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Blogging By the Sea
Saturday, July 21 2018

Our round Round Robin Blog this month is about how we deal with voilence and danger in our writing. I don’t write suspense (at least not yet) or action adventure. I write romance and there’s a certain expectation of romance readers that does not include a lot of graphic violence or danger. But in spite of that, we live in a world surrounded by violence so the inclusion of it, at least the knowledge that it’s there, is a must if we want to make our books current and real. Danger puts us on the edge our seats and keeps us turning pages. If nothing is at stake, there is no story.

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In my most recent book, KEEPING HIS PROMISE, book 5 in the Camerons of Tide’s Way contemporary romance series, the issue of recidivism and young offenders becomes a wedge between my hero and heroine. Jon Canfield is a cop so he knows well, how easily young men with no good role models can be seduced into crime and how hard it is for them to get out of the abyss once they’ve gotten into the system, so he’s all for the new mayoral candidate’s project to create a Second Chance shelter for these young men. Having done their time and seen more of the criminal world than they wanted, these young offenders have a hard time finding employment, shelter or support to turn their lives around. Leonard’s Place is all about giving them just what they need to succeed. But Kate Cameron Shaw sees it very differently. This is her small “safe” hometown and she has no intention of letting this idea get any traction and putting her kids and others in danger. She’s an investigative reporter and she’s focused on digging up any dirt she can to put a stop to the project. So there is the acceptance that violence and danger can be found anywhere, even in places people once felt safe from those awful things that only happen somewhere else, and Kate refers to many of them in her arguments against Leonard’s Place, but I don’t show them.

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In this same book, I show Jon Canfield dealing with the aftermath of an argument between a teenage boy and his alcoholic mother and her abusive boyfriend, but again we don’t see the boyfriend abusing the woman, the mother hitting her son or the son punching the boyfriend. We know it happened and we see the emotional toll on the young man, but the actual violence does not happen on the page. Had this been a gritty story of a street cop dedicated to helping troubled youths, sexual abuse, the fist fight and the boy’s mother’s violence against her own child could have been shown in troubling detail, so it very much depends on what genre you are writing. Rape is a violent and ugly crime, but it is dealt with much differently in a police procedural than in a romance. Consider the difference between how a young woman who was drugged and raped at a frat party in college is shown on Law & Order – Special Victims Unit and how the same woman is dealing with the same offense in a Hallmark movie. The crime is the same and the violence is there, but in one we see the gritty details and in the other the troubling emotional aftermath. TV Viewers who love NCIS Los Angeles are addicted to the adrenalin rush of action, exploding buildings, crashing cars and gory murder scenes and they would be disappointed if the same story line were told without the mayhem. But people who enjoy Blue Bloods are perfectly satisfied to know someone got murdered, or even see a dead body briefly, and they follow Danny Reagan as he doggedly pursues the investigation into who did it. The violence is still there, just not on the screen as much. And if the same story were being told in a Hallmark movie, we probably wouldn’t see the body at all and Danny wouldn’t get into a physical confrontation as he pursues the murderer.

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My new project is a mystery series with a female sheriff deputy detective assigned to crimes against people. She’s going to deal with murder, rape, and abuse and I’m going to have to show more of the actual action and violence than in my romance series if I want it to be successful. Exactly how much of that visual action I will show is going to be an experiment. I’ll have to let you know how it works out. Some of my favorite authors, which includes Lee Child and Vince Flynn, show lots of in your face violence. They let you into the heads of those committing it, as well. I think that’s going to be my biggest challenge. I can’t even begin to imagine myself ever wanting to hurt someone physically however angry they have made me so it will be a stretch for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who not only gives in to the urge but relishes it. I’m sure there are writers out there who find that creating a character who deserves to be beaten both physically and mentally and then going ahead and doing both on the page is a very cathartic way of relieving anger and frustration against real people they’d go to jail for beating up. Certainly, as readers, we feel justified and vindicated when the bad guy gets his just reward, is shot, beaten, jailed, found guilty or even killed. It isn’t always so in the real world, and we get satisfaction when it happens in our fiction. The good guy might get shot, beaten, threatened or have his house burned down, but he survives, and in the end when he triumphs we all cheer, close the book feeling satisfied and look for our next story fix. We all have different levels of violence we want to experience in the telling of the story, but we all want the chaos resolved and we want the good guy to win.

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Check out these other authors and see how they deal with violence and danger in their writing.
 
