Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Author Fran Lewis Writes about Alzheimers and More


Anyone who has ever had to deal with a loved one having Alzheimers or even needing specialized care should check out  Fran Lewis's books, taken from her own experiences with her late mother.


Welcome to my blog, Fran. I know you write multiple genres. What are they?

I write children’s books, horror and non-fiction.

Quite a diverse mixture. Which of those do you want to feature in this post?

In this post I would like to feature my non-fiction titles and my two children’s books. The proceeds for my books go to a foundation set up by Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx to find the cause of Alzheimer’s. The foundation is named for my mom.

Tell us about them.

My three non-fiction books are MEMORIES ARE PRECIOUS, BECAUSE WE CARE and SHARP AS A TACK OR SCRAMBLED EGGS, WHICH DESCRIBES YOUR BRAIN?

The first, Memories are Precious, focuses on my mom’s journey from start to finish with Alzheimer’s as readers hear her stories and poems in her own words. This book includes her journal too.

Because We Care focuses on Caregivers, Elder Care Abuse and Traumatic Brain Injury, and the third, Sharp as a Tack or Scrambled Eggs, Which Describes you Brain? focuses on ways we can all keep our minds and brains alert and active.
  
It sounds like most of your books have messages.

All of my children’s books have strong messages: Tolerance, understanding, why bullying is wrong, loyalty to friends and family, education is paramount to success and getting good grades should be your goal. I also include stories about peer pressure, parental pressure and learning from your mistakes.
My two books Faces Behind the Stones and Bad Choices are told from the point of view of the person that is behind the stone in the cemetery. Both books help or should help both adults and teens learn what happens when they make the wrong choice, do not think before acting and just might wind up behind a stone in a cemetery.

Did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work? How did that work out for you?

I self-published Bertha and Tillie Forever and Bertha and Tillie Sisters Forever. Faces Behind the Stones and Bad Choices were published by World Castle Publishing.

My publisher created the cover for the Bertha and Tillie series using my own ideas and the pictures of myself and my sister Marcia who passed away last year and who is Tillie.

What do you do to promote your writing?

I have two radio shows on Blog Talk Radio and mention my titles on every show either at the beginning when I introduce myself or at the end when I include my websites and titles and announce the next show. I put my links on twitter, my facebook wall, my blogs and on friendfeed. I bring my books with me wherever I go and give them to the mailman, the FedEx man for his daughter, my super for his daughter and to the guard in Kmart and the sales person in Staples. This helps to spread the word and it even allows others that would normally not know about my books to learn about them.

Sounds like you do a lot, but why should we buy your books?

Montefiore has a caregiver center with my three non-fiction books on their shelves.
For those people that want to understand more about Alzheimer’s my Memories are Precious Book has been stated as a great resource, which I have sent to many hospitals and they have in their libraries.
Because We Care will enlighten readers about Elder Care Abuse, Nursing Home Abuse and Traumatic Brain Injury. Caring for my mom for ten years as her primary caregiver with the help of home health aides, I learned a lot about homecare, Alzheimer’s and Nursing Homes. Visiting many, I looked carefully at their plan of care, their services and even more at their staff and how they interacted with the residents. My mom was home in her own apartment until the day she passed last March.

My children’s books are great for all teens and younger children ages 7 and up to learn about tolerance, understanding, peer pressure, how to deal with bullying, being overweight and overcoming the comments and other childhood issues.

Fran, thank you so much for this post. I hope it will inspire those who read it to buy your books on caregiving and Alzheimers and gain some emotional relief from them.

I'm sure anyone with children or grandchildren will want to take a look at the children's books. It sounds like they have something to benefit every child.

FRAN'S BIO

Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters Degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is a member of Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children's books and a fourth that has just been published on Alzheimer's disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a cure. The title of my new Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey; Ruth’s story and Sharp as a Tack and Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain?

She was the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.comand on ijustfinished.com under the name Gabina. Here is the link to her radio show www.blogtalkradio.com, I have ten titles. Five are children’s books, two are horror and three are non-fiction titles. I have two radio shows on The World Of Ink and Red River Writers on Blog Talk Radio. I have a review site on Facebook: reviewingyourbook which I run. Authors can post their events, links and positive comments and review on this site. I have two sites on word press where I post my reviews and where authors can request a review.


