Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Medium is the Message - Are your books running hot or cold?

Tried and True-In Bookstores Now! Or Click to buy online

Welcome to a very special POST LABOR DAY edition of SEEKERVILLE.

Read all the way to the bottom for a chance to win two DIFFERENT BOOKS by two DIFFERENT WINNERS.

and find out how to sign up to get your name in a contest with a prize, a Kindle HDX.

Now, welcome to Part 2 of my series on emotion.

Find Part 1 here: Putting Emotion on the Page

I’m going to talk about a book I studied in college.

(No the books were NOT printed on papyrus scrolls, shut up)

I studied a book by Marshall McLuhan and, well, this was long ago, so I’m not going to go look at what he actually said and wrote about, instead I’m going to talk about what I remember, what I took away. I wonder now if I completely missed the point, but I’m doing it anyway.

What I remember from that book is that he described different types of information delivery. He called it the Medium. And he talked about Movies and TV and Radio and Books.

I was a broadcast journalism major so that figures, right?

And what he said was the fewer of our senses required to be involved with gathering information, the hotter the experience.

So by that standard, a movie or television is supplying the sight, supplying the sound. It requires very little from the viewer.

Something on radio is supplying the sound so it’s a little hotter than television.

And books supply nothing. A reader has to supply it all.

Because of this reading is an extremely hot medium.
We have to conjure the image.
We have to hear.
We have to taste and smell.

I can’t encourage an author enough to include the five senses and that’s for a very good reason. These things touch a reader, who is in a very hot environment while reading. All their mental energy engaged to be in the book. And senses are familiar. They are touch stones.

You talk about smelling and tasting a chocolate cake and your reader knows what that means. They are there with you, smelling and tasting.

And here’s where emotion comes in, because a reader isn’t a distant, detached, cold participant in your book. They are running hot. They are in your world.

They aren’t watching a fist fight on TV, they are in there swinging, they smell the dust of the frontier town street as your hero is slammed face down on the ground.

They feel the pain of a blow. They taste the blood.

That’s one of the reasons we talk about writing that stops the action dead. Or author intrusion.
These things draw the reader out of the world they are so engrossed in. It's like throwing a bucket of cold water on someone.

You don’t want your reader to see the heroine kissing the hero. You want them to feel his lips on theirs, feel his arms go around her, feel her own hands slide up his chest, hesitantly because she knows she shouldn’t but she can’t resist. Feel her reluctance, her desire, her love. 

One of the things I revise for is emotion words that leave me cold.

I hunted around for a scene in Tried and True that shows Kylie, who climbed on the roof to fix a lose shingle and now is caught in a rainstorm and frightened and struggling to get down to safety.

She had to get down off this roof.

One more inch. Still no toehold. Her weight shifted and she slipped. A screamed ripped from her throat and she clutched the pipe with only her fingertips. The pipe groaned under her weight and began to bend.

Finally her toes touched the chair, but her feet skidded on the wet back-ladders. She flailed with her feet to get her balance and managed to kick the chair. She heard it fall to the ground.

Her fingers loosen . She lost her grip with one hand and felt her nails scraping on the other and lost her hold and fell.

Hard arms closed around her legs. “I’ve got you, Miss.”

She slid over the edge.

The rock solid hold on her legs stopped her. Whoever had her rapidly lowered her to her feet. Her knees buckled. She sank toward the muddy ground. He swooped her into his arms and carried her up onto the porch out of the icy rain.

Shining blue eyes met hers and echoed with strength and kindness. Looking into those clear, brilliant blue eyes, she felt safer in that moment than she had since she was eighteen and had put on her britches, sworn her oath and picked up a musket with her fellow soldiers. Fellow being a particularly important word.

She threw her arms around his neck. The only solid thing in the whole wide world. And she cried.
It’s so easy to just tell what’s happening, much more difficult to make Kylie come alive on the page. While Kylie is struggling I want the reader to be on that roof with her, clinging, frightened, so alone. I want them to be screaming (well, maybe internally, we don't want to frighten the children or cause the neighbors to phone 911).
I want her tears to burn your eyes. I want her rescue to be a wave of relief, gratitude and glory.

