Posts tagged ‘a year without killing’

Serial novel begins today, Dec. 7, 2014

The serialization of A Year Without Killing begins today.

Follow the further adventures of Claudia Barry in the sequel to, "The Tourist Killer."

Follow the further adventures of Claudia Barry in the sequel to, “The Tourist Killer.”

Watch for two chapters a week, HERE.

A Year Without Killing is book three of the Barry-Hixon Conspiracy series and is the sequel to The Tourist Killer.

I hope you enjoy and share with your friends.

Feedback appreciated!

Claudia Meets Norman Bates

Chelsea Hotel

The Chelsea Hotel New York City

The Eight Sentences:

The Big Apple was abuzz with more than the usual summer vacation crowds in June of 1976. Claudia Barry walked up to the front desk at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City.

“May I help you?” the slender attendant asked. He was tall and thin and had an uncanny resemblance to Anthony Perkins.
Claudia thought to herself, “God, I hope his name isn’t Bates.”Tony Perkins
“I have reservations.”
They completed the paperwork and Norman gave her the key to her room. As she was turning to go to the elevator, he said, “Oh, Miss Berry.”
“It’s ‘Barry.’ Yes? What is it?”
“I almost forgot. There’s a message for you. It came in a few hours before you arrived.”

The Set Up:

Claudia had been on the train from Boston for over four hours. New York City was crowded with the usual summer vacationers multiplied this year by those arriving early in anticipation of the Bicentennial Celebration in a few weeks. It was a great time for her to be in town. She could disappear with ease in the throng.

The morning after she arrived began a personal challenge. She had two self-assignments. First, she wanted to infiltrate the wait staff of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and for at least a few hours, become one of them — as a male. It was important for her thesis to show, how using deception, timing, and disguise, she could move in close to important people in spite of security. Second, her next goal would be to disappear from the premises undetected. Her effective use of group dynamics would be put to the test. She’d have to rely on an unplanned diversion to occur — unless she could come up with something on the spur of the minute.

Open Call for Writers:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.904b8-aaa-www

The  same link will take you to the work of
dozens of talented writers.
For a treat, please check out their work, too.
Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.

The Tourist Killer on SALE — 99 cents!

Summer ShootThroughout the entire month of November, Kindle’s e-book version of  The Tourist Killer will be on sale for 99 cents.

Why? Two reasons:

1. The Tourist Killer is a great Christmas gift and consistently receives four and five star reviews. in fact, all reviews have been three stars or better.

2. The sequel to, A Year Without Killing, debuts in December as a serial at Venture Galleries.AYearWithoutKilling- FINAL

Download a copy today, or gift a copy to a friend, and get ready to read for the holidays.

A Master’s Degree in Group Dynamics


The Eight Sentences:

Dr. Thibaut, “Like I said earlier, this project has made me work more than usual on a candidate’s masters. Where did you find out about the work of Bandler and Grinder?”

Claudia answered, “I met a [Dale Carnegie] instructor trainer from California and he told me about their work. What they[ Bandler and Grinder] do involves therapy using a person’s choice of words and body language so it’s closely associated with group dynamics. Sometimes, the group only has two people. He’s been a great help with locating resources. Have you ever noticed that I never sit directly in front of you? If you’re somewhat to my right, you are more likely to agree with me. He taught me that — and introduced me to the study of group dynamics.”

The Back Story:FrogsPrinces

This part of Claudia’s past is autobiographical for me. I taught and sold Dale Carnegie Courses for several years in the mid 1980’s. A fine introduction to NLP is Frog’s Into Princes by Bandler and Grinder. I recommend it for anyone interested in pursuing the topic.

A related snippet prompted this blog article about Claudia’s master thesis: “What the Assassin Already Knows.”

I’ve been a member since the beginning — over two years ago.

We’re looking for more writers:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.

The  same link will take you to the work of
dozens of talented writers.
For a treat, please check out their work, too.
Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.SundaySnip

Guest blogger, Julie Medina — Book Cover Designer







Our guest blogger today is Julie Medina of Garland, Texas. AYearWithoutKilling- FINAL

She designed the cover for my third novel, A Year Without Killing, and I thought

it would be interesting to hear about her work and how she views book marketing.




Ever get that question?

I do, sometimes, when people ask me what I “do” and I say I do book covers (and book interior layout).

Sometimes I get a half-blank look with the question: “What kind of book covers?”

Then I like to say: the kind that jumps on you in a bookstore, the kind that stands out from the crowd and  makes you want to pick it up and read it.

It’s the weirdest thing. You see, I believe that for most people their first interest in a book is sparked by looking at its cover. Have you ever been in a bookstore, looking for a book on architecture, for example, and out of the corner of your eye a book in the Thriller section gets you to look twice?

Something in the combination of Look and Title on that cover jumped straight past your eyes and into your brain. A face, a landmark, a flower, a mood, something someone is doing –  yes, even a color.

And now you want to know what this is all about.

Someone is shooting holes into a calendar?? Who does such a thing?

Is this some kind of a countdown to off your Husband or your Wife?

Why does someone not kill for a year? Why have they killed before, and who?

Can’t speak for other people but that is pretty much what happens to me when a book cover jumps past my eyes and into my brain. That is how I like to design covers, with that extra little burst that takes them straight there.

When I begin a project, I like to learn a little about the story, the people that live in it — perhaps some pivotal moment in their lives.

Andre Le Gallo was very specific with what he wanted on the cover of his Red Cell.RedCell

In this case I tried to accommodate pretty much what the described.

Other authors are wide open and I have only the title and a brief synopsis on the story.  I think those are actually my favorite covers. Those give me complete creative freedom and I love that. Of course sending those covers to the author for viewing is a nail-biter every time. High stakes gambling in Las Vegas couldn’t be anymore exciting when the dice roll.

Washboard RoadI drew four aces with Heartsongs From a Washboard Road by Roger Summers and won the Jackpot with CrissCross by Dale Fowler.CrissCross

Designing a book cover (or an entire book) is a little like having a baby. You worry, You want it to be beautiful and perfect and you want everyone to love it. It has to be romantic, scary, funny, dramatic, melancholy, dark and brooding or the conveyor of hope and love, all depending on the story, and it has to almost tell the entire story in one picture.

On most projects I sift through thousands of photos until just the right one grabs my attention.  The mood, colors, and themes combine into an image or images that I think will work.

Playing around with pictures in Photoshop produces crazy good effects sometimes and can change everything about any photo and give it an entirely new “feel.” A good example for this is the Compost Pile by Stephen Woodfin. [The two photos on the left were combined to make up the final cover image.]

COMPOST CompostPile

GIRL-webAnd then, when I think the cover is what I had in mind, I send it off to the “Parent”, the author, and wait.

No problem, I check e-mail only like every 20 minutes or so! No, I do not pace!

My clients report success with every project. We work together. We don’t stop until the author is as pleased with the cover. Until then the motto is: nothing is chiseled in stone, everything and anything can be tweaked and changed.

How did I get into this crazy, exciting world of book publishing?

Thanks to my friend and former boss, Caleb Pirtle of Venture Galleries, who kept telling me that I could forget about commercial advertising now and dig deeper to find that artist he knew was in there somewhere. I hope I have succeeded.

When I was young, I dreamed of being the one who wrote the books. Well that plan did not work out. But I found something equally great. I am the one who puts a story into a picture for all the world to see.

It does not get any better than that.

Claudia Barry is “The Tourist Killer”

The Eight Sentences:

Summer Shoot“You know my history and accomplishments. Not many shooters — regardless of sex — have the resume I’ve acquired and my vision is remarkable for any human. When I chose this career, it was obvious that I would never be in the limelight. I’ll be happy to be just as anonymous as you.” Claudia had resigned herself to anonymity even before the choice of professions. She had taken herself out of the fight for women’s rights with the selection of careers, because she couldn’t attract attention to herself advocating any issue publicly and then hope to reach the upper echelons of her craft. She could, and did, find ways to make financial contributions to the cause. After her first few jobs, she had stashed away enough funds to live happily ever after when and — if she ever retired.

The Set Up:

AYearWithoutKilling- FINAL My third novel, A Year Without Killing, will debut in December on my publisher’s site as a serial. One chapter at a time will be presented twice a week.

November will see a big promotion for The Tourist Killer to build interest in the sequel. In conjunction with these events, my snippets will be excerpts from The Tourist Killer’s flashbacks. Each of the seven parts of the book begins with a flashback into Claudia’s past. Today’s selection is from the first flashback and comes from Claudia’s meeting with the one who recruited her into the profession.

Calling all writers:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.
The  same link will take you to the work of
dozens of talented writers.
For a treat, please check out their work, too.
Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.

Take out the papers and the trash!

The Eight Sentences:

Claudia replied with a note of authority, “Your phone calls put you into the same light as the person who squeezed the trigger. Your finger did the damage before the cross hairs were set and the shooter probably never realized when the round was fired.”

Woman n Trash

Claudia is a bit older and blonde, although she IS a master of disguise… (I love this image though!)

“You’re into Zen aren’t you? So ‘into the moment’ you don’t realize the target is falling and it’s because of you,”

“Does it bother you so much you want revenge?” Claudia asked.

“I don’t consider solving a problem for the world as being revenge,” answered Star. “How do you view your work?”

“Sometimes I’m not sure if  I’m a do-gooder ridding society of undesirables or just a psychopath taking out the trash.”

The Set Up:

Claudia met someone she did not expect to meet (Star Braun.) Their encounter was the subject of a previous Sunday Snippet and can be found HERE. This week’s eight sentences are from the tete a tete the two had after they both survived their initial meeting. Star has just confessed that she had made phone calls to engage Claudia’s services and now has regrets.

NOTE: My confession is….I got that last line, Claudia’s comment about taking out the trash from one of the reviews of my book. It was in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Open Call for Writers:

Attention all writers, published or not.

Do you have what it takes to write a book?AAA-WWW

Want some feedback on your work, eight sentences at a time?

Join us at Weekend Writing Warriors and also on FaceBook, at the Sunday Snippet group.

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