Updates from May, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Pat Bertram 6:33 pm on May 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Numerology, , Three   

    I entered an online writing contest in November 2007. Deborah J. Ledford, author of Staccato, finished ninth out of more than 300 entries. Lazarus Barnhill, author of The Medicine People finished tenth. I finished eleventh with my novel More Deaths Than One. Now all three of the books are being released by Second Wind Publishing. (More Deaths Than One and The Medicine People are available now, Staccato will be available in July.)

    Three authors finishing consecutively in a contest ending up with the same publisher? I do know that three is a powerful number, representing that which is solid, real, substantial, complete and entire. In numerology 9 + 10 + 11 add up to 30 and 3 + 0 = 3. And three in numerology signifies creativity, great verbal skills, and imagination. Sounds like the characteristics of writers, doesn’t it?

    It seems as if this should mean something, but I don’t know what.

    • Sheila Deeth 7:29 pm on May 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Oh wow! That’s so neat. Great advertisement for Second Wind publishing and Second Wind authors. Congratulations! (And yes, three is a wonderful number.)

      Now to save up so I can get The Medicine People and Staccato, since I already know I love More Deaths than One.

      • Pat Bertram 8:48 pm on May 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve read The Medicine People, and it’s one of the best book I’ve come across in a long time. Now I’m looking forward to reading Staccato.

  • Pat Bertram 6:21 pm on May 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Deborah J. Ledford, Lacey Took a Holiday, Lazarus Barnhill, , The Medicine People   

    My guest today on Bertram’s Blog is Lazarus Barnhill, author of the wonderful and profound Lacey Took a Holiday and The Medicine People, available from Second Wind Publishing. Laz talks about destiny, which is a perfect topic for his guest appearance there on my blog. We met in November 2007 during an online writing contest (TruTV Search For the Next Great Crime Writer Contest on Gather.com) where we finished consecutively  — 10th and 11th — out of over three hundred entries. Now we are colleagues again — this time at Second Wind Publishing.

    I’m not sure I believe in destiny, but it does seem odd to me that more than a year after crossing paths during that contest, we would meet again as fellow authors. Even more interesting, Deborah J. Ledford, author of Staccato, who finished 9th in that contest is also getting published by Second Wind. Deborah’s involvement with Second Wind isn’t coincidental, since she submitted her novel because of my positive experience, but that doesn’t rule out destiny. If there is such a thing.

  • Pat Bertram 10:35 pm on May 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Harley Jane Kozak, The Favor   

    The other day on Facebook, I noticed that I had a friend request from Harley Jane Kozak. Even if you don’t know who she is, you know who she is — she was Billy Crystal’s ex-wife in When Harry Met Sally, Dr. Suzanne Carter in Necessary Roughness, Susan Buckman in Parenthood. She was in untold episodes of television series (including L.A. Law where I first saw her) and she played opposite Bill Pullman in The Favor, one of my favorite movies.

    I had no illusion that Harley Jane Kozak really wanted to be my friend (I was sure her publicity agent or internet guru was the one working the site). Ms. Kozak is a writer now, and like most writers is trying to publicize her books on Facebook. Still, it made me smile to think that the lovely woman with the lovelier hair wanted to be my friend. I left her a message saying I was pleased to meet her, and she responded (or rather her guru did) and that was the end of it.

    Until today. Today I noticed that she joined my facebook fan page, and is now a fan of mine.

    You gotta love Facebook.

  • Pat Bertram 10:22 pm on May 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    I have much better luck with having guests on my blog than I do with being a guest. Out of the dozen or so guest spots I’ve done, two misspelled my name, one lost the article, two didn’t post it, two posted it late, and one had me rewrite the bloggery because it wasn’t what she had in mind. I think I’ll stick to my own blogs. At least until the next time someone asks me to be a guest.

  • Pat Bertram 4:07 pm on May 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hero, , self-empowerment, transformation   

    In the hero’s story, the hero discovers she has a problem. She attempts action and, though she gives it all she has, she is beaten by the problem. She gains a deeper understanding of the problem, then tries again, exhausting all possibilities she knows. All that is left is what she doesn’t know. Finally, some event occurs or some person says something that awakens the hero to the possibility that there is another way to think, another way to be, which triggers a shift in the hero and enables her to confront the problem directly. So transformation is not only the re-creation of the hero as the owner of the situation, it is self-empowerment as well.

    Now if I can just figure out how to be transformed into an author who can solve the problem of how to sell a ton of books!

  • Pat Bertram 4:54 pm on May 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    About a year and a half ago, when I was still new to online discussions, I inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings. We were discussing writing (what else) and she mentioned that she couldn’t imagine writing a mystery because it seemed so hard. In my arrogance, I said that a mystery is easy because you know when you come to the end. She took it to be an insult, when I meant it as a compliment. If you aren’t writing a mystery or a romance or some other genre where a certain ending is more or less expected, how do you know when you’ve come to the end of the book? It must be so much harder to write a book when there is no set place to end it. I always felt bad about the exchange, and because of it, I’ve always remembered the fatal comment.

    So, this post is a way of expressing regret for a friendship cut short and to talk about endings, not just of friendships but of books. If you aren’t writing a book with an expected ending, how do you know when you’ve come to then end of your story?

  • Pat Bertram 10:28 am on May 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    On May 17, 2007, I – or rather, Pat Bertram — signed up for the Internet, and it was love at first byte. The entire world opened up to me, and I was reborn. I’d already written four books, but until I went online, I hadn’t started creating the author of those books. Who should I be?

    After two years, I am developing a bit of a name for myself. Okay, a couple of people know who I am. Still, I am young, only two years old, so who knows what the coming years will bring?

    To celebrate this online, I am having a party, and you are invited. No excuses. It’s a blog event, and blogs are forever, so stop by when you can.

    Pat Bertram is Two Years Old Today!

  • Pat Bertram 5:16 pm on May 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: birdness, birds, what it's like to be a bird   

    I used to read bird books to learn the names of birds until the day it dawned on me that these names are what humans call the birds — not what the birds call themselves — and hence could tell me nothing about “birdness.” Even studying the anatomy, habits, and habitats of birds didn’t tell me much — what do hearts and beaks and wings, nests, and flight patterns have to do with the essence of “birdness”? Then I went deeper and studied the quantumness of birds — the way the particles that make up their molecules seem to become waves and then . . . nothing. So, there is only one way left to find out what it is to be a bird, and that is to ask the birds themselves. But the birds aren’t answering.

  • Pat Bertram 8:32 pm on May 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Bones", DeForest Kelley, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Star Trek   

    Here is a treat for Star Trek fans. I have as a guest on Bertram’s Blog a fan of DeForest Kelley who ended up becoming like a daughter to him, and who took care of him at the end. She promises to respond to questions and comments.

    DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories, My Life and Time With a Remarkable Gentleman Actor

  • Pat Bertram 10:37 pm on May 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Review, Steven Clark Bradley   

    Reviewer Steven Clark Bradley, has been to or lived in 34 countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. He has a master’s degree in liberal studies from Indiana University. He speaks French and Turkish. He has been an assistant to a prosecutor, a university instructor and a freelance journalist. Bradley is the author of four novels, including Patriot Acts. Bradley writes:

    Why is Bob Stark being pursued by the henchmen of a shadowy multinational corporation? What does it have to do with his old friends from his brutal days of service in Vietnam? These are but a few of the exquisite and tantalizing questions and scenarios painted and which must be answered in Pat Bertram’s and excellent new novel, More Deaths Than One.

    Try to put yourself into Bob’s shoes. Your mother died more than 20 years ago and you actually attended her funeral, at that time. Then, you travel to South East Asia where you end up staying for eighteen years, only to return and discover that your long lost mom has just died again and another you is at her funeral. Sound startling, eerie or suspenseful? Believe me; if you start reading this tremendous read, you will not want to stop until it is completely finished. It is one of the best novels I have read in years.

    As a novelist, one of the most important things a writer must do is to grab the reader’s attention, on the first page. Pat Bertram’s novel, More Deaths Than One certainly hooked me immediately. Bertram has a natural talent and has created a story that gets readers deeply into the story and holds them. Her plot and her very realistic characters took my total concentration. The characters are so fascinating, attention-grabbing and human. By the end of the book, I felt as if I knew them well and for a long time. I am convinced that if the reading public learns about this spellbinding new novel, a very large number of people will want to read it and Pat Bertram will have a best seller. I consider her to be one of the smartest writers I have had the pleasure of meeting.

    I think we will read a lot more from this excellent storyteller, Pat Bertram. She has stated that when the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of books that are character and story driven novels, which can’t easily be slotted into a genre, she decided to write her own. She certainly achieved her goal, with More Deaths Than One. The residents of Pat Bertram’s native Colorado, where she is a lifelong resident have much to be proud of, from one of their own. There are many words that come to mind to describe this powerful and suspenseful novel, such as exciting, powerful, suspenseful or mesmerizing. But, without a doubt, the best word I can use to describe More Deaths Than One by Pat Bertram is nothing less than Superb.

  • Pat Bertram 8:00 pm on May 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "just a girl"   

    I was thinking today about how when I was young, girls were denied many priviledges that boys got, because of being “just a girl.” I hope that is a concept that is long buried. It was demeaning, and totally destructive. On the other hand, many girls were treated like princesses, though basically it came down to the same thing — overprotection.

  • Pat Bertram 7:53 pm on May 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: independent bookstore, indie publishers,   

    Second Wind Publishing is trying to open an independent bookstore in Winston-Salem, one geared primarily toward small publishers who publish books by a variety of authors. They would have a “best seller” rack for folks who just have to gratify the need of reading an homogenized book, but most of the offerings would be from indie publishers. Every few weeks they would feature a book signing with an indie author. This bookstore will be a triple business: a working art studio and gallery (with featured local artists and regular receptions), and a wineshop (North Carolina has 77 independent vineyards and most do not sell their wine offsite; these vintners are pretty much in the same shape as we independent publishers: a great quality product and not much serious consideration).

    So, here’s the question: would you be interested in selling your publications on consignment basis? Second Wind would pay for shipping and return all unsold books.

    Second Wind is also considering a nook for self-published books, which would also be sold on consignment, though the author would be responsible for shipping costs.

    • Kaolin Fire 1:43 pm on May 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds promising. 🙂 Email me and I’ll send you a PDF of GUD Magazine for consideration (print looks just like the PDF, 5×8″, ~ 200 pages, perfect bound). 🙂

      There’s not a large margin on GUD, but hopefully we can make a deal. 🙂 kaolin [at!] gudmagazine.com 🙂

      Some of our awards and honorable mentions:

      Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Painlessness’[3], Issue #2: Aurealis Awards (Best Horror Short Story, 2008) [4]
      Neal Blaikie, ‘Offworld Friends are Best’[5], Issue #2: Locus Recommended Reading List, 2008 [6]

      Stories from GUD Issues 0 and 1 received 3 honorable mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Awards 2008[7]:
      Steven J. Dines’s “Unzipped”
      Sarah Singleton and Chris Butler’s “Songs of the Dead”
      Leslie Claire Walker’s “Max Velocity”

  • Pat Bertram 9:45 am on May 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blood transfusions, horse's blood, war   

    People have been asking me about the atrocities I mention in A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and I am sorry to say that they all happened. Some people have accused me of having a convoluted mind, but the truth is there is no way I would have ever considered the possibility of transfusing humans with horses blood. (Just to mention one example.) I can’t even imagine the sort of person who would think of that. Oh, yes, I can. A scientist. One who thinks s/he’s solved the problem of lack of transfusable blood during a war.

  • Pat Bertram 9:43 pm on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    I just finished uploading More Deaths Than One to Smashwords. What a pain! But at least it is now available in all e-book formats. And you can read the first 30% free. More Deaths Than One on Smashwords

  • Pat Bertram 1:01 pm on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Vietnam,   

    Our darlings are all those bits that we hate to part with. We think they add to the story, but in reality all they do is slow it down. In my novel, More Deaths Than One, I had my hero Bob going to a Vietnam Vet support group and listening in, but I had to kill the discussion because it served no purpose. So here, for you, I am unkilling it:

    Marvin’s voice rose in anger. “My kid came home from school the other day and told me we lost in Vietnam because the American military did not know jungle warfare.”

    “Horseshit,” Frank said. “We didn’t lose. We left.”

    “After winning every major battle,” Dolph added. “But, like Korea, it was not a war. We were only supposed to be there, a presence, until the people who make those kinds of decisions got what they wanted.”

    Gaston leaned forward. “Even if you Yanks didn’t know jungle warfare, we Australians did. We’re tough and well trained, and are some of the best jungle fighters in the world. Everyone seems to have forgotten we were in Vietnam, too. So were thirty thousand Canadians, though I’m not sure how much they knew about jungle warfare.”

    “But the South Koreans did,” Dolph said. “Man, those guys were really good at hand-to-hand combat. I’m glad they were on our side. So were the Chinese mercenaries, the Nungs, and they definitely knew jungle warfare. There were also some French soldiers who remained after France pulled out of the country.”

    “That’s beside the point. We Americans”—Frank pounded the air using his fist as a hammer—“know jungle warfare. What the hell do they think we were doing in World War Two? Much of that action took place in jungles—Burma, the Philippines, the South Pacific, to name a few. And the OSS was already in Vietnam back then, helping the Viet Minh fight the Japanese. While the OSS was teaching the Viet Minh modern warfare, the Viet Minh were teaching the OSS their way of fighting. So anyone who says we lost because we didn’t know jungle warfare is full of shit.”

    Marvin made balloons of his cheeks, then blew out the air. “I tried telling my kid that, but he wouldn’t believe me. I hate to think what other crap they’re teaching him.”

    • Sheila Deeth 12:34 pm on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Neat piece. Do you keep the bits you cut to reuse somewhere else, or do they just become part of the world that you know and readers just view through the window of the book?

      • Pat Bertram 12:45 pm on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Sheila, I have whole chapters I have taken out of books, chapters that I like, but that introduce characters who were removed from the story. A couple of them would work as the beginning of a new novel if I ever decide to go that way. I have bits of research that were taken out because they ruined the flow of the story. Those I will eventually post somewhere. Odd, as careful as I am to only include that which is important to the story, and as slowly as I write, I still ended up with scads of words, paragraphs, scenes on my “cutting room floor.”

  • Pat Bertram 10:57 am on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Vince Gotera   

    I am guest blogging at Vince Gotera’s blog “The Man with the Blue Guitar.” I am “Puzzling Out Promotion.” I have a feeling I am missing a piece of the promotion puzzle, and maybe you can help me figure out what it is. At least stop by and say hi. Puzzling Out Promotion

  • Pat Bertram 9:06 pm on May 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: first day of school, new blog, Notebooks   

    This is so cool. Is there anything more fun that starting a new blog? It’s like the first day of school, and all those wonderfully empty notebooks and new pens. Of course, the passing days ruined the joy, and those pens ruined the notebooks, but still, for a short time, anything seemed possible.

    • Jill Lynn 6:03 am on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Love school supplies! Now you have me thinking I should start a blog since you made the comparison to my beloved school supplies. Question is: Will this new WordPress accept my comments, or dump me in spam?

      • Pat Bertram 10:41 am on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        It did both — one comment got dumped in spam and one went through. I don’t understand it, but you have the honor of being both the first commenter on this new blog and the first spammer. Lucky you!

    • Jill Lynn 6:04 am on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Love school supplies! Now you have me thinking I should start a blog since you made the comparison to my beloved school supplies.

    • Jill Lynn 3:47 pm on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve figured it out, Pat. WordPress puts me in spam when I use my website URL in the signature line. Well, hmph. I won’t use it in my signature then. But I will do this:

      Take that, WordPress!

      • Pat Bertram 6:35 pm on May 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Jill, glad you figured it out! I didn’t know you had a website (good one, too). Can a blog be far behind?

  • Pat Bertram 9:00 pm on May 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Epidemic, Pandemic,   

    Second Wind Publishing is spotlightling my novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire this week. The story is oddly relevant right now, in that it tells the story of people living through an epidmic of a deadly flu-like disease. Colorado is quarantined to keep the outbreak from turning into a pandemic. I wish I could say that the horrors of the quarantine and martial law are figments of my imagination, but the truth is they are based on executive orders that Clinton signed. If such an event does transpire, it will not be a pleasant experience.

  • Pat Bertram 7:42 pm on May 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bertram's Blog, ,   

    I already have more blogs than I can possibly keep up with, but I like the idea of a blog that can be updated frequently like Twitter. Also, my other blogs seem to be filling up with guests, and it seemed an easier task to start a new blog just for myself than to reclaim my original ones. Incidentally, my main blog is Bertram’s Blog.

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