Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November is for NaNo and IWSG

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
I used to be so good about doing blog posts, now it seems I'm down to a monthly update. If you want more frequent information, please follow me on Facebook or Instagram @jeandavisauthor. I'm on those much more often. 

Let's see, since the last post:

I was able to get into a good craft show in Kalamazoo and met a bunch of readers there. If you're one of them, it was nice meeting you even though we were at a distance!

Due to all these canceled events, I've added a tab at the top of this page where you can buy signed copies directly from me. This is an ideal option for those of you avoiding Amazon. Please keep in mind that I only ship within the USA. Sorry, international readers. 

NaNoWriMo preparations were in full swing all month. Heading into year fifteen for me and with all my events canceled, I decided to go all in. My baseline goal is to add 50K of new words across four projects. In truth, I'm hoping to add a lot more than that, but we'll start with the traditional goal of 50K. This year's project line up includes:

    The Minor Years: A Narvan novel - this is currently at 70K

    Spindelkin: YA Fantasy - currently at 27K

    An Urban Fantasy standalone novel - 0K

    A Paranormal Romance standalone novel - 0K

I do have one last book-signing this year on November 28 at The Bluestocking Bookshop. Beyond that, nothing is on the calendar until April 2020. Here's hoping we're back on semi-normal terms with the world by then.

And this month's IWSG question is: Why do you write what you write?

Because the voices tell me to? Ok, not really. I write the books I like to read.

As a teen, I read a lot of mystery, horror, fantasy, science-fiction (both hard and soft). It was normal for me to buy several books every week. For some reason, my mother, also an avid reader, was not a fan of using the public library. However, we did make weekly trips to the small local bookstore. I supplemented my purchased books with library books from school. For the most part, it's safe to say I spent a good deal of my teen years between the pages of a book. 

So when I started writing seriously, with the intent to go for publication, I stuck with what I knew and enjoyed. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

IWSG: Whew! That Was A Productive Month

 Last month flew by while I was wrapped up in so many things. Getting back out to meet readers in person felt really good. As did just being out among people again. 

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.

The first day of the Newaygo Logging Festival was a tough one. The crowd was fairly steady for a scaled-back event and our booths were all quite spaced out, but it had been nearly seven months since I'd spent a full day being social. I spent the hour ride home in much-needed silence. By the second day, I was feeling more in the spirit of things. By the next weekend at the event in Charlotte I'd found my stride again and everything went smoothly. I've done two more events since. If we connected at one of those shows and you're reading this, it was nice to meet you! 

Thanks to relaxing guidelines, I do have one more show in November in Kalamazoo. I'm still waiting to hear on Grand Rapids Comic Con. With both of those being indoors, things are up in the air with restrictions that seem to change every single day.

In addition to finally getting out to talk to readers again, I've been hard at work on Bound in Blue: Book 3 of The Narvan. The last round of edits is wrapping up and then it will head off the to the proofreader and then it's onward to formatting. Without further ado, here's the cover:
I've also been busy writing the blurb for the back cover, critiquing chapters for other authors, reading a couple books for fun, and doing a proofread of a book for a local author friend. I'm also plotting my upcoming NaNoWriMo projects and toying with cover art for Seeker: Book 4 of The Narvan and Spindelkin. I've been on kind of an artwork kick lately. On the plus side, I started drawing again. I haven't done much of that in a very long time, like probably around twenty-some years.

How was the end of summer for you?


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

IWSG: September Happenings


I'm excited and also nervous about finally getting to do a couple book signings this month. Not that I'm 

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
necessarily living in fear of catching Covid, but more so because it's been seven months since I've been selling books in public. Will my pitches roll off my tongue like they did when I was chatting it up in public nearly every other weekend pre-plague or will I trip over every word?  Tune in this weekend to find out. 

Then I also have the hurdle of having two new books to sell that I haven't had any public practice with yet since they were both released during the plague season. Advance apologies to everyone I encounter this weekend that has to sit through me stumbling over words. 

Not to mention figuring out an optimal table display with seven books instead of five. I have a plan, but we'll see how it works in real life. I'm sure I'll point to and pick up the wrong books several times before it all clicks into place. 

If all goes well, I have three weekends of in-person events and one online. I'm really hoping all goes well. Crossing fingers and all that. 

So what have I been working on since last month? Updated print and ebook editions of Destiny Pills & Space Wizards, Sahmara, and The Last God are live. I'm working on A Broken Race right now and then I'll be back to edits on Book 3 of the Narvan.

Stay safe and healthy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

IWSG: August and Project Updates

And so we come to another first Wednesday. Normally I'd be dragging my feet after a busy June and 
If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
July event schedule, facing another five weekends of  August signing events, but alas, tis not the case this ill-fated year. Instead, I've been busy working around the yard, building a new shed to house my chickens and ducks, building a run for them, and putting in a new block firepit area. My yard is getting a lot of attention. 

I've also been writing and doing a bit of editing for friends. Now that Dreams of Star and Lies is out, I'm back at work on my next project. An author I've done many events with invited me to co-write a book with him. I've never co-written anything before so this has been an interesting endeavor, and I would guess not the exact norm on how this is done, but it's working for us. It's also a YA fantasy novel on a G-rated level, which if you've read anything I've written, you'll understand this is not my usual realm, but it's been a good warm-up for getting back into my own YA fantasy, Spindelkin, which is on the older end of YA, whereas this current project is on the younger.

Recently, I reformated his first book and edited the second so I was familiar with the story and characters. This, being book three in the series, has been moving along fairly quickly. He's been writing the bare bones of the plot and I'm fleshing it out. Only two chapters to go and then that is heading off to beta readers. 

Once Book three of Traveling Circus is wrapped up, I'll be diving back into my reissuing of Destiny Pills and Space Wizards. No new content, but updating the front and back matter, new artwork, and formatting to match my more recent books. Next up is a final edit of Book Three of The Narvan, Bound in Blue, once I go over the last round of edit suggestions. When I send that off to my proofreader, I'll be diving into the reformatting of Sahmara and The Last God. Now that I can do reflowable ebooks, I'm looking forward to getting all my books updated. 

I'm hoping to have Bound in Blue mostly wrapped up before November, when NaNoWirMo begins. I'm already toying with what to work on for that. I have a vampire story I'd like to try, and if that falls through, I have a book set in the Navan universe half started and Spindelkin to finish. There's never a lack for things to work on, just the energy to do so. 

And speaking of planning.. This month's IWSG question is: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Oh heavens, yes. Often when I start a story, when I'm truly pantsing it, I may have an inkling what genre it might be or what length I'm aiming for, but once the words start flowing... Well, the story becomes what it needs to be.  

The only time I know for sure if I'm going to make the story stick to a novel or a short story, is during NaNo because I need to have at least a very loose plan to make it to 50k in 30 days. That loose plan might only be genre, a character name and an inkling of the beginning scene or end, but it's a plan nevertheless. 

Most of the short stories I've written started without any particular genre in mind. Those usually launch with a concept or 'what if' question and wander into whatever genre fits as I go.

How about you?

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Release Day: Dreams of Stars and Lies

Today is the release of Dreams and Stars and Lies. This collection features five short science fiction stories. They are all unrelated but two take place in far flung corners of the greater Narvan universe, though also not directly related to the series. 

Last year, when I received the news that Caffeinated Press was closing and the first rights for Sipper would be returned to me, I decided to pull this book together. Sipper had been contracted for an anthology so this seemed an appropriate new home. 

Destiny Pills and Space Wizards, my first short story collection, features more lighthearted YA-friendly stories. With Dreams of Stars and Lies, I focus on deeper plots and longer stories more intended for an adult audience. 

The cover features Sipper, one of the two anchor stories of the collection.

Poverty has shaped Tia’s life since childhood, labeling her a roach. A day without hunger pains or despising looks is pure fantasy until she accepts a job offer to explore a wondrous deserted city on a distant world. All she can think about is the life-altering payout she’ll receive in six months. 

A hundred roaches are set free in the city of crystal spires. Their mission: To learn what they can about the previous occupants and to verify that the place is habitable for the host of wealthy future occupants waiting in orbit. 

Well-provisioned, Tia and her fellow roaches scatter to explore the dunes and spires. Then people start to disappear. Are they being picked off to lessen the payout or is there a killer among them?  All the credits in the world won’t matter if she’s dead.

What are readers saying? 

“Davis shows us a new frontier of space discovery, but there is no rover facing the space dust. We are the guinea pigs, and that adventure is not for the meek."  
- Stella Telleria author of Across The Wire

”Jean Davis speculates on a future that seems all too believable. Her stories will entertain, and they will make you think. Don't look in Dreams of Stars and Lies for easy solutions.”
- Joan H. Young author of Accidentally Yours

$9.99 print / $1.99 ebook. Want it free? Review any of my other books on Amazon, let me know when your review has posted, and I'll send you a free ebook of Dreams of Stars and Lies.

Dreams of Stars and Lies can be found in both print and ebook on Amazon and in ebook through Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo and more.

If you're not familiar with 
Group, check it out here 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.
This month's ISWG question: There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I would love to see either Amazon playing nice with other online book sales outlets or the other way around. Mostly, if they could all just get along, that would be super helpful and make things easier for authors when publishing their books. I get that many readers don't want to feed the Amazon beast, but Amazon does make it very simple for authors to publish through them. Other places are getting better, but they don't like Amazon, which means if we want to sell elsewhere, we have to publish in multiple places and that often means setting up separate files (because the publishing specifications are different), tracking sales in multiple places, and can cause problems if you want to run a sale. 

On a related note, I wish IngramSpark would reduce or do away with their charge per publishing platform because at least they are a one-stop place to publish. If you don't mind paying for it or if you're lucky and happen to have a promo code to bypass the charge.