As always, let's begin with the cover art and the blurb.
Keenan Swanson is your typical, everyday graphic designer. Well, except for the hundreds of pesky, prank-loving poltergeists that make his life interesting (in a Chinese curse sort of way). He finds his situation precarious yet manageable—until witty, smoking-hot coworker Isabella enters the scene and Keenan decides he wants her all for himself. With a horny succubus who has other ideas, a burly city cop determined to lock Keenan away, and an evil entity who’s hell-bent on using Keenan’s seed to create a living demon, the reluctant psychic realizes he just might not come out of this alive—or with heart intact.
Sound fun? Here's a little tease of an excerpt--and one that'll fit right in for readers of this blog ;-)
Keenan headed down
Thirty-second Street, turned left onto Hawthorn, and ran like an antelope with a lion biting his tail.
When he hit the crowd outside Taps at full speed, he came to a crashing halt and sailed to the ground, taking down two brawny beer drinkers, their respective girlfriends, and an innocent table that was sitting there minding its own business. Four obviously filled pints of stout flew through the air and the contents rained down on the struggling quintet in a dark brown shower, soaking all of them. Two of the empty pints hit Keenan squarely on the back of the head, one after the other.
The tangled pile of human beings and beer began to disentangle itself, but Keenan’s head was spinning wildly. So wildly, in fact, that he didn’t feel himself roughly yanked to his feet and then off of them, or see the swollen fist appear out of thin air until it was too late. All he heard was a distant son of a bitch and the sound of meaty flesh striking cheekbone.
The sparklers that gleamed in front of his eyes reminded him of the Fourth of July on the coast. He found himself down on the ground again.
“…you stupid prick!” The words soaked into his stupor and he squinted up to see six-foot-six of angry male mountain, a pleading red head attached to the man’s arm.
Not that it would have stopped another blow, but Keenan forced his hands into the submissive position and tried to find his voice. “Oh, man…” he said to the mountain. “I’m really sorry. Are you all right?”
And now let's turn things over to Minette, beneath the jump.
Before we start, I’d like to sincerely thank Rachel for inviting me to contribute to her wonderful blog. What a thrill this has been!
BUILDING A WORLD THAT ALREADY EXISTS
I’ve spent my professional writing career building worlds: a magical planet governed by crystal wielding wizards who use singing to spark the fire; the length and breadth of 60AD Roman Britannia where the Britons are natives and the Romans are new; a world of wonder where a small boy finds a wizards with five magical trunks; modern day Wales where I have traveled virtually on a Harley Davidson, at night, to try to stop a mythical madman; soaring through the galaxy on a spaceship that harbors a runaway teenage half alien/half human hybrid, the first in existence, who realizes too late, that she can kill with her voice. (Go to Minnette’s Web Site for more information.)
I think it’s why I like to consider myself a world weaver; I have to build a world from the ground up (here’s an excellent tool I use, if you are interested: http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/).
But the world outside my door has, in many ways, challenged me more than all of the above.
I thought it was going to be easy. I mean, I was born in Portland; I have spent most of my life here. And yet when it came to creating Keenan’s world for A GHOST OF A CHANCE, I found it daunting; I know almost too much about this place. So I had to get imaginative. I ended up with some wonderful “research” to make Portland more real… and haunted.
Studying about ghosts generally isn’t too hard; there are literally thousands of books on the subject. However, studying about Portland ghosts took a lot more time. I ended up taking matters into my own hands and toured several “haunted” sites in Portland. It was so much fun! I went on a tour of the tunnels underneath downtown Portland, discovering stories about ghosts, kidnappers, cutthroats, and other sorted tales about my beloved Stump Town (which is what Portland was originally called). Since I had a police sergeant in the novel, I went for a hair-raising ride-along with an officer through the neighborhood where my story takes place. It was an amazing eye-opener for me. (To read about it, please visit me at Whipped Cream during the week of August 1.) I also researched restaurants, walked the streets in the Hawthorn District, toured downtown Portland, visited an old church, and generally reacquainted myself with a city I thought I knew. I was so wrong.
I hope all my labors have made Portland vivid to my readers and that locals will point to a passage and say, “Yep, that’s Portland!” It would be the greatest compliment.
So, do you know your own town? What makes it distinct? Would love to share…
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Thanks so much to Minette for stopping by, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a Kindle or a $100 Amazon gift certificate! For more chances to enter, check out the rest of her tour stops, too. And of course, if you want your own copy of A Ghost of a Chance, you can find it at Resplendence Publishing.