Tag Archives: spotlight

Meet #RRBC Spotlight Author Kim Cox

You guys have read my posts about the Rave Reviews Book Club before. This club is all about helping and promoting authors to new readers. This week the club’s Spotlight Author is Kim Cox. She’s here to tell us all about writing a Paranormal Mystery. Take it away, Kim.

Writing the Paranormal Mystery

What enticed me to write a paranormal mystery series? Why did I want to write a series about a psychic female private investigator who could communicate with ghosts? What contributed to my interest? I get ideas for writing from everywhere and everyone, but I never use specifics from the instances and persons around me. However, all things spark ideas for totally unrelated subjects.

Ideas

A while back my husband and I were talking about cloning. Not sure where the conversation started, but we were wondering about how a soul comes into play in the overall scheme of this process. Does the cloned person even have a soul? Well, the what-ifs started and I have a futuristic, science fiction book on the back burner, meaning that I have an idea about one that I want to write. So, I added some thoughts about cloning to a file, and I’ve downloaded some books about cloning for research. Anyway, this is insight into how my mind works and where ideas can come from because of a simple conversation.

My reading passion has always included all types of mysteries, and since I started writing, I’ve wanted to write a series about a female sleuth, private investigator. As far as psychics and mediums, they fascinate me along with the ghosts they communicate with. I’ve heard numerous stories about ghosts from family and friends. I’ve come to believe that the state of Ohio is full of them. By the way, I would love to hear from others who live or have lived in Ohio about this.

I grew up watching “Shock Theater” for goodness sake. For those who don’t know, “Shock Theater” came on late nights on Friday in the 1960s and 1970s. These shows featured zombies, vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein, swamp monters, and probably other things I can’t remember right now.

I remember during one episode about zombies, my brother, David, had a large glass of milk and two or three banana sandwiches. I think he was around sixteen or seventeen at the time. We were watching this show where a man was running from the zombies saying, “Feet don’t fail me now,” and David laughed so hard that he spat milk and banana sandwich all over the floor. Tears were streaming from his eyes and he was rolling all over the furniture.

As a teenager, I had a friend who swore they had a ghost named Oscar (not sure if this was the name he gave them or a name they gave him, although, I believe it was the latter) living in their house. He would do odd things—move objects around or write on a steam-covered mirror in the bathroom but he was never mean or scary. Once, I remember hearing them say that Oscar may not be a man after all, because one night the entity climbed into bed my friend’s brother.

This friend lived in a small town in eastern North Carolina, but Oscar had followed or hopped a ride with them back from a place in Ohio where they’d lived during the summer. I don’t remember the name of the town or anything else about it.

Then there was my husband’s aunt who told me numerous ghost stories about houses she’d lived in near Dayton. She’d seen many apparitions over the years and for the life of me, I can’t remember any specific stories except one about her seeing this filmy, translucence spirit which seemed to be more of a residual haunting where the ghost went about their normal routine as if they were still alive.

All of these stories have fascinated me over the years and that fascination manifested itself into the stories in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series. Not any stories I’ve heard specifically but portions of things in them sparked ideas. I can only think of one specific thing I may have used and that’s the writing on the mirror in Get Out or Die. These stories have contributed in part to me wanting to write about ghosts, psychics, mediums, etc.

After my first book, “Haunted Hearts” was written, television shows such as “Ghost Whisperer” and “Medium” began to air and my interest only grew. I loved those shows and hated it when they stopped showing them.

The Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series

 

In the LANA MALLOY PARANORMAL MYSTERY SERIES, Lana Malloy is a psychic, private investigator who is on a mission to help the dearly departed even when they don’t realize they need help. With each book, Lana’s psychic abilities grow. As she’s pushed to new limits, she learns she’s capable of much more than she knew.

In book one, HAUNTED HEARTS, Lana sets out to solve her first case—the twenty-year old cold-case and double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt’s fiancé. If she succeeds, they’ll spend eternity together; if she can’t, they’ll be stuck as Haunted Hearts. With the help of the ghosts and a new love interest, she is able to find the murderer.

In book two, GET OUT OR DIE, the success of Lana’s first case has spread throughout the local Charleston area and her business is booming. At one pro-bono job, Lana helps a widow communicate with her late husband where she learns of a frightening new ability—an ability that could give the next spirit, an angry ghost, the upper hand if she’s not careful.

In book three, THE WEDDING CRASHER, Lana is on her honeymoon in Gatlinburg, Tennessee when she learns that a reoccurring vision about an abducted woman took place in nearby Knoxville. This case takes her hiking up mountainsides and trekking through rough terrain to find a madman before he can harm this young woman.

In the fourth book, CHRISTMAS CRUISE, Lana boards a cruise ship haunted by dead women who were brutally murdered. While aboard the ship Lana has an experience that mentally injures her. Once she recovers, she’s more determined than ever to find the murderer.

Coming up next, book five, HAUNTED BY HER PAST: Lana is faced with the task of helping, Jena, a domestic abuse victim to escape the ghost of her dead, abusive, ex-boyfriend.

Other Books Coming In This Series

In book six, DEMI’S SERIAL CASE, the town of Charlestonhas a serial killer and Demi requires Lana’s assistance. Demi is Lana’s best friend and a police detective. Lana helps Demi profile the killer who is believed to be a copy-cat killer (copying another serial killer’s modus operandi) of the man who has been in jail for about five years.

In book seven, DEATH COMES CALLING, Derek, Tony’s brother has moved back to Charleston after living in the middle east and Africa, treating serious injuries while associated with the organization, Doctors Without Borders. A ghost that died in his care begins to haunt him.

Book eight is of yet untitled, but the idea is that shortly after Demi is promoted to Police Captain, she will be involved in a shootout that leads to her being charged with murder. Lana will need to find the truth in order to save her friend. The problem, the dead spirit isn’t talking and he’s the only one that knows what truly happened.

About Kim

*INSERT AUTHOR PHOTO*

 

 

 

Kim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers–Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles.


Sign up for Kim’s Readers List for exclusive information, new releases, contests, giveaways, and free books.

Visit her at the following sites:

Author’s Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com

Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

Social Media locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor

Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwrtr

***

Suspicious Minds

Betrayal, Revenge, and Hidden Identity

In the city of Boston lies a story of betrayal, revenge and hidden identity. Ryan Donatelli, posing as Thomas Randolph, sets out to avenge his sister’s death, even if it means using Sam Southard’s daughter to do it. After all, Ryan is sure Sam’s responsible.

Natalie Southard is determined to keep her family business out of the hands of known crime boss, Nick DeMarco. After her father is killed, Natalie and Ryan are forced to run for their lives. But, will they live long enough for their hearts to heal once everything is revealed?

 

74 Comments

Filed under Writing

Point of view, by SM Spencer

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I get opportunities to host some amazing authors. SM Spencer is the beneficiary of a “Spotlight Week.” As such she will be popping up all over Blogland to promote her wares and introduce herself.

She's here today to tell us how she chooses a point of view.

HOW I CHOOSE POINT OF VIEW

A lot has been written about the various POV options, as well as the pros and cons of each. I’ve Googled the topic, read articles and a multitude of chapters in editing books and even so I find some of the discussions can get rather confusing. So, how do I go about choosing between the various POV options? Well, let me start with a simple definition and then I’ll tell you how I do it.

Works of fiction are narrated by a person (or sometimes an animal) that is telling the story. Point of view (“POV”) is, put simply, the perspective from which that narrator speaks.

So, who is the narrator of any given story? Is it a single character from within the story, or is the story told by more than one character? Or is the narrator not part of the story at all? Is the story to be told by an omniscient being with knowledge and understanding of all the characters? The decision as to who the narrator is determines whether there is a single viewpoint or a dual, multiple or omniscient viewpoint. The type of narrator can be first person (“I”) or third person (“he” or “she”).


So, armed with a definition, how did I choose? I put on my reader hat and thoughtabout what books I’ve really enjoyed as a reader, and then I went back and had a look at how those books were written.

Take the Janet Evanovich books for example. Stephanie Plum is a sassy bounty hunter who I found it incredibly likeable. These books are written in first person single viewpoint.


Another style of first person, first person present, is gaining popularity and can be found in books such as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. I’ve read a few books written in this fashion, and while I find that the writing can seem somewhat abrupt initially, if the story is good enough I do settle into the style. However I suspect it must take a great deal of concentration to consistently write in this style without slipping up.

If you don’t want to write in first person, as in “I”, then there is third person. Narrated by “he” or “she” and considerable use of the character’s name, third person can have single, dual or multiple viewpoints. Third person dual viewpoint is often used for contemporary romance books as it allows for a much greater development of the hero. This provides greater insight into the feelings and motivations of both characters, not just the female protagonist.


Third person multiple viewpoints is the technique used in many books, but a warning to authors: make sure the changes are clearly identified by spacing, and use of the characters names in the course of the narration.

So, having said all that, how do I choose the POV for a particular story?


I answer the following questions. Is it best for the story to unfold through the eyes of one main character, knowing that the reader will only know what this main character knows? Or will the story work better if told from two or more viewpoints? Then I decide whether I would prefer to write in first person, or third person. Again, going back over books I’ve read and liked helped with both decisions.


Another key factor for me in determining the POV to use is to keep the reader’s best interests in mind. It is crucial that the reader never be in doubt as to who is telling the story.


In writing the Absent Shadows trilogy I chose a single point of view, being that of the main character, Lili. This was her story, told from her perspective entirely. As many of the other characters in the story were not human, I felt it best for the reader to see them as Lili saw them rather than to delve too deeply into their thoughts, desires and motivations.


However I am employing other POV’s with my current works in progress. The contemporary romance is written in third person dual viewpoint. Another, which I am still struggling to categorise, is currently being written in third person with multiple viewpoints.


My advice to authors would be to read articles and books to expand your knowledge but above all, keep it simple, and trust your instincts.


S M Spencer’s first series is called Absent Shadows Trilogy. To find out more about the series, and obtain free samples of each of the books, visit Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=series_rw_dp_labf?_encoding=UTF8&field-collection=Absent%20Shadows%20Trilogy&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text

You can also follow her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/SMSpencer.writer for advice about upcoming promotions as well as updates on the books she’s currently working on.

18 Comments

Filed under Writing

Time for an assessment

Is anyone tired of seeing my mug all over the Internet? I’m just plain tired. Dog tired.

I took my story, The Cock of the South, on a blog tour last week. This was part of a Rave Reviews Book Club spotlight week that I won. I participated in a contest to recruit new members for the club, and came out on top.

As soon as I learned of my victory I started researching. This would surely put me over the top, right? It appears that isn’t the case. All of the experts told me not to expect sales, and don’t try to milk the tour for sales. A tour is all about recognition. It’s about meeting people, getting my name out there, and having fun too. I approached the whole thing with that mindset.

RRBC sent me a very professional spotlight kit. It involved filling out a bunch of forms, and swearing I wouldn’t talk about my spotlight until it happened. I was instructed to prepare 8 – 10 unique blog posts, and they even provided some suggestions.

Not being able to talk about it was tough. I could have posted some Writing Cabin tales about the preparations.

There wound up being an email snafu somewhere, and I had to resend one post on Christmas Day under emergency conditions. My first lesson is to just roll with it.

I sent ten blog posts in, but two of them never appeared anywhere. I suspect the email gremlin was involved. These were excerpts from my book. If anyone would like to post them, they’re fair game now. Let me know if you’re interested.

I made sure to go back to each post during the week and reply to every commenter. I am a generally friendly guy, and anyone who takes time to comment deserves a reply. This includes those that didn’t find the post until three days later.

I took part in a live Twitter interview today. The connections plagued us, and I had to reboot and log back in at one point. It was only attended by my host and I, and one other person. I think a bit more promotion might have helped.

As a prize, I didn’t get to select the week of my Spotlight. It was set during Christmas, and that might not have been the ultimate time. I just rolled with it. It’s a thousand times more promotion than I would have gained without it.

The promotion included all forms of social media. I use this blog and Twitter only. That’s about to change, and deserves its own blog post. I must have circulated through a million Twitter feeds. I kept track of how many followers each Tweet and retweet had. I’m sure there are a lot of duplicate followers, but I’m impressed. I have no idea what might have happened on Facebook or Pinterest, but I’m sure it exists.

Right at the end of my Spotlight, a dear friend posted a very favorable review for my book. The timing couldn’t have been better. Thanks, Ali.

I gained exposure. People know my stories and I exist. I gained about a hundred new Twitter followers. Best of all, I gained about twenty-five new blog followers. That’s a huge week for this blog. There were a bunch of commitments to add my story to various TBR lists. I even got an ARC request for Will ‘O the Wisp. Score!

I suppose one can’t have everything. Sales were horrible. They were worse than almost every other week, and I have to believe the holiday had something to do with that. On the plus side, there are a ton of Amazon gift cards floating around out there. Maybe some fantasy fanatic will take a gander at my book.

Keep in mind, this is for all titles combined. Even Panama was flatlined, and that’s unusual.

image

I am not whining. I am ecstatic with the amount of support and number of people I reached. In fact I’m probably going to sign up to host others who wind up in the RRBC Spotlight.

This is a good club, and if you’re interested in exploring Rave Reviews Book Club further, hit the link at the top of this post. Thanks to everyone who hosted, liked, commented, or read my guest posts. Thanks also to the Twitter world for the overwhelming support you threw behind this project.

A writer’s work is never done. I’m off to critique group now. Then I have another behind the scenes project to help out with.

17 Comments

Filed under Writing