Category Archives: Novel

Wicked Ways of the Wandering




An Apt Pupil once told me that A Good Marriage was the ticket to The Bazar of Bad Dreams. Blockade Billy tried to find hope in a Bag of Bones, but his wife Carrie left her Children of the Corn for dog, Cujo to eat during the Cycle of the Werewolf. Through a Cat’s Eye there is a Cell just beyond Desperation. Delores Claiborne may have been in Different Seasons of her life when she fell asleep under a Dreamcatcher and woke up in Duma Key. Fortunately Everything’s Eventual and at the End of Watch it’s Finders Keepers.

At Four Past Midnight From a Buick 8 they will find Full Dark No Stars and Gerald’s Game plays out at the Hotel at the End of the Road. No one leaves happy and everyone leaves their Hearts in Atlantis. It will cause Insomnia Just After Sunset and trust me, it’s no Joyland. Not King’s, but LT’s Theory on Pets that is the real Lisey’s Story. The Lawnmower Man is just another one of The Langoliers. Misery doesn’t come without Mr. Mercedes and he’s driving in Maximum Overdrive.

Nona thinks she wants Needful Things but it’s just a bunch of Nightmares & Dreamscapes The Outsider told her she would have if she visited Pet Sematary. She signed up for Quitter’s Inc. and thought The fifth Quarter would bring Revival but she met Rose Madder who was just another Sleeping Beauty. The Shining Skeleton Crew took The Stand and in The Institute The Girl who Love Tom Gordon is standing alone at The Dark Tower. The Dead Zone is not really dead but The Eyes of the Dragon will haunt The Dark Half if there is anything left.

By the time Uncle Otto’s Truck comes to take us Under the Dome Umney’s Last Case of  the American Vampire will be the Word Processor of the Gods and the Woman in the Room will cast everyone out to The Wastelands.

Just a fun little trot through one of my favorite author’s tales. Do you know who it is? I could not come up with a title for K. Can you? X, Y, and Z doesn’t count because those days have not played out yet.



Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Retaliation

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Typically when someone says something bad about me I fight back in retaliation. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not a POS, nor, did I claim any military honor. Although I have an asshole, I’m not an asshole, I’m not a dirty gutter trash whore and I’ll pass on sucking stagnant water through a dead insurgents pee hole. I’m not a smelly pirate hooker living on Whore Island (quite frankly I didn’t know there was such a place). I am simply a sinner saved by grace.

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Today I take the blame. I didn’t realize that even though a picture was given to me, I still needed permission from the person who took the picture to use the picture, even if I did alter it and add clip art. For those of you who don’t know I’ve been trying to reconcile relationships with these people for years. What’s even funnier, is it took these scholars a little over nine months to take notice that I used a picture they gave me. The book has gone through a lot.

Blackhorse 2015 Cover Art        Blackhorse Kindle          front cover

What I find the most frustrating is people who haven’t followed my blogs for the past eight years, suddenly have an opinion on what I can or cannot write or post. I am hurt by the people who are mutual friends of me and the person on FB who owns this tirade thread of BS who didn’t defend me. I also find it demeaning that people who have not even purchased my book can post reviews on Amazon about what they think. Someone had a comment about me lying about the cover. I didn’t lie, I did create the art on the cover. I didn’t say anything at all about the photo. And as far as believing what’s inside the book, “Hey idiot, it is a work of fiction!”

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So while this drama was all fun and exciting, you people up there on the side hill can wallow in the glory of your lackey friends while my book is on temporary hiatus with Amazon. You have no idea how to write a book and what you’ve done is strengthened my sales. All this controversy has made more people interested in Crackerberries Anderson. This is funny, that’s what this is…. Trust me, the book will return and the sales will sky-rocket. So I guess I should just say ‘thank you’.

 

 

 

Writing a Novel isn’t so Novel

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Novel – and inventive prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals with human experience through a connected sequences of events. New and not resembling something formerly known or used; original or striking especially in conception or style.

Writing a novel used to be just that — original. Now it seems everyone talks about writing a novel, everyone wants to write a novel, and a select few have actually written a novel. There’s nothing novel about writing a novel anymore. Everyone is doing it. It really is true that there is nothing new under the sun. If you can dream it, the chances are, it’s already been done. Your only hope is to come up with an innovative way to make it sound (or I guess I should say read) more appealing than the last person.

If writing a novel is your dream, your goal in life, your wish, your secret desire, do it. Write it. Don’t talk about it, just do it. Don’t ever give up. Don’t listen to what other people tell you. If your heart is in it, do it. You will write that novel.

If publishing that novel is your dream, your goal in life, your wish, your secret desire, do it. But before you publish it, do your homework. Research the markets of where the genre you write will fit best. Do not go with the first offer that comes along. Research and know what is available out there.

If you cannot find a publisher that meets your dream, your goal in life, your wish, or your secret desire, you can always self-publish. This is one way a lot of unknown authors get their name out there. Just keep in mind that self-publishing also mean self-promotion. If you don’t have time to self-promote hopefully you have a huge following of friends and family that will buy your book, and help promote it.

Don’t take reviews personally. Not everyone likes the kind of reading material you like, and therefore not everyone is going to like the material you write. Someone may read your novel with the hopes of one thing happening, and they become disappointed because it did not meet their expectations. This causes them to write a bad review. That doesn’t mean your story is bad, it just means that person was not satisfied with something they were expecting to read. Same is true with positive reviews. Don’t let these go to your head. Sometimes a five-star review comes from an obligatory read.

Finally, know what your goal is before you set out to write the “All-American-Best-Seller” that’s going to be on the New York Times Best Seller List. Is that the goal? Is the goal to just write the novel? Is the goal to be published? Is the goal to make a lot of money? (If that’s the goal, you better stop right now). Truly, it doesn’t matter what your goal is, just as long as you set one, so that you know what you are working toward in the long run.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your butt in gear and write that novel!

Be sure to check out some of the other great bloggers taking part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

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Asking for Help

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So I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve never actually done this before so it will be a new experience for me. Next week my husband begins a new adventure and will on a four-week course. (That’s all I’m going to say about it because this is not about him, although feel free to pray for Gods will to be done for him while he is on this life changing course.)

While he is completing his goal, I have one myself that I want to complete. I want to finish my novel The Salt-Water Killings, and I need your help. In the midst of completing my novel, I’ve also signed up for the Blogging A-Z challenge, which is writing a blog on a daily basis for the month of April. There is still time to sign up if you haven’t.  OH and I’m a little bit of a twit on that note, because when I signed up I did it twice. (Pay attention to the instructions!) The first time I forgot to add the code at the end so people would know what my blog is about. I meant to put in WR for writing and storytelling, but somehow I got AC for adult content. I should apologize here because there will be no adult content unless you consider an occasional swear word adult content. Sorry for the confusion. And let’s not forget to mention my daily chores and tasks that go along with keeping a household in order that need to be completed.

My sister once said, “Your need for attention has no limit.” She is correct, it has no limit. The only thing that makes me different from ninety percent of the rest of the world is I can admit it. We all want and crave attention.

Why do we have Facebook? Don’t give me that horse shit answer “to stay in touch with distant relatives.” Write a letter! The reason people have Facebook is because they want to be in everybody’s face to tell them what is important in their life. Why do we blog? To share our opinions. Why do we write books? Because we have so much inside us if we don’t write it, it will make us explode.

For the next four weeks I need your help. I need support and encouragement. I want people to ask me how I’m doing. “How many words did you write today?” and “How many chapters were you able to edit?” or “Did you get that chapter tweaked that needed to be changed?” I want people to encourage me every single day. “Hey, I have a great idea for the letter ‘G’ if you don’t have a topic.” Even just a simple, “Hope your book editing is going good today.”

It is so true that writing is a sad and lonely career. Too many people think it’s a hobby. Trust me, if I were choosing a hobby, it wouldn’t be sitting around pulling my hair out trying to come up with just the right words to tell a story so that it is meaningful and interesting. I’d be socializing and drinking and playing golf at some fancy-schmancy country club.

So help me out, help me reach my goal by being encouraging, motivational, supportive. You might even pray for me if you are so inclined. I know it is a lot to ask of people because you have your own lives and your own goals and desires. But I figured I might as well ask. The worst thing that can happen is nothing happens and I go it alone, just like I always have.

