The Thing About Kevin by Beem Weeks

Check out the When Angels Fly blog! They were kind enough to invite me over for a chat about writing and books.

When Angels Fly

Please welcome Beem Weeks to my blog. Hello Beem, nice to have you on my blog today. Shall we sit and have a chat?

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Greetings. My name is Beem Weeks. I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, except for two years spent in Florida back in the 1980s. I am an author, podcaster, video/audio producer, and editor.

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

I wrote my first short story at the age of eight. My teacher encouraged me along this path. I’ve been a writer ever since. I wrote record and concert reviews for my high school newspaper. I began writing my first novel about fifteen years after I graduated. I knew it was time to write it when the story and characters became…

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Author D. L. Finn Returns With a New Release!

I am excited to help announce the latest release from my friend and fellow author D. L. Finn here on The Indie Spot!  

 

Thank you, Beem, for having me on your blog today to celebrate the release of A Voice in the Silence.

I live far enough away from neighbors that they may not see if I need help, but will hear cries or screams. During a big snowstorm with a power and phone outage, it is guaranteed no one will hear or know help is needed over the loud symphony of generators. Our only option would be to walk down our long driveway, cross the icy road, and trek across our neighbor’s property. Although, it’s doubtful they’d have better luck getting any help.

Luckily, since we’ve lived in the woods, there has never been that scream for help, only cries from wild animals. Perhaps I write the bad away.

Fun Finn Facts

  1. I love to take nature photos and write poetry about what I see and feel.
  2. Nothing pulls me into a story more than a personal journey—whether it’s horror, science fiction, mystery, drama, fantasy, or romance.

Blurb

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

Excerpt

The fading day’s dull orange glow filled the void in Drea’s attention usually occupied by the TV and computer. The landscape held no movement, not even the expected high winds that had caused her power to be shut off to prevent forest fires. A surge shot through her body in the same uncomfortable fashion that the flu had done last week. But it wasn’t a virus relapse—it was a warning that someone, or something, was watching her. 

Perhaps it was a wild animal. A deer, or even . . . “Rob, is that you?” She held her breath, waiting for a sign. Finally, she blew out the empty hope when she couldn’t keep it in anymore. Two years of this had worn her down.

The cold gun on her lap offered no protection against the dark thoughts that took her to a place that was getting harder to climb out of. She pulled her sweater tightly around her and scrutinized the tree-lined driveway that led to the curvy country road. She shifted her weight in the yellow-and-white lounge chair and studied the weapon in her hand.

“You understand, don’t you?”

The .45 pistol her husband had bought her for protection ten years ago had become her confidant when she tired of talking to ghosts. Today, though, it carried the heavy weight of her existence.

“It’s too much. Just too much loss. I’m so alone, and to top it off, Robbie’s so far away.” Her throat tightened. She sipped some water and took a deep breath. “I must disappoint you, even thinking about using this gun on myself, Rob. It would devastate Robbie if I—”

Drea’s shoulders slumped, and her head followed when her glance caught a prominent headline in the morning paper she had retrieved from the end of the driveway. An unidentified woman’s body had been found, and a killer was on the loose. She used the gun to cover the fearful headline, even though her chances of being murdered by a serial killer were slim to none.

She shook her head. What she needed to focus on was her relationship with her son. They used to be so close, before he met that woman. Now he barely called his mother to check on her after his father died or when her beloved pets passed. This morning had brought an unwelcome text from him.

Tammy isn’t feeling well. It wouldn’t be a good time to visit right now. Sorry, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you.

“I hope he wakes up someday, Rob. That woman is toxic. Of course, you saw through her the first time you met her. I should have listened to you. Do you hear that, Rob? It’s me admitting I’m wrong, which we both know hardly ever happens.”

Amazon Purchase Link US
Amazon Purchase Link UK

Author Bio

  1. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Author Amazon Page

 

 

Suspension of Disbelief

Another fantastic post by C. S. Boyack!

