Friday, June 27, 2014

My Cover Reveal for 30 Seconds


**If you would like to sign up for my 30 Seconds blog tour, GO HERE.



When a woman finds herself in the middle of a war between a police force and the Mob, 30 SECONDS is a long time.

Title: 30 Seconds
Author: Chrys Fey (That's me!)
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Heat Rating: Spicy (PG13)
Length: Novella (105 pages)
Format: eBook
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza
Release Date: 09/10/2014



BLURB: 

When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he's made mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He's determined to protect her at all costs.

The Mob's death threat turns Dr. Dani Hart's life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As she's dodging bullets, she's falling in love with Blake. With danger all around them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make good on their threat?


BOOK LINKS:


NOTE: I'll be sharing the official excerpt closer to the release date, so STAY TUNED!!! :D


New Bio just for 30 Seconds:

Chrys Fey is a lover of rock music just like Dani Hart in 30 Seconds. Whenever she's writing at her desk, headphones are always emitting the sounds of her musical muses -especially that of her favorite band, 30 Second to Mars, the inspiration behind the title.

30 Seconds is her second eBook with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Hurricane Crimes, is also available on Amazon.


QUESTIONS: What do you think of the cover art?
Do you like the blurb?


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Eliminate Redundancies

This is going to be a short post serving as a reminder to eliminate redundancies. Why should you want to eliminate redundancies in your writing? Well because they are redundant!


Here is a short list I always make sure to cut from my writing: 

·         He/she thought to him/herself.

If a character is thinking something within the privacy of their mind then no one else can hear it. A thought is a sole experience that only becomes public when spoken aloud, so when a character thinks something you don’t have to add “to him/herself” because that is already made clear.

·         Stand/stood (up)
·         Sit/sat (down)
·         Turned (back, around)

When you make these actions of standing, sitting or turning, it is obvious which direction you are moving and what you are doing. Including "up", "down", "back", "around" is not necessary. 


·         Low/soft whisper

A whisper is already low/soft. You don’t have to add an adjective to make it clear that someone is whispering. “He/she whispered” makes it clear enough.

·          No “exclaimed” with an exclamation mark.

If there is an exclamation mark, readers already know what is being said by the character is being exclaimed or shouted. Leave out “he/she exclaimed” and just end the sentence with an exclamation mark.


There are more redundancies you should eliminate, but these are the most common, as well as the most unnecessary.


SHARE: Help me add to this list of redundancies in the comments.


QUESTION: What redundancies in writing bug you as a reader?


Friday, June 20, 2014

Paying it Forward Blog Hop

I was tagged by E.E. Giorgi, author of CHIMERAS, for the Paying it Forward blog hop created by F.C. Etier. I have to answer four questions and then tag three authors who will do the same.

*This post will reveal things I haven't shared yet about my writing. Are you ready?

By "bettiny art"
Please don't use this picture for the blog hop. Thanks!


Here are the questions and my answers:

1. What am I working on?

The sequel to my short story ebook, Hurricane Crimes. One reader asked me when the sequel would come out and a reviewer mentioned wanting to read a novel. At the time I thought, you're nuts! But then I realized there was a lot I didn't mention at the end of Hurricane Crimes, and that I could do far more. That thought sealed my decision to write not just a sequel but a series. Yes, a series!


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There are countless romantic-suspense stories, and several take place during a storm or hurricane, but not many authors have used natural disasters as a continuing theme in their books as I plan to do. Not only that, but on top of the disasters there will also be crimes of nearly every kind, which is why my collection of books will be known as the Disaster Crime series.


3. Why do I write what I write?

I don't feel like I have a choice. I do it because I love it, and also because the characters sharing brain space with me demand it. Romance is always a sub-genre in all of my stories, and I can't get enough action and suspense in the books I read or the movies I write, so writing romantic-suspense was a no-brainer. I write in other genres as well, such as supernatural and science fiction. Supernatural is the genre that actually started me out on this crazy and wonderful writing journey.


4. How does my writing process work?

A lot of my stories usually start with an idea that manifests as a dream. The characters, who are destined to be part of that story, emerge soon after. Then, if I'm not working on something else, I begin writing and I don't stop until I type "The End" at the bottom of the manuscript.


A big thanks to F.C. Etier for creating this blog hop and for E.E. Giorgi for thinking of me. :) I'm tagging Dylan NewtonCrystal Collier, and Loni Townsend! Follow their blogs so you can catch their Paying it Forward posts. :)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Writing About: Your Character’s Toughest Moment

Throughout my (unpublished) supernatural-thriller series, my protagonist goes through many difficult trials and experiences devastating events. I don’t want to give away any major details about what it is she goes through, but I will say some of the things she suffers is real (many women are scared of the same things) and some of them are surreal.


Here are 4 tips to help you write about your character’s toughest moments:

1.    What would you do?

When I first created my blog, I published this post to remind writers to put themselves in their character’s shoes, as it is the only way to create a relatable and convincing story. What would you do if you were faced with the same situation? Search deep for your answers and be honest! Readers like it when authors write honestly and when the situations in books are believable. 
2.    Write vividly!

When you are writing the scene that is your character’s toughest moment, write as vividly as you can, or as vividly as your story will allow you to be. I say that because some writers don’t write as detailed as others (and that is fine). You can keep to your style while also adding in a sprinkle more prose when it is needed, and it is needed for these moments.

You will want to SHOW your readers what is happening to your character, not tell them. What’s the difference, you ask? The difference is in the detail. When you create a clear image in the reader’s mind of what is happening, you are showing. When you use statements, you are telling. 

Example: She was devastated. Okay, you are telling us she’s devastated but we want to see how she is devastated.

Describe everything your character does, feels and thinks. And include all of their senses if possible. What does your character see, hear, smell, taste and feel? 


3.    Always, always, always use emotion!

We are so full of emotions that they sometimes burst out of us. A character’s emotions should be exploding off the page when you write about a tragic time in their life. Reveal their emotions about what they went through and don’t hold back. Even if you think people would cringe (ex: if your character’s thoughts are suicidal), write it anyway. When it comes to our emotions, nothing is farfetched!

How do they feel? That question can have many answers and they may not be simple. If your character is in grief, here are the five stages of grief he/she can experience: 

1.    Denial and Isolation
2.    Anger
3.    Bargaining (If only I...)
4.    Depression
5.    Acceptance

4.    Help your character.

Whatever your character’s toughest moment is, you can’t merely write about it. You also have to help your character through it. Help him/her through the stages of grief to acceptance.
Questions to answer: 
1. What does your character learn?
2. How does it change him/her? 


 SHARE: Your tips for writing about your character’s toughest moment(s).


 QUESTION: What is the hardest thing you ever put a character through?

 My Answer: The hardest thing I put one of my characters through was rape. It was not  an easy decision to make, and it was extremely hard to write. I know many readers don't like  scenes like this in books, but I felt it was important for my story and I stand by that decision.




Friday, June 13, 2014

Alternate Ending to Hurricane Crimes

AUTHORS NOTE: No need to worry about any spoilers, as this doesn’t reveal anything that happens in the story and can easily lead into the beginning of Hurricane Crimes.


Unedited Alternate Ending:

Beth woke in the middle of her bed, beneath her sage green comforter. Sleep paralysis consumed her limbs. She blinked once, twice while her brain fought out of the fog of her dream.

God, it had felt so real. Donovan had seemed so real.

Slowly, her arms and legs revived from their stupor. She eased out of bed and shuffled into the bathroom to steam the false memory of Donovan from her mind. After she dressed, she moved through the house to the living room. The roof above her head was whole, there was no water on the ground, and the windows were letting in the October sun.

She plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV to the morning news. The weather report was on. She listened to it while she went into the kitchen to prepare a cup of coffee.

“The National Weather Service upgraded the tropical depression to a category 3 hurricane overnight, making it the nineteenth storm of the year—Hurricane Sabrina.”

Beth dropped her mug, shattering it and spilling coffee onto the kitchen floor. She rushed into the living room, and stared at the TV with wide eyes. On the screen was an image of Florida, and in the Atlantic Ocean was the swirling mass of a hurricane.

The weatherman continued his report, “Hurricane Sabrina is gaining strength and is on a fast track to Florida. The National Weather Service predicts it’ll hit land as a category 5 in just four days.”

Her jaw dropped as her dream flooded back to her.

“Donovan . . .”

THE END



Why did I take this part out of the book? Because after I read it through I thought having it all a dream ruined the whole story. And I didn’t want to upset any readers who enjoyed it by telling them, “Well, guess what? It didn’t happen.” I certainly would’ve been upset as a reader and screaming, “WHAT?! It was all a dream?? That sucks! One star! ONE STAR!!!” haha


QUESTION: Do you think I made the right call by cutting out this ending?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Writing is Hard

NOTE: I wrote this post after dealing with my loved ones' opinions for many years. I hope this real look into what writers go through to write a book and get published will change the minds of everyone who thinks writing is easy.


There is a misconception that writers spend their days sleeping in until noon and wearing pajamas. Then when they sit down at their computers to write, words just flow from their mind to their fingertips and they tap away at their keyboard with a blissful smile on their face.

While some writers can sleep in until noon and may wear pajamas all day, and there are those authors who can write a book in a matter of months, this is not the case for most of us.

Some days we battle writer’s block. Other days procrastination settles in. We know we have to write, but we just don’t want to. Maybe it’s because we dread not being able to come up with something great, or we are just tired. Yes, writing can be exhausting! Then there are days where we can write an adequate amount of pages and pat ourselves on the back. Occasionally we can complete a few chapters in one sitting if we are on a roll, but this doesn’t happen nearly as much as we hope it would. 




It very well may take us up to two years of our lives (or more) to complete a book. Then when we finally type “The End” at the bottom of our manuscripts, we have to begin the tedious job of editing. This has been known to cause a lot of hair pulling out and involves many stages.


Once the manuscript is as good as we can get it, it’s time to pursue publication. WARNING: Don’t be fooled by Stephenie Meyer, who gave her manuscript to a friend who then passed it on to an editor at a publishing house she knew. Getting published can take years, and requires a lot of research. 



Now comes the long process of mailing out queries and samples and waiting months to hear back, most often for a rejection. Unless you’re lucky. And since many agents barely give unpublished writers a glance, many of us have to fight to get publishing credentials by publishing short stories, essays and articles, which is another battle in itself as magazine editors also look at publishing credentials.  

When we do get a publishing contract, a new set of obstacles arrive: more edits and a boat load of promoting that takes even more research and time.

The bottom line?

Reading an amazing book may be easy but writing one requires an abundance of knowledge, imagination, originality, passion, energy and time, as well as patience. Just as with any skill, you have to learn, practice and nurture it. Just as with any career, you have to work hard to get it. Just as with any talent, not everyone is capable of doing it.


QUESTIONS: Do your loved ones think writing is easy?

If you’re published, what did you have to go through to write and publish your first book/ebook?


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Insecurity and 100 Happy Days Part 1

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds. 


The last two months have been difficult for me. Unfortunately, my situation is worse than what I mentioned in my last IWSG post. But I'm in a better frame of mind. How? Well, I started reading Soul’s Perfection by Sylvia Browne. Whether you believe in Sylvia or not (she was a psychic and recently passed away), that doesn’t matter. I didn’t believe in much of what she said, but the lessons in this book helped me to gain a more positive outlook on life and a more positive attitude. I read a little every night and there was one thing I read that I knew I just had to share with my insecure friends:
“Insecurity has always been defined as a negative emotion, yet it can be a motor, a driving force. ‘I’m insecure, but I’m going to work harder to be better’ . . . an insecure person is always striving for perfection.”
When I read this, I was nodding energetically and thinking of all of you. Don’t view any of your insecurities as negative. I was always insecure that my writing wasn't good enough, especially after reading a book by a great author. But because of this insecurity I learned to refine my writing and appreciate other writers' talents without feeling envious.

I also want to share something I started last month, a photo challenge called 100 Happy Days. Since I have been going through a hard time, I figured it would be good for me to find something that makes me happy every day.

The aim is simple. Take a photo on each of your 100 days of something that makes you happy then share it wherever you want. For more info go to: www.100HappyDays.com 

Thank you, Fi Phillips, for sharing this info on your blog. 

Here are a few of my happy photos from May:

I was nominated for the Liebster Award...TWICE!

I finished a short story titled "Swans" that I hope to enter into a contest.

I won Despite the Fangs and some awesome swag from Dylan Newton!


I have an important day coming later this month. One that could change my life for the better, if it goes my way. I would appreciate any prayers, positive energy, and good thoughts you can send my way. THANK YOU!! 



QUESTION: What made you happy today?



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Create a Heroine of Steel

In every story I write, my heroines are always tough women. In Hurricane Crimes, Beth Kennedy takes on a hurricane and a man who might be a murderer. In 30 Seconds, Dr. Dani Hart has to deal with a police-killing Mob. Both women are tough cookies!


In your story, make the heroine’s role important. Give her big things to do. Don’t just have her fall in love with the hero, or rely on him to save her. Make her as physically strong and as smart as the hero. She has to be able to keep up with him, not sit on the sidelines, and she definitely has to be able to stand up to him. A strong heroine should never cower when the hero (or any man) yells at her. In other words, she can’t be a weakling! But she can still have a soft side.

Heroines are usually beautiful in books. There is nothing wrong with making your heroine attractive, but make her different too! Not all heroines have to be blonde-haired, blue-eyed babes. 

Along with beauty, give her abilities, skills, and strengths that no one else has. These can be supernatural or just different like carpentry, boxing or maybe she’s a drummer. She should also have the respect of other characters. Not necessarily all of them (like the antagonist, enemy or even an older sibling), but most of them.

When you describe the heroine’s actions, use detailed descriptions, especially if she’s in a position that requires her to be feisty and show her strength. Use strong verbs to reveal what she does, and how she feels in that moment. And when you write her dialogue, make sure she speaks her mind and speaks from her heart.

Photo by Chrys Fey

Here are 15 additional things that you can do to make a strong heroine:

1.    Crown her with a high profile career where she has a big role. She can be a cop, doctor, lawyer or self-defense instructor like Beth in Hurricane Crimes.

2.    Make her brave. This doesn’t mean she’s not scared (we all get scared), but that she can push aside her fear to do what needs to be done.

3.    Give her a temper. Some would argue a heroine should be poised and calm all the time, but a heroine who unleashes her anger when it is warranted can be very exciting and entertaining. And we all get mad.

4.    Don’t let her apologize, defend, or explain herself to anyone. What she does, she does for a reason, but she can still be compassionate.

5.    Show she’s smart! It’ll be hard to convince your readers that your heroine is an all-around tough woman if she’s dumb and can’t think for herself.

6.    Emphasize her flaws to make her real. All women have flaws, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t strong. By showing her flaws, you can also make her more confident.

7.    Give her determination. In everything she does, she has to be following her heart.

8.    When challenges are thrown at her, let her meet them head-on, even if they momentarily knock her over.

9.    Don’t let her take any B.S! She must stand up for herself, and others.

10.  Make her strong. She can be athletic or even have supernatural powers. Whatever her strength is, she needs to know it and use it! Maybe her greatest strength is her brains.

11.  Allow her to recognize when she makes a mistake, even if she doesn’t apologize for it immediately.

12.  Let her help people in their weak moments.

13.  Give her a fear she has to overcome, or an enemy she has to beat.

14.  Whatever her destiny is, have her move toward it even if she has moments of fear and confusion. And if she has goals, let her strive for them with her head held high!
    
15.  Here are characteristics  you can give her: passion, ambition, confidence, honesty, courage and loyalty. (This doesn't mean she won't have weak moments. She will, but she'll overcome them.) She can also be humble, responsible and energetic.


      SHARE: Your tips for creating a heroine of steel.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite heroine of steel in your writing, and/or in a book you've read?


Attention Sci-Fi Fans: The creators of Robot City, one of which is a friend of mine, have released a poster for their graphic novel, as well as pictures of three of their characters. Sheen, a female bot, takes the meaning of a "Heroine of Steel" to an all new level! Check it out and let them know what you think. Click HERE


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