CIPA EVVY 2016 Finalist

Just received word that The Bootlegger’s Legacy has been selected as a finalist for the CIPA EVVY Award for the Fiction/Mystery & Detective category.  CIPA stands for Colorado Independent Publishers Association and of course has special meaning to me since I currently reside in Colorado.  The award is open to all authors–not just those living in Colorado. 

They will announce the order of the winners in a few weeks and I will let you know how I did.  Great honor to be named a finalist no matter how it turns out.  Thanks CIPA.

Character flaws?

Just recently did an interview with a publication where they sent me questions to answer.  One of the questions was about how I developed my characters; did I intentionally make them all flawed?  At first I was somewhat intrigued that the questioner would assume they were all flawed, but after only a little thought I realized they were.  Now it might surprise you to learn that I was not immediately aware of that; but it had not crossed my mind.

I like many of these characters (and yes I know they are not real).  Take Ray Pacheco, the retired sheriff featured in the Pacheco and Chino series.  He is honest, fair, has a good nature, hard-working, thoughtful, smart–many, many good qualities; he is also–stubborn, secretive, insecure (mostly in personal relationships), naive in many things, judgmental–yes; all of those and more–in other words he is human.

The character I identify with the most is Joe Meadows, from The Bootlegger’s Legacy.  I think he is one of the good guys–but is he flawed; oh yes!  Drinks too much, cusses too much, sometimes lazy, sometimes just a pain to be around–he is flawed.  However the good outweighs the bad. Joe cares about people, cares about values (his —not others),   He is loyal, funny, smart and if given the opportunity will do the right thing.  He could be your best friend–even with his flaws.

Those flawed people are the ones I put into my stories.  I could, if I wanted, make them all perfect–probably would not make for a very interesting story–plus; it would definitely not fit the author.  My books are about flawed people, just like me–and some of those people I hope you enjoy getting to know.

Thanks for reading my books.

Inside Baseball

This post is not about baseball –but the inner workings of book publishing.  The paperback edition of Sky High Stakes is just now available on Amazon.  It has taken over a month since the book was published for it to show up on Amazon.  Why?  Well no one knows, or at least I have not been able to find the someone who does.

I do not sell a lot of paperbacks on-line, mostly e-books, so it was not that big a deal–mostly it just seemed strange.  This process is driven by the database of a major book distributor which Amazon accesses to build their database (I think).  This is electronic stuff so it happens basically instantly–except when it doesn’t.

We more or less take the invisible inter-workings of the world for granted–which is the way it should be; but when they do not work it makes you feel helpless.

Just in case you were wondering, I am a baseball fan.  I follow the Colorado Rockies. Even though they will lose more than they win, I always have hope it will turn-around very soon.  That is a true fan.

Writing Style

In the last few weeks there has been several reviewers of my books make comments on my writing style.  Generally nice comments although a couple seemed to imply that I had a youthful writing style–I do not believe it was meant as a compliment.

My first reaction was joy.  I was just pleased someone thought I had a writing style.  No doubt every writer has a writing style but the suggestion that my style was based on my conscience decision to write a certain way indicated a level of thought that probably does not exist.  My style is conversational.  It is me telling you, the reader, a story.  It is a verbal narrative taking the reader into the story and introducing the characters.  Much of my writing is narrative–the characters tell the story in their own words.

As a result I chose words that are more everyday conversational.  No doubt you have read authors who write with words that you would not normally hear in conversation but that add a sense of grandeur to their story.  I was just reading a story where the author described a statement made by one of the characters as lapidary.  Which means an elegant and concise statement.  Can you imagine a conversation with one of your friends who would say “that was a lapidary statement”, probably not.

I hope this does not sound like I am disparaging or responding to reviews.  I enjoy the reviews from my readers even when they are not all five stars.  Each reader brings their own perspective to the book and comes away with their own unique experience.  It is the great joy of reading.  The reader is interpreting the story based on who they are and as a result can have very personal reactions–good and bad.

This leads to several comments by reviewers.  Language.  As in foul language.  My stories feature some rather less than stellar characters (bad guys) and with my conversational style of writing you can imagine some f words being tossed about.  Most displeased reviewers react to the first few pages of the books–because they tend to have the highest concentration of foul language.  This is due to my introduction approach which highlights the low-lifes in a scene that establishes them as the villains or in one case the victim at the hands of evil doers.  So this is usually stressful scenes featuring the bad guys so their language choices are not going to be family friendly.

The use of language that some find objectionable is much less than the impression left by the first few page readers would suggest.  I try to make the characters real and use real language when it fits within the story, the character and the nature of the scene–never do I use language to offend.

My books are written for mature readers and for some the language is objectionable (which is of course their right as a reader)–but for me it is part of the story.  My conversational story would include some of those f words but not too many uses of lapidary.

Special Promotion Dog Gone Lies

Had tremendous success over the weekend with a special promotion for Dog Gone Lies on Amazon. Reached the #1 ranking on Amazon for PI-Mysteries, also ranked as high as #2 for Crime-Mysteries.

The promotion part of book publishing is still a mystery to me but with a well proven trial and error method I am finding out what works and what does not.  A little bit more about what does not than I would like.

Still working on P&C#3 Four Corners War.  My completion date is still not set but sometime in early fall should have a new book for you to read.

Playing with the idea of doing a “The Bootlegger’s Legacy 2”.  The premise will be that Pat Allen’s old Cadillac is purchased by a movie prop master (someone who finds and manages props to be used in movies) and he begins to research the car and decides to write a movie script about Pat and Sally. While doing his research he tracks down various people from TBL1.

I am absolutely sure I should finish one book before starting another–but it seems to help me to wonder off a bit and think about something else for awhile and then go back to the other project.  No doubt not a good confession to make that sometimes I get bored with my own writing–I think I should erase that before anyone sees it.

Sky High Stakes–now available on Amazon as e-book

2nd book in the Pacheco & Chino Mystery series is now available on Amazon as an e-book.  Paperback should be available in a few weeks.  You can buy the book from my web site www.tedclifton.com and yeah I get a bit more money that way–very small money.

Sky High Stakes has a more expanded plot than my other books but is still driven by the characters with the same emphasis on the interplay with Ray Pacheco, Tyee Chino and Big Jack.  Several new characters are introduced into their realm–people I think you will be interested in getting to know.