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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Guest post: Story is Structure by Christine Hunt

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of story structure, is brought to you by Christine Hunt.

Story is Structure

Story is structure. From Gilgamesh to Harry Potter, stories follow the same path. Each begins with a Central Question, the hero struggles through various trials on his way to learning the moral of the tale, and in that ending we see the answer to the beginning question. We inherently recognize this structure. As naturally as we expect food to taste good and sleep to revitalize us, we expect stories to be delivered in this systematic, fulfilling way. When that structure is broken, we lose interest

Great minds have spent decades attempting to define this structure. Joseph Campbell, Otto Rank, Lord Raglan, and Christopher Vogler produced volumes of dry, academic, but fascinating conclusions showing that, like a house, story has a framework that keeps it stable (Nehring. You Are What You See. Right Line. 2010. 104-7).

For the last five years I have worked with film critic, author, and story-structure guru Scott Nehring on the specifics of story structure and have developed a unique understanding of how to use this structure in the development of storylines taken from complex series of events.

Stories often bog down in the middle. The first fifteen pages may be concise and captivating, but they are too often followed by a jumbled mess of disjointed (often preachy) episodes—they may contain lots of action but do not move the story forward. Readers are relieved to finally enter the antagonist’s lair, face the final conflict, and find a semblance of resolution.

In these stories, the writers did not understand the important facets, characters, and occurrences which belong in a well-told story.

Houses can be ranch style, split-level, or Cape Cod bungalow. Trained architects and builders use identical principles and techniques to build each.

Whether a writer first plots out every detail or writes ‘by the seat of the pants,’ recognizing story structure and understanding how to rightly use it is a valuable tool to help build a smooth, entertaining, satisfying storyline, regardless of genre. It even works for non-fiction.

In Part 1, below, I introduce these basic structure components. Later, I’ll introduce their inhabitants and show you how I used Nehring’s structure to weave a jumbled and complex series of true events into an entertaining story.

Life is messy.  The alarm fails to wake us, the baby spits up on our new shirt, the car won’t start, road construction has traffic backed up two miles sooner than normal, and we don’t notice the gas gauge is bumping the big, red E until we’re stuck in the middle of honking horns and heat waves.  But that’s not a story, that’s life.

What we want to be entertained by, to lose ourselves in, is how those events effect a heroic character as she journeys to conquer an overwhelming opponent, and along the way we want to learn a little more about how we can be heroic, too.

That is what story is all about: the transmission of wisdom from one generation to the next. As human beings, we are hard-wired to receive this vast storehouse of understanding. We instinctively grasp the moral of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but we would miss that valuable nugget if the tale did not follow the prescribed path.

Traditional understanding of story structure is of a beginning (Act 1), a middle (Act 2), and an end (Act 3). In Act 1 we are introduced to the hero and her current dilemma. In the final act we usually like to find problems resolved, with everyone comfortable in their new, improved normal, or at least having learned their lesson; the question asked at story’s beginning has been satisfactorily answered.

It is the middle section that gives many writers indigestion: How do I get there from here? Okay, so my hero is stuck in traffic with a nagging boss on the cell phone and at story’s end I want her to have shown upper management what an incompetent jerk that boss is and have my hero be well on her way to promotion into the boss’s chair. But how do I get her from the traffic jam to the corner office?

Scott Nehring and others (Michael Hauge and P. D. James, to name two) have broken down that middle section into bites of delectable details which not only bridge beginning to ending but add depth to the story’s meaning and intrigue to its plot. We should learn to see this “how” of the story in two progressive steps.

Rather than three acts, Nehring breaks story structure into four acts and has named the story’s middle The Rise of and The Fall of the Hero.

  • Act One – we learn the world of the story, meet the hero and her friends, the villain and her cohorts, and learn the question being posed by the problem the hero faces. At first, the hero does not want to upset her status quo to take this impending journey and must (by circumstances) be forced to weigh options until she finally realizes the new path is the only right way to proceed. At that point she Crosses the Threshold into
  • Act Two – The Rise of the Hero. She enters a new world and begins her journey, usually instructed along the way by a Mentor from whom she receives a special gift, instruction, or wisdom. She collects allies, skills, and knowledge which will be used to win in the end. She experiences her first direct confrontation with the villain and is established as a viable threat. But before she can win her ultimate goal, everything falls apart in
  • The Reversal. This occurs in almost the exact middle of the story and is one reason why Nehring has broken story’s middle section into two parts. In a two-hour film, the reversal occurs at the 60 minute mark. This reversal establishes a defined point from which, going forward, nothing can or will ever again be the same for the hero. She now tumbles into
  • The Fall of the Hero. No matter what she does, she fails. Her second big conflict with the villain ends dismally. She becomes exhausted, and it seems all hope is gone. In fact, this is often the point when the cherished Mentor is lost. Often the hero does something distinctly not heroic (breaks a promise, tells a lie, turns her back on someone who needs her). Then in one form or another
  • The Hero Dies. Whether it’s financial, social, or physical, this always happens. She’s fired from her last hope of a job, her car explodes, or she runs away and everyone is left with no means to contact her. The other characters believe she is really and truly gone. Then, beyond reason (and sometimes explanation), she
  • Is Reborn. The hero reappears, better, stronger, more confident, more determined, and somehow more heroic. She rallies her allies and abilities and plunges toward
  • Act Four—the final conflict and conclusion. The hero enters her enemy’s dark domain, gets rid of the villain’s forces, and uses what was received in Act 2 to win the ultimate victory. Now the hero or someone close to her makes a clear statement of fact—the story’s moral, the answer to the question asked at story’s beginning. [It is important to note that if the hero cannot overcome the villain and win, alone and without gimmickry, then she is not really the hero of the story and you have some major rewriting to do.]
  • All that is left is the Denouement—seeing the results of the hero’s journey upon the world. It is important that we see the benefit of the hero’s sacrifices. Her world has changed, and the people in that world are significantly better because of what she has done.

Obviously, the hero does not go through this journey alone; nor are her qualities, characteristics, and background chosen arbitrarily. Part 2 will offer an overview of those character distinctives before we put the pieces together in Part 3.

For additional information see http://www.youarewhatyousee.com/blog/free-booklet-morality-points or http://www.dramatica.com/theory/articles/hauge-plot.html.

That was great, thank you, Christine, and perfect timing; I finished final edits to one of my novels today!

Christine will return with part 2 on Tuesday 23rd October and then part 3 on Thursday 29th November.

Christine Hunt is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and author of the non-fiction book The Orchid Murder: Untangling a Web of Unsolved Murders and Legal Malpractice (RightLine. 2013. http://theOrchidMurder.com).  She has over 35 years of creative and commercial writing, editing, and layout design experience across a variety of fields and disciplines. Christine taught English and creative writing for over ten years. Right Line Editing & Design was launched April 2005 (www.RightLineEditing.com).

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If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with multi-genre author Ken La Salle – the five hundred and seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in ebooks, novels, recommendations, short stories, tips, writing

 

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Author Spotlight no.123 – Natasha Yim

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and twenty-third, is of children’s book author, freelance writer, and playwright Natasha Yim.

Natasha Yim is an author, freelance writer, and playwright. Her picture book, Otto’s Rainy Day (Charlesbridge Publishing) was a Kids’ Pick of the Lists selection. She has published articles in Highlights for Children, Appleseeds, and Faces magazines, and her ten-minute plays have been performed in venues around Northern California, Los Angeles, and Sydney, Australia. Her picture book biography, Cixi, The Dragon Empress, was released by Goosebottom Books (www.goosebottombooks.com) in fall 2011. Natasha’s upcoming books, Sacajawea of the Shoshone (Goosebottom Books) is due out in Oct. 2012, and Goldy Luck and the Three Chans (Charlesbridge Publishing) is slated for a January 2014 release.

And now from the author herself:

I had wanted to be a writer since I was eleven years old when an English teacher gave us an assignment to design our own island, make up names of lakes, rivers, mountains and towns and create a story around it. I was hooked. As an avid reader, I devoured books by Mark Twain, Enid Blyton, and I loved the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy M. Montgomery. I started journaling, and writing poetry and short stories.

At Dominican College (now University) in San Rafael, California, I began as a Psychology major (my second professional aspiration next to being a writer was to be a child psychologist) then I discovered they had an actual creative writing degree. It had a strong literature component so the degree was called English Literature with a Writing Emphasis. I promptly changed my major. Although my parents were always very supportive of my endeavors, I don’t think they were entirely happy with this choice—what do you do with an English major after all? Well, write of course. But after college, reality hit. Unless I was as prolific and successful as Stephen King, writing alone wasn’t going to pay the bills.

I went to graduate school and received a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. I didn’t become a child psychologist but I did work with children for most of my professional career as a social worker and counselor in group homes, foster homes, and for the Mendocino County Child Protective Services. I began writing stories for children.

After several years of writing non-fiction articles which were published in regional and local newspapers and magazines, my first children’s book, Otto’s Rainy Day, was published by Charlesbridge Publishing in 2000. I was ecstatic! It had taken a year of writing and editing, a year of waiting for the publisher’s response, and three more years for it to finally see print. I had arrived, I thought. Not! It would be eleven years before my next book, Cixi, The Dragon Empress was released by Goosebottom Books.

In between that time, I was hardly idle. I had three kids, carved out writing time from 5 am. – 7 am. while the kids were still asleep, and continued to write picture book manuscripts that were, sadly, rejected by publishers. But I didn’t give up. I continued to perfect my craft through workshops, conferences, webinars, and critique groups and most of all, I continued to write.

Cixi, The Dragon Empress, a biography of the last empress of China for kids 9 – 13 will be followed by Sacajawea of the Shoshone, also from Goosebottom Books, due out in October 2012. It tells the true story of the Native American teenager who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their exploration of the American west. And in Jan. 2014, Charlesbridge Publishing will be publishing Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, a re-telling of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears tale with an Asian twist.

For more information about Natasha Yim, check out her website: www.natashayim.com and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/natashayim.author and follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/natashayim.

You can take a peek inside Sacajawea of the Shoshone on: http://pinterest.com/natashayim/peek-inside-the-book and listen to an audio excerpt on Natasha’s blog: http://www.writerslife2.blogspot.com/p/books_11.html.

You can also find out more about Sacajawea of the Shoshone and Cixi, The Dragon Empress on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sacajaweaoftheshoshone and www.facebook.com/cixithedragonempress.

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The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with horror, science-fiction and urban fantasy author and poet Nikolas P Robinson – the five hundred and sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 

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Flash Fiction Friday 054: Gabriele by Marlene Caroselli

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the fifty-fourth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 831-worder by non-fiction author Marlene Caroselli. which will be podcasted in episode 19 (Sunday 30th December).

Gabriele

Does it matter that I come into that classroom every day smelling of linseed oil? Is it not more important that I, like my heavenly namesake, can herald important information to them? After all, I have been to Rome. I know how a lecture at the university can festoon the soul, how giddiness can follow the scanning of a perfectly metered poem. I have, if the truth be known, been praised by the professors at the university. And, were it not for my ailing mother, I would be far away from his town with its tepid appetite for knowledge.

They snicker, the little ones do–but they dare not say a word. I see the slight wrinkling of those tiny freckled noses as they come into my presence. But no matter–one day they, too, will understand the inexorable chains that pull a child back to his mother’s bedside. They will come to know the meaning of responsibility to family. They may not have to rub linseed oil on limbs gnawed by arthritis, but they will have to do something.

Perhaps then they will think of their old maestro and remember his devotion to his ailing mother. Each morning, I stop by her house with its clean dirt floor. I wonder if she is still breathing in that bed with its spumes of lace, a bed that dominates her one-room inheritance. I approach the bed cautiously, trying to discern the rise and fall of her chest and inevitably, the croaked request comes, “Gabriele, the oil. Could you rub it on my shoulder?”

But today, my anger with these boys causes all thoughts of my mother to fly away. Just a few minutes late so I could bathe her and look how they are misbehaving. The laughter, the noise, the antics–it all assaults me before I even open the door. One look at me standing in the doorway, though, is enough to drive icicles into their veins. A solemn silence descends. They are afraid to look anywhere but down at their small hands, smooth as the skin on olives. I am gratified to see a few of them trembling.

How shall I punish them, these children in whose arteries the legacy of Dante flows so carelessly, these profligates whose ancestors painted chapel ceilings and explored terra incognita? How can I make their backbones straighter so they can continue to carve out the landscape that marks this glorious land? These unthinking ruffians are more inclined to view life as a fortuitous hazard, a masquerada at which they alone are entitled to unmask men, women, and mystery. They think of Italy as a place that is sweet for the body instead of an elixir that is sweet for the mind.

What will make them remember their heritage, incite them to learn, comprehend the reason why they are here? This is the land that Shakespeare extolled, that British poets sing about so lovingly, that wealthy Americans come to see. This is the land that produced the man who defied wisdom and gravity alike to sail off the supposed edge of the earth. This is the land that spewed forth scientists and artists and musicians and writers, saints and military strategists, explorers and poets too numerous to tabulate. But these children are content to enjoy the glory of the terrain without contributing anything to it.

I decide on a simple retaliation for their lapse into joy, a time-honored means of forcing them to confront their own ignorance: I will test them on next week’s lesson. One by one, I call upon them. Naturally, none of these poor excuses for students know what I am talking about–which is exactly how I planned it. Taking each one in turn, I have the opportunity to slap the perfect roundness of their wastrel cheeks. Not hard, but hard enough for the thunder in my voice and the anger in my palms to leave imprints on their bliss. For variety, I slap their hands with a steel-edged ruler, chosen specifically for this purpose.

A few of them try to help their comrades. They pull out the text and surreptitiously find next week’s lessons. They try to show the ones about to be slapped. This gives me another opportunity to go back and hit them again for their foolishness.

Only one escapes my enormous capacity for punitive strokes. Only one. I call on him and he knows the answers. A sudden pastel silence fills the room. The bumblebees can be heard outside the window. The other boys slowly swivel their heads toward me, fearing, perhaps, that I will decide the recitation is wrong after all. They are frozen in that golden sunshine, their pencils poised above their desktops–as if this show of dutiful obedience to the god of learning could make me forget their transgressions. They wait to see how far my rage will go. But I am a fair man. Renato knows the lesson. He must remain untouched.

***

“tepid appetite for knowledge” I loved that. Thank you, Marlene.

Dr. Marlene Caroselli (www.saatchionline.com/LainaCelano), is an author, keynoter, and corporate trainer.

She has published over 60 books, including Jesus, Jonas, and Janus: The Leadership Triumvirate, and Principled Persuasion, named a Director’s Choice by Doubleday Book Club.

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If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with romance author Sheri Fredricks – the five hundred and fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in ebooks, non-fiction, novels, short stories, writing

 

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Guest post: Revising a 30-year-old novel by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Tonight’s guest blog post is brought to you by Kathryn Meyer Griffith.

Revising a 30-year-old novel… and the journey in between

Evil Stalks the NightRevised Author’s Edition was my first published novel. 1984. As it comes out again from Damnation Books for the first time in thirty years, it’ll bring my forty-year writing career full circle and all fourteen of my old books will be out again for the first time in decades. A grueling, tedious three-year job rewriting these new versions but I’m thrilled. My babies are reborn; in the world again.

I’ll start at the beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn’t my first written one. That book was The Heart of the Rose. I began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not yet working full time, and bored out of my skin. I read a horrible historical romance one day and thought I can do better than that!  So I began writing. I’d tentatively called that book King’s Witch because it was about a 15th century healer falsely believed to be a witch but who was loved by a king. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just wrote, emotions high believing I could create a whole book. So naïve. Reading that old version now (1985 Leisure paperback) I have to laugh. Ironically, like that 1971 historical novel I’d thought was so bad, it was awful. It took 12 years to get it published. I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, getting a real job and finding and marrying the true love of my life. Life, as it always does, got in the way. The manuscript, in a drawer, was forgotten.

Years later I decided to rewrite it; try again. I bundled up the revised pile of printed pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. Sent it everywhere The Writer’s Market said I could. And waited. Months. In those days it’d take a year or more, shipping it here and there to publishers, in between revising to please any editor’s suggestions on how it could be better. Snail mail took forever; was expensive. But eventually it sold.

Now to Evil Stalks the Night.

In the meantime I’d written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my 1950’s and 60’s childhood in a large, poor but loving family. I sent it out as well. One day an editor suggested that since my writing had a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn’t I turn the story into a horror novel… like Stephen King was doing? Ordinary people. Supernatural circumstances. It’d sell easily, she said.

Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods from the main character’s past that she had to return and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and young adult life – my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love – as hers. A romantic horror when I’d finished. I retitled it Evil Stalks the Night and sent it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.

But right in the middle of editing, Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract, didn’t know what to do and didn’t know how to break it. I couldn’t afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and minimum-wage billing job was one step above poverty. Those days I was clueless on how to deal with the publishing industry.

That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure-or Dorchester. They became huge. Talk about karma. Fate stepped in and my editor, before she left, asked one of Leisure’s editors to give it a read. She believed in it.

1984. Out of the blue when I’d completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books offered to buy it! Then my new editor asked if I had any other books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, she bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up, make it an historical bodice-ripper (like those Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s provocative novels).  It wasn’t much money. $1,000 advance each and 4% royalties. The publishers back then had a huge distribution and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% over the next couple of years added up.

My career began. I slowly, like pulling teeth, sold ten more novels and various short stories over the next 25 years–as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, and some didn’t. Most of them eventually went out of print.

When Kim Richards Gilchrist of Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels 27 years later, A Time of Demons and The Woman in Crimson, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (new covers and rewritten–and in ebooks for the first time) my 7 out-of-print paperbacks, including Evil Stalks the Night. I said yes!

Of course, I rewrote it as well as my earlier novels, because my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature, unpolished; no computers or Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Writers saw the manuscript once to final proof it. There were many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite I kept the time frame (1960-1984).  The book’s essence would have lost if I’d hadn’t.

As I finished the finally editing I reminisced about the life changes I’ve had since I’d first began writing it so many years ago. Though published in 1984, I’d started writing it years before. 1978 or 1979. I’m as old as my grandmother was back then. While I was first writing it, I’d been a young married woman holding down my first real job, with a child, and trying to do it all. Now… my grandmother and parents have passed away. Family and friends I’ve left behind, too. I miss them all, especially my mom and dad. It’s strange how revising my old books reminded me of certain times of my life. Some of the memories I hid from and some made me laugh or cry. This book is the most autobiographical of all my novels. It contains details of my childhood, my divorce, and what my life was like when I met my second husband, Russell, my true love. We’ve been happily married for 34 years. The years have clicked by too quickly. I want to reach out and stop time. I want more. I want to write more stories.

So Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition is out for the first time in decades and I hope it’s a better book than it was in 1984. It should be… I’ve had over thirty more years of life and experiences to help make it so.

🙂 Thank you, Kathryn!

Since childhood Kathryn has always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before she quit to write full time. She began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and has had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

She has been married to Russell for thirty-three years; they have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and lives in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. They have two quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and live cat Cleo, and the four of them live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though she’s been an artist, and a folk singer in her youth with her brother Jim, writing has always been her greatest passion, her butterfly stage, and she says she’ll probably write stories until the day she dies. I know that feeling.

You can find more about Kathryn and her writing via…

and you can e-mail her at rdgriff@htc.net (she loves to hear from her readers).

***

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with non-fiction author Anne O’Connell – the five hundred and fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in ebooks, novels, tips, writing

 

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