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Writer Tip: Brenna Lyons

“The editor is there to do two things: to make the book as polished and professional as she can and to help you and the publisher avoid infringement suits. There are no brownie points for refusing reasonable edits. My first editor [Suzanne James] taught me: “An editor is not dismembering your baby; she’s polishing your gem.” To that, I added: “Sometimes you have to cut off the rough edges before the soft cloth comes out.” While you may not agree on precisely what changes need made to smooth the work, you should work with the editor to come to a compromise and not dismiss the concerns outright. Chances are, if the editor sees a problem, the readers will as well. Remember, what you see in your mind’s eye is often filling in the blanks between the typed lines, because you know the subject so well. For a reader to see the same thing, it has to all be on the page.”

Brenna Lyons, author of the EPIC’s e-Book Award-winning TIME CURRENTS

Writer Tip: Lorie O’Clare

“Something I started doing a couple years ago has really helped me a lot. I keep a notebook next to my keyboard. Every morning when I start my day, I write the date down. Then whatever I do gets written in my notebook. If I go through all email, spend an hour catching up on blogs, or focus on some research to help me build a plot or characters, it gets written down in my notebook. Then of course, when I start writing for the day, I write down the page number and word count at the beginning of the day, then write it again at the end of the day when I’m through writing.

I always make sure my notebook is something pretty. I like spending a few extra pennies to buy a notebook with an attractive cover. For some reason it’s always more fun writing in a classy notebook than in a plain, normal every day notebook.

I’m on my third notebook and I must say, after sticking to this little routine daily I’ve become much more efficient with my writing. When you clock yourself every day so that you’re able to see when you had good writing days and bad writing days, it helps you stick to it and not let your word count for that day dwindle down too low. It’s that competative nature in us. Keeping this notebook has also helped me with my absent-minded memory. I can tell how long it takes to finish certain types of promotional tools. I can see how much time I spend on the Internet, chatting with people, and going through emails in the morning before I start writing. It’s nice to know a schedule, know it’s tried and true, and know there is always room to grow and improve.”

Visit Lorie O’Clare’s website at
Purchase one of Lorie’s recent or upcoming releases – Strong, Sleek and Sinful or The Bodyguard

Writer Tip: Maggie Robinson

“Be patient and don’t ever give up. I started writing “for fun” in 2003 and did not know anything. And believe me when I say anything. It took me three years of knocking around before I got a clue (well, a couple of clues) and met like-minded writers online. Thanks to some positive contest feedback, in 2007 I got really serious about publication—finishing, revising, querying. I landed my agent in 2008, got contracts for 8 (!!!) books in 2009, and will have 3 books out this year—the first out almost seven years to the day I woke up in the middle of the night itching to write.

Seven years is a long time and I’m not exactly a dewy-eyed debutante. My author photo is wonderfully photo-shopped. :) But I didn’t give up—and I became a better writer with every book, even the ones stashed under the bed. I learned what works—after experimenting with a number of genres, shape-shifting cats are really not for me.But I found my historical voice and hope it strikes a chord with readers over the next couple of years.

I’m debuting soon under two names. On April 27, the first of Maggie Robinson’s Courtesan Court series Mistress By Mistake, comes out from Kensington Brava. On June 1, Margaret Rowe’s edgier erotic Tempting Eden will be on the shelves from Berkley Heat. On November 30, I’ll be part of the Brava anthology Lords of Passion, also featuring romance legend Virginia Henley and Kate Pearce. Even though I’m a “real writer” now, I can’t express in words how excited I am by this turn of events.

Come visit both of me at and There are always contests and giveaways on one or the other site! And write, write, write, every day if you can. But if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up—life happens.”

Writer Tip: Monica Burns

“The middle of the book is often a really crucial turning point for a writer. For me, I usually find myself at a crossroad not sure where to turn with the book. I’ve found that printing out and reading what I’ve written so far helps me reconnect with the characters so that by the time I’ve read through the book, I’m ready to roll with the last half of the book. Another thing I’ve found very useful when editing is to read the book out loud. It helps me catch things the eye generally overlooks.”

Visit Monica Burns’ website.
Purchase Monica Burn’s upcoming release, Assassin’s Honor.

