Tag Archive for: video

The Characters Who Break Our Hearts

by Barbara Kyle

A recent fascinating post by Lois Winston on
this blog asked: “
Are there
characters that you wish the author would kill off? Or characters you wish an
author hadn’t killed off?”


I thought
I’d dig deeper into Lois’s topic with another question:
character’s death broke your heart?


I once asked that
of my Facebook friends and the replies were extraordinary. People recall with
vivid clarity how a fictional death left them feeling bereft.


Beth March in Little Women. Sydney
Carton in 
A Tale of Two CitiesNed Stark in A Game of Thrones.
Charlotte, the valiant spider in 
Charlotte’s Web.


Pic: “Sydney Carton” painting by Ralph Bruce

Characters’ deaths that broke
my heart include Mariko in James Clavell’s 
Shogun, Robbie and Cecilia in Ian McEwan’s Atonement and Gus in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome


                                  Pic: Yoko Shimada as “Mariko” in the 1980 TV series “Shogun.”


That affecting experience as a reader applies
with equal force to an author. Every time I’ve killed a beloved character in
one of my books, I wept. The poet Robert Frost said it eloquently: “No
tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” I must be shaken by a
character’s death myself if I am to render it faithfully to my readers.

Three kinds of characters’ deaths shatter us the

1. The Innocent Friend

The most dangerous relationship a character can
have is being the best friend of the hero. If the hero has been reluctant to
accept his destiny, or his responsibilities, the death of his friend is often the
turning point that galvanizes him to take the next steps and the necessary
risks. By his friend’s death the hero is changed, made stronger, grows up.

2. The Victim of a Wicked World
When we shudder at Fantine’s death in Victor
Les Miserables we
shudder at the hellish poverty that killed her. In 
Atonement Robbie and Cecelia lose their lives pitifully in
the gruesome grind of war. In
 A Game of Thrones Ned Stark is executed in a naked political power

3. The Self-Sacrificing Hero
When Mariko, the courageous noblewomen in Shogun, goes to Osaka Castle to obtain the release of
innocent hostages, she knows she is going to her death. She sacrifices her life
to save Lord Toranaga from his enemies, and restore peace.

In A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton takes his awe-inspiring walk to the
guillotine with selfless resolve, sacrificing his life so that Lucie, the woman
he loves, can be reunited with her husband.

These are deaths of valor – to me the most
poignant of all – in which the character accepts death as the price of
saving someone they love. That’s powerful stuff. What reader is not moved to
ask in admiration: Could I do the same?


And, speaking of killing . . . 


I hope you’ll enjoy my new
video: “What Makes a Killer Mystery? in which I
outline the essential elements of the genre and show interviews with five
acclaimed mystery writers, including Denise Mina and John LeCarré (below). 
Watch the video here.





Barbara Kyle is the author of the bestselling
Thornleigh Saga series of historical novels and of
acclaimed thrillers. Her latest novel of suspense is The Man from Spirit Creek. Over half a million
copies of her books have been sold.
Barbara has taught
hundreds of writers in her online Masterclasses and many have become
award-winning authors.
Visit Barbara at https://www.barbarakyle.com/ 


It’s All Video, Video, Video…

by Bethany Maines

Recent trends in social media and marketing have shown that
video is on the rise. According to a recent white paper from Cisco, “globally,
IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021,
up from 73 percent in 2016.” For marketers that means being without video
capabilities may make it harder for them to connect with consumers.  Or, for authors, that it may be important to
add video marketing to their books promotions.
As an author and a graphic designer, I find this both
frustrating and exciting.  Marketing a
book is already expensive enough for an author (unless you’re Nicholas Sparks
or one of the other big names, and very few of us are). Adding video to the
budget can potentially be a problem. Also, concepting and scripting for video
is a particular talent that may not be something an author excels at.  But recently, I’ve been working with my business partner (who has
more video experience than I do) to create short promo videos for my upcoming
book releases.  It has been really thrilling
to see imagery, text, and audio come together in a way that feels like my stories.  And now I can reveal my first video!  I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know in the comments if you think I hit the mark.

The Shark Santoyo Crime Series: When twenty something Shark got out of prison and made a deal with Geier, the boss of his old gang, he knew he’d be walking into trouble, but he never expected to meet the teenage crime savant Peregrine Hays. The knife-wielding beauty may fuel his dreams, but Peregrine has secrets of her own, and soon Shark is swept up in a whirlpool of murder, revenge, and love. Both streetwise and crime-hardened, Shark and Peri seem like a perfect bloody team as they battle crooked federal agents, sex traffickers, and gangs in search of vindication. But when Shark is faced with an enemy that knows him better than anyone else, he and Peri learn that their options may be staying together OR staying alive…

Shark’s Bite (book #2) Available: April 17th  PREORDER NOW

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, Tales From the City of Destiny, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found
chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You
can also view the Carrie Mae YouTube
video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.