time. Evenings are spent doing chores, like walking with the neighbor or working out at Snap Fitness, then I spend the rest of my free time promoting or fooling around on the web. Oh yeah and occasionally I even clean my house, shovel snow or mow the law.

5. What have you learned since you were published that you wish you would have known while you were working to become published?

A long time ago I had a teacher tell me that writing is 95% perseverance and 5% talent. I believe she is right. I do wish I had paid more attention to grammar when I was in grade school. I spent my days daydreaming. Teachers would always give me two grades on my papers. A’s for content and F’s for spelling and grammar. So, I never bothered to learn how to spell or write. This is a real drawback and why I have a group of people helping me with editing my work mostly for grammar.

So, I believe that 90% perseverance, 5% talent and 5% technical presentation (grammar).

I am proof of perseverance. Growing up I had two goals, one was to be published. The other was to have a daughter before I turned 30. I accomplished both. Sometimes I do wonder why being independently wealthy wasn’t one of my wishes or the ability to construct a proper sentence.

6. What do you think makes a really good romance novel?

A really good romance novel has character that a reader can like or maybe even love. Sometimes in life-- love can be an underdog and when a reader sees love succeed there is a little bit of magic, like a first snow, a babies smile, a warm embrace—a good romance novel creates a feeling that the reader wants to experience again and again.

I believe that people should fall in love as many times as they can--something about the twinkle in the eyes of a couple that has been married for fifty plus years…I believe those couples learned how to fall in love over and over again. And a book that is a sequel or a novel whose pages get torn and tattered… have heroes that readers fall in love with over and over again.
Christine will be available to answer questions and comments on Friday evening and Saturday. So post away!

Christine Columbus currently lives in Minneapolis, MN, but believes this is a temporary situation. Someday she will trade in her snow shovels, boots and scarves for sunscreen and sandals. She believes you should fall in love as many times as possible—even if it is with the same person… and you should laugh. She writes for The Wild Rose Press, and has had her poetry performed at the Bloomington Center for Arts. Her 2009 flash fiction “Tween Seasons” was a mini-story winner at MN Artist. She has been published also in creative non-fiction and children’s fiction. Visit her at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hardest part of writing?

I can think of several but I’ll focus on a few practical issues here:

First, I find it hard to develop a basic idea into a real plot. Maybe I should be less of a pantser and think things through before I start! I have lots of basic scenarios, but no real idea how I can develop them. In addition, I need a plot that will absorb me so that I can get totally involved in it and relate to my characters.

Second, I have problems with time lapses. How to get characters from Point A in the story to what I want to be Point B. I hate stories that say things like ‘two months later’ because I want to know what happened in those two months! The characters exist during that time, what were they doing or thinking or feeling? But, in my case, either the time lapse ends up as telling, not showing, or else it becomes long and unwieldy, without contributing anything to the plot itself. Any ideas about how to deal with time lapses – days, weeks or months – gratefully received!

Third, when I was writing my books 30 or 40 years ago, the rule was to stick to one point of view (the heroine’s). It became ingrained in me. Now I’m adapting to being able to use more POVs but I’m struggling with just when to make the change from one POV to another, as it still isn’t coming naturally to me.

I could list a lot more – not least trying to overcome the ‘technical’ errors in my writing. But I have to conclude by saying that I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that writing a good story presents. The hard parts of writing don’t depress me, but make me more determined to improve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hardest part of writing is falling in love again.

I have written two first novels. I still identify with my first two heroines. I am still in love with my first two heroes.

Through practice, reading, and on-line classes, I have honed my plotting skills. I am itching to redraft my first borns and give them the best possible chance to be published, but this has proved harder than I expected.

So I have plotted a third story. Get one good notch on my belt (quill?). This story will have no sagging middle, no twirling word-dervish eddies.

I know already who dun it--and how. I have charted my leads' emotional journeys. Made sure my heroine is more confident of her inner strengths at the outset. (Like me?)

I have a solid image of my hero. I have not fallen hard for him yet, but my heroine will. And so will I.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Most difficult aspect of writing....

This is a hard question for me because the only thing I find HARD about writing is not being able to write fast enough. I like telling the story, and creating scenes, and surprising myself when a plot comes out of the blue.

