Showing The Crush

Continuing yesterday’s theme from Show Me,  I am discussing showing the crush.  In other words, conveying the “falling in love” or crushing stage.


I’ve read numerous romance novels where the author “Tells”  the audience that the female main character is falling in love with the  leading man. I personally find this disdainful.

Whether it is in a romance, or a romantic interest within another genre, it pays tobe a sensual writer. Sensual as in tapping into the senses. What are they feeling? hearing? seeing? smelling? tasting?

Memories are often correlated to smells.  I can’t smell Aqua Velva without thinking about my father. The smell of fresh-baked oatmeal cookies remind me of my mother’s kitchen.

Songs or sound memories can be even more powerful. How many couples remember “their song”  that was played at their wedding reception or perhaps when they went to prom together?  Any time I hear Sweet Home Alabama,  I have an instant visual of summers spent at the pool,  playing foosball with my friends.

Conveying the senses is an important part of showing in writing. So how do you show the crush?

There are physiological signs that a person exhibits when they are in love, or at least crushing.

The brain – Obsessing over a crush creates anxiety,  which causes the logical thinking part of your brain to temporarily shut down (The part of you that says stop texting him until he at least returns the first of your twenty-seven texts)

The throat –  the larynx constricts, and your voice subtly changes.  This is caused by a sudden increase  in endorphins, blood flow increased to the area, engorging the tissue and lowering the  tension in the vocal cords – much like a  guitar string, the tone drops.  (When he asked you out to a movie, your voice suddenly  grew husky enough to pull a sled.)

Your heart – Getting close to your crush causes a burst of adrenaline, which causes your heart to beat faster, loader, which also makes you blush. That heart pounding out of your chest feeling is for reals.  Typically, the average female who is in “Crush” mode, easily drops a few pounds because your metabolism has increased.  Nice side benefit, eh? (I wish that would work now, beyond the crush stage to the living it out stage.)

Your stomach – Oh hi there little butterflies!  The sudden increase in blood flow causes the blood to flow away from your stomach – which gives you that fluttery feeling.  A nervous jittery sensation that lodges in your gut whenever your crush is near, or in your thoughts. Either that or you skipped breakfast again.

Your hands – With all this increase in blood flow is there any wonder that your palms get sweaty and itchy? Your sweat glands are in overdrive.  You might want to make sure you reapply that underarm deodorant as well.

Your knees  –  Stress hormones. YUP.  Stress hormones put a strain on your muscles, tiring them out quicker than normal.  Feeling like your knees are going to buckle  is a sure sign that you are crushing. OR that you are pregnant,  but lets not get the cart before the horse, shall we?  FYI,  pregnancy hormones have the same effect, also causing increased blood flow  and akin to the blushing is the pregnancy glow. We are talking about knocking knees not knocked up.

Your feet – Increased adrenaline, blood flow leads to  fight or flight response. Running through a field of wildflowers, or twirling in the sunshine, or  dancing – all of which are often accompanied by a ridiculous grin that you can’t seem to  wipe off your face.  You know you can  benefit from this in combining this effect with the natural increase in metabolism by hitting the gym or hitting the pavement to tone that body even more to get your crush to notice but be mindful of the weak knees that strike suddenly.

Keep in mind that the recipient of your crush is most likely experiencing the same effects.

So, with physical signs of falling in love, it should be easy to show this in your writing. Which is more exciting:

a)Dianna was falling hard for Mitch. He occupied her every waking thought and had even appeared in her dreams lately as well.

b) Dianna was flushed. Her palms were sweaty and her hands shook as she picked up her phone, excited that Mitch had texted her.  A smile quickly spread as her pulse raced. Nervously chewing her lip as she swiped open the text remembering how Mitch had starred in her dream last night.

Which would you rather read?

Showing your crush by using these physiological signs would make for a much better story than simply telling.

The same principle can be employed in any scene. One of the first milestones in my mind that I had a knack for writing was when I got back a term paper from a college professor in American History about the Battle of Antietem and he had written that my battle scene description nearly made him puke.

I call that a win.  I know,  I’m weird.  I’m a writer, what did you expect?

Write on my friends, write on!


Show Me

How many times have you heard show don’t tell?


In theory, it’s a simple matter.  In practice, it’s difficult to execute.

Being from the Show Me state,  I guess this was a natural fit for me. I remember in grade school when I had to give a verbal book report.  We were required to make a paper mache puppet for the main character and then act out a specific part of the story. This was in third grade, so keep that in mind.

My story:  The Three Little Pigs.

Always the overacheiver,  I couldn’t seperate my main characters. I’ve always had a passion for arts and crafts, so I made a cast of characters from  paper mache.  They were pitiful! Three pigs, formed around small balloons, one had spots, one was pink, and one had a bowtie.  I don’t know, I was a kid. Who knows what goes through the mind of a third grader, right?

The beginning steps of a pig.

The beginning steps of a pig.

Then there was the wolf – the antagonist. DUN DUN DUN!  Paper mache was formed around a lightbulb sized balloon. It had a snout, gnarly teeth, and  big ears.  I spent a lot of time getting this right.  All the other kids had one puppet, and I had four – bwahahahaha!  The teacher was not amused.

The next day, we got to paint them.  It was simple to paint the pigs. I’m pretty sure we used tempera paints not  the nice acrylics that are available now. Then I began painting my wolf.  Even as a child I was dramatic  and my wolf was the baddest baddie in the whole land.  His teeth were pearly white, with blood dripping down his jaw.  I stuck a patch of fake fur  from the top of his head down the back which attached to the simple fake fur clothes. (We had to make a draw string dress,  arms if your character required it.)  My pigs were  glued to popsicle sticks.  My wolf was the focus.

I gathered my props for presentation: a bit of straw,  a bit of clay and mud, and small pieces of bricks, then a cardboard setting colored with crayon because – we were third graders and we didn’t have markers. Finally, it was my turn.

My older brothers were into film making at the time,  and had recently filmed a “werewolf film” where I was one of the victims.  Chicken livers are great for special effects as well as homemade fake blood. Be careful what you expose your grade schoolers to, they remember everything. Stuck in the palm of my hand were small packets of karo syrup and food dye aka fake blood. The first little pig put up a little fight,  then suffered a brutal bloody demise. The teacher  gasped. The  student’s eyes were riveted.

The second pig, being a little smarter than the first, argued for a bit then fled to his oldest brothers home, but not without suffering a few nips along the way.

I embellished the story, adding a colorful twist when the hunters came and shot the wolf. It was a horrific bloody death. It was graphic, descriptive, and left my teacher white faced and wide eyed.  I recall some sort of note being pinned to my shirt when I went home.

The art of good storytelling is in the telling, not the story.  It would have been simple to repeat the words in the book.  It would have been easy to say: The big bad wolf blew down the house of straw, the house of mud and clay, but  he couldn’t blow down the third pig’s home.

The point is, showing is much better than telling.  I could have simply told you that as a grade schooler I was required to give a verbal book report for The Three Little Pigs and that I tried my best but the teacher was not amused. However,  I chose to paint you a word picture, describing the key points and the audience reaction.

Tomorrow,  I address showing the crush.  Whaaaaat?

Can you think of a time when you knew you were guilty of “telling” and another instance where you nailed the scene by “Showing”?

Please leave your comments below and write on my friends, write on!


G. Mitchell Baker – Part Deux

This was supposed to go up yesterday. However, since my gastrointestinal system  decided to revolt,  I was not online.  I’m sure you don’t want me to go into anymore detail. Moving on.

Today, my guest  G. Mitchell Baker is sharing an excerpt from ANNT: Axiom I & II.

ANNT: Axiom I & II

Chapter 1

Bhutan, the High Himalayas – 2025

My name is Dr. Niles Gens, born September 11, 2001. Doctor Austina Doceo, also born September 11, 2001 and I were fourteen-year-old geniuses when we began to collaborate, and invented, some say created Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology.

Originally approached to provide solution to the problems of the world, we have worked with ANNT because we learned that World War I was the Chemists war, that World War II was the Physicists war, and that World War III would be the Biologists War, if we did not provide solutions. Now, you ask, how can they do that?

It all began with curiositas. That is, the question about how the fruits of science will be used. Curiositas made it possible for us to consider the possibilities of Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology. We understood early on, the minute we started to think about technical applications that the societal questions would be relevant. There would be the moral questions, the moral obligations of the community. We knew the morality; the things done, and debated about ANNT, should be in public … not in secret. We knew we had to live by values. That value should be a part of our lives.

We did not want to escape those responsibilities and we understood that ANNT, this new nature, made the possibility of escaping our values more difficult … appropriately so. I recall when we looked at one another after we discussed all this and both agreed that we liked where we were going with our ideas.

The stories I share with you, and tell you about Doceo and ANNT include ANNT demonstrations and, then there were ANNT missions and of course just doing what we wanted when we felt like meeting the challenge of solving the problems of the world. If you have not figured it out by now, Doceo and I invented Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology to compete with old Mother Nature or oMN. Our solution to the world’s problems was to invent and create an Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology to compete with, and perhaps work better than old Mother Nature. We figured this was a sound approach for resolving world concerns on a global scale. Again, we liked where we were going with our ideas.

As I sit not far from where Doceo is in her Remote Decision and Control Center, I ponder whether I am comfortable with my genius. At this point in my life, I have also wondered if my partner, Dr. Austina Doceo was ever comfortable hers. I think I know why Doceo is here now, high in the Himalayas, but I cannot be certain. She appears to be conducting business here, and, does not know why I feel I have to be nearby. I am also sure she does not care. She most likely does not know I am here, as I rest in my extreme weather tent high in the extreme climes of oMN.

I have answered many questions, solved many incredible problems through the years, but I do not know if I will ever be able to answer questions about my comfort and Doceo’s genius. Just how comfortable Doceo and I can be anymore, given Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology has been so successful, in fact remarkable, remains an open question.

Perhaps this question of comfort, as well as many more that will come up about ANNT will be for you to consider.

In any event, as I tell you stories, and you learn more about Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology, the Neo-Nature of ANNT, I encourage you to figure some of this out for yourself. Through my experience, the stories shared with you, it would be nice for you to be encouraged to ask your own questions, and decide whether you are comfortable with your own genius. I am curious just how you might manage the capabilities of the Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology, if Dr. Doceo or I do not get it quite right.


ANNT: Axiom I & II (2015)                                                 ANNT: Axiom III & IV (2015)

annt axannt









By G. Mitchell Baker

ANNT is a new Science Fiction series for kids and adults alike. Enjoy thinking about the future, science, technology, government, and society as Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology and old Mother Nature

compete for the role as the world’s default nature. Left to decide is whether ANNT or oMN will be humanity’s preferred nature provider.

ANNT Facebook: Shop Button:

ANNT Amazon:

ANNT: Axiom I & II


Author Bio:

Within each genre of interest, G Mitchell Baker writes with a purpose and foundation in social value that includes a sense of family and community. Baker brings this commitment and purpose to the reader in a forthright and intense manner … a style that engages the reader with character, intriguing plot, and a sense of purpose for making a difference.

With traditional publications in eBook, paperback and, with feature-length screenplays sometimes optioned for film production, G. Mitchell Baker enjoys writing professionally and loves to meet new friends and fans! You can find him at:

Facebook G. Mitchell Baker, Author Page:

Facebook ANNT: Axiom Page:

Facebook The Involvement of Emerson Page:

Facebook Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies Page:

Facebook Lethal Believers Page:




Author Website:

 By G Mitchell Baker

Novels in Fiction


Thanks you for taking  time to share in my little corner of the world, and thank you G. Mitchell Baker for being a wonderful guest. If you like Michael Crichton books,  check  out  Baker’s books!

Write on my friends, write on!

G. Mitchell Baker Interview

Today’s guest is a charming man with a vivid imagination.  For all of my sci-fi fans, I think that you’ll find his books enjoyable. I found it quite interesting poking around in his mind, and I hope that  you will agree. Tune in as he answers my questions, then tomorrow he will share an excerpt. 

Please welcome G. Mitchell Baker! 


Tell me a little about yourself.

Always a work in progress, sometimes I wonder whether the creative tension comes from me, or from the stories. I have lived in many places and done many things. It is nice to draw on experiences lived, but I never draw on any one experience exclusively … Oh wait … there is one project, Lethal Believers: DVM (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2013) where I drew on an experience after learning about it in a veterinary malpractice case. It involved the abuse of a horse. Simply put, there was no other way to write the scene after being the attorney in deposition, who solicited the testimony of a ketamine abusing sociopath and horse killer. I guess, having said as much, if there is a little about myself to be said, I have never shied away from tough situations, and, as in this example, have always tried to bring compassion to the party when possible.

What genre do you write?

I am, or have been published in genre to include Paranormal/Mythology (Lethal Believers Series); Young Adult Contemporary Fiction (Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies); Science Fiction (ANNT: Axiom Series); and, Contemporary Fiction (Emerson Series).

What genre do you read the most?

My reading has always been diverse and I have never landed and settled in one genre. There are genre I am not interested in, like the prurient ‘romance’ but otherwise I read a lot of different stuff from a broad range of interests.

OUCH! I’m crushed.  You wouldn’t read my book? It’s a contemporary romance. The next one is a different genre, but with an element of romance. Anyway, moving on.

Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

No question, the book I have read the most throughout my lifetime is The Bible (versions of The Bible). I heard, it was by far the most read book in the world so I guess that makes it the longest running Number 1 Bestseller. Kind of humbling for this novelist.

I would have to agree on that point,  The Bible is probably the book I have read the most, and keep reading. I am surprised at the number of people who claim to be Christians that have never read the Bible.  In my opinion, if you are going to profess a religious belief then you should know what it is that you are professing. But that’s just me. Anyway, moving on. What do you most value in a friend?

It has to be respect … respect that flows easily back and forth as a mutual respect. Respect allows for the sharing of beliefs and other common values, which in turn strengthens the friendship. I fear there are too many young people who are not experiencing these values given their preoccupation with social networking and access to far too much information that is salacious, prurient or simply what I call ‘Nut Celebrity’ or ‘Fool Celebrity’. Gosh, we owe our children more than what we offer now. Are we even friends with our kids anymore … of not is it because respect is just so lost in all the noise and distraction out there?

Which book that you have written is your favorite?

The Involvement of Emerson, 2nd ed. And soon to be released in series, The Consistency of Emerson are my favorite novels. These books contribute a whole lot to the conversation about friendship, fathers and families values. I know the topic isn’t that sexy, but I do a good job with the characters and thematic and will always be proud of this work.

ANNT: Axiom is also a favorite because this Sci-Fi Series, is written so young adults may feel comfortable critically thinking about science, technology, government, and society as they grow on into their near futures.

I hope to continue writing the Emerson series planned, to include The Awareness of Emerson and The Nurture of Emerson. I believe I could write the ANNT Series forever, and as long as there is an interest in the material.

Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

In my latest Blog on Tonto (UK) I write about this and, while providing an example from a current project. I talk about electronic Flight management (EFM) and Exceptional Father Management (EFM). Go figure. Kind of lets my audience in on a fun aspect of my writing process.

Do you use real people as your characters or do you completely make them up? Describe your process.

No. I do not rely on real people to create a character. In general, character development in my work is a two-step process. First, I will take at least three character/appearance traits (often many more) and combine them. This will be a starting point. Usually, about a third of the way into the writing the character starts to take over and leads the way. However, there are times when the character is just not that original or interesting. At this point, I will pause and ask myself what, if anything, I can do to make the character more original or interesting. Usually I do not whittle the character at this point and do what I call ‘180’. The 180 is taking the character and rewriting it to exactly 180 or the opposite of everything I have already written. More often than not, the results have been quite fascinating. This process usually energizes the project as well and by this time, there will be no ‘real people’ remotely similar, unless by total coincidence.

How do you handle research? Do you gather all data first or start writing while still gathering?

I have always loved research. I will sometimes start out with a researched concept, but for the most part, I will sense inspiration or work in Picasso moment and when I feel the idea is solid some may require research and others not. If the developments requires research I will do it immediately and satisfy and outstanding questions before I proceed. I find research contributes new fuel, a positive energy to my writing process.

For example, in the ANNT Axiom project, there is a lot of research to make sure the science is solid. For me it never seems like work. It always helps to continue with new idea and to move the story forward.

In ANNT: Axiom, I recall researching the Square Cubed Law, (or cube-square law) which is a mathematical principle, applied in a variety of scientific fields. It describes the relationship between the volume and the area as a shape’s size increases or decreases. It was first described in 1638 by Galileo Galilei in his Two New Sciences. This principle states that, as a shape grows in size, its volume grows faster than its surface area. When applied to the real world this principle has many implications, which are important in fields ranging from mechanical engineering to biomechanics.

It helps explain phenomena including why large mammals like elephants have a harder time cooling themselves than small ones like mice, and why building taller and taller skyscrapers is increasingly difficult. Well this could have killed the entire series… then I started to research other science and technology and the genius characters in the book had viable alternatives to work with, courtesy my research and my draw from other incredible scientists and prodigies. The Square Cubed Law should be a real problem in the Jurassic park movies, but alas is not … I kind of like the idea my geniuses dealt with the problems straight up. I’m not sure libraries even wonder about things like this anymore… again … I am trying hard to promote critical thinking in kids … not just the irresponsible sensitization.

Wow! That’s some  interesting research.  I have to say,  in a world that has gone mad over bad writing and sensationalized stories, I won’t mention the titles of best-selling erotica or sparkly vampires, ahem,  it was refreshing to read Ender’s Game.  It involved critical thinking, and I feel that the world in general has been  in autopilot mode  to the point that they don’t engage their brains AT ALL.  

This reminds me of  Michael Crichton’s books, (since you mentioned Jurassic Park)  in which he  had a tremendous amount of scientific research.  In Timeline (much better book than movie by the way even though it did have Gerard Butler in it) his conveyance of quantum physics is delightful.

Alright, moving on to the next question. Do you outline or are you a pantser?

Never outline. Too much of it in law school. My structure comes from the process of naming my chapters in early drafts. The chapter titles are detailed enough to always remind me where I am in the story. In the later drafts, if it is adult fiction the titles are dropped. If it is a young adult project, I usually retain the chapter titles and hone the titles.

Having said as much, the word ‘pantser’ is intriguing. It is a NaNoWriMo term that means that you ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ when you are writing your novel. I can’t say I do that … between the research, processes for character and structure, I’m pretty sure I’m not flying anywhere and that the seat of my pants is not an issue. *smiles*

ANNT: Axiom I & II (2015)                                                 ANNT: Axiom III & IV (2015)

annt ax annt

By G. Mitchell Baker

ANNT is a new Science Fiction series for kids and adults alike. Enjoy thinking about the future, science, technology, government, and society as Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology and old Mother Nature

compete for the role as the world’s default nature. Left to decide is whether ANNT or oMN will be humanity’s preferred nature provider.

ANNT Facebook: Shop Button:

ANNT Amazon:

ANNT: Axiom I & II


Author Bio:

Within each genre of interest, G Mitchell Baker writes with a purpose and foundation in social value that includes a sense of family and community. Baker brings this commitment and purpose to the reader in a forthright and intense manner … a style that engages the reader with character, intriguing plot, and a sense of purpose for making a difference.

With traditional publications in eBook, paperback and, with feature-length screenplays sometimes optioned for film production, G. Mitchell Baker enjoys writing professionally and loves to meet new friends and fans! You can find him at:

Facebook G. Mitchell Baker, Author Page:

Facebook ANNT: Axiom Page:

Facebook The Involvement of Emerson Page:

Facebook Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies Page:

Facebook Lethal Believers Page:




Author Website:

 By G Mitchell Baker

Novels in Fiction

Thank you for taking your time to share in my little corner of the world.

Tomorrow, an excerpt!  Be sure to tune it!

Write on my friends, write on!


Untamed -An Interview with Madeline


My guest today  in my virtual studio is the lovely Ms. Madeline Dyer. We met through that wonderful/horrible social media world of Facebook via NANOWRIMO.  Madeline is a pleasure to talk to and discuss writing with.

Hi Ellie!

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I’m a twenty year-old speculative fiction writer, and my debut novel released in May 2015 from Prizm Books. I’ve always loved the “What if?” aspect of writing, and how, when you create a new world, practically anything can happen.

When I’m not reading or writing, I can usually be found on our farm—we breed Shetland ponies!—or doing some art. I love drawing animals.

What genre do you write?

Most of my work falls into the Science Fiction/Fantasy category. I absolutely love the freedom that fantasy and science fiction offers, but I’m also fascinated by human nature and the capabilities of man—for this reason, most of the societies I write about can be classed as dystopias. This is certainly true of my first novel, UNTAMED, which is a dystopian fantasy for young adults.

How did you get started?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing! Even as a small child, I remember trying to write a ‘book’. It was only a few pages long, and at that point, I was more interested in doing the illustrations of fairies to go with it! But as I got older, I started writing more and more. When I was nine or ten, our schoolteacher wanted us each to write a story. We were told to write it by hand, then type it up on the computer in the next lesson. I remember being shocked that I was the only one who changed my story, adding in new bits and taking out several scenes, when we were in the computer room. No one else in my class could understand why I was doing that. In the end, I didn’t finish typing it up in the hour—in fact, I never finished typing it up at all, as the next day we were learning something entirely different. But, that’s really the first time I can remember having the desire to edit something I’d already written and make it better.

From there, I never really stopped writing. I had all these ideas that I just needed to get down on paper.

When I was fifteen, I started writing seriously, reading up on the craft and how to edit. At sixteen, I had my first short story published, and had completed the final draft of a 137,000 word novel. Incidentally, I’m still waiting to go back and edit that manuscript!

I got my first book contract when I was nineteen, and UNTAMED was published when I was twenty.

Wow,  that’s a great start and at such a young age.  KUDOS to you for going for your dream. This should be motivating for young writers or those of us that started later in life. Can you describe your writing routine?

When I’m not working to deadlines, I don’t really have that much of a writing routine, as I just sit down and write most days. I suppose, mostly I write the first thing in the morning, or the last thing at night. The words seem to flow better then. The main chunk of my day is often spent working on other things—marketing, promoting, researching, reading, thinking. But I do try to write everyday. Sometimes, I only manage a few hundred words. On a good day, I’ll get about 4,000 words done. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve managed 12,000 in a day.

If I’m on a deadline, I tend to spend all day—or as much of the day as I can—working on the manuscript.

I’m also a student, studying for an English degree, so I have to fit my studies in as well!

It is certainly difficult to fit writing time into an already busy schedule. Unfortunately it takes money to pay the bills, therefore we work/go to school/ and fit our writing in whenever we can. What part of writing do you find to be the most difficult?

The first section of the first draft is always one of the hardest parts, for me. This is the stage where I don’t usually know the characters that well, the plot, the setting, or the shape of the manuscript. I tend to just have a simple idea in mind, or an image, and know very roughly what I want to happen by the end of the manuscript. But the beginning? The lead-up? Who the characters are, and how they’ll help or hinder the main character’s goal and the final image? I have no idea; I just have to feel my way around, experiment with different opening sections, until I write the ‘right’ one. And this can take many attempts. But once I’ve got an opening that I’m sort of happy with (even if I know it will change during subsequent drafts), I find it a lot easier to continue writing. And, by the time I get to about 35,000 words on the first draft, I usually know exactly where it’s going and how I’m going to fulfill the original idea I had. Then I find it much easier to keep going with this draft as I’ve built up momentum, made myself interested in this new story.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Just to write. Write what you enjoy, and what you want to write, not what someone else wishes they were writing. So many times, I hear people say something like, “Oh, I’m writing this book because my friend though this would be a cool idea” or “She/he said they want me to write this idea for my next story.”


You should be writing what you write. It’s your story—not anyone else’s. (Unless, of course, you’re co-writing).

But, most of all, have fun.

I’ll admit,  I’ve fallen into that trap myself. I’ve followed the conversations in various threads in writing groups, then doubted my own writing to the point that I either gave up on it,  or changed things. Most of those are sitting in my dead-file.

 Have you ever trashed entire scenes or changed the direction of your story after you get to know the characters better?

Yes! This happens all the time, particularly in rewrites and edits. With UNTAMED, during the pre-sub edits, I cut out about 15k words worth of scenes, and during edits with my editor, we got rid of three or four scenes that just didn’t fit the tone. But quite often, a large portion of my first drafts (particularly the beginnings) get trashed anyway.

I tend to write in a chronological order, so I know the characters a lot better at the end of the draft than at the beginning. This nearly always means that I scrap the first opening (usually a 30k word chunk) and rewrite it, introducing characters in a way that is more appropriate and moves the plot on faster.

Which  part of the writing process is the easiest for you?

Hmmm. I think maybe working on a completed first draft. I love editing. I love trying to make my writing better. And, always, when I’m editing and revising a manuscript, I’m researching as well. I try to fact-check everything, and put as much detail in. Often, in the first draft I use placeholder names, and now I need to sub these out. Typically, this happens with the cars my characters drive, the clothes they wear, the background possessions they have. Once I’ve got a first draft done, I know my characters well, and I can go back and add details, trying to be as specific as possible. After all, I think you should be able to tell what sort of person the character is from the material goods he or she has.

Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?

I think I’ll have to go with UNTAMED on this one. I absolutely loved writing it, and I adored the editing processes. Although it was the third completed manuscript that I wrote, it was the first book that got me an offer from a publisher. (Well, four offers to be precise). UNTAMED is very close to my heart, and I’m so pleased with the feedback I’ve had so far. I’m currently writing the sequel, so still get to play in the Untamed world.

What are your top 3 favorite books?

Ooh, this is tricky. My top three books change a lot each year, depending on what I’ve recently read. At the moment, I’d have to say Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Very interesting choices. If you watch the movie Gone GIrl – a bit of FYI,  it was filmed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where I attended college. It’s a wonderful little town. I am truly surprised that you have read Jean Auel’s book.  Most people of your age ( you are the same age as my oldest daughter) either don’t read,   or list only contemporary YA novels. 

How do you handle research? Do you gather all data first or start writing while still gathering?

When I’m writing the first draft, I try to keep the heavy research to a minimum (unless it’s absolutely necessary), as I’ve found if I leave the writing and get bogged down in details it slows me down a lot and I lose a lot of momentum. Because I write SFF, I rely heavily on my imagination. That’s what I love about speculative fiction: the freedom it offers. How anything can happen. How I can invent technology, societies and traditions, and not need to rely too heavily on researching ‘current’ things.

However, usually before I start the first draft, I do carry out some research—particularly if the world is based on existing mythology, or if I’m writing science fiction. I can’t be too ‘out there’ with my new SF technology—or if I am, I want to explain how it happened, what it arose from—and I like to have some scientific explanation as a sort of basis to any technology that I do create. I think it makes it more realistic then, and isn’t that what we want?

I also do a lot of research around human behavior and emotion during the later drafts. I’m really into body language as a major part of communication between my characters—as it reflects real life and also helps with the whole ‘show don’t tell’ rule—so I spend a lot of time researching this.

But yes, the bulk of my research comes during the second and third drafts. Mainly, it’s fact-checking stuff really, or finding images of landscapes that work for the setting and then working my own descriptions of these into the manuscript.

Do you outline or are you a pantser?

I think I’m a bit of both.

Before I start writing a new manuscript, I always have a rough idea and know where I want to end up. Sometimes, I’ll know a few of the events that will lead the main character there, but I won’t know how to get from one stepping stone to the other, or what the consequences of the events will be. Also, the only character that I can claim to know at this stage is the narrator, and so when I’m writing I suddenly find subplots unfolding thanks to the motivations of other main characters (who suddenly make themselves known), and secondary characters.