Please include a paragraph about you, your family, your interests… anything you’d like people to know about you. What made you decide to be a writer/author?
What are your hobbies/passions/pastimes? Is there a key cause you support?
I decided to write my first children’s book when I retired early from teaching. I was the dean of discipline, the assistant to the assistant principal as well as the reading and writing staff developer. When my mom was diagnosed in 2003 with Alzheimer’s I decided that I was not going to stay home and do nothing but do something different. Writing about my life growing up in the South Bronx and sharing my stories with young readers really enriches my life.

I am a five star Indie Book Reviewer and I am one of the reviewers in the Yellow Pages of Book Reviewer. I love reading and I enjoy providing positive feedback to authors. I provide a service for a fee to authors who want their unpublished manuscripts not edited, but critiqued for plot, storyline, mood, character strengths and weaknesses, story pacing and flow and much more. My cause is Alzheimer’s the Ruth Swerdloff Clinical Foundation at Montefiore Hospital to find the cause of Alzheimer’s and the Kessler Foundation in memory of my sister Marcia Wallach to find out more about Traumatic Brain Injury.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

http://gabina49.wordpress.com/




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Interview with Ken Weene - Tragic-Comedic Author


It's great to have author Ken Weene on my blog today. His projects fascinate me because he tells the stories of the less fortunate people of our world -- the poor, the lonely, the infirm, and the mentally challenged to name but a few.


First, Ken, can you tell us what genre or genres you write.

I primarily write literary fiction, which means that I emphasize language and character more than plot. However, my agent currently is shopping one of my novels that is more coming of age and historical and my newest project is historical fiction. If there is one unifying them to my writing it is the combination of a quirky sense of humor and a deep appreciation of the painfulness of life; I call that style “tragic-comedic.”

Are you a pantser? (You write by the seat of your pants and the story is all there in your head.)  Or are you a plotter? (You prefer to create a plot first?)

I start with a plot in mind, but usually the characters refuse to go along with my plans. I’ve even had a character wake me in the middle of the night to tell me that I’ve missed something.

An example: In Widow’s Walk I had expected Mary to take much more time to get involved with a man. That was why I had her meet Arnie, somebody so totally different. I figured they might have some good conversations that would leave her ready to meet somebody else. The guy I had in mind was this easygoing adult education teacher whose class she would take to expand on what she had picked up from Arnie. Well, she did take the class, but she was already in love with Arnie; that had happened before I could get them out of their first meeting. Wow, love at first sight. Now I understand how desperately lonely she really was.

Even while I am working out the plot of a book, the characters can start changing the story. The historical fiction novel, Red and White, that I am currently writing is changing right before my eyes. Lonely Cricket informed me that his best friend was a girl, that she was trying to teach him to read, and that the young man who was interested in Happy Turtle was not Christy’s brother but her uncle. Even more important that uncle was going to rape Happy Turtle. This all before I started writing. What more will change?

So many authors find that their characters take over and tell the story. Do you write a detailed list of your character's habits, likes, dislikes and family members?

No, but I do get to know them. I listen to them and slowly that overview grows in my awareness. I would no more create such a list than I would do so when getting to know a new friend. It would interfere with the development of an authentic relationship.

What do you think today's readers want and how does it differ from readers of the past?

Today’s readers want action. They are used to television and movies and they expect pacing to be fast and events to unfold quickly. Another change is they generally require much less description—that is unless the book is taking them to a place that is very different from their experience, such as a school of magic or in my case when I wrote Memoirs From the Asylum the interior of a psychiatric hospital.

Another change is the increase in explicit sexual description, except of course for Christian literature. Going along with that change is a dislike for narrations that stress characters’ internal states.

All that having been said, readers still are about reading. They want a good story and writing that will keep their minds flowing.

An excellent answer. I totally agree. What book do you want to feature in this post? Tell us about it. 

 Of my three novels, today I want to focus attention on Widow’s Walk.  Perhaps because I am writing this just before Valentine’s Day, but I am thinking about love, romance, and the impediments to true happiness. There are three central romances in Widow’s Walk, the relationship between Mary and Arnie, two older lovers both of whom having been married before and sadly unfulfilled. Their love scenes are filled with tenderness as they explore themselves. Katleen, Mary’s daughter, also falls in love, sadly with a control freak. Then there is Mary’s son. Sean. The great barrier to Sean’s life is that he is a quadriplegic. Yet, Sean finds the most stable and lasting relationship, one built on mutual need and friendship. All this exploration of love takes place against a background of religion and personal pain. 

Does your book have a message? 

In the end Widow’s Walk tells the reader that life and romance are filled with tears and with hard choices, but that love is possible.

Did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work? How did that work out for you?

My novels are published by a small house, All Things That Matter Press. They have been very supportive. However, I do have an agent and am looking for a larger home for my newest books.  Small presses do put real skin into the game. For example, ATTMP provided me with fine cover art and editing. However, they don’t have the resources to place my books in stores or to underwrite marketing. One thing they do that I greatly appreciate is handling the foreign sales venues. I know that self-published writers can deal with Amazon and Barnes, but I do a lot of selling in Great Britain and even some in South Africa. I’m glad to know that somebody else is handling all that bookkeeping.

What do you do to promote your writing, and what advice do you have for your fellow writers and authors?

I now realize that writing is the easy part of being an author. Marketing is the most difficult part of the whole business. Start marketing as soon as you can see a publication date for your book. Get your name out there. To do that be sure that you know who you are, how you want to be seen. Especially if you write fiction, it is very important that prospective readers see you as a real person not just an endless fount of spam. That is why I give interviews like this, why I maintain an active presence on the social media, why I co-host an Internet radio show, and why I try to regularly publish my shorter writings where people can read them.
  
Why should we buy Widow's Walk?

Good books make us look at life differently, make us feel and think not only about the characters and the plots but also about ourselves. Widow’s Walk will offer you laughter and tears, love and outrage. It will make you think about the nature of love and about God, about taking charge of your life, and hopefully about what is really important to you.

That's what I want from a book. Thank you so much for being a guest here on my blog, Ken. Can you tell us a little about yourself -- a mini bio?

Life itches and torments Kenneth Weene like pesky flies. Annoyed, he picks up a pile of paper to slap at the buzzing and often whacks himself on the head. Each whack is another story. At least having half-blinded himself, he has learned to not wave the pencil.

A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Kenneth Weene is a teacher, psychologist and pastoral counselor by education. He is a writer by passion. His other passions include his wife, their son, good food, theater, and good music.

Ken’s short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous publications including Sol, Spirits, Palo Verde Pages, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, The Word Place, Legendary, Sex and Murder Magazine, The New Flesh Magazine, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Daily Flashes of Erotica Quarterly, Bewildering Stories, A Word With You Press, Mirror Dance, The Aurorean, Stymie, Empirical and ConNotations.

Ken’s novels, Widow’s Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and Tales From the Dew Drop Inne, are published by All Things That Matter Press. Ken is co-host of It Matters Radio on Blog Talk. The show airs Thursday evenings.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

FACEBOOK – look for Kenneth Weene and for It Matters Radio


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Interview with Thriller Author Dave Edlund

I'm excited to be hosting an interview with my friend Dave Edlund today. Up to now, I've always tried to keep my posts focused on romance, but I've decided it would be a lot more fun to highlight writers of other genres.


So Dave, tell us what genre or genres do you write?
 I prefer to write action-thrillers, with a good dose of cutting-edge science and technology—what I like to call “science plausible” to distinguish this from science fiction. Think of Michael Crichton blended with James Rollins or Matthew Riley.

Are you a pantser? (You write by the seat of your pants and the story is all there in your head.)  
Not at all. Before I start writing, I have to have a good idea of where I am going with the story line and my characters. Still, the path from start to finish takes unexpected twists and turns—there is a substantial element of evolution, call it organic growth, in the plot and characters as the writing unfolds.

So you prefer to create a plot first?
I rely on outlines—usually heavily revised during the course of writing the novel. When I begin outlining, I already have a good idea of the core plot elements as well as the pivotal characters. Since I am writing a series based on recurring protagonists, there is opportunity to emphasize certain characters in the story. Then I add color to the antagonists (yes, more than one). However, I find that the story unfolds in ways—details—that I did not anticipate when outlining, so evolution occurs during the writing. I suppose that if I put more time and effort into the outline, agonizing over the tiny details, this evolution would be unnecessary and the outline would translate directly to the writing. But, that would be an incredibly detailed outline—certainly stretching the accepted definition of what an outline is.

