An interview with @djjouett #kindlescout #romance #suspense

The Destiny Factor D. J Jouett is a second-year law student and writer of  several suspense/romance novels. She is here today to talk about her latest title The Destiny Factor, which has been nominated for Kindle Scout. Here at WWBB we … Continue reading

How to Get Ideas for Books

by

Lisa Binion




Before I began to write, the complex plots in the books I read would amaze me.  I just could not figure out how the authors of these books came up with such fantastic ideas.  Since beginning to write, I have discovered ways to come up with some terrific ideas.


VBT

Take a look at your own life.  Life has a tendency to throw you into all kinds of situations, and each situation can be made into a story.  Softly and Tenderly came from the death of my mother when I was nine-years-old.  It was a traumatic time of life for me, and it took me a very long time to recover from her death.  I could have turned it into a mystery or a story that made people cry.  I could have written events just as they happened, but I really would not have been satisfied doing that.  I chose to make it creepy.


A few years ago, something happened to me that I’ll never forget.  It is something that I don’t want to live through again.  While I was out jogging, a spider must have fallen on my shoulder or in my hair.  That’s bad enough in itself, but when I discovered this spider on me, it was in my ear.  I didn’t realize at the time it was a spider.  All I felt were its legs as it crawled deep inside my ear.  Many excruciating hours later, I finally managed to coax it out by about drowning it with hydrogen peroxide.  It was one clean spider when it hit the floor.  I couldn’t let that horrifying event be for nothing.  I’m writing a book, Whisper, very lightly based on what happened.  Again, it will be a tale of horror.


If you can’t decide on an event in your life to write about, take a look at things that have happened in the lives of people you know.  Read newspapers and magazines to see what interesting things have happened in the lives of people you don’t know.  Check out current events and what is happening in the world today.


When you go shopping or go to town to pay bills, notice what is going on around you and listen in on other people’s conversations.  Just try not to be too obvious about what you are doing.  Is there someone you see doing something unusual?  Maybe someone is dressed in an unusual way.  Did you see someone walk away from their cart only to have someone else come along and pick up an item out of their cart?  Was that arranged beforehand?  Maybe it was a trade of some kind.


Perhaps your neighbor has a strange habit.  Does she walk outside every morning at exactly the same time and look down the road?  Is she watching for someone?  Why?  And who is she watching for?  I’m sure you can come up with all kinds of interesting scenarios to explain that.


Listen to your muse.  Pick up a sheet of paper and write down a word that interests you, a word that has a lot of meaning for you.  Now start jotting down other words that your main word brings to mind.  Before long, a story should start to form in your mind.  Keep at it long enough, and you should have enough to start writing.


One other way you can come up with ideas is to look at story prompts.  There are hundreds of these floating around on the Internet.  A lot articles on my BellaOnline Fiction Writing site have story prompts included in them.


Story prompts happen all around us each and every day.  All you have to do is notice them and build a story around them.







Softly and Tenderly
Death’s doors will part and evil shall be seen through the eyes of a child.

Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium.

Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori.

From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?

Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of Softly and Tenderly by Lisa Binion. Competition open Internationally

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Something to whet your appetite: a short excerpt from Softly and Tenderly.

“Lori, it’s your turn to say bye now. You need to tell her that you love her and how much you will miss her.” Daddy put me down next to her coffin and placed his hands on my shoulders. He pushed me so close to her death box that I felt the white satin that overlapped to the outside. It rubbed against my hands. At least it was soft for Mommy. She would be comfortable in there.




I decided to speak out loud this time. Maybe no one else would bring me back up here again if I spoke my goodbyes out loud. “Mommy,” I began, but then I started crying so hard I couldn’t speak. Daddy rubbed my shoulders until I quieted down and could begin again. “Mommy, I love you. I don’t want you to leave me. Please come back. No one, not even this Jesus, is worth leaving me over.” I opened my eyes and looked at her. She hadn’t moved since Mrs. Minuet had dragged me up here. But then her eyes opened, and she stared at me. She was staring at me! I sucked my breath in and felt my legs grow weak as my head began to spin. With one hand I grabbed on to the edge of the coffin, while with the other hand I grabbed hold of Daddy’s arm.


“Daddy! Daddy! Mommy’s not dead! She looked at me!” I screamed as I jumped up and down. “She was still alive when they took her out of the house. I saw her trying to get out from under the sheet.” I pulled on his arm and shook it. “Please, Daddy. You’ve got to save her.”


Daddy was beginning to sound a bit mad. He picked me up and held me over top of Mommy. “Maybe if you give her a goodbye kiss you’ll understand she’s dead, and believe me when I tell you she isn’t coming back.” I was so close to Mommy’s cheek that I could see the makeup was beginning to cake in her pores. There was no warmth rising up from her body, only icy coldness.

Author Lisa Binion

Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.


As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax.

What does "show don’t tell" mean?

SHOW don’t TELL
by
Ednah Walters


The first time a critique partner scrawled these words on page after page of my chapter, I went, uh? I was clueless as to what she was referring to. As a self-taught writer, I knew that descriptive pros drew a reader in, but the journey from telling readers what’s happening to showing them has been bumpy but satisfying. Telling is unimaginative and boring. Showing engages the senses, makes readers visualize a scene and allow them to draw their own conclusion. 

So how can you tell when you’re telling instead of showing? Lets start with a simple sentence. 

My husband flirted with the waitress. 

This sentence gets straight to the point and tells you what is going on. It is bland. It doesn’t engage the imagination or evoke any emotion. In fact, the writer leaves everything to the reader. Instead of wanting to read more, a reader is left wondering what the husband did for the narrator to draw this conclusion, how the waitress reacted and how the narrator felt. 

The waitress flung her blonde hair and sashayed toward my husband. She leaned forward to pick up the empty plates, deliberately thrusting her chest too close to his face. He read the writing on the tight T-shirt barely covering her large breasts then said something. The woman’s high-pitched giggle filled the room. As she walked past him to serve the next table, my husband turned to watch her with a grin. 

Now this version is a bit more descriptive you must admit. A reader can visualize the scene and become engaged…maybe. Yes, there’s a bit of showing, description of the waitress, a bit on the flirting, but the passage is so impersonal. Something is missing. Why should you as a reader care about what the waitress is doing when the narrator doesn’t seem to? 

Her black, ruffled skirt short and indecent, red top snug, the woman flung her platinum blonde stresses as she glided toward my husband’s table. She fluttered her fake lashes as she talk, her hand lingering on his arm after she served him. I clenched and unclenched my fist when he leaned forward and pretended to read the writing on her T-shirt then whispered something in her ear. He was checking out her enviable double-Ds, the letch. I crossed my arms over my less noteworthy chest and cringed when she giggled, the high-pitched sound grating on my already frayed nerves. He turned and ogled her as she walked to the next table with an exaggerated sway of her generous hips. 

Okay, this passage may be wordy, but you see what I’m getting at. It shows emotions. It is descriptive. It shows the use of senses. We now know more about the waitress, what she wore, how she looked and the exchange between her and the narrator’s husband. But above all, we know about the narrator’s take on the scene. There’s pain as she watches the waitress and her husband, and glimpses of her insecurities about her breast size. The entire passage is personal and raw with emotions. A reader is left with questions and the need to learn more. What is the narrator going to do after this scene? What is going to happen to her marriage? 

So there’s my take on showing versus telling. Stimulate the readers with descriptions and throw in a dose of emotions, and viola! 


About Ednah Walters
In her own words:

I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries before I graduated to my older sister’s romance books and the rest is history.

I’ve written picture books, contemporary and romantic suspense, biracial/multicultural books, and finally YA fantasy. Awakened was the first book in The Guardian Legacy YA series. Book 2, Betrayed, is due in August. For my adult series, I started with an Irish-American family, the Fitzgeralds. Slow Burn is the first book in the series (Ashley’s story). Mine Until Dawn (http://www.ednahwalters.com/Mine_Until_Dawn.htm due in July 2011) is Jade Fitzgerald’s story. Kiss Me Crazy (Baron Fitzgerald’s story) is due in November 2011. 


I’m presently working on Faith Fitzgerald’s story and book 3 of the Guardian Legacy YA series. When I’m not writing, I do things with my family—my five children and my darling husband of 20 years. I live in a picturesque valley in Utah, the setting for my YA series.


Connect with Ednah Walters:
She doesn’t want to deal with the past… 

Ten years ago, Ashley Fitzgerald witnessed the death of her parents in a tragic fire and blocked the memory. She pretends to have moved on, is a successful artist and photographer, until the morning she opens her door to a stranger, assumes is a model and asks him to strip to his briefs. 
He wants to expose the truth… 
Wealthy businessman Ron Noble has the body, the jet, the fast cars and the women, but he hides a deadly secret. His father started the fire that killed Ashley’s parents. Now someone is leaving him clues that could exonerate his father and they lead to Ashley’s door. Blindsided by the blazing attraction between them and a merciless killer silencing anyone who was there the night of the fire, Ron can’t dare tell Ashley the truth. Yet the answer he seeks may very well tear them apart. 
While a demented arsonist and plots his ultimate revenge..

In preparation for the release of Mine Until Dawn, book 2 of the Fitzgeralds, Slow Burn is now $0.99 at the following e-stores:
Amazon
Barnes &Nobles
Smashwords or (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50822)
Goodreads or (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10750656-slow-burn)

Slow Burn’s book trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ednahwalters?feature=mhsn