Writing fan fiction was the best way for me to figure out how to tell a story. With a set group of characters to build from, rules of the world, a predetermined setting and style, I didn’t have to do any of that work myself. I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, I just got to take it for a spin. It was like playing with someone else’s toys and not having to do the work of cleaning them up afterwards. I could make up the story, intertwine the characters, and focus on their struggles without having to make up the parameters of the world while I did it. […]
One of the things I love most about reading and writing is the power of words to invoke change. Stories can inspire and move people to action. Not that every book has to be deep and soul changing. Even a funny, fluffy book can leave a positive message. I just finished a light-hearted Christmas themed romance that made me think about the importance of family and living for the moment.
When I began writing After All, I had no idea the main plot would lead to a secondary story about a pregnant teenager, Whitney, who came from an abusive home. The first two books in my Warriors of the Heart series are emotionally driven, and I wanted After All to deliver the same deep feelings. After I finished writing the story, I was left with a longing to help children […]
Today I want to discuss something near and dear to my heart, the feminist hero. How often we’ve read the alpha male, the alpha-hole, the beta and several other male character archetypes— I can say I’m drawn to alpha’s (swoon). As I started on this writing journey I believed my future was in writing alpha males, typical to the ones I’d read in the past. The problem is my heroes were never going to be true to their contemporaries.
They aren’t always beta or alpha, and it appeared they fell somewhere in between. Rough and tough when they needed to be, sensitive to their feelings, defenders of those bullied or under attack, and often found themselves doing the opposite of what other males in their life tell them they should do.
I essentially […]
It is amazing how revealing and enlightening funeral celebrations can be. Long-held secrets may finally be shared. The truth of a particular situation is told. Long-simmering resentments are aired, or forgotten. Memories are resurrected. The nature of love is revealed.
I experienced all of these things at my father’s funeral in 2012. These revelations brought new context to my entire life. The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen is my effort to synthesize what I thought was true about my life and what I learned was true about my life, my parents, and their love story.
My father was the typical small town football star whose ticket out of Cartersville, Georgia was a football scholarship. My mother was a debutant wanna-be with captivating looks and a sense of herself. They met in the fall of 1956 at the Fall Football Banquet […]
Hello AAR! It’s release day for Navy SEAL Rescue, the second book in my Team Twelve series. This story features an Iraqi doctor heroine and a Navy SEAL/mountain climber hero. They team up for a daring journey across the Zagros Mountains.
I’ve always loved a rugged, outdoorsy hero. Lately I’ve been attracted to wilderness settings more than ever. I compiled a list of my recent favorites featuring mountains, climbing and extreme adventures.
Lessons in Gravity by Megan Westfield
Westfield is a new author to me and a gem of a find. Her gravity-defying hero is a free solo rock climber, which means he climbs without ropes. No ropes, on Yosemite’s highest granite walls! The heroine is an aspiring filmmaker hired to […]
Open any novel, and you’ll probably see this disclaimer-This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
While most writers will deny that any of their characters are based on actual people, I’m here to tell you, they’re not being entirely honest. I’m not going to lie to you-I admit that one of the secondary characters in my new contemporary romance, Barreled Over, is based on my husband’s grandfather.
When I outlined Barreled Over, the first book in my new Trinity Distillery series, I had no intention of creating a character based on Grandpa Mike. But his appearance is no coincidence. Let me tell you how it happened…
For me, it seems as if it’s been ages ago. The fact is, I tend to be a bit of a homebody, and it’s a wonder that I ever get out with my friends. But once we’re all together, I ask myself why we don’t do this more often—dinner, drinks, maybe even some shopping—to reconnect. Family, work, home all make the top of the priority list, don’t they? That is often our reality.
In romance novels, however, girlfriends are always a huge part of the story. They are the glue that holds the heroine together when she feels that her world is unraveling. They are her cheerleaders for her new relationship, encouraging her to dive in and love without bounds. And they are the first ones to embrace her when […]
Let me explain. The fall of my sophomore year of college, a guy asked me out. He was athletic and funny, crazy about sports and always ready with a smart remark—basically my complete opposite. He was also a graduate student in the Harvard Mathematics Department, and he had taught more math than I would ever learn. I wasn’t sure what to expect—frankly he was a little intimidating. He had helped me with a few problem sets and I thought the “date” might be his attempt at telling me I should consider a new field of study, after seeing how I cursed at everything topology.
My friends told me to go for it. Boy, were they right.
It’s 100% true that the sexiest part of a man is his brain. We went on dates to the […]
Dreams. The stuff some reality is made of.
My name is Leslie Hachtel and I am the author of The Dream Dancer. So many times, people ask me where the idea came from. Well, this idea began percolating years ago.
I have always found dreams fascinating. Interpretation of them varies, depending on the source, but what happens when my eyelids flutter and I am immersed is at times amazing, scary, enlightening.
Some believe dreams foretell the future and in times like these, when earthquakes and hurricanes and fires ravage the earth, many are desperate to know what comes next, perhaps hoping their night images will give them some idea what will happen in their lives.
Dreams have always intrigued me. And I wondered…what if I could enter the dreams of another? What would I do with such a power? And so […]
I think I was probably always a bit of a worrier. When my first baby was born, however, the worry kicked into high gear. And when my second baby was born, maybe it got a little bit worse. And then, it became enough of a thing that I suspected it was more than what most people dealt with.
I’ve slowly learned to manage it, but I especially had to come to terms with it when I was writing Worst Case, my new YA romance, just released in January.
Who suffers from anxiety, and then decides to write a book about an anxious daughter and her VERY anxious mom?
Me, I guess.
Maybe some part of me thought it’d be a great way to exorcise the anxiety demon. And it has helped, I think, because I, really, in the grand scheme of things, have […]