Category Archives: Writing Process/WIPs

The Hurdles I’m Jumping Along the Way

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Before I get started, I have a confession to make. I went without caffeine eight months, but finally broke down a couple of weeks ago and started back with a cup or two a day—no sugar. I was waking with brain fog that prevailed for two hours and couldn’t get anything accomplished in the early morning.

Happy to say the fog has lifted, and it wasn’t so difficult to learn to drink coffee without it. My blood sugar remains under control.

For the past week, or so, I have been preparing for Sleuth Fest. I have about memorized the first chapter in my book, which I plan to read aloud. It’s on my iPad, and I also have a paper copy, but fumbling with them always slows me down. With the papers, I use all but ten seconds of my ten minute time limit (which includes my brief introduction), but with the iPad, I end with twenty to thirty seconds remaining. This is reading slow and clear enough to be well understood.

I’ve done public reads before, but short stories for my writer’s group, not reading from my book. And I’ve read at my local library. With some of the short story reads, the lighting in the venues was terrible, and that slowed me down. I know our Reader’s Corner at the convention is set by the pool patio outside at night (weather permitting), so I’m thinking having it on the iPad is the best way to go…with a backup on paper for the just-in-case scenario.

The long synopsis and the short synopsis have been completed and proofed. The cover letter has been written and I’m presently engaged in memorizing my pitch.  I memorize words best by writing them down over and over. It’s just something about how my brain files information. So my fingers are numb.

One of my biggest hang-ups comes from the fact that I rewrote my log-line about a hundred times before deciding on the best one. Now I have bits and pieces of the wrong lines stuck in my head and they slip out unexpectedly when I try reciting the correct one.

For anyone trying to write a synopsis, I found a really cool link to how to un-demonize the process by fiction editor Beth Hill here:

http://theeditorsblog.net/2012/07/15/clear-the-dread-from-the-dreaded-synopsis/

And another author, Helen Jones, recommended a helpful book today on her blog:

http://journeytoambeth.com/2016/02/05/the-joy-of-synopses/

Write a Great Synopsis – An Expert Guide,’ by Nicola Morgan

Helen has her log-line down to twenty-six words.

Mine is a dual-plot thriller, and I’ve gotten it down to thirty-two. I’m not going to try to cut it any closer than that, to do so would make it less appealing and less likely to demonstrate its entertainment value.

It’s not a log-line I would use to promote the book, but a great one for an agent pitch.

I’ve been looking over the Sleuth Fest schedule and, of course, there are workshops I’d love to attend that conflict with times other workshops and panels are being held. I’ll have to narrow down choices soon.

A photographer friend is going to be doing a photo shoot in the near future. We’re going out to a park that has cypress knees and tropical foliage in hopes of getting some outdoor shots that might be useful, and he has professional screens that we can get some photos in front of. You will likely see changes in my social media and bio pics once this gets accomplished so don’t be surprised if the thin, bright, young woman with long blonde hair on the side turns into a plump, gray, short- haired old lady. It happened rather suddenly and surprised me. No witch cast any spells on me that I know of, time and good food.

It is truly amazing when I think of all that has transpired over the past five years. I went from working eight to sixteen hours a day in a pediatric extended care ward and a psych hospital to sitting in front of a keyboard for sixteen plus hours a day. I’ve published one book and written three. My free time is spent reading and researching, learning about the business, marketing, writing and trying out new ideas.

Being a nudist and a nurse with a most extroverted personality who used to teach and speak before large groups, as well as work with people most intimately, I’ve gone through some changes on a personal level.  In crowds and public groups, I suffer social anxiety and despise small talk. I’ve gotten deep inside my head. I need this Sleuth Fest, not only to learn and promote my work, but to get outside myself. I’ve become an introvert. Not that being one is a bad thing. I honestly believe it helps with regards to creative productivity in writing.

I’ll end here by asking for a small prayer, if you pray, and positive vibes of energy and good luck.

