Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why Read and Write Fiction?

Please join me for a cup of coffee and discussion on the topic of reading and writing fiction. Speaking for myself, I read fiction to escape the grind of my sometimes crappy, overwhelming busy life.  I adventure into a novel every few weeks. Like most humans who sat around the campfire and shared legends and fairy tales, I’ve always enjoyed stories. My dad, a psychiatrist, liked people and shared about their lives but never gave away their identities.

Have you ever pictured your TV as a kind of campfire experience? After watching an episode, my husband and I talk about it. What did we like or not like? For the TV series, Billionaire, we admire the snappy dialogue and acting but can't relate to the characters. We stopped watching it. Good or bad, we choose how to be entertained, and it’s the same with books we read. We want to be taken out of our lives and into the lives of the protagonists. This means we have to like them.
Writing fiction allows us to entertain people.  As authors we invent characters to tell their story.  Coming up with ideas, and then crafting a realistic story is challenging and fun.  To captivate a reader, a story must unfold in real time with action, dialogue, and struggle all the way to the satisfying conclusion.

How about you? Why do you read or write?


Saturday, January 30, 2016

You know you're an Iowan if...

Friends, heck yeah, we know if...

you’re stuck behind a tractor on the highway and have an excuse for being late

being “Iowa nice” is your way of life

going on vacation means to go to Arnolds Park

you’ve played the yard game, cornhole

your go-to foods are Maid-rite sandwiches and tenderloins

Learned the skill of dodging a deer

Cheer for the Hawkeyes and Cyclones even if you don’t follow sports

You’ve met at least one presidential candidate

You shop at Hy-Vee, have breakfast at Hy-Vee, have worked at Hy-Vee

Your wedding was held in your church basement

Every road trip begins on I-80

Measure distance in time, not miles.  Be there in 5.

You may have moved from Iowa, but still think it’s one of the best places to live.

You admire the massive 220-pound bird flying inside the Des Moines Airport.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Is paperback coming back as opposed to paperless eBooks?

My publisher, Tirgearr Publishing, focuses first on eBook sales.  This is true with many traditional publishing houses, Soulmate and Burroughs to name two. There's sound reasoning to back this up. If the eBook doesn’t sell, neither will a print book. That is true, but the readership of romantic suspense is 60% eBook and 40% paperback. In other genres print books took an upswing.  Some readers like both print and e-readers.  My preference is reading on my Kindle.

My case for being a hybrid author-- traditional and self-published

There is no doubt in my mind that publishing house books have less typos and grammatical mistakes than self-pubbed books. Authors who self-publish sometimes rush through edits. Top publishing house books also have editors who point out lagging scenes and suggest rewrites. Another advantage is marketing. Going with a traditional publisher still requires the author to promote a book, but the publisher shares marketing methods, expertise, and may gift the author for this purpose.  Authors who sign with the same publisher band together to promote through rafflecopter and twitter.
I think it's fine to ride two horses at the same time. Because it take longer for a novel to go from proofing to publication.  Here is what I do-- submit longer books, novels over 50,000 words, to my publisher, but I self-publish novelettas (10,000 and under).

What comprises romantic suspense?

I feel a smart-selling author  of Romantic Suspense must be aware of boundaries within a genre.  Here is what your book needs:  DANGER.  Allow me to expand.  Suspense incorporates a sense of tension throughout the book with heart-pounding action, adrenaline-inducing chase, edge of your seat thrills, life-threatening situations, and dangerous criminals. These are common elements.  ROMANCE. There’s a central love story.  Our lovers have to traverse nail-biting adventures before they become acquainted with each other and fall in love. As an author I weave both romance and mystery. May I leave you with a word of caution?  No backstory! The biggest error is over-writing and manufacturing emotions.  Characters must react in the present, be honest and real. They react to their situation and to each other.  Their issues are background.  Life is messy. The thrill ride is dangerous, authentic, eye-widening, and passionate.
What about the setting? It must fit with the action-adventure.  Why are they there, and where do they have to go? In Deadly Alliance the story begins in Lake Arrowhead, California, but the couple, Amy and Finn, follow a money laundering trail to Malahide Village, Ireland.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The case for not using a pseudonym

I write romantic suspense, level four hotness. People who know me as well as strangers read my books.  A couple of years ago my grandchildren wanted to read my books, and I wrote a futuristic Sci-Fi.  Intervenus Series Book 1, A Brand New Address, came in second in the 2015 Book Buyers' Best Contest.  These books are YA and do not show up in online bookstores with books with sexual content.
Thanks to my husband, the last name of Rowland, is a nice name. I like the combo of my first name with his last name.  I don't have to pretend to be someone else. Many of my friends call me Kathy.  That's my PTA, church, Mom name. Kathleen Rowland is a good, solid romance author name. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Deadly Alliance has a release date of February 2nd, 2016

Release date for Deadly Alliance is just weeks away.  Tirgearr Publishing still has it at the bonus pre-order price of 0.99.

Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.

Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.

Les is alive. After cheating the Irish mob, he became their target. Mistaken identity took the life of his disabled twin brother. Now Les makes another deal—trading Amy and stolen drugs for their forgiveness. Stakes are high as Finn tracks assassins across the San Bernardino Mountains. If he gets her back, can he trust her?

#MysteryExchange #spotlight -- have you ever had a daydream that ends up in a book? Let's ask #mystery writer Cathy Perkins @cperkinswrites

Please welcome Cathy Perkins, talented author and her book, In It For the Money! Where do authors get their ideas? Someone told me the...