10 Things You Should Know About Lenora

Lenora Bell - Author Photo

  1. She’s from a tiny town in Alaska and a moose followed her home from school once.
     
  2. Some of her favorite historical romance friends and authors are Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, and Sarah MacLean (among a host of others).
     
  3. She has something fun in common with Nora Roberts! They both married carpenters they hired.
     
  4. One of her most treasured possessions is a white lace-edged day dress worn by her Swiss great-grandmother, also named Lenora.
     
  5. She’s a karaoke fanatic and her go-to songs include At Last by Etta James and Hopelessly Devoted to You by Olivia Newton John.
     
  6. Her bucket list includes recording an alt-country album on vinyl with her banjo-playing hubby.
     
  7. She knows how to order cocktails in six languages. ¡Me gustaría un mojito por favor!
     
  8. She got married in Bangkok.
     
  9. She can’t decide what color her hair should be.
     
  10. She would adore receiving an email from you!
     

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Tricks for (writing) Treats

Posted at Oct 29, 2014 12:05 pm in , , , , ,

For years after Avon FanLit I struggled to finish a novel. At a romance conference in Portland, Oregon I told Courtney Milan, Darcy Burke, and Emma Locke about my latest historical novel and they all gave me the “we’ve heard this one before” look. Courtney said, “Yeah, but are you going to finish this one? You’d better…or ELSE!” 

I never finished that book.

Over the years, the characters in my unfinished books mutinied. They stole into my head at night. “When will I have my happy ending?” they asked, confusion etching their vague, unformed features. “When will you tell my story?”

Reader, I finally finished a book, and it’s going to be published by Avon. I wake up every day now with a wide smile and a sense of purpose. So what changed? What tricks finally worked?

I won’t sugarcoat anything. Of course I spent hours and days and nights sitting in a chair clacking away at my laptop like the fate of the universe hinged on me completing that novel. But what made me sit down in that chair and begin typing? Here’s my trick.

I got the idea from Alasitas, the Bolivian festival of miniatures. Alasitas is a festival revering Ekeko, the “god of abundance.” My husband and I visited the festival and saw people buying miniature babies, cars, diplomas, cell phones, stacks of money–anything their hearts desired. Afterward, they took their purchases to be blessed by an Andean priest – or yatiri – with incense and flower petals. Our Bolivian guide told us that if we truly believed, our wishes would come true. 

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I created a miniature version of my Golden Heart© book. I shamelessly stole the delectable art from Tessa Dare’s fabulous A WEEK TO BE WICKED, photoshopped my name and title over it, and left the Avon Books logo, because Avon is my dream publisher. In January, before I knew I’d finalled in the contest, we visited the festival and I took my miniature book to be blessed. I placed it on an altar in my entryway and lit a candle in front of it. Every evening, after work, when I sat down to write, I kept that candle lit. I never let it go out while I was writing. That little book began to feel like it could become a reality. Because it wasn’t only on my hard drive, it was there, on that altar.

My dream rendered concrete. 

Altar Pic_Crop

I also created a storyboard with photos and descriptions of my main characters, locations, themes, and plot points. This helped as well because anytime I felt discouraged, I looked at that storyboard and all the fun, sexy characters, and began to believe that I could finish it this time. I could bring those characters fully to life. So they wouldn’t haunt my nights, demanding their happy ending.

Storyboard

Those are some of the tricks I used.

Are there unfinished manuscripts under your bed? Have you found a trick that works?

Happy Halloween!
LB

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