Sunday, May 31, 2009

I have an idea, but...

You know how often wanna be writers use this line?

-- I have an idea, but I'm not sure if it's already been done.

-- I have an idea, but I'm not sure what will be selling when I finish it.

-- I have an idea that I want opinions about, but I don't want someone to steal it.

-- I have a great idea, but I need help with the plot.


This may sound insensitive, but if you're a writer, you write. Whether it's "been done" or whether the market shifts or whether you know the full plot when you start. If you want to write, then write it. If you're iffy about whether it's worth your time, it probably isn't.


No one is going to steal "your" idea. There isn't an idea out there that hasn't been done in some way already. It doesn't matter. What matters is how YOU do it. No one can tell your story like you can. So tell it. Or don't. But don't blame "but" and don't let it hold you back. If it holds you back, you may enjoy writing now and then but you're not "a writer" who will get anywhere.


Agents and publishers want books, not ideas. Readers want full stories. They want to read stories from authors who have been writing long enough and seriously enough to be good at their craft. They want emotion and depth and heart. If you have this and can put it into your stories and are willing to sit down for the hours after hours after hours writing and rewriting and rewriting more and cutting out your precious words that don't work well enough and filling in what hasn't been shown well enough and rewriting again and editing, editing, editing, and if you're willing to get critiques from those who won't pander to your ego ... and then go back and fix it ...


Then take your idea and CHARGE full steam ahead with it!


Someone recently asked me if the being unsure and rewriting ever stops. Being unsure never stops. Or it shouldn't. Rewriting eventually stops with each book after it's where it needs to be, but it starts fresh with each book that will need to be rewritten, also. They all will. The more you write, the less you'll need to rewrite because you learn more each time. A first draft, though, will always be only that.


I was noveling seriously for ten years before I put my first book out. That ten years included a novel writing class, studying the technique elsewhere, lots of reading (as I'd always done and if you don't, don't think you can write well), and TONS of rewriting. It's part of the job.


I have an idea ... actually I have lots of ideas, with seven novels in progress at the moment in different stages. Do I care what the market does or what anyone else is writing? Nope. I'm writing all of them because I need to write them. Hopefully, someone will want to bother reading them. Either way, they're going out there. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When You Know It's Right


All writers know that moment: when you put down words that flow from somewhere within and it's simply perfect. It doesn't come often, but it does come.

I said a couple of days ago I had the 2nd draft of Off The Moon done. It was. Except it apparently wasn't. The end bothered me. It wasn't "just right" but I figured it would come during edits.

It came last night instead. NOW it feels finished. It feels like a real end mixed with a new beginning and it's satisfying. It feels right. And it's amazing how much more refreshed I feel today.

On the BookSpa list the other day (linked to the right), we were discussing whether a writer is who you are or only what you do. There were good points on both sides, but I said it's who I am, that I'm not me if I'm not writing enough. Then I wondered if I was being pretentious. Last night reminded me why I say it's who I am. When you wake up refreshed in the morning instead of feeling a nagging weight and the only thing that changed is finding the "right" ending (or other part) of your story, a writer is who you are. It's part of you.

This book in itself feels "right" as well. Something inside says this is the one to focus on, the one that will make me more established as a writer to be acknowledged. I know that sounds pretentious and I humbly apologize but the saying that goes "if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you" is completely correct. I believe I'm a writer to be acknowledged. I'm glad to finally be able to say so instead of shying away from saying I'm a writer. And this time, I'm going about the publishing process in a more productive way, a way that will help that more than I have so far.

One thing I'll be doing is ordering ARCs (advanced reading copies). As an indie, I'll have to pay for them myself but I believe it will be worth the cost. I want it reviewed, hopefully by the Library Review Journal among other places. I want names in the business providing cover quotes. I may even go after quotes from big names such as Marilynne Robinson, my unwitting mentor, and Roberta Isleib with whom I've established somewhat of a working relationship.

I can't put in the thousands of dollars for promo as some self-publishers (such as The Shack author) do in order to get big sales, but there are less expensive ways to do things that are still done right and I'm all for finding them.

Keep an eye out for Off The Moon. I believe you'll want to find this one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Free Stories!


ClassicRomanceRevivalClassic Romance Revival is celebrating spring fever with a whole bunch of free reads!  For your  short story, simply subscribe to our blog during the month of May, and we'll email your free read to you.  No questions, no time-consuming entries, no waiting....

Just click on the link below, look in the right hand sidebar for "Subscribe2" link and you're done!

See you on the blog!

If you'd like more information on the group and what we have to offer, email us at:

The Revival has just begun!

As a member and moderator of CRR, I have a couple of stories included in this. After you subscribe to the blog, if you email and tell me the title of the story you received, I'll add to it by sending the beginning of my current WIP so you can see what I have in the works. [note: it is rated 18+ so I'll substitute if you prefer]

All CRR romances are non-erotic with different heat levels. You can find the ratings on our blog in the "About Us" section.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Do You Twitter?


AHHH!inkblot2 There are so MANY social networks out there and although some of your friends may already be on the one(s) you're on, some are on different ones and how do you keep up with all of them when they're all over the place?

Well there has to be a limit. I'm on Myspace, Facebook, Shelfari, Goodreads (although I only know how to get to my account there through my Facebook), Yahoo 360, Flixster (connected to family only), Gather (although I haven't been there in forever), LibraryThing, and there are likely others I've forgotten by now. I also recently joined Twitter. Why? Because John Kremer told me to.

No, I don't always follow orders from experts who say "you have to do this to market," and I put it off for some time after Mr. Kremer insisted it's a book marketing necessity, but ... I'm at Twitter. Find me there and everywhere else by searching LK Hunsaker (no punctuation, although I apparently like parentheses). You know what? I like Twitter although my first thought when I heard about it was somewhere along the lines of rolling my eyes, which I very well did. How can I not like it? I "followed" Keith Urban and he's following me back! Granted, most of the big names don't bother to follow you back and I know Mr. Urban has more to do than to actually read my twitterings (yes, I think that is an actual word now) but still, when you decide to stalk someone who decides to stalk you in return, it's flattering. Uh, I mean follow, not stalk. I think.

Much of it feels like stalking, though, with some of the stuff people put on there. I finally stopped following an author who every two minutes informed all of us about how her refrigerator cleaning was going with more description than I wanted, thanks anyway. So Twitter away, go for it, but leave the frig cleaning and such in private, please. I don't want five minute updates about what you're doing unless it's actually interesting. Hey, if you're backstage with Bon Jovi getting to see the roadies at work and the band at play, by all means, let us know. Or if you're on your way to London from the States and getting stopped by security although you're a big name, let us know that, too (a nod to Rob Thomas -- sorry, had to laugh about that one). I like finding new blog entries and new happenings and reading successes and struggles along career paths. I like nature/spiritual quotes. I like some of the regular daily stuff as long as it's not overdone, or gross. I do appreciate those who keep the language PG rated since you never know what age group is following you.

Today Steve Weber decided to follow me. Of course he's looking for writers to follow him in return and I'll be glad to do so, but that means my name is getting out there as being a writer. That's a good thing. It's also getting out that I'm music-obsessed and appreciate the meditative quality of nature since those into Yoga are following me.

It doesn't even take much time, which is a good thing when your schedule is busy as most of us can say. I run through now and then to see what others are up to, sometimes sending return comments, and post what I'm doing or thinking. Um, I don't post about what I'm cleaning. That's even boring to me. Why would I share the boredom? Of course, some may think my nature appreciation posts are boring, so I don't do them often. Variety is good. I do some marketing posts but I prefer simply to chat with people. I might have to find something interesting to be in the midst of so I'll have something more interesting to post. Because ... while editing may be brain-filling and intense, it's boring to read about. Hmmm... what I can think of to tell people today?

Oh, I have these blog posts linking automatically to Facebook. Now if I could do that with every other site and make this my main hub of communication, how grand would that be?

Now for the minor marketing insert... I have a new short story free to read: a very short romantic comedy about two dogs and sneakers. Go to Smashwords to check it out. While you're there, peruse my other free stories! It won't bother me if you decide to check out my novels in Ebook format, either. ;-)


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Author Interview: Francesca Prescott


The other day I reviewed Francesca Prescott's debut romantic comedy, Mucho Caliente!, for my new role as an official reviewer for Classic Romance Revival. You can find the review here:

You may want to pop over and read that first and then return for Prescott's lovely words of wisdom and insight in the interview she kindly granted:


Hi Francesca! Thank you for being here.

First things first, is there anything about my review of Mucho Caliente! you'd like to discuss, argue, etc?

Hi Loraine,

I was impressed by your review, as you mentioned things about my book that other reviewers never had. You talked about the issue of self-acceptance brought on by being an artsy type in a business world, which, in my opinion, is an important one in “Mucho Caliente!”. Personally, I often feel somewhat “out-of-sync” during social gatherings grounded in business, as it’s as if my mind doesn’t quite connect on the same wave-length as those of the people carrying on conversations around me. It can be rather unsettling, as I’ll immediately start worrying whether the other people are wondering if I’m altogether there! Truthfully, chances are I’m not, because my mind will be busy with random, visual details, or drifting off somewhere else entirely, simply because I’m shy, I’m out of my element and - oh dear! - fundamentally, not that interested! But if I am interested, I’m there two hundred percent, and will remember even the tiniest, most insignificant details forever.

You also mentioned in your review that you never quite connected with Emilio Caliente as a real person, and were not convinced that Gemma moves from seeing him as a pop star to seeing him as simply Emilio. It’s true that we don’t learn much about Emilio’s psyche in “Mucho Caliente!”. In my defense, I’ll say that this probably stems from the fact that the book is written in the first person, present tense, and focuses intensely on Gemma’s thoughts and actions. I “became” Gemma while writing the book, and therefore felt her strong connection with Emilio. I can honestly say that felt I “knew” Emilio so well by the end of the story that I was as much in love with him as Gemma was. In real life, I’m still in awe of my husband’s capacities, be they intellectual, creative, humoristic, etc. Somewhere in my mind, he’s still that gorgeous, perfect individual that I so desperately needed to impress. Relationships are an endless, fascinating, learning curve, don’t you think?

Ah, yes, and that's good for us all to remember, that relationships are on a constant move! I agree about the first person POV and I missed mentioning it in my review, but although I rarely like first person fiction, I thought this was the perfect way to tell Gemma's story and it came across well, was well done. And it is true that in real life we rarely connect with another as intensely as novels generally show, since we are only seeing from our own perspective, so it came off as very real!

In staying with the "real" theme, I love the premise of Gemma being embarrassed by her infatuation with Emilio Caliente, pop star, because pop is often looked down on much the way romance novels are. I've never heard of anyone being embarrassed to be a fan of, say Chicago or Journey or of mainstream writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, but that does seem untrue of boy bands and romance books. Was there a correlation between the two in mind while planning the book? Any insights as to why this would be?

I’ve always loved mainstream pop-music. I love catchy tunes and lyrics that I can sing-along to. There’s something deeply satisfying, not to mention uplifting, about going to a concert and being able belt out every single song along with the performer. As far as I’m concerned, I become euphoric, get goose-bumps and even cry tears of joy! Were I a performer, this is the kind of response I’d strive to receive from my audience. However, in my experience, this rarely happens as it calls for a very special connection, an extreme generosity, and an honest, mutual love and acceptance. I’ve been to many very good concerts, where I’ve come away impressed on an intellectual level, but few have taken me to a state of euphoric, blissed-out, shiny-eyed, extreme happiness. Come to think of it, the only performers that have taken me to that level are “lowly” pop artists! You want names?! One that springs to mind is Ricky Martin, particularly during his concert two years ago in Barcelona, and the other is British boy-band Take That in Zurich, a few months later. The atmosphere during both concerts was fabulously festive; both arenas were literally heaving with joy from the very first note. And yes, I’ve often been on the receiving end of little smiles of disdain when asked about my musical tastes. I’ve taken snide comments about the bubble-gum, commercial rubbish I like to listen to. The thing is, such comments are often so petty and cliché! Besides, it’s extremely hard to write a perfect, classic pop-song that will sound as good today as it will in twenty, thirty, forty years. Look at Abba! Who wanted to admit loving Abba when they appeared out of nowhere and won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974! Yet their songs sound just as fresh today as they did back then.

Not that I’m knocking other types of music, nor am I saying that people who aren’t particularly swayed by pop music are pseudo-intellectual snoots who should get a grip. The music I enjoy listening to extends way beyond pop; what I play depends on my moods. However, I’ve never been able to enjoy jazz, probably because I’m always trying to find a tune, and chances are there isn’t one!

In regard to the literary snobbism often extended towards romance books, yes, I do find it irritating. I went to a literary conference a few years ago where I felt utterly out of place after announcing I was writing a romantic comedy. Cue disdainful, condescending little smiles, pained expressions, and pinched nostrils; everyone else was writing “serious fiction”. Talk about social suicide! But somewhere deep inside, despite my shyness, I must be a bit of a rebel: Mucho Caliente! is a romantic comedy involving a lowly pop star, and it’s written in the first person, present tense! Three major no-nos; ooh-la-la! But from what I’ve gathered, my book makes people smile. It makes people happy. It’s sheer entertainment. It’s literary pop music!

Wonderful insights! I completely agree. I've often wondered why anyone should look down on something that truly makes so many other people happy! Whether it's pop or romance, both of which are truly very connecting mediums, maybe more so than other genres, if it's touching peoples hearts and souls, it's worth its weight in gold, regardless of critics. And I have to say that's one thing I really liked about your book, that it ventures outside the commonalities of the romance genre and reaches more toward literary romance, unconventional, unusual, and delightfully rebellious. Of course, we should also stop and realize that both pop music and romance novels, both while being so "disdained" are the biggest selling genres. ;-)

Francesca, are there any of Gemma's qualities you particularly relate to?

Like Gemma, I tend to over-analyze situations, I worry about the most ridiculous things, I often lack self-confidence. But as my thirteen year old niece once said when she was much younger, “if you don’t go to the party, you don’t get a balloon.” Some parties are worth going to (lots of balloons!), others less so. Basically, I’ve learned to push myself towards new challenges if I sense the outcome will be beneficial, if I think that I’ll learn from it, that I might grow. Gemma grows by daring to make changes in her life and by trusting her instincts, even if she’s a big chicken at heart. I’m a big chicken, but I’ll blow the coop if I feel there’s something worthwhile on the other side.

Incredible lesson, there! So tell us about your feature in Ibiza Style! How does one who describes herself as shy deal with an article interview and photoshoot? Where can we find it?

Being interviewed by Ibiza Style magazine was a chance opportunity that I cemented by simply daring to believe that it might be possible, that there was no harm in trying, that the worst they could say was “no.” As a writer, I’ve grown accustomed to being told “no,” so one more wasn’t going to reduce me to tears. I simply emailed the editor of the magazine, explaining who I was, what I’d accomplished and what the book was about. Of course, the fact that “Mucho Caliente!” is set in Ibiza made it more alluring to him. To my knowledge, there is very little fiction written about the island. I sent the book over, he read it, enjoyed it, so I flew over for the interview, never expecting there’d be a photoshoot involved!

What I did expect, however, was to be extremely nervous before meeting Jurgen, the editor of Ibiza Style, for the interview. Strangely enough, I wasn’t. I suppose I was confident enough about my book to know that I’d be fine discussing it with him. I’m passionate about writing, about Ibiza, about the themes in my book, as well as about all sorts of other things, so I figured it couldn’t be so terrible. I mean, if he wanted to write about me, he wasn’t going to bash me, was he?! Sure, we might not have connected at all, but as it happened, we got along extremely well and had plenty of things to talk about. The tape recorder was a little intimidating initially, but I soon forgot about it; after a few minutes, it was just like talking to a friend about things that make me tick. I enjoyed myself, and really liked him. On the other hand, had he shown up with a team of people to listen in on the conversation, I’d probably have clammed up. I’m not good in big groups!

As for the photoshoot, we did that the following day. Jurgen is also a photographer, so he came to the house where I was staying, and we just carried on from where we’d left off. As I said, I was comfortable with him, so all I had to do was listen to his directions, and try to look as relaxed and as pretty as possible! And frankly, I was delighted with the photographs. I was even more delighted when I saw the article in the magazine: I never expected four pages!

Ibiza Style is available from the German Amazon, . It is a trilingual magazine, all the articles are in English, German and Spanish. It was particularly fun for me to see the first few paragraphs of my book translated into German and Spanish, as I do hope that, one day, the book will be available in other languages. It is a very multicultural book, so I’m convinced it could be appreciated by a wider audience. You can also download the magazine on-line from : . However, the instructions on the link are in German, which might be a little daunting if, like me, you don’t speak Deutsch! Otherwise, you can read the article and view the photos on my website:

What do you do in your down-time for relaxation, other than reading?

When I’m not writing, or reading, I’m usually running around taking care of my family’s needs, so have little down-time. My other big passion is horses; my daughter and I share a dressage horse, so I spend a lot of time at the stables. I go to Pilates classes twice a week to keep myself in supermodel shape (ha ha!), and take care of my garden, which, right now, is simply stunning.

I see on your website you're considering a sequel to Mucho Caliente!. I, for one, would love to read their story farther down their relationship line. Do you have a plot idea in mind for it, or is it still in the maybe stage?

I am considering writing a sequel to Mucho Caliente!, but only once I’ve finished working on my dramedy, Turn Left at the Ocean, which I’m currently in the process of re-writing. This is a much more complicated book than Mucho Caliente!, the story is a lot bigger; it’s practically a saga in its sheer scope. It is set between California, England, Sicily and the Greek island of Ithaca. I hope to be finished by the end of the year. After that, I’ll start thinking about a potential sequel to Mucho Caliente!. I have a few ideas, but I don’t like working on more than one book at a time. I get so involved with my characters lives that I can’t just put them on hold while I attend to the intense demands of new ones!

Oh, I do truly look forward to your dramedy, as I see the potential for even more literary style there, and such gorgeous settings. Francesca, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to be here. Best of luck with Mucho and your future work!

Thank you, Loraine, for your great review of Mucho Caliente! and for your extremely interesting questions that I’ve really enjoyed answering. I wish you all the best with your writing, too!

xx Francesca

Mucho Caliente
Francesca Prescott
Bookstrand, Romantic Comedy
ISBN: 978-1-60601-170-6
340 pgs, sensual


Saturday, May 02, 2009

May Flowers



Daffodils, Tulips, and an Angel Watching Over
LK Hunsaker May 2009


When I was young I lived next to an older lady, widowed by the time we moved into the house next to hers. To this day, I've no idea when she lost her husband, or how. I knew she had a married daughter, and grandchildren, but they lived in another state. Which state, I also don't know. I suppose I could have talked with her more often. It never seemed necessary. And, in those days, children respected their elders and would never have been so nosy.

I'm also not sure how the tradition was started, but every May Day, my older sister and I would pull a piece of colorful construction paper from the book, twist it into a cone and tape it to hold its carefully-planned shape. Then, with as straight a cut as we could manage, we formed a handle, long enough to slip over a round door knob. Having this attached, we set out to find treasure.

To us, treasure was any of the little flowers we could find growing wild. We knew what we could pick and what we couldn't, and we always respected the boundary of our neighbors' yards. Purple violas were our favorite, but bright yellow dandelions worked as well. The combination was beautiful in our eyes.

Having collected enough of Nature's perfect things, we happily returned to our modest home and begged a few wrapped candies to fill the bottom of the cone, arranging the flowers above so a few would cascade over the edge. After one of us cautiously peeked outside to make sure she wasn't tending her yard, my sister and I hurried across the lush bright green grass, propped the May basket on Mrs. Brandt's doorknob, rang the bell and rushed away so she wouldn't find the identity of her admirers.

This gave us tremendous pleasure, hoping she would realize how special we thought she was, even if she didn't know who we were.

It's funny, looking back through the eyes of those children, realizing why she was so special to us. She was incredibly sweet and had a beautiful, warm smile. And there was nothing more. There didn't need to be anything more. This lady, who didn't have to acknowledge our presence, cared about us and liked who we were. In return, we cared about her.

Of course, we now realize she knew who it was bringing her the little day-brightening gift. And I'm guessing that she knows it was our younger sister who continued the tradition after we grew up and moved away.

Now, living over 1200 miles from home, in a neighborhood without elderly neighbors, I feel the loss of not having her next door. I think of what my children are missing; the knowledge and grace that comes with age, with learning the importance of the little things. The ones who well know how important the little ones are to our future and how important our memories are.

26 Dec 2001


An update on this little memoir that I meant to post yesterday: We have moved a couple of times since then and are now living beside a delightful older couple. My son spends a fair amount of time sitting with the gentleman around the little fire he likes to make in his yard and in return, gathers bunches of sticks from our property to take to him. I wish I had thought to have him try to sneak a May basket over yesterday.


With our parents in other states, it's nice to have this grandfather enjoy sharing his time with my son.


Look around. There are nearly always elderly folks who would enjoy the company of "adopted" young people, and what those kids get in return is invaluable.