Oct 272013
 

Click banner to buy “The Fallen Body”

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Hey, all you avid readers! My name is Stone Patrick, and I’m an author trying to market my debut suspense novel. It is now available in various formats, so check them out here:

The Fallen Body

In my novel titled “The Fallen Body,” Taylour Dixxon, a modern day small-town lawyer, befriends Sarah Cockrell Baines, a New Jersey socialite and millionairess. As their friendship begins, Sarah is arrested for the murder of her husband and is put in jail. When Taylour volunteers to defend Sarah, she has no idea that her struggling solo law practice in the sleepy, fictional, small town of Marlinsville, Texas, will be turned upside down. From a lovable, adolescent nephew who moves in with her, to a hired assassin who is determined to hide the truth, and a handsome Texas Ranger who becomes the object of affection in a love triangle between the two friends, Taylour’s life will never be the same.

The paperback version can be ordered by clicking here.

The hardcover version can be ordered by clicking here.

Again, click here to order your e-book version of “The Fallen Body”

Please be sure to post a review after you read!

UPDATE (11/19/2013):

Barnes and Noble is now carrying the paperback version of The Fallen Body here. (416)

Mar 012014
 

Announcing the Smashwords International Read an Ebook Week! This is an opportunity for all authors to promote their books through the Smashwords platform by giving discounts to all readers! Click the icon below to participate:

girlreading

 

 

  (195)

 Posted by on March 1, 2014 at 8:09 pm
Feb 192014
 

I am a big fan of Smashwords.com so when I came across this blog post, I had to share it. The article is titled, “Can Ebook Data Reveal New Viral Catalysts to Spur Reader Word-of-Mouth?” and gives all indie publishers — and indie authors — some points to ponder. I have included the presentation below:

 

 

Please take a moment to look through the slides. If you are unable to see it from this site, simply click on the article name above and you will be directed to the Smashwords blog post.

Comments? (219)

 Posted by on February 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm
Feb 042014
 
book 2

I just came across Smashwords.com, which is a great website for publishing your books, novels, poetry, short stories, etc. It only took a moment for me to convert my .doc file to the site, and they converted it to other ebook formats for me! It was so easy.

The site includes ebooks of every kind of category, and there are a number of them that are free or included at discount prices. The nice thing about Smashwords is that it is free for all authors to make their ebooks available.

They also make your ebook available to their distribution network as long as it passes a 2-3 day review period.

Find me on Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tayman0522

Sample or purchase my ebook on Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/402747

Try it for yourself and see the power behind this website! (269)

Dec 042013
 

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, “the Snowflake Guy,” publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 7,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.

The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine

Publisher: Randy Ingermanson (“the Snowflake guy”)
Motto: “A Vision for Excellence”
Date: December 3, 2013
Issue: Volume 9, Number 12
Personal Site: www.Ingermanson.com
Circulation: 7014 writers, each of them creating a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

“Fiction Writing = Organization + Craft + Marketing”

What’s in This Issue

1) Welcome to the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine!
2) Organization: Purgery
3) Craft: Can You Spot a Liar?
4) Marketing: The Currency of Marketing
5) What’s New At AdvancedFictionWriting.com
6) Randy Recommends . . .
7) What Randy is Reading
8) Steal This E-zine!
9) Reprint Rights

1) Welcome to the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine!

Those of you who have joined in the past month (319 of you signed up in November), welcome to my e-zine!
If you missed a back issue, remember that all previous issues are archived on my web site at: www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com/ezine/

2) Organization: Purgery

If you want to write efficiently, you need to keep your stuff organized. Everything in its place. Everything out of your face.Books in bookshelves. Papers in filing cabinets. Electronic equipment on the desk. Nothing on the floor or sitting in stacks.That’s all fine as long as there’s room on the bookshelves and in the filing cabinet.But what happens when you run out of room?

That’s what’s happened to me recently, and I’m currently going through a painful process my kids call “purgery”—because it requires purging stuff I don’t need. I hate throwing things away.

