Brainstorming. My nemesis.

I think most writers will tell you they have a favourite part of the writing process. Others will probably tell you they have a least favourite. I know I do.

My least favourite part is brainstorming. For me, coming up with ideas is hard and it’s the part of the process I dread, even if it’s just a little bit.

Why? After all, one might assume it’s easy to jot fresh ideas down on a piece of paper and go from there.

Well, I’ve never been much of an “ideas woman.” That may sound strange, coming from a writer. When faced with a blank slate, my mind starts to wander down dangerous paths. I start wondering if we have enough ice cream in the house, or whether or not I should spend a couple of hours searching for my new hero’s hairstyle on Pinterest. You see what I mean? It’s during the brainstorming part that I lose focus.

If someone gave me a prompt, I could run with it, even if it was something I might not prefer to write. For example, if you said, “Rosanna, I need you to write a story about a gargoyle who crochets blankets in his spare time,” I’d have that gargoyle’s backstory in no time. I’d invent family and friends for him. I’d know what he likes to eat. I’d know his name and birth sign and that he’s an expert in cathedral architecture (he is a gargoyle, after all.)

My difficulty is coming up with the gargoyle.

Eventually, I do get there. Obviously, I have come up with story ideas and I know I will again, but each new story creation  is an obstacle I have to surmount. It’s a challenge.

Challenges are good. You know, most of the time.

The challenge I’ve recently set for myself is to come up with a new paranormal romance idea. I can do this, right?

How about you? What is your favourite, or least favourite, part of the writing process?

Birthday ruminations.

Yes, it is my birthday. My 48th, actually, and I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Give me a year, and I’ll probably love my 48th.

The last few birthdays have been odd. The numbers don’t always sit well with me. I thought it might be cathartic to write a little piece about my birthday feelings.

I should start out by saying I do appreciate all the kind wishes that have come my way. You’ve all been wonderful.

I know I should be embracing each stage. I know this in my heart of hearts. Numbers are just numbers. I should be welcoming in this new year with zest and exuberance.

However, I can’t help regarding my birthday with a good helping of suspicion. I’m on the way to fifty, guys. 5-0.  Now what?

It’s very easy to sit back and start counting all the ways one has failed. I won’t lie. Last night, while falling asleep, I did torture myself with those types of feelings.

“Not good enough.”

“Not successful enough.”

“Not selling enough books.”

“What’s with those wrinkles, dude?”

“Time to dye your hair again.”

For a few short moments, I allowed myself to wallow. And you know what? That’s okay. I accept some wallowing now and then. I think we need to wallow a bit to emerge on the other side. If we don’t acknowledge our emotions, how are we supposed to get past them?

A kind colleague and friend (that’s you, Emily!) noticed my state of mind yesterday. As she pointed out, I’ve done far more than I give myself credit for. Along with my husband, I’ve raised two beautiful young men. I’m so proud of them. I’ve found a way to juggle two careers. I’m surrounded by people who care for me. And, for the most part, I try very hard to send positive vibes into the universe and toward the people I love.

It’s everyday stuff. It’s easy to forget, but I sometimes also forget the impact on others. And I’d like to think I’ve had a good impact on people. I try, anyway.

So, here I stand, in the middle of another birthday, approaching even bigger numbers. As we all celebrate birthdays, no matter the time of year, let us all try to remember a few key things. We’ve earned our wrinkles. Books sales don’t guarantee happiness.

And we are good, possibly better than we think.

I am 48 today, bitches.

A wonderful release day for Covet, Vegas Sins 2!

As you may have seen, Covet, Vegas Sins 2, was released yesterday and I am so pleased with the response.

I really appreciate the outpouring of love from the romance community. So many fellow authors, bloggers and readers took the time to share the news. The reviews have already started coming in and they’ve made me so happy.

Author Anise Eden (author of The Healing Edge series) had this to say: “COVET shines! What a singular pleasure it was to savor this second book in the Vegas Sins Series. A masterfully written, beautifully imagined love story that inspires and delights. Rosanna Leo is one of the brightest lights in contemporary romance!”

Author Nicola M. Cameron (author of To My Muse) said: “Covet is a smolderingly hot high-stakes Vegas romance that will grab you from the first chapter and not let go. Rosanna Leo has crafted two fantastic, emotionally engaging characters in her leads, and you can’t help but root for them during their rollercoaster of a romance. I cannot wait to see where she goes with this series!”

I am overwhelmed, frankly, and I thank everyone for the love. Writing can be a solitary pursuit, and sometimes the accompanying emotions are difficult. It’s so nice to get great feedback and so much interest in the series.

Thank you all. If you haven’t yet snapped up your copy of Covet, Vegas Sins 2, you can do so at Amazon (print and ebook) and B&N (print only.)