Archive for writing process

Pre-Order Available Now!

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Get To Know The Characters!, New Releases, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03-7-2019 by jeffreymartinsnovels

I wanted to reach out to everyone as my latest novel is available for Pre-order! For the next 72 hours utilize flash20 for a discount!

https://www.waldorfpublishing.com/collections/2019/products/deaths-prescription-2

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A Method to My Writing Madness and a Little Taste of Something…

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun!, New Releases with tags , , , , , , on 03-23-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

20110604-094545.jpgToday, I will take you on another journey through the depths of my sometimes devious mind, as we discuss one of my favorite parts in assembling a finished work. Drumroll…please! Chapter titles and the abbreviated version on two reasons why they are important to me…and hopefully the fans as well. ūüôā

The creation of chapter titles is important for me because of two main reasons. After I have created my outline and all the names of my victims are chosen‚Ķerr‚ĶI meant main characters, of course, I visually play out the interaction of each person, bouncing it off my outline. Now, remember I haven‚Äôt written down one word of the story, so my memory is pretty much what I utilize. This can sometimes be problematic, especially if you have three girls at home fighting about which Disney Channel show to watch, and the youngest is screaming at a decibel level somewhere along the lines of an opera singer reaching her crescendo. Needless to say, sometimes I have to remove the words Spongebob or Finneas and Ferb, that somehow found its way into the rough draft. After I‚Äôm satisfied with how the chapter flows, I usually pick three possible chapter titles, then systematically eliminate them until the one I should have picked first is the one that‚Äôs left. (I did entitle this ‚ÄúWriting Madness.‚ÄĚ)

Okay, the other reason the titles are important is this. I simply love to have some foreshadowing for the readers. In my latest re-released work, Death Prescription, the first chapter is named ‚ÄúAnatomy of a Killer.‚ÄĚ Well, the readers have hopefully reviewed the back cover blurb and know the story is about a serial killer, so when they see the chapter title, they automatically know this chapter is designed to talk about the killer’s thirst for blood. It gives new readers some insight without divulging all the deets!
For my next book, I’m trying something a little different by not using individual chapter titles. I don’t know how that’s going to work out, but only time will tell…

Btw, I promised you a taste of something, didn’t I? Well, here is the first chapter of Death Prescription…enjoy, as you are well aware…death is only a click away!
ūüėČ

Chapter 1
Anatomy of a Killer

Darkness and death were comfortable roommates for the stranger hidden in the dense foliage. The downpour that spewed from the heavens scattered the masses in various directions, as they sought refuge from the Almighty’s wrath. Outstanding! The art show was the perfect venue for him to collect his next victim. Rubbing the coin between his fingers, the man cherished the preciousness of the moment. He valued life less than the worn fifty-cent piece, which he had taken from his first conquest. The death of the young woman made him powerful, almost like he was deemed to be untouchable by mere mortals. Murder was how he chose to define the nickname his mother had labeled him with when disciplining him so many years earlier. Lucifer. She taunted him with the condescending name for so long.
He recalled his first ‚Äúmasterpiece‚ÄĚ as he prepared to kill again. That night had been similar to this, with one exception; the rain had been gently bouncing off the streets in a way that had almost seemed acrobatic. A tall, young woman named Angela Deeds was carrying a dark umbrella in one hand and a set of keys in the other. Her light blue pantsuit hugged her figure like a second skin, leaving almost nothing to the imagination. She ran toward her yellow sports car, trying to avoid the falling raindrops. Not getting wet would be the least of your worries in a few short moments. The destiny of this female was to be his first masterpiece in a line of many that would follow. There had been a previous death, but it was not worthy of the effort. He watched her approach the vehicle, coming even closer to where he was hidden. All the muscles in his body tensed. The two instruments he had chosen to start his new craft with seemed to weigh down his hands. Get a hold of yourself.
He peeked through the bushes and remembered how exquisite she looked. Angela’s hair was the silkiest and shiniest he’d ever seen, like those unattainable women advertising shampoo in a television commercial. Lucifer was excited as he tightened his hands around that night’s weapons of choice, a small syringe full of his paralytic concoction and the silver nickel-plated 9mm semi-automatic handgun. He hadn’t held a firearm for many years and only wanted to use it in case something went wrong.
He had planned the assault in his mind for many days, watching her walk from her vehicle in the morning, knowing she left at the same time every evening. Lucifer walked past Angela’s place of business and purchased some items from a lingerie store adjacent to her office. He even made eye contact with this striking beauty at the coffee shop just a half block away from her designated parking area. His future victim was only a few short feet away, as Angela tried to hold the umbrella and open her car door at the same time. She fumbled with the keys, as they slipped out of her hand, clattering to the ground.
Lucifer slipped out from his hiding spot and approached her undetected. A sudden movement later; it was too late. The young woman tumbled to the cold wet pavement and landed on her back. She looked up. Lucifer noticed the anguish in her eyes, relishing the fact Angela seemed to recognize him from somewhere, but with the onset of paralysis, time was running out for cognitive thought. Lucifer smiled as he towered over his victim, and decided to use the handgun instead of waiting for the drug to take effect. He pulled the silver slide back, as the clicking sound of the bullet being chambered into position thrilled him. Lucifer watched as Angela Deeds’ breathing became labored, and she clutched desperately at her throat, trying to force out the last bite of air. Almost the end.
Her hands relaxed, and he knew she would never be able to move again. Lowering the firearm, he pointed it between her eyes. Passionately, the man gazed into them and beamed with delight as her pupils dilated. Lucifer eased the trigger back until a deafening explosion erupted, propelling the blunt projectile through the front of her skull. The impact of the small round scattered her brain matter upon the saturated pavement.
Lucifer was pleased with his performance and how his victim had been unable to react. He fingered through all of her belongings, locating several fifty-cent pieces scattered in the bottom of her blood-spattered purse. He placed one in his pocket. ‚ÄúThis is how I‚Äôll honor all victims. Taking a piece of each, making his or her death a part of my life forever.‚ÄĚ That was the first day of his new life. Lucifer would keep the fifty-cent piece with him always to commemorate that day‚ÄĒuntil the day he died.
* * *
Lucifer finished his performance for this evening as well. The killer had returned to his apartment and stood at the kitchen sink, meticulously washing the remnants of human carnage from his hands. ‚ÄúUnexpected deaths.‚ÄĚ Lucifer hadn‚Äôt considered two other people would be in the park, but so be it. He improvised, and now they would also be enshrined in his collection of ‚Äúmasterpieces.‚ÄĚ Cleaning off the battle-axe, and drunk with excitement, he stared at the wooden table. ‚ÄúAh, three new prize possessions,‚ÄĚ Lucifer whispered.
He picked up the first item. It was a worn silver Zippo lighter with the initials J.P. etched on the right side of the lid. He held it for a few seconds, careful to return it to the proper place before reaching for the next. The killer inspected the plastic neon band, tapping the bright face of the time-keeping device. Raising it to his ear, he could still hear the repetitive sound of a working battery. This treasure had come from his youngest victim ever. Lucifer set it back on the table and smiled.
The third and final item would, hands down, be the most cherished of all his new tokens. He ran his fingers along the canvas, careful not to damage the small masterpiece. The artist had created a wonderful work, which Lucifer admired. I have the perfect place! He decided to hang it on the wall in the cramped closet that held his ‚Äúcollection.‚ÄĚ What a productive night. Lucifer was skilled with many of the tools reserved for creating pain and torture. Tonight‚Äôs performance was no exception. This sample of work was but a preview of what was to come. Tomorrow, he would start his hunt for another victim, learning all possible details, becoming one with his prey. But now, even the killer needed to rest.

Writing the Back-Cover Blurb Part 1. (The Hook)

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Just For Fun!, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 03-4-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Welcome, friends and fans! Today I wanted to speak with you about creating the back cover blurb for your potential novel, novella, short story, etc…Your current fully edited¬†WIP,¬†(work-in progress, just in case some of you don’t know. ūüėČ is all but ready to be e-mailed to your literary agent or publisher, and all that remains, is the three to four paragraphs describing your 400 page masterpiece. Now, some authors stress out thinking about this synopsis of sorts, but I’m here to tell you, “Take a few deep breaths and a nice beverage…and relax.”¬† Remember, you just finished a beautiful story. Time to complete the process and entice the readers (like you did the whole time you were creating.)

The first key is develop a “hook”, to draw people to your work. The “hook” is going to be similar to the one you created when sending out¬†those fifty something query letters.¬†(Maybe more like 100…just saying.)¬†The first several words need to be your best. (just my opinion.) Example:for my debut novel, Lucifer’s Calling, the first sentence draws my readers in. “A paralyzing prescription is recipe for creating one man’s art.” Now, the key¬†words¬†that leap¬†off the¬†page are:¬†paralyzing,¬†prescription, and recipe. ¬†Does that make sense to most of you so far? (Duh, a rhetorical question…indeed.) Words are powerful, and using them in a manner which makes people really think, will reward both¬† you and your audience. Okay, so there is your juicy tidbit dangling in front of potential readers. They want to know!.

Now, in the last few weeks, I just released the first installment of my two-part novella, Cupid’s Kill. I followed the same pattern on this work, as I did from my debut release years ago.¬†The goal of your blurb/mini synopsis is to immediately grab the attention of your readers or others, who may be scrolling through Amazon or¬†B&N looking for one of their favorite authors. All of a sudden, they happen to see a book cover (Hopefully you have an appealing one.)¬†along the bottom of the screen that catches their eye. Next, they happen to click on it and read the blurb/synopsis. You may receive unexpected readers because of what that¬†first blurb says. So it’s important for us to have key words in our blurb/synopsis which will propel your opportunity for even more sales.¬† Let’s try a little experiment…if you writers out there would like to throw your opening sentence of your blurb at us, we will put them on next week’s blog and share them with our fans. The audience can tell us, what they like and¬†what draws them to each blurb, or what doesn’t. (We don’t want that to happen.)¬†¬†Let’s have some fun with this, and hopefully we can help each other to make the blurb creation process for our works something we all can enjoy.¬†¬†Enough said…until next week, remember…death is only a click away!

To Write…or not to Write!

Posted in A Writer's Life with tags , , , on 01-25-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Now, there’s  a thought for you. I started writing in my teens, and for the most part, during those few years, it was a staple of my daily ritual. I would get up in the morning, have a quick protein drink (Yes, I started drinking those at early age, too), head off to school, and sit through a few doldrum classes (I can’t remember to this day what they were). I would start to get excited when it came time for my study hall period. That’s when I pulled out the pen and paper and began to create my stories. Each selection would be unique and range in genre from sci-fi to thrillers. If I wasn’t saving the galaxy or taking down criminals, the day wasn’tcomplete.

But somewhere between the age of seventeen and thirty-seven (uh oh…I’m dating myself now), my daily journey with right-brain activities became less and less, and then, for the most part, nonexistent. Well, to this day, I believe a large part of me was lost. Several times during those years, I would sometimes get the nerve to sit at the pc and start typing a story…only never finishing it.

After a work related injury, I vowed to re-ignite my hunger for writing. I set small goals for myself and, without much difficulty, surpassed them. Soon, I had finished my first novel, and to be honest, the publication of it wasn‚Äôt my only agenda. The reality was this: the ability to create was never lost, just sidetracked.¬† After such a layoff, I knew writing was a part of me, and that would never disappear.¬† For me, to write, is a option‚ĶI don‚Äôt have. Next week I’m going to talk about how to create the blurb for the back cover of my novels, and short stories. Until then, always remember…death is only a click away.

ūüôā

Who is the Right Publisher for You? (Part 2)

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information with tags , , , , , , , on 04-8-2011 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Ah, sequel time, boys and girls…(Everybody enjoys a good sequel…hehe!)

Today is the¬†day, future author! The initial query letter you sent in topublisher X¬†resulted in a request for sample pages and¬†synopsis. A ¬†few months later, (please pretend time lapse¬†for effect) the acquisitions editor asked for the full manuscript of your sparkling novel, Sacred Skin, and within a time frame not to exceed six months, you receive a phone call from Mr. Redpencil (hehe) saying, “Welcome to the family. We at publisher X¬†would love to add you to our family of authors. We want you¬†to review the contract we have prepared, where our¬†author royalty percentages are¬†above¬†the¬†normal industry standards!” (I always wonder how many people were polled to determine the industry standards?)

Now, my author friend, excitement fills you to the brim, and your fingers tremble , as you barely keep your sanity. I¬†know you want to sign the contract right this minute…but take a deep breath, and S-¬†L-¬†O-¬†W- down. Before you do anything, read the damn thing!

A few things to look¬† at…

1. What format/formats is your work going to be published in?  Mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, audiobook, e-book, or some form of publication not developed yet? (Yep, many contracts have this phrase in it.) Find some other titles the publisher has released, and see if they are in the same format as yours.         

2. Distribution of your work. Will the novel be listed with all the large book store/libraries/chain merchandise retail stores? ¬†You need to scrutinize this portion of your contract very carefully and ask questions of¬†Mr. Redpencil if you don’t understand. The more¬†distribution you have,¬†¬†the more likely your book will be seen! If Sacred Skin is only listed on publisher X’s website, this may not be the most effective way for your work to be seen.

3. Royalty¬†payments. The contract will list a schedule of royalty¬†payments. Sometimes it’s quarterly/semi-annually. Understand the payment schedule and¬†don’t be afraid to inquire¬†if you feel something doesn’t sound Kosher. It’s important the contract addresses the term royalty¬†statements. The statements determine your sales figures for a designated time frame. Example, if your sales for¬†six months is 5,000 copies, the statement should reflect this amount.

4. Synergy with publisher.¬† Hmm,¬† I hope…no let me rephrase that…I pray you have done research in the initial querying process to determine if publisher X is the right one for you. This can be as simple, as recognizing the kind of novels they publish. If Sacred Skin is a suspense/thriller, and publisher X has only released children’s stories, this may not be a match made in Heaven. Publishing a novel takes team work, and you want the publisher who chooses your work to love it and embrace it¬†as you do. Does that mean you and publisher X should dance under the moonlight together making kissy-face…no, of course not (not unless you want to).¬†BUT¬† IT DOES mean to have an open and ¬†honest communication of what the partnership needs to be successful and how you work as a team¬†to achieve that success.

Finding the right publisher takes a determined effort and committment.¬† There may be times when a¬†publisher has offered a contract, and you review it to find they have great distribution, outstanding¬†royalty payments, and will release your work in all formats…but the synergy is off, and working with them is painstaking, to say the least. What do you do?¬† Hmm, Now that’s a question YOU have to answer.

Hehe! Hehe!

Until next time… Death is only a click away!

Who is the Right Publisher for You? (Part 1) Yes, Part 2 is Next Week!

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information with tags , , , , , , , on 04-1-2011 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Hmm, let’s ponder that question. Some would say that¬†anyone willing to publish your work is the right¬†one. Not so much, aspiring writers. I know you slaved away on the manuscript and spent countless hours editing it to within an inch of its’ life, and then…you sent out dozens upon dozens of query letters, where the only correspondence was in the form of a cookie cutter rejection letter.¬†It can be disappointing to say the least.

So, your next course of action, is to scour the internet and writing forums for publishers who accept query letters. You take a deep breath…(make sure you exhale, or you will pass out) and fire¬†off a few queries to a publisher who you¬†think will make your writing dreams become a reality.¬† A few weeks/months later, ¬†the golden ticket arrives in email/mailbox, and¬†the excitement grows to a level so intense, sleep is barely on the agenda.¬† Hmm, it would appear the hard work has paid off, and you are well on your way to seeing your novel on display as a end cap¬†at the brick-and-mortar stores.

Unfortunately, the publisher you have been so lucky to have been chosen by has no clue how to successfully market you or the novel you possess. When the book finally comes out, it’s so riddled with errors, you wonder if the editorial team (if they even have one) was high on some illegal substances. Now, to top if off…your¬†300-page¬†trade paperback has been priced at the reasonable price of¬† $19.95. (Hehe!) But have no fear…because you the author of the work will get a reduced price for future purchases (after your one free author copy) at the fair rate of $13.95…what a freaking deal, my author friend!

Wow, you may think the example above is far-fetched…but let me tell you, I’m fortunate to travel across¬†the region doing author events, some with authors in the situation above. Their novel is priced at such an inflated amount, the only people who buy it either are family or friends. It pains me to see this, and I urge all the aspiring writers out there, if you decide to forego the literary agent route and tread into the waters of publishers, be mindful of who you are dealing with.¬† In the above example, the research for finding a publisher was half-ass. A quick check on valuable writers websites tells you many things, but it’s your job as the author to be very thorough. Example, if the publisher has a list of authors, find out if those books are carried at the local book¬†stores and libraries. The individual authors of publishers will¬†have websites, active usage of social networking will also be important. Scour their sales numbers, and reviews through a multiple of networks. Your goal is to determine if¬†this publisher can¬†do¬†the following:¬†¬†honest feedback when you ask pertinent questions, ¬†distribute your work to the masses, assist in author appearances, market your novel in all media formats, and the most important, (to me at least) love your novel as much as you do.¬†

Next week, I will continue this conversation and talk a little more about the following:

1. Distribution of your work

2. Reviewing your contract

3. Royalties 

4. Synergy with Publisher

Until then, remember…death is only a click away.

Interviewed by Cold Moon Press

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun!, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 02-11-2011 by jeffreymartinsnovels

This week, I was interviewed by my publisher, Cold Moon Press. You can read it soon on their website (http://coldmoonpress.com), but I’m posting it here for my fans first! Enjoy!

