Monday, October 31, 2011

The Story Behind Covert Reich!



One of the things that I think is interesting about COVERT REICH is that it was the very first book I ever wrote (20 years ago). At the time when I wrote it, my son Alex had just been born. He was a preemie baby who required a two week stay in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. When I brought Alex home he needed extra care than the average healthy baby. It was the kind of care where I needed to stay home and be a full time mom, which is exactly what I did. It was during this time at home taking care of my son that I decided to finally write my first book. I had written short stories and half written books before, but it was time for me to commit and get a book completed.

The idea for COVERT REICH started in some ways as a catharsis for me. It was difficult being a young mom with a sick baby and writing was a way to help me get through the tougher times. When Alex had been in the unit I pondered "Why my baby?" I had been healthy, taken good care of myself, etceteras. At one point while in his incubator, Alex was pitching one helluva fit. I mean, this kid was having a full blown temper tantrum, turning bright red and screaming as loud as his tiny lungs would allow. It was pretty upsetting for me to witness. Then, one of the NICU nurses put her arm around me and took me over to another baby's incubator. She commented that the baby was silent, lethargic. "He has no fight in him. His mother came in, gave birth and left. She was addicted to drugs. He will likely become a ward of the state. Now, your baby is a fighter. He knows his mom is here and he wants to go home with you." Those words relieved me and so did the care that the nurse showed Alex and me.

Alex was a fighter and he did come home with me after two weeks. It was not long after he was home that I was watching a 60 Minutes Show on Sunday night. The segment was an interview with Louis Farrakhan and his claims that the U.S. Govt. and the Jewish nation had created drugs, Aids and certain alcoholic beverages to destroy African Americans. I found the interview disturbing on several levels. It was also during that time that I read an article about the ideology of sterilizing welfare recipients. Again, I was disturbed.

Those few months, the articles I read, The 60 Minutes segment and my sons tumultuous beginnings into the world, along with the decency and kindness of the NICU staff at Cedar's Sinai in Los Angeles helped me come up with my very first "what if..." It was: What if a neo-natal intensive care doctor uncovers a plot to annhilate factions of society that an extreme group considers "undesirables."?That what if led to the writing of COVERT REICH, which I initially titled COVERT WOMB, then EXTREME SUPREMACY. For the past six months I have been rewriting the book in its entirety. I've added characters, changed the plot some, and reflected current times. It is not the book I wrote twenty years ago. I would like to think that after twenty years of experience in writing full length fiction and having 16 books published that the book is something I can be proud to publish. I hope you will agree and take a chance on it.

I hope you will check out tomorrow's blog, where I will write about who the book is dedicated to and why. I will also upload a description of the book.

Cheers,
Michele

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pirates, Sharks, Dinosaurs and a Video Game...Oh My!

For me, I think one of the most difficult aspects of writing isn't, "What am I going to write...," it's more of, "I have a bazillion ideas, what do I write first." Take that one step further and on into genres, branding, and marketing, and I get into all sorts of trouble. I love to write stories, so tying myself into one genre is really difficult to do. All the experts will suggest that you do just that. They say, "Find the market and direct your work toward that market." I agree to an extent, but for some writers we like to jump around a bit, and spread our wings. I wish, wish , wish I could stick to one genre. I do think it would be much easier to "brand" myself, and I also believe by doing so that I would see more sales. The problem with me is that I get an idea and if I like it, I run with it. For me, I have to stay true to my writer self and go in the direction that the "pen", or in this case, the computer leads me.

I've been this kind of writer since I can remember. It's why I write mystery, thrillers, women's fiction, and children's fantasy. Today, I wanted to blog a bit about my children's work, THE CLOVER SIBLINGS AND THE EVIL OF DESMAL. This book started out as a labor of love over eleven years ago when I was pregnant with my little girl. I had just finished writing MOMMY MAY, I? and prior to that THE CARTEL. If you have read either one of those books then you know they are fairly dark. People die in them. Lots of people die and in violent ways in those two books. I didn't want to write serial killers or mafia for the next book.

When I found out that I was having a little girl something inside of me made it to where I had no interest in writing on the dark side. That was compounded by the fact that I was ordered to bed rest. While in bed growing a baby and being catered to by my most amazing mother-in-law, I decided to write a story for my three kids. And that is what I did. I wrote a book about two brothers who were obsessed with video games. They play a game called "Zamora's Ultimate Challenge," where the wicked Queen Zamora is controlling the land of Desmal. Each level of the game has all sorts of challenges and various characters to deal with from pirates to robotic sharks, stinging poisonous fairies, lava monsters, acid poop bombing pteroydactls, Master Souls, etceteras. The game becomes a reality for the brothers when their baby sister is actually sucked into the game by Queen Zamora. It becomes the boys mission to rescue their sister before the queen takes over her soul and is bound to Earth.

I loved writing this book. I think the best part was creating imaginary characters and an imaginary world. It is full of color and life and fun. There are lessons about family and familial bonds in the book that I hoped my kids would take from it. I never intended for the book to be anything more than just for my kids. But my kids started passing it around to their friends who liked it, and I thought that maybe it should be out in the world.

And that is exactly what has happened. The book I once intended only for my fanily has found its way into the hands of many children. It has been an honor to visit schools and classrooms and meet with children, parents and teachers. The book has been "the book of the semester" for three years now at two different schools for 5th grade classes in San Diego County. I have to say that as an author, there is one way to feel like a  rock star--surprise 100 kids with a visit and have them ask questions about your book! It is the best. They applaud and they think you are some interesting, wonderful person. I don't bring my own kids with me to tell them the truth, which they would.

Anyway, I am re-releasing this book now where readers can get it electronically. There is a new cover, new title (formerly titled Queen Zamora's Ultime Challenge), and some new additions.

I also want to offer any teachers out there who would like the book in print to contact me, and I will sell them to schools at my cost.  I am also always willing to visit schools in the San Diego area. If you aren't local to me, I also Skype with classes and I will Skype with small groups of kids and parents who may choose to read the book as a group. The Clover Siblings isn't just a book for kids. It's one of those books that I have had adults send me e-mails to tell me how much they enjoyed the book. So, take a chance on it. I know that children's books aren't what I typically write, but as I mentioned, I write what moves me. This story moves me. I hope it will interest you and any kid in your life. To set up a Skype with me, just sene me an e-mail and we can set a date and time. Kids always have great questions and input!

If anything, go check out the cover. It's cool! Anthony Sclavi with Brio Books. They rock!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers,
Michele
P.S. The new print version of this book will be available Nov 1. The electronic version is available for your for $2.99 for your Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Clover-Siblings-Evil-Desmal-ebook/dp/B005FMK6GG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1318524467&sr=1-1