Friday, November 16, 2018

Uh-oh I'm Stuck

I hit the 30K mark this week. I haven't written everyday—funny how life gets in the way of my good intentions—but I'm churning out a solid 700 word daily average which is phenomenal for me.

So... I'm about 50% through the book, and my main character (MC) has made a major life change, found and lost a love interest, discovered something important from his past, and crossed the line with an acquaintance (who may become more). What's next?

Okay, this is the part of the writing process when I've caught up to my ideas, and I don't know what else to write. For now. I've worked through the "everything sucks" stage and persisted through the "when am I ever going to finish this" stage... It's not exactly writer's block, but I'm stuck here.

Focus on the big picture...

In the rest of my story, I want my MC to experience: self-discovery resulting in a definitive conclusion; conflict between love interests; and resolution with his family and old feuds (wizards versus fairies).

1. Self-discovery: MC decided he doesn't want to work in the family business (wizardry). Does his choice mean he has to leave his family now? When so much of his identity is tied up with family, who is he apart from his family? What does he want to do with the rest of his life?

2. Love interest conflict: No love triangles for me. Kind of. But love interest #1, who rejected MC, is jealous of love interest #2 and stirs the pot on an old family feud. The feud impacts his grandfather, his parents, and love interest #2. MC is torn between the different parties. It's not a matter of the MC choosing between love interests... more like keeping one safe from the other.

3. Resolution with family and old feuds: Family—MC becomes reunited with his parents. Why did his parents abandon him? To protect him from the feud between their families. Feud—MC is the child of both sides (wizard and fairy). His very existence helps to heal old wounds. But how? Both sides need to come together for a purpose? Cure for sick family member? Father returns home because Grandfather is ill? Father seeks out Mother for a healing?

How does it all end?

Happily-ever-after. What else did you expect from me? I just need to add a little bit of this and a bit of that to get from where I am to where I need to be... the HEA before THE END.


Friday, November 9, 2018

When Health Intervenes

For the first time, I've decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo). I've known about it—and thought about it—for the last eight years. Writing 50,000 words in a month is nuts, right? You gotta break it down to 1,667 words per day, and even that seems like an awful lot. And it is. A lot. So, why now? Why this year?

The last three years, especially, have been hard for me. My already declining health took a bad turn (a plummet really) in 2015. Most days, it's hard enough to function let alone write. I'm sick, but I don't want sickness to be the reason I don't finish my book. I've been working on a sequel to A Vampire's Tale pretty much since I published it last year. Before deciding to do nanowrimo, I had written 20,000 words—and it had taken me a year and a half. It's hard enough to sell books as a new author, and one surefire way to keep sales up is to keep publishing books. Which is pretty hard to do if you're not writing. Or, if you're writing—sometimes—and your word count amounts to less than 1,000 words per week.

I keep planning to finish my novel, but I keep pushing my deadline out. Before summer. When the kids go back to school. This fall. And so on. Something always seems to be in the way—other projects, poor health, life. When am I going to write my novel if I don't sit down (actually lie down because I get nauseated if I sit to write) and write it? Enter nanowrimo. I may reach 50,000 words by November 30, and I may not. But I'm fine with either possibility. The excitement surrounding this month has me pumped and motivated to write. And, during week one, I wrote my target of 6,500 words. That's progress.

I can't say it's been an easy week. And I can't guarantee I'll hit my target next week. But I'm doing instead of hoping, and it feels good. Even when I don't.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Book Spotlight - Slaughtered by @ka_lugo


SLAUGHTERED
Series: Jack Slaughter Thrillers, #1
Author: K.A. Lugo
Length: Novel
Genre: Thriller 
Price: $4.99

The Texter

Fallen homicide detective, Jack Slaughter, closes the door on the home where his perfect family has been brutally snatched from him. Moving across the city, he works as a private investigator to fund his own investigation into what happened to his family—who killed his little girl, ZoĆ«, and where is his wife, Leah?

Every three month for the last three years, Jack receives a simple text telling him where he can find his missing wife. There’s a body at each location, but none of them are Leah.

Jack hates missing person’s cases, but they’re his bread and butter. He only takes the case to find Carl Boyd's missing wife because the details of her disappearance closely match Leah’s. He hopes by finding Bonnie Boyd, he'll find his own wife.

The Butcher

Following the leads in the Bonnie Boyd case, Jack discovers someone has been killing women all over the city for the last three years, a fact Jack’s ex-partner and still best friend, Ray Navarro, has neglected to tell him. The city has a serial killer and officials haven’t been able to find a single lead on the person they’ve dubbed The Butcher.

Could Bonnie Boyd’s disappearance be linked to The Butcher? More important, was Leah one of The Butcher’s victims? Could he have gone so far as to murder a child?

With every clue Jack weaves together, the more his own life unravels.




99c/99p pre-sale on now!
Available November 14, 2018!

***Buy Links***


***Excerpt***

San Francisco, California

Wednesday

“Is it her? Is it Leah?”

Jack Slaughter’s heart hammered a hole in his chest as he watched the rail-thin form of the newly-made detective, Paul Travers, stride toward him. If he could read the man’s expression and body language, Travers seemed more amused by Jack’s presence than annoyed.

When Jack started lifting the crime scene tape to duck under it, Travers pushed him back with a firm hand on his shoulder.

“You gotta stop turning up like this, Jackie.” Travers’ flippant voice grated on Jack, almost as much as the man’s ruddy complexion and brassy hair. His voice edged on being just a bit too high and too nasal to want to listen to for long. Jack didn’t know how his best friend and former partner, Ray Navarro, could stand it.

With a hand still on his shoulder, Travers nudged Jack back. He made a shooing motion with his other hand. “Why don’t you just go on home and let the professionals do their jobs?”

Travers’ condescending tone made Jack want to punch him in the throat.

“Where’s Ray?” He followed Travers’ gaze over the man’s shoulder and saw Ray standing over the victim’s body several yards away. It appeared to have been positioned at the foot of a tall pine at the dead-end of the road. “I want to talk to him.”

Travers caught his gaze and looked back. “Go home, Jackie. You don’t belong here.” He emphasized the word you. They both knew why Jack was no longer Ray’s partner, nor on the force.

Ignoring the little pissant, Jack shouted over the man’s shoulder. “Ray!” His friend looked up and gave a quick wave to acknowledge he’d seen Jack. He finished up with a CSI, then made his way over.

“What are you doing here, Jack?” When Ray reached up to shake hands, Jack palmed his cell phone into Ray’s.

“I told him to go home . . . partner.”

In Jack’s opinion, Travers seemed to take every opportunity to rub it in that he now occupied Jack’s former position. It didn’t escape his notice that Ray also cringed at the word partner. Jack knew his leaving the force had been a blow to his friend too.

He gazed directly into Ray’s eyes, trying to keep the anxiety he felt from his voice. “I got another one.”

“Jack—” Ray sighed, gazing down at the phone’s screen to the open text—Spreckels Lake.

Since the very first text he’d received—You’ll find your wife in the Panhandle—there had never been anything more than the next location. The texts came every three months, as if on schedule. Every one of them led Jack to a body, but none of them were Leah. If the texter was trying to drive him crazy, it was working. But he couldn’t risk that the guy was crying wolf. Even after three years, Jack still showed up . . . just in case.

Ray handed back the phone then threw his hands onto his hips. Jack could almost hear the gears working in his friend’s head as he gazed around Spreckels Lake with obvious concentration.

This was a beautiful location. Jack remembered bringing his family here, but pushed the memory from his mind. He gazed away from the water, trying to breathe. He knew the answer, but he had to ask it anyway. “Is it her?” Even he heard the waver in his voice.

“You gotta let me do my job, man. You gotta trust me. If this was Leah, you know I’d tell you.”

“I know, but—”

“No buts, Jackie,” Travers cut in, edging up closer to him as if posturing. “You’re not a cop anymore. You don’t belong here. Go home.”

Jack starred at Travers with a look he hoped said, go ahead and touch me again, pissant, I dare you. He must have got his point across because Travers hesitated before stepping away, his back noticeably erect.

“I’m sorry. Paul’s right. You don’t need to be here. It’s not her.” Ray’s voice remained calm. Jack knew the tone, as he often used it to try defusing situations with suspects and distraught families.

“You’re just a distraction, Jackie.”

“Paul!” Ray’s warning tone made Travers jump, as it did those around them.

In his heart, Jack knew when a victim’s family turned up on a crime scene, or tried insinuating themselves into an investigation, it only disrupted the process. More times than he could count, the time he’d spent dealing with the family would have been better served on the investigation.

Jack shrank away from the crime scene tape, his energy evaporating. “You’re right, Ray. I’m sorry. I just can’t risk that the one time I don’t respond to the text, it really will be Leah.”

“I know, Jack. I know.” Ray put his hand on Jack’s shoulder this time, drawing Jack’s attention. “But this isn’t her. Go ho—” Ray stopped short, both knowing Jack hadn’t been home since that night three years ago. “Go back to your place. I’ll stop by after my shift. We’ll talk then, okay?”

Jack looked past Ray’s shoulder to the lifeless body. He watched as technicians carefully placed a protective tarp over the victim, telling him the CSIs had retrieved all the scene evidence they needed and now waited for the coroner’s removal.

Dumping the body at the lake had been a bold move. Even at this dead-end in the road, Golden Gate Park attracted a huge number of people, homeless and visitors alike. Someone had to have seen something.

“Can you use an extra hand?”

“Sorry, Jack. You know I can’t. I gotta get back. I’ll see you later, at your place.”

“Don’t bother.” Jack didn’t have to look back to know Ray watched to make sure he was leaving.

From behind him, he heard Travers ask, “What’s with that guy?”

“Lay off, Paul,” Ray said. “You’d react the same way if your daughter had been murdered and your wife was still missing.

***Author Bio***

K.A. Lugo is a native of Northern California who grew up on the Central Coast, with San Francisco just a stone's throw away. Like most writers, Kem has been writing from a young age, sampling many genres before falling into thrillers, mystery, and suspense.

Kem loves hearing from readers and promises to reply to each message. Please visit Kem's socials to stay up-to-date on this exciting new series.

***Find K.A. Online***