Saturday, April 14, 2018

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story 4

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story

Viktor is my second favorite character. He emerged late, beginning to blossom in my mind well after I'd begun writing. As a result, in the earlier scenes he was little more than a placeholder. Later, he differentiated himself from the others, with his own distinct personality and objectives. His character has required much editing of the story, and requires more still.

I haven't yet worked out what will become of Viktor. Obviously, my original ideas were voided when Viktor finally stepped out from the background and began to assert himself, demanding a more significant place in the story. And it was justified; my earliest efforts made poor use of him indeed.

Sometimes characters materialize in my mind and become fully fleshed and three dimensional almost instantly, revealing themselves to me through and through in one go. Others take their time, taking shape slowly, revealing themselves to me layer by layer. Viktor very much fell into the latter category. Frankly, I suspect there are many more layers yet to go, and that only once he has fully made himself known to me will I be able to understand his place in the story and get about the business of editing the manuscript to reflect it.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story 3

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story 3

A lot of things happen in this scene, or are set up in this scene, that will be important in the bigger picture. Not the least of which is the tension between the various supernatural races. This is prevalent in most supernatural and paranormal stories, and it's something I've always hated. Essentially, it's racism, and I suppose we just accept it as normal because vampires and all the rest don't really exist anyway.

Part of this story, though, is Neasa's development. Not just her coming into her own power, but developing her as a person, which is be more and more important as the series progresses. She will need to decide who she is, what kind of person she is going to be, and then take a stand on some very significant issues. I started to get into some of that here.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story 2

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story 

If you missed the first post regarding this vampire story, it would be worth going back to read it.

In this segment, we begin to get a better look at Ranulf, and the deepening, widening problems facing Neasa.

I love Ranulf. In this story, he's probably my favorite character. It's always interesting to me which characters are my favorite, and which are the favorites of readers. Almost without exception, the readers favor someone else. That's true with this one. So far, for early readers, Ranulf does not rank as the top favorite, though he does make the list for most.

I had quite a bit of fun with him, and I'm very much looking forward to growing him and exploring his depth and reach in the next book. I also love the relationship that begins to develop between him and Neasa, which I'm also looking forward to growing in the next book.

Hope you enjoy this scene.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story 1

Excerpt: Untitled Vampire Story

Some of you may know this, others may not. In recent years, I've been more open about it, though I don't speak of it often.

Vampire stories are my guilty pleasure.

I can't remember when it began. Probably with Anne Rice and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a preteen. Either way, the damage is done now. I love vampire stories. Love them.

I love all the different versions of vampires, all the different rules authors make their vampires play by. Everything from "classic" Stoker-era Dracula vamps to Twilight's glittering ones to one version that explained vampirism was the result of nano bites in the blood which ensured the health, vitality, and youth of their host and which fed on blood. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files has yet another take on vampires. I enjoy almost all of them. (I fully admit some versions are better than others. I mean, really, glitter?)

For years and years I've been secretly toiling away, turning out dozens and dozens of vampire stories, some of them good, some of them just for fun. Some of the most interesting characters I've ever written can be found in these stories. But I've rarely told anyone that I've written them, much less had anyone read them.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Excerpt from a new novel 4

Excerpt: Untitled Serial Killer Story 

If you missed the first few posts regarding the serial killer novel, you should go back and read them first. They introduce many of the primary characters and include some background information on the story itself.

This scene squarely introduces the main story arc, which is the serial killer murders committed by the killer dubbed "The Sandman." Previously, the police believed they'd apprehended the Sandman, but with this scene, we see the killings have resumed. Obviously, this presents a host of new problems, and tensions immediately run high.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is the first serial killer murder mystery I've written. Serial killer stories are very overdone, and it's one reason I've stayed away from them, sticking with either one-off murders or a string of related murders that do not qualify as "serial." But every murder mystery writer has to write one, right? Anyway, there were parts of it I really did enjoy, parts that presented new challenges.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Excerpt from a new novel 3

Excerpt: Untitled Serial Killer Story

In this scene, we meet Emery Taylor and Sam Pawwannee. I love the character of Sam. And, actually, he's a combination of two other characters I've been playing around with for some time, searching for the right story in which to insert them. The right story never has come along, but blending them together to get Sam and to put Sam in this story seemed perfect. His entire storyline flowed perfectly, easily, and was as narrow and specific or as wide open and flexible as I needed it to be. That almost never happens and it makes me love Sam that much more.

Of all the characters in this story, Emery Taylor is the one most on the chopping block, so to speak. Or at least her storyline and background are. Initially, she filled a hole in the story. I liked the potential I saw and began fleshing her out, developing her into a bigger more substantial character, fitting her into larger story pieces. I'm not at all through with her, and in a second round of editing, I imagine much of her will change. I can't cut her entirely, at least, I won't. But her evolution is not yet complete, and while I have some ideas of what changes need to be made, I'm never entirely sure what the final outcome will be. These characters often have minds of their own and make their own demands during the writing and editing process.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Zoe Grey Novella: The Making of the Cover

Zoe Grey Novella Rookie: The Making of the Cover

As many of you know, Sabrina, my dear friend and exceptionally talented photographer, moved from Colorado to Texas several years ago. Sabrina took the photos for the cover for the first book I ever published, and thus began a wonderful and very successful endeavor. We’ve done four book covers, two novella covers, and two boxed set images since.

Here are the first three stunning book covers:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Excerpt from a new novel 2

Excerpt: Untitled Serial Killer Story

Here is another scene from the novel. As I mentioned perviously, these excerpts are unedited and that details may change in the future. This is one which will be most likely to change. But for now, it does introduce Nick Ryan, the forensic psychologist and one half of the broken relationship I wrote about earlier.

If you missed the first post, you can find it here. It contains the first excerpt as well as information about the story itself.

Hope you all enjoy this one. Nick is a character close to my heart, the idiot.

Nick Ryan sat back in his leather chair, the worn material moaning softly as he moved. He stared at the computer screen, an article from the Greendale Gazette staring back at him, the files, documents, and photos covering the desk forgotten. armed robbery thwarted by new resident. The story had made front-page news, but then, an armed robbery in a small town like Greendale was seriously big news.
He’d read the article twice. The first time, he’d felt a familiar, painful wrenching in his gut as he’d read Emery’s name. It was the same feeling he had every time he got one of her fan newsletters that he’d signed up for, or saw someone reading her books. The same feeling he got every time he glanced at her photo in the back of one of her books, or read her blog, or visited her website, or flipped through his own photos on his phone or computer.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Excerpt from a new novel

 Excerpt: Untitled Serial Killer Story

A couple years ago, I wrote a story about a serial killer and the investigation as told by the police as well as a forensic psychologist. The story is set in Denver and a fictional town in Northern Colorado, on the Colorado/Wyoming boarder. It has a much different feel from anything I've previously published. It's written in the third person, which I very much enjoy. Third person POV gives me the opportunity to bounce from character to character, scene to scene, and to different places in the timeline. It's a wonderful freedom, and every time I choose third person, I think I don't use it enough.

The pace is also a bit slower. The full novel is quite long, much more akin to crime and mystery novels published in the nineties or early two-thousdands, before the boom of electronic reading devices and the demand for instant entertainment. I also very much enjoy this, because it allows me much more time to develop the characters, their relationships, and their problems, as well as the central conflict, or story arc. The trick is always to keep things interesting enough the reader will stick with the story while unraveling things slowly enough it's not over in a few rapid-fire scenes. Essentially, it's the difference between a magnificent slow seduction and an intense quickie.