Moving Right Along

Study this image. How does it make you feel? Does it affect your mood? There will be a test question at the end.
Study this image. There will be a test question at the end.

 

If you didn’t notice, I’ve altered my tag-line. It’s always been a bit smug…after all, I’m no genius. I explained all that on my About page. My husband suggested mybrandofgenius and it sort of stuck. I’m not ready to let that go. It reminds me to laugh at myself.

The added tag-line speaks to the two sorts of writing, 1950’s-60s historic literary fiction, and riveting contemporary crime romps, I’m vested in. I’ve spent a great deal of time promoting Red Clay and Roses on this blog and have connected with some fabulous people in the process. My intention really wasn’t to promote my book when I first got started, (I wanted a place to socialize and talk about writing) but I was told that was what I was supposed to be doing.

Tons of people showed up to teach me how. I watched you and listened and learned. I traveled around the blogosphere and got to know you. I need for you to know you mean the world to me. When I first became disabled, I had no clue how I was going to spend my time. A workaholic nurse used to racing around on my feet eight to sixteen hours a day, I found myself at a loss. Bewildered and lonely.

The characters that developed in my head and my memories were my only comfort. And then, you came along and brighten my path. Since then, I’ve gained three grandchildren, and those quiet times became something I have to defend. But still, I have plenty.

For the last four months, I’ve been back and forth with my editor getting things done. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and feel I can present the work with confidence at Sleuth Fest. I’ve completed a three page long synopsis and a one page short synopsis, a cover letter, a tag-line for the book, a log-line, a blurb, and a perfect pitch. (Thank you Carrie and Sue, for allowing me to pick your brains.)

Since writing Naked Alliances, it’s always troubled me how I would market the book without abandoning Red Clay and Roses, as they are two completely different genres and styles. After much research with branding, I realized I don’t have to abandon anything at all. I began to look at the common features of the books and what motivated me to write both of them. I also examined those attributes of myself that I’ve learned from you by reading through the comments you’ve left me…that I am compassionate, candid, and honest…and sometimes funny.

In Red Clay and Roses, we have a book that includes rape, racism, illegal abortion and murder. In Naked Alliances, we have child abuse, murder, and sex-trafficking. I thought about how my work as a nurse influenced the writing in either book. RC&R with direct references, and NA with indirect. As a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in an active ER, I was unfortunately exposed to a number of situations that did influence the writing of NA.  Out of respect, and due to HIPAA laws, I’ve been very careful not to put anything on this blog that might reference any particular incident in such a way as to identify people involved. My work in forensic psychiatry also contributed to the writing of NA in a more indirect manner having to do with the character development of the antagonist and the psychology of the killer.

The tone of RC&R is dark and serious. The tone of NA is lighter and somewhat amusing. That was intentional. Crime, while often dark and serious, allows for different approach. Here, we have a most responsible, loner P.I. who is forced to, by circumstance, work with a brassy, and irresponsible transgendered sidekick. To protect a young girl from an evil vixen, they must hide in a nudist resort while the body count rises. There are two protagonists, an unlikely pairing in an unpredictable setting, which makes for entertaining reading. It’s a riveting crime romp through Central Florida. A rather motley crew of characters that speak to the diversity we have in this neck of the woods.

While the crimes are serious, the tone of the book really isn’t all that serious. Herein lies my marketing dilemma. How do I promote both books across one set of platforms? Setting up platforms for each book is not an option for me. I’ve come up with some ideas I’ll be testing out in the near future, so you’ll likely see some gradual changes on FB, Twitter, and this blog.

All I ask is that you remember I am compassionate, candid, honest…and sometimes funny, or at least try to be. Sometimes that’s hard without being rude. I’ll try not to be too rude.

Day before yesterday, I pulled my car over to a bus stop in a torrential downpour and gave a guy my umbrella if that helps.

Is there something you’d like to hear more about?

Any ideas on promoting books of different tone and/or genre?

Do the colors in the image above illicit any particular mood or feeling?

Sleuth Fest 2016: Do I dare?

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Sleuth Fest 2016 is being held in February here in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This is Mystery Writers of America’s premier conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet other authors in the crime fiction/mystery writer league. Seminars are held to provide attendants ways to hone craft skills. There is also time given to pitch your completed, unpublished manuscript to agents. The list of offerings:

* Agent Appointments to pitch your finished work

* Critiques of your 10 page manuscript submission

* Forensic track with current forensic techniques and hands-on forensic workshops

* Social events to mingle with agents, editors and your favorite authors

* Auction to purchase critiques of your work by bestselling authors

* Sessions on the craft of writing

* Sessions on marketing and promoting your work
* Practice your Pitch sessions with experienced authors

 

You’re not promised a one:one with an agent as the 10 minute time slots fill up fast and I’d be coming in kind of late to the party. Yet, the introverted part of me that cringes at the thought of physically putting myself into a social situation like this also feels it would be grand experience. Do I dare?

Anybody want to meet me there and hold my hand? I’ll pay your plane fair. I’m serious.

I want to go and give it a try, but my social anxiety cripples me.

I need a fan club!

The Sun Sets on Another Year: 2015

Reading posts on this year in review and resolutions for next year, I’ve decided I should at least make some attempt at summarizing 2015. I’m no good at resolutions. The rebel in me causes me to rebuke my own.

I decided to do this by months, as it’s the only way I am apt to recall what has actually gone on this year, it’s been such a whirlwind. Really, it has gone by like a fast moving hurricane, cutting like a circular saw through the center of Florida. We ended 2014 with a wonderful, memorable trip to St. Augustine while it was all decorated for Christmas and had a lovely time.

JANUARY– We were stressed by a “would be” boat scammer who took off with our 36 foot cabin cruiser without paying. That took a couple of months to resolve. In the end we received our money, after many painful hours of dealing with authorities and detectives and banks.

FEBRUARY-The movie “Selma” came out and I missed a really good opportunity to ride the coattails of that one in promoting my book, Red Clay and Roses. Things were too hectic around here to do much in the way of marketing.

MARCH-I finally convinced my doctor to cut my bipolar meds in half after many years of begging him to allow me to give it a try. I dabbled with beginning a book about a couple of characters who started the orphanage I lived in a few years in the seventies. With my creative juices flowing, my finished and fully beta-read crime novel Naked Alliances was shelved and I got started on the next novel in The Naked Eye Series and was making fast progress until April rolled in.

I wacked off my long blonde hair that took way too much time to manage with my lifestyle, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Yes, it’s short, yes it’s gray. I’m embracing the me I have become in 55 years. No regrets.

APRIL-Nearly crushed me with the loss of my dad. I had so hoped once he sold his business and finally retired he would make a trip down here to visit, but that wasn’t in God’s plan. He was a quick-witted man and one of a kind. He is sorely missed.

MAY-Brought the sudden birth of our third grandchild. I say sudden because I don’t believe my daughter was in labor more than a few hours, and the baby decided not to wait for the mid-wife. Kira was born into her daddy’s hands, while grandmother was trying to get the other two kids into the car for a trip to her house. The midwife did get there in time for daddy to cut the cord. One life ends and another begins.

Before the baby was born, I committed to detoxing my body and quit smoking tobacco, started vaping. I’m doing really good with that and have cut down the nicotine. I also stopped the 6-8 diet cokes I was drinking daily, along with the 6-8 cups of coffee. It’s slowed me down a bit, but I feel 100% better.

JUNE-With the new baby and dealing with all that ensued in the wake of my dad’s death, this month pulled me off the computer while trying to assist my dad’s widow and a half-sister with running his insurance business. They both leaned on me and it was a difficult position to be in trying to advise from 500 miles away. Making matters worse, two estranged sisters who had not had anything much to do with Daddy in thirty years came up with a law suit against his wife and the estate. Needless to say, that was no fun. That discord lasted for months.

