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Hi, to all my faithful followers and friends (all the same).


Today's post won't be long. I just want to inform you of two exciting events coming up. No, it's not about a cover reveal for my next novel. Rather, it's about two almost as exciting events, at least I think so, and that is two upcoming blog tours/media blitz for my novel BRIDGETOWN HIGH. Also, my book is being sent out again for reader's review. I'm hoping these events will make my book more visible that will, hopefully, turn into sales. At least it should help my book to raise higher on Amazon's ranking. The first  tour will be done from September 14 thru 20, and the second will be the first week of October.


Another exciting thing is that YOU can help.

How?


If you sign up by sending me your email address you will be entered. Then, when the events are happening, the tour companies will send you an (for want of an better term) advertisement. Then, all you need to do is forward it to all your Facebook and Twitter "friends," or anyone else you can think of. That's it.


Just send your email address to paulwwest@yahoo.com.


Thanks in advance as I'm sure all of you will be willing to help.

And, in case you haven't yet, BRIDGETOWN HIGH is still available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

Thanks, EVERYONE.
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017

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A great afternoon to all my faithful family and friends (yah that means you).

So, how is your novel going? I know many of you may not have begun writing, but you want to. There's a remedy for that?

Grab a pen/pencil and some pads of lined paper and just put down the first thing that comes to your mind. (well, OK. You can do this with a computer instead, ha ha). But that's how I started. I think I had nearly 50 pages handwritten before I finally acquired a computer (just fyi, that was more than 30 years ago).

The point is, write something every day. Once you begin, your subconscious will urge you to keep going. Even if you only write for 10 minutes a day, that's OK. At lest your doing it. Now, keep going for as long each day as you can. Have you heard of the term BIC? It means, "butt in chair." You have to get your BIC and just begin and keep going. Soon it will become a passion. It is with me, anyway. Keep in mind, it ain't gonna get writ, if you don't write it.

So, now for the news: This week I finally paid a promotion site to run a media blitz for "BRIDGETOWN HIGH." It will be held the first week in September. I'm excited to see if she will be able to recoup my money for me. If so, I may keep hiring promo agencies to do my marketing. We'll see.
Then, the irony. Another lady from another promo service offered her promo services for free. I think she's trying to get publicity for her promo business. In spite of her services being free, she's been very helpful and she already showed me what her media  blitz is going to look like. Her blitz will be held the first week in October.

Needless to say, I'm super excited about both promos. Good or bad experience, I'll keep you posted.

So, until next week, keep working on your novel and take a minute to read mine, if you haven't already https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/, and it would be great if you would write a review to help Amazon and Goodreads rate my novel at a level it is worth. The higher my ranking the more likely my book is to sell, and you can say you were a part of it.

Thanks to all of you for your support.
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Hi everyone.


Did you miss me? Being gone for two weeks makes for a long wait between my postings.

I just got a message from a man looking for help with his writing. Someone had referred him to me as thinking I could help him with his career. I felt inadequate as his writing goals seemed a lot higher than mine, but I tried to help and referred him to this posting.

However, by the time I wrote back to him, his message disappeared and I felt frustrated not being able to respond and maybe even help him. If this person was you, please contact me again, or comment below.


For today's post I though I would talk a little about characters. I for one, prefer to read about someone who feels real, verses cardboard characters.

So, how do we do that? Many novels are about magic or science fiction where the main character's only purpose is to save a world or something like that, but in the meantime we don't really get acquainted with the main character. In a book titled "How to Write Best-Selling Fiction," by Dean Koontz, he makes few comments that I feel are of value here. He says:

"Your lead character doesn't have to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and he doesn't have to stop speeding bullets with his bare hands, but he darn well better know the difference between right and wrong, and he better be kind to animals, and it sure wouldn't hurt any if he brushed his teeth regularly...

"If your heroine is a beautiful actress, a fine painter, and engineer, a cabinetmaker, a superb cook, a daring test pilot, a whiz at electronics, a doctor, a lawyer, and an Indian chief, don't you think you ought to humanize her at least to the extent of giving her a zit on the end of her nose?"

I know these sound a bit flippant, even humorous, but there's a lot of truth there. Your characters must be real if you expect to write "best-selling fiction."

So, how are your characters developing.

In my novel, "Bridgetown High," I tried my best to develop all the main characters, even to the point of going into the heads of Jeff Marino, the antagonist as well as Mark Wilkerson, the protagonist. I think I succeeded. Reviews of "Bridgetown High" have almost always been positive and one of the main things reviewers point out is the realism of the story and its characters.

So, until next week, keep working on your novel and take a minute to read mine, if you haven't already https://www.amazon.com/dp/1680583093/ and it would be great if you would write a review to help Amazon and Goodreads to rate my novel at a level it is worth. The higher my ranking the more likely my book is to sell, and you can say you were a part of it.

Thanks to all of you for making this effort a success.
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A wonderful high to all my great friends and family (er. that should be "hi" not "high). I'm sure most of you will understand, ha ha.

First, before I proceed,  I need to let you know that I won't be here next week. But keep checking and come back every week and even re-read some of my older posts so you can make fun of all my goofs, he he.


I saw an interesting discussion this last week on Goodreads. The title of the discussion was "Should life lessons be part of YA novels?" What do you think? Should they, or not? Have any of you thought about that in your writing? I have, and I think the answer is "yes," BUT!

A huge BUT here. If you are to do that, keep in mind, kids aren't stupid. They can usually see through the lesson material, so make sure you're not being preachy. Most kids are looking for answers to life's problems, especially their problems.

One commenter (me) offered the following: "In every novel I've read, and had any real impression on me, the main character (and possibly others) have had a life changing experience by the end of the novel. If it didn't, the book was meaningless.

That being said, the reader should be able to somehow identify with the main character(s) and gain a lesson vicariously.

In my novel, Bridgetown High," the main character "Mark" starts out hurt and angry. He wants to get revenge on the person who killed his family. By the end of the book, he learns who the killer is and it's like a rug was pulled out from under his feet. He doesn't know how to react.

That same commenter (me) also stated: "In almost every novel, there's a protagonist and an antagonist. Hopefully, by the end of the book, the protagonist overcomes s the antagonist and in that effort he/she learns something or grows as a result."

OK, so until two weeks from now, keep reading and writing, and thanks for following me and my novel's success. I hope you've enjoyed "Bridgetown High." If you haven't yet, you still can by going to Amazon
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Hi Everyone

I hope you're having a wonderful first part of summer. So far, here in Utah, it's been hot, but today was quite mild, mid-80s. But by Independence Day, it's supposed to bet up to near 100.

I apologize for not writing anything last week. It was a crazy week.

Anyway, today I want to ask you a question and get some feedback from you, all my faithful followers.

In my new novel that I'm calling, "The Bridge Beckons," I have 3 or 4 girls who are murdered. Of course I don't know who the murderer is, but I do know the victims. So, is it possible to write a scene from the viewpoint of the victim? Experience her being stalked in the dark by someone. Experience her being snatched. Experience her feeling the sharp blade to her neck....

What do you think? She died.
The main problem I see is how can she tell us about it if she's dead?

I hope you will add a comment to this blog post and let me know what you think. If you do, consider that you are helping to write a novel. I know you are probably doing that anyway, aren't you? Right?

So, until next week (I hope) thanks for following me and my novel's success. I hope you've enjoyed "Bridgetown High." If you haven't yet, you still can by going to Amazon
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Hi Gang,


How is your writing going?


I thought today I would talk about antagonists, or the bad guys and girls.


A lot of the time, I read stories that don't describe the antagonists beyond maybe facial features, body build, and maybe skin and hair color. They also usually give the antagonists a motive for why they are antagonists, but that's it.


While these things are important, there should be much more in depth descriptions. In my novel, BRIDGETOWN HIGH, I went into a lot of descriptions of Jeff Marino. I not only portrayed him as a bully, but also as a poor boy from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks, a boy with no family life, his mother works two jobs just to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. He has only one friend, Bobby Baker, who tries to help. Jeff has one great passion, Genie Lombardi, a protagonist. He is in love with her and she becomes the reason he hates Mark Wilkerson (the main protagonist).

As the story unfolds, Jeff looses Bobby to a horrible accident (you'll have to read the book to find out how). I described in detail how he felt, how he mourned for his best friend, almost like a brother. He then goes through what I think is a metamorphosis. He begins to blame everyone he associated with, especially Mark. He even blames Genie who dumped him for Mark. In short, I describe what's going on in his mind, how he changes and wants revenge.


If you're serious about writing, take my advice when it comes to the antagonist. Get into his/her head to make him/her real, to come alive on the pages.

Good luck. I hope that encourages you, not discourages you. For me, writing is in my blood. I just can't quit. I hope my next novel, a sequel to BRIDGETOWN HIGH, will be as well written.
So, until next week,  as always, if you like this blog/message, please remember to "Share" and "Like"it on Facebook , and "Tweet" or "Retweet" it on Twitter. Then PLEASE, take five minutes to write a review and post it on Amazon. I need all the reviews I can get to make this book a success. Also have you signed up for my email letters on my Blog Site? I would love to see you there and have you introduce yourself and give comments, good or bad, to this blog. And also keep in mind "BRIDGETOWN HIGH" is still available at Amazon. You can read some GREAT reviews of BRIDGETOWN HIGH on Amazon and Goodreads in case you need more info about my novel. Almost everyone who has read it, loved it.





(By-the-way, if you are reading this on my blog (www.paulwwest.com) the above blued words are clickable links. Just hold down the Control key and click on the blue words.)

See y'all next week, and happy writing.
Paul
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Hello, all my favorite boys and girls.

Are you ready for some more of my wisdom about writing?


Well, I don't know how much is wisdom and how much is desperation, ha ha.


When I began writing fiction, the first thing I did was go to the library to see what it had in the way of  helps. I searched the card catalog (this was before the spread of the internet) for "How to write" and found several great books on the subject. Books by Dean Koontz, Jack Bickham, Ronald Tobias, among others I can't recall right now. To me, the best was "How to Write Best Selling Fiction," by Dean Koontz. That may be the reason I quote him so much.


As I thought about a story line, I realized I needed to do some research. The first things I consulted, believe it or not, were my high school year books. Since I'd decided I wanted my novel to be set there, I wanted to make sure I described things as accurately as I could. Several of you have commented in your reviews how they could visualize the places and events I described in "Bridgetown High." Then, knowing I would likely portray kids with drugs, I did research into drug addiction and effects of taking mentamphetamines with alcohol. That research brought me to write one of the most dramatic scenes in the book, but it also let me know when I've overdone it.

Here is an exerpt of that scene. To give you a bit of lead up, Alan had bought meth and stole some beer for a drug party. Then he and Jeff, Genie, and Chris went for a joy ride across the Carquinez Bridge. There's more, but I have to keep something for you to wonder about, he he he. I also won't give you the outcome of this little chase scene, he he he. Enjoy!



“No! Bobby, no!” Chris yelled as Alan leaned over the steering wheel so Bobby could push the door open and get out.


Bobby didn’t answer. Then Genie saw the pistol in his hand.


“Bobby,” Chris screamed. “Where you get that?”
 
Chris grabbed Bobby’s shirt as he climbed out, “Bobby, No! Don’ do it. Get back in here!” Tears were streaming down Chris’s face as she tried to hold onto his shirt, but he pulled away from her. Then she screamed again, this time in Spanish.

“Bobby,” Genie screamed too. “Get back in here. You’re going to get hurt.” She wanted to say killed, but couldn’t bring herself to say it.



Horns blared as cars passed, barely brushing past Bobby and Alan’s open door. He dodged one car, then another, then dashed to the front of Alan’s car, then to the narrow sidewalk.


Chris reverted to English. “Bobby! In the name of God, get back in here. You acting crazy,” she yelled at him. “You loco man!” But he just stared down at the ship under the bridge. “You going get kill out there,” she kept yelling. “Please! Get back here. Oh, my God, Mother Mary, and Joseph!” Chris and Genie made the sign of the cross together.

“I got to see this too,” Jeff said, as he pushed Linda’s seat forward and climbed out to join his friend.

Genie dropped her face into her hands, forgetting for the moment her migraine. Then popping noises made her look up again. Bobby was shooting at the ship as more cars passed by, honking.


Alan rolled his window down and shouted, “Get in, quick! Cops are coming!”


Genie glanced behind them and saw the red flashing lights from an approaching squad car. Above the noise from the stereo, she could faintly hear the wail of its siren. She prayed the officer would stop them before somebody got hurt.

Jeff jumped back in next to Genie while Bobby ran back around the front of the car. As he darted to the door, another car passed at that same moment. Genie felt and heard the hard, dull thump, and she and Chris screamed as Bobby’s body hurtled into the air, into the path of another car.

Genie’s stomach wrenched as Bobby’s blood splattered across the windshields of both cars and his body bounced again on the pavement where another car screeched to a halt over his lifeless body.

Bobby’s gun slid across the freeway toward Alan’s car. He opened the car door to retrieve it and tossed it to Jeff. “Here. Hold on to it.”


Traffic on the northbound span came to a quick halt. Through her tears, Genie could see the highway patrol car struggling through the tangled traffic. Please hurry! she prayed.

Alan swore and stomped on the gas pedal, peeling rubber.


“Alan, stop!” Chris screamed, slapping the back of Alan’s head. “You leave Bobby. You can no leave him. Stop!”

“No way,” Alan said, ducking forward and swearing. “He’s dead. We got to get out of here before that cop gets us.”

At the toll booth at the end of the bridge, two black-and-white highway patrol cars waited with red lights flashing, ready to intercept Alan.

Alan swore again as he hit the brakes and spun a sharp left. He slid into the turn out before the toll plaza’s office building. It was designed for people to turn around if they’d gotten on the bridge by accident. Alan skidded on some loose gravel, then merged with the southbound traffic back to Crockett.

While Chris screamed, Genie glanced out the back window again. As she hoped, the officers had joined the chase.

Turning back to the front, she held on tight as Alan cut in-and-out of traffic again. He had a crazed look in his eyes.

The bridge, cars, and everything passed in a blur. Alan was going to kill all of them. Genie knew it.

All the while, Linda just stared out the front window, a blank expression on her face, while Chris screamed at Alan, in Spanish again.
 
Genie was too frightened to speak, or even scream. She knew Alan wasn’t in his right mind, and she struggled to keep bile from rising in her throat.

Jeff, bouncing in his seat, yelled, “Turn off, Al. I know a place we can hide in Crockett where they can’t find us.”

Alan cut across two traffic lanes in front of other cars that honked as he did, and veered off onto the exit.

The highway patrol cars were a half-mile behind them. Please hurry! she prayed again.

Alan and Jeff both swore and Genie looked back to the front. A county sheriff’s squad car was blocking the end of the off-ramp, a deputy stood beside the car with his gun in one hand, and a high-powered flashlight in the other. He aimed both it at Alan.


Alan targeted his car to the rear end of the squad car, like a demolition derby, and stomped on the gas pedal. “AAAAAHHHHH!” he screamed.

Genie dropped to the floor and Chris fell on top of her, still screaming in Spanish. This was it.

Genie felt a strong jolt and heard breaking glass and clashing metal. Unable to control it any longer, she vomited on the floor, then felt the car accelerate again. It wasn’t over.

Chris fell silent for a moment and sat back up.

Ignoring the sickening slime on her hands and chin, Genie crawled back to her seat, too.


The hood of Alan’s car was crumpled, but the collision hadn’t been enough to stop him.


Genie looked out the rear window as the squad car’s gas tank exploded, and the sheriff’s deputy ran from the flames.


Chris prayed her rosary in Spanish, and Genie decided a prayer wouldn’t hurt her either. Dear God, help! She couldn’t think of anything more to say, but kept repeating the words in her mind, genuflecting with each repetition.


So, did you enjoy that? There's more like that in the book, "Bridgetown High." Check it out.

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