Archive for April, 2011

I met my new archnemesis at work yesterday. She was a tall brunette with long luxurious hair and even longer legs. She kept saying my name like my mother did when I was a kid. When she walked her skirt swished back and forth. It seemed to say “Hate me, hate me, hate me” and I do.


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If you know me, you know I want to be an author. If you don’t know me, the secrets out. So in my effort to become the top writer of insanity, I’m trying to learn as much as I can from other authors who are already super top writers.

So whenever I can corner an author, I beg, wheedle and plead for them to answer a few questions. It’s relatively painless, at least for me. On Saturday I hit the mother lode. Tracy Wolff writing as Tessa Adams.

I got to talk to her about how she opens her books. I couldn’t quit put my fingers on it, but when you read the opening of one of her books, you’re hooked right away. What follows is a summary of the article I wrote that will hopefully appear somewhere, someday. You know my motto – I’m on the train to the New York Times List. It’s just a long, long ride.

Tracy’s characters can be really dark, sometime cruel and always larger than life. What’s her secret for making readers love them?

Look for the emotional opening by finding the character’s

    • Wounds
    • Pain
    • Weakness
    • Regret
  • Dig at the characters past and thoughts until you know the very heart of their pain
  • Find a way to center your opening around this wound

Tracy explained it to me this way –

“Find the characters’ issues or pain and dig into it. If you start with that, the reader will understand how much the characters torture themselves over either what they’ve done; what they’ve failed to do; or who they are. The readers will give you a lot more latitude in what they’ll allow, because they understand these men aren’t evil for the sake of being evil.” 

Pain, sorrow, and regret are universal. Instead of starting with a huge grandiose moment, Tracy starts with a quiet, simple heart wrenching moment of pain.

Who can not relate to and forgive someone for less than stellar actions?

I learned from Tracy Wolff to hook the reader with a moment of the character’s pain or fear. Then, the readers will not just follow through the character’s lowest moments rather they will beg for more hoping for that final redemption.

If you haven’t noticed, the second book in her Dragon series, Hidden Embers just came out April 5th and the third to follow Dark Embers on June 1. Yes, two books same series in two months. You don’t have to wait around for a year or so for the sequel. If you get a chance, check out the steamie hot covers at www.tracywolff.com

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I love sugar cookies, by far they are my favorite. Other cookies lean on chocolate, nuts, candies and heaven forbid raisins. Raisins? Are you kidding me? If I wanted healthy, I’d eat bran cereal. Sugar cookies are plain goodness, leaning on nothing but pure butter and sugar. So how can the sugary food of the gods or goddess, if you’re Madison, turn deadly?

My next two chapters are sugar cookies, pure easy goodness. So you’d think good, right? WRONG! These chapters are too easy, too boring. There are no candy daggers flying around, no cursed chocolate to choke on, and no pecans to make your skin crawl. 

This book was finished. I had only minor polishing left. It’s supposed to be editor ready! Instead, I find myself searching for every possible disaster that could occur.

I’m afraid it’s time to throw the dreaded raisin and oatmeal into the mix. Could there be anything worse?

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How does Richelle hook us? I pulled a few of her books from my shelf and began reading.  I confess I got so caught up in the story, I forgot to analysis anything. So all I can report on is great first lines. She captures some unusual idea or activity.

Here’s some examples from her novels.

I didn’t think my day could get any worse until my best friend told me she might be going crazy. Again. – Frostbite

I wish the guy on top of me would hurry up because I was getting bored. – Succubus Dreams

I’d seen weirder things than a haunted shoe, but not many. – Storm Born

I decided to take a stab doing the same. You should definitely try this at home.

I knew insanity was pervasive here, I just didn’t realize it was contagious.

Moments like this are why I don’t keep chocolate in my purse.

If I ever truly thought I could escape my destiny, then the knive in my back just proved me wrong.

 Send me your great first lines.

 Check out the Blood Guardian tab to see some first lines that didn’t make the cut.

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In fiction writing, you need a hero, heroine, or preferably both. In my mind the more the merrier. In standard fiction you have a man, a woman, a boy, a girl or even an animal. In fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi and other subgenres you usually have a character or two who isn’t quite human. And that’s where your creativity can really start to play.  Why have a plain old human when you can have something extraordinary? Take a look at the Blood Guardian tab for a different take on an old favorite…

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Prairie Jones is a high school student who also happens to be a dreamwalker. She’s uses her power to get what she wants, but now she’s in trouble. Check out PJ’s new page – Dreamwalker …

Madison Girot is a descendant of the Goddess Innana. Unfortunately she’s failed to receive her powers. Now she’s being tormented by a blood guardian and is defenseless. Check out Madison’s new page Blood Guardian …

If anyone knows how to add a side bar on pages that is independent from the home page, let me know. I seem to be blog challenged. Thanks.

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