I always find find photography to be an inspiration in my writing. I use places and people that I meet along my way to create characters and locations for my stories. My walk in Istanbul yesterday morning and the tram ride to Sultanahmet Square in the afternoon, are great examples.
I’m currently working on Code Raven 7 which features Turkey and the Middle East. One of my key characters in this book is a DJ named EM+EM. He’s currently on the trail of terrorists after a horrific event during his wedding the night before. He is taking a jog from Kariköy to the Blue Mosque and these are photos of things he would see during his run.
If you occasionally drop by my Instagram account you will see photos that make you smile, giggle, downright laugh-out-loud, and shake your head. You might ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ and wonder how my mind works! You see, I’m in love with creativity. I have a passion for fashion, design, street-art, people, faces, places, night time, day time, words, film, photography, writing–well, you get it, right? So when you drop by my blog, you never know what you are going to get.
Today we have two new book covers.
When I started Code Raven XPOSED, I had no idea it would turn into a series! Therefore, it doesn’t have a cohesive feel to each novella/book. So I started with the PREQUEL and worked with a talented designer from South Africa. I hope you love the results as I do because not only does it look great, but the novella introduces you to LUKE RAVEN and his Raven Group. This is where it all began.
I love the way my designer works. She blends photos to create this ‘feel.’ We have Ravens, and hieroglyphs, thunder and road maps!
The world’s most elusive billionaire. A brain trust that cannot be controlled. A warrior and a patriot. After the brutal murder of Luke Raven’s wife and seven-year-old daughter, Luke disappears for several months. When he returns, get ready for the non-stop action of Luke, Luci, Zach, RB, Maggs, and a cast of unforgettable characters who form the Raven Group. Discover the secretive life of billionaire Luke Raven, how he made his fortunes, and where his true loyalties lie. The Code Raven Series is a page-turner, an action-packed adventure. This is where it all began.
And for my second reveal, the first in the series is XPOSED. The new cover was uploaded to Amazon less than an hour ago and it’s already online! Now that’s great service.
XPOSED takes us on a wild journey of a mother and child running from the drug cartels in South America, Also free to read if you have a PRIME MEMBERSHIP!!
If you’re addicted to reading like I am, you want to have this subscription so you can BINGE read like me!
XPOSED is a wild action-adventure novella that uncovers a dark and dangerous world of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.
After seizing millions of dollars from an illegal arms-for-drugs deal between a rogue CIA faction, and a South American cartel, Luci retires from clandestine operations and hides out in Central America with her four-year-old daughter. Spotted by her enemies, she is chased up the Pacific coast to Mexico where she is saved by teammates of ex-Navy SEAL Zach, a member of ‘Raven’s Group.’
Meanwhile, the US government is in the throes of cyber warfare with China. Luke Raven, a high-tech billionaire, is the only man that can save America from the deadly fallout. He enlists the help of Luci, an ex-Mossad assassin, who now feels an obligation to Luke Raven for rescuing her.
They take their high-stakes adventure across the USA and over the ocean to Paris. The action culminates in Shanghai, China where an ultra-wealthy and ruthless business tycoon possesses highly sensitive information that would have catastrophic results for the USA in the wrong hands. But will they get there soon enough to secure the data from their enemies?
As usual, thanks for joining me in this wild and exciting journey. I’m currently working on Code Raven 7. And all I can say is wow!! TEASERS: ISTANBUL, Syria, Iran, and the usual fast-paced-action-based stories I love to write and you love to read!
It’s a common question asked by those who want to write a novel. I hear this all the time on Quora. Where do you begin? How? Where do you get your ideas? Do you plot? Do you ‘wing-it?’ How do you do that thing you do–so well?
Let’s talk about my latest release, SILK ROAD Code Raven6. It’s a great example of my personal writing process and may help you to get started on yours!
It starts with a word. I asked a friend, fellow author, to give me a country. In this case, it was Kyrgyzstan–a country that had no meaning to me. If you’re familiar with the Code Raven Series, you would know that not only do I love my characters and develop them further with each story, but I also love to take them to different countries around the globe to get into–and out of–trouble!
In my research about Kyrgyzstan, I came across the history of how this country was once a part of the Soviet Union. I already had a rough idea of the Russia/Asia part of the world but didn’t know much about the terrain. If you are anything like me, once you go on the world-wide-web, one search turns into another, and another, and before you know it, you’re off on a tangent for no particular reason. In my case, my interest was piqued by the crime lords who moved in to fill the void of a legitimate government. Corruption of all types runs rampant in this predominately Muslim country.
At this point, I became intrigued by the historical implications of this centuries-old area and the original Silk Road–the trading route moving through Asia from the East to the West.
Without giving away the plot, let’s just say that I became intrigued by the human condition and in particular how turmoil and greed affect women and children around the globe.
HERE’S MY PROCESS:
Out comes the excel spreadsheet.
Usually, I reprint the Characters names across the top of the sheet so I don’t mix up attributes, history, or activities, timelines, etc. This is important when writing a series. You would work the same way as you introduce new characters in your novel even if it’s a stand-alone book. I also used this process on my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On
Chapters numbers down the left side column.
Next column a key phrase to summarize what will happen in that chapter.
The next column will give more detail, possibly a paragraph of key events.
In the planning stages, I might color code the chapters. If it’s fiction and action, I might color code an action event RED, something that moves the plot along in YELLOW, and a relatively soft aspect, emotional, resting chapter might be soft green.This way you can make sure you don’t lose your reader by dropping the pace. Inevitably all my reviewers say this series is ‘fast-paced.’ You want that when writing a mystery. Otherwise, your fans will get bored and put your book down! We want them to read it in “one sitting!”
The chapters continue down the page until the end.
Why a spreadsheet?
I use this concept if I’m writing Action/Adventure/Mystery or Contemporary Romance or Non-fiction like my memoir. Why?
It’s easy to cut-and-paste therefore changing the sequence of events, or slotting in a new chapter!
You can see the entire story in one place.
The spreadsheet allows you to edit the events along the way inserting, expanding where you find your plot to be weak.
My process is always fluid. I never set a rigid plot.
Sometimes I start with one idea and watch the following events move down the page. The thoughts, ideas I have may never make it to the final story. But here’s the key: one idea leads to another, and another, and another. And my story starts to take shape from that original one word. Example:
Silk Road. Trade. Smuggling. The new Rail service from the coast of China all the way to London, England! Think about the potential here. Imagine all the events that could happen along the way! And that’s how the story moved along. And then I found activities in the Maldives that I decided to connect. And one of my main characters, Zach was summoned to Washington DC by the frightening pleas from a SEAL friend he served with in his Afghanistan/Bin Laden days.
Here’s a couple of teasers so you get a feel for the final story:
A former Navy SEAL gets a terrifying message from his estranged daughter. “I’m desperate! I need your help, Dad. Bring your friends!”
“They stole my baby Daddy! They’ve got my boy!” Will a team of ex-SEALs break US law to exact revenge?
A teenager is abducted in Kyrgyzstan. Has she become one of many kidnapped brides? Or is something far more frightening going on? The corrupt authorities ignore the parents’ pleas for help.
A new Silk Road train stretches from the eastern shores of Yiwu China to London, England. Its precious cargo is not what’s written on the manifest.
When two young children are abducted in the middle of the night from Raven’s sanctuary in the Maldives, Luci, Luke, and the Raven Group will stop at nothing to get them back.
Are all these horrific events linked?
If I’ve peaked your interest and you want a great read, written in the style of Lee Childs, David Baldacci, or Clive Cussler, get your copy on Amazon:Silk Road