Create, Pitch, Sell

Tropical Storm Dud

Don fizzled out as soon as it clashed with the hot dry air here in Texas. This was good for the cotton crop, and for me. I'm researching Corpus Christi for SERIAL QUILLER 2. A while back I planned to use St. Augustine, Florida for my setting, in particular, the haunted lighthouse. I haven't made it there, yet. And Corpus is every bit as interesting.

While the storm was still offshore, I walked out on a pier in a neighboring town and watched the oddest procession of jellyfish I'd ever seen. Dozens upon dozens of them were making a slow trek away from the shoreline and into deeper water. Each and everyone seemed to have their own separate destination in mind. I don't know the name of this type of jellyfish. They're milky white, the size and shape of a grapefruit, and have very short tentacles. A man shoved his kayak into the water, and climbed in. Four-foot waves continuously smacked him back to the shore foiling every attempt to move farther into the bay. He appeared to enjoy the mini thrill ride. A dorsal fin broke the surface of the water. At first I thought it was a shark sent off course because of the approaching storm. Then figured it was most likely a dolphin. About thirty feet from the kayaker it disappeared. I wondered if I was wrong. I wondered if it was a great white. I watched the man, ready to call out to him if necessary. The fin broke the surface again, but in the opposite direction. I got a better look. It was definitely a dolphin. Water splashed on my feet startling me. I leaned over the edge of the railing to see why, half expecting Jaws to lunge at me. I noticed a back wall with flat wooden rungs forming a ladder. The wind had shifted causing the waves to crash against the wall. I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to write a horror story. I imagined a man tied up beneath the pier taking in mouthfuls of seawater with each wave. Maybe he's the kayaker. He's surrounded by hundreds of jellyfish. And a hungry great white shark. Hmm....

July Coffee Break

I'm very pleased to announce the Hellfire Trilogy is complete.

To everyone who bought one or more of my novels, thank you very much. I hope you weren't disappointed. If you liked a story well enough to finish it, I'd appreciate it if you would write a brief, honest review on Amazon. Feel free to send me an email and introduce yourself.

I discovered Blogger gives ten extra pages. I used four to conveniently post excerpts of my novels for everyone interested in sampling my work. You'll find them in the right column under Read An Excerpt.

I have six new projects lined up for 2012. Only one of them is a novel. That's all I can say.

Character Building

A new source of inspiration for my novels comes from being on the road. The things I've seen and the people I've met are quite remarkable. Some of the people are downright fun and funny. Some are a little bizarre. Some are kind of creepy. Some are best avoided.

All make interesting story characters.

On the humorous side, I met a woman who sat at the end of the pier every morning with her legs dangling over the edge and a fishing pole in her hands. She wore a flowery floppy hat, nearly two sizes too big, and carried her lunch in a brown paper sack. She spent her time catching small fish just to toss to a blue heron that arrived on cue. He'd stand on the pier a few feet away from her, and eat until his belly bulged. Too full to fly off, he hopped up on the rail and, I think, took a midmorning nap.

On the bizarre side, I watched a petite woman wearing a short sundress and no shoes stretch her arms high above her head and sort of dive into a small storage compartment on her RV. Her husband [assumed] held a flashlight, and continually looked around as if to see if anyone was watching. As soon as her feet cleared the entrance he closed the door. Walked around to the other side of their unit and went inside. I looked a couple more times, and never saw the woman again. Returning from a bike ride on the beach the next morning I saw him and her standing beside their RV. Wearing the same sundress, she raked her fingers through her hair, then accepted a pair of flip-flops from the man. Did she spend the night in the storage compartment? Did they lock themselves out thereby making it necessary for her to enter through a floor hatch where she could unlock the door from the inside? The writer in me said she'd been kidnapped, and he wasn't sure what to do with her. Or, she was his mistress. His wife showed up, and he didn't have anywhere else to hide this 'other' woman. Your guess is as good as mine.

An interesting group of RVer's is the Puzzle People. Also called Winter Texans. Every year, they trickle down from the north in September. Usually stay until March. During the long winter months they gather in the recreation building nearly every single day to drink coffee and work on jigsaw puzzles.

The dangerous type of RVer is the fighter. People who've been on the road so long, they've reached the point where they're getting on each other's nerves now. So they sit around under their awning and holler at one another. All. Day. Long. I go out of my way to avoid them. Especially when push comes to shove.

There are many other types of RVer's. The Trashy People [litterbugs], Quiet People, Noisy People [after a couple of beers], Permanent Residents [they find a nice location, park, and stay for a few years or, they leave their RV behind in storage mode and come back to it six months later], Overnighters, Full-timers, Part-timers, Two-day Weekenders, and the Once-a-year Vacationers.

The camaraderie amongst RVer's is like no other. Don't own a car? These folks are quick to offer to drive you anywhere you need to go. Looking for interesting conversation? Full-timers could spend all day regaling you with stories of their adventures on the road. You'd be surprised what you didn't know about this country.

Need another example of RV life? Visit the Quartzsite, Arizona RV Show: http://www.quartzsitervshow.com/


New Book Releases For July

ADRENALINE by Jeff Abbott
BLOODLINE by Mark Billingham
A KILLING FROST by Patricia Wynn
THE REAL MACAW by Donna Andrews

THE DEVIL HIMSELF by Eric Dezenhall http://www.dezbooks.net/
THE NIGHTMARE THIEF by Meg Gardiner http://www.meggardiner.com/
REQUIEM FOR A GYPSY by Michael Genelin http://www.michaelgenelin.com/
A QUESTION OF DESPAIR by Maureen Carter http://www.maureencarter.co.uk/
THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME by Donald Ray Pollock http://donaldraypollock.com/
A BALI CONSPIRACY MOST FOUL by Shamini Flint http://www.shaminiflint.com/
ANGEL FACE by Stephen Solomita http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/stephen-solomita/
PORTRAIT OF A SPY by Daniel Silva http://www.danielsilvabooks.com/content/index.asp
THE TRAITOR'S EMBLEM by Juan Gómez-Jurado http://www.juangomezjurado.com/home.html
THE ROSE OF THE WORLD by Alys Clare http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/37137.Alys_Clare

I didn't post new book releases for June because I was busy with finishing my mystery novel, ASHES OF VENGEANCE.


Coming This Fall – SILHOUETTE [working title] – mystery – Inspired by a True Crime

"Now, tell me about the girl," said Sheriff Morgan.

God, here we go again. The words were at the back of Kevin's mind, but he was terrified to bring them forward. This is the part they'd all been waiting to hear. The part where they would decide exactly what his role in all of this had been. Like dogs in heat they all want a piece of me. His throat closed. He counted three dead flies on the narrow windowsill. A fourth lay on its back fitfully flailing its legs in some sort of macabre death dance.

Morgan leaned closer. "Talk to me, Kevin."

Kevin fixed his gaze on the drab gray wall farthest away from the door of the interrogation room. "She was lying on her left side...." There ain't no stoppin' us now, girlie, he recalled Jasper telling the redhead the night the three of them went to the abandoned meat packing plant to have a little fun. He scratched his forehead, hiding his expression. Or was it the blonde he'd said that to?

Copyright 2011 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

Ashes Of Vengeance Now Available

It's official!

ASHES OF VENGEANCE, the smoldering finale of the Hellfire Trilogy, has gone live on Amazon.com. [linked in right column]

* * *

In ASHES OF VENGEANCE, a deadly game of geocaching goes awry when hidden clues to the whereabouts of a kidnapped victim are swept away in a flash flood.

After his brother is murdered, Kyle Barstow comes up with a new get-rich-quick scheme so he can leave Missouri forever. He starts by convincing Shelby Adair to help him extort one million dollars from her wealthy parents. The plan is simple. Make believe she's been buried alive. Send the first set of GPS coordinates and a ransom note to the Point Jove Sheriff's Department. Instead of risking capture from collecting the money, they would break into the Adair's safe that Shelby assured Kyle contained more than a million dollars. While the authorities are busy stumbling around in the dark searching for a kidnapped victim that does not exist, he and Shelby would quietly disappear.

Their plan begins to unravel when a severe thunderstorm rips through Rhone County causing major damage and confusion. The capped PVC pipe containing the final clue is swept away in rising floodwaters. Rusty Nichols grows suspicious when there's no further contact from the kidnapper. He then learns that not only is his girlfriend, Shelby, missing but also her ex-boyfriend, Kyle Barstow.

In a senseless act of backwoods justice someone is shot, then set on fire. Betrayal and revenge become an obsession. A shooting in a motel room leaves one person bleeding to death on the floor, and another fleeing to Mexico with stolen money.

Copyright 2011 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

Interesting Writers Blogs

SEA MINOR Nigel Bird
THE CAP'N'S BLOG Robert S. Napier

BLOGPOCALYPSE Victor Gischler http://victorgischler.blogspot.com/
OFF ON A TANGENT Sarah Weinman http://offonatangent.tumblr.com/
SUSPENSE NOVELIST James Scott Bell http://www.jamesscottbell.com/
AT THE VILLA ROSE Xavier Lechard http://atthevillarose.blogspot.com/
WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? JD Rhoades http://jdrhoades.blogspot.com/
MY LIFE ON THE MID-LIST Debbi Mack http://midlistlife.wordpress.com/
SECRET DEAD BLOG Duane Swierczynski http://secretdead.blogspot.com/
NOVELIST AND SCREENWRITER Keith Snyder http://keithsnyder.wordpress.com/
DOT DEAD DIARY Keith Raffel http://keithraffel.typepad.com/dot_dead_diary/
WRITING THOUGHTS Sandra Scoppettone http://sandrascoppettone.blogspot.com/
A NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING J.A. Konrath http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES The Writing PIs http://writingpis.wordpress.com/
SMALL CRIMES Dave Zeltserman http://smallcrimes-novel.blogspot.com/index.html
THE EDUCATION OF A PULP WRITER David Cranmer http://davidcranmer.blogspot.com/
HERMAN'S GREASY SPOON Anthony Neil Smith http://anthonyneilsmith.typepad.com/hermansgreasyspoon/
CRACKED REARVIEW MIRROR Ed Lynskey http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/692283.Ed_Lynskey/blog
DO YOU WRITE UNDER YOUR OWN NAME? Martin Edwards http://doyouwriteunderyourownname.blogspot.com/

Update On Current Project

My new novel, ASHES [working title], is nearing completion.

I will put it on Amazon.com around July 12.

Have a safe and happy holiday.