Tell us about your writing process for this novel.

The creation of this latest work followed the first two books with regards to how I construct my ten chapter outline. In my normal writing calendar, this would mean within 60 days, I would have my first rough draft ready for editing. But 3:16 was very different indeed…after I did a once over of the storyline, I literally had a gag-reflex. (I’m so not kidding.) Simply put, the chapters were lifeless, and the main characters seemed to aimlessly wander the pages without a sense of purpose. So I did what a reasonable author of serial killer novels does…I sent those pages to their new place of residence called the Recycle Bin. I then took a few days scouring my favorite music site and downloaded a compliment of tunes which would assist me in creating something wonderful. All of my characters were redesigned, and any likeness from the previous players was stricken from the record. After I completed a second ten page outline, it was again time to review. A devious grin filled my face as I realized it was time to move forward, and put the other subplots into motion. This novel took almost a year to complete, but I can truly say it was worth it. Now, it’s the fans turn to decide…

This novel has multiple points of view and several main characters, making it your most complex yet. How have you grown as a writer, and what have you done to facilitate that growth?

I knew after my second novel, Deadly Demented, was published. I knew it was imperative to test my writing skill set and spend some time creating a few short stories. I thought, if I could entice readers with a full length work, why couldn’t I accomplish this with a story much less in length? Going from 80,000 words to 8,000 has some very obvious challenges, and I welcomed them with arms wide open. Needless to say, the Mark Blakenship short story series ensued and BELIEVE it or NOT, they don’t involve my patented serial killers or the men who chase them scenario. I have come to realize that the only way to hone this craft and make it believe my next book is always better than my last.

The key to growing in this field is in the ability to research the craft and perseverance of that craft. WRITE! WRITE and WRITE some more!

Describe the three main characters for your book. How are the alike/different?

Ah, only a taste, my dear interviewer. The first character is…drum roll please‚ĶBrandon Thornley. He is a security guru for a Threat Assessment Company called Langston Security Solutions. A definite leader of men, Brandon uses his fame and fortune to partake in a murderous reign by using the local social networking website, konnect2u.com. Brandon sends friend requests to select people, and you can only imagine why…Hehe!

Next up is Donovan Petrie. He‚Äôs a blue collar type of gentleman who recently has found a hobby of his own, and believe me…it’s truly diabolical and disturbing. Donovan is also one of Brandon Thornley’s select individuals, but Donovan has other plans for the security genuis…but they don’t include playing golf at the local country club.

Finally‚ĶHomicide Detective, Patrick Morgan: Yes, he’s the brazen and talented investigator tasked with the challenge to catch a killer, but his competition is fierce, and this individual will do anything to ensure Detective Morgan fails… and I do mean anything.

Let’s ponder the likes of the three.

1. All of them are motivated to accomplish designed goals, and all of them will use any means necessary to ensure their success.

2. All three are confident and understand how this trait works in their everyday contact with outsiders.

Now the differences.

1. Brandon will balance his secret life with his 9-5 career and has little trouble coordinating both.

2. Donovan is fueled by hate and rage, and at that rate… he will unravel.

3. Patrick Morgan is led by honor and commitment, but family obligations are a cross to bear…to say the least.

4. Brandon thinks he’s untouchable and more intelligent than those around him.

5. Donovan is careless and reckless but possesses unseen knowledge the reader would least suspect.

6. Patrick is street savvy and lacks faith.

Where do you get inspiration for your plot?

Now, if I tell you that… you will know the method to my madness…hehe.

Okay, I wanted to use something relevant in this novel with regards to everyday life. A great deal of people use one form or another when it comes to social networking, I wanted to use this as a medium for our killer. This is very real and almost scary to think about. But I think it has a universal tone, and people will be enticed…

What projects are you currently working on? What’s next?

This is like a double secret probation question YOU know…

1. Well, I was trying to complete a Valentines Day short, but as it has developed, Cupid’s Kill will be more than likely be a full-sized novel.

2. Weaving Evil: Female serial killer uses toxins of various deadly insects to seek vengeance on her victims.

3.Death Map: The compilation of Brian Jeffers, Kelly Jordan, AND Mark Blakenship will coordinate efforts to stop a killer who uses the popular geocaching sport to locate potential victims and leaves a travel bug like no other has ever come across…I guess you better find out what a travel bug is…hehe…

Hmm‚ĶI should mention the screenplay for my first novel, Lucifer’s Calling, too…