Posts Tagged ‘Novel’

Interview with Michael Shean author of Shadow of a Dead Star

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Oh happy day! Michael Shean, author of Shadow of a Dead Star, stopped by the pub today to talk science fiction. Now if you’ve hung out in the pub before you know that only a few science fiction writers have made their way onto my bookshelves and Michael Shean is one of them. I love noir stories and the way he’s combined the two into a gritty and captivating story just blew me away. With that said, I’m super excited to have him here to talk about the possibilities of merging human with machine. And the best part about the interview? The Balvanie Scotch Michael has introduced me to. So pull up a barstool, grab yourself your favorite drink and listen up. Oh, and if you stick around after the interview I hear Michael’s buying a shots of Jaegermeister for everyone. Is this guy great or what? ;)

KD: Where did the inspiration for Shadow of a Dead Star come from?

MS: I was in a dark place a few years back, very angry with certain aspects of the world and how it was affecting myself and other people I knew – I started having strange dreams about the future, and I came to feel very distant from people and society.  Shadow is an artifact of that alienation.

KD: Your novel, Shadow of a Dead Star and your serial, Bones Wires, both take place in a futuristic Seattle. What is it about this time period and Seattle that draws you to set your stories there? 

MS: At the time I just thought Seattle was a good place to set the story.  It can be beautiful but also very grim and dreary, and I had friends who lived there talk about the penetrating gloom that they felt after living there for a few years.  It’s the paradox of the area that draws me there: I hear stories of isolation and despair, but also stories of vibrance and color.  I try to capture that, and I hope that I’ve done the city justice.

KD: You combined the darkness of noir with the endless possibilities of science fiction to create a bleak future full of illusions and disconnect. Is there a message hidden within your words regarding the path that we’re on in respect to technology?  (more…)

Romance Genre Challenged! Is There a Support Group? by Holly Bush

Monday, January 30th, 2012
Holly Bush

Good day and happy Monday, friends! Today I'm shining the spotlight on Holly Bush author of Romancing Olive. To say that one is a romance writer is no longer enough, there's always that follow up question of, "But what kind of romance do you write?" In Holly's post she discusses the genre and the influx of sub-genres that seem to be taking over. Enjoy!

Romance Genre Challenged! Is There a Support Group?

Let me preface this by saying I don’t care what anyone else reads or does in the privacy of their own bedroom or spaceship.

But the new sub-genres of romance books are downright confusing and sometimes I have to think really hard  to imagine, envision or even process the categories of cross-genres. As I was trolling the other day on a book selling site, I found an author that billed herself as LGBT Dystopian Paranormal author. Doesn’t it get crowded with this many people or vampires in the same bed/coffin? Will the government be watching and take away one of the participants leaving . . .  uh . . .  I’m not sure who we started with or who they had an affinity for.

One part of me just wants to tell folks, hey, read the jacket blurb and see if you’d think you’d like the story. Don’t be hemmed in by search sorting on the internet. On the other hand, there are just so many books out there, especially with the boom in the self publishing world that a poor reader needs to narrow down the 20 gazillion books to ones they might be interested in. So authors try and help the reader along by identifying their book in a variety of searchable categories.  (more…)

Sex and Car Crashes: The Making of Headhunters by Charlie Cole

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Happy Monday and Happy New Year, friends! I thought I’d start the year off by letting my dear friend Charlie hijack my blog for his post.

Ok, lets face it, I’m still hung over from the weekend so anything from me would just be the random letters my forehead hit as it slapped against the keyboard. So, instead of making you read that drivel, Charlie was kind enough to supply content for my blog today. Thank you, kind sir, I owe you one! 

Without further ado, here is Charlie’s post, enjoy! 

Sex and Car Crashes: The Making of Headhunters

They say “write what you know”. It’s good advice. It’s meant to enhance the credibility of your writing, make it sound more authentic. The painful reality though is that even if you were a lawyer like John Grisham, chances are your firm didn’t try to have you murdered. You still have to make a leap from the mundane, everyday life to the tales of mystery, murder, mayhem, undying love, loyalty, and passion.

I came from a background as a professional headhunter. I recruited top talent from competitors. Does that make me uniquely qualified to write about covert government agencies and gunfights?

Hardly, but I came from a home where it was commonplace to spend time at the gun range. My father was a member of a range that was owned by the government, so I had the opportunity to not only shoot, but be taught by the US Marines that practiced there. Nothing like taking down targets at 600 yards with a Remington 700 rifle. (more…)

Back to Reading

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Leave it up to me to make a liar out of myself. Two weeks ago I posted a story about my love of reading entitled Books, Books, Books…And Books. In the post I shared my love of the written word and how I can knock back between 5 and 8 books a week. I’m ashamed to say that since writing that post I’ve read a total of ZERO books.

I don’t know what happened. It used to be that if I didn’t read something during the day I would get cranky. How is it possible to go from reading everyday to reading nothing? I’ve bought books during this time, in fact I’ve bought 18 books to be exact. So, I guess I still have a problem there. Phew. It’s good to know some things don’t change. ;)

Most of those books were written by fellow writers I’ve met on Twitter and I am genuinely excited to read their works. However, when I sit down to read one my mind starts wandering and I end up staring at my Kindle.

I have also noticed that in these past two weeks I’m finding it increasingly difficult to write. Connection? Most likely.

When I was reading I was inspired, I was constantly surrounded by words and ideas. Now, I feel like a zombie just going through the motions of my day waiting for night time to come so I can go to bed only to wake up the next day to repeat the monotony.

Sparky has asked me countless times if there is anything on my mind. I give him the honest answer, “nothing”, because there is honestly NOTHING on my mind. It’s like a fog up there.

However, due to a back injury last week I have had plenty of time to lie around thinking about my dilemma.

This is a very busy time for me. The show I’m involved in opens at the end of the month meaning that the pressure is on to fulfill my responsibilities for the publicity committee while making sure I have mentally prepared perform on the stage.

I have recently joined my church’s choir to help out with Easter services. Why I added this to my plate, I don’t know? Oh wait, yes I do. Its because I can’t say ‘no’. To anyone…ever.

Even my gym time that is supposed to be a chance for me to get away, has been adding to the stress. I’m rushing to get everyone dressed, fed and out the door so I can make it to class on time.

I’ve concluded that by the time I get to sit down to either write or read I’m completely brain fried.

Lucky for me, I hurt my back. This injury is making me stop running from rehearsal to rehearsal to the gym to play dates and just lie around and get better. Today, after 4 days of recouping on the sofa, I decided to pick up a book..er, well, my Kindle, but you get the idea.

It was like running into an old friend and picking up right where you left off as if those years in between weren’t there. My Kindle felt right in my hands as I snuggled into the warm embrace of my soft sofa. I forgot about all my responsibilities, I forgot about my back pain, I forgot that it was raining outside and I left the windows open – none of that mattered.

What mattered was that I was becoming inspired again. I felt my brain working, taking in the words and envisioning the scene as it played out in my head. It felt good. It felt damn good.

Am I ready to go knock out 2,000 words tonight? Probably not, but I do have some ideas that I jotted down and that made me feel good. All I can say is that I’m back to reading and I’m confident that my ability to write without hesitation isn’t that far behind.

 

 

Where Have All the Words Gone?

Monday, April 4th, 2011

This is something I’ve never had to deal with before and its freaking me out.

Here I sit with my computer before me all ready to lay down the words that have been living inside my mind for the past four weeks. I’m ready to give a voice to the dark haired man with eyes that flash a vibrant blue at unsuspecting women causing extreme confusion and frantic calls to optometrists.

Yet, here I sit. I’m staring at the blank page with that cursed black cursor and nothing is happening. Nothing. I can’t think about how to start the story but yet, I do. Are you confused yet? Because I sure am.

I’ve been talking about the opening scene and following chapters so much lately that the words should just be pouring out of me. I’ve set the opening up in my head that I can see it right now. However, when I go to put my thoughts into words nothing is fitting.

I’ve tried just writing hoping that the words will just come to me; that I just need a kick start. It didn’t work. I felt the writing was so bad it was distracting me. In fact, everything is distracting me.

The woman blowing her nose so loudly that I’m waiting for an elephant to come charging in looking for his mate is distracting me. I’m thinking about how I just spent $115 at Old Navy and how I need to return some things before Sparky finds out.

But what I’m really thinking about is that I’m not good enough.  I’m thinking I’m fooling myself into believing that I can do this.

I really hate thinking this way. So, before I started writing this post I tried writing little exercises to get the juices flowing. Its like the well has run dry. How is that possible?

Like I said, I dream about this story but when it comes time to writing I freeze.

Am I putting too much pressure on myself to write?  Am I comparing myself to other writer’s and their writing habits? Is it because I can’t write everyday I feel I’ll never be where they are?

The answer to all three is “yes.”

I just want to be good, who doesn’t? I just want the confidence to write my story without comparing myself to others. I used to write for me, I don’t know when I stopped, but I did. And it sucks.

But I’ll keep trying. If I don’t these characters will never leave me alone; which is good. Somebody needs to give me a swift kick in the butt. Too much complaining and not enough writing, right?

Do you ever get into a funk with your writing? How do you get out of it? Do you keep on writing every day no matter what comes out of it, or do you allow yourself to take a break now and then?

Twitter: An Online Support Group For Writers

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Last week I reviewed a book by Steve Umstead, a writer I met on Twitter. I don’t remember how I started following him, but I’m glad I did. Steve would tweet about the book he published and with his every tweet I got a little more curious about the novel. Even though the story was sci-fi, a genre I know nothing about and usually don’t want to know anything about, I downloaded it for my Kindle.

I won’t go into how much I liked the book, for that you can go to over to my corner shelf and read the post there, but I did like – a lot. By talking to him on Twitter I was introduced to other writers of that genre and started to talking to them as well. The same thing happened. I found myself downloading several other books that are currently burning a hole through my Kindle waiting for me to read them.

I first joined Twitter because that’s what “they” say you should do when starting up a writing career. Get out there, show yourself and your writing to the world. Make friends, give support and in turn you’ll get support back, hopefully.

I have to say it works.

The one writer I talked to asked where she could find my books. If I could have reached through the computer and kissed her I would have. It would have been creepy afterwards, I mean, really, how do you back out after something like that? A nice woman would be sitting in front of her computer giving support to someone whom she thought was a normal person and this crazy redhead jumps out of her computer wanting to kiss her in gratitude. Embarrassing.

I got so giddy when I saw that tweet pop up. However, the ever grounded Sparky was there.

“She wants to know where she can find my book!”

“Um. You don’t have a book yet.”

Gee, thanks for the reminder. But that wasn’t the only reason why I got excited.

I got excited because I made a connection. Everyday I stay at home with my kids and although I wouldn’t change that for the world it can get a bit lonely without adult contact. When I go on Twitter I can talk to other adults about things that are of a common interest.

Knowing that there are people out there that are going through the same things that I am make me feel supported. Knowing that there are people out there that are where I want to be and are willing to talk with me about their experiences gives me something to shoot for.

Sparky’s right, I don’t have a publishable book right now, but I am working on one. It’s amazing that there are people out there that are curious about my work because of conversations that I’ve had with them. It makes me want to write even more.

The support I’m finding on Twitter is second to only the support I get from Sparky.

So, thank you Twitter friends for being there to motivate, inspire and support me. And for giving me someone to drink with while I write. ;)

 

My Escape to Panera

Monday, March 28th, 2011

If you follow me on the Have Coffee….Will Write blog you know that last week was a tough week for me as a mom and a writer. I was fed up with trying to do everything for everyone and not having any time for myself as a writer. I have to say that the response I got to the post was very supportive and inspiring, so if you visited the site and commented on my post, thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.

When I was at a complete loss last week, spiraling out of control inside my own mind, I did what any self-respecting writer would do. I turned to Twitter. I posed the question there, then again to the HCWW blog readers, asking them where they go when working at home just isn’t working out. Like I said in Friday’s post, I got the usual answers of coffee shops, libraries, parks to the not so usual, McDonald’s.

I’ve decided that although I absolutely love McDonald’s french fries, I opted for our local Panera Bread. I didn’t pick the best time to go, Saturday over lunch, but I must say, even though I shared the restaurant with 150 perfect strangers, I loved every minute of it. I ordered soup with a sandwich, a huge Pepsi, found a corner table and slipped into my own little paranormal world. It was amazing.

And quite surprising actually. The little table I found was situated by the door and with being there during lunch time, it seemed as if that door swung open every 30 seconds. Not only was the door constantly being opened, but with every person that came in brought a chill from the outside with them. The tables were full around me with gossiping teenagers, hungry children and deaf senior citizens. I did more writing in that crowded bakery then I have done in a quiet house with the napping kids. Who would have thought?

I sat for 2 1/2 hours and I outlined chapters with details, I thought up ideas for blog posts, I ate and drank way too much. No one wanted food from me, no one needed their diapers changed, the dishes were being taken away by someone else and I got to just sit and think. The noise and chaos around me didn’t touch me; I allowed myself to forget who I am and the responsibilities at home and just focus my attentions on my characters.

When I did come home I felt refreshed. The rest of the day I could dedicate to my family without feeling like I was forgetting to do something. There was no guilt trying to balance reading books to my children and writing a book for me.

I’m going to try a library next. We’re surrounded by several colleges, so I may check out them out (with their longer hours it may be more beneficial for me with writing at night.)

So, thank you friends, for being there when I needed you, your support and advice were greatly appreciated! Now, I’m off to make dinner.

 

My Writing Environment

Monday, March 7th, 2011

When I think of writers sitting down in their offices to write their next bestseller I don’t picture a dining room table littered with Barbie dolls, play food, notebooks, sippy cups and used tissues. But alas, that is my office.

We bought this old house back in 2005, before kids, before dogs, before I knew what I wanted to do with my life. We were like most young married couples, full of big plans for our home and completely stupid. We looked at this house and saw a blank canvas that we could make our own. While our parents tried their best to stifle their giggles and groans we tore down old plastered walls with reckless abandon in hopes of adding more bedrooms, blowing out the kitchen wall to make it bigger and live like kings. Well, we still only have the 3 bedrooms, the kitchen is still small and I haven’t had a front hallway, and thus use of the front door, in over 3 years. Our computer room is now in the bathroom’s closet. Oh, how I wish I were joking.

Back to the point of a writer’s office. I think most writers have a place where they can close away the rest of the world and just focus on their craft. Me? I have a dining room table that has yesterday’s oatmeal stuck to the sides and constant distractions in the form of young children around me. The scene below is a very common occurence while I’m writing…or trying to.

Both of my kids love to grab ahold of my leg and try to swing the chair around so they can climb up and sit on my lap. Usually I can distract them by pointing out a toy, a doll or some shiny technological gadget that their father has left out for them to go play with but that only lasts so long. Before I know it the following happens….

Yep. I cave. I pick her up and let her sit on my lap while I try to figure out how to type with one hand. Which never works because as soon as my hand goes to the keyboard, so does hers and she’s not as good of a typist as I am. Although, some of her edits are interesting and noteworthy.

But I try. Through all the distractions, the runny noses, the surprising plot twists that set me back in my story, to spending time playing princess for the thousandth time that day I make sure that each day I write something. Each night I set aside time to tickle the keys with my thoughts, hopes, ideas and hopefully, if I’m lucky, my characters.

It doesn’t matter what the space looks like when we sit down in it. What matters is that we sit, that we type, that we do what we feel we were meant to be doing and I am.