Story Empire

Hi, gang. Craig with you once again to talk about something directly related to the kind of fiction I write. It’s called the suspension of disbelief.

Most of you’ve heard of this, but likely glanced off it and didn’t give it much thought. Specifically, it means that to enjoy the story a reader is going to have to give control to the author and give up the idea that certain things cannot happen in the real world. (Hint: this isn’t the real world.)

You know by now I always talk about film because more people understand what I’m referring to. Think of all the superhero films that have taken over Hollywood in the last few years. To enjoy them, people have to suspend disbelief. Superman flies, get over it. People can’t fall twenty stories, then catch a flagpole with one hand either.

You can see how this applies to science…

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#MKTG 16 – Rafflecopter

Another marketing tool to consider!

Story Empire

Hello, SE’ers. It’s Jan again with another marketing tool to share with you.

I’m sure you’ve all participated in Rafflecopters, but have you ever created one?

Rafflecopter Logo

First, maybe I should explain what a Rafflecopter is, just in case you don’t know.

It is a contest and a super effective way to gain new followers, gather new email addresses for your newsletter, and increase your readership. All you have to do is be willing to give something away.

Image courtesy of Pixabay thehaladesign

When I decided to experiment with a Rafflecopter, my goal was to increase my BookBub and Goodreads following, blog subscribers, ask readers to add Jagged Feathers to their reading list, visit my Facebook Author page, follow me on Twitter, and sign up for my newsletter.

I chose to give away two $10 Amazon gift cards. You can offer free books or a…

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How to Use Prologues, Part 4, Does Your Story Need a Prologue?

Another fantastic teaching post by author Harmony Kent!

Story Empire

open book with sketch of 3D pirate and treasure on the left and a sailing ship on the right.
Image courtesy of Tumisu via Pixabay

Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to talk about whether or not your story needs a prologue. Here’s a link to the previous post on Prologue Dos and Don’ts

So far in this post series we’ve looked at what a prologue is and isn’t and also what to do and not to do when using a prologue. How, you might ask, do you decide whether or not you need a prologue in the first place?

Why Do You Need a Prologue?

  1. A well-written prologue can add power to your main narrative
  2. If you want to foreshadow events to come, a prologue will help you to do that to good effect
  3. If you want to let your reader be privy to information the characters are unaware of, then a prologue will be a useful tool

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Writing Real Dialogue in Fiction

Check out my tips on dialogue over on Story Empire!

Story Empire

Greetings, SE’ers! Beem Weeks here with you again. Today, I am going to share my thoughts on character dialogue in fiction. 

Confused young couple discussing about domestic bills at home

Dialogue. It can make or break a story. Dialogue is the lines your characters speak aloud in a written story. They differ from the narrative voice in that even the peripheral characters are given a voice through dialogue. The narrative voice is telling your story, but your characters, if they are to become real to readers, must speak. And they must be authentic when speaking.

For the most part, the narrator will usually be a consistent voice. But your characters are each different. Some may be sweet and kind and full of empathy, while others might be indifferent, aloof, apathetic to the struggles of those around him or her. Still others might be hardboiled and angry—or just plain mean. A bully and his or her victim are going to…

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Characters and Diversity. Part 1 – RACE

Tips of wisdom and experience from author Gwen Plano.

Story Empire

Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today. I’m launching a new series, one that is focused on diversity. It seems a timely topic, and it’s also relevant to the development of our characters. My approach will be personal, and I hope your response will be as well. Let’s get started with the first segment — race.

From as far back as I can remember, I imagined myself the ugly duckling in a pond of beautiful swans. I grew up in the desert bordering Mexico and the area was 85% Latino and 10% other shades of brown. 5% of the population was and is white.

Most of my friends were brown-skinned and had gorgeous dark hair that glistened blue in the sunlight. I vividly recall sitting next to Maria on the school bus and being in awe of her shiny hair. The early morning light that poured through the bus windows…

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Story Development and Execution Part 7: Pacing, Tension, and Suspense

Another wonderful teaching post from Staci Troilo.

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today is part seven: pacing, tension, and suspense. Craig has written a couple of great posts on tension (one and two), and I have a post on structure that flirts with the concept of pacing. This post will deal with how to use these elements to advance the story.

One technique that gets readers invested immediately and brings tension to the forefront is to start with a loss. It doesn’t have to be a death, though that is an extreme loss. It can be anything that puts the character in a deficit from his status quo. He got fired. His wife left him. His dog ran away. His apartment building is turning into condos and he can’t afford to buy one. He broke his leg the day before the rodeo. Any loss is a loss. The kind of loss helps establish genre. What he does…

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A Cheat Sheet on Body Language for Writers

Here’s a great writing resource by author John Howell.

Story Empire

Pixabay image

Hi SEers. John with you today.

As a wrap-up to the subject of gestures (or beats) to convey non-verbal communication, I found a great cheat sheet for writers on body language. The cheat sheet is below the text and was developed by ArchetypeWriting.com.

The cheat sheet can be used in developing characterizations beyond having to explain just how your character is feeling. I hope you find this cheat sheet useful and perhaps dig deeper into the subject of body language.

Image

I became more confident in using beats to convey my character’s emotions in looking into this subject. However, I got a comment from a beta reader on my next book that maybe I went a little too overboard on the beats. There is always a warning on using any of the writing tools. The writer should use moderation with all of them.

How about you? Let us hear…

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Life & Soul: A Poetic Journey With Harmony Kent!

I am truly honored to host my dear friend Harmony Kent today on The Indie Spot. I am excited to help her with the launch of a new collection of poetry. Take it away, Harms!

Hi, Beem. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s always wonderful to visit with you. Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry …

From Lonely Soul:

Hello?

 

Sitting at a crowded table

Good food, good friends, good wine

And still a silent tear escapes

The corner of my eye

Surreptitious wipe

Hoping nobody sees

Their sympathy will only

Bring me to my knees

And who could truly understand

This empty chair in which I sit

Or the ache masked by my laughter

Is there anyone there?

When I wrote this poem, I had recently moved down to Cornwall after leaving the Zen Buddhist Monastery, where I’d spent about 13 years in a thriving community. The juxtaposition from being surround by people, even if we spent much time in contemplative silence, to the utter emptiness of a house with only me in it, was massive. While I soon made friends, every night—and most days—saw me alone with my own company. Disabled and aged forty, I held little hope of meeting a soul with whom I could spend my life. Also, because I had suddenly entered such a different life than that of the monastery, I felt the odd one out. How many of us have felt alone in a crowd at some point in our existence?

Hello is all about that search for belonging. I hope you enjoyed this poem and would love to know what you think.

The Book!

Life & Soul is the second book in the Soul Poetry Series by acclaimed author Harmony Kent.

This beautiful collection of over fifty poems will take the reader through the highs and lows of everyday life via contemporary poetry in a range of styles and themes. Within these pages, you will find reflections on the Lonely Soul, the Seeking Soul, Brief Soul, Friendly Soul, and the Loving Soul—states of mind and living and longing we each experience over the course of a life.

Life & Soul offers something for lovers of poetry from all walks of life.

Praise for Slices of Soul, Book 1 in the Soul Poetry Series:

 

“I found my answer in this wonderful treasure-trove and have already read it three times.” Robert Fear

“I found in Slices of Soul something approaching aesthetic bliss, a sense of being connected in some way to other states – like tenderness, kindness, ecstasy – where art is the norm.” Colm Herron

“A stunning collection of poems that I read in one sitting! Unable to simply put this down until I had read the last. I love the clarity of the short poems, such clear images created in so few words or phrases. Many of them touched my heart and I will be giving them a 2nd and 3rd read!” Audrina Lane

Universal Link: mybook.to/LifeAndSoul

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

 

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

 

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Harmony’s Website

twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

BookBub: Harmony Kent

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent