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Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Write Realistic Domestic Settings in Fiction

TL;DR: Little details pulled from real-life homes, cities, and jobs that you already know well, can add that extra depth and realism to your fiction.

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In short, visit as many different houses as you can, and take a tour. Maybe it's your friend's house or apartment. Look for open houses you'll never be able to afford, and at open houses in places your character might live. (Be honest and tell the Realtor you are just looking, and not planning on buying within the year, so they don't waste time on you). I worked as a maid for a short time in LA, long ago, and got to see the insides of some incredible homes.

For cities/towns: go to as many places as you can, different cities, or even look online at Google Maps, or watch movies set in cities you want to write about.

I mainly use my own experiences if I'm going to draw on realism for little bits here and there, rather than family history. However, my family history affects who I am, and what sort of experiences I've had.

My family is very New York, (Brooklyn on my dad's side, Manhattan on my mom's), and very Jewish. Having been raised in a Jewish home, it absolutely affects my writing, even if I don't mention religion at all (and even if I consider myself to be a Jewish Christian, now). Someone once pointed out that it's pretty hard to find someone eating pork in my books, lol! I have never in my life eaten a pork chop, or even know how to prepare one, so it wouldn't feel "real" to me to add a small detail like that.

I often use settings I know well, which is why you'll find a lot of stories set where I grew up, in the expensive suburb of NYC that is Westchester County, NY. (Think The Enslaved Trilogy, set in Westchester, NY and NYC, or The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby, also set in Westchester), and in cities I spent time living in, like NYC (The Pulse Trilogy) and Los Angeles (Hollywood Spank). I'm currently living in northern Idaho, and I'm writing a cowboy romance set in... north Idaho! :)

The careers my heroes and heroines have are almost always those that I've done myself (I've been an RN, EMT, housekeeper, telemarketer, actress, video store clerk, you name it!) -- or a career I know about from a friend, or one of my parents' friends, in addition to whatever research I add on top of it. My parents have some long-time family friends with incredible jobs in NY, and that's where I fashion the careers of most  of my Tycoons and Billionaires (sadly, I don't personally know any actual billionaires). There are more than a couple of nurses in my books, since I worked as an RN before leaving to write full time.

As I mentioned above, a long time before that, I worked as a housekeeper for rich folks in LA. I was very, very bad at this job, and didn't last long, lol. But I got an indepth look at amazing houses, at the nooks and crannies and closets and luxurious bathrooms, and I use those settings for my heroes' homes. However, long chunks of description are boring -- when I describe the layout of a house, it's usually only done as it relates to the character, such as "She peered over the open balcony looking down into the great room, watching him as he sat reading before the roaring fire."

I like to know what the interior house already looks like in my head, so I always use a real life point of reference, whether it's a tiny cabin in the woods, a suburban home, or a castle.

Many homes I write are dressed up versions of houses I know well, simply for the layout. I need to know in my head exactly where the kitchen is, where the heroine will head for the door and what room she'll end up in -- and it has to be the same, throughout the book. Some authors even draw a "blueprint" to stay on track!

If on page 1, your character can hear what's being said in the kitchen while she's in the living room, then she'll have to remember to whisper if she says something in the living room that she doesn't want people in the kitchen to know on page 96.

If on page 3, she stares out the window of the bedroom and sees the people walking by the front sidewalk, then she can't forget to close the blinds on page 82 when she undresses and needs privacy.

That's it! I'll repeat here what I put at the top, to close this up, because otherwise I'll just keep thinking of examples. Little details pulled from real-life homes, cities, and jobs that you already know well, can add that extra depth and realism to your fiction.

Happy Writing!
~Shoshanna Evers

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wicked Hot Reads Hits USA Today Bestseller List at #101!

I'm thrilled to announce that Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances, a sexy box set book bundle featuring my Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) hit the USA Today Bestseller list at #101!

Congrats to my fellow authors on the list, and THANK YOU to my readers! I love you guys! xoxo

  USA Today Bestseller Shoshanna Evers Wicked Hot Reads #101  

For those interested in how books get onto bestseller lists, this is from the USA Today site:
"USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list ranks the 150 top-selling titles each week based on an analysis of sales from U.S. booksellers. Contributors represent a variety of outlets: bookstore chains, independent bookstores, mass merchandisers and online retailers. Learn more about our list."

Wanna Get Wicked?

WICKED HOT READS: Ten Paranormal Romances

Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances by Shoshanna Evers
Indulge in ten sexy paranormal romance novels, written by New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors. With shifters, vampires, demons, and otherworldly creatures all looking for their own forever-loves... This box set bundle will get you in the mood for a sensual Halloween! The books in Wicked Hot Reads: 10 Paranormal Romances would cost over $30 to buy individually. Save $29 by getting the bundle for just 99c for a limited time!

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: Amazon, B&NGooglePlayKobo, iBooks 
WICKED HOT READS: Ten Paranormal Romances

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by NYT & USA Today bestseller Shoshanna Evers: The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…

Knocking on Demon's Door by NYT & USA Today bestseller Cathryn Fox: When Michelle discovers what's really going on at the resort, will her trust in a demon turn her in to one of the missing, or will he save her from the real monsters?

The Wolf Who Played With Fire by NYT & USA Today bestseller Sarah Mäkelä: Mia’s mistakes have forever changed the lives of those close to her, but when her soldier boyfriend, Ethan, goes missing on duty, she harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

Fallen Ever After by NYT & USA Today bestseller A.C. James: Arie wanted Holly from the very first moment he met her, but the long-standing feud between the faeries that run the Chicago Crew puts Holly and other fledgling vampires in danger. Can they stop a vampire-fae war that’s been brewing for nearly a century?

Bared to Him by NYT & USA Today bestseller Jan Springer: Human by day, and a tentacle shapeshifter by night, sexy Gray Wagner, is the last male that Miranda Bolton dreams of falling in love with, until she begins to fantasize about all the naughty things he can do to her…

A Mate's Bite by USA Today bestseller Milly Taiden: After an explosive night of passion, Karla is sure she’s a one-night stand for the man she’s wanted for years, but Nate has marked Karla. Only true love and a wolf's promise can hold together a relationship created with a bite and a hope for tomorrow.

Archangel Rafe by Lisa Hughey: Angelina’s only respite from her overwhelming life is in her dreams with a stunningly hot angel, but when an unexpected threat puts both the Angelic Realm and Earth in jeopardy, Angelina will need to accept her destiny before it’s too late...

Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan: Rescued from a prison for magic users, Kiarra is now a wanted criminal and must rely on a mysterious Brit to help her evade capture. Before long, her handsome rescuer becomes much more than just her trainer…

Mark of the Serapath by Titania Ladley: After a catastrophe unleashes Josie’s Serapathian witch magic, she suspects her sexy, mysterious lover is a Kynthian vampire ordered to kill all Serapaths. Despite the risks, passion explodes between them, threatening the future of the entire world.

Dragon’s Honor by Mina Carter: Bodyguard duty. Undercover. As human. Simple. Until shadow-dragon Baron realizes the woman they’re protecting is his mate. Add in a crazy warlock…and Baron might have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

AVAILABLE NOW - get all of these books for just 99c! Amazon, B&NGooglePlayKobo, iBooks
For a limited time only!