Author Archives: KD Fleming

Romance Fiction’s Light Grew a Little Dimmer Today, But the Stars Gained an Extra Sparkle

Gwyn Ramsey was a great lady. She battled cancer several times and overcame the challenge. Sadly, this time it was stronger than she was, and it won the battle. But whether Gwyn was winning or fighting as the underdog, she still fought. She has a friend who has been with her in this traveling journey of promoting their books and having a great time on those road trips.

Her love and her light shined on every one. I never saw her frown or admit defeat. She will be the only lady in heaven  with an 0versized purse big enough to hold her laptop. She’ll have to go electronic because I don’t know how scarce paper is up there.

So, if there is a star twinkling with a touch more sparkly that the others, it is probably one of her road trip hats glinting off the sun as it sets on a life lived well.

Gwen, you were wonderful and exciting and you knew how to have fun. All of TARA has faded to a little gray without you.

You are missed and we love you. You, Fine Lady, made a difference  in all of us.

The Firebirds are Talking About Their Inspiration

Ever wonder where writers get their ideas? Today some of the Golden Heart finalists are telling what inspired them to write their GH manuscripts. Fun read!: http://www.ghfirebirds.com/dear-firebirds-sept-12th/

Friday Fiction Fun with the Firebirds

The Firebirds are stirring it up today with some fun on Fiction Friday. Stop by and read our quick part 1 of Another Time–an original short story where you get to decide what happens next. Come on over and cast your vote, we won’t know what you want to see happen with Olly and Nick without your input.
http://www.ghfirebirds.com/fiction-fridays-another-time-part-1-2/

I know my posts are directing you over to our group site, but, well, we are so pumped about this new opportunity to reach out to people who enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling you get from reading a happily ever after. Make us your daily dose of “aaahhh” and you won’t regret it.

We’ll announce the winners of the Starbuck’s gift cards this weekend in appreciation for helping us make this the greatest blog launch ever.

Can’t wait to see you there and find out who you want to walk in the door. 

 

 

 

 

Featured on The Firebirds Website today: www.ghfirebirds.com

Dear Firebirds:

How do you discover new authors?

www.ghfirebirds.com

This week is our launch and we’d love to have you stop by and share with Kat ways you discover new authors or check out how some of us and our friends find these debut gems.

3-2-1 FIREBIRDS YOU ARE CLEAR FOR TAKE-OFF

 

Yay. I am so excited. Today, the 2012 Golden Heart finalists launched their shiny new website. Come on over and meet everyone at www.ghfirebirds.com

We are going to offer so many fun and exciting things. We’ll be talking about favorite books, favorite heroes, favorite first lines. We’ll offer advice in a “Dear Firebirds” feature, and the one we are all so proud to include is Fiction Fridays where we start a story and let you, our readers, vote on the next turn in the story.

So, come on by and say hello. We can’t wait to see you.

 

God is Good

I’m not just saying that because my life appears all rosy and perfect right now–I finaled in another contest at the chapter level with my second manuscript. But that does help keep me smiling. I have issues and crises of faith, and temptations to lose my temper assail me just like you.

But if we can put our trust in Him before we get out of bed each morning, then we will have a day filled with His presence and His assurance. We may still encounter a snag or an unhappy person, but we won’t do it alone. And with God walking beside us into battle, what else do we need?

Be brave. Be strong. But be faithful first and the rest will be easier.

He is always with us. We are most richly blessed.

Oh My! Part 2

Thank You Everyone

Me, after being named RWA 2012 Golden Heart Winner in the Inspirational Category. Thank you Joni for capturing the moment.

I was so stunned when I received the call from Maggi Landry on March 26th letting me know I had finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest.

And I was shocked when they called my name as the winner for the category on July 28th. I already counted myself a winner just for finaling. That was a true validation that all my hard work and writing had not been for nothing. That this dream could come true, but some time in the future–way in the future after this year’s winner was annouced because I had read at least one of those stories that was my competition and knew how great it was. Besides all three of the others had sold and I hadn’t. (But I also hadn’t submitted to an editor yet either.)  There was no way I would win. It was just insane.

Well, insanity must have ruled the night–at least in the inspirational category for the GH.

Everyone was so kind and warm and wonderful. It was like I was among an entire group of winners, because that is how I see each one of my fellow Firebirds. (Taking flight August 20th– www.ghfirebirds.com)

It is an honor to win my category and it is a privilege to call these fine women my sisters. We have forged a bond over the past four months that distance (all the way down to Australia and over to Hungary and India) nor time can erode. We will survive, we will encourage each other, and we will soar higher than anyone thought we could–straight to the bestseller’s lists all over the world.

Thank you everyone for sharing in this amazing dream come true. It was the most magical night of my writing life. I will treasure it always.

Tribute to Fathers

I am the fourth of five children. My father passed away over fifteen years ago. I miss him. He taught me something when I was little that shaped my life forever. (And despite the first three siblings’ beliefs, I am not spoiled.)

He taught me that I have to do what I believe in my heart is right and fair. And that sometimes standing up for what I believe is fair can put me in a spot where I might suffer repercussions. But the thing I admire most about learning that lesson from him, is that as my father, he could have easily said “because I said so” and that would have been the end of it. Instead, if I questioned something he told me to do, or questioned him about the fairness of a decision he made, he never got angry. In fact, sometimes he sort of got a sardonic look on his face that said, “I created this monster.”

