May Newsletter 2018

May I Say Thank You?

A lot is going on, and if it weren’t for YOU, I would be a massive ball of tears. That’s right! No joke, I mean it! Between positive emails of support, Book Reviews to distract me, and even the shout-outs on Social Media have all been a driving force to help me keep it together this year. It’s so hard with Autism, Lung transplants, Surgeries galore, and trying to keep finances afloat – life can leave us breathless. Regardless, THANK YOU for the support and keep it up! So, now it’s my turn to report on what’s going on!

  • My Dad had a DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT on 5/3 – so far he is doing well, I visited just this weekend and we’ve still got a ways to go.
  • I have several SURGERIES for family coming this month and next which include my Husband, Father-in-law, Aunt, and even my 4 year old. SO, keep up that morale support you’ve been pumping out. Leaving a book report, tagging me in a online post, anything to give me a distraction helps a ton!
  • DEATH – the final book in the TATTOOED ANGELS TRILOGY: I have decided what I want to do with the main climax of this story and will be working hard to finishing it up. When I have more details, look forward to a newsletter or announcement in your inbox. It may not be until July though.
  • ARTEMIS & THE EYE OF GAEA – book 4 in THE CEDRIC SERIES – I have broken ground on this and almost have the Otherworld mapped out which will come in handy. Debating on doing a artsy version to include in the book since this is gonna get heavy with mixing so many mythologies into one.

  • THE PRINCE’S PRIEST – a Dark Fantasy M/M Romance Suspense – This is being prepped for pitching to an agent. The first draft is completed and it is undergoing edits. If you want to be a BETA Reader for this, let me know by emailing me at: willis.author@gmail.com

  • DEMONIC HOUSEHOLD – second volume of the Dark Humor DEMONIC ANTHOLOGIES will be on time in August. Due date for Authors is MAY 15th at Midnight EST.

  • URBAN LEGENDS RE-IMAGINED – Fourth book in the THRILL OF THE HUNT ANTHOLOGIES has been turned in. Watch Palmas Publishing for more information on this. My story is titled FIERY MARY & THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER and this is aiming for August at Indie Bookfest 2018.

  • AUDIOBOOK for CEDRIC THE DEMONIC KNIGHT will be coming by the end of this Year!!!

Fishing Shenanigans

As you already know, I’ve been under a lot of personal stress. When I was little my dad used to take me fishing all the time, so it’s been a most go and do ordeal with the family as things intensify with his health and the fact I might be nursing a lot of people well later this month. We went out to New Smyrna Beach but found ourselves back in our usual fishing spot there in Oak Hill at the Riverbreeze Park.

Manatees were buzzing through pass the dock. Husband’s line got caught on a barnacle on the back of one so we had a good laugh before it slipped off. Also, blue crab were chilling out and stealing bait and as always, there were tons of catfish to be caught!

This time we were catching Whites and Gaftopsail Catfish with the longer fins. Levi managed to get a crab arm, he abandoned his own arm before we could get him on the dock!



 

GIVEAWAYS – Free Books, Samples, & More!

 

#WritingTips – Character Growth & Development

I get tons of praise on my characters, whether it’s the depth, immersion, the growth and the way they interact with each other and the worlds I create for them. How do I do it? What am I thinking about and fretting over at every step? I try to be mindful that my characters are my reader’s source, foundation, for interacting with my stories I am sharing so I have to be aware of several things as I work things over.

Once of the first blog post I wrote and workshops I hosted was my methods and thoughts on the matter. It still floors me that I get compliments from that first workshop almost 2-3 years ago. Here’s a snippet from the post, but you can dive into the bigger and more in-depth post on my blog at the link below:

https://willisauthor.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/character-development/

Characters

No one can develop anything without first making a character. Each writer has a different methodology for creating them but in the end we all usually can answer the following questions about our main character and some secondary characters:

  1. What’s their name? (First name only, nickname, full name, aliases, etc.)
  2. What do they look like? (Hair, eyes, ethnicity, scars, tattoos, outfit, weaponry, etc.)
  3. How old are they? (Ancient, Old, young, a certain age, etc.)
  4. Their placement in the world? (Princess, Servant, Farmer, low-class, upper-class, etc.)
  5. Personal goals and dreams? (Save the world, Save the girl/guy, get rich, run away, etc.)

Even after answering these you may still look at your character and feel they are plain, lacking in depth. It is very common for a character to be referred to as flat if this is the sensation they leave the readers. Proper Character Development needs more than these five core questions in order to create a round character. You should never feel like you have completely described a main or secondary character with just these five elements from above. Instead, I would like for you to add five more questions to your arsenal:

  1. What consistent behaviours? (Catch phrase, rubs jaw, cracks knuckles, sighing, etc.)
  2. Dislikes? (Another Character, pet, activity, item, food, working, procrastination, etc.)
  3. Loves? (Another Character, pet, activity, item, food, working, procrastination, etc.)
  4. Personality traits? (Introverted, extroverted, outgoing, shy, short-tempered, etc.)
  5. Flaws & Achievements? (Judgmental, Awards, poor fighter, emotionally scarred, etc.)

We create characters because they help us make our stories and plot more tangible to write and read. For instance, what good is a Romance story without two or more lovers to play out the rollercoaster ride needed to express that there is a love story happening. When you are asked to describe yourself, you don’t start with how you look, but more or less what you like and dislike, you label your personality as “creative” or “bashful”, and a lot of times share achievements and dreams. These are the other side of the fence that is often lacking in a character in order to create strong character development. That is where the terms “flat” or “round” come into play when developing a character for your story and readers.

Flat

If someone is calling a character flat, they are saying “hey, this guy feels like a paper cut out.” It seems like a scary statement, and it should be for any writer, but this means your character lacks personality, individuality, depth, and tangible substance! Often we see flat characters for the secondary and tertiary characters in the form of the cookie-cutter servant, merchant, mysterious stranger in a cave with a wooden sword for a small elf boy, the mother giving up her child, and so on. From book-to-book these characters may seem like the same fill-in, and as writers, we can do better! Do your best to make a richer cast of characters but keeping the amount of flat characters as low or non-existent as possible.

Round

Well-developed characters are referred to as round. A round character has life and depth to them, ambitions, likes and dislikes, habits good and bad, goals and motives, and more importantly flesh. Readers will often fall in love with round characters even if they are nothing but the servant or a silly merchant the main character meets once. These characters have memorable presence and that makes the reader fall into the world further and makes it far easier for you to illustrate the plot on a more intimate level.

 

Workshops, Panels, & Classes with Me

  • VIDEOS ARE POSTED! – I got the honor to sit and talk to Author Learning Center. I should me seeing the videos on YouTube in February! You can Subscribe ahead of time here: https://www.youtube.com/user/AuthorLearningCenter
  • CANCELLED “Overstuffed Bookcase Con”
  • August 9-12 – “Indie Bookfest 2018” A multiday event at a great price. Meet Indie Authors such as myself. Dinner, parties, FanFare, Workshops, Panels, and Book Signing are just a few of the highlights from this very fun event. Tickets are already on sale here: http://indiebookconvention.com/
  • October FWA Conference – I will be on a panel and hosting a few workshops. Detail to come, but check out their site for the latest news: https://floridawriters.net/conferences/florida-writers-conference-2018/
  • More in the making!

EVENTS – Open Mics, Write-in’s & more!

 

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