Today and tomorrow, I’m doing a blog swap with Kathy Ivan, my release day buddy at Carina Press. Today, she’ll be blogging here while I’m at Carina Press. And tomorrow, I’ll be blogging at her blog while she is at Carina Press. Kathy is a lifelong bookworm who, like me, is now seeing her first work of fiction published. Here is her number one writing rule.

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Thanks so much, Tia, for having me today.  Tia and I are release day buddies at Carina. J  Her novella, The Sevenfold Spell, and my romantic suspense with paranormal elements, Desperate Choices, both released on September 27, 2010.  I’m so excited to share this special day with you and with your blog followers.  Show the love by going and buying her novella.

I’ve always loved reading and tried my hand at writing short stories while in high school, but nothing serious.  Back then I think I enjoyed the reading of the books more than the writing of the stories.  That’s not to say I haven’t always had characters and stories dancing around in my head; I have.  But they were only for me.  I didn’t share them with anybody else.

Several years ago I reconnected with author Jane Graves (we worked for the same company doing medical transcription—her in the office and me from home).  She’d published a few books with Harlequin and I dropped her an e-mail congratulating her on her sales.  She responded and invited me to a book signing at Dreamin’ in Dallas which was happening a few days later.  I went to the book signing and was thoroughly impressed by the entire event.  So I decided to come to a DARA (Dallas Area Romance Authors) meeting.  From the very first meeting, I was hooked.  I had come strictly as a reader, but once the creative juices got flowing again, I dove in with a purpose.  I had to get that first book written.

I tend to have very eclectic tastes in reading.  I’ll go through spurts where I’ll read a specific genre, everything I can find until I’m glutted on it.  Then I’ll switch to a new genre and start the process all over again.   Right now I’m going through a paranormal/urban fantasy phase.  Recommendations anybody?  Some of my favorites include Janet Evanovich, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle, Karen Marie Moning, Laurell K. Hamilton, Shayla Black, Jo Davis, Jane Graves . . . the list goes on forever.

I’m also a “who did it” kind of gal.  I don’t know why but I always tend to look for the why of a story.  Why did a character do something?  What made the hero or heroine or the villain do whatever they did.  Because of that, romantic suspense just seemed to work well for my style of writing.  My ideas can come from anywhere and anything.  I love to play the “what if” game.  Or I can be watching a program on TV like 20/20 or 48 hours describing a crime that’s been committed, and bang, a kernel of an idea pops into my head and I’ll start seeing the characters and how it fits around their lives, going in a totally different direction than the story I’ve just watched.  Or I’ll get a flash of a character or a location and start working from that.  Sometimes it’s even the end of the dark moment that will pop into my head and I’ll work backwards from there, and the story line evolves as I deconstruct the big black moment.  Plus, I’ll bounce story ideas to my sister, who is a fantastic sounding board.  She can usually spot a plot hole a mile away and gives me great ideas on how to fix my screw ups.  Ideas and motivation are everywhere.  The trick is finding the time to get them all down on paper.

That’s my writing process, as best I can describe it.  I love writing and storytelling.  I hope you enjoy reading Desperate Choices as much as I did writing it.

Love what you write and write what you love.

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Tia here. We always hear, “write but you know,” but I think I like this advice better. You really do have to love what you are writing. Who are some of the writers you have read that have really let their love of writing shine through their work? My own choices will be in the comments!