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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Author’s Imagination

You’re in the grocery store and the person in front of you is reading the labels on cans and boxes. They’re moving slowly. You can hear them muttering about murder, kidnapping, and high speed chases. Have you caught a criminal in the act?
More than likely, you’re behind an author and they’re plotting their next novel, or overcoming a severe case of writer’s block. That means you’re in for a treat if you stick around instead of notifying the authorities. Listen to the process, how our minds work in twisted, convoluted circles.
Did you just hear that mousy Jane Simpson is about to “off” her neighbor? Hmmm? Just how will Jane accomplish the deed? Will she use the rake or the hoe? What did her neighbor do to warrant such a violent reaction from her usually placid friend? Instead of shoving your cart past them and searching for a manager to inform they have a crazy loose in the store, hang around. Smile when the author glances in your direction. Ask how their day is going. Get a conversatio…

The Bearded Dude In The Puzzle

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Many years ago, in the land of kings and knights, Dozer, a powerful wizard, casts a spell over Scartin, and changes him into a tiny toy wizard and puts him inside the box of a puzzle.
Centuries later, Shelly Taylor, and her two kids, Bobby and Andrea, find their lives in turmoil. They are uprooted from their home and friends and moved to a small town in Idaho. Their parents’ marriage falls apart, and to make matters worse, for some reason the kids at their schools are shunning them.
Shelly, once an advertising executive, starts cleaning houses to make ends meet.  It is in one of these old homes where the ancient puzzle is found.

As the family works on the puzzle, strange things start to happen.  An evil presence is making its way to the Taylor house, intent on making sure that puzzle never gets put together, no matter the cost, and it’s up to Bobby and Andrea to make sure that it does!
The Bearded Dude In The Puzzle
“Bobby,” Shelly knocked as she opened his bedroom door, “it’s raining.  I …

Critique Group or Beta Readers?

The general consensus is that writers are a lonely group. We work alone, pounding out stories that jump into our heads, and what the reader sees once a book is published is ours alone. That can’t be further from the truth. We do write the first draft, second, and third, however many are required to get the story right, by ourselves. But a good writer realizes that they must have a dedicated group of people willing to assist them with cleaning up their work.
The good writers, those who become authors, have a great group of people behind the scenes. Those members of a critique group, or the beta readers, see the initial book. They read it slowly, making notes about what works or doesn’t work. They’ll catch improper grammar and misspelled words, missing or incorrect punctuation. They are the unsung heroes of the writing world, people willing to assist the writer, often for nothing more than a copy of the book once it is published.
How does one go about finding these people?
Critique groups …

Developing Characters

The art of developing a character in a story is difficult to learn. So many people rely on the early in the story information dump and never truly have a memorable character. Just how does one achieve this difficult task and still plot out a great book.
First, remember that a character is more than their physical looks. For instance, he was 6’3”, dark haired with a tanned complexion, and startling green eyes. His muscles had muscles. Okay, we have the typical romance hunk ready to have every female drooling over him. What makes our sassy, intelligent heroine fall for this guy? Does he love reading the classics or is the latest spy thriller more his style? He lives in a neighborhood of older women, most well past retirement age. Does he assist them with home repairs? Carry in their groceries? Mow their lawns and weed their flower beds? What about this man will attract an intelligent woman, beyond his looks.
The same can be said for women. Don’t give us a Barbie doll look alike. Tell us w…

Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2015: Summer Fun

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Solstice Publishing and Summer Solstice Publishing announce an anthology to celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 20, 2015. We are accepting short stories up to 7,000 words for inclusion in our anthology: Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2015: Summer Fun.

These stories can be mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, young adult, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi but no erotica. This will be a family oriented anthology. We want stories about relationships, between families and partners, about friendships, about having a great time during the summer months, after a long, cold winter.

Submissions open for this anthology on 3/16/2015 and close on 4/30/2015. Winners will be notified on 5/6/2015, with a publication date estimated at 6/10/2015.
Submissions will be accepted here: https://solsticepublishing.submittable.com/submit/29229. If you are submitting, you should have this in the information subject line: Celebrate Summer Solstice 2015: [title of your story].

Wallpaper With Rejections

When I started as an author, I received many, many rejections. Some pointed out the problems my work had, others weren’t so kind. Once we were in the 2000s, a lot of rejections came in the form of no response.
Recently, I made the decision to go green with my writing. What that meant was that I was going to stop printing out every tidbit of my stories and saving them in binders. One reason was that the binders were taking up valuable office space. Another reason is that paper and ink are very expensive, and I was trimming my writing budget.
I can’t really tell if it was delight or dismay when I discovered the pile of rejections would actually cover the walls of my office and the hallway outside it. To be honest, I probably did send out a number of short stories and novels that were far from ready for publication back in my early days. I was on a high. Within months of seriously beginning my writing career, I had sold my first story. In my mind’s eye, no one would reject me.
Oh, the pain…

A Harem Boy's Saga Part III

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Welcome back, Bernard Fong AKA Young.  What can you tell us about your current work in progress?
I’m working on A Harem Boy’s Saga - book IV – Turpitude; a memoir by Young. It’s a lengthy process since there are a lot of my young life experiences to cramp into each volume. Each book is approximately 3 months of my life, spend in service at a total of 7 different Arab Household harems.For readers who don’t know what A Harem Boy’s Saga is about, here is a synopsis:
A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation; a memoir by Young.
This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.
Author’s note:
I had a privileged and unique up…

A Harem's Boy Saga Part II

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Out of Control Characters welcomes Bernard Foong AKA Young to talk about his memoirs today. Author of theA Harem Boy’s Saga, he has experiences all of us will find fascinating.
Part I: Let's Start at the Beginning...
What's your name? Bernard Foong (a.k.a. Young)

Give me your full name... Bernard Foong (a.k.a. Young)
Do you have a nickname? Young If yes, what is it and how did you come to have it? My classmates in my UK boarding school couldn’t pronounce my Chinese name Yoong, so I became Young.
What species are you? Human (Human, werewolf, etc? Or are you an alien?) I know you have some special gifts that aren’t entirely human.

Where/when were you born? I was born in 1953 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Malaya at the time of my birth. Now it is Malaysia after it obtained its independence from the British Empire).
Okay, now...do you believe that you are good or bad or are those terms not definable? Not definable.
Part II: Tell Us More About Yourself...
How would you describe your persona…

A Harem Boy's Saga Part I

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Out of Control Characters welcomes Bernard Foong, AKA: Young, for a 3 part posting about his series: A Harem Boy’s Saga. This is a unique look at his experiences as a young man growing up within a secret society, told in a tender way as he explores his sexuality. 
A Harem Boy Saga; A Memoir. Book 1 - INITIATION.
This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.
Author’s note:I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia, where I was known as a "sissy boy." Following in my brothers' footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine …