Sunday, July 22, 2018

Between Apathy and Frustration

Sounds like a great book title, doesn't it? That's where I am right now and have been since my last book was published two years ago. 

As my friends know, there are dozens upon dozens of 'people in my head' and laptop waiting to be unleashed into the world -- but although I stand outside their cage with key in hand, looking at them daily, for some reason I just turn my back and walk away. (I can even see their arms thrust through the bars, reaching, voices straining, yelling at me "Come back!" But I just keep walking.)

It's not fair to them, it's not fair to me, because I love them and want to set them free - but at the end of the day, it just doesn't happen.

It's not writer's block - I KNOW where the stories are going, I know what these people want to say. If I could 'mind meld' with my laptop, I'd have at least a half dozen stories off to the publisher, at which point I'd be waiting for them to be returned, torn apart by an editor, 'Only to make them better,' I'm told. It IS true...but when someone beats up on your baby -- you know how that is! 

The "Sheriff"
The "Cowboy"
So, where does this leave me? Right now in my head/laptop, there are at least dozen folks waiting to 'finish the act' - two retirees, a sheriff, a television producer (not ME, the character), a police detective, a DEA agent, (geez, there's a pattern here!), a country singer, a photographer from Chicago, a NASCAR driver & pit crew person, a model/nurse, a baseball player, a cowboy and more. That's TEN books waiting to be completed, and every day another one pops into my head. Yes...I must be crazy.

Maybe just writing this blog is a catharsis of some sort - writing for the act of writing -- and not the writing I do while I'm working. I hope this is some sort of kick start, (read that kick in the ass!)  All I can say is, 'we'll see.'

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a full time job behind the scenes in television, a part time job in radio and an even 'parter' time job trying to keep her house clean. She lives with her cute chef husband and two fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West.Find her books at Decadent Publishing, Amazon and other reputable e-book retailers.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Friends are a Writer's Best Friend!

Oh, the conversations which take place when writers get together! Usually, our poor spouses are left out in the cold, looking at us like we need some sort of psychiatric help. It's always nice when you have friends who understand the 'people in your head' just need to express themselves.

Such is the case with my pal, writer and former co-worker, Cyn Mackley. It's so much fun to see each other's eyes light up with ideas and plot twists. So, we decided to sit down and chat awhile--and if you like interestingly twisted stories, my pal, Cynde has them for you!

Me: So, Cyn, do the people in your head talk to you all day long, too?
Cyn: Oh yes. The inside of my head is like a Robin Williams routine.
Me: Much less hairy, I would imagine!
Cyn: Oh, there are some hairy ones in there too!

Me: What's the earliest recollection of you actually writing?
Cyn:. I distinctly remember drawing a little book about two broth who lived in a windmill. I had confused a windmill with a lighthouse because they had boats.

Me: What author do you admire most?
Cyn: The first author I ever truly loved was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wrote Michael Landon angry letters over the TV show Little House On The Prairie versus the book. Like a 7-page letter. Robert B. Parker is a huge influence on me as well. The way he writes dialogue, how prolific he was. How he keeled over while writing at this desk. 

Me: I know your stories are a bit 'twisted,' in a wonderful way. Where do your story ideas come from?
Cyn: I collect little bits of every single day to use in stories. We've both worked in newsrooms and that's a great place for plots in general.Every single crime in any of my books has been inspired by a similar real-life crimes. Even the awful things that go down in What The Chat Dragged In.

Me: Where did the storyline for Killer Clowns from Out of State come from?
Cyn: A visit to the Cirque de Soliel. I was sitting in the audience and was impressed that the clown band was playing their own instruments and singing, and I started thinking, wow these are super-talented people. I wondered what their lives were like when not performing. What do accordion playing clowns do in their off time? By the end of the performance, I had most of the book.

Me: With 'What the Chat Dragged In,' and 'American Goth' you have mystery down pat. Any other genre you'd like to try?
Cyn: I'd really like to be able to write a good piece of sci-fi or fantasy. I love that genre, but I don't feel that I write it well. I have a half finished book called Araknj's Quantum that's a steampunk mystery about time-traveling murderous robot chefs. I let my friends pick my National Novel Writing Month project by naming random things and that's what happened.

Me: With two novels published and many more on the way--which is your favorite?

Cyn: Probably What The Chat Dragged In. Because it was so hard to write, but I think I pulled it off.

Me: I know after 'Chat,' 'Killer Clowns' is next. What's it about? 
Cyn: It's about a small town female police chief that runs over a circus performer who may or may not be connected to a murder. He's a fill-in clown, actually an assistant stage manager who knows how to play the accordion. I'm proud of how it all comes together and makes sense. I'm also finishing my edits on the sequel to American Goth, 'A Maze & Grace.'

I had to include the covers of Cyn's published and soon-to-be published books, because they're some of the most awesome covers I've ever seen!

Visit with Cynde today:
Cyn on Facebook
Cyn's  Blog 
Cyn on Amazon 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Help, Pirates!

And there's little that can be done about them it seems...
Less than a week after my latest release, Safe At Home, came out -- where do I find it, on some 'pirate' site for FREE!
    Okay--so I'm not gonna get rich on a book that retails for $2.99. but really, someone had to go steal it? Why?  So your little site can spread around a bunch of malware?  Those of you who download it and don't pay for it, you get all the headaches you deserve for ripping off not only me, but Decadent Publishing, Amazon (or other reputable ebook dealer,) the artist who designed the beautiful cover and other folks.
     To top it off, you're so cowardly, you don't even have a working email address so I can send you a DCMA notice! What you/this site has done, is no different than lifting a case of printed books from a bookstore and giving them away.
    It's stealing--period!
    What can you as a reader do? Always buy from a reputable ebook seller; Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance e-books. Unless it's being given away by a blog host or the author, if it's free, it's possibly pirated. For bound books, never hand over money or order books with front covers or title pages missing.
 Books are a consumable, just like curtains, or pants, or a jar of spaghetti sauce. Someone put some hard work into writing it, a publishing house may have worked on it to get it to market, or an author may have self-pubbed the story on his or her own--they made something to go to market -- not be stolen like suits and microwaves handed out in the back of a meat warehouse like in Goodfellqs.
     And, if you really need a copy and can't afford the $2.99---just ask. Maybe I'll send you one.

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a full time job behind the scenes in television, a part time job in radio and an even 'parter' time job trying to keep her house clean. She lives with her cute chef husband and two fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Now What?

Now what?
"Now what?" The phrase reminds me of a poster on a friend's dorm room wall back in the 1980's. And, although I've Googled it, it didn't come up. So I've created my own, although the original was more artsy!

This is pretty much what I'm asking myself right now! "Now what?"--more promotion? Wait for reviews? Wonder about sales? Forget this 'baby,' and move on to another project? A little of all of the above, I suppose.

My inherent 'now what?' questioning of myself has been thrown off a bit this time around. For those who know me well, unlike a lot of writers, I tend to finish one project to the very end (publication), before tossing myself headlong into another. Not this time, as I have co-workers breathing down my neck for more! Yes, many of them were present when 'Safe At Home' was born, along with the shriek of the birth of another story after hanging up the phone with a local Sheriff about a month ago. So now they want to know, 'Is it finished?'

I so want to tell them, "Yes," but it's not like I don't have other things occupying my time. So, I toss them some savory story breadcrumbs and let them pout, because, hey, as much as I enjoy their company they can buy the book, right?

And if it's any incentive to buy my latest release 'Safe At Home,' one review seems even more salacious than the book itself!

So in answering my "Now what?' I better get my butt into a not-so-far-off fantasy land and see what my new characters are up to! And, since one is a member of law enforcement, I better get my butt in gear - or else! It also doesn't hurt that "Sheriff Eli Martin" looks like this!

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a full time job behind the scenes in television, a part time job in radio and an even 'parter' time job trying to keep her house clean. She lives with her cute chef husband and two fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

When Characters Come to Life

   We discussed a few blogs ago about "where they come from"--characters, story, ideas, locations. As I've mentioned, in my newest release, "Safe at Home," the main character is modeled after a young man I met about a year ago. Drew Baldridge is just a clean cut, all-American, mid-western kid who for some reason 'stuck' in my head.    
After some late night inspiration Google-ing, "Andy" came to life in Drew's "Dance With Ya" video. I wrote the "feel" of the video into Andy and Charly's story. I just hope Drew doesn't take offense to what happens after this scene!

Like any writer, I'm excited my "baby" will soon be out in the  world! Is it a coincidence this baseball-backgrounded story is being released on the day Game 1 of the World Series is to be played? I don't know, but I certainly hope it's good karma! (Apologies to my fellow Ohioans, GO CUBBIES!)

"Safe at Home" is available Tuesday, October 25th at the following e-book retailers.

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a full time job behind the scenes in television, a part time job in radio and an even 'parter' time job trying to keep her house clean. She lives with her cute chef husband and two fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Don't I Know You from Somewhere?

   A few days ago I asked and answered the question, "Where do they come from?" Meaning--characters, stories, etc.
    Now I ask, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" Because in the case of my newest "Safe At Home," the characters and the story in this 1Night Stand are related to a few others my partner-in-writing crime, Deanna Wadsworth, and I have come up with.
     While each of our stories is independent of one another, you can find out what happened to many of these folks by reading 'the next book' in a loosely planned series of 1Night Stands.
       Going backward, so to speak, Charly in "Safe At Home" works for an art gallery owned by Paul Strait in "Finding His Fantasy." Paul appeared in my "Wise Men Say" story. Charly and Andy's friend, Casey, is the lead in "For Me," and Deanna swiped a character from that story to pen "The Best Ever."
      If the baseball player in that story sounds familiar, he's Andy's teammate in my latest story. A woman mentioned in "The Best Ever" is the main character in my "Haste Ye Back." The story of the concierge in "HYB" is found in "Accidentally Beautiful," and he takes care of the main character in "The One He Chose." Which brings us back to where this started, with John Godfrey of "Bear It All" who is Charly's old boyfriend.
     While it may sound confusing, it's actually FUN to the point where some think Deanna and I are one in the same. And although I love her, and at times we can finish each other's sentences, rest assured we are two independent people who just find it a challenge and WAY too much fun to steal each other's minor characters and see where their stories go.
     Hope you enjoy these stories as much as we have stealing from one another and finding out where these 'people' end up!"
     "Safe At Home" is up for presale now at the following:  

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a full time job behind the scenes in television, a part time job in radio and an even 'parter' time job trying to keep her house clean. She lives with her cute chef husband and two fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Whey "They" Come From

     It's a question asked a lot of authors--where does the story, the characters come from?
     "Andy" in my latest work Safe At Home from Decadent Publishing was born when I booked this young man on the television show I produce. Drew Baldridge showed up, talented, sweet, and cute as a button--and while I was trying to time a show and listen to him sing, my mind kept calling him "Andy" and filling in his back story.
Drew Baldridge
  It took about a year (remember, I have two other jobs) to finish off his story, and in the meantime Drew released a CD and it just so happened nearly every song on the album reflected a part of "Andy's" and "Charly's" relationship.
     Safe At Home is the baseball story I've been waiting to get published. While it's not the 300,000-word book I penned when I first started seriously writing (which, by the way, hasn't been published -- way too much head hopping, misplaced modifiers, and enough new-writer mistakes that would make an editor tear out his or her hair), it is an ode to that effort.
     And, I love baseball,
     Safe At Home is ready to order now for delivery to your device on October 25th. Hope you enjoy it! Oh, and thanks, Drew!

When not playing with the people in her head, Wendy has a full time job behind the scenes in television, a part time job in radio and an even 'parter' time job trying to keep her house clean. She lives with her cute chef husband and two fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West. 

Safe At Home excerpt:

Ten minutes later, two little girls were both dry and asleep. And, as Breanna insisted, in their parents’ bed. Charly rested her head against her husband’s. “Sorry, hon.”
“About what?”
She looked around the bed. “The interruption. My irritation. Too little of you know what these days, and then….”
“Hey.” His warm fingertip lifted her chin. “I love you.” Kissing her gently, he promised, “There’s always tomorrow.” He winked at her in the darkened room. “And I’ll make sure you get off like you’ve never gotten off before.” He stopped for a moment, cuddling a daughter. “Anyway, this is almost as good.”
“I guess we need to put a lock on that door.”
“What for? That would ruin all the excitement!”
Quietly, as to not wake their girls, they laughed together.
The thoughts that had darted to the front of her brain earlier in the evening, returned. A question spilled from her mouth before she had any chance to stop it. “So, this trade,” she began.
“Yes, Charlotte.”
No, not my given first name, this is not going to be good. “You know, don’t you?”
“I didn’t want to upset, you Char.”
So you were keeping me in the dark! “Just tell me, Andy.”
“No….” With the utterance of that one word, she knew. A city she loathed, a metropolis that had emotionally chewed her up and spit her out. She hadn’t been to The City in more than a decade, and it would take some doing to get her to return.
“…York, the Bronx.”
Swallowing hard, she blocked the tears. A defeated, disgusted sigh left her. “No, Andy, not New York, not the Titans.” Cuddling Chloe closer, she turned her face from her husband and cried herself to sleep.
Two weeks later, the spring baseball rituals began. As much as she hated it, still Charly put on a happy face. If this were any other year, the girls would’ve been outfitted in little Milwaukee Breakers shirts, but mentally holding her nose, she honored her husband by dressing them in tiny Titans jerseys. They sat atop their father’s carry-on at the front door.
Charly watched as he squatted in front of them.
“Daddy’s going to miss you.” He clutched them tightly, smooching them wetly on the cheeks.
“Daddy going to Forida,” Bree mentioned.
Florida, baby.”
When he rose to meet Charly, there were tears in his eyes.
“What, Andy?”
Taking her into his arms and holding her tightly, he whispered, “This gets harder all the time.”
Knowing that, she didn’t let on how much his leaving affected her as well, especially since in Florida, there’d be no familiar faces to hang with, no women who understood her and she them. She’d be with strangers. “But, it’s what you do, honey.” She hugged him in return, kissing his cheek. “We’ll see you in a week or two.” His hold tightened about her.
His voice quiet, nearly apologetic, he confessed, “I’m sorry we haven’t had a chance to ‘get busy’ lately, Charly. You know how much I’m going to miss that.” He kissed her ear, his voice even more quiet, secretive, “I’ll ask Mom to come to Florida with you. We can get a little alone time then.” His took her face in his hands and brought his lips to hers for a long, deep, gotta-make-it-last kiss.

When the car service driver rang the doorbell, a not so pretty chapter in their lives began.