I made this blog an award free zone a long time ago. I find it takes a lot of time to research other bloggers, and my time is kind of precious. Having said that, I love participating in blog hops. My friend Sue Nichols invited me to participate in this one. It involves talking about my work in progress, adding a few snippets, and ratting out some more of my friends. Fun fun!
Sue’s post was about a follow up to her hit, Red Clay & Roses. You can read it here. She’s got a pretty fun blog too, and I encourage you guys to follow her.
My current project is called The Playground. It involves a new social network aimed at children. The gadgetry is inside a variety of dolls that include fashion dolls, soldiers, plush toys etc. The kids can make friends all over the world, and even do homework together from different continents. Sounds lovely, right.
The creator of the network is corrupted by his own greed and lust for power. He decides he can turn the children into his own personal army, no invasion necessary – they’re already in our homes. His foibles attract a supernatural influence and it gets even worse.
Regular readers know I try to include a personal challenge in each story. This one involves what I call a Pulp Fiction method of telling the story. There are three seperate stories used to tell the overarching tale. The players are one victim, one anti-hero, and a heroine.
The playbook said to discuss my first three chapters and then include a snippet. I’m going to break the rules, and go with the first chunk of each character. (Do I ever completely follow the rules?”)
The first section is all about the villain. We meet Tommy, but he won’t show up again until the end. This gives readers a foot into what’s happening:
Tommy Fazio lit the black candles in his seventeenth floor office and pulled on some surgical gloves. The faint light revealed a bank of computer systems with cables leading to an autopsy table. The smell of burning tallow mingled with that of bleach.
He pulled on a white lab coat and walked up to the girl on the table. She was six or seven years old, it didn’t matter. Cables ran into every opening in her body, with a large one stitched inside her abdomen. Bloody slobber hung out her mouth and dripped into a plastic bucket. He wiggled the cable between her legs and she coughed.
“This one’s about finished,” Tommy said.
Nice guy, right… The next section is about Chloe. She represents the victims here:
Chloe twirled in front of the mirrored closet door and watched her dress spin. When she stopped, her hair spun over her shoulder and she smiled. She pulled on her jacket and stepped inside her yellow galoshes. Her mother adjusted the coat on her shoulders and opened the front door.
“We need to hurry, the mall’s crazy this time of year,” Mother said.
Looks like Chole and her mother are going shopping. I wonder what they’ll bring home.
Clovis is the anti-hero here. He’s fast approaching the end of a long and brutal career. In this intro he’s doing a little work for a loan shark:
The tweaker rushed around the corner behind the bushes, tried to slam the gate shut, and yelled “Get him. Get him!”
Clovis rounded the same corner into the front yard, dropped his small duffel bag in the snow, and crouched for battle. A gangly mixture of bullmastiff and pit bull barked and wagged his tail. Druggie dog, but you’re no threat today. Maybe next year.
The front door slammed and the bolt clicked. Clovis kicked the door open and followed the tweaker inside. He grabbed the man by his collar, just as the tweaker picked up a kitchen knife. The tweaker spun and thrust the knife at Clovis’ face.
Clovis twisted and let the knife go past, grabbed the man’s upper arm and slammed the back of his head into the kitchen counter. The tweaker fell in an unconscious lump.
Gina is the heroine here. The section with Clovis got pretty exciting, so I took my time with her. She’s an oncologist who survived her own battle with cancer. She’s having a crisis of faith, and working in end of life care at this time:
Gina Greybill lifted the stethoscope from the old woman’s chest and pulled out her earpieces. She pulled down the poor old thing’s eyelids and covered her face with the sheet.
“Oh, Miriam, rest in peace. We don’t all get to go in our sleep. Shame your family never came by this week.” The old woman’s room held furnishings from a bygone era, filled with her personal history. A wooden vanity with a tri-level stone top and a large oval mirror stood against the back wall. Hand laced doilies covered the upper wings and Miriam’s favorite cup sat upside down on its saucer waiting for morning tea.
Will Tommy succeed in his nefarious plan? Will Chloe get the Christmas present of her dreams? Will Clovis find a retirement plan that works for his active lifestyle? Can Gina get out of her funk long enough to actually make a difference? Can Craig pull these loose story threads together and make a coherent novel? Tune in about six months from now and we’ll all find out together.
This is all draft material, and is subject to change. My critique group hasn’t even seen it yet. Now is the part where I get to rat out my friends. I always seem to pick on the same ones, so I’m changing it up.
Sue Coletta writes crime fiction, and has one of the most interesting blogs going. She also keeps a resource page that is a wealth of information. Come for the resources, stay because she’s awesome. Her blog is called, Inside the Mind of a Crime Writer.
Please visit her, because I skipped out on a blog award recently, and this blog tour is my way of directing her some well deserved traffic.
My other victim
friend is Mae Clair. She calls her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair.
She’s into cryptids and paranormal stuff with the occasional romantic bent. She volunteered to be on my street team for the release of Will O’ the Wisp, and I’d love to direct some traffic her way. I really want to see a snippet of her Mothman project.
The rules are to tell us what what you’re working on, show us a few paragraphs, and tell us where it’s headed. Pick a couple of friends, ping backwards and forwards; you’re golden.