I'm Just Saying…

January 25, 2016

Yes, I Want My Fictional Characters To Be Happy. You Got a Problem With That?

Greetings fellow Scribes and Bibliophiles!

Let’s get right to today’s topic, shall we?

As readers, we all have favorite characters we’re attached to:

Readers and characters.png

Whether it’s Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre, Sherlock Homes, or Gandalf… there are quite a few fictional people we would line up to spend some quality time with. We admire them, we like them, we get them. And we’re pretty sure they would think we’re awesome too.

As we read their story, we are invested with a deep desire to see everything work out for them. We want them to be okay. We want them to be happy. No, really. They have to be happy.

But what about the writer? We create our characters, live with them, spend time with them, day in and day out. We become attached to them. We want them to be okay, too. And yet, we know they can’t be. So what happens when it gets to this…

Writer and character

See, this is a problem. You know why it’s a problem? Let me tell you why. Because as human beings we all want this –

Cinderella_-_So_This_Is_Love_-_1

Not this –

belle crying gif

We dream of living a happy, pleasant, problem free life of this –

cinderella and forest creatures

Not this –

cloverfield 2

Unfortunately, writers are screwed. We know that to write a really good story you have to have emotional, nail biting, gut wrenching, on the edge of your seat, down to the wire, zero seconds to spare… CONFLICT. If nothing is at stake for your character, you get this –

Karl Urban yawning

and then this –

chandler sleeping.gif

And that’s not good.

So, if you think about it, since all human beings want only to be happy and avoid suffering, then the goal of the writer is to make sure your character doesn’t get the first one, and can’t avoid the second one.

Bummer.

So, why am I telling you this?

Because I’m editing my second book of The Fixer series, The Killing Kind. And I started to notice that for all the problems I set up for my girl Katerina, they never really got in the way, they sort of went like this –

red sea.gif

And then I noticed her life was practically like this –

 

singing in the rain gif.gif

Not good. Not good at all.

But, I like Katerina. She’s a hard working, decent human being. She’s a good person caught up in bad situations. She should get what she wants. She should be happy.

Oh crap.

So I saw my problem. And I set to work fixing it. Katerina’s got a long, hard road ahead of her. But I’m hoping there’s going to be some happiness in the future for her. Seriously, seriously. We’ll see.

And now… for the shameless marketing portion of this blog:

The first book in the series, The Fixer: The Naked Man, is on sale now for 0.99 cents on Kindle , Nook , and Kobo

Catch up on what’s happened so far because this summer, Kat will be back….

Final Teaser _2 Killing Kind.jpg

Until next time….

J.

 

 

January 5, 2016

Shameless Marketing – Part Deux – The Teaser

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all had a very merry and a happy and healthy New Year!

Since it’s a brand new year I thought I would dive right in for more shameless marketing. Why not? Today’s topic of shameless promotion is the teaser poster. I am an incurable movie addict and I love movie posters. They run a close second to the movie trailer, which to me is almost as important as the movie itself. Seriously.

I think a good movie poster generates curiosity

spectre

or makes you laugh out loud

ron burgundy

or gives you the chills

the-dark-knight

or makes you smile as if you’re reconnecting with an old friend

indiana jones

or any combination of the above

thor

All right, I admit it. I just wanted to add a picture of Chris Hemsworth. No judgement people, okay?

But anyway…

So I decided for my next installment of shameless marketing, why shouldn’t book 2 of The Fixer series, The Killing Kind, have its own teaser? Something that says, “This is book is fun.” No, strike that. “This book is damn fun. But it’s not all fun. It can be a little dark and more than a little dangerous. But this is something you should check out. Seriously seriously.”

And it you haven’t read Book 1 yet, The Fixer: The Naked Man, then you should definitely click the link and head over to Amazon and pick up a copy for only $2.99 on Kindle! (Did you see how I did that? I slipped that right in there. Shameless!)

Anyway… here it is… the big reveal… the very first teaser poster for Book 2 of The Fixer series, The Killing Kind…

The Fixer The Killing Kind Teaser 1

Ta-da!!! 🙂

I have to get back to working on edits now – and eating chocolate. It’s a package deal.  There will be more shameless marketing shortly but until then…

All the best,

J.

 

 

April 13, 2015

E-book Cover Reveal for The Fixer: The Naked Man

Filed under: Books — jillamyrosenblatt @ 8:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hi Everyone!

