The Death of a Character: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

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I was asked a question earlier by someone I find both wise, endearing, and completely talented in all that she does.  Her question has been bouncing around in my mind and I realize that my answer to her was very swift and two dimensional so maybe I should expand a little on the subject.  The question happened after I was very pleased with writing a prominent character’s death.

I took it as someone who writes herself wanted to know if we had similar feelings.  She asked, “Do you mourn them? If you don’t, do you feel badly for not mourning them?”  

I responded simply with, “I’ve been juggling with this death, going back and forth whether I should or not and ultimately for the final book sets things to 11.  I do some more than others depending how attached I am. This one, yes. The great thing, though, is I don’t write in order so I will get to enjoy them for a while longer.” and “Some I am glad for their demise, though, and celebrate.”

If you happened to have read Rise of a Queen or Of Darkness and Light (heck, maybe even both) you realize something pretty quick.  I kill characters off quite a bit.  Not in a George R.R. Martin or even Steven Moffat way; the emotional trauma I might cause myself would be asylum worthy if I were to venture down that path.  Nonetheless, I do tend to find a great death scene to write.  Something I have said since the beginning and can shout from the rooftops…..EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  No matter how lighthearted or gut-wrenchingly dark things get, there is a purpose for everything that I write and it may not even be clear until you reach the final book; I write for the long haul.  For some characters I realize that they are meant to have their demise as part of something highly entertaining or a need for vengeance that even the reader is screaming for.

Since we live in the land of spoiler alerts, I guess I should say if you have not read the first book SPOILER AHEAD….

Greco’s death serves the biggest purpose of the entire series.  I know people have told me they’re either team Greco or Team Isaac which I have to always answer, “Why not be Team Tessa?”  Both are what makes her who she is.  Greco’s death sets the stage for everything she becomes as the Queen of the Levé’s, the main reason I labeled the first book of the series Rise of a Queen.

END OF SPOILER

Through all this, I still have to say I haven’t really answered the true question beyond the basics.  YES, YES, YES, I mourn my character’s deaths….the ones that I have cultivated and molded for years until their very last breath.  The necessity sometimes breaks my heart and for some people, they want to deny that death understandably.  I have been working on this series since the early 2000’s when I wrote a small bit, set it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a dear friend prodded me with such tenacity it had awaken something inside of me.  With guidance and suggestions Tessa became who she was and The Vampire Realm became so real I could close my eyes and see everything inside of it.  It has consumed me ever since and as I am working on this final book of the series I believe I will mourn The Vampire Realm itself, but at the same time feel pleased and accomplished for giving my baby the life and excitement it contained.

To all the villains that I happen to not mourn…….all I can say is I have raised many a wine glass in your demise and take solace in the fact that I can feel better by simply going back and turning to those pinnacle pages at any time I feel the need.

 

The Goodies are HERE!!! See you at Bookmarks NC

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If I haven’t been excited enough I just had a small Christmas arrive today.  If you haven’t heard by now I’m going to be promoting my first book, Rise of a Queen, at Bookmarks (blog post) a HUGE book/author festival in Winston Salem, NC THIS Saturday the 12th.  Stop by, check out all the awesome art and literature showcase, and say hi!

Pssst? Are you ready?!

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BRRR! It’s cold out there! All this cold weather, we couldn’t help but curl up with our favorite book with a nice warm drink, or wine, of course!

With the much anticipated follow up to “Rise of a Queen” the second book in The Vampire Realm series “Of Darkness and Light”, we know our fans are on their toes waiting for any sign of life from Tessa and her clan.

Over the next few weeks, JS Riddle will be releasing teasers from her new novel to help feed your addiction!

Stay tuned and check back often, as you never know when we will reveal them!

Day 1 is here for Free Download

Weeeeee and the promotion kicks off.  Go ahead and download Rise of a Queen, you know, cause you love me and want to give me warm virtual hugs, and get something free for the big 3 day weekend about to come up (in the US that is).  If you’re outside the US, no worries, your Amazon has the ebook available there also.

You could always download it to give me a big virtual hug or check out my previous ANNOUNCEMENT  on the upcoming promotion.  I would say it would be a good post to see all my happiness, well wishes, and wisdom but we know the wisdom part is a lie.  All things wise in my word turn into wisea……..anyway.  check it out and check  out the  free book while you’re at it

YOU KNOW YOU WANNA

2 Day Promotion: Rise of a Queen e-book free Aug 30-31st, get it while you can

As I have been making a few changes to heading strictly to Amazon Kindle for a while I wanted to give a good back to school gift (that is for the parent’s that are jumping up and down their children are back in school) and a wee bit early Labor Day for the United States by making my book free for August 30th and 31st. Rise of a Queen will be free for download to Kindle and Kindle app’s

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USUK, for all other countries look up Rise of a Queen.  The 0 is a great number and a great thing to take advantage of.  I do ask one big thing.  If you’ve download it for free, please leave a review to let others know your thoughts on the book and a nod to me that you enjoyed getting the free gift.

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Kindle Lending Library!!!!!

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, take advantage.  Rise of a Queen (Book 1 Vampire Realm Series) should be sitting right there for you to borrow.

 Read the book, love/hate the book (lets go for love but I won’t hate you if it goes the other direction), review the book, and share with your friends.  

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Last chance to get Rise of a Queen for Nook

It won’t be long and I’ll be strictly Amazon bound, so if you have a Nook, take advantage and grab Rise of a Queen or tell your friends, if you enjoyed the book.  

You can go directly to from here to get to them.

Relaunch on Amazon as sole distributor will happen quite shortly.

Heading to Kindle Only for 90 days; but there is still time

I have decided that the Kindle is, by far, my readers preferred method of digital reading pleasure for my book.

As much as it may pain a few of you, I will be strictly Kindle.  For now, the other downloads are available, so if you have another reader besides a Kindle, now would be to download it HERE.  It could take a few days to up to a month, I will gauge how things go at this point and delete those that are no longer active.  It’s been a fun ride, but as my second book comes to fruit this seems to be the perfect opportunity to get things out there.

Rise of a Queen will always be available on the Kindle and in Paperback through Amazon, once again through the front of my author’s page.

I will blog and tweet and whatever else I have access to to inform those that the relaunch has been complete and I hope that you will tell your friends and maybe post a review or two in the process.

Can we get to some serious fighting already?

Seriously, I mean it.  I love battle, I love war and death and all things in between.  In my writing that is.  So I am at a part  (In book two mind you) where I have overcome the hump of the little romance I have brewing on the side, as torturous as that is for me, I see the future ahead of me, I know the words that will come out of my mouth, but am I crazy for just wanting to get to the fighting?  Yeah yeah, there are accomplishments along the way,which are very fun might I add.  A lot of ill intentions and revelations along with more torture and things of the like.  

I just see it, clear as day.  I have seen it for years actually, and I am getting so close I’m salivating.  I’m so close I can smell the blood, taste the sweat, and feel the pain of it all.  I’m sure it’s such a simple answer “Well write it silly” and that I will.  I just don’t feel like I’m ready for it yet.  I need the other accomplishments to finish their paths so it all meets up to this one huge blowout of a bloodbath with a detrimental change to most characters involved.  Once I have done that, don’t you think it would be hard to go back and write the lead-up once again?  Maybe its my carrot on the stick, maybe its just my path to follow, or maybe its just that I’m a stubborn old coot who wants things in their place and when they take place for I know that once this battle is done it is only the beginning of a much bigger war that will make me salivate even harder; with that I will need to get to book three.

So as much as I want fighting and war and that pinnacle moment with a ton of spoilers, and probably a few people who are wondering why I would do such a think to one of their favorite characters, I will wait my turn.  It won’t be long, it just will have to come when it does.

Don’t mind me, I’m going to go pout for a moment to let it all sink in.

A random meme that brings forth in-depth thought

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I had recently come across a Stephen King quote that somehow I missed (or sadly forgotten), and yes it was in the form of a meme.  I must have been blind, blonde (bottled one too many times), or dumb to the fact.  We really do have something in common.  Each one of you could probably relate.  It is so simple, so elegant, and yet so true.  The fact that it comes from one of my big idols makes it even better. No matter what, I had forgotten the simplicity, yet meaningfulness, of a quote. We all get caught up in so many things as it is and I may have done it all too much, or just so completely wrapped up in writing or life in general that it passed me on by.  If it were the latter I definitely wish that it weren’t the case, although it probably was.  Writing takes a lot out of people (and those writers out there reading this know exactly what I’m talking about) mentally and physically.  Let’s not even talking about editing and  correcting the grammar. On top of that, life never stops for a single moment to give us a break, only a distraction; good or bad.  I have had a LOT of distractions as of late, and maybe someday I can share, but for the moment we’ll just leave it that my head and heart are heavy and in my entire being they’re cranked up to 11.

BUT, on the saying, I started thinking that these two things went perfectly together.

“Monsters are real, ghosts are real too. They live inside us,and sometimes, they win.”

Simple. Whether you believe in monsters or ghosts, anything supernatural; all that is moot.  That’s not what it is saying.  It is telling us we each have our own demons and internal thoughts that we wrestle with every single day and unfortunately we don’t always come out on top.

Personally I have been wrestling with both.  The Monsters are quite grand are not the cute fluffy blue kind you see in the movies.  They scream at me from all corners of the earth and there are days those get defeated, which makes for great days.  The ghosts, well lets just say I have a lot of ghosts.  As secretive as I am about quite a few things, my ghosts are definitely ones that stay there surrounding me in vapors and sometimes it seems like they hold hand in hand with the monsters. Those days there is no way to win.  On the days I am given hope or feel like a ninja (too many movies on Netflix give me the feeling I can be a ninja or do Kung Fu sometimes) I pass through the thick walls of smoke and emerge victorious even for just a moment.  

What does all this have to do with anybody else?  Think about all your monsters, demons, your ghosts.  Realize that some days there is no winning.  Those days suck, and sometimes it can get really bad where all you see is nothing but black days.  The main thing is that every now and then there has to be a peek of light, right?  Humble yourself, realize defeat, and fight another day; hopefully with the help of someone who can hold you up even if for just that day. Tears flood, anger boils, it can be too much.

Every now and then those monsters, the anger, the heartache, the grief, the happiness that comes with it makes for a great writing tool. The ghosts make you who you are no matter how evil, sad, or traumatizing they were. You would be surprised what emotion you can tap into when those days are around.  If you are at the right moment it just makes what you’ve written even more profound if not just to you.  During the writing of Vampire Realm: Rise of a Queen, so many things had gone on in my mind and life that I would think you could feel the emotions.  I didn’t just write on the pages I put my soul on the paper.  

If I were one to pay attention, I would follow my own instructions.  I should be tapping into my own inner self to bring magic to the pages.  If only I were at a point where I could write what I’m feeling without veering from the storyline at all.