Take a Look at Me Now (Well, My Characters Anyway…)

Characters… Let’s face it, when you’re writing anything, be it a short story or a full-length novel, you have nothing without characters. Characters make us care… they draw us into the stories and allow us to live it through them.

When I created the Kate Gardener Mysteries, the characters were very much at the center of the whole. The stories are important… engaging mysteries meant to thrill and intrigue… but the characters, the way they interact and react with each other… that was what made this world come to life, and allowed me to bring it to you.

When it comes to peopling my worlds with, well, people, I am essentially a casting agent. I’m one of those people that finds actors and actresses for the roles I read in other people’s books, and my own are now different. So, with book 8 coming out tomorrow, here’s a look at the inspirational figures for the main cast of KATE GARDENER MYSTERIES.

DS Jeffery Doyle… Doyle as a character has existed since the very first day this series was born. IOIP.bhNG0Qg0MJBrwxSqLZW38AHaNKn the beginning, though, he wasn’t a cop… and he wasn’t a very good guy. In fact, he was kind of a crook that carried on an illicit affair with Kate (!). But time morphed his character into something very different, though the attraction between the characters is still hinted at when he appears. As a cop, Doyle retains that rough, street appearance, walking with swagger and charming all with a wink and a roguish grin. And who but Charlie Hunnam could properly pull that off?

 

OIP.hNdgopxD0ahoiBoRFG8nXwAAAAJimi Khan… When Jimi was first created, she… was a HE. But a subtle suggestion following a BBC review that the cast wasn’t diverse enough led me to taking a look at this character and seeing what I could do with it. Jimi not only became a woman (ideally portrayed by Parminder Nagra) but also a bisexual woman and the “bestie” of Kate. It was amazing how the character blossomed once I added those elements. She’s become a favorite character of series fans.

idris-elba-luther-621783Jerome Wilkinson… Way back when this character was created, he was very different. Posh, stuffy, Caucasian… Wilkinson couldn’t have been more different. Then I saw a show called Ultraviolet and discovered Idris Elba, and he was immediately cast as muse for the role. I still picture him to this day.

 

sean-biggerstaff-portrayed-oliver-woods-for-the-harry-potter-film-series--1571735554DC Paul Owens… This is the one character that has not changed since he was first created way back in 2002, and the casting hasn’t changed either. I first saw Sean Biggerstaff playing Oliver Wood in Harry Potter and cast him immediately. If this were ever produced, I still want him asked to play the role.

 

 

 

next_of_kin_episode1_26Clive Reynolds… Reynolds was always one of the vaguer characters, casting-wise. I had a stronger view of the character itself than of what he looked like or of his presence. I just couldn’t find someone who worked and had that youthful vibe without being too young; someone that looked like he could be a Crown Prosecutor and still listen to acid rock from the 70s. Then I found a picture of a graying Jack Davenport and I said, “Eureka!” (I might have actually said that, too, LOL And so Reynolds was cast.

 

 

ca-times.brightspotcdn.comDoctor Diana Monaghan… The original muse for this character was Dame Helen Mirren, but as the character’s background took shape in my notes, I wanted a figure that not only had a strong, powerful air about her, but also was taller and could bring that bearing physically. Enter Janet McTeer. After seeing her in a mystery program, I knew nobody else could bring what this character needs to the table.

522b79688a5c57834fba39916edd3b17--jason-statham-famous-menDet. Supt. Douglas Hagen… In the beginning, Hagen looked a lot like John Nettles of Midsomer Murders fame. Okay, he WAS John Nettles of Midsomer Murders fame LOL. There’s still some of the dry wit and sparkle that came from that association, but Hagen is a written a bit more physical and with a slight edge to him now, and my muse for him as I write now is the one and only Jason Statham.

AidanDS Richard Pierce… Now, this guy went through a number of incarnations, inspiration-wise. In fact, for a long time the person I pictured in this role was Jack Davenport LOL. He did start out, though, as an Dublin-born Irishman, as played by Karl Geary. Many years later, a new muse was found and now I really can’t imagine anyone else as “Rick” but himself, Aidan Turner.

 

 

And finally…

Kate Gardener… this was a tough one become basically Kate is me LOL But if I was able to cast a production of this series, I can’t think of anyone better to play this part than Emma Stone. She epitomizes the smart, sassy, sexy vibe of the character, and she looks the part, too.Zombieland-Emma-Stone

What do YOU think? Is this how you picture the cast?

Curious about the series? Want to check it out from the beginning? You can find all the books right HERE

The Countdown Begins…

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So it’s a little over a week until WHERE DEATH REJOICES will be released… This book covers a lot of major themes and issues, from terrorism and the on-going issues amongst the cultures of the Balkans to sexual assault and the mental and physical scars that remain. One of the more subtle themes in this story that is threaded throughout, and can be traced through many of the previous books, is the theme of getting away with murder. Sometimes it’s literally murder; sometimes it’s simply individuals avoiding the penalties of the law on technicalities or because they become a casualty themselves along the way. As in real life, the cops don’t always catch the bad guys, and even if they do the legal system doesn’t always bring them to justice.

Beginning in DE PROFUNDIS (KGM #2), we meet a group of men who seem to have it all… wealth, power, good looks, charm… and, each in our own way, we find them attractive, desirable, special. As time goes on, though, we begin, with Kate, to uncover the truth beneath the façade… the violence, the decadence, and the coldness. It would be easy to blame the behavior of the “Cavendish Boys” on their background and their place in society, but the truth is you can find sociopathy in every walk of life. We all know them… some just hide it better than others.

This book (mostly) wraps up the long story arc involving the “Cavendish Club” men, and I think all of my readers will be shocked and thrilled by the developments. Secrets will be revealed… lines will be crossed… and yes, blood will be spilled.

Curious? Head right over to Amazon and pre-order WHERE DEATH REJOICES right now!

Peace, Love & Muchness!

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Drumroll, please…..

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Palm Sunday… One week until Easter and we’re all hunkered down in our domestic bunkers, watching reruns of old football games and live-action in the virtual racing world.

Bored? Yeah, you probably are… So how about a fabulous cover reveal AND pre-order announcement!? All right, sit down, sit down, don’t hurt yourself… I know you’re excited. I am, too; I’ve been sitting on this baby for AGES, and it’s so great to finally get it out there.

Therefore, we no more delay and without any further ado, I give to you the breathtaking, marvelous, spectacular… incredibly purplish… new cover for

Kate Gardener Mysteries #8

WHERE DEATH REJOICES

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Nice, huh? Oh yeah! As the graphic states, the e-book will be available April 28th, 2020, but you can pre-order now HERE.

Whew! That was exhausting! Cover reveals are hard work 😉

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The Devil Inside the Details… See What I Did There? ;)

mock-00575We all do it… read through a book or series, then come back later to re-read and say, “OMG, I totally missed that before!” Even as I went back through the Bloodline Series books, I found little bits and moments that I’d forgotten or hadn’t noticed before… and I wrote the darn thing! So this week’s bloggeration will be dedicated to

