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Characters Across Genres

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Often I am asked, “What’s your favorite genre to write?”

And often I reply, “Um. All of them!”

It’s a completely honest answer. My first published novel, released this past summer, is of the spy genre. The next book, slated for June, is a dystopian. Fantasy was the genre of the first long story I ever completed (writing with my sister, good memories). An Oregon Trail journal turned into a seventy-page piece in sixth grade. In my writing thus far I’ve also dabbled in ghost, school, contemporary, perhaps gritty (I say perhaps because I’m still not sure what that means, Google refuses to clear it up for me—perhaps I should try Bing?), murder mystery, and sibling stories.

While I know some authors prefer to stick to one or a few related genres, I enjoyed different aspects of all of them and had equal fun while writing. Therefore, the first time someone asked me about genres—a reporter for my school newspaper—led me to spend about an hour and a half in deep contemplation. (The alternative was math homework, so it worked out.) I came to the conclusion I placed more value in the characters of a story than the genre, or even the plot. The plot, to me, is a device to portray characters. My characters are the personalities I slip into or interact with (fictionally), and I work a plot around them, creating believable and changed people by “The End.” Plus, the characters supply dialogue, description, action…the plot wouldn’t happen without them!

Because the plot is a tool my characters use to propel themselves to the last page, the genre is also a secondary matter. If my characters fit best into a ghost story because one feels guilty over the death of another, then a ghost story it is. If another set of characters need disguises and secrets to best be themselves, I formulate a spy story. If the characters in my mind are best suited for overcoming severe societal challenges and barriers not yet in existence, we create a dystopia.

So, in essence, I’m not sure which genre is my favorite—or maybe all of them are, because until my next character shows up in my mind calling out, “Idea! Idea! I have an idea!!!” I don’t even know what my next genre will be.

Kieryn

www.kierynnicolas.com

http://twitter.com/KierynNicolas

http://www.kierynnicolas.blogspot.com/

Detour 2 Death (Guest: J.R. Turner)

Hey everyone! I’m thrilled to be visiting Karen’s blog today. My new book in the Extreme Hauntings series, Detour 2 Death will be out on February 15th and I’m really excited about this release.

Kaylee returns in this book to save her best friend and blossoming love interest, Davey. He suffers from Transverse Myelitis, a condition that has kept him in a wheelchair for over a year. He’s taken a turn for the worse and fallen into a coma.

What I love most about this book is how I get to explore paranormal settings. While I’ve enjoyed working with Kaylee’s emerging abilities—reading minds, telekinesis, and the power to heal—creating entire worlds is very different. There are two paranormal places in this book: Davey’s coma-induced Feverland and the dark side of the hospital, called Shadowland. Because these are magical places, I got to build them from the ground up.

On a more personal note, I’ve dealt with a lot of tragedy during 2010—much of it surrounding my father’s cancer and his death in February last year. As I wrote Detour 2 Death, I created an elderly man to advise Kaylee in the hospital. He is based on my father and working with his character was a way for me to keep him alive. This book will always have a special place in my heart because of this.

Please feel free to leave a comment! When you do, you’ll be entered to win a free book thong in your choice of color. To read more about the Extreme Haunting series, visit my website at http://www.jennifer-turner.com

Thank you so much for having me here today, Karen!

Warmly,
Jenny:)

Award-winning author J.R. Turner lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband and three children. She began writing in high school, and after a decade working as a commercial artist, started her first novel in 1999. Aside from crafts, camping and cooking, she loves holidays. A favorite is Halloween, a combination of spooky supernatural fun and chocolate. Visit her at http://www.jennifer-turner.com to learn more!

 

Detour 2 DeathThere are worse things than death, but not at Marsden Memorial hospital.

Kaylee Hensler knows her best friend Davey is on the brink of death. She knows this because she’s a psychic. When she flees the girl’s reformatory to get to him, she has no idea the special sort of hell waiting for her.

Reapers are collectors and they come in many forms. In Feverland, the world created by Davey’s sickness, the red reaper goes by the name of Molok, an ancient evil with deep roots. In Shadowland, the dark side of the hospital, a black reaper promises torture and torment to lost souls. The white reaper is the most fearsome, giving Kaylee three days before he collects both her and Davey’s souls.

Kaylee has one secret weapon, one she doesn’t fully understand. Her abilities will be tested, her loyalty betrayed, and her love misplaced. No one escapes Death.

Decatur Book Festival Rocks

Well, it’s been a while I since I actually wrote a Blog post, so I thought this would be a good time to catch up. I won’t go into a lot of past stuff. Instead, I will start with this past weekend.

I drove down to Georgia for the Decatur Book Festival. For the fourth year I was fortunate enough to stay at Mary Cunningham’s house. Mary is the author of the acclaimed Cynthia’s Attic middle grade fantasy series. Staying at Mary’s house is like staying at one of the greatest B&B’s in the world. The house is lovely, the amenities are to die for, Mary makes the most awesome pasta salad, and her husband grills the most fabulous and awesome steaks ever anywhere in the world.

On Thursday Mary took me to her local writers’ group for an author event. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation from M.L. Malcolm, author of HEART OF LIES at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center (a LOVELY facility!) It was a really neat experience. Later that evening, the group went to dinner together at this lovely little restaurant called Little Hawaiian in downtown Carrollton. This was one of the BEST restaurants I have been to in a really long time. Tempura Shrimp with the own sauce and I had to stop myself from licking the little cup. For my main course I had the Hawaiian Noodle Bowl and I just cannot find words to describe it. WOW!!! Did I mention the bread and dipping sauce…sigh!

So brand new debut author Gale Borger from Wisconsin flew in for the festival and stayed at Mary’s house as well. We had such a great time. Gale’s first book, a humorous mystery called TOTALLY BUZZED is just great. She did such an awesome job selling to the adoring potential fans who visited our booth. I actually think she might be a natural.

Saturday at the festival Nick Valentino joined us. He was actually in town for DragonCon in Atlanta, but couldn’t resist seeing me. LOL I really was quite exhausted from having to sell Nick’s book (THOMAS RILEY). It almost got monotonous (just kidding—Nick is a sales dynamo and he has become somewhat of a rock star.) So, we are all standing around with almost nothing to do when romance author Betty Hudson comes flitting (she is just too darn cute) into our booth with a copy of her latest romance SLEEPING BOOTY in her hand. She was tickled to bits as she explains that after meeting Nick at the South Carolina Book Festival she was so taken that she simply HAD to write Nick and his book into her contemporary pirate novel. It was such a cool thing to watch as Nick reacted t her news.

And as if that wasn’t enough to keep Nick’s feet five feet off the ground, another gal strolls into the booth and asks Nick to sign her Kindle…right beneath her autograph from Charlaine Harris. You can actually find the video on Nick’s Blog.

So with all of the great things happening, you have to figure that there would be some not so good. The incidents were few, but pretty major for me.

First, let me thank the young teen boy who caught me and prevented me from cracking my head open as I fell down three marble steps when some old guy’s dog ran under my foot as I was stepping up. Here’s a hand gesture for the old guy who then turned around and snapped, “Ex-scuse me!” and stomped off like I had done something to him. JERK!

So then on Sunday I am walking back to the booth after visiting the local bookstores, The Little Shop of Stories, and I pass by this pub with tables outside. There are five guys (four White and one Mexican-I find this relevant) sitting there and one of the White guys says, and I quote, “Maybe if we could get all the niggers and Muslims together in that mosque at ground zero we could just blow it up and get rid of them all at once.”

To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. I just stopped, turned to them and said, “REALLY? Welcome to fucking American, you moron!” Come on people, do you really need to talk like that in public? If you want to be stupid, do it in your own space and don’t infect the rest of us your stupidity!!

So, as Sunday came close to an end, I was sitting in the booth ringing up a credit card sale and Sam Morton (author of the YA novel BETRAYED) walks up, stops, and with a serious look on his face he says, “You know, when you get in the bathroom and have to go really bad is NOT the time to discover you have your underwear on backwards.” I laughed so hard I snorted, like four or five times. I honestly didn’t think I could stop laughing. And bless his heart, his day didn’t get any better. He texted me later to tell me he had made it 50 miles out of Decatur , headed home, and he had a blow out and had been waiting for the repair truck for over an hour, and guess what…he had to pee. But he was confident that as soon as he dug his thingy out of his backward drawers the truck would arrive with spotlight glaring and lights flashing.

I think, though, that I can say that the very best part of the entire trip was watching my authors sell several hundred books to eager readers, readers of all ages. I have the most super duper authors in the world.

I want to thank the authors who attended for all their support and hard work.

Diana Black (WOOF: Women Only Over 50)

Gale Borger (Totally Buzzed)

Mary Cunningham (The Missing Locket, The Magic Medallion, Curse of the Bayou, The Magician’s Castle and WOOF: Women Only Over 50)

Sam Morton (DisaVowed, Betrayed)

Nick Valentino (Thomas Riley)

We’ve got Stuff to give away!

We’ve been on a bit of a marketing spree lately at Echelon Press and we’ve got some promo materials we’d LOVE to give away to bookstores, teachers, and librarians.

We have some really cool Kieryn Nicolas READ posters for the young readers in your life. These posters are 11 x 17. Send your mailing info to me at echelonpress@gmail.com and I will send you the posters. Teachers, If your students would like to order copies of RAIN by Kieryn, we can negotiate a really great discount for bulk orders.

Kieryn is training for the Disney Half Marathon to benefit The Luekemia and Lymphoma Society. No one would be upset if you were hop on over and support her efforts.

We’ve also got some pretty cool bookmarks for your customers, patrons, and students. You tell me how many you want and I’ll send them along.

I am trying to think of a really cool contest for booksellers, teachers, and librarians who support Echelon Press and all of our divisions. If you fall into one of these categories and have some ideas on what would make a great prize, please post your thoughts here. I can tell you that whoever’s idea I decide to use as a prize will receive a FREE book of their choice from our paperback line.

I hope you will take some time to check out our book selection. We’ve got some awesome books in both paperback and eBook. Need more info or want to have one of our authors come and speak to your customers, students, or patrons, don’t hesitate to contact me to help you set it up.

Book Club? Ask about our options for having one of our authors speak to your group.

For you readers out there, if you want one of Kieryn’s signed posters contact me to find out how to make it happen.

Well, I am off to the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA this weekend. I hope if you are in the area you will stop by and see me and my special friends, authors, Mary Cunningham, Diana Black, Sam Morton, Gale Borger, and our special guest on Saturday only Steampunk authors Nick Valentino.

You can find us in the Square at Booth 107. we will be right next to the FABULOUS Bobbie Hinman, author of the best fairy books ever!

Getting to Know Anne Carter aka Pamela Ripling

Anne CarterCreating fiction gives one the power to design other lives, filled with romance and adventure, intrigue and passion. My own writing career began in middle school creative writing class, inspiring me to later major in literature. All it took was one teacher’ encouragement and I was on my way. 

Always a big fan of the motion picture, I began “seeing” movies in my head and ultimately succumbed to the nagging voice telling me to write them down. After gaining publishing credits in the prestigious periodical THEMA Literary Journal and PEACE Magazine, my short stories became novellas and then novels. Women’s romantic fiction came naturally for me, and in between books I ventured into teen problem stories and eventually wrote LOCKER SHOCK! (Quake Press, ISBN 978-1-59080-581-7), a middle grade reader about a boy and an unwanted gun. 

As for the personal stuff, I’m a Virgo, a procrastinator, like warm better than cold and drink neither Coke nor Pepsi. I was born in the Midwest but migrated to California at the ripe old age of 2. My hobbies include doll collecting, photo restoration and writing, of course. My favorite sport is ice hockey, my favorite TV show at the moment is LOST although I don’t watch the tube much. I am married to my hero of 30 years and have 3 sinfully excellent children. 

As a free-lance writer, I author a monthly column for my local chamber of commerce. I maintain a website, write for several blogs and publish a periodic digital newsletter. Oh, and then there’s all that social networking stuff… 

I am also a lighthouse fanatic, and I guess it was only a matter of time before my obsessions collided and I wrote my latest release, POINT SURRENDER (Echelon Press, ISBN 978-1-59080-514-5). I actually spent days (and nights) holed up alone inside of a lighthouse while writing that book. What a trip that was! 

As a writer, my biggest obstacle is allocating enough time to write, edit and market my books while trying to run my business and raise my children. Squeezing extra minutes out of an already jam-packed day is a challenge all writers must face. Next up for me? The second romantic lighthouse mystery, CAPE SEDUCTION, is slated for publication in 2010, and I am knee-deep in edits on another middle reader called OLD ENOUGH. The third and final novel in the StarCrossed trilogy, titled THE GYPSY IN ME, is in the works, and soon I’ll begin the third lighthouse book! Isn’t that enough? 

All of my published work can be found at both Amazon.com and, in digital formats, at Fictionwise.com. I am available for speaking engagements, please contact me for topics. I can be reached via email at annecarter@beaconstreetbooks.com. Visit my website and blog at http://www.BeaconStreetBooks.com.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pamripling