Just a quick note to let you know I’m guest posting at the Dare to Bloom site, and giving away an ebook copy of Heaven’s Prey. Come join the conversation about why we write — and/or read — fiction. Click here: Why Write Fiction? (Giveaway ends July 26, 2017, and is of course void where prohibited by law.)
“What’s the strangest tidbit you discovered in researching your novel?”
That’s a question I like to ask other writers in interviews. Or, “what’s the most interesting thing you learned,” or “what was the most fun to research?”
Today I’m asking myself those questions. Writing suspense novels means most of what I research is unpleasant. Sometimes I even wonder if someone in a uniform will show up at my door to take away my laptop. I try to get the difficult topics out of the way first, so I can reward myself with the lighter things.
So… here’s what I’d call the most fun… and the strangest:
Heaven’s Prey: most fun: definitely the racing. In the name of research, I attended the movie Kart Racer, about a boy learning to race competive go-karts. Much later in the process, I discovered a slew of online videos on driving tips and engine sounds.
Secrets and Lies: most fun: spending a day with my husband, visiting the Centre Island Park where Carol and Joey picnicked in the novel.
Without Proof: strangest: causes of small plane crashes. In all seriousness, plane crashes are not funny. People get hurt or killed, costly damage happens. But setting the tragedy aside momentarily, some of the circumstances of these accidents are highly amusing. My favourite, I think, is the crocodile incident as described below:
A passenger brought aboard a crocodile hidden in a sports bag. The crocodile escaped, causing a panic among passengers who all rushed to one end of the plane. This caused an imbalance in the aircraft which led to loss of control and a crash.
The article at the PlaneCrashInfo.com site is lengthy, but it’s an interesting history of unusual accidents from 1933 to 2010. Some are sabotage, others are stupidity. If you’re so inclined, there’s a lot more things to check out on the site.
What about my new series? The crime and health resources would give spoilers for the books, and they’ve been neither fun nor strange so far. One thing I’ve been looking at is dory photos, to find out what the boat looks like in front of the Green Dory Inn. (The boat’s not seaworthy, and the owner has turned it into a flower garden.)
Oh — and what I think may be the most fun research? I’d like to know what the best chocolate dessert is in the Town of Lunenburg, and where it’s available. Who says research can’t be hands-on?
First in the Redemption’s Edge series, last to get its own playlist…
There’s only one song mentioned in Heaven’s Prey. Quick, can you name it? Without scanning the rest of this post?
Didn’t think so 🙂
Here’s the Heaven’s Prey playlist: music that complements the characters and theme. (Song list below the video, if you just want to see what’s there without listening to it all.)
Heaven’s Prey Playlist:
“Come Into His Kingdom” by Sheila Walsh (I think of this as the Heaven’s Prey theme song)
“Here and Someday” by Jonny Diaz (Ruth’s song for Susan)
“With Hope” by Steven Curtis Chapman (Ruth’s sister Lorna’s song for Susan)
“Surrendering” by Sheila Walsh (Ruth’s song for Tony)
“In Christ Alone” by Adrienne Liesching and Geoff Moore (an anchoring song for Ruth)
“Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman (an anchoring song for Ruth)
“Don’t Turn Your Back on Jesus” by Sheila Walsh
“Amazing Grace” by Susan Boyle
“To God Be the Glory” by the Royal Albert Hall audience and stage choirs (also a good theme song)
Extra post this weekend… because I found out that my books are included in a half-price sale in the Kobo store! [Don’t have a Kobo? They have a free app to download for your tablet, phone or computer.]
If you wanted to read them before Without Proof comes out in November, now’s your chance. The following links are for the Canadian store, but Kobo sells worldwide. Outside of Canada, just go to your country’s Kobo store and search “Redemption’s Edge Sketchley”.
To buy: add the book(s) to your cart, proceed to checkout, and scroll down to see where to add a promotion code. Type SALE50 and you’ll see the discount apply. It works on more than one book, so stock up for fall reading! Sale ends August 31.
Just a quick post to let you know about two opportunities to win a copy of my books:
At suspense author Patricia Bradley’s blog: one copy of Secrets and Lies (Canada and US only, ends Aug. 16)
At the Koala Mom’s blog: one set of Heaven’s Prey and Secrets and Lies (Canada and US only, ends Aug. 31) There are plenty of other giveaways at this site, too, since author Bonnie Way is celebrating a blogging anniversary.
Did you ever have a question for a fictional character? I do, sometimes, and I enjoy reading character interviews. Paula Vince, of The Vince Review, sent me a question for Tony Warner of Heaven’s Prey. (Thank you, Paula!)
Tony, I can hardly imagine what it must have been like, when a sporting hero of yours committed such a heinous crime against your family. I can understand how you must have felt when your wife, Ruth, began praying for Harry Silver. But since Ruth’s return from her own ordeal, have you been able to forgive Harry from your heart too?
It’s been over a year and a half now, but there are days I have to forgive him all over again. Every time something reminds me of our niece, Susan, or see how much her parents — and Ruth and I — have aged. The worst times are when it comes back on Ruth in a nightmare.
The damage can’t be undone. I know God worked it all out for good, bringing Harry and me both into a saving relationship with Him. <Tony laughs> I can tell you it didn’t do anything good for my pride when I realized I was as distant from God as a serial rapist-murderer.
God kept Ruth safe from the horrible things Harry would have done to her, and the experience strengthened her faith. But she carries the emotional scars, and I hate that. The counselor she sees, and her pastor, help her keep holding onto Jesus, and He is enough.
Did you know Ruth’s started sharing her story in some local churches? The investigations have wrapped up now, so the circumstances of Harry’s return to custody don’t have to remain secret. Ruth doesn’t talk much about his conversion — she says that’s his story, not hers — but she speaks to women’s groups about how God kept her safe and sane. And about the importance of prayer.
Sometimes I go with her, especially if it’s a mixed event. People seem to want to hear my side, too. We’re trying to encourage Harry to write his story, not the crimes so much, but his journey. What made a successful, healthy man turn into a dangerous offender? And how did the God of the Universe break his heart to heal it?
Thanks for asking, Paula. All the best!
Want to read Heaven’s Prey before Redemption’s Edge Book 2 comes out? Grab your copy now!
Help spread the word:
Christian suspense #99cents for #Kindle & #Kobo HEAVEN’S PREY Oct 21-23 (click to tweet)
3 days only: HEAVEN’S PREY for 0.99 #Christfic #ebook (or click this one to tweet)
I’ve been busy lately with final edits and formatting for Secrets and Lies, Redemption’s Edge book 2, which will release November 1. Soon I’ll be able to share the cover art with you… I can’t wait to see it. Christina Fuselli, who designed the cover of Heaven’s Prey, is on the job, so I know it’ll be great.
Speaking of Heaven’s Prey, I’m giving away a copy over at Everyone’s Story (ends Oct. 3). Just pop over and leave a comment to be entered to win. I encourage you to stop by anyway and check out my guest post. It’s the story of my writing dream, and how God brought it back to life. Click to read: Making Daydreams Real.
If you’ve wanted to read Heaven’s Prey before the next novel comes out, time’s growing short. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet and don’t win one through Everyone’s Story, a few public libraries have copies. It’s also available in multiple ebook formats, and Amazon is processing the revised print version now. See my Heaven’s Prey book page for links.
Back to Secrets and Lies: Each Friday in October, I’ll introduce you to a character from the novel, with a special surprise for the final Friday in the month. This novel’s less intense than Heaven’s Prey, and it’s romantic suspense.
Heaven’s Prey has been out for nearly a year now. I’ve done interviews, character interviews, guest posts, and they’ve been fun. Here’s an idea I learned from Australian author Paula Vince, from the blog tour for her novel, Imogen’s Chance.
If you’ve read Heaven’s Prey, what would you ask the characters? Ruth, Harry, Tony? Ruth’s pastor? Susan? Or for me, although my imaginary friends may have more to talk about.
Ask your questions in the comments, and I’ll assemble them into an interview to post closer to the anniversary date (November 1… which is also the release date for Secrets and Lies… cover reveal coming soon)
If you didn’t snag your copy of Heaven’s Prey during our three free Kindle days, here’s a sweetener: for the next 8 days the Kindle version is only 99¢ USD (or equivalent internationally). Readers downloaded over 3,000 free copies in the past 3 days [edited: almost 5,800 free copies], and now a 99 cent sale? Why is my publisher doing this? Simply put, I’m an unknown author who needs exposure. During our free days, Heaven’s Prey reached #48 on the free Kindle charts in the US, and #26 in Canada (as well as placing on other Amazon charts worldwide). That visibility will help paying readers continue to find the novel. As I said before, reader response has been very good — but most readers of Christian suspense haven’t found it yet. If you’d like to help spread the word, here are some sample tweets or status updates. It’s best to not use more than one at a time… we have 8 days to spread them out.
For use from May 16-23:
Speed. Suspense. Salvation. HEAVEN’S PREY by @JanetSketchley #99cents for #Kindle May 16-23. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GAE9QMS (click to tweet)
“Uncompromising faith-filled fiction” HEAVEN’S PREY #99cents for #Kindle May 16-23. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GAE9QMS (click to tweet)
“Astounding story of healing and redemption.” HEAVEN’S PREY #99cents for #Kindle May 16-23. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GAE9QMS #Christfic (click to tweet)
“Gripping suspense … peers into the heart of God.” HEAVEN’S PREY #99cents for #Kindle May 16-23. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GAE9QMS (click to tweet)
Thanks for any support! And if you grabbed either a free or a 99¢ copy, please consider leaving a review on Amazon after you’ve read it. Next week we’ll be back to the regular schedule here, with a review, a devotional and a Friday feature. For now, for my Canadian friends, enjoy the long weekend!