Cat on the Keyboard

Author Christine Church's Musings, Books and Stuff…

I’ve waited my whole life to see “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 04•18

Today, the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” came out in theatres. I am, and have been almost all my life, a true blue Freddie Mercury and Queen fan. So, I knew I would be sitting in the IMAX theatre the very first showing. I even picked out my seat and bought my ticket the night before, just to be sure. Fortunately for me, the place was not packed. Being a weekday, there were only about 30 or so people in the entire place.

Everyone who’s known me since I was young is well aware of my lifelong obsession with Freddie, and Queen of course (before that was the Bay City Rollers, who struck in me a love of Scotland that also never went away). But it was Freddie who drew me to the band. No, not in concert, not even in records, but in a photograph from a teen magazine I read when I was only 11 years old. It was 1976 and I saw this black and white photo of a cute young man with long black hair and striking brown eyes. He wore a jacket, open, with his hairy chest for all to see. I was absolutely smitten. I placed it on a cork board and began my search for more. My first car, a 1968 Mustang Coupe, boasted only an 8-track tape player and my first 8-track was Queen’s first album. I absolutely went crazy for the songs on that album. My Fairy King was my favorite song. I loved the fantasy elements to the words and the music had a good rock beat I adored.

Afterwards, and throughout my youth, I collected EVERYTHING I could find on Queen, and particularly on Freddie. I joined their fan club and still have in storage the newsletters I received in the mail. My bedroom looked like a shrine to Queen! As I grew older and into adulthood, the obsession didn’t cease. I wanted nothing more than to meet Freddie face to face, to talk to him, to be his friend. I knew I wasn’t alone in this, but at a young age we all live in the moment and every feeling to us is stronger and more unique than any others’. Being autistic (which I did not know then), having Asperger’s, my emotions were strong and difficult to contain. I was so in love with Freddie Mercury, I would draw my name as Christine (or Chrissy) Balsara (I always used his birth name). To this day, the inside of the closet that was once in my bedroom (which is now my office) is written “Christine and Freddie forever,” variations of our names together, and other homages to Queen. There was not a single interview, article or photograph I did not savor and save. Kids in school bullied me relentlessly, not only because I was “different,” but because of my obsession over Freddie. They would say terrible things about him, and I even slammed one boy into a locker and warned him never again to say another bad word against Freddie.

To this day, I still consider myself Freddie’s number one fan. In 1991, I was dating a man who got off on insulting my “love” for a “gay man.” One day I received a phone call from him, and I still recall his hurtful exact words. “Your boyfriend, Freddie Mercury is dead.” I called him a liar and just cried and cried when I got off the phone to discover it was true. My heart has never healed from losing this amazing talented and wonderful man. Though I never met him face to face as I’d always dreamt, I did see Queen at New Haven, CT in 1986 (I was 21). My friends and I had upper row seats, but no one guarded the floor, so I shuffled my way through the massive and close crowd (all standing), until I was against the stage! At the end of the show, Freddie came out wearing a crown and long royal red robe, carrying a huge armful of white carnations, which he tossed out to the audience. I got one of those flowers and pressed it in wax paper to preserve it (and still have it in storage).

Fast forward to 2018. I am now 53 years old. One day, over the summer, a friend on Facebook pasted an ad for a new movie coming out–Bohemian Rhapsody. My friend wrote “Look, a movie about Queen is coming out!” I thought my heart would jump out of my chest! I HAD to see it immediately when it was released. And so, today, was that day. I went alone, found a good seat, got my popcorn and soda, and did not move for over 2 hours! Here is my thoughts, as someone who has spent her life as Freddie’s number one fan:

*WARNING* SPOILER ALERT (if you have not seen this movie yet, you may not wish to read all of this).

I have to start with saying that, before the movie came out, I read many people saying it did not touch on Freddie’s sexuality, AIDS diagnosis or his boyfriends. They could not have been more wrong! The movie seemed to be all about Freddie’s realization that he was not “straight.” This was mixed with stories of the band, their relationships with each other and how they came up with such brilliant music.

If you saw the movie, I want to interject here that I love Roger’s song “I’m in love with my car.”

The movie opens with Freddie going out on stage to perform for Live Aid in 1985. I do recall watching that, if only to see Queen (and a few others I really liked). It then transports us back to the ’70’s when Roger and Brian were in a band called Smile. I remember well hearing about that band when Queen was young. In the movie Freddie mentions that due to an excess of teeth in his mouth, it allowed him extra vocal range. (Later, in the mid-80’s, I heard an interview where Freddie refused to get his teeth fixed because it might compromise his singing). Whether or not, Freddie really did have a four-octave range due to his teeth is under question.

Here, I need to make comment on the actor who played Freddie and the band… having always watched Freddie from the ’70’s until he passed in 1991. Rami Malek did a phenomenal job in this movie. One can tell he studied Freddie’s moves extremely well. However, to me, he looked nothing like Freddie! Oh sure, sometimes in the onstage scenes, he had the moves down so well I was able to suspend my disbelief a bit. But, Freddie had deep, soulful brown eyes. I do not think they even used contact lenses on Rami, for in close-ups, his eyes were hazel. Also, the prosthetic teeth did not have the same shape and prominence as Freddie’s. One other tiny nit picky… he didn’t have enough hair on is chest! I told you… decades of studying every nuance of Freddie’s looks and behavior makes me a bit of a critic to anyone playing him. I wonder what the real Mary Austin thought of seeing another man play Freddie?

The only actor I felt got “the look” the closest was Gwilym Lee, who played Brian May. I don’t know if it was real or make-up, but he had the hair, the nose, the look and the moves down pat (I know he worked closely with Brian during the making of this movie). Roger Taylor, as a young man was extremely attractive. However, Ben Hardy, who played him, was cuter in a boyish way (only with the “Roger hair”), but I saw nothing of the real Roger Taylor (with the exception of onstage drumming, as again, he worked closely with Roger Taylor on learning to play him, hence he was phenomenal). Forget about the actor who played John Deacon. He did not even come close. Not until he permed his hair. I remember when John chose that hairstyle, though I always hated it. I’m a long-hair-on-guys loving gal. I remember my disappointment when Freddie cut his hair as well. Brian was the only “true” rock star aesthetically in my opinion, for to this day his hair is long (though no longer brown, but white with age) he still looks the part.

The movie barely touched on the other band member’s personal lives. An inaccuracy that really stood out to me was when Roger was with girlfriend, Dominique. In the movie, he states that he has “wife and kids and all that,” but in reality Roger never married Dominique. They did have two children together, and I recall that well back in the day, seeing photos of her. I knew all the kid’s names, girlfriends, wives, etc. I called myself Chrissie for awhile because Brian May married a girl named Chrissie (Christine, same name as myself). I even remember when their son, Robert, was born!

Back to the movie. I remember being heartbroken when I found out Freddie had a girlfriend named Mary Austin way back when. So, it was interesting to me to see how they represented their relationship. I knew they had lived together and that he wrote “Love of my Life” for her. However, I do not think they offered an accurate depiction of how the two met. I had always heard Brian introduced them. In the movie, he noticed her (and came on to her) backstage at a Smile concert (before he joined up with Brian and Roger). He visited her workplace and their relationship began there. At least in the movie. I know movies have to change and embellish certain things (I am an actress as well as a writer) for dramatic effect. I also wonder… did he really give her an engagement ring? That seemed real enough to me, and as it was done in private, it’s possible as it never became public.

One other inaccuracy I discovered was that Freddie was depicted as being a smoker. I do not EVER recall him smoking before the mid-80’s. As a matter of fact, I have on tape an interview with Freddie in the latter half of the ’80’s stating that he had “taken up the bad habit of smoking recently.” My belief was that he thought “what the hell” after he found out he had AIDS. But the movie depicts him smoking throughout. Perhaps he did in the early years, quit then went back to it? I can’t be sure, but I always saw Roger with a cigarette in photos, but never Freddie.

Now…for accuracies, I did know that Freddie adored his cats (as do I… I’m a cat behaviorist with several award-winning books on cats). I also knew he would phone home when on the road to “talk” to his cats. This fact is gratefully depicted in the movie. I think the cats were one of my favorite aspects of the film. As someone who always dreamt of going on a “rock star” type tour, I know I would have the most trouble leaving behind my precious cats (and my horse).

When Queen broke off with their record company (also depicted), the song “Death on Two Legs” was written to Trident for “screwing them over,” so to speak. I wish they had put that song in the movie.

The movie also went on to show Freddie speaking with his doctor about his AIDS diagnosis. Though there was nothing graphic sexually in the movie, Freddie’s lavish orgy parties were touched upon. And his eventual relationship with Jim Hutton was also there.

Overall, I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. The few inaccuracies and some parts left out I feel should have been put in (such as their acquisition of John Deacon) take the one star away. I understand not *everything* can be put in a movie and all in all they did a marvelous job. Bravo!

Personally, I have always been a huge fan of the rock and roll star (esp the ’80’s) life. Hence my series “Anachronistic Dimensions” about a rock star who falls in love with a woman from another time dimensions. I did much research on the life of rock stars off-stage for that one. If you love romance fantasy (and/or rock stars), pick up a copy.

Beyond Every Mirror
Beyond a Veiled Reflection

Please feel free to write to me if you like, make comments (please, positivity is best) about Queen, the movie, my books, or whatever is on your mind.

Halloween Contest, Live Giveaway

Written By: chriscat65 - Oct• 11•18

Do you love making Halloween decorations?

It’s that time of year again. Ghosts, ghouls and Vampires! And a great Halloween contest for those who love my books… and those just discovering them! So, this Halloween, I am holding a LIVE giveaway for a FREE novel on my Facebook page, but first, you have to do something… On my FACEBOOK page, you will find a pinned post.

Post a photo of your best homemade Halloween decoration from this year! On Halloween night, I will hold a LIVE giveaway on my Facebook Page. 

The Early Scrolls is still FREE!

Written By: chriscat65 - May• 09•18

I just wanted to put out a quick note that today is the last day to get The Early Scrolls for FREE on Amazon Kindle.















Also, my virtual book tour continues… Today, you can visit Supernatural Central to read more… Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this tour… Great prizes coming.

To celebrate this tour, ALL my books in this series (except Blood Moon, because Amazon won’t let me change the price) are at 99 cents right now!!!


Written By: chriscat65 - May• 04•18

The Early Scrolls will be FREE from May 5th – May 7th!

Don’t miss out on this Prequel novella and the words of Kesi of Giza as she learns what it is to be a blood-drinker in an ancient human world.









Book Tour, featuring Blood Moon: Diary of a Highland Massacre

Blood Moon and The Fate of the True Vampires will be featured in a 2-week virtual book tour starting May 7th…
See the schedule below:

May 7 Mythical Books (Guest Blog)

May 7 T’s Stuff (Interview)

May 7 Lisa’s World of Books

May 8 Diane’s Book Blog (Interview)

May 8 Fang-tastic Books

May 8 Paranormalists

May 9 Other Worlds of Romance (Guest Blog)

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romances

Topic: What is it about this book that makes it special?

May 9 Supernatural Central (Interview)

May 9 Roxanne’s Realm

May 10 The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Guest Blog)

May 10 Share My Destiny

May 10 Saph’s Books

May 11 Ramblings of a Book Nerd

May 11 SImply Kelina

May 14 I Smell Sheep(Guest Blog)

May 14 The Book Junkie Reads

May 14 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!

May 14 JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder (Interview)

Trying to Market in a Greedy World!

Written By: chriscat65 - Mar• 31•18

Right now, as I write this it’s 53 degrees (Fahrenheit, for any in the Celsius zones). It’s a drizzly day. Kinda raw, but better than the outrageously cold March we had, after an unusually warm January and February. But, that’s New England for ya. Anyway, I didn’t come here to discuss weather.

So, for those interested in my books, I “revamped” my vampire series covers (first 3 books, Book 4 will be out in May)! I did them myself, as I do all my book covers. Fortunately, this time, I had the help a very nice and talented designer, Mariah Sinclair.  She didn’t do the covers for me, but she advised me in making them better. Here are the covers for my Fate of the True Vampires series now…








The reason I needed to redo these covers was because, a) I wanted them to stand out and tell the story better, and because, b) They are a series and should LOOK like a series, despite the books all being set in various times and geographical locations.

I think I got the mood pretty well.

I also did a little renewing of Book One for Beyond Every Mirror.


All of this is because I really NEED to sell more books and make my brand as an author.  Now for my “vent.” Part of this came about because I am on disability and have VERY limited income or resources. I am no spring chicken, but would love to get off state aid (which gives me pretty much nothing) and actually LIVE my life before it’s too late. Unfortunately, marketing books so people will buy them costs a LOT of money and I have no idea at what point I will actually make money… Writing is pretty much all I know (besides acting… but other than a short movie I was in last year that will be out this spring, I am not in a position at the moment to travel to auditions). Henceforth, I write!! It has taken me a couple years (and a lot of money wasted that I couldn’t afford to waste) to learn what works and what doesn’t in book marketing, and I am still trying to figure it out because it keeps changing!!

My biggest gripe is that some of my best free marketing vehicles are now charging… The biggest being Goodreads!! I am very angry with them right now. Every new book release in the past, I have run to Goodreads to do a giveaway. They were free, you just had to pay for the books you mailed to winners. I loved it!!! It worked. Now… they want over $100 to do a giveaway!! When all you make is about $500 a month and you have more than $600/month in bills, that is a LOT of money!! So, when I released Blood Moon in February (my first released self-pub in a year due to unforeseen terrible circumstances), I went straight to Goodreads to do a giveaway. Imagine my shock when they no longer offered free giveaways! O-M-G! And it wasn’t like they had any inexpensive options, either! Yep, their cheapest (which, as stated above, is far from cheap) is  $119 to start… the next package (there’s only TWO) is $599.00! If I had $600 to spend on a giveaway, I wouldn’t need the giveaway.

There are other examples, but this one is the best example of a company gone greedy (don’t get me started on Amazon). Isn’t there ANYONE out there willing to help authors with major financial burdens who want to write and sell books to get OUT of their major financial burden?

Stay tuned as I will be doing LIVE giveaways on my Facebook site (which you can find here).

Highland Vampires Need Your Help!

Written By: chriscat65 - Feb• 11•18

Just recently released, Blood Moon: Diary of a Highland Massacre (Book Three in the Fate of the True Vampires series) was released in paperback and Kindle. But, in order to enter certain contests or be listed in Kindle Review, books need at least 10 customer reviews of a specific star quality. I am not one to tell anyone what to rate a book as I believe in complete honesty, but I truly feel you will love this novella. It’s short enough to read in less than a couple hours (great commute read) but packs quite a lot into its small size.

And so, if anyone is interested in leaving their HONEST opinion of this book on Amazon, I am prepared to offer you free Kindle copies (not for share or resale). Simply contact me and let me know you’d like to be on my review team (where you will get free copies of my books for review). Give me your email address and that’s it. I will email you a MOBI file to read and review. Please review within 2 weeks if you can. Hey, it’s a 2-hour or shorter read, so why not? lol

Here is some information on the book:


A brilliant plot between a mortal and an ancient hybrid. A massacre planned for years, disguised as a political dispute among clans. But was the Murder at Glencoe based in politics, Jacobites and clan wars… Or was it something more paranormal in nature? Read the 17th century journals of Wolfe Amus MacDonald Stewart and discover the truth to an age-old mystery.

1692. Scottish Highlands. Befell the tragedy of Mort Ghlinne Comhann, also known as the Murder at Glencoe. Unbeknownst to clan members, the Campbells and many lowland Scots, who had taken the clan up on their hospitality, held in their minds a plan so evil and so deceptive as to be brilliant. After the massacre on 13 February, 1692, most MacDonalds lay dead, many exposed to the elements perished, homes burned. But why would the Campbells and lowland cousins commit such a hideous and unholy crime? The truth will not be found in history books. The beast behind this tragic night held nothing but greed within his heart, and using the Jacobite risings as his cover, he gets what he wants and leaves behind death and suffering.

Murder at Glencoe!

Written By: chriscat65 - Feb• 01•18

So much has been going on! Last year (2017) was a rather nightmare year for me, and thus I got NO writing in or books published. My utmost apologies for that. But 2018 I am hoping to be the opposite; a prolific year that has so far started out well.

I FINALLY finished “Blood Moon: Diary of a Highland Massacre,” which is Book Three in my Fate of the True Vampires series. I have just now uploaded all the files to Amazon (digital and paperback), so it can take a couple days to come on for sale as it needs to go through the review process. Only a day late. I hope you have been reading the “Fate of the True Vampires” series. It’s VERY different from anything else out there.

A very different take on a Scottish historical.

If you are wondering where Kesi went, do not worry… she will return in the next book (four) along with Andre, who you read about in Book One. Sorry it has taken so long to get back to his story, but these “archaeological finds” must be placed in chronological order, and Blood Moon takes place in 1692, where Andre’s tale is in the 18th century.

A new character will also be introduced in Book Five, Iven. He will get his say in the story (along with Kesi and Andre) as he is caught up in the Holocaust (WWII). Many more characters will tell their tales in future, and as they do, each will eventually come together and play their part in one massive plot (I can tell you no more than that).

So… check out Book Three (which should be available on Amazon Feb 2nd). I have already begun Book Five, and have finished draft one of Book Two in the Anachronistic Dimensions series (which began with Beyond Every Mirror).

In the meantime, watch for my book tours, live spots on Facebook and many giveaways.


James Franco as Dane Bainbridge?

Written By: chriscat65 - Dec• 05•17

Last week my mother and I went to the movies. This is a very rare occurrence as my mother, who is 74, doesn’t like to go out much. We went to see Justice League, not that that has anything to do with this post. Ha Ha. On our way out of the theatre, a movie poster struck my attention. I stopped, pointed and said “Dane!”

The poster? James Franco in The Disaster Artist.

He’s the one on the right. Yeah, with the long hair.

Ok, I have loved James Franco since he played Harry, Peter Parker’s best friend in Spider-Man. He’s a great actor, and good looking to boot. But I never “saw” him as Dane Bainbridge (Beyond Every Mirror, published 2016). In the poster he doesn’t look like James Franco, however. I didn’t even know this was James Franco until I went home and looked up the movie. And then I said “Wow, he looks amazing with long hair!” Of course, in my opinion, everyone in the world would look better with long hair. Hey, I’m a child of the 80’s and worshipped rock stars! What can I say, it’s a fetish!

But I digress.

I started to look up pictures of James Franco playing this guy Tommy Wisseau (who, by the way, looks nothing like Dane). Ok, so James Franco is a teeny bit older than Dane (the actor is 39, Dane, as of this writing, is now 32, will be 33 as of Dec. 24th… Maybe. You’ll have to read Book Two when it comes out. Mwahaha), but older can be worked with. The hair, however, is spot on! The eyes… well, Dane’s are a bit lighter with silver specks, which makes his eyes very distinct. So give James Franco contacts! Dane has no cleft to his chin, but James’ cleft is small and barely noticeable.

It was this particular picture, however, that I saw Dane. As I was browsing through pictures and video from the movie, I saw a scene where he is naked (yummy) and the body is also spot on!! Dane, though not hugely muscular, is very fit (he can thank all of his past incarnations for that!).

Of course, I had to look a bit further into this mysterious movie that seemed to make no sense, judging by the poster. While browsing, I discovered it was a movie not only about the aforementioned Tommy Wisseau, but that this guy just appeared in Hollywood one day 14 years ago with money and wanting to make a movie. The resulting movie became known as the worst movie ever made and I saw parts of the movie (called The Room) and I can understand why it is credited as such! The acting is so terrible (with the obviously-not-an-actor Wisseau playing the lead) it’s transfixing. You can’t believe a movie can be this bad and get made, then to top it off, have a major motion picture made about making it.

Ok, I’m a novelist and obviously dream of making it big, as we all do. I work very hard at writing the best stories I know how. Stories that are my passion to write, but I do pay attention to keeping it interesting. I may not be the best writer, but I’m not bad (I don’t think). Maybe I need to be worse, to get someone’s attention (add laugh track here). I am also an actress. I went to school for acting, I studied in NYC and I’ve been in a few things here and there. I may not be a great actress (I think I’m better than average), but it’s a passion I won’t stop doing even if I never make it. My dream has always been to have a movie made of my books and be in them. Writing and acting! And that leads me back to James Franco. I look forward to seeing Mr. Franco in the Disaster Artist, but think his talents would be amazing as rock star Dane.

What do you think? (If you haven’t read Beyond Every Mirror and you like romantic fantasy, something different, give it a try).

Dane?? Maybe!

Irony… Dane’s band’s CD (in Beyond Every Mirror)… Shirtless.

Dracula: Left or Right? And Where Twilight Went Wrong

Written By: chriscat65 - Nov• 28•17

Beyond Every Mirror

Last week, a friend called me with a great idea for a TV show she wants to pitch to Netflix. She was contacting me because, a) She is a huge fan of my fiction, so she wishes to have me co-write with the scriptwriter for the show, and b) Because of my knowledge of horses (around which the show will revolve). All this aside, we got talking about my books, vampire books in general and then about why she loves my books (other than reviews, we authors rarely hear why people love, or even hate, our books). Of course Anne Rice came into the conversation. My books have been compared to Anne Rice’s, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. But the fact is, I am not Anne Rice (I wish I had her fame and money though); I am my own writer with my own style.

In any event, the reason Anne Rice came to play in our conversation was not to compare my books to hers (a first), but to make a point. My friend started with reference to Dracula. “Dracula was the start,” she said. “He’s the pinnacle of vampire fiction.” The culmination of all things vampire. Several vampire genres made their way into the conversation, including, of course, Twilight. “Twilight is what vampire fiction shouldn’t be!” She went on to explain that she, like most vampire fans (particularly adults), like vampires who stay on the basic Dracula path, taking their own road but remaining either to the left or right of it.

Twilight, for example, is nowhere near it! It has its own road and I have found that vampire lovers either love it or hate it. Since it’s geared towards young adults, who usually haven’t had a ton of exposure to vampire fiction of all kinds through many years, they can accept sparkling blood drinkers who don’t bleed when you cut off an appendage.

Anne Rice, on the other hand, parallels Dracula in many ways, as Dracula is one heck of a horrifying romance. Many consider the relationship between Louis, Lestat and Claudia a sort of difunctional sexual family, even though Anne Rice’s vampires can’t have sex in a traditional way. Then, of course, there’s the blood exchange. That’s where Twilight falls short; These are vampires… where’s the blood? (said in the same vein as the “Where’s the beef?” lady (Clara Peller) of 1984)

My friend made it clear that most vampire stories fall short of Dracula in too many ways, but mine are on the other parallel of Dracula, along the same (once again) vein as Anne Rice, yet quite different. “They are both unique but don’t stray too far from the original vampire stories.”

I thought it might be fun to make a chart comparing our vampires and the basic “Dracula” rules… Just the vampires mentioned here. I know many many vampire authors exist out there, but I can’t compare them all, so I will stick to Ms. Rice, Dracula and, yes, Twilight, to my vampires (I know, I am not famous yet, but It’s my Blog and I’ll say what I want to..” (think “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore, 1963). I also, believe it or not, read little vampire fiction. I have trouble liking most of the characters. I have read True Blood, Dracula, Dracula-like books, Vampire Chronicles, and Christine Feehan. I used to read older vampire fiction, such as by romance authors Karen E. Taylor and Maggie Shayne (and others).

Check out the chart below:

Fate of the True Vampires









Drinks Human Blood YES             YES          YES
Turns into animals/mist, whatever…  NO             NO           NO

(Today, it seems, shifters have their own genres and vampires don’t fit that category any longer)

Killed by sun (No) YES No, they only sparkle!! (NOTE: How can something that drinks blood to exist be made of… what are they made of… alloy??) Most.

(rare exceptions can walk in sun)

(In the original “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, 1897, Dracula could go out in daylight.
It wasn’t until the movie “Nosferatu” (1922) that vampires were depicted as being killed by sunlight)

Can Fly (as a bat or other winged animal only) YES
( as themselves, but only certain powerful ones have this ability)
NO           NO
Can’t see self in mirror They CAN see selves in mirrors They can see selves Can see selves in mirrors

(so, apparently the mirror reflection thing is gone from most vampire fiction today)

Repelled by crosses/crucifixes Nope. As Louis says, “I’m quite fond of looking at crucifixes” NO NO.

Originals were considered Gods and existed long before Christianity

Tragic romance plot      Some believe IWTV was romantic (and tragic). Other “romance” can be found in other books in series. No tragic…anything! Multiple romances throughout the series. Some tragic.
Evil, scary vampires Some could be considered “evil” None (not even the bad guys are scary) Some might call Yin evil


WRITERS: Write a better novel in 5 steps

Written By: chriscat65 - Oct• 28•17
I like to read self-published authors. However, and unfortunately, I find that at least 85% of what I read doesn’t hold my attention for more than a paragraph, maybe two. Most people will read the very beginning of your book (some will try through a page or more, others may stop at the first sentence). If there’s nothing there to capture them, they stop. Just TELLING a story is not enough. And telling is what I am finding all too often in self-published books. The problem I have also found is that, because self-published books are so dominant on places like Amazon, and it’s so easy to toss a book up there no matter what its content, readers are beginning to look at faster plots and writing. They’re forgetting what good prose really looks like, or think it’s “too flowery.” I am not saying you need to write “purple prose,” but if you truly want something memorable that readers will get so drawn into, they will forget the world around them and be sad when the story ends, then keep these tips in mind.
  1. Start your novel with true HOOK. For example, someone walking down the street is only interesting if they are being followed and the writing SHOWS how your characters feels, what they think, sights, smells, etc. around them. Make us FEEL how they feel. Get us into their head.
  2. SHOW don’t tell. This is almost a cliche today, yet it holds true more today than ever. In my 30+ years writing, publishing and reading, I have never read more crap than what is out there today. The characters are just going along, doing things, thinking a few things, talking, but there’s NO sense of urgency, nothing to draw me into the story. I read the first few paragraphs to get a sense of the author’s writing style and if something catches my attention, I keep reading. 90% of the books (particularly self-published) that I read do not make me read any further.
  3. Have a VOICE. Each character should have their own distinct voice and personality. Don’t forget character quirks. We all have them.
  4. Write your first draft any way you want. Edit on your next drafts, making each edit like building a person from the skeleton up. And don’t stop building until you have a WHOLE person. Don’t leave your character without skin.
  5. Be UNIQUE. It’s ok if you want to write the new Twilight, but don’t copy Stephenie Meyer. That’s been done. Find a new angle, unique characters and a different story. Make it YOURS.
Make sure to give yourself TIME in between drafts. Let the book “cool” so you can go at it with fresh eyes. I have made the mistake of putting a book out too soon, so I get it, I really do. But, it’s vital to be patient.
Related: How to write custom college term papers successfully?