Thursday, May 30, 2019


This week I've been a guest on Linzé Brandon's blog, Butterfly on a Broomstick, talking about dreams, and my new release, Playing by the Rules. Thank you, Linzé for hosting me.

Butterfly on a Broomstick

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Friday, May 24, 2019


I’m certain all have you have heard the phrase “Together we stand, divided we fall” before.
How profound is that? I found it a few months ago while I struggled to market my books without a budget to speak off. It made me think. Yes, there are many groups on the internet to which you can belong where you can post your books. You can pay for advertising on Google, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram. There are other platforms and people promising you the earth, but is it working?
I thought I was alone when I saw several posts in the Facebook group of the Romance Novelist Association (RNA) and The Writing Gals, where authors were ready to give up. Sales have dropped, and it felt for many as if it wasn’t worth it. Yes, I admit, I felt the same.
I had to do a lot of soul-searching. Why am I writing? For the money? For fame? We had a hectic few months and I felt I couldn’t justify the expense of paying for editors and cover designers anymore. Not if I have to look at the income versus expenses. Was it worth it?
My conclusion was, yes. It is worth it because I’m not writing to get rich. I write because I have to. I write because I need to. I write because I love it. I just need to work smarter. And for me, smarter means not working alone.
That had been the turning point for me.
It also made me realise that I can make changes and I can help others. That is when indie authors of Southern Africa group were born. The purpose of the group is to learn from each other and help each other promote our books. Our aim is to find our readers, here in South Africa and abroad. It is difficult if you only publish online. The South African reader public is still traditional and prefer to still hold a book in their hands. I’m the same—or I had been. Travelling with a case of books is ridiculous so now I read online. Still, there is a book or two I prefer to hold in my hand. Mine, specifically.
Most of our authors met through the Romance Writers Organisation of South Africa (ROSA). This group does not want to take authors away from ROSA. We urged new members to join ROSA if they hadn’t done so. ROSA is aimed for romance books and although we are romance authors, some of our authors had published self-help books and inspirational books.
In the group, we have established authors who had published through big and smaller publishing houses. We have experienced self-publishing authors. We have debut authors and authors who had published a book or two through a traditional publisher and are now self-publishing their next book. Considering we have such a fast range of experience in the group, it is therefore understandable that the more experienced authors would give advice to the newbies.
Did it work that way? No. And there are reasons for that. I find it fascinating that the newbies are the ones who didn’t mind trying new things where the more established authors are following their trusted methods. That’s great and it is understandable because they had already built up a following the new authors need. They are there to tell the newbies no, don’t waste your money on that, or I found that work for me or that didn’t. That’s what we need. Exchanging ideas and information. I think the more experienced authors find the enthusiasm of the newer authors inspiring. 
There are still many things we need to figure out but each week we learn and we grow. It is amazing that there are others in the same boat who go through the same struggles I do and if I have questions, they will give advice.
We share information and we network. We promote each other’s new releases and celebrate each other’s successes and commiserate when things don’t go that well. We are learning as we go along, exchanging ideas and trying to find new ways of doing things.
There are obstacles. Our biggest obstacles are to find our readers. For indie authors to get their books into a bookshop is difficult. None of us has the money to pay for distributors. Indie bookshops are few. We rely on the few indie bookshops willing to take us, book fairs and markets and there are a few of those in which we can take part.
I can already see us arranging our own book fairs. We couldn’t wait for others. We need to take action ourselves. And we can’t do it alone. Come, join us, support us, and help us grow.
If you want to find out more about us, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Our website should run soon.
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@FrancineBeatonAuthor @dorothyewelsauthor @rita.kruger.9469 @LeennaNaidoo @GeorgiaLynHunter @vidawriter @anntonyauthor @LinzeBrandon @GaeilleVanderspekAuthor @joannejosephauthor @kathy.bosmanauthor @charlene.namdhari @Bailie Hantam @Nadine Raal @A.K. MacBride @Harper Dell

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Meet my Guest: Harper Dell

Today, meet my guest, Harper Dell and celebrate with her, her newest release, Touch Me.

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a writer by trade and by heart. I have written everything from technical research papers to daily soap opera but my passion is for romantic fiction. Thus far I have written four holiday romance novellas - my Love Bites - and the first two in my contemporary family romance series. Trust Me follows Brianna and Cole's love story, while Touch Me focuses on youngest Sister Skye Hanson, her gay husband Jaimie and her deepening relationship with Zach as she comes into her own. Both books feature a central love story with lots of family drama in between.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book which has just released is Touch Me: Book 2 in the Hanson family series. As a series, I guess the whole thing was inspired by the fact that I come from a big family myself and know the ins and outs of sibling drama. For Skye's love story, I've often seen couples together where the husband is clearly gay and wondered why they are together. I decided to tackle this tricky subject as Skye, married to gay hubby Jaimie, realizes she needs something more. She has to navigate her way out of a comfortable marriage while still keeping her best friend (Jaimie) and being brave enough to confront her own sexuality with Zach. Is her husband Jaimie ready to do the same? Is Skye still a virgin? Does Zach need her as much as she needs him? How will she handle a family bombshell her sister Hannah is about to drop on her? You'll have to read the book to find out ;) (And all this in between planning sister Brie’s engagement party, getting a promotion, and coming to the rescue of a forgotten diva.)

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I guess I am a romantic at heart. I remember reading my mother's Mills and Boons as a teenager and even submitting a synopsis to them written by hand. I'm the last person you'll find watching a horror movie and I'm a sucker for grand gestures, not to mention the small things like making your partner a cup of tea or just listening when they talk. There were also some practical considerations in my decision - romance is really popular (though also competitive) and being shorter books I would be able to write quicker and give my readers what they want.

What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?
This is one of the reasons I decided not to write historical romance :) Seriously though, I tend to research as I go along and as questions arise. My main focus with this series is researching the area the characters live in, where they explore (given that it's set in the United States) and also their chosen careers. In this case, since Skye is a Head Writer on a soap opera, I had the inside track, having written on soap opera myself. I did, however, approach my ex Head Writer boss to check on a couple of things for accuracy.

How do you select the names of your characters?
Given that they are love stories I think of the couple's names together and if they have a nice rhythm. Later in the book I sometimes realize they don't have surnames :) and have to come up with one. I tend to choose names that sound romantic but I guess that's a subjective thing.

How do you like to collect and organise your ideas?
Not very well. I do a basic chapter by chapter outline (which is usually a sentence or two per chapter). I'm working on doing better outlines so I can write the next books faster.

How long did it take you to write this book?
This one took a year as I had a major life move in between and it was a tricky subject with several emotional journeys - not just the hero and heroine. I plan to write and release at least two more books in the series this year now that I am more settled, to maintain moment.

What's next for you as a writer?
The rest of the Hanson family series. There are five siblings, plus mom, Jaimie and a couple of other surprises. I'm also working on a shorter series set in a ballet company for quick release when it's ready.

Author Bio 
Romance author, Harper Dell, writes heartwarming, sexy romantic fiction. Strong plots, high on emotion, combine with love, romance, family ties and, of course, dollops of steamy sex. Along with fiction, Harper writes and edits for daily soap opera and television drama.

You can follow Harper here:


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