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Saturday, February 08, 2014

ROMANCE-ology 101

Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 17 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment to be entered for your choice of any of my books, and if you mention posting this interview link on FB and/or tweeting it, you’ll get one extra point for each. The winner will be announced on Novel Rocket's Facebook page, so be sure to come Like it.

Julie, you write wonderful romance and historical romance novels. How did you learn to write the romantic scenes like you do?

The answer to that lies in four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. When I read that novel at the age of twelve, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.”

Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere, but I did write 150 single-spaced pages of a story that became the basis (some forty years later!) for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Today, I like to think that not only are Margaret Mitchell’s fingerprints are all over me in my religious devotion to passion, but God’s as well—merging my passion for romance with my passion for Him.

What made you decide to write a non-fiction?

It was out of necessity, because I was slated to co-teach a workshop at ACFW last year with my agent and editor on the merging of traditional publishing and indie publishing to create the hybrid author.

A few years back, Ruth Axtell and I taught a workshop at ACFW called A Kiss is Not Just a Kiss, which actually drew the largest crowd that year for a workshop, so I knew it was a popular subject. Then after I did a Seeker blog on it and a reader suggested I put it in a book, I thought—mmm, why not? So I did. The experience, I have to say, has been a lot of fun. Especially designing the cover with my hubby using my daughter’s marriage-proposal picture on the front.

Why this particular subject?

Well, I’ve been nicknamed the “Queen of Romance,” a phrase coined by Laura Frantz, I guess because my romance scenes are a wee bit more passionate than most. And I suppose it’s true simply because romance is very important to me. Blame it on being stunted in my teens, a gangly young girl craving love because I grew up in a family where it was pretty scarce. Whatever the reason, after God and family, romance is one of my greatest loves, especially being able to convey in my books—to an amoral society that has shifted to shades of gray—that romance with God at the center is the only kind that really satisfies.

What can writers expect to gain from it?

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not a long book, but it’s everything I’ve learned about writing romantic tension over the last six years. What I did was study how I ramp up romantic tension in my own books and impart that in a humorous style using scenes from my own novels in a before-and-after format. There are a couple of bonuses in this book over and above my writing tips that are worth the price of the book … especially when it’s on free download like it will be next week!

How can our readers get it?

I'm running a five-day FREE DOWNLOAD sale on the e-book before and during Valentine’s Day. I hope your readers will mark their calendars so they don’t miss it. Here’s the link for both the paperback and e-book on Amazon (which is the only place Romance-ology 101 is available) but it’s only the e-book that will be free. Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Inspirational and Sweet Markets.

How can our readers contact you?

I love to hear from readers. They can contact me through my website, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter. Or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest.

Also, I have a cool blog feature on my website called “Journal Jots” which is a very laid-back Friday journal to my reader friends that will give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. I can be found daily at The Seekers blog.

Finally, here are some other freebies/giveaways for your readers going on right now. 
FEBRUARY 14-28, 2014:
Join me for an interview/giveaway of your choice of my books including my newest release, Dare to Love Again, at the Remain in His Love blog. Hope to see you there! FREE DOWNLOAD OF A Passion Most Pure! American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year with over 341 five-star reviews on Amazon. Here are the links:

A Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss . . . Nor is a Sigh Just a Sigh.

In ROMANCE-ology 101, Award-winning “Passion Most Pure” expert Julie Lessman tackles the subject of romantic tension in today’s inspirational/sweet markets with humor and heart. Offering tips for ramping up the WOW factor with romance that is both sweet and swoon-worthy, Lessman offers tried-and-true methods with before-and-after examples to illustrate the following points:

Getting inside the Hero’s Head with Internal Monologue
Maximizing Use of Beats in Dialogue
Effectively Using Dialogue to Escalate Tension
Utilizing Dual Point of View
Escalating Romantic Tension with Anger
Using All Five Senses for Heightened Effect
Cashing In on the Kid and Pet Factor
Enhancing Mood with Emotionally Charged Words/Verbs
Capitalizing on the Element of Surprise
Exposing Desire in an Unwilling Character
Immediate Hero/Heroine Confrontation
Making the Most of Touch and Response
Implementing the Concept of Forbidden Fruit
Words with a Hint of Taboo
Appropriate “Bleep” Words for Inspirational Romance
KISS-ology 101: The Many Faces of a Kiss

“Julie Lessman writing a book on romantic tension is a perfect fit. This is a writing book that needs to be on the shelf of every author because nobody does romantic tension better.” — Mary Connealy, bestselling author of The Kincaid Bride and Trouble in Texas series.


Ron Estrada said...

Great interview. I don't write romance, but I always include a romance thread in my mystery and suspense novels (and now a post-apcoalyptic sort of thing). Every author knows tension moves the story, so why not incluce the most obvious source of it? I'll have to grab your book. I really think you can market it toward the non-romance writer.

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Ron, thank you! And smart guy to include a thread of romance in your novels, especially since romance is the top-performing category on the best-seller lists in 2012 (across the NYT, USA Today, and PW best-seller lists) and the largest share of the U.S. consumer market in 2012 at 16.7 percent according to RWA. ;)

You know, I never thought of marketing to the non-romance writer, but that's a really good idea -- thank you!!

If you enjoy the book (it's a short read), I would greatly appreciate a short review if you have the time because as an author, you know all too well just how important those reviews are! :)

Thanks again for your kind comment and for coming by!


CentralEast2 said...

thanks for the interview and I tweeted the link

Connie said...

