We All Have to Start Somewhere: May Merry-Go-Round Blog Post

The_Bad_Seed_Cover_for_Kindle

Whoa! Interesting topic. I published my first book, The Bad Seed, in 2012 and I haven’t gone back to look at it since. I’m a little nervous. Here’s the first page.

The front and back doors burst open in an explosion of sound.  Willa turned to look, her eyes wide and mouth open, knife still in hand, as men in black burst into the kitchen from the back hallway and from the living room. 

In shock and hardly breathing, she stood in front of the stove with the knife in the air.  They were all shouting, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife! Drop it!”  She finally regained enough presence of mind to drop the knife.  One of the men came rushing at her from the morning room, around the kitchen island and pushed her to the floor.  Before she knew it, he had a knee in her back and both hands pulled painfully behind her.  The handcuffs were tight and cold. 

She tried to relax even with all of the boots milling around her head.  Two of the SWAT team lifted her by her arms to stand.

Willa looked frantically around the room at all the men, “What’s going on?”

“Are you Wilhemina Hayes?” the one in charge asked as he stepped in front of her.

“Yes,” Willa tried to get her fear under control.

He read from a sheet of paper, “You are under arrest for violations of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2011, “otherwise known as the PIRA Extension Act of 2011.”

He read Willa her rights then looked around the room, pointing at one of the team members. 

“You, bag up this stuff on the stove.  Mrs. Hayes, do you understand your rights as I’ve read them to you?”

“Yes,” She didn’t think there was any point in dragging this out.

He turned to go to the front door.  “Come along with me Mrs. Hayes.”

 

To be honest, I’m pretty impressed! The opening is actually from later in the story, but I wanted to start the story with a bang and create the tension and reader concern for the main character right off of the bat.

I still want to do that but after my second book, I haven’t used that method of creating that first page hook again. Somehow I have the feeling it’s unfair to the reader to give them a scene out of sequence. I know it’s done in movies and on TV all the time but for some reason, I just don’t want to do that in my books.

The rest, the grammar, punctuation, point of view, and other technical stuff, are pretty good for a first book. I didn’t head hop or change from 1st to 3rd person, and with just one exception in the snippet, stayed in active voice. Yay!

There was some telling and not showing, but overall that first page looks pretty good. I guess I did a fair job after all, no need to be nervous.

What do you think? Were you hooked? Want to read more of the story? It’s up on many of the major ebook retailers. Available in paperback as well. You can use the links below to search for it.

Kindred Spirits released March 14th! I’m so excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today!  You can also see all of my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. Check out the rest of the tour starting at http://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/favorite-conventions-2016-merry-go-round-blog-tour/.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Favorite Conventions and Events: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Payson Book Festival 2015

Payson Book Festival 2015

I was about to say I’ve only ever been to one convention but then re-read the rest of the prompt. I can include National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). Not mentioned might also be Book Festivals. Well now, I think I have something to talk about.

InD'Tale Conference 2015

InD’Tale Conference 2015

Let me talk about my only convention. That was the In’DTale convention in September 2015. I went with a Romance author friend and I had a blast. First of all, there’s all the excitement of talking to other authors. They get it when you say you’re worried you can’t figure out the ending. They also have all kinds of great tips and tricks for writing, for marketing and promotion, and for, well, everything. There’s a lot of learning going on as well. There were workshops scheduled all day. I went to one titled How to put more Sex in your Book. It was a romance convention after all. Then there were the after-hours parties where we could get to know each other better. I’m still emailing and facebooking many of the women I met at that event. Definitely worth the money.

CNW_Participant

Then there is National Novel Writing Month. (NaNo) I did my first NaNo in November of 2011 and while I didn’t get into the forums on that site too much, I did look at the forum for Arizona Elsewhere. This is the spot for us Arizona authors that don’t live in one of the big cities. Here I met a lot of cool people and was invited to join their usual home, the Forward Motion writer’s group. I’m so glad I did. There was and still is a lot for the new author to learn and this group really helped me along the new author path. I haven’t missed a November NaNo or the Camp NaNo’s that have been held since. These are ready made groups ready to commiserate with your writer’s block, your search for just the right word or your lack of motivation for the day.

