Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Glamorous Life of a Writer—Not!

Author Cara Marsi

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I learned to read and discovered the magical world of books. When I learned one of my favorite authors, Robert Ludlum, owned a villa in the Caribbean and wrote from his terrace overlooking the water, I was surer than ever I wanted to be an author. All writers were wealthy and lived glamorous lives, right?


Some authors do have houses in exotic places, and that’s wonderful. But the majority of us have a different reality.

Rather than looking out over the turquoise sea and white sand when I write, I face a small rose garden from my office window. Pretty in spring and summer with the roses blooming. Winter? Not so much. The most exciting thing I’ve seen was a fox burying a dead squirrel under a rose bush. Glamorous, right?

Why do I keep at it? Why do I write if the monetary reward isn’t spectacular?

I’m compelled to write because I love the romance genre, love the written word, and I crave happy endings. As a child, I made up stories in my head, and those stories were romances. I started reading Gothic romances, then historicals. I loved them all.

When I was in my forties, a friend and I traded Harlequin romances. One day we looked at each other and said, “We could write these.” What na├»ve fools we were.

It took ten long, hard years of writing, learning the craft, attending conferences and workshops before I sold my first book. Writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the most rewarding.

Since that first book, I’ve published close to thirty novels, novellas, and short stories. For a few years I wrote short stories for the Confession magazines. I’ve published with traditional publishers, but now I’m an independent author and I love the control over my career.

Brandywine Brides
My latest story is one I’m especially excited about because it’s part of an anthology with six close friends who are talented authors. We call ourselves “The Writers Who Lunch.” We’ve been meeting for lunch for several years. A few years ago, we began talking about doing an anthology together, centered on one family through generations. My contribution is “We’ve Only Just Begun,” a Vietnam War era story.

“Brandywine Brides: A Blackwood Legacy Anthology” is available for pre-order now at the special pre-order price of $0.99.

One Family – Seven Generations – A Legacy of Love

Franco's Fortune by Cara Marsi

Almost three centuries ago, a Scottish convict was sold into indentured servitude in Philadelphia and given a second chance at a life far from the country of his birth. In the years since, the farm secured by Finlan Blackwood’s efforts would grow and thrive in the Brandywine River valley just as his family and descendants did. Today, Blackwood Farm is one of the largest and most successful farms in Chester County. But it took the sacrifices and best efforts of each generation to make it so.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Why are romance novels so popular?

Author Christina Tetreault

Whether a sweet contemporary or a steamy historical, romance is in my opinion the best genre out there. By why is that, you may be wondering?

Romance novels unlike other types offer you a chance to fall in love with the characters while they fall in love with each other. Despite whatever events occur during the novel, you the reader know that in the end there will be a happy ending. And everyone loves a happy ending.  Didn't all of our favorite Fairy Tales end with “And They Lived Happily Ever After”. 

I also believe that romance novels are so spectacular and popular because there are so many types of romance novels available.  Readers can find everything from a sweeping historical, to a sweet contemporary or a unique paranormal.

Every romance readers’ journey and tastes are different, so I am going to take a minute and tell you a little about mine. 

In His Kiss by Christina Tetreault
An avid reader and writer since about the age of 10, I discovered the world of romance novels a little late.  I picked up my first romance novel A Gentle Rogue by one of my all time favorite authors, Johanna Lindsey during my freshman year of college. I was immediately hooked.  Soon I found myself scouring the bookshelves at Walden Books and Walmart looking for another great romance.  In no time I fell in love with other historical romance authors like Julie Garwood, Julia Quinn, and Hannah Howell.  Not long after that I discovered great contemporary romances by authors like Jessica Bird and Brenda Novak.  Next I found the whole paranormal world of romance by authors like Lynn Kurland and Jessica Andersen.

Today I read almost entirely romance novels from various sub-genres depending on my mood. 

In addition to reading romance, I began writing them around the time I got married.  For me it was just a natural progression.  Besides what could be better than writing about two people meeting, falling in love and living happily ever after?  Nothing, right?  My first romance, The Teacher's Billionaire came out in March of 2012 and I never looked back.

While getting published was always a dream of mine, it never would have happened without the support of my family and other romance authors.  I don't know about authors from other genres, but those who write romance are the best.  They are supportive and giving.  They are always willing to offer helpful advice or a kind word.  And I am thankful to every romance author I have worked with along the way.

Thanks to all the support and great friends I have made along the way In His Kiss the fourth novel in my series Love On The North Shore released March 31 and I am currently working on tenth novel in my series The Sherbrookes of Newport.

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