Friday, August 31, 2012

Interview with Bronya from Mystic

Happy FRIDAY, people of the blogosphere! Today, I bring you an interview with Bronya Thibodeaux from the first book in my Mystic series. I hope you all enjoy the interview today. She's quite a character.

Jo: Hello everyone! Please help me to welcome our guest, Bronya Thibodeaux! Good morning, Bronya. How are you today?

Bronya: I'm okay, I guess. Hey peeps! (waves at audience)

Jo: I'd like to jump right into my questions today, if you don't mind. Waste not, want not, and our time is precious.

Bronya: That's fine. Go ahead.

Jo: Okay, first up: In the book, you seem surly and a little like a loner. Can you tell us what events in your life led you to feel out of place in Houma High School?

Bronya: Yeah, I suppose. I was always bigger than the other girls. At six-foot-one, I'm rather imposing and I like to wear boots, jeans, and tee shirts. I was never really a girly-girl, you know? Well, when you're different like that, people tend to single you out for ridicule or they don't trust you. I just felt better being alone rather than constantly wondering who I could trust.

Jo: I certainly understand that. I had my fair share of cruelty by others in High School. You are very tall... Anyway, when did you realize you were gay and how did that impact you socially?

Bronya: Wow. You just come right out with the questions huh? I realized there was something different about me when I was in the sixth grade. All the girls in my classes went boy-crazy but I never had an interest. My affections were for my neighbor, a girl named Cecilia. We used to play together when we were little but her best friend, Stephanie, was always mean to me and pulled my hair. So, after a while, I quit going over there. We grew apart after that but I've always loved Cecilia as far back as I can remember.

Jo: That's so touching. Stephanie sounds like a real winner. I suppose you can't help who is in your general sphere of being, huh?

Bronya: Yeah. But she never crossed me before that day in the bathroom. I suppose supporting her best friend when they had a falling out wasn't the smartest thing I could have done. I didn't mean to hurt Stephanie as badly as I did.

Jo: You sure whipped her, that's for sure. So, you've been in New York a while now, tell me about your decision to move there.

Bronya: It wasn't a decision, really. I had no other choice because of what happened at home. I couldn't find a job, people threw things at me, and I couldn't be around Cecilia after what she said to me. I had to leave. The offer from WSTW came at just the right time. Meeting Lily really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I thought I had it bad but that girl, ouch.

Jo: What do you mean?

Bronya: Her whole life got ruined because of what happened to her. She lost everything. I had to deal with almost the same thing but I can walk away and pretend and just fit in, you know? She can't.

Jo: Yes, I know. But wouldn't that be like lying to yourself if you pretended to be heterosexual?

Bronya: Yes. I've been struggling with it. Knowing how other people will react once they find out I'm a lesbian doesn't help matters. (turns to audience) Just leave me alone, okay? I don't put you down, don't do it to me. I am who I am. No amount of Holy Water is gonna change me. Just because I'm gay, doesn't mean I'm a sinner or a bad person. (turns back) I just get so sick of people treating me like I have a disease that's catching, you know?

Jo: Yup. I've been sitting here for a while now and I don't feel anything. Wait... No, that's just a mosquito bite. (winks and smiles) Now, tell me what you plan to do with yourself.

Bronya: I plan to work for WSTW when they finally call me in. I've been sitting around this huge apartment, waiting on something. When Lily showed up, I thought perhaps I could start working; but that's not the case. We have been reading those books we were told to read though. Weird things are happening. But, I'm not gonna get into that. If you wanna know, you gotta read the books.

Jo: That sounds like an awesome plan. I hope everything works out for you and Lily, too.

Bronya: Thanks.

Jo: Well, that's all the time we have for today. Thank you for joining us, Bronya. I know this wasn't easy and I appreciate your time.

Bronya: No problem. Glad to help.

Jo: This concludes our interviews. If you have any questions you'd like to ask Bronya, please leave them in the comments section. Thanks for stopping by!

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Mystic ~ Bronya you can do so on Amazon by clicking here. Also, if you'd like to read interviews with some of my other characters, go here for Genghis, here for Kutula, or here for Abigale. Genghis Khan was a riot to interview! Remember that Yassa is on sale until after Labor Day for just $3.99 on Amazon or Smashwords. That's $6 off the usual price of $9.99. Get one today!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Character Interview with Abigale Fontenot

Happy Thursday, people in the blogosphere!! Today, I bring you twelve-year-old Abigale Fontenot from The Abigale Chronicles! Along with Abigale's visit, I'm please to announce her books are available FREE until midnight tonight, the 30th of August, 2012. Only on Amazon.

Jo: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Thursday interview! Today, I have a wonderful surprise for you: Abigale Fontenot from the children’s chapter book series The Abigale Chronicles is here to answer some questions for us. Hello, Abigale. How are you today?

Abigale: I’m great, thanks. Hi, everyone! (waves enthusiastically)

Jo: That’s a very pretty dress you have on. Where’d you get it?

Abigale: Oh! Thanks! I got it at the mall in the city. I love dresses.Jo: (smiles) Tell us a little bit about your friends, Kristy and Emmett.Abigale: Kristy and me grew up together and she was my BFF before all the trouble started. ‘Till last year, I thought Emmett hated me. Come to find out, that boy likes me a lot and just didn’t know how to say it. Kristy won’t talk to me now but me and Emmett have been goin’ on adventures of some kind. I still ain’t figured it out though. What’s happening, I mean.

Jo: What do you mean by what’s happening? Are you talking about if your adventures are real and what’s causing them?

Abigale: Yeah. We don’t know why we go the places we do. That last time really freaked me out. Those cats were super weird and, when we got back, Emmett was half a mile away. I don’t know if that had to do with the amount of time we were gone or what because we weren’t together when the first one started.

Jo: What does it feel like when you have an adventure?

Abigale: It feels like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I just black out and wake up somewhere else. This last time, Emmett was right there with me when we arrived. I was thankful for that.

Jo: Tell me about the first adventure.

Abigale: Well, I woke up in a weird place. Come to find out, there were all these Amazon women everywhere. They don’t like boys. My looks had changed and that silly queen thought I was her daughter! She tried to get me to kill Emmett. Even though I didn’t like him, I couldn’t kill him! I don’t even like squishing bugs. So I saved him and we ran away.

Jo: Wow! You were very brave! What happened the second time?

Abigale: We ended up in this weird world full of talking cats. There was one by the name of Theodore who used us to help him get back his noble rights and then, the little booger tried to cook us up for dinner! We came home just in time. It was scary!

Jo: It sounds scary. Now, I hear you like to write poetry. Can you tell us what started that?

Abigale: My love of reading started it but my teachers encouraged me to continue. I have a nifty little notebook I write them all down in. I deal with stress that way and keep up with my memories from life as well. It’s like a little chronicle of my life. But, my notebook is full. I sure hope I get another one for my birthday.

Jo: When is your birthday?

Abigale: October twenty-third.

Jo: That’s really soon!

Abigale: Yup! I can’t wait! I’m gonna be thirteen!

Jo: (smiles) I remember turning thirteen. I hope it’s all you dream it will be. I have one more question before you go, Abigale. What is a traiteur?

Abigale: You mean like Ms. Ada?

Jo: Yes.

Abigale: They’re faith healers based in the Catholic religion. They can fix just about anything with their hands. I’ve seen it, it really works! Ms. Ada is one of the oldest around. Rumor has it, the gift has to be passed from a female to a male to a female and they have to be related. None of her family wants it so I guess the gift is gonna die with her. That’s a sad thing because it’s part of who we are as Cajuns. Part of our legacy, you know?

Jo: Yes. I see. That is a sad state of affairs. I hope she can convince one of them to take it someday. Thank you, Abigale, for giving us some of your time today and good luck with your birthday!

Abigale: Thanks! Bye everyone! (waves again)

Well, that's all for today, folks! Come on back tomorrow to read my interview with Ms. Bronya Thibodeaux from the first book in the Mystic series! If you wanna ask a question, now's the time to do it. If you wanna go grab the book, it's available here. If you missed the interview with Genghis Khan, check it out here.

Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Interview with Kutula from Yassa

Happy Wednesday, dear people of the blogosphere!! Today, I bring you Kutula from Yassa. He's a character I hear a lot of people fall in love with. If you haven't read Yassa, this is the week to do it. It's on sale at Amazon and Smashwords for just $3.99. ONE WEEK ONLY!!

Jo: Hello everyone! I’m so happy to present you with my guest for today’s interview: Kutula. Kutula was integral to the plot of Yassa and became one of Mr. Khan’s right-hand men. Let’s find out how! Hello, Kutula, how are you today?

Kutula: I’m great, Jo, how about you?

Jo: Doing fine. I’d like to start off with questions about Genghis. Are you okay with that?

Kutula: Nothing would make me happier. I love your hair, by the way.

Jo: (blushes) Well thank you (pats hairdo). Yours is fabulous too! Now, Kutula, how did you meet Genghis?

Kutula: When I met him, he was just a boy of ten, named Temujin, who had managed to kill many of the General’s men singlehandedly. I could tell Temujin was up to something – he is a clever one – so I played his little game and pretended to be weak myself. What struck me first was the lad’s looks. He was such a good-looking kid (Kutula smiles and looks a little dreamy).

Jo: Then what happened?

Kutula: (shakes his head a little) We put him in a cangue and took him away to our camp as a slave. He was a murderer and an outlaw. We had every right to claim him. But I did get to see him put on quite a show for the General first.

Jo: What’s a cangue?

Kutula: A cangue is two pieces of wood with holes for the head and hands that we fasten together with a lock on either end. A person can walk but they cannot escape because we also attach it to a rope. If they don’t move when the rope is pulled, they fall and oftentimes break their neck in the process. There are many men who lost the power of speech due to the damage the cangue did to their necks when they fell.

Jo: That sounds horrible (shudders). Was Temujin a good slave?

Kutula: He worked very hard, yes. But I hated to see his strong spirit in the hands of my people at the time. They were a brutal bunch.

Jo: I know you helped him escape and won your own freedom in the process. Could you tell us what really happened the night you let the boys go?

Kutula: I had been planning my own freedom for a very long time, you see. I belonged to the General. I was his concubine. He had bought me when I was just a boy of fifteen and ruled over me with an iron fist. I hated him. But my true love was a beautiful young man, around my age, with long, dark hair and thick, curly eyelashes that lived in a yurt near ours. My plan was to have most of the soldiers follow the boys, who I blamed for cutting the General’s throat, and let the rest of the slaves go so they could overthrow the men left behind. I took a risk, yes, but it was a risk worth taking. I watched those boys run until I couldn’t see them anymore, then I raised the alarm. When the men came to my yurt, I pretended to be upset over coming in and finding the General with his throat cut. I blamed it on Temujin and his friends: Jelme, Jamuka, and Bo’orchu. Those fool soldiers took off, knowing the rains were coming, in the hopes of catching those four boys. Even if they had returned, I would have had control of the camp and could have dispatched them easily with a wave of my hand.

Jo: Wow. That was one elaborate plan. You must have a good head on your shoulders.

Kutula: Of course I do. I may be feminine, but I am not stupid. It was decided that I would be in control of our tribe from that point forward.

Jo: I never meant to imply that you were. Sorry. I… (shuffles papers). You seem to be the backbone of the entire book. You help Temujin escape his slavery, help him by sending a recommendation to Wang Khan, and help him find a potential fiancé for his son, Jochi. How did you know what would happen in that situation?

Kutula: I had no idea what was going to happen. I thought Temujin would make the offer, Wang Khan would accept, and the two tribes would unite. What I got was a big mess of war.

Jo: (laughs) Sometimes what happens leaves us with a question of how in the hell we ended up in a situation. I found you very humorous in the book. You were one of my favorite characters. There was one incident, when Jelme insulted you, that I found particularly funny. Tell me, what made you punish Jelme the way you did rather than breaking his neck for his insult?

Kutula: (laughs) He was just a young thing and wasn’t thinking when he spoke. Besides, he was one of Temujin’s best friends; I’m not just the pretty boy who goes around killing people because they made me angry.

Jo: You helped young Temujin and older Genghis. How stunned were you when he was named Khan and changed his name?

Kutula: I was shocked that we accomplished exactly what we set out to do after the betrothal was denied. I was so proud of him. But, that man has some strange notions about loyalty. When that mess with Börte happened… I shouldn’t talk about that.

Jo: What? What happened?

Kutula: None of your business.

Jo: Ugh! Fine! You men are so frustrating. Okay, another question then: Do you believe Genghis spoke to God?

Kutula: I don’t know if he did or if he didn’t. But, I can tell you he knew things no normal person could possibly know.

Jo: Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you, Kutula, for giving us your time today.

Kutula: Thank you for having me.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask Kutula, feel free to put them in the comments and I'll add them to the post.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Interview with Genghis Khan from Yassa

As the blog post title suggests, I recalled Genghis to my head and did a bit of an impromptu interview with him. If you have any questions you'd like to add, leave them in the comments section and I'll add them to the interview as they're posted. As a special treat, Yassa will be on sale until next Monday. Enjoy the read!!

GENGHIS KHAN from the novel Yassa 

Jo: Hello, Mr. Khan, it’s nice to have you here today. Thank you for taking time out of your busy conquering schedule to talk with us. When I’m done with my questions, we’ll take a few from the audience.

Genghis: You’re welcome. You should all count yourselves lucky to have a great man like me in your insignificant presence.

Jo: Yes, well, okay… Let’s get to the questions then. So, tell us about the day you murdered your brother, Bekhter.

Genghis: Half brother. That day is the one that’s most clear in my mind. I drew my first real blood as a warrior. Kill or be killed was the choice; you can see which I chose for I sit before you on this uncomfortable chair.

Jo: Sorry about the chair, Mr. Khan. How old were you when this occurred?

Genghis: I was ten. But I was no longer a child. Circumstances required that I become a man and take over the rule of my family. My father, the great Yesugei, chose me from his children to lead the family when he no longer could. I had been in charge for a year. Bekhter was a pain in my ass from the start.

Jo: Tell us, what happened to your father?

Genghis: He was invited in as a friend and then poisoned by the Tatars. They were a rival tribe. I had just been left at Börte’s tribe, where I was to remain until age twelve when I would marry her. My father was murdered on his way home.

Jo: That’s very sad. I’m sorry to hear of your loss.

(Genghis tears up and his lip trembles.)

Jo: On a happier note: Tell us about your wife, Börte.

Genghis: She is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. I fell in love with her at once. At first, I thought perhaps she would only want my future title to pass to her children, but soon discovered that was not the case. Börte is loyal, smart, and beautiful. I have given her great wealth and status in return for her love.

Jo: That’s so sweet! She sounds wonderful. We’d like to hear a little bit about the struggles you faced in your personal life while conquering Asia. Would you care to share a bit about what made you the man you’ve become?

Genghis: Well, you know about the murder of my father by the Tatars then the murder of my half-brother by me. Then, I was arrested and taken into slavery for killing Bekhter, Börte was stolen from me two weeks after our wedding by the Merkits, my best friend, Jamuka, tried to rape her so I had to cast him from my side, the great Wang Khan betrayed me by refusing betrothal of his granddaughter to my son, and then there was that thing with Börte going crazy…

Jo: What caused that?

Genghis: None of your business. (Genghis grips his sword.)

Jo: Okay then (shuffling papers). Let’s move on to the next question: Yassa Law. Tell us what it is and why it’s so important.

Genghis: Yassa is a law that my people live by. It states: Above all else, you’re to be loyal to those you pledge yourself to. I only hand out one punishment for breaking it: death without honor. In my land, when blood is spilled, it is not an honorable way to die. Honorable would be having your back or neck broken. I turned my back on my own rule and allowed Jamuka to live when he betrayed me. That was the biggest mistake of my life. If I had upheld my law and killed him on the spot, I would have had fewer struggles.

Jo: I see. So Jamuka caused you a lot of trouble?

Genghis: Yes. He fought against me to become Khan, tried to steal my wife after I forgave him and let him live the first time, wrote her letters, and attempted to kill me on more than one occasion.

Jo: Wow. He sounds like a great friend.

Genghis: No. He was a terrible friend. Have you not been listening to me?

Jo: That was sarcasm…

Genghis: Huh?

Jo: Nevermind. Well, I’d like to thank you, Mr. Khan, for being here with me today! Is there anyone you would like to thank or say hello to before we say goodbye?

Genghis: Yes. Thank you to: Quasar, Jelme, Bo’orchu, Kutula, and, most of all, Börte. I love you all. (Genghis gets teary).

Jo: If you'd like to know more about Genghis, go pick up a copy of Yassa today! It will be on sale for $3.99 over the next week (regular price is $9.99) in honor of Mr. Khan paying us a visit! Get it on Amazon or Smashwords. Well, folks, that’s all for today! Join us tomorrow for an interview with Kutula! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting the Characters

This week I'm planning to take a page from other blogs I've seen and do open interviews with the main characters in my books.

Better yet, I'm going to allow my readers to participate in said interviews! How am I going to do that, you ask? Great question! It's easy. I'll give you a list of characters here with their scheduled day to appear. You ask questions and give me your links either on today's post or the post on the day of the interview. I will answer them during the interview and give you a mention and shout out for asking (with links to your stuff).

How frikkin' cool is that?

So, without further ado, here are the characters you will see appearing on my blog this week:

Tuesday: Genghis Khan from Yassa (grown up)
Wednesday: Kutula from Yassa
Thursday: Abigale from The Abigale Chronicles
Friday: Bronya from Mystic ~ Bronya

If there is anyone else you would like to see interviewed, leave me a message. I have enough characters to fill at least nine posts. Here is a list of other people in my books:

Yassa: Borte, Jelme, Bo'orchu, Jamuka
The Abigale Chronicles: Emmett, Kristy, Ada
Mystic series: Markaza, Lily, Shelia

If you want to hear from any of these characters, feel free to ask! I'm hoping we can have some fun with this!

Don't forget, Mystic ~ Bronya is available now at Amazon for just $3.99 (and there's a preview of Lily in the back).

Enter the contest on Goodreads to win a free copy of Mystic ~ Bronya!! The link is right up there on the sidebar.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Author Interview: Janiera Eldridge

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with Janiera Eldridge, the author of Soul Sisters. It's available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords for just $2.99 and in paperback on Amazon for $10 and CreateSpace for just $9.99.

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First, a little about Janiera:

Janiera enjoys feeding her book addiction when she not writing. She is also a book blogger at Beauty and Books where she mixes being a book nerd with keeping things chic. When not reading or writing she is freelance writing in the entertainment industry. Soul Sisters is her debut novel.

Now, a little about her new book Soul Sisters:


Soul Sisters is an urban fantasy novel about African-American twin sisters Ani and Dana who have a rather unique secret: one sister is human while the other is a vampire. While the sisters have lived peacefully with each other for many years one fateful night will change both their lives forever. When a drunken man tries to attack Dana (the human sister) Ani (the vampire sister) protects her sister with all of her ferocious power.

However, when the vampire’s leader Donovan finds out about the public display he calls for the sisters to be assassinated for disobedience. Ani and Dana now are in for the fight of their lives to protect each other as well as the lives of their dedicated friends who have joined them on their mission for survival. If Dana and Ani can make it through this time of uncertainty, Ani can take her new place as vampire queen. Soul Sisters is expected to be a trilogy; The book also features a multicultural cast of characters that brings a new edge of chic to the vampire world.

Soul Sisters is published by Mystic Press and was released on August 18, 2012.

Hi, Janiera! I’m happy to have you here today and thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your new book Soul Sisters.

Jo: I’m a curious person by nature and am dying to know where the idea for Soul Sisters originated. Humor me?

Janiera:   I get this question a lot and it’s still really hard to answer because I’m never really sure. LOL.  I’ve loved vampires since I started reading and one day the idea just hit me- what if there were twins and one is a vampire and one is human? I know it hard to believe that his just popped into my head but it really did and I have no idea where it came from.

Jo: What does a good writing day look like for you?

Janiera: A good day of writing contains getting up in the morning, doing promotions and scheduling more promotions for about 2 hours, then writing for the rest of the day. Sometimes that works out a lot of times it doesn’t.  Promotions are a big part of being a writer but they’re not nearly as fun as writing itself.  With the release of my first book, I’m really just trying to slip in writing whenever I can.

Jo: I know you have a physical disorder. Can you tell us a little bit about your illness and how/if it affects your writing schedule?

Janiera: I have Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it makes it extremely hard to have a 9-5 job. Luckily, I have wonderful parents who believed in my goal to be published and tell stories for a living. When I left college after one semester, I know they were scared but I got published in less than a year and now they know I mean business. lol. Fibromyalgia is when over active nerves cause constant pain and lack of sleep.  Some days it totally changes my schedule and I can’t do anything because the pain is so severe. The CFS keeps me tired all day so it’s a double whammy. lol. I’m a work-a-holic so I’m still learning how to rest when I need to otherwise it just makes things worse. The people in my life are so understanding about how I can’t work some days and I feel so blessed to have them.

Jo: Tell me about your 100+ reading challenge list. What’s that about and how did it get started?

Janiera: I’d only read like 3 books last year because there was so much going on! However, I knew when I was opening my blog that I wanted to get back into reading again. A really cool book called Book Chick City had a 100+ reading challenge for 2012 and I knew it was a challenge I had to try! So far, I’ve read 41 out of 100 books and Goodreads keeps telling me I’m 22 books behind my goal. I don’t really worry about it though because I’ve read so many more than last year and quite a few of them have been 800-1,000 page books. I’m just glad to be deep back into reading again whenever I can scratch out the time.

Jo: I see you’ve had your Beauty and Books blog going since November of 2011. Why did you get started blogging?

Janiera: I stumbled across a book blog one time and just thought it was one of the best blogs I had ever seen! I loved the fact that I could help promote authors and review books on my blog.

Jo: Have you learned anything via the process you wish you’d known up front?

Janiera: That it would be like having a second job. There are perks to being a book blogger. Since I’m a book and beauty blogger I often get free books and beauty products. I work very hard for these things though and anyone wanting to be a book blogger should know you have to put in the hard work to stand out.

Jo: How much time would you say you spend every day on social networking? Do you think it helps sales? What organizational tools do you use (if any)?

Janiera: I spend about two hours a day on Social networking. That includes promotions for the book on blogs as well as Facebook and Twitter. It totally helps. An author should be doing AT LEAST 20 minutes a day of promos. My book started bringing in sales really fast when it was self-published following the 20 minutes a day rule. I use Excel to keep track of all of my blog promotion obligations and I use to help me manage and schedule Tweets and Facebook posts. You can’t be on social media all day so, hootsuite really helps.

Jo: You’re an active blogger with over 400 posts. How do you keep up with posting so often and writing a novel?

Janiera: I only post once maybe twice every day. When I’m not reviewing, I’m promoting authors. I schedule all posts the night before so in the morning they’re ready to go. It’s a routine that was really easy for me to get into so I don’t even think about it now. I had no idea I had that many posts though, wow!

Jo: I see you’re an entertainment freelance writer as well. Do you have other blogs or places you write? Tell us about them.

Janiera: I’m currently not writing for any entertainment company but I have written for websites like in the past. I currently do occasional posts for but it’s not a paid job. It’s a wonderful website for women to connect and share information. I love writing there.

Jo: You have over 4,000 followers on Twitter. Any secret formula there?

Janiera: No secret formula there, just hard work. I’ve spent time on Twitter interacting with people, sharing other people’s interesting information and posting my own quality info. When people know you’re a real person and you share others' work people naturally follow you because they want to hear what you will say next.

Jo: Tell me about your publisher, Mystic Press (I love their name, by the way). How did you hear about them?

Janiera: I heard about them because someone mentioned them on my Facebook profile. I submitted a query to them on Saturday night and on Sunday evening I got a response that they were interested in my book. I was so shocked and happy! They’re a small press but they work with us authors one on one to make sure everything is perfect for our books. Unlike other publishers they help us a lot in promoting my book.

Jo: Who designed your blog? Have you considered branding across all your platforms or having a logo?

Janiera: I designed my blog and as for branding I already do that. An author’s books are their brand and their logo their covers. I have my covers all over the place and they always lead back to a major platform.

Thanks for stopping by and giving me some of your time. I know a writer’s time is precious and I truly appreciate it!

If you’re interested in following Janiera, you can find her here:
on her FaceBook page
on her blog Beauty & Books
on Pinterest
or on Goodreads

You can purchase a copy of Soul Sisters at the following fine ebook retailers:
Amazon Kindle - $2.99
Barnes & Noble - $2.99
Smashwords - $2.99
Amazon - $10
CreateSpace - $9.99

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Empirical Evidence

Happy Wednesday, everyone! If you all remember back on Monday's post, I talked about publishing houses using the Amazon best seller list of indie authors as a slush pile. Spurred on my some of the comments I received, I decided to delve into this a bit further.

Here's what I found:

The first blog has a brief interview with an indie author and then talks about the publishers that are picking up indie titles.

This next one is linked from the first one and tells about an indie author who turned down a publishing deal to remain indie. From what I understand, it was not pocket change.

When you read this one, pay close attention to the paragraph with the bold Traditional Publisher path in it.

And, this last one talks of Penguin buying Author Solutions. It's a VERY good read.

As you can see, I rarely talk out of my ass. I find it heartening to hear stories of an indie author that chose to stay indie and it makes me more confident in my own choices.

What do you guys think about all this? Would you go for it or stay indie?

Don't forget to check out Mystic ~ Bronya over on Amazon. Free to sample, just $3.99 to own!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hungry Freelancer Beth Jones

Happy Tuesday, everyone! For any of you that have been following my blog, I bet you remember my blog party and the great list of blogs I posted for you to check out and follow. Today, I'm going to bring back one of those folks I listed on Day 1. Her name is Beth Jones @bethythewriter. You may know her as The Hungry Freelancer from her blog by the same name.

Beth just released a book titled The Hungry Freelancer: How to Break Into (and Succeed In) the World of Freelance Writing and I'd like to take a moment to tell you all a little about it.


If you've ever dreamed of being a writer but don't know how to get started, this book is for you.

The Hungry Freelancer: How to Break Into (and Succeed In) the World of Freelance Writing walks you through, step-by-step, the process of becoming a freelance writer. You don't need a college degree or years of experience to succeed as a writer, and this book shows you how. For just $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, you'll learn how to get started as a writer, how to write your first article, how to start making money, and how to find new, exciting jobs that will bring in fast cash. Chapters include: 1. The Art of Storytelling; 2. "Writer" VS "Author; 3. Where to Start; 4. How to Find (and Keep) Clients; 5. Making Money; 6. Writing it Down. Whether you're an experienced journalist who wants to jump into online writing or a stay-at-home mom who wants to supplement her income, The Hungry Freelancer will help you reach your writing goals.

Doesn't that sound like an amazing read? Now, a little about the author, Beth Jones.

Author Bio:
Beth Jones is a freelance writer who currently resides in Maryland with her husband, sons, and cat. When she's not busy writing, Jones enjoys spending time outdoors absorbed in a good mystery novel. A military wife, Jones has lived all over the U.S. and has worked as a writer in many different cities.

You can find Beth on Twitter @bethythewriter and you'll love giving her FaceBook page a like. Come on, everyone needs to feel the love!

As a recap, you can find The Hungry Freelancer: How to Break Into (and Succeed In) the World of Freelance Writing on Amazon by clicking the link here. It's just $2.99. Pocket change you can turn into a regular paycheck!

On to some more great news! You can now purchase Mystic ~ Bronya in both paperback and Kindle versions. Also, as you can see on the widget, the Goodreads giveaway has begun! Make sure you enter for your chance to win!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Publishers vs. Agents

So I heard this rumor that publishers are now treating indie titles as the slush pile. If this is true, agents beware!

From my understanding, a literary agent makes money by getting authors signed with publishing houses. If we're skipping the middle man (the agent) what does that mean for them? Are they going to lose their places in society as gurus with the inside track on a publishing house?

I don't know many indies that didn't try to go the traditional route before self-publishing. If their book happens to hit the ebook market and become a best-seller, and the author is then picked up by a publishing house, what happened to the agent's commission? It's gone. There is none.

We all have jobs in the publishing industry; an author's is to write, a cover artist's is to design, an agent's is to sell a work to a publishing house, an editor's is to make sure all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed, and a publishing house's is to get that book into print and sell it to distributors.

But wait! Indie authors do all of the above on their own (except for the cover/interior design and editing in most cases). If they get picked up by a publisher, they do it on their own.

Where does that leave the agent?

Things I don't know:
  1. Are agents allowed to choose an indie title and offer representation?
  2. Do they watch the market for successful indie published titles and consider it?
  3. Is there an agent out there that does this?
  4. Why wouldn't they (what are the drawbacks)?

It seems to me that agents may become superfluous if they aren't proactively changing with the market. That's a major loss in revenue for them. Think about super successful indies like Amanda Hocking and what her book may have done for an agent. Did she submit her manuscript and get rejected? Is that agent now kicking him or herself in the ass?

Question for you indies out there: Did you submit your manuscript to an agent? Multiple agents? Did you get rejected? What are your sales like now?

I'm a curious person by nature. Humor me, please?

I have great news! Mystic ~ Bronya, the first book in my Mystic series, releases tomorrow! The print version is already available for sale but the "official" release date is August 21, 2012. Keep your eyes here for the link when it goes live for Kindle and KDP Select. Don't forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway (see the widget on the side of my blogger blog) starting tomorrow for your chance at a printed, signed copy! I'm giving away TWO!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway Mystic ~ Bronya

Keep your eyes open for the Goodreads giveaway that will start Tuesday and run for two weeks. I'm giving away TWO printed, signed copies of Mystic ~ Bronya. As usual, I will put the widget on my blogger blog for the duration. A special preview of Mystic ~ Lily is in the back!

If you can't wait two weeks to read it, you'll be able to pick it up on Amazon Tuesday, August 21, 2012 for the wonderful price of just $3.99. A printed version is gonna cost you a little more, but it'll be worth the $8.99, I promise. Here's a link to my Amazon author page:

This series, as I've said, has some strong language but is dealing with a strong topic. Tolerance is a big deal to me and I hope to see this series helps you to open your eyes to the damage words can do when hurled at someone with hate behind them.

Love your fellow man. A good mantra to live by.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tough Cookies

Some days, I struggle with what to write here. Today, I'm giving you all a taste of what my new series Mystic is about, and what message I'm trying to convey by writing it. Disclaimer: This is my author's note from the book. It will appear in every copy. People need to understand my message. If I make a difference in just one person, I'll feel like I did my job as an author.

Without further ado:

I see our world falling apart with hate. I’m not a person who preaches there should be no war or we should share in free love. What I am is someone who understands just because one person is different from another, it doesn’t make them less than human and doesn’t make them less deserving of my acceptance. I don’t hate or judge because I wouldn’t like to be hated or judged myself.

Everyone makes choices. Every single person on the planet is different in their own way. I choose my religion and my beliefs. There are some things I didn’t choose. Those things are what make me different from you, and what make you different from the person next to you.

Maybe you’ve made a choice I don’t believe in or that goes against my strong values. I’m going to try to understand you either way. No one told me it was up to me to shove my beliefs or values down your throat. So, for example, if you’re a Christian person and I’m an Atheist or Agnostic, would you want me to tell you you’re wrong for being a Christian? No. You’d want me to understand and realize your choices aren’t mine and you’re free to do and believe what you want. You’d want me to leave you alone so you can practice your beliefs with security and safety.

I wish for nothing more than a world where people understand the Golden Rule and actually live by it. As you read my Mystic series, try to understand what hate does when brought down upon the head of someone who is different or who makes choices other than what you might have made. Try to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. Learn how hate can grow and be nearly impossible to stop. Study how to be accepting to those who didn’t choose the path you did. Discover their reasoning instead of casting them off. I promise you, they are struggling anyway. Don’t make their struggle more difficult than it already is.

WSTW (Women Save the World) is not a real company as of the date of this book’s publication. I wish it were. We all have strength in us and the only way we’re going to be able to battle hatred is when we quit hating each other and ourselves. Hate manifests just like the creature in this series. Start looking around and you’ll see it, too.

I’m sure I’m living in a fantasy land, wishing for all of the above; but I am a writer, after all, and if I cannot find solace in my words, I fear there may be nothing left to hope for. What a sad ending that would be…

Pick up a copy of Mystic ~ Bronya when it releases on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. Read it. Come back here and tell me how you felt about what happens to Bronya.

Have you ever been put down for your choices or ridiculed? Did you change your beliefs or did it just make you angry? What did you do in response?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tough Scenes and Emotional Therapy

Yesterday, I wrote a difficult scene for Mystic ~ Lily and the residual horror of it has yet to vacate my mind. When I spoke with Sandi on Monday, she asked me what the most difficult part of writing is. Listen to the interview here. This is it. I find it very hard to get over the emotional baggage my writing sometimes leaves behind.

Why is that?

Because, like most writers, I experience what my characters do. I am in their shoes or watching the scene through their eyes. It's this situation that I discussed last week on my post about author empathy.

I have to tell you, 9-11 had a serious impact on me. I felt it for months afterward. All those people dying, screaming, running, etc... Then, the people in the US flooded hospitals to donate blood. I felt the pride, too.

I will say it again, writers that cannot feel, cannot write. I believe that with every iota of my being. In order to properly convey love on the page, we have to be able to understand what it means to love. That's not to say we have to fall in love ourselves (though that helps), but we do need to be able to empathize with others and feel what they do. When we must convey pain, it should be something we have felt; if not through our own struggles, then someone we identified with. It's necessary to feel the emotions flowing through our fingers onto the page.

It makes it difficult to move on after writing a particularly difficult scene.

In Yassa, I crafted a scene where Temujin is exacting revenge on some men who stole his wife and sold her at auction. He slaughters their whole families. I shuddered, I got angry, and I felt his satisfaction when he tortured the man who bought her.

Those feelings lingered for days and only faded with time.

So, my question to you writers out there (AND you readers) is this: When you read or write a very emotional scene, do you take those feelings with you? If so, how do you shake them off after?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Branding for Authors Top 5 Reasons to Brand

Any of you that interact with me on Twitter, FaceBook or those who follow my blog, have most likely noticed a recent change in the appearance of my presence.

I have branded. My color scheme is harmonious through all platforms and my logo is clearly visible. If you've read The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book you'll realize branding is something I tout as being very important. Why?

  1. Instant Recognition. This may not seem important to a lot of people but you should take it into consideration. This applies especially if you have a common name. I want to know the John Smith I found is the author I'm looking for and not someone with the same name who just happens to be a construction worker.
  2. Harmony. Your colors should be pleasing to the eye and your logo should compliment them. You want people to look at your page and think Wow. That looks really nice!
  3. Decisions Made Easy. When you mail an official letter or send an e-mail your look and colors will match that of your branding. Never again will you have to choose a color scheme! Plus, how cool is it that your logo can go on t-shirts and mugs and such?
  4. Stationary. Your business card will take on a whole new life and so will your letterhead. Bonus, you can put your logo on bookmarks, on the corners of your printed books, and even on the corners of posters and such!
  5. Displaying Personality. You have the chance to tell people a lot about yourself in zero words. When someone sees your logo and/or blog, they're gonna have an instant idea of your personality. Your logo and colors should reflect upon who you are and put it out there to the world.

Now, that's just five reasons you should brand yourself as an author. I'm sure you can name many more. Why did you brand? Why not?

If you need tips on branding and ideas on choosing a color scheme, find out all you need to know in The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. It's pocket change on kindle, just $2.99. I priced it as such so struggling indies have a place they can turn without breaking the bank.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, August 13, 2012


Good morning, Monday!

I usually don't like you but today you've left me with so much to be excited about. First off, my interview with Merlene Fawdry has been posted over on her blog In the Rough. Thank you for that. Here's a snap of the interview (you'll have to go see her to read the rest):

What writing group/s do you belong to?
I belong to the Indie Author Critique Group on FaceBook. It’s a closed group so authors can feel comfortable ranting or asking openly about things they may not want readers to hear them say. I’m the moderator and an active participant there. I also belong to the Children’s Authors and Illustrators group on FaceBook (another closed group).
What is the structure of this writing group?
It’s an online group where members can go and ask one another for reviews or critique on various components of their books (covers, writing, editing, marketing, etc...). Oddly enough, we’re also a bit of a support group for one another. I find people posting when they’re down and others stepping in to offer words of encouragement and support.
Is this writing group associated with a state or national organisation?
Does this group have affiliations with peak writing associated bodies?
How many members does this writing group have?
There are currently 30 members of IAC and most are pretty active. I’m rather selective about who I approve. CA&I has 1,000+ members.
Does the writing group have a clearly defined goal in writing?
No. If we have a Work In Progress we’d like feedback for...

And you'll have to go to In the Rough to read the rest!! You rock, Merlene!!

Sorry, Monday, but that's just the way it is. I can't be usurping on her idea for my own content!

The second thing I have to look forward to today is my radio interview with Sandi Tuttle over on An Average Woman in a Superwoman World. We go live at 9am Eastern time so you need to go tune in to catch us. You won't be available at 9? That's cool. You can go listen to the archives.

Here's the link to tune in: JO AND SANDI ~ DOUBLE TROUBLE

Sandi is awesome. Don't forget to leave her some love!

Don't forget, Mystic ~ Bronya releases in print and for Kindle in just ONE week! Keep your eyes open for that one!

Well, that's all for today, Monday! See you next week! For everyone else, I'll see you all tomorrow! Until then, WRITE ON!


Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm Gonna Fire You Up

Mystic ~ Bronya is edited and ready to roll off the presses after some formatting. It's a novelette of just over 17,000 words so it shouldn't take you long to get through it. What I'm hoping, however, is that you do read it and you do take something away from it.

My goal here is to show you what happens on the other side of the wall you're staring at. I will show you what it's like when someone ridicules you or tells you you're a heathen, grotesque, immoral, or that you brought everything that happened to you on yourself when you find yourself in circumstances beyond your control or understanding. This series is intended to let you see into the world of another person who may be different from you, and what the ultimate consequences of not stepping around that wall could be.

If you disagree with my message, that's your right. Many people will. That's okay. Bronya goes through some pretty tough times and experiences a lot in her short tale. Lily is struggling with different issues but they are just as difficult to stomach.

Mystic ~ Lily is currently sitting at just over 3,000 words that have made me cry, shake, get angry, and be sad. Her tale is a lot like Bronya's because Lily's choices also change her life and the people that surround her can't accept her anymore.

I consider myself lucky because I have a voice that speaks loudly and clearly and I'm not afraid to use it.

If you're a writer and you're reading this blog, I challenge you to write something you believe in with all your heart. Buck the consequences, get out there, and fire people up with your message. Books have shaped the world as we know it.

The pen is mightier than the sword. Use your pen and make a difference.

Everyone has an opinion. Yes, they are like assholes in that everyone has one but no one wants to hear them. Make people want to hear yours. Make them listen. Present your case in a compelling way. Show them something they don't already know or give them information they may not have been privy to before.

I double-dog dare you.

I can almost guarantee it'll be the best writing that's ever dripped from your fingertips onto a keyboard. You have passion, use it.

Now that I've gotten you all worked up and your brain going a million mph, I invite you to check out my interview posted over on the Chapter Book Challenge blog. Go give it a read and tell Becky I said, "Hello!"

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Empathy in Spades

As you all know, the first book in my new series, Mystic, is due to release this month. I'm thinking sometime around August 21 but that could change depending on the amount of time it takes me to get it formatted and the back cover worked out for the print version. Keep your eyes here for the release announcement!

I've had my usual reader and my usual editor ripping me apart for the sake of everything that's good and forcing me, in their wisdom, to re-write a number of sections. Something that they've both said while reading my series has given me reason to pause and consider.

"I can see you and your struggles in this book."

I have wracked my brain to figure out why in the world they would say that. I've never had to struggle with coming out to my family and friends and I've never lost my looks due to a horrific accident. Then, like a lightning bolt thrown by the mighty Zeus, it hit me: I can put myself in someone's shoes and feel right along with them. As a writer, when I'm crafting a scene, I'm in the body and mindset of the character. I feel what they feel and allow my fingers to relay that to the page.

Writing is taxing, emotionally, some days because of this.

Sometimes, I have to pause and play the entire scene out in my head, thinking about what I would do next and how I would feel if I were experiencing what the character is going through.

Writers have empathy in spades. Writers tend to feel very deeply. Writers must identify.

If you all remember my post a while back about Writers that Cannot Feel... Cannot Write, you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. We must be able to communicate those emotions effectively to the page. Remember my post about keeping a feelings bible? I practice what I preach and keep one myself. When I need a great sadness or a great fear to come across on the page, I delve into my feelings bible and come out with the mindset to empathize with my character. It gets easier to call on it when I need it with time.

But, I digress.

My point to all this rambling is, I know very few novel writers who are judgmental. They tend to accept you for exactly who you are. Writers listen as well as they talk. It's so rare to have people who are genuinely interested in our life story, when we come across them, we word vomit. It's a safe haven for venting. Sure, you may show up in a book at some point because you spilled the beans to an author, but your name will be changed. Hell, you might even acquire a super-power.

Journalists may be a whole different story. Just sayin'...

I read a post today over on Depression Cookies where Tia talks about meeting writers and how they feel like friends after just a short period of time. It has to be the empathy factor.

But when you tell your life story to someone who writes novels, or let loose with an admission of something you feel badly about doing, you're more likely to get a pat on the hand than a slap in the face. It's because they traveled with you during your tale; they felt what you felt. Hopefully, when your life shows up on the page of a book, other people feel it, too.

After all, that's our job, right?

Have you ever had someone tell you they felt very strongly what your character felt and could identify with them? How did that make you feel?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mystic ~ Bronya: Cover Reveal

Today is the big day, as promised. I'm showing you the covers for the first two books in my Mystic series. It was not an easy decision but I think I did a decent job. Enjoy!

Since the series is based around things seen in a crystal ball and the possible demolition and death of the world, I chose to go this route. Turns out, my beta viewers loved it as well.

I am happy with the way they worked out and believe my design choices to be solid ones. My typography fits with the story and screams, "Otherworldly but serious."

I used my own photograph for the cloud element and built the rest with a pen and a Wacom Intuos 4.

Keep an eye on either my Amazon author page or my bibliography for the release of Mystic~Bronya later this month.

What do you think of the cover?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mystic ~ Bronya: Tolerance and Hate

As promised, today you all get a deeper look into my Mystic series. It's six books in all with five novellas and a full-length novel at the end. I won't give away the ending, nor will I explain what the monster is an embodiment of but read on and become intrigued.

This is the synopsis for the first book in the series Bronya.

Bronya Thibodeaux is an eighteen-year-old senior at Houma High School whose life is about to be changed forever. She's always felt like an outcast, but thinks she may have found a friend when a strange, new girl named Markaza who has blue hair, a number of tattoos, and a strange way of dressing appears. She accepts Bronya for who she is and the two hit it off.

Markaza isn’t around long before she moves away. Bronya goes back to feeling lonely and different. Trouble arises when Bronya's love interest - a girl named Cecilia - is accidentally revealed to the entire student body. Bronya’s life choices make her a pariah in her small town. After getting thrown out of school, not being able to find a job, and being subjected to ridicule and cruel treatment, Bronya chooses to leave her old life behind forever when she receives a compelling invitation from a mysterious company named WSTW.

What Bronya doesn't know, is the mysterious company is owned by Markaza; a mystic who knows the end of the world is coming and is gathering together the only people who can stop the evil that's threatening to take over. Bronya is just the first. But going to New York is only a baby step toward her true journey. As Bronya races against the clock to unlock a power she never knew she had, Markaza races to collect the others: Lily, Sheila, Melody, and Coralie.

This is the synopsis for the second book in the series Lily.

Lily Conyers is a twenty-year-old who had it all going for her until a car crash left her with terrible scars, no modeling job, and an addiction to pain killers. When she meets a strange young woman named Markaza, Lily begins to re-build her life with encouragement from her new friend.

Problems arise when Lily leaves the safety of her apartment for the first time since her accident to venture back into the world she used to know. Her so-called friends shun her and her boyfriend recoils at the sight of her face; leaving her standing in the road alone - crying. She rushes home with thoughts of suicide only to find a letter on her step from a company called WSTW; promising her a new life.

Lily packs her bags, bids Markaza goodbye, and sets off for the city. But going to New York is only the first hurdle Lily must jump. She must learn to use the power inside herself to help defeat an evil that is threatening to destroy the world. Once there, she meets a girl named Bronya and the two help one another re-build what was so negligently broken.

As Lily is boarding the plane bound for New York, Markaza boards another headed to Tennessee so she can collect the next young woman on her list: Sheila.

As a note: I'm a person who speaks out against taking offense to anyone just because they make choices I don't. We're all human and we need to practice a little humanity. I know I want to be accepted just as I am so I'm accepting in return. I don't care what choices you make, I'm going to do my best to understand you and accept you for who you are. We all need to follow the Golden Rule and just stop allowing hate to live in our hearts.

Just because someone is different, doesn't mean they're bad or evil. The true evil, in my opinion, is the hate and judgment that's thrown around so freely.

Would you want to be judged because of your life choices? Guess what? No one else does either. I don't wish for free love or think there should be no war (sometimes it's necessary to protect what we hold dear, like freedom), what I do wish I could see is human beings stop fighting one another to conform. We're all different. If you shun everyone who is different from you, eventually you'll be all alone. Start looking at a person's heart instead of their life choices and I promise you, your quality of life will improve.

Countless men and women have died fighting for freedom. We show our disrespect for their sacrifice every time we put someone else down for their choices. This is AMERICA the BEAUTIFUL. Let's work harder to keep it the land of the FREE and show our appreciation for those that died for the cause, shall we?

I'm going to share something with you all now that I was ashamed to see happen. When you click on the link, go to the section labeled History and read the last paragraph. Can you believe these folks wanted to do this?

Link to Wiki article.

I started writing Mystic ~ Bronya a good while back (I always have a number of works going at once) and slated it for release this month. I couldn't think of a better time considering the hate I'm seeing spewed all over the news about Chik-Fil-A and what was said. It saddens me. I have faith in humanity as a general collective but, once in a while, I'm let down. This was one of those times.

When you pick it up, be sure and read my author's note. It might give you a new way of seeing the world. I'll do the cover reveal later in the week.

Watch my Amazon author page for the release of Mystic~Bronya.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Blog Tag I'm "IT" Today

My dear friend, Sandi, over at An Average Woman in a Superwoman World tagged me in blog tag. Today, I'm finally getting around to the post from being tagged. Enjoy the break from my rambling mind to indulge in a little learning about me. Tomorrow, I'm going to introduce you all to my new series Mystic and give you a synopsis from book one Bronya. Enjoy the read!

First the rules:

    Post rules
    Answer the question your taggers sent you or create new ones, the choice is yours.
    Tag eleven people
    Tell these people they have been tagged.

And now the questions:

1 What gets you out of bed each day?

My kids and knowing I have to do for them. What gets me out of bed with a smile is the fact that I have someone in the world that loves me like my boyfriend. I get to wake up to his face next to mine almost every day now. Without that, I would wake up to monotony. I would shuffle through the motions. The word zombie comes to mind.

2 If an alien landed on earth, what would your top tip ‘for living here’ be?

Don't experiment on people! We have fragile minds.

3 What is your ‘happy song’?

Church" by T-Pain (I LOVE to dance and this has a great beat)

4 Do you have a special place real or imagined?

In the arms of The Best Boyfriend in the World is where I find love, inspiration, and security. That's my special place.

5 What childhood fable, fairy tale or movie stretched your imagination and sticks with you today?

The Last Unicorn because the art is beautiful and the story inspiring. I always get chills when the unicorns run from the surf. Eh, girls and horses...

6 What is your idea of a perfect evening?

Dinner and a movie with my boyfriend and our kids (he has great kids).

7 As a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?

I wanted to be an imagineer for Disney. I love to draw cartoons.

8 What is your favorite type of movie?

This is going to sound so lame but I love animated movies. Brave was soooo good! I loved Wall-E and A Bug's Life and Shrek. I'm a big ole kid at heart.

9 If you won the lottery would you tell anyone?

I would tell The Best Boyfriend in the World and my mom. No one else. Having money like that brings critters you haven't seen in years out of the woodwork and I wouldn't want to chance it. Certain people in my life would get anonymous donations though.

10 If you could visit anywhere in the world where would it be?

I have so many places I want to visit! If I had to choose just one, it would be Stratfordshire in England.

11 Do you believe in Destiny?

I do. I believe we all have a path. Finding it is the mother of all quests and the basis of every good novel. hehe

Now – On to the Next Shift:

I realize there have been a lot of these things doing the rounds, so, if any of you have been tagged before, or it doesn’t light your fire to take part, I won’t be at all offended if you choose to pass on this.

I really don't know who to tag so I'm gonna skip this part. If you would like to do this, consider yourself IT.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Pissed Off Authors

I've seen so many pissed off authors lately it's beginning to make my head swim. There are way too many of us ranting and raving at reviewers. It makes us all look bad. So you got a 1 star review that slammed your book, eh? Be grateful.

Let me tell you something about publicity: If someone loves your book, they may tell a friend or two or they may blog about it. If someone hates your book, they're gonna tell everyone they know. I can hear you saying, "But, Jo! If they run their mouths about my book in a bad way, no one will read it!" This isn't always the case. I have an example.

Harry Potter. Now, J.K. Rowling never expected the uproar that happened with her HP series; but what she gained was notoriety. Because people were so angry about the witchcraft in her books and how it was being presented as good and wholesome, they told everyone they knew about her books. She began to make the news. People flooded out in droves to buy her book because of it.

On the flip-side, remember all those books that got burned? Someone had to buy them so she still made a royalty for each and every one. Chew on that for a moment.

When it comes down to it, J.K. got a ton of free publicity for her HP series because of people that were unhappy with her books and what they perceived to be her message. Now, it doesn't hurt that she had a great series and that she's a really great writer either.

Now for some stats:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has 5, 831 reviews on Amazon as of the date of this post.
4, 822 are 5 stars
578 are 4 stars
200 are 3 stars
83 are 2 stars
88 are 1 star

And never once did she go rant at a 1 star reviewer. I urge you to go read some of the 1 star reviews.

What I'm trying to say is, your book isn't going to be for everyone. There will be people who love it, and people who hate it. While a bunch of negative reviews may kill your book, there is a good chance they won't. Take it in stride and try not to let your blood-pressure rise too high. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to write a review or don't comment back on any review, ever.

When I ask someone for a review, I tell them to please be as honest as possible and give my book a fair rating according to their level of interest. If it ends up being a 1 star review, then that's fine because that's how they felt when they read my work.

I'm one of those that doesn't write to appeal to the masses. I feel I would be selling out if I did that. I write on topics I'm passionate about. My new series Mystic touches on some very controversial subjects that will not appeal to everyone. I don't care because I'm writing about what I choose to write about. If I stir the soul of just one reader, I did my job. Historical Fiction only appeals to a handful of people in the world. I knew that when I wrote Yassa. But the story was something I was passionate about telling. I stirred someone's soul with that book. I know this because they told me, privately. That review never hit the market but it doesn't matter because it reached my ears.

When I wrote The Abigale Chronicles (Book One and Book Two), I wrote them for my daughter. She loves them, that's what matters to me.

So, my advice is for you to write with your heart and on topics that matter to you, thank people who take time out of their day to read your books and write you a review, and coast along with the tides that ebb and flow from it. If you're an author because you want to get rich, probably not the best occupation. Very few of us make it to the big time. But I'd be willing to bet you write because you love to write. So why does it matter when someone doesn't like it? Now chew on that for a while.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Life is a Road

Sometimes, the road of life is straight and free from obstacles. More often, it twists, turns, forks, has branches in it, or is covered in snow. What do we do when we come upon something that impedes our forward progress?

Some of us lie down in the road and are quickly overcome with despair. Those who succumb to the stress are often walked past by others on the road and looked at with scorn. People who give up are usually stuck where they are until they die. Every great once in a while, a kind soul stops and picks one of the forlorn up to place the poor wretch back on their feet. They are the lucky ones. They aren't the driven ones.

Some of us face the road and make decisions on which path to take when it forks, lean with the turns like riders of motorcycles to keep our balance, and obliterate the branches with balls of fire from our fists. The people that keep going no matter what are the ones that succeed. Sometimes, they help someone else by carrying them on their shoulders or giving an encouraging word where it's needed. They are the hard workers; the driven ones.

Still others coast down the road and take the turns as they come. These folk usually walk around the branches and take whichever path in the fork is suggested to them by a passerby or throw a stone and see where it lands; taking that as guidance from a higher power. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't. But they are rarely stressed out and tend to take life with a grain of salt.

We also have those who look at life through jaded eyes. Every person that passes them on the road makes them angry. If they go left and you go right and your road ends in a pot of gold, they feel cheated. These are the people who bring bitterness and anger into the world. They scoff at those who fell down and feel they deserve better; though it was their own decisions that put them where they ended up. People like this are never happy and can rarely just take things as they come. Oftentimes, they don't survive on the road for very long.

Everyone falls into one or the other categories above and, sometimes, we waver between a couple of different ones. Life is not about the beginning or the end, but what you do on your road between the two; both for yourself and for other people you meet or pass.

Food for thought today.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Do The Hokey Pokey

I know you probably all know the song "The Hokey Pokey" but do you know how it can relate to writing a novel or short story? Today, I'm going to talk about the hokey pokey way to change things up in your story or to start a new tale. I hope it breeds some great ideas in your heads!

Put your right foot in:

Your right foot will represent your searching brain. Get your idea. I know ideas don't grow on trees, but they could if you let them. Read what other people write and let your brain run amok outside the box. You can take something as simple as a musing about a tree and turn it into a great story if you put that right foot into the circle. What I'm saying is, stick your foot into the rambling thoughts of someone (or even a news article), grab hold of a piece of what they're saying, and then move on to the next step.

Put your right foot out:

Take that bit out of the circle and put a fantastical spin on it. Think of how you would use one tiny piece of whatever you read and make it into a whole story.

Put your right foot in:

Yes, do it again. Read on. Go elsewhere and see if someone else inspires you to add a character or turn to that story.

Shake it all about:

You know what I'm talking about here. Give that story something to shake up the characters. Provide a problem for them to solve. A story is about a journey, after all, and there must be strife and conflict. This is where you make the big decision about the main issue.

Put your left foot in:

Your left foot is representing the organization of your ideas that your right foot picked up. Write them all down and scramble them around on the page. Create order out of chaos. Give your characters beliefs and personalities.

Put your left foot out:

Really look at your characters here. If someone isn't cutting the mustard, cut them. Every character has a reason for existing. If you don't think they're going to change your story or move it forward in a significant way, cut them now and make them nameless figureheads.

Put your left foot in:

Structure your story. Have an idea of where it's going from beginning to end. Make some decisions. Most people outline here. I write chapter headings and summarize each to use as a guide that I don't force myself to stick to. If the story takes a turn on its own, I let myself have creative freedom to change it on the fly.

Shake it all about:

If you hit that roadblock of boredom where the story is dragging we are all too familiar with, write down some things that could happen to your character that are bad. Put this information on little squares of index cards and toss them into a hat. Draw one out when you aren't feeling a push from the story. Shake it up.

When you've gotten this far, you're in the throes of writing. Let your characters loose to do what they want. You are simply a guide, problem solver, and creator of woes. Yes, in a lot of ways, you're like a God or Goddess. You shape someone's life.

I hope today's post made your brain start to desire reading. Monday's post had some great bloggers on it where I have gotten a lot of snips and ideas for stories. I used the above method by taking a discussion about a necklace from one post, someone musing about a graveyard from another, and a news article about a wedding proposal. I don't know if it'll work for a story but maybe with some twists and turns.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!