What does Alaska author, Ron Walden have to say about his fiction titles?

Ice Blue Eyes is one of Ron Walden’s many fiction titles. He is a retired officer from the Alaska Department of Corrections and security guard for the Alyeska Pipeline.

He’s taken the passion he had for law and focused it into several detective stories. As the subtitle suggests, Ice Blue Eyes is a story centered around the antagonist’s need for greed, love and revenge.

 

What is Ice Blue Eyes About? 

An unknown banker from Seattle enjoys a kayaking trip in Alaska until he’s freakishly killed by a piece of ice falling on him. After his tragic death his involvement in bank fraud slowly becomes public.

Trooper Reuben Hayes follows the clues to bankers, Alaskan political figures and a Mexican Mafia Don. How are they all connected? Hayes begins protecting the innocent victims stuck in the heartless game for power, revenge and money. Will he be able to solve the mystery and keep the innocent safe?

This is a book for people looking for a police and political mystery.

ice400

 

1. How did you come up with the idea for Ice Blue Eyes?

The name Ice Blue Eyes came from the lead female character in the story.  She was half native and half Swede with ice blue eyes.  She was also a cold hearted person.

 

2. What’s the most difficult thing about writing? 

For me the most difficult part of writing is to keep at it.  Unless I stay with the story the time lines and small details get away from me.  The more diligent I am about it the less I have to review my own work.

 

3. How many books have you written, which is your favorite? 

I now have five published books and one at the editor now.  I hope to have this one published by April. (The sixth book has been released at the time of this blog posting.)

 

4. You’ve held several different vocations during your life, miner, salesman, carpenter, business owner and corrections officer. How does this diverse background play into your writing?  

Each time I made a change it meant learning different skills.  It certainly kept me from being bored.  It also gave me a varied list of experiences and knowledge.

 

5. Out of all the careers you’ve had, how did you switch directs and become an author?  

I retired from the Department of Corrections, “after doing 20 years in jail”.  I was called to join the security force on the Alaska Pipeline during the first gulf war.  It was there I came up with the idea to write a story set in Cinch Knot. Everything in the book about the pipeline, its operation,and details about Alaska are as real and accurate as I could make them. (I write fiction, not science fiction. My research is accurate.)

 

6. How do you handle the challenges of writer’s block?  

I only write in the wintertime.  I fish and hunt in the summer.  I love the outdoors.  While I am pursuing those endeavors I use my slack time to compose the story for the next book.  If I suffer writer’s block I take time off and just think about the story. Usually it works for me.

 

7. What advice do you give other unpublished authors? 

Getting published is the most difficult part of writing.  I was lucky and found a new publisher looking for young, dumb writers.  He helped me become a writer.  He was patient and helpful and taught me a great deal.  Publishing is the hard part because all the decisions are out of the hands of the  writer.  I had, as I recall, eight rejections before I was “Discovered”.  Be persistent.

 

8. What author(s) are inspirational to you? 

My favorite authors are Steven Coonts, John Grisham, and J.A. Jantz.  I read a lot of Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler.  There are some new writers I like–C. J. Box for example.

 

 

 

If the interview above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Published Author Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

 

Where can I read a free book excerpt from Warren Troy’s, The Last Homestead?

 

I’m a true and consistent fan of Warren Troy’s future books after reading The Last Homestead. Denny Caraway’s life was so peaceful in this quiet little homestead. A friend’s sudden death trips the wheels of life. Caraway ventures from home in order to find money, work and love. Truly unexpected circumstances change his life. The story has bear attacks, love, a small aircraft crash, friendly animals, and the wild outdoors bringing people closer together. Please read the free book excerpt below to get a sneak peak into Caraway’s world.

 

The Last Homestead

There was a very little log cabin, so snugly tucked inside a ring of trees and willows, he wondered how it had been built there, unless it was old enough that the trees had grown up around it. It was a little trapper cabin, barely eight by ten feet in size, with a set of handmade snowshoes leaning against the front wall. There appeared to be no windows, but a small stove pipe was sticking up out of one corner, wisps of the smoke he smelled coming from the stack.

A Cabin on the Snowy Hillside

A Cabin on the Snowy Hillside (Photo credit: Daniel Weber)

He considered walking up to the hut when suddenly, a familiar voice behind him said, “Officer Brady.”

Without turning around, Charlie said, “Mr. Caraway.” Charlie stood silently for a moment, then said, “Got any coffee brewing? I could use a cup.” Then he turned around.

The sight before him made him do a mental double take, so strange it was. There stood Denny Caraway, looking like a man from another, more primitive time. He was dressed in a fur hat, made from a coyote’s head skin, and a down parka, heavily stained, with numerous patches, but with a beautiful ruff made of wolverine fur. His gloves were rabbit skin, the right one off and hanging by a piece of leather lanyard, the bare hand gripping an old lever action Winchester rifle. On his feet were some old pacs which had seen better days. His beard was long and full, and his hair stuck out thickly from under the skin hat.

“Just came to visit, Denny, not to intrude on your solitude. I can leave, if you like.” Charlie noticed how lean Denny had become, even in the thick parka. His face looked much thinner too. Still, he looked healthy for all that.

Denny stood staring at him. His intense look seemed even sharper and somehow deeper than before. Charlie was so glad to see his old friend still alive, he couldn’t help smiling. Sticking out his hand, he said, “Damn, Denny, it’s really good to see you again.”

Denny didn’t smile, but there was a relenting of the coldness in his eyes. Reaching out, he shook Charlie’s hand gently.

“No coffee. I have some Labrador tea.”

“That would be fine, thanks.”

They went into the tiny cabin, Charlie having to bend down to pass through the low door. There was a small window in the back wall made from a piece of thick plastic sheeting. Once his eyes got used to the dim light, Brady saw there wasn’t much inside, only a wooden plank bed with several blankets and a sleeping bag on it, a stump probably used for a chair, a small wooden counter, and several wooden shelves. In one corner was a rusty old sheet metal military woodstove with a cast iron skillet leaning on the wall near the stove. The stove had seen better days and Charlie wondered if it came from the person who had originally built the cabin. There wasn’t much by way of foodstuffs in the cabin either. Charlie wondered how Denny was keeping fit. In fact, he wondered how Denny had survived at all, despite his great store of wilderness knowledge.

It was a meager dwelling by anyone’s standards. The thought that came to Charlie’s mind was, “Gone to ground; the man has gone to ground.”

Denny poured some of the tea into an old heavy mug and handed it to Charlie, then poured some into a handmade wooden cup for himself.

Charlie noticed one shelf with a few personal items on it, including a small photo in a wooden frame of Gwen as a younger woman, smiling and holding up a large salmon she had obviously just caught. Charlie didn’t remark on it.

The two old friends didn’t talk much about anything, but sat in each other’s company. Charlie did ask Denny how he was doing. Denny looked at him a moment and simply said, “As you see me.”

After all too brief a time, Charlie knew he should go. He stood, slipped on his gloves, and walked to the door. Denny walked out with him. It was then Charlie saw the several moose quarters hanging high up by a rope in a tree, safe from any marauding critters, and hard to spot by people, too.

“Well, take care, Denny, and if you ever see your way clear, I’d be happy to stake you to a meal and all the coffee you want at the cafe.” Then Charlie added, “There are some people wishing the best for you, Denny.”

North American Snow Shoes

North American Snow Shoes (Photo credit: ‘S’)

Denny stood a moment, then nodded slightly. Charlie nodded too, and began walking back the way he had come. He looked back once, but Denny was gone. Turning away again, Charlie left, a pain in his heart from seeing his friend in such condition.

Brady put his snowshoes back on and walked out to his snow machine as the light was failing. He decided not to camp despite the late hour, rode back past Denny’s old homestead, and continued on to the highway and normal life, though Charlie felt nothing would feel quite the same to him after his meeting with Denny.

