Thursday, January 26, 2012

Protagonists and Heroes

As I start to write a new novel, I ask myself: Who is at the center of my novel? Is he/she a protagonist, or a hero?

In The Fire In Fiction by Donald Maass, says: "Every protagonist can be a hero, even from the opening pages. That quality is essential if readers are to tag along with your main character for hundreds of pages."

I hadn't thought of making any of my protagonists heroes, just characters showing us how they deal with and learn from their difficult life experiences. Maass also says, "you need only find in your human being what is strong, and in your strong human what is real. Even greatness can be signaled from the onset."

That sounds good, but I wondered how do you find your protagonist's strength?

Step one: It depends on how you created him/her! Depending on the personality they have, you can find any kind of strength, even something small. Ex. Caring about someone, a longing for hope or change.

Step two: Provide a way for that strength to be demonstrated within your protagonist's first five pages.

Step three: Revise your character's introduction to your readers so they feel this story is worth their time, that it will greatly stir and impact your readers and stay with them.

It has taken me a while to determine my protagonists strength, but I think I'm getting closer to showing it in the first five pages.

Have you had success with finding and showing your protagonist's strength in the first five pages? Any tips you wish to share?

Friday, January 20, 2012

After the Storm Winner!

Thank you to everyone for your interest in this contest. The winner of Anthony F. Rando's new After the Storm: Poetry That Refreshes the Soul is.... Isadora! Congratulations; I'm positive that your soul will feel refreshed after reading this beautiful collection of poems!

You still have a shot at winning a free signed copy of After the Storm on Goodreads! Just click on the link here to qualify.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Interview and book give-away with Anthony F. Rando

Anthony F. Rando is one of my closest friends, as well as the co-author of The Enchanted Locket, a young adult paranormal novel. The son of Italian immigrants, Anthony has a vivid collection of memories from his life experiences. He holds several degrees in the technology field and lives in Staten Island, New York.

Jennifer: Thanks for stopping by! How long have you been writing poetry?
Anthony: Thanks for having me! When I was young, I found myself writing poetry as a way to express my feelings to my family and friends.  I never pursued my writing until when my life changed dramatically on May 22, 2009. While working for a telecommunication company for eleven years, I was involved in a hit and run accident during a weekend getaway; the accident resulted in major injuries. On leave from work I decided to publish my first poetry book: A Book of Poems: The Inner Soul in May 2010.  Following that I published my second book, After the Storm: Poetry That Refreshes the Soul. Who knew a accident could change the course of my life! 

Jennifer: Tell us about your blog.
Anthony: I started my blog in March, 2010 just before A Book of Poems was published. Blogging for me is the best way to connect with my readers and post updates.  My blog focus is writing and collaboration – filtering information and providing context for those interested in my poetry.  For the most part, my blog has fallen into two categories: poetry and fiction. I've been posting some of my new poems.

Jennifer: What inspired you to write After the Storm?
Anthony: Inspiration comes from the joy of past relationships, a tragic event I experienced, and most often the emotions I felt the day I wrote each poem. Whether it’s love, remorse, or healing, I tried to capture an event in my life and hope anyone reading them will benefit depending on where they are in their own journey in life.

Jennifer: Do you have a favorite book or author?
Anthony: My favorite book is Theory of Minds: New and Selected Poems from author Bin Ramke. One of the best poetry books that I find myself reading over and over. 

Jennifer: You are involved with Bluebell Books Short Story Slam writing challenge. How do you feel about it so far? What are the benefits of it?

I absolutely love Bluebell Books Short Story Slam writing challenge blog, as it helps writers share their stories with other bloggers and readers.  I've enjoyed networking with people who share my love of writing.

Jennifer: What are you currently working on?
Anthony: Well, other than editing our Enchanted Locket novel, I wrote The Captain, a 50,000 mafia novel, during November's National Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It was a huge struggle to finish it in 30 days, but I am very pleased with how it turned out and am currently editing it in hopes of sending it to a professional editor before publishing it as an E-book.
Jennifer: I wish you the best with finishing both The Captain, and our paranormal novel.
Anthony: Thank you. I am off to work on both manuscripts now.

Okay, now for the give away: Anthony is giving away one copy of After the Storm: Poetry That Refreshes the Soul. To qualify, leave a comment here with contact information (such as email), and we will draw a name (from a basket) as the winner on Friday! 

Check out Anthony's website and blog for more information, and to read a few of his beautiful poems here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hi, I'm back online after two weeks of much needed rest with my family in Pennsylvania. On Monday, I will be post my interview with my awesome co-author and poet, Anthony F. Rando on my along with give away one of his fabulous new poetry book, "After the Storm: Poetry That Refreshes the Soul."

Have a great weekend!