Journeys of the Heart

An author's journey

Tips for Writers from the GLVWG Conference

The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Write Stuff Conference was this past weekend.  I had a wonderful time networking with other authors and attending sessions on both the business and the craft of writing.  After re-reading all my notes, I thought I’d share a few of the most important tips I picked up.  Here they are in no particular order: 

  1. Stickiness, the concept of enticing people back multiple times to check on you, is the new buzz word in media.  For writers it means providing interesting, engaging content on your blog, website or Facebook page. 
  2. Know your premise.  Now this may not be exactly what you think it is.  Usually when thinking of premise, one thinks of a short summary of the story idea outlining the major goal, motivation and conflict.  Author James M. Frey puts a bit of a different spin on the word premise.  He describes it as 1 – 2 lines that express the arc of the story starting from where it begins to where it ends (sometimes interchangeable with the theme of the book?  It looks like this: Love leads to insanity (Othello) or Alcoholism destroys love (The Days of Wine and Roses)  An author then proves the premise by setting up a step sheet outlining the steps required to move from the beginning to the end of the premise.  This provides the author with a mini-outline as a guide. 
  3. Also from James Frey, 3 of his rules for authors: 1.Read, read, read. 2. Write, write, write. 3.Suffer, suffer, suffer.  He had other rules, but I didn’t go to the pre-conference workshop so I can only share those three. 
  4. Tell your story with passion.  As an author, write stories that you feel strongly about.  That passion and enthusiasm will communicate itself to agents and editors and will likely get them to look at your work. 
  5. Send a book out at least 184 times before hiding it in that box under the bed.  Wow! Are there that many publishing houses?  Anyway, I think the point is that often we give up way too soon.

 Ponder these tips and then go write something. Or send something out to one of the 184 publishers that you missed.


March 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Meet Macie Carter

My special guest today is author, Macie Carter (aka Mitzi Flyte) whose erotic novella, Teasing the Muse was released today by The Wild Rose Press.  Welcome, Macie.  Tell us a bit about yourself and your story.

Kathy, thank you so much for having me as your guest. 

After being published in short stories in various genres, I never thought that my first work with a major electronic/print publisher would be an erotic novella. Writing erotic romance was a stretch for my writing muscles, even though I’d once regaled my writing friends with a very sensual short story called “Dara and the Dragon.” I wanted to see if I could do it again and once done, could I find a publisher.

 In writing erotic romance, the author must pull from her own experiences, what has given her pleasure and, just as important, what has she done to please another. So I started writing with some hesitancy. I decided that “Macie Carter “would be a pen name—a persona—that I would use for this genre.

 Teasing the Muse began as a “what-if” idea . What if a famous writer of erotic romance went through a terrible divorce? What if she gave up on men? What if all of that affected her writing?

The first scene came to me while remembering the many writers’ conferences I’ve attended over the years. “Sit in the bar” is the mantra for those conferences—you never know who you may meet. So I imagined my writer’s editor talking to her while drinking a Cosmo at a hotel bar during a writers’ conference.  The story seemed to take on a life of its own after that.

 I have to thank Tess Gerritsen for the Cosmo idea. I happened to see her (in the bar, of course) with this lovely pink drink at the last New York RWA National and instead of telling her how much I loved her books, I stupidly asked her what type of drink it was. Nuh-duh… So the Cosmo in the opening scene is dedicated to her.

 I knew the story would involve an older woman and a younger man because of the market I was targeting. I’d dated younger men years ago but I’d always been more attracted to men a bit older than myself.  I had to imagine what it would be like for a woman of forty to find herself drawn to a man much younger. For erotica the answer is easy—it’s the sex. But for the romance, there had to be more, much more. What would bring these two people together and then keep them together? I hope Teasing the Muse shows that sexual attraction can be the beginning of a lasting relationship and that love and passion are, indeed, ageless.

 I’m working on my second erotic romance novella, tentatively titled When in Rome, and continue to write short stories and paranormal romance.

