Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings,July 21, 2019

One of our cats, Hope, isn’t well. She’s spent the majority of Tuesday through Friday at the vet, receiving IVs and a variety of drugs. Her liver enzymes were highly elevated, so they’ve been giving her things to help her liver and fight what they suspect might be a bacterial injection.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

She’s been at home over the weekend, but goes back to the vet on Monday morning, Anyone who has given their pets pills will know what we’ve gone through, trying to give Hope five pills a day. Overall, she’s done well with the pills. One of the biggest concerns is getting her to eat. She’s been grazing, but we would like her to ‘dig in’ to a meal. We’ve been giving her sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, whipped raw egg (all for humans), along with some cat food (chicken, duck, beef). If anyone has any ideas about something which might tempt her, please let me know.

Hope’s alert, and this morning she was at the top of the stairs before she headed to one of her favorite places in the house. Hopefully, we can get things turned around.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 21st. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Matthew Prior, English poet and diplomat; Anthony Collins, English philosopher (A discourse on free-thinking); Paul Julius Baron von Reuter, German-born founder of Reuters news service; Vasile Alecsandri, Romanian foreign minister, diplomat and poet; A S C Wallis, [Adele SC von Antal-Opzoomer], Dutch writer; Frances Parkinson Keyes, American novelist (Dinner at Antoine’s); Anton Schnack, German writer and poet; Hans Fallada [Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen], German writer; Ernest Hemmingway, American author (The Old Man and the Sea, Nobel 1954); Hart Crane, American poet (The Bridge); Diana Trilling, writer; Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (Medium is the Massage); Brigitte Reimann, German writer (Franziska Linkerhand); John C Gardner, scholar/writer (Grendel, Sunlight Dialogues); Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian English writer (Price of Bride); and Michael Connelly, American author.

Was anyone familiar to you? There were two, which clearly stood out for me: Reuter and Hemmingway. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour finishes this coming week on the 25th. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out but would like to do so, please click on: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. The first edit pass was completed this week; just waiting to receive it back to go through the manuscript again.

Here’s another snippet for you:

Gesang picked up a backpack from a table near the door, rushed down the stairs to the ground floor, and stepped outside. He climbed into the rear of the vehicle, placing the pack between his feet. He grinned and gazed at the driver. “Today we make our statement. Musa Rahmet’s men gave the signal. Now we must do as Abu Zeze instructed.”

Wira, a slender man in his mid-twenties, nodded. “Did you make the final decision on the targets?”

“Yes. I’ll explain when we join the others.”

***

Two hours later, Gesang nudged Wira’s shoulder. “Time to dress.”

Wira stood, and Gesang helped him into the suicide vest. Covered with sticks of dynamite, packets of nails and ball bearings, wires led to an electronic switch.

After he put on his outer clothing, Wira glanced at Gesang, a look of bewilderment etched on his face.

“Don’t worry. You’ll live up to the meaning of your name.” Gesang patted him on the arm. “You’ll be a hero and martyr in Allah’s eyes and will live forever.” And if you don’t hit the switch, I’ll use the cell phone as a remote detonator.

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, although still at a slow pace. Chapter eighteen was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. To date, the novel has received 240 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent recommendations to choose from! I’ve also started working on chapter nineteen.

In the meantime, Michael and I continue our collaboration effort on Xavier Sear: Angola. He sent me the first draft of chapter five last night, and I’m busy working on chapter six. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication. We’ve also made some additional tweaks to our character list and the chapter outline. Collaborating on a novel is certainly rewarding and I’m glad I’ve had this opportunity.

Books I’m Reading

With outdoor chores and the trips with Hope to the vet, I didn’t get a chance to put my thoughts together regarding books I’ve recently read. I plan to bring you two or three reviews next time, so stay tuned.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 14, 2019

It’s been another week of mixed weather–sun, clouds, and rain, but the temperature is gradually creeping up, with the past four days being in the low 70s (F/20s C). Outdoor chores continued, as they will throughout the decent weather. The biggest one this week was power washing the block paving on the driveway. Still have to add sand to fill in the gaps around the bricks, but that’ll be taken care of this week.

A few more plants were added, primarily in pots around the front door. It’s looking great with all the colors!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 14th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Caspar Abel, German theologian, historian, and poet; John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters; Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, Russian poet; Mordecai Manuel Noah, American writer, journalist; John G Lockhart, [Scorpion], biographer (Life of Sir Walter Scott); Gertrude Bell, British archaeologist and writer (Desert & The Sown); Owen Wister, American novelist (Virginian); Frank Raymond Leavis, British literary critic (Culture & Environment); Irving Stone, American author (Love is Eternal, Lust for Life); Chaim Raphael, English Jewish scholar and novelist; Northrop Frye, Canadian literary critic; Natalia Ginzburg, Italian author (Family dictionary); Leon Garfield, English children’s author; Frances Lear, Woman’s magazine publisher (Lears); George E. Slusser, American scholar and writer; Susan Howatch, English author; Maulana Karenga, American author and activist; L. Brent Bozell, American author and activist; Joe Keenan, American screenwriter, television producer and novelist; Phil Rosenthal, American newspaper columnist; Brian Selznick, American author and illustrator; and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, English actress, writer and director (Fleabag).

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit there weren’t many recognizable names for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour continued through its second week as scheduled. If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/previous/2 and scroll to the bottom of the page.

DA Blue RibbonI also received the blue ribbon for Dangerous Alliance’s finish as one of seven First in Category winners in the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards. It was quite a thrill to open the package and find the ribbon signifying an outstanding achievement in my short fiction-writing career.

In addition to the ribbon, there were several additional prizes, all of which I’ll use to further enhance the promotion and marketing of my work. I’m already planning to submit a novel for the 2019 competition!

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet for you:

Both calls finished, Koh spoke first. “My contact stated the English woman is still at the same location, at least for now. Not sure if they’re planning to move her. He didn’t say, but he made me wonder.”

Noah nodded. “I reached someone named Johnathan Wong. He said the usual spot at eleven a.m. What does he mean?”

Koh chuckled. “Jurong Bird Park. He’s fanatical about birds. He loves to visit the Lory Loft and feed the lories and lorikeets.”

“What are they?”

“Small to medium sized parakeets. Beautiful colors.” Koh tapped the side of his head. “He’s a bit, I guess unique in how he views the world, but he’s harmless. He’s a superb source because so many people dismiss him, but he has excellent recall. Can even mimic their voices.”

***

Johnathan switched to a raspy voice. “The man said this was the first stage and more attacks are coming.”

“Did he mention any details, such as where or when?”

Johnathan shook his head and shoulders, spilling some of the birdseed. “No, but he said someone named Musa Ramen, would be pleased. I’m not sure of Ramen, it might be something else, but similar.” Johnathan smiled. “Did I do okay?”

Koh patted him on the shoulder. “Yes, you did. I’ll check back in a couple of days.”

After they left, Noah turned to Koh. “Does the name mean anything to you?”

“No.” Koh shook his head. “But I believe he’s given us a clue. One of the leaders of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah lives on a nearby island. His name is Musa Rahmet.”

More next time.

1541181484Work continued on A Cartel’s Revenge, although still at a slow pace. Chapter seventeen was posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. To date, the novel has received 223 chapter reviews. Plenty of excellent recommendations to choose from!

I’ve started the next chapter and hope to have it ready over the next few days.

In the meantime, Michael and I are moving forward with Xavier Sear: Angola. The first angolan cole-revised3draft of chapter four has been completed. It might seem like we’re not moving forward very fast, but with eight time zones between us, we rely on email exchanges for communication.

It’s very interesting collaborating on a series such as this. While Angola was originally to be book one, Michael came up with an excellent idea to create a different beginning to the series, introducing Sear as a Clean Cut Kid. More to follow as we continue with this new journey.

Books I’m Reading

I just finished reading Victoria, the latest novel in the Lt. Kate Gazzara series by Blair Howard. Kate and her new partner, Janet, are tasked to identify the killer of a wealthy woman. Before long, two others are killed by the same individual. Coupled with Kate’s normal problems with Deputy Chief Finkle, she has more on her plate to deal with.

As with all of Blair’s novels, this one doesn’t disappoint. With realistic characters, a riveting plot, and plenty of twists and turns, this is a fantastic story which should be a must read for all who enjoy crime stories. Can’t wait for the next one!

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, July 7, 2019

The weather continued to be decent this past week, so outdoor chores were the primary focus. The builder completed stage one in the back yard, and it looks fantastic.  I also continued painting the fences, and things are coming together. We also shifted some plants around. One area is now covered primarily with rhodedenrons, while another is filled with lupins. Still plenty more to do.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on July 7th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Albert Vandal, French earl/historian (Le Pacha Bonneval); Ludwig Ganghofer, German writer; Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer; Robert A[nson] Heinlein, American sci-fi author (4 Hugos, Red Planet); Helene Johnson, American Harlem Renaissance poet; Harriette Arnow, novelist (Dollmaker); Margaret Walker Alexander, poet/novelist (For My People); Yvonne Mitchell, writer (Johnny Nobody, Genghis Khan); Reinhard Baumgart, German writer and critic; Hasan Abidi, Pakistani journalist and poet; David Eddings, American sci-fi author (Belgariad, Malloreon); Howard Rheingold, American author; Jason R. Rich, American writer (Celebrity Teen Talk); and Jeff VanderMeer, American writer.

Was anyone familiar to you? I admit, there weren’t many recognizable names for me. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour began on June 25th as scheduled. During the first week, I picked up over eighty new followers and one hundred twenty-eight people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. At one point, The Kurdish Connection was #23 for terrorism thrillers in Australia and 888 in the U.S.

If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet:

Noah exited the elevator and located Koh’s home. He unlocked the door and whistled at the luxurious decor. “Wonder how Koh made enough money for this place.”

He walked through the apartment, the straps of his backpack thrown over a shoulder. A mixture of taupe, mauve, peach, cream, gray, muted blues, and purples featured throughout the four-bedroom home. Downlighters and chandeliers highlighted the accent chrome features and decorative mirrors. Each room seemed to make a statement, whether it was a rare oriental carpet or a centered piece of artwork. A hint of sage permeated the air.

Noah collapsed onto a sofa in the sunken living room. The sudden movement made his head throb again, and he cursed. He spotted a remote and turned on the television. A local news channel presenter gave a recap of the rocket attack. “Balagan (a mess)!” He shook his head. “These terrorists must be captured before the situation worsens. They’ve been successful once, which will encourage them to escalate their attacks.”

He muted the television and pulled his laptop out of his bag. Using his satellite phone, he made a secure connection.

To: Skylark

From: Petrel

Sorry for delay in providing an update. Wild visit so far. Involved in a shoot-out with unknown individuals when heading to the survivor’s location. Received a graze and spent an evening in the hospital. Returned to hotel room and found it ransacked. Now staying at ISD contact’s apartment.

Unless otherwise advised, will offer my assistance to ISD in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

More next time.

Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil again this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. 1541181484Chapter seventeen is nearing Readers continue to provide their input, with 214 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

 

 

 

 

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three is now completed.  There’s been a bit of tweaking to some of the characters’ names and the timeline. An additional chapter has been added to the outline. More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

With all of the outdoor activities, I was pretty tired in the evenings, so I’m afraid I don’t have a book review ready for you. Will work on one during the week and present it next time.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, June 30, 2019

Hard to believe we’re already six months through 2019!  Where has the time gone?

We’ve been fortunate with some decent weather over the past week.  About a third of the fence has been transformed from its weather-worn appearance with a coat of forest oak preservative/stain. When the sun shines, it appears to have a plum color, but when it’s in shadow, it almost looks black. All being well, more will be done this week.

A builder and his assistant arrived on Tuesday to rip up the old patio and install a new one. When they removed one of the old slabs near a retaining wall, a plume of water shot up. It continued for hours before the influx stopped.  As a result of this, completion of the new patio was delayed as it took a day and a half to dig through clay and install proper drainage, dumping into a drain on the other side of the property. The system was tested last night with a heavy thunderstorm, but everything looks fine this morning.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on June 30th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

John Gay, English poet and dramatist (The Beggar’s Opera); Thomas Lovell Beddoes, English poet (Death’s Jest-Book); Friedrich Theodor Vischer, German philosopher and writer (Auch einer); Stanko Vraz [Jakob Frass], Slovenian-Croatian poet (illyrism); Hendrik Jan Schimmel, Dutch writer and dramatist (2 Tudors); Gerrit Kalff, Dutch professor (history of Dutch writers); Georges Duhamel, French author (Vie et aventures de Salavin, 5 vol.); Charles Camproux, French linguistic and author (Bestiari); Winston Graham, British writer (Poldark novels); Czesław Miłosz, Polish-American writer (Bells in Winter, Nobel 1980); Juan Bosch, 43rd President of the Dominican Republic (1962-63) and writer; Sam Moskowitz, American writer and historian of science fiction; James Goldman, American screenwriter and playwright (The Lion in Winter, They Might Be Giants); Frank Marcus, German playwright and critic; [Jacob] “Jack” Rosenthal, American journalist and government official; Assia Djebar [Fatma-Zohra Imalhayène], Algerian writer and filmmaker; and Robert Ballard, explorer/geologist/author/discoverer (Titanic in 1985).

Was anyone familiar to you? There might be at least a couple recognizable names. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

the bedlam series banner

My online book tour began on Tuesday as scheduled. I’ve picked up over thirty new followers and at least one hundred people have added my novels to their ‘to-read’ lists. If you’d like to find out more, please check out: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-bedlam-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

My Work in Progress

carnage in singapore-001(1)Carnage in Singapore will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. Here’s another snippet: 

“We’ll wait until the lights go out.” Umar turned to Seto. “Did you bring your tools?”

Seto patted a bag on the seat. “Be inside within seconds. The builder used basic locks—no problem for me.”

“Good. We’ll enter the apartment and locate the woman. If others are present, knock them out.” He handed both men a leather-covered sap and a black hood. “Gag the woman, put this bag over her head, secure her arms, and bring her downstairs. I’ll wait with the car I hired this afternoon.”

Lights went out one by one throughout the building. After the last was extinguished, Umar waited fifteen minutes. “Go.”

Seto and Joko jumped out of the car and raced to the entrance. Joko held a small penlight on the lock. Seto gave a twist with two different lock picks, and the latch clicked. Joko pulled the handle, and they entered.

Locating the stairs, they padded up to the second floor. They glanced around the hallway—no one.

Seto worked his magic, and the door to apartment four opened. A body stirred on the sofa.

Joko put a finger to his lips and whispered, “Shush.”

They separated and approached from either side. In the moonlight shining through a window, Seto glanced at a woman sleeping on her stomach, her blonde hair spilled across the pillow. A click echoed in the room as the air conditioning switched on.

They paused after the noise, but the woman never stirred. Seto covered her mouth to smother any screams while Joko secured her wrists with rope. After shifting the strap of his tool bag over his shoulder, he wrapped a cloth gag around her face. They pulled her upright and dragged her outside.

Seto closed the door, and they rushed the struggling woman down two flights of stairs. Stopping at the building’s entrance, Seto pulled a black bag over her head. The coast clear, they hurried out to the car and pushed their captive inside the back seat. Joko climbed in after her while Seto ran around to the other side. As soon as the doors shut, Umar drove in a sedate manner until he reached the corner and sped away.

***

Back in Seto’s apartment, they dumped their struggling prisoner onto one of the chairs. Seto held her in place until Umar had bound her ankles and wrists. Panting from his efforts, Umar grabbed the hood and pulled it away.

He gasped. “It’s not her!”

More next time.

1541181671Work on A Cartel’s Revenge was almost nil this week as I concentrated on outdoor chores. Readers continue to provide their input, with 210 chapter reviews thus far. Plenty of excellent suggestions to choose from!

angolan cole-revised3Collaboration efforts on Xavier Sear: Angola continue. Chapters three and four will soon be completed.  More to follow regarding both novels as the stories unfold.

 

 

 

Books I’m Reading

I recently finished reading Rope on Fire (John Crane Series Book 1) by Mark Parragh. This is Mark’s first novel and he’s burst on the scene with a well-polished story. Once a government agent, but now jobless, John Crane refuses to take a new position offered on the outside, and seeks employment elsewhere.  Before long, a billionaire hires him to find out why someone is sabotaging a project he’s funded in Puerto Rico.

Mark’s story is filled with a wide array of characters, and the non-stop action was an easy read and kept me turning page after page. Can’t wait to move onto the next novel in the series!

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 26, 2019

This is Memorial Day weekend. While for many it means the unofficial beginning of summer, with vacation homes being aired out, family gatherings, and sporting events, such as the Indy 500, there is another side to the holiday.

Memorial Day is also a day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Flags are placed on the graves of those who died in military service. Many communities also hold parades, culminating in ceremonies at designated points in cemeteries and at memorials.

No matter how you spend the weekend, please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Enjoy the weekend.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on May 26th. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Edmond de Goncourt, French writer, wrote with his brother Jules de Goncourt; Robert W. Chambers, American artist and fiction writer; John Eigenhuis, Dutch writer (Tough Workers); Jean Schlumberger, French writer (La Mort de Sparte); Moondog, American composer, musician and poet; Phyllis Gotlieb, Canadian author; Hugo Raes, Flemish writer (Horses Jump & Fresh Sea); Piers Gray, critic/writer; Alan Hollinghurst, British novelist; Phil Doyle, Australian writer; and David Reed, British writer and comedian.

Not many today. Was anyone familiar to you? Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

1541181671With all of the outdoor activity, I didn’t have much time to sit in front of the computer and write. Chapter eleven of A Cartel’s Revenge is almost finished. So far, the novel has received ninety-eight chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use. Plenty of good suggestions for improving my writing.

Things are on hold with Carnage in Singapore as I await the results of my submission. In the meantime, here’s another snippet:

When they arrived, Noah paid the driver and entered the hotel. He waited at the counter to collect his key. “Welcome back, Mr. Noah. A man asked for you last night.”

“What did he look like? Did you ask his name?”

“Asian.” The clerk shrugged. “No name but he said he was a friend and wanted to leave a gift in your room. A porter let him in. We suggested he put the package in our safe until you returned, but he was very persuasive.”

Noah’s forehead creased as he frowned. “How long did he remain in my room?” And what was he looking for?

“Ten, perhaps fifteen minutes. The porter remained in the hallway and locked the door when the man left.”

“Do you have security cameras?”

“Not in the rooms, but in the common areas and the elevators.”

“I’m going upstairs. Please bring me the tapes from last night. I’ll review them later with my colleagues from the Internal Security Department.”

The clerk swallowed, a look of panic of his face. “Of course.”

Noah waited for an empty elevator. Taking forever. He spotted a sign for the stairs and rushed up the steps. Out of breath by the time he reached the sixth floor, he paused before heading down the carpeted hallway to room 602.

His room.

The thread he left on the lock lay on the floor. He tried the handle. Locked.

Noah pulled his SIG Sauer from its holster and shoved his key card in the slot. After the light turned green, he pushed the door open.

The mattress hung over the edge of the bed, his single bag dumped in a heap. The drawers from the bedside tables and the chest of drawers sat in a haphazard pile in a corner. Pictures were ripped from the wall and slashed. The glass coffee table top was smashed into tiny pieces, a testament to the fury of whoever did this.

What were they looking for? Nothing here but some clothes. My Bedlam laptop remained with me.

A noise from the bathroom caught his attention.

He turned and caught a shadowy figure emerging from a corner. The assailant screamed and threw a lamp at Noah’s head before he could get an idea of who it was.

Noah crashed to the floor, his gun skittering away.

More next time.

Books I’m Reading

 I recently finished reading The Butchered Man, book one of The Northminster Mysteries by Harriet Smart. Set in Victorian England in the 1840s, a mutilated corpse sets events in motion. With a well-written plot and characters exhibiting traits associated with the time period, it’s easy to become immersed in the combined efforts of Chief Constable Major Vernon and police surgeon Felix Carswell to solve the mystery. Will they find the villain? Grab a copy and find out! I look forward to moving onto the second book of the series.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 12, 2019

This week I’d like to introduce you to another author. Barbara Russell is an entomologist and a soil biologist. Or as she would put it, she digs in the dirt looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been her passion. When she was growing up when she read Ivanhoe by Sir W. Scott and fell in love with medieval novels.

Let’s find out some more about Barbara:

BRussellHave you written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so: why did you decide to collaborate and did it affect your sales? I co-wrote The Martian Zombie with H. J. Hewett and it was a lovely experience. Writing becomes a brainstorming of ideas and is incredibly fun. I don’t know about the sales yet, but promoting the book was easier.

How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write? I write as much as I can, whenever I can, wherever I am. Except the bus I read on the bus.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Laptop. The Word spelling check is a lifesaver for someone like me who’s dyslexic.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? Plot and outline. I can’t pants. No way. I get frustrated, haha.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Writing is amazing. I love writing. I don’t love promoting, lol

How long on average does it take you to write a book? Three-four weeks so far… if I don’t have re-writing to do.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it? I think it depends on what you mean with Writer’s Block. If you mean that a writer sits down and can’t write anything, then no. It has never happened to me. Also, I believe that many writers who complain about a writer’s block probably use the wrong writing technique. I’ve seen that usually pantsers tend to fall in the writer’s block trap, but maybe it’s because they aren’t real pantsers. Maybe they need to plot out the book first, and then start writing.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books? Ebooks, always, for ever and ever.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? Yep, I do that, so I can edit with fresh eyes.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? Absolutely. I, myself, choose the books by the covers (sorry folks, but it’s true.) A good cover is the best promotion.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? If I had the money, yes, why not?

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? I don’t read reviews. Ever. A compliment stays with me a moment. A harsh word stays with me forever. Besides, some one star reviews aren’t reviews or feedback, but just plain insults, and I don’t think any author needs that.

What do you think of “trailers” for books, and do you have a trailer/will you create one for your own work? I love them! I always make them for my books using ‘Director.’ Super easy to use.

What is your favourite motivational phrase?  If everything seems under control, then you just aren’t going fast enough—Mario Andretti, racing driver

What is your favourite movie and why? 300!! Love that film. It’s perfection. There’s everything I love: history, myth, action, and a love story

What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t eat gherkins. Never. Ever.

What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors? I use Silver Dagger book tours for promotion. The owner, Maia, organises a one-month blog tour for the book, and it’s an amazing experience.

Email: russell.barbara.84@gmail.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-russell

Twitter: @brussell84Kiwi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RussellBarbara84

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07HHJGBBX

Blog: https://barbararussell.blogspot.co.nz

All-author: https://allauthor.com/profile/brussell/

Landing page: https://mailchi.mp/f3c0a9bf3544/barbararussell

51Z7X6CQlAL_002Latest published book:A Damsel in Shiny Armor

Genre: Steampunk/Arthurian fantasy/Romance

Publisher: Champagne Books Group

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UMotOH

After fighting dragons, wild Vikings, and clockwork monsters, Nathair is facing the biggest challenge of his life: proposing to Bryhannon. Apparently, flowers and a three-month salary worth ring aren’t enough because she doesn’t seem thrilled by the proposal. She has a devastating power to control, Reapers to face, and more importantly she has to find the courage to tell Nathair that she’s a Morrigan.

