Writer Words

Q&A Sunday: Alphas

I gotta confess, I love this question from Jeannie…

How did you go about creating your first alpha, Ethan? Are you surprised at the positive response of readers to Ethan? What are your plans for more Alpha characters?

Curvaceous & CaptivatingEthan was a different sort of character for me. Obviously. I’ve toyed with alphas before, but Ethan was the first one I went for this wholeheartedly. I had a vision for Ethan. I knew I wanted him to be powerful and a little edgier. He had a rough childhood and it made him hard. Dangerous.

He knew what he wanted. He wasn’t one to back down from anything. He had to be tough in order to break through Olivia’s unwavering stubbornness. I had a pretty clear vision of Olivia, so creating Ethan was all about creating a man who could handle her. An alpha was really the only option!

I am surprised by the response Ethan got. I was told to remove parts of the story where Ethan went a little more alpha, but kept them in because they felt right to me. I read a lot of alpha books to make sure I knew how they needed to act. Apparently, I read the right ones!

I do enjoy alpha males. They’re powerful and demanding and sexy and will not hesitate to tell you what they want. The Big & Beautiful series is almost finished, but I’m planning a spin-off series. And yep, they’ll be alphas. I’m excited about that series. I haven’t talked about it much, but it’s going to be a wedding series, set in Hawaii, told entirely from the alpha male’s perspective! What do you think?

Thanks so much, Jeannie, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

Q&A Sunday: Writers Conferences

It hasn’t been long since I talked about this, but it came up again. Vicki wants to know…

If you could go to any writers convention or conference (money’s not an issue) which conference or convention would you go to and why?

There are tons of conferences out there. Small, large, and in between. Some are geared toward writers. Some more toward meeting readers. Some can be overwhelming and others a little… underwhelming.

In a way, I think the question should be, what do I look for in a writer’s conference? That makes the question much easier to answer.

I have gone to one writer’s conference. The Romance Writers of America national conference. It occurs every July in a different area of the country. This year’s conference is in Orlando, Florida, and I can’t wait.

I like RWA Nationals because it’s a huge conference chock full of information. Some of the biggest names in romance attend every year. It’s a chance to network and make friends and learn a ton of information about writing, publishing, and marketing, to name a few. I love it, and will go every year as long as it’s possible.

Of course, the question was if money wasn’t an issue.

I’d go to RWA Nationals every year. If money and time weren’t a problem, I’d probably add in New Jersey’s Put Your Heart In A Book conference. I’ve heard very good things about that one as well, and it’s not too far from where I live.

There are tons more conferences out there. Tennessee, California, Washington, Florida (a cruise!), Texas, I could go on. I’d love to cruise with the Florida Romance Writers’ and their Fun In The Sun cruise. I’ve taken my computer on a cruise before, and it was an awesome environment to write.

At this point in my career, I enjoy learning. Some writers have moved on to where there isn’t as much for them to learn. They go to conferences that are more geared toward readers, like Romantic Times. Hopefully I will get there one day, but I’m a big believer that I can always learn something.

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Sunday: Unpublished Books

Aliana asked me a question I think every readers wonders about authors!

Have you written any books that are not published?

I’m a strange breed. I know that. Many authors I’ve met dreamt forever of being authors. They started reading romances in middle school and knew it was what they wanted to do with their lives forever. I was not that person.

If you’ve been reading along, you know I came from a background in chemical engineering. I’m methodical and practical and never saw myself as creative. When I decided I wanted to write, it was a conscious decision I made because I wanted to enjoy my next career. I didn’t want to be in something that I second guessed. That I wasn’t happy with.

Writing romances was that career.

But I still had a learning curve. The first book I wrote is not published. I used to give it away for free to my subscribers, but I’ve changed that and now offer any of my ebooks for free as a thank you.

Why isn’t the book published?

I know you want to ask that, so I’m gonna go ahead and tell you.

The book was a story about a woman who was adopted and her search for her birth parents. It’s not horrible, but it was very personal and I struggled to put it out there. It’s not autobiographical, but I am adopted. It was hard to write, but it was the first story that popped into my head. When I wrote it, I thought I could sell it, but when it was done, I couldn’t.

I’ve considered pulling some of my first ebooks from sale because they are so different than what I write now – thank you workshops and critique partners and hours of practice. In the end, I’ve decided to leave them for sale because it’s all a part of my journey as a writer.

But I don’t think I’ll ever list that first book for sale. It’s too personal. It was a great experience and something I loved writing, but it’s for me now.

I don’t think I’ll ever write another book without the intention to publish it. I love what I do too much to not share it with you!

Thanks so much, Aliana, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Happy Easter

I’m taking today off answering questions so I can spend the day with my family. We all get together for brunch. An Easter egg hunt for the kids, food, and time to visit family. It’s a pretty great day.

I wish you and your family a Happy Easter today.

PS Like the cupcakes? I figured this is something Charlie would have out for Easter at Bite Me!

Don’t forget, Curvaceous & Captivating is available now through Gumroad, or Tuesday everywhere else.

If you have a question for my next Q&A Sunday, make sure you comment here or send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject. I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

Q&A Sunday: Conferences

This question from Vicki seems well timed!

What is your favorite thing about going to a writers conference or convention?

There are tons of conferences out there. In a month, the RT Booklovers Convention is in Atlanta. There have already been some conferences, and many more are coming. If you’re looking for a way to connect with romance authors, you probably don’t have far to go. It depends on what you’re looking for though. Some conventions are tiny with only 50 or so authors. Others are massive.

For me, there’s only one conference I go to. That might change eventually, but right now, my kids are little and I want to have time with my family. So I choose the one conference that I feel gives me the most as an author.

That’s Romance Writers of America National Conference.

Every July, RWA holds a national conference for members and non-members. Workshops are presented on everything from how to write a book to marketing to earning six figures. It’s a huge conference packed with tons of information, awards for excellent books, and a chance to network with other authors.

It’s intense, I won’t lie.

It’s also amazing.

This summer will be my third RWA conference. Each year, what I’m looking for changes, but the whole reason for going is the same.

To learn.

It’s five days away from my family. It’s not cheap. It’s not relaxing. But I leave wishing I could take another week away from home to focus on putting all the things I learned into action.

Me in Times Square
Me in Times Square at my first conference!

Of course, I want to see my family too!

But the question is what is my favorite thing about conferences or conventions. It’s hard to choose one thing. I’d have to say there’s a couple things I love.

One is all the things I learn. To come away with a portion of the wealth of knowledge at the RWA conference is huge.

A second thing I getting a chance to see friends who don’t live close. My roommate, and good friend, is from California. We see each other once a year. Being able to grab a glass of wine and some dinner together is always so great.

The third thing I love about it is the energy. Maybe it sounds silly, but being surrounded by so many other authors and people who love romance is invigorating and simply inspiring. When do you get a chance to hang out with 2000 other people who do the same thing as you, who respect you, who encourage you, and who want to help you? It’s absolutely amazing.

This year’s conference is the end of July in Orlando. My family chose to add on a trip to Disney with the conference so this year’s conference is even more exciting for me! But, as you see, I love it no matter what!

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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