Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Puzzling!

"Success is falling nine times and getting up ten."
                                                   ~Jon Bon Jovi

Image Detail

Imagine you have a 75,000 piece puzzle. Yes! 75K!
As of last night I finished mine!

Now some of the pieces don't fit quite right as I've tried to jam them into place. They'll need to be moved around. Some of the pieces I'll cut and jam them in ever harder to make them fit.

My puzzle is 75,000 words. My newest manuscript, CoverBoy, is complete. Sort of. Kind of. But for a few puzzling pieces! I think my cat might have ate some.

This is the best analogy I have for you on writing a novel. For those of you that are curious, less than one percent of the population that sits down to write their great American novel [or Spanish or German or African] actually completes it.

And yet the process is a bit like a salesman. You can celebrate knowing that you made the sale. And then you can celebrate when all the objections to the sale are settled. You will then celebrate the closing of the sale. And then, and only then, you realize The End, when your sale is on 'the record books'.

Today I wish you many celebrations along your journey!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Room With a View

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
                                                                                                                             ~ Scott Adams

I admit it. I’m feisty. I’m a rule breaker. I never ever go against the law or anything like that, but dang, don’t tell me what I can and can not do within my own space. If my husband were to tell me I couldn’t have a dog he would come home to find me with five puppies drooling and peeing on his side of the bed! Luckily, I have a husband that knows to expect anything and everything when he walks in the door. One time he came home and found me caring for an abandoned newborn fawn in our dining room!

Recently I moved the furniture around in our bedroom. We have a large bay window overlooking the great Tucson sunset skies and our pool.
We have a small master bedroom. The room dictates there is only ONE proper wall for a King bed. That wall doesn’t overlook the skies and the sunsets and the pool.
The word proper is not in my vocabulary when it comes to creative expression. I got that thorn up my you-know-what and decided I didn’t care. I moved our bed around. A bed with a view. If you look into my master bedroom it looks pretty cool from the corridor but the furniture is squished up against a fraction of an already fractioned room. But the bed has a view. I love it.
This new love got me thinking. Look out! Lala is cogitating.
Our minds are cluttered. As writers we are constantly scribbling down notes and making first outlines with first drafts and a bazillion edits to follow. We are at our computer monitors alone and for hours if we are to be prolific.
Where in our mind is that room with a view? That place of sanctuary where we feel safe to entertain crazy thoughts and plots? A place where our creativity is instinctive? 
Is there a special space in your thinking? Is there a corner in a private room in your mind that might be open to new visitors of thought? Is there a room with a view that you haven’t recognized, praised and welcomed, even if all the other pieces don’t fit?
We all have a room with a view but we don't always have the key that opens it.

Today I wish you that key!
A Room With a View

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bye Bye Borders.

Many of you know I hail from Denver.

Years ago I experienced a wonderful itsy-bitsy and mostly used book store called the Tattered Cover. I was an interior designer working just a few doors down, in Denver's upscale area known as Cherry Creek.

The original Tattered Cover offered a great musty smell, most likely off of ancient books and even more ancient upholstered chairs crammed into corners and impassible aisles.

The Tattered Cover blossomed into several bookstore locations in the Denver area. It's a wildly independent success story, although they have had to modify/change locations/cut square footage along the way as they learned what works. Those musty chairs have long been replaced with comfy seating fit for a king. Or a serious reader.

The demise of Borders? We knew it was coming and yet it's sort of like the death of someone close to us that we knew to be terminally ill. The death still shocks us.

Do you know the story of the eagle?
It can live for about 70 years, but in mid-life it must face a fact. The eagle's beak is worn down, bent, and useless. It's talons, the same. It is weighted down with old and too large of feathers.
At about the age of 40 the eagle will die unless it CHANGES. He first breaks down his beak, often upon rocks, and the beak will rejuvenate itself. And with his new beak he bites and pulls apart the old talons, and new talons grow. With the new talons he is able to pluck the old and useless feathers from his body.

And the eagle will soar. For about another 30 years!

End of my story. End of my blog. You get it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Ecstasy is in the Agony?

Yes! Sometimes the ecstasy is IN the agony!

Writer's block? Plot fracture? Missing perfect word?

I have a great team surrounding me and my writing career. CP's, beta readers, marketing geniuses and business gurus. And yet sometimes in my agony I'm gonna duke it out myself. Color me stubborn.

It's akin to searching for hours for a piece of the jigsaw puzzle. You know it's shape, at least one side of it. You have an idea of colors. You have a FEEL for what you are looking for, and yet someone walks up to your puzzle board, lifts off the piece from the pile of misfits, and snaps it into place without thought. You are left unsatisfied. And why? Your puzzle is on the road to completion!

I dunno. I'm not the shrink. I just know sometimes we need help. Most times. But sometimes we have to come up with our own puzzle pieces. All by ourselves.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Press for Widow's Row

From staff writer: Steve Block
The Times Independent

Lala Corriere
Author: Widow’s Row
The novel has many twists and turns, but its suspenseful scenes are tempered by the easygoing, friendly atmosphere of the town [of Trinidad] where its drama unfolds. The novel has received excellent reviews and is available on It has won praise from reviewers for its strong character development and interesting plot lines. Sidney Sheldon was critical in her development as a writer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's Showtime!

The following is my guest post on Rasana Atreya's blog.
For anyone considering becoming a film producer for your own trailer, this information may shed some light to your cameras and action!

My thanks to Rasana for inviting me to chat with you today about my experience in producing my first video book trailer for my new release, Widow’s Row.
That should act as your first caveat. My experience is limited to one production. But I had a good team of advisors. Brandon Croy is a professional filmmaker in Denver, Colorado and Cameron Bruns is Vice President of an international marketing company. Like I said, I kept good company.
Let’s face it. Even with a big publishing house behind you, today’s authors are carrying the burden of their own promotion. The video book trailer has become an explosive tool in marketing books.
There is a maze of tutorials on the Web specific to Windows Movie Maker and this little guest blog is in no way an attempt at trying to replace their technical instructions. Most of these tips you read here should transcend well to any other movie-making program you use. These tips should make your experience with movie making grow ripe without aggravation.
Through my trial and error, here’s what you can learn from my mistakes:
Do invest the time to look at the tutorials. You’ll quickly learn how to incorporate the elements that will turn your book trailer into a professional piece of film, such as transitions and special effects.
Do make a study of the scores of book trailers already out there. Watch the ‘homemade’ trailers as well as those with big blockbuster budgets, including any new Big Screen teasers. Just as in the book business, trailers are subjective. Tune into your genre and your own voice and make your work a reflection of both. Evaluate your feedback, but tune out the naysayers!
I didn’t lay down my soundtrack first and this was a huge mistake. I wanted the images to be in sync with the varying beats of the music. Boom. Boom. Boom. Image. Image. Image. You get the idea. It’s far easier to lay down the audio and then drag the images into your storyboard and timeline once you have the soundtrack in place.
Music clips are available through various sites. Search under Royalty Free Music, but remember it probably isn’t going to be exactly free. There are usually membership fees involved, and maybe even small stipends per track.  There are also plenty of talented musicians out there that would love to help you with your own recordings. Buddy up with your local bands.
Most of these sources for short sound clips are designed so that you can make your video exactly the length you want, but just like the commercials that grab your attention on TV, remember less is best. You can choose from several coordinated timed segments. Some will be 60 seconds, 30 seconds, and even less than ten seconds. Rhythm. Pacing. All key elements to your ‘commercial’.
Do get permissions for everything you use! There are sources for images on the web that are royalty free. Many of the photographers will request credit for use of their images. Double check. When seeking permissions I recommend doing it via email so that you have a permanent record of correspondence.
If you’re currently writing a manuscript, always wear your producer’s hat. What scenes are you developing that lend themselves to an image? Is it the rolling hills of Ireland? A chase scene? Fava beans and a nice glass of Chianti? Keep a journal of anything that might make for a good still or short video. It’s no time to place yourself in the critic’s corner. Jot down every possibility. I like a good mix of the mundane and the ordinary, paired with the outrageous and unexpected, but I write suspense. I want my final film product to be arcane in nature. If you write in other genres such as historical, literary, or romance, I would still suggest the idea of blending the familiar with the not so familiar. Keep your viewers engaged and guessing.
If you plan to use speaking actors or a voice-over narrator, the Window’s Movie Maker is designed to allow you to lay that audio directly over your music.
If you are the photographer, make sure your camera is set with the date stamp turned off. Sighing, here.
Now this part is no secret. You will read it elsewhere on the web. Unfortunately some of us have to learn the hard way. Save everything. Save every still and every video and every audio, separately. And while engaged with your program open, save your work and save it often.
So, friends, here’s my first video trailer, Widow’s Row.

What did you see? I’m a perfectionist and I’m crazy mad about my boo-boos. The most obvious is the red lettering in the church video clip. Having a little trouble reading it? That’s because I manipulated the video after inserting it and deleted the original file.  Because I was stuck without the original, I was able to use the program to warp the imagery. Something to distract from the words you can’t read. Between you and me, I handle my film critics by claiming there is subliminal messaging in those words. LOL.
Did you notice the date stamp on the church still? Oops. And again, because I’d deleted the original and turned my movie into one single file, I was unable to remove the nasty yellow date stamp.
Give yourself time. And plenty of forgiveness. Remember this tool is a reflection of your book. Your name is on it. You’ve written and rewritten your book until it’s perfect. If you aren’t satisfied with your trailer, help is all around you.
And I leave you with my favorite tip of all. Have fun! Make mistakes. Start over. Start with a family movie or vacation memories.
Lala Corriere

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zara Larsen's Radio Show

Lala Corriere
Lala Corriere of Tucson is the “The Mistress to Suspense,” a full time writer who shifted mid-life in 2001 from being a fine artist/painter, stage performer, interior designer and engaged in the high-end real estate industry. In Widow’s Row, her new self-published fiction book, she offers vivid descriptions of the most nefarious of characters.  Lala’s stories include a redeeming social message, bringing readers to experience human conditions in ways with which they may not be                              February 16, 2011          21 minutes
2-19-2011 Podcast

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Zara Larsen Show

Here's my profile up on the Zara Larsen website.

The podcast is not yet available, but I'll be posting that link soon!

Thanks for listening!

Lala Corriere
Lala Corriere of Tucson is the “The Mistress to Suspense,” a full time writer who shifted mid-life in 2001 from being a fine artist/painter, stage performer, interior designer and engaged in the high-end real estate industry. In Widow’s Row, her new fiction book, she offers vivid descriptions of the most nefarious of characters.  Lala’s stories include a redeeming social message, bringing readers to experience human conditions in ways with which they may not be                              February 16, 2011          21 minutes

Friday, February 18, 2011

Zara Larsen's Circle of Change

I hope you'll tune in this Saturday, tomorrow, for my guest spot on Zara Larsen's Circle of Change.

You can listen in live at
1:00 PM EST.

Or look for the audio at

I'll be talking about my new release, Widow's Row, and more about my writer's journey!

C'ya there!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Diva, a Thug, & a Private Dick All Walk Into a Bar...

Got character?

Oh, man. I'm so pleased with my comments and reviews coming in for Widow's Row. How fun to see them from strangers, which BTW are simply friends I haven't met yet!

Hmmm, I say. The best feedback seems to be about my characters.

Here's what I know:

  • Do your character interviews. EVERY character. Even the postman who always rings twice.  Know them well enough that you dream about them!
  • Use dialogue true to your character. Even if you don't like it. If your character would say that icky word that starts with a C, and of course if your publishing house guidelines allow, then USE the C word.
  • More about true dialogue. "You've got...." is horrible English. But guess what? We say it! You've Got Mail!
  • Dichotomies. Characters are complex. Good people do bad things. Bad people have soft sides. Smart people do very dumb things. You get the idea. Give your characters dimension.
  • More than dimension, give every character meat. Imagine that you are writing a screenplay. What does your casting agent have to work with? What have you given the actor to sink his teeth into so that he becomes this character? Think of Al Pacino in The Scent of a Woman. Novelist Giovanni Arpino and screenwriter Bo Goldman gave Pacino so much character that he ad-libbed the famous 'who-ahhh'. Would we all be so lucky for Mr. Pacino to enhance our work.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guest Blogging

Here's my motivational quote for the new year:
"Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a 
rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you."
— Zig Ziglar

First, thank you all for your concerns over the recent tragedy in Tucson. We are sad, but safe.

Second, you might ask where have I been. Why so quiet?

Sales for Widow's Row have been overwhelming. Another round of THANKS to you! And thanks for spreading the news by word of mouth. Because of your referrals I'm now realizing new readers; friends I've never met yet!

Meanwhile I've guest posted about 'the journey' at these locations:

Peg Brantley's blog at:

And Jenny Milchman at

I hope you can spare a moment to learn more about the writer's journey.

Today I wish you a sturdy rowboat.