Posts Tagged With: guest blog

MYSTERY—SUSPENSE, SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE??

Today’s guest post is from Cindy McDonald, author of the Unbridled series, and also the First Force series. Cindy is a romance-suspense or suspense-romance author. Get that? She is not a mystery author. There is a difference. Read below to find out what that is:

I’ve had several readers and reviewers post that they love my mysteries. Ahhh, but most recently I had a reviewer complain that she was upset because there was no mystery involved in my latest book, Shady Deals, and there’s a darn good reason for that: I simply do not write mysteries! While some readers and reviewers put my Unbridled books in the mystery category, the simple fact is that I write murder suspense and romantic suspense novels.

Shady Deals is Cindy's latest installment in the Unbridled series, filled with romance & suspense. Click on book cover to visit on Amazon.

Shady Deals is Cindy’s latest installment in the Unbridled series, filled with romance & suspense. Click on book cover to visit on Amazon.

A mystery writer plays their cards close to their chest. Bit by bit the mystery writer will slowly feed you clues as to who killed the poor widow who lives in the Victorian mansion on the hill. During the course of the story they will throw suspicion in several directions and perhaps throw a few twists into the plot to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end as to whodunit. A very good mystery writer will surprise you.

A suspense writer holds nothing back. The suspense writer tells you straight up that the handsome, young man whose car broke down during the storm and showed up at the poor widow’s door asking to use her phone killed her. But now will her beautiful, recently divorced daughter be next?

A suspense writer will toy with your emotions and your apprehensions by leading you to believe that perhaps you—the reader—is mistaken. Perhaps the young man isn’t the murderer, and maybe someone else killed her. A suspense writer will send cold-hard fear crawling up your skin as the murderer charms the widow’s daughter. When is he going to kill her? How is he going to kill her? Will the police officer that lives down the street figure out what is going on and come to her rescue before it’s too late? If you can’t put the book down because you simply can’t wait to find out the answers, then the suspense writer has done their job well.

Cindy McDonald's new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

Cindy McDonald’s new series: First Force is a romance-suspense. Into the Crossfire has been receiving rave reviews. Click on the sexy book cover to check it out!

In a mystery book there is always the telling moment when all the characters, which of course includes the protagonist detective and the suspects, all gather together to put all the clues together and reveal the murderer.

In a suspense book the action comes to a climax where people’s lives are hanging on the edge, requiring the protagonist to hatch a dodgy rescue, risking everything to save the widow’s daughter.

It all seems extremely basic, doesn’t it? So what’s all the confusion about?

Stick with me, because this is the important part:

When looking for my books on amazon, you may very well find them under the category of mystery. Why? Because when amazon categorizes books many are lumped together in one category. Mystery and suspense books are put together in a mystery/suspense/thriller category, and then the book will be broken down from there into sub-categories like: romance, police procedural, cozy mystery, romantic suspense, murder suspense etc. Yes! My books could possibly be listed in the same category as Stephen King’s thrillers regardless of the fact that they are not the same kind or genre as Mr. King’s books.

In other words my romantic suspense and murder suspense books can show up in several categories, including mystery, even though it is not a mystery at all.

Whew! Did I clear that all up for you? I suppose the point is, the next time you shop for a mystery on amazon, you may very well get suspense or suspense that teases your sense of deductive reasoning with a mystery.

Author Cindy McDonald. Click on pic to visit Cindy's website.

Author Cindy McDonald.
Click on pic to visit Cindy’s website.

About the Author:

For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.

Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.

I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!

In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.

To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, please visit Cindy’s website at: www.cindymcwriter.com

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My Mother Isn’t a Psychopath. She’s a Mystery Writer—and She’s Giving Away a Book!

Life is difficult when you’re mother is a murder mystery writer, as you will see in Lauren Carr’s guest post at Buried Under Books.

My Mother Isn\’t a Psychopath. She\’s a Mystery Writer—and She\’s Giving Away a Book!.

via My Mother Isn’t a Psychopath. She’s a Mystery Writer—and She’s Giving Away a Book!.

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By the Cover They Will Judge

melchelledesigns_logo_2013

Guest Post by M.S. Fowle

I don’t need to say it. We all know how it goes. And though it pains most of us to realize it, it’s true. Quite honestly, one can’t simply look at a book cover and know if it’s worth reading. But we certainly try. So authors have no choice but to have a book cover that will grab and compel a reader to give their work a chance. To an author, their book is their heart and soul, no matter the genre. I know this because I’m an author myself. I know all too well of the work that goes into our stories and characters. So I know how important it is to have cover art that not only best reflects the tales we have told, but uses visual prowess to capture potential readers as well.

Some may think that because I’m an author, I must have an advantage in book cover making. It does, but it doesn’t. I do know what it’s like to be in their shoes—the excitement of finally finishing a novel, the anxiety of publishing. But I also know what it’s like to be a cover designer working with authors stuck on a rollercoaster of emotions. In this article, I’ll offer advice to both sides, as well as a few tips for those interested in creating their own book cover art.

Buying Cover Art

Taking the indie route offers up opportunities that you wouldn’t normally have being traditionally published. Signing with a publisher means, most likely, they’ll be providing the artwork for your book cover and promotional materials. The author has little to do with the process. As an indie author, you get to decide how your book will be represented. But there are a few things you need to know about the process.

Lauren Carr's Authors in Bathrobes is a custom design by M.S. Fowle.

Lauren Carr’s Authors in Bathrobes is a custom design by M.S. Fowle.

·         Plan Ahead

I can’t even count how many times an author has ordered one of my premade e-book covers and I respond to their query only to get a reply about how they don’t have the money yet. Or how many requests I’ve gotten for custom artwork with a ridiculous deadline, like I’m surgically planted in front of my computer with no life or any desire to sleep. Try to have book cover art lined up and ready to go weeks, if not months, ahead of when you plan to publish. Anything could happen. If you wait until the last minute, you could miss your release date and disappoint a lot of readers.

·         Keep an Open Mind

 Most authors develop a vision of what their book cover will look like. It is fun to dream. But you also need to realize that sometimes dreams are just dreams, and that’s okay. What you may have envisioned as perfect, may not be the best marketing strategy. Selling books is a business. Having the right artwork is part of that. Listen to your cover artist’s suggestions. They know what sells. Remember: your vision can always be commissioned for other promotional materials or even as a personal memento for your achievement.

·         People on Covers

You know your characters better than anyone. You can see what they look like, you’ve experienced all their mannerisms, and you know all their deepest secrets. But as much you love (or hate) them, putting characters on your book cover may not be the best idea. You can describe them as much as you want in your book, but the reader is still going to form their own vision. For them, that’s part of the pleasure of reading. Why deny them the satisfaction? However, if you’re insistent enough, I don’t recommend having more than ONE depiction of a character on your cover – two at the absolute most. But I still prefer to avoid it all together.

·         All Sales are Final

It feels a bit mean to say something like that, but it’s true. You’re not buying a physical product. Everything is digital and easily replicated. Therefore, returning it for a refund is impossible. Make sure you’re truly happy with what you’re paying for.

Creating Cover Art

If you have experience or you’re really tight on funds, creating your own cover art may be your only option. Quite honestly, I’ve seen some pretty decent book covers going for as low as $20, so buying cover art should be within anyone’s budget. But if you do have some experience, there are a few things you need to remember.

·         Research

Check out other books in your genre, preferably the bestsellers. See what sort of inspiration you can conjure up in browsing the cover art of your soon-to-be competition. Make note of what you like or don’t like. And pay close attention to the fonts and sizes of the title and author names, as some styles work better for certain genres. Also make note of the fact that your author name shouldn’t be twice as big as your title, unless you’ve already sold millions of copies of your last book… in which case, you wouldn’t be making your own book cover.

·         Know Your Copyrights

The easiest way to avoid copyright issues is to use your own resources to create your artwork. Take some photographs and do it up. But if you’re not handy with the camera or looking for something specific that’s out of your element, you’ll need to seek out stock images. There are plenty of websites that offer an expansive variety of stock, but you MUST read their Terms of Use. Most will include a policy for image use on book covers, both e-book and print. Others will attach a Creative Commons License, explaining what others are allowed to do with their work. (See here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/) If you’re not sure about something, just contact the original artist directly to ask their permission.

·         Photo Editors

Not everyone has experience with Photoshop or any of the other editing software on the market. But there are plenty of online photo editing websites out there that are user friendly and most are free to use. Just try not to go overboard. Sometimes, less is more.

·         Avoid the Overload

You’re already dealing with editing and publishing and promotion, as well as life in general. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Experiment with a few different ideas, save each file with a different name and then, as I like to say, sit on ’em. Just walk away for a day or two and go back to have another look. Most of the time, all you need is a fresh perspective. Or find a brutally honest friend for a real-life opinion on how they look – you’re loved ones are biased.

Selling Cover Art

This next section is more for independent book cover artists, but it wouldn’t hurt the authors out there to give it a gander. It can never hurt to see things from another’s point of view.

·         The Meet & Greet

Designers provide a service, but we mustn’t forget about customer service. A quality product will get a business off the ground, but the quality of service will either make it or break it. Start off right with a friendly introduction and keep things a bit on the casual side, but not so much you come off as unprofessional. Even if they love the cover art you created, how you treat them as a person is what they’ll remember first and foremost.

·         Deposits

Pre-made cover art is usually an instant sale. But for custom artwork, I strongly advise you get half the full payment upfront. It’s a common practice and most authors should understand. There are a number of free websites that will allow you to create invoices in PDF format.

·         Have Patience

There will be times when you’re blessed with the perfect match of author and designer, where your worlds are so synched they love everything you send them. And there will also be times when you’ll make change after change and feel like it’s never going to end. Just be patient and, most of all, be nice. Politely set limits. Authors tend to get excited about their upcoming book. We’re only human, ya’ know.

I truly believe book cover art to be just as exciting as writing the book itself. Your book is your baby—you created it, you’ve nurtured it and you’re about to send it out into the world. You need it to look its best… because whether we like it or not, first impressions really are everything.

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About M.S. Fowle of Melchelle Designs

Melchelle Designs offer beautiful and unique artwork to help your ebook stand out in the crowd, causing a visual appeal that will entice readers to your hard work.

What to expect from Melchelle Designs:

  • Superior customer service – We work with our customers. We’re only satisfied when you are.
  • Affordable prices – We provide reasonable price points to cater to both traditional and indie authors.
  • Beautiful artwork – Great digital art starts with great photography and we work hard to create both.

For more information visit Melchelle Designs at their website.

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We’ve Come a Long Way, Authors

Today’s post is via a guest blog appearance at Fay Moore’s I Want to be a Writer, a wonderful blog that has a ton of helpful advice for new writers about writing and book promotion. My guest blog article explains why I have found that I have enjoyed greater success in promoting my books after leaving my own back yard and going into CyberSpace!

via July 2013 Guest Blog from Lauren Carr.

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Book Spotlight: Acre by George Johnson

Remember When Baseball Really Was America’s Past Time?

Acre Thomas Tulley proved to be a product of his time. In the late forties and early fifties, back before laptops and computer games, he was outside more than indoors. He spent hours on the railroad tracks hitting cinders with a stick. Afternoons were meant for swinging at corn cobs or having cob battles between the barn loft and the cow pound with his friends.

George Johnson was a late starter. He penned Acre, his first book, after retiring from teaching. Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

George Johnson was a late starter. He penned Acre, his first book, after retiring from teaching. Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

Acre, George Johnson’s debut novel, is about a boy from the heartland of America, who grows up to become baseball legend. It is a story that takes readers back to a time when family was everything, contracts were sealed with a handshake, and a man was as good as his word.
From swinging sticks at cinders, Acre grew up to hit baseballs with his bat. From the beginning, Acre Thomas Tulley set his goals high. He was still a teenager when he accomplished feats in major league baseball never achieved by any other player in the history of the game.
Keeping to his good family roots, Acre never forgot a promise he made early in his career. But now, after achieving a legacy that will remain a benchmark for many years to come, will Acre Thomas Tulley walk away to keep that promise? Can he?

George Johnson is working on his second book, Timber, which is about Acre's sister.

George Johnson is working on his second book, Timber, which is about Acre’s sister.

About the Author

George Johnson is a retired elementary school teacher from Prince George’s County, Maryland.
He thought about Acre for two years before he finally put it in writing. Then, it took him three years, off and on, to complete it and put it in print. Being a late starter, the author completed his second book of fiction called Timber. Acre and Timber are brother and sister. Timber took him two years to complete.
At the present time, he is compiling a collection of short stories he has composed over the years. George Johnson lives in Hagerstown, Maryland with Sharon, his wife of fifty-four years.

