A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

WritersWednesday

I found two awesome articles about Archetypes on C.S. Lakin’s blog and with her permission am sharing them for all you lovely people to see! Thank you so much C.S. for your insight and great resource! Here is the first article!

A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

While we don’t want to create cookie-cutter stereotyped characters, learning about archetypes can be tremendously helpful in character development. We’ve been talking about archetypes over the last week, so if you’ve missed some of these posts, start with this one.

The idea here is to find a type and go from there. Archetypes are all about personality and motivation, and by bringing in some of the traditional, established characteristics of specific archetypes, you can craft believable characters.

As I’ve mentioned in many posts, your novel or play or short story needs a cast of characters, unless your plot is about one person alone in the world (or some world).

These characters play various roles, and while the basic roles are ally, enemy(nemesis or antagonist), and lover, there is much more to consider than these general descriptions.

Some look at Greek gods as archetypes that can be utilized in character development, and if you modernize the qualities of these gods, you can see how you might transfer those over to your novel.

8 Basic Types for Male Characters

Let’s take a look at eight male character types, and as you read through them, think of how these types might possibly fit into your story. Don’t just pick a type because it’s interesting. Every character needs to serve the interests of your plot.

1) The Protector (Ares): He is all about being physical, spontaneous, impulsive. He will act first and think later. He wants to win, and he’s fiercely protective. He fears being constricted, bored, having to use his mind over body. He’s motivated by survival, and the extreme of this character can be violent, yearning to fight, with a poor self-image and bad temper.

2) The Businessman (Apollo): He is entrenched in his career, planning his life, competing, success. He fears failure in the workplace and getting too intimate. He keeps his emotional distance, afraid of rejection. He’s motivated by a need to succeed and a drive to compete. The extreme of this character tends to feel betrayed, wants revenge, is viciously competitive, and uses people.

3) The Recluse (Hades): The name tells all. He wants to be left alone, shuns others. He’s afraid of crowds, his emotions, of spinning out of control. His motivation springs from his need to understand himself and his world. In extreme, this type of man is antisocial, psychotic, terrified of rejection, intimidating, and shuns all affectionate relationships.

4) The Fool (Hermes): This character is a free spirit, seeking freedom, reckless adventures, often an eternal child (Puer Aeternas). He can also be very positive in his childlike, accepting ways. He fears losing his freedom, getting bored, being committed to relationships or deals. His motivation stems from the need to know and the desire to try everything. The extreme of this character is seen in the con man, one who hates authority, is self-absorbed, disregards law and propriety, lacks empathy.

5) The Lady’s Man (Dionysus): He’s all about sex, romance, flirting, pleasure. Physical satiation above all else. He fears losing appeal, losing his youth and virility, and avoids commitment or feeling trapped. He’s motivated by a deep need for love and acceptance, or a drive to win or seek fleeting pleasures to give him a sense of fulfillment. The extreme of this character can be possessive, abusive, disloyal, explosive.

6) The Messiah (Osiris): The male face of this archetype is all about being male, the power of the male personality, and the male psyche. He is concerned with healing the soul more than the body. He fears failure of his quest or purpose, being misunderstood or not taken seriously. He’s motivated by his desire to help others, sacrifice himself for the greater good. He’s driven by great purpose or vision and willing to battle whoever stands in his way. The extreme of this character is harshly critical of others who oppose his views, overly passionate so that he breaks others’ spirits and egos. He feels he is always right and all should believe the way he believes, and those who don’t, he punishes.

7) The Artist (Poseidon): He cares about his creativity, expressing his emotions. He worries what others think of him and wants to be treated fairly. He tries to appear he’s in control and is strong, though he often suffers self-doubt. He’s motivated by a drive to be admired, to be important, to stand out from the crowd. The extreme of this character is deceitful, manipulative, playing games with people’s hearts, reckless and angry, without boundaries and easily enraged. He’ll also hold a grudge forever.

8) The King (Zeus): He rules his kingdom—those in his life. He longs to be admired and in charge, respected, even worshipped. He wants to be the best of the best and pushes himself to get there. He fears competition—that someone will rise above him—someone younger, faster, stronger. He’s motivated by a strong need for approval and recognition and power. The extreme of this character is domineering, arrogant, oppressive, harsh, and often humiliates others.

Taking the Types a Step Further

What could you do with a Protector type? I mentioned last week how my hero in my new novel, Colorado Dream, is a perfect protector. He’s a kind of bad boy, walking on the wild side. This type might be very charismatic, volatile.

A Businessman type could be a leader of a bank, an Army platoon, a think tank. He might be a workaholic. He might be the guy who makes great decisions, motivates others, takes on responsibility.

The Recluse could be a troubled coworker. Or a serial killer. He might be the outcast in a classroom, tormented, brooding. A great “red herring” character who all tend to blame.

The Fool could also be a strong, quiet good friend who advises. Who’s faithful and supportive, doesn’t cause waves and is unassertive. He could be Mr. Nice Guy or the listening ear at work.

The Lady’s Man is a charmer, smooth talker. He might get so lost in his fantasies, his “real life” is falling apart. Some other possible characteristics are his flair for drama, his enthusiasm, ability to manipulate.

The Messiah might be a knowledgeable professor or scientist that has the answers. He might be a computer nerd who is neurotic about getting all the answers. He can be amazingly creative but stubborn and inflexible. He could be picky, hating change or anything that disrupts his life.

The Artist is the guy in the room who adds the spark. He’s adventurous, fun-loving, craving excitement, and can be wholly unreliable and foolhardy. You see in him the daredevil or the explorer. He can spur on your protagonist to make a scary choice, or he can be an antagonist that leads your hero into trouble.

The King might be your hero, idealistic, a champion, acting with honor. Or he might be your heroine’s love interest or a character who noble ideals and principles inspires your hero. He might be the avenger of wrongs or the knight in shining armor.

Supporting Friends

Other archetypal roles can be found in The Magi (the voice of wisdom, the one who helps empower your hero), the Mentor (who freely offers good advice and wants to come alongside your hero), and the Best Friend or Lover.

Think about all the male characters, major and minor, you have in your novel. See how these various traits might enrich them and create conflict. You might need to add a few more characters in there, to create a wider palette of character dynamics.

What archetype intrigues you the most? Which one best fits your primary male character in your story, and which particular characteristic do you like in him? (And can you sing the Underdog theme?)

Hunky Alpha Wednesday with Ally Shields!

I am super amazingly excited to have the Super Amazingly Talented Ally Shields with me today for Hunky Alpha Wednesday! I have been secretly stalking Ally for a while because of her awesome series and amazing writing. So I am so glad she could come blog with us today. So everyone give a HUGE welcome to Ally!!!!

Hi, Rebekah! I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to visit your blog and introduce my heroine’s hunky boyfriend Andreas. Unfortunately, he’s so busy running the vampire court and his elegant supper club that I couldn’t convince him to come with me. So I thought I’d let you meet him through the eyes of my heroine Ari Calin, a fire witch who serves as the supernatural cop for OldeTown.

This is a scene from Fire Within, book two of the Guardian Witch series. Ari and Andreas, a very alpha vampire, have what you might call a conflicted relationship. They’ve been estranged for several months, but Ari cannot stop dreaming about him. She’s been investigating a series of vampire murders, and when she hears he was the victim of a shooting at his supper club, she races to the scene, imagining the worst.

Excerpt:

She yanked the front door open, charged inside, and slid to a stop.

Andreas stood in the hallway. Unharmed, sexy as ever with that lock of black hair falling over his forehead, calmly talking with a uniformed officer. His friend Marcus, Club Dintero’s host, was listening and acting not the least bit alarmed.

Relief acted like a bucket of cold water flung on the adrenaline roaring through Ari’s veins. She gasped before she could stifle the reaction, and Marcus reached a hand toward her. His action was all it took. Ari turned on him.

“Marcus, what the hell happened? Where was security?” she demanded, her voice shrill. “Doesn’t anyone do their job around here?” She was vaguely aware of Marcus’s shocked face, but the words kept pouring from her mouth. “Where were you? Don’t stand there like…”

“Stop it. Arianna, stop it right now.” As Andreas grabbed her shoulders, the sharpness of his voice got through to her.

She gulped down the rest of her tirade. Andreas said something to the officer, then shoved her into his office. She walked away from him as she heard the office door close with a firm click. She shivered, wanting to kick something, and hugged her arms.

“That was unwarranted,” he said, his calm voice belying the censure. “My protection is not Marcus’s responsibility, and everyone is fine.”

Silence grew thick in the room. Ari didn’t trust herself to speak. Her pulse still beat double-time. The nearness of his magic made her skin quiver.

“If I did not know better, I would think my welfare was of some interest to you,” he finally said.

Damn, damn, damn! How had she gotten herself into this situation? Ari was appalled at how much she wanted to throw herself into his arms. She hugged herself tighter. “Of course, I’d be concerned,” she snapped. “We don’t need another vamp murder.” Her tone was too sharp. She swallowed and made an effort to fight the adrenaline still flooding her system. She felt exposed, realizing how much her actions must have revealed. “You’re our contact with the vampire court. We need your help,” she added, in a feeble attempt to divert him. The excuse hung heavy in the air.

“That did not seem to matter for the past eight months.”

“The vampire murders hadn’t happened yet.”

Andreas sighed. “I hope you are more honest with yourself than you are being with me.”

“What’s that mean? What are you implying?” Defiant, challenging, even surly wouldn’t have been a bad description of her attitude. She should have known he wouldn’t let her off the hook. She didn’t want to examine why she was so rattled. So she’d retreated into anger.

Andreas spoke from behind her. “The time has come for us to talk.”

As usual, she hadn’t heard him move. But she sensed how very close he was, an awareness sliding across her neck, light as a feather. She felt his hand touch her hair.

“A little truth would be helpful, Arianna. Admit you are attracted to me, as I am to you. Although sometimes I wonder what attracts me, when every time you come near you carry an invisible stake in your hand.” His breath blew softly over her ear. “These long months, I have missed you, little witch.”

Ari hesitated, the words to deny him stuck in her throat. Her witch magic had begun to sing, liking his nearness, and what came out betrayed her. “Me, too.”

His arms wrapped around and pulled her back against his firm chest. She relaxed, enjoying the feel of him, allowing the heady mixture that was Andreas to wash over her. “I thought you were dead,” she whispered.

“Would it have mattered so much?” His warm breath caressed the nape of her neck.

“Yes,” she said, as surprised by the thought as the fact she’d admitted it. “I’ve never denied the attraction. I’ve just tried not to do anything about it.”

“Hmmm. Is this so bad?” His fingers pushed the last strands of hair aside, as his lips brushed her neck. A silken touch that sent a fire through her. Ari shivered in his arms. Andreas laughed softly. A totally masculine sound.

AND HERE IS OUR WONDERFUL ANDREAS!!!!

Andreas 2

Book Three in the Series is out now as well:

BloodAndFire_ByAllyShields-200x300

Blood and Fire blurb:

A dead body, black magic, and a vampire enforcer…

Ari thought her biggest problem was deciding if she should move in with her vampire boyfriend, Andreas. That was before they found the dead body at the bottom of the Riverdale cliffs. And before she realized he’d been cursed by black magic.

Just as she begins the murder investigation, the vampire rulers in Europe send an enforcer to make inquiries into the recent defeat of the Toronto vampire prince. While Andreas has taken responsibility for the brutal dictator’s death, there is much about the incident that he and Ari must keep to themselves—secrets the vampire elders would stop at nothing to learn.

With threats of retaliation hanging over their heads, Ari moves into Andreas’s Victorian mansion—for safety’s sake—while the enforcer begins a campaign of terror. Ari is caught between competing dangers and challenges: black magic, a ghost, a missing Native American artifact…not to mention a new roommate…all while trying to stay alive…

BIO:

Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a “river rat.” The setting and folklore of that area are often incorporated into her urban fantasy series. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009, and Awakening the Fire, the debut novel in her Guardian Witch series, was released in September 2012. When not writing, reading or spending time with family, she loves to travel in the US and abroad. Way too often she can be found on Twitter.

Author Contacts:
Website: http://allyshields.com

Blog: http://allyshields.com/blog.html

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allyshields

 

The Guardian Witch Series:

Awakening the Fire (Book One)

Fire Within (Book Two)

Burning Both Ends (Book Three)

Blood and Fire (Book Four)

Fire Storm (Book Five) (tentative title), scheduled to release March 2014

Links to all books:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13LH078

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=842187

Kobo: http://bit.ly/18unCxl

 

TRAILERS on Youtube:

Awakening the Fire:  http://youtu.be/BIXnMGOlztQ

Fire Within:  http://youtu.be/XAJNzDXn6FM

Burning Both Ends:  http://youtu.be/TaIBPNFaWG8

Blood and Fire:  http://youtu.be/lEDY7tPBoDY

 

 

 

Feature Friday with V. S. Nelson

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR V.S. NELSON

This time of year many of us look back at what we’ve accomplished then set our goals accordingly for the upcoming year. What can you tell us about 2013 and what changes are in store for you and us, your readers, in 2014?

Funny you should mention that, as I’ve been giving this past year some serious thought. 2013 was filled with tons of highs and some very personal lows, but overall it was an amazing year, one far better than I had anticipated.

By November of 2012 I received a couple of offers for my series, Sekhmet’s Guardians. After looking over the generous offers, I made the decision to try something new, something that I never would have considered several years ago.

I knew I was way too close to this series to turn things over to anyone else and I firmly admit I wanted control over the content and my covers. Gabriel and his band of heroes are extremely vocal and they had planted their desires in my mind. Going against their wishes was something I didn’t want to challenge, so I made the decision to self publish the first book in the series, Eternal Lovers and see how things went. If all went well, I’d think about releasing the second book. In the back of my mind, I knew if things didn’t go well, I could always re-pitch the series and accept another offer.

I make no bones about being a series reader and one of the things I detest, is having to wait an entire year to read the next saga in an on-going story. When I discussed this with the publishers, I was told they doubted if they could meet my requests to publish no less than two in the series per year, considering the size of my novels. This also weighed heavy on my mind when I made my final decision to self pub. I made the promise to myself and to my readers; at least two books per year would be released while I continued to write out particular series.

Eternal Lovers hit the shelves early in the year after I went on a serious promotional campaign. I have to admit I flooded Facebook, Twitter and other media outlets letting people know it was coming. I personally had over 200 signed editions sold before it was released and sold another four hundred sold in the first few weeks. The response and reviews Eternal Lovers received spurred me on and I released Eternal Nights, in April. A large majority of those who had read the first book were ready to continue on with the Guardian’s story. Meanwhile I went to work with edits on Book Three and in November, I released Eternal Blades, the third in the series.

BookCover Promo Cover VS Nelson

That’s an awful lot of writing. Aren’t your books over five hundred pages each?

Yes they are, but please understand; one doesn’t put words down on paper or on the computer and release them to the public right away. At least this writer doesn’t. All three books I released in 2013 were finished for the most part in 2011 and copy written in 2012. After I finish the first draft of a novel it goes to my beta-readers for a good hard look. Changes in content are made based on their comments and when I feel it is ready it goes to one of two copy editors… who of course, suggests more changes and rewrites.  We tend to send the manuscript back and forth a few times until I think it is ready. Then it is sent to first of two line editors. Self published books tend to be critiqued harder than traditionally published books and reviewers are eager to point out any mistakes or typos one is left in the book. Even though I take as many precautions as I can, I’m quite aware a few will slip by. It happens even to those who are traditional published.  Fact is, I haven’t read a book in the last three years, traditional published or not, I didn’t find mistakes in. Sadly, even the big five editors don’t catch all of them, probably because they, like the rest of us, are over worked.

 

What were some of your personal highs? Didn’t I hear about a wedding? Can you tell us about it?

 

 

That you did. And what a wedding it was. My high school sweetheart and I were married this past August in Las Vegas during the costume ball at the Romance Novel Convention put on by none other than cover model extraordinaire, Jimmy Thomas. I can honestly say I’m the only woman I know whose wedding was conducted by a minister in a loin cloth! Just recently, Eternal Blades was mentioned in detail in USA today’s Romance column. That thrilled me to no end. I haven’t made the best seller list (yet), but working hard towards it.

During December, all three of my books in the series were nominated for the AYWR Best of 2013. Votes were cast, scores came in and all three made the final round. I was up against some pretty tough competition as I was familiar with most of the books on the list. The votes by readers were cast again, and I’m happy to announce that all three books made the final cut and were listed as the AYWR top ten books of the year!

VS Nelsontop ten awards

What was the hardest part or thing you had deal with in 2013?

Probably, juggling my time – both personal and career. I was pretty spoiled in 2012 as I spent most of the hours of the day writing. In 2013, I was elected to two RWA (Romance Writers of America) Chapter boards. Finding enough to devote to my writing and do the jobs assigned to me was a handful, although I can honestly say I think I pulled it off. I also ran the 2013 On the Far Side Writer’s Contest for the FF&P Chapter in addition to judging another nine international writing contests. I can guarantee you; I won’t be doing overloading myself again this year. Although, I have enjoyed my time on the boards, I’m smart enough to know it was too much for anyone to handle for too long. I will be chairing the contest again this year and I’m really looking forward to that. Contents offer aspiring authors so much feedback on their way to publication. Judging contests is one way, we as published authors, can pay it forward and that is extremely important to me. On a more personal note, I think it’s no secret; I lost both of my parents within six weeks of each other the later half of the year. It’s been hard, I still find myself picking up the phone to call Mom with exciting news.

I’m so sorry for your loss… So did you enter your series into the writing contests you’re talking about? Did you win?

Thank you… Actually small sections of the first three books were entered into a variety of contests at one time or another. I primarily entered the contests for feedback long before I had beta-readers or critique partners. The comments left on the first few pages/chapters of my manuscripts were worth their weight in gold.  Did I win any of those contests? Nope, didn’t think I would nor did hope to. Maybe if I had waiting until they were in their final form I might have but, as I mentioned, I entered them primarily for feedback when they were still considered rough drafts.

What does the future and 2014 have in store for you?

I’ve already got a few things in the works and on the schedule. In addition to my heavy writing regiment I’m already scheduled for a several public appearances. I’ll be attending the 2013 Tucson Book Festival in March, the Desert Dreams Writers Conference in April, I’ll be presenting a workshop at Building the Dream and a guest author at Arizona Dreamin’, a readers event, at the end of May and of course, I’ll be returning to the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas this coming July where I’ll be giving a two hour workshop on Sprinting – the Key to Finishing that Novel. Beyond that my publicist is still working out the details.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors and to authors who want to self publish?

To the aspiring author I want to suggest you stay true to your characters (muses) especially if you have ones as vocal as I have. Learn your craft and listen to those who have paved the road to success, then find a balance in your writing. Read everything you can get your hands on and try writing in various genres before committing yourself to just one. Write what you know and use those life experiences in your writing. It will eventually pay off. Get involved with your local writing community and join organizations like RWA –there is a wealth of education and support out! Write often; write everyday even if it is only a line in a journal.

Remember, write, take classes and be patient. Nothing good happens over night.

To the author considering self publication: know that each author must make their own decision based upon what they want in their career. Self publication is not for everyone, nor should it be. Before I wrote Urban Fantasies and Paranormal Romance I was traditionally published for over twenty years in Non-Fiction. It was only after I researched and weighted the pros and cons of self publishing, was I able to make a logical decision. If you think you have the time, energy, money and knowledge to self publish and you want control over content, covers and more where your books are concerned then educate yourself first and listen to those who have ventured into the process before making that final decision. I know I picked one particular successful self published author’s brain for months, until I was afraid she wouldn’t answer my calls. I was lucky enough she took my calls, answered my questions and helped me get it right. I’m no expert in the field of self-publishing and I’m happy to say I’m still learning, but I’m enjoying the ride… that much is for sure.

I know your time is precious so I’ll only ask you one more thing… What are you willing to tell us about your series, Sekhmet’s Guardians… without any spoilers, please?

Oh that’s easy. Don’t you know, all authors are more than happy to share bits of their stories with anyone who is willing to listen?

Considered a cross over between an Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, Sekhmet’s Guardians is the tale of five thousand year old alien warriors who live in our modern society and the women they come into contact with. Beginning with Eternal Lovers, the reader learn pretty quickly my books are multi-plotted much like a nigh time HBO or Showtime series and each book centers around a different couple even though all the characters in the books continue on in the future tales.

Eternal Lovers is the story of Jennifer, a young married Native American woman who has lost her way and seeks the help of her best friend, Alice. While visiting her in Chicago, she begins a journey of self discovery. Her world is rocked and she soon learns as do the readers, not everything is as it seems. The security team assigned to the house she is staying is actually five thousand year old ancient warriors and she is only half human. Eternal Lovers is a story of love, discovery, and re-incarnation.

The readers were introduced to Raphael in book one (one of those security guards I mentioned above) and he takes center stage in Eternal Nights when he has come to the conclusion he is losing his mind due to the erotic dreams and voices he is hearing. He eventually learns the voices are coming from Jessica, Jennifer’s baby sister. Jessica is content spending her life as it was deemed by her grandmother so many years ago, until she meets Raphael… and then she is determined to find away to escape her prison.

The women of the estate are no longer content to stay locked up like the crown jewels in Eternal Blades and ask for the right to train as warriors… Convincing the male chauvinist warrior, Gabriel, who runs things they have that right, is not as easy as it seems. The story centers on Lance, the youngest of the warriors and Tshering Snow, a woman of many unusual traits from the Himalayas.

Eternal Tuat, book four in the series will be released in the spring of 2014. It is the first historical in the series and will take the readers back in time, back before the war, back to a time they all lived in harmony. Unlike, the other stories, this book is written in the first person and is told from Bagsu’s point of view… If you haven’t read the series, I‘ll let you in on a little secret; Bagsu is the leader of Guardian’s enemy, Set’s Legions and is also Gabriel’s identical twin brother.

Soon to follow Eternal Tuat’s release, Eternal Life will bring us back to the present. It’s Michael’s, the Guardian’s physician’s quest to remain single.

There are eleven books named and scheduled for this series already, but I’ll wait to tell you about the others, if you don’t mind.

No, I don’t mind at all. V, I want to thank you for your time, expertise and for sharing your stories with us.

It’s been my pleasure.

VS Nelson

If you’d like to more about V, I’m sure you can find her at the following places in cyberspace and I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.

Website: http://www.authorvsnelson.com

Blog: http://www.authorvsnelson.com/blog/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorvsnelson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorVSNelson

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Feature Friday & Susan Wisnewski

Welcome Susan! Thank you for stopping by on Feature Friday. Today is dedicated just to you and to your endeavors as an author.

SusanW

Please, tell us a little about you.

Hi everyone! I’m Susan Peterson Wisnewski. I was born in Astoria, New York and now reside on the North Shore of Long Island and in the beautiful Green Mountains of Southern Vermont. When I’m not writing fiction, I works as a blogger at artlifewear.com and as a gardener in my backyard farms.  In addition to my own initiative, I cite my parents, husband, Ray, and our dog, Charlie, as my greatest sources of inspiration. I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, RWA-NYC Chapter, and the Kiss of Death Chapter.

So where do you get your inspiration? Besides Charlie, that is.

Inspiration comes from seeing, listening and dreaming.  I’ve made the plunge from the corporate world to a world of stringing together words and created my first book.  Read it.  Have fun and let it take you away if only for a little while.

Very cool! So can you tell us what you’ve been working on?

My novel Secrets in San Remo release in October 2013.

SecretsSanRemo

This is a story about the trials and triumphs of life and love. When Maggie McCormick finds herself unemployed and over 40 can she rebuild her career and find love at the same time? This poignant tale is a vivid page turner which will keep you entrapped within the magic of it’s beautifully woven storyline.

Sounds intriguing! Do you have snippet for us?

Trisha picked up the phone to return Maggie’s call and then put it back down.  She didn’t know where to begin and figured she’d collect her thoughts.  How do you tell your best friend that for years she had been living a lie?  Trisha’s world was crashing down on her and she had nowhere to turn, especially since she kept everything to herself.  But how could she share this life she had been leading with anyone – other than her therapist.  She tried to talk to Dan but he didn’t want to hear any of it.  He knew but chose not to deal and that was part of the problem.  This side of her life was an ignored reality and now it could be her demise.

She looked around her office.  She moved to this place a number of years ago for its anonymity.  Her place of business was located in an industrial park at the rear of a non descript warehouse.  A simple plate on the door read Exotic Destinations.  There were security cameras both viewable and obscured and the door was bolted.  The members of this group all had access to the private garage inside the building.  It was there that they would enter and exit and then ring the door to be permitted into the building. The live feed came right to her desk and into her private rooms.  She would know who would try to enter long before they could possibly reach her.  There was also an additional discrete exit should the need arise.  The office looked like any other – a desk, computer, phones, a few chairs but that is where similarities ended.  One look into her closet or one of the client rooms revealed what this enterprise entailed and it sure wasn’t travel but then again everything was relative.

Trisha Kelton no longer made the bulk of her living as a travel agent.  The lucrative contracts with corporation shriveled with the downturn in the economy as well as the changes in travel rules.  She could no longer make a living in the travel industry and that coupled with the hit to the housing market nearly crippled her and Dan. His business was floundering at best.  She had to find something else and just couldn’t see herself working for someone else.  She hadn’t done that for years and wasn’t about to start over like that again.

She could barely remember how it all started, she seemed to recall it was a bit of a challenge and she was not one to back down from a good one.  Thinking back she was probably crazy but now she was to far in to stop. And the truth be told she liked what she did.  Liked the power, liked the control.

Trisha Kelton was a …

Oooohhhh! Nice Cliffhanger! So before you go, I have a few little get to know you questions:

Latest Obession? My latest obsession is big chunky jewelry especially huge rings made by Christina Bjenning the BlowTorch Fairy at esmeraldadesigns.net – they are unique and big time statement pieces!!

Who is your Secret Crush? Secret crush is the delicious David Beckham -shhhhhh don’t tell my hubby!!

Shoes? Purses? or Jewelry? Shoes and purses cannot be seperated – I come from a long line of shoe/purse coordinated ladies – and they taught me well!

Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Or something else? Coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino – coffee in any guise – I’m down to six cups a day – a lady needs her sleep!!

What was your Best Vacation Ever? Vacations to me are a chore – the traveling – trying to fit everything in – delays – not fun – I like to relax and I have the most amazing hideaway in the mountains of Southern Vermont – that is my best vacation!

Thank you again for stopping by Susan and we hope to see you around! Here are the links were you can find Susan on the WWW.

www.spwwrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spwwrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SPWWrites
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Hunky Alpha Wednesday Welcomes Sarah Hegger!

Hunky Alpha Wednesdays are days dedicated to the men we love the most! The Hunky Alphas that make our knees go weaken and out hearts flutter! So I’d like to give a great big welcome to Sarah Hegger!

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Take it away Sarah!

When I set out to write medieval, I knew it would involve a sword swinging, axe wielding Alpha male with a bad attitude. Trying to pretty these boys up and make them more PC is just not going to fly with readers of medieval romance. They lived in hard times and they were all man, all the way. (Putting aside, of course, the historical accuracy, which would have given them terrible body odour and worse teeth.)

Guy of Helston is a man who had made his way in the world by the sword. As a younger son, he had no chance of inheriting. Raised by a thug, he was brought up hard. Working as a mercenary for King Stephen, Guy has gathered a small army of men in a similar position. He is working his way towards his greatest ambition, land of his own and a title.

Opportunity comes his way in the form of a proxy marriage. The Earl of Lystanwold is banished and in a desperate act to save his niece and ward, Helena, from being married off to suit the king, he asks Guy to marry the girl. If the Earl doesn’t do something before he flees for his life, the most likely bridegroom would be the very man who married and murdered his other ward, Helena’s sister.

Guy doesn’t hesitate to take the offer. Which is how we find him in the beginning of my story The Bride Gift.

But I wanted to add a little something extra, so I gave my big, bad, mean and moody fighting machine a soft underbelly. Beneath all the muscle and steel are a huge heart and an unequalled capacity for loyalty. Guy is also a man of very few words. There’s a good reason for this, but it only comes out almost at the end of the book. When the reader and Helena first meet Guy, he is a muscle bound warrior, climbing through her window, using very few words and expecting to be instantly obeyed.

Excerpt:

Spring, 1153, North of England

Dangling sixty feet from the ground and hanging on by his fingernails was not what he had in mind when Guy of Helston declared, at the tender age of eight summers, come what may, he would win a title one day.  Mayhap it was his just deserts for foolishly declaring to his brother, Crispin, he would stop at nothing to achieve his ambition.

An insistent hiss from below reminded Guy there was still much work to be done. Intently Guy searched the rock face above him to locate the next handhold. It had seemed such a good idea from the ground. Roger had made it sound like the logical course. For certes easier than lengthy explanations yelled up from the gatehouse for all within earshot to hear. The earl had led him to the hidden postern gate and they had slipped undetected through the curtain wall into the inner bailey.

The castle bristled with men at arms, all of them anxious and aware of the witch’s cauldron of trouble brewing around their lady. Change crackled in the wind with new rumours circulating faster than flies on a midden heap. The war between King Stephen and Empress Maude ripped through the land and threatened all.

“Whist.” Roger’s voice floated softly up to him just moments before Guy caught the soft tramp of the guard. Beneath him, two men at arms passed into view. Guy froze, his eyes locked on the two figures beneath him. All it would take was for one of them to glance up. The sentries stopped for a moment and then changed direction. Guy let his breath out slowly. He waited a heartbeat more and continued his ascent.

Closer he climbed to the open casement. The cursed thing actually seemed to be getting further away. He forced himself to go slowly. One hand at a time, find the foothold before moving on. One slip now would mean certain death. An age of aching muscles passed before he could haul his body over the lip of the window embrasure. He rested there for a moment with half his body hanging over the edge and his boots still wedged against the rough rock. The rope around his waist jerked.

“Jesu,” he swore and glared into the shadows below him. Could he not just have a moment to catch his breath?

He slithered into the dark beyond the embrasure and uncoiled his body slowly. He stopped, his senses alert to discovery. Silence.

Bio

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

Sarah also loves to hear from readers. Put in and say ‘hi’ anytime.

https://www.facebook.com/sarahheggerauthor?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/SarahHegger
http://sarahhegger.com/ 

Thank you Sarah for stopping by today! Please check out this awesome author!

Dead Awakenings Book Trailer is HERE!

I am so SUPER excited! My amazing Husband gave me the best Christmas Present ever! So good in fact, that I doubt he will ever be able to top it, unless he makes me another one. I also got my Goodreads page link with my book!

www.Goodreads.com/VampWereZombie

My husband went to USC film school and his Production Company Rio Vista Universal made its very first Book Trailer this week for ME!! For my book Dead Awakenings! I am so excited about how it turned out. He worked hard, and did an Amazing job! I couldn’t be happier with him, or with how it turned out!

Dead Awakenings is being released next Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 on Amazon, B&N and several other retailers. I am super excited and grateful to all of those who believed in me and my writing. My Editor Nancy Cassidy at Etopia Press, my family and friends. My Critique partners, especially author Katanie Duarte. And of course my loving and wonderful Husband James Ganiere. Without him, I never would have done it!

So, here is the link for everyone to see on YouTube:

DeadAwakenings_ByRebekahRGaniere-banner

So many great tips!

Lately I have found myself reading every blog post on the do’s and don’ts of writing.  Everything from Editing checklists to Misused words.  I am not sure why I am reading all of these, probably because I don’t feel comfortable enough with my own grammar skills, and most likely because I still mix up effect and affect passed and past when I write.  Silly I know, but those are the ones who get me the most!

Anyway, there have been some great blog posts lately on all kinds of subject pertaining to writing and editing.  So I thought I would list a few here that you can go and check out in the event that you are like me and like to get all the information you can about how to make your manuscript the best that it can be.

The first is:
http://blog.ezinearticles.com/2013/05/spelling-punctuation-and-grammar-revision-checklist.html
This is a great article called Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar Revision Checklist
And it is just that!  It gives you a giant checklist of things to look at when you are revising your manuscript.  If you do these things, you will be well ahead of many people who submit their first drafts.

Second is one I have blogged about before:
http://plottersandpantsers.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/writing-mechanics-tune-up-your-writing-with-creative-grammar/
This is a great little article about what to use and how to use it.

Third:
Okay This next one I have to say is only one in a myriad of awesome blog posts about what to do and what not to do.  If you follow only one blog out there that consistently gives great information, I recommend this one.  C.S. Lakin’s Live. Write. Thrive.  She is an amazing writer, and mentor.
http://www.livewritethrive.com/2013/06/21/more-cool-collocations/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LiveWriteThrive+%28Live+Write+Thrive%29
This is a fun little read about which words are actually suppose to be used together.  This isn’t the first one she has done and I find them fascinating to say the least.

Fourth:
This next article about editing as you go is interesting.  I don’t think I could do it.  I am a move forward person, but I did find in my last book that I had to go back and edit before I could write the last chapter because my characters hadn’t arced in a way that would have me let them end up where they did.  So I had to go back and fix them before I could end their story.  That was a major exception to the way I normally do things, but I find this interesting and there are a couple of great suggestions I might find myself using now.
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/4-ways-to-revise-as-you-write

Fifth:
This is a great fun fast article about small things you can do when editing your manuscript.  I love this one because we all know them, but it’s nice to be told again 🙂
http://www.wiseinkblog.com/writing-2/do-i-have-to-kill-my-darlings-5-self-editing-steps-you-must-take-before-an-editor-or-agent/

Sixth:
http://www.wiseinkblog.com/planning/at-first-draft-the-6-minimal-steps-to-revising-your-manuscript-before-submission/
This article is from the same site as the last article.  I loved this one too, however I don’t necessarily think you need to pay for a freelance editor before submitting, IF you follow all the other preceding steps.  If you have gone through it 4 times, gotten beta readers, and know half way what you are doing, I think you don’t have to hire an editor.  Now if you are planning on self publishing ABSOLUTELY hire an editor!  Hire, hire, hire!  You need it.  I need it.  We all need it!

There are so many more great ones, and I am going to keep looking for them and posting them here on my blog.  As much for myself as for everyone else.  If you have a great editing blog post that you loved, please leave a comment and let me know about it 🙂  I’m always trying to improve.

25 Things Writers Need To Stop Doing

I found this cool new website: http://PlottersandPantsers.Wordpress.com And I started following their feed on Facebook.  They have some great articles that they have been putting out in the last few weeks.

They posted an article on the 15th, of a blog post by author Chuck Wendig on his Terribleminds blog  http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/01/03/25-things-writers-should-stop-doing/

25 things a writer should stop doing.  The article was interesting, and butt kicking, if taken with a grain of salt.  Some of the language in them made me cringe, and skip reading.  But the information was good.  And true.

As writers we worry about so many things, plot, characters, typos, get an agent, don’t get an agent, genre, theme, beta readers, tense, POV, platform building, rejection, contract and much much more.  There are so many things you have to be and do as a writer that sometimes it can take away from the ultimate goal, writing.

The article 25 things writer’s shouldn’t do had some great points.  Of them, here are my favorite highlights:

1. STOP RUNNING FROM YOUR WRITING
…Your writing will never chase you — you need to chase your writing. If it’s what you want, then pursue it. This isn’t just true of your overall writing career, either. It’s true of individual components…

This is so true!  If you want to write, WRITE!  If you need to learn to edit better, learn it.  If you need to learn how to keep to one POV per scene, practice it!  It will never tackle you and shove itself into your brain forcing you against your will to do it.  You HAVE to want it for yourself.

2. STOP STOPPING!
Momentum is everything. Cut the brake lines. Careen wildly and unsteadily toward your goal. I hate to bludgeon you about the head and neck with a hammer forged in the volcanic fires of Mount Obvious, but the only way you can finish something is by not stopping

It is so true!  I am dealing with it right now.  I have a series I am writing.  I just finished the first one, and I have the momentum to keep going.  Work on the next one, plot out the series, figure out how everything fits together and make it cohesive.  But a couple of months ago, it was grueling just to start.  I know, if I stop now, and start on a different series I have plotted, it will take a year to get back to this one.  Now I may burn out and have to stop for a few weeks, but the momentum it here now, so I’m going with it!

4. STOP WORRYING!
Worry is some useless s#!&. It does nothing. It has no basis in reality…We worry about things that are well beyond our control. We worry about publishing trends or future advances… That’s not to say you can’t identify future trouble spots and try to work around them — but that’s not worrying. You recognize a roadblock and arrange a path around it — you don’t chew your fingernails bloody worrying about it…

I am a worrier!  I admit it!  My friend, author Katanie Duarte, can attest to it!  I worry about everything.  I inherited it from my mother.  My poor husband, the ever optimist, prays that someday I will get over it.  But it’s true.  But over the past two years I have gotten better at realizing there are things I can control and things I can’t and I just have to let the can’t, go.  Now I am not perfect yet, (shhhhh, don’t tell my hubby I said that) but I am trying.

5. STOP HURRYING
The rise of self-publishing has seen a comparative surge forward in quantity…Stories are like wine; they need time. So take the time. This isn’t a hot dog eating contest. You’re not being judged on how much you write but rather, how well you do it…

Yup!  Have I mentioned that I tend to be a teensy weensy wee bit impatient?  Okay, so part of it stems from the fact that I have ADD.  But not all of it.  I just like to get things done and get moving.  But it is true.  You have to realize that you think, your book is amazing from the beginning, it can always use a bit of a tune up.  And more than that, you don’t just want anyone to publish, or rep it.  You want people who are a right fit for you.  That takes time.  You are going to be with these people for a long time!  It’s like a marriage, and how long has it taken you to find your partner?  It took me 7 years to find my awesome hubby!  Be patient and amazing things will happen.

6. STOP WAITING
I said “stop hurrying,” not “stand still and fall asleep.” Life rewards action, not inertia…To reap the rewards of the future, you must take action in the present. Do so now.

Yup!  Putting it off will get you nowhere!  You want to write? WRITE!

9. STOP TREATING YOUR BODY LIKE A DUMPSTER
The mind is the writer’s best weapon. It is equal parts bullwhip, sniper rifle, and stiletto…The body fuels the mind. It should be “crap out,” not “crap in.” Stop bloating your body with awfulness. Eat well. Exercise. Elsewise you’ll find your bullwhip’s tied in knots, your stiletto’s so dull it couldn’t cut through a glob of canned pumpkin, and someone left peanut-butter-and-jelly in the barrel of your sniper rifle.

I LOVE IT!!! I have recently started working out 3 times a week.  I have been feeling better, had more energy and focus better.  It’s true.  As a writer I sit on my butt and grab what is closest to me to eat, when I’m in the zone.  But when I treat my body right, my mind treats me right.  That also goes for my wrists.  I have carpal tunnel, so I have to make sure that I treat them right as well.

14. STOP PLAYING IT SAFE
Let 2012 be the year of the risk. Nobody knows what’s going on in the publishing industry, but we can be damn sure that what’s going on with authors is that we’re finding new ways to be empowered in this New Media Future… It’s time to forget the old rules… start questioning preconceived notions and established conventions… start taking some risks both in your career and in your storytelling. Throw open the doors. Kick down the walls of your uncomfortable box. Carpet bomb the Comfort Zone so that none other may dwell there.

It’s true!  Everything in the industry is changing.  Stop playing it safe and go out there, take your career by the horns and make it happen!

17. STOP WRITING FOR “THE MARKET”
…I don’t mean, “stop writing for specific markets.”…What I mean is, stop writing for The Market, capital T-M. The Market is an unknowable entity based on sales trends and educated guess-work and some kind of publishing conspiracy… Writing a novel takes long enough that writing for the market is a doomed mission, a leap into a dark chasm with the hopes that someone will build a bridge there before you fall through empty space. Which leads me to –

18. STOP CHASING TRENDS
Set the trends. Don’t chase them like a dog chasing a Buick. Trends offer artists a series of diminishing returns — every iteration of a trend after the first is weaker than the last, as if each repetition is another ice cube plunked into a once strong glass of Scotch. You’re just watering it down, man. Don’t be a knock-off purse, a serial killer copycat, or just another fantasy echo of Tolkien. Do your own thing.

AND ONE OF MY FAVORITES IS:

21. STOP LISTENING TO WHAT WON’T SELL
You’ll hear that. “I don’t think this can sell.” And s#!$, you know what? That might be right. Just the same — I’d bet that all the stories you remember, all the tales that came out of nowhere and kicked you in the junk drawer with their sheer possibility and potential, were stories that were once flagged with the “this won’t sell” moniker. You’ll always find someone to tell you what you can’t do. What you shouldn’t do. That’s your job as a writer to prove them wrong. By sticking your fountain pen in their neck and drinking their blood. …uhh. I mean, “by writing the best damn story you can write.” That’s what I mean. That other thing was, you know. It was just metaphor. Totally. *hides inkwell filled with human blood*

As you can see, there are many, many more.  But these were some of my favorites.  If you would like to read the whole article, please see the link above.  BE WARNED!  There is some bad and crude language.  But it’s true what he says.  You need to stop worrying and being lazy and work.  There is no substitute for working.  Without hard work, and a willingness to learn, as a writer we will never excel and achieve.

 

 

RWA SoCal Rocked!

This last week I had the amazing privilege to go to the RWA SoCal Convention in Santa Ana California.  It was filled with tons of great information as well as new friends, and lots of inspiration.  I listened to speakers on a variety of subjects from Steampunk Gadgets to World Building to Writing a Novella.  All of which were immensely helpful and tons of fun.

If I had to say the one major thing I took away from the conference, it would be a new nine book series of novellas that I have ideas for.  I have never tried to write a novella, being the long winded woman that I am 😉  But I figured this would be a great way for me to wrote, polish, and publish a set of my work, that isn’t going to take me months and months to write because my first draft isn’t 150,000 words.  Yes, the first draft of Dead Awakenings was that long.

I am so glad that I joined RWA and that I was able to go to the conference.  Now I just need to figure out if I want to go to the National Convention in Atalanta, or Comic Con, which is at the same time and I already have tickets for.  I heard about an amazing conference by Romance Times, and it is in Kansas City, MO this year the first week in May.  I might go to that one.  I am afraid I am going to become a convention addict though!  There is just so much great information out there and I want to absorb it all.

If I could give one great piece of advice from the conference, it would be from amazing author Linda Thomas-Sundstrom.  When you are building a new go to the SFWA.org website and get their World Building questionnaire.  Answer as many questions possible and keep a bible of the things in your world.

I did get the questionnaire, it is HUGE!  36 pages Full of questions.  But if you are building a world, I would Highly recommend you get it and look it over and answer as much as you can for continuity in your world.  Set up your rules, and then, don’t break them!

Should Men Read Paranormal Romance?

When I started reading Paranormal romance, I kept it to myself.  No way did I want people to think I was one of “those women” who read the steamy romance novels and fantasized about forbidden intimate encounters with strangers!

But then I started to read books like Jennifer Ashley’s Pride Mates, and Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series.  And what I found was intense relationships between a monogamous couple and I was intrigued.  I found them to be intimate on a new level.  Not just in the bedroom, but also in the progression of their relationship with each other.

So, naturally, I started writing Paranormal Romance.  As I did, I found that mine too centered around a monogamous couple, or at least a couple fighting to be together.  However, I also found that I am an action gal at heart.  I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer who kicks butt daily.  I love Selene in Underworld and Blade from the Blade Trilogy.  All butt kickers and action!  So my Paranormal Romances are coupled with lots of action.  Why?  Because quite honestly I cannot stand a slow book.  I like the books I read to have a purpose outside of the Romance.  Outside of our own relationships, there is always other stuff going on.  So I want there to be those outside influences in my books.  Ones that threaten to tear my couples apart, but through their love they are able to endure and become stronger for it.  Yes, I have taken that from my own relationship with my husband of 14 years.  We have gone through a lot of crap together in 14 years, but we are stronger for it as a couple.

Because of this I think my books will appeal not just to women but to men as well.  And yes I do believe men should read Paranormal Romance books.  Strange as it sounds.  So does Paul Goat Allen.

Yesterday he wrote an awesome article on Barnes and Noble.com about why men should read Paranormal Romance.  He talks specifically about Jennifer Ashley’s books.  And I absolutely agree with him.  Here are three reasons he gives as to why men should read Paranormal Romance:

1. Believe in true, everlasting love. In this series, Shifters experience a mate bond with their lovers, a “magical binding between true mates” that is all encompassing – body and soul – and lasts until death.

2. Aspire to be the perfect catch. In Mate Claimed, Eric is described as “strong, powerful, gentle, and protective. The perfect catch.” These Shifter characters are obviously extraordinary physical specimens but the physical aspect is only part of it. They’re understanding, caring, supportive, and sensitive to their lover’s every need.

3. Find passion in your life. Ashley’s male Shifter leads are, above all else, passionate. Passionate about their lives, their families, their causes, and their lovers. At one point early on in Mate Claimed, Eric tells Iona: “When we make love, it will be like the world exploded.” Enough said.

Maybe I’m completely wrong about this but I firmly believe that men who regularly read paranormal romance will ultimately find themselves better off for it.

To see the full article go here:
http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Explorations-The-BN-SciFi-and/The-Joy-of-Supernatural-Sex-Three-Reasons-Why-Men-Should-Read/ba-p/1397046

My hope is that millions of men will begin to read Paranormal Romance!