Hello again! Just a quick note to let you know that Daydreams and Night Scenes is now available on Amazon.
A night of love..Fantasy or Fateful Alliance?
Miranda Stuart is lushly built, hauntingly beautiful, career-oriented, and extremely intelligent, but thanks to a teenage crush on Alex Denning, a man who was way out of her league, she acts out of character when they meet up years later at a posh resort. When she finds out his room is adjoining hers, she determines to have her fantasy night in his arms. When the night’s magic should have begun (unbeknownst to him) our dashing, billionaire playboy enters the scene with bright lights blaring and another woman in tow. Had she just set herself up for blackmail?
Warning: Sexual Content
Amazon link: myBook.to/DaNS
Thank you all for your support during my Kindle Scout campaign. It ended with 180 hours in Hot and Trending and 1016 page views, but apparently, that wasn’t enough to guarantee a contract. We gave it a good go though and that’s all we can do.
It’s cold and snowing here in southern New Brunswick but Daydreams and Night Scenes is Hot and Trending on Kindle Scout. WooHoo!!! I haven’t seen that since the 5th day of my campaign and it’s all thanks to you…my followers, my readers, my supporters, my friends.
I know you’re all probably tired of listening (reading) about my campaign on Kindle Scout, but it’s almost at an end. It’s been a wild ride, I can tell you. I’ve blogged, I’ve twittered, I’ve shared on Facebook, in groups, on Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I’ve had friends RT and share. I even ran a fiverr campaign through Bookkitty.
To date, I’ve had 883 page views and I’m thankful for every one of you who took the time to read my chapter. It would be nice if all those views meant the same number of nominations, but I’m not that naive. I know my writing doesn’t appeal to everyone and that’s okay. I happen to write what I enjoy reading. Romance and romantic suspense, sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy–it works for me. The comments and support for my novel have been overwhelmingly complimentary. I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve given the campaign my best and if Daydreams and Night Scenes is not selected for publication by Amazon’s Kindle Scout, at least I know I tried. And in the process, I’ve created a month’s worth of advance publicity as I will surely self-publish. After all, I have this beautiful cover and the novel has already been professionally edited, so it’ll be live on Amazon within 24 hours if not selected. Although it would be nice to have the benefit of Amazon’s marketing and that $1500 advance. It might not be much, but just think of the books I could buy. 🙂
I may be a writer, but I’m also a reader. I have a 15 shelf bookcase filled with works by Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, John Grisham, James Patterson, Mary Higgins-Clark, Sandra Brown, and many others. As to newer authors, I love London Saint James, Julie Miller, Delores Fossen, and several others. In addition to the print books, I have an ereader with over a thousand stories and my Kindle for PC has that many or more. Yes, I enjoy reading…Always have and always will. When I was younger and still in school, I spent my babysitting money on books. The Hardy Boys were my favorites back then. Sadly, I lost a whack of books in a house fire but I’ve since collected many more titles. My children, as they grew, never had a lack of books to read, from being babes in arms through their teenage years. I read to them daily and my oldest son is a Stephen King and John Grisham fan. The two younger boys are more into video games, but hey, they had to know how to read to play some of them. Now it’s my grandchildren who come to me to be read to or borrow books from. It’s a bond I share with them all and I am sincerely pleased.
And surprise of surprises, my mother enjoys reading my books. She’s always been a great supporter of my writing so I’m not sure why I was surprised when she asked for the print ones…and insisted on paying for them, too. 🙂 The first one she read, His Christmas Wish, was nothing more than a printout from my computer, but she loved it. Then Zakia and the Cowboy…she read it in two days! And this is a woman who doesn’t read much. God, I love that woman. She’s always been there for me.
I guess that’s all I have for you today. Happy reading and writing. Love you all!
Please take a few minutes and pop over to Kindle Scout to read my chapter. If you like it, hit the ‘nominate me’ button. I really would like to win this publishing contract. Thanks to you, I already stand a good chance. Just click here.
The following is a post I received from someone at some time during the past few years. I’m usually pretty good at giving credit where it’s due, but in this case, all I can tell you is that this post was not written by me. It’s not my intention to plagiarize or step on anyone’s toes, but this is such a good article and I wanted to share it with you. In reality, I probably couldn’t explain it any better. 🙂 So, if you are the original author of this post, please contact me or take credit in the comments. In the meantime, I’m going to share. 🙂
Casting Your Characters
Most people think that an exciting and well-developed plot is what makes a script good, but even the most intriguing plot won’t hold someone’s attention if the action is performed by flat, unoriginal characters.
Flat Characters vs. Original Characters
Flat character: Joe is 20 years old. He likes football and eats a lot of bacon.
Original Character: Tucker Wallace is the coolest nerd on Earth. This month, he’s been on the cover of Popular Science, Time, People, Cosmo, and GQ. He’s been a guest on Oprah, hosted Saturday Night Live, and has been offered a job at, literally, every pharmaceutical company in the world. One magazine deemed him the “most sought-after bachelor in the world,” while another claimed that his “discovery will change life as we know it forever.” While spending hours upon hours in a makeshift laboratory in his parents’ basement as a boy, leaning over test tubes, pushing up his glasses, and wiping the sweat from his forehead, Tucker never thought his efforts would come to this. Never did he think he would be sitting where he is right now, under the bright lights in front of another live studio audience explaining how he feels now that he discovered the Fountain of Youth. What Tucker won’t tell the person interviewing him is that he is terrified. Terrified of being in the spotlight and even more terrified about some unexpected side-effects starting to appear in his patients.”
Which movie would you rather watch? The one about Joe or the one about Tucker?
Not only are characters with hidden depths and secrets more fun to read about, they’re also more fun to write about. Though you’ll end up writing about a bunch of different people in your script, all of them will fall into one of three categories: the protagonist, the supporting characters, and the antagonist.
The protagonist has the starring role in your script. In most scripts, the protagonist is on a journey to get what he or she wants more than anything else in the world. Your protagonist could be after fame, revenge, or something much more elusive, like overcoming poverty or cancer.
The Supporting Characters
Supporting characters have an important role in your protagonist’s life. Some may be around for the protagonist’s entire journey, some for only part. Supporting characters can be friends, close relatives, or love interests—you name it. These characters also have dreams of their own, and their adventures will add even more excitement to your script.
The Physical Antagonist
A physical antagonist is a living, breathing character in a script that is standing in the way of the protagonist achieving his or her goal. This does not mean that all physical antagonists are evil monsters. Some antagonists stand in the way simply through jealousy, or misunderstanding, or by having a set of goals that conflicts with the protagonist’s. If Gavin is your protagonist and he wants to take Kim to the dance, but Chet asked her first, this doesn’t mean Chet is a “bad guy.” He’s just another guy who likes the same girl. Then again, there are those antagonists that are just plain evil. It’s up to you to decide who’s going to stand in your protagonist’s way, and how he or she is going to do it.
The Abstract Antagonist
Though a lot of antagonists are living, breathing beings, some are not. Some protagonists face off against illness, grief, or the powers of a corrupt government. We like to call these kinds of antagonists abstract antagonists because they don’t take actual physical form. If your script’s antagonist is not a living person/animal/entity, you have an abstract antagonist. It may be easier to think of it this way: if your protagonist cannot physically kick your antagonist in the knee, he or she is probably abstract.
A racist or intolerant character
A character who is working to make sure your protagonist lives a poverty-stricken life
A character who is forcing your character to struggle against nature (e.g. someone who has left your character stranded in Antarctica)
A character whose religious beliefs oppress your protagonist
A government official such as a dictator who has it in for your protagonist
Your protagonist’s evil boss
A character whose sole mission is to make sure your protagonist becomes ill (e.g. through poisoning or exposure to a deadly disease)
Racism/intolerance in a community or in general
Poverty or the economy in a community or in general
Nature as an entity (e.g. a natural disaster or an extreme climate)
A religion or all religions
A corrupt government
Disease/illness in general
It’s a great idea for you, the author, to try and get to know your characters before you begin writing. We asked a team of scientists, mathematicians, and creative writing gurus from around the world, “What’s the easiest way for writers to get to know their characters?” Hands down, the experts all agreed the single best way is to fill out a Character Questionnaire for all your characters.
In your notebook, answer the questions in this questionnaire about your characters.
