Today’s Featured Author – Haris Orkin

Please welcome author Haris Orkin to my blog. His debut novel, You Only Live Once, a comic thriller, was released in March 2018. It is a contemporary take on Don Quixote as a mental patient believes he’s a James Bond-like super spy. This new release already has 19 5-star reviews!

Book Blurb

James Flynn is an expert shot, a black belt in karate, fluent in four languages and irresistible to women. He’s also a heavily medicated patient in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital. Flynn believes his locked ward is the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and that he is a secret agent with a license to kill.

When the hospital is acquired by a new HMO, Flynn is convinced that the Secret Service has been infiltrated by the enemy. He escapes to save the day, and in the process, Flynn kidnaps a young Hispanic orderly named Sancho.

This crazy day trip turns into a very real adventure when Flynn is mistaken for an actual secret agent. Paranoid delusions have suddenly become reality, and now it’s up to a mental patient and a terrified orderly to bring down an insecure, evil genius bent on world domination.

About the Author

You Only Live Once is the debut novel by Haris Orkin, who has had successful careers as an ad writer, screenwriter, playwright, game writer, narrative director and voice director. He received a BA from Beloit College and an MFA in Creative Writing from USC. His produced screenplays include Save the Dog (Disney Sunday Night movie) and A Saintly Switch (directed by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Vivica A. Fox and David Alan Grier). Haris has also written scripts for Universal, Columbia, 20th Century Fox and Paramount. His play, Dada was produced at The American Stage, The Nebraska Rep, and the La Jolla Playhouse. His Nobody Lives Forever was performed at The John Harmon Theater and The Player’s Club in New York City. In 2005, Haris broke into the world of game narrative with the script for Dungeons and Dragons: Dragonshard, and he has written eight games since. Red Alert 3 (2008) earned Haris a Writer’s Guild Award nomination for best video game script while Mafia 3 (2017) garnered him a BAFTA Award nomination. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (2009) was released to strong sales and excellent reviews.  Dead Island (2011) and Dying Light (2015) were the top selling titles for their years.

You can purchase You Only Live Once on Amazon.

Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

This post is the eighteenth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

As you write your novel, you will write many different scenes. They may be funny, serious, happy or terrifying. There is no way to tell you how to write each of these scenes because there are too many different factors to consider – writing style, genre, plot.

But here are a few scenes that can happen in any story and some tips or things you may want to consider if you are including them in your novel.

Low light/night scenes

When writing a scene in the day time, it is easy to talk about the color of clothes or facial expression of a fellow character. Your main character will be able to describe the flash of light as the sun reflects off the sword blade or the way the water sloshed in the bucket.

But when you are writing a scene in low light – whether it be at outside at night or just in a darkened room – you need to take into account what can actually be seen.

The first step is to be aware that writing a night scene or one in low light that what you might normally describe – grimaces on faces, color of eyes or shirts – will not happen.

A second step that can help make your descriptions more accurate is to visit a similar area to the scene you are writing. If you are writing a scene between two lovers, grab someone and stand in a darkened room to see how much of the other person you can see. If you are writing a fight scene in a dimly lit bar, visit one. (But I don’t suggest you start a fight to complete your research.)

Even just stepping out into your backyard can give you an idea of what your characters will be able to see for an outside scene.

Spending this extra research time will add to the realism of your story. Your reader may not note these details but including something your character can

obviously not notice in the dark can pull the reader out of the story.

 

Fight scene

Since I write fantasy, I guess it is expected that at some point there will be a sword fight or another type of battle taking place. Here are a few tips I use when developing a fight scene. These hold true whether it is someone using a knife, a sword or their fists.

1.) Visualize – This might not be an easy step for some but a lot of what I write is what I visualize in my head. I can picture what is happening and just describe it as I see it.  However, if you have trouble visualizing a fight (say because you have never been in one – and that would probably be most of us), consider the next tip.

2.) Watch a fight – Pick a movie or TV show with a good fight scene. (For a TV series, my husband suggested Buffy the Vampire Slayer and for movies, his suggestions off the top of his head were Under Siege, Bourne Identity and Batman: The Dark Knight and for sword fights, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But there are many more options out there.)  Of course, since these are TV/movie fights they may not be the most realistic, but you can pick up some good ideas from them.

