Posts

Showing posts from July, 2014

That Infamous Hook

Another oldie but goodie revisited...

As a writer, I am forever reading and not just for pleasure. Lately, thanks to my critique partner who happens to be an editor, I've been reminded of the infamous hook and the need for a novel to have one during the first 100 words. So I spent most of yesterday reworking the first page of my current work-in-progress, all in an attempt to add a really good "hook."

Then this morning during one of my breaks - yes, writing magazines make great "break" reading - I was again learning all about hooks and how in the current market, a good hook is even more essential.

"So what is a hook?" Besides being the quintessential villain in the movie of the same name, apparently a good hook is everything in making your story a success. In today's market, with it's over abundance of books all vying for the public's attention, a hook is that very sentence or catch phrase that makes your reader ask, "What happens next…

PARROTS PROVE DEADLY by Clea Simon

Image
Another great mystery from Clea Simon. This third book in Clea's Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series is her best one yet! 

When I first started reading this novel, I already had a pile of books on my nightstand to read. So I thought I'd take a quick peak at page one and get an idea of what I had to look forward to. 

Big mistake! From page one I was hooked. Pru Marlowe is one of those girls you feel like you've known since high school, a beer-drinking, bad girl with a smart mouth and a lot of chutzpah. But in this story she's met her match in Randolph the equally smart-mouth parrot.

Check out Clea's description of PARROTS PROVE DEADLY on her website, Cleasimon.com :

"Parrots will repeat anything – they don’t talk sense. Or do they? When Pru Marlowe is called in to retrain a foul-mouthed African gray after its owner’s death, the bad-girl animal psychic can’t help hearing the bird’s words as a replay of a murder scene. But the doctor on call scoffs at the idea, and the heir…

THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty

Image
A book review I wrote a couple years ago.... 




If you are a fan of horror fiction or just a lover of good books from the dark side (aren't they the same thing? :-)) I strongly recommend reading THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty. In my opinion, like all good books, this one far exceeds the movie.

In the book, you get to know Chris MacNeil, the adoring single mother/actress. My heart went out to Chris as she helplessly watched her loving, intelligent daughter become a sullen, angry monster spending all her time in the confines of the basement lashing out verbally when provoked. (Sounds like your typical teenager?)

Chris knew there was something seriously wrong with her daughter, but the medical community provided more questions than answers.

You also meet Regan (Rags), Chris' pre-pubescent twelve year old, full of love and innocence whose curiosity gets the better of her. Then, there is Father Damien Karras. A troubled Catholic Priest crippled by self-doubt and overwhelmed wit…

Coming to Terms With My Own Fear

I wrote this entry a couple years ago and I'm very happy to say that so far I've survived the more scary aspects of my own writing....

I started reading THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty yesterday. I'm only about ten pages in and already facing that mortal fear that sometimes binds me. What is it about this book that impacts me, the reader, so paralytically?

So far I've enjoyed my research into the world of horror. I've read some of the most frightening novels I never imagined, 'SALEM'S LOT and PET SEMETARY by Stephen King to name two. Yes, they frightened me at the time and my day-mares and nightmares were duly impacted, but never have I had such an overwhelming sense of dread as I do with this novel. Maybe it's the whole persona of THE EXORCIST, the novel made into a movie that scared millions. Is it the hype that  freaks me out?

After reading about the knocking on Regan's ceiling yesterday, I went for a walk. I had to clear my head and gather …

Poetry - Comfort Food

She crept along the corridor Taking care to keep footsteps quiet
Her breathing soft
Her ears keen, listening for voices,
They said they were going out for the afternoon
But not to her
She was invisible to them
A nonexistent entity
Her sole purpose to do their bidding
And disappear,
No one was home, except for her
All was silent but the kitchen clock
She was alone, finally,
She loved these times
By herself, no one watching
She could sneak into the empty rooms
Restricted to her,
Cupboards open, she was hungry
For love and affection but a stolen cookie or two
Would have to do,
To ease the pain and fill the hole
A car door slams, bare feet scurry
Up the stairs to her room, hoping
Her presence in the forbidden canister 
Would go unnoticed.