Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How does one become a romance novel writer?

Hello Reader,

I think that some people consider romance novelists to be of a lesser quality than say murder-mystery writers.  However, I would argue that the nature of romance is about relationship development which in turn means that a good author must really develop the characters.  Not only is plot and setting important, but character development is vitally important.  That takes skill because there is such a need to understand and master nuance.  I think people often consider romance novels to be fluff reading because there is an element of escapism for readers.  I think that undervalues romance authors and takes for granted how hard it is to come up with hundreds of pages of engaging text multiple times.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started reading romance novels while stuck in bed after surgery.  I watched a crazy amount of Big Bang Theory, but I got bored.  I needed to do something else other than just watch TV.  I was an avid reader as a child, but the thousands of pages that I had to read in undergrad and grad school, along with work, sort of killed off my desire to read for fun.  However, this recuperation gave me a chance to rediscover my love of pleasure reading.  In this case, I discovered a different type of pleasure.  I'd read a few novels over the years that verged on romance, but really they were more historical fiction.  I devoured Phillipa Gregory books when she first became popular, and I did read all of Dan Brown's novels, but other than that, I really hadn't done much pleasure reading and really no romance novels.  I decided to give it a try as a type of escapism while I was in pain.  I started out with my local library's online books, but I quickly ran through their limited selection of online offerings.  I then moved to Amazon and started spending a small fortune.  $2.99 here and $6.99 there, and once in a while $9.99.  I stumbled across Kindle Unlimited, and it was life changing! $9.99 a month for an unlimited number of books?  Yes, please!  It has saved me thousands, I kid you not.  I began reading a new novel every two to three days.  Even after I was back on my feet, I was racing through the novels any spare moment I got.  I have the Kindle app on both my phone and my tablet.

It took me several novels to realize that the hero and heroine end up together and live happily ever after.  At first, I was on tenterhooks waiting to see if everything would work out.  Eventually, I started to recognize the pattern, and it was a tremendous relief!  Now, I enjoy seeing how the author will weave all the details together.  I've tried to incorporate some of these patterns and techniques into my own writing.

After reading hundreds of these novels (I'm not exaggerating) and always having story ideas run through my head, I decided to give it a try.  Like I wrote in a previous post, I often have story ideas that develop in my head as I try to fall asleep.  It's like having a movie playing in the background.  I decided to finally start writing them down.  The initial writing went really quickly for the most part.  I found the most work intensive part was the proofreading and editing after I had the first draft typed out.

I started last summer while my husband was out of town.  After the kids went to bed, I sat down at my computer for a few hours each night and just typed away.  I had a plot diagram in my head and knew generally where I wanted the story to go.  I worked on it a little here and there during the day while my kids were at camp and I was between projects.  Then life ramped back up once school started again.  The manuscript was figuratively put off to the side for several months.  Then about a month and a half ago, I decided to resume, or else it was never going to get done.  I really pushed through to get the draft done, and then I needed it edited.  It took two sets of revisions before I felt it was ready for the public.

As much as I would like other people to enjoy my stories as much I do, I find the process of writing to be really enjoyable.  I hope to have some success with this venture, but if nothing else, at least I am finding a creative outlet from an otherwise rather analytic and regimented life.  I started reading romance novels as a form of escapism.  Nowadays, I still love reading them, but writing is also a form of escapism for me.

Check out my book on Amazon and leave a review.  If you have feedback on this post, please comment here, too.

His Highland Lass on Amazon.  The novel is $2.99 for the Kindle and free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.  A paperback option will be available soon.  I'm just finishing the proof review.

Happy reading,


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Celeste Barclay

Dipping my toe in the literary pool

Hello reader,

I have my first book published on Amazon.com.  I have already had a few purchases which is extremely exciting but rather nerve wracking too. Will readers like the plot and characters? Is it believable enough? Is it relatable enough? Simply put: is it good enough?

Hopefully, those who read it will leave reviews. I want constructive criticism if it will help me grow as an author, but I am a bit nervous. Be kind, please!

The book is available through Kindle Unlimited, a service I HIGHLY recommend if you read a lot. It's saved me a large fortune. It is also available for purchase for what I hope is a reasonable amount, $2.99.

I've also built my author page on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and the German Amazon site (Google translate don't fail me now).  I'm still awaiting my ad campaign to be approved and launched.

I suppose I have more than just my toe dipped into the literary pool. I think I'm at least knee deep, if not more. I feel like yelling, "the water's warm; come on in."

There is a very definite sense of accomplishment in seeing your work come up in the search results. Help me boost that ranking. Check out my book and post a review. Comment on this blog, too.

Happy reading, y'all.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Welcome to Celeste Barclay, Author

Hello Reader,

If you have stumbled and clicked your way to my blog, you are a reader of romance fiction.  Or perhaps you ended up here by mistake?  All readers, intentional or just curious, are welcome.  I began reading romance novels while recovering from surgery a few years ago.  I've been an avid reader since I was a child, but I never spent much time or energy on true romance novels until I was forced to stay in bed for a couple of weeks.  I stumbled on the genre as a way to pass the time and quickly fell in love.  Yes, I said that on purpose...fell in love with romance.  Be forewarned: my humor runs from corny to sarcastic and everywhere in between.

But, I digress.  I became a voracious reader of historical romances.  I love history and have always preferred historical fiction.  Now I like a little love and lust with that history.  I've read hundreds of romance novels in the past few years.  I find myself anticipating the story or thinking about how I would have developed the characters if they were mine.  I've decided to give writing a try.  I have done a great deal of professional writing, but it's been ages since I've indulged in creative writing.

I've had an active imagination since I was young and often fall asleep picturing different stories in my mind.  It's like a motion picture in there.  I've decided to put pen to paper, or really fingers to keyboard, and share my ruminations and imaginations.
I've just added my first ebook to Amazon.com.  Click over and take a look.  Please leave a review if you read my novel.  My craft will only improve with feedback and suggestions.  If you're wondering about my first novel, His Highland Lass, check out my book trailer at https://prezi.com/view/durZlo2kHQcuSv4iAHIu/.  Be sure to click all the way through.

Follow me on my Amazon Author Page www.amazon.com/author/celestebarclay.

I hope you enjoy.

Happy reading,