Words Are Magic

I’m up bright and early on this Thanksgiving Day, 2016, waiting to begin cooking a wonderful brunch for my family. I’m sipping coffee with more cream than coffee (just the way I like it) and reflecting on all that I’m grateful for. Of course I’m grateful most of all for my faith and my family. Without them I’m not sure I would know who I am or have ever been able to establish my purpose in life. I’m thankful for good health and the privilege to wake up of a morning and begin a new day. Its a gift I never take for granted.

I’m also grateful to have been given the gift to craft a story with words. My books may not give every reader the joy they seek when they read on of my stories, but there are those who find them gratifying, and to those people, I say thank you. Without readers, authors would have much less satisfaction in weaving the stories of their creation. But write them they must.

With the gift of writing comes a responsibility that I take very seriously. Words are magic. They can bring joy, pain, anger, sadness, and evoke change. Because of that power every writer should strive to craft a story to the best of their ability. Take those words and massage, extrapolate, twist, turn and build a story that grabs not only the attention of a reader, but their heart as well.

I believe this is true whether you write fiction or nonfiction, but as fiction is my specialty, I’ll speak to that. Using words to build not only a setting, but characters takes practice. Weaving emotion into a character’s thoughts and heart is not easy. It requires the study of words. Those that show and not tell. It’s easy to tell a reader how a character is feeling, but much more difficult to show them. I’m not the best I can be by far, and I also believe writing is a craft that grows with study and practice. I strive to learn new ways every day to construct with words a story that will leave a reader breathless.

Take heart writers. The beauty of words is their magic. Use them wisely and creatively to craft a story that will weave its way through your readers’ emotions in a way that will leave them satisfied yet wanting more.  If it were easy, everyone would be successful at it. Like anything, to become the best at what you do, you must practice.

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I work in insurance. When people ask me who I am, I say, “A Writer.” I find joy in writing, and even if my stories weren’t read by a single soul, I’d still build them to the best of my ability. Words are magic, my friends. Thank you for supporting me by allowing me to weave my tales for you.

 

 

If you’d like to see Kelly’s stories, visit Books by Kelly.

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Why I Write Paranormal Stories

 

Pumpkins On Wooden Background With Copy Space

With Halloween approaching, I found myself reflecting on a recent reader question. “Why do you write paranormal stories?”

It’s a common question I get often as I am a multi-genre author. I also write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and thrillers. If you’re familiar with my books, I think you’ll find a vein of paranormal runs through them all from a straight forward paranormal creature or a human that shifts into such creature to  a hint of a higher supernatural being influencing my character’s life.

I enjoy writing paranormal books because it releases me from some of those formula bonds that you often find in certain genres. By inventing a world that has supernatural creatures, magic, and realms with no real boundaries, I can build a fascinating story and allow my characters freedoms that other genres don’t allow.

Growing up, I always enjoyed a good ghost story. I can remember nights spent in the cemetery across from my best friend’s house where we would go and scare ourselves silly telling goofy stories like Who’s Got My Golden Arm? Or re-telling episodes of The Night Stalker or Twilight Zone. I read Goosebumps and Tales From the Crypt voraciously. If it was scary I read it, eventually graduating to the greats such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz. So I guess my interest in the paranormal comes naturally.

I enjoy writing shifters (characters who change into some form of animal) because I like to explore what challenges their particular paranormal ability creates for them. How does it affect how they react to humans without their special gifts. What conflict does being so different create in their world. How do they over come those conflicts?

I like using magic because it allows me to do things with plot and character that don’t fit into a single mold. Oh sure…magic has its own set of rules and you need to be true to those, but who really knows what magic is capable of until you try something. That’s what this genre provides for me. A chance to try something different.

dragon and wizard meeting

Right now I’m working on my first Dragon Shifter story for a boxed set being released in March of 2017. I’m challenged by this character because once she gets herself out of the mess she’s in, I want her to be able to turn a curse into a blessing and retain some of her magnificent dragon powers and command them at will. It has to make sense to the reader, and therein lies the challenge. How do you make the unbelievable believable?

That’s what I love about writing, and particularly about writing paranormal stories.

Check out what I mean in some of my paranormal books:

Haunted Destiny

Secrets of a Wolf

Blood Harvest Moon

What do you love about reading a paranormal story?

 

 

 

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Ever Heard of Monticello, Florida?

downtown-monticello

Monticello, where? Isn’t that where Thomas Jefferson lives? Wrong Monticello. Thomas Jefferson’s home is in Charlottesville, Va., but that doesn’t mean that his home’s namesake in Florida isn’t connected. Read on to find out how.

The Saving Shenanigans Trilogy is set in Monticello, FL., and I thought it might be fun to share some facts about this historical town near Tallahassee, our state’s capital. I had a very special friend who settled there, and I still visit her family regularly. I am invited back frequently to hold book signings at Two Sister’s New Beginnings, a wonderful store you should visit if you get there.

So…What is this little town all about:

  •  The first Europeans passed through what is now Jefferson County in 1528
  • Primarily occupied by Native Americans…Miccosukees, a branch of the Creeks who became part of the Seminole group until American Settlers entered the area at the beginning of the 19th Century
  • Jefferson County was named after Thomas Jefferson
  • Monticello, named for T.J.’s home in Virginia, is the county seat for Jefferson County
  • The County Courthouse was built at the turn of the 20th Century

monticello

  • Has the Perkins Opera House built in the 1890 that is still used today

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  • Home to the Jefferson County Jailhouse built in 1909. The first floor was living quarters for the sheriff with the inmates housed upstairs

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  • Home to some great Bed and Breakfast Hotels – check them out
    • John Denham House
    • Avery Clark House
    • Daffodale Estate
  • Has the reputation of being one of the most haunted historical cities in the south

When I began to write the Shenanigans series, I wanted a small town where I could create characters that needed something to believe in. Something that would pull them together and help them all become stronger and grow as a family and as a community. After visiting my dear friend in Monticello, I knew I’d found my spot. Plenty of quirks to make it fun, a few ghosts to keep things interesting, and lots of home town spunk. The bar Shenanigans is fictional of course, but I know exactly where it would have been had it been real. Some of the homes described in the books are based on actual homes I’ve seen and been in. The bed and breakfast mentioned was patterned after one I stayed in while I was visiting.

If you’re rolling through north Florida and are near the state capital of Tallahassee, Monticello is only about 20 miles northeast. Stop by. It’s full of history and small town quaintness that will have you itching to find a home within Jefferson County’s soft rolling hills and planting your own garden.

AND…If you happen to be rolling through on October 22, stop in at Two Sisters New Beginnings where I’ll be having a book signing.

If you want more information about Mabe, Meg and Mara the three sisters who fight to save their Irish pub from the mob and deal with the other problems life throws at them check out Books by Kelly.

Mabe-3dMeg3d Mara-3d

 

 

 

If you visit, let me know what you thought.

 

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Great Time At Indie Book Fest in Orlando

I just attended the Indie Book Fest in Orlando. It is always a fabulous event, and I met so many wonderful readers, bloggers and other great authors.

If you are a reader you should grab a ticket for next year as soon as they become available and make plans to attend. There are great panels for you to attend to meet authors and ask them questions.

As an author this is a great forum to hook up with bloggers, book clubs and readers.

I had a great time. Check out the pictures. These will be posted in my gallery on the home page as well.

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Great Tips from Author Dan Alatorre for Handling a Book Signing

A few pics from the Indie Book Fest book signing I did in Orlando yesterday, plus a few priceless tips on working an event. HOW do you make your author event a WINNER? Easy. I’ll tell you. As an indie author OR a trad author, you’ll hear about events where you can sell books. Readings at […]

via 10 Winning Strategies For Your Author Event — Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR

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Good Morning! I’m excited to announce my newest release, an anthology I’m part of with a 9 other wonderful authors. My story is called Monster in the Woods.

MONSTER IN THE WOODS.jpg

While attempting to escape a wicked summer lightning storm in the Appalachian Mountains, seventeen-year-old Graham Sawyer stumbles on an abandoned hunting cabin. But nothing could have prepared him for what’s inside. His first instinct is to back out the way he came, try to forget he ever found the place. But he hesitates. And it’s that hesitation that changes his life forever.

Running on adrenaline and survival instinct, he’s forced to make decisions he’s never dreamed of. A monster roams this forest, torturing the innocent. Question is, can Graham turn the tables, changing the hunter into the hunted? All he knows for sure is what he can’t handle with his wits, he’ll trust to his bow and arrows.

Who’s the monster now?

It’s all part of this wonderful book:

the-hunt

Join us today for Our LAUNCH Party on FB All Day!

In one of my contests I will ask you to come here and post a comment to be entered to win something really cool!!

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Point of View – Who’s is it?

Embarrassed EmoticonI was lying in bed this morning reading an older Nora Roberts book. It was one of her earlier titles, and I have to say I was a little surprised by the Point of View switches from character to character in the same scene. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE Nora Roberts fan. Always have been, always will be. But, I did want to point this particular fact out because as a reader, I found it confusing and difficult to follow ,and I wouldn’t want any other writer to make the same mistake.

I’m not sure if editing has changed that much on POV over the years…I have noticed Nora doesn’t do this as much in her recent books…or if POV has become a more controversial topic, but I’d like to give you a quick example of what threw me in the book.

“…Calculating her weaknesses, he pressed his advantage. It was the perfect way to keep her close, keep her busy. ‘I’d rather no take the time to start advertising and interview secretaries right now. If you could help me out, a few hours a day, I’d really appreciate it’.

She thought of his office, decided it didn’t need a secretary so much as a bulldozer. Well, perhaps she could be of some use after all…”

The two paragraphs above were in the same scene on the same page. In the first paragraph we are in the male character’s POV. He’s thinking about her weaknesses. In the second paragraph, we jump to her POV and she’s thinking about his office and how badly he needs a secretary.

I call that head hopping. In this particular scene, it isn’t all that confusing, but when you move into scenes that are more internal than external, i.e. bedroom scenes, you can see where the reader could get lost as to whom is thinking about whom.

In my experience, I’ve found it is best to stay in one POV per scene. Preferably within the same chapter, as I’m not a real fan of scene breaks either, but definitely within in the same scene. Just keeps your writing tighter, crisper, and easier for your reader to follow.

Perhaps Nora is of the fame that it doesn’t really matter, but from my experience with modern day editing, it’s better to keep your scenes to one character’s POV and your entire book to a limited number of characters’ POV’s.

Now go get some writing done today.

 

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