Book Fest032

Finally, let’s talk about Book Festivals. There was nothing in my area for book festivals. There were art festivals, art walks, art shops and art auctions but nothing for writers and I knew there was a writer community here, I just didn’t know where they were. So I decided to start a book festival. Talk about high energy. We held our first one last year in Payson, AZ and it was a huge success. People came in the morning and stayed all day they were having such a good time! We’ll be holding it again this year, July 23rd, at the Gila Community College. This was a fantastic opportunity for the authors to meet readers and create interest not only in their own books but in reading in general. I am so glad I dragged others into my mad plan.

One of these days I’m going to go to a SciFi convention. The Phoenix ComiCon is just down the highway after all! I can hardly wait.

Kindred Spirits released March 14th! I’m so excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads  or Chatebooks today!  You can also see all of my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. Check out the rest of the tour starting at http://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/favorite-conventions-2016-merry-go-round-blog-tour/.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

My Writing Origin: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Owl_using_Computer_by_RedPigeon via DeviantArt.com

Owl_using_Computer_by_RedPigeon via DeviantArt.com

This month’s topic is an origin story. How did I start writing? I’ve always written. Stories for school, a play when I was 13 that the school actually let me produce, fits and starts at books as an adult. The problem was I never knew how to get past the first couple of chapters.

That all changed in 2011. My daughter Elizabeth had moved in with us while she re-evaluated her life, and made friends with a lovely young woman, Jaime Raintree. Jamie is an author and she told Elizabeth about this writing challenge called National Novel Writing Month. She was going to participate and encouraged Elizabeth to do so as well.

Elizabeth told us about this challenge. “Write every day, 1667 words a day, and you’ll win the challenge. I’m going to do it.”

“How hard can that be,” I asked. I should have realized right then that karma was about to give me a boot.

“Hard, mom. If you think it’s so easy you should do it.”

Well, challenge issued and accepted.

I knew I needed a plan. The problem was still that I had no idea how to go about it. Not a problem. Elizabeth had a book, Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. I sped read the book as it was already the middle of October and following his suggestions, used the back of the closet door and a lot of sticky notes to plot out my first book, The Bad Seed.

It was hard as those of you who write could have told me back in October. Some days I was completely at a loss. Some days I knew exactly what I wanted to say. By the end of November I had my 50,000 words!

That NaNo was where I found the wonderful people of the Forward Motion writing group and a whole new world of writing. They suggested the Holly Lisle How to Revise Your Novel class. One that I was hesitant to spend the money on but was the best thing I could have done for myself.

Since that November of 2011 I’ve gone on to write and publish 13 books, another, Kindred Spirits, due out soon, and numerous short stories. I post a free flash story every week on my blog, ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

So that’s it! That’s how I got started. Do you write? How did you get started?

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com! Up next: L.C. Aisling.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

It’s January So That Means Goals!

Goals! Of course. It’s the start of the year and yep, I do have a list of things in mind to help guide myself along my writer’s course in 2016. You’ll note that I’m only talking about writing goals. I could put a lot of other goals in here but that would lead to chaos. Let’s just stick to the writing goals.

  1. Goal: Start an author interview post on my website for 2X per month.

Note: I began this process in November when I put out a call for authors who’d like to be interviewed. I posted the first interview on January 13th, one of our own Forward Motion authors, B. C. Mathews. I loved how she answered the interview questions. You can see that interview here.

  1. Goal: Submit stories to newspapers/magazines about my appearances before and after each appearance.

The thinking here is that this goal is one of several to help me increase my readers. It’s hard for most readers to find new authors. This is one way I can help increase my visibility.

  1. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2016

I had this as a goal for 2015 and only published two books. This year, though, I already have two books in the editing process, one book finished and resting before editing, and another book about 2/3 finished. I also want to do a collection, probably science fiction, of pieces I really loved and posted on my blog. I’d have to select those stories, polish them up or maybe even expand them, and then edit and publish. That leaves one more book. I’d like to do a Christmas book. I may draft that at the April Camp NaNo. I’ll see what I can think of between January and the end of March.

  1. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

I mentioned the April Camp NaNo in goal 3. But I like to do the July camp and the November NaNo as well. After all, I have to have something to publish in 2017, don’t I!

  1. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

Again, see goal number 3. I love to read Christmas stories. Aside from A Visit from St. Nick, the first Christmas story I remember was The Gift of the Magi, by O’Henry. I read that story in grade school and it always stuck with me. It’s become my yardstick for what a good Christmas story is all about.

  1. Goal: Submit a story to the 2016 FM Anthology.

This is one of those goals that may be out of my control. If Forward Motion doesn’t have a 2016 anthology, I want to submit a story to some other anthology. In any event, it will get done.

  1. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

This is another one that may be out of my control. The How to Write a Series class is dependent upon Holly Lisle’s health and her ability to finish writing the class. The other one, the World Building class, that one is within my control. So, it’s up to me to schedule the time to improve my writing!

  1. Goal: Submit at least 20 stories to contests/magazines in 2016

I might have been ambitious here. However, I have already subbed: Bell Ring, Rest (a poem), The Reunion, and Eavesdroppers, to various magazines. My stories Gold Dream and After Math were subbed in late December so I’m counting them for 2016 as well. That makes 6 stories out by mid-January. Not a bad start.

  1. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

May Story A Day is a writing challenge on the Forward Motion site. We can try for a story every day of May or set ourselves a goal. My usual goal is twelve stories. That way I can write short stories instead of just flash stories and I have a pool of stories to apply to number 8!

  1. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books to 12.

This goal works hand in hand with number 2. I’m trying to expand the number of readers of my books.

  1. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

This goal is a no-brainer. I’m the organizer of the event. Unless I’m deathly ill, I’ll be there.

You’ll notice I don’t have the goals in chronological order. I put them down as I thought about them. It doesn’t bother me that they’re not in order. I’ll get to all of them sooner or later. How about you? Do you have a few goals for 2016? What’s driving them? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara.

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry-Go-Round Blog Post: Conclusions

Goal by oscarsnapshotter via DeviantArt.com

Goal by oscarsnapshotter via DeviantArt.com

Goals? Arrggh, I haven’t looked at my goals since May, I think. Let’s see what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t. I feel like Santa, checking my list, lol! So much has happened to me this year I really need to think about what is new and what isn’t. I’m including May’s status first, then my current status.

Status:

1. Goal: Upgrade my blog site to a real website

MAY: The blog is half transformed. If you look for www.conniesrandomthoughts.com, you’ll find it but I’m having trouble getting into it from the WordPress side. I also want to dress it up better. Many of the cool things I had on my blog did not transfer over to the website. I have to figure all of that out. Stay tuned.

DECEMBER: The blog is now a website. I seemed to have lost all of the WordPress followers, maybe not, but I am signing up new followers so that’s a good thing. Goal achieved.

2. Goal: Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up.

MAY: No activity

DECEMBER: Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up. I haven’t begun selling from my own site, but I am selling directly on Gumroad.com which allows me to sell both paperback and ebooks. I have to sell the paperbacks from my home, which means I need a supply of each book on hand to satisfy any buyers. So far, I don’t have buyers but, that could change. I am also selling directly on ChateBooks.com. ChateBooks is a great, reader-friendly site. Every book has its own chat! So until my sales increase, I’m sticking with these options for direct sales. After that, I will re-examine selling directly from my own website. I’m calling this, goal achieved

3. Goal: Publish 6 books in 2015

MAY: One book published in January. One (from November) is being edited. The 3rd book in my brown rain series is drafted. A new series, All About Bob, has the first book drafted.

DECEMBER: I published a second book, Mystery at the Fair, in July. That was it. I wrote 2 novellas, and part of one novel and am finishing up a second novel manuscript from November’s NaNo. Hopefully next year I’ll get more out. Goal not accomplished.

4. Goal: Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo

MAY: Participated in April Camp NaNo! Yay, a small win for me.

DECEMBER: Participated in July’s Camp NaNo drafting Mystery in the Woods, which is not finished. Also in the November NaNo with my Zoe Ohale book. So this goal was achieved.

5. Goal: Produce a Christmas Book this year.

MAY: Working on my 2013 2YN story, Mrs. Claus. Maybe.

DECEMBER: Mrs. Claus is not completed. No other Christmas story was written. Goal not achieved.

6. Goal: Submit a story to the 2015 FM Anthology.

MAY: Had an idea, changed it, haven’t messed with it in two months. It may be part of the May Story a Day or the July CampNaNo.

DECEMBER: In late June I took a flash fiction I had written and as part of July’s CampNaNo, expanded it into a full short story. I did submit that to the anthology. Goal achieved.

7. Goal: Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

MAY: Still working on the How to Write a Series Expanded class. Holly’s been putting it together slowly, that’s what being on the beta group means. No matter. I don’t mind working slowly.

DECEMBER: With all of the July, September, and November activities and October’s vacation, I didn’t get back to the World Building Class. I also haven’t finished the Write a Series Expanded class as Holly got sick and then has been totally involved in a complete site rebuild and revisions of her major workshops. Will have to pick both of these back up in January. Goal not achieved.

8. Goal: Develop a schedule of contests for short story submission process

MAY: I have the schedule of contests. What I don’t have is good material to submit. Working.

DECEMBER: I have submitted to a couple of the contests from the list I generated before May. I didn’t feel I had a lot to send off.  Goal achieved.

9. Goal: Participate in May Story A Day

MAY: Participating in MAD. So far 4 stories drafted.

DECEMBER: Completed 10 flash and short stories in May. I thought that was pretty good. Goal achieved.

10. Goal: Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books.

MAY: Appeared at an Arizona Professional Writers lunch in February. Did a book signing locally in March. Plan on a book release in July and an appearance at the Payson Book Festival on July 25th. Have my tickets and table for the InD’tale conference in September.

DECEMBER: I did the July book release, and was an author at the Payson Book Festival. I attended the InD’tale conference in September. In October, while on vacation, did a book signing in Gloversville, NY. In November I had a table at the November 14th VETFest in Avondale, and did a workshop in Pine for the Pine/Strawberry writer’s group. I also did a workshop in Camp Verde in November, Critiquing on a Shoestring. The addition of Gumroad.com and Chatebooks.com is also part of the increase in opportunities to get my name out there. Goal achieved.

11. Goal: Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author.

MAY: All ready to appear at the book festival.

DECEMBER: Participated. Goal achieved.

For me, 2015 was a year mostly successes! Three goals were not achieved but progress was made on them so I don’t feel too bad. How about you? Did you have a few goals for 2015? How did you do? What would you do differently? I’d love to hear your comments.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry-Go-Round Post: Favorites from 2015

Nettle pod 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Nettle pod 2015 by Randy Cockrell

Oh my! New stuff!

So much has happened to me this year I really need to think about what is new and what isn’t.

One thing that is new is my love of a new to me author, Nevada Barr. I started writing cozy fiction last year and published my first work this year. See the subtle nudge at the end of this post. Anyway, my brother-in-law lent me his collection of Nevada Barr stories set around her protagonist Anna Pigeon. I love this series. First of all Anna Pigeon is my kind of gal. She loves the outdoors, fancy dress is not for her and to be honest, she likes her cat better than most people. What is not to love? I’ve read mystery for years, starting with Miss Marple stories by Agatha Christie. Anyway, I thought it was time to read some newer stuff. There is SO much out there and to be honest, I love it all. Anyway. If you’re looking for some new mystery fiction, check out Nevada Barr.

Want to read more? Click here.
Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. I’m also selling directly. You can find my work on www.gumroad.com/conniecockrell.  If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads.com/conniecockrell. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, traveling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What I’ve Learned from my Favorite Authors

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Cover Reveal by Connie Cockrell

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Series by Connie Cockrell

Last month we talked about my favorite genre being Science Fiction. I read a lot before then but other than Gone With the Wind, which I first read at twelve, I don’t remember any of the stories. I was a regular at the classroom library and the school library but there was no lasting impression.

What did impress me was that box of books I mentioned last month. Notable in there were books of short stories by Robert Heinlein and Issac Asimov. I fell in love with Heinlein’s, Podkayne of Mars, and Asimov’s robot stories. In high school I dove into the much larger science fiction section. There I found Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula LeGuin. As a young adult I found C.J. Cherryh and Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon.

Now there are newer authors like Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Each of these authors is skilled at world building. They can transport me, for an afternoon at least, to another world. Usually one with more problems than we have right here but in the long run the hero or heroine saves the planet by challenging the status quo and insisting that their society do the right thing.

I suppose I’m in love with these authors’ ability to take a look at existing problems and come up with a new solution. They also alert us to the possible consequences of what we’re doing right now. Whether that’s environmental disaster or Artificial Intelligences, makes no difference. They can point and say, “Look! This is what might happen if we don’t smarten up!” This has influenced me greatly in my outlook on new technology and in my optimism that somehow, we’ll get through these problems.

So, for me, it wasn’t one author, it was the whole field of speculative fiction. How about you? Do you have an author who has influenced you? Share in the comments!

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What Genres do I like to Read and Write?

A New Start: A Gulliver Station Story

A New Start: A Gulliver Station Story

My very favorite genre is Science Fiction. When I was a young teen my friend received a whole box of SciFi books from someone who gave them away for a paper drive. I spent the whole summer with my nose in those books. I found the worlds fantastic and the ability of Science Fiction to explore an alternate way of life has not lost its charm for me yet.

