Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jennavier Recommends Dead City and Blue Moon by James Ponti

Do you love funny, kick butt heroines who happen to fight zombies? Have a got a book for you. Especially if you’re like me and can’t handle high amounts of gore in your zombie fiction. Ponti keeps it at a low level of gicky while keeping it highly entertaining. The world is complex and interesting while not slowing down the narrative. Plus they have AMAZING covers.

Some great things of note: the heroine has a sister who she doesn’t get along with but isn’t evil, her mother is tragically deceased but she had a good relationship with her dad, and the friendships she makes are fun and fulfilling.

It seems like every recommendation of mine has a but. As in, I normally don’t like this but... James Ponti’s series is no exception. Dead City and Blue Moon are, if not middle grade, awfully close. Normally I like my YA older so loving these two was a surprise.

There are some things that come with the very young ages of the characters that are unbelievable. Like the level of autonomy that the kids have is sometimes hard to believe. However Blue Moon clears up a few of these problems and otherwise the books are too much fun to get hung up on them.

Overall this series is so stinking cute and I want everyone everywhere to read it an love it like I do. Jennaver, out!

P.S. For more info on the books, including blurbs and excerpts, check out jamesponti.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Comes Next?

I recently heard someone on the Internet talking about how they can only write so many books a year and for her that number was three. Three books, from the blank page to the smooth package, every year. She books herself out years in advance because she knows her own capabilities so well that she can do that. I am nowhere near that level yet but I didn’t want to think about my current projects. What am I working on, why am I working on it, and what’s coming next? So in the spirit of oversharing here it is.

My biggest goal is to have something to shop around by the end of the year, preferably by the end of the summer. These two are first in line because I think they have the potential to work out well and be finished quickly:

Chaos Rules
The Demon's Daughter

These two are likely to get worked on. Both are in the right place:

Stone Prince

These are new projects I'd love to sink my teeth into if I have the time. Probably won't, but it's a nice thought:

Sci-fi Gothic Awesomness (doesn’t even have a title- not a good sign!)
Hope Underground

These are all projects that have been abandoned for one reason or another that I would like to get back to. There are more where these came from, these are just the ones that have been nagging at me:

Half Breed Angel
Back To College
Not Quite A Superhero

These are projects that are currently in the deep dark holes of my brain. They’re not over, at least not officially, but I’m really unlikely to do anything about them.

Dragon Lord
Products of Power/Keepers of the Past

Okay, I think that’s it for me. I’m interested to see what if any of these will end up finished by the end of this year. Also of interest is what new projects will appear and demand their own time. We shall see!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Guess what? I have two pieces of awesome news. My blog has surpassed 1000 views (yes, 500 of those are spambots, but I’m okay with that), and I just finished my second draft of Chaos Rules! Hooray!!! In celebration I’ve decided to write about someone awesome. My grandma.

If there is one person besides my parents who have made a permanent and lasting impact on me it’s my Grandma Nessl. I went to visit her recently and it reminded me of how despite the 60+ year age difference she’s still one of my best friends.

The picture is from a visit a few years ago over Thanksgiving. We got to eat at her retirement community, which was sad because it wasn’t a homemade extravaganza and happy because I didn’t have to cook.

I was trying to think of something specific that she’s taught me and the big thing that pops up is Faith. It’s funny because we’re from two different religions and she has taught me so much about faith. She practices Sidda Yoga, a new agey sort of religion that’s tangentially Hindu. She found it back in the 70’s and never looked back. I think it was her own unusual choice that made her so respectful of my father’s conversion to the LDS church. All I know was that I grew up admiring her staunch beliefs and willingness to sacrifice for them even if they weren’t ones I shared. Her every day commitment to her faith seeded in me a desire to have the same for myself.

More then that I always knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loved me. Sometimes I’m selfish or difficult but she always forgives me. She turned 89 recently. It’s been a long life that she lived to the fullest. When people say that my generation has no hero’s for me that never true. My grandma will always be a hero to me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Scrapping A MS

Hello everyone! So, when I decided to change up the blogging schedule I didn’t intend to fall off the wagon completely. It’s been a month since my last post. Things have been crazy, awesome, and a little unbelievable. There’s too much of that to be included in one post so I’m going to talk about writing instead.

Today something frustrating happened that hasn’t happened to me in a while. I had the moment of realization that a project just isn’t working and I had to scrap it and restart.

To clarify, this isn’t the big edit I’ve been working on. To keep myself fresh I’ve been doing work on my next big project on the side, the outline and 1st draft of a project I’m currently calling The Demon’s Daughter. When my outline wasn’t really growing I started writing in words. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized that my story was boring and going nowhere. It’s been a while since this has happened to me so I assumed it never would again. I think that since I’ve become a better writer that I was immune to these kinds of problems. Yeah, not so much.

Every concept has a fatal flaw and The Demon’s Daughter, or TDD (I need acronyms), was its plot. It just wasn’t one of the reasons I fell in love with the story and was always something I struggled with. Finally I caught myself thinking how ready I was to write the sequel where I had a ton of great plot ideas. After over a month of back and forth it was a light bulb flashing. I could incorporate a lot of the elements of the first book with the plot for the second. It really throws off my groove for the planned series (yes, I’ve already planned the series. I can stop anytime I like) and kiboshes a lot of ideas. Though those are painful, the worst thing is about 10K that I’ve already written has to be thrown away. I was so psyched to have that much written and out of the way before I officially started working on it next week.

The good news is that I discovered this while it was a) early in the process and b) still working on something else so my entire production line isn’t screwed up. The bad news is that I start afresh. And I’m not a super writer.