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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

And then there were five...

     Friday, September 6th -- another big day for me. My fifth story with Decadent Publishing will be released. As you can see by the banner, it's another 1NightStand story. Although, I would love someday to finish and release a full length novel, for some reason, these intense short stories seem to flow out of my head.

    FOR ME may hit a mark with some of you dear readers, especially if you're of the fuller-figure variety. I'll be honest, I've battled my weight and self-consciousness because of my weight, all my life. Sure, I was a size 8 for a year and a half --but it was a fairly unhappy, overly-obsessed- with-the-scale 18 months. I was a knock-out, but at what cost? I only wish I had the healthy attitude my character, Abby, does about her size. Thankfully, I have a husband, who like her date, Casey, accepts her as she is and more importantly who she is on the inside. Sure, it sounds very hokey and cliche, but his want of her, and their collective acceptance of beauty--inner and outer -- has been terribly maligned over the years. What are we teaching our children through the media's slanted, photo-shopped images of people?

     But, I didn't want to get too serious with this blog--rather PUSH a book! 

     Here's a little taste of what's between the (electronic) covers of FOR ME:

Welcome, Dr. Lewis.
I hope you are finding the Castillo Retreat relaxing and delightful. 1Night Stand takes into consideration both parties requests and appetites when designing their encounter.
Your date will arrive shortly. Please get comfortable by undressing and wearing the robe provided and relax on the massage table in the spa room. He expressed on his application that he has great hands. If you are accepting, he would like to begin the evening with a massage.
Despite knowing you’re a physician, your date is slightly self-conscious about his appearance, so by having you wear the blindfold provided, he’ll feel more comfortable. You may have some concern having one sense taken from you. I suggest you and your partner decide on a safe word. Should either of you feel uneasy at any time, with any action, use the agreed-upon word to stop the encounter.
Have a wonderful evening.
Madame Eve
“What the hell? He’s self-conscious? I’m the one bare-ass naked under nothing but a robe”
Staring at the envelope, she waited for the words to change even slightly. They didn’t. Dammit. With a grunt of irritation, she tossed the paperwork on the table and headed for the spa room.
He’s self-conscious. “Hmmm.” Disfigured from some accident, deformed at birth, marred by a bad case of adolescent acne? “Quit being so ridiculous, Abigail!”
She began to undress and caught a glimpse in the full-length mirror and sighed. She shouldn’t be disgusted—she had a beautiful, round figure, or so her mother told her all through high school, with well-defined arms and shoulders from her love of kayaking and canoeing. Hours in the medical center’s private pool helped as well. Regardless, an evil, self-destructive thought crossed her mind; He’ll wonder who delivered the cow then demand his money back.
Covering with the cozy bathrobe provided for her doused the notion. She lay down on her back on the towel-wrapped table and as directed, slipped the small blindfold over her eyes.
The world went dark. Not a frightening dark, but a deep, restful absence of light, a peaceful black.
Under the blindfold, she closed her eyes to the world. So quiet. She dozed, she had no idea how long, until the closing of the door brought her around.
“Hello, Dr. Lewis. Or may I call you Abigail?”
“Abby is fine.” She turned her head, following the deep, satiny voice of a man. Quiet steps moved behind her head. He stopped. Fingering the knot of her robe, she tightened it, covering herself, hoping to ward off the odd sensation of him studying her shape.
The lonely spot between her legs pulsed when a heavy hand lit on her shoulder.

His breath fell warm and solicitous on her ear. “What would you like rubbed first?”

     With this story, a 'collaboration' of sorts with dear friend and fellow DP author Deanna Wadsworth, has come to an end. FOR ME is the sixth in the series of a half dozen DW and I have written with overlapping characters.

     And, how are all these books 'related,' well: the furry guy (John) BEAR IT ALL's cover is the brother of the lovely woman (Grace) on my THE ONE HE CHOSE. The cute blond (Martin) on Deanna's ACCIDENTALLY BEAUTIFUL is the concierge at a Castillo hotel where Grace stayed in her story. Martin is an old high school friend of the strapping, kilt-clad Scot (Ian) from HASTE YEAR BACK. The young lady (Bryn) on that same cover is neighbors with the t-shirted guy (Jason) THE BEST EVER, and he's the brother of the woman (Abby) on the cover of my FOR ME.

     (Deanna and I would be thrilled if you read them in order as they appear above. Despite getting a deep sense of the characters in each individual book, their on-going interaction gives even more understanding of their 'situations.')

     So, dear friends, thanks for reading. I hope you'll pick up and enjoy FOR ME!

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 three fuzzy felines in the Great Lakes region of the Mid-West.