Nearly on the Road

Two weeks until I leave for Sleuth Fest. I have my check list. I know you’re all probably tired of hearing about this, but I’m excited and when I’m excited, I ramble.

I have check lists:

  1. New lap top loaded (my Valentine’s gift)
  2. iPad loaded
  3. Business cards with contact info (nothing fancy)
  4. Log-line and short pitch (memorized)
  5. Long pitch/short synopsis (printed one page 1.5 spaced)
  6. Long synopsis (three pages, double spaced)
  7. Cover letter (generic: three brief paragraphs)
  8. Reader’s Corner critique sheets (20 printed)
  9. Reader’s Corner introduction and chapter one (printed in case of IPad failure)
  10. Cover Image printed (Just in case)

I still need clothes. I don’t think they would appreciate my pjs or nudity.

A friend is doing a photo shoot for me soon for bio pics.

I’ve done my homework and the agent I am hoping to pitch to won the Nobel Prize for being a really cool guy and was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth  for just being himself. (Seriously…it must be true. It’s on his Linked-In page. ) He’s with Curtis Brown.

I practice my pitch all day and I read my Reader’s Corner at least three times a day. A few days ago I got to pitch my book to strangers. It was fun.

We went to see Tim Dorsey author of my favorite crime adventures stories starring Serge and Coleman who are serials killer anti-heroes who take down Florida scammers and kill them in bizarre ways that usually involve science. Serge is a genius and Coleman is an addle-brained stoner. He told some funny stories, signed books, then split before I could get a picture with him.

Afterwards, the crowd was hanging around chatting about authors and writing and upon learning I, too, was a writer, I was asked about my book. It really felt good to be prepared to pitch it and everybody said it sounds like something they would enjoy reading. That’s just terrific for me because his readers are part of the audience I’m aiming for. I had a captive audience and didn’t feel guilty at all.

I’ve already gone to Twitter and followed everybody who follows authors who read Florida crime fiction authors. I got lots of follow backs, but still follow twice as many people than follow me. I’ve never really caught onto how to use Twitter effectively, but I’m learning and trying.

I’ve updated all of my social media sites to include mention of my crime romps and plans for the series.

You may have noticed that my new wordpress address has been changed to sknicholls instead of redclayandroses1. That was advised by an author whom I greatly respect, Sue Colleta. If you are interested in crime fiction, she has a terrific murder blog dedicated to all things crime and then some. You can find her here. She also has a newly published book “Marred”, you can pick up here.

The change required a Redirect Upgrade that costs only $13.00 per year. That was necessary to keep all my old posts connected to the new URL. Once I made the name change, I had to export all of my old blog content, which had migrated to the new URL, to my desktop, then import three files back to the old address one at a time, wait for processing to be complete, (a few hours) then perform the simple redirect. I had guidance from the happiness engineers.

I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m prepared for Sleuth Fest as best as I can be. Now I’m going to keep practicing and go shopping for clothes.

Any suggestions?

Have I overlooked anything?

I have three more books in the series outlined and one is fully fleshed out, so my next step is to get busy writing up the next book in this series. I have big plans for new characters in the series and Richard and Brandi have just gotten a taste of what’s in store for them. What fun!

Announcing my new editing service

Got a book you want published but feel it needs some polishing first. Kevin Brennan has a new service.

WHAT THE HELL

Toytypewriter

Welcome to my shingle-hanging announcement, folks! As of today, I’m open for business as an editor of indie books destined for publication on Amazon et al.

I’m calling the operation Indie-Scribable. Indie for the indie part, and “scribable” for scribes. Clever, eh?

Come on over and have a look at my brand-spanking-new website.

I haven’t talked about it on the blog, but for most of my career I was an editor. I started at a medical publisher back in St. Louis, copyediting three or four different journals — such learned organs as Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and, my favorite, the Journal of Enterostomal Therapy! Oh joy.

After that I was managing editor of the American Heart Association journal, Circulation, and then the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Yes, I paid my dues in the…

View original post 381 more words

The Hurdles I’m Jumping Along the Way

CYTOLQtWYAI-GNY (1)

Before I get started, I have a confession to make. I went without caffeine eight months, but finally broke down a couple of weeks ago and started back with a cup or two a day—no sugar. I was waking with brain fog that prevailed for two hours and couldn’t get anything accomplished in the early morning.

Happy to say the fog has lifted, and it wasn’t so difficult to learn to drink coffee without it. My blood sugar remains under control.

For the past week, or so, I have been preparing for Sleuth Fest. I have about memorized the first chapter in my book, which I plan to read aloud. It’s on my iPad, and I also have a paper copy, but fumbling with them always slows me down. With the papers, I use all but ten seconds of my ten minute time limit (which includes my brief introduction), but with the iPad, I end with twenty to thirty seconds remaining. This is reading slow and clear enough to be well understood.

I’ve done public reads before, but short stories for my writer’s group, not reading from my book. And I’ve read at my local library. With some of the short story reads, the lighting in the venues was terrible, and that slowed me down. I know our Reader’s Corner at the convention is set by the pool patio outside at night (weather permitting), so I’m thinking having it on the iPad is the best way to go…with a backup on paper for the just-in-case scenario.

The long synopsis and the short synopsis have been completed and proofed. The cover letter has been written and I’m presently engaged in memorizing my pitch.  I memorize words best by writing them down over and over. It’s just something about how my brain files information. So my fingers are numb.

One of my biggest hang-ups comes from the fact that I rewrote my log-line about a hundred times before deciding on the best one. Now I have bits and pieces of the wrong lines stuck in my head and they slip out unexpectedly when I try reciting the correct one.

For anyone trying to write a synopsis, I found a really cool link to how to un-demonize the process by fiction editor Beth Hill here:

http://theeditorsblog.net/2012/07/15/clear-the-dread-from-the-dreaded-synopsis/

And another author, Helen Jones, recommended a helpful book today on her blog:

http://journeytoambeth.com/2016/02/05/the-joy-of-synopses/

Write a Great Synopsis – An Expert Guide,’ by Nicola Morgan

Helen has her log-line down to twenty-six words.

Mine is a dual-plot thriller, and I’ve gotten it down to thirty-two. I’m not going to try to cut it any closer than that, to do so would make it less appealing and less likely to demonstrate its entertainment value.

It’s not a log-line I would use to promote the book, but a great one for an agent pitch.

I’ve been looking over the Sleuth Fest schedule and, of course, there are workshops I’d love to attend that conflict with times other workshops and panels are being held. I’ll have to narrow down choices soon.

A photographer friend is going to be doing a photo shoot in the near future. We’re going out to a park that has cypress knees and tropical foliage in hopes of getting some outdoor shots that might be useful, and he has professional screens that we can get some photos in front of. You will likely see changes in my social media and bio pics once this gets accomplished so don’t be surprised if the thin, bright, young woman with long blonde hair on the side turns into a plump, gray, short- haired old lady. It happened rather suddenly and surprised me. No witch cast any spells on me that I know of, time and good food.

It is truly amazing when I think of all that has transpired over the past five years. I went from working eight to sixteen hours a day in a pediatric extended care ward and a psych hospital to sitting in front of a keyboard for sixteen plus hours a day. I’ve published one book and written three. My free time is spent reading and researching, learning about the business, marketing, writing and trying out new ideas.

Being a nudist and a nurse with a most extroverted personality who used to teach and speak before large groups, as well as work with people most intimately, I’ve gone through some changes on a personal level.  In crowds and public groups, I suffer social anxiety and despise small talk. I’ve gotten deep inside my head. I need this Sleuth Fest, not only to learn and promote my work, but to get outside myself. I’ve become an introvert. Not that being one is a bad thing. I honestly believe it helps with regards to creative productivity in writing.

I’ll end here by asking for a small prayer, if you pray, and positive vibes of energy and good luck.

Hitting the Ground Running with Crazy Characters

With Sleuth Fest just a few weeks away, I’ve been practicing my Reader’s Corner piece. Twelve attendees were invited to pick a short read with a ten minute time limit. I haven’t decided if I want to read half a chapter in five minutes, or the whole chapter in ten. From what I gather from people who have done this before, the shorter reads hold the audience’s attention better. But, high action prevails over exposition or back story. To cut my piece to five minutes would clip off the high action. It’s a crime romp and the tone of the book is well demonstrated in this piece.

The suggested categories are:

Hitting the ground running

Calls to action

The usual suspects

Peeking through keyholes

Clever tricks

Milieu scenes

Stark confrontations

Mulling it over

Crazy characters

Cliff hanging suspense

And there should be a point to the read.

I can read my first chapter aloud in less than ten minutes. It’s a “hitting the ground running” chapter that does introduce the crazy characters. It’s also a non-spoiler chapter that will show in the book’s Look Inside, so I don’t mind sharing. However, I recently read a post about NOT naming street names in fiction, unless they are iconic. The photos show the iconic gay club complex and an iconic Orlando street in the first chapter. The piece I plan to read names several streets. My editor didn’t seem to mind, as they are necessary for the car chase. Now I’m wondering if I should strike them for more generic terms.

Chapter One

There was only one thing worse for business than not solving cases and that was keeping a new client waiting, and this one was the former mayor. Already running late for a meeting in Winter Park, Richard Noggin drove north on Orange Avenue through moderate nighttime traffic in his sporty, silver, two-seater Mercedes convertible, the top down and the air-conditioner blasting. As he approached Michigan Avenue, coming into downtown Orlando, two figures darted onto the road from his left.

Swerving and slamming on the brakes, tires squealed as he screeched to a halt in the middle lane. They stood like deer in the headlights, a tall woman and a young girl. A transfer truck thundered past on his left, its horn blasting him senseless. The woman whacked the car’s hood with a pair of stilettos and jumped, grabbing the girl close.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Richard yelled as cars whizzed past on either side. The woman marched the girl by the shoulders around to the passenger’s side. “Hurry. Let us in!” Releasing the girl, she tried the locked door, then grabbed the window ledge with both hands, shoes dangling.

He eased off the brakes, starting to roll, and looked across the car. Standing in the street in her sequined white halter and miniskirt, the woman looked terrified, panting and wiping her windswept, auburn locks back from her face. The almond-eyed girl even more so, with facial bruises and a busted lip. He took his foot off the gas. Dammit, he couldn’t drive off and leave them in the middle of the busy street. Before he could let them in, the woman tossed the high heels and her oversized shoulder bag inside, threw her long, lean leg over the door, and plopped herself into the passenger’s seat. She yanked the young girl over onto her lap.

“Drive,” she screamed. “Drive!”

Richard raced to the intersection.

“Turn left here!” she ordered.

“Isn’t this the direction you came from?”

“Just do it!”

He had a green light and took a hard, fast left in front of oncoming traffic, heading for Orange Blossom Trail, known locally as O.B.T. Then it hit him – these two had come off the Trail; the hooker trail in the red-light district. This was asking for trouble, but his investigative curiosity took over. “Why are you running?”

“Because standing on the curb waiting on a bus wasn’t an option.” A black car raced past in the opposite direction. She ducked, trying to pull the girl down with her. “I don’t think they saw us.”

“How could they have missed you? She’s sitting with her face pressed against the windshield.”

“You’re exaggerating.” The woman sat upright, shifted the girl in her lap to one side, and stroked the dash of the car. “Damn, your payments on this pretty girl must be more than Donald Trump’s monthly tab for hair spray.”

“She’s paid for.” He rolled his eyes and shot her a quick look. “Who are you hiding from?”

“Men with guns. Damn, I hate guns.”

“What men?”

“All I know is I was coming out of the Brown Pelican Lounge on south O.B.T. when this girl came charging across the parking lot next door in front of the Shady Breeze Motel, screaming, ‘Help, men with guns!’ I looked at her and her busted lip, and hearing ‘Guns!’ figured we ought to run. I snatched off my shoes and did just that.”

“Why didn’t you take her inside and call the police?”

“Let’s just say there were a few gentlemen inside whose company I didn’t care to keep.”

“So, you ran with her?”

“You catch on real quick. Two guys chased us on foot and two ran for their car.”

“Now what am I supposed to do?”

“Turn right at the light and take me home.”

“You live on the Trail?” he asked, only half-joking. He slowed for traffic at the intersection. Her scent caught him. The voice was mellow and raspy, like a smoker, but her fragrance was cinnamon and oranges, her skin, the color of fine café latte. Arms wrapped around the young girl made her cleavage deepen. She turned to him with emerald eyes sparkling.

“I’m staying at the Parliament House.”

“The gay club?”

“Resort. The Parliament House Resort. I’m a showgirl. Name’s Brandi, formerly Brandon.”

Richard did a double take, swallowed hard, and took a right turn, proceeding north on Orange Blossom Trail. “Where were you taking her?”

“The twenty-four hour pharmacy on Michigan, to get something for her lip, and let them deal with her. I dunno. What would you do?”

“I’d probably call the police.” He sped up and passed a few cars ahead.

“I’m sure those guys with the guns would’ve waited for us to do that.” Her sarcasm as strong as her perfume. “I used to be a cop and I know they’re not gonna do a damn thing for her. As far as they’re concerned, she’s just another poor girl walkin’ the streets.”

“Somehow, you don’t strike me as a cop.”

“It was a brief stint.”

He ran through the caution light at Kaley Avenue. “Call the police and have them meet us at the Parliament House. I have an important dinner appointment in Winter Park and I’m already late.”

“And I have a show to do tonight,” Brandi fired back.

“Well, I can’t keep her.” He glanced at the silent girl. “What’s your name?”

“Cara Kieu.”

“Where do you live?”

“I not know much English. Cara Kieu scared.”

Richard gave Brandi a hard look. “Listen, I can’t keep her. You’re going to have to figure this out.” He reached into the pocket of his sport coat. “Here’s my card. Call me later if you can’t deal with her, and I’ll see what I can do.”

She took the card. “Richard Noggin, P.I. Just my luck, I get picked up by Dick Head, P.I.” She tucked the card into her purse at her feet.

“Yeah, I get that a lot.”

He felt Brandi’s soft touch on his shoulder and cringed, her hand caressing as it moved up his neck. What the hell was he getting himself into?

She nudged him and smiled. “Has anyone ever told you that you have the most striking crystal-blue eyes? They’re really set off by your thick, dark hair.”

“Yeah, I get that a lot, too.”

“I notice things about men.”

“I’m sure you do.” He leaned away, hoping she’d get the message that he wasn’t interested.

They crossed the intersection at West Church Street. A black Nissan pulled out behind them. Brandi jerked back her hand and ducked, pulling Cara down with her. “Holy shit, it’s them!”

“Hold on.”

He took a fast right onto West Central and another onto Parramore. The Nissan followed. He sped through the stop sign at Jackson and turned left into oncoming traffic on South Street, a busy, three-lane, one-way road. Cara screamed and clung to Brandi.

“You’re going to get us killed!”

“Wasn’t that your problem in the first place?” In his rearview, he noted the Nissan cross South Street behind them.

Horns blasted as cars roared by left and right. He saw a black Nissan speeding along on the next street over. Dodging angry traffic, he careened past the Amway Center, turning onto yet another one-way at Hughy. With no sign of their pursuers behind them, he plowed through.

Cara Kieu screamed again as he swerved to avoid a head-on collision with a city bus. After a couple of blocks and a quick left, he drove around the State Marshall’s Building, then made several fast turns through the downtown neighborhood streets. Soon, they would come out on the Trail.

He’d made a complete, albeit dangerous, wide circle. When they reached Orange Blossom Trail in front of the Parliament House, he parked the car on the corner. “Get out.”

Brandi looked at him in disgust. “You can’t just leave us here.”

“You need to get out and run. I don’t know how long we’ve got before these guys are back on our tail.”

“Okay, we’re outta here.” She opened the door, pushed Cara from her lap, grabbed her shoes and bag, then jumped from the vehicle and slammed the door. “Thanks for the ride, dude.”

Richard watched as they crossed O.B.T. to the Parliament House. RuPaul’s Raja: Heaven Scent gleamed on the billboard. Beneath all the neon multicolor, Brandi dazzled, looking like she was right where she belonged.

He sped away north up the Trail, and east onto Colonial through Little Saigon, then headed north on Mills Ave, with no sign of the black Nissan all the way to Winter Park.

 

 What do you think?

 Do street names in fiction bother you?

 Would you cut this down to a five minute read?

Red Clay and Roses – a review

Susan Toy featured a review from Marie Bailey on her Reading Recommendations–Reviews blog yesterday. The review was Marie’s first “Different” sort of review and is quite amusing in and of itself. Marie was one of the first people I met on my blogging journey when I first published. I applaud her creativity. Since this review, Red Clay and Roses has received a revision. This is a perfect example of why your reviews as readers mean so much. Authors learn so much from readers who honestly express their opinions about the works they read, and Marie really handled her concerns with grace and charm. Have a read. It’s delightful.

reading recommendations reviewed

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00016]

Red Clay and Roses
by S.K. Nicholls

Purchase copies here

A Different Kind of Book Review

Melissa set the tray of coffee mugs, sugar bowl and creamer on the table, and quickly began to pour the coffee. Her hands shook a bit and she missed Maggie’s cup by a hair. Maggie cocked an eyebrow in wonder. Mary was fixing plates of mini-scones and cookies for them to nibble on, oblivious to her cousin’s anxiety. This was their first book club meeting, although Melissa wondered if a book club could have as few as three people and still be a club. She told herself it didn’t matter. Now that she and Maggie were living in town, it would be a way for the three cousins to see each other regularly.

“Well, I can’t wait to talk about the book we read for tonight.” Mary put the plates of goodies on the…

View original post 1,146 more words

Moving Right Along

Study this image. How does it make you feel? Does it affect your mood? There will be a test question at the end.

Study this image. There will be a test question at the end.

 

If you didn’t notice, I’ve altered my tag-line. It’s always been a bit smug…after all, I’m no genius. I explained all that on my About page. My husband suggested mybrandofgenius and it sort of stuck. I’m not ready to let that go. It reminds me to laugh at myself.

The added tag-line speaks to the two sorts of writing, 1950’s-60s historic literary fiction, and riveting contemporary crime romps, I’m vested in. I’ve spent a great deal of time promoting Red Clay and Roses on this blog and have connected with some fabulous people in the process. My intention really wasn’t to promote my book when I first got started, (I wanted a place to socialize and talk about writing) but I was told that was what I was supposed to be doing.

Tons of people showed up to teach me how. I watched you and listened and learned. I traveled around the blogosphere and got to know you. I need for you to know you mean the world to me. When I first became disabled, I had no clue how I was going to spend my time. A workaholic nurse used to racing around on my feet eight to sixteen hours a day, I found myself at a loss. Bewildered and lonely.

The characters that developed in my head and my memories were my only comfort. And then, you came along and brighten my path. Since then, I’ve gained three grandchildren, and those quiet times became something I have to defend. But still, I have plenty.

For the last four months, I’ve been back and forth with my editor getting things done. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and feel I can present the work with confidence at Sleuth Fest. I’ve completed a three page long synopsis and a one page short synopsis, a cover letter, a tag-line for the book, a log-line, a blurb, and a perfect pitch. (Thank you Carrie and Sue, for allowing me to pick your brains.)

Since writing Naked Alliances, it’s always troubled me how I would market the book without abandoning Red Clay and Roses, as they are two completely different genres and styles. After much research with branding, I realized I don’t have to abandon anything at all. I began to look at the common features of the books and what motivated me to write both of them. I also examined those attributes of myself that I’ve learned from you by reading through the comments you’ve left me…that I am compassionate, candid, and honest…and sometimes funny.

In Red Clay and Roses, we have a book that includes rape, racism, illegal abortion and murder. In Naked Alliances, we have child abuse, murder, and sex-trafficking. I thought about how my work as a nurse influenced the writing in either book. RC&R with direct references, and NA with indirect. As a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in an active ER, I was unfortunately exposed to a number of situations that did influence the writing of NA.  Out of respect, and due to HIPAA laws, I’ve been very careful not to put anything on this blog that might reference any particular incident in such a way as to identify people involved. My work in forensic psychiatry also contributed to the writing of NA in a more indirect manner having to do with the character development of the antagonist and the psychology of the killer.

The tone of RC&R is dark and serious. The tone of NA is lighter and somewhat amusing. That was intentional. Crime, while often dark and serious, allows for different approach. Here, we have a most responsible, loner P.I. who is forced to, by circumstance, work with a brassy, and irresponsible transgendered sidekick. To protect a young girl from an evil vixen, they must hide in a nudist resort while the body count rises. There are two protagonists, an unlikely pairing in an unpredictable setting, which makes for entertaining reading. It’s a riveting crime romp through Central Florida. A rather motley crew of characters that speak to the diversity we have in this neck of the woods.

While the crimes are serious, the tone of the book really isn’t all that serious. Herein lies my marketing dilemma. How do I promote both books across one set of platforms? Setting up platforms for each book is not an option for me. I’ve come up with some ideas I’ll be testing out in the near future, so you’ll likely see some gradual changes on FB, Twitter, and this blog.

All I ask is that you remember I am compassionate, candid, honest…and sometimes funny, or at least try to be. Sometimes that’s hard without being rude. I’ll try not to be too rude.

Day before yesterday, I pulled my car over to a bus stop in a torrential downpour and gave a guy my umbrella if that helps.

Is there something you’d like to hear more about?

Any ideas on promoting books of different tone and/or genre?

Do the colors in the image above illicit any particular mood or feeling?

#amblogging: WordPress Blues

Please WordPress, stop trying to force us to use a dashboard we are not comfortable with. What’s the point? The dashboard has nothing to do with how the posts are displayed.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

wordpress logoWordPress people…you have pissed me off.

For a year now you have been trying to shove this new, less-than-useful dashboard down my throat, and for that same year, I have refused to use it. You allowed me the option to stay with the expanded version that played to my needs, and so I didn’t complain.

Today, however, you  cut off my simple access to the old, better-for-my-purposes dashboard, and forced me to hunt for a way to get back to it. So rather than the post I had intended, we are going to discuss how a determined blogger can get around your arbitrary decision.

I do not post my blogs from a cell phone. For those people who do, I am sure the bland wall of white fog that is the new default dashboard is fine, but for me it is NOT USEFUL.

First of all, the writing is pale…

View original post 368 more words

Sleuth Fest 2016: Do I dare?

SavetheDate16-2-300x300

Sleuth Fest 2016 is being held in February here in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This is Mystery Writers of America’s premier conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet other authors in the crime fiction/mystery writer league. Seminars are held to provide attendants ways to hone craft skills. There is also time given to pitch your completed, unpublished manuscript to agents. The list of offerings:

* Agent Appointments to pitch your finished work

* Critiques of your 10 page manuscript submission

* Forensic track with current forensic techniques and hands-on forensic workshops

* Social events to mingle with agents, editors and your favorite authors

* Auction to purchase critiques of your work by bestselling authors

* Sessions on the craft of writing

* Sessions on marketing and promoting your work
* Practice your Pitch sessions with experienced authors

 

You’re not promised a one:one with an agent as the 10 minute time slots fill up fast and I’d be coming in kind of late to the party. Yet, the introverted part of me that cringes at the thought of physically putting myself into a social situation like this also feels it would be grand experience. Do I dare?

Anybody want to meet me there and hold my hand? I’ll pay your plane fair. I’m serious.

I want to go and give it a try, but my social anxiety cripples me.

I need a fan club!

Sequins and Sandals

Second edits were completed on Naked Alliances and the manuscript has been sent to the editor for proofing. I’m excited about this book and also a bit nervous. It’s a break away from the philosophical meanderings of Red Clay and Roses. It was also a world of fun to write.

Naked Alliances is a regional fast paced crime thriller with a humorous edge.

Florida is notorious for its crazy but memorable, and sometimes lovable, fictional characters:

Here’s an A-Z list with some you may recognize:

 A

B

C

D

G

H

I

  • Ike

 

J

K

L

M

P

R

S

T

V

W

As anyone with a Facebook account knows, Florida is filled with the dregs of society, hell bent on wreaking havoc wherever they go. It’s the perfect place to find wacko, colorful criminals, along with odd protagonists whose motives might be less than conventional.

images

We have the highest rate of homeless people in the nation due, in part, to our wonderful weather, but also because it is relatively easy to live anonymously here, blending in with all the other wackos and tourists. Nobody really strikes you as unusual, because everybody, to some degree, is unusual. Yet, we also have one of the highest rates of millionaires in the nation perhaps due to the wonderful weather, but also because they, too, find it easy to live anonymously here, blending in with the wackos and tourists.

6db379445eca13b07cc645d504131920

“Sequins and Sandals” is a term the locals use when describing Central Florida. We’re a hodgepodge. From the beach bums and bikers, the rednecks and outdoorsmen, to the big time gamblers risking it all in high-end casinos, cruise ships, Jai alai courts, horsetracks and dogtracks, the land developers and profiteers, Floridians are Long Island iced tea poured over rocky road ice cream, a soothing soda that “normal” people drink through a straw for entertainment.

In Naked Alliances, you’ll be introduced to the real Central Florida that Disney World tries so hard to keep from public view.

How diverse are your locals?

What’s your favorite regional novel and why?