Tag Archive | Alice A. Kemp

Frustration!!

Good Morning All — you faithful few. I haven’t posted in months, and finally here I am. I just spent 30 minutes trying up load 2 pictures to my desktop so I can include them here.
But– I can’t get them here to post. I could post them to Facebook, but that’s not what I want. POOEY!
I’ve kept this site even though it’s over a year since I’ve done anything. Hard to believe.

I hate that I waste so much time screwing around with no results. Oh well, enough ranting.
I’ve been sick with sciatic nerve pain, making it painful to sit in a chair to write. Then I fell and broke my femur last summer – holy Batman. What a mess. I won’t bore you with the sad tail, and the good news is that I’m all healed and walking just fine. Thank Goddess for surgeons and physical therapists. Take my advice, my friends. Don’t break your femur!

So, I’m going to figure out how to post pictures easily and create the blog I wanted later. In the meantime, thank you for not giving up on reading my postings. More coming.

“Is the baby mine?” Could you forgive this question?

In my latest release, Annabelle’s Dilemma, Annabelle’s husband is angry when she announces that she’s pregnant. He’d seen her flirting with her cousin’s sexy husband, and he blurts out this question: “Is the baby mine?” Annabelle blows up and throws him out of their house.

AnnabellesDilemma_800x1200 http://amzn.to/1Wqu7wf

I’ll let you read the book to learn whether Annabelle forgives him. But my question to my women readers is whether this ever happened to you?

Given that most women of child-bearing age these days grew up with abortions being legal and relative access to birth control, unintended pregnancies from an affair can be avoided. A 2002 study estimates that half of married men and women indulged in at least one extra-marital affair during their marriage. It’s not something that folks are willing to admit, I expect. Therefore, the data are likely fraught with self-reporting errors. And I couldn’t begin to trust the data on the number of children born from such liaisons. When a woman is married, any children are legally treated as being fathered by her husband.

All that aside, it seems to me that when such a question is aired, there is a lot of work to be done to restore trust, if it’s even possible. When I was married to my children’s father (he’s deceased now), I discovered that he’d told his girlfriend that our third child wasn’t his. What else do you say in the circumstances? Needless to say, the marriage was over. My son learned this and never forgave him.

Writing romantic fiction gives an author the opportunity to posit different scenarios for life events. What would you do?

What’s Up, Y’all?

Good Morning from sunny New Orleans.  Looks like we’ll have good weather for Mardi Gras. A little cool, but Goddess Willing, no rain.

I keep intending to write blogs more often, and I’ve done several guest blogs lately. I have one coming on Mardi Gras day (February 17 for you heathens) with Terry O’Dell, http://terryodell.com/terrysplace/  A second was yesterday with Becky Neely http://www.rebeccaeneely.com/blog.html. And a third coming on Feb. 25 with Vicki Batman  http://vickibatman.blogspot.com/ Whew. I’ll put out a twitter for the two upcoming ones. But baby, they take a lot of time. The one with Vicky is about my crochet work. That was fun. This is a sample of some shawls I’ve made lately. Watch for the blog postings..2015-01-09 11.45.08

I also have a twitter account. Do you? Wayne, my husband, set mine up with this handle:  @Dr_AAK

What fun. I actually use it.  Recently, I twittered (love the new verbs–googled, emailed, facebooked)  about a four-star review I received for The Taste of Her, from Night Owl Reviews — see the sexy and creepy book cover to the right? Here’s a link to the review: http://bit.ly/1KOeb1y .  I use bitly.com to shorten long links for twitter, especially.

But the reviewer said: “I loved the ending. It was just deserts.” She’s referring to a scene at the end of the book where the bad guy is in Orleans Parish Prison and not having a good time. (-:  The reviewer goes on to say “this (is) an awesome read.”  Check it out in full, and better yet, Buy the Book.

Am almost fully recovered for hip replacement surgery in December. I can tell you. Hips are easier than knees, no kidding. I still have more sessions with the physical therapist, and am off to go this afternoon. Tony works me hard.

Leave a comment if you have a chance. I’m committed to having some traffic here.

Have a great day!

New Pub: The Taste of Her

December 3 marks the launch of my latest publication. It’s out on Amazon for $2.99.

The Taste of Her is a romantic suspense, set in New Orleans. It is the story of Margaret Angelo, a New Orleans homicide detective. Despite the sexism of the NOPD, she works to catch a serial killer, the Slasher, who kidnaps women, assaults them, and gets off on licking their bodies before he kills them.

Although devoted to her job, Margaret longs for a life partner. She reconnects with a high school acquaintance, Jim, whom she hires to paint her house. They begin a relationship, but Margaret is kidnapped by the Slasher and faces certain death. The other detectives manage to rescue her, but the Slasher escapes their trap. He is losing control and hunts Margaret down, determined to finish her. With Jim’s support, can she escape this mad man?

 

 

TheTasteOfHer600

 

Please let me know if you like it.

 

 

How to create a character

This posting is for writers. In the process of crafting a blog posting for the Write Way Cafe, posting on November 20, I remembered that my friend, John Foxjohn, created the most thorough and exhaustive list of questions, topics, etc., to define a character. This list is below. John claims that very few of these details actually appear in his stories. http://www.johnfoxjohnhome.com/

It seems to me that writing a story is an exercise in delayed gratification, and the effort involved in answering all of these items, for me, gives rise to dozens of plot ideas and twists . The euphoria from typing “The End” is short lived, and the time until a contracted story appears, either online or in print, is so long as to make the actual event an anti-climax.

My latest story, The Jury Scandal, is due out in five days. Watch for the announcement. I’ve only worked on this one since 2006. Egads.

Here’s the list. Please let me know if you use it and how it worked.

Name:

Age:

How old do they appear:

Weight:

Height:

Type of body/build:

Glasses or contacts

Shape of face:

Predominant feature:

Distinguishing marks

Hair color

Distinguishable hair feature (bald,  receding hairline, etc.):

Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?)

Is s/he healthy? If not, why not:

Full description:

Physical disabilities:

Character’s favorite color:

Favorite music:

Expressions and this also includes unique mannerisms

Way they speak, words used most often

Mode of transportation:

Daredevil or cautious?

Smokes, what?

When and how much?

Drinks: What?  When and how much?

Hobbies:

Hometown:

Type of childhood:

First memory:

Most important childhood event that still affects him/her: Why?

Education:

Religion:

Finances:

Mother: Relationship with her:

Father: Relationship with him:

Siblings: How many

Relationship with each:

Extended family?

Close? Why or why not?

Does character have child(ren)?

How many children does character have?

Are all children with the same partner? If no, Why? If no, what is the custody
arrangement?

How does character relate to his/her child(ren)?

Which child is character’s favorite? Why?

What is characters most favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?            Why?

What is characters least favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?  Why?
Is relationship with children important to character?

Where does character work?
For how long?

How does s/he feel about co-workers?

Get along with co-workers?

Like his/her job? Why or why not?

Character’s dream job:

Character’s short term goals:

Character’s greatest fear: Why?

What is the worst thing that could happen to him/her?

What single event would most throw character’s life in complete turmoil? Why?

Character is most at ease when:

Most ill at ease when:

Priorities:

Philosophy:

How s/he feels about self:

Past failure s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about: Why?

If granted one wish, what would it be? Why?

Greatest source of strength in character’s personality (whether s/he sees it as
such or not):

Greatest source of weakness in character’s personality (whether s/he sees it as
such or not):

Character’s soft spot:

Is this soft spot obvious to others? If not, how does character hide it?

Biggest vulnerability:

Which of the 7 deadly sins does your character fight (or give in to, willingly or not)?
(lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)

Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?
(chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility)

Optimist or pessimist: Why?

Introvert or extrovert:  Why?

Drives and motivations:

Talents:

Extremely skilled at:

Extremely unskilled at:

Good characteristics:

Character flaws:

Mannerisms:

Peculiarities:

Biggest regret:

Minor regrets:

Biggest accomplishment:

Minor accomplishments:

Character’s darkest secret:

Does anyone else know?

If yes, did character tell them?

If no, how did they find out?

One word character would use to describe self:

One paragraph description of how character would describe self:

What does character consider best physical characteristic?

What does character consider worst physical characteristic?

Are these realistic assessments? If not, why not?

How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her:

What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self?  (#1 most
important, #2 second most important, etc.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why?

If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?

If not, why not?

Is character divorced?    Why?

If divorced, how many times?

Has character ever cheated on significant other?

How does character relate to others?

How is s/he perceived by…

Strangers?

Friends?

Wife/husband/lover?

Hero/heroine?

How does character view hero/heroine?

First impression: Why? What happens to change this perception?

What do family/friends like most about character?

What do family/friends like least about character?
What does friends consider character’s best physical characteristic?

What do people who first meet the character think about them?

What emotions to the character instill in others?

Long range goals:

How does character plan to accomplish goals?

How will other people around character be affected?

How character reacts in a crisis:

How character faces problems:

Kinds of problems character usually runs into:

How character reacts to NEW problems:

How character reacts to change:

Favorite clothing

Least favorite clothing:

Jewelry:

Where does character live?

Where does character want to live?

Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc):

What does s/he do too much of?

Too little of?

Most prized possession:

Play musical instrument?

How did s/he learn?

Lesson when she was young

Person character secretly admires:

Person character was most influenced by:

Most important person in character’s life before story starts:

Back to Business

Great news! After three months of nursing a sore back (pinched nerve), I am finally back in business. I’ve done the first-round edits on both of my publications due out this fall. The Jury Scandal is due out in November, and The Taste of Her in December – if all goes well. Both are romantic suspense and set in New Orleans. Here are the covers:

TheJuryScandal

TheTasteOfHer600

Both are being published by Soul Mate Publishing through Amazon exclusively, and I’m proud to be one of their authors. See their authors web page:
http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

More later about these two books, and I’d love your comments on these covers.

The Origin of my Next Publication

The Taste of Her is a romantic suspense contracted with Soul Mate Publishing and coming out sometime this year. I am very pleased about this. When I shared the good news with friends, sometimes they’d ask me how I come up with my stories.

The Taste of Her was the easiest plot to design. Briefly it’s about a serial killer who delights in licking women’s bodies before he kills them.​ ​The homicide detective on the case who’s close to identifying him is herself kidnapped. You know romance stories have to have a happy ending, so I don’t need to go into any more detail here.

The origin of this story involves a practice I suspect many writers employ. I have a manilla folder (when I can find it) with the label “Story Ideas.” I’d done as much as I could on The Third Wife, a historical romance that chronicles a Seventeenth-Century witch who is befriended by a talking cat. I’ve worked on that story for a couple of years, and I needed to put it aside, let it rest, and start something new.

Tidying up my very messy desk one morning, I found the “Story Ideas” folder. Oh, great, I thought. Just what I need–a collection of ideas I’d saved. I got myself a fresh cup of tea and settled down to peruse the scrawled notes I anticipated were in the folder. I laughed when I opened the folder because there was just one yellow sticky inside. On the sticky, I’d written or copied a line from somebody’s work that I liked. I make all kinds of notes like this, copying good phrases, descriptions, and examples that I use to trigger my own writing. I don’t use any of them verbatim, just as triggers.

The note said: He enjoyed the taste of her skin. That was it. I stared at the note, and in a flash the entire plot of my story emerged. I envisioned a perverted serial killer who licked drugged women’s breasts just before he killed them. I could see a female homicide detective who struggled with sexist assholes in the homicide bureau and her over-bearing retired cop father. She fought all of them to be put in charge of a task force to catch the killer. She went undercover in the bar from which several of the victims had been abducted. And then she’s kidnapped in front of her own home. Etc etc etc.

All the pieces were there. I grabbed a yellow pad and jerked out my story structure notes from Michael Hague’s workshop I’d attended at the Romance Writers Convention in NYC three years ago (http://www.storymastery.com/). Within thirty to forty-five minutes I’d scribbled out the entire plot. Writing it took a little longer, but I had the entire framework. This was the first manuscript where I resisted my tendency to edit extensively as I write. I tried hard to just get it down on the page. When I finished, I found a fellow writer from my RWA chapter who was willing to read it for me.

I will acknowledge her in the publication because she gave me six single-spaced pages of notes and suggestions that were golden. I did a thorough revision based on her comments and sent it off to Debby Gilbert, the publisher at Soul Mate who’d contracted The Red Halter Top, my first fiction publication. Debby replied within a couple of weeks, sending me a contract. So stay tuned; I’ll promote this one when it’s out on Amazon. In the meantime, check out The Red Halter Top. Link is to the right on this page. It’s a novella, straight sexy romance. Give it a good review if you like it. If you don’t, just tell me. (-: