Poem of Dreams

So, poetry has been happening lately. And I haven't known what to do with it. But I've decided poetry is all about voice. Am I right? Anyway, here's my latest. It's about last night.

Struggling with shadows between dream and life
As I twisted and turned, tangled in sheets,
Pictures spun by like the images in the tornado
that spun Dorthy to the Emerald City
And each was wrapped in a memory
Of touching and smelling and hearing
And each cried out as it tumbled by
Write! Remember me and write!

Character Profiles as a Marketing Tool: Zane Bowman

Sydney Aaliyah, on her blog, came up with the idea of using Character Profiles as a marketing tool. I like it! Kind of a video character card. OK, since I’m really concentrating on Zane right now… My MC Character Profile:

In the profile, I show Zane Bowman's character. In 15 seconds you learn:

  • Zane is an All-American guy, at least he thinks of himself that way, and he knows exactly what he wants…until he meets Hadley. 
  • He is good with his hands: He builds (and races) high end wooden boats, he sculpts in wood, and he knows just how to touch a woman.
  • His mission is to help Hadley get out of town as quickly as possible while hiding secrets about her mother’s death, but something about the tiny Parisian beauty turns his resolve…and his world…. upside down.

*Imagine these lines delivered by the movie trailer guy voice.

In an action packed promo, they tell who he is, his motivation and his role in the series. They use images and quotes from him that make you instantly like him, relate to him and want to root for him.

 In my case, you see him interacting with a puppy at his father's log cabin, manhandling a wooden boat to safety in a storm, and taking a midnight swim in the lake with Hadley. Maybe in a pickup truck or tractor on his father's farm. Maybe some dreamy flashbacks of him with his Native American father and blonde European mother dancing wildly around a bonfire when he's very young and he and his father recently standing back in the shadows of trees at the cemetery as Hadley buries her mother. Then in the end, you zoom into the amber pendant hanging on his chest.

Quote: “These Barrington women are only trouble for us. Well, her mother isn’t any more, true, but I’ll breathe easier when this one is gone too.”

And his looks! OK. I'll admit it. He's a young Antonio Banderas, looking like he did in Desperado. Except he has topaz eyes. Don't you just want to eat him up?

Query: What do you think?

I entered my query in the contest over at the Mother Write blog. I welcome advice, feedback, comments here or there.

And, while I'm not querying agents yet, I'm getting ready to start soon.


An Agent's Inbox #10


Hadley Barrington has lived in France long enough to know she wants nothing to do with Oklahoma or the old wooden yacht she inherited from her mother. But she does want to know what caused her mother's death. And to sell the boat so she can get back to her life as a successful jewelry designer and free French woman, unfettered by any desire for long term relationships.

Zane wants nothing to do with anyone who is not all-American. His future lies right here on Grand LakeOklahoma. And that includes marrying a local girl…when he finds the right one. But his comfortable world dissolves into spicy chaos when his father asks him to take on the mission of making sure the tiny Parisian beauty leaves the lake--and the country--as soon as possible.

Zane is a hunky, Native American solution to Hadley's problem of getting the boat ready to sell, with his long dark hair and the amber pendant dangling on his handsome bronze chest. But Barrington women are dangerous for the men in his family, and he must keep secret what he knows about her mother’s last days. A secret that might rock Hadley’s French view of love. The story is set on GrandLake ‘O the Cherokees. The “front side” is a playground of wealthy oil men and a unique wooden boat culture. The “back side” is where the locals, many of them Native American, live out their lives, often in poverty.

My book, a story of returning home, culture shock, and finding true love, might be called Through Amber SmokeCougars on the Dock, or Eurotrash Accent. The manuscript is complete and consists of 75,000 words. It fits firmly into the Contemporary Romance genre.

I am a professional non-fiction writer and teacher in business and the university. My short play, Every Boat’s for Sale, was recently performed in a local theatre. This story was inspired by my fascination with boats and my involvement in the wooden boat culture of Grand LakeOklahoma. In fact, a significant portion of the book was written on a boat.

I blog about my writing, tweet about it (over 1000 followers), maintain a Facebook Page and an author fan page.



Hadley frowned and rubbed her sweaty palms on the seat of her shorts. Why wasn’t the door shut? Was someone on board? She paused to listen, but all she could hear was the creaking of the wooden dock and her own heart pounding. Her expression, more a grimace than a smile, hurt her face. Nothing else could go wrong after the h*** of the last couple days. She’d used up her share of bad luck. She was sure of it. All she wanted was to sell the stupid boat and head back home to France. With her toe, she nudged the door of the neglected old yacht the rest of the way open, then squinted into the dim interior, wary of spiders and other creatures that thrived in abandoned places.

“Are you Hadley?” A voice erupted from the shadows, sending her scrambling backwards up the stairs and out onto the deck. Her gaze darted up and down the deserted dock. Could anyone hear her scream, if that’s what she decided to do? Forget screaming. She was alone. She’d handle this man herself. Sucking in her breath and keeping a safe distance, Hadley faced the stranger. She stood as tall as she could, crossed her arms, lifted her chin and tried her best to appear intimidating.

Oui. I am Hadley.” She hoped the golden man couldn't hear the tremble in her voice. “But who are you, Monsieur, and why are you on my boat?”


Janice Sperry said...
I like your premise. This is my favorite kind of romance. In your query, take out the But that begins the second sentence and combine the third sentence with the second so you don't begin two consecutive sentences with but and and. (Similar problem in the second paragraph.) Your 250 is great. I would read on.
Ryan said...
I'm not normally a romance reader, but I like the sound of your protag. And I LOVE your title ideas. I can tell this is going to be a funny one.
The one thing I thought was weird is how you're giving the synopsis, and then in the same paragraph you sort of switch back to talking to the agent. At least start a new paragraph with "This story is set.." Or you might be able to do without that last little bit. I think the first part's good enough!
Congrats on being able to write for a profession! (envious sigh)
Your no-nonsense greeting made me smile. Yo Vicki!
Kristen Wixted said...
I love the wooden boat aspect. Learning through a story is the best way to learn about a culture or a lake you've never heard of, or how, exactly, to keep a wooden boat looking good and floating.
Susan said...
"She was the owner, but her education into the nuts and bolts—and wood and caulk--of the nautical world was about to begin."

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

Deana Barnhart

Where do you write?
I write at home, on my boat, and even sometimes (don’t tell my boss) at work

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
A magnetic poetry wall with some Haikus and hundreds of words to create more.

Favorite time to write?
Anytime I have a few minutes free

Drink of choice while writing?
Coffee in the morning. Water and iced tea at other times.

When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I like silence when I write--Occasionally vocal-free music. I really should be listening to some Dean Martian and Edith Piaf as I write this one. Both would be in the sound track for the movie....

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
Oh so many places. I love wooden boats and Grand Lake. That’s the setting. I actually started out wanting to write about my hero and heroine’s parents and their love affair, back when Grand Lake was really grand, at the peak of the oil boom, but it seems that era-60s-is not a popular time for romance books. It’s not long enough ago to be interesting, so I told the story of a pair of lovers who did not end up together, but their children who did.

What's your most valuable writing tip?
I learned so much from my RWA group, before I had to leave it, then it broke up. When I edit parts of my WIP I wrote before then, I have much, much more work to get it up to par. The story is still there, but dialog tags, adverbs, etc. litter it. I truly wish I was still involved in that kind of writers’ group, So if you have one near you, take advantage of it.

Worth the Wait

 I actually chose a later date for my knee replacement surgery so I could attend the last two last weekends' gallery openings, and I'...