Friday, April 3, 2015

F.M. Meredith (aka Marilyn Meredith) Guest Blogger


My Writing Process
Marilyn with Billie Johnson

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that authors all have their own writing process—and this is how I do it. To be perfectly honest, though, mine has changed a bit over the years.

I’ve never been one to outline or plan ahead what each chapter will be. When I was writing historical sagas (only two) I did a lot of research as far as an historical timeline so the fictional events would coincide appropriately. For this, I kept 3X5 cards with pertinent information.

As far as 3X5 cards, I still have a set for each of my series with information about the ongoing main characters such as physical attributes and cars they drive. I haven’t really kept them up-to-date, nor do I refer to them as often as I should.

Violent Departures
Because I’m writing two series, which means two books a year, I’ve streamlined my process.

For each book, I have a spiral notebook where I write down the new characters I’m going to introduce like the person who is going to die, who might have wanted that person dead and why (usually for three or more suspects), the way the person will be killed, and any other facts that I want to weave into the story.


In this notebook, I keep track of the days things happen. In most of my mysteries, time moves quickly.

When I have a pretty good idea of where the story is headed, I try to begin with a catchy or at least intriguing first sentence. And then I just start writing. I usually end each chapter with a cliff-hanger—sometimes in the middle of a scene. 

As new ideas pop in my head—and they do often—I jot them down in the notebook.

I do my writing directly to the computer in most cases, but if I’m out of town I might write in longhand in that same notebook.

Some brainstorming I do on trips with my husband, while he’s driving.

I try to write at least five days a week, always in the morning when my brain is freshest. Sometimes I get distracted by other jobs—such as writing a blog post such as this one.

Every chapter is read to the critique group that I’ve belonged to for many, many years. I pay attention to everything that is said though I don’t always do exactly what they’ve suggested, but usually I’ll make some change.

Once they’ve heard everything, I go over the manuscript again looking for typos, awkward phrases, dialogue that doesn’t sound right, and inconsistencies. I have an editor I like to use who is good at catching inconsistencies I missed. Once I’ve addressed her suggestions, I send the corrected manuscript onto my publisher.

When she sends the proof back to me, I go over it carefully, looking for typos etc. again. It’s always shocking how many I find.

While all this is going on, I’m busy planning my promotion for the book, and writing the other series.


F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith


Violent Departures:
College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.


Bio:
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors.


Contest:
Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.

Links: 

Purchase Violent Departures  http://tinyurl.com/jvmubw5




Tomorrow I’m visiting http://justthefactsmaam.blogspot.com/ and I wrote about the research I do.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

JOYCE ANN BROWN - Twelve Question Tuesday

Joyce Ann Brown
1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you.
The protagonist I invented for my mystery series is a landlady.
I am a landlady.
I’m a story teller.

2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I’m both, but I’ve had more cats in my life than dogs. My cats are named Chloe and Moose.

3.  Tea or coffee?
Tea, for sure, even at Starbucks.

4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando?
I don’t relish seeing jolly ‘ol St. Nick in a commando, but I do like eye-candy.

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote?
I wrote stories and poems in elementary school and loved it, but I don’t remember the first. For pay, I wrote an article for a local magazine several years ago and earned a whole eighty dollars. Wow. I knew I’d made it big.

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer?
Oh, that eighty-dollar feature article did it. But, author? My first two books have just been published, and I’m excited to tell people I’m an author now.

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written?
I’m always most proud of my most recent project. So, in that regard, I’m most proud of Furtive Investigation, the second Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery.

8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
I saw my life pass in front of my eyes, as they say, the time a deer jumped onto the highway in front of my car and crashed into the windshield. But another event, which happened when I was only eight years old, comes to mind. My family moved to a new neighborhood over winter holiday. On the way home from my first day at my new school, I turned on the wrong street and lost my way. I could write a spooky story about the elderly lady who saw me crying on the sidewalk, took me in, and helped me find my way home. A nice lady—but the entire episode seemed scary to me.

9.  How did you end up getting published?
I rejected or received rejections from various presses before being encouraged at many authors at conferences and writers groups to Indie publish. With help from professional editors and cover artists, that’s what I did.

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?
Fighter, of course. No one wants to be zombie food. Or—do they? I’d like to become food for a lovely tree when I die.

11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
I parachuted from a small plane. Oh, wait, I stayed in the plane and watched someone else do that. I’m not a super daredevil.

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous—and you could have only one—and why? The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.
I pick fame over riches. If I become famous, it will be because people love my writing or because I’ve brought about world peace. Either of those would make me happy. Therefore, I’d have fame and happiness.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joyce Ann Brown, http://www.joyceannbrown.com/ is a former librarian, a landlady, a story teller, a freelance writer, and the author of the Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series. In CATASTROPHIC CONNECTIONS, Sylvester, nicknamed Psycho Cat, alerts Beth, the landlady, to the disappearance of her niece. Beth discovers that investigating a missing person is dangerous as she runs into thieves and a murderer. Psycho Cat isn’t daunted.

Psycho Cat sniffs out another dire mystery in FURTIVE INVESTIGATION when he discovers a human skeleton in an attic of one of Beth’s rental units. Police investigators are told to drop the cold case after a short time, and Beth takes up the sleuthing. She contacts former tenants for clues to the identities of the victim and the killer and uncovers a drug king in the process.
Find out more about the author on her  author page  Joyce Ann Brown Amazon Author Page and read her blogs: https://retirementchoicescozymystery.wordpress.com/ and https://hikingkctrails.wordpress.com/


Please like her on FACEBOOK follow her on  TWITTER connect on GOOGLE+ and find her author page on GOODREADS


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

JOHN ADDIEGO - Twelve Question Tuesday

John Addiego
1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you.
I love being a father, I love being a husband to my best friend, Ellen, and I love this amazing spiritual journey I’m on.

2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person?

On days when I think I’m dumb I love a dog’s assertion that I’m a genius for finding the car keys. On days when I need to be honest about my writing, a cat lets me know that a cliché is always a cliché.

3.  Tea or coffee?
Coffee, very strong. I have a stove-top espresso-maker.


4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.)
On me, briefs. On John Boehner and Mitch McConnell I prefer a male thong of some kind.

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote?
A short story in high school about a wimpy kid like me who finds a gun and kills somebody by mistake.

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer?

In college after publishing some poems, but I’ve always kept it a bit secret.

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written?
I always prefer the most recent.

8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
My brother and I nearly dropped chicken bones on Joe DiMaggio’s head at an Oakland A’s game as he was coming out of the dugout (true story).


The Jaguar Tree 
9.  How did you end up getting published?
I tried querying and even getting an agent without success, then tried going straight with a query to an editor whose work I admired.

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?
I would fight, or most likely hide. If I keep eating asparagus, maybe they won’t want to eat me?



11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Decide to be a parent, which was also the best thing I’ve ever done.

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.
I’d go for rich. I’d like to be known as a person who does good things, but I think fame makes people lose their freedom and anonymity, not to mention their senses. I wouldn’t want to see my stomach on the cover of the Enquirer next to some speculation about my secret liaisons with John Travolta’s masseuse.


BLURB from THE JAGUAR TREE:

“John Addiego weaves a spellbinding tale of mystery and intrigue ... a novel that is as visual as it is intelligent. The story unfurls much like the Central American rivers in the novel, seemingly leading in one direction then seamlessly changing course, keeping the reader analyzing the clues until the end. The book plays out like a movie, with stunning descriptive passages juxtaposed with action sequences so real the reader is put into the middle of the story, sweating in the steamy jungle and sweltering bars and dodging bullets and machetes with protagonist Frank Alvarado.  Combining religion, politics, history, and murder,  THE JAGUAR TREE is a mystery, thriller, and literary fiction all rolled into one, providing everything a reader could possibly ask for in a novel.” Holli Castillo, author of Gumbo Justice and Jambalaya Justice


To find out more about John Addiego, visit his website at http://www.johnaddiego.com/


To purchase The Jaguar Tree The Jaguar Tree Amazon Link



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Actor Jamie Gliddon- 12 Question Interview

1. Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you
A.  I have a good heart.
B.  I enjoy helping others reach their goals.
C.  I have wanted to be an actor my entire life even though I am a very shy person.


2. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Both, I am an animal lover.  Unfortunately, I am allergic to cats, so dogs it is.


3. Tea or coffee?
Tea


4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.) 
Boxer-briefs.

5 . What was your first acting gig, whether paid or unpaid?
In 1991, while on Spring Break from college, I worked for about 2 weeks on “Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis” filmed in Mobile, AL.  They flew me and a few other extras to the Bahamas for a week to film the in-the-ocean scenes.    It was a CBS Movie of the week.
 

6. When did you finally decide to call yourself an actor?
I have not reached that point yet.
 

7. Which of your works are you most proud of? 
I am proud of all of them, but I think the biggest thing I have worked on so far has been Jurassic World.  I was a stand-in for Vincent D’onofrio for about 2 weeks and I was like a sponge, just learning everything I could. 

8. What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
Probably getting hit by a car while I was on my bike when I was a little kid.
 

9. How did you end up in acting?
I am 46 and I have wanted to do this for as long as I can remember.  It is my passion, no two ways about it.  I did a couple films while I was in college, but until 2014 when I got involved in working on New Orleans productions, I didn’t do much.  Even though I can’t commit to doing it full time now, I try to put in for everything I can.  Mostly extra parts so far, but once I get some training under my belt, I will definitely be going for the speaking roles. 

10. Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?
Fighter!
 

11. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
I don’t have a good response for this one.  Guess I am not very daring.  My wife would say that getting married to her and becoming a step-father to her two children 15 years ago was pretty daring.
 

12. Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.Rich.  If had a lot of money, it would be very easy for me to help less fortunate people and also give me the freedom to pursue my passion for being an actor.

Bio:

Born in Key West, FL in 1968.  I grew up in Gulfport, MS.  After graduating from college in Mobile, AL, I moved back to the Gulfport\Biloxi area.  I began working in the casino industry in 1994 and have been in that field ever since.


I currently live in Gulf Breeze, FL and work at a Tribal Casino in Alabama.  I am married and have two children (adults now).  I frequently drive to New Orleans and Mobile, AL to work on films or TV shows as background talent.  My goal is to continue to participate in whatever I can and gain experience and also train, train, train to improve my acting skills.


The Shylock's Daughter

Friday, March 20, 2015

Actor Randy Gonzalez- 12 Question Interview

1.      Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you.
Honest, loyal, hard working.

2.      Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Both

3.      Tea or coffee?
Both

4.      Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.)
Boxer-briefs

5.      What was your first acting gig, whether paid or unpaid?
The Hot Flashes, I played the New Coach

6.      When did you finally decide to call yourself an actor?
After I received my SAG card, 2012

7.      Which of your works are you most proud of?
So far, it’s a short film called The Hand. I was able to capture a killer with a sense of humor.

8.      What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
Motorcycle accident, 1982. I rode another one since but don’t ride now.

9.      How did you end up in acting?
I was laid off from a job that I had for a while and wanted to do something different. I always thought of myself being on screen, I knew I had passion so I auditioned for a role that a friend, who is the business told me about. I didn’t get the role but I stayed with it.

10.  Would you be food or fighter in a real life zombie apocalypse?
Fighter

11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Ride motorcycles at a high rate of speed.

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.
Rich. With rich, I would think that it comes with much less aggravation than famous. Being rich, you don’t have to be famous but being famous doesn’t mean that you are rich.




The Shylock's Daughter

Tuesday, March 17, 2015








Sophia Castillo- The Shylock's Daughter
The Shylock's Daughter

All photos in today's blog by our amazing set photographer Martin Bradford Hovsepian.

I have been working on the third in the Crescent City Mystery Series, Chocolate City Justice, for quite some time now.  My problem was that the original plot, which takes place during hurricane Katrina, actually started in the middle of a story. It took me a while to realize that, and when I did and re-tooled the plot and backed the whole thing up to the actual beginning of the story, I realized it needed to be two books, or maybe a part one and a part two.


Anthony Gangi, Rene Michel, Alex Eldimiati, Julio Castillo
I was hesitant to bring this up to my publisher, not sure how receptive she would be to it, but she was pretty stoked by the idea, which was a huge relief.  Now that I've got that firm in my mind, I think it will be easy to finish the novel.

My husband and I also just shot our first film, The Shylock's Daughter, a short for Timecode Nola, a New Orleans film competition where 15 entries are chosen to appear in a longer, cohesive piece. The final film is screened in April at the French Quarter Fest. 

We shot one day already and have one day left, and I think it went exceptionally well.  I wrote and directed, although I have to say my husband Julio Castillo, our stunt coordinator and one of the leads Alex Eldimiati, and our Director of Photography, Rene Michel, really helped with that, especially with the fight scenes and shootout-- yes, we have all of that.  My 15-year-old daughter starred in it against her will, but she was fantastic all the same.  She and my 13-year-old were so unimpressed with the whole thing--I think most girls their ages would be thrilled to have been in a bar in a seedy part of town shooting a movie.  Not my kids. Go figure.

Anyway, keeping our fingers crossed that it turns out amazing. And it should, because the entire cast and crew were absolutely perfect. I could not have picked a better group of talent to work with. Also keeping our fingers crossed we make the cut, because contests are subjective and you never know what's going to happen.  To be perfectly honest, I'm good either way, because it was worth it regardless.
John Teal
My  3 Thugs- Huey, Ricardo Vargas, Eduardo Castillo



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

J.S. Quelch-- Twelve Question Tuesday



J.S. Quelch
Today I am pleased to welcome Oak Tree Press author J.S. Quelch to Twelve Question Tuesday.

1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you. 
a. Music is my first love. Listening to, writing, and playing it. Writing Karl and the Kooltones, a life story of a musician, was a natural extension of that.
b. I am a jack of all trades, a master of none.
c. I believe social media makes people less social and is the greatest time waster of our time. 

2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person? 
Neither. Allergies run high in my family. 

3.  Tea or coffee? 
Coffee with freshly roasted beans from Up Café http://www.upcafe.com/ I grind myself. 

4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.) 
Boxer-briefs in winter, commando in summer. 

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote? 
The first copyrighted piece I wrote was a song called $7 Fine about 20 years ago that I still play with my band Woodshop (like Woodshop The Band on Facebook). The song tells the story of a trip to the Indianapolis 500 that is also loosely chronicled in Karl and Kooltones. 

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer? 
After I signed a publishing contract with Oak Tree Press. 

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written? 
Definitely Karl and the Kooltones. It was a project I worked on for over seven years. 

 8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you? 
My second son was born with complications. The first 30 seconds after he was born he wasn’t breathing, and it was like I couldn’t breathe either. Fortunately the nurses resuscitated him and he’s a fine young teenager now. 

9.  How did you end up getting published? 
I did a lot of research at the library and on the internet and identified a large number of publishers. I did more research and narrowed down the list to publishers that specialized in newer authors and literary/urban fiction. I sent out about 15 queries and decided to select the offer from Oak Tree Press. 

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen? 
Fighter. I’m an avid sportsman and quite prepared for any kind of apocalypse. 
 
11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Picking up and moving to Montana for a summer in my twenties. I had no money, no job, and nothing to lose. It turned out to be one of the greatest adventures of my life. 

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that. 
Rich. Not because I’m greedy or need the finer things in life, but because I value privacy famous people don’t enjoy.

J.S. Quelch
Author of Karl and the Kooltones

Available at Oak Tree Press http://oaktreebooks.com/