SPOILER ALERT: The following is an excerpt from California Girl Chronicles: Brea and the City of Plastic. In this scene, she meets Kale, her central love interest in the series. The book is available for sale on 3L Publishing www.3LPublishing, Amazon, Kindle, iBook, Nook and is available to order through Bakers and Taylor for bookstores.
I smiled and slinked by him just enough that he could feel my energy but far enough that we didn’t touch. I sensed his smile, turned, and grinned back. As I walked into the lounge area, I heard Drew’s band already playing. I decided to find an open stool at the bar and just hang back until he finished. Fortunately, a guy already drunk got up, or more like fell off, and weaved unsteadily toward the bathroom. I swiftly grabbed the stool, slid up, and could see Drew already at the microphone. I saw his eyes move my way, and he stared right back just for a moment. Then he drifted off into the song. Before I could order, a lemon drop was plunged in front of me by a cute guy sitting to my left. He was smoking a cigar and wafts of smoke twirled up into the air. He exuberantly grinned at me. “I bought you a drink,” he said with a wide smile that exposed perfectly white, straight teeth. He had one of those vivacious, electric smiles that you wanted to see on his face all of the time. It was sweet, genuine and nice. I found his smile very attractive, and I immediately warmed toward him.
“Oh, how did you know I wanted a lemon drop?” I asked with true surprise. It was my favorite drink.
“Girlie drink,” he replied with that same electric smile. “My name is Kale. I produce movies.”
I turned a bit and looked at him. Only in Hollywood did people offer what they did at the same time that they introduced themselves. I marveled at the abrupt nature of his introduction that included his job title. “My name is Brea. I write movies,” a slight lie given that I hadn’t written anything, but when in Rome or Hollywood-land.
“Hello Brea who writes movies,” his voice sounded silky. He looked right at me and took in the measure of my form with one swift appraisal. “You look more like an actress, though. Have you thought about acting?” he asked.
“No, not interested,” I responded. “Tell me, Kale, how does one end up a producer?”
Kale took a sip of his whiskey, inhaled from his cigar, blew out smoke, which made me cough, and answered, “Family money and good taste in film … well, more like good instincts on what sells.”
He reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out a card. He flipped it over and handed it to me. “You’re much too pretty to hide behind the lens,” he complimented me and extended his card, which I took. “You really should act,” he said in his silky, sublime voice. The tone of his voice alone could have seduced me.
“No, not for me, but you’re sweet and thank you,” I replied.
Now I took in my own appraisal of him. He wore all black shirt and slacks. His dark blond hair was cut short and slicked back nicely with the perfect amount of hair product so it wasn’t greasy or pasty looking. I was extremely attracted to Kale and leaned in closer. He smelled natural and sweet. He had a genuinely pleasant nature. He seemed authentic and not phony like all the want-to-be actresses and actors in this bar who posed like models. He also gave me his full attention and looked me right in the eyes. He was very tall (my fetish for tall men again) somewhere around 6’ 4”. I could tell he was roughly this tall since his lean body did not fit well on the barstool designed for average-height people. While my feet didn’t touch the ground, and I had to tuck them under the stool, his long legs reached all the way down. Yet it was his eyes that just captivated me. His eyes were light blue-green and acted like reflections for his every emotion. When he smiled, his eyes sparkled and lit up. When he frowned, his eyes darkened and seemingly deepened. He could have been Svengali and used those translucent, clear eyes to hypnotize and lull me into his mind control. I was drawn into those endless eyes, and then I had to shake myself loose so I could pay attention to what he said. He was something if not rich as he had more than just said. I wasn’t into guys for money, though, so that was really only a checkmark on my list of good points – unemployment was on the low end of that scale.
Kale and I talked back and forth. He asked about my fake script. I adlibbed and told him it wasn’t ready to share, which seemed to satisfy him. I did tell him I was laid off. I explained how I ended up at the bikini place. He was amused by the idea that trying on a bikini landed me a job but said it didn’t surprise him with my looks. Before I realized it, Drew suddenly showed up. I hadn’t noticed his set ended. I had been too busy talking and staring at Kale. Drew just seemed to show up in the middle of our conversation. He stood there and looked right at me. It took me a moment to notice him, and then I did and laughed.
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.
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.
I always like to start off with a snippet from the back of the book or in the inside cover but this book had neither so I used a little of the pitch that got me interested in the book to begin with. Then I will tell you a little bit of what I thought of the book. This book is called the California Girl Chronicles by Michelle Gamble-Risley.
In California Girl Chronicles, you will meet Brea Harper, who is the next Carrie Bradshaw transplanted in Los Angeles. Funny, witty, beautiful, and very sexy, Brea takes readers on a wild ride into her outrageous, romantic, and professional life. Demoralized and forced to work in what she calls “bikini hell” just to make ends meet, Brea pursues her career to become a screenwriter only to be continuously distracted by hot men. Delightfully misguided, Brea makes poor choices many women of all ages will find to be highly relatable. She is one of those unforgettable characters readers love to love.
Brea is a 22 year old California girl who is very much into what she wants out of life. She has a bachelor’s degree from college and want to write screen plays someday. Brea starts seeing a guy named Lance, and lord have mercy they have sex at just about every time of the page! One night they go out to a club and Brea meets a new guy named Drew who is in a band. She was drawn to him but instead went to L.A. with Lance and she got a job in a bikini store. Unfortunately, for Brea, Drew’s band comes to L.A. and Brea meets up with him again in a club.
While at the club one night she meets a movie maker named Kale and they end up in bed having once again, lots and lots of sex. She decides she needs to get him to be her boyfriend so that he will help her in the movie business. He finally agrees to give her the big break that she has been looking for. But, Brea, being Brea, can’t resist her attraction to Drew and she finally has sex with him also. But it comes at a price she did not realize she would have to pay.
I have to tell you to be ready for alot of sex in this book! I had to laugh a little here and there because I thought to myself, this girl is really educated and she keeps making these awful choices and she is SEX CRAZY! She is her own worst enemy! I wanted to yank her hair out and tell her are you kidding me? But, whether you love to read about people having lots of sex or you like a book that will make you laugh, this is your book. It has both and you will want to slap Brea yourself a few times here and there also! Happy Reading!