Winners of the Goodreads Giveaway for DEATH PERCEPTION

From May 4-14, 2013, I hosted a Goodreads giveaway for 5 trade paperback copies of my supernatural thriller DEATH PERCEPTION. The giveaway is now closed.
DEATH PERCEPTION by Lee Allen Howard

The winners are:
Michael S., UK
Tamara A., Canada
Mary E., US
Toni H., US
Zack W., Canada

Congratulations, folks! I’ll be shipping your books this week.

You can still mark DEATH PERCEPTION as “Want to Read.” And please recommend it to some friends who like supernatural crime!

DEATH PERCEPTION is announced on the site for award-winning genre writing text MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT, to which I’m a contributor. Read all about it here:

http://manygenres.blogspot.com/2013/05/mgoc-contributor-news-death-perception.html

P.S.: Don’t forget to join the Facebook release party now. From May 15-31 I’ll be posting
trivia questions for a chance to win some cool prizes, including a Kindle Paperwhite. Order options are listed here. Order your copy today and start reading to win!


Enter the Goodreads Giveaway for DEATH PERCEPTION

Enter to Win a Paperback of Supernatural Crime Novel DEATH PERCEPTION at Goodreads

NOTE: The Goodreads giveaway is officially over.
Winners are announced here.

From May 4-14, 2013, you can enter to win a trade paperback of DEATH PERCEPTION.DEATH PERCEPTION by Lee Allen Howard

Enter here:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17847827-death-perception

While you’re there, please mark DEATH PERCEPTION as “Want to Read.” And recommend it to some friends!

Thanks. I appreciate your support!

P.S.: Don’t forget to join the Facebook release party now. From May 15-31 I’ll be posting
trivia questions for a chance to win some cool prizes, including a Kindle Paperwhite. Preorder options are listed in the event. Order your copy today and start reading to win!


I Finished the First Draft of THE BEDWETTER

Almost two months ago I posted the first scene of my work in progress, a dark psychological thriller I’ve titled THE BEDWETTER. It’s about an abused young man with chronic secondary nocturnal enuresis who, as pressures mount, embarks on a killing spree using the tools of his dark fantasies.

I tracked my daily writing milestones with nightly Facebook page updates, and posted a progress report two weeks ago.

I finished ahead of schedule, completing the first draft the evening of April 4, 2013, at a total of 51,167 words—very close to my revised goal of 52,500. I was ecstatic! Since the beginning of 2013, I’d been spending two hours almost every weekday evening, and three to six hours on Saturdays and Sundays, plotting and writing. My all-time daily writing record was 2528 words on 3/26; my weekend writing record was 5024 words on 3/29-31; my daily average came out to be 1339/day.

I forced myself to let it cool for a week (well, almost a week) while I worked on getting DEATH PERCEPTION ready for release (next month). Today I exported THE BEDWETTER Scrivener project to a Word file and printed out the entire draft: 241 pages. I will begin my read-through tonight, making notes in the margin. Here’s a peek at the first draft. 🙂

Bedwetter Manuscript, First Draft

I’ll keep you updated on my progress. In the meantime, drop me a line!


Progress Report on THE BEDWETTER

A month ago I posted the first scene of my work in progress, a dark psychological thriller I’ve titled THE BEDWETTER. It’s about an abused young man with chronic secondary nocturnal enuresis who, as pressures mount, embarks on a killing spree using the tools of his dark fantasies.

I’ve started to keep track of my writing progress and wanted to update you in a more comprehensive way than my daily Facebook status updates and tweets.

Idea Development in THE BEDWETTER

I originally received inspiration during some time off I took at the end of last year. I got the idea about a young man being punished in a horrifying way for wetting the bed. I used those two weeks to formulate a big-picture plan for the story, filling out plot and character questionnaires, just getting to know the story.

From that point on, I began to hear this character’s voice and was often interrupted by creative “downloads” of information that I would later work into scenes and dialogue.

Plotting of THE BEDWETTER in Truby’s Blockbuster 6

I spent all of January and the first half of February doing more detailed plotting using John Truby’s screenplay development software, Blockbuster 6. The application leaves a lot to be desired, but it enabled me to draft a list of scenes and arrange them in the right order. Then, I fleshed out each scene, answering questions such as:

  • My challenge in writing this scene
  • My strategy for writing this scene
  • The scene goal (POV character’s desire)
  • The character’s plan to achieve the goal
  • The opponent in the scene
  • The scene’s conflict
  • Any twist revealed
  • The scene’s moral argument (value A vs. value B)

Blockbuster 6 also enables you to include the structures of up the three genres in your story (for example, horror, thriller, and myth); track six storylines; and monitor key words, symbols, and tag lines.

I completed a scene form for 59 scenes in the book, and included in each scene some details about what needs to happen and the information I must reveal when I write the scene.

Drafting THE BEDWETTER in Scrivener

I downloaded the Beta of Scrivener for Windows over a year ago and played around with it, but didn’t use it seriously. I got serious with THE BEDWETTER. I created folders for characters, research, and scenes. Scrivener 2.0 isn’t perfect either, but it offers scads of cool project management features geared toward writers. I love using it now and likely will continue to do so.

Starting mid-February, I began taking my Blockbuster scene sheets and writing actual scenes from them. Weeknights I would spend two to three hours in any one of half a dozen coffee shops around Pittsburgh’s east end—the same on Saturdays and five hours on Sundays—drafting scenes and making progress. I didn’t start keeping detailed stats until March 3, but here are my word count stats so far:

Date Daily So far Weekend
2/12/2013 1000
3/1/2013 ? 6,980
3/3/2013 1691 8,671
3/4/2013 406 9,077
3/5/2013 1253 10,330
3/6/2013 1848 12,178
3/7/2013 912 13,090
3/8/2013 1001 14,091
3/9/2013 1201 15,292
3/10/2013 2290 17,582 4,492
3/11/2013 711 18,293
3/12/2013 666 18,959
3/13/2013 875 19,834
3/14/2013 884 20,718
3/15/2013 884 21,602
3/16/2013 942 22,544
3/17/2013 1,845 24,389 3,671
3/18/2013 541 24,930
3/19/2013 604 25,534
3/20/2013 766 26,300
3/21/2013 537 26,837
3/22/2013 735 27,572
3/23/2013 1,907 29,479
3/24/2013 2,134 31,613 4,776

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My initial goal for a first-person, present-tense novel in this voice was 42,500 words. But by the time I finished the beginning scenes and started writing the middle, I realized it would be longer. My present goal is 52,500. We’ll see where it comes in at when I’m finished. And I already have 45 scenes; my total will exceed 59.

Read the First Scene of THE BEDWETTER

I invite you to read a draft of the first scene. I’m warning you, it’s dark. (I’ll confide that some of it has been tough to write.) But I must remain true to my inspiration. This story wants to be told, and I’ve never before enjoyed such a flow of ideas and writing.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you!


Book Review: BUTTERFLY POTION by Trent Zelazny

BUTTERFLY POTION by Trent Zelazny

4.7/5.0 stars

BUTTERFLY POTION by Trent ZelaznyPerry got rolled last night during a blackout. He’s looking for what he’s lost, and that’s more than his wallet and cell phone. He finds Talia; Talia finds him.

Reading Zelazny is like going on a drinking binge and waking in the gutter. But among the messy people in a sad, depressing world is existential philosophy cocooned in beautiful writing. Zelazny has a knack for turning phrases—not just on the page, but in your mind.

Along with despair, there is humor: “To Perry he looked like a kid who’d been picked on in school, which over time had given him the options of suicide, junkie, criminal, or law enforcement.” Priceless.

In the end, there is satisfaction. And thankfully, some hope. All while the butterfly watches.

Available in paperback and for e-readers. On Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13613311-butterfly-potion.

You can discover more about Trent Zelazny at: http://trentzelazny.com/


Book Review: DESTINATION UNKNOWN by Trent Zelazny

DESTINATION UNKNOWN by Trent Zelazny

4.6/5.0 stars

DESTINATION UNKNOWN by Trent ZelaznyI’ve read most of Trent Zelazny’s work, and along with TO SLEEP GENTLY, this is one of my new favorites.

Again, in DESTINATION UNKNOWN, Zelazny really puts the screws to his characters, and I relish that in a suspense tale. Just when you think you know where the story’s going,—blammo!—you’re off in a different direction and, by the end, careening downhill with no brakes. (I should warn you that I had to stop reading this one late at night because it was jacking my adrenaline and I couldn’t get to sleep.)

The characters are deep as they are wounded. Brian and Kate tragically lost a son and think they’ve received a boon when they come across some money. A lot of money. But the owner wants it back, and will do anything to get it.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN will keep you guessing to the end, and wincing at every development along the way. Classic TZ with an 80s music soundtrack. Loved every freaking page. Please write another.

Available in paperback and for e-readers. On Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13276701-destination-unknown.

You can find out more about Trent Zelazny at: http://trentzelazny.com/


NIGHT MONSTERS Unleashed!

Supernatural Thrillers Available for Kindle

NIGHT MONSTERS by Lee Allen HowardVampires, beasties, zombies, and ghouls… NIGHT MONSTERS presents four stories to read with the lights on.

Wyatt is looking for a no-strings fling in “Savoir-Faire.” When he meets the beautiful and sexually voracious Natalie, all his fantasies come true… until he discovers that unseen strings are more entangling than he bargained for.

In “The Worst Thing,” Petie’s first sleepover seemed like a good idea in the daylight. But after dark at Nate’s house, he can’t fall asleep. Braving the terrors of the night to make it home, he finds he must face the worst thing that could happen—and sacrifice what he treasures most to save his parents from a horrible fate.

“Keeping Cool”: After a late night at work helping hospitals handle the strange flu sweeping Pittsburgh, Terry finds he’s run out of options to get himself home. Searching for a working phone to call his wife, he encounters a deserted diner—and another way to stem the tide of disease. Chilling!

Justin wants to be cool like Drew, so he tags along to throw corn at cars on Halloween night. When a 1970 GTO Judge stops on the country road and its ghastly occupants pursue them, he wishes he’d gone trick-or-treating instead. Pray the “GTO Judge” passes you by.

If you love things that go bump in the night, download NIGHT MONSTERS—before the sun goes down!

Get NIGHT MONSTERS from Amazon now!