Posts Tagged ‘creative writing’

So, this month is IGWriters month. I wish I could tell you what the IG stands for or what brought this on, but here it is. Take a breath, and let’s dive in.

1: INTL Coffee Day – great! I love coffee. I generally drink a Vietnamese instant coffee during the week, so that is international, assuming INTL stands for international. If you want to learn about a quite exotic coffee, I suggest kopi luwak. It’s expensive and partially digested! Give it a try, and let me know how it is.

2: Your WIP – I am currently working on the third book in my dark urban fantasy series. It will be different from the first two, and it will probably be the end of the main story.  Here is an excerpt:

It is a large man, his suit jacket open, clothing showing disheveled, torn, bloodstained, and if the darkly-coated butcher knife in his fist were not sign enough, his eyes bleed out with a strange, red hue.  Those orbs see Lilja and the other three, and he roars out, eating a few precious seconds before he launches himself at his prey.

3: Writing Tools – I use a computer. I began with a typewriter. I have hand written a few things, but for the vast majority of my writing, I have used a keyboard of one type or another.

4: Writing w/ animals – I am not sure what to say on this one. I don’t use animals to write, and I don’t have a pet. No cute pics of a cat trying to get my attention as I tap away at the keys.

5: Author Bucket List – This was another one I was not entirely sure about. I suppose my author bucket list is to someday make a living as an author. I’d also like to visit the regions in Europe that I used as inspiration for the setting of my first two books.

6: What makes you smile – a lot does, actually. Spending time with my family usually leads to a great deal of laughter. I also love talking to my readers. That will often get a smile on my face.

7: Your favorite character – Another tough one. I suppose this is meant to mean a character of my own design. I am going to ignore the obvious and look to a minor character who still played a big role and choose Interpol Inspector Gaspare Duilio. He is a corrupt officer who ends up playing a part in all three books. Not only do I find him an interesting and many-layered person, but the experiences he has and how they shape him allow him to show further depth and have a larger impact on the overall tale.

And that is it for the first week. I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave any comments are ask any questions you may have. Please also visit my author page and read my books! Thank you.

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Since I got into this independent author/publication thing, I have met a lot of others also involved, whether other writers or publishers, editors, promoters, etc., etc. A lot. It’s easier to get published now and to reach a potential audience with all the amazing tools we have available to us. I used social media to find my publisher, and I am grateful for it. It’s a small group of us, and we’re still learning and getting started, but it’s an amazing journey, and I like to think we’re all helping each other.

But it doesn’t stop there.

With the social media explosion, it is easier to find others, whether colleagues, agents, audience, or whatever the case may be. It also means a lot more out there. It can become white noise. I hate to say it is like separating the wheat from the chaff, because that sounds elitist. There may well be a suffering of quality, though, as these very vehicles are used to increase the quantity. This means a huge supply. There is certainly demand, but it becomes an issue of getting the potentially fleeting notice of that audience. Look here! This is me! Buy my book!

This could lead to a situation within the independent world of a lot of cut-throat competition. I will not take this approach. I feel like we are all in this together, and those of us making sincere efforts to share our creations and enrich the world with this art ought to cooperate, not compete. I share the works of other authors and try to help promote blogs, events, groups and other methods of just opening the lines of communication and awareness.

I feel very strongly that this is the way to go about it. There is so much wonderful work out there, we might as well bring as much as we can of the whole world to the buffet and let them pick what they want.

Help yourself. Help us. Help each other. Tell your friends about it. And read, read, read.


Please feel free to follow me on My Facebook Page or check out My Amazon Author Page for my published works.

Thank you.

Follow the Butterfly

I think sometimes people get an incorrect impression of my book merely from the name, Dance of the Butterfly.  Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?  It has ‘dance’ and ‘butterfly’ in it.  It must be a romance.  Well, it does have romantic elements.  There is a relationship that buds and blooms as a core plot point, but it is not just about that, and it is not all nice and flowery.  There is some splatter. Quite a bit of it, actually.  I am not one to often pull punches.  I got myself in a bit of hot water during a poetry contest many years upon years ago, because I don’t feel the need to overly censor.  I have since learned more of a balance between raw and refined.

In that vein, I have been posting snippets of the final climax of my book, and things do get bloody.  Allow me to share another …


One of the guests lies on the ground, in a growing pool of the red liquid, another guest atop him. The larger man above is savagely stabbing into the prone body of the other, holding a torn piece of metal, having been drafted as an improvised weapon. Each stab into the left side of the victim’s torso produces more spurts of fresh fluid, the attacker painted with it, giving him even more of a horrific, demented look than his own expressions and actions already convey.

“He’s killing my husband!” a nearby woman screams, her own shrieks part of those making up the cacophony, though if the lack of resistance on the part of her spouse indicates anything, he may already be dead.

The guards point their weapons, nearing the terrible happening.

“Get out of the way!” Duilio commands, and the other party-goers and workers do just that, clearing more area around the attack.

“Do something! Do something!” the woman, rushes over to Duilio, her heels clicking on the pavement.

The guards look to the inspector, and Duilio spares a short moment of assessment, then, “Stop him.”

Gunshots blast out, causing more screams and dispersal of the crowd. The attacker is quickly removed from atop his victim, crumbling away and to the ground, flopping to his back as the firing ceases, his breath coming out ragged and wet.


So, there you go.  I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it whet your appetite for more.  If so, please visit my Amazon Author Page to buy any of my publications.  Thank you.dotb-twitter

I have been slowly making a series of posts that follow along the plot of my first novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  These are all to hopefully entice new readers through the vehicle of some contextual hints.  I hope it has been working, and I hope those of you who do decide to read my book enjoy it.  In that vein, let’s have another taste, shall we?


“Maybe we ought to just kill the girl,” speaks a voice, the tone one of calmly discussing the possible mowing of a lawn.

“No, no, that should not be done.”

Gnegon looks up from swirling his glass, the clear contents not interrupted by any ice or other flavorings, the expensive vodka not so delicate as to change its subtleties of taste from this mere motion. He also wears a very fine tuxedo, looking all the world like he is ready to head to an evening of celebration and entertainment, which he is.

He fixes his narrow eyes on the inspector, the Interpol man also dressed very nicely, more so than his usual daily flair, also holding a preparatory drink in advance of this evening’s festivities.

“Why not?” he asks, then after a short moment, “Do you like this girl, Gaspare?”

Duilio smirks, a subtle curl to one side of his lips, “Oh, no, she is exciting, to be sure, but she is not exactly … my taste. Perhaps if I were twenty years younger.”

The two share a short laugh at this.

“No,” Duilio repeats on the tail end of the shared chuckling, “The vigilante will come again.”

“How do you know?” the crime boss presses, any trace of levity gone from his features.

“A hunch,” Duilio finally answers.



Will this trap work?  Find out what happens in Dance of the Butterfly, the first book in my urban fantasy series. For 18+ readers.

“Overall, I think this book is an excellent read, and I couldn’t praise it enough.” – Uncaged Book Reviews

Please visit my Amazon Author page for all of my published works.

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“He lies upon the thin mattress, the meager offering upon the rickety metal frame, staring up at the ceiling. He sees patterns there, images resolving within the texturing of the sheet rock, mingling with the tiny cracks of age and disrepair, the flaking of paint.”

Who is this strange ex-college student from South Africa who has come to the City as if drawn by a lodestone? He holds no conventional employment, and he is seen frequenting the areas plagued by the serial killer. How long until the light of suspicion falls upon him? Will that scrutiny be warranted?


I know it may not be considered the best practice in crafting a story, but I love introducing new characters late in the tale.  This one, Ernst van Zyl, does so in Dance of the Butterfly, and he plays a pivotal, multi-layered role in the story.  He is also an homage to one of my favorite writers.  I wonder who many will figure that out.

Please buy and read Dance of the Butterfly (for 18+ readers), the first book in my urban fantasy series to find out exactly what part Ernst plays in the unfolding saga.

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – electronic editions

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The City is plagued by sex-trafficking, victims kidnapped and used against their will.  The ages of these women vary, but it is clear the criminals are not concerned with using those who are very young.  They use drugs and violence to gain compliance, even offering some of them back to their families for exorbitant ransoms.

A masked vigilante decides to do something about this, but is one person enough?

Unaware of the deeper, darker energies manifesting, this crusader unwittingly engages far worse than ever imagined. Will they be able to help, or will this consume them?

Find out in Dance of the Butterfly, the first book in my urban fantasy series. For 18+ readers –

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – electronic editions

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In my debut novel, Dance of the Butterfly, I introduce a new character about halfway through the book.  This was equal parts inspiration and deliberation.  I found it satisfied me as a writer (and reader) in many ways, even bucking some tropes.  It allowed me to shape and even realize a few patterns in my first book that I intentionally followed in the sequel and plan to use in the third installment.  Before I digress further, this new character is an odd fellow.  I don’t want to give away too much, but he shows up from seemingly nowhere to find a place center stage in the unfolding events, perhaps even being a key to understanding what all is happening and why.  He is the subject of today’s #fridayfeyday post.


He lies upon the thin mattress, the meager offering upon the rickety metal frame, staring up at the ceiling. He sees patterns there, images resolving within the texturing of the sheet rock, mingling with the tiny cracks of age and disrepair, the flaking of paint.

He wants to sleep. He doesn’t want to sleep. His pale blue eyes remain open, rarely blinking, staring at the ceiling. His thoughts are taken by pathways and strange images, shadows and flashing glimpses of an invisible world. He see things he does not understand, does not want to see.


I hope this helps to stimulate the appetite.  Please buy, read, and review my debut novel, Dance of the Butterfly, and then continue on with the sequel.  Thank you!

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – digital editions

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I am going to begin making posts here on my blog for #fridayfeyday.  This was begun by fellow author  Cynthia Morgan, and I thank her for letting me use the concept.  The concept is to make a post that somehow invokes this sense of ‘fey’.  Let’s begin, shall we?


