Author: D.A. Henneman
Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy, Romance
First published: June 7, 2017
Amie Petridis isn’t looking for love when it breezes into her life. Her job as a full-time pilot leaves little time for dating. When a charming Air Marshall walks onto her plane and into her life, strange things start to happen. During a layover in England, Amie receives a tarot reading that changes her destiny.
U.S. Air Marshall Aleck Eyres has always taken his job seriously. So seriously, in fact, he hasn’t allowed himself to be tied down. His occupation allows for the freedom to travel and to visit his friends, but the day he helps a captivating pilot with her persistent ex-boyfriend – things change. Love finds him quickly and affects him deeply, but will it be enough to overcome the painful secret that has kept him from sharing his heart all this time?
The winds of change have blown Amie’s way and affect her and Aleck as well as the magical beings in a land called Wisteria. The appearance of winged creatures in Amie’s life is just the start. She will soon learn that she is meant to harness the element of Air and as she discovers her power, the gypsy’s warning has her questioning her path. Should she follow her head or her heart? And when she makes her choice, will it be the right one?
For more on the author, click here!
Author: Leslie Barrett
Genre: Children's Fiction
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Lost (and) Found is a picture book for preschool and elementary aged children. It's the story of friendship between a little girl named Lady and her best friend, a jellybean named Dorian. Lost (and Found) is the first book in a series about these two lovable characters as they explore the world and learn many valuable lessons along the way.
For more about the Author, click here.
There comes a point, at least for me, when the characters I have drafted take on a life of their own. They become as real to me as some of my long-time friends or family members and often I find myself telling their stories in social settings. This is a sure-fire way to be banned from future gatherings, but more on that in another post. When you have developed a character that you find intriguing, that perhaps has more to say than the few pages of text that you allow them in your novel...maybe it's time to give them access to social media.
Think about it, everything we do as writers is about creativity and sharing a message. The best way of doing that to the masses, is by tapping into any one of the social platforms available on the internet today. By posting as your character, you can really get to know them, and perhaps find out how they would react to a certain situation. In my mind, this is especially beneficial for characters who span a series of books.
Facebook is one of the easiest platforms to use for this purpose, by way of the Create Page option they provide. This allows you to generate a page, tied to your privacy settings, for anything you are interested in. With a few photos from a royalty-free photo gallery, such as Pixaby.com, you can build your character's platform and give your readers somewhere fun to visit between novels. The posts can be scheduled ahead, which is what I recommend, so messages can be generated when you have the time, and posted when you don't. I have been having fun with one of the trouble makers from my series, you can find her Facebook Page here. This is also a great way to advertise future books!
I have also made great use of Pinterest. Not only have I found a ton of recipes I would love to try one day, but I have also built boards that allow me to visualize things for my books such as settings, props, attitudes, etc. I think of it as a visual mind map, one that I can share with my readers after my book is released. I think it is a fun way to give your readers a peek inside your head. You can see what I have brewing in mine on my Pinterest page here.
There is an overwhelming amount of software, apps and information on the internet, and finding the things that work for you and your schedule is key. Remember that tools are meant to help make what ever job you are performing easier, and what works for one writer may not work for another. With that being said, I have had pretty good luck using the tools I describe above, and hope you consider them for your character's development. Most of all, have fun with your writing. Your characters will thank you...perhaps even on Facebook! DH
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is an epidemic of people not listening. You only need look next to you or across the room to find an example of this. People ignore each other, people put words in the mouths of others, and people just aren’t reliable listeners.
Writers cannot be unreliable listeners. It’s just not an option, folks. Not if you want to be a good writer anyway. Here’s why….
In order to tell a good story, you need to be able to recognize a good story (and why it’s good). Quality stories come in a variety of forms like books and movies. The best stories often come from the people around you. Unbelievable and astounding things happen frequently and we need to catch those gems. I don’t mean you should go and copy the stories you hear. I do mean you should practice the art of listening and see where it takes you.
For me, tidbits of stories that people tell me inspire other ideas and they grow from there. For example, in my third book, I knew the general plot before I wrote it, but a story that a pastor told me about her experiences tending people on their deathbed changed my story. It added an element that was not like anything the pastor told me, but was inspired by it. The novel grew much stronger because of it.
Other times when we listen, we can discover character traits that we might not have thought to use. (This requires observation and listening.) Maybe the way the story teller describes the story is memorable because of the way they move their hands, change their voice, or do neither and tell it straight faced and expressionless. Or maybe the way they describe other people offers inspiration. Any of these possibilities could be a learning opportunity if you’re open to it. After all, writing comes from our creativity, but creativity does not spring from a vacuum. It comes from living and observing life.
Understanding the art of listening is imperative within our stories. Our characters will be more believable if they cover the gamut of real listeners in the world. If conversation carries on with everyone always understanding the full meaning of each speaker, you’ve created a fictional situation that may not be believable. Why? Because the world is full of bad listeners and some of your characters should be bad listeners too.
So, take your listening skills to the next level. Sit back and listen to people, ask them questions, and go talk to people you don’t usually talk to. You will learn something, you may change, and you will certainly become a better writer. Then, throw some bad listeners in your stories (some good ones would be nice too) and let the fun begin.
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