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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My Hollywood Years – The Lost Years

HOLLYWOOD

During my break from writing romance and women’s  fiction novels years ago I struck out on my own to try my luck in Hollywood.  I spent several years writing and marketing screenplays without leaving the comfort of the Denver area.

In total I had written 21 screenplays.  Some with my best friend Margie, some with Bob and some with the help and support of the producers of the project.  I miss Margie and well, Bob and I are doing great.  To date one script has been produced and four were contracted for talent such as Shirley Maclaine and Drew Barrymore by producers.  One minor one made it to cable television.

hollywood shirley hollywood drew

 

And my screenplays have won numerous awards at several film festivals including the Houston International Film Festival and the Charleston Film Festival.

film festival houston film festival charleston

 

 

I picked three of the projects, all strong women roles.  Just thought I’d share them.

 

Corner Of The Sky

HOLLYWOOD Corner Of The Sky

During World War II women weren’t allowed to enlist in the military, but they were allowed to fly American built aircraft from the factories to the front lines.  This is the story of a first brave women who risked their lives to do what they loved…to fly.

Fictionalized story based on the real life of Jackie Cochran and her creation of a pre-WASP group of female volunteers who went where no woman had before…into the war zone.

Before the United States joined World War II, Jackie Cochran was part of “Wings for Britain”, an organization that ferried American built aircraft to Britain, becoming the first woman to fly a bomber, (a Lockheed Hudson) across the Atlantic. In Britain, she volunteered her services to the Royal Air Force.  She won five Harman Trophy as the outstanding woman pilot in the world. Sometimes called the “Speed Queen,” at the time of her death, no pilot, man or woman, held more speed, distance or altitude records in aviation history, than Jackie Cochran.

In September 1940, with the war raging throughout Europe, Jackie Cochran wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt to introduce the proposal of starting a women’s flying division in the Army Air Forces. She felt that qualified women pilots could do all of the domestic, noncombat aviation jobs necessary in order to release more male pilots for combat. This is the story of the women she recruited for this dangerous mission and how they managed, against all odds, to succeed.

 

Life’s What Happens

HOLLYWOOD Life's What HappensLife's What Happens Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What one moment changed your life forever?  How would four men’s lives have been different had they not been forced by the draft lottery into making drastic, life altering decisions?

The peace and tranquility of college life in 1969 was shattered for millions of young American men on a cold winter night when the United States Government held the first draft lottery since the Civil War.  The bounce of a ping pong ball determined their fate.  Some lucked out with high numbers, some teetered in limbo and some were immediately doomed for the rice patties of Nam.  That single moment set off a series of reactions by male college students and the women who loved them.  Some went into denial, some panicked, some failed, some succeeded.  But all of their lives were changed forever by the decisions they made because of something over which they had no control…the date they had been born.

Twenty-five years later, they come together again, facing the demons of the past and dealing with decisions that had been forced upon them.

Life’s What Happens is set against the tumultuous backdrop of the anti-war movement at Kent State and follows the lives of four fraternity brothers and their girlfriends.  Inspired by the events of the time and the complexities of their second coming of age, the conflicts, fears and love of these friends is explored and unresolved feelings are confronted as they all must accept the past and get on with the future.

 

Matchless

HOLLYWOOD Matchless

During the late 1800’s many men made their fortunes in silver mining in the western United States, but no one prospered more than Horace Tabor.  A hard working, self-educated man, he amassed, at an unparalleled rate and through a series of improbable investments and good luck, a multi-million dollar empire.  Horace’s political power and his economic influence was so vast that he brought the United States to the brink of bankruptcy in order to save his fortune…a situation that was averted only by a last-minute act of Congress.  However, his ability to accumulate wealth and wield power is only background to the real story.  The most compelling part of his life was his renowned love affair with a feisty and spectacular younger woman, Elizabeth Doe, known affectionately by the local miners as Baby Doe.

Their Washington DC wedding was more lavish than any held before or since, complete with solid silver wedding invitations and attended by heads of state and powerful politicians including the President.  Horace and Baby lived in the most palatial residence in Colorado and spent money that, measured by today’s standard, would be well in excess of a million dollars a week.  They built and owned the social and cultural center of Denver, the Tabor Opera House, and they received and visited the crowned heads of Europe.

But with all this power, money and influence, Horace and Baby were virtually isolated from society by their colorful pasts.  Their scandalous divorces and flamboyant lifestyle only fueled public resentment.  (Baby’s husband had beat, then deserted her, yet she carried the shame of her divorce to her grave.  Horace, wildly in love with Baby, divorced his first wife in a series of desperate political and legal moves that shadowed him until the end.)

What had begun as an opportunistic love affair turned into a deep, lasting passion.  Even with the loss of all their money and power, Horace and Baby’s faith in one another never faltered.  His dying words encouraged Baby hold on to their one last possession, their most prolific silver mine, the Matchless.  Baby never questioned Horace’s judgment and, while still a young, very beautiful and desirable woman, she moved to a shack near the mine.  Although once incredibly valuable (it produced more than $11 million dollars in silver), the mine was over-worked and never produced again.  But Baby spent the last 35 years of her life mourning Horace’s death and trying to prove him right.  She died, in abject poverty, frozen to the floor of the shack, clutching her scrapbooks filled with memories of the one love of her life.

This is the true story about the power, wealth and love of two people and their struggle for acceptance in an unforgiving world.  It is the story of perseverance in the face of rejection and an unyielding faith in one another.  It is a story known to millions around the world, but remains, until now, the greatest love story that’s never been told.

 

Colorado’s Stanley Hotel hosts a new ghost story by Bob Kat titled RIP (Rest in Peace)

RIP was released Feb. 25th and is now on sale from 3/20 to 4/1.
“While The Stanley Hotel has been featured in movies & books in the past, it is refreshing to see a new twist on the use of the hotel,” Jesse Freitas, Manager of The Stanley Hotel.
WEB TILE CUL8R SERIES
PRLog (Press Release) – Mar. 19, 2014 – AUSTIN, Texas —
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was founded by F.O. Stanley, a wealthy businessman forced to move west for health reasons. The expansive property boasts amazing architecture, a magnificent setting and spectacular views, but it may forever be best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s spine-tingling novel “The Shining” and the subject of Ghost Hunters, the American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) paranormal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal_television) reality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_TV) television series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_series) on several occasions.  “But now The Stanley Hotel is in the news again,” says Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, an American fiction author.
Jesse Feitas said, “We are excited that the CUL8R book series has chosen The Stanley Hotel as a destination for RIP, not only to tie in a connection with the paranormal stories but traveling back in time to the first couple of years in The Stanley Hotel’s history brings in a whole new fun element to the story.”
“My co-writer in this series, husband Bob Wernly of Austin, Texas and I chose to set the 4th book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series at the infamous hotel after several trips and many weeks of guest time over the years.  We worked hard to describe the hotel as accurately as possible because it’s such a wonderful place and we wanted to do it justice.  Several years ago I was lucky enough to go on a private ghost hunt with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters, crawling through the basement tunnels not open to the public in total darkness which really added to the authenticity of the story,” Kathy said.
RIP (Rest in Peace) is Kathy’s 31st novel and will be released formally on all the major on-line bookstores on February 25th and is available in both e-book and paperback.  Kathy has sold over 3 million books globally and has appeared on the NY Times and USA Today bestsellers’ list for her romance novels where she cut her author teeth on her first 23 books.
“In 2012 we joined the crowd of authors who moved from the traditionally published to the self-published e-book marketplace.  This is our eighth novel as Indie-Authors,” said Bob, “including four young adult novels in the CUL8R series, two romantic suspense novels in the DENVER AFTER DARK series and the first book BABY DADDY in the SCANDALS new adult series.  All but the CUL8R series are written under Kathy Clark’s pen name.”
“Self-publishing allows writers the freedom to include content that traditional publishers would shy away from. And the publishing process is more than a year quicker, so we can continue to focus on the next book in the series instead of waiting for executive approval,” Kathy explained.
The CUL8R series is about four teens from Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  “We had to make the time travel trips to the past in the novels really matter…life and death situations that force the teenagers to depend on their intelligence, ingenuity and friendship so they can change the past to save the future.”  Bob explained.  “I discovered an October 1920 issue of American Magazine with an article that Thomas Edison was developing an electrical device to speak with the dead.  This later became known as his Telephone to the Dead.  Since Edison spent much of his life in the Fort Myers area, what if our teenagers found that invention, tucked away in the garage of a distant relative who had worked for Edison?  What if our personality survives our passing as Edison believed?”
“In RIP [Rest In Peace] you don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one,” Kathy added.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the U.S.  So, when Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey travel back to 1911 to try to save a young child who went missing from the busy lobby, they aren’t surprised when ghost children run up and down the halls.
There’s romance in the Rockies as they take jobs with the hotel so they can keep an eye on 4 year old Emma and her family.  Kelly struggles with her attraction to Austin while Zoey tries to get over her broken heart.  Along the way, they meet some colorful historical characters and experience life among the rich and famous just after the turn of the twentieth century.  After three other successful time travel adventures, they assume it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  That almost proves to be a fatal mistake.
Kathy concluded, “But can they save Emma?  Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?”
RIP was released in e-book and paperback through all the major book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords starting February 25th.  Between March 20th and April 1st, the book is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble, iBook and All Romance.
“The reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been amazing,” said Bob.  “4.9 Stars on Amazon and Goodreads.”
Here’s some examples:
“Engaging with well-developed characters and excellent writing.”
 
“I have nothing but praise for RI and this serie sin general”
 
“I would recommend this book to all young adults and adult swho enjoy time travel, sci-fi and mystery books.”
 
“I have to say that with each new novel the CUL8R (See You Later) series continues to bring a certain spark of imagination and lighthearted adventure that never disappoints.”
Checkout the details on Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com and all the Young Adult books in the CUL8R [See you later] series at http://www.cul8rseries.com

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

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

JOIN KATHY’S EMAIL LIST FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRE-RELEASE BOOKS AND BARGAIN / FREE BOOKS: http://eepurl.com/N4osT   via MAIL CHIMP

 

Have a great Valentine’s Day Weekend and All about February 25, 2014

STARTING THE COUNTDOWN TO THE RELEASE OF BOOK #4

IN MY YA TIME TRAVEL MYSTERY SERIES.

RELEASE DATE – February 25, 2014

#1. Our 13 Minute interview with Fort Myers Beach Radio today about the new book is on air at http://www.fortmyersbeachradio.com/index.asp We’re the first featured interview right behind their local politicians. In case you don’t know the four brave time travelers who outwit, outlast and out work the bad guys, this time in 1911, live on Fort Myers Beach.

#2. Our ARC reviewers will be receiving their copy within 7 days. If you’re name isn’t on the list for the free ARC drop my a note. Check out Mail Chimp at the end of the blog post.

#3. Everyone I’ve been communicating with over the past several years will be seeing my new newsletter with the RIP announcement as well. The news letter is called NIGHT LINES and therefore is consistent my email address, web site etc of nightwriter93….after all my characters don’t start chatting until late in the evening.

#3. Our initial book tile is done and is shown here in this post.

#4. The Long and short form of the blurb is firmed up and the long form is shown here….

Have a great rest of your Valentine’s Day Weekend!

You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.

Once again Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey are listening to the Spirit Radio when they hear a cry for help from a mother whose four-year-old daughter, Emma went missing in the middle of a busy lobby at the infamous Stanley Hotel. But time traveling back to 1911 is a lot more complicated than the three trips they had taken earlier in the summer. They have to find appropriate clothes and figure out a way to pay for their stay. When they hear about a tragic fire that hurt several hotel employees, the teens take advantage of the hotel’s desperation and get jobs working as lady’s maids and houseboys so they can keep an eye on Emma and her family.

Even though they know that The Stanley Hotel is possibly the most haunted place in the U.S., the four teenagers are a little creeped out when they hear ghostly children running in the halls, singing songs and even a mysterious ball that keeps showing up in their room. How could a hotel that is only two years old already be haunted? Most importantly, how can they stop Emma from becoming one of the ghosts that are trapped inside the luxurious hotel?

Midway through their first summer together, they celebrate the Fourth of July twice in one year. As they try to figure out the mystery of Emma’s disappearance, they bump in some famous people and experience several historical events. But ultimately, it’s their trust in each other and the friendship that has been forged by two unique experiences no one else on the planet has ever done…talk with dead people and time travel to the past. Their first trip back to 1966 had stopped the murder of a teenager from their school. Their next trip to 1980 had tested their courage as they were brought face-to-face with a man who was determined to murder an entire family. Their last trip to 1927 had saved the life of a handsome young man who had run away to a traveling circus. Zoey, the former mean girl of South Beach High School, suffered her first heartbreak by falling in love with a man from the wrong century. 

Back in 1911 there are no TV news crawlers or Amber Alerts like we see along the interstate highways today. Instead, Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey must try to be in the right place at the right time to stop the tragedy of Emma’s disappearance from happening. They follow her and her family around while enjoying life among the rich and famous. They arrive as skeptics, but leave as believers when all four teens have ghostly encounters. Kelly and Austin grow closer as they share fireworks shows, first on the sand in Fort Myers Beach and second on a blanket in the Rocky Mountains. But is their romance doomed almost as soon as it began?

When their plans go wrong, they face their first defeat. The same danger that takes Emma now threatens the teens when one of their own is captured in a killer’s web. Will they be able to save Emma? Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?

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

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

CUL8R YA MYSTERY SERIES WEB SITE:   http://www.cul8rseries.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

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

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

Connect for release,  specials and mews

RIP ad title

Made it to the Top 15 on Amazon 3 Times in January!

Because of everyone promoting, purchasing and supporting me my best book sales in years in January happened! These three all hit their top 15 on Amazon in the adult suspense genre or Young Adult genres. Two DENVER AFTER DARK series books:

* AFTER MIDNIGHT http://www.amazon.com/AFTER-MIDNIGHT-Denver-Romantic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B009CGO8N8/ and
* CRIES IN THE NIGHT http://www.amazon.com/CRIES-NIGHT-Denver-Romantic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00FDRYCIQ/

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED CRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013

 

And also getting it’s 15 minutes, days or hours in the top 15 on Amazon in January from my new series, SCANDALS, was book #1, BABY DADDY http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O.

SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013

 

THANK YOU ALL!

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- FREE FREE FREE *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
In February, book #4 in our Young Adult mystery series CUL8R [See you later for those that don’t read textise], RIP [Rest in Peace], will escape the minds of Bob Kat in the 2nd half of the month. We’ll again be sending FREE ARCs to our reader list and anyone else who wants to catch it free and early read in exchange for an honest review. Drop us a line at kathy@nightwriter93.com and we’ll get it to you in a couple of weeks. BTW, this is the early RIP cover concept. They travel back to 1911 so it is “period piece” as they say in Hollywood.
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RIP Concept

 

 

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

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com      BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r     TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

Young Adult Mystery Series 2013 Awards and 88% FIVE Star Review Rate

As we near the end of 2013 I wanted to take a minute and take stock of the Young Adult Mystery Series CUL8R [See You Later].  Three books have been released thus far with the fourth book in the series releasing in late January, 2014.

First.  Thank you readers for your purchases, glowing reviews and continued loyalty.

The CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series is a different type of time travel where the protagonists aim to change the past and save the future. Four 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.  The question would be early on would readers embrace this series and the answer is yes.  Great reviews, sales and contest winning results happened in 2013.

WEB TILE CUL8R OMG

In book #1, OMG Kelly has 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.

OMG – Winner of the Best Indie Book of 2013 for Young Adults and Finalist in the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards.

             BIB OMG Small Medallion   Beverly Hiss Finalist

And the reviews have been solid.

Reviews OMG

 

WEB TILE CUL8R BRB

In book #1, BRB, Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey gather in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to 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. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve tested it only once, but that first trip had been successful . . . if you ignore the fact that Zoey and Kelly had almost gotten killed by a serial killer. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve another mystery.

A very young girl’s voice comes through, saying that her whole family has been murdered on an island just off the east coast of Florida.

The teens look the island up on Google Maps and see that it is completely deserted which contradicts the story they’re getting from the Spirit Radio. But it’s a beautiful island called Crystal Key with a stretch of beach that, unlike Ft. Myers Beach, is not crowded with tourists and kids. The teens decide to pop in, spend a nice day on the beach, check out the island to see if there is any truth to the girl’s story, then pop right back. It sounds like a great plan.

From the very beginning, things go wrong when Scott miscalculates their landing and they end up splashing into the Atlantic Ocean. After swimming for their lives, they collapse on the beach that is, indeed, beautiful. But it isn’t deserted. They find the little girl, her family and a half dozen more people living in a sprawling Florida-style home owned by a menacing man named Manuel. He gives them no opportunity to escape and insists that they stay in the house. What they discover during their visit is enough to almost get them all killed.

As they struggle to survive, Kelly tries to ignore her attraction to Austin, who clearly isn’t interested in a romance. Besides, just days before she went on her very first date . . . with Scott. How could she have such strong feelings for two boys? And then there is Zoey who is hot for Austin, but flirting shamelessly with Scott. Then people start dying and all they can think about is saving the families and themselves. Are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims? Their time travel adventure to a tropical paradise may turn out to be their last.

