Using Music to Inspire Your Writing
For me, music plays an important part of the stories I write. First of all, I use songs to help me focus on the mind set of my characters. What are they thinking? It can help me push the plot along. They can even appear in the book. A few of these did. Sometimes, I use song titles to help me come up with the title for the book. In the end, I did not choose a song for the title. But along the way “So Right with You” did go through some title changes, including Her Secret Santa, Just a Kiss (Lady Antebellum) and More than a Kiss (Tommy Conwell). This last song was a great song for thinking about the mind set of Garrett. I still love it. Here is the playlist for Chloe.
Wake up call * Maroon 5
Part of Me * Katie Perry
Satellite * Peter Conway
Ain’t No Other Man *Christina Aguilera
Breathless *The Corrs
Falling Even More in Love with You*Lifehouse
More than a Kiss*Tommy Conwell
She’s Everything*Brad Paisley
Lead Me On*Gloriana
You’re Going to Fly*Keith Urban
Hip to My Heart*Band Perry
The Way You Look Tonight*Harry Connick Jr.
It Had To Be You*Harry Connick Jr.
Truly, Madly, Deeply*SavageGarden
In So Right with You, I have included a secret celebrity. Do you have a secret celebrity you would want to see in a book?
Secrets of Writing Sex Scenes
Have you ever wondered how authors prepare to write those sizzling hot scenes in their novels? Where do they come up with their ideas? From personal experience, I can tell you it isn’t quite the scenario you might expect. When I wrote the first seduction scene in “So Right with You,” it was late at night. The mood was set with the TV on for background music, and Zombieland was playing. Yes, I wrote my first seduction scene to Zombieland. Now, you need to understand my teen daughter had informed me that she was the most sheltered child in the world, because her parents had not allowed her to watch a horror flick. She was the only kid in her class who had never seen a monster movie. I had asked her, “What do you want to see?” Her response was: “Zombieland.” That night, as I sat there surfing through channels for something to watch, I found it on, so I wrote my first steamy scene to the cult classic. You know, I was actually doing research on whether Zombieland was an appropriate movie for my teen daughter. I have to admit I was entertained by the movie, but there was no way in hell she was going to see it, not for a while anyway.
Now, that scene was a bit let’s say anti-climactic; basically no climax. The scene is in the book if you would like to read it. Anyway, I had to persevere in order to bring my fictional couple much needed satisfaction. So buckling down, I proceeded to write my first full-on sex scene. I sat on my sofa in broad daylight with again the television on for background noise and tried to write it. My problem with the scene was it was a bit messy, literally. My couples much to my disconcertion ran rue with my book and were engaging in hot, messy, sticky sex. I personally had a problem with this. I wanted to clean it up. Things were melting on the nightstand. After sleeping on it, I again took out my computer notebook and finished the scene. To really give my scene the push it needed, I gave myself permission to write freely and without embarrassment, well mostly. I reminded myself that the scene was not about me but was what Chloe, my heroine, would do. One little tidbit about me is that I tend to read what I write out loud as I do it. You can imagine how hard it was to write a scene like this with my two children in the house. I learned to whisper read quickly.
When the scene was finished to my satisfaction and of course my couples, I texted my neighbor to see what she thought. She arranged that night for her fiancé to take their young daughter out to the movies. Over wine and bottles of water, I read her my first sex scene. I think I did a good job. At one point, I looked up from fixing some typos and found her staring at me with what could only be described as sexual frustration. I stopped fixing my errors and finished reading the scene. At the end, she told me she was afraid when I asked to get her opinion on the scene that I was a bad writer and she would have to be put on the spot. My bad. I had never shared with her my work or that I was a writer before. And of course, I chose this piece to break her in.
So the secret about writing sex scenes is this: write it however it works for you and don’t allow your own embarrassment or thoughts about what you would or wouldn’t do hold you back. Just write it!
Road to Publication: Editing
When self-publishing, it is important to have your book properly edited. Do not skip this step. The one thing you do not want to have happen is for the editing job to be the primary focus of reviews. No matter how good you think you may be, it is highly unlikely that you will catch all the errors. Having friends and critique partners helps, but it really should not replace having your book properly edited. For So Right with You, I have used first a copy editor and a last check for those pesty little errors that may slip by. Currently, I am waiting for the book to be returned from the last check service for the final check. It is due to be returned to me by November 22.
Writer’s Event: OCC RWA Birthday Bash
This weekend, I spent it with old and new friends at the Orange County RWA Birthday Bash. I had a great time hanging out with my fellow writers, and I came home with inspirational quotes from well-known authors from evening event Creating Your Big Girl Pants.
As writers, we need support and encouragement to continue our craft under wavering self-confidence, demanding lives, and sometimes negative reviews. Attending writer events gives us opportunities to make social connections and gives us the necessary tools to navigate the ever changing world of publication.
Included in the picture from far left Heather Snow, Left front: Jennifer Haymore, Center: Erin Knightley, Right: Skylar Kade, Jennifer Bernard, and Me far right.
Handling a Slight Delay: The Road to Publication
This week, my editor let me know she needed additional time to complete editing on “So Right with You“. I thought I would be spending this weekend editing. Turning lemons into lemonade, I am trying to use this weekend to work on second book. These things happen and you can’t let them derail you from you’re optimal goal of writing the best books you can for your readers.
Troubling Emails – The Road to Publication
When I contacted a cover designer for my upcoming book, “So Right with You,” it was sent through my son’s email, which he has labeled: Mega Mushroom Luigi, not exactly the professional image I was looking to present.
So, I wrote letting her know of the miscommunication from the wrong email. She wrote that that she thought I was really into growing mushroom from all the pictures of mushrooms on the email.
My son, who loves video games, was of course not happy that his mom’s writing stuff had ended up on his site. For some reason, I was going through a series of technology glitches. Even though my son was signed out and I was signed in, this still happened. It was a freak of nature. I went on to have other issues.
I was having trouble receiving and sending email from my email account. My two children who were much more tech savvy then their parents tried to help. In the end, my hero (husband) proceeded to set up new accounts for me. Let’s hope the new email works.
Welcome. I am Maggie Kaye. I write contemporary romance books with plenty of heart, humor and a bit of steaminess. My characters are far from perfect and have issues. Don’t we all? During the course of the books, their problems are resolved (well mostly) with help from, and in some cases, in spite of their friends and families. Isn’t that what life is all about after all? The relationships we form.