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Posts Tagged ‘the gnome’

I don’t usually read really long books. But there are a few authors whose longer books are so intense, and I get into them so deeply, that I never want them to end. One of those authors is Stephen King. He’s a master at character development and story telling. I was just listening to his long “author’s note” at the beginning of his short story collection, “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams”, where he talks about the difference between long novels and short stories. He called a novel an “immersive experience”. That’s exactly what it is. I’ve been trying to figure out what to call how I feel when reading his longer work, and that’s it. There are VERY few authors who give me an immersive experience. That’s why I usually read shorter novels and novellas. Yes, I’m entertained. But I’m not immersed. King said when you’re immersed like that, it’s not like having an affair, it’s like being married. You never want the book to end. In most books, I can’t wait until I’m done so I can start on the next one, then the next one, etc. But with King and a few others, I want it to go on and on.

He also said short stories were hard to write. He said it takes a lot of work to write something that short and make it work. I find that to be SO true. Most short stories leave me unsatisfied. It’s like they come to an abrupt end, and I’m like “what just happened?”. King is as good at short stories as he is with those LONG novels. I’ve written a couple of short stories, and I’ve always tried to make sure they have a satisfying ending. That’s what I want from a short story.

Another thing he said was that he was still learning his craft. The KING of horror said he’s still learning. That should give all authors the determination to keep learning, keep perfecting, keep writing.

Honestly, I don’t think I have the talent to ever write a story like Stephen King does. But I want to strive for that. This is the biggest reason I want to quit my day job…so I can spend time working on my craft. It takes time. It takes dedication. It even takes courage, I think.

So I’ve been thinking about my genre lately. I have a sequel to Soul of a Vampire coming out in 2016, which is paranormal romance. Most of my paranormal romances are pretty dark, so I lean a little toward horror in those. I have a possible science fiction romance I want to write. But I’m wondering if I ought to do some more horror. The Gnome and Hearts of Evil were really fun to write. The Gnome was most definitely horror, and I would categorize Hearts of Evil as at least light horror. Horror has always been my first love in my reading genre. Something to think about.

What about you? What author gives you an immersive experience? If you’re an author, what author would you strive to be most like? Do you like to read long or short works? What’s your favorite genre?

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I used random.org to draw from all the comments I got on my post for the Garden Gnome giveaway. The winner is…drum roll…Caren Davis! Congratulations, Caren! I had the privilege to meet this awesome lady at the RNC convention.

Since I promised a Smashwords coupon code for The Gnome to everyone that commented, I’ll be contacting all of you sometime today. I have to go into work for a couple of hours to do something “technical” that couldn’t be done while everyone was working, so it will be after that. Bummer, huh? LOL Anyway, I know some of you have already read The Gnome or maybe light horror isn’t your cup of tea. So when I contact you, I’ll give you a chance to pick a different book if you don’t want The Gnome.

Thanks to everyone who entered for the drawing by commenting!

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In honor of the Halloween season, I’m doing a giveaway. The prize is a free coupon code on Smashwords for my ebook, “The Gnome”, and the prize pictured below. Here’s all you have to do. In the comments, tell me the scariest book you’ve ever read. One reader said “The Gnome” made them dream about it. Another reader said “The giggling, garden gnome scared the crap out of me.” So how about it? What book scared you the most? All comments will be entered into the drawing. You know what? I’m going to give everyone that comments a free ebook of “The Gnome” (if you’ve already read that one, you can have another one of your choice). So the drawing will include the ebook AND the prize shown below. I’m going to end the contest at midnight on October 18 and will announce the winner on October 19.

This is a cute little gnome set from www.millsmix.com.. It includes a gnome figurine, 7″ wire arbor, 48″ roll fencing, birdbath, wheelbarrow, shovel, wire chair, and birdhouse. Make a whimsical mini-garden in a flower pot, around a tree, or in your garden. (Plant, pot, etc. not included.)

gnome garden close

gnome garden tree

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I’ve been a fan of horror ever since my high school librarian first introduced me to Stephen King. She suggested I read “Carrie”, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Stephen King is the master. The KING. No one has ever been able to touch me quite like he has. He has a way of making you feel like you’re right there in the story and that you know all the characters intimately. King’s characters are his strongest point.

But then there’s the horror. The scary stuff, the stuff that gives you the chills. What is it that makes us want to read this? Why do we want to be scared? I’ve found, the older I get, the harder it is for me to watch scary movies, especially alone. But I LOVE reading the books. The horror fascinates me. I’m not as crazy about the slasher stuff, even though that’s sometimes part of it. It’s the supernatural, eerie, ghostly stuff I love. Or sometimes the horror isn’t supernatural, but the horror of the human psyche. There are some sick people in some of the horror books.

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me because I like horror. Is there something twisted in my mind? And what about the people who actually WRITE this stuff? They have to be kind of twisted, right? But, honestly, the horror writers I’ve met on the internet have been normal, well-adjusted husbands and dads or wives and mothers. Horror writers are usually just ordinary folks. So I may never know the WHY of it all. Maybe someone can give me some ideas of why we like horror.

That brings me to my writing. The first novel I ever wrote and published, A Rocky Path, was a ghost story/love story. I don’t know why I was compelled to write paranormal romance. My second novel, Starfane, was a fantasy romance with wizards, elves, etc. in a land the heroine stepped into from a mural. I then did three novellas, one ghost story and two vampire stories. But even in paranormal romance, there is an element of horror sometimes. My ghost story novella, See Me, was criticized by a fellow author because I had mixed humor and violence in the same story. See Me is kind of snarky, with some funny things that happen, but there is a pretty violent scene in it. I don’t see anything wrong with mixing humor and violence. Even in this story, I had a tiny bit of horror. Then along came The Gnome. It was my first attempt at an actual horror story. I wasn’t sure how I would do with the fight scenes, but one of my beta readers said I nailed it, so that was a relief. Two readers told me that the story creeped them out and one of them actually dreamed of a giggling gnome. Good. That means I did my job. The story stayed with them.

So, after saying all that, I’m wondering if I’m going to end up writing horror instead of paranormal romance. My last book, Soul of a Vampire, actually was paranormal romance, but there was a little element of horror, I think. And, now, my current WIP is looking like it’s going to be horror. This one, honestly, was supposed to be a paranormal romance about a ghost. Now the ghost is kind of secondary in the story, and there’s a truly horrible thing happening in the town. This story just took a different turn than I originally imagined. There is going to be a supernatural element to the horror. So I’m wondering if my whole genre is going to change. Or am I going to dabble in more than one genre? Am I really going to end up being a horror writer? Or are The Gnome and my current WIP just me veering off my normal path for awhile? And do I have to really know the answer right now? Or can I just enjoy the journey and see where everything goes? That’s part of the fun, right?

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I only managed to write 3 days this week. My goal is 5, so I’m not happy with myself. There was no excuse for not writing on Friday. It was pure laziness. It was me wanting to do other things. Bleh. Yesterday, I was having a pretty good writing day. I was in my office in my comfy chair. Then my son, his girlfriend, and her little girl came over and decided to stay in the room with me. My son’s girlfriend was very quiet, doing her own thing. But my son likes to talk. And he did. Here’s the thing, though. What my son has to say to me is SO much more important than what I’m writing. If you have kids, you understand. Although he’s grown, he’s precious to me, and if he wants to talk to me, then I’m going to let him. The book can wait. I still got almost 800 words in. So my total words for the week is 2417.

Weight loss and healthy habits are still going well. I try to keep that updated on “Fitness Friday” every week.

I have the print proof of Soul of a Vampire, but it looks like there are changes to be made to the spine. The title isn’t centered exactly right (CreateSpace fixed something and I think that’s why it happened), and the font is really too small to see well. Anya said she would fix it. I hate to pay for another proof, but in the long run, I think it’s better to get it right. I let my son and his girlfriend look at it yesterday. My son said he would definitely get it fixed. So I guess that’s what I’ll do. I’ll let Anya look at it tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve had to have a cover redone after seeing the proof. The measurements are SO precise when submitting a cover file.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Don’t forget…Soul of a Vampire, Vampires’ Curse, and The Gnome are all on sale for .99 through the month of February. These books are regularly $2.99.

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I’m not really a selfish person. Most of the time I do things that will help other people rather than myself. I’m not tooting my own horn or anything, that’s just my basic personality. I like to help. It makes me smile. But the following is a completely selfish thing. Here it is:

The Gnome would be a really great read for Halloween. Buy it! Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords.

Whew, that felt weird! But I’m not going to apologize. In fact, I’m giggling a little right now. Um, not evilly like the gnome did…just because this was funny. 🙂

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My tentative date for e-publishing Soul of a Vampire is Thursday, October 4. That’s one week from today. Notice I said “tentative”. It seems like something happens most of the time when an author sets a particular date for publishing. There are some issues pointed out by beta readers that I need to tend to. I have to decide which suggestions I want to take and which ones I disagree with. I usually agree with most of them. The funny thing is, my two main beta readers didn’t have issues with the same things. (This doesn’t count simple typos, which they both might have caught.) There was only one sentence in the entire manuscript that they BOTH thought should be changed…and they each changed them slightly differently. There was a phrase they thought should be put in a different part of the sentence, but they put them in different places! What I DO know is that both of their sentences sounded better than mine did. LOL The point I’m trying to make in such a long-winded way is how important it is to have more than one beta reader.

I’ll probably do a giveaway with free ebooks and swag not long after SoaV is published. It depends on when the “swag” is ready. LOL. ALSO…I’m planning a Halloween giveaway mid to late October featuring my book, The Gnome, and the grand prize is totally cute. At least I think so. 🙂

That’s all for now. Most of you have been awfully silent the last few days. Where are my people? LOL

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