BLACK FLAGGED REDUX

I think everyone knows what this means by now. I’ve finished Black Flagged Redux. Some of you might remember seeing this board in an earlier post…EMPTY. If you don’t believe this was ever blank, you’re not alone. I can barely believe that I finished the second novel of the series, in little over three months. To top it off, the novel is about 20K words longer. Here is the blank chart as proof: I’ll release some  sneak peeks over the next week or so, as the finishing touches are put in place. For now, you can check out some of the extras I have added to Black Flagged Redux: 1.) Weapons and equipment primer 2.) Updated Sample For now, take a look at the Geography of Black Flagged Redux. I think you’ll quickly see that I have upped the ante with my second book. Each red box represents key locations to the story. Right now, I’ll leave it up to your imagination to guess which of these locations will need to hire another coroner to handle the influx of bodies.

Groundbreaking Interview with Critically Acclaimed Author, Russell Blake

It’s with genuine pleasure that I bring you this interview. Russell Blake has the distinct honor of being one of the first Indie authors to firmly establish my faith and trust in the true potential of self-published books. I know this sounds insane coming from an Indie author, but until I stumbled onto his first book, I honestly hadn’t taken many chances on self-published titles. Russell’s books ushered me into a new era of reading, and have kept me busy…to say the least.  Firebrand and agitator extraordinaire, Russell is a blast to engage on any level. Check out his blog after the interview, to go deeper into the genius mind of Russell Blake. russellblake.com Without any further ado, I’d like to welcome Russell Blake, who has graciously emerged from hiding in Mexico to answer some burning questions. Steve Konkoly:   Russell, you’ve had quite the prolific writing year. I read your first book in July, and I’ve sort of lost track of how many I’ve read at this point. I do recall that each book has been better than the last. Can you shed some light on how you manage to produce one solid thriller after another? Russell Blake:   Well,

Update on Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans

Alright, the final tally is in, and I just submitted a donation of $820 to the Disabled American Veterans organization through my employer, who will process the donation and MATCH IT! The final event in the campaign, a cocktail party/charity event last weekend, raised $300 alone. Many, many thanks for those that attended and supported the cause…and for the numerous bottles of wine, which completely derailed my plans to commence a pre-holiday health cleanse. Oh well, there is cause to celebrate. Overall, the campaign has directed nearly $1700 to the DAV! Congratulations, and thank you on behalf of our nation’s growing number of disabled veterans. Your readership support and generosity inspired me to continue the campaign throughout all of November, catching a tail wind at the end of the month, when both of my books received a considerable boost from the “powers that be” at Amazon. This made a considerable difference on the overall amount. Well, I need to get back to work on Book 2 in the Black Flagged series. I reached 10,000 words this morning, but still don’t have a formal plot to follow. It’s all in my head, and it needs to be organized immediately. Here’s what

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

More Excuses…two of them

I have become really proficient at coming up with excuses not to write…don’t worry, I’m “running” out of them. So here is my dilemma and a possible solution: I used to write in the evening, after everyone “sallied forth” to bed (including my beloved), however, I recently started to run in the morning…and if I stay up past 10:00, I will not get up in time to run, fix breakfast for two fully competent kid (get it…they can make their own breakfast), pack lunches/snacks (another thing they can do) and watch a few minutes of tragedy or “men behaving badly” on the Today Show. Of course, “the crew” does not retire for the evening until 8:45, and my spirited daughter can be heard running back and forth, or bouncing on her bed until well after 9. She stays up later than my wife on most occasions. It doesn’t leave me with a lot of time. Running in the morning, which at first seemed to be another hindrance, may turn out to be my savior. I run every other day, but still wake up rather early on non-run days (especially during the summer months). I think this will have to be

The structure of a plot…

My new novel’s Plot Chart Or what I like to call…Order out of Chaos. I recently submitted this picture to my writers group, with a short explanation of my “to be discussed” submission (Chapter Three of my next novel Black Flagged). As a joke (a dry one), I told them that if my explanation was confusing, then they should refer to this plot chart, which would clarify things. They got the joke, and everyone that responded, kindly informed me that they couldn’t read the chart, which was my intention…I can’t give away the entire plot that easily.  I figured that only someone with a relative or friend working in a CSI lab could turn this into a readable image. They knew that too. Joke’s on me. I often get the question, how do you even start writing a novel? That’s the easy part (or maybe the hardest for some). You take a story idea brewing in your head, and start to craft a scene. Then you start writing. Does it have to be the beginning of the story? No. In my opinion. Once you get to writing, you’ll know soon enough were the scene fits. This is where you start