27 May 2011

Guest Blog: Author JE Gurley

Today, author JE Gurley takes over Vivid Sentiments to discuss a very intriguing topic: "Building Character in your Characters."
Over to you Jim.


Building Character in your Characters


Character is defined as the nature, quality, temperament or moral fiber of an individual. Adults become the child and its environment. Much is said about slum children or ghetto children or even one-parent children, their disadvantages and the poor likelihood of their success. I dispute this. While disadvantages are just that, disadvantages, character makes the person.
  What about your characters? I know they do not spring full-grown from your mind and fall glibly upon the page. Somewhere deep in your psyche they undergo conception, birth and childhood. You set them upon their course and direct their movements. Are they cardboard cutouts, mere automatons upon which you heap the trials of Job or Jonah or are they flesh and blood people who live, love, yearn and die?
  Characters make the story. Indeed, without them, there is no story. Doesn’t it follow that a compelling story needs compelling characters? What would Moby Dick be without peg-legged and whale scarred Captain Ahab or Lord of the Rings without good-natured, loyal Samwise? Not only your protagonist, your antagonist and host of supporting characters need lives as well. Who cares if a cardboard cutout dies a violent death or if a spineless, sniveling whiner threatens to destroy the galaxy?
  Just like a child, you develop them from the ground up. Reading is visual but the images are created in the reader’s mind by your words. Help your readers by giving them a framework with which to work. Describe your characters, not coldly and clinically as if they are admiring themselves in a mirror, but in bits and pieces as the story unfolds. How do they move – boldly, timidly, with a limp? What color hair – red hair brings connotations of quick anger or taunting as a child (Towhead?) Long black hair often denotes sultry, exotic. Is their face stern, jolly, handsome, scarred, fat, thin? Do they speak with a lisp, in rhyme, with a foreign accent? Do they play ball, jog, smoke, sit on the couch and chug beer and eat pretzels?
  Look around you. There are millions of characters out there, each with a story. Just take a typical bar (Or pub in the UK). Are your characters as varied as the people sitting around you? If not, they should be. Above all, your characters should be individuals with which the reader can relate and form a bond that lasts until the end of the story and hopefully farther. Your characters determine the direction, the scope and the theme of your story as much as the story develops and grows your characters. Like individuals, they grow from their testing their environment, the obstacles you place in the way of their quest, whether it is saving the world, winning the big game or finding the perfect mate. Both grow together, story and characters. Nurture them well.

About JE Gurely:

JE Gurley lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Kim, and two cats, as well as the usual desert creatures who visit his bird bath eat day for water. He writes full-time, plays guitar and keyboards for local rock and blues bands part-time. Born near historical Shiloh National Battlefield, his love of history plays out in the background for many of his novels. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and Southeast Arizona Writers Association.
websites: www.jamesgurley.com or www.hellrig.com
Blog: www.jegurley.wordpress.com or www.jegurley.blogspot.com
Hell Rig is available on Amazon here.

23 May 2011

Book Review: Home by Carson Buckingham

Title: Home
Author: Carson Buckingham
Genre: Horror

Publisher: Hellfire Publishing
Available format: PDF, E-pub,Mobi
Buy here

HOME by Carson Buckingham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Kate Kavanagh’s life is changing, in many ways. Secrets, weird allies, and changing views of the world are only few of the elements Kate has to face to carry on with her life.

I doubt I can say more without giving Home away, and that would be a shame. One must read this book to experience the suspense, intrigue, and the amazing revelations at the end. I’m usually good at guessing what’s coming next, fortunately, I failed miserably with this book. Surprises popped on each page, leaving me wondering where this was leading. I can honestly say Home made me experience an emotion I haven’t felt for a while; I was hooked without knowing on what.

I believe Home could have been longer. Some very interesting characters were mentioned in the passing, ones I wanted to know more about. I can’t even mention their names because I will give part of the surprise away. Also, the revelations came in a gush at the end, all in one go. I wish she had stretched it a bit by trickling surprises the same way she trickled the incidents leading to it. I can only hope that Buckingham is planning a sequel or a prequel to the book.

This was my first Carson Buckingham book, it will most definitely NOT be my last.

*off to look for more books by this author*


View all my reviews

15 May 2011

Horror Talk review of Intricate Entanglement


This is Horror Talk's review of Intricate Entanglement:


"...however the discussion afterwards is far more interesting.  The book takes place in an asylum so the subjects are all insane to some degree.  If they're crazy, did the events that brought them to this place actually happen?  Or was it all in their heads?  Author Su Halfwerk weaves these tales in such a way that I found myself constantly questioning what I thought was the true story."

Read more here.

14 May 2011

Guest Blogger - Author Rie McGaha

Today's guest is author Rie McGaha, and she is sharing the blurb and excerpt of her book Calen.