She sees Ryan, held in bondage. He is restrained by something that looks organic, as though one of the very beasts has wrapped itself about him, lengths of its form attached by toothed suckers, the tendrils flexing obscenely, one of them partially covers his face, going over his left eye, fluid leaks, staining him, a dark red, some even black. He is obviously in anguish.

The Bride, the Bride

She turns about, looking, wondering how she hears this rustling of odd speech, this sense of confusion and excitement coming from the denizens.

“… Iris …?”

And this is Ryan, and her eyes find him, noting his struggles, his tension and pain, the seething burn and fear so obvious upon his restrained form. She merely stands there, saying nothing, as several of the monsters move to her, getting in close, more observant than ready to touch her.

“How are you … alive?”


This is from Sword of the Butterfly, the second book in my urban fantasy series.  Please be sure to get your own copy, give it a read, and drop me a review.  Comments and feedback are greatly desired.  Thank you!

Sword of the Butterfly – print edition
Sword of the Butterfly – kindle edition

I was in elementary school when Reagan and Carter were running for President.  I recall an interesting assignment where we were asked for volunteers to act as the respective candidates and then engage in a mock debate based on one of the actual debates.  In retrospect, that seems like pretty heavy stuff for elementary school kids, but I thought it was great.  I volunteered, of course, and I got Reagan.  I spent that evening watching the debate, having little clue and even less context as to what all of this was, but I took notes, furiously.

The next day was a blowout.  The poor girl who was standing in for Carter had not really taken the assignment seriously.  This, of course, did not prove to be a reasonable representation of the debate (though some may argue otherwise), and I won because of my preparedness.  I do not recall the reason for the exercise, but the way it was conducted does provide a good lesson.  Had we both come prepared, it would have been much more exciting.

Flash forward to another debate I had.  This time, it was in High School, and it was a legitimate debate in Speech class.  This was the time when Texas was finally giving in and raising the drinking age from nineteen to twenty-one.  We decided to have a debate on it, and I was on the team that was against the raise.

Being the type to like to be prepared, I did a lot of research.  I will admit, I even found some “evidence” that I knew was a bit manipulative, but I planned to pitch it a certain way so as to advance my team’s agenda.  If pushed, I even had spins and escape plans.  (Maybe I should have gone into politics, but I digress).

It was another blowout.  I did most of the talking, as my teammates lacked the confidence and preparedness to step up.  The other team fumbled and kept getting backed into corners.  When it was all done, the judges (our teacher and two other students) gave their verdicts … and we lost.

The teacher voted for us, but the two students voted for the other team.  The teacher got up and talked it all out, basically saying that our team had destroyed the other.  When pressed, both kids said they voted as they did because they supported raising the drinking age.  My teacher managed to not facepalm and explained that the judges were to vote purely based on the evidence presented, which she had instructed prior to the whole thing starting.

Still, another lesson.  You can be prepared and present all the evidence you want, and sometimes opinion and belief will outweigh anything else, no matter what.  With humans, dogma sometimes has more value than verified facts.

Personally, I believe dogma ‘won’ both of those debates.

As always, thank you for visiting and reading.  Please feel free to weigh in with any comments you have.  My second novel was recently released, so if you enjoy my writings, please consider buying, reading, and leaving a review.  It would be much appreciated.  Thank you!

Sword of the Butterfly – print edition
Sword of the Butterfly – Kindle edition

And here we are at the end of Author Life Month (#authorlifemonth).  It has been interesting, and I hope you all have found it the same.

Fan Love
That seems strange to me, to even think that anyone out there is a fan of me.  If you are following me, reading my work, giving feedback and especially reviews, then I thank you, dearly.  Without all of you, this is just a solo exercise.  I crave the audience.  Thank you.

Your Last 5-Star Read
I just finished rereading The original Hitchhiker’s Trilogy by Douglas Adams.  That makes probably the third time I have read it (maybe fourth).  It is definitely a 5-star read.

A Challenge Overcome
Anytime I finish a work, it is a challenge overcome.  I have hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of half-formulated, incomplete ideas.  I have written hundreds of pages into a novel only to decide it is not great and give up on it.  I like the blank page, so starting is the easiest and most exciting for me.  I love brainstorming.  My second book just came out, and I am working on more.  Each of those is a challenge.

A Self-Reward
I suppose I am not huge on these.  I did not really do anything specific to reward myself when I signed a publication contract or when I saw my book in print for the first time.  I think of those acts themselves as the reward.  I do sometimes ‘reward’ myself when writing and editing by taking a day without doing any of that.

A Bookish Gift
I am not entirely sure what this means.  I sure do like bookmarks.  Does that count?  I used to have this wonderful red leather bookmark my mother got me from England.  I lost it …

An Author I Admire
China Miéville.  His imagination amazes me to no end.  I will say that I have not liked everything by him that I have read, but I do like the majority of it, and it blows my mind.  His ability to reach into creativity and pull out things that are just stupefying in their scope never ceases to impress me.

Acknowledgements
I will thank my family, my readers, those who helped me with my writing, and my publisher.  I deeply and dearly thank you all.

As always, please feel free to like, comment, and/or share.

~Scott