What method do you use to create your story line?
My personal preference is for fiction that starts out fast and grabs you; I want the reader to be hooked from the first chapter. Heck, I want the reader to be hooked before the first chapter is over! I’ll begin with a prologue that is exciting, suspenseful, and with an emotional element. Sometimes this will be a purely fictional event, other times it will represent a historical event, but with fictional characters and actions. The prologue is very important—it provides the foundation as well as a continuity thread that weaves through the story to the end. Along the way, I strive to make my characters real—I want the reader to empathize with them, to feel their personality flaws, and loath the bad guys, yet understand why they are that way. My belief is that people are shaped and molded by their life experiences, and this belief is manifested in the characters I write about. Sprinkle in some emerging science and technology, and some really cool present-day weaponry, and bake until it’s done.

As a fiction writer, do you write a detailed list of your character's habits, likes, dislikes and family members?
Not in a formal sense. However, I do keep notes and will refer to those notes when I am adding more to a character’s back story and personality. It really depends on what is needed to make the character interesting and yet move the plot forward. It’s fun to add small details, such as musical preferences, hobbies, foods, etc. Also, as the reader goes from one novel to the next, given that the same main characters are present, I’ll have the characters refer back to past events from previous novels. My goal is to allow the reader to discover more about their virtual friends with every interaction, just as they would their real-life friends.

What do you think today's readers want and how does it differ from readers of the past?
It’s hard for me to speak for past readers, since I can’t place myself in their minds. Let me try to answer this based on how my reading enjoyment has changed over the years, and I’ll assume there must be at least a few others who feel similarly. I was an early fan of Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler, and quickly found my love for action-thrillers. Later I read many of the Tom Clancy novels, and liked the techno-thriller genre. I also read many James Bond novels, and a long list of other authors. Soon it became apparent that I really wanted the characters to be human. By this, I mean I wanted to be able to relate to them, I wanted them to be believable. I’d pay attention to detail and think, “no, that gadget doesn’t exist and if it did, it wouldn’t work that way.” Or, “now why would the hero do that and not this?” This is why I want to write novels that are “science plausible” and I’d suggest that Crichton did this exceptionally well. If there are too many elements of chance in a plot—where the hero or heroine escapes but by chance events—I feel cheated. So I avoid this in my writing and endeavor to set up situations where skill, cunning, and preparedness prevail.

What book do you want to feature in this post?
The Devil of Darfur. This is the sequel to Unintended Consequences, the first Peter Savage novel.

The Devil of Darfur is an action-thriller, set in the deserts of southern Sudan. This is my tribute to werewolf stories as well as more recent derivatives such as Congo, Hell Island, and Operation Synbat. A brilliant geneticist, named Ming, has learned how to use viruses to insert foreign DNA into human DNA. This is part of the factual science foundation to the plot. Working for the Chinese military, Ming uses this knowledge to insert Neanderthal DNA into test subjects kidnapped from villages in Darfur. The result is a hideous inhuman creature dubbed a Homothal. One morning the protagonist, Peter Savage, receives a voice message from his son Ethan, who has been kidnapped while in Darfur on a humanitarian mission. What unfolds is a breakneck race against time as Peter and friends attempt to rescue Ethan, a race that pits them against the Janjaweed militia, Chinese soldiers, and the Homothals.

Does your book have a message? Please explain.
Yes, the novel attempts to educate the reader about the genocide that transpired in Darfur over many years, while the rest of the world conveniently turned a blind eye to the atrocities carried out by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. The reader will meet Bebe, a young Darfur mother who is old beyond her age, as she tries to explain to Ethan the hardships and horrors of her life—tragedies which she is powerless to prevent. And then there is Hamaad—a rebel who witnessed his entire family brutalized and then murdered by the Janjaweed. In those moments, all of Hamaad’s dreams and ambitions vanished, to be replaced by an insatiable thirst for revenge.

Choose one character from the book and tell us what he/she would say to you if he/she was to meet you.
That would be Peter Savage. He resides in Bend, Oregon, which is also my hometown. I can easily imagine meeting Peter at a “Pub Talk”—a monthly meeting at a local microbrewery focused on networking amongst entrepreneurs. After introductions, we’d talk about our respective jobs—mine in alternative energy and Peter’s in high-tech weapon development. We might even agree to follow-up on mutual interest around small, man-portable fuel-cell power supplies. But before long I’m sure the conversation would shift to the Cascade Mountains just west of Bend. Peter Savage loves visiting Todd Lake, near Broken Top. It’s a location I’ve also spent some time at, camping and hiking, in recent years with my family.

Did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work?
I started out seeking an agent and then a publisher. That was a very long and exhausting exercise, but it taught me a lot about the publishing industry as well as my personal goals. Ultimately I decided to self-publish.

How did that work out for you?
The answer to this succinct question could be very, very long. However, the short version is that I eventually signed on with an agent, and my manuscript was submitted to several small publishers. But by this time I had invested over six months and still there was no clear indication if any of the publishers would accept my manuscript. Then my agent explained that a publisher would likely need at least a year to edit and publish the novel. I was stunned. My manuscript was done, it had been edited three times, and I was ready to get it out … no, I needed to get it out. Fans who enjoyed Unintended Consequences were asking when the next book would be available. That’s when I decided to self-publish for the benefit of advancing my career.

What do you do to promote your writing?
That’s the really hard part of this work. I rely on word-of-mouth, Facebook, Twitter, some marketing through Linked In—I steer readers to my web site and blog. But I don’t view any of this as really successful. I’m constantly working to find better ways to market my books, to get them before the national customer base. But this has to be balanced with writing the third book in the series. I think one book helps to promote the others, so getting a new book once every 9 months is my goal.

What advice do you have for your fellow writers/authors?
You must persevere. There are so many new books coming out every day, it is really tough to get your work noticed. So you have to be prepared and ready to accept small victories.

Tell us about your next project.
I’m writing book three in the Peter Savage series, and I have a co-author. It’s been a great experience to share ideas and compare characters. The plot involves atrocities committed in Libya during their recent civil war, hacking into supposedly secure military computer files, and a corrupt French presidential candidate. Commander James Nicolaou will be back, of course, and the reader will get more familiar with Gary Porter, who was introduced in The Devil of Darfur. The target release date is July of this year.

And here's the burning question -- Why should we buy your book?
Readers who like fast-paced thrillers, high on suspense, with threads of breakthrough science and technology plus global political tension, will enjoy this book. The characters are real, just like you and me—no super heroes here.

We'd love to know a little more about you...

I’m a long-time resident of Central Oregon where I currently live with my beautiful wife and son, three dogs, and two cats. By education I am a scientist (Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oregon) and I have devoted my professional career to developing technology for the hydrogen economy (founded two companies, inventor on 90 US patents). My need to invent and create is the driving force behind by interest in writing. You see, in a novel the author has freedom to do just that—invent and create, within whatever boundaries are self selected. When I’m not working my day job or writing, or providing support and encouragement to my daughter who is attending college, I love to be outdoors and close to nature. My passion is to help those in need—to pay it forward—and, hopefully, inspire my children and others to do the same.

Sounds fantastic, Dave. I wish you the best of luck and hope someone who reads this post will be inspired to read your books. 

Follow the links below to find out more and purchase Dave Edlund's novels. 

 BLOG            http://www.petersavagenovels.com/blog/
TWITTER       https://twitter.com/DaveEdlund

Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest Post by Rhoda Baxter -- Romantic Comedy Author


I'm thrilled to have Rhoda Baxter visiting my blog today. Rhoda and I are both published by Uncial Press and our next novels are being released on the same day -- March 15th. 

Hi Trish, thanks for  inviting me to be a guest on your blog. I’m Rhoda, I live in East Yorkshire in England, and I write fiction while my kids are asleep.

When I started writing I tried to write serious fiction. Not for me, this silly, funny, chick lit stuff.  No. I had a degree from Oxford, dammit. I would write serious, grown up fiction. With Angst. And big words and nice imagery and issues and metaphor and Angst. Did I mention the Angst? Lots of Angst. The trouble was, my characters said stuff to each other that was, well, funny. The humour didn’t hurt the Angst, but it did hurt my vision of myself as a serious writer.
I joined the UK Romantic Novelists’ Agency’s new writer’s scheme and sent my first novel in for critique. I got back three pages of critique! Once I’d stopped whimpering into my chocolate, I read the feedback again and the gist of it was – ‘you can write, but stop trying to be so po faced and write something fun. Your natural voice is struggling to get out’. So, I thought, what the heck. I’ll write something fun and light hearted as a break, while I think about my next ‘serious’ book. It took about half the time to write that second book (Patently in Love) and I had a blast doing it. I write romantic comedy now, and I’m proud of it. Why would I want to write anything different when my characters make me laugh?

My next book Having a Ball is published by Uncial Press and will be released in March. It has a smart (if a little immature) heroine, a workaholic hero, eccentric old ladies, charity fundraisers and a very special old house. It made me giggle when I wrote it. I hope it makes you laugh too.

 My links:
Twitter: @rhodabaxter

P.S. From Trish -- Our books are both romantic comedies, but that's about all they have in common. Mine is about rednecks in small town Alabama, and hers is about Brits and Sri Lankans in Oxford, England. We're working on a meeting between our characters, where they discuss food! It should be funny.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Romance Review's Big Giveaway

The Romance Review are celebrating their 2nd anniversary!

Go to my website www.trishjackson.com and click on their poster for more details. The celebrations are set to last through the entire month of March!

There will be tons of cool interactive games and plenty of romance novels as prizes. Whatever your taste in romance, they will have it.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Goodbye Writer's Block

Every now and then, when I tell people I am a writer, they ask if I have ever suffered from writer's block. Until now, I didn't think it was ever going to be a major problem for me.


Until now. The book I'm currently working on, Aquarius Ardor, started wonderfully and the story just flowed out of my head and onto the pages. I'm a pantser, so I don't typically plot my stories, but rather I write by the seat of my pants.

Then I had to turn my attention to Kick Assitude, the novel that is going to be released by my publisher on March 15th. There were final edits to be done, a book trailer to be created, and promotional and marketing considerations.

When I got back to writing Aquarius Ardor, the story had disappeared. Try as I might, I wasn't able to pick up the thread. Writer's block had got me! I went online and did some research, and discovered this wonderful plotting method called the HCM Plotting Method, (HCM = Heart-Clutching Moments) and thank goodness it is working, as I still have many distractions to work on, including trying to find an agent for my next completed manuscript, Capricorn Cravings.

Here's how it works:

Get yourself some index cards – yes, there is still a use for them.

  1. Use a new card to write down each Heart-Catching Moment you've already figured out. You know, the things that change the story and make the reader turn the pages.
  2. Think of more and write each one on a new card. 
  3. When you sit down to write and experience writer's block, choose one card and write the scene.
  4. Once you have them written, even if you are a pantser, now is the time to plot. Shuffle the cards around and when you get them into a logical order, build your story around the HCM's you've created. 
Examples of HCM's:

Murder or death
Instant attraction or a seduction
A huge moral lapse
Betrayal
A savage or cruel act
A change of heart for good or bad
A revelation
A discovery
An act of grace or forgiveness
A battle or fight
A frightening act of nature – hurricane, tornado, etc.

Here's one plotting method that works for me:

PART 1: The setup:
  • Page 1 – the hook – what your primary character wants - consciously and deep inside. This is the engine that drives your story. His/her goals can change during the story, but there must be something very emotional making him do what he does. 
  • Insert an inciting incident or crisis to lead you into act 2. (This is called the first turning point.) 
PART 2: Development of the story: (the body of your manuscript)
  • After a few pages, insert a really important HCM. This is called a focus point.
  • Halfway through the story, add a crisis that is the point of no return. The character commits to something and cannot go back from here. 
  • At around 60% of the manuscript, the second focus point occurs and leads up to... 
  • The end of Part 2, where the climax or moment of truth happens. This is known as the second turning point. 
PART 3: Resolution of your story occurs, where you tie up all the loose ends.

  • Final climax occurs near the end. (In my genre, the culmination of the romance.)

Other tips on how to keep readers turning pages:

--Avoid repetition -- it gets boring.
--Put chapter breaks just before or just after HCM's.
--Make certain there is internal and external tension.
--Show your characters internal emotional struggles and give them a human non-perfect element.
--Use dialogue for tension, not boring conversations over dinner.
--Delay some action to create tension. 


Happy writing everyone!

P.S. If you found this useful, click on the "Tips for Writers" link to the right and take a look at some of the other posts. The posts other writers have found particularly helpful are:
POV - Who's Telling the Story? http://romanticreviewramble.blogspot.com/2012/04/pov-who-is-telling-story.html
Author Intrusionhttp://romanticreviewramble.blogspot.com/2012/04/author-intrusion.html
Show, Don't Tellhttp://romanticreviewramble.blogspot.com/2012/05/show-dont-tell.html
Tight Writinghttp://romanticreviewramble.blogspot.com/2012/04/tight-writing.html