Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Stress of Writing a Series


I'm writing a series. The SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers series. I'm working on the third book of the series now. BREAKING AWAY.  I wrote the first book BREAKING FREE three years ago while working two jobs and writing on the weekends. I submitted the book to several editors and moved on to  a book that had been tumbling through my mind for several years TIMELESS.  I grew as a writer with my Timeless story because it was so different than anything I'd ever tried to write before and my imagination had free rein.  It's a cross between a paranormal romantic suspense and a science fiction romantic suspense. Maybe I've created my own genre.  I've not run across anything similar to it. But I digress and that's a subject for another blog.

There are joys to writing a series. You get to revisit the characters you've created over and over again. Or at least you do the way I'm writing mine. There's something comforting knowing your characters and what their lives are like. But they don't live in a static environment and you have to imagine what they're lives have been like before and after the each book you write. Which is cool because you get to watch them change and grow just like real people do.

And there's joy in knowing there are readers out there waiting for the next book to come out because they like your characters or your writing style.

But there is stress in that also. Once you've had two good books or even one, you're under the gun to reinvent lightning in a bottle. And that's what having a book readers enjoy is like. Lightning in a bottle.

With every book you write you're pushed to recreate that winning formula. And if you're lucky you don't follow a formula and your readers think your ideas are fresh and exciting.

Knowing all that, it isn't the readers who ultimately pressure you. Though they are at the back of your mind the whole time you're writing. More pressure comes from within.

The last ten chapters I wrote for BREAKING THROUGH I wrote scared to death. I got up scared and I went to bed scared. And the whole time I was thinking is this as good or better than the first book? Is it good enough for everyone who will read it?  Will the people who read my words like my characters? Will they like my plot? Will the changes in my writing from one book to the next (because writers do grow and change) put anyone off?

I've been very blessed that my readers seem to like the change from one book to the next.  I hope that continues with the next one. (Which is a cross in writing style  between the two first books of the series.) I guess I'll have to wait and see.

But right now I'm just writing and hoping that every reader who buys the books will love them. Which is totally unrealistic, but it's what every writer hopes for and dreams of.

Sing out and let me know what you think!!


 








 
 
 





Saturday, October 20, 2012

Breaking Through and Reviews

Breaking Through and Reviews 




I've gotten some wonderful reviews for my current new release, but I'd love to have more----if anyone is so inclined. Reviews are wonderful feedback about the characters and how readers feel about the story. They help writers weed out the things they're doing wrong and encourage things we do right.
So feel free to review the book on any site you purchased it from. 

I thought I'd share a few snippets from the reviews I've gotten on Amazon.









Cindy O said--- "This book packs a punch. There are so many emotional moments I cried at a few of them.'

DeeJ said --- "Brett Weaver, is as alpha as they come. The heroine, Tess, is both spirited and tender, and the two together are perfect together."

Ann said--- "Excellent story! 4.5 stars. This is why I love a good military-romance. Breaking Through was a very worthwhile read and a great way to spend my time lost in a satisfying story."

Sarah Stinson said ---"I've read this book three times since it came out!! I love it."

I'm so thrilled that the readers have embraced my writing.  That validation after months and months of work is so gratifying.



Blurb from Breaking Through:

What happens when a Navy SEAL wakes from a month-long coma to discover he’s being investigated for murder?

When Ensign Brett Weaver is accused of murder, he knows he’s innocent, but how can he prove it with Naval Investigators breathing down his neck? A chance meeting with reporter Tess Kelly offers him an opportunity to get the press on his side. But can he trust her to keep his other secrets off the record?

Tess works hard to live up to her father's expectations. When Brett offers her information about SEAL training in exchange for an introduction to her award-winning journalist father, she jumps at the chance. The situation Brett lobs into her father's lap is a major scoop. But the secret she discovers about Brett is just as newsworthy. Will her feelings for this wounded warrior win out, or will she release a story guaranteed to destroy Brett’s SEAL career?

When Tess’s father is kidnapped, Brett’s team is deployed to find him. At the same time, a leak in the investigation puts Tess and Brett’s lives in danger. Will Brett be able to break through the lasting effects of his injuries and prove he’s once again a battle-ready SEAL? Or will he and Tess lose everything at the whim of a vengeful killer?

I'm hard at work on Book 3- Breaking Away.  Doing research and getting a feel for my characters.  Flash is as alpha as the others but he's got a back story that will tear your heart out!!


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Teresa Reasor 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BREAKING AWAY my Work In Progress


My friend Taryn Raye and I were playing tag  and I ended up being IT so the challenge is to do a short interview about my WIP (Work in Progress). Since everything you do while writing a new book helps you flesh out your characters, I accepted her challenge. 

What is the working title of your book?
BREAKING AWAY

Where did the idea come from for the book?
BREAKING AWAY is the third book of my SEAL TEAM Heartbreaker series. It’s Flash’s story. He’s missing in action at the end of the first story and throughout the second one. It’s time Flash’s story is told.

What genre does your book fall under?
My book is romantic suspense.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Steven Amell. He’s a Canadian Actor and has done some really strong stuff thus far on HBO. He’s rugged, masculine, built and a fine actor. I just saw him last night on his new show Arrow.



What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  
  Navy SEAL is forced to go on the run until he can prove his innocence, when the smuggled museum artifacts he’s transported from Iraq trigger the murder of his FBI contact. 


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The last book BREAKING THROUGH took me seven months to write. I’m hoping BREAKING AWAY will take less.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can’t compare them to any other SEAL books out there because they’re a little different than most others.  I'm not saying that in an arrogant way. Just that my thoughts on the guys themselves may be a little different than what other writers envision for their books.

My books delve deeply  into the personal conflicts that most military people have to deal with. Their sacrifices, the pain that it causes them.  These are real situations that the guys and women who love them have to face. BREAKING AWAY deals with Flash who’s been betrayed by an FBI handler and been cut loose from his team because of it. When he contacts the FBI they try to take him down and almost kill him. So, he goes deep underground and he’s on the run until he can figure out how to prove himself innocent of murder. And prove he isn't a smuggler. That he actually was duped into it. 

SEALs head for water when their at risk, but he’s been dropped in the desert country of Nevada.And is totally out of his element when he rents an apartment from a woman with secrets and problems of her own. And this brings trouble knocking on her door.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I read an article about the museum in Baghdad being looted by people right after the city was taken. And how artifacts were being sold as souvenirs to service personnel. Several of the men who purchased them from street dealers turned them in after they came home and realized that the souvenirs they'd bought were actually the real deal. So what if they were being smuggled into the US through use of military transport? And what if a Navy SEAL were approached to do some undercover work to expose the real culprits responsible for that. And what if this Navy SEAL was someone who had a reputation for gambling and they thought he might be bought because of it. And the actual guys who approach him are bad guys and not who they say they are?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The book isn’t the normal Romantic suspense with a Navy SEAL. My guys are SEALs through and through. They eat sleep and breath the life. They sacrifice for it. And they love as hard as they work.  The conflicts that consume them are realistic conflicts that any one of them could truly face.This book will be more of a stretch than the other books in the series. SEALs don't do police investigations in the US. Their business is usually conducted covertly in other countries, like South America, Africa, the Middle East. They use covert technologies to gather intel as well as take the bad guys out. 
They search out drug dealers, smugglers, terrorists, and work with other agencies in these countries. But this man has been used as a courier to transport a museum piece worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. And he was duped into doing it because SEALs keep their mouths shut and keep things to themselves. So by keeping the code of silence,  he's put his life in danger and on hold until he can figure how to make things right.

I hope you found the premise of my book interesting.
And don't forget to go check out Taryn's post as well. 

Write on,
Teresa R.









Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Look Writing Challenge-- Breaking Away


Earlier this week, I was challenged by my friend and fellow-author Dara Ames to participate in the "LOOK Challenge".  I'm always up for a writing challenge and I loved reading hers so I'm posting mine and challenging three of my fellow authors to do the same.

Here's how it works:
Find the LOOKs in your current work-in-progress.
Choose your favorite 3 and post the paragraphs that contain them.
Pick some of your favorite author-buddies to "tag" and invite them to participate, too!

These three paragraphs are from the first chapter of the Third book of my SEAL TEAM Heartbreaker series. This book will be titled BREAKING AWAY.

  1. Lieutenant Harold “Flash” Carney looked through the thermal scope of the MK-11 sniper rifle and sighted, one-by-one, the four tangos on the adjoining roof. Each sentry guarded a corner of the building making it damn hard for his guys to slip inside. With the suppressor on his rifle, he could take out two, maybe three of the guards, but the fourth might just make it down the stairs to warn the fuckers below of their presences. He’d have to wait. Shit!
 
2. Since Doc and Bowie were helping the wounded Flash said, “I’ll take care of the stretcher.” He worked his way through the rooms one-by-one looking for any kind of supports he could use. Five apartments down the hall, he found an old bed frame. The mattress was long gone but the wooden slats that had held it in place were still nailed in place. He jerked them free of the frame, and using his SOG knife, pried the nails free.  Taking the boards with him, he jogged down the hall to the stairwell to hit up Greenback and Strong Man for their t-shirts.

 
3. Bowie and Strong Man crouched over the stretcher, shielding Cutter from possible attack. The building's back door shoved open with a clang and a young boy of perhaps eight leaped out into the alley. Dim light from inside the stairwell spilled over Strong Man and he looked up, his blond, close-cropped hair exaggerating his American features. The earth slowed to a crawl. 
 I hope you enjoyed the three paragraphs from BREAKING AWAY.  I'm hoping to release it in about six months.

I'm tagging  Donna McDonald, Hayden Braeburn, and Taryn Raye

I hope they'll take up the challenge and post passages from their WORKS IN PROGRESS. What fun!!!

                                              






                                                                      BREAKING FREE

Monday, October 1, 2012

Diane Strong is Running Strong

Diane Strong is a runner. And she's taken her hobby, obsession, pleasure, to a new level. She's incorporated it into her writing. After I read her short story The Run I had to read the rest. The experience was so intense I had to ask her to be on my blog.

Welcome Diane please tell us about your experience as a writer.


 

I’ve always been a writer.  I have scrapbooks going back to kindergarten with poems and stories I had written.  I never considered myself a writer though.  When I was in college, I entered writing contests and won them.  But when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was a horse trainer or a scientist or whatever.  Writing is something I have always done and always planned to do.  But I never considered myself a writer.

I became a horse trainer, and a scientist.  They are both over-rated.  When I had to write my Thesis it about killed me.  The technical writing allows for absolutely NO creativity.  When I found out that being a PhD meant writing grant applications for the rest of my life I said “Screw this!” (I may have actually used an F bomb but I’ll keep it clean for you).

I quit writing when I had kids.  I simply didn’t have a muse.  The kids swallowed every bit of ‘me’ I had to give.  Then when my second child was about 3 months old my dog, CD, died, I was moved to write. But the muse died after one sitting.

It wasn’t until my mother died in 2009 that my muse returned to me.  I spilled my guts out on a novel that I wrote in 4 months (Out and Back).  It was my first novel.  I was so happy to have completed it and it felt so good to have worked through my grief, so I hurried and published it.  I look back now and realize I should have paid someone to edit it and have since sent it to an editor.  The new version should be available in November, but the original is still available.

I started writing a column for The Georgetown News Graphic in 2010.  I am ‘The Back Roads Traveler’ and write 700 word columns about my adventures while biking and running in the remote areas of Northern Scott County.  I packaged a dozen of the columns together and they are a free download on Smashwords: Newspaper Bundle

My current project is the Running Suspense Series.  It is a group of short suspense stories, all about 10,000 words.  Each story is a stand-alone, but they all have one thing in common: their main character is a runner.

I am having so much fun with this.  The first story The Run is pretty intense but still tame.  After a comment from a friend I decided it was time for me to step out of the familiar, so I wrote Falcon Point.  The next two just keep getting more and more intense. I am really stretching my mind to develop unforgettable characters and stories that will knock your socks off.  I’m having a blast doing it too!
Here is the description for the first four shorts:




The Run (The Running Suspense Series #1)
(This is a 10,000 word short story/ approx. 43 pages)
Cora is a runner and mother of two whose husband is working out of town on business. Always a protective mother, Cora has never left her children alone. That is until a well-intentioned friend encourages her to. This is a story that will leave you questioning your parenting skills and wanting to read more great running adventures by Diane Strong.



Falcon Point (The Running Suspense Series #2)
(This is a 10,000 word short story/ approx. 34 pages)
Claire is 17 and spending the summer with her rich mother and step-father in Falcon Point. She has her eye on a boy, this could be the summer he finally notices her. But someone has his eye on her too. A perfect summer becomes an unforgettable one. You may never want to run alone again.

The Other Way (The Running Suspense Series #3)
(This is a 10,000 word short story/ approx. 34 pages)
Isaac Fisher was not born a runner, he was born Amish. After getting a girl pregnant while exploring rumspringa at sixteen, he left the Amish community and ventured to the new world to become the girl’s husband. Now, four years and two children later, Isaac can’t help but sneak back home on his long runs for a feel of his past life and the taste of an old lover.


The Rescue (The Running Suspense Series #4)
(This is a 10,000 word short story/ approx. 34 pages)
Luke is a single widower with a pet cat. He is just shy of retirement and about to take the ride of a lifetime on a train headed west. He is prepared for two weeks of adventure. When a pause to take leak during a run turns into more than a quick stop, his plans change dramatically. Luke quickly discovers he doesn’t have to venture far from home for the adventure of a lifetime.

The above links are for Amazon, The Running Suspense Series
Here is the entire running suspense series link on Nook  
My website is under construction (and the builder just had a baby) but it will be: dianestrong.com


I've been expanding my reading choices of late. And I found Diane's series suspenseful and unusual  step outside my normal reading. If you're looking to experience something intense and different check her out. I'm so pleased she could join me on my blog!!

Teresa J. Reasor