Monthly Archives: August 2011

Aug 31

How Far Apart Are the Contractions? Oops, Not That Kind

Contractions Anyone?
by
Mary Deal

During the time I did a lot of editing, I found the same errors in manuscripts – over and over. Of course, mostly all pertained to grammar.

One of the frequent errors that go unnoticed only by the writer is when using contractions.

Look at these sentences:

There’s two people standing over by the fence.

There’s some people missing.

Do you see the error? These sentences are also incorrect without using contractions:

There is two people standing over by the fence.

There is some people missing.

If you read out loud, you will hear what’s wrong.

The word is, a verb, is shortened into a contraction with the word there. That’s absolutely correct. But the word is represents something singular. In the first sentence, two people are plural. Same with some people the second sentence.

When more than one subject is the object of the sentence – two people, or some people – then are must be used, which represents more than one.

The correct sentences are:

There are two people standing over by the fence.

There are some people missing.

Much less favorable, and mostly used in dialogue, is:

There’re two people standing over by the fence.

There’re some people missing.

Pick through this article and see the contractions I’ve used. Then speak the sentences out loud and also read them without any words being contracted. Another exercise is to look for examples in other pieces you may read. See if you can spot the errors.

As usual, there is one exception to all this. The poor grammar is perfectly okay to have your characters use in dialogue if you have set them up to speak that way. They will need to have this type of slangy dialogue throughout the story, unless you plan a huge metamorphosis for that character. Remember to make sure their colloquial dialogue suits their personalities and the parts they play in the story.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.
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Aug 26

Suspense Writer Cindy Huefner Cromer Guests with Mike Angley

MA: Cindy Huefner Cromer is originally from Freehold Township, New Jersey and currently resides in Stuart, Florida, with her husband, son, and daughter. She is a scientist and executive, formally the president of a laboratory network. In this role she has written numerous laboratory procedures and research documents. Sounds boring, right? Nope. She was placed in the honors English classes in high school based on a descriptive essay that she wrote in eighth grade. Upon high school graduation she chose science as a college curriculum and earned her B.S degree in Chemistry and Biology. Due to her passion for reading suspense and mystery novels, she had a dream to one day become a writer. Now her dream has not only come true but exceeded her grandest expectations. ‘DESPERATE MEASURES’, Cindy’s debut suspense fiction novel is now released. She crafts her writing style and utilizes her scientific and executive background in the creation of her characters without bombarding the reader with acronyms and scientific jargon.

Tell us the story about how you came to be recognized for your writing skills at an early age.

CHC: When I was in eighth grade, I wrote a descriptive essay. On my way to basketball practice one day, I saw my father come out of the Principal’s office. I immediately became nervous and thought I had gotten into trouble, for what I had no idea. My father informed me that that my essay was written so well that I had been placed in the honors English and Literature classes. You may ask if this bit of my history has anything to do with where I am today. The answer is yes and no. At that time I had plans of grandeur and envisioned myself as a bestselling author, but also wanted to be a professional woman’s basketball player. Hey, I was only a teenager, had big dreams. Back to the point I focused on my favorite subject in school, science and earned my degrees in chemistry and biology in college. Through the many technical papers, contracts, and invaluable experience in my career, I’ve come full circle, realized my dream, and have begun my writing career.

MA: With your technical background, why novels?

CHC: Ever since I was a little, I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. Jokingly I always said one day I’d write a book, if I ever had the time. My family teased me mercilessly about reading and encouraged me to write a book since I had read so many. While reading a book, I won’t mention the author or title, I counted four characters with the same name. I slammed the book down and decided to do what I’d claimed. I gave it a shot, started typing away, and created Caitlin, the protagonist. I gave her a career utilizing my scientific and executive background. Since my favorite genre is mystery and suspense, I thought about a story I’d like to read. It didn’t take long for a plot and ending to formulate. I chose the main location as St. Kitts because my family and I do travel there frequently and the island is beautiful. It was really fun creating the characters. Once I got going, the second book started to form. When I finished Desperate Measures, I hoped, but wasn’t sure it would ever become published, at least I achieved my dream and wrote it. I continued on with the second book and am glad I did.

MA: Give me an elevator pitch about Desperate Measures.

CHC: ‘The secret is out AGAIN…! This time lives are in jeopardy. What should have been the perfect vacation soon became a nightmare. Caitlin Martel made a stop before meeting her family at Miami International Airport. A cryptic message waited for her. She dismissed the threat and assumed it was directed toward the brilliant scientist that she recently hired. Caitlin has no idea that a forgotten secret was about to explode and put her life in jeopardy.

When Caitlin and her family arrive on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts, they find their dream home vandalized. In the kitchen, another message has been left, in blood, leaving no doubt that Caitlin personally is the target.

In a flashback Caitlin recalls the secret that her father, Jack Spencer, revealed to her sixteen years ago. He didn’t tell her everything. Will Jack be able to confront the truth and reconstruct the past in time to save his daughter?

Caitlin’s husband Scott, FBI Assistant Director, also believes the threats are related to Caitlin’s professional life. Once Caitlin points out the significance of what was left in their home, Scott unofficially brings his top FBI agent, Tomas Medina, to St. Kitts.

When Tomas arrives, his status is quickly upgraded and the investigation becomes official. The third threat creates a direct link to multi-billionaire Lukas Bucklin. The suspense escalates through twists, turns, and family secrets yet to be revealed. A powerful climax unveils an unlikely alliance between two deadly and dangerous enemies.

MA: So who’s the antagonist in the story? I assume you a have a particularly nasty one?

CHC: Oh, yes, absolutely! Can’t give too much information here about him or her. You don’t want me to ruin the surprise ending do you?

MA: So what’s next? Is there a sequel in the works?

CHC: I am currently putting the finishing touches and edits to my second book, Desperate Deceptions. It could be considered a sequel, but I have written it as a stand-alone and the reader won’t be lost if they haven’t read Desperate Measures. Of course, my goal is to propel the sales of my first book and make the reader want to read both. I have a third and fourth book in rough draft format, and are completely different from the first two. They are mysteries, but totally different characters and plots. Once I finish those two I would like to get back to a few of the characters I created in Desperate Measures, especially Tomas. I created him as a minor role to provide a bit of comic relief to the reader, but he took on a life of his own and I want to create his own story line. Barry Solerno also needs to be the main focus of a book. I have no idea where I came up with him, but he became my favorite character.

MA: Does Caitlin make an appearance in future books?

CHC: Caitlin is the protagonist in Desperate Deceptions and at this time I don’t have any plans for her in the next novels. Maybe when I get back to Barry’s and Tomas’s storylines she may play a minor role just to update the reader on her achievements.

MA: Anything else you’d like to add?

CHC: Yes, and thank you for asking. I get asked about writers block frequently and would like to share my experiences. Writer’s block does exist. I found a few tricks to get past the frustrating points when words and creativity just wouldn’t come. First I re-read the last three scenes that I had written to build my confidence and boost my self-esteem, convince myself I could do it. When that doesn’t work, I read. At this juncture, I deliberately choose books I wouldn’t typically or a book that I have read before but didn’t enjoy. Sounds a little strange, but this method works well for me. For one thing, at this point I’m not enjoying the material and it motivates me to get going, knowing that I can create a much better book. Also, I can never predict when inspiration will hit. Writing is 24/7, I can’t just say, “oops quitting time”, there’s no such thing for a writer. I also like to share personal story when the walls of writers block came crashing down.

MA: Cindy, thanks for guesting with me today. I encourage my readers to visit her website www.cindyhuefnercromer.com and her publisher’s website www.etreasurespublishing.com for more information and to read some of the wonderful reviews she’s received. Read More

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Aug 24

Characters ARE Important! Mary Deal Tells Us All About Them

Importance of Characters
by
Mary Deal

How many great stories do you remember? The plots hold a place in memory, but chances are, you more remember the characters that made the plots come alive. The greatest story will fall flat if lackluster characters people the plot.

When readers read a story and find the characters not performing the way they should in their given situations, it’s because the writer has not developed them to their fullest potential in the action. The writer hasn’t made them true-to-life. How can a reader feel empathy for empty characters? It’s a huge let-down for a story that held enough enticement for the person to buy the book.

Whether the first book you’ve read, or the most recent, when you realize which are your favorites, what do you remember about them? Chances are your mind goes straight to the characters that made the story work for you. Especially with the older stories, you may not remember all the details of the action. You may remember the plot overall, but you will remember the characters that stood out in the action. You’ll probably even remember the way they were costumed.

You have probably already committed to memory some lines of unique dialogue that you’ll never forget. Dialogue comes from the characters. Dialogue can cause a person to remember a story long after the entire story fades from memory. One line of dialogue can renew the feelings we had when we first experienced the action of the story.

What do you feel or re-live when you hear or remember “Here’s looking at you, Kid.” What story do you associate with that line of dialogue? What do you remember about the character who said it?

How about “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Characters and their dialogue can bring back all the feelings and emotions that the story created, without having to remember every scene and bit of action of the plot.

The importance of great characters can’t be stressed enough. To make them memorable, or to help your reader suspend disbelief and feel empathy and care for your characters, you must make them as real or true-to-life as possible. If your characters just don’t work in a scene or in the entire story, they will be interpreted as contrived.

The writer does not make a memorable character by describing him or her to the nth degree. The writer will establish the character only as much as allows us to know that personality and what their life may be about. Then that character will react to situations as they appear. That’s one of the places where the story – or the characters – will write themselves.

For example, a happily married housewife will react differently to a man making a pass than would a party girl. It all depends on how you set up your characters. They all have different personalities and their reactions and dialogue will be consistent with the characteristics you establish for them.

When I say to establish the character only as much as allows us to know that personality and what their life may be about, a lot more goes into that then finds its way into the story. See my article, Character Sketches. In a character sketch, you will develop so much about each character that you will feel you are them. All of that information does not make it into the story but it sets them up for story people whose actions and reactions will create or flesh out the story. The writer knowing the character well sets up how the character will react in scenes.

Opposite of that, if the writer doesn’t know the characters very well, how can they know how a certain personality will react to anything?

Of all the people in the world, each of us is unique. Of all the characters in all stories written – incomparably fewer than actual living people – each new character in each new story must be a stand-out.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre. Read More

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Aug 19

Mike Angley’s Interview on Paul Bruno’s History Czar Radio Program

[layout_logo-the-history-czar] I was honored to have been interviewed by radio host Paul Bruno for his program, the History Czar. Please listen to the audio file and enjoy!

Mike Angley’s August 19, 2011 Interview on the History Czar Program Read More

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Aug 19

‘Jake West — The Keeper of the Stones’ Author, M J Webb, Guests with Mike Angley

MA: I am pleased to welcome the newest guest to my blog, M J Webb. M J is a 43 year old Civil Servant from Walsall, England. He is married with two small children who were the inspiration for his first novel, Jake West – The Keeper of the Stones. He was educated at St John’s C of E primary school and Shire Oak Comprehensive School in Walsall Wood before trying his hand at several vocations, finally settling on a career in the Civil Service where he has worked for almost twenty years. As a boy his favourite subjects were always history and English. He enjoyed reading and occasionally writing poetry. He was also an enthusiastic member of the school football and rugby teams, captaining both occasionally to moderate success. These days his spare time is spent writing or with his children. He enjoys most sports and generally keeping fit if circumstances allow, though he always seems to be fighting a perpetual battle against time, the free version of which continues to elude him. But, the challenge is part of the thrill, and writing this novel has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Welcome, M J! Please tell us about some of your other career experiences. I understand you’ve had a few other vocations in the past.
MJ: I had numerous jobs including a brief stint in the UK Armed Forces, cocktail barman, production controller and buyer in a factory, telesales and student. I’m used to dealing with people of all backgrounds and my varied professional life has given me a well rounded perspective on life.

MA: What inspired you to write novels?

MJ: To be totally honest, and I know how much of a cliché it is, I wrote my first novel for my two children. I wanted to do something for them, to give them a piece of my soul if you will, something I’d put a lot of hard work into, and something that no one could ever take away from them. I also believe that subconsciously my work was no longer stimulating me and I needed something else in my life to engage the grey matter. Whatever the true reason, it has unleashed a passion in me that I never knew existed and it has been like a drug that I can’t seem to get enough of. I never set out to write an epic. The original concept was small, but it kept on growing and growing and it shows no sign of stopping.

MA: Give your varied professional background, are any of your characters based upon real-life people with whom you’ve interacted?

MJ: No and yes. I chose to write a fantasy novel so the people, creatures and places contained within are totally out of my imagination. However, my main hero is loosely based on my son (or rather, the boy he may become, as he’s only five now) and Princess Zephany is loosely based upon my daughter (again, the girl she may grow into). There are of course facets of some characters that are influenced by people I know, but the two mentioned above are the only ones that were written with anyone else in mind. I’m hoping they will inspire my children and others as they have many of the traits I’d like my kids to develop i.e. courage, honour, loyalty etc.

MA: Tell us about Jake West – the Keeper of the Stones.

MJ: It’s a fantasy epic and an introductory novel which is intended to be the first of a series of books. It has been described as a blend of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (not by me I hasten to add), though I prefer to think that it has its own merits and it was certainly not influenced by either. I think personally that the fantasy tag is a bit misleading and believe that many agents and publishers are put off by the word. It is more of an adventure.

The story tells of an ordinary young boy and his best mate who discover a strange box in Jake’s grandfather’s attic. When the box is opened it sparks an epic journey into another world which triggers a catastrophic chain reaction on that world and countless others. From the moment the box is opened, the boys have alerted everyone to its existence, and now they are being hunted. Forced to flee to the mystical land of Rhuaddan, leaving his grandfather to the mercy of a Thargw warrior, Jake learns of some strange family secrets. He becomes a ‘Keeper’. He is the latest in a long line of such guardians, the last great hope of millions, and he has to fulfil his destiny, or he and Ben will never make it home. The box of stones is broken, without it the Ruddite Rebellion is doomed, the dark forces begin to amass their armies in the west in preparation for the battle which will end the Ruddite wars. This world and every other stands on the very brink of destruction…
Everything now depends on an ordinary fifteen year old schoolboy. If he can’t protect the stones…???

MA: I suppose crafting your protagonist was simple, since he’s a snapshot of who you hope your son will be. Is he the only hero?

MJ: My novel has many heroes and villains. The main two heroes are Jake and his best friend, Ben. Jake was easy to create as he is the boy we all wanted to be when we were young. Ben is far more complex and in my mind he’s the bravest. He possesses none of the powers or abilities of his best friend, and yet he faces the same dangers (almost). He’s had a hard life and his character was inspired by a blend of certain people I know, though no one individual in particular. Actually, external influences were very few. The vast majority of characters came directly from within the confines of my mind. I just tried to picture them on the big screen and played around with that notion until I was happy.

MA: Tell us more about Jake and Ben.

MJ: Jake is strong, fit, courageous and easy going. His life is not far from idyllic and the only thing holding him back is his own apathy towards life. He doesn’t take life too seriously and he loves a joke. He’s pretty level headed and has an enormous capacity for inspiring and giving loyalty. He is decisive and trustworthy. But, he’s also young, unsure of himself and knows nothing of combat or what it takes to be a leader. Luckily for him, that is all about to change!

Ben has had a very tough start in life. He’s a fighter from a family of fighters, and his temper often gets the better of him. He’s hot headed and he often engages his mouth several seconds before his brain. He has adopted Jake and his family as his own and he is fiercely loyal to his best friend. He has many weaknesses, but he has a huge heart and he would take a bullet for Jake.
Between them, they make a formidable team.

MA: And antagonists?

MJ: There are many ‘bad guys’ in my novel. Chief amongst them are the Thargw warrior, Sawdon, and his master, King Vantrax. Sawdon is quite simply the most awesome warrior to ever wield a battlesword, a living legend to his race, and the most fearsome of adversaries in a world full of soldiers, warriors and mercenaries. Vantrax is an evil wizard King who is intent on conquering the entire continent of Estia, destroying the Ruddite Rebellion and killing his brother, King Artrex, and killing or capturing Jake, so that he may obtain the stones and replace his own reolite stone, the Lichtus. He is cunning, possesses a complete absence of morals and is obsessed with power and attaining the throne.

With two continents and three vast armies, there are many characters and plots in which evil has the chance to thrive. Try fighting against the Falorian Spearmen, the Taskan warriors or the Pralon. Or take on the Dzorag and King Vantrax’ Personal Guard. Lock horns with Melissa and the Sebantah, or fight against the many traitors and hired mercenaries in the Northern and Southern armies. Jake West has to take on them all.

MA: You told me before the interview that you are planning a sequel. Tell us about that.

MJ: I have penned 24 chapters of the sequel which I believe puts it about two thirds of the way towards completion. After that, there is one more book to complete the original concept with the possibility of adventures to follow in different worlds, times etc. There’s also a great prequel in there and spin off’s, so the possibilities are endless, though all will depend on the success of the first series. I have a full time job and two small children so writing time I’m afraid is severely limited at present. As for the future, I’m just going with the flow.

MA: Any final thoughts?

MJ: I self published my first novel and I’ve made mistakes from which I will learn. I was distraught when I found out the cost of the book, but it was set by the publishers and I could not persuade them to lower it. I have been amazed that so many have purchased it and by the excellent reviews it has received. I could not afford a professional edit and that would be the first thing I would do if I had the time again/money to pay for it. Progress has been seriously hampered by lack of finance and marketing opportunities. Self publishing is fine, but you are very much out on your own in a highly competitive world. It’s easy to spend mega bucks trying to promote your work and there are so many pitfalls to be wary of. Still, if you believe in your work, my advice would be to go for it. Only, do so with your eyes wide open after having researched the industry thoroughly, and only when you are one hundred per cent happy with your finished manuscript.

For information on my book, as well as an art competition being run at present and progress on the sequel, please log on to http://www.jakewest.co.uk

MA: Thanks, M J, for being my guest today.
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Aug 17

Quoting Can Be Such Sweet Sorrow…An Article by Mary Deal

Inside the End Quotes
by
Mary Deal

So much confusion exists about what goes inside or outside of the end quotes in dialogue.

I digress here to say that the only sentences that should be included in quotation marks are something that someone said. Quotation marks should not be used to draw attention to anything other than dialogue. Considering dialogue, quotes can also be used to set off a repeated portion of something another person said. An example:

~ His response to revealing the secret was “deep and dark.”

Now consider this sentence:

~ San Francisco is known as “The City by the Bay.”

In this example, I would immediately wonder who said that. Yet, it isn’t written as dialogue. The correct way to set off a title or information other than dialogue is to present it in italics.

San Francisco is known as The City by the Bay.

Having clarified that, what follows is the correct positioning of the end quotes on various forms of dialogue.

All punctuation, whether statement, question of exclamation, belongs inside the end quotes.

“Where did you go?” she asked.

In the above sentence, the question mark must follow the question, then the end quotes. Even though we use a question mark instead of a comma, the sentence continues with she asked.

“We went for the movie first.”

“I don’t believe it!”

“I told you, I did it,” she said.

Notice in the last sentence above that the sentence wasn’t complete until after the word said. A comma was used after it, then the end quotes. The variation from the first sentence above with the question mark is that a question mark always follows a question, regardless there is more to the sentence..

Then we get into a person relating something someone else said. That’s where you find single quotes inside double quotes.

“When she became obstinate, her mother said, ‘Go to your room!’”

In this sentence of dialogue, the sentence within a sentence – Go to your room – is set off with single quotation marks. Notice that the exclamation point ending the dialogue goes inside both sets of end quotes: The exclamation point, then the single end quote to end the dialogue within dialogue, and then the double end quote signifying the final end to the entire string of dialogue.

The exclamation point belongs with the string Go to your room, so belongs inside the single end quote. In the cases where an exclamation point should end the embodying string of dialogue, the exclamation point would be placed between the single end quote and the double one.

“I hated that he quietly said ‘It’s over’!”

Notice here, too, the lack of a period after the repeated dialogue. Someone else said It’s over but it is not the end of the sentence that is being spoken in anger. So the exclamation point belongs after the single quote mark but inside the double end quotes.

For most writers, the simple rule is that all punctuation goes inside the end quotes. When it becomes more complicated is when you begin to quote dialogue where one person is telling what another said. Then many more variations exist.

Much to any writer’s chagrin, instruction for proper usage of quotation marks could fill many pages. It’s wise to have a reputable book of punctuation nearby and seek out the exact examples and solutions you may need for your prose.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre. Read More

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Aug 12

Multi-published Author, Novelist and Poet, Nelson O. Ottenhausen, Guests with Mike Angley

MA: I’m happy today to introduce my guest-blogger, Nelson O. Ottenhausen. Nelson is a retired Army officer and an accomplished writer published nationally in periodicals and anthologies. His latest poem, Out of Sane, appears in a Siruss Poe anthology collection, Mind Mutations. His book, Flowers, Love & Other Things, released in November of 2005, is a selected collection of his own published poetry and short stories.

Several of his short stories have been published and one, A Fish Story, is included in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul, now available in book stores everywhere. His short story, Duty, appeared in the December/January 2006 issue of the Pensacola Today magazine. Feature articles of his have been published in various magazines about the USS Oriskany, an aircraft carrier sunk in the Gulf of Mexico in May of 2006 in the Navy’s artificial reef program, and Survivors a human-interest story about a Pensacola military family that survived Pearl Harbor, World War II, Hurricane Ivan and 70 years of marriage.

He has published five novels, Civil War II, (2004), The Blue Heron (2005) and The Killing Zone: Evil’s Playground (2007), Jugs & Bottles (2009) and The Sin Slayer (2010).

Nelson founded Pen WISE Poets (Writers in Service to Education), a literary arts outreach program in the schools of Northwest Florida, which he managed from 1994 thru 1998, and in 1995, he was cited by Governor Lawton Chiles of Florida for this work. In October of 1995, he received a fellowship for his writings, and in August of the same year was appointed by Florida’s Secretary of State to the Directory of Visiting Artists to lecture in Florida schools about poetry, only one of five poets throughout the state to be honored so.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree in Operations Management and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.

A former native of northwestern Illinois, he now resides in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Okay, that was a mouthful! Tell us how you began writing novels, because it seems like you wrote a lot of poetry before this.

NO: I wrote poetry for over 7 years and had 40 poems published, 28 of them I actually received compensation, but the highest payment I ever received for a poem was $35.00. In the late-90s, I came to the conclusion I was wasting my time with poetry and began writing novels. However, the poetry writing experience taught me to express my thoughts in a more concise manner and greatly improved my sentence structuring.

MA: Tell us about your novels, and did any real-life experiences inspire them?

NO: My first 2 novels are action adventure novels with political overtones and loosely based on my military experience as an Army officer. Almost all of the main characters in my novels are based on people I know or have met in a professional working relationship in some way.

Here’s the list:

Civil War II – My first published novel, action/adventure (2004) – A story of coercion, bribery and a military coup, overthrowing a sitting President of the United States, the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court.

The Blue Heron – An action/adventure (2005) – A story about a U.S. military covert operation and coup to overthrow the Cuban government.

The Killing Zone: Evil’s Playground – Police thriller/mystery (2007) – Police Detective Daniel Patrick O’Malley is called out to investigate the death of a young woman in what appears to be an apparent suicide, but he soon discovers she is a victim in a series of bizarre murders.