Writer Tip: Crystal Jordan

“My biggest tip to any writer is to write consistently. I used to say people should write every day, but if you miss a day or two, the guilt starts snowballing. So, now I just say you need to make writing a habit that you stick with. If it’s a habit, you train yourself into needing to do it, and the only way to finish a story is to write. Nothing else will get you there, so make sure to make time for it, even if it means using a pad of paper and pen in the car while you’re waiting the ten minutes for the kids to get out of school.”

Visit Crystal Jordan’s website at
Purchase Crystal’s next release, In the Heat of the Night

Writer Tip: NJ Walters

“Revision is your friend. Nobody writes a perfect first draft. It’s in the rewrites where you turn an ordinary story into something special. Don’t be so in love with your words that you’re afraid to cut them. If they don’t serve the story, they have to go. It doesn’t matter how beautiful they are or how hard you worked to make them perfect. An author has to be fearless, unafraid to slash their work with a red pen. It’s part of the process. Personally, I enjoy the rewriting stage. The story is written, but it’s at this point where you get to refine your ideas, catch your mistakes and polish your manuscript.”

Visit NJ Walter’s website.
Purchase NJ Walter’s latest release, Embroidered Fantasies

Writer Tip: Kate Pearce

“One of the most important things I’ve learned during my years trying to get published is that things in publishing happen very fast or very, very slowly. Sometimes I was so keen to follow up on a lead or a request that I’d forget to take a deep breath, read through my work one more time, and properly research who I was sending the manuscript to. I’m sure most of us have done that. We’re so keen to be published that we treat it as a sprint rather than the marathon a writing career really is. I’ve learned to take my time. Editors and agents are horrendously busy people so it’s worth waiting until your manuscript is as good as you can get it at that point in your writing experience, before you send it out. They usually won’t notice if you take that extra week.”

Visit Kate Pearce’s website at
Purchase one of Kate’s recent or upcoming releases – Simply Insatiable or Some Like It Rough

Writer Tip: Emily Bryan

“Figure out what kind of story you want to tell and stick to it. Cross too many genre barriers and the booksellers won’t know where to shelve you. Begin as you mean to continue. If you start out with snarky comedy, don’t end up with a chainsaw toting serial killer. Remember the movie Fargo? It was both hysterical and horrific. And confusing. A reader doesn’t like those sorts of surprises. If you’re naturally drawn to dark, angsty tales, don’t try to add humor. If wit fizzes out of you like a shaken soda, don’t try to write a serious story. Stay true to your own voice.”

Visit Emily Bryan’s website. (Emily has 7 pages of writing advice under the WRITE STUFF tab!)
Purchase Emily Byran’s latest release, Stroke of Genius.

Writer Tip: Brenna Lyons

“Don’t worry about the distractions. I don’t mean telling the kids not to interrupt your writing time unless there is fire or blood. I mean the writing-borne distractions. Don’t spend your time worrying about the perfect opening line or scene, the perfect title, the perfect market… Don’t spend your time worrying about which genre fits your book best. Don’t spend your time editing and rewriting what you’ve got done. Leave all of that until the fist draft is done and then go back and do those things. While you’re allowing yourself to be distracted by the nits that you don’t need with an early draft, half the book could already be written.”

Brenna Lyons, author of the EPIC’s e-Book Award-winning TIME CURRENTS

Writer Tip: Larissa Ione

“Celebrate everything. Probably seems like a strange writing tip, but in this business we take a lot of knocks and hard hits. It’s important to keep your spirits up, and one way to do that is to keep a bottle of champagne (or whatever you celebrate with) handy at all times. I always keep a bottle of champagne chilled, and I’ve done it since before I was published. If you’re aspiring to be published, celebrate every milestone — finishing the book, sending off your first query letter, getting your first manuscript request, finaling in your first contest, etc. If you are published, celebrate getting your first cover, your first release day, getting your first great review, making your first foreign sale…and then keep on celebrating everything. More foreign sales, more covers, more contracts, hitting lists…everything. There is so little in this business that we can control…so we need to grab every opportunity to celebrate and remember why we’re writing!”

Visit Larissa Ione’s website at
Read a release from Larissa – Ecstasy Unveiled or The Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance