Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Theory on Thursday with Scarlet Wilson

This week on Theory on Thursday I have debut Medical author, Scarlet Wilson, talking about which writing craft book she couldn't live without!

Scarlet worked really hard and had LOTS of revisions to sell her first book ''It Started With A Pregnancy'' which is out now, so she KNOWS what she'd talking about.

Welcome Susan...

My favourite craft book is Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies by Leslie Wainger.

Why? It's simple. The woman
knows what she's talking about. Leslie Wai

nger still works as an editor-at-large for Harlequin, and since that was the line I was targeting, it seemed wise to listen to her words.

Some people can be very stuck-up about the Dummies books. But this book covers everything. It starts with picking your genre, then setting up your office. It talks about characters, names, conflict, scene setting and the happy ever after. It also spends considerable time concentrating on "finding your own voice". Then there is a chapter on dialogue and developing a page-turning story. Finally, it concentrates on the squirmy bits - writing the love scenes.

Leslie tells you how to hook your reader, she also points out how you can bore the reader completely. She gives instructions on the correct format for submission, grammar, cover letters and synopsis.

She also spends a whole chapter going over rejections and revisions. And gives genuine insight into editorial comments you might come across. She also gives advice on closing the deal, whether you need an agent, reading the fine print of a contract, and what questions it's okay to ask during this process. She also tells you how to do copy edits, dedications, and PR.

For those who aren't successful there are chapters on the 10 most common mistakes beginners make and 10 reasons why a manuscript gets rejected. In short, like I said at the beginning - this woman knows what she's talking about.

So, if you want something that takes you from start to finish, this is the book for you. Whilst I love Kate Walker's 12 point guide to writing romance, that is all about the story. And it's fab. But this book gives even more on the practicalities. I would buy them both!

It Started with a Pregnancy by Scarlet Wilson is out in Australia now! Please tell me what you think at

Thanks heaps Scarlet for sharing about this book with us. I also bought this book when I first started targeting Mills & Boon and it's one of my favourites as well.

Has anyone else read Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies!?


Louise Reynolds said...

Uh-o. Haven't read that one either. I suspect Theory on Thursdays is going to have me at book depository once a week. Thanks for the tip, Scarlet and congratulations on your debut book. Lovely cover!

Cathryn Hein said...

I've never looked at this Dummies book but it sounds like it has everything, and it's by a woman who knows her subject.

Congratulations on "It Started With A Pregnancy", Scarlet. Wishing you mega sales!

Joanne Dannon said...

The "Dummies" book was my first how-to and it's brilliant, especially for newbies. I learnt soooo much when I started out.

Congrats Scarlet on your debut book :)

Helen Lacey said...

I love Leslie's Dummies book. My copy is dog-eared and full of sticky notes and highlighted sections.
Congratulations on your debut book Scarlet - I look forward to reading it.

Lacey Devlin said...

I can't believe I haven't come across this one before. It sounds fabulous! Thanks, Scarlet!

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Louise,
I still regularly visit Book Depository when I see yet another recommendation for a craft book - it's like an addiction!
Glad you like the cover - I do too, even though it's nothing like my heroine!

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Cathryn
Try the feature on amazon that lets you read a few pages of the book without buying - always a bonus!
Thanks Scarlet

scarlet wilson said...

Hi Joanne
Nice to hear someone else likes it too! Thanks

scarlet wilson said...

Helen - mine is covered in little coloured post-it notes too - I'm glad it's not just me!

scarlet wilson said...

Lacey! I was just going to come and find you - where is your New Voices entry - I've been searching for it!
Scarlet x

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks everyone and I'm glad you're enjoying the Theory on Thursday slot! Anyone out there who wants to share their own favourite craft book, just email me :)

I've got this fab book and it's probably time I take another look between the pages. As Scarlet says, it's FULL of goodness!