Building Suspenseful Sentences

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One of the best ways to keep readers turning the page is to keep them wondering about what will happen next.  The storyteller’s secret is the cat’s nemesis, curiosity.  In addition to a suspenseful storyline, build suspense into your sentences.  If a sentence is a message, handing over the message at the beginning of the sentence can result in a loss of interest.  The reader says, I get it so why are you wasting my time with more words?  If you deliver the goods at the back end, readers wait for a payoff, like searching for a surprise plastic cowboy in the bottom of a Cracker Jack Box.  More examples:  “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.”  “Looking back on my thirty years of work in business, knowing what I intended and the results, meditating on all the fads that came and went, and the state of the field today, I see clearly that I achieved practically nothing.” So you place words or phrases at the end of the sentence that no one could have predicted.  Here’s another example from my memoir (available on Amazon), Out of the Inferno:  A Husband’s Passage Through Cancerland:  “And in perpetual loyalty to the entire family, in the last package of photographs, Laurene included a snapshot of our larger-than-life cat, Brother Butterscotch.”  Take a front-end-loaded sentence from your own writing, and back-end-load a surprise ending.  This technique will 1) add variety to your writing, 2) emphasize your most important ideas, and 3) sustain reader interest.

Give Books for the Holidays

I am grateful for the wonderful feedback that has been arriving in person and by email from readers in this country and overseas.  Both Red Sky Anthology and Out of the Inferno, the first two of four books in my Red Sky Series, continue to be category best sellers on Amazon, and are selling on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Nobles and at local bookstores in northern Michigan. One of my readers purchased eight copies of Red Sky for Christmas gifts, another purchased a gift copy for her brother who wanted to know what it was like to live in northern Michigan.  Please consider purchasing one or both books at your favorite online or neighborhood book store!  And stay tuned.  Crooked River and The Lawnmower Club, my first two novels, will be published in 2017.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Up North!

 

How to Paint a Marriage

How to A Paint Marriage (for Dana and Chad, Married October 22, 2016, Temecula, CA)

He paints the curve of her mouth when she smiles, and the squint in her eyes when she laughs.

She paints how he looks when he hums a tune to the wind’s music.

He pictures the flowers he placed in her hair, the day rain kissed them.

She pictures the sunny stories he whispers to her in the warm night.

He watercolors the tones of her skin and hair with the beauty of her world.

She watercolors his glowing face when he sees the blushing clouds of evening put the bare sun to bed,

and the tiny sigh, the sigh she barely sees,

when he looks up to fathom the moon and infinite stars.

He brushstrokes the complexion of her hopes and dreams,

the shapes of her ambitions, and the palette of her desires.

She brushstrokes the hues of his interior mind, the contours of his body, and the angles of his repose, awake and asleep.

They draw and shade the lost spaces of what they separately were, and charcoal landscapes of new territories to be traveled together.

Their art never covers the expanding white canvas.  Unfinished space opens every day, no matter how filled in with something very like love, faith, sorrow, and joy.

They create a marriage in a boundless sea of color harmonies, spilling outside the lines—never forgotten, never finished, never framed, never hung on a wall—never a still life.

They find new friends, explore sand beaches, forests, fields, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, and keep close who and what they treasure.

They fashion the artwork of marriage—dabs of love, splashes of passion, etches of friendship, sketches of caring, squiggles of fun—loud, free, and overrun with dogs and cats.

They paint a life as theirs, the gift they give each other, like a temple built to last, even when grass grows up between the stones.

—Randy Evans

Kirkus Review Selects Memoir

Kirkus Review selects Out of the Inferno: A Husband’s Passage Through Cancerland for publication in their September 15 edition


5200 librarians, literary agents, and publishers subscribe to Kirkus.  Kirlus selects the top 10% of new releases for publication.  Please consider buying my memoir on Amazon or from your favorite independent bookseller, and let me know what you think!  Here’s a link to the review:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/0s7rozgaqduft5f/Kirkus_online_091516.pdf?dl=0

 

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Kirkus Review publishes Out of the Inferno book review

randyevansauthor.com

OUT OF THE INFERNO
A Husband’s Passage Through Cancerland
From the “Red Sky” series, volume 2
by Randy Evans
BUY NOW FROM
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
LOCAL BOOKSELLER

Kirkus Review, August 19, 2016

A memoir examines life, love, and cancer.

Laurene Evans was a fighter who spent 10 years battling breast cancer. Her husband was at her side, standing with her through the tests and chemotherapy, experiencing feelings of hope and despair. In this memoir, Randy Evans…documents the years he and his wife spent living with cancer, touching on everything from treatments to travel. The couple tried to keep their family life as normal as possible; they raised their four daughters, took trips to Europe, pursued job interests, and lived life to the fullest. Yet the specter of cancer was a continual presence, hovering like the proverbial other shoe just waiting to drop. Despite a skilled team of medical professionals…

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Blurb for Out of the Inferno from Dr. Theo Ross, a leading cancer warrior

Out of the Inferno is an eye-opening, honest memoir written by an author whose wife lived and died with cancer. Rarely have authors whose partners died of cancer taken the time and effort to put their experiences on paper for the rest of us. The powerful writing forces the reader to feel the good, the bad and the horrific while uplifting the reader with lessons learned. This unique book fills a gap in the cancer literature. I love this book.

Dr. Theodora Ross, M.D., Ph.D., Cancer Geneticist, Director, Cancer Genetics Program, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, author A Cancer in the Family

Kirkus Review publishes Out of the Inferno book review

OUT OF THE INFERNO
A Husband’s Passage Through Cancerland
From the “Red Sky” series, volume 2
by Randy Evans
BUY NOW FROM
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
LOCAL BOOKSELLER

Kirkus Review, August 19, 2016

A memoir examines life, love, and cancer.

Laurene Evans was a fighter who spent 10 years battling breast cancer. Her husband was at her side, standing with her through the tests and chemotherapy, experiencing feelings of hope and despair. In this memoir, Randy Evans…documents the years he and his wife spent living with cancer, touching on everything from treatments to travel. The couple tried to keep their family life as normal as possible; they raised their four daughters, took trips to Europe, pursued job interests, and lived life to the fullest. Yet the specter of cancer was a continual presence, hovering like the proverbial other shoe just waiting to drop. Despite a skilled team of medical professionals, aggressive treatment, and a deep desire to live, Laurene died in 2002. The period following her death became a time of anguish and healing for Evans as he mourned Laurene yet began to move on. This book is Evans’ effort to preserve his wife’s story and share “how we seek to discover strength and joy during difficult times.” In writing this account, the author also finds a way to use his hard-won wisdom to help others on their own journeys through Cancerland. As his wife’s caregiver, Evans remained in a position to fully understand the physical and emotional costs of cancer. His narrative refuses to shy away from the technical and often brutal side effects. He writes about his wife’s fragile bones snapping without cause and details a conversation concerning Laurene’s wishes for him to remarry after her death. His descriptive prose and powerful imagery (Evans needed a wheelchair to move the enormous stack of Laurene’s medical files from room to room) drive the story home. Throughout his wife’s illness, Evans found solace in penning poetry and stories that provided an outlet for his often overwhelming emotions. And he discovered a new passion: venturing into the world of psychology to study the quality of life of breast cancer survivors.

A profoundly honest work from a man who survived Cancerland and discovered new gifts, a different path, and, ultimately, peace.

Pub Date: June 10th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-63491-435-2
Page count: 428pp
Publisher: Booklocker
Program: Kirkus IndieEvans_428_Book2_Layout 1