The Rake’s Handbook by Sally Orr – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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What would I tell a new author?
When I decided to write a book, I had no idea how to start. Believe me, I was clueless. First, I stared at the blank page like a deer in headlights–frozen. However, I was also a research scientist, so I did research into books that sell. My results, and a natural proclivity for all things English, led me to choose a Regency-era romance for my first book. So here I go!

Right, how do you write a book?

Easy peasy, I bought a “how to write a novel” type of book. The chapter headings were concepts like: characterization, plotting, dialog, emotion, grammar, narration, and hooks. Eeeck! There’s a ton to learn about this whole writing business.

“Dammit, Jim, I’m a scientist not a novel writer.”

Obviously I needed professional help. So one February, I found myself sitting at my local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter meeting. I was scared silly (well, I’m always silly, so ignore that comment). Back-story was the subject of the talk that day. I had a sneaking suspicion that back-story was not the story in the back of the book, but I was not totally sure. Instead, I learned even more about what writers call “craft.” And boy, is craft a complicated subject.

How do I learn?

First, I decided plotting was the hardest concept for me to grasp. First books usually do not sell, so I’ll use the first one to learn craft. Therefore, I picked the Pride and Prejudice plot to hang my story on and started typing away. Next, I needed a professional tutor to help me learn. Now there are many ways to get your fledgling manuscript reviewed. Many use critique partner or groups. Some writers take general classes or specific classes on craft. The method I used was RWA chapter contests. For a fee, at least three people would give detailed comments on my writing and how to improve it. It worked like a charm. Yes, there were some snarky, incorrect comments, but overall it was a wonderful experience. Almost all of the ladies were generous with their time and knowledge. I’d try something on paper like “I know, I’ll use the horse’s POV.” Whatever crazy idea I had, I received many good tips on what to do and not to do. So the first thing I would tell a new author is to take advantage of well-known contests. Not all of them will work out, but if you stick too it, you can become a better writer. And in my opinion, other than hiring a personal tutor, a better writer faster than any of the other methods. Happy typing.

Are there any great tips you can share to help beginning writers?

11_19 sally orr book coverThe definitive guide to seduction…

The Rake’s Handbook was written on a dare, and soon took the ton by storm. Now its author, Ross Thornbury, is publicly reviled by the ladies—who are, of course, forbidden to read the handbook—but privately revered by the gentlemen. Unfortunately, Ross’s notoriety is working against him and he flees London painfully aware of the shortcomings of his own jaded heart.

Spirited young widow Elinor Colton lives next to Ross’s country estate. She’s appalled not only by his rakish reputation, but also by his progressive industrial plans. Elinor is sure she is immune to Ross’s seductive ways. But he keeps coming around…impressing her with his vision for England’s future and stunning her with his smiles.

How does one resist the man who wrote the manual on love?


Author Bio

11_19 Sally Orr Author PhotoSally Orr worked for thirty years in medical research, specializing in the discovery of gene function. After joining an English history message board, she posted many, many examples of absolute tomfoolery. As a result, a cyber-friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she is a hopeless Anglophile, it’s not surprising that her first book is a Regency romance. Sally lives with her husband in San Diego, surrounded by too many nerdy books and not enough old English cars.





Website                      Twitter @OrrSally





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