Julie, you had me at Gone with the Wind! My parents let me join the Doubleday Book Club when I was in the 7th grade and I chose GWTW as one of the books in my introductory package. I was hooked!
Great interview and I wish you continued success!

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, CE2, and GOOD LUCK!!


Julie Lessman said...

LOL, CONNIE ... another GWTW freak ... YAY!!! Middle school must have been the year that most of us got hooked, but WOW, what a hook! :)

Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!


Tonja Saylor said...

Thank you for the interview. I love to read Julie's books. I tweeted and posted your link on my Facebook!
Tonja S.

Sharon Timmer said...

Finished A Passion Most Pure & now I can't wait to read the 2nd book - I would love to win a copy -HINT - HINT! :)

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, TONJA, thanks SO much for your sweet comment and for coming by/tweeting/posting! Here's to a win!


Kayla(kaykay)- Julie Lessman Fan! said...

Would love to win a copy of Dare to love Again! I also shared this on facebook.


Julie Lessman said...

WHOO-HOO, SHARON ... SO glad you enjoyed APMP!! Let me know if you post a review so I can give you points in my contest, okay?

And I know you probably hate Charity about now (some readers actually wrote me to ask if I would "slap Charity for them" or wanted to see her "killed or maimed"). She definitely evokes a strong response, but I promise that before the 3rd book in this family saga is done, you will LOVE her, and by the 5th book, she will have you laughing in almost every scene because she is SUCH a hoot and the character in this saga who grows more than anyone else. :)

Fingers crossed that I can send you a signed copy, okay?


Julie Lessman said...

YAY, KAYLA ... good girl for sharing, and here's hoping it nets you a win, okay?



Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Thanks for the chance to win one of Julie's books! I would love to have a copy of Dare to Love Again!
I liked your Facebook page and shared the link on there. :)

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, SARAH, for coming by, and here's hoping it nets you a win!!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!

Linda Marie Finn said...

Well Jules you know that my kindle is loaded with every Julie book there is so I am going to share on FB and on Twitter Dear Friend... Enter me as my new goal is to own all your books in paperback , so I can hold them and read them...All of Yes I have 101 also as it will help me to write better in the near future. Love you Much, Linda

LadySaotome said...

Romantic tension is the best kind to read! ;)

Linda Marie Finn said...

I am so loving blog hopping with you Jules want to win all your books.
Hugs Right now I only have A Love Surrendered... Need more then that on my shelf don't you know...
Linda Finn

mary koester said...

So enjoy Julie's books. I would love too have the latest one. Always share with my daughter and mom. . We all enjoy her so much.

Julie Lessman said...

LOL ... noble goal, my friend, if I must say so myself! ;) Here's to a win!


Julie Lessman said...

Agreed, LADYSAOTOME!! And I guarantee you that's exactly how I write, so here's hoping you win and find out! :)


Julie Lessman said...

LINDA ... only ALS in paperback??? Mmmm ... you DO need to remedy that, girl, so here's to a win!!


Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, MARY, for making it a "family affair" ... MUCH appreciated!! And, hey, tell that family of yours that one tiny review posted on Amazon enters them in my random drawing to have a character named after them in my next book and a signed copy, okay? ;)

GOOD LUCK and hugs,

Melody said...

I liked your fb page!

Melody said...

I posted on twitter!

Melody said...

And I love Julies books!

Melanie Backus said...

Great interview. I'm all in on this one. Keeping my fingers crossed.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Bonnie Roof said...

Another inspiring interview, Julie!! I always learn at least one little tidbit in each of your interviews (LOL)!!

LOVE Ron's idea to market "Romance-ology 101" to the non-romance writer! Especially when even a non-writer, like myself, enjoyed it!!

I loved "getting in your head" and learning how you "weave your magic"!! I'd read the telephone book (so to speak) - if YOU wrote it!! LOVE you, and your books!!

(Not a tweeter, but DID post giveaway on FB)

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, MELODY ... you are a hoot, girl!! SO appreciate your support and here's to a win!


Julie Lessman said...

Hey, MEL ... I'll cross my fingers, too, sweetie! ;)

Good luck and Hugs,

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, Bonnie ... if I had ten more supporters like you, my friend, I would have a promotion campaign that would rock the charts, so THANK YOU for ALL of your support!!


Pam K. said...

I'm not a writer but am an avid reader. I love Julie's books so may just take advantage of the free download of the Romance-ology book to get more insight into her writing. I really appreciate that Julie's books are passionate and romantic without being explicit.


Martha A. said...

Would love to win a copy of Dare to Love again, so I have it in hard copy! Re-reading all your books now and you had me on the couch! Love them the second time through just as much! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Cindy W. said...

Great interview! I would LOVE to win a hard copy of Romane-ology 101. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Pam, DO take advantage of the free download of Romance-ology 101 because it's a short, fun read and a short review would be an extra point in my newsletter contest, right??


Julie Lessman said...

LOL ... I just LOVE you, Martha, my friend, you know that??? Thanks SO much for rereading AND for all your support. Sending that gently used copy of AHR to you in the mail this week, so keep your eyes peeled ... :)


Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Cindy, if you don't win here, my friend, check out my website calendar because I have a few more giveaways scheduled before it's all over, including SEEKERVILLE on Wed., 2/12, okay?



Linda Finn said...

WoooooHoooooo !!!!!! Jules, I won !!!! I cannot believe it.... Could you hear me all the way from NY....Thank you and Thank you Novel Rocket...Precious, Just Precious !!!!
Hugs and Blessings