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

BRB won top honors in the Readers’ Favorite awards.

readers favorite silver

and the reviews have been amazing!

Reviews BRB

 

 

WEB TILE CUL8R BION

Finally, in BION, Book #3, they surprise Kelly on her birthday and soon they are back in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve already tested it twice, with both trips being very successful, but not without danger. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, and even a gunshot wound, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve a mystery.

A young woman’s voice comes through and asks them to find her twin brother, Jesse, who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again. Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun. Plus an old book written by his sister provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse, a photo that grabs their attention and sets the girls’ hearts racing.

They land in a cornfield in Wichita Falls, Texas as the circus is setting up. It doesn’t take them long to discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work. As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends. But most importantly, they find Jesse. Now all they have to do is keep him alive.
For Zoey and Jesse, it’s love at first sight. It’s a first romance for both of them and their love blossoms as they travel from city to city. Zoey knows she’s too young to settle down and that Jesse is from a different time and culture, but her feelings for him are strong. Her and her friends’ time travel mission has taken on a new dimension. Should they be successful and save his life, will Zoey be able to let him go? Is it possible for him to come to 2013 with her? Is it possible for her to stay in 1927 with him? Ultimately, can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?
Jesse’s talent working with the big cats catches the attention of the Martin Maxwell, the owner of the circus. Maxwell promotes him to the center ring as a replacement for their current lion tamer who is planning on moving up to the Ringling and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Unfortunately, not everyone shares Zoey’s love for Jesse and wants him to disappear forever. Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey must figure out who wants Jesse dead and stop him or her before Jesse’s fate is sealed.

And following in the tracks of the first two CUL8R series books, BION has also been accumulating excellent reviews.

Reviews BION

In 2014 book #4, RIP will release.  This is another ground breaking time travel set at the Stanley Hotel in 1911.  An amazing splash of history added to a ghost story within a ghost story and set in the ghostliest places on earth, the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. 

Get ready for RIP by catching up with Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey over the holidays.

Below are some of the key links readers may want to access:

Kathy Clark, a..k.a. Bob Kat author website – http://www.nightwriter93.com

CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series website – http://www.cul8rseries.com

Links for buying OMG –

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/CUL8R-Time-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00AF2Q30E/

Barnes & Noble / Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omg-bob-kat/1116882528?ean=2940148660859&itm=1&usri=2940148660859

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376121

ALL ROMANCE – https://www.omnilit.com/product-omgohmygodacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1343363-141.html

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE –   http://www.amazon.com/OMG-CUL8R-Volume-Bob-Kat/dp/1481127675/

 

Links for buying BRB – 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Right-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00C8SK9JO/  

Barnes & Noble / Nook –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/be-right-back-a-cul8r-time-travel-mystery-romance-bob-kat/1117184934?ean=2940148661863&itm=1&usri=2940148661863

iBook / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id704718471

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364378

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9780988343634

ALL ROMANCE –  https://www.omnilit.com/product-brbberightbackacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1333597-141.html

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE  – http://www.amazon.com/BRB-CUL8R-Bob-Kat/dp/1484063120/

 

Links for buying BION –

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Believe-CUL8R-Travel-Mystery-Romance-ebook/dp/B00E5141ZK/

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/370116

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=1230000195116

ALL ROMANCE – https://www.omnilit.com/product-bionbelieveitornotacul8rtimetravelmysteryromance-1343365-141.html

 

FOR PAPER BACK

CREATE SPACE  –  http://www.amazon.com/BION-Believe-It-Or-Not/dp/1491241012/

 

 

 

 

 

Marie Force’s Market Survey & My thoughts.

I ran across the survey by Marie Force that was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by myself and more than a dozen other authors.  She and several other authors did the survey and I found this interesting and useful.

Findings
  • Readers prefer e-books to paperbacks (77 to 52 percent). However, the question allowed readers to choose all formats that apply, and there appears to be crossover between the two most popular formats, indicating some readers buy books in multiple formats when the paperback is available. I think it’s extremely interesting to note that more than half are still looking for their books in paperback. That will be a number to watch in future surveys. Will it go down or remain steady at about half?
  • Nearly 80 percent buy their books from Amazon, with Barnes & Noble scoring a distant second at 23 percent and iBookstore/Apple coming in third at nearly 13 percent. I’ll be interested to see how this result changes or shifts over the next year. I believe first place will remain around the same percentage while the distance between second and third place will continue to narrow.
  • Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have done so twice in the last year. Twenty-five percent visit a bookstore once a month and twenty percent are there twice a month or more.
  • A whopping 81 percent of those surveyed listed romance as their favorite genre with mystery coming in a very distant second at almost 5 percent. According to the Romance Writers of America, romance was the top-performing category on the major bestseller lists in 2012 and accounted for $1.438 billion in sales in 2012, so it’s not surprising that most of those surveyed chose romance as their primary genre of interest.
  • For those who chose romance as their favorite genre, nearly 28 percent chose contemporary romance as their favorite subgenre with historical scoring second place with 23 percent. I found it interesting that only 2.6 percent chose New Adult as their favorite romance genre. That leads me to wonder if readers are aware of the “New Adult” name the industry has given to romances about women in college/early 20s, or if the genre isn’t really as popular as it seems, or yet again if New Adult was lumped in with contemporary by some respondents.
  • Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them. Thirty three percent pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them.
  • Ninety-five percent of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them versus 68 percent who are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.
  •  The results for the primary source of information about books were all over the place with the top vote getter being Facebook at 18 percent, followed by retail sites at 17 percent, Goodreads at 13 percent and author websites at 10 percent. Lots of interesting data in the “Other” field for this question.
  • Facebook (62 percent) and Author Websites (63 percent) were virtually tied for first when readers were asked where they get their information about their favorite authors. (This was a “choose all that apply” question.) Author newsletters were a distant second at 36 percent. Goodreads scored 27 percent and Twitter 19 percent. Retail sites were next at 18 percent. It’s probably safe to conclude from these results that if you have limited time, it’s best spent on Facebook and keeping up your website.
  • Fifty-three percent of readers are “somewhat” swayed by reviews. Twenty-nine percent fall into the “not very much” or “not at all” categories and 18 percent say they are “very much” influenced by reviews.
  • When asked which reviews are most important to them, 50 percent chose the reviews posted to retail sites. Goodreads was a distant second at 16 percent, followed by blog reviews at 13 percent and publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, etc.) at 10 percent. An additional 10 percent of the respondents listed “Other” sources than those provided by the survey.
  • We asked readers to tell us which review publications they subscribe to and offered the following choices: RT Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, NYT Sunday Edition, USA Today, None and Other. Eighty-one percent chose “None” with RT Book Reviews at a distant second at 12 percent.
  • With the same list of publications, we asked readers to indicate which of the publications had influenced their decision to buy a book or try a new author. Seventy-six percent replied “Not applicable,” with RT Book Reviews coming in a distant second at 13 percent.
  • We asked how important “star ratings” are to their purchasing decisions, and discovered that 43 percent will wait to purchase a book if they see “low” star ratings. Thirty-eight percent say they will still try a book if they like the cover and sample, even if it has “low” star reviews. Eleven percent responded that star reviews are not at all important to them and 9 percent rely heavily on star reviews and will only purchase a book that meets their star-rating criteria.
  • Thirty-five percent have been introduced to new authors via free books more than 20 times. Twenty-one percent have found new authors through free books more than 10 times. If they liked what they read in the free book, 85 percent were extremely likely to buy another book from that author.
  • We discovered that readers are interested in stories with outstanding characters, setting, storytelling and writing, with 75 percent choosing “all of the above” to encompass each of those elements.
  • Thirty-three percent said typos don’t bother them at all while only 8 percent said bad editing will cost an author a reader for life. Twenty-seven percent said they’d give an author another chance if the editing in the first book isn’t good whereas 24 percent said “typos drive me mad.”
  • We asked if seeing the words “New York Times Bestselling Author” on the cover of a book is more likely to spur a reader to try a new author. Seventy-two percent said no, and 28 percent said yes. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed “never” peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors. Four percent of those surveyed review the list every week in search of new authors.
  • Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed never review the USA Today bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Seventy-five percent of those surveyed never review the Publishers Weekly bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Eight-four percent of those surveyed subscribe to the newsletters of their favorite authors, and 55 percent subscribe to the blogs of their favorite authors.
  •  Just about half of those surveyed subscribe to BookBub to find out about free and reduced-price books and 31 percent subscribe to Kindle Fire Department. A wide variety of other outlets were listed in the open-ended replies for this question.
  •  In one of the more interesting results, 60 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter whereas 87 percent of those surveyed do follow their favorite authors on Facebook. Find more than 2,000 replies to the open-ended question about what readers are looking for from authors on Facebook in the link to the full results at the end of this post. In another interesting finding, 85 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Pinterest, and 86 percent do not look for authors on any other social media platform besides those already listed in the survey. Goodreads was one of the most frequently mentioned sites in the open-ended portion of the question.
  • Fifty-two percent said that if they want a book badly enough, they don’t care what it costs. Twenty-two percent said they will not pay more than $4.99 for a book.
  • Sixty-eight percent are looking for novellas (in the 25,000-word) range to fall in the $0.99 to $1.99 price range. But 21 percent said they would pay $2.99 for a novella of this length.
  • When asked what they expect to pay for a full-length (80,000 words or more) novel, 26 percent said $4.99, 19 percent said $5.99, 14 percent said $3.99, 13 percent said $7.99 and 12 percent said $6.99. I found it interesting that only 6.5 percent said $2.99, which has been considered somewhat of a “sweet spot” in indie pricing.
  • Twenty-six percent would be willing to pay for “bonus” material, such as a short story unrelated to the current novel, but 34 percent were unwilling to pay for any kind of bonus material.
  • We had a true 60-40 split on whether an endorsement from a well-known author is more or less likely to make you buy a book, with 60 percent saying author blurbs or endorsements do not influence purchasing decisions.
  • When asked where they buy audio books, 70 percent replied that they have never bought one. A distant second was Audible at 15 percent, then Amazon at 11 percent and iTunes at 7 percent. When asked how many audio books readers purchased in the last year, 74 percent said they don’t purchase them. Among those who do, 18 percent bought between one and 10 audio books. Only 4 percent bought more than 20 audio books in the last year.
  • Fifty-four percent of those surveyed have never watched a book trailer, and 8 percent have bought a book because of a trailer.
  • Fifty-three percent are most concerned with a professional presentation when it comes to book covers, and 32 percent are rarely influenced by covers.
  • Fifty percent don’t care whose point of view is presented in the book, but 45 percent enjoy multiple points of view whereas only 3 percent prefer first-person point of view.
 Conclusions
We’ve felt the ground shifting beneath us in recent years, but some of these results confirm things we already suspected, including:
  • Most of the readers surveyed don’t care who publishes a book or pay very little attention to who the publisher is. Judging by these results, it’s probably safe to assume the author name is selling more books these days than the publisher name.
  • Retail reviews, such as those found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retail sites, are the most important reviews in today’s environment.
  • If an author only has time for one social media platform, choose Facebook. It’s where the readers are and it’s where they’re looking for their favorite authors. They are not looking for their favorite authors on Twitter, which didn’t surprise me all that much. I’ve long suspected that Twitter was more about “preaching to the choir” whereas Facebook is about connecting with actual readers. That doesn’t mean there are NO readers on Twitter. To the contrary. However, there are more of them looking for authors on Facebook.
  • Author endorsements don’t matter as much as industry insiders think they do. Most readers don’t care about them.
  • Most e-book readers are buying from Amazon, which of course we knew, but now we have data to confirm it.
  • More than half don’t care how much a book costs if they want it badly enough. Most expect to pay $4.99 for a full-length novel (80,000 words or more) and between $0.99 and $1.99 for a 25,000-word novella.
  •  Readers are still somewhat leery about buying self-published books from unknown authors, whereas they are more than willing to buy books from self-published authors who are known to them.
  • More than half the readers are still looking for their books in paperback format. Hear that?More than half. That’s a lot of readers… To those who think traditional publishing is dead, remember this: More than half the readers are looking for a format that traditional publishing is still best equipped to provide. If you want to reach that half, you may have to remain in business with traditional publishers. I am. That’s why.
  • Audio books are not very popular—yet. Give them time. I believe we will see this number increase over the next few years.
  •  Readers pay very little attention to book trailers.
  •  Readers are not big fans of first-person points of view.
  • New Adult romance isn’t as popular as we thought it was. Or… It could be readers aren’t aware that the books they love to read about young women in college or right after college are considered “New Adult” romance. I believe it’s possible this result is misleading. Judging from the books on the bestseller lists, New Adult is as popular as we think it is.

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

Marie Force has done a great service by taking the time to collect and tp present this information.  Thanks!  Very professionally done.