Thursday, October 15, 2020

Facts Will Free Up Your Fiction - by Marlene Baird

Find it on amazon HERE

Every author has been asked, “How did you come up with that story?” The favorite of my novels, The Filigree Cross: The Salvation of Larry Broadfellow, came to me while channel surfing. On the TV screen, a televangelist was exhorting listeners to open their wallets so that Heaven would be open to them. Though he said all the right words, he was clearly bored with the message, and distracted by the fit of his coat jacket. Several times he flexed his shoulders and pulled at the collar. It made me wonder at the dressing-down he might get from his PR people when they saw this performance. So I had my next protagonist, Larry Broadfellow, failed televangelist.

Unfortunately, Larry came to me as an orphan. This stumped me. I said to my husband, “I don’t know anything about orphans; I don’t think I’ve ever known one, but my character is an orphan.” My husband, eager to end the dilemma, said, “Well, you’re the writer. Give him parents.” I wandered off knowing that would not work. Larry was completely and utterly alone. I went ahead with the story, still worried about the orphan situation.

At that time I was not a U.S. citizen. I was a green-card-carrying Canadian living in the U.S. These cards were being counterfeited so much that we were all required to get new ones. It only took me four years to accomplish this. At some point in this four-year period, I was sitting in a massive room in downtown Phoenix with several hundred others, waiting for my number to come up, so that, once again, I could have a futile conversation with an immigration agent. I was sitting on an aisle seat, and a gentleman in a wheelchair rolled up and stopped beside me. The gentleman and I began talking. When I said I was a writer he had the usual questions, and the conversation shifted to me. I told him about my orphan problem. He told me he had grown up in an orphanage in Minnesota, a facility that was also a farm. He told me everything I could ever want to know about his younger life.

I used very little of the information in my story since it was a small part of the book, but from that day forward my story almost wrote itself. Larry Broadfellow was now full-blown in my head. I now knew how he became an orphan, all about his childhood, how he was almost adopted, what happened to him when he aged out of the orphanage. None of this was the gentleman’s story; it was all made up. It was knowing I was working with a solid foundation that gave me confidence and freed up my fiction. Larry has stayed with me and become more real to me than any other of my characters. The novel, The Filigree Cross: The Salvation of Larry Broadfellow was a finalist in the Southwest Writers novel competition.

About the author: Marlene Baird is a long-time member of Arizona Authors Association, and a judge for our annual writing contest. She has won the contest for both a novel and an essay. Marlene also enjoys writing short stories, having taken 3rd place in the Lorian Hemingway writing contest in 2008. She lives in Prescott with husband, Bob. Find out more about Marlene at http://marlenebaird.com/ Marlene’s Books: Murder Times Two -The Filigree Cross - Minnie and the Manatees - Claire Walker.


Monday, October 12, 2020

New Release: Courses of the Cursed A Curtis Jefferson Novel by Vince Bailey

Courses of the Cursed
A Curtis Jefferson Novel
by Vince Bailey

Get it from amazon HERE


African American youth Curtis Jefferson is still serving his one-year term at Fort Grant, a penal outpost for boys-a place where a horrific massacre still haunts the inhabitants. In the second book of the Curtis Jefferson series, our hero continues to be challenged by a murderous fellow inmate, Harvey Huish, a torment that leads to a brutal confrontation. Meanwhile, in nearby Oracle Mesa, café owner Isabel Cienfuegos struggles with a premonition that her nephew, Ray, will be the victim of a treacherous plot. The parallel stories, related by the same storyteller, share a common theme: the curse of Fort Grant.

Vince Bailey's award-winning Path of the Half Moon-the first book in the series-is a paranormal historical fiction tale set in a remote detention facility for wayward boys in the early sixties. Winner of the Arizona Authors' Association Literary Award and the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Paranormal and Supernatural Fiction, the Curtis Jefferson series presents an edgy and thrilling escape from the ordinary.

About the author: Vince Bailey is a writer and construction manager who grew up in Central Arizona in the late 1950s. His youthful escapades in the copper state climes contribute significantly to the nostalgic flavor of his fiction creations. The author's adolescent haunts of yesteryear, tracing around the east side of Mesa, crop up frequently as facets of his fictitious hometown of Jacobs Well, the anchor location of several of his stories. Path of the Half Moon is his inaugural novel, the first of a paranormal/historical fiction series that make up his Fort Grant Trilogy. Mr. Bailey currently resides in Peoria, Arizona, with his wife, Rita. Find out more about Vince on his Amazon page, his Arizona Authors Association Biography Page, or on his website, vincebaileyauthor.com

Friday, October 9, 2020

New Book Release: Confessions of a Unificationist by Jo Ann Crooks

CONFESSIONS OF A UNIFICATIONIST
By Jo Ann Crooks

 Most of the past publicity about the Unification Church (Unification Movement), and Reverend Moon has been negative. Jo Ann attempts to give an understanding of what this movement is all about, based on her experiences, and as seen through her eyes, and explain what made her and thousands of American young people join this movement.

She also tries to give a basic understanding of the Divine Principle (the teachings of Reverend Moon). She says, "I believe if the world knew even the basics of the Principle, we could see the way to peace on earth, as we could overcome the things that divide us now."

