Tag: historical romance

Home > ArchivesTag: historical romance

Using Journal Entries in Your Manuscript

September 12, 2021 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

Early on, I wanted my heroine to have a journal. Not quite sure why, but capturing her journey through a journal stuck as I brainstormed my scenes. Some writers write character journals for their characters to help them see things from their character’s perspective. But for me, I wanted my heroine to actually have a journal in my story.

Have you read many books using journal entries throughout the story?

I actually have come across a very limited amount of books using journal entries throughout the story. In my manuscript, there is an entry at the beginning of every chapter. I was excited a few years ago to find a book that had this and found that it worked. But I haven’t found a lot of books this way, so that’s a good thing.

I’m even considering it to be possibly a thing I do in all of them, but we will see.

I’m curious to know if this is something that appeals to readers or not.

I have seen a journal or diary entry as a plot point or in a scene. I actually have some of those as well since her writing in her journal is part of her story.

Do you write in a journal? 

If you do, do you ever worry about someone reading what you wrote?

My heroine gets handed a journal upon her start as a teacher. In it, she’s instructed to write down the events of her days to capture what happens as a female teacher who moves West to teach in small pioneer towns.

Olivia finds her journal to be a close confidant. She enjoys documenting her observances about the places she’s been and the people she meets. Given that it’s 1869 and traveling by train across the country is a new and unprecedented event, the importance in capturing the momentous occasion is not lost on her.  

She’s also very protective of her book. It never leaves her side and she would never leave it out so that someone could read it. But even if they did, she is very careful what she writes, never putting to paper her own thoughts and opinions, just in case someone else might read it and pass judgement on her. 

See judgement stings and her fear of being judged stems from…well…I don’t want to give too much away.

Creating realistic journal entries

I created a small diary in Olivia’s hand, so that I could think like her and feel what it might’ve been like all those years ago to have a small diary to write down words that could be read one hundred years later.

Denise M. Colby created a mock journal in her characters hand to get a sense of what she would say. This is the title page opened and dated 1869
My character in my story keeps a journal, so I created one and wrote in it as if I’m her. I even changed the handwriting to fit her personality.

What she was doing was so new in 1869. 

Traveling across the country, women came west to teach in one-room schoolhouses and in order to make a difference in the life of a child, and for herself as well.

I wonder, in real life, how many of them kept a journal? And if they had any idea that we would be reading what they wrote so many years later?

Denise loves journals and has several laying around her home at any given time. She wrote about her bullet journal page design ideas for writers in an earlier post and this year she started a journal just for her word of the year quotes. The one she uses the most is her prayer journal. Check out her how to start a prayer journal page on her website.

2 0 Read more

Multi-talented author Debra Holland and her Montana Sky Series!!

July 2, 2021 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

Psychotherapist Debra Holland, Ph.D is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romance. She’s a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as a top 50 greatest love stories pick. Her latest book is Beyond Montana’s Sky.

Dr. Debra is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Saga (fantasy romance) and the nonfiction books, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude: a Ten-Minute eBook. She’s a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.

Learn more about her at https://debraholland.com

We’re here today with the multi-talented author Debra Holland, who will be talking about her award winning Montana Sky series and her writing.

Jann: You may have had a slow beginning, but when Wild Montana Sky made its debut in 2011, your writing career took off like a shooting star that is still shinning!! There are more than 28 books in this award-winning series. What is your secret to creating these wonderful characters and books?

Debra: Wait, there’s a secret? Haha. I don’t know the answer. I’ve had a lot of Montana Sky stories in my head for a long time, years in some cases. I’d often write the first scene of a book long before it was time to write that book. Then I keep a file on each story idea and add snippets as they come to me.

By this time, my town of Sweetwater Springs and the people in it are very real to me. That helps when creating new stories.

Jann: Do you think this series could someday come to an end?

Debra: Luckily, I have plenty more Montana Sky stories in my head. Getting them on paper…that’s always the hard part. I do plan to move to Montana Sky contemporaries at some point.

Jann: Do you have plans to write additional novels for The Gods’ Dream Saga or the Twinborne Trilogy? These fantasy romance novels have been well received by readers.

Debra: Yes and yes. The problem is that the fantasy series (The Gods’ Dream Saga) doesn’t sell nearly as well as the historical series. So it makes more sense to write Montana Sky stories. In fact, I priced the ebook of Lywin’s Quest book one of Twinborne Trilogy at $9.99, because I’m hoping no one will buy it. I don’t want to feel guilty for not (yet) finishing that series.

Jann: You have a busy schedule as Dr. Debra Holland, psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor. How do you keep your life balanced?