This wraps up another week. Next time, I’ll return with more about my own work and another snippet from Carnage in Singapore.  If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, May 5, 2019

Happy Cinco de Mayo day!  

Things are slowing taking shape in the back yard (garden) after years of neglect before we purchased the property. It’ll probably take all summer to get things to the state we want, but we’ll get there in the end.

KODAK Digital Still CameraMeet Oliver. He’s fifteen and loves to go outdoors. Unfortunately, over the past two weeks he’s been to the vet’s office four times. He’s not well–the vet has narrowed it down to a tumor or feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). We don’t know how much longer he’ll be with us, but he’s getting plenty of treats and affection. Oliver still loves his spot on the front step, moving just inside the vestibule if it becomes too chilly. He’s sleeping just now.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on Cinco de Mayo. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Louis Christophe François Hachette, French publisher (Librairie Hachette); Jacob Kats, Flemish writer (Earthly Paradise); Hubert Howe Bancroft, American historian, ethnologist (History of Pacific States); Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish author (Quo Vadis, Nobel 1905); Max Elskamp, Belgian author and poet (Lesson Joies Blondes, Maya); Nellie Bly [Elizabeth Cochran Seaman], American journalist and writer (Ten Days in a Mad House); Christopher Morley, American author (Kitty Foil); Freeman Gosden, American writer; James Beard, American culinary expert and author (Delights & Prejudices); Miklós Radnóti, Hungarian poet (Clouded Sky); Richard Rovere, American political journalist (Goldwater Caper); Rob Van Gennep, Dutch publisher; and Naomi Klein, Canadian author (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate);.

How many did you recognize? There’s two or three who might be familiar, perhaps not by name, but by the title of their work. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

I finished the query letter for Carnage in Singapore, and he manuscript has been submitted. Here’s another snippet:

1539534550Bullets ripped through the air as more sirens joined the growing sound of emergency vehicles. Koh and Noah hunkered down behind the BMW, bullets pinging off metal. Rounds shredded tires and glass fragments from the shattered windows fell on them. Koh and Noah returned fire, ducking as bullets ricocheted off the vehicle. An ear-piercing scream erupted from one of the attackers as projectiles smashed their way through what remained of the black car shielding them.

***

“You okay, Noah?” Koh coughed. “I took—” He yelped and coughed again. “I took a round through my right shoulder. Appears to be through and through. Hurts like anak haram.”

“Not sure what it means, but I agree.”

“It’s bastard in Malay.” Koh cocked his head. “Hear that?”

“I don’t hear anything but the sirens.”

“Exactly. If they were reloading, they should have done it by now.”

Noah nodded. “They’ve stopped shooting. I wonder if the sirens scared them away?”

“They either ran, or we took care of them.”

Noah inched upward to peer over the hood.

Koh yanked him back. “Not yet. We don’t know if they’ve gone. I suggest—“

Both men heard footsteps rushing away from them.

Noah slumped to the ground and leaned against the vehicle. “It might be a good idea to stay put until the police arrive.”

“Okay with me. Put your weapon on the ground near you. If you’re holding it when the police arrive, they’ll shoot first and ask questions later.”

Noah began to laugh and jerked his arm. “Ow! This isn’t a laughing matter.”

Perhaps more next time.

1541181671I’ve also continue to edit the original chapters of A Cartel’s Revenge. Originally, this was to be a stand-alone novel, but now this will be book one of the Bruce and Smith series. So far, I’ve revised the first eight chapters, with fifty-nine new chapter reviews from the two subscription writing sites I use.  I’ll provide a new snippet next week.

This brings us to a close for another week as I need to spend some time with Ollie. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.