Section One: Core Character QuestionsComplete Section One for every character in your book. If you have an abstract antagonist, try to answer as many questions as you can from this section for them then move on to Section Four.
Section Two: Questions for Your Supporting CharactersComplete Section Two just for your supporting characters.
Section Three: Questions for a Physical AntagonistComplete Section Three if you have a physical antagonist. OR Section Four: Questions for an Abstract Antagonist. Complete Section Four if you have an abstract antagonist.
Section One: Complete this section for all your characters!
4. Eye color:
5. Physical appearance:
6. Strange or unique physical attributes:
7. Favorite clothing style/outfit:
8. Where does he or she live? What is it like there?
9. Defining gestures/movements (i.e., curling his or her lip when he or she speaks, always keeping his or her eyes on the ground, etc.):
10. Things about his or her appearance he or she would most like to change:
11. Speaking style (fast, talkative, monotone, etc.):
12. Pet peeves:
13. Fondest memory:
15. Special skills/abilities:
18. Temperament (easygoing, easily angered, etc.):
19. Negative traits:
20. Things that upset him or her:
21. Things that embarrass him or her:
22. Things this character really cares about:
23. Any phobias?
24. Things that make him or her happy:
25. Family (describe):
26. Deepest, darkest secret:
27. Reason he or she kept this secret for so long:
28. Other people’s opinions of this character (What do people like about this character? What do they dislike about this character?):
29. Favorite bands/songs/type of music:
30. Favorite movies:
31. Favorite TV shows:
32. Favorite foods:
33. Favorite sports/sports teams:
34. Political views:
36. Dream vacation:
37. Description of his or her house:
48. Description of his or her bedroom:
39. Any pets?
40. Best thing that has ever happened to this character:
41. Worst thing that has ever happened to this character:
43. Three words to describe this character:
44. If a song played every time this character walked into the room, what song would it be?
Section Two: Supporting Character Questions
1. Relationship to the protagonist:
2. Character’s favorite thing about the protagonist:
3. Similarities to protagonist:
4. Differences from protagonist:
Section Three: Antagonist Questions
1. Why is he or she facing off against the protagonist?
2. Any likable traits?
Section Four: Abstract Antagonist
1. What is your abstract antagonist? Is it a disease like cancer, a social ill like poverty, or something larger than life, like grief?
2. How is this antagonist affecting the protagonist?
3. Do other characters notice? How does this antagonist affect the other people in your script?
So there you have it. If you want well-rounded, believable characters, get to know them before you start writing. It will make telling the story a whole lot easier as well. And, until next time, Happy Writing! 🙂
My first opportunity to work with an editor was a real eye opener.
Lori Graham and Susan Yates of The Wild Rose Press worked with me on two manuscripts. Susan had Zakia and the Cowboy and Lori had Love on the Rocks, and wow, did I learn a lot from those two ladies. Unfortunately, my books didn’t meet their qualifications for publishing, but it was a terrific learning experience for me.
POV, yep, point of view…my characters were all over the place, back and forth so much that a reader couldn’t possibly grasp any depth or insight into the main characters. That was my biggest mistake and I learned how to overcome the need to bounce around between the characters. (Something some of my favorite authors do, btw.) Anyway, POV changes, also called head hopping, can be distracting to a reader. It’s important to remain in one character’s POV for an entire scene or at least 750 words. (So I’ve been told.)
I write in third person point of view as explained in this excerpt taken from the following site. http://www.learner.org/interactives/literature/read/pov2.html.
“In the 3rd person POV the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.”
If you are in the hero’s POV, you don’t know what the other person is thinking, seeing, feeling, etc. You can assume, but you don’t know
Example of abrupt POV switch. We are in his POV to start.
“Come, let’s go,” he commanded as, taking her hand, he almost pulled her across the room. If he didn’t get her out of there, now, they’d never make it to his dinner party.
Blushing, she managed to mumble a quick ‘thank you’ before being ushered out the door and into the waiting vehicle. What was it about this man that had her running hot one minute, with just a look, and stone cold the next with his abrupt change of stature or voice?
And another thing I learned the hard way…floating body parts. lol
“His eyes roamed the room.” Yes, we know what the author means, but eyes do not jump out and roam the room at will. Better to say: His gaze roamed the room.