I started a new book, The Conduit, in the hope that throwing myself into some creative work might ease some of my mental load. It worked off and on, but about a third of the way through the book, I had to back off on that, also. I re-blogged a lot and tried to stay in touch with my online friends offering what little support I could.

Getting diagnosed with diabetes sent me online for some heavy research and I unveiled so much new research that contradicts what I was taught in nursing school about the disease, it’s complications and management, that it is just now starting to sink in that it may not have ill-fated prognosis it once had. It can be totally reversed, and I’m on a personal mission to do that. This mission resulted in a nutritional consult and major lifestyle changes that pull me off the computer daily, but have my blood sugars within normal range and my Hgb A1C down from 7.5 to 5.6.

JULY-I set out to find a developmental editor for The Conduit about the middle of the year and got connected to a English gentleman in Ireland who took on the challenge of giving Naked Alliances a few passes as that manuscript was finished, I thought. He was quite impressed with the progress me and my beta readers had made, but certainly has helped polish that novel into something I’m really proud of. I had shelved that book, not knowing if I would ever publish it, but encouragement and support from some very dear blogging friends motivated me to go forward. Thank you all…you know who you are.

It’s a far cry from Red Clay in Roses in both style and content, but it’s been a really fun project. I’m still working through the second edits and it will need a final proof. I’ve thought about pitching it at the 2016 Sleuth Fest in Deerfield Beach in February…still uncertain if I want to go that route. It just might add pressure I don’t need at this point. I enjoy writing for fun and would not want to get myself into a position that might jeopardize the joy I find in writing.

I had to have surgery this month and that set me back both with my lifestyle changes and writing as I could not sit at the computer for more than just a few minutes at a time. But all is well.

AUGUST-Things started settling down a bit. I got into Kombucha brewing, and I’m on my ninth or tenth 2 ½ gallon brew now. The lifestyle changes really started making a difference and I began to shed some pounds. Managed a small promo that sold a few books and revived my firstborn a bit. Got heavy into my writing and got two more book outlines accomplished for the Naked Eye Series.

SEPTEMBER-More of the same. More time for writing and editing, but less time for marketing and blogging. Tradeoffs. I’ve missed you.

OCTOBER-I was so deep in the zone, I was barely able to manage three re-blogs this month, but I did manage to get by familiar blogs for some awesome reading and a few comments.

NOVEMBER-Back in May, the 13th to be exact, when I smoked my last cigarette, I had connected with a large group of vapers that support each other in every way imaginable through a forum and Google Hang Outs and we’re planning a big shin-dig in Florida for April. I took on the role of treasurer and organizer for that group, so about twenty of us, from all over the U.S. will be meeting up in Bradenton Beach in April. These people literally saved my life. We’ve rented a huge house and have plans to eat good food, talk for hours, get some boating and fishing in. This adventure gave me and the RS the delightful task of a reconnaissance mission over to the area and we had a lovely vacation of sorts with the RS and his brother and girlfriend for a week on Anna Maria Island with the Bay out the front door and the beach out the back. It served well to let us leisurely scope out the area and rejuvenate my soul.

I managed to get one guest post done this year on the dear and amusing Barb Taub’s blog. I’m looking forward to setting up more guest posts and interviews over the next few months, so if you hear anything about anyone on the lookout, let me know. I’ll have more time on the computer as the year turns.

DECEMBER– Well, I managed to lose forty pounds this year. I only have forty-five to go. Hopefully, by this time next year I will have met my goal. I have a photographer friend who is doing a photo shoot in the near future, so you might see my 8 year old profile pics change everywhere in the next few months.

Naked Alliances is almost ready for its final proof. Yay! It’s been nearly two years since that first draft was penned and I am most grateful for the dozen people who gave me feedback as beta readers. It really did turn into a team project with me at the helm. With your help, I narrowed down to two choices for a cover image via 99Designs, and I’m giving one more cover artist a shot at it.

This really grew into a much longer post than I anticipated. I’m truly grateful to be alive and to have so many wonderful people in my life. I am looking forward to healthy and happy NEW YEAR and hope the same for you. As the sun sets on the old year, I leave you with a meditation video I made on Anna Maria Island. The silence between the surf as significant as the sounds of the sea.