No escape.
No excuse.
No cooling off.
Give the reader no excuse for being allowed to escape from the hot medium of your book.

Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a copy of Cheryl St. John’s Writing with Emotion, Tension and Conflict.
And winners choice of any one of my books (that I have a copy of!)
All except Tried and True. I'd really appreciate it if you bought that one, which you can do by clicking HERE.

Go HERE to send an RSVP to a Facebook party, September 23rd for the launch of Tried and True.
Prizes include copies of Tried and True, gift cards and the grand prize, a Kindle Fire HDX.
Lots of fun. Lots of prizes. And judging from the word WEBCAST,
I'm supposed to record myself again.
(May God Have Mercy!)



  1. You nailed it again, Mary. Your novels do, too. I'm so immersed in them, I am startled to find myself in the house instead of on a horse! I love them. Thanks for encouraging other writers. I'm out of books to read, but harvest is almost here, so maybe that's a good thing!

  2. There's coffee aplenty, 'cause it's needed to wash down all this tasty advice, told Mary style.

  3. Great article! I just finished a book that was a struggle to stay interested in- it's so important to keep readers glued to that page :)

    Please enter me in the drawing for one of your books!

  4. Great post Mary! I love being pulled into a story and not left on the sidelines. Your's always pull me in.

    Would love to be entered into your giveaway.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  5. A live webcast, oh my stars, I will be there... except I think I'm out of town that day, but I MIGHT be there!!!!

    I RAN TO AMAZON and got Tried and True downloaded to my Kindle, when my Kindle comes to visit me. That's 4 books this week that Beth will love and tell me all about and then my Kindle will find its way BACK INTO HER CAR and head home with her.

    But I'll claim it in a few weeks when my cowboy book is done! That is my reward for finishing, to sit and read and laugh and giggle and lament.....

    I love books that pull me into the emotion of the story. Film is different, it paints the image for you. A book allows me to envision the image my way, and that makes a world of difference!

    Gotta go get ready for work. See youse later!

  6. Well, said, Mary. Hot and cold. I like that. Now of course I am going to go look for that book by Marshall McLuhan.

    I just love the cover for Tried & True BTW.

  7. Cinnamon apple coffee cake.

    You're welcome.

  8. Mary!!!!!! Guess what I just finished reading last night?????? LOVED Tried & True. It was definitely an emotional read. One of the things that gave it added emotinal depth for me is the fact that both Kylie and Aaron had shared civil war experiences. There's a couple of stirring scenes between those two that left me feeling raw! And then, on the flip side I'm laughing hysterically. Reading you is like riding a roller coaster -- and I mean that in the nicest way. :-)

    I still struggle with showing emotion instead of telling. For some reason it's a hard concept for me to hold onto. I get the theory, but it doesn't always translate into my writing.

  9. Good Morning, Mary!

    I didn't plan to start my day sliding off of a roof, but with your help I did!

    Sounds like a GREAT read. I can't wait to buy it at Barnes & Noble in Sioux City, IA on September 20th from 1-3 at our book signing.

    How's that for working in a shameless plug?

  10. This is the reason I read when I am sick rather than watch movies. Why if I need to escape, I read. Thanks for the reminder!

    No need for the giveaway. Have Cheryl's book and can't wait to purchase Tried and True.

    Peace and blessings, Julie

  11. Hi Mary~
    I'm with Rose, it's too early to be sliding off roofs, I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee!

    As a reader, there's a big difference for me in reading a story and being a part of one. Those are the books that come alive, the books you forget the people aren't real people, the ones you just don't want to end. Looking forward to Tried and True, it looks so good.

    I'd love to win a copy of one of your books, just don't make me slide off a roof to get it, I don't do heights :)

  12. Mary, thanks for the great reminder to employ the use of ALL our senses in story telling.

    It's easy to forget how important that is in pulling the reader into the story.:-)

  13. No escape? I've been there many times searching for escape and the only way that might work is to turn to the last chapter and put myself out of my misery - but I wouldn't do that!
    Thanks Mary - love the concept of the hot medium. You do that so well - all 5 senses ever present in Connealy books! Tried and True is definitely on my TBR!!

  14. Such an excellent post! Yesterday, I was reading a story on the way home from Phoenix and suddenly, from the passenger seat, my hubby started laughing at me. Apparently, I had tears just streaming down my face. He didn't get it. He can't understand how I can get so lost in a book that I laugh out loud or bawl like a baby. Emotion plays such a HUGE role in the readers journey. No...if you'll excuse me, I have to head over to FB to rsvp for a party and then go shopping for Tried & True. Can't wait to find out why she was on that roof.

  15. Great post, Mary! I try to always make sure to edit for author intrusion. And, IMO, even if you left author intrusion in your novels, nobody would notice because your books are so funny they'll be too busy laughing.

    If this comment posts, then I'll be happy dancing, because Blogger now hates me. Literally, every time I try to post a comment, it will eat it. I'm trying this from my computer, rather than my phone which I usually post from.

    Please enter me in the giveaway!

  16. Hi Mary,
    Emotion is hard for me. Possibly it's the New England thing. I've had contest judges and potential agents say they weren't emotionally involved in some of my work, so that's one of my homework assignments right now.
    I had a decent phone consultation with Cathy Yardley last week and she gave me some pointers for strengthening plot in "Town," the sequel to "Trail." Thank you Seekers for making this happen.
    Please enter me in the drawing. Can't go wrong with either you or Cheryl.
    I just took Snickerdoodles out of the oven. If nobody else shows up with food, we can "eat" those.

  17. Marianne, this is what I strive for but it's always hard to keep that level of immersion.

    In fact, reading that excerpt, I want to revise it RIGHT NOW!


  18. Heidi, it was a bit ago but I remember closing a book that I read all the way through and just thinking, "The author never pulled me deep. Interesting, but she never made me care."

    One of the reasons Seekerville is still going strong after seven years is that we all struggle to explain WHY that is. WHY do some books drag us in and others level us cold?

    It's just so hard to put it in words and we try and try and try, and explain it different ways and hope some of it touches home for you all.

  19. Heidi, it was a bit ago but I remember closing a book that I read all the way through and just thinking, "The author never pulled me deep. Interesting, but she never made me care."

    One of the reasons Seekerville is still going strong after seven years is that we all struggle to explain WHY that is. WHY do some books drag us in and others level us cold?

    It's just so hard to put it in words and we try and try and try, and explain it different ways and hope some of it touches home for you all.

  20. Cindy W, me too. I love a book that truly 'takes me away'.

    Thanks so much for the kind words. It makes me want to go open my WIP and TRY HARDER!!!!

  21. Ruthy, let's not talk about the webcast. I'm in denial and I AM SO HAPPY HERE!

    Mary 'Distressed' Connealy

  22. PS I just got an iPad mini and I was trying to set it up to do Facetime and when I finally got the video or camera or whatever to turn on it SHOWED ME LOOKING AT THE MINI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How can one woman have that many age spots and chins!!!

    ARG! Now I have to do hair and make up before I can make a phone call!


    Plus, I told this to my daughter, mother of my grandchildren, who would be the recipient of this lovely Facetime phonecall and SHE SAID, her experience is, doing hair and make up doesn't help. She always STILL looks awful.


  23. Tina, you know, I may be remembering this book all wrong. It's been FORTY YEARS!!!!!

    But see, to me, that doesnt' matter. I mean this is what I took away from his book and if this isn't what he meant to say, well, that's HIS PROBLEM.

    So if you read his book, and I've got it all wrong, I'm not sure I want to know.

  24. KAV!!! You read my book?


    I'm a little weepy. I'm so glad you liked it.

    I'm glad those scenes had an impact on you. It's so hard to judge my own work.

  25. ROSE! See you soon.

    Saturday, September 20th in Sioux City, Iowa at the Barnes and Noble at the Southern Hills Mall from 1 - 3. It'll be fun (mainly because Rose is there!)

  26. Julie, see, that's it for me too. With reading I can truly be GONE. With TV I can barely make myself pay attention.

  27. Tracey, heights! I have never been afraid of heights and then My Cowboy made me climb on the roof with him to fix our TV Antenna (this was years ago, thus the antiquated reference to antenna...)
    And I got up there and just FROZE!

    I was like one of those cartoon cats who get scared and blast off the ground and sink their claws into the ceiling. Just STUCK about ten crawling steps up that roof.


    Anyway, My Cowboy gave up and did it himself and when he got down he said, "I didn't know you were afraid of heights." (this was around year FIFTEEN of our marriage)

    I said, "I'm not."

    He said, "There is evidence to the contrary." (actually he grunted skeptically but that's what he was THINKING)

  28. MARY HICKS, I know I already said this, but the sense are so key.

    I wish I'd said her fingertips were scraped raw. I wish she's torn a fingernail.

    All of that is touch. That's what I mean by doing it again, adding more.

    The cold chill of that rain pelting the back of her neck. The crack of the thunder, the flash of lightning.

    WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT IS! AND THAT MAKES IT TRUE AND .... EASILY IMAGINABLE. Nothing does that for your book like the five senses.

  29. Cindy, the five senses.
    No author intrusion.
    No asides in the middle of action.
    So many little skills and of course it's all about balance because the author HAS to seed in backstory. And the use of the senses has to be done smoothly, slid in as...well, asides. So it's a balancing act.

  30. LeAnne, I'll see you on Facebook and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BUYING MY BOOK!

    I really sincerely appreciate it. God bless you all for being readers!

  31. Crystal, be VERY CAREFUL COMPLAINING ABOUT BLOGGER!!! We are all being watched.

  32. KayBee, learning our weaknesses is a good think, we can focus our attention on them.

    Your book is interesting, great characters, all your hard work strengthens it. Good for you.

    PS grabbing those snickerdoodles before anyone can show up to eat them.

  33. Mary, I hadn't thought of reading as hotter than movies and TV. Love the idea, but wonder why TV and movies appeal so much to the young especially. Are they afraid of having to engage in the experience, to put themselves in the story?

    Love your post. We writers have a big job to draw readers in with words that evoke emotion.

    Looking forward to reading Tried and True!


  34. Mary, your books drag me in and keep me submerged. It is hard to put them down. I'm looking forward to getting Tried and True. I know it will be a great as the others. I need to go back and work on my wip. Never been published 'cause I've never finished. Lost my first one to a fire and can't remember it. Oh well, that's life. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  35. Mary, this post is a keeper! I never thought about reading quite like this before--the hot and cold of engaging the five senses.

    And if we want our readers IN the story with our characters, then we need to be IN the story with the characters as we write each scene. Seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling.

    Right now I'm SEEING red because I HEARD my dog shredding paper and discovered he'd ripped up a new magazine I'd left on the end table.

  36. Great post as always, Mary!

    And you nailed it - I need to have my reader involved with all senses. I knew it, but now I know why!

    Looking forward to Tried and True!

    And I was at the Sioux City Barnes and Noble last Saturday at 4:00, wracking my brain. I know Rose and Mary are having a book signing here soon. Is it today? And no, you weren't there.

    And sorry, I'm not making the 7 hour drive to be there on the 20th. ;)

  37. Mary - great post! You pulled me right into the story. I live it when that happens. Myra's right, this is a keeper.

  38. Mary, you really know how to heat up a story with emotion. I love the roof scene! I felt I was right there.

  39. Janet one of the points I remember is that watching is EASY, it requires far less of the viewer than a book does. So it's enticing just because it requires so little of you.

  40. Janet maybe all those VIEWERS are just LAZY!

    Not like our beloved READERS!


  41. Connie a fire burned down your book?

    Wow, and I think rejection letters are tough!

  42. OH COME ON MYRA! At least it wasn't a fire burning down your book!

  43. JAN you were in Sioux City looking for me?

    I am HEARTBROKEN I missed you.

    Pretty sure this is ROSE'S FAULT!!!!

  44. Terri this scene goes on a while. By the time she gets rescued you will LOVE the man who saves her just because she's so upset.

