Friday, July 8, 2011

Martin Sharlow - Shades of Blood

Please join me in welcoming author, Martin Sharlow, as today's guest blogger. :)
I am thrilled to have him stop by and visit. He is also giving away an ebook copy of his recent book, Shades of Blood. Leave him a comment to participate.


I want to thank you for having me here.

One of the things I like to do in a lot of what I write, is mix reality with fantasy. Now I know most books and movies attempt to do that, and some succeed. Yet, how many scary movies do we see people do things that no one in their right mind would ever do if they had ever watched any horror. Too many times, it just seems the people in the show or book really aren't in the real world. So with my books I try to think of how someone would actually react in any situation. I think I'm a pretty good judge of people, and so I try to give the personalities of people I know to my characters. They're not always 100% correct, but they're close enough for me to recognize.

The same goes for locations. My current series is based in Hazel Dell Washington. It's kind of like a suburb or unincorporated town just outside Vancouver Washington. Every landmark I give in the series actually exists. As an example, the park that a lot of crazy stuff happens at is here in Hazel Dell. I chose it specifically because it's supposed to be haunted in real life. I went there myself, and sure enough the place just didn't feel right. We even had a couple of amateur ghost hunters stakeout the place and get some pretty weird pictures and sounds. So, it may very well actually be haunted.

That's why I chose that park. I actually had in mind that maybe one day someone may actually go to some of these places because of my books. I thought it would be cool if they could actually see where all the events took place. Even the restaurant where Melissa works is there. I actually can't think of any place in the book that does not really exist. So I hope some of the fans of the series will appreciate that someday. It really helps with the visualization for writing purposes. I would suggest any writer if you're having difficulty coming up with scenes for your book, find some place you know, even in your past, and use it. It does wonders, I mean look at Lord of the Rings. The film looked around the world for a place that was as close to Middle Earth as they could find.

At least with me it helps, and I also find it actually makes writing more fun for me. It's funny, how whenever I drive through the area in town that Melissa lives and works at, I now feel like I'm passing through her section of town. I almost feel like I could just walk up to her door and knock, and she would be there. It's a real weird feeling. I'm sure my family is sick of me pointing out, “hey look, we're in Melissa's neighborhood.”

I hope that gives your readers a little inside peek into my life and my writing habits. But I really would suggest converting real world places that you've been into your book, if you're having difficulties coming up with scenes. I want to thank you again for having me here, I really appreciate it.

Shades of Blood

"Melissa, Michael and Debbie's evening of celebration and victory ends with a chilling realization: something out there is still taking people off of the quiet streets of Hazel Dell. While searching for answers, Melissa's other friend, Sarah, is dragged into the mess with them. and soon Melissa must divide her time between solving the mystery of the disappearances, figuring out what it means to have a vampire boyfriend, and finding a way to protect both of her friends from the new and unknown dangers of Portland's nightlife. But even if Melissa can muster the strength and resolve to try, can she really protect the people she cares about from vampires and the monsters that still lurk in Hazel Dell Park, when even Michael is keeping dangerous secrets from her? What do Melissa's dreams mean? Who are the robed men that slink through the shadows of Hazel Dell? And just what isn't Michael telling her about vampire blood? Melissa must discover the answers to all of these questions herself, or even her vampire protector might not be able to save her and her friends from the dangers that stalk through the shadows of Hazel Dell. Shades of Blood is book two of Shades of Twilight. "


Emmy said...

I really like reading books that take place in a place I know. I think it is super awsome that you take so much time and thought in making sure you have a real settings for your books. :)

Voss Foster said...

I remember Hazel Dell. It was a beautiful little city and the people there were so sweet. The firehouse there actually let however many hundred people showed up to march in the parade a couple years ago flood them--and then they fed them. Just because that's what they did.

I love it when books are set in Washington and, just like Emmy, in places I know.

Martin said...

I agree Emmy. It is cool when authors use real places. Before "Twilight", I'm not sure I would of used a real place. I even went up for one of the tours there. It was pretty cool.

Voss you've been there? That's cool! I really wondered if anyone would have ever been there would read the books. I like Hazel Dell a lot as well, that's why I choose it. Seemed like a good place to put Melissa in.