The Confidence to be a Writer

1234385_1384765375085203_350729604_nHi, thank you Love Romance Passion for having me. I’m B.D Hawkey, author of Old Sins Long Shadows, which is an historical romance with grit.

However, I would consider myself a reader of romance first and a rather fussy reader too as I have a list of pet peeves of things I dislike. I have always enjoyed writing, I have always had a dream to write a book, but perhaps not the confidence. One day I decided to start writing the sort of book I would like to read (minus my pet peeves, of course).

Old Sins, Long Shadows was published in August, 2013, however it wasn’t until five months later, and after some lovely feedback from complete strangers who had taken the time to write their reviews, did I have the confidence to tell my friends and extended family what I had done. So it just goes to show, although I knew what I would like to read in an historical romance, I was not so confident in what others would think. Thankfully it has all turned out well and I hope that my second book will be out towards the end of this year.

I think our worst critics are ourselves and my only regret is that I did not do it sooner. A dream can be big or small, and there will most probably be a lot of hurdles to get over first, but if you are not in the race, you will never get off the starting block. As John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.” That’s exactly what I did on the day when I opened my laptop and started to write my debut novel. I may not have had a saddle in my hands, but I could smell its leather – and it was wonderful.

So what is your dream and what is the first step you need to take to make it happen?


Old_Sins_Long_Shadow_CoverBook Blurb:

A Cornish Victorian romance set against the backdrop of the magnificent Bosvenna Estate, with eccentric rural characters and the sweeping hills of the dramatic Bodmin Moor. Janey Carhart’s story is a tale of obsession, jealousy and love. At the age of nine, Janey’s younger sisters die from scarlet fever and her grief stricken mother blames Janey for their deaths. Financial difficulties and a desire to win back her mother’s love, forces Janey to enter service where she quickly rises through the ranks.

Upon her arrival to the elegant Cornish Country Estate, she successfully secures a position of a lady’s maid for the wealthy and powerful Brockenshaw family. An exchange of letters between Lady Brockenshaw and her son ignites Janey’s interest, but Janey’s feelings for this mysterious and charming gentleman soon change her life forever.

Old sins cast long shadows and not only does Janey’s mother’s wrath affect Janey’s life, there are others whose sins risk destroying her, the people she cares about and her capacity to love again. Daniel Kellow, her neighbour, offers his help. A man who has, it is rumoured, killed a man. Who is the real Daniel Kellow and can she trust him? Can he trust her?

Buy: Old Sins Long Shadows

To Contest or Not?

by Belle Sloane, guest blogger

Looking back over all the years I’ve been writing I can’t actually account for the number of contests I’ve entered.  It’s a good thing too, because I’d probably have a heart attack if I actually knew how much money I’ve spent on entry fees, not to mention postage and printing, before contests became primarily electronic.

I was driven to participate in contests from the very beginning of my writing adventure.  I’ll admit I’m a pretty competitive person.  But it wasn’t just that.   I needed to hear what others thought of my work.   People who didn’t already know and love me.

In the beginning all I received were mostly kindly, encouraging remarks which I realized over time, were the judges way of telling me I had a long way to go, as nicely as they could.  I appreciate all you judges out there who took the time out to read my work and give me feedback over the years.  And I mean I thank all the judges.  There were of course the judges who were not so kindly in their comments.  Those harsh comments didn’t feel at all helpful at the time.  In fact sometimes I had to put those particular entries away for a week or two and go back and look at them later to be able to read them.  Then again over time those tough comments did end up helping me as well.  They got me ready for the rejections I received when I finally started submitting.

The whole routine one goes through entering a contest mirrors the submission process.  So, I believe it’s a really good way to get yourself prepared for when you’re ready to get your work out there.  There are guidelines to follow, timelines to heed, and the waiting.  Boy does that waiting seem endless sometimes.  Yet, it’s a very real part of the publishing world.  Entering contests also engenders a decent amount of confidence—a much needed commodity in this business.  🙂

Entering a contest, The Rebecca, of the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (New Mexico RWA chapter) is what led to the sale of my first book, Sweet Charity, an erotic western historical, to Red Sage Publishing, Inc. < >  I’m living proof that one can sell through contesting.  I have to admit I’d been a bit of a skeptic about that possibility before my experience.

If you’ve never entered a contest, look around, try one—there are many, many out there waiting for you.  If you enter them regularly, keep on.  You never know what might come out of taking that chance.

Author Bio: Belle Sloane grew up in one of the great European cities of romance, Heidelberg, Germany. Growing up in Europe gave her an opportunity to travel extensively, which she feels colors and textures her writing in a big way. She lives in New Mexico’s  beautiful Rio Grande Valley, with her dream man, and their wonderful kids. Belle would love to hear from you, so drop her a line at, or visit her blog at

Interview with 2009 Mr. Romance Candidate Eric Truglia

lorricC’mon, sit down, relax and grab a cuppa Joe. Well no, a cuppa Eric actually. Eric Truglia sat down with me recently to discuss what went down at the Romantic Times Convention in Orlando where he was a contestant in the Mr. Romance contest. Giving us a unique look on the experience Eric shares why he competed along with exclusive behind-the-scenes gossip!

One thing you think the ladies should know about you:

Eric: I love to make people smile and laugh. I enjoy bringing happiness to others.

Why did you decide to compete in Mr. Romance?

Eric: I was always self conscience about myself. I lost a lot of weight and my confidence in myself started to rise, and that’s why I started up modeling plus the reassurance given to me by my loving girlfriend. I really enjoyed it and wanted to see how far I could go. I’ve noticed that if I start toeing at something I end up getting too nervous and let fear take control of my actions. So instead of toeing at the edge of the river I dove head first into it.

What was your favorite part about the competition and the convention?
Eric: My favorite part about the competition was that it reminded me of my high school theatre days. Rehearsing everyday and being behind the stage brought back great memories. The fact that all of the competitors, to me at least, bonded together like the way the crew and the actors did at my school made the feeling more surreal.

My favorite part of the convention would honestly have to be that I finally met and get my picture taken with the author who first got me into reading: Pears Anthony. I honestly had to force myself to stop from babbling to him. He is one of my biggest heroes. I never thought in my entire life I would meet him let alone shake his hand.

What were some of the things you did behind the scenes at RT?
Eric: Behind the scenes I helped out whenever I could as to take some of the load off of the hands of the staff, who by the way are some of the greatest group of people to be around and I was honored to work with them and my fellow competitors.

Funniest thing a person said to you while in Orlando:
Eric: Scuba! Inside joke with the guys.

One piece of advice you’d give future Mr. Romance candidates:
Eric: To future candidates I just say be yourself. Don’t try and be something you’re not. People can see through that.

You can find Eric on Facebook and Model Mayhem.

PS… When I saw this picture of Eric, my mind did a little fizzle…


Why? Because he totally looked like the new members of the New Moon crew, you know the ones, those in that sexy werewolf pack running around in La Push these days.


Now if Eric were cast as Jacob Black, I would be over the moon, pun intended, because Eric is hot! What say you?

Wouldn't Eric Truglia make a perfect Jacob Black?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...