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I used to love to give writing advice–how to outline a book, how to craft a plot, to create characters…

I don’t like it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about what I do, but I’ve learned the hard way that you can talk until you’re blue in face, giving all sorts of priceless advice about novel writing and breaking into the publishing world… but there are some things that a person only learns by doing. In fact, I learned all of those lessons by doing, too. It’s like giving someone verbal instructions on how to balance while riding a bike. Until you start pedalling, it’s all just theory.

So maybe my best novel-writing advice these days is this: start writing!

Writing a book is freaking hard. You have to sit down and put every single word onto the page… and then go over those words and fix them and make them better.

I know I make it seem easy. That’s part of my charm. 😉 But it isn’t easy. It takes focus and energy and a dogged, stubborn refusal to give up. It also requires that you like the process–honestly like it! Because you’ll be doing a LOT of it, and if you don’t like it, you’ll quit. And I won’t even blame you.

However, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t fun and fulfilling! And powering through the hard parts is how you end up on the other side filled with all sorts of advice to offer other people who are just starting out.

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So, if you are one of these nutty people who honestly likes the process of writing a book, then the advice I have is–keep writing!

Dogged persistence pays off. And the other people just starting out need to see you succeed! It gives them encouragement and hope that if you can do it, so can they.

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9781335510747He’s in over his head…

And calling for backup!

Police officer Mike McMann is always cool under pressure, but taking custody of his infant nephew has left him in a cold sweat. Coming to his rescue is social worker Paige Stedler. Paige gives him a crash course on parenting—and a tempting glimpse into a life beyond the badge. But is Mike ready to trade in his SWAT team aspirations for a white picket fence?

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