KAREN HAWKINS SPEAKS

NY Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins offered her advice this morning at the Florida Romance Writers meeting. Here are some of the guidelines she offered based on what she’s learned through the years as a professional writer.                           

  1. Don’t ignore the market unless you’re willing to wait for the market to swing around to what you want to write.  Write what you love and love the market, but stay true to your voice.  Find out where your voice will fit in the current marketplace.
  2. Don’t write for one editor. Write for the genre. Be broad enough so that your work has appeal.  (i.e. If you write to one editor’s tastes and she rejects your work, then where does that leave you?)
  3. Start a self-editing checklist.  If you’re hearing the same things over and over from contest feedback and critique partners, it’s time for you to listen.
  4. Treat writing as a business in terms of keeping ledgers, records of expenses, estimated tax payments, etc.
  5. You need at least four books in the same genre for readers to find you.  Don’t genre jump or jump on the new trend.  Every book you write should offer what readers expect from your brand.
  6. Be assertive. Stand up for yourself or get an agent who will do it for you. Don’t sell yourself short. There’s a lot more out there to ask for if you try.

We can learn from the mistakes other multi-published authors have made and the lessons they’ve learned, because we’ve all been down the same road at one time or another.

MOONLIGHT RHAPSODY

MOONLIGHT RHAPSODY is now available in digital format from Belgrave House.

I love the cover!  The colors are perfect and so is the couple.Moonlight Rhapsody

This story is book number two in my Light-Years futuristic series.

What is this paranormal romance about?

Disguised as a trader, Lord Rolf Cam’brii goes to the slave planet Souk on a secret mission to establish contact with the resistance. But his ship crashes during a storm and he’s taken prisoner. Maintaining his cover, he’s thrown into a slave labor camp where he catches the eye of the beautiful human female overseer, Ilyssa.

Ilyssa sees in him the chance to obtain her freedom. She possesses the gift of siren song wherein any male who hears her sing becomes mindwashed. The pasha Ruel uses her to tame his enemies, and he holds her parents hostage against her cooperation. She pleads with Rolf, a pilot, to help her. Entranced by her beauty and charm, he agrees, and they begin a trek to freedom. It’s a journey frought with perils, not in the least of which is their forbidden passion for each other. Ilyssa’s gift comes with a curse, and to follow her heart means to lose her lifelong dream.

The original edition of this book, published by Dorchester, was featured as a prop in the movie, View From The Top, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.  How cool is that?

 

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A DREAM COME TRUE

CIRCLE OF LIGHT, my seventh manuscript, became the first novel I sold. It began as a dream, wherein I was at my job as a clinical nurse specialist. The dream unfolded in much the same manner as the excerpt on my website. My dream ended at the same place, but I couldn’t let it go. I had to finish the story! I wrote the whole thing, and that’s my first book that sold. CIRCLE OF LIGHT became number one in a trilogy and went on to win the HOLT Medallion Award in the paranormal category. The story has ancient prophecies, mysterious glowstones, a magical Blood Crystal that foretells the future, and a transcendent healing power inspired by love. It also has villains: the evil Souks, a slaver race; the nasty Horthas with their stun whips; the Twyggs with their grasping branches, a traitor in the central government; and mercenaries who hire their services as assassins. It’s an exciting story. No wonder I felt compelled to finish it.

CIRCLE OF LIGHT, originally published by Dorchester when I was writing as Nancy Cane, is now available in digital and trade paperback formats. And lest you think it’s all purely made up, I used a National Geographic article on volcanoes for the scenes on Taurus, a volcanic planet. I used my Star Wars and Star Trek sourcebooks and technical manuals for inspiration in terms of ships and weaponry. The capital city of Bimordus Two is a biome, a self-contained ecosystem. I cut out articles about these habitats at the time, and they’re probably still in my files. So research took many forms for this futuristic romance. And because it’s at heart a romance novel, woven throughout the exciting adventure is the developing love story of Sarina and Teir.

Attorney Sarina Bretton is kidnapped from Earth to become the legendary Great Healer, thus saving the galaxy from a dreadful plague. To activate her power, she must marry Lord Cam’brii, a stiff politician. Instead, she falls in love with the spaceship captain transporting her to the wedding.

Captain Teir Reylock is drawn to the feisty woman he’s escorting to the capital city, but he must fulfill his duty. He doesn’t count on being assigned as her bodyguard once they arrive. Now not only must he protect Sarina from the Coalition’s enemies, but also he must guard her from his heart.

Digital edition available from Belgrave House

Circle of Light                       Belgrave House

Trade Paperback edition available from iUniverse

Circle of Light