This is an author's blog written by Pico Triano. 'Pico's Profile' will tell you a little about me. 'Pico's Stuff' will lead you to links and information on how you can access all my publicly available writing. 'Friends and Family' advertises websites on behalf of family and friends. The 'Friend Book Reviews' page is where I review materials written by the many friends I have made as a writer. Finally I recently added a review page for general reviews.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Cover Art For LSDL

Inknbeans Press posted the cover art selected for my book on Facebook and labelled it coming soon. Very big image but I'm putting it in here in full. Added links to some of the articles related to each other on the blog here. Trying to make it easier for readers to navigate to everything.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Making a new major character for Rat in the Shadows.

Sandy Middleton was a fun character to create and her creation illustrates techniques you may not actually need but might find useful. She predates the storyline of Rat in the Shadows and I wasn't even considering her for a part in a sequel to Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. I liked her character but had trouble coming up with a storyline where she was the sole star of the show. An idea for a first chapter for a sequel came to me during a brainstorming session with my children. I thought it was a good start and wrote down the first chapter to avoid forgetting the feel of it. A friend immediately spotted it on and egged me on until there were eight chapters. While Camp NaNoWriMo is not a smashing success for me this time around due to personal time constraints, I do have a rough outline in my head to the end of the story and another four and a half chapters written so far. That's a lot more than I started the month with.

This young heroine started out as an assignment for a children's book writing course through The Children's Literature Institute. I needed to observe a young person in action doing some activity and write a complete profile of my new character. I later had to put her in a short story. Our family had just moved a couple of times in rapid fire succession. We didn't know anyone where this could be accomplished easily. Especially considering we didn't have transportation besides our feet. Took me some real creative thought as to where to go for this. Robert J Ray in his book The Weekend Novelist recommends a similar exercise for creating new characters by the way that he calls "stranger in a room". I decided the best place to go would be the local arena. Maybe write about some young hockey player. The little outing turned out to be golden. For appearances sake I dragged the whole family along. Random middle aged men lurking around youth activities might attract unwanted attention. We stumbled on a figure skating class of children about the right age for my assignment.

I don't think we'd settled our rear ends on the wooden seats for more than five minutes before I spotted my character. Some boys but mostly girls skated around taking turns at different stations on the ice practicing various figure skating skills. Sandy was hanging out with a friend enthusiastically going through the different routines. The two girls were a complete contrast. Her friend was dressed in a special figure skating outfit and looked like she was having a difficult time staying warm. "Sandy" was wearing black ski pants, a purple sweatshirt and a purple scrunching holding her blonde hair in a medium length ponytail. She didn't look like a rich kid but she looked comfortable. She executed most of the skills without trouble. By the way she put her hands on her head after spins though it was obvious she was struggling with dizziness.

My children were into the process right along with me. We chatted back and forth while I made my notes. We had plenty of time to get all the material I needed to complete my assignment. It turned out to be a fun outing.

Once the assignments were done Sandy ended up filed away for future use. I think she ends up being a great fit for Rat in the Shadows

Related Articles and Links

Sneak Peek: Rat in the Shadows Chapter I
LSDL Character Development Part I
LSDL Character Development Part II
LSDL Character Development Part III
LSDL Character Development Part IV

Friday, 12 April 2013

Heavy Duty Week

Got my first installment of edits from InknBeans Press early in the week. For that reason I temporarily abandoned Camp NaNoWriMo. Can only do one thing at a time. Doesn't help that I've been feeling a little ill all week. Haven't given up. Just trying to keep my priorities in the right order. First priority is to see "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie" in print. Working on the sequel is definitely important. Meanwhile I still have to live in the real world.

The other three members of the family are on pace to complete their Camp NaNoWriMo novels. Kudos to all of them. If I can get rolling again, there is still time to get it done before the final bell. Another installment of edits are supposed to get here this weekend though so I not expecting to be standing in the winners circle at the end of the month. I am three more chapters closer to a sequel though. Word count puts me only a bit short of half a novel.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Making A Banner Ad For Advertising My Blog

I had a great deal of fun creating a banner to put on my profile on MyLot. I can use it elsewhere. It was actually fun and simple to do. For anyone interested in doing the same the website I used is advertised with the banner because I'm broke and only worked with the free tools. I like how it turned out.

Create your own banner at!
Make your own banner at!

Granted I am incapable of leaving well enough alone, so I wasted a great deal of time trying to create one for one of the artists on my Friends and Family page tearing my hair out in the process. Using your own images is not that simple. I'm sure it's not that difficult for someone who knows what they are doing. I of course don't have a clue.

Please don't click on it. That could potentially mess with my websites stats. It'll bring you right where you already are.