And he did. So thank you Daddy for teaching me to stand by my convictions and for not making me dig worms so you could go fishing if I didn’t get to go too. I still love you.

To all the dads out there, thank you for the lessons you take the time to teach your children. You really have no idea how deeply those lessons shape their lives going forward whether you remain with them in body or spirit.

And to all of you children out there, regardless your age, if you are blessed to still have your dad with you, let him know how much he means to you this week.

Happy Father’s Day.

 

How To Write A Blurb in 6 Steps

When I needed to know how to write a good blurb for my stories in the Sparta series, I had a hard time finding specific helpful hints on how to do that on-line.

*One Caveat I will offer, it is usually easier to write the blurb before you’ve gotten very far into the manuscript because it keeps you from getting “lost” in the details. But write it when you need to and go from there.

Definition of a Blurb: A blurb is the back cover “teaser” that lures a reader or an agent/editor into wanting to buy/read your book.  Your blurb can usually be used as your pitch in your query letter or when you are doing an actual face-to-face pitch session with an agent/editor.

A blurb contains the overall premise of your story without giving away specifics.

Homework for you:  Visit a bookstore or go on-line and find 10 books that are within the same subgenre as your story. Read each back cover blurb. Count the # of words. Total the number of words from all the blurbs and divide  by 10. This gives you the average # of words your blurb should contain. It is a guide–not a rule. But if you look at the blurbs of those books, it will give you an idea of what your blurb should include and how long to make it.

A blurb is not a “just the facts” recitation of the highlights of your story. The blurb should be written using the same tone/voice that you use in your story–so don’t even think about getting someone else to do it for you. And no, writing the blurb is not easy–Trust me.

1. You know the average word count. Stick as close as you can to it.

2. You have 2 choices on POV here. You can go for either the hero or heroine‘s POV or you can tell the blurb in both of their POV’s.

3. Define your character. (not their name or how they look.) WHO are they? ex. Josie is a scientist with OCD, raised by hippie parents. Paint a picture of your character by word choice and remember you only have a limited # of words to use for the entire exercise.

4. What does your character want?

5. Why can’t they have it or who causes them to not be able to have it?  Usually this will be the other main character.

6. What can these characters lose if they can’t resolve their differences?  This is the theme of your blurb. Heroine has to learn how to let go and trust others while the hero has to learn patience or that there are other things in life more important than the goal he started out trying to attain at the beginning of the story.

Word Count on Blurbs–Not etched in stone, just a suggestion.

For a 70,000-100,000 word story, word count of the blurb can be up to 300 words (again, check out blurbs of actual books within your subgenre).

For shorter fiction the word count can run from 100 to 250 words. (If you err on the side of more, make sure each one of those words is powerful and necessary. Otherwise, the blurb won’t read as tight and descriptive.)

For examples of blurbs in the 200-250 word range, take a look at my page titled My Stories on this blog.

I hope this post is helpful to you and saves you some of the angst I experienced when I was looking for direction in how to write blurbs.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you found this post useful. And let me know if there are other areas of craft that you would like to see addressed here.

Thanks and happy writing.

 

 

 

Not Everyone Is Your Friend: Networking vs. Using– Find A Happy Place

In life, not just the writing world, but families, jobs, social settings, even church–not everyone is going to be your friend. They may ‘act’ like they like you, when in fact, they are sizing you up to see what use you can be to them.

There is a huge difference between networking and using. Networking, to me, is making connections with people who have similar interests and goals as me. Our connection allows us to form a support group for each other and if we hear something that might benefit someone we’ve connected with within our network ( and networking is a wonderful way to make new friends) we pass it along in an attempt to help that person. Here’s the slippery slope:  If you are passing that information on with the idea that now that person ‘owes you’, you’ve just used them. You may have helped them, but it wasn’t with an altruistic purpose that you helped them. You were creating a marker that you expect to collect on at some later date–when it benefits you.

I simply like to help people. It makes me feel better that I’ve done something for someone and maybe lightened their load. I’m not obsessive about it and need to do it to validate myself so I know I have a reason for existing. I just genuinely like to help people. And if I help someone, I don’t do it thinking they owe me anything. I do it because it helps them and I know that by helping my fellow-man or woman, God sees me doing that and he will take care of me when I have a need, because I’m being obedient to his commandments.

I don’t limit how he meets that need. He’s God. He knows the best way to help me. And for that reason, he sends some pretty amazing people into my life that I know have made me realize something important about myself because I met them. I’m thankful that he does that and I’m so thankful that I get the chance to meet these wonderful people, and if I’m truly blessed, I can call them my friend.

Why am I writing this today?  Mostly, I’m dealing with a rather big happy-emotion drainer in my personal life and I’m reflecting on the good things I have so I don’t get sucked into the ugliness of a situation I have no control over. Note I claim no control over the situation. I have complete control over me and my  thoughts. Hence, the ruminating.

If you saw the movie “Finding Nemo”, there is a scene in the fish tank where the Starfish suctions herself to the upper corner of the tank and chants “find a happy place, find a happy place.” That’s me. And my happy place is immersed in my writing and the wonderful people who make up the world of writing and those within it that I can proudly call my friends.

Thank you for giving me a happy place to go to when things in my life aren’t as rosy as I’d prefer.

 WHAT DO YOU DO TO RECOVER FROM A HAPPINESS-STEALING ENCOUNTER?

 

Kay Hudson

Reading, Writing, and Rambling Through Life

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