Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

February 27, 2009

The End is Near

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 4:17 am
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For my latest novel anyway. 

I’ve just about reached 70,000 words and feel the story building to the climax. I know the end scene and I’m just about to the point where it makes sense to write it. 

It’s a medical thriller about a woman blinded in a car accident, that has her eyesight restored electronically. Because of the way it was done, she now has a direct connection from her brain to her computer, and ultimately the Internet. Yes indeed, that’s when the fun begins. 

Unlike my other novels I don’t have the 25 words or less description for what the book is about yet. I typically can’t do those until I have the second draft. I have to let the high concepts of the story sink in for a while I guess, or maybe it’s the defining scene of the book come out. I think that it’s very probable that I haven’t written that one yet, and until I do, I won’t be able to describe the book. 

What’s funny is that I do have a working title. The book is currently called Blind Power. I typically don’t have a title until the book is finished, but for some reason this one just came to me. 

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have the first draft complete, and will start the process of revision. 

Keep writing

Pick up your own copy of my latest thriller from Amazon.com

 

My latest book

My latest book

February 23, 2009

Naming Baby

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 7:23 pm
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What did you worry about when naming your child?

I had the name Matthew picked out from before my son was born, I guess because at that time, late 80’s, Bible names were back in vogue. People were naming their children Joshua, Zachary, Matthew, etc. 

Something happened at work that changed my opinion about Matthew. Turns out we worked with a admin assistant who’s name was Matthew. He was so obnoxiously stupid that we couldn’t get over the image of him every time we heard the name. Of course that’s all long forgotten now, and I now have a nephew named Matthew, but at the time, it was a big deal.

I changed the name to Brandon, for reasons that I don’t remember. Probably it was just a common name for the time. 

At that time we didn’t have the same issues with picking a name, that I am hearing about today. The only issue that I had was possible nicknames that might result. With Brandon, I worried that he might get the nickname Brandy, a girls name, and suffer the ridicule that would ensue. So I picked Brennan, because there weren’t many nicknames that could be generated from that. 

Back to name issues. I’m hearing that people today are very methodical about picking their child’s name. Some people make sure the Twitter username is available. Some people make sure the MySpace and Facebook profile names are available. Even more people make sure the .com domain hasn’t been taken. Excuse me? For a child’s name?

In the 22 years that it takes for the child to get out of college and maybe to the work force, do you really think that any of those social networking tools are going to be around? Do you really think the internet will be addressed the same way 22 years from now? 

I don’t. 

As always get my latest book on Amazon by clicking the book cover below.

 

My latest book

My latest book

February 20, 2009

Query Rejection

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 7:17 pm
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I got another one today. Yeah, it sucks. I can’t really sugar coat it. It feels bad. 

I have written about how it’s all part of the process, no need to worry about it, send it out to another agent, you will find the right one….. but that’s all the stuff you say when you are talking to someone else. That’s not what you say when the person you are talking to is you. 

So that’s all the bad news. 

The good news is that I actually got some feedback. That is unusual, but what it tells me is that I actually did garner some interest. 

Secondly they said that my writing showed a lot of promise. Wow, that’s awesome. 

What it came down to was that they didn’t feel strongly enough about the premise of the story. OK, that’s great feedback. I’ll take another pass on that to make sure that it really does grab the next one, and, in a month or so, I’ll resubmit. 

It will take a day or so to get over the sting, but I will move on. I will continue to write. I love it and you can’t stop doing something you love to do. 

Get my latest book here

Lost in the Sky

February 17, 2009

Amgen Tour of California

I’m a big fan of anything with two wheels. That includes motorcycles, but also bicycles. I have a very nice steel frame Torelli bicycle with Shimano components that I haven’t ridden for a while. Too busy writing. 

Today I am ultra-excited because the best cyclists in the world will be riding less than a mile from my house. That includes Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, and many others. The street that runs next to the corner store where I buy my groceries, is going to be one of the intermediate sprint finishes. 

I have been a big fan of the Tour de France, especially when Lance was competing. I was glued to the TV every night to see how he was doing, was amazed at some of the sportsmanship displayed by him, as well as some of the other competitors when accidents happened, and what can I say? I’m a big fan of cycling. So it kind of boggles my mind that so many of the best riders in the world will be so close. 

I was out by the side of the road last year with my video camera, and I got some good video, but they went by so fast, that I barely had a chance to see them. It wasn’t a sprint finish, but they were going down the slight hill and went by in just a few seconds. I had waited for three hours, to get a 10 second view. 

This time they will be going up the hill, but since it is a sprint, they will be pedaling as hard as they can and likely fly by again. It might be better to watch them after the sprint, when they slow down a little. I haven’t decided yet. If I get some good shots, I’ll post them up. 

Wish me luck. 

As always, check out my book. 

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February 14, 2009

.357 Dragon

Filed under: Stories — douglaslperry @ 5:01 am
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I had a friend once who liked guns. Big guns. Well at least for the time. He had a .44 magnum, with a 12″ barrel and a scope. That thing weighed a ton.

I would go with him to the firing range and borrow his hardware, pay for some ammo, rent the safety gear. But at some point, he got me hooked. I bought a 6″ barrel Colt .357 magnum revolver, in stainless steel. 

 

Mine was something like this

Mine was something like this

 

 

It was a nice gun, shot pretty well, but kicked like a mule, well, what can I say, I was a newbie with handguns. I fired all kinds of guns growing up in the midwest, but mostly they were .22 cal rifles, and 12 gauge shotguns. Pheasant, gopher, and squirrel hunting were some of my pastimes as a kid, and handguns simply weren’t practical. 

One night I stopped by my friends house after a session at the range. He showed me his reloading equipment. I found it amazing. He had the powder, the bullets, the primers, everything necessary to reload most anything he shot. Since I had a bunch of empty brass from the range, he talked me into reloading it. 

Only one problem, we didn’t have .357 gunpowder. I am not an expert on all the details, there are other bloggers out there, such as Tam who I am sure can quote weights, specifications, and all kinds of numbers about it, but not me. All I know is that 9mm powder burns fast, .357 burns a little slower, and .44 magnum burns slow. 

What my buddy had  was .44 magnum powder because that’s what he shot. However after researching in his little reloading book, he concluded that yes indeed, we could reload my .357 using .44 magnum powder. OK then, what are we waiting for?

We reloaded up a box of 50 and went to the range the following week. I put a set of six in the revolver, took aim, and blasted away. Previous to my shooting I heard a number of the lanes to the right, firing rounds, but for some reason now they were all quiet. 

I turned around to look at my buddy, who was standing behind me, and he is laughing so hard, tears are rolling down his cheeks. I give him the WTF look and he points down the lanes. I look around the lane barrier and the entire range is looking my way, with wonder in their eyes. I checked, but my pants were still covering my legs, so I couldn’t figure out what the heck they were looking at. 

My buddy finally stopped laughing long enough to tell me that what everyone was looking at was the dragon breath that came out of the barrel every time I took a shot. You see, whenever I would pull the trigger a 3 foot stream of fire would shoot out the end of the barrel, lighting up the range like a flame thrower. The other shooters were wondering what the heck kind of ammo I was shooting. We all had a good laugh when I explained.

Turns out that the .44 magnum powder burned so slow, that it was still burning when the bullet was long gone out the barrel. 

I still wish I had that gun, but that’s a story for another day, and it doesn’t have a happy ending. 

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my latest thriller. 

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February 9, 2009

What’s the hardest part about writing for you?

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 2:06 am
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Coming up with real and interesting characters is hard. I can come up with characters, but changing them from cardboard cutouts to a living breathing feeling person is what keeps me up at nights. 

It could be that I am over-thinking them. You see for me, I have to know why a person does something. I have to know their motivation or it’s hard for me to write what a character would do. So for me, writing a really bad person is really hard.

I don’t know what motivates a really bad person. I don’t know why they act badly. I cannot understand their thinking. Therefore I have trouble writing what they would do. 

Some bad people are easier than others. Religous zealots for instance, have a single minded purpose that make them easier to predict. People motivated by greed are more difficult because it’s harder to predict how far they will go with their greed. Would they actually kill someone for money?

I’d be curious to hear what you find the most difficult. 

Be sure to pick up a copy of my latest book. 

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February 4, 2009

Queries and Rejections, Is the system broken?

Filed under: Writing — douglaslperry @ 6:39 pm
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Like you, I’ve received my own wheelbarrow full of rejections. It sucks, but it’s part of the process. 

Like you, in the past I have complained about it. In fact I have written a number of comments on agent and other writer’s blogs about why I think the process is broken. I think I have changed my mind. Not that there aren’t issues with the current system, but I don’t have a better one either. 

For instance one comment that I was fairly adamant about was that agents don’t provide enough feedback. An eye-opening blog entry from an agent really hit home. It allowed me to see things from their point of view. 

We’ve all been to movies where the acting was good, the cinematography was excellent, overall the movie was well done technically, but we didn’t like the story. So if you were an agent trying to judge whether it was a good movie or not, what would you say? 

You might say that this scene needed to be different, that one shouldn’t have been included, it dragged during this section, but that is simply your interpretation and taste. It’s the way that you might write the story. That doesn’t necessarily help the writer who wrote the story the way that he/she saw it should be done. Because now it comes down to what you like versus what the writer likes, and there is no right answer. 

As a beginning writer I think it would be useful for agents to point out areas of your craft that need work, but I honestly don’t think they have time. With the number of queries they get every day, that’s probably not practical. That kind of help is probably better served by writing groups, or taking writing classes at your local community college. 

OK, so there is one area where I would like to see a little improvement, but even this is a stretch. I would find it very useful if there was a resource on the web where agents could be categorized as to what they like. The last thing I want to do is query an agent who represents Christian Literature with my latest military thriller. It wastes his/her time and mine. The reason that I think this is a stretch is that like you and me, agents like a good story regardless of whether or not it fits into a particular category that they typically represent. There are limits, but overall a good story, is a good story. 

I suspect that what I am asking for already exists in some form and I just haven’t found it yet. 

My advice is to write the best story you can write, improve your craft as much as you can, and target the best agent for your work. After that ignore rejections as simply matters of taste. Everybody has an opinion.

Be sure to pick up my book. 

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ABNA Contest

Filed under: Books — douglaslperry @ 12:29 am
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I don’t know how many of you know what ABNA stands for, but it’s the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest. The idea is that Amazon holds a book contest and the winner gets a real live book contract. I entered one of my novels last year and actually made it to the semi-finals. I was hoping to at least make the finals, but honestly, my novel needed some work. 

So here it is one year later, and I’m thinking about entering again. Actually I am hoping I can enter again. I’ve set myself up for a tough challenge, because entries have to be in by Feb 9th, and that only gives me 6 days to rewrite my entire book. 

Yep, I am going to enter a similar novel, but it won’t be the same exact one. I have learned a lot about writing this last year, and will apply it to the one I entered last year, hopefully this year with a different result. 

So what have I changed? Well, the main character’s name, the entire first three chapters and probably a lot more. I plan to turn the tension knob up to 110 throughout the entire book. If you want a quick description, cross military gamers with the real military and add in a bit of 24.

I’ll post up a link to my entry if and when it’s done so that if you want to help, you can. 

Don’t forget to get your copy of my latest book. 

new-cover-2

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