This is a collection of my short stories, novels, and activities as a writer coping with a dynamic craft.
The menus above will present more specific information and allow you to jump to where you can download much of my work for free. Scroll down to review a record of my activities.
I hope you will find something you enjoy and will want to share with others.
E L Russell
Publication October 2014
Here we go again … another short story in the works.
Adam, a cynical graduate student majoring in microbiology, lives with six friends in a old, dilapidated house on fraternity row. He attempts to solve his geek roomies’ unfullilled social needs in a most unusual way. Getting geeks hooked up is far from trivial, but adding to his challenge is that these geeks cover the GLBTQ spectrum. Adam was smart to think their problems would be minimized by placing them in a dark room so he begins by taking them to a late night club. Then things really get strange, in a terrifying and horrible way.
Worth checking out, draft2digital appears to have revolutionized eBook and POD. I will test this and report here on what I find. You are welcome to comment about your experiences with this new application.
Here is the next great thing! Our agent/editor is with Soul Mate Publishing and since SMP has deep roots with RWA, I joined FF&P, a special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Remember Sarah, Shannon’s adoptive daughter and Benjamin St. Phard, Adrianne’s brother from the Evolutis Rising series? They scrap and fight their way through volume 2, Conflict. We are writing a Romance Time Travel novel involving them we think you will enjoy.
I’ll be posting our progress – keep in touch!
Good news to share! I have signed a contract to work with Soul Mate, a New York City publishing house. They like my Evolutis Rising Series and we have begun to work together on the first novel, the one we call Deadly Awakenings.
Soul Mate is expanding from traditional Romance and Mystery stories to include many genres, including Science Fiction.
There will soon be an email “to do” list in my in box that will kick off a round of discussions about my new cover, additional focused editing, branding, platform, marketing, and so on. I’ll share what that looks like as much as I am able.
I will prepare the content needed to provide links to their web pages and to provide more details about my new association with a series of posts here to let you know what it is like for a new writer to work with an agent, editor, illustrator, and so forth.
Excited by these opportunities, I look forward to learning new skills to do my part in marketing by discovery and grateful for all of the support and guidance I have received from my Critique Circle friends.
Breaking news! Remember, my wife and I are Hybrids and to underscore the duality of that publishing strategy, we just Indie published ReSet, a 65,000-word science fiction mystery thriller, and the second novel in the OnSet, ReSet, MindSet trilogy.
ReSet is a story of a young woman who discovers the secrets of reprogramming the genome, unlocking medical mysteries, and discovering the potential for immortality before her best friend dies. The sequel to OnSet, both novels are available at Amazon and Smashwords as eBooks. Paperback versions can be purchased through Createspace. Covers for the trilogly may be seen below.
Our editor, woo!-woo! Tina Winograd, worked hard and fast to help us meet our publishing deadline! Contact links to Tina are available at POS for each book.
Welcome to my stories. I just designed a t-shirt: “I’m a Raconteur learning to be a Writer so I might be an Author.”
In the Spring of 2010 my wife gave me a membership to the Houston Writer’s Guild and signed me up to attend their Spring conference.
I did not know how to write. I’m a math major. We don’t do papers. However, in one of my careers I researched new and interesting technologies for my company. I wrote white papers for mid and upper management who had little time to read. If you have any experience reading essays, a white paper is like an up-side-down essay. The conclusions, including possible impact to ROI (Return On Investment), are presented first. When I discovered that good stories must have a hook upfront, I was thrilled. I mistakenly thought, “Now I know how to write my novel.”
That moment is called an ‘up’. There are also many ‘downs’ that writers must endure.
This is my list of bottom line recommendations for new writers, of all kinds.
- Join a writer’s guild, association, club, or group.
- Attend their critique circles or start one.
A critique circle (cc) meets often enough for each of the 6 to 10 writers to bring sufficient copies of 200 lines of story content. The writer, or someone else in the circle, reads his or her work aloud. Notes are made on each copy and a brief discussion ensues. I’ll post the rules of engagement we use later. Just know that the critique circle is (can be) a valuable experience. The ‘can be’ will be included in the post on cc rules.
- Attend workshops. Look for small classes by respected writers. (That usually mean published.)
- Most of all, write. I know it’s a cliché for some, but set a time, make a space, get ear plugs if you need to, but write, write, write …
Aruba, closed laptop, open bar … the best way to cope with writer’s block … if I ever get it.
- Enid and I finished the MS for a short story (28,000 words) for Tweens that is the second in the series, The Ghost in my iPad. This one carries the subtitle “4:44″ We used that as a follow-up to the convention we had of using the midnight time of 3:45 in the first story.
The time reference consistently appears throughout the story. Initially the reference is supplied by the ghost of a little girl who, to date, has not spoken to Jengo, our middle-school protagonist.
Today, while she re-edited, I worked on a cover design. This week we will prepare the MS for up loading to Amazon, Smashwords, and Goodreads. An excellent ACX production for the audiobook version has been completed by the narrator, Traci Godfrey, Check this out in the Short Stories section. Visit Traci’s website and see why we feel she is ideal for this series.
This opened up some time for me to return to a novel that once was a sort story. I enjoy writing several stories at once. I can think of no other reason why that’s a good idea for me. Many writers have told me to simply focus on one thing. Oh, well.
When Enid and I write, we focus on the structure of story and usually craft or outline eleven chapter milestones
1. Opening scenes – Hook within 15%
2. Part 1 Setup – intro protagonist, get reader buy-in
3. 1st Plot Point ~ 20th to 25th percentile (aka: inciting incident, everything changes, reveal what’s at stake)
4. Part 2 Response – protagonist develops initial reaction
5. Pinch Point 1 – about 1/3rd into story (def: sticks nature of antagonist in your face)
6. Mid-Point scene makes the transition and sets up attack
7. Part 3 Attack – protagonist fights back
8. Pinch point 2 – about 2/3rds into story (def: sticks nature of antagonist in your face again, better)
9. Part 4 – Resolution
10. 2nd Plot Point ~ 75th percentile (aka: everything changes again)
11. Closing Scenes – Climax within 15%
Then we add the lead-up chapters/scenes along with the follow-ups or reflections. I find our process continues to be a fresh approach.
Craft your Milestone scenes and you have structured your story.
I started doing this procedure after reading Larry Brooks’ book Story Structure Demystified.
Check it out on Amazon:
The original short story, Onset, screamed to become a full eBook novel. Onset earned an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Global eBook Awards.
It is about a young woman, confined to a wheelchair, who struggles to overcome injuries from a bike racing accident. She does not associate the voices in her head with emerging powers. Instead, she fears she may have onset schizophrenia and her efforts to protect herself from falling into the hands of those who would control her powers and realize her true destiny takes the reader on a journey full of surprise and some romance.
Part 2 is titled ReSet and completes her victory. We received the manuscript from our editor, Tina Winograd on a Friday, and by the following Tuesday we had published ReSet on Smashwords, Amazon, Createspace, and setup production for an audiobook on ACX.com.
We also have been writing the 3rd story, MindSet (surprise!) and reading it at critique circles. We hope to have it ready for the winter holidays.
The series of covers, for OnSet, ReSet, and MindSet, among my most enjoyable to make, give clues to Chloe’s progress in this fast paced medical thriller. Just as manuscripts evolve, so do covers. Here is the latest rendering, we hope you enjoy them.
I have been invited to be on a panel discussion about writing science fiction for young people. What could be more enjoyable?