Tag Archives: writing

Sexy #Vampire Novels from #Mystery Writer

How does a mystery writer wind up writing a sexy vampire series? Isn’t that a bit far off the beaten murder path?
Yes, and no. In my writing, I adhere to a specific underlying agenda.
Sketch of a Murder2 ebook
http://www.amazon.com/Sketch-Murder-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook/dp/B00KU6AIPQ

front cover artemis
http://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Warriors-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B0158NZ1L6

My agenda is to 1. entertain 2. enlighten 3. encourage and 4. empower women. Every novel I write must do these four things. (Those of you who know I am part Native American, probably suspected that there would be four–a sacred number–parts to my agenda! LOL!)

  1. Entertain: Every book I write–whether is a part of my Special Crimes Team mystery series or part of The Vampire Wars series or a stand alone literary novel–must first entertain the reader. Does it hook the reader? Can the reader identify with, and/or care about, at least one of the characters?
  2. Enlighten: What could possibly be enlightening about a mystery series or a vampire series?
    With each novel that I write, I attempt to challenge some long held beliefs or to bring some bit of knowledge to the reader. In Sketch of a Murder, Special Crimes Team, I shine a light on how the perpetrators of sexual violence against women and children all too often avoid prosecution or receive light sentences for their crimes. In Backlash, I highlight how ongoing violence and harassment is aimed at forcing women “back to the kitchen”. (I also highlight a practice among some police since 9/11 where they stop motorists and rob them of cash. True stuff! Read my past post on that. http://ayawalksfar.com/2014/12/03/cops-stealing-from-motorists/)
    In Artemis’ Warriors I explore creation myths and history from a matriarchal viewpoint rather than a patriarchal viewpoint. While some might feel this is blasphemy, there has been some evidence that matriarchal societies did exist in the far distant past. Granted this question is hotly debated. As is to be expected since no ruling class, including the patriarchy, willingly preach the history of the classes they rule over.
    We know from more recent history, that women have been largely erased from the historical narrative in many instances. Did you know that Margaret Hamilton was the Lead Software Engineer on the Apollo Project in 1969? (Follow this link to my Pinterest Board “Great Women” and see the Pin of Margaret Hamilton https://www.pinterest.com/pin/453737731188529025/ )
    Were you aware that Elizabeth Blackwell, born in 1821, was the first women to receive a medical degree in the United States? ( https://www.pinterest.com/pin/453737731181212469/ )
    If such recent history is missing from most textbooks, it is easy to understand why women’s ancient historical contributions might also be completely “missed”, or maybe deliberately forgotten.
    3. Encourage: Because I write of current issues, I validate those issues for women who are struggling with them. It is very discouraging for women to feel isolated; to constantly hear that what they are experiencing is only a figment of their minds. I bring issues forward so women know they are not alone; other women face these same issues. Some of the issues I write about in my Special Crimes Team mystery series are: women in the work place; sexual violence; age; and beliefs. In Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1, The Vampire Wars, I explore what it means to love; bonding between women; female sexuality; and, sacrifice.
  3. Empower: Every novel I write must in some way empower women; therefore, each book has a strong female protagonist, as well as other strong female supporting characters. It is well understood that what we read has an impact on our self-image. If women only read about helpless women who never direct their own lives and are forever victims, then that is what we internalize. Women need to see females as capable, intelligent, decision-makers so that our subconscious minds can integrate that into our views of what it means to be female. In the Special Crimes Team mystery series, Sergeant Nita Slowater struggles through her discoveries about herself while trying to find killers and rapists. Her major supporting female characters are Dr. Irene Nelson, FBI profiler, and Dawn Samira, lesbian investigative reporter. In Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1, The Vampire Wars series, Serena Longer struggles with her heart while fighting invading vampires who want to turn humans into blood cattle. Her major supporting female character, Alexis Night Runner, is also the cause of Serena’s soul searching about love.

Have you read one of the books from the Special Crimes Team series, The Vampire Wars series, or the stand-alone literary novels? If so, would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me at ayawalksfar@gmail.com !

UPCOMING BOOKS!
Beyond the Silence: Available for pre-order http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Silence-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B01ADRQ0K8 Release date: Feb. 14, 2016 ecoversmaller (2) Beyond the Silence
Death by Dog, A Special Crimes Team Novel: Coming April 3, 2016! DBDCover(1)

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3 MUST-MAKE #RESOLUTIONS FOR 2016

Usually, my first post of the month is my newsletter, but this is so important that I wanted everyone to have access to it.
New Year’s #resolutions are frequently the baseball bat we use to beat ourselves up throughout the year and most especially towards the end of each year.
PurposeAndBeauty
Even our broken resolutions; our unmet goals. Sometimes, it is to tell us that the goal; the resolution was unreasonable, unattainable, or simply not right for us at that time.
That isn’t to say we should blow off our resolutions or the goals we set. Quite the contrary. It means we should ask ourselves why we didn’t attain that goal or keep that resolution.
Here are the three greatest resolutions everyone needs to make for 2016. These are resolutions that you will want to keep.
1. I will evaluate my own shortcomings, broken resolutions and unmet goals then I will forgive myself for those shortcomings, broken resolutions and unmet goals. I will see those mistakes for what they truly are: lessons that I can grow from, but need not keep beating myself up over.
Mistakes
2. I will celebrate my accomplishments no matter how large or small they may be; and, no matter whether or not they are linked to last year’s goals or resolutions. I will recognize that all of the things I accomplished during the past year is important, whether it was linked to my goals and resolutions or not. Each accomplishment–from the kind words I spoke to an elder to the many books I sold–was part of the waterfall of my year; my life.
manydroplets
3. I will set reasonable goals and resolutions and list the steps to reach each one. I will not set myself up for failure and disappointment. Goals + Small measurable steps to reach them = Success.
no distance too far
With these three resolutions in mind, I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!
To keep up with new events and new articles, subscribe to this blog and to the newsletter. Both email subscriptions must be made if you want to receive both the blog notifications and the monthly newsletter. I look forward to having you as part of my 2016 TRIBE!
Run over to http://www.amazon.com/Aya-Walksfar/e/B00CMVAKKK to find all of my books.
OR go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AyaWalksfar to find my books in epub (NOOK); mobi (Kindle) or as pdf.
ABSOLUTE LAST DAY TO GET #FREE AND DISCOUNTED #EBOOKS!

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The Little Angel Who Couldn’t Sing: A Family #Christmas Story

candle in dark Be the Light in the Dark this Holiday Season.
The Little #Angel Who Couldn’t Sing: A #Family Christmas Story
Written by Betty Matney Edited by Aya Walksfar
Little Angel huddled, shivering and sobbing, in the shadow of a large bank of dirty clouds outside of Heaven’s Gate. Gusts of cold north wind tugged at his mud-spattered robe and tangled the feathers of his wings, forcing him to burrow deeper into his hiding place. He knew he should get up and go home, but he couldn’t face his friends. If it didn’t get any colder, he’d sneak home after dark.
Suddenly, he stopped crying and raised his head to listen. Voices drifted across the clouds. He curled into a tighter ball and lay very still. He didn’t want any of the angels to find him.
A deep voice spoke briskly. “I tell you I heard someone crying.”
There was a mumbled response he couldn’t hear very well.
Even closer this time, the deep voice said, “I know how happy everyone is, but I also know crying when I hear it.”
Whoever it was they were nearly at his bank of clouds. He covered his head with his wings and held his breath.
Big feet shuffled to a stop. “What do we have here?”
Little Angel slowly raised his head and peeked over the edge of his wing. His blue eyes popped wide. God Himself stood looking down at him.
Holding his long, gray, wind-tossed hair out of His eyes with one hand, He bent over and held His other hand out to the little angel. “Come out of there, little one.”
He lowered his wing and God pulled him out of his hole. He stood there, robe wrinkled and dirty, gold halo tilted over his right ear, eyes cast down. God knelt on one knee. With a finger under his chin, He lifted his face. “How old are you, little one?”
Little Angel mumbled, “Seven years old, Sir.”
“On the day when joy is almost tearing this old place apart, why are you down here alone and crying?” Gently, He wiped the tears away with the end of the green sash wrapped around His waist.
Little Angel bit his trembling lower lip to keep from crying again.
God twisted His head around and looked up at the other adult angel. “Aren’t all the angels practicing their singing for the performance tonight?”
The other angel looked flustered. “Yes, Sir. They are supposed to be, Sir.”
God turned His kindly eyes on the little angel. “Does that have something to do with why you’re crying?”
Tears filled Little Angel’s eyes as he nodded. “I…I can’t…” He sniffled and wiped his nose with the sleeve of his robe. “I can’t sing!” Tears spilled down his cheeks. “The chorus master said I can’t carry a tune. I should just fly around and hum, but I shouldn’t hum too loud.” He threw his arm across his face and wailed into his sleeve. “I don’t want to just hum! I want to do something important like everyone else!”
God sighed and pushed to His feet. He patted the little angel on the head. “Of course, you do.”
He dropped his arm and stared up at God. God stood there stroking His thick, white beard. Finally, God smiled. He reached over and plucked a few pieces of dirty cloud from the little angel’s red curls. “You go get cleaned up and meet me at the Pearly Gates in an hour.”
As he took off running, God shouted, “And straighten up that halo!”


Little Angel skidded to a halt in front of God, jolting his halo into a tilt over his right ear.
God reached over and straightened it up. “You look much better, except you seemed to have missed a few spots on your face.” God ran a thumb over the little angel’s cheeks.
He giggled. “Those are freckles.”
God smiled. “Ah, so they are.”
Little Angel fidgeted.
God chuckled. “Anxious to find out what you’re doing. Frankly,” God’s Voice got very serious. “I don’t know how we overlooked this task. It is very important.”
He lifted his chin and drew his shoulders back.
“Do you have your sack of stardust?”
He nodded and lifted the small, red velvet sack hanging from the robe’s tie.
God leaned over and whispered in the little angel’s ear.
Little Angel’s wings drooped. “The donkey? That’s a dumb job.”
God frowned. “Remember who the donkey is carrying, but the donkey is small. It is important that he have some help with his burden. Will you help him?”
He looked up at God with wide eyes. “Yes, sir.” Little Angel took off running towards a hole in the clouds that would let him drop to earth quickly. Just as he was diving through, God yelled, “And straighten up that halo!”


Little Angel stood on the side of the road leading to Bethlehem. Overhead a zillion stars shone, but down here it was dark and cold. He shivered and pulled his wings around himself.
From around a curve in the road the sound of hooves clip-clopped along the frozen ground. The small donkey staggered a few steps before he caught himself. A woman, wrapped in a blue cape, rode the small creature while a man with a staff walked beside them. The man walked slowly, now and then patting the donkey’s short neck. “What a brave little beast you are.”
The donkey’s winter coat was long and fuzzy and very black. Patches of white hair that matched the hair on its belly filled its long ears. It was young, not much more than a baby, really. And so tired that sometimes its nose dragged the ground.
As the three drew alongside Little Angel, the donkey stopped. The man rubbed its ears and stood beside it.
Little Angel walked over and placed a hand on its halter. The donkey’s big dark eyes lifted to him and then it groaned. “I don’t know how much longer I can go on.”
“I will help you.” Little Angel took the red sack from his belt and knelt. He dipped his fingertips inside. When he took them out, they shone with silvery powder. He swiftly rubbed all four hooves with the silvery powder. “Take a few steps and see if that helps. Bethlehem is just over that hill.” He pointed towards a small hill in the distance.
The donkey nodded. “I’ll try.” As he stepped forward, he added, “Your halo is crooked.”
He straightened up his halo as the donkey took the first short, slow steps. He twitched his long ears then gave a joyful bray. “My feet don’t hurt!”
Little Angel jogged next to the trotting donkey as it nimbly skirted the frozen puddles along the road. Very soon they reached Bethlehem. Little Angel waited beside the donkey as the man inquired for a room at inn after inn. Every place was full until finally only one inn was left. The man sagged with fatigue as he walked to the last door.
The donkey sighed as the man stood talking to the landlord. “I need something to eat and some water and a place to rest pretty soon. My feet are hurting again.”
Little Angel hugged the donkey. “I’m sure this is the place we are to stop. There’s a stable out back.”
He turned and looked at the woman sitting quietly on the donkey. Body bent with tiredness, she sagged as if she could barely stay seated. He was really glad she hadn’t had to walk. Turning, he gave the donkey another hug. “You are so brave and good,” he whispered to the donkey.
The donkey raised its black nose to Little Angel’s ear. “The woman’s going to have a baby. I didn’t think she could walk very far, so I had to try to keep walking for her.” The donkey sighed. “Did you know about the baby?”
He scratched the donkey’s ear. “Yes, I knew about the baby.”
When the man returned, he led the donkey to the stable behind the inn. He helped the woman off and spread his own cloak over her as she lay down on a pile of straw. After she was settled, he took the donkey into another stall to feed and water the animal before returning to the woman, his wife.
Little Angel sat in the corner of the stall as the donkey ate and then tucked its legs under it and lay down. “Don’t sleep too soundly,” he cautioned. “The celebration will be starting soon.”
He had just finished speaking when a baby cried. He rushed to the wall and peeked through the space between two boards. Eyes wide, he watched as the man wrapped the baby in a warm blanket and laid it in the manger next to where the woman lay. The man stood between the manger and the woman, smiling first at one and then at the other. The woman’s face shone with happiness as she gazed at her husband and then at the Infant Boy.
The donkey stood next to Little Angel, staring through the crack. “She’s had her baby.”
From far away and above them, singing drifted on the air. The donkey looked up. “What’s that?”
A grin stretched Little Angel’s face as he, too, looked up. “Those are the angels singing to the shepherds out in the hills. They are telling them to come to the stable and behold the Child that was born.”
He dropped his eyes to the donkey. “I have to leave now.”
The donkey nodded. “Thank you. I don’t know if I could have made it all this way by myself.”
He gave the donkey a warm hug around its shaggy neck. “Everyone needs help sometimes.”
As he flew upwards, the donkey called, “Hey! Your halo is….”
He raised both hands and straightened his halo as he flew into the night. In the distance, he heard the final chorus and, all alone, Little Angel began to hum. As he flew higher, his humming grew louder until, unable to contain his joy, he burst into song. In a loud, happy voice, and slightly off-key, he added his own heavenly welcome to the Baby lying in the manger.


Though I am not Christian, I post this story every year to honor my friend and Elder Betty Matney who Journeyed to the Other Side years ago. I know she would want to share her story will all of you; and since she Gifted it to me, I will say the words she would say–
Share this story with anyone you choose to share it with; make copies and give them to others, but please give attribution to Betty Matney.
With the holidays upon us, remember that books make GREAT gifts! This year why not give a book that can be read over and over? Biker Granny’s Motorcycle Philosophy is a book your family and friends will read and re-read. You can find the ebook copy at http://www.amazon.com/Biker-Grannys-Motorcycle-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B019APE7W2
And the print book is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Biker-Grannys-Motorcycle-Aya-Walksfar/dp/1505829690
Biker Granny wrap cover

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#READERS HOLD THE KEY

isisrunning(1)
In this brave new world of literature, all the old rules have been tossed aside. #Ebooks have been blamed for this phenomenon, but the ebook revolution is only guilty in that it allowed more books to reach the public. According to Bowker, a respected name in publishing industry, over 3500 books are published each DAY! Currently,there are literally millions of books available.Competition for reader attention is fierce.
So, authors are reinventing the novel. A novel used to be defined as a complete story –with a distinct beginning, middle and end–consisting of seventy thousand words, more or less. In today’s world, novels may have as few as fifty thousand words or they may have over a hundred thousand words; the reader might reach the end of the book only to discover that the last page is a cliff-hanger and the second book–which may not yet be available yet–must be purchased to continue the story without any guarantees that book two will provide a satisfying climax and ending. This type of book is usually not labeled as a ‘cliff-hanger’.
Personally, this is when I am sorely tempted to fling the book at the wall then stomp it for good measure! (Unfortunately, I read a lot of e-books and reading devices do not like being bounced off of walls!)
Serial novels are another device designed to hook a reader. These books have an ending, but the main storyline has not ended–much like a television serial. These books are sometimes labeled as a ‘series’, or less often they are labeled as a ‘serial’.
Book series–not to be confused with books that actually belong to a serial story–are frequently written. With some series–like Kay Hooper’s earlier books in the Bishop series–the individual books can be read as stand-alone novels and/or read out of sequence without compromising enjoyment of the individual or of the series.
As a reader, I enjoy the flexibility this offers. This is reflected in the fact that as a writer my Special Crimes Team series (found at http://www.amazon.com/author/ayawalksfar) follows this model–the books can be read out of sequence.
Length and endings are not the only things rapidly changing. Gone are the days when romance novels stop the action at the bedroom doorway and mystery novels hint at the blood and gore, yet leave the details to the reader’s imagination. Scenes containing sex and violence have become increasingly graphic and prolific.
At a romance writer’s conference that I attended this summer, one publisher stated that readers not only wanted more graphic sex scenes, but that they were bored with plain vanilla sex. At one time, writers would have regarded such a statement as bordering on the demand for pornography. Today it is more along the lines of ‘business as usual’.
I read one of a well-known writer’s recent works in which I finally defaulted to skimming pages of the novel because various graphic sex scenes were endlessly repeated with a variety of partners. I never did find an actual storyline, unless the sex was it.
Then there are the novels that grossed a huge profit in very recent times, but have been called by some people in the BDSM community a bad example of true BDSM, but a good example of the glorification of domestic violence. (Actually, the Fifty Shades of Gray series follows the warning signs for the entire cycle of domestic violence. In my other life as a counselor, I referred young women like that to psychologists or therapists who specialized in treating victims of domestic violence.)
As a reader, I find graphic sex and violence that is not intimately tied to furthering the storyline boring, at best. On the other hand, as an author I write novels in which graphic sex and violence occur; however, I work diligently to be sure that those scenes are necessary for the development and movement of the storyline. As a reader, I enjoy novels that adhere to this general rule.
Another striking difference in novels of bygone years and novels of today is the level of profanity. In the past a writer who used “crap!” was considered racy. Nowadays, books contain a large variety of words considered to be profanity.
Again, as a reader, I look for novels where the word types used are congruent with the characters speaking. A rough and tumble detective in a hardcore mystery or crime novel might very well curse while an amateur detective in a cozy mystery might be skating the line by murmuring, “Oh, poo!”
Even in the face of changes that they do not like, readers frequently feel that they have little to no influence on what is written and published. In reality, readers are the key element in a novel’s success.
The reader’s input is mainly measured in four ways: 1. Sales numbers 2. Reader reviews 3. Personal feedback from beta readers and from the general public 4. Word of mouth recommendations.
Of those four methods that measure the reading public’s reactions to a novel, reader reviews and word of mouth recommendations are the most important ones. People browsing to find another book to read will often look for “social proof” that the book is worth their time. Reader reviews and word of mouth recommendations are that “social proof”. Unlike word of mouth recommendations, reader reviews can be directly linked to sales increases. An increase in positive reader reviews will increase the sales of a book.
Because readers,like everyone else in our busy society, have a large number of demands on their time, reviews are sometimes difficult to obtain. As a reader, I will often end my day by sitting down to read for a while before I go to bed. As a voracious reader, it is not unusual for me to read anywhere from five to ten books per week.
Each review requires approximately five minutes to write and post on Amazon or Goodreads–the sites most widely used to find new books. Five minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time to invest in such a worthy cause, but when time to relax is at a premium it can feel like ‘one more chore’.
In order to combat this feeling, while supporting authors whose work I enjoy, I keep a pad of paper and a pen handy. While I read I jot down notes on the points I liked best about the book. Authors love long, detailed reviews, but a two-sentence review that summarizes what a reader enjoyed most–one reader’s review focused on her enjoyment of the character Grandma Greene in the novel Old Woman Gone(http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Gone-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook/dp/B00OICBEV0). In Backlash (http://www.amazon.com/Backlash-Special-Crimes-Team-Book-ebook/dp/B00W7UJAWA), a woman identified with the struggles faced by several supporting characters–is deeply appreciated (especially if the star rating is four or five! As an author, those reviews make the long hours of writing, editing and rewriting worth every minute spent).
There you have it–with a few minutes of your time you, the reader, decide whether a novel succeeds or fails. In so doing, you ultimately choose everything from the length of future novels to the amount of profanity used to how graphic the scenes containing sex and violence will be written. You are the future of literature.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT
Do you enjoy:
1. Short novels of less than 200 pages?
2. Do you feel short-changed by a novel that does not contain over two hundred pages?
3. Do you like cliff-hanger endings?
4. Do you buy serial novels, with serials defined much the way television serials–such as Special Victims Unit–are defined?
5. Would you rather have a series of novels connected by the characters, but still able to be read out of sequence as a stand-alone novel?
6. Are you comfortable with graphic sex scenes used in romantic situations during which sex would be a natural progression?
8. Do you feel violence should be depicted graphically in the more hardcore crime and mystery novels, if it is a natural occurrence within the storyline?
9. Are you comfortable with the use of profanity by characters depicted as people who would likely use such language?
10. What would you like to see different in the development of novels?

katrina leavereview

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A Short Reminder

If you are receiving my blog via email, but are not receiving my monthly newsletter, PLEASE let me know immediately and I will manually add your email to the newsletter.
Thanks!

thx 4 being pt of online tribe

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YOUR FEEDBACK MATTERS!

Tenacity

10 Ways to Tell if Someone is an Author
1. Do they often hear voices in their head?
2. Do they see things that don’t exist, like unicorns and dragons?
3. Do they sometimes suddenly laugh with no apparent reason?
4. Do they spend a lot of time thinking up ways to kill people?
5. Do they write pages about steamy love affairs?
6. Do they sometimes speak with different accents?
7. Do they always having their nose in a book?
8. Do they know more about alien worlds than they do about their own neighborhood?
9. Do they sometimes forget and invite their main character to dinner?
10. Do they frequently walk around with a faraway look in their eyes?

ANNOUNCEMENT/REMINDER:
All ebooks are now $2.99! Go to http://www.amazon.com/author/ayawalksfar to grab your copy today!

After a busy summer of bike-tripping, I made one last five-day trip to Colorado. I’d never been to the state, except to pass through on my way to someplace else. One of the places I visited was Estes Park.
AYA AT ESTES PARK
Eleven thousand plus feet took me from eighty degree weather to finger-numbing cold on the Colorado tundra!
ELEVEN THOUSAND FEET ESTES
The next day, my companions and I hiked up into the hills of a place call Red Feather.
My hiking companions: my daughter, Lyn, and my grand-dog, Raven.
Colorado plus some from eastern washington 382
Many of the rock formations looked like a giant had carved them.
Red Feather Rock formations
And trees grew out of stone.
tree growing in rock
Though I loved seeing new places and wondrous things (to view more photos from Colorado, go to http://www.pinterest.com/ayawalksfar)it was good to return home and get back to writing! #AmWriting a literary novel to be released in early 2016: Beyond the Silence.
Barb Hensen always felt different. Trapped in an abusive marriage, she is slowly killing herself; and, the only hope she has is that her death won’t be long in coming. The day she meets Yona Long Runner Barb’s life is forever changed. At last, she understands her feelings of “differentness”. As she struggles to accept herself and her growing attraction to Yona, the abuse in her marriage escalates to an intolerable level. Now, she must choose between living and dying.
Meanwhile, the Vampire War is heating up! #AmWriting the second book of The Vampire Wars–The Return of Arundia (this is the working title only. The actual title may be different). Serena Longer, the First Councilwoman of the North American Region, faces deadly foes.

My readers are important to me. This short survey will help me decide on the content of this blog and the newsletter.
A SHORT SURVEY
What would you like to read on this blog and in the newsletter?
1. First chapter(s)of published books?
2. First chapter(s)of upcoming books?
3. Background stories of main characters?
4. Background stories of main and supporting characters?
5. Research that was done in the course of writing the books?
6. More background stories about the author?
7. Some of the reasons/motivations that moved the author to write certain books?
8. More image quotes?
9. Other:________________________________(please specify, or give an example)
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW ON WHAT YOU WANT TO READ AND I WILL TRY TO INCLUDE IT! THANKS!

ROSES Thank you survey

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#SEX AND VIOLENCE

Sketch of a Murderebook 7 30 2014

We live in an undeniably violent world–wars, murders, rapes, ad nauseum. Should books graphically reflect that reality? How much is too much?

As the author of murder and mayhem–and even in my literary works to some, though to a lesser, degree–this is a question I face. This issue is compounded by the question of sex. As with violence, sex permeates our culture. Nearly every television show, movie, and advertisement has sex intimately entwined. Let’s face it: sex and violence sells.

Yet, I want my work to mean more than a dollar sign or a cheap thrill. I feel a responsibility to tell stories worthy of a #reader’s time. After all, my commitment is to entertain, enlighten and empower. Where does that leave such a writer?

We become a weaver of plots, a builder of characters, a creator of worlds.

I use a certain amount of graphic sex and graphic violence in some of my work. Note the word “some” and the phrase “a certain amount”. Since I write everything from young adult to vampire to #murder to literary (yes, I realize authors are supposed to brand themselves with one genre, but that robe felt too tight and it itched!) the use of sex and violence must be tailored to the story.

For example, in the young adult novel, Black Wind, (TO BE RELEASED JULY 31) they never get their clothes off, yet in the vampire novel, Artemis’ Warriors(COMING AUGUST 31)….well, let’s just say that sometimes clothes get scattered all over the place. The mystery/cop/thriller novels, such as The Special #Crimes Team series, fall somewhere between these two poles.

Likewise, in Black Wind, violence occurs but to a lesser degree and not as graphic. The vampire fighters in Artemis’ Warriors dash about, lopping off heads and arms and other important parts. The blood flies. In Sketch of a Murder, SCT, Book 1, the reader sees crime scenes through the serial killer’s eyes–and the scenes are gruesome, yet in Old Woman Gone, SCT, Book 3, bloodshed is minimal. (All the books in my series can be read as stand-alone novels.)

So, what creates the different levels of sex and violence? The story. It is my contention that the plot and the characters in a story determine the amount of sex and violence, as well as how graphically those instances are portrayed .

All too often, I have picked up a novel and within a few chapters have read ten pages of graphic sex (more frequently than graphic violence even) for every page of story. Needless to say, I toss the book aside and seldom pick up anything else by that author. If scenes of sex and violence dominates a work with no clear purpose in forwarding the story, then I have to ask how well-developed are the characters and how substantial is the plot?

Readers, what is your opinion? How much sex and violence is too much? Leave a comment!

DON’T FORGET: UNTIL AUGUST 30 FOUR of my e-novels are FREE! Want a #FREEBOOK? Go to: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AyaWalksfar  Choose one, or all, of the books listed below. Follow the checkout instructions. When asked for the coupon code, entered the code specific to that book. Continue checkout. Download the format that works best with your device. epub for NOOk; mobi for Kindle; or whatever format your device requires and is listed.

Street Harvest, Special Crimes Team, Book 2 (all of my series can be read out of order, or as a stand-alone novel) Use Coupon Code: JE68B

Run or Die    Coupon Code: MX48Y

Good Intentions, a literary novel  Coupon Code: HQ72R

Dead Men and Cats, a mystery novella  Coupon Code: UH42Z

If you have problems with the download, please contact me at ayawalksfar@gmail.com I will try to answer your questions.

Share the codes with family, friends and co-workers. Heck, share them with your neighbors and maybe they will read instead of party all night and keep you awake!

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