Saturday, May 14, 2011

Noble by David K. Hulegaard

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In the fall of 1947, Jane Emmett went missing from the small Northeastern town of Ashley Falls. Jane was a rebellious youth who was no stranger to trouble, and her diminished presence around town was not considered by the locals to be anything more than a punishment. When disturbing entries from a hidden journal are discovered by Jane’s best friend, reluctant private investigator Miller Brinkman can no longer ignore the situation and enters the fray, officially declaring Jane Emmett a missing person.

However, what starts out as a missing persons case soon evolves into a sinister puzzle that reaches far beyond the town limits of Ashley Falls. Miller’s investigation will take him down a path of unexpected twists and turns as he attempts to find Jane Emmett and bring her back home. Standing in his way are corruption, a government cover-up, and a global conspiracy that will shake the very fabric of life as he knows it.

How far will Miller go to uncover the truth behind the abduction of Jane Emmett… and will he be prepared for the answers that he seeks?

David K. Hulegaard is an author and student of film and music. From an early age, he was encouraged by his parents to read a little bit each day, and developed an extensive imagination while burying his nose into a mixture of R.L. Stine books and literary classics.

With an established professional background in the real world of category management, consultation and marketing, he felt unable to quench the thirst for creativity he'd been harboring for years. This led to the release of his debut novel Noble in October 2010.

Hailing from the postcard-perfect Pacific Northwest, where he currently lives with his fiance, there is never a shortage of inspiration. Citing a variety of influences, he loves to dabble within many different genres and settings to tell a story.

What will readers like about your book? 
I think readers will be attracted to the combination of genres that I mashed together to tell this story. For fans of mystery, the story is largely about a private detective who is on the case of a missing teenage girl from his home town. 

For fans of sci-fi and/or the paranormal, what the private detective uncovers along his journey will be of particular interest. When writing this book, I didn't intentionally set out to touch so many different elements, but I think they blended together quite nicely.

Why did you self publish? 
Something that was very important to me was 100% control of my content. I had heard some horrific tales from writers who had been extremely disappointed after they had signed on with a major publishing house and were asked to make alterations to their manuscript before it could be published. 

As a writer, one of my greatest concerns would be to have someone who doesn't "get" my story force me to make changes that caused the story to stray from my original vision. 
I am by no means a perfect writer, and I think that my stories get better based upon the feedback of the people who read them, but I want to have the final say on what gets published with my name on it. 

Additionally, I also liked how self publishing allowed me to set my own publishing schedule. The only person pressuring me to hurry and finish is me, and I'd like to think that I can handle that guy. :)

What is your writing process? 
I write many drafts before the final piece gets published. I know how important quality is to a reader, and nothing can remove you from a story faster than spelling mistakes and poor grammar. At the same time, I also don't want to slow myself down during the writing process to stamp out the little mistakes. 

So, I write my first draft from start to finish without re-reading a single word. I know there are errors in there, but they can wait. Once that first draft is finished, I print it out and try to read it as though I didn't write it. I mark it up with a big red pen and then when finished, I go back and make the corrections. I then take that second draft and select 2-3 editors to read it and catch all the little mistakes that my brain can't catch. 

Try as you might, you'll never be able to 100% edit your own work, so it's important to find a couple of friends, colleagues, or family members that you can trust to catch the things in your work that your brain refuses to see.

How long does it take you to write your first draft? 
It depends heavily on what type of project I'm working on and how enraptured I am with the idea. For example, I wrote the first draft of NOBLE in about three months. That was the first draft though. It took me another three months to do rewrites and publish. There was a time when I had forgotten what my fiance looked like!

What inspired you to write this particular story? 
Writing is something that I'd always wanted to do since I was a child. I think the desire to write comes from both appreciating a good story when you experience it, and appreciating the opportunity to tell one of those stories yourself. Anyone that writes will tell you that inspiration is around you at all times and you just never know when something will strike your fancy.

For me, the idea for NOBLE came from a really messed up dream I had. You know the kind, right? Where you wake up in the morning trying to make sense of it and ponder your sanity over your first cup of coffee? Well, that's what happened to me. 

The dream itself was pretty rough and nonsensical, but I saw potential in the raw, left over remnants of my subconscious and I jotted down the particularly interesting bits. From there, I began to craft a story around those elements. A fellow writer once told me that building a story is a lot like engineering a human body. You have to start with the skeleton, but then you add in all of the layers until it's complete. It sounds so simple, but that mindset has helped me while constructing my stories. 

If you think of your main character as the heart, you have to consider what makes the heart work. It needs oxygen, it needs blood. It needs several things in order to sustain life, and the same is true for your story. If you create a character that is lacking the necessary elements to sustain life, your readers won't be able to connect to that character and they won't enjoy your story.


“You’re not the sheriff. Who are you?”

There was no response, though I could still plainly see the outline of the figure standing in the hallway no more than twenty to thirty feet from me. It was too hard to make out specifics, but the figure appeared to be wearing a dark trench coat and a short-brimmed fedora. I was positive that I was not in the presence of the sheriff, but according to him, he was the only person that even knew I was here. If not him, then exactly who was this standing before me?

“Kind sir, I am appreciative and mean no disrespect, but why are you helping me?”

Again, I was receiving no response. Whoever this person was apparently wasn’t big on small talk, but I was grateful for the help none the less. There were about ten keys on the loop in my hand, so it was going to take a few minutes to find the right key and get out. As I began to try out the different keys, I pondered what would be the first task at hand once I had my freedom. Based on what Sheriff Coleman had told me, I knew that he would be at Sunset Hill putting the finishing touches on his frame job. He would eventually head back to the station however and would surely not be happy to see that I had escaped. No matter what I would do next, I couldn’t simply just return home.

“Miller Brinkman.”

I was quickly pulled away from my thoughts by the sound of an unfamiliar and deep voice. It was a commanding voice that startled me to the point of dropping the key ring back on to the floor.

“Miller Brinkman… the answers to all of your questions begin in Baltimore.”

“Baltimore? Sir, is that where Jane Emmett is? Who are you?”

The man dropped something on the floor, then turned and walked away. I heard the sounds of the front door open and close again. Just like that, this mystery man was there and gone. I had many questions about what had just happened, but time was of the essence at that point. If there was still time to stop Sheriff Coleman from setting me up, then it was clear to me that my next move would be to try and beat him to Sunset Hill. Since he could not know that I was free, there would be no sense of urgency on his part to get there. I could use that to my advantage.

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