    It's a beautiful thing!


  45. Cara the roof scene is a little different for me. Mainly it's emotionally wrenching. No explosions. No gunfire.

    No cliffs.

    I guess hanging by her fingernails is close but still....

  46. Loved this article. When I wrote Red Gold, I had to go back in to add that emotion you wrote about since it was lacking my first time through. It definitely draws the reader into more of an investment into the story. Thanks for the reminder and solidifying the importance. (Of course, the editors helped even more...) Can't wait to read your newest one.

  47. Thanks for the examples, Mary. You do have to draw a picture for me--and shove me into it. But no matter whether you're writing emotion or action or description or dialogue, it just flows so smoothly and effortlessly the reader is transported. Please tell me it gets easier to write that way over the years. How many times do you edit?

  48. Thanks for sharing, Mary! Great advice . . . I enjoyed the excerpt from "Tried and True." Would love to be entered in the giveaways!

  49. "No escape." Love it, Mary! Thanks for the insights and, as always, the chance to win more books. :)

  50. Sandy it's all about practice. Keep writing and you keep doing it better and better.

    (I need to believe that so just let me!)

  51. Elaine I've gone back and revised some old work--unpublished books that I still love but told badly-- and I have definitely gotten better.

  52. Jennifer you're in the drawing! Good Luck!

  53. Wow, that is a powerful thought, that our books give our audience the most powerful experience of any other form of entertainment, because they have to sense it all for themselves. Love that. I want to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I revise today. Thanks, Mary. :-)

  54. Meghan, we want to be writing well enough that no one can lay the book aside. No one can stop turning pages.

    That's the goal and it's hard to sustain through ALL THOSE WORDS.

    Books are incredibly stuffed full of words!!!

  55. Hi Mary,

    Great scene! My fingers felt raw as she scraped down that roof!

    I'd love to be in the draw. Now, off to fix the emotion in one of my scenes!


  56. What a great way to show us how to write that action, Mary! I was right there in your excerpt.

    It's a great reminder for me not to get lazy and tell the emotions (I'm so guilty of this sometimes!)

  57. Sheesh. I expected no sympathy from you, Mary, seeing as how you wouldn't let a dog in the house!!!!


  58. Hey, Melanie. Powerful thought, huh?

    Why does that make me smile. :D

  59. Susan, good luck. I have some fixing of my own to do!!!!!!

  60. Missy, me too. He said angrily.

    So lame.

    And yet it's so CLEAR it's hard to go with something else LESS clear but it makes the reader feel nothing, they are just observers for a sentence like that.

  61. Myra we live on a ranch. Animals are for OUTSIDE!

    Maybe you'd remember that if you wrote it on your hand or something!!!!! :)

  62. Lots of excitement--always--in your books, Mary!

    Love the saved-by-the hero excerpt you included today...but, I wanted her to KISS HIM instead of cry on his shoulder! LOL! You had me holding my breath in anticipation. Although the crying in his arms touched my heart and made me concerned about her well-being. Kylie is a cutie, with so much spunk!

  63. Like you, Mary, I'm so grateful to our readers! And hopeful that some of the screen addiction I see may lose it's charm over time.
    Though I'll admit I have a little of that going on myself.


  64. This isn't about emotion, but I am so excited to learn that one of our grandchildren is studying the Hero's Journey in school. Her assignment is to write a romance that shows the hero's story arc. Maybe this eighth grader can teach me a thing or two!



  65. aw, Debby, I wanted her to kiss him, too. But that's just moving a LITTLE TOO FAST for Christian fiction.


  66. Janet, really? The hero's journey?

    THAT IS SO COOL. Tell him to bring his lessons home and show you.

  67. Janet, how exciting that your grandchild is learning about The Hero's Journey! He must have a dynamic teacher!!!

    Good for her.

  68. Raccoons are for outside. Cows are for outside. Deer are for outside. Horses, goats, and chickens are for outside.


  69. Mary, You have hit the nail on the head. As a reader I want a book I can be completely involved in with all senses. As a new writer that is the way I want to write as well.

