by Ian Mitchell-Gill When six “criminally gifted” teens are caught misapplying their talents, each is given an offer they can’t refuse: to train at a secret school and put their skills to work for their country, or face the most … Continue reading
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;}
I’m going into my third year of publishing and with all its challenges, joys, disappointments, and craziness, I wouldn’t change it. My experiences with traditional and self-publishing strengthened me and my love for writing. The journey showed me I didn’t have to wait until I retired to pursue a writing career and even with all the ups and downs, authors have more options today than twenty years ago that work in our favor.
If you’re just starting your journey, I have one main advice. DON’T GIVE UP! This industry will chew you up and spit you out, but if you love to write you’ll make it through.
Remy Borden likes fast things: bikes, cars, and men.
the first woman from the Cayman Islands to race internationally gets
sidetracked when she’s injured and pulled from the final race because of
a fiery confrontation with another driver.
|Amazon | BarnsNoble | Smashwords|
to worse when the racetrack owner is killed and she’s suspect number one
because his death puts her back in the race. But racing again proves
difficult when Dr. Jackson Wilson insists she stop racing until she
heals, making her wonder if his ‘doctor’s orders’ don’t have ulterior
motives-the racetrack owner was his friend.
search for the truth behind the murder when accidents start happening at
the racetrack, and an adoring fan gets too close. Soon the simmering
attraction between her and Jackson boils over, forcing her to admit
Jackson makes her think of a life beyond racing.
She’s a coffeeholic, checklist fanatic, and future space explorer. She has a sarcastic/quirky sense of humor and loves meeting new people. When not writing, she’s helping other writers in Cayman through her organization CayWriters.
The author of For the Love of Jazz and Deadly Bloodlines, book one in her Deadly Series. She stumbled into writing romantic suspense because of her fascination with serial killers, but writes other genres because characters keep telling her their stories and she’s a sucker for a crazy story.
What people say about Elke:
“Elke knows how to create a page turner and will leave you begging for more”.
“Elke is an up and coming author to watch”.
Click for an excerpts of Deadly Races:
“I didn’t really have a relationship with her. She was someone I wanted, but she didn’t know how I felt until an hour ago.” Would she decide to kick him out of her apartment for either leading her on or being a complete ass?
She gripped the couch tightly and it collapsed beneath her hands. Her eyes narrowed to slits and her mouth twisted in anger. Here comes her emotional eruption. He braced himself.
“You put me through all of that for nothing?” She said it with so much control he wondered where she got it.
“It wasn’t nothing to me,” he reasoned.
“Wasn’t nothing? Do you know how many times I felt guilty because you had a girlfriend, or know how many nights I lay awake imagining I’d go to hell for the dirty thoughts I had about you in this apartment, inside and outside your car, even the examination table in your office?” She paced before him.
Jackson was speechless, and turned on, as he thought about everything she’d just mentioned. He remembered the night she kissed him in the car and wondered what would’ve happened if they hadn’t been interrupted, or if they’d been in a secluded area instead of outside her apartment.
“Hey!” she shouted, pulling him from his erotic thoughts of her spread out over the roof of his car.
“Stop that! You don’t get to have a fantasy in the middle of my rant. Got it?” Her index finger pointed at him.
He wanted to smile, but knew she’d probably knock his lights out if he did. “Please continue,” he said as politely and seriously as he could.
“Why couldn’t you be honest with me?” She ran a hand through her hair.
Honest about that? She couldn’t be serious? “Honest about wanting someone I hadn’t even told how I felt? I hardly knew you, Remy, and you wanted me to share something I’d kept secret for nearly two years?”
“Two years?” Her voice echoed in disbelief.
It sounded ridiculous to hear it out loud.
She must’ve thought so, too, because she laughed. It started as a light chuckle, but then escalated to full, out loud, boisterous laughter until it was so extreme she fell to the floor behind the couch.
He walked over to where she lay. “It’s not that funny,” he insisted.
She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and laughed harder.
“I’m glad you’re enjoying this at my expense.” He extended a hand to help her up, but she waved it away as another fit of laughter overtook her. “You might not believe this, but I’m incredibly shy.”
She roared louder and gestured with her hand for him to stop talking.
He couldn’t blame her for laughing. He’d been anything but shy around her. She had a knack for bringing out emotions in him that were less than passive, with her audaciousness and that unfiltered mouth of hers.
alternate history setting throws up twin challenges – to tell a tense, fast-paced
story with a punchy ending plus get the historical background right.
Historical? Well, yes. Unless a writer knows their history, they can’t alternate
it. Knowledgeable readers out there will be disappointed if a writer makes a
serious blooper when projecting history in a different direction. And disappointing
the reader is a writing crime.
Alternate history stories, whether packed
with every last piece of information about their world or lighter where the
alternative world is used as a setting with bare detail released only when
crucial, need to follow three ‘rules’: nail the point of divergence from the
real time line that has carried on in our world; show how the alternate world
looks and works; and flesh out the consequences of the split. Writing crime,
mystery and thrillers in this environment ain’t easy, but it’s fun!
or tough, enthusiastic, intellectual or world-weary. Law enforcers are all
genders, classes, races and ages and stand in various places along the personal
morality ruler. But whether corrupt or clean, they must act like a recognisable
form of cop. They catch criminals, arrest and charge them and operate within a
on history before the point of divergence as C J Sansom does in Dominion. But he then goes on to stretch
and distort the functions of the Special Branch we know into a Gestapo-like
force and the Special Constabulary into the Auxiliaries similar to the French Second
World War milice. In my own earliest
story in the series set in the mid-twentieth century in a country founded
sixteen hundred years ago by Roman refugees, the town cops are still called
‘vigiles’ after the ancient Roman ones; then, they caught thieves and robbers,
put out fires and captured runaway slaves. They were supported by the Urban
Cohorts who acted as a heavy-duty anti-riot force and the even the Praetorian
Guard if necessary. The modern vigiles in my earliest alternate story carry out
the functions of a police force that anybody would recognise today. And there
is still a Praetorian Guard, but a very modern one. Both services have to deal
with the criminal mind whether rational, completely disconnected from societal
norms, opportunistic or terrorist.
when writing a series, is to let organisations develop. My vigiles are
disbanded then re-formed as ‘custodes’ in the three later stories following a
catastrophic civil war. They evolve in a similar way that London Bow Street
runners gave way to Sir Robert Peel’s Bobbies who in turn developed into the
modern Metropolitan Police.
history stories can be quite different to those in our real timeline, but they
must be consistent with history of that society while remaining plausible for
the reader. My alternate world has examining magistrates (echoing ancient Roman
practice) and a twenty-eight day post-arrest, pre-charge detention period which
police services in our timeline would probably love! Questioning is robust, but
there’s no gratuitous physical brutality – things have moved on since ancient
Roman times when the punishment officer would take a criminal off into the corner and beat him into a pulp. In the 21st century, the approach is more psychological, wearing the detainee down, but the odd slap creeps in.
environment, whether in this world, off-planet or in a different time, using local
words for police, e.g. ‘Schupo’, ‘carabinieri’ or ‘custodes’ enriches the
setting. But the writer has to explain in a non-obvious way. An example from my
“Kriminalpolizeikommissar Huber – GDKA/OK”. Juno, he was one of the German
Federated States organised crime investigators. We were in the big time here. I
glanced up at him, but he looked even grimmer, if it was possible. I decided to
for slang, which naturally peppers any thriller with police and military
are a cross little scarab, aren’t you?’
by using scarab, the derogatory word for the custodes. I might deal with a lot
of shit in my job, but I was no dung-beetle.
police thriller, writers should at least read around the basics; detection and
arrest procedures, forensics, interviewing and case development. For political
or military thrillers, the same applies for structures, chain of command,
intelligence procedures and weaponry. Apart from watching television and movies
and reading other writers’ books, I find Wikipedia is an excellent place to
start if researching a specific force, police service or weapon. After that, most
libraries and bookstores will have real life accounts written by former members
of those services. For legal background, you could start with the lawyers’
associations and see if they have any public education programmes, similarly
the probation and social services. If you ask reasonably intelligent, specific
questions (make a list!), serving and retired professionals will usually be
delighted to help you, especially if you mention them in the acknowledgements.
If you’re writing in a historical whodunit or
thriller, then as well as the reading, you are probably going to become good
friends with your county archivist and possibly the British Library staff. As
you have no living professional to consult, you should find at least two preferably
three sources for your information. Law enforcement officers’ roles, powers and
practices varied hugely in the past and if policing existed at all in some past
eras, it was often carried out by the military. You soon get to know your
Tacitus from your Pliny or Caesar!
Crime, mystery and thrillers are
one of the most popular genres in our bookshops, whether online or bricks and
mortar. Whether you have a historical, contemporary or alternative setting,
research and meticulous accuracy are the watchwords for keeping on the right
side of the writing law.
|Author Alison Morton|
Alison Morton has a
master’s degree in history, has served time as a translator and soldier, and is
a deep-steeped ‘Roman nut’.
Currently living in France, she writes Roman-themed
alternate history thrillers and her first novel, INCEPTIO, will be published by
SilverWood Books in March 2013.
Watch this space!
I am looking for articles on the subject of crime/suspense/mystery writing. Talk us through your genre. How do you research the criminal mind? What legal (if any) practicalities do you have to abide by? What professionals (police, lawyers) do you talk with to help you with your research? Are they helpful? How do you keep the element of mystery in your novel? Why is there always a miserable/grumpy cop and a happy/naive rookie? How do you keep the villain a surprise in a whodunit?
If you’re not a crime writer (or anything under that umbrella), doesn’t matter. I also want guest posts on the subject of EDITING. Can you edit too much? Who is your editor? Want to name and credit them, or name and shame them? What is your editing process? Is it possible to self-edit? What do you think of authors who release their books without editing or those who shamelessly say they are waiting for sales before they can pay for an editor? Is there a quick way to edit? Any tips you want to share?
You get a byline, your book added to Book Junkies , and tweeted and retweeted on Twitter (Triberr) to thousands of followers. Click the contact button top left of screen and let me know you’re interested, and I’ll email you straight back.
I’ve a delightful line up already (but more the merrier!), who are, in no particular order:
Jeff Johnson and Hy Conrad
Anne R Allen