DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Happy end of February. To celebrate a have a special giveaway for you a novel by Jarrod Fassan called Trickling Sands by Jerrod Fasan is a very quick and easy read. Fasan, unlike most authors writes in the present tense but weaves a very intriguing story with moral implications. In the beginning we find two lifelong best friend Richard and Garett engaging in a casual conversation after a long day at work as police detectives which sets up their relationship and the relationship to their families. All appears to be in order as the two depart from home.
This is where things get interesting and by interesting, I mean intriguing. The next morning Richard wakes up and feels strange as things around him also feel strange. As the morning develops, he soon learns that Serene, his wife also experiences the feeling. Nothing really out of the ordinary for the morning until they can’t locate their six-year-old son Mark. Both horrified begin a search. From there things go from bad to worse when Garett discovers Richard didn’t show up for work which starts a manhunt. Without giving away the details or a spoiler alert, what seems to happen, isn’t really happening as Fasan takes the readers onto an entirely different path and into a creepy darkness of what happens. The tale quickly changes into a who done it as Garett and the Welder Viller Police Department searches for a killer.
The random drawing will be conducted by Random.org.
DEFINING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE FOR YOUR NOVEL
Whom you think your audience is and who they are, do not go hand-in-hand. You must be target specific and know your audience. Consider two of my books, The Keystroke Killer and Never Stop Running. Those books are as opposite as night and day; therefore, two different audiences. I know this. A reader who purchases The Keystroke Killer expecting Never Stop Running to be like it, has a shock coming. I’m very honest with my readers about this. Before I recommend them to a potential buyer, I let them know what they will find.
Please do not tempt yourself to skip this step as your target audience guides everything else in your marketing plan. I wouldn’t target readers of romance novels with an ad for The Keystroke Killer. I’d waste my money. Why would I target science fiction lovers with my next novelSecret Romances: A Forbidden Thirst For Love. The way to find your target audience is to do a little investigating on your own. Visit Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and Pinterest and make a note of the audience who reads your book’s genre. You might find that women between the ages of thirty-five and fifty read romance novels. What about serial killer books? Find out the age group and plan to target them with your ads. The key to discovering your target group is to ask, “Who will purchase my book?”
I am really excited to introduce to my readers author Bryan DeMinico. He is a first-time author who grabbed my attention with his first paragraph. I must admit I love science fiction novels, especially that have alien culutures mingling with humans. Add a twist, political issues and more, and you get Retrospect. I bought it and loved it. Meet Bryan DeMinico.
Bryan DeMinico Retrospect
Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I am a native Floridian now living in Georgia.One day, I hope to see the beach again.I grew up in a small city known as Hollywood, FL.Deciding to start college after high school, staying local, earned my AA at Broward Community College where I played trumpet in the jazz band and helped with the college literary arts magazine.After my two-year degree, went to Florida Atlantic University to earn a BA in English.Soul searching began, and I felt a need to serve my country, especially after the 9/11 attacks.Since many of my family members had served, I joined Army ROTC at the University of Central Florida to commission as an Army officer and earn a second BA, this one in Sociology.My branch of choice was Armor, so I got to experience Tanks and Guntrucks, essentially serving on the front lines near the Tigris River conducting combat operations during the 2006 Operation Iraqi Freedom surge.I returned for my second deployment near Mosul, Iraq, during 09/10 rotation.Then once home after my second deployment, I served on numerous Army installations until I decided it was time to transition to civilian life after nearly 10 years of service.And here I currently am, surviving Corporate America as an operations manager while continuing my love for the creative arts.I would say, deep down, I may be a type of modern renaissance man.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was always a huge Bond fan at such a young age.Blend in Star Trek and Star Wars and picking up writing as a hobby also at a young age, I wanted to create something of my own.The first actual concept for a story was Retrospect.I thought of great scenes and memorable characters and took it from there.The original draft was completed in 1999, but then I went and lived life and served my country.About a year and a half ago, I dusted off the draft and wanted to complete it and get it published.Agent Jonah is the need to create a Bond type character, but without being anything like Bond when the storyline gets peeled away.I took the idea of an agent with a set of lethal skills, put him into a futuristic setting with a politically and sociologically charged backdrop, and sat down everyday and worked on what would become my first completed novel.
Your book is futuristic and deals with an alien race in co-existence with humans. How do you as an author develop a setting and merge believability to it for the readers? Did you ‘Invent’ technology? What is their living environment?
This is the futuristic essence of my book’s setting, and where I think some of my love for sociological factors come to light.The binding factor is a new galactic political theater, the United Planetary Government and its inner workings of democratic relations between all three races present in my book – human, novus, and alien.But with any political history of democracy, race relations, feelings between each race, societal interactions, tensions born from such, melding of race technologies, languages, and immigration issues provide a fantastic backdrop throughout my created futuristic setting in the year 3421.
