Emerging Writers Guest Post #70 – Jim Musgrave – Writing Shorter

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Guest Posts

Jim Musgrave is author of Forevermore and Disappearance at Mount Sinai, the first two historical mysteries in the Pat O’Malley series set in 1860s New York City. Take it away, Jim. Indie pubbers know my hatred of the dreaded “Penguin” (he was, after all, a villain in the old Batman comics), but you may want to know that even this roving beastie is getting on the “short train” ebook bandwagon. When the conglomerates are doing it, then you know they’re scared, very scared they might lose their “following.” There are many of these “short tales of success” on the Internet. I never really explored this trend when I wrote my own “mini-mysteries,” but I am now certainly going to market to it! In fact, fellow mystery author, Elizabeth Spann Craig, wrote an entire blog entry about this phenomenon. Okay how about “The Following”? Well, it’s the holy grail of every author out there in web land. If you write genre fiction, if you don’t have a following, then your next great mystery (or whatever genre you write in) may just as well be drek. These are the folks who keep you in business, and all publishers know this hard fact. This is the main reason we’re in this “Battle of the Amazons.” If an independent author can hook “The Following,” then he or she can become a big player all on his or her own! This is the hidden game we’re all competing for in storytelling land, and it’s quite serious because it means bucks in the pocket and a happy following down the road. I now sell “mini-mysteries,” and I’m proud of this fact. My followers can load up their Kindle, Sony, iPad, or iPhone with my latest bite-sized sizzler and travel back in time to do some righteous sleuthing with my vet Detective, Patrick James O’Malley! They won’t have to take all summer to read it, either, and since it’s been honed down to the essential and entertaining ingredients, my followers have never complained (as yet).   Here’s a short introduction to Disappearance at Mount Sinai: It’s 1866 in New York City. Civil War Vet and Detective Pat O’Malley’s biggest case returns him to the deep, dark South to search for the kidnapped wealthiest inventor and entrepreneur in America. But the widening gyre of anti-Semitism and racism pulls him down into the pit of hell itself.   +++++++ Welcome to the guest post slot Jim. Short fiction has a long future. There’s a lot of padding in some mainstream novels so they can look good on a shelf. Ebooks will hopefully see the end of that. I wish you well with all your writing from Dublin, Ireland. This guest post is part of a series where I will be showcasing emerging and established authors on this blog. You can help by visiting their sites, buying their books, sharing this post on Twitter and Facebook and coming back for the next post. You can also follow this site (click the button above right), to be notified...

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Guest Post #69 – Jackie Mallon – Exposing Fashion’s Dark Side + Win her new novel!

Posted by on Sep 29, 2013 in Guest Posts

Jackie Mallon is an Irish writer and fashion designer currently living in New York. After studying at London’s St Martins School, she worked in the world of high fashion in Milan for eight years, stockpiling stories for the novel she didn’t know she was gearing up to write. To win a free copy of Jackie’s novel simply share this post on Facebook or Twitter and comment below that you have done so. Five lucky winners will be chosen at the end of October, 2013. So make sure to check back if your Gravatar has no email. Over to you Jackie: While I was writing Silk for the Feed Dogs, I regularly had the theme tune to Murder, She Wrote running through my head. Fashion, She Wrote. The jaunty piano, the orchestral swells and eddies set the pace and had me imagining I was tapping away briskly at a cranky vintage typewriter wearing a string of pearls. Like Jessica Fletcher, successful mystery writer turned amateur detective, I was a successful fashion designer turned amateur novelist. I was peering through a magnifying glass at a world I knew intimately, exploring its mysteries, gathering its colorful cast of characters into a line up. And so for three years, fashion, she wrote…at her kitchen table, in local cafes, on park benches, on the roof. Tapping away… Every time I wrote about my protagonist Kat, I heard the theme tune’s playful, fluttering flute; the triangle represented her best friend, Edward; the belching lumbering double bass signalled the dysfunction of Kat’s first boss, Lynda; the ominous drum announced the arrival of the novel’s villain, Arturo. I remember the moment the sound of the theme tune first started up in my head. It was a Wednesday morning, a month after a headhunter had delightedly plopped me in a highly paid design position in New York City and pocketed the ten percent commission for her trouble. Having spent a decade in Italy working for some of the biggest names in fashion, I was hankering after a different sense of fulfillment. The sound of my singing bank balance couldn’t drown out the orchestra’s harmony. I realized this new job was not for me. I was inspired to write instead of draw. Fashion and fiction are oddly similar––I had always been an insatiable reader. Both can take us on soaring flights of fancy despite being crafted from the most humble of materials: words and thread. A thread is two or more fibers twisted together to make a chord that can be woven into cloth. In fiction, we “weave” a story. Unbeknownst to me, my weaving had begun long before I ever contemplated writing a novel. I had a big jumble bag of remnants and rags, scraps of characters and situations already patched together. I added ribbons and bows and Silk for the Feed Dogs was born. My biggest fashion statement. It’s all in the title really. Those malicious-sounding feed dogs are the two metal bars with diagonal teeth that move back and forth under...

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Emerging Writers Guest Post #68 – Lazlo Ferran – Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Guest Posts

Lazlo Ferran’s extraordinary life has included studying aeronautical engineering, being a dispatch rider, graphic designer, full-time busker, a guitarist and singer (recording two albums), travelling widely, marrying in Kyrgyzstan and a long and successful career within the science industry. He has now left employment to concentrate on writing. He grew up in the home counties of England. Brought up as a Buddhist, in recent years he has moved towards an informal Christian belief and has had close contact with Islam and Hinduism. He has a deep and lasting interest in theology and philosophy. His ideas and observations form the core of his novels. Here, evil, good, luck and faith battle for control of the souls who inhabit his worlds. He keeps very busy writing in his spare time and pursuing his other interests of history, genealogy and history of the movies. Picture a kid in a Muswell Hill bedsit block decorated with fluorescent green, orange and brown wallpaper still surviving from 60s Hip Britain. He is a struggling musician and has just decided to record his second album. His girlfriend is a Dutch songwriter, his father a practicing Buddhist TV camera designer, his mother an ex-magazine editor during the early seventies and budding artist. The problem was not so much what to write about but what not to write about! Theology and philosophy had always been a central part of my life. My father used to wait up for me to return from drunken binges (or dope-addled ones) so that he could test me with a discussion about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or another Carlos Castaneda book. For my album I settled on the subject of death and reincarnation and my first reach was for the works of Gurdjieff. I quickly found myself struggling with the music: this was 1991, London was in the grip of a fierce recession and I was feeding myself by busking full-time so forming a band was difficult. In the end I completed the album and released it on my own. However in the process I had rediscovered my love of writing. Lyrics had always been a vital part of my music but I had half-completed my first novel when I was 19. Now I knew that the trauma I was observing in London had a historical angle and I could not express this in song-lyrics adequately. My attention turned back to story-writing and I over the next few years, while struggling to restart a career in graphic design, I completed my first two short stories. One of these Brightfield Street proved quite popular and gave me confidence to try longer stories. It was not until I began Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate, my best-selling work to date, that I felt ready to get my teeth into theological and philosophical apples that had so whetted my appetite when reading Henry Miller, Tolkien,...

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Emerging Writers Guest Post #67 – Deceit by W.C. Hewitt

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Guest Posts

W.C. Hewitt is a Canadian, born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He was employed in the public sector in both Law Enforcement and the Medical field where he was able to witness Society’s best and worst first hand. Drawing from his experiences his character insight has been honed to an eagle-eyed proficiency as is displayed in his literary characters. With a keen interest in history and archaeology, it wasn’t long before Mr. Hewitt started to work on the creation of a series of historical works that were focused on the Edwardian period where mankind’s innocence was severely strained and tested.  The Titanic tragedy had long been a fixation, but there were so many books already dedicated to the sinking with many falling on deaf ears. Hence the creation of Britain’s newest heroine, Elizabeth Brunnette and the novel Deceit. Having researched Titanic (Mr. Hewitt was also a member of the Titanic Historical Society), a not so far fetched plot was created to parallel the already lurking disaster with a prime mixture of mystery, action, adventure and a smidgen of romance to move the story along at a page turning pace.  Deceit is the first in the series with future entries ready for publication. Deceit is available  as a Kindle at : Amazon. UK Amazon.ca   Amazon.com As a Nook book at: Barnes&Noble In pdf. format at: OmniLit Or Like him on Facebook Or read his Blog  Or visit his Website +++++++ Welcome to the guest post slot WC. I understand your fascination with the Titanic. We now have a museum in Belfast dedicated to that disaster! I wish you well with all your writing from Dublin, Ireland. This guest post is part of a series where I will be showcasing emerging and established authors on this blog. You can help by visiting their sites, buying their books, sharing this post on Twitter and Facebook and coming back for the next post. You can also follow this site (click the button above right), to be notified by email on who is next in a few days time. And if you are a writer and want to be featured send me an email lob@yourasms.com and I will send you the submission guidelines. And please support this site and the promotion of writers by buying:  The Istanbul Puzzle & The Jerusalem Puzzle and pre-ordering The Manhattan...

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Emerging Writers Guest Post #66 – DJ Swykert and The Death of Anyone

Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Guest Posts

I’m a blue collar person from Detroit. I’ve worked as a truck driver, dispatcher, logistics analyst, operations manager, and ten years as a 911 operator, which was the very best job of them all. I have a pretty straight forward style of telling a story. I write a book like you’d watch a movie and put it down on paper. The underlying theme in my latest book, The Death of Anyone, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? I developed this story around an impulsive homicide detective, Bonnie Benham, who wants to use Familial DNA, a search technique not in common use in the United States. Only two states even have a written policy regarding its use, Colorado and California. Many legal analysts believe it violates Fourth Amendment rights which guard against unreasonable searches and seizures. Bonnie is a no nonsense cop who describes herself as a blond with a badge and a gun. She has her own answer to the ethical use of Familial DNA, but the actual legality of its use will be determined in a real life courtroom in the California trial of a serial killer dubbed by the media: The Grim Sleeper. Lonnie David Franklin, the Grim Sleeper, was caught because his son’s DNA was the closest match to DNA collected at the crime scenes in the database. Investigating Franklin’s son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after his arrest. Lonnie Franklin will be the first person in the U.S. to ever stand trial based on Familial DNA evidence, and its admissibility issues in court will be thoroughly tested by defense attorneys. These are the very same issues that face Detroit Homicide Detective Bonnie Benham and form the plot of my story. Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics to homicide for using more than arresting and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children. DJ Swykert’s work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Monarch Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors& Spackle, Spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, a novel from Cambridge Books; Alpha Wolves, a novel from Noble Publishing, and The Death of Anyone, his third novel, just released by Melange Books. You can find out more about him and how to buy his books on the blogspot:...

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