Brea's Blog

You can also follow me on my 3L Publishing blog at: http://3lpublishing-firstwordblog.blogspot.com/

Posts tagged 3L Publishing

Mar 12 '12

Tags: Sonja Fisher Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing California Girl Chronicles Books Romance Novels Fiction Book Trailer Sexy and Erotic

Feb 21 '12

Tips on How to Hire a Great Publicist

Our new VP of Marketing, Victoria Andrew is our rock star and goddess of publicity for 3L Publishing’s authors. She joined our team this winter, and I hired her because I have never seen a publicist kick major behind the way this woman does. Not only does she bring an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to my team, but also she is incredibly passionate about literature and publishing. When you can find someone who is just as passionate as you are about your company then you’ve found the ideal person. So, here is why she makes other publicists’ skills dull in comparison to hers (and if you’re an author what to look for in an ideal publicist):

15 Years in Publishing — Victoria knows more about the publishing and book business than even I do. When we first started talking, she brought up refreshing ideas about how to approach the publicity side of the business from an entirely new vantage point. While I’ve spent the majority of my career working on magazines and custom publications, she’s spent the majority of her career focused exclusively on books. If you’re looking to hire a publicist to support your book, look for someone who really knows this industry. Ask them their specific credentials when it comes to book promotion. How many years experience do they have in this industry? What is their education? Simple experience in, say, marketing or public relations won’t cut it. Your publicist needs to fully understand the ins and outs of book publishing.

True Knowledge of Book Promotion — most PR people will tell you the standard promotion tactics. These include developing a media kit and press release and pitching to the regional and national media. He or she might suggest you do a wire drop and show great enthusiasm over a good pick up on a wire drop. Let me tell you something: in all of my experience with wire drops, they only provide exposure. I’ve never seen a wire drop trigger real sales. Regional and national media pitching is standard to all publicity campaigns. What you want to hear from your book publicist are ideas that you’ve never heard before. I’m not going to give out our trade secrets here on the blog, but Victoria is going to tell our clients WAY more than regional and national pitching and wire drops. A publicist who truly knows book publicity and understands this industry is going to share a whole lot more than ideas about pitches to broadcast, print and radio. And if that is all you’re hearing out of your prospective publicist’s bag of tricks then you’re not going to get what you need.

True Results — Victoria gets results not once a week or every other day. Victoria gets results every day! Yes, you read that correctly. She is so good at what she does, she gets results every single day. Just over a weekend (a weekend), she set up three new radio interviews just for me and California Girl Chronicles. She has focused strategies and goes through her bag of tricks in an incremental, strategic way. While the kinds of results vary, she still gets them. She doesn’t give our clients a bunch of excuses as to why she can’t get them a book review or an interview. She doesn’t have to make excuses. So much of what she does is driven by ardent, passionate enthusiasm and commitment. She doesn’t go through the motions, because she’s getting paid. She communicates with our clients on a consistent basis. She answers questions. She picks up her phone. She doesn’t shrug her shoulders when she hasn’t gotten good pick-up and blame the author or blame the subject matter. She figures out how to succeed and get those results. In a business that can seem like all air and feathers, Victoria makes it more like concrete and sales.

If you would like more information about our PR services, send an email to info@3LPublishing.com. If you would like more information on 3L Publishing, visit our website at www.3LPublishing.com.

Tags: Public Relations Publicity Author Books 3L Publishing

Feb 15 '12

Writing Well-Developed Characters in Fiction

Writing well-developed characters is a true talent. When you write well-developed characters, your canvas of imaginary friends and foes comes to life. People “buy” into the idea of them and emotionally invest in them. They talk about them as if they were a friend or neighbor or associate. The first time someone talked about my heroine Brea Harper in California Girl Chronicles like she was a girlfriend, I was somewhat taken aback, but then I realized this reader had made the necessary emotional investment in this character.

So, how do you create well-rounded, interesting characters that readers will invest in? Here are some tips on how to do develop your characters.

Don’t rush anything — many new writers will not only hurry through their story-telling process, but also try and force their characters to life. What does this mean? They will try and develop the character by telling the reader all about the person in a paragraph through description. When you first introduce a character don’t force it. You can briefly describe the person, yes, but don’t falsely believe a paragraph or two and you’ve done the job.

Show it don’t say it — let the characters reveal themselves on the page by showing their behaviors. Put them in their places in the story and then have thembehave. Through their behavior you get to know them. For example, in California Girl Chronicles you have the flighty, mercurial Letty from the bikini shop. She is shallow, gum chewing, self-absorbed and colorful. Through her appearance (different colored hair and piercings), we gather she’s rebellious and then she acts rebellious and shallow at every turn.

Consistency — then make sure you keep your characters consistent. If Letty is shallow in one scene, she is not going to miraculously change her behavior to deep and caring in the next scene. Now if you intend to make her somewhat crazy and erratic then use this tool, but keep it in context and allow the characters around her to notice she is nuts. If you’ve been inconsistent with a character out of mistake or not realizing it then it’s an error and not planned.

Dialogue — what characters say matters as much as what they do. Use the dialogue to develop their attitudes and backgrounds. Remember, most people don’t talk in soliloquies and speeches. Use pedestrian language and keep it real. If a character is educated, use dialogue to show they have a vocabulary. If they’re urban, use the dialogue to show that background. You can also easily define characters by words they don’t use, too. If a character isn’t profane then you should avoid profanity being used by that particular character. If they have a dialect or accent, make sure you “imply” it and never misspell words to sound out the accent.

4 notes Tags: Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing Brea's Blog California Girl Chronicles Writing Novels Writing Well-Developed Characters Books Literature

Jan 4 '12
One thing I can say about Tumblr and the fan sites is that they are very keen observers of True Blood, the vampire series created by genius storyteller Alan Ball. I fell in love with Alan Ball’s work the first time I was introduced to it via the film American Beauty, which I quoted Lester Burnham in my first book Second Bloom. Here is one of the most precious quotes (thank you Alan Ball): “Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.”He then created another one of my all-time favorites TV series Six Feet Under, which I own all the DVDs and occasionally revisit well-tread episodes. Now I am enraptured with True Blood, and not because I was ever a huge fan of vampires. The other day, a fan pointed out something about True Blood that truly amazed me. In fact, I told my friend today that Ball is the “savant of storytelling” based on just this one observation. This fan pointed to the juxtaposition of Sookie’s “predator” uncle against her first lover Bill. In side-by-side photos, this fan showed how this suggested Bill was a predator too just a grownup version. Now here is what amazed and impressed me — that Ball has this archival memory to do the same suggestion he did in season one and fast forward to season four. Did he plan actually that many years in advance and foreshadow? Or did he just decide to make this visual juxtaposition four years later? Either way, it’s an impressive example of how really meaningful and deep storytelling comes together in subtle ways. His complete and total attention to even minor details just proves his mastery of telling great stories via film.As I embark on the conversion of my book into a TV series (we are close to making a deal) and write the pilot, it is these kinds of details I want to keep in the forefront of my own storytelling. Can I even rise to such meticulous skills? I have no idea, but I can certainly raise the bar and make it a goal. The trick is in foreshadowing and not creating plot holes to make your story work. I can point to so many other things Ball has done in True Blood that will blow your mind. Ever notice the angel/butterfly shirt Sookie has worn twice in the show (it’s pink and she wears it in bed with Eric in season 4)? Some have suggested that is Eric and Sookie by the way Eric was placed against the wings of the angel when Sookie was held captive in the basement of the Fellowship of the Sun. And then you have a number of butterfly images used for Sookie (notice the light in the season 3 finale is shaped like a butterfly). Again, I could go on. Pure genius. And this show is supposed to be about vampires! It’s probably the most intelligent show on vampires and supernaturals ever made — or just the most intelligent show, period.

One thing I can say about Tumblr and the fan sites is that they are very keen observers of True Blood, the vampire series created by genius storyteller Alan Ball. I fell in love with Alan Ball’s work the first time I was introduced to it via the film American Beauty, which I quoted Lester Burnham in my first book Second Bloom. Here is one of the most precious quotes (thank you Alan Ball): “Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.”

He then created another one of my all-time favorites TV series Six Feet Under, which I own all the DVDs and occasionally revisit well-tread episodes. Now I am enraptured with True Blood, and not because I was ever a huge fan of vampires. The other day, a fan pointed out something about True Blood that truly amazed me. In fact, I told my friend today that Ball is the “savant of storytelling” based on just this one observation. This fan pointed to the juxtaposition of Sookie’s “predator” uncle against her first lover Bill. In side-by-side photos, this fan showed how this suggested Bill was a predator too just a grownup version. Now here is what amazed and impressed me — that Ball has this archival memory to do the same suggestion he did in season one and fast forward to season four. Did he plan actually that many years in advance and foreshadow? Or did he just decide to make this visual juxtaposition four years later? Either way, it’s an impressive example of how really meaningful and deep storytelling comes together in subtle ways. His complete and total attention to even minor details just proves his mastery of telling great stories via film.

As I embark on the conversion of my book into a TV series (we are close to making a deal) and write the pilot, it is these kinds of details I want to keep in the forefront of my own storytelling. Can I even rise to such meticulous skills? I have no idea, but I can certainly raise the bar and make it a goal. The trick is in foreshadowing and not creating plot holes to make your story work. I can point to so many other things Ball has done in True Blood that will blow your mind. Ever notice the angel/butterfly shirt Sookie has worn twice in the show (it’s pink and she wears it in bed with Eric in season 4)? Some have suggested that is Eric and Sookie by the way Eric was placed against the wings of the angel when Sookie was held captive in the basement of the Fellowship of the Sun. And then you have a number of butterfly images used for Sookie (notice the light in the season 3 finale is shaped like a butterfly). Again, I could go on. Pure genius. And this show is supposed to be about vampires! It’s probably the most intelligent show on vampires and supernaturals ever made — or just the most intelligent show, period.

1 note Tags: Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing California Girl Chronicles Alan Ball True Blood American Beauty Six Feet Under Storytellers

Jan 3 '12

Alexander Skarsgard in 13 - Wasted Talent!

Just caught the movie 13 on DVD. I saw it and thought, “Cool,  my favorite actor is in it.” So it got put in the player and started. The movie was okay and not half bad. A few HBO players were in it. The actor who played the detective who had the child out of wedlock on Boardwalk Empire and Emmanuelle Chriqui from Entourage played a bit part. Unfortunately, Alexander Skarsgard only had a small role and didn’t do much more than play guard to the protagonist, who I didn’t catch the character’s name. The movie is about a young man who desperately needs money to pay for his father’s surgery and unwittingly finds himself in a murderous game of Russian roulette. Mickey Rourke also plays a criminal shoved in the game after being sprung from a Mexican prison to participate. The story is intriguing and tension-filled enough to hold the viewer’s interest. Skarsgard shows up early on and is given only a handful of quick lines. Total waste of his talent. He lurks over and watches our protagonist to ensure he doesn’t escape or drop out of the game. Like all of the thugs, he doesn’t look terribly attractive either and rather sweaty and greasy. Too bad for the movie, he would have made a far more interesting protagonist not that their star didn’t do a good enough job. I would give it two stars ** out of four. And a big zero for wasting Skarsgard’s talents on a throw-away role.

Tags: 13 Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing Alexander Skarsgard Emmanuelle Chriqui Entourage True Blood

Jan 1 '12
HBO has been running a Season 4 True Blood marathon. Since I am a homebody, I re-watched several of my favorite episodes from the season. I also re-watched the season finale. Much has been said about the fan upset over Season 4. I personally thought Season 4 was on a roll until about the last couple of episodes. When I re-watched the last two episodes, I could almost pinpoint where I thought the show started to “clunk”. The problem is with the writing not the acting. The acting has stayed consistent. The writing, though, had the actors saying a few lines that upon reflection didn’t work. I would suggest my feelings about this are being reflected by the contingent of viewers who have vocally stated their upset up and down the fan sites. So, I’ll point to a few situations where I think the writers took the characters off track.Season 4, Episode 11 — This episode (the next to the last) had several points that didn’t feel authentic to me. The first was when Eric and Bill realize Sookie is trapped in the Goddess Emporium, and they both say, “Fucking Sookie”. It’s not the profanity that was the problem, but more of the reaction when confronted by Jason, who is apparently the only voice of sanity in the situation, as he aptly points out that a. Bill used Sookie as his own personal soda fountain (true) and b. Sookie took care of Eric when she found him on the side of the road. Now Eric’s reaction when he says “technically it’s my house” didn’t hit home with me. At this point in the story, while that statement was true, I don’t think Eric would have been concerned with home ownership or pointing it out. The audience already knew it, and it wasn’t a loving thing to say after we all know he’s declared his love for her. My case: the writing was slightly off on a show where the writing is always very fine-tuned — and one of the things I adore about the show, which is really about vampires and supernaturals (something I’m typically not that interested in).Season 4, Episode 12 — This show was unbalanced in that it had some fantastic one-liners that were tempered by some clunkers. Pam calling Sookie’s name stupid and her precious fairy vagina will surely go down in the writing hall of fame. The line was dead-on, clever, funny and brilliant. Now balance that with the horrible line out of Eric’s mouth where he says, “Excuse me, crispy up here.” I disliked that line. It was just off and meant to be funny, but did not come off as funny just distracting. Now I used to think the break-up scene between Sookie and her vampire lovers was all wrong until I read a fantastic analysis on a True Blood Tumblr site, which deconstructed the scene. In the deconstruction of the scene, I had to rethink my low opinion of it. That said, it should have worked for me in a more obvious way the first time. I shouldn’t have to have my opinion changed because a fan site deconstructed it. I don’t want my writing “on the nose” but I don’t want to have analyze it too much either. I admit, I like my True Blood “Lite,” meaning a simple reflection allows me to figure it out.
Now outside of those two episodes, I thought the season worked pretty seamlessly. While some critics weren’t thrilled with the bedtime romp in a Scandinavian forest we suspect was in “Narnia,” others enjoyed it. I liked that scene okay. It was unexpected for sure. Of course, I will never forget the fan who was more concerned with Alexander Skarsgard’s feet and shoes than the scene. Like I said earlier, it’s a sexy, fantasy scene, and this fan was concerned about what kind of footwear Mr. Skarsgard was wearing — that comment was unforgettable because I laughed. Look carefully at that photo, does it look like we should be discussing proper footwear (P.S., if I could find a photo of their feet in the bathtub, I would have posted it for laughs).There’s my reflection on the reruns of Season 4 I enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. Look at me! Aren’t I the party girl?! Who-hoo! Happy New Year’s again everyone.

