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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Donna Michaels: Can Watching TV Help You Write?

It depends on what you watch.

For me, yes. Watching certain shows is a huge help. The key, of course, is good writing. From characterization to plot twists to out-of-the-box thinking, you can find it all on TV. Even reality TV.

Several years ago, I started watching a new show called The Bachelor. Yep, I know, what? lol This got me thinking, what if one of the contestants was undercover to protect the groom? Boom. That translated into a fun, humorous, and slightly suspenseful, romantic contemporary I sold to The Wild Rose Press, which I now have the rights back to and is self published under the title SHE DOES KNOW JACK. Who would’ve thought watching a reality show would get me a NOR Reviewer Top Pick?

Shows like NCIS, Supernatural, and Stargate SG-1 are huge on characterization. Watching them week after week, for years, you see the characters grow, make mistakes, and learn all with humor sprinkled throughout. Wonderful lessons to follow in your writing. I used them while writing HER UNIFORM COWBOY, Book 3 in my cowboy series, and this garnered me, not only a NOR Reviewer Top Pick, but a Crown Heart of Excellence from InD’tale Magazine, plus Kade was voted Best Cowboy in a Book/Reader’s Choice-LRC.

The dialogue in those three shows is strong, too. I find myself watching, waiting for certain characters (Tony DiNozo, Dean Winchester, Jack O’Neal) to open their mouths because you just never know what is going to come out. Priceless. I would’ve given my eye teeth to write Jack O’Neal. He was a stubborn, alpha hero (I’m a sucker for military men), very funny with wonderful chemistry with Dr. Daniel Jackson. Watching them interact, even now on DVD, you can see the dynamics of the relationship between two unlikely friends. Definitely something a writer can carry over into their books. Especially a series. I use buddy/buddy chemistry in my Harland County Series. 

Like in my latest release, Book Four: HER FOREVER COWBOY. The hero, Kevin, is similar to Tony DiNozo, a charismatic lady’s man with a brain like Tim McGee and an aversion to relationships like Leroy Jethro Gibbs. His relationship with his cousin and two childhood friends, however, is strong, like that of Jack and Daniel, and the others from NCIS. Their banter often has me laughing out loud and that is what I want for my readers.

And if you’re looking for the unexpected, then you’ll benefit from watching Sherlock, Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon A Time. Their twist on familiar characters is inspiring. Watching them definitely teaches to think out-side-the-box. Nothing is set in stone. The sky is the limit. So, go on, take a break from writing and watch some TV. You never know, you just might make your characters…more.

BLURB: Book Four/Kevin: Her Forever Cowboy
Buy link will be available here:
Single mother Shayla Ryan is tired of running, and longs to put down roots to create a stable environment for her baby girl and her younger sister. Having grown up with the opposite, she’s determined to raise her daughter right, and Harland County holds a lot of appeal. Too much appeal, in the form of a Casanova cowboy with eye-catching good looks and easy charm. It was time to settle down, create a forever home, and despite the fact the sexy cowboy interferes with her pulse, he’s made it perfectly clear he’s allergic to forever.

If there’s one thing software company vice president, Kevin Dalton loves more than puzzles, it’s women. Size, shape, race doesn’t matter as long as they don’t want a relationship. Been there, done that. He’s not looking to repeat the past, and happy to remain single. Until two beautiful redheads drop him to his knees—one with her cutie-pie smile, the other with her elbow. Too bad the elbow-toting beauty was both hot and puzzling. A killer combination too strong to resist. So he doesn’t, and without realizing it, the redheads slowly rewrite the code around his heart.

But when a danger from the woman’s past shows up and threatens the girls’ future, will he rise to the challenge and fight to keep them in his life? And if he does, can he really be what they need? A forever cowboy?

Donna writes Romaginative Fiction—romance through the H’s—Hot, Humorous & Heartwarming. In eBook and print, her titles range from sweet to hot, short to epic and anything in between. You can find the ratings and length next to the book on her website. Donna lives in Northeast PA where they experience all four seasons, although, she wouldn’t mind hanging onto summer a bit more and winter a bit less. Married to a career military man, she has four children, and an assortment of rescued cats. 

Voted most likely to succeed in high school, Donna took that title to heart and set her sights on a writing career. Winner of eHarlequin’s Round Robin Writer Contest, she turned to the Internet and now has several titles published through The Wild Rose Press, one with Whimsical Publications, and  several self-published novels, including the Amazon Best Selling Harland County Series, with her latest release, Book Four/Kevin: HER FOREVER COWBOY.
Donna’s links:


Cara Marsi said...

Donna, I too, get inspiration from TV shows. I love Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon a Time. The premise of She Does Know Jack is great. I've read your books and they're excellent. I wish you the best of luck. Congratulations on your awards!

Sandy said...

Donna, I love all the NCIS shows, and you're right about learning how to develop characters from television programs. Not only do they show the develpment, but the movements and expressions needed with the conversation.

Your stories sound great.

Melissa Keir said...

There is inspiration in the most unlikely places. I'm so excited about your latest. I wish you many sales!

jean hart stewart said...

Inspiration appears when and where it wants to, or so I've found. I take whatever I can get! Congratulations on all your ventures....

Judy Baker said...

Donna, I'm a TV nut - with certain shows, like Once Upon a Time and love NCIS. I also never missed an episode of StarGate SG-1. Now it's Revolution and can't wait for Fallen Star. I too think it help especially when you listen to the dialogue and their expressions. Thanks for sharing.

Janice Seagraves said...

There are some great shows out there and they can give a writer ideas for books.

Good luck with your releases.


Fran Lee said...

Congrats on all the wonderful kudos this set of books received.

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