Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Crime Fiction Research and Discovering Juggalos

May 4, 2021
mandyevebarnett


With a complete read through this weekend of the manuscript for the first book in my detective series, An Elusive Trail, I am fairly happy with the edits and revisions. The new word count is 61,626 – a far cry from the ‘finished’ story of National Novel Writing Month in November last year of 50,156. This shows how a manuscript changes and grows over the course of revisions. Scenes are added or cut, moved or changed and information researched in order to improve the content. Not only for accuracy but also to ensure the characters and story reflect the trope expected by readers of the specific genre.

I recently attended a crime writer’s week long presentation course online. The most interesting and helpful sessions were with a retired detective. His insight and knowledge gave me several pieces of information I have included in the manuscript to enhance the police and forensic procedures. There are a couple more months of revisions to be done, (an author has a hard time relinquishing a manuscript!) but the first book in the series is well on its way to being ready to submit to a publisher for review.

Writers and authors research their specific genre through books but also movies. My choice of movies to watch has been said to be eclectic. I can watch and enjoy action, romance, sci-fi, fantasy and many others, it all depends on my mood at the time. Take several I watched during April for example:

The Father – Anthony Hopkins was spectacular. Hillbilly Elegy – Glenn Close was exceptional. Penguin Bloom – as a natural lover this true story was heartwarming and wonderful in so many ways. Diana – I always feel my heart break a little reading or watching anything to do with her. The Age of Adaline – I have watched this movie several times because I love the premise of it. Elizabeth and Margaret – because we can only glimpse their lives. Coroner – this series was for my book research mainly. Monty Python -In the Beginning – I grew up with Python and still recite sketches to this day. Ladies in Black – life in 1959 Australia a merging of cultures within the structure of society expectations. It shows how a person’s life is affected by the era’s limitations put upon them. Elvis Presley – The Searcher – I learned more about his life, but also that if he had broken away from the Colonel, his fame would have been even greater, such a shame he was so manipulated. As you can see some are factual, some research, while others are pure escapism.

The most unusual and surprising movie I watched was FAMILY, at first look it is a workaholic woman asked to look after her brother’s daughter for a short time. However, what is so unexpected is the unknown (to me anyway) cultural phenomenon of Juggalo. I have never come across this group (and I listen to an even more of an eclectic selection in music). The Juggalo’s are fans of the group Insane Clown Posse. They dress in clown-like makeup and fantastical outfits. Their motto is ‘I shall not judge. I shall love my Family. I am a Ninja.‘ You may not enjoy their music but their inclusiveness to all is inspiring.

Have you discovered something new through a book or movie? What was it?

Ask A Question Thursday

June 13, 2019
mandyevebarnett


ask-a-question-logo-300x150

As you can see I have been bust enjoying our road trip and did not schedule this post, so apologies for being late today. As writers we gain inspiration in numerous ways, so the question today is. What has been the most inspirational or fact finding trip you have taken?

IMG_2633

The photo is of money from around the world found in a small hamlet pub on our trip this week.

 

Last week’s question:  Where would you go for the perfect writing retreat?

Pamela Allegretto       The island of Capri at the top of Anacapri.

 Bren Leyland             Oxford. Or a room that overlooks a green space or garden.

Mandy Eve-Barnett   It will come as no surprise that I would choose Rome or beside an ocean.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get – Find Authentic Research Sources…

September 29, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articlesResearch is a vital component of many of our narrative’s and we endeavor to ensure the technicalities are exact. This is especially true when we are writing about something we have no personal knowledge of. The internet, can give us some information but we should not rely on it 100% – there have been cases of mis-information.

Say we require a character to be fighter pilot, as it is unlikely we can find or have personal experiences of this, we could try search engines but it may be limited. We must then delve into the history books and hopefully find people, who are willing to assist us in gathering as much information as possible to make the character come alive on paper.

My current word in progress, Willow Tree Tears, has a barrel racer as a central character. As I have only attended one small rodeo and, although I have ridden horses, I’ve never competed on one, I required first hand experience. Luckily, the internet is a great resource for finding people and organizations and so I was able to read descriptions and view photographs of rodeo’s to give me an idea of how the venue would look and sound. I also intend to attend a rodeo before the manuscript is finalized so I can make further authentic revisions.

barrel silhouttee

However, in the meantime I really wanted a champion barrel racer to read the relevant sections of my story to approve the authenticity of them. So I sent out several requests via facebook and through personal websites to several barrel racers – graciously two replied and are reviewing the segments for me. I will thank them both by naming them in the finished novel and giving each of them a copy to review. (May be I will actually see them compete!)

We need to go that extra mile to ensure our readers – with or without knowledge of the subject matter – are confident we have written a true reflection of the particular subject in our novels. We can’t have a cell phone in 1650 or hovering cars in 2000, so it is true with the careers our characters have – no matter what century they are set in.

article-new_ehow_images_a00_0h_jc_format-manuscript-submission-800x800

What have you researched for a novel?
Why did you pick that particular career/venue/organization?

Learn To Take Turns…

January 27, 2014
mandyevebarnett


The title says it all – learn to take turns – this is a barrel racing saying. One of many I learnt while researching  my current WIP, Willow Tree Tears.  It was certainly a journey into a world I had no previous knowledge of. Isn’t that what makes writing fiction all the more exciting?

The barrel racing course itself is a series of sharp turns in a clover-leaf shape, as you can see from the diagram below. A figure-eight pattern was the initial barrel racing circuit but has been replaced by the favored clover-leaf course, which demands a higher skill level. When watching these events I marveled at the synchronicity of horse and rider at speeds that were astonishing. 

barrelpatternlarge

To begin a barrel race, the horse and rider enter the arena at top speed, through the center entrance. An electronic timer beam records the horse and rider as they cross it. This timer runs until the beam is crossed again at the end of the run.

Modern barrel-racing horses need to be fast, strong, agile and intelligent.  To maneuver the course in as little distance as possible requires physical strength and agility from the horse as well as the ability to follow commands from the rider. Horses that can “hug the barrels” and maneuver the course quickly  show up by their consistently low times. The favored breed for barrel racing is the American Quarter horse. The history of the breed began in the 17th century with British thoroughbreds paired with ‘native’ horses, (Chickasaw), which in turn were descended from horses brought over by the Conquistadors. Such as the Iberian, Arabian and Barb and wild horses.

The Girls Rodeo Association, (GRA)  was the first organization specifically developed for women, who wanted to compete in rodeos. It was formed in 1948 by a group of  Texan women consisting of only 74 members and  having a limited 60 approved tour events.  The group officially changed its name to the WPRA (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association) in 1981. 

In 2013 the WPRA celebrated sixty five years of women in rodeo. The WPRA . . . the past, present, and future of women in rodeo! 

barrel20racing

Subsequent to writing my narrative, I found out a new ‘reality’ TV program is on air – Rodeo Girls. However, the authenticity of its portrayal of women in rodeo is open to discussion.

Why does every show have to glamorize and falsify ‘real’ life?

I read many derogatory comments on a forum once the show was aired from barrel racers appalled at the depiction of their profession. I am happy to declare my narrative is true to the real barrel racers and their lifestyle.

Willow Tree Tears is a romance which follows my protagonist, Trinity, a champion barrel racing young woman. Trinity must decide between two men. A man she has known since high school and who lives the ranching and rodeo life and a suave globe trotting Italian. She is determined and focused in her sport and lives on a Quarter horse stud with her father. Can she resist the lure of the unfamiliar? Is marrying her ‘kind’ best for her and her father’s hopes for her future and the ranch?

The launch of Willow Tree Tears is still under negotiation but I will announce it as soon as a date is finalized.

What have you learnt about through novel researching?

Blog at WordPress.com.