You also might try looking at videos of sparing in martial arts. I actually used this technique for a knife attack while writing my novel, Destiny. I wanted to see how a person attacking with a knife would move.

3.) Draw a diagram – When I am writing a particularly involved battle scene or one with many participants, I like to draw a map of where everyone is at the beginning of the battle. It helps me keep track of where my characters are and who (or what) they are battling. Pretend you are a basketball coach and draw x’s and o’s on your paper. It really can help you keep track of everything.

 

4.) Act it out – When all else fails, grab a partner and act out the fight scene. This can give you an idea of how each participant would react. For the same knife attack that I mentioned above, one of my characters was going to surprise someone by stepping out of the shadows and stabbing another character in the back. To figure out how she would stab her victim, my husband and I did a little role playing. This let me not only figure out how the attack would happen but what type of injury would occur.

Once you have your fight scene laid out there are a few more things to remember. You need to watch your pacing – fight scenes need to be fast paced. Keep your sentences short. You want to keep the reader’s attention by showing action so don’t include a lot of detail. And remember you don’t have to write every blow that happens.

Humor

No matter what type of novel you are writing, humor can add another layer to the story.

I am not talking about making your story a major laugh-a-minute type affair. I am talking about working in some humor here and there to keep things interesting and realistic. Stories need ups and downs. Humor can help.

But humor is subjective. How many times have you seen a video or heard a joke that you find insanely funny but when you shared it with someone else, you were met with a blank stare or a half-smile?

The trick with humor in your writing is you don’t want to try too hard or make it too obvious that you are trying to be funny. I would suggest having a several people read your “funny” section to see if the majority of them get the humor.

Romance (in a non-romance novel)

Just like with humor, adding romance to a non-romance novel can add realism to your story. But how much you add and how much detail you add will all depend on what you are comfortable with and the overall plot. Whatever amount of romance you add to the story – and any sex scenes – should flow from the events of the story. Remember that every scene needs to advance the story forward or expand the character. So hot, passionate sex just for the sake of adding sex to your story is not a good idea (unless you are writing erotica).

Tips for writing sex scenes

1)      Decide how much you are comfortable writing. Just because others write steamy sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination doesn’t mean you need to follow suit. Don’t force yourself to write out of your comfort zone. Your discomfort will show in your writing.

2)      Let your characters decide on the level of intimacy. Don’t worry about publisher guidelines or what is popular. There are readers out there who like all sorts of levels of romance and descriptions (or lack thereof) in regards to sex scenes.

3)      However, do give the readers what they expect. When reading a romance novel, you expect romance and at least the hint of something more. If the romance is secondary to your story and doesn’t progress, your reader won’t feel cheated. But if they are expecting a steamy book and there is no steam, then your reader will be upset.

4)      You don’t always have to focus on what is physically happening. Write about what the characters are feeling rather than what they are doing.

No matter the scene you are writing, think it through, act it out or do whatever you need to make it feel real to your reader.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

Today’s Featured Author – Amy Elizabeth Davis

Today I welcome author Amy Elizabeth Davis. Her humorous book, Darcy Bites: Pride and Prejudice with Fangs, came out in 2015. Here is an excerpt from her book. And don’t miss the book trailer posted below!

Excerpt

As Elizabeth walked, she experienced a peculiar feeling as if someone were following her. At first, she dismissed this as her imagination and merely increased her pace, but the sense of danger grew stronger until she could no longer ignore it. Someone—or something—was approaching, something evil. In vain did Elizabeth try to convince herself of the improbability. Logic and reason deserted her. Every instinct, every part of her being, clamored for her to run.

Disregarding modesty, Elizabeth lifted her skirt and ran as fast and as hard as she could. At first, she continued in the direction of Longbourn but she soon felt a second evil presence coming from that direction and changed course, running she knew not where. Her cloak, flying out behind her, got caught on something and the bindings pulled against her neck, almost choking her. She undid it and ran on.

Elizabeth was in excellent physical condition but she had never run so far or for so long. She knew she would not be able to continue much longer; the evil presences were getting closer by the moment. She could now hear as well as sense them. Gathering her wits, she forced herself to remember her training.

The words of Elizabeth’s master came back to her, “You cannot outrun a vampire, save your strength.” Elizabeth stopped running. Before releasing her skirt, she bent down and retrieved the silver dagger she always wore strapped to her calf, reflecting with gratitude that she had never given up the practice. She held the dagger tightly in her right hand. As she turned to face her attackers, she took hold of the silver cross her father insisted she always wear around her neck. With her left hand, she gave it a strong tug so that the chain broke and she could hold it in front of her at arm’s length.

Elizabeth’s pursuers had slowed down and were approaching her more cautiously. They were now close enough for her to make out the details of their appearances. There were two men dressed in dirty tattered clothing, their hair a mass of knots, and they each displayed large fangs, leaving Elizabeth in no further doubt as to what she faced.

Growling and hissing, the vampires separated, approaching Elizabeth slowly from different angles. She had been expecting this. With her left hand, she used her cross like a shield to keep one of the vampires at bay while she lunged at the other vampire with her dagger. Her aim was true and she had the satisfaction of seeing it fall to the ground screaming, her silver dagger embedded in its heart. But she had misjudged how hard it would be to withdraw her dagger and when the vampire fell, she lost her hold on it. The second vampire was quick to move between her and his fallen comrade; Elizabeth had no hope of retrieving her weapon. All she could do was use her cross to keep the vampire from getting too close—a cross that suddenly seemed very small.

***

The Netherfield gentlemen had ridden out to do some shooting. As dusk fell, they returned to the house. Just after the sun disappeared below the horizon, Darcy froze and his expression became grave. “Something is wrong!”

With no further explanation, he abruptly turned his horse and took off at top speed.

“Darcy, what…?” Bingley quickly took off after him, calling some of his dogs to follow even though Darcy’s horse was much faster and he already had a lead.  Mr. Hurst judged it best that he return to the house so that he might acquaint the others with the situation and let them know not to wait dinner.

***

Elizabeth was so focused on fending off the vampire that she could not spare any attention for the sound of approaching hoof beats, nor did she think to cry out in an attempt to obtain help. She held the cross in front of her with two shaking hands, blocking the vampire’s attempts to swipe at her as it snarled and growled. The creature was so menacing that she could not prevent herself from taking a step backwards. She stepped back again.  She tripped. As she felt herself falling, Elizabeth’s arms flew out to her sides. She hit the ground. The fiend was on top of her. Its hands were grasping her shoulders. Its fangs were… It was no longer on top of her. There was a scream. In an instant, Elizabeth was back on her feet, unaware of how she had been granted this momentary reprieve. She only knew that the vampire was coming toward her and she had dropped her cross.

The vampire came closer. Without thinking, Elizabeth delivered an unladylike kick to the location where a kick might be calculated to do the most good. With another scream, the creature collapsed in front of her doubled over in pain.

Suddenly, Elizabeth realized the kick should not have worked. Lydia had attempted it once during training and their master’s reproach had been severe, “That is not only a low class form of self defense but it would not work on a vampire! I have taught you the only ways a true vampire can be harmed! If you kicked it like that it would feel nothing and would only grab your foot and put you off balance!!”

Now that Elizabeth had a moment to catch her breath, she realized, to her mortification, that the creature lying at her feet which she had taken for a vampire was actually “Mr. Darcy!”

Book Blurb

In a world where the existence of vampires is a truth universally acknowledged, most would be surprised to learn they had ever invited one to tea.

Elizabeth Bennet is no damsel in distress. Mr. Darcy cannot help but admire her fighting skills and lively mind but he struggles against his attraction to her as he struggles against his own nature. Elizabeth finds it most inconvenient to be indebted to Mr. Darcy for having saved her life. Elizabeth never suspects that there is a reason Mr. Darcy is such a gifted vampire slayer. When the truth is revealed, they find they each have a lot to learn about each other and themselves.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Amy Elizabeth Davis is a fan of Sci-fi and fantasy who became obsessed with Jane Austen in her mid-forties. She lives in Mercerville New Jersey with an orange cat who often jumps on her keyboard to add his own contributions to her work. 

You purchase Darcy Bites: Pride and Prejudice with Fangs Amazon .

Today’s Featured Author – Connie B. Dowell

Please welcome author Connie B. Dowell to my blog. Her book, The Orchid Caper, is now available on pre-order on Amazon. The book will be released on April 11, 2017.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi. I’m Connie and I like cheese. Also, I write mostly for young adults, largely fiction with a little nonfiction too. In my spare time, I knit absurdly large and warm things, paint and draw a lot, and sometimes try to make noises on the violin.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Most of my time is spent chasing an almost seventeen-month-old boy with one ambition: to risk life and limb in new and unusual ways. When he is not testing his limits, that’s when I write and work as book publicist. Basically, my working hours exist in five minute bursts when he is occupied with toy cars.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I always start with a big picture outline, but I don’t know how it will play out scene by scene until shortly before I work on that particular scene. Then I micro-outline the upcoming scene or two before I write them.

Please tell us about your current release.

The Orchid Caper, now available on pre-order, is the first in a planned trilogy of wacky nature-themed heist books. A young burglar and a college kid who’s more than he seems are brought together in a smelly surprise and team up to steal…not a precious diamond, not a boatload of cash. Nope. A flower. But what a flower it is.

What inspired you to write this book?

To be honest, one day I thought Wouldn’t it be fun to write a horror story that starts with a mysterious fart? Then—for some reason—I started to write to see where it went. Obviously, it didn’t turn out to be a horror story…unless you’re a pair of underwear, that is.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Alas, if I tell too much of the plot, I’ll be revealing the ending of The Orchid Caper. But I can say that there’s more nature-themed thievery and that the second installment will showcase the same level of maturity and serious tone as the flatulence-laden first volume.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m slowly but surely plodding through Phoebe North’s Starglass. I say plodding not because I don’t enjoy it. It’s got spaceships and a murder mystery, pretty good stuff. It’s just that with writing and work and a toddler and no childcare, my reading time is limited to ten minutes at night before I realize I am too tired and brain-fried to put any more into my head.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I once thought I was going to be a lawyer. I even went to law school for a whole disastrous year. Side note: “Because I said so” is not actually an acceptable legal argument.

Book Blurb

orchid-caper-working-01A down-on-her luck burglar, a trust fund college kid with something to prove. Will they outfox a master thief?

All eighteen-year-old Darlene wants is to rob the joint. College guy Ian comes home too soon. And some ill-timed flatulence brings them together. Darlene thinks she’s toast. Instead Ian gives her a job offer, leading a heist team to steal a rare species of vanilla orchid. Only catch, she’s swiping from one of the best thieves in the biz.

With her dad’s store on its last legs, Darlene needs the cash she’ll get when the job is done. Ian’s in it to win a bet. Can their rag-tag team pinch the flower right under their mark’s nose? And can they remember not to eat beans for breakfast?

About the Author

author-photo-c-dowellConnie B. Dowell can’t resist breaking the law…on the page, that is. She spins tales of nefarious folks and the people who catch them. In addition to The Orchid Caper, she has written The Poison in All of Us, a young adult historical mystery novella set in 1918. A former university writing center coordinator, Connie also authored You Can Love Writing: A Guide to Get through Your College Papers and Like It. When not writing, she is a work-at-home parent and a law abiding citizen. Connie lives in central Virginia with her husband and son (and soon a daughter).

You can find out more about Connie on her website.

****

The Orchid Caper is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released April 11, 2017.

Humor in writing #AtoZChallenge

HNo matter what type of novel you are writing, humor can add another layer to the story.

I am not talking about making your story a major laugh-a-minute type affair. I am talking about working in some humor here and there to keep things interesting and realistic. Stories need ups and downs. Humor can help.

But humor is subjective. How many times have you seen a video or heard a joke that you find insanely funny but when you shared it with someone else, you were met with a blank stare or a half-smile?

The trick with humor in your writing is you don’t want to try too hard or make it too obvious that you are trying to be funny. I would suggest having a several people read your “funny” section to see if the majority of them get the humor.

I typically don’t attempt to add humor to my stories. In fact, when trying to think of an example, I couldn’t find many examples.

This one is more amusing than funny. It is from my first novel Summoned. My main character, Lina, is being manhandled and calls out for help from her STAC, Tosh, who can’t help much. He is after all just a cat (with telepathic abilities).

***

The man lunged for her mouth. Lina turned her head, feeling his lips brush her cheek. She pulled back, but the man held her tight.

“Tosh, help me.”

What do you want me to do? Bite him?

***

Some authors go with more embarrassingly funny scenes. Here is an example from In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins where the main character loses her “breast enhancer” in the pool.

***

“Is this raw chicken?” he whispered.

“Sh! No! Give it to me!”

Em grabbed the disgusting, slimy boob enhancer (that had just been in a seagull’s beak.) Should she put it back? Or leave it?

“Well?” Jack said. “You going to put it back or shall I?” He lifted his eyebrow.

“Very funny.”

“All right, at least let me…here.” He pulled her a few steps away and hugged her. “Go for it. You can tell me later why you’re wearing raw chicken.”

***

Of course, if I am giving examples of humor, I must include something from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

***

Curiously enough, the dolphins had long known of the impending destruction of the planet Earth and had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger; but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs or whistle for tidbits, so they eventually gave up and left Earth by their own means shortly before the Vogons arrived.

The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backward somersault through a hoop while whistling the “Star-Spangled Banner,” but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.

***

There are many more examples out there. If you are interested in adding humor to your writing, I suggest making sure it occurs naturally within your story and of course, testing out your humor scenes on others to see if you get the reaction you want.

Book Blog Tour: Kathryn Leigh Scott

Author Kathryn Leigh Scott is on a Blog Tour to promote her latest release, Down and Out in Beverly Heels.

Interview

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I grew up on a farm in Minnesota after living in Norway for a year when I was a toddler. How different my life would be if my parents had chosen to remain in the small Norwegian village where my father was born! Yet I think I would still have become a writer and actor because so many of my family members, including my parents, wrote and acted. My brothers are both excellent writers. I am thoroughly American, yet I’ve lived, worked and traveled all over the world, filling notebook after notebook with journal writings. For many years I called Zurich, London and Paris home. Now I divide my time between New York and Los Angeles.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve been drawn to writing and acting since I was a child and they are still my twin careers, one always feeding the other. I wrote a play about George Washington in second grade, but it was all about Martha, the role I intended to play. I wrote short stories all through grade school, worked on the school newspaper and in high school won a state award for an interview I did with Carl Sandburg. I attended the summer “cherub” program at Northwestern University on scholarship when I was 16, after applying in both the journalism and theatre departments. I consider myself so blessed that I am still working as a writer and an actor, and I’ve though of myself as both since I was seven years old!

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Much of what I’ve written is nonfiction. I am very drawn to memoir, having written books about my experiences working as both a Playboy Bunny while in drama school and as one of the original actors on “Dark Shadows.” When I turned to fiction with Dark Passages, I was able to incorporate everything I knew about the behind-the-scenes world of Playboy and live soap opera in the 1960s… that’s very rich material! I also tend to write funny and it reflects my take on life. I’m essentially a happy person with a robust sense of the ridiculous… and I do love taking a poke at artifice and complacent thinking. Down and Out in Beverly Heels is about a homeless woman, but however harsh her life becomes, she deals with it in a very resourceful, humorous, upbeat manner. My work as a writer is very much character driven and dialogue comes naturally… is that a surprise?

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I’m currently writing a sequel to Down and Out in Beverly Heels because I love the character. I sometimes wish I were Meg Barnes! She’s tenacious, fun, resilient and so appealing to me. I’m writing in the mystery romance genre, but I tend to choose plots that have serious underpinnings, in this case sex trafficking. I guess I need a bit of fire in the belly when I write and dealing with the harsh realities gives my character some bite and purpose. I like that.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I’m an early riser and quite often go straight to my desk with a cup of tea to read over what I’ve worked on the day before.  My goal is 1000 words a day and I usually manage it. However, I’m also an actress so sometimes auditions and acting take me away from my desk. For relaxation, nothing’s better than a long walk or cooking for friends. There’s no point in trying to write at night because I simply can’t!

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

I can’t not write. It’s as simple as that. It’s hard and sometimes I wonder what I could accomplish channeling that time spent writing into some other endeavor, but I keep writing. For one thing, you learn things about yourself you never suspected.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I write a synopsis that is very complete and then I outline. However, invariably by chapter 6 the characters take off on their own. It’s easy to write yourself into a corner that way, but at a certain point you have to trust your characters to figure things out.

