Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday - Ann Herrick - Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #teens

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?

I write mostly Young Adult novels, and some Tween novels. Though there is at least a hint of romance in each book (more in some, less in others), they are not all straight romances.

Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices?

Yes, I read a lot of young adult and some middle grade novels, but many novels for adults as well, and biographies too.

Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

I would probably not attempt to write anything that took place in any year before I was born—too much research for me!

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?

 I enjoy writing about all three, but I think heroes are my favorite. It's fun to conjure up a new perfect (or almost perfect) guy with each book.

3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love?

 It's a combination of real life and imagination. I take bits and pieces of real (and really nice) guys I've known, and pump them up somewhat for stories.

Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

After I have the idea for the story. The first draft is really where I get to know my characters.

4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for?

Again, both real life and imagination. To some extent I put myself in the heroine's shoes, but none of the heroines are me. We might share a trait or two, but the characters evolve as I write.

 Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

 Except for any trait that the heroine might share with me, they come after. I get into their heads as I go.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

My villains are not true, mustache-twirling heavies. They are usually standing in the way of something my hero/heroine wants or out to get something (or someone) the hero/heroine wants, but they have their good qualities as well as their flaws.

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

My latest release is a tween novel, Also Known as Lard Butt. The heroine is Laura Butler, who vows to take risks in high school and overcome her dreaded nickname, Lard Butt. The hero and villain are to some extent the same person—Ricky, who gave Laura her hated nickname in the first place. He agrees to a bargain to not use that name and Laura will tutor him in Spanish. Along the way he makes some changes, and Laura makes some surprising discoveries about Ricky.


7. What are you working on now?

I'm working on a tween novel about a young teen who is nearly struck by lightning and wakes up with a great singing voice—and an inflated ego that causes a rift with his friends and fellow band-mates.

8. How can people find you?


Facebook: Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ann.herrick







Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday's Characters - More From Code Blue #MFRWauthor #medicalsuspense #medicalromance


I always call this my book of vanishing characters. Was a fun book to write even though there's a serial killer in their midst. Needed to plant a few red herrings, thus some of the characters have more than one role. Suspect and victim.

Trish is another nurse on the unit and she may have reasons for the deaths, or someone may want her dead.

Trish jumped to her feet and knocked her chair against the wall. "You're both hypocrites." She stabbed a finger at Julie and then at Susan. "At least neither of you has been one of her victims."

The violent overtones in Trish's voice shook Susan. "I know she pushed you last night, but I thought she was probing for something she could use."

"She already knew too much."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Trish's thin body stiffened. "And give you some ammunition to use against me? Forget that."

"I don't gossip," Susan said.

Trish moved from behind the table. "I'm glad she's dead."

As Susan studied Trish's face, she remembered Barbara had named Trish as an anorexic. Had the practical said more? Instead of tuning Barbara out, Susan wished she had listened.

"She asked to be killed." Trish edged past Susan. "You're lucky she never learned your secrets. At least you don't have to worry if the police will find a written record of your mistakes."

"Do you really think Barbara kept records?" Julie asked. "She seldom noted our calls. If it wasn't gossip she could wrap her tongue around, forget it."

Susan nodded. "Remember how we had to nag so she'd do her share of charts."

"I tried to ignore what she said about you and Larry," Julie said.

"What kind of things?" Trish's voice rose to a shrill pitch.

"Like your reasons for being here," Julie said. "How Larry dumped you and how you planned to get revenge by telling lies about the things he's done."

Trish laughed. "You don't know what went down between Larry and me and I'm not going to tell you. If you're curious, ask him."

The edge of anger in Trish's voice stirred Susan's curiosity. Why hadn't she listened to the practical? Every one of Barbara's tales had contained a bit of truth. Susan didn't believe love for De Witt had brought Trish to Bradley Memorial. But what had?


She put the coffee carafe on the heating plate. "In a week or two, no one will remember anything she said."

Larry is a doctor who was once involved with Trish and now is with Julie. He wants a partnership with his uncle.

At five after twelve, Julie parked her car on the street near Larry's river front apartment. She stared at the low-lying fog that slithered across the flagstone walk leading to the terrace entrance.

"Use the terrace door." Larry had whispered just before he left the unit. On Wednesday, she had forgotten. A long lecture about how he hated her to use the front entrance where a security guard made her sign the guest book had been her punishment.

"I don't want my visitors treated like they're visiting a jail. No one needs to know whom I've been seeing."

"If privacy's so important, why not buy a house or a condo?" she had asked.

"Money. First I need the partnership. Don't fret, little bird. There'll always be a nest for you."

He meant marriage, didn't he? Doubt tickled her thoughts. She slumped against the car. He had to mean marriage. What would she do if he didn't? She couldn't stay away from him. A month ago, for three miserable days, she had tried and failed.

The fog shifted. As she slipped on the slick flagstones, she grasped the handrail. The river lapped against the retaining wall with a lulling sound. She reached the terrace and stared at the glass door.
Larry stood at the bar and tossed off a drink. She frowned. For the past month, his intake of alcohol had increased and he had refused to discuss the reasons. She walked toward the door.

Low slung jeans hugged his hips and thighs. He wore no shirt. When he replaced the decanter on the glass and chrome bar, his back muscles rippled.

Entranced by his movements, she traced his reflection on the glass. After a short time, she knocked. He turned and strode to the door. She ached to touch the blond curls that tapered to disappear beneath the waist of his jeans. He opened the door. The rhythmic beat of "Bolero" played softly in the background.

"You're late." He sipped his drink.

Julie unbuttoned her coat. "Narcotic count was off. Trish forgot to record a Valium." She frowned. 

Why the startled look so quickly masked? Was he worried about Trish? I'm not jealous, she silently repeated several times.

Larry set his drink on the glass and chrome table near the terrace doors. Julie kicked off her shoes and curled her toes into the deep pile of the carpet.

He slid her coat from her shoulders and pulled her into an embrace. His mouth met hers, explored and demanded. The rhythmic music changed to a soft and plaintive melody.

Larry released her. "Wine?"

She nodded. "Half a glass. I'm beat."

He picked up his drink and drained it. After crossing to the bar, he poured white wine for her and 
another drink for himself. She took the goblet and touched hers to his. "To us."

"To an affair destined to last longer than Uncle Joe's and Leila Vernon's."

"Ms. Vernon." Wine splashed on the pewter gray carpet. "What are you talking about?"

His eyes danced with a kind of excitement that made her wary. "Uncle Joe and Leila have been lovers for years."

"I don't believe you."

"I couldn't have learned at a better time. The partnership's assured."

Julie put her glass on the end table. "What do you mean?"

"Not for you to worry about, little bird."

"Is this part of what's been bothering you for weeks?"

He grinned. "I have no worries."

"Then why have you been drinking so much?"

He laughed. "Have I? Let's just say I have proof of this affair."

"Did Barbara tell you? I wouldn't trust a thing she said."

"She wasn't my source." He took her hand. "Don't worry your pretty self about anything." He pulled her closer. "When I tell him what I know, he'll give me a fifty-fifty split instead of the usual thirty-seventy for the first two years."

Julie stiffened. "That sounds like blackmail."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Looking at Characters. #MFRWauthor #Writing

In Structuring Your Novel From Basic Idea To Finished Manuscript by Meredith and Fitzgerald I came across this bit of advice. This is something we all know but often we don't think about. The general parts of characterization. Some of these traits we don't think about but often use them.

Universal traits - Male and female. Sure when devising our characters we think about the hero or heroine or villain as to their sex. Sometimes we forget this when drawing the characters. Men and women react differently emotionally to events. Their dialogue tends to be different. Not always but women tend to use longer sentences than men. But also remember there can be exceptions.

There are National traits. Much depends on the country where the character was born and raised to give hints to their personality. This may be why when I'm writing contemporary I tend to have my characters as from the US rather than from another country. When writing fantasy I have to develop the country and fit the characters to that country.

Regional traits - Different parts of the country have their differences, especially in language but also in reactions to events. My characters tend to be from the middle Atlantic States where I was born and raised. Even here since moving to various places in the country and living there I've found differences in traits so I can have a Texan or a southerner. I've lived there and observed.

These are the first three and I'll look at the other three next week.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - One Word Leads... #MFRWauthor #amwriting #Writing


One Word leads to another and another. For me that's the way a story works. Sometimes finding the right word to start the flow of words is difficult. There are days when the word flow is barely able to complete a paragraph. Other days the words flow almost too fast to catch.

How about you? Do you find the right word hard to come by? Do the words flow too fast for you to catch them all?

I'm one of those people who writes the initial drafts in pen on paper. When i go to put them into the computer there are days when I have difficulty reading what I wrote. Those are the days when the flow is like a water tap that can't be turned off. Other days the writing is round and easy to read. That's a day when the words come slowly.

The important thing is getting those words down. One word leads to another and another. Suddenly the story becomes complete but then one has to look at the words and see if they are the right ones for the story. But if the words hadn't flowed on paper or on the screen there would be no story to edit and revise.

Just remember - One Word Leads To Another and Another. So keep putting your words on the paper or in the computer.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #amreading #amwriting


Meander 1 - Just finished reading 2 books. A Master Passion by Juliet Waldron - Alexander Hamilton and his wife. What a great story that made history come alive. Well done.
The second book was The Prince and the Working Woman by Kat Attalla  - a totally different pace with snappy dialogue and a heroine with strength and a hero who had lessons to learn.
Kudos to both.

Meander 2 - I bought a new recliner to replace the one I really liked but it had become arthritic with old age rather like the woman who used it. The new one is kind of brown and I hope it's as comfortable as the one I'll be bidding adieu. Comfortable but quirky and doesn't always recline without a lot of yelling and banging.

Meander 3 - Writing. Am pushing forward with Wizards but there's a long way to go and a deadline I set for mid-November. Sure hope I'll make it. While I'm typing the second draft am working on Seducing the Chef. Tomorrow I must write the publisher and ask if she will start releasing seven books to me so i can get them together. Hopefully I'll only need to write the six short ones to bring them up to novella length. Also have to set things so my royalties will be directly deposited into my account. That will make life easier all around and I won't have to wait for checks.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday - Looking at My Books - Choices #MFRWauthor #medicalromance #hospitalpolitics







In Janet Lane Walters' Choices, published by Books We Love, Johanna Gordon devotes her time and energy to her job as Director of Nursing at Hudson Community Hospital. With budget cuts hanging over her head, Johanna suspects the CEO of scheming a plan that threatens her job as well as the hospital, and she’s determined to find out why. 
The choices she’s made for herself and her career leave her with no social life until she meets Dylan Connelly. He’s everything she’s always wanted, loving, devoted to his kids and everything she’s never had. Just when she finds love with the new man, an old flame returns with promises of a life together. Johanna has to decide between security and companionship, while trying to recapture the past, or moving forward with her new life.

Book can be purchased : https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-choices-1114090-149.html, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choices-janet-lane-walters/1114821713?, ean=2940044363458, 
Choices
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Choices
Johanna lives a lonely live. But as the book progresses you see that her life is filled with friends, just not a life partner.
She is director of nursing at a hospital and needs to proof that the CEO is wasting money.
Then Dylan comes into her life. He makes her laugh.
You read about Jo's younger life and the choices her parents made for her. Her sister was mentally disabled and her parents did not want to bring other people into their house. That meant that Johanne could never bring her boyfriend.
She meets up with Blaine, the college boyfriend, again.
They don't see eye to eye on his cousin, the CEO of the hospital.
Life happens and Johanna chooses.

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Choices was a great story about real people. They were not young, slender, impossibly beautiful and ridiculously wealthy but older people with real lives that I could care about. Well developed characters and a good plot.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs feature Books by Alice Orr #MFRWauthor #romanticsuspense

Alice Orr Has a Two-Day Affair on Janet Lane Walters’ Blog
Day Two


A WRONG WAY HOME
Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1
 Matt & Kara’s Story
By ALICE ORR

Going home can be dangerous…
Kara Cartwright returns to her hometown on the same night Anthony Benton is murdered. She knows nothing about that or how it will unhinge her life. She only knows she vowed never to come back to Riverton or to see Matt Kalli – the man she once loved then deserted.

Matt has made a vow of his own. He’ll never forgive Kara – the woman who loved him then betrayed him nine years ago. He also can’t forgive himself for the way she’s stuck in his heart.

All these two have in common is their undeniable attraction for each other and their hatred of Anthony Benton. Now Benton is dead and they could be suspects. People they care deeply about are suspects too. That gives Matt and Kara something else in common – a perilous search for the real killer before he murders again.

A Wrong Way Home is the first book in The Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family, the four Kalli brothers and others who find safety and a warm welcome on Riverton Road. A Wrong Way Home – the eBook is FREE!!! at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC and at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and Kobo and other online retailers. Find out more about the author Alice Orr at www.aliceorrbooks.com.


A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS
Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2
Mark & Hailey’s Story
By ALICE ORR


The town she loves is filled with deadly secrets…
Hailey Lambert loves the North Country even though she doesn’t love some of her North Country memories. Riverton was a great place to grow up – except for the Hargate’s. Now Julia Hargate is back in Hailey’s life and so is Julia’s domineering mother.

Hailey wants them both gone. But Julia is involved in a murder that could get her killed too. Hailey has no choice. She has to help and she puts herself in danger to do that.

Mark Kalli has wanted Hailey in his life what feels like forever but she won’t give him the time of day. Now she’s mixed up in a murder. It looks like spoiled heiress Julia Hargate is the killer but Hailey insists that’s not true. Mark has no choice. He has to get involved – with the killing and with Hailey – whether she wants him or not.  
A Year of Summer Shadows is the second book of the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series set in remote Riverton, New York. Love and murder combine in a powerful story mix you won’t want to miss. A Year of Summer Shadows is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O and Barnes & Noble and iTunes and Kobo and other online retailers. Be in touch with the author Alice Orr at www.aliceorrbooks.com. She’d love to hear from you.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday - Alice Orr is Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #romanticsuspense

Alice Orr Has a Two-Day Affair on Janet Lane Walters’ Blog
Day One


Question. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?
Answer. I write in a single genre now. That genre is Romantic Suspense. I’ve tried other kinds of stories in the past and some nonfiction too, but I always return to Romantic Suspense. So I’ve decided to give in to what I obviously love and hang out there. I can’t say that I’ll never try anything else because I know better than ever to say never. But for now, and the foreseeable future, romantic suspense is where the writer in me wants to live. After all, sex and death have always been my two favorite story elements.

Question. Heroes, heroines, villains. Which are your favorite to write?
Answer. This is a tough question for me. I change point of view between the hero and heroine in alternating chapters. First a chapter is in the heroine’s consciousness. Then the next is in the hero’s. That means I’m intimately involved with both of them. I’m speaking through each in turn, and they are speaking through me. If I had a favorite between them I couldn’t really write a balanced story or an authentic one either. So I guess I have to say that both my heroes and heroines are my favorite characters to write. I’m currently writing A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 3. The chapter I’m writing right now is in Bobby’s point of view so at the moment he’s my favorite. But don’t worry, Vanessa, your turn to be my favorite comes up next.

Question. Heroes. How do you find them?
Answer. My Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series has a family at its center, the Kalli family, and they have four sons. So, when I decided to write this series, the heroes came with the territory. A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 is about Matt who’s the oldest son. A Year of Summer Shadows – Book 2 is about Mark, the second son. A Villain for Vanessa – Book 3 breaks that pattern a little by featuring Bobby who was pretty much taken in by the Kalli’s when he was in middle school. I’m thinking about having the next book be the story of a female relative of the Kalli clan so the hero won’t be a Kalli at all. This is what I love about writing series. The scope of writing many books instead of just one adds to the possibilities. That’s why this series could go on for a very long time. I’m happy about that because I’ve fallen in love with the Kalli’s myself. I can’t wait to see where the series leads me, in terms of heroes and everything else.

Question. Heroines. How do you find them?
Answer. Hailey Lambert, the heroine of my most recently published book A Year of Summer Shadows, was inspired by Sandra Bullock. I simply love Sandra Bullock, the way she looks and talks and presents herself, and especially the characters she plays in her movies. She even made a wrong-man choice in her personal life then picked herself up, dusted herself off and started all over again. I admire the spirit it took to do that. Hailey is like Sandra in many ways, so naturally I can’t help but love Hailey too

Question. Villains or villainesses. How do you make them human?
Answer. I write Romantic Suspense so the villain or villainess is always the murderer. I start the story knowing who that person is but I have to fess up to something. In each of the first two books of the Riverton Road Series, when I got to the end, the murderer turned out to be someone else entirely. In both stories, that person was a better choice because he or she made it a better story. I think I know the identity of the murderer in Book 3 but I fully expect I’ll turn out to be wrong. As for making my villains human, I follow the principle that every villain thinks of himself as the hero of his own story. In other words, he feels totally justified in what he’s done. His motives are twisted, but he doesn’t see it that way. He believes he’s doing what he has to do, and that humanizes him.

Question. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and villain?
Answer. My latest release is A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2. My hero is Mark Kalli. My heroine is Hailey Lambert. But it’s a murder mystery so I of course can’t reveal the name of the villain. You’ll have to read the story to discover that. You can buy the book at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O.

Question. What are you working on now?
Answer. I’m currently working on A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 3. It’s a story that’s all about tangled roots, as the cover art illustrates. Especially tangled family roots. And, as always, it begins with a murder. A Villain for Vanessa will be published this fall.

Question. How can people find you?
Answer. People can find me at my website www.aliceorrbooks.com. That is the gateway to everything about me as writer, and a lot about me as a person as well. I blog there too at www.aliceorrbooks.com/blog. I hope everybody will stop by, check out my books and leave a comment on my blog. Hearing from readers is my very favorite thing.

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

    


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday - A Look At Characters from Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Medicalsuspense #romance

 In other posts I've talked about the hero, the heroine and the villain. But there are many characters in the story so here's a look at a few of them.

Though Barbara has just a bit part in the story, she's the starting point.

"Do you really think I'll tell you?" Barbara Denton's strident voice rasped against Susan's nerve endings. "Believe me, when I say it's dynamite. Someone isn't going to like what I've learned. And let me tell you, this time, I have all the facts."

The practical nurse's harsh laughter and the veiled threat in her voice added to Susan's uneasiness. Whom had Barbara targeted this time? Her stories always contained a dram of truth but little more. Susan halted in the doorway and waited to hear further hints of scandal. When the practical remained silent, Susan stepped into the room and closed the door.

The hospital's gossip queen sprawled on the bright green loveseat facing the door. She stabbed a cigarette toward the round table that was partly hidden by the jutting powder room wall. A gold bracelet glittered on her arm and slid up and down as she used the cigarette to emphasize the importance of the tidbit she dangled.

Susan shook her head. Had anyone reminded Barbara that smoking in the hospital was illegal? Would it matter? The practical had chosen to break the rule, but so did the unit's nurse manager.

"Don't tease," Susan said. "We know you're dying to tell all."

Leila is Susan's best friend and adds to the developing tension.

Goodbye, Barbara." Susan carried a salad and a cup of coffee to the table. Fifteen minutes later, the lounge door opened and Leila walked in.

"You're late," Susan said.

Leila poured a cup of coffee. "It's been one of those evenings. ICU had a visitor who refused to leave. The OR needed four units of blood stat. A patient on Five Med/Surg fell." She sat across from Susan. 
"I like the hair. It's about time you colored the gray."

"That's what my mother said, plus a lot of other advice." Susan closed the salad container. "Why don't we get together for lunch tomorrow and I'll fill you in about the state of nursing practice in Florida?"
Leila lit a cigarette.

Susan raised an eyebrow. "I thought you quit."

"Stress."

"And the rules?"

"Will you turn me in?"

"I might. About lunch?"

"I can't. I have class. Just one more semester."

Susan cleaned the area of the table she had used. "Wednesday?"

Leila shook her head. "I'm picking up my new car. Do you have time to talk about one of your co-workers?"

"Here? I wouldn't want to chance being overheard. What about Friday?"

"I'll be away. It's a four-day weekend."

"Joe?" Susan asked.

A dreamy look misted Leila's dark eyes. "We're going to his hunting cabin."

"Don't you ever get tired of spending so little time with him?"

"Quality counts." Leila's smile brought an elegant charm to her pointed features. "It's a good relationship. We both know how much we're willing to give. I don't want him to leave his wife and marry me."

Julie is the young nurse Susan has mentored.

Julie turned in the chair at the doctors' desk where she sat beside De Witt. "Is there a problem?" she asked. "Can I help?"

"Just an admission and no Barbara." On her way to the clean utility room, Susan paused beside the younger nurse.

De Witt captured Julie's hand the way a lion grasps its prey. "Don't be late." As he rose, he smoothed his ash blond hair and slung a black leather jacket over his shoulder. He strode down the hall.

"Go get the equipment," Julie said. "As soon as I finish this chart, I'll meet you in the patient's room."

A short time later.

Julie stepped out of the semi-private room across from the desk. "What took you... Susan, what's wrong?"

"In...in..." Susan couldn't force her frozen tongue to form the words.

Trish strode across the green carpet. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

Susan cleared her throat. Her knees buckled. Only her grasp on the counter kept her erect. "In the storage room... Barbara..."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wedensday's Writer's Tip - Using Action #MFRWauthor #amwriting


Action is important in writing a story. But action doesn't necessarily mean sword fights, or car chases or the like. In writing a story action means scenes. An action scene can just be two people talking, laughing or dancing. Even eating a meal. By action we mean something needs to be shown to the reader. An invitation to be part of the story. Yes these can be tension filled scenes but they can also be quiet or funny. In one of my stories the heroine climbs from her balcony to the hero's balcony. There's some action and a bit of humor but the reader also gets to know the characters better and to see what might happen in the story.

There are large scenes and ones that are smaller. Think of two people in an argument when they are standing on opposite sides of an issue. Think of a scene where the characters are discussing an important coming event. Big scenes are for the times when opposing factions meet. This creates tension and conflict, important parts of a story. Opponents is a large scene are out to eliminate each other or make the problem go away.

Small scenes are a way of giving the reader important information such as characterization, of during a conversation where the problem needs to be clarified.

Scenes should be used when something important in happening. Narration can handle something the reader needs to know but is something minor.