writing romance

OK, for years now, I have been writing non-fiction in the form of newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, newsletters, brochures, website copy etc. for clients, romantic and dog travel guides, all non-fiction.

 

and behind the scenes, in a secret cave somewhere, location not to be disclosed, I have been coming up with names and stories for all kinds of fiction from YA, children books, films, and even romantic comedy novels including the ones based upon my experiences growing up in NYC and my sad excuse of a romantic life.

 

with the romantic novels, I loved reading Jennifer Cruisie, my first love and when she stopped writing by herself, ugh, and I had read all of her older books, I asked a librarian if there were other writers like her out there and she told me about Janet Evanovich and I got into the Stephanie Plum series. Once in awhile I read books about dogs such as Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie series written from a dog’s point of view, mysteries that are funny, too. I got to read one and loved it and then was blessed with being able to review them on my Have Dog blog will travel blog, yay.  da perks da perks.

 

all of this reading other people’s books inspires me and I guess I should also mention Tawna Fenske, who I interviewed on my dog blog before she became a famous author of 13 romantic comedy novels.

 

Now on Kindle, I read and read and read, mostly free or cheap romantic novels and other books about writing fiction, romance, and dog books too.

 

And I guess the point here is that writers LOVE LOVE LOVE to read. And if you want to become a published writer, you should jump on the book wagon, too.

 

anyway, it used to be that I would write a romantic novel and stop after Chapter 3, but NO MORE, people. I am on my way, finally, to writing chapters and chapters of this idea that I had, the story has changed numerous times, settings and characters and plots, but I have at last written maybe seven chapters, did an outline, chapter by chapter and have committed to writing the story, even if I don’t really even know what it is completely.

 

Just get the thing done.

 

when i asked Tawna for advice years ago, she told me JUST KEEP ON WRITING.

 

Persistence.

 

and then once you write, you edit and find an agent and a publisher.

 

That is the process. I have helped others DO IT. But you know sometimes we can do things for other people that we find it difficult to do for ourselves.

 

ENOUGH.

 

It is way over time for me to progress and complete my first fiction book, romantic comedy and GET ON WITH writing more and more and more books.  because of course, you want to see my name on romantic comedy novels, sexy who donits, and books with peculiar characters in strangely familiar situations, don’t you, don’t you.

 

 

OK, I am hot on the trail of finishing. And soon I will obtain an agent who loves to laugh, eat chocolate and donuts and dogs, NO, loves dogs but does not want to eat them, except hot dogs, OK, an agent who eats hot dogs aka frankfurters, the healthy kind, and more importantly a genius who recognizes extreme talent and a brilliant mind. OK, someone who wants to represent this bicoastal, former New Yorker, Californian. Anyone, please.

 

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Rules for Publicity: Do not ask these 7 questions

If you ever want to obtain media coverage, you would be wise to follow the advice below from a PR pro who knows what she is talking about. Since I have been on both sides of this, as a PR pro and a newspaper reporter, I know that this is true. If someone asks questions like these, they are likely to NOT only NOT get any media coverage but will likely be put on a NO FLY list. Busy reporters / editors do not have time with busy deadlines ALWAYS looming on their horizons to deal with people who clearly do NOT know the RULES of the road to PUBLICITY.

Even this dog says NO:

 

As a PR pro who’s been at this a while, I can tell you it’s no secret that there are some things those in our profession do that completely turn reporters off. Yes, reporters can get cranky with us—but sometimes, if we’re honest with ourselves, we deserve it.

While everyone makes mistakes, it’s always better if we can learn from the experience of others so that we might avoid the same missteps.

With that in mind, here are some of the questions reporters DON’T want to hear:

1. Did you get my email?

It’s safe to assume that, unless your message bounced back to you, the reporter did receive your message. So, don’t ask this question. Rather, if you want to follow up, it’s better to phrase it more like, “I’m following up re: X—please let me know should you have any questions or need anything further.”

2. Something came up—can we reschedule our meeting/call?

The answer is – no.

You were lucky to get a meeting in the first place, so the last thing you want to do is to ask to reschedule. Reporters are busy—and their time is extremely valuable—so do whatever you must to make it work. Just make sure your client is there, on time and ready to go.

3. Can we review the story before it goes to print?

Again, no. This isn’t the way PR works.

If you want control over the content, buy an ad. With PR, the story is in the reporter’s hands. If you—or your client—are nervous about what the story might say, remember that journalists are trained to write news pieces and that they have editors to review their work.

4. Will you publish the press release exactly as it reads?

The press release is information you provide so that a reporter can write his or her own story. If they print it verbatim, congratulations—you’ve hit the jackpot. However, this isn’t the norm. You should expect the reporter to write a story based on the information you’ve provided. What the story may say is not up to you (see #3).

5. Can you wait for us to get you that customer reference/product sample/image you requested?

No—no, they can’t. If a reporter has asked for something, drop everything and do your best to get it to him or her—fast.

Media opportunities should take priority over almost anything else you’re doing. In fact, you should be ready to provide what they need before they even ask for it. Anticipate what they may want and prepare it in advance. That way, it’s easy to shoot over that additional piece of information quickly, if it’s requested.

6. Can you use this previously published material?

Generally, no. They want fresh material, especially if you’re writing a contributed article. Don’t try to pass off something that’s already been published, unless you’ve made significant changes—or unless you’ve made it crystal clear that this has already been published elsewhere.

7. Can you get back to me by Tuesday? Otherwise, I’ll assume you’re not interested.

This sounds more like a threat than a deadline—and generally speaking, reporters set the deadlines for us (and their editors set the deadlines for them)—not the other way around. If a reporter is interested, it’s safe to assume he or she will respond when ready. Many times, if they like a story pitch, it will be sooner rather than later. But, it’s important to remember, they set the timeframe.

So, try to avoid asking reporters these questions to get a little further toward building a relationship based on trust and respect with your media contacts. Be the kind of PR pro they look forward to hearing from.

Michelle Messenger Garrett is a public relations consultant, speaker and award-winning writer with more than 20 years of agency, corporate, startup and Silicon Valley experience. She works with clients ranging from small businesses to enterprises such as Adobe and HP, assisting them in crafting and carrying out a PR strategy to help them get the word out, get noticed and increase visibility, prospects and sales.