What’s Your Measure of Success?

Here in the Tearoom we are all either self-published or aspiring authors. As such, I know we all think about “making it”. I mean, who doesn’t? In whatever field we’re in, whatever job we do, most of us have a dream of success.

I’ll admit to having grand fantasies of going on book tours and meeting adoring fans who’ve connected with my books in some personal way. I would love to sign books with a flourish and smile at the people as I shake hands and give hugs.

But these things don’t happen for many authors, much less self-published ones who are working on their own tiny budget and limited connections.

So what becomes the measure of “success” as an author? Continue reading

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Helping Disaster Victims by Sharing Stories

Give us this day...This past week I celebrated my *mumbleteen* birthday. In all it was a glorious day of me doing absolutely nothing but exactly what I wanted to. That is to say, reading. I am not a watcher of television (though right now Lost Girl on Netflix seems to hold sway in the brief moments of “what do I do next” in my life). I also don’t subscribe to any news aggregators or websites of any kind. This leaves me blissfully free of any of the baloney political crap that seems to get my ire up in a big damned hurry. The downside, of course, is that it leaves me blissfully unaware of major events happening in the world and I must, sadly, rely on people notifying me, usually after the fact. Continue reading

Working for a Miracle – A Life Lived According to Herb Brooks

“I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.” – Herb Brooks

Miracle

I have a not-so-secret love of sports movies.  The best ones combine real life sports stories with great acting and writing and become inspirational classics.  One of the absolute best examples of this is Miracle starring Kurt Russell.

Miracle is the true story of the 1980 USA Men’s Olympic Hockey team.  This was before the Olympics were made up of “dream teams,” and it was during a time when the Soviet machine trained athletes like they were soldiers. In fact, many on the Soviet hockey team actually were soldiers.  They’d been playing and training together for more than a decade.  They won nearly every game.  They didn’t just win.  They obliterated their opponents.  They were a shoe in for the gold medal every year, and the United States was getting beaten by the Czech B team.  The US Olympic committee wasn’t even looking to win a medal…and then Herb Brooks happened. Continue reading

Why I Craft (And How That Relates to My Writing)

This past summer I had the good fortune to stay with my mother (whom I love dearly and is one of my best friends) and enjoy a relaxing, extended vacation. After a hectic school year, we both needed time off to recharge our batteries.

So as we enjoyed some leisure time by the pool and binge-watching our favorite shows, both of us found ourselves drawn to crafts. She worked hard on knitting and crocheting some beautiful pieces and some functional washcloths. And I decided to create some cross-stitch fan art for one of my favorite shows, the BBCAmerica series Copper.

Home Sweet Bloody Home

Continue reading

Regina Jeffers: Jews in England During the Reign of George III

Regina-270x300The next book in my highly popular and award-winning Realm series contains several Jewish characters. When I started writing A Touch of Love, I was most concerned with portraying the Jewish population as it really occurred at the time. I spent countless hours in research, even setting several of my Jewish friends to the task of finding me volumes not readily available. Georgette Heyer’s Jewish characters were often criticized as too stereotypical. Therefore, I meant to avoid that issue. Each of the books in this series addresses a different issue: family abuse, religious sects, anorexia, etc. A Touch of Love addresses issues of “prejudice” in Regency England among social classes and religions.

Jews in England During the Reign of George III Continue reading

Staying on Task with Tech

In late August, I quit my full-time job as an Administrative Assistant to pursue what I’ve always dreamed of: a career as a writer. I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and going after this “romance writing thing” since 2011. Finally, after years of trying to find my focus, I had a series (The Rookery Rogues, for those of you wondering) that I believed strongly in and a game plan. I would self-publish, thus giving myself the freedom to make my own decisions and go whole-hog on the crazy, untraditionally dark ideas I had in mind.

Writing In Her Journal 1

What I Expected to Be Doing

But quitting my full-time job meant I suddenly had no income until my first book, A Dangerous Invitation, debuts in December. While my husband devoted brings home the bacon with his career in computers, we still needed an extra bit of help. I accepted a part-time job two days a week working as a receptionist in another engineering firm. Getting out of the house for this job keeps me from becoming a hermit, and it keeps my skillset up and gives me a spot on my résumé should I ever decide to go back to full-time admin work. Continue reading

Gearing Up for National Novel Writing Month

It’s almost the middle of October (I know, what?!) which means that soon November will be upon us and with it the insanity of writers the globe over attempting to write a 50 thousand word novel in a month.  It’s fun, crazy, and more than just a little stressful, but National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can be a great way to kick start a new project.

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Attempting Elizabeth was actually a NaNoWriMo novel and though it went through lots of revisions after the month ended, there was a lot of great stuff written during November of 2011.  There’s really something to be said for writing as much as you can and checking your editing brain at the door.  I didn’t get to fully participate last year because I was finishing up AE and working on Atone at the same time so my writing schedule was off, but this year I’m already signed up and logged into the NaNoWriMo forms and my fingers are itching to get started. Continue reading