Today, please join me in welcoming author Tricia Skinner to Preternatura. Tricia is stopping by today as part of her virtual book tour celebrating the release of her most recent book, Angel Kin. Angel Kin was published on April 28, 2014 by Entangled Edge and is the first book in Tricia’s Angel Assassins series.
Tricia Skinner writes urban fantasy with twist of passion. She’s a former journalist who discovered her inspiration to write fiction as an escape from “real life.” Her reading tastes include fantasy (and its subgenres), paranormal, sci-fi, and history. When she’s not writing, Tricia is a newbie “green” practitioner, fitness procrastinator, and a technology geek. Her family includes a patient husband, a demigod son, and two Great Danes. She’s active in several writing communities and enjoys interacting with readers. You may learn more about Tricia by visiting her website, on Facebook or by following her on Twitter.
ABOUT ANGEL KIN: While channeling Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” attitude at a local politician’s house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn’t deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn’t an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help. When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can come to only one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive…and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately, that message is: “You’re next.” It’s a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he’s falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both.
And now, let’s hear from Tricia…
The pros and cons of a journalist-turned-author
By Tricia Skinner
You’d think a former newspaper reporter would have an easy time switching from daily articles to novel-length fiction. I thought so too, but I’m here to admit I had no idea I’d struggle more because of my previous profession.
In the ’90s I joined The Detroit News as a young, eager business reporter. My beat started with small business, minority business, and utilities. I was eventually promoted to covering personal finance and had a weekly column in the paper. Writing for a newspaper focused on getting answers—facts—from people. My opinion was never introduced and I always attempted to get all sides to a story.
When I wrote my first novel two years ago, I immediately ran into trouble. First, I had to make stuff up. The urban fantasy world, the people inhabiting it, supernatural powers, etc. Journalism was always about writing the truth, what was real.
My next problem was length. No matter how hard I tried to write an 85,000-word novel, I’d only manage about 70,000 words before editing down to about 65,000. News writing meant crafting tight articles. Words were never wasted and length was specific because a story had an exact amount of space on the page. Now, as an author, I still write tight and it drives me nuts. This tends to keep the story pace smooth and non-stop, but learning how to slow down without the whole story grinding to a halt remains one of my biggest challenges.
I do thank journalism for a few things. Research comes easy to me. I used to dig through the morgue, the paper’s news clippings, to locate information on a topic or person. Yes, this was before newspapers modernized enough to have Internet on every work computer. There was no Google back then, and absolutely no way a reporter could live without a real book in hand from the library. Tracking down what I need for a novel is fast and painless.
Typing is another benefit. I never learned to touch type, instead developing my own super-fast hunt and peck style. I’m pretty accurate, and I have a strong memory for whole conversations (you have to get those quotes right as a reporter).
Interviewing people introduced me to how people talk. In my novels, I apply what I hope is realistic dialogue, as well as feeding the characters the kind of information to draw readers further into the plot.
Finally, I owe my background as a journalist for my tenacity as a new author. Many writers start a novel, but few finish. Those that do may submit it to a bunch of agents or editors, but soon give up when the rejections pour in. I didn’t let “no” stop me from polishing my manuscript and trying again. Eventually I landed a publishing deal, then an agent. I’m currently a very happy author with Entangled Publishing.
Thanks, Tricia! I can totally relate to what you are saying because I started out as a newspaper reporter too.
In association with Tricia’s virtual book tour, there is a tourwide giveaway of a $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes. In order to register to win, you must leave a comment and then enter below. Unfortunately, this giveaway is not open to international entries.