Tina Gerow on Writer’s Block & Plotting

What genre do you consider your book(s)?

My previous Cassie Ryan books, both the Seduction Series and the Sisters of Darkness Series were all erotic paranormal romances.  My Club Desire Books are Contemporary erotic romances.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?  

I bmg 300x300think I’ve always pictured writer’s block as absolutely no ideas flowing through my head –about what to write next.  And I’ve rarely had that.  I usually have a TON of ideas, it’s just that sometimes I either think or KNOW that they are all crap…LOL!  That’s when I gather my critique group together – The Butterscotch Martini Girls – and they help me brainstorm my way out of my rut (which is what I call it) until I’m excited about the book all over again!  They also remind me when I start to think I suck, or that the book is horrible that I’ve written books before that turned out well and were well received and I can do it again.  They help remind me that I CAN do this again!  Especially with their support.  Not sure where I would be in my career without these ladies who have cheered me on from the very beginning!

Do you write an outline before every book you write?  

Hah!  I would rather have a root canal than to have to do that!  It brings back those stressful nights before an outline of a research paper was due in high school.  Ugh!  Istarted my writing career as a total panster (write by the seat of my pants).  After I wrote myself into a few too many corners and had to have the girls help me brainstorm to of them I became a brainstormer/pantser.  Over time that evolved since I have to give my agent a synopsis to sell books off of.  So I would have the entire story overview including the conflict, subplots, high points and happily ever after for the synopsis.  That became my major form of book “planning” and I wrote most of my books that way.  There were definitely times I got stuck, but my BMG’s were always there to help me brainstorm my way out.  Only for the last two book – Club Desire – did I start trying to do a few bullet points per chapter (off of my already completed synopsis) to at least help in my planning process.  I’m still NOT good at doing it that way, but hope over time to get better at it.  Especially since I can’t write a full length novel in 4 months any more thanks to the brain blowout, I need to continue to look for ways to streamline my process so I can get more work done quickly.  But it’s still a work in progress 🙂

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes.  I think EVERY author has if they are honest.  Granted, nothing that’s been published.  If Ihated it that much I would have never submitted it to my agent or any editor.  Now some of my published books have parts that I originally hated when I first wrote them.  I have written entire chapters that I just couldn’t stand and ended up tossing them and rewriting them entirely.  But now that I think about it…there were definitely some stories from high school and college thatI HATED and I would never want to take any credit for.  Those were projects that I was directed to write a certain way or to totally remove my author voice from (even in creative writing classes).  Let’s just say I’m glad those are lost…  Hopefully since they were under my maiden name no one will ever be able to trace them back to me if they are dug out of a dumpster somewhere!!  Both high school AND college were back before computers were routine.  I had one of the big clunky Macs my last 2 years of college and turned a few projects in off of my dot matrix printer…LOL!  But nothing on those huge floppy disks, thankfully 🙂


What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

Obviously romance is a big one for me.  Not the schlochy over the top stuff that gives you diabetes, but the true experience of two characters overcoming obstacles and actually falling in love.  And Ido enjoy writing sex –sensual OR erotic.  They’re both fun in their own way.  But I have to have good plot with my sex!!  No throwaway sex – ugh.  As far as themes – I think I like strong heroines who have to come to terms with their pasts and grow to accept and like themselves in the course of the book before they can let themselves become vulnerable enough to allow themselves to fall in love with the hero.  And the heroes have to be a true man – someone worthy of my heroine.  No jerks who don’t treat her right or I kill him off and find another one!! 🙂

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