Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Swear My Roommate Is a Vampire



It is my pleasure to introduce writer Arabella Thorne and her novella:

I Swear My Roommate Is a Vampire
Ever declare bankruptcy? Don’t. It sucks…. Okay, really bad joke. Anyway, after my bankruptcy, my home equity line payment took a jump into the ozone layer and I needed extra money, fast. So, I decided it was time for a roommate.
After screening lots of potential candidates (let me tell you, what a real life horror story that was), I became desperate and did something I never thought I’d ever do. I rented my master suite to a vampire.
I know, what you’re thinking: Dracula, fangs, blood, hot, sexy, the whole package. Well, this one’s different. He’s the perfect renter—quiet, neat, tidy, pays on time. In fact he reminds me of my high school algebra teacher.
All was going well, until things started to happen—nasty things. Apparently, not everyone likes vampires and has no intention of letting people live and let live. Especially with a human as a roommate.
Reality…. Now that really bites!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So You Want To Write A Book




Want to be a writer and not sure you have what it takes? I attended a conference workshop taught by Martha Alderson, who has been dubbed The Plot Whisperer. (Pictured above) In her book, Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, she says, "Anyone can write a book. The trick is to write a good book. So long as you are honest and true to yourself, you have what it takes to write a good book."


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Writing Advice From Janet Evanovich



Writers should continue to study their craft. You can join writing organizations and listen to speeches, or you can simply pick up a book and read the advice given by experts. I enjoy reading novels by Janet Evanovich (pictured above) so I picked up a copy of How I Write - Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof.

In the section on characterization, Janet gives three tips.

1. The main character must want something.
2. Someone or something (nature, money, distance) must stand in the way of his getting what he wants.
3. The choices that a character makes in his efforts to overcome obstacles and ultimately get what he wants define the character.

For more advice, you can pick up this title in ebook, paperback, or audiobook.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Learning From Movies



Friday night, I watched Jersey Boys. What a great movie! Clint Eastwood picked another winner. I remembered the songs from my childhood and was surprised I knew the lyrics. Of course the story wouldn't have been made into a movie if the group didn't have hurdles to overcome and drama behind the scenes. I'm not sure if Jersey Boys will appeal to a younger crowd, but I hope so.

Although the songs are still playing in my mind, I did find lessons in the story that also apply to writers.
First, Frankie Valli kept working on improving his ability. No matter what you want to accomplish in life, you need to keep working toward your goal.

Second, he stayed true to his voice. No one sang like him. That can be good or bad, depending on what your audience wants. He could have tried to alter his singing style, but he had faith in his talent. Writers need to learn this lesson. Don't try to emulate Nora Roberts or Stephen King. Find your voice and let it work for you.

Finally, Frankie found a songwriter who could produce hits. Once you find your voice, write the story that will appeal to an audience. Analyze the stories and movies you like. What is it about them that appeals to you? I'm not saying to follow the trends. Do you enjoy a mystery element in a story? Or perhaps taking a fairy tale and twisting it? What about crazy relatives? Use what appeals to you to bring out the story that you want to share with the world. Odds are if you love your story, someone else will, too.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What Influenced You?



This weekend, I found the second season of Murder She Wrote in a bookstore. I have to admit, while growing up I watched a lot of television, which included the Jessica Fletcher character pictured above. I also enjoyed Diagnosis Murder, The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Charlie's Angels, and Matlock. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few titles. Don't get me wrong, I did read, but for every one book I read, I watched twenty mystery shows with my mother. I still enjoy watching these reruns over and over again.

I discovered I had a strong desire to create stories in my early forties. As Jessica says, "You're never too old to start writing." I had always felt like there was something missing in my life and when I put pen to paper that feeling went away. These shows I watched greatly influenced my writing. I'm not satisfied with a story unless it has a mystery element. I also find I'm not comfortable with writing extreme violence or sex scenes. I blame that on watching too many reruns of the Brady Bunch. I'm joking. I feel the enjoyment I found watching family type mysteries, also touched me in a way that I find myself replicating their tone.

Sometimes when my mother visits, we watch Matlock together and I smile. I guess I can thank my father for my writing genes and my mother for the type of stories I write.

What influenced your writing?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A New Look At Rejection




I am a huge fan of Law & Order Criminal Intent. Recently, I heard the Jeff Goldblum character say that rejection is God's protection. It never feels good to receive a rejection letter from an agent or editor no matter what stage you are at in your writing career, but his comment made me look at rejection in a new way. Instead of feeling depressed when you receive that dreaded email, try asking yourself what could God (or the universe) be protecting you against? Is this a good time in your life for writing deadlines? Perhaps a positive change is coming and you need the extra time to enjoy your promotion, baby, grandchild, remodeling project, move to a new home, etc. Is the editor of the line known for huge rewrites that you would not welcome? Or maybe that editor is about to leave for another publisher. If she took you on, you might find her replaced by an editor that doesn't like your style. The publisher may be about to sell the company or face bankruptcy. There is always the chance that you are close to publication, but still need to learn a bit more about your craft and this rejection is protecting you from embarrassment.

If you choose to accept that rejection is a form of protection, then put that dreaded email behind you and continue to write and learn more about your craft. When you receive your contract, it will be a distant memory.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Introducing Shari Broyer




It is my pleasure to introduce Shari Broyer and her book Ether Man.

This quixotic story blends paranormal mystery, comedy and romance.

If you hear a voice in your head, you’re schizoid, right? Not Esther, she’s conjured up Ether Man, a being she can hear and sometimes feel. But when Irving, the EM, refuses to fully manifest, a frustrated Esther vanquishes him and books a singles cruise for herself and her BFF, Yolanda. Aboard ship, Irving reappears as a “stowaway”; Esther meets the man of her dreams; and Yolanda meets trouble. Now, Esther and Yolanda must prove their innocence in a murder case, and Irving tags along.

You can purchase her book at Amazon.

Shari Broyer has been writing since childhood. Her earliest award: a 1st place trophy for Creative Writing at 8th grade graduation. She writes in many genres and does not restrict her creative muses (she believes she has far more than the nine commonly known ones).
Formerly she was: Editor in Chief of Kent State University--Ashtabula's literary magazine, Kaleidoscope; Facilitator, Writers' Forum, Barnes and Noble, High Point, NC; host of Writer's Digest World's Largest Writing Workshop; published in various literary anthologies; top 100 winner, Writer's Digest 2000 competition--Inspirational category, etc.
Currently, she facilitates Writers Roundtable at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ; is Board member/Newsletter Editor for the Desert Rose Chapter of Romance Writers of America and is also a manuscript editor for hire (see her website http://sharibroyerbooks.weebly.com). She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and its local Chapter, Christian Writers of the West. When not feverishly writing or editing, she enjoys reading, swimming, mild hiking, the arts (theater, ballet, concerts, art galleries, art shows, museums, etc.), traveling, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her cat, Baby, who by the way, is featured on the cover of The Cat Who Would Be Black.



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