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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Back on Amazon!

At long last! "The Dreamer Gambit" first appeared on back in March, shortly after it was published. Then, according to my editor at Write Words, Inc., Amazon made changes to their software, and my book became unavailable. At first, it would show up in a search, but attempts to access it produced broken link messages.

Now it's back on. I've included the direct link at the left.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Know You're Out There Somewhere . . .

The book is out there for sale. The stories are available for free reading at Authors Den. I've been doing my level best to get the word out. I started a Twitter account. What's missing?


I can see by the statistics that people are visiting this site as well as Authors Den, but I long for feedback and communication. While two readers have offered reviews of my short stories on my "den," I would love to hear from someone about "The Dreamer Gambit"; that they bought it and read it and to learn what they think. And I would like to hear from other writers, whether big names, or first timers like me, or those who strive to become published. Let's share!

Writing has always been a solitary sort of occupation, but in the age of the Internet, it needn't be. So, please, if you're visiting here, I want to hear what you have to say. Tweet me at @KathrynFlatt, or e-mail me at Comment about this blog or my writing or just say "hi". I'll do my best to keep up with correspondence and the lines of communication open.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fear Not

Someone I work with at my day job recently asked if she would recognize people from the company in the characters in my book. I thought I would take this opportunity to answer that question by listing what you will not find in my writing.

  1. You will not find yourself directly represented in one of my characters. The people in my novels/stories are partly inspiration and partly machination as I shape the story and the people through whom I will tell it. If anyone thinks one of my characters is a thinly-disguised version of themselves, I would have to say they are wrong or that it's pure happenstance. My creative process just doesn't work that way.
  2. You will not find much foul language. People who know me well would quickly testify to the fact that not only am I not offended by profanity, I've been known to use the same freely and often in the right settings and when properly provoked. But not in my novels or short stories. An occasional no-no word will slip in because, let's face it, people sometimes talk that way. Or sometimes I'll use it for emphasis, an exclamatory remark that expresses a character's surprise or anger or whatever. Usually though, I would much rather find more creative ways of showing emotion or getting a point across.
  3. You will not find explicit sex. I've read too many books where an author has tried--and failed--to adroitly straddle the line between pornographic trash and blush-evoking titillation. A lot of times, it just comes out either disgusting or full of corny euphemisms. I choose not to go there at all. My writing is strictly in the to-the-bedroom-door mode because I'd rather let a reader use his/her imagination about what happens when two characters get into a romantic way. Generally, what's important is that they "did the deed" and not the intimate details of what that entailed.
  4. You will not find graphic violence. Oh, yes, there will be violence at times, but I don't dwell on the gory details. Stephen King wrote in his book, Danse Macabre, (a must-read for anyone interested in the horror genre), that revulsion is the lowest level of horror, the gross-out kind that gets you in the gut and makes you want to vomit. I'm not out to make anybody sick. At the highest level is complete surprise, something you did not expect at all. Now that takes some doing. Will I put in fight scenes? Yes. Will a character occasionally expire in a messy fashion? Yes. But don't expect a detailed depiction of the resulting carnage. I don't find that interesting and I'm sure many readers don't either. I'll put in what's necessary to move the plot or to provide a piece of information that points to the conclusion in the interest of playing fair.
I guess all of those will nots put me in a PG rating category, but I will always try to surprise and intrigue my readers and give them something to think about. The fun is figuring out the puzzle, solving the mystery. I want a reader to say at the denouement, "I should have seen that! The clues were there! Why didn't I see that coming?"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

And Now For Something a Little Different

Back in 2009, the Chicago Tribune held a contest to find Chicago's Scariest Ghost Stories. Entries were required to be 700 words or less and had to reference a Chicago-area landmark or historical event.

I entered three stories, and one of them was selected for posting on the Tribune's website. While it did not win the contest, the selection of it by Tribune columnist Julia Keller marked my first writing success.

I have combined all three of my entries into one document and posted them on Authors Den. Enjoy.