Blurb: Teasing the Muse

Popular erotic romance writer, Page Burns, seems to have lost the “hotness” in her writing, or at least that’s what her editor informs her. Is it because of her self-imposed celibacy after a bitter divorce, or because she’s forty and just not interested? When she meets a handsome young stranger at one of her book signings, she decides what she really needs is a muse–in her bed. Fantasizing about the young man is just enough to revitalize some of her sizzling words. Can a forty year-old woman bed a man ten years her junior? Should she even try? But what Page doesn’t realize is that she’s not the only one fantasizing about teasing the muse…

Teasing the Muse – Erotic Romance – Cougar Club – The Wild Rose Press


 Was the empty space in her bed and the new celibacy of

divorce causing her to lose her ability to write her own genre? Should she turn to inspirationals or even those Amish books that covered the racks at every turnpike rest stop?

            “I don’t want to become one of the divorce crazies—the women who hop from bed to bed just to prove they’re still desirable. Sex with the faceless stranger. Hell! I even wrote about it.”

“Your first book. I remember. You wrote it when

you were happily married to Mark.”

Page didn’t say anything. She was thinking about how much Myra had helped with that first book. Page stared at her new manuscript inundated with little yellow slips of paper.

Myra patted the stack of papers. “It doesn’t need

a lot of rewrite, Page,” she said. “The plot and the

characters are strong—your usual. It’s just the…Well, that’s what the stickies are—areas I’ve marked for changes.”

“I get it. I get it,” Page said more upset with

herself than her editor. “I have the hotel room for

two more days. I was going to meet my college roommate after the conference but she called last night to cancel. Story of my life. Good thing I didn’t check-out. Hotel room with room service—so no distractions. I’ll sit in the room and rewrite and rewrite and…”

            An hour later Page was in the hotel’s large banquet room. Twenty long tables had been set up, each table had four authors and stacks of books. Page and three other “name” authors had their own smaller tables. Page’s books sat on either side of the basket of candy kisses and prophylactics she always had at her signings. She no longer needed chocolate and condoms to lure potential buyers to her books, but tradition was tradition and it was her way of promoting safe sex.

            She had just finished signing for one flustered

octogenarian when she looked up into a pair of dark green eyes. A man stood over her, a book in one hand and a hard hat in the other resting on his hip. Page took in his blue work shirt and dusty jeans. His dark hair was long and curled around a handsome face, a face that hadn’t seen even thirty years.


Macie Carter is the pen name of award-winning author, Mitzi Flyte. Teasing the Muse, to be released from The Wild Rose Press on March 26, is Mitzi’s first erotic novella.

Mitzi received her first rejection when she was twelve, many years ago; however, that didn’t stop her from writing and submitting. A member of Romance Writers of American, she’s been the President of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and the Pocono Lehigh Romance Chapter of RWA. When she’s not writing, Mitzi’s the Vice President of Nursing for a nursing home management company. She lives in Allentown, PA with two feline companions who have yet to critique her work.

Mitzi helps Macie with her website/blog because Macie is basically lazy and makes Mitzi do everything.

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Honey, I’m Home

I completed my blog tour for Palace of Dreams at author Autumn Jordon’s blog.  I’m not sure yet how successful the tour was, but I had lots of nice comments and learned how the whole thing works for future promotions.  Later this week I’ll be hosting guest author, Macie Carter whose erotic contemporary, Teasing the Muse will be released.  I hope you’ll stop by and visit with her. 

The spring equinox issue of my newsletter Hopeless Romantic is now available.  It includes a short article on the Language of Flowers and a yummy recipe for peanut eggs for those of you who might want to make your own.  If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so by going to 

The arrival of spring heralds the arrival of the annual spring conferences.  This week I’ll be attending the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group’s Write Stuff Conference.  I’ll have a chance to network with some of my writer friends and promote both Threads of Love which is now in print and, of course, Palace of Dreams 

In April I’ll be off to the Romantic Times conference in Columbus, Ohio.   Since it’s only 7 hours away, I’ll be driving out and rooming with Wild Rose Press author, Tina Gallagher.   This is Tina’s first experience with this large and fashion heavy conference, so I’ll be acting as her guide.  We’ve already gotten our outfits for the Ellora’s Cave, Paint the Town Red Party, something for the Fairy Ball and the Vampire Ball.   With all the suitcases and boxes of promo items, I’m hoping there will be a place for us to sit. 

The blog tour may have ended, but the journey continues. 

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Visit with Kathy Kulig

My blog tour for Palace of Dreams is taking me to Cerridwen Press and Ellora’s Cave author, Kathy Kulig’s blog.  I’ll be talking about dream divination.  So come along and find out exactly what all those dreams of falling, flying or finding yourself naked as you give your big speech mean.  Later in the week, I’ll conclude my tour with a stop by Autumn Jordon’s blog.  In the meantime, I’m also working on an erotic historical romance, entitled, Winter’s End and preparing the Spring Equinox issue of my Hopeless Romantic newsletter.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Visiting Tess Quinn

A few weeks ago Tess Quinn was a guest on my blog.  Today she returns the favor and I will be stopping by her blog as part of my blog tour to promote, Palace of Dreams.  You can find me @ 

I’ll be talking about tips to help you get a good-night’s sleep.  Stop by and leave a comment or your own tried and true method to help you nod off to dream land.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Palace of Dreams Arrives

My erotic futuristic romance, Palace of Dreams arrives tomorrow.  I have three books published by Cerridwen Press, but this is my first book to be published by Ellora’s Cave.  As I mentioned earlier, as part of my promotion campaign, I’m embarking on a blog tour.  My first stop will be, March 5th, at author, Tina Gallagher’s blog at

 For those of you who want a peek at the cover and blurb here they are:


Blurb: Palace of Dreams 

In the dream domes of Cereus Prime visitors can fulfill their deepest erotic fantasies in sessions led by telepathic guides. Among the guides, Inari Rau is a living legend. On her final night as a guide, she receives a request to lead one last dream. During the session she loses control and is drawn into a fantasy of raw, sexual pleasure with her mysterious client. 

Kastel Fane has a mission to complete—give Inari the dream of a lifetime as a farewell gift from her friends. If he succeeds, he’ll receive a hefty reward. What neither expects is the passion that ignites between them or the new psi talent that is born out of their first encounter, an ability that leads to dangerous consequences for both of them. As they fight for a future together, can Kastel prove he is the man who can finally fulfill all of Inari’s dreams? 

Book release date: March 5, 2010

Ellora’s Cave: Aeon

Novel. You can purchase the book at 

Other information about my dream world, my inspiration for the story and some of the interesting facts I discovered while doing research will be revealed as I travel from blog to blog.  So I hope you’ll be a traveling companion and keep me company on my trip.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tour de Blogs


On March 5th, my latest book, Palace of Dreams, will be released by Ellora’s Cave Publishing under its science fiction/fantasy line, Aeon.  Although it’s my fourth book, it will be my first with EC.  The first three are with Cerridwen Press, the mainstream arm of Jasmine-Jade.  Writing an erotic futuristic romance was a new adventure for me, so I’ve decided that to promote the book I needed to explore different ways of promoting the book.  I also wanted to keep challenging myself in this brave new computer world.  To that end I’m embarking on a blog tour.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a blog tour is pretty much what it sounds like.  I’ll be a guest at 5 different blogs over the next few weeks.  At each of my visits I’ll post a brief article (all of them different, but somehow relating to the theme of my book) blurb and/or excerpt, book cover, etc.

 So why a blog tour? You might be asking.  While coming up with a series of brief articles was time consuming, I think it was worth it.  Each blog I’ll be visiting reaches a different audience, so I’ll have the opportunity of reaching people I’ve never reached before and with luck, a few of them will check me out and buy my books.

 So join the fun and come along with me as I embark on my travels.  I’ll be starting with Tina Gallagher next week then off to visit Tess Quin, Kathy Kulig, Bart Palamaro and ending the trip with Autumn Jordan.  I’ll post the blog addresses and dates each blog I stop at so that you follow my progress.

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment