Saturday, June 29, 2013

Don't Touch Sneak Peek

This week I'm taking part in Sneak Peek Sunday Hosted by Sara Walter Ellwood. The following excerpt is a sneak peek of six paragraphs from the psychic thriller Don't Touch. 

Dr Ryan Reign has unlocked a gift she calls a curse. Detective ackson Prince and his partner need her help to stop a serial killer before he murders again.

One problem Dr. Reign can't touch or be touched. She's become a recluse never leaving her home for fear of what she might'see'. Jackson knows he has to help her accept her gift or there will be more deaths.

It takes a woman's touch to catch a killer.

             As they cleaned up dinner Ryan’s eyes kept going to the folders on the coffee table. Jackson tugged her shirt sleeve. “Why don’t we give it a rest tonight?”
            Moving to stand looking down at the crime scene photo of Tina, Ryan shook her head. “That’s the problem, Jack. I’ve given it a rest for too long.”
             Pointing to a photo on the end table of Ryan and another woman at Disney posing with Tigger.  “That’s my sister, Amber. I’ve lost her; I’ve lost all of who I was. I gave up.”
            Jackson came over and stood next to her. “So what are you going to do about it?”
            Looking at the photos again she took a deep breath feeling like she was jumping out of a plane without a parachute. “I’m going to get a life back. It can’t be the same one but I can’t live in these four walls for the next sixty or so years. Do me a favor, if for some reason I can’t let go take the picture from me.”
            Before he had a chance to protest she picked up the picture of the murder weapon and touched the two dimensional knife. There was a blink of the photographer; he was tired, pulling a double shift. The next was a glimpse of a gloved hand setting the knife beside the victim. Heavy duty work gloves, not latex. The knife was set down with care so the blade was pointing at the victim’s feet. Then she was just looking at the picture again. She opened her fingers and let it fall to the table.
            Her hands were trembling as she processed the visions and what they were. “I did it. I saw him or her. I saw someone.”

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Final Countdown of Round 2 ROW80

Round 2 of Round of Words in 80 Days 2013 drawing to a close. The next check in will be the first of Round 3- 2013. A chance to launch a new set of goals to conquer in 80 days.  This final countdown is a chance to review and most importantly acknowledge the successes and failures of the last 80 days.

Round 2 Goals
1. Finish the Blogging from A to Z challenge
Success! This was my third year participating in the challenge and the first time making it through all 26 letters.

2. Make my 25k word count set for Camp NaNo
Nailed it! Camp NaNo 2013 unveiled some great new features this year. One of the best being the ability to set your word count for the month. My goal of 25k wasn’t to finish a manuscript so much as to give it a good kick start, and, it did just that.

3. Complete the above mentioned novel rough draft by the end of Round 2.
Fail. The novel has made progress beyond Nano but LIFE decided to break loose right about the beginning of May and hasn’t stopped. The novel didn’t get finished but the story is still moving when I can get my muse and LIFE to cooperate with me. I’m not worried though, I’ve talked to the characters about it and we’re going to gang up on Muse and LIFE and show’em who’s boss next round.

4. Complete 2 classes in school
Done deal! I’ve been taking classes for a degree in hospitality management. I’m two classes closer to the end and hopefully a job with a nice enough paycheck to support the creative in me. Not to mention supporting my addiction for notebooks, notepads and cool pens/pencils. :o)

5. Clean out my bedroom closet.
Fail. The pit of mementos and stuff that hasn’t been seen or used in years.  The closet is still stuffed full of … stuff. *sighs … So much stuff. How does so much stuff get in there? Surely it’s not all my stuff. If there’s a monster living in there he’s probably stuck under something piled in the tiny room of omg I forgot I had that closet.

The past 80 days have been filled with many ups and downs, fantastic feats, showers of blessings, and omg why me moments. Most important I’ve learned new things and have a renewed sense of personal success with every goal met or failed. So in a few days Round 3 will launch on a positive note with new goals and challenges.

I’m ready are you? 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What's in your characters pockets?

What’s in your character’s pockets?

The more detail you have about a character the more real they become to your readers. That doesn’t mean you have to spill all those juicy little details. There is such a thing as TMI (too much information) for fictional people too, but only on the readers side.

The more information an author has the stronger they can build the story elements. Characters being the most important, with out them our plots would go nowhere. Writers have a standard set of information on a character.

We know if their handsome, what color hair they have, where they grew up, if a life event brought them to where they are now. All those things are needed and shape the character but what about the tiny details that make us real.

It is said that the things we carry around in our purses or pockets everyday can tell a persons story all on their own. Not so sure about that but pocket contents can be very telling about the person’s likes/dislikes or a bit about their personality.

Let’s take a look at my mess purse contents and see what they have to say.  *dumps mini messenger bag style bag and hopes there’s nothing embarrassing.*

 Let’s see.. with all the pens, notebook, and author cards you can tell I’m a writer. That I have asthma by the inhaler and cough drops.  I like Pirates of the Caribbean, Russell Crowe and Adrian Paul *blushes as her fangirl obsessions are reviled. 

By the Sponge Bob lens cloth I wear glasses, the batteries would be sitting with the camera but I had to use that to take the pic :o) Never leave the house without it. Now you know about me… your turn.

Take your purse and pour out the contents or empty your pockets. You might find five bucks you didn’t know about in the bottom like I did. This can be a very lucrative exercise. What little details fall out of your pockets?

Now let’s turn it around on our characters. What would your hero carry around with him every day in his jeans? What are your heroine’s must haves when she leaves the house?

For an example we’ll make Jackson Prince from my novel Don’tTouch empty out his pockets. Come on Jackson don’t be shy.

*he grumbles dumps out his pockets…  He can be cranky when he hasn’t had enough coffee. :o) Let’s see what we’ve got here… Keys, wallet, change, some bills in a worn money clip, handcuffs, rubber gloves, a couple small empty evidence bags, and a pocket knife.

‘Looking’ at this pile of junk you can deduct he’s a cop, but there’s a little more if you examine it. He carries the essentials nothing more so he’s not a complicated guy, likes things to be simple even though they never are. The worn money clip says a lot on its own, as most men will put their bills inside their wallets.  The clip is more than likely a memento, something with personal meaning. (if you want to know the story of Jackson’s money clip you’ll have to read Don’t Touch to find out :o)  That adds a detail to the character that a reader might relate to him.

We all have those standard items we carry but it’s those little extras like a money clip, photograph, engraved pen, lucky coin, or religious item that can tell a bit about who we are. Or who our characters are, making them more realistic and relatable to readers.

Now it’s your turn. What’s in your characters pockets?