I also like mystery stories. I discovered Miss Marple, by Agatha Christie when I was 19. I thought it was wonderful that an old lady was going around solving murders. This might have been the first time I was exposed to the idea that the elderly could do more than sit around in a rocking chair, knitting.

Then there are the westerns. I live in Zane Grey country and so many of his stories have been made into movies that I’ve lost count. Really, who doesn’t love Sam Elliott in a Zane Grey western? What I like about western stories is the thought of taking off from settled towns and cities and travelling thousands of miles in horse-drawn wagons and making a new life for yourself. Actually, westerns and scifi have a lot in common. The same themes seem to run through both genres.

Other genres I read? Thrillers, Spy Novels, Women’s fiction, Young Adult, I read it all. If the story sounds promising on the back of the book, I’ll look at the first chapter. After that I’m sold.

As to what I write? I’ve written SciFi: My Gulliver Station and Brown Rain series. I’ve written Fantasy: Lost Rainbows, and I’ve written Mystery: Mystery at the Fair, the first of my Jean Hays series. I’ve written westerns too, though only as short stories so far, and posted them on my blog. I haven’t tried my hand at a spy novel or a thriller yet. I have drafted a Young Adult, It’s All About College. It’s waiting to be edited.

What are your favorite genres to read?

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: What have I learned from other story-telling genres?

Fair Ride

Fair Ride

I’m an eclectic writer. While I love SciFi and write in that genre often, I don’t limit myself to just that form. What that means is, I need to be consciously aware of the tropes, the expectations, if you will, of every genre I write in.

A good example is my latest book, Mystery at the Fair. I’ve been reading mysteries and thrillers since I was a teen, right along with my SciFi and Fantasy. But I was never conscious of what it was about those stories that made them a mystery, rather than a SciFi or a Fantasy.

Of course, there’s the mystery. That much is obvious. But what makes it a mystery? Readers expect one thing from a mystery and something else from a SciFi. In my case I’ve written a cozy mystery, so the person doing the sleuthing is not a police officer or detective. I had to work to tease those expectations from my memory. There needs to be danger for my main character, she needs to have a self-interest in finding out who committed the murder. The mystery has to hold all the way through the book and there has to be a twist. The murderer cannot be the first person the reader expects, or even the second or third. Who are the other suspects? Why are they suspects, what are they hiding?

I had a lot of help from my editor. He kept making me go back and ramp up the tension, the mystery, and make sure everything tied together at the end.

So my major take-away from this last book is to be more aware of the reader’s expectations for the genre I’m writing.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Beach Reads

Beach, Scene, Randy Cockrell

Beach Scene by Randy Cockrell

I’ll have to admit. My To Be Read (TBR) pile is full of adventure stories. I like adventure, always have. These are the easy Clive Cussler, James Patterson, stories that just take you from scene to scene, leaving you breathless at the end. Then there’s the pile of cozy mysteries by Nevada Barr. I haven’t started these yet but they’re as much research into the current cozy mystery scene as they are pleasure reading.

After that are the TBR’s I have on Goodreads, modern SciFi and Fantasy by Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig. And the women’s fiction, such as Hild by Nicola Griffith.

If you’re a reader, you know what it’s like. There are so many books out there. The few I’ve mentioned here are just a light dusting of all of the stories I want to read. Then we get to the delivery method.

If you’re actually travelling this summer, you want to take a Kindle or ereader of some sort. Then you can read those novels as fast as you want because you can have hundreds of them on call, ready to read when you finish the last book. If you’re like me and vacation isn’t until October, I still want to get my reading fix. So, I pull from the pile on my bed stand and dresser. Probably about 3 square feet at this point. Then, of course, the large number I have downloaded onto our ancient Kindle. So many SciFi and Fantasy stories are there, just waiting for me to read them.

So, what’s the point? Easy. I have a book ready, at all times. And in multiple genres. Are they all literary gems? No, not so much. But I read for pleasure as well as for education. It’s OK to read fun stuff. Stuff that makes your heart race. Stuff that makes you wonder about how the world could be different. Stuff that takes you back in time and lets you get a feel for what it was like to live in a different era with different mores and culture.

So let’s read. The adventures, the scifi, the romances, it’s all good. Really. Pick up a book!

 

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr