Random Image Day!-#43 (Counting Stars)

I, much like many at the present moment are, am dealing with a nearly endless cycle of stay at home worries. Some of us have navigated this new way of living in various ways, others have further cemented themselves into the realm of hermits.

It’s been a trying time for us all and, as time progresses, can clearly be defined as a turning point in our ideals, belief systems, and way of living. Society is shifting, thoughts are changing. I do not think we’ll ever go back to the “way it was” but it is my deepest hope that we’ll rise up, regardless of how long it takes, with greater connections to those around us, for the betterment of the world spinning right outside our securely locked doors.

For me, writing is an escape. I use it to drown out the world around me as much as possible. In those newly created worlds and developing characters, I control, I rule, and I choose the direction even when those within its pages clearly have other plans. It’s a way to control something tangible, to still the nerves, to calm the mind when its needed most and I think, or at least I hope, many of my fellow writers will agree it’s the same for them as well.

A few months ago when this all was just a brief mention on the nightly news thousands of miles away I was busy diving headfirst into a new series, this time a novella series based around superheroes. You can see the included picture below. 😉 Yes, totally tooting my own horn.

It took off in my mind and I allowed it, it grew and began manifesting into several different things all blossoming from my overall need to drown out the world around me by firmly situating myself in one of my own creation. I didn’t think I could do it, I didn’t know it was even possible but within the span of a few months I had managed three 26-32K word novellas which ended up being roughly one a month. I decided to keep going, I have to, I owe it to my characters as much as I need to escape.

The main problem I’m facing is the jumping off of one genre to another. I usually write supernatural/paranormal and general fantasy, but to suddenly bounce into a genre considered sci-fi and mostly superhero fantasy it took a few moments to navigate a new world. I have to say there was definitely a learning curve to narrow down my writing for the sake of smaller work when I have a tendency to be very wordy, which by now is probably obvious to most.

During the past few months, it also got me to thinking…Is is common for authors to skip genres? Is it normal for writers to try their hand in several genres to see which they prefer or is just seen as chasing the buck or running after the green dragon? If you did it, were you successful? Would you do it again? Thoughts are always welcomed. 🙂

Now, as I sit and work on finishing up the first draft of Episode 3, of The AOA– Season 1 I’m more determined to continue, satisfied in what I’ve created but wanting so much more.

I have a whole list of books waiting patiently from other self-pubbed authors for a read through and I could not be more excited about the diversion. Anything to take me away from the news, away from the fear, the confusion, the endless shifting information is regarded with the highest of praise, as a savior, as a helping hand and shoulder.

In the world of writing we tend to isolate on a regular basis. Sometimes, now more than ever, we could use a little interaction, a little escape, a little peace of mind knowing someone like us is out there, writing, planning, counting the stars.

Stay safe, stay strong. Write, read, and embrace the world around you even if only while glancing out the windows. Much love.

-KJF

Random Book Review- 12:23 by Patrick F. Johnson

I just finished reading and decided to leave a quick review. Sci-Fi fans who are aching for a quick two-hour read will no doubt thoroughly enjoy this fast-paced action/adventure offering by Patrick F. Johnson. I have left a review at Amazon and Goodreads. If it’s something you may be interested in give it a look and take it out for a spin. Support authors, read for the love of reading!!  Review and link listed below!

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Johnson’s short story offering, “12:23” creeps ever so quietly from the shadows offering little clues to the overall grand scheme before it rapidly crests and freefalls into science fiction thrills and chills that lasts until the final page. Cram packed with enough moments to fill a full-length novel, Johnson provides just enough backstory with the when and how to effectively draw readers in before he turns his creation on its ear destroying everything around him.

What starts as a genuine look at the world of writers soon switches gears into a science fiction mind-bending adventure that packs a punch. At the start, readers are introduced to aspiring authors Kim and Dylan who end up in the same place, at the same time strangely aware of each other but have never met. Supporting characters are introduced to the mix and, spoilers aside, the oddities and similarities quickly escalate cranking the story’s pace into overdrive and sending it rocketing into a whole different feel in the process.

Johnson’s ability to pepper his work with juicy tidbits of information throughout the breakneck speed of 12:23 only further affirms his expertise to great storytelling and the less is more tactic that keeps readers fully entranced by the magic within. While Johnson does answer some of the questions that come about within 12:23, like many a great sci-fi offering before it, others remain to allow readers to formulate opinions and to stew over the possibilities that a sequel may come along shedding new light on the main story and sending us off on another adventure.

Walking the line between mystery and science fiction, Johnson masterfully explores each grandly during the two-hour adventure he has created that will no doubt entice and titillate fans of both. Reading through, 12:23 feels as if it derives a little bit of inspiration from the television series “The Twilight Zone” before morphing effortlessly into the film “Independence Day,” and I for one could not have been more thrilled to sense it as I greedily devoured the entire story in one sitting.

Although a quick read for most and one that many will wish had carried on at least another twenty pages to slow down the white knuckle ride we all bought tickets for, 12:23 gives us everything we want in a science fiction short story. If a suspenseful mystery featuring trippy head games, driven characters mingling with aliens, odd places, spaceships, and the pew-pew of laser beams wrapped around a story with heart gets your blood pumping, Johnson’s 12:23 will not disappoint.

 

Amazon link:

 

Happy Reading-

KJF

Random Book Review- Wish Upon a Leaf by Teresa Grabs

Straying a little bit from my usual horror and supernatural reviews, I decided to expand my reading enjoyment and dove into this children’s book by Teresa Grabs. I have left a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and here for all my followers. If it’s something that appeals to you give it a read! Enjoy!!

 

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In Wish Upon a Leaf, Teresa Grabs offers up a children’s story that feels classic in its approach but remains viable for today and any age group. Touching and uplifting, Grabs’ offering delivers a tale that borders on timeless all the while creating whimsical touches and bittersweet experiences.

Emotionally speaking, Grabs’ portrayal of her main characters, Timothy, Sarah, and Edward expertly defines the overall mood and setting of her work. As three runaways from a local orphanage, each character remains brilliantly showcased throughout with individual personalities, wants, needs, and desires.

By placing them in difficult challenges, wins, and losses, Grabs’ ability to pull readers into the plight of her characters and the emotional bond they share makes Wish Upon a Leaf shine brightly as strengths and vulnerabilities are fully explored and the structure of the ideal family shifts. Each character, including supporting ones such as Sister Rachel and Miss Williams, is detailed and well-thought-out making them feel real and adding to the overall story without diluting it or taking anything away from its progression.

Throughout, Wish Upon a Leaf, readers are introduced to several locations that are wonderfully thought out and descriptive. Grabs’ ability to visually present every aspect of the world the children find themselves in delivers and brings the story to life with a vintage feel. Although no period of time or specific dates were offered except a mentioning of a 1934 Packard Eight vehicle at the book’s start, a mention of a McDonald’s, and a reference to Woodstock at night, Grabs’ depiction of her world eludes to a modern setting while remaining firmly rooted in a story scape that feels as classical as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, as an example.

In Grabs’ attempt to create a children’s story with general appeal, she has managed to go beyond that masterfully to create a charming work with heart and soul. By creating a world that feels as if it could be anywhere or right around the corner both near and far, Wish Upon a Leaf will remain relevant for years to come with its touches of warmth and bigger picture mechanics that will resonate for children and adults alike. New readers will no doubt enjoy the journey Wish Upon a Leaf provides and will find the magic within a blissful reminder that family is where the heart is regardless of how it presents itself.

Amazon Link Below:

 

Happy Reading–

KJF

August Interview with AllAuthor

Kester James Finley latest interview by AllAuthor Growing up Kester James Finley was an avid fan of comics and cartoons. He had so many favorites growing up that it’s hard to narrow it down to only one. He finds it challenging to hold back certain details or actions within the scene because he wants to add the gruesome or race through in a blur. His biggest hindrance to writing has always been his overly procrastinating nature. His first fully completed book was “Bitter Awakenings”. Read full interview…

Quick Little Update (Breaking new ground.)

It’s been a while, it’s been longer than that in some cases. Between adulting and everything else, the summer has basically flown by without even the faintest hint it was drawing to a close. Days that seemed to drag on forever were fleeting, faking it this whole time. Now, as August comes slinking from the shadows I’ve become aware that a lot of time has passed since I posted anything on my blog.

I’m happy to report that during this summer I managed to release the complete collection of my series, “The Keeper Chronicles” which is available pretty much everywhere in Ebook form. Five books representing horror, supernatural, and southern charm are now enjoying close quarters in one neat little package. The boxed set design was done by Eeva @ http://www.thebookkhaleesi.com and it’s amazing and totally fitting for my work. She’s and her team are professionals and highly talented and I could not recommend a better group of people to work with if you’re looking for any cover designs, banners, formatting, editing, or even a trailer video. To her, many thanks for all her hard work. Check it out below! 🙂

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Now that we’ve gotten that awesome news out of the way, we can move on to other interesting tidbits! In the past few months, I have been wracking my brain going over a “work tank” document of many many pages filled with ideas, character names, series info and anything else I could dump from my creative mind. I was busy trying to find which direction I wanted to go, where I wanted to park a few months in a make-believe world of new characters, threats, and fun. Nothing worked and I felt lost.

I can only assume it happens to many writers regardless if they admit it or not. Where do you go? How do you continue from the ending of a series? On which side of the coin do you find yourself, the pick one choice and roll with it come hell or high water or shotgun approach multiple genres of smaller works and see which one hits the mark?

I decided the best cure for me personally was to just suck it up and start writing, let the work unfold, let the story tell me what it wants. Amazingly, even though I am not in any way, shape, or form, a pantser, I sort of turned into one. I had a rough idea, a brief thought and started to toss it into some writing which became therapeutic, addicting, and now I want it more and more. I found myself, again. I started over, I reemerged in the thick of new stories, new ideas, a flow of creativity and I can only thank the heavenly muses who decided, “yeah, you got this!”

I’m now breaking ground on a new series, a novella run, a fun ride of something new, something familiar, something fun. It’s still in its infancy, but I have direction, renewed interest and am happy breaking a sweat while slinging the shovel of creativity. It takes work, it needs energy and I am more than willing to offer myself up to its process. Stay tuned for more updates, more reviews because who doesn’t love reading, and of course, random thoughts and pictures of a life spent in fast forward.

Stay strong, keep digging. Create. Write. Read!

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-KJF