How to Write a Kick-Ass Heroine And Get it Right

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These days, having a strong female lead is a popular trope in many stories, not just romance. It’s not just a trope, though, is it? Women want to be heard and we want to be equal. If you’re thinking of having a strong female lead star in your story, here’s a few tips to help you get it right. She literally kicks butt She leads She makes decisions on her own She makes her own way She stands up for herself She’s not a door mat She can protect herself She’ll ask for help when she needs it. She learns … Read More

In Defence of Romance – How to Handle Coming Out of the Romance Writer’s Closet

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J is for Judgement – Romance Writing from A to Z Personally, it took me a long time to come out of the romance writing closet. First I was a teenager, embarrassed to say that I read real books for fear of being labelled a nerd. Then I was too shy to reveal that I loved to read fantasy, and it took until my adult years to peel back the layers of analysis and figure out what it was exactly about those fantasy books that I loved the most. It was the ones with a romance thread in them. It … Read More

Five Stars for Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods

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Before I start this review, I want to set you in the mood I was before I read it. Picture this: You’re young, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. You’ve dreamed of visiting this far off wonderland place which everyone keeps talking about.  You’ve seen gorgeous pictures and brochures about the place. People wax poetic about how incredible it is. You look forward to it so much that your insides hurt. You can think of nothing but that place! And then … you step off the plane. The air is humid, you get rained on, some homeless guy urinates on your foot. Yep. … Read More

How to Craft a Killer Meet Cute for Your Romance Novel

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Note from Lana: Thanks Louisa West for coming down to AuthorZoo to provide this fabulous article on getting the most out of your character’s introduction in a romance novel. There are so many good tips in here that you’re sure to leave full of ideas for your story. Here it is: I is for Introductions – Romance Writing from A to Z As writers of romance, we all know the drill: a love story starts with a killer first meeting. There’s a lot riding on it, too. There needs to be interest, some form of conflict, and most of all an … Read More

Interracial Romance: Room for Everyone | Guest Post by Claire Boston

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I asked Claire to write a blog post about her feelings on Interracial Romance. It’s a hot topic at the moment, and more people around the world are screaming for diversity in their stories. Claire just so happened to have written an interracial and MM romance titled ‘Place to Belong‘ as part of her Flanagan Sisters Brother Series. Thanks so much for stopping by Claire and sharing your thoughts. Here is the post from Claire: I is for Interracial – Romance Writing from A to Z When I first decided to write an interracial romance, I really didn’t consider that … Read More

What’s Hot Right Now in Romance?

Lana PecherczykAll, Marketing6 Comments

H is for Hot Right Now in Romance | Romance Writing from A to Z Want to know what’s the latest in romance books and publishing trends in 2017? Look no further. I’ve scoured the internet, asked my fellow Romance Writers of Australia, checked publishers websites and looked at big data from Amazon. Here’s what I’ve found. This report from data guy is his latest on the romance genre and was shown at the USA RWA conference in October 2016. It’s not right now, but it’s as close as you can get. In a nutshell, it says these top 10 sub … Read More

38 Clichés to Avoid when Writing Romance

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H is for Heaving Bosoms and other Romance clichés to Avoid I asked my fellow members of RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) what sort of clichés they dislike reading about in the genre. The following discussion was fun, informative and light-hearted. But at the end of it, even though I came up with a wide variety of suggestions for clichés to avoid in your romance, the general consensus it to . I thought I’d share it anyway, because it was a fun activity to learn more about what goes on behind the eyes of others. Some of these you might … Read More

Build Your Author Website Using WordPress

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Want to learn how to make an awesome WordPress website? Take control of your career and learn how to manage a simple WordPress website and blog then turn it into a successful self-managed powerhouse for your author business. Learn via easy walk-through videos as I build an author website before your eyes, and talk about content creation, e-commerce, traffic acquirement and more. At $30 AUS for RWA members, you can’t go wrong! Downloadable PDFs and worksheets will be available so you can revise at your leisure. Whether you’re a digital immigrant or an author just wanting the latest hot tips on … Read More

How to get your book published with only 3 chapters written

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It sounds like a dream, right? Books take forever to write and only hours to devour. The industry is fickle and hard to predict. Well, now you can submit all of them, as long as you’ve written 3 chapters and a 5 page synopsis. Carina Press, a subsidiary of Harlequin, is now accepting submissions for works in progress with only 3 chapters and a five page synopsis. If they like your style, they’ll ask for more. For people like me, who have a million story ideas and can’t possibly focus on one, this is great news.  Here is what they said … Read More

Book Review: Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

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I loved this book and devoured it in one and a half sittings. Kate Hewitt is a prolific category romance writer, and this series seems to be one of her first outside of that tightly knit sub-genre. It tells the story of Ellie, who moves to country England in the hopes of starting a new life with her daughter Abby who is being bullied at school. They move into the cute and newly refurbished old stables turned apartments at Willoughby Close. They’re the first family to move in, and arrive with little else but the car they drove in and … Read More

