Tag Archives: Astraea Press The Wild Rose Press Amazon.com ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE MARRYING MR. RIGHT TRAINING TRAVIS

No More Bookstores?

The mere title of today’s blog sends me into cold sweats because I am a lover of books. I shudder to think what a life without bookstores would be like. A few words that instantly come to mind are: cold, sad and depressing.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was young, so I didn’t venture into a bookstore until I got my first job in Manhattan. Entering that store was an out of body experience for me. I spent more lunch hours than I care to admit, surrounded by books, than living breathing colleagues.

As a writer, it’s important to keep up with your genre, and the quantity of new releases can add up quickly, and I was running out of shelf space. So, my husband gave me a kindle last year. I find it extremely helpful especially when traveling, instead of packing five or six books, which take up a lot of room, I can pack more clothes.

Now, a few year’s later after the battle of the big bookstore’s, I find it ironic that after putting all the small bookstore’s out of business, these large conglomerates have also put each other out of business, leaving us with one bookstore chain. One.  And I can’t help wonder how did this happen?

I talk to a lot of people who don’t buy ebooks. They want a print version. Not everyone has a computer, not everyone is going to buy a computer, and not everyone orders books on-line. So I think its always going to be important to supply readers with what they want. To do this, Amazon just isn’t going to be enough.

And one bookstore chain? Nope. I don’t think so.

Last week, a very good source told me that B&N closes twenty bookstores a year in the U.S. Call me an optimist, but I think it’s time for the re-emersion of the small bookstore. It’s time to get back in the game, boys. Whether they offer a little bit of everything, or specialize in certain genres: Children’s books, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers, Suspense, etc. I think people would welcome them back with open arms.

What do you think? Do you miss your local hometown bookstore? I know I do.

Best,

Cathy Tully

Writing Supporting Characters

Supporting characters can come in all shapes and sizes, as well as, a variety of forms depending on the genre one writes: think elf, sprite, monster, you get the jist : ) They can range from loving family members to enemies that want our hero/heroine dead or want to destroy everyone and everything in our character’s life. In order for a supporting character to have relevance in a story, that third character must have a significant impact on one or both of the hero/heroine or they must influence the rest of the story. Otherwise, they don’t belong in the story.

In romance, many stories contain a certain kind of third character. This character is almost like a third main character. This third character can be the cause of the story or the point around which the story revolves. This character can be a child, a parent or a grandparent. They can be a best friend or confidante. Whichever works best for the story : )

In my first book, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, I used the heroine’s Gram as my third party.  I made this quirky, sweet, senior the reason the heroine came to town in the first place. I gave my heroine a close/loving relationship with her Gram and created a grandparent reader’s would love to have for their own : )

I love using a third main character in my stories. Most times it’s a person, although I must admit in MARRYING MR. RIGHT, my third character is an adorable dog named Hugo. He may not be able to talk to my heroine, but his loving ways and deep insightful eyes give her all the support/guidance she requires : )

This third character usually acts as a buffer, or someone the main character can bounce things off of. Better yet, someone who is truthful/honest to the end and tells the hero/heroine what they need to hear even if they don’t want to hear it. After all, isn’t that what a good friend does in real life?

The difficult part of writing third character’s is that they often become too big for their own good.I know when I write a third character, I have to pull he/she back and remind myself who the story is really about: The hero/heroine. Third character’s can become larger than life and that’s fine, if one is writing women’s fiction, not romance. So, when I outline these third character’s I must decide how the actions/choices of the third character affect the actions/choices of the hero/heroine without letting them take it too far.

Noone said writing was easy : ) And my books would probably be written faster if I didn’t insert a third main character. But every time I finish another book, I find that these third characters mirror so many real people that it would have been a shame to not include them in my story : )

Have you ever written a third main character? Do you find it hard to keep them on track and not allow them to “break out”?  Do you have a certain way you keep them in line? I’d love to hear your comments.

Best,

Cathy Tully

New Year’s Resolutions And Writing Goals

I’ve been very lucky to have attended a lot of writer’s conferences since I started writing thirteen years ago, and I’ve sat in on my share of workshops addressing the one issue I think beginning, intermediate, and advanced writer’s struggle with:  ‘Finding Your Writing Voice’.

For years I tossed and turned: do I try to write the kind of story certain houses want, or do I write the stories that comes naturally to me, which are women’s fiction rather than true romance? Even if women’s fiction is a hard sell for an unknown author? I was torn because the bottom line is, I am a writer and this is a business, and when push comes to shove, I want to make a living writing.

So, I  tired to write both kinds of books.  I wrote what certain houses were asking for, trying to fit a round peg into a square hole some might say. And I also wrote the stories that beckoned my psyche begging  me to put them down on paper.

Here’s the result: the stories I wrote trying to ‘fit’ certain houses requirements, never sold, and the stories I wrote because I simply had to, did sell.  I know, you’re probably shaking your head saying what the heck were you thinking?

And I agree with you. I can only blame my hesitation and cloudy thinking process on one thing. Menopause. The big M came to visit one day and settled in for eight long years. Yup. You read that right. She slowly sucked my ability to think clearly and remember simple things such as a good friend’s name or a  recipe I’d been preparing for years. Thank God I have friends who are experiencing the same symptoms because for most of us life is hard enough.  But I regress.

My clarifying moment pertaining to my writing career came with the realization that the stories I wrote because I felt compelled to were fun, the characters made me feel something, the hooks made me turn the pages, the plots were fast-paced and more importantly, real. The sales that followed of those manuscripts helped reinforce my gut instinct. The stories from my heart, the stories I couldn’t be more delighted with, were ones editors want to read/buy.

My first book, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, available through Astraea Press and Amazon,  is a sweet romance dedicated to the little dog that lit up my family’s life for nine wonderful years. A very real story of how people relate to animals and how their animals can guide them through some of life’s enlightening moments.

My first novella, MARRYING MR. RIGHT, available through Amazon and The Wild Rose Press, is a reunion story about a middle- aged couple that’s legally separated and contemplating divorce. Through the planning of their only daughter’s impromptu wedding, the hero and heroine come to realize they never fell out of love with each other.

My next full-length book, TRAINING TRAVIS, available this spring from The Wild Rose Press, is a story about a divorced father who receives full custody of his fifteen-year-old daughter upon the untimely death of her mother.  The quiet lifestyle he has come to enjoy quickly changes when his daughter moves in. Renovations on his new home and  his heart begin when he hires a local Interior Designer, who was also his high-school sweetheart. Keeping distance between himself and the heroine is hard; especially since she’s all he’s ever wanted.

So, this year I’ve made a resolution: I will write the stories that come naturally to me and build my author voice in women’s fiction by staying true to myself. WOW. Not only does that feel good to say, but it feels fabulous to type : ) Happy New Year to you and may you find your true writing voice in 2013.

Best,

Cathy Tully