Jugs & Bottles – Police thriller/comedy (2009) – A woman deaf since birth, is targeted for murder after witnessing a Mafia style execution then identifying the two hit men to the police. She, along with her dog become involved in a series of chaotic events as two brothers attempt to silence her with their bumbling, comedic ways.

The Sin Slayer – Police mystery/suspense thriller (2010) – For thirty years, a self-ordained church leader has convinced his small congregation to secretly kill dozens of people after hearing an inner voice, whom he believes to be God, telling him to cleanse the world of chosen sinners.

Flowers, Love & Other Things (2005) – A collection of poems and short stories by Nelson O. Ottenhausen published in other media from 1994 through 2005.

MA: That’s quite an assortment! Are your heroes based upon real people you’ve known?

NO: Protagonists, as well as the main characters in all of my novels, are mirrored after someone I knew, both relatives and friends.

MA: I’m intrigued by Jugs & Bottles because your protagonist is not human. Tell us more.

NO: My hero in that story is a dog. His strong points are; he is loyal, obedient and lovable, and will face danger without hesitation to protect his charge. His biggest weakness; he tries to befriend everyone because of his lovable attitude.

MA: I take it you have many different antagonists in your stories?

NO: Each novel has a strong “bad guy” and all of them are a little whacky. In Jugs & Bottles, there are really 2 “bad guys” and 2 good “bad guys” (2 brothers wanting be major criminals, but just don’t have the smarts nor ability to become so).

MA: As prolific a writer as you are, I assume you are working on something new?

NO: I’m presently working on two novels, Black Mist of the Trinity, a story of terrorists, nuclear warfare and black OPS; and Auggie, a historical novel about a young Russian girl growing up in Japanese occupied China during World War II, based on the true life experiences of a long time acquaintance.

MA: Anything else you’d like to add?

NO: I am President and part owner of Patriot Media, Inc., a small independent publishing company in Niceville, Florida. We are a traditional publisher in the sense we do not charge authors to publish their work. We are specialized and publish only military theme books, both fiction and non-fiction. To review our titles, go to www.patriotmedia.inc.

MA: Nelson, thanks for your service in the Army, and thanks for being my guest today. Folks, please visit Nelson’s Patriot Media website, as well as his personal site: www.booksbynelson.com. Read More

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Aug 11

Noted Mystery & Crime Author Michael A. Black Calls ‘Child Finder: Revelation’ a ‘great read’!

“Set in one of the world’s hot spots, Child Finder: Revelation by Mike Angley combines the author’s first hand knowledge of the military with a dash of the psychic supernatural thrown in. It’s a great read.”

—Michael A. Black ~ Author of Hostile Takeovers, and I Am Not a Psychic (with Richard Belzer) Read More

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Aug 10

Mary Deal Gives us the Lowdown on Kinship Names

Kinship Names

by

Mary Deal

Recently, several people asked me about kinship names. Of course, I would turn that into an article.

Kinship names are possessive determiners that show to whom the subject person is related. When no kinship names are used, the subject’s name is capitalized. For example:

My mother came over.

Where are you, Mother?

In the first sentence above, My is the kinship names and identifies whose mother she is, so mother is not capitalized. In the second sentence, even though we seem to be asking a question of our own mother, we do not identify her as our mother. The subject person stands alone and is capitalized.

Here’s one exception. Some people would ask “Where are you, my mother?” Again, since the question uses the pronoun my to identify the relationship, mother is not capitalized.

A capital letter is not used on a pronoun whenever you qualify a person’s relationship by using kinship names like my, our, his, her, aunt, uncle, and so forth,. The capital letter is always used on a person’s proper name, however. No exceptions. Here are correct examples:

My aunt Marie came over.

When will Aunt Marie come over?

In first sentence above, My identifies her as being my aunt, so only her name is capitalized. The second sentence doesn’t state whose aunt she is, so Aunt becomes part of her name and both are capitalized.

Here are some examples with the correct version being the second usage:

Did mom and dad go home?

Mom and Dad went home.

Did your Mom and Dad go home?

Did your mom and dad go home?

Okay, dad, let’s get out of here.

Okay, Dad, let’s get out of here.

The simple solution to remember is that if no kinship is included to qualify a person’s relationship, then the title and name of the subject person in the sentence is capitalized.

You can find this information further clarified with their own examples in The Chicago Manual of Style. In my 16th Edition, the section, Kinship Names starts at section 8.35 on Page 400.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.

Kinship Names

Recently, several people asked me about kinship names. Of course, I would turn that into an article.

Kinship names are possessive determiners that show to whom the subject person is related. When no kinship names are used, the subject’s name is capitalized. For example:

My mother came over.

Where are you, Mother?

In the first sentence above, My is the kinship names and identifies whose mother she is, so mother is not capitalized. In the second sentence, even though we seem to be asking a question of our own mother, we do not identify her as our mother. The subject person stands alone and is capitalized.

Here’s one exception. Some people would ask “Where are you, my mother?” Again, since the question uses the pronoun my to identify the relationship, mother is not capitalized.

A capital letter is not used on a pronoun whenever you qualify a person’s relationship by using kinship names like my, our, his, her, aunt, uncle, and so forth,. The capital letter is always used on a person’s proper name, however. No exceptions. Here are correct examples:

My aunt Marie came over.

When will Aunt Marie come over?

In first sentence above, My identifies her as being my aunt, so only her name is capitalized. The second sentence doesn’t state whose aunt she is, so Aunt becomes part of her name and both are capitalized.

Here are some examples with the correct version being the second usage:

Did mom and dad go home?

Mom and Dad went home.

Did your Mom and Dad go home?

Did your mom and dad go home?

Okay, dad, let’s get out of here.

Okay, Dad, let’s get out of here.

The simple solution to remember is that if no kinship is included to qualify a person’s relationship, then the title and name of the subject person in the sentence is capitalized.

You can find this information further clarified with their own examples in The Chicago Manual of Style. In my 16th Edition, the section, Kinship Names starts at section 8.35 on Page 400.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre. Read More

Posted in Author Blogs, Author Colleagues, Other Media | Leave a comment
Aug 08

Professional Book Reviewer and Editor, Joyce M. Gilmour, Pens Wonderful Review of ‘Child Finder: Revelation’

Here’s what Joyce M. Gilmour of Editing TLC, had to say about Child Finder: Revelation:

Oh, my gosh! When I received my ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Child Finder Revelation I was so thrilled because I had been waiting for it since reading the first two books in the trilogy. When I finished this book, all I could say was a jaw-dropping, “Oh, my gosh!” Then I tossed the book to my husband (who NEVER reads fiction, by the way) and said, “You have got to read the last two chapters of this book! You just have to!” And he started reading, and he didn’t throw it back to me, he read all the way to the end. Now THAT is amazing in and of itself.

Mike Angley is an absolute genius! I will admit that I’m a Child Finder fanatic! No question about it. I’ve been waiting for this third book because the first two pulled me in and kept me turning pages like crazy. Mike Angley brings much experience in criminal investigation, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism to his writing, which makes the storyline so real, but also so fascinating. He promised me that the last book in the series, Child Finder Revelation, would be “nonstop action and peril.” And he did not disappoint.

In this book, Air Force Special Agent Patrick O’Donnell is sent to rescue the twin daughters of a U.S. Ambassador who are abducted by North Korean terrorists. Agent O’Donnell uses his psychic abilities to rescue children, but something seems very different about this case. What do the White House and the Vatican know? O’Donnell truly feels that he may be sacrificing his life to save the twins. Something is going on and he needs to find out.

So what are all of the secrets surrounding this case? Mystery abounds…what is fact? What is fiction? Trust me when I say, when you finish this book, you will be shaking your head and asking the same questions. Like I said, Mike Angley is a genius who has put together a superb read. Child Finder Revelation can be a standalone read but be sure not to cheat yourself out of the first two books in the trilogy before you scoop up this one. These are all topnotch books in the mystery thriller genre. Become a Child Finder fanatic. You’ll be glad you did! Read More

Posted in Book Reviews, CF: Revelation | Leave a comment