Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Overdue for Murder-Teresa Trent

Teresa Trent wasn't born in Texas but after a few glasses of sweet tea and some exceptional barbecue she decided to stay. With a father in the Army, she found herself moved all over the world, settling down for a while in her teens in the state of Colorado. Her writing was influenced by all of the interesting people she found in small towns and the sense of family that seemed to be woven through them all. Teresa is a former high school teacher and received her degree from The University of Northern Colorado.  Teresa is presently working on the third book in her Pecan Bayou Series.  Her second book, Overdue For Murder, came out in June of 2012.   

What inspires you as a writer?
I am inspired by newspaper headlines and people. I collect interesting incidents in the news and just keep my eyes open. One day I was driving down the street and saw a bakery van. The name of the baker would be a wonderful character name, so I wrote it down later! Also, I probably shouldn't admit this, but I love to watch reality TV like Survivor or Project Runway and watch the personalities clash. There is so much of human nature that can be learned from observing these people. 

When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
Not until I had Bride's Magazine call me and tell me they actually wanted something I had written. They really just used my article as research, but there I was writing about the fascinating world of ... tuxedos. After that, I continued to write and submit, but mostly scored rejection slips. I started writing fiction during that time and decided it was a whole lot more fun. 

What is your writing process?
In writing a novel I start out with a crime story and then add a "what if?" The story needs to fit into life in my small town in Texas. Once I have that story down I start thinking about subplots and how they might weave into the main story. The subplots often involve secondary characters either recurring or new. Then, I sit down and plot the main and subplots separately. Then, I create an outline of everything. Before I can start to actually write, I work on character sketches and settings. Finally, I start writing. One thing about this process is it is always fluid. Even if I outline a certain event, once I get into the flow of writing I may make a change. My original outlines are never the same as the final product. I write and I rewrite and then someone else reads it and I rewrite again....and again.... 

Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?
That's tough. It's like your asking me to pick just one child. In Overdue for Murder I guess it would be Martha the librarian. She's disagreeable to the very end. In the series it would have to be Betsy, my main character. She is patterned after so many single moms I've had as friends over the years. This is a tough group of ladies that would make perfect amateur sleuths! 

What are you currently working on?
Right now I'm editing and rewriting my third book and driving myself crazy trying to come up with a title. 

Any upcoming events?
 My cupcake Giveaway to celebrate Overdue For Murder ends on December 14th so make sure you register below! 

If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?
 I've always been pretty happy being me. My life isn't perfect, but it's mine. 

Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?
If you are self-publishing hire an editor. Plunk down the cash and do it. Also, learn all you can about publishing because you are now that as well as your own agent. Work at it every day. Don't stop writing, even after you get a negative review. Everybody gets them. 

Where can your followers find you?
Visit me on my blog teresatrent.wordpress.com, or follow me on Facebook /http://www.facebook.com/teresatrentmysterywriter and Twitter. (ttrent_cozymys) 

Any last words?
Thank you for letting me come and visit! I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about my books and writing. 

OK: This sounds like a fantastic read. Thank you so much for stopping by Teresa. Please leave a comment and follow along the tour for your chances of winning. 

Overdue For Murder Excerpt

"Aunt Maggie, have you ever made one of these fancy cakes?"

"Like what? Like what you see at the grocery?" Maggie's voice rose at the end, exaggerating her Texas accent.

I propped up the book for her to see a cake titled "Undersea Fantasy," which featured crabs, turtles and dolphins all crafted out of what looked like marshmallows and licorice strings. She peered at it, adjusting her bifocals on her nose as I explained to her what Rocky had asked me to do for Creative Cooks Day. 

"Gee, Betsy. I'm thinkin' you're in over your head this time. I remember when you tried to make Danny that smiley face cake. The black icing you used on the grin ran down the side and it about scared him to death. Surprised he made it to his next birthday without counselin'."

I scratched my head. "Oh, yeah. I forgot about that, no wonder on the video all the kids were screaming." 

"Sure, and then there was the time you tried to make Judd that cake and forgot to put the eggs in."

"I should have caught that."

"Yeah, we had to put candles on a box of honey buns that day. You got a track record  for  bad baking, baby girl."

Zach and Danny ran into the kitchen. "Mama," Danny said. "We're going to break the world record."

"What world record?" Maggie asked.

"All of them!" Danny answered.

"We're still figuring out what incredible thing we're going to do, Aunt Maggie, so I'm glad you got your hair done." Zach stretched out his arms, imagining his future paparazzi. "There will probably be hundreds of reporters out on the lawn after we do it." 

"Thanks for the warning," she smiled.

I paged through the glossy photos in the cookbook. There were cakes that looked like circuses, swimming pools, insects, hats, cartoon characters. I started having a case of baking terror. "You know, Aunt Maggie. I could always drive into Houston and buy something and bring it back.

They'll never know."

"You'll know."

I sighed. 

"You could make a cake out of rubber bands," suggested Zach.

I nodded. "That's original, but not too tasty." I turned the page and spotted the cake labeled "Beginner's Crocodile Cake." How kind of them to have a cake that was supposed to be easy enough for people like me. I grabbed a pen and started writing down the ingredients I would need. Surely I could stir up some green frosting and turn it into something.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Parenting in the Age of Technolgy: How Much is Too Far?

Let me start off by first explaining PDA. It's stands for Public Displays of Admonishment. After seeing the video I posted of me and my son many have had much to say. There are strong supporters on both sides. Though, most who are on the side of me going too far as a parent didn't bother looking at the video of my son cursing, pretending to be drunk, acting like a thug, and being sexually explicit. There was also another of him dancing in the classroom when he should have his tail in in his seat learning. This was all after he was told he couldn't not be a part of social media due to his age and maturity level.

I was very upset when I made my video, but would I change a thing...no. The video wasn't to become a media sensation it was part of his punishment outside of removing all technology from him. Although a few have stated I was scaring my child for life, I'd like to think I did the right thing. I was showing people who saw his video that I was a parent who is there. I didn't raise my child to behave the way he did and I know for a fact it would be more scaring to my child to end up in juvenile detention for his actions than for me exorcising my right for Public Displays of Admonishment.

I was surprised when his fellow students and even some parents reached out to me. I found out they too have had to deal with issues of parenting in the age of technology. When Kat Robertson contacted me with this message she posted on her daughter's Facebook page...

Hi, my name is Briyana. I like to roll my eyes, shirk my chores, and take for granted the WONDERFULLY supportive and caring family that God blessed me with. And to add to that, I've now apparently lost my mind and decided to further try my mother's patience by acting like I have no home training at school. I've been caught passing notes in class, reprimanded several times because I am not quite sure when I should shut my mouth, and a teacher had to email my mother today because I thought it would be a good idea to text on my phone while I was serving "silent lunch" for talking excessively in class. Because I can't seem to get my act together and my disobedient actions reflect absolutely NO respect for God, myself, or my parents, as of today when I get home I will have no phone so don't bother texting or calling me. My mom is also changing my Facebook password so I won't be on here either. I sure hope I enjoy the next 3 weeks at school because it will be the last bit of socialization I get for a LONG time... at least until I learn more self-control OR until I reach the age at which my parents will not be responsible for my screw ups. --- HACKED BY MOM, Kat Robertson, who couldn't possibly care less how embarrassed I get by this wall post since I obviously don't care how badly I embarrass her.
...I wanted to hug and embrace her. It's hard enough being a parent and then you have technology added to it. She was a parent who'd been there and felt my pain. She too was a subscriber to the "Punishment Should Fit the Crime Club". In her words which I say often myself, "It’s not my place to be popular with my kids. It’s my place to be their mother — to teach them, guide them, and make sure that the lessons they learn are being learned in a way that they won’t forget. It’s not my job to befriend them. It’s my job to PARENT them."
Kat is also a blogger and asks this question. How do you feel about the new PDA — public displays of admonishment? We live in such a digital world that sometimes this is one of the best ways to keep a child accountable for their actions. On the other side, however, there are parents who believe that humiliating a child is not appropriate regardless of how much a child humiliates his or her parents. Where do you stand on this issue of digital parenting? Check out her blog How Far Should a Parent Go to Make a Point? 
This is where I stand.
 If faced with Parenting in the Age of Technology what would you do?
Omegia Keeys 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Parenting 101: Get Some

While this topic is way off base on what my blog is about I feel it's very important. My child looked me in my face and lied on numerous occasions about having any accounts online. I'm that mother who gives no breathing room. I'm on my son the moment he steps in the door and in his room checking things out with or without him being there.

My son gets A's and B's in school and is an overall good kid. At home he's well mannered to me and everyone who comes around but it doesn't stop me from digging deeper. Yes, I logged into another account and found out my son had a FB page, Instagram account, and on Oovuu all things he is not allowed to have. He doesn't have his own computer nor a smart phone but still managed. My heart sank when I saw videos and pictures of my son acting like a thug/ingrate/menace. It's everything I've taught and showed him not to be.

As a mother/business woman/author/veteran/human being I was embarrassed. There is nothing cool about portraying youself as a thug. I know some parents don't care and glorify fight videos, young children dancing provocatively, and being disrespectful but I'm not that parent.

When asked about his accounts he lied until the end. I will not support jackassery in any shape form or fashion.

If you do this:

And this

You Get This

So you don't end up like this

I know all won't agree and that's your right as this is mine as a parent. 

Omegia Keeys
Ticked off Mom

Night Secrets-BK Walker

I'm excited for today's guest. I've been knowing BK for a few years now and she's always been a great resource for authors. If you're in need of a VBT please stop by the Virtual Book Tour Cafe and let her set you up with one. No, it's not free. Nothing in life is, but she has some very affordable rates.

Enough of my gushing and on to the Interview.

1.  What inspires you as a writer?
Life inspires me. I'm always looking at things through “what if” glasses. What if this happened, or what if the outcome was this instead of that. Through my “what ifs”, I'm able to create worlds all of my own, with my own endings.

2.  When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
When I got a call from a publishing house that I submitted my very first story to. I wasn't sure if my writing would appeal to anyone, let a long a publishing house. It was very exciting when that call came in. I must have listened to that message twenty times before I called them back.

3.  What is your writing process?
I'm a panster. I don't really plot things out unless I find myself struggling. I tend to let my characters do a lot of the plotting. I like to have a cup of coffee on hand, makes me feel all grown up and sophisticated, and depending on my mood, I may have music or silence.

4.  Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?
Keara probably fits that bill. She goes through so many changes in a short period of time. It was fun to experience these changes with her, and view things from her perspective.

5.  What are you currently working on?
To Love A Wolf, a paranormal erotica romance is due out this month. My first try at erotica.

6.  Any upcoming events?
Just that To Love A Wolf will be releasing this month.

7.  If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?
Janis Joplin. I just love her voice and to live in that time era, an era I think I should have been born in anyways, would be so cool.

8.  Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?
Do something everyday to market and promote your work. It's a neverending task.

 9.  Where can your followers find you?
I'm all over. If you just google my name, you will find me.

10.         Any last words?

Believe in yourself enough to finish your novel. Nobody can write what's in your head but you. I believe in you, you can do it. You just need to show up :).

Always romance your dark side! Thanks for having me Omegia. It's been great.

Thank you for stopping by BK! Night Secrets is a good read for any reader, not just us paranormal fans. Please leave a comment to be entered in for the Kindle Fire.

Omegia Keeys