Blog Archives -  L.A. Tripp
 
That's right, the book that kicks off the awesome series "All Jacked Up" is free just for today. So if you could find it in your heart to do a fellow author a solid...you don't even have to spend any money....just down load a free copy of http://amzn.to/rrInyy and urge your friends to do the same!

Ok, now that that is out of the way (and I hope my numbers actually move now, lol), I'm left to consider how Amazon's algorithims and other scientific hoo-haa has changed and how that will affect my promotion and my "after-effect".

Time will tell. Of course, the more help I get today, the more I may be able to tell you a week from now ;)

Don't you love my hints? :)

Y'all have a great day now...ya hear?

(And enjoy Jack while you can!)
 
Welcome all to our Summer Comedy Event! 

Now, I know you're excited about this and for good reason. You're about to meet a few authors you may have never experienced before, plus have a chance to read some GREAT new work! 

Here's how this will work. We'll post a contest on twitter with the hashtag #finishtheline each week. You'll have 5 days to come up with the absolute BEST finish to that line so that at the end of that week, you'll win a copy of one of that author's coveted books! Fun and fantastic prizes, right!? 

Example: "If I just hadn't put the key in the ignition this morning..." You finish that line with the most fabulous thing you can think of and, if you have the best line, that author will give you ONE FREE COPY of one of their titles that week! Simple as that!

This contest will run on twitter every week. We will also promote the contest on facebook. Please join us in finishing the line AND promoting on facebook!

The official kick off to this contest is June 3rd, with the contest running the week of June 4th through June 8th. The last contest will run July 23rd through July 27th. Follow me on twitter @LATripp2818 to join in the fun!

We look forward to meeting a ton of you readers AND we look forward to entertaining you for a few hours of your precious time with one of our books!

Have a great summer!
 

We all have high hopes, or should have. Unfortunately for new authors, it seems the ropes are just as high, if not higher, than the hopes. Let's see what John Scherber has to say:

HIGH HOPES

When I was in high school, the smell of artist’s oil paint always lured me like a siren’s song. I wasn’t an artist, but I needed to paint. In the studios of painter friends I’d watch in awe as they shoved paint around on their canvases. Paint doesn’t smell now the way it did then; its been cleaned up. Like the crazy studio life of that time, it’s been airbrushed.

When I wasn’t wishing I could paint, I was aching to be an archaeologist. I borrowed a book from the library called Lost Worlds. I re-borrowed it so many times I wore it out. My favorite photo in it was of the archaeologist Howard Carter peering through the first small opening into the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. It was persistence that got him there. Some would call it stubbornness.

Eighty-seven years after the photo was taken, I stood in that tomb myself. King Tut is still there, unwrapped and resting quietly. You can lean your head to within inches of his and talk to him, as I did.

Like those dreams of mine, high school dreams rarely hold up. Your best girlfriend is not the one you marry, or if you do, it may not last. If it does last, you sometimes wonder what you’ve missed. The college you chose doesn’t teach archaeology, or if it does, it’s a single course about Indian mounds in Illinois, not Egypt. Someone tells you that all the royal tombs there have been discovered already.

Find something else to do. Get a real job.

In college I became a writer for a while, doing short stories and film reviews. Like painting and archaeology, it was something I became passionate about. It almost seemed like a real job at times. Three years after graduation I ran off the rails with it and was unable to write again for decades.

High hopes or pipe dreams? You stumble and you get up again.

Howard Carter and his persistence may have something to tell us. He started out as an illustrator in the early years of the twentieth century.

Eventually I took up art again, much later, and became a competent painter, although I didn’t quit my day job, my real job.

Then, on a painting trip to Taos, New Mexico, a fragment of a mystery story came uninvited into my head as I drove through the mountains. A young woman is coming to have her portrait painted, and she thinks it may be an occasion for a little more than that with the painter. The artist, whom I named Paul Zacher, finds her attractive as well, but in the studio, discipline prevails, otherwise for him it’s only chaos. A choice misunderstanding follows.

What I knew by the time I wrote this scene was that being a painter really does make you see things differently. Wouldn’t that also help if you were a detective? Because, on that very assumption, Paul Zacher is drafted into taking a look at a murder.