What inspired you to write this book?

Down and Out in Beverly Heels is about a woman who leads an enviable life until it all comes crashing down when it’s revealed that her husband is a conman who has fleeced her and her friends… she loses everything she’s worked so hard for and ends up living on the streets of Beverly Hills is what she calls her “Ritz-Volvo.” The novel is inspired by an experience my brother had when he unwittingly hired a man in the witness protection program, who was an embezzlet… and my own experiences meeting women living on the edge, “homeless and hiding it.” It takes so little: career meltdown, bad investments, catastrophic illness or accident, natural disaster, etc. I think we all live with the apprehension that we could lose everything in a blink of an eye. The “What if” factor is the springboard to imagination, making me ask myself what I would do if the worst happened? How would I cope?

What kind of research did you do for this book?

For a number of years I’ve volunteered serving weekly meals to the homeless in my community and volunteered in other capacities where I’ve assisted people in need. Without prying, I’ve come to know a few women who are living on the edge, who have lost everything, but are not recognizably homeless… what I have come to call “homeless and hiding it.” I drew on all those experiences in writing this novel. I also stockpile clippings and read up extensively on any of the matters that touch my characters. One of my characters is an FBI agent and I spent some considerable time talking to a friend who is an FBI agent.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Several reviewers have referred to my array of “quirky” characters. I think my acting training comes in handy in building very specific characters with lots of back story and dimension. I haven’t based any of my characters entirely on real people, but as I write about them they become very real to me. One of my favorites is Ariana, a former actress with great style, who is completely batty… and I realize she sprang from my memories of a great friend who was a fashion designer. Believe me, the fashion designer would never recognize herself, but I blush when I think how similar they are in their eccentricities.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The sequel is almost completed. I’ve pulled in my favorite characters from the first book and developed the wonderful relationship between Donna and Meg. Donna is essential to Meg, I realize, and a great foil. Only now do I realize how much I’d like to change a few things in the first book that would make this sequel easier… but alas, I have to move on within the confines of the characters I’ve already established.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I feel a great kinship with my lead character, Meg Barnes. I’m sure friends who read the book think she’s based on me… if only! I admire her tenacity, resourcefulness and great sense of humor. She’s much freer and looser than I am. She’s brave and can endure hardships that I’m afraid would break me. Perhaps I’ve just written the woman I’d like to be, but frankly I’m a bit envious of her.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I’m blessed to have an office in the back of my house that looks onto the garden and is awash in sunlight. Writing is a lonely business, but there’s comfort in looking out at trees and my rose bushes… and having my cat, Daphne, curled up on the window bench. At odd times she’ll get up and meander across my keyboard, but you can’t blame a cat for being a cat.

Book Description

DownAndOutInBeverlyHeels_Front_Cover_FinalFrom brunch in Bel Air to homeless in Hollywood…

Former actress Meg Barnes used to have it all: tony Beverly Hills address, Amex Black card, Manolos for every day of the month. Not to mention a career as a popular TV detective that made her glittering life possible. But her lifestyle of the rich and famous has turned into a reality show for d-listed starlets. Lost in her Louboutins, she has one man to thank: her con man of a husband.

Handsome FBI agent Jack Mitchell knows a suspect when he sees one—even if she’s as beautiful and gutsy as Meg. Meg’s ex “made off” with half of Hollywood’s wealth in an epic real estate scam. And Jack thinks Meg may have been involved.

Determined to prove her innocence Meg teams up with her quirky, movie-mad best friend to track down her fugitive husband and exact justice. But getting her life, and her career, back on track is harder than auditioning for Spielberg. Especially when her life is threatened. Meg has to trust Jack, the man who may want her behind bars…or as his leading lady for life.

About the Author

KathrynLeighScottKathryn Leigh Scott, author of Down and Out in Beverly Heels, is probably best known for her star turn as Josette Du Pres, ingénue bride of reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins in the TV cult classic “Dark Shadows.” This is her second work of fiction, following her debut novel last year, Dark Passages. While continuing her acting career, Kathryn launched Pomengranate Press to publish books about the entertainment industry, “Dark Shadows” fan books, and other nonfiction and fiction titles. For more about Kathryn, please visit her website.

You can purchase Down and Out in Beverly Heels on Amazon.