I’ve found working like this is best for me. Because I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, I still find it exciting myself to write, as if I’m reading it for the first time, being introduced to this new world. I have to keep myself interested, make myself want to write more. If I’m not interested, then I don’t think readers will be either.

Thanks, Ellie! These were some great questions.


About Untamed…

As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides, because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.

But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.

Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.

Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.

Published by: Prizm Books, the YA imprint of Torquere Press.

Genre: YA dystopian/fantasy/science fiction

Word count: 95,000 words

Pages (paperback): 314

Pages (kindle ebook): 301

Find Untamed:

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Waterstones  |  The Book Depository  |  Books a Million  |  Kobo |  Prizm Books  |  Torquere Press  |  Indigo Books  |  iBooks  |  Smashwords |  Hastings Books  |  All Romance ebooks  |  Omnilit  |  Goodreads

Praise for Untamed: 

From the first line, Untamed pulled me in. This is the sort of book that is incredibly difficult to put down, the kind of book you can fall into and forget the world, forget you’re reading words on a page. Our narrator is a true heroine in a tumultuous futuristic world in which the [Enhanced] Ones are “better, faster and stronger than you.” The premise is unique and engrossing, and by the end of the book I was left wanting more (good thing – it’s a series). As a person who rarely reads fantasy/sci-fi but grew up with it always on the nightstand, Dyer’s book reawakened in me a buried love for the genre.” – Jen Knox, author of AFTER THE GAZEBO.

Seven is a satisfyingly human main character, whose strength arises not from athleticism or fighting prowess, but loyalty and tenacity, in the face of wobbly self-confidence and the powerful attraction of a superficially attractive lifestyle that’s there for the taking. The other characters are recognisable and individual in their particular failings and weaknesses, and occasional redeeming strengths. The action is plentiful and the pace high as the Enhanced close in – there’s not a lot of stopping to smell the roses. The ending managed to twist and turn [and] left me with no idea of how things might pan out, so I look forward to future installments in Seven’s journey” – Matthew Willis, author of DAEDALUS AND THE DEEP.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series. […] Seven was really a heroine I could root for – she was imperfect, conflicted, and real. I could identify with her struggle to choose the easy way versus the way that meant more work and pain. Something almost everyone struggles with at one point or another. […] I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult sci-fi/dystopia” – Samantha, Amazon Review.

Madeline Dyer, author of Untamed

Madeline Dyer, author of Untamed

Madeline Dyer is the author of Untamed, a YA dystopian fantasy novel from Prizm Books (May 2015). She is currently working on book two in the Untamed Series, as well as a new dystopian trilogy for adults. Aside from writing, Madeline enjoys reading, painting, and inline skating.

Madeline can be found at:

If you haven’t read a dystopian,  you should.  If you are looking for agood summer read – look no further!

Thank you Madeline for a lovely interview and thank you to all the followers for visiting my little corner of the world!

Write on my friends, write on!

Dominus: Von Trapp Interview


My guest today is author Von Trapp.  He submitted to my interrogation, I mean, . . . an interview for your reading pleasure.

1.  How do you manage writing with the rest of your life?

I’m a night writer. I usually have to wait until after work, once everyone goes to sleep. I mostly write between 10pm and 2am. I function pretty well on four hours of sleep. It also helps that I write mostly on my phone. I use Evernote. It’s really handy. I write a lot laying on the couch. I try to make time on the weekends, but my wife usually has the weekends pre-planned, so literally when I can.

2. How in the world can you write with your phone? I’ve tried to use my phone, but I can’t do it. Maybe it’s the type of phone. 

*Von laughs, telling me I need to up my thumb game*

  1. What part of writing do you find to be the most difficult? Other than finding time? Dialogue. Just filling in the gaps with dialogue. Creating dialogue that helps move the story along in between action.

I can relate to that. I have in my mind a certain bit of dialog, then I have to fill in around the edges to make it believable.  At least I hope it’s believable.

  1. Which is the easiest for you? Developing a general story and character backgrounds. I see the big picture. I know what I want to happen almost immediately. I know the beginning and ending, it’s just getting the characters there.
  1. What is your most treasured possession? It’s always my current cell phone. I’m lost without it. I have a mini panic attack when I can’t find it. I’m one of those people.

I can relate. My husband and kids told me I was addicted to mine. I’ve recently cut back but it was a hard process – like staying in a rehab place to dry out. 

  1. What is your greatest regret? Do you need her name, or … Other than the girl who will remain nameless, it’s not writing sooner. I’m not a naturally driven person. I wish I would have had more confidence in myself to chase my dreams down. Now that I’m older I definitely regret that.

 7.  Which book have you read the most in your lifetime? The Odyssey by Homer. I used to really like Greek Mythology and such and this was my Bible.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring authors? My advice would be to never let your dreams die. When you’re a kid people tell you that you can be anything you want to be and you believe them. You dream these huge dreams and you’re naïve enough to believe they can come true. Then we get older and the same people who told us we can be anything and do anything tell us to quit dreaming and be realistic.

Ain’t that the truth!  The very same people. It’s always  “Get a real job.”

Why do we do that? So, we put our dreams on the shelf. My advice would be to never put your dreams on the shelf. If you wake up every day and the first thing you think about is writing, then you are meant to be a writer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  1. What are your top 3 books? Really? Three books. Oh, okay. The fact that you are only allowing three… anyway. 1. The Catcher in the Rye. I was sixteen when I read it. I was Holden Caulfield. All the angst and cynicism – that was me. 2. The Alchemist. I just read this a year ago. If I would have read this instead of reading Catcher in the Rye, it would have changed my life forever. It should be required reading for middle and high school students. 3. Bridge to Terabithia. I read this in 6th It almost ruined me. People weren’t supposed to die in books. Especially not kids. Up until this point everything was happily ever after.

 I’ve been told before how cruel I am for only allowing three.  You get the nice version actually.  I used to only allow one favorite but as I couldn’t stick to it myself I decided to loosen up. 

  1. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing? A lot of my ideas come from dreams. I am a really vivid dreamer. Most of the time I can remember them when I wake up. Other than that, I just have a really amazing imagination.
  • ON the subject of dreams as this is a fascination of mine. Some people say they never remember their dreams, and as a vivid dreamer I can’t fathom it. There are times when I can’t remember them but on the flip side I can remember in vivid Technicolor and detail dreams that I had when I was a child. (We won’t go into how long ago that was.)
  • Do you ever have repetitive dreams? Do you put any stock in dream interpretation, or prophetic dreams? Did you ever have night terrors as a child? Or nightmares? Have you ever had sleep paralysis?

     I dream about random things. It’s always in color. For this book, I dreamt it as an episode of Scandal. Like Olivia Pope had to help this lady who was the madam of DC. Lol.
  • I think it is fascinating how our subconscious mind takes the things from our conscious life and contorts them into something far removed from reality.

11. Do you use real people as your characters or do you completely make them up?  Describe your process. I used characters based on real people. I use people as identifiers in a way. I will use them as a basis of how I want a character to look or sound so I can be more descriptive. Sometimes it’s not even the person themselves, but maybe a character they’ve portrayed – or an attitude they’ve given off, maybe some of their mannerisms. For Dominus the characters are physically/aesthetically based off actual people. For example, Jennifer Sparrow-Gallagher is Charlize Theron in my head. I kind of pretend everything I write will be made into a movie and base my characters on the people I would want to play them. Sometimes though, I inject myself into the story. I write what I would say or how I would respond.

A certain writer friend of mine has stated that he feels that every character is in some way an extension of ourselves, the writer. Do you feel that you do this?

Yes. At least in what they say. If they reply in a smart ass manner, that’s basically me saying what I would say.

Interesting. I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it, in the dialog. 

  1. Do you outline or are you a pantser? I’m a jotter. I jot down ideas and scenes. It’s not a full-fledged outline, but I usually have a general sense of the storyline in my head. Any new ideas or storylines I usually type in Evernote so I don’t forget them. I try to write in sequential order … except for when I don’t. Sometimes I’ll have an idea and run with that and incorporate it if/when I can. I have “jots” that didn’t make it into this book. Some may not make it into any book. I don’t know. I just write.
  1. Is there one book that you wish that you had written? (Not for the profits – but for the quality of the writing.) Again, one book? Oh, okay. Well, I’m giving you two. I already talked about The Alchemist, so I won’t go into detail. The other is Queen by Alex Haley. This book is amazing. Mr. Haley traces the roots of his grandmother back through slavery. I don’t know. The story is layered. There’s love, hate, morality, introspection and a study on the human condition. Its epic in every way and it’s what I aspire to as a writer.

You can read Von’s current book now.






Available in Paperback and in Kindle edition.




That’s just a brief look into author Von Trapp’s creative mind.

About the Author:

Von Trapp – 36/M/OH.  I’m a married father of four. I like to write things. I like to think I have a good personality. I’m funny, I think. Sarcastic definitely. What else …? Oh, I go by the pen name Von Trapp.

(By the way, he’s right.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and a delightful sarcasm. Well, the sarcasm that I got a taste of was delightful.)

Write on my friends, write on and read a good book today!