Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Writing About My Nephews


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This is an article I wrote about my nephews and how children can inspire our writing. It was published in The Florida Writer by the Florida Writers Association in 2012, and I wanted to share it with you now.


Writing about my Nephews

by

Chrys Fey


Children are a great source of inspiration for writers with their funny statements, fresh outlook on life, and untarnished personalities. I am blessed to have two great little boys in my life, my nephews, who give me sparks of inspiration all the time. They have been a big part of my life ever since their births.

When I was rewriting the first book of my supernatural-thriller series back in 2007, I incorporated a special character who had not existed in the original copy. This character was not a stunning woman or a handsome man, but a child based after my oldest nephew, Mello. At the time, he had only been one year old. Today, he is seven.  

I loved including someone very close to my heart into my story. His role was small, only coming into the book at the very end, but his impact with his chubby cheeks and cute, childish attitude made him a permanent fixture. He returned in the second book for another small scene, but one that I had taken from my own life. There had been many times when I had fed him dinner and gave him small slices of hot dogs and green beans to eat in his highchair, and I always loved how he would curl his tiny fist around a green bean. That little act made its way into my book.

Although he only claimed two sentences in that story his role is significantly larger in the fourth and last book in my series. He is still a toddler in my story, which makes it even more fun to write because I get to look back on my cherished memories of him and immortalize them in words.

My younger nephew, Carmello, is six years old. (He actually just had his birthday last month.) When he was just a newborn baby, I took care of him every day. Unlike his brother, who had been a quiet and calm baby, Carmello was a loud and dramatic baby. Back then, I was young myself and extremely overwhelmed. I was just the aunt, but I felt as though I was going through postpartum depression.

I remember crying in my room one day, unable to hold back the tears that I had kept bottled up for days. I couldn’t understand how I had gotten to that point -I hadn’t had the baby, my sister did- but being a caregiver to my infant nephew, who demanded so much more attention than I was used to, threw me into the role of motherhood prematurely. I was sitting at my desk, my head down on the smooth brown surface, the same desk I am sitting at right now, and an idea came to me in the midst of the heavy downpour of tears. The idea was a story about a girl who becomes pregnant young and has a baby boy. That baby boy was my nephew, Carmello. And I started writing it immediately.

Unfortunately, I have not written as much on this story as with other works. When I do write more, I plan to use many memories I have with Carmello when he was a baby, like walking back and forth in my small apartment with him in my arms while bouncing slightly in an attempt to calm him down and end his nonstop wails.

I love my nephews with all my heart and every day I became even more proud of them. They may be brothers, but they are completely different and this fact only intensifies my love for both of them. Mello is tall and Carmello is short. Mello’s skin tone is darker while Carmello’s is lighter, and all of their facial features are opposite from each other’s. Even their likes and personalities are different. Mello hates vegetables, but Carmello loves them. Mello can be wildly obnoxious and Carmello can be sweetly calm. Obviously, they swapped positions from when they were babies.

As we all know, children say the darndest things. Whenever I am around my nephews, I make sure I have paper and pen to write down the crazy things that come out of their mouths in case I can use them in my future writings. Here are some interesting things that my nephews have said that I thought were pure genius:   

 “Everyone has hearts, except houses . . . We also have roots; they keep our hearts in place.”

 “The moon has stinkies around it!” Carmello said this one night after he saw the moon in the dark sky and referred to the thin clouds around it as evidence that the moon had gas.

And here is a conversation I once overheard the two of them having:

Carmello: “Stay out of my business!”

Mello: “You don’t have any business.”

Carmello: “I have some business!”

My nephews have clearly impacted my writing from the time they were babies, and now that they are older I can visualize writing a story about two brothers just like them, because their differences as brothers just makes their relationship that much more special.

I look forward to seeing them grow into young men and I am sure they will keep on inspiring me even then.

Mello and Carmello

QUESTIONS: Has a child inspired your writing? What is the funniest thing you’ve heard a child say?


I will be back in 2014 with more posts to help and inspire writers. :)


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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Write a Novel


Click to Tweet: Everything you need to know about writing a novel in one place: http://bit.ly/1LbwTF4 #amwriting #novel #indie #writer

Click to Tweet: Are you trying to edit your manuscript? Check out @ChrysFey Ultimate Editing List: http://bit.ly/1QAQMUK #amediting #indie #writers


Testimonials:
“All the buzz [Chrys] give[s] about preparing for release days, writing blurb and other tips on writing always infuses within me more excitement for the writing I do.” –Jeffrey Scott, blogger/writer 
“I'm really enjoying [Chrys’s] how-to posts, because it makes me think about my own strategies and how I can work on them!” –Claudine Gueh Yanting, author of My Clearest Me 
“Love [Chrys’s] blog - good place to come for an inspirational push!” –Carole Apple, blogger 


Dear Aspiring Writer,

This is a collection of links from my blog that could aid you in the process of writing your first novel. If you're looking for specific help on certain scenes or characters, check out the lists on my Writing About page.

For help on publishing and marketing, please see my Publishing 101 page.

Enjoy!


Character Development:

Bring Characters to Life You will find a neat little project that you can do, as well as reminders of things you will have to consider while creating your characters.

Characters Make a Book When you’re creating your characters, especially your main character, you will have to think beyond their appearances. This blog will help you to create three-dimensional characters.

Protagonist VS. Antagonist The tips in this post will help you to develop a protagonist that your readers can root for and an antagonist that your readers can despise.

More on Character Development This post talks about the evolution of characters and where they come from.

How to Trick Your Readers provides 6 tips on how to make your hero/heroines appear bad, and 6 tips on how to make your antagonist appear good.

How to Create Heroines of Steel provides a list of things to consider to help you make a fierce heroine.

Body Language - Character ER explains how to use body language to heighten the emotional impact and make a character real. 

Tattoos, Birth Marks and Scars - Character ER is about how these flaws (or art) can enhance a character's appearance and attribute to their personality. 

Diet and Food - Character ER is about including your character's diet. 

Let Your Characters Get Mad! - Character ER is about the importance of showing intense emotion and provides a few things to remember when it comes to anger. 

Is Your Character Naked? - Character ER is about why describing clothes every once in a while is a good thing to do.

Flaws, Fear, and Weakness - Character ER is about getting to know our characters inside and out.

Allergies and Health Issues - Character ER is about connecting with real people and common issues we all face with out health.

Habits and Quirks - Character ER is about giving your characters habits and quirks to make them memorable.

Your Character's Pain - Character ER is about giving your characters pain, whether mental, physical, or emotional. Pain makes them real and relatable.

Hobbies - Character ER talked about the important of giving your characters a hobby. 

Your Character's Occupation - Character ER provides lists of jobs for you to consider for your characters. 


How to . . . with Tips: 


Elements of a Novel:

Get Ready, Set, TONE! is about creating a successful setting and tone for the story you are writing. This post was a lot of fun for me to write because I got to write a short little teaser to illustrate how to use setting and tone to make a story stand out.

Creating Mood In the beginning of this post, I included a special sneak peek into the first book of my series. I also talk about “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer, an excellent example of mood.

Write With Gaga is about writing style. What is writing style? How can you create one? This post answers both those questions.

Unnecessary Writing Avoid writing what readers skip.

Writing Good Prose How can you write good prose? This post will tell you!

Show AND Tell is about the importance of balancing showing and telling.

Use the Sixth Sense on top of the other five senses.


Stages of a Novel:


Writing Tips:


Writing Rules:
Chrys Fey 


Monday, December 23, 2013

The Ghosts of Aquinnah by Julie Flanders / Book Blast

Today is Julie Flander's day on Write with Fey! She is sharing her newest book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah with us. I hope you all enjoy the beautiful cover and intriguing blurb.

Title: The Ghosts of Aquinnah
Author: Julie Flanders
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Publisher:  Ink Smith Publishing
Publication Date: December 4th 2013

BLURB:

A brilliant flash of light transcends through time.

Another freezes a cloaked figure within a frame of salty mist as waves crash against a rocky shore. Her harrowing expression shadows the beacon to a pinprick.

By the next blaze, she is gone. Only the lighthouse remains.

Hannah’s eyes blink in step with each heartbeat. Images of her deceased parents and Martha’s Vineyard explode like firecrackers inside her mind.

She shakes her head.

For weeks this eerie woman dressed in nineteenth century garb has been haunting my webcam, but tonight she stared into my soul.

Why? ...

Who is she? ...

Casting aside months of research on historic lighthouses, Hannah drives to the coast and boards a ferry.

What is the strange connection she has to this mysterious woman suspended in time?

Hannah finds out.

But, it’s not at all what she expects...

Hannah unravels a century old murder.

BOOK LINKS:

EXCERPT:

“Mrs. Winslow, wait,” he called out. “I forgot your paper.”

Stella turned around and ran back to him on tip-toe, her finger pressed to her lips.

“Shhh,” she said. “I told you Josiah wasn’t to know I asked you for that.”

“I’m sorry,” Christopher whispered. “I forgot.”

He stood up from the hay and retrieved the newspaper from his makeshift bed. “For you, Madam,” he said as he handed the paper to Stella with an exaggerated bow.

Stella giggled as she took the paper in her hands. “Thank you, kind sir.”

She sat back down on the bale of hay and motioned for Christopher to join her.

“Did you read any of it?” she asked.

“I can’t read,” he said. “I was too busy working and helping my mam pay the rent to ever learn.”

Stella turned to him, the light of the lantern dancing in her green eyes. “I could teach you to read,” she said. “It’s not hard. And you’d love it. I know you would.”

As Christopher stared down at her the last thing he cared about was learning to read. All he wanted was to kiss her. He leaned towards her before stopping and scolding himself inwardly. She was a married woman. And, no matter what he thought of Josiah Winslow, he was a guest in the man’s home. His mother would have been ashamed of him.

“What is it?” Stella asked. “What are you thinking about?”

“You,” Christopher thought. “How beautiful your eyes are. How much I want to kiss you…”

“I was thinking about a story Mrs. Luce told me about at the apothecary,” he said.

“About a doctor there in Boston who took his own life.”

“Oh my goodness,” Stella said. “How terrible.”

“Indeed.”

Stella ran her fingers over the newsprint before folding the paper in her hands. “I shall read all about it tomorrow when Josiah goes to visit his patients,” she said.

She got up from the bale of hay once more and walked to the door of the barn.

“Good night, Mr. Casey,” she said, turning back to face him.

“And good night to you, Mrs. Winslow.”

Christopher watched Stella scurry out of the barn and lay back into his bed of hay. He bunched the heavy blankets Stella had already provided around him and gingerly pulled his still throbbing arm closer to his chest.

He thought of Stella getting into her bed inside the house and wondered what that bed and bedroom looked like. He felt a stirring in his groin as he imagined what it would be like to lay beside her. To run his hands through her thick auburn hair and press his lips against her own. To slip her nightdress from her shoulders and take her small body into his arms. He knew it would be heaven.

But it was another man’s heaven, and one he couldn’t possibly have for himself. His face burned with both desire and shame as he scolded himself for coveting another man’s wife. He closed his eyes, but sleep refused to come to him. He couldn’t stop thinking about Stella.


BIO:

Julie Flanders is a novelist and freelance writer in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a life-long love affair with the ocean and has spent more summer vacations than she can count on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. When not writing, Julie can be found playing with her pets, reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and watching too much television. The Ghosts of Aquinnah is Julie’s second novel. Her debut novel Polar Night was released in February, 2013 by Ink Smith Publishing.

AUTHOR LINKS:


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Character Interview / Alone No More by Terri Rochenski / Review


Today I am pleased to have the wonderful Terri Rochenski on my blog for her latest book, Alone No More. I hosted her for a cover reveal a couple of months ago and I am delighted to have her back. When I first read about Alone No More I became interested in the hero, James Elliot, and wanted to know more about him, so when I signed up for a character interview I of course chose him to be the focus. 

