Tag Archives: Fiction

My 2 am Revelation – I don’t Write Romance

I woke up at 2 am with an epiphany of sorts and the deep desire to share it with you. I realize that I have not blogged in some time – too busy with writing and life… but this you have got to hear.

How many authors really LIKE reviews? Hmmm. I for one have reviews that I like, but I also have some that I want to grab the reviewer and shake them and say…. “You don’t even know the details of the story; you are missing MAJOR parts and your reading comprehension is way off base – how could you possible understand it???”

That being said, even those who have the wrong name for the main character, have no idea of the year or context of the book, or have missed some giant detail that makes everything they know about a book completely false – even they can and do have some merit. That is exactly the case with a review I just saw come through a few days ago that says that one of my books is NOT a romance, and to her I can emphatically reply – NO – it’s not!!!

I have said this to so many people at meet and greets, Facebook Events, and book signings – I don’t write romance, even though my books almost always contain a romantic element. The people in my stories are always caught up in an incredible adventure, sometimes an incredibly HORRIBLE adventure; that’s what my stories are about. They are suspense and/or thriller. When, how and even IF they fall in love is something that happens along the way, not the reason their story is being told. Sometimes they end up together and sometimes they don’t, and this isn’t CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE, so YOU do not get to pick the ending.

My books will never be Harlequin’s; they  will never follow a ‘romantic arch’ or fit in any cookie-cutter mold you want to stuff them into with a neatly predictable plot line. There are going to be surprises you didn’t see coming. There are going to be elements you never thought of and choices (hard damn choices) you aren’t always going to understand or like. That’s what a Samantha Jacobey book is all about, and I have enough GREAT reviews to know that is exactly what MANY readers enjoy most about my work.

So what did I gain from this cathartic awakening? I realized that I LOVE reviews – even bad ones! I love to have people say things that get me to thinking and considering the possibilities; I guess that’s the debater in me. They help me get to the deepest question of them all – why? I find myself asking that most often after someone has blasted me on Amazon or Goodreads, and like with all living things, I find that struggle and strife are good for me; they help me to reflect and make me stronger in the end.

Therefore, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who writes a review – good, bad, wrong, or ugly. You keep voicing those opinions, and I will keep putting out books that make you scratch your head and say… “Damn; I didn’t see that coming.”

Dark Intent – a Writing Prompt

So, one of my author friends posted another prompt…By request, a writing prompt: Use the following anywhere in your story. Up to a 1000 words or so.

On a dusty road near Memphis I pulled to the side of the road, turned in the seat and said, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” Here is my response…

On a dusty road near Memphis I pulled to the side of the road, turned in the seat and said, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” I killed the motor, intending to give the issue at least one last attempt at rationality.

Shifting my eyes, I could see the cold blue glare before the ice of her words bore into me, “The fuck if it doesn’t.” Glaring at my hands, I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, tapping my fingers anxiously on the wheel.

“Look,” she plowed on, “You’re the one who got us into the mess, runnin’ that god damned mouth of yurs. Nobody knew shit until you –“

“Alright, alright, please not again…” I threw up my hands in mock surrender, “This is entirely my fault. I realize I may have acted a bit foolishly…” I tried to make peace, but Shayla was all wound up, again.

“May have?” her voice full of venom, “Let’s examine the evidence –“

“NO!” my fists slammed into the giant ring, “We have had this conversation too many times now, and quite frankly I am sick to death of it.”

The car fell silent at the irony of my words. Without further comment, I restarted the engine and maneuvered out onto the rocky path. Seeing the lights of our intended target ahead of us, I could feel my chest growing tight. The car rolled to a stop in front of the bent chain link fence. Still gripping the leather cover, I glanced over at the familiar blue trim on front of the house, trying to muster my courage.

“We better go on in,” she spoke quietly, “No need in getting his dander up before we make it inside.” She was already outside the car as she finished speaking, giving the door a heavy slam.

“I still say it doesn’t have to be this way,” I muttered to myself as I climbed out of the vehicle.

The gate closed with a loud clang as we made our way over the cinder brick stepping stones. Catching her heel on a chunk of grass sticking between the gaps, Shayla stumbled forward, barely able to prevent herself from plummeting to the ground in the darkness. Clutching her oversized bag to her chest, the bottle hidden inside, she cursed as loud as she could, “Why is the damned porch light out, grandpa?”

Seeing the wooden door swing open through the screen, the glare from the entrance was now blindingly bright, and I held my hand up to shade my eyes a bit as we made our way up the rickety steps. So much for not getting his dander up. But that’s my wife in a nutshell, crazy bitch twenty-four-seven. “Hello, grandpa,” I shook the old man’s hand as I entered, noting that she was already headed into the kitchen with her special surprise.

“So, how’s the game?” I quickly inquired, ready to do my part, and keep the old man occupied while she did her thing.

“No damn good,” he replied, wafting a hand towards the tiny screen, “Damn referees callin’ fouls left ‘n righ’. The whole damn mess of ‘em needs to get dey eyes checked.” He paced around, brooding as he spoke. I only nodded, tossing in an uhuh here and there as he fumed. Yeah, I see the resemblance, I thought to myself as his rant went on for a good five minutes.

Coming back in from the kitchen, her now thinner bag slung over her shoulder, Shayla handed me an ice cold beer. “Dat de’ las’ one?” her grandfather shot her an angry scowl.

“No, grandpa, you still have another one. Jesus, you think we come fo’ a visit an’ drink yur last beer?” she was shaking her head as she matched his heated tone.

“You have afore,” he challenged, the deep lines sinking into his crinkled features.

Shayla gave him blistering look, and I reached over to calm her, my arm draped around her shoulder affectionately, “It’s ok, baby, we can share,” and moved to hand her the frosty bottle.

“I don’t think so,” she snapped in return, slapping at the glass container. “You know grandpa, I don’ think you appreciates us, drivin’ all the way out here jus’ to see yur happy ass.”

“You don’ neva’ come out heya lessen you wont sumfin’, so what is it dat you wont, girl?”

It was his turn to receive her icy glare. “Not a damn thing, old man. Let’s go baby.” I didn’t bother to argue, shaking his hand again hurriedly before darting out the front door, allowing the screen to slam with a bang in my haste.

Inside the safety of our car, we both exhaled heavily in relief. “You know, we could have stayed a little longer, I mean considering it’s the last time –“

“Don’ you even say it!” she cut me off, pointing her stubby finger at me. “This is still yur fault. Now we jus gotta hope he don’ take too long to finishin’ up the process.”

“Wow, I never realized how cold hearted you really are.” I gripped and released my fingers for several minutes, as my wife didn’t give me a reply. Glancing over at her I noticed she was staring out into the blackness that surrounded us, and we rolled along in silence, the dust creating a dark cloud that loomed behind us as we flew down the dirt road, making our way back into Memphis.

Putting the word out…

For days now, I have been working on looking for book blogs for reviews, giveaways, etc. It has been pretty interesting to see all of the time and work that some of the sites have had put into them. I made a page here so that I could start keeping tabs on some of the ones that I like the best. Now I just have to go back and find the ones that I saw before that.

I must admit, working on something like this can be quite tedious. Especially since there is no set way that people want the information. Some want it boom – there it is, others seem to want to see a dog an pony show. I also never realized just how many book review blogs there were out there – and believe me there is more than you can go through in a day, or even a couple of days.

What I would really like is to just find a couple that I really connect with and can work with. I don’t think that is too much to ask. I gave out 15 copies of my book, and only have 1 left that has not given me feedback. All but one of those wants to know when they can get the next book and to hurry up about it, which is great!!! Therefore, I am confident people are going to like it, if I can ever get them to read it. I am just such a person of action, and I hate ‘waiting’ for people to reply to me and tell me whether or not they are interested… call me impatient.

Oh well, back to the searching… Later.

So now I am thinking….

I have been doing a lot of research about authors and publishing a book and thinking about how much putting myself out there like this is going to change my life, or could change it. It is a little scary for me, having had some of the crazy things in my past that I don’t think other people think about.

For example, I was on a particular blog, and instead of a ‘follow’ button, the girl had a ‘stalk me’ button. I realize that she is trying to be cute, and it is kind of funny in the context of the rest of her blog, but I, having actually been stalked before and seen the darker side of things, find that somewhat troublesome.

I have a pretty public job now, and many people know me. I guess you could say, I work in a profession where you are expected to take on a certain role, even in your private life. I can scarcely go any where in my town without seeing someone who knows me, either now or from years gone by, and I can’t help wondering how my actions are affecting the people I work with and my community.

I guess I should mention, the last thing I wanted when I first started working on this was to have people know that I wrote it, but the more into it I get, the more fun I think it is going to be, and I can’t wait until I can devote myself full time to the cause… Maybe this is as much about my getting a new life as the girl in my story.

Getting Started

Was awake several times last night at odd hours thinking about this. Guess that is how it goes for me, up at odd hours with my head full of ideas and things to do…

I wanted to create a place where I could post about my series of books, and to allow others to comment on it as well. I have many friends who have read the first book now, and have gotten a variety of interesting comments personally about it, so I will explain a bit about it here and see where it leads.

First off, where did the story come from? I wrote a series of stories that I have told and retold in my mind for up to twenty years now. The nice thing about doing it in your head, you can play with different aspects and change things just to see where it leads. Putting it on paper, it becomes more solid, more final… this is how it is sort of thing. I hate to say this, but the people who know me already know, this girl is real in my mind, and the things that happened to her are as real as my own memories. Now she lives in the pages of my books.

Secondly, why so many books that are so short? I broke the story up into segments that were manageable and related. I like this because you can read the parts you like over and over, without having to suffer through the parts you don’t like to get there. The first book is definitely the darkest, as it warns you on the back cover. Life of Recovery is almost like a prequel, giving all the background you might or might not need for the rest of the story. You don’t have to read it, as the rest of the books only refer back to it in pieces, and give enough information you are not completely lost without it. However, if you really want the full depth and can handle the truth, then by all means give it a read, at least once. Oh and the large print – that’s cause I am old and I don’t like to struggle to read books, so enjoy.

Thirdly, about romance. I selected the category of romance for my series, largely because as a whole, this is the story about her life, and my favorite part is Book 3 – Life of Love. It tells about the romance portion of her life, which is carried through to the end of the series afterwards, if there is an end. Some have told me this is more of a thriller or suspense novel (speaking of Life of Recovery of course) and I would have to agree with that assessment as well, but that may change when more of the story is revealed.

Finally, why didn’t I just write one long book? Because I detest a book I cannot read in one weekend with life in between. That is why I gave up reading books years ago and just made up my own. I have lots of stories to tell, some fantasy, some dark, some comedy. This is the story I decided to share first. I have many tales about this girl, and I have 4 of them completed, as of today. I have 2 more that will be finished by the ‘end’ of the series, but there are at least a dozen more that I could (or not) tell at some time down the line.

A New Life is meant to come in small segments, just as real life does. I want you to enjoy it without missing out on any part of your own life. No staying up all night to get to the end of the 300 pages that are left (done that). No spending your entire holiday reading an 800 page butt burner (done that too). Just pick up a piece when ever you have time and dream a little. Then put it down and let it roll around in your head for a while. In case you didn’t notice when you read the first one, it is part of the intrigue, and things are seldom what they seem when you have time to reflect upon them in between.

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