While writing is a singular thing, input and brainstorming with like-minded spirits is not only enjoyable but mind expanding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a plot issue that I couldn’t see my way through. At times, it takes an objective viewpoint, someone who isn’t tied to the story or characters to get me out of the weeds and into ‘the light.’
I have three close writing friends that have become my writing partners. We eagerly read each other’s manuscripts, brainstormed when we wrote ourselves into a corner and talked each other off the ledge when we wanted to give up and burn the pages. We are a strong but mighty group. Each of us focused on a different sub-genre. This isn’t usually the way a critique forms, but remember, we were friends first. For our group, each author brought a different strength ranging from conflict identification, point-of-view development, character growth, and voice. Their insight worked as well for my medieval romances as it did for Lita Harris’ women’s fiction, Emma Kaye’s paranormal romances, and Nicole S. Patrick’s military romances.
Once our stories were polished we each queried agents and editors, pitched at conferences and cheered each other on. We celebrated our publishing successes with wine and chocolate.
We wanted more. We enjoyed working with each other and decided to augment our writing by self-publishing short stories. With the help of Julie Rowe, who taught us the art of short story writing, we put together our first anthology. Because we each write in different genres we decided that some ‘thing’ needed to tie the stories together. We decided each story had a keepsake. When we were finished, we proudly titled our work, Timeless Keepsakes and published the Christmas anthology November, 2013.
Project Delivered! The thing was, we had such a great time working on this project that we decided we wanted to do it again. We got a better understanding of the industry and saw that our diverse sub-genres in one book were outside the norm.
We decided our characters would all meet in a specific place so we could mention them in each other’s stories. While our stories are individual and the characters in them the author’s, this format required us to work together— closely. We bounced scenes and characters off each other. For me, I had to develop a contemporary voice.
Our second book, Timeless Escapes was great to work on. We met at Nicole’s house and over homemade crumb cake, wine and chocolate we each developed our stories. We looked for places where we could stumble upon, meet up or encounter each other’s characters.
While we couldn’t always get together we developed a weekly Hangout call and at any time someone would reach out to do sprints (we used Chatzy.com)
After the fifth anthology we found we had difficulty keeping to the short story word count. Our characters had more to say. Writing novellas was our next step.
With our loosely connected stories, we thought a small town setting would work well and created Havenport, Rhode Island, a Newportish type of town. This project has been awesome from creating a map of Havenport to Candy Apples, the town gossip who announces each of our stories.
We’ve grown as authors over the three years and as business women. We realized we needed to manage the finances and have an equal stake which led to the development of our business, Timeless Scribes Publishing LLC.
As equal partners, we each brought our expertise to the company, Emma our production officer and proof reader, Lita our financial officer, Nicole vendor management officer, and me marketing officer.
The company is an outlet where each of us can self-publish our own books. We work off a contract with the company and get royalty statements.
Our newest book is a collection of novellas. The stories all take place in Havenport and each one has a ghost just in time for Halloween.
Published: October 25, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A multi-author romance novella boxed set.
Get the latest with Havenport Herald’s very own gossip queen, Candy Apples.
Gossip with a snarky, tart bite…
Ghosts Take Over Havenport!
Not real ghosts, don’t be silly people! Halloween is right around the corner and folks are gearing up for the annual Halloween ball at Havencroft Manor. I know I have my costume all picked out, how about you? Let’s hope Mrs. X can come up with something new this year, she almost split the seams of her Naughty Nurse costume last year. Yikes!
The Witching Hour will soon be upon us—anyone think Havencroft Manor’s most famous dearly departed will stop by for a visit? Such a haunting tale of love and betrayal makes this gossip columnist stand up and take notice. Keep reading, and we’ll take a stroll down memory lane to find out all the juicy details.
The room above Serendipity is open for business. Looks like they kicked off rentals with a séance on behalf of our favorite philanthropist. Rumor has it, he has a ghost problem. Some say he’s trying to get rid of the problem, while others are convinced he’s trying to bring The Ghost of You back to life. With the Goddess’s help, I guess anything’s possible.
Sorry, ladies, but looks like our hunky veterinarian may be off the market soon. A certain divorcee was hired to spruce up his bachelor pad, but from the look of things, my money’s on them turning it into a family home instead. Should be cozy with their latest rescue dog and the soldier’s spirit that tagged along. So long as A Spirit’s Bond doesn’t stand in their way, should be fun to watch.
They say the new widow in town has a way with ghosts. In fact, one may have followed her into town. To help or hinder? Hard to tell. Maybe the ruggedly handsome carpenter fixing up Havencroft Manor will find a way to help out a Kindred Spirit.
Come to think of it, maybe I spoke too soon about those ghosts.
Don’t forget to stock up on candy and have a Happy Halloween!
Add to Goodreads
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Writing with the Timeless Scribes, Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.
Social Media Links:
Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com
Personal Blog: http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie
We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word!