Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The End! (AIR is Complete!)

Phew!  I'm excited and relieved and glad to announce that tonight, I wrote "The End" on my first draft of AIR, Book Three in the Elemental Series.  Now, I'll let the story "rest" for about a week, then I'll plunge into my favorite part of the writing process: editing!  This is the part where I can really dig into the characters and bring out the best of the story.

This book was a lot of fun to write, and I hope that it'll be just as much fun for you to read it.  That may be a way off, yet, but every step is one closer to publication!  I'm particularly proud to have finished this book because it was part of a New Year's resolution of a page a day.  So to all you writers out there wondering if you'll ever get your manuscript finished, here's some tangible proof that yes, you can, even if it's one page a day!

Look for details on AIR as they become available, posted here and on my website at http://www.nickigreenwood.com.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is, of course, one of my very favorite holidays.  Today, we celebrate everything that makes our little blue planet so awesome.  I celebrated a day in advance by clearing out my raised-bed garden last night for planting, then set my seedlings in it with their teepee greenhouse to protect them from the last of the chilly nights.  I'm hoping they make it, but gardening is three parts experience, and one part experimentation.  We'll see!

Have a terrific Earth Day, everyone, and please keep the health of your planet in mind today, especially.  There are lots of neighborhood and community programs to celebrate the Earth.  Try joining one, and make some new friends.  Or, if you're like me, and need a coffee jumpstart, choose a paper cup over Styrofoam.  I probably say that every year, but it matters, and so does every step you take toward caring for your environment.

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Easter!

Just a quick little post today to wish those of you who celebrate it a safe, happy, and sweet Easter this Sunday!  I plan to go to my mother's house and share in her usual Easter feast, and even if it is going to snow today, I plan on welcoming spring with open arms.  (I already have some plants started for my garden!)  Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Grab Me (Just Don't Bite)

I'm now into Season Three of the AMC series, The Walking Dead, and it occurred to me that there's a lesson to be learned here about emotional hooks.

I know this is the horror genre, but stay with me.

After being hounded by my husband (a lot) to watch this show on Netflix, I finally gave in.  I'm not a fan of horror, save a few novels (Stephen King's "Christine" comes to mind) and films (the Robert Englund version of "Phantom of the Opera" - dated but still pretty good).  Horror movies are no fun for me.  People just die.  They're cannon fodder.  I'm not terribly concerned about anybody, because it's all a giant bloodbath.  Maybe it's the sensationalism of the violence, or the fact that no one has enough characterization to get me interested in him before he buys it.  Show me a deep horror film, and I will eat my words.  Until then, I'll stick to psychological thrillers like The Sixth Sense when I need the chill factor.

 Seasons One and Two of The Walking Dead were not all that exciting: setup, intro, etc.  Lots of running and hiding and shooting zombies.  As a writer, it's hard to watch a show like this and wonder why they're wasting ammo, and what the women do when, God forbid, they have a period and become instant zombie bait for a week.  Yeah, it's hard to shut off that internal editor.  My husband hates watching a movie with me. :)
But then came Season Three.  The first episode of this season surprised me.  The characters started acting like a team, like a family.  When a couple of the group had to make a supply run, I worried that they'd get "home" safe.  And then it occurred to me that I had begun to be emotionally invested in the survival of these people.

Maybe the writers had a lightbulb moment, because universally - no matter what genre you're into - you're not gonna make a reader or viewer care, unless you make them care.  It's a shame it took them three seasons to learn this, but learn it, they did.  I cheated and skipped ahead to the next season to watch an episode that had aired on television, and one of the principal characters, Daryl (played by The Boondock Saints' Norman Reedus), has a breakdown after toughing it out for three seasons. It was a real rip-my-heart-out-and-squeeze moment, maybe even a little more emotional than usual because this is the horror genre.  How surprising, I thought.  And all it took was a little focus on characterization.  If Daryl dies, I will riot.

I'm still not a fan of horror, as a rule - but it was interesting to find that universal truth being applied to a genre not often associated with emotion.  Make me care.  'Cause it isn't about the zombies.  It isn't about the action.  It isn't about the shoot-em-up sensation that is survival in the post-apocolypse world.  It's still just about the characters.

I hope sincerely, for the fans of this show, that the writers continue to grow the characters and draw their viewers' emotions into the story, because that's what's working.  Time will tell.

RATING: Three of five stars

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Nicki Greenwood's 2014 Earth Day Giveaway!

** Permission To Forward Granted **

It's April, and you know what that means: it's time again for the "Earth Day Giveaway" contest!  All month long, you can enter to win one PDF eBook of your choice of any of my paranormal romance books: EARTH, WATER, or THE SERPENT IN THE STONE!  Enter for a chance to win by clicking the link here:

Nicki Greenwood's 2014 Earth Day Giveaway!

Contest ends at 5:00 PM EST on April 30th.  The winner will be announced that evening on my blog.  Good luck, and Happy Earth Day!