Kerri Carpenter

You Write What?!?!?!

You know the drill. You’re having a nice conversation over dinner and your companion seems really interested that you’re a writer. He/she is even more impressed that you have finished a novel and are actively trying to publish. And then comes “the” question:

What do you write?

Romance.

The most recent time I told someone this, he literally laughed in my face. Seriously, sound came out of his mouth as he mocked me.

“Romance? Pssst.” (More laughing)

It was as if I said I take a razor blade to newborn puppies. Even though I’m really proud of what I write, I felt so embarrassed. Let’s face it, having someone laugh in your face is never a feel-good kind of moment, no matter how many glasses of wine you’ve consumed.

Leading up to this joyous encounter I had been doing pretty well with the haters. I’ve joined writing groups lately, which seems to have made a big difference in both…
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Job of Hotness

Can I get a Navy Seal over here to sweep me off my feet, while both protecting me and respecting my individuality as an independent woman? 

Where’s that totally ripped construction guy, who besides being able to swing heavy power tools, remains sensitive and in-touch with his emotions?

Let’s not forget about that super intellectual professor-turned-writer who happens to make geeky sweater vests seem uber-sexy.

I’ve been reading romance novels for awhile now and I think I’ve encountered just about every career path possible for the hero. Cowboy, prince, entrepreneur, teacher, chef, bounty hunter, landscape architect – they all have one thing in common: Hotness!

While I do have my favorites (FBI secret agent, veterinarian and just plain old, inexplicable super rich guy, to name a few), I have to admit that it might be more than just the profession. It’s the description. After all, you can have a bartender, or you can have a smokin’ hot Irish bartender…
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Ain’t Nobody Gonna Mess With My Nora Roberts!

The Setting: A Barnes & Noble in Southwestern Pennsylvania The Characters (emphasis on characters): Me, My Mom & My Dad Driving the Getaway Car 

I attended my first RWA Nationals this past June in New York City. Many, many things stood out to me but one thing that really caught my attention was the use of Nora Roberts. Nora was mentioned in almost every workshop I attended. People brought her name up at lunches and dinners. She was quoted left and right.

Annoying? Hardly. I know you all say you’re Nora’s biggest fan. But you are not. I hold that title and here is why.

About seven years ago, I was visiting my Mom and Dad in Pennsylvania. As with most visits to my parents’, we ended the night at a Barnes & Noble. If we’re in a Barnes & Noble, my Mom and I are in the romance section. And if we’re in the romance section, you know…
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Make a Wish

Today is my birthday. Those wishing to send me elaborate gifts, let me know and I will provide my address. 😉

Every year on my birthday, my BFF writes some variation of the following phrase in my card: This is going to be the best year ever!

Outwardly I roll my eyes, but secretly, I love reading that. It’s more than just a sweet sentiment. It’s reassuring, in a very uneasy time in my life.

The past year has been a big writing year for me. No, I didn’t get published or bag an agent. I didn’t even win any contests. Hell, I didn’t even enter any. But I found something more important. My writing mojo. It was gone for awhile but I just feel so assured that I’m on the right path now.

So this birthday I’ve decided to take my BFF’s advice and have the best year ever. More specifically, I’m going to have the…
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Happy Fourth of July!!!

July 4th is my favorite holiday. I could watch fireworks on a nightly basis. Perhaps my love of glitter and sparkles has something to do with it.

Plus, the Fourth of July is fun. There is no present-buying-stress like Christmas. Sure, you may get some picnic or barbecue food together, but that doesn’t seem to be as stressful as a huge Thanksgiving dinner.

Instead, July 4th is easy. It’s summer, the weather is (hopefully) beautiful and you can just relax and celebrate with friends and family. Again, hopefully with fireworks.

But the real reason why this is my favorite holiday is the meaning. Let’s take a moment to remember the significance of this day; what it represents and why we celebrate it. The Fourth of July is about freedom.

I’ve been thinking about my love for this relaxing holiday and how it makes me feel. Interesting that that same easiness and carefree feeling used to be applied to my writing. Before I learned about publishing contracts, query letters, protecting your…
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BFF = Brave Fiction Fan

Think it’s hard being a writer? Try being the best friend of a writer! My BFF, Danielle, reads everything I write before anyone else. She is joining the Waterworld Mermaids today to give us her side of the story.

Brief History: D and I have known each other since we were five years old, but we’ve been BFFs for the last 16 years. I live in Arlington, VA, while D is up in Pittsburgh. We have many differences, but we do share the same sensibilities regarding tanning (always wear SPF), Nora Roberts (we heart her), Pittsburgh sports teams (they’re awesome) and the movie Newsies (yay!).

Warning: D and I have a tendency to be silly and go off topic. Enjoy!

Kerri: Do you know we’ve been BFFs for 16 years? BFF: OMG, we are that old already? Those years have been filled with some crazy times, haven’t they? Kerri: IKR! When did you start reading romance novels? BFF: I think…
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The Dreaded Synopsis

Tell me, how do you write the synopsis to your W.I.P.? Because here’s how my typical synopsis writing day goes. 

First, I remind myself and anyone within earshot of how much I hate writing the synopsis. Then I open a Word Document. After staring at said blank page for about three straight minutes, I toggle over to Twitter and tweet about how I despise the synopsis.

Then, I eat something. After that, I let the food digest. We’ve all heard our mothers remind us to wait twenty minutes after we eat before working on our synopsis. Don’t want any writing-related cramps after all.

Finally, I go back to the blank page and eek out two lame sentences. I berate them. I judge them. Then I take the time to berate and judge myself. You suck, Kerri!

If there is any time left I send my BFF an email expressing my extreme suck-age. And then she tells me over…
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Who Are You Meant To Be?

You know how some things are a secret? Like the chocolate stash behind the canned vegetables at the back of the pantry. Yep, no danger of anyone finding the mini candy bars hidden there in my house.

Writing was one of those things for me.

I grew up in a less than ideal home and I used writing as my outlet. Over time the journal entries and poems of my youth evolved into short stories. Not very good ones at first, but it was still satisfying to see the story in my mind come to life on the page. And yes, for those of you wondering…I do in fact carry on conversations with my characters. In what other profession is it possible to get paid for talking to your imaginary friends? Yeah, in most places they medicate you and introduce you to a little thing called a straitjacket!

But I kept my writing a secret. No one knew. Not…
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Waterlogged

I like to read in the bathtub.

In fact, reading a good book in a nice, warm bubble bath is on my list of favorite things to do. Sure, I’m a writer, but I was a reader first. And trust me, there is no better place to read than in the bathtub. (Except for maybe the beach. Hmmm….)

But reading in the bathtub is not a simple process. Many years of plotting and field research have contributed to my idea of a perfect evening. So here are my thoughts on this sacred ritual.

What to Read Now, I don’t have to read a Nora Roberts (swoon) novel, although it is preferred. However, since I have pretty much read all of Nora’s books at this point, I’ve had to branch out.

Hard covers? I don’t think so. Hard covers are for bubble bath virgins. Unless you have impressive arm strength, or are some kind of martyr, this is just…
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