mystery

Novel: Father Figure (Week 7 – Friday, August 18th, 2017)

Posted on

It’s been quite a busy week for this writer. I only worked three days given I took a long weekend getaway beginning Thursday morning. But the great piece of news is that I was able to complete everything I wanted to in those first three days. Without any further ado, I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 18, 2017 – Week #7

  • Chapters 12 thru 15
    • The goal was achieved. I have completed 212 pages and 66K words. The chapters were a little shorter than I expected, but I wrote from pure passion and memory, meaning I did not look at the outline to incorporate specific details I had assigned to each chapter. When I go back to edit next week, I’m confident the chapters will expand.
  • Chapters 16
    • I wrote 1 additional chapter this week that hadn’t been planned. It was a tough one, leading up to a major climax in chapters 17 and 18. Groundwork has been set. Suspense has been generated. Now I need to deliver.

 Next Steps: Plan for Week #8

  • Edit Chapter 12 thru 16 to match tone and voice of earlier chapters, include additional details and check repetition in words or phrases.
    • I will definitely spend a lot of time on this phase next week, as I rushed through the chapters more quickly than I normally would. But I re-read everything once, before signing off for the week, and felt they were still strong.
  • Write chapters 17 thru 22 with a target to end up in total at ~ 275 pages & 85K words.
    • I’ve doubled my work for next week, as I really want a first draft complete by 9/1. I am heading out of town for a family visit over Labor Day, where I will not do any work. I need a few days to decompress from the novel where the words will magically do their work in the background.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • A writer’s job is to know his or her characters. It’s imperative to connect with each one, whether it’s the protagonist, antagonist or a supporting role. Sometimes it is easy, especially when a writer builds people (s)he already knows into a few of the roles. Sometimes it is difficult when you are writing for a character you have little familiarity with. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the 4 characters who I am spending the most effort on are all women. They have different age ranges, come from different backgrounds and live in different worlds than I do. I have some research to do. I suggested to someone a place we needed to go from some research next week and got a flat answer of “No. I’m not going there with you.” Quite amusing. Anyone want to dance on the dangerous side with me? 😛
  • I have completely changed my mind on the ending. I’m still battling the question of if this is a series or single book. If it’s a series, I know the ending in this installment. If it’s a single book, I’m gonna need to think a lot more than planned. The depth in three of the characters has made me realize I cannot go with my original plan. Something changed along the way and I want to do something positive to help them. It can’t all be good and it can’t all be bad. Someone has to live with the consequences of a bad decision, right?

 

How do you feel about the progress? Do you want to hear more about the plot or the characters? Are you curious to read a few chapters? I sent the first two chapters to two friends to read this week and am looking forward to their feedback. Scary but exciting!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

AWARD: Mystery Blogger #4

Posted on Updated on

Many thanks to Patty @ Moohnshine’s Corner for nominating me for this award and the great questions she’s provided. Patty has awesome reading tastes and life adventures. You must visit her site today… you could find a cake out of it!

myster

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image in your post.
  • List all the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 10-20 people and notify them.
  •  Link back to the creator of the award. (Okoto Enigma)
  • Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

 

Three Things About Myself

  1. I am planning a trip to North Carolina in September. Anyone have recommendations?
  2. I am awake doing this tag at 1:49 AM which is 3 hours past my bedtime. How did that happen?
  3. I wrote the first chapter of a new novel, Father Figure, today. It feels great!

 

My Questions:

  • Who is your favorite fictional character?
    • Sherlock Holmes
  • If you were the stranded on a deserted island and could choose one celebrity to be with you, who would that be and why?
    • Ewan McGregor for lots of reasons that are my business and only my business…. ok, I’ll share a few: he’d make me laugh, he’d be fun to look at and he’d work hard to get saved
  • Which author is on your bucket list to meet and why?
    • Ken Follett for his imagination, creativity and focus
  • If you could volunteer for an outreach program, which would you chose and why?
    • Pet Care or Children’s Foster Care
  • What book character would best describe you and why?
    • I am not sure…. I am so many people wrapped up in one body and mind, I can’t narrow it down. I’ve definitely got a bit of Pip from Great Expectations inside my brain.

