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New Pen Name and New Cover

Check out this cool new series by one of my favorite authors. The new cover is awesome too.

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Life’s been busy, and it just got CRAZY. My publisher moved the release date of my new book from October to May 7. May 7! That’s less than a month away! I’ve got so much pre-release work to do. Starting with a cover release. So… ta-da!

It’s it stunning? I’m so excited about it.

Let me back up a step. First, you’ll notice it does NOT say “Staci Troilo” on the cover. We’ve talked about this before, here and there or in passing. I’m writing under a pen name (D. L. Cross) for this series. We can talk more about that later, though.

Second, you’ll note an alien ship on the cover. Aliens, as in sci-fi. It’s not a genre people associate with the name Staci Troilo, which is one of the reasons I’m writing under a pen name. If you’re interested in science fiction and aliens, this…

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The 2019 Interview Series Featuring C.S. Boyack

I’m hanging out with Don Massenzio today. Stop over and say hi.

Author Don Massenzio

image1What is your most interesting writing quirk?

Honestly, it’s bulldogs. I own two, Frankie and Otto. Otto weighs in at 65-70 pounds, and Frankie seems to hold steady at 55. They relate to my writing, in that they’re usually in my lap as I write. Otto always, Frankie less so. I have what’s called a chair-and-a-half with an ottoman. He usually takes up that half and leans his head against my shoulder as I write. When she joins in, she’s usually on the ottoman with her head across my legs.

It would feel odd if they weren’t there at this point. I require quiet when I write, and they’re good for that… unless the squirrel runs by on the fence. Then we take a quick break, freshen up the coffee and get back to it.

What do you think are the elements of a good story?

There are so many…

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April 12, 2019 · 4:33 AM

That hero’s journey, monomyth thingie

I’m starting a series about story structure over at the Story Empire blog today. My next few posts there will follow this theme. Get in on the ground floor and join the conversation.

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig here with you again. An understanding of story structure is important to our efforts, and I’m taking on one of the biggest ones. I’ll have to break this into several posts so it doesn’t get out of hand.

One of the things I’ve learned is that we get the same information over and over again. Then one day, some knucklehead says something a bit differently and it clicks. I want to be that knucklehead.

There are a bunch of different story structures, and I’ve dabbled with most of them. I even wrote one using the Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. The writing monomyth seems to be the biggest and most popular one. It’s a sequence of events, painted in broad terms, that most good stories have.

Okay, so it’s a monolith. Do you know how hard it is to find an image of a monomyth?

It’s also…

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Failure today is my fault

I stayed up late and watched the Diamondbacks game vs the Padres. I don’t expect a lot to cheer about this year, but baseball is funny. It’s one of those games that takes a long time, and it seems like not much happens. When it does, it can be spectacular. Last night was one of those nights.

Zack Greinke is an aging superstar pitcher. The fan boards all complain about how we’re paying him too much, etc. I’ve seen it too, the reduction in velocity, but there’s been an adjustment in trickiness.

His opening day start against the Dodgers was a disaster. There have been a few of those over the years too. Last night wasn’t one of them.

During the off season, Manny Machado landed what was then the biggest contract in baseball history. His record lasted a few days anyway. It was the Padres that gave him the big money.

The first inning looked like another sub-par performance for an aging pitcher. I’ve been watching baseball since the 1960s, and I’ve seen it before. Greinke is a professional, and somehow he managed to shake it off.

By the time he left the game, he’d struck out ten San Diego Padres. A stellar night by anyone’s standard, but wait there’s more. This is the National League, and they play real baseball here. This means pitchers have to bat just like everyone else.

Greinke hit two home runs last night, and the first one had two guys on base ahead of him. While this has happened over the years, it’s a pretty noteworthy event.

Bonus, it was Machado who struck out to end the game. Greinke, our starting pitcher, now has more homeruns in Petco Park than Manny Machado who calls it home.

Machado is a bad dude all around. His antics in last year’s World Series are pretty memorable. Trying to step on the first baseman’s ankle to injure him, and possibly change the outcome. Failing to run when he hit the ball, because he assumed it was a home run and wanted to showboat.

Last night he stepped on our catcher to prevent him from fielding a fly ball, then dropped his bat before the man’s feet intending to trip him so he might drop it. It worked, our guy failed to make the catch. The umpire called him out for interference. It was sweet.

So today, I’m not firing on all cylinders. I got up late. My critiques need attention, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get there today.

Do I regret not forging ahead with one of my stories? Not-one-bit, to be honest with you. Last night was worth it. It may be years before I get to see something like that again.

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Bonus Friday: Favorite Book

Fellow authors, what if you had to pick? Could you do it? Check out this post over at Story Empire, and leave your choice in the comments.

Story Empire

Hey, SEers! This is one of those months with five Fridays in it. That means today is a group post.

The theme for today is Favorite Book Written and WhyWe’re each going to tell you our personal favorite. We encourage you to share yours in the comments.


Tortured Soul by Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Staci here. It was hard to pick a favorite, but I chose Tortured Soul. It’s the fourth and final book in the Medici Protectorate Series.

I won’t swear it’s my favorite, but it’s up there. And here’s why.

  • The writing is a lot stronger than at the beginning of the series.
  • It’s the culmination of a work inspired by my grandfather.
  • It’s a springboard to another series that I enjoy.
  • I love these characters.

You can read more about it here or purchase it here.


Hey SE Readers. Joan here.

So far, my favorite book to…

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Date night and not much more

This is my short weekend, plus Old What’s Her Face is off too. This isn’t a situation where much writing gets done. As a weekend warrior, I accept writing time as it comes and do what I can.

I did some research for a post over at Story Empire on Wednesday. We’re going to be setting the stage for a great character arc. I got it all assembled and scheduled. Then… well, that’s about it.

We played with the dogs, watched some television. There was a show on about CDC investigations and some major outbreaks. I thought I might get an idea or two that I could weave into my nameless team story, but to no avail. The Muse might twist things around in my mind and give me some hints still.

Then I watched Paul Kersey kill people. Charles Bronson made some great movies. Rumor has it that Bruce Willis remade Death Wish, but I’m not big on remakes. I love Willis too, but I’ve never seen it. (Any Rumor and Bruce Willis puns were purely unintentional.)

Old What’s Her Face was dying to go to Olive Garden. This is our payday weekend, so what the hell. I have to admit dinner was great. They have a horrible beer list, so I stuck with water. I’ve never been able to get into wine.

Tomorrow I’ll call my parents, and wish Dad a happy birthday. I have a loose idea for a series of posts over at Story Empire, so I may look into them. Then again, I may not. I don’t have a deadline over there for a while now.

I hope everyone who wants to be productive is getting their wish. I hope everyone else is doing something fun or relaxing.

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Wipe the smile off its face.

Long time readers will recall that I grew up in Nevada. Casinos are a part of life. You have machines in grocery stores, laundromats, everywhere. There is a lingo that goes along with casinos too. I’m referring to slot machines in this instance. Etiquette says to never leave a machine showing the jackpot you just won.

In this case the term was to “wipe the smile off its face.” You added one more coin and removed the sign of your victory. It’s just something everyone does.

Right now, I feel like something is taunting me. Take a look at this photograph.

It’s been like this for weeks. In this case the “smile” is 39 reviews and not 40. Somebody get in there and wipe the smile off Amazon’s face. The Hat is a fun story, and I’m going to write more stories about Lizzie and the hat. This is a decent time to jump on-board and check it out. It’s still 99 cents, and it’s a short read. Check the reviews before you commit your coins, they’re all good.

I linked the picture, but here is a more traditional link if you like: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B078YYCNSF

 

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