Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith: Guest Post, Review, Excerpt: Full Moon Bites Blog Tour



Dinosaur Lake’s Backstory Essay
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
 
 

Of all my 16 novels Dinosaur Lake has the strangest story attached to its creation, death and rebirth…20 years later…of any of them.
 
Not so much because, as a few of my books, it took so long to write or publish, but because in 1993 it was contracted, edited and the final galleys had been proofed by me for a 5th  paperback book release from Zebra (Kensington Publishing) after 3 earlier novels with Leisure Books. I even had a stack of the full-color, printed and embossed covers; it was only weeks before it was to go to the bookshelves (in those days the brick & mortar stores were still king, no Internet or ebooks). I strongly believed it’d be my breakout book. You know, the book that’d make my career and launch me into the stratosphere with Stephen King and Anne Rice? How wrong I’d be. But, hey, I thought who wouldn’t love a tale of a cunning but malevolent rampaging prehistoric dinosaur living in Crater Lake, Oregon, and the Park Ranger who, along with a ragtag gang of heroes who’d try to stop it? I mean, I’d always loved anything about dinosaurs…dinosaur books, playing with those little plastic figurines and watching old stop-action dinosaur movies of the 1950’s and 60’s…who hadn’t?
 
Apparently someone. My new editor at Zebra.
 
By 1994, after four novels with them, I’d lost my sweet editor there and a new one took her place...and over the next year he didn’t like anything I wrote for him and later that year Zebra unceremoniously dropped me and my book (Predator…which never came out but still lingers to this very day like some weird ghost book in every computer on the global Internet) only six weeks away from going to the bookstore shelves. When we were editing the book and deciding on the title and the cover, I’d begged the new editor not to call it Predator (his choice as they hadn’t liked my American Loch Ness Monster title), bad title since there was a popular movie out of that name and the movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, was nothing about a dinosaur; and the cover was awful, an empty boat on a lake…what!!! Having that book–my first ever–dumped like that was a crushing experience, let me tell you. I had a stack of finished, printed covers and my final edits were done! But nothing my agent or I could say or do would change their minds. They said they were cutting their horror lines and setting adrift a lot of their mid-list horror authors because horror (in 1994) was on the decline. The new editor-that-didn’t-like-my-writing explained: “And no one wants to read a book about a dinosaur.” Yeah, sure.
 
And six months later Jurassic Park the book came out! We all know how that story ended, don’t we? People loved the book, the movies; they loved dinosaurs.
 
I’ll never know the real reason they cut the book but that male editor never bought another book from me…which was another weird thing because when I’d met him in New York (I went for a Horror Convention) in the summer of 1993 he’d taken my husband and I out to lunch and gushed over me and said how much he’d loved my last release WITCHES. Hmmm.
 
Anyway, I got to keep my advance but the book was officially dead. It never came out. I grieved.
 
I was so disgusted I stashed it in a drawer somewhere and tried to forget it.
 
Until now. After I’d finished revising and rereleasing all my new/old 15 books (and besides paperbacks they’re in ebooks for the first time ever) from Eternal Press/Damnation Books in June of 2012 I remembered about my American Loch Ness Monster novel, took it out and reread it.
 
Whoa, like a lot of my older novels now years later I could see what was wrong with it and how to fix it. Back then I hadn’t seen the head-hopping I did or the awkward phrasing, stiff or overly dramatic dialogue, repetitive words and other things I’ve learned since to recognize and stay away from. Of course, computers help make the editing so much easier. I think I’d done the original book on my electric typewriter.
 
Anyway, telling myself the dumping of that book had been a turning point in my writing life–sending me in the wrong direction for a long time apparently…I couldn’t sell a book for over eight long years after that until 2003 when my eighth novel finally came out–I decided to rewrite and finally release it. In fact, I was going to do something that twenty years ago would have been unheard of and frowned on…self-publish the book myself. With Kindle Direct. For the first time in forty years I was walking away from the traditional publishers and going on my own. Thank you J.A. Konrath’s blog! I figured I could sell the Kindle ebook a lot cheaper and, thus, use it to introduce (as enticement) more readers to my writing and perhaps, if they liked it, they’d buy more of my other fifteen novels, novellas and various short stories.

 
It could work, right?
 
So here it is, retitled, rewritten, updated and with an amazing new cover I love by Dawne Dominque… Dinosaur Lake. I hope my readers will like it.
 

Available at Amazon Kindle:
 
 
 
 

 

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had sixteen (nine romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
 
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Books available at Amazon.com here.
 
My Space (To see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer) | Goodreads | Facebook | Bebo | Authors Den | Jacket Flap | Shout Life | Romance Writer and Reader | Romance Book Junction |
 
 
 

Title: Dinosaur Lake
Author: Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Genre: SF/Horror,
Publisher: Amazon Kindle Direct
Ebook
Pages: 317 
Purchase: Amazon 
Book Description:
 
 
 
An ancient predator has been reborn in the caves beneath Crater Lake…and it’s hungry.
 
Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it’s been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he’s about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin…people begin to go missing…then there’s some mysterious water creature that’s taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it’s not only growing in size, it’s aggressive and cunning…and very hungry.
 
And it’s decided it likes human beings. To eat.
 
And it can come up onto land.
 
So Henry, with the help of his wife, Ann; a young paleontologist named Justin; and a band of brave men must not only protect his park and his people from the monster but somehow find where it lives and destroy it…before it can kill again.
 



Out of nowhere, the red-haired woman blurted out, “Have you ever seen the creature in the lake, Ranger Shore?” She was snacking on a big bag of M&M’s and between her words she crunched on the candies.
“What creature?” Henry was smiling.
“Oh, the serpent creature...the one that lives in the lake? My friend, Martha, was here last summer and she told me she saw this...thing...swimming in the lake one night. Looked sort of like a huge snake, only with a shorter neck and a fatter body. She swore it was greenish in color, and scaly. A water serpent. Just like that thing in Loch Ness, only smaller. Loch Ness, in Scotland, you know?”
Henry could only nod. He couldn’t believe the woman was going on and on about a lake monster. There were no such things. Into his mind stomped the image of Godzilla climbing out of Crater Lake, spiked tail swinging and beady marble eyes scowling as it frantically waved around its tiny, clawed front arms. Henry had to stop himself from laughing.
“My friend said the creature nearly scared her to death. She’d gotten separated from the rest of her tour group exploring Wizard Island, and saw the thing in the water off shore. It circled three times glaring at her. She was terrified it was going to come up on land after her. She wasn’t the only one who saw it, either. Herman, her boyfriend, saw it, too.”
“Did she get a photograph of it?”
“Well, no. She was so scared she forgot all about her camera, and by the time she remembered the creature was long gone. She said it was really fast.”
All eyes were on Henry. He didn’t know what to say. Was the woman a crack-pot, or what? She seemed normal enough, no drooling or twitches, but one could never tell.
He sighed, trying not to appear rude. “Ma’am, as far as I know there is no serpent, no huge creature of any variety in Crater Lake. And believe me, if there was one, I’d be the first to know it,” he insisted, with a casual shrug. “One of my rangers would have seen and reported it long before this. They patrol the lake every day.”
The woman grunted in a dismissive way, didn’t say anything else, but her eyes kept squinting out at the water from under her raised palm. The sun was beginning to set in all its splendor. The whole park was bathed in a mist of golden pinks and yellows. Clouds raced across the sky like candy-colored wisps of cotton.
What bizarre things people can come up with, Henry thought. 




5 STARS
 

The setting of this story is absolutely spectacular, and so perfect for this dinosaur monster mystery.  Crater Lake, Oregon – a quiet, quaint, remote National Park in which during recent seismic activity a monster of truly epic proportions has been released after languishing for millions of years underground.  It is an amphibious creature – huge, fast and hungry.
 

 Chief Park Ranger Henry Shore, at first discounts the gossip that a huge beast is prowling Crater Lake at night but when he finds the rubble of a tour boat and a few body parts later on of some hapless, homeless squatters, then observes an attack by the ancient nightmare himself, Henry realizes the lake and entire area has become a killing ground for the voracious creature.  Stonewalled by greedy politicians and his pandering boss, Henry and a handful of trusted associates make plans to hunt and destroy the dinosaur on their own.
 

I did become distracted multiple times because of incorrect pronoun usage.  For example, “I’ll send Redcrow back after he drops Dr. Harris and I off at headquarters.” There were several other similar instances with two or three different pronouns, as well. Other than those occasional grammatical disruptions the story flowed very smoothly. 
 

I really enjoyed this story.  The descriptive detail was such that I had no difficulty immersing into the story while the images played out in my imagination.  The characters were fully-fleshed out and recognizable as people we have all run across at one time or another – brave men, and pompous, opportunistic idiots.  This story definitely paints a picture featuring some of the best and some of the worst traits of mankind.  The action was spellbinding.  This was a very fast read for me mainly because I could not tear myself away for long and had to find out what would happen next. 
 

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 
 

Reviewed by Laurie-J

 
 


Jan. 21st- A Book Lover's Library (Review/Guest Post)
Jan. 22nd- The Avid Reader (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 23rd- A.B. Shepherd's Reinvented Reader (Review)
Jan. 24th- Laurie's Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (Review/Guest Post/Giveaway)
Jan. 25th- Sweet n' Sassi (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 28th- The Stuff of Success (Review/Giveaway)
Jan. 29th- Mallory Heart Reviews (Review/Giveaway)
 
 

 


 
 
 

1 comment:

sashagirl said...

Laurie,
thank you so much for posting my guest post today and for the lovely review on my Dinosaur Lake. So happy you liked it! Warmly, author of 17 novels, Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net