Tag Archive: writing



Within the last 2 years I’ve taken 5 different dance classes: Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, Latin and Improvisation.  Plus I intend to take more in the fall over at my college.  Now I do these because dance is well-within the tolerance levels of my Fibromyalgia.  Plus I learn so much more about “Core-Building”, fluid movements, music, etc.  Plus, I enjoy trying all these different styles and seeing how they make me feel body-wise, emotionally and mentally.  Quite frankly I find it all quite stimulating and refreshing.

Now what does all this have to do with bringing characters to life and making them feel more real?  Simple.  To me, a person’s life is the sum total of their experiences both good and bad.  How we react, what choices we make, all of these things shape who we are and who we may yet become.  So if a life is shaped by experiences and how they made you feel, how can your characters be any less human than you or me?  But a character is a made up person with no real past or experiences, EXCEPT for the ones we as writers give them.  In my case, I give some of my own personal life experiences to my various characters.  For instance I’ve given the skill of Ballroom Dance to two of my characters.  I gave them different levels of experience, one was a beginner the other was extremely advanced and taught others.  Now, in no way am I an expert in Ballroom, BUT I knew people who were and was able to get some insights from them.  I transferred SOME of these insights and experiences to the characters.  You’ll note I said SOME of these insights and experiences.  Because unless the main story revolves around Ballroom, why should I bore the reader with pages and pages about that kind of dance?  I give the audience snippets of those insights and the joy and feeling of dance.  Enough let them get more information about this character and what makes them happy and why.

But there are other life experiences I’ve  drawn upon as well.  But I’ve also given my characters experiences from the sad times in my life such as  losing someone close to me.  The pain, the feeling of being lost and confused by the experience of someone no longer being a part of your life.  People can relate to all of this and can feel sorry for or commiserate with the character in these situations.  It makes the reader feel more like the person they’re reading about is more human, like someone they know.

Hobbies or jobs are another way of making your creations seem more like real people.  Their pet peeves at the job.  Annoying co-workers, friends, what they do off the job together.  All of these help make a character seem more like a real person.  Draw from your own life, give bits of your feelings or experiences to your people to make them more than 2-dimensional caricatures from a comic strip.  Remember, your characters are your children, shape them give them life and the audience will appreciate and love them as you do.


I just found out today that my beloved paranormal/mystery novel “The Bridge” is now available in the United Kingdom through Amazon.uk.com.  I hope it does well over there.   Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367594807&sr=1-1

thebridge_allankrummenacker


Okay no advertising today.  Just some updates.   In the past two weeks I’ve been pretty busy with novel #2 “THE SHIP” which is a sequel to  my first book “THE BRIDGE”.   It takes up with two of the main characters from book 1, Cassandra and Julie and their trip to Santa Cruz California.  The other leading characters from “THE BRIDGE” Alex and Veronica make brief appearances.

While visiting the west coast, Cassie and Julie, must come to terms with their experiences from the first book as well as their budding romantic relationship and how deeply entwined they wish to become with each other.   But they must also deal with hidden dangers on not just one but 2 fronts.  Two of the antagonists from the first book have followed them here and are watching them carefully.  But even more importantly, a new danger has arisen from the depths of the ocean.  And this new threat is known to Cassandra’s family from the day’s when her ghostly guardian Brandon was still alive.

I’ve been going to great lengths to keep the suspense and intrigue of the first novel alive in this book, while introducing new characters and situations, that in turn will lead to even more stories down the road.   I’m very careful about always setting the stage for upcoming installments and try not to throw anything at my readers that will not one day come into play in the future.  I’m striving to keep my audience fascinated and entertained as much as possible.

Now in addition to writing the second novel, I’ve also been working on the cover for the 2nd book.  Here is a sample of the progress I’ve made on it.  Keep in mind, it is not completed and there is more for me to add to this piece as I want to put in more elements to increase the ‘Eerie’ feel I’m striving for:

Cover Update 314

 

In other news, I managed to get “THE BRIDGE” on the shelves of 2 bookstores  that carry Indie author Books.  I’m hoping to get into contact with even more bookstores in the near future.  I’m also expecting a phone call from a local radio station next week,  to set up an on air interview.  This will be my first one, so I’m both excited and nervous.  I’ll be doing some research about being interviewed on radio to help prepare myself so I don’t embarrass myself.

That’s all for now.  I’ll post again in a day or so with more news.  Take care everyone.

 


I was hoping to avoid this issue, but there is something I wish to address.

Now, with the release of my first novel I’ve gotten good reviews… really good ones.  But there has been one recurring issue namely “errors”.  Now first off, I am not afraid to admit they exist.  There are grammatical errors and whatnot in the book and I’ve done 3 corrections of the entire novel already to eliminate as many as possible.  In the new 2nd edition, there are still some, but from what I’ve been told they are not a lot… thank the heavens.

On the other hand, on FB and elsewhere I’ve had well-meaning people suggest or offer their ‘professional editing’ services.  They bring up the importance of putting out a good product, that it’s my introduction to the audience and world, and how you should never put out a book that isn’t polished to perfection.    And I agree.  It IS important to make sure the story/book you put out is as polished as you can get it.  And I thought I had at first.  I’d had English teachers and people with good eyes catch a good 90% of things I’d overlooked.  But there were still errors that got past all of us.

Yet the words… “A professional editor would’ve caught all of that” comes up fairly often.  So why didn’t I get one.  The answer is simple.  I’m living in poverty.  Every dime my wife and I get goes to keeping a roof over our heads, paying for expensive medicines for our asthma and other chronic health issues, and putting food on the table.  We’ve been surviving on loans and help from family for the last few years, while Helen (my wife) tries to get her B. A. Degree.  I got a A. S. degree a year ago, but that hasn’t helped me on the job front. Most places now want a B. A. for even lower level office work.

I started writing partly to keep my spirits up when everything fell apart  while I was doing estate, which led us to this situation.  And when I finished my novel, I tried my damnedest to get it edited through the avenues available to me.  But I could not, and still cannot, afford to get it redone “professionally”.    And for that, I apologize.  But luckily according to the latest reviewer who gave me the 5 stars, she had the new improved 2nd edition, there aren’t that many errors any more.  And it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the story or the enjoyment of it.  And the fact that all the earlier reviewers still gave it 4 and even a 5 star rating, means I did something right.

I hope by the time my 2nd novel “The Ship” is ready, I can get some more professional editing done.  But if I can’t I’m just going to work twice as hard to make sure the final product is in even better shape than my first book.   It sucks to be in my position and we’re doing what we can.  In time, things will improve.

So I ask everyone who picks up the book, to please forgive its shortcomings.  And for those who are professional editors, please don’t keep offering services I cannot afford or saying how much better the piece could be.  I’m fully aware of it and reminders don’t always help.  Because they don’t just let me know it’s not perfect, it reminds me even more where I’m still at.

How J. K. Rowling managed to get Harry Potter and his friends professionally edited when she was struggling just as badly, I don’t know.  Maybe her publisher helped.  I don’t have one, just myself Createspace and Smashwords.  And they charge a pretty penny as well.

Sorry if this entry is a little bit of a downer, I just wanted everyone to understand why’s and wherefore’s of what I’ve created.  I will try and to better in the future.  And when I can afford it, my work will get the professional treatment.  Until then, bear with me and thanks for all the continuing support.  Please help spread the word that “THE BRIDGE” is out there.  The fact that this book has earned 4 and 5 star ratings, even with its ‘warts’ tells me I’ve created something special.  And I’d like to see it flourish.

If you wish, here is my website where folks can find links to all the different formats of the book, as well as news and updates on the sequels under way:

http://allankrummenacker.wix.com/allan-krummenacker

Thanks again all of you for coming and reading this blog.  And for all the support you’ve given me.  I’ll try to make the next entry more upbeat.  Take care and happy reading everyone.


My debut novel “The Bridge” is a unique blend of horror/mystery/science fiction and it will be available on Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Nook this Friday.

The novel will also be available in Kindle and Trade Paperback shortly.

Here’s a the book jacket blurb”

Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen years. But with the scream of tires and twisting metal all this changes.

When his girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, is nearly run down by two teens he becomes concerned. But upon learning that both the driver and passenger had been dead for almost twelve hours before the crash, he knows what he must do…

WELCOME TO BOOK ONE OF THE PARA-EARTH SERIES

Note: Books 2 and 3 are already under way.

“THE BRIDGE” is coming….


Just got the word today from Createspace, I have finally formatted the interior of the book, the cover art, the back cover, the spine, etc. to their specifications and it’s is now PRINTABLE!  I know there’s a lot of stuff I just mentioned that some of you may not be familiar with, but you can find out more about it in detail on my other blog:

“Musings Of A Creative Mind” at:  http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/

That blog is all about the process of writing.  Now I will be adding things to take into consideration while making your own e-books.

But here, I want to wax a little philosophically.   It hit me after I saw the e-mail saying the book was ready for my final review proof that a lot of my life experiences are coming together in this venture.  I’ve been an artist ever since I was in junior high school, and now those talents came into play in creating this book.

I’m also going to have to start marketing and getting my novel and myself known by going to Libraries, bookstores, contacting local radio stations, and newspapers as well to get the word out as well.  A lot of those same skills I used back in my days of being a Realtor/Mortgage Loan Officer.

But it doesn’t stop there.  I’m going to be considered self-employed by Uncle Sam and anything I make off this book the US Government and the IRS are going to want a piece of come next year.  So now I’ll be tracking all my expenses in relation to selling my book.  Now automatically, Createspace is going to keep 30% of whatever I make off each sale and set it aside for me for tax purposes next year.  But what about my ordering physical copies so I can mail signed copies to those who want ones like that?  What about going to conventions or giving talks?  Heck, even the gas I use going to the post office and back are expenses I need to keep track of in order to claim them on my tax return.  Again, I did all of that before when I was in real estate.

My years of being part of the sci-fi fan community is also coming into play.  I’m going to be offering myself as a speaker at those conventions and trying to sell some copies in person as well.  I have a large network of friends in that community and this book is going to be right up their alley too.  And I know a number of them will be only too willing to help me spread the word and find other venues to spread my work around.

In all it feels like so many aspects of my life are suddenly coming together in this writing venture, and it give me hope.  I can’t help wondering if somehow all I’ve done in the past has been leading up to this career.  And maybe I’m just full it and have just got a head full of  “WOW I’m being published…” and everything seems rosy and I need to take some glasses off.  Who knows?  Time will tell.  But as long as I’m ready to fight and work to make this pay off and spread the word, I’ll hope for the first part to be the truth.

Anyway, thanks for your time and I’ll be posting again soon.  Hopefully with news that the book is ready for sale.  In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of other work to do still.  Like setting up the Createspace store that automatically comes with signing up and publishing with them.  I’m planning on some other items besides having just the novel available.  Some T-shirts and mugs with quotes and images will be available there too.  At least, that’s what I’m hoping.  Stay tuned everyone and thanks for following me.  This journey is FAR from over, it’s only just beginning a new stage…


First of all, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you’re going to be on the road tonight, please drive carefully and watch out for others who may not be doing that.  My wife and I will be curled up at home watching one of our favorite movies “HOLIDAY” with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  Yes, it’s an old B and W but the message it shares is very powerful and personal to us.  That message is simply “Chase your dreams.  Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen.  Even if it means taking risks instead of playing it safe all the time.  Hold onto each other as you go along because there might be pitfalls and you may have to go back to selling peanuts, but believe in those peanuts and each other.  This way after you’ve analyzed what went wrong, you can try again and again until you succeed in making it that dream a reality!”

All of this is easier said than done.  But remember this…. UNLESS YOU TRY, THAT DREAM HAS NO CHANCE OF EVER HAVING A CHANCE OF COMING TRUE!

This is what I’ve told myself time and again as I’ve worked on my writing.  And I’ve taken risks.  I tried the traditional publishing route and it didn’t quite work out.  But during those few years I tried it, I learned a lot.  The industry changed, e-books have evolved and the face of the publishing world changed beyond what anyone thought it could.

So as 2012 comes to a close, I continue to work on the finishing touches of “THE BRIDGE”.  Originally I had hoped to unveil it first by Christmas, then New Year’s Day.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do that.  Every time I think I’ve finished the formatting I discover a new problem and have to work on it some more.  But I don’t mind.  This simply means that my book is going to be in the best possible shape I can get it in.  And since it is my debut novel, my introduction to the world of writing, I’ll take that time to make it perfect.  I want’ to make a great impression with this novel, because “YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION!”  Take the time to make it a good one folks.

So, once more I wish you all a HAPPY and SAFE NEW YEAR!  And I close this year with what is now the final version of my book cover. I know I said that before, but people pointed out “Hey I don’t see your name on the cover…” So here it is.  See you all next year!

Final Version of the cover.

Final Version of the cover.

 

Update on Book Cover…


I was finally able to get back to work on the cover today.   Had a lot to do this past week for college.  I’m almost finished with this semester, only 2 more weeks to go.  I also got the first 60 pages back from the person doing my editing and I’ve been making the corrections in the manuscript.  In the meantime here’s an updated image of how the cover is coming along.  I hope to have it finished and the manuscript completely edited soon.  I would love to have it fully ready to release by Christmas or New Year’s Day.Book Cover 2

Hmmm…. It’s Been A While…


In fact it’s been a few months since I posted any of my actual writing in progress here.  Just want to let everyone know I will remedy that situation in a few days.  A lot has been going on as you all know from my previous posts.  I’m doing better, my Mom’s going to be okay.  My Father-In-Law is in early stages of cancer that is treatable and his prognosis is looking very good.  My Fibro has calmed down quite a bit and life in general is stabilizing (knock on wood).  I also hope to have an update on the status of my first novel for you all shortly.  So please stay tuned and thanks for keeping up with me.  I’ll have a proper post up in a couple of days.  Take care and I’ll see you all soon.

Why The Video Posts Allan?


Greetings all.  I’m sure everyone has been noticing I’ve been putting up more and more videos lately as opposed to my usual entries.  Well, part of the reason for this was to get more traffic to come to my Vlog on YouTube.  But there is another reason.

Those of you who watched the video on my last entry: https://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/another-entry-about-character-creating/will already know what I’m about to say.  I have a chronic pain condition.  The doctor who diagnosed me gave me a sad smile as he said, “The good news is that it won’t kill you.  But you’ll be in pain the rest of your life.”  The condition is known as Fibromyalgia and based on my own research over the years and from speaking with experts, I’ve had this since childhood.  I’ve always suffered pain more readily and easier than my peers back in grade school.  No one ever believed me when I told them how much I hurt especially after one of the numerous bully assaults because of my apparent weakness and vulnerability.  I was never good at sports even when I tried my damnedest to get good.  My muscles never responded correctly.  I was clumsy and awkward and on rare days when I was feeling ‘good’ I was able to excel in ways no one could believe.  But then a day or so later I’d be back to my usual lower performing standards no matter how HARD I tried to push myself.  I was tired a lot as well, which comes with being in pain.

Now let me point out that the pain levels I normally experience are the kind of low (somethings off but it’s not going to get in my way) kind of thing.  They can take their toll but I’ve found exercise routines that really work for me without exacerbating the pain.  I’ve taken a lot of dance and have learned a lot of core and endurance building exercises that have helped a lot.  But even these are no match for when the Fibromyalgia comes out of its remission stage and goes into “FLARE”.

During “Flare” the pain levels shoot up and my motor skills become clumsy and awkward.  I feel terribly drained and even have to resort to using a walking stick to get around (even inside my home).  Even putting my thoughts together can be difficult, as if I were trapped in a fog which is why this particular symptom is referred to as FIBROFOG.  Overall, it’s like having a terrible case of the flu with the deep body aches and fatigue, without the high temp or other symptoms.

Now, what does all this have to do with the videos?  Simple.  I have limited energy reserves during these periods.  And what little I feel up to doing is getting through my college classes and my daily life period.  I budget my reserves and try to focus on writing my novels as best I can (the Fibrofog can mess me up on that front something fierce and I can’t really write some days even though I want to).  During periods like the one I’m going through now, it’s easier to sit and talk rather than type.  And since I don’t want to neglect all of you who’ve been so kind and generous with your comments and views, I’ve been resorting to the videos.

So, now you know what’s really been going on.  I hope you all understand and I hope this particular ‘Flare’ will soon pass.  Until it does please bear with me.  I will still be posting in one form or the other.

In the meantime I’m going to take advantage of my being a writer to bring up another subject.  In my earlier entries I talked about giving your characters skills, hobbies, talents you have or someone you know has to help make them more real to your readers.  The same still holds true with bad stuff.  Losing a loved one, a bad childhood, an unhappy relationship, or having a health condition.

Now I’ve already started using my personal knowledge of dealing with Fibromyalgia with one of the characters in my novels.  Her name is Cassandra Elliott, a billionaire heiress with a heart of gold.  With looks, beauty and money, she would seem to have it all.  But Epstein-Barr plagues her, depriving her of love of dance and other activities by making her bed-ridden for days or weeks at a time.  She hates the feeling of helplessness and being an invalid at times.  But how she deals with her condition helps shape the person she’s become and her drive to be as normal as possible especially around her new love interest.

We’re all shaped by our experiences.  Good or bad, how we react to them helps make us the people we are.  So look into your own life sometimes for sources of material to help shape and make your characters into real people.  People your readers can relate to and want to keep reading about and cheer on.

Thanks for reading, sorry this post is so long, but I felt it necessary to address some of the concerns I’ve been reading in the comment sections or in private messages.  Take care everyone and I hope to have another entry up shortly.

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