Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How I sold my first book Or: Everything I needed to know, I learned from George Costanza


I’ve always loved to read, so it was no surprise to anyone when I eventually decided to write a book of my own. When I did, I attacked it head on. I planned, I worked, I outlined more than any woman should. The end result? I wrote three mysteries that didn’t sell.

I don’t know how many of you watch Seinfeld, but there is a time in George’s life where he decides what he’s been doing hasn’t been working, so he decides to do the opposite. That’s what I did with my books. I’d been writing serious mysteries, with lots of science and research involved. They’d generated some interest, enough to almost, almost sell. But nothing quite happened.

To take my mind off the latest mystery making the rounds with agents, I decided to write something completely different, a funny paranormal romance where I could build my own world and make up my own rules. I fell in love with the idea of a preschool teacher who is forced to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches and The Accidental Demon Slayer was born.

Instead of a 20-page plot outline, I had a 5-page list of ideas, one of which included “but little did they know, all the Shoney’s are run by werewolves.” Instead of following the rules, I broke a few. Instead of painstakingly writing over the course of a year, I giggled my way through the book and had a complete manuscript in five months.

The opening chapters did well in contests and caught the eye of an editor, who asked to see the whole thing. That same editor bought the book less than a week after I finished it. That book even ended up spending a few weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

While I’m not sure Seinfeld is the best place to go for life lessons, I really do think there’s something to be said for following your instincts – in writing and in everything else.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Fair Monday Morning

Happy, Monday, all!

I missed you guys last Monday, so I'm playing catch up! The weekend before last I had my first booksigning with my RWA chapter here in St. Louis. I got a chance to sign with the lovely Jeannie Lin. Her book, MY FAIR CONCUBINE, came out this month from Harlequin Historicals.

To celebrate my first signing with her, I snagged a signed copy! Would you like it? I'll toss in a signed copy of COVETED as well that you can keep or share.

Just leave a comment to enter!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dawn at Birch Crossing Release Day winners!

 
Happy Friday, everyone! Summer is almost upon us, and I hope you are getting excited for the season! I introduced my daughter to her first water balloon fight yesterday, which was great fun. Blue skies, warm weather, green grass... what more could we ask for? (Well, I'm sure we can all think of a few things, but it's important to appreciate the things we have, too!)

Anyway, without further ado, here are the winners from the Dawn at Birch Crossing giveaway party. Please email me from my website and let me know which of my books you would like (whether it's ebook or print depends on the title selected, and all titles may not be available for all geographic locations).

The winners are: Lisa, Butterflikisses and Melissa P. Congratulations!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Winner!



On my way out the door for a meeting with a fabulous group of librarians from our local county library system. Before I do that, wanted to drop in and announce the winner of last week's HOT BUTTON giveaway.  It's:

aliainala

Email me your mailing information and I'll get a book out to you:

casey@caseydaniels.com

In the meantime, if you're looking for a dose of publishing reality (all the more funny because it's true), check out:

http://www.weldonowen.com/blog/how-book-born-because-you-kids-love-infographics


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dawn at Birch Crossing Launch Party & Giveaway


Sometimes, you work and bleed and sweat and grind and lay your very soul on the earth in an attempt to follow your dreams, to get through a project, or even just make it through the day.

Sometimes, you feel like you have no more resources left in your soul to keep going another moment, another second.

And yet you keep going and you keep trying, because you refuse to face the alternative, which is to give up. You somehow, someway, manage to keep a hold of that thin thread of faith that you will make it, that things will come together.

Day after day you keep slogging forward... And then...magic happens.

For me, Dawn at Birch Crossing was that magic. When I wrote Dawn at Birch Crossing, I was emerging from a very difficult time in my life. I'd been stripped raw of all my defenses, and my heart was so full intense emotions that I couldn't protect myself from them: despair, hope, a broken heart, a second chance at life, love, faith... just so many intense feelings consuming me. The understanding of what it felt like to be at rock bottom, and then the beauty of finding your way back into light, and love and sunshine.

The depths of emotions that were spilling through me came alive in the characters of this story. I lived and breathed Clare and Griffin's joys, their heartache, their triumphs, and their paths back to a second chance at love and life. Even though I wrote this book, I still cry when I read it, because it is so beautiful in the path that it takes these characters on. I truly believe this is the most beautiful, most heartfelt, most passionate love story I've ever written, and I can't even express how powerful it is for me to finally see it on the shelves. I'm so excited for others to share in Clare & Griffin's journey, and to have it touch their hearts the way it has touched mine.The story is so uplifting, that I hope that it will give readers the same sense of hope that it gave me when I was writing it. There CAN be a happy ending, no matter how tough things are!

To celebrate the release of Dawn at Birch Crossing, I'm having a party with giveaways! Info is below, so keep on reading! 



The moment his ex-wife took his daughter and walked out, Griffin Friesé lost everything that mattered to him. After two years of agonizing failure to reconnect with his daughter, he's heading to Birch Crossing to find her. Unfortunately for Griffin, he arrives to find the town has rallied against him to protect their own. His only ally is a single mom whose warmth and determination just might break through the scars on his heart.

Since the day she became an eighteen-year-old widow with an infant, Clare Gray's only goal has been to provide for her daughter. She has worked so hard to be strong, and the last thing she can afford is to open her heart to an outsider who will soon be leaving town. But when Griffin helps save her daughter's life in a storm, an unbreakable connection is formed between Clare and the tormented business mogul.

For these two single parents, love is the last thing they are looking for, but in Birch Crossing, love always seems to find a way.


Here is a sneak peek, for an inside look at Clare and Griffin's powerful story. 

Ducking her head against the raging storm, Clare hugged herself while she watched the huge black pickup truck turn its headlights onto the steep hillside. She was freezing, and her muscles wouldn't stop shaking. She was so worried about Katie, she could barely think, and she had no idea what this stranger was going to do. Something. Anything. Please.

The truck lurched toward the hill, and she realized suddenly that he was going to drive straight up the embankment in an attempt to go above the roots and around the fallen tree that was blocking the road. But that was crazy! The mountain was way too steep. He was going to flip his truck!

Memories assaulted her, visions of when her husband had died, and she screamed, racing toward him and waving her arms. "No, don't! Stop!"

But the truck plowed up the side of the hill, its wheels spewing mud as it fought for traction in the rain-soaked earth. She stopped, horror recoiling through her as the truck turned and skidded parallel across the hill, the left side of his truck reaching far too high up the slippery slope. Her stomach retched as she saw the truck tip further and further.

The truck was at such an extreme angle, she could see the roof now. A feathered angel was painted beneath the flood lights. An angel? What was a man like him doing with an angel on his truck?

The truck was almost vertical now. There was no way it could stay upright. It was going to flip. Crash into the tree. Careen across the road. Catapult off the cliff. He would die right in front of her. Oh, God, he would die.

But somehow, by a miracle that she couldn't comprehend, the truck kept struggling forward, all four wheels still gripping the earth.

The truck was above the roots now. Was he going to make it? Please let him make it—

The wheels slipped, and the truck dropped several yards down toward the roots. "No!" She took a useless, powerless step as the tires caught on the roots. The tires spun out in the mud, and the roots ripped across the side of the vehicle with a furious scream.

"Go," she shouted, clenching her firsts. "Go!"

He gunned the engine, and suddenly the tires caught. The truck leapt forward, careening sideways across the hill, skidding back and forth as the mud spewed. He made it past the tree, and then the truck plowed back down toward the road, sliding and rolling as he fought for control.

Clare held her hand over her mouth, terrified that at any moment one of his tires would catch on a root and he'd flip. "Please make it, please make it, please make it," she whispered over and over again.

The truck bounced high over a gully, and she gasped when it flew up so high she could see the undercarriage. Then somehow, someway, he wrested the truck back to four wheels, spun out into the road and stopped, its wipers pounding furiously against the rain as the floodlights poured hope into the night.

Oh, dear God. He'd made it. He hadn't died.

Clare gripped her chest against the tightness in her lungs. Her hands were shaking, her legs were weak. She needed to sit down. To recover.

But there was no time. The driver's door opened and out he stepped. Standing behind the range of his floodlights, he was silhouetted against the darkness, his shoulders so wide and dominating he looked like the dark earth itself had brought him to life.

Something inside her leapt with hope at the sight of him, at the sheer, raw strength of his body as he came toward her. This man, this stranger, he was enough. He could help her. Sudden tears burned in her eyes as she finally realized she didn't have to fight this battle by herself.

He held up his hand to tell her to stay, then he slogged over to the front of his truck. He hooked something to the winch, then headed over to the tree. The trunk came almost to his chest, but he locked his grip around a wet branch for leverage, and then vaulted over with effortless grace, landing in the mud with a splash. "Come here," he shouted over the wind.

Clare ran across the muck toward him, stumbling in the slippery footing. "You're crazy!" she shouted, shielding her eyes against the bright floodlights from his truck. But God, she'd never been so happy to see crazy in her life.

"Probably," he yelled back, flashing her a cheeky grin. His perfect white teeth seemed to light up his face, a cheerful confident smile that felt so incongruous in the raging storm and daunting circumstances.

But his cockiness eased her panic, and that was such a gift. It made her able to at least think rationally. She would take all the positive vibes she could get right now.

He held up a nylon harness that was hooked to the steel cord attached to his truck. "If the tree goes over, this will keep you from going over."

She wiped the rain out of her eyes. "What are you talking about?"

"We still have to get you over the tree, and I don't want you climbing it unprotected. Never thought I'd actually be using this stuff. I had it just out of habit." He dropped the harness over her head and began strapping her in with efficient, confident movements. His hands brushed her breasts as he buckled her in, but he didn't seem to notice.

She sure did.

It was the first time a man's hands had touched her breasts in about fifteen years, and it was an unexpected jolt. Something tightened in her belly. Desire? Attraction? An awareness of the fact she was a woman? Dear God, what was wrong with her? She didn't have time for that. Not tonight, and not in her life. But she couldn't take her gaze off his strong jaw and dark eyes as he focused intently on the harness he was strapping around her.

"I'm taking you across to my truck," he said, "and then we're going to get your daughter and the others."

"We are?" She couldn't stop the sudden flood of tears. "You're going to help me get them?"

He nodded as he snapped the final buckle. "Yeah. I gotta get into heaven somehow, and this might do it."

"Thank you!" She threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around him, clinging to her savior. She had no idea who he was, but he'd just successfully navigated a sheer mud cliff for her and her daughter, and she would so take that gift right now.

For an instant, he froze, and she felt his hard body start to pull away. Then suddenly, in a shift so subtle she didn't even see it happen, his body relaxed and his arms went around her, locking her down in an embrace so powerful she felt like the world had just stopped. She felt like the rain had ceased and the wind had quieted, buffeted aside by the strength and power of his body.

"It's going to be okay." His voice was low and reassuring in her ear, his lips brushing against her as he spoke. "She's going to be fine."

Crushed against this stranger's body, protected by his arms, soothed by the utter confidence in his voice, the terror that had been stalking her finally eased away. "Thank you," she whispered.

"You're welcome."

There was a hint of emotion in his voice, and she pulled back far enough to look at him. His eyes were dark, so dark she couldn't tell if they were brown or black, but she could see the torment in his expression. His jaw was angular, and his face was shadowed by the floodlights. He was a man with weight in his heart. She felt it right away. Instinctively, she laid a hand on his cheek. "You're a gift."

He flashed another smile, and for a split second, he put his hand over hers, holding it to his whiskered cheek as if she were some angel of mercy come to give him relief. Her throat thickened, and for a moment, everything else vanished. It was just them, drenched and cold on a windy mountain road, the only warmth was their hands, clasped together against his cheek.

His eyes darkened, then he cleared his throat suddenly and released her hand, jerking her back to the present. "Wait until you see whether I can pull it off," he said, his voice low and rough, sending chills of awareness rippling down her spine. "Then you can reevaluate that compliment." He tugged on the harness. "Ready?"

She gripped the cold nylon, suddenly nervous. Was she edgy because she was about to climb over a tree that could careen into the gully while she was on it, or was it due to intensity of the sudden heat between them? God, she hoped it was the first one. Being a wimp was so much less dangerous than noticing a man like him. "Aren't you wearing one?"

He quirked a smile at her, a jaunty grin that melted one more piece of her thundering heart. "I only have one, and ladies always get first dibs. Besides, I'm a good climber. If the tree takes me over, I'll find my way back up. Always do." He set his foot on a lower branch and patted his knee. "A one-of-a-kind step ladder. Hop up, Ms.—?" He paused, leaving the question hovering in the storm.

"Clare." She set her muddy boot on his knee, and she grimaced apologetically when the mud glopped all over his jeans. "Clare Gray." She grabbed a branch and looked at him. "And you are?"

"Griffin Friesé." He set his hand on her hip to steady her, his grip strong and solid. "Let's go save some kids, shall we?"


What is the greatest romance you've ever read about or seen? A movie? A book? Your grandparents? To celebrate the release of Dawn at Birch Crossing, I'm giving away at least three free books to winners selected from the comments. For every twenty comments (on any topic), I will add one more prize to the pot, so pass the word! Winners get to choose any of my books, though whether it is a print or ebook will depend on the title they choose. Contest runs until next Friday morning, when I post the winners. I will post the results on my blog next Friday, when my cover artist, Peter Davis of Los Zombios will be giving away a FREE e-book cover! So make sure you visit Something Wicked next Friday for winners and a chance at a free cover! 

 
Are you a paranormal romance fan? 
 Don't forget to check out my dark paranormal Primal Heat trilogy: Darkness Awakened, Darkness Seduced and Darkness Surrendered 

 The Calydons are a race of ancient immortals cursed with a dark side. Each Calydon is destined to meet his soul mate, to be so drawn to her that he is unable to resist bonding with her through the rituals of his race, but their destiny is to destroy each other and all they care about the moment their bond is complete.

 



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Looking for Tee!

Today is Shirley's day to post, and I don't want to run her over so I'll post this and she can displace it whenever her blog is ready to go.

Donna MacMeans has a winner for her book "Casanova Code."  It's Tee.  Tee, Donna is waiting to hear from you at

dmacmeans@wowway.com 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Busting my Buttons!



Last week, I celebrated the publication of Hot Button, book #2 in the Button Box mystery series I write as Kylie Logan.  This week, more to celebrate! 

Hot Button is #10 on the Barnes and Noble mass market mystery bestseller list!

To celebrate, I'm going to give away another copy of the book.  Just leave a comment to today's post, and I'll announce the winner next week.

As for last week's winner . . . I've used the scientific eeny-meeny-miny-mo method, and the winner is . . .

fannonlibcoop

Email me your mailing info at casey@caseydaniels.com  and I'll get a book out to you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adventures in American Girl Land

Today, I broke down. I did. After months of avoiding and taking alternate routes and pretending it was closed, I took my eight-year-old to the new American Girl store in St. Louis. If you're not familiar with the American Girl concept, it's actually is quite a good one. Wholesome, normally-proportioned dolls that are maybe 18 inches tall. Each girl is from a different period in American history and has her own story to tell. There's Molly, who lives during the Great Depression. Julie (my daughter's favorite) who is from Berkley in the 1970's. There are Revolutionary dolls, an American Indian doll, one from the 1920's - you get the idea.

But along with being cute and educational, the dolls are quite spendy. I'm talking $100 for a doll. To the point where (I'm ashamed to admit) we tried to foist imitation dolls on my dear child (Target has a great version for a lot less). Unfortunately, once they hit a certain age, they can tell the difference. That's when most of them end up with an American Girl.

Maddie received one for Christmas the year before last. I was glad to see she does play with her doll. And the dog hasn't eaten most of the clothes (shoes are another story). But the store is something else. They have a doll salon - where your doll can get a facial (er - I don't even get those). Your doll can get her hair styled, her ears pierced and you can probably pay to give them a seaweed wrap. I mean, I'm sure I can find some weeds in backyard if we want to wrap up a doll or two.

The shop was quite cute, though. We saw some nice outfits. I posted a pic on Facebook and about laughed my rear off when one of my friends asked if we'd been approached by a personal shopper. What's funnier was that she's was serious.

We even had lunch in the American Girl Cafe (the same place I'd scoffed at an hour before - no way we'd be there a whole hour - ha). It was a fun time, though. Although if there are any American Girl execs out there - I have an idea for you - the American Reader Cafe. Think of it - a giant bookstore where we can get facials, have our hair done, eat yummy food and get all of the latest books. Maybe throw a cover model or two in there. Now that's a concept I could get behind.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Swag Bag Winner

Happy Monday, everyone!

I had a great weekend with a family vacation in Nashville. To be perfectly honest, the husband and I went back to reminisce about his four years in medical school and...eat the food. I love the restaurants in Nashville! There is  so many places where I was like, "The food was so good there!"
"Hey, it's Gold Coast, we ate there all the time."
"Oh just turn around, it's not too late to eat a lunch/dinner at Harper's."
"Yes, kids we are eating breakfast at Shoney's again!"

We took the kids to so many places and had a blast! We'll definitely be heading back some day.

Now to the fun part! Thanks to Random.org, the winner (#9) of the swag bag is SandyG265!

So, are there any places where you live that you'd recommend to eat! I'm open to suggestions for the next family vacation. And yes, a good restaurant is a draw. ;)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

A little knowledge...


I believe I’ve mentioned my love/hate relationship with modern technology. I love it when it works, but since I’m not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to this stuff, any malfunction sends my frustration level through the roof.  One thing in particular that really sends me spinning…the inability to access the Internet! Honestly, it has become my window to the world…I check the weather, read the latest news, and do 90% of all my research on the Web. I also use it to guide my consumer purchases (does Sensa really work and what’s the best reciprocating saw on the market? Both are products that I recently checked out! Haven’t made a decision about the Sensa, but did buy my saw based on the numerous reviews that I read!)

But what do I love the most about the Internet? Questions. You can find the answer to almost anything on the Web. All you have to do is type in “how to…”,  “what is…”, or the subject matter and somebody, somewhere, has posted something about it. Do you have to wade through some misinformation? Yeah, depending on what it is you want to know, but usually there’s some tidbit out there that will give you an answer.

However, I think I might be overusing this last thing a bit. It has gotten to the point that whenever I say “Did you know…” that my family’s response is “Let me guess…you read about it online.” In fact, I’m concerned that they’re about ready to stage an intervention!

Is anyone else an “Internet junkie”? Or do you believe in the old adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? Is having access to all this information good or bad?

Best,

Shirley

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Celebrating!



I’m celebrating today. You see, yesterday, my newest book, “Hot Button,” hit store and cyber shelves.

“Hot Button” is book #2 in the Button Box mystery series featuring antique button expert Josie Giancola and her Chicago brownstone shop, the Button Box. I write these books as Kylie Logan.

In this adventure, Josie’s got plenty to keep her busy. She’s chairing a convention for button collectors and things aren’t going well. Equipment is malfunctioning. Things are going missing. And the guest of honor . . . well, it doesn’t take Josie five minutes after picking up Thad Wyant at the airport to realize that her guest of honor is going to be a royal pain.

But then Thad is found murdered. And his historic Geronimo button is nowhere to be found. Considering how many enemies he’s made in the small and peculiar world of button collecting, Josie’s going to have to act fast to find the killer...before she becomes history herself!


I’ve got copies of “Hot Button” to give away (US only, please...I broke my ankle over the weekend and getting to the post office is pretty impossible). Let’s start this week by giving away one book. Just leave a comment and tell me something about buttons. Did you play with your grandmother’s button collection as a child? Have a piece of clothing with special buttons? Do you carry a button for good luck? I’ll choose a winner from the comments that are left.

Forgot to mention this when I originally posted...

Donna MacMeans, who guested here on the blog last week, has chosen a winner of "Casanova Code."  It's Tee.  Tee, you can email Donna at:
dmacmeans@wowway.com to claim your prize!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All in the family

I come from a family of visual artists. My grandmother never made a living at it. Back in the day, women didn't work outside the home. But she's paint murals on the walls of her dining room. And when she'd tire of them (usually in a week or two). She'd paint over them and start fresh. This was also a woman who would take her daughter dress shopping at completely unaffordable designer boutiques, sketch up ideas in the dressing room, and then go home and make dresses herself.

My dad, her son, ended up being an illustrator, back in the days when every ad agency had artists on staff. And I ended up getting a glimpse of this over the weekend. One of his old friends from the ad agency has been cleaning out his basement - and finding all kinds of original art, as well as campaigns that my dad worked on thirty and forty years ago. Can you say Mad Men?

It's been so neat going through all of his work - and seeing that he did much more than I ever realized, especially in inks and other techniques (whose names elude me at the moment). You see, I was never an artist. My dad offered to teach me drawing when I was a kid, but I was more interested in reading books or playing Atari. I kept thinking I'd get those lessons some other time, but he died when I was 17. I never knew him as an adult, so these paintings are even neater - it gives me a look at him as a professional, doing what he loved to do.

And wouldn't you know it? There are about eight oil paintings of Greek myths. I'm thinking I have to somehow include them in the marketing for my new series, which is based loosely on mythology (the gods are fighting a huge immortal war). So thanks, dad. That art came just in time. And all that time I spent reading books worked out, too.



Monday, June 4, 2012

Rocking Weekend at Lori Foster's Reader Author Get Together

Happy Monday, everyone!

This past weekend has been a blast! On Wednesday night I left St. Louis and rode with other authors to West Chester, Ohio for Lori Foster's Reader Author Get Together.

I had so much fun on Thursday. I came with my Hot Damn Design's co-workers (Jennifer Jakes and Kimberly Killion) and I got to see my first photo shoot and offer a helping hand. Let's just say it was quite the experience seeing all those hot cover models with their swords and kilts. ;) (Check out the Scottish romance shot below of cover models Chrissy and Scott Nova. They were a-mazing!)

On Friday I went consignment shopping with the Hot Damn crew and got a bunch of nice clothes at great prices. I just love a good deal and couldn't resist snagging some comfortable summer clothes. Later that afternoon, I registered for the conference and then enjoyed the pizza dinner with everyone. I met so many awesome readers and authors. Everyone was so nice and welcoming.

On Saturday I attended several panels and I got to sign copies of Coveted and gave away Coveted swag. It was a blast to sit next to my RT Convention signing buddy Donna MacMeans. I also enjoyed the chit-chats I had with Melissa Mayhue. Us "M" authors rocks. That is all!

Later that evening, my raffle basket found a home with a winner. I, on the other hand didn't get squat. :D Little did I know that most of the folks who won baskets are really hard core when it comes to tickets and their strategic placement in the right basket. I guess I have a thing or two to learn so I snag some baskets. Heh heh!

Giveaway time!

Check out the pic above! That's the bag of swag I snagged from the conference. Would you like it? The bag is packed full of goodies! Pens, cards, samplers and more! I also got a copy of Jade Lee's Dragon Born, a paranormal sampler, and an ARC of Molly O'Keefe's upcoming release Can't Buy Me Love. There's even a t-shirt too! I'll toss in a copy of Coveted as well for you to keep or share with a friend.

I had so much fun!


Just leave a comment below to enter. :)

So, how was your weekend?

Friday, June 1, 2012

When the Muse Smacks You in the Head, Listen!

So, for the last three days I've been working on Darkness Reborn, book four in my Order of the Blade series. I had copious amounts of notes and an extensive outline for the story, and I was ready to rock and roll. The first chapter was great. Super intense, dark, sexy... everything I wanted.

Then the second chapter started and it was great too...except I wasn't feeling it. I went back and forth over it for three days, trying to power my way through to keep writing, figuring that my issues were my normal birthing pains with a new book.

Then, this morning, I was so frustrated I felt like screaming. I just wasn't feeling that scene and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I decided to force it to happen, so I took myself and my computer to a new location, hoping that a new environment would help me see the story with fresh eyes and a clear mind.

Did it work?

No. I struggled there, as well. It just wasn't right, and I didn't know why!

I finally took a break for lunch and just shut my mind down. I reminded myself that I am a great writer, that I always figure this out, and that if I would just relax and chill out, I would know what to do.

And you know what? I finally figured it out! See, here was the problem. There is an event that needs to happen at the start of DARKNESS REBORN, a really intense, huge, life-changing event for the characters. My problem is that I wasn't setting that event up with enough at stake. I needed to dig deeper, to rip my characters hearts out and challenge them so intensely the entire earth will shake from the force of what happens to them. Usually, events of that intensity happen later in my books, when I have alot of time to build momentum, so that when they happen, the reader is so emotionally invested that they feel the force of the event all the way down to their souls. To have an event that powerful in the beginning of the story requires the right set up so the same intensity is achieved. If I don't go deep enough and get the reader emotionally invested enough, then the event will fall flat and the rest of the story will shrivel and die. I have to eviscerate everyone's soul's (the reader's and the characters') in the first five pages of the book so that the reader is gripping the book (or their ereader) so desperately that they are hanging on for dear life. Then, only then, will that event have the impact it needs to have.

Now that I realize that, I have to spend a little time brainstorming (again!) and then I'll need to go back and start over from the right place, and strike straight at the very souls of my characters and  bring them to their knees before the book even gets going.Sometimes, you just gotta be brutal to your characters.

Watch out Kane. Things are about to get rough, but damn, man, it's going to be a glorious ride.