What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Friday, 25 January 2013

To Write 1st person or to write 3rd, that is often the question….

As writers, we have so many choices to make – about setting, characters, plot, conflicts, motivation, even picking one genre or to mix them up. One of the most important choices is in which POV (point of view) we’ll tell our story – meaning who tells this story.

Most stories are told in either 3rd person (with multiple points of view, say two or three main characters or deep 3rd, where only one person’s view point is heard) or in 1st person (only one person tells the story).

Deciding which to use can often cripple us -- creating doubts, rewrites, and confusion. Sometimes, though, there is no other way to tell a story but through one character’s voice. When that happens, we’re amazed at the simplicity and ease the decision comes to us.

Often you hear writers say “the character spoke to me” “his/her voice was the only one I could hear” and such. Which is valid, completely, and if a writer is smart, he or she will listen and take heed. I’m not going to go into publishers or editors who refuse to even consider a 1st person story, or readers who do the same. They’re missing out. End of story.

However, some genres do better with a 1st person POV – such as mystery, romantic suspense (where whodunit is important to keep until the last moment). Memoir-style books (Call me Ishmael…) work well with 1st. Urban Fantasy is also filled with 1st person books. Some Science Fiction comes that way also.

Nowadays, more Young Adult books are written in 1st person than 3rd. I hear writers question not if they should write in 1st, but should they write in 3rd for a YA story.

One of the tried and true genres is the Noir story – usually told by a person, like a detective, cop, reporter – someone with a real stake in how it all plays out. The noir takes a look at the seedy side of things. The lift a rock and see what crawls out. The beautiful dame with a gun and a deadly secret or the rich kid in too deep with the wrong people. They are usually mysteries (see paragraph above) or suspense or even thrillers, set in a city where crime, danger and deception rule the day and the night.

I’ve written several 1st person stories. I love it. I love bringing that character’s voice to the paper – telling it like he or she would tell it, complete with inflections, speech patterns, and a view of themselves you just can’t get in 3rd.

My first book published, The Mercenary’s Tale, was in 1st person. I was so new, no one had told me “hey, you can’t write a gay medieval historical in 1st person!” What did I know, except the voice of this character, Drake the mercenary, spoke in my head so loud, I never even thought to make it 3rd.

I wrote It Takes a Hero, about a soldier, back from Iraq who had his leg amputated below the knee, in 1st person. His voice came through loud and clear. His pain, his loss of limb, dignity, and his struggle with his new reality could only be captured by him telling the tale.

In No Good Deed, Daniel Chan had to tell the story of what it was like being the only Asian-American cop in a small Texas town. His self-depreciating humor, his personal struggle with his sexual identity, and coping with parents entrenched in both the American way of life and their Chinese roots, could only truly come out in his slow talking Texas drawl and the running play-by-play of his life.

Pacific Nights, my homage to WWII, although not in true 1st person, was done in deep 3rd. The only voice you hear is Mike’s, the rough-edged one-step-ahead-of-the-law soldier, as he tells a story of two men placed on a small island in the Pacific to spot the enemy and break codes, but who discovers he’s more than who he thought he was and rises to the occasion.

Remember Me? Also written in deep 3rd. One of the main characters is unconscious most of the story, the other, an emergency room doctor is the only one who can talk, so yeah, I sort of had to tell it either 1st or deep 3rd.

So when the Noir PAX sign-up list went up, I jumped for it, knowing immediately I’d do a gay noir set in New Orleans in the time of Storyville. And I knew I wanted one of the characters to be a cop and tell the story of how his world was shaped and changed by his time walking the beat in this red light district filled with houses of ill repute, madams, whores and one irresistible piano player.

I hope I’ve captured the dark side of the city I love so much. I always struggle to do her right, show her off, lift her petticoats and give you a glimpse of what lies underneath, and bare her heart and soul to my readers.

And for this story, 1st person was the only way I could have written it.


When policeman Max O’Rouke first patrolled the Storyville red-light district in New Orleans, he fell for piano player Tommy LeBarre and Tommy fell for Max. During those two years, however, they never acted on their desires. After all, how could a cop and a piano player in a whorehouse ever be together?

But now, when Tommy’s bordello is raided and he is left homeless and on the run from danger, Max is the only person who can protect him.

Someone wants Tommy dead, and Max will do anything, even kill, to protect his boy...

Available now at Amber Allure.

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1 comment:

  1. I love writing in 1st, I must admit, but it's risky if the reader doesn't identify sympathetically with your narrator. But I love to get deep into my character's head and see things through his eyes :). Great post!