Reflections on My Online Launch party

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A week ago today was my virtual book launch. It was both exciting and scary. Exciting because it was a launch for my book and not someone else’s. Exciting because it was a launch for my book and not someone else’s. I’ve been to others launches. But being the center of the launch was surreal.

I don’t have the sales figures yet because my book released on the 15th. But I think the launch did bring more interest in my novel. Paige Boggs, my marketing guru thought it went well.

Be Proactive

I decided to be proactive in advance. I’ve read lots of blogs from successful authors to start garnering interests early. I posted some trivia facts about Secrets and Charades and things I’d learned from my research on my author page every Monday for seven weeks. Then I post the whole group as a post the day before the launch. Then I composed seven trivia questions to post on my launch. Some were true or false. Others were multiple choice questions. You could check the facts before answering or just guess. Of course, I had to post the answers at the end of the party so those who answered the trivia could grade themselves.

Every commenter was placed in my drawing for a variety of things. I gave away one paperback version and one kindle version of my book and amazon gift card and stuff related to my story.

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I posted about each item and how it related to the story. And I cut and pasted the trivia questions so I had more time to comment to commenters.

The last portion was a Q &A for me. People actually asked me questions—amazing. My friend and fellow-author John Turney kept everything pretty lively with his silly comments and fun questions. Having veterans of launch parties attend helped keep the discussions lively.

People hung around at the end to see who won what prizes.  Paige has a randomizer thingy that choices winners. The winners were pretty excited. And it seemed everyone , whether they stopped by for the whole two hours or for a few minutes had fun.

Those from my stage crew who could attended were among my guests and they brought along their friends.

Benefits of the party

I noticed this blog has picked up some more traffic.

More people have their curiosity piqued about the book and are talking about it with friends.

I’ve been notified by those who attended or just saw the announcement that they had ordered my book.

After the party

Now I’m busy with the help of my amazing husband sending out prizes to the lucky winners. Note to self. Postage is a real downer.

 

Have you ever attended a launch party? What did you think of it? Have you hosted one? How did it go for you?

 

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Creating Back Cover Copy

The cover design is more than the front cover. In my last post, I shared the steps an author needs to take to help the art department create an awesome design and showed you lots of wonderful front book covers. Now let’s look at the second part of the cover design. It goes beyond the picture representing your story. A prospective reader who finds your cover fascinating will flip over to the back. This content will determine if the reader opens the book and takes it to the checkout counter.

The form I received from my publisher for cover design included sections for the back cover. My book’s back cover will have a blurb about the story, my bio, and a head shot.

Blurb

Here is my present draft. It will probably get tweaked before the final draft. This same blurb will appear on Amazon and my publisher’s website. Short, concise and intriguing are the keys to a good blurb.

Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. Battlefield nightmares add to his burden, but his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, and a mail-order bride seems the logical solution. When an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, Dr. Evangeline Olson abandons her medical practice and travels west to become Jake’s mail-order bride.

Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, they are faced with cattle rustling and kidnapping. Will they be able to put aside their differences and work together to save the ranch and their fragile relationship?

 

Biography

My biography will only be a few sentences. I’m meeting a potential reader, not a boss. I pulled a few books from my to-be-read pile and studied their bios. Each part of the biography encourages the reader that the author may be worth checking out.

Bio components

  • Taglines are something that defines what you write.

Cynthia Ruchti-tells stories hemmed in hope.

DiAnn Mills- expect an adventure.

Brandilyn Collins- Seatbelt Suspense

  • Awards

Awards this manuscript has won

Awards past books have won

Awards the Author has won related to the subject matter of the book

Awards for personal accomplishments in a field other than writing

  • Past and present accomplishments

Former job

Present position

Degrees

  • Family
  • Pets
  • Fun vacation spots or any other fun comment 

 

Study the bios of your favorite authors or read the back cover of library books to get ideas. Those in your own genre may be slightly different from those in another genre. If you have no awards, don’t worry. Readers want to know you, and the last few items on a list can make your bio friendly and fun.

Endorsements

There may be an endorsement or two on the back as well. Endorsements are short words of praise about your book from other authors or people in the field you are writing about.

Color Design

The colors on the back cover will match or be identical to the front.

Professional Photo

And the finishing touch is a professional headshot. An up-to-date photo is key in maintaining a professional image. Professional photographers touch up flaws. Hey, who doesn’t want a flawless picture? My professional headshot is a few years old so I am getting a new one.Small head shot of Cindy Huff

Right now I’m interviewing photographers. I want all the photo rights to be mine to do with as I please. I’ll talk about that in a future post.

