Category Archives: Noah Chance Series

Second Chance Moving Along

I have gotten a couple of inquiries about Second Chance, the next novel in the Noah Chance series, and wanted to give an update.

I am devoting myself to working only on it until I am finished, rather than my usual practice of writing on several at the same time. Unfortunately, Noah, Jennifer and Spencer are being difficult and refuse to help. They are forcing me to do all of the work myself at this point.

Usually at some point in the story the characters take over and the book writes itself. At some point I'm sure that they'll quit being lazy and get to work but so far they've been little help so I am still trudging along. I hope to have it finished in time for all of the book signings and appearances coming up next month.

I know what's going to happen (or at least I think I do) and that's pretty unusual. I'm at bout 40,000 words and 150 pages so I'm making progress but not the kind of progress I want to make.

I'm going to blame my wife for this because she dusted my desk the other day (for which I thank her) and moved my keyboard and mouse pad from its carefully placed position. Now I have to tinker with it until it is just right so I'm sure that's why the progress is slow.

Well, back to work and hopefully I'll see some of you at the signings in April. These are all in the Texas area stretching from Denton to Houston. 

Music for No’ Chance Video Selected

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I am extremely happy to announce that after spending hours and hours and hours listening to, literally, hundreds of songs we have selected the one we will use.  It was much harder than we anticipated choosing the background music for the video we are working on to promote the Noah Chance series and, especially, the first book No' Chance.

The song we selected is a great one performed by a great artist, Ain't No Grave by Audrey Richter.

I actually selected the song first and then listened to every version I found but Audrey's voice and the tempo of the song absolutely fit my vision for the video. I located Audrey through LinkedIn.com, dropped her an email and was pleased to hear back from her later the same day. Within a day or so we had worked out a deal for me to use the song and I am looking forward to making the video as well as starting a great friendship with the singer.

Audrey said I could post the song here and I've included a link to where you can buy her CD. I'll also throw a biography up as soon as I receive it from her but I wanted go get this online so you can  hear why I'm so excited about her agreeing to be a part of this project. 

 

 

Second Chance – Once Again, the Characters Are Writing the Story

I'm still working on the Louisiana book but decided to jump over to the second book in the Noah Chance series and work on it some. I'm 135 pages into it (about 34,000 words) and once again the characters and the story are taking over.

I don't write from an outline and, with few exceptions, really don't know where the books are headed. I may have some general ideas as to settings and concepts but I am usually as surprised by what happens as the readers (although I do get to find out a little earlier).

In Second Chance, a character twisted on me and changed a lot of the story as well as tying in with a topic I have been reading about for some years waiting for it to work into a book.

I'm curious to see where this leads and it did bog me down a little because I had to go back and make a few changes for continuity but the book is moving forward and now has another interesting twist.

For those of you interested, I have updated my appearance schedule and it looks like I will be at a signing in Denton, Tx. in April, at the Indie Book Festival in Houston in April, back at the Natchitoches – NSU Folk Festival in July, and at the Louisiana Studies Conference in September.

If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms, let me know!

Hard at Work on “Louisiana”

As some of you know, I have several projects in the works. I am writing on the second book in the Junebug Series, Junebug and the Monkey,  as well as the second one in the Noah Chance series, Second Chance. Both of these are progressing, although some slight changes in direction have delayed them a little as I go back and do some rewriting of sections so that I can be sure and maintain continuity.

I am also feverishly at work on Louisiana, a book on my native state's history which I hope to have finished and in print in time for the Natchitoches – NSU Folk Festival in July 2013. I have completed much of the research and am now 34 pages into it but,  whew!, it is exhausting to write and actually have to fact check as you go.

If anyone has any questions about any of my books please drop me an email.

One question I have gotten is about The Bottle Tree but, no, I am not planning any follow ups to it. The Bottle Tree was a novel that turned out a little short but when I tried to add pages the new parts just didn't flow. There aren't likely to be an sequels because that book had a message and I think, from the feedback, it got the message across so I don't want to dilute that by doing a sequel.

Thanks to Everyone at the Natchitoches – NSU Folk Festival

 

What a great time at the Natchitoches NSU Folk Festival! There were tons of people that came by to visit, many of them who were familiar with the turpentine camp that I wrote about in The Bottle Tree and one gentleman had even been there and we talked about what it looked like! It turns out that my great Aunt who had first told me about the camp had taught him in school when he was a kid.

Many, many thanks to everybody that came by and special thanks to those of you who bought the books! We almost sold out of The Bottle Tree and quite a few people bought Junebug and the Body and No' Chance as well.

I hope you enjoy the read and please let me know when you finish them.

We were invited back for next year so I'll have to get to work and finish a couple more books to have there!


Heroes and Villains

My wife convinced me to read the YA trilogy, The Hunger Games and I must say I'm pretty impressed. Being YA books they are a very fast read but the author does a great job of creating a complete world even though the books are unraveling at a breakneck speed.

The villain in the story is both the system and a character named President Snow (who I invariably picture as Newt Gingrich), but it raised interesting questions in my mind as to how books develop.

It is generally accepted that novels have to have a protagonist (hero) and an antagonist (villain) although sometimes the real villain is a system or way of life although that can also be embodied in a specific person. 

This was done wonderfully in the Hunger Games books just as J.K. Rowling managed to do in the Harry Potter series. Both President Snow and Voldemort are absolutely evil with no redeeming features, as opposed to a more sophisticated embodiment of evil such as Hannibal Lecter.

In my own books, I have one character in No' Chance, Silas, who is evil and I made no attempts to develop a reason for his evil or gave the reader any sympathy toward him. In Junebug and the Body, there is a villain (I won't give away who it is) that, while they're not evil, they are definitely the bad guy.

In The Bottle Tree, my personal favorite to write, I used a character to embody the racial atmosphere that existed in the Deep South as a way of life at that time. 

One of the new books I am working on, in addition to the second book in the Junebug and the second book in the Noah Chance series, is about methamphetamine use and the villain in that book is really the drug and poor choices in life.

What are your thoughts? Is one kind of villain preferable over the others?

I know many of my readers are also writers. If that is you, which type of villain do you prefer reading about and which do you prefer to write about?