THE BOOK TALES: 4 STARS

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The Bibliobibuli over at The Book Tales has visited Gold Coast City and enjoyed herself immensely as shown by this review that can only be described as too fine! If you find yourself in need of some advice on what to read (and news on discounts and freebies) stop by and check them out because seriously, the only thing they can’t do is give bad literary advice. I’m not kidding. They physically can’t do it. It’s like they were born that way…

DANE CURSE STILL 99 CENTS! (BUT…)

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Dane Curse, my first novel, is still just 99 cents, but it won’t be for long. I can’t say when, but it will be returning to it’s normal price of 2.99. Ok ok, it’s October 31st. But why wait, pick up a copy today and get prepped for part two The Coconut Swindle, which will be out before after Christmas on January 4th whether it’s ready or not! That reminds me, I really got to start on it…

(jk, I wrote it last November for NaNoWriMo! But I still got some editing)

GUEST POST: BARB TAUB

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A special thanks to Barb Taub for kindly hosting me over at her site with my guest post (and she’s also reading my novel). Seriously, if you got a moment stop by because it’s full of literary info, services, and tons of other stuff. It’s so professional over there I have no idea how I got a spot.

THE WAITRESS CONFESSIONS: GUEST POST

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Big ups to Marie over at The Waitress Confessions where they’re featuring my piece on raising a one month old and the strange overlap it has with waiting tables. Check it out of you haven’t yet because it really does appeal equally to parents and waiters. Kind of like alcohol. And drugs. And what it’s like to do things for people who never thank you.

FREE BOOK PROMO: THE BOY GENIUS DETECTIVE AGENCY

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The very talented Robert Grey is giving out free copies of his premier novel The Boy Genius Detective Agency. So if you’ve got a kindle and a kid, or just a kindle and a heart full of whimsy, pick one up because even though it’s aimed at children the book reads fast and is actually pretty fun for adults as well. Or if you don’t want to get it free you can always wait until the promo’s over and fork over the dough. As for me? I bought my copy weeks ago, which kind of makes it a collector’s item. At least that’s what Robert told me…

FIVE STAR REVIEW: JUNIPER GROVE

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A special thanks to Jaidis, Sheri, and the other fine folks over at Juniper Grove who’ve given Dane Curse a great review and a ginny five stars, booyah! Definitely visit their site because by ‘grove’ they mean there’s enough literary information and services to fill a freakin’ forest. Man, all these five star reviews should be going to my head! But then I remember the 101 literary agent rejections which makes me call my boss and thank her for the job, yay waitering!

THE BOOK EATERS: FOUR SOLID BITES!

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Bob Toovey over at The Book Eaters has just finished Dane Curse (most of it in a single sitting-his words not mine) and recommends the Gold Coast PI with Four Solid Bites! Read all about it on their site, and while you’re there check out the rest of the goodies. They got indie reviews, throwback Thursdays, Book Battles, and from what I hear an actual gateway to Narnia.

TRITE TROPES: SAVING THE CAT

In Trite Tropes we revisit the classic gimmicks used by writers of every medium, discuss why they were great, why they’re not anymore, and how to make them fresher.

The Trope:

For the uninitiated, saving the cat refers to a gimmick where the main character does something kind (like protecting a small animal) that lets us, the audience, invest deeply in their journey because we now know how good a person they really are. It originally occurred in Aliens, and is so famous and ubiquitous the number one bestselling book on screenplays is named after it. And why wouldn’t it be? Of all the tropes this one’s perfect! In one simple, brief, universally understood act we know everything we need to about our protagonist.

But… it can be a little dull.

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A little? This meal is exciting by comparison

The Trite:

Seriously, for any experience writer/viewer nothing will illicit an eye roll faster than watching an actor save a cat. In my opinion it’s the number one marker for hack writing (right behind adverbs and narration). Some people try to keep it fresh by having the character save a dog. Or a mouse. Or a squirrel! But it doesn’t matter, savvy it ain’t.

Now I’m 100% sure every movie executive in the world loves this trope.

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Oh my God, the hero actually saved the cat, what a twist!

Just as I’m positive that Michael Bay fans won’t notice or care when it’s used. But a serious fan of fiction will spit it out the way a snobby douchebag does a too tinny glass of chardonnay.

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So tinny…

So the question is, can we save the cat in a way that the simple minded folks will like, but will also impress the more discerning reader/viewer? Funny you should ask. Because we can. All we have to do is …

The Trick:

kill the cat.

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I think you meant to type ‘kill the dog’

Nope, you read that right: Kill it. Kill the cat. Sure, you can have the hero try and save the cat, but when they fail, and that feline goes through all nine lives in one go, some important things happen:

  1. The audience knows the hero’s good because they tried to do the right thing.
  2. But because they failed it gives the hero room to grow and change over the story, which provides a well defined and satisfying arc.
  3. But even more importantly, those viewers now know that you’re not fucking around. Anything can happen. Anything. The hero may die. The villain may win. Who knows? You killed a cat in the first five fucking minutes of the story! That’ll keep them on their toes! Unless you’re George RR Martin. Then there’s a very good chance it’ll be the most upbeat part of the book.
George-RR-Martin

Kill ‘a’ cat? I think you meant ‘kill all the cats’

FEATURED ARTWORK AT PULP COVERS

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The fine folks over at Pulp Covers have tossed Daniel Strange’s work on Dane Curse up on their site. Stop by to check it out, as well as the metric ton of old school covers from the classic days of pulp detective novels. Unless you’re not into amazing pencil work, evocative art, and overall awesomeness, then, I don’t know, here’s the original hamster dance. Go nuts.