The chapter on "What We Believe" deals with questions humans have been asking from the beginning of time, including who or what God is, the purpose of life, our spiritual and physical bodies, spiritual growth, life after death, the origin of evil, the truth about the life of Jesus, the purpose behind human history, and the mission Reverend Moon said he was given by Jesus on a North Korean mountainside in 1936 when he was sixteen years old. The purpose of giving this basic understanding is to help make happy individuals and families at a time when so many people feel there is no purpose in life or ability to save this world from destroying itself.

Jo Ann also explains the meaning of the "Blessing," which refers to the well-known group wedding ceremonies, a hallmark of the Unification Movement. She was matched by Reverend Moon to a Japanese groom, and they participated in the Blessing ceremony of 2,075 couples in Madison Square Garden, New York, in 1982.


About the author: Jo Ann is a native Arizonan, born in Phoenix. She started writing poetry and winning awards while in grade school. In high school, she helped publish a poetry anthology, contributing several pieces. She was also a past columnist for the Arizona Authors Association and her feature, Member’s Spotlight, was well received. A graduate of Phoenix College, Confessions of a Unificationist is Jo Ann’s first published book.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Should you write long or short series - by Vijaya Schartz

I wrote many series, some as short as two books (the Archangel twin books), others as long as eight novels (like the CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE, based on Celtic legends). New authors, and sometimes readers, ask me how long a series should be. There is no universal answer to that question. A series, like a book, should be as long as needed to tell the whole story. 

Curse of the Lost Isle - Celtic legends


The number of books also depends upon the characters. 

If they are the same characters throughout the series, is each novel a continuation of the previous book? The author cannot hold the reader without resolution indefinitely. That is how some TV series that started strong lost their momentum when the writers dragged the story too long before offering some kind of explanation or resolution. 

On the other hand, if each novel is a complete story, the series can go on much longer. A few authors have successfully published dozens of novels in the same series that way, some were later adapted for TV series, like Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles. Harry Potter also comes to mind, but as it features children, and children do grow up, that series was limited from the start. As for characters like James Bond, they can probably go forever with many different incarnations as each generation gives it a different twist. 

Sometimes, each book come with its own set of fresh characters, in the same setting, with a link to the previous and future books. That’s the case for my CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK series, where each book is an independent story with a different hero and heroine. The six novels are set on the same planet, a few centuries apart. For those reading them in the right order, they get to see the evolution of a group of marooned human settlers into a fully grown society, with its particular culture, facing ups and downs, struggling for their independence and for their rights, amid defeats and victories, until the series comes full circle in its unexpected but logical ending. 


My longest series (eight novels) is The CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE, based on Celtic legends. Since my ladies are immortal (related to Morgan the Fay), they reappear in different times in history. The first two books tell the story of Pressine the Fay. In book two, she has three daughters, subsequently featured in the following books. Melusine the Fay has four books, as she appears in different places at different times in history (books 3-4-5-8). Her sisters, Palatina (book 6) and Meliora (Book 7) each have one story to tell, so they only have one novel.
 
Ancient Enemy sci-fi series

Another technique is to write shorter series, related to each other. Three books is considered a happy number for a series. Easier to commit to for the reader. Some readers also like to only read series that are complete, as they do not want to wait until next year for the next book. The reader who enjoys a three-book series, will likely pick up the next series set in the same world they enjoyed the first time, like the Star Wars universe. 



This is the case for my BYZANTIUM series and AZURA CHRONICLES, set in the same universe with a few crossover characters. Byzantium is a space station, and Azura is a planet, existing in the same universe at the same time. 

Most of my series novels are standalones, and the reader can pick up any book and thoroughly enjoy it without missing anything. Then he/she can go back and enjoy the other books as well, even if not read in the chronological order. But if you are like me, you’ll want to read them in the right order to fully appreciate the arc of the bigger story behind the novels. 

On that note the first book in each of my series is currently discounted to $1.49 in kindle on amazon.

Enjoy the discounted reads!

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo FB 



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

New Book Release: HANNAH'S VISIONS by Sam Sterk, Ph.D

HANNAH'S VISIONS
by Sam Sterk, Ph.D

Get it on Amazon Here

Austin Macauley Publishing Publication
Release Date: September 30, 2020 

Hannah is a seventeen-year-old high school senior with everything going for her. She is charming, pretty, popular with peers, a loving daughter, an acclaimed artist, and has a crush on the boy of her dreams, Yigal. She is also a psychic. Lately, her visions disturb her greatly, especially when she sees grizzly crimes committed, including the rape and murder of a young lady, a near-fatal stabbing of another female, a police headquarters bombing, and she is being stalked by Leonid, whose goal is to extinguish her life. Hannah predicts her father, Yoni, a lead detective, will be assigned to investigate this case and apprehend Leonid. A murder is committed, a young lady is nearly fatally stabbed to death, and the attacker is after Hannah. So Hannah takes matters into her own hands. Find Hannah’s Visions on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other outlet

Sam Sterk, Ph.D., is a sport psychologist, psychoanalyst, and a certified master clinical hypnotherapist. Dr. Sterk's practice, Peak Performance Plus LLC, is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Additionally, Dr. Sterk also teaches medical hypnosis at a local medical university and is the immediate past president of ASPH (Arizona Society of Professional Hypnosis). Sam Sterk's published works include Sammy's Journey, a memoir about the author's early life struggles and triumphs in overcoming life-threatening asthma. Win! Get the Mental Edge Skills in Martial Arts is a sport psychology manual for martial artists. Peak Performance Plus, LLC https://www.peakplusaz.com https://www.samsterkbooks.com Email: peakplus@aol.com