Blurb
When Calen MacLeod begins having dreams of an ethereal beauty who beckons to him, he passes it off as just having an itch he hasn't scratched in a long time. But when he leaves on a journey to find her, following the directions she's given him in his dreams, he begins to doubt his sanity. And when he finds himself high in the Mackinaw Mountains in a secret fortress with unicorns and a pink and white castle, surrounded by women, each one more beautiful than the next, it's a fantasy no man would want to wake up from. But Arianna is the only woman for Calen.

The women of the Fortress have lived in peace, hidden away from the humans who tried to annihilate them all. But now a 500-year-old demon is out to destroy the women's matriarch, Ariella, and he'll stop at nothing to complete his mission. When Calen MacLeod shows up, he throws a wrench into Damon's plans. Never let it be said Damon isn't ready for anything, but when he kidnaps Arianna and takes her to modern day San Francisco, is he ready to meet Calen, who will stop at nothing to save his ladylove?



Excerpt

He had seen his father lying on the ground with blood running from his head. And he saw the men ripping his mother's clothes until her skirt hung in shreds, baring her from the waist down. They had tied her hands and threw her over the chopping block and fell on her one by one. The little boy didn't know what they were doing, as they slapped her, shouting and laughing all the while her cries and screams scared him, and he covered his ears. The men were strangers to the child, but one stuck in his memory. Tall, with long, dirty hair, he wore all black and had whiskers all over his face, and this man hurt his mother more than the others. The little boy cried as he watched the men and he saw the flash of a silver ring on the tall man's finger as the man's plunged through his mother's back. The blood ran down her body, down the chopping block onto the dirt.

The boy ran then. He ran back to the place where his mother had hidden him in the dark, secret corner of the hut and made himself as small as he could under the furs. He heard the men come inside, and heard their laughter as they tore up the place. They broke what could break, kicked over the table and stools, and cursed when they didn't find anything of value to steal.

"Burn it!" One of the men shouted.

"Nay," the man with ring said. "We don't want to attract attention. Leave it be and mount up. We have to find the boy!"


The little boy was so afraid, he stayed hidden under the furs all the rest of the day until it was nearly full dark. But as night fell, his full bladder drove him out of his hiding place. He had to climb under and over logs that once made up the walls of his home. That was when he found his parents lying on the ground. He stood there crying, and pee ran down his leg. He went to his mother first and shook her, patted her back and called to her over and over, but she wouldn't answer him. He then turned to his father and shook him harder, but he didn't answer either.

As the full moon rose over the forest, he sat down and wailed. After a while he fell asleep and when he awoke, it was still full dark. He shivered, and used the moon's light to his way back into the hut. Dragging the furs behind him, he went back out to his parents' side. He covered his mother first, laid between them and shared a fur with his father.

When he woke in the morning, he searched through the hut and found some bread and dried meat to eat. With no concept of time, the child slept, ate, played in the dirt, and waited for his parents to wake up.

The next morning, the child awoke to the sounds of men shouting. Fearing the mean men had returned, he ran into the remains of the hut and slid under the fallen logs to the secret corner hiding place. He heard the horses snorting and the men talking. Their voices sounded grim and low, not like the loud laughter of the ones who’d hurt his mother. Shaking with fear, he lay still and tried to make himself very small so they wouldn't notice him. He heard them as they walked around the hut, and the sound of  the fallen logs being moved around told him they were inside. A very big hand picked him up, but he was too afraid to open his eyes. 

====================


 About Rie McGaha:
Rie McGaha was born and raised in northern California along the shores of Humboldt County where her grandmother often took her to search for seashells and watch the humpback whale migration. Though her father was a bit of a gypsy and moved his family all over, Rie always enjoys the trips back to Eureka, California where many of her twelve children and thirty-five (and counting) grandchildren still live.
As a dreamer of dreams and born with a gypsy soul, Rie has lived all over the United States. Settling in SE Oklahoma, she enjoys a quiet life in the Kiamichi Wilderness where she gardens and enjoys the abundant wildlife in her backyard.
She is an animal rights supporter, a spay/neuter advocate, and occasionally has the opportunity to drive transport for animals going to their forever homes, and takes care of her 7 dogs & 1 cat, who are all rescues.
Between her husband, children, grandchildren, and all of the animals, Rie tries to find a few moments to write. She is currently working on Arion, the third book in the My Soul to Keep Trilogy. Rie is the review coordinator/editor for The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews, and she writes two monthly columns for The Pagan & The Pen on line magazine.


You can find out more about Rie here:

Blogs:
Causes:

10 May 2011

I have a kickass name ;-D



Kandie Delley is so right. She says I have a kickass name, and I agree with her :-)
Join us today on her website where I discuss Promoting Outside the Proverbial Box.

05 May 2011

MunatyCooking Online Magazine - May issue

 
Here's a link to May's Issue of MunatyCooking Online Magazine:  


Featured in this issue:
  • Chef Dennis
  • Author Conda V Douglas
  • Author Lynn Hones
  • Food blogger Sandra Mihic
You're a click away from many mouth-watering recipes!

04 May 2011

Interviewed

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz interviewed me today here:  

http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/2011/05/su-halfwerk-horror-and-paranormal.html

If you have a moment, please stop by. We would love to hear from you.