Sunday, May 19, 2013
Thanks, Deb, for hosting me today! Deb asked me to talk about world building, and I have a couple of classes on this topic, where I go over in minute detail things to consider when building your world. However, today, I want to tackle world building from a different angle: by making the story or stories build the world for you.
In a way, it comes down to whether you are a plotter or a pantser. Plotters want to know everything about their world—or at least a good majority of it—before writing the story. Pantsers, on the other hand, just start writing and discover the world through the eyes of their characters. Sometimes, when you are writing a series, you will find that you’ve started with a basic concept of the world, and each story adds something new. Although I teach in a plotter style, I tend to be a pantser by nature, so my worlds tend to grow organically as I write more stories in them. I love discovering new things from my characters.
That’s how it worked with the Faerie/Mundane universes of my DragonEye, PI stories. The first story was a simple one, so I needed just a few elements: Vern’s residence, a little mundane inner city environment, a kingdom and magical artifact, and dark elves doing evil magic. This is all very standard. The second story, however, made more demands—the role of religion in the Faerie world and how it dealt with gods and goddesses we expect in the fantasy realm. The next one, which became the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, populated my world with creatures and set up some complex politics. The next novel, Live and Let Fly, made me think about interdimensional law enforcement. My latest, Greater Treasures, addresses the tension between the Faerie immigrants and the Mundanes.
Even if you have a pretty well-developed world to play in, you may find that each story will bring its own world elements. When that happens, I’d like to suggest a few things:
1. Keep a timeline of the world and where each story fits. Also note the important events. It will help you to not contradict that story later.
2. Keep a character list or species list if applicable. Sometimes, the minor character of one story will later want a bigger role. I found this true with Capt. Santry. In fact, he’ll be in his own trilogy, Damsels and Knights.
3. Watch for contradictions. If your magic works a certain way in one story, make sure it follows the same rules later.
Writing stories in the world you’ve already created is a great way to build that world further. It’s also a nice way to promote a novel. I have written many stories in my DragonEye world, and as I gain fans from the story, they move to the novels. In fact, my latest book, Greater Treasures, is a novella I’m self-publishing in part as a way to bring people to the DragonEye world. So, if you’re ever at a loss for something in your world, try a short story and let your character show you. Also, if you have an idea for a short story in your world, go for it. You will grow the world and can use that story to promote the novels.
You can purchase your copy of Greater Treasures for you Kindle now by surfing to: http://tinyurl.com/greatertreasureskindle. To get Greater Treasures in print go to: https://www.createspace.com/4244586.
Karina, being a very generous person, is giving away a FREE .pdf copy of Greater Treasures will be given away! So, don't forget to leave a comment for Vern, Sister Grace, or Karina along with your contact information!
Monday, May 6, 2013
TITLE: Has A Donkey Ever Brought You Breakfast In Bed?
AUTHOR: Pat Brannon http://patbrannon.com
PUBLISHER: Freedom of Speech Publishing (October 16, 2012) http://www.FreedomOfSpeechPublishing.com
ILLUSTRATOR: Karen Deming http://www.karendeming.com
FORMATS: Paperback and Kindle
PRICE: Paperback $10, Kindle $2.88
FILE SIZE: 4143 KB
ISBN – 10: 193863490X
ISBN – 13: 9781938634901
Has a donkey ever brought you breakfast in bed? Do animals ever do weird and wacky things? Hmmm, I wonder. We’ve all seen pictures of people riding donkeys or seen pictures of donkeys carrying things. But do they do anything else?
I highly recommend Has A Donkey Ever Brought You Breakfast In Bed. In this rhyming picture book for your youngest readers (or listeners), Pat Brannon takes us on a journey that looks at twenty – nine animals and imagines what else they might do. Your children will laugh out loud with the turning of each page!
Karen Deming is the illustrator of Has A Donkey Ever Brought You Breakfast In Bed. Each illustration is colorfully painted in primary colors which brings each picture to life!
If you would like to learn more about Pat Brannon or about Has A Donkey Ever Brought You Breakfast In Bed, you can visit her website at http://www.patbrannon.com. While you’re there, you can also order Has A Donkey Ever Brought You Breakfast In Bed at Pat’s website by clicking on the CreateSpace link.
There are several of places where you can order this picture book. You can order it in both paperback and Kindle formats at http://www.amazon.com or just in paperback at http://www.barnesandnobles.com.
If you would like to learn more about the illustrator, Karen Deming please visit her website at http://www.karendeming.com.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Along the bumpy road to publishing, I was advised to read other authors. I never really understood this until the Harry Potter series came out.
Back then, I wasn’t getting published at all. I felt like I was banging my head against the proverbial brick wall! At the time, I had so many rejections; I could wallpaper my entire apartment! I still have those rejections in my file cabinet to this day.
Believe it or not, these rejections help me. They remind me of how awkward my early writing (pre - Harry) was. Did I say awkward? How about downright bad, two dimensional and sloppy!
I was at my wit’s end. I was doing my best, right? I was following all the rules, wasn’t I? I felt like a complete failure at that point.
I sat trying to figure out what I could do to improve and get published. After hours of thinking about this it hit me. I remembered the advice I never understood before and suddenly it was all too clear on what I was to do.
Some lady in England just came out with a book series for children called Harry Potter. She was a real success story and I had to find out how she did it. At the time, my brother was working in a bookstore and I asked him to bring me home a one of these books. I had the money to give him for the book and everything. My brother, being a brother, looked at me with question marks coming out of eyes. I could almost hear a wisecrack coming from him but at the end of that day he handed me a copy of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. This is now my favorite book of the whole series! I love that flying Ford Anglia! I’m sorry. I digress.
I devoured Harry that night! I studied it for hours taking note on how J.K. Rowling brought Harry, Ron, and Hermione to life. I noticed how she made us feel the approaching danger and to feel the urgency of defeating the evil of Lord Voldemort. I also noticed how she inserted humor to ease the tension in all of those books. For instance think of the flying Ford Anglia, Ron’s exaggerated fear of the spiders, the Whomping Willow, the extendable ears, the wand choosing Harry in Olivander’s Wand Shop and more. These books have humor throughout them.
Since I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I started to be published in ezines. Now, I’ve just signed a contract with 4RV Publishing for my first picture book. So, studying Jo Rowling’s book did help me and helped me a lot! I guess it goes without saying that I’m now the proud owner of the complete Harry Potter series.
I’ve found other authors to study but I’ll be forever grateful to Jo Rowling and Harry. I intend to write to her to thank her and tell her how she helped me. I’m forever indebted to her for writing Harry’s adventures down so I could study and learn.
So, study other authors in your genre that you want to write in. Take it from me, if you don’t understand this now…you will. Trust me on that!
Monday, April 22, 2013
TITLE: God Loves You – Chester Blue
AUTHOR: Suzanne Anderson (June 24, 2012)
PUBLISHER: Henry and George Press http://www.henryandgeorgepress.com
PRICE: Paperback - $13.46, Kindle - $2.99
FILE SIZE: 532 KB
ISBN – 10: 0615654835
ISBN – 13: 9780615654836
For being a teddy bear, Chester Blue sure has his share of adventures! From the time he leaves Miss Millie’s house and meets Casey and Ryan, he has adventure after adventure. With his suitcase tucked tightly under his arm, Chester criss – crosses the United States helping one person after another. He reminds each person not to give up, that God loves them.
Chester Blue helps a man become a rodeo clown. He saves a man from drowning, helps a young girl cope with her parent’s divorce, and much more!
I loved reading God Loves You – Chester Blue. It’s written in a very easy to read style and highly entertaining from beginning to end. I’d highly recommend this book for any child’s library. I’d even recommend this book for any church library
If you’d like to learn more about Suzanne Anderson and Chester Blue – God Loves You just visit her website at http://www.suzanneanderson.net. If you would like your own copy of God Loves You – Chester Blue, you can order it either from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Help Crosley come up with some new wacky words for the 3rd Night Buddies Adventure Book!
Hey there, buddies! This is me, Crosley, with an EXCELSIOR idea!
I’m lookin’ for some wacky new words to add t’ my wacky vocabulary, on account of the author of the Night Buddies Adventure series of books is into writin’ his third one. It’ll be featuring’ me an’ my good buddy John, of course.
All ya need t’ do is come up with a new word an’ say what it means! Want some help? Check out this list below to get your brain gears goin’. An’ who knows? The winnin’ words could end up in BOOK THREE! See ya after bedtime in the Borough!
To enter my excelsior contest, just follow this link to the contest page for all the directions. When you’re there, just sign in and give me a new words that John has to learn! Yerk, yerk, yerk! Oh yeah, you can also click on the banner that my friend, Deb, put up for me. It’ll take you to the contest page too.
Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare
Written by Sands Hetherington
Illustrated by Jessica Love
Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine
Written by Sands Hetherington
Illustrated by Jessica Love
ISBN - 13: 978-0-9847417-2-4
Snerk!, Snk-Snork!, Wuff!, Fup!
Waking up noises
Snog!, Gnf!, Gorf!, Gak!, Snert!, Snorf!
Splut an’ Blather!
Expressing extreme annoyance
Oh no! Rats!
(Questioning) What? Huh?
Bad French for “Pardon Me”
Sound made when stomach goes up into throat
Put the kye-bosh on
(Laughing) Ha! Ha!
Gosh! Golly! Gee whiz!
Ba-Gruff!, Blorp!, Brp!, Bruk!, Erp!, Gop!, Gruk!, Grup!, Gupp!, Korp!, Rk!, Roop!, Rrrup!, Rruhk!, Rukk!, Rup!, Uk!, Urrk!, Urruk!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
“Hi, I’m Maddie Edwards, I was told…I mean…I hear you’re a writer,” a young woman of no more than twenty said while standing at the entrance to my home office. She was so jittery, her eyes fluttered about constantly. I suspected from personal experience that maybe she was hopped up on way too many coffees.
“Would you like a seat?” I got out of my swivel chair and offered her a folding chair that I keep propped against the wall for guests.
She smiled as she sat down, and I wondered for a moment why it took her so long to just have a seat. I suppose that figments of your imagination don’t really have a feeling of place until you give it to them.
“So, when I talk to you, is there some sort of understanding about confidentiality?” she asked her arms crossed over her chest and her voice still wavering quite a bit and I found myself curious how much she would actually tell me about whatever situation brought her to me in the first place.
“If you mean like doctor-patient confidentiality, I can’t really promise that.” She abruptly seemed deflated. “Why did you come to a writer if you don’t want to tell a story for me to share it with others?” I answered as best I could to sound as rational as one can when talking to a budding fictional character.
Much to my surprise, she chuckled a bit, first looking down, and then looking straight at me. “Point taken. The story I want to tell you is a bit of a mystery, do you like mysteries?”
“Sure, I love a good mystery, I used to read Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew as a kid, and have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes my whole life.”
“Cool. I like Nancy Drew too. Holmes is great, I especially like the BBC show. There is no greater master of the whodunit in my opinion,” she rubbed her hands together and her nerves seemed to be subsiding every so slightly.
“True. Is this tale you wish to share with me a whodunit as well?”
“Actually, I think whyhedidit is a better way to classify it.”
“Okay, you have my attention, but what does that mean?”
“I’ll just tell you the story. Trey Goodsby, this guy I grew up with is dead. He was nineteen. His best friend Sean McIntyre found him motionless in the bathtub.” As she said dead, I reached for my yellow legal pad that I kept by my computer monitor and my pen from WBZ in Boston.
“Holy cow. Was he murdered?”
“No, all signs point to either accidental or suicide. So, I guess it’s like I said before, more of a ‘whyhedidit’.”
“Oh, I know what you mean now. What else can you tell me?”
“I don’t know all that much. But, I think Sean can tell you a lot more. One problem though, he’s a bit shy.”
“Is that why you’re here instead of him? Did he want you to come to me first to break the ice so to speak?”
“No, he doesn’t even know that I’m here,” Wind whistled gently through the pine trees outside my window, and she glanced over at them suspiciously.
“Why were you so concerned about confidentiality if you were just going to have me talk to your friend about this Trey guy’s death?” I tapped my blue pen on the pad, she watched me nervously, then her eyes locked onto mine.
She went on to explain about why though she and Sean hadn’t been in communication for a while, he would be a better person to tell this story. While she had limited memory where she only recalled certain things in life due to some traumatic event in her early childhood, he apparently had eidetic memory where he could remember complete details of experiences. She suggested I don’t need to do any research beforehand. The story would best be served if I just let him tell Trey’s tale, almost like dictation.
“How do I know you’ll have him come in here if you didn’t want anyone to know you were here?”
“I wanted to see if I could trust you first. It takes me forever to open up to someone. However, I am a good judge of character, so when I finally talk to Sean again, I’ll let him know to come in and talk to you when he’s ready.”
* * * *
Several months later, when I was starting to work on a romantic comedy screenplay involving two characters on a road trip, guess who came a knocking at my door. A non-descript guy who could’ve been as young as seventeen and as old as twenty-one walked right in and got in my face, but not in a threatening manner. I suspect it was more of a way to observe me. He continued looking at me as if waiting for me to speak first.
“Hi, can I help you?” I asked, not knowing what else to say.
“Yeah, how are you doing? I’m Sean McIntyre. I want to tell you about Trey Goodsby who died in my apartment just about a year and a half ago. My friend Madeline told me if I tell his story I can possibly help some folks who are contemplating suicide or those affected by it.”
“Sure. Do you mind if I take notes?” I asked reaching for the very same yellow legal pad I jotted down notes on during Maddie’s visit.
“I’d rather just tell the story to you straight, if that’s okay.” I remembered her telling me to just do dictation when he told the tale.
I nodded and leaned down to turn on the tower to my Mac. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see he’s looking at his feet. This may take awhile, I think to myself.
As I open up a new Word document on my screen, I say, “Okay, we can begin whenever you’re ready.” He shrugs, so I know I should try my best to make it easy on him, “Do you have a title in mind?”
“Isosceles. It’s gotta be named, Isosceles. Trey would have wanted it that way,” a small mournful grin crept across his face.
“Good title, shall we begin?” I said patting him on the shoulder. He took a deep breath. While I looked solely at the blank screen, and my fingers were ready to go on asdf and jkl;, he began to speak . . .
The novel takes the reader on a journey through the thirteen-year friendship between Sean McIntyre and Trey Goodsby and up to the tragic end of Trey's life, then goes into what effect his death has on Sean and those closest to the two boys.
About the Book:
When he finds his best friend Trey Goodsby dead and almost completely submerged in a bathtub filled with bloody water, Sean McIntyre is determined to find out if it was an accident or suicide. Did his death accidental or intentional have anything to do with Madeline Edwards, the woman who came between them constantly through their thirteen-year friendship? The tale begins with the death of Trey Goodsby, and explores his relationships with family, friends, his romances, and which of the circumstances he found himself in that led to the tragic event, and the repercussions for those he left behind.
If you have that feeling that you're coming up short...what will it take to feel equal?
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
eBook ISBN: 978-1-77127-239-1
Publication Date: January 2013
Genre of Book: Young Adult- Coming Of Age, Mystery/Romance
Places where available for sale: MuseItUpPublishing.com, Amazon.com, Bookstrand, Omnilit, Kobo, Smashwords and B&N
About the Author:
While this is his first novel, he wrote and directed a dramatic feature, co-wrote and directed a documentary and wrote for an online magazine. He’s also a trained voice, stage, and screen actor. In addition to his creative pursuits, he is passionate about healthy living. He follows a mostly self-directed fitness quest consisting of weight training, walking, swimming, yoga, and hula hooping. When not working out, he also enjoys cooking healthy gourmet meals as well as playing board games with family and friends with plenty of coffee brewing to keep the fun going until the wee hours of the morning.
You can find out more about Scott R. Caseley, his novel and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/c85xoz4
Follow Scott R. Caseley at
Blog Address: www.scottrcaseleyauthor.com
Twitter URL: twitter.com/scottrcaseley
Facebook Fan Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/ScottRCaseleyWriter
Publisher Website: http://museituppublishing.com
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com
Monday, February 25, 2013
TITLE: The Monsterjunkies; An American Family Odyssey (December 11, 2012)
AUTHOR: Erik David Shein and L.M. Reker
PUBLISHER: Arkwatch http://www.arkwatch.com
FORMATS: Paperback, Kindle, Nook
PRICE: Paperback $9.69 (Amazon), $9.99 (Barnes and Noble), $7.99 (Kindle and Nook)
ISBN – 10: 1622095480
ISBN – 13: 9781622095483
FILE SIZE: 527 KB
What is the secret of MJ Manor? Most people in this small Maine town say that monsters are harbored there. Even the mailmen draw straws on who delivers the mail because of the “thing in the mailbox.”
Twelve – year – old Crow wants to use his nickname at home not his given name, Cromwell. His older sister, Indigo, desperately wants to be accepted for who she is and to be more social. Both want their parents to let their friends to visit their home, MJ Manor.
Together with their small group of friends, Indigo and Crow face discrimination and bullying at the hands of Rutherford Grimes III. Rutherford believes that since his father is “nouveau riche,” he and his gang of thugs can get away with anything. Worst, his father thinks so too.
This book is so relatable. It shows us that we all wear masks to hide who we really are. Whether deep inside we are scared little children, naturalists, a person of a different sexual tendency or just curious people who wish to learn about anything and everything. When you read “The Monsterjunkies; An American Family Oddesy you’re to be sure to recognize yourself or someone you know in this book.
I fully enjoyed reading this book. Not only does it teach tolerance and standing up to bullies but it also teaches respect for all creatures (human, animal, or plant).
I recommend that you get your own copy of “The Monsterjunkies; An American Family Odyssey” today. You will be able to order one in print or in kindle at http://www.amazon.com. If you prefer, you can order yourself a copy at http://www.barnesandnoble.com. If you would like to learn more about Erik Shein and his book, please visit his website at http://www.eriksheinmedia.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Shein, noted author and animator, has produced a work of fiction called “The Monsterjunkies; An American Family Odyssey.” This book is for tweens and teens and provides a look inside a family who struggles with inheritance, science and a community’s fear of the unknown. Bullying and how one tween defeats the bullies will provide entertainment while giving kids information about bullying.