H is for Heat Levels | Romance Writing from A to Z

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When I started writing romance, I was boggled to discover that there was such a thing as a heat level expected in a book. And if you got your level mixed up (especially in category romance – think Mills & Boon), then by George I hope you’ve brought yourself a parachute because you’d be out of there! Readers and publishers alike have certain expectancies. Readers can be more forgiving, but publishers, less so. I guess if you are an avid romance reader, you’d already know this. But I came from a background of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-Fi reading. For all … Read More

Book Review of The Florentine Bridge by Vanessa Carnivale

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First off, let me say I loved this book. It has stayed with me for long after I finished reading it, and in a good way. Here are my thoughts On the Book This book tells the story of Mia, a young Australian artist who is recovering from cancer. She has decided to pack up her life and head to Tuscany in the hopes of reigniting her creative spark. She meets the truly romantic (and my next book boyfriend) Luca, the local mechanic who helps her see life for what it is – a blessing – no matter what shape … Read More

Ten Essential Heroes To Write About – Romance Writing from A to Z

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H is for Hero The hero in this instance is the protagonist, often male (but easily converted to female). The I’m-going-to-win-because-it-makes-me-look-good hero. A.k.a The egocentric hero who’s in it for the fame or money. He’s also a charmer and kinda loves himself. Think Tony Stark/Ironman. The Alpha male hero who has to do it because he needs to prove his masculinity. He’s the leader of the pack. The bossman. Sometimes has to do with money, sometimes power. Has to be a hero because it’s his status. The I’m-not-afraid-to-die-so-i’ll-save-the-world Hero. Think Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon or Keanu Reeves in John … Read More

Book Cover Blitz

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For a limited time only, I’m offering a totally, dirt cheap cost on digital book cover design. **Offer valid until December 31st 2016

The Three Miss Allens by Victoria Purman – Book Review

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Book Review The Three Miss Allens is the first book I read by Victoria Purman. I must confess that when I opened the first pages it took me a small while to get into the story. I’m usually one of those bang-bang fast paced plot people and for a fraction of a second, wondered if it was going to appeal to me. I’m so glad I kept reading because not long after, I was hooked. The plot was certainly engaging and had me enthralled. I read the rest of the book in one sitting and was thankful that Victoria spent … Read More

Five Ways to Fail Miserably at NaNoWriMo – Learn from my mistakes

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It’s that time of year again and writers all over the world are gearing up for another crack, or their first crack, at NaNoWriMo. For those that don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every nation in the world is invited to this online event in November and it’s free. The aim of the game is to teach all writers, whether new or old, to get into the habit of sitting down each day and writing. This is because one of the biggest hurdles a writer has to face is the one of distraction. The aim is to … Read More

Grand Gestures Do Not Have to Be Grand – Romance Writing from A to Z

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This week I welcome author J.C. Harroway to Author Zoo as she speaks about one of my favourite (especially in a romantic comedy) elements of a romance – The Grand Gesture. I absolutely love her points below, especially how the GG doesn’t have to be big or by the hero to make an impact. Read more about the author at the end of the article. Thanks J.C. for taking the time to share your tips. The Grand Gesture So what is the grand gesture and why do we need it? Clichéd over the top romantic rubbish or often , producing the book hangover we … Read More

The Secret Formula to Writing a Winning Romance

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F is for Formula – Romance Writing from A to Z Ha! Sucked you in, didn’t I? You want to find out what the secret formula to writing winning romance is, don’t you? Well, there is no formula. I’m sorry. I lured you here under false pretences. But I can tell you that there are two types of romances – the category romances (think Mills & Boon) and your other romance (basically every other kind of romance in the world). The closest thing to a romance formula is how a Category romance follows a strict set of rules. Each line … Read More

Book Review – The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

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I’m a huge fan of Graeme Simsion and I absolutely adored reading The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. Needless to say, that when this book came across my desk I had to stop everything to read it. About the Book This is the blurb from the back of the book: A novel about love, music and coming to terms with the past, from the author of the international bestseller The Rosie Project. On the cusp of fifty, Adam Sharp has a loyal partner, earns a good income as an IT contractor and is the music-trivia expert at quiz nights. It’s … Read More

F is for Fear – 6 Tips on How to Evoke Fear in Your Writing

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Thank you Michelle Somers for writing this post as part of my A to Z of Romance Writing Series. Michelle is the author of award winning, Lethal in Love. Read more about Michelle at the end of the article. I’m lucky to host her today, her tips on creating fear in your writing are priceless! Without further ado, here is her article.  Fear is such a complex emotion, yet at the same time so subjective. So personal, even. What is one person’s fear, or even phobia, is another person’s… nothing.  So, how do we evoke fear in our writing? Great question. To do this – … Read More