Rox Burkey – Blog Place

I am delighted to host RRBC RWISA Author Jan Sikes as she wraps up her blog tour for her newest book. Thank you, Jan. for visiting and sharing some great storytelling insights! I love this book and previously posted a review. Rox Burkey

(2) e-book copies of GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE – Please Comment Below

I am so honored to be a guest here today, as I wind down my Ghostly Interference blog tour. And I am happy to announce that my book is on sale through January 22nd!

Today I am going to talk about story layering.

RWISA Author Jan Sikes

Have you ever eaten an artichoke? If you have, you know you have to peel back the leaves to eventually get to the prized delicacy of the heart. That’s how I see story layering only in the opposite order.

You start with a story idea. It is the basis or heart of your story. Then you can begin to layer in conflict, tension, obstacles, and personalities.

Layering is the secret to crafting a stronger plot.

For example, let’s say your story is about a young woman who has returned to the family farm following her parents’ death. She promised her father on his deathbed that she would keep their legacy and the farm alive. Then maybe the conflict could come when someone starts pressuring her to sell the land. She refuses to sell, so that adds tension. The foreman who her father had hired and trusted implicitly is not only a necessity to keep the farm operating, but he’s ruggedly handsome and single. Sexual tension is a great way to move a story forward, especially in the romance genre. Another layer could be that the developer who wants to buy the property is an old lover, and she fights conflicting feelings of attraction. You could have so many things happen in this triangle. A horrible storm could trap the three of them in the barn or unexplained accidents can start to happen. See where I’m going? One thing stacks on top of another.

In Ghostly Interference, Jag Peters starts by merely trying to keep his karma slate clean. But when the Harley rider he’d almost killed at an intersection turns out to be a stunning but seriously angry woman, it throws him for a loop. And yet, there is an immediate attraction. The layers, conflict, tension, and sub-plots continue to mount as the story unfolds.

I’m wondering. Do you have a special technique for layering? If you’re like me and are a pantser, I’d like to know how sub-plots come together for you. I have to admit I had a few surprises during the course of writing this story, and that’s when I really get excited!

Let’s talk!


Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet, comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

Book Trailer














Amazon Author Page

Get It Today!

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the authors’ tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site for the additional stops that are all going on today.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HEREThanks for supporting these authors and their work!

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    45 replies to "Welcome to the GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE 1 Day/5 Blog Tour! @JanSikes3 @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA"

    • Nonnie Jules

      Oh, my, we’re discussing sexual tension, are we? Can’t wait to read this one (as the blush rushes to my cheeks!)

      Rox, thanks for hosting Jan today!

      • Jan Sikes

        Hi, Nonnie. Thank you for leaving a comment. Rox and I are discussing story layering at this stop, but my story has a lot of sexual tension and a love scene or two that might make your cheeks turn a little rosy. 🙂 I appreciate your support!

      • RoxBurkey

        Ni Nonnie. Thank you for swinging over for a visit. Next time I will have the tea ready. Great character development, good tension, and surprises along the way. I know you will like this one. Always a delight to host any RRBC author. Take care.

    • Robbie Cheadle

      HI Rox, thanks for hosting Jan with this great post. I enjoyed her explanation about layering.

      • Jan Sikes

        Hi, Robbie. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I’m glad you enjoyed the post about story layering! I appreciate you!

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Robbie, nice to see you. I too found Jan’s information useful. It is nice to hear what others learn. Thank you for stopping by. Take care.

    • Jan Sikes

      Good morning, Rox! Thank you so very much for your generosity in hosting today as I wrap up this long tour. I can’t think of a better place to land! I wish you a great day and thank you for your friendship and your support!

      • RoxBurkey

        Jan, I am delighted to share your information. This book is worth every penny, but in my house a sale item is al the sweeter.

    • John Podlaski

      Jan, you’ve been around the world twice on your tours and the book should be flying off the shelves. I’m anxious to stop at all five stops today and read your various lessons learned about writing. I wish you success and will add GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE to my Kindle.

      Thank you, too, Rox for hosting Jan’s stop today.

      • RoxBurkey

        John, so kind of you to stop by. This story is worth the read and Jan’s lessons are valuable. Take care.

      • Jan Sikes

        Hi, John! Thank you for your kind wishes. It has been a long and arduous tour, and I have to admit I’m exhausted but so happy to end the tour with 4 Wills Publishing!

    • Jill Weatherholt

      Thanks for hosting Jan, Rox. She’s been busy! Layering is so important and Jan’s explanation is helpful.

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Jill, So glad you stopped by to read this. Come by any time. You can also find my review of her book in an earlier post. Take care

      • Jan Sikes

        Hi, Jill. I very much appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! I agree. Layering is essential for building a story.

    • Joy Lo-Bamijoko

      Very interesting, Jan. I’m a pantser too, I like to say that I let a story idea hit me, and when it does, I see it and I write what I see. Thank you, Rox for hosting her.

      • Jan Sikes

        I love that, Joy. Writing what we see is where the magic happens. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Joy so nice to see you here. Thank you.

    • Wendy Scott

      Layers make a story haunt you – I also like adding touches of symbolism.

      • RoxBurkey


      • Jan Sikes

        Hi, Wendy! That’s another great point. Symbolism can add dept to a story and strengthen the plot. Thank you for stopping by!

    • Maura Beth Brennan

      Rox, thanks for hosting! Jan, your description of story layering is spot-on. I have to say, I am more of a plotter than panster, maybe a combination of the two, but I agree – sometimes, the plot drives you, not the other way around. I look forward to reading your book and savoring your always impeccable writing!

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Maura Beth, thank you for stopping by. You can’t miss out on reading this one. I am looking forward to book 2

      • Jan Sikes

        Thank you for your comment, Maura Beth! I call myself a “planster.” I always have a plan for my story, but let the characters lead me. I appreciate your support, and hope you enjoy the story!

    • Karen Black

      Hi, Rox. Thank you for featuring “Ghostly Interference.” Jan’s insight regarding layering is good information, too. Best wishes!

      • RoxBurkey

        Karen, thank you for stopping by. I wish you well and look forward to more stories.

      • Jan Sikes

        Thank you, Karen! I’m happy you stopped by and enjoyed the post!

    • Pat Garcia

      Hi Jan, Hi Rox,
      Jan, I agree with you that layering is the key to bringing the reader in. I took several deep point of view (DPOV) courses that showed how important this principle is in any writing.

      Rox, thank you so much for hosting Jan.
      All the best to you both.
      Shalom aleichem

      • RoxBurkey

        Pat, always delighted when you stop by and visit. Thank you.

      • Jan Sikes

        Hi, Pat! Thank you for coming over. I too have taken some deep point of view courses and learned so much from each one. I absolutely cannot wait for your story to hit the shelves! I am standing in line for it! 🙂 I appreciate you!

    • Yvette M Calleiro

      A book without layers is a boring book for me. Lol! I find that paying attention to the dynamics of the characters tends to create the layers. Thanks for hosting, Rox! 🙂

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Yvette, could not agree more. Always a delight to host an author and learn something new! Take care

      • Jan Sikes

        You nailed it, Yvette. Paying attention to the dynamics of the characters does create the layers. I let my characters lead any story I write and it’s amazing some of the things they can come up with. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

    • Susan Hughes

      I learned a lot here today! Very informative post, Jan.
      Thanks for hosting, Rox!

      Have a great weekend.

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Susan, thank you for visiting. Have an awesome weekend too.

    • Charles W Jones

      I’m a pantser and when I go back and read what I’ve written, I tend to add missing layers. Great post.

      • Jan Sikes

        Another great point, Charles. That process of going back and reading the story after letting it rest can open up new layering possibilities! Thanks for stopping by!

      • RoxBurkey

        Charles, that you for stopping by. Great point on going back and revisiting. We are do two of ours this year. Jan, great job! Hope your sales are skyrocketing.

    • Marian Beaman

      I did not realize that I practiced “layering” in memoir, weaving more than one storyline in my plot. Thanks for the enlightenment!

      That’s the secret sauce of RRBC: Authors supporting (and mentoring with great advice) other authors.

      Thanks, Rox, for hosting, and Jan, for writing a book worthy of touting here. Yay! @JanSikes3 #RRBC

      • RoxBurkey

        Nice, Marian. Practice makes perfect. Thank you for stopping by. Take care.

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter

      Layering. Now that’s a word I haven’t heard. But what you describe is very familiar to me Jan. I don’t think you get to practice layering much in non fiction stories. But layering does happen in that genre anyway, especially if you have a wild story to tell. But what do I know?

      Thank you Jan for sharing your expertise.

      Thank you Rox for hosting.

      • RoxBurkey

        Shirley, thank you for stopping by. I think to a degree you perform layering when discussing your brother in his book. That is my perspective, however. Rox

    • Bette A Stevens

      Powerful post and blurb, Jan! Great hooks for your awesome new release!

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Bette thank you so much for stopping by. Always delightful to cross paths with you. thanks

    • Patty Perrin

      Hi, Jan! Hi, Rox! Thanks for hosting Jan’s blog today! I am a pantser, and layering happens when I ask the question, “What could possibly go wrong?” Since I write Teen and YA stories, the sexual tension is there, but muted. When the plot seems to flatten, my characters find trouble, or trouble finds them. You’ve done a great job with that in this book, Jan.

      • RoxBurkey

        Hi Patty great insight. thanks for stopping by.

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