June 1, 2010

Must-have Tools for Writers #writertips

How many of us want tools to make our writing easier? I’m the first to raise my hand and jump in line. Like many of you out there, I want to work smarter not harder! There are quite a few tools on the internet to help with any tasks. Here are a few of my favorites:
1.) You’re writing a historical romance and you’re stuck for a word in a certain language. Fear no more, all you need to so is pull up Google and type in English to French translation and voila! There’s a great place to start: http://webtranslation.paralink.com/
2.) If it’s one of those pesky books where your character must speak with a Scottish dialect and you can’t figure out how to write the dialogue. Do the same with any search again and voila! (can’t you tell I love this word!) you get a great result such as Wikipedia http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Scots-English-Scots_dictionar  OR http://tinyurl.com/ocuql
For the beginners out there, I do have a few goodies to share. First, I must say hats off to Karen Wiesner for writing such a fantastic book entitled FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS. This book should be a bible for any beginning writer. Karen walks you through each area step by step and teaches you how to write a best selling novel. I will testify that you can actually write a best seller in 30 days because I have using her methods and they DO WORK. Her follow up—FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINISHED NOVEL is another phenomenal book because it’s the next chapter (pardon the pun!) to FIRST DRAFT. Both of my copies are so worn and ragged, they’re barely recognizable! I may have to get 2 new copies! Here’s the link to the FIRST DRAFT site: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/FD2.html
Second, another amazing book is Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love. It’s another great help to building that best selling story.
One bit of software that I do recommend to you is called WriteItNow Novel writing software. It has its own built in processor if you don’t have Word or any other word processing software. There’s a lot of great build in’s like Story Board and Notecards. A great piece of software.
Now I don’t want you to think I’m being paid to mention these products. I’m not. As an established writer, I know how tough it is getting started when you don’t know what you need. That’s why I’ve written this blog article for you today. When I started out, none of these books or software existed and I had to do a lot of things on my own without anyone’s guidance or help. I like passing along things I’ve learned that make my life a lot easier to someone else who may have the desire and talent but isn’t sure how to start.
To all the newbies out there that have stories inside of them dying to get out, take my advice and find out what you can from who you can. Many of us in the writing community are so willing to reach out to other authors so you should take advantage of their generosity and help to make your books better. To all the pros out there I say, you can never learn too much about what’s new.

For your enjoyment -- here is an adult excerpt from the new Prince of Shadow. Happy Reading!

Prince of Shadows
Bloodborn book 2
Tracy L. Ranson
Genre: Erotic Historical, paranormal, vampires/werwolves
Buy HERE from Siren-Bookstrand

Entangled in a web of intrigue, Tatiana Gregorovich knows the only true ruler of Russia is Catherine I, a woman of strength and beauty. She ferries messages back and forth between Catherine and her generals, taking on the fa├žade of a simpleton at court.
She fools everyone except Nicholas Wetherington, a thousand year old vampire at the Russian court. She is drawn to his smoldering, exotic looks unaware that her attraction could cost her life.

Hope you enjoyed the tips!
Tracy L. Ranson

February 25, 2010

KyAnn Waters Interview

KyAnn, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I live in Utah with my husband, two children, and two dogs. I spend my days writing and evenings with my family. I love sporting events on the television, thrillers on the big screen, and hot sex between the pages of my books.
How about a peek at your booklist?

Delicious Darkness - Paranormal - The Wild Rose Press
The Cougar Meets Her Master - Contemporary BDSM - The Wild Rose Press
Hot Blooded - Vampire - The Wild Rose Press
Executive Positions – Contemporary – The Wild Rose Press
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down - Contemporary Cowboy BDSM - The Wild Rose Press
Johnny Loves Krissy - Contemporary - The Wild Rose Press (April 30, 2010)
Cinderella Undercover - Contemporary Romantic Suspense - Siren Publishing (June 2010)

KyAnn Waters - links

What song would best describe your life?
Little Wonders by Rob Thomas. Everyone has to go through rough periods in order to appreciate the good times.

To quote
"Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over..."

If you were a tool, what would people use you for?

I’d say I’m a widget. Widget = An unnamed device - a little device or mechanism, especially one whose name is unknown or forgotten. So either I’m a useless tool, or as I like to think I just haven’t figured out my purpose.

You can erase one embarrassing experience from your past. What will it be?

