Monday, April 29, 2013

Characters and Covers, aka "What the heck do those guys really look like?"

So, I was the guest author at a fabulous book club meeting on Friday. It was so much fun--the ladies were smart and entertaining (no, I'm not just saying that because they like my book...but it helps *grin*), and the hostess laid out a fantastic, Swedish-themed smorgasbord of goodies, from Swedish meatballs right through strawberry-rhubarb pie. There was even a bowl of my favorite Swedish fish gummy candy. Yum!

One of the things we talked about is who might play my characters if a TV show or movie were ever made. They wanted to know how Ciel and Billy and Mark look to me.

So, do you ever wonder how an author sees his/her own characters?

You could be surprised. It might not be anything at all like how you picture them while you're reading...and that's okay. I'm of the camp that thinks readers should have a little wiggle room in how they envision characters they choose to spend time with for the space of a book.

Now, if you've read In a Fix, you may notice that Ciel doesn't look much like she's depicted on the cover of the book. Though, of course, she could if she wanted to, being an aura adaptor and all. This may come as a surprise to you, but cover artists don't always go by the character descriptions given by authors. And the marketing department sometimes decides long, red hair on covers sells better than short, strawberry blond hair. Or something. Whatever. I still like the cover.

Frankly, nobody I know of looks exactly like any of my characters, because, to me, they look like themselves. But for those of you who are curious, here are some "types" that are close:

Hannah Spearritt (whom you may recognize from the SciFi TV series Primeval) is similar to how I picture Ciel, in this picture at least. Though, of course, Ciel has greener eyes and a few more freckles.*

Or possibly Michelle Williams, again with the greener eyes and freckles:

See what I mean? A type.

Now, Billy's type is shared by a few celebrities as well, though, as with Ciel, neither looks exactly like him. There's Matt Bomer (of the TV show White Collar):

Photo courtesy of "Nightscream" on Wikimedia Commons.

Or Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries and Lost):

Source: By vagueonthehow from Tadcaster, York, England (Ian Somerhalder  Uploaded by MaybeMaybeMaybe) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Now, Mark is a bit more serious, more of a tough guy. Like, say, a young Steve McQueen:

By Charles Guggenheim; John Stix [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Or possibly a younger-than-now Daniel Craig:

Photo source:

Do you picture characters vividly as you're reading? 

For the writers among you, do you ever have a real person in mind (celebrity or otherwise) while you're writing a physical description? 

If you've read In a Fix, is your vision of Ciel, Billy, and Mark close to mine? 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When Camels Fly

Yes! There ARE flying camels!

No, I don't mean the kind depicted here:

To the best of my knowledge, anyway. Perhaps the elusive Pegasus camel really does exist. Several, even. I mean, there'd have to be a breeding population, wouldn't there? Maybe they're just shy, like Bigfoot. (What's the plural of Bigfoot, anyway? Bigfeet?)

*Ahem* But I digress. I was thinking of this kind of flying camel:

The ice skating kind. Why was I thinking of that? Because.

Oh, come on. Does one really need a reason to think of ice skating? Isn't it enough that it's there? And, you know, has a vague connection to camels so it's fair game for one of my Hump Day posts?

Yes. Yes, that is enough.

I ice skated once. (Hey, I grew up in south central Texas. Not a lot of ice skating there.) It was at a rink in a mall in Houston. Trust me, gliding around on skinny little blades isn't as easy as it looks. Suffice it to say, my tush was at serious risk of frostbite before the afternoon was over, and I never felt compelled to repeat the experience. But I still like to watch other people do it.*

Do you ice skate? If so, have you ever done a flying camel?**

*Please don't ever quote that line out of context.
**Or that one.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Humpy Little Babies--Can I get an "Awww"?

After last week's admittedly rather gross zombie camels, I thought I'd make it up to you with something a little more "awww" inspiring. I give you....

Baby camels!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
What a lanky little sweetie-pie!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Too bashful to face the camera, but looks so soft.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
And this little guy is obviously a friendly soul.

Now, can I get that awww?

Oh, and the question: What never fails to make you say "Awww"? Puppies? Kittens? Babies? Rattlesnakes?

Or, if you'd rather, make up a caption for any/all of the pictures. Go ahead, entertain me! :D

ADDENDUM: Just got this photo from my agency sistah A.N. Remtulla (Twitter handle @anremtulla, strangely enough). Isn't this guy super adorbs?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Welcome to my Reality, Carol Kilgore!

Look who's visiting my reality today: the utterly charming Carol Kilgore! (And I'm not just saying that because she's from my home state of Texas. Though, of course, it helps. Because Texas rocks!)

For those of you who haven't met Carol yet, here's a little about her:

Carol Kilgore has always had stories and characters in her head. She wrote short fiction for a few years and enjoyed a small success as a freelancer before giving it all up for her true love – novels.

As a Coast Guard wife, Carol has lived in locations across the U.S. She and her husband now live in a San Antonio suburb and share their home and patio with two active herding dogs whose mission is to keep them free from danger, real or imagined.

Carol has a new book out, one in a very special genre Carol calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. (I love that! Wish I'd thought of it.)

From chilling prologue to final paragraph, Carol Kilgore's SOLOMON'S COMPASS is an edge-of-your-seat mystery offering a pitch-perfect blend of suspense and romance, with enough twists to keep readers compulsively turning the page. Compelling characters, a vivid Texas Gulf Coast landscape, and a town full of intriguing suspects make this novel a standout.
   --VR Barkowski, Al Blanchard Award Winner

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Without further ado, here's Carol's guest post:

Hi, and thanks for hosting me today, Linda.

You know how some days are so perfect they could have come straight out of a fairytale?

No? Me, neither. Except for rare exceptions. To balance the fairytale days, I get days ruled by the Queen of the Glitch Fairies. But most of my days, although good, aren’t complete without a couple of glitches and a few oh-no moments along the way.

And then came Solomon’s Compass. Almost everything concerning the writing and promoting of this novel has been filled with trials and mishaps.

In January, I blogged about some of the writing mishaps here. But I didn’t expect the Curse of the Glitch Fairy Queen to continue. Silly me. I should have known better.

In February I started chatting about Solomon’s Compass online. In March, I did a blog promotion with a double giveaway on my blog every week. A guest gave away a book at my blog while I gave away a book elsewhere. A few of those giveaways were a little glitchy technology wise. Or maybe it was The Queen at work. Or Mercury in retrograde.

I also experienced a snafu with Amazon a few days before the release date. They’ve always been professional with me and quick to fix things on their end, and the problem was fixed within 24 hours. Thank goodness! [knocking on wood]

The obstacles didn’t stop with things. People were affected, too. During this blog tour set up and the giveaways in March, one blogger’s computer crashed, one had to cancel because of emergency surgery, and another had to reschedule due to a deadline.

Could there be anything else? Sshhh! I’m afraid to ask.

I have one more day to go on this tour. But I’ve written all the posts ahead, so I’m not sure what else I’ll add to this list by the time I’m actually here at Linda’s.

Let’s hope it’s not much!

How about you?

Have you ever had an entire project riddled with obstacles and complications from start to finish?

No? I want your secrets!

Yes? I must be at the right place. J

(Linda here again.) Thanks for visiting, Carol! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there won't be any more glitches, and that it'll be smooth sailing from here on out with Solomon's Compass. :)

You can find Carol and her books here:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WARNING: A Hump Day Post Not for the Squeamish (with apologies to Groucho Marx)

Outside of a camel, a book is man's best friend.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Inside of a camel...

Photo courtesy of
... well, actually, it's kind of gross. 

(Um, sorry. I blame The Walking Dead. That show has a way of sticking in your head.)

So, what's sticking in your head on this fine Hump Day? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hump Day Happies!

Hokey-dokey. Got the QUICK FIX ARC Tour rolling. Which makes me happy. Kinda like this guy:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 
Isn't that an adorable smile? (Of course, for all I know, he could be contemplating spitting at the photographer. Whatever. I still think he's cute.)

Oh, and it's not too late to get in on the tour. Just email me your address and I can add you to the reading list.

The other thing making me happy? I haz new bookmarks! 

Well, the design, anyway. They shall be printed soon, though.

Here is Side A:

And this is Side B:

Like my previous bookmarks, it was designed by the talented Jeff Fielder. If you need any design work done (book covers, bookmarks, buttons, and such), Jeff is great to work with, and his rates are very reasonable. You can check out his web site at

So, what's making you happy on this fine Hump Day? Do tell! Your happy makes me happy. :)