Weekly Writing Spark~November 17th,2014|| WriterzBlox.net

“Buying a book is not about obtaining a possession, but about securing a portal.” – Laura Miller

You’re at an estate sale when you are drawn to an old journal and the price is too good to pass up. When you get home you decide to go on the internet and do a little research on the author.  What you discover frightens yet intrigues you at the same time.  The writer of your masterpiece is known to have dabbled in the occult until they went missing over a decade ago.  It is rumoured that by reading the journal you can open a portal to another dimension.

Write about your adventure with this journal.  Are you brave enough to read it? What do you find inside? Does this portal exist and if it does where does it lead?  Is it a dream come true or your worst nightmare?  Get creative, write and have fun! :)

Interview with Author Corinne O’Flynn (@CorinneOFlynn)

Corinne Headshot

Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?

I’ve been drawn to books for as long as I can remember. Like many authors, my love of great stories drew me in early. I grew up in a family of readers where books were always important. I began to take writing more seriously in high school and then college, but didn’t aspire to write novels until I was in my twenties.

Tell us about your YA Fantasy Adventure, THE EXPATRIATES.

I had a blast writing THE EXPATRIATES. It’s the first in a series that follows teenager, Jim Wales, who can communicate telepathically with animals. He discovers his family has been hiding him because they know he’s a scholar—one who can manipulate energy using magic—and someone is hunting all scholars.

What was the inspiration behind this book?

Oh, it’s the ultimate cliché! The kernel for the idea of this series came to me in a dream, almost 14 years ago. It was a little scene in my head where this dark-haired kid is walking through a meadow of golden grass with a tiger and there’s a falcon hovering in the air over him, and he was communicating with the animals with his mind. It is still so vivid, all these years later.

Is there a message you hope to relate through your books?

I didn’t write the book with a message in mind, but after the book was finished there were many themes that emerged. This book is about what makes a family and a home, friendship, trust, and, taking a stand—even when that’s scary.

What is the most important thing for you when writing your novels—the characters or the plot?

I think there needs to be a balance in a book—especially adventure and quest stories—between the weight of the plot and the characters.  When I’m planning out the story, I find the plot takes the lead, but the twists and turns are only meaningful because of the how they impact the characters. So, I think it’s important to give both equal time and attention while writing.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline/plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea leads you? Has your process changed from when you first started?

I am a converted plotter. I first wrote THE EXPATRIATES as the pansters do. No outline, nothing but my mind to guide the next thing. Believe me when I say that I made every single mistake you can make. The whole thing was a mess. Rewrites took years, and finally I had to stop, outline it as if it were a new story, and start over. That process was laborious and took another few years to complete, but I can honestly say that it’s made me a much better writer. Now, I plot using a whiteboard with color-coded post-it notes, which allows me to plot but also lets my inner pantser make some changes along the way.  I try not to make it too rigid.

Do you ever get writer’s block?  If you do, how do you get through it?

I find that when I get stuck in my writing, it’s usually because something isn’t working. If that’s writer’s block, then yes, I totally battle with it. I believe the subconscious mind is constantly tinkering and when it needs time to percolate over something, it will put on the brakes. I’ve discovered that I get through it more easily when I don’t stress over the block. I put my writing energy into something else and let the mental knots tease themselves out until the aha! moment arrives. And it usually does, so that’s always good.

What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?

I read most of the usual things as a kid, but I remember discovering Stephen King when I was a tween. I was sick, home from school, tucked into my parent’s bed in our apartment in the Bronx, reading SALEM’S LOT. I was totally freaked out, and completely hooked. Then came THE MISTS OF AVALON by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I love everything about this book and its ties to the women of the Arthurian tales. After that, it was anything supernatural, magical, or creepy. Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, Anne Rice, Harry Potter, LOTR, and His Dark Materials. I also adore PILLARS OF THE EARTH and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

If you could go to lunch with one of your characters who would it be and why?

I’d have to pick Hollis. He’s a minor character in THE EXPATRIATES who’s intrigued me from the moment he appeared. I’m looking forward to seeing some more of him in book two!

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

I’m busy with book two at the moment, finishing up all the plotting and starting to get the words in order. I’ve been working on some short stories, some related to this series and some not, that I hope to release as well. I blog at http://www.corinneoflynn.com. I am also on facebook.com/oflynnbooks and Twitter @CorinneOFlynn

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Next week, Nov 17-23, Corinne will be taking her book across the web on a blog tour with giveaways via Xpresso blog tours. Bloggers can sign up here: http://xpressobooktours.com/2014/10/09/blitz-sign-up-the-expatriates-by-corinne-oflynn/  Readers should visit her website for links to participating blogs.

What readers are saying:

“Told in a beautiful, flowing style full of colorful images and adrenaline-pumping action.”

 “Pop some popcorn, sit back … and enjoy the thrill ride, right up to the end, which leaves you begging for more.”

 “Captures your attention from the start and then guides you through a roller coaster of adventure, drama, mystery, magic and young love.”

About Corinne

Corinne O’Flynn is a native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado and wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. She loves writing flash and experimenting with short fiction. Her novel, THE EXPATRIATES (Oct. 2014) is a YA fantasy adventure with magic and creatures and lots of creepy stuff. She is a scone aficionado, has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea, and is always on the lookout for the elusive Peanut Chews candy. When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Expatriates is available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble. She blogs about her adventures at www.corinneoflynn.com.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Expatriates-Book-One-Song-Sending-ebook/dp/B00OLDLOBQ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/expatriates-book-one-song/id931169374?mt=11

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-expatriates-book-one-corinne-oflynn/1120628321?ean=2940150751088

Taking a Break

Due to a very busy week ahead I will be taking a short break from blogging until

November 12th.

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 “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

~Joseph Campbell ~

Wherever you may be in your day/eve, I hope you’re living with passion & purpose!

Live,laugh & love! xo

Wishing all a wonderful week! :)

HILLTOP SUNSET Cover Reveal by Joyce T. Strand ( @JoyceTStrand )

HILLTOP SUNSET

by

Joyce T. Strand

 
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Expected release date: November 12th, 2014

 

Meet New Protagonist and Mystery

By Jillian Hillcrest, Character  

 

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce you to Brynn Bancroft, a new protagonist in Joyce T. Strand’s most recent mystery, HILLTOP SUNSET.

I’m Jillian Hillcrest. I solved the murders in Strand’s first three mysteries ON MESSAGE, OPEN MEETINGS, and FAIR DISCLOSURE. In those books, Brynn Bancroft served as Chief Financial Officer of my company and also as my boss.

Strand’s newest book, HILLTOP SUNSET, features Brynn Bancroft as the star. Oh, I’m still around, but Brynn dominates.  A shapely blonde with a MENSA IQ, Brynn had an affair with the CEO of the company. Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do.

In the meantime, her husband of 14 years, Liam grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce, even though He understood that Brynn grew up in an abusive household. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif.

Much like me in the previous Strand books, Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.

Like all Joyce T Strand books, HILLTOP SUNSET is drawn from an actual California case.

HILLTOP SUNSET: A BRYNN BANCROFT MYSTERY

A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

 

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.  Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to enjoy supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-threatening events.

 

About Joyce T. Strand

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Joyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it mysteries set in the San Francisco Silicon Valley and Napa-Sonoma wine regions of California.

Her most recent novel, HILLTOP SUNSET, is the first of a new series featuring protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand’s novels ON MESSAGE, OPEN MEETINGS, and FAIR DISCLOSURE—three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.

Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.

Strand lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and seeks out and attends as many Broadway musicals and other stage plays as possible.

She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

HILLTOP SUNSET is available November 12, 2014 on Amazon (Paperback and Kindle) and Barnes and Noble’s Nook. For a peek, check out an excerpt at: http://joycestrand.com

Links

 

Amazon Author Linkhttp://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=joyce+t+strand

Barnes and Noble Nook Author Link  – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/joyce-t-strand?store=allproducts&keyword=joyce+t+strand

Web pagehttp://joycestrand.com

Bloghttp://strandssimplytips.blogspot.com

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/JoyceTStrandAuthor

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5385246.Joyce_T_Strand

Twitter @JoyceTStrand

Weekly Writing Spark~October 27th, 2014|| WriterzBlox.net

“It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright.” ~Erin Morgenstern

With Halloween around the corner, many of us partake in reading ghost and horror stories.  Imagine you close the book only to find its creepy creatures, ghouls and goblins have come to life.  Write about your ghoulish adventures.

Get creative, write and have fun!