 

Questions For My Nominations:

  1. What is the biggest change in your last ten years?
  2. What world leader do you admire and why?
  3. What is the best meal you know how to cook well?
  4. How do you feel about insect and reptiles?
  5. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?

 

 My Nominations:

  1. https://carissareadsitall.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/how-often-do-you-review-books-for-authors-who-request-discussion/
  2. https://literarywisdom.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/frozen-charlotte-review/
  3. https://howusefulitis.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/bugs-from-head-to-tail-review/
  4. https://ireadnovels.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/certain-signs-that-you-are-dead-torkil-damhaug/
  5. https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/review-want-to-go-private-by-sarah-darer-littman/
  6. https://flexireads.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/book-review-a-short-border-handbook-by-gazmend-kapllani/
  7. https://untraveledroutes.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/about/
  8. https://yaandwine.com/2017/07/24/first-we-were-iv-review-author-guest-post-and-giveaway/
  9. https://aquibview.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/words-of-endearment/
  10. https://bobosbookbank.com/2017/07/24/%F0%9F%8C%9F-blog-tour-giveaway-the-bars-between-us-by-a-s-teague%F0%9F%8C%9F/

 

 Link to My Favorite Post:

Note: This isn’t my ultimate favorite post, but I used that last time. So this is a recent one I enjoyed writing.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

 

Book Review: Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

Posted on Updated on

3+ out of 5 stars to Lies She Told, a thriller set to be released on September 12th by Cate Holahan. I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to sharing this review with you.

lies.jpg

Why This Book 
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books, the publisher, for sending me this copy to read and review in advance as an ARC. They found me on Goodreads based on my reading tastes, reviews and ratings, suggesting this as a potential book I might find engaging. And they were right. I had it sitting on the shelf for a few weeks as I got through other books, but as all my NetGalley reads aren’t due until September, I had some time to squeeze this one in.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Welcome to the concept of a book within a book… The primary story revolves around Liza Cole, an author living in the NYC metro area who’s had some good books and some not so good books. She’s been given a deadline to get the next one written since she won’t first draft an outline, which prompts her to dive head first into her own thrilling plot. While she’s writing the book, readers learn Liza’s trying to conceive a baby with her husband, David, but they’ve been unsuccessful due to a few issues she’s had in the past with uterine damage. David’s best friend, Nick, is presumed missing, which is setting off a few alarm bells. David starts worrying when they can’t find Nick and he’s being suspected of causing the disappearance. Eventually, his body is found in the East River, dying in a very similar way to the character in Liza’s book. Liza’s supported by her mother, agent Trevor and best friend, Chris.

In Liza’s story, her primary character, Beth, is a new stay-at-home mom who suspects her husband, Jake, is cheating on her. When she secretly monitors his behavior, Beth learns he has been spending a lot of time with a cop named Colleen. When she accuses her husband, he forces her to go to therapy, where Beth meets Tyler, a therapist who attempts to get her to realize she needs to end the marriage. Unfortunately, Beth isn’t ready and soon finds herself stalking Colleen. Next thing she knows, she’s killing Colleen and dumping her body in the East River, then sleeping with Tyler.

As the two stories begin weaving in and out, readers learn there are common things occurring in both, leaving us to question which one is real and which one is a story. Or perhaps… it’s all the same story happening from different perspectives. You don’t really know until the last few chapters when the random clues begin fitting together, revealing what has actually been happening along the path.

Approach & Style 
I read the paperback version sent to me by the publisher. It’s just under 300 pages, broken into three sections and alternating back and forth between the two story lines. There are 19 chapters, each dividing into two sub-chapters: (1) Liza and (2) Beth. As a result, chapters are relatively short, usually under 8 pages each. Both stories are told with first-person narration from the main female character’s point of view, and both are told in the present tense. I read the book over 3 days, about 100 pages each day.

Strengths 
The concept of the book is great. I love trying to solve not only the mystery within the novel, but also determining how the two stories would eventually link together and which was fake. I enjoy seeing parallels between the two lead characters and their families. The emotional aspects of the characters are strong and offer readers an easy connection. You can understand the pain and feel the impact of the actions happening around them. It’s full of suspense, some very descriptive scenes and lots of potential suspects and angles.

Concerns 
It was a hard read, and I’m normally good at keeping story lines separated. A few things that could have worked differently, which would have helped readers retain which characters belong in which section, as well as distinct from one another. Character names were too similar: Beth and Liza. I know this is supposed to help with the parallels, but it left you a tad confused at times. Jake and David. Sound a bit similar. Go with two very different options to help us keep it straighter. Something long, something short. I had to stop and start a lot. I don’t like to re-read the same thing over and over again. But I was OK here as it was a complex story, plotted out in a good way.

The ending came a bit from out of left field. You can guess the connection between reality and the made-up story, but why it happened was very unexpected. There were a few clues, but we needed more to not be fully surprised. I would have liked to be reading it and go “oh, now I understand how it ties all together.” Instead I went “Hmm… there were no clues of this before…” It wasn’t too much of a distraction, but it was enough to make me think the book needed another round of editing before its release. Add in a few more connected pieces of history. Make me impressed with the things I missed along the way.

Author & Other Similar Books 
The author has two other books prior to this one. I might give them a chance, depending on the plot and setting. I’ve read another book in the last few years like this one, but I can’t recall the title. It’s not a common story where there is 1 real story and 1 fake story an author is writing, which makes it a different type of read. You’re sure to be excited and thrilled at parts, but you will also be confused at some parts.

Questions & Final Thoughts 
The author can certainly write. She has a good eye for characters, setting and details. I’m glad the publisher sent this one to me, as I definitely found myself wanting to read it each night. But it was also one where I stopped a lot to check if the story had an error or if it was being written in a vague way on purpose. Overall, good book… lots of complexity in the details… good supporting characters and a treasure of relationship drama that you find quite engaging. Put it through another round of beta readers or editing and it would have been an easy 4 from me.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

AWARD: Mystery Blogger #3

Posted on Updated on

Many thanks to Roda @ Growing Self for nominating me for this award. I’ve been nominated recently, but she has different questions, so I definitely wanted to participate. She had a beautiful sight with tons of inspirational messages and pictures. You need to check it out, as I promise you’ll find something you love.

img_7476.jpg

 

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“The ‘Mystery Blogger Award‘ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion” ~ Okoto Enigma.

 

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their  blog
  • Mention the creator of the award
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 10 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

 

3 Facts about Jay:

  • I’m short for a guy — only 5’6″
  • I cannot whistle
  • I love Tudor style homes

 

Roda’s Questions To Me:

  • Are you more the talkative or listening type in social settings?
    • Definitely the listener. I will talk if I am close with the people, but if it’s a gathering of people I don’t know all that well, or even some friendlies, I am usually quiet and listen to everyone else.
  • Do you prefer to read the book or watch the movie? 

    • Read the book — always before watching the movie
  • Which cartoon character would you say best describes you or you can relate to most? 

    • I haven’t watched cartoons in years, but probably Scooby Doo!
  • Are you good at board games? If yes, which one?
    • Yes, all of them. I rule at all games, particularly Life and Sorry!
  • If you’re at a party would you describe yourself as a dancer or more of an observer?
    • Definite observer… unless I’ve had 4+ drinks, then I am the dancer. Or stripper. It can get bad!

 

Jay’s Favorite 2nd Post (I included my favorite in the last award)

https://thisismytruthnow.com/2017/03/13/the-challenge-365-days-of-discovery-who-am-i/

  • It’s the beginning of the 365 Daily Challenge Post!

 

Jay’s Nominations

 

Jay’s Questions For Those Nominated

  1. What other blogger would you want to do a co-written post with?
  2. If you had to choose sweet or salty as the only flavor for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  3. What inspirational speaker or motivator always captures your attention?
  4. Do you consider yourself clever, smart or lofty? Or all 3?
  5. Where will you retire?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

AWARD: Mystery Blogger #2

Posted on

Thank you to Kate @ Melting Pots And Other Calamities for nominating me for this award. Kate has a great site and you should check it out; that’s all I am going to say for now, as tomorrow’s 365 Daily Challenge actually highlights her as my Recommended Blogger to know. How amusing this all lined up…

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image in your post.
  • List all the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 10-20 people and notify them.
  •  Link back to the creator of the award.
  • Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

 

Three Things About Myself:

  1. I spent a few weeks in Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand. Loved it!
  2. I’m an only-child but definitely not spoiled.
  3. I once attempted to dye my brown hair a blonde color, as I love when dark roots hide under light colored hair. The end result… I had rust-colored hair for a few days. And to make it seem real, I spoke with a weird Irish and Scottish accent so that people thought I was foreign. I have to have my fun sometimes.

 

The Questions:

1. What is the coolest handmade thing you’ve ever received?

  • My first girlfriend’s (yeah, I know, right???) grandmother crocheted a blanket for me when I turned 13. I still sleep with it…

2. Is there a villain or antagonist that you can’t help but call a favorite character? If so, who?

  • Hopefully this doesn’t offend anyone, but I enjoy reading books where the antagonist is some for of a devil or Satan-like character, as it’s always amusing to see what (s)he comes up with as the punishment for victims.

3. Which character would you most like to be from whatever you’re currently reading or watching?

  • Sherlock Holmes: I would love to be a witty, intelligent and sexy detective!!!

4. What is a show, anime, or webcomic that desperately needs another season? Or a book that needs a sequel?

  • I’d like to see another season of LOST to try and fix that awful series finale.

5. What are some animations and/or webcomics that you think have some of the best art?

  • But I don’t watch them, so how do I know??? I’m sorry! Everyone else can suggest one for me.

 

My Favorite Post:

I Tag:

  1. https://storyspillerblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/acceptance/
  2. https://featherinthestraw.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/inspiration-fueled-by-h2o/
  3. https://purukvaikkath.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/ramayana/
  4. http://bipolar-maria-fasching.at/en/blog/2017/07/18/anxious-hours/
  5. https://ignitedmoth.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/hello-nyquil-my-old-friend/
  6. https://unavagabonda.com/2017/07/20/nine-ten-a-september-11-story/
  7. https://ireadnovels.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/three-days-and-a-life-pirre-lemaitre/
  8. https://dreambigdreamoften.co/2017/07/18/one-of-the-most-important-questions-i-ask/
  9. https://bookasaurusblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/the-run-out-groove-by-andrew-cartmel/
  10. https://amandashivrattan481.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/carson-by-melissa-foster-with-tastybooktours/

 

My Questions:

  1. What’s been the greatest mystery you’ve attempted to solve in your own life?
  2. What country is most likely your next vacation or trip?
  3. Do you have a doppelganger? Describe.
  4. When did you and I first start connecting and over what topics?
  5. What do you love most about your own blog or site?

 

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Novel: Father Figure (Week 2 – Friday, July 14th, 2017)

Posted on

Based on the votes, you chose Father Figure as the next novel I write. Last time, we kicked off the weekly updates with an introduction to the book and my accomplishments during week #1. It’s already the end of week #2, and I’m happy to report that it’s been a productive one. For a summary of the novel, scroll to the bottom of the post.

writer

Status:  Friday, July 14, 2017 – Week #2

  • I edited the chapter by chapter outline by moving a few events around, adding two additional chapters to add to the drama in the opening pages, and incorporating some key dialogue points and lines into the first ten chapters.
  • I flushed out detailed bios for the 2 main characters and 6 of the 12 supporting characters. Molly’s and Brianna’s physical descriptions have been fully detailed, as well as their relationships with each of the family members. Both women have clear goals and objectives, thus driving the story arcs where I need them to go.
  • I’ve settled on the ethnicity, race, age, sexuality and attitudes for 6 of the 12 characters. By doing this, I’ve come up with two sub-plots which will help drive the story along, as well as provide depth to the characters. I’m finding myself slightly enamored with one of these supporting characters, trying to decide her ultimate fate among a sea of options.
  • I’ve listed approximately 20 locations that will appear in the book, organized by the 3 primary cities in which the story takes place. I’m working with a few friends who know those places well enough to provide some critical backdrop details. And within those 20 locations, e.g. coffee shop in NYC, professor’s office in the university, I’ve prepared a summary of the overall look-and-feel that will be included in each setting.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #3

  • The remaining characters will be flushed out so that I have a 1 to 3 page detailed bio for each supporting character, depending on how frequently (s)he appears, and a 7 to 9 page bio for the 2 main characters.
  • The narrator’s voice still needs more focus. It will be third-person omniscient but I’m debating the structure of the voice, e.g. direct and clear versus amusing and fluctuating, pending which main character is the focus point. Hard things to figure out, but important before you start writing in my world.
  • Detailed timeline by date, not specific to chapter. A true list of dates and times that all the action occur so that I can ensure I’m including appropriate connection points, drama, red herrings and shocker moments. You are in for a thrill (at least I hope) with 3 really suspenseful scenes and 3 moments where the intention is for a WTF reaction of “no… that can’t happen!!!”

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • While I didn’t have as much time as I’d hoped to work on the novel this week, I definitely devoted a solid 10 hours to it. It’s amazing the moments of brilliance you have about a plot or a character when you find uninterrupted time to truly ponder.
  • I’ve decided to add some big diversity points into the story. I’d known in the beginning that I wanted one of them to be included, as I felt it was a major component of a character; however, as I thought about what story I’m trying to tell here, I felt it needed to play a larger role. I’m going to need to research more as a result of this decision, but I think it’s also going to make the connection deeper with readers.
  • I’m debating the father. I keep picturing a scene from Star Wars and going back to…. “Well… maybe her father really should be X instead of Y.”

Ugh, just tell me who your father is, Brianna. NOW!

 

Open Questions / Thoughts

  • I’m still working through the ending. Cliffhanger or fully tied up? I may write both and see what a few beta readers think. The way it’s planned, I’d only have to write 2 to 3 chapters differently, which is less than a week’s work for me, especially since I have both endings clearly in mind already. The response last week from everyone was split fairly evenly, so if you have any examples of good or bad cliffhanger endings in books with sequels, throw ’em out there for me to consider.
  • My first thought on the opening lines… still very much a work in progress… and more just about setting the tone:
    • “I didn’t raise no harlot, Amalia. When you’re done with school today, you will go directly to the hardware store and help your father and me manage that register.” The back of Janet Graeme’s left hand stained her daughter’s flushed cheek with a burning imprint as she pushed passed her towards the stove. The piercing whistle of the tea kettle not only took precedence over the conversation, it disguised Amalia’s unexpected hollow whimper.
    • “But Momma, all the girls from my soccer team will be at the lake. We’re just gonna go for a swim and watch the sun set. I’ll be home to help with dinner,” Amalia replied, the strain in her voice grew weaker with each of her mother’s refusals to let her be a normal kid for once. She knew it wasn’t time to give up.

 

Summary of Father Figure (if you’re new to it)

  • A young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances she’s placed herself in due to the choices both her mother made 18 years ago and the young girl has made on her own in the present. How well do you really know your parents? And do they truly understand you?
  • A mystery and contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man whom Molly had a one-night stand with and later found herself pregnant and no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change her future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Novel: Father Figure (Week 1 – Friday, July 7th, 2017)

Posted on Updated on

I cannot believe it’s been an entire week since I announced the winner in the poll for fans, friends and followers to choose the second novel that I begin writing. But it’s here and there’s no denying reality. I’m proud to announce that it’s also time for the first weekly status update where I will share any progress I’ve made in the last week.

Based on the votes, you’ve chosen Father Figure as my next novel. I’ve created a small logo that I will tag on all the updates and posts so you know when the blog is about the novel. Both the title and the graphics are definitely subject to change as I expand and write each chapter. I also plan to create a separate website and let everyone know where to find the pages and updates once we’re further along in this planning phase.

writer

Summary of Father Figure

  • A young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances she’s placed herself in due to the choices both her mother made 18 years ago and the young girl has made on her own in the present. How well do you really know your parents? And do they truly understand you?
  • A mystery and contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Molly Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Molly has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Molly makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Molly, going by Amalia and living somewhere new, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man Amalia had a one-night stand with and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret that her mother doesn’t know who the father is because it could have been more than 1 man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change her future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

Status:  Friday, July 7, 2017 – Week #1 

  • I drafted a timeline of events for both Molly and Brianna, noting where each woman lived, key events that happen along the path and how there two situations will intersect at different points in the present.
  • I prepared a chapter by chapter rough outline with the 3 or 4 key things that I expect to happen in each chapter.
  • Decided to alternate chapters so that the odd chapters will be focused on Molly in 1998/1999 and the even chapters will be focused on Brianna in 2018. Molly will appear in the 2018 chapters from time to time, but the perspective will likely always be on Brianna.
  • Created list of primary supporting characters with names, ages and roles.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #2

  • Characters will be the focus for next week. I want to write a detailed biography on each of the primary and main supporting characters, flushing out their rough backgrounds, goals, personality flaws, voices and styles.
  • The narrator’s voice is also critical at this early stage. It will be third-person omniscient, as I’m jumping across two periods with two (2) primary characters; as a result, first-person won’t work in this situation. I’m touching on some difficult topics, and while I want the voice to have humor, it cannot be purely funny especially given the 3 climactic scenes I envision occurring. I might need to play with this for a few weeks until I decide how to balance each of the themes and plots.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • When I listed the 6 or 8 ideas I had for the novels in the poll I opened to everyone, I had a couple of favorites. While this was in the top 3, it was not my primary pick; however, it was what had the most votes and I always follow through on what I say I am doing. I felt passionate about it, but I wasn’t certain what the message was going to be at the end of the book. For example, was it the quest of the mother to accept her past, was it the daughter’s search to find her father, or was it the bond between mother and daughter growing and shrinking? It could be any combination of these items, but I also needed to know why this was an important story. I had a few inklings, but nothing set in stone.
  • I sat this week at my dining room table office desk and just began writing the timelines. Little fireworks of ideas blossomed in my mind and I saw the connection between the parallel lives of mother and daughter. I knew this wasn’t about a girl needing to find a father. It’s about the relationship between parents and children. And that helped me define the major chunks of the plot, the moments I needed to deliver to readers to feel a connection in their own lives even when there seemed to be little in common with either Brianna or Molly. And it took off…
  • So I can happily say that my passion is quite high… probably almost as much as I felt when writing the first novel. This is a strong story. And I will have a few social issues that are going to be both hard to write and hard to read. But I think I can do it in the most appropriate way possible. So I am mad excited and thrilled to start writing in August. July is flushing out the details and the story’s vibe… I’m super excited you’ll be joining me on this journey. Thank you, Friends.

Open Questions / Thoughts

  • I have two thoughts on the ending. One has the novel actually coming to a clean close with all the secrets revealed and the issues coming out; however, I thought of a very interesting plot point and cliffhanger to end the novel on, thus turning it into a two-book series with a sequel that takes everything an entire step forward. What do you think? Prefer single books or a two-book series?
  • The novel is going to have several different cultural components, including explorations into romance, sexuality and mystery. I’m not sure how much I want to play up each of these, but I want the book to appeal across the board. I feel strongly about certain parts of each character which seem to sync with the story I want to tell. How do you feel about crossing genres?

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.