Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

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Severed Veil Has Released!!

October 30, 2018

Severed Veil is here!!!! 🎉🎉🎉

You can download it as an ebook, order the paperback from Amazon and get it fast, or you can order the paperback directly from me – signed and with a special pack of book swag! All the links are below.  

It’s also in Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a KU member you can borrow and read for free!

I hope you enjoy these little stories and pieces of my heart, and the beautiful art that Julia Busko created to go with them. (Pssst, the paperback is especially beautiful! She did my formatting too, and designed the layout of the illustrations, and it is gorgeous. 😍)

It is a joy to finally share this little book with the world!

LINKS:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1723793027
Signed paperback with swag (order form): https://goo.gl/KpVByA
Ebook: https://amzn.to/2JscBbA
Add to your Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Qh7ixX

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Blog Tour for Faithless: Guest Post by Author Janeen Ippolito

October 11, 2018

Today author Janeen Ippolito is here on the blog to share about her upcoming steampunk fantasy adventure – Faithless, Book 2 of her Ironfire Legacy series!

First, a bit about the book…

One wild night, Shance Windkeeper discovers he’s married to a death unicorn.

But that’s the least of his troubles.

As an agent for the Lawless, Shance is working with dragonshifters Kesia Ironfire and Zephryn Nightstalker, trying to end the dragon-human war and the organization that masterminded it. While on a mission in the Scepter of Knowledge, the Lawless is hit with a devastating death unicorn attack.

Out of the wreckage new allies emerge: Lirome Ukerys, and his twin sister Maira, the death unicorn queen – Shance’s long-lost wife.

Recently freed from captivity, Maira is fighting to regain control of her herd. Lurien Alistil, a rogue death unicorn, has bespelled the Scepter of Knowledge and taken Maira’s son. When Kesia unexpectedly challenges Lurien to a public debate over the fate of the city, the Lawless has a chance to break the usurper’s hold. To obtain vital information they must infiltrate her lair – and as the husband of the death unicorn queen, Shance Windkeeper is the perfect prize to go in.

But Lurien’s power is stronger and more insidious than they realize. And if the final pieces of her plan fall into place, not even Shance’s newfound Talents and knowledge will be enough to stop her.

A steampunk fantasy adventure with much intrigue, unexpected romance, sudden tragedy, and a snarky cat-dragon.

Now here are some of Janeen’s thoughts on the process of writing this intense book!

Faithless was one of the hardest books I’ve had to write. And I’ve written a lot of them, most of which have been cast aside in favor of better ideas, or are in my “to-be-revised” pile, which is huge, by the way.

The difference with Faithless was that it was supposed to be easy. Each book in The Ironfire Legacy series had to be outlined and planned in order for it to be accepted by Uncommon Universes Press. So I figured Faithless would be easy enough to write.

But this book asked something of me, that I didn’t fully understand. It asked me to subject a main character to her worst fear. And then to keep doing so, all throughout the rest of the series. This would seem standard for storytelling, but in the case of secondary protagonist Kesia Ironfire, taking away what she feared to lose most also drastically altered the tone of the story and upped the pain level for everyone involved.

I’ll tell you a secret: I hate making my characters suffer. I can chuckle about it with gallows humor, borne from necessary distance and also a side effect from having to go over the same manuscript ten times or more.

Yet every time I have to take my characters to those dark, hopeless places, I get frightened that maybe hope won’t be on the other side. Silly, I know, since I’m the writer. But my style of writing is a bit method, if you will. I leaped into each character’s POV and try my best to pour out their story on the page from their POV.

So what hurts my characters hurts me. And I really don’t enjoy hurting. It is the OPPOSITE of my favorite. I strongly prefer to be an upbeat, chill sort of person who lives and let lives. But there are painful shadows in my past and in my heart, hurts that insist on forcing their way out through my fingers whether I want them to or not. And sometimes, I really don’t.

It takes time. It takes several drafts with major revisions between as my beta readers and editor force me to go deeper and deeper into hard places. And, mean people that they are, they insist that I can’t always end an intense, difficult moment with a joke or a silly bit of action.

The editor and publisher in me agree with them. The author in me sticks out her tongue.

The overall process is exhausting and on occasion, annoying, as I go into those shadowy places inside myself. But the results are always worth it. The story is deeper, richer, and the humor a lot more potent for the hardship.

In the case of Kesia Ironfire, Faithless continues her trial by fire with a brutal twist. She weathers on. She endures.

She finds new hope in the darkness.

And in writing her story arc, I do as well.

About the Author

Janeen Ippolito believes words transform worlds. She creates writing resources and writes steampunk fantasy. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com

Purchase Faithless from these online retailers!

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooksSigned Paperback

OR (this is my preferred way to get UUP books!) get autographed pre-orders straight from the publisher’s website!

Faithless – or – Priceless & Faithless Bundle – or – Ironfire Legacy Bundle

Also, add Faithless to your Goodreads!

Pssst, there’s also a Facebook party!

Celebrate the launch of Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2 with featured author Janeen Ippolito and guest authors Angelique Anderson and R.J. Metcalf! Get your fill of steampunk, dragons, adventures, and more (re: death unicorns and a cat-dragon) with this fun-filled evening that includes giveaways, games, and an exclusive reveal or two.

Hosted by Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester and Uncommon Universes Press!

Click on the image below to join the party!

Faithless will also be touring on these lovely blogs:

Monday, October 8th

–      Map Monday Spotlight – Becky Gaines

Tuesday, October 9th

–      Spotlight – Letters From Annie (Douglass) Lima

Wednesday, October 10th

–      Character Interview – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

–      Guest Post & Interview – TheHufflepuffNerdette

Thursday, October 11th

–      Behind-the-Scenes –The Simmering Mind

–      Author Interview – Claire M. Banschbach

Friday, October 12th   

–      Behind-the-Scenes – Author Katherine A. Massengill

Sunday, October 14th

–      Book Review – Smada’s Book Smack

Monday, October 15th

–      Spotlight –  A Hippie’s Bookshelf

–      Character Interview with Shance – Becky Gaines

Tuesday, October 16th

–      World Building Feature on the Scepter of Knowledge – K.A. Cummins

Wednesday, October 17th

–      Spotlight – The Genre Minx Book Reviews

Thursday, October 18th

–      Behind-the-Scenes – Unicorn Quester

Friday, October 19th

–      World Building Feature on Death Unicorns – C. O. Bonham

–      Spotlight – YA/NA Book Divas

Saturday, October 20th

–      World Building Feature on Dragons – Empyrean Voyager

–      Book Review – The Book Unicorn

Monday, October 22nd

–      Book Review – Jessica Rachow: Author & Blogger

Tuesday, October 23rd

–      Behind-the-Scenes – Anna Tan

Wednesday, October 24th

–     Book Review – Anna Tan

Thursday, October 25th

–     Author Interview – Laura VanArendonk Baugh

–      Book Review – Becky Gaines

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Spring Cleaning Writer Tag

April 25, 2018

I was tagged in this blog game by fellow author Kessie Carroll, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to dust off this sadly neglected blog and get it running again!

*blows off dust* *tidies up everything*

I apologize for my long absence! SO much has happened since I last blogged. For example, I started a newsletter (click on those words to sign up!), I’ve run several #WIPjoy events (one’s happening right now, in fact), AND I’ve launched into rewriting my treasured trilogy WIP again, after over a year’s hiatus – I am utterly thrilled about that!!

I hope to have some more updates around here for you very soon. 😀 But for now, without further ado, here are the questions from the writer tag…

Dust Bunnies and Plot Bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

My writing goals right now are to keep plugging away on my current draft of The Trusted! I’m at about 40,000 words, and I had been going strong until I got stuck at this spot. 😛 I hope to get over this snag once and for all and move forward again! I just hope to finish the draft this year, although getting a significant portion done before Realm Makers this summer would be awesome.

I also have a short story currently submitted to the Writers of the Future contest, and another short piece which I plan to submit to Havok’s Monsters Vs. Robots issue (a deadline which is coming up soon, so I’d better get on that!).

Lastly, I do hope to put out at least one more short story this year. Stay tuned on that!

Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

The tag gives these categories for stages:

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

Based on that, I’m cleaning out a closet – both “remodeling” and writing. I had a solid outline for this draft, but after writing the first third, it’s fallen to pieces on me and I’m scrambling to create a new outline that jives better with the first act that’s fallen into place. For my secondary WIP, the flash fiction piece for Havok, I’m at the “polishing” stage.

Treasure from the Back of the Closet (Share 1-3 Snippets You Love)

Here’s a snippet from The Trusted. 🙂

Catherine’s hand ripped out of his. Her scream echoed down the corridor, shriller and louder than the blare of alarms.

Carried by momentum, Kevin stumbled several steps further in the blackness before slamming into the curve and whirling around.

The emergency lights flared on again.

The girl stood in the center of the hall, with the metal arm hooked tight around Catherine’s neck, dragging her backwards—and her stinger buried in Catherine’s chest.

Darkness.

He caught a glimpse of Catherine’s enormous dark eyes pleading with him for help, and the blood soaking her hair under the yellow glow.

Darkness.

Her entire body went slack.

Darkness.

The girl bent and laid Catherine out on the floor. Motionless. Silent.

Darkness.

Kevin went numb. A frenzy built up inside him—deep, dark terror he had no power and no wish to contain. His heart thundered, blood rushing in his ears. No. No, no, no. This is not happening. She is not dead.

The lights flashed on again. The girl stood over Catherine’s body, facing Kevin, and tilted her head, both hands spread out…daring him to come back. The end of her stinger was red with Catherine’s blood.

If you’d like to read more sneak peeks like this one, and follow me more closely in my writing journey, you may want to join my Facebook reader group! 😉

Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self (Share a Picture!)

As it would happen, I just went around today changing my profile picture on my various social media platforms! I’ve been using the same photo since 2015, and felt it was time for a change. So here’s the new photo I’ll be using for my author platforms, at least for awhile. 🙂 I’m also doing some spring-cleaning around this site…editing my “about” page, my editing services page, and so forth. So take a peek around, if you’d like, and see how things cleaned up!

The game asks me to tag three people, so I’m going to tag RJ Conte, Laura Pol, and Kyle Robert Shultz. (No pressure, friends!)

If you’d like to do the tag, feel free! The questions and rules are below…

Rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Share the picture
3. Answer the questions (naturally…) or even pick and choose which ones you answer
3.5. Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky)

Questions:

1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (And share a picture!)

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Ten Things Writers Are Thankful For

November 21, 2017

1. Our characters—all the precious details about them and their lives, how they entertain us, and how they keep us company at all times.

2. Coffee/tea/cocoa/wine…our writing beverage of choice. Also SNACKS!

3. That non-writing friend or family member who asks how our writing is going. Sometimes we feel like nobody in our lives cares about this massive part of our reality. Thank you for being that person who asks.

4. Those lines and scenes we secretly go back to read over and over again, amazed that it came out so beautifully.

5. Reviews! Even that 1 or 2 star review, because it means a reader with criticisms was kind enough to leave us feedback anyway.

6. The fact that the rough draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

7. The fact that edits and revisions do, in fact, eventually end.

8. Good editors. We’d be lost without them.

9. Writing friends who support us, cheer us on, and listen to us rant and rave about how Character A is all the feels today and Characters B and C aren’t getting along, and Character D is being a spoiled brat. 😛 Thank you for understanding and welcoming the chaos that is our brains!

10. And lastly, we are thankful that our antagonists and villains do not actually exist. Amen.

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Stories that Sever the Shadows

September 18, 2017

Things look a bit different around here and on my social networks today! I’m refreshing the look, with a new author tagline – Stories that Sever the Shadows.

While I liked my former tagline, “Bringing Joy to the Journey,” it felt too shallow to me. It didn’t dig deep into the marrow of why I do what I do. I want to sever shadows! I want my stories to pierce the shade so that journeys through the dark can have joy and hope.

While ideally they are comforting in their own ways, I don’t aim to write books that pat you tritely on the head and keep you comfortable, but rather fierce, intense tales that grip you, impact you, and inspire you toward victory and triumph.

Exciting changes and news!

I also have some more exciting news coming. 😀 My first email newsletter goes out on Thursday September 21st! Subscribers will get the earliest glimpse of my graphic and prompts for the upcoming #WIPjoy, and in this letter I’ll also talk about my current writing projects and my plans for the near-future…as well as some exciting new opportunities to connect, see sneak peeks, and maybe win giveaways. 😀

Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it! Sign up here by clicking the linked image below:

What do you think of the new tagline? Does it describe my writing well for you? Let me know in the comments! 😀