Friday, October 19, 2012

Following a Flair for Creation

I confess I'm not a prolific blog reader, but I enjoy learning how other authors feel about their writing. What it usually boils down to is they see placing words on paper (or a computer screen) as part of their makeup. They have to write. My take on it may be basically the same, but I see it in a little different light.

I look at writing as one way to indulge a talent for creation. Creative types love to produce something out of nothing, to follow the old Star Trek manta of going where no man has gone before. I've always enjoyed the creative process. Back in the sixties I put together all the parts to create Nashville's first slick paper monthly magazine. I followed that with a venture into the advertising world, joining the creative department of Nashville's largest agency.

During the final segment of my life in the business world, I managed a statewide trade association of more than 4,000 members. One of the most fun parts of the job was to create annual conventions with openings that would excite the delegates. I put on a variety of productions using video and music, including one with a young female news reporter staging a TV newscast.

When I set up shop in my home office after retirement, I turned to novel writing as a natural outlet for my creative penchant. The first seven manuscripts I completed got varied receptions from a string of agents, none resulting in publication, but I kept at it because I enjoyed creating the tales of adventure. I finally got a contract and began to produce stories that wound up on the printed page. And as the publishing world changed, they began to appear in the electronic arena.

The first three manuscripts were a trilogy of political thrillers written twenty years ago. I've been working to revise them more in today's style, meaning tighter and somewhat less wordy. The first volume, Beware the Jabberwock, is now on Amazon, and book two, The Poksu Conspiracy, will be there by the end of this month. The new cover is shown at right, featuring South Korea's National Treasure No. 1, the Great South Gate (Namdaemun), above the hangul characters for poksu, meaning "vengeance."

I consider myself primarily a storyteller. I have no desire to write books with messages intended to sway readers' minds in some direction. I keep writing because I enjoy creating stories that interest me and hopefully will interest a few of those millions of novel readers out there. If you are one of them, tell your friends.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Look at Chris Redding's Blonde Demolition

Today I welcome mystery writer Chris Redding, who who lives in New Jersey with her "one husband, two kids, one dog, and three rabbits." When she isn't writing, she's chauffeuring her two boys to activities and working per diem in her local hospital. She gives us a look at her latest release, Blonde Demolition. Here's the back cover summary:

Mallory Sage lives in a small, idyllic town where nothing ever happens. Just the kind of life she has always wanted. No one, not even her fellow volunteer firefighters, knows about her past life as an agent for Homeland Security.

Former partner and lover, Trey McCrane, comes back into Mallory's life. He believes they made a great team once, and that they can do so again. Besides, they don't have much choice. Paul Stanley, a twisted killer and their old nemesis, is back.

Framed for a bombing and drawn together by necessity, Mallory and Trey go on the run and must learn to trust each other again―if they hope to survive. But Mallory has been hiding another secret, one that could destroy their relationship. And time is running out.

Here's an excerpt from Blonde Demolition:

Mallory bit down and then yanked at the arm. Her meager strength came from another rush of adrenaline.
"Whoa, Mallory. It's just me."
The familiar voice froze her before she could do any damage. Oh crap. As if her day hadn't tanked already.
One by one she uncurled her fingers from around his wrist. Her shaking hands grasped the steering wheel, knuckles white.
Her eyes fell closed. If she had a list of people she never wanted to see again, his name would be at the top. Why here? Why now? This was the last thing she needed.
She steadied her breath and her gaze scanned the parking lot. No one stirred or walked to their car. She couldn't be seen with him.  
"Don't turn around. Just drive. I'll be hunkered down in the back."
She started the car and drove home. Her knuckles remained white. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I think you know."
Of course. "The bomb in our trailer?"
Emotions roiled her stomach. She'd have to stock up on antacids if Trey was back in her life. And she had just been thinking how nutty this week of fair preparations had been. Now it all looked so easy.
Her thoughts shifted to the events of the evening. Who had put the bomb there? It wasn't a prank if this guy was here. This was bigger than all of Coleville, Centre County.
She pulled in front of her house, a two-story Cape Cod set down a long driveway.
"We're here and no one can see you from the road," she said.
She got out of the car, leaving her guest to follow.

You'll find the ebook at, the paper edition at