Tag Archives: backstory

Miss Laura #newbook

It’s time to put a little more bait in the water to see if any readers will nibble. This is a promo post for “Once Upon a Time in the Swamp.” Along her journey, Mari comes across some unusual situations and characters. In another post, I alluded to some ghosts that haunt her dreams. This is her first encounter with Miss Laura who eventually visits her dreams. I’m not a huge fan of excerpts, but can’t deny they work. Let’s all meet Miss Laura.


I was covered in welts. Squeezing them produced pus, and about half ejected a sliver of palmetto. I prodded the gash in my leg for pieces of wood, but wound up retching from the pain. It was hard to decide where the white dog had the most value, inside or out. Wound up being a little of both.

The skeleton stared at me from across the table. Her sleeves were torn and rat bitten. Deep slices across the small bones of each arm told a story. The black stains on her dress made more sense. Her diary told the rest. Miss Laura fled the city when the riots started. She parked at a storage place, then brought the swamp buggy out with limited supplies. Her husband, Kemba, was supposed to bring his own buggy after looting for necessities. After a week she got worried. After two, she wondered about going back or waiting for him. After a month, well. The marks on her arms.

Miss Laura’s feet were missing entirely. The work of rodents, no doubt. I might be a decade or two off, but I hoped La Serpiente brought some justice to them.

“I had those same thoughts, Miss Laura. Wound up falling off a windmill for my efforts. I wasn’t even lucky enough to break my fool neck.” I pushed back from the table, replacing her diary where I’d found it. Maybe there was something here I could use.


I welcome all the sharing and help you can offer with this one. Even a simple tweet might help me reach a reader or two. This is as good a place as any to talk about Kindle Unlimited. This is a program that gives readers access to our books for free. The author still gets something out of it, but the consumer gets to read for free. If you’re interested in this story, you might want to check it out for free. Did I mention it’s free for those members?

Blurb: Mari and her husband opted for a simple life as farmers. It’s been decades since the world tore itself apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against each other. They were happy in this re-emerging world, until disaster struck.

Mari sets out on a solo quest to avenge the deaths of her family and loss of everything she holds dear. She’s ill equipped for the task, but seems to have time on her hands. Time alone in the wilderness to deal with her personal demons along the way.

She is helped by a few sympathetic elders and a couple of animal companions with lessons Mari can use if she pays attention. Can Mari find justice for her family?

Set in a post apocalyptic, Gulf Coast world, this is a story for fans of the old Spaghetti Westerns.

Get your copy right here https://mybook.to/OnceUponTimeSwamp


Filed under Writing

Buncha Random Stuff

I was going to write this like a Writing Cabin post, but there’s more to it than that allows.

I don’t often talk about it, but the way I work involves planning out multiple stories in my head, sometimes years before I can start writing them. When I surf the Internet, it’s usually with a purpose. Sometimes I add things to my Pinterest boards that I won’t need for years. If you look at The Hat board you’ll see things that haven’t been in any of the books, but will be at some point.

I was searching for a magical virus or something with the idea of providing a bit of humor to a future Hat story. One of the characters who gets introduced in Good Liniment is somewhat destined to become Lizzie’s friend. She’s a younger witch with plant based magic named Joyeux.

Randomly thinking it might be fun for Lizzie to come down with something stupid that Joyeux has to help her with. No plot, nothing that major. Then I stumbled upon something called Jumping Frenchmen of Maine. It’s a real disorder from the 1800s. I have a story roughed out involving St. Vitus’ Dance, and while this isn’t the same thing, it’s close enough to explain a magical antagonist’s arrival in North America. I might not ever write that story, but it was an interesting discovery.

PS: Do enough people know what a dibble is for me to make it a magical artifact from Joyeux’s past? Would I have to explain it with some depth?

Other than that, I added about 1200 to the nameless space trilogy. I had to physically weave between the boxes that have invaded the only private space I have, but it feels productive. It’s like writing inside a kid’s blanket fort in here.

I have a major concern about these words. Percy and Buffer have a shared history. They’ve been together since before the story opened as veterans who served aboard the same ship. They’re both disabled veterans now, and helped each other through the rough times.

I’ve done pretty well at keeping the situation flirty between them. Made simple enough because she’s a human and he’s a Space Chimp. Today, they put all their cards on the table and this poses multiple problems for me.

First, I’m not a romance author. I don’t seem to have that gene, but these aren’t romantic characters either. Am I crazy for even attempting this?

Second, I did this at 70,000 words. It’s not insta-love, but is it too soon if I can make this a trilogy? Would I be better served milking it until the last volume? It accomplishes a major step toward Percy’s evolution or character arc.

I also set this up with some backstory of how they became disabled veterans in the first place. I know we’re all supposed to hate backstory, but it feels really good where I plopped it. It’s an interesting tale, and it’s not in chapter one. It’s at 70K. I don’t feel bad about it at all here.

I need to come up with something new for Story Empire. Now that my Easter Egg post is live, it won’t take long for my turn to come around again. I have something roughed out, but I’m not sure I like it. What I really need is another series of some kind, like the one I posted about the Hero’s Journey. Maybe I can edit what I have into something presentable.

I’ll probably make a couple of editing passes on the nameless story, and look over the future SE post the same way.

I really need to come up with a title, but I want something reflective across the broader trilogy. I would like something like “Of X & Y,” where X & Y are variables across all three books. “Of Clay Pots & Clones” doesn’t quite sound right to me. Is that a catchy title for the first book? I’m at a loss here. “Of Spies & Clones” ??? One of you authors or big-time readers let me know if you would check the blurb on a title like this. The cover art will sell it as science fiction.


Filed under Writing