Monday, August 20, 2012

Action Adventure and Science

As and ardent action adventure fan, it still amazes me how so many authors can come up with and interweave cutting edge science into their intriguing stories. How the hero, or heroine is unwittingly thrust into a life or death struggle with those 'nasty villains' seeking to dominate and wreak havoc upon the world.

When I first conceived the story in my novel, Zero Point, I wanted to apply a science that was relevant to something I feel very strongly about. Energy, and our dependence on fossil fuels as a society along with our continued struggle to find alternative sources that are clean, efficient, and most of all affordable.

My research led me to the highly debated and controversial field of zero point energy; free energy from the vacuum of space time as it is called. Particles of electromagnetic energy that exist in the void between all matter. Okay...Fanciful thinking I thought at first, but the more I read into the subject matter the more intrigued I became.

A major source of information for my novel came from the research and writings of  Lt. Col. Thomas E. Beardon. Co-inventor of the Motionless Electromagnetic Generator. To refrain from spoilers in my novel I'll leave it go at that, but if you decide to read Zero Point, please know that aside from my not being a Nuclear Physicist, I endeavored to maintain the factual premise of the theory and keep from crossing that line between science and science-fiction.

So bravo to you authors out there that continue to thrill us with your marvelous blending of science, history, and 'edge of your seat' action and adventure; you story tellers that bravely ask the question, what if?


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Self vs. Traditional Publishing

I've been pondering for weeks now the idea of trying again to publish through the traditional publishing houses if I am fortunate enough to win the Clive Cussler Adventure Writers Competition in October. 

In conversations with, and, reading the blogs of other writers, I still find myself in a quandary as to my future decision. Many say the traditional route is long and uncertain process, but could be rewarding if successful, whereas continuing as an indie publisher can be just as rewarding if done right with a well formulated marketing strategy.

When I first completed Zero Point, I sent out queries to publishing houses and received too few "not interested," and far more "no response." After months, and with a growing doubt as to my book's worthiness, I set it on the shelf for over a year until I discovered the self publishing world.

With print on demand publishing and the ebook market booming, I decided to jump in. I found it a fairly simple process; from having a cover professionally designed, my MS formatted for ebook, to uploading the MS to the POD publisher, Yeah baby..! I thought the royalties would start rolling in. Ummm....Not so much. But, I did realize a greater personal satisfaction of hearing from others that they did enjoy the story, which was a nice feeling. But, with the writing competition results nearing, and the second book in my series half complete, I find that I would enjoy seeing a higher sales and more feedback through book reviews and hopefully, interviews to get my name and story out there.

I must be patient; as is the golden rule for all writers. It it happens, then great! If not; then I'll keep plugging. Until then, I'll keep writing.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interview with Twin Soul author Victoria Limbert

Friday, May 18, 2012

Action Adventure Hero...Tough, tender, or a bit of both

Being that I usually dive into the genre of action adventure thrillers, I get to read some great stories with a lot of tough as nails heroes, thwarting  the villainous plans of their antagonists; saving the world one scene at a time. Plenty of heart pounding action? You bet! Lots of cliches? Love it!

However, is there room for a hero that is somewhat larger than life, but possessing a softer, more fragile character trait? A hero that knows the path they have been thrust upon has to be followed at any cost, but wishing it could have been someone else.

I have been seeing it more often and I believe it adds a fresh, new dimension to the action hero, whereas reading of their escapades, I know that he, or she is struggling emotionally with their goal. Feeling their pain and  oft times sharing their tears as they suffer personal loss along the way.

When I first started writing my action thriller, Zero Point, I hit the keyboard full steam with my protagonist, Josh Turner. An archaeologist who was your typical, larger than life tough guy with a penchant for adventure and intrigue. About a third of the way through, I became aware of the fact that I really didn't like him on a personal level. For me, that was not good at all. If I didn't like him, I knew he wouldn't stand a chance with a reader.

So I went back to his bio and thought of ideas to make him more of an ordinary person, inadvertently forced   into an extraordinary situation. I gave him more emotion; a caring for people and less of the "lock-n-load" mind-set. I threw in a conflict with his father, his mentor, but also his source of rebellion. A personal demon that had  followed him since his childhood. And finally, a reluctant somewhat clumsy suitor for that special lady, who he felt distanced from. When I did the re-write, I finally could truly say, "Yeah..I like the guy now." I could relate to him more on a personal level.

Can our heroes be tough? Vanquish the bad guy and win the day? Sure they can, but can they also shed a tear along the way? Why not?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sometimes you just gotta' have faith!

I was in down-town the other day running a few personal errands and had made my last stop before heading home. Walking through the parking lot back to my car, I saw a young woman, probably in her teens standing nearby. She seemed to be looking at me and I could tell she wanted to talk to me, but she seemed hesitant. Not wanting to stare, I averted my gaze and continued to my car whereas I heard a nervous voice call out–”sir … can you help me?”
Turning, I saw this young lady approaching, and sadly my first thought was that of suspicion. What did she want? Could this a robbery? Was there someone hiding nearby to help her?  In retrospect, I couldn’t help having those thoughts, and I’m sure most would have the same seeing the world we live in these days. I pushed those feeling out (just a little) and asked her what the problem was. She kept her gaze down as she spoke softly saying, “my mom is across the street at the medical clinic. She left her pocket book home and we don’t have enough gas in the car to get home. Can you spare some change?”
Okay… at first I thought to myself, yeah.. right. I’ve heard this similar line before. I was about to tell her no when she looked up and I could see her eyes welling up with tears. They say the secret to a person’s heart is in their eyes, and these eyes to me were telling the truth. I felt bad about my prior cynicism and mistrust. I pulled out the few dollars I had on me and gave it to her. In a quiet voice she said “thank you sir–God bless you;” turned and headed off.
As I got back in my car, I thought to myself, sometimes you just gotta have faith; faith in the reality that there are some moments in time when the harsh reality of this troubled world is not tugging at your coat-tails all of the time.