Follow-on Career is... #mfrwauthor

Many of the prompts in the 52 posts in 52 weeks challenge dare the participating authors to reveal something personal about themselves. This week I am supposed to reveal what I would do if I couldn't be a writer. That topic has been on my mind a lot recently. Several authors I know quite writing last year or at the start of this one. Among the reasons they give are the ways sales sites discriminate, the gaming of their systems, constant algorithm changes that reduce your opportunities, and the top two reasons given are the small return on ebooks and pirates stealing more than we make.

So what would be the follow-on career of choice. At first I pulled out a couple of old dreams -- starship officer, interstellar explorer, or time traveler. Even with today's technology, none of those are feasible. So I'll go in another direction.
Without writing, I'd need another creative outlet. Beadwork, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitch embroidery would provide that. I've dabbled with photography over the years. I would love to do it professionally, but my talents lie elsewhere so I would just do it to decorate my office and as an excuse to explore the outdoors.

I would miss the research I do for my writing. A follow-on career as an archaeologist would handle that need as well as my interest in history. If you've read my posts from last year's challenge, I've been involved with historical museums in various capacities. I've donned period costumes to give tours, coordinated events, and managed the museum and its collections. And of course, wrote material for the organization such as interpretive programs and documentaries. And been involved with a few archaeological digs.

While I hope it won't be necessary for many, many years, for my first choice as a follow-on career if I could no longer write. Drum roll, please....

I'd be a Reader.

For more on what I do now when I'm not writing, here's a post on my hobbies from last year's challenge. And be sure to check out the posts of the other authors who have challenged themselves to reveal their inner selves and their writing lives.

~till next time, Helen


52 Weeks in Review 2017 challenge #MFRWAuthor

Last week I gave some statistics about the Marketing for Romance Writers 52-week blog challenge. This week I summarize the heart of the challenge--the topics. When I first thought about participating, I wasn't sure about being about to do 52 posts, let alone the topics.

Some of the posts were easy, simple lists of things. Others were more challenging, especially with the consideration of writing something meaningful. Some of the posts were fun to share, others not so much. They were depressing as dreams that would never be fulfilled.

Then there were the subjects that were more personal than I care to reveal. I admit to being old school enough that I don't post my entire life on whatever is the social media site du jour. Experience with stalkers and identity theft also adds discretion to my reveals.

So how did I do as far as numbers?

Altogether 52 out of the 52 were posted. Yay! Pats self on the back. A glutton for punishment I'm back (at least part way) for 2018's challenge. But I've already decided I won't be doing every topic. Still be sure to follow my blog to be notified when I do jump in or follow the main hop list to the new posts.

Links to the 2017 posts by alphabetic topic are below. Again, congratulations to the other authors who participated. And to our readers I hope you enjoyed our revelations whether they be personal or about the writing life.

~till next time, Helen

Ancestry Inspires
Batteries Dead, Recharge Needed

Beauty in the Beholder's Eye
Bingeing on The Tube (TV Shows I Binge)
Biggest Accomplishment
Characters Have Favorite Things Too

Choosing Just One
Changing Seasons
Close the Door. It's Private

Format? What's Your Choice. Hear, Read, or Hold
Filling the Bucket
Friends For Now or Forever (Meet My Best Friend)
Guilty Pleasures - Food, Drink, Luxury
Hope and Kindness
A Heritage Recipe- Lokse

I Need A Hero
I'm Not Counting 

Inspiration Floats on the Wind
Laughing... Or Not
Last Meal? What Takes Forever to Cook
Love, Life, and Vengeance

Me Bad - My common writing mistake
Manage Time? Not Happening
Musing on Music
Memories of Firsts

My World
Name the Blossom - Rose or Tulip
Narration or Imagination
Never Forget

No Detail Too Small
Out and Away. Dream Journeys
Page to the Lens
Pet Peeve? Wrong Ending 

Picture Perfect - Hobbies When Not Writing
Plotter, Pantser, Explorer
Quote Unquote

Reading...read...read again
Rick, Stick, Kick, Ich (Words That Make Me Go Ich)
Stars, Stars, and More Stars
Surviving Writing Life When You're Not The Author

Ten Years, A Lifetime
To Catch A Dream
To The Next Generation
Weakness Makes Us Strong
Where Do You Hangout? Social Media Hangouts
Whoa Too Fast. A Childhood Memory
Writing is Magic
Want to Win My Heart? Chocolate
What's Bad for One is Good for Another
What is a Pet?

Space Beyond The Room (My Writing Space)


They're Not Me #mfrwauthor

Week 3 of the challenge asks a question every writer will have to field sooner or later. "How much of you are in your writing?"

In some ways, every author leaves a little of themselves on the page. It might be an unconscious leakage of a childhood memory appearing in the hero's past or places we've been that became settings in our books. 

Another interpretation of the prompt relates to me as my characters. Am I my characters? Nope! I haven't traveled in outer space or hunted treasures like Indiana Jones. Only in my imagination did I ride the desert with the Rat Patrol, fly missions with the bombers of the 918th on 12 O'Clock High or join the black sheep of VMF-214 in their Corsairs in the Pacific Theater (Baa Baa Black Sheep.)

Then there was the me that helped James bond and Illya Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo save the world. I won't admit which of the hunky Men From U.N.C.L.E. was my favorite. Now you can see why adventure and action must be in my stories. 

http://helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com/p/windmaster_5.html There are areas where I admit to writing myself into my books--and that is an attitude. All my heroes and heroines have a strong belief in duty and honor. To quote Detective Vincent Hardy in Striking Distance, "Loyalty above all else... except honor."

Conflicts between loyalties appears in Windmaster Legacy when Lord Dal must decide between saving his mother, his wife, or to honor his role as archmage and save magic for all future generations. 

Some authors create characters that are mirror images of themselves. Either as they are in real life or who they want to be. Except for Lady Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, and myself both having silver hair, my characters and I don't share any physical characteristics. While Ellspeth loves the crustaceans found in her native seas of Nerelan, and I love Gulf shrimp, I firmly state -- I'm not my characters.

For more on the Windmaster Novels, click on the covers. This is a hop so be sure to visit the other authors in the challenge. ~till next time, Helen

A dust bunny blipped a couple of the links. Hopefully, these will get you through.

Dee S. Knight


A Challenge Reviewed #mfrwauthor

A year ago to the day I signed up to do a challenge. I wasn't sure about the commitment to write a post every week. But I tried and hung in there, and in the end completed all 52 weeks. If you're interested, I've enclosed a list of links to my posts.

I wasn't the only one to take up the challenge. The first week eleven authors joined the hop. The number jumped to 24 and stayed near that for the first twelve weeks. The largest number of posts in the challenge was 27 and the lowest 11. At the end of the year, the average number of participants was 16.

Congratulations to all the other authors who participated. And to our readers I hope you enjoyed our revelations whether they be personal or about the writing life.

To learn more about Marketing For Romance Authors, click on the banner at the bottom of the page on the sidebar. There will be a new challenge for 2018. Maybe you'll find topics of interest and challenge.LIn

~till next time, Helen


It's a Blank Cloud #mfrwauthor

Welcome to week 2 of the 2018 challenge. It's topic is My Earliest Memory. You would think this would be an easy topic. Just cast your mind back in time to your childhood, jot down a few lines and you're done. Nope. Then there is the complication of a similar topic in the 2017 challenge.

Whether it is because of a focus on getting through each day, my age (I admit to rolling past a double nickle, but nothing else), or bad events knocking back good ones, when I tried to search for a memory, there was a blank cloud. That is not to say there is no self-awareness. Just that the images no longer roll by on command as if watching a movie.

So, I won't mention falling off a pony or extended summer stays in the mountains with grandparents, nor my first crush.

This is a blog hop so be sure to check out the other authors' earliest memories. ~till next time, Helen

Then dust collectors snagged a litter or two so here's corrected URLs

Buster the Labrador
Time for Remembering
Back in the Day



Tuesday's Title, Rescuing Prince Charming #SciFiRomance

She’s no heroine. He’s no Prince Charming

Title:  Rescuing Prince Charming
Author:  Edward Hoornaert

Date of Release:  December 4, 2017
Science Fiction Romance

Buy Links:
  Amazon    Apple iTunes


Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism when saboteurs try to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but that burst of courage propels her ever deeper into dangers that tear the scabs off her dark past — and thrust her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.

Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable — and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth’s most elusive enemies.

Behind the Scenes:

Although Rescuing Prince Charming can be read alone, it's set in the Alien Contact for Idiots universe. In the near future, Native Americans with unimaginably advanced technology from an alternate Earth 'hop' their entire island kingdom to our Earth -- and it's not always an easy transition. Each book describes how one man and one woman make the adjustment to the aliens amongst us. For example, Marianne and Quinn, who are important secondary characters in this book, had their own love story in Alien Contact for Kid Sisters.

Author Bio:

What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.

Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson , Arizona . They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandsons. Visit him at http://eahoornaert.com.
Follow him at Twitter.


I Can't Choose.. Don't Make Me #MFRWauthor

Welcome to week 1 of the 2018 challenge. The official topic is the favorite thing I've written. To an author that is like asking them to choose between their children.

It could be the first feature I wrote on Amercan art tiles. It was special to me because it was not just my first feature story (and got me started on a writing path that has lasted more than three decades,) but also because I became a tile historian.

Or, it could be one of the three local history books I authored. Two still hold a special place in my heart. The third, not so much. However I refuse to visit the troll that ruined that book's release.

But the group is marketing for romance authors so the book showcased should be my fiction. Windmaster was my first book so it will always be special.

Then there is Dragon Destiny. It was used as encouragement during a relative's rehab after surgery. And the main character was based on a family member who has since grown up into a beautiful young woman.

Both those books were followed by others including Hatchling's Vengeance and Imprisoned in Stone. Each presented a challenge to write and the resultant increase in skills makes them a favorite.

But to answer the question?

~till next time, be sure to visit the other authors in the challenge. You might find a new favorite book and author.

Gremlins danced in the links. Here's a couple of correct steps.

Dee S. Knight/
Robin Michaela
Mary McCoy-Dressel