Hey! It was time to do an introductory post to let you know about my work.
I’ve been writing since 2005. So far I’ve been published in Splickety Magazine for flash fiction, and I’m a local columnist for the Post Register, a regional newspaper with a reach of 70,000.
I love a variety of genres. Currently I have a completed suspense novel, Darkness Under The Moonlight, about a medical student who travels to Thailand to discover the cause of her missionary brother’s death.
My current project is a YA superhero trilogy, with the first book almost to completion and a first draft of the second book. In the Bible, Samson had strength. Elijah outran chariots. Today we’d call these superpowers. In modern day San Francisco, an evil is rising that triggers an ancient prophecy, and teens suddenly find themselves with amazing abilities. But will they choose to use their gifts for good or evil?
I’ve done a lot of blogging, and you can find all my posts on this site. I’m also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Now that the glow from Realm Makers is wearing off, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. The inspiration of RM has me fired up with goals and dreams. I have to get them implemented.
A primary goal is to edit and revise the first draft of my YA story so it can be submitted. And writers just LOVE editing.
Some actually do. I like it when I get into making a story better, but it can be a slog as well.
One of the best decisions I’ve done with my writing is to work with freelance editors. On an early draft of my suspense, my heroine wasn’t likable. Thanks to Becky Miller, I was able to turn my main character around.
Then I worked with Ben Wolf after a couple of revisions of the full novel. This is where the nightmares set in.
See, Ben would see all the spots where I was telling something, instead of SHOWING what happened. Early in the book, he’d explain in his comments. As it went along, the code became:
I’ve had a couple dreams where I see red over the manuscript, and the continual admonition to “get physical.” And it’s a great code to remind me to not be lazy and just tell the reader something.
Of course there’s time for telling. I’m not going to show you every breath a character takes. But we writers need to be ever vigilant on letting bad habits slip in.
That’s my encouragement to my writer friends, especially those Realm Makers Alumni who are hard at work on their WIPs. Keep going. Remember what Robert Liparulo said.
And get physical.
Realm Makers is an amazing opportunity.
I just got back from St. Louis for the 3 day speculative fiction conference. In just three years, the staff has produced a high quality gathering that was informative, yet it was so welcoming and encouraging. As far as I can tell, there’s been universal praise for it from writers coming back ready to tackle the writing world.
If you look for posts from other attendees, you’ll see them rave about the fun, the great books and authors, the study of craft, and being fired up to keep writing.
I can say “ditto” to all of those, but Realm Makers stood out to me for a different reason.
They were the quiet moments.
Like meeting my new friend Herbert. He’s not a writer. He’s a homeless Vietnam veteran who I met on the train after arrival. We got caught in a downpour together, and we ended up sharing pizza and prayers the first night. I could’ve caught a group going to dinner if I’d gone right to the dorm. Instead, I had a cool moment with a guy in need, and with God.
I may seem outgoing in the crowds there, but I’m also kinda reserved. I don’t like to impose on people. But when I goofed and was waiting for the shuttle to get to my first pitch appointment, I had to be bold. Because I timed things badly and was waiting for the shuttle during its down time. No shuttle to take me 15 minutes away with 5 minutes to go (after I’d waited 20 minutes).
That’s when Pam came in.
She was a random lady getting into her car when a crazed author flagged her down and asked for a ride to the conference center a mile away. God bless Pam, as she didn’t hesitate, and I made it on time.
Probably a good thing I wasn’t dressed for the costume dinner.
I met so many cool people during the conference, or got reacquainted with friends I’d met before. But one time stood out. My roommate Josh Smith had his van, and was very kind to run us back and forth (he wasn’t there for the last story). We got time to share heart to heart, especially when talking about ministry we each did back home.
God is good, and He works through pizza, hitchhiking, and simple talks among brothers.
And Realm Makers rocks. I’m sure many others have their quiet moments as well. Anyone want to share?
When I hired a freelance editor this winter to help me with my manuscripts, one of the things he picked up on was my chapter endings. Early in the story I had a tendency to wrap up the scene at the end of a chapter instead of leaving people hanging for more. Toward the end of the book I did better with the cliffhangers, but I needed to stretch it all the way through the book.
I saw his point and worked on making sure I did more to make people want to read on. But then I started watching the show Arrow on the CW network.
Holy hanging by a thread, Batman.
The show is a modern version of the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. They’ve made him gritty, realistic, and the show is a mix of adventure and adrenaline mixed in with some amazing story hooks.
The bad guy shows that he’s got a new trick up his sleeve. The one person that was killed – are they really dead? On and on it went, never a dull ending.
There is not an episode that doesn’t end leaving the viewer crying, “More!” That worked when we were catching up on Netflix, but now that my boys and I are caught up, we’re stuck waiting.
And we’re dying.
I thought I had the trick of keeping a reader hooked figured out, until I started watching Arrow. Now I know what it is really like. Of course the types of media are different and the type of episodic programming of TV doesn’t fully translate to writing a novel. I can’t have such major events happening each chapter.
But it doesn’t hurt to try.
So Ben Wolf, mr. freelance editor (who did a fantastic job BTW, I would highly recommend him), we’ll see what I can come up with now.
Check out this video for a slight hint on what Arrow is like each weekend.