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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post & Giveaway - The Cypress Trap by J.C. Gatlin

The Cypress Trap
Author: J.C. Gatlin

Book Description:
When Rayanne commandeers her husband’s weekend fishing trip, she knows it’ll take work to adjust Owen’s attitude. She has no choice. Since the tragedy, they lost so much. They need to reconnect. Without her knowledge, Owen texts his best buddy, Daryl, to join the getaway. The three of them aren’t alone in the backwoods of Georgia, though. Owen took something that didn’t belong to him. Something that changed their lives. And now the owner wants it back. By any means -- including a posse led by a killer dog. At first, Rayanne is clueless about the item and its value. One thing becomes crystal clear: If it’s not returned, they might not make it home alive.

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De-Zombiefy Your Brain: 3 tips to knock-out writer’s block

Sometimes I’m so in the zone and writing so fast and furious that my fingers can’t type fast enough. Then there’s yesterday… I don’t think I could have written a grocery list.

It seems like the creative process in novels have a natural momentum, at least for me anyway. The first draft always writes itself. The words just flow; the story just goes naturally where it wants to go. There is no discipline, and absolutely zero concern for narrative shifts, or the overuse of adverbs and pet words, or character names changing halfway through the book. First drafts are generally fun to write but rarely fun to read.

I spent last weekend revising a second draft of an upcoming murder mystery. As I sat on the couch with my laptop in my lap, I discovered I’d been zombiefied. In other words, I was brain dead with the dreaded Writer’s Block. So instead, I thought about a few ways to re-energize.

1. Hit the treadmill and focus on one scene
I like to write out a scene outline on a large flip chart sheet of paper then tack it to the wall in front of my treadmill. Once I can adequately stare at page on the wall, I hit the treadmill for 30 minutes and focus on the scene. Playing out dialogue and structure in my head as sweat drips down it seems to break through my writer’s block. Obviously jogging releases endorphins, which make you feel good,  but a solid cardiovascular work-out pushes blood through your brain and body too. It de-zombiefies you, so to speak. I often find myself back at the laptop shortly after any light exercise.

2. Get out of the house and write
Shake it up. Personally, I like to go to a crowded location with lots of people and noise — such as the food court at the mall or a local fast food restaurant — and set up shop. I spread out my papers and laptop and note pads and pens. I take over an entire table, and people watch and eavesdrop. But, it generally works. I’ll be blowing through a scene and not even aware of time passing .Since I live alone, that activity is stimulating my zombie brain and pushing me past the writer’s block. For writers who live in a crowded, noisy house,  the opposite is probably true. They like serene picnic areas by the lake and secluded tree houses that look down on scenic, inspirational views. To each his own, I guess.

3. Put the current project away and dust off an old story
When treadmill and the food court just don’t clear the cobwebs out of my head, I resign to surrendering the current project and switching tracks. Personally I have about 20 different murder mystery manuscripts in various stages of completion. Digging an old story out of the archive — especially one that I haven’t touched in a couple of years — can spark the creative bonfire. When that happens, I’ll work on that old story for a few weeks  to a month, then come back to my current project with fresh eyes. I often find the writer’s block is a bottleneck in the plot that I instinctively know isn’t working, but either don’t see it at the time or can’t write my way out of it. Coming back to the story after a short break brings clear skies and a clear head, and the proper path for the plot is right there waiting for me.

Of course, I didn’t attempt any of these exercises to knock out writer’s block this weekend, and just simply embraced the affliction and turned on the TV. Appropriately, there was a ‘Walking Dead’ marathon on AMC.

It was a good weekend after all. 

About the Author
JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida. In addition to regular fishing trips, he wrote a monthly column for New Tampa Style Magazine, then began penning several mystery/suspense stories. He also maintains a blog about the art of spinning a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat mystery yarn. Coming from a large family with five brothers, JC grew up in Grapevine -- a small Texas town just outside of Dallas. He moved to Tampa in 1999, and most of his stories feature the rich landscapes of Texas and Florida as backdrop.

Author Links:
Website ¦ Amazon Page ¦ Goodreads


$10 Amazon Gift Card (INT).
Ends Oct. 28th
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  1. Question to the author: If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

  2. Thank you so much for hosting a tour stop!

  3. Such a simple cover to hide a mystery. Seems a lot of authors like activity and noise going on around them.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. The Cypress Trap sounds great. Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you

  5. Awesome blog, thank you for sharing.

  6. Great post! I want to know more about the book!

  7. Great post! I want to know more about the book!

  8. Very interesting post thank you. Curse those zombies!!!