By Nicole North
First of all, a huge thanks to the ladies of PF&HT for having me here today! Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and it's important to recount the things we are thankful for... if possible, not once a year, but every day. I have many things to be grateful for in my life, but today I want to concentrate on writing related things. In no particular order...
1. I'm thankful for my own hero, my encouraging, supportive husband. He always believed I could become a published author, even during times when I doubted myself. He enjoys reading the good reviews of my books almost as much as I do. :) He's the best--generous, caring, lovable, sexy, and sweet.
2. I'm thankful to Red Sage for giving me an opportunity and publishing my first novella, Devil in a Kilt (in Secrets Volume 27), and my next two novellas, Kilted Lover and Beast in a Kilt. This was a great kickoff for my publishing career. I've loved reading Secrets anthologies for years. They contain the level of hot sensuality I love in my romance reading. Red Sage has been around for over fifteen years and continues to grow and expand.
3. I'm thankful for my awesome critique group, Rebels, and my other individual critique partners because they are also my friends. In addition to critiquing, we share the ups and downs of writing. We encourage and support each other and are each other's biggest fans. Sometimes my critique partners have saved my sanity, like when I've had to rewrite a scene from scratch and needed help figuring out the best solutions.
4. I'm thankful for my laptop so I'm not stuck writing at a desk all day. I can write in a comfy recliner, while walking on a treadmill or outside if I choose. This is important because my desk chair isn't so great to sit in for hours and hours. And I find I can write more creatively if I'm comfortable or walking.
5. I'm thankful for fun research methods, one of which is the internet because it makes research so much easier and faster. Before I discovered the wealth of information online, I spent hours in libraries spinning my wheels. But the most amazing and fun way to do research is in person, visiting the places I write about and touching the things in my stories. Attending Highland Games and watching the caber toss is one way that I researched before writing Kilted Lover, since the story starts at such an event and the hero tosses cabers as a hobby.
6. I'm thankful for the wonderful writers who take my workshops and make teaching both fun and rewarding for me. I never knew I could teach until I jumped in with both feet and gave it a try. Turn Up the Heat! was the first workshop I taught. It was an experiment that turned out well. Imagine my shock when some of my students told me I explained certain hard to grasp concepts in a way that gave them new insights into their writing, and truly helped them improve. Helping people in this way is very rewarding for me.
7. I'm thankful when unexpected inspiration hits me and doesn't allow me to do anything but write. Ahh to feel this way all the time would be bliss, but of course that doesn't happen. But I'm also happy when I can read a page or two of what I've written, then easily sink back into the story. Even if it isn't a blinding flash of inspiration, I can still draw on the moderate hum of inspiration and finish the story.
8. I'm thankful for my three online chapters: Celtic Hearts, From the Heart, and Hearts Through History. Since I live far from any land based chapters, connecting to other romance writers online is wonderful. Writing is mostly a solitary pursuit so it's great to be a part of a friendly writing community. Dozens upon dozens of members of these chapters are incredibly supportive and encouraging.
9. I'm thankful for the sexy, delicious cover of Kilted Lover, designed by Rae Monet. It's eye candy, pure and simple! I never get tired of looking at it. Rae captured perfectly the yummy hero of my story.
10. I'm thankful for readers who buy my books, then email me to let me know they've read them. What a blast it is to entertain people, make them laugh or cry or affect them in other ways. Even when I was a kid I'd sometimes turn clown, just for the thrill of making people laugh. Now, at times I write humor, but more often my focus is writing hot, sexy stories with a bit of action and suspense.
Kilted Lover, my latest release, has the elements I mentioned above: sexy heat, action and a bit of humor.
When kilted caber-tosser Scott MacPherson tosses Leslie Livingston over his shoulder to rescue her from two armed thieves trying to steal her priceless amulet, they are thrust into a deadly but sexy adventure. Though Leslie already has a lukewarm, uninterested boyfriend, her attraction to Scott is white-hot and undeniable. She wants to lick this tall, muscular alpha male all over and explore the depths of eroticism with him. But will he want anything more than one night once the danger is behind them?
Prize: Name three things you are thankful for! I'll choose one winner at random from the comments to receive a pair of handmade Celtic silver and peridot earrings inspired by the amulet in Kilted Lover.