How May I Hook You? ~ Gina Conkle

Shocked WomanOr 5 Things I Must Share Because…

Today marks a BIG day for me: May 6, 2014 is my “print book birthday” with the release of Meet the Earl at Midnight.

My first book was an ebook last year, Norse Jewel (a Viking romance).

But, this feels different for a lot of reasons. So, why not enjoy a zero calorie virtual cupcake and take a peek at the iStock_000016647706Small“Interesting 5” while celebrating?


The countdown:

#5  Accidents can be gold

iStock_000002530721SmallMeet the Earl at Midnight wasn’t planned. The book grew out of a need to take a break from the Norse hammers in my head. Norse Jewel and another Viking series were in the works, but Georgians weren’t on my radar. I was strictly a Viking and Medieval era writer.

Edward and Lydia, however, turned out to be so much fun. Then, I signed with my agent. She asked what else did I have besides Vikings? Out came Edward and Lydia’s half done tale. I was advised to finish it. Within one month of delivering the manuscript to my agent, not only was the book sold, but a series was born!

Which takes me to the next place on the countdown…

#4 Packaging, Packaging, Packaging Pandora`s box

We had to find a way to shape the series. Why not fairy tales with a twist…all with pivotal “midnight meetings” changing everything? Meet the Earl at Midnight wasn’t an intentional Beauty & the Beast trope but the elements were there.

Thus, the series Midnight Meetings was born.

I’m excited about the stories in process. They will be “the same but different” with heavy emphasis on different. And, yes, expect some surprising and naughty midnight meetings.

#3 The Process

iStock_000019192076SmallThe sweet birthday cupcake at the top represents the finished product. The lady in the image with bad hair and a strong beverage represents my reality. I haven’t had a haircut in months.

The BIG lesson I learned was world building and knowing your characters. With my two Viking series, I did extensive world building and got to know my characters first. Not so with Midnight Meetings.

Edward and Lydia surprised me. A lot! I worked myself into a corner with one scene and went to bed one night wondering, “How is she getting out of that?” And then there was the “Spoon and Egg” scene that came out of nowhere, as did “The Countess.” All were wonderful, unexpected surprises, but the series has taken longer to write.

And then there were the “hooks”…

#2 Hook Me Baby

A lot rides on a book’s opening line. There’s the in media res approach, meaning drop the reader right into the action. There’s the “hook me” with something mysterious, evocative, dangerous, emotional, surprising and/or witty. Why not all of them, if you can manage it? All of this is great advice but sometimes writing that first line can be a mental game of Twister trying to hit everything just right!

So, when Lydia spouted off her first line for me, I was a happy camper.iStock_000003044977Small

If a woman’s old enough to wear a corset, she’s old enough to know midnight meetings spell trouble.

Yes, she has corset issues.

And that takes me to the BIGGIE…

#1 Writing is like dancing, you can’t really care what anyone thinks about you

once upon a timeThat nugget came from the Iceland Writer’s Retreat, an event populated with non-fiction and literary writers. I’m going. Someday.

I’ve learned when your “dancing” words make it to the page, you find characters to fall in love with — like Edward and Lydia.

I hope you fall in love with them too.  Cheers to you, Reader! ~Gina


♥     ♥     ♥

Where to find them?

Amazon US   Amazon Canada   Amazon UK

Amazon Australia   Barnes & Noble

iTunes   Powells   Kobo   Google Play

Books a Million

♥     ♥     ♥

Looking for an excerpt? Scroll down and you’ll find “To sketch in the nude”

Looking for a giveaway? Click the Nook below.

9781400699896_p0_v1_s260x420 Nook Glow Light for overall giveaway


Follow Gina Conkle:

A writer of Viking and Georgian romance with a softly sensual side, Gina loves history, books and romance…the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found delving into the latest adventures in cooking, gardening, and chauffeuring her sons.

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21 Responses

  1. Hanny

    Thank you for writing! It feels I’m in a ballroom 🙂

    • ginaconkle2013

      Hi Hanny, what a nice compliment! That made my day. 😀

    • ginaconkle2013

      Hi Harliqueen, Thanks so much! Writing and books are interesting journeys. 😀

  2. allybroadfield

    Congratulations, Gina! Excellent list. 🙂

    • ginaconkle2013

      Hi Ally,
      What a journey writing is. I look forward to meeting you soon at RT. I had already schedule the Novella to Novel workshop in my agenda…meant to be. 🙂
      Take care- Gina

  3. Violetta Rand

    Love point number one, it’s like doing a waltz when everyone else is twerking. Congrats, write what you love. 🙂

    • ginaconkle2013

      Hi Violetta, And isn’t it interesting that came out of an Iceland writer’s retreat…yay for Vikings and the undaunted Viking mindset. Thanks and happy writing to you-

    • ginaconkle2013

      Thanks Judy! It has been an interesting and fun ride. Need to catch up with you!

    • ginaconkle2013

      Hi BJ,
      Thanks! I’m glad you came to the Facebook party and share in the historical romance.
      Have a great day-

  4. Jeannne M Dickson

    Congratulations, Gina! Love the cover and great blog. Wishing you the very best with the duke and the corset – I mean lady!

    • Gina Conkle

      Thanks Jeanne! It’s quite an eye-opening ride. Edward and Lydia were a lot of fun to write.

  5. Sally Orr

    Great launch, Gina. Tons of fun, thank you. I totally agree. You’ve got to dance to your own tune, or you end up not dancing. 😉 Best of luck with the book.

    • Gina Conkle

      Hi Sally,
      Thanks! A book’s release (and the series) is an energy magnet 🙂 And, writing what you love (like your book!) is the smartest tac. Looking forward to your release in November.

  6. Christy English

    Happy Print Birthday sweet Gina!


    It’s wonderful that you are getting ideas from this piece
    of writing as well as from our dialogue made at this place.