Extreme close up of two small toy rubber bulls, one pink, one green, placed nose to nose--by Linda Needham, example of working romance writer needing to take compelling images.

Surprising New Tools for the Working Romance Writer

I never would have guessed, back in the dark ages of the mid-1990s when my first romance was published, that the list of tools for the 21st Century working romance writer would include a Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera with all the bells and whistles.

But, here’s the new truth: working writers are no longer allowed to hide out behind their screens and bang out stories.  We gotta get out there and engage our romance readers with images and adventures.  And that’s all good, by my lights.
Extreme Close Up

New Tools, New Lessons

New tools, new camera, new lessons in how to work all those buttons and gears. Remembering what f-stop means, how to read the exposure meter, which lens does what, shooting video and timed photos, etc.  Above is an image from my homework in preparation of my research trip to the UK — trying out a lens extension tube.

Funky results and soooo much fun to see the world through a new set of lenses!

Better Images

Since I base all of my historical romance novels in the UK, castles and manor houses are my bread and butter–uhm, make that my tea and crumpets.  I’ve used digital point-and-shoot cameras during my previous research trips, snapping tons and tons of photos of details of door hinges and landscapes and mine shafts and rugged coastlines.  Good, but not great.

Smart phones and P&S cameras capture lovely memories, but in this new Age of the Image, as a working romance writer I need more sophisticated tools for sharing my experiences with my readers.

Legal Landscape

A working romance writer can’t just grab any old image off the net and share it on the web or slap it onto their indy cover.  Someone owns the copyright on that image and might (should) object.  With that threat uppermost in my mind, my camera becomes another surprising tool of the trade, allowing me to snap my own images — after first receiving permission from the “snap-ee” — making my work legal and above-board.

Working Romance Writer

I keeping thinking there’s no more room in my writer’s toolbox.  But there’s always something new and exciting coming at me around the corner.  Next time, I won’t be surprised; I’ll be ready with my DSLR camera!  Snap!  Right.



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Linda Needham

Linda Needham is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of historical romance. She lives Portland, Oregon with her husband and Portuguese Water Dog.

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