Vote for Winning Book Cover: Narrowed Down to Two

“Naked Alliances” is softcore crime NOT hardcore crime. I recently went through the process of narrowing down covers.

When I first sent out the brief requesting cover designers, I gave the Title of the contest:

Florida Regional Crime Fiction With Humorous Undertones

I was immediately slammed with hardcore, gritty covers. Dozens of them. And designers had a hard time wrapping their heads around “crime with subtle humor”. It was the hint of humor they all missed the point on.

After the first elimination round, I finally got designers focused on humor, but most went overboard into what appeared more like cartoonish children’s books. It is strictly an adult themed book, with violence and nudity. The subtle humor, even some of the silliness, is aimed at adults.

Background:

Before you choose a cover between the first poll winner and the runner up, I will tell a little about the story so you have some context. One of the protagonists is an exotic dancer who used to be an E.O.D. Specialist in the Army (explosive ordinance disposal). The story involves the other protagonist, the private investigator becoming foster dad to a young girl on the run, recruiting the exotic dancer as babysitter and hiding them in a nudist resort.

Now that you have a little background, pick a cover that you feel best offers hints at subtle humor and will catch your eye in a thumbnail on Amazon or draw you to read the blurb.

I need your vote! Make sure to star both covers, so your vote counts as like and disliked.

These are the winner and the runner up of the fist poll.

Thank you all for your participation!

Please vote again, even if you already voted in the larger poll.

Here’s the LInk!  https://99designs.com/book-cover-design/vote-bmffnd

Cover Design Poll Thoughts

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I can’t recall if I mentioned on this blog that I am working with a company called 99 Designs to create the book cover for this Florida crime fiction comedy caper series, The Naked Eye Series. The first book in the series, Naked Alliances, isn’t as much a caper as it is an adventure, but it does have situational comedy, sparring, and some really funny scenes like you see in true capers. It’s a finite niche genre for certain.

For 99 Designs, you start a contest, designers submit cover images and you ask for changes or eliminate those that don’t work. Working with designers until you have a final concept.

Crime and humor is a challenging blend, but a lot of fun to write.

Good comedy caper series develop over time as the ancillary characters become more central to the stories. I’ve seen it happen with characters like Serge and Coleman, Skink, Ike, and Bert the Shirt. Memorable characters in the series that weren’t in the foreground of initial books, but became iconic characters for the author. Sometimes accidentally.

The best authors never put their characters images on their covers, but leave it to readers to develop a mental image of them.

Tough and serious crimes are portrayed by humorous images, often from something pulled out of the story. It could be something as simple as a sign, a bleeding orange, or a car tag…but it has to scream Florida.

With 99 Designs, I asked for a cover for Florida Crime fiction with humorous undertones. I was swamped with hard core crime covers…and many just couldn’t let go of the gritty, hard core photographic images…no matter how much I pleaded for more comedic and less photographic images. I gave tons of suggestions. And finally, picked the six most hopeful designers to go into the final round with a submission, again, asking them to punch up the humor, giving them links to author pages in the genre niche, and told them the books would be competing for clicks with these authors. It had to be colorful, and eye-catching. I’m sure blending crime and humor was as challenging for them as designers as for me as a writer.

My husband–and this is his favorite genre–helped me pick the designs that might work, and we eliminated those that definitely would not work.

I have two weeks to choose a designer. My husband has picked his favorite. I love his pick, and I like the unique ideas the designer is contemplating for the series.

Do we go with his design, or poll to see what potential buyers might like?

I don’t want to poll just those who have read the story. I want to see what people may click on who are browsing for Florida crime caper. Or see what catches the eye of people scrolling on a page for reads. Or might draw the eyes of someone when it pops up in the “customers also bought” row.

Would you go with your gut (or you husband’s gut) and just select the one that most works for you, or would you poll?

I think if one cover took a landslide win from the cover we like, we might have to consider it.

I’d also like to award a runner up.

To poll, or not to poll, that is the question.

I’ve also had so much participation from you guys, I would hate to cut you out of the cover selection process. That’s half the fun of writing a book…picking out a cover. I want you included on the fun.

Setting Price on a New Genre and Strategy

During a class discussion on payment for services in RN school, we asked a professor what we could expect to be paid as new graduates. Of course, we didn’t anticipate high dollar earnings right away. Dr, Capronni let us know immediately not to sell ourselves short.

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“If you wanted to work for free, you could have become nuns!” she exclaimed.

The market could bear a fair wage for nurses and they were in short supply for the demand. We were told to ask to ask the upper rate for our respective fields and expect shortly shy of that rate. Very quickly, we were earning top dollar.

That was nursing and this is writing. Let’s be realistic.

What do you expect to be paid as a writer?

If you want to write for free you could have a blog…oh, wait.

It’s a much different market with many factors. Are you unknown, virtually unknown, known as a traditionally published author, or an independently known author? What is your investment in time and money?

You’re self-employed if you are independent, and more than likely self-represented if you are traditionally published. That’s work on top of work.

Self-published, you have a significant amount of overhead; office supplies, writing tools, energy, editors, cover artists, formatting experts, marketing, promotions. There’s a whole team that has to be paid.writer_baseball_cap

I’ve often said I work for pleasure. I’m semi-retired. I can do that. But I also want readers. They are the reason behind my efforts. The first couple of years after penning Red Clay and Roses, I worked really hard at marketing, read your blogs, changed my book cover, had it edited, focused on interviews, guest posts, Facebook groups, Twitter and anything else I could do to get my name out there and promote my book. I sold a decent number of copies, but marketing overwhelmed me to the point that I had little time for writing.

Then I started looking at how my husband reads. He’ll choose an author he likes, and then read all their works before moving on to someone else.

I had nothing to offer but my one little book.

I wrote Red Clay and Roses because I had something to say that I felt was important, and still do. The book was motivated by passion and driven by personal philosophy. It wasn’t written for pure entertainment. The proceeds of that book go to a children’s home.

Now, I’m writing for entertainment. It’s more commercial, and I’m thinking the best approach to earning and reaching readers is to keep writing. Promote where I can, but not allow marketing to overwhelm me. My plan to have three or four books out before publishing the first has been shelved. If the first works out well to get a fan base started, I’m sure I’ll be motivated to produce. I’ve fallen in love with my characters and delight at the possibility you will, too.

Naked Alliances will have taken me two years from the time it was first drafted to the time it will be published. I’ve had twelve beta readers review and hired a professional editor, I’ll be purchasing a cover and having it formatted. It’s a much simpler read, and nearly half as long by page number.

I’ll likely go Amazon’s Kindle Select and CreateSpace. Until and unless the series gets some momentum behind it..and I have a few more books in the series to offer, I’ll be offering the book at $2.99. Once there are three or four more in the series, I’ll drop the price of the first book to 99 cents, but keep the remainder at $2.99, unless I’m doing a promotion. (That’s under half the price of big names in the genre like Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsy, Nancy Cohen, and others who have numerous books out.)

My beta readers will be receiving a free edited signed paperback copy and ebook.

Unlike the deep, and sometimes difficult subject matter to read, of RC&R, Naked Alliances, while dealing with some serious subject matter, is a lighter read with comedic undertones. However, it is an adult themed novel involving sex crimes.

As a contemporary crime novel, its audience is expected to be different from those who most enjoy historical novels like Red Clay and Roses. If you enjoy both, all the more joy!

Next step: Picking a cover!
And I want YOU involved!

She Has Arisen

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My book sale for the month is about to fall off my Kindle Reports page. Yes, that’s right, sale, not sales. I’m surprised I sold one this month. I’ve done absolutely nothing in the way of promotions for several months now.

One reason is that I have taken on a number of family related responsibilities in the past several months. There’s a common misconception that retired people have nothing to do with their time, and need other people to give them things to do in order to make them feel useful. Another reason is that I’m a pushover for needy people.

And then, in a successful effort at healthier living, I’m making the time to walk three to five miles a day and I’ve been driving around four counties sourcing farm grown/raised foods and trying to stay out of the middle aisles at the supermarket. Now that I’m signed on with a collective, that should get easier.

Other excuses aside, I’ve also been writing and editing. I’m not the multi-tasker I was back in my nursing days. But I’ve made lots of progress. I’m going over the final, fully edited draft of “Naked Alliances”. It’s down to choosing a cover and getting the book formatted. I’m leaning toward Kindle Select with this one. I only sold hundreds of copies of my Red Clay and Roses on Amazon, usually during ninety-nine cent promos. Sales on other retail platforms really haven’t worked out for me, but that could be due to the genre/nature of the book. I used Facebook and FB through ENT for most of those sales. It’s no wonder that my audience is 35+ year old women and that’s also the majority of people who use FB. I’ve also had some success with blog interviews.

Which brings me to my next point: I had planned to have at least three books in this series set to go before publishing the first but, since it has taken nearly two years to get this one as polished as I wanted it to be, I’m concerned that four, or more, years just might be too long to wait. I’ve already lost a lot of momentum on Naked Alliances. I feel it. That’s not good.

I have the second book in the series roughed out and the third outlined. (sort of) So I am expecting them to be a bit less complicated to execute. But even a few years will crush any momentum I have left. I’m thinking book one’s reception might have a great influence on the production of my works-in-progress.

And then, there’s “The Conduit”, a totally unrelated paranormal crime novel. It won’t have the comedic undertones that “The Naked Eye Series” does. I’m still tossing around the idea of pen names, but I’m hearing that all books should remain on one Author Central page. Elmore Leonard’s great westerns are alongside his unforgettable crime novels, and the covers don’t always indicate the genre. However, many authors do have all their books: romance, paranormal, fantasy under one author name and do quite well, differentiating covers for separate genre. And, surely people will read the blurb before buying the book. And then, there’s another historical novel that’s been shelved for a bit while I get my head together on that one.

Back to “Naked Alliances”, I was hoping to have it published before Christmas, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. I’ll be looking for a cover artist soon. I’m open to doing interviews to get if off the ground. I have a list of bloggers who do interviews, but please let me know if you do interviews and would like to know more about me or the book/series.

I’ve fallen in love with Brandi. She’s developed into my muse, encouraging me to move along with her brassy cynicism. The chemistry between Richard Noggin, P.I. and Brandi is fun to write and fun to read.

BTW, I pulled back from doing book reviews on my blog until Amazon settles down a bit. It bothers me that they would pull reviews from authors who know other authors. I hardly think that’s fair, given that all authors are readers, and thus, customers. You may have noticed that I changed my review name on Amazon to a more anonymous name. I had several reasons for doing that. I may change it back, but remain undecided. I’ve always purchased the books I read, mainly as a way of offering additional support to the author. It’s funny to me, considering the scope of Facebook, that they might possibly be using FB as a way to see who “knows” who. There’s not a book that I have read in the past five years that I didn’t “like” the author’s FB page, or at least check them out. I’m “friends” with many indie authors, but also some well renowned traditional authors, as well, and have exchanged comments and emails with many of them, establishing a more personal relationship over time.

If you’ve stayed with me through this lengthy post, I’d love to hear from you. Though I find time to read some blogs and comment when possible. I’ve deeply missed the interactions on this blog. I’ve been isolated. I’m feeling as if I have been on a long journey from home and just returned.

To recap: I’m looking for a cover artist, someone to help with formatting, and opportunities for interviews. I won’t be joining any reciprocal book review clubs due to Amazon’s current policies. I may start posting book reviews along with some interviews that I’ll be doing later this year or next year.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Hiring Developmental/Content Editor: Apply Within

editor-wanted[1]

I am just short of 30,000 words on The Conduit and searching for a content editor who is familiar with both crime fiction and paranormal. I’m particular about this as I am not looking for copy editing or line editing or proofreading yet. I would like developmental editing and I would like to get started with an editor before I get too deeply into this novel.

With a couple of trunk novels under my belt, I feel my skills and technique have improved. I know how I want this story to develop and, having read over it a few times from chapter one to chapter thirteen, realize I am at a critical point.

It would be really easy to blaze forward like a wildfire and tell my story, but there are conventions. I’ve read many, many books in both crime fiction and the paranormal, but only a handful that combine the two elements.

I have a forensics adviser, and even though my protagonist has a background as a crime scene specialist, crime scene matters are well covered.

I have been all over the web searching for a qualified freelance developmental editor who has the time right now to work with me. A few have read the ms, but we differed too greatly on the direction of the novel. So far, no luck. I am hoping not to have to wait two or three months.

This is not comic book crime fiction with super heroes. This is a story that involves real crime scenarios from both past and present, real life people, two of which have paranormal skills, a mentor and her protégé. The magical comes from metaphysical components that are not necessarily pseudoscience, but grounded in psychological theory. So a science background in psychology/sociology (even neurology) might be helpful. Knowledge of ancient cultures and history (Indian/Hindu and Native American/First Nation Peoples) may be helpful. Medical background may also be helpful, particularly psychiatry/forensics, but not absolutely necessary.

The implied spirituality in the work in progress is NOT religious or theological. If that would conflict with your own personal belief system, we might not be a good match. I’m not looking for an omnipotent God to be introduced who converts everybody to the Christian faith. It’s NOT that kind of story.

I have experience in psychiatry, forensics, and the medical background and have studied Hindu mythology and Native American lore. It is the background of my paranormal mentor. The story is set in and around Atlanta, Georgia.

The conflicts: “Jillian wants to be free from the torment of her nightmares, but she may have to give up someone important to her to get there.”
Jillian, a main character, is an adult, but for a year in her childhood she suffered clairvoyant nightmares about a notorious serial killer. Now divorced, with an eighteen year old son and a twelve year old daughter, a love interest has come out of her past, a dog goes missing, and the nightmares have started again.
Bill, another main character, is a semi-retired G.B.I. Liaison, and former crime scene specialist. A three year old case still haunts him and is part of why he retired in the aftermath of some serious personal issues that challenge his belief in the justice system.

If you are an editor, or know someone who is, with references and qualifications that you feel are suitable and the story interests you, please use the info on my contact page to inquire. Feel free to share a link to this page with others.

UP FRONT: I will tell you that I am not prepared to pay more than $3.00 per page (250 wpp).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thank you all for reading.

777 Challenge and a New Title

a-777

The delightfully entertaining John Howell has nominated me for this challenge. Stop by his blog today and read about Charlotte and Bob, editor and writer. An ongoing story posted on Wednesdays that will have you rolling in the floor.

The rules of the 777 Writing Challenge are as follows:

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

My contribution to this challenge comes from my new crime fiction psycho thriller, The Conduit. (Yes, I finally decided on a title.) It’s seven lines following a murder, so it’s more crime oriented than psycho thriller:

There was no hotel bar. A small dining area for continental breakfasts was packed with people the service workers were finding difficulty satisfying. He downed a fast cup of decaf and returned downstairs.

The M.E. and his team were near the back door with the body on a stretcher when Bill came around the corner. He figured he’d learn more from Gimp than he would from the crime scene that had been trampled on and bypassed the busy room where forensic photographers were having a field day. Gimp saw him coming and paused as his assistants wheeled the girl to the waiting ambulance. “What’s your interest in this case, Bill?” Gimp leaned against the wall to rest his bad leg.

Now I get the pleasure of tagging seven more. I’m not sure I know seven authors working on a project now, but I’ll try.

Mae Clair

Barb Taub

Sue Vincent

L.F. Young

Kevin Brennan

Sue Coletta

Crystin Goodwin

Looking forward to snooping in your files 🙂