Guest Author: Writing What You Know, Even When It Sucks By Cari Z #Giveaway

Posted May 4, 2017 by Shari in Guest Post / 9 Comments

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Guest Author: Writing What You Know, Even When It Sucks By Cari Z #Giveaway

My last blog post was about writing conflict in a story, and how necessary it can be to move things along. Risky Behavior doesn’t suffer from a lack of conflict. It isn’t mired in it either—you can expect to laugh when you read this book, there are some genuinely funny sequences in there. But overall, it’s got a more serious tone, and part of that came from the background for our characters.

I tend to be a pantsy sort of writer. Basic plot outline, let me think about where I want to go and then I happily start down the yellow brick road of beginnings, just as overly confident as any Dorothy and nowhere near as well-equipped (bitch, gimme those shoes). But with my character Darren, I wanted to give him a history that would tarnish his “fresh and shiny new detective” sheen with a bit of seriousness. Him being a new and shiny detective was elemental to the plot, though, so where to inject some gravity?

Into his history, of course.

I work primarily in elder care, although I do have some clients in their youthful 50s and 60s. I travel between facilities and private homes to see my clients, and I see people in all stages of health and well-being. There are people who are astonishingly healthy for their age, others who suffer from fairly typical illnesses, and others who are in advanced stages of everything from dementia to Parkinsons to multiple sclerosis. I become intimate with them and their families, become a part of their lives as best I can, and do everything in my power to improve their wellness, whether they’ll ever remember it or not. And sometimes, even after ten years at this, my heart breaks a little over a client.

Heartbreak is motivational. It gives you purpose, even if you don’t know how long that purpose will last. I set my character Darren up for heartbreak in Risky Behavior, but don’t feel too bad for him. He values every second of it he can get.

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Cari Z/L. A. Witt blog tour for Risky Behavior, book 1 of the Bad Behavior series!

About Risky Behavior

It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.

Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.

As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?

Risky Behavior is available from Riptide Publishing.

About Cari Z

Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.

Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.

Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on, under the name Carizabeth.

Connect with Cari at  or via her blog,

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

  1. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).


To celebrate the release of Risky Behavior, one lucky winner will receive an ebook from each Cari and Lori’s backlist and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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4 years ago

Thanks for the post and for the discover of this book!

Steve Wroten
Steve Wroten
4 years ago

Congrats and thanks for the post. I like how authors give “tarnish” and “seriousness” to a character to make them more 3D. I also love good detective stories (with a novice at that), and I’ll also like the political intrigue and age-gap. –
TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

Mary Kirkland
4 years ago

I like there to be some laughter in the story but seriousness brings out what the character is really about, in my opinion.

4 years ago

Thank you for the post. It was interesting and it’s good to know that he’ll be more human and there’ll be some “tarnish” to offset his “seriousness”.
humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

4 years ago

I have been following along learning more about this new book. I am so glad to find out that there are a few moments in there that will have me laughing; it seems like there is a nice mix of content to move the story along in a nice pace.


Carole's Random Life
4 years ago

Nice post! I like the idea of writing about what you know. It will be much more realistic when it comes from first hand experience. I am curious about what kind of heartbreak Darren is going to experience.

Lisa S
Lisa S
4 years ago

Thanks for the post. I think evil authors are evil!

4 years ago

Love a combination of humor and trouble — evil/funny/tender authors are the best!

4 years ago

This sounds good. Thanks for sharing about Cari. I am really surprised how many panster authors there are. I would be all pie charts and post it notes..before I even wrote a sentence. Which is why I read instead. I would suck the fun right out of it.