I'm thrilled to hand over the blog to fellow author Lila Munro today. Thanks so much for being here.
Thanks so much Ella for giving me the opportunity to be here today. Although I do have a new release out and another one on the way, I wanted to spend a bit of time talking shop and sharing an experience that’s very dear to my heart.
Vivid details, colorful description, character development through details so real I felt I knew them…These are all phrases I see often in reviews from professional reviewers as well as readers. To me these details are what makes a story real and is the difference between telling and showing. Showing is the trait editors like to see coming across their desk. They want to smell, hear, feel, see what’s going on, not just be told what’s happening.
But, how does a writer achieve that skill. With practice really, and I think for some it comes more naturally than for others, but it always helps to have some guidance and someone to sort of nudge you in the right direction. Some people might even go so far as to say this is a skill which can’t be learned, but to some degree I beg to differ. Yes, some are naturals at showing, but with all things in life, I believe it can be learned at least well enough to pull it off.
My first lesson in showing came in the sixth grade. I’ve often talked about my creative writing teacher that year, Mr. Trokey. I often wonder about him and wonder as well what he’d think of my career choice since he was the first person to encourage it and even told me at one point, “You owe me the first signed copy.” I promise you Mr. Trokey if I knew where you were, you’d get that signed copy…although, you might pass out when you discovered the genre I chose and it’s not fiction for children. Sorry…
We had an assignment in creative writing early on and the exercise was to describe someone you knew to the point he also felt he knew them. We were to use all our senses. Now, granted, at twelve that seemed like a tall order. How did you make another person smell, hear, feel, taste, hear what you did without saying, ‘I smelled perfume, the sky was blue.’
I chose my mother as my subject. In fact, I still have that assignment safely tucked away in a chest somewhere, although exact location is debatable. We’ve moved so much in the last seventeen years I’d be hesitant to guess the exact global position of any of my items at any given time, but I digress…the paper.
I got an A+. Did you know that liquid make-up has a very strong smell and actually hints at lead paint? It did 30 years ago anyway. Did you know Avon perfume has strong floral overtones and reminds me of a Grandma rolling in a lilac patch before going to church on Sunday? J
They were rudimentary descriptions at best, but I learned early on the importance of this skill. And it was further honed while I was taking classes in children’s lit and writing a piece about a young girl I went to church with. The instructor told me to choose five colored highlighters, one for each sense. Each time a description touched that sense, highlight it in the designated color. The result should be a rainbow.
My first attempt looked more like a cloudy day, but the next attempt…well, I’m not getting those reviews for no reason…
Thanks again, Ella for having me by today…if it’s okay I’d like to share a bit from my current release, Volume One in the Toy Box Tales which I’m writing through Rebel Ink Press in conjunction with BethAnn Buehler, and a bit from a coming release, Private Pirouette, due out September 17 from Rebel Ink Press.
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Toy Box Tales…
The Toy Box clubs, where the beer is always cold, the drinks are always perfect, and the sex is always hot, are found in the back alleys of cities across the world. Somehow, elite fighting forces always know where to locate one. Special ops team members stationed and deployed around the globe are guaranteed to find a piece of Americana, or something more exotic if they prefer, every single time they visit--no matter the mission. Owned by a mysterious man who wishes to remain anonymous, these clubs cater to every need, whim, and at times, every fetish imaginable. But as America's best often find, what happens at the Toy Box doesn’t always stay at the Toy Box…
Volume One: Fayetteville
Sugar and Spice
Sugar and Spice
Drake O’Malley is in between deployments and looking to hook up, but not on a permanent basis. The Toy Box, Fayetteville, North Carolina, is his team’s regular haunt. While most of what goes on in the back isn’t Drake’s style, the club does make a righteous Irish Car Bomb. And the girls who grace the doors aren’t bad either. If only Drake could find one that liked the occasional spanking, wasn’t into the whole twenty-four seven scene, and would let go when he disappeared on a mission. Someone with some spice…
And spice is what he gets when Nutmeg Newman shows up. She’s not looking for a permanent mate, just a good time. In fact, she let’s go on cue and isn’t heard from again until her sister, Coriander, comes knocking on Drake’s door with a special Christmas surprise. One wrapped in a cute pink package complete with hair bow...
September 17, 2012
September 17, 2012
Piper McGee can smell a set up a mile away. She can smell a Marine even further. Born to a dual-enlisted couple who divorced before she was old enough to remember a single family holiday together and proceeded to redefine the very definition of family through several marriages and even more step-siblings, Piper has made it her life’s promise to herself to never become involved with one of the few and the proud. They’re among the most irresponsible people she knows, leaving destruction in their wake and broken hearts paving the way to their next duty station. And in her opinion, Alec Douglas is just another example, until he pries her heart open along with other parts of her, making her question everything she's ever let herself believe about honor, courage, and commitment.
What does a man do with six month’s down time and no warm body to share his bed? For Sergeant Alec Douglas, contemplating that question led him to fall prey to his two best friend’s plan to find him that very thing. They know Alec has yet to stay with any one person for more than a few dates. They also know a tragedy from his past created the problem and while that haunts him, making it nearly impossible for Alec to trust his heart to anyone, they also know he’s a sucker for a challenge. Will the enticement of a few thousand dollars riding on him breaking his own rule be just the thing to disrupt his cycle? Taking their bet might be profitable, but is winning the money they’ve dangled under Alec’s nose worth losing himself to the girl they’ve picked out for him?
In his quest to get her to say yes to his crazy proposal, he tracks her all over town only to discover the beautiful, long-legged blond isn’t the studious book worm he mistook her for. In fact, she's one of Jacksonville’s finest in the form of Orchid, exotic dancer. Her rejection only spurs him to make sure her dancing days are over and she only performs her private pirouette for him, and only him, for the rest of their lives if he has his way.