He feared Denny was truly lost to the world, and would remain a sad, lonely hermit until something in the wilderness put him out of his obvious misery. Charlie mentally kicked himself for his negative thoughts, for giving up on Caraway. He felt he still knew the man, and just had to keep thinking one day he’d show up at the cafe, have that free meal and coffee, and get on with life.

 

 

 

 

This free book excerpt was courtesy of Warren Troy.

 

 

If the excerpt above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Alaska Book Excerpts, Featured, Published Author Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

 

Where can I read a free book excerpt from Warren Troy’s, Trails: Living in the Alaska Wilderness?

 

Man versus nature in modern times. This book proves there are still places in the United States that are untamed and wild! Trails is for anyone wondering about how Alaska homesteaders survive even today. The author, Warren Troy, lives in remote Alaska and writes fiction stories based off his experiences. Please enjoy the free book excerpt below.

 

 

Trails

Things went fine along the overland trail. I went slowly to keep the wind chill down, making it easier on myself and the little ATV. The light snow cover was easy to ride through, and the few little drifts were not a problem. I loved riding over the boggy areas in their present frozen condition.

Arriving at the winter crossing over Wolf Creek, I saw the old pole bridge was in good shape, but decided to ride straight across the frozen pool instead. I don’t know why I made that decision. The bridge was right there, just to my left, but the wide pool looked like it was frozen hard. I couldn’t see any movement of water under the ice. So, I started across.

As soon as all four wheels on the ice and I had traveled a few feet, the ice collapsed, sending me and the wheeler into four feet of freezing, quickly flowing water.

Frozen Creek

Frozen Creek (Photo credit: DCZwick)

I tried to stand up and push away from the wheeler, but slipped and went completely under, the frigid water sucking the breath out of me. The current was surprisingly strong, but I managed to grab the broken edge of the ice, stand up, and get to the side of the pool. Luckily, the water by the edge of the pool was shallow enough that I could crawl up onto the unbroken ice. I stood there, already beginning to shiver. I immediately thought of getting into the trees and starting a fire, but realized that my pack and the fire-starting supplies in it were bungeed on the back of the little wheeler, which was completely under the ice, and probably moving downstream. I also remembered that my .44 in its holster was strapped onto the front rack. The man who sold me the little wheeler had said that in a pinch it would float, the oversized tires making it buoyant. I guess he meant unless there was a sheet of ice over it.

I had to think fast. I was really starting to feel the effects of the cold water chilling me down. As quickly as I could, I stripped out of my soaked coveralls, which were already stiffening up, removed my waterlogged gloves, and stood there in my thermal underwear and bunny boots. The deep cold was affecting my thinking, but I had to decide what to do and where to go.

At first I was going to head north, to Ptarmigan Lake Lodge, but realized it was more than three miles away. But then, I remembered the cabin about a mile and a half further south down the winter trail. I had passed it many times on my snow machine. Trying to reach it was the best choice. I forced myself to start jogging, hoping the physical effort would keep me from freezing. I had never been much of a runner, but I’d never had to run to save my life before.

Moose

Moose (Photo credit: Travis S.)

Walking across the pole bridge, I ran down the open winter trail, grateful the snow on its surface was hard-packed. Having to plow through thigh-deep snow or worse would have meant my end. The bunny boots were pretty clumsy to run in, but I just kept going. I had gone about half a mile, when I saw a cow moose standing right across the trail ahead of me. I didn’t want to stop or have to work my way through the brush and trees on either side to go around her, so, screaming at the top of my lungs and waving my arms, I charged straight at her. I could see her eyes get big and her ears go back. Just as I about to run into her, she turned away and bolted into the trees. It could have gone either way. You just never know with moose. I kept on running.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This free book excerpt was courtesy of Warren Troy.

 

If the excerpt above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Alaska Book Excerpts, Featured, Published Author Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is the importance of story arcs?

The Story Arc

The Story Arc (Photo credit: Hsin-Cheng Lin)

 

 

What is a story arc: A story arc is the evolution of a plot. The suspense gradually grows until the revelation of facts. Finally, the conclusion completes the arc. There are five elements that help design a story arc. They are listed below.

 

  1. Introduction: The beginning of a novel begins with the presentation of at least one character and setting. The first suspenseful conflicts might begin here.
  2. Rising Action: This is where the initial struggles begin that the character(s) will face. Rising action is what keeps readers interested. Reflective pieces with a “low story arc” aren’t as popular with the majority of people. Each genres pace is different but rising action still needs to occur shortly after the introduction.
  3. Climax: This is often the most dramatic and revealing point for the plot and/or characters. This is what an author writes toward in the introduction and rising action.
  4. Falling Action: The climax is the cause for large change in the story while the falling action is the after effect. Events continue to unfold as a result of the turning point. The arc descends gradually. More mystery is usually not introduced here. A complex book series might introduce a new conflict that will be developed in another book. If a novel stands alone, the falling action steadily slopes to the ending.
  5. Closure: This is sometimes called the resolution. The problems of the story are resolved. Protagonists and antagonists are changed in some way compared to their state at the beginning of the novel. No mystery is presented here unless the author writes a cliff hanger to keep readers anxiously waiting for the second book in the series.

 

Why have a story arc: Story arcs push both the plot and characters through change. Arcs are everywhere; T.V. comics, novels, and movies just to name a couple. Their purpose is to help the author build suspense and mystery in a successful, logical order.

 

How many story arcs are in a story: Story arcs can vary in number and size. Every chapter can have an arc. The entire series (no matter if it’s a series or not) contains a story arc. Epic fantasy series come to mind when I think of chapter arcs intermingled between the overall plot development.

Character arcs grow right along side plot arcs. Characters change from the beginning of the story to the end, still following the five elements introduced above. An author can successfully write novels using the story arc by constantly asking why, what, who, how, when and where about the characters and plot.

 

 

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Advice on the Writing Process Before Publication, Featured, Writer's Block | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What are six qualities of good writing?

 

According to Google, there are close to 130,000,000 books in existence. Each year there are thousands of new ones published. With the growing popularity of self-publishing, the numbers of books are increasing each year. Publishing is being made easy, which also means there are hundreds to thousands of “bad” stories out there. The last thing any reader wants on their shelf is a horribly written book.

If you’re serious about writing, making it your career, then learn what makes a good story great. Posted below are the six qualities of good writing.

 

 

Read

As I’ve stated in other blogs, continue to read as many books as possible. Reading teaches us different styles, ways to develop plots, and expands our vocabulary. Authors that read often are better at their craft.

As the writer of the article, “Reading Fuels Imagination” Winston Hall writes, “In the past I used my imagination to picture barnyard animals and Dr. Seuss characters. Suddenly I was using my imagination to feel sadness, sympathy, happiness and excitement for the characters.” (Hall). This is true for everyone, expand your imagination through reading and it can only improve your writing.

 

 

Research

“Write what you know.” This statement is a classic cliche in the literary world. Every genre of writing requires some type of research. For example, authors that write historical novels need to know everything they possibly can about society, technology, fashions, jobs, and historical events of that time.

Research is essential for professional authors to be taken seriously. One fabricated fact can discredit a writer, turning the reader off from their other novels. I know I’ve wrinkled my nose at the books I’ve read with unbelievable or wrong information.

 

 

Grammar

Grammar allows us to communicate in a structured way that everyone can understand. To be taken seriously (as I’ve said several times), spend time learning the rules of your language. Spend the money on a good editor when the time comes.

I’m not concerned about a couple of misplaced or misspelled words in a book. No one is perfect. However, I have recently read a novel full of grammatical errors. The plot was okay but I grew increasingly more irritated. Did the author have an editor for the book? Did the editor even care that his or her work was horrendous? Whatever the case may be, the review wasn’t as high as it could have been because I was constantly distracted by the mistakes.

 

 

Message

Every good story should have a purpose. Why are you writing it? What is the message you want to get across to the reader? The very best novels never state the message outright. Author’s use the characters, drama, mystery, suspense, and dialogue to teach the reader the overall theme.

 

 

Show Don’t Tell

Go beyond the five senses. I tell beginner authors to make the reader feel like they are the character. Readers don’t want to be told, “Sam went for a walk.” Instead it’s more interesting to read; “The hot cement burned through the soles of Sam’s shoes. Avoiding the cracks, he lengthened his stride.”

In the second sentence we know he’s gone for a walk but there are additional details relating to his personality and the scene. The weather is hot enough to heat the sidewalk. Sam has slight OCD by avoiding the cracks. Readers may even wonder where he’s going in the sweltering climate. The first sentence wouldn’t invoke any curiosity. Read over your own writing, watching for generic sentences that could be rewritten with better details.

 

 

Emotional Connection

Think back to your favorite books. I’d bet you loved them because you’ve made some sort of emotional connection with the characters. Winston Hall puts it perfectly in his article, “Reading Fuels Imagination.” He states, “Books are magical, a sublime medium of communication where you can follow the progress of characters and wonder, when you’re not reading, how they’re doing.” (Hall).

We read books in the hopes the stories will move us in some way. They make us question our own lives or better relate to others. Good books change people.

 

To follow up the six qualities of good writing, fellow authors; Warren Troy and Bonnye Matthews have included their thoughts on the subject.

 

A good writer is like a good mechanic, in a sense. Faulty work causes poor performance. It’s like a movie with a good cast or lead character, but the script sucks. The potential for something good is there, but it isn’t brought forth. If someone doesn’t know good language, how can they fault someone else?

Warren Troy

Alaska Wilderness Adventure Author

Author of Trails, The Last Homestead, and Jester

English: Four children reading the book How th...

English: Four children reading the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From my personal point of view, having a good story that is told well is what writing should be.  I find today that people are making new rules for grammar.  I have a live and let live reaction to that. I won’t read a novel filled with “garbage grammar” no matter how supposedly good the story is.  Frankly, it fries my brain.  I also won’t let others dictate to me what is good grammar.  I know good grammar.  When I hear that passive voice should be killed each time it’s used, I want to cringe.  Passive voice has a wonderful contribution to our language, and used effectively it can change the brutal to polite, communicate when the subject is an unknown, as well as add rich variety to one’s sentence structure.

When I read, I look for a good story told well using proper rules of grammar.  I wouldn’t buy the services of someone who didn’t care to learn his craft, whatever that craft might be.  I wouldn’t go to a mechanic for heart surgery, no matter how good the mechanic is.  A writer, in my opinion, should know the rules of grammar.  If he or she breaks them, they should break them knowing what they do.  For example, I use fragments all the time—-in dialog.  People speak in fragments frequently.  I use contractions.  People use contractions in speech.  If, however, I were writing a white paper, there would be no fragments or contractions anywhere.  That’s because what applies to a novel does not apply to super serious non-fiction.  Rules vary from place to place.  If a writer doesn’t know the rules, serious people will not take that writer seriously.  Using the rules and having something to say can move mountains.

For a writer who doesn’t care about being taken seriously and uses questionable grammar, he or she should go for it.  If that person wants to be taken seriously, then taking a grammar course would be a very good plan prior to writing.  Once a writer puts material “out there,” he or she has made a first impression.  That impression is important regardless of the primary goal.

 

Bonnye Matthews,

Award Winning Writer of Prehistoric Fiction, Author of Ki’ti’s S

 

 

If you want more information on Hunt Books please visit and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huntbooks.

If the article above was helpful to you, I invite you to comment below.

Fill in the form above for free tips on writing or edit on three pages of your story! Learn more about my publications at: http://www.kaylahuntbooks.com/buy.

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Advice on the Writing Process Before Publication, Editing and Grammar, Featured, Published Author Interviews, Writer's Block | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment