Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blog Tour & Guest Post: Lori Foster, author of A Perfect Storm

Not when she’d once been held captive by human traffickers who, after using her, had tried to kill her as punishment for running away.

Her death would have been a lesson to remaining trapped victims. Instead, the bastards had died—and good riddance.

Luckily—at least for Spencer’s peace of mind— Jackson was already in love with Alani, so his interest in Arizona wasn’t romantic in any way. But for Arizona? He just didn’t know.

Jackson was a good man. A protector.

And right now, Spencer felt like a destroyer of evil. Nothing protective in that.

“Oh, for crying out loud.” Arizona slugged him in the shoulder. “What the hell is wrong with you? No one died. Lose the sad face, will you?”

Lori’s Advice for Aspiring Romance Novelists

I suggest that budding romance writers write what excites them. Avoid the traps of trying to jump on the bandwagon, or emulate a successful author. If it’s not YOU, you won’t enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, why would anyone else?

Some writers prefer stand alone books. Some, like me, have characters that take over and show up again and again. Some like writing sweet romances, and some like super-steamy and explicit. It is such an amazingly personal thing that you can’t, and should never try to, write for anyone but yourself.

I’ve had books that readers hated. Some that readers *really* hated. LOL. But I’m a realist. I know I can’t please all the readers all of the time. When disappointed readers write to me, I apologize. I AM sorry that they spent time on a book they didn’t enjoy. But will I change what I’m doing for them? I can’t.

What works for me is writing what I want, what I enjoy, the way that I want to write it, and the way that works for me. All writers should do the same.

Another tip for new writers – stay away from critique groups. It’s YOUR book, not a book by committee. Just because your critique partner doesn’t like it, just because she thinks it’s awkward, doesn’t mean you need to change it. The only opinions that matter are #1) yours, and #2) the editor’s. Your critique partner cannot buy your book. All she can really do is point out typos, which is great, discourage you with criticism, which is self-defeating, or bolster you with praise, which may or may not jive with an editor’s opinion.

So avoid it.

Contests can also be a catch 22. Sure, you get immediate feedback and sometimes you get a connection with an editor or agent. But you also get immediate gratification – something you should get after you’ve _finished the book!_ NOT because you’ve written one to three chapters.

I’ve know unpubs who’ve polished that first chapter a dozen times. It’s been submitted in at least that many contests. It’s even placed in a few, or won in some. But the whole book? Why finish a book when you can send just one chapter in to win another contest?

Contests make it so easy to lose sight of the end goal – which is publication.

New writers – keep your eye on that end goal! As soon as you finish a book and get it mailed off, start another. And another.

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