Focus: Book News

Blog Swap with J.Q. Rose: A fruitful undertaking!

Today I am fortunate to welcome the delightful J.Q. Rose to my blog. I read and enjoyed J.Q.’s Sunshine Boulevard and look forward to reading Deadly Undertaking. For heaven’s sake, how clever is the name of the funeral home? Staab and Blood? Love it. Let’s learn more about J.Q. and her latest mystery.

About the book:

200x300 Rose-DeadlyUndertaking-AReA handsome detective, a shadow man, and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.

Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!

About author J.Q. Rose:

Author J.Q. Rose

After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Sunshine Boulevard, Coda to Murder, and Deadly Undertaking. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband, Gardener Ted, spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Buy the book:

Amazon  http://amzn.to/1OMmocd

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/22Kxumg

 Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1H72tvV

 Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/deadly-undertaking

Connect with J.Q. :

J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Facebook http://facebook.com/jqroseauthor
Google+ google.com/+JQRose
J.Q. Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/jqrose
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/janetglaser/

Five Fun Facts About J.Q. Rose

  1. Fun fact. I like potato chips dipped in ketchup accompanied by a cold glass of chocolate milk.
  2. Fun fact. I kicked up my heels as a hobo from Hooverville in the chorus line of the community players production of Annie. So much fun and a dream fulfilled.
  3. Fun fact. I helped to build the ark. No, not THAT ark, silly. The ark is the centerpiece of the Ark Park, a playground for the community.
  4. Fun fact. In my bio photo, the red Mustang convertible was a surprise birthday gift from my hubby in 1995. Still drives like it’s new.
  5. Fun fact. My older brothers and I all played cornet/trumpet in the school band. They made sure to stand out on the front porch when I practiced at home so the neighbors could see they were not the ones tooting out those sour notes.

Again, thanks for being with us today, J.Q. We’re excited about your latest novel.

I’m at J.Q.’s blog today. Once you’ve read about Deadly Undertakings, hop on over to her blog and read about me.

Point of View Pointers

kathymc_cover for twitter
Make me squeal with delight!

Before my post, let me remind you that my campaign on KindleScout for a contract with Amazon is coming to an end. I need all the nominations I can garner in these last few days. It ends on September 19th.  It’s easy to nominate books and if they’re chosen, you get a free pre-release copy. Just go to KindleScout and read more about my book and others.

Let me know you nominated Foul Wind, and I’ll be sure you get a free ebook whether or not I get the contract.

Okay, that’s my point of view. Now on to some thoughts on point of view. From, of course, my viewpoint.

Stories are told from some point of view. Somewhat like the different lenses of a camera, the viewpoint can be distant or very close. Omniscient point of view sees and reports on the characters and the action from some point where “all” is known and can be seen. Stories told in this point of view can share descriptions of setting and characters and the thoughts and opinions of all characters, because the narrator/writer knows all and sees all. This point of view can get up close and personal with a character’s emotions or remain distant.eyeglasses

Second person is written using you. “You go to the dermatologist and she tells you those ugly age spots are ‘wisdom spots,’ and you want to throttle the thoughtless tadpole.  Or tell her to wait until she turns into a frog.”

Third person point of view, and I am simplifying a lot here, tells a story as if one person is reporting on the action, in “he ate three potato chips,” style.

First person point of view tells the story from one person’s viewpoint. “I felt like a French fry among scalloped potatoes in my elegant family.”

The protagonist of a first person novel knows only what she sees or hears or is reported to her by others. The reader’s knowledge is also restricted to that which the POV character knows.

A strong, close point of view helps tell a stronger story.  When you reveal a scene through the eyes of the character who cares most about its outcome, the scene takes on power and emotion.

A story can talk about a hanging, let’s say. In omniscient point of view (POV), the narrator would describe a crowd of onlookers, andnoose[1] tell us they are watching because they’re pleased that a notorious killer is meeting justice. Tell us about this hanging  from the eyes of the daughter of the killer’s third victim, and we care more. Tell us from the eyes of a woman who escaped his knife and helped in his capture and we perhaps care even more. We’ll see different details and feel deeper, stronger emotions. If we’ve had the chance to meet the daughter or the would-be victim before, seen her do something that endears her to us, we’re likely hooked. She need not save a kitten. She could simply exhibit a few natural emotions and frailties that we can identify with. We’ll want to know what happens next.

Writing point of view can be tricky. You need to restrict what the point of view character observes only to what is outside that character, and through the eyes of that character. For example, if you’re in the point of view of a self-conscious teen, you might not want to write, “Cara shook her long, lush curls free from the restraining scarf.” More likely it would be something like, “Cara dragged the stupid scarf from her head, snagging her hair and leading no doubt to yet another mare’s nest of split ends in her mouse brown mess of curls.” And you’d have to consider whether a teenager would use the term mare’s nest.

To better understand point of view (and if you enjoy historical romance), you might want to read a few of Lauren Willig’s fun “flower” novels, beginning with THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION. Romance, espionage, history, and humor abound in the series.

What I found fascinating is how the shifting point of view of a character portrays an almost totally different person. I’ve always known that the villain is a hero in his/her eyes. In this series,  one character is “foiled” in achieving her goal in one novel, and appears rather frivolous and ill-intentioned from the point of view of the protagonist of that novel.  In the next novel, the “bad sister” becomes the heroine and the writing is from her point of view and she no longer seems villainous.  Behavior that seems tacky from one point of view becomes justified, thoughtful, normal from within that character.

Novelists these days take liberties with the old rule of choosing a point of view and sticking with it. They may include one section that’s in first person and add others that are in third person, or mix it up even more.

The objective is to tell a good story and not confuse the reader.

I’ll save my rant against head-hopping for another post.

I’d love to know the POV you choose and why.

I’d also love your nomination on KindleScout!

Kindle Scout: One Path to Publishing

Time’s running out to nominate Foul Wind on KindleScout! If you haven’t time to read the post, just click, nominate and run on to your next project, reading this after my deadline! Thanks. 

There-are-threeSince he died in 1832, I’ll forgive Mr. Cotton’s sexism. He makes a good point.

Right now I’m on a search for some sensible folks to read my first chapter and nominate me for publication on Kindle Scout. If my book is published, you’ll get a free pre-release copy. It’s fast and easy.

If you’re ready, here’s the link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3VDS86RNJSQOE

kathymc_cover for twitterWhy did I decide to try Kindle Scout? My path to published author has been long and crooked. When I began writing fiction, I naively assumed that someone who’d been a successful marketing communicator would quickly whip out several bestsellers and soon be on the road, exhausted by smiling at and signing books for, my many fans.

Oops! Lesson 1: writing fiction is NOT like writing data sheets or product brochures.

My first novel was a finalist in the St. Martin’s Malice Domestic contest. Hoorah! Agents wanted to see the whole manuscript. I’d soon be a published author on that exhausting book tour.

Not so. Some liked it, but no one LOVED it enough to want to take it on.

Lesson 2: The good grammar that thrilled the weary eyes of a contest judge is not enough to sell fiction. I needed to learn a lot more about creating interesting characters and presenting them with nearly insurmountable challenges that cause said characters to change by surmounting them.

Times changed. The publishing industry changed. Some of my colleagues found success publishing independently, others with small presses.

Several books and countless query letters later, I submitted my novel, Mustard’s Last Stand to a small publisher, L&L Dreamspell. They loved it! They published it. But sadly, soon after publication of my novel, one of the partners died. The remaining partner chose to close the company.Change-is-the-law-of

Instead of seeking a new publisher, I decided to independently publish my novel, the first in a madcap series of books set in North Idaho. I did. I also produced an audio book of the novel, narrated by JoBe Cerny, the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Really.

Ready to vote? Yes! I nominate Foul Wind!

Times changed. The publishing industry changed. Those authors who’d found great success publishing independently struggled with declining sales. My sales had no declining in their future, only an upward path. That has been a rugged one.

When I completed the second book in the series, Foul Wind, I decided to try Kindle Scout. That’s an Amazon program where readers can read about a book, read the first chapter, and nominate it for publishing. Success means a contract with a nice advance and some help marketing the book from Amazon. If I don’t get the contract, I’ll publish it myself.

I would greatly appreciate your going to my page on Kindle Scout and taking a look at Foul Wind. While you’re there, nominate two others. You’ll get a free pre-release copy of any of your nominations that are selected for publication.

Let me know what you think of Kindle Scout. I think it’s a win-win in this changing world, at least worth a 30 day wait for independent publication. It was very easy to post my book, with some marketing information that will always be useful.

Now. Go. Nominate. Tell your friends and family about my books. And look for Mustard’s Last Stand to be free sometime during this promotion. I’ll let you know when.

Have any of you tried Kindle Scout? What do you think?