Serial Killer Research

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Didn’t sleep well last night. Not sure if it was the two diet sodas I drank in the afternoon or the book I’m reading. It’s quite disturbing. I don’t know how to feel about it because when I’m reading it, I feel sorry for the notorious serial killers described in the book.

• Henry Lee Lucas 1936 – 2001 Died of heart failure while serving life in prison
• Gary Schaefer 1951 – serving life in Leavenworth, Kansas
• Carlton Gary 1952 – on death row in Georgia
• Bobby Joe Long 1953 – on death row in Florida
• Charles Manson 1934 – serving life at Corcoran State Prison in California (Up for parole in 2027)
• Richard Macek 1948 – 1987 (suicide)
• John Wayne Gacy 1942 – 1994 Execution (that had some issues that sounded similar to the lethal injection in the movie Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler)
• Ted Bundy 1946 – 1989 Execution
• Richard Ramirez 1960 – 2013 Had been on death row for more than 23 years and died of complications to B-Cell lymphoma
• Leonard Lake 1945 – 1985 (suicide)
• Antone “Tony” Costa 1944 – 1974 (suicide)
• Jeffrey Dahmer 1960 – 1994 beaten to death by inmate
• Harry F. Powers 1892 – 1932 Execution

How does a person feel sorry for a serial killer? They did heinous crimes; tortured, raped, and killed men and women, and even young children. How can you have compassion for someone like that? Yet, I read much about their young lives and how they were treated as a child, and what they endured as they grew up, and it caused me sadness. I’m not saying they should not be in prison, or on death row, or whatever punishment has been inflicted on them. I’m not playing devil’s advocate. Still, I am moved and troubled by their lives as well as the lives of people they destroyed.

I do subscribe to the age of accountability, and that a person is responsible for his or her own actions. There comes a time when life is not to be blamed on your parents. But when a child is malnourished over and over again, or a mother beats a child into a coma, or a father forces a child to have sex with animals for his own enjoyment, how can a child grow up and be emotionally and physiologically right?

Why do I read this shit that disturbs my mind? Research for my novel which is about a serial killer. I’ve learned so much about them through this research for writing my new novel. My whole attitude has changed. It’s kind of scary actually. To feel compassion for someone who has brutally raped, tortured and killed… that’s crazy. It sort of makes you realize that no matter what a person is going through, or dealing with, you never really know what’s deep inside and what demons they are trying to hide.

One should realize when you are working on a novel, sometimes you are so involved in your characters you think that you are living their lives. Could I be a serial killer? Ha ha! Hell, no! Although after reading some of the characteristics of a serial killer, it makes me watch people a little more vigilantly. All part of the package of being a writer I guess.

Read a Good Book?

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Read a good book lately? I did. Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips. I loved it. A factual story with a blend of fiction. Kept my attention on every page. I loved it so much that when I finished it, I was disappointed. You know that feeling you get after finishing a good book? It feels like your best friend moved away.

I wrote a review and rated it. A short review that doesn’t give away any of the details. In my own defense I will say I need to practice writing better reviews. But in all honesty I think if you want to know the details, read the book.

After that I went to read what other people had to say about the novel. I was extremely offended and sort of pissed off. Granted I only read ten reviews, but only one of the ten shared the same enthusiasm as me about the book. In fact a lot of the poor reviews were done by people who didn’t even take the time to finish reading the book. “Quit reading”. What the hell is that? I say if you are going to take the time to spew your negativity about something, at least have the common courtesy and decency to read the whole book. Otherwise I say, keep your opinion to yourself.

Chapter 7- The Salt-Water Killings

 

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Brianna Pike and her husband moved from Hemet, California to the east coast in the late nineties. Although she had lived in California all her life, for some reason she felt New England beckoned her. When she met Tom the store manager of Wal-Mart was making a very big deal of the situation. Tom saved Brianna a lot of embarrassment by discreetly talking with the manager and the police officers. She still had to go through being booked and the mug-shot session and fingerprinting down at the station. She also would be on probation for the next year, but Tom saved her the humiliation of being handcuffed and taken away like a criminal. It wasn’t the first time she was in trouble with the law. She had been caught shoplifting at other places but this was the first time she had actually been booked for the crime. It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford the items. It was an addiction. It was a game to her to see if she could do it without getting caught. It made the adrenaline flow inside her, and getting caught was more intense than the excitement of getting away with it. Now her record and fingerprints were in the system for the world to know.

When she found out that Tom was from Maine, she knew it was fate. The desire to move east summoned her even more. It would be a place to start over. To stop the steeling and do something different with her life. Tom, a truck driver, was able to get a transfer to a New England trucking company. Brianna took correspondent courses to get her real estate license for Maine and New Hampshire, and they found a quaint cape in the town of Camp Eaton. She had been working for the Tidwell Company in South Portland for about three years when she first heard the story of the Salt-Water Killer.

It was just after lunch when Brianna punched in the code for the lock at 221 East Atlantic Avenue. She remembered looking at the house when she and Tom first moved to Camp Eaton. She was kind of surprised it hadn’t sold yet. It was a cute little cottage, but not big enough if children were part of the package. She and Tom were planning to have children at some point in their lives, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

The dust bunnies floated through the air in the afternoon sunshine. She wrote herself a note to have the Merry-Maids come in and do a quick once-over sweep and dust. She pulled open the drapes that gave view to the harbor and the jetty, and smiled, pleased the tide was in. It was so much prettier when those ugly mud flats were covered with water, and the scent of fish wasn’t quite as strong. The white caps crashed against the stone wall that crept out into the Atlantic Ocean.

John and Martha Beckett pulled in the yard right on time. Brianna loved new clients who actually showed up when they said they were going to. John and Martha’s credit checked out very well in the low seven hundred score. Not many people fell into that category these days. That was a huge plus when it came to commission. More times than not, people would come to view a house, and not even have the preliminary paperwork done. There were more these days who were no-credit, no-shows, and didn’t even bother to call to cancel. She hated that aspect of selling real estate. When she found what looked like a good prospect to sell to, she did all she could to make her sales pitch a winner.

“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Beckett?” She offered her right hand. “I’m Brianna Pike. Nice to meet both of you.”

Mr. Beckett shook her hand, Mrs. Beckett did not. This struck Brianna oddly, but she brushed it off. Maybe Mrs. Beckett was shy, or maybe she was just in a mood. Women were funny that way, and that was one thing Brianna learned quickly in the business of real estate. Go for the one that is interested, but try not to ignore the other. Don’t let the detached one discourage your sales pitch either.

“We’ll start with the kitchen. Would either of you like coffee or a soda? It’ll only take a minute, I have a Keurig in the kitchen.” She always brought the Keurig with whenever she was showing a house. It usually impressed her clients when they could have whatever flavor coffee they wanted while pondering thoughts of signing a 30-year mortgage contract. She also was an avid coffee drinker and liked that every cup was fresh, never that sludge that typically came from the bottom of a coffee pot.

She guided them towards the kitchen. “Unless you have any questions?”

“I have a question,” Mrs. Beckett said, still standing just inside the front door.

“Marti, come on, we talked about this.” John put a hand on her shoulder.

Marti pulled away from her husband. “Tell me, Ms. Pike, what do you know about Sheila Nelson?”

Brianna looked at Mr. Beckett, and back to Mrs. Beckett inquisitively. “Should I know Sheila Nelson?” She looked at the notes on the clip board of the house.

“You don’t know anything about her?” Mrs. Beckett’s question was more like an interrogation. She scoffed and walked over to the bay window, arms crossed over her nonexistent chest.

“That’s enough, Marti.” Mr. Beckett put a hand on his wife. “I’m sorry Ms. Pike, you’ll have to excuse my wife.”

“Do you know Sike Nukpana?” She pressed.

“Marti, enough.”

“I’m really sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about or why I should know these people.”

“Well, maybe you should have done your homework before you decided to sell this house. Why do you think all these houses along here are for sale?” She pointed up the street.

It was true, there were four or five houses just on East Street alone that were for sale. Not unusual for a small town. A lot of times families would live in little compounds together. When one family decided to move, a lot of time the rest would pack up, and follow suit. But, it wasn’t the case for these houses. None of the residents were related. Brianna did know that, because she had the names of the other homeowners as well as the agents who were handling the sales. Sometimes agents would barter with each other to get sales, so they all took turns at showing the houses to their clientage.

“It’s my understanding that the quarry has a lot of people upset, and that is the reason they have decided to sell.” Brianna reviewed her notes on the house. “Am I missing something?”

“No, you’re not. That is why all of these houses are going so cheap. Most of the people have been here for years and having the traffic, not to mention the dirt and dust from the quarry have people packing up and leaving. They tried to fight it, but more people want the revenue than the neighborhood.” Mr. Beckett had done his research.

“Shelia Nelson was raped!” Mrs. Beckett huffed. “And then as if that wasn’t enough after he finished doing his business with her, he slit her throat and then tied her body to the buoy out there where the mud flats start just before the lighthouse.” Mrs. Beckett pointed out the bay window.

“What? That’s horrible.”

“Alright, I think we’ve taken up enough of your time. Obviously my wife is not ready to take advantage of the low price this house is selling for.” Mr. Beckett directed his wife to the door.

“But wait, I don’t understand.” Brianna, flabbergasted, didn’t know what to say, or ask.

“The Salt-Water Killer. You should have known about that before coming down here telling people what a great deal they are getting you should be telling them how a young girl lost her life on the beach out there and then as if it weren’t enough that she was brutally raped by an older man, he tied her body to a buoy as if he were showing off his kill.” Mrs. Beckett literally spit the words out of her mouth.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Pike, that we have wasted your time.” Before she could ask any more questions the Beckett’s were in their car, backing out of the drive-way.

 

 

The Salt-Water Killings is currently in proofing stages and should be available later this year.

The Challenge

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The Challenge

 We had fun watching everyone and their brother do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook and most of the news channels. Has it worn out yet? I think it made its way through all of my contacts. Some of the videos were hysterical to watch while others were sad and even scary. For a good cause, it was really too bad about the people who got hurt … or worse … in the challenge.

The new phase that has hit my group of friends that l I’m seeing is called The Grateful/Gratitude Challenge  www.gratitudechallenge.com  I really like the idea of the challenge because I believe the more grateful you are for what you have, the more content and happy you are inside. I don’t think it should be called a challenge though. I think it should be called The Gratitude Attitude. We should remind ourselves daily of the things we are thankful and grateful for and not do it just because we are tagged in a dare. Read The Purpose Driven Life (Rick Warren). It’s a great book that will help you while pondering on gratefulness and gratitude.

During our walk in the dark this morning, Tall Cool ne and I were discussing the challenges and the things we read that others do or say on Facebook. We as a people, all crave attention. We want to hear that atta-boy, good job, way-to-go. These auditions on Facebook made me think a little bit about that, and why we are all confronted with the same challenge.

Challenge: a summons that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting; an invitation to compete in a sport; the act or process of provoking or testing physiological activity by exposure to an antigen.

After I read the definition of what a challenge is, I came to the conclusion that every day my life is a challenge. I read stimulating and provocative things on my computer every day, and sometimes I have a hard time restraining myself from commenting back at how stupid or ignorant people are. Every morning my husband plays the mean drill sergeant and at 4:40 AM we are out of the bed and stretching. Then we head out for our walk, which is down an uninhabited dirt road, in the dark, which I am extremely afraid of (the dark, not the road). Later in the day I wrestle with the elements of it being too hot or too cold because there is never a happy medium.

I know you think I’m joking about living a challenge every day. We all do. Each and every one of us have a challenge. It is different for each person. Some people do well in some areas where others wouldn’t do well at all. We can complain about it, or we can deal with it. It is all in perspective … the way that you look at things. I realize that my life is good. I am so thankful for the life I have. Every day I get to wake up and go for a walk and even though I joke about Tall Cool ☺ne being a drill sergeant, he is doing it for our good health. If you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters. There is something good in everything. Some days the challenge is finding it.

Sometimes I bitch about the things people email me or post on Facebook, but I have a choice. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it. We have a choice to be content or discontent. If we look at the negative side of things all the time, that will make us negative. Look at the glass half full. We have to practice euphemism.

So, with that said, that is my challenge for the rest of the year. Practicing euphemism: the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant. And if anyone sees or reads me not doing it, speak up and remind me!  I implore you to do the same.

Being Successful as a Writer

Being A Successful Writer

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I lost my way for a short time. I got involved in the social media thing … you know the Facebook novel promotions and that sort of thing that ‘people in the business’ say is what you need to do. Quite frankly, I think ‘people in the business’ are full of shit. They want you to think they know what they are talking about. But if they are so good at telling you how to sell books, how come they aren’t selling their own? Why are they writing articles on “HOW TO DO IT.”? How come there are so many authors turned into publishers? I don’t really think a good publisher can also be a good author and vice-versa. Just my opinion. Personally, I think when that is done, someone is looking for a way to make more money because they suck at being an author or they suck at being a publisher… they can’t be good at both. It’s not a job you can multi-task well.  They’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Those book promo sites on Facebook are people doing the same thing. Sell the book. It might get one or two sales, but that’s not the place you want to put your time and effort into promoting and selling your books. I thought I had to do what everyone else was doing because “they said” that’s what you have to do to be successful. I can tell you right now, I’ve been doing this writing thing for a lot of years. If you ask me if I think I’m successful at it, my answer would be, “Yes, I’m very successful at it. I’ve written millions.”

Does that mean I’m successful at making money at writing my millions? Well, not exactly. That’s a whole new nonfiction novel — which I don’t do. You see, the way I figure it, there is success in writing and there is success in making money. So far as I can tell, the two don’t really go together, unless, of course, you are Stephen King. I like to tell people I’m not in it for the money. But that’s kind of a lie because who doesn’t want to make money? It would be a sweet gig if I could make a lot of money doing what I love to do. Right now that doesn’t seem to be the case, but I’m too old to find a new hobby as so many people like to refer to my addiction that I have with writing.

Seriously though, I’m in it because … well if I don’t write I get really moody and sometimes I need to do it to vent. It’s almost like an addiction to, say, cigarettes. I can use that as an example because I quit that habit – in fact next month will make eight years. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve slipped up quite a few times since then and had me a clove cigar every now and again. I will probably continue to slip up every once in a while, but I don’t have that nagging desire to go have a smoke every hour or so like I did for 22 years. Now writing, that nagging desire is there even in my sleep. I do some of my best writing in my sleep. I don’t think I could ever give it up. I’ve tried, but it just keeps coming back to haunt me. I have to get those ideas and thoughts down.

So I have published a few books and am working on a new novel and a holiday cookbook. I’m also looking for new innovative ways to promote my writing. That’s the hard part of the business. In a few days I’ll see that some of the followers on social media will suddenly be doing the same thing with a holiday cookbook or something to that effect. If you are good at what you do, people are going to try to duplicate you. The way to find out if you’re successful is when you look around and see others copying what you do … this means they are watching you. This means you are good at doing what you do. It’s like that saying on the Mike’s Hard Lemonade label, “If you’re gonna be original you can count on being copied.”

Not that I’m original, there is nothing new under the sun. I just look for innovative ways to make old shit look like new shit. When people copy you, accept it as a compliment and move on to the next task at hand. People can write about the same topic as you, but they can’t write like you. You are an original writer and no one can take that away from you. Do what you do and don’t worry about anything else. If you were meant to be successful at making money, you will make lots of money. If you were meant to be successful at writing, you will write a lot. If you were meant to be successful at making lots of money from writing, well you have one hell of a talent!

Labor Day Weekend Deals

 

Blackhorse LDP

 

Labor Day Weekend 2015 Satellite Dunyasha collides with asteroid FF-13. All of the New England states plus some of Canada are affected by an electro-magnetic pulse. NASA knows nothing about the satellite — or so they say, which happens to be Russian owned. Sergeant First Class Jon Hunter is on a mission but Captain Carlin is bound and determined to keep his part in the situation a secret.

Blackhorse 2015 is Crackerberries premiere novel. A military thriller with many controversial topics bedded inside. Read this book with a clear mind because there are many situations and several characters. Soldier training isn’t what it used to be. While reading this controversial story about conspiracy, racketeering, and treason going on within the United States Military, you won’t want to miss anything the government is covering up.

Here’s what people are saying about Blackhorse 2015:

… ideal for all readers to discover that all is not discernible in the government, like the military.

 

This is one of those books that doesn’t shy away from controversy. The characters are all well-drawn and bring you into their world and experiences. The author is exceedingly knowledgeable about the military and its application in this story is well-crafted.

 

This book will make your little hairs stand up on your arms.

 

The author does an amazing off beat way of revealing the plot one view-point at a time. As it unfolds you come to understand how the government can so easily manipulate us all.

 

A book that will stand on its own in a field with Clancy, Sanford and Patterson

 

…the suspense and political intrigue was such a draw that my filter bleeped out the language as I read. An appropriate story line for the current times and governmental cover ups that seem to be exploding in the news even faster than in the Bush-era.

 

In Blackhorse 2015, the author Crackerberries tackles this inner sanctum with the authority of someone who’s watched it all up close. She doesn’t give the reader any reassurance. Dark deeds are exacerbated by dark motives. And personal grudges are added into the stew of clandestine goings-on at a base on a Pacific island – the very existence of which is enough to make us worry.

 

When I read the synopsis of the story I was intrigued. This book certainly has its place in today’s history. If you think our government doesn’t have a lot of “things” going on that we will never know about your head is in the sand. This is Crackerberries story of one cover up that is highly possible today.

 

Every day, we hear of government cover ups that seem implausible and yet, they happen. The sub-plots add an element of humor which serve to highlight the darkness.

 

Just click on the book, add to cart and apply discount code TEBA75A4 for 25% off the printed version. Blackhorse Kindle

 

The F-U-N in Book Marketing

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I’ve been limiting my time on social media lately because I’m trying to put more effort into writing instead of socializing. The infamous they say you have to socialize to create book sales. You need relationships to earn sales. That is how you market your book, or so “they” say.

That doesn’t make any sense to me. I buy books all the time from authors I sometimes have never even heard of, let alone have a relationship with.

My thought is this about relationships: I don’t want someone to read my books because they feel sorry for me. I want people to read my books because they are good. I don’t think creating a relationship is going to change whether the book is good or not. Plus with relationships, you get into the whole thing where people think they know who you are and then they start thinking they know who your fictional characters are in real life. It’s a whole big spiral snowball of crap.

So I’ve been doing some research on other ways to market my book…not just social media. Free too. I’m finding a lot of avenues. I’ll let you know how they pan out.

 

 

Cheers

Red Flags

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Red Flags

So you are ready to publish your book that you’ve work hard on. You are ready to make that dream become a reality. Let me share with you some of the things I learned with getting my first book published. They have been hard lessons to digest. For someone who has had the dream of becoming a published author for the last 35 years or more, when the contract came via email you can imagine the excitement I felt. Even though I posed very articulated questions and received vague responses, I just figured it would work itself out in the end. It didn’t matter that all of my questions weren’t answered. No big deal, the biggest thing was getting that book published. That is what every author wants when we first set out.

About Editing:

So the process began. First the book went to an editor. She sent it back to me for my approval three days later. Her comments were indistinct, and I really had no idea what I was supposed to be looking for. I asked. She responded with ‘click on the check mark if you agree. If you don’t, add a comment and we will discuss’. She also pointed out that the edits weren’t that much, mostly compound words. I wrote the book, the publisher liked it so much they wanted to publish it, what could possibly be wrong with it? Not to mention that the editor told me the edits ‘weren’t that much’. That being said, I approved what the editor changed and posed that needed to be changed. I signed off and it was forwarded back to the publisher.

So the process continued.

About Publishing:

The publisher found some serious errors that she would have expected to be corrected in editing.

{Out of curiosity, I asked what was expected of the editor. I had never been through this before, I didn’t know.}

This was the publisher’s response:

What we expect of our editors is this:
1. Manuscript review and recommendations to ensure logical development of content.
2. Substantive editing to determine what should be added, developed, or deleted to enhance the structure, completeness, and tone of the manuscript. If there had been major revisions required, your editor would have to have contacted me before those could proceed.
3. Copy-editing to eliminate incorrect or unclear grammar, word choice, factual inconsistencies, syntax, and inconsistent style.
4. Editors are necessary to making sure a book is the best that it can be. You certainly don’t want the embarrassment of a reviewer pointing out the bad grammar, misspellings, and missing punctuation. So, don’t argue with the editor. Don’t tell them that they don’t know their job and have to listen to you.

She asked for my feedback on how the editing went with the editor. And she wanted me to be honest. What was I supposed to say? I wrote the perfect book. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it.  She pointed out a whole list of things she saw while proofreading my book to give the reasons why. Normally, she doesn’t proofread books, but her proofreaders were all busy, and she doesn’t like to see books sitting around, so she was doing that until they were free.

What to expect from the proofreader.

Once the editor is done. Proofreaders are vitally important, to catch the things your editor missed. They are very good at what they do. So, give your proofreader the time to painstakingly read your book, word by word and then line by line. You’d be amazed at all the little things they catch.

After she finished with all that she found wrong and corrected, she attached a copy of my manuscript for my final review. I needed to take my time going through the book, correcting anything I found wrong, paying particular attention to the items that she mentioned. One reason is these kinds of errors can get bad reviews and lose you readers and fans. So she told me. The second reason is that the publisher recently implemented a new policy regarding making changes or correcting errors to books once they’re published. They no longer do this due to abuse by a few authors in the past. If something is missed, which by should have been caught in editing and proofreading plus your final review, we can do nothing about that.

{Pointed out to me after the contract was signed. Red flag!}

Again, I will mention I wrote the book, the publisher liked it so much they wanted to publish it, what could possibly be wrong with it? She said she finished with all that she found wrong (...proofreaders are vitally important, to catch the things your editor missed) and corrected, and attached a final copy. What else could possibly be wrong?

There was plenty. I found several mistakes and corrections that were said to have been made that were not made. If you take the time to read my book, Blackhorse 2015, I can assure you if you are looking, and even if you are not, you will find several errors that were missed in the steps that were supposed to have been taken. {My fault?}

About Promotion:
What kind of marketing/promotion will the publishing company do?

The publishing company promotes the work of our authors on Facebook and Twitter daily/weekly. Not every author is promoted every day.

{Would you like to know how many times my book has been promoted by the publisher on Facebook since it released on June 9th? Once. I found Twitter to be a waste of time so I deleted my account so I don’t know if it gets promoted there. Quite frankly I believe this publisher leaves all of the promoting up to the author unless for some reason it’s going to promote their company. Red flag?}

About Royalties:

Our statements are done on the 20th of the month. {I didn’t get my statement until the 29th of the month. Red flag.}

I questioned the report.

10% of what we were paid was the $-.– that was put in your statement.

The contract I signed:

Print Books: “Ten percent (10%) of the retail selling price of each copy sold. Books are not guaranteed to go into Print”
“20% for sales up to 300 books”

{I know … very misleading…is it 10% or is it 20% for the first 300? Red flag}

“We drafted new contracts in April to make that all more clear. If you would like a new contract we would be happy to send you one.” {Really? After I already signed the first one? Red flag}

“Your book is listed at $–.–, which is set by (blank company). We can’t raise or lower that price.”
{I recently self-published a couple of books with (blank company) and found this statement very misleading. Red flag.}

“Either you trust us, or you don’t. We aren’t here to screw you over. But, if you feel we are, you are welcome to request your rights back.”

“The only way to guarantee you know exactly how many have sold is if you had access to the accounts. For obvious reasons, we do not allow this for our authors…”

{If a bank can do it with millions of customers, why can’t a publisher do it for a few hundred authors? BIG ASS RED FLAG!}

“If you still don’t understand, email me. This is not something we will discuss further in group.”

“That’s the cold hard truth. If you can’t let go and trust your publisher then you need to put your stories on a blog or try self-publishing.”

“The only place in the contract where it states retail sales is with print books. While that is a typographical error, we will honor it.” {It was their typographical error shouldn’t they honor it?}

I don’t mean this to be a “bash the publisher” post. I am telling it like it is. The trust issue was pointed out to me more times that I care to mention. {Red, red, red flag!} I wish I took the time to read things more clearly and wasn’t so gun-ho to hurry up and get my book published. It is just a warning to you: the writer, the author, the next New York Times best seller. Be aware of what you are signing on to. If it’s not black and white ask. If it’s still not clear, ask again. Don’t make the mistakes I made. I’m sharing this with you because I know there are people out there wanting to publish their books. There are people out there who will take advantage of your naivety and inexperience. Publishers are out there to make money, not to make you the next best seller. They don’t care that you have busted your butt for the last two years on writing your book. They want to make money. Heed the warnings. Research everything you can, and most importantly, listen to your heart. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are, it probably is.

1. What would you do?
2. Has this ever happened to you?
3. How would or did you react?
4. Do you have any other suggestions for future authors?

I would love to hear your comments.

The Review Process

The Review Process

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The best thing you can do for an author after you have read their book is a review. This not only helps potential buyers but it gives feedback to the author about what promising fans like or dislike about their writing.

You can write an easy quick review or take your time and be more meticulous. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you do it. A review based on the star rating system might be something like this:

• Five stars would be for a novel that is simply an outstanding piece of work.

• Four stars would indicate that the piece is excellent but certain adjustments would make it better.

• Three stars is an average piece of work. It’s okay, take it or leave it — not bad, not great.

• Two stars would indicate the writing could be good, but there are a lot of loop holes in the story and some major adjustments need to be made.

• One star is a major revision — why bother even making the effort?

Now this is just my opinion to how the rating system could be used. Other people may have different ideas. You could even try including your rating system in your review. Feel free to copy and paste mine, if you like.

It is helpful to say what you liked about the story as well as what you disliked about the story. I am telling you this from experience. When I first started writing reviews I was not a published author so I didn’t realize how important they were.

The most important thing about writing your review is to be honest. That is the best gift you can give back to an author.

Now for starters go get yourself a copy something new you haven’t read, (Crackerberries Books) read it and practice your review technique on Amazon!

 

Cheers.

10 Lessons

10 Lessons I Learned After Getting Published

Improve your writing. I won’t lie to you. It has been a long road for me. That was what I thought I was going to do when I joined F-Story, a place for writers to improve their writing technique. I can’t argue the fact that I did improve my vocabulary in the four short months I spent on F-Story. I learned some punctuation and verb usage as well, but nothing that E.B. White or an English book couldn’t teach me.

What is the draw? Post a piece of writing and immediately get writing critique from other members. This is good, because isn’t that what all writers want? We want honest feedback about our writing. Is it good or is it bad? Could I really get an honest opinion with suggestions on how to make my writing better? I was hooked, and for less than ten bucks a month I could post two pieces of writing a day and get at least two or three reviews and comments about my work.

Within three weeks of being a member on the site, I had an exploding profile, and I was rising within the ranks. The excellent rating was awesome, and the five, and often six stars fit real well with my exploding status, as well as stroking my oversensitive ego. I was on top of the world, and my writing was outstanding.

Do I need to mention what a fool idiot I was? It didn’t take long to find out that everyone on the site who would put the time and effort into reading to make the F-Story monopoly money to promote their work would share the same exploding status as me. It all depended on how much time and effort you wanted to put into writing reviews.

It didn’t take me long to realize after I gave a meticulous review most people didn’t really want my recommendations and balked at the thought of receiving anything less than five stars. I wanted to give the writers good, honest feedback about the piece that I was reading. I found that I was spending six to eight hours, and sometimes even more than that, a day to read poems and stories for fellow writers to give my honest detailed review. This cut way into my writing time. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I fell into that 5-star rating for a spell, too. Please don’t tell me my piece of work is anything less than excellent.

I met some people, just like the ones anyone meets in social network forums. A lot of nice friendly people and even bonded and formed personal relationships, so I thought. The thing that I was trying not to do was to treat F-Story – a serious writing forum  like every other social network where everyone wants to be your friend. I tried to treat it like a job. My bad.

I don’t care what anyone tells you and what anyone says about internet forums and social networks. We are people and it is our inherent nature to care about ourselves and what we ourselves want to accomplish in life. People will tell you they are your friend and how great you are and suddenly you fall under the Machiavellian of people, which I did. I believed what people told me, and I trusted people I had never met in person.

After four months of playing the game of rising in the ranks of F-Story, letting my housework, bills, and physical relationships slide, and not really doing any writing, I finally realized it was a bad addiction. A very bad addiction. Almost like a drug addiction. The whole thing came to light when I read a poem of a concept I had shared with one of my F-Story friends who took the idea and wrote it in their own words, and rose higher in the ranks than me.

So here I am again, playing with social media and sharing with friends. Forgetting the lessons I learned at F-Story. But the big difference is I’m published. I can now say I have published a novel and I am an author. It has been my life long goal and a huge accomplishment for me because it has been my dream forever. As with any goals being accomplished, the time is right for new goals to be set.

These are some of the things I have learned and I would like to share them with you who are trying to become published. These are important things to keep in mind when you are setting your goals. So important that I’m going to remember them while I’m setting my new goals.

Top ten things I learned from getting my first novel published.

1. Do not let people tell you what is best for you and your book. Only you know this.

2. Take your time and proof, proof, proof. Have friends, relatives, and co-workers read your book for typos and context errors. No matter how many times you try to proof the book on your own, YOU will miss mistakes.

3. Research, research, research. There is a boat-load of information out there and no one is going to give it to you for free. But if you look hard enough, you can find it for free.

4. Be patient.

5. Promote yourself as well as your book. Don’t expect that just because you have a lot of friends and family they are going to promote you and your book for you. They are not.

6. If you make a mistake, brush it off, learn from it, don’t do it again.

7. Just because someone else has more experience in the world of publishing and writing than you do doesn’t mean they are better than you. Anyone can write a book, and anyone can publish a book. But only good story tellers can write a book well.

8. Have confidence in yourself and in your writing. If you are you are writing because you enjoy writing, it will show in your work. If you are doing it to make money, get over yourself.

9. Set a schedule and stick to it. Write every day. The only way to make yourself better at something is to do it. (Perfect practice makes perfect.)

10. Do not become enthralled with social media. Use it to promote yourself and your book and leave it at that.

Above all like what you do, like yourself and don’t let others try to tell you how you can do it better. If they’re so smart tell them to write their own book.

My new novel The Salt-Water Killings is in the works.

Salt Water Red

Books by Crackerberries

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Blackhorse 2015

A regime of conspiracy, racketeering, and treason within the United States Military. The US Military is no longer what it used to be. After supervising military intelligence on Blue Duck Island Army Base, Sergeant First Class Jon Hunter is less than a month away from retiring to his hometown of Winston-Wisdom. Before he can enjoy his plans of fishing and skiing Sergeant Hunter has one more mission.

 

coming-soon       BookCoverPreview

Flowers for Elizabeth (under review)

A mother and daughter’s rocky relationship is put to the test in this poignant tale. Find out what happens when the grandmother babysits for young Elizabeth. She just wanted to help her G’ammy in the garden.

 

BookCoverImage

Mildred the Strawberry Moose

What happens when a group of forest animals come together and help a fellow member in need?  Find out in this whimsical children’s bedtime story. Filled with pictures and lots of favorite forest creatures.

BookCoverPreview (5)                                        coming-soon

Canning with Crackerberries

The best thing about walking into a kitchen is the smell coming from the pot on the stove. Here you’ll find a collection of old-time canning and preserving recipes from pickles to jams.

 

If you are interested in any of these books, just click on the book and you will be directed to the appropriate online purchasing page.

Cheers.

Fabulous Fiction Fridays — W.H.Matlack

 Q-1AhAmY

 Ebook cover - WTR                          Noir Town Full Cover Art

Today we are sitting down with W.H. Matlack, Solstice Publishing Author of Waiting to Run.  He agreed to be interviewed for Friday’s Fabulous Fiction Author.  He only has a short bit of time because Mowry has a routine and he will be expecting Mr. Matlack to take care of the feline duties at the office.

ME: Mr. M. would you be so kind to tell us about your latest book?

W.H. Matlack: Waiting to Run is a suspense thriller that brings in elements from the JFK assassination conspiracy theories. It features a young lady who becomes a very powerful, although reluctant, witch who must fight the deadly ghost of Lee Harvey Oswald. Her power is based on manipulating Quantum states and Dark Energy in a Holographic Universe. She is aided by the ghost of Dorothy Kilgallen, who was the last person to interview Jack Ruby before his death. The very fate of the universe itself lies in her hands. Thank God it’s only fiction.

