Saturday, December 31, 2016

Five ways to keep yourself writing this year





The bells are chiming, or soon they will be, telling us 2017 is here.

I've been spending the last week, planning the new year as much as time allowed.  2016 wasn't my best, so out with the old, and in with the new is this years mantra. This year my biggest goal will be to go over, and re-plan as I go, every first of the month. That's always made more sense to me than doing it all on New Years Eve.

I hope 2017 will be everything you're hoping for. While this post is on ways to keep writer's writing, it could be helpful for readers in whatever plans you might have for the new year as well. Just translate them into something that works for your own goals.

For me, the planning is always easy. Keeping to the schedule is the difficult part. This year I was sideswiped by a myriad of physical issues. My plans were to finish the current story, and work on others, nanowrimo style. I prefer to get the first draft done, but when you find yourself fighting nausea and migraines, fevers, or whatever the illness may be, a chapter or more is difficult to get through, and once your off the wagon, it isn't always easy to get back on the seat. It was about that time that a friend who had been struggling with keeping focus created a new habit

Write two-hundred words everyday, no matter what.


Two hundred words doesn't seem like much. My goal is a chapter of a first draft I'm working on, and one or more chapters of a rewrite. But on a down day, almost anyone can manage two-hundred words. It's only a few paragraphs, and it will keep you focused and moving if you press forward. It also helps establish your muse, since the more we write, the more ideas flow. So, be honest with yourself, and if you can't push through the two-thousand or more words you planned, settle for two-hundred. There is always tomorrow to make up for lost time. It can also help you press through a troubled area, where if you push forward you can get back the cadence of the story, and go back later when things come back together. One of my teachers always said "If you're stuck, press forward. You can always go back later." And while it doesn't always feel like it at the time, this is good advice.

Freewrite on a daily basis. 

The same friend, gets most of his ideas by writing when he first wakes up. I'm not a morning person though, so it's the afternoon for me. Ironically, I find that I get a lot of poems this way. When you freewrite, it can be about anything. Journaling, poetry, thoughts, or even a short prompt. I love listening to instrumental music and freewriting. You never know what will come to mind. But that's actually my next point.

Make use of writer's prompts

There are prompts for the writer everywhere. Websites, magazines, newspapers, images, music; all of these things can tickles the writer's mind. I have a board for Fantasy Writer's Prompts on Pinterest. I have a blog devoted to prompts on Tumblr. It's a little behind, but should be back on track in the near future. I also have playlists on Youtube. This one is predominantly instrumental. You can look up your own inspiration at any of the places I mentioned. Just google what your looking for and put that pen to paper.

Practice poetry

Poetry is as individual and unique as we are, and by nature it stretches our muse, making us think more deeply. It will increase your descriptive skills as well. In class we were required to write poems about inanimate objects. It was really quite interesting to describe something without ever calling out what it was, and by doing so, adding personality to it. It's also the best for developing cadence in my opinion.

Make a prompt jar for your characters

While this is a prompt, it's different than the prompts mentioned earlier, although you could use images and music to help with this. I love prompts, and when I'm not working on my manuscript, I like to be looking for ways to hone in on characterization. So I found a jar and made a list of prompts for my characters, and when I didn't feel like writing, I'd pull one. You might have your antagonist begin to fall in love with the woman he's trying to pull down, or have a character who is generally sweet, murder someone. The trick is that no matter how backwards it seems, you must make it believable. Whether you use this in your actual story is personal choice, but you will be writing, and getting deeper into your characters,

While these exercises won't always keep you working the manuscript that needs your attention, they will help keep you writing and the ideas flowing. The one thing that's certain is that the novel will not get finished if you give up. Use these as strategies to keep you moving, so you can clear the hurdles before you, and end the race with a finished shiny manuscript.

Check out my website if you haven't seen it at www.jenabaxter.com 
Join my monthly mailing list on the right side of this page.

Happy new year everyone.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

It's Nanowrimo Time


Novel in a Month?

That means it's November when writers all over the world connect with other authors and write their stories.





Every year I say I'm not going to do it, and every year since I started, except one, I've done it. This year I'm working on a number of novelle sized short stories. Two for a series of fairytales I'm doing with Raven Williams, one for my Little Match Girl novella, and another for a Christmas anthology, due next year. I've found it best to get the anthologies done as soon as I can so I made it a priority.

So far, I'm not doing as well as I hoped, but I'm keeping up with things. I was short in word count one day, but had enough overage on other days to keep up with it. I also need to keep up my reading for the screenwriting contest, as well as a few other obligations, so seriously, I have no complaints with my totals right now.

My first story is about a girl being harassed by a witch invading her dreams. When the stress becomes too much, her mom sends her to stay with her grandmother hoping it will help. There she meets the vampire Lucien, who lures his victims with his violin. This story is almost finished. I featured an excerpt in this month's newsletter, if you're curious to see it.

Another thing Nanowrimo always does is bring new friends. I try to connect with my regions as much as I can, although I don't attend the write-ins. My typing skills are not the best, so I don't think I would get much done with distractions. I do connect with people online on my buddy list, as well as a couple of Facebook groups. We're only four days in, and I'm having fun already.

My next story is about a princess who gets turned into a wild animal. Did I mention the fairytales are meant to be dark? I'm always told I write a little on the dark side, although I've never really seen it that way. I just try to write a good story and make it realistic, even if it's fantasy. Isn't that the challenge for a fantasy author? We make the imagination come to life, if we do our jobs right.

I'll admit the Little Match Girl is not my norm, but it isn't far off, since I'm fond of, and have written historical fantasy novels. This is the same, but a little more grounded. I've started a Hans Christian Andersen class and done a lot of research, so I hope that helps me get into the original author's head to see what he saw and hear his thoughts.

I've been waiting for a couple of A Horde of Dragons, paperbacks to arrive, and they are signed by each Author. We'll be setting up a giveaway on Goodreads and another on Facebook as soon as they arrive. I'll also be giving away an unsigned copy. I hit a thousand likes on my facebook page and want to celebrate. The unsigned copy is in honor of that celebration. Keep your eyes open for more information on my Facebook page, here.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Virtual FantasyCon Blog Hop Hunt




Hi, I’m Jena Baxtor, author of Reflections, Veiled Memories, and The Carriage, and I’m your host for this stop in the Hunt.

If you would like to find out more about the Hunt, please click here
http://vfcscavengerhunt.weebly.com/

Somewhere on this page is a hidden number. Collect all the numbers from all the authors’ posts, and then add them up. Once you’ve added all the numbers, and if I am your last author, please head to the official website and click on the ENTER HERE page to find the entry form. Only entries will the correct number will qualify to win.

The author I’m pleased to be hosting for Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt today is author, 

Amalie Cantor





Free will is a funny (and fickle) thing. We live in a world in which the choices we make define our character and affect our future, but in which bad things still happen to good people. Choices made with the best of intentions can still lead to devastation, while choices made in selfishness can bring good to everyone. What, in such a mixed up world, makes a choice the “right” choice?
In my debut novel, Choosing Her Chains, a young outcast by the name of Alisandra must navigate questions of free will and consent. Abandoned by her mother as a toddler, Alisandra finds refuge in ReObsol's conditional welcome. When its priests discover her magical handicap, they curse the child as she'obfus. Yet buried within herself she finds gifts that neither the high priests nor Alisandra herself could ever imagine. Those gifts could lead to ReObsol's destruction--or its salvation.
Now a young woman, Alisandra lives and works in ReObsol’s shadows under the tutelage of the widowed weaver, Amalra. In exchange for Amalra’s protection, Alisandra begrudgingly bears the shackles of outcast. Everything changes when Ryshel–Alisandra’s secret paramour–ends their liaison to accept a sacred handfasting to Sylvin, the tribe’s heir apparent. For the first time, the heartbroken Alisandra must decide how to direct her own path. To do so she must question everything she thinks she knows about ReObsol’s tribe, its past, and her own place within it.
Loosing one set of chains often requires the willing acceptance of another. In a land ruled by submission to pious tradition, her growing yearning for liberty may be the siren that unwittingly calls forth revolution.





Excerpt, Chapter 6, Choosing Her Chains

Alisandra had always known she lacked the brilliance of the colored souls that filled ReObsol. The Test had given disappointing finality to what her heart had always known.
The colors in the weepings shifted. Both now waning moons spilled through and draped beams over her form. Her eyes narrowed to slits as another stray ray of light fell upon the lake’s center, illuminating the tip of the obelisk just below its surface.
Alisandra. The word echoed not in her ears, but in the very center of her chest, where a ball of glowing warmth took root. The not unpleasant sensation grew and expanded, until its heat filled her from toe to fingertip, her skin tingling from the intense sensation.
“What would you have me do?” she whispered into the darkness.
The heat in her chest grew warmer, the voice more insistent. Swim, Alisandra. Fear not for your life; there are far more important things to be lost.
Without conscious decision, Alisandra stood. The wind sped to whip through her disheveled curls as she carefully placed one step in front of the other. She paused for only a moment at the water’s edge before taking her first cautious step into the eerily still water.
Almost at once the heat within her chest fought against the instinct to run, to withdraw, to escape the bitter chill of the water. Within seconds the cold had frozen her 99 feet. Her skin nearly blistered and broke open in icy pain, yet Alisandra could not stop. One step. Five. Ten. The water rose to cover her torso, and Alisandra could walk no further. She gingerly lifted her feet and kicked toward the lake’s center. With each stroke she grew heavier, more exhausted. She knew not why she swam, though her rhythm never faltered.
Less than a meter from the center of the lake, where the obelisk sat submerged, the spell shattered. The comforting fire that had settled in Alisandra’s chest fizzled out. The warmth abandoned her to the mercy of the water. Her limbs froze and refused to move, and the depths gradually drew her deeper, until her lungs could no longer find oxygen. Alisandra smiled and let go, surrendering to Kieran’s darkness. As her lungs encountered the first blast of water, her spirit awoke.
“Life always means more than death, Alisandra. Death may accomplish great and wonderful things, but with it all possibility for change is extinguished. Life brings infinite opportunities for change, if you will fight for it.”
The words of wisdom, first spoken in the hours after the emotional devastation of the Test, now cut through the haze of Alisandra’s mind. She chose to fight. Her muscles screamed in protest as she attempted to kick toward the surface, but the icy waters stabbed at her skin like hot pokers. The determination of Alisandra’s mind could not overcome the weakness of her body. With a spark of panic, Alisandra realized that she was surely drowning. Her lungs struggled in spasms of pain and hunger as her already poor vision dimmed. The haze descended once again over her thoughts as her body sank further and further from the surface.
A firm grip coiled around her wrists, and a surge of hot lightning ran through her veins.
Do you wish to live? an unfamiliar voice whispered into the darkness.
Her mind answered without her consent: Yes.
Then make it so. Reach out, and take what is yours.
With the last of her strength, Alisandra stretched her arm toward the obelisk. Her vision grayed as she placed a palm against its cold, smooth surface. The heat in her chest reignited in a fireball of light and filled her to the fingertips with warmth. The last of Alisandra’s breath escaped, and she closed her eyes in peace even as her world faded to black.



Amalie Cantor, author of the Daughter of Kieran fantasy series, identifies first and foremost as a Writer-In-Progress.  She currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma with her wife Katherine and their feline familiars, Sadie and Salem.  She writes poetry, prose, and fiction focusing on the intersection of sexual/gender identity and spirituality.  She also blogs about whatever shiny object has captured her attention for the moment at DaughterofKieran.com.  She's a frequent author and instructor on Writing.Com and spends far too much time working on her social media presence when she could be writing.  Her debut novel, Choosing Her Chains, is currently available through Amazon.com.

When not wasting time behind a computer screen, Amalie enjoys cooking, knitting, crocheting, and enjoying the literary debauchery of her local book club.  She strives for moderation in all things--including moderation.  She also watches far too many bad BBC shows and is pretty sure her personal trainer has reported her missing. 


Find Amalie on Social Media

Twitter: @AmalieCantor
Instagram: @AmalieCantor


Did you find the number? If you did, then click Amalie Cantor’s link – http://daughterofkieran.com/blog/  to continue Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt.




Thursday, September 29, 2016

Virtual FantasyCon 2016

It's almost here so mark your calendars




Virtual FantasyCon is a fun and interesting online event happening October 9th to the 16th, and it’s free to attend. The location is on your computer. You can drop by any day during the event and check out the booths for that day. 







Here is the schedule:

Sun   October 9th - Epic/Sword & Sorcery (Includes High Fantasy)

Mon  October 10th - Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy/Time-Travel

Tue   October 11th - Fairytale/Punk (Includes all versions of Punk)

Wed  October 12th - Paranormal/Urban

Thu   October 13th - Series/Short Stories (Includes all subgenres of Fantasy Series & Collections/Anthologies of Short Stories)

Fri    October 14th - Dystopian/Apocalyptic

Sat   October 15th - Dark/GrimDark/Horror

Sun  October 16th - Children/YA Fantasy









There will be authors, bloggers, editors, artists, and publishers to list just a few, and a Cosplay booth, 

Check out the Blog Hop Hunt, panel discussions, and a new booth this year an Author Cache Sale booth (This booth is only for the participating authors on the day of each event. Books on sale for $1.99 or 0.99 can list these books in the comment section for guests to find and buy.) It is put together by lovely people like Carol March, Raven Williams, Denise Garrou, and others who have worked behind the scenes to make this event happen. 




Visit the official website for the Blog Hop Hunt - this is where you will play to win. 
Visit the author's blogs/website that will be featured each day and collect the hidden number in each Virtual FantasyCon post. Tally them up, go to the entry page on the website and enter the number, answer a couple of questions and you could win yourself a $5 Amazon Gift Card for each day you play.





Catch up on your favorite author and discover new ones. 

To find out more about the event check out the following social media links:


Monday, September 5, 2016

Pretentious Character Interviews: 1 of 6 - Danny Rosani



An Interview by Brad Miltner from

Music That Pops Magazine.



Welcome 

Danny Rosani from Pretentious






Music that Pops has requested an interview with the musicians from Pretentious, the newest, and hottest fictional band this year.

Brad shakes Danny's hand as he sits in the hot seat."Thanks for coming out today, Danny. I know you've been busy with your first tour. 

Danny Rosani plays keyboard, and is the frontman of Pretentious with his new wife, Aryn.

Danny smiles.

So, how did you come to be part of Pretentious, Danny?
Mark and I were jamming together and Aryn insisted we create a band. (Laughs). Seriously, while that’s true this was always our dream.  Aryn just gave us the shove we needed to play it forward.

How do you feel about the rest of the band members?
We were all friends before we started. I love every one of them. We've all worked hard and they continue to work hard every time we set foot on stage, or pick up an instrument. They are phenomenal people.

The band contributes a lot of its success in you bringing them together. How do you feel about that?
It was Aryn that brought us together, Mark and I were childhood friends, but we all knew each other pretty well. We have our ups and downs, but it’s not about any one person, so things usually fall into place. We’re a team.

What is your favorite part of success?
The fans.They get pretty crazy sometimes, but we wouldn't be here without them, I love them.

Brad bends forward, smiling.
Give us an example of crazy. You know we all dream of being a Rock Star.
Danny laughs and runs a hand through his hair.
Fans scream when they see you. Selfies galore. Women throw bras at you. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Brad laughs.
Who or what inspires you.
Aryn has been my inspiration since the day we met. My band mates and family inspire me too.

What’s it like being married to Aryn Morgan?  
Being caught up in a whirlwind. She's always pushing forward, no matter what happens. There’s no one else in the world like her. I wouldn’t want anyone else.

What are your plans after the upcoming world tour?
Back to the studio. We're going to keep the ball rolling. New songs, new videos, more interviews. I also run a restaurant with my mother. She's great, everyone calls her Mama because she has the maternal thing going. My Father died when I was really young.

Who helps them when you're away?
My sister Becky, and we have employees that have been with us for years. Most of them could ran the restaurant without a problem. (Laughs) I'm so unnecessary. They keep throwing me out to make more music.

Sounds like a good bunch of people.
Tell me about an onstage moment that impacted you.
Every time I step on stage and see our fans I’m inspired. It's still all surreal for me.

What are your dreams for the future of the band?
To stay progressive. Always moving forward.

How has being a part of Pretentious affected you?
(Laughs) It would take me a week to answer that question. I've met some incredible people. Adan Harris, and the Sand Sharks have helped us every step of the way. It’s shown me that we can do anything and how blessed I am. I have the greatest family, and friends, The best wife and awesome fans.  Seriously, what more is there?

What can we expect from Pretentious in the future?
More music. We’ll be going from the road to the studio. I think Adan is already working on our next tour.

What an incredible opportunity to have Adan Harris managing for you. Any new band would give an arm or leg to have him, especially after he stepped out of the limelight. How did that happen?
Danny shakes his head. Seriously, I have no idea. We contacted him to produce our first CD, and he and I just hit it off. Outside of Aryn and Mark, he's my closest friend, I can't imagine another manager.

Last question, I promise. I know you're probably exhausted being on tour.
(Danny nods)
How has success effected you?
It’s shown me what a great family I have, and to keep moving, not to let anything ever get me down.

Sounds like good advice for all of us. Brad extends his hand and Danny takes it.
Thank you for stopping by today. I feel like I got to know Pretentious a little more. We'll be interviewing the rest of the band in the days to come. I believe we have Aryn next week.
(Danny nods as he stands). "She's looking forward to it. Any chance to tell tales about me."
Brad laughs as they shake hands.
"Thank you for having me,"


Pretentious Summary

Danny promised his dying father he would take care of the family, but a promise looks much different when someone is twelve than it does at sixteen. When his sister leaves for college, he realizes he’s trapped in his father’s dream. He runs the family restaurant with his mother and tucks his own dreams away, until he falls in love with Aryn, a girl in his chorus class. 

Pretentious is a series of YA/NA novellas that follow Danny and Aryn in their attempt to create a band and follow their dreams, while honoring Danny’s commitment to take care of his mother, a nurturing Italian woman everyone calls Mama, and his sister, Becky. It’s a story about family, commitment, love and the confusion of betrayal. 


Read it free on kindle unlimited and prime, or purchase your copy here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Have you seen my newest release?

A Horde of Dragons 
An Anthology


Nominated for best summer anthology
Vote for us here




A Horde of Dragons multi-author anthology from the fantastical minds of Jena Baxter, Guy Donovan, Barb Lieberman, Ellie Lieberman, Kindra Sowder, and Raven Williams. Within these pages, you will find stories of dragons that will tantalize your imagination and leave you wanting more. So sit back, relax a spell, and immerse yourself in A Horde of Dragons.




Reviews

5 Stars
This compilation of Dragon fantasy writing from indie authors is beautiful and sometimes heart wrenching. So many different worlds, mythos, and viewpoints, all well-delivered. A must read!


Check out the Authors and see what other projects they are working on here


Purchase your copy here


Teasers

Barb Lieberman


Ellie Lieberman

Raven Williams

Jena Baxter

Kindra Sowder




 Guy Donovan



Monday, August 29, 2016

Writing Prompts: Why I Love them



Wow, I haven't written my blog for a while. I love my blog, but illness put me behind, and I needed to catch up on my writing once I managed to get settled once more. My blog-prompt group has moved forward, but I'm going to continue with the prompts, because it's something I've always wanted to do. I might just focus most of them on character prompts. Since characters and emotion are my passions, I may write about characters I like and why, as well.

At any rate, thank you for joining me, and being patient. If there are things you would like to see me write about, I would love to hear your thoughts.

This post is focused on writer's prompts, and why I love them.


Anyone who knows me knows that I love prompts of all kinds. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it, and a Tumblr blog devoted to writer issues and prompts I'm not better at posting on that blog than I am here, but do try to keep it up. I also post thunderclapts there for new releases from author friends on occasion. Pinterest I use to calm my nerves. I can post without too much thought, so I use my boards a lot. I also have a Encouragement and Hope for Writer's board there if you want to check it out.

Like many people, I started writing by poetry, although it's not my strongest talent, moved to short stories, one of them became a novel called Veiled Memories, and then on to writing novels. Most of my storylines came from something I read, or heard, or something I saw. Here are a few prompt methods that I've used.

Images


Images have been big for me since I decided I wanted to work on a dragon story, but the full plot wasn't strong enough for me to use it. A friend sent me numerous imaged of dragons to help me out, and I was hooked. Those images led to a short story, which became a novel called, Methalis, One with the Dragon. It's on the back burner waiting for a rewrite, but the first draft is mostly intact. I have just a few chapters to finish yet. For a taste of that book, check out A Bucket of Fishes in the A Horde of Dragons, anthology. 

Here is a teaser for that story:


A Bucket of fish is a historical companion novella to Methalis, One with the Dragon


Another story born from an image is called The Covens of Misty Haven. This story is also awaiting a rewrite, but almost finished. There is also a short story novelette, called Eyes of the Gods, for that one that will be released sometime next month. Sorry, I don't have the official date or link yet, but here are the images that inspired it. I do not own them.



 I need to make a teaser for this one, which is sitting on the editors desk at this moment.


I have a co-authored book of dark faitytales to be published later this year, and all of the stories I'm contributing at inspired by my own stories, companion shorts, and images. I'll be sharing more about that in future posts. 

Music


While I haven't used a prompt for them, Instrumentals and music done in foreign languages has been a great inspiration in my writing, and often helps me creating scenes. It's a different sort of prompt, but a prompt in my opinion none the less. Here are a few of the musician's/composers that have inspired me.

Within Temptation - Although Memories is just one of their songs that have inspired me. Going under helped me to give Alexis more of a back bone in the upcoming Silas, book two of Passages of Time, The Carriage.

Sad Violin and Piano - I love piano and violin

Yuki kajiura and Kalafina - The audio was removed from youtube, so I didn't include the links here.

Yiruma - I just missed him in concert and I'm still pouting over it. I cheered myself up by purchasing one of his CD's.


My other stories were all based on something I read or heard, or simply wanted to try. I always loved fantasy, but didn't think I could possibly write it. Recently, a friend told me he couldn't imagine me writing anything else, but my first story was not fantasy. A die hard fan of the fantasy genre, he hasn't read my new adult/contemporary romance, Pretentious, yet.



Are you a writer inspired by writer's prompts, or a reader inspired by great artwork?

My newsletter is behind, but will be going out the 5th of September, back on schedule. There is a follow me sign-up on the right hand side of this post, if you haven't signed up yet. I'd love for you to travel through this journey of writing with me.

Have an awesome week everyone. 

Friday, August 12, 2016



A Guest Post byAuthor, Kat Caffee

The Followers of Torments





Though I am an “accidental author” the story that makes up The Followers of Torments has made sure to keep me an HONEST author as well.  Not only does it push me to continue writing the story (if I want to sleep, that is), it has also given me reason to stretch out in new ways, dust off old skills, and adapt some of my old hobbies to new mediums. 
What started out as a single book grew into two, then three, then exploded to a five book saga.  So far, it’s listened to me when I put my foot down, and not grown beyond that.  Along the way, because I’m one of those people who doesn’t know the meaning of “half-hearted effort” I’ve also learned how to manage my time well enough to support a blog and social presence to help the story that insisted on being written get discovered.  That’s what has led to today’s wonderful news.
Initially, I had no idea about how to market or promote anything.  What experience I have in sales has always allowed me to use a “soft sell” where I help people who know they want something figure out exactly what they want.  If the place I was selling didn’t have that item, I had no issues with telling the customers where I remembered seeing it last.  That hasn’t worked so well in the book world – there are a lot of people who know they want a book, and some of those even know they want a book from a specific genre.  However, there are so many books to choose from that helping them find just the right book has meant I’ve sent them away from my own work.  Especially when I have trouble even admitting I’ve got work out in the marketplace for them to try.
When I first started writing, this wasn’t an issue, because there wasn’t enough of the series written to make it really worth anyone’s while to start.  Even when I published the second book, I couldn’t guarantee that the rest would be coming any time soon.  As such, I began building a blog, and worked on build up a blog following.  I posted samples of short stories, flash fiction, and even some of the lessons I learned along the way to where I am now. 
With the publication of the third book, along with the detour into companion novellas, I began to notice that I’d managed to back myself into the obscure corner.  I tried to remedy this by introducing a blog series focused on my books, but in the hustle and bustle of everything else going up on the blog, the posts were getting lost.
Eventually, I realized I did need to break up the blog – not to leave my current fans, but to separate the post types – I decided it was time to dedicate space specifically to my books.  So, when the Alterraden website design came about, I made sure to set up such a section where the book could be featured, and the posts that had been lost in the jumble of all the different types of blog series I’d been running could shine in the spotlight. 
I’m re-releasing the posts that were buried, and adding a few new ones along the way.  If you wander over to the Pukah Works HomeOffice, or the Alterraden site, you’ll find a menu link to the Followers of Torments section of the site.  This is where all the wonderful posts about the series can be found.  There are themed posts for a “Behind the Scenes” look at how the books developed, “Meet the Characters” where I provide character sketches for the important characters introduced in each book, and updates about the progress for upcoming projects. 

Why not come on over, and learn some more about The Followers of Torments?


Bio:



K. Caffee has always been a storyteller. Now, she is sharing her words with the world, rather than a small group clustered around to hear what she has to say.

When she is not taking anyone on a ride through her wild imagination, she is thinking of something new to tell, trying to keep her cats from claiming the keyboard from her, or studying to pass her next class exam.





Out of the Darkness sale links:













Remember the Shadows sale links:






















http://ow.ly/LvUcH  - Scribd


Into the Sunlits sale links:














Beslynx Spiritwalker sale Links:


Social Media Links:


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Welcome to the April Hop






Hi all!

I’m so thrilled you’ve stopped on my page today.
I’m having a giveaway, and I hope you'll be the lucky winner! 
All you have to do to enter to win my prize is to follow me at any of the icons listed on my website here www.jenabaxter.com. Facebook, twitter, pinterest, you choose.


What's up for grabs? A signed paperback of one of my novels. Veiled Memories, Reflections, or The Carriage, you decide which you think you'll like best.

So now that you’ve entered to win my prize, tell me what your favorite genre to read is and why, in the comments below.





My giveaway will remain open until the very end of the hop, so if you get here on another day, keep posting!


You can also enter for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card by joining my mailing list here: https://www.facebook.com/jenabaxterbooks/ There's a button on the left, or you can sign up here: http://jenabaxterbooks.blogspot.com/

The newsletter only giveaway will be open through the end of the month. Winner will be announced  on May 5th, in the May newsletter.


Next on the Hop is A. R. Von  https://www.facebook.com/ARVon2/

Thanks again for visiting me, and if you’re new to the April Author Takeover & Hop Multi-Genre Online Author Event you can start over on the event page and hop to all of the authors giving out prizes. https://www.facebook.com/events/420689734792402/




Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Character Madness Interview 

With Marai bin Ahu 

From Children of the Stone 

By Mary Woldering






Tell us about your story 
I'm just a simple man, devoted to my goddess, but every since the night the stars sang, things have become complicated.

What part do you play in it? 
I move through all of the pages.

Is it scary or a love story? 
There are scary parts, but more love, because it heals all things.

Have you heard any good gossip lately? 
I don't really listen to any. The woman downstairs is cheating on her husband. Her last child wasn't his, but he refuses to see it.

If you could be anything you want to be, what would you be? 
Happy, maybe with a small business or a plot of land for sheep or goats. I'd love to have my wives with me too.

Why? 
To see my increase.

Where would you live? 
No real preference. I would like a place where life and survival isn't a struggle.

Where do you live now? 
Ineb Hedj (that’s near modern day Cairo, Egypt for my 21st century friends)

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? 
I have three wives.

What would they think about the change? 
Two wouldn't mind. Deka still wants to go to Ta-Seti and discover her forgotten past.

Does your fur mat and pull? I was just wandering because I have a mat right now and it really hurts. 
Fur? No.

Who is the scariest person in your story? 
Scary? I'm not sure if he is scary, but I really don't trust Count Prince Hordjedtef

Who is the happiest? 
Hard to say. We all have our moments.

What’s your author like? 
A dreamer. She's a little disorganized, a lot like my wife Ari, but not as rambunctious.

Do you think she portrayed your part well? 
Sure.

Does she sleep as much as Jena does? 
I don't know how much this Jena sleeps. 

Do you have any pictures to share? 
Of me? She has a picture of this actor named Jason Momoa she thinks could play me if we made a movie, but my hair is different and my skin is a little darker. Let her know if you want this Jason picture. There are pictures of the 2 book covers and some of her drawings.



Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hurdles in Writing: What About Voice


Voice - What is it?





Like poetry, all writing has a cadence, a rhythm all it's own. The flow of sentences becomes your voice, and when the flow is disrupted, you can hit a discordant note.

While this is an accurate description, voice is not as easy as it sounds. I believe in the Author's voice. When you pick up your favorite author's latest novel, you have an expectation, and that expectation is what separates that author from others. It's their voice. You know it, without even realizing it.

There are many facets to the craft of storytelling, and most if not all are valid in some form. As I've said before, I don't believe in rules. I am an artist, and how I write my story is a blend of my craft and voice. Not only my voice, but the character's voice. Tricky huh? They are not the same.

I will use repetition to emphasize a point, and so far, I've been applauded for it. I don't do it often, but there are moments when it can raise the level of tension. There are times when filter words smooth a sentence, or even maintain the rhythm. Removing all the filter words, or as many as possible, is great when you want to build tension, but in romantic moments, longer and smoother usually works better.

Here are a couple of the hurdles I've experienced and seen.

- We all want to be the best writer we can be, and I believe voice to be a huge part of that, but never use voice as an excuse when someone is critiquing your work. I've seen this a lot, especially with new writers. Writing is a simple as putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys, but making it something people want to read usually requires more work.

So, how do you know when it's your voice, or something you need to work on? By knowing your voice. Be familiar with your rhythms. Reading your work, or having it read back to you will usually show your voice, and any discordant notes.

I used to critique someone who used adverbs in almost every sentence. The first couple of chapters, I pointed it out, and explained that they often weaken a sentence. He continued using them, so I stopped the lecture, because I knew he made a decision to use them. He wanted a traditional publisher, so when he finished his book, he queried, and since the storyline was good, he received requests for the manuscript. They all declined, based on the abundance of adverbs. Was this his voice? Apparently not, since he later removed them. As a reminder, I don't believe in rules. I use adverbs on occasion.

Another example was when I was working on Veiled Memories. I made so many changes to a chapter that my voice had been completely critted out of it. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I asked a critiquer who knew my voice for help. It took her ten minutes to find the areas I needed to change. This is why you need to know your voice. I had a lot of trouble with this when I first started writing, but I don't change things just because a critiquer said to anymore. It's your manuscript. You are responsible for the end result, and your name will be on the cover.

- My voice vs character voice.

When I first started writing, I didn't understand the difference in character voice, although I was doing it naturally to some degree. This is another area where you need to be careful. When writing in first or second viewpoints, most, if not all of your book, should be your main character's voice. When you're writing in another point of view, there will be your voice, and character voices.

Even after years of writing classes, I didn't understand that the character voices 'should' be different. Does Batman sound like Robin? Darth Vader vs Hans Solo. They don't sound like the writer, and they don't sound the same. Extreme examples, but I know most everyone knows these voices.

This was never an issue for me except when people corrected poor grammar in dialogue, or trimmed the longer sentences of the more articulate speaker. Many people use poor grammar when they talk. It also became a problem when I wrote The Carriage. I had two teenage girls, with different personalities. I had to constantly remind myself of the differences between them, and again, critiquer's tried to correct the grammar of my most obnoxious girl. I didn't have this problem with the brothers in the story. They were far more black and white in their differences.

So know your voice, and play back your work. I use Text Aloud, but there are other programs that will read your work back. And, pay attention to your critiquers. Know your voice, but don't use it for an excuse to not correct things or learn something useful. Think out what people say and make educated decisions, not emotional ones.




Tuesday, March 8, 2016


A Friend Asked Juliette for a Character Reference
For Jena Baxter
Here's What she Said.




Juliette sat under the apple tree. A character reference for Jena. Why would anyone trouble me for such a thing? She smiles. "I guess I do know her best though. Who better than her most abused character? I have plenty to say." 




She takes a bite of an apple and shifts pages as she chews, then grabs a blank piece of paper and pencil. "However should I begin?" She sets her pen on the paper, and begins to write.




Dear Sirs,
My name is Juliette Barrows and I am the main character and Heroine, in Jena Baxter's greatest story, Reflections.

She pushes the lose hair from her face, smiles, and tosses the apple.

I'm not certain how to say this, but Jena is a masochist, who thrives on the pain of those beneath her. Take me for example. I'm thrown into a magical world all alone. Not even one servant to attend to my needs, and there are weird, mystical creatures there too. 




While I admit, these creatures are now my dear friends, it does not excuse Jena Baxter's actions. I've had wolves attack me, a mob hang me, and my best friend wouldn't speak to me for almost a year. All because of Jena. 




Why would an accomplished Author treat her characters so cruelly? And it isn't only me she's abusing.

In The Carriage, she sends a woman to the past, and almost starves her before sending her to a mental institution. 




What kind of mind dreams these things up?

In Veiled Memories, Jena sends a handsome angel to hell after he saves a small child from a horrible fate. The angel's bonded brother then becomes her new focus of torture. He's always grieving and in trouble, and on top of that, he has to live with unrequited love.




I don't speak to the Pretentious characters often, since they are from a different era, and somewhat wild for my tastes, but the main character's father actually dies before the story even starts. 




Are you seeing a pattern here?

Silas is her next victim. So far, she's back to abusing the heroine of The Carriage in that story, but Silas tries to hide because he knows of her cruel tendencies.




With the aforementioned in mind, I cannot recommend Jena for anything short of a sniper, guard, or prison warden.

Sincerely Yours,
Juliette Barrows
Reflections

PS: I'll be starting a gossip column soon. Be sure to watch for it.