George Johnson is going on Tour!

You can keep up with George Johnson and learn more about Acre by following him on his virtual tour. The tour will kick-off with a Launch Party on Facebook on June 1st, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm CDT.

https://www.facebook.com/events/371866819589287/?fref=ts

He will also be making various stops across cyberspace on a virtual book tour, coordinated by Celestial Book Promotions. Click on the link to schedule a stop on your website or to follow Acre.

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Guest Post: Obscurity: Not An Option

Today, one of my favorite guest bloggers is back. Cindy McDonald is the author of the Unbridled Series. She is just now finishing up her second virtual book tour. In her blog post today, Cindy is going to address a delicate issue that is important to every author out there: marketing you and your book in today’s marketplace. Things have changed a whole lot since my first book was published back in 2004–before Facebook, Twitter, ect. It’s both easier and scarier–

You tell ’em, Cindy!

OBSCURITY: NOT AN OPTION

Cindy McDonald

Cindy McDonald is the author of the Unbridled Series. She is working on a new series, First Force. Using social media, Cindy has grown her fan base and sales steadily. Click on picture to visit Cindy’s website.

So you’ve written a manuscript. You had it professionally edited. You’ve got a great cover design. You’ve had it published in paperback and ebook forms, and it’s been uploaded to amazon. Great! Now what? Sit back, relax, perhaps twiddle your thumbs a bit, and wait for those royalties to come pouring in, right?

Mmmm, I’m afraid not.

The fact is that no one is going to come looking for your book, no matter how well written, how engaging, or how action-packed it is unless you, the author, makes it happen!

Hey, let’s face it obscurity is not an option when you’ve published a book. The competition is fierce—and the competition is using all the resources that perhaps you are not. There is no doubt that marketing is an indie’s biggest hurdle, but you can’t afford to be shy or stuck in the nineteenth century. I’m not saying that marketing one’s book is insurmountable, but it can be hard to get started. Bookstores are not usually very willing to arrange a signing for indie writers because they are relatively unknown—they’d rather have James Patterson, go figure. However some local libraries may be willing to host an event for you. That’s nice, but that doesn’t tend to spread the word to a large mass of people. And that’s exactly what you need.

So what’s an author to do?

Brace yourself, because I’m about to say the S word: Social Networking. Yikes! You may consider it a dirty word, but I’m afraid that it is truly the reality of our time. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pininterest, it’s enough to make an author’s head spin! After all it has been widely rumored that authors are quite a recluse lot. The trick is to not allow it to overwhelm or intimidate you—no matter what your age.  The bottom line is that it is your responsibility as an author to get the word out about your book—not your publisheryou.

So get a stiff upper lip, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and do what you need to do to make that book of yours a success. Because you can.

If you don’t have a website—get one. You need it! There are plenty of website options out there and some are free. List your books—with covers, a synopsis, provide an excerpt, and yes do a book trailer, to boot! Don’t forget to provide links to your book’s Amazon sales site.

Okay, now that you have a website, you need a…wait for it…Facebook page! It’s the God’s truth. I have two FB pages: one in my name where I talk about my life—nothing too personal—and one for my books. On both pages I will announce reviews and provide links to those reviews or my books. There are also FB pages that are provided for authors to promote their books. On all these FB pages I will also list blogs that I am featured at during virtual book tours—another excellent way to get the word out about your book.

Dangerous Deception

Click on Book cover to purchase Cindy’s latest, Dangerous Deception on Amazon.

Virtual book tours help you to promote not only your book but you—the author. You have control as to how long the tour is: two weeks, one month, or the max—three months. Approximately three times a week during the tour, you will visit a blog for an author spotlight, a review, interview, or a guest post on a variety of subjects. The guest post will spotlight how well you write beyond the pages of your book. That’s important. It also provides potential readers an insight as to who you are and what you think or believe. While this service is not free, you can decide how much you want to spend by the length of the tour.

Linkedin is a great place to post a blurb about your book on a daily basis. I usually write something like: George Smuts is a just fictional character, right? You should hope! And then I list the link to where my potential audience can purchase DEADLY.COM. I went from selling hardly any of this particular book to selling as many as one hundred per month with this simple daily task.

