Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
My life is changing a lot right now. We're moving to Tucson (I'm already here and loving it) and my independent work is supporting us, as well as some very exciting new ventures for my husband. We are breaking free, rethinking how we want to live, where we want to live and what we want to do.
I think that translates to my work, too. Right now I'm writing heroines who are spies and maybe killed someone (THE SECRETS OF A LADY and the upcoming THE DESIRES OF A COUNTESS, November 2011). My heroes are struggling with where they belong and who they are (THE TEMPTATION OF A GENTLEMAN, October 2011). I like writing characters in transition, on the cusp of changing their lives and terrified of it.
I guess it's called writing what you know.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
In short... grade me!!!
In school, it was easy. Grades, check marks, honor society pins... all these things marked my progress and said, "You are good. You are special. You are smart." But as an adult, it gets a little more complicated. No more teachers look over my shoulder and tell me that I'm cool.
So I have to feed this need myself. First, I make to do lists. When I do things, I cross them off my list. It's a small thing, but I get a thrill of acheivement when I do it. So much so that I sometimes add things to the list that I did... just to cross them off.
There are no more stickers in my life... but I guess there are stars. Amazon and Goodreads reviews come with them and I admit that it makes me pretty happy when more of them pop up by my name (hint, hint). I like the idea that strangers have looked at something I've done and put a lot of heart into and say, "Yeah. You did a good job. A+"
I'm okay with my need for stars and smiley faces. In the scheme of things, I guess I'd rather be a Lisa Simpson than say... a Bart. Or a Homer. Now grade me!!!!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Also, my guard dogs. Well, one of them is. Harley.
Oh she looks very innocent there in the picture to the left. Like a snuggly little ball of fur who might lick you to death, but never attack. And to be honest, that is usually true. This is a cat who purrs while she's being groomed, only hides when my three and a half year old nephew tries to be her best friend and is genuinely the loveliest animal I've ever had the pleasure of loving.
Until the UPS man comes. When someone rings the doorbell, she becomes attack cat. She sits down, staring at the door and growls beneath her breath. There's no bite to the bark. The second the door opens, she's smoke. But for a minute... just a minute, she is Kujo. And you better watch out if you want to deliver a package to this house.
Anyone else have an attack cat?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
So there's lots of great stuff coming up! All the Jordans will be available via Kindle/Nook and will be only 2.99 for each full novel!!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
So you fill in the blank. What's up?
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Last week my July book, UNDENIABLE was released. Actually re-released. This book was originally a Jess Michaels release from a small press in... I think it was 2003? 2004? Anyway, it all blends together. Even all these years later, I still get lots of questions about the story, so I decided to re-release it for just .99 and under the Jenna Petersen name.
Why Jenna Petersen? It's really just a streamlining thing. It's historical and it's very sexy and it just makes it easier to promote with one name. So, yes, this was originally a Jess release, but it's now under the Jenna name. Still the same story, though! And I hope you'll love it if you pick it up from Amazon or Barnes and Noble!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I love paper. I am obsessed with notecards, notebooks, steno-pads, calendars, anything that is paper-related. I want the paper to be pretty or professional or interesting or have my name on it. Seriously, if it's paper, I love it.
I could spend a week in Target or Office Depot, just roaming around through the paper/cards/invitation/office supply area.
But right now they are all packed up, waiting for us to get to a new house. And I can't buy more, either since they would also have to be packed up so that my office wouldn't be cluttered for house showing. Still, I look forward to the day when I can open up a box (or two) filled with all my various papers. I think it will be like seeing old friends. Hello bird notecards. Hello "From the Desk of..." paper. How I missed you...
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
1. The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff -- This one is an interesting one, recommended to me by my sister-in-law who read it for her book club. It's a story of a woman who is the 19th wife of a polygamist who is accused of killing her husband and her son who tries to help her, even though he's run away from that life. It also tells the story of Brigham Young's own 19th wife. The dueling stories and historical story really drive it.
2. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler -- Read this one on a plane the way to Seattle. Raymond Chandler wrote all the Sam Spade stories. They were made into movies starring Humphrey Bogart. Well paced, interesting characters and since there's no real CSI, the investigating techniques from the world's most famous P.I. is fascinating!
3. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin -- A wonderful memoir of a smart, interesting comic who I've always loved. He comes across as kind, fascinating and unexpected. I enjoyed this one a lot.
4. Sex With the Queen by Eleanor Herman -- There's another book called Sex With the King that is on the same subject, people who had affairs and relationships with Kings and Queens over the decades. Spoiler Alert: it rarely goes well to be the lover of royalty. People end up dead more often than not.
5. The Shining by Stephen King -- I got on a Stephen King kick late in 2010 again and read The Shining. Ten times better than the movie (still need to watch the 90s miniseries, which is supposed to be closer to the book). Really compelling and scary, scary, scary.
I don't like reading the same genre I'm writing in (it just gets in my head too much) and I've been writing a LOT of romance, so you'll see my list doesn't have much of it right now (any of it) and I miss it. I have a few books in my kindle in the romance genre and I'm hoping to read them during my upcoming trip in July. I've got some Lisa Kleypas, Laura Lee Guhrke and a sexy Blaze. So maybe the next time I do this, I'll actually have some romance to report on!
What are you reading?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
1. Writing until I hurt myself. - I do have a set number of words/pages I sit down and do each day. After of years of trial and error, I figured out the number that allowed me to write quickly but also not burn out. But sometimes, especially when I'm have multiple projects due in a short amount of time or when I'm at the end of a book and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I ignore my goal and just... go crazy. This is good in that I finish a book ahead of schedule. This is bad in that my wrists hurt, my head hurts, my back hurts and I'm tired for three days after. And yet I still do it. I get that it is part of my process now... but man I wish I could adjust that process.
2. Getting ahead of myself and starting before I should. - I'm a big plotter. I do character sheets and synopses and pages and pages of detailed scene sketches. I always have every intention to get to a certain point and then start writing. And I always start before I reach that intended part. I think this one is related to one. I'm willing to just WRITE when I'm excited. Which is not a bad thing but I do sometimes put the cart before the horse and have to rethink mid-book.
3. Love-Hate, Love-Hate, Love-Hate -- My husband can attest to this one, but I know it isn't just me who experiences it as a writer. I start my book, I love it. I hit about 100 pages, I hate it. I hit 200 and I love it. Get the picture? Back and forth from soaring excitement to crushing defeat. It is exhausting.
Everyone has weakness as a writer. What are yours?
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Does that mean these books aren't good? Nope! Just look at some of the breakout stars of indie publishing and you'll see books which didn't make that first blush cut for traditional and yet sold like crazy and had readers fall in love with them when they went the indie route.
But many of these books I wrote years ago. In a different time of my life, in a different place physically for some of them. I wondered, would ANY of them be appropriate for publication? And then I started reading them. And I felt like I was meeting up with old friends and catching up. I still loved these stories and these characters and I really wanted to share them.
Were they perfect? NO!! NO NO NO NO. I actually dove into editing and matching them to my writing sometimes ten years later (has it been that long???). It has been challenging and exciting and I hope eventually readers will see that and fall in love, too. Still, old friendships don't have to be perfect. With work, they can be strong.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
When I talk about indie pubbing (or self-publishing), lots of people ask me why I would do that? Well, there are many reasons and I wanted to share mine.
First off, traditional publishing is getting much more cautious about what they publish and that has translated in many authors losing their contracts. I still have many, many, many historical romances to write and share. And I don't want to wait for a publisher to decide that the math is perfectly right for them to take a chance to publish them. Financially and creatively, it just doesn't work for me.
Secondly, there is the freedom of scheduling that indie publishing affords me. I'm a quick writer, but my historical romances were always scheduled 9-12 months apart. Trust me, this was never my choice or because of my writing speed. But with independent publishing I can publish a book a month for the rest of the year (which is my plan) and 4-5 books a year on a regular basis.
Finally, there is the issue of price. One big advantage of indie publishing is that because the author gets a much larger percentage of royalties, I can charge way less for a book and actually make more per book sold. That seems like a win-win for everyone. Readers get a book for less, I can still pay my light bill. Hooray for all of us.
Of course there are disadvantages. If you don't like reading on a reader, phone or computer, then no, there won't be a paperback copy of the book available and I know that's disappointing to many readers. I love books, too, but I promise you I'm not making the decision lightly or while rubbing my hands together with an evil laugh as I picture readers who want a paperback suffering. I only hope that you'll want the book enough to overlook the disadvantage. If not, I do understand that, too.
We're entering a brave new world for readers and authors! I'm really enjoying it and I hope you will too.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I love to watch UFC, I love my cats, I enjoy cycling, as well as playing video games. But one thing that I enjoy and get to do each week is volunteer at our local zoo. For a long time, I did work with the animals. This involved preparing diet for the rainforest animals and then... I got to feed out:
It has been a wonderful experience from top to bottom and I loved every moment. Now I don't do as much with the animals, but I do data entry about the daily animal reports from the zoo keepers. It's really interesting to follow the developments around the zoo with the animals and programs.
Each week it's a nice break from my routine, it gets me out of the house... and how many people can say they got to feed golden handed tamarins?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
resource guides and samples for writers. Here is the cover and a link to buy from Amazon (it's also available on Nook).
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Why? Well there are several reasons that I'm not traveling at all this year:
1. Last year I traveled too much. I was gone at least one weekend a month almost all year. When you add up the time for travel, the prep time and everything else, by the time the year ended, I was exhausted and burned out. I was sick of airports, sick of packing, and sick of losing three days before each trip and a week after to catch up, laundry and jetlag.
2. We're moving. By the end of the summer, we will be packing up and traveling across country to our new home in Arizona. All my time, energy and finances really have to go into making that move happen. What a lot of people don't realize is that 99% of the time, I have to pay for all of or at least part of my own travel expenses. Neither of my publishers pay for it, so if the organizers of an event don't cover my costs, I have to do it myself. That's airfare, hotel and most of the food I eat. A weekend could cost $1000 for me and a longer event like RWA usually puts me out of pocket for at last a couple grand. That's just not an expenditure I can make right now.
3. I'm no longer traditionally published. I have one final book coming out from Avon in August and one last book from Orbit in July and then I am no longer traditionally published. I love being self-published (independently published) but again, I have to weigh the benefits against the costs for traveling. With my independent books, which are my main focus at present, I can't "sign" them. And readers can't buy them at a conference the way they can buy a paperback. So in terms of promotion, which is a big reason why I travel, it just doesn't make sense. My time would probably better be spent here at home tweeting, posting and writing (and moving and freaking out about moving).
Does this mean I'll never travel again? Absolutely not. If an event makes sense in the future, or if an organization invites me and covers my costs for travel, then I'd absolutely go somewhere in the future. Also, if an event is close enough by me for it to be less of a chore to get there, I'll be participating. But for 2011, at least, you can find me here, online. Hopefully putting out stories you love instead of making packing lists and flying all around the country.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A lot is changing in my life at present, both personally and professionally and I want to take everyone along for the ride.
Hope you enjoy!