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Merry Christmas

There’s no place more beautiful at Christmastime than Amsterdam. None. Granted, this city is one of my favorite places on the planet so I might be biased, but take a look and decide for yourself.

Whatever you celebrate and wherever you are, I hope your days are filled with  love and laughter and joy.

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Uncooperative characters

This story I’m working on now is driving me mad. Or more specifically, my hero is.

Oh, he’s nice enough. In fact, he’s kind of funny, one of those men’s men whose blend of humor leans heavily toward sarcasm. And like most heroes, he’s hot–tall, handsome, muscular, and sexy, and he knows his way around a toolbelt.

What’s not to like, right?

Well, for starters, he’s a recovering (sort of) womanizer. He spent most of his youth breaking hearts and blowing around town like a fun-seeking missile, and settling down are two words that never made it into his vocabulary. His walls are high and thick and solid as steel, and he’s a master at holding everyone at arm’s length, including my heroine.

Every time I try to shape him up on the page, he pushes back. I tell him readers need a redeeming quality or two, but he wants me to keep his big ones locked down tight. I point out all the nice things he’s done — helping out an elderly neighbor, acting all tough and protective of my heroine when she finds herself in a jam — and then he goes and does something to prove me wrong, and himself an ass. He refuses to cooperate.

If my heroine doesn’t kill him, I just might.

As writers, we talk a lot about writing the story that wants to be told. Clearly, this hero is trying to tell me something, I’ve just yet to figure out what.

And the only way to do that is to keep writing.

What about you? What is your favorite kind of hero?

Branding

Branding is becoming an elusive concept for me. Originally, I thought I had it nailed. Romantic women’s fiction…women’s issues…women mature and develop in their own sweet time —

I got it! Cross-market with my garden blog using the tag line: “A woman will bloom in time; her own sweet time!”

Great. Marketing my novels with gardening items and themes, I was traveling down the right road–until I hit a road block. What happens when you decide to write something other than romantic women’s fiction? Say you want to write mystery/suspense? Sure, you have women and romance, but the themes and plots of the novels aren’t particularly issue-oriented. woman pulling hair out_XSmallRuh-roh.

Now what? Am I confusing readers? Should I have changed my name with each new genre? What happens when I want to dabble in YA? A new genre, a new name? Should I curtail my imagination and go with one genre and end the confusion?

That’s a tough one. I can’t turn off my imagination. I can’t curb my passion. Writing wouldn’t be any fun if I couldn’t write what strikes my fancy. But I’m at a loss for direction. I’m considering a new website, but have no idea where to begin. Any suggestions? Ideas?

Going crazy in a swirl of marketing mania… 

 

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