Six Sentence Sunday 5/1/2011

And it was at that precise moment that the florid man with the enormous eyebrows made a peculiar sound like “Hrrrrrrrrrr”, clutched his chest, and pitched forward, straight into a rather large slice of prime rib that was so rare it seemed to be still pulsing with life.

The man, however, was not pulsing, with life or anything. In that brief moment, he was knocked stone cold dead.

“Well, I never!” cried Melody, as if angered that the man dared to behave so poorly at the dinner table.

Pepper Wellington jumped up, took the man’s pulse, and shook her head. “He never will either,” she said. “He’s expired, I’m afraid.”

 

 

 

From "Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage" by Tanya Eby

A Week of Champagne Books--Meet Nikki Andrews, Manuscript Editor

Our week with Champagne Books concludes with Nikki Andrews, a manuscript editor. Hope you've enjoyed learning a little more about the publishing business...and maybe decided to check out some new writers. I'll have new interviews in the coming weeks with more Champagne Books staff and authors.

What brought you to Champagne Books and your position?

After deciding that I really wasn't cut out for life as an admin assistant and getting too old to return to the physical demands of picture framing, I decided to follow my heart and look for work as an editor.  Cindy Davis, who had been the editor for my murder mystery "Framed" and remains a good friend in spite of it, referred and recommended me to Champagne.

What do you do for Champagne Books?

I'm a manuscript editor.

Are you currently looking for submissions and if so, what kind?

I am not involved in the selection of manuscripts.

If you could create the perfect book, what elements would it have in it (besides being well written)?

Strong, memorable characters, a plausible and intriguing plot, an unexpected twist or two, and solid research where necessary. Sparkling prose will hook me every time. And I love works that are not afraid to mix genres.

Is there anything aspiring writers should avoid? Any pitfalls or "Kiss of Death" mistakes to avoid?

Sloppy grammar and spelling make me crazy. How hard is it to check a grammar book or a dictionary? Telling me that X knew how Y felt about Z makes me yawn; show me that process instead.  But if the elements above are present, I can forgive a lot.

Anything else you want to share about your background or interests?

I never would have believed that all those dull grammar drills under the ruler of Sister Mary Mary would lead to a career that I enjoy so much. At last I'm fulfilling my childhood dream of reading for a living!

Are you currently reading anything for pleasure right now, and if so, what is it?

I'm an omnilecteur. If it has words I'll read it, or at least start to read it. Right now I'm in a curious period of re-reading old favorites, or catching up on books I missed while I was busy raising kids. Recently, for instance, I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and was totally blown away by things I never saw in it twenty years ago. My TBR pile includes Charles Darwin, Garth Stein, Jodi Picoult, Elizabeth Delisi, and Margaret Atwood, among many others.

To learn more about Nikki Andrews and her work, please visit: www.nikkiandrewsbooks.com.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:

To read an excerpt from the action novel by Victoria Roder, please click on the book cover below. It is available in both print and digital formats.

Week of Champagne Books: Meet Mindy Fausey, Editor

In the third installment of this series, we meet Mindy Fausey, Editor for both Champagne Books and Carnal Passions.

What brought you to Champagne Books and your position?

MINDY FAUSEY: I submitted a story to Champagne about four years ago and was impressed by the professionalism and the company. My edits were right on, my editor was professional and wonderful to work with, and Ellen, with her quirky, snappy sense of humor made me feel right at home. So, when they advertised for an editorial position, I jumped on it and applied for a line editor position. After completing the editing test, I was delighted when she offered me a position as a content editor.

What do you do for Champagne Books?

I'm a content editor for Champagne, meaning I edit for a book's content. I look for plot inconsistencies and other plot boo boo's. However, I also make it easier for the line editor and correct any grammar I see along the way, too.

Are you currently looking for submissions and if so, what kind?

Personally, I would love to see more fantasy, dark fantasy, and urban fantasy. Some science fiction would be nice, too. Even the right kind of horror (think Dean Koontz) can make a fine platform for a romance. I also love ghost stories, but it's got to be original!

If you could create the perfect book, what elements would it have in it (besides being well written)?

Ohhhhhh, wowee. I would love to write a believeable autobiography of my life. The main problem would be making it believeable, because, as it stands, it's a wild ride most readers would think just plain crazy. But, the perfect novel would have some suspense, some sexual tension, believeable characters, realistic dialogue (a biggee for me), and the classic plot arch. It would have an identifible "black moment" where the relationship between the hero and heroine seemed doomed. The black moment doesn't have to be a fight between them--it can be where savages have the heroine burning at a stake or kidnapped by aliens.

Is there anything aspiring writers should avoid? Any pitfalls or "Kiss of Death" mistakes to avoid?

My personal pet peeves are 1. the he/she felt/thought/realized/saw/decided pitfall. If we're in the characters point of view, the reader will know the character is feeling/thinking/realizing, etc. it. 2. Unbelieveable characters. The hero or heroine's mother doesn't ALWAYS have to be either a saint or a harpie. Where are the ordinary, average moms like me? Lol... 3. Unrealistic dialogue. Write like you talk. Don't have a character say, "Nevertheless, you should not behave in such a ghastly manner." in the 21st century. Make her say, "Damn it, you stupid ass! Stop acting like an idiot!"

Anything else you want to share about your background or interests?

I'm very active. I believe that a body in motion stays in motion. I'm a native Florida girl, so naturally I love the water. I love to jet ski better than boys, surf, swim for my workouts, and play a mean game of beach volleyball. I have Asperger's, which I'm working on successfully conquering, so my interests are vast and varying. Right now I'm interested in the Indians that used to inhabit the area where I live. There are some untouched Indian mounds all over the place, along with plenty of Spanish gold to be found, and I'm working on getting permission from landowners to poke around their vacant lots.

Are you currently reading anything for pleasure right now, and if so, what is it?

I've got way too many interesting stories to edit, all of them excellent reading. But, when I get the rare break in editing, I like Jodi Picoult, Margaret George, anything about Henry VIII, and Dean Koontz, as well as some well written fantasy.

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:

To read an excerpt from Champagne novelist Julie Eberhart Painter, click on the book cover below. It's available in both print and ebook formats: