Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: Django Unchained

Get your bounty-hunting boots on and see my review of Django Unchained, up at Horrorview.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kelly's Big Score: It's a Marshmallow World edition

There's no better gift than books, and this year for Christmas I got:

The last three books I was missing in John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee Series: A Deadly Shade of Gold, The Scarlet Ruse, The Green Ripper

Collection of H. P. Lovecraft tales (Library of America edition)

Two cookbooks: Bake Until Bubbly and the Williams-Sonoma steak and chop cookbook

The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s

David Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film

Merry Christmas to me!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Now available at Apple/iBooks: The Day After Yesterday

It's getting harder to say you don't know where to buy my novel - it's now available as an iBook. Just click the iTunes icon and do a search for my name, or get started at Apple's site.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Give the gift of reading: The Day After Yesterday on sale!

From now through January 6, the ebook of The Day After Yesterday is available at Smashwords for just 99 cents!

At Smashwords you can download the ebook in nearly every format and platform. And it's just 99 cents when you enter coupon code KD95S.

Books are the gift that keeps giving.  Buy one for yourself, send it to a friend. Santa would approve, and it saves the elves some work!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing

My thanks go out to the ever-awesome Cliff Garstang, who tagged me to participate in The Next Big Thing. It's a self-interview where writers talk about their upcoming projects. Learn what Cliff is working on over at his blog. In addition to what he's working on next, you'll see what writers tagged him, and which ones he's tagged to participate in this blog series.

As for me...

What is your working title of your book (or story)?
Ashes will be published in March of 2013.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
A theme I often visit in my fiction is what happens to ordinary people when they have their lives up-ended. Jennifer, the female protagonist of Ashes, is a very ordinary person – she’s an admin at a federal building that’s bombed in a domestic terrorism attack. Not only is her life in upheaval because of that, but because she escapes at the last minute, she finds herself becoming the icon of the event. I wanted to explore how an ordinary person would struggle not just with living through such an incident, but the attention and expectation placed on her by being seen as a symbol rather than as a person.

This led to my male protagonist: Sean is a former covert ops agent, who’s been in forced retirement for several years at the time the book’s narrative begins. He sees the event and Jennifer’s escape on TV, and wants to return to active duty to find the perpetrators. When that request is denied, he goes rogue. His plan is to not just find those responsible but to bring them to Jennifer so she can take personal revenge; she knows nothing about Sean or his mission until the two characters meet, near the end of the book.

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s in the suspense genre, the first in a two-book series.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
For Jennifer, I’d definitely look for a girl-next-door quality. I think Alison Lohman would be a good choice. As for Sean, I’ve toyed with a number of different actors in my mind, including Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Spacey. But in the end my choice is Gary Oldman. He’s got a chameleonic quality that he shares with the character, whose specialty is deep-cover infiltration. He’s also an actor who can communicate a great deal in very subtle ways, which is also very suitable to the character.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The whole world is watching when Jennifer Thomson escapes at the last minute from a bombed federal building; while she tries to put her life back together, Sean Kincaid, a retired covert ops agent, goes rogue with the intention of finding those responsible, and bringing them to Jennifer so she can mete out justice.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be self-published through my Smite Publications imprint.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took about six months. Because I used a structure of alternating chapters between Jennifer and Sean, I needed to ensure that the events in their respective narrative timelines were in synch. I also worked to make sure that their character arcs were in parallel

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The comparison that springs to mind is that of Sean’s character with that of the Matt Helm character created by Donald Hamilton in the 1960s. Not the Matt Helm from the Dean Martin movies, mind you! Starting with Death of a Citizen, the Matt Helm character was sort of the anti-James Bond. He drove an old truck, many of his missions weren’t in glamorous locations, and he never had any fancy weaponry; he also had doubts and crises of conscience that Bond never seemed to have. It seemed much more realistic, and was a big inspiration to me for Sean Kincaid’s character.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’m blessed to have a circle of friends I call my Constant Reader Brigade. They were invaluable to me for their critique of the story, plotting, and characters; they always encourage me when my energy’s flagging or if I’m having any doubts. Every writer should have such a Brigade!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
What I wanted to focus on was that it’s people who are affected by events like these. And not just the victims – those hunting down the perpetrators and even the perpetrators themselves aren’t ciphers. They’re human beings, and the fun for me – and, I hope, for the readers – is getting into the characters’ heads and seeing the world through their eyes.

Once again, thanks to Cliff Garstang for giving me the chance to participate!

Who's got the Next Big Thing?

On December 24, Steve Ryfle will  tell you about his upcoming biography of director Ishiro Honda.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nerd alert: King Moonracer vs. Voltron

Which lion-based character is more awesome?

 King Moonracer?
Or Voltron?

I'm going with King Moonracer myself. Not only does he look awesome, but he gets to rule over the Island of Misfit Toys and has a spotted elephant for a footman.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Join in the "Next Big Thing" meme!

If you want to participate in the Next Big Theme meme, now's your chance. If you haven't been tagged but would like to participate, let me know.

It's a way to promote your writing and promote your fellow writers too! To see an example of this in action, take a look at Cliff Garstang's blog (he's the good person who invited me to participate in this). 

If you're interested, post a comment!

Flurries of Words reviews The Day After Yesterday

The book blog Flurries of Words has a review of The Day After Yesterday!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kelly's Big Score - Santa Baby Edition

This past weekend we made our annual visit to Solvang for the Christmas parade and to do some shopping and eating and more shopping and eating.

I paid a visit to the ever-awesome The Book Loft and to Martin's Used Books. Came home with:

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

The Passage - Justin Cronin

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane

Bitter Sweet - LaVyrle Spencer

Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Those ought to keep me occupied for a bit!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Day After Yesterday - now for the Kobo e-reader

No e-reader platform or device can escape me! The Day After Yesterday is now available for the Kobo e-reader.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Over at Addicted to Ebooks...

A promotion for The Day After Yesterday is up at Addicted to Ebooks.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Writing craft: There's something about the holidays

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I really get into the holiday season. I'm indifferent to Halloween (I hate dressing up and really don't need more candy in my life) but I love Thanksgiving and - most of all - Christmas.

Because I'm so partial to those holidays, I often "check in" with my characters to see how the holidays are treating them. This may also be an influence of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a book I've read so many times I've got it nearly memorized. Have you noticed how much happens in that book around Christmastime? I realize that it serves the story, but everyone, from Marley in the past to Scrooge and Tiny Tim in the future, seems to die around Christmas. Something to think about!

Readers of The Day After Yesterday will have noticed that I show the characters and how well (or not) their Christmas is going. These range from the first Christmas we see in the book, a dark time for all concerned, to the epilogue, which takes place at a Christmas concert and ends the novel on a note of grace and hope. And my Constant Readers who've read my suspense novel Ashes know about two chapters that take place on New Year's, and which are notable not just because the day and its events are turning points in those characters' lives, but because the events include tawdry sex and horrible ways to die. (If this piques your interest, remember that Ashes will be available in print and ebook in March of 2013.)

So whatever your plans are this holiday season, I hope it is a healthy, happy, and joyous time for you. Take a moment to think of how you'd portray it in a book or short story.

Review: Pact With the Devil

My review of Pact With the Devil, a particularly inept Picture of Dorian Gray adaptation, is up at Horrorview.