When I first decided to pursue writing professionally, I had a brown, fuzzy dog named Mack. He was a Brussels Griffon/French Bulldog mix.
To say the least, he was an amazing dog. He not only was unique in appearance; he had a heart of gold. It was common to see him watching over our children and one time he alerted us there was a fire in the house.
I had a treat jar in my writing room and a little soft bed for him. He would keep me company over the years of me pursuing this new writing journey.
I started out the first few years writing children’s books. Then I attended a conference and was inspired to start writing historical western romance. So, the years began to pass, my children grew, and my loyal bulldog got older. He died two years before I published, and I think of him often. I’m thankful he kept me company over the years as I tucked myself away in my writing cave, learning the craft and writing my first books.
Here is to all our loyal pets who keep us company as we write, write, and write some more.
There is a curiosity of what authors are "up to" behind the scenes in their writer lives. What is their process? Where do authors ideas come from? How long does it take to write a book? When I first began pursuing a career in writing I was on the hunt for a "magic formula" or "yellow brick road" to lead me quicker and on a straight path to my ultimate goal of publication. To be able to say I was a published author was what I wanted. It soon became clear there was no "magic formula" or "yellow brick road". It was a curvy path full of learning, challenges, networking, friendships, and so much more.
Most authors work a day job, although some work as full time authors. I feel both have its challenges! I wouldn't go back and change a thing, even though I have been working toward my writing goals for ten years now. I will admit, there were a few times I wanted to just push the magical "publish" button.
Instead, I continued to write, write, and write some more. I read romance in my genre and studied books on the craft of writing. It became habit to attend conferences, workshops, and listen to on-line professionals discuss the world of writing. I joined RWA and the local Wisconsin RWA. This was a big move for me and helped me network with people who immersed me further into the writing world. My local chapter has been an amazing group of authors and friends to me. There was something special about meeting in-person with fellow writers. Another asset I had through this curvy path was a wonderful, supportive critique partner I met at the Madison Writer's Institute. I entered contests, volunteered on the Wisconsin RWA board (this taught me so much about myself and the RWA organization), and judged for contests.
There is no "magic formula" or "short cut" for writers to follow. It is about learning your craft and continue to learn as you go. You discover what works for you and what doesn't through trial-and-error, practice, and plain old perseverance. It's nothing to be disheartened about, since as you travel along, you're constructing a solid foundation to build on.
Authors dedicate large portions of their lives to writing. The reality of a writer's life is they put in a lot of hard work creating stories to entertain readers. And author's will continue to write to please readers and full-fill a need to create a great story.
Wishing you all the best,
The release date for my first book, THE BOUNTY'S REWARD, A Runaway Outlaws Novella, will be moved to this Friday, March 27, 2020. It will be available on Amazon in Kindle and print.
This week I launched my cover reveal and it was a big moment for me. I'm thankful to all who have helped me get to where I am now.
I want to give a special thank you to my husband, Dale, who has always stood by me during this writing dream I've been striving toward for a long time. He continues to take on extra work around our household to give me the time I need to write.
And I want to thank my daughter, Drew, and my son, Matthew, for being supportive and understanding over the years as their mother worked toward publishing. What an amazing family I have...I'm so proud!
I would like to thank my parents, Gary and Diana, for being there to encourage me to keep going, especially when things got hard. I'm lucky to have amazing parents like you!
And I want to thank my Aunt Sharon, who tutored me as a young child and encouraged me to read, read, and read some more. How fortunate I am to have you in my life.
Last, but not least, I want to end with a list of people who have inspired me to keep going. I want to extend a special thank you to Aunt Betty, my sister Tammy, cousins Tom and Beth, sister-in-law Jill, my critique partner Janet, my editor Judy at Judy Roth Custom Editing, my designer Elle J Rossi at Evernight Designs, and my author friends from the (Wisconsin)RWA chapter.
I'm thankful for all of you!
This is a recipe my sister shared with me years ago and it has been a favorite ever since. We fondly call it, “Aunt Tammy’s Stuffing”, and every year my husband starts putting in a request for it. I shared the recipe below if you would like to give it a try with your family.
YOU WILL NEED:
*Herb & sage bread stuffing (1 bag)
*1 tube Jimmy Dean sausage
*1 (16 oz.) pack of fresh mushrooms
*Beef soup base
1. Fry mushrooms in a little butter
2. Fry Jimmy Dean sausage
3. Place herb stuffing in a bowl, add cooked Jimmy Dean sausage (drain sausage well) and mushrooms with butter
4. Next make beef soup base (make 3 cups)
5. Slowly add beef base into stuffing (not soggy)
6. Spray cake pan and spray tin foil for covering
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
8. Check and add more beef base if needed
After writing this blog, I’m feeling hungry for this stuffing. I’m going to add it to my shopping list.
Join me for my next “Coffee with Lianna”, which will post on January 3, 2020.
I love reading about history, especially the history of the American West. An interesting historical tidbit I found recently had me admiring one woman’s brave decision.
Molly Kelley was twenty-four-years-old when she decided to follow her husband who had headed to the goldfields.
She purchased a wagon and a team of mules, packed her household belongings, and set out for Montana Territory in the spring of 1864.
Along the journey, she joined a train of eighty wagons. Molly drove her own team across the plains with her eight-year-old and three-year-old daughters at her side.
This amazing story is inspiring and motivational to face our fears head on, even if it seems to be impossible. I have to wonder what her husband’s reaction was when his wife pulled up.
Join me for my next "Coffee with Lianna", which will post on December 6, 2019.
This past month, I visited the Book Corner where the proceeds benefit the local library. I was thrilled to find two Kathleen E. Woodiwiss books. I know I’m not the only one out there who finds her writing legendary.
It was her book Shanna that inspired me to dream of becoming a romance writer someday. I admired how alive the story came on the page as I read about the careening carriage, the team of dapple grays, the grinning gargoyles, and the dark dungeon.
It was as though I had been transported through time! And when a reader experiences a magical moment like this, the effect leaves you up all night until you have finished reading every last delicious word.
The best way a reader can show support to their favorite author is by leaving a positive review on Amazon or any other platforms authors are selling their books.
A short review only takes a few moments of your time and helps the author out in a big way. This also helps fellow readers decide if they would like to purchase the book.
A review can be as simple as..."I loved this book!" And remember not to spoil the book for others by revealing too many details of the story. If you retell the story in your review, it can deter possible readers from wanting to read the book if they already know how it's going to end. This also causes a potential lifetime reader from discovering another favorite author.
Authors appreciate positive reviews and love to hear from readers. So, the next time you read a great book, please pause to spread the word.
Join me for my next “Coffee with Lianna”, which will post on September 6, 2019.
From time to time, I take a moment to reflect where I’m at in my life and where I want to go. During one of these reflections, I read about habits of successful people. You should know I define success not only as financial stability, but also about our journey as individuals and what we give to the world.
As I read, I became aware how discovering what my ten rules for success are, also complimented my journey as a writer. It takes a strong determination to reach our goals as writers. We have days where our “real” life takes over our writing times or days we feel like giving up. Or how about the days you feel as though you’re just spinning your wheels in your writing career. It’s easy to become frustrated if you feel you’re not meeting the milestones you thought you would have already reached.
A technique I developed over time to combat this was to pick out a small or big goal each day to take a step toward my ultimate goal. By breaking up the larger task into smaller chunks, it helps me feel more successful when before I know it I’m able to cross things off my list.
We all reach milestones at different paces and need to forgive ourselves if we feel we should have been farther along our writing path. Taking time out periodically to reflect also helps me keep moving through what I fondly refer to as “my writing adventures”. After all, we have to protect the reason we started down this writing path in the first place. We love to write romance with happily ever after endings.
The following are my 10 rules for success which I follow to keep myself on track.
Life has a way of pulling us off track and I have found these rules help me keep moving forward toward my goals. What are your 10 rules for success?
Join me for my next "Coffee with Lianna", which will post on August 2, 2019.
One of our favorite family recipes is oatmeal raisin cookies.
Years ago, when my children were young, I loved to bake.
When I decided to pursue writing professionally, I found
myself with less time for baking and cooking.
My husband, in good nature mind you, said to me one day,
“I guess I better start learning how to cook so we don’t starve
to death”. I laughed as he jokingly frowned. He did learn how
to cook and does it without complaint. I don’t know what I would
have done if he hadn’t shown me the support he has given
me through my writing journey. I always knew he was there to
take care of the kids and household, while I fervently worked on
learning the craft of writing.
Below is our oatmeal raisin cookie recipe...if you get the urge to bake.
1 package of Crisco Baking Sticks, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
2 cups raisins
Join me for my next “Coffee with Lianna”, which will post on July 5, 2019.