Tag Archives: creative writing

With Gratitude – by Deborah J Ledford

I’ve been thinking for days what I should present for this book launch blog promoting my debut thriller Staccato, and my thoughts kept returning to how grateful I am, not only to have this novel in print, but to all of those tireless and committed souls who made this book release a possibility.

Staccato is being featured on the Second Wind Publishing blog along with three other equally intriguing novels. I am thrilled to be in the company of Mickey Hoffman and Amy DeTremp for their first novels from Second Wind, and the very talented writer Christine Husom for her second book. I know they share my excitement in being members of this unique and cutting edge publishing company.

Because the entire Second Wind team is first-rate I shouldn’t play favorites, however Pat Bertram is as instrumental in seeing Staccato to fruition as anyone else involved in the process. Pat is not only a gifted novelist, she is a tireless promoter of Second Wind authors, often putting herself in the backseat when it comes to touting her own exquisitely crafted novels. I wish her the best with the upcoming release of Daughter Am I.

Lazarus Barnhill, novelist extraordinaire, is also an influential force in my decision to see Staccato through to publication. Laz, Pat and I made it to the semi-final round of the TruTV (formerly CourtTV) Crime Writer Contest sponsored by Gather.com in 2007. I am grateful that none of us actually won this contest because now we all reside in the same Second Wind Publishing home.

Second Wind executive assistants Tracy Beltran and Stacy Findley really pulled out the stops as well. From providing and submitting formatted proofs, configuring a killer back cover, to making sure my author and book pages on the Website were exactly as I wished. I could not be more happy with what you ladies have accomplished in order to make Staccato as professional and aesthetically pleasing as I could ever have envisioned.

My gratitude would not be complete without the heartfelt thanks to Second Wind publisher, Mike Simpson. Mike expressed confidence in Staccato when all others had turned their backs. This kind and generous gentleman is a dream maker who put me at ease so many times with his assurances that we would make the September 15th release date. Somehow he pulled off this monumental and sometimes daunting effort. Kudos to you, Mike, Staccato is every bit yours as it is mine.

For those of you who visit this exceptional blog often, I thank you as well. We all look forward to your comments and appreciate your support of Second Wind Publishing.


Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle and independent book stores.


Filed under books, fiction, marketing, writing

Staccato: Inception-by Deborah J Ledford

People often ask how long it takes me to write a novel. I see you writers out there rolling your eyes, because really, how do you possibly calculate not only the hours/days/years spent at a computer keyboard or pen in hand, but also the time staring off as your characters hijack your real life?

I’d like to share my journey as to how my upcoming suspense thriller Staccato came to be. This is a long tale that literally spans decades, so I will be breaking this up into a series. The first entry is: Inception.

Over 20 years ago I stood in a frame shop flipping through posters. I have no idea how I found myself to be there as I didn’t normally even pop into that store. Halfway through a stack I flipped to an amazing close-up shot of a pair of hands clasped in handcuffs hovering over a keyboard. I still remember the sensation: I swayed a bit, gaze trained only on the vision as the powerful visual shot straight to my brain. A storyline ignited right there that very moment.

At the time, I was a screenwriter therefore Staccato began as my fourth full-length screenplay. I don’t recall exactly how long it took to write the script, but the characters and locations came quickly. I had taped the poster to my wall so that every time I got stuck all I needed to do was look up to re-ignite the spark that caused such an initial flurry of excitement and creativity.

The Universe offers us so many gifts and I treasure the finding of that poster to this day.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, scheduled for release by Second Wind Publishing, August, 2009.


Filed under fiction, writing

The Importance of Imagery–by Deborah J Ledford

In my opinion there is no better way to set a scene or mood than by implementing imagery.  Visuals of a particular location, or even within a single room, provide an enormous amount of information about your characters to the reader.  Also, what a character sees outside a window can tell us how they view their world.

Does your hero find himself in an unfamiliar and unsettling locale?  Perhaps the buzzing streetlamp he stands under blazes blue light down on him, seemingly to draw unwanted attention to him—yet this is the precise spot where he’s been told to wait in order to receive the clue which will save the heroine’s life.

Your villain can be clearly established by the way he carries himself, or perhaps consider a prop for him/her to use.  In my upcoming novel Staccato, presented by Second Wind Publishing, I use the device of a walking stick which my villain wields, at times with brutal effect.  The tap tap tapping of the villain’s cane striking the gleaming marble floor as he moves closer amplifies the fear and trepidation evident by my hero’s stuttering heartbeat.

Setting the scene visually is highly advisable so that the reader can place themselves in your characters’ shoes.  Indicate what the character sees and implement as many senses as possible—particularly when the reader is visiting the location for the first time.

Add personal details visually.  There may be a cherished item you want to highlight (a locket always worn, a lucky charm), a deficit that adds intrigue (a tick or habit), or perhaps there is something your character avoids (a framed photograph that is always placed face-down on a table, a locked door never entered).  These visuals or images are compelling devices to implement—the reader will be compelled to keep flipping the pages to the very end of your book.

Accessing existing photographs are an ideal way to set the mood for a scene.  I often use photos to kick start a project.  There’s nothing better for breaking a little writer’s block than to dig out a picture and truly assess a capture in time.  Focus on the entire element then break down the image piece by piece.  Implement a character or two within that setting, and viola you have begun crafting a short story that could very well turn into novel.

Imagery is a snapshot within the scene.  If carefully crafted, these images will be ones your reader will not soon forget.


Deborah J Ledford is the author of Staccato, scheduled for release by Second Wind Publishing later this summer.  Please visit her website at: www.deborahjledford.com.


Filed under writing