This is a future where the galaxy has been populated, but a special planet, an artificial earth type planet named Atlas, was engineered to offer an alternate to old Earth, a type of population balancing calculation.Now, on Earth, we see a planet separated by a security border wall, where the Southern Hemisphere homes the majority of the novus race.The social structures of major cities are also examined, showing another level of living cohesion.I did invent technology throughout my book.This is where I think sci-fi may be a little more challenging than a modern fiction story, whereas I really don’t have to explain how a car’s engine works, for example, in a standard fiction story.But in a futuristic world, the need to subtly explain what the reader is dealing with, at least to me, is important to paint that whole picture, a true immersive, imaginative experience.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
In the far-off future, year 3421, political order is maintained throughout the United Planetary Congress and its branches.Three races, human, novus, alien, all coexist as best they can throughout the ideas of what a futuristic “melting-pot” looks like.Enter the political intrigue and greed of such a future, when our main villain, Ambassador Dracon T. Michaels, develops a plan to ensure a drastic change in the current galactic political structure.The Galactic Interpol Society must investigate a set of stolen codes, codes ultimately fulfilling Ambassador Michaels’ goals for political takeover.Agent Jonah, one of the society’s top-priority agents, goes into the heart of political theater – the Revised Washington District.As Jonah fights his way through novus terrorists, he realizes a rogue galactic agent also biting at his heels, further complicating the mission.Jonah learns that another key ambassador, Andrea, is also involved.And when a novus crime lord, Jax, shows his true intentions while helping out Dracon, readers will experience an exciting plot until the last sentence.
Who is your target audience and why?
I think fans of Bond, or the spy genre in general, definitely will love this book.Then the fans who love Star Trek, Star Wars, stories like Blade Runner, this story will not disappoint.Also, Retrospect offers a unique futuristic setting for Sci-Fi readers to dive into.The action sequences are also vivid and descriptive with style.
If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?
The political happenings of today find themselves intertwined within a good versus evil Sci-Fi plot with plenty of action, memorable characters and settings, and readers will want to get to the last page to find out how everything comes together for Agent Jonah.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
That is a tough question and thank you for asking this. Looking back, I think to say that I led brave Soldiers in combat operations as a Platoon Leader was a very honorable and humbling experience all at once, and not many people can claim such.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what would you tell your younger self?
Well, the million-dollar statement.I think I really have no regrets.I think I can complain and be bitter about some little things that turned out the way they did.But, if I looked in the mirror right now, I would tell my younger self – “See, it all worked out just fine.”
What advice can you give anyone who is considering publishing a book?
I would say that it is not easy at first, since everything needs to be pretty close to perfect in a novel.But the moment you think it is not fun, stop it.There should be an inner creative drive to get that story out onto the written page.Writing has its stressful moments, but it always must remain fun and goal driven.If it is not fun, it might show up in the writing as being “forced” or “dreary.” Set the goal and go for it.If I can work about six days a week and write a 362-page novel, anyone else who is goal driven can also achieve such a life goal.
Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the author you are today.
You can only learn to swim if you jump in the water.By all means, no piece of writing is perfect.As long as you keep at it, re-read it, work on the drafts, get it close to near perfection, then I think it’s good to go.Always remember the most important person in the whole process – the reader.If the narrative hook works, and they get to the next page, and the flow is good, I’m a happy author.I think life experiences are a must for some writing an author might tackle.For example, I experienced combat, so in a book showing some instances of combat may have a different/better feel than a piece of inexperienced writing trying to do such.Let your imaginative run wild.Anything, and everything, is possible for a great story these days.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
Besides knowing what it feels like to wear heavy tactical gear and sweat and run for one’s life, again, those life experiences help, I refuse to remain straightforward and bland and will try a more difficult approach to something.Not only writing in the 3rd person omniscience point of view, but injecting some sociological and cultural themes in-between the lines is not playing it completely safe, but I want to give readers something a little more than a great good versus evil story, something to explore and experience while the action scenes develop around all characters involved.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I know I wanted a type of spy character, but I didn’t want the typical formula I kept seeing in a lot of Bond alternatives.But I also wanted a setting in the future where the known galaxy had already been populated.I wanted a sense of order though.The futuristic settings that have hundreds of races and locales, those are awesome, but again, I wanted uniqueness and a different approach.What if old Earth needed a re-vamp, a breath of fresh air?This is when I created Atlas, a planet artificially built from scratch to balance out environmental/population issues on old Earth.Keeping simplicity in mind and a sense of order, the novi are born from the original human race, but mix in the alien race, and a trifecta of race relations is born.I thought of awesome action sequences and characters, and a lot of writing Retrospect was as if the movie played over and over in my head.
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
This is my first self-published book.I hope to write many more and grow a fan base.I am humbled that a person might use my first novel as an escape from reality for a while.Always keep the readers in mind.