Tag Archives: summer mahan

Discover how to Create Connections, with Summer Mahan

 Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

Today I have on guest author Summer Mahan. Summer is a blogger from Her Story Calls and a fellow romance author from CRW. She’s lively and fun and one of the best people to hang around with if you meet her at a convention or a retreat. She also has great advice for aurthors on making connections today, so read on!

Creating Connections

 Connections. The number one trait all best-selling authors have is creating a connection with their audience.

Somehow they can fulfill a need or satisfy a want within their readers. Loyal fans who wait for months for their books and then stay up late into the night and forget to cook dinner for their loved ones.

How can some authors make this hair pulling journey of writing seem so simple and effortless from the start of chapter one down to the end? If you find out please let me know. Now, I’m no expert, but my research has pointed me on the path that begins and ends with characters.

While it’s true that you might pick a book in a grocery store line because of the back read,  mostly due towards plot, or because of a great cover-the reason you continue to read is because characters.

Story is about the characters. Great story is about great characters.

Take your favorite book, movie or play. Now dissect why you love it so much.

Is it because of the heart pounding plot? The flow or voice of sequence? The eloquence of speech, scenery or structure? Perhaps. But I’d bet nine times out of ten the story you love is all because of the characters.

For some reason their struggle has become your struggle. Their pain has become your pain. And you’re rooting for them right up until their hopefully happy ending and they get what they deserve. Because you’re right there with them all along the way.

And fingers crossed, in the end we all get what we deserve.

So how does one go about creating this awe inspiring connection?

  1. Make your character likeable
  2. Make a compelling and interesting career or past
  3. Honorable, loyal
  4. Flawed and/or  vulnerable
  5. Capable of fear
  6. Heroic in some way (big or small)
  7. Unique in their voice
  8. Capable of learning and/or changing
  9. Real to the reader due to motivations, desires, loyalties(this is big)
  10. A dirty little secret. Or just a secret
  11. Let them struggle for redemption (big or small)

And no matter what you do don’t…

  1. Let the characters be stupid
  2. Or do stupid things
  3. Stereotype (always add spice and special twists)

I hope this helps in some way in your writing. I’ll continue throughout the month with more details about these above traits on my blog www.herstorycalls.com .

Please add any connections you think are notable in the comments. The wonderful thing about writers is all the great information we share.

Take care and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Thanks for having me, Jessica! Until next time. 😉

Summer Mahan



 Summer Mahan 

Loves to laugh. Adores sparkling conversation, wit, and charm. Believes reading is a pleasure one should indulge in at least once a day and writing is for the fearless. She loves her family, diet Coke, Scotland and pasta. Contemplates that picking a favorite genre to write is much like choosing a favorite child-it’s not possible. Summer hopes to never stop learning what the world has to offer and telling the stories it reveals.

You can find Summer blogging at Her Story Calls and at SummerMahan.com

Thanks Summer. Please leave a comment for Summer below and don’t forget to enter to win great prizes  (including 4 copies of Little Red Riding Wolf, by Jessica Aspen) during my January and February promotion. To enter please click HERE and follow the directions.

(Details available on the contest page HERE).


Filed under Moonday mania, writing craft

Paranormal For Me?

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

Today I am happy to introduce my friend and fellow CRW author, Summer Mahan. Summer is a talented author who writes a variety of genres from historical to paranormal. She has her own site http://www.summermahan.com/, but where you will really find her is at Her Story Calls a blog she shares with four other fabulous authors. Welcome Summer!

Is Paranormal For Me?


First off, thank you Jessica for having me her, I’m super excited to hang with you on this wonderful blog! Let’s give a round of applause to a fantastic hostess and her website!

Today, I wanted to share with you how I decided to write paranormal. Now I know not everyone can write paranormal, shoot, not everyone can read the genre. And that is OKAY. I wanted share my own personal experience on how I came to love paranormal.

I’m a serious book a day reader turned writer. As a reader I started running out of books that could capture my attention from the first page and keep me reading late into the night. I had to venture out of my safe historical world. I picked some of my favorite authors, Christina Dodd and Jayne Ann Krentz, and tried their paranormal worlds.

I loved them! I started devouring more at a rapid rate.

Then I started getting an idea. Yeah, we’ve all experienced that ‘bing’. I grabbed pen and paper and started.

I love Mythology. Be it Greek, Roman, Native American, or Celtic. I love stories about robust heroes and strong woman who caused wars and shaped cultures and ideals with such emotion where readers ten centuries later are still weeping and cheering for their causes. I admit my passion is the Celts.  A people whose origins spread from all across Europe to Ireland. Caesar wrote of them as did Diodorus Siculus, stating them as savage barbarians, pagans, and uncultured. But take this lightly for those were the accounts of men wishing to rule over the race to steal their wealth and lands.

Anyway, I fell in love with the fierce people who sacked Rome and drove Caesar out of Britain. Then I broadened my ideas and started asking those unexplained questions like who were the Picts, the race in Northern Britain before the Celts. (Hadrian’s Wall was built to keep them in Scotland.)

Or what about the mysterious people who made Stonehenge and why did they leave?

Those questions resonated deep inside of me. And then those two glorious words we all know-what if-started replaying through my brain?

What if, what if.

The problem, I wanted to look outside the box to unexplained powers. Yet, I was raised in a religion that was very narrow-minded and even thinking of more than one God or a different force was detrimental. To write about such a thing was horrifying. Severe censure and disapproval from my family stopped me.

But, not for long.

I couldn’t get those words to leave me alone.

Against everything I grow up with, I started writing the book of my passion. I wielded the research I knew with the ‘what if’ of what I didn’t. I no longer cared what others thought. I loved it. After all, I was writing the book for me. Cursed in Love, a 100,000 novel was written in three months. Letting go of the criticisms, worries and doubts freed me. I allowed myself to weave magic in me. My ‘what if’ became a world where warriors cast spells, fought for their country and had to become immortal assassins to a Goddess in order to revenge their decimated race.

So if you dream of creating wonderful worlds where enchantment overrides reason or uncanny gifts are more normal than not-perhaps paranormal is for you.

It sure is for me! I hope you’ll share some of your own tales on how you stumbled into the great world of paranormal.  A rich and awarding genre I would have missed if I hadn’t let myself dream.





BIO: I love to laugh. I adore sparkling conversation, wit, and charm. Reading is a pleasure one should indulge in at least once a day and writing is for the fearless.  I have an unhealthy obsession for Dt. Coke, list making, and counting my children. There are only three. But if you had twins…you would completely understand.


Filed under Moonday mania, paranormal inspiration