Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book!

Here is my blog tour stop with author Sue Vicent. Here I explain how I came about creating characters for Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, my debut novel.

You don’t know what it does for you when people like Sue invite you to share on her site.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Ronovan Hester is a familiar face around here… many know him through his Lit World Interviews site, as well as for the weekly writing prompts he hosts on his own blog, Ronovan Writes, including the Haiku Challenge. He is an indefatigable supporter of Indie writers and reviewers.

Lately Ronovan has embarked upon a new adventure and, with P.S. Bartlett, author of the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales, has just launched a new book: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling… and to celebrate the launch, there is a chance to win a Kindle Fire too…

Amber Wake

First, I wish to give a big thank you to Sue Vincent for time on her site for my first ever book blog tour. Second, how to come up with something to write about for author Sue Vincent’s blog in regards to my own book? That’s like asking Sylvester Stallone to teach an art class…

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Nonsense and Such: The Animal Minded or None-A Poem? (Throwback Thursday)

Lost Man in Chair

Nonsense and Such: The Animal Minded or None

by: Ronovan

I never saw the flight of a turtle dove

Its shell must weigh so much

But when the howler monkey screeches

Why does he choose to say it such

 

And how much tross could an abla tross

If an abla could tross tross

The truth of the matter is so simple

You determine it by a coin toss

 

Where does the rilla go

When he must be somewhere

Wherever it must be

He will go in his suit of hair

 

What does the snake wear with its rattle

When it attends a formal function

Whatever it is it must be secure

Lest there be a wardrobe malfunction

 

And how will the old coot bandi about

When the season does change

Most likely find another place

But still in down under range

 

Some may wonder what has happened

To the mind of this odd man

I will explain to you someday

When I can catch it with my hand

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-May28, 2014.

The L.A.W. in London: Yeah, Baby.

In the last episode of The L.A.W. & Ronovan  who met Ms. Marzapan and Hugh in a skytower or something like that, um, there was like this zombie dance troop and the L.A.W. and Ronovan, I mean me, I mean I discovered that Cyril Bussiere had created all these mind altering things to get rid of like all the Hugh’s of the world. I secretly think it’s because he is jealous of Hugh’s, well I won’t tell that now. Just wait. I just hope we catch him before that housekeeper that he left behind without a job does. Oh, and the Doctor showed up to give us a ride to London.

Credit: Freefoto.com



 

“Well that certainly was a bumpy landing,” the Doctor said.

“Indeed,” Elena said. She had taken on a British accent for some reason. Actually all of the L.A.W. had. I feared that if music started to play they would tell me what they want what they really, really want. But the door opened just in time.

We apparently had come to rest in some type of store.

“Ow!” Cat said.

I looked and she had an Oreo stuck to her head. “What the—,”

“Uh uh, Kate, none of that language,” Jenna said. “Hey, look!”

We all turned to follow her very excited finger. “Ruby slippers!” Kate said. She dove for them but they disappeared as her hands grasped nothing but empty air. Stinky empty air.

“What is that awful smell?” Amira asked.

“Smells like Troll feet,” I said.

“That’s because that is precisely what it was. Internet Troll feet,” the Doctor said.

“Oh, Doctor, I am so glad you came,” a woman said. We all turned.

“No way!” Jenna said.

“Yes way!” Amanda said.

“No, really no whey,” Jenna said looking at the case behind Amanda. “I love yogurt without whey in it. It’s a great substitute for sour cream and things like that. Lot less fat and calories. Yum!”

I looked at the Doctor. He looked at me. He went into the blue box thing. And then, gone. I couldn’t blame him.

“You know I so don’t blam—,”

I didn’t get the words out of my mouth before I found myself being tackled to the ground by several tough women. One that looked like a train. And one with a—Rudolph nose?

Screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber assaulted our senses. “Yeah, baby,” we heard. “I say, I didn’t see any rockin’ so I came a knockin’.”

We all stared at the man with the thick glasses, mop top hair and extremely tight pants. “It can’t be,” I said.

“Oh but it can, baby. Well, you’re not a baby, that’s just one of my catch phrases. Unless, wait you’re not a man!” Suddenly the insane1960s reject was trying to pull off my shirt and my hair.

“Austin Powers, get off of him,” Ms. Maple said.

Powers looked up and squinted at Ms. Maple. “Honey?” He asked. “Honey Maple, is that you?”

“Austin, I told you never to call me that in front of people,” Ms. Maple said. I had only seen her on Skype but I didn’t think the red flushed complexion was her natural look.

Powers got up and was at her side in a flash. “Groovy, baby. And I do mean baby,” he said. “At least I didn’t tell them why I call you Honey.”

Ms. Maple giggled like a school girl.

I looked at the others and saw various reactions from the rolling of eyes to dry heaving. There was even a reindeer being used as a gag to not laugh. I just hope it had not been tried on for a fitting.

“Should we ask him why he is here?” I asked.

“I say no,” Amira said.

“Agreed,” everyone else said in unison.

“Jenna,” Amanda said. “What did you find out in El Waco?”

For some reason none of us corrected her. It was like we had entered a Twilight Zone and decided we would just go with the flow. “Cyril Bussiere is behind it all, or at least he’s a top gun. Oh, I sooo loved that movie. And the songs. Oh, Take My Breath Away was sooo good. And then You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling. I just melt every time Ronovan si—,”

“Ahem,” I said.

“Oopsie,” Jenna said. Her smile flashed.

I shook my head. “You really need to explain to them someday that you have a friend named Ronovan or this could all get really weird.”

“For sure, right?” she said.

Face palm.

“Okay, as she was saying. French Texan blogger Cyril Bussiere, also author of The World Might available on Amazon at a reasonable price and can be followed on Twitter at @CyrilBussiere, came up with a special formula that looks and tastes just like—,”

“Yes?” Kate asked.

“You were there, Kate, you know,” Elena said. “You told us what it was.”

“Oh, right. Healthy Oreo cream,” Kate said.

“Not so healthy,” I said.

“Mind altering.”

Amira was right. “And, we found blueprints,” I said.

“For what, a death ray?” Amanda asked.

“No.”

“A sting ray?” Eloise asked.

“No.”

“A blu ray?” Cat asked.

“Cat!” the rest of the L.A.W said.

“I got caught up, alright?”

“Mind controlling helmets that look like bowl cut hairstyles,” I said.

Amanda’s eyes got bigger than ever. I swear I saw photos of Thailand. “The royal family.”

“Exactly,” I said. “And possibly Rhianna and Miley Cyrus. Just saying.”

“Oh dear,” Amanda said.

“We can only stop all of this one way,” I said.

“How?” Seven female voices asked in harmony.

I just so hoped they didn’t discover they all loved ABBA. Mama Mia. “We go back in time.”

“What? How?” Eloise asked.

Amanda smiled, tilted her head to the right and gave her trademark look. “I know,” she said and pointed.

We all turned to follow her obviously mommy finger. The psychedelic painted Mini Cooper.

“No way,” said Jenna.

“Oh yeah, baby,” Amanda said.

“All aboard,” Eloise said.

I just had time to turn before Amanda ripped the onesie off.

“Oh dear,” Eloise said. “Thank goodness for this Batman onesie I had on underneath.”

I hung my head and just hoped that this would all be over soon. I had no idea crossing the ocean meant crossing into insanity. And here I always thought British women were hot. Maybe it was Australian women I was thinking of. Where was Olivia Newton John from again?

“Everyone in,” Elena said. “Ronovan, you first, backseat. Pile on the Ronovan time.” Okay maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. Wait, where was Hugh?


 

 

Ronovan Writes

 

 

 

 

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Writing Tips: Em Dash, Ellipsis and Error

Writing Tips: Em Dash, Ellipsis and Error

Let’s talk about flow for a moment. I am not one for punctuation. Anyone that reads my work will quickly discover that I am awful with it. I try to work around it by using different wording or shorter sentences. I imagine to myself this will hide my weakness. But to an expert, a pro it will be obvious.

There are three things I would like to talk about. This has to do with the flow of a sentence, its basic appearance. The em dash, the ellipsis, and the double space error are also three things that can call you out to an agent or editor.

I’ve written for decades now, but only recently, or so I believe, have I taken notice of the little things of writing that are really much larger than I ever imagined.

The em dash:

In all honesty I had never heard of this until recently. Oh, sure I have seen it but I didn’t know it had a name. I should have known everything has a name and if it doesn’t someone will come along to name it shortly just so they can say they did it.

 Humphrey Bogart as Sam SpadeYou are to use the em dash when there is a sudden change or interruption in the sentence. Strunk and White states to use this only when a more common form of punctuation will not seem to work. That seems a little vague to me. But if you take a look at just about any form of writing you will see the em dash everywhere. By the way, the em dash is a double dash. Basically it is called an em dash because it takes up the widest letter font, the letter m. The en dash is a single dash.

Some writers just use it any time they like instead of commas or semicolons. Why? Either they think it’s cool or they don’t know punctuation or it could just be a style. Is it wrong? Truthfully, writing styles are slowly  becoming less and less strict with structure but there is a purpose to proper structure. It isn’t just for a good grade. It’s for a good read.

For me, I think I would use the em dash in harsh situations, or rather tough talk situations. If I were writing a detective novel I think the em dash would fit. I can see Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon reading out the punctuation of the dialogue now and I can hear ‘dash’ instead of ‘comma’ coming from him. Bogey did rapid fire dialogue great and he could switch between directions of dialogue so quick you almost didn’t see it happen. That script must have been em dash loaded.

“We beat it down to the docks and kicked the door in.”

“You did what?” Carson asked.

“I said—what’s she doing here?” Sam looked at the woman walking in the door.

Carson looked at the long legs as they passed him. “Sam–she’s doing anything she likes.”

In this example you get the fill that Sam immediately changes his words as the woman walks in. There is no pause. He just goes straight into questioning. For me that works. In the second case it doesn’t work for me. To me Carson is pausing after he says Sam as he thinks about the woman, so the em dash is too harsh there. The ellipses wouldn’t work because there is no missing dialogue or trailing off, there is just a hesitation so I would use the comma.

The Ellipsis:

The ellipsis is when you use (. . .). Of course that is without the parenthesis. You use three periods with a space between each one. Again, I had no idea such a thing had a name. And would you believe it . . . I had been using it wrong all these years. I didn’t put a space between the periods. Oops. And, I just used it incorrectly.  And no, I did not do that intentionally. I read back through this article and found it. It happens, so always proofread your work.

BacallYou use this when a sentence is trailing off or you are picking up in the middle of a conversation or a place I use it is when I am writing a telephone conversation but we only hear one side of it.

 

“We beat it down to the docks and kicked the door in.”

“You did what?” Carson asked.

“I said . . . what’s she doing here?” Sam looked at the woman walking in the door.

Carson looked at the long legs as they passed him. “Sam . . . she’s doing anything she likes.”

Now we have a pause here instead of the em dash and it’s as though Sam has looked at the woman a moment first before speaking.

The second pause works for me, but it’s not right. A comma will do the job.

 “We beat it down to the docks and kicked the door in.”

“You did what?” Carson asked.

“I said–what’s she doing here?” Sam looked at the woman walking in the door.

Carson looked at the long legs as they passed him. “Sam, she’s doing anything she likes.”

Combining the both the em dash and the comma pause in the passage works for me because I get a change of pace with each. There is a sense of urgency from Sam and casualness from Carson. It adds to character development with just a little change in punctuation.

The Space After Punctuation:

People from my age and older learned to type on typewriters, even if they were electric ones. This means we learned to hit the space bar twice after the ending punctuation of a sentence. For all those who do that, STOP! Computer fonts are set so that everything is spaced properly.

An agent or editor will look at your work and immediately see the spacing error. Should this be a killer to your career? No, but many agencies use interns and they like to sort through the submissions and for a punctuation pet peeve artist or someone who has a space phobia you have put them off already and they’ll just not continue. Hit the space bar once…ever.

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-June 16, 2014.

A beauty so high.

Stoneworth didn’t give a fig about life. As far as he was concerned it could end in a breath and that would be just fine with him. He had lived long enough and life was a bunch of bull. Every step he took he stepped in a big pile of a reminder of it.

“Mr. Stoneworth, may I have your autograph, please,” said the young girl.

Stoneworth looked at the book and pen offered. Gritting his teeth he put on his best fake grin and signed one of his somehow formulaic but popular mysteries. If he thought it all was crap then why did he care if the girl was happy or not? Perhaps he didn’t want it to be all bad, maybe he wanted a sign of something good. Or maybe he wanted to pay bills until the crap buried him.

He left the tip on the table and then the cafe behind. His burger was not even half eaten. It was not a normal bull day.

It was worse. It was like rodeo week and he was the head scooper.

He should have stayed home and eaten the frozen Chinese dinner. It would match the frozen ears he had from the early winter wind. His work was now going to suck the rest of the day and night and he was going to be hungry. Any flow of plot he had was gone. And he had a deadline. Ten days or death would be knocking at his door. Either death or his agent. They looked about the same.

His apartment smelled like burnt hot chocolate, not coffee. He had tried the stuff but couldn’t drink it until it had enough milk, sugar and chocolate syrup in it to taste like hot chocolate. Why waste the time and the money? Just cut out the middle men.

He looked at the wall thermostat and the screwed on lock box. Freaking landlord. 65 degrees. He left his coat on and turned the small electric heater on. He let it oscillate just to have some noise in the place.

Even though he knew his purpose of the day was ruined he sat down at the laptop anyway. The 1 appeared at the top of one tab of the many opened in his browser for research on ancient Central American civilizations. His thoughts improved with hope.

He had mail. The list of songs were long and not quite his usual fare but he listened. She had sent them. He didn’t listen to much music. It caused headaches. But from her, the headaches didn’t happen. They inspired him.

My beauty has given a gift to me

One I don’t often have time to take

It could not be more sweet and dear

Unless the music her own fingers did make

How is one so beautiful

How is she in my life

If by chance life did change

“Stoneworth!”

He looked up at the ghastly form approaching. He stared through it. Why would it not leave him be? The ghost of a past that was no longer his. All he wanted was the now, the reality of what is.

He did not need what was the never was. He closed his eyes and pressed his hands together until his fingers turned white. The music started again in his ears.

“Worthless! Invalid!”

Stoneworth moved his hands to his ears and pressed hard. Forcing the music in. Driving the hate away.

The pain seared through his brain and down his spine. Cackling laughter reached his now unprotected ears. He slowly sank to the floor unable to control his movements. His body arched as spasms began.

Laughter.

Music.

Laughter.

He shut his eyes tight. Focus on her eyes, those brown eyes, focus. The cackling continued. The pain continued. But suddenly he did not care. He felt warmth touch his skin. A smile crossed his face. It didn’t matter. There was a light he could see now for the first time. And music. He was climbing higher and higher. His dream was there, higher than he had ever been before. A beauty like he would never witness again.

**

“What happened?”

“I don’t know officer. I came in when he missed his deadline for a book he was writing and found him.”

“Did you turn that heater on?”

“No officer. It was already going. I moved it away from his face though. It was really close.”

“Well, it looks like a heart attack.”

“He always said that’s how he would go.”

“Well, this looks like another case he solved before he ever got a chance to write it.”

stoneworth

Ronovan

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2014