HBO has been running a Season 4 True Blood marathon. Since I am a homebody, I re-watched several of my favorite episodes from the season. I also re-watched the season finale. Much has been said about the fan upset over Season 4. I personally thought Season 4 was on a roll until about the last couple of episodes. When I re-watched the last two episodes, I could almost pinpoint where I thought the show started to “clunk”. The problem is with the writing not the acting. The acting has stayed consistent. The writing, though, had the actors saying a few lines that upon reflection didn’t work. I would suggest my feelings about this are being reflected by the contingent of viewers who have vocally stated their upset up and down the fan sites. So, I’ll point to a few situations where I think the writers took the characters off track.

Season 4, Episode 11 — This episode (the next to the last) had several points that didn’t feel authentic to me. The first was when Eric and Bill realize Sookie is trapped in the Goddess Emporium, and they both say, “Fucking Sookie”. It’s not the profanity that was the problem, but more of the reaction when confronted by Jason, who is apparently the only voice of sanity in the situation, as he aptly points out that a. Bill used Sookie as his own personal soda fountain (true) and b. Sookie took care of Eric when she found him on the side of the road. Now Eric’s reaction when he says “technically it’s my house” didn’t hit home with me. At this point in the story, while that statement was true, I don’t think Eric would have been concerned with home ownership or pointing it out. The audience already knew it, and it wasn’t a loving thing to say after we all know he’s declared his love for her. My case: the writing was slightly off on a show where the writing is always very fine-tuned — and one of the things I adore about the show, which is really about vampires and supernaturals (something I’m typically not that interested in).

Season 4, Episode 12 — This show was unbalanced in that it had some fantastic one-liners that were tempered by some clunkers. Pam calling Sookie’s name stupid and her precious fairy vagina will surely go down in the writing hall of fame. The line was dead-on, clever, funny and brilliant. Now balance that with the horrible line out of Eric’s mouth where he says, “Excuse me, crispy up here.” I disliked that line. It was just off and meant to be funny, but did not come off as funny just distracting. Now I used to think the break-up scene between Sookie and her vampire lovers was all wrong until I read a fantastic analysis on a True Blood Tumblr site, which deconstructed the scene. In the deconstruction of the scene, I had to rethink my low opinion of it. That said, it should have worked for me in a more obvious way the first time. I shouldn’t have to have my opinion changed because a fan site deconstructed it. I don’t want my writing “on the nose” but I don’t want to have analyze it too much either. I admit, I like my True Blood “Lite,” meaning a simple reflection allows me to figure it out.

Now outside of those two episodes, I thought the season worked pretty seamlessly. While some critics weren’t thrilled with the bedtime romp in a Scandinavian forest we suspect was in “Narnia,” others enjoyed it. I liked that scene okay. It was unexpected for sure. Of course, I will never forget the fan who was more concerned with Alexander Skarsgard’s feet and shoes than the scene. Like I said earlier, it’s a sexy, fantasy scene, and this fan was concerned about what kind of footwear Mr. Skarsgard was wearing — that comment was unforgettable because I laughed. Look carefully at that photo, does it look like we should be discussing proper footwear (P.S., if I could find a photo of their feet in the bathtub, I would have posted it for laughs).