Next post

I’ve asked my awesome editor Andrea Merrill to share a guest post. She’ll be writing about the relationship between author and editor. Stop by Thursday to read her wonderful insights. You don’t want to miss it.

Speaking of not missing a post. Subscribe to this blog in the right-hand column and it will come to your e-mail. Thank you so much.

 

Authors and Book Cover Creation

Creating a cover design is a fascinating process. My publisher provided a questionnaire for me to fill out. It gives the artist clues into my story world. Up until this point I had no idea what I wanted. The questions help get the creative juices flowing. The first few questions are basic: Title, author’s name. taglines, theme.

The next set of questions delves into specifics about the main character. What does your hero look like? Any distinguishing marks? Same questions for your heroine. This is where I get to give a clear description of the physical features of my characters. I had the option of adding photos of my ideas about the characters.

Who do my characters look like

The question about what actor or actress do you see playing them in a movie sent me to the internet to find photos. Did you know if you type in red-haired actresses with green eyes that you’ll find a large selection of photos? Evangeline’s hair is burgundy rather than carrot colored. I already had a picture of a model with burgundy hair but looking at more faces really helped narrow down an idea.

I have pictures of Tom Selleck, John Cusack and Sam Elliot all in cowboy garb that give me a feel for Jake. Evangeline looks a bit like Maureen O’Hara or Lori Loughlin (she’d have to dye her hair.)  I found a wonderful picture of Emma Stone. So I am adding photos of these actors to the form.

A fun exercise for you and your story, search the character description: cowboy, regency, blond soldier sees what comes up. If you’re a plotter and an outliner, you have probably already picked out your pictures before you started writing. What you want on the cover may be clearly define in your head. But, if you’re like me and lack artist know-how, you’ll be relying on the designer to bring your idea to reality. FYI: The publisher usually gets the final say on your cover. This is a good thing because they know what sells.

More details

I couldn’t find a picture of my ranch so I settled for writing a description. I got to choose whether I want people on the cover or a landscape. There is lots of room at the bottom of the form for more notes to further clarify.

Note all the covers of fellow-authors I’ve added to this post so you can get a better idea of cover design.

HerDeadlyInheritanceColor-2

Mystery Cover

 

Mercy Rains

Historical landscape cover

Genre and time period are important questions as well. Secrets & Charades is set in 1870s so costumes on the cover need to resemble the period. The hoop skirt was no longer in fashion but bustles were popular.

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Fantasy Cover

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Police thriller/ fantasy cover

A fantasy cover might have someone dressed like Star Wars characters. The focus might be on an object that is key to the story line. Perhaps a space ship, a sword or a dragon take center stage in the story.

Comparing covers

There is a place on this form to add comparables. So, books with similar themes (remember that part in your proposal?) can now be used as examples. Those covers show what’s selling.

 

Not good ideas

If the hero is very tall, then he shouldn’t be the same height as the heroine on the cover. Unless of course she is very tall, too. I actually saw this on a cover. Until I read the story I didn’t realize the hero was well over six feet tall. Once I knew this, the cover was a bit disappointing.

If the story takes places in the winter in Florida, it will look different than winter in Alaska. That also goes for trees not native to the area. This will date me, but the movie Wayne’s World was supposed to take place in Aurora, Illinois. One scene in the movie had palm trees in the background. I suppose comedies can get away with that. Book covers not so much.

If your genre is horror you wouldn’t want a sunny sky.

A romance—unless it has vampires or some violent fantasy theme—is not going to have blood and gore on the cover.

Capturing emotion

The form asked me to describe the tone, mood, and attitude. One or two word descriptions can make a big difference in helping the designer get a taste of my fiction world. I had to google these terms to get a deeper understanding of the literary significance. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer so I don’t always have a tone or mood in mind until my characters speak to me.

Defining the tone and mood can make a difference in a novel’s content so it should reflect on the cover. A romantic comedy design is going to look different from a romance with a broken-promise-restored theme. The same with a thriller with a sullen cast of characters versus one with a hopeful mood.

Photo sites give lots of options

You may prefer symbols or settings for your cover. My fellow-writer Gloria Doty has a modern-day cowboy romance series. She opted for boots and a Stetson on the cover of Bringing  a Cowboy Home. She wanted her readers to enjoy their own images of her characters. Photo websites have lots of these sorts of images.

