Friday, January 30, 2015

Guest Blog: Dark Prophecy by Ann Gimpel


Thanks very much for inviting me back to guest blog. Hugs and appreciation! Since I muffed your last suggested topics, I’ll try to keep this one on track.

How does my psychology background bear on my writing career?

Interesting question. The easiest answer would relate to how I build characters and write dialogue, because God knows I’ve heard damn near everything in my practice over many years. But when I turned the question over a few times, what I came up with was quite different from writing craftsmanship.

The short answer is that my psychology background has been critical to many aspects of my writing career. I suppose it would also generalize to whatever I decided to do if I quit writing. What do I mean by that? Well, part of therapy training is learning to read people. 

Who they are. What drives them, and most importantly how to get along with them.

I’ve met many different personalities in the few short years I’ve been writing. Between authors, publishers, cover artists, and editors, there’s quite a spectrum of people. One thing they all have in common, though, is varying levels of an artistic personality. So they can be hard to get along with. I suppose I can be too—if you catch me on a bad day.

To be candid, I’ve probably used more of my psychology background defusing interpersonal challenges than I have developing memorable characters. The characters are easy—at least most of the time. Avoiding a minefield of potential hurt feelings isn’t. Let me toss a few questions out there:

How do you tell a cover artist you don’t like their cover?

How do you give another author feedback that their masterpiece has plot holes big enough to pilot a 747 through? Or their dialogue is wooden?

How do you tell an editor that her suggestion doesn’t meet CMoS?

And the list could get a whole lot longer.

Something that should be simple—we’re all adults here, right—often turns into a trauma laden drama. I developed a thick skin about my writing a long time ago. When I switched careers, my first take was I was a rank neophyte and wanted all the feedback I could gather. Listening carefully has made me a much better writer. It took me a while to figure out that many authors may say they want feedback, but they don’t. Not really. What they want is for me to tell them what they wrote is the next Outlander. I’ve gotten very careful about who I’m willing to offer editorial suggestions to.

And so it goes.

One thing I will say is I’ve never been sorry I picked psychology as a major. It’s a great help when I need perspective. The other plus is people feel safe talking with me. It’s a good call since we psychological types could double as human vaults.

Thanks again for hosting me. I’d love to answer any questions about psychology as a career that show up in comments.





Dark Prophecy
Soul Storm
Book 1
Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Dream Shadow Press

Release Date: 12/11/14
Available for pre-order early December

Genre: Urban Fantasy

When the dream world spills its murky contents, everyone’s worst nightmares run free.

Book Description:

Dr. Lara McInnis reads auras and flirts with an elusive ability to foretell the future. Ambivalent about the magic within her, she’s done a fine job ignoring other aspects of her power—until now. After several patients—and a student or two—describe the same cataclysmic dream, she uncovers ancient evil intent on draining her power. Lara knows next to nothing about her psychic side, but it will destroy her if she can’t come to terms with it.

Trevor Denoble has secrets, but he shields them well with a stunning body and a boatload of British charm. The airline he works for folds because there’s no fuel for the planes, and Lara’s changing into someone he barely recognizes. Though he doesn’t know it yet, the rest of his carefully crafted life is about to come crashing down too. 

Living in a world teetering on the edge of anarchy, Trevor and Lara are faced with a series of painful decisions. Is the love between them enough for Trevor to swallow his distrust of Lara’s burgeoning paranormal ability? Will their personal demons tear them apart in a world gone mad, as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate?


Book Trailer http://youtu.be/H2mtTvxkrT4


Excerpt:

…Hours later, Lara let herself out of her office, reached back in to activate the alarm, and then locked the door behind her. Arabel had gone home at six. Normally her receptionist left a note if there was something she needed to communicate. Tonight there hadn’t been any notes because there weren’t any patients she needed to call. But there had been a few zucchinis from Arabel’s lovingly-tended garden. Lara was grateful, both for the organic produce and for the lack of patient-related affairs to attend to. She was tired and hoped nobody had a crisis that evening.
She double-checked the pager that lived clipped to her belt. As she moved away from the front door of her building, she stumbled. The outside light was out—when had that happened?—and it was very dark in the shadows of the cavernous front porch. She made a grab for the railing to steady herself and took a tentative step toward the street.
“Stop right there,” a familiar harsh voice boomed from behind her.
“Mr. Beauchamp. That is you, isn’t it?” Alarm ricocheted through her, but she knew intuitively it was important to hide her fear. “What do you want?” Though she aimed for nonchalance, her voice sounded thin and shaky. Is it Ken? Aw, Jesus, who else could it be? She closed her eyes, gathering data from an unseen realm she knew well. Once her energies were focused, she discerned his twisted energy field throbbing against the darkness. Better the devil you know flashed through her mind. Not necessarily came close on its heels, as she realized, with a sinking feeling, that Ken Beauchamp really was dangerous. She’d known it the first time he walked into her office, but drawn in by his wife’s soft helplessness, she’d ignored her concerns, compassion overriding common sense.
“I want to talk. No, don’t turn around.” The man’s voice held menace as it sliced into her tumbling thoughts.
“What do you want to talk about, Mr. Beauchamp?” With effort, she kept her voice steady. “Surely whatever it is can wait until tomorrow. You really do need to call my office and make an appointment.” There, that seems like about the right amount of bravado.
“What did you tell my wife today? When you were in the bathroom. You’d better tell me the truth.”
“Are you threatening me? Because if you are, I’ll call the cops and have you thrown off my property.” Anger was rapidly displacing her fear—or at least coexisting with it. She reached a hand into her bag in search of her phone.
“That wouldn’t be smart, Doc, not very smart at all. Take your hand out of that purse.”
Ken Beauchamp’s voice was mild, but an ominous undertone chilled her. Sweat gathered in her armpits and dripped down her sides. Think! she commanded herself. There’s got to be a way out of this.
“Well, Doctor?” Ken’s voice oozed sarcasm, with undercurrents of something darker and far more primal. “I asked you a simple question. Answer it and we can both go home.”
What was he doing? Lara dug deeper with her hyper-honed senses. His breathing seemed…uneven. Was he getting off by intimidating her?
Something clicked ominously. The snick of a gun’s safety mechanism? What else could that cold metallic snapping sound possibly be? Fighting fear that threatened to paralyze her, Lara asked, “How’s Bethany, Mr. Beauchamp? She’s all right isn’t she?” Despite her concerns for herself, Lara was suddenly frantic about Bethany.
“That’s none of your business anymore. We won’t be back. I just want to know what you told her today.”
“Why is that important to you?”
“I ask the questions around here.” Yes, Lara thought as she listened intently, he was practically panting. Oh shit, this guy’s a pervert on top of all his other less-than-stellar attributes. She flirted with flying down the porch steps and trying to outrun him, except she had dress shoes on and her heavy shoulder bag. What if he really did have a gun? She hadn’t heard the metal click again.
A car pulled to the curb in front of her building and she started, heart beating like a mad thing. Christ, is it one of his henchmen come to help out? Practically moaning aloud, she wondered what Ken Beauchamp had in mind for her…




About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.





@AnnGimpel


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1 comment:

Ann Gimpel said...

Thanks a million for hosting me, Roxanne. And for a great guest post topic. I enjoyed thinking about it, as well as writing it.

 
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