Guest Post

If you have a book to promote, Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts on Wednesdays. I can furnish a questionnaire or you can create your own post. FYI, up front: The site is a definite PG-13. Contact cjpetterson@gmail.com for details. cj

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Introducing author Stephen Perkins

cj Sez: Today’s guest on Lyrical Pens is Stephen Perkins, another author from the upcoming Mystery Thriller Week annual event scheduled to take place on Facebook in February. 
www.mysterythrillerweek.com
Lyrical Pens:  Welcome Stephen. I’m curious, where did you get the idea for your novel, Raging Falcon?

Stephen: The idea for Raging Falcon was inspired by an event that happened right in my home town of Danvers. A young teacher was allegedly murdered by a freshman student. Much like the old television series LA Law, the inspiration for the plot was ripped straight from the headlines—imagination took care of the rest!

LP: How do you determine that all-important first sentence?

SP:  I believe the first sentence of a novel should contain the essence of the story—almost like a microcosm of the larger scenario to follow. Charles Dickens did this with Tale of Two Cities, in that the classic first line contained the essential spirit of the entire saga.

LP: What are your protagonist’s strengths and flaws

SP:  Raging Falcon’s protagonist is a sorcerer disguised as military officer, sort of like Harry Potter meets General Patton. Major Stacey Keogh is a tragic figure, almost Shakespearean in scope, in that he’s very well-aware of his flaws, but nonetheless finds himself again and again falling prey to negative impulses. Though he manipulates and schemes to the detriment of everyone around him, including his young son, in the end, he manages to find some measure of miraculous redemption.

LP: Are you a pantser or a plotter?

SP:  I suppose the latter, only because I tend to agonize over every detail, almost to the point of driving one insane. In the final analysis, I’m really a perfectionist who is never emotionally and artistically satisfied, until I get the story just right.  

LP: What do you consider the most important element of any story?

SP:  Any classic story is divided up into three acts. You introduce your protagonist and central themes, and then in the second act you greet an opposing antagonist, providing the friction of a central drama than unfolds in the denouement of the third act, or resolution of good versus evil. I believe that story telling isn’t just about entertainment for the reader. As a novelist one is creating not just a memorable tale, but creating myths. I’ve noticed all the best sellers possess this definable quality, in that they transcend the basic narrative, and offer something indelibly mythical.  

LP: Where and when do you like to write? Do you need silence or some sound?

SP:  I can write anywhere and at any time, whether there is peace and quiet or the surroundings are particularly noisy. But, I mostly prefer to write during the evening hours, finding the nocturnal spirit very conducive to maximum stimulation of one’s inherent imagination.

LP: Everyone's road to publication is different. Take us down yours.

SP:  I’ve travelled the road less taken, and feel I’m much the better for it. I want to stand out by remaining unique and original, rather than following commercial trends. For example, I’ve noticed that many of my fellow independent authors endeavor to create trilogies, whereas I’ve committed to creating stand-alone novels. I feel this trend is motivated solely by commercial concerns. After all, why unnecessarily spread a three-act story arc into a series, when one complete volume will more than suffice?  

LP: Are you working on anything new?

SP:  Yes, I just released a second novel entitled American Siren. This story deals with social commentary on the ephemeral nature of pop culture, and, the acquisitive nature of material society in general. It poses the question, why sacrifice the genuine love of family and friends, only to seek ephemeral mass approval from fickle strangers. I’m currently working on a third novel, which won’t be released for some time, entitled Beltane Breaking, an urban fantasy featuring satirical observations of television, the media, and mindless consumerism. There is also a newly elected first woman American president, who in finding her approval ratings plummeting, endeavors to manufacture an alien invasion from outer space, in order that she might be transformed from goat into heroic figure.  

LP: Where can readers find out about you and your events online

SP:  Go to my blog at http://www.Newsspellcom.org  There, one can discover a controversial perspective on global and American politics and pop culture that I’m certain they won’t encounter in too many other places online.

Stephen’s bio:  Stephen Perkins is not only a novelist, but a song writer, outspoken armchair geo-politician, and avid consumer of all sorts of coffee products, cappuccino preferably! Yum!

cj Sez: Stephen’s book, Raging Falcon, has an awesome cover, and the blurb makes the story sound fascinating:
Should the son eternally pay for the sins of the father? Is it better to accept death’s fate, or to believe there may yet be a miracle in the face of inevitable darkness? This is the story of a survivor—as indomitable as his domineering father—who, despite balancing on the edge of certain death, finds eternal solace in miraculous redemption. After imprisonment of fifty years, on the anniversary of his conviction for the brutal murder of his freshman math teacher, Old Jim surveys his tragic fate, and magically discovers that there is hope, even in a dystopian world seemingly without saviors.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Stephen, and best wishes for great sales and marvelous reviews for your novel.

Look for Raging Falcon on Amazon… https://www.amazon.com/RAGING-FALCON-STEPHEN-PERKINS-ebook/dp/B01LYJFTG2/  Available in paperback or on Kindle.    

And mark your calendars: During the week of February 12-22, 2017, about 200 international authors in the mystery/thriller genre and every sub-genre, me included, will participate in blogs, readings, takeovers, and, drum roll here, Facebook giveaways. I think you’ll have fun connecting with favorite authors and for some of you, meeting new authors, like Stephen Perkins.


Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj 
PS: I’m going to publish a quarterly newsletter with writerly tips, tidbits, and occasional surprises. Drop me a note at cjpetterson@gmail and I’ll put your name on the list. 
A Valentine's Day gift goodie: The More than Friends 6-book bundle of novels by Crimson Romance is still available for under a dollar.

cjpetterson@gmail.com
Deadly Star -- Amazon Print / Kindle  / B&N print and Nook / KOBO
Amazon Central Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1NIDKC0

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and upcoming events

“The richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”  ― Martin Luther King Jr.


***

cj Sez: So, tell me, what writer, aspiring to be published, doesn’t want to know more about the language of contract options? Specifically, how much do you know about “Negotiating options in publishing deals?” Writers in the Storm blog spot invited Susan Spann to do a guest post on the subject, and she went into some depth—an article definitely worth reading. And Susan has the credentials to back up her post. She’s an attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business. Read all about it here:  http://writersinthestormblog.com/2017/01/negotiating-options-in-publishing-deals/
(And think about subscribing to the blog.)

The following url list of 2017 short story contests came across my desk recently, and I thought you might be interested in one (or more) of them. I haven’t vetted these, so do your due diligence before signing on to any of them.
http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2016/12/13/short-story-contests-2017/   

Be sure to stop back by on Wednesday, January 18, when Lyrical Pens will focus a spotlight on Mystery Thriller Week author, Stephen Perkins and his new novel Raging Falcon (it’s based on real-life events). 

Find out more about international Mystery Thriller Week authors here:   www.mysterythrillerweek.com   The event runs from February 12 to 22 on Facebook. I’ll be participating and giving away surprises, so be sure to stop by when the page goes public. I'll have more info on Lyrical Pens as it gets closer to the date.   

I'm on a blog tour at other MTW author blogs next week, First up is Christina Philippou’s blog ( https://cphilippou123.wordpress.com/ ) on Monday, January 16 (topic is a question/answer interview).

On Tuesday, January 17, I’ll be on Joe Broadmeadow’s blog (https://joebroadmeadowblog.wordpress.com/ ). I’ll be providing excerpts of “Bad Day at Round Rock,” my short story in the upcoming Western anthology THE POSSE. I’m one of six authors, so THE POSSE offers a variety of human interest stories, all with the usual action you’d expect from a Western. “Bad Day” is a tale of history, mystery, myth, greed, and love, all rolled up into one short story.

You'll have two of my posts to visit on Wednesday, January 18 . . . Lyrical Pens to read the spotlight post on Stephen Perkins and then on to my blog tour stop, where my host will be Jude Roy (http://juderoycajunpi.blogspot.com/ ). Deep point of view is the topic of the post. By the way, Jude was recently named a finalist for the 2017 Freddie Award in the thriller category with his novel, THE LYNCHINGS. Congratulations, Jude!  

If you have a chance to stop by these author blogs, please leave me a note so I can say thanks!

Another thing to think about:  Signing up for my quarterly newsletter for info and occasional prizes. Drop me a note at cjpetterson@gmail.com to subscribe. I’m working to send out the first issue, a one-pager, on March 31, and I’d love to send one to you. (‘Preciate it.)

cj Sez: That’s all for today, folks. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


cjpetterson@gmail.com
Amazon Central Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1NIDKC0
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
Coming in mid-February 2017—“Bad Day at Round Rock” a short story in The Posse, a Western anthology of tales of action, romance, myth and truth.   

More Than Friends is still available on Amazon for a couple of more weeks—six romance novels for less than a buck.   http://amzn.to/2dnqnLJ