Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Booze, Broads, and Blood part 4

   Vincent entered Forest Grove through the name sake. A small patch of forest that was allowed to grow next to the Lutheran church. Verina stood next to a large marble statue, smoking a cigarette in a black holder.
   “Did Nicky make it here?” she asked.
   Vincent nodded. He could feel Nicky's presence ahead of them.
   Verina took off her hat. “You know, Morales will ask us questions.”
   “So? He knows about us.”
   “I am getting concerned,” Verina said.
   They walked across the cemetery to the newest section. The beads on Verina's dress sparkled in the full moon light. Vincent felt under-dressed walking next to her. A light shined ahead of them. The light crossed their bodies then disappeared. Vincent scanned ahead and saw what it was.
   A truck drove over the open ground of the cemetery, stopping at the memorial that looked like a church. Before the headlights went out Vincent caught a glimpse of Nicky hiding behind the sphinx statue.
   Two large men got out of the truck. They walked toward the angel statue standing next to the large memorial. One of them shoved it back. It looked like they walked into the ground and disappeared. But Vincent knew what it was. The tunnel.
   After statue slid back, Verina and Vincent crossed the cemetery to where Nicky was hiding. He jumped with Vincent touched his shoulder.
   “Damn it! Vince!” Nicky spoke in an angry whisper.
   “What's going on?” Vincent asked.
   “The Dysart's have company tonight.”
   Verina sat on the head stone. “Who?”
   “I dunno,” Nicky said. “Never seen those guys before, but they are mean looking.”
   “I should go find out,” Verina said.
   “Wait.” Vincent held up his hand. “The club gets hit and the Dysart's have new company? I smell a rat.”
   Verina pointed to the hill. “I saw some over there.”
   Vincent chuckled. “I mean, it doesn't seem like a coincidence?”
   “You think the Dysart's ordered the hit?” Nicky asked.
   “Maybe, or maybe their new friends did.”
   Verina laughed. “Vincent, you are starting to like this too much.”
   “Maybe you are right, but Nicky had a headache.”
   Nicky shook his head. “It wasn't about the hit. Something else.” He shook his head. “You won't believe me.”
   “Did you have a vision?” Verina asked.
   “Yeah.”
   “What did you see?”
   “A creature, killing people.”
   Vincent gave Nicky a friendly shove. “You are talking to two vampire and you think we won't believe you.”
   “What sort of creature?” Verina asked.
   “Red, that's all I remember.” Nicky sat on the dew covered lawn. “I saw Joshua's face.”
   Vincent growled. “That is impossible. I gutted him myself.”
   “I know I saw you do it. But that's who I saw.”
   Verina looked at them both. “He's dead. We all made sure of it.”
   “He held Vincent and I against our will,” Nicky said. “What if-”
   Verina shook her finger at both of them. “No, the man is dead. No one can come back from the dead.”
   “You two did.”
   “Nicolas, we died, we did not come back. We never laid down.”
   Vincent lifted his head. He heard another car approach. This one drove over the cemetery with no lights on. It stopped at the top of the hill that over looked the rich part of the grounds. A slender man, holding a telescope in one hand got out of the car from the passenger side.
   Verina crouched down. The shadows flowed around her and she faded into the darkness. Nicky waved his hand in front of his face, he also faded into the shadows. Vincent turned to a mist and floated closer to the car.
   The man with the telescope lowered it. “All clear boss,” he said.
   The back door opened. Out stepped the large frame of Jules Morales.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Characters are Formless Spawn.



@ZiggyKinsella that runs the blog The Feckless Goblin posted this question on Twitter. "What's your top tip for developing the characters in your book?"

I could tell you I spend days in research, I take out long questionnaires and fill them out. I could tell you  I have notebooks full of dates and times and mini stories backing up the character. I could tell you that, but those techniques do not work for me.

I have tried them. And sometimes when I get stuck I will do a little "what if" scenario. But what works for me is to just let them come. I think the best way to show it, is to run down a little history of two characters.

Steopa Rodovitch

His development was slightly different, but since it was his character that inspired me to pick up a pen, I have to explain his birth.
I did have a dream in which he stepped out of the shadows, bowed, and introduced himself. I saw the fangs, but he was so proper, I wasn't scared. And that was the spark. That's what inspired me. How could I not be scared of a giant vampire?
When I first started to write about him, I went total monster. But threw that story out (actually I didn't, I want to rewrite it later). I really started to think about how could someone so physically intimidating, not be frightening. So I started to write stories. The rest of the characters developed around him.
It took ten years, many starts and stops, and many, many short stories, before I hit the right one. Yet, I never sat down and wrote out a sheet on him. I let it all come through the writing.
Steopa has appeared one more time in my dreams. He kissed me on the forehead the night I approved my proof. Strange, but there you go.

Grail
Grail is an example of how that ten years of development has now streamlined my character creation.
In a fantasy story, which is in it's first draft phase, Grail is the head of a band of minstrels. And he appeared as I wrote. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do with the story. That came from a question that popped in my head, "Did minstrels have groupies?"
I knew I needed three characters to begin with. But that was it. I wrote an opening scene. The scene started on another character, Rand. But Grail makes his first appearance this way:

Rand sat up. He wiped what he hoped was mud off his face and yawned. Grail was standing at the end of the alley, smoking his pipe.
“About time you woke up,” he said.
Rand rubbed his head. “What time is it?”
“If we were some of the working slobs, lunch.” Grail tapped out his pipe.
“Where Drake?”
“Securing our payment, come on, he might need help.”
Rand stood up, pausing to let the world stop spinning. Grail slid his pipe into his pocket. Rand blinked at the sunlight, starting to creep into the alley.
“Anytime you are ready,” Grail said.
“It was a rough night.”
“They're all rough nights.”
Grail picked up two bags off the ground. Rand sighed relieved. One bag had Grail's pipes and shawm. The other held Rand's nyckelharpa. Rand followed Grail out of the alley and onto the busy street.

That's it folks. The first appearance of Grail. But as I wrote the story more of him began to appear. He is the oldest character, he has been in the army, he has a short fuse, he is balding, seems to get most of the women. Even though Rand is the good looking one. But all that came to me as I wrote. None of it was developed ahead of time.

How can I do it?
I have to thank years of role-playing. That is the only thing I can think of. When you are GMing a game and suddenly the players want to explore that church and not the graveyard (which you so carefully planned out week in advance); you have two choices. One force them back to your planned out game. Or (the more fun option) is to invent on the fly, let the story develop as you let them enter the church.
That is where I learned to make up characters as you need them. I highly recommend you try it if you want a challenge.

So my top tip: Let them come to you! Don't force them. They have a story that needs to be told, you are only the one writing it. Let them take you on the trip, do force them down your path. It's more fun to see what they have planned.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Booze. Broads, and Blood -3

This is a background story featuring Vincent. I am offering it for free, and unedited. So enjoy warts and all.



  Vincent waited until the dancers were done with the show before he went in the back and got his meal. Verina had a little room off to the side, she insisted that she had her own office. But Morales didn't think she needed one, but they came to an arrangement. She took over an unused closet. That is where Vincent had his meal.
  He had just drinking his fill off of Ann when he smelt the smoke from Verina's cigarette. He escorted Ann to the curtain that was the door. Verina stood on the other side. She blew the smoke just passed his ear.
  “You still smell like a pig,” Verina said.
  Ann stumbled, but then straightened herself up, and went into the dressing room.
  “I still can't believe that place is still around.”
  Verina shrugged with one shoulder.
  “I thought after that guy wrote that book, places like that would be shut down,” Vincent said.
  “Why did he want the pig?”
  “I don't know, but he put the pig up in one of his stables.”
  Verina laughed. “Maybe he wants to race it.”
  Nicky walked down the hall. A few of the dancers tried to catch his eye. Nicky ignored them.
  “I thought Morales would be here tonight,” Nicky said.
  “Why should you care?” Verina asked.
  “I like to know where he is.”
  Verina placed another cigarette in her holder. She held out the unlit cigarette, until Nicky lit it. She drew in a long inhale of smoke.
  “I haven't seen him.” Verina walked ahead of them. She pushed the swinging doors opened. They walked out on to the main floor of the speak easy.
  Nicky rubbed his temple. Vincent glanced at Verina. She put out her cigarette.
  “You have another headache?” Vincent asked.
  “Yeah, and it's one of those,” Nicky said.
  Vincent took Nicky's arm and brought him over to a table. “Are you sure?”
  Nicky nodded.
  Verina looked around the club. “Should we warn them?”
  Vincent closed his eyes. He touched every mind in the place, except Bill. He had touched Bill's head once before. That had been one of the most frightening things he had ever done. He found two men in the back of the club. He opened his eye.
  “Those two.” Vincent motioned with his eyes. “They aren't here for the drinks or the dancers.”
  Verina smoothed out her beaded dress. She made sure her curls were in place, then she walked toward the two men. Vincent watched her walk away. He turned back to Nicky. A drop of blood fell from his nose to the table.
  Verina, I'm sending Nicky to Forest Grove. Vincent thought.
  Verina nodded, then turned back to the two men in the back. Vincent took Nicky's arm.
  “Let's get you out of here,” Vincent said.
  “You don't have to,” Nicky said.
  “You're still breathing, I want to keep it that way.”
  Vincent hurried Nicky out of the back of the speakeasy. When they had made it to the street. Nicky grabbed both sides of this head. He leaned against a brick wall, then slid down it.
  “This is bad Vince, real bad,” Nicky said.
  “We've had other hits before,” Vincent said.
  “No, not the hit.”
  Vincent pulled Nicky up. “Can you get yourself to Forest Grove?”
  Nicky nodded.
  “Go.”
  Nicky staggered to the street.
  Vincent opened the back door. The first hit that he had ever experienced had come as a surprised. Verina and Vincent ended up against a wall by the explosion of the dynamite. They had walked away. The rest of the bar had not.
  He glided around the dancers. He couldn't look at them. Because in a few minutes they would be dead, or injured. He had gotten Nicky out. That would be the only one that he wanted to save. Nicky had been through the same hell he had been. He didn't care that Vincent and Verina had to drink blood to live. They had a good relationship. But when Nicky got those headaches it was time to be careful.
  Verina stood by the bar. She saw Vincent and joined him in the back.
  “They are armed. I don't know how they got them in,” Verina said.
  “Let's go,” Vincent said.
  He bit his tongue as they passed the dancers. Ann waved. Vincent forced himself to smile. They walked to the back door. Verina shut the door behind them.
  “Morales is not going to like this,” Verina said.
  “Screw him.”
  The sudden, high speed, repetitive noise of bullets being shot from a tommy gun, could be heard through the shut door. Verina misted. Vincent did the same. They had to leave, too many questions if they stayed.

Creative Commons License
Booze, Broads, and Blood - 3 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at coiree.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://coiree.blogspot.com/p/booze-broads-and-blood-info.html.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In Defense of Those Naughty Words.


For the rest of this post. I will substitute a letter and @ for the swear word. Just to be nice.

"Lose the swears."

That is another oft repeated suggestion. But just that, nothing to back it up. Again, if I was given a good reason why, I would reconsider.

Lets explore why I don't mind having them. First draft did not. But the first time you met Vincent, after Beka stumbled in on his feeding. His line was "That was unforeseen."

In the novel it is: "That was a f@ up."

Which says more about his character. He's blue-collar, he grew up working in the rougher part of town, and he owns a bar. Which one makes more sense to hear? The second one.

Using swears should be a reflection on the character, not the writer. With one exception, as an example.

There are long discussions with Christian writers about whether to use swears or not, even if the character would in real life. That is a harder call, because if they are writing in a Christian genre, there is a big chance they will turn off many potential readers.

So if you are writing in a genre which swearing would be allowed. How much is too much? I try not to have my characters swear too much, depends who they are talking to, and where they are talking. The same things you consider when you are talking in public.

But what if swearing could be used to show how uncouth a character is? Great example is a character of mine, waiting in the wings, in the rough drafts. Perun. Like Vincent his first line has the f-bomb. He likes that word. But he is a wild man (really a wild man, look up Wikipedia). By his very nature, he is just outside of society. Social rules do not apply to him. So I let him swear worse than a sailor.

Then I read the rough draft.

Too much. I cut back on the swearing, but he still has the most colorful language of all my characters.

How much is too much? This is a real life example, heard many years ago at a main bus stop.
"So I says to him, what the f@, you know what I saying. And he goes, f@ I don't know, you know, f@. I was get the f@ out of my f@ing face, f@. And he is don't be like that you f@er. Whoa, f@. Like f@?"
Yes, I wrote it down after I heard it. It was the first time I had heard f@ used as punctuation. But as you read that, didn't you get sick of reading the word? And there is your clue. If you are reading the rough draft and say to yourself, wow that is a lot. Cut them back.

And the type of swearing says a lot as well. Steopa only swears in Russian, or Lithuanian. Ogden will let some old time ones fly, ie. "Jumping Jehoshaphat!"

Those of you that read Misery, or seen the movie. Stephan King did a wonderful characterization with Anne, most of her swears were the substitutes, golly, darn, etc. But then when she does get very angry, the real ones start to fly, and they become frightening.

If you can defend and define a character, by letting them swear, do it. But like in the real world example above, too much swearing can turn off a reader. Use it as a powerful spice, only enough to flavor the scene, not take it over.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trends and me.

Okay, it's a vampire book.  Okay, you either hate them now or love them. Here's the thing, this is my story and I don't want to be told to change it to make it more sellable.

Don't get me wrong, if someone, whom I respect, came up to me and said "Why don't you try this to make your book better." I would listen.  But lately, I have been getting well meaning people that just don't understand why I wrote my story.


A little background for those that are just tuning in.  This story, characters, and setting have been in my head for over a decade. I have tried so many ways on telling their story. Finally found one I like and it worked. So I self published it. Great. But I want more exposure. And that is were the advice starts coming in that makes me cringe.

"If you really want to sell this story, it should be a vampire romance, directed to the YA market."

First, This is not a YA novel. When I was going up, the only real YA author I read was Judy Blume. I was reading King, Bradbury, Rice, Adams, etc. Books geared and marketed for adults (some exceptions). There wasn't a real big YA selection when I was a teenager. So I never was exposed to them, until I had kids.

This story was written for me first. So it is not a story about teenagers. The average age of the characters (minus the vampires) is around 27. They have jobs, they have families, they are just working stiffs. Not something you will find in a YA novel.

Second, I don't like romance stories. I like stories that have romance in them. Let me clarify. Romance stories, by my personal definition, are romantic fantasy that is watered down erotica. Some of my first stories I posted on the internet were erotica (they are still up, I dare you to find them). I like good erotica. Don't water it down for me. If you want to write about sex, do it! Don't sell me a story of a girl, that is pursued by a man, that stalks her until she gives in, and call it romance. If that happened to me in real life, I would call the cops.

But you can have stories that have romance in them, I will like, even love them. Case in point: Discworld series. The Fifth Elephant. Angua goes off without telling Carrot why. He goes after her. NOT to bring her back, but because he knows she's in trouble and he wants to help. They don't kiss, they do fight, but it is one of the best examples of romance, that seems real.

This next bit might seem a little hypocritical. Just because it is a vampire book does not mean I want it to be just like all the others out there. These pictures are from Double-Breasted Dust-Jacket: The Vampire Reflection


The red arrows are the vampire books. They all have the same cover. Different writers, same cover. It's starting to look like the quick little romance books that you can pick up for under 5 bucks.

Granted my cover:


Does share some of the same characteristics. Red = blood, the black background. But what makes it different. The cup. Inside the cup there are two people reflected, but you do not see the face of the one. And the face of the other is not a "beautiful" face. I am hoping that when you see the cover you know it's about vampires, but wonder why it's not like the others.

So to end this long winded rant. I self published (or should I be using idie published?) my story, because I wanted the story to stay like it was. There are reasons I have older characters. There are reasons why not all the vampires can jump in the sack. There are reasons why I wrote it the way I did.  Some of you might think I shot myself in the foot. But then you have to ask yourself. Are you writing for the money? or Yourself?

Booze, Broads, and Blood - 2

This is a background story featuring Vincent. I am offering it for free, and unedited. So enjoy warts and all.


   “That's one big hog,” Tony said, flipping open his silver cigarette case, but not looking at the pig.
   “You guys got a pen for it, right?” Nicky asked.
   “What? You think we were going give it a hotel room?”
   Tony looked and acted like a weasel. Vincent had never met anyone before that fit that description. He gave you the impression that he would slide out of your hands and into some lady's dress at any moment.
   He flung one finished cigarette away, then lit another. “Get the pig down, I'll show you where the boss wants it.”
   Vincent undid the ropes. The hog tried to get up, but his legs were still bound. Vincent pulled on it's nose ring.
   “Settle down,” he said.
   It snorted, covering Vincent's hand in snot. Nicky laughed. Vincent reached over and wiped his hand on Nicky's jacket.
   “Come on, stop messing around,” Tony said.
   Nicky swore at Vincent, then cut the hog's legs free. The hog did not put up any more fight as they led it off the truck. Tony walked ahead of them, leading them to the horse stables.
   “You're kidding,” Vincent said.
   “Why not?” asked Tony.
   “He doesn't mind his prize horses sharing stable space with a pig?” Nicky asked.
   “It's all we have, and the pig probably never had it so good.”
   The stable dwarfed the manor house. Around the clock groomsmen, stable hands, and a team of personal veterinarians. This wasn't a stable it was an industry. Tony led them to the side of the stable, that faced the blacksmith forge.
   A corral had been altered to fit the needs of a pig the size of a model T. Two stable hands filled a large trough full of steaming slop. The pig pulled against the lasso. Vincent undid the rope. The pig pushed the two workers aside and shoved it's snout into the slop.
   “Eats like my wife,” Tony said.
   Vincent had a quick image of little Tony and a huge wife in bed. He had to turn his head away and cover up his laugh with a cough.
   Nicky held out his hand. “Our compensation.”
   “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Tony pulled out a wad of cash from his breast pocket. He slapped most of it into Nicky's hand. “Don't know what you two use it for. I never see either of you spend it.”
   “We spend it, just not on you,” Vincent said. “You don't have enough tits.”
   Tony's mouth fell open. The cigarette dropped from his lips and tumbled down his leg into his shoe. He hopped on one foot, trying to extinguish the smoldering cigarette.
   Nicky and Vincent held their laughter until they got into the truck.
#
   The Coach House would not close for something as trivial as a religious holiday. It hadn't closed for the United States government and it wouldn't close for Easter.
   It had been an actual coach house, when Vincent had a beating heart.   The city had grown up around it and it was now surrounded on all four sides by other buildings. Nicky went ahead of Vincent down the narrow alleyway. He knocked on a metal door. A peek hole slid open, two brown eyes gazed out at them, then it slid shut.
   Nicky and Vincent did not have to give a password, like anyone else who came down the alley. A small man opened the door. Most speakeasy's employed the largest man they could find to run the door, the Couch House employed the maddest.
   “Evening, Bill,” Tony said as he entered.
   “Nicky. Vincent,” Bill said.
   His silver wound badge had been polished again. The shied shaped scar on his forehead seemed to glow white in the lights coming from inside the club.
   “Any trouble tonight?” Vincent asked.
   “Two of the girls, had a, had a, had a problem, but Miss Verina sorted it out,” Bill said.
   Vincent looked up and saw Verina. She stood by the bar, smoking a cigarette in a long holder. The beads on her dress shook as she laughed at something a man said.
   Nicky and Vincent went over to her. Verina patted the man on the shoulder. “You'll have to excuse me.”
   Verina walked to the back of the club and into the back stage area. Nicky and Vincent followed. The dancers raced back and forth in the small hallways.
   “Ann has been waiting for you,” Verina said. “Jenny thought it was her turn. Do you have to have them enjoy it so much?”
   “Jealous?” Vincent grinned.

Creative Commons License
Booze, Broads, and Blood - 2 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at coiree.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://coiree.blogspot.com/p/booze-broads-and-blood-info.html.

**Correction to names on 06/21/2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Authonomy

I am going to give Authonomy a try.

What is that? It's a place for authors to put up their writing and have other authors judge it, give feedback on it, etc. And it is own by Harper Collins. Which has taken a few of the books that have risen to the top of the lists and offer contracts to the writers. Not a lot, my count is five, but the company is watching the site.

You hear good things and bad things about this place. So far this has been my experience.

Pro:
  • The upload was easy, at least if you use a .rtf file.
  • You do not have to upload your whole book.
  • You get feedback right away.
  • There are some other great pieces of writing on the site.
  • Supportive of self-published authors.

Con:
  • It can be a popularity contest. A lot of my first feedback was, "great book, follow mine please."
  • Some people think joining the site means you WILL be picked up by Harper Collins, and when they aren't, complain about it.
  • Can become just as addictive as Twitter and Facebook

I have gotten some good advice in the marketing of my book, stuff I wasn't getting anywhere else. I did not join the site in expectation that Harper Collins would see my book and fall in love with it. I joined it for the good feedback. You have to wade through the ones that did not really read your sample.  It  might be exciting at first to get all this glowing praise, but I like the more constructive critiques better.  Those are the ones I will follow back.

I'm going to give it a month, see how it goes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

WINNERS

The Blog contest is still going on, but the others are closed.

Well, I only had two entrants. Instead of choosing between the two, I will send them each a copy!

So jmgreenleaf and pyris, expect your copy soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Insanity or creativity

Riding home on the bus today, listening to my MP3 to block out the woman yelling at her boyfriend on her phone, loud enough for everyone to hear. I shuffled until I landed on a Dr. Steel song.  And I really understood the lyrics.

Who is Dr. Steel? He is a musician, a mad scientist, a toy maker, future ruler of the world, no seriously, check him out HERE

But the song Build the Robots, struck a cord with me today. It's not just about building robots. Its about an obsession, to "Make the world a better place.... for me".  Just like writing.

Don't you feel like a mad scientist sometime when you write?  Don't you want to scream "IT'S ALIVE!" when the scene works wonderfully? And just like any mad scientist you want the world to tremble before your creation! or at least buy a few copies.

Writing should be an obsession, one that you want to share with the world. One that you know will get better at as time rolls on. One that you are willing to spend time and money on.

I know Dr. Steel sings about robots, but substitute the word robot with books or poems, or sweaters, what ever you are obsessed about and see if the song fits you!

Does this mean we are insane? I don't know, but it sure helps.




LYRICS
Plastic parts and glue

Doing everything I can do

To build the robots.

They're filling up the room

'Cause all that I ever do is

Build the robots.



I need assembly lines

A crew and much more time.

The money's all mine

And my funds are getting thin.

Probably have to rob a bank again.

'Cause I'm spending every dime and

I'm spending all my time to

Build the robots.



One fine day when I've got my army made

My flying saucers and toys invade

Every city and every town.

And then I'll plaster my face up all over the place.

See, I'm gonna win the human race.

See, I'm gonna make the world a better place for me.



Cause I'm manufacturing a disaster.

I'm taking over the world.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Booze, Broads, and Blood - 1

This is a background story featuring Vincent. I am offering it for free, and unedited. So enjoy warts and all

It smelt worse than it looked. Vincent walked on top of the mess, but he still watched where he put his feet. He glanced behind him, Nicky backed up the flatbed pickup to the gate. Vincent stopped and surveyed the pen. He had worked in this horrible place decades ago, and it looked the same.

The large building dominated the skyline in this part of the city. The tenements that had sprung up around it, were owned by the same company that owned the slaughterhouse. They liked to have their employees close. The factory ran around the clock, except on a few days a year. Such as tonight, Easter.

They had been sent out for one strange job. Vincent thought he would never have to walk through the pig holding pens again. The mass of porcine, rutting and squealing almost as if they were a single creature. If they got spooked, he could end up trampled. When he was alive, that would have killed him. Not an issue now.

He found the one he was looking for. The mass of pigs moved away from him as he crossed the holding pen. They scrambled and pushed each other to the sides of the pen. The path opened up as Vincent approach the large red boar raised its head. The flesh around his face wobbled as Vincent approached.

“So-ey! Come swine! Come swine!” Vincent called.

The giant boar turned its head and fixed his eyes on Vincent. It snorted.

“Come swine!”

The boar charged Vincent. In the newspaper the pig's weight had been reported around a thousand pounds. Vincent did not move. He waited until the large beast was almost upon him, then he hit it in the back of the head. The boar fell on it's front legs.

It snorted. Vincent threw the lasso around its short neck. “Come on piggy, to the truck.”

The pig pulled, but Vincent pulled harder. He pinched one of the ears of the boar. It waddled in the direction of the truck. Nicky got out of the truck and opened the back gate. He turned around and rubbed the back of his neck.

“That's a big pig,” he said.

“Shut up and help me get it in the truck.”

Nicky pulled out the gang plank. Vincent pulled on the rope and drug the large hog onto the back of the truck. Nicky slapped its hind quarters. The pig shot forward. It almost smashed it's large head on the back window.

Vincent shoved the beast over and tied it's legs together. Nicky pushed the gangplank back on to the truck. The boar wriggled and rolled. Vincent slung the ropes over the pig and tied it down to the bed of the truck. He jumped off the truck.

“I thought you could charm animals?” Nicky said as they walked to the cab of the truck.

“Only women.”

Nicky got into the cab. He ran his fingers through his thick black hair. “Like you need to.”

He forced the truck into gear. “I'm no good with pigs, or I would have gone.”

Vincent shook his head. He watched the huge slaughter house as they drove away. He knew that place well. And any chance to mess with it was worth it.

“Why did we have to steal the pig, again?” Nicky asked.

“Because we need something for the show.”

“I know that, but why did we have to steal that pig?”

“Haven't you read the papers, it's the sweetheart of the people that don't want it made into chitterlings.”

“What do you want to do after dropping the swine off?”

“The night is still young... I am sure there is something we could do.”

“Verina?”

Vincent nodded. “Yeah, drop the pig off, clean up and go see Verina.”

Nicky smiled. “Which club is she at tonight?”

“Coach House.”

Nicky sighed. “Damn, I hate the Morales.”

“I think we are the only ones that can say that to their faces.”

Nicky nodded. He turned down a side street. “But the Coach House is nice. I may think Jules is an arrogant bimbo, but he runs a swell place.”

Vincent ran his tongue over his fangs. He needed a quick meal and the Couch House had the sweetest dancers.


Creative Commons License
Booze, Broads, and Blood - 1 by Mari Miniatt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at coiree.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://coiree.blogspot.com/p/booze-broads-and-blood-info.html.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Press Release

June 7th, 2010


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The Latest Vampire Book Takes the Traditional Route


Mari Miniatt's debut novel, “Fledgling: Coiree Guardians – Book One”. Another vampire story why? Because the traditional vampires are still around, ready to hunt us.


Syracuse, NY


Mari Miniatt, a first time author, is happy to finally get Fledgling out of her head and on to paper. The novel is a look at vampires and their interactions through the eyes of a new vampire named Rebecka “Beka” Saberhagen. When Beka finds out that her brother's boss is a vampire that is enough to freak her out, but when is attacked and turned into a vampire by another, that should have sent her back to the hospital. She has to learn quickly how to survive. Meanwhile, strange things start to happen around her. Things that when she was a human, she would not have been able to understand, let alone combat.


The main vampires that are introduced, are familiar enough for readers of the genre, yet Mari Miniatt gives each of them a new twist, without taking away their predatory natures. Set in the fictional town of Deerbow City, the world for Beka changes from a self-centered day by day existence, to an active night by night life. The story is self contained, but leaves the reader with just enough questions, that you hope will be answered in the next book.


The novel has already built a small fan base in Syracuse, NY. But readers everywhere, that like vampires in any form, should find something to enjoy in the novel.


About Mari Miniatt


Mari Miniatt lives in Syracuse, NY. But she was born and raised in north-western Wisconsin. On a large farm in the middle of the woods. She graduated from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a degree in communications.


She lives with her husband, two teenage sons, and two cats. If she did not have to work, she would spend her time in libraries and museums, becoming inspired.


For more information on the author visit: http://mariminiatt.com For more information about the book visit http://coiree.blogspot.com/

The Press Release

June 7th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Latest Vampire Book Takes the Traditional Route

Mari Miniatt debut novel, “Fledgling: Coiree Guardians – Book One”. Another vampire story why? Because the traditional vampires are still around, ready to hunt us.

Syracuse, NY

Mari Miniatt, a first time author, is happy to finally get Fledgling out of her head and on to paper. The novel is a look at vampires and their interactions through the eyes of a new vampire named Rebecka “Beka” Saberhagen. When Beka finds out that her brother's boss is a vampire that is enough to freak her out, but when is attacked and turned into a vampire by another, that should have sent her back to the hospital. She has to learn quickly how to survive. Meanwhile, strange things start to happen around her. Things that when she was a human, she would not have been able to understand, let alone combat.

The main vampires that are introduced, are familiar enough for readers of the genre, yet Mari Miniatt gives each of them a new twist, without taking away their predatory natures. Set in the fictional town of Deerbow City, the world for Beka changes from a self-centered day by day existence, to an active night by night life. The story is self contained, but leaves the reader with just enough questions, that you hope will be answered in the next book.

The novel has already built a small fan base in Syracuse, NY. But readers everywhere, that like vampires in any form, should find something to enjoy in the novel.

About Mari Miniatt

Mari Miniatt lives in Syracuse, NY. But she was born and raised in north-western Wisconsin. On a large farm in the middle of the woods. She graduated from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a degree in communications.

She lives with her husband, two teenage sons, and two cats. If she did not have to work, she would spend her time in libraries and museums, becoming inspired.

For more information on the author visit: http://mariminiatt.com For more information about the book visit http://coiree.blogspot.com/

I tried to help...

A little back story. There is a guy I know. He sometimes can annoy me, but has helped me out in the past.  So I try to help him out.

He's been asking me about my book business. I answer him. I didn't think he was a writer, just curious. That is the case. He wants to go the music route. Fine.  But now that he has decided, he won't listen to anyone.

Case in point:

Him: I want to put a website up, but they cost money.
Me: Have you tried Blogger, or Wordpress?
Him: I don't know, everything cost money.
Me: No, all the sites I use are free. I only paid for my domain name.
Him: See it cost you money!

Second example:

Him: I have to get my music out.
Me: There are a lot of good places to do that. What one do you like?
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Jamendo, Myspace, Soundclick...? Any of those.
Him: I heard of Myspace.

At this point I want to shake my head and walk away. But I figure he hasn't really looked at his options. I assume because he is a young guy, he knows how to find his way around the internet. WRONG.

Me: Why don't you do a search for those sites and see if they are what you need?
Him: How do you do that?

I give up. At this point, even if he knows his music. He has to learn some basic internet skills. But being the nice person I am, I decide to help him. Because when I was a newbie, the people that helped me were the best.

Me: Just go to google.
Him: Ok, but if I do it, what then?
Me: Upload your samples.
Him: Oh, no, no, no, no. I don't want anyone to steal my work.
Me: That's why you give some away for free and some you don't.
Him: Once it's on the internet, someone steals it.

At this point we get interrupted. I am thankful

This conversation with him made me see that there are some people that, no matter what, are going to always believe the horror stories of the internet. He wants to put his songs out there, but is too scared to use the internet for promotion. Very scared that he will loose his work. An understandable fear, but one that you can get some protection with. And if you look at it another way, if they liked your stuff enough to "steal" it, you got something there.

But I think the thing that really bothered me about this conversation, was the dilemma in his head. One that I am familiar with. You know you have something you can share, but you don't know how to do it.

When I started this writing insanity, I had no direction. Last year, I finally decided I wanted to get published. When I spoke to some people about it, I heard horror stories, both the traditional and the indie way. But I delved into it, research which option was best and made my decision.

I feel sorry for him. He wants to share, he wants the world to hear his music. But he is holding himself back. I tried to help, but sometimes you can't.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sorry no preview

Sorry, the holiday messed up my schedule.

Plus, I am now in full book two mode. I will be working on a different sort of preview for the next book. I am thinking of a background story, serialized. A word of warning. I will not have time to send it to my editor so it will be posted, warts and all.

The hints to what it's about: The vampire Vincent, an Italian vampire, 1920's.

I have to get some research done this weekend, but I will have the first post up next week.

Promise, I hope.... We'll see

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Give Away!

Once a month, until Killer comes out, I will be giving away a free copy of Fledgling.
Three ways to enter.

BLOG:
Here’s how to win a copy of Fledgling: Coiree Gaurdians – Book One.

  1. Send me an interview. I will answer your questions, and when you post it on your Blog you will be entered! Make sure to make a link to the contest in the post. (If you want me to interview you, just ask)
  2. June 30, 2010 at 7 PM EST the contest ends.
  3. I will pick the winner and contact them via email.
TWITTER
Here’s how to win a copy of Fledgling: Coiree Gaurdians – Book One.
This contest is only open to Twitter users. But you can fix that easily.
  1. Follow me on Twitter: @leapetra
  2. Post the following: Follow @leapetra  RT this to enter to win a copy of #Fledgling http://ow.ly/1Tseg
  3. RT as often as you like and on June 11, 2010 at 7 PM EST the contest ends.
  4. Each time you post or retweet this link will count as an entry in the contest!
  5. I will pick the winner and contact them via direct message.

Facebook
Here’s how to win a copy of Fledgling: Coiree Gaurdians – Book One.
  1. Join the Fan page atFacebook
  2. Leave a comment on the fan page.
  3. Post the following on your Facebook page: Want vampires with more bite, check out http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Fledgling-Coiree-Guardians-Book-One/122430897777441
  4. June 11, 2010 at 7 PM EST the contest ends.
  5. If you are on the fan page already and do want to enter, just do steps 2 and 3.
  6. I will pick the winner and contact them via direct message.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Frustration

    I have been sending out requests to have my book reviewed for over two months now. At least 20 request, I have lost count.  Only 2 replies and they were both no.  The two that replied, I love you, even though you could not review it. You had the courtesy to reply back and tell me why. And the other ones did not.

    I want you to see this from my perspective. From an indie author's authors perspective. First, there are not a lot of review sites that will touch our books. The it's self publish so it's crap stigma hits you hard in this area.  So the few reviewers willing to stick their necks out and try it are hard to find.

    So I get a nice little list of places that might be a good fit for my book. Weeding out the ones that have guidelines that my book doesn't fall into. And the list has gotten smaller. So I send out emails to what was left.

    TWO responses. Seriously.

    Before you think that I should not have wasted my time with the so called "unprofessional" review sites.  The two that responded to me were just that!. They were not tied to a magazine, they did not have 10,000 of followers on their sites. They were just fans of books, that like to review books. So the "professional" sites really dropped the ball with me on this one.  Not even an automated email.

    What adds salt to this wound is during my book launch I met the people that had bought the book before the launch party.  They loved it, they came back and got my signature and told me how much they loved it. These people took a chance, bought a book from an unknown author, and enjoyed it. Those review sites will be getting a copy from me for free.  So they are not taking the risk, except their own time.  I am taking the risk, because they might hate it.

    That headache I am getting is from me banging my head against the wall.


    EDIT:  In response to a tweet I sent out just before posting this,  I got two reviewers interested.  THANK YOU!