Today on the Elysian Fields tour, we have a rare interview at Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts
with Alex Warin! He was in a good mood for a change, so more talkative than usual. And I asked DJ the same set of questions, with a few variations, and you’ll see her responses next week. You can enter for the iPad and tour prizes at this stop.
And a review is supposed to go up at Frankie Blooding’s Bookshelf today; it wasn’t up yet as I wrote this at 6 a.m., but should be up later with another chance to enter for the iPad.
* * * *
Today, please help me welcome the husband/wife author team of C.D. Hersh to Preternatura. Their most recent release is The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles), published July 10 by Soul Mate Publishing. The second book in the series, Blood Brothers, is tentatively set for release in 2014.
Two hearts creating everlasting love stories. Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to the co-authors. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-’90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after. Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance.
When they aren’t collaborating on a book, they enjoy reading; singing; theatre and drama; traveling; remodeling houses (Donald has remodeled something in every home they’ve owned); and antiquing. Catherine, who loves gardening, has recently drawn Donald into her world as a day laborer. Catherine is an award-winning gardener — you can see some of her garden on their website.
They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.
You can learn more about Catherine and Donald by visiting their website
or by visiting them on Facebook
ABOUT THE PROMISED ONE: In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves. Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal. Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones, and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.
And now, let’s hear from Catherine and Donald…
Using Letters in Your Books
Before you think, “I know how to use letters,” you should know we are not talking about the “ABCDEFG” letters one uses to form words, but written letters sent through the mail, penned by hand, folded into envelopes with postage stamps and return addresses, and delivered by the postman. Yes, we realize the art of letter writing is disappearing, but it’s an art form worth saving in today’s world of instant email, twitter and facebook communication.
Recently, Donald was helping an aunt go through boxes of old letters written by his deceased uncle. The letters, written to his first wife and mother, covered the period of the couple’s early romance, his service as an Air Force pilot in WWII over Europe, and the time frame during the Korean War. In the missives, he wrote about his feelings and described what was going on in the war arenas. A huge amount of historical information, insight about this time frame, and personal tidbits about Donald’s uncle were revealed in the two days spent reading these letters
Those boxes of letters, posted seventy years ago, got us thinking about letter writing as a dying means of communication. With today’s instant communication methods of email, twitter, and facebook, which are usually deleted as soon as they are read, there won’t be anything for our descendants to open seventy years from now to see how we lived and what we thought about the events of our daily lives. When you Google “Letter Writing” you will get about 195 million results, from free tips, advice, sample letters to help you write great letters, to letter writing rules for business letters, to letter styles, envelope formats and even how to fold a letter into an envelope. What you won’t get is the feel of old, fragile paper beneath your fingers as you carefully open a window to the past.
So, how can you use letter writing to enhance your books?
In our book The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) and in the second book of the series, Blood Brothers, tentatively scheduled for release in 2014, handwritten letters are the impetus for major storyline turning points. Because of something two dead characters reveal (one whom the readers never meet), the lives of the heroines in both books are forever changed.
Here’s an excerpt from The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) showing how we used a handwritten letter to reveal information.
I know it’s been years since you’ve heard from me, not since my brother’s murder, but Alexi’s time has come. I tried to shield her from the destiny, teaching her only the basics of the ring and waiting until she was an adult to start any training. I didn’t want to push her, but now she is developing skills I’ve not taught her. I need someone from the Council to come and assess her, and I can’t think of anyone I trust more than the man I fought beside in so many battles. After making such a mess of Sylvia, I don’t trust my judgment. I need an advocate on the Council and your advice. If you agree with my assessment, I want to present Alexi to the Council this coming Samhain. Please come as soon as possible…
The letter’s date and postmark indicated Baron had written the letter about two weeks prior to his death. Prickles crept over her arms. My time? Present me to the Council? Sylvia’s comment about the Promised One came back to her. Had Baron sent for Eli because of the great destiny he always insisted she had? She closed the door and rested her forehead against the solid surface. Life was already too complicated. She didn’t need this.
Had we used email to send this letter, the heroine Alexi might not have believed the letter came from her uncle. Anyone can type an email and claim it comes from an alleged sender. The specialty return label and her uncle’s loopy handwritten script on the envelope convinced Alexi the letter was real.
In our second book of the series, Blood Brothers, seeing her missing daughter’s handwriting, instead of a sterile email printout, impacted the heroine intensely and spurred her on to a life changing decision, which we can’t reveal just yet.
You can also use the art of letter writing to discover new things about your characters by having them write letters to another character in the book. We did this exercise for our antagonist, Roc, in Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles) and discovered several things. For the sake of space in this blog, we can’t reveal what we learned here, but if you are interested, please click on this link, http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/discovering-character-through-handwritten-letters-the-exercise-revealed/to read the letter and see how it worked for us.
Have you ever read a book that used letters as a way to change or move the plot? If so, how did they impact the story?
Thanks, Catherine and Donald.
Thanks, Catherine and Donald! For me, in Royal Street, DJ learns a crucial bit of information about her mentor Gerry by reading not a letter but a written diary. What about you guys? Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of The Promised One!