Guest Post: From Writing Facts To Writing Fiction by Darlene Deluca

I remember trying my typing fingers at fiction in 2007 and wondering how I was going to just make things up. It was foreign to me, this concept. I’d been a journalist, a corporate writer, an essayist, then dabbled in the brand new world of blogging. All true writing, all authentic, all me. Now I had to put the five Ws and and the H (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How) aside, at least sometimes? 


Today we have a guest post from Darlene Deluca who did the same thing. While I continued writing both fact and fiction, she set aside her corporate life to embark on fiction writing alone. Brave (and lucky) Darlene is joining us to day to share her journey.

Please welcome Darlene Deluca to Women’s Fiction Writers!

Amy xo

From Writing Facts To Writing Fiction

by Darlene Deluca

No Fluff.

Darlene Deluca

Darlene Deluca

The motto of a journalist, those two words used to hang in large bold letters on a sign in a colleague’s office where we worked together in corporate communications. That sign was a constant reminder. For a journalist, it’s all about the facts. Who, what, when, where, why and how. No need to elaborate. No space for unnecessary words. Get to the point, and make it as clear and concise as possible.

In J-school, the no-fluff rule was hammered into my brain. The exception was the occasional feature article or magazine story where I was able to include a bit of “human interest.” When I moved from being a newspaper reporter to corporate communications, things changed a little. There were employee magazines that featured personal profiles in addition to stories about changes to employee benefits or new product releases. Those offered more variety, the opportunity to go beyond who-what-when – to, yes, add some “fluff.”

Turned out, those articles were always more fun – more fun to interview and research, and way more fun to write. There is certainly skill in being able to take a heap of information, often from a variety of sources, and whittle it into a concise, snappy article that’s easy for readers to understand in only a few minutes. It takes a different kind of talent to widen the lens and bring more to the story. More depth, more emotion, more human interest.

And that brings me to writing fiction.

I left corporate America a few years ago and set out to give voice to some of the stories rattling around in my head, to try my hand at fiction. Never planned to write fiction, but the timing worked for me, and once I got started, the new possibilities energized me. I could use my basic writing skills, but in new and different ways. I could connect with readers on a different level.

Some things haven’t changed. The bible of a journalist is the AP Style Guide. I still have it handy when I write, along with several other reference books and materials. I still want to be grammatically correct. Yes, I still use a real, printed Merriam-Webster dictionary. But now I have other resources at my fingertips – a thesaurus of emotions, a book about putting the “fire” in fiction, notes from workshops on building scenes and creating characters. And I still do a lot of research because I want my stories to feel real and authentic. For my most recent release, I researched alcoholism and recovery. For my current work-in-progress, I’ve learned about surrogacy laws and medical procedures.

Switching from journalistic style to fiction has been quite liberating. Emotion? Embellishment? Description? Oh, my! It’s such a departure, that my critique partners often have to push me to loosen up even more. Add more ambiance. Give more details. Set the mood. Show, don’t tell. Gulp. You mean use extra words?

Yes! Not only do I get to expand in descriptive ways, I can go beyond the facts. Even better, I can make up the facts.

Sometimes I sit at my computer crafting a scene, and I have to smile. I. Am. Making. Stuff. Up. I’m adding expression and emotion. A reviewer recently wrote this about my newest novel: “As the reader, I was drawn completely into the emotions of Claire. At one point in the story…my chest felt tight. I felt anger and shame….I empathized with Claire….I felt her confusion, pain, and fear”.

I cried when I read that. It’s what writing fiction is all about.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]Darlene Deluca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, and likes to explore relationships – what brings people together or keeps them apart. Her characters seem like real people with real issues that readers can relate to.

Darlene released her debut novel, Unexpected Legacy, in January, 2013, and it advanced to the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. Her second novel, Meetings of Chance, is a contemporary romance. Last August, she released the first book of a small-town trilogy, The Storm Within. The series focuses on the bonds of friendship, and family relationships.

Darlene has been a reader and writer since childhood. She holds a degree in Journalism, and is the go-to person when her kids need help with an English paper, resume or essay. (Math, not so much.) Darlene started her writing career as a newspaper reporter, and later moved into corporate communications. “Writing fiction is a lot more fun,” she says. “It’s liberating. I can make up the people, places and the pertinent facts.”

She has a daughter who just graduated from college, and a son who’s a senior in high school. Darlene tolerates living in the Midwest (that’s where the fam is), but when the temperature plummets and the ground turns white, she often longs for a distant sunny beach.

Guest Post by Debut Author Lindsey J. Palmer: Why I Set My Novel At A Women’s Magazine (even after The Devil Wears Prada)

pretty-in-inkWhen you’re writing a novel do you choose the setting—or does the setting choose you? When you read about debut author Lindsey J. Palmer’s decision to write about the world of women’s magazines, you’ll see that in her case (and in many) a setting just begs for a story. How can we, as writers, resist?

Please welcome Lindsey J. Palmer to Women’s Fiction Writers!

Amy xo

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Book Cover Reveal For Historical Fiction Author Renee Rosen’s “WHAT THE LADY WANTS”

rrasn2014There is undeniable joy to having in-real-life friends who are authors. Hugs and wine are just part of it.  I am always so happy to share in my friends’ triumphs (tribulation sharing builds the bond, but it’s not  joyful).Truly, what more could a writer want than to be part of someone else’s story?

That’s why today I’m thrilled to present the cover for my friend, Renee Rosen’s, cover for her next novel, WHAT THE LADY WANTS.

When this photo of us was taken, just a few weeks ago at our favorite meeting place in Chicago, there were still tweaks and decisions to be made, there was still no official date she could share the cover. Now it’s here!

Renee is also the author of DOLLFACE, and you can read the WFW interview here.

But right now, let’s focus on WHAT THE LADY WANTS.

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WFW Interview: Karoline Barrett, author of THE ART OF BEING REBEKKAH

RebekkahCoverGood morning, WFW! It’s pouring here today, with thunder and lightening that sounds more like the implosion of buildings across the street than heavenly bowling. The only good thing about it? IT’S NOT SNOW! 

It’s all perspective.

And that’s what we have here today, author Karoline Barrett offering her perspective on being a debut author with a new kind of publisher. Some are calling them hybrid publishers, I think Karoline is just calling hers fabulous! (Like with anything in publishing, please do your due diligence before signing with anyone or any company.)

Now, please welcome Karoline Barrett to WFW!

Amy xo

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A WFW Book Review: Beach Plum Island by Holly Robinson

Taking Inspiration from Author Holly Robinson

beach-plum-islandAs I’m awaiting edits on my second novel from my editor, guess what I’m doing? Writing another story. Now, that may seem presumptuous. It may seem crazy. Why not take a break? Well, the more I write, the more I write. Does that make sense? It would certainly make sense to author Holly Robinson, my friend, and one of the busiest writers I know. Holly is a novelist, ghost writer, freelancer, and award-winning journalist. In addition to those things, she’s a wife, mom of FIVE, and dedicated daughter. So when I think I’M SO BUSY and my thoughts jumble, I conjure up a vision of Holly doing everything she does. And then I get back to work.

Today, Holly’s second novel with NAL is out for the world to enjoy. BEACH PLUM ISLAND is her second novel with this publisher, but her third novel, and fourth book. Holly’s memoir, THE GERBIL FARMER’S DAUGHTER was published in 2010 by Broadway Books, and Holly self-published her novel, SLEEPING TIGERS, just as she got a contract THE WISHING HILL from NAL. And, now Holly is working on her third novel for NAL, LAKE UTOPIA, due out in 2015.


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Tough Love And A Vintage Vibe From Debut Novelist Susan Gloss

VintageHC C (3)When I heard about VINTAGE by Susan Gloss, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! A thrift shop, clothes, accessories, jewelery, and friendships? In women’s fiction. This isn’t your high heels chick lit novel, folks, not that there’s anything wrong with those. This book showcases a cross-section of the female population and is a layered tale of friendship, written with some special touches (like the vintage clothes).

VINTAGE debuted this week, and Susan was kind enough to answer my interview questions last minute, because GUESS WHO was a little behind on her blog interviews (for shame).

Please welcome debut novelist Susan Gloss to Women’s Fiction Writers!

Amy xo

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Fill Your Cup With Inspiration and A Story From Author Brenda Bevan Remmes

Quaker-Cafe-A-NovelHold onto your keyboards, my friends! Just when you thought you knew about all the twists and turns of publishing, meet Brenda Bevan Remmes and prepare to be inspired by the talent and tenacity!

Today is the official launch of Brenda’s novel, THE QUAKER CAFE. Congratulation her, and share your own stories, in the comment section!

Amy xo


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