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Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1i2
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Anne de Gruchy https://annedegruchy.co.uk/category/blog/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Judith Copek, //http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 12:01 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 02 2018

For my readers who've been eagerly awaiting the next in the Camerons of Tide's Way series - your wait is over. Kate's story is about to begin, and we are treated to another visit to Tide's Way.

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It begins with a new character we haven't met before, but he's been a part of Kate's life since she was a little girl. Now, Jon Canfield is a police officer on the small Tide's Way police force and hoping to become its chief when the current man retires at the end of the year. Jon has always had a thing for Kate, but before he found his teenage courage to do anything about it, he introduced her to his school friend Ethan Shaw and had to stand by and watch her fall head over heels in love with the other boy. As soon as Jon graduated high school, he joined the Marines thinking to put time and distance between himself and the woman he couldn't have, but eventually he returned to Tide's Way and joined its small police force. He bought an old fixer-upper, a stately older home that stood on a hill with a view of the ocean just a short way from the development where Ethan and Kate were now raising their two daughters. He's always been Kate's best friend and if that's all he can have, that's better than nothing. Then Ethan is killed by a drunk driver, Jon had turned on his lights to pull over. With his last breath, Ethan begs Jon to take care of "his girls." Blaming himself for the handling of the traffic stop and the awful results, Jon does his best to keep that promise without taking advantage and without letting his heart show while Kate grieves and moves on with her life.

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Kate followed Ethan to New York City to college and while there fell in love with journalism. While still in school she interned with a well knowns New York newspaper, and landed a entry level job there when she graduated while Ethan went on to Law School, which he hated but was doing because his father dreamed of adding "& Son" to sign over his law office door. But when Ethan's dad died freeing him from that commitment, he pursued his own dream in the area of culinary arts. When Kate's first pregnancy was difficult almost ending in her death in childbirth, Ethan was convinced that the hustle and stress of New York City was partly to blame and he brought her home to Tide's Way where he bought an old run-down restaurant and turned it into one of the town's best places to get ribs. Kate's second baby was born without complications and Ethan was sure that living in Tide's Way was the reason, so he was appalled when Kate wanted to move back to the city to pursue her career in journalism. It would mean giving up his restaurant and coping with city life - something he didn't want for himself or his young daughters. They rarely argued, but this issue sent Ethan storming from the house to cool off, but before he could return to apologize he was struck down by a drunk driver leaving Kate with a mountain of guilt, a restaurant to manage and two young girls to raise on her own. 

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Kate landed a job with a paper in Wilmington and got on with her life. It wasn't New York City, but with Ethan gone and she being at least partly to blame, she remained in Tide's Way, learning how to be a single parent, manage Ethan's restaurant and hold down a job. Her best friend, Jon Canfield was always been there for her. He was her champion and protector when she tagged along with Jon and her brothers as a child, he introduced her to Ethan and took leave from the Marines to be at her wedding. And now he's doing his best to fulfill the promise Ethan forced him to make, watching the girls when Kate's responsibilities took her away from home, being a shoulder to lean on when grief seemed unbearable and a sounding board when she wasn't sure what she should do when decisions got tough. 

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Then a freak storm sends Kate and her girls next door to Jon's for shelter when a huge tree comes down on their house requiring major repairs before they can return home. Kate begins to feel things for Jon she can't explain and he's finding it harder and harder to hide his own feelings. But standing between them and any kind of happy resolution is their individual guilt over Ethan's death and a totally divided opinion on the idea of creating a second chance home in their small town for non-violent ex-cons. Jon's a cop and he knows the rates of recidivism when young men who got on the wrong side of the law don't find help, employment or support when they try to turn their lives around. Kate is firmly in the "Not-in-my-Backyard" camp. How can they be fighting over this? Kate is appalled to discover Jon isn't supporting her view on this important issue. He's always been on her side of things -- until now! 

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So, come on over to Tide's Way and settle in to see how Jon and Kate deal with the twists their lives have taken. If you've read the earlier books in the series you'll enjoy seeing Jake in action repairing Kate's house, Brianna and Zoe deep into the Save Jolee project and definitely with Kate on the second chance house issue, and Philip, retired from the Marines and loving his life and wife with a new baby in his arms and another on the way. You'll visit Sandy and Cam Cameron's beach house and sit down to dinner with the whole family. The Camerons are a big family with a lot of love to share, and they'd love to have you stop by. 

      

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 10:42 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    Skye Taylor
    St Augustine, Florida
    skye@skye-writer.com

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