“Her hand reached for the kettle.” Has her hand become unattached? No, and again, we know what the author is saying although the picture these words paint is kind of eerie. Better to say: She reached for the kettle.
Suffice it to say, sometimes keeping it simple is better. Always remember, an editor is there to make your work stronger, more sale-able. I approach edits with joy as the end product is one I feel proud to release. If you have questions or comments, please list them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.
Oh, I almost forgot, Guarding Flint is still on sale at the preorder price of $2.99 for a limited time.
Just click on the cover or the link below and you’re there.
The single most often asked question of me as an author is, “Where do you get your inspiration?” I usually just give a flippant, “Anywhere and everywhere. Life. Look around you.” But in all honesty, the first book I wrote for adults, Love on the Rocks, came about while I was doing typing tests to get the flexibility back in my hand after my thumb had been amputated. The Hopewell Rocks tourist attraction is only about a half hour drive from where I live and I’d been there many times over the years. I’d never heard of a romance being located there – and believe me, I’ve read plenty.
I ran across a typing test involving beaches and I immediately thought of The Rocks at Hopewell Cape. As I painstakingly retyped the copy with a sore hand, an idea sprang to mind and I quickly shifted gears. I can do this. I can write a novel about The Rocks. Seven weeks later, my thumb still wasn’t co-operating fully, but I had finished and edited a 63,000 word novel.
Boy, was I impressed! Up until that point, I had written poetry, short stories, and books for children, but never had I taken on a project of such magnitude. As my mom would say, “I was feeling my oats that day.” 🙂
Everybody that read that book encouraged me to submit it. So I did, and suffered through rejection after rejection. I kept reading posts about how a writer learns something new with every book they write. So, I set my ‘baby’ aside and started on another. Surely, I had another story in me.
Daydreams & Night Scenes was the next novel I wrote and, although it has not yet been published, it’s on my to-do-list for editing and publishing.
A few years ago, I studied and registered to be a foster parent. I got thinking of that one day. Quite often, foster homes are situated next to more affluent homes, as mine was, although I had a ranch style bungalow that I loved. What if a poor foster child fell in love with the neighborhood rich boy? But he never noticed her, until…they attended a business conference at a swanky hotel years later.
Yep, that was the start of my idea for the new novel. By then I’d learned about GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict) and did up a GMC sheet for my story. For me, but maybe not for all authors, a GMC Sheet includes:
Setting: Jot down the location and anything else that puts a firm picture in mind. City? Country? Ranch? Farm?
Heroine: Who is she? What does she work at? What does she drive? Where is she from? What does she look like? What is her goal? Her motivation? What conflict will arise that might keep her from getting it? Does she have any flaws? How does she need to grow or what does she need to overcome in order to reach her goal?
Hero: Same as for heroine. We need our readers to love the main characters, so give it your best shot.
Plot: What makes your story unique? Develop the plot here.
Sub-plot(s): If any, list them.
Black Moment: That point of no return when the main character(s) think all is lost.
Resolution: How will you fix it? What is going to tie it all together and give them their happy-ever-after?
Tag line or Log Line: (for marketing purposes.) Have you thought of one?
Writing is a lot of work and has a continual learning curve. It’s research, writing, more research, more writing, and when the story is finished and you think you’re done, then comes the editing. And the submissions. And the rejections. Make sure you have broad shoulders if this is the career path you’ve chosen. Remember, you can’t please everybody.
It feels as if I’ve been waiting for this day forever!
On Saturday, December 12th, (tomorrow!) I will be doing my very first public book signing. To say that I’m a little nervous doesn’t quite cut it. 🙂 Yet, I’m totally excited and looking forward to meeting other local authors and readers.
The Author Fair is being held at The Moncton Public Library in the Blue Cross building on Main Street. It’s from 1 until 4 in the afternoon. A great time to purchase books for the readers on your list. Parking is at the rear of the building.
I attended the first one they had, but found out about it too late to book a table. Not this time. I kept an eye on their page and booked a spot just as soon as the notice appeared. 🙂
So many new authors. Plenty of books to choose from. Several genres were represented. It was awesome!
If you’re in the area during the event, please stop in and say, Hi. No cover charge or dress code required. 🙂 Look forward to seeing you there.