Archive

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

RISING – Book Three of the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS Series

April 17th, 2014 No comments

Meet my new baby, RISING. She's a big one, but that just means there's more of her to love.

Have you ever had a big, hairy audacious goal, like running a marathon, buying a mansion, or finally solving that $%^&*# Rubik’s Cube? That goal drives you, focuses you, gives you a glimpse of future glory. Success can be oh-so-sweet, but then what happens next?

Maya had a goal, a pretty big one. She wanted vengeance against the man who changed her and murdered her boyfriend. (If this sounds like gibberish, it’s time to get your hot little hands on FALLING – GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS). At the end of LANDING (book two in the series), Maya gets her vengeance, which leaves her with that big, scary, accusing question…what next?

I’ll tell you what’s next — Adventure, Snow Storms, Cool Missiony Stuff, Chuck Norris Jokes, Occasional Kidnappings, and maybe even a little love in the air! That’s right, RISING, Book Three in the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS series is here!

And Guess What — You Get A Discount

As a gift to true fans of the series, I have priced the ebook for $2.99 for its first week of existence. On April 27th, RISING, well, rises to its permanent price of $4.99. Buy your copy today and enjoy an awesome story for an even…er, awesomer price.

Other Places to Buy

RISING is also available as a soft cover on Amazon, though the  book is so big that the printing cost make it a wee bit higher than I would have preferred (sorry, nothing I can do about that). Additionally, you can find RISING on Smashwords and Scribd.

One More Thing — Free FALLING Giveaway

If you really want to enjoy RISING, then make sure you start at the beginning. Maya’s story, and the whole not-exactly-human-so-much-anymore thing all start with FALLING, Book One in the GIRL WITH BROKEN WINGS series. You could always buy the ebook on Amazon for just $3.99, but if you need one more little nudge, I’m giving away 10 print copies of FALLING on Goodreads. Participation in the giveaway is completely free. You’ll need a Goodreads account, but otherwise no hoops to jump through. I’d love to be able to mail you a copy of FALLING! Throw you name in the hat.

The giveaway ends April 30th, so sign up today!

Alright, those are all the announcements of the day. Back to business.

Share

Let The Authors In Your Life Know That You Care – Be A Romantic Reader

March 23rd, 2014 No comments

Be a hopelessly romantic reader and give your favorite authors plenty of praise and attention.

Despite our tough, grizzled exteriors, we writers can be a sensitive bunch (no, no it’s true), especially when it comes to our babies. No, not the actual, drooly, thousand-pics-on-Facebook babies. I’m talking about our writing.

Mild criticism can send your average writer on wild crying, ice-cream binging, alcohol-guzzling jags, and compliments can rocket us to the moon (where we immediately asphyxiate with dopey grins on our faces).

Writers love praise. They love hearing from readers, and they appreciate reviews, feedback, and basically any indication that someone has noticed the fact that they just spent months or years of their life pouring their soul into a book.

So, if you want to show the special writers in your life that you care, it’s time to step up your game and become a romantic reader. That’s right. Spritz on some perfume or cologne, shell out a couple of bucks for a bouquet of flowers, and be the gooiest, most supportive reader you can be.

Don’t you love it when your spouse or partner is just “there” for you? They listen to you after you’ve had a tough day, encourage you to pursue your dreams, and attend every one of your open mic poetry slams or garage band rehearsals?

If you really want to support your favorite writers, then be “there” for them:

  • Write positive (and honest) reviews of their novels and post the reviews on multiple sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.
  • Like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and actually participate
  • Read their blog and post comments. (You know, like, maaaaybe this one?)
  • Send them an email about what their book meant to you. (It probably won’t take you more than 15 minutes to write but will spend years framed on the author’s wall)
  • Recommend their books to friends and family members who might enjoy them
  • If you notice one of your favorite authors has written a guest post, is doing a nearby signing, or has been interviewed somewhere on the web, show up and support them
  • Join their mailing list, so you can snap up any new writing that comes out

Going out of your way to support your favorite authors may seem like a lot of extra work, but it’s really not, and it will truly have a huge and positive impact on their lives. Even just a considerate comment posted on an author’s Facebook page that took you a minute to write can make that author’s day or even their entire week plus the weekend.

If you’ve ever read a book that has squeezed tears out of you like a sponge, made you laugh until you snorted, or touched your heart and your mind in a profound way, then give back to those writers.  Most of us don’t write for fame or money. We write from love. Give that love back to the writers you enjoy, especially new or unknown authors. Be a romantic reader.

Random Update

I’m so close to finishing Rising, the third book in my Girl With Broken Wings series, that I can taste it. It will definitely be hitting shelves in April. I’m so proud of this very big baby. It’s been a long labor (okay, I’m officially cooling it with the baby metaphors now), but the results will be worth it.

Share
Categories: Writing Tags: ,

Who Can’t Use More Grouchy Vampire In Their Life? J Bennett Publishes “Death in the Family”

March 13th, 2014 No comments

A New Short Story in The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles

 

Nathaniel has been grumbling for some time that I haven’t been writing about all his thrilling adventures, prowling the night, sipping his prune juice, and driving his poor housekeeper, Deidre crazy (which is technically allowed in her employment contract, btw).

 

Well, here we go. I’m happy to announce that I’ve just unleashed…er, released a new hilarious short story in The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles. You can read all about Death in the Family below, but before you do, here’s a cool quickie announcement:

 

The Story Will Be Discounted To $0.99 On Amazon Until Friday, March 21st

 

That’s right, I want to reward Nathaniel’s most loyal fans with a price even that penny-pinching vampire couldn’t refuse. After the ten days are up, the story will go to its intended price of $1.99. Click the image above to immediately go to Amazon. The story is also available on Smashwords.

 

Okay, here’s the short story blurb. I think you’ll like it!

 

Some Family Feuds Last Beyond The Grave…

 

Life as a vampire’s housekeeper is rough. Try cleaning a haunted mansion when spider webs reconstitute every hour, or keeping a positive outlook when the ghosts put tarantulas in the morning coffee. Then there’s the boss, who gets a little savage when his prune juice runs out.

 

Deidre’s life is no walk in the park, but with the impending arrival of Nathaniel’s sister, things go from crazy…to crazy plus some extra deadly fun thrown on top.

 

Tiffany arrives in high fashion, amazing curves and sharp fangs on full display. Her posse includes a zombie husband who smells like the city dump is his bathtub and a chilling ghost. As Deidre struggles not to burn dinner, impress Drew (hunky wereferret with a capital H), and stay one step ahead of an insane ghost who delights in dropping chandeliers on heads, she discovers Tiffany has an ulterior and vengeful purpose for her visit.

 

Nathaniel has put on his very best cape just for this story. (He does love his capes!) Join him, Deidre, Drew, and a growing cast of colorful characters in this new and hilarious short story in The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles series. Can Deidre stop the powerful, evil, not-even-fair-how-good-she-looks-in-skinny-jeans, Tiffany? Or will Nathaniel learn that death can’t solve all family disagreements? Find out!

 

Here’s what readers are saying about The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles Series:

 

>>> “A very funny short story that gives reading about vampires a delightful and refreshing twist.”

 

>>> “Although undead, Nathanial is a fresh take on the genre, and the Chronicles are quite enjoyable.”

 

>>> “I would recommend this short story to anybody who is tired of chick-lit vampires and appreciates a large amount of wry sarcasm.”

 

###

 

Don’t forget that Nathaniel has plenty of other adventures available. If you haven’t read about Deidre’s infamous job interview, Nathaniel’s not-so-nice vampire hunter visitor, or his duel with a werefrog, check out those stories. This may just be my completely biased opinion, but I really think each story gets better and better.

Share

Please Return My Books

January 27th, 2014 No comments

Reading a book, especially by a new author, is an investment and a risk. Sure, you aren’t exactly betting your life’s savings on a roll of the die, but you are walking through the door to a new world, investing your emotions into fresh characters, and giving your time in exchange for the hope of entertainment and maybe some deeper and more complex emotional reward.

Novels, and the authors who write them, offer you the promise of entertainment, laughs, tears and maybe even a few chills. If an author breaks that promise, you deserve your money back.

If any of my books break that promise, I want you to return it and get your money back. When I write, my goal is to pull readers into my world like a magnet, and keep their attention fully invested. I want your breath to hitch; I want laughs; I want that tightness in your throat. Most of all, I want you to care what happens to Maya, Gabe and Tarren. I want to make your heart ache for their troubles.

If you read a few chapters, and are, “Meh…” then I didn’t do my job as an author. Don’t let me get away with that. Return the book. It may have only cost you a few dollars, but that doesn’t matter. I don’t deserve your money if I didn’t do a good job.

Amazon has a seven day book return policy for Kindle ebooks, which you can find HERE. You have seven days to try out a book and return it for a full refund if you don’t like it. You don’t have to explain why or fight to get your money back. Amazon also offers a generic 30-day return policy for most of its products and encourages its sellers to do the same. Most print books should follow this 30-day policy, but certain books may vary depending on their publisher. (I believe that all of my print books follow the 30-day policy)

Amazon’s return policy makes some authors nervous, and I can definitely see why. The opportunity for abuse is pretty clear. I’ve published a handful of short stories in my The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles that take less than two hours to read. Last year, I noticed that someone returned each of my short stories, and I wondered if it was the same person, buying one story, reading, returning within the seven-day window, and then buying the next story in the series. Well, at least they liked the stories enough to keep reading through the series!

Yes, the potential for abuse concerns me, but I stand behind Amazon’s return policy. I think it is much better to offer readers an easy out than to try to save authors a few dollars by making returns difficult or impossible. I trust that the majority of readers are honest and will be glad to pay a few dollars for a good book that can make them laugh so hard they pee a little. In fact, I wish there was a pee bonus I could give out to certain books.

Authors shouldn’t fight against Amazon’s return policy. The policy is not our enemy; it is actually an ally. If readers know that they always have the option for a full refund if a book turns out to be a stinker, they will feel safer investing in a new author or trying out a new series.

Self-published authors have long tried to entice readers by slashing their prices to the bone or even setting books and short stories for free. These practices may generate interest and downloads, but they undercut an author’s profit potential. (And there’s that whole concern about bottoming out the market, which is a topic for another blog.) Rather than trying to lower prices as far as they will go, authors should trumpet Amazon’s return policy as the no-risk opportunity that it is.

Invite your readers to return your book is they didn’t like it, and then they’ll have no reason not to try it.

Share

The Why Behind My Marketing Goals

January 6th, 2014 No comments

Goals. Some people hate them. I love them. Me and goals are BFFs. My goals guide me throughout the year. They cheer me on when I pay attention and haunt me when I start ignoring them. When I achieve a goal, they throw me a party…an imaginary party that I make up in my head…but that’s beside the point.

The point is that goals are important to me. At the end of each year, I take a full day to reflect and determine my goals for the next year. As you can imagine, this is a pretty exciting day for me. I get to lovingly craft my goals and make them all sorts of promises about how I will lavish care on them, call them every day and rush over with chicken soup if they should get sick. This day is also a little scary. Some of the goals I make are big and scary. They loom over me like huge mountains, the kind you need sherpas and very hardy goats for. One of my big goals this year is to buy my first house. This may not seem like such a big goal, but if you look up real estate prices in Southern California, you’ll begin to understand why I might need to hook some ice picks on my belt before I start on this goal.

I like to break goals down by categories. Writing is always a goal category, so are Finances, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, etc… Once I create yearly goals, I break them down into quarterly goals and monthly goals to make them more manageable.

It’s easy to get fixated on a goal, whether it’s to complete one new novel by the end of the year, make a certain amount of money, or listen to one audio book a month (all goals of mine, by the way). This year, I did something a little different. Before I wrote my goals in each category, I took some time to ask myself Why is this important? I guess I just wanted to see in black and white why I was willing to work so hard.

One of my goal categories this year is Writing Marketing. I slacked on marketing my writing last year like it was nobody’s business, so I knew I had to enshrine some specific goals this year. I know many, many writers who fear or dislike marketing just like I do, so I want to share my little thought bubble on the topic. This is why behind my marketing goals:

One of my dreams is  to live off the proceeds of my writing. That won’t happen by itself no matter how good my writing is. Being a commercially successful author is about writing great and entertaining stories and also convincing people to read and talk about your work. It’s about creating excitement, which requires focus and action. Marketing is very challenging for me. In many ways, I am still uncertain and shy about promoting my writing. A deep, dark part of me worries that my writing isn’t good enough, that I’m embarrassing myself. Marketing also feels selfish and bad, so it’s easy to put it aside and to do other things instead (like write more). But I have to recognize that marketing is part of the self-publishing process and it’s a key component to commercial success. With that in mind, in 2014 I want to focus on creating a long-term and consistent marketing plan, as well as educating myself about marketing techniques. In the past, I haven’t consistently given time to marketing, and I haven’t kept up marketing campaigns. 2014 is the year to go all in. It will take work, time and belief  my writing. I can do this. I will do this.

I wish you the best of luck with your goals for 2014. If you don’t have any yet, start writing!

Share
Categories: Marketing, Self-Publishing, Writing Tags:

An Early Halloween Treat – New Short Story By J Bennett

October 7th, 2012 No comments

Nathaniel and Deidre are Back in Duel With The Werefrog

 

It's all fun and games until someone starts a werefrog rampage

Now that we’ve officially entered the spookiest month of the year, I’m really excited to announce the launch of a new short story in my satirical vampire series, The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles.

 

Duel With The Werefrog – Summary

When salacious 70-year-old gold digger Silvia starts batting her astigmatic eyes and flashing her pearly dentures at Nathanial over bingo, Deidre knows she needs to convince her smitten boss that Silvia is nothing but trouble.

 

When Nathaniel accidentally espies Silvia laying her charms on a neighboring obese werefrog named Henrick, Nathaniel vows vengeance. There’s only one way to uphold Silvia’s honor. Nathanial challenges the werefrog to a duel.

 

Join Deidre in another adventure as she burns dinner, ducks bullets and tries to protect her vampire boss’s undead heart even as her own might be in jeopardy courtesy of Henrick’s handsome nephew who has secrets of his own….

 

Another hilarious addition to The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles series by J Bennett. (Approx 8,300 words)

 

Availability

The story is now available for the piddley price of $0.99 at:

 

Thanks for your support of the world’s grumpiest, most crotchety vampire!

Share

Announcing Coping – New Novella in the Girl With Broken Wings Series Now Available

June 26th, 2012 No comments
cover of Coping, a novella in the Girl with Broken Wings series

Cover of Coping

Let’s make this short and sweet. I’m really excited to announce the publication of Coping, a novella in the Girl with Broken Wings series, which continues the story of Falling. Maya is back and determined to join her brothers in their fight against the powerful and malevolent angels. There’s still that little hunger issue of hers…but I’m sure that won’t be a problem!

 

Tarren and Gabe return as well, filled with scowls and doubt (Tarren) and Chuck Norris jokes (Gabe).

 

I’m really happy with how this novella came out. It’s fun and fast and centers on a big new mission that takes Maya and her brothers across the country from Michigan all the way to Poughkeepsie, New York, where they make a grisly discovery and Maya meets someone from her past.

 

At approximately 23,000 words, the novella flies by (Pun – broken wings, get is?) If you liked Falling , then I know you’ll enjoy Coping.  You can find the full description below, along with links to where the novella is available as an ebook for only $0.99. Can’t beat that price. Okay, it could be free, or, like, a penny, but come on, you know what I mean. It’s a good deal. If you do pick it up and like it, please take a few minutes and write and post a review. Good reviews make a big difference.

 

Thanks everyone for your support, and stay tuned for Landing,  Book Two in the Girl With Broken Wings series, which is slated for Jan., 2013. There also might be a little more grumpy Nathaniel (The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles) rising up later this year.

 

Description of Coping

This exciting follow-up to Falling (Book one of the Girl With Broken Wings series) finds Maya intent on joining her half-brothers in their secret war against the genetically-enhanced killers that call themselves angels. Still trying to cope with her new abilities and the hunger that threatens to overwhelm her, Maya may be more of a hindrance than a help to her brothers as they take on a new mission and make a grisly discovery.

 

Coping is a fast-paced novella that brings readers back into Maya’s darkly-humorous world where angels are not the good guys, the heroes don’t wear tights, and getting in over your head just means it’s Tuesday. Join Maya, Gabe and Tarren for more blood, bullets, and Chuck Norris jokes in Coping. (Approx. 23,000 words.)

 

Share

Behind the Scenes of Self-Publishing

March 11th, 2012 No comments

This post was originally written for and hosted on “Book Savvy Babe“, a fabulous book review blog written by Heather. 

Intro:

I thought it would interesting to write about the self-publishing revolution that’s going on in the writing world as we speak…er, as I type and you read. Specifically, I thought readers might be intrigued to learn about my self-publishing process. Unfortunately, what started out as a perfectly normal little blog post somehow got hit by some gamma rays and turned into a huge monster blog post. Hopefully it won’t terrorize the Japanese population or knock over any buildings.

 

This blog post

How Things Used To Be

Long long ago, (we’re talking about three years), the only realistic chance most authors had of getting any reader love was to go through a well-defined and traditional publishing process that involved sending out a flurry of query letters to literary agents, praying, sending out more query letters, praying even harder and rinsing and repeating.

A lucky author would get “The Call” from a literary agent who wanted to represent their novel and shop it around to publishing houses. If a publisher bit, the author was expected to drop their baby at the publisher’s doorstep and let the experts take over.

Bad publisher stereotype

Makeover big time. The publishers created the book’s cover, determined the book’s release date, suggested editorial changes and even developed the back cover copy. Sometimes the author got a say. Most of the time, not so much.

What’s not to love about that situation?

A New Day Rises

Now leap forward to the present day, and we’ve got a touch of anarchy going on in the publishing world. With the advent of the (amazing, wonderful, life-changing) Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other eReaders and tablets, authors suddenly have a half-decent way of getting their books out to readers without the whole querying, praying, rinsing and repeating process.

Authors have power. Life is good. Kinda.

This unruly mob of authors is drunk on power and will viciously beat down any innocent bystanders with heavy metaphors

That’s what this blog post is about. The publishing world is changing…a lot. We’re talking monumental shifts in how readers find and consume books and how authors get a shot at glory. We’ve practically got a revolution on our hands.

The whole eReaders part of the equation is pretty obvious (just scope out any airport longue), but I don’t think most readers have much of a sense about what’s going on in the author’s world. Well, it’s a’ spinning, baby. Big time.

Below is my self-publishing story. Readers take notice. I am not alone. You’re going to see more and more authors following this path and more and more books coming from the self-published crowd. If you’ve ever been interested to see how it’s done, then read on.

Step One: Holy Crap, Look What I Wrote!

So I had this idea about a girl named Maya who feeds off human auras. It’s an addiction, and she has to constantly struggle not to go all monster on crowds of innocent people. On the up side, she also has some pretty cool enhanced senses. Through intense, finely-writ circumstances, she gets caught up in an underground war with her two vigilante half-brothers who hunt and kill other creatures like herself. Only the angels her brothers kill don’t exactly have Maya’s guilt complex about killing innocents (yes, we’ve got some evil angels going on).

My book’s Amazon Page  [oops, how did that get in here?]

I wrote, and that was the easy part. Then I read what I had written, and, well, let’s just say I could have entered it into an ugly manuscript contest and probably won.

Complimentary matchbook included in"Ugliest Manuscript" prize package

I edited. And edited. And edited.

Around draft six, seven, or eight (I don’t even remember now), I started seeing hints that maybe there might be a diamond somewhere underneath all that rough.

It was time to bring in the heavy hitters.

Step Two: Wait, My Novel Isn’t Totally Awesome? I’m Confused

Heavy hitter number one was my sister. You may think that she would go easy on me because we share blood and have a pretty solid organ donation pact in place (we’re twins). Nope.

She thoroughly and a little too gleefully for my taste, eviscerated my novel.

Extremely accurate portrayal of my sister

Next up was my incredible critique partner, a fellow writer, who helped me iron out flow, character development and active dialogue. She was much, much nicer than my sister.

Guided by a Gypsy [Oh look, there's a link to her Amazon novella. How do these keep sneaking in?]

There were others after that, each providing an important perspective that helped me keep polishing and polishing the rough away.

It was not a fast or easy process. It shouldn’t be, at least in my opinion.

What came out of it was Falling – Girl With Broken Wings, the first novel I’ve written that I think is actually worthy of outside viewing (there have been other novels, but we shall never speak of those). It was time to…well, that’s where things get interesting.

So far, the process of my “little novel that could” is identical to that of a traditionally published book. Next up is where the two paths diverge.

Step Three: 70% Royalty vs. 15% Royalty. So Hard To Choose

I did a lot of research, and learned all about the publishing revolution. Not that I wasn’t completely unaware of it, but I didn’t realize how revolutioney the revolution really was.

Super size my publishing revolution please.

Authors could now publish their books themselves on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other sites that get books into the hands of the readers. By “publish” I mean ebooks and soft covered books through print on demand (Amazon and many other online publishers offer POD services). The process was actually kind of easy (a little too easy some people think, but that’s a whole different blog post).

The traditional setback for most self-published authors was the difficulty in getting their novels into traditional bookstores. However, in case you haven’t noticed, there’s not that many bookstores left to get your books into anyway.

And those eReader thingeys and tablet thingeys? People are buying a lot of them. I mean a lot of them.

There are some downsides to self-publishing. Self-published authors have to create their own cover, edit their own book, make sure they upload the files correctly to the publishing sites and do all their own marketing to get people to actually read their book. (Apparently readers don’t just magically find your book, buy a thousand copies each and gush about it to all their friends and family. You can’t know how disappointing this realization was to me)

However, there are many upsides to self-publishing. Firstly, authors get to create their own cover and book summary. This can be a very empowering process that allows the author to keep creative control of their baby.

The marketing thing is kind of rough (authors are not typically known for their outgoing personalities), but it’s a consolation to know that many traditionally-published authors get very little marketing support from their publishers. You’ll see traditionally published authors writing blogs, going to book signings, holding library talks and generally shilling with the rest of us.

There is one more compelling reason to self-publish, and it all comes down to money.

You’d think that traditionally-published authors would get a big percentage of each book sold. After all, they did sweat and bleed and cry tears of alternating joy, rage and agony (in that order) to get the words on the page.

You’d be wrong. Authors get around a measly 15% of the profits from each book sold (sometimes less), and that’s before their agent takes out their commission. If an author doesn’t sell enough books to cover the advance the publisher gave them, they may never see a penny of royalties.

Yet another shameless publisher stereotype

Compare this with the major online publishers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords which offer self-published authors royalty rates of 65% (B&N), 70% (Amazon) and even 85% (SW) if their books meet certain pricing standards. (As of this writing)

That’s a big, big, BIG difference (assuming you can actually sell books).

In other words, not exactly a hard decision. At least not for me, especially when I learned how extremely difficult it is to get agent representation.

So, I made the decision. Falling was going to be self-published. I wasn’t letting go of my baby, and whatever happened, I’d only have myself to blame.

Step Four: The Difference Between “To” And “Too” Is Just To Confusing

One of the nice things about getting traditionally published – at least in my opinion – would be having your manuscript copyedited. No writer is perfect. I’m not even close.

You think I kid...

After I decided to self-publish, I realized that, holy cow in a barn, I was actually responsible for this thing (I make up really lame curses when I get nervous). People would one day read it and judge me for it. That means I needed to put my best face forward, or my novel’s best face forward…I mean, it’s not like my novel has a face, but you know what I mean.

I ended up hiring a professional copyeditor to go through my manuscript, and it’s a good thing that I did (you did catch the error in this headline didn’t you). My English teachers would weep if they’d seen how much red came back.

Step Five: Doing Your Own Cover Is Just Plain Awesome

I actually feel kind of bad for traditionally published authors, because many of them get little or no say in what their cover looks like.

Covers are a big deal. They are the first thing most readers see related to your book, and we all know how important first impressions can be.

In many ways, books are defined by their covers. I would hate to lose that control over something I spent so much freaking effort on, even if I did have to pay for it.

Yes, I definitely paid someone to create my cover for me.

There is no way in the world that I would trust myself to create my own cover. Maybe one day if I write a book that takes place in a magical land full of stick people I might consider it…even then, probably not.

Can you say best seller?

So, I brought in an expert. Marcella Smith of Paradigm Design did the most amazing thing during our first meeting. She listened. I blabbed. She kept listening and nodding and not pointing toward to exit

I was lucky to have found her.

The cover came together rather quickly (Marcie may disagree), and it didn’t take a lot of editing. I think it was because of Marcie’s mad listening skills.

Ain't she purdy?

I can’t describe how amazing it was to see my cover come to life. There was my main character Maya, crouching front and center, and her two brothers looming behind her like shadows. (Are they protectors or enemies…you’ll have to read to find out).

In other words, the cover was perfect. It was Falling. Money well spent.

Step Six: Uh….Can I Just Say Cool Stuff Happens?

I kind of thought that I would like writing the book summary because I didn’t have to pay anyone to do it, and I did write the entire book and all. After writing and rewriting a 70,000-word manuscript over a dozen times, a 100-word blurb should be a piece of cake…right?

Writing a summary is SO SO SO hard! At least for me.

Would rather take a swim lesson with this guy than write my novel summary

How do you squeeze the essence of a book into a few measly paragraphs while capturing the adventure, the humor, the very soul of the prose?

Easy answer, I’m still working on it. I came up with something, but, yeah, it needs work. (Suggestions anyone?)

I guess that’s another great thing about self-publishing – we’re not chiseling into stone tablets here.

Descriptions can be updated. When I do write the best summary the world has ever known, I’ll just log into my various author accounts, paste in the new description, and my book page will be updated in a few days or less.

Step Seven: Moment Of Truth (Bolting Not Advised)

To read the final step in my self-publishing process, hop on over to the full post on Book Savvy Babe.

Share

Oops, I Published Again

March 3rd, 2012 No comments

If you’re anything like me, then you are tired (so utterly weary) of vampires in literature.

What gives? I used to love reading about vampires. They were viscous, blood thirsty (literally) and could be usually be counted on to cause general and specific mayhem wherever they roamed. I mean who doesn’t appreciate a good neck suck every now and then?

But then something happened. It’s all very simple.

Vampires began to sparkle.

That’s right. Sparkle. Vampires.

It’s a crying shame. No more delightfully nasty rampages, or beautiful women drained of their precious rubies. Now we find vampires spouting poetry, lying around in a field accompanied by sappy music and generally being total wussies.

Naturally, I took it upon myself to remedy this state of affairs. I know, I know…tis a heavy burden, but someone had to do it.

The result is a humorous and delightful (in my opinion) short story that I think takes the vampire genre to a whole new level.

Employment Interview With A Vampire is a vampire satire that basically asks one question: What would happen if vampires did age, albeit very slowly? From here, I’ll just let the story speak for itself. Below is a short sample for your reading pleasure.

If you like it, please check it out on Amazon. It’ll only put you back $0.99. The laughs are worth the price. Trust me.

 

Cover, Employment Interview With A VampireEmployment Interview with a Vampire

The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles

 

Betsy’s notion of a “fixer upper” is actually a dilapidated mansion that might have been an especially nice country estate about 50 years ago. Now the paint is peeling, the window shutters are crooked, and the place looks—in three words—spooky as hell.

And this is before I search in vain for a doorbell and am forced to use the heavy brass gargoyle knocker. I hear its echo reverberate inside the house, and a chill runs all the way through me. My unconscious mind is starting to have some doubts, but my conscious mind is all too aware of the stack of bills sitting on my kitchen counter.

“Come in,” a deep, sonorous voice calls from inside.

I push open the door, and yep, it gives out a nice, lusty creak.

“Mr. Hayward?” I venture. “This is Deidre from the Bullseye…employment….agency.”

My voice trails off as I look around the foyer, which seems to be functioning as some sort of spider web sanctuary. Then there are the dust bunnies, which are actually just about big enough to qualify as dust German Shepherds.

“Come into the sitting room child,” that spooky voice speaks up.

Betsy never mentioned how much this job paid, but I’d already made up my mind to hold out for at least $12.00 an hour. Now I wonder if maybe I should crank it up to $12.50 an hour. My feet hesitantly shuffle into the living room, and this is where I get my first official eyeful of my potential boss.

A cape.

Nathaniel is actually wearing a black cape.

I will learn later that Nathaniel feels very strongly about wearing the cape for houseguests, but in this moment I am completely flabbergasted.

I guess it’s also time to deflate another long-held vampire myth. Not all of them are incredibly attractive. Or even mildly attractive. And they definitely don’t stay young forever.

When Nathaniel sees me in the doorway, he throws back his cape dramatically revealing a bow tie, suspenders, and a pair of pants cinched up around his belly button. He also has a pencil mustache on his upper lip, bushy black eyebrows and a white poof of hair on his head.

“You’re late,” Nathaniel says.

I look down at my cell phone. 9:03 AM.

“What kind of watch is that?” Nathaniel asks accusingly.

I’m not wearing a watch, and it takes me a moment to realize what he’s talking about.

“It’s a phone,” I tell him.

Nathaniel waves a pale hand in disgust. “Everyone is so excited about those damn phones. Give me a telegraph any day of the week.”

Nathanial lowers himself into a ratty, wing-backed chair with stuffing coming out of several holes. In the grate, a large fire blazes and throws shadows wildly across the room.

“Yeah, telegraph, those were the best,” I mumble. I wonder if I should sit down, but since he hasn’t invited me, I just keep standing in the doorway.

Nathaniel’s piercing blue eyes give me the once over.

“I see you chose to wear pants.” His bushy black eyebrows crunch together in disappointment. “How very improper for a woman.”

I look down at my nice navy slacks. “Sorry?” I venture.

“And you seem quite old to be seeking independent employment.”

“I’m 24,” I tell him, though I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to discuss age in a job interview.

“Surely you are married and have born your first child.”

Okay, this part is definitely illegal, but I answer him anyway. “Nope, it’s just me.”

“A spinster then,” Nathaniel clucks his tongue with reproach. “Perhaps if you didn’t dress yourself in such disgraceful garb you could make yourself more desirable.” He waves a hand. “Though, perhaps it doesn’t matter. At your advanced age, your chances of finding a good marriage are exceedingly low.”

At first I’m too shocked to even be offended or angry, but then his words sink in, and I feel a hot flush jump to my cheeks.

“These pants are just fine,” I huff. Yep, this is the best comeback I can muster on short notice.  “I think…I think I’ll just go.”

I turn to leave when a sound fills the room.

It is the Macarena.

“Damn,” Nathanial says, “it’s the telegraph.”

He stands up, walks over to the mantel, lifts the lid of an ornate box and pulls out a cell phone. He stares at it, obviously confused.

“Here, let me.” The phone is on its last chord of the Macarena when I take it from his hand and accept the call. Turns out that Nathaniel’s blood pressure medication is ready for pickup at the local WalGreens pharmacy.

I give Nathaniel the message, and this puts a sour expression on his face. “I need to stop eating so many obese humans,” he says.

Despite the cape and severe anachronisms, I still haven’t figured out that Nathaniel is a vampire, so I automatically assume he meant to say, “I need to stop eating with so many obese humans.” Of course, this doesn’t actually make any better sense, but I don’t give it much thought.

“Well?” Nathaniel demands.

“Well what?”

“Go on and pick it up.”

“I’m not your slave,” I reply before I can stop myself.

“Of course not,” he snaps back. “You are white and this is a non-slavery state. I’ve considered moving to Tennessee for just that reason.”

We stare at each other. Two things hit me. First, Nathaniel is one hell of a misogynist and racist. Secondly, I think I just got the job.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Employment Interview With A Vampire can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords.

 

Share
Categories: Writing Tags: , , ,

THE CHANGE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING IN J BENNETT’S DEBUT NOVEL, FALLING

January 11th, 2012 No comments

Falling, A Paranormal Ebook Now Available For $0.99

 

SAN DIEGO, Jan 11, 2012 — Fans of paranormal fiction are in for a treat when they pick up a copy of J Bennett’s debut novel, Falling, which was released as an ebook January 5th for $0.99. Readers will appreciate the quirky and unapologetic narration of the novel’s protagonist, Maya, as she explains how her normal college life was shattered when she was kidnapped and changed into something beyond human.

 

J Bennett lavishes care on her characters as she slowly unwinds a story filled with paranormal action, wry humor, and terse family drama. The strong narrative voice of the novel feels natural and engaging as Maya faces a new life, a new family and a new body.

 

During the change, Maya’s senses sharpen, her body becomes strong and agile, and she develops the ability to visually see the emotions of those around her as colorful auras…beautiful auras…tempting auras.

 

Struggling to control the murderous appetite that fuels her new abilities, Maya must accept her altered condition and learn to trust two vigilante half-brothers she never knew she had. As she joins the battle against a secret network of powerful and destructive beings that call themselves “Angels”, Maya vows to find and destroy the one who changed her.

 

“The novel includes plenty of action as well as exciting paranormal elements,” said author J Bennett. “But at its core, Falling is about family. Maya and her brothers confront extraordinary challenges, both internally and externally, and the only way to survive is to learn to trust each other.”

 

Falling, at approximately 70,000 words, is the first novel in the Girl With Broken Wings series. The ebook is available for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. As an introductory promotion, the novel will retail for $0.99 throughout the month of January and will then increase to its regular retail price of $2.99. The second novel in the series, Landing, is slated for release in 2013. A novella that takes place between the first and second book is also in the works and will be released in the second half of 2012.

 

J Bennett is a professional copywriter and copyeditor as well as an author. She lives and writes in San Diego. To learn more about Falling or to read the first part of the novel, visit www.GirlWithBrokenWings.com. J Bennett also writes the blog www.ShyWriter.com.

 

Falling contains some violence and explicit language, and may not be appropriate for children and younger teens.

Share