Debra: I don’t do anything full time. Pre-Covid, I spent a day at my office seeing psychotherapy clients, and the corporate crisis/grief work would drop on me any time and last for a few hours to several days. I’d write on the days I wasn’t working as a psychotherapist. (During Covid I’d saw people on Zoom.)

But I also carry around my laptop or hardcopy pages of my book, so I can write or edit between seeing clients.

I’ve been working almost full-time at a hospital since February, which is unusual for me. The job is supposed to last until the end of July. Unfortunately, the hospital staff are busy, work long shifts, and have a mentally tough mindset, so they haven’t really been coming to me for counseling in the way they should. So I’ve had a lot of time to write.

Jann: Tell us about Montana Sky Publishing? How did it come about?

Debra: Amazon approached me to open up a Montana Sky Kindle World, where authors wrote in my “world” and uploaded the books to the Kindle World portal. The authors would have a contract with Amazon, and I wouldn’t have anything to do with the editing or publishing process. So I invited many of my friends to write MSKW stories. Then, after a few years, Amazon closed down Kindle Worlds, stranding my authors.

So, feeling guilty, I opened a publishing company for those books as well as for new ones. A lot of my authors are from OCC—Louella Nelson, Linda Carroll-Bradd, Kristy Phillips, Alexis Montgomery, Patricia Thayer (Pat Wright,) Shauna Roberts (a former member,) and the late Linnea Alexis (Joyce Ward).

I’m slowly putting the books into audio, starting with Louella Nelson’s Harper Ranch Series, and OCC member Mary Castillo is our awesome narrator.

Jann: You have a great website. How involved were you in its creation?

Debra: Very involved. The same company has done all my websites–my writer’s site, my professional site, and the Montana Sky Publishing site.  The graphics were done by another OCC member, Lex Valentine.

Jann: What are you working on now?

Debra: It’s been a year since I published Beyond Montana’s Sky. I’m jumping around between a novella trilogy and two other novellas and a contemporary short story.

I’ve also written three long nonfiction articles for medium.com.

But what I’ve really been working on since December is adapting both the Montana Sky Series and The Gods’ Dream Saga into television streaming series. Writing a pilot involved a whole new learning curve. So it’s been a lot of work (about four drafts each) but also a lot of fun. I’ve been working with industry mentors (a different one for each series) and the pilots are ready to go out.

But before that, I’ll have to put together a pitch document, which is almost as much work as writing the pilots and not nearly as much fun. Actually, not fun at all!

I have Sower of Dreams in a screenwriting contest and so far it’s moved through being a semi-finalist to a quarter-finalist. Luckily, if it actually becomes a finalist, I can exchange the script for the latest one, which is a lot different than the original.

Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why?

 Debra: As a grief counselor, I have a lot of themes of loss and grief and moving through painful challenges to find love and happiness.

Jann: What’s the worst writing advice you ever received?

 Debra: The worst advice is an author or guru who tells you to write a certain way. (I’m not talking issues of craft, which is something all writers need to learn.) I think everyone has their own writing style and what works for one person won’t work for another. That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment to see if something will work for you. But stay true to yourself.

Jann: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?

Debra: Not really. There might come a part in the story where I’m stalled, mostly because I’m missing what comes next or how to make the story work. Sometimes, I just skip that section and keep on writing. I’ll go back and finish it when I figure it out. Other times, I’ll stop and take a day or two to think through what comes next, sometimes brainstorming with another author or authors.

Jann: Where can we get your books?

Debra: All my books are on Amazon.

Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?

 Website 

Facebook

 Thank you Debra for spending time here on A Slice of Orange. It’s been a real pleasure. Have a Happy 4th of July everyone!!

A Few of Debra’s Books

(Click on the cover for more information. Hover over the cover for buy links.)



0 0 Read more

Jina Bacarr June Featured Author

June 29, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

About Jina Bacarr

Jina Bacarr | A Slice of Orange

I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve.

I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling.

I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

You can follow Jina on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Goodreads
Bookbub

Jina also has a column here on the 11th of every month: Jina’s Book Chat.

A Few of Jina’s Books

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

Buy now!
A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL

0 0 Read more

Jina Bacarr June Featured Author

June 21, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

About Jina Bacarr

Jina Bacarr | A Slice of Orange

I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve.

I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling.

I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

You can follow Jina on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Goodreads
Bookbub

Jina also has a column here on the 11th of every month: Jina’s Book Chat.

A Few of Jina’s Books

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

Buy now!
A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL

0 0 Read more

Jina Bacarr June Featured Author

June 17, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

About Jina Bacarr

Jina Bacarr | A Slice of Orange

I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve. I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling. I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

You can follow Jina on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Goodreads
Bookbub

Jina also has a column here on the 11th of every month: Jina’s Book Chat.

A Few of Jina’s Books

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

Buy now!
A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>