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Archive for January 13th, 2015

Today I’m pleased to announce a new books, The Legend of Waterhole Branch by Lucas Wright. Here is an interview with Lucas, and excerpt from The Legend of Waterhole Branch, and a chance to wing either an ebook or physical copy of The Legend of Waterhole Branch.

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Author, Lucas Wright has stopped by the blog today to chat about his debut novel, “The Legend of Waterhole Branch.”

To help promote his thrilling book, Lucas is doing this guest post with an extract from the story for fellow book lovers to enjoy.

How to Lose a Novel in Ten Days.

One of the more interesting aspects of my novel, The Legend of Waterhole Branch, was that I wrote the entire story, from start to finish, in ten days. It is 27 chapters and about 90,000 words spanning 392 pages. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that and imagine the people that do believe me question the quality of the writing immediately. Now, I won’t pretend that my book is an award-winning best-seller waiting to happen, but the time-line is real, and I can explain how I did and the pros and cons of such an approach.

First off, let me qualify a few things. I am not professional writer. I do not make my living writing books, and The Legend of Waterhole Branch is my first novel. My day job, a finance consultant that helps people buy and sell companies, does require a lot of writing, but it is technical writing. It’s a lot of “X has historically done this, so we recommend Y” kind of stuff. It’s boring and stuffy, but it is writing none-the-less.

Secondly, the process of completing my novel took much longer than ten days. From first words on paper to online retailers took about seven months. My day job is quite time consuming, so finding the time and energy to write a story isn’t easy. That said, across five weekends (I only write on Saturday and Sunday), I was able to put all 90,000 words on paper. On my best day, I wrote 13,000 words in about fifteen hours.

Now, let me break down my process and what worked well and what nearly caused me to lose the novel.

The most important thing that enabled me to write so quickly was that I already had a lot of the story in my head. Long before I ever sat down to write, I brainstormed about the characters, the conflict, the scene, and the resolutions to each conflict. This was high level stuff. I envisioned what the characters looked like and what they were going to do in the story long before I wrote the story. This is where an outline would have been helpful. I took a few notes on my phone as ideas popped up, but I kept most of it my head. I would recommend jotting down the ideas as they come to you. Nothing is worse than driving down the road and thinking of a really exciting story line only to forget it later. Thankfully, this didn’t happen too much to me, but it easily could have.

When I finally decided to start writing, I would block of entire days. Personally, I don’t like writing a few hours at a time, though I think most writers would recommend this. I prefer to store plot and character development in my head, and then vomit it onto paper when my head couldn’t hold anymore. This allowed me to write upwards of twelve to fifteen hours every time I sat down to write The Legend of Waterhole Branch. I would get so excited and into the story, my fingers couldn’t type fast enough to keep up. I would get chills when action packed sequences unfolded and time would fly by. The down-side of this approach is that you get exhausted writing for twelve hours at a time and your story will suffer at the end of each session. I can still point to parts of my book where I remember being exhausted and I lose some of the interesting and complex aspects of my story.

Another way to lose a novel in ten days is that cranking out content for hours at a time will push you to write too much narrative and not enough dialogue. This is a critique that will haunt my story forever. Conversation and dialogue take much longer to think through and correctly put on paper. It slows the process. When I was rapidly writing about a suspenseful life or death stretch in my story, I would fall into the habit of telling the reader what was going on as opposed to letting the characters evolve the tory through dialogue.

Finally, the number one negative to rear its ugly head when speed writing is the horrific grammar and spelling that will undoubtedly fall out. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford three terrific editors to clean up my mistakes, but I recognize that not everyone can lean on outsourced help like that. I pushed through the first round of edits myself and it took me two twelve hour days to clean up the mistakes that totaled well over fifty a page. I paid a little more for the copyeditors to provide clean versions after the next two edits. This was worth its weight in gold.

In conclusion, I will continue to speed write my stories given my short windows of writing opportunities and the joy I get out of blasting through action packed content, but it comes at a cost. Though, all things in life require some sort of cost benefit analysis, and to me, writing a novel in ten days is worth the risk of losing it.

EXCERPT

The cold steel from a Glock 19 lightly tapped against Hunter Pierce’s temple. He was trapped in his home office on the forty-second floor of the Trump SoHo by a well-built Spanish man and five other men with guns. His body broke out in a light sweat, but his heart rate never wavered. Steady and normal.

Hunter’s indifference seemed to unnerve the Spanish man with the ponytail. He paced back and forth. Most men would cower or beg for their lives, but Hunter remained silent. He slouched in a black leather chair, staring straight ahead while the men searched his office for information.

The truth was, he had known this day was coming.

“Where is it?” the large man holding the pistol to Hunter’s head asked in Spanish. He then faced the other men. “Victor, check the desk drawers too.”

through the sleeves of their black shirts. Victor was the only exception, but what he lacked in height he made up for in muscle. He moved furniture aside and overturned the smaller pieces throughout the office with the ease of a champion weightlifter.

“Where is what?” Hunter said quietly, trying not to sound oblivious.

Although he spoke fluent Spanish, he responded in English. No reason to show off for these guys. Now was not the time. He reserved that skill for impressing women, clients, and certain high-profile dignitaries that he often entertained for his job.

The man’s hands shook, and his face reddened. “The gold, Señor Pierce,” he said coolly. “Where is the gold?”

The gold he was referring to was the fabled Alonso Álvarez de Pineda treasure long rumored to be hidden in south Alabama sometime in the early 1500s—August 1519, to be exact. Hunter had performed extensive research on the subject and was now one of the most knowledgeable people on earth regarding early Spanish explorations and the various valuables that had accompanied the adventurers on their voyages. Pineda was an explorer thought to never have made his way inland, but the reality was that he had spent a small amount of time in south Alabama, sailing north through Mobile Bay and settling on the eastern shore near the southernmost point of the state. From Mobile Bay, Pineda and his crew maneuvered smaller boats into the adjacent Weeks Bay and north through present-day Fish River and Magnolia River, small tributaries, neither longer than twenty-five miles.

The small rivers fed the bays, which fed the Gulf of Mexico, where most Spanish explorers landed after making their way around Florida from the Atlantic Ocean to search for the perceived riches of the New World. They brought massive amounts of gold to engage in trade with whomever they might find, but the land was scarcely inhabited by Native Americans, who didn’t have much to offer in return. Two weeks after Pineda made landfall, a large hurricane destroyed much of his fleet, and the gold was said to be hidden in a small creek off Fish River called Waterhole Branch. This was where Hunter was born and raised until his life was drastically altered at the age of fourteen.

“Perhaps we started off on the wrong foot,” the Spaniard continued. “My name is Roberto Ibanez, and we know you found the gold. Now you are going to tell me where it is and provide me with the necessary assistance to export it to Spain, where it belongs … with my family.”

“And why would I do that?” Hunter glanced around the room.

His office was in shambles. The floor-to-ceiling windows allowed maximum sunlight and offered a great view of the city. A huge modern desk covered with paperwork, an overturned phone, and a quietly whirring computer matched the dark-wood coffee table. Two soft leather chairs faced the desk. Books and files littered the hardwood floor. Drawers had been pulled out and carelessly discarded; priceless antiques and vases broken.

The Spaniard tapped his cheap wingtip impatiently. “Because if you don’t, I will snatch the life right out of you.”

Hunter shifted uncomfortably. His mind raced. He eyed the metallic pistol inches from his forehead. Given the circumstances, he didn’t have many options. These men must’ve already killed the doorman, Freddy. He glanced at the door to his office, noting that a bullet had shattered the lock. Surely someone had heard the gunshot and the men trampling down his door. Maybe one of his neighbors had called the police.

At least Hunter had been able to grab his iPhone and switch it to silent mode before slipping it into his right cowboy boot without anyone noticing.

“Where is it, cabron?” Roberto demanded.

“I don’t have any gold.”

Roberto struck out with a fist, causing Hunter’s head to whip around. Pain exploded up the side of his face and into his temple.

Wrong thing to say, I guess.

Have a temper problem?” Hunter asked, spitting blood onto the floor.

Roberto leaned forward, his sour breath coating Hunter’s bruised cheek. “Watch it, smartass. I do not have time for games. Tell me now before I decide to put a bullet between your eyes.”

Hunter briefly wondered if he could take out two or three of them, but he decided against it.

Even though Hunter was six foot three with broad shoulders and a powerful build, years of prolific drug use and an exhaustive nightlife had weakened his body. One of the men bumped his chair, and Hunter’s fists clenched. A rare flash of anger heated his face. These muscle men were invading his privacy, and there was nothing he could do about it. Hunter hated feeling helpless. He hated that his life had become so pathetic. Once he’d been a star athlete and considered classically handsome with high cheekbones and light brown hair that curled at the tips; however, dark shadows now rimmed his blue eyes and paled his normally tan skin.

Still, he had to do something….

Author-Lucas-Wright-Novelist

ABOUT LUCAS

Lucas R. Wright lives a quiet life as a CPA in Atlanta, Georgia, where he provides services for private equity firms, and has become a master at writing suspense.

When not penning thrilling, fictional tales, Lucas can be found traveling around the Caribbean, reading his favorite authors, or playing golf. While he’s never been on an actual treasure hunt, Lucas has dreamed about finding the fabled gold hidden in Waterhole Branch since childhood.

“The Legend of Waterhole Branch” is his first novel.

More information on Lucas’s book, please visit him online:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10812102.Lucas_R_Wright

Official Website: http://www.lucasrwright.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucasrwright

Twitter @LucasRWright – https://twitter.com/lucasrwright

Amazon – http://amzn.com/149694299X

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-legend-of-waterhole-branch-lucas-r-wright/1120464437?ean=9781496942999

Book_cover_-_The_Legend_of_Waterhole_Branch

A Harrowing Race Against Time…

For centuries, treasure hunters have sought to uncover the infamous legend regarding a wealth of gold buried somewhere within Waterhole Branch by a notorious Spanish explorer…

But it turns out that one man may have already found it.

Hunter Pierce, raised in a rural area of southern Alabama, has mysteriously built a lucrative career on Wall Street. He’s young. He’s smart. He’s ambitious. And he has his whole future ahead of him.

One night everything changes.

Locked in a treacherous game with ruthless killers and embroiled in a treasure hunt of epic proportions, Hunter is reunited with his two childhood friends—Brian and Camilla—who unexpectedly find themselves coaxed into this pulse-pounding adventure.

Unsure who is friend or foe, Hunter returns to Waterhole Branch—where his survival hinges on outsmarting the bad guys, masterminding an escape, and putting his trust in an unlikely source.

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And now for a chance to win either and ebook or physical copy of The Legend of Waterhole Branch.

eBook Giveaway Details

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Make sure to stick around. I will have a review of The Legend of Waterhole Branch soon.

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