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Author Interview Author Recommendation CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS

Heather Scarlett: A Smart and Sassy Debut Author Who Does It All. Really!

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MULTI-TASKING MAGIC

Jack-of-all-trades equals Master-of-None. That’s the saying. But that saying has featured “Jack” for far too long.

What about Jill, our unsung heroine?

Or in our case, Heather Scarlett?

Professional career woman, ENGAGING wife and dear friend, ON IT MOM, and romance writer. Hello!! (Satisfying role reversals go far beyond fiction.) Doing it all is no easy thing, however. Nobody ever said it would be, but the faint-hearted need not sideline themselves.

Not in Heather’s world. One of the sassiest of the SASSY SCRIBES, Heather advocates going for it on every level. That and being yourself. (If you note, dear readers, a renewed sense of mojo in yours truly, look to Heather and the SASSY SCRIBES. Follow her and you’ll encourage yourself…whatever your dream may be.)

Here’s one of her secrets.

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Can you FEEL those pages? The potential? When you write dreams down–plan what you want to achieve–you make dreams real! And how.

Heather’s debut contemporary romance, Joy of the Season, is coming to you inside SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection–still ONLY .99 cents on pre–order–so don’t miss out. Not on the holiday feels and certainly not on the concrete example of going for it!!! (Remember, SNOW IN LOVE features 8 diverse new voices, a variety of holidays, and the tropes you love! Thank you Readertainment, our breakout publisher.)

Now here comes one of my favorite questions.

Tell us, Heather, Jill-of-All-Trades, are you  a panster or a plotter? And why? (What does method bring to your stories? Can you feel the tension, my peeps???)

DON’T FENCE ME IN!

As in most things in life, I’m in the middle. I do a fair amount of pre-writing to get to know my characters and major plot points. Then, I dive in to write. I often am surprised right along with my characters when the story takes an unexpected turn. I often don’t know the black moment until I’m well into the first act, then it all starts to come together. (Oh, sweet reason. Mixing it up is often how life sorts us!)

 

Do you prefer city or country living? Does this impact the settings of your stories? (It certainly does for me.)

WHY CHOOSE?

I grew up in a large city–Los Angeles–and lived in Montana for six wonderful years and that experience has absolutely influenced my stories. I write small town western as well as urban settings. There are aspects of both settings I love. (Oh, YES, and another reason why Heather speaks to me. Being reared on the West Coast but living in the East–small towns and BIG ONES–adds levels of insight. People are people, but background and context has a definite effect. I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of Heather’s edgier romances, urban settings, and wow. Just wow. Another reason to follow Heather Scarlett…very closely! She aims to PLEASE!)

So, what’s your favorite time of year, Heather, and why?

BEAUTY IS WHERE YOU FIND IT!

All of them! Living in New England, I especially love watching the leaves change in the fall. I am a warm weather girl, so summer is my all time favorite season. I love that each season has a different pace and different things to enjoy. (Another shot across the bow for those struggling with the unavoidable. Try to find something good in that which you cannot control. Goes far in translating that smile into a joyful heart.)

Now that Joy of the Season is nearly released, what’s on the horizon for you? Books? Projects? Whatever? You did not buy that planner to leave it blank, Heather, so do tell.

A SWEET TREAT JUST FOR YOU!

I have a few projects coming up! My next story, Snowed In for a Second Chance, will be available January 8. This story is set in Wildwood Falls, starring a character, Sarah, who readers will meet in Joy of the Season. I have a few more story ideas for 2021 and beyond!

Since this interview, Heather has penned a short, short romantic tale that can be YOURS. Just click the pic with the scrumptious gingerbread!

That’s some momentum, Heather. What writer’s organizations if any have helped you achieve successes in your writing life? Aspiring writers need to know.

I am grateful to have found my fellow writers in Sassy Scribes. We are such a wonderful and supportive group of women who encourage each others’ success. I am so excited for my debut story to be with this group of amazing women!

AN ANIMAL CROSSING WRITER’S ROOM CAN MOVE WITH YOU!

Now, what does your desk look like and what do you “think” it says about you? (Notice I tend toward the weighty issues? But, hey, understanding context is fundamental…. and can help YOU achieve your goals, too.)

My desk is anywhere and everywhere. I write in the living room, dining room, outside on the deck. Anywhere I can find a quiet space. I am also an avid coffee shop writer. A hot cup of coffee and a sweet snack makes for a happy writing session. (Animal Crossing may be just the thing for the organizationally challenged to find peace!)

What’s your view on character flaws for heroes/heroines, Heather?

Being human means no one is perfect. It’s our imperfections that make us interesting. I like exploring character’s flaws and developing characters whose flaws are naturally in conflict with each other. For me, that makes for an engaging story! (AMEN!)

PUMPKIN SPICE RECIPE JUST FOR YOU!

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know, Heather? Only serious insights, please. )

I’m Team Pumpkin Spice in the Fall!!

Awesome. You know what that tells me? Heather is all about the specifics of what make us happy. Those simple pleasures that put a smile on your face and fuel you through your day. Whatever is on the agenda. Viva TEAM PUMPKIN SPICE, and long live self-empowerment.

Thank you for sharing with us, Heather. Yourself, your wisdom, and your precious time. Thank you, too, my faithful followers and those of you recently stopped by. It’s a pleasure…always.

We’ll get there–TOGETHER! Connecting is the way ahead.

So, please, DO follow Heather and myself. (Can’t end a blog without a shameless plug. LoL. But that’s me keeping it real. I wish you all the same in every avenue that lies ahead. Hugs and happiness in every step.)

WRITE ON!

HEATHER SCARLETT — AN AUTHOR TO READ AND WATCH!

 

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CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS FOOD

Fuel the soul—feed the stomach! A must for writers who need to write.

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MGM in Maryland? Who’d have thought?

Do you feel like you’re in a rut? Spiritual or gastronomical? Well, Divine Providence strikes again. The Grinch and I discovered MGM National Harbor on our way home from Church last Sunday. (Whoever cast the deciding vote to purchase our new congregation digs in Maryland, WE LOVE YOU!) The drive from Virginia is beautiful and smooth. A perfect mental prep for Sunday services. But, and I don’t say this lightly, a man’s gotta eat.

Me, too. And routines, despite tendencies to cleave to them, can get pretty stale.

Looks like a space ship ready to launch!

No more. MGM National Harbor—besides the gambling flash which I try to avoid—has so much to offer. Yes, there’s shopping, nightlife, a sumptuous hotel, and all that goes with that. I’m ALL ABOUT THE FOOD, however, especially with a hungering Grinch who, despite kindness, tends toward the dark side if certain needs aren’t met.

Enter the OSTERIA COSTA:

Osteria Costa at MGM National Harbor is a casual reprieve where guests will enjoy a variety of wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, fresh seafood and Italian spirits. Each day, a fresh assortment of limoncello will be crafted in-house available to be poured neat, or as part of a refreshing cocktail. The wine program will reflect the southern coast of Italy and celebrate vines from the region. Osteria Costa’s vibrant design exudes the class and comfort of the Amalfi Coast with bright colors and rustic touches reminiscent of the picturesque villages clung to the Italian coastline.
The Grinch put in a double order!

You get the picture. And if you’re into Eggs Benedict…oops, I mean Prosciutto Cotta Benedict, then Osteria Costa is the place to go.  Check. It. OUT! Prosciutto to live for (Can’t eat if you’re dead.) The Grinch gives the homemade brioche a double thumbs up. The coddled eggs, molded into delightful little caps, are perfecto. Same goes for the accompaniment of chunky-cut potatoes that are boiled, baked, and fried.

Wow. That’s a lotta prep. Just like grandma didn’t used to make. Mine were Swedish. LoL! But the combo makes for a delicious bite–a tactile delight for the discerning palate according to he who cleaned his plate.

Maybe if I wear shades, my scale won’t know its me!

The caciocavallo cheese curls are like, “snow.” Or so says the Grinch. Being on a high protein diet, I resisted temptation–Divine Providence reminding me that without pain there’s no gain. (Or loss considering I’m keen on dropping a few more pounds.) But I’ll be back!!

But the venture beyond the rut — for spiritual sustenance and good eats — fueled this writer’s soul. It’s an adventure I plan to continue. What fun places to eat are in your backyard? I’d love to know.

Write on!

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CARE AND FEEDING OF WRITERS Writing TIPS

Care and Feeding of Roses: Not Your Everyday Garden Guide

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David Austin Lady of Shalott rose. I love, love, love it!

Do you want to bloom? Reach your peak? Do you want passersby to stop and admire those showy blooms and drink in that intoxicating fragrance? It all begins with proper care and feeding.

That’s right. Authors are like rose bushes, roots dug deep into the ground, a channel of endless potential that can go either way. Beautifully bloomed or bug ridden and burned out.

It’s taken me a long while to adopt this love of rose growing and quoting aphorisms like my mother. But while times change, people don’t. You are what you eat. You do get what you put in.

So authors, please, while our focus may be on that showy novel that delivers everything a reader could want while challenging the market to adopt our unique color, keep the basics in mind.

Try sleeping like a baby — take naps when you need them!
  • Get sleep: Roses don’t produce blooms 24/7. To everything there is a season. Exhausted people can’t write, not their best material. Cranky people DO notice flaws, even those that aren’t there. (The hamster wheel from hell.) So set a schedule to give your mind (your muse) the rest needed to meet demand.
  • Eat: Rose growers fertilize their plants for peak production. A projected 151 BILLION USD will be spent on soil enrichment in 2020. That figure includes far more than rose fertilizer, but you get the idea? If you want results, feed the team. That’s YOU. And I’m not talking caffeine and Cocoa Puffs.
The SUN is our friend!
  • Get plenty of sunshine: Roses need light and heat to produce blooms. Human beings need sunshine to produce Vitamin D. Depression, bone loss and back pain, muscle pain and fatigue are some of the lovelies that may visit those who disregard this basic need.
  • Drink water: Roses need water and so do humans. And while caffeine is my go to for energy, the side effects of premature wilting are all too real. Counter that caffeine with untainted H20. You’ll be glad you did. And you’ll look better, too.
I missed spraying this poor bud and LOOK what happened!!
  • Spray for BUGS: Beautiful roses often attract unwanted visitors, diners that will make a meal of your beautiful bushes. So if you find yourself visited by gnats of doubt, indecision, excessive criticism, please, don’t wait to pull out the big guns. Waiting to attack these issues is like letting a nest of aphids go unchallenged. Yes, the aphids need to eat, but if you let them get a taste for your roses, they’ll never leave. And you’ll be left with a blossoming cautionary tale. So when doldrums strike, recognize, resist, and redirect.
  • PRUNE: Roses are lovely, but wild branches that snag you on the sidewalk aren’t so much. Runway projects that take a writer away from what’s important are a nuisance, too. So reassess on a regular basis. Target extraneous clutter. Look seriously at those items sucking time and energy and ask yourself if they’re worth keeping. If not, cut them out. You’ll grow stronger!
Not my garden — yet! But maybe someday.
  • ENJOY yourself. Roses and other flowers can’t talk. But if they did, I can’t help but think they’d glory in the beauty of existing, especially among their fellows. Talk about flower POWER. So find your tribe and have fun. It’s good medicine.

Write on!

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Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo – DO IT!

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Yes, we’re talking another acronym. One that could change your life, writerly or not.

A Bing search puts it out there:

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which occurs in November each year. An example of NaNoWriMo is the time of the year when a young writer focuses on creating an entire novel within 30 days.

So, Bing thinks you have to be young. At least that’s the chosen adjective. And while the peeps at NaNo do have programs designed to aid the young–that’s younglings–in their creative pursuits, NaNoWriMo is for everyone.

No need to break that down. Everyone means exactly that. (Could be Bing attributes the term young to the beginning writer. But even the veteran author has that spark of youth, otherwise there’d be no sitting down to create that which is new. Young.)

The question is whether or not you want to do it. (See how empowering that is??)

A novel in a month seems daunting. A polished novel absolutely would be as writing is a process. That kind of pressure would send me screaming to the hills, or strapped down and sedated thanks to my loving family who happens to love my cheese staying put and not sliding off the proverbial cracker.

It pays to have keepers ;^)

But NaNoWriMo is a place for the bold, brave, and the why-the-heck-nots to gather and try, for 30 days, to goad, encourage and support one another toward completing a book. That’s a rough draft, people. Spewed out pages organized to the best of one’s ability. The raw material of a finished novel.

Do all get there? No. Do all get published? No. Do all like the process? I’ll let you answer that no brainer.

But like it or not, that’s okay because the idea is to try and subsequently push yourself via breaking up an otherwise freaking scary prospect—that book you say you’re going to write—into manageable pieces. Nano is good for one’s mental health, too. It’s a way for would-be writers to try. Trying lends itself to teasing out what you really want in life. What you’re willing to work for from dreams best left in the ether….if you choose.

That could’a/should’a nagging at 3:00 AM is no fun. So put a sock in it.

NaNoWriMo a great way to form friendships, too. The majority of my critique buddies were discovered via NaNo ventures. And there’s a lot more than writing that gets discussed as the years and NaNos roll by.

Buddy lists built within the program can last a lifetime. And carry you through the rough patches even if those keepers in your life aren’t as loving as they should be. Just sayin’.

Here’s my venture for November 2018:

 

Add me to your buddy list and I’ll be happy to add you to mine.

What have you got to lose? Nothing really except the fear that too often makes us give into those excuses that keep us from some day. But not this November.

Right?

Right!

Plotters and pansters welcome.

Write on!