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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catching Up

Work on "The Changeling Kill", sequel to "The Dreamer Gambit" is proceeding. In my usual haphazard fashion, I have made fundamental changes to the plot before the first draft is even complete. I decided that one key component might be too implausible for even fiction and changing it required editing all the way back to the beginning. At some point, I'm going to have to go through the exercise of outlining what each POV character knows at each step along the way as a continuity check. It might be better to save it for when I get a whole draft done.

"Two Faces, Two Faced" seems to be getting a lot of interest. The self-service ad on Goodreads has gotten quite a few "clicks", i.e., people wanting to see more and clicking on the ad. Hope some of those clicks are translating into sales!

Looking forward to the Love Is Murder conference in early February. I've made arrangements with Write Words to send me paperback copies of "The Dreamer Gambit" to sell on consignment in the bookseller's room at the event. I am also planning to do chapbooks for "Faces" to distribute there. The planned workshops for how to do publicity will certainly be on my list of musts for the conference. How great it feels to be attending as an author this time!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Faces, Two Faced - The Locations

I've been chatting with a few people who have started reading "Faces" and have asked me if I ever lived in Florida. To anyone else wondering, the answer is no, although I've been there on vacation a number of times. Between that and a fondness for the "Miami Vice" TV show from the 80s, Miami and surrounding areas seemed like the perfect setting for the story of mistaken identity which is "Two Faces, Two Faced."

A lot of the locales in the book are pure fiction, each one made up to suit a particular purpose for the plot. Some of them are real. Just for grins, I thought I'd sort it out.

The Fiction
Metro Centro Convention Center - I needed a place for Tracy to work which presented problems for her to solve as part of her job.

Club Raoul - Let's face it: there's just too few really glamorous places like this (or at least that I know about). I created the type of place I would really like to go.

Golden Years Retirement Village - I suppose I could have found a real place that met the needed requirements, but it's more fun to make it up.

Frankie's Shrimp Boat - I needed a rough sleazy dive sort of place.

Rosen's Deli - Fake, but modeled after Wolfie's which is real.

Green Tea Restaurant - A dark, forbidden rendezvous spot.

Cedrik's and Fernando's - I needed more nice dining spots.

Tugboats and Captain Steve's Diner - More rough-sounding places where criminals might hang out.

The Fact
The Rusty Pelican on Key Biscayne is quite real and represented as closely as I could remember my visits there.

The News Cafe on Ocean Drive is, or at least was once, exactly as described. My husband and I sat there one sunny morning in '94 listening to a man with a metal briefcase discuss movie ideas with a couple of bikers--way cool!

Lummus Park and Beach, including the welcome center, are across from the also-real Art Deco hotel district on Ocean Drive. I remember Ocean Drive as the bustling strip of outdoor bars and restaurants with people cruising up and down the route.

The Mayfair Hotel which is in Coconut Grove. It only gets a mention, but it's a very nice hotel which made an appearance in a "Miami Vice" episode.

I wouldn't be a writer if I didn't like making stuff up, but I also wanted this book to be an homage to a place I truly enjoyed visiting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Faces, Two Faced - Casting

In an earlier post for "The Dreamer Gambit," I listed who I thought would play each character if the book were made into a movie. Now I'll do the same for "Two Faces, Two Faced." Since this is all imaginary, I can choose anyone I want, although I try to stick with actors who could potentially actually play the part today, not someone in his/her younger days or someone from the past.

I have a friend who says she does not want to know who I would cast until after she has read the book. If this applies to you, CONSIDER THIS A SPOILER ALERT. Read on if you're curious.

Tracy Wiley/Elena Griegos The early image of the character was inspired by Stephanie Zimbalist in the "Remington Steele" TV series back in the 80s. From the current roster of Hollywood talent, I would choose Michelle Monaghan.

Alex Laughlin There was never any doubt on this one--Simon Baker.

Sean McGivern Had this one pegged early on too. Matt Damon - mainly based on his ability to look so different for varying roles. He played a nerdy-type in "Oceans 11" and does the action-hero in the Bourne series. Read "Faces" and you'll see the connection.

Kevin Fox This one was tough. Originally inspired by Pierce Brosnan in "Remington Steele" but the character in the book is around 30 years old. He's supposed to be younger than Tracy, but still very worldly and suave. A search through the IMDB for recent movies with younger actors turned up Kellan Lutz from "Twilight". I've never seen the movie, but he's got the look.

