This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Kurt Kamm has stopped by to answer a few questions!
I have written previously about the greatest reward of writing a novel—self-satisfaction. Unless you become one of the few truly successful writers, great fame and fortune will probably not be on your rewards list. The real payback from writing a novel is writing a novel. I'm talking about the pleasure you get from conceiving a story, putting in the hard work to create it, and then deriving the satisfaction from knowing that some number of people have read it, were entertained, and possibly enlightened. I can spend an entire day floating six inches above the ground after someone tells me what a wonderful novel I wrote and how much he or she enjoyed reading it. You can deposit those comments in your mental savings bank and withdraw them from time to time when you need encouragement.
You should be aware that many people, even your friends, won't give a damn if you've written a novel. They will have other priorities, reading will be way down on their list, and don't expect them to run right to their computer and order your masterpiece. That's just the way it is. I can't tell you the number of times I have been disappointed when I tell a particular group that I have written something that should be of great interest to them, only to get blank stares. Well, get used to it, it happens.
Now, what about the readers who read but were not entertained or enlightened? I know, you spent hours thinking through plot details and adding things which you thought were colorful touches, perfect descriptions, or humorous twists, only to discover that your readers missed or ignored them. Remember, by the time you finish a novel, you have read and reread each line so many times that you can recite them by heart. Your reader, however, may look at just a few paragraphs a day, may be distracted, or may be skimming, and much of your beautiful detail is lost. Others may misinterpret some of your characters and their motives. Never be surprised at the different—and seemingly illogical—ways readers can interpret parts of your story. Again, it's going to happen and you're going to be disappointed. Just get used to it, move on, and if necessary, make a bank withdrawal and savor one of the favorable comments you received.
One other thing—it is criminal, it is an absolute crime, to allow your novel to be published without professional proofreading and editing. Your cousin Sally can't do it, your best friend Paul can't do it, and you certainly can't do it. Please, please pay for professional editing. It's hard enough to please your readers without subjecting them to misspellings, awkward dialog, and plot inconsistencies.
So, I hope you enjoy reading The Lizard's Tale, and I'm waiting for comments—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
When the DEA goes up against the Sinaloa Cartel, an orphan and an endangered lizard are caught in the conflict. The action moves from Guatemala to Mexico to Catalina Island off the coast of California.
Alejandro, a middle class Guatemalan, wants his share, and makes a deal with the cartel. Now he’s risking his life to deliver the goods.
El Dedo, a brilliant financier, is the Sinaloa Cartel’s banker. He worries about what to do with the billions of dollars collecting dust in his underground vault.
Ryan, a DEA Special Agent, needs to make a high profile case to get a promotion. Is the big yacht headed for California carrying a Mexican drug shipment?
Kate, a wildlife officer on Catalina Island, smells smoke. When she heads out in the middle of the night to investigate a fire, she makes an astonishing discovery.
Jorge, an orphan from the streets of Mexico, is abandoned in the United States. Will he find his way back home and track down his mother’s killer?
Enjoy an Excerpt:
Dedo was one of the few outsiders at the top of the cartel hierarchy. He came from a different background than most of the drug lords, who had grown up in poor towns in the Sierra Madres where people suffered a hard existence living in hovels made of cinderblocks. Dedo had no poverty to escape. He grew up in Mexico City and lived a blessed childhood. His father owned a small Mexican chemical business that grew large when it began to supply the Cartels with the ingredients used to make methamphetamine. His mother was Swiss, and had worked for a chemical company in Basle when she met his father. Dedo inherited his intellect and business sense from his father. His grey eyes came from his mother.
When his father brought him to the State of Sinaloa for the first time, Dedo stood in the dust and blasting heat and felt the moisture evaporating from his skin. “Those mountain highlands,” his father had told him, pointing off into the distance, “are ideal for growing poppies. All they need is sunlight and moisture.” Then he turned and pointed in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, and continued, “And out in those valleys between the mountains and the coast, the climate is perfect for growing marijuana.” Finally, his father looked at Dedo and told him, “Fortunately for us, sunshine and water don’t produce methamphetamine. For that, they need chemicals—a lot of chemicals—and that’s why we’re here.”
About the Author:
Kurt has used his contact with CalFire, Los Angeles County and Ventura County Fire Departments, as well as the ATF and DEA to write fact-based (“faction”) novels. He has attended classes at El Camino Fire Academy and trained in wildland firefighting, arson investigation and hazardous materials response. He has also attended the ATF and DEA Citizen’s Academies. After graduating from the DEA Citizen’s Academy in 2014, he began work on The Lizard’s Tale.
Kurt has built an avid fan base among first responders and other readers. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, Kurt was previously a financial executive and semi-professional bicycle racer. He was also Chairman of the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation for several years.
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