I get asked a lot where do I get the ideas for my books? To be honest I find inspiration for my writing in so many things but I’ll try to narrow that down. The key for me is to take one little bit of information and play ‘what if’ with it. I take snippets of things from stuff I’ve heard, seen, experienced and then I mix them together and see what kind of new and different scenarios I can come up with. I think most authors do this sort of thing. Since I write suspense/thrillers laced with romance I’m always looking for things that can be twisted, turned, something that can be taken out of context and something a bit dark that someone has to figure their way out of. So I put together some things that inspire my stories and my writing.
1. Stories about families – the good, the bad, the funny… In my books there is a lot about family dynamics, family drama and how families aren’t always honest with each other. I have to say I am often amazed at the true stories I hear that are as bad or worse than the fiction I write.
2. People’s mannerisms or quirks – how they pick up a pen, how they flick their hair, a facial expression…
3. The way people interact with each other – the way they talk, stand, gesture, etc.
4. Books or things I read. I read a lot and sometimes I’ll read something and think what if this happened in a different situation, to a different person…
5. Shows or movies are also a great place to get ideas
6. Talking with people about their lives. I don’t ever write my stories based on someone’s life but I may take a snippet of their life i.e. that their flight got canceled and they ended up in an airport for two days and use it in a totally different situation.
7. My own personal experiences.
8. Music and songs.
9. Careers or jobs. I’ll look at ones I’ve had or ones that are advertised and see how they could be twisted and used in a story.
10. Emotions and feelings – how people react to certain situations. Sometimes I’ll take an emotion and put it in a situation it shouldn’t be in and see what I can come up with.
Ideas are really everywhere. I tend to take ideas from each of the above and meld them together to see what comes out the other side. Where do you get your ideas from?
Yay! Tainted Waters has made it to round 2 of the book cover contest through Book Goodies. Thank you everyone who commented and/or shared. Now I need your help again. To make it passed this round it is about who can get the most likes, shares, comments.
Here’s what they sent me in the email to share:
Congratulations! This cover has made it to the finals! Vote for this cover by commenting about what you like about it, and by sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest using the links above. The more shares, the more votes this cover will get!
Winners are determined by number of comments (one or two word comments don’t count) and combined number of shares. Please only share once a day, we don’t want to spam any social media!
So my understanding is that if you click on this link: Book Goodies Cover Contest then scroll down until you find Tainted Waters Cover, click on it and leave a comment and share on social media. Thank you for your help. You guys are the best.
Writing is about doing and it is something that no matter how much time you put in you will never feel it is perfect. Human nature? Maybe. But there are things you can do that will get your writing/your story to a point where you are comfortable with it and able to see it in a different light.
1. Read what you wrote. Sounds like something that is common sense however there are many and yes I am guilty of this at times as well, that we skim what we’ve written, if we read it at all. So take some time and actually read what you’ve written.
2. Read what you wrote in different formats and/or on different devices. If you’ve written something in word, then flip it to a pdf or if you have calibre convert it to an ebook. Read it on your computer or the device you use. Read it on your tablet/ereader/phone, whatever other device you have. And yes still at times print it off and read it on paper. You might be surprised by how this changes your perspective on what you’ve written.
3. Walk away from what you’ve written. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing it to walk away from it and let it mull over in your mind for a while before you go back and read it. And I do mean read it using one or both suggestions above.
4. Love what you are doing. Often as writers and authors we get so stressed over what we are writing and ‘oh my god is it good enough or not’. Too often we think not. When we focus on that we are adding in another layer that keeps the writing from flowing. Be grateful for the gift of writing, not everyone has it.
5. Write it, read it, send it. I know that kind of contradicts no. 3 but that’s the joy of writing. Each piece you write is going to be different and need a different response from you. Sometimes you will be in the flow of it and it will come easily and just feel right. So believe in that and let the piece go. Sometimes you will struggle and your piece will need more time and attention because it’s driving you crazy, kind of like a sibling when you were young. :)
Know that there is no tried and true method that will work every time for you. The more though that you focus on loving what you are doing and put in some time just writing, you will find that it will flow easier for you and may not feel so much like work. Writing is a gift, know that you are blessed with it.
You may have noticed I’ve been away for a while. Sometimes life throws you a curve and you have to drop everything. It was one of those things that was taken out of my hands but was a good reminder of what is important in life. After spending a week with my mom, she peacefully passed away. It was a really tough week to watch her go down hill but it was also an amazing time – we reminisced, we talked, we laughed and we just spent time as a family. In the last few hours we sang to her, many songs she knew, although I don’t think our rendition was quite what she remembered and I am sure our off key singing will keep her smiling for a very long time. That whole week but especially those last few hours are very special to me and I know meant a lot to mom. They are a gift that I will always treasure.
I wanted to share a wonderful poem my sister wrote:
(by H. D.)
You taught us to be free,
You taught us to question,
You taught us to try,
You taught us to love.
You taught us to be independent,
You taught us to go for what we wanted,
You taught us to live each day,
You taught us to forgive.
These lessons were not always easy,
We had some struggle,
We had to fall a few times,
But you were always there to help us up.
You inspired us
To be more,
To do more
And to live more.
You showed us how to shine our light upon the world,
By shining yours upon us.
Thank you for these gifts
And for allowing us to live life!
We love you Mom!
I think it is so beautiful and so true. The song we played during the video of Mom’s life was “I hope you dance” by Leann Womack. I truly hope we can all make that our mantra… and dance.
Thank you everyone who continued to stop by my blog and tweet my stuff. I so appreciate you doing that. I will catch up with everyone but it will take me a bit of time. Thank you all for being a part of my journey.
Hi. My book Captured Lies is on tour with Reading Addictions Book Tours. The blogs hosting Captured Lies and my giveaway are listed below.
The Elemental Crystals were originally created to protect the earth. However, Abaddon the Demon Lord plans to use them to transform the earth into a realm of haunting darkness and witchery, forever. In Guiding The Blue Flame, a young but powerful Nasharin Warrior, Darshun Luthais is drawn to one of these magical crystals of immense power. He learns he‟s the fulfillment of the two thousand year old Prophecy of the Guardian. The Wizard Olchemy informs him that he is the protector and guardian the earth has been waiting for. With Darshun‟s ability to sense the Elemental Crystals, Olchemy devises a plan to obtain them.
Accompanied by a small group of companions the hunt is on, in hopes to retrieve the long lost crystals before the Demon Lord claims them. During the journey, Darshun encounters Aurora, the sole survivor of a now extinct people. He falls in love for the first time, and now resents the so-called Guardian of the Prophecy role. Due to Darshun‟s naïve spirit he‟s caught off guard by Nayland, a mysterious dark warrior who confronts him about his abandonment of the quest. He reveals that he too, is a Nasharin warrior, though far exceeding Darshun in skill and power. Darshun‟s father, Mirabel saves him from death at the hands of Nayland.
Outmatched and in bewilderment from the attack, a fire awakens in Darshun. He plans on reaching his father’s level of power with a journey to Shajin Island, where Nasharin Warriors train. He‟ll be gone for only one day in Earth realm time, but due to the magic of the rigorous island, it will be seven long years for him. Entering the mystical realm of Shajin, he eagerly awaits its life threatening challenges.
Before dinner was served, Aurora left to change into some fresh clothes she’d taken from her hut, which fortunately remained intact. Upon her return, all eyes shifted to her, especially Darshun’s. She’d donned a reddish-brown and orange gown, tight to her hips which fell in folds at her feet. A long carnelian necklace adorned her neck, the stones polished to perfection, and two striking earrings of diamonds and rubies, the rubies hung within a diamond border. She slowly walked over to Darshun’s area, the overwhelming scent of lilacs and roses following, her strawberry-blonde hair smoothly combed and capturing the firelight.
She nearly pranced around the men, with all taking at least a slight interest—all except Nayland. For a moment, he cast a glare her way, and in response she sent one back…twice as piercing.
He turned his head and with a sort of victorious smile.
She smugly seated herself beside Darshun.
Nearly drooling and lost in a daze, he said nothing.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I’m fine. It’s just I have never…never—”
“Dar’s never seen someone so beautiful,” Mythaen said, cracking a smirk.
Darshun blushed and wanted to hit him.
“Aww, thank you, Darshun.”
Feeling too embarrassed, he didn’t say a word, only smiled ridiculously, like a child lost in dreamland. Not to mention his stomach was in knots, or at least, that’s what it felt like.
“Boy you are beginning to stray,” Nayland growled.
Darshun fixed his eyes on him, the expression on his face changing to anger. He sat directly across the fire while the dancing flames in between Darshun and Nayland seemed fitting for the moment. “What are you talking about, Nayland?”
Glancing at Aurora and then back to him, he answered, “You know of what I speak.”
“I know nothing of you! Only that your company has been an irritation from the start.”
J.W.Baccaro is the author of the Guardian Series. In his free time he enjoys literature—fiction and non-fiction, playing electric guitar in the heavy metal band Rigor Hill, Consciousness and NDE studies, and thinking how to intertwine his thoughts about the world’s myths, legends and distinct truths into his novels. He lives in upstate NY with his wife Melissa, his son Alexander, his two German Shepherds and his three cats.
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Guiding-Blue-Flame-Guardian-Baccaro-ebook/dp/B00F9UETW6/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400536115&sr=1-3&keywords=jw+baccaro
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df-L6u1zvpo
I was nominated for this World Wide Blog Tour by author P.M. Terrell, www.pmterrell.blogspot.com to join this World Wide Blog Hop. She has 18+ books published. The majority of her books are mystery and are very good. I have read, I think 5 or 6 so far. Love them.
Here is PM Terrell’s bio:
She is the author of more than 18 books, including suspense, historical, a how-to book for authors, and computer books. “River Passage” won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award (Bengal Book Awards) and was determined to be so historically accurate, the original manuscript now resides at the Nashville Metropolitan Government Archives for future researchers and historians. Vicki’s Key, the second book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was a 2012 International Book Awards finalist and a 2012 USA Best Book Awards nominee. Visit her web site at http://www.pmterrell.com and take a peek at my historical work at http://www.pmterrell.com/maryneely.
Now a bit about My Writing Process:
1) What am I working on?
I am currently working on two novels – Deadly Ties and Split Seconds.
Deadly Ties – What connection could there be between a twenty year-old murder and a thirty year-old murder and a present day attack on Kyara’s mother? Did her grandmother falsely go to jail for twenty-years?
Split Seconds – Twins sisters meet for the first time as adults and soon discover that someone has gone to great lengths to keep them apart and will even kill to ensure that continues.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm, I know that fans/readers have told me my stories aren’t cookie cutter, they are different than most suspense/thrillers/mysteries in that there are a number of twists and turns that kept them guessing until the end. I tend to write strong, independent female lead characters but they have flaws and struggles to overcome on a personal level while trying to figure out who is trying to stop or kill them. I think my characters are very real and are ones that fans can identify with and see themselves in or they are someone that they really don’t like.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I love reading suspense/thriller type stories. I love reading a story that takes you on a journey, one you’re not quite sure where it’s taking you and one that has many twists to it. It’s like a puzzle that you have to try to figure out as you read. You are not only reading the story but really trying to put it all together and see if you have correctly determined who the bad guys are, what is really going on as well as being very into the story, feeling like you are a part of it… So that’s the type of stories that I like to write. On top of all of that, it’s so much fun to write about lies, deceit, family relationships (or lack thereof) and secrets. I love to take my readers on a journey they won’t soon forget.
4) How does my writing process work?
Great question but not one I’m sure I can give a simple answer to. Each book I write is different. The process is different. I have learned some things that make the writing of my stories a bit easier but the truth is that they take a lot of work and time. Sometimes I get a story idea and I’ll start writing write about. Sometimes I will get a character and will start writing about them and then the story unfolds from there. Once I have the basic idea and maybe some of the story written, I often walk away from it for a period of time just to let the ideas flow. I jot down different things and just let the story take flight until it’s going in a direction that I’m excited about. I then sit down and write. When the ideas are flowing I will write for several hours a day, everyday. When I finally finish the manuscript, I again walk away from it and just let it sit for a while. I then come back to it with fresh eyes and see what makes sense, what doesn’t, do I like where it went, are all the plot holes filled, etc.
I have nominated authors that I absolutely love their writing and I feel very honored to have not only read their stories/novels but to have connected with them. The Three Authors/Writers I have nominated are:
Jane Risdon – http://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Victoria Bernadine – http://victoriabernadine.wordpress.com/
Jeanne Marie – http://womenwhothinktoomuch.wordpress.com/
Hi. I wanted to apologize for not being on here much in the last week but I’m dealing with a family emergency so it might be a while yet before I return. Thank you everyone who has been stopping by not only my blog but my Tainted Waters Blog Tour and tweeting my stuff. I so appreciate the support.
The Las Vegas Mayoral race is heating up, and the incumbent doesn’t have a prayer. Wealthy real estate speculator Nick Campenelli, who wants to legalize prostitution in Clark County, and former pastor Louis St. Louis, running on a ‘clean-up-Vegas-by-getting-rid-of-the-whores’ platform, are the front runners.
They’re also front runners on the suspect list for a string of murders. Kennedy O’Brien, four-year detective with cop blood running in her veins, and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James, a veteran, are determined to find the man who’s murdering prostitutes who work the wrong side of the street, and they don’t care how important or politically active he is.
The killer is a man with a mission. He stalks the women before he kills them, leaving a “BEFORE” photo on their bodies, and sending an “AFTER” shot to the local news hound. Ed Hershey, an aging newscaster with just the right amount of grey in his hair, is determined to turn this story into a network gig, and his interference, along with the LVTVS legal team, are making Kennedy and Wilder look bad. Campenelli’s good looks and charm, and St. Louis’ vitriolic hatred of prostitutes are muddying the waters too, and now the killer seems to have taken a liking to Kennedy.
So the big question remains. Can she get him before he gets her?
Wilder was fine, just winded. She turned to Elvis, ready to whip some mad on him. “Would you mind explaining what you’re doing here?”
“Sorry, Detective Gorgeous Eyes. I’m trying to find out who killed my Priscilla. I might possibly, have overheard you and your partner talking about staking out the store.”
“I thought I’d have a look myself—undercover. I was doing a decent job of it until I saw Detective James take off like a bat out of hell. I followed in case he needed backup. And, well, here I am.” Elvis sheepishly looked away.
“Undercover? In a fucking, flashing, light up Elvis jump suit?” She looked him up and down, blinking at the lights on his clothes.
“I accidentally hit the on button while running.”
Kennedy turned to Nick, who still had that same grin she suddenly despised, dimples and all, plastered on his face. “What about you, Campenelli? What’s your story?”
“Just out for a stroll, Detective.”
Wilder and Elvis both stifled grins and she shot them a look that shut them down. Wilder should know better than to mess with her when she was pissed, and she was really pissed.
“If I had the time I’d haul both of your asses in for obstruction, lock you up, and throw away the key.”
“Well now, it’s lucky for us you’re pressed for time.” Nick sounded smug and he was still smiling. Damn the man.
Wilder turned to Elvis. “You get a good look at the man I was chasing? Could he be the man at the casino taking pictures of you and Priscilla?”
“I’m not sure. He sort of looks familiar. But I’m really not sure where or if I’ve ever seen the dude.”
“The man is my campaign manager, John Tully.” Nick offered, “You may have seen John on TV with me. We’ve been on camera quite a bit lately.”
Wilder, his breathing back to normal, asked, “Mr. Campenelli, how can we reach your campaign manager? There are questions we’re going to need answered.”
Nick scribbled down a few notes on the back of a business card and passed it over. “Try calling these numbers. If they don’t work, I’ll call my assistant and she’ll get you John’s address. He lives in Summerlin, I believe.”
Wilder pocketed the card. “Kenny, I think this stakeout is a bust for the day. I’ll take Elvis to Metro, go through some of the mug shots and get that picture of St. Louis in front of him. We’ll see if he spots anyone.”
“No thanks to these two,” Kennedy snarled.
As An Author, What Scares Me Most
In the beginning of my writing career, I probably worried the most about not finishing the book I’d started. I knew nothing about writing. I was a NICU nurse and the extent of my writing was jotting down nursing notes on a patient’s chart. Learning the craft was not a walk in the park either. I am an insatiable reader and had a slight idea of what I needed to do. I took online writing classes taught by authors, bought a few writing for dummies type books, and attended a few writing conferences. It’s over ten years later and I still haven’t conquered the art of writing, but I’m closing in on it. Another ten to twenty years? Maybe.
I worried what people would think about me writing. Would it be a joke to them? Would I look like an idiot? My family was the ones who encouraged me to write. Still I decided I wouldn’t share my new insomniac’s overnight activity…until I realized I needed massive tutorials on the computer. I was lucky. No one in the family laughed. They supported my dream more than I thought possible. Soon I told my sisters and a few close friends about my little adventure. Again, I got nothing but best wishes.
When I actually finished my first book, I was ecstatic. I’d done what I set out to do. The book’s premise was good, but the writing was horrible. Naturally I didn’t get any contract offers and it’s floating somewhere out in cyber space. I wrote another book. It sold. Yay me! Then I began to worry again. What if no one bought my book? Then what? Well, the book was selling and three years later, I’m still selling copies. My second published book is selling. I won’t be amassing a fortune, but the books are selling.
I’ll always find something to worry about in my writing. But now I look at my adventures in writing as one big, continuous lesson in learning.
Teri Riggs was destined to be a writer. As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own. Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head? When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories. On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending. Her girls loved it.
After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in. It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.
Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world. And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.
Teri still frequently tells herself stories as she falls asleep. The only difference now is she wakes up the next morning and turns her bedtime stories into books.
To follow the tour, click here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/05/virtual-book-tour-eyes-die-last-by-teri.html