Welcome. Toss a blanket down, sit for a while under the willow, relax, and enjoy what's written below.

Friday, June 26, 2015

New Release - Murder, Trouble & Family (An Annie Ryan Cozy Mystery)

When Annie finds a body floating in the lake near her pier, she and Georgie are pulled into another mystery. The new detective in town decides Annie is responsible for the murder. With her fiancĂ© out of town on an undercover assignment, the sleuthing duo take it upon themselves to prove Annie’s innocence. To add to her trouble, her nemesis Claudine, does all she can to make Annie’s life miserable and help prove she is the killer. Will Annie and Georgie be able to find the real killer in time or will the killer get to Annie first? Wedding plans, her quirky Aunt Irene, and Annie’s sidekick Yorkie named Yummy keep her life hectic. A murder mystery is the last thing she needs. This is the second in the Annie Ryan cozy mystery series, although it can be read as a stand-alone novel.   

Available on: Amazon

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dark and Light

What’s in the dark? I have heard it said and written that the answer is “the same things that are in the light before the lights are turned off.” Is that true?

Some everyday creatures search out the darkness. Spiders like to lay their nests in a darkened corner of a room or between the folds of a heavy drape. Why? The reason is for protection. They can’t be seen as well in the dark corner, and they hide for survival.

The same can be said for humans. While children may be terrified of what is under their beds, they willingly crawl under the bed when frightened. Adults may also turn off lights if they hear a strange noise. The same dark that hides an intruder will help hide them.

This love/hate relationship of light and dark plays well into the paranormal and horror genres in writing. Ghosts and evil creatures always prefer to hide in the dark. Since they are supernatural beings, they don’t need the cover of darkness to act out their evil deeds. However, it puts their victims in a more precarious situation if they attack in the dark.

The dark will also pull the reader into your story. They might have their own fear of the dark or remember a situation where the dark added some tension to their situation. The bright sunshine chases away the shadows and much of the fear.
Scary stories that take place in a haunted house usually have a dark, creepy attic or a damp, dreary basement. Teenagers, on a dare, visit a supposed haunted house. They sneak in after dark. The darkness enhances their fear level and in turn draws your reader into their fear.

A walk through an abandoned cemetery is more frightening at night. If there is enough moonlight to cast shadows from the large tombstones and trees blowing in the breeze, the fear will grow. It may appear that the tombstones have moved, or there is a spirit walking around the grounds.

Adding the right mix of light and dark will add to your story. I love the night sky with a full moon and deep blue clouds against the black sky. Enough light shines through the eerie clouds to add the right atmosphere to any scary story. Moonlight filtering through windows into a dark room will cast interesting shadows. Was it just a shadow? Your character isn’t sure, and neither is the reader. The more detailed the scene becomes, the greater the fear. It will make the story stronger.

The dark also changes perspective. A fun little experiment is to turn off all the lights in your house, or somewhere you feel perfectly safe. Look around, and as your eyes become accustomed to the dark, you may see shadows or a bit of light from the moon or street light. Feel how this change in perspective affects you and write it into your character’s personality or scene. If you don’t like the dark, you may want to try this with a friend. I don’t like the dark and find dark places uncomfortable regardless of how many people I’m with. When I want to experience the fear of dark places, I only need to recall my trip through the Lewis and Clark Caverns. At one point, the guide turned off the lights, and we were in total darkness. The guide, used to this situation, thought it amusing that we were unable to see our hands even when we lifted them right in front of our faces. I did not find it amusing and gripped my husband’s arm so tightly I left fingernail impressions.   

Any and all life experiences can be used to make your writing more realistic.

Happy writing and reading!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Six Sentence Sunday

Hello, the following six sentences are from the first chapter in the latest Kellie Conley mystery. It's tentatively titled Dark Corridors and will be out fall/winter of 2015. Enjoy and have a wonderful day.

“I remember something my mom, dad, and Alexis said when I saw them after Luther was dragged into hell. I didn’t remember until this moment maybe because I didn’t need the memory. I may need it now,” Kellie stammered.
“What?” Taylor dropped next to her on the grass.
“Mom said I would receive roses whenever danger was in my future. I should watch for roses arriving from any source, but especially if they have an emotional meaning."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Paranormal vs Supernatural

Paranormal vs Supernatural. That topic can be confusing to some and many have varying ideas what each mean in relationship to books. Let’s take a look at both and see what we can figure out. I started by checking the dictionary and wasn’t surprised to see the word supernatural in the list to describe paranormal and the word paranormal used to describe supernatural. Does that mean they are the same? I don’t think so.

I write what I like to call supernatural thrillers. They border on horror since many contain spirits, but I don’t write about demons, etc. and stop short of describing my work as horror. They are supernatural since they contain characters that are not alive and are basically evil.

I think I shy away from the word paranormal for my work because I see paranormal as having more fantasy or romance in the work and mine does not contain fantasy and very little romance. I also see the YA Paranormal section in the library which contains rows of fantasy books. Books which will take you to the past, another realm, world, or fictional present are listed in the paranormal section. My books would not fit into that category.

Supernatural also means more than eerie or weird. A story about angels might be described as supernatural. Some may say angels should be thought of as religious, but many prefer supernatural. I think it would depend on the story line. A story about the afterlife could be considered religious while a story of a fallen angel might be considered paranormal.

We would normally consider vampires and werewolves to be supernatural creatures that fall into the realm of horror stories. This is where the lines can become blurry between the different genres and sub-genres.

An entirely different class would be fairies, sprites, elves, flying dragons, trolls, mermaids, etc. How would we classify them? They are fantasy creatures, but would they be paranormal or supernatural. In my opinion, these would best fit into the paranormal category since they are fantasy creatures. Yet, many of these fantasy creatures can be found in other genres including horror.  

This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning creatures that are dreamed up in the novelist’s mind. These creatures could be anything from a tiny happiness fairy that sprinkles fairy dust on sad people to make their wishes come true to a giant triple headed beast with twelve eyes that loves to rip any living creature apart in the most violent ways.

The more I write, the more I am drawing the conclusion that supernatural and paranormal walk a very thin line. It may all be in the eye of the novelist and reader. Which word would attract the type of reader the writer is looking for? As for all the creatures, I think they can easily cross the line, too. A fantasy story can be turned into a horror story with the changing of the plot line and a few scenes and vice versa.

For my work, I am going to stick with supernatural. I like the way it sounds, it is what I have always used and I don’t care for change. For those of you writing paranormal stories please continue. People will love them and read them. I have read some and enjoyed what I have read.

Happy Writing. 
Image Courtesy of: Livescience