The Inner Workings of a Romance Novel

by Sandra Murphy

RomancecoversBarbara Metzger has written over 40 historical Regency (and five contemporary) romance novels. “I tried to find a balance between the sexy scenes and humor,” she said in a recent interview. “I always found the writing took half as long as the thinking.” In one book, comments from the dog provided the added humor as he tried to understand why humans let problems get in the way of being together.

Research is important when writing an historical novel. It’s hard to know what it must have been like with no telephones or even radios, but harder yet to know anything about not having cameras or snaps on clothing. It’s easy for slang to slip into conversations too—and romance readers will call you on it. Continue reading

Five Ways Scrivener Helped Me Write My Novel

by Susan Daffron

ScrivenerRecently, I published my first novel, Chez Stinky (, which is about a woman who inherits a house with a lot of quirky animals. It’s a romantic comedy, so no one is going to confuse it with serious literature. It’s getting good reviews and was an enormous amount of fun to write. Part of the reason the writing process was fun is because I discovered writing software called Scrivener ( I wrote the entire novel in Scrivener and found that I enjoy using the program. Continue reading

Fiction Set Abroad

ScandalinSkibbereenby Sheila Connolly

Conventional wisdom for writers dictates “write what you know.” So why am I writing a series set in Ireland? In a tiny village in West Cork?

The answer is both simple and complicated. To start, my father’s parents both came from Ireland, although from different counties, and they met in New York City. For various reasons my mother hated that whole side of the family, so I never met either of my Irish grandparents. Continue reading

Making the Leap from Nonfiction to Fiction (or Vice-Versa)

Patricia Fryby Patricia Fry

After forty years of writing nonfiction for publication, I started writing fiction. Unlike many young writers, I once dreamed of writing nonfiction. I fantasized about a byline in magazines. I wanted to be a columnist and I accomplished that goal. I decided to write a book and now have published over forty of them. I wrote nonfiction until June of 2011, when I discovered my fiction muse (or is it a folly?). Continue reading