ME: Wow, you can say that again. Although, so many books and theories have been written about the JFK conspiracy it’s hard to know what is real and what is not, if you know what I mean.  So what can we expect from you in the future?

W.H. Matlack:  More suspense thrillers based on real scientific theories. I might try a ghost story at some point. I like the idea of scaring people before they turn out the lights.

ME:  I don’t know about anyone else, but those are my favorite books to read.  So how do we find out about you and your books?

W.H. Matlack: I’m published by Solstice Publishing, and my books are available on their site as well as on Amazon. Go to http://amzn.to/1jwSMgq for Noir Town, my mystery, and http://is.gd/tJoW1Y for Waiting to Run, my suspense thriller.

ME: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

W.H. Matlack: Like most authors, little bits of my real life show up, but they are almost always heavily covered in fiction – to avoid law suits, mainly.

ME:  Ha ha, that’s funny. No writer wants a law suit do they?  When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first book?

W.H. Matlack: I’ve always written short stories, and I even published a line of comic books, but it was fellow author, Andy MacRae who encouraged me to turn to novels. I really didn’t think I could do it, but I’ve put out two of them, so…

ME: So keep the momentum going right?  I hear ya.  Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

W.H. Matlack: Depending on how much effort I have to put into the plot, it can range from six months to a full year.

ME:  That makes sense. Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

W.H. Matlack: I maintain actual business hours. I don’t write at night or early in the morning because that takes time away from my family (terrific wife and two cats who need almost constant attention).

ME:  That is probably good practice for any writer.  I know about two cats that need constant attention.  What is your writing routine once you start a book?

W.H. Matlack:  I just face the “void” and start writing. My favorite quote is from Lewis Carroll who said, “I sent Alice down a rabbit hole with no idea of what she would find there.”

ME:  I like that…kind of like getting on the horse and not knowing where he’s taking you.  What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing – or are there constant interruptions?

W.H. Matlack: Having a family means you’re going to get interrupted. My training in Journalism helps me concentrate amid the noise.

ME: What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

W.H. Matlack: I’ll put on a Netflix movie or television series. It’s just as important to know when not to write as it is when to write.

ME:  That is a good point.  What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?

W.H. Matlack: It’s more fun creating worlds than just about anything else.

ME: I hear that a lot with authors. “If you don’t like the world you’re in, wait a minute, I create a new one.” Where do your ideas come from?

W.H. Matlack: They just spring up unbidden. I have no idea where they come from, except I have a theory that there is a place called “Idea Town.” If I knew where it was, I would move there.

ME: Ha ha, that sounds like a cool place. If you find it, let me know.  Do you feel humor is important in mysteries and why?

W.H. Matlack: Humor is vital. I write more humor than anything else. It keeps mysteries from bogging down and taking themselves too seriously. My example is Noir Town. It features a cynical private dick (that’s short for detective) who is pretty funny most of the time.

ME:  Private dick, now that is funny.  What about love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?

W.H. Matlack: By “love scenes” can I assume you mean “sex scenes?” Yes, they are difficult, but I think it’s wrong to over-write them. The challenge is to have them advance the plot or develop character.

ME:  You are probably right there, however a lot of people don’t do that.  What kind of research do you do?

W.H. Matlack: I don’t spend a lot of time researching my books. I just include enough reality to make them feasible. I start with the Internet. Google Maps is invaluable for looking at places I’ll never actually visit, which is almost everywhere.

ME: Where would we be without Google Maps?  Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?

W.H. Matlack: My hero is Michael Crichton. You never knew what would interest him next. I like to think of myself as that kind of writer. I know I would be better off sticking to one genre, but I just can’t seem to be able to do that.

ME: What does your wife think of your writing?

W.H. Matlack: My wonderful wife gives me nothing but encouragement even if she doesn’t really like the book’s subject.

ME:  Awwe, that’s so sweet.  Do you ever ask her for advice?

W.H. Matlack: I do ask her for advice, but I don’t really reach out to anyone when I’m writing. I don’t like Beta readers or critique groups. I want what I produce to be MY work, not OUR work.

ME: I get what you are saying there.  My husband tells me that all the time…make it your work!  So why not tell me about your family and what you all like to do.

W.H. Matlack:  I’m married and we have two cats. I’m a musician (drummer) and writer. I have a degree in Journalism from San Jose State. I like talking to people (maybe a little too much). I love sharing ideas about things – all kinds of things. I especially love learning about the Cosmos. Call me a nerd if you like. I don’t mind.

ME:  You do sound kind of geeky.

W.H. Matlack: What? You were the mascot for the football team in high school, so you weren’t a nerd? Do you still mascot for the football team? I thought not. Guess what? I still write.

ME: Touché. Just a few more things Mr. M., and I’ll let you get back to Mowry and his brush.  Could you tell us some of your favorite things?

W.H. Matlack:  – Dessert: cherry pie.

City: Any small town. Not impressed with New York, although I do like LA.

Season: summer.

Type of hero: seriously flawed.

Type of heroine: powerful, self- assured.

Favorite book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite authors to read? Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Nelson DeMille

ME:  What are some of your favorite things to do?

W.H. Matlack: My wife and I like walking to our little downtown.

ME: What do you think of critique groups in general?

W.H. Matlack: So that’s how you would write my novel? Well, here’s how I’m going to write it.”

ME: I love that answer. This next question I hate to ask because I always hated it when I was asked it in job interviews.  But the powers that be dictate the questions so where do you see yourself in five years?

W.H. Matlack: Right here.

ME:  Have you always wanted to be a writer?

W.H. Matlack: I’ve always been a writer. All my life.

ME:  How many books have you written, how many have been published?

W.H. Matlack: I’ve published two novels, nine comic book titles, and written countless short stories (most of them not published)

ME:  After you’ve written your book and it’s been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

W.H. Matlack: I always purchase a box or two for signings. I don’t really like reading them. I always think, “Who the hell does this guy think he is? Oh. Yea.”

ME:  Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?

W.H. Matlack: I do love Jhona, the central character in Waiting to Run because she is a very strong woman. Even as she gains strength as a witch, she doesn’t lose her femininity. Lee Harvey Oswald is pretty cool, too. He’s just pure evil…and a total idiot.

ME: Oh I think he probably always was a total idiot.  I’m really looking forward to reading it…in fact I’ve already started it.  What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?

W.H. Matlack: I whipped out Noir Town pretty quickly although I had to completely re-write it after discovering other books with the same plot. The hardest is the one I’m working on now. I had a lot of fun with Waiting to Run.

ME: What the heck is that sound?  Do you hear that?  Let me get the door.  Oh, I didn’t know you brought the cats with you.  Aren’t they adorable and look at that tiger, he’s got his brush in his teeth!  Okay I better this interview wrapped up. Are they going to be okay in here? Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

~ Both cats jump up on the desk and make themselves at home. The yellow tabby start cleaning his paws.

W.H. Matlack: This is Mowry with the brush and this is Alex with all the hair. He doesn’t like getting brushed, and he doesn’t hesitate telling me so. On the other hand, Mowry, the Orange one, likes getting brushed so much that he comes into my office and demands that I take a few minutes out of writing, or whatever I’m doing, and give him a good brushing. My cats are fine with being interviewed, but bear in mind, they still don’t understand this whole writing bit where I stare at a computer screen and only occasionally tap at the keyboard. Hey! I could be petting them! See look, they want to be petted!

I  think about the story angle first. Characters next, and then I need to figure out where they are, so that’s setting I guess.

ME: I guess we’ll finish up this interview with company.  What are the elements of a great romance for you?

W.H. Matlack: Maureen O’Hara, the greatest of all Pirate girlfriends. She was so awesome, and girlfriend to so many pirates. Does that make her an element? I think it does.

ME:  What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?

W.H. Matlack: Hardest: getting my edits back and realizing that I don’t have even the most rudimentary grasp of English grammar. Easiest: There’s really nothing easy about it. It’s mostly pure torture mixed in with a few chuckles and a lot of nail trimming.

ME: Have you experienced writer’s block?

