Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I want to share this review from Midwest Book Reviews', Diane Donovan. I hope you enjoy reading the review as much as I enjoyed receiving it. And, of course, I hope you buy the novel, "Defining Family", and develop your own opinion.

Defining Family
Daniel Lance Wright
Whiskey Creek Press
PO Box 51052, Casper, WY 82605-1052
9781611602456, $4.99,

Defining Family is a powerful young adult novel which opens in a Texas children's home when a prank gone awry sends four sheltered teens into the world on the run from the law.

For teen Samantha, recovering from a nightmare of childhood sexual abuse by her parents, it means re-entering a world which has defined her life and fears with one event.

For Rebecca, it's all about antagonizing Samantha, whom she sees as controlling others around her by intimidation. Covered with tattoos and piercings, Rebecca's hard exterior hides a tender heart and a fondness she holds for Aaron.

Speaking of Aaron, his quest to live a less fearful life brings them all into danger, while Amy has her own demons to flee.

While running makes sense at the time, the four teens eventually realize that flight isn't bringing them any further from trouble, and is ultimately bringing them closer together in an ever-tightening quest for survival.

Romance, survival, trust, betrayal, and quests for maturity affect the friends as they move through countryside and bring challenges which will bring them full-circle to confront their own inner demons of their pasts.

DEFINING FAMILY is about more than defining family or coming of age without one. It's about breaking down barriers to intimacy through shared experiences and struggles for both individual and group survival - and it's about finding a place in the world rather than running from it.

Teens interested in a gripping coming-of-age survival saga will find much to relish in this moving saga.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Say It ain't so

When writing dialogue in a novel, especially in a scene where a number of people of various ages and genders are involved, the challenge is to make those characters speak as age and gender would dictate; in other words, women not manly or childish, men not girly or childish, children not grown-up. It should come off conversational, not contrived or mechanical. The reader must believe, unequivocally, that these people are speaking to one another and not passing notes.

Of course, there are always exceptions to such arbitrary sounding rules as this. It depends upon how the character has been conceptualized. And, however that is, should be carried consistently throughout.

The point I wish to make is that while working on a tense four pages of dialogue among a group of people on the run for their lives, I was reminded of a time I was working in the television industry and writing a piece of ad copy for a commercial spot.

I handed it to one of the account executives and asked him for an opinion. In hindsight, I should’ve kept my mouth shut. That person, a dear friend, had a problem with the use of contractions. I countered by saying that people don’t talk in such a formal manner, or even in complete sentences usually. And, the only time a contraction should not be used is when specific emphasis is desired, such as: “The price is not expensive at all.” For an ad to sound sincere and from the heart, it should not read like narrative in a novel. It should sound as one would say it to a friend, and that included the use of contractions.

Well, as it turned out, I didn’t convince my friend and he certainly did not make any inroads with me either. It didn’t matter much. We shared lunch and took verbal jabs at one another the rest of that day fifteen years ago.

As I worked on drafting my latest novel yesterday, that memory wafted in and out of my mind all day. It’s now a cherished memory. That friend and co-worker left this world fourteen years ago and the contraction debate was only one of many spirited conversations between us.

Have a great day, Y’all.

Author of
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/mainstream/print & ebook
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/action-adventure/print & ebook
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ historical drama/ ebook only
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX/print only
“Dancing Away”/ short story/romance/Untreed Reads/ebook only
“Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”/ATTM Press/soft science fiction/print & ebook
“Helping Hand For Ethan/Rogue Phoenix Press/young adult/print & ebook
“Phobia”/Booktrope/suspense-thriller/print & ebook
“Defining Family”/Whiskey Creek Press/young adult/print & ebook
“The Last Radiant Heart” (re-release)/Sage Words Publishing/science fiction/print & ebook
“Hackberry Corners, Texas 1934”
“Zero To Love”