Sunday, October 2, 2011


I had a successful book signing Saturday. A friend and I shared a table at a Craft Fair. My friend sold bracelets and watches, and I used my space to display my last two books, "Broken Promises," and "Don't Dance On My Heart." Both of us did quite well.
I noticed that many vendors sat back and waited to be approached. It reminded me that in order to sell anything, you have to make eye contact with the visitors. Engage everyone in conversation, even if they aren't interested in what you have to offer. Keep something available to entice their interest. I used a large bowl of hard candy and encouraged everyone who passed the table to help themselves. Ask about their purchases. My interest in them turned the conversation back to my books. Book signing can be fun. Even if you don't make a lot of sales, you can make friends. I gave out my card with a business email address. I reminded anyone who took one that if they kept in touch, I would tell them when my next book would be published.

Friday, July 29, 2011


     They're your characters, love them or hate them. Personalize them. Let your reader know who they are and what they look like. Give them a charcteristic that is personal and defining. A scar, a way of wrinkling their nose when they smile. A habit that sets them aside from everyone else.
     Does she flip her hair behind her ear or suck in her lower lip when she's nervous? Does he rake his fingers through his hair or rub the palm of his hand over his chin?
     Maybe she wears her clothes too tight or skirt too short. He could leave the top three buttons of his shirt open. Even the smallest tic will define your character. Have fun with it and your readers will be drawn into your story and will identify with them.

     Look for my latest book, "Olivia," at the end of August at Snowy Creek Books. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's So Hot It Sizzles

Summer has arrived in Las Vegas. It's time to write that Hot Hot Hot romance novel. Yes, you can create tension without showing all and telling more. Remember the old movies when the hero closed the bedroom door and as a viewer, you could only imagine what went on inside. That's the kind of tension I'm working on with my new novel, "Unexpected Gift." I want my characters to lust, pant, even experience a small carress, but hit barriers that keep them apart until they're about to implode. I want the small touch to speak volumns. Will I succeed? Watch Snowy Creek Books web site for the release date of  "Unexpected Gift," and "The Women Of Rexford, Olivia, " and find out. Meanwhile, keep reading and keep writing. Joyce

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Drama in a Small Town: Signed-Sealed and Delivered

Drama in a Small Town: Signed-Sealed and Delivered: "I sent my manuscript, 'The Women of Rexford, Olivia.' to Caroline Tolley for final editing. It felt like the day I put my first born on the ..."

Signed-Sealed and Delivered

I sent my manuscript, "The Women of Rexford, Olivia." to Caroline Tolley for final editing. It felt like the day I put my first born on the school bus for kingergarten. Would he be okay? Get lost? Now I'm tackling the edit process on, "Victoria." It gives me great pleasure to watch my characters change, some for the better and some for the worse. I love giving the evil soul a redeeming quality and my hero/heroine a flaw. Creating tension is what keeps your reader engrossed. I hope I'm successful in including those in all of my books. Keep reading. Joyce Brennan

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Drama in a Small Town: New Release

Drama in a Small Town: New Release: "Exciting news from my publisher, Snowy Creek Books. The first novel of my series, 'The Women Of Rexford, Olivia,' is slated for release in A..."

New Release

Exciting news from my publisher, Snowy Creek Books. The first novel of my series, "The Women Of Rexford, Olivia," is slated for release in August. The novels, "Victoria," and "Jade," will be coming in 2012.
I'm so excited to work for Snowy Creek and have edited my novel to fit their new, family oriented profile.
I'm three quarters of the way through my Christmas book and have another manuscript in the finishing stages. I look forward to comments about my work.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Adding A Character to your story

Sometimes it's necessary to add a character to your ongoing novel. This is especially important if you plan to write a series. I find that minor characters add depth and make an excellent choice for an ongoing series. It's fun to make a previous villain or trouble maker change and take on a different role in your next manuscript. I used that scenario in the second of my trilogy, "The Women of Rexford." Victoria was spoiled, self-centered and determined to cause my heroine trouble in the first book. When I made her the main character in the second book, the reader could watch her life change, develop and overcome her previous problems. Of  course, I gave her a new set of challenges and hopefully the reader will cheer for her to succeed. Keep writing and keep reading. Joyce Brennan

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drama in a Small Town: Tension

Drama in a Small Town: Tension: "I spent the afternoon creating tension in one of my chapters. Writers know that sometimes in the middle of their manuscript, the story tends..."

Drama in a Small Town: Tension

Drama in a Small Town: Tension: "I spent the afternoon creating tension in one of my chapters. Writers know that sometimes in the middle of their manuscript, the story tends..."


I spent the afternoon creating tension in one of my chapters. Writers know that sometimes in the middle of their manuscript, the story tends to droop. It's commonly called, "The Sagging Middle." Today, I chose a chapter of my Christmas book, "Unexpected Gift," and made sure it contained the tension it needed to keep the reader involved. Sometimes, it takes an entire paragraph, but other times, a simple sentence will add conflict. I hope I achieved my goal.
I dropped off my last manuscript, "Victoria," to an expert who checks for punction and typos. She also tells me quite candidly if the story doesn't track or if I manage to lose her when she reads. I'm so lucky to have critiquers who tell it like it is.
Keep reading. Joyce

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rearranging scenes

If you're a writer, you have an idea how your novel should progress. Sometimes, your time-line is flawed and you find you've put the cart before the horse. That happened to me. I had a scene planned and felt smug when it fell into place. Horrors! I didn't set it up propertly. Then I had to go back and make sure I had the dates written correctly. Mistakes like that are time-comsuming and unneccessary. Now I use a legal pad to time each chapter. Month/date/ and if necessary, the hour. It eliminates a whole lot of stress and makes writing easier. Keep writing and reading. Joyce

Monday, April 11, 2011

Drama in a Small Town: Characters

Drama in a Small Town: Characters: "A former pantser, I plotted this Christmas book in advance and I find that I must keep my characters in line. Today, my heroine ma..."


A former pantser, I plotted this Christmas book in advance and I find that I must keep my characters in line. Today, my heroine made a comment I didn't expect. How does that happen? Sometimes when I write, I become so involved in the story, my characters take on a life of their own. Sounds silly, but they speak to me and demand that I listen. I believe that makes the story real. When a character speaks out of turn, they're telling me that I'm not paying attention to their personality.
Okay, I corral them and get them back on point, but those flaws make the character come alive.
Keep reading and I'll keep writing. Joyce

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hail in Las Vegas

Yeah, that's right. We had hail today. Imagine, one day last week our temperature soared to 95, and today a sprinkling of rain turned to hail. My yorkies seemed confused when the small pellets hit their backs. Such babies! Okay, so I spoil them, but what are dogs for?

I'm working on my new novel for Snowy Creek Publishing, setting a schedule of writing 1000 words a day, six days a week. It feels odd, writing a Christmas novel in April...but I need time to write and edit. At any rate, it's going along fine. It's the first book I plotted in advance. That's new to me, an old, died in the wood, pantser, but it seems to be working.

Our chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the Las Vegas Romance Writers, have invited a speaker who will give a presentation on editing. It couldn't happen at a better time as I just finished the second book of my series, "The Women of Rexford." I'm looking forward to the meeting.

Keep on reading. Books can take us anywhere we want to go. Joyce

Monday, April 4, 2011

Drama in a Small Town: Continuing Drama

Drama in a Small Town: Continuing Drama: " Today I made a presentation on, 'Overwriting,' and how to bring readers into your novel. New writers tend to w..."

Continuing Drama

     Today I made a presentation on, "Overwriting," and how to bring readers into your novel. New writers tend to want to tell their readers everything all at once. They want readers to view the scenes the way they picture it. That results in telling instead of showing. I gave my class a list of twelve telling statements and asked that they come up with examples of showing. After an animated session, they came up with many variations of my statements. I wish I would have taken notes. Concise writing, choosing every word, moves the story forward. Remember to intersperse you novel with short as well as long sentences.
     On another note, I attended a class on e-readers. I came home more confused that ever. It seems that every e-reader had good and bad features. The one I leaned toward wouldn't allow you to check out books from the library. Another product wasn't as clear to read. Some did everything but prepare your lunch....kidding. I have an e-book coming out by the end of summer and really wanted to purchase the most practical machine for my use. Any suggestions?
     My contract from Snowy Creek Publishing came in the mail today. I'm so excited. I'm writing a trilogy, working title, "The Women of Rexford."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Drama

This is my first attempt at a blog. I attended a google mail class today. Our instructor was well versed on the subject and showed the group the great things you can do on Google. The computer is a fantastic but mysterious piece of equipment. Mainly, I use the computer to write my Romantic Suspense novels. But there is so much more to learn. For instance, I set up Google voice and called my cousin in Ottawa, Ohio. Then I set up two group contacts. Now when I want to supply my critique group with my latest chapter or give them critique's on their short stories, it's done with a push of a button.
I'm writing a Christmas novel---warm and fuzzy, not my usual suspense type. I also finished the last of, "Victoria," the second in a series of "Small Town Affairs." The other two novels that I still have available are: "Don't Dance on my Heart," and "Broken Promises." I have sent "Shattered Life" to a publisher and am still waiting to hear from them. My book, "Hidden Journal," is scheduled to come out in ebooks within the next few months.
Writing keeps me busy and involved. I don't know what I would do with my time if it wasn't for creating characters and following their lead to complete a novel.
I love to write, talk about writing and look forward to the finished product.
Until next time, Joyce