Author Archives: mbm8377

Tears of a Clown – Award Winning!

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I’m excited to announce that my new and improved cover for Tears of a Clown, created by the fabulous Mallory Rock, won a Gold Star award this month from the Book Designer.

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The judge commented on it as well: JF: Love the playfulness and clear communication of this ebook cover, and the many little touches that make it work. ★

Mallory deserves an award just for putting up with my constant changes! Haha but she did a great job and I’m very happy with the result. Glad to see her getting recognition for her hard work.

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up

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keep-calm-and-don-t-beat-yourself-upAs last stated, life has gotten very crazy lately: a move, family issues, being sick, etc.  The writing has come to a complete standstill.  I haven’t attended my writing group in the past couple of weeks for several reasons, not all of them good. Sales have slowed a little and all these things together were starting to weigh me down.

I had to take a step back and look at all that’s been going on.  It really has been a lot and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth it to beat myself up over it.  I may have consciously chosen to not write at times, but unpacking boxes or unwinding with the boy and watching TV has its place too, to keep me sane and get me to a healthier place.

Just because you take a break doesn’t mean you’re never going to get back to it.  Because writing isn’t what pays my bills, I don’t have to feel guilty about not putting more time into it at the moment.  I’ve got tons of stories to finish and more ideas brewing, so it’s not like I’m going to abandon writing, but I’ve sternly told myself that a break is okay and there’s no need to compare myself to others who are churning out several books a year and constantly writing, writing, writing.  I am myself and no one else. I have other needs that have to be taken care of in order to be able to focus on writing again.

Don’t feel like taking a break is giving up.  It’s just recharging your batteries and clearing your mind.  It’s letting the ideas churn and grow before those voices in your head are so loud you have no choice but to get back to it. It’s taking care of yourself.  It’s not a bad thing and it’s not failure.

What’s Going On?

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As some of you may have noticed, blog posts have not been as consistent as they should be lately. I apologize for that and will work on getting back to normal, but life has been and is going to continue to be crazy and stressful and emotional for the next couple of months. I’d rather not go into detail at this time about all that’s going on, but I hope you guys can stick with me through it until things settle down and I can get back to more regular posting.

I appreciate your patience and feel free to use the blog or other social media means to contact me. It might take me a little longer to respond but I will get back to you!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Heavyweight

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  1. I have a not so secret love of gingers, hence Ian’s hair and freckles. I imagine him to be just adorable!
  2. The story originally started in a different spot. During a writing workshop, author Toni De Palma convinced me to change the starting point and I believe that has a lot to do with why the book got picked up by my publisher.
  3. Going into it, I knew next to nothing about wrestling. I did a lot of research (unusual for me) and spoke to a lot of guys who were involved in high school wrestling.
  4. Julian and Mei-Li come from a long time of twins, in the sense that I always seem to have a pair in my stories. They are almost always boy/girl twins. I’m not sure why. I just like the dynamic I suppose.
  5. Ian is not the first male character I’ve written, but he’s the first done in first person. It was hard for me to get into character but I think he came out as authentic and believable.
  6. In the original draft, Ian was going to be trying to get into Penn State.  While it’s certainly a good educational institution, I decided to change it up to a different Pennsylvania school after the scandal that went down at Penn.
  7. My mom was my original editor. While there was still plenty for the Harmony Ink editors to call into question, it was never about typos and missing words. Mom is good like that!
  8. Heavyweight‘s cover is almost exactly how I imagined when I first started writing the story.  I’m so glad my cover artist was able to incorporate so much of what I wanted.
  9. Maggie was originally a cheerleader, but I realized, for no fair reason, I had evil cheerleaders in a couple of my other books. I switched her up to a colorguard member instead.
  10. Although it seems surprising to some, Heavyweight is the first male/male romance I’ve ever written.

Be Willing to Change

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While perusing Facebook, I recently saw a young writer I know asking folks which tense and POV they preferred in the stories they read.  I changeresponded by asking her if she was just taking a poll out of curiosity or if she was planning on trying to write in the style that people seemed to prefer.  She said it was just curiosity, but something nagged at me and I felt I had to have a little talk with her.

I wanted to be sure she understood that it was fine to write something in the style readers seem to be enjoying at the moment, but not to force it. That if it seemed like she was pushing and pulling the plot and it still wasn’t  flowing the way she wanted or she was lacking that connection with her characters,  it was okay to change it up.

It’s been discussed here before, but to reiterate, Heavyweight started out being written in third person past tense.  I had this idea I loved, characters I fleshed out and the plot roughly outline, yet it was like pulling teeth to get the words out on paper. I was a good 10k words in when I decided to rewrite it all. I changed the style to first person present tense and I couldn’t believe how natural it seemed, how easily the words flowed and the story unfolded.  I knew first person wasn’t a favorite of many readers, but that didn’t matter.  It was how the story needed to be written and that was obvious when I made the change.

Just because you start out with one intention that doesn’t mean you have to force it if it doesn’t feel right. Be open to change and willing to try different POVs, tense or where you start the beginning of the story.  You are the creator and your readers are going to be able to tell if  you forced it and your heart wasn’t in it.

Have you ever made a major change to your writing style? How did it work for you?