Tag Archives: Where the Bodies Are

It’s Time For the Final Review by L.V. Gaudet

I have some delightful news to share.  I have received the final review file for The McAllister Farm; book two of the McAllister mini-series.  I have also been in communication with the publisher regarding the cover art.  This means The McAllister Farm is very close to seeing publication at last.  I hope I’ll soon be able to reveal what the cover is going to look like.  The excitement it tempered a little, however, by the knowledge that nothing happens very fast in the publishing business.

 

 

*** SPOILER ALERT *** 

The McAllister Farm does contain a big spoiler.  So, if you have not already bought and read your copy of the first book, Where the Bodies Are, you will want to do that now.

 

Don’t worry; the story does not stop here.  I am working on writing the third book, which follows the twisted lives of, well you’ll guess who after you read Where the Bodies Are, bridging the gap between the first two books to bring the stories together in what might just turn out to be an explosive conclusion – either literally or metaphorically.  I haven’t figured that out myself yet.

 

This breaking news brings me to our topic today – doing the final review before publication.

 

What does it look like and what is expected of you?

 

I receive it in the form of a read only pdf file.  That is the file format used by Adobe Acrobat reader.  If you are like me and runner on the free version of Acrobat, there wouldn’t be much more you can do with any pdf file anyway.

 

You get the file as a read only for a very good reason.

 

Before you even query a publisher, you should have already put both yourself and your book through the ringer, tearing down and rebuilding through rewrites and edits, possibly even questioning your very existence.  Your book should be polished to absolute perfection; critiqued, been through the hands of beta readers, and have you feeling pretty darned good about yourself and confident in your book’s chances of success.  (Hint: this is what we tell ourselves, that we should feel confident.  But really, we all have that big white gorilla in the closet that we sometimes aren’t sure we should talk about – the fear that nobody will like our book and everyone will think it is absolute rubbish.)

 

After your book is accepted by a publisher, they will then have their editing/proofreading people take a stab at it.  They may require you to make revisions, maybe little things or possibly entire re-writes. Don’t take this personally.  They just want your book to be the absolute best it can be and have their own ideas of what that looks like.  Unless you too have published hundreds of books, it’s a fair guess to say they have more experience at what sells than you do too.

 

After all that is done and your book has gone through all the edits and revisions, and is polished to perfection once again, your publisher will have their people format it for print, both physical and electronic.

 

Now your publisher sends you that glorious read only file for final review.  This is your last chance to catch any mistakes, both yours and the editor’s, as well as any issues in the formatting.  You get a read only file so your publisher knows that you did not inadvertently monkey around with any formatting.  At this point, your publisher wants to have absolute control over all changes because they are ultimately responsible for the quality of the books they put out.

 

Carefully note any errors or changes, including the page number and location on the page to make it easier for your publisher’s editing people to find, and send that information on to them.  With luck, you will see your new book in print within the quarter. Of course, that all depends on how fast your publisher is, what kind of a publishing schedule they are working on, and about a hundred other factors, not all of which will be in your publisher’s realm of control.

 

Watch for these titles at Indigo Sea Press:

where the bodies are

 

Where the Bodies Are – (Now available!)  A woman is found suffering from a horrific attack.  Kept in an induced coma due to her injuries, both physical and emotional, she is the only known witness.

More women’s bodies turn up, left in places the authorities believe are meant to cause an increasing media frenzy.

Detectives Jim McNelly and Michael Underwood are tortured by their inability to stop the killer, each for his own reasons.  Jim McNelly is tormented by his failure to protect every victim, secretly grieving his wife, and taking each failure personally.  Michael Underwood feels a special connection to the victim, dubbed Jane Doe, her real identity unknown.

Only the killer knows who she really is, and her identity is what draws him back to her, within the detectives’ net.  Will they be able to stop him before he comes back for Jane Doe?  Before he kills again?  Maybe not.

One woman is still missing, her body the second shoe waiting to drop.  Katherine Kingslow is the killer’s best victim yet, aside from Jane Doe.  Held prisoner, Kathy lives in torment and terror, at the killer’s mercy.

Lawrence Hawkworth, a reporter of questionable morals, may just hold the key to finding her and stopping the killer.

There is a much darker secret lying behind the Jane Doe case, one that may ruin the detectives and everyone else touched by this case.

 

Coming Soon-The McAllister Farm - twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

The McAllister Farm – (Coming soon!)  Take a step back in time and meet the boy who becomes the man who created the killer in Where the Bodies Are.  1981 to be exact.

The McAllisters are a secretive family, and for good reason.  Proud and stern, William McAllister rules both his family and his business with a firm hand and sense of strong morals.  The most important thing to him is protecting his family, second only to protecting the family business.

When William’s son Jason starts getting in trouble and bringing attention on the family, it is the beginning of the downward spiral of their world.  William’s reclusive and eccentric behavior makes him the prime suspect when someone starts killing local young women, guilty in the eyes of every person in the community.

His wife Marjorie, who does not handle stress well, is pushed in the middle of the growing animosity between the community and her husband.  Timid and nervously wringing her hands, she too wants only to protect her family, her children.

Can they keep their family and their secret safe?  They are the keepers of a dark secret that will continue with Jane Doe and the killer in Where the Bodies Are.

 

work in progress

 

Working title: The One That Got Away (title may change)  – This story brings the characters of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm together in a conclusion that will leave you wondering.

run awayEvents escalate in the search for answers.  Lawrence Hawkworth returns as he searches for answers to his own secret, one not of his making, one that haunted his mentor and likely caused his death.  It is a secret that may bring him closer to the secret behind the Jane Doe case.

Jim McNelly can’t let the Jane Doe case go, nor the bigger darker secret they learned in the woods behind the old McAllister Farm.  He can’t let go of the one who got away either.  Certain that Katherine Kingslow and Jan Doe are dead; he can’t rest until he can recover their remains and bring their killer to justice.

Michael Underwood is chasing down his own murky secret.  He returns to his past, drawn by haunting memories, down a twisted dark well that may lead to a revelation he will not want to learn.

All of these secrets lead towards the McAllister family and the events of 1981.

 

work in progress2

 

White Van – The white van is back.  This is a twisted tale that exists on the outskirts of the McAllister mini-series.  How many have heard real life urban legend tales of the white van?  Everything from missing and murdered victims to stolen dogs, and the always-elusive suspect white van.

white vanWhite Van reveals another piece of the puzzle in the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are.  A secret you will learn more about in The One That Got AwayWhite Van gives a glimpse into how much larger the secret is than you may have thought.

 

 

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Don’t Love My Characters, Please by L.V. Gaudet

where the bodies areI do not want you to love my characters.  I am quite serious about that.  I do not even want you to like them.  They are all fallible creatures who do not always do what they should.  They are full of idiosyncrasies, flaws, and sometimes downright poor judgment.

Revile them and admire them.  Root for them to win and cheer when they fall.  Get passionate about getting angry with them.  Pity them and feel vindicated at their suffering.  Share their emotions and their troubles, love them, hate them, and empathize with them.  But please don’t just love them.

A character who seems endearing, drawing you to their side in their pursuit of evil, might just reveal their true driving force is not entirely for purely good reasons.

The victim who you might sympathize with, rooting for when things get rough and cheering them proudly when they rally their strengths to pull him or herself out of trouble, may prove to be more the cause of the trouble than the antagonist is.

The bad guy, committing atrocious behaviors, pulling you into his web of evil until you despise him and want only to see his downfall come to him in a most inglorious way, might throw you with a show of tenderness.  He might just make you sympathize with him when you know you should hate him.

Making characters that draw the reader in is not about making the reader simply love or hate them.  They need to feel what the character feels.  They need to love, hate, and sympathize with that character.  Root for them even as they want to see them fall because you are supposed to want to see the bad guy lose.

Characters do not have to be all good or all bad.  In fact, I would say they should never be all one or the other.  They should be a complex layering of traits that include both.  Even the vilest creature has feelings; dreams and desires, loss and sorrow, loneliness and love.  They have a flaw and that flaw is their own emotions.  The gentlest of characters, pure of heart and soul, have a dark side beneath.  They are capable of anger and resentment, even of acts of revenge.

Every character should have a hidden back-story.  This is what gives them life.  Even the smallest bit player should have one.  That waitress who served the coffee looks tired, but really, she is sad.  You don’t have to reveal why she is sad.  That is just one more mystery that gives a little more depth to the scene where the true focus is your protagonist or antagonist.  Make the mystery of the waitress’s personal life draw on the personality of the character who is the true focus.  After all, your character did notice the lines of exhaustion hide a deeper sadness.

Drop hints and clues about your characters’ back-stories.  Make the reader feel they are slowly drawing the character out of their shell and learning just a little bit about them as they progress through the story.  Let the reader be drawn a little at a time into your character’s life, their personality.  Let them yearn for more, drawn to dig deeper into your character’s psyche as you see fit to reveal it.

The reader becomes more familiar with the character with each revelation, feeling a little closer to them like a new friend, wanting to know more.  As you draw out a little more back-story, those secrets add to the drive that pushes the story forward.  That simple story is no longer so simple.  What other secrets do the characters have?  What flaws?  What strengths?  What new lines of drama will wind into the story, adding more layers of sub story?

MEET THE CHARACTERS

WHERE THE BODIES ARE (available now in paperback and eBook)

Detective Jim McNelly is perhaps the hero of the story, if anyone can be described as such.  He works with missing persons and homicide cases, taking each case personally as his own personal failure for not stopping the victimization of the victim before it could happen.  For a hero, he has a lot of flaws.  He is obese by as a result of his own failings, which is the cause of additional health problems and exacerbates his insomnia, which in turn causes him to feed his obesity.  He is no people person and doesn’t much like most people.

And yet, Jim McNelly honestly cares about his job and the victims.  He has a lot of back-story that has not been revealed, including hints dropped about his wife.

Detective Michael Underwood is a likeable kind of guy.  He is described as being the kind of guy who is just as at ease at grandma’s quilting group as watching sports with the guys.  Even the nervous and suspicious nurse Molly can’t help but feel a tingle of excitement at the idea he could possibly have an interest in her, as impossible as she knows it is.

Michael Underwood is perhaps a bit too obsessed with protecting their victim, an obsession that itself has its own back-story, almost a personality of its own.

Lawrence Hawkworth is an investigative reporter with the InterCity Voice, who is described as being a man of less than moral morals.  And yet he and Jim McNelly have a shared back-story.  He is the one person McNelly would trust with his life, despite McNelly’s dislike for the man.  It’s kind of a love-hate friendship, like unrelated brothers.

Jane Doe, the victim and the sole survivor of the killer’s madness doesn’t even know her own back-story.  Her own weakness, her amnesia, puts her directly on a path to her own destruction.  Or does it?  She has a surprising reserve of personal strength, something gained from her own unknown past.

Kathy Kingslow is a train wreck of a woman.  She is a weak creature who knows only one thing, how to survive an abusive relationship.  She does not even know how to escape one, if she could get up the courage to.  She also has the potential to become one of the most powerful characters in the story, if she can pull herself up off the floor and put a little courage into her spine.  She has a hidden strength, the killer’s own inexorably being drawn to her.

The Killer is nothing but evil, right?  The killer is driven by a compulsion, his reality blurred between past and present, with a dark secret locked in a fractured mind.  But he is also tormented by his own actions and desperate to stop killing.  The search for the killer will lead to his dark secret buried in the past.

The appearance of the mystery man is the embodiment of the ultimate back-story of Where the Bodies Are.  He enters the story just at the moment when the as yet unidentified killer is reaching a plateau of temptation by the dangling bait that is Jane Doe, the one victim who escaped alive.  He quickly becomes McNelly’s prime suspect in the kidnapping and murders of multiple women.   His arrival embodies the pivot point where the story climaxes and the killer is being drawn into the readers’ sight from the shadows of the story.  That back-story is revealed when you take a step back in time with The McAllister Farm to learn the secret behind the bodies.

THE MCALLISTER FARM (coming soon in paperback and eBook)

William McAllister is a hard man.  He demands respect from everyone he encounters and absolute obedience from his family.  His children respect him with the fear of a harsh disciplinarian.  He keeps his family apart from the community around them, not allowing them to have friends or participate in the community.  Visitors to his farm are threatened off, and his children know well the sting of his hand.  William is also absolutely dedicated to the safety and well-being of his family.  As stern as he is, nothing matters more to him than his family.

The entire community is distrustful and hateful towards William for his strange ways, but that does not stop him from doing what he thinks is the right thing to do without hesitation.

Marjorie McAllister is a frightened deer of a woman, always nervously wringing her hands.  She silently disapproves when William strikes the children, not brave enough to stand up to her own husband.  She leans on his strength too.  As desperately lonely as she is, his keeping her apart from her family and community is like a safety net for her.  She does not have to face awkward situations if she never leaves the farm.  But, when push comes to shove, Marjorie finds a hidden well of strength to stand against the hostility of the townspeople against her family.

Jason McAllister is the oldest child of William and Marjorie.  He has the expected problems of a ten year old who is different because his family is different.  He takes the brunt of the community’s sense of his family’s strangeness through his difficult interactions with the kids and teachers as school.  Jason is expected to be more man than child and it weighs heavily on him.  He is a troubled youth, something that his father comes to realize just how deeply troubled in the most disturbing way.

Sophie McAllister is the youngest child and as such has the childhood freedoms and innocence her brother Jason envies and is not afforded.  Naturally, this breeds some resentment in Jason.  She also in a way symbolizes the need each family member feels to protect the family as a whole.  Her very innocence acts as a contrast to the events surrounding her family.

Sheriff Rick Dalton certainly is not a favorite of the community when he fails to both catch the killer stalking young women in the area before another body turns up and listen to the needs of his frightened community.  A man of the cloth is threatened, the school principal is sent scurrying, and everyone except the sheriff seems to know just what kind of a monster the McAllister man is.  Or, Rick Dalton is simply a wise sheriff who knows that what appears to be is not always what is.

Book three, which is still a work in progress, will bring both of these stories together, finally revealing answers to some of the questions left hanging as the characters of both books are brought together in a disturbing conclusion that may very well leave a new trails of bodies.

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Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

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To Offer it Free or Not – Marketing Your Work

Free BooksAs with everything to do with the art of writing, publishing and marketing books, there are different views on the worth of offering your books free.

Some will argue that you should not work for free.  And, in essence, that is what you are doing when you offer your books free.  You have spent countless hours writing, editing, perfecting, and polishing your writing.  You chose the perfect cover, formatted the book for eBook, and finally are rewarded with seeing your hard work available to the world.

Of course, you want some monetary gain from all that hard work.  Who wouldn’t?

But, unless you are already a well-known author, will the world even know you exist?  Will they (the readers) buy your book when you are an unknown quantity to them?  When there are so many badly written, badly edited, and just plain bad, stories out there, the reader needs to have a reason to want to invest their money in your book.

Possibly one of the more appealings ways to an author is the free sample chapters.  However you get that out there, through posting them on social media, allowing partial sample downloads on Smashwords, or ther means.  Free samples let the reader get sucked into the story, and just as they get hooked they are cut off with no option except to stop there or get your book.

I see offering books free as a marketing tool.  Companies do it with other types of products all the time, offering try me samples in the hope you will love it enought to buy it.  The buy one-get one free offer.  Buy that and we’ll toss this in with it.  Get one month free.  Even the grocery stores get in on the action with their free sample days.  These are all teasers to encourage you to buy or try their product.

If there is one thing everyone loves, it is getting something for free.

How many books have you passed over buying because you didn’t know if you would like the author?  The write up on the back cover looks good, the cover art is enticing, but you just don’t know.  So you decide instead to buy that new book by the author you love.

This does not mean you have to give it away free forever.  Offer it free for a limited time. With so many companies marketing other products by this method, it must work.  Otherwise, they would invest that marketing money in other ways to market their products.  You can always offer it free again if it suits your needs.

You can also offer limited time coupon codes so that those who get the code can read it free while others have to purchase it.  Coupon codes can be used in a targeted marketing campaign.  For example, let’s say you are publishing a humor book suitable for grade school kids about survival while camping with scout groups.  Offer the coupon code to your local scout groups, giving the kids the eBook free.  If they read it and love it, they’ll tell their friends about it.  Target book clubs for your genre.  If your book is about gardening, offer the coupon code for free limited time download of your book to a few garden clubs.

Knowing they got something free that others have to pay for makes people feel special.  They feel like they got a prize, they feel superior, they feel a small sense of empowerment.  They feel like they matter just a little bit more.  They feel like someone cares.  Each feels special in a different way, depending on their personality.  It doesn’t matter how they feel special, you made them feel that way and they like you more for it.

The hardest part of selling books is getting readers to know it exists. If free offers help, then it is worth it.  The first job of selling your book is getting someone to read it.  If you did your job right in writing the book, then they will do your second job for you – getting them to talk about it.

People talk about books and share information on them for three reasons:

(1) They loved it,

(2) They found it controversial and it got their blood boiling,

(3) They hated it.

Nobody talks about the book that isn’t noteworthy.  They also won’t talk about it if they haven’t read it or even heard of it.  If they loved it, they will talk about it, and they also will want to read more.

Another way to get free samples of your work into your potential readers’ hands is short stories.  Offer short stories for free eBook download.  Blog them, Facebook them, share them.

Consider this:  work together with another author who writes similar stories in the same genre.  You both offer a free short story written by the other with the purchase of your book.  Both authors have a vested interest in promoting the books, one to earn the royalties and the other to get their reader audience to grow through the free short story.

Always remember to plug your other work.  Whether a book or a short story, free or for a price, always remember to include a plug for other published work that is available.

Every piece has to be your best.  Whether free or not, a 100 word flash fiction or 150,000 novel; every bit of writing you put out there needs to be good.  Advertising yourself with mediocre short stories will not increase your readership.

However you choose to market your work, the goal is the same – getting potential readers and buyers to notice you in a sea of possible authors.

L. V. where the bodies areGaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

Watch for book 2 of the McAllister series coming soon at Second Wind Publishing, LLC:  The McAllister Farm.  The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00015]

Other links to purchase L.V. Gaudet’s books

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

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Excerpt from “Where the Bodies Are” by L. V. Gaudet

42221362058-20141202195135What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

A young woman is found discarded with the trash, brutally beaten and left for dead. More bodies begin to appear, left where they are sure to be found and cause a media frenzy.

The killer’s reality blurs between past and present with a compulsion driven by a dark secret locked in a fractured mind. Overcome by a blind rage that leaves him wallowing in remorse with the bodies of victim after victim, he is desperate to stop killing.

The search for the killer will lead to his dark secret buried from the past, something much larger than a man on a killing spree.

Coming: book 2 The McAllister Farm. The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

Excerpt from Where the Bodies Are:

Out of the corner of his eye Harry spotted a hand, the arm visible halfway up to the forearm, sticking out of the rubbish pile at his feet. The dainty hand was dirty, streaked and splotched with some sort of red-brown paint, and dangling in a shallow puddle of dirty rain water. It had been raining on and off all day.

Looking down at the hand for a moment, he merely registered that someone had thrown out an old mannequin and thought nothing more of it.

He was adding his garbage to the pile, shifting one foot forward for balance as he leaned over the garbage bin to place his bags on top of the mound.

His foot bumped the mannequin’s arm.

It moved slightly with the impact, but it moved soundlessly, felt soft not hard. It did not scrape against the concrete like a plastic mannequin hand should.

Harry pulled back from the pile, trash bag still in hand.

Bending forward a little, he studied the hand more closely. He pushed it with his foot, listening for the scraping sound, feeling for the hard plastic. It moved soundlessly, felt soft but firm, not hard.

Startled, he took a hurried step backwards, almost dropping his trash bag.

Gathering his courage, he knelt down to examine his find more closely. He reached forward with his left hand and discovered, to his surprise, that he was still holding the trash bag. Tossing it aside, he tentatively poked at the arm. It was firm, giving only slightly, yet felt soft, like flesh. He placed his hand on it. The flesh was cold. Too cold to be alive, he was sure, but still soft.

The words “fresh kill” leapt unbidden into his mind.

Shaking his head to rid it of this morbid thought he pulled some of the garbage away, digging it out.

The rest of the arm appeared, obviously a young woman’s arm. The top of the head appeared, then a face. It was a badly bruised and swollen face, unrecognizable through all the crusted dried blood. Rivulets of blood had dried as they seeped from her cracked lips and bloodied nose, like streams frozen to ice, caught in a sudden chill that stopped its flow mid-gurgle.

Harry staggered backwards, almost falling over. His pale face looked like a terrified ghostly phantom in the darkening gloom.

The shadows were long and getting deeper as dusk chased away the sunlight, preparing for the blackness of night.

Unable to quit, he attacked the pile of debris, trembling, drooling slightly, his eyes crazed. Digging frantically, he threw garbage into the air.

The rest of her body appeared, dishevelled and beaten.

Gagging, he turned and ran in a stumbling shuffle back to the store’s rear entrance. He fumbled the keys from his pocket, dropping them with a merry clink on the pavement. Trembling, he tried three times before his fingers could coordinate enough to pick them up.

His mind began playing tricks on him, imagining he heard the soft sound of shoes scraping on the ground behind him, heavy breathing approaching, and a menacing presence just out of sight. His head swivelled, looking around fearfully. Not seeing anything, he turned back to the locked door, frantically trying to open it.

The wavering key could not find its way into the lock. It glanced off the side, hit the top, and finally bounced out of his hand to the pavement at his feet.

This time it took him only two tries before his palsied fingers finally grasped it firmly enough to bring the key back to the lock. It hit home on the first try. He almost pulled the key out of the lock before he realized that he finally did it.

Bio:

42221362058-20141202191758LV Gaudet is a Canadian writer and mother of two. Her writing endeavors range from stories written for her young children to the realm of adult horror.

Some of her short stories can be found scattered in the dark void of the internet.

Link to Second Wind Publishing where you can buy my book
http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!l-v-gaudet/cdwd

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary
https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

Facebook – author page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/L-V-Gaudet/42221362058

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http://twitter.com/lvgaudet

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