learn and grow

Opportunities to Learn and Grow

An expanding mind is one that refuses to get old and stale. It is alive with possibility and searches for new ways to stretch.

book title

Create an Awesome Book Title

One of the first steps I take before I write a single word of a novel is to create an awesome book title. It keeps me excited as I journey into a new world.

book review

Why Book Reviews Matter

Book reviews matter because they help readers find a writer’s work and also help a writer to learn and grow from an honest critique.

writing time

Find Time to Write

To find time to write is hard. Our lives are so busy. We have responsibilities that can’t take a backseat. How do we find the time?

writing mojo

5 Ways to Boost Writing Mojo

Ever have a deep fear that you’ve lost your writing mojo? Most writers do at some point. Our ideas run out and we stare at a dark, scary blank screen.

Fulfillment

How to Gain Satisfaction

To gain satisfaction in life, one must be willing to take leaps, get out of comfort, and change. The alternative is remaining unhappy.

3 Steps to Unblock

Instead of freaking out when you hit a creative wall, here’s a better way to unblock…

Here’s How to Unblock:

Step 1. To unblock, realize that every challenge has a solution. 

This viewpoint will get you out of the helpless spiral and looking at things with a fresh eye.

Step 2. Stop doing what’s not working.

One of the quickest ways to unblock is to do something different.

Step 3. If you still can’t unblock, laugh.

You read that right. Simple as that. Laugh. You’ll change your frequency immediately.

Recently, I had a run in with that ‘wall’ when I could not think of a single idea for my next novel, the sequel to Tangerine Twist. (I am giving away a free autographed copy. Comment below to be entered in for your chance to win it.)

Here’s how I managed to unblock:

Step 1. I realized just because I couldn’t unblock in that moment, my writing career would not end (BIG smile). I’d find an idea eventually.
Step 2. Instead of forcing thoughts by sitting in front of my blank laptop screen, I turned it off and decided to clean my house instead.
Step 3. I still couldn’t unblock, so I laughed at myself as I passed a mirror and saw my ridiculous frown.

My mood lifted instantly. I found a way to unblock!

unblock

I celebrated with a walk in the park. No surprise here, once I ventured out on the trail, ideas flowed. My new novel sprang to life.

Sometimes, all we need is a change of scenery to get things moving again.

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr, novelist

I am giving away an autographed copy of Tangerine Twist to celebrate my creative flow with it’s sequel, Picture Perfect. I’ll select a random winner from all who comment on this piece from now until September 13. So……..

Please share with me. How do you unblock? 

Staying True – A Contemporary Romance Novel

lesbian romance novels staying true

Novel number 7, Staying True, is here!

I am so happy to announce that my next novel, Staying True, is now available in print and kindle.

Staying True was a fascinating novel to write because it combined romance, friendship, and many life lessons in its story line. These characters are some of my favorites. Here’s why:

Ruby: her free-spirited ways are refreshing and ultra sexy. She’s someone with whom I wish I could hang out. What an adventure she’d create for sure. And I can’t fail to mention, she’s a masseuse:)

Nadia: her flaws make her so real. She’s someone I could confess my inner most secrets to and never worry she’d judge me on them.

Shawna: oh where to start with her…? I admire this strong, no-nonsense woman. Shawna is a transgender woman who would jump in front of a speeding train to save a friend’s life. Her honesty, courage, and knack for witty redirection make me wish I could have a friend like her in my life.

Grampa: I molded this genuine character right from my greatest role model, my own grampa. His story may be fictitious, but his personality is spot on to the lively, youthful spirit of my sweet grandfather. In this story, Grampa has made mistakes throughout his life, and has seen his fair share of tragedy and disappointments, and yet he still jokes around and is able to share lessons that can change a person in a blink.

Here’s a quick synopsis of Staying True-

Free-spirited masseuse Ruby Clark treasures her independence, refusing to allow anyone to encroach on her sense of control. She succeeds at remaining unaffected until she meets Nadia Chase, a self-assured, sexy new client who sets Ruby’s heart in motion.

The two develop a connection that drips with chemistry. As Ruby struggles to maintain her autonomy amidst the fervent attraction, Nadia reveals a secret that threatens to derail both their professional relationship and their blossoming love.

Seeking guidance and support from Shawna, their transgender friend who struggles with her own issues of self-worth, and Ruby’s grampa, a wise storyteller who raised Ruby in the aftermath of a childhood tragedy, the unlikely foursome embarks on a quest to learn the meaning of love, letting go, and staying true.

Have you had a chance to read Staying True yet?

If so, who is your favorite character and why? What do you feel is the central theme to Staying True?

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

 

 

Benefits of a Book Club

Joining a book club is one of the most effective ways to understand what readers really desire and expect from a novelist. Though, as writers, we often feel guilty for taking time away from our writing. Easiest way to solve this is to make yourself accountable by joining a book club and committing to being an active participant.


I’m a novelist who writes lesbian romance novels. I noticed a major improvement in my own writing when I joined my book club.

 

You’ll gain much as a book club member.

You’ll gain a three dimensional perspective on what is most important in a book. Some of the greatest benefits and writing lessons I’ve learned have come directly from my book club meetings.

book clubJoin a Book Club to Read More

To be a better writer, read more. Writers have doled out this advice to aspiring novelists forever. A well-read writer is someone who is better equipped to churn out words that matter to a story. The more a writer reads, the more he/she will understand the subtle nuances that get readers turning pages.

Join a Book Club to Read Stuff You Never Would’ve Read

You’ll read the good and the bad. Everyone has a different opinion on what creates that urge to flip to the next page when their eyes are tired but their curiosity says full steam ahead. You’ll be exposed to books that will take you on journeys you never imagined traveling on. You’ll read outside your comfort zone, reach higher into the nebulous world of fantasy perhaps, the intoxicating rush of a heated romance, and turn onto the fast lane of action. This will widen your perspective and grant you a front row seat to a whole new world of literature.

Join a Book Club to Gain Insight into the Minds of Readers

We’ve all said at one point, “gosh I’d love to be a fly on the wall right about now.” Well, as a writer, there is no greater gift to insight than that of gaining access to the inner workings of the reader’s mind as she pours over words crafted by a fellow novelist. To understand what readers think about characters, motives, themes, plots, is to understand what makes a great book a great book. What better clarity can a writer possess?

A book club sits you on center stage in front of your readers. The view is spectacular and eye-opening.

Wishing you all the best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

P.S. Let’s keep the conversation flowing… has joining a book club helped you become a better writer?

freewrite

How to get Creative through Freewriting

Freewriting is a great way to spark your creativity. The benefits are numerous.  When I write my lesbian romance novels, I freewrite every time. I do this to clear my mind of clutter and to purposely break the rules. By doing so, my characters come alive and let their voices be heard, my narrative voice comes out of hiding, and the ideas flow. This sets me up for a productive writing session. I set a goal, achieve said goal, and get busy doing what I love, writing my lesbian romance books.

Here are 3 reasons you should freewrite:

 

1. Freewrite to express yourself without rules

Rules and restrictions limit our creativity. When we fret over whether a verb agrees with its subject or whether a sentence is too passive versus active, we unplug the power of imagination. Writing is all about unleashing what’s deep in our minds. When we bind to rules, those powerful emotions that bring a string of words to life suffocate. Set yourself free by eliminating all judgment until you’ve gotten the words out where they belong. The only rule to follow when you freewrite is to set a goal of either time (10 minutes is highly recommended) or space (1-2 pages).

2. Freewrite to remove anxiety and pressure

When I first started writing books, I ran into major writer’s block. I would sit and stare at the white space and panic. I’d try to type a sentence and couldn’t even think of a single word. The pressure of filling white space with a saleable story can kill an idea before it even has time to live. To avoid this, temporarily rethink the purpose of this white space as a safe place where you can jot down any thought that pops into mind. The goal is to remove all pressure by clearing the mind of clutter and ultimately getting the words to flow.

freewrite

3. Freewrite to find your voice

Every writer has a style, but many struggle to discover it. When we freewrite we learn to find our unique style. By freeing our thoughts to spill out onto the screen, we are in essence allowing our opinions and true voice to come through. As writers, when we find our voices, we bring our writing to a whole new level. We uncover feelings we didn’t even know existed.

Whenever I sit down to write my novels, I always freewrite.

Freewriting puts me in a magical place where I set myself free to explore fantasy, reality, and everything in between. Give it a try. You’ll be amazed how freeing it can be.

Wishing you all the best,
Suzie Carr, Novelist

P.S. Let’s keep the ball rolling here… chime in if you will… Do you freewrite, and if so, how has it helped in your writing?