Black Flagged Character Teasers

Enjoy this sneak peek at the key characters in my upcoming release, BLACK FLAGGED…available in mid-October. The final back cover blurb is also ready. Thanks for the input, everyone. FINAL BLURB You can always check out a sample of Black Flagged here: Prologue Chapter One Chapter Three of Black Flagged CAST OF CHARACTERS Daniel Petrovich Who is Daniel Petrovich? Very few people know the real truth behind this question, and Daniel likely says a little prayer every night wishing each and every one of them a fatal heart attack. In Black Flagged, the reader will meet Daniel behind a sleek, brushed metal desk, buried in MBA level work at Zenith Semiconductor. He’s been hiding here for a few years, trying to forget the past, and build a new life with the woman he loves. Unfortunately for Daniel, some secrets carry a debt that can never be repaid, and certain acquired skills will always hold their value, even in a down economy. Daniel Petrovich will be asked to perform one last mission by his former mentor, General Terrence Sanderson. It’s an easy job for a highly trained operative like Petrovich…a simple killing, right across town, and all in the name of READ MORE

What a character would do…

Or rather be caught dead than doing. Character development is a complicated aspect of writing. Like in our own lives, a glaring inconsistency draws a ton of attention, especially on paper (or e-ink). This post was long overdue, and a minor criticism at my last writers group meeting motivated me to tackle the subject. What was the criticism? My protagonist, male…a former deep-cover operative, pulled a bottle of Riesling out of the refrigerator to share with his wife. Apparently, men don’t drink Riesling. Not even in 2005. And I thought it would go nicely with the Thai food they were eating. I was a little defensive, maybe a little hurt…I like Riesling (not a first or second choice, but it does pair well with spicy food). Alas, everyone agreed that a beer was more appropriate. This is a character compromise I am more than happy to make…if only this was their only suggestion about my new story, Black Flagged. PREVIEW. This is a pretty minor criticism compared to some of the critique I have received over the months regarding the protagonist of my first book, The Jakarta Pandemic. Alex Fletcher, decorated war veteran, and former Marine Corps officer, grates on READ MORE

Realistic dialogue…

in 19th Century London…what a mess. My wife is reading a very thick, fiction novel set in 19th century London, and she occasionally draws my attention to passages from the book. Yes, she interrupts whatever I’m reading to do this, and since I love both historical fiction and my wife, I’m usually game to take a look. I’m always amazed by the richness of detail in these novels, which can at times almost appear obsessive. From the era appropriate napkin folds at table settings, to intimate descriptions of every article of clothing that adorns a character…and not just the main character, but everyone in the scene. This is one of the main draws to period or historical fiction. The details of another time. It’s an amazing feat, which must involve painstaking research, travel and imagination. As a part time writer, I’m thankful for Google and an active, roaming imagination. The other night, she pointed out another feature of this tome she’s lugged around for a few weeks. The dialogue. I couldn’t believe it, but the author had taken pains to mimic the speech of the 19th century London too. I can barely understand some of the thicker British accents even READ MORE

Don’t characterize my characters…just yet.

Good plot. Immersing detail. Popular genre.  Quick tempo. All the trappings of a worthy read…right? While these qualities in a book might draw you in, and keep you there for a spell, nothing, in my humble view, detaches the reader quicker than hollow characters. I’ve read the reviews (not on mine thankfully…yet). “Cardboard, one-dimensional, flat, undeveloped, unrealistic…” The list goes on. Unrealistic?   Now this description captures my attention the most, because it reminds me of something Stephen King said about writing good stories. I am paraphrasing at my worst, but he said something to the effect that an interesting story pits normal people against extraordinary circumstances, not extraordinary people against normal situations. Realism defined? I don’t know, but I like reading stories about characters that have to struggle to overcome an extraordinary problem. Is James Bond one of these characters? At first you’d probably say “no way!” I might agree, but I’d argue that he is an extraordinary person pitted against insanely extraordinary circumstances. It’s the same formula, just presented in a higher octane fashion, which is why it works…more so in the recent Bond films. Ever read a book where the protagonist is an unstoppable, unbeatable hero? Mentally READ MORE