Author Archives: julieaclements

About julieaclements

I am a writer who lives in El Dorado, Kansas. I enjoy telling a story others will enjoy.

Reoccurring characters

I love when I pick up a book by a favorite author and as I open to the first page I see the return of one or more of my favorite characters. Some authors bring characters back in every book and I feel that lets you get to know those characters even better than just seeing them in one book and they are gone. It also eliminates the time spent on a book learning about and meeting new main characters when starting a book. There is the danger of people picking up a newer book without having read anything before and not knowing all of the history, but I feel if the story is told sufficiently then they will understand the current story whether they have the background or not, although the background will only enhance some of the references made in subsequent books.
Now, you might be thinking, that would be boring, to keep reading about the same characters in book after book.
But it also isn’t all the same. The author has the opportunity to introduce any number of supporting characters, which can be returning or new to keep a story fresh and exciting.
I have taken this approach with my first two novels, The Eleventh Hour and Double Time.
I returned my main character, Tad; his family; and those close to him for the second novel. I liked being able to continue the story of his life and bring new adventures to a character with whom I enjoyed working and getting to know throughout the first novel.
I plan to base by third novel on Tad as well, continuing to develop different aspects of his character and to delve even deeper into his life and past. I hope readers will enjoy the journey as much as I will.
What are your thoughts? Do you like returning characters or do you like a book to be all new?

Check out the adventures of Tad in:
The Eleventh Hour
Double Time

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Thanks for your support

Thank you to everyone who has taken a few moments to purchase and download my latest novel, Double Time. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here is a brief excerpt from it:

A fire truck raced down the street in front of their house, its red lights flashing into Stephie’s room. She clung tighter.

“Come on.” He tried to pry her fingers off of his arms and she sniffled.

He hated to see her cry.

Tad picked her up and hugged her, whispering that everything would be alright in her ear. Soon her tears subsided. Together they gathered her school books and some clothes for the next day, putting them all in her overnight bag.

Tad carried her out to his car and buckled her in. Her small eyes were wide with fear. Sirens of any kind still scared her. With Stephie in the front seat beside him, Tad flipped on the lights and sped down the street to drop her off.

A few moments later Tad pulled up in front of the house; it was already engulfed in flames. The chief hadn’t exaggerated when he said it was going to be a total loss. Tad gazed into the flames. Both of the town’s fire trucks were spraying water onto the house, but it didn’t seem to be making much difference.

Tad weaved his way through the hoses and other officers and onlookers to the chief. It looked like the entire town was out. This was more excitement than they had seen in years. The last house fire was shortly before he and Stephie had moved to town.

“What happened?” Tad asked Police Chief Michaels as a firefighter rushed past, bumping into Tad. Tad glanced at the young kid; he didn’t look old enough to be out of school.

Not sure. The neighbors called in a report of hearing two gun shots around 11:45, and by the time officers arrived, the house was blazing.”

“I thought it was a missing person,” Tad said.

“Maybe. We don’t know where the couple is who lived there.”

Check it out today on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

If you missed it, check out The Eleventh Hour on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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Critique groups offer more than just critiques

Writing can often be a solitary job; most people write books by themselves, unless you have a co-author. Despite this, it is still beneficial to surround yourself with other writers.
One way to do this is through critique groups. I am a member of a critique group that is celebrating our 10-year anniversary this year. We meet every two weeks, more or less when schedules allow. We offer feedback, comments and beneficial critiques to one another’s stories. But we do more than critique. We brainstorm ideas for one another, provide support, laugh a lot, and have become good friends.
Being a part of such a group is helpful in staying motivated to write, knowing there is someone out there waiting to read your next chapter. It also helps to have other views provide feedback and point out things you may not have seen or thought about.
Where do you find such a group? Look for local writing organizations or groups online. Critique groups often meet in bookstores so check their bulletin boards for any meeting notifications. Or simply talk to other writers and see if they are members of such groups.
I highly recommend you give it a try. You’ll get so much more out of it than you will ever expect.
Let me know what you think about critique groups. Are you a member of one? How did you get started?

“Double Time” now available

If you like a good suspense story, check out my latest novel, “Double Time,” here.
Here’s a preview:
A suspicious house fire in the middle of the night and a missing couple lead small town Police Officer Tad Mooreland to start asking questions he shouldn’t. He’s told the case is closed, but he wants to get answers for what happened. When he won’t leave the case alone, he is put on leave. Then his daughter is kidnapped.
Tad has to sort through mysteries of murder, cloning and deception to find his daughter before her kidnappers harm her, all the while being on the run from the same police department for which he works.

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Great books available for less

To me there’s nothing better than the “bargain bin” at book stores. It offers the opportunity to try out new authors without a lot of expense. You never know what new favorite author you might stumble upon.
I found a similar deal online for e-books at Great Books. They offer the latest best sellers and more for a variety of different options. You can’t go wrong. They offer 20 books for just $39.95, or if that isn’t enough reading material for you they have unlimited downloads for only$14.95 a month. Another option is 100 books for $99.95, making it just 99 cents per e-book.
You can choose from the latest best sellers by James Patterson and Sandra Brown or Iris Johansen and Dan Brown. You also can browse by category or subject matter. It can’t get easier than that.
Don’t have a Kindle or Nook? Don’t worry. You can read e-books on a PC or laptop or your iPad.
Check it out today to visit the world’s largest online library. I know I’m going to browse through some books at http://bit.ly/18NhXYV.

Cover time

Where do you get your ideas for your covers? Do you make them yourself or have others create them?
I like to create my own covers. For my first novel, “The Eleventh Hour,” I took photos of one of my friend’s daughters who had red hair. It went great with the main character in that novel. We had a good time laughing and taking pictures. Then it was time to find the other elements to go on the cover, which I found through non-copywrited photos online. The only problem was they weren’t very large files, but I made them work. After blending it all together and creating several versions, I got input from a lot of friends and members of my critique group on which one they liked best.
Now, I’m starting the process again as all I have left on my next novel, “Double Time,” is the cover. I hope to take some pictures tonight, then get it all put together before the end of the weekend.
Where do you get your inspiration for covers?

Check out the Eleventh Hour:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Eleventh-Hour-ebook/dp/B00CLQCPP4/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1373156357&sr=8-11&keywords=The+eleventh+hour

Finding the end

Your book is going along great, you have fully developed characters, great action, there’s just one problem. The story just won’t end. I’m sure I’m not the only one to ever have had this problem.
Usually I even know how it’s going to end, I just can’t seem to get there.
You know the point. It occurs when you are about a chapter or two from your masterpiece ending, You write that chapter, then the next. Surely the end is within reach. But no. It is still a chapter or two – maybe more by now – away. So you write another chapter, sure to get there this time. Wrong again. You lean back, evaluate where you are and realize you’re still no closer.
There are a couple of things that have worked for me to get past this.
Often, I go ahead and write that last chapter. Sometimes it helps to have it in writing in front of you.
With the sequel to The Eleventh Hour, which will be coming out later this month, I finally had to sit down and just stay focused on the end. Every word had to be directed at helping wrap things up. I finally made it, about three chapters later, but it was ended.
After reading over those final moments, I did realize I had rushed it a bit and went back and filled in some gaps. Then it was complete.
For those struggling to reach the end, I suggest you stay completely focused on achieving that end. Don’t get sidetracked by other details or side stories. You can go back later and fill those in. Just get to that end.