Friday, March 30, 2012

From Reader to Writer by Natalie-Nicole Bates

From Reader to Writer in three not-so-easy steps!

By Natalie-Nicole Bates

For several years before I even formulated an idea for my first book, I was reviewing books. Being a voracious reader since I was a child, reviewing seemed like the natural choice for me.
When I was still in school, my teacher assigned us students to choose three books each semester and write a few paragraphs about them. This was my first taste of book reviewing! While I was reading and reviewing Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon, my teacher came to me and said, You really should be reading the classics.

To me, Sheldon and Robbins were the Masters.

Book reviewing is an art that requires a special skill set. Book reviewing sites are professionally run, and most require interested applicants to audition. Book reviewers know how a book is put together, they understand the elements of plot, setting, scene, and point of view. They look for flow, for consistency, and most of all, they know how to remain neutral.

So if a book reviewer understands the mechanics of how a good book is put together, can they become writers themselves? Maybe.

About a year ago, I decided to make the leap into writing. First and foremost, I stopped reviewing contemporary and paranormal romance (the genres I was interested in). I did this by my own choice. I now review mostly mystery and inspirational romance.
I already had my idea for a contemporary romance, and I signed up for an intensive six month course in the art of novel writing. This past summer, I sold my first novel, Change of Address, which is now available at Secret Cravings Publishing. Within a few weeks of my sale, I was offered a contract for my short paranormal, Antique Charming, which is now available at Books To Go Now. Back To You followed, which is now available from Bradley Publishing.

I have made successful leaps from avid reader, to reviewer, to finally, writer. But everyone’s journey is individual. Not all reviewers will become writers, not all writers review. When people ask me, how did you know you wanted to review? How did you know you wanted to write? I tell them my truth. For me, it was a burn inside of me that would not let up until I started reviewing, until I started writing. Each reader, reviewer, and writer must follow her own path to personal satisfaction.

Twitter: BatesNatalie

Calling Bloggers! Erotic Romance Madness Hop - May 10 to 14

Love erotic romance? Join us!

The Romance Reviews is organizing an Erotic Romance Madness Hop from May 10 to 14, 2012!

Meet like-minded readers, get new followers! Share your favorite erotic romance!

If you're interested to join, click here to sign up:

See you at the hop!

Meet like-minded readers, get new followers! All while we talk about books that we love.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In Memory of William Neale

This week we lost a great writer, William Neale, who had a fatal heart attack on March 13, 2012. He is survived by his long-time partner, Marty, who is devastated by his loss. To read more, click here:

William's works have been reviewed at The Romance Reviews and garnered 5 star ratings. A New Normal is also nominated in the category Best Contemporary Romance (GLBT) 2011. To vote, click here:


A New Normal:

Always Faithful:


Son of a Ditch:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Love at War and Family Shadows by Viola Russell

I wrote LOVE AT WAR a year after my mother's death.  We'd been very close, and while my grief was fresh, I did very little.  It was months before I went through her things, and when I did, I found letters her brother Russell had written to my grandparents.  I also read those letters her brother Russell and his wife wrote to each other.  The more I read, the more I sensed an obligation to write their story.  Not that the events in LOVE AT WAR directly mirror those faced by my family members in the novel, but the events recounted in the book marked the lives of  a whole generation.  No one lived through that time and emerged untouched.  My uncle Russell never returned to his wife and child.  He is buried overseas with other felled warriors.  My other uncles returned to those they loved, but they all carried the scars of war.  Very seldom did they talk about what they'd seen.  My Uncle Willie lived and soldiered on, but he lost some of his soul in the Pacific.  Charlie lived the fullest life.  His eight children are a testament to his and his wife's hard work and love.  

Nuala, the heroine of LOVE AT WAR, is in some ways very like my mother.  She is loving and loyal to family, but she also is fierce when those she loves are hurt.  My mother didn't serve in the military, but she lived through that era, a time of untold heartache.  She also grew up in grinding poverty but supported herself with pride. When she went out, she always was immaculately turned out even if her clothing wasn't expensive.  When my father died and left us little money, my mother still made sure we didn't want for anything.  Nuala's story isn't my mother's, but her character was born of that same iron will and determination that formed my mother.  My mother felt the losses of those she loved, but she never let life cripple her.  Neither did Nuala.

I also researched the war and time period extensively.  The novel is almost a Valentine to my mother's generation and our family.  I wanted to tell the story of an era accurately and to give an authentic voice to those people who fought the good fight.  Many of them were separated from those they loved by war, as were Nuala and Keith.  Some died in war. Their bones lie in cemeteries at home and abroad.  All were irrevocably changed.

Viola Russell
Twitter: https://twitter/#!/violrussell
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