Author Archives: Judi Lynn

About Judi Lynn

https://writingmusings.wordpress.com/ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5023544.Judith_Post @judypost on twitter Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judi-lynn

Two Movies in Two Days

I don’t know if anyone who visits my blog is a movie fan, but M.L. Rigdon writes many movie reviews on her blog. Worth checking out. I’ve been so excited about seeing Downton Abbey, I was thankful for a good review. And her shameless plug comes at a perfect time. Her epic fantasy, The Gracarin, will be out Oct. 10.

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AD ASTRA

An outer space adventure that is mostly backdrop for wrenching internal struggle. Brad Pitt’s character, Major Roy McBride, has managed childhood issues with controlled avoidance. He’s buried pain so deeply that he’s cut himself off, shut down emotional responses. His success with this is demonstrated in how calm he remains in a terrifying life threatening accident that would make any normal person shriek nonstop or blackout. That neat talent is challenged when everything he’s done to protect himself begins to unravel with the monumental task of saving the world. His father, a brilliant scientist and deified astronaut thought dead, is making mayhem on Neptune.  Son must find trouble-maker dad, save the universe, while his internal self is hanging on by a thread.

Pacing is difficult in space films, mainly because everything is slowed down on screen for the illusion of weightlessness. The action gets slow at times but…

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Some Writers Have a Little Bit Too Much Fun

I already told you about my good blog friend, C. S. Boyack’s new book, VIRAL BLUES.  But today, Craig has come to tell you about it himself, and I’m so glad to have him!  When Craig lets his imagination go, watch out, world!  Here’s Craig:

Hi, everyone. Craig here to talk about my latest book, Viral Blues. This one is just in time for your Halloween reading, but it isn’t horror. It’s more a light-hearted romp. (Some gore, so think of it like dark humor.)

I always intended this to be a sequel for The Hat, the book I pushed for last Halloween. This series is without an overarching plot, so you ought to be able to pick up any of them and fare just fine. No prerequisite books required.

Then I went a little bit crazy, but crazy is good sometimes. It dawned on me that many of my previous characters could dwell in the same world. Some of them were pretty popular, and readers requested sequels from them, too.

It’s with this thought that Viral Blues earned a storyboard. All the pieces were in place for a great team-up, which seems to be all the rage at the movies lately, too.

Dr. Gina Greybill, and her assistant, Mohan Gupta, used their Host Program to gather a special group of individuals to face a pestilence of massive proportions. You may remember them from The Playground.

They invited Lizzie and The Hat, Lisa Burton, Jason Fogg, and – by accident – Clovis from some of my previous books. Together they work to uncover whoever is tampering with the world’s vaccine supply.

This posed my first quandary, because I have a mix of science fiction, paranormal, and regular people here. Ultimately, it had to be a paranormal story, with Sci-fi sprinkles on top.

I also had to decide who to focus on for the story. Since this was always going to be the sequel for The Hat, Lizzie and The Hat walk us in, and close it out. That part was easy. It also built a much needed fence for me. I would follow the format of The Hat, and keep everything in third person. (The Jason Fogg stories were in first person, so I toyed with the idea of keeping his sections that way, but it didn’t work well.)

Character popularity established that Lisa Burton and Clovis would get about equal time with Lizzie and The Hat.

This isn’t to say that Gina, Gupta, and Jason didn’t have their fans, they did. Readers won’t be disappointed either, but these characters help bind the story together with their special skills. Even Marvel had to do some of this. Iron Man gets more time than, say, Hawkeye.

One benefit is that some of my characters are a little over the top. It might just be me, but I think they’re lovable in small doses. By spreading the spotlight around, readers get a nice mix of their personalities and skills, without it being too much.

Then I went a little more crazy, and included even more characters. Clovis got there, because Gina invited Justine, the voodoo practitioner who is his girlfriend. I have cameos from other stories, but they’re more like Easter Eggs than any main focus. There is no requirement to read these tales first, but if you have, you might recognize a bit here and there.

To keep the crazy train rolling, I even included a secret chapter. It’s after the back-of-book material in a nod to pop-culture and some of the superhero films.

I don’t mind telling you, this story was a challenge. It came out great, and in my opinion, people who try it are going to have a good time.

Mobsters, devils, zombies, the CDC, what’s not to love. Hopefully, your fans will check it out for their Halloween reading, and thanks for having me over.

 

***

 

Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

THANKS SO MUCH TO CRAIG FOR VISITING MY PAGE TODAY!  I LOVE HIS WRITING.  HOPE YOU CHECK OUT HIS BOOK.

viral-blues by c.s. boyack cover

This is the purchase link: Viral Blues: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07XVTSYYV

You can find Craig on any of these sites:

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

C S Boyack's bio box

 

First comes love–but it’s bumpy– then..???

I’ve been reading more lately.  Some of the books are new series to me.  And most of them, no matter the genre, have a touch of romance in them.  How that plays out is interesting.

With the Jazzi Zanders series, I think I stayed pretty typical.  Jazzi, of course, stumbles across murders, but once she and Ansel met, they were always interested in each other, but the timing was never quite right.  At first, Jazzi was engaged to Chad, who ended up NOT being the one.  By the time she broke up with him, Ansel was living with Emily.  It wasn’t until they broke up that Jazzi and Ansel finally were both single at the same time.  And then things started heating up.

But how fast does an author want things to go?  I recently discovered J.D. Robb, and things got hot pretty fast in book one when Roarke and Eve meet.  They moved in together at the end of that book or the beginning of the next one (I can’t remember which).  And they finally made it official in book three.  Anna Lee Huber followed a similar pattern for Gage and Kiera in her Lady Darby series.  Lots of sparks in book one.  A deeper commitment in book two, and a marriage proposal by book three.  Book four shows Kiera biting her tongue as her sister does her best to make her and Gage’s wedding the talk of the ton, but they don’t finally say their vows until a novella between book four and five.  And then what?

For me, the books only got better as the authors balanced marriage with genre plot lines.  Couples who had solved crimes together before developed even more impressive  teamwork after they said their I do’s.  A civilian joined to a professional balance each other out well.  Jenna Bennett outdid herself in the Savannah Martin series when Savannah and Rafe not only got married but had a baby.  I was curious how Bennett would pull that off.  I mean, how does an amateur sleuth solve crimes, toting a baby carrier everywhere she goes?  But Bennett made it work, and she never made grand gestures of putting the baby in danger.  (That would have bothered me.)  But Savannah always worried about her child’s safety.

I talked to a fellow author who’s putting off having her hero and heroine become a couple because she thinks once the romance is done, the story goes flat.  But I don’t agree, not if the marriage is treated honestly and done well.  Look at the Kate Daniels urban fantasy series.  Once Kate and Curran join forces, they only grow stronger and can face more.

Now, I understand that life and timing can slow couples down.  That’s another matter.  When I first met my future DH, we were in college, and I was determined not to get married until I had my degree.  Unfortunately, DH went to a junior college, and the minute he graduated, he was drafted for the Vietnam war.  He didn’t want to make any promises once he was drafted because he didn’t think he was coming back.  Fortunately, he wasn’t in Vietnam very long.  A sniper shot him through both legs and he ended up in a hospital in Japan, then finished his draft time in Texas.  And he WAS lucky.  The bullet didn’t hit any bone or major blood vessels in either leg.  He came home alive and in one piece.  A lot of his friends didn’t.

But after surviving a bullet, the poor man made the fatal mistake of leaving the army and marrying me three days after he was discharged.  Out of the frying pan into the fire.  But life’s detours meant we’d known each other for four years before we finally tied the knot.  I know it can happen, but in stories, I’d rather it didn’t.  And if has to, I’d rather it was for a good reason, not just because the couple can’t make a commitment.

Regardless, once they take the step to be man and wife, I think the relationships, as well as the plot lines, can get even better.

September 23rd is the equinoz, the first day of Fall.  Enjoy it, and happy writing!

 

Why? For every book?

Some people turn on the spigot and words pour out.  They can reach over 100,000 words, then have to cut.

Not me.  My words are stingy, little boogers that make me work for every single one of them.

As always, for every book I write, when I reach the near end of the second middle (near 54,000 words), I look at my plot points and panic.  I just know I don’t have enough ideas and twists to reach 70,000+ words.  I think that EVERY time.  And guess where I am in Jazzi book 5 now?  Yup.  Almost 54,000 words.  And I’m worried.

I have more plot points, mind you.  More ideas.  More suspects and questions and clues.  But at this point, my writing momentum starts to fizzle.  I always start out strong.  The first fourth of every book is an adventure, introducing new characters, new subplots, a new murder to solve.  And then the middle muddle starts, but my middles are sort of divided in half.  The second fourth of the overall book leads to a new turning point.  And often–sadly–since I write mysteries, I end up with a second dead body at the middle of the book–a victim who changes the direction of the story, makes my protagonist rethink her original opinions.  It’s the third fourth of each book that slows me down.  It feels like pulling teeth to keep the momentum going, to keep interviewing one person after another and keep it interesting and keep subplots chugging along.

I’m almost to the last fourth of the story, and that’s when things start to pick up, when my story gathers speed and clues start coming together.  I’m almost there.  I can feel it.  And then the days of sitting fanny in chair and plodding and sweating will pay off.  By next Monday, I’ll be ready for my fingers to fly over the keyboard again.  Until then, well . . . I have a little more to go.

Wherever you are in your work, keep at it, and happy writing!

Grab Your Security Blanket

If you like horror or creepy, I have good news!  My super wonderful writer friend and fellow Scribe member read us her short story FRECKLES a while ago, and we’re all so happy for her!  It’s in the anthology BLOOD RED NOSE that came out TODAY, on Friday 13.  Appropriate, right?  Kathy’s stories are emotional and immediate.  If you know anyone who’s afraid of clowns, this anthology flips it and asks, What are clowns afraid of?

Here’s the info to find it on Amazon:

Twitter and Me

I’m not very good at Facebook.  I’ve connected my blog to it, so that every time I write a new post, it automatically loads on my author Facebook page, so I should have something new up at least once a week.  Occasionally, I’ll post some great writing advice I find online, and when my publisher asks me to promote a sale or new release, I do.  But that’s about it.  I’m worse at keeping track of my regular Facebook account.  I can lose a lot of time there, scrolling through all kinds of people and news I don’t know.

I do better at this blog.  I try to write a new post every Thursday, and recently I’ve started putting up a Muddy River snippet every Monday and a Jazzi snippet every Thursday, but I haven’t decided if that’s worthwhile or not.  It’s too soon to tell.  On my webpage, I used to put up free books or short stories, but I ran out of those.  So…I’m trying snippets.  I do have two short stories to share in October, and two more in December.  I’m tinkering with a Thanksgiving one, but I’ve had too many things interfere to give it the work it needs.  I didn’t get enough feedback on the one I did for Labor Day to decide if that’s worth the time and effort.

I know every author is supposed to be serious about branding, but I don’t think I’ve nailed that yet.  I really enjoy twitter.  It’s quick and easy to scroll through some of my favorite writers and to find some interesting tidbits and pieces of writing advice.  If I like it, I usually retweet it, so other people can enjoy it, too.  I’m not overwhelming the world with followers with this approach.  But it makes for a fun ten minute break when my brain’s drained of any words, and I need to recharge it.  Often, when I finish writing a scene, and my little grey cells are spinning for a transition and the next scene, I zip to twitter for a fast refresher.  And if I see something I like, I retweet it.  Often, it’s something about writing.  Sometimes, it’s about cooking.  (I love to cook).  I’ve even retweeted Tarot card meanings.  They intrigue me.

I’ve noticed most other authors don’t retweet as often as I do, though.  If they like something, they mark it with a heart, a “like.”  Maybe that’s so that they don’t dilute their own brand.  They keep their tweets mostly concentrated on their own news.  And maybe that’s smart.  It’s something I should probably think about.  But for now, twitter is like a playground for me, a place to play before I have to get back to work, writing another scene, another chapter.  And if the scenes are like pulling teeth, I spend more time on twitter than I should.  That’s called stalling.  I don’t want to leave my chair because if I stand up and wander off, it’s even harder to come back and get in gear.  But my brain can wander away while I sit in front of my computer if I flip to twitter.  And even I, the queen of distractions, can only take so much of the people who scroll past me.  So, before long, I’m headed back to my WIP.

Someday, probably sooner rather than later, I need to rethink what I post.  But for now, I enjoy posting news about my favorite authors.  I mean, if I enjoy them, other readers might, too.  I enjoy posting snippets.  And I’ll never get tired of recipes and pictures of food.  (But I could argue that IS “branding,” since I have Jazzi and Ansel cook together.  So do Hester and Raven.  Or is that stretching it?)  Any ideas?  Is there a smart way to tweet?  I read somewhere that an author should write five original twitter posts a day.  That’s hard.  Interesting retweets are easier.  I do know, though, that I’ve come across some authors that I want to retweet, but I can’t find anything original from them.  So there needs to be some original tweets mixed with the others.

Things for me to ponder.  In the meantime, if you happen to be in Columbus, OH, I’ll be at the mini-con for Kensington writers at Pierogi Mountain from 11:00 to 1:00 on Saturday.  And as always, happy writing!