The Writing Process Blog Hop and me!

I was recently asked by Ginger Gersheimer if I would participate in the blog hop and enthusiastically agreed to. Ginger is the head of the Book Review Depot on Facebook and Google+ as well as the author of The Aurora Conspiracy, a don’t-miss read for those of you who love science fiction and fantasy.

1ba1fab14d410ad8976fb1.L._CB338058469_SL140_RO5,1,174,177,178,255,255,255,15_AA160_[1]As part of the blog, I was asked four questions. Here’s the first one!

1.  What am I working on?

I have been working on developing a series for Slade Kelly, the popular private investigator in the Coyote series. So many people wrote and told me that he was one of the best characters they’d ever felt like they’d known in a book and would I please write more about him. The Coyote series was a trilogy and with Cornered Coyote, it was over, but obviously the fascination with Slade had not ended, thus the new book whose working title is Slade Kelly and the Red Zero.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I wish I had a clever answer for that, but I don’t. I simply write where the characters tell me they’re going. The difference may lie in the fact that I don’t plot everything out ahead of time. I really don’t think my books are formulaic. They evolve. If anything, I would say that is the difference.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

Haven’t a clue. I started out with Blue Coyote Motel when I wondered what would happen if someone put a “feel-good” drug in the air-conditioning unit and the books evolved out of that one incident.

And lastly, #4. How does my writing process work?

As I mentioned above, it’s almost totally organic. I may think I’m going one place, but the characters tell me I need to go somewhere else. As the book evolves, so do the characters. If I rigidly put down what I wanted in every chapter, I think I’d miss a lot. I know that other offers do it entirely different. I guess it’s what each of us feels most comfortable doing.

I’ve read all the books the following authors have written and I’m please they all agreed to part of this. Don’t miss their books. The subject matter may be diverse, but the writing is excellent!

Jennifer Theriot

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Jennifer took a chance that there could be an interest in romance with middle aged couples who are finding themselves at a crossroads and wrote her debut novel Out of the Box Awakening, which centers on the hope of finding happiness and passion through unexpected heartache. It emphasizes the need for family and friends as Jennifer has learned in her own life. The book has been described as “Mature Sexy” by one reviewer.

Her second book in the Out of the Box series titled Out of the Box Regifted has just been released and she is currently working on the third book, Out of the Box Everlasting. 2 Novellas from her other character’s POV are planned as well.

SIMON OKILL

Image of Simon Okill

His new Teen Superhero Series has opened with:

Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again

To be followed by:

Phantom Bigfoot & The Vampires From Venus

Phantom Bigfoot & The Haunted House

Luna Sanguis/Luna Aeturnus are now available on Kindle following the tumultuous life of a female amnesiac vampire treated in an asylum in France 1925.

SSteppenwolf is a supernatural retelling of WWII involving the Occult Warfare department run by Himmler.

Goodreads | Luca Rossi (Author of Galactic Energies)//

Luca  Rossi
LUCA ROSSI
Research, science, science fiction and high technology: this is the world of Luca Rossi, and the main themes that run through his literary work.

He believes the internet provides a tool to bring people together and make the world a more open, fair and democratic place.
In 2013 he published Galactic Energies, a collection of short stories set in a universe where not just the laws of physics, but also the laws of eros, passion, desire and the spirit are a little different than our own.
He was born in Turin on April 15th, 1977. He likes to ride his bike, take walks through nature and spend most of his free time with his family.

SARAH MALLERY

S.R. MalleryS. R. Mallery has worn many hats in her life. Starting out as a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved onto the professional world of production art and calligraphy, followed by a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descent 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller and Down In the Dirt. She is the author of Unexpected Gifts and Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads.

Authors – The Review we all want to see

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Here’s the five star review every author wants to see! I’m thrilled and had to share it!

Extraordinary! Suspenseful! Romantic! Phenomenally Well-Written! Fantastic! Fabulous! Highly Recommended!, June 13, 2014
This review is from: CORNERED COYOTE (Coyote Series Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I loved reading the extraordinary, suspenseful, romantic, phenomenally well-written, love story, Cornered Coyote (Coyote Series Book 3) final book in the series, by Dianne Harman.
Cornered Coyote begins with Maria on her way to California to join her boyfriend, Jordan. She is immediately arrested for the murder of her husband. Brian, a well known lawyer, is hired for Maria’s defense. Maria does not get bail and has to stay in prison until the trial, so Darya has Slade finding ways of protecting Maria while in prison and any possible defense leads in the case. Meanwhile, Darya and Slade continue to try to distract themselves from the increasing feelings and attraction they have toward each other.
Read the fantastic, fabulous, highly recommended, full of romance and love, Cornered Coyote by Dianne Harman.

Want to Feel Special?

Dianne is the author of five books including the newly released Cornered Coyote! She lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, Tom, a retired California Senator.

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One of the most difficult things about getting older is resisting the urge to say things like, “we didn’t do it that way or we weren’t allowed to dress that way.” The one I really remember from my childhood is: “I wonder what they’ll have to look forward to.” If and when I say it, and believe me I try not to, I sound just like my mother — and didn’t we all swear we would never say the things our mothers said? Right!

What brings all of this to mind is attending our granddaughter’s recent graduation from “preschool.” Yup, you read it right — preschool. Some of the parents brought bouquets of red roses and balloons and all of the “graduates” wore mortar boards. I would be the first to say it was adorable. Little pre-kindergartners singing songs and receiving their “diplomas” — what’s not to love? Their teachers related their favorite foods and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Our granddaughter said she wanted to be a veterinarian.

I’ve forgotten when I wanted to be when I was in nursery school (probably a nurse or a teacher because those were the only “acceptable” professions for girls to aspire to then). There was no ceremony for me or teacher telling a class of parents and grandparents my future dreams. Maybe there should have been because there’s no denying that it was charming and the children were delightful.

The whole time I sat in the little chair (and some of the spectators were having a bit of a problem getting their bulk into the little preschoolers’ chairs) in the back of my mind I could hear my mother’s voice, “wonder what they’ll have to look forward to.” I have to admit, there is something there. One part of me thinks it’s charming and the other part of me wonders if these children will be jaded by the time their graduation from high school comes around. Who knows — they may go through so many graduations by then that it won’t be a big deal and they may even opt out of it.

My thinking has pretty much come full circle. Even though we didn’t do it when we were young and my children didn’t “graduate” from preschool, they just went on to kindergarten. But a ceremony like that had to make each child who received their “diploma” feel special. And that’s a good thing. There will be plenty of things that will happen in the future that will lead each of them at times to doubt their “self-worth.” That’s pretty much a given based on my observances over a long life. So if they are able to go into those situations with a strong sense of self-worth, although I’m not a psychologist, I feel certain it would help them deal with whatever arises.

They had their special day. For one day, each one of them was “a star.” As we get older and are knocked about a bit by life, wouldn’t we all love to have a day where we’re “special?” I think we all could use one. So what if these young people have several special days? I imagine there will be graduations from elementary school, middle school, high school, and perhaps college and maybe more. Each one of these days will be a special day for them. As they get older, they’ll remember them and I can’t help but think that just for a moment they may be able to recreate the special feeling they had that day.

My generation only had a few special days. We remember graduating from high school, college, and getting married. Those were special days. Sure, there were several others and for all of us they’re different. Some remember the birth of their first child as being special and for others it may have been a coveted job. The list is endless, depending on what’s important to each of us.

I’ve concluded that if we can do things to make our children feel special from an early age, not just at age 17 or 18 when they graduate from high school, then we’re doing something very positive for the future generation. Things may not have been done that way in the past, but maybe they should have been.

And maybe each of us should create our own special day. I can decree a day as the special Dianne Harman Day. Why not? I could have a party and just like they do at Celebrations of Life, I would have everyone say something nice about me. I’ve always thought there should be a Celebration of Life while the person is still living and can hear all the positive things people would say about them. Yup, I’ve just decided to create my special day Dianne Harman Day and you?

Bookcovers and Marketing

Blue Coyote - Dianne Harman for ad

Several weeks ago I wrote a post about the importance of marketing when choosing a book cover. When I started out writing, I really didn’t understand this concept and drew from my background as an antique and art appraiser when I chose the cover for my debut novel. The cover for my debut novel is above and I still think it’s beautiful. However, I have since learned a lot more about branding.

I’ve been working with someone I think is a marketing genius, Vivek Rajan Vivek. He convinced me that the cover of a book should let people know what’s going on inside it. Additionally, since the original book morphed into a trilogy (something I never intended to happen but it did!), it was important to let people know immediately that these books were linked. After seeing the three covers of the trilogy, I think you’ll agree as to just how important this often overlooked factor can be. You might want to think about. Since I changed covers my sales have doubled.

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Wired for Story

I just read something I have to share with all of those who write or want to write. Lisa Cron’s book, Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers was recently recommended to me, and since I value the opinions of the person who suggested the book, I bought it. May be the best investment in writing I’ve ever made. As a disclaimer, I do not know the author nor am I getting anything from it. I just hope it affects your writing as strongly as I know it’s going to affect mine. There are two books I’ve been working on doing edits. One is The Dinner Diva and the Red Cedar Spa and the other one is Spade Kelly and The Red Zeroes. As I’ve been editing them, I’ve been pretty pleased with them. Then I read this book and realized there’s a lot more I need to do to put these into the category of “You have to read the book I just read!” Interesting enough, a lot of what I wrote in both books that was set forth in her book was simply instinctual. I think it came from being a voracious reader for so many years. Some good stuff sunk in and I’ve been able to incorporate that stuff into my books, but there’s a whole more that needs to go into them!

If you’re like me, you probably hate to read a bad review of one of your books. Sure, we know some of them are very well-intentioned, but we prefer to discount them because it’s like someone telling us our firstborn is ugly! After reading Ms. Cron’s book I’m going to have to agree with some of the bad reviews of my books. There is some gold in them. Yes, I could have written a better book if I’d read this book first, and believe me, I wish I had read it years ago, but then again, it hadn’t been written. There are so many books on the market about how to write a book that I swore off of them a long time ago. I was completely overwhelmed, Now I’m glad I did. The information in this book is “take it to the bank.” I’m tearing apart the two books I’ve been editing and looking at them with “fresh eyes” based on the wisdom of what’s in her book.

My friends, order the book today. It’s one that requires reading and rereading and I’m certain will be well worth the time. Meet you on the New York Times Best Seller List!!!