The Top 5 Details Readers Miss in the Bloodline Series

  1. WHERE ARE WE? I always try my best to right the direction portion, i.e. the setting, where people are going, etc., as accurately as I possibly can. To do so, I rely heavily on guidebooks for the city. So theoretically, if you were in Manhattan and wanted to follow Sam and company Uptown, Downtown, all around the town… you could literally use the books and do it. Great example: Book two, QUICKSILVER, when Sam and Vincent are running around in Brooklyn… you could literally travel from the elevated subway platform to Havemeyer Street and beyond just running along with them.
  2. HELLO, DOLLY In addition to the trilogy, I also wrote a prequel story that details an early adventure of Sam’s grandfather, Ivan (this story is not included in the boxed set). A clue to that story is mentioned briefly in the first book, BLOODLINE: a set of matryoshka, or Russian nesting dolls. They belonged to Sam’s grandmother and… well, if you want to know more about the story, you’ll just have to read IVAN 😉
  3. ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS In screenwriting, they recommend ending your story very much like it begins. You see that in a lot of the best films, whether it’s a location or a circumstance. In the Bloodline series, the story begins and ends at the southern tip of Manhattan.
  4. THE REAL REAL STUFF To me, the scariest, most suspenseful, best thrills are the ones based, at least in part, on reality. Science and history are scary as hell, and with the Bloodline series, I strove to stay connected to that and keep my stories rooted in that reality, that plausibility. Creating a retrovirus that causes lycanthropy, Operation Werwolf, and the abuse and proliferation of methamphetamine drugs by the Nazis are all examples of real stuff made fantastic in this series.
  5. WORD OF MOUTH The original title of the screenplay that started it all was THE DEVIL INSIDE, and that title makes a cameo of sorts during the course of book 1, BLOODLINE. Look for it… see if you can find it… and let me know in the comments below who said it and when.

 

Did YOU find any cool details when you read the series? Share them in the comments!

Peace, Love & Muchness to all!

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Super Books and Irish Muses…

Keeping busy is certainly important now more than ever and, as always, I’ve been busy as a bee this week. Today, my latest venture went live on Amazon: the paperback “boxed-set” of all three Bloodline series novels. That’s right… three full-length novels in one mammoth book (823 pages, guys… sheesh!). So, in celebration of this wonderfulness, I’m going to share a little something from the first book, BLOODLINE.

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Though I’ve written several books, and hopefully will go on to write many more, BLOODLINE will always be my “first-born”. It started its life as a screenplay called The Devil Inside. Inspired by music from INXS and Def Leppard, as well as a re-viewing of The Lost Boys, the story was originally about a male cop in LA who gets attacked by a werewolf. After some valuable feedback from writing peers, Sam became a female cop and the location moved to more familiar territory: New York City. At the time I had never been to the city (it was a couple of years after the original script was finished before I actually had the opportunity to live there for a time) but with the help of some stellar guidebooks and a good imagination, I created a world that was so real people from NYC complimented the accuracy of locations and atmosphere.

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One of the biggest obstacles in adapting the screenplay into a novel was finding my muse for the character of Vincent Kremer. Vincent is the dark knight-mentor-love interest for the female lead, Sam Karolyi, and breathing life into this character proved difficult until I discovered a then-mostly-unknown Irish actor named Aidan Turner. He’s a bit more well-known now, thanks to a little show called Poldark *winks*

 

 

Anyway, here is a memorable scene from BLOODLINE… the first meeting between Sam Karolyi and Vincent Kremer… Enjoy!

The Hooded Man continued to watch the body until nothing remained but a darkened patch where the body had been. He holstered his weapon and pushed back the sweatshirt hood. He ran a hand through his wavy black hair, causing longish pieces on the top of his head to stand at odd angles. He looked to be in his early thirties, but a kind of dark maturity gave him an air of timelessness. His eyes were dark, a rich coffee brown that verged on black, with heavy black eyebrows rising above them. She’d been a little over-generous in her height estimation; with the hood back, he was tall, but his wiry build gave him an illusion of greater height.

He watched Sam for a moment before he stepped away from the melting site and joined her by the tree.

“You all right?”

Sam was silent, staring at the spot where Franco, or whatever he had become, had melted away.

The Hooded Man watched her a moment more, then reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of soft white cloth. He reached over, dabbing at the blood that had trickled down her neck from the cut Franco had made. He dabbed once, twice; as he reached to dab a third time, Sam shivered slightly, grabbed his hand.

She watched his face relax a bit as he released the cloth into her hand. “That was a little close, wasn’t it?” His voice had a bit of an accent, maybe Irish or something. That wasn’t going to help her concentration.

Sam blotted at her neck, glared at the handsome man in front of her. “Close, yeah, thanks. What was that?”

The Hooded Man glanced at the melting scene then looked back at Sam. “Some poor bastard infected with LV.”

Sam stopped blotting. “LV?”

“Lycanthropic Virus.”

Sam gave him a blank look. “I’m sorry, I left my medical encyclopedia in my other coat. What does that mean exactly?”

“A virus which causes Lycanthropy.”

“Lycanthropy, I see.” Sam moved away from the tree and began to make big circles as she scanned the ground searching for her phone. She stopped suddenly. “Wait a minute. Is that, like, werewolves?”

“Like, yeah. What are you looking for?”

“My phone,” she groaned, resuming her search. “Werewolves, huh? Not to antagonize the crazy person or anything, but when was the last time you had a CAT scan?”

“Six months ago.”

Her phone appeared in front of her face. Sam looked up at the Hooded Man, took the phone from him. He raised his other hand; Sam’s Lorcin pistol hung before her eyes.

Sam hesitated a second, then took her gun, tossing him a small smile in thanks. “Uh-huh, well, you need another one.”

Want to read more of Sam and Vincent bantering? Curious about this mysterious virus and what happens next? You can find BLOODLINE on your favorite e-book platform HERE.

Peace, Love & Muchness

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“Snakes” and Druids and Cinn Faur… Oh my!!!

As St. Paddy’s Day approaches, THE COLD ONES is slipping into a five-day freebie period on Amazon. (Check it out HERE) Not sure you want to read it? Alright, alright, let me tempt you…

A Story is Born…

I grew up with my grandmother, a staunch Catholic of Irish ancestry, so Saint Patrick was always a very present part of my life. One of the most iconic images associated with him is that of the gray-haired, mitre-wearing bishop pointing at a small “herd” of snakes, the implication being that he drove them out. Now we know, based on scientific evidence, that there never were any actual snakes in Ireland… some kind of Ice Age glitch that spared the Emerald Isle from these slinky residents. Some claim it was always meant to be a metaphor for driving out the “evils of paganism”… but I started thinking in a fantasy story vein… what if the serpents driven out of Ireland were a different kind of evil? What if the most revered and respected cultural icon of Ireland faced something more terrible, and had to fight side-by-side with those of the Old Ways to defeat it?

And that’s when THE COLD ONES was born…

The monster could have been a human… once. Its head was hairless, and even in the darkness there was a reflective glow to its skin… a white glow, bloodless, lifeless. Oh, but it was most definitely alive, though perhaps not in the sense that we are. Its eyes were black empty spots on its head, as if the eyeballs themselves had been scooped out, leaving nothing but the nearly-smooth crater where they had once been. The nose was almost non-existent, nothing but two slots I assumed served as nostrils. The most terrifying portion of the face, however, was the mouth… A gaping chasm of teeth, rows upon rows, all surrounded by tube-like tentacles, as if sea anemones had thought the creature’s mouth to be an ocean tide pool and decided to settle in on its rim. Four longer fangs protruded from the top and bottom of the mouth, and they were as sharp as needles by the look of them. — Excerpt from THE COLD ONES

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2020 and Goal!

Most authors… we do it at the end of the year, or shortly after the New Year begins. We plan-out the coming year’s writing goals. Me? I do this constantly, it seems… Sketching out when I’m going to things and when I’m going to finish them. It’s a malleable outline that changes often and is always jammed with creativity and work. So, what do my readers have to look forward to this year? Well, a lot, to come right to the point.

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Last year, I joined in a rather spectacular anthology, Voyages of the Heart (Venice). I’d never written shorter stories (under 20k) before and doing it was a unique and challenging experience. I think I might be addicted, though, because this year I’ve signed up for a number more, with stories ranging from a couple thousand words to 10k, and in genres from western to mythology to wounded veterans and everything in between. Those will be coming out periodically this year, so stay tuned to my pages for teasers and info as I get them.

I’m also going to be part of an amazing paranormal boxed-set coming out later this year. I’m joining several other authors and we will be producing some fantastic stories featuring a host of creatures and a very unique world.

As for my own unique worlds, This year will see the release of the next Kate Gardener Mystery in April. Book 8, WHERE DEATH REJOICES, is my longest KGM yet and there is plenty of action, suspense, intrigue, and (yes) romance to satisfy fans. Now is a great time to check out the other mysteries and catch up on the story because I’m telling you the revelations and shocking surprises in this one will leave you breathless!

I’m also making plans for a new three-book series. I can’t tell you a lot about it yet except to say it is a shifter series (but not werewolves); it is historical (because I love writing in the past); it will be legendary. I’m in the notes and plotting stage right now, but will be diving in to write this summer and hope to be able to debut these books next year.

And that’s where I’m at… A jam-packed year to look forward to. Thank you all for joining in and being part of the journey! I’ll catch you all back here next week when we’ll be talking about book inspiration and some of the things that inspired my historical fantasy, THE COLD ONES.

Until then,

Peace, Love, & Muchness

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The Blog is Back in Town!

You totally sang that, didn’t you? LOL

Hello, Muchlanders! We are relaunching the blog as of… now! Crack the champagne bottle over the bow, ’cause this baby is sailing! And we are starting things off with some real excitement… an exclusive blog-debut right here of the brand-new cover for THE COLD ONES!

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You see, THE COLD ONES has gone through a category change (took me two years to realize what it is… Christian Fantasy… you know, like LOTR or Narnia). So with a new category comes a new look… Let me know in the comments what you think and feel free to share it whenever you see it. Also, watch my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages this month for the debut of new teasers and lots of cool stuff.

Next week we’ll really dive into some juiciness… like what the heck I’ll be writing this year! Save the page and don’t miss it!

Peace, Love, & Muchness to all!

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Gaby’s Books & Muchness – Weekly Update -Volume 43_02032019

Greetings all!!! Yes, it’s been a few weeks since my last update… Lots of behind-the-scenes things going on with writing, marketing and design… There will be some changes coming to the weekly update, most notably that it will no longer be weekly. The biggest reason for this? I’m going to be setting up a newsletter. Now, I don’t have an exact date for when it will be officially launching, but starting with the next edition “Weekly Update” will become simply “Gaby’s Books & Muchness”, which in turn will become a regular part of my monthly newsletter once it’s up-and-running. it will also still be published on my website blog as well.

Anywho, here’s a quick look at what’s new and what’s coming up…

I’ll be jumping back into Rapid Fire takeovers on Facebook this month, with takeover in my reader group on Sunday, February 10th. I’ll also be joining in for RFTOs on 2/18 and 2/20 as well… head over to Facebook and like my author page to keep up with my appearance and goings-on.

There’s been a change to the scheduling of the monthly Live Writes at the Bistro as well. Formerly, the popular “Genre Roulette”-style live write took place on the first Wednesday of the month. Last month, I switched to the second Wednesday to avoid the New Year’s holidays and I’ve decided to stick with the change. So our next live write will be on Wednesday, February 13th, at 8PM EST. I’m also changing up the format this year with some specialty writes and the 2/13 one will be the first… In honor of the Valentine’s Day holiday eve, it will be a night of Romance Roulette… Romance will be a part of the genres on the wheel tonight, so look forward to a night of comedy, suspense, mystery, etc., all with romantic themes. It’ll be fun and unique, so don’t miss it!!!

Writing news: I’m currently 2/3 through the next Kate Gardener Mystery (#7), and hope to finish it up very soon. This one won’t be coming out for a few months. Then I’ll be diving into outlining and writing up the next two stories in my historical fantasy/ alternate history serial.

I’ll be participating in a Valentine’s Day Hop this coming week. Stay tuned to my author page to catch my post, enter to win some sweet prizes, and be sure to check out all the other fantastic authors who are participating.

That’s it for this week. I’ll catch you guys again in a month for more Muchness, more Books, more all kinds of goodies… Until then, catch-up with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have a great night, a great week, and a great month to come everyone. Peace Love & Muchness to you all!!!

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