Friday, March 28, 2014

The Forgotten Pharaoh

He everyone,

On my blog today, I’m highlighting the new release of a good friend of mine, Laura De Luca

Julie Gerber isn't thrilled to be pulled out of school her senior year to follow her parents halfway around the world to unearth a lost pyramid. However, when the cute British guy and the mysterious financier of their project both fight for her attention, things start to get interesting.

The pharaoh known as Djedefre was cursed for the murder of his eldest brother. The work of the archaeologists brings new secrets to light, ones that prove the fallen god-king wasn't the villain history had painted him to be. Can they prove his innocence?

As the team digs deeper into the mystery, members of the party vanish or end up dead. Someone is determined to keep the truth hidden at all costs, even 4,500 years later.

And – there’s a fantastic giveaway you can enter.

Just click on the link below to go to her website and enter.


Friday, March 21, 2014

The Dreaded Synopsis


Hello again.

This time around, I thought I’d write about something that appears to strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced authors…the dreaded synopsis.

I have a new release coming out soon – Kiss of the Succubus – the second novel in the Cambion Journals series, so writing a synopsis is something very much on my mind.

For those of who are fans of the series, you will remember that book one, The Rage of Augustus, introduced us to our hero, Augustus Thorne. We found out a bit about him. His origins and history, what makes him tick, and so forth, and especially why he is so harsh with himself.

Augustus is a Cambion, a human/demon hybrid of stunning power and fiendish appetites who hates what he is with a vengeance. Despite his origins, Augustus has made great sacrifices to control his desires and has devoted his life to one cause. The destruction of as many demons as is possible.

In the first book we witnessed how successful he is at what he does. But we also saw the price of his success. A self imposed isolation that makes him crave what others have. The chance to meet someone. Settle down. Have a family. We shared in his pain when his only foray into romance ended in inevitable disaster, due to the machinations of his own spawn-father, Fanon, and the demon King, Samael.

(I won’t go into too much detail in case some of you haven’t read the story yet and are intrigued by the references and want to find out more. The links are in the side bar).

So – how to approach the synopsis of book two – or any book come to that?

I did a lot of research on this subject. Some of it I loved, while other suggestions made me cringe. To keep things simple, I’ll share my process with you, and you can take the bits you like from it.

The main thing I do now is a more thorough form of self editing. Once I’ve written a chapter, I check through it and jot down the relevant points each section of the story makes. By the time the first draft is completed, I have a précis of each chapter, in note form.

Then I complete my final check of the entire manuscript. As I go through it, I ensure my notes are correct, and add in extra details…such as main character development and how this relates to the plot/sub plot evolution.

Now I’m ready to do the synopsis. The story is fresh in my mind, and important facets are still to the fore.

The first thing I do is ask myself. So, what’s this tale about? How would I sum the main thrust of it up in a concept? Doing this gets my mind working in the right way for the next – and what I’ve found to be – crucial stage for a good synopsis. A tagline.

A tagline is a simple phrase – encapsulated in a sentence or two – that encompasses what your entire story is trying to relate to the reader.

For example, In Rage of Augustus, I thought of the tagline, “He fights where evil fears to tread.” For Kiss of the Succubus, “Hell hath no fury like a Cambion Scorned.”

Read those statements for a moment. What thoughts and images do they conjure in your mind? Do you see how the tagline acts as a focusing agent? Not just to the reader, but for you too.
So, armed with those ideas, I then type out my notes. As I do so, I highlight in red where the chapters support the tagline, and in blue where important character and plot developments take place.

Come the end of the compilation, I have a set of bullet points from which to choose my synopsis material. Obviously, you will then be influenced by what each publisher expects. Some, like Tor, require between 3 to 10 pages. Others, a mere 200 words or less.

By completing notes as I construct the story, I find it helps a great deal in producing a flexible synopsis at the end. That way, I have the luxury of being as detailed or as brief as the publisher prefers.

So there you go. It’s not rocket science, and it’s a simplified explanation of a process that works for me. I hope you find something in it that helps you.

By the way.
As I’ve mentioned Kiss of the Succubus, I’m glad to announce that next weekend will see a cover release of the new book, together with details of a grand prize draw giveaway. I know…As Darth Sidious would say, “I can feel your excitement all the way from Greece. Feed it, and become strong in the ways of the Cambion.”

Until next week, take care now.