Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Stephanie Bond | How to Refill Your Creative Well
Uncategorized / May 12, 2009

I’m coming off a crazy-hard writing year where I wrote 3 manuscripts for my BODY MOVERS humorous mystery series so they could be released back to back. I also wrote 3 manuscripts for Harlequin Blaze, (romantic comedies), also for back to back release. And I wrote 2 manuscripts for novellas. The schedule tested me physically and mentally, and afterward, I confess, I was zapped. My brain was mush—I could barely remember the names of the characters I’d written, much less come up with something new. But I had more projects on the horizon (after a short break), so I knew I had to do something to recharge my batteries. Here are some tips to regain your creativity if you’re in a slump: Adjust your Zzzzzzzs. Physically, you need to adjust your sleep patterns up or down to get 7-8 hours sleep. I got way too little sleep most of last year, so now I’m making an effort to go to bed an hour earlier. Conversely, though, too much sleep can leave you feeling lethargic, so if you’ve gotten into the habit of sleeping in, you might want to set your alarm to get up a little earlier and get a…

Stephanie Bond | Staying Safe
Uncategorized / March 10, 2009

I took a self-defense course several years ago as part of the coursework to become a private investigator in the state of Georgia (all for research). In the class, one of the messages aimed at women was not to give in to the fear of looking foolish if you avoid (or confront) someone who makes you nervous. The instructor said that women are so afraid of offending others that they will put their own lives in danger. Criminals know this and will prey on women’s instincts to “be nice” to people, even strangers who might look threatening. But the instructor reminded women in the class that any man with good intentions who has a mother, sister, or daughter, will understand if a woman is spooked by his proximity. Do you know what most women do when confronted with an intruder in their home? Not scream, not run for the nearest exit. Most women will ask, “How did you get in here?” As if it matters. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the female psyche, that even when confronted with danger, we’re trying to assimilate how it happened versus reacting to it. Have you ever thought about what you would do if…

Stephanie Bond | Writing a Letter to Yourself
Uncategorized / October 9, 2008

In this day of faxes, e-mails, instant messages, and texting, what a treat it is to receive an old-fashioned hand-written letter! The pleasure of unfolding crisp pages of stationery..ahhh. But what if you received a letter one day, and it was a letter you’d written to yourself ten years ago! My husband had a high school instructor who asked his students to write a letter to themselves about the things they wanted out of life and where they thought they would be in ten years. Then he sealed the envelopes and ten years later, sent them to the last address of record the school had for each student. My husband’s parents forwarded his letter on to him and I remembered how amazed and thrilled he was when he realized what he was reading. It was like a time capsule into his teenage mind, and he must have reread it a dozen times. It was a time of self-evaluation for my husband, comparing where he thought he’d be with where he was. As it turned out, my husband’s achievements had surpassed what he’d thought himself capable ofonly ten years earlier, and he said that revelation alone reinforced the idea of never…

Stephanie Bond | Why Romance and Mystery Make Great Bedfellows
Romance / February 20, 2008

I just finished writing the third book in my Body Movers sexy mystery series (Three Men and a Body, due out August 2008) in which the main character, Carlotta Wren, works for Neiman Marcus by day and helps her brother move bodies from crime scenes by night. Carlotta’s life is further complicated by the three men in her life: her first love, a cop who has reopened the case of her fugitive father, and her brother’s body-moving boss. For me, romance and mystery are a natural fit, because one helps to foster the other in the story. The suspense of a mystery is further heightened when the players are emotionally involved. Likewise, the romance between characters is heightened by the adrenaline pumping from the suspense scenes. Nothing gets the heart racing like danger!In writerspeak, mystery and romance make for a great intermingling of external and internal conflict. The mystery is the external conflict of the story, but if, for example, two characters are on opposite sides of solving the mystery, it makes their internal (personal) conflict more real, and more complicated. This is why I love combining the elements of mystery and romance—they are better together than on their own….