Saturday, September 7, 2013


I’ve often heard it said that writers a bit arrogant, they hate anyone making an off-handed comment about their baby.  What you ask?  The truth is, writing is a lot of pressure; demands, deadlines, choices, habits, goals, and don’t forget we must be creative.  That doesn’t always mean an author is arrogant – they are just protective of their work.  J

So let’s face it, edits are a bit difficult to face.  They really shouldn’t be – but our egos get a bit bruised.  I’ve always had the belief you can either handle it the easy way or the hard way.  Choice is yours.  So what do I mean by that?

So I finished my book; I met my deadline. Yippee.  Yet, I had a lot of personal issues (surgery, work demands, worry about children, etc.) at the time and I truly knew down deep – it was a great suspense – but maybe it needed a little more work.  So my editor gets it and points out a few holes, a couple of issues not resolved, and maybe some cleaning up is needed that should have been done- at least must be done to make the book the best it can be.

Hmmm . . . so this is not what I wanted to hear.  Right?  Right!  Now, there are two ways I can handle this scenario.

The Hard Way – When I first started writing it was soooo hard to hear anything negative about my writing.  Why?  I’m not sure – as time went on – I welcomed those comments from editors, so I could learn – improve – grow – and ultimately write better and better.  I believe this is something the novice writer must always experience – and learn from.

So – the hard way.  Well, it goes like this.  “What?  Holes in my storyline?  Not even possible. I was so careful.  I know there aren’t any holes.  How rude!  Issues not resolves – not possible.  I like how the story flowed and . . . and not every problem in life is resolved.  As for cleaning up – isn’t that what an editor is for??

Okay – the knee-jerk reaction is ‘defensive.’  That should never be the case.  If you want to become a better writer, listen to editors with an open mind.  Why do they feel the way they do?  Would the editor’s suggestions make the book better?  I’ll bet 95% of the time that answer is a resounding yes.  Drop that chip off your shoulder and allow yourself to consider the comments your editor is making.  They aren’t making ‘edits’ to point out how smart they are . . . it’s all about making your book better – and the bottom line – help you become a better writer.

Personally – I believe editors are priceless.  I’m so close to my story – I need the outside, unprejudiced review to see flaws for what they are.  I certainly don’t want my readers to point them out to me.  Yikes!

The Easy Way - This boils down to simply being opened minded and above all grateful the editor cares enough to do a good edit of your book.  Yep, how invaluable is that?  I believe it's priceless.

Another way to look at this is – we all hate . . . hate . . . hate . . . bad reviews.  A good editor will minimize those ‘hurtful one star reviews’ just by making edits that resolve issues you might hear about from readers.  Let’s face it; readers today are intelligent and savvy.  You need to be ‘on your game’ to entertain them.

When you receive edits - have a positive attitude with energy and a willingness to work the problems/issues through – resulting in a tighter, absolutely great read.

Don’t worry – The worst thing you can do is worry or be embarrassed about it.  Thrashing edits through ranting and raving to this writer friend … and to that writer friend is unproductive.  So you thought you were done – face it – you just don’t want to sit down and do the re-write.  It’s work and you want to throw a tantrum first.  That is so counter-productive.

I truly don’t know anyone who has written a book perfect the first go-round.  I like to think I write a very tight, high-octane, totally paced story that will require minimal rewriting.  If that isn’t the case, I’m just relieved my editor cares enough to ‘wake me up’ and request changes to make my story better.

You can either waste days with frustration and anger or sit down – tackle the task, and when you re-submit you know – phew! That really needed a face-lift.  Dear editor - thank you . . . thank you . . . thank you!

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Few Lines From. . . Connie Vines

Brede swallowed, trying to ignore the thick, tight feeling wedged in his throat.  He didn't welcome the onslaught of emotion that filled his chest and caused him to stroke her jaw with an unsteady finger tip.  He reminded himself that he didn't need to be involved in her problems; he had enough of his own.  As soon as the roads were passable, he'd get her to a doctor and the police could take care of the rest.

Still, no matter how hard he tried to remove himself from the situation, he kept remembering how fragile she'd seemed in his arms.  he felt as if he'd carried a sparrow, all feathers and tiny bones, out of the gully.


Connie Vines
Expect the UnExpected!

Stop back next week for a few lines from Joan Hall Hovey.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Blame Game by Jamie Hill

I've been working on a romantic suspense series for the last two years. Already have the first two covers, absolutely love them, but the stories just haven't rattled my cage enough to come out yet. I finally decided to set them aside and think about something else. What a great decision! In the past couple months, I came up with a new romance series, The Blame Game, and the first book is already available at Amazon. 

Blame it on the Stars
The Blame Game, Book One

Teacher Catlin McCall has second thoughts about dating the father of a student, but listening to his sweet talk one night under the stars, she finds him hard to resist. They stumble into an impetuous, passionate relationship which leaves them breathless and his family less than thrilled. A not-quite-ex-wife who decides she wants her man back, combined with a pair of manipulative teenagers, make for more problems than either of them are prepared to deal with. 

Steve Naughton has no idea when he invites Catlin’s brother to join them for dinner that his fiancée has family issues of her own. Like the old adage, no good deed goes unpunished, and Steve’s surprise backfires when the truth comes to light. 

“You feel like your life got thrown up in the air, and it’s landing as a different sort of life? Yeah, me too.”  Blame it on the stars.

The first three reviews are each 5 stars.

“This book is an awesome read. Jamie has you hooked from the start! Every time I thought I knew what was gonna happen she brought in something new. I can’t wait for the next book. This book needs read by everyone!” ~ 5 Stars, Lisa, Amazon Verified Purchase

“I have always thoroughly enjoyed Jamie Hill’s writings and this was no exception. This story feels believable about a new romance, but life has a way of throwing the couple a curve ball I did not see coming! It is a fast read, and I love the Midwest setting. I recommend this book.” ~ 5 Stars, Maggie, Amazon Verified Purchase

“She had me from the beginning and I didn't want to stop reading until I finished it! Just when I was thinking "happily ever after" for the main characters, she brought in old relationships for them to deal with. Can't wait to read the next book!” 5 Stars, CMT, Amazon Verified Purchase 

The kind enthusiasm for book one has motivated me to finish book two, Blame it on the Moon, and release it earlier than planned. It should be available at Amazon the first week in Sept. And book three, Blame it on the Sun, is well under way! (My wonderful editor Roxanne has already prompted me to tell a fourth story, so don't rule out a book four.) 

And props to BWL Art Director Michelle Lee for another awesome set of covers. I am totally thrilled with these and have them pasted up on the wall of my home office for inspiration!

If you like sweet romance with a little bit of heat, sassy characters and kids that are too cute for their own good, come on a journey with me and read The Blame Game!

~ Jamie

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