Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reader Tease and NA Thursday

I attended a writer's group at the local bookstore this past weekend, and the speaker was Joyce Sweeney. She's a published author and writing coach, and I've heard her speak before and appreciated her advice.

Here's what she said this past Saturday about teasing the reader:

"Dance with the reader to lure them in. Don't hand them the conflict, tease them by building the tension and escalating the conflict."

It made me really think about the structure in my novels. Am I too easy and obvious? Or am I trusting the reader will pick up on subtle clues? It's a great thing to think about.

I'll share more of what she said next week. But for now, let's see what's happening for NA Thursday:




Trying to piece together the events surrounding Brody’s death proves to be a daunting task, but Harley can’t give up. Brody won’t let her. He is still in the apartment with her, trapped in limbo until she finds his killer.

But he’s not waiting for revenge.

Harley’s next.
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.


Perfect selection for Halloween, right??  You can enter to win a copy by clicking RIGHT HERE.   (Be sure to enter the code JAPK) 

Next up is the cover reveal for ...


After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she's spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she's betrayed by those she trusts, everything crumbles. Shoving everything she owns into the trunk of her car, Maddie drives south, trying to run from her past.
Eno, North Carolina seems like the perfect place to hide. Working at a local café is light years from Maddie's Manhattan existence and for the first time in a while, she's finding her family. There's Grandma, the café owner; Samantha, the hairstylist next door with plans to make Maddie's life unsuck and Noie, the three year old girl who's stolen Maddie's heart.
And then there’s Gabriel Mendez, Noie’s single dad. He’s intrigued Maddie since the first time she met him, and while he has his own secrets, he wants more from her than just friendship. But the past never stays past, and all too soon, Maddie realizes she can't hide from hers. If she can't put the pieces of her shattered life together this time, she'll have no hope for a future.
A future she desperately wants.

KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. 
She spends way too much time on Twitter, and rambles on occasion over at www.kkhendinwrites.blogspot.com.

Enter to win a copy by clicking RIGHT HERE

Now, for my next childhood memory ...

I grew up on a lake, and sometimes my mom or dad would wake me up at dawn and we'd head out in the canoe to fish. I remember the first time I caught my own fish: Two brim that were big enough to eat. I was with my mom, and when we got back to shore, I held those two brim up on their stringer for my dad to see. I was so proud. He cleaned them and we had fish for dinner! I don't think it was much, but it was my first kill. I had to eat the heart and everything. ;) Just teasing. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, and my son caught his first fish in the same lake. Matter of fact, the other day he caught a nice bass that my dad cleaned and cooked, and the whole family feasted on with hush puppies, baked beans, and grits. Nothing better than freshly caught fish!!

Thanks for stopping by! Is there a memory from your childhood you'd like to share? Do you tease your reader? Do you like to fish? Please share ...  

21 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

Meh, if you tease the reader they'll complain it's boring. If you're too obvious they'll complain it's too simple. So basically no matter what you do someone will complain about it so just do what you want to do.

DAVID WALSTON said...

Nice fishing story.
I always went with my grandpa fishing in a aluminum boat with cane poles. I don't remember catching much, but I do remember enjoying listening to his stories.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I love the cover of Heart Breaths!

I love it when a writer teases me. I hate being spoon fed. High fives to Joyce!

Nick Wilford said...

Like Pat said, it's hard because I try and be subtle but you can go too far, because I'll reveal something and CPs will go "where did that come from?!" Lol. I look forward to the rest of Joyce's advice!

Andrew Leon said...

Actually, I pretty much agree with what Pat said.

Romance Reader said...

She fished too? Awesome!

Nas

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I had so much fun fishing with my brother and father growing up. One of my favorite pictures of my oldest son is him holding up his first catch.
Sounds like a very worthwhile writing event you attended.

William Kendall said...

I like the covers for both books.

And I like Joyce's thoughts!

Mark Means said...

Hmm....I think I might need to work on my subtlety, though I was never, really, a good dancer :)

SA Larsenッ said...

Ooh, gosh. Howell's book is surely perfect for this time of year. I'm going to go check it out now. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, PK,
I had a workshop coach who used to say we were to trust our readers and to write with the view that they are more intelligent than us. No spoon-feeding, he'd say.

Possess sounds like a whole lot of spookiness.

Emily R. King said...

Eating fresh fish. Yum! That is a wonderful memory!

And these NA titles sound great. Congrats to K.K. on her beautiful cover!

Siv Ottem said...

Good advice. I love the tango---Yes I am a teaser. I remember fishing with my grandpa at mudlake for sunfish. I could sit on that dock all day, waiting for that bobber in the water to sink :)

Deb Stone said...

Brim, hushpuppies, grits - foods that are alien to me. (I know what grits are but I've never tried them.) I'm going to Google the other two right now. :)

redcatdance said...

My grandfather would go smelting with his friends in the spring. Smelts are like sardines, about 5" long and bright silver in colour. They run in schools and smelting consisted of dropping baskets into the water and filling them up with the fish and hauling them out of the water. Baskets overflowing with smelts would come home and my grandmother would clean, bread and fry them. I remember seeing them piled high on plates, but I don't remember eating them, though I must have.

I envy your childhood growing up beside a lake! I hope to one day live beside one. That would be a dream come true.

Yolanda Renee said...

The first time I ate freshly caught fish was in Alaska on a hiking trip in the Alaska Range. It was the best meal ever! After hiking all day and then fishing for our food and cooking it over an open fire = heaven!
Great memory - although not from my childhood - your story triggered it!

jamieayres.com said...

I LOVE to fish . . . but really only do so when we visit my dad in Michigan :-)

Lexa Cain said...

That POSSESS cover is freaky! It's scary - but I love scary! K.K.'s cover is great, too. Sort of a sad, summery feel to it.

How lovely that you can still return to the house of your childhood and share the good things with your son. Have a great week, PK! :-)

Amanda M. Darling said...

What a wonderful experience for you and your son -- to share moments in both your childhoods. I'm certain that him catching his first fish was as exciting for you as it was for him.

E.J. Wesley said...

Saw K.K.'s cover for the 1st time at the chat this week... loved it!

J.A.'s cover and blurb are also fantastic. Spooky sounding! We need more of those stories in NA. :)

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

When you tease, though, you have to worry about if you're being TOO subtle.
It really depends on the genre as to what's OK for the readers.