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Publishers purchase the cover art and, if you self-publish, you’d do the same. Linda Yezak has a great cover for The Final Ride. She created it herself using pictures of a model she found online. She purchased the rights to use her likeness. This helped her create her cover.51jgIj4jqfL

Being sure your cover reflects your story means more sales. So, I am taking extra time to fill out this form. Hopefully the designer will get me. If the cover catches the reader’s eye, then they will pick it up. If you’re self-publishing, spend the money on a quality cover. I can’t wait to see what my cover will look like. I’ve been impressed with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas cover designs. The reveal of my design is some months away. But the process begins now.

The back cover is just as important as the front cover. I’ll talk about the process in the next post.

Anyone like to share their experience with cover designs?

 

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Ten years in the Making: A Book Contract

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If you follow me on Facebook, you saw my recent announcement. I received my first book contract. It only took 10 years to get there. Oh, let’s not forget 20 rejections, many rewrites and several edits. Years of improving my writing skills through online writing courses and writing books.  Ten years of attending conferences. Submitting to magazines and websites with both success and failure. I’ve made the acquaintance of many writers, both newbies and seasoned pros. During my ten year journey I have added agents and publishers to that list of acquaintances.

Help others on the journey

I’ve written over a hundred book reviews and supported my fellow-writers anyway I can. I enjoy helping promote their books and sharing words of affirmation when they were discouraged. I have purposed to invest in others while I worked toward the illusive contract.

Keep learning

Actions such as joining critique groups, following writing blogs and reading a lot propelled me toward the goal of publication. This has been ten years of perseverance and determination. I’d confess “I am a writer” when I wanted to keep that proclamation to myself. Established writers encouraged me to learn how to use social media.  Then I started this blog, Writer’s Patchwork, where all these writerly parts are sown together into the bigger quilt of gaining a contract. (Clever play on words.)

Cindy's Editor's Choice Award-2

My award. I am so blessed.

Never give up

Anyway, the point I’m trying to press home is don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged and keep helping others in the industry. Keep focusing on your goal and over time you’ll get that book contract.

Come follow me

It will probably be a year before my novel will be available for sale. During that time, I will be posting the next stretch of my journey. Even though I have a contract, a mountain-load of work remains to be done before I see my book in print. I’ll share my experiences in hopes of inspiring all of you to keep going. And give you a glimpse into the process of contract to book shelf.

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Tips for Writing Crime Scenes Tailored to Your Audience

Writing a Crime Scene for your genre has many components. photo from morguefile.com

Writing a Crime Scene for your genre has many components.
photo from morguefile.com

I don’t write crime thrillers but love reading a good crime novel. I’m intrigued when I read a well-crafted crime scene. Even a romance (which is my genre) can have a crime scene. But after reading my friend and fellow-author’s book Whiskey Sunrise. I knew he was the guy to explain as the title suggests how to tailor your scene to your audience.

Author John Turney

Author John Turney

John: Thanks for the plug for my latest novel.

My pleasure. Take a seat on my not so white couch and I’ll pull out my notebook. John, I don’t know where to begin to write a believable crime scene. So I yield to your expertise. How does one set up a realistic crime scene?

John: A scene is a scene is a scene. If you’ve never been to a beach, how would you describe a beach scene in your writing project? You could go look at pictures of beaches. You could use Google Earth and look at the locale of your beach scene. You could talk to people who have been to the beach. You could read books that use a beach scene. And finally, you could actually go to the beach yourself. Anyone up for a field trip?

That’s great advice…if I wanted to do a beach scene. But, how does that relate to a crime scene?

John: I’ve never been a cop, nor have I played one on TV. Yet, as a writer, I need to put the reader at the crime scene. First off, know your genre and your audience. Are you writing a police procedural? A thriller? A noir? A cozy? And what audience are you targeting? YA? New Adult? Young mothers? Christian men?

The particular type of mystery will dictate the kind of details. If it’s a cozy for teenage girls, the grisly minutiae will be completely off stage. However, if it’s a thriller aimed at a male audience, I might give a shot by shot, cut by cut detail.

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Interesting. Why is knowing your genre and audience before writing the scene important?

John: It sets the parameters of what can be included. The boundaries of what can or cannot be included. If you’re doing a cozy, you wouldn’t need to know about gunshot residue or blood splatter or lividity or decomp. If you are doing a police procedural, you better know that stuff.

In other words, you know what ingredients to add or leave out.

John: Exactly. Second, learn to write good scenes. There is a balance between not enough detail and too much. Give the reader some room so their mind can create the experience. But don’t leave them high and dry. There’s plenty of good writing books and videos on developing scenes.

Can you define what constitutes a crime scene?

Well, there is a crime scene and the scene of the crime. It sounds like a minor point, but it is major in knowing how to set up the scene. The crime scene is anyplace connected to the crime. If a criminal flees the crime and tosses away his weapon, that becomes a crime scene. The crime did not happen there, but that locale is now connected to the crime. The scene of the crime is where the actual crime took place. And this is where the writer enters the world of criminal investigation.

Fingerprints  may be part of your characters discovery in the crime scene. Photo from morguefile.com

Fingerprints may be part of your characters discovery in the crime scene. Photo from morguefile.com

Then let’s enter…

John: Forget CSI. Forget Criminal Minds. Forget NCIS. Fun shows. Enjoy watching them. But they will not help you lay out your scene. There’s an old saying, “Wherever you go, you leave some trace of you behind and take some trace of the location with you.” You go to a public restroom, the person before you has left trace elements of themselves on the toilet seat.

Now you’re just grossing me out.

John: Sorry about that. But that is key to criminal investigation, to your scenes and your plot. It will help add clues and red herrings. Things to remember, the first responder (usually a beat cop) takes control of the scene. He must determine if the victim needs medical assistance or a trip to the morgue. If the suspect is there, he must try and apprehend that individual. And he must preserve the scene. Going back to the toilet seat example people enter the area leaving and taking from the crime scene.

As more cops join the scene, some kind of management has to take place. Someone is assigned to a logbook to record those who enter the scene. Detectives are assigned to the case. Crime Scene people go over the area with a fine tooth comb looking for fingerprints, hair samples, dirt particles, insect or insect parts and any blood splatter. If it’s a shooting, bullet casing are located. The scene is drawn out on paper or software, documenting which things were found where. With digital cameras, you can’t ever get enough photos.

An important detail to remember and NCIS gets this right. Cops control the scene, the coroner controls the body.

Let’s pause here. This is good information. But where does a writer who has no experience in law enforcement learn this stuff?

John: Research

That’s kinda obvious. Can you give us some leads? (See how I connected my question our subject? J)

John: Very clever.

I thought so. So, where do I begin?

John: There are many, many places to get your information right. A good place to start is Lee Lofland’s Police Procedure and Investigation, his blog the Graveyard Shift, and his Writer’s Police Academy Conference. All great places to delve into the mindset of an investigation.

Then there are blogs and web sites. D. P. Lyle, MD has a great web site—https://writersforforensicsblog.wordpress.com—covers all kinds of details on Forensics from a doctor’s POV. His nonfiction books include Forensics: a Guide for Writers, Forensics for Dummies, Murder and Mayhem, Forensics and Fiction, and More Forensics and Fiction. There are tons more resources than just these two.

Other areas of interest would be managing a crime scene investigation, forensics, guns, searches, interrogation techniques, and driving techniques.

I’ve brought my laptop so let’s do a quick search.

Wow! That’s quite a few.

John: This is only the Barnes and Noble site.

  • US Marshalls: Inside America’s Most Storied Law Enforcement Agency by Mike Earp,
  • 400 Things Cops Know: Street-Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Plantinga,
  • Under Alone by William Queen (going undercover in a motorcycle gang),
  • Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas,
  • Effective Police Supervision by Harry W. More,
  • Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm by William Bass,
  • True Crime books, especially those by Ann Rule.

Do you have a favorite book?

John: Hallie Ephron’s Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel takes you from a blank page all the way through to a finished mystery. I highly recommend it.

 I see you’ve stopped at an interesting website. What is it?

John: www.police-writers.com.

Let’s click on their Alphabetical Listing of Law Enforcement Agencies. Under the letter C I find a link to my hometown police department, the Cincinnati Police Department. It gives me a three paragraph summation of the department. In those three paragraphs, I have information to use as a background and a springboard to go deeper.

How would you go about going deeper?

Many police departments have a public relations department. Often, they are willing to talk to authors. Only one way to find out is to call them. Be courteous and you might end up with invaluable resources.

I am a member of a Sisters in Crime chapter. (Guys can join the chapters too.) We often have guest speakers from some aspect of law enforcement, including a facial reconstructionist, a prison warden, highway patrolmen, lawyers, judges, and true crime journalists. We visited the Columbus Crime Lab, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

What if you’re not a member of the Sisters of Crime?

John: A great resource are cops themselves. I know…go figure. But just listening to them talk will help you refine your character’s cop-speak. For example, cops will often refer to residents as citizens, to cars/SUVs/etc. as vehicles. They can not only provide accurate details, but they can infuse your muse with more stories. Then there is the ride along. You have to check local departments to see if they allow this activity.

My mind is spinning from all this information.

JT: And that’s just skimming the surface. Here’s the advantage a writer has over the police. The police have to investigate a crime set up by someone else. The writer gets to set up the crime for her investigator. So go forth, and detail dastardly deeds done by dudes and dames doing-in dumb delinquents.

John, you are too funny. Thanks for joining me today. Readers can order your copy of Whiskey Sunrise here. If you are interested in reading my interview with John on this novel click here.

 

Do any dastardly deed writers out there have any tips or resources to share with others of like minds? Leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to click the button on the right to follow my blog.

 

Conference Tip # 9 Dress For Success

Often people envision a writer as some shy soul who wears out-of-date clothes and blends in with the walls. At a conference be sure to project a different image. Dress for success is an old adage that still holds true. Don’t clone the look of your favorite author. Aim for conservative and comfortable.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on wardrobe, but you do need to leave your lounge pants, shorts and flip flops at home. (Flip flops might be Ok at a conference in Hawaii or Florida.) Choose clothes that reflect a serious attitude. You’re at the conference to meet people, get leads and promote your manuscripts. Dress so you are approachable.

Casual business defined.

Women’s business casual consists of dresses and skirts in conservative lengths. Slacks, not jeans; tops, not t-shirts; and avoid denim. If you want to pack light, think of mix and matching. Neutral shades with splashes of color. The same skirt or slacks can be paired with various tops. A jacket can be added to a short sleeve or sleeveless dress or blouse if the weather turns cool. Scarves always dress up a simple blouse and sensible shoes are a must. Jewelry is another way to dress up an outfit and give it a different look. And it may not need to be said but I will not assume—women be sure your cleavage is covered. The smile on your face and the words you share are the kind of attention you want to garner.

Men too should avoid jeans, shorts and too casual footwear. Trade in your T-shirts for polo shirts or dress shirts. Ties are nice for banquets and a jacket is always a great addition to a casual slack. Jackets are optional. A jacket over a polo or golf shirt can look sharp. Dress slacks or Dockers always look better than jeans. Casual Friday does not apply to conferences.

Make sure your hair is neat and your breath fresh. Altoids anyone?

You can still have your own style. Some friends I’ve meet at conferences wear cowboy hats, a loud jacket or fun ties. A conference I attended a few years ago had a woman dressing as a different Biblical character each day to promote her book of women of the Bible. Some conferences also have a costume ball or a gala. Be sure to have an appropriate outfit for those occasions.

Author John Turney in his signature cowboy hat.

Author John Turney in his signature cowboy hat.

There is always an exception to every rule. Check the dress code guidelines for your upcoming conference. Most conferences have them on their website. When in doubt dress your best.

What’s your favorite outfit for a writer’s conference?

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An Interview with Author John Turney and a Giveaway of His New Crime Thriller Whiskey Sunrise

John Turney and I at the Write To Publish Conference. Glad to have him stop by my blog today.

John Turney and I at the Write To Publish Conference. Glad to have him stop by my blog today.

Glad to have you back. I enjoyed Whiskey Sunrise. I found my heart racing as I watched the story unfold. This crime thriller explores so many aspects of life beyond the horrendous crimes. Please, please make yourself comfortable. Sit down and help yourself to some Ceylon tea while we chat.

Whiskey Sunrise is much different than your first Innocent Blood. Share why.

The two places that really interest me are the American West, especially the Southwest, and Ireland. In both places, people have struggled to live. Struggled against nature—the deserts of the Southwest and the rocky soil of Ireland. Struggled against invaders—various native groups, the Spanish and the Americans in the Southwest, and the various invaders from continental Europe in Ireland. In my Innocent Blood book, while it actually takes place in my hometown of Cincinnati, there are huge elements of Irish folklore. In my latest book, Whiskey Sunrise, I deal with another invasion—the invasion of drugs, guns and people across our southern border. So why the change? Just two things that interested me that I wanted to explore.

Fill in my readers about the premise of your new book.

My second book—Whiskey Sunrise, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas—takes place in the fictional small town of Whiskey, Arizona. The protagonist is the police chief who, with a small staff, has to take on an emerging and violent drug cartel and a gun running citizen. (I began this project before Fast and Furious.) The chief is separated from his wife and wants to reunite. I added a touch of Navajo mysticism.

What makes Arizona work as the setting for your story?

With all that’s going on in the southwest region of the US, Arizona seemed to be an ideal setting for Whiskey Sunrise. It also allowed me to give it a modern day cowboy feel to the story. So instead of cowboys fighting Native Americans or aliens, this allowed me to explore the themes related to issues of border security.

You touch the surface of Navajo mysticism in Whiskey Sunrise. Why?

The original peoples have a deep religious connection to the world. Although I don’t hold to their traditions, I want to respect it. If only to make my faith in Christ more real to them. I mean, if you disrespect someone’s core beliefs, you can’t expect them to honor yours. We tried that in the 1800’s and it didn’t work. So, I contrast the Navajo beliefs with a character’s deeply held Christian beliefs.

The last sentence of your book tells the reader there is a sequel. Can you tell us what we might expect?

In the sequel, I deal with a terrorist organization working with a drug cartel to wreak havoc in the southwest. Just how…I can’t say.

 

Don’t be such a tease, give us a little more.

(Taps feet and frowns) If you insist. The drug lord from WS returns. His focus is to kill the police chief. Meanwhile, human trafficking is being committed by the terrorists, buildings are being set on fire or exploded and a rare snowstorm sweeps through the southwest

Wow! Sounds intriguing. Writers read. So tell me what’s are you currently reading?

You would ask that. I just finished reading Independence Day by the authors of the film. If you liked the movie, the book follows right along with it. It adds very little to the movie, but it does explain some of the science behind the events. In my meek opinion, the movie is better than the book. Too much telling and not showing. I just started reading Gallows View by Peter Robinson. An interesting mystery combining a peeping tom with a murder and break-ins all taking place in rural England. I am also reading The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by the late Carolyn Kaufman. As a psychologist and a writer, she understood both worlds. A great book for writers to understand why people do what they do, and to take a peek into the world of a psychologist. It’s truly a shame she passed so young in her life. My ebook read is called Division of the Marked by March McCarron. A fun speculative read. Hope to read more from her.

What other things are you currently working on?

I am currently working on writing blogs for my website (www.jturney.com), which was designed by one of the fabulous people at Lighthouse Publishing, Meaghan. I am working on a short story which is a combination of science fiction and police procedural.

What is one thing you learned from writing this book?

Understand, I do not support illegal immigration or amnesty. However, for many who come into our country without going through our normal channels, there is drive of desperation in them to try to escape to a better life. The crossers risk financial loss, humiliation, rape, beatings and even death during their trek. Yes, there are despicable people coming across our borders, but there are also hard-working decent people as well. Perhaps a better immigration policy would help those enter our country who seek a better life and prevent the criminal and terrorist element.

 

You know you want me to ask so here goes. So you think terrorists have come across our borders?

Most definitely. And if the leaders of our country can’t find the resolve to protect our borders, America is in for a world of hurt. Let me give you a “for instance.” I own a house and the small piece of land it sits upon. If I turned a blind eye to people jumping my fence and squatting on my property, it wouldn’t take very long before I wouldn’t have anything left. That is what is happening on a much larger scale in the US.

Now it’s my turn to ask the question I always like to ask at the end of an interview. What advice would you offer other writers?

For writers, I’d say the three important things are: 1) learn the craft of writing. It’s not unlike trying to learn a musical instrument. Practice to get good. 2) Network. Build up a body of friends who are writers. Then help those other writers. 3) Learn some marketing techniques. This is a business, so be serious yet have fun. For readers, I would advise that you support your local writers. If you find one, two or more that you enjoy, email them encouragement. Ask your local library to stock their book. Friend them on Facebook. Give them good reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. If a few readers would do those simple things, it would make a huge difference in a writer’s career.

Author John Turney

Spot on advice. I believe I see a copy of Whiskey Sunrise peeking out of John’s brief case. We are going to give a copy away to one of my commenters. Leave a comment with your email. I’ll contact the winner to get their snail mail address so John can send an autographed copy.

Here is the link:51SDe6990EL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_ 

Whiskey Sunrise

 

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