Showing posts from October, 2013

NaNo is Upon Us!

Can you believe it's the eve of National Novel Writing Month?  I can't!  I don't even know where the last year has gone...well, I do, I suppose. It's been a busy year and has seen the release of three books for me. :D Today, I spent the day brainstorming the book I'm going to write for NaNo, and I'm amped up and ready to go. But even though I'm prepared, the fear is setting in, "Do I have what it takes to write a novel?"  Might sound like a silly question coming from someone who has written ten to date.  I'm starting to think that bit of paranoia will never go away.  So if you're experiencing that annoying, negative voice, kick it to the curb! I am. I even downloaded Scrivener . I've heard great things about it and thought why not.  If you haven't used it before, it might be a good time to look into it. They are offering a little bit longer free trial than normal (it lasts until Dec 7th). But here's the bonus for Na

Is Being a Writer in Your DNA?

To survive, you must tell stories. -- Umberto Eco Do you feel like you were meant  to be a writer? If so, you're not alone. I feel exactly the same way. I can't imagine being without my words to paper. There is something therapeutic about it, a calming energy that tamps down worries from my real life, and even if it's only for a brief time I escape into the world I'm creating. People who are not writers may not understand this need, this drive, this inner compulsion to keep on writing, to build new worlds, to meet new characters of their own creation. While readers get attached to the characters they read about, and they take on a life to them (if the author has done their job right), as authors these characters are breathing entities of whom we can't get enough of. There's always a book idea, or many, brewing in our minds. Characters who need their story told and won't take no for an answer.  It can be said as authors we hear voices. I know I

When Summer Dies, a Poem

In looking for notes on a book I had drafted, I found a book of poetry written by my great grandmother and typed by my grandmother. Hope you enjoy. This was written by Janet Wickett. When Summer Dies When summer dies, it leaves me drear, On fading flowers I shed a tear. A feeling I cannot define, Haunts me and my spirit pines. When summer dies, abject am I, Clouds of gray obscure the sky. The leaves that fly across the plain, Mould and return to earth again. As though bereaved as a leafless tree, Would that I were a tree, all winter wait in apathy, Content to sleep the winter end, Till spring echoes gently with a song.

It Has to Be Murder #SampleSunday

Sharing with you an excerpt from Chapter 3 of my latest release, Found Innocent (A Madison Knight Novel) : The shallow grave was in a garden that lined the property’s perimeter. The remains were on a black tarp to the side of the hole. Richards was braced beside the vic’s head. Madison addressed him. “Higgins said it was a gunshot to the head that may be the cause of death.” Richards looked up at her long enough to communicate his disgust that an officer would make that judgment. “I haven’t concluded yet.” Normally Richards’s personality accommodated for some small talk and lightheartedness. Today he didn’t seem to be his normal self, although, Madison realized her approach could be what had changed the outcome. She had managed to insult his profession—something she had had no intention of doing. “How long do you think she’s been in there?” She remembered Higgins had mentioned Richards’s assessment, but she would hear it firsthand. Richards rose to his feet

Found Innocent (A Madison Knight Novel) is Now Available for Download

I’m excited to announce the release of FOUND INNOCENT, the fourth novel in my Madison Knight series! Madison Knight faces her toughest case yet. Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice. I’d love for you to buy the book.  It’s available for your e-Reader whether you buy from   Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Apple , and Kobo . It’s also available in print if you prefer to hold a real book in your hands. Even if you are unable to buy the book, please go to the library and request it. Please spread the news of this release to family and friends. Thank you and happy reading, Carolyn Arnold P.S. Below are the links for the different sites. Amazon US - Amazon UK -  Barnes & Noble - Apple - Kobo - Print -  http://ow.l

The Importance of Branding and How to Do it -- The Basics

We've all heard of the term "branding", but what does it really mean to an author? The simple answer--everything.  As authors, we need to know our target audience. For example, we all know that those who love the horror genre are not likely to pick up a romance novel.  Utilizing this mentality, if we wrote horror novels, we wouldn't make our website in a floral-themed motif anymore than we'd have dripping blood and guns on a site geared to a romance audience. How can we use this to help market our books?  When I was at the Bouchercon writer's conference one of the panels discussed branding our image.  This "image" involves all aspects from ourselves as a person, author, as well as branding each specific book. For branding to be effective it has to encompass every part of marketing--whether it be social media, or in person. First the easier aspects.  Your website and your blog.  Take a long, honest, and objective analysis of them. Do they

Madison Knight is Back! FOUND INNOCENT for #SampleSunday

Since it's less than 10 days from its official release date, I thought I'd share an excerpt from  FOUND INNOCENT (A Madison Knight Novel) . Here is the book's overview:  There's one code when it comes to the wall of blue…and Madison Knight may have to cross it. Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice. Lacy Rose had one goal for her twentieth birthday—to be found innocent of past sins—but her life is cut short. When Lacy's remains are found in a garden and the investigation becomes connected to a closed case, Madison must face her past. The lead detective on that case was Madison's ex-fiancé. At the risk of jeopardizing departmental relationships, and churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time, Madison must push hard before the guilty are found innocent. Excerpt from Chapter 1: “He didn’t do it!” The hy

Let’s Talk Lividity

Lividity, also known as livor mortis, is the result of blood settling where a dead body comes to rest. It can play a vital role in a murder investigation and provide investigators with an approximate time of death. Here are some questions and answers I’ve gleamed from my research. What does it look like? It presents itself as a purplish discoloration on the skin. Where does it form? The blood settles in response to gravity. For example, if the body is lying on its back it will undoubtedly show in the shoulders and back of the legs. What prevents lividity from showing? It will not show where the body is in direct contact with a hard surface but “the impression against the skin displays itself as an indentation surrounded by gravity-pulled blood”. When does lividity start? It starts within 20 minutes of death and typically fully develops within 4-5 hours. “Maximum lividity occurs within 6-12 hours.” Does lividity disappear? It depends on the condition o

If You Can Lose it, Leave it Out!

We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘murder our darlings’, well, as authors, we should be doing it all the time. Being a successful author involves meticulous self-scrutiny, discipline, and sacrifice. One of our goals should be  to make it so that our readers don’t skip a word. Sound like an impossible feat? Well, it’s a great one to strive for in my opinion. How do you know what to cut? Here's a quick to-cut checklist: 1) Re-read the sentence in question without the eliminated words. Does it change the meaning? If not, lose it. You just tightened your manuscript. 2) Eliminate “crutch” words. We all have our favored ones, but some could be just, only, that, simply, smirk (please kill this one unless necessary), walked, looked, and stared to name a few. 3) Is something inferred, or implied? Then it might not be necessary to mention it. For example, one character says something and the next to talk disregards what was said. There is no need to make a com