I’m looking to make at least one short story featuring my private detective Eli Sharpe FREE on Kindle and other eBook platforms. The story is entitled “Pink Elephant.” It’s about an ex-pitcher turned drug dealer who suckers Sharpe into “muling” a pink stuffed elephant filled with cocaine . . .it’s fun, it’s action-packed, and my hope is new readers will read the story, like Eli Sharpe, and then go buy Go Go Gato and/or Split to Splinters. I’m hoping to see at least a little spike in sales (actually, any sales would be awesome!), but we’ll see. As soon as I get the eBook back from my publisher, I will make the story available for FREE. In the meantime, if anyone out there has done this before, please drop me a comment and let me know how it went.
Ed, Not Eddie, the third installment in the Eli Sharpe series, will be released on April 1st. I’m very excited about the cover, which I’ll be posting here soon, but I’m even more excited about the story. Thumbnail sketch: Ed Leviner, a superstar female pitcher who is about to be drafted into the Major Leagues, is receiving death threats on the eve of the biggest game of her collegiate career. Enter Eli Sharpe . . .this one is set in a small town in South Carolina, and is peopled with oddball characters, snappy dialogue, and plot twists a-plenty.
In other news. . .both Go Go Gato (Eli Sharpe #1) and Split to Splinters (Eli Sharpe #2) are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. I’ve also noticed that if you have purchased a paperback copy of either of those books, you can buy a Kindle version for only $1.99! Even if you’ve already read (and hopefully, loved) those books, you can buy them and gift them to someone else. . .and that would make me very happy, which should be everyone’s number one priority. Oh, and please remember that reviews on Amazon and Goodreads really do make a difference. Just a sentence or two about how much you enjoy Eli Sharpe and his hijinks would be much, much appreciated.
Thanks a million.
TIP: reveal something good about your villain and something bad about your hero. Why? People are flawed and complex, and your characters should be, too. If ever you’re stuck, ask yourself the ultimate characterization question: what (or who) does my character want, and what (or who) is standing in the way?
TIP: develop conflict and sprinkle in backstory with dialogue. Do this instead of having extended flashbacks or exposition, which clog up the narrative and can take the reader out of the story.
TIP: always stop writing for the day in the middle of something.
Never finish writing a chapter or a scene or a piece of dialogue without beginning another one. A writer should always leave himself or herself something else to write for the next day. This, I’ve found, is a time saver as I don’t spend a frustrating amount of time at the beginning of a writing session wondering what I am going to write about that day. This also helps combat the dreaded Writer’s Block. Give it a try. (Oh, and I’ve discovered that this little trick helps my mood as well as I no longer brood throughout the day, speculating as to what my narrative and my characters are gonna do next).
TIP: Always make sure that characters are driving the plot, not the other way around.
As readers, we are going to gravitate toward interesting, complex, flawed, likable characters, and if those are present in a book, the pages will turn themselves. Too, if the writer has created an interesting character, said character will naturally get involved in interesting situations, and there’s your plot. So, writers, if you’re writing scene after scene with a character, it’s just not working, chances are it is the character’s fault.
TIP: provide only two or three quick details about the setting, UNLESS there is something really unusual about the place that would make it stand out, and, therefore, be of interest to the reader.
It’s only natural that in the course of writing a novel you’re going to find your characters in some rather mundane settings. A hospital. A bedroom. A coffee shop. In a car. And let’s face it: we’ve all been to and in those places, and we don’t need an elaborate description of them. (Remember, readers bore easily).