The Executioner’s Diary

The following is the opening of my protagonist’s first entry in his diary.

 

Looking back at my life, it is obvious that destiny chose me, this only child of Cuban refugees, to be its guardian of justice. For every twist and turn in my life and my father’s life before me, prepared me for the role I was born to play. Chosen to be a tool of destiny, fate sculpted me through misfortune and injustice, to be its great equalizer; its merciless hammer of justice.

As hard as my father tried to guide me, he created the thing he detested most, a puppet on a string. Who could have guessed the United States government would pull the cords? If there truly is a day of judgment, I hope, my father and the good Lord analyze the rationale behind my actions. Destiny led me down this God-forsaken path. Fate made me what I am. 

If they understand that, then and only then, will I be forgiven for all my sins.

 

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Dark Paradise

A tropical paradise plagued by power outages.

A serial killer strikes when the lights go out.

An American cop too proud to admit he is afraid of the dark.

 

Raised in an orphanage, Mike Archer often found himself locked in a dark closet. Thirty years later he chased a drug lord into a dark alley and barely survived a bloody ambush. One year and four gunshot wounds later, he is hired by a friend to stop “El Diablo,” (the Devil) a serial killer responsible for the deaths of nine teens. Can Archer venture into the darkness?

To stop the devil, Michael Archer must overcome the demons within himself.

 

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Paradox

On the two year anniversary of Lisa’s disappearance, Detective Jake Cross vows to quit the force to find his missing wife. Hours later, a devastating alien invasion reduces Earth to ashes. Jake awakens in a strange hospital where a secret message on a paper cup advises him, “They are watching.” Thus begins his journey through an alien controlled Earth.

Seven billion dead, yet his heart only mourns for one. Jake joins forces with the last human colony, a somber community reeking of death. Battle weary survivors wander the underground city, their eyes devoid of hope. The humans have food, medicine, and ammunition to survive another week. Anointed the Great Liberator, our last hope, Jake is advised, “Our destiny is decided by the sacrifices that we make and the ones that we don’t.” The reluctant detective rejects his fate until he learns of his wife’s capture and impending execution.

In a deadly race against time, he leads the survivors to the alien metropolis to fight mutating aliens with futuristic weapons, unmanned flying motorcycles, hormone injected canines, and an evil as infinite as time. Mabus, the ruthless alien leader will not rest until every human has been exterminated. Jake must kill this immortal enemy to stave off his wife’s death sentence, but how can he be expected to defeat a God when thousands have already failed?

With time running out, Jake confronts the ultimate sacrifice, rescue his wife or prevent our extinction.

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Devil Girl Diaries – 2 (The Breakup)

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Every man has that one unforgettable woman that will haunt him until his final day; the girl that got away. Allie detested television, vanilla ice cream, and missionary. She explored the depths of her sexuality; while I discovered the heights of my pain. My muse had a nickname. I called her Devil Girl. I write these words to ease my sorrows. My name is Andrew.

This is our story.

Standing outside the food court

My wobbly knees barely supporting me

Two construction workers approached her

what kind of foolish game was this?

As one reached for her hand

I stormed out of the mall

burning cheeks scorching everything around me

I refuse to share my girl

I refused to play this game

We didn’t speak for days

Ignored her texts, calls, and messages

then I accidentally heard one voicemail

she wept like a baby

I called her, promising to visit her the next day

Allie opened the door and rushed me

Her red eyes full of moist regret

her nakedness embellished the hallway

“I will not share what is mine”

She smiled at my naive words

She replied, “loving is sharing”

from the bedroom came a gorgeous brunette

wearing heels, a smile, and a wicked scent

she impressed me with her outfit

before I could ask, Allie smiled “This is Pandora.

if you love me, let me watch you do her”

what the hell, we are supposed to be arguing

She whispered, “Do you love me Andrew?”

struggling with the stirring in my jeans

I shut my eyes and sighed

Yes I love you Devil Girl

More next Saturday

Do You Enjoy Writing Wicked?

Every hero needs a villain.

Remember the cardboard cutout dastardly villain who squeezed his handle bar mustache between his fingers while tying the damsel in distress to the railroad tracks. Those days are over.

If you are a writer and you have a great hero, there is one thing that you need; an even GREATER villain.

Today’s readers and audiences don’t expect a bad guy who is all brawn and no brains. They want a villain who challenges our hero and defeats him time and time again. This allows you to build tension. Readers want a cunning evil doer who is always two steps ahead of our protagonist.

Think of The Joker (the Heath Ledger version of course) in The Dark Knight, constantly outwitting everyone including Batman. Hannibal Lecter “quid pro quo” demands of Clarice Starling; before he led her to a serial killer (Buffalo Bill) she desperately needed to stop, all the while planning his bold escape from prison. Each bad guy absolutely brilliant yet controlled by their psychopathic desires.

To strengthen your story, give your villain a justified reason to be evil. In my yet to be published sci-fi novel/screenplay, Paradox, Mabus (villain) witnessed the slaughter of his family, now he will over protect his kingdom (his new family). Give the antagonist motivations and goals that conflict with your hero’s needs. Let them clash. The protagonist/antagonist opposing needs will provide conflict throughout your story building to a page turning finale.

This chimp loves writing antagonist and their evil deeds (and an occasional naughty).

Do you enjoy writing wicked?

Please note: My poetic friends, you are not off the hook. Do you enjoy writing wicked?                                                         (I mean wicked in all its evil and naughty connotations.)

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Jake Cross Can’t Live Another Day Without Her

Seven billion people dead; yet his selfish heart only mourned for one.

The distraught figure dragged his body to the ledge of the mountaintop, as if he alone towed the burdens of a dying planet. He looked down on the futuristic metropolis constructed over the ashes of mankind. The alien city with its pale glass structures resembled a crystal cemetery of broken dreams.

Clutching the last remaining evidence that humans once inhabited the Earth, he groaned.

Through misty eyes, Jake Cross admired a photograph of his wife Lisa. His heart pounded against his ribs like a relentless bill collector at the door. Intolerable emptiness grew inside him like a cancerous black hole, eating away at his brittle psyche, devouring his aching soul.

He pressed the photo against his heaving chest as if her image could wipe away his pain.

Who better to console him? Lisa always neutralized his sorrows with a smile or warm embrace. Wiping the moisture from his eyes, a warm breeze caressed his skin reminding him of her gentle touch. He trembled like a virgin relishing her first kiss. Would he eventually forget the sound of her soft voice?

Jake couldn’t live like this. Earth without Lisa would be as cold and desolate as Pluto. He vowed to search for her. He needed to know if she survived. A horrifying thought crept into his mind like a swarm of stampeding centipedes. What if she suffered the same fate as the seven billion others?

He rubbed the photo against his chest with violent motions like an irritated student hoping to erase an error from a page. He preferred to cling to diminishing hope because the alternative…..

Jake shut his moist brown eyes.

It would be easier to stop breathing than to live another day without her.

  • – Jake Cross is the main character of my manuscript/screenplay Paradox.

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Do Fiction Writers Live Vicariously Through Their Characters?

Yes, I do.

Remember the last time someone acted a bit snarky with you at the supermarket or on line at the local bank. Have you replayed a moment like that in your mind wishing you had said something clever? Well, one of my secondary characters in my manuscript Paradox, his name is Razor, always has a wry remark ready. Yes, and I grit my teeth and shake my fist every time he says the clever line that’s never discharged from my mouth.

Do I Live vicariously through my characters?

YES, yes, yes. I admit it. With no shame or guilt. My characters accomplish all the things that I never could. They lead exciting lives traveling the world, sipping on the finest champagne, making love to the most beautiful women, and most importantly; overcoming every obstacle. And trust me, I make it hard for them!

Andrew Duran the mysterious fugitive with the secretive past; skilled in combat and in bed. Veyda the unselfish warrior determined to save mankind, ready to sacrifice her own happiness to save the world. These guys are filled with such passion. Theirs lives are extraordinary.

So, I admit my characters bring excitement to my life. And why not? They are the most interesting people I know.

Do you live through vicariously through your characters?

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Rejection

Without a doubt this is the most whined about topic in writing forums. When I receive a rejection letter there are two thoughts that automatically come to my mind. 1) My query didn’t induce enough enthusiasm in the agent for them to request a sample of my work. 2) The first five pages (my brief sample included in the submission) contained faults or weaknesses that lead the agent to conclude the novel is unmarketable (or worse. LOL). There are many reasons why an agent may not want to see your work; not currently looking for that genre, already has too many writers, etc. I prefer to be hard on myself and take the blame.

My attitude: my work or presentation could have been better. We as writers need to be honest with ourselves when it comes to the rejection. Taking on this attitude can only make us better writers and marketeers. Blaming the literary agents may be easier, but that doesn’t force us to view our own work with a critical eye. Were your first five pages as tight as they can be? Is your hook strong enough to attract interest? Are you presenting this manuscript in the right way?

For me, the most difficult and frustrating part of this process is not receiving any feedback. Not knowing what part of your presentation query, sample pages, or synopsis lacked appeal makes it so challenging. The process as it currently stands, leaves you trapped in the twilight zone (or in a lonely literary hell like a car caught in a ditch of mud and unable to escape). It is a shame agents don’t use a response form letter with a list of options they could check off to inform you what they didn’t like. For example; weak query, synopsis vague, writing not up to par, too many typos or errors,or even a simple I don’t like you. (I’ll accept any kind of criticism at this point). As crude as this may seem, it would provide invaluable information.

Any kind of input would be great as long as it isn’t destructive criticism (see photo).

What do you think?

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Mabus: The Nucleus of Evil

Mabus strolled through the courtyard behind his Ziggurat Palace admiring the green plants and colorful flowers. Their delicious fragrance reminded him so much of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. He plucked a leafy flower to sniff its multi-colored petals. Relishing its fresh scent, he ignored the wilting stem. He entered a private cemetery. Walking past the small tombstones that marked his failures, he whispered, “Why did the flowers have to die?”

His mind wandered to the distant past, recalling the horrific fate of his wife and five children. A heinous act the aliens made him watch. His enemies offered to spare his young heirs, if he agreed to relinquish his kingdom. Mabus declined and his adversaries showed no mercy. One by one they dismembered his family. Even as his children’s cries tormented his ears and their warm blood splattered his anguished face, he refused to concede.

The atrocious memory remained lodged in his soul like an annoying nail hammered into his skull. The ultimate sacrifice saved the kingdom and the planet Sumer. Now, thousands of years later here on Earth, he refused to permit the human epidemic to contaminate his conquest. He needed to protect his people and the children from the violent humans full of intolerance and hate. The revolting species must be eliminated.

Grounding the little flower in his powerful hand, Mabus walked away, vowing to protect his community as the waning cries of his children echoed in his recollection.

  – Mabus is the antagonist in my novel/screenplay trilogy Paradox

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Andrew Duran: Forever in the Shadows

Ocean waves stroked the tranquil beach as a warm breeze rustled idle palm leaves. Moonlight glistened off of the barrel  of his Smith and Wesson radiating its own personal glow. The scene appeared as natural as the shifting tides or setting sun; as normal as the death and betrayal that punctuated his godforsaken life.

Scratching his stubble covered face; Andrew Duran considered his environment and the ungodly events that brought him here. Time may wane the pain of this treason. His memory might fade as years go by, but he would never forgive their treachery. His square jaw moved as he ground his teeth in rage. Unwavering hatred grew like an unholy tumor, consuming the goodness that once resided inside him, eradicating the man that once existed.

No one could see it coming. They framed a true American hero and labeled him a traitor. Duran should have expected it; his eyes had seen the forbidden. Destined to a life on the run, hunted by the very government that made him, he swore he would never trust again. He expected his past to haunt him.

His enemies would eventually come for him. Here on the shores of Communist Cuba, an island condemned to live in shadows, Andrew Duran would wait for them.

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  •    – Andrew Duran is the protagonist of my novel/screenplay thriller The Exterminator’s Diary