Character Interview of James Elliot:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Orphaned at the age of seven, my sister and I went to live with our uncle in a tiny village near Birmingham. While my sister was fawned over, I labored on the farm. Once I was of age, I left for a season to learn new techniques for crop rotations and such things. Although my uncle doesn’t care for me, I will inherit all he has, and I plan on making the land prosperous upon my return.

Tell us about your greatest accomplishment.

I have plans to accomplish a great deal, but to this point all I can feel proud of is standing up to my uncle and insisting I leave Birmingham to gain experience and knowledge about farming.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Uncle didn’t believe in raising a hand to his fellow man, and told me it was a sin to do so, but one time I deemed it necessary. I suppose I’ll answer for it someday, but the man sorely deserved a broken nose.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I suppose it might happen for some, but I’ve been alone my whole life and doubt I will ever be so lucky.

Describe your ideal woman.

Sweet. Sensitive. Compassionate. Perhaps a young lady a bit lonely like me, one who will give thanks every day for having found a life partner.

Title: Alone No More
Author: Terri Rochenski
Genre:  Romance / Historical
World Wide Release Date: December 18, 2013

BLURB:

Dismissed from her job as a scullery maid and cast aside by her lover, pregnant Cara Morland has no choice but to return to her father’s farm. While lies of widowhood keep her from disgrace, Cara is faced with a local landowner’s unwanted attentions. Without the social status to do much more than avoid the vile man, she loses hope of ever finding happiness.

A friendship based on mutual loneliness blossoms between Cara and James Elliot, a young farm hand hired by her father. He offers his protection, and one shared kiss reveals his heart, but propriety and her feigned grieving period hinders what they both desire.

When Cara’s stalker learns the truth of her circumstances, he gives her an ultimatum—submit to his possession or he’ll ruin her second chance at love with James.

BOOK LINKS:


BIO:

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

AUTHOR LINKS:


I read Alone No More just in time for Terri's post, so I wanted to add my review for everyone to read. Note: I was not asked by the author to read her book, and my review is 100% honest.

REVIEW:

Alone No More started out sweet and then became amazing. It was just what I needed. I sympathized with Cara. Her gentleness and youth made it impossible not to like her and feel sorry for her situation. She was written so believably well that I could’ve sworn her thoughts and emotions were my own.

As soon as James Elliot made his appearance I dare say I was taken by him instantly. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to smell the scent of cloves in the same way again. ;)

I loved the confrontation between Cara’s stalker and James. The growing tension for what Mr. Collins would try next kept me glued to my seat. My jaw literally dropped once, my heart breaking for Cara. And I was biting my nails during the climax.

Alone No More is a great read full of emotion, real-to-life suspense, and old-fashioned romance. I didn’t hesitate to give it 5 stars, and it became a favorite before I even finished reading. Highly recommended! Ladies, you have to read this one!


Sorry, the giveaway is over.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Should You Kill Off Your Protagonist?

“Should I kill off my protagonist?” This is a question that many aspiring writers ask themselves and sometimes they can’t decide whether they should or not.

Is it bad to kill off your protagonist? Not necessarily, but it isn’t good either. Killing off your protagonist is most often seen as a cruel thing for a writer to do. If you make your readers fall in love with your protagonist, even for just one book, not to mention a whole series, and then kill them, it’ll sit badly with your readers. They could very well hate you for it. So killing off your protagonist shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Someone once asked me when it is ever okay to kill off your protagonist, if at least for shock value. That question and my response spawned this post . . .

If you’re writing a series, the right time to let an antagonist win is when you don’t want to continue it anymore. Killing off the protagonist is an effective way to bring the series to a close. It is also a very drastic option to choose. There are other ways to end a book or series if you no longer wish to write about that protagonist anymore, especially if you’re not sure if killing off your protagonist is okay.

One option is a “happily ever after” ending that I was talking about in my previous post. Why not let your protagonist live and live happily instead? This type of ending may not be shocking, but it’ll serve its purpose. Another option is to let the antagonist win in whatever way fits your story, but at the same time you let your protagonist keep his/her life. 

Yup, I am the artist for the amazing piece! :P
If you don’t plan to write a sequel and are going for shock value then letting the antagonist win will do the job perfectly. There is nothing more shocking then when a much-loved protagonist is killed by the evil bastard who has been out to get him/her during the course of the book. It all depends on the writer though and the story you are telling. If you don’t care for “happily ever afters” and want to end your book like ripping off a band aid then this tactic is the one for you.


Before you kill of your protagonist though you need to make sure it makes sense to the story line. You can't just kill off a character for shock value. There has to be a reason for it. If your story calls for the death of the protagonist, if there is no other logical way to end your story, then do it.

In the end, the decision to kill off your protagonist is yours to make. Think on it for a while and then stand by your choice.


QUESTION: Could you ever kill off your protagonist? Have you??


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Guest post / Passion’s Sacred Dance by Juli D. Revezzo

Today I have Juli D. Revezzo on my blog for her mystically beautiful tale, Passion's Sacred Dance. Let me introduce her so she can give you all the wonderful details. 

Welcome, Juli!

Thanks for having me here today, Chrys. My new book, Passion’s Sacred Dance is my debut release with The Wild Rose Press. It’s a paranormal romance set in the coldest winter Florida’s ever seen. My heroine, Stacy Macken, knows something’s amiss, could it be that the story her family has told for generations is true? Is the destruction of the world, at the hands of the evil god Balor nigh?

She’s waited all these years, hoping her dashing hero might show up. But this? To gain him while the world hangs in the balance? I don’t know about you but no matter how handsome a fella is, I think I’d rather have him without the end of the world coming, thank you. Still, Aaron comes and will hopefully help her sort out the mess, and maybe stop it from happening.

So what are she and Aaron are facing in Passion’s Sacred Dance

Title: Passion's Sacred Dance
Author: Juli D. Revezzo
Series: Harshad Wars (Book 1)
Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publishing Date: November 22nd 2013

BLURB:

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise--but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help--even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron's budding love might only complicate things.

BOOK LINKS:

EXCERPT:

The question of what had happened in the courtyard, and memories of her dreams stabbed Stacy with a shock of grief. She slumped in the seat. God, what was she going to do now?

“I’m sure your insurance will take care of that damage,” Aaron said.

God love him for trying, but she wasn’t in the mood to be cheered up. “Maybe,” she grumped.

“This isn’t just about the diner, is it?” A strong hand smoothed down her arm. “What’s the matter?”

“I had a nightmare, about death.”

“Death?” Aaron chewed his lip. “Everyone does now and then I suppose. Everyone dies.”

“What about dreaming of ancient battles?” Her voice broke. “Does everyone do that?

His breathing hitched. “Ancient what?

“Battles. My God, it was awful! It was—” She sobbed, “Horrible.”

Cold shot through her. She needed warmth—something the artificial heater wouldn’t give. She took his hand in hers.

Aaron jumped but soon relaxed, his fingers entwining with hers. After a moment, the despair dissipated, replaced with something else—intrigue, the desire to touch him,
the craving to sample his mouth.

“I have a better idea than meeting this Mr. McDunn. How about at the next light, you pull over or turn around or something?”

 “Stacy.”

“Okay, if you don’t want to then—”

“I didn’t say that.”

He found a spot at the side of the road and leaned in to kiss her.


BIO:

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of Independent Authors Network and Magic Appreciation Tour. Passion’s Sacred Dance is her first paranormal romance novel.

For more on these and other books by Juli visit her at: http://julidrevezzo.com/
And Juli’s Amazon page and author page at The Wild Rose Press.


AUTHOR LINKS:
Twitter: @julidrevezzo
Sign up for her newsletter at: http://bit.ly/SNI5K6


Again, thank you, Chrys for inviting me here today!


It was my pleasure, Juli. I'm glad to have you! :)

Now what do you think of Juli's book and the cover for Passion's Sacred Dance?


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