Friday, May 18, 2018

SAY HELLO TO CARLA HOCH!




We’re excited to announce a new addition to the Suspense Sisters! Say hello to Carla Hoch! Carla runs a unique site called: FightWrite. Carla teaches authors how to write fight scenes! You’ll love getting to know this interesting, funny and amazing woman. The following bio (written by Carla) will give you a glimpse into her fun personality. Leave a comment after her interview and welcome her to the Suspense Sisters. Please give us your contact information. You could win a $25.00 Amazon gift card!

Carla Hoch

Moments before the destruction of her home planet, Carla's parents jettisoned her and her twin brother to earth. He was taken in by a kindly farmer in Kansas while she was embraced by a rather liberal clowder of feral cats in Houston, Texas.

While still a toddler, she bid farewell to her feline family and headed to Pace, Florida, a small hamlet just outside Pensacola. There she raised herself in a hollowed out tree trunk and taught herself to speak fluent Southern, ride out a hurricane like a pro and tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi by fizz alone.

As an adult, she fulfilled the dream of all feral cats and became a Spanish teacher and track coach. After nearly a decade in the classroom, she met a military cyborg who promptly married her and whisked her away to such exotic locations as Virginia and New Mexico. Now, a mother of twins herself, she and her husband have returned to the People's Holy Republic of Texas and reside not far from where her pod originally landed.

Unlike her twin, Clark, Carla found her powers late in life. She was first introduced to them through a Hapkido based self defense class. From there she went on to train in MMA, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, street defense, Sayoc and is currently a student of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. She has also assisted her coach Eddie Avelar (not altogether human himself) in the teaching of self defense. With him she continues the study of *street defense - or whatever he happens to throw at her. Literally. Sometimes he literally throws things at her.

Carla published more than 50 articles as both a color and ghost writer in her three years working for a local magazine. She is traditionally and independently published in book form as well. Carla is a professional fight scene editor, consultant, and FightWriting teacher. She is the host of The Geek Block podcast on the Along Came a Writer network and, as far as you know, not working with cats in their evil plot to overtake the world.

 
INTERVIEW

Tell us about FightWrite. What do you do?

FightWrite.net is a fighting resource for writers. There writers can learn about fighting technique, common injuries, psychological effects, weaponry and, of course, the craft of fight writing itself. I am also a professional fight scene editor. Folks send me their fight scenes to check for errors. I also mentor writers in the writing of fight scenes.

How did you get involved in something like this?

Wooh, it’s been quite a journey. About eight years ago, I found myself wanting to write a fight scene for a book and realized that I
didn’t know the first thing about fighting. I enrolled in a hapkido based self defense class hoping it would give me some tools. It scared me to death. I left the first class, got into my mom’s van, put my head on the steering wheel and ugly cried. I couldn’t go back. Absolutely not. No way.

So, I went back and now at the young age of 45 I have training in taekwondo, MMA style fighting, Muay Thai style kickboxing, street defense with weaponry, Filipino martial arts (blades), kung fu, judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in which I still train five times a week. I also train privately with a fight coach. He teaches me all manner of weaponry and fighting. I have assisted him in the teaching of self defense and I teach self defense both privately and to groups.

As far as fight writing, a couple years ago a fellow writer reached out to me about some of my training. He found it interesting and managed to get me on a panel at a writer’s conference. The panel was designed to field questions about writing fight scenes. More than not, the questions were about actual fighting and I was the one who could answer them which the audience found funny. Again, I’m not short in the tooth plus I’m the size of a strapping 6th grade boy.

That same writer’s conference, Realm Makers, had me back the next year and gave me a time slot all my own. With that fellow writer, who got me on the fight panel, I demoed all manner of punchy kicky things and critiqued work in front of crowd of about two hundred. I was asked back again the next year and am once again on the schedule for this year.

After the second appearance at the conference I was approached by the folks at Quill Pen Editorial. They wanted to contract me as a fight scene editor. I loved the work and thought, hmmm, how can I do this more often? Thus, the blog began.

How often do writers get fight scenes wrong? Can you give us some examples?

Well, pretty often and that is to be expected. Fighting is a skill. You are born with ability, you acquire skill. I don’t know how to quilt. It’s a skill that no one has taught me. And, in that way, quilting and fighting are exactly the same.

I find that writers struggle with movements and what realistically follows. For example, I edited a fight scene where a female character was attacked from behind and knocked down to the floor in a surprise attack. Her attacker immediately descended up on her and she found herself clawing and scratching in a fight for her life.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there’s actually a problem there. When you are knocked down, you fall flat on your belly and chest. You are facing the floor. In order to fight your attacker, you have to turn over which is difficult for one when you are surprised and two when your attacker immediately follows up with subsequent strikes. The writer had to tweak that scene.
 
Do you write?

I do write. I am by nature a speculative fiction nerd. You know, aliens, elves, beasties and the ilk. I’ve had things published in the genre. I am also a writer for a martial arts company that will be starting up in June of this year. For them I’ve written a character education curriculum for kids and I will be their full time blogger. In the past I wrote for a local magazine and was published about fifty times but not always under my name. I wrote adverts and did a fair amount of ghost writing. I still write advertisements for folks. I have a book that is currently being considered by a publisher, stay tuned for more info on that and am agented by the Steve Laube agency.

What are your goals for the future?

I am first and foremost a wife and mom. So, my daily goals are to keep all the mammals in my house loved, fed and clothed with mostly clean clothes. My training goals are to acquire my black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and gain some proficiency in kung fu. I also want to be better with a sword and bull whip. Yes, really. Bull whips are scary! My writing goals are to do a follow up book to the one I’ve just finished, keep my blog going, and enjoy the whole of it.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Self defense means a great deal to me. I encourage everyone to enroll in a course. And, not just for one day. Make it a habit. If you think you aren’t healthy enough for it, that’s even more reason to do it. The more compromised you are physically the more likely you are to be a target.

But, life being what it is, not everyone can find a course or afford one. So, here are some pointers:

Violent offenders choose their targets in an average of seven seconds or less. They do so based on how people walk. Know where you are going. Keep your head up, look around confidently and make eye contact with people you pass. Put away your phone and don’t be distracted. Walk around with the thought, “You don’t want to mess with me.” Yes, you can smile, but do so like a lion, not a gazelle.

Also, do not ever entertain conversation with a stranger in an isolated or unsafe environment such as a parking garage. If they ask you the time, hold your hand up and say, “Sorry, have to go,” and keep going. These conversations can actually be “interviews” by a potential attacker who is deciding if you are a good target.

If you find yourself needing help while out and about and you are a woman, ask a woman for help. If there is not a woman, then ask a man. That is not sexist. It’s statistics. Also, the odds of you asking an attacker for help is low. The odds of one offering help to you is higher. If someone offers help and you tell them no, they shouldn’t keep pressing you. No is sufficient. It is a complete sentence. Stand your ground and tell them to back away. Worse case scenario, they are offended. Best case, you save your own life.

You need no permission to keep yourself safe. It is your right. Exercising that right is not rude. It is the acme of civility.

Click to Tweet
"You need no permission to keep yourself safe." Visit The Suspense Sisters to see what else Carla Hoch has to say about self-defense and about writing fight scenes. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PRETTY WORDS AND PINK SLIPS by Linda White


Linda J. White writes FBI thrillers from her home in rural Virginia. Her husband, Larry, was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy for over 27 years. Mother of three grown children, Linda is also a national-award winning journalist and a women’s ministry speaker. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with Keira, her Sheltie, reading a book, or dreaming of the beach.


Website: lindajwhite.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaJWhiteBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: @rytn4hm



Pretty Words and Pink Slips

Every writer has to learn to deal with rejection. But then, so do you. Being rejected is part of the human condition, and the sooner we learn to adopt a godly perspective on it, the happier we’ll be.

Rejections come hard for a writer at first. We labor over our
words, choosing each one carefully, writing and re-writing our work until we believe it is perfect. Then, whether it’s a blog post or a magazine article or a book, we send it off with high hopes and a flock of prayers.

Most of the time, especially in the beginning, the answer comes back, “Not for us”—if there’s any answer at all.

Believe me, that hurts! But so does not being chosen at the dance or for the team or for a romantic relationship. So does having your brothers despise you (Joseph), your husband prefer another (Leah), or a friend betray you (Jesus). Rejection happens! So what’s a person to do?

Here’s how I’ve been learning to cope with rejection:

1. Trust God: “For I know the plans I have for you … plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. Nothing can stop God’s plan for me.

2. Believe in His love: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3 I meditate on the Cross, and what it cost Jesus to save me.

3. Choose hope: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 Rejection is a form of tribulation, but I choose hope—because God loves me and he is sovereign.

How have you dealt with rejection? Comment below for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card or a paperback copy of any of my six FBI thrillers.

Linda J. White

www.lindajwhite.net

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hot New Inspirational Suspense



Suspense Sisters is happy to announce Sara K. Parker has just released:
DYING TO REMEMBER, a Love Inspired Suspense!



Her missing memories could expose a killer

After a gunshot wound to the head, Ella Camden turns to the only man she knows will believe she’s being targeted, ex-love and security expert Roman DeHart. Trouble is, amnesia keeps her from remembering why someone might be after her. Roman let her go once. This time he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she stays alive—and his—forever.

Buy Links: Amazon B&N CBD

Click to Tweet
Suspense Sisters is happy to announce Sara K. Parker has just released: DYING TO REMEMBER, a Love Inspired Suspense!

Monday, May 14, 2018

THIS WEEK ON THE SUSPENSE SISTERS!


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!

THIS WEEK:



On Tuesday Patricia Bradley will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.




Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister, Linda White, as she talks about dealing with rejection! You could win a $15.00 Amazon gift card, or your choice of one of her great suspense novels!

Here’s a little bit about her most recent novel, SNIPER!

Shocked by the murder of a friend, FBI Special Agent Kit McGovern vows to bring the killer to justice. Then the shooter kills again, and again … and again.

Saddled with an unpredictable partner, forced to put her personal
life on hold, Kit doggedly pursues the sniper. Quantico sends a geographic profiler to help identify him, but the killing of a young woman outside the probability zone casts doubt on that technique. As panic grips the Hampton Roads area, pressure mounts, and Kit soon finds herself in the crosshairs of failure—and death.

On Friday, we’ll be introducing a new Suspense Sister! Carla Hoch teaches writers how to “Fight Right” on her blog, FightWrite.net. Beginning June 6th, Carla will share her expertise with us on the first Wednesday of every month. We believe you’ll find her information fascinating. Is your favorite author “getting it right” in fight scenes? 
 

*We’re giving away a $20.00 Amazon gift card to someone who stops by and welcomes Carla to the Suspense Sisters!






The Suspense Sisters! We love books!