‘I should be ashamed, but I’m so proud of that scene’ and Other Stuff I liked in September, 2020

I’ve been knitting a lot recently to the iWriterly youtube channel by Meg LaTorre, and even though I don’t always agree with every piece of advice, most of it is awesome. I especially recommend this panel—pure, lough-out-loud joy.

I read a lot on writing and publishing in the second part of September because that’s how I deal with editing dread. The two books I liked the most were Irresistible Blurbs by Siri Caldwell and (as of yet on my unfinished list, oops) Writing Myths by Kristina Adams.

Author Interview: Sierra Simone

Befriend your fear. Double ooops. (I’m sharing this because it makes me feel less afraid, with what I’ve, err, done already, and what I’m going to keep doing in my fiction. It’s just weird seeing it out in the open like this.)

14 Freaky Facts About R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Books by Erin McCarthy

To get one thing straight: I do not want to write the way RL Stine writes. (I don’t do horror, you know?) But, growing up in Croatia, his Fear Street was one of the pillars of YA literature, and reading about the writing side of the story is just plain fun.

Rating Romance, a Personal System by Jennifer Crusie

Awesome post; don’t agree with everything, but it’s an awesome starting point for people who are just, errr, starting out writing.

Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels by Lois Beckett

This article. I can’t even say which part had the most impact for me, because there are so many important things in there.

Sierra’s Recommended Reads

I kinda lost it right after this summer because I had no idea what to read next, and then I discovered the page where one of my recent favourite authors, Sierra Simone (yes, again), lists books she’s liked over the past few years (I think). A great place to start with kinky romance, and a huge range of authors I’ve never heard of before!

Courtney Milan’s FAQ

“Nobody else is the same author I am, and that means that the person I most aspire to be is me.”

The day I finally finished my first Courtney Milan (The Duchess War I picked up at work in translation), I continued my Milan high by reading her FAQ. Again. Because, you know. I love me some quality role models when I’m doing something as scary as trying to sell my own books.

Scenes, Sex and Violence and Snark by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Meyer

Feel free to skip the parts marked ‘Bob’. Sorry, but I’m here for the person who wrote one of my favourite sex scenes of all time, and yes, it’s referenced to in the discussion right here. As a side note, I’m a different kind of writer (and reader, too).

Jennifer Lopez Quote by Dean Wesley Smith

Click-bait title, even clickier-bait copy. Food for thought!

I loved The Sugared Game by KJ Charles exponentially more than the first part of the series (and went on to re-(skip)-read Any Old Diamonds in the hangover phase). It’s one of the reasons I’m currently itching to start writing Johnny’s Girls #2. I just love the interbellum period, alright?

The weird thing about another of my precious reads from September, Misadventures of a Curvy Girl by Sierra Simone, is that the series/line has recently started getting translated and published (in hardcover!) in Croatia, but I’m way too impatient to wait for the titles that struck my fancy. But I will be curious to see whether the local publisher picks up this book, too—a polyfi romance with a HEA? It could very well be a national first! (Unless… *crickets*) This book wrecked me with its body positivity and utter fluff.

I’m currently somewhere at the 45% mark with a book from a new-to-me author, Sydney Bell, the third Woodbury Boys romance Rough Trade, and I have to mention it because the style is so refreshing and the story so addictive that, barring any hard limit style issues later in the book, it’s going to be another favourite. (The whole ‘starting from the third book thing completely by accident’ part turned out okay because I feel this is the book for me.)

And yes, after years and years of ‘not a novel with that cover’, I finally caved in and picked up a few Courtney Milan novels and novellas, and pretty much had a lot of fun with most of them. Sometimes, people get popular because they’re good at marketing. Other times, it’s because their fiction writing packs a mean punch. So, if you were one of my fellow sceptics, and you’re looking for fun, witty (and heartbreaking, no lies there) autumn reading, do yourself a favour and check out the mistress herself.

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Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash.