Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tour, Topic, and a Tournament


SHATTERED CIRCLE was released yesterday. So was my sister-word-whore’s book, Kerry Schafer’s BETWEEN  ( HERE )

Her cover is awesome, yes?

C’mon, everyone! Muppet-flail with me! Yippee!!!!!!!

I was kind of all over the place yesterday, including a guest post at GIZMO'S REVIEWS  where I interviewed my main character, Persephone Isis Alcmedi. Check it out. Go on...I'll wait.

Today, I’m being hosted by Books & Other Spells, over at BOOKS AND OTHER SPELLS  There is an interview of me up there where I share my thoughts on bad reviews, and reveal a few things people would be surprised to know about me. Check it out too.  

If you read my series and would like to see an interview with my character Johnny, or Menessos…you better watch my facebook and/or twitter feeds. They are really cool interviews. After you read this post here at Word-Whores and comment to be in on the contest, of course…


Why yes I occasionally stay on topic.

Writing: By Plot or Event 

I puzzled over this topic title, thinking, what’s the difference? When the answer hit me, I was surprised I hadn’t thought about this before. What was that not-so-clear-to-me difference?

Events happen, period. Chaotically. Uncontrollably. Like the inexorable flow of time.

But a plot…a plot is /human/. Plot is rooted in all things emotional—be they sweet or devious. An event happens--it can be an act-of-nature tornado or someone taking an action, but some event occurs, and then your character has thoughts and reactions to that which has happened. As those thoughts and reactions propel the character, the plot develops. They make a plan, or they don’t. They set out to do something because of this, or their inaction makes other folks take action. Whatever it is—and as the author you get to choose—everything can go according to plan…or it can completely backfire. A plot is a human’s attempt to control events

Story, therefore, is how the other humans’ attempts to control events interact with the main character’s attempt and the emotional ride each of them takes because of it all.

A story is the heart-wrenching desperation to save the life of a loved one…from being sacrificed to a dragon, from their addiction, from the bounty-hunter, from cancer. It’s the deliciously evil motive the smooth bad guy has for wooing the young princess. It possesses both a plot and events.

But remember, a story can evolve from either perspective. Which one gives you the best edge? Which one helps you write the most intriguing, dramatic, and evocative story?

If you have read my books, you know they are character-driven. Sure, I have an over-arching plan, one that spans what I intend to be nine books and has a very specific time-frame. That plan is very event-oriented. But that’s the big-picture, based on the necessary steps being taken—relentlessly—toward that big, final climactic scene in my head, the one just waiting for its turn to blossom on the page. I use these events as guidelines, like landmarks. Pass this one here. That one there. Events are my map to follow, so I don’t get lost. But I work and write best through the conveyance of the emotions of the plot… of that journey I am on, taking the readers and the characters with me. It is taking my characters through those winding streets, down those dark alleys, that is my pleasure.


Okay, it’s not so much a jousting competition as the word ‘tournament’ implies…but you better sharpen your pencils, boys and girls.

**I will award a signed copy of SHATTERED CIRCLE to the winner, to be chosen at my own discretion. 

Write A First Line.  A valid entry must 1.) include the name of at least one of my characters and 2.) convey something that would compel a reader to continue. 3.) Be written in the comments here from the time this post goes live, until Tuesday Feb 5, noon, EST. I'll announce the winner here and on my fb next Wednesday, Feb 6. Think of it as a first line of a book. What would make you want to know more. You get points for being: intriguing, dramatic, and/or evocative.

Have fun with this! 


  1. Johnny didn't think zombies existed, until the day he stood eye to eye with what clearly was an undead and very smelly wild boar.

    Couldn't resist putting in a pig ;-)

    1. Oh Sullivan. You make me feel guilty for loving sausage and bacon as much as I do. :)

  2. Persephone snarled under her breath, then poured on more speed and hurdled the hedge surrounding the vampire's lair.

  3. This was the night Menessos had been waiting for, because tonight was the night Persephone was going to give herself to him, even if she didn't know it yet.