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.

 

 

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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?

 

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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.

December 6, 2014

New Contest for The Fixer: The Naked Man

Hi Everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving holiday and all is well.

Since it’s the season for giving, I thought this would be a fun time to announce the first contest for The Fixer: The Naked Man.

I need to have an e-book cover made and I need help with ideas.

Here are the contest details:

Send me pics of book covers (print or e-book) that you like in the mystery/suspense genre. You can send them to me via the contact page of my website at http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com ,  post to my facebook page, or email to me at jillamy@jillamyrosenblatt.com

I will pick out three book covers that I like so there can be 3 winners for the contest. If I pick out a book cover that you submitted, you receive the first 2 chapters of The Fixer: The Naked Man in a sneak peek pdf.

The contest opens now and will remain open until December 20th.

More details coming soon on The Fixer: The Naked Man so stay tuned!!

November 20, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To “The Fixer”

The last time I published a book was 2009. 2009. It’s no secret that writers have a myriad of problems; we’re a notoriously moody, preoccupied, anxious, and angst ridden bunch. There are two basic nightmare scenarios for writers: not being able to write and not being able to finish what we write. The jury is still out on which is worse.

I did write another book after For Better or Worse. It was called Deciphering Bella. It was about a married couple and the wife suffers from mental illness.  The story explores the level of commitment between a husband and wife when life events are what they “didn’t sign up for.” I loved that story. I was the only one. What can you do? It happens. I put it away.

And then something happened. It wasn’t as if I was doing nothing. I was doing lots of somethings. I went back to school, finished a Master’s degree, tutored English, wrote a few short stories, a bunch of blog posts, a screenplay, and created a cartoon strip (artwork and text). But a full story wasn’t coming.

It’s one thing to stare at a blank piece of paper. That wasn’t my problem. I had story ideas, lots of ideas. I even had titles. I never think of titles. Scenes would come to me out of the blue. But for different stories. Then came the great yellow pad debacle of Spring 2014. I could only write on small 4.5 x 7 yellow legal pads. Don’t ask. I now have piles of small yellow legal pads all over the apartment. Lots of small half-filled yellow legal pads.

I’m a follower, a. true believer, a practitioner of the Robert McKee method of structuring and writing a story. I took his seminar, read his book. His class changed my writing life. His class made Project Jennifer and For Better or Worse possible. The man is my Yoda.  But I couldn’t settle down. couldn’t do the outlines, the character profiles, the scene narratives.

And then something else happened. A few months ago on a Saturday night, my mother showed me an article on authors successfully self publishing on Amazon. I went to bed that night agitated and irritated. What was I doing? Actually, why wasn’t I doing what I was supposed to be doing? What I was meant to be doing? Early Sunday morning, I woke up to my moment of clarity. And an idea.

It was a spark. A young woman and a wealthy, powerful man. A story of mystery and suspense. She’s a fixer on the verge of failure. He issues an offer to help. He’ll fix the problem for her, for a price. I dug deeper into the idea. Who is this young woman? How does she get into this? There are several stories about fixers now, Scandal, and Ray Donovan to name a few. What place would Katerina Mills have? As I got to know her better, I realized that the novella stories would form an origin series. It will be exciting to see Kat grow and change into the woman she will become and how she will handle a world she is unprepared for. The pieces began falling into place as the magical process of the story parts connecting to each other took off.

So that’s what happened. I feel like I’m back and it’s an amazing feeling, even though I can only write the stories using cream colored paper journal books. Don’t ask.

Next post I’ll be introducing the characters one at a time, starting with Katerina Mills.

Don’t forget to check my website for updates and to sign up for the newsletter for the latest, news, giveaways, and contests. http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com

November 16, 2014

Coming Spring 2015: The Fixer: The Naked Man – A Katerina Mills Novella

Filed under: Books — jillamyrosenblatt @ 10:33 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Hi Everyone! So excited to share news of my latest work that will be coming in the Spring of next year. Yay!!! 🙂 Here’s a bit about the story below. There will be more news coming soon, including cover art. In the meantime, I hope you’ll head over to my site and sign up for the newsletter so you can be first to receive news, sneaks peeks, and contest details. You can sign up here:

http://www.jillamyrosenblatt.com/newsletter.htm

Now… welcome to the world of “The Fixer”….

There are problems not just anyone can solve.

Katerina Mills is a NYC college student trying to make it to law school and make a name for herself in the big city.

It won’t be easy…

Kat just ditched her boss (and cheating lover), shady lawyer Philip Castle. Stuck working low paying temp jobs, she didn’t expect her dad to ditch her mom and his promise to pay Kat’s college tuition bill.

Now she’s got two weeks to come up with $12,000 or she’s out of her apartment, out of school, and out of luck.

But a desperate call for help from a friend of Phil’s presents a unique opportunity…

Katerina Mills falls into a job as a “fixer.” Working for the shadowy firm of MJM Consulting, these are no ordinary clients. These are New York City’s most wealthy and privileged men and they have problems they need solved, quickly and quietly.

The rules appear simple:

  1. Collect the money.
  2. Use your contacts.
  3. Fix the problem.

Kat’s first job appears to be a cakewalk, trail a socialite wife and her spending spree to recommend the perfect birthday gift.  But life gets complicated when a job calls for Katerina to recover a missing VHS tape. The damaging tape was left hidden away in an antique; an antique that’s been sold. Kat’s job: get it back.

It doesn’t take Katerina Mills long to learn the real rules of the fixer:

  1. There are no rules.
  2. There are no refunds.
  3. Get in. Get results. Get gone.

Kat has two weeks to stay alive financially. All she has to do is become a crack private eye, a world class thief, AND pass her Introduction to Ethics class. But if she can’t fix someone else’s problems, she can’t fix her own.

There’s only one other thing Katerina Mills has to figure out: will she come out on top or is she in over her head?

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