Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Thursday, July 3, 2014

@LeskoLori on Writing, Family Support & Personal Therapy #AmWriting #SelfPub #Thriller

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

About a week ago, I shared on twitter my family’s reaction when I told them my novel is almost finished. Family members said, “Good, now you can finally get back to your regular day job.” Needless to say, that crushed me to hear that. I don’t know why I mentioned it, but I’m glad I did. My twitter feed went nuts. Apparently, this hit a nerve. I was inundated with comments such as, “been there,” or “that sucks, they just don’t understand,” and “I love your writing and tweets.”
They all made me cry (yes, I’m a big baby and overly sensitive), but the feeling I got after reading what people said, validated what I’ve been doing. I could understand my family’s reaction because they think I only have this expensive ‘hobby’ during my spare time. Also, I work with my father on his web site, publishing reports, bookkeeping, customer service stuff, so he needs me focused on the business. It was not the time to be careless and spend money on editors and proofreaders. Point taken.
What really hurts though, is they’ve never even read anything I wrote, not a single blog, or my novella Our Daughters. And I can say with a certain amount of confidence, they will not read Copyright. I’ve accepted that. I realized from my twitter followers that I’m not the only one in this situation.
My editor told me to prepare the Acknowledgement and Dedication sections in my novel Copyright for publishing. Normally, people write thanking all of their family members for support and encouragement. But, I won’t be doing that because it would be a lie. Instead, I wish to thank everyone on Twitter and Facebook. You were the ones who supported me, nudged me to keep going and even as thrilled as I was when I finished writing the book. So, thank you for that, I am truly grateful to all of you.
How to write without giving too much away
One of the main tricks to writing is to know when to reveal things and when to keep them hidden. Otherwise, all books would be about two pages. Masking and unveiling is an art form in of itself. A character’s background can be hidden while the action of the story takes place or vice versa. On the other hand, there may be certain little clues for you to follow left by the author, but you have to be paying attention to the foreshadowing. It’s a literary device by which an author explains certain plot developments that may come later in the story. Also, you must not forget we writers like to lead you off course as well. All of the above is what I attempted to do with my novel COPYRIGHT. Whether I was successful or not, will be determined in April.
Character: I never like knowing everything about a character right away in a book. I want to see the way they move into the story first. I want them to slowly reveal themselves as the story progresses. For me personally, I don’t even need to like the character. I’ve never stopped reading a book because I didn’t like the character, case in point Gone Girl. Many people didn’t like it because the characters were not likable, or they didn’t like the ending of the story. That wasn’t the case for me. I loved how blatantly unlovable they were. Why? Because, it went right along with the story.
Story: The job of a writer is to build tension. How? We do this by keeping things hidden to the very last excruciating moment. Think of it as a ‘reader’s need to know basis’. When you’re about to reveal something important, consider does the reader really need to know it right then and there? Or can they wait until later? If the answer is No, they don’t need to know it, then hold off.  Remember the TV show LOST?  They were geniuses at doing this, almost to the point of driving their fans nuts. Waiting, anticipating, trying to guess what’s going to happen next-that’s my favorite part of reading. It doesn’t matter the genre. Always leave a little misty fog until the very end, your readers will thank you for it.
Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lori Lesko on Facebook & Twitter

A Life Changing Journey in "The Other Side of the Ice" by @TheobaldSprague #Memoir #BYNR

Bagan then slammed as she had done in the monstrous seas we’d been dealing with for the past month. It made no sense. We were in the most se- cure of anchorages that was all but sealed off from large seas. Another slam. And once more a sharp and deep rumble told me that we were dragging our anchor—with a rock-faced shoreline not twenty feet behind us. Somehow the demonic winds outside had found us. We were being buffeted by seas large enough to lift and drop all sixty tons of our boat. For waves to grow substantial enough to have this power, they need an uninterrupted “fetch” of at least several thousand yards to build up in height.
We had been no more than fifty yards from any of the sheer granite walls that the winds were now pushing Bagandown onto at a great rate of speed. As the deep rumblings told us, the anchor was no longer holding, and despite the zero visibility in the blackness of the gale-filled night, I knew contact with the jagged and strong rocks to be imminent. All I had to saywas, “We’ve got to get out of here and now.” Everyone fell into the respective roles they’ve been performing for the past 8,000 miles. I made sure Sefton didn’t mind my jumping in over his command (he didn’t) and started Bagan. Even though the radars and GPS were all active and working, the half-second lag that each one gave was a deadly half-second. Equally, I couldn’t rely on the lag in the compass to show us our way out. We couldn’t see a thing. Bagan could be facing west and the radar would show the distant exit as north. I’d turn her to the north, and by the time the radar showed north, the powerful wind would have pushed us well past our mark and we’d now be facing east.
Checking the instruments, the wind-driven over-correction would take no longer than two seconds. But in that short amount of time, we would go from facing the exit shown on the radar to seeing with our spotlight a steep granite-faced wall no more than ten feet away being pummeled by four-foot wind-driven waves. From the foredeck, Chauncey would call out: “Rocks, back her down!” I’d gently push her in reverse then pour on the coals. Dominique from the stern would then holler: “STOP!! Rocks …!” I’d take a look at the radar, try to anticipate its next swing, putBagan in forward, crank the wheel all the way to port or starboard, and give her a large shot of power to try to swing her stern away from the rocks. Before he’d get a chance to say it, I’d see the rocks lit up by the rain-slashed beam from the searchlight in Chauncey’s hand. “STOP … rocks!” Back and forth we went, each maneu- ver taking perhaps three seconds. We were driving blind and at any moment a broadside blast of gale force wind would push all fifty-seven feet of Bagan violently sideways, something I could only tell by the new way in which she was leaning and taking the confused seas.
By this point, our collective goal was to keep Bagan moving. Getting out was beside the point. With visibility impossible, this futile maneuvering was all done by feel and it was only when we were seconds away from certain destruction on the rocks that I’d know the outcome of the attempt. We were in a very small and prison-like washtub of confused and large seas driven by winds that were cascading down the sheer-faced mountains—winds thatcame from all directions on the compass at once. The scenario was the same one that we faced a month earlier as we left the Aleutians into the Gulf of Alaska. But there we had room to maneuver, time to try and figure out the beating we were taking. Here we had none.

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 
A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.
Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.

What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir, adventure, family, climate
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Sprague Theobald on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rik Stone Opens Up About Inspiration & Aspiration @Stone_Rik #AmReading #SelfPub #Crime

What inspired me to write my book?
Lots of people feel the need to write almost as soon as they learn to put words together. I went to school with girls who kept diaries and diligently made entries on a daily basis. Not me, I was like the other boys. If there was a ball to play with, we’d play football. If there was no ball, we’d find an old tin, maybe in a dustbin, and play kick the tin. In the late 50’s, early 60’s, where I came from that was what life was for a young lad – and I loved it.
I don’t remember the exact age, let’s say fifteen for the sake of argument, but I picked up a book I think was my uncle’s and began reading it. The novel was called The Carpetbaggers and was written by Harold Robbins. The first chapters, when the protagonist’s parents were murdered, absolutely enthralled me. I couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately, not enjoying the greatest of concentration at that time, I found the book too long, too slow, and soon got bored. However, when another novel by the same author showed up in the house, The Adventurers, I thought I’d give it a go. Once again the first chapters had me living the pages, but, yet again, as I delved further into the book my interest waned.
So, you might think, no signs of a budding writer here. But no, those first chapters in The Adventurers were about an author who’d made it to the top of his trade. He lay next to his private swimming pool in the garden of his grand house musing over what the point of his life was now he’d done it all. Without realising it at the time, that man by the pool had been so believably drawn by Robbins that he weaved himself through my skin. Over the years he held on to a compartment of my mind. I wanted what he’d had. You might think I mean his wealth and position. That would be nice, but no, my reasoning was that the stories of that fictitious writer were adored by all who read them. He had a worldwide following and his works were renowned. I think what I felt was that age old sin… envy.

This figment of some writer’s imagination grabbed a space in my mind from where he occasionally popped up to make sure I hadn’t forgotten him. I was fifty when I retired and I had no intention of donning a new harness belonging to someone else. At the same time I’m not one to sit around contemplating life and I’d been an avid reader for many years. The little man in my head chose that moment to highlight an opportunity. I did creative writing courses, bought and read a multitude of ‘how to write anything’ type books and started writing… and there I was, proudly presenting my debut novel Birth of an Assassin. An interesting offshoot to this tale; you can carry ambition around for many years without even knowing it.

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.
Buy Now @ AmazonB&NKobo & Waterstones
Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Lost Promotion & Status Quo in A LIFE LESS ORDINARY @VicBernadine #ChickLit #Fiction

Craig preceded Manny into his office then stood behind his desk and watched as she closed the door and sat down at the table. He frowned at her.
“It’s not like you to not pay attention in a meeting,” he said.
Manny sighed and shrugged. “Sorry, Craig.”
“This isn’t about losing out on that promotion, is it?”
“Not intentionally, but now that you mention it–”
“I’ve already explained it to you. We had no concerns that you could have done the job.”
“That’s a relief, especially since I’ve been doing it.”
Craig gave her a warning look at her slightly sarcastic tone and continued, “We want to go in a new direction. We decided we needed somebody fresh, not burdened by the years of history and ‘how things used to be’. We needed somebody–”
Craig’s lips tightened. “New ideas, Manny. Somebody with new ideas, to take your area from the status quo to high achievement.”
“Our status quo is high achievement.”
“Higher, then.” Craig paused and stared hard at her. “Are you going to be able to work with Steph?”
“Of course. I’m nothing if not professional and dedicated to my job.”
Craig nodded, his eyes boring into hers. “And I appreciate that. I’d hate to think you’re not a team player.”
Manny flushed but held his gaze for several beats. Craig seemed satisfied by what he saw and nodded to indicate the conversation was over. Manny walked to the door, then paused and turned back to him.
“Craig? Do I have any chance at all of moving up in this company? I mean, I’ve been here for fifteen years–”
“There’s always a chance, Manny. You’ll just have to wait and see what comes up.” He gave her a thin smile, then sat and turned his attention to his computer.
Manny left thoughtfully; she knew a brush-off when she heard it.

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter