Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guest Post: Laura Browning

 















This Sunday's guest is none other than Laura Browning. Show her some love, y'all!




I grew up in a family of readers. My father read non-fiction and action-thrillers. My mother was more organized. God, was she more organized. The woman had a reading list probably before anyone had ever thought of the 100 Books Everyone Should Read. We were regulars at the library where I worked my way through every horse book known to man and became an instant expert on everything from archaeology to Russian history.
We were also letter writers. I remember carrying on weekly correspondence with my eldest brother’s then fiancée, beginning when I was nine years old. And honestly, if I had to track my love of writing back to anything, I’d say it’s rooted in reading and the letters back and forth with my sister-in-law.
But I was going to be an artist, not a writer…until a school friend handed me my first Harlequin Romance.
We both dreamed of writing our own books. I actually finished a horrifyingly bad gothic romance written in longhand when I was sixteen. Shudder. I’m not sure where it is, but I hope it’s gone to a better place—like the dump or up in smoke. Like most romance couples of that long ago, he was rich and experienced and she was young and naïve. I even had a sex scene in it, which is pretty good for someone who had barely even kissed her boyfriend. But hey, writers are supposed to have imagination! Besides that, I’d read some Barbara Cartland, too, so I already knew that having sex was so divine, even the first time, that the angels would sing. Wow, I’m making myself gag.
I eventually went into journalism and became a very snappy and cynical news producer. I am not ashamed to admit, though, I was still a romantic at heart. So I continued my attempts to write a romance novel. I had tons of ideas. In fact, ideas have never been a problem for me. I’ve gotten inspiration from riding horses, from songs I like and from people around me. I try to get ideas down on paper as soon as they occur. The danger is, since I’m a pantser, I start getting too detailed and the next thing I know, I’m already twenty thousand words into a new manuscript and backpedaling to write down character and plot details in a separate file so I don’t have to keep hunting them in the manuscript.
Serious writing began about seven years ago, but I still hadn’t worked up the nerve to do anything with it. It’s not easy hanging yourself out there. Having someone rip into your writing is a bit like having skin flayed from you with a metal tipped whip. So I was a chicken. My husband gave me the kick I needed, and in 2009 I submitted to The Wild Rose Press with two paranormal novels The Silkie’s Call and The Silkie’s Salvation. Both were accepted. I enjoyed writing them and may eventually do more, but my heart is really in contemporary romance.
With my confidence back in place, I pulled out a manuscript that had been sitting in my stash and submitted to Lyrical Press. That submission became Winning Heart, the precursor of the series I’m doing with them on the Barlow-Barretts, a family of media moguls similar to a combination of the Kennedys and the Hearsts. Bittersweet came out in December 2011. Book 2, Balancing Act, released last month and, I’m thrilled to say, will be coming out in print in December! And Remember Me comes out February 3. Three more books are either in the process of submission or being written.
The bottom line for me is I love to write, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to teach students to write, too. You see, I gave up the TV career and now teach English at an alternative ed high school. Watching a teenager get fired up about something she’s writing is almost as good as finishing a manuscript. Almost…lol.
Here’s the blurb for my latest release, Balancing Act: He has high expectations. And she exceeds every one.
Seth Barlow picks his teeth with the bones of secretaries he's chewed up and spit out. Except Tessa Edwards. She's completely unruffled by his bad attitude--and completely undone by his touch.
But Tessa is balancing on a high wire with no safety net. Her job is the only thing that keeps her from losing custody of her little brother to her money-hungry aunt and uncle, who care less for the dyslexic child than for the hefty trust fund that comes with him.
When ten thousand dollars goes missing from Barrett Newspapers and shows up in Tessa's personal bank account, not even her budding relationship with Seth can help Tessa keep her job...or her little brother.
Warning: One bad-tempered boss, one super-efficient secretary, and a whole lot of sparks!
Oh, and I have to include a picture of the cover of Remember me, too, because I absolutely love this cover! You rock, Renee!
You can find me at www.laurabrowningbooks.com or on facebook at Laura Browning author.
Hey, thanks so much for letting me share some of my writing journey with you. I love hearing how people end up as writers.

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