Josette LeBeau Easy choice - Audrey Tautou

Robert Killian Another easy pick which came to me almost as soon as the character developed - Daniel Craig

While there are a lot more secondary characters that would have to be cast, these are the main ones.

I'd be happy to hear from a reader who had a different sort of image  for any of the characters.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More on "Two Faces, Two Faced"

A coworker who purchased "Faces" dropped by to tell me how much she is enjoying it and how entertaining it is. It absolutely made my day. She also said she will be putting a review on Amazon when she's done. I'm so glad to know that the jokes in it work and that the story is engaging. It's what I'm doing it for, right?

For a computer professional, I am surprisingly slow when it comes to the latest technology. I got a demo from said coworker of her Kindle and how it can be set to read aloud. Hearing the words I put together come out of that little box was truly awesome.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Catching Up

I know for a fact that someone has purchased "Two Faces, Two Faced" already. While it's gratifying to know that, such knowledge is really a rarity. I'm also waiting for the book to be available on more websites, since right now, it's just Write Words and Amazon.

The Goodreads ad for "Faces" started this week and it has garnered three clicks so far. Not a bad start. I've also been seeing a lot of new followers on Twitter. That venue is a new concept to me, and maybe I haven't made as much of it as I should. It's always been my problem though when it comes to the world of computing. I get into the newest thing long after everyone else has gotten used to it, and by then, it's hard to learn the basics because everyone thinks everyone else already knows the basics. I've been in the information technology field for 30 years, too. Laugh if you want to, but after I spend all day in front of a computer screen, using my free time to explore the latest in software and services is not a thrilling idea. Of course, to spend free time in front of a computer screen writing is a whole 'nuther thing.

I've hit a "stuck place" in writing "The Changeling Kill." This often happens to me as the manuscript gets closer to the big climactic scene. I know what happens next, but I don't want to get there too quickly or too slowly. I'm also still working out the final confrontation of good guy versus bad guy which could be tricky. My baddie has remained somewhat mysterious thus far, and his true nature must be revealed quickly and dramatically yet thoroughly and satisfactorily. Waiting now for the burst of inspiration to break the logjam.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Two Faces, Two Faced" - How It Came To Be

With "Faces" now available for sale, I thought I would do a background bit on it. For Part 1, I'll talk about the inspirations.

I started writing "Faces" with a desire to do something lighter, since all my previous stories were a little on the dark side. I also had in mind a character: youngish woman, independent, with a smart-alecky mouth. As mentioned in an earlier post, one of my favorite books is John D. McDonald's "The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything." While his book also takes place in Miami and involves danger mixed with humor, that's where the similarities end.

Miami Beach seemed like a good setting. I've been there a number of times and always relished the flavor of it: like a European beach resort but with a hint of danger lurking beneath it's sun-and-fun veneer. This was back in the late 80's to early 90's, at the height of the "Miami Vice" TV show's popularity, and I'll admit to being a fan of the show and to having been influenced by it. I've also been to Jamaica and on a cruise, so those elements got added to the mix.

The first person point of view was the best way to showcase my character's sense of humor. Then I decided her natural irreverence would be part of what gets her into trouble. The story started coming together as I built on the character, and I could probably go on for days about how the entire plot developed. As usual with my creative process, scenes come into my mind that somehow seem to fit or can be made to fit. And so it goes...

Unlike "Dreamer," "Faces" never suffered from multiple rewrites because the story is straightforward and the single POV makes it a lot less complex. When you've got more POVs, it can be a struggle to keep track of who knows what and when and who said what to whom and when etc. (I'm in that position now with "Changeling" and I'm not even through a first draft yet!)

Next time, I'll talk about casting actors for the movie, should that ever come to be. Usually, I have an idea of my characters' general appearance as I begin and then serendipitously see a TV show or movie with an actor who fits the description of one of my people. While "Faces" was in progress, my husband and I decided to go back and watch all the episodes of "Remington Steele," a show we had missed during its first TV run because we were both going to college while working full time. Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist in that series quickly were cast as two of my characters. I won't say which--I'll let you figure it out. Of course, for a movie made today, I'd have to select other actors, which I have. But that's for next time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Two Faces, Two Faced" - New Source

Just found the new book on! The link is on the left beside the cover.

It is an awesome feeling.