W.H. Matlack: Every time I finish something I become convinced that I will never have another original idea again. NEVER!

ME: How do you work through it?

W.H. Matlack: I work through it by sitting down, facing the void and writing whatever comes. It’s scary at best.

ME: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

W.H. Matlack: Knowing that I can totally get revenge on anyone I choose just by putting them in one of my books. I confess. I’ve done that more than once.

ME:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

W.H. Matlack: The same thing I do when I have writer’s block: clipping my nails

ME:  Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

W.H. Matlack: It only takes one agent or publisher to like what you do. Just one. You just have to find them.

ME: That’s the hard part, finding the one, right.  Okay, Mr. M. I’ve enjoyed having and the little fur-balls here. I suppose is time for you to get back to your office.  Can you give us your links of how to find you again?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noirtown?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillMatlack

The books: Noir Town  and Waiting to Run

Chance to Win

win

Starting right now, ending Saturday at midnight!
Here are the rules:
Like Blackhorse 2015 on Facebook. Invite all of your family and friends to like the page too. Now here’s the hard part. After your friends and family like the page they will need to send a PM (personal message) to the Blackhorse 2015 administrator and reference your name in the message.

At the end of the promotion, (Saturday 7-12-14 at midnight) the person with the most name references (friends and family who liked the Blackhorse 2015 page) will win a signed Electronic Version of the new novel, Blackhorse 2015 and they will also receive a second copy for a friend or family member of their choice.

So how many friends do you have? Let’s find out!

Winners will be posted on the fan page Monday morning!

Inits – KC Sprayberry

Please make welcome KC Sprayberry with her new release Inits!

Excerpt:
 
Thudding footsteps, a smack on the back as I’m swallowing, and
then RAS straddles the chair across from me.
“Don’t gulp. Then I won’t have to keep you from choking.” He fills his plate with enough food to feed the back line of the Atlanta Falcons. “The jerk used all the hot water.” RAS glares at me. “You will so pay later.”
“Yeah, right.” I stuff more pancakes, strawberries, and sausages
into my mouth.
I always pay. When will he figure out that I’m not his favorite
tackle dummy?
ME: So please, KC, if you will, tell us what initiated this story?
KC Sprayberry: This is a story that was with me for a long time, a story begging to be told more and more each day. Many, many people have been bullied. Most of us survived and went on to have useful lives, but we will always remember those who pushed us around, physically and mentally.

ME: I get the feeling maybe you were bullied as a kid growing up in school?
KC Sprayberry: We stood up and walked away. The bruises weren’t always visible, but they were and are there. We remain quiet when harsh words are spoken … walk away when others begin conversations that make us feel uncomfortable. One and all, we dream of the day when bullying will stop.
ME: So I am guessing this is your way of perhaps helping someone new that is being bullied?
KC Sprayberry: Some of us are around to share our stories. Others could no longer handle what was said or done to them. How do you stop a bully? Words? Actions? Treat them as they do you? There is no perfect solution, yet we can never stop standing up against these people.
ME: This sounds like a great book for both parents and young adults dealing with the realities of bullying.  I’m looking forward to reading it.
KC Sprayberry: You can enter for a chance to win a copy here!
 
Enter here for a
chance to win a copy of Inits!
ME: WOW, that’s great, everybody loves FREE!
Blurb:
High school means a whole new world. Yet, for Alex Starkey, pimples, discovering one of his buds is a real girl now, and an older brother using him as his favorite tackle dummy are tiny problems. What gets Alex’s temper simmering are his inits. Surviving his freshman year without diving into deep trouble seems impossible.
Bio:

KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an
interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication
came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now preparing to enter college.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short
stories. She has three books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye,
Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice. Her other novels available are: Take Chances,
Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, and Starlight.

A few more fun things I found out about KC Sprayberry after I did a little bit of snooping.

*At one point in her life she had what’s known in western vernacular as a “fiddle foot” for many, many years. It’s quiet now, but you never know when it’ll itch again.

*She hate shoes, even when it’s freezing, but to avoid frozen toes she puts on a pair of slippers, which according to her youngest, even drives him to school wearing them.

*She lived in Germany for five years while in the Air Force, and could speak German, French, and Spanish with ease. So don’t think speaking in a different language around her is going to be confidential!

ME: Thanks for being with us today, KC. Will you please give us your links so we can find you and follow or read about other books you might be working on?

Facebook Twitter Blog Website Goodreads

Amazon Author Page Google + Pinterest Authorgraph

Fabulous Fiction Fridays: Chrystal Vaughan

chrystal

 Dead in the WaterSideshow

Fridays are for Fabulous Fiction Writers and today we are celebrating with a bang because it is also Independence Day. Please welcome my guest, Chrystal Vaughan.

Me: Hey Chrystal, nice to have you here. Glad you could come with it being a holiday. I won’t keep you long because I know you have family waiting for you to do the big BBQ and cook-out thing. So tell us what do you write?

Chrystal: I write paranormal horror and sometimes paranormal YA; actually I write a little bit of everything but typically not erotica though I might change my mind on that ha-ha.

Me: Oooh erotica sounds like fun. Now I’d like to ask what inspired you to write a book.

Chrystal: I have been a writer since I was very young. Dead in the Water was inspired by my students (I work in a high school).

Me: You work in a high school? It takes a special person to work with students and have the patience for teaching. I applaud you for that. Next question, two-part: What is your favorite part of writing and what is the most difficult part?

Chrystal: My favorite part of writing is the creation of new people and their worlds. I love when the characters decide to break out of the mold I have created for them and take off in different directions than I’d planned. The most difficult part of the writing process for me is editing and marketing. Editing is a necessary part of writing but I enjoy creating over editing. Marketing is the worst part for me; I’m really not a salesperson.

Me: I’m there with you as far as the editing is concerned. Not much fun doing that. So how long does it take you to write a book?

Chrystal: It took me about a year to write Dead in the Water, my second book. That doesn’t include editing, publishing, or marketing.

Me: And why did you choose to write books from the Young Adult genre and why not anything else?

Chrystal: Actually, Dead in the Water is my only Young Adult novel. My other two books (Sideshow, out now, and Conspiracy of Ravens, due for release very soon) are both horror novels for adults.

Me: Conspiracy of Ravens, that sounds really interesting. How was the impact (or desired impact) of your book on the Young Adults, like your students?

Chrystal: I wrote Dead in the Water for my students at the school where I work. I wanted to write something for them that was appropriate but also entertaining, something that my little sisters could read (they are teenagers and pre-teens) without too much graphic content or language.

Me: What was your favorite scene or character to write?

Chrystal: My favorite character is Evalyn (Eva) Dunbar. She is such a typical teenage girl, particularly in my neck of the woods. I love how she blossoms from an introvert who thinks of herself as a freak into a young woman in love.

Me: She sounds like my kind of character. If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Chrystal: In the book, Eva does speak for herself, and so does her boyfriend Jesse. I think I would give Natasha (the antagonist) the chance to speak. I’m sure she would apologize for what she did to Alex and for what she tried to do to Eva. Natasha had a very hard life; that doesn’t condone killing anyone, but it helps to understand some of the reasons behind her actions.

Me: Well, Chrystal, it has been a pleasure having you here. I know you have big plans for later today, so I won’t keep you much longer.  Can you give us a hint as to what Conspiracy of Ravens is going to be about?

Chrystal: Sure, here’s a link to the trailer:

Me: Fabulous, now grab yourself a burger or a cocktail on your way out. There’s always something to eat and drink around this joint. One more thing before you go. Could you give us a list of where to find you on social media and to purchase your great books?

Chrystal: You can purchase all of my books at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=chrystal%20vaughan&sprefix=chrys%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Achrystal%20vaughan

You can purchase Sideshow at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sideshow-chrystal-vaughan/1117375038?ean=9781492935629

You can purchase Dead in the Water at Amazon and Solstice Publishing:
http://solsticepublishing.com/dead-in-the-water/

I’m also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/chrystalwrites), Twitter (@TheChrystalShip), and Goodreads (Chrystal Vaughan). You can find excerpts and book information on my blog at http://www.mermaidsandmayhem.blogspot.com.

Me: Great, thanks again for being one of my Fabulous Fiction Friday Authors. I sure do appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule. Have a happy and safe 4th!

Aside

Fridays are for Fabulous Fiction Writers.  If you didn’t have a chance to check out the frosty beverage Elle Marlow shared on Crackerberries yesterday, be sure to hop on over. It’s a fun summer drink that you will definitely want … Continue reading

Do You Really Want To Get Inside John’s Head?

38Day2

We are sitting down with John Guzzardo, Author of “A 38 Day
Education.”  John has agreed to go with a “Twenty Questions” format.

First Ten:  About John

1.        John, what’s your primary motivation for writing?

Oddly enough, teaching.  I wanted to be a teacher as a teenager but,
as life has demonstrated, we tend to be more open to learning lessons
on our own schedules.  Well told stories provide a perfect vehicle for
that.

2.       When you write, is with an outline, notes or do you just
write whatever comes to mind?

I write whatever comes to mind, the go back and work with what doesn’t
figure.  It’s a clunky way to write for me, but it works so, why
argue?

3.       Who was a childhood hero growing up?

I was a cartoon junkie, so that would have to have been Mighty Mouse.
And I was pretty devastated when Optimus Prime was killed in the 1986
animated version of “Transformers:  The Movie.”  Yeah, I was a nerd
and dork in the same body.

4.       What was your childhood itself like?

Difficult and weird.  I was that “weird, fat, dorky kid” you expect to
grow up, own a comic book store, and live the in basement of his
parents house.  My parents both worked, and my siblings did their own
thing.  I was loud, chatty, and pissed off my teachers pretty
consistently.  I was too smart for my own good, and too willing to
question everything which, in hindsight, actually turned out to be a
pretty damned good thing.  I never really had a hometown.  Born in New
Jersey, four years in New York, 11 in Pennsylvania, and last three
years of high school in Florida.

5.       So, what’s your favorite place to vacation?

Well, it used to be Atlanta but, since I live there now, that’s a
question to be determined later.  Probably going to be Tampa, where I
used to live!

6.       Cats or dogs?

Seeing as how I have three cats, it’s a pretty obvious answer.  As for
breed, I would love to own a Norwegian Forest Cat or Maine Coon.
Something about big, fluffy, affectionate cats appeals to me.  I do
like dogs, but prefer cats.

7.       Favorite drink?

Tie:  Coffee and Sweet Tea.  I LOVE sweet tea!  Coffee is a necessity
– I need to down at least three cups to manage my impulse to clobber
someone.  Four cream, four sugars, of course.

8.       Favorite treat?

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans – if they make an ice cream in that
flavor, I’m buying every single carton and putting them in cold
storage!

9.       Dumbest thing you ever did as a child…

I would talk about an experience I had at a lake in 8th grade, but
that’s a little too dumb.  Instead, when I was 11, I decided it would
be great to take my dirtbike and try to “skid stop” at the base of my
driveway.  Naturally, my feet got confused, I pedaled forward instead
of backward to brake, and I landed, face-first, into the rear fender
of 1976 AMC Gremlin….the Gremlin won.

10.   Any childhood crushes (girls, teachers, etc.)?

Too many to list…I was pretty lonely growing up.  I did have it pretty
bad for my 7th grade music teacher.  She was pretty sweet looking!

About “A 38 Day Education.”

11.   Who is your favorite male character in the book?

Craig Johannsen, hands down.  He’s tough, honest and fair, and way
more mature than Jay Ferragamo.  He’s a great foil, who demonstrates
unswerving calm and candor.

12.   And favorite female character?

Probably Cassie Owinger.  She’s sweet, quiet but wily enough to do
some daring things.  That and she handles a few touchy situations with
class and dignity.

13.   Which character would you kill off it served the plot?

Vanessa LeBlanc.  She’s a heartbreaker and is the first in a very long
line of heartbreaks a main character endures.  She’s not really a
bitch, but she’s a harbinger of things to come.

14.   How did you come with the nickname Mastodon?
I was watching “Ice Age” and realized that Mastodon was not a commonly
used nickname.  Since I wanted things to be really an alternate
universe, it fit.

15.   Are there steamy love scenes inspired by real events?

Next question.

16.     How long did it take to write the novel?

Start to finish, three years.

17.   Is the newspaper The Scope is based on still around?

Oh yeah!  The Sou’Wester is not only still around, but I ended up
helping to run the thing in 2011.  That’s an extremely long, difficult
story I rather not recount at this point but, yes, there will be a
book based on that.

18.   What about Jay Ferragamo is exactly like you?

He’s cocky, brash, and extremely insecure.  Beyond that, he’s the guy
I wish I could have been, but never really was.  Strange that would
happen.

19.   When you started writing this novel, did it go in a different
direction than intended?
Absolutely.  There were several “deleted scenes” in the book which
never ever made the authors manuscript, let alone the final.  Those
are all deleted so, sorry, no deleted scenes.  If I come across one, I
will incorporate it into a reprint.

20.   Finally, if you could some up your feelings about the book, what
would it be?

To paraphrase Tom Hanks from Apollo 13, that was 7 years of hard work
followed by 30 days of sheer terror.


John Guzzardo
http://www.getinjohnshead.com
getinjohnshead.wordpress.com

Guest Blog: Book Release: Dark Rainbow’s End – Rebecca L. Frencl

Dark Rainbows End RLFP

 

Looking for something to keep you busy this summer. Rebecca L. Frencl has a new book releasing today!

  • Five things you didn’t know about: Rebecca L. Frencl:
    1. I am an avid Disneyphile.
    2. My grandfather taught me how to shoot a bow when I was ten.
    3. I use proper grammar when I text.
    4. I own over 100 polyhedral dice.
    5. I’ve been in 8th grade for more than 17 years-you’d think I’d get it right by now!

DARK RAINBOW’S END:

Book Three of The Star Circle Trilogy

Dark Rainbows End RLFP

Book One of The Star Circle Trilogy

book 1

At the Dark’s gathering the Nine shall stand. Circle of Light, Hope of the land . . .

Robyn and Aerin have been down this road before as they hunt for the other seven Starbearers who will once more drive back the Darkness that wishes to unravel civilization and drive mankind back into howling barbarism.
Silar and his silver-eyes, the soulless minions of that Darkness, dog their steps, trying to hinder them and force them to doubt.
Death is easy. Silar wants the star bearers broken–unable to fulfill their duties and shatter the Circle, allowing the Darkness to win.
Robyn and Aerin think they’ve outsmarted the Darkness once before, but they discover that Silar’s plans have been much more complex and far-reaching than they’d ever believed.

 

Book Two of The Star Circle Trilogy

Book 2

When evil passes through the very shadows, is anywhere in the world safe?

Aerin and James hunt for answers and aid, searching not only to cure a shadow born plague, but healing for the heart and mind of the young Sylvie. Ghosts of the past haunt their nights and the stars slide ever closer to alignment.

Robyn and Demar’s hope hinges on the Mirror Maker’s looking glasses. They pray to see a hint of plan, a clear direction. A murderer drops bodies at their feet, staining their names, and suspicion dogs their steps. Evil twists the hearts of mankind and doubt plants its devious seeds.

While the ultimate Darkness prepares to take a hand in the coming battle, and a traitor walks among them, the final star bearers heed the call to stand at a point of The Star Circle and save the world.

About Rebecca

rebecca-frencl-pic-cropped

I write, I teach, I’m a union rabble rouser . . . I get work with kids on a daily basis which makes me feel simultaneously very young and extremely old. I grew up on choose your own adventure books, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, and polyhedral dice. So, I write fantasy and paranormal romance. It’s an eclectic mix, but that’s what I love to read. I’m a very firm believer that there is no such thing as someone who doesn’t like to read. They just haven’t found the right book yet!

2012 Ribbons of Moonlight—Best Romance Novel, Solstice Publishing Contest

2014 Author of the Year—Solstice Publishing

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Prism-Circle-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00DHV4690/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379616124&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Ribbons-of-Moonlight-ebook/dp/B004NNUZQY/ref=pd_sim_b_3

Contact Me:

Blog: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

http://rebeccalfrencl.blogspot.com/

Facebook Fan Page:

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=115163871892050&__user=1475707543

Please do not leave comments here.  Please contact Rebecca directly by clicking one of her links.

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