Books by Melissa Bowersock

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Memorial Day Special

I think we all love Memorial Day. It signals the start of summer, the start of vacations and fun in the sun. But often we forget the real reason behind the holiday. Who among us does not have one of the Greatest Generation in our families? It's true that World War II is vanishing into the past more and more with every year that passes. But it's also true that the stories lived then, the lives lost then, should never be forgotten. On this Memorial Day, as all others, we honor our warriors, we honor our fallen, we honor those called on to stand tall in the face of oppression. 

My aunt, Marcia Gates, was one of those. Captured by the Japanese on Corregidor in the Philippines, she became a prisoner-of-war. Interned in a makeshift POW camp, she endured captivity, endured starvation, endured life-threatening medical issues. She endured. I wonder how many of us could do the same? 

To commemorate Memorial Day and my aunt's own quiet courage, the ebook of her story is on sale for just 99 cents through May 31, 2019. 

In addition, the audio book is also available, and the narration by Adrianne Price gives the story a heartrending poignancy. 

The stories of the Greatest Generation must not be forgotten. Their sacrifices must not be forgotten. Please  join me in remembering these courageous patriots on this Memorial Day. They fought to keep our country free--and our world.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Keeping the BACK in Back Story

libraryRecently I stumbled across this post for Stephen King’s top 20 rules for writers. I can agree with most of them, and one in particular about research really struck a chord with me for a couple of reasons.
18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”
Reading this was a cautionary reminder for me. I was writing a novel about an archaeologist, and at the same time I was doing volunteer work with an archaeology group, cataloging artifacts from a dig in 1000-year-old ruins. My experience there was ramping up my authenticity, providing insight into the work of my protagonist and giving me a worthy foundation on which to build my story. It was also firing my imagination and revving my brain in ways I have to curb.
Along with my cataloging work in the lab, I had taken classes in ancient industries: cordage-making, weaving, pottery-making. Every day in the lab and every class gave me insight into the workings of an ancient village, and each time I  came away with a giddy determination to use what I’ve learned. I loved the fact that I could write authentically about this. The authenticity would bring weight to the book that I could not have imagined.
But when I started thinking about how I was going to introduce all this new-found knowledge, the bubble of excitement popped. I began to imagine my protagonist, a college professor/archaeologist, giving pointers to her students as they survey an ancient site. Imparting knowledge. Pop-quizzing. And the feeling rapidly changed from excitement to dull heaviness.
The research had completely overshadowed the story.
Interestingly enough, I’ve read quite a few techno-thrillers lately that suffer from the same malady. Paragraph after paragraph of the evolution of political factions and regimes, long names teased out of jumbled acronyms, even the design and workings of futuristic guns, aircraft, etc. Some of the books have begun to read more like textbooks than novels. I find it very distracting when the narrative suddenly changes from telling the story to bringing me up to speed on the latest gadget. I understand that books of this nature have a ton of background information and that the reader really does need a rudimentary understanding, but the real trick is working it subtly into the story so it’s not droning from the lectern.
Luckily for me, after getting kicked in the head from these two different angles, I could go back to my story and let it unfold organically. The knowledge and information are there in my brain, and if called on, can be worked into the story. IF called on. If not, then it stays in my brain, enriching my life but not taking over my novel. Stephen’s right. Back story belongs in the back. It’s settings, props, but not the main characters. I may have to bookmark this post so I can remind myself often.
Originally published by Indies Unlimited on April 14, 2015.

Monday, May 6, 2019

New Release: Predator Walk

Where have Sam and Lacey been? If you've been asking that question, I have the answer. They've been busy with a new and very surprising case. Here's the deal:

When medium Sam Firecloud and his partner, paranormal investigator Lacey Fitzpatrick, are called in on a new case, it appears to be a normal haunting, if there is such a thing. But neither is prepared for the effect this ghost has on Lacey, nor the ripple effect through their own relationship. Suddenly it’s not just sending a lost spirit on its way that concerns them, but Lacey’s own mental and emotional health, and—perhaps—the future of their partnership.

I'm happy to announce Book 19 of the popular series, Predator Walk, a story that becomes alarmingly personal for both Lacey and Sam. To celebrate the launch, Predator Walk is only 99 cents through May 12, 2019 (just in time for Mother's Day?).  

Not yet familiar with Lacey and Sam? Ghost Walk, Book 1 of the series, is always just 99 cents. And don't forget that Ghost Walk, Skin WalkStar Walk and Dream Walk are all available as audio books, as well.