Tag Archives: Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt

Your Part of the Story

Or is it You’re Part of the Story? Either sense is correct. Interconnectedness is a vital aspect of the human experience, and without an appreciation of the precept, we would each develop into someone far below our potential.

You, however, are my readers. I’m not content to leave you there.

Many worthwhile things can be accomplished on an individual level, and some of those in no way else. Even the most independent achievement, however, is the culmination of capability fostered by affecting influences. Those are the drops and rivulets contributing to the flow of who we are and what we do … for better or worse.

Likewise, each event in the past contributes its part to the composition of the current scene. Frank Capra did a better than adequate job of illustrating totality in It’s a Wonderful Life, so I won’t bother to recap his conclusions here. It’s a pity, though, that sometimes this essential realization drops while reading fiction when we so wholeheartedly embrace it watching that film. I sometimes wonder if its absence also contributes to a less-than-sufficient grasp of history generally, much less the problems this can cause with dedicating attention to a novel.

I mention every so often how much I dislike encountering formulaic fiction. Emphases vary between plot-driven and character-driven structure such as mine. One won’t find action leading the way in a Dale Amidei novel, for the same reason that unanticipated, out-of-context conduct in real life generates confusion and anxiety in its witnesses. The ideal here is removed from pulpy exploits and steeped in substance instead, and the distinction sometimes requires the accumulation of momentum in defining a character’s situation.

Structure, done from farther out than a singular or first-person perspective, sometimes requires this. I’ve never written under the latter restriction, much preferring the weave of multiple points of view I encountered in my best formative reading. Reading first was a process that stretched across four decades before attempting my own serious novel, one that ran somewhere past thirty consecutive five-stars on Amazon and once was, by one website’s weighting, the second highest-rated fiction title in the Kindle store.

Character-driven fiction requires an investment on the part of the reader in the imaginary folk he or she is encountering. Its dividend must be paid by the author, but this takes time. It also, sometimes unfortunately, requires depositing a span of attention nearly every aspect of modern life seems intent on degrading. No one, if you’ve not noticed, ever dies in a Dale Amidei Chapter One. In Chapter Two and following all bets are off … but by then you will at least have an inkling of what’s happening and why.

What and Why, now that Boone is about to appear in her fourth novel, both play a vital role in her latest adventure. The interconnectedness to which I alluded in beginning this post is coming full circle; the cascading implications of fulfilled duty in her previous title, One Last Scent of Jasmine, extends from Washington to Moscow as two of the world’s most powerful men turn to ruthless pragmatism in seeking to distance themselves from their moral culpabilities.

Boone’s fourth is now set to appear on June 28, 2017. I hope you’ll be coming along on a trip not to be missed, whether you jumped into my interconnected character universe through Jon’s Trilogy, or Sean’s File, or with Boone’s debut in Absinthe and Chocolate. She and I need your reads, your reviews, and your help in boosting my signal on social media. You’re part of this story, and once it’s finished, I promise that Boone’s will remain part of you. To produce a novel that shakes the blessed earth is my prime motivation of course, but also to go forward with you from then on. Afterward, both of us will hopefully fulfill the clear vision of our Craftsman within the remainder of what He intends.

You do your part. I’ll do mine.

Choose to Love, -DA

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In production news, as mentioned above, Boone’s fourth novel, Meat for the Lion, is progressing through its final quality assurance steps before publishing later this month. Once retail pages are live, her Big List of Links will appear here as a separate post.

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Best of the Independent eBook Awards Honors

Pleased to announce two titles receiving top honors at this year’s eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards! Boone’s File Book One is Best Thriller, while Sean’s File Book Two was named Best Short Story after public voting. Thanks to Julie Ann Dawson and company at eFest, as well as everyone who took the time to register and vote! You did this!

As always, retail links for all my titles are available on the sidebar. Read, Rock, Review, Recruit, and Repeat!

FBeFestWinners2015

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In production news, Boone’s third novel, One Last Scent of Jasmine, continues progress in primary editing and remains on schedule for a winter release.  Jasmine is nine percent complete in that stage and lookin’ good.

Choose to Love, -DA

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

You may notice, in giving a visit to this blog, that some additional content has appeared.  The landing page, as always, has my latest news. About Dale Amidei has been augmented with a bibliography, additional contact information and a new email address. Additional links to other places where I and my titles have enjoyed a feature are there as well. Please grace those hosts with a visit!

Available Titles and In the Works highlight my extant and preview upcoming novels, while FAQs and the Tip Jar round out the content migrating over from my previous home page. As always, links to my retail outlets appear on the sidebar. This site will be my online home for a while. Subscribe, enjoy and settle in. I’m glad you’re here.

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OLSJ_225x337DSIn production news, Boone’s third and my seventh, second-longest novel passed Content Edit over the weekend. One Last Scent of Jasmine is now undergoing scrutiny by the Editress in the throes of the Main  Edit, and shall be until sometime in the coming winter. God willing, Boone’s tussle with elements of our own government will be available for the deep, dark nights of a warmly snuggled reading season.

A reminder also that Daniel Sean Ritter’s  Romeo Down: A Short Story, and Boone’s debut, Absinthe and Chocolate, are finalists in public voting at the 2015 EFestival of Words Best of the Independent EBook Awards. Thanks in advance of your trouble to register, vote, and support them for Best Thriller and Best Short Story!

As always, stay safe and sane and Choose to Love. -DA

Characters in a Godless Universe

Before writing, one reads first, of course. After writing and further developing the skills needed to do it well, however, reading is never quite the same. That epiphany is a seed of thought especially relating to what I write, which is fiction from the perspective of a conservative and a Christian.

Characters I encounter in the writing of others—nearly universally now—seem to have little regard for the spiritual aspects of their existence. Plot lines develop, conflict is engaged, and crescendos pass … often without any soul-searching, spark of enlightenment, or flashes of revelation in the minds of the people with whom we travel through their story. The result can be constructed as well as fiction can get, be presented in flawless elegance, and yet for me is one notch away from truly satisfying … because an element of completeness is missing.

When someone asks what my fiction is “about,” the short answer is: “people, and the perspectives that guide their decisions.” Conflict, challenge, adventure and romance are all elements as well, but as my character Jon Anthony says, some questions are essential. This means we will all answer them in some fashion, whether or not the subject is ever intentionally addressed.

Whether one proceeds from a faith-based perspective is one of those attributes. We are all encouraged in polite company to avoid talking about the subject, along with politics, and that reserve spills into the world of literature as well. I cannot help but think it is as limiting there as it is elsewhere in life. In writing Political Fiction, I cannot avoid the latter. As a Christian, I have a Commission to engage in the former … come what may.

In Stephen King’s novel The Langoliers, the test of dimensional validity is the “rightness” in the taste of foods and vitality of materials for the passengers of an aircraft “out of synch.” So, in a way, is  reading the works constructed out of a secular perspective.

Certainly, judging from the state of the world, too many and an increasing number of people are living their lives in that same, flat, unfulfilled state King described. Blaise Pascal, in his Pensees, wrote:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

The results in fiction and in life are the same. Absent a foundational quickening, no recovery can be made without addressing one’s most fundamental deficit. As Christians, it remains our burden to watch and pray and counsel where we can. In fiction, I present the internal struggles and dialogues that steer a soul on a bearing toward Home. That likely is the primary distinction between my fiction and the majority of authors in my genre.

We need a nation and a world revived in Spirit through valid faith, and thus given to acts of love rather than self-indulgence. I believe that we need novels written just that way as well. Toward that end, we here at Single Candle Press will continue to do what we can.

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In TBP112x169production news, May promises to see Novel6/Boone2 The Bonus Pool complete primary editing and the title move into pre-publication on a schedule for release next month (June 2015). Boone’s first, Absinthe and Chocolate, is an absolute prerequisite to her latest novel.

Doctor Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt returns in style. The Bonus Pool, as did the second novel of Jon’s Trilogy, brings together characters and set pieces established in the introductory volume into a storyline and presentation so energetic and excellent that we truly feel it shakes the blessed earth.

You will not want to put this one off, people. My advice is: get started now. Boone’s File Book One, Absinthe and Chocolate, is available now where your ebooks are sold and linked on the sidebar.

Choose to Love, -DA

Ten Questions from Tara: Interview with Dale Amidei

It’s Saturday, and I’m discussing “Absinthe and Chocolate” in an excellent interview with Tara Chevrestt. Please give the Book Babe blog a visit to help me thank a gracious host!

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Ten Questions from Tara: Interview with Dale Amidei

Boone Minus Five

OK, peeps. You’ve heard the name for two years, and now her debut is on the horizon. Boone’s first, Absinthe and Chocolate, is preparing to publish. Normally, the thing would be available at this stage. Being that Labor Day has only recently arrived to end the summer retail doldrums, I’m holding the title until the September 10—five days from now—and hoping to engage some opinion leaders for the title’s initial reviews.

Preorders, by the way, all go through on Launch Day and boost visibility as an effect. I appreciate anyone who wishes to help; your reward will consist of getting an incredible novel for less than a buck.

I’ve wondered, as the time to launch this series—Boone’s File—draws near, how Ian Fleming would have approached James Bond if he had considered writing his character as a woman. In bringing Dr. Hildebrandt to life, I found the depth of complexity and wellspring of emotion available to draw wonderfully enabling. I believe her novels—four of them now—reflect this. The result is an archetypal, satisfying, and dynamic strong female character with growth, plot and romance arcs spanning more than three hundred and fifty thousand words.

This title will be the third gateway into the common universe of my fiction. Characters from The Anvil of the Craftsman and elsewhere pop up to augment Boone’s efforts and fill out the story line. Playing central roles are Daniel Sean Ritter, Bernie Schuster, and General Peter McAllen with cameos from Jon, Mary, and Farrah. Absinthe provided a chance for me to drop back on my messaging, have some fun, and spend eighty-five-and-a-half thousand words introducing a very special personality through a kickin’ adventure.

Boone, when we meet her, concurrently is at the top of her professional game and nearing the nadir of her personal life. She is, in most instances, directly responsible for many aspects of her misery. A life lived in secrets has left her isolated and developing an unhealthy gravitation toward alcohol. Overcompensation for loneliness, compounded by enduring, building guilt from the lives she has taken, is now a lifestyle. Offsetting needs fulfill largely through escapades in the service of her country, specifically in her capacity as a Level One Case Officer working for the Director of National Intelligence. At times, when a kindred spirit draws near enough, she finds solace in her bed as well.

Electronic copies of Absinthe and Chocolate in EPUB and MOBI formats are available to preorder at 99¢—a 75% discount from the full retail price of $3.99—through the links below. By the time you finish, I strongly suspect you will realize the fun waiting ahead in three more of her titles.

Who knows, perhaps Mr. Fleming made a similar offer once, in a different time and format, with Casino Royale. If so, I imagine the people involved remember.

Preorders:
Kindle
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords

Nook readers will be able to grab their copy at the same price on Wednesday!

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Standing Down

Today is a special day. It marks the end of my Year in the Chair, which was the fulfillment of an ambition to devote twelve months to the full-time writing of fiction. I held that ambition since at least 1998, and a less refined vision for much longer than that.

As a child, something struck me about reading as soon as I mastered the skill. It was the play of words across the page, bringing with them a caravan load of imagery and the ability to transport and suspend the reader in a world created by their crafter. Later, as age refined my perspective, I noticed how words preserved the thoughts of the author, and realized that our inner processes make up so much of what we are. Those are lost to the world with us, unless we are remembered in some way. Writing can do that. I believe authoring a work is taking a shot at immortality: the secret dream of everyone writing with intent. The opportunity came, so I did just that.

I started the YITC with three novels completed and one published—Jon’s Trilogy—consisting of The Anvil of the Craftsman, The Britteridge Heresy, and Killing Doctor Jon. The lead title’s supporting alpha-male character begged for a prequel, and writing it made up the first effort of my Year. Operation Naji is the worthy effort of presenting the first portion of my spooky USAF officer’s back-story. It will be my next release and is up for publication this summer through Single Candle Press.

Another character grew and blossomed in my mind as the YITC continued: Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt. Her character is a different sort of lead. She finds her footing in the sand of the world rather than on the bedrock of Jon Anthony’s faith. Boone is a flawed character. In many ways, she is the victim of her own bad decisions—her courage and dedication to duty notwithstanding. She is and continues to be a work in progress, and portraying her as such came to be the point of her novels: Absinthe and Chocolate, The Bonus Pool and One Last Scent of Jasmine.

The same Special Operator to whom so many of my readers attached in Anvil afterward demanded a second installment of his history. It is King of a Lesser Hill, one that takes place in 1995 during the height of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The installment makes up the middle title of his previously unseen life prior to 2006. The novel is everything that I wanted it to be, and stands as a perfect companion piece to Operation Naji.

So, I began the Year with three novels and finish with eight. The first trio is in the marketplace. All are full-length, which I personally consider to be above 80,000 words. Boone’s third stretched slightly longer than Anvil and is my most extensive to date. Her fourth, with the working title of Meat for the Lion, is my current WIP, and the third title of my military alpha’s back-story grows in my mind. Writing—for a writer—never really ends.

What does disappear, unfortunately, is the emotional carrying capacity of so many authors, when little reward for thousands of hours of their labor seems forthcoming. Once today’s hours are logged, I will have worked the Chair for more than 2,570 hours in the past year, when a 40-hour workweek would have consumed 2,080. I will have averaged fifty-plus-hour weeks with no time off save that required by family duties. Excluding the two weeks we spent losing Mother, each of the other days has a work-related entry.

Frankly, I am dragging myself across this finish line. Accomplished author Joe Konrath frequently says that self-publishing is a marathon and not a sprint, and I would agree. The vision from a past Olympic race comes to mind. A stumbling runner, covered with her own feces, staved off helping hands as she crossed the line on her own in a finish followed by a collapse. It is the perfect representation of the experience of writing fiction and attempting to have one’s effort result in a tangible return.

The real challenge in traditional or self-publishing is marketing. This is an environment where technology has made producing an electronic title a viable goal for anyone with a personal computer. Putting up a quality work is now the equivalent of playing a violin in the din of a machine shop. The effort itself might be beautiful, but it is unlikely that many will notice.

I have accumulated forty-two reviews on Amazon across three novels, and all of them are perfect scores, save for the questionable opinion expressed in a single three-star. I’ve given away more than twelve thousand one hundred copies of Anvil, that novel I love so much. So far, one-half of one percent of those downloading have returned to pick up another of the modestly-priced titles in Jon’s Trilogy. With eleven thousand-plus novels appearing every month, apparently there are too many other free titles available, and some of those are just as good as mine. Point-five-percent sell-through ain’t gonna feed the parakeet, much less the bulldog.

Another problem with pursuing success in self-publishing is the inability of even those who have achieved significant sales to explain fully why it happened. Some titles of equal quality and presentation achieve that wonderfully viral condition, and many others do not, and no one really knows the reasons successes occur. The emergence of marketing targeted to genre-specific subscriber lists may be starting to change that, and will be the focus of efforts once Operation Naji is edited, formatted and out the door. Hopefully, that happy strategy will turn things around in our SCP balance sheets.

Until then, I will be taking time to read friends’ work and relax while I look for an opportunity allowing contribution to society in a more appreciable way. Boone’s fourth novel—and Sean’s third—will continue as time allows. When or if they are finished, I will have matched the quantitative full-length output of Ernest Hemingway. It might be time then to stop altogether, or continue on. One never knows until the new day arrives, fresh with the promise of a blank page.

This final day of my Year in the Chair, as every one on which the sun has set before, is both an end and a beginning. To lose sight of that actuality is to improperly manage perspective, and shirk our duties to both our Craftsman and ourselves. Let it never be so.

Choose to Love, -DA