Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why I L.O.V.E. Amazon Canada...

Okay, so I released The Seven Year Itch a little more than a month ago. And, by chance, I was doing a Google search and my novel popped up on the Amazon Canada spy novel list. Ever since I've been keeping an eye on the list. Today I looked and this is what appeared. What astonished me more than the fact that my novel is number 18 are the books in the number 17, 19, 20 positions. Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, and Daniel Silva. Really?

Can you say "dream come true"? It's only going to last for the next 20 seconds until the next ranking but at least I have a picture to show I was there.

I. Love. Canadians.

But it's available in the United States too (and I love Americans even more)! (see below)

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Check out my new release: The Seven Year Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel). The Seven Year Itch - Kindle ($2.99)  
The Seven Year Itch - Paperback ($8.99)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Best Writing Advice #4: Save the Cat

I loved this book--Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. Even though it's a screenwriting guide, it really gives authors some great tips on storytelling and character development. One of the best pieces of advice this book provides actually relates directly to the title.

In my romantic comedy writing, most of my characters are pretty likeable. Loveable in fact. They are very funny and going through very relatable relationship issues. And you have to have a pretty hardened heart to hate someone who makes you laugh. Even readers who get frustrated with the character and probably would like to give one-star review for her stupid life decisions in the beginning of the book, gave her three or four star reviews for humor.

Making your main character likeable is key to making the audience buy into your story.

Well, what do you do when you have a main character who may not be showing the best part of him or her self at the beginning of a story? Not only are they not likeable, they are downright unlikeable. Save the cat actually tells you to make your hero or heroine "Save the Cat" or perform some  redeemable act, do something generous, say something uplifting in order to show their softer more sensitive side. When you make a unlikeable character likeable by making him or her perform a heroic-like, then the negative is offset by the positive and the audience can empathize with the character for the rest of the story.

In The Seven Year Itch, I've created a lot of unlikeable characters. People on both sides are traitors to their countries. Ew. How can you like a traitor? Then I developed this whiny FBI agent who feels as if she's been wronged and not given a well-deserved promotion that the readers don't yet know whether she least not in the beginning of the book. So how do you make any of the people redeeming? Well, let me tell you, I was saving a lot of cats. Even the worst villains have what they believe is a noble purpose, and you have to communicate that to make their evil actions understandable if not acceptable.

So, when you develop an unlikeable character that you need to make your readers relate to and even empathize with, let them Save the Cat. 

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

#Blog Author Spotlight: Jodie Pierce author of The Vampire Queen Series

Hello All, 

I believing in paying forward success, no matter how big or small they may be. So when it was suggested that I join other blogs in spotlighting other up and coming authors, I jumped on board. The first on the list is Author Jodie Pierce is the author of the The Vampire Queen Series featuring The Vampire Queen, Demise of the Vampire Queen, and The Vampire Chronicles.

 1. Tell us about your book(s).

I have written a vampire trilogy about a Vampire Queen that in the first book is awakened and has to relearn all her powers, spells, knowledge, purify the vampire race etc. In the second book she travels to Venice to head up a new coven. The third book she oversteps her bounds as the head of a school for 'different' children, forces unite to dethrone her. That's the books in a tight nutshell.

2. Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite is the Queen because her range of emotions and personalities make her completely interesting and a challenge to those around her at times.

3. Is there a message you hope readers will take from your work?
No. I just write for fun.

4. How did you go about getting your book published?

I tried for years and years by emailing my work to publishing companies and when the email came in saying they wanted it I thought it was a spam at first...LOL

5. What's one thing you'd like readers to know about you or your work that they don't know?

Many of my writing comes from dreams.

6. What the best piece of writing advice you've ever received?

Never give up.

7. Pay it forward: What are some of your favorite books that you're currently reading?

The Banished One (book 3 of The Undeparted series) by Deborah Palumbo, a new favorite author friend of mine. I'm also reading Angel Kisses by Miss Stevie