Tag Archives: writing tips

#MondayBlogs Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations

24 Aug

Intro:

I’m passionate about many things, but writing and traveling top my list, and I find myself combining them all the time. Need a location for a story? Hey, that place I saw last summer would be perfect. Need something more exotic ? Maybe something surreal? Combining and creating comes into play. Today, our guest blogger, Natacha Guyot, is talking about just that.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

#MondayBlogs: Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations

I have loved imagining worlds and stories since I was a kid. I think I was a storyteller even before knowing how to write. From a young age, my passions have been Science Fiction and Fantasy. These remain my favorite genres to read and write. Even my nonfiction projects often focus on these genres.

I wrote my first novella and novel when a teenager. Even during my ten year break from original fiction, I still took notes about new universes. I love world building although my stories most often start with one or more characters when I only have a vague idea of the settings.

I still write about imaginary locations but end of 2014, a shift happened. I started writing a short story collection, which will be the first of a series. It is a Supernatural / Urban Fantasy universe. Most of the events take place in the UK. While all locations in the stories exist, I decided to focus a lot of my characters’ lives in the London area and Oxford. In 2008-2009, I lived in London and it has been my favorite city since then. As for Oxford, I visited it in 2012 for two conferences and fell in love with the place too.

I make sure to look up for some details (without getting lost in them) even for real locations I am familiar with. One of the funniest things about the scenes in London was using Google Maps to check on some streets and places. One character lives near where I used to and I was shocked finding out that my student residence had closed!

Mansfield College in Oxford, where I went to in 2012 for 2 conferences. It inspired my Fae character Dylan's estate in Clairvoyance Chronicles

Mansfield College in Oxford, where I went to in 2012 for 2 conferences. It inspired my Fae character Dylan’s estate in Clairvoyance Chronicles

This experience made me want to write more stories in places I love, regardless of how many Science Fiction and Fantasy universes I’ll keep creating! My home town still has a special place in my heart, so I decided to write a series about vampires taking place there! I am only at the note taking stage now but am excited about “Vampiric Versailles” (very tentative title). I studied in Paris but I am not a big fan of it. I have always preferred Versailles and its direct area. Most tourists come for the palace, but I like its gardens better. I hope to include lesser known parts in my story.

If it wasn’t enough, I am currently developing the early outlines for a YA Fantasy trilogy which will take place in Perigord, where I spent most of my holidays when in high school and a few more years afterwards. I will create imaginary castles that are related to families in my story, but I am looking forward to blend made-up and real places.

What about you? Do you prefer writing imaginary or real places? Do you include a mix of both?

Bio:

Natacha Guyot is a French author, scholar and public speaker. She works on Science Fiction, Transmedia, Gender Studies, Children Media and Fan Studies. She is a feminist, a fangirl, a bookworm, a vidder, a gamer and a cat lover.

Her released titles include Feminist Bloggers: The 2014 Collection (editor), Before Mako Came Yoko: Comparative Study of Pacific Rim and Yoko Tsuno and La Cité de Sharianth. She is currently working on a revised version of A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars with additional content and other nonfiction titles

She also writes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories.

Connect with her on natachaguyot.org, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook.

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#SATurday Confessions of a Slow Writer

22 Aug

I’m a slow writer. There. I said it. I’m a slow writer. (Just for extra measure.)

You see, I used to think I was a fast writer. “I can write a manuscript in four months,” “I wrote that novella in a few days,” “That short story took me an hour.”

Okay. So, I’ve never actually said the last two, but they sound similar to the first one…which I have said. And it isn’t a complete lie. My average speed for writing a manuscript is three months. Ish. But, what I don’t say, what I can’t deny to myself, is that manuscript is not truly written at all. It’s not even close to written. It’s a jargled mess of incomprehensible crap. (And I’m being nice when I say that.)

bogslow

My first drafts might take me four months, but that’s exactly what they are: first drafts. I almost ALWAYS rewrite my novels two or three times. There’s one in particular I’ve been rewriting since I was 19, but something is just not quite right, so it’s rewrite after rewrite, year after year. And I’m okay with that. Some might say I should abandon it, move on, or simply just turn it in as is, but you know what? That’s just not me. And I like being me, ten rewrites and all.

