FREE! – Someday Always Comes

Greetings all,

Someday Always Comes on Kindle e-book will be free on Amazon January 1, 2, & 3 of 2014! Stop by Amazon and get yours over those 3 days! Any Amazon and/or GoodReads “star ratings” and/or reviews are welcome and greatly appreciated. And I mean it. No matter if you find the book or characters good or bad, whether you like or don’t. Stop by Amazon and GoodReads to read existing reviews if you’d like to.

Visit Amazon here for your free Kindle e-book Jan. 1, 2 & 3, 2014:  http://amzn.com/B00B0HMZS2

Thanks, and happy reading!

~Sincerely,

Wanda

Reviews for Someday Always Comes

I see I have a new review on Amazon:

8/2/13- 5 Stars – “Although not normally the type of novel I read, availability of a free promotional copy persuaded me to take a look. Having a relatively short attention span, the length of the novel (500+ pages) caused me a little trepidation, but I persevered. I am glad I did. The novel is very well written, first person POV from a sixteen year old girl trying to hit the big time as a rock star. Her background and story seemed very real, and I found myself totally engrossed and at times, quite emotional. Some of the situations I found difficult to comprehend, not being female or American, but I have no hesitation in awarding 5 stars for an excellent story.” ~by Rob Read

Thanks, Rob Read!

 

Check out my other reviews on Amazon…
http://www.amazon.com/Someday-Always-Comes-Wanda-Paryla/dp/1478329963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366378241&sr=8-1&keywords=someday+always+comes

Also, on Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17311306-someday-always-comes

Happy Reading!!

The Devil Plays Dice Too (A Sneak Peak!)

Hi All,

I’m posting an excerpt from the tentatively titled, The Devil Plays Dice Too, which is the sequel to the recently published Someday Always Comes. This is a very rough, barely edited first draft subject to change at any nanosecond. I just wanted to give you all a sneak peak.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. Please feel free to leave constructive criticism and comments.

***********

THE DEVIL PLAYS DICE TOO
CHAPTER ONE

Our house was in total bedlam with cops and emergency personnel buzzing all around. Hypnotizing red, white and blue lights swirled around the neighborhood like disco balls possessed, ricocheting off buildings, cars, trees, the driveway. It was Spring Break, 2010, but for me it was more like Independence Day, as the strobe lights pierced the twilight like the rainbow colors of sky rockets on the Fourth of July.

It was déjà vu, and despite the iron fencing and the fact that our home was far from the street with a driveway two city blocks long separating the road from us, I knew the neighbors and the press had their faces smashed against the vertical bars of the front gates.

I’d experienced such bedazzlement before. But this time it was all slow motion to me and came with a much higher price: the newspapers, magazines, and TV news stations to name a few. For heaven’s sake, what were we going to do? The usually reclusive lifestyle my family and I enjoyed was now busted to pieces.

God, how I hope there would be a lesson for the public in this one. Otherwise, my daughter was just a murderer. Plain and simple.

My husband, Seth, tried to talk to me but I couldn’t really understand what he said. I stood leaning up against one of the pillars of our front porch. I slid down it landing on the top stair, head in hands, crying like a fool. Emotionally and physically drained, I just didn’t know what else to do. I thought this wouldn’t happen to me ever again.

And then there was Detective Ron Rosales. Yes, you read right. Rosales. He was there too. He was always there. Remember all those things I’d said about cops in the past, well, Rosales turned out to be different. He kept up with me for the most part. Always checking in on how I was and keeping up with the births of my kids. He and his wife, Anna, visited us now and then, and we them. Getting together for barbecues and such. Anna came to all my baby showers. They didn’t come to our wedding, of course, since we got married so far away and Rosales had to work. Crime doesn’t stop for a trip to the Virgin Islands.

Of course, I called him Ron ever after. When my kids were tots, they’d lovingly call him, Detective Ronny. He rushed to Wilmette from Chicago when he heard through the fast-and-furious police grapevine what had occurred at my house. But, I’m not sure if his being there made me feel any better. It did a bit, legally, but not really emotionally. Nothing made it better, despite that he understood me. I never saw this mess coming.

The half hour or so before the Wilmette cops showed up were the worst minutes of my life. Now I know what you’re thinking. You read Someday Always Comes, didn’t you? You’re saying, hell no! Something can be worse than some of the episodes in that story?

