Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Questions for Jerry Hatchett

Best Selling Thriller Author
By
Dora Machado
 
 
 

Jerry Hatchett writes unputdownable thrillers. The bestselling author of Seven Unholy Days and The Pawnbroker, Jerry is one of only a handful of self-published authors who has managed to ride the publishing revolution's wave and stake a solid competitive claim in the thriller market. Some of his books have over four hundred Amazon reviews!
 

Jerry's mind is a lot like his characters, an eclectic product that combines southern charm with American grit, everyday man with high tech smarts.  In "real life," Jerry is also the inventor and patent holder of the 1990's phenomenon “EasyBraid,” a licensed private pilot, a self-described “gadget freak,” an “IPO chaser,” and a digital forensic specialist. With all of that background condensed and poured into his novels, it's no wonder his thrillers have claimed the readers' attention.
 

Welcome to MB4, Jerry. It's a pleasure to have you here today. Word is you've got a new thriller coming out, Unallocated Space. What is it all about?

It’s about a guy named Sam Flatt stumbling into a situation he couldn’t have imagined. He’s a digital forensic expert, a digital detective brought into to find out who’s electronically stealing money from SPACE, which is the biggest, glitziest, and most futuristic casino in history. Flatt is a man with a dark past he thought he had left behind, but this case may just drag him back into that darkness.
 


What do you think readers will like best about Unallocated Space?

If I’ve done my job, they’ll love everything about it!

What do you hope readers will say when they read the last line?

“I love this guy, Sam Flatt!”

What did this latest release teach you about writing, reading and yourself?

As with every book I write, it taught me that writing is a wonderful and difficult process that always presents lots of room for improvement. Reading continues to inspire me as a writer. Nothing excites me more than discovering a new author I love, and the publishing revolution has yielded several of those for me over the past couple years. I still have a lot of traditionally published authors I love, but now I’m also discovering indie authors who are loaded with talent and able to bring splendid entertainment to the market that’s free of the previous constraints. About myself? Hmmm. I continue to be reminded that I always underestimate how long writing a book will take! I think the main personal lesson I take away from the process, though, is that I’m very blessed to be able to tell stories that entertain people by allowing them to meet new people and visit new worlds that I get to create.

******
ABOUT JERRY HATCHETT
Jerry Hatchett grew up in the creatively fertile Mississippi Delta. His stories often draw from his eclectic background, providing a foundation for intriguing tales populated with everyday people who often find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. His business experience runs the gamut from pawnbroker to inventor to technologist to specialized expert in digital forensics.

Hatchett lists John Grisham, James Rollins, Nelson DeMille, and Ken Follett as major influences on his writing. “I want to entertain people by creating new worlds and people for them to love and hate, and I always try to write a story that you just can't put down, ” he says.
A lifelong fan of Ole Miss and SEC football, he awaits each fall with zeal. He’s also a movie fanatic, an avid reader, and with uncharacteristic immodesty claims to cook the world’s best ribeyes. He currently resides in The Woodlands, TX, a suburb of Houston.

JERRY HATCHETT'S BOOKS

PAWNBROKER    Would you give killers what they want to get them to leave you and your family alone? Gray Bolton might, if he knew what "it" was. Life as a Mississippi pawnbroker is good, with a beautiful family and a bright future. Then he kills an armed robber and trouble cascades upon Bolton from everywhere. They all appear to be after the same thing and they will all do anything to get it. Unfortunately, Bolton has no idea what that thing is; but its discovery will test him in ways he couldn't have imagined, and the stakes are simple: Everything.
 
  

 

SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS     Technology and insanity combine to create a very bad week for the United States and the world. In this unputdownable thriller from breakout author Jerry Hatchett, tech celebrity Matt Decker is on top of the world until his flagship creation, the system that runs the U.S. power grid, suffers a crippling cyber attack. Chaos follows as a ruthless maniac sets out to create his own version of Revelation's battle of Armageddon. And he's making it personal as he blames Decker for the escalating disasters that stretch from New York to Israel to the "sulfurous scarps of hell."  Seven Unholy Days, should come with a warning:  Don't start this one unless you're ready to be sucked into a story that never lets go!
 
 
 

E-JERRY

Seven Unholy Days:  Kindle     Paperback     Audiobook
Pawnbroker:  Kindle     Paperback     Audiobook

******

Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She is one only a few Hispanic women writing fantasy in the United States today. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories.

When she is not writing fiction, Dora also writes features for the award-winning blog Murder By Four and Savvy Authors, where writers help writers. She lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

 To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, visit her at www.doramachado.com , email her at Dora@doramachado.com, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.


 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

So I Broke the Rules – Go Ahead and Shoot Me! (the story behind the creation of Tall Pines Mysteries)

Aaron Lazar, copyright 2014

I didn’t intend to write a series when I created the rather kooky and slightly paranormal mystery, For the Birds. I knew it would feature a pretty little red bird on the cover (see below), because I’d just had an unforgettable dream about her. Out of the wild blue yonder, Ruby came to me, landed on my shoulder, and insisted I begin a new mystery. I’ve never owned a bird, never even knew anyone with a feathered pet, but this dream was so vibrant I couldn’t get Ruby out of my mind.

Marcella and Quinn “Black Eagle” Hollister popped onto the scene as Ruby’s owners, and Marcella’s mother, Thelma, appeared out of nowhere. Before I knew it, I had envisioned a dynamic and diverse family and their pets. Staying true to my dream, I set the story in the Adirondack Mountains, which incidentally set me craving the mountains, woods, lakes, and rivers that I’d come to love. After this dream, I just had to get up there again.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as the case may be, I was laid off from my engineering job at Kodak right around the same time. So, with lots of free time on our hands, we headed up to the mountains and discovered the cabin where the story ultimately takes place. Tall Pines is a rustic, wonderful cabin situated on seven acres of pines above the Sacandaga River in Hope, NY. We fell in love with it and visit as often as possible. It has become the center of the series that grew from For the Birds.
 

http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Tall-Pines-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B005W629E2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1412546891&sr=1-1&keywords=for+the+birds%2C+lazar
When Marcella Hollister’s prize parakeet gets zapped by a wayward power line in the same pool as her mother, the ensuing psychic link helps Marcella chase her mother’s kidnappers through the Adirondack Mountains, where she unearths a fifty-year-old secret about her dear father with shocking links to a hidden treasure.

I really didn’t plan to include paranormal or spiritual elements in For The Birds, either. I just went ahead, guns blazing, and let the story pour out of me.

You can’t exactly call me a planner, can you? I never outline my stories and usually plunge into them with just vague ideas about the conflict, mystery, and locale. I actually have a hard time keeping up with myself and all the books that want to come out. I know, that sounds nuts. But it’s how I write.

When I finished this book, I was in love with the characters. My readers wanted more of Marcella and her gorgeous half-Seneca husband, and they seemed to enjoy our jaunts to the Adirondacks. At the same time, I’d recently become infatuated and obsessed with essential oils. There was no question that my characters would also discover them, and it came as no surprise that I used the healing power of essential oils as one of the main themes in the second Tall Pines book, Essentially Yours.

Strangely enough, however, this book was a bit different. Although it’s dubbed a mystery, it had more suspense and action than the first book. If I had to give it a genre on its own, I would have called it romantic suspense, although in general terms it could fall in the broader mystery category.

Where’s the consistency?

Perhaps there is none, and this is where I started to break the rules about keeping ones series in the same exact genre.

If push came to shove, I’d say the consistency and appeal of the series is in the characters and the telling of a rollicking story set in the same locale.

http://www.amazon.com/Essentially-Yours-Aaron-Paul-Lazar-ebook/dp/B007KPBBP6/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QG6XCM0A12P5SC03TE0
Marcella’s first love has been MIA for eighteen years. Callie, her best friend and Sky’s sister, flips out when a mysterious package from Sky arrives on her doorstep. Inside his old backpack are bottles of precious essential oils, a memory stick, and a bag of emeralds. Are these his final effects? Or is Sky alive?



Drug company goons want the data on the memory stick, because it links a newly discovered essential oil with a leukemia cure. They kidnap Callie, hoping to lure Sky into the open. Marcella and Quinn track her to the wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains, where against all odds they fight to save Callie and preserve the proof that could change the world.

The characters screamed at me to write more, especially Marcella’s newly introduced old flame, Sky Lissoneau, and his damaged, but adorable, sister, Callie. I thrived on the tension between Marcella’s husband and her first love, who showed up after eighteen years with a whole gang of villains chasing him through the Adirondack woods. Quinn—usually a quiet and passive soul—is insanely jealous of Sky. After all these years, Sky still adores Marcella, and can’t get that look of desperate heartache out of his eyes.

I let all hell break loose in Marcella’s family and in the mountains where the scientific medical studies were being held to prove that a common lake week held the key to curing leukemia. Mix together some nasty drug company thugs and a bit of mysticism with crystals, oils, and the love of a big old Bernese Mountain Dog, and you have Essentially Yours.

When I wrote Sanctuary, book three, I was obsessed with what I call “my Indian soul.” In my very distant past, on my father’s side, there was a lady of native heritage up in Canada. I’d been feeling a close connection with her and my heritage for my entire life, even though the cold light of dilution of many generations, her blood flowed in less than 3% of mine. Here is an essay I wrote about this, just for grins.

With the help of a Cherokee historian friend (Thank you, Pineleaf!), I wove substantial elements of Native American traditions into this story. Using mystical elements of crystals, smooth river stones, essential oils, and a haunted mountaintop, I pushed the psychic barrier a bit here and allowed a bit of mind-melding.

This doesn’t belong in a mystery, does it? You’d really expect it more in Star Trek. But hell, like I said, I didn’t care. I just forged ahead.


http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Tall-Pines-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00MU76KCS/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1DS73WDGWPTJXQQHVPCN
Marcella’s husband, Quinn “Black Eagle” Hollister, severed ties to his family and friends on the Seneca reservation years ago. He rarely mentions his past—until his young cousin Kitty collapses on the couple’s doorstep in the dead of a rainswept night.

After two Seneca men break into their home with intent to kill, the Hollisters flee with the mute and injured girl to Tall Pines, their cabin in the Adirondacks. Marcella, unable to bear a child of her own, unleashes her motherly instincts caring for Kitty. As the girl slowly recovers, they start to piece together who wants them dead, and why.


When it came time to write Betrayal, book four, it flowed seamlessly after Sanctuary, I wanted to create a winter mystery full of threats, sexual upheaval, and plenty of chase scenes. I didn’t expect to introduce a pair of serial killers who left bodies on the icy shores of the Sacandaga, but that’s what happened.

I also introduced some pretty dark relationship issues into Marcella’s marriage. She feels Quinn betrays her, and flees to Tall Pines to escape for a while. Trouble is, Sky is waiting there for her, and it’s all she can do not to let herself fall into his arms. The old passion is still there, and it tortures her to look into his sea green eyes. She fights the urge to give in, but wants him so much it kills her.

http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Tall-Pines-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00N2134W0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0Y6S4QSBQ14YDT39KE39
Marcella Hollister realized a lifetime of hopes and dreams when she was given custody of a child. A cousin of her half-Seneca husband, Quinn, the baby’s mother was murdered in a political plot—and Marcella, who’s never been able to have children of her own, formed an instant bond with little Kimi. Then a distant relative comes forward to claim Kimi—and Quinn, who Marcella thought understood her pain better than anyone, allows them to take the baby without a fight.


Confused and deeply wounded, Marcella takes off for Tall Pines, their secluded Adirondack cabin. She hopes the peace and natural beauty of the mountains will help clear her head and decide whether to forgive Quinn…or leave him. But the situation at Tall Pines is anything but peaceful. Her high school lover, Sky, arrives to help out—and Marcella discovers her old feelings may not be as distant as she thought. Worse, a serial killer is stalking young women in the area. And when a teen girl whose mother works with Sky goes missing, Marcella and everyone she cares for wind up dead center in the killer’s sights. 

If I were to read Betrayal on its own, I might classify it as a romantic thriller.

Uh huh. Not a kooky, paranormal mystery like For the Birds. Not a romantic suspense, like Essentially Yours. Not a Native American spiritual mystery, like Sanctuary.

I know! Where’s my platform planning?

That said - I must tell you my Tall Pines fans and readers don’t give a darn into which official genre my books fall. You could certainly still broadly classify them as mysteries. But they don’t care, and frankly, neither do I. It’s the characters we care about, and they are going to experience life at Tall Pines no matter what genre the story falls into.

So, yeah. I broke the rules. Please don’t shoot me. Just go buy my books and see what you think? ;o)

Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!



Friday, October 10, 2014

From the Dojo to the Page: Writing Fight Scenes, by Christine Haggerty


Hello, MB4 friends and fans,

Today we are honored to present a coveted guest blog by Ms. Christine Haggerty, who is here to share her tips about writing fight scenes. She has just begun a speaking tour about this very subject. But don't mess with her! Christine has a black belt in Shotokan, a traditional Japanese form of karate.

Please help me welcome her to our site today. Welcome, Christine!

Aaron Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com



From the Dojo to the Page: Writing Fight Scenes


copyright 2014, Christine Haggerty, author of The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions

I. Love. Karate. For most of my marriage, my husband has referred to it as my religion. I even went to the dojo on Sundays while he took our three kids to church. (Yes, we’re still married.)

I love the dojo. I love the wisdom and centeredness I feel when I’m in that place. I love the mental focus in training.

And I love the fighting. Karate is about depth of character as well as the physical training, but when it comes to applying my knowledge of karate into fight scenes, it’s the physical training and mental focus that translate most directly.

There is at least a novel’s length of things I could say about writing fight scenes, but below is a three part guide to doing it right.

The Set-Up
Before there is ever a fight scene in a book, you know your characters, their physical traits and mental make-up, and their situations. Even if you start a story with a fight scene, you as the author know these details and can use them to create an effective context for your fight scene. 

1.     Know Your Characters
I’m talking both their physical and mental aspects. You may have a nine-foot-tall Aztec guardian of some kind, but what if he’s spent most of his life trying not to hurt the other kids so that they’ll invite him out to play? He probably gets out of a lot of fights just based on his sheer size, but what is he like when he’s in one? Maybe he’s more willing to take abuse just so he doesn’t have to bear the guilt of hurting another creature. But then again, what happens when the bad guy steals the guardian’s favorite stuffed sheep? It’s a basic tip of good writing to know your characters. Add “How would they handle a fight?” to your character sheet so that you’re ready just in case the story takes you there.

2.     Write in the Training
Fighting is 10% adrenaline, 2% luck, and 88% muscle memory. In a two-minute fight, which is the length of most martial arts sparring matches, adrenaline can get you through the first thirty seconds and then you’re exhausted and you have to rely on what your muscles do on their own. Martial artists spend 300 times more time training than they do fighting, but training experience is not the same as fighting experience. How much training has your character had? What kind? How much fighting have they done?

For example, if you plunk an unskilled character in the middle of a herd of trained ninja, your character is dead unless they have a magic trick equivalent to a grenade. (Or an actual grenade, but then your character would also have to be grenade-proof.)

In a good story, you also only need to go into detail with something once. The only reason to flesh out a repeat scene is if there is something compelling and special about the repeat, such as character growth. You should spend more time writing about training and the relationships and inner strength it develops than you do on fight scenes. Training sets up the fight scenes.

3.     Build the Situation
I’m not talking about the narcissistic reality-show character, I’m talking about the lay of the land, the number of fighters involved, weapons, armor, magic, etc. The more you try to involve in a fight scene, the messier—and therefore slower—it is. The reality is that when it comes to fighting, you always rely on your few favorite tricks. It’s the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) mentality, and it works. That’s why characters have favorite weapons, favorite horses, favorite fighting partners, etc. It takes too many hours to get there to just start over every time.

Where is the fight? Who’s there? What’s at stake? Why does the reader care? This should all be described before you get into the action. Once you start throwing punches, there isn’t any room for this kind of description and detail.

The Scene
The actual fight scene is going to be short and sweet. In a 3,000 word chapter, the fight scene is only going to be a couple hundred words. The rest is set-up or recovery.

1.     Pack the Action
Once two or more individuals engage in a fight, brains shut down and muscles take over. Adrenaline wakes your senses and everything seems sharper while your body feels numb. You’re not thinking or worrying about metaphors and similes or whether or not you left the garage door open unless that affects your getaway options. You become primal. Fight scenes are action and reaction, a quick list of events.

2.     Use Active Voice
Even though ‘active’ and ‘action’ have a lot in common, you’d be surprised how many fight scenes suffer from the smothering effect of passive voice. Keep your sentences straightforward and simple. Same goes for word choice. Be direct. Don’t get into fancy descriptions here. Use words as primal as your character’s behavior.

3.     Stick to Physics
Living on Earth comes with a few rules, including inertia, atmosphere, and gravity. In short, what goes up must come down. If you describe someone being kicked and flying a distance of twenty feet before hitting a tree or landing on the pavement, either you are watching too much anime or you have no idea how far twenty feet is. Start with a realistic fight and then embellish with the characters’ special powers. I recommend measuring fights by body parts, such as ‘within arm’s reach’ or ‘she landed a body length away.’

This concept applies to your characters’ sense of time as well as distance. Time is suddenly measured in heartbeats or breaths, not seconds or minutes. Real time changes to psychological time when you’re fighting.

The Recovery
Getting punched while fighting hurts, but not as much as it will hurt after the numbing effects of adrenaline and swelling have faded and the pain is colored by guilt or fear or pride.

1.     Describe the Physical Aftermath
In a good fight, you get bruises and broken bones. You hurt in places you didn’t know you had. Even Chuck Norris would be stiff and sore after defeating Megamind and his army of alien minions. These bruises and sore muscles are how you learn, and the more you train, the stronger you become and the faster you recover. In the scenes following a fight, remember to include these painful reminders of the action. Scars also make good stories.

2.     Embrace the Learning Curve
It’s human nature to revisit events and consider what we should have done or what could have gone differently. Fighting is the same. A dangerous experience brings up emotion and memories and forces us to examine our definition of who we are. You will never be the same after a fight; neither will your character.

3.     Invest in an Expert
Your character will go through a learning curve, and so will you. If you’ve never done any fighting, get help from someone who has. I’ve trained for ten years and taught almost as long. Spacing, timing, technique—I know these things. I will also know if an author doesn’t. Even if you think you have a good grasp of the logistics, have someone with experience read over your scenes. I also recommend having someone with no experience read your scenes to make sure that the rookies can follow the action, too.

You can also watch UFC matches, go to a local dojo and watch them train, or read books on fighting and techniques. First-hand experience is the best teacher, and many senseis would be willing to donate a couple hours of their time to help out an author. Be sure to thank them and maybe include them in your acknowledgements.

In the end, we write fight scenes because readers like them. They fit the characters and the story and serve as effective catalysts for plots. Make your fight scenes exciting and have fun with them. That’s what it’s all about, right? In the end, it’s having a good story that sells. The fight scenes just help. And why do we read books in the first place? It’s to escape reality, so make it a fun escape.

What have you experienced with writing fight scenes? Do you have a scene you would like us to help you with?

***

Christine Nielson Haggerty grew up in rural Utah with three brothers, a sister, several chickens, a goat, and an outhouse. She always loved the escape of fantasy and the art of writing, and her passion for life is to craft stories of strength and survival.

Christine is a black belt in Shotokan, a traditional Japanese form of karate. She currently trains at a mixed martial arts dojo where she enjoys kickboxing, point sparring, and maintains her traditional discipline. She is the author of The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions, a young adult dystopian fantasy about plague orphans being sold as slaves and gladiators. Her sequel, Assets, will be out late 2015 and involves both group and individual fighting in a dystopian version of the Roman arena.

With fourteen years’ experience teaching both karate and high school language arts teacher, Christine has found a niche in combining those skills to help authors write effective fight scenes. She will be presenting at the Author’s Combat Academy in Tennessee in April 2015.

Her other interests are drawing, reading, and hosting killer barbecues (where nobody actually dies).


http://www.amazon.com/Acquisitions-Plague-Legacy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00H15COZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412787590&sr=8-1&keywords=acquisitions%2C+haggerty
Links for Christine Haggerty
www.wattpad.com/ChristineHaggerty
Facebook: Christine Haggerty, Author
Twitter: @chaggerty99
Author’s Combat Academy: www.authorscombatacademy.com

The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions (Book 1)
Fox Hollow Publications: www.foxhollowpublications.com


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On Inspiration, the Writing Process and My best Advice for New Writers

By
Dora Machado


Here at MB4 we love being part of the writing community at large. So I was delighted when my dear friend, Eleanor Khuns, author of the fantastic historical mysteries Death of a Dyer, A Simple Death and Craddle to Grave, invited me to participate in the Sisters in Crime  blog hop.

Which authors have inspired you?
I'm one of those people who think that the human mind is influenced by every contact and every read, no matter how casual or light. I learn from every word I read. Heck, even when I don't enjoy a writer, I'm still learning from what him or her. As a young woman growing up in the Dominican Republic, I was exposed to many different influences. I thrived on young adult novels from Louisa May Alcott. I loved Enid Blyton and blazed through The Famous Five, The Seven Secrets and The Malory Towers series. I think I wanted to be a student at Malory Towers as much as my kids wanted to go to school at Hogwarts!

But, talk about being a hybrid of many worlds! At the same time I was reading Louisa May Alcott and Enid Blyton, I was also reading the Latin American classics. Books such as A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosas, and The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende left lasting impressions. I also tapped into my parents’ wonderful library, enjoying the Russians (I favored Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy), the French (Victor Hugo), the Germans (Eric Maria Remarque), the Spanish (Jose Maria Gironella), and the Americans (Hemingway, always Hemingway).

Later, when I came to the States, I discovered fantasy and was dazzled by J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Donaldson, Frank Herbert, Robert Jordan, and George R.R. Martin, way before he became popular, I should add. I also fell in love with commercial fiction. Diana Gabaldon, Bernard Cornwell and Anne Rice are some of my all-time favorites.

What's the best part of the writing process for you? What's the most challenging?
The best part of the writing process for me is the writing itself. I love working on a first draft, laying down the ideas, characters and structure of a novel for the first time, discovering the full story in my mind. There's something liberating about a blank screen, about the sentences turning into paragraphs and the paragraphs into chapters. I love the evolution of a story, the transformation that occurs as the story progresses, the unforeseen twists and turns that defy the outline and provoke the imagination.

The most challenging part of the writing process comes at the end for me, after the manuscript is done. I'm not one for self-promotion and yet the current publishing environment requires a great deal of it. I love talking to readers about writing and books, getting to know them, listening to their ideas and reactions to the stories and reading and writing in general. But tooting my own horn? It doesn't come naturally to me.   

If you were to mentor new writers, what would you tell them about the writing business? 
I enjoy mentoring new writers. I always tell them to educate themselves in the totality of the process upfront. It saves time if you have the basics covered, if the writer is proficient in grammar, punctuation, formatting and so forth. It also helps enormously if the writer has a good idea of how the industry works and how the market for her genre behaves.

I would also tell a new writer to submit their work to the highest possible standards of critical review prior to shopping for publishers. There's a lot of stuff clogging the pipeline and a polished, edited manuscript can make all the difference in the world. Editors, critique groups, other writers and beta readers who know the genre can be invaluable to the new writer.
Above all, I would tell the new writer to write, to complete the manuscript from beginning to end, to edit it, to trudge through the entire creative process and learn from it. Your first manuscript may never see the light of day. Maybe your second and third won't either, but no one can take away the treasure trove of learning that you gain each time you complete the creative process from beginning to end and the joy that comes from writing.

Thank you Eleanor for inviting me to participate in the Sisters in Crime blog hop. Hop on to the next blog and meet Barb Caffrey, the talented author of the comic, YA urban fantasy, Elfie on the Loose.


Links:


 

 

 
 
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blog Hop - Sky Lissoneau: the “Bad Boy” from Tall Pines Mysteries


Today I'm participating in another blog hop, an event that jumps from one writer's blog to another. In this particular hop, we're featuring characters from our novels. Polly Iyer, suspense author extraordinaire, invited me to participate. I've read and loved all of her novels, including HOOKED and MIND GAMES.  

Here is a link to her blog, where she discusses her character, Diana Racine, one of my favorites.

Polly has just released the third Diana Racine novel, BACKLASH, which I'm dying to read. Here's a peek at the book:


http://www.amazon.com/Backlash-Diana-Racine-Psychic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00N23JRTC/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412608957&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=bakclashWhen psychic Diana Racine’s old friend is murdered in New Orleans, her love, Lieutenant Ernie Lucier, brings her in to consult on the case. What she sees when she touches the dead man’s body is another man with silver eyes, a gang tattoo, and a bullet in the middle of his forehead. Before long, Diana and Lucier are drawn into a web of murders that stretches far into the past. The deeper they get into the investigation, the more it appears the deaths are the work of a group of vigilantes on a moral crusade. Vigilantes wearing the blue of the NOPD who won’t let anything or anyone stand in their way.


*** Now here is my piece about one of my very favorite characters. ***

Sky Lissoneau: the “Bad Boy” from Tall Pines Mysteries

copyight 2014, Aaron Lazar

When I began to write the Tall Pines Mystery series, I never intended to create a mystery featuring a sensuous three-way relationship between Marcella, her husband Quinn, and her first love, Sky. But that’s exactly what happened, and the tension and desire are still scorching the pages behind the mysteries in books two through four.

In For the Birds, book 1, Marcella is in love with her husband of seven years, a beautiful half-Seneca man named Quinn “Black Eagle” Hollister. I hadn’t created Sky Lissoneau yet, who shows up as a feature character in book two, Essentially Yours.  Sky proposed to Marcella when she was a young woman on the brink of pursing her singing career. She loved him deeply, but wanted to follow her heart to New York City, where she hoped to become part of the cast in The Metropolitan Opera.

When Sky arrives on the scene after being MIA for eighteen years, Marcella is stunned and deeply conflicted. Of course she loves her husband. She adores him. But when she sees the passion that still fills Sky’s sea green eyes, it makes her remember the times they had together as teenagers on Honeoye Lake. As a youth, the young Sky methodically studied methods to please women, and his talent in that arena had driven Marcella to heights she’d never forget. He’d been her first, and she’d ridden those waves of rapture with abandon on his family’s pontoon boat at night in the middle of the lake.

Sky suffered badly in the war, including having to secretly leave his platoon when his best friend’s life was in danger. Captured and held as a prisoner of war for years, all he could think of was Marcella, his darling Marcella. It was the thought of Marcella’s soft kisses that kept him going. Her infectious laugh helped him survive the cruelest torture. And when he returned with a gang of vicious hi-powered crooks chasing him, she’d saved his life. Somehow, he just knew she’d be there, still waiting.

It was when Marcella introduced Quinn that his heart was broken for the second time in his life.

Now he secretly hopes she’ll dump her big, beautiful Indian brave and come back to him. But he never says a word. He just looks at her with adoration, and jumps to help her whenever possible. In Betrayal, book #4, Marcella is on the outs with her husband and flees to their cabin in the Adirondacks for solace.

Sky lives and works at Project Hope, a research site in the mountains. When she calls him for help turning on her water and heat, he’s at her side in a flash, and is very happy to oblige. ;o)

http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Tall-Pines-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00N2134W0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0Y6S4QSBQ14YDT39KE39
BETRAYAL: A Tall Pines Mystery

Marcella Hollister realized a lifetime of hopes and dreams when she was given custody of a child. A cousin of her half-Seneca husband, Quinn, the baby’s mother was murdered in a political plot—and Marcella, who’s never been able to have children of her own, formed an instant bond with little Kimi.

Then a distant relative comes forward to claim Kimi—and Quinn, who Marcella thought understood her pain better than anyone, allows them to take the baby without a fight.
Confused and deeply wounded, Marcella takes off for Tall Pines, their secluded Adirondack cabin. She hopes the peace and natural beauty of the mountains will help clear her head and decide whether to forgive Quinn…or leave him.

But the situation at Tall Pines is anything but peaceful. Her high school lover, Sky, arrives to help out—and Marcella discovers her old feelings may not be as distant as she thought. Worse, a serial killer is stalking young women in the area. And when a teen girl whose mother works with Sky goes missing, Marcella and everyone she cares for wind up dead center in the killer’s sights.

Next, please stop by my fellow authors' websites when you can. Next week they will post their
"About My Character" pieces for you to enjoy!

Mary Bradley McCauley

http://secretsometningwithin.blogspot.com/2009/12/healing-power-of.html
They are at The House of Annon to learn how to change their lives. Annon is their guide, helping them and at the same time searching for the one who will replace him, guiding others to change their lives. He studies each one, wondering who it will be; one of these, or is there another to come? At each session they talk about the amazing changes in their lives, face obstacles, and overcome set-backs in order to learn how to use the infinite power within. In the beginning there are only four. More will come, more always come.

 ***

Books by multi-award winning author, Aaron Lazar:

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)  
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
THE LIARS’ GALLERY (eBook)
UNDER THE ICE: COUNTERPOINT (coming soon 2014)

HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)

FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
SANCTUARY (eBook)

STANDALONES
THE SEACREST (print, eBook, and audio book)

WRITING ADVICE: 

WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (ebooks and audio books)

About Aaron Lazar: 

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!