Two Romance Author Talks About Creating A Community

Do you have a community the supports your dreams and passions?

Writing can be a solitary endeavor. We delve into our own minds to find that creativity, that imagination, that muse. It is our art. But we don’t have to do it alone! Some writers find critique groups. Some writers host writing sprints and brainstorming sessions. In today’s episode, Storm and I talk about our own groups and how creating community can help the writing process.  

 

Create your own community. In the mid-1800s, there was a movement that changed how the world would forever look at and judge art. Impressionism was incubated at Café Guerbois.

How did a small group of people accomplish this fete? By meeting together regularly, challenging and debating with each other on the idea of art and what makes it art.

They had heated disagreements over the “rules” of art. Artists such as Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Degas made up this group, and their creative energy paved the way for generations of modern artists.

Steve Jobs said collaboration works best when ideas are met with brutal honesty and are forced to explore a deeper purpose. I doubt Degas ever patted Manet on the back and said he had pretty pictures. They didn’t just dream of being artists, they wanted to set the world on fire with their passion despite what the established art world told them. They were told they were impostors and needed to stop trying to be an artist.

It seems I spend many days telling myself that I’m not an impostor…my friends help with this too. We need those kinds of people in our life.

Ten years ago I made the resolution to try and write for commercial publication. I went online and found SARA (San Antonio Romance Authors), and my writing greatly improved because of their questioning and tough critique.  I also learned about the realities of being published. Like selling one book doesn’t mean you will be guaranteed to sell another.

I’m published today because of them. They also introduced me to others that changed my life.

In June, for last several years, I have made my way to West Texas A&M for a writer’s summer camp. This is where I met Jodi Thomas and now count her as a friend. The first year I made the five hour trip alone and it was worth it.

For five days, a small group of us met for almost five hours a day in a class going over our own stories. It’s magical. It was a full week of brainstorming and being pushed by this small group to find that twist in my story to make it unique. I learned that the ideas are there, the details buried deep within my brain.

A few ladies of my writing group.

A few ladies from my writing group.

Side benefit? Lifelong friends that “get me” in a way no one else ever will. And most of all, urge me to get it written and put it out into the world.

I also have created friendships with the woman of Love Inspired. We share a publisher and at times need to cheer each other on or just talk about the industry. I love that they are all over the country and in Canada.  

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Storm’s website: https://stormnavarro.com/
Jolene’s website: https://jolenenavarrowriter.com/

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas

Using The Five Love Languages for Characters

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman has been around many years. I read it as a young parent of four children. My husband and I read it. I now use it to help develop my fictional characters. We all want to belong, to have people in our lives that love us. Understanding the love languages not only helps you see how others might be expressing it to you, but how you feel loved. To visit their website click on the books.

When a love language is not expressed or it is used to hurt a child the wounds can cause deep scares. I think it’s the reason one child can be traumatized by something and another doesn’t even remember it. A child that scores low on words of affirmation can ignore hurtful words. But take a child that words of affirmation is how they feel loved, those words of anger or hate cut deeper and can linger a lifetime. A child that needs time or service to feel loved will have a harder time being left alone after school. But to the child that has the love language of gifts, they wont mind being alone. they will feel loved when a parents shows up with a thought present to show they were thinking of them. Our strongest memories are tied to emotions. We remember how someone make us feel.

That is why we respond differently to the same situation. It will depend on our love language if we remembered feeling loved or ignored. My son Tate joins us as we explore The Five Love Languages on our Podcast this week. Who Asked Us? The Unsolicited Opinions of Two Romance Authors. Hosted by Storm Navarro and her mom. (That’s me)

Words of affirmation. Acts of service. Receiving gifts. Quality time. Physical touch. We LOVE love languages! Join us with my brother Tate as we discuss the five Love Languages from Gary Chapman and how it can be incorporated into real life AND romance novels!

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WhoAskedUs​​​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Who_Asked_Us​​​

Storm’s website: https://stormnavarro.com/​​​

Jolene’s website: https://jolenenavarrowriter.com/

In my writing world I’m back in Port Del Mar with Andres Sanchez. I hope to have a cover to share soon. I’m getting excited about the final edits for my October 2021 release. Her Holiday Secret is a lovely family story of redemption, faith and love.

It’s a Man’s World. Can Women Write (right) it?

Today I’m in edit mode and I’m checking in from my back porch.

As a romance author, I get to play around in the male brain. Finding that balance between masculinity and emotional authenticity is a fun challenge. But I do completely feel that instead of men vs woman we are individuals. Are there tendencies? Yes. Are there unfair stereotypes? Yes.

Studies claim that men speak few words. Some say men don’t notice details. People will claim that woman are more emotional and men more logical (haha). My two sons and two daughters join us as Storm and I explore the topic of writing male POV.

Who Asked Us?