It’s here! I am so excited to reveal the e-book cover for The Fixer: The Naked Man….

The Fixer

Alan Gaites/Graphic Design did a fabulous job and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

Stay tuned for more “Fixer” info coming soon, including an extended sneak peek.

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter at http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com to get all the latest news first.

Take care,

J.

April 6, 2015

Inside The Writer’s Room

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a very happy holiday. For those of you who celebrate Easter, I hope the mutant sized bunny, who for some unknown reason does NOT frighten the crap out of children, brought you all the chocolate you desire.

Personally, I skipped the basket offering of the giant Lepus and went right for the pint of Ben and Jerry ‘s Phish Food, (I’m not hung up on ceremony, just give me a spoon).

While snacking and waiting for Alan, my whiz of a graphic designer, to finish the e-cover for The Fixer: The Naked Man, I got to thinking about a book I saw years ago in the library. It was a collection of photographs of the work spaces of writers.

I must admit I liked the idea of a sneak peek into the hidden writing cubbies where stories are crafted.

So…I got to thinking…maybe it would be fun to give a little photo tour of the place where The Fixer came to life.

Let’s get right to where the magic happens, shall we?

 

20150405_123703

I find a dedicated workspace, organized for maximum efficiency, is crucial to the creative process.

One out of two ain’t bad.

A word of advice, if your workspace isn’t conducive to creativity due to excessive clutter, you may find yourself sprawling,  creating more makeshift areas for your work:

 

20150405_114533

Oops.

Now, let’s talk about inspiration. Every writer needs inspiration, a muse,  some inexplicable person, place, or thing that mysteriously aids the creative process. If you looked closely  at the pic of my desk,  your eyes did not deceive you…

 

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There he is, The Wookie himself (bobblehead version) to provide endless hours of entertainment and inspiration (okay, not hours, more like seconds, but who’s counting).

Factoid sidebar: I do a bitchin’ Chewbacca the Wookie imitation, but it does require consumption of a milk-based product first.

But I digress.

So, how do I keep my laser focus during the creative process? Well, it’s important to keep distractions to a minimum, like trips to the store. Making sure to stock up on the essentials will give you more precious writing time:

 

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And let’s not forget the essentials for non writing time. Rest and relaxation for the brain is key, making quality downtime a necessity, not a luxury , allowing me to return to the work rejuvenated and refreshed. I do this in several ways:

 

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Followed by…

 

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Binge watching can be extremely therapeutic. Believe me, you think nothing’s going on in the brain while watching the entire season of The Big Bang Theory in one sitting. So not true. The wheels are turning.

And for the record, the tv is not old, it’s vintage.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the mini tour. I’ve got to get back to editing. I can’t wait for the e-cover to be done. I’m excited to show you! Another sneak peek of Chapter 1 will be coming soon!

Take care,

J.

March 27, 2015

To Pinterest or Not To Pinterest…Is That The Question?

Hi Everyone,

The editing continues and The Fixer: The Naked Man gets closer to completion. Yay!!! I spoke to my graphic designer, Alan, and the process of a book cover has begun!!

Continuing the discussion of letting people know about The Fixer, can we talk Pinterest for a moment? I discovered Pinterest through an article on book marketing. It was important to make a Pinterest board for your book. An author needed to do this. The article didn’t really say why or how this was a necessity but it had to be done.

Fair enough.

I signed up. I have boards for my two books, Project Jennifer and For Better Or Worse. I like Pinterest. It took me a few minutes to figure out it was electronic scrapbooking but I’m in. It’s actually quite addictive, in a good way. When I put together my board for For Better Or Worse it gave me the chance to post pics of my inspiration for the Ian character: Ewan McGregor.

imagesCA2GXZLT

The weird,  wonderful thing about writing is inspiration can come from anywhere, a movie, a song, an actor or actress. There were 10 characters in FBOW and yet, I really only had a visual on Ian. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love the other characters (and you really do need to love them all, even the ones that are shits), but having that picture reference helped me to develop the character and identify tics and habits.  Like I said, weird and wonderful.

So back to The Fixer: The Naked Man. I had an idea of what Katerina Mills looked like before I made the connection to an actress that was the perfect match (more on that in a minute). However, the character of Charles Winter was the big surprise. I had trouble imagining him; I had trouble seeing him. I liked him but I couldn’t seem to get a handle on him; he didn’t stand out. I tried writing his description but it just wasn’t.  I consoled myself. He was supposed to be a one shot supporting character anyway. In, out, and gone.

When I moved on to writing the rough draft for the second book, I couldn’t stop thinking  about him. Would he come back? Meh, I would think even as he kept lurking in the back of my mind (characters do that, you know, they lurk in the subconscious,  just waiting for their chance to take over and run amok, little stinkers). I would think, maybe, he might show up again in a future book, someday… And then…

I was spending my Christmas holiday channel flipping and catching up on movies when…I saw Him for the first time (who for the moment will remain nameless). An actor who was the perfect inspiration for Charles Winter. He had it all: height, build, face, and that voice! That was all I needed. I had a visual and my character had the all clear signal: let the running amok begin!

That’s when the writing took off like (insert your cliche of choice here – I’m going with “a bat out of hell.” I like the old faithfuls :)). The whole relationship between these characters opened up. The direction of the series twisted and turned in unexpected ways. That weird, wonderful process of making connections and new meanings from narrative, plot twists, and dialogue began to flow. I could visualize what would happen to these two characters, what they would have to go through, the road they would have to travel, sometimes together, sometimes apart. Seeing my characters visually led me to seeing them emotionally. Now I’m even more attached to this series.  And…yet again, I point out my petit problème…I’m the only one.

Sooooo, back to Pinterest and my marketing conundrum. Question: Do I make a Pinterest board and post pics of the actor and actress who are the inspiration for these characters? Isn’t that doing the reader a disservice? Isn’t that depriving the reader of the fun of choosing for themselves? Does it ruin the reader experience?

It is nothing new that writers find inspiration in actors for stories. How many screenwriters have said, “I wrote this part for (insert name here).” I do wonder what would have happened if John Malkovich had said “Thanks but no thanks” to starring in Being John Malkovich. Awkward.

Let’s consider Jane Austen for a minute. When she wrote Pride and Prejudice , did she have a real life inspiration for Mr. Darcy? She could not have imagined that one day Colin Firth would be Mr. Darcy.

darcy

 

No offense to Mathew Macfadyen, his performance was excellent.

matthew macfayden

 

How about Sherlock Holmes? Is it Basil Rathbone,

basil rathbone

 

Jeremy Brett,

jeremy brett

 

or Benedict Cumberbatch?

benedict cumberbatch

 

Who would Arthur Conan Doyle choose? All of them? One? None? Will the real Sherlock Holmes please stand up? Actually, I think it is all of them, each in their own wonderful way.

The chance of the actors who sparked my imagination for Katerina Mills and Charles Winter starring in a film or tv adaptation of The Fixer series is probably something I won’t have to worry about now or any time in the near future. But as Jake Barnes said in The Sun Also Rises, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

But I do wonder, do I reveal this part of this story’s evolution or should it remain the writer’s secret?

What do you think? Let me know.

Until next time, when I tackle yet another path in the marketing maze, The Contest.

Take care,

J.

P.S.: If you haven’t read the sneak peek yet for The Fixer: The Naked Man, please check it out!!! Go to http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com and have a look 🙂

March 18, 2015

The Fixer: The Naked Man – Sneak Peek Coming Soon!

Hi Everyone!

Let’s get right to the important stuff first. It’s time for a sneak peek of Chapter 1 of The Fixer: The Naked Man. I’m so excited to share and I haven’t been sick to my stomach with nerves in a good long time so let’s do this! Okay, what you need to know:

What: The Fixer: The Naked Man Sneak Peek

When: Saturday, March 21, 2015

What Time: 11:00 p.m. (Please don’t ask me why, I don’t know,  it seemed like a good idea)

Where: http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com
Anyone who subscribes to my newsletter will receive it before Saturday at 11 because I promised subscribers first looks.

Okay, important stuff done. Now, let me tell you what’s going on. The Fixer: The Naked Man isn’t the only thing that’s been happening. Nope. In a fit of inspiration, I finished a full handwritten draft of the second book in the series. But wait: there’s more. I started writing scenes for the third book in the series. Is that all? That’s a negative. I’m so attached to these characters, I’m sketching out scenes in later books.

Is this good or bad? Depends on the writer you ask. Some never want to know what’s coming; it takes the fun out of the writing journey. I’m a McKee girl, myself. He’s an advocate for knowing your end game, up or down, positive or negative. The fun is using all your powers of creativity to craft the story to get there.

With all the writing I’ve been doing (and loving it) I still wonder a) how long it will last and b) am I getting to the point in the process when writers are so deep in their heads with their story (I am) they either start binge watching tv to turn off their brain (check) or they drink (not there yet. Give me time).

I’ve written in previous posts about my past creative drought, the doubts, second guessing, and general mind numbing anxiety that shut down my writing for a few years. Believe me, I’m thrilled and relieved to be engaged, all in, with this project. I’m attached to these characters, invested in the story, completely committed to seeing this series done. Yay for creative commitment!

Until….once again, I realize that in all of this excitement over my creative baby that there is one little issue.

No one else is attached to this story. 99.99% of the reading community doesn’t know it exists.

AND I HAVE ZERO KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL IN THE AREA OF MARKETING.

Bummer.

I admit it. I’m a marketing moron, a newb, a foundling, hopelessly flummoxed by the idea of mass advertising in order to introduce my book to readers. Twitter analytics?  Adwords? Blog tours? Page likes? Hashtags???

Clueless. (Okay, to be fair, I know what a hashtag is).

I did read that the recommendation for writers is write 70% and market 30%. Right now I’m writing 100% and marketing 0% (scratch that, I’m taking 5% for this blog post).

I guess I need a goal too, you know, how many readers do I hope to introduce to The Fixer series (that’s more of a question than a statement. Don’t I need to do that?)

So it’s time to introduce Katerina Mills and the beginning of her strange, exciting, and dangerous journey as a fixer.

If you like this post, please pass it along to as many people as you can.

If you like the sneak peek, please pass that along as well.

I thank you.

There’s nothing more hopeful, exciting, and frightening all at the same time than the waiting and the hoping that readers will discover your characters and love them as much as you do.

Until next time when I dive into the deep end of the Pinterest pool to consider the question: do you post pictures of the actors who are the inspiration for your characters?

Take care everyone. …

March 14, 2015

The Fixer: The Naked Man – Character Profile – It Takes a Thief…

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been so busy with edits on The Fixer: The Naked Man (and writing book 2 of the series!) that I haven’t been sharing enough info about the book itself. Yikes! A problem all writers suffer from, from what I hear. We’re so busy writing, we neglect to remember we actually have to tell others about what we’re writing. I guess no one is stunned to find out I was NOT a marketing major in college. 🙂

Anyway, here is the next Proust Questionnaire for The Fixer series. This character profile is for Charles Winter, a man who excels at his profession: thief. Katerina Mills meets Winter when she is desperate – but he is not.

I hope you enjoy getting to know him… in future posts I will share more of the evolution of the Winter character, a process that took some unexpected turns. And yes, there will be a sneak peek coming soon…

As always, I love to get questions and comments. You can get in touch through my website at http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com

Proust Questionnaire: Charles Winter

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A flawless theft.

What is your greatest fear? Getting caught.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Houdini. The man knew how to make an escape.

Which living person do you most admire? No one.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I have a weakness for a pretty face.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Self-righteousness.

What is your greatest extravagance? I enjoy living well.

What is your favorite journey? I’ve had too many to pick one.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Honesty.

On what occasion do you lie? When someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”

What do you dislike most about your appearance? Nothing.

Which living person do you most despise? No one at the moment but I like to keep my options open.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  “It is what it is.”

What is your greatest regret? I have a weakness for a pretty face.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Next question.

When and where were you happiest? I’m happy now.

Which talent would you most like to have? Magician. That would cut down on the legwork.

What is your current state of mind? Calm and alert.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Nothing. Everything is as it should be.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m not in jail.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? William Pierce. He pulled off the Great Train Robbery of 1855 and got away with the gold. Well done.

What is your most treasured possession? I’m not attached to possessions.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? To be trapped in a small space with no way to escape.

Where would you like to live? A warm, pleasant climate.

What is your favorite occupation? The one I have now. What else?

What is your most marked characteristic? My voice.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Professionalism and precision.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Ingenuity.

What do you most value in your friends? Their silence.

Who are your favorite writers? Machiavelli. I appreciate a little moral flexibility if it gets the job done.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Simon Templar, Professor Moriarty, the usual.

Who are your heroes in real life? I have none.

What are your favorite names? Katie, short for Katerina.

What is it that you most dislike? Stupidity.

How would you like to die? I wouldn’t. But if it’s a necessity, quickly and quietly.

What is your motto? “It is what it is.”

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