If I had to pick one thing about writing that makes me turn off the computer and take a break before I give up writing entirely... it would have to be grammar.

What about you? If you're a writer, what do you have trouble with and would like to master?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Friends with Kathleen O'Connor

Welcome to our Friday Friends feature. This week we meet romantic suspense writer KATHLEEN O’CONNOR.

Kathleen is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and recipient of a James Michener Fellowship. She is the author of four novels and her short stories and articles have appeared in Good Housekeeping, Liguorian, St. Anthony Messenger, Redbook, Seventeen and Woman’s World. Her website is

HWH: Hi, Kathleen. Great to have you with us today. First of all, can you tell you what genre you write and what motivates you to write this type of book?

KATHLEEN: I’ve always been a romantic so write romance and romantic suspense.

HWH: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

KATHLEEN: A pantser. I write very character-driven fiction and let my characters take me to unintended places.

HWH: There seem to be a lot of us ‘pantsers’ around! But, having done the first draft, I edit and then re-edit, and re-edit again. How do you know when to stop ‘tweaking’ your manuscript?

KATHLEEN: There is that bleary-eyed moment when you know you can’t make it any better.

HWH: I’ll remember that! Now, what’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received or read?

KATHLEEN: Short story writer Michael Lee said when you think it’d done - the story or novel - put it away for a week and give it another look.

HWH: I think I’d probably then start editing again! In contrast to that, what’s your cure for ‘writer’s block’ or when you’re stuck at some point in your story?

KATHLEEN: I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and do the exercises she prescribes. It always works. Every morning you must write three pages of whatever is on your mind and it's amazing how that primes the pump for story ideas. She also believes in something called The Artist Date. She wants you to spend an hour or two a week and go somewhere alone that will delight your senses - a museum, a thrift shop, a florist or a scenic area. Anything that will delight the child within. I like to go to a vintage clothing shop and imagine who might have worn the fashions in a previous decade.

HWH: I like the idea of the Artist Date and I love your choice of a vintage clothing shop. I think we all have favourite characters from our books. Which, of all the characters you have created, is your favourite – and why?

KATHLEEN: Detective Sunny Cloud from my novel ‘No Doubt’ is my favourite because he’s had a hard life and instead of making him bitter it’s given him empathy. He’s also the best looking of all my characters.

HWH: You have two new books out. Can you tell us more about ‘Men of Paradise’ which has been released from The Wild Rose Press.

KATHLEEN: ‘Men of Paradise’ details what happens when two strangers inherit joint custody of an untrainable but adorable West Highland Terrier named Dudley. Lauren Pierce, owner of a gift-shop business, doesn't want to co-parent her dog with Yuma Hawk, the new Director of Security for the gated Florida community where she lives. She fears he will discover she is illegally raising her orphaned nephew in the age-restricted community. Also Lauren, disabled from birth with cerebral palsy, feels she has had enough rejection from men in her young life and doesn't need to meet any more. Only Dudley, the dog, understands why this unlikely duo was brought together.

HWH: Dudley sounds adorable – and very understanding!
Your second book, ‘A Private Matter’ was re-released from Whiskey Creek Press, having originally appeared as ‘No Accident.’ What’s it about?

KATHLEEN: Mitch Gallagher is obsessed with finding the killer of David Forjane. The young detective believes the murder’s proximity to the victim’s workplace is the key clue. Tess McConnell, a new hire, at the same corporation complicates the detective’s job though.
Unaware Gallagher is a recent widower, she comes on too strong and then feels terribly rejected when the grieving detective doesn’t respond. To get even, she ignores Gallagher and initiates some amateur sleuthing of her own. The detective suffers during this ‘cold shoulder’ treatment and eventually discovers he is more ready for a relationship than he realized. And it will take the efforts of both these characters to solve a murder where the killer left no clues.

HWH: Here’s the ‘taster’ that Kathleen has sent us about this intriguing story:

A Private Matter

December 18
David Forjane threw his briefcase in the back seat of his new red Saturn. It was a sporty enough car, but did not quite make the statement he desired. He was two years away from the blue BMW. Life was always a waiting game.
He peeled out of the garage anxious to get a mile away from the concrete fortress that was the Rayex Chemical Company. Something about the building affected radio reception, and he was now ready to hear the silky-voiced Samantha of WKAC. Always his companion for the commute home, she spun records for the heartsick and lovesick. He enjoyed their dim patter. Yesterday he heard his girlfriend call in and request a tune for David; a song called Gone. He could not quite believe it. It was his Peggy, of the repetitive conversation and robotic sex, doing something interesting and original. When Marta Johns serenaded him with, I’m beginning to see you’re growing bored with me, David answered, “Oh Peggy, I’ve been bored with you for a long time.”
He looked into the rear view mirror and was surprised to see the departmental loaner car barreling up behind. He thought he recognized the driver, but not the passenger. The twosome was going like hell and about to pass on the left. David reached down to turn on the radio.
A single bullet slammed through his brain before his hand reached the dial.

HWH: Wow – quite a teaser there! I definitely want to read more of this!

Many thanks for being with us, Kathleen, and best wishes for the success of your books, and many more to come, of course.

Please visit Kathleen’s website at

And the exciting news is that Kathleen has generously offered an e-copy of her book ‘Men of Paradise’. Anyone who leaves a comment will have their name ‘put in a hat’ and one lucky winner be selected. So good luck to all!

We hope to see you all again next week, when our guest will be CHRISTINE COLUMBUS. Meantime, have a look at the other blogs by Ana, Toni and Paula – and become a follower by clicking the link on the right. We’ll be very happy to have you with us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Critique Partners

Some writers like critique partners, some don't. I'm one of the former, and I'm fortunate that I've found two excellent critique partners.

Writing can be a lonely job, and it’s good to have a friend who is prepared to read your chapter and give you his/her honest opinion. The word honest is important. I don’t want just positive feedback with a few ‘nice’ comments, although a comment of ‘Great, this really worked well’ does wonders for your confidence. But at the same time, I want a genuine opinion and, if necessary, hard-hitting comments.

A good CP can help you to improve your story and your writing. They can highlight word or phrase repetition, overuse of passive verbs and adverbs, and showing instead of telling (I have been guilty of all of these but didn’t actually realise it until my CPs told me!). They can also look at the big picture and tell you what is working and what isn’t, where the plot holes or anomalies are and whether the pace of the story is too slow or too fast.

Sometimes (often?) we can get too close to our own story and characters. A critique partner comes to it with fresh eyes and can point out the things that you may have overlooked.

At the same time, it has to be said that every opinion is subjective, and that in the end the story is yours

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ideal critique partner

My ideal critique partner would have all the qualities Toni outlined. I, too, return my partner's work with equal priority.

My super-ideal critique partner would also join in brainstorming the sketch of a new plot. This 'ground-floor' familiarity would help her (or him) help me across those seemingly-impassible gaps between where I am and where I want to go as I am writing. Then, of course, he or she would still catch my lapses into omniscent POV.

I think it would be fun to write with a partner. (Can you tell I have Libra rising?) That means a compatibility of genre, vision, and style--not an easy match, but I believe someone is out there and will appear when the time is right.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Critique Partners

For the past seven years, I've had several on and off critique partners. Unfortunately, they didn't work out for one reason or another. But thankfully I finally found one that works.


She thinks she's too picky, but I think that's great because she makes me think. When I see less and less highlights on the pages, I gain confidence knowing she "tried" to pick it apart but found nothing (yeah). She is considerate in knowing this is a business that is all about time/deadlines. She is prompt to return the critique ASAP. She's not afraid of hurting my feelings by telling me something doesn't work and she never sugarcoats anything (trust me on this)!

We work because how I described her above, I return the favor.

After so many critique partners, I know how hard it is to find that one certain person you can click with. Now that I have her I value what we have and hope it lasts for many years.

What about you, do you have a critique partner and how is it working out? What do you think makes a good critique partner?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Friends with Annette Blair....

Welcome to our first Friday Friends with our special guest, paranormal romantic comedy writer, ANNETTE BLAIR.

We are thrilled to have you as our first guest, Annette. Lots of things to talk about today.

HWH: I know you have some news so why don't you share that with us first before we talk about The Naked Dragon.

AB: First, thank you for inviting me to be with you. I’m honored to be your first guest. My first bit of news is that A VEILED DECEPTION the first in my Vintage Magic Mystery Series is a 2010 Romantic Times Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee. I'm so excited.

More good news came in Wednesday: LARCENY AND LACE, the second in my Vintage Magic Mystery Series, was chosen to be a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction. The book cover and a link to LARCENY AND LACE appeared on every page of on January 5, 2010 and mailed to the subscribers of the Fresh Pick newsletter on January 5, 2010. "The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a purchased advertisement or promotion. We've chosen your book because it appeals to us and we like to share our diverse tastes in reading..."

At Penelope’s Romance Reviews: Penelope’s Top 20 for 2009: Most Embarrassing Moment of Blubbering While Reading A Romance Novel: While reading Annette Blair's Larceny and Lace, a light paranormal mystery with romantic elements, I cried not once but twice! Blair does an extraordinary job adding sweetness into this fun, snappy mystery. Here's the review.

HWH: Congratulations, Annette, on all the great news! What a way to start the new year!! Now let's talk about The Naked Dragon. Tell us about the book and how you came up with the idea.

AB: I got the idea for the dragon story on an airplane, on my way home from an RT Conference a few years ago, so I took out my notebook and plotted for the whole trip. For the longest time, I didn’t know where to use the story, then I came up with the Works Like Magick Employment Agency idea, and I knew that the first would be my dragon story.

Below is a short, and a long, blurb.

Mini Blurb: The Works Like Magick Employment Agency has a reputation for perfectly matching clients with magical temps. So when McKenna Greylock requests a handyman, the gorgeous Bastian Dragonelli arrives to repair her B&B...and fire up her bedroom.

Story of the story:

“McKenna Greylock,” Bastian said. “I have in my shorts one resourceful, multi-talented, prehensile dragon lance. And, in its own magnificent way, it very nearly does breathe fire.”

In Salem, human magick has thinned the veil between the planes to a permeable mist, forming a portal into the city, allowing time travelers and chameleons of the universe to enter there.

Bastian Dragonelli, once a Roman warrior turned dragon, is the first of his legion to be returned to earth, a man. So his brothers can also be saved and sent to earth, Bastian must reclaim the magick of Andra, Goddess of Hope, who sacrificed hers to transform him. He must seek his heart mate and make her quest his own. But the dark, powerful Killian, Sorceress of Chaos, who turned his legion into dragons and skewed his transition back into a man, is hot on his heels.

McKenna Greylock, the last non-magickal descendant of Ciarra, a witch who survived Salem's hanging times, needs a jack-of-all-trades to help turn her dilapidated Victorian into a bed and breakfast so she doesn't lose her home and her family's centuries-old legacy.

Enter McKenna's cousin, Vivica Quinlan, Ciarra's most magickal descendent, owner of the Works Like Magick Employment Agency. Vivica has a gift for matching human employers with magickal employees. Like Ciarra before her, Vivica knows when magickal supernatural ancients are about to arrive. She greets them and acclimates them to life, and to making a living, in Salem.

Besides Killian's threatening presence, Bastian's life is also complicated by McKenna, his guardian dragon, a troublemaking fairy, and a case of culture shock. Bastian also has a problem with his man lance. It won't behave at all the way he remembered it should. Not at all...

HWH: Sounds great, Annette. I love the title, The Naked Dragon. Where did you come up with the name?

AB: I chose that name because Bastian Dragonelli comes through the veil naked (due to his transformation) and lands on a thorn bush in a circle of chanting women. (witches) This is Salem, of course. Also, all of Bastian Dragonelli’s “assets” cannot be seen unless he is naked.

HWH: LOL! Okay, a little tip bit on writing for our writer friends. You told me once that you didn’t work with a critique partner. Is that still true? If so, can you give us some tips on what you have learned to look for while editing your work?

AB: I don’t work with a critique partner because I’m writing three books a year, and it’s hard for someone to keep up with me. I do a rough first draft, mostly in dialogue. So when I go back to edit, I look to ground my characters, give the story a sense of location, color, life. I look for character reactions when I’m editing, unnecessary words, better and more specific words, clear goals, motivations and conflicts. I usually make up a “don’t forget” list as I’m writing, and I look for the things I put on my list, like more comedy in such and such a scene, a snarky remark I thought of for a certain spot, that kind of thing.

HWH: Interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind. I’ve read your journey to publication posted on your website. It is very inspiring. What has been the best writing advice you’ve read/received?

