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Posts Tagged ‘paranormal’

James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
piper and Holmes
It’s been a while, but I’ve dusted off the 30 Second Interview for a second outing. And who better to kick start it than belly dancing, fiction writer, Piper Bayard.But first, what do we know about this post-apocalyptic author, who happens to be my critique partner, and a very good friend? Well, she’s a recovering attorney, who has one or two university degrees under her belt, and kinda rules Twitter. (Seriously, I guarantee you a reply – even a conversation – if you tweet her).Piper grew up in New Mexico, and during her teenage years, worked summers at a Rock Mountain dude ranch (in a State she refuses to name), as a horse wrangler. Why the unnamed State? Because there was this one time when a group of New Yorkers wanted to see an elk – and there wasn’t any elk to see. So, to get over the problem and give their tourists a good time, Piper strapped an ornamental deer ract to the head of a bay horse named Bucky. And, unbelievable as it is, it worked!

So, how did this cowgirl become a writer when she was actually studying law? Well, it was when a job offer for her to sell insurance landed at her feet. She’d hit a cross-roads in life, and her chosen career path boiled down to one thing: What could she not live without? Selling insurance or writing books? We all know how that one turned out.Apart from Piper’s debut novel being a dystopian  thriller, she also writes spy novels with fellow writer, (who also happens to be an Intelligence Agent and real life James Bond), Jay Holmes. Together, they have just finished the first in the seven part ‘Apex Predator’ series, which will be published by Stonehouse Inc., in the near future.

Oh, four other random things you need to know about Piper… she taught me to shoot a gun, she makes me run for EVERY plane we have to catch, she can ride an ATV like no one else I’ve ever seen, and she is one heck of a cool room-mate!

Right then, let’s see how she did with the feared ten questions:

1.  What is your favorite word?  Serendipity

2. What is your least favorite word? Globule

3. What turns you on?   Laughter. Laughter is the closest thing to sex besides sex

4. What turns you off?    Malice

5. What sound do you love?   Bells

6. What sound do you hate? Fighting

7. What is your favorite curse word?   Fuck me Agnes! (Blame Holmes for that one.)

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Host on Mythbusters

9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Nursing

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Good job”

 

firelands cover

‘Firelands’ is an amazing read, and available on amazon in digital and paperback format.

And, watch out for the first novel in the ‘Apex Preditor’ series. Release date to be confirmed shortly.

Contact Information

For more information regarding Piper Bayard, please check out her websiteFacebooktwitterblog.

 

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page

Page from J.K. Rowling’s, ‘Harry Potter’

I’ve been writing for a few years now and it still amazes me at how much I don’t know. This week I was going through the edits on my novel when my good mate and fellow writer, Piper Bayard, pointed something out to me about new scenes and paragraphing. She, too, only discovered this ‘must-do’ last year.

So, I thought it would be helpful to lay out some of the things I have learned over the last few years that writers must know when writing a novel.

First things, first.

The Basics

The below points are what publishers and agents expect to see from writers.

Font: Always use Times New Roman. It is easy on the eye and makes it easy for the reader to read.

Size: Although it’s commonly said that size doesn’t matter – this time it does. 12pt is the size everyone wants.

Line Spacing: Some use double line spacing, most want one and a half. This allows room for any notes and editing.

Margins: Leave one inch for both the left and right margins. Again, this space is for any notes or editing.

The Cover Page

The cover page is a blank sheet of paper that, when asked for, usually lists the title of your book, your name, contact details, and the word count. When submitting your novel you must read the guidelines as sometimes agents and publishers require different information.

Headers and Footers

It is imperative that you use your header to display your name, novel title, and page number. Without this information, if your novel is dropped how will the reader be able to put it back together again?

The Layout

Chapter Heading: Space down six (one and a half) lines. The heading can be in capitals or underlined.

Sub-Title: If you want to add a sub-title of a place, time, year, etc., then add it before you begin your story. This can be underlined, typed in italics, or in bold. There is no indentation.

First Paragraph: For the first paragraph in a chapter, there is no indentation.

Further Paragraphs: Following paragraphs are indented one inch throughout the scene.

Justification: Never justify your work. Aline your type to the left.

For example (and due to formatting issues with wordpress *bangs head on desk*, I have added in … to show the spaces):

CHAPTER ONE

Almalfi Cathedral, Campania. Italy – Monday.

The uncomfortable harness cut into his groin.

……….The thief shifted position, tried to ignore the dull ache as best he could, and listened.

……….Three bloody hours he’d been hanging here in the dark, just listening.

N.B. New Scenes: If starting a new scene in a chapter, then as at the beginning of a chapter, no indentation is needed.

For example:

……….Eliza rest her head back against the pillow. Her head hurt and she no longer had the energy to argue anymore. The young boy nodded and disappeared from sight. Her father waited a second, as if to bask in his triumph and remind her who was boss, then also left the room.

It was just before lunch when Nate made it to the records office. He parked in the unusually empty car park and got out. Removing his sunglasses, he strolled along the brick paved path to the front of the building and pulled the doors where they shuddered and remained closed.

Well, these are the basics to laying out your novel and enough to get you started.

And now it’s your turn. What are your pet hates? What is the worse mistake you’ve ever made when typing and submitting a manuscript? Maybe you have a question to ask about the manuscript you are currently writing, so feel free to type it in the comments.

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Now, I must just clear this up first. My sister and I are both animal lovers. As children, we always had animals which included dogs, cats, terrapins, gerbils, hamsters, fish… the list goes on and on.

So, we were talking the other day about pets and how, unbeknown to my nine-year old son, he is getting a guinea pig for Christmas. My sister, who already has a guinea pig, advised me against it. Simply because of the mess. “It was easier when we were kids… Mum cleaned them.”

Yes, now we are the skivvies, er, slaves, er, mums.

But being a know-it-all, I have ignored all her advice. My son, Jamie, has been begging for an animal for the last few years, and he doesn’t care what kind. So, the elimination process began.

First, hubby is scared stiff of dogs, horses, and parrots (go figure!), so they were first off the list. He is also allergic to cats. Strike two.

Fish? Na. He can’t cuddle a fish… although I wouldn’t put it past him to try. Rabbits? Nope, I could not leave them outside – it just feels wicked. So, that left rodents. Now, gerbils are too quick, and trust me when I say I know this from first hand experience. Hamsters are really blood chomping vampires in disguise, and again comes in the first hand experience. So I opted for an adorable, cuddly guinea pig. Sorted.

But, and the whole point of this blog, was the story my sister told me during this conversation. It was about her fish, who is now like Jaws. She had gone away on holiday and while away, the fish tank pump broke. When she returned, the water was green and the fish was lying on its side. She grabbed it, lay it flat, and proceeded to give it mouth to mouth. The story went like this, “I breathed into its mouth then dipped it in the water. Breathed into its mouth, then dipped it in the water. And it lived.” It is still alive today, and now bigger than ever.

Apparently, this isn’t an isolated incident. Check out this news story.

So, my question to you is – how far would you go to save a pet, or an animal? Is there a line that even you would not cross. Have you ever done anything like my sister? Let me know.

If you want more of me, try checking out: FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramYou Tube, and Linkedin.

Join my email list and be first to hear about upcoming releases and offers.

P.S. Have you checked out yours truly being interviewed over on Julie Glover’s blog? Well, go read it…. now.

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I heard on the news this morning that with the prices of petrol soaring through the roof, more and more people are turning to hitch-hiking.

This sent a shiver down my spine. I mean, has nobody seen C. Thomas Howell‘s movie, ‘The Hitcher’? No? How about the remake with Sean Bean?

If you haven’t, then you should.

I remember back in 1980, I was holidaying with my family in California. My parents, who are supposed to know better, picked up not one, but two hitch-hikers. Together! What was they thinking? They’re parents. They’re supposed to know better. Luckily, these two men were not psychotic serial killers and we lived to tell another day. In fact one looked like David Soul… Maybe that right there should have convinced my dad not to stop and to drive straight past them.

Would you trust this man?

I pass many people, usually always men, thumbing for a lift along the motorways. Do I stop? Never. Do I feel guilty? Yes, of course. Especially if it’s hammering down with rain. But, here’s the thing. I write gore and creepy for a living. My imagination on the scare factor scale is right up there with Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino. Between me first seeing the hitch-hiker, and the hundred yards it takes to reach him, I’ve already played out the scene where he gets in the car, drugs me, and I wake up, hands and feet tied, in the boot. Believe me when I say you really don’t want to know what happens after that!

When you pick up a hitch-hiker, you are putting a lot of trust in your judgement. Contrary to popular belief, not all hikers look like killers. Some actually look like nice, normal, trustworthy fathers and boyfriends.

Just look at Ted Bundy’s high school Yearbook Picture.

A few years back, I lived in Drymen, Scotland. To get there, I had to drive through a remote, barren area where there were no houses and I had no phone signal. One night, I had to stop on this dark, country lane, at a temporary traffic light. I saw no workmen, no ongoing road works. I was surrounded by thick, dense wood, with no cars in front of me, and no cars behind me. I was all alone. My headlights lit up little of the road in front of me but everywhere else was pitch black. What did I do? Started thinking about the movie, Urban Legend.

I just cannot help myself. I am my own worse enemy. Half the time it’s not my surrounding that make me nervous. It’s my own imagination!

We’ve all heard the legend. A driver is made to stop her car. While the car is stationary, an axe murderer climbs onto the back seat. Waits for her to drive off and then WHAM! Slaughter and blood on the wind-shield … I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait and see if my future ended with me being gook on my window, I can tell you.

Nope, I keep my doors locked and my eyes peeled. I’m afraid when it comes to hitch-hikers, there is no way in hell I would ever pick one up. Male or female. Those crazy killers can stay where they belong… on the road and in my rear-view mirror.

Although, I did pass a woman once by a broken down car. I pulled over and asked (through a slightly wound down window) if she needed me to phone someone for her. She thanked me and said someone was already on their way. Phew. Total relief.

So, now it’s over to you guys. Would you ever pick up a hitch-hiker? Have you ever picked up a hitcher? Have you ever hitch-hiked yourself? Do you have good experiences, or bad? Maybe you hitch-hiked and it was the driver who was creepy. Let me know. You know how I love a good story… funny or scary 🙂

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With only days to go before the much awaited premier of James Bond’s, Skyfall, it seems the UK has gone into Bond frenzy. I passed Harrods yesterday, and the whole window was devoted to 007. It was only when I saw this video this morning that I realised just how far they had taken their obsession.

And I don’t need any excuse to write about a handsome man with a six pack!

But what is it about James Bond that makes men want to be him, and women yearn to have his babies? Okay, I know damn well why women chase their fantasy – I still think if Daniel Craig met me before Rachel Weisz, I’d be Mrs Bond…. We do, after all, have the same colour hair 🙂

As for the men’s reason? Who cares. As long as they keep churning out the movies, the female population will stay happy.

Now, down to business. The best Bond.

     

Connery was the first Bond way back in the 60’s with six movies under his belt.

I found him arrogant and although I am a massive Connery fan, I don’t like him as Bond.

     

George Lazenby made one movie, and I’ve never seen it.

Was it any good?

     

Roger Moore was the first James Bond I liked.

He made contributed to seven movies in the franchise and added a little humour

to the

character. This was the first time I saw Bond showing a little emotion.

     

Hmm. Timothy Dalton made two appearances as Bond. I think I saw bits of one.

To his credit, some do say he was the best.

     

Pierce Brosnan made four movies and was by far my favourite. I went into mourning when film bosses announced he would not return for a fifth.

For me, he was the first Bond to show the character was actually capable of love, kindness and emotion.

     

When Daniel Craig was announced as the new Bond, I refused to watch any more 007 films.

Fifteen minutes into Casino Royale, I was in love and had found my new favourite Bond.

Craig’s third Bond film is about to be released…. I’m as happy as a pig in mud.

As for the worse Bond movie moments, check out my friend, Lewis Malka, over on ‘Top Left Design’s’ blog. Lewis is definitely a James Bond fan who has taken things way too far.

Now, who do you reckon would still be standing if there was a Battle of the Bonds?

So, who is your favourite James Bond? And why? Also, do you have a best and worse moment in a Bond movie?

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There are many ways to publish your book. Years ago, our hands were tied. Nowadays, it’s different. We now have the power to do what we used to rely on the publisher for.

Self-publishing opens up a whole new world of options for the authors of today. And one of those options is audio books.

Terry Kate knows all about this, so much so that she’s running a WANA International class to show you how.

I’ll let Terry explain…

Audio Books are NEW to You

Well not as listeners, but as authors. Audio has not been an option for any and all authors till now. The possibility is there for every author, as long as they hold their audio rights there is nothing stopping you. Which I think as a listener and audio producer is the greatest jump start and opportunity in publishing now.
So to help those ready to take the plunge I am teaching a class through WANA International. There are rumors everywhere about this and that element, the process, and it is a whole new world. How do you pick a narrator? How much does it cost? Where do I go? Well, to my online class might be a great first step.
I throw out the pros and cons on all sides as the class is also open to voice talent. How does the business work and how to make your move? When? Now, now, now! Get in the game early, carve out your place in the market, and if you light that fire under your bum you could have an audio book for the holidays!
So join me Wed 10th  8:30pm EST – http://wanaintl.com/?page_id=13&ee=55
Or Sat 13th 12:30pm EST – http://wanaintl.com/?page_id=13&ee=62
Catch the sound wave people! Get the best voice talent by moving fast and get in on the ground floor.
Donna, thank you so much for having me on your blog! I look forward to any questions your readers have for me.
Okay guys, what are you waiting for? Go and book your seats now. And as Terry’s thrown down the gauntlet to answer any and all of your questions, why not ask some?

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It’s been some ten years or so since I did boarded trains and the whole travelling to work thing. Now, my travel consists of a walk to the kitchen to make a cuppa, and then a flight of stairs to my office.

Most of us do this in a conventional way. And then there are these guys….

Hasn’t anyone heard of an invention called the ‘Boat’?

If she could get away with it, my daughter would have one of these.

…And if I could get away with it, I’d have this.

How many farmers does it take to sow a field?

The same amount  of workmen it takes to dig a hole.

I see what the driver’s getting, but what does the female get from this deal?

…. Maybe one of these.

Probably not the best way to take your washing to the laundrette.

… Or your wife on her honeymoon.

And people thought British Rail had problems.

Where it all began… The man with the dog powered bicycle.

So, what is the worse journey you’ve ever experienced? And let me know which is your favourite picture and why.

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