    I sent a submission for my non fiction book "Effectively Reaching Children" this afternoon.

    Tried and True is at the top of my list of books to buy this month.

  70. Wilani, you mean you've got it sent in? Sent to a publishers?

    Wow, exciting. So proud of you, girl!

    Now get started writing the next thing (with a break to read my books first of course)

    GO WILANI!!!!

  71. Myra, thank you for leaving the goats outside.

  72. This weekend I had a friend give me her nook because she never uses it. I love finally having an e-reader. I have been trying to put my kindle books on it but so far I haven't found a way. Does anyone know if this is possible?

  73. Wilani, I'm going to go with IMPOSSIBLE. Those two, Barnes and Noble and Amazon do NOT play well with each other!

  74. Mary,
    Loved that sentence when she wrapped her arms around him. "big sigh."


  75. Great advice Mary! Love the cover of Tried and True. Can't wait to get me a copy.

  76. just getting to this wonderful post now at the end of the day. first day of school for the little Guppy (pre-school). mom is more nervous than child. i've realized i'm clueless.

    anyhow, at least i won't be clueless with writing and getting those five sense going to draw the reader in. THANKS MARY!!!! You are awesome.

    side note: Myra - on a ranch or farm, dogs are working critters, and, as such, remain outdoors. well mud rooms are as inside as they get. it's only us city folk who keep the non-working doggies inside. Mary and her Cowboy aren't being cruel - just practical.

    oh, before I forget, please put my name in the stetson for either author book. must put Tried and True on my wish list.

  77. Deb H, you're brilliant.

    But we KNEW that!!!!

    You know, in the East, we've gotten away from understanding that. Cows outside in the winter got the Humane Society called on us years ago.... A commuter saw them outside and was just affronted that those cows weren't put away....

    Oh mylanta, they need to go watch "The Last American Cowboy" and see those Angus up the hills, tackling weather and birth and food....

    I've got two house dogs and love them, but I'm okay with folks having outside dogs (hunting dogs, barn dogs) because this is America... we should have choices.

  78. I do have a noisy rooster and I love him.... and his crowing changed laws because I wouldn't silence him.

    Oy, people pick the strangest things to complain about.

    I get scolded for having outside cats. Well... their job is to eat mice and rats and catch snakes and moles.

    I'm putting that in a current book, that the cats stay outside and in the barn to keep the vermin controlled.

    Farm cats are workers.

  79. Great post, Mary. You do such a good job showing emotion. Please enter me into the drawing for the books.

  80. I love this series! You do pull in the reader from the first lines. I'd love to be in a drawing and can't wait to get Tried and True! I hope to make the FB party.

  81. I love this series! You do pull in the reader from the first lines. I'd love to be in a drawing and can't wait to get Tried and True! I hope to make the FB party.

  82. Hi Mary:

    Great post on making readers emotional. I’m not sure you know your power! With just a few words, you made Myra all emotional.

    Text: “Myra we live on a ranch. Animals are for OUTSIDE!”

    Subtext: “When you raise animals to eat, you don’t want to get to know them as house guests nor can you afford to personify them.”

    Please put me in for either book.

    BTW: Please mention you also have a few Audible books! I should not have to find this out when I buy an Audible book and discover your books under “People who bought this book, also bought”! Sometimes I want a cooler novel experience. I love having the professional reader add the emotion, the pace, the sarcasm, the tone, the urgency, the hesitancy, and so much more. Sometimes I just want to lay back, close my eyes, and let the story wash over me. It can be a delightful experience

  83. Hi Janet:

    How things have changed in just fifty years! When I was in the 8th grade, the nuns would rap your knuckles if you brought a romance novel into the classroom. Now I hear that they are teaching romance writing essentials in 8th grade.

    Warning! If it is a public school, and the child writes an inspirational romance where the hero finds God and love at the end of his ARC, well that will surely get the poor child expelled. : (

    In half a century we’ve gone from reading and rugged individualism to ‘global village’ and group thinking political correctness. While I saw students demonstrate at UC for free speech, today students demonstrate to prevent non-PC views from being expressed on campus. The change in the medium, internet, has caused a change in human consciousness and society itself. This change is independent of the content the medium conveys – that’s why the medium is the message and not the content.

    So, is the grandchild a boy or a girl?

  84. Mary, I can't get into your link to the Sept. 23 Facebook party. Whenever I click on it, I get a blank page with the frowny face guy. I've had trouble with those links before, too. Not sure what's wrong. Is there another way to access it? Thanks.

  85. Great stuff, Mary! Thanks so much for sharing with us today. :)

  86. Thanks so much, Mary for once again sharing great tips with us.

    I'd love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks!

  87. I think a good example of this is when I refuse to watch the movie version of a book I love because I know I my version is better. That is how you know an author has done a good job.
    Going to go sign up for the fb party! Please enter me.

  88. Thanks, Mary! Your scene was certainly intense. I felt the tears because that's what I would have done after all that stress. This post explained the reason for using the five senses so well. I had trouble signing up for your Facebook party...blank page, but I'll try again tomorrow. Love the connecting concept of your new series!

  89. You did that on purpose, didn't you? Used that excerpt as an example so I'd want to read more of the book. It worked :-)

    Thanks for the great post, Mary!

    Nancy C

  90. Mary, thanks for the post.

    I loved the line in the excerpt where "the scream ripped from her throat" (or something close). Rather than saying Kylie screamed, you capture the second where she screamed and the reader gets to live that coming from his or her own throat. I can see why you used this passage to illustrate your point.

    Thanks for the great information.

  91. Thank you, Mary, for giving away a copy of my book! Mwah!

    Sorry I didn't get here earlier. It was a crazy day in Crazyville.

  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

  93. Mary,

    This was an excellent post. I've never thought about books about being a solo medium like that.

  94. Nothing better than a book that refuses to let go.

  95. Great example from "Tried and True" of engaging the five senses. Please enter me in the drawing.

  96. Wow! Great job at pulling the reader in. When an author fails to involve my senses in the story, the book doesn't make it to my keeper shelf.

  97. Your excerpt from your new book is a great example of 'hot'. I will remember this idea about emotion.
    And, congratulations, Mary, on your new book!

  98. Uh, VINCE, I think they only eat dogs in Africa or China or somewhere exotic that's NOT in the U.S. And it's a good thing I can't get there real easy or they'd be REALLY sorry.

  99. Mary!!! Sorry I'm late, but this was SO worth the wait!!

    You know me and emotion -- I LOVE it, so this was dead-on. I studied the same book -- The Medium is the Message, by Marshall McLuhan, but unfortunately I don't remember much of it! :|
    Thanks for the refresh AND the clarification. I'd read a book by you ANYTIME over Marshall! ;)


  100. Hi Myra:

    We have had at least one dog living with us in our home for over 34 years. So I am with you all the way about having pets in the house. Also you are literally right about most people not eating dogs. However, given all that, the idea I was advancing is that one should not develop an emotional attachment for any animal when one raises animals that will be eaten.

    A genuine love for one animal, like a cute pet with a name and distinct personality, can lead to caring for other animals as well which in turn can lead to vegetarianism.

    I lived on a farm for four years as a kid and when a farm kid looks out at the pasture, he better see hamburgers and not a herd of sweet Elsie the cows. If not, that kid is liable to go to college, become a Buddhist vegetarian, serve in the peace corps in India, and return thinking his parents are just a notch above the noble savage.

    It all starts with an adorable pet in the house.

  101. No, I didn't scream out loud but I felt some of the anxiety and I was relieved when Kylie was able to grab his shoulders! Sounds great!

  102. Whew! Thank goodness for blue-eyed rescuers!

    Great post, Mary!

  103. I love both of these authors! Looking forward to reading their books.

  104. Sounds great! I love reading a story where I get hooked and can't put it down. I've spent many nights up until the wee hours because I had to know what happened next. Thanks so much!! Can't wait to read your book, whether I win it or buy it! :)
    ~Holly I. in Morehead, KY

  105. I never thought about it that way --so true! I think that's one of the reasons why I love reading ... you can imagine it all just how you want. =)