I’ve put this off for way too long, so it’s going to be horrible, but the plan is pretty simple. I need to throw out all the papers in my filing cabinets that I don’t need. I need to unload the books on my shelves that I don’t need. And I need to recycle the electronics on my desk that I don’t need.

Purgery is right up there next to flossing the cat on my list of most-hated tasks. But I’m way past due, and my goal is to spend the month of December purging, so I can start the year fresh.

I’m starting with the two filing cabinets in my office. Each of them has five drawers, and you’d think that’s way more than enough. But they’re both full, or very close to it. I tend to keep a lot of paper, because you never know when you’ll need those old records.

But there’s a limit to how long you need to keep old records. A lot of mine have way out-lived their useful life.

One problem with purging files is that you can’t just throw away paper that has sensitive information on it. You definitely don’t want to throw away old credit card bills, for example, because they have your credit card number on them.

To purge private documents, you need a shredder—a good crosscut shredder that chews up paper into small pieces, not just into long strips.

It was way too daunting to try to purge all ten drawers in my filing cabinets all at once, so I started with the drawer I use the most, the one labeled “Bills.”

Here’s the procedure I used:

  1. Set the timer for 30 minutes, because I can only do purgery for about that long before my head explodes.
  2. Grab the first file and flip through it, sorting the documents into three groups:
    • Stuff to keep—anything less than a year old I might need for doing taxes (this goes back in the file).
    • Stuff to shred—anything with account numbers on it (this goes on the floor)
    • Stuff to throw away (this goes in the trash without shredding)
  3. When I’ve finished the file, I put it back into the filing cabinet and then shred everything on the floor.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the next file, until my timer goes off.

Yes, this is the most boring kind of work I can imagine. No, it can’t be put off any longer.

When I’ve got a spare half hour, I pick up where I left off. I started the weekend before last and I finished the Bills drawer this last weekend, working a few files at a time.

The next step is to clear out the file drawer in my desk. And then the filing cabinet drawer labeled “Business.”

Then, I’ll sweep through all the bookshelves and look for books I can throw away. For me, throwing away books is like murdering friends. So this is going to be extremely hard, but it needs to be done. I don’t buy paper books anymore, because there isn’t any space left on any  bookshelf in the house. And we have an embarrassing number of bookcases.

How are you doing with the space you have? Have you run out of room to put more stuff? Are things stacking up on your floor? Do you have boxes of junk cluttering up your workspace?

Is it time for some purgery? How much can you get done before the new year comes in? Would it make a difference in your life if you cleared out even ten percent of the stuff you don’t need? Wouldn’t that feel great?

If so, then you’ve got plenty of company. You’ve got me and a lot of others in the same boat. Let’s get it done.

I dare you to commit some purgery before the year is over.

3) Craft: Can You Spot a Liar?

Every person on the planet tells lies. Which means your characters all tell lies. Wouldn’t it be cool if you knew exactly what lying looks like so you could show it to your readers?

Yeah, that would be cool.

I’ve been watching the TV series LIE TO ME on Netflix lately.

The series is based on a real-life psychology professor, Dr. Paul Ekman, who specializes in reading facial expressions to detect emotions and lying.

Of course, we’d all love to be able to infallibly detect lying, but that’s incredibly tricky. Much to my disappointment, there just isn’t any single thing you can watch for that would prove you’re being lied to. But there are many indicators of lying.

If you want to detect deception, you have to put it together from a large number of clues. The visible emotions on the face. The body language. The response of the autonomic nervous system. And you have to compare all of those to what you see when the person is telling the truth.

Then you have to think about whether the person is a psychopath who doesn’t feel guilty for lying. Or maybe they’re not a psychopath, but they feel good about this particular lie because it achieves a greater good.

And you have to consider the possibility that the person actually believes what they’re saying. Maybe they’ve fooled themselves or have been lied to by somebody else. Maybe they’re just stupid and jumped to a dumb conclusion.