*Wince* and then there’s Twitter. I thought I would never get the hang of that nightmare social networking demon. I thought it was stupid. Then I thought: but there are sooo many authors using it. There’s got to be something to it.  So I started following people—mainly authors—they would retweet my book blurbs—I would retweet back—this would result in book sales. Hmmm. I followed more—retweeted more—additional book sales.  Who knew? I am now tweeting approximately six times per day. It only takes about ten minutes, and the payoff has been well worth it.

Pssst…I’ve even got my publishing manager tweeting more than she ever did before. To tell you the truth, she probably hates me for it, but she has realized how invaluable it is for her and her cozy mysteries. She too has experienced a sharp rise in sales. Go baby go!

It’s true, I spend a lot of time per day promoting my books on the social networks—it’s a commitment. But hey didn’t you make a commitment to the book when you wrote it? You love your characters. You love your stories, so help send them out to the masses.

Here’s the light at the end of the very long indie tunnel—it can and will work!

Since I’ve been using Twitter on a daily basis, following as many people with an interest in books, tweeting and retweeting other authors, using hashtags, and writing something about my books on a daily basis on my FB pages and Linkedin, my book sales have skyrocketed! I went from selling four books per month (yep, that’s what it says FOUR) to selling over two hundred books per month, and I know that it will go up from here.

C’mon, don’t be shy. Get out of that “I am NOT going anywhere near social networking sites” demeanor. You CAN do this. Only you have the power. You’ve worked hard. So step up to the plate and take a swing at making your book into everything you wanted it to be—a success!

Remember: Obscurity just plain isn’t an option.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.

Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.

I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!

In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.

To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, please visit Cindy’s website at: www.cindymcwriter.com

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Guest Post: Tyoga’s Destiny: Push vs. Pull

Today’s guest post is by H.L. Grandin, the author of the wonderfully epic The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby.

Every now and then a manuscript comes across an editor’s desk that makes one sit up and take notice.  It is a rare privilege to be pulled into a story by the sheer power of its narrative.  A gift even more exceptional is when the reader feels the earth beneath their feet and smells the wind through the pines. Such is the case when reading The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby.

TyogaWeathersby Front Cover

Click on Book Cover to Visit
Tyoga Weathersby Website.

Set at the turn of the 17th Century in the frontier of Appalachia, The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby follows the adventures of a young settler and the Native American tribe that has adopted him as their own, as he is transformed by deed and circumstance to legendary stature. Mystically awakened to the promise of “knowing” as generations of Weathersbys before, the rhythms of the natural world unfold in mysterious ways as he is embraced by primal forces that seem beyond his control. Tyoga is tested by the might and savage fury of the leader of a marauding pack of wolves, and in saving the life of his companion Tes Qua Ta Wa (the One Who Opens the Door) his life is transformed and the legend is born.

As the lines between man and myth, spirit dog and mortal soul begin to blur, Tyoga Weathersby is embroiled in the intrigue of intertribal politics, captured by the cry of the wild to fulfill destiny’s call, and ripped apart by his love for the beautiful Cherokee maiden, Sunlei, whom he must set free to keep alive.

The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby is so much more than a captivating story.  It is a “must read” for everyone who has ever questioned the whim of fate, and the power of destiny.

Take it away, H.L.!

Tyoga’s Destiny:  Push vs. Pull

Many readers have asked me about the notion in the book that has to do with nature’s grand “plan” and the part that we play in determining how that plan unfolds in our own lives.  There are several scenes in the book where Tyoga seems to accept the judgment of nature’s way, placing his fate in his closely held belief that all events unfold in accordance with the grand plan.  That plan decrees that all things happen for a purpose and to question outcomes is an exercise in futility.

Tyoga is introduced to this notion by his father, Thomas, just after his “awakening” on Carter’s Rock.  His father says to him, “All things happen only as they must.”  The  meaning of his father’s words becomes apparent after his encounter with the Runion wolves on the escarpment.  He defeats the alpha male, chooses to spare the wolf’s life, and finds himself alone in the woods with his severely injured Cherokee brother, Tes Qua Ta Wa.  The choices that he must make in the moments after the battle, hold the life of his friend in the balance.  And here is where the discussion really begins.  If Tyoga is indeed making “choices,” to what degree is that choice influenced by situation and circumstance, and, if “free will” is part of the equation at all, to what extent is the outcome determined by the exercise of that uniquely human trait?

Volumes have been written throughout the ages and the topic has been examined by some of the greatest minds the world has ever known.  So here is my answer, “I don’t know.”  But here is what I think: When the layers upon layers of excuse, explanation, mitigation, fabrication and apology are striped away from any given event – we are left with absolutes.  Absolutes cannot be measured by subjective metric such as value and worth.  Both are human constructs that have no relevance upon outcome.  The absolutes are, for example: life or death, left or right, up or down.  The test of whether a notion is an absolute is if it passes the either/or check.  One cannot proceed “sort of” left or “kind of” right.  In the final analysis, you have gone either left or right.  The only other option is straight ahead.  One cannot move “a little bit” up, or a “tiny scootch” down.  In the final analysis, you have either moved up, or down, or not at all.  You get the point.

Examples of how events unfold “exactly as they must for no other outcome could possibly be,” occur to all of us every single day of our lives.  A common example is when you arrive at an intersection at exactly the same instant as another car. Every single second of your life – up to that very moment – conspired to make that co-incidence arrival occur in exactly that way.  If every single aspect and moment of your life is taken into consideration and accounted for – no other outcome could have arisen other than meeting that car at exactly that time and in that exact space.  And there truly is no end to the chain of events that one could consider when examining the co-incident arrival.  Considering only the immediate chain of events, i.e. if you had gotten out of bed one second earlier that morning . . . if you had take three seconds longer in the shower . . .  if you had scraped your windshield a little less or a little more…. you would not have arrived at the intersection at the same time as the other car.  But how about going even farther back in time?  If you hadn’t purchased your current home . . .  if you had taken five extra minutes picking out a pair of shoes in 1998 . . . if your visit to the dentist in the spring of 2001 had taken ten seconds longer . . .  and on and on and on – you would not have arrived at the intersection at the same moment as the other car.

Analyzing the exercise of free will takes a parallel track.  We all acknowledge that we have indeed been endowed with the ability to exercise free will.  But the influence that it has on the majority of occasions in our life is – I think – negligible at best – especially if one subscribes to the positions espoused above.  If the purchase of shoes in 1998 influenced the arrival time at the intersection in 2013, then what portion of the co-incidental arrival was impacted by the choice of shoes?  Most would agree that the choice of shoes was an exercise of free will.  Many would agree that the time that it took you make the choice was not.  Time is an absolute.  It took the amount of time it took to choose the pair of shoes– and no variable of that time interval can possibly be.  So if the impact of free will could be measured at all, I contend that the degree to which it influences events – especially when a free will choice is removed from occurrence by time – is infinitesimally small.

So while it is clear to me that Tyoga made the free will choice to return to the escarpment to save Tes Qua – the battle with the wolf pack’s Alpha male, Wahaya-Wacon, seems to me to be less of a choice than an intersection of time and place.  He chose to return to help his friend, but he did not choose to battle a pack of wolves.  That event was based upon an absolute – life or death.

Other choices that he makes in the Legend of Tyoga Weathersby are less clear.  Why he chose to set Sunlei free to face the perils of the frontier alone, with little more than the admonition to “Run!” still makes me scratch my head.  There were infinite choices that he could have made.  Similarly, I understand why he butchered the Shawnee braves sent by Yellow Robe to capture him and Sunlei, but he surely could have chosen other ways to make the point .

But these are aspects of the book that I purposefully did not reconcile for the reader.  It is my hope that readers will question these things and ask how the exercise of free will impacts their own lives, and to what extend are we little more than feathers blowing in the wind.

There is a great deal to discuss about The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby.

But you knew that it was more than a story about a wolf . . . .didn’t you?

About the Author

Author H.L. Grandin

Author H.L. Grandin

H. L. Grandin grew up in the shadow of history near Mt. Vernon, Virginia. As a boy, he spent many hours exploring the hills, valleys and waterways throughout Virginia, which nurtured a deep appreciation for nature and its forces. Those adventures became he inspiration for The Legend of Tyoga Weathersby. For the past 25 years, H. L. has lived on a small farm in western Maryland where he and his wife raised three daughters and a passel of critters.

Links:

http://tyogaweathersby.com/

http://www.facebook.com/tyogaweathersby?ref=ts&fref=ts

Click Here to Buy on Amazon

Click Here to Buy on Amazon

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