There’s my reflection on the reruns of Season 4 I enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. Look at me! Aren’t I the party girl?! Who-hoo! Happy New Year’s again everyone.

1 note Tags: Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing True Blood Alexander Skarsgard Anna Paquin Alan Ball

Dec 29 '11

Where in the World is Alexander?

My post on the 3L Publishing blog site about paparazzi resulted in the answer to the question: Why are there no new pictures of Alexander Skarsgard. Answer came from what looked like a photographer from Wet Paint: he’s on Christmas break in Stockholm. All you fans out there clamoring for fresh pictures, there is your answer. See comments at: http://3lpublishing-firstwordblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-favorite-picture-of-alexander.html Thought I would share … Happy New Year!

2 notes Tags: Michelle Gamble Risley 3L Publishing True Blood Alexander Skarsgard

Dec 26 '11

Funny Moments from California Girl Chronicles

It’s a holiday and a Monday, so I thought today would be a great day to have a little fun on the blog. I wrote California Girl Chronicles to include humor. What I did not realize is that the humor would be one of the stand-out parts of the book (I thought all that sex would eclipse the humor … just saying). It turns out the humorous parts are being praised by both readers and critics. So, it’s a holiday, and I feel some fun coming on. Here are some humorous moments from book one Brea and the City of Plastic

Hungrier than Horny — I decided no way was Lance going to get the “pooty” unless he paid for a great meal. I also felt he should make an effort at some kind of real conversation perhaps over at least raspberry muffins and Folgers coffee at Denny’s coffee shop. Food is food – and I’m hungrier than I am horny. 

Clean Teeth or McNuggets — When we passed a McDonald’s, I had an urge to ask for a Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal. “Oh, a little honey and pressed-chicken stuff would satisfy my hunger,” I thought and nixed the idea. He was probably Vegan or some anti-fast-food hater. He might be really grossed out that I like nuggets (most people are, Vegan or not), and the date would be over. I once told a guy I hadn’t had my teeth cleaned in a year, and he broke up with me. I quickly went to the dentist and never mentioned that faux pas ever again – at least not to a potential lover and/or boyfriend. 

Rockin’ Rock Band — “These guys rock,” Lance said enthusiastically. He wasn’t looking at me anymore. The guy who wore white also mesmerized him. I wondered if Lance realized he said a rock band rocked?

Hamburger or Hotdog — “Do you meet women who try to seduce you for jobs?” I asked and grinned. “You’re pretty hot. I can only imagine young actresses all over your shit.”

Kale frowned and replied, “That’s not how I roll, sweetheart. I respect women. My mother is a scientific genius who works as a professor at MIT. She raised me right. You don’t treat women like hamburger, and they won’t treat you like hotdog.”

Coconuts — I reluctantly took my tiny, white sundress that was no more than soft cotton with a palm-tree print on the front that said, “Love my coconuts.” I tried to hide my scorn and darted into the dressing room where tried-on bikinis were still hanging on the hooks. 

Pout for You — My best friend Denise glided into the room and heard me laughing to myself. She knew not to interrupt me, but she positioned herself right at the kitchen counter where I couldn’t miss her. She was sipping a screwdriver. I thought it was early for a drink, but didn’t say anything. She seemed rosy and flush. “What the hell, Brea?” she asked. “Are you laughing alone? You’re like an alcoholic drinking alone. Pout for you. How sad.”

“Who’s the alcoholic?” I motioned to her drink.

She cracked a smile and replied, “Who me? This is orange juice,” she said and winked. 

I’m a Super Hero Now — “I think that was the best sex I’ve ever had,” I replied and reached across to wipe the sweat off his brow.

This suggestion seemed to intrigue him. He looked at me with this strange grin and replied, “Really? You? Me?”

I sighed, leaned into him, kissed his lips, and replied, “Quite right.”

“All right, look at me. I’m a man now,” he declared facetiously. “Sweetheart, you made me a man. I think … no, I know, I have superpowers too. See what you did! Now I’ll have to save the world or something. Or just make a movie about it.”

Tags: Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing LLC 3L Publishing Brea and the City of Plastic California Girl Chronicles Romance Novels Humorous Fiction Comedy Comedic Writing Brea Harper

Dec 25 '11
Merry Christmas Tumblers! Thank you for supporting my blog! I hope this day was very special for you and yours!
Michelle

Merry Christmas Tumblers! Thank you for supporting my blog! I hope this day was very special for you and yours!

Michelle

Tags: Michelle Gamble-Risley 3L Publishing LLC 3L Publishing California Girl Chronicles Books and Publishing Contemporary Romance