So detecting lying is hard. Most people can’t do it very well—their guesses are not much better than random chance. The good news is that a trained person can detect lying most of the time. The bad news is that nobody can infallibly detect lies, and neither can any machine.

Some people are natural liars (they make good lawyers and salesmen and poker players). It can be hard for even a trained person to detect when a natural liar is lying.

I was disappointed to learn that I wasn’t going to find an infallible way to spot a liar. But this little journey into the study of lying wasn’t wasted. In fact, it turned out to be quite valuable. Here’s why …

It’s easier to learn to detect emotions, and this is important to fiction writers, because emotion is the currency of fiction.

I’ve been reading one of Paul Ekman’s books (co-authored with Wallace V. Friesen), UNMASKING THE FACE, which is a terrific handbook on learning to read emotions from the face.

There are six basic emotions that show up well on human faces:

  • Surprise
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Happiness
  • Sadness

Each of these has at least one typical expression, which usually show up most clearly in the eyebrows, the forehead, the eyes, the nose, the mouth.

Some emotions have more than one typical expression (there are two distinct ways that fear can show up in a person’s mouth, for example).

Any of these emotions can show us on a range from very mild to very intense.

And you often see mixes of two or even three emotions on the same face at the same time.

If you learn these typical expressions, you can work them in naturally into your description of your character’s face. This is a clue for your reader, a clue you don’t have to interpret for her. You can show your reader those emotions, rather than telling her. And there’s more.

Dr. Ekman pioneered the technique of reading “micro-expressions”—which typically last for a small fraction of a second and reveal hidden emotions. These can be incredibly important to a fiction writer.

If a husband is telling the cops about how horrified he was when he discovered his murdered wife, and he shows a micro-expression for rage, then your detective might want to check whether he was really out drinking with the boys until late.

If a wife is telling her hubby about how she spent the afternoon shopping for his birthday present, and she shows a micro-expression for disgust, he might start to wonder whether she was out “shopping” with her personal trainer at the local motel.

If your heroine is crushing on that cute guy with the unreadable poker face and she wonders if he even knows she exist, and every time he looks at her, he shows a happiness micro-expression, well then he likes her. So she can start flaunting whatever it is she flaunts best.

The nice thing about these facial expressions, including the micro-expressions, is that you can show them to your reader and it’s one less thing you have to tell her.

Not every reader will read these clues correctly, but that’s OK. In real life, we don’t always read people correctly. Clues are just clues, and even if you read them, you can’t ever know if you’re being tricked. So it’s fine to leave things a little ambiguous in your fiction.

Knowing how to read facial expressions is just one more weapon in your arsenal as a fiction writer. Use it well.

If you want to know more about reading people’s faces, here’s a link to the Amazon page for UNMASKING THE FACE. And here’s a link to the B&N page. Have fun!

4) Marketing: The Currency of Marketing

The most important lesson I ever learned about marketing was taught to me by a hard-eyed electrical engineer, whom I’ll call Rick.

It was a few years after I had escaped from academia, and I was working for a mid-sized company in San Diego that did contract physics research for the government. We built machines that could deliver more than a terawatt of power—a million megawatts—in one giant burst.

I’m a theoretical physicist, and my job was to write custom software to analyze the physics of the machines.

That year the company went through a reorg, and my boss and I got moved over to work in the building with the experimental group. And one of my first tasks was to help out on a rush proposal.

My boss held a meeting with some of our new co-workers. The proposal needed some calculations. They were too complicated to do by hand. We needed custom software to do the calculations. And we needed answers right away.

My boss turned to me. “Can you get it done by tomorrow?”

The truth was that I didn’t know. In a week, sure, I could do it. It was a matter of integrating some code somebody else had written into my own software and writing whatever glue I needed to make it all work. But every programmer knows that working with other people’s software is always dicey.

I said I’d give it my best shot.

One of the engineers in the meeting was this guy Rick. He was in his late fifties and he had shaggy gray hair and a craggy, wind-burned face and a smoker’s voice.

Rick happened to be one of the best engineers in the world at building high-energy pulsed-power machines. He was a no-nonsense, get-it-done kind of a guy. Rick was also one of those people who don’t bother trying to hide what they think.

I read on Rick’s face right away that he didn’t think I could do it. I was an unknown quantity. As far as he was concerned, I had zero credibility.

But my boss thought I could do the job, and there was nobody else to do it, so I had to either sink or swim.

I knew it was important to the company, so I decided I’d give it my maximum effort.

I went into high gear right after the meeting and I pounded on the problem right through lunch. I worked without a break all afternoon. Around 5 PM, I called my wife and said I was going to be home late, really late.

She brought me some supper and I ate it at my desk while I sweated out all the glitches you get when you try to glue together software that wasn’t designed to work together.

I don’t remember the timing exactly, but I’m guessing that sometime around 11 PM, I got it working. I ran some test cases for reasonable scenarios and printed out the results and left them on my boss’s desk. Then I went home and collapsed.

The next morning, I got in late and was checking e-mail at my desk when Rick came by with a solemn expression on his face.

I looked at him, wondering what I’d done wrong.

His craggy face cracked into a smile. “That was good.”

“What was good?” I asked.

“What you did. You were here way late last night. You got it done. That was good.”

And I could read on Rick’s face that I’d earned something crucial.

Credibility.

After that, Rick knew he could count on me to get it done. To do it right. To do what it took.

And that’s the big lesson I learned. A lesson that carries over into every area of life. Most especially into marketing.

Credibility is not something you can buy. The only way to get it is by earning it.

The only way to keep it is to keep on earning it.

Credibility is the foundation of all marketing. When marketers talk about “branding,” they are really talking about earning credibility with your target audience. They’re talking about proving that you can provide the thing people want to buy.

You build credibility by delivering the goods. Every time.

You lose credibility when you don’t deliver the goods. Even once.

If you’re a Starbucks fan, it’s because Starbucks earned your credibility, one cup at a time, every time.

If you’re a Stephen King fan, it’s because Steve earned your credibility, one book at a time, every time.

Every novelist wants to make it big, to write a breakout book that makes them a rock star.

Rock star writers don’t usually come out of nowhere. Most of them earn the right to be rock stars, by delivering the goods, by getting better book after book, building their fan base, developing their skills, growing as a writer.

A lot of rock star writers break out after five or ten or twenty books, building credibility all along the way.

Oh sure, there are a few who break out with their first or second book. Clancy and Grisham and King and Rowling come to mind. But they remain rock stars by maintaining their credibility.

A rock star who doesn’t keep delivering loses credibility, bit by bit, until it’s gone. And then he’s not a rock star anymore.

Here are a few rules for you as you build your own credibility in your writing career:

You earn credibility by delivering the goods.

You earn credibility by doing the right thing.

You earn the most credibility by doing the right thing when you think nobody’s watching. (But somebody always is.)

You earn credibility by doing your best, every time. Bear in mind that “doing your best” is a relative thing. It means doing your best on each particular day. It does not mean that every day you have to do better than the day before. That’s impossible. You’ll have good days and bad days, but even on your bad days, you need to be doing the best you can on that day.

Credibility only matters for your target audience. There will always be people outside your target audience who hate you and who won’t ever give you a chance to earn credibility. Don’t waste a second worrying about them.

Athletes talk about the dangers of “mailing in the win.” The surest way to lose big is to try to coast through on a second-rate effort against a second-rate opponent.

The surest way to lose credibility is to start producing work that isn’t up to your standard.

Credibility is the currency of marketing.

If you have credibility, then marketing your work is easy.

If you don’t have credibility, then marketing your work is hard.

Now take a look at what you’re doing today.

Will it boost your credibility, or at least keep it even?

Or will it cut your credibility?

 

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 Posted by on December 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm
Nov 302013
 

The young woman stumbled in her black stilettos as she walked towards the bridge, the road pock marked and scraped from erosion. She cursed her luck and wondered where she was exactly. Her wet blonde hair fell limply around her cream cashmere sweater. Just then, a delivery truck passed by and drenched the poor pedestrian, splashing grime, mud, and oil. She yelled and shook her fist at the sky. It responded by piercing the air with a raindrop that went “smack” against her forehead, startling her.

The rain fell in big, heavy drops, washing everything in its path. She flipped off her shoes and fled painfully for cover until she reached the unlit overpass, which offered some relief from the deluge. She flung herself down on the hard cement incline, and glared at the water pooling at her swollen ankles. She inched up a few steps. The rain pounded the pavement around her, and brought the scent of wetness. She closed her eyes and dreamed about taking a nice, hot shower.

She was startled with a flash of lightning, and recoiled when she saw someone standing in front of her. She stifled a scream as the outline of a hand clasped her mouth. She tried to wriggle away, but he was too strong. She nearly passed out from the stench of body odor.
“Now, now, no need t’ struggle. I ain’t gonna hert ya,” the voice crackled. “I saw ya wanderin’ under m’ bridge, an’ came to see if I could hep ya.”

He took his hand from her mouth. “Ain’t no one gonna hear ya scream, not with this racket.” Cackling, he backed away, still a shadow in the darkness. “Ain’t no one out in this, ‘specially under my bridge.” He motioned with his hand towards the deep recess of the underpass, and she followed his gesture. She squinted to make out what was there, and saw a makeshift cardboard lean-to, with white plastic Wal-Mart bags stacked everywhere. Taking a deep breath, she finally spoke.

“I… I’m lost. Not exactly sure where I am or how I got here. It started raining, so I ran for cover,” she said. “I’m a mess! Probably scared you coming out of nowhere like that.” She extended her hand, “I’m Mona. Mona Burdette.”

He hesitated, then took her hand awkwardly, “Name’s Coots. Jus’ Coots. Pleased t’ meet ya, Mona Burdette. Heh, I’ll getcha somthin’ t’ dry yerself off. Hold there, jus’ a minute.” He scrambled up the steep concrete, and called down to Mona, “I be jus’ a minute.” Snatching something from a clothesline, he slid back down and offered her a stained, threadbare Scooby-Do beach towel.

Mona crinkled her nose and said thanks. She sniffed the towel and was surprised at the smell of bleach, so she proceeded to dry herself off. She wiped the mud from her face and wished that she had a hairbrush. As if reading her mind, Coots climbed back up to his shelter, and extended an ebony handle to her.

Warily, Mona took the brush and turned it over in her hands. The handle was smooth and fit nicely in her palm. The bristles appeared to be brand new, with not a single strand of hair caught between them. “My, what a beautiful brush. I don’t even have one this nice at home.” Blushing, she continued. “Not that I know where home is.” She brushed out the tangles of the rats nest on her head, and after a few moments, handed the brush back to Coots.

“Whaddaya mean, ya don’t know where home is? Ya lost?”

Instinctively, Mona grinned, “Yes, I’m lost. But I do believe that I have just been found.” She peered over Coots’ shoulder at a police cruiser, its bright red and blue lights flashing. A policeman emerged from the car and shined his Streamlight Stinger flashlight over the scene.

Coots scurried back up the incline and hid behind his cardboard wall. He peeked through a small hole, not daring to breathe.
“Officer, thank heavens you came. I–”

“Ma’am, are you Mona Burdette? Got a call from dispatch that said there was a lady wandering around, name Mona Burdette.”
She nodded and backed away, shielding her eyes from his flashlight, unsure how he knew her name. He advanced toward her, and suddenly slammed the flashlight into her skull.

Coots jumped, and scrunched closed his eyes. He heard a thud from something hitting the ground, then the scuffling of feet and the grunts from the assassin, and then nothing. Coots pried his eyes open. He peered past the cardboard and saw Mona’s body being dragged back to the police cruiser.

The body scraped along the asphalt until the killer reached the car. He pulled out the keys, pushed a button, and the trunk clicked open. The killer dropped the corpse in with a muffled thud. He tugged and pushed at the body and finally managed to maneuver her legs unnaturally behind her. He slammed the trunk closed.

The killer went back to retrieve his flashlight and stumbled over something on the pavement. Cursing, he pawed around in the oily water mix until he found the flashlight, but it wouldn’t turn on. He managed to find one of the silky shoes, the stiletto barely hanging on, so he searched frantically for the second one, but he could not find it. Not wanting to leave any evidence behind, he resolved to come back in the morning.

As the killer drove off, Coots rocked back and forth in his shelter, muttering incoherently. In his grasp was Mona’s other shoe, a black stiletto. (392)

 Posted by on November 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm
Nov 192013
 

Click banner to buy “The Fallen Body”

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Hey, everyone, I wanted to post the interview that I had with Stone Patrick, who recently published “The Fallen Body.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I initially thought of writing as a way to make money, and lots of it, but as I did more research, I read time and time again that most writers will never be able to support themselves with their writing alone. That was a sobering thought, but I didn’t want that to stop me from at least trying. I continued to read books about how to write — I bought at least 20-25 books, some of which I have read multiple times — and when I tried it for myself, I felt a real sense of accomplishment when I wrote something that moved people emotionally. It’s that acclamation from other people that motivates me to continue writing.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I try to write simple sentences, changing the structure to make it easy to follow, and I don’t use big words that most people won’t know the meaning of. I like to think that my dialogue is full of conflict and reflects the characters’ traits and biases. When I write, I try not to create word combinations that would sound foreign if they were spoken out loud. I believe my style of writing is conversational and smooth, and that it conjures up images in the reader’s mind that are specific to that individual, instead of being so descriptive that there is only one possible image that can be thought of.

How did you come up with the title?

In coming up with the title, I wanted something simple that would be easy to say, not easily misunderstood, and was based on the crime that needed to be solved. It started out as a working title, and by the time the book was completed, I couldn’t think of anything else that personified both the crime and the one responsible for what happened.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The book starts out focusing on the death of Neil Baines, and how a small-town lawyer, Taylour Dixxon, found herself defending his wife, who is the one accused of perpetrating the crime. I chose a small-town lawyer because I wanted to highlight the challenges that these sole practitioners face, day in and day out, as they try to practice law outside of the big city. The message that I want the reader to come away with is that the job of a lawyer, especially in a small town, is vitally important to the sustainability of order in society. It can sometimes be a thankless job, but in the end, Taylour knows that this is where she belongs.

How much of the book is realistic?

I took bits and pieces of places and buildings that I know and made a fictitious town of Marlinsville, TX. Some of the pieces were patterned after where I live, with certain names of restaurants and streets and festivals that are similar, and I chose a central county in Texas (Falls) and the county seat (Marlin) for the actual spot on the map, but the description of the town itself is made up and has no similarities to the actual town of Marlin, TX.

Are the experiences in the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not at all. I did reach out to a small town attorney named J. Burton Hunter, III who helped me with some of the legal questions that I had, but the characters and experiences are not based on any actual events.

What books have most influenced your life the most?

The books that have influenced me the most are the scriptures of my church, including the Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon, as well as the books that I have read of several mystery authors, John Grisham, Dick Francis, Jeffrey Archer, just to name a few.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

My favorite author is David Baldacci, who has written a number of suspense/thrillers. However, the one writer that I consider to be a mentor is Randy Ingermanson, aka The Snowflake Guy. His monthly e-zine, which goes back to 2005, was the fuel that started the fire. I read every single one of his e-zines in order to educate myself on the publishing world, and he did not disappoint. I have never met Randy, but I hope to some day!

The wonderful thing about his e-zine is that it is totally free!

What book are you reading now?

I am actually in between books. I just finished reading an e-book called “Either Side of Midnight” written by Tori de Clare. Excellent read! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Do you see writing as a career?

Right now I see writing as a hobby that I hope to turn into a career. I get much greater satisfaction in writing than I ever thought possible, but I need to pay the bills, so I have a steady job in order to support my family. My goal is to write enough books in the next 5-10 years so that I can slowly retire and live off of the royalties of my books. That means that I will most likely have to write about two books a year until I reach that point.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

The only thing I would change would be to characterize my antagonist more fully. Give him a larger part of the story in order to contrast with Taylour’s goodness.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yes, it started during the summer of 2012 because of what I was doing within my company, which involved chatting and emailing with customers online. In my adult life I have done a lot of writing at a business level through my different job responsibilities, as well as at school, but I had done very little creative writing. When I realized that I wasn’t as creative as I wanted to be, I decided to fill that gap by writing novels. I’m still working on filling that gap!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure! I am writing a sequel to “The Fallen Body” with the intent of exploring a few open threads that I left hanging in that book. It involves a few of the same characters as before, such as Spencer Dixxon, Taylour’s nephew and roommate, and also Philip Davidson, Taylour’s love interest in my first book. I have written a few scenes and have a very basic outline of what I want to explore. I have set a goal to finish the first draft by the end of May 2014.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

My biggest challenge is finding the time to do everything that I need to do with the limited resources that I have. Between writing, spending time with my family, working my day job, fulfilling my church responsibilities, marketing my book, and a thousand other things, I never seem to have enough time to do everything that I want. I am not good at prioritizing my time, and I do like to watch certain TV shows that I can’t seem to give up.

Which shows are those?

Covert Affairs, NCIS, CSI (The original in Las Vegas), Survivor, Revolution, Suits, and most importantly, The O’Reilly Factor. I am a political junkie with limited time to discuss politics with my brothers and sisters.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not yet, but I hope to if my books take off! I can always write a story around some exotic locale, and experiencing it first hand is the best way to write about it, right?

Who designed the covers?

I actually have a couple of different covers for my different formats. I purchased a photo of a man in a suit falling for $20 so that I could brand myself around that. When I went with Xlibris they came up with their own cover around the concept that I gave them because they didn’t think that they could use the photo that I purchased.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part was trying to tie everything together. I wanted to use most of what I wrote, but some of the scenes didn’t always fit, so I either had to adapt the scene or cut it all together if it didn’t move the story along. Also, there were times when I was simply too exhausted to type any further, but I needed to complete the scene so that I wasn’t falling behind schedule. I had to push through that more than once.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

There were things about the law in Texas and how the court system worked that I learned, including the various steps, from arrest to the actual trial. I realized that I had many deficiencies by not being a lawyer, so I steered clear of some of the more cumbersome legal aspects and focused more on the characters themselves.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you know, and don’t be afraid to create characters that have flaws. No one likes a perfect protagonist or someone who is always happy. Inject humor when possible, but don’t overdo it. Decide early on if you want to write for the sheer joy of writing, or if you want an audience. If you want to write for an audience, then know who that audience is and write as much as you can.

Also, you need to read about the art of writing! Study and see examples of different points of view, learn how to develop plot and characters, and understand the underlying structure of a great story. The following is a link to a small sampling of books that I recommend if you are serious about how to write:

Fiction Writing Books

And finally, tell everyone that you are writing a book because 1) people think it’s cool that you are a future author, 2) it will motivate you to keep writing when your friends and family constantly ask about your book, and 3) it will help you to sell more books because you are creating buzz, and buzz sells.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

If you liked the book, please post a review on Amazon.com or BN.com, and then buy multiple copies to give to your friends and family! Also, tell your library to buy the book for the other patrons in your area.

Click below to see the currently available formats:

The Fallen Body by Stone Patrick

 

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 Posted by on November 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm