Tag Archive | the ripple affair

Hospital Food, Broken Washer, and a Book Signing

It’s been a hectic month.

It started off with a phone call from my aunt and uncle.  A family friend of ours (my uncle’s mother) had died.  A few days later, I had to have an endoscopy.  A few days after that, I got a phone call in the middle of the night that my grandfather had a heart attack.  We were in the hospital for a week.  Then, after my grandfather came home, we had another emergency in the middle of the night last night.  Our washing machine decided to flood part of the basement, the laundry room, two closets, and part of the kitchen.  Not only that, but a large shipment of books I ordered for today’s book signing got delayed in the northeast because of all the snow that hit New York.

And worst of all, I RAN OUT OF MAKEUP BEFORE MY BOOK SIGNING.

I can’t tell you how horrific that is for me.  I didn’t even have time to stop at the grocery store to pick up more…(*cries*).

All of this within a week and a half.

Needless to say there was not enough caffeine in the universe to keep me wide awake and alert.  Between funeral preparations, caregiving for both my grandfather and grandmother, cleaning up the mess my washer made, searching high and low for any extra copies of “The Ripple Affair” I could get my hands on, and praying to the good Lord to find a pinch of foundation and cover stick to hide my zits, it seemed like fate was out to get me and I was having a stroke of bad luck.

It was frustrating to say the least.  I was tired, cranky, impatient, and feeling terrible.  I didn’t understand why so many bad things happened all at once.  Was this supposed to be some sort of sign that I shouldn’t have wrote a book?  Was this fate’s way of telling me taking a chance on being a writer was a terrible decision that I should’ve never made?

I arrived at my book signing this afternoon dreading it.  I was waiting for some other emergency to happen.  Books would probably fall in the snow puddles outside and be ruined.  The chocolate cake we ordered would probably be dropped and smushed.  Guests would undoubtedly skip the party and enjoy the first “warm” day we’ve had in days (it was above freezing today-that’s tropical weather where I’m at.)

I didn’t expect it to be a good party.  After so much bad, why would something good finally happen?

After the first guests started to arrive, though, I noticed that the party wasn’t going as bad as I thought.  We had enough books for the guests.  The cake and food were a hit with some guests going up for seconds.  And people showed up!  Friends and family arrived and had a great time socializing, discussing writing, and meeting new people.

By the end of the party, I found it to be one of the best get-together’s I’ve ever been to.  Any discouragement I had before was removed by the love and support of my family, friends, and guests who took time out of their day to spend a few hours supporting my dream.  I was so thankful for the people who were there and I will never forget the wonderful time I had with them today.  They made it so special!  I also got to meet some wonderful new people who were so kind to offer their support for “The Ripple Affair”.

Today taught me a valuable lesson; not about writing, but about life.  So many times we come across bumps in the roller coaster that’s life and we get bombarded with bad things.  A poor diagnosis.  A lost job.  The loss of someone we love.  Not getting a break.  Sometimes these events happen so close together that’s it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged, thinking that somehow we’re cursed or have bad luck and it’s never going to get better.

But life is like a roller coaster.  Just like how we can fall on our knees, we can also rise back up again.

After the night comes the day.  After winter comes spring.  After a storm comes a rainbow.  We all go through difficulties and hard times, but no matter what we go through, the bad times don’t last forever.  It may take a lot of prayer, patience, and chocolate, but the good moments in life will always step in to overtake the bad.

Also, a special note!

I’m now on Goodreads (under Erin Cruey).  Feel free to review my book or find me in the group chats and say hello.  🙂

Apparently Chivalry Isn’t Dead (At Least According to Sir Peterson)?

Typically, favorite characters in a story are easy to spot.

They’re the brave, brilliant hero/heroine like Katniss Everdeen.  They’re the snarky, sassy loud-mouth like Sheldon Cooper.  They’re the sweet and adorable comedian like Bolin.  Sometimes, they’re the crazy and clever villain like Jim Moriarty.  Favorite characters are pretty easy to spot because they’re popular, unique, and bring something important to the overall story they find themselves in.

So when I started hearing feedback from readers regarding my book, “The Ripple Affair”, I thought I had everyone’s favorite characters figured out.  I knew people would love Bernie.  She’s blunt, funny, smart, and real.  I also figured people would love Edward, with his emotional turmoil, and Malina, with her deceptive and clever manipulating skills.

But though I heard readers enjoyed these characters, there was one character who topped the “favorite’s list” above everyone else.

That character was Marcus Peterson.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I *love* Marcus.  He is one of my favorite characters because, frankly, he’s like my dream guy.  He’s brave, kind, loyal, and very chivalrous.  But as I was writing the story, I didn’t think readers would enjoy him that much.  In “The Ripple Affair”, he’s the heroic supporting character without a flaw about him.  If you’re familiar with the term “Mary Sue” (or “Gary Stu”, since Marcus is a guy), I was certain readers would put that label on him.  In Book One, he’s almost too perfect.  No mention of flaws, no great struggles to make him grow as a character, and certainly nothing to make you doubt his success as a knight in the royal guard.  Writing a series, I know Marcus does have flaws (which will come to light in later books), but “The Ripple Affair” doesn’t reveal them.

Confused as to why such a chivalrous and perfect character would be so popular, I decided to ask some readers why Marcus was their favorite.  Their answers were surprising.  “He stands up for what’s right.”  “He’s so chivalrous.”  “He’s not afraid to speak the truth.”  “He’s brave and has no problem going against the wrong.”  “He tells it like it is.”  “He’s so loyal.”

I grew up hearing from culture that “chivalry is dead”, but apparently it isn’t as dead as I once thought.

I learned a valuable lesson from my readers in this regard; not so much on the concept of chivalry and whether it still exists in the world or not, but that some readers still enjoy the brave and loyal hero character, flaws or not.  I wrote Marcus into the story thinking I’d be the only one who liked him, but I was wrong.  I’m not the only one who likes good and chivalrous heroes.  Other people do, too.

I’ll admit this makes me happy as my plans for Marcus in “The Ripple Affair” series were apparently on the right track.  I planned on giving him a bigger role in the story, and now that I know readers like him, it gives me that much more confidence in the stories to come.  I won’t reveal much on what happens later on in the series, but I will reveal that Marcus is going to have a very big role coming up and his past will be revealed in the up and coming Book Two, “Reign of Change.”

Oh!  One more thing.  The Kindle version of “The Ripple Affair” has been uploaded and is available for purchase at $2.99.  Right now, Amazon is in the process of linking the Kindle version and paperback version on their site, so if you type “The Ripple Affair” in the search box, you might not see it (the linking process usually takes 1-3 days.)  A link to the Kindle version of the book can be found here.

Thanks and have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone!