naomi

The Next ???? Words…

When I planned the 7 days of deadly sins prompt, it was with the intention of releasing the next 500 words of my book on the Friday that corresponded with “lust”. I was just prepping the post and think maybe I should post 1000+ words instead. I don’t know yet. Either way, check back in! Please note, while I suppose the next passage could stand alone, it really makes a lot more sense if you’ve read The First 1100 Words. I’ve had great feedback so far, so I do hope you’ll give it a look!

The book is intended to be enjoyed by adults, please 18+ only.

Many of the characters in this book are cons or criminals. They use profane language. There are some drug references. Violence should be expected. It contains sexual situations. Remember, I chose to align “lust” with this next passage in particular. It is not excessively graphic but it is the most adult post I’ve made here yet.

Character Interview: Adam

Wait, what? Why is there a picture of Justin Timberlake as the featured photo for a character interview? Well because after I spent countless hours developing the characters for my book, I took to Google images to find their celebrity doppelgangers. I found a handful that all fit the description of Adam Parker. As the story progressed, and I got to know Adam even better, it became clear to me that he looks something like a scruffy, hardened JT. Anyway, I wanted to give the reader an image to go along with the verbal description. This post really makes a lot more sense if you’ve already read The First 1100 Words.

I took a very analytical approach to creating my book’s subjects. Each one has their own spreadsheet. Each spreadsheet contains 7 separate worksheets. These worksheets, Basics, Family-Religion, School-Work-Home, Psychology, Astrology-Physiology, Objects, and Other, each contain several cells that break down who the character is and what motivates them.

As I mentioned yesterday, this fictitious interview is unrelated to the plot of my book. It is designed to give you, the reader, additional insight into the characters that make up my story. Can you enjoy the book without ever reading this? Of course! Will the book be even better if you do read this? Absolutely. In this scenario, the writer, identified as HST, is doing research on ex-convicts for his book. Throughout other interviews that this writer has conducted, Adam’s name has come up a number of times. Knowing that Adam, identified as ARP, has quite a rich history, and meets the prerequisite as a former felon, this writer has reached out to him and asked if he will share some of his stories. It takes place before the events of my book, but after Adam first met Talia.

HST: Adam, please have a seat.

ARP: I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand why I’m here.

HST: I am writing a book about the lives, past and present, of ex-convicts. Your name has come up in conversations with other subjects. Would you be interested in participating?

ARP: I don’t think so. I’m sorry. My life isn’t that interesting.

HST: Why don’t you let me be the judge of that? If I decide to use you, or any part of your story, in the book you will be compensated.

ARP: Compensated? As in paid?

HST: As in paid. Shall we begin?

ARP: You’re the boss.

HST: What is your full name?

ARP: Adam Roy Parker

HST: Any nicknames?

ARP: Nobody gave a shit enough about me to give me a nickname. Wait, a foster-father used to call me “A damn burden”.

HST: Sounds like a nice guy. You grew up in a foster home?

ARP: Several foster homes.

HST: What about your mother and father?

ARP: Dead and deadbeat.

HST: Your mother is deceased?

ARP: Cancer, she died in ’92, the day after I turned 5.

HST: I’m sorry, that’s rough. Your father was out of the picture by then?

ARP: I have no memory of the sperm donor.

HST: Do you have any other family?

ARP: I have 2 older twin sisters… well, half sisters. They went to live with their dad when our mom died.

HST: Do you see them often?

ARP: I haven’t seen them since I was 5.

HST: What about extended family?

ARP: My mother had a large family and they all hated my father. She chose him over them. I’m not sure they even know I exist. Can we change the subject?

HST: We can shelve it for now. Tell me a little about your education.

ARP: A little is all there is to tell. I dropped out in 11th grade after I aged out of the foster care system. I got my GED in jail.

HST: That’s honorable.

ARP: You’re assuming I had a choice.

HST: I’m sure having it has opened up opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

ARP: Right, because everybody is tripping over themselves to hire a convicted felon with a GED and little else going for him.

HST: So what do you do to make a living?

ARP: Are you asking me if I’m still a criminal?

HST: No, I am asking you how you make ends meet.

ARP: A little of this, a little of that.

HST: Can you be more specific?

ARP: Off the record?

HST: For now.

ARP: I fix shit, cars, bikes, roofs, plumbing, and I’m damn good at it. Nobody will put me on their payroll but plenty of people are willing to pay cash in exchange for services. Everybody wins but it ain’t exactly on the up and up.

HST: Because you don’t pay taxes on that income…

ARP: Obviously. Look, I do what I can with the hand God dealt me.

HST: Understandable. Did you do time for tax fraud?

ARP: No. I did just over 2 months related to construction site thefts. Then I got busted in a stolen car less than a year after I was released.

HST: You were in it, but did you steal it?

ARP: Doesn’t matter. It scored me 2 more years.

HST: And a GED.

ARP: And a brother for life in Emmett.

HST: Emmett?

ARP: My cellmate during that last stint, Emmett Bailey. He’s a scary son-of-a-bitch but I trust him with my life.  He has my back like no one else ever has.

HST: Sounds like a good guy to have on your side. Do you think he would be interested in talking to me as well?

ARP: Hell no, let’s just say Emmett is a man of few words.

HST: Alright. Anybody else special in your life?

ARP: Yeah, every member of the fairer sex.

HST: Ah, a ladies man.

ARP: What can I say, I’m a Libra. Plus, women love a fixer-upper.

HST: They do. Got your eye on any one in particular?

ARP: I don’t like to put limits on my sex life… There is this one girl though, man. She makes an impression.

HST: How so?

ARP: I don’t know. She’s different. Hot as hell, but smart too. She has dreams, big ones, and tough, maybe the toughest woman I’ve ever met. She’s the total package… Did I mention hot?

HST: You may have mentioned it. This girl have a name?

ARP: No… I mean yes, of course, but I’m not telling you what it is. She’s really private. It’s a quirk of hers; she’s weird about it. No social media, no smart phone… she still uses paper maps.

HST: That IS weird. Why is that?

ARP: How she was raised I guess.

HST: You planning to pursue it?

ARP: I’ve never been much of a one-woman guy, but she gets me. She’s alone in the world too. There aren’t many people who relate to that. Plus, my vices are her vices, ya know? I don’t know though, she’s probably too good for me.

HST: Don’t sell yourself short. What do you mean by vices?

ARP: Our bad habits are compatible. I can be myself around her. Let’s leave it at that.

HST: She sounds made for you.

ARP: Maybe she was, but I couldn’t even take care of my own dog. She’d probably be better off if I kept my options open.

HST: What happened to your dog?

ARP: Hell if I know, gave Champ to neighbors before my first jail stay. They moved, presumably with my dog, before I got out.

HST: I’m sorry to hear that.

ARP: I’m sure he’s better off without me too.

HST: Well Adam, thank you for your time. This is a good start. I would like to talk to you again soon. Here’s my card.

ARP: Yeah, let me think about it. I’ll put this in my wallet. I’ll let you know.

HST: What’s that on your wallet?

ARP: Oh, my Mom gave this to me on the day she died. It’s her cancer pin. I’ve had it on me every single day I’ve spent outside the joint since.

HST: It’s nice that you still have a piece of her. Oh, I think you dropped your rolling papers there. One of your vices?

ARP: Sure yeah, tobacco. Thanks man.

HST: Well thanks again for your time. Hey, your hand alright?

ARP: Yeah, itchy palm. You know what they say about that. I must be about to come into some money.

 

I hope you enjoyed my first ever character interview! Thanks again to Jenny at Jenny In Neverland for the idea. If you haven’t read The First 1100 Words of my novel, check it out!

Get to Know Adam … Tomorrow

I hope you will come back tomorrow for a visit! I am excited to release my first ever character interview. Adam, the first character introduced in my first novel, will be featured. This is something that I’ve never done before. This side project is all about allowing you, the reader, to more deeply explore the back stories of the book’s characters. This does not further the plot of my book. It simply gives you an insight into what makes Adam tick. Here is the premise: Adam is sitting down with a fictitious writer, completely unrelated to me or my book. In this scenario, the writer is doing research on ex-convicts for his book. Throughout other interviews that this writer has conducted, Adam’s name has come up a number of times. Knowing that Adam has quite a rich history, and meets the prerequisite as a former felon, this writer has reached out to Adam and asked if he will share some of his stories. It takes place before the events in my book, but after Adam first met Talia.

There are a few reasons that I have decided to do this:
1. I did extensive character development on every single character in my book, the major and the minor ones. We’re talking all of the people in their lives (most of whom will never be mentioned), pets, beliefs/superstitions, accents, education, salary, living space, transportation, hobbies, addictions, astrology, health history, personal possessions, and even passwords. Most of that will never even make it into the book, especially for minor or supporting characters.
2. It is a fun alternative to simply posting book passages. I really enjoyed being creative in this format.
3. It buys me time to write more book. Seriously folks, I need to get cracking. I don’t want to run out of material to share here before I finish the project. My blog addiction is distracting from the real work!

If you have not already read the opening to my book and would like to before tomorrow, click here to visit The First 1100 Words. It’s been pretty well received so far. Please feel free to add your CONSTRUCTIVE feedback, positive or negative. Until tomorrow readers…

The First 1100 Words

Periodically I will be sharing passages from my current project. Below are the first 1100+ words, around 1/3 of the first chapter. This book has not yet been titled. It is the first in a series I’m currently calling “The Naomi Files”. Technically, Naomi isn’t introduced here yet. There is a reason I say technically, but I’m not going to tell you what that reason is. All feedback, good or bad, as long as it is constructive, is welcome here. Just please bear in mind that this is a very early, unedited draft. In the future, I will also post character interviews to the blog, thanks to a suggestion from Jenny at Jenny in Neverland. Anyway, it’s a quick peek (it’s too soon to give too much away) but I hope you enjoy…

“You cretins have records!” she hissed through clenched teeth, “If we fuck this up, you will both leave prison with the assistance of a walker.”

God Talia could be a bitch.  Adam was thankful that they were at the diner.  She couldn’t wail at them here, not if she wanted to continue to plan a felony in this booth.  What was it about this place?  She must love the shitty food here.  How she ate this garbage and maintained that physique, he had no idea.

Why did she have to bring up prison?  His thoughts were all over the place.  He glanced up at Emmett to see if his face registered any reaction.  As usual, his expression was stoic.  That bald hulk was 250 pounds of immovable stone.  If he had any concerns, they certainly weren’t evident now.  Adam couldn’t bear the thought of jail.  He survived his latest stint only because he was fortunate enough to be tossed in a cell with Emmett.  He had no idea what Emmett had done to earn his reputation with the other inmates, but whatever it was, it was effective.  Hell, the prison guards kept their distance from Emmett.  Even so, with each passing day their cell became smaller; the minutes passed slower.  Adam shuddered at the thought.

“Adam!” Talia’s clearly irritated voice snapped Adam back to the present, “I need you in the here and now.  We have 2 days.  Do you understand how vital you are to this plan?  Our success or failure depends almost solely on whether or not you can follow direction.”

“Toilet” With that, Emmett stood up from their isolated booth and disappeared around the corner.  Talia raised her brow and looked at Adam inquisitively.  He just shrugged.  What could he say?  Emmett was just about as talkative as he was emotional.  She seemed bothered at first, but ultimately smiled and shook her head.

Seeing the tension fade somewhat, Adam took her slender hand in his and calmly tried again, “I’m just saying, we’d never have to worry about money again if we hit that vault.  We could disappear forever.”

Talia rolled her eyes and pulled her hand away.  Maybe he should have left it alone.  “Adam.  I’m going to explain this to you one more time.  The bank vault on the main level contains no money.  It’s just safe deposit boxes.  The cash vault was moved underground decades ago.  There is one way in and one way out, a single elevator.  If you get on that lift, you are checking yourself into a cell.  Period.”

“What if I take you as a shield?  No one there can connect me to you.  You could be my hostage, my free pass in and out of that vault.”  His idea was brilliant.  He just couldn’t understand how Talia didn’t see it.

“How do you propose keeping a bank full of people contained while you’re dicking around in the vault?  You might as well just call the swat team before you ever enter the building.  We have discussed this.  I will be running the main window.  I am expecting a substantial shipment of cash for the vault just after the bank opens.  While I verify it for accuracy on Monday morning, my window will be stocked with 25 times the money the other tellers have at their windows.  It’s enough.  Listen to me.  We do this quietly or we do not do this at all.”  Talia insisted.

“No hostages, no vault.”  Emmett returned from his abrupt bathroom break.  He didn’t have emotions, or much of a vocabulary, but he wasn’t stupid.  Besides, Adam trusted Emmett with his life.  It was 2 against 1, fine, no vault.

“So we agree?  THIS is the plan – we stick to it.  Yes?”  Talia implored.

“Yes.”  The men agreed.

She waved her hand as if to dismiss them.  Obediently Adam stood and joined Emmett.  Both dropped a few dollars in change on the table, and turned to leave.  On his way out, Adam looked over his shoulder at Talia who remained seated.  She was absolutely stunning.  The rising sun pierced through the window and engulfed her as she sat there plotting.  Ironically, she looked like an angel.  Each strand of her caramel hair shone like a string of spun gold.  It was pulled high and tight now, but when she let it down, it tumbled over her shoulders and flowed to the middle of her back.  His mind drifted back to last night; visions of her on her hands and knees before him, back arched at her thin waist, round ass in the air.   <you’ll just have to wait until the book comes out for the rest of this flashback>

“Dude, we leaving?”  Right, reality.  That woman had some kind of power over him.  She didn’t even have to return his gaze.  By doing nothing special at all she managed to make Adam forget where he was and what he was doing.  He quickly collected himself and followed Emmett out the door and to the car.

“You trust her, right?”  Oddly enough, it was Emmett who broke the uneasy silence hanging between them in the car.

“Talia?  Almost as much as I trust you, Ghost.”  Adam used Emmett’s nickname and attempted to make eye contact in order to reassure his friend, but Emmett’s focus was on the road ahead.

“The plan is solid.  If she can be trusted, it will actually work.”  Emmett spoke from experience.  He knew bank robberies; he had successfully executed several.  Sure, he got caught once, but that wasn’t the result of any poor planning.

“Even if she’s not what she says she is, she’s too invested.  She can’t screw us.”  Adam assured him.  Emmett finally glanced over at Adam.  Was that a flicker of doubt, Adam wondered, why is he so paranoid?  Of course Talia was trustworthy.  Before the men came up with the idea to rob her employer, she was dedicated to her work and good at it too.  She refused at first.  She needed the job.  Of course, Adam was difficult to resist; eventually he wore her down.  Nothing positive was keeping them in Yuma anyway.  Nobody was going to get hurt.  They would take money that the bank certainly didn’t need, bolt to Mexico, build a new life together, and figure the rest out later.  Emmett would come along initially, but only until the heat died down.  He had his own business to handle.

Emmett returned his concentration to the road.  “What’s the first thing you’re going to do when we get there?”

He’s convinced enough to close the topic, Adam thought.  “Emmett, my friend, the first thing I plan to do is dive naked into the ocean at dusk.”

“I’ll be sure to miss that.”  Emmett retorted, still expressionless.

Come Back Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Friday, April 11, 2014 I will be posting the first 1000 (unedited) words of my book. Ok, it’s closer to 1100 words, but 1000 sounds better. I’m excited to have more than 1 set of eyes on my project. At the same time, I’m very nervous about putting “my baby” out there, subject to criticism. It is still very much a work in progress. It is entirely likely that the majority of these words will be rearranged by the time the book is completed. Regardless, I did extensive character development before a word was ever written. Even if the words do change, the characters will not. Tomorrow’s passage will introduce you to 3 of them.

After tomorrow’s sneak peek introduces you to the first few characters, future posts will explore their back stories through character interviews. I will continue to give away free looks at the book too, but upcoming excerpts will be shorter than what you get tomorrow. At a point the previews will have to stop so I don’t give up too many of the story’s twists. The goal is to have this thing completed before then so anyone interested can read it in its entirety.

It is important to note that the book is intended for adults, 18+. Many characters are felons and/or sociopathic. There is going to be some crude language. While it’s not Several Hues of a Bland Color, there are graphic scenes (for anyone not getting that reference, the book is not “mommy porn”). One such scene was shortened in tomorrow’s preview to make it more blog friendly. Those scenes are necessary to demonstrate character relationships, further physical descriptions, and develop the manipulative & callous nature of some characters. It is my goal to ensure that those scenes are not excessive or gratuitous.

I really do hope you enjoy the book’s opening. All feedback, good or bad, is welcome in the comments. However, please try to be constructive. I’ve only been writing for a few months. I haven’t developed my thick skin yet. Bear in mind that the editing phase will smooth some rough edges too. Don’t worry, the little orange dude in the featured photo is my editor. I’m in good paws.