Just one? I’d need an eraser the size of Texas. However, I do regret forgetting the rings for my wedding. I should have known rings were going to be the bane of my marriage. Marriage yes, wearing rings, no.
16 years married - three lost rings
A husband who can find the humor in it – my real life hero. (but it’s strictly zirconium for me now)

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
I’m told I’m distracted when I’m writing so….
Don’t buy her nice jewelry, she’ll lose it.
Don’t get her a cell phone, she’ll lose it.
Don’t let her have the remote or the cordless phone, she’ll misplace them. (I will say that after a 6 month MIA, the cordless phone has been recovered. I’ve given up hope on the pink cell phone.)

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

I read everything except YA and inspirational. I like adult books with sex. I love a good historical – Susan Johnson and Nicole Jordan are at the top of my list.
Paranormal – Sherrilyn Kenyon and I recently read Larissa Ione
Contemporary – Susan Johnson again. I love you, Susan.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, etc?

Physical traits come last for me. I see my hero and heroine and their conflict first. Then the sexual chemistry. Once I have the “feel” of who they are, I can finally “see” what they look like. Often times, I’m changing hair and eye color in the middle of a book. The other issue I have is naming my characters. I don’t think I’ve written a single story where at least one character didn’t get a name change.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

Wow, great question. My personal favorite is Hard Ride Home but that might not be the right pick for everyone since it is m/m. A choice for a nice simple love story without a lot of kink is With or Without You. Rough Justice is kinky, funny and I think would appeal to most readers of erotic romance.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

Hopefully I’ve penned a stories that titillate as well as entertain. But also that makes you laugh at the some of the situations of the characters.

You created a highly useful Yahoo Group, Promotion_Loop_Schedule to help authors track promotion days on the various loops. Tell us how it works and what inspired you to create it. (please provide the link as well)
I started it because I was going to each group when I’d want to do a promotion and that was very time consuming. Minutes spent on promotion take away from minutes that could be spent writing. I also know it’s frustrating for loops to have drive by promoters, especially on days when an author is a guest host. This loop makes it easy for me to hop from loop to loop, see what is happening, do a bit of chat and promotion and then get back to my stories. Once I’d started the loop, I invited my friends and critique partners to use it. Anyone who can benefit is welcome to join. There is no chatter, just calendar reminders. It was a crazy summer and I didn’t have a lot of time to do updates, but I do try to keep the information accurate. Here is the link.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

What’s for lunch? Today it is a big juicy cheeseburger and a Diet Pepsi.

Thank you, KyAnn, for being with us today!

September 10, 2009

DragonCon pics are up!

I've posted pictures of DragonCon 2009 on my website. Click here to take a look.
Wow! I moderated a panel at DragonCon this year and it was a blast. Eventually I'll have pics of the panel itself, but for now, I can pretty much share only one. Sascha Illyvich was in the group, and those are his arms you see around the woman almost on top of him. LOL - He has some interesting fans, I must say. To his right, listening intently to a question is Kiernan Kelly, (Ally Blue is unseen here, but she was next to Kiernan), and in the background is Fiona Zedde. The two people in white shirts are "Kiernan's Minions", who are her daughter Kelly and her "pseudo-son" Leo. Come to my website and you can see a whole lot more pictures of them in costume. Kiernan used to work for Universal Studios as a body painter, and she always brings her kit to cons. She also did my face. For the panel, "Exploring the Final Taboo, Same Sex Writing in Romance", we all tried to have something with a rainbow theme. Mine was right on my face.
Afterwards, we all went out to eat at the Metro Cafe in downtown Atlanta. The hostess hugged me and kissed my cheek, telling me I was beautiful and that she was proud of me for showing my beliefs so boldly. My purse/carryall has rainbow-colored handles as well, and it drew comments. I handed the hostess an autographed cover flat and she oohed and ahhed over Surrender Love's awesome Anne Cain art. Moments later, she had a crowd of friends around her, so I passed out some more. All of them promised to hit my site. It was cool -- I felt like a celebrity.
A friend of mine suggested I post two pictures of myself, one from an RWA con where I had the chance to finally meet the other RomVets, and especially Rae Monet, who has been an awesome mentor and help. It was taken about three years ago. The picture on the right is of me this year, where I'm 75 pounds lighter! Quite a difference. How did I do it? Small lifestyle changes and a goal of 25 pounds per year. That's about 1/2 pound a week, and I'm never hungry. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think of any of the pictures, especially Sascha's!