Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Creating letters to use as a plot vehicle

The Juno Letters uses two conventions throughout the stories - letters and journals. These are the text-messages and voice-mail of the era. People wrote often and kept these life chronicles safely away. They are the true "stuff" of history. Creating them for your story, however, is frustratingly difficult.

Over the years I have developed my own strategy. In the new story, The Last Speech, I have a series of letters that move the story forward. The second of the group is used to try and determine who 'the bother' is and the context behind the letters. To meet the intent of the story, the language needs to be obscure but clues have to live buried within. Here is letter #2 -

10 Sept 1947

My Dear Brother,

I regret I have not written these many months. I have been able to send this letter through a British friend and escape the eyes of the prison censors.

The trial has been exhausting. For three weeks we faced our accusers whose pretense was finally revealed. Several charges have been dropped but I fear more prison time awaits.

I have not been able to correspond with my brother to ask him about the girl. I believe father arranged her departure. I think Mother knows of this, however she refuses to talk to about that time. Perhaps the truth may be told one day.

For now, expect little correspondence as long as I am in prison.

Obediently yours,


This is the fourth iteration of the letter. As I write the story based on this the content of the letter changes - I obscure more and more detail as Monique works to unravel the hidden nuances. By working backwards from what I originally wrote (what contained too much information) I am able to fit the letter snugly into the mystery. Likely I will eliminate references to prison, censors, etc., and find other means to obscure the facts but plant clues to find. This is part of the fun.

Watch the story develop at The Last Speech.

Good Reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Love a Conspiracy - The Last Speech

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right ... the world is a rigged game.

- Matt Taibbi

Ah, for the love of a good conspiracy. If you follow The Juno Letters series you have found a thread that winds itself through the complex maze of my stories - the conspiracy theory. Historians have long known how easy it is to create a conspiracy backwards. Events do have a chain that links them together from finish to start, no matter how ludicrous or incredible. Creating that chain forward is a far more difficult matter. People and events tend to happen with random or unexpected twists and turns making actually accomplishing the objective of a conspiracy nearly impossible - even if one attempts to.

At least that is my objective world view, for what it is worth. However, for writing nothing beats a great conspiracy. I like to debunk the popular conspiracies in The Juno Letters stories, only to leave the reader with the unmistakable impression that the writer of the stories has in reality uncovered one deeper and darker than what was imagined, often unknowingly.

Book 9 - now in development - revolves around one of the great conspiracies of the 20th Century - the demise (or not) of Adolf Hitler. I am not going to give away details, but I wanted to let you know that I will be posting the chapters as they unfold on The Juno Letters website so you can watch the story evolve.

The first installment is online at The Last Speech book page. Have a look, and while you are there sign up for free versions of the entire story draft when it is ready.

And remember - when the "other guy" makes the big score and not you, it just might be what journalist Matt Taibbi called "a rigged game."

Good Reading

Sunday, July 31, 2016

SMASHWORDS Summer Sale Results

The 2016 SMASHWORDS promotion is ending in a few hours and once again it has been a big success. The trend this year was for readers to download the other books in the series besides book 1 - The Juno Letters - an indication there were a lot of return readers. I was especially pleased with the results for the last published book, The Shadow's Speed. It was the most downloaded book of the series for the month of July.

Concurrent with the SMASHWORDS promo was the release of the working draft of The Bishop's Ring. Fifty-four readers opted to take a look at this work in progress in July - up considerably from the draft for Shadow when I first started offering this version. I have had a lot of helpful comments and a couple of "What the heck?" questions. I will be posting the next upgrade hopefully by the first week of August and will continue to offer First Look options on future works.

Thanks to all of you who jumped on either one of these offers. You referrals to family and friends form the background of The Juno Letter's success in the crowded e-book marketplace.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Story Draft Update - The Bishop's Ring v4

I have uploaded a major rework of the story draft of The Bishop's Ring. If you have delved into the meat of the story, some of the changes are:

  • The clerk has the seal;
  • Lowe does not sell one of the jade pieces in Menen;
  • Only two pieces enter the story, streamlining the conclusion
If you haven't read that far, no harm, no foul.

From here on in most of the inconsistencies and mistakes will be minor ones - I hope. I will begin revamping some dialog in preparation for the final draft that goes to my editor. Feel free to get the newest version, and check back often - I make incremental upgrades all the time.

What's New - the link to the story draft.

Good reading.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Bishop's Ring - Story Draft

Well, it's been a wee bit since I posted anything here - I've been consumed with writing book #8 - The Bishop's Ring. It has been a tough one to say the least. Sometimes things come easily, sometimes not - this one has taken so many twists and turns as I struggled with just how to develop the story that I must have rewritten the entire story line a half-dozen times.

But it is done - the story draft anyway. And you can download it in ePub or Kindle versions from What's New.

The story draft is the first entire story line - with the caveat that a LOT of editing remains. I post each new revision as they are completed. This allows my readers to follow the progress of the final drafts. Sometimes I get feedback, but I am not after free editors. So feel free to take a look - understand that things will change. You can share this link with friends, and if you are on my email list (go to the website - you will get the final version for free when it is published.

This will be the last of The Juno Letters series per se, but The Bishop's Ring sets the stage for the next series - new characters, a heroine instead of me as the main character, and some new twists and turns. So good reading!

L.W. Hewitt

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Shadow's Speed - Story Draft 2

DOWNLOAD the new version at

Thanks to all of you that downloaded the first story draft. You may have noticed some odd things if you read through the entire story. I warned you ... here are some of the Round 2 updates:

Armin/Ambrose Ziegler-Shaffer-Keller
This character mysteriously morphed into several names as the story progressed. This actually happens often as I write in small "snippets" that are not necessarily connected and not sequential. Seldom does a character have as many names as poor Armin, but he is much better now. Even though he is dead.

The Red Circle Climax
If you managed to read through to the near-end, the sequence at the Red Circle in Munich has undergone some consistency changes - both in the lead up and the execution of the journal drop. It will go through another integration starting today. It uses what I have seen called the "Texas Two-Step" or the "Double Shuffle" technique - a series of rapid-fire sequences, mostly dialogue, that make a climax event move very quickly. It is a challenge to get the sequence right with so little space allocated for each one. It is not quite right, yet.

The Cover
This version has both the preliminary chapter quotes and a temporary cover. The cover is under design and this is a placeholder, but it will give you an idea of what the final product may look like.

Typoes and othr crazzy ishoes

I caught the majority of the typos and edits in this iteration. Thanks to all of you that refrained from scolding me too much ... the story draft is not meant for prime time. I run through a whole list of standard edits: "all of" to "all"; eliminating overuse of "that"; catching phases used too many times; and of course simple typos and errors. The free-writing process results in a pretty messy document but it does come together in time.

The Shadow's Speed is on track for its debut in February. Thanks for all your comments, and have a Happy Holiday!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Story Draft - The Shadow's Speed

The Shadow's Speed - book 7 of The Juno Letters series - is now available for readers to download. This is the STORY DRAFT - the first time the entire story is compiled. It is not yet edited - that process has begun and will continue for the next two months. The finished book is scheduled for release February 1, 2016.

You are welcome to download either an ePUB or a Kindle version in it entirety; or you can simply preview the Prologue and Chapter 1. In either case just go to What's New on the Junoletters site and click the appropriate link.

One quick note - I am NOT looking for free editors. You are welcome to send me your thoughts, but we will be examining everything in the coming weeks. Like I said, this is a draft.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and hope to hear from you sometime.

Happy Holidays,

L.W. Hewitt

Creating letters to use as a plot vehicle

The Juno Letters uses two conventions throughout the stories - letters and journals. These are the text-messages and voice-mail of the era. ...