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November 12, 2010

Writing Romance Is Like…Adopting a New Puppy

My guest today is fellow Samhain author, Erin Nicholas. Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after suddenly went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!). Over to Erin.

Thanks Shelley, for letting me stop by on my blog tour!

PhotobucketSince November is the anniversary month of my first published book, I decided to go on a tour and chat and give stuff away!

The “theme” (I use the term loosely) is Writing Romance Is Like…
And every blog stop has a difference comparison that will give you some insight into who I am, how I write and my slightly weird sense of humor. Oh, and you can win stuff! Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or MyBookstoreandMore.com. Come join the fun!!

And now…
Writing Romance Is Like… Adopting a New Puppy:
There are fun, sweet moments interspersed with complete craziness and huge messes

We adopted a puppy once. OMG. I had no idea what I was getting in to. I never had a dog as a kid (insert proper sympathetic groan here—parents were strictly cat people). Puppy was not potty-trained. Puppy also chewed on everything, seemingly never slept and chased my cats… in short he was a puppy. Ugh. He was naughty and soon went to live with our friends who love dogs and have the experience and patience needed to train and raise Puppy into the semi-sweet dog he is today (honestly he’s still kind of naughty but their capacity for tolerating naughty is way bigger than mine!).

But writing is like that. There are those moments when the dialogue turns out perfectly, when the resolution comes together perfectly, when the hero is absolutely perfectly heroic. But then… there are those moments when everything seems out of control, when you write a whole scene and realize it’s a mess (ie: rewrite… yuck), when the heroine’s reaction is flat, when the hero’s dialogue seems stilted. It’s enough to make me wonder if I can just give it to another writer to “raise” :smile:. Some might say this happens because I don’t plot. I don’t think that’s it. Or maybe it is, but I’ll never admit it—or change it.

It’s part of the process for me (I haven’t always been this enlightened, trust me!) In fact, I go into new books knowing that I’m going to write at least two scenes that I’m never going to use in the final book. I go into new books knowing that I’m going to spend at least a week hating it and thinking it’s the worst drivel ever. I go into new books knowing that at some point I’m going to be convinced that I should just scrap the whole thing.

But, even the messy scenes that I don’t use help me work out who these people are, why they are that way, how they react to things—and why. Knowing them helps me—eventually—give them their story. Because ultimately it’s all about who they are.

Just like with Puppy. The messes and craziness taught me who I am: not a dog person (please don’t hate me… I like dogs as long as they live with someone else). Puppy taught me that you can’t change someone else and that a good relationship is about accepting who they are and finding a way to make it work (it just so happens that it worked best for us to live apart — not the ideal comparison with romantic fiction, I’ll grant you! :smile:)

In the end, the messes are okay, the craziness works… the cat-chasing is still not cool.

Join me at my next stop! November 15th at Nikki Duncan’s blog

Just Like ThatExcerpt, Just Like That (a messy scene :grin:)
Erin Nicholas

She quickly turned her attention back to the ceiling fan, which made a lot more sense than the riot of sensations that this virtual stranger was stirring up. “I said that I haven’t been with a man who gave me an orgasm.” She tried to turn the screw but it wouldn’t go in straight, just as she couldn’t ignore the way his touch seemed to tingle up her bare leg and a very specific spot higher.

“Have you had an orgasm with a woman?”

She wobbled, the screw hit the table again, and his grip tightened on her leg. “Excuse me?”

Sam stroked his hand up and down her calf. Slowly. Completely ignoring the screw this time. “If you haven’t had an orgasm with a man, it was an obvious question to ask if you have with a woman.”

She took a deep breath, trying to focus on what he’d said versus the feel of his hand on her. They were talking about orgasms. Right. And women. Wrong.

She frowned. “No, I haven’t had an orgasm with a woman.”

“Too bad.” He gave her a bone-melting grin. “I had some pretty good images going.”

“I’ll bet.” She shook off his hand and bent to pick up the screw where it had bounced.

“But you’ve had one by yourself, right?”

She tossed her hair over her shoulder. What the heck? He knew plenty about her already. Which ensured that she was going to make a point of never seeing him again. “Yes. Several in fact.”

“Good.” He nodded, apparently pleased with her answer.


“No woman should go without orgasms completely.”

She couldn’t say why exactly, but that struck her as funny. She grinned. “If only everyone was so certain about their beliefs.”

He winked at her and it hit her that he was good-looking. And she needed to never see him again.

She straightened and fit the screw back into the tiny hole. Just then she felt the heat of Sam’s hand on her calf again. She braced herself for the stroking that commenced. What she wasn’t prepared for was the fact that his hand kept traveling up. And up.

She narrowed her eyes, concentrating on fitting the tip of the screwdriver into the star-shaped notches on the screw. But when her eyes drifted shut as Sam’s hand passed her knee and continued up, taking the hem of her skirt up with it, it was very difficult to see anything at all.

Move forward. Move out of reach.

Her legs had no idea what her brain was talking about. Why would she move away from such exquisite feelings?

You cannot do this on the dining room table—that’s probably been in the family for generations—of a sweet little old woman who you don’t even know.

Still, her legs pretended not to hear.

When Sam’s lips met the skin in the middle of the back of her thigh, she felt the heat shoot straight up between her thighs and her knees wobbled.

Then his tongue touched the crease at the back of her knee and she melted.


She vaguely heard Sam gasp, “Danika!” but the next true sensation she was aware of was the sharp pain from where her knees hit the table, stealing her breath, and the hot knife that was seemingly dug into her right wrist.

She thought about gasping, or screaming, or swearing loudly, but her chest wouldn’t expand.

Holy crap. That hurt.

More on Erin


  1. RKCharron

    Hi Shelley & Erin :)
    Thank you for the fun post & sexy snippet.
    All the best,

  2. Sarah M

    I’m definitely a dog person but haven’t had the fun experience of training a puppy yet :-) Just Like That sounds like a great book, though, even with the troubles “raising” it!

    smaccall @ comcast.net

  3. Deidre

    I adore dogs too, but damn if they aren’t the hardest creatures to train. lol

    deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

  4. Karen Krack

    Puppies are a lot of work, sometimes a lot of trouble, and I’ll never get used to worming; but the unconditional love and trust are worth it all!

  5. Savannah Chase

    Dogs are a ton of work…

    Loved the excerpt and the cover is hot…

  6. Erin Nicholas

    Thanks for stopping by everyone! I knew there’d be some dog lovers– thanks for not hating me for not having the touch! :)

    But it’s so true that the love and trust are worth it– just like the writing! There’s lots that make it worth it!!

  7. Cathy M

    Well your process produces some great stories, Erin, so it’s works for me. We had dogs growing up, but only cats, rabbits and turtles with my boys. Gotta say, I am kind of relieved about that, lol.

  8. Johanna Jochum

    Love the post! I’m a cat person myself! Dogs are too much work and I have little girls who drive me crazy as it is! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kaily Hart

    We’ve always had cats. They pretty much take care of themselves! Great excerpt :).

  10. Shelley Munro

    Apologies for being so late to say hello. It’s Saturday here and I’ve been out all day. My only experience with a puppy was our recent foster at the SPCA. Man, the first day we I had him he chewed everything in sight. I rang my hubby and told him not to come home without a bone. The bone helped although our garden irrigation system will never be the same!!
    He was a sweetie.

    Great post and excerpt, Erin.

  11. Zina

    AAAHHHH, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I don’t have Just Like That but I do have Just MY Type….you stopped the excerpt to soon, did she hurt her wrist and how bad and will she wack him for it.
    Pupppies should always come potty trained, the end.
    We taught one of our dogs to ring the bells we hung from the door knob. Another dog we had, a St. Bernard would come in at night and snuffle in my face to wake me up, but she would refuse to go out in the rain and snow if it was falling.

  12. Erin Nicholas

    Hi Shelly! Thanks again for letting me stop by today!!

    Glad to see some cat people here (as I try to type around the one that simply MUST sit on my lap no matter what else is there! :))

    Zina, I’ll give you this much: her wrist is broken and Sam definitely does some penance for it– though honestly, he doesn’t mind ;)

  13. Zina

    Thank you. :grin: :grin:

  14. Erin Nicholas

    Time to pick a winner!!

    Sara M (smaccall @ comcast.net) you’re it!

    You get to choose any book from my backlist (you can find them on my site: http://www.ErinNicholas.com)! Just contact me at Erin@ErinNicholas.com and let me know which book and what e-format you prefer!

    Thanks all for stopping by and commenting! And Thanks to Shelly for having me!

  15. Andrea I

    I enjoy the posts about Writing is Like. I understand about adopting a puppy. My daughter’s puppy is nine months and 49 lbs. She was just spayed and is an absolute pain right now.


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