Thursday, September 17, 2009

More from Rob and Miranda


I'm back again today with Rob and Miranda Walker, a husband-wife team of authors who shared some writing advice with us on Wednesday. Today we're going to talk about writing romance and how authors can benefit from the latest ebook technology.

Mary: Both of you have written about the importance of learning how to write romance and incorporate it in your stories. Why do you feel it is important to include romance? How did you learn how to write romance? And is there a book or course you would recommend to other authors to help them learn how to incorporate quality romance writing into their stories?

Miranda: Romance is at the heart of every good story in my estimation. Characters are like people: they want to find romance in their lives. Not sure of any books on the subject or courses on how to write romance except to say Rob writes great love scenes, and I aspire to do the same or at least create an intriguing triangle.

Rob: I learned what NOT to do by reading a book called THE ROMANCE WRITER’S HANDBOOK. Actually it was a complete listing of descriptive phrases for every body part from the nose to the toes--what’s been said and done over and over again--so I tried to avoid these “clich├ęs” in romance writing or tried putting a new spin on them. I use the old wine but put it into a new bottle, so to speak. I love to pair a hero and heroine and let them go at it as in Moonlighting….I think that ought to be an author’s verb—‘Moonlight’ your characters as you would ‘Gaslight’ a character as in Gaslight. The darkness of a dark mystery or even a horror novel can be balanced by an intriguing romantic development between two characters as in DEAD ON, and in Miranda’s WELL MEANING KILLER. I do the same in nearly all my books.

Mary: You have recently been reformatting some of your stories for use with Amazon’s Kindle. Is there anything you have learned the hard way in this process that you can share to help the rest of us as we move into this new format?

Miranda: In my case, my publisher transformed THE WELL MEANING KILLER into a Kindle version, and as it is my only book thus far, I’m taking a wait and see attitude. I have learned from Rob, who has far more experience with it, that the cost of a Kindle book needs be far less than a hardcopy book, or else no sale!

Rob: I have three Kindle titles that HarperCollins put up, and 13 ebooks at Fictionwise.com have been formatted for Kindle sales also. More recently, I have placed eight titles on Kindle all on my own and I have found it to be an easy process with some glitches in step three, converting your file to html format. Directions I followed are found at dtpamazon.com What is great about it is that you are your own publisher, art director, PR person, and you sink or swim based on your choices and not those of some person in a conglomerate who thinks your title needs be changed to sound more like a Stephen King title or decides it ought to be 90,000 words when it is in fact a 140,000 word book. The process is, in the end, liberating. I enjoy the freedom from all the constraints I have faced for thirty odd years.

Mary: What are you currently working on? Will this book also be available on Kindle eventually?

Miranda: I’m working on a sequel to THE WELL MEANING KILLER set in the Kill Devil Hills/Cape Hatteras area. Having fun with it, and I’m confident my publisher is anxious to see it. It will go Kindle if it goes Krill!

Rob: I am revamping some out-of-prints for the Kindle as my next project. I placed three original novels at the Kindle Store: CUBA BLUE, DEJA BLUE, and CHILDREN OF SALEM, plus a number of recycled out-of-print horror novels, a “how to” on writing, a collection of short stories with commentary, and DEAD ON. At the moment, Kindalizing is my top priority along with working with my clients on their books as I edit and ghost write as well.

Mary: You are very giving of your time, rarely asking for anything in return. Why do you enjoy teaching and helping other authors?

Miranda: Pay it forward is just how I operate. I’ve seen such generosity in other mystery authors and have been the recipient of it. How can I be otherwise?

Rob: Ahhh…the teachable moment, and I am a born teacher. What can I say? Miranda’s and my blogs and sites are all about sharing the knowledge and know how, skills and tools, to become successful. The only time I charge for it is when a client seriously wishes for me to copy edit and make developmental changes or suggestions, or to ghost write, and this is done at way under market costs.

Mary: Thanks to both of you for appearing -- in print, at least:)-- on Cicero's Children. I'm sure all my readers have benefited from your knowledge of the writing business.

Here are Rob and Miranda's bios with links to their websites. If you enjoyed reading what they had to say Wednesday and today, I hope you'll visit their websites and check out their books.

Robert W. Walker is a graduate of Northwestern University, and the NU's Graduate Masters in English Education program. While born in Corinth, Mississippi, Robert grew up in Chicago, IL, where he began writing his eleven book Instinct Series and four book Edge Series. Rob most recent original work appears at the Kindle Store on Amazon.com, Children of Salem and Dead On, and in traditional publishing Dead On. Rob can be found online at www.robertwalkerbooks.com and in all the usual places where one finds writers online.

Miranda Phillips Walker is an RN and ER Nurse with eighteen years experience in the field. She penned her first novel this year and it’s garnering rave reviews. Miranda did her nursing education in Baltimore where she has set The Well Meaning Killer featuring FBI Detective Megan McKenna. The novel is available in print and on Kindle at Amazon.com. You can find Miranda at www.mirandaphillipsbooks.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and other online homes.

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