Writers’ Toolbox: Savvy Authors SUMMER SYMPOSIUM

I have to thank Caszie for this recommendation. Savvy Authors is holding a five-day event for writers, Savvy Authors SUMMER SYMPOSIUM. I’m new to the site, so I don’t know much about it. It looks as though you have to pay to attend the online conference, but it looks like it’ll be really informative.

Here’s what the site has to say…

Join us for five days as we talk craft – from plot and character, to dialogue, suspense, theme and story question (with a bunch of stuff in between) in chats, Q&A forums and mini-workshops. Our presenters will be sharing what works – whether it’s worldbuilding or setting or layering in back story; or even if it’s technical detail and the fruits of research, they’ll be exposing the craft that underlies a good story. We’ll also be talking about publishing and promoting, offering pitch opportunities to the attendees and raffling off books on craft from folks like James Scott Bell novels, gift certificates, workshops, 3-chapter critiques from published authors and more.

Check back often as we’re still adding more workshops, chats, Q&A’s & raffles

Writers’ Toolbox: Ten Ways to Jump-Start Your Plot

Every now and again, I’ll hear a voice in my head–let me finish–begging to be written about. It usually a strong voice with power and charm, but no direction. Finding a plot for my character is a lot like finding a dress for Prom. It’s a long process that takes a great deal of sacrifice on my part. Ten Ways to Jump-Start Your Plot is a great article for, well, jump-starting plot.

Interview With Jennifer Hurst

Hello Everyone,

Let us welcome Jennifer Hurst, author of Fall. For those of you who caught my review of Fall, and are interested in learning more, read on. This short interview will reveal a bit more about the characters, and Jennifer. I’ll post details about the CONTEST at the end of this post.

Me: Tell us about yourself…

Jennifer Hurst: I grew up in a travelling family. As we travelled the world, my best friend was a notebook and pencil, and I spent countless hours lost in other worlds of my own creation.

Me: Tell us about Fall….

Jennifer Hurst: FALL was based on a dream I had in 1998 during a time when I was a full time college student studying drafting and design, and worked full time as a Bridal Consultant. I think I was very stressed out and my brain was kicking out warning messages. Well, I got the message, but the dream never left me. I thought about it constantly and wrote it down in my journal for future reference – as I thought maybe one day I’d have time to indulge in creating a full story about it. It wasn’t until 2008 when I lost my job, after 12 years in the construction industry, that I decided to revisit that dream and write a book on it.

Me: Do you have a favorite character and why that one?

Jennifer Hurst: I like Drogo. He was a last minute addition to add some spice to the story. Drogo is a character that I found I loved to hate. He is so very bad, but so very appealing because he comes across as being carefree, self-confident and totally unconcerned about what others think of him. Not to mention that he is of the supernatural variety, has ancient powers, and very attractive. Consequently, I will be giving him a bigger part in the next book.

Me: Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

Jennifer Hurst: YES! The dream I mentioned earlier, was eventually cut from the book, as the story that grew from it could stand on its own. I was sad to cut it, but then, the story really didn’t need it. So, I have about 22,000 word section of the book that was cut out.

Me: Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?

Jennifer Hurst: I write my stories in pencil first, wherever and whenever. Even on the back of napkins, receipts, or envelopes as they come to me while standing in line, or driving the kids around. I’ve recently began keeping a small notebook in my purse. It’s easier to keep track of than receipts and napkins.

Me: If Fall was dramatized, who would cast as the leading characters?

JD Halstead

Nathan Parker

Mathew Rigo

Meagan Parker

Roy Parker

Me: Tell us about your contest…

Jennifer Hurst:

Grab your copy of FALL and get ready to enter the realm of the paranormal with a chance to win a Gift Certificate from the Torrey Schoolhouse Bed and Breakfast in Torrey, Utah.

The Torrey Schoolhouse Bed and Breakfast is the setting for the story of FALL and boasts the most spectacular views of Southeastern Utah’s rugged and breathtaking landscapes, as well as having luxuriously well-appointed rooms and service.

The Rules:

There are 3 ways to enter the give-away and you can do all 3 for extra chances to win!

1.  Visit each of the websites below to find reviews of FALL and a set of 3 questions relating to the book.  Send the answers to: Fall (dot) jenniferhurst (at) gmail (dot) com.

In the subject line put “CONTEST“ and the name of the blogsite where you got your questions, ie.  CONTEST – Hallie Chandler .

Each blog will have their own set of questions and you can enter your name into the contest per the number of different blogs you visit.   So, if you answer the questions from 10 different blog sites, you can enter 10 times – thus increasing your chance to win!

2.  You can also get your name into the drawing by posting a link to this website on your Facebook, Blog, Twitter, etc.  Send the link to Fall (dot) jenniferhurst (at) gmail (dot) com and put “LINKS” in the subject line.

3.  If you leave a review on Amazon – you can enter your name, yet again!  Send an email to Fall (dot) jenniferhurst (at) gmail (dot) com with AMAZON in the subject line to get credit.

Names will be drawn randomly using http://textmechanic.com/Random-Line-Picker.html

The first randomly drawn name wins the Gift Certificate to the Torrey Schoolhouse B&B.

The next 3 will have their first names used in the sequel to FALL and recieve an authographed copy of that book when it is published.

The next 3 will recieve an autographed copy of FALL.

The contest will close December 31st, 2011.  Winners will be announced January 1st, 2012.

Happy Reading!

Your blog stops are:

1.  www.fabulousreads.blogspot.com/ (August 15th, 2011)

2. www.fireandicephoto.blogspot.com (August 30th, 2011)

3. www.imaginaryreads.blogspot.com   (August 30th, 2011)

4. www.writersmirror.blogspot.com/ (September 10th)

5. www.debbiesinkspectations.blogspot.com/ (September 15th)

6. www.bookreviewsandmore.com  (September 20th)

1. What kind of car does JD Halstead drive?

2. What are the names of the Parker children?

3. What is the breed of horse Nathan and JD ride?

4. What is the name of the ghost town where Matthew takes JD camping?

5. What is the name and exact address of the Cathedral in Salt Lake City that JD visits? (They’ll actually have to go online to find it since it’s not in the book itself).

Send to hurstjennifer@comcast.net

Put in the subject line CONTEST – Hallie Chandler

Entrants also have to include a link to where they placed a link to my blog from their twitter, facebook, blog, etc.

Me: Where can we find you?

Jennifer Hurst: You can connect with me at http://www.jenniferhurst.com. There you will find links to my blog and my books. Thanks Hallie, for this opportunity to share with your audience my new book.

Writers’ Toolbox: Ten rules for writing fiction

I’m sorry I’ve slacked on posting. My niece is due any day now, the house is being remodeled, and Fall semester started Monday. It is a fun but hectic time.

But back to writing! Ten rules for writing fiction is an article I found some time ago. It’s a compilation of rules/writing tips from published authors. Some of them are funny, but most of the tips/rules are helpful.


Women and construction shouldn’t mix. At least, that is what the client, Mr. Blackwell, thinks when twenty-one year old Julia Dayle Halstead is promoted to project manager to remodel a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse into a bed and breakfast. However, the schoolhouse contains a dark secret that has been hidden for nearly a hundred years. A secret that will unleash the Furies of Hell and cause the Angels in Heaven to weep as ethereal brothers, Matthew and Nathan battle over Julia’s very soul.

Fall’s cover didn’t really do anything for me, but the blurb caught my attention. The idea of woman working construction was intriguing, and Julia didn’t disappoint. Willing and ready to take on a man’s job, an arrogant client, and two immortal men, Julia was a strong female lead.

Nathan and Matthew were good, but they didn’t really stand out. They don’t compare to the more dominant men that you find in the steamy romance novels. I felt like Julia’s performance outshined theirs. With that being said, Matthew and Nathan were better suited for a clean read.

The plot was solid and it had some twist and turns, but the novel lacked the finishing touches that come with publisher releases.  Over all, I was happy with Fall. It was interesting, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a sequel.

Jennifer Hurst, the author of Fall, is holding a contest to win a gift certificate to theTorrey Schoolhouse Bed and Breakfast in Torrey, Utah. For those interested, check out the details here. I will post more about the contest on August 21, 2011, following an interview with Jennifer.

Six Sentence Sunday #5

This week’s Six Sentence Sunday is from Let Me Lie.

Brannon would be the one to kill me, of that, I was always certain. What I hadn’t expected was to want it. He strode towards me, covered in Michael’s blood. I stood my ground, ready to face his wrath. His hand came at my face and I flinched, but his touch was gentle.
“I don’t blame you,” he said, “but you should have told me.”

Writers’ Toolbox: Deciphering Blurbs & Reviews – Romance Fiction

Deciphering Blurbs & Reviews – Romance Fiction is more amusing than it is informative, but if you’re in the process of writing your blurb, synopsis, pitch, or query letter, this article is a must-read. It’s not a how-to guide, but it does point out words that are overused in book proposals, and the negative connotations they have attached to them.

Six Sentence Sunday #4

Six sentences from Let Me lie.

“What do you have against vampires?”
“It’s not personal,” Brannon answered without turning away from his computer.
“Then why do you kill them without a trial?”
“They’re a walking disease. If we let them live they’d infect the whole damn planet.” He shrugged as though damning all my kind to eternal suffering was nothing.

Writers’ Toolbox: How not to Yank Your Readers Out of the Story!

We all make mistakes, but too many can kill your chance of getting published. The problem is that no one can write a perfect manuscript. The article, How not to Yank Your Readers Out of the Story, points out some pretty massive flaws that even some NYT Bestselling authors have made. Check it out, you do not want to repeat these.

Writers’ Toolbox: Mastering the Dreaded Synopsis

I cringe when I see the word synopsis. It’s a dreaded task that makes rewriting look easy. So much rides on those few pages, it impossibleto not be intimidated. However, thanks to the web, writers now have access to endless guides and examples. Two articles that I recommend are Mastering the Dreaded Synopsis and A Few Winning Synopses. The first gives pointers, while the second article is a collection of synopses’ of sold manuscripts.

Alpha Male Monday: Emmett Cullen

Emmett Cullen makes alpha look good. Everyone else can fight over Jacob and Edward, but Emmett wins every time with me. He is not a man to do anything halfway. Emmett plays hard, works hard, and by the sound out it (“So it’s still standing? I would’ve thought you two had knocked it to rubble by now. What were you doing last night? Discussing the national debt?”)
he loves hard, too.

Species: Vampire
Occupation: Student (sorta)
Weaknesses: Overestimation of his strength
Special Qualities: SENSE OF HUMOR, Immortal, sexy

Writers’ Toolbox: Avoiding The Too Stupid To Live (TSTL) Heroine

I found this article, Avoiding The Too Stupid To Live (TSTL) Heroine, and knew I had to share it. I absolutely hate these heroines! They are the reason I get up and turn off a horror flick. Masochism and women do not mix. Females are supposed to be smarter than this. We do not walk into dangerous situations when there are alternatives that don’t involve going face to face with a sociopath–like sending in the hero to check it out. Before you start screaming sexism, I think it’s stupid for men to do it, too, but unlike women, men have higher levels of testosterone and therefore have a believable excuse for this sort of stupidity.