Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Big Picture

   I've been thinking about stories recently. I'm an author, so I like to think about stories. I've been especially thinking about series': books or movies that are not standalone.
   Why am I thinking about those? Well, I was reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I was conflicted over the story. The characters were making decisions which I disliked and and I was considering whether or not to keep reading. I decided to continue, mostly because I really hate to put a book down halfway through, and I'm glad I did. I found out, while reading the acknowledgments, that she is a Christian. This made me start looking at the book in a different light. Why? Because I was no longer looking at the book from a singular perspective. This book is a part of a bigger story (a series) but it is also a part of the author's story. She is teaching through parable which portrays good and bad. I recognized some things I disliked, yet I saw good elements for growth in the characters.
   Another series I've been thinking about (and I've talked about) is Supervillain of the Day by Katie Lynn Daniels. Jeffry Floyd is the main character and he does some... unlikable things. It is strange because he is such a likeable character at one moment, then he does something horrific the next. This sets up a real sense of contrast because you really want to like Floyd, but you don't necessarily like what he's doing.
   Now, I knew Katie Lynn Daniels was a Christian when I started the novel. Which gave me a kind of shock after I read some of this stuff because my stereotype of a Christian novel is the squeaky clean, anybody can read type book. This Series is by no means bad, it's truly really good, but it's not for everyone. But does that make it worse or better?
   See, I've been doing research on marketing and who I want to write my books for. I've read that the epitome of a Christian Novel should not be a squeaky clean novel, but a God Glorifying novel. Perhaps I need to take my own advice: look for light in the midst of the darkness.
   And, sometimes, light shines through best in dark situations.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An Excerpt!

   As I promised: an excerpt from Trapped, Kitten Mysteries|Book 2.

   “The Eagle crested over the mountaintop, gazing over the valley below. Swooping into a dive, it followed the forest to the base of the mountain, wing tips only inches above the treetops. 
   “The forest ended and the Eagle flapped its wings, rising up over the fields of cut corn. On its westward journey, the Eagle crossed a road traveling south. Its shadow followed the small farm lane splitting off from the road, leading between two pastures. The shadow crossed over a bridge composed of red iron ringlets. 
   “Dropping, the eagle perched on the peak of a barn across the lane from the farmhouse. Little did it know that its life would soon be in danger of attack from a vicious, clever, albino kitten-” 
   “Wait a minute.” 
   This voice of complaint came from my brother, Musketeer. He shook his head in confusion. “You really think you would have even a chance against an eagle?” 
   I sighed. “It’s fiction, Musketeer. Accept it that not everything is realistic.”
For more excerpts, check out my twitter page (@jesseorice) or the Kitten Mysteries Facebook page (excerpts released once a week!).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 5

Click for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4.
The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter Five
Case Closed?
   I hurried into the milking parlor just as the last of the cows were being released out to pasture.
   "She's so lucky," Jesse mumbled. I stopped to listen closer. "She gets off chores. I guess it's fair, since it's her birthday."
   I grinned. The case was closed! Detective Rambo had finished the case: the youngest girl was missing because it was her birthday and she had stayed inside.
   My victory was short-lived, however, for I immediately heard Caesar growling behind me. I turned around slowly.
   "This is really bad," I whispered.
   Caesar dashed at me and grabbed at my fur. I hissed and tried to escape from his jaws. He threw me against the wall and chased me into the corner. I cowered, hissing at him. He jumped at me, and I scratched his nose. He suddenly leaped away and I was doused with water. I ran away from where Jesse was spraying the hose, which had sent Caesar running. I shook myself and ran to Jesse, purring as I went.
   "Rambo, get out of here," Jesse said. "Don't let Caesar get you again."
   I purred and ran into the hay barn next door.
   "What's going on?" asked a sleepy Seabert. "Have you solved any cases recently?"
   "Yes, actually," I replied. "Let me tell you about it."
The End

There! That's the first story I wrote about the cats. Out of those characters, I developed the Kitten Mysteries series. 
I hope you enjoyed this story. Come back next week (hopefully Monday) where I'll release an excerpt from Trapped, Book Two of the Kitten Mysteries.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Light in the Darkness

   I've been reading books recently (reading books! It's quite delightful). Some of them are good books, some of them are bad books. Still, to be honest, I don't believe I've ever rated a fiction book very low. Perhaps I'm too nice, or perhaps it's because I can find things I like in lots of different books.
   What do I mean by that? Well, if you look at a book (especially a controversial book) what are you looking for? Are you looking for a good story? A good moral? A Christian moral? What guides you into choosing a book and, once you've finished it, proclaiming it good?
   Let's talk about books, for instance. Harry Potter is a controversial series, which I happen to like. It's not my favorite, and I wouldn't advise it to everyone. Still, there are several brilliant lines and wonderful actions by the characters that make the book a perfect place to start a conversation.
   How about movies, on the other hand? Neil Gaiman's Beowulf is a movie which I thought nearly perfect, but I would not advise it to children at all. To one with a discerning mind (and the ability to watch such things) it can be a valuable tool for teaching and, amazingly, entertainment.
   But what is the point of watching a movie or reading a book? Is it to entertain? Is it to teach? Is it a mixture of the two? For me, a story with no point can be as disheartening as a story with terrible content.
   What is my goal with my books? I strive to tell what some might call parables. Greg Boyd said a parable is something which tells of heavenly values combined with a setting of the real world (paraphrased, of course). So, what is my point? Here you go: When we fail to see the light shining through the darkness, we miss out on much that this world has to offer.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Writing Update: Trapped

   I'm a day late again. I've been too busy with schoolwork to take care of my little blog. Or too busy with writing. And editing. And proofreading. (Yes, I'm proofreading a book for a friend. What friend, you ask? Here's a link to his website. Yeah, his website is cooler than mine...)
   What am I writing about today? Well, I thought I'd give a little update about Kitten Mysteries|Book 2: Trapped. Do you know the main plot? No? Well, here's a quick synopsis:
When Seabert runs away from home, he finds himself trapped underground with a crazy skunk, an ugly frog, and a familiar face from his last adventure.
   That's the working 'synopsis' so far. I should probably tweak it to make it sound better.
   Anyway, how is it coming? I'm glad to say Trapped is finished! Well, the third draft anyway. And I've started on the fourth draft, which will be the final draft (I hope). After several plot changes, and another which has yet to be fully fleshed out, I think I'm happy with the way this story is turning out.
   If that's all I have to say, then why am I talking about it? Well, I'm here to release a potential publishing date for you all. My goal is to release Trapped by March 1st, 2014. There, I said it. Now you have the ability to hold me to that goal.
   How can you contact me? You can find me on Twitter (@jesseorice), you can like the Kitten Mysteries page on Facebook (Kitten Mysteries) and post on the wall, or you can find me on Google+ (Jesse Rice). Have a wonderful day and I hope you come back to The Kitten Den again!
   Oh! And if you've read the book, don't hesitate to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 4

Click for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.
The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter Four
   I flew toward the rooster and slid in the mud. I jumped over the rooster's claw and grabbed the hair bow in my mouth. Then, without a backward glance, I dashed out of the chicken pen with the rooster on my tail. I turned around and saw the rooster leaping over the fence.
   "Prepare to be pecked!" the rooster screeched.
   I gasped and nearly dropped the hair bow. I hurried to the porch and jumped onto the swing. Panting and hiding, I inspected the bow. Suddenly, a wild tapping came from the window beside the swing. I glanced over, but saw no one. Whoever had tapped had fled. However, hanging in the window, was a large, pink, birthday balloon.
   "Someone had a birthday," I murmured. "Can this be connected to the Case of the Missing Girl?" An idea formed in my brain, and I dashed away from the porch, leaving the bow behind.
   As I crossed the farm, deep in thought, I was oblivious to the fact that an angry Caesar was following.
   "Beware, cat," Caesar growled, and moved in for the kill.
Return next Monday for the last part of The Case of the Missing Girl.