Overboard

OVERBOARD

By Kathy Clark

One of the best things I did to improve my overall writing skills was to take screenwriting classes.  I had already had twenty-three novels published before I decided to give Hollywood a shot.  There was no question that I knew how to plot a novel and create characters.  But what I learned from writing screenplays was the delicate art form of pacing, set-ups and payoffs, backstory without lengthy narrative, and fast-paced scene structure.  I also learned how to write interesting, realistic characters who reveal themselves through actions and dialogue.

I’ve read hundreds of blogs and articles about characters, plotting, and structure.  Most cite classic authors such as Hemingway and Steinbeck.  But when I was an adjunct professor, I used a little-know movie as my best example of a well-executed plot and great character development.  It’s not what most would consider a must-see film, but on a basic level, it’s enjoyable.  As an example of how to write a novel or a movie, it’s fantastic.  The name of the movie is….drum roll, please…a 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell film, Overboard.

Not what you expected, I bet.  But, considering that it was written by Leslie Dixon who also wrote Loverboy, Outrageous Fortune, and The Heartbreak Kid and directed by the incredibly talented Garry Marshall, it comes as no surprise that this film followed a tried-and-true formula.

The set-up is that a ridiculously spoiled heiress (Joanna), who is so disliked even her mother avoids her, hires a local carpenter (Dean) to remodel a closet on her yacht.  He does a fabulous job but, instead of praise, she is rude, condescending, and shorts his pay.  The author set up Joanna perfectly so that when she fell overboard during a stormy night, you weren’t very sympathetic.  She is rescued, but she has amnesia and doesn’t realize her yacht is sailing off without her (and that her husband and crew are partying big time!)  Through a plot twist, she ends up at Dean’s house under the misconception that she is his wife and Dean’s wild sons are her children.  During the course of his attempt to get back at her, they fall in love and she learns humility, respect, and the true meaning of happiness.  Anyway, you get the plot.  Goldie’s character starts out as a totally unlikeable bitch.  We all know that you can make your heroes and heroines as bad and flawed as you want…as long as they are eventually redeemed.

Goldie’s character began as an extreme.  But remember, Overboard was released in 1987, pre-social media, even prior to the explosion of the internet.  Update the character to 2016 and maybe change her last name to Kardashian, and you have basically the same shallow, self-centered person.  The good news is that that kind of character has plenty of room to grow and develop.  It’s important to give all your major characters a strong arc to show how they have changed and improved because of whatever went on during the course of the book, including true love.

But where do you start?  How do you write characters who start out superficial and end up being substantive?  Here are a few examples of people you don’t want to know by Shana Lebowitz as seen in the Business Insider.  She has presented this for real people, but it’s easily adaptable to your fictional cast of characters.  Pick one or two quirks as the basis for your characters’ genesis, then have fun with it.

 

Disclosing something extremely personal early on in a relationship

In general, people like each other more after they’ve traded confidences. Self-disclosure is one of the best ways to make friends as an adult.

But psychologists say that disclosing something too intimate — say, that your sister is having an extramarital affair — while you’re still getting to know someone can make you seem insecure and decrease your likability.

The key is to get personal without getting overly personal. As one study led by Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University suggests, simply sharing details about your hobbies and your favorite childhood memories can make you seem warmer and more likable.

 

Asking someone questions without talking about yourself at all

Susan Sprecher also found an important caveat to the idea that self-disclosure predicts closeness: It has to be mutual. People generally like you less if you don’t reciprocate when they disclose something intimate.

In the study, unacquainted participants either engaged in back-and-forth self-disclosure or took turns self-disclosing for 12 minutes each while the other listened. Results showed that participants in the back-and-forth group liked each other significantly more.

As the authors write, “Although shy or socially anxious people may ask questions of the other to detract attention from themselves, our research shows that this is not a good strategy for relationship initiation. Both participants in an interaction need to disclose to generate mutual closeness and liking.

 

Hiding your emotions

Research suggests that letting your real feelings come through is a better strategy for getting people to like you than bottling it all up.

In one study, researchers videotaped people watching the fake-orgasm scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally and a sad scene from the movie The Champ. In some cases, the actors were instructed to react naturally; in another they were instructed to suppress their emotions.

College students then watched the four versions of the videos. Researchers measured how much the students would be interested in befriending the people in the videos, as well as their assessments of the personalities of the people in the videos.

Results showed that suppressors were judged less likable — as well as less extroverted and agreeable — than people who emoted naturally.

 

Acting Too Nice

You might think you’ll win people over by acting altruistically, but science suggests otherwise.

In a 2010 study, researchers at Washington State University gave college students points that they could keep or redeem for meal-service vouchers. Participants were told that they were playing in groups of five — even though four of them were manipulations by the researchers — and were told that giving up points would boost the group’s chance of getting a monetary reward.

Some of the “fake” participants would give up lots of points and only take a few vouchers. As it turns out, most participants said they wouldn’t want to work with their unselfish teammate again. Some said the unselfish teammate made them look bad; others suspected they had ulterior motives.

 

Humblebragging

To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism. This behavior, otherwise known as “humblebragging,” could be a turn-off, according to a recent study.

In the study, college students were asked to write down how they’d answer a question about their biggest weakness in a job interview. Results showed that more than three-quarters of participants humblebragged, usually about being a perfectionist or working too hard.

Yet independent research assistants said they’d be more likely to hire the participants who were honest, and found them significantly more likable. Those students said things like, “I’m not always the best at staying organized” and “Sometimes I overreact to situations.”

 

Not having a sense of humor

If you’re looking to make friends, you might want to loosen up.

One study of 140 Chinese workers between ages 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were “morally focused.” That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits.

The researchers explained that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues. Note that this research isn’t an excuse to stop caring about or acting fairly toward your coworkers. But consider it a reason to act less uptight around them.

 

Not smiling

When you’re at a networking event, meeting tons of new people, it can be hard to keep a smile plastered on your face. But you might want to try.

In one study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open body position, smiling in a closed body position, not smiling in an open body position, or not smiling in a closed body position. Results showed that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.

Bonus: Another study found that smiling when you first meet someone helps ensure that they’ll remember you later.

 

Acting like you don’t like someone

Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of liking“: When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.

In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. (These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.) After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.

If you don’t express fondness for the person you’re meeting, you could potentially turn them off and send them in search of someone who does seem to care about them.

 

Now that you know how to make your Johanna an unpleasant character, what are you going to do to make us love her?

 

Discover all of Kathy’s screenplays and novels on http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

The current series are located as follows –

 

Adult Contemporary Romance [Denver Heroes & Austin Heroes]

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Romantic_Suspense.html

 

New Adult Romance –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/SCANDALS.html

 

Young Adult Romance Time Travel –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Young_Adult.html

 

 

#romance #realityromance #overboard #goldiehawn # KurtRussell #Kardashian #garymarshall #harlequin #loveswept #penguinrandomhouse #newadult

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HURRY HURRY HURRY…Step Right UP Ladies & Gentlemen and Kids of ALL Ages! Amazon Selling Ticket to the Circus only $0.99

Hello Thrill Of Suspense Fans and Soon To Be fans.

We just thought we’d get everyone in the mood to run away to the circus tomorrow [10/17/2014] …It will cost you $0.99 and of course Amazon sells the tickets.

Past circus patrons have commented:

This is the third book and I hope it is not the last book of the series.I wish I could have been in this group of 4 but,actually you are. You are with them thru all their adventures,excitement and mystery. Move over Harry Potter!

The characters are the real crowning glory of the book. All vastly different, they are vividly portrayed in such a way that they really come to life in the imagination. You quickly come to recognise their various traits and what makes them happy, sad, or fearful. It is impossible not to care about each character and this really helps to draw the reader into the story. Even characters with a small supporting role feel real and fully fleshed out. The author has a real talent for characterisation. Adult readers will find themselves transported back to their high school years – experiencing again the joys of trials of first love, crushes, awkward self-consciousness, pride in achievements, dreams of the future, and flourishing new friendships that they might have thought they left behind long ago. It is so easy to empathise with the characters and they don’t seem at all simple or childish, despite their youth.

 

Here’s the link but wait until the tickets are on sale on Friday, October 17, 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Believe-Later-CUL8R-Romance-Travel-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

 

Good news and bad news. The circus takes place in 1927 and life on the train can kill you. You eat well but not everyone likes you so it’s best you eat Euro style…a sharp knife in one hand and your fork in the other.

And even though your time in the 1927 is supposed to be temporary you really should keep your heart in check. Long distance romances…I mean long time distance romances are hard to make work.

About the series –

romance | time travel | mystery | inappropriate & new relationships | ghosts | murder | kidnapping

FOUR YOUNG ADULTS IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS. . . IN A YEAR THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT

This is the SEE YOU LATER Young Adult Romance Mystery Series    BEST INDIE BOOK 2014READERS'S FAVORITE BRONZE

AND this, for one day only, book #3, a WINNER in THE BEST INDIE BOOK of the year AWARD for ROMANCE and in the READERS’ FAVORITE awards,

Here’s all the photos that survived the time travel trip back to today.

1927 1 1927 2 1927 3   1927 51927 6 1927 81927 91927 10

TIME IS TICKING AWAY . . . LET’S GET CONNECTED

Our Thrill Of Suspense Street Team shares in

free books, mugs, tee-shirts, tote bags

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WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

 

Domestic Violence and Revenge . . . Download It Free

October every year is Domestic Violence Month in the United States.  A source of pride and embarrassment.

Think about the past month…whatever happened to the Ray Rice story? Oh, that was last week but Domestic violence still happened in the last 7 days.

Here’s some more statistics.

00DAD1I’ve been an advocate of stopping this plague way before they named October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Lucky me…never a victim but 2 years of getting calls in the middle of the night as a Victim’s Advocate in the Denver area really equipped me for this novel. My contribution to help shed a light on this repetitive and recurring tragedy was to author a novel that pulls the stories, senses and fears of scores of victims and to provide an heroic conclusion.

00DAD1a

A romance novel with a domestic violence background? Seemed a shame to to exclude such a large audience of women and men readers from being a reader or fan.  This was a story that had to be told.  It is the story of some may women.

I have made CRIES IN THE NIGHT for FREE on October 1st, exclusively on Amazon. On Wednesday check out http://www.amazon.com/CRIES-NIGHT-Denver-Romantic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00FDRYCIQ/

IT’S FREE DOWNLOAD IT

PASS THE AMAZON LINK TO YOUR FRIENDS TONIGHT or WEDNESDAY. 

00THRILL OF SUSPENSE2

AWARD WINNING ROMANTIC SUSPENSE SERIES is about Denver HeroesThree brothers, All Heroes, in one town, Denver . . .Book #1 is about the Cop-http://www.amazon.com/AFTER-MIDNIGHT-Denver-Romantic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B009CGO8N8Book #3 is about the Paramedic and he goes on duty in DEEP NIGHT in 2015.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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BEHIND THE BOOK #2: Life’s What Happens

In our first Thrill Of Suspense Blog we told you about how we’ve undertaken the publishing of a new blog series we’ve titled Behind The Book.  And while it was inspired by the VH1 Behind the Music series that focused on the music industry the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect.  

It isn’t about the author.  It is about the book.  For our second blog in the series we selected our single title New Adult Romance Life’s What Happens.

BEHIND THE BOOK #2:

Life’s What Happens

BEHIND THE BOOK LIFE

Life’s What Happens is a difficult book to slot into a genre.  It is a contemporary story told in flash back about college age adults who lived through the  anti-war movement in 1969 to 1970.  Is is as new adult as any new adult that takes place today but the angst suffered is way over the top.  A million people were impacted by what happened in  Washington D.C. on December 1, 1969.  The entire country learned of what that one night led to on May 4, 1970.

The story was inspired by Bob, who witnessed Kent State first hand, who asked the question would his life have been different had his draft lottery not been #98.  For that matter would the over 1,000,000 men who had their birth date capsule pulled from the glass box been different with a different lottery number.  The obvious answer unfortunately for several thousands of young men who were drafted and ended up in Nam and died. But there were hundreds of thousands more who made decisions regarding finishing college, going to college, dropping out and moving to Canada or even just changing their major so they had a chance to snare an occupational deferment to avoid the country’s most unpopular war ever.  And oh yeah…the deferments that Nixon stopped.

Life’s What Happens is a love story about everyday college kids who were part of the largest incoming college class in history and who had planned for four years the next step in their life, often times with their first true love.  How do you overlay everyday college angst, love, anti war demonstration and college shootings and military conscription into a single cohesive story?  You write Life’s What Happens. True story on top of true story on top of true story.

Before we tell you about the story here’s a retro activity that pulls on what kids today call classic rock of the mid century.  First, go to our author home page and on the lower left click on the Kent State flower child…and listen to the music that inspired the times.  Click on http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com , find her picture on the lower left of the home page and her picture below will take you there.

Girl with flower

And, assuming you buy the book be sure to listen to the recommended song at the start of every chapter.  The play list includes –

“Try To Remember [The Kind Of September]” – The Sandpipers

“It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers

“Dizzy” – Tommy Roe

“I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher

“Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann

“Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots

“The Monkees Theme” – The Monkees

“Tired Of Waiting” – The Kinks

“Those Were The Days” – Mary Hopkin

“Catch The Wind” – Donovan

“My Way” – Frank Sinatra

“Come Together” – The Beatles

“Time of the Season” – The Zombies

“Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary

“Everybody’s Talkin’” – Nilsson

“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka

“Day Tripper” – The Beatles

“It Takes Two” – Kim Weston

“Bottle of Wine” – The Fireballs

“Bad Moon Rising” – Creedance Clearwater Revival

“Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams

“Jumping Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

“Always You” – The Sundowners

“Na Na Hey Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]” – Steam

“Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee

“1-2-3 . . .” – Len Barry

“The Cat In The Window [The Bird In The Sky]” Petula Clark

“We Got To Get Out Of This Place” – The Animals

“This Magic Moment” – Jay and the Americans

“You’ve Got Your Troubles” – The Fortunes

“P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles

“It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore

“Both Sides Now” – Judy Collins

“Yesterday’s Gone” – Chad & Jeremy

“Worst That Could Happen” – Brooklyn Bridge

“Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade

“The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies

“For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” – Buffalo Springfield

“Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys

“98.6” – Keith

“Up-Up And Away” – The 5th Dimension

“Easy Come, Easy Go” – Bobby Sherman

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel

“Something’s Burning” – Kenny Rogers and the 1st Edition

“One Tin Soldier” – The Original Caste

“Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees

“The Beat Goes On” – Sonny & Cher

“When I Die” – Motherlode

“Things We Said Today” – The Beatles

“In My Life” – The Beatles

As side note, Steam’s song Kiss Him Goodbye was the original working title for the book.

Here’s the blurb for Life’s What Happens.

He is too young to drink (legally) but not too young to die. Don Williams is a senior at Kent State University and lives in an off-campus fraternity house. He and his girlfriend Lisa are making plans for their future after graduation when suddenly, it’s all taken away. His career, his freedom of choice and even his frat brothers who have become his family.

Life’s What Happens when you mix the hormone-fueled emotions of youth who have left home to experience the mind, mood and physical freedoms of college life with the cultural and political changes of the late 1960’s. For the brothers of Phi Psi Kappa fraternity their biggest worries should have been how to pass their classes with the least amount of studying and the greatest amount of partying and girls. Instead, they are faced with the life-and-death decision of whether they should face their fates head-on, change their plans or just run away.

It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.

There have been so many amazing awesome reviews but here’s a couple from readers who just got the book and the message.

Life’s What Happens does for Kent State students what Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake did for WWII pilots in 1939. A large cast of characters, often irreverent, teasing, hard-working and hard-playing, comes to life in the first part of the novel where students ponder what the future might bring, and threats of a draft lottery begin to loom large. The photographer, the dissector of dead cats, the poor rich guy and the newly successful poor friend, and more, live out their everyday lives against a backdrop of eateries, drink, tests and dreams. Girlfriends abound, and the relationships have that vivid teenage immediacy of indestructability and rebellion. But destruction looms large.

 

Life’s what happens encompasses the lives of a few students who were present during the Kent State University shooting in 1970. Set up on the backdrop of college campus in Ohio; the story moves further and retraces the ramifications of the Vietnam War and draft on the lives of 9 fraternity brothers and their families.

The book starts off with a prologue. Though it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention for a while, until the characters are introduced in the flashback; it sails once we get past the first few pages. Each character is so realistically portrayed by the author that it brings out life in the book. These fictional characters are in love, they joke, play ball, get angry, fight and most of all they make the readers feel that it’s all real, that they are real.

“The girls rarely lasted long in the games because the guys played for blood, and it took only a broken fingernail or a knock to the floor to discourage all but the most determined young woman.”

One of the laughable sentences giving an insight on author’s ability to create humour and entertain its readers.

“I don’t get how people wake up one day and all their feelings for someone are suddenly gone.”

A sentence I loved. Doesn’t every youngster at one point or the other goes through the same concern?
Hats off to the author for making the characters look as real as they can be in a fiction. Unlike other stories, this one starts off happily but becomes sad in the course of time; still a touching tale. The only issue being too many characters in the beginning makes it hard for the readers to catch up.

The book is a good reminder of a past tragedy which should never be forgotten. I would definitely want to see a movie adaption on it.
Worth it!

 

You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.

Here’s how to acquire your own copy of Life’s What Happens or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE

When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE 

Life's What Happens Amazon sized

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’ve always been a storyteller.  I was four years old when I wrote my first one.  And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk.  Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.

Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell.  Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.

The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process.  I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later).  The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards.  For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.

                                             AUTHOR KATHY part way  AUTHOR BOB part way

 

LET’S STAY CONNECTED

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

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BEHIND THE BOOK #1: OMG (Oh My God), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance

Our Thrill Of Suspense Blog has undertaken the publishing of a new blog series titled Behind The Book.

We patterned it after the idea Behind the Music, a popular television series on VH1. Behind the Music series focuses on the music industry through the story of the musical artists or groups.  They are interviewed and profiled, and they discuss how their careers became successful and what hardships they undertook to gain the respect and success that had them being featured on Behind the Music.

But the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect.  It isn’t about the author.  It is about the book.  And we, Bob and I, are beginning with our most recent nine books that have been published since 2012.

We hope you enjoy the story what went into each book and each series and, if you haven’t already read the book, you’ll consider doing so in the near future.

BEHIND THE BOOK #1:

OMG (Oh My God), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance

BEHIND THE BOOK CUL8R OMG

OMG is the first book in the CUL8R (See You Later) series.  The motivation behind the entire series is pretty simple.  In the late 1990’s and early 21st century, young people, i.e. teens, were inundated with books and films where the heroes or main characters are zombies, vampires, werewolves, superheroes and other interesting, but not real people.  No one was an everyday kind of person who just goes about life and must depend on themselves and their friends to get through the crisis.  We decided we wanted our teens, while trying to do the right thing and when confronted with adversity, to outsmart, outlast, outwit and generally outdo the bad guys…without superhuman strength, fangs or magic wands.

A second element of the early 21st century was that teens have more challenges to deal with everyday.  Of course, there is always peer pressure, but the opportunities to make bad choices are greater than they’ve ever been.  Plus, there’s the overload of traditional media like television, films and music, as well as video games, all delivered at hyper-speed, aided by social media and the internet. 

We thought, what if there were real-life teens who had no super powers, and what if they were confronted with everyday kind of teen issues, and what if they had to resolve these issues, let’s say, in the past?  A fishoutofwater story where the comforts, conveniences and cleverness that teens rely on today isn’t available.  Then what?

So, imagine someone from the past is having a serious problem A problem not unlike what you see in today’s news, hear about from your friends or learn about in school.   Maybe its on Twitter, Face Book, Instagram or just an text message on your phone.

As authors, we pulled a Houdini and cast off the chains of young adult literature.  We asked ourselves, where would we go and what would we do if we had no boundaries in time or location?  The possibilities are endless.  And what if we could actually help someone and make a difference in someone’s life that would impact their future? What if what we did would even give them a future?  And what if we were teenagers, just learning about first love, independence and responsibility as we faced these sometimes life-and-death situations? 

Time travel…what a concept! 

Bob and I thought it would be great fun to create a series that allows our characters to travel back in time and see how the world was in past decades.  Oddly enough, our teenage characters usually find that clothes, cars, customs, careers, money and even food are very different, but people haven’t changed all that much over the years.

Next question was where to set the series.  Bob and I always wanted to live near the ocean and we both love Fort Myers Beach, so we decided that our characters would enjoy growing up there.  Who wouldn’t?  It also offers a stark contrast to the places they travel to, such as Estes Park, Colorado or central Texas or a deserted island. 

Oh yeah…one more unusual element of the series.  While the teens have decided there should be a set of rules to guide their travels back in time, such as not changing historical events or doing anything for personal gain, they find that everything is related and all events have a residual effect.  Plus, there are things that cannot be predicted or controlled.  Our characters are neither all good nor all bad…just like real teenagers.  But they try very hard to do the right things for the right reasons…not always with positive results.

The rest of what you need to know about the first book is in the blurb for the first book.

Three high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past.

For Kelly, it’s a major adjustment to move from the only life she has ever known in Texas to live with her aunt in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. She quickly makes friends with her quirky next door neighbor, Scott and his best friend, Austin. In her aunt’s garage, they find a long-lost invention of Thomas Edison called “The Telephone to the Dead”. Edison had abandoned the project and given it to Kelly’s great-great-grandfather.

Scott tinkers with it until they can hear sounds coming from it. But instead of broadcasting music . . . it picks up conversations from the dead. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.

A teenager’s voice separates from the rest and begs for their help to clear her reputation. They are shocked to find out that she had gone to their own high school . . . 47 years ago. They research the girl’s story and discover that her name was Wendy and she had been a popular cheerleader who had apparently committed suicide.

The teens are touched by Wendy’s cries and pleas, but they have no way to go back in time to help her. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. Kelly and Austin are very skeptical. Even Scott isn’t sure it will work, so they try it out on his sister’s pet turtle. Amazingly, the turtle disappears. But did it travel to the past or just wander off?

Finally, they decide to humor Scott and go along with his claims of time travel. They meet on the beach after everyone else has gone home. They stand in the formation Scott insists will create the perfect vortex for time travel. At the last moment, a fourth person runs forward and is pulled into their adventure back to 1966.

They figure out a way to get close to Wendy without her asking too many questions that they can’t answer. But as they discover the secret to her death, they find it’s not as clear-cut as it would seem. A romance gone wrong, an over-attentive teacher and a young girl’s dreams for the future are all twisted into a mystery that causes the teens to take greater risks than they could have imagined. It all becomes very real when their own lives are in danger and they realize they may never make it back to the present.

Some of the recent reader’s comments have been…

“Thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, exciting tale. This is a great teen/youth book. I not only enjoyed the story and plot but I fell in love with the characters. You don’t see all of the teen angst that you so often see in the YA books. This group of kids actually encourage each other and affect each other positively. This story never had a dull moment.”

 

“A great ensemble cast is gathered together. Today’s high tech teens struggle, sometimes hilariously, to cope in the not-so-distant past. And pitch-perfect dialog coupled with a wonderful sense of timing make this is a really good, quick read, with fine values, exciting adventure, and even some pleasingly wise snippets of food for thought. This looks like a really fun series, and it’s well worth following.”

 

You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.

Here’s the first four books in the CUL8R [See You Later] series.

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Here’s how to acquire your own copy of OMG or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE

When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’ve always been a storyteller.  I was four years old when I wrote my first one.  And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk.  Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.

Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell.  Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.

The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process.  I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later).  The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards.  For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.

                                             AUTHOR KATHY part way  AUTHOR BOB part way

 

LET’S STAY CONNECTED

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

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The Thrill Of Suspense and the Humor Of It All

Bob and I just finished and released the second book in the New Adult Scandals suspense series.  When Bob completes his first draft of our plot and character study, his anxiety is over.  As he would say, his book “is now in the hands of the professional, the real author, to do her thing and make it read like a book.”  Killer Date ramped up the suspense from book #1, Due Dates.  While Due Dates had to spend a lot of time on introducing the characters and the situation, Killer Date was able to jump immediately into the case…and the romance.  Once Reno, Jenny and Nick were hot on the trail, it became a race against time with a life-or-death finish.

DUE DATES

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As I neared the end of the rewrite, blow-out work and polish that I do to each book, Bob always asks, “How do you like the book?”  And I always say essentially the same thing.  “I can’t tell.  I’m too close to it.”

This kind of got Bob wondering if that ever happened to Alfred Hitchcock, the amazing filmmaker, director and writer who will forever be known as The Master of Suspense.  Much like an amateur golfer will dive into golf lessons and suddenly discover their 20 handicap can’t be improved without first tearing apart every aspect of their existing game, Bob explored how Hitchcock managed to improve the genre with each film.

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The first thing Bob’s research discovered was this quote that clearly justifies how I feel when I finish a book.  Hitchcock admitted to an interviewer, “It’s only after a picture is done that one can judge it properly.”

Sort of sounds like “I can’t tell.  I’m too close to it.”  Right?  Maybe I’m on the right track.  But while my books pulse with suspense, they always have a touch of humor.  What would Hitchcock say about that?

He was credited to having said “In the mystery and suspense genre, a tongue-in-cheek approach is indispensable.”

Many have said that his films were the equivalent of a roller coaster ride in which the passengers scream wildly on the way down but laugh when the ride rolls to a stop.  He also said, “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible” and that “there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”  I love roller coasters, and I love Hitchcock.  Now I understand why I my characters always have a sense of humor, even when they’re knee-deep in blood.

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So blog fans, let’s look at the five most commonly found elements of humor buried in the foundation of Hitchcock’s stories.  He found a way to make his suspense unbearably fun for his audiences in five ways.

I appreciate the work of Bays J. M., 2007, Humor: Hitchcock’s Secret Weapon, Borgus Productions,  <http://borgus.com/hitch/hitch-humor.htm&gt in providing this information. 

Exploit trivial character traits

“I’ve always found that, in a moment of crisis a person invariably does something trivial,” said Hitchcock, “like making a cup of tea or lighting up a cigarette. A small detail of this sort adds considerably to the dramatic tension of the situation (Gottlieb, 1997).”

 

Create situations of irony

In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “One More Mile to Go” (1957, directed by Hitchcock) a policeman has stopped a man because of a burned out tail light on his car, completely unaware there is a dead body in the trunk.  The more obsessed this policeman gets with fixing the light, the more uneasy the murderer gets.  Hitchcock pushes this situation to the level of unbearable absurdity as the policeman continues worrying about the light, and gets closer and closer to noticing the body.

 

Surround drama with a happy setting

“The more happy-go-lucky the setting, the greater kick you get from the sudden introduction of drama,” said Hitchcock. (Gottlieb, 1997)

One of the best examples of Hitchcock’s use of whimsical environment is in The Trouble With Harry (1955).  All is normal in this small town with grassy meadows, sunshine, and orange autumn leaves, until a dead body shows up.  Harry Warp becomes everyone’s problem – what can be done about Harry?

“It’s the juxtaposition of the norm, of the accurate average, against the fantasy… that’s what makes the thing interesting.”

 

 

Include a burlesque character

One of Hitchcock’s characters must never take murder seriously, mocking it in full delight.  The most memorable is probably Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) getting laughs around the family dinner table figuring out various ways to murder without getting caught.  The shocking sense of humor often disturbs and confuses a gullible person nearby, unsure of whether they are serious.  In Stangers on a Train (1951) Robert Walker teaches a woman at a party how to strangle someone, and she gets quite a laugh out of it.  In Rope (1948) Constance Collier laughs hysterically at Rupert’s (James Stewart) idea of murdering people for sport.  In Rear Window (1954) Thelma Ritter is having a great thrill out of the possibility of a murder across the courtyard.

 

Balance laugh and tension

Hitchcock used a delicate combination of tension and relief in his suspense sequences.  Often a laugh was inserted at a key point to release some tension.  “…when you have comic relief, it’s important that the hero as well as the audience be relieved,” said Hitchcock. (Gottlieb) This assures that the audience maintains sympathy for the character.

North By Northwest (1959) is one of the best examples of the use of humor involving a chase.  Early in the film Cary Grant is intoxicated and becomes comical as he nearly drives off a cliff.  He looks down over the edge and laughs drunkenly as he pulls away.  Later when he is held by captors at a public auction he becomes a heckler in order to get picked up by the police.

From the suspense master who really knew people well and who said “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” there are three interesting questions that will not be answered here.

  1. Obviously we find suspense to be very appealing.  What is so appealing about uncertainty?  In our everyday life uncertainty is anything but an inherently pleasant experience.
  2. If suspense is uncertainty, then why is it possible to enjoy seeing a movie or reading a book more than once?  Have you ever read a book two or more times or sat down and watched the same film more than once?  You already saw the movie, you know what is going to happen, but were you still sitting on the edge of your seat. How can this be?
  3. Why is it that we can care so much about the fate of a movie or book hero that we know perfectly well does not exist?

I can’t give you the answers, but it should be in your book.  I try very hard for it to be in all of mine.

 

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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www.TheThrillOfSuspense.com

The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages Blog

In the past I wrote about the re-branding of my reader facing social media and other advertising and marketing materials.  In the last ten days everything moved from being about me, Kathy Clark, sometimes Bob Kat, the young adult author to what I, and my husband on two of the three series, write about, suspense.

So we branded the author slogan, The Thrill Of Suspense and a secondary longer slogan by adding the phrase Across The Ages.

This blog has now been re titled The Thrill Of Suspense Across The Ages. 

Here are some of the graphics you will see on line…but behind it is me and what we write about.

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Oh yeah…being from Texas originally the liberal use of stars in all the graphics?  Yeah…it’s in the DNA.  Being a big state you also learn that a lone star would just not do.

You’ll also find the brand on Pinterest and the following QR codes are for point and loading your smart phone for getting on our main author site

www.TheThrillOfSuspense.com

or this blog site.

www.TheThrillOfSuspense Blog Site

I’d love to have you on The Thrill of Suspense street team so clock on the Mail Chimp link and fill it in. http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

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