When I finally looked up, my eyes fell on my twelve-year-old daughter, Audra. She was perched on a stone bench in our front yard, poised like a warrior queen, looking at me pitifully as I cried like an idiot. My aunt, Kathy, sat by her side, holding her hand. My lifelong friend, Brianna, stood nearby with her arms folded biting her lower lip, trying to hold back her tears as she nervously turned this way and that way looking for answers that she’d never find.

Poor Audra. It should’ve been me by my kid’s side, not Kathy. But, I just couldn’t do it. My Audra was way too proud to take my love and coddling. She seems made of stone, that girl. I swear it. I have no idea where she gets that from.

No. I could not take care of her. I felt responsible for the whole thing. Seth and me, both. Then there was Kathy and Brianna. They were there too. Nothing we could do would change anything. We couldn’t protect the babies. We tried but there was just no way. There’s no way you can do anything when desperate, criminally insane men have their automatic weapons turned on your kids.

All our kids were there. Not just mine, but Brianna’s and Kathy’s too. We had no idea where Audra and Diana were when those terrible men broke into our home to terrorize us. But then, an infinite time later, there came Audra out of nowhere from below, like a wizard. Like, Rambo.

For the first time in many years, terrible menace visited me once again and this time I had no idea how things would turn out. And now that my kid shot a monster, I had serious reservations about Audra’s future as the authorities carried the body of a dead man-beast out of our formerly peaceful abode, all zipped up in a vinyl bag. Yes, it was worse than ever before.

What could we do? Despite there was so many of us adults, we were in no position to tackle two madmen with guns and put the kids’ lives in jeopardy, or risk the children seeing one of us killed. I wanted to shield the children. I would’ve died for any of them. Mine, Brianna’s, Kathy’s; even my son, Bret’s, best friend, Donald. Jesus, there was another woman’s child in my house. And his mom wasn’t there. Don’t you people understand that? Another woman, who expected me and Seth to guarantee the safety of her son; a woman we’ve known since Bret started kindergarten nearly ten years earlier.

There stood Donald, all wide eyed and breathing heavy. Both scared and shocked, but yet I’d look at him and see the wheels turning. He was trying as hard as the rest of us to figure a way out the mess.

And there we all were. All of us with our hands in the air…Seth and me, Brianna, Kathy; dare I say, even my twenty-year old son, Brandon. And we were helpless as one of the crazy monsters waved a gun at my two year old daughter, Abby, threatening me with her life as she cried and sucked on her fingers.

Well, there was only one chance…and once the intruders were distracted, Audra shot one of them and killed him. In an instant, instinctively Seth, Brandon, Bret and Donald jumped on the remaining man and nearly beat him to a pulp, wrestling the gun away, as Brianna and Kathy grabbed and ushered the other children out of harm’s way. We always taught our kids to face trouble head on, and Audra did that, despite she had to shoot the prick in the back.

Audra did it. She committed murder to save the rest of us. See, I know deep down it’s not about adults versus children. It’s who’s in the position to do the job right, and are they sharp enough, smart enough, steady enough to do what needs to be done if presented with the opportunity to try to put an end to a frightening, deadly situation. And my Audra was, as any of my intelligent children might have been. God knows, they’re all smarter than their mom.

Really though, we never know how things will turn out until after we take a chance. Sometimes we are forced to do things we would not normally do for the people we care about; for those who mean the most to us. Sometimes, a bigger tragedy can be stopped by a smaller one, like taking the life of one man, er…fiend…to save the lives of several innocents. We can’t know how things will turn out when we set out with an idea or goal in mind. No matter how safe or scared you feel, no matter how much you plan or don’t plan, care or don’t care…doesn’t matter…just throw any scenario out there. You never know what’s going to happen during the means to an end.

Unfortunately for most of us, knowledge comes after the roll of the dice. And we still keep playing.

Copyright 2013 Wanda S. Paryla

Goodreads Giveaway!

Hi all. Just a heads up for Goodreads members. There are 3 autographed copies of Someday Always Comes up for grabs as Goodreads Giveaways. Enter between 3/25/13 – 4/25/13. Eligible countries – USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Belgium & Australia.

If you’re not a Goodreads member but are an avid reader or an author, visit Goodreads & sign up! It’s addicting. Feel free to share this with your friends. Good luck!
http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/48224-someday-always-comes

Writing Organically

WRITING ORGANICALLY…

Or “organic writing.” Interesting words, all.

I first read the term organic writing somewhere on Internet a couple months ago. I don’t know how long the term’s been around, or who coined it, or why. I just know it fits me fine.

I’ve never sat down and wrote a synopsis in my life…first. In school, I wrote the paper or essay then made the paragraph or two-long synopsis. I hate outlines too. I hated it when I had to do a science experiment and write a long paper describing every step, turning point, find and assessment. Oh, don’t forget your outline!…said every teacher everywhere.

I know what the teacher expected. She wanted us to think through what we were going to do and make note of the steps first. Not! I didn’t do it then either. I never made the steps. I just threw gasoline on the fire and jumped up and down smiling like a lunatic at the blaze, then wrote a report.

I write my fiction quite like that as well. If you hear me use the term outlining that usually means that I’m making a list of characters, character traits, and all the places they’ll visit. Do they like pizza with or without mushrooms? Outlining might include, or actually be, character mapping. For my “vampire” related series, the vampires and others in the story have family lines and some characters are reincarnates, so I had to do a tree to keep all the peeps or history in order.

In my new release, Someday Always Comes, I did absolutely no outlining, nor did I write a synopsis beforehand. Sorry, I can’t work that way. The most I did with them is a little cataloguing of who they are and their entrances into the story. I did this because there are characters who are mentioned at one point in time, then disappear. I wanted to keep track of these characters so that I could clear up loose ends and tie things together, leaving no strings lying about.

I started a synopsis, for the first time ever, for a story idea I’ve been toying with – a novel called The Ghosts of Willow Marsh. I started it a long, long…long time ago, and the synopsis is at about 1 ½ pages, while the story is much further along. Whenever I pull up the synopsis, I just stare at the blinking cursor. So, se la vie, synopsis.

One of my favorite things is when the synopsis actually turns into the story, as it did with Someday Always Comes. Hey, biotches, you can’t stop the muse. I highly doubt I will ever outline anything…I mean, while being true to the definition of outline anyway.

Currently, I’m dabbling with three or so different writing projects, and they’re all vying for my time and attention. It won’t be long before one of them wins out over the others and I’ll start pecking away diligently at the computer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do work out scenes, and sometimes write them out by hand. In fact, for one of said projects I’m working on now, the very tentatively titled, Rise of the Witch Clan, I have several scenes on paper. Unfortunately none of those scenes are bridged to any other scenes, and collectively make zero sense. Also, I have questions written down, with different ideas or answers. A question about a ring. A question about a book. Yadda. Then I have tentative answers.

I keep an electronic folder for deleted scenes, or scenes I might save to possibly rework into the story, or its sequel. I mean that whole scene about the missing Suri being found, then summoned through a water fountain, gown flowing, hovering there like a goddess…Hell, surely there’s room for that beautiful scene somewhere. Of course, I know it doesn’t sound beautiful to you, but it does in my head, and once the reasoning behind it…the why and who, etc….is accurately revealed, it’ll be lovely to you too when I describe it thoughtfully. You just wait.

But also, I have no real structure to anything I do. I like to plot and plan, but I don’t like to stick to any rigorous schedule. I’m the type of person that would tour a foreign country with a group, stray from the path, slay a few beasts, meet and marry someone who looks like Leo DiCaprio, and wind up living with magical elves in northern Wales…er… or somewhere, for eternity. Never returning home again.

Okay. Back on track. I read an article in March/April 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest called “Go Organic”, by Steven James. Steven James is supposed to be a best-selling author of many things, even some critically acclaimed things. But, I never heard of him, so I had to look him up. Yes, he’s done a lot. For shame, perhaps I should read one of his books.

Geeze, where was I? Oh, Steven James wrote an awesome article called “Go Organic.” Right. We established that. And, guess what? I have the same view points as he does. I write in the same fashion as he does…as far as mechanics goes. I don’t have a best seller, but we’ll see later. I also love that he quoted from one of my favorite books on writing. Yep, “On Writing” by Stephen King. James describes how he “loves Stephen King’s analogy…comparing stories to fossils that we, the story-tellers, are uncovering. To plot out a story is to decide beforehand what kind of dinosaur it is.” He quotes King, “Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort, and the dullard’s first choice.”

James goes on to say that the analogy helps him to think of his writing less as something he creates and more of something he uncovers. I like that. That’s how I feel too. Wouldn’t you know it? Me, Steven James, and Stephen King all think alike. Spooky!

With Someday Always Comes, I just wrote it. From start to finished. But each day, I’d go back and read the work from the day before; sometimes from several days before, but always striving for realism and fluidity. Continuity. I didn’t want my characters to say back on Tuesday that they were going somewhere on Sunday, then didn’t go. I didn’t want their personalities changing accidentally. The changes, if any, would be gradual and as a result of some event.

I don’t want to create some roadmap for every story and follow it to the tee. Then what happens when the muse slaps your marbles around and…wham!…story line change. But guess what? We have this outline…the story’s progressed by the outline. We can’t change it!

No, I’m not a fly-by-night writer. Okay, well sometimes I fly around at night. But that’s a whole other blog. I want my stories to have depth. I want strong, natural bridges and scene changes. I want my characters to make their own choices when backed into a corner, when being approached by Big Foot on a road less traveled, or while wondering what to do while staring into the eyes of their true love for the first time in ten years.

Whaat? Who the hell has time for pulling out maps in those situations! Really? When would anyone have time to pull out a map and ask directions while running across desert sands from a man-eating shark with legs while trying to find Amelia Earhart? I’ll tell you who are the only people who could pull that off…that whole…“Stop Mr. Landshark, I know not in which direction we goeth! Please, let me consult the Map of Sultan before we fall into quicksand or some other shit and lose our pants”… the Wayans Brothers. So, I’ll leave that dramatics and comedy in their capable hands.

So, I will remain organic. I am so glad someone invented that really cool term. And guess what all you English teachers of mine, give me an F if you must. But no more forced outline writing for me. How can I write spectacularly that way?

Steven James has a good opinion and idea in his Go Organic article regarding creativity:

“Forget all that rubbish you’ve heard about staying on track and not following rabbit trails. Of course you should follow them. It’s inherent to the creative process….What you first thought was just a rabbit trail leading nowhere in particular might take you to a breathtaking overlook that eclipses everything you previously had in mind.

Without serendipitous discoveries, your story runs the risk of feeling artificial and prepackaged. Give yourself the freedom to explore the terrain of your story…embrace the adventure.”

As I said, it’s a good article. Make sure you grab this copy of Writer’s Digest.

I did some snooping on the internet regarding organic writing. My view is that there are several organic writers out there and many described the roots of organic writing the same, yet they have their own way of going about it. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that. No junk.

I just can’t create any other way. Are you an organic writer too?

Random Thoughts on Self-publishing My First Book

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ON SELF-PUBLISHING MY FIRST BOOK – SOMEDAY ALWAYS COMES

So, I self-published a book. Who gives a rat’s ass! So what? Now what?

I knew how to go about self-publishing. But I did not promote my book very much before it hit the presses. Why? Because up until that very minute I hit the “publish” button on Createspace, I still wasn’t for sure if I really wanted to publish Someday Always Comes.  Even after I conspired with Melissa Stevens (The Illustrated Author) regarding the cover design. Even after I paid her for her time and effort. Nope, still wasn’t sure.

I wanted to publish it though – for people who like to read. It’s the reason, back around April 2012, I first said to some poor victim who didn’t give a crap, “Hey So-and-So, my book will be published soon.” Someday Always Comes bothered me for years and years. Drove me to the brink of depression; insanity even. And surely, why that sounds dramatic, it’s true. I even cried over the hunk-a paper! But, I am the type of person that when I say to you that I will do something; that I will embark on a mission; write something; go somewhere, I do it. I can’t back down once I promise this to someone. Even when said person doesn’t give two hoots and a holler about it. Once I say it out loud to someone other than myself it has to get done, or an earnest attempt must be made. It’s the way I am.

So for Someday Always Comes, there was no book release party. I revealed very little of the chapters with Facebookers and Twitter birds. Most was shared on writer websites in the distant past. Long before I announced I wanted to publish. I did no blog tours, and asked no bloggers or reviewers to read my book before I pressed that magic Createspace button.

She fought me for a decade then went silently to the presses.

For years I wanted to publish, but I hated even the thought of querying agents and editors. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel honored if one reads my query letter then tosses my work aside because they didn’t like a simple letter that has little to do with my work.

Yes, these letters are important, and redundant, especially if the agent, etc., is asking for a synopsis. My idea of a query letter is, “Hi…my name is. Here’s my shit. Read it or don’t,” because query letters are stupid. I can see the query as an introduction to me, and include a small blurb about my book. But I don’t want to be associated with anyone who reads my required 30 pages, or what have you, simply because they liked my query letter. What? And what agent/editor would want to do that is beyond me. I mean, just ‘cause a query letter sucks big ones doesn’t mean the manuscript does. Geeze!

I can only imagine how much time’s been wasted by agents/editors who read the sample pages or started a book hell bent on reading the entire manuscript simply because of a well-written query letter, then sat back somewhere in the middle of the book and chugged down a fifth of vodka just to wash the taste of that bad book right out of their mouths.

Oh, I don’t care if any agents or editors, or mainstream publishers see this blog. Oh, probably one day one, two…or twenty of them will again see a badly written query letter penned by me. And once again, they’ll throw my manuscript to the side because I didn’t get the order of the query paragraphs correct.

I want the readers to tell me if my book is okay or not. I don’t want a rejection letter from an agent or editor telling me my book isn’t their thing when they didn’t even read page one.

I’ll tell you who’s important to an author…self pubbed or not… or should be important: Bloggers/reviewers and, of course, the fans, the readers, clients and customers who spend time and/or money on our book for the penning of a blog review, print review, or for their own reading pleasure.

The readers, my fans, are the ones I write for.

Incidentally, I am only currently searching for reviewers for Someday Always Comes. The book’s been out nearly two months and I only queried for my first review a few days ago. Perhaps there will be blogs about this experience as well.

I don’t mind querying the book reviewer. Even if they don’t want to read the book and offer a review, I still don’t feel like things were a lost cause. I actually look forward to hearing back after a reviewer query. Even though the answer may be that they aren’t interested in my book, genre or story.

When I query the agent, I feel like I’m mailing or emailing my packet off to outer space. I don’t feel this way when asking the blogger/reviewer to read my stuff.

One thing I would like to hit on is the “paid-for review.” Oh, I’ve seen this so much on the self-publishing forums, and many self-pubbed authors go for this. I don’t think they’re totally a bad thing. I do feel that one should really investigate such ideas seriously and consider the negative implications. I know there are popular paid-for review businesses, but for me, even as a self-publisher, I will strive to stay away from paid reviews until the day they might become a necessary evil. I hope that doesn’t happen. Not that they cannot be honest reviews, but I don’t want to pay for a review, get a negative one, then decide I won’t make it public, even after I spent $300+. Yes, I’ve seen the prices of these popular review opportunities. No thanks.

I have better things to do with my money, such as invest in a press release or flyers and bookmarks; purchase gift cards for raffles; even pay for a print ad in my old college newspaper. I’d rather pay for ways to rustle up free reviews, than pay for an actual review. I want to work for it. We all should. I mean, we’ve been busting our boots since the beginning. Why give up now? Besides, I need a little dough to get the next book cover design or two rolling.

That reminds me. Perhaps in another blog, I shall write about book covers. Out of all the people who’ve seen the book cover for Someday Always Comes, I had one bad review of the cover. The person said he couldn’t figure out by looking at the thumbnail on Amazon, what was on the cover. He derisively asked if it was “a planet on fire,” then proceeded to say that the cover has nothing to do with the story. Really? I laughed. (Reminds me of an agent and queries!)

If anyone reads the back cover, one can see the cover might have something to do with the story. I think one should gain some inkling, between back cover blurb and front cover design, what the story might be about. Or they should be inclined to assume the cover elements are in the story. My cover elements are metaphors regarding things in the story. Indeed, if one reads Someday Always Comes, then examines the details of the cover, front and back, one will see the book cover has everything to do with the story.

So, let’s see…what’s important?

Not querying agents.

Not paying for book reviews.

Making sure your book cover design and story are connected…or your planet might catch fire.

That’s my .02 and I’m sticking with it.

Thanks for reading!

~Wanda

Final Edits Complete – Someday Always Comes

Whew! I finally finished editing Someday Always Comes. I have a few minor changes to make but that won’t take too long.

I always save each chapter individually as I write so it’s easier to find things and edit instead of writing my books in one long, boring, scrolling document. So, with editing complete, creating the merged scrolling document is also complete, now I just have to convert to PDF for upload to the publishing site.

This has not been a fun experience. I never thought I’d see the damned end of it. I’m glad I just have to do some double-checking for grammatical errors and I can move on. Hunting down mistakes will be easy now that I’ve merged the chapters into one document. I hate nothing more than seeing “your” when it should be “you’re,” or “there” when it should be “their.” Ugh! And being a self-published author, I don’t want my readers to have to endure that nonsense either. Now if I can just get “into” and “in to” in order, we’d be fine.

That being said, I hope I don’t get my copy and read through it to find all sorts of crappy errors. Thank the gods for print on demand! I can change it in an instant if anyone finds mistakes. Please tell me if you read a copy and find any crazy errors.

I’ll let you all know the release date as soon as I do.

Thanks for your support!