Yet, he’s more reluctant than flattered. At thirty-five, Paul is most comfortable staying with what he does best. But like the lure of the things he never did, that he walked away from, that he might have done better if he’d only stayed with them longer, he digs into this case. And then he digs some more.

If you’ve read this far, it’s probably no surprise that Zacher’s murder case involves some archaeological relics; Mayan ceramics. He also gets a bit of help from his historian girlfriend, and from a retired cop they know.

Some of you will be way ahead of me here, because I was a bit farther down the road before I realized I’d finally put it all together. All the high hopes and pipe dreams came back in a rush. I was the writer again, after thirty-seven years of silence, and I was the painter too, painting, through the steady hand of Paul Zacher, pictures that went far beyond what my modest skills could ever create. I was the crime-solving sleuth with the hot girlfriend, and I was young, and nothing was impossible. Writing this book was more fun than I’d ever had before, and a book that’s fun to write is fun to read.

I titled it Twenty Centavos, and it became the first of a series of ten mysteries starring Paul Zacher and his friends. They’re mostly set in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the classic colonial town in the mountains that plays host to 10,000 expatriates; the town where I live today.

A reader once asked me if Paul Zacher was based on me. I said, “No. I’m all of these characters, and I am none of them.”

John Scherber

www.sanmiguelallendebooks.com

Twitter @mextext

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
I don't know about you, but when I read, the first line needs to interest me. The first paragraph needs to entice me. The first couple of paragraphs need to greatly pique my interest. And the first page needs to make me NEED to read more.

Anything less and I'm putting the book down for another.

See, I get maybe 10 minutes of pleasure reading time every year. Least it seems that way. So when I do get to read for pleasure, it HAS to be great.

I know, I know. Some stories "need" back story. Well, the reality is, most stories "need" some amount of back story. Thing is, the author does not need to dump the entire back story into the first chapter or two. Unless they are so gifted at writing that they can make the entire back story SO awesome and captivating that it maintains my attention through out. If I jump into a chapter or more of boring back story, I'll never make it to the story itself.

Give me small chunks of back story in flashbacks. Relate that back story to the current scene. Make it MEAN something to me. Then you've got my attention and you're keeping it.

And yes, as a reader, I love dialogue. I also get lost with pages of narrative without characters uttering a word. The book is getting closed. I know, forget about fantasy for me, then. As a pleasure read, yes, I suppose so.

As a reader, I love to have things broken up. Give me dialogue, give me action, wrench my heart with drama and emotion, make me absolutely positively HAVE to turn the page to see what's next.

Do that...and you've got a fan for life with me.

What gets you as a reader?
 
Bah, humbug! Or something. What is this thing we call justice? Perhaps we should check in with today's guest to see what his idea of justice is. And hereeeeeee's Alan McDermott!
 
When I set out to write my debut novel I had the idea of a man looking to right an injustice.  I wanted it to be more than your typical tale of revenge, and tackling the judicial system rather than just the criminal seemed the right approach.  As it turned out, I had inadvertently woven a tale that gave many a reader food for thought.  It wasn’t my deliberate intention, but perhaps deep down I wanted people to consider the way criminals are perceived as being treated with a lot more compassion than their victims.


Here are just a sample of some of the reviews I have received for Gray Justice:

In crafting this tale, Mr McDermott raises a number of important issues about our British 'justice' system. We are asked to consider the extent to which it's fair to the victims and the scenario are all ones which the ordinary reader will be able to relate to. Differences in treatment between terrorism and criminal acts are also highlighted; an issue which many seem to overlook.”

The storyline made me think really hard about the justice system in today's society, and its failings and what should be done about it.”

I found myself going through a whole host of emotions throughout the book. Having been a victim of crime myself I could really empathise with the main character's issues with the justice system and I found myself constantly torn between agreeing/disagreeing with him and applauding/opposing his methods throughout the book. It certainly left me with a lot to think about.”

As an ex-pat who follows the British papers closely, I can relate completely to the intent of the novel. My own family have expressed frustration about the laxity of the justice laws, and how the laws seem to favour the criminal and not the victim. This book clearly demonstrates the shortfalls, with a very creative solution - that I think could really work if politicians took the time to really listen to the people who voted them in.”

It certainly seems to have struck a chord with many readers.  In fact, I have been asked in a couple of interviews whether the actions of the protagonist, Tom Gray, reflect my own view on criminal justice in the UK.  All I can say in response is that Gray Justice is a work of fiction, and that the protagonists ideals are his, and his alone.   

I often wonder if Stephen King was asked the same about Misery:  “So, Stephen, do you advocate the imprisonment and hobbling of injured authors?”

If readers get so engrossed in my story that it has them questioning their own stance on criminal justice, I will take that as a huge compliment.
As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
Ever seen the movie, The Priest?

Well, whether you said yes or no, it doesn't matter, haha. This book isn't based from the movie, unless I'm living in the Twilight Zone or something. But, that doesn't mean the book or the movie are bad. Well, I thought the movie could've been better, but that's me. 

Anyway, I'm trying to give the thunder to Monica La Porta...though I believe I'm failing miserably. So, before I damage things any further, here's a word from our wonderful guest:

Hi, my name is Monica La Porta and I’m honored to be L.A. Tripp’s blog guest today.

I was reading L.A.’s posts and one in particular got my attention. He wrote about problems in life, passions, and the fact that unless you’ve reached the abyss you’d never know what you hold dear. Three years ago, one morning, I woke up and decided I wanted to write a novel. I had been sleep walking for a while, then a friend’s illness and the despair following her loss reminded me we are here for a short period of time. I know, it sounds cliché, but it was my cold shower. I had wanted to write for the longest time, but never sat down and start tapping on the keyboard. That morning, something clicked inside my rusted brain and I thought, “It’s going to happen.” Three years later, almost eight finished novels, one published, I can’t go a day without writing. I knew I liked it—I kept a journal and felt happy any time I conquered a difficult passage—but I didn’t know it would be my passion.

When I started writing my first novel, I knew I wanted people to read it. The language challenge immediately presented itself. Which one to use? My native Italian or the more international English? I went for English. The idea is to reach a larger number of potential readers after all. In order to write in a language I learned to speak when I was already in my thirties—not one’s prime when it comes to learn languages in general—I rebooted my brain and the way I lay out my thoughts. I’m pleased to say that the first story I wrote is still unpublished, but lucky number six has been released into the Amazon wild a few months ago. Three years and slightly more than seven hundred thousand words later, I’m still here, tapping on this battered keyboard, happy to be able to do so and knowing it is a privilege.

Recently, I was asked why, among all the stories I’ve written in those three years, I chose to embark in the publishing voyage with The Priest. To answer that question I have to confess I am an unrepentant thinker. It’s not something I developed with age, I was born with it. Some would say it’s a curse, I say it’s liberating. I like to think about how things are, why I like them or why I don’t. I like to think that if you let knowledge possess you, you’ll eventually become a better person. A more tolerant person. I think.

Two years ago, news frequently focused on acts of bullying against kids seen as different because of their sexual orientation or simply because not conforming to the norm. At the same time, the idea that women could procreate without men’s contribution was being discussed as a possibility. I started imagining a place like our Earth, but where society had gone a different way. What would happen to this alternate Earth? The flash of inspiration hit me and I gave birth to an idea, as L.A. said in another post. The Priest is the first in a trilogy, The Ginecean Chronicles, and is set in a dystopian world, Ginecea, where women are in power and men are enslaved. Heterosexual love is deemed a perversion. Why start my career as a writer with a title condemning any form of racism and sexism? Because life is transient and if I could have only one shot at publishing my words. I want them to count. I want them to be my legacy. Verba volant, scripta manent.*

Thank you, L.A. Tripp for having me.

If you would like to know more about me, click here. This is where I talk about my hobbies and sometimes also about my writing.

If you want to take a look at The Priest and read an excerpt, click here. Don’t you think my cover artist did an exceptional job with the cover?

*Oral words fly, written words stay forever.

Monica, the honor has been mine.

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
Does life really begin?

Well...that's a question for another day. For now though, do we all start somewhere? Or do some of us not start at all? Well, I guess even that opens up a whole new can of worms.

For now...let me introduce you to today's guest poster. Welcome, Patricia Neuman:

How We Got Our Start

Once upon a time, two (unbeknownst to each other) wannabe authors lived in Minnesota. Yep, their names were Roz and Patty. They met through mutual friend Lee, whom they both adored, in part because she was a real character, in the best sense of the word.

Not long after they met, Patty moved to South Dakota. Roz and Patty developed their friendship via letters (remember those things?) and occasional, all-too-expensive, long-distance phone calls (anyone in this day of unlimited long-distance remember THOSE?).

When Roz’s letters arrived, Patty read them aloud to her husband, and the couple chuckled frequently and even guffawed from time to time. When Roz read Patty’s letters to her husband, he said, “Point, point” – something Patty rarely got to. Not quickly, anyway.

Patty told Roz she should be a writer because of her keen Brit wit (Roz is a born-and-bred Londoner who now lives in Texas; but back to Minnesota and South Dakota for now). Roz told Patty that she had actually written short stories when she was a teen. Then Patty confessed that she, too, had written (unpublished) short stories and essays for Redbook Magazine and the like. So they each subscribed to Writer’s Digest and The Writer Magazine and began their writing careers in earnest. Separately.

They wrote and shared with each other their yet-to-be (soon-to-be?) published novels (watch for Trousseau and Tangled Webs – in the distant future, if not sooner). Then both came to a creeping if not screeching halt.

So one day Roz called Patty and said, “How about we start a writing exercise? I’ll go first and send you a segment, you can add a segment and send it back, and so forth. At least we’ll be writing.”

And write the friends did. After about 100 pages, one of the friends turned it into a murder mystery. After a few more pages, one of them said, “This is really good!” And thus the friends eventually finished their first co-authored novel. It wasn’t the first of the Val & Kit Mystery Series, but rather a stand-alone murder mystery. Aptly titled Segments, it also remains yet-to-be (soon-to-be?) published. The friends won’t define soon J but watch for it in the near or distant future, too.

For now, they’re busy trying to get the 2nd in the Val & Kit Mystery Series to their readers, who are clamoring for it. Seriously. And they’re busy pinching themselves.

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
We now have 28 different titles on this website and two of those come from two awesome authors' debut novels.

I believe they have both broke new ground with their stories...but then again, I'm bias, lol.

Claire Simons with Falling From Grace and Heather Whetstine with Twilight's Last Gleaming. In fact, I'll leave you with two reviews from Twilight's Last Gleaming:

Awesome, thought provoking, it could be tomorrow’s news. Twilight's Last Gleaming by Heather Whetstine, takes you on an emotional thrill-ride as Clare, an ordinary college teenager with a passion for truth in journalism is witness to the best America has to offer and the worst it had become. As I traveled alongside Clare, her compelling story caused me to think, and then I became angry, at what I knew to be the truth. Next I wanted to jump up, raise my right hand and scream, YES. 

This Book is a must-read for any person that loves their country. Although it takes place in America, it is a wakeup call for anyone who believes in freedom. I am reluctant to give five-star ratings because I am a realist, but I truly wish I had a sixth star at my disposal for Twilight’s Last Gleaming.

Enjoy this book, as I know you will.
Douglas Nelson (PopATop).
5 Stars *****


The corruption and remake of the structure of America is not a new idea, but the author, writing from the view of a naive youth is the catalyst needed to make one continue reading. Well written, quick pace, very good flow between past and present. It was also hard hitting, depressing and frightening with the knowledge all in the book is possible. Whether or not it could all happen in such a small amount of time is a matter worth thinking about. The only part I found a little hilarious is the belief Texas would be a 'safe' place in such a scenario. If you like diaspora this is definitely a book to read.

By Ey Wade

Disclaimer: I'm the publisher for both of the above books. So yes, I make a smidgen on each sale of these two books, however, I believe these books are awesome and should be picked up and read by everyone! So please patronize these authors and help them to build their writing career. They will be eternally grateful ;)
 

I asked this special author..."Where do you start?" Then she proceeds to pull her hair out. Just kidding. It's a question some authors are likely asked a lot. So I had to return the favor ;) Anyway, Ms Byrd gave us a fantastic response, so I wanted to share:

Katrina Renee Byrd

Where Do I Start?

I hear this question a lot. It is one question that packs a real punch. When people ask this one questions they are usually asking three things.

1. How do I get my ideas on paper?

2. Where do I find time to write?

3.. Where does the piece of work need to begin?

Where do I start? How do I get my ideas on paper?

I can think of some great ideas but when I try to write them, there’s nothing there.”

Honey, there’s something there,” I say as I fluff my boa. “You just have to know how to access it.”

One of the most common mistakes about getting ideas on paper is that we try to edit before we write. We hear the ideas in our head but we work diligently to erase them and we don’t even know it. Here let me show you. Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor. Write the following:

sorry” she said but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher. She still said that she’d call her mother That scared Ellen. She walked slowly from her bus stop thinking… When she reached the front steps her mother stood on the porch. “Get into this house right now,” her mother said.

Look at what you’ve just written. Is it punctuated properly? Is it coherent? Is it something you want to share with your English teacher? Of course not but you have gotten the idea on paper. Take a minute to do some editing. Then take a look at my edits.

“Sorry,” Ella said. She stared at Mrs. Johnson, her second grade teacher behind thick glasses. Ella said it again, but sorry wasn’t good enough for Old Lady Johnson.

“I’m calling your mother this afternoon, young lady,” Mrs. Johnson said shaking a finger at Ella then turning her back to Ella and addressing the rest of the class.

Where do I start? Where do I find time to write?

I am too busy. I just don’t have time to write?

Busy doing what, honey?” I ask.

That’s the real question. We are all busy but what are we busy doing? If you want to be a writer you must write. I was shocked when I realized this concept. So walking around town advertising myself as a writer is not the same as being a writer? Sadly it is not. Neither is cleaning your house, nursing your boa flouncing career or being at every writers’ group meeting. So when I really embraced this concept I found some fun ways to write small pieces AND get feedback!! Dare I say it out loud? FACEBOOK, blogging, twitter… All of these entities give you the opportunity to come up with creative, short pieces in a short period of time. Another way to jump start your writing life is to carve out small periods of time for your writing. At this point it’s not the number of minutes or hours that you write but rather that you honor the time that you’ve set for yourself. If you say you are going to write from 3:00 pm – 3:02 pm then have your butt in chair, keyboard in hand and sit there for two, uninterrupted minutes of writing.

Where do I start? Where does the piece of work begin?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because so many of us write differently. Some use an outline, some fly by the seat of their pants and some do both. For me, I have come to realize that where I begin writing the story is not necessarily where the reader begins reading it. So when I sit down to begin writing a story I may begin writing “…and they lived happily ever after.” Where as once the story reaches the hands of the reader the first line he sees may be “Once upon a time.”

Some writers write linear and some don’t. Even with an outline I may choose to write chapter five first then go back and write chapter two. I really think the import thing is to know yourself and feel brave enough and free enough to begin writing wherever you’d like.

 So to answer the question where do I start? I say, “WRITE!”

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
We all have them.

What are yours?

What do you dream about? What gets your heart racing in the morning? What lights your fire through out the day?

What are your demons? What do you fight and struggle with, within yourself? Things that most people don't know about that you struggle with daily. What makes life challenging for you?

Good writers channel both their dreams and their demons into their writing. Writing is an art, and artists channel their inner selves into their work. Those things we struggle with, we put into words and flesh them out into fictional or non-fictional characters to bring them to life on the page...or screen. We attribute our own characteristics and characteristics of people we know and people we meet into these two-dimensional beings to make them seem three-dimensional. We have to live in the character's world for a while, then add heart and soul to each two-dimensional figure head.

We do this so that...

As a reader, you become completely engulfed in this world that we've presented to you. The goal is that we've reached into you mind, into your heart, into your soul, and touched, fondled, even squeezed and yanked your personal dreams and demons and ripped them out of you and placed them on the page or screen in front of you. We've put them right in front of your eyes and make you stand up and take notice of them. We've brought them to life for you to the extent that you can't deny their existence...if even for a few hours.

And we do this....to please you, the reader.

Yes, we bring your demons and dreams to the forefront of your mind and our demons and dreams to them...to entertain you. To please you. To make you happy.

To give you a break from your own life. And to pull you into our life.

Just briefly.

Then we'll let the chain drop that we've yanked you out with and let you fall back to your comfort zone, putting all of your dreams and demons back in their safe place.

But just until you read our next book ;)