Beauty of Fear-Trailer

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NaNoWriMo and other goals...

      So once again, like so many others, I am participating in NaNoWriMo 2014. I am determined to finish at least one of the projects I've been working on this year. But as I decided to write this I realized that everyone has goals. Little ones, big ones, some that seem impossible or even improbable. How do we achieve them? There isn't a NaNoWriMo out there for every little thing.  So where does our support come from? Each other.

I turn 49 this month and I realized that I actually have a few goals besides just writing. So what I'm going to do is combine my word count throughout the next year with some of those goals.

Goal #1-Finish these darn books already! I need to just focus on one story at a time, maybe alternate days or something because I can't completely turn one or the other off and publish at least one before the end of this year!

Goal #2-Journal my journey to 50. I've said before, I procrastinate so this will take some discipline on my part. A lot of discipline. At least once a week, thats 52 journal/blog entries from the time I turn 49 to the day I turn 50. Feel free to follow along if you like.  Me disciplined. Just that alone will make for good reading.

Goal #3-Between this Veteran's Day and next, get back down to my fighting weight. That's 50 lbs in a year. Now this isn't just about vanity, this is about health. My knees HATE my current weight and so do I. Now does this mean I'm going to starve myself? Heck no!  No dieting here, the word 'die' is in diet you know.  No, no, just healthier choices and portions and everything in moderation. Oh yes, and exercise of course. This is my goal without the camouflage.

What do you think? Three minor goals right? No? Crap, help me out here, what do you think?
We'll see I guess.  Now what's my most immediate goal?  Getting to bed, I'm pooped. Night y'all.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Procrastination, my mortal enemy...

The mortal enemy of the writer is using every excuse not to write, in other words, procrastination. I am definitely guilty of that. Some days the words are free flowing other days, yikes, I'm lucky if I can get a word down.  Now I don't know about you, but for me, it's not for lack of stuff to write it's more that there is an over abundance.  I tend to work on more than one thing at a time and while that works for some things, it definitely does not work for writing.  At least not in a way that makes me as productive as I would like to be.

An example? I am currently working on two separate novels that are completely different, I still have Fanfiction that pops in my head and I work full time as a program director at a karate school.  Add to that summer camp at the school which starts at 7:30am and sometimes I'm too tired mentally and physically to even look at the screen much less my notebook-I write longhand a lot. So, what's a person to do?  What do you do?

Some would give up, letting daily life win, foregoing their dreams of writing. Not today!  No sir, I am writing daily. I admit that I'm scared to set a daily goal for fear of failure but at the same time i probably need to.  Hmmm...what's a person to do?

Well folks, this writer is revving herself back up.
Dear Lorna is available for kindle download for free this week.

Not only that, but I am reviewing the editing of Beauty of Fear and adding somew content that will lead into the next book, Silence of Fear.  If I do this correctly, Amazon will notify everyone who downloaded the book and they can update it for themselves.
So what has spurred this renewed zest for writing?  A rather lengthy review of Beauty of Fear that called me out on minor editing and grammar while at the same time praising the story and comparing my crazy in the book to Gerritson's Hoyt or Cornwell's Gault.  Who can ignore that?

Not this girl, not anymore.  There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than hearing that someone couldn't stop reading my book(s) because they were so caught up in it.  That kind of connection with a reader is just purely awesome.  So, procrastination be damned! This b**** is writing!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jelly Bean stings and the folks who dropped the baby...

I know it's been a while since I posted but I usually like to post something worthwhile or funny, you know?
Anyway, one of the things I love to do is go to the beach not just for the surf and sand, but to people watch an write. Some great characters are to be found on the beach.  Funny moments too.

I go to the beach with my partner Maria. We've been together almost 25 years and we can still make each other laugh. One thing I've noticed recently is that as I get older, I mean to say one word and another comes out.  Usually one that completely does not go with what I was trying to say.  Can we say DUH...

So, jellybeans?  Ah yes, we are at the beach enjoying the ambience when not 30 feet in front of us, a family of four adults with a baby about 5 months old drop the car seat and the baby, face first into the sand.  Horrific, yes?  
They picked up the baby and calmed her down but mom was pissed and walked off the beach holding the baby the others had dropped, while those others followed sheepishly behind her.  
All of this resulted in some commentary between Maria and I.  
"Hope the baby is ok" Maria said
"I'm sure she is" I said
"They should have taken her to the lifeguard station, they would have water to clean her face." Maria said earnestly.
"Yeah." I said
"Did you know," Maria said, that they have to keep vinegar in a lifeguard station?"
"Oh?" I said with interest.
"Yes," Maria said seriously, "they have to for jellybean stings"
I paused...did I hear correctly? As I turned to her she quickly recanted.
"Jellyfish, I mean jelly fish stings, not jelly bean."
I was glad to hear her do exactly what I've been doing for days.  We laughed so loudly that we became the objects of viewing by others on the beach.  
So yes everyone, beware of jellybean stings, always keep vinegar on hand, and never drop the baby.

L.E. Perez

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Characters, characters, characters…(or the voices in your head)

Two months have flown by and I haven't posted at all on my blog, yikes!!!
Happy Easter to those who celebrate and Happy Sunday for those who don't.
Seriously though, how do you identify the voices in your head and create the wonderful characters that just leap off the page?

We all know those characters, the ones we identify with, the ones we wish we were, the ones we love to hate, etc.  How do we create them? Do we open the file cabinet in our heads and pull out a thick file with your characters complete dossier already worked out? Or how about this, a name gets stuck in your head and damned if you aren't going to create a character based on that name.  Oh wait!  I know, you've always envied this one person in your life and imagined yourself in their shoes, so like Walter Mitty you begin to create an alternate reality for this person, crafting your story as you go.

Who is she???
Let's be honest, character development can be a chore, but it can also be a hell of a lot of fun! First of all, don't think of it as work. Have fun with it.  Picture your character in your head. Now describe what you see.  First thoughts only.  Okay, now use one of the many writing tools/character development sheets available and start asking your character some questions. Here's one from Taunaki on the NaNoWriMo forum-they compiled the list from a couple of different character sheets.

Full Name/Nickname:
  1. Age:
  2. Gender:
  3. Date of Birth:
  4. Ethnicity:
  5. Occupation:
  6. Hair color/style:
  7. Eye color:
  8. Accent (if any):
  9. Height:
  10. Weight:
  11. Tattoos:
  12. Piercings:
  13. Birthmarks:
  14. Disfigurements:
  15. Scars:
Personality Overview:
  1. Fears:
  2. Childhood:                                          
  3. Adolesence:
  4. Adulthood:
Fashion Sense
  1. How do they usually dress?
  2. What do they wear to sleep?
  3.  Do they wear jewelry?
  4. Is there anything about their appearance they wish they could change?
  5. How would they look as the opposite sex?
  6. What do they smell like? Why (do they wear the scent or does it occur naturally)?
  7. Do they have an accurate mental picture of their appearance (how they see themselves versus how the world sees them)?
  8. Choose a different time period and describe what your character would have been like in that time period.
  9. Favorites, habits, likes and dislikes:
  10. What are some of your character’s hobbies? What do they do with their time?
  11. Favorite color:
  1.  Books or Favorite music artists:
  2. Movies or TV shows:
  3. authors:
  4. Favourite Actors/actresses:
  5. Political stance? Are they active in politics or do they not care?
  6. What are some of their pet peeves?
  7. What sort of gifts do they like?
  8. What is their favorite time of day?
  9. Favorite weather? Season?
  10. Where do they like to spend their time?
  11. Favorite food? Favorite drink? Hot drinks, soft drinks, or alcohol?
  12. Favorite animal?
  13. Do they have any pets? Do they want any?
  14. What relaxes them?
  15. Do they have any bad habits?
  16. What are some things that they don’t like? (least favourite food/drink, weather/season, etc)
  17. What are they allergic to?
Resources and abilities:
  1. Where did they learn their abilities?
  2. If they have an income, where does it come from?
  3. Do they have a job? Do they like it? How do they feel about their co-workers?
  4. Why do they have their resources? How long have they had them, and how have they served the character over time? (Ex. Contacts, money, political power, fame, etc.)
  5. Where does your character live? Why did they choose it, and how did they acquire it? How do they handle intruders (graciously? violently?)? Describe the space.
  6. What are some of your character’s more notable merits and flaws (including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.)? How did they develop? How has this helped or hindered them in the past?
  7. How are they with technology?
  8. Are they specially qualified in any particular field? Would they be considered at the top of the field?
  9. Have they ever been publically acknowledged for anything? (Ex. Nobel Prize)
  10. Is there anything they’ve deliberately sought to improve at?
  11. Do they speak more than one language?
Relationships and history:
  1. What is their family history like? How does it affect them? How do they feel about their family? How does their family feel about them?
  2. What were they like as a child? What was their favorite toy? Favorite game? Playmates?
  3. What did they want to be when they grew up?
  4. Describe their best and worst memories from childhood.
  5. Where (and when) did they grow up? How did they view it as a child, and did that change as they matured? How do they feel about the place now?
  6. Do they, or have they in the past, had a mentor? What was their relationship with this person, and how has it changed since then?
  7. What sort of education have they had? Do they want more?
  8. Who was their idol growing up? Who was the first person they fantasized about?
  9. Who is their closest friend, and why? What do they like to do with this person?
  10. Do they have any rivals? Who and why?
  11. Have they ever been betrayed? By who, and how did it affect them?
Sex and Romance:
  1. What is their sexual orientation? Do they ever question it?
  2. When did they lose their virginity? Who to? Where? What was it like?
  3. What is their favorite sexual fantasy?
  4. Do they have any particular fetishes or kinks?
  5. What’s the strangest thing they’ve ever done in bed?
  6. Is there anything in particular that they won’t do?
  7. What are they attracted to in a partner?
  8. If applicable: who is their current partner, and what attracted the character to them? How did they meet? How long have they been together? What kind of a relationship is it? Do they have any plans for the future?
  9. What would be their perfect date?
  10. Describe one of the character’s past relationships and what was significant about it.
  11. Have they ever hurt someone they loved?
  12. Do they fall in love easily?
  1. What are their dreams? What do they want to do someday?
  2. Are there places they want to go? Where and why?
  3. If these don’t apply already: do they want to get married? Have kids?
  4. Would they ever consider adopting a child? Why or why not?
  5. Do they have any prominent sensory associations? (Ex. the smell of their mother’s perfume, the sound of ice cracking under their feet as a child, etc.)
  6. Who do they want to meet?
  7. What about them is heroic?
  8. What would the character be like in their old age?
  9. Describe one (or more) plots you would like to do.
  10. Stuck in a waiting room. Which magazine do they pick up?
  1. What is one thing in their past they’re ashamed of? One thing they’re proud of?
  2. Describe one fight they’ve had in the past (physical or otherwise).
  3. What is one thing they feel strongly about?
  4. One trait they admire?
  5. What disturbs them?
  6. Do the ends justify the means in their eyes?
  7. Are they a leader or a follower? Why?
  8. What do they feel responsible for? (Ex. I owe it to the world to do this.)
  9. Do they believe that a person can redeem themselves from mistakes of the past?
  10. What scares them?
  11. How do they feel about death? Have they been significantly affected by it?
  12. Do they value faith over reason or vice versa?
  13. Do they believe in an afterlife?
  14. Do they have any habits that reflect their beliefs? (Ex. regular prayer, vegetarianism, etc.)
  15. Do they respect the beliefs of others?
  16. Would they be more likely to act for the good of one or the good of many?
  17. Are they manipulative?
  18. Choose a holiday and come up with a potential scenario involving your character and that holiday.
  19. Is the character religious? What are their views, and why or why not?
  20. How would they like to die?
  21. Choose a person, historical or fictional, and write about a meeting between them and your character.
 You get the idea.  Now obviously you don't have to answer every question but answering a lot of them will help you flesh out your characters.  You can tailor the questions to the story you are writing as well and get rid of the questions that don't apply.  The thing is this: The more developed your characters are the more your reader will connect with them.  You want the reader to have a visceral reaction to what happens to their favorite characters.  You want them to identify with them.  If you are writing a fight scene, you want your reader to feel the anxiety, tension and fear that your character is feeling.

So yeah, characters, aka the voices in your head, help identify them-ask questions.
Ciao for now!

L.E. Perez

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Goodreads Goodies...

With Valentine's Day banging on the door I thought it might be nice to offer a Goodreads giveaway!  Enter for a chance to win a copy of Dear Lorna from February 14th thru February 28th.  I'm still new to Goodreads so I appreciate any shares and help folks can give me.

Dear Lorna is different from my other book.  A straight up angst ridden romance.  If this isn't your cup of tea, enter anyway and give the book as a gift!

Pass it on and Happy Valentine's Day!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dear Lorna by L.E. Perez

Dear Lorna

by L.E. Perez

Giveaway ends February 28, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Black Belt in Writing-Part 2

A short while ago I wrote a blog post called "Black Belt in Writing" (Sept 11, 2013) I won't repost obviously since you can go back and read it yourselves, but I will reference it and I will remind you of the different belt levels as I perceive them:
White Belt= ideas bouncing around your head, what to do, what to do...
Yellow Belt=a notebook!  write those ideas down girl or guy...
Orange Belt= These ideas are all over the place but at least they are in one book...
Green Belt=We have a theme! Now to get these ideas sorted...
Purple Belt=I have the meat, but where are the potatoes?
Blue Belt=Slicing and dicing...these characters are starting to seem real...
Red Belt=Backstory?  What the heck is backstory?
Brown Belt=It has a flow!  It actually makes sense as I read it...
Brown/Black or Red/Black=Review, edit,, edit, read...
Black Belt=ready to publish!  Self pub or not, either way you are ready...SUBMIT!
Higher Black Belt Degrees=ALL OF THE ABOVE, all the time...(King, Rowling, Patterson, Cornwell, you get the idea)

As I stated previously, If you are into martial arts at all, you can argue the belt colors but I don't think you can argue the process too much  As a writer have you gone through this? As a person have you jotted stories down, never realizing you were an orange belt in writing?

So what is the purpose of this blog post?  Well, what happens when you are a beginner?  A beginner in most disciplines is someone who is just starting to get a handle on the basics, the fundamentals.  I would categorize those folks as White to Orange Belt.  These are your beginners.  Is one of them you?

Now my question to you is this: Do you start from the beginning when you change genres?  I mean think about it.  When you go from practicing Karate to practicing Jujitsu, you start as a white belt again.  You may progress through the ranks more quickly than before but you still start from the beginning.  Now using the jujitsu analogy is an interesting one.  They generally have less belts though they do offer progress stripes as you unlock/master the next level in your training.  The same is true with writing.  The idea of writing is the same, but a different genre?  How do you go from pure romance to science fiction, or from paranormal to crime drama?  By going back to the beginning.

There are a ton of blogs out there offering writing advice, tips, tweaks, etc.  Here I am just trying to get you to open your mind to the fact that even the best of us (writers/authors) revisit that beginner stage when trying something new.  Sometimes you may realize that this new discipline/genre is easier.  Other times you ask yourself what you were thinking when you started to fill another notebook with ideas that would have been foreign to you in the past.

I find myself back at the beginner stage with my new venture while simultaneously pursuing my second degree black belt in my original one.  Yikes!  Can we say schizophrenic?  Yep, that's how I feel.  I have Leigh from my Fear series pulling me in one direction and my new heroine Ariana running circles around me.  What started out as a small story has become a bit unwieldy. So yes, I am a beginner once again…so what are you?

L.E. Perez

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Overheard a conversation...

I was at my regular 9-5  job today (actually 12-9pm) and I walked up to a couple of parents to check in on them and their kids (I run a martial arts school). I figured they were chatting about the kids, since they had just gotten their black belts over the weekend , but no…they were talking about Beauty of Fear, my book. {cue fantasy music}

To say that I was stunned is an understatement.  It was strange to hear the one parent talk about the book while she recommended it to the other.  She talked about the characters like they were friends of hers and you could hear the passion she had for the book in her voice.  It was a bit surreal.  She told this other parent that she doesn't read murder mysteries but decided to give this a chance and she loved it!  Then, darned if she didn't start asking about the sequel…wow...

I told her I was happy to hear her speak that way about the book and she promised to leave a review on Amazon, but it doesn't matter, that would just be icing on this cake.  To overhear someone talking so animatedly about something I wrote and published, was the best feeling ever! 

Just a few days before, another mom who had purchased the book walked in with it under one arm when she brought her son for class.  I was dumbstruck then and I'm dumbstruck now.  I actually wrote something that others like.  I wrote a character they could root for and did.  It's one thing to write a book and self publish and hear from family that its good, but for strangers to say that and pass it on to others was something I wasn't prepared for.

And now I have another one out there…cool...

Whether I become a "successful" author or not, it is moments like these that make me feel like a #1 Times Bestselling Author. And according to my granddaughter Isabel, and I quote "people are talking about it, they're reading it, you're already successful Ada (grandma)"  Thank you my Isabear.

L.E. Perez

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Playing with pics...and building excitement

So, I've let myself get caught up in manipulating pictures...a definite distraction but also a welcome one.  It has ignited in me an excitement for my own works that I haven't felt in some time.

Fun huh?  Yeah, I think I'm getting better at this but it has made me wonder if maybe it isn't necessary to start hiring folks to do this stuff so that I can work on what I should be working on...writing!

Ugh!  But this stuff is fun too...either way, take a look at the book, it's only $.99.  If you have suggestions for making the cover more impactful I welcome it.
By the way I will be following up on my Black Belt in writing blog that I posted a couple of months ago.  I think I want to break it down a bit and maybe help a future or writer or two...

L.E. Perez

Friday, January 10, 2014

To review or not to review, that is the question…or is it?

I know that readers often wonder why is it so important to give someone a review or feedback about what they've just read?  Well, in some instances, the writer wants to know if their message got across.  In other instances, the way that a book is received critically is dependent on reviews, post positive and negative.

What happens though when someone reviews your book and they can't post it on an official site?  Amazon requires that only books actually purchased by you can be reviewed by you.  That makes things pretty tricky when you offer the book for free.  I mean really, 1000 downloads for free and 1000 possible reviews versus 10 books sold and downloaded and 10 reviews.  See what I mean?  
For the writer, reviews are our life's blood.  One way to deal with this is to recommend that folks  forward their review to you if they are unable to post.  Is your email or contact info readily available as a writer?  It should be.  Sometimes its that lone outside review that can help clue you in to the heart and soul of your story.  

An example is one from my newest release, Dear Lorna, as I posted on my Facebook page:

A beautiful review I received from a fan who read Dear Lorna but couldn't post review on Amazon: 
If there were ten stars it still would not be enough.
It has been quite sometime since I have been so completely taken with a story that has had me on the edge of my seat, in tears and wishing there was more. The back story beautifully frames the path that has led our heroine to a time and place that is both heart breaking and sensual. To add to the mix, there are beautiful letters that take your breath away and you wonder if anyone really writes that beautifully in real life anymore. This writer needs to write just a book of letters so that we could all wish we were the recipients of something so deep so as to take our breath away.
This writer has written other stories that evoke feelings of suspense and even smiles, Beauty of Fear being the most recent until now. This book will stand alone among the others. In the past I have read quite a few romance novels as well as crime, horror and of course the classics. This book is going up in that bookshelf, it's one that will be enjoyed again and again.
Here's hoping for a sequel... or two.

My two books so far...

That review made everything worth it.  The sleepless nights, the editing, the rewrites.  It evoked in the reader exactly what I wanted, and more.  

'Nuff said...

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Resolve (not resolution)

Wow, another year down. Did everyone do what they planned this year.  Did you achieve what you set out to do or did you set yourself up for failure? Yeah, that's what I thought...

Too often we set out to scale a mountain and barely make it up a hill.  We set out to lose 30 pounds and instead gain 15...sheesh, what's a person to do?

Well how's this.  Accept that you will get out of your resolutions exactly what you put in.  You don't need the new year to decide you will accomplish something.  Make the decision and move on from there.  Easier said than done isn't it but the idea of failing isn't a good one either so what are we to do?

Heck I don't know.  I just know that sometimes we have to realize that we have to work for what we want out of life and work hard. So we must be resolved and resolute in our actions.  We must be willing to make tough choices and be flexible as well. 

I love to write but it is by no means easy.  Some days I will sit and try to write something and get nothing.  But goodness forbid I'm driving somewhere, suddenly whole chapters pop into my head and I end up all thumbs trying to record my thoughts on my smartphone, which I must admit is much smarter than me.  So what is a person to do? Well keep trying of course!  If we gave up whenever we encounter an obstacle then we might as well just stay home and eat Bon bons.

So what am I saying with all this?

Its a new year everyone, new choices, new decisions, new goals and aspirations.  Take a deep breath and just go for it.  That's what I'm doing!

Started the new year publishing a short romance called Dear Lorna its available as a kindle download or paperback.  Its a story of a love almost lost before it was realized.  

Dear Lorna on Amazon

What's next?  My time shifter novel tentatively titled: Relativity