CHAINSAW HONEYMOON—Putting the Pieces Together

Chainsaw Honeymoon Cover 3DI feel honored to be featured today on Sue Coletta’s Murder Blog. In case you didn’t know, Sue is the author of the chilling Mayhem Series. I was worried my post didn’t contain enough gore, but thankfully, she let me slide. Take a look…

Maybe it’s the fact that I live in a houseful of women. Or that throughout my life I’ve been surrounded by women who have had a strong influence on me. Whatever the reason, a few years ago I set out to write a screenplay about a crazy-smart girl named Ruby who is determined to get her parents back together by any means necessary. Back then, I had the characters pretty much fleshed out. I had smart dialogue and lots of manic scenes I hoped would explode off the screen. But for some reason, I just couldn’t make it work. After a dozen drafts, I finally set it aside to the sound of that WAH-WAH-WAH trombone burping in the background.

I’d been writing screenplays for years—one of which actually sold. And Chainsaw Honeymoon was pretty much my last shot before deciding my time was better spent writing novels. Since then, I managed to publish three novels and a novella, as well as short stories and a children’s book. As I was about to begin working on a new paranormal story, I got the uncontrollable urge to go back and revisit my young adult story and see if, just maybe, I could turn it into a novel.

Well, it worked.

To read the rest of this post, please visit the Murder Blog.

What Writers Can Learn from “Pork and Beans”

[Pork and Beans]
Photo courtesy of Eli Duke

Talk about fortunate! My friend Jordan Dane,  who recently did a guest post on this blog, gave me a slot over at The Kill Zone, where only the coolest authors hang out. Happy reading…

I first heard Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” when my younger daughter was teaching herself the bass. She would blast it every day, following along on her instrument. Eventually, I found myself listening to the lyrics. I came to love that song and now have it on my phone. Yeah, I know. Talk about late to the party. Well, in my defense, I mostly listen to straight-ahead jazz, so. But enough about Weezer…

Trying Not to Be a Pompous Ass
As a writer, I can really identify with those lyrics. I won’t quote them here, but you can use this link if you want to refresh your memory. The point is, the books I choose to write are a product of my, shall we call it, pork-and-beans attitude. I really don’t give a crap about researching popular genres and writing the kinds of books I think people might like. I notice a lot of “experts” like to give that kind of advice to non-fiction authors. To me, that’s right up there with “write what you know.” Spare me. Now, on the surface, I might sound a little pompous. But stick with me for a sec. I am simply trying to stay true to myself. You know, like Lady Gaga.

I watched a lot of movies and television as a kid. My favorites were horror, sci-fi, and comedy. As I grew older, I came to appreciate thrillers. And in the last few years, I fell in love with Westerns. I guess I can thank Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood for that. I also love foreign films—especially those from Japan and Korea. As you can see, my tastes tend to run the gamut. I do lean toward horror, though. In fact, my first four books revolve around zombies and demons.

To read the rest of this article, please visit The Kill Zone.