Friday, September 28, 2018

Who's My Favorite Heroine?

This month Coffee Time Romance is asking authors to dish on their favorite heroine from the books they've written. Here's the link to my post about my first published heroine, Aerid from THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE: https://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/adsep2018-helen-c-johannes/
Join me and more than 20 other authors as we reveal all kinds of connections to our heroines.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Best Writing Advice

This month Coffee Time Romance's Authors Dish topic is 'best writing advice.' Over 20 authors are participating. Mine is about helping the reader 'keep score.' Here's the link if you'd like to hop over and join the conversation: https://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/adaug2018-helen-c-johannes/

Friday, June 29, 2018

Giveaway!


Saturday, June 30 only! I'm offering a Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE on The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party Event. For a chance to win, be sure to log in to TRR and correctly answer a trivia question about the book (using the provided hint, of course): http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Confessions of a Fantasy Romance Author -- Video Version!

Some time ago I visited the blog of my friend and fellow author Mary Hughes and created a post entitled "Confessions of a Fantasy Romance Author" to celebrate publication of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. 

Well, my talented and creative friend Mary has recently begun creating videos from her archived blog posts. She's taken my words and added pictures and music to create an amazing piece of art. I invite you to view it by clicking here: Confessions of a Fantasy Romance Author

Please leave Mary a comment to tell her how fantastically talented and generous she is. I can't thank her enough.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Giveaway!

Today is the first day of Spring! Yay! The rhubarb on the south side of the house is poking a green leaf up. (It's always the earliest plant to emerge.) The driveway is clear of snow--finally!--and even the rooftops are shedding the white stuff. It's been a long, long time since we saw green grass, and we can hardly wait.

In honor of Spring I'm participating in The Romance Reviews 7th Anniversary Party and giving away a Kindle copy of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE on Monday, March 26. For a chance to win in this one-day-only contest, you'll have to correctly answer a trivia question about the book. (Hint: the answer is found in the chapter excerpt on THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE page found on the link on the right of this column.) To enter, you'll need to go to https://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php and log in.

Please join me in welcoming Spring wherever you are and remember to enter the contest March 26.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Writing Contest--Open Now till March 1 the FAB FIVE


Wisconsin Romance Writers (WisRWA) FAB FIVE Contest is open now and in need of entries. If you have 2,500 words (approximately 10 pages) of the opening of a romance novel, check out WisRWA's contest tab for complete information. I've been fortunate enough to final and/or win with both of my published books in their early stages, so I can vouch for the value of this contest. Feedback is excellent.

For those thinking of entering, I offer up this previous post as a Valentine to all aspiring romance writers.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some Friendly Advice for Those Who Are Entering Writing Contests

I’ve judged WisRWA’s Fab Five and RWA’s Golden Heart multiple times, and I’ve learned a lot from doing so—sometimes what I SHOULD be doing, but more often what NOT to do in my writing.

The first and obvious piece of advice should be this: Read and follow the rules.

Now I know entrants are at various stages in their writing careers and have varied knowledge of the conventions of writing, but here are some items to pay attention to fixing BEFORE you submit because if you attend to these issues first, you give your judges a better chance to focus on your story rather than on trying to figure out what is on the page. And what you really want them to judge is the story and characters.

Paragraphing

Observe in published novels how dialogue is broken into paragraphs. Put the character’s spoken words in the same paragraph as his/her actions. Readers will be better able to follow who said what if you do this. And following who said what helps the reader see the story without getting lost.

He/She/They used too frequently without identifying who he/she/they might be.

If two male characters are talking, be sure to tag each one clearly with a name or descriptive title because if “he” appears multiple times in a row, you (the author) may be clear as to which “he” is which because you are visualizing the scene in your head, but the reader has most likely lost track. (The same goes for female characters and any time you have more than two characters in a scene.)

The unreferenced “it”

This useful little word can also be a source of major confusion if “it” is not placed close enough to the thing “it” is replacing or standing in for. We, the writer, know exactly what we mean. But readers can’t see inside our heads, so it’s our job to replace all the vague words in our text with clear ones.

When we enter contests, it’s partly because we want to be read, to connect with an audience. We want the judge to assess our story, our characters, our scene setting, our hook, and give us feedback on the story as a whole. The last thing we want to do is interfere with the judge’s ability to see those aspects of our work. My best advice is to pay attention to these few items when you polish that entry.
What about you? What advice would you add?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

End-of-the-Year Giveaways: Print books, e-book, and cookie recipe

Print books--get 'em while they're hot!

Goodreads has changed their policy on giveaways, so I'm sorry to say these four print books are my last offering on their platform. Enter by Dec. 15 for a chance to win BLOODSTONE. For a chance to win PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, enter Dec. 15-23. Use the links to the right.

To learn how I cope with the wonderful Winter Wonderland, check out my guest blog on LASR Blogfest on Dec. 28: https://wp.me/p2ZcT9-iwC. I'm posting a favorite family recipe for healthy-ish cookies and also giving away one Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE, the winner drawn from those who leave a comment before the end of the year.

Keep warm, stay safe, and enjoy the holidays!