Saturday, December 29, 2012

Coming Spring of 2013...CLAWS OF THE GRIFFIN

When North meets South, it’s murder.

Chicago entrepreneur, Peter Reynolds, is barely thirty and has sold his import/export business for seven million dollars. He is at loose ends, not terribly moral and more than a little spoiled to a lavish lifestyle. All that he has come to know and cherish is about to change when he gets an invitation to attend the funeral of an ex-girlfriend, Diane Cottwell, in Archer Springs, North Carolina.

From the moment he steps off the plane, things take a downward spiral. Beginning with the rental car from hell, he finds himself embroiled with moonshiners, good-ole-boy politics and a sociopathic killer. When Diane’s seven-year-old son inherits the family farm, 875 acres of prime land, Peter has his hands full outsmarting conniving relatives and a greedy businessman, all with their eyes set on getting the property. And a love starved country girl and the businessman’s lustful wife offer him plenty of temptation.

Diane’s death that initially looked like a home invasion gone wrong starts to look more and more like a planned murder. Then more people die and Reynolds finds himself on the trail of a ruthless killer whose next victim may be Diane’s son.

Claws of the Griffin is a roller coaster ride of mystery, mayhem and murder, Southern style.

 Available in the Spring of 2013 from Cool Well Press. Ron D. Voigts also writes the Penelope Mysteries available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

End of the World, Tinsel Trees and Three Words for Christmas

December 21 came and went. The Mayan calendar ended, but the world didn’t.  Earlier this year Ron Weinland predicted the end of the world on May 27. That didn’t happen either. He claimed he made the predication based on the Bible.  Probably, he forgot to read Mark 13: 32.

It’s fun to play what-if.  I do it as a writer.  I imagine all types of things. Psychopathic killers, vampires and witches.  But when it comes to reality, I know the sun will rise tomorrow, the color of the sky will be blue and the farthest man has traveled in outer space is to the moon. But for a writer, creating the illusion of what’s real when it isn’t is the goal.

Back in the 50’s when I was in grade school, I recall our 4th grade class had a sliver metal tree. Tinsel sticking out of steel rods made up the branches. A color changing spotlight on the side changed from blue to red to green and started over. I thought how beautiful and tried, unsuccessfully, to get my parents to invest in a tinsel tree.

Tinsel trees went away, and I grew to appreciate green natural-looking trees.  For a time, my family wiyh went real tree although finally went back to artificial, yet green and realistic. Then yesterday while shopping with my wife at Kohls, checking out the discounted items, I saw them. Tinsel trees in pink, sky blue and lime green.  They even had a white one.  They say everything comes around; it seems that is true for Christmas too.

I did an interview recently for Bittersweet Enchantment.  One question was: in three words tell what Christmas means to me.  I know its Christ’s birth, but I wanted sum it with a message. This was my answer.

Peace and Goodwill.

God’s blessing to all on this joyous Christmas

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Writing Faster and Better

I admit I'm not the fastest writer in the world.  Most times I shoot for an average of 500 words a day.  My novels run about 75,000 words, which means I can knock off the first draft in 2-1/2 months.  Allowing time for edits, critiques by my peers, and research, I need a full year to finish a novel.  Now I've worked faster. I participated in Nanowrimo once and hit over 1K words a day, but not enough to make a full novel.

Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day, minimum. Jack London had hit about 1,000 to 1,500 a day.  Earl Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason fame) is said to have done one million words a year.  And yet I poke along at a paltry 500 words on a good day.

So, recently I picked up 2,000 to 5,000 by Rachel Aaron. This is a good book.  Only 63 pages by paper count, but packed with advice on how she does 10,000 words a day, and only 99 cents at Amazon. She tells that her novel Spirit's End took only 12 days from start to finish.  Although she's full time writer that is still a grand success.

Without giving away too much, the secret lies in organization.  Rachel spells out in great detail how she does it.  From the three pillar concept through plot and character development she tells all. This not a book on how to write, but a guideline to garnering skills to become more efficient. She also spells it out in her blog, but for 99 cents the book is a great investment and packed with so much more.

Ron D. Voigts is the author of the Penelope Mystery series, and his first mystery for big kids, Claws of the Griffin, is due out next spring from Cool Well Press.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What irks you?

As I get older little things irk me more.  I’ve seen enough  in my life to realize that people don’t think. No common sense. Lost logic. The customer is #2. Here are few.

  • Carpet bulge. The carpet is only a few years old.  I’ve seen this before. Like the formation of the Rockies at the Continental Divide, the fabric of the floor rises up.   I heard somewhere that when the padding is incorrectly installed the bulge forms along a seam. Do carpet installers know about this?
  • Short Receipts. The receipt from the self-service gas pump presents approximately 1/8 inch of paper to pull it out.  Try pulling it out with with fat fingers. I’ve seen some so short they defy retrieval which may explain the occasional receipt hanging from the last gas purchase. Is paper that expensive to require such conservation?
  • Congregating in the Main Aisle. Old friends meet in the main aisle at the store, stop and talk while the rest of the shoppers take detours. They position themselves and their carts strategically to maximize the obstruction. Do they know about the in-store McDonalds at the front of the store where they could sit and chat over a nice cup of coffee?
  • Crisscrossed Cars. Corollary to the above. Two cars stopped in the street while the drivers talk. Lines of cars develop in both directions. Occasionally the drivers wave to the crowd and acknowledge they know about their lack of courtesy and may eventually move.  Why are they so rude?
  • Half-size Shoes. Beginning at size 10, many stores go to whole sizes in men’s shoes.  I wear 11-½. Size 11 hurts my toes and 12 will fall off my foot as a walk. Am I the only ½ size around?
  • Clothes Size. Similar to above. I admit I'm pudgy. XL shirt. Size 40 pants.  So why are my sizes limited. The hangars hold many S and M shirts.  Waist size of pants abound in 30 and 32. Have stores paid attention to overall size of people in our society?
  • Horn Blowing. Sitting in front of a house and blowing the horn. The walk to the front door is not that far. And perhaps whoever lives there could pay attention and peek out the window once and awhile to see if their ride has arrived.Where went courtesy?

There are some of my pet peeves. What irks you?