Friday, February 24, 2017

Putting Away my Phone & Other Things


By Tracy Bryan


About two years ago I was sitting in a restaurant with my family and I had one of those inspiring writer epiphanies. You know when something inside you triggers and you’re prompted to write about it because it has new meaning to you? This was mine. 

We had just finished ordering and as I was about to reach for my phone, I glimpsed around the room and I noticed that so many other people were fidgeting with their phones too. It was at that exact moment that I realized that this story needs to be told. This could be a great picture book.

This was not the first time lately that I had seen a group of people socializing while on their smartphones. My family alone had all become accustomed to doing this and we were doing it more frequently.

What was this phenomenon with smartphone behavior and why was I just noticing it? 


So what’s the harm? Based on the research I did, my opinion is that it’s not so much that smartphones are harmful, but It’s more that when not used in balance, smartphones can become somewhat addictive.

Our fast-paced contemporary world depends on technology. In order to function more efficiently, I think we need our phones and other devices in our everyday lives for communication, education, and innovation. Most people come to rely on this valuable technology for essential work and leisure related activities and it’s difficult to imagine a world without it. 


 We continue to spend a huge amount of time using our technological devices and a study done by Deloitte in 2015 reports that, “On average, people in the United States across all age groups check their phones 46 times per day, according to Deloitte. That’s up from 33 looks per day in 2014.”

The good news is that awareness about smartphone use is growing more widespread.

With regards to personal development, family values, and social behavior, how will this growing issue relate to the next generation of adults and children? For kids, seeing everyone glued to their devices must create little space for basic interaction with the important people in their life. 

I’m personally curious to see how these figures will affect the children of the future and their families. How do contemporary kids feel about excessive smartphone use?

Meet Emma…she’s the main character in my newly released picture book called Put Away Your Phone! Emma is the voice of kids and frustrated adults everywhere. She’s a hero in a little girl's body. Instead of a cape, she wears red overalls. She is smart, clever, humorous and just a little bit too impatient!

Join Emma in Put Away Your Phone! as she counts her way through the zoo and help her shout PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE! to all the grown-ups she sees.

Emma’s message is a relevant one that we can all pay more attention to. As our world becomes increasingly more reliant on technological devices, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a time for smartphones and a time to connect with the people (and animals) in your life!
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Tracy Bryan is an award-winning Indie author. She writes whimsical books for kids ages 4-12. She just released her debut fiction picture book called Put Away Your Phone! with illustrator David Barrow. They are currently working on their next book together called Too Many Things! due to be out early 2017! Tracy writes a monthly personal Blog for adults on her website and one for kids aged 6-12 called The Awesomeness Blog. Follow her on Facebook , Twitter , Goodreads & AmazonTo learn more about Tracy or contact her, please email tracy@tracybryan.com or visit her website tracybryan.com


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Peeking Over Your Neighbors Fence


By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine


If you are like most Americans there is a good chance you live in a subdivision or neighborhood where neighbors are close at hand and fences divide your yards and provide your privacy. I’m no different. I have great neighbors but do appreciate our fences. As they say good fences make good neighbors.

We do get curious about what is going on in our neighbor’s back yards and will on occasion take a peek over the fence. I sometimes look through the cracks or knot holes that have popped out. Now this isn’t something we hide from each other. We do talk to each other by climbing up on the fence or will even put a ladder against the fence to get a better look. 

We admire our gardens, lawns, flowers and especially the smoke rising from the BBQ. We share gardening and lawn tips and recipes for outdoor cookouts. As divisive as the privacy fence may appear, and it can be, we openly look beyond it and happily share with our neighbors. As a matter of fact there is a sense of pride in being asked about our backyard success. There is also a great deal of wisdom shared and gathered from the peeking across the fence visits.        

Southern Writers Magazine is what I call the ultimate peek over your neighbor’s fence. Your author neighbors are similar to my own. They are happy to see you looking over the fence or through the cracks and knot holes. They do the same. They share their wisdom and seek yours. Each author has a sense of pride in their back yard a sense of pride in sharing with others. They, like us, want their yard as well as their neighbor’s yard to look great. It makes for a better neighborhood and community.

If you had been following Southern Writers Magazine since its first issue you would have taken a peek over the fence of 1,032 author neighbors. Each having a story of their own and each allowing you to peek into their backyard. They know they achieved a great back yard by peeking over their neighbor’s fence and are happy to share with the next neighbor over.


If you have missed taking a peek you can start today. You simply go to our subscription site    http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/subscribe.html  and subscribe. Whether a reader and want a look inside your favorite author’s way to write or an author and looking for ideas that will help you along the way you will enjoy each issue. So take some time and take a peek. You won’t regret it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WRITING IS A BUSINESS


By Catherine Brakefield


A well-written book should inspire your imagination.

I shall never forget when I read about Helen Keller. I remember thinking, “I want to write so descriptively that a woman like Helen Keller who has never seen the sunset, heard the laughter of a child, or smelled the lusty scents of horses, will have no problem experiencing it through my words.”
I use descriptive scenes in my novels because I want my readers to be immersed into my settings, swept away into that time period, and to enjoy stepping into the role of my hero or heroine. This is so important to me that in my recent novel, Wilted Dandelions, I took a road trip out west just to make sure my scenes accurately depicted the landscape of my story.

But I often get too caught up in my characters and settings and forget that writing is a business. In “How Much Do you Know About your Target Audience, author and writing coach Debra Butterfield writes “People read to meet a need in their life.” Butterfield does a great job in describing how the author must be very familiar with their target audience and how this steers their writing.

I steer my writing toward saved and unsaved women between mid-twenties to seventy years old. In the past, I wrote editorial articles for local newspapers and magazines. I have also written some history books, and I find that most of my readers are historically curious and romantically inspired by my novels. But men and young adults have expressed their appreciation for my novels as well. 

Here comes the hard work. How do you get that great book of yours into your unknowing readers’ hands and into their hearts?

In Emma Siemasko’s article dated February 17, 2011, “15 Ways to Let the World Know About Your Awesome Business,” she says “When our founders started Grasshopper, they were intent on using natural and transparent ways to get the word out. Their goal was (and still is) to get people gabbing about what we do. If they’re happy with our product, they’ll tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on and so forth.”

Research shows that your time has become more valuable than money. I agree. Monetary pleasures will fall by the way side. Watching my parents I realized that the older we become, the more our memories become cherished commodities. Not that couch or bookcase you bought ten years ago. Ah, but your family, good songs and good books that memory remains with you…

That is why when your novel is complete, your real work begins. Fine tune the essence of your book into one sentence and be ready to stimulate your potential reader into the imagination of words. Once you get your book out there, the next step is, as Siemasko says, “To get people gabbing” about your book.

One of the best ways to get the word out about a product and about your book is through positive reviews. Siemasko says her research shows that an army of fans can out do anything a fancy PR firm can do for a favorite author. If you like a book you need to say so to your friends and social media. The best advertising is word of mouth.

Get your book in front of the right people. If you have written a children’s book, visit day cares, parent’s groups, elementary schools, and other places where your target market is likely to be. Faith-based historical romances often find their niche in libraries and women’s and church groups. Self-help and inspirational books do well with self-help church groups, YWCA groups, and adult educational groups. 

Love, life, and the legacy of words, whether you expertise is intrigue, history, romance, insight, or inspiration, a thought provoking story should encourage, up-lift the heart, and carry the reader through their trials, providing biblical wisdom for life’s decisions.

Writing is a business, and no one can sell your product better than you. Be friendly, be assessable, and be excited. You’ve created a great book, now go out and tell the world!
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Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing! Catherine Brakefield is the author of three faith-based historical romances; The Wind of Destiny, Wilted Dandelions, and the first of a four book Destiny series, Swept into Destiny scheduled for release in May 2017. She has also written two Pictorial history books: Images of AmericaThe Lapeer Area, and Images of AmericaEastern Lapeer County. Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker BooksRevell, The Dog Next Door and Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today. She enjoys swimming and horseback riding and lives in Addison Township with her husband, Edward, and their Arabian horses. Now that her children are grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and a lovely granddaughter! See www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com for more information
Her author Facebook page is www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield To purchase Wilted Dandelions and book promotions visit www.CrossRiverMedia.com 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

That Oscar Feeling!



by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine


For my money, there is no greater example of artistic collaboration than movies.  Where else do writing, music, acting, directing, choreography, cinematography, set design, editing, etc all come together as one? The exhaustive list of credits at the end of any feature film catalogs hundreds and sometimes thousands of people who all contributed to the project in a significant way.

Of course, it all begins with a story.  When the Academy Award nominations are announced each year, it's an interesting exercise to look into the written origins of each Best Picture nominee.  In alphabetical order, here are the ones that made the grade for the February 26, 2017 telecast:

http://amzn.to/2kPBKA1
ARRIVAL
This Sci-Fi flick, starring Amy Adams as an interpreter commissioned to decode alien communications, was based on a 2010 short story called Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. One reviewer, noting significant differences between the film and the original story, made the insightful observation that it's like two friends telling you about the same event from their individual viewpoints.

FENCES
In 1950s Pittsburgh, an ex-con blames discrimination for his failures and alienates his family through stubbornness and drinking. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reprise their roles from the Pulitzer Prize winning play Fences by August Wilson.

HACKSAW RIDGE
This WWII tale about a combat medic who refuses to carry a gun because of his religious convictions but earns the Medal of Honor is based on real-life hero Desmond Doss. A 2004 documentary film called The Conscientious Objector and a 1960s biography, The Unlikeliest Hero, led Mel Gibson to put the story on the silver screen.

HELL OR HIGH WATER
Jeff Bridges plays an about-to-retire Texas ranger working his last case, tracking bank robbers. This original script was one of the "most-liked screenplays yet to be produced" in a 2012 survey known as The Black List. Published every December, this list has been influential in getting other Oscar picks produced, including recent Best Picture winners Argo, The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, and last year's top dog, Spotlight.

HIDDEN FIGURES
NASA's first female mathematicians and America's early victories in space add up to an out-of-this-world history lesson in this movie based on Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. She began research and writing in 2010 and sold the film rights before the book was published this year. Some liberties were taken in the movie for dramatic purposes, including portraying astronaut John Glenn as a much younger man than he actually was at the time.

LA LA LAND
This acclaimed musical romantic comedy/drama was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, whose Whiplash also caught the eye of the Academy two years ago. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling carry this well-told tale of an actress and a musician trying to make it in Tinsel Town. While completely original, it draws its inspiration from the spirit of every Hollywood musical, romance, comedy, and drama Chazelle pays affectionate homage to.

LION
Based on Saroo Brierley's memoir A Long Way Home, one challenge the filmmakers had was to adapt the bookwhich primarily focused on online researchinto a dramatic chronicle of a lost Indian boy who doesn't know where he's from when he falls asleep and wakes up in Australia.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
A handyman's past comes back to haunt him in this original screenplay written by its director, Kenneth Lonergan, who also wrote a polar-opposite The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000). It's total fiction, but there is a town called Manchester-by-the-Sea in Massachusetts, where this atmospheric film was shot.

MOONLIGHT
The struggles of a bullied child begin a raw portrayal of three stages of his life, with lots of drugs and sex. This is based on a semi-autobiographical play called In Moonlight Black Boys Looks Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

So, of the nine Best Picture nominees this year, four began as books, two were stage plays, and three were original screenplays. As you watch any of these movies, and as you cheer on your favorites this Sunday on ABC, I hope you'll feel a sense of pride as the whole world honors the magic of storytelling, which always begins with a storyteller.

I also hope you'll enjoy my tongue-in-cheek musical tribute to this year's Best Picture nominees. As a writing challenge, I find it a fun project each February to turn one of the Best Song nominees into a parody that fits the flicks. Pass the popcorn! bit.ly/OscarsParody2017




Monday, February 20, 2017

Plan Your Writing Ideas for 2017


By Maritza Martinez Mejia


Are you organized? What is your plan for the New Year and the rest of the year? I have some ideas that may help you find the right path for a successful beginning.  Step by step you reach far. Go ahead! Have a productive 2017.

1.    Use Dream Boards, also called Vision Boards to remind you the path you desire to follow, and the goals you hope to achieve during the upcoming year using the power of images.  For detailed information visit here.

2.   Planners or Calendars to mark important due dates, meetings, anniversaries, birthdays or any important days you don’t want to miss. There a vast variety of calendars and planners. Which one is your best planner or calendar? I frankly use the calendar I received at the New Year’s Mass at my local church. I use it as MASTER CALENDAR. I mark all my children’s important school days and activities in black pen. I use blue pen for my working days as substitute teacher and purple for my book signing or book exhibitions. Finally, I use a red pen for important family activities or medical appointments. I happily use green for our TRIPS.

3.   Monthly Check List for a simple way to mark important dates in a list by month. After the task is done, you cross it off the list with a red pen or your favorite color pen. For me, the satisfaction of completing a task is unique.

No matter the style you use, it is important to get organized and set goals to achieve success. 

Make your dreams and turn them into goals to 2017. What is your planning style?
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Maritza Martinez Mejia a bilingual substitute teacher born in Colombia lives in Florida with her husband and their two teenagers. For her active participation and service to the community, she is the recipient of the "Crystal Apple Award 2006." Maritza published her memoir "Hazel Eyes" (2010), "Vanilla and Chocolate" (2012), "Grandma's Treasure" (2014), "Poems, Thoughts and More" (2015), by WRB Publishing and  Ojos Avellana (2016) by Entre Lineas. She won the FAU Treasure Coast Poetry Contest Spring 2010, Virtue Christian Book Awards for Best Poetry 2015 and Latino Book Awards 2016 for BEST Translation and EBook. Both Bilingual Children Books received a FIVE Stars Seal Review by Reader's Favorite. Maritza obtained a Bachelor's degree in Humanities with a Certificate in Women's Studies from Florida Atlantic University. She graduated from Universidad Mayor de Cundinamarca in Commerce and Foreign Language. She translated into Spanish "Temporary Permanence" by Yashi Nozawa, "The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid" by Janet Balletta, and "Hazel Eyes" as "Ojos Avellana." Maritza writes to inspire others to be good. 
Author page: www.amazon.com/-/e/B009DKDXFW  Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Friday, February 17, 2017

TELL YOUR STORY


By Janetta Fudge-Messmer


We’ve all heard the saying, “The Lord works in mysterious ways”. In my case, He directed me on a path I could never have imagined, and blessed me beyond measure.

Almost two years ago I had the privilege of spending a month with my mom after she transitioned into the nursing home. One day I started to ask her questions about her life. Each evening I’d go back to her home and type out what she’d shared with me that day. In the end, I had thirty-five pages of “Mom’s Story.” Later that year, I compiled it into a book (with photos) and ent it to my siblings. They loved it.

Also, while visiting Mom, I put the finishing touches on the novel I started the year before. I tell people that Early Birds is loosely based on my husband and my life. Our dog told us to quit our jobs, sell everything, buy an RV, and get on the road. (I’m happy to report we took Maggie’s advice and have traveled for over three years now.)

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see a correlation with us hitting the highways and my mom’s story. But the Lord sure had a plan. A few months after Winged Publications published my debut novel, my hubby came up with a grand idea. We could sell my RV-inspired novel at RV rallies.

He called different RV groups and the state directors at the rallies wanted me to set up a booth and sell my book at them. Some even suggested I do a seminar, along with selling my book. I said, “Sure”, but didn’t have a clue what I’d talk about. Then I remembered “Mom’s Story”.

She had a story to tell and it was if the Lord was telling me, “Other people do too.” At my first seminar I shared my mother’s story and gave them questions to jumpstart their own writing. I also used my novel as an example of more ideas they could write about (friends, adventures, trials and tribulations, etc.).

It’s funny how two unrelated events ended up going hand in hand.  I’m learning so much on this writing/marketing journey, especially how much the Lord directs our paths when we let Him.

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your path; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4
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Janetta Fudge-Messmer is an inspirational author, speaker and editor. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and spent seven years as a speaker with Toastmasters International. Her first novel, Early Birds, was published January 2016. The sequel, Southbound Birds, followed in October 2016. Her newest novel, Chords of Love, is in a compilation with four other authors entitled My Secret Love.  Janetta’s past publications include a fiction article, A Working Relationship, published in Guideposts Magazine. Guideposts Books published, "Shorthaired Miracle”. She resides in Florida, or wherever the wind blows, with her husband of 35 years and their precious pooch Maggie. The three of them became full-time RVers in 2013 and enjoy traveling around the USA in their Minnie Winnie. All of Janetta’s novels are available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/rd0X4T  Website: http://janettafudgemessmer.com/ Blog: http://www.nettie-fudges-world.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetta.fudge.messmer Twitter: https://twitter.com/nettiefudge

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Authors Can Hoot About Managing Their Social Media


By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director of Southern Writers Magazine

We all know how much time just Facebook takes to get the word out about your books and author events. Some days it feels like Alice falling down the rabbit hole when you try to manage your social media. 
There are multiple social media management tools to help an author manage social media promotion. One of them is Hootsuite. Choose the free option to see how it works for your needs. You can manage many different social media venues. With Hootsuite you can manage post updates, connect with your fan base, and review responses on more than thirty-five popular social networks, such as:
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn (including Pages, Profiles, and Groups)
  • Foursquare
  • Facebook (including Events, Groups, Profiles, and Fan Pages)
  • Google+
  • WordPress blogs
It also connects you to several other platforms using third party apps. These include:
  • Vimeo
  • Via.me
  • Instagram
  • Evernote
  • MailChimp
  • Storify
  • Edocr
  • Slideshare
  • Flickr
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Get Satisfaction, among others
You can even add more than one of the same network. You can manage multiple Twitter channels, or Facebook pages, post to multiple venues at the same time or schedule for future dates. Be aware of the types of followers you have on each social media site. Facebook may be different than your YouTube followers. Instagram is photo driven, and Twitter is #hashtag driven and limits post to 140 characters. Facebook allows longer posts with photos and videos. A word of caution: if a post is too lengthy on Facebook people, may not wade through the post. 
Hootsuite can be valuable to promoting you as an author. Penguin Random House has an excellent article on how Hootsuite can be of benefit to cut your time to manage your social media. It includes a quick YouTube to walk you through HootSuite.  
Hoot out if you use Hootsuite or give it a try let us know what you think. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Spell of Historical Fiction


By Murray Andrew Pura


Murray Pura’s “Beautiful Skin”, published by MillerWords out of Mount Dora, Florida, is a World War II Romance based somewhat on his family’s real-life experiences. He shares with us his thoughts on how to write compelling historical fiction, or as he says, how to weave the “spell”.

People that read historical fiction primarily want two things: they want to be entertained (something common to every reader) and they want to be educated (something that is not common to every reader). Moreover, they want the education aspect to be pleasant and painless. Many of them avoid the reading of history books because they find them dull. They want their history to be as exciting as an action film with lots of layers of plot and character development and intrigue and romance. The writer of historical fiction is expected to deliver if he and she want to have a growing fan base and better than average sales.

So the entertainment part is a given for any genre of fiction: offer up characters the reader soon begins to care about, create an intriguing plot with plenty of subplots and dramatic twists and turns, and bring about a conclusion that satisfies, even if the tears are flowing.   

The education part is trickier. Historical fiction fans want to feel like time travelers. They are excited about living in the past, not just reading about it. They want to feel as if they are really there: the clothing, the cooking, the houses, and the ways of getting around (whether by Model A Ford or by chariot) have to feel like the real thing. Every aspect of the story needs to be authentic. They don’t want to find out that the author got the airplanes wrong, or the firearms, or the dresses, or the dialects, or the politics.

Another part of the fun is truly being in the past, so far as the imagination goes, and finding out what you would have done if you really had lived during that era and experienced a dramatic turning point in history (Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Saratoga in the American Revolution, the rule of Henry VIII, the fall of the Roman Empire). So readers need to be able to identify with some of the main characters and some of the lesser characters too as, along with them, they make decisions that not only affect their personal destinies but the destinies of nations. This means that, coupled with meticulous research into the historical era represented in the story, the author must possess the skills to make history live, and make it so personal the reader is there, is feeling the tension and the pain and the wonder, and believes their actions make a difference to the fate of thousands, if not millions.

That’s a big part of the draw and the thrill of historical fiction: hearts really beat, lips really touch, blood really flows . . .  the fictional world is real . . . history comes alive in human skin and emotions and spirit . . . and the reader is a part of it, making history happen. This is the reality the writer must pursue with his research; this is the I-am-there feeling the author must bring to pass with the power of her story and the power of the words she weaves.
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Murray Andrew Pura is the author of more than a dozen novels, two collections of short stories, and several non-fiction titles including the Zondervan books Rooted and Streams, as well as the Baker devotional Majestic & Wild. Born in Canada, he is a recent transplant to New Mexico. His first novel was released in Toronto in 1988 and was a finalist for the Dartmouth Book Award. Pura has been a finalist for several awards in the US and Canada, including the $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award for his novel Zo. In 2012, Pura won the Word Award of Toronto for Best Historical Novel for The White Birds of Morning. Connect with the author on Facebook. MillerWords is a Florida based independent publisher of positive and inspirational books for all ages that can be found online at www.MillerWords.com or on Facebook at FB.com/MillerWords.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Writer’s Conference––Should I Go or Not?


By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine 


Do you ever wonder why you should go to a writer’s conference?

Do you come up with reasons to go or not to go?

If you asked that question to a room full of writers, you would likely get an equal amount of reasons for both––go or not go.



The top reasons people give to not go are:
Cost too much money.
Don’t have the time.
Too much to do.
Don’t want to travel far.
Don’t know anyone there.

The top reasons people give to go are:
To meet other writers.
Learn more about the craft of writing.
Make new friends.
Meet agents and editors.
Get inspired.

You may not be able to attend every conference but you can choose one conference for the year. 

Perhaps one that is closer to your home. Less expensive than some; determine your priorities at work and home and complete them freeing up time you need away. There are plenty of conferences that are just on the weekends, two days.

Create a mindset to look forward to meeting new friends who have the same interest as you. These friendships are precious gems that last a lifetime.

Above all, look at the reasons you give, and make sure they aren’t excuses.

After all, there are conferences just about all year. Enjoy your conference!



Monday, February 13, 2017

Writing Powerful Dialogue




One of the things that originally drew me to classic Southern fiction was its compelling dialogue. From Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire, we’ll never forget broken Blanche DuBois’ pitiful “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” nor even Stanley Kowalski’s simple, desperate “Stella!” In Faulkner’s great Absalom, Absalom!, Charles Bon’s “—So it’s the miscegenation, not the incest, which you can’t bear” reveals in one sentence the novel’s social themes with authority.

In my interview on LA Talk Radio’s “The Writer’s Block,”  hosts Jim Christina and Bobbi Bell asked how I created such powerful dialogue in my antebellum South thriller, The Lies That Bind: DarkHorseTrilogy, Book 1. Frankly, my reply to them wasn’t very revealing, and I’ve thought about what I should have said ever since. So, expiating my sin of omission, here are some keys to writing memorable dialogue.

Characters with Strong Points of View
If you have strong, intelligent characters with strong points of view—obsessions are especially excellent—they’ll tell you, the writer, what they want to say. All you’ve got to do is transcribe their words. I generally find my characters telling me what they desperately need to express in a scene I’m working on when I wake up in the morning, when taking a shower, or even exercising. These often prove to be the best lines in the book.

For example, in The Lies That Bind, the wealthy Missus French runs the town, but because of her traumatic past with men, she is now a recluse who disdains people. So when her heir, Devereau, cajoles her to make her [dreaded] annual Easter pilgrimage to the church in town, she reveals her complete estrangement from society and its institutions with: “I don’t see why I have to go to church simply because That Man rose from the dead.”

Limitations Lead to Irony/Humor
Novels also contain dialogue that, because the reader has superior position, makes the character’s misstatements ironic, humorous, and fraught with meaning. In Faulkner’s masterpiece, Absalom, Absalom!, Wash Jones’ never-say-die exclamation about the Southern war effort, “They kilt us…but they ain’t whupped us yit, air they?” is unforgettable. In my novel, minor character Ellen is a young innocent who believes she is being guided by God to free all the slaves in town, so she secretly sews a ridiculous gown she believes is seductive. When her naive scheme takes her unannounced into Devereau French’s bedroom, revealing the terrified Devereau’s most awkward secret, Ellen is so confused and self-conscious, all she can say is, “Don’t you never tell nobody you seen me wearing this”—which readers often quote to me.

When you write a novel, you live intimately with your characters for a long time. If you listen closely to their needs and desires, they’ll write some unforgettable dialogue for you. But be sure you quote them accurately and honestly—it’s only fair :)
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Ed Protzel has the unique perspective of a mixed-heritage Jew-Cherokee, who lived for a time in an orphanage and later as a teen runaway, gives Ed Protzel special insights into characters that are outsiders, men and women on lonely quests seeking justice, love, and fulfillment against society’s blindness. The Lies That Bind, a darkly ironic antebellum South thriller, is the first book in Ed’s DarkHorse Trilogy. Ed has also written five original screenplays for feature film and developed scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. Ed earned his master’s degrees in English literature/creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and his bachelor’s in English at the University of Hawaii. Ed had a dual career for over twenty years, working as an investments advisory manager for Fortune 100 firms, while writing screenplays and novels. Ed’s expertise as a novelist and screenwriter is in the American tragicomedy movement (Faulkner, Twain, Tennessee Williams, Flannery O’Connor), science fiction, Shakespeare, and a variety of historical periods, including World War II, the American Civil War, and Fourteenth Century Europe. The final two books in his DarkHorse Trilogy include many of the same major characters as the original: Honor Among Outcasts, set in Missouri during the Civil War (2017), and Something in Madness, set in the 1880s (2018). Ed is married and lives in St. Louis, where he writes full time and teaches college English as an adjunct. His social media links are website: http://www.edprotzel.com/
Ed Protzel blog: http://www.edprotzel.com/blog/ Facebook   Twitter  Goodreads