Social Butterflies (#MFRWAuthor)

Published May 18, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week, we authors of romance will talk about our favorite social media platforms. I spend far too much time on social media. Time I should be devoting to, oh, I don’t know, writing maybe.

On Twitter, I have two handles. The first is @RusticTropics for romance and girly type pursuits. The second is @FrancesOThomas for my more serious side. That one revolves around empowerment for women.

I could scroll through Facebook posts for hours and, sadly, often do. In my own defense, I live far away from family, and FB is my main source of news about relatives. I also rely on FB for news of what’s happening in my community. Just as on Twitter, I have two pages for my “split personality.” One is fiction and romance, the other educational psychology oriented.

I’m also on LinkedIn and Pinterest, although I don’t do much on either site.

I’d be delighted if readers followed me or connected on any of the above channels.

Check out other social butterfly authors here.

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I’ll Take Romance (#MFRWAuthor)

Published May 11, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week’s topic is my most romantic memory. It probably says a lot about me that this memory concerns food.

My husband and I took a trip to California a while ago. We rented a turquoise Chrysler convertible and set off north from San Francisco on Highway 1. The scenic road took us along the coast, through the redwoods, from winery to winery. Our northernmost destination was Fort Bragg, California.

This small town was originally a military garrison prior to the Civil War. Nowadays it is a picturesque area with an artsy downtown.

What I remember most is sitting across for each other in a candlelit booth eating the most delectable bowl of cream of mushroom soup and drinking white wine. Obviously, the way to my heart is through my stomach.

To read about other authors’ romantic memories, go here.

Special Note:

I am offering a Mother’s Day special. On May11, 12, and 13, The Lady Is a Mayor, the first book in my Calusa Town Tales series, is free. Get it here.

Gotta be a better way (#MFRWAuthor)

Published May 4, 2018 by francesothomas

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Uh oh. It’s week 18 in the Marketing for Romance Writers bog challenge, and the topic is how do I work up character/setting profiles. Short answer: I don’t.

I have tried. I really have. I tried to figure out Scrivener software since other authors swore by how much it helped them.  I failed miserably.

I tried Microsoft One Note. I managed to list names of characters in my Calusa Town Tales series. That’s not the same as character profiles. What passes for character profiles are all in my head, not on paper.

As far as setting profiles go, my Tales are set on a fictional island that is based on the real island where I live. I use some of the landmarks but call them by different names. Other landmarks I just make up as I go along.

I’m looking forward to reading how my fellow authors go about this here.

Romance in a different time and place (#MFRWAuthor)

Published April 27, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week’s topic on the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop is my favorite romance genre to read or write. While I really love to read regency romances, I have never attempted to write one. I have to ask myself why that is.

Am I just too lazy to do the research? No, that can’t be it. I enjoy looking things up. Of course, the very real possibility exists that I’d be so caught up in researching that I’d never get anything written.

Maybe I should accept the challenge. I write romances to give readers the chance to escape from everyday life. Reading about a totally different era is even more of an escape, right?

Should I try it?

Want to read about other authors’ favorite genres? Go here.

 

Tickling the ivories (#MFRWAuthors)

Published April 20, 2018 by francesothomas

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Here we are in week 16 of the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. The topic this time is family, friends, and pets I’ve written into my books. Surprisingly few.

One person I did use as an inspiration for a recurring character in my Calusa Town Tales is the former accompanist for the chorus I’ve sung with for many years. The character’s appearance and personality are not at all similar to this pianist. What I used was his habit of making editorial comments on what was going on in rehearsal via snippets of songs he would slyly doodle a few measures of.

For example, if the conductor exhorted the tenors and basses to sing more strongly, the pianist might play a little bit of “Stout Hearted Men.” I did, and still do, sit in the front row, short person that I am, so I always listened carefully to what was emanating from that piano and got a good laugh.

Go here to find out about my fellow authors.

 

 

Bring on the bubbly (#MFRWAuthor)

Published April 13, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week’s blog topic is how I celebrate completing my manuscript.

I don’t have a particular way to celebrate this milestone. My husband and I have a no-fail plan we use for every holiday, celebration, and even some we-have-no-reason-we-just-deserve-this dinners. We share a bottle of champagne or other bubbly wine, some cheese, a baguette, and some fruit.

Mu husband is possibly the best champagne bottle opener I have ever seen. He tells me the trick is turning the cork, not the bottle. He still gets that satisfying “pop” sound without having the liquid spray all over the place. Not that I buy anything very expensive, but why waste it?

His favorite cheese is blue and mine is Brie, although goat cheese is giving those a run for their money. For Easter, I found one coated with dried cranberries and orange peel. Yum.

For fruit, we usually have grapes, an apple, or a pear.

And we always have something for dessert.

Works for us.

To read about how my fellow authors celebrate, go here.

For the birds (#MFRWAuthor)

Published March 30, 2018 by francesothomas

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The topic for this week’s Marketing for Romance Writers blog contest is what I learned when researching my book.

In the latest book in my Calusa Town Tales, I include a scene featuring an escaped emu. Yes, this actually happened back when I was the editor of our local newspaper. I got repeated calls of emu spottings in various neighborhoods. It took a few days to track the critter down and some firefighters and animal rescue to round it up, as I recall.

It doesn’t happen quite that way in Island Dream. In the fictional version, the emu serves as a means for two minor characters to work out their communication differences.

The actual research I did was to check emus’ height and habits. They can grow to 6′ 2″ in height and run as fast as 31 mph. They are grayish-brown in color and eat mostly plants and the occasional bug. And people really do raise them in Florida.

Read more research stories here.