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“Okay, one thing he is, is a son-of-a-bitch,” Julia-Rae
swore as she popped the lens cap off one of her two 35mm digital cameras and
stared at the obscene crack running crookedly across the lens. The camera was
useless to her now. Her cheeks burned with rage as she flung it over her
shoulder and stormed down the trail. “Lack of oxygen or not at this altitude,
I’ll be damned. No man is going to bowl me over, disturb my shots, wreck my
camera, and take off without at least a decent apology. Mr. Name, or no name
magnificent tight cheeks, has a few things coming his way.” Julia-Rae yanked
her sleeves up. “Oh, I’m so and so and I’m so sorry I’ve bowled you over. Here
let me offer you a hand up; it’s the least I can do for you. MEN!” She fumed.
That insidious temper that had got her into so much trouble
in the past sank its long, evil claws into her again. As her dad, Dennis
McNaughton, would often tell her, “God didn’t plant that wavy pile of red hair
on your head to act as traffic lights.”
“You maybe the sexiest man I’ve seen in a long time, but you
aren’t getting away with this.” The fire that gripped her heart now had also
served her well in the past. It had gotten Julie-Rae through many trials and
helped her to stay in command of her life. Of course, it had gotten her in a
whole heap of trouble.
Turning a corner of the trail Julia-Rae spied the culprit
crouched over staring at something on the stonewall foundations of the ancient
city of Machu Picchu. She untied her handkerchief, twirled it taunt and held it
like a slingshot. “Here Mr. Magnificent Great Ass, let’s see how you like
That is the opening scene to my novel Shuddered Seduction. I
learned a long time ago not to open a novel with ‘It was a dark and stormy
night’ and expect to pull your reader in. Smack them upside the head with
action and place them head spinning and all into the middle of it.
What if Charles Schulz opened with this instead: Lightning
sizzled, hammering away the darkness and in lost in the deafening clap of
thunder the clank of metal typewriter keys midst a hot wooden roof.
I think Snoopy would have gone on to be entered into
literary contests and not stick to having intimate chats with feathered
friends. Not to mention the fact that he’s lucky he’s never been struck by
Of course one could simply whack someone upside the head and
drag them kicking and screaming into the bookstore to buy your novel. Sounds
like what Mr. King does. No wonder he’s made a buck or two.
Okay next month I’ll talk about having the sense to immerse
your reader so that they feel like they are there in the book with your
characters. Yes, it’s like literally
drowning them with words. Which is easier to swim out of. Did I ever mention I
Agatha Christie, roll over in your grave,
new sleuths on the prowl. Haida shaman
Charlie Stillwaters convinces Carol Ainsworth, a Vancouver detective, to join
him as he breaks his way into a high security prison. The duo
are determined to find out who killed the previous native elder before all
lightning and thunder breaks loose. They encounter deranged inmates, mystical
beings, ancient serpents, wood sprites and someone who should have been dead
Not your usual crime/mystery!
Not your usual criminal investigators!
You thought Jack Nicholson was mad in The Shining…
Wait until you meet Charlie Stillwaters in
the Sweat lodge.
Frank Talaber’s Writing Style? He usually responds with: Mix Dan Millman (Way of The Peaceful Warrior) with Charles De Lint (Moonheart) and throw in a mad scattering of Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues). PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining) and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller (Bridges Of Madison County).
Or as is often said: You don’t have to be mad to be a writer, but it sure helps.