Friday, October 24, 2014

Melinda Curtis, today's Friday Friend

Are you still looking for an agent or publisher? Are you ready to sell your books? Are you an established author who is extending her reach and ‘brand’?
Let us know how conferences help YOU and what you do the rest of the year to keep the buzz going.

Let me know what I should do first/most/never. It'll be my first RWA National!
Are you still looking for an agent or publisher? Are you ready to sell your books? Are you an established author who is extending her reach and ‘brand’?
Let us know how conferences help YOU and what you do the rest of the year to keep the buzz going.

Let me know what I should do first/most/never. It'll be my first RWA National!
3 Tips to Writing a Romance Series by Mel Curtis

I’d written one series before starting The Hollywood Rules.  I’m deep into the series now (3 books, 2 novellas) and recently went back and re-read Amber Rules, which launched the romantic comedy series.  Today I’m sharing some of the things I did, both good and rule-breaking.  Here’s what I learned by looking back:

1.     The hero and heroine don’t need to meet on page 1. This is a risk and I wouldn’t recommend doing it if you don’t have a readership already.  Most of my books have some kind of first meet in Chapter One, usually on page 1. I dealt with a later meet in Amber Rules by writing short chapters and seeding the existence of each other via the series’ gossip column. The opening chapters are fast paced, which helps, too.

2.     Details can bog the reader down.  My series is based on the top-secret life coaching principles of Dooley Rule.  Too bad Dooley took his secrets to the grave…or did he? Yeah, my characters are working to unlock those secrets. If I were to rewrite some of the unlocking of his secrets, I might have streamlined the details. But I was figuring it out as I was writing, too.

3.     How many characters are too many? My Hollywood Rules series is a little like Kevin Bacon’s 6 Degrees of Separation (more like 3 degrees).  Everyone knows everyone, and if they don’t, they know them from the gossip column. If I was writing Amber Rules today, I probably wouldn’t seed in so many characters (40+) that I needed down the line. However, one couple I’d keep would be Jack and Viv Gordon, who are featured in my latest release, Breaking the Rules.

To say Jack and Vivian Gordon’s marriage has been rocky would be an understatement. The Gordons have been on a roller coaster of love and lust, but can’t seem to get on the same page at the same time. This power couple needs a time-out to find their happily ever after.  And life coach to Hollywood’s rich and powerful, Cora Rule, has just the solution – have the couple sign their divorce papers in a safe room…and lock them inside.
Vivian Gordon had a problem.
A six-foot-two-inch hunk of a problem.
Sex with Jack hadn’t solved the problem.  Marrying him hadn’t solved the problem.  Leaving him hadn’t solved the problem.
The problem was that Viv loved her husband, but Jack didn’t love her.
It wasn’t as if Jack was incapable of love, as some of Hollywood moguls seemed to be.  No, Jack had passion aplenty, but it was for the NBA team he owned, the L.A. Flash, not for a woman.  Not for Viv.
Viv watched Jack swim his daily laps with strong, commanding strokes.  Heaven forbid Jack didn’t get his laps in.  If he didn’t, he was the biggest shit.
Her Gianvito Rossi black suede lace up heels clicked slowly across the white marble tile as she approached the patio doors in the house they’d once shared.  Her cadence was one of a doomed prisoner being shown the open door of the gas chamber.
This is the end.
And she’d chosen the execution date.

Buy Links:
B&N: will go live 10/22

Special Offers
Readers of the Heroines with Hearts blog can download a FREE copy of Amber Rules from Melinda’s web site October 24-30, 2014.  Three books are currently out in the series.  Link: Username: Amber_Rules Password: blogtour2014

Readers of the Heroines with Hearts blog will be sent a FREE fun, sweet novella set within the Hollywood Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link:

Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author.  She writes independently published, steamy Hollywood Rules series as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda also writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. 
Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor


  1. Welcome, Melinda. It sounds like you planned to write a series and have a huge cast of potential main characters. Do you follow basketball? Did you have to study up on the game to write this book?

  2. Thanks, Ana! I married a college basketball player who played in the Final Four (a big deal). He became a high school coach and all our kids played. So I didn't have to do much research. Mr. Curtis has a man-crush on Coach K (of Duke), so we follow that team. Thanks for posting my new cover. It should be up everywhere later today!

  3. Welcome to HWH, Melinda. Happy to have you here. Your series rules are interesting--I'm currently working on my book 3 and my main characters aren't meeting until Chapter 2. But I think (hope) it works. Love the sound of Breaking the Rules. Good luck!

  4. Hey, Jennifer! I think it depends on the subgenre. In New Adult, for example, they tend to always meet right away. I do like that, but it doesn't always serve the story. Chapter 2 is good as long as chapter 1 isn't all backstory or 20 pages long! Best of luck!

  5. Hi Melinda
    Welcome to HWH. I've never planned a series in advance, but am currently writing a 'spin-off' from one my novels - I didn't intend to but my editor suggested it!
    Must admit I've never actually counted how many characters appear in my novels, but my hero and heroine have always met in Chapter 1 (although not always on page one)

    1. Hi, Paula! I may be a little anal (lol). I have a one page character sheet with every character's first and last name and which book they appear in. thanks for commenting

  6. Hi Melinda,

    Welcome to HWH!

    I have books that are part of a series, too. I love writing/reading a series because we get to keep up with past characters we love and get a peek at characters who will someday have their own stories.

    Series are a great way to build readership too. My Corral series sells better than any of my other books.

    Congrats and good luck with your latest release!

    1. Hey, Debra, I love series, too! And since I'm a hybrid author who's now an empty nester, I've gone a little series-wild! Novella #2 in Bridesmaids. Book #5 in Harmony Valley. Plus I just sent out a proposal for an entirely new series to Bantam Loveswept. Mr. Curtis is planning to take me away for a sanity cruise next June. I'll likely need it!