Tag Archives: Writing

Welcome Author Kenneth Hoss

Today I am thrilled to have author Kenneth Hoss here to talk a little about his latest release.

Manhattan at sunsetWhen a murder investigation turns Detective Kelli Storm’s attention to a drug kingpin, the last thing she expected was to find a link to her father’s killer from twenty years earlier.
The Washington Height’s neighborhood has turned deadly for NYPD detectives Kelli Storm and Bill Hayes. A young woman is murdered and Kelli tracks the killer to a Gentleman’s Club in Manhattan. After an unwilling witness is assaulted and left dying, Kelli and Bill turn their investigation in a new and more dangerous direction. When the DEA steps in and takes over, Kelli is forced off the case.
Working behind the scenes, she pulls out one of her father’s old case files and starts making connections she never would have dreamed possible. An old gun, new witnesses and danger lurking in the shadows have storms rising all over New York City.

A few things about Storm Rising (A Kelli Storm Novel Book 1)
Storm Rising, the first book in a four book series is set in the 33rd Precinct of the NYPD, Washington Heights. I chose this Precinct because Kelli’s father worked out of the 34th, which at the time was the only precinct for all of Washington Heights. Kelli wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a cop, or more precisely, a detective. Her assignment to the 33rd was just sheer luck of the draw.
Basing my books on an actual police department, and especially one as prestigious as the NYPD made it a little more difficult to say the least. Not only did I have to create Kelli’s world, I had to adhere to actual department procedures and terminology. For instance, did you know that the NYPD is the only department to use the term forthwith? For example, if an officer is shot, his or her partner would get on the radio and call for assistance. It might go something like this: “This is Officer Jones, badge number 12345, requesting an 85 forthwith to my location for a 10-13, officer down.”
Another thing that I have found that confuses some people, or at least they have told me they didn’t know what I meant when I put it in my books is the abbreviation RMP. No, it doesn’t stand for Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is RCMP. An RMP is what most people would call a patrol car, except that the NYPD refers to them as a Radio Motor Patrol. Makes sense now, doesn’t it?
Along with the terminology, I also had to know department policies such as what happens after an officer involved shooting, what firearms they are allowed to carry both on and off-duty, and a myriad of other things. Some would think it too tedious or troublesome to delve so deep into the rules and regulations of a department as big as the NYPD. Actually, it was quite enlightening and far from tedious. It also helped that I had the assistance of a former NYPD police officer to aid me in my research.
All in all, it is the research and a desire to make the book not only entertaining, but factually accurate that makes it what it is. Of course, creating all of this around one kickass detective made it so much easier.
Storm Rising (A Kelli Storm Novel Book 1) is now available in eBook format from the following retailers: Paperback version coming soon.

Amazon

iTunes

Nook

GooglePlay

Kobo

Excerpt:

She exited onto McLean and got into the left turn lane, waiting for the light. Glancing in her rearview, she noticed a black SUV a few cars back. It was a black SUV that pulled in behind Bill and Sherry and shot up their car. The light changed and Kelli made her turn.
The SUV followed and sped up, moving into the right lane and passing the other cars. The light changed and Kelli sped up. The SUV picked up speed and ran the red, causing two other cars to collide.
Traffic forced her to slow down and the SUV pulled in behind her. Her heart raced, and so did her mind. There were too many people on the streets, and innocent civilians could get hurt.
She made a quick right and punched the accelerator. The vehicle followed, squealing its tires as it made the turn. Kelli raced past the houses, sounding her horn as she approached intersections. She knew exactly where to lead them—Tibbetts Brook Park. It would be closing soon, minimizing possible casualties.
Kelli checked her rearview and could see them closing. She glanced at the speedometer. The needle pushed fifty. She slowed, made a sharp right, and punched the accelerator. The SUV turned a few seconds later. She thought about calling Kevin, but couldn’t get to her phone.
Her destination was still several blocks away, and the driver of the SUV pushed it. Her next turn came up and she took it, tires screeching on the pavement. The SUV skidded into the turn and she pushed the gas pedal to the floor. Her next turn would be coming up soon.
They closed again, but she couldn’t let the driver catch up. She saw her turn ahead and pushed her car to its limits, topping sixty. She hit the brakes, slid into the turn, and punched it again.
She passed the high school track where the road began to curve, forcing her to slow. The SUV closed and rammed her from behind. Her car lurched forward, and she fought for control. There were still houses around, and she had to make it to the park.
She pressed her foot on the accelerator and the car leapt forward, leaving them behind. She crossed Midland Avenue and entered the park. The road took a sharp curve to the right and she took it wide, maintaining her speed.
They closed again and she wanted to put an end to the chase. She slammed on the brakes and spun the wheel to the right, spinning the car sideways and coming to a stop in the middle of the road. She jumped out, drew her Glock and took cover.
The SUV screeched to a stop and three men in masks jumped out, one with an AK-47, the other two with handguns. With the car as cover, she stood and took aim at the three men. “NYPD, drop your weapons.” The men advanced and fired. Kelli dropped to the ground while bullets pelted her car and showered her with glass.

Your Book. Your Business.

Hello!

I took a bit of time off as I caught up from my identity theft loss of time, but it’s time to put blogging back on the menu. Lol

 

We’ve been doing Your Book. Your Business. and it’s time to continue with that. It is your book. But, whether self published or with a publisher, you hopefully have an editor. Now, an editor is a sort of magical being in that they see things that we’re invisible to us no matter how many times we’ve been through it! However, Here are some quick things about editors at small publishing houses:

They usually do not have last say except in terms of house rules and grammar.

There are many types of editors. Content editors are there to strengthen the pacing, the words, and point out any obvious oops, like having your Italian friend all of sudden be from France sort of thing. Line editors are there to find the grammar and punctuation and help make your MS clean. Even though many content editors have a strong grasp of grammar and punctuation, you still want this line edit to happen. Copy editors are more in formatting and accuracy of text, not necessarily fact checking for fiction books, but in newspapers, they can and do. They are sort of a line editor of sorts.

They can help brainstorm, give you ideas, etc.

They can be your best friends.

They can help you keep your confidence.

They are not squeamish about marking up your manuscript—even if it’s worrisome to them how the author will take it.

They want you to succeed.

They make suggestions.

They’re usually quirky and believe absolutely in work they acquire in houses that allow them to acquire.

 

What they are not:

Your personal punching bags.

Your personal library.

Your research assistant.

Your mom.

Your babysitter.

Your janitor.

Your boss.

Perfect.

The last word on your manuscript. You are. Though in some big houses the editor may have more editorial control, in most small houses, they suggest.

Even if you personally pay for your editor, you do not want to treat them bad. You don’t want to burn that bridge or bad mouth them. Trust me, they’ll hear about it. Also, any editor who hears you totally bad mouthing another editor, will be leery of taking you on if they have any sense at all. Unless that editor took your money and never edited, I’d suggest discretion is valor.

If you aren’t meshing with your editor, hey, no shame on both parts. As head editor, I try to match up personalities as well as books, but you can’t always do that. It’s best to leave it at personalities don’t mesh, or that your weaknesses weren’t her strengths, etc. rather than bad mouthing.

Word gets around, and then you don’t have access to as many editors. The quality available to you will go down.

If your editor says, “Hey, look up the rules for this.” for whatever reason, don’t ignore, don’t half ass it. You may think your editor is overreacting, but I can tell you from personal experience, that though there are sometimes they just don’t know, most of the time, they are right. Or at least, they are right to have you double checking your facts. If they say, the reader needs more/less of something, look into WHY the editor thinks this. As an author, there’s a knee jerk reaction to say, “Not my baby!” and be mutinously stubborn in changes. Let that feeling pass and move on.

If you don’t, you will have readers who say you’re full of it, that you don’t know squat. Like having ice caves in the wrong city/town/state, or not having the BIA in charge of serious things on the reservation instead of state police, or having a native tribe of Arizona be from Washington. Seriously, if your editor says, research this, double check that fact, do it. Period. Even if you’re right, and say you prove yourself right, what did it really hurt? In fact, it could inspire a blog post.

I’m an editor and an author. I’ve had it happen to me both ways…having an editor mark something I didn’t know how to change so didn’t, and having an editor mark something wrong that I knew was right as it pertained to the reservation and the laws involved that the editor had no clue about. Trust me, do your due diligence. Make sure of your facts before bucking your editor. It’s just safer that way.

The thing is, though it is your book, the editor is a reader too. If they’re confused/hung up on something, there’s a good chance your readers will be too. If they’re saying feels a bit slow, then pick up the pace.

Whatever you do, do NOT be a jerk, publically or in emails, to your editor. Do not call them names, rant about what they’re doing, etc. Seriously, you can dislike an edit, and even disagree with things, but do not become unprofessional.

Which brings up, you don’t have to agree with your editor. You can disagree. Just explain why. Don’t ignore them, try to hide their changes, reject without reason. Explain. That will give the editor a chance to explain as well. Dialogue is so important in this stage. You have to trust your editor, but your editor has to trust you. If she can’t trust you to follow directions and communicate, you will get the minimal edits, at least, more likely, but you may not get an acceptance for the next book. The feeling being, why edit what will be ignored? Why deal with someone who bad mouths? Who won’t work with me? Why waste my time?

Editing and publishing is a very subjective business. Especially if your editor is the acquiring editor, don’t make them your enemy. Don’t make them not want to work with you.

If you do have issues, say, it’s been six months in line editing, be professional and respectful in your inquiries. They may be in the wrong, but perhaps it’s a human failing, or perhaps, it was a change. Either way, being respectful will keep you from being blackballed or other bad things happening.

Editors are there to help you shine. Listen to them, communicate with them, work with them, and you’ll have the best story possible.

After all, it’s Your Book. Your business. Don’t mess it up.

 

Changes Are Great

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your life is make a drastic change. Due to disagreement about whether or not signing away seven years of rights (“You can just ask for them back from x publisher and audible”…sure you can *headdesk*) when you are only contracted for three constitutes a breach of contract, I’ve made some drastic changes that I had planned to do gradually. This is at once terrifying and freeing. I am free to pursue my dreams with other publishers, as well as self publish. I am working on how to get a cover, and re-edit work as I am by far a better editor than I was, and I have a much better understanding of what not to do as an author.

I am definitely on the rise, despite pulling 11 books and anthologies from my repertoire. I will be republishing my zombie story, Slow Burn (possibly renamed as I want a more unique name) with Just Ink Press (they get any and all zombie stories from here on out. They were already going to get the bulk of them, I just put my romance one where I had most of my other romance ones), The Ulfric’s Mate will be re-released here very soon! I am excited!

I am still working as an author, but I’m also an editor. It is, in fact, my “day job” whilst I build up writing again. I’m also painting more again. My emotional energy has been freed up! yay! And sales are improving on that little by little. I have lots of exciting things going on.

One of the most exciting things is that I’ve moved away from the house where I was getting so sick all the time. As I catch up on my new life, I am accomplishing so much more and still finding more time and energy to play with my children.

Changes Are Good!

The Midwife’s Moon

NAME_453x680 (1)Hi *waves frantically*

How are you all? I’ve been sick for 9.5 of last 13 months… I went almost two months healthy once. Just long enough to put my garden in. For that reason, it’s been difficult in my personal life. However, I’ve managed to write a few things when not fighting for breath. 😀 Yay for writing! I’m pleased to say, by the end of the year, I’ll have been in three anthologies, and put out two books with one publisher, and another book with a different one! I’ve mentioned Crimson and Serviced anthologies which came out earlier in the year. Now, I’ll introduce you to The Midwife’s Moon which is the second in The War of the Weres series. 😀 It just so happens, it’s 20% off on the link there (as is The Ulfric’s Mate!), but only until the end of October, so don’t wait!!!

Love the cover 😉 and How’d you like an exclusive to my website only excerpt? 😀

“I’ll go see what I can find. He’s not a Wahpawhat?”

“No, he’s here under Nolan’s protection.”

“Ah.”

The doctor didn’t say anymore than that, but he didn’t have

to. Lisa knew too well that as an Elite Guard, she could be held responsible for his injuries. In the were world that didn’t mean some money lawsuit.

“His wife is here. Her and Lance are moving the car then will need someone to show them down here.”

“Sherona can do it,” the doctor said before moving to Marty’s bedside where Paul had already inserted an IV into his arm and started fluids.

That startled her. “Sherona’s here?” Curiosity filled her. Why was the queen of the werejaguars at the hospital? “Trouble with the cats?”

“No.” The doctor didn’t elaborate, and his demeanor forced her to back off. She may have been relatively new to the wereworld, but she wasn’t new to back-off signals.

Lisa paced the small waiting area, fighting the fear that threatened to swamp her mind and cause her to lose control. Her hands began to shake, for it affected not only her, but the entire pack.

Marty’s pack ulfric technically had a right to know one of his own was injured, but Marty was seeking political asylum. She rubbed her forehead, wishing she could rub the thoughts out as well, then heard the elevator doors open and turned. Lance stepped out and walked toward her. His arms opened, and she flung herself into them.

“Thank you for driving us,” she said into his shirt, taking comfort in his scent as she spoke.

“Of course,” he replied and stepped back. Elizabeth wasn’t his only elevator companion. Sherona, Nolan, and Alex were there as well.

Lisa went before him, bowed her head, and held out her hand, the formal submissive pose when not being confronted. Tears threatened. She couldn’t bear the thought of being kicked out of the pack, or worse, but she’d failed at her duties.

“Lisa,” Alex said and touched her arm. Lisa looked up at her, but Alex’s face had turned to Nolan.

“Lisa,” Nolan echoed. “We will find out what has happened. You are not, nor will you be, banished for this.”

Sherona snorted, and Lisa wondered at her merriment. Lance stiffened next to her, and his grip on her shoulder was almost painful, but she welcomed it. It showed he cared.

“Ah, Ulfric, you might try a new tactic. She’s more scared now than before.”

Lisa jerked her face toward Sherona. How in the hell did the jaguar queen know that? For if she wasn’t being banished, that meant—her hands flew to her throat, and she didn’t even allow the thought to finish.

The Ware of the Weres is near and dear, and I have an announcement pertaining to those: I have contracted for 15 more books in the series, including 5 freebies 🙂 So if you want to start reading a series that will through pressies your way once in a while, start on this!

As I said earlier, I have been sick, but that’s not stopping my writing. Maybe slowing me down a bit… 😀

 

The Seagull Summary

I know, it’s time for the weekly installment. This week has been rough on my writing, but today, I went to my site and went “Whoops, there it is!” No, seriously, it is today that reminded me I needed to put the next installment up. Or rather, start the first chronicle. What made me remember you ask? Okay, maybe you didn’t, but I’m going to pretend you did. I remembered because I have been editing the fantasy story this relates to and it’s almost ready for another round of submissions. Went through first round, but then I realized it needed something. Anyways, it’s back from beta’s and I’m doing the synopsis.

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know I’m now calling it “the Seagull Summary” like The Little Mermaid movie. You know, where flounder is trying to help Ariel and tells her father, “And then this seagull came, and it was “this is this” and “that is that” causing all kinds of havoc.

That’s how I see my synopsis. Something that’s supposed to help but is going to wreak havoc on my chances of getting the full read! So what do I do? I procrastinate by doing things us writerly types are supposed to do, like, visit my website and check the comments LOL

And lo and behold, there’s the statement as bold as you please that I’ll be writing the chronicles regularly 😛 So, I’ve reminded myself and shall endeavor to complete the task I’ve set before me in between making curtains and clothes for my children this weekend. Um, the curtains are for the windows, not the children.

Hope you all enjoy my website as I add stories. Nothing fancy here. It’s all about the written word. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite poison, er, cup, and read on!