Monday, September 23, 2013

Tracee Ford Part Two

Yesterday I featured Tracee's interview, and today, here is an excerpt of her newest book, Idolum. Enjoy!

Running became tiring. She felt like she ran for hours. The adrenaline rushed through her veins, making her shake. She saw the full moon very high in the sky and could feel the dirt beneath her bare feet. The wind felt cold against her bare skin; so cold she couldn’t even sweat. She tried hard to catch her breath, but the chase kept her lungs from taking in much air.
Suddenly she felt someone grab her around her waist and lift her off of the ground. She screamed, but no one came to help her. She fought the attacker, but she couldn’t see his face. She swung, trying to use her training to fend him off, but she wasn’t successful. She felt her underpants pull to the side. She knew he would penetrate her one more time. Would she die? She wondered.
She separated herself from her physical body to avoid the pain of violation. No matter what, she still smelled the familiar cologne. Even though she felt as if she stood outside of her body, she clawed at her attacker, knowing if she were found dead at least she would have his DNA under her nails. She knew his carelessness would finally catch up with him. His attraction to her had been personal and his loss of control would finally hold him accountable. This gave her comfort as he continued raping her.
When he was done, he grabbed her by the hair and began beating her head against the cold ground. She struggled to stay awake, but failed miserably with the last blunt blow to the back of her head.
Her eyes opened to blackness. The only thing she related it to was when she used to cave dive in college. It had been the most intense darkness she had ever experienced. She ran her fingers over her body feeling her clammy skin. She felt underneath her, the surfaces were smooth. She knew there would be a lighter somewhere near her. She felt with her fingers and there it was. She pulled it to her and lit it. The darkness vanished momentarily as she looked around seeing dirt. It had happened. He buried her alive, just like he had the others. She didn’t know how long she was out. A day was all she had.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Interview with Tracee Ford

Today I am featuring an interview with Tracee Ford, a personal friend of mine, and the author of both Idolum and Between Worlds Volume One: The Fine Line. Here, she'll answer some questions about her writing!

1.       What made you start writing? I had always loved telling stories growing up. I remember in the 2nd grade, by best friend and I made up skits and used characters from The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I am an only child, so things got pretty boring sometimes, so when I was sixteen, out of boredom, I decided to write my first novel. It actually came to me from a dream and I remember waking up at 3 a.m. and writing everything down I could remember. The next day I started. I used my typewriter to create the book and the help of my high school boyfriend to develop he characters and some of the plot sequences. So I guess, when that book is published, I suppose I will have to end up giving him some credit.

2.       What genre do you write in and why? I write in a variety of genres. Paranormal, romance, crime novels. I don’t believe in boxing myself in.

3.       What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about being an author? The best advice I’ve ever gotten is to not give up, even when it was hard to keep the faith. My best friend read my first book and told me that someone out there needed to read it. Another friend of mine told me that someday someone would share my work with the world. So, even after a wall papered with rejection letters, I didn’t give up.

4.       How about the worst? Geesh, I can’t think of anyone who has given me the “worst” advice. I think that’s probably a good thing though.

5.       How do you name your characters? I honestly don’t have a tried and true method. Names just sort of come to me. I also have a baby names book that I use sometimes. Of course, in my first book I used my son’s name as well as the name I would have chosen for a daughter: David and Hope

6.       Do you have anything you have to do while writing? Music? Television? I have to have complete silence. I don’t want a television on; no music. I can’t be distracted.

7.       Thinking about your current work, if it was being made into a movie, who would you pick to play your main characters? Oh wow. For Idolum, I’m honestly not sure. I’ve not given the characters much thought for that one. For Between Worlds (volume 1): The Fine Line I had Robert Downey Jr. picked out to play Matt Gregory. I had Tommy Lee Jones picked out to play the part of Robin’s father. I had Diane Keeton picked out to play Robin’s mom. As for Robin, I have no idea who I would fill her shoes with. Someone new probably.

8.       How are your books being published? What brought you to your publisher? My books are being published through Injected Ink, an imprint of PDMI Publishing. Virginina Jennings actually brought PDMI to my attention and then when I actually got to talk to a live person at the company I was floored. Tc McKinney’s personality and his advice sold me in the first conversation. Then they read my work and offered contract within less than 24 hours.

9.       Any words of wisdom for the aspiring authors out there? DO NOT QUIT! There is someone out there that wants to read what you have written. Even if you can’t get a traditional contract, self-publish. If there are ideas, characters, and a story screaming to get out of your mind and onto paper, write it and then share it with the world!

10.   Part of writing is reading, so what are your two favorite books right now? Devil’s Dilemma is the only one I have read recently. I honestly do not have a whole lot of time to read anymore. There are too many other things going on that take my attention.

11.   How do you get your work from the “crappy first draft” to something polished and shiny? Self-editing, beta readers, copy editors?  All three.

12.   Last one: tell us one thing about you as an author that I didn’t get at with the other questions. I am a paranormal investigator. I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. I am the founder of The Southern Ohio Ghost Hunters and Dreaming Big Consulting. I am a marketing coach. That means as a consultant I do not market work; I teach the author how to successfully market their own. I believe that connecting with your local community is very, very important to bringing awareness to your writing as well. Charities that I support include ADHD research, Diabetic research, Breast Cancer research, Wounded Warrior Project, the Humane Society, and Autism research.

If you want to know more, you can find Tracee on Facebook, her website or you can purchase her books on Amazon. Thanks for a great interview Tracee!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Andrea Zug Part 2

Here is the excerpt from one of Andrea's current works. If you haven't checked out her awesome interview, check the archives!

Jim Wilshire pulled in front of his dad's house. He pulled his walkie-talkie out of the handset and attached it to his belt. He glanced at the house for a moment before exiting the vehicle. Jim didn't like the fact that his dad lived out here all alone. Try as he might Jim couldn't convince him to move closer. No siree, he would say, this is my home and ain't no damn delinquents gonna run me out of it.
Jim smiled in spite of himself and admitted that his dad was his hero and he wouldn't change a thing about him. He would never admit that, of course, but it was the truth. He saw the curtains move slightly as he opened the door of his truck. Ever vigilant, that was his old man.
Ned opened the door when he heard Jim's footsteps stop. He smoothed down his hair and hoped he was dressed okay. One thing Ned Wilshire didn't need was for his son to go on another rant and insist he move. If he showed any sign that he couldn't take care of himself it would lead to another argument.
     "Afternoon son, come on in." Ned stepped aside to let Jim pass.
     "Have any coffee made? I could use a cup."
     "Course I do. If I'm awake there is coffee in the pot. We can talk in the kitchen. You workin today? Ned took a cup from the cabinet just to the left of the coffee pot. "See ya got the truck."
Jim accepted the steaming cup of coffee Ned offered. "Yeah. I like the truck better. I fit in it." Jim laughed. "We have these new walkie-talkies." He pulled it from his belt and handed it to his father. "Now I can be in touch even if I'm not driving the cruiser."
Ned looked the rectangular walkie-talkie over and shrugged his shoulders. "It work alright? It don't look like much."
Jim laughed again. "It works fine dad and I can be in touch regardless of where I am."
     "If it's good enough for you then it's okay by me." Ned took a sip of his coffee and looked sideways at his boy.
     "You workin on anythin interestin? Maybe need some advice or somethin?"
     "Now dad you know that I can't discuss specifics." Jim cautioned.
     "Sure I know that, I ain't dumb. Just wanted to know what my boy is mixed up in."
Jim looked at his dad and smiled. "I just finished a crime scene, downtown." He held his cup out for a refill and gave his dad some time to think.
     "Wouldn't be the murder at Dino's would it? I heard it was a bloodbath. What was it seven or eight dead?"
Jim took the refilled cup. "Thanks, good coffee dad. Yeah it was pretty bad. What makes it interesting is that there was a second crime scene in the alley.
     "You don't say. Related to the one inside?" Ned knew how to ask the questions in a way that required no details.
     "I can't be sure but I don't think so. How about a stogie dad?"
Ned cocked his head and squinted. "You tryin to trick me into somethin? The doc told me not to smoke."
     "Yeah, I know that dad." A big smile spread across his face. "I also know that you don't always do what doc tells you to do." Jim pulled a cigar from his inside pocket and bit off the end. "Mind if I have one? Just so you don't tell doc, he told me the same thing." Jim struck a match and placed it under the tip and inhaled. Soon the stogie was lit and smoke curled into the air.
     "Well," Ned began, "as long as you don't say nothin either, don't mind if I do."
Jim handed Ned a cigar, leaned back and watched him light it. "Like it?"
Ned inhaled deeply and blew smoke rings into the air. "Nice and smooth. Yep, I like it."
For a few minutes neither said anything. They just drank their coffee and smoked their cigars, comfortable with each other, enjoying each others company.
Ned was the first to break the silence. "I don't suppose you have any idea who done it."
Jim shook his head and grimaced. "Nope. I just got the case this morning. One thing I can tell you is that whoever is responsible is one sick son-of-a-bitch."
     "Ya think these kids might be involved?" Ned yawned and poured himself another shot of coffee.
     "I seriously doubt it. These damn kids are mean but whoever did this was ruthless and viscous. I doubt the juveniles had any part in this."
     "You learn any more about Angela's friend, the one who was kidnapped?"
Jim raised his eyebrows. "Angela? So the two of you are on a first name basis huh?"
Ned chuckled. "Course we are. I helped her out of a bad spot."
     "I know you did and you better never do anything like that again. Suppose they had ambushed you? Jim emphasized his words with the index finger of his left hand.
     "Don't you go pointin that finger at me. Remember who used to turn you over his knee and beat your britches. I could still do it now, if need be."
Jim threw his head back and laughed out loud. "I just bet you could. As I recall my ass was red for two days."
     "I think you might just be makin that fish a little bigger than it really was."
     "So." Jim stood. "What you're saying is that I'm telling a fish story, a story that is exaggerated?"
Ned stood and faced his son. "That's what I'm saying alright. What are you gonna to do about it?"
     "I think I'll kick your ass old man." Jim put his cigar in the ashtray and rolled up his sleeves.
     "You better roll them pant legs up too whippersnapper cause you're stepping in shit now that you won't git out of so easy."
     "Is that a fact? Well let's get to it then." Jim waited until Ned stood and put his stogie down. Then he led with an open handed right. Ned sidestepped and felt the wind as the hand swooshed past. He countered with a right of his own that caught Jim squarely on the left side of his face.
     "Lucky one old timer." Jim once again led with his right but followed it with a left. He caught Ned with the left. This went on for five minutes. Jim said uncle first, as he always did. Ned laughed  and sat down.
     "You just been man slapped, bitch."
Jim laughed until his side hurt. "That is wrong in so many ways dad."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Author Interview

Hey all. Today I am featuring one of the other talented authors that is signed with the same publisher I am. Today we have an interview that I did with Andrea, and tomorrow we'll have an excerpt from one of her current works. If anyone has additional questions for her, you can direct them to me through the comments. Without further ado....Andrea Zug!

        What made you start writing? I'm not sure I know how to answer this question Sirena. I have always had a vivid imagination and saw so many possibilities in every event that happened. I guess I saw what could have happened as well as what did happen. It was unnerving until I got used to it, then it was kind of fun. One day I just decided to write a story as a way to give my imagination its way. The rest is history.
        What genre do you write in and why? I write primarily mystery/fiction although my latest novel adds paranormal to the mix. I find it stimulating to allow my mind free reign. I'm not sure I know why I write mysteries as I prefer to read horror.
        What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about being an author? Wow, that is a difficult one. I'm not sure I have ever received any advice other than from my English teachers along the way, encouraging me to pursue writing. Does having my readers push me to "hurry up and finish" a project count as advice? LOL.
        How about the worst? I could probably use editorial examples but I decline to do so...joking of course. I can't think of any examples.
        How do you name your characters? They name themselves for the most part. All of my books to this point include some real people, who sign a waiver allowing me to use them as characters. I have done this since the second book because so many friends have asked to be immortalized in my work. So far these have been heroes or good guys...I'm waiting for my first villain to step to the plate.
        Do you have anything you have to do while writing? Music? Television? Not really. I can work with the television blaring or with complete silence. My surroundings do not dictate my ability to muse, my brain does.
        Thinking about your current work, if it was being made into a movie, who would you pick to play your main characters? Sweet mercy Sirena that is an awesome question. For my main characters...Mike and Angela (Angel) Lancer...I would choose Johnny Depp and Susan Sullivan I think. They are both vibrant personalities, funny and sensitive...yet strong.
        How are your books being published? What brought you to your publisher? My first three novels, Lancer, Inc. Lancer, Inc. South of the Border and DEAth Conspiracy were published by Publish America. As an unknown author that was the best I could do at the time. My first book was published in 2006 although I co-authored a Sci-fi novel in 2004. At that time the big houses were only taking submissions from authors with well known names. I recently came to PDMI because I loved the way Tc and Nessa wanted to be involved with their authors, they talk to us and answer questions. I came in at a time of rapid growth for PDMI. I am anxiously awaiting the publishing of Vengeance.
        Any words of wisdom for the aspiring authors out there? I always have words, wisdom, however, has yet to be judged. I will say this: If you are meant to write, you will know it the first time you sit down with a pen and paper or at the computer. Follow your instincts, allow your imagination to dictate your actions with the storyline and the characters. Use the knowledge you have of people you have met, or imagined, to build strong characters. Let your mind/imagination be your muse. Most of all do not be discouraged when you come to an impasse, what some call a writer's block. This too shall pass...relax and love what you do. You will meet some wonderful people between the pages of your work.
        Part of writing is reading, so what are your two favorite books right now? I am currently reading Dark Road to Paradise by Clay Gilbert and enjoying it immensely. I am also reading Breathless by Dean Koontz.
        How do you get your work from the “crappy first draft” to something polished and shiny? Self-editing, beta readers, copy editors? I edit often as I go about my work. I also share with my husband, Mike, he edits as well. I do have a third party that reads chapter by chapter and provides editing. I have recently discovered that the use of ellipsis (I love them as a slight slow down in a sentence, as opposed to over use of commas etc) are frowned upon by some.  I prefer sentence structure that reads like regular speech sounds. How many people rattle off a sentence without using a slow down or slight pause to add depth to what they are saying?
        Last one: tell us one thing about you as an author that I didn’t get at with the other questions.  Although I have been writing since high school...I did not publish until many, many, many years later. Mike and I have three wonderful, adult children. I chose to devote my energy to my family before my art.  I worked full time in a very demanding job while raising three active children...I doubted I could add a writing career and do any of them to the best of my ability. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran who has first novel was therapy for him but that is a topic for another time...

Thanks for a great interview, Andrea! 

      For the next few days, I will be doing some author features of people I know to give me a break from writing posts and everyone else a break from reading my stuff.