I’ve learned to accept I go through many phases during a novel-writing episode. It normally starts with a night terror, moves into an out-of-order screenplay, then an in-order screenplay, then a first draft, then a second draft, then a third and fourth draft, and then it’s done!

That, for me, is when my novel is born. Finally. And more often than not, a few years pass between the initial idea and the collection of words sent off to my editor. And I’m okay with that. I am. But don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t always okay with that.

There is a lot of pressure in the industry to be a “fast” writer, to release a new novel every four months, to use less curse words, to have more sex, to avoid clichés, or add romance. There is pressure everywhere—sometimes conflicting pressure—but I think it’s more important to not break under that pressure.

Stand your ground. Be yourself. Write slowly.

~SAT

Book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, Seconds Before Sunrise, releases in 3 days! 3! You can pre-order at the usual book-loving places, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. If you haven’t had the time to check out the first book, get Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, while it’s FREE on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, and spread the Dark to your friends by sharing the opportunity around. ::wink wink::

As a thank you, Clean Teen Publishing still has giveaways going on, including this Goodreads Giveaway for Seconds Before Sunrise, and the CTP Find Your Next Read Facebook Party on August 28. I – along with five other authors – will be giving away all kinds of goodies. I hope to see you there!

Stay Dark and Enjoy This Teaser,

~SAT

teaser4

#WW The Emotions of Listing A Book For Free

19 Aug

Let me start off by saying I am not an expert in this. In fact, I’ve never put up my book for free before. This is all new to me! (How exciting.) But, yes, the first novel in The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset, is now up for free. My publisher, Clean Teen Publishing, did this to celebrate the upcoming release of the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, which releases August 25.

Whew. What a summary of events.

At first, I’m not going to lie, I felt like I failed. Like I failed my publisher, my readers, and myself. I’m not even sure why I felt this way, but if I could think about you in relation to my books, I thought, “Well, that’s it. My book didn’t sell, so my publisher dropped it to the big ol’ ZERO. I failed.” Cue my tiny and sad violin.

emotions

Emotions. So many emotions.

This was my initial reaction anyway. And it was a silly reaction. In fact, my publisher didn’t make Minutes Before Sunset free because it wasn’t selling. It was selling. Still is. They simply made it free to celebrate. That is it. My own crazy thoughts were just my own crazy thoughts, and I think it’s important, as an artist, to keep those emotional thoughts at bay until you have time to see what actually happens. Easier said than done, of course, but I’m only two days into this free-promo, and I’m loving it!

Within twelve hours, Minutes Before Sunset hit the bestseller category for young adult science fiction, and within 24 hours, Minutes Before Sunset became #5 in Science Fiction. #5! We also hit #7 in Paranormal/Urban Fiction and the top 500 Kindle books overall. It even appeared in the article The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books On Amazon, and the downloads kept coming in as more and more readers shared, liked, and commented on my one Facebook post about it.

5&7

I was dumbfounded.

Here I was, thinking I was devalued, when—in reality—it connected me with additional readers who may not have found me otherwise. Lesson learned? I was too concentrated on MY value and not on the READERS’ value. I can admit that, can’t I? I’m only human, after all. A silly writer human (who really loves cats), and now, this silly cat-loving writer-human definitely suggests running a free-promo. You’ll never know how it’ll make you feel unless you try.

On a fun side note, someone attempted to hack my Instagram this week. I regained access, so expect more cat and coffee adventure pics soon. I also had the utmost pleasure of participating in fight research for a novel. I might write a post about that soon, but the trainer gave me a wooden spoon for a weapon. It was awesome.

#DontMessWithTheSpoon

~SAT

Now for FIVE giveaway announcements for hitting #5 in science fiction! 

Book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset, is now free everywhere! Here are the links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I hope you check it out before the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, releases in less than a week. (Less than a week!) On that note, you can pre-order the sequel here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. The last installment releases September 15. (So almost no wait time. Yay!)

memoryjar

Jessica’s memory jar! I’m giving two away.

If you love Goodreads Giveaways, here is the link for winning a paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise, but don’t let that make you forget that you can win another Seconds Before Sunrise paperback (as well as many other paperbacks and prizes) during the CTP Find Your Next Read FB Party on August 28. The little jar on the right is a sneak peek of what you can win. It’s called a “memory jar,” but you have to read Minutes Before Sunset to know why Jessica needs one!

I’m not done either. (Told you there was a lot of giveaways going on.) You can still sign up to support the release day of Seconds Before Sunrise on August 25 to win a signed bookmark and a swag pack from me! Simply join the campaign and shoot me an email at shannonathompson@aol.com, letting me know you’ve joined. By following my newsletter, you’ll receive monthly opportunities like this.  

Last but definitely not least, the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card, a bookmark swag pack, and a CTP eBook of your choice. Here are the latest places you can enter: If You Could Be Any of Your Characters (guest post on Black Words-White Pages), spotlight on Girls With Books, and a spotlight on The Bookie Monster.

I hope you win some prizes during this celebration! 

Stay Dark and Lovely,

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: Learning SEO: 5 Reasons It’s Now a Must for Freelance Online Writers

17 Aug

Intro:

SEO Terms. That single two-word combination probably put knots in someone’s stomach. It’s a necessary evil, a vital tool to use for surviving the Internet game, and today’s guest blogger, Eve Haugen, is here to explain why. She also helps you improve your footing in the SEO-crazy world.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Learning SEO: 5 Reasons It’s Now a Must for Freelance Online Writers

In the web world where thousands of sites are coming up in a rush, the competition is also getting hotter each day. The role played by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in beating the competing rivals is undeniable. Also, there are no shortages of quality article writers around the globe. So what differentiates a specialist from the ordinary? It’s a question that every online writer should ask himself. Now simply writing good articles will not bring in work, but the knowledge of SEO oriented writing is bound to bring in more work. The 5 reasons that will give the freelance online writers the edge over their competitors are:

  • Only those writers that have a good knowledge about keywords will get an added advantage over the others. Finding the right keywords and their proper utilization in the article will give a clear edge to the website. Right keywords can honestly give the required push to move the site clear of completion and playing with the wrong keyword is sure to get the site dumped. Hence, knowledge about search engine optimization is bound to help select the right keyword. This knowledge of Search Engine Optimization helps in beating the competitors.
  • Knowledge always helps in bringing new work and consequently more financial strength. So those writers that have good knowledge of Search Engine Optimization are likely to get better paid than the other writers. There is no shortage of work for good writers in the web world, but it is an undeniable fact that only those that can show the extra quality of search optimization knowledge will win the race hands down and the winners are always well paid.
  • As workflow never dries so a person can definitely work from home or any suitable place of his choice without having to deal with travel stress. This will give the person more time for work and as a result bring in more financial stability.
  • During the time of recession, this part time job can be a life saver for many. The knowledge of SEO can give an added edge to the writer during this recession time. In a way, it can be said that this knowledge helps a person to become recession proof.
  • As a freelance writer, a person has to bid for jobs in several websites and for this reason competition is also high. This added knowledge will give the thrust required to move the person ahead of the others.

 

sero

Nowadays Google Panda and Penguin have changed the concept of Search Engine Optimization. Old fashioned search engine optimization will not help in improving the sites ranking. So proper knowledge of search engine optimization will help the online writers prove their worth in gold and bring in more potential customers. There is no dearth of good writers, but only those with proper online marketing knowledge will win the race. The opportunity is there for the taking and only those that have mastered the specialized art of search engine optimization related writing will have no shortage of work.

Bio:

eveEve Haugen has been a freelance writer for a long while. Her passion in writing is her main drive in crafting articles that are engaging, informative, and meaningful. Her partnership with QuickSEOResult has given her a whole new opportunity to take writing to a whole new level.

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#SATurday Emotionally Spamming Readers

15 Aug

Emotionally Spamming Readers

I want to talk about something unusual…at least for me as an author…and because I’ve never really seen an article discussing it (other than how to avoid it), I thought it would be fun to address it. Overwhelming your readers with spam. Rather than talk about literal spam, I want to talk about emotionally holding yourself back because you fear any announcement is spam. So, when I say “spam,” I’m not talking about an endless array of emails or tweets with no purpose. I’m talking about feeling guilty when you share news once or twice for various reasons. That’s the issue I want to address.

As many of you know, I started off this blog almost three years ago. I wrote every other day, and then, two years in, I took a one-month break where I changed my schedule to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (and Mondays are for guests only). During my Wednesday and Saturdays posts, I’ve recently been sharing news at the end of the article. “Here’s an upcoming release!” or “Check out this giveaway!”

To be honest, I haven’t had a lot happening up until last month, and now, it’s endless. Blog tours, giveaways, release days, appearances, interviews, etc. Which is all FANTASTIC. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so giddy my rolly chair barely stays still. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t worried. Sometimes, at the end of my recent posts, my announcements are longer than my post, and the spam worries roll in:

Am I posting too much information? Should I choose between one interview and a giveaway? Do I look like I’m bragging? Is anyone even reading that part?

And then, I came to a personal conclusion—a conclusion I’m not always sure about, but one that brings me comfort and happiness, and that conclusion is that I enjoy sharing that news at the end of my blog posts.

Some recent (and wonderful) moments I shared, include meeting a blogger, finishing a manuscript, my eight-year anniversary, a great review, and holding my book in my hands.

Some recent (and wonderful) moments I shared, include meeting a blogger, finishing a manuscript, my eight-year anniversary, a great review, and holding my book in my hands.

For a long time—and I know I’m not alone in this—I hid my author life and accomplishments and current news, and when people asked about my career (or “hobby” as many put it), I gave a mundane answer like, “It’s going well.” instead of saying, “I have a blog tour coming up, and I just got back from meeting a long-time blogger friend in Atlanta.” Why did I do this to myself? Why did I hold back my excitement toward my career? Probably because, as many writers know, society rather pokes fun at writers who aren’t Stephen King or George R.R. Martin, but they weren’t always “them” either. One story that always sticks out to me is from the infamous King, who said he finally felt like a writer when he paid a plumber’s bill with his royalties. It didn’t matter who defined him; he defined him, and that’s how he did it. So, I’m working at accepting my pride as a writer—and not hubris, but simple pride for all the work I’ve done, and all of the readers who’ve done work to help me, and all the bloggers I’ve met, and all the moments we’ve shared. How do we share more moments if I continue to hold myself back by not sharing my latest news below my weekly articles? I have to share them, and I have to be okay with sharing them, and even more, I have to accept that I ENJOY sharing them without feeling guilty or worrying about if I’m spamming. As long as I have a purpose, and I’m not posting it wherever and whenever I can, it’s not spam; it’s a simple announcement about what’s going on in my author life. And if someone wants to read it, GREAT! If someone wants to just read my articles, that’s GREAT too!

This is my life, and my life isn’t spam.

It’s crazy, and wonderful, and I stumble over it every day, and for that, I am grateful.

~SAT

And now for those announcements I just discussed. ;]

Seconds Before Sunrise releases in less than two weeks! To celebrate, Clean Teen Publishing is hosting SO many giveaways. Win a paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise via a Goodreads Giveaway, and win a $15 Amazon gift card, CTP ebook, and bookmark swag pack during the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour; here are the latest posts where you can enter: Deal Sharing Aunt Interview, Mythical Books SpotlightThe Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass Spotlight, and The Wonderings of One Person Spotlight.

If you want to participate in the next tour—where you can interview me, have guest posts, and more—sign up for the Seconds Before Sunrise tour here. You can also join my newsletter for more prize-winning opportunities…which brings me to my next announcement. CTP is hosting another Facebook party, where you can win prizes and talk to authors on August 28. I will definitely be there, and I hope you come too!

11892166_10155938735540066_6588165975602131689_n

Don’t forget to check out Minutes Before Sunset before the sequel releases at Amazon and Barnes & NobleIf you’ve already done that, here are the links to pre-order Seconds Before Sunrise (AmazonBarnes & Noble) and Death Before Daylight (AmazonBarnes & Noble). If you write a review and you want me to share it, please send it to me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I would be more than happy to do so!

Thank you for your support.

Stay Dark,

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: Criticizing Wrongly

10 Aug

Intro:

We’ve all seen it happen. Someone reviewing a novel by stating, “There’s romance in this, and I don’t like romance. One star.”…on a romance novel. Or someone attacks a book because they don’t agree with the content…and when you read it, you can’t find that content. Book reviewing is a tricky (and sometimes) confusing place, and today, Desirable Purity is discussing when criticizers criticize wrongly.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Criticizing Wrongly by Desirable Purity

There are some scenes, meetings and happenings in fiction that seem a bit far from reality and some criticizers are very specific about it. Now, let me divide this post into three parts.

Difference between Unrealistic Sequences and Unique Moments.

Genres.

Suspension of Disbelief

In this post, I’ll criticize the criticizing of new criticizers. Fine! You’ve never seen it happening. It’s illegal. It’s nasty. It’s immoral. Guys don’t talk like that. Girls don’t wear that stuff. Mothers don’t do that. People! That’s why it’s a story. What do you want to read all the time? Cliches? If these kinds of plot twists aren’t there that make you go, “What the hell?”, what good is the book doing to you? It’s fiction. Things ought to turn out that way. And let me tell you, these things do happen in real life. It’s just that you haven’t seen it yet.

Difference between Unrealistic Sequences and Unique Moments

There is a fine line between Unrealistic and Unique. Why do the new, young criticizers think that by saying that the scene didn’t look realistic, make them “professional”? I swear, some people think that.

Remember the fine line.

You’re allowed to say that the scene was far from reality when a guy is walking down the path, steps on a snake, snake hisses, the guy apologizes and presents it chocolates, the snake accepts them and says, “Thank you! But be careful before stepping on us or you’d have to spare some more chocolates.” Okay, now that was unrealistic. It doesn’t happen in real life.

I’ve come across people who call certain scenes unrealistic just because they haven’t seen them happening, or heard of it. A mother loved her child, but because she didn’t have money to keep it, she threw it in the river. And left to cry till her eyes bled. This is not unrealistic. It happens. People are like that. Maybe, you’re not like that, but some people are. (This behavior is called, “projection”: The person is convinced that his thoughts and feelings are the others—Psychology.)

A fine line between unrealistic sequences, and unique moments. Remember!

Desirable Purity

Desirable Purity

Genres

Let’s talk about Genres now. If the scene about the snake that I described above happens in Fantasy, it is acceptable. (Maybe not, because the scene is pretty stupid.) But the scene of a mother and her child can be in Romance, as well as Tragedy. You’re allowed to say that the scene was far from reality when the snake hisses and asks for Chocolate in the Genre of Romanticism.

In Fantasy, anything can happen. Looking out is necessary for genres other than Fantasy.

So, people! Before criticizing someone, think twice, because no matter how novice he is, the person has worked on it and asks for an honest review. If a moment in a genre other than Fantasy shocks you, it’s unique, not unrealistic!

Suspension of Disbelief

Wikipedia says,  Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person’s ignorance or lack of knowledge to promote suspension of disbelief.

It’s the reader that has to belief what the author is making him belief. The writer has created something. He thinks that it’s different and so he made it into a story. Now, it’s the reader’s job to belief what is, not the writer’s job to keep giving him reasons. That one person, who’s criticizing, should be of objective thinking, and not support projection. That’s one of the rules. Subjectivity and Projection can cloud one’s judgement.

There can be scenes where something doesn’t look right, but that can be a part of “Show don’t tell”. Just because the criticizer doesn’t think that a person exists doesn’t mean he’s an unbelievable character. In fact, his deeds might be a part of building his character as something not shown just yet.

Then again, the reader has to be willing to suspend disbelief.

Bio:

Munazza Bangash is a short story writer, but currently in the middle of writing a full-length novel in the genre of Romance/Psychology. Her first novel, which was a fan fiction written only for practice, gained her more than 100,000 readers.

When she isn’t glued to the computer screen, she’s usually painting her face with makeup, searching for it or buying it, or probably studying Psychology. Playing badminton or having a laugh with little kids. Being the worst cook and fashion designer, or maybe trying very hard not to gain more weight!

Easily reached at Wattpad: MunazzaBangash

Email: Munazzabangash@hotmail.com

Facebook Page: DesirablePurity

Blog: Desirablepurity.wordpress.com

Twitter: DesirablePurity

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs Writing About Heroes, Protagonists, and Other Characters with Disabilities

3 Aug

Intro:

Diversity in fiction is a popular topic, and with good reason. Aside from a lack of ethnicities in mainstream media, there is also a lack of diversity in sexuality and disabilities. That’s why I was more than ecstatic when author Frederick Crook approached me with an idea for these Monday guest blog slots. He expressed a true passion for writing stories with heroes and other characters with disabilities, and I commend him for addressing this literature issue head-on…but I’ll let him explain it. Welcome, Frederick!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Writing About Heroes, Protagonists, and Other Characters with Disabilities by Frederick Crook

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short story entitled, Runt Pulse. It’s a dystopian adventure that features a protagonist that suffered a stroke brought about by a malfunctioning military grade, bio-electronic implant. The result is partial paralysis of his right side, affecting everything from his foot to his facial muscles. Now, I had seen the effects of such a tragedy on a neighbor of mine several years ago, and, fortunately for him, he slowly recovered. Many people aren’t nearly as lucky.

So, I encountered a person on Facebook that belonged to the same writers’ group as I did. I have no idea why he was in the group, as he had no publications that I could find, but I digress. He bought Runt Pulse, which I truly appreciated, but went on to complain that I had made a disabled individual the hero of the story. This took me by surprise because I had made that aspect of the story paramount. To me, it was like saying that I liked Doctor Who, but the time travel bit is a real turn-off.

one

Exactly. It would be bonkers. Furthermore, why not have a protagonist with a disability? It’s not like I’m the first one to come up with the idea, either. Ever hear of Ironside, starring Raymond Burr? He played a police detective that was shot and left paralyzed. The show ran eight seasons from 1967 to 1975. For the younger audiences, we have Daredevil, a blind superhero from comic books. There was a movie starring Ben Affleck and now there’s a brand new series on Netflix. Clearly, there’s an audience.

three

I have an author friend by the name of Jerrod Begora. His daughter has Down’s Syndrome. He’s written two books featuring a strong female protagonist with the condition. In, The Blood Between Us, the character Lorelei has Downs and, as the story progresses, she is obliged to become a vampire hunter. In the next book, Lorelei is denied a job with the police department and, not one to stand for it, she becomes a private detective in, The Case of the Missing Cat.

five

I’m sure many of us author-types know someone who has written such books. They’re uplifting, empowering and inspiring stories that need to be told.

In fact, if one devotes some thought to this, it should become evident that most heroes in novels and comic books have a disability of some kind. It’s what makes a lot of them endearing to readers. What would the Punisher be like if he had not lost his wife and two children to mob violence? He’d be pretty damned boring had he not suffered such a horrible tragedy. Now, I understand that he’s not the most endearing comic book character ever, but how about Batman? Young Bruce Wayne was forever changed and emotionally damaged when his parents were killed right in front of him. The tragedy molded and inspired the character.

Certainly, such emotional trauma must be as disabling in some circumstances as a physical condition. The trick is for authors to turn the disadvantage into an interesting advantage. Case in point, my character, Detective Frank Campanelli from Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and Campanelli: Sentinel.

seven

Frank is a homicide detective originally from New York, but a fire in his apartment building took his wife and son from him, as well as his vision. The man relocated to Chicago, where he continued in his profession due to some very helpful bio-electronic implants that allow him to see well enough to live and do his job in an almost normal fashion.

What inspired me to create this character? That’s easy. When I was four years old, I had an accident in our Cicero home where I lost my right eye. Fast forward through three decades and I found myself writing two novels and three short stories centered around an event I called the “Great Exodus”, a massive migration of the human race to another, much larger planet. Quite naturally, I began to wonder what it would be like in a future world to have the technology to restore sight. That, paired with the wish to write about Chicago, the place where I was born, brought about the Campanelli stories.

If there’s one thing I want my fellow authors out there to take away from this, it’s that you can’t be afraid to feature a character with a physical or mental disability. Just do so with tact and respect, and don’t give any detractors a second thought, for they’re clearly suffering from debilitating cases of extreme negativity.

Bio:

Frederick was born in Chicago in 1970 and now lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three miniature dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school, earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Electronics in 1994 and the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University in 2005.

In 2009, Frederick began writing his first novel, The Dregs of Exodus, which was self-published in late 2010. This was followed up with another novel, The Pirates of Exodus in 2012.

Throughout that year and early 2013, he continued writing and published four short stories in eBook form for Kindle and Nook. All of these stories share the same premise, but all are independent from one another, though the short eBook, Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair and his third novel, published by Solstice Publishing, Campanelli: Sentinel, share the same main characters.

Minuteman Merlin was released for the Kindle by Solstice Publishing, March 1st of 2015.

He loves writing and enjoys meeting and talking to readers at book signing events.

WebsiteFacebook Page, Twitter @FrederickHCrook, Pinterest,

Amazon Author PageYouTube Channel

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,890 other followers

%d bloggers like this: