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When a writer needs a hug… by Jina Bacarr

July 11, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Writing never gets easier… if anything, it’s more difficult.

Why? Because we expect more of ourselves. Even more so when you’re doing edits from your fab editor who’s really an angel in disguise. We want to make our story as perfect as possible and not disappoint her. She believes in you. Your characters believe in you. After all, their lives are in your hands.

But like a chocolate soufflé, a lot can go wrong.

Your computer screen goes blue… computer updates send your heart pounding as you pray you get all your pretty icons back…. a character keeps you up at nights because you’re so worried about how you’re going to save her butt and yours.

There’s more:

You go over your word count.

You can’t find your timeline/fact sheet for your heroine (when you’re writing about Paris during WW 2 this is crucial).

You ‘re so tired, you push the wrong button on your keyboard and everything in Track Changes disappears

You realize a secondary relationship ain’t working because the hero is based on an old boyfriend with a big ego. You dump him. Get a new guy for the part. And he’s an absolute dream.

You work from dawn-to-dawn the week before edits are due and have no idea what day it is.

And worst of all, you run out of coffee.

But I did it!

I sent my editor the edited manuscript at 7:37 a.m. on a sunny morning… and I felt numb. No whistles went off. No bells. Just the quiet hum of my computer.

I needed a hug.

Someone telling me ‘I done good’.

Yes, I’m totally proud of what I accomplished, but writing can be a lonely business. And it’s hard work, especially writing historicals. (My story follows a dual timeline from 1926 to 1950 and present day. Silent films, Nazis in Paris, the film business in Hollywood and France.)

So I did what I swore I wouldn’t after I sent the m/s: I opened it back up and read some of my favorite passages. Laughed and cried again with my characters… sat amazed at how they accomplished their goals… fell in love with them all over again… and cheered when they beat the Nazis!

And I got that hug.

From my characters. Reminding me why I write. Because I so love them, the stories, the chance to give them life.

So, merci beaucoup, mes bons amis! Thank you, my friends.

Jina

PS — I’ll keep you posted on my Paris WW 2 historical. Cover ideas coming soon…

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5 Tips for a Bewitching Halloween by Jina Bacarr

October 11, 2018 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

Read about my speed date with a vampire at Charmed Connection on FB coming this Halloween

Got your Halloween costume? Not yet?

Whether you’re going out with a gorgeous man or with your girlfriends, it’s a time to shine. Once you have your costume, here are 5 Halloween tips for the big night:

1 – Pick a costume that reveals enough of you, but not too much. As a famous stripper once said, “It’s not what you take off, it’s how you do it.” It’s all about the tease.

2 – If you enjoy a cocktail or two, any alcohol at all, this is a no brainer. Don’t drive. That’s what Uber is for.

3 – Eyelash glue – pack an extra tube. There’s nothing more humiliating than your date finding your soggy false eyelashes in his brew or stuck on his forehead after that big kiss. Bring a tiny bag with your makeup essentials that you can wear unnoticed on your costume or around your wrist.

4 – Carry a small amount of cash—in your bra, strapped to your thigh—along with a credit card even if you have a date (in case he turns out to be a ghoul).

5 — Shoes. Wear the stilettos, but somewhere have a pair of comfy but cute flats stashed. In your car, his car, a Halloween-decorated purse. Your feet will thank you at the witching hour.

I love Halloween and I’ve had my share of crazy dates. So when the Charmed Writers headed up by the fabulous Tari-Lynn Porter-Jewett decided to have a Facebook Halloween Event over at
The Charmed Connection Halloween Event 2018
https://www.facebook.com/events/2356229577739205/

Hosted by Tari Lynn Porter-Jewett

I signed up to write Flash Fiction. My story is called: My Speed Date with a Vampire.
We’re still finalizing the details, so I’ll update here as we get closer to Halloween!
Till then, Happy Halloween!

Special treat: here’s a video I made with a Halloween twist for my erotic romance Spice novel, “Naughty Paris.”

Amazon: Naughty Paris
by Jina Bacarr
Link: http://a.co/d/hB9zdBG

Music: “Duet Musette”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Replay…MY CHARACTERS NEED TO BREAKUP…BUT HOW?

August 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , , , ,

Tracy Reed | A Slice of Orange   I apologize for the repost.  I recently returned from vacation and I’m still playing catch up.  However this repost, fits in with my vacation.  I was in Paris for 12 days…3 days for  business and the balance was vacation.

I love Paris…I thought I would say that.

Anyway, Paris has been a secondary character in some of my books.  The series this blog post is about, THE GOOD GIRL Part Deux, spent some time in Paris.  On my most recent trip, I tried walking around the city and seeing it in the eyes of my heroine Gabriella.  I took some time to make mental notes for the third book in the series.  I had hoped to have the book written so when I went I could verify things or make changes.  That didn’t happen because I was busy finishing a different book.

My family and I had the pleasure of having French High Tea at the Paris Ritz.  French High Tea is completely different from English High Tea.  Gotta say, I like the French way better.  Back to my story.  We arrived early and were given a mini tour then left to explore the hotel on our own.  We stopped in a jewelry store and of course I tried on some things.  But the staff reminded me of some things I’d forgotten.  One, Coco Chanel died at the Paris Ritz.  I’m a fashion girl so that resonated with me, big time.  Plus we were just a few streets away from the original Chanel Store and Coco’s home.  I was in fashion girl heaven.  Second, the Ritz is where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayeed were right before they…

I told the staff I was a writer and I was doing a little research for an upcoming book.  They was very helpful and offered to give me advice on jewelry and share some of the amazing love stories that had taken place at the hotel.  That got me thinking about a new direction for the next installment of THE GOOD GIRL.

All that to say, this is why I chose to replay this post.  I’m mentally getting prepared to start THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois.

Have a great summer and see you next month.

 

MY CHARACTERS NEED TO BREAKUP…BUT HOW?

I have come to a crossroads with a set of characters and I can’t believe the angst I’m feeling or maybe it’s heart-break?

me explain.This past summer, I had the privilege of being in my first box set. YEAH! My contribution to the Fling box set was The Good Girl novella. I wrote this book knowing there would be more to the story. However, I didn’t expect to become as attached to the characters as I am. That fondness is supposed to be reserved for my characters in The Alex Chronicles. After all, we’ve been together for years—that’s not an exaggeration. [Read my previous posts for details on that series. And for the record, The Alex Chronicles is still my baby.]

Gabriella and Phillippe, my heroine and protagonist from The Good Girl, are infants compared to Alexandra [Alex] and Moses, the stars of The Alex Chronicles series. Alex and Moses and I have been through a lot. That’s not an exaggeration. I wrote three books, well four if you count the prequel that can testify to the longevity of our relationship.When it came time to cause havoc between Alex and Moses, I had no problem doing it—yes, I cried inside when he—okay, I can’t tell you anymore because it might spoil it for you. But it was a difficult breakup. However, the possibility of Gabriella and Phillippe breaking up, is causing me great consternation and I don’t know why.

The difference in this proposed breakup might have something to do with the fact that I don’t know what will happen next. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a pantser. Maybe if I was a plotter, I’d feel different. In that respect, I’m like my readers, excited about the surprise outcome, sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. Wondering if a HEA will exist for these two. If or when you read part two, a HEA seems inevitable. I think a breakup would be a shock to some readers and a given to others. Either way. I need a major shake up, otherwise the series will become a two hit wonder.

To prepare myself for the inevitable, I’ve started a new playlist complete with sad love songs. I’ve got some wine and popcorn, even reading books with devastating, heartbroken heroines, to get me in the right frame of mind. So far, I just can’t bring myself to break Gabriella and Phillippe up. I could write the breakup, but what if they don’t find their way back to each other. Yes, it would open the door to another book or would it? Another strike against being a pantser—know it all characters. It’s all Gabriella and Phillippe’s fault. Why can’t they be like Alex and Moses. Those two made it perfectly clear how their relationship was going to play out from the moment they met.

I’ve trusted Gabriella and Phillippe through two books. I have to admit, I was surprised at the story they told in Part Two. Trust is the key word here. I have to trust my ability to tell a story that will engage my readers, yet not be boring or predictable. Talk about a challenge. Like Carrie Underwood said, “Jesus take the wheel.”

In my quest to over think, I came up with a few reasons why they would breakup.
Have Phillippe realize he really can’t deal with a non sexual relationship. Which makes him look like the typical self-absorbed Alpha Billionaire in training with a slight French accent.

Then there’s the shocker that she doesn’t want to get married and she just considers this a great first love. Sounds good, but makes her look like a gold-digging whore, I mean tramp.

Or, I could go with the classic, she loses her virginity to him, gets pregnant and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her or the baby. This would paint her as a naive single mother, with an uncertain future and a whole lot of anger.

Last but not least, a dreaded family secret preventing him from continuing the relationship. Problem with that one is it makes him look a little weak and that goes against the image I’ve created of him.

I would love to see a HEA, but these characters may not. Unlike Alex and Moses, I broke them up a couple of times. Oh crap! I wasn’t supposed to tell you that, but I didn’t tell you how their story plays out. I’ll just say this, I have a playlist loaded with sad love songs.

I also don’t think this angst would be such a big deal if the book hadn’t been as successful as it has. I’ll rephrase that. I hoped it would do well, but this is a surprise blessing. Yes, I called my book that’s packed with a few steamy innuendos and a blessing.

About a month before the free promotion, while it was still at regular price, it got to #167 without any promotion. When I did my first KDP Five Free Days, it made it all the way to #2 in one of my categories on Amazon. I stopped trying to figure out why it’s being received so well. And to be honest, I don’t care. I’m just grateful and thankful to God that it is doing well. This little book, is a great gateway to my other books.

Back to my problem, how to deal with my broken heart. Sunday or maybe it was late Saturday night. Anyway, I really started feeling a sense of loss towards this book. Sunday I picked up The Good Girl Part Two and started on the revisions and the more I read, the clearer it became that I needed to do something drastic. I kicked around ideas, all of which caused me more grief than relief. It was well around one in the morning when I gave up fighting, prayed and went to sleep.

Later, when I woke up, during my prayer time, I got a revelation for a possible plot idea. I’m not going to share it, in case those two bossy characters decide they want to go in another direction. I will say this, it will be emotionally painful to write, however, I think it’s going to lead to the perfect next step.

Funny thing, long before the dread of the breakup popped up, another scene began to bounce around my head, and it’s good. At least I think it is. Only problem, once I write it, I think that’s when the real heart-break will come, because it will be the end of Gabriella and Phillippe’s story as I see it. As writers you know a series never really ends, it just gives birth to a another baby.

So I have a few questions for you. How do you handle the breakup of your characters? Do you find it difficult to breakup your characters perfect relationship? Is the road to HEA easy or painful for you?

Tracy Reed
http://readtracyreed.com/

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

$7.99eBook: $2.99
Author:
Series: The Good Girl Series, Book 1
Genre: Romance
Tag: Edgy Christian Fiction

Gabriella Townsend is by all definition a "Good Girl." Her life is about to change.

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