Friday, February 22, 2013

The Value of Flawed Characters

Unhinged recently received a couple of reviews that mentioned how much they liked the flawed characters, and not just the main character, but all of them. Those flaws, those subtle quirks draw the reader into your character's world. Hell, give the mailman walking by a limp and he becames three dimensional even though he appears in one sentence.

No matter how perfect someone seems, you can believe there is a deep, dark secret...politicians, religious leaders, soldiers, and even stay-at-home moms. Everyone wants something and in literary terms, it drives the novel. Once you develop and embrace your character's flaws, you have to make damn sure their actions follow suit.

I find that most protagonists in thrillers and mysteries are good looking, strong, smart, inquisitive - all the things that make a hero, but in real life, would this person not be a wise-ass? Would this person not be selfish? Would this person not be cynical? Would this person not be eternally optimistic from a fear of not being liked? I'm not suggesting you change your character, just add another layer to them and you might find their choices and actions write themselves.

I always thought James Bond 007 was a series of movies about stunts, explosions and chases until the most recent movies when they gave him a little depth and suddenly he became interesting. As I think about it, Ignatious from Confederacy of Dunces is as unnattractive a main character as you can get and yet, he is so...warped and out there that you can't help be carried along in his comedic drama.

Anyway, those two reviews I mentioned are:


Thanks to everyone who downloaded the free versions of Unhinged, which runs until the end of February. Get it NOW!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

UNHINGED for free

First, let me inform my tens of fans that my novel UNHINGED will be available for a free download starting February 15 for two weeks. At least, that is my publisher's plan. There is a chance that it may be delayed or not happen at all if there is a problem with the distributor, but I'm planning on it all working out. So, be on the lookout at your favorite ebook stores. I must warn you that Unhinged is graphic in some places and has much adult content, but you can't go wrong if you like thrillers.

Well, so much for me to consistantly write my blog using Confederacy of Dunces words. There are just too many irons in the fire; too much on the plate; being pulled in too many directions; in other words, too much life...

One day when I'm writing for a living, things should open up to let me write more interesting stuff in a blog. I saw one of these country singers the other day going on about his workout routine he does about two hours a day. Who the hell has two hours a day to work out? It's hard enough for working class people to take a crap ten minutes out of their day, not to mention the temptation of cheap, fast, fatty food on every corner. Once I'm writing full time, I'm sure my six pack abs will become a priority.

So, my agent informs me the new year will start with a fresh barrage to new publishers for Bloodwater. It is a fantastic book that follows a paramedic's true accounts of the days during the flooding of Hurricane Katrina, but is also involved in a fictitious murder. We've gotten many flattering rejections from the Big-6, so I'm one of the next tier publishers should take it, right.

Look out for a free copy of Unhinged and I look forward to your reviews (but only if you like it).