I'm delighted to welcome Rosanna Leo back to my blog today. She's developing a reputation as quite the paranormal romance guru, and she's also one of the more prolific authors I've met to date. As such, this writing tip has my rapt attention (along with her newest paranormal romance from Hartwood Publishing).
The Joys of Plain, White Paper
by Rosanna Leo
Thanks very much to Tara for hosting me today. I love her writing tip segments and am honored to be featured in them.
Today’s writer has so many resources. There are programs out there that help you plot your book online, that will dictate your work to you and God only knows what else. Of course, I’m sure we all use our trusty Microsoft Word to the pointwhere our laptops want to give up the ghost. My own keyboard is so well used some of the letters are rubbing off. It’s a good thing I know where to find ‘S’ because it disappeared long ago.
However, there is a tool I use frequently and I sometimes wonder who else still makes use of this archaic resource. I’m talking about plain, white printer paper. Yup. Your basic 8 ½ x 11 stock, the kind you find in offices and homes everywhere. It’s not fancy. It doesn’t write for me but when it comes to those crucial early days of plotting a novel, it’s invaluable.
I always plot initially on paper. Why? Well, because I change my mind about a hundred times or so. I never have a complete picture when I set pen to paper and for me to start creating Word docs at this point seems ridiculous. I prefer to set out several sheets of paper, one that documents my hero and heroine in detail, along with their histories. Others may chart the course of the action in the novel. Others still may detail certain motivations or the background of my villain. Once I see it all on paper, and it makes sense, then I feel ready to move it into a soft copy.
Does this seem old-fashioned in this age of technology? It probably is. It may not even be the most efficient use of my time. However, it makes sense to me. My brain likes it and whatever makes my brain happy during the plotting process, makes me happy.
I would urge other writers to explore their options as well. Gadgets are fun, but sometimes tried-and-true methods streamline our thoughts. Writing on paper allows me to disconnect and concentrate on the task at hand. It frees up my thought process. If it’s been a while since you’ve written “old school,” I would encourage you to try it.
Like Harold and his purple crayon, sometimes all you need is a pen, a clean surface and your imagination.
by Rosanna Leo
Canadian soprano Renata Bruno is tired of waiting for her big break. Unfortunately, her boss, the conductor of a chamber ensemble, sees her as little more than background material. When she learns of an opportunity to sing solo with a different troupe in England, she knows she must seize it. Especially when she hears the group is to perform Mozart's Requiem, her favorite work.
As soon as Renata decides to make her move, a strange, sultry presence invades her life. She begins dreaming of a man, one who makes love to her, bewitching her. It isn't long before her night lover leaves startling proof of his nocturnal presence, making her doubt her senses.
To compound her discomfort, she learns her new conductor is the college boyfriend who broke her heart years ago. As Renata grapples with old hurts and renewed passion, she must also fend off the increasingly fervent advances of her night-time visitor. She realizes she is under the influence of an incubus, a sexual demon.
It becomes harder to resist the incubus when she learns he has a name and had a tragic history. The more she discovers about his past, the more she realizes they are linked in more ways than one. Renata begins to rediscover love and her sense of faith, but will it be enough to save her night lover from an evil curse? And will it destroy her in the process?
When I saw the face in this painting, I gasped, feeling as if someone had punched me in the gut.
It was the portrait of a man, much in the style of a Gainsborough painting. Full-length, it displayed the man in Regency dress. Tall Hessian boots reached up over his pants, accentuating his height. A waistcoat peaked out from under his soft blue riding coat. I looked up to the face above the coat, clean-shaven and somehow boyish with its round features. His hair was the color of honey and quite curly, with long sideburns travelling down his cheeks. Although he bore a fashionably serious countenance, his blue eyes smiled.
The man from my recurring dream, the man from the theater mezzanine in Toronto. I blinked several times, not believing my eyes.
I couldn’t move. I returned the stare of the man in the portrait. A friendly face, it still managed to unnerve me. The artist must have been a master because its subject seemed to be looking right at me. His pale eyes bore into mine. As I continued to gaze at my dream man, other objects in the background began to blur. The portrait frame and the wallpaper behind him dissolved into nothingness. I could only make out the man, and his gaze seemed to issue me a challenge, daring me to look back at him. My head swam. My tongue grew thick. Pain shot through my stomach and I clutched it so I wouldn’t keel over.
Lizzy came out of nowhere and bounded up behind me. “What's up? Ooh, he's cute.” She, too, had noticed the portrait. She also saw how intently I stared. “Hey, are you okay?”
“No.” I couldn’t look away from him, couldn’t stop myself from raking my gaze over every painted inch. “It’s him. The man from my dream.”
“Yeah, right.” She frowned.
Finn walked up to us and put a hand on my back, oblivious to my shock. “So you’ve found the lord of the manor.”
“Hugh Dawlish, scion of Dawlish Manor. The women in the ensemble love this portrait because they think he’s, ah…easy on the eyes. So, shall we rehearse?”
I let him lead me away, but I couldn’t stop looking back at Hugh Dawlish’s portrait.
He was real. Not a wraith from my imagination.
Real. And dead.
Lizzy elbowed me. “You look like you’re going to pass out.”
As we left the room, I looked back once more. The eyes of Hugh Dawlish followed me. I shivered.
A slight smile played on his lips.
ABOUT ROSANNA LEO
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.
From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.
A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com