AB: The best advice is something I discovered myself, since my road to publication was so long. “If you do not write and you do not submit, you will never sell.” Also remember that you can’t judge your own work. So pay attention to your editor. She knows what she’s talking about.

HWH: So true. Okay, last question. What do you find helpful when you have writer’s block?

AB: Getting away from writing. I make sure there’s a pad and paper in my purse and I get out of the house. I go antiquing, shopping, to bookstores. Or I go and pick up my grands at nursery school and kindergarten, take them to the playground, maybe, spend the evening with them, right there on the floor, give them all my attention, maybe give them their tubbies, put them in their pajamas, then I come home smiling and ready to write again. One of them is totally into making up stories and he asks the minute I walk in the door. Also, I love to get away with writer friends or spend a day with my brainstorming buddies. We bounce ideas off each other and the time we spend talking is invigorating and inspiring.

HWH: Thanks so much, Annette, for being with us. I know you've been under the weather this past week and I hope you are feeling better!

To all our viewers, thanks for being with us. Annette will stick around all day and answer any questions or comments you may have. The Naked Dragon is available at your local bookstore now. If you don't see it on the shelf, have them order it.

Be sure to visit Annettes website for all her upcoming and past books!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! We hope to see you back here next Friday when our special guest will be author Kathleen O'Connor. And before you go, click on the link to the right to become a FOLLOWER of Heriones with Hearts!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Launch of Friday Friends

I'm also really looking forward to our Friday Friends and our interviews with many different writers.

For me, it's an interest in why other people write, how they decide what genre they want to write, and how they go about writing their books e.g. do they plot in detail or let the characters take them? I'm interested too in asking our writers about tips they can pass on to others (including me!), be it about characters, plotting, or approaching agents or editors. Whatever advice they can give us about any aspect of writing and getting published will be more than welcome.

It can also be comforting to discover that established writers can have just the same 'problems' as aspiring writers e.g. writer's block, getting stuck with a plot, feeling that a character isn't developing as he/she should etc. I'm sure our writers can give us their ideas about how to overcome the problems both they and we encounter.

We can all learn a lot from talking to other writers, and whatever they are prepared to share with us, I am willing to learn from it.

I have to add that I hope, with publicity by us (and our Friday Friends), others will be drawn to our blog and encouraged to make comments. Then we will have a very lively and interesting blog, not just for ourselves, but for all our readers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Launch of Friday Friends

I am excited about our author interviews on Fridays.

The writers I have invited (so far) are fellow members of Midwest Fiction Writers, the RWA-sanctioned group centered in Minneapolis. I live 3-1/2 hours north of the Twin Cities. Attending monthly meetings is not easy.

I am looking forward to getting to know these women and their books better. If available, I read their new releases, and base my interview questions on them. I hope to glean tips about the craft of writing. I want to know how they went from being hopeful to being published. I am also eager to meet the authors who have accepted Paula's and Toni Lynn's invitiations.

Romance is a great genre. It has many faces and facets. It has room for many voices.

The world needs more love.


Sunday, January 3, 2010


Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for visiting Heroines with Hearts.

We are excited with the new plans for this year. Our weekly comments by each writer will continue as usual, however, each Friday will be dedicated to a special guest.

Currently, the list of guests for 2010 is as follows:

8 –Annette Blair
15 –Kathleen O’Connor
22 – Christine Columbus
29 –Candace Havens

5 –Pamela Britton
12 –Margaret Blake
19 –Lois Greiman

26 -Jan Bowles

5 –Margaret Tanner
12 –Beth Solberg
19 –Jannifer Hoffman

26 -Lois Greiman

2 -Jo Ann Ferguson/Jocelyn Kelley
9 -Laurie Ryan
16 -Angela Kay Austin
23 -J.L. Wilson
30 - Michelle Daly
4 –
Vicki Lewis Thompson

30 –Carly Phillips

6 –Susan Meier

If you are an author, agent, or editor and would like to be a special guest, please contact a Heroines with Hearts contributor and let us know. We'd love to have you.

If you are a reader and would love to see your favorite author as a guest, send us an email with any questions you may have for her or him and we'll see what we can do.

To contact a contributor:

Toni Lynn –
Paula -
Ana -

We look forward to an exciting year and hope you will join us.