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/.

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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

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour December 2012 – My Favorite Books for the Year

This month the discussion is on my favorite book or books of the year.  This last spring I was taking a course on How to Revise Your Novel (by Holly Lisle) and during one lesson she recommended a book by George R.R. Martin, The Game of Thrones. (Yes, the one that’s now an HBO series.)

I’ve been reading Science Fiction since I was twelve and for some reason, I’d never come across one of his novels.  So I get the book from the library and I was blown away.  He tells the story from the point of view of different people, each chapter from a different point of view.  This is a pretty unique way to write a story and is quite effective for this series.

What I like is that you see the same event from different perspectives and the characters have different opinions, depending on what they’re plans are, on how the event affects them.

I’m now on the fifth book of the series and all of the threads of the story are beginning to come together.  I can hardly wait to see how Mr. Martin resolves all of the differing plot lines.  If you haven’t had a chance to read this series, I recommend it.  But reader beware, there is a lot of violence in the books.

Happy Reading!

If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.  http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com/  The next post is on the 19th by Jean Scharra

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