Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Footsteps I Follow: Authors I Admire by Pendelton Wallace #AmReading #Thriller #MustRead

The Footsteps I Follow: Authors I Admire 
I don’t know where to start with this question. I tried to pattern my writing, in a way, after Edgar Rice Burroughs. He used short scenes, lots of action, parallel plot lines and cliff hangers at the end of each scene.
More modern writers that I would like to emulate include Elizabeth George, Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy.
I love the way that Elizabeth George’s mysteries are character driven. I get so interested in the personal lives of the characters that I don’t care who dunnit. I would like to write thrillers like that. I want the readers to care about Ted and Chris so that the adventure is secondary.
Robert Ludlum basically invented the modern thriller with his Bourne Identity series. He uses locations like characters in his novels. His action is thrilling and you can feel each blow as Jason Bourne struggles to find his past.
Of course, Tom Clancy is the master. He goes into great depth developing his stories and characters. He has earned the right to write novels of great length. He has proven himself. The publishers know that readers will buy this very expensive books because they are that good.
Can I emulate any of these people? I don’t know. I only know that I learn lessons from them and try to put them into effect in my own writing.

If Clive Cussler had written Ugly Betty, it would be Hacker for Hire. 

Hacker for Hire, a suspense novel about corporate greed and industrial espionage, is the second book in a series about Latino computer security analyst Ted Higuera and his best friend, para-legal Chris Hardwick. 

The goofy, off-beat Ted Higuera, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in East LA. An unlikely football scholarship brought him to Seattle. 

Chris, Ted’s college roommate, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father is the head of one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms. 

Ted’s first job out of college leads him into the world of organized crime where he faces a brutal beating. After being rescued by beautiful private investigator Catrina Flaherty, Ted decides to go to work for her. 

Catrina is hired by a large computer corporation to find a leak in their corporate boardroom when the previous consultant is found floating in Elliot Bay. 

Ted discovers that Chris’s firm has been retained by their prime suspect. Now he and Chris are working opposite sides of the same case. 

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 
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Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
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James Rada Jr. Shares His #WriteTip on Avoiding Rejection Blues @JimRada #AmWriting #Historical

How to Avoid the Rejection Blues

When I started out as a writer, rejection letters were commonplace and usually they were simply form letters. I got a sense of dread seeing them arrive in the mail. I didn’t want to read them, but I had to see if it was a rejection or acceptance.

I knew my writing was starting to get better when the editors started adding little notes to the rejection letters like “Almost” or “Keep trying”. Then the rejection letters started becoming specific to my submission.

Finally, I started getting those treasured acceptance letters. Nowadays, I get more acceptances than rejections and I even get editors asking me to take on assignment.

That doesn’t mean that I still don’t get rejection letters. They don’t bother me, though. I’ve developed ways of dealing with them over the years that work well at keeping me focused on the positive.

Keep things in the mail
When I started writing, I would send out a short story and then wait for three months before I heard back a rejection. I spent those months wondering and worrying about what the editor was going to say.

After I had a few stories written, I got into the habit of not worrying about the stories that were in the mail but finding markets for the new stories that I was writing.

As soon as a story would come back in the mail, I would simply send it back out to the next market. By not having to focus on the rejection and let it get to me, I started focusing on the future and finding new markets. With dozen of queries in the mail at any one time, I don’t have time to focus on a single rejection.

Have a list of markets
After I send a story out to the magazine I most wanted to see it published in, I would create a list of additional markets. When I would get a rejection letter, I would simply prepare the story for the next market on my list.

By keeping a list of my top five or ten markets, I didn’t have to look at an unsold story sitting on my desk.

I always have a new market to send my stories to so I don’t worry about a rejection.

Enjoy positive comments
When you do start getting personalized comments on your rejection letters or even personalized rejections, pay attention to the comments. Some of them can help you improve your writing. If the comments are positive, enjoy them. Let them inspire you to write more and write better.

If an editor is interested enough to write you something personal, it means that he or she is interested in your writing. It is a market worth trying again.

Keep writing to remind you why you do it
Don’t let an editor’s opinion make you doubt your writing ability. Write because you love it and want to do it. Keep at it. This is probably the best way to keep from feeling down because of rejection. 

Write because you love it. Write because you want to do better.


The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. 

Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.

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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Friday, November 7, 2014

S.A. Snow's #WriteTip for Sharing Believable Characters with Readers @BooksBySnow #AmWriting #SciFi

How to Make Your Characters Believable

There is a reason why people love Jane. There is a reason why she’s so curious, so forthcoming, so hot, so workable and so likeable. She’s a character, and she’s believable. The issue with Jane Butler was not that she wasn’t well-rounded or interesting. It was that often times she was far too interesting, and I was taken with her.

In order to make a character believable, for the reader to fall in love with them (even if they’re not the greatest person around), we have to make them complicated. There is nothing like a complicated person that attracts readers, particularly in genre fiction. They have to have faults, they have to have quirks, they have to have fears and dreams and sometimes those need to shatter in the course of the story.

One aspect of Jane I adore is that she’s ridiculously self-confident when it comes to her sexuality. Which, I might add, is nothing I have ever experienced. To play in the mind of a woman who oozes self-esteem and rarely ever thinks twice about herself in the eyes of another person was uplifting and breathtaking. I’ve been told that’s why many female readers will love her. I’ve also been told that is why many may dislike her.

But what isn’t believable about that? Who is honestly liked by everyone? And who is honestly disliked by everyone? I think it should be a pretty equal balanced of the two, if not more heavily weighted on the liking side, but not all people and not all characters are likable. And that is believable.

You just have to make yourself believe if. You have to write it like you’re talking about your best friend. Get into the characters head and figure out why they do certain things, what makes them tick, what makes then jump when something scary happens, what do they crave with they get the midnight munchies (if they’re even up beyond midnight). As long as you figure out all of these things, then the character will be believable. It’s in the details, in the fine print, in between the lines of stuff the reader hardly ever sees. If the author knows it, if the writer knows it, if the character knows it--it becomes believable.


Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

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Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
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