Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Guest Post: Phyl Manning (Here, There and Otherwhere Blog Tour)

As a part of the Here, There and Otherwhere Blog Tour I am happy to welcome Phyl Manning to my blog today to talk about the importance of making your characters believable.


People, of course, are not automated creatures, and an author cannot "create" them indelibly on paper by mechanized means. Instead, the writer gives them the breath of life subtly, by using often small but distinctive features—one or more (not too many!) physical and/or behavioral element(s)—which make that character distinct. John Lescroat’s Glitsky is always glum (even though he loves family and friends without restraint) and bears a scar which crosses his lips to blemish his appearance and frighten the observer. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is ready for the road (usually by means of hitchhiking) by putting his toothbrush in his pocket along with a couple of bucks or a few thousand, whatever he happens to have. He’s also indelible to reader by being 6'5" tall and weighing two and a half hundred pounds (all muscle, of course).

Or one identifying characteristic might be some unusual verbal ploy—the criminal who cannot speak without profanity, the loving father who cannot address his children without criticizing, the mom who characteristically predicts doom in all situations, then sobs. Consider Dickens, with his Uriah Heep who is cloyingly humble (until he’s not). And there’s Oliver Twist, poor child, who always wants "some more." Shakespeare—a master at subtle delineations that make his characters live on through the centuries. Who has trouble picturing Lady Macbeth wiping her dry hands? And (same drama) those three witches who will forever be stirring a big black (as I see it) pot of repugnant contents.

Because my characters are so real to me, I have to make special effort to dream up and throw in (and subtly repeat) a few identifying elements for each one who isn’t simply a walk-through. I "see" and recognize every person—why can’t everyone else? But believe me, your reader needs help at internalizing someone who is, after all, your character and may even be based on someone you have known.


Here, There and Otherwhere is available now from Amazon and B&N

Stay up to date on Phyl's books at KalanaPressPhyl'sBooks, email:, Phone (603)654-9240, or Mail: 374 Burton Hwy, Wilton, NH 03086

You can also enter to win a paperback copy of Vol. 1&2 below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND...stop by Phyl Manning's blog to find out more about the Elephant Themed Contest Phyl is sponsoring. 

Sure, they can paint—but only YOU can write. Yes, about elephants. We’re hosting a two-level contest with (a) modest $$ winnings and (b) possible inclusion in Elephanthology, a planned anthology of elephant lore—short stories of fiction or narrative nonfiction (imaginative writing, not articles per se), poetry, flash fiction . . . all published with author’s name for each piece.

To find out more, check out Phyl’s website

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sandra Marton Introduces the Wilde Sisters

Emily: Sense and Sensibility
(The Wilde Sisters) 
by Sandra Marton Excerpt


Emily Wilde has led a privileged life. Now she’s trying to make it on her own in Manhattan. 
Marco Santini grew up dirt poor in a Sicilian slum. Now he has everything. He’s gorgeous. He’s rich. He’s powerful. And he has all the beautiful women a man could ask for. 
Then, one rainy night, he sees a woman standing alone on a deserted New York street corner. Emily is clearly in need of help, but she’s not foolish enough to step into Marco’s chauffeured Mercedes. It takes a lot of convincing before she lets him take her to her apartment. He swears he’s not going to do anything he shouldn't and he means it--but she’s in his arms before they can stop themselves. 
Still, it’s only a kiss, just one kiss in a moment torn out of time. That’s what they both think. 
But Fate has other plans, starting with an unexpected job offer and a business trip to Paris that explodes in a passion so hot it will change everything--everything but the web of lies that traps them both.


She walked to him, curled her fingers into his shirt, rose on her toes and pressed her mouth to his. He didn’t move. Didn’t touch her. He stood tall and straight and for what seemed the longest moment of her life, she thought she’d made a mistake. 

Then he groaned, gathered her into his arms and captured her lips with his.

The earth spun. 

She clung to him more tightly because if she didn’t, surely she would fall. 
He whispered her name against her mouth; she whispered his and he cursed softly and swung her up into his arms. 

She buried her face against his throat. Wound her arms around his neck. Trembled as he carried her across the room to a long, wide sofa and lowered her to it. 

What are you doing? a voice inside Marco said. 

She was all the things he’d thought. Na├»ve. Unsophisticated. He could tell by the way she was responding to him. Nothing held back. Nothing of the temptress. She was making little sounds that went straight through him, whimpers of need that a woman with more experience would not so readily make the first time a man took her in his arms to make love to her. 

And this was his office. He didn’t bring his personal life into this space. Never. Never, he thought, and then he stopped thinking, sank to his knees in front of her, drew her forward and kissed her forehead. Her eyes, her mouth. Dio, that mouth! He caught her bottom lip between his teeth, bit lightly and she opened to him, offered him her sweet taste. 

“Please,” she whispered, “Marco, please…” 

He groaned, thrust his hands into her hair. The band with which she’d secured the ponytail broke; her hair tumbled loose, fell over his fingers like fine silk. He buried his face in the shining strands and then he took her mouth again, kissed her and kissed her, each time taking the kiss deeper. 

Finally, he drew back, framed her face with his hands and said her name. She opened her eyes. They were blurred with desire, the pupils enormous. 
He felt the last of his self-control slipping away.

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