THE HOPETELLER IS NOW AVAILABLE!

Charles Yallowitz, creator of the Legends of Windemere series, has a new novella out: The Hopeteller

Legends of Windemere

The Hopeteller (Cover by Tracy Carrig) The Hopeteller (Cover by Tracy Carrig)

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON KINDLE FOR $1.25!

Book Blurb:

Humanity has been driven into the wilderness by the ‘Invaders’. They have been forced to live as colonies in the wilderness where survival is a daily struggle. Hope becomes harder and harder to hold onto as the years pass.

Then one day, a young man tells a story to an injured friend and the Hopeteller is born. Unsure of the power of his words, he finds himself moving the colony with his fairy tales. He will see his people through death and fear as they continue to fight for survival.

Enjoy this novella that is half post-apocalyptic journal and half fairy tales.

Perfect for a quick & entertaining read!

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The Buzzing Bumblebee

 

Angry bee tattoo
There is a buzz going around the internet about content in writing. There are things some people are either offended by, or are so emotionally moved by that it becomes unhealthy for them to experience reading about it. Some psychologists actually encourage people to face their fears and pains, processing through them. But some people may not be ready to do that. Some writing stings.

 

 

 

Writers write for a variety of reason: to entertain, to educate, to share opinions, to share news.

 

 

 

 

In memoirs, most often people write to provide inspiration. Sometimes they write to share a story that does not necessarily directly offer hope, but indirectly shares how that person processed through a difficult life situation…it may not be a pretty story, but the hope is that you will see the writer’s triumph over a bad situation. The growth experience, and in the end, the hope.

 
downloadLuanne shared a review of such a story: “I find it so hard to write a review of this book that I can’t help but wonder how Kathryn Harrison wrote it. It was a New York Times bestseller when it was originally published in 1997 and has been read by many. The Kiss is a very disturbing story. It’s about incest. And betrayal. And mental illness. And a “man of God” who was anything but. But mainly it’s Kathryn’s story* and how she negotiated growing up and learning how to be a woman.” But read the full review.

 
Incest is not a pretty topic. It’s not entertaining. I don’t know if this book is promoted with “trigger warnings” or not, but it is an example of what exactly disturbs me about this current BUZZ.

 
When you read the book description, I am certain that you will have some idea on what this memoir is about.

 
And then there is fiction.

 
Fiction is most often designed to be entertaining. But different people are entertained by different forms of fiction.

 
Some people prefer light reading. Others want to delve deeply into recesses of the mind and soul.

 
There is a current trend to avoid certain subjects that a number of people find offensive in fiction. I am not talking about murder, blood, guts, and gore. We tend to accept those things. Not only in crime fiction, but in mysteries, fantasy, vampire novels and horror.

 
But as  mystery writer tells us here: http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/genrefiction/tp/mysteryrules.htm

Certain subjects are considered absolute taboos, even in crime fiction. Mysteries should be about murder. Detectives should not be dealing less serious crimes. Or those crimes that are emotionally sensitive.

 
Rape, child molestation/incest, animal cruelty are subjects that even the most horrific writers are cautioned to avoid. These things are not “entertaining”. And in her point of view, these things can, in no way, be entertaining. They are not only politically incorrect, but they are emotionally incorrect. So now, we have to concern ourselves with emotional correctedness.

 
Crime is supposed to be bad. It is what sends people to jail. It is what makes law enforcers have to kill over. It is not supposed to be pretty.

 
Kirsten Lamb recently did a post about how we have begun to expect writers to show sensitivity.

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/something-wicked-this-way-comes-why-writers-could-be-in-great-danger/

Educators being expected to coddle the feelings of students so that nobody feels unimportant, left out, or harmed in any emotional way. University students objecting to being expected to read material that they might find offensive.

 
What?! University students should not have to learn about the atrocities of man/women in our society?

 
Another author blogger, C.S. McClellan, shares his opinions on trigger warnings and content here:

http://writingcycle.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/a-little-more-about-trigger-warnings/

 
Red Clay and Roses is a roman à clef. It is a fictionalized true story, like a biography of everyday ordinary peopleRed Clay and Roses who lived during a time period of political upheaval in this country. Bad things happened. Progress was made. But it is not a pretty story. I did not set out to entertain when I wrote it. It does have a satisfying ending, but the subject matter could be painful to some. Someone is raped. Should it have been published? There is more than one abortion. It also deals with adoption. Should it have a trigger warning?

 
knots_mb_crime_preventionThe crime novel that I am writing now deals with subject matter that could be painful to some. It has a villain, and although you don’t see a lot of her directly, you see the terrible things she does. I’m not talking graphic images, but allusions to terrible crimes. It’s a reality in our society. I want her to be bad, really bad, and horrible, worthy of death by dynamite! It’s crime. I don’t want her to get a slap on the wrist by the legal system. I want her to die. I want you to want her to die.

 

 

Do you think it should come with a trigger warning to spare potential crime novel readers the likely agony they just might feel if they are exposed to a distasteful subject?
How do you feel about trigger warnings? Is it censorship? Are there subjects so taboo that no genre should touch them?

download (2)
If Lolita, written in 1955 and still listed at #785 on Amazon’s Top Sellers list,had been written today, would it have been published? The story of a girl repeatedly raped. A child. Would Vladimir Nabokov not written it because it is taboo?

 

So what are your thoughts?

(My apologies about the formatting…never could get it to behave!)

 

Went to Bed Happy Because I Screwed Up

Red Clay and Roses

Sometimes I go to bed happy just because I screwed. This time I screwed up.

It’s not the meds or the bipolar. Allow me to explain.

I am a little more than annoyed with myself. I screwed up a Memorial Day promo. I had a promo scheduled for Memorial Day weekend for Red Clay and Roses priced at 99 cents through ENT.

It would have been a great promo with everybody having a three and four day weekend. Lots of book shopping and reading time. But I screwed it up. I didn’t change the price. I still had it at $3.99.

This is what they wrote me back when I asked why there was nothing happening with the book. “Nothing is happening because we didn’t post your book on Saturday. It was at the regular price, and as of today, still is at the regular price.”

So they didn’t list me. My fault. My bad.

I wrote them two letters of apology and asked them to reschedule. Never heard a word. Changed the price download (1)to 99 cents and still never heard a word.

Waited. Nothing.

Then books started moving of their own accord. With no promo.  About half as many as I moved through my last promo over two days. It broke ten thousand in one day.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,324 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) and went back onto three category listings.

I haven’t advertised this anywhere. Not my blog. Not Facebook. Nowhere.

Just so you know. I have changed it to 99 cents. HAPPY Belated MEMORIAL DAY!

I may just leave it at 99 cents. I haven’t decided yet. It’s a debut novel.

I have to PAY for promos. I’m sure it’s gotten exposure. But is it necessary every time you do a sale?

Should I ever reset to $3.99? What do you think? I only sold 4 books in May at $3.99. I sold 104 at 99 cents in one day!

If I do reset to $3.99 again, I am also thinking seriously about leaving it on Amazon and pulling it from other platforms through smashwords as it primarily sales though Amazon and I can’t list it in Countdowns not being Select.

It’s here! Release day!!

Three new books by Mishka Jenkins! We, who have followed her progress, are all very proud of her! Take a look!!! Three romance features: Historical, paranormal, and fantasy romance.

A Writer's Life For Me.

This is it… This is really it!

My books are out there, they have been released into the world.

And I think I’m about ready to explode with excitement and nervousness all at the same time 😀 Months and months of work and there they are… out for sale!!

Before doing all the release links and things, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone of the blogging and writing community.

When I started this journey, I wanted to connect with others who are going through the same process. And I did, but I also found so many great people who are supportive and genuine in their want to help others succeed in this tough world of books and writing! Every time I’ve asked for help or advice, you guys have been there!

Thank you!

Queen'sJesterCoverThe Queen’s Jester
Fantasy romance.
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/The-Queens-Jester-Mishka-Jenkins-ebook/dp/B00KLBISGG/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_tnr_1
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Queens-Jester-Mishka-Jenkins-ebook/dp/B00KLBISGG/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1_6TCG
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/442154
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22352807-the-queen-s-jester

Blurb:

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Book Release & Special Offer

Release of the Scrolls of Scion by T.J. Therien! Get it for your reader now at a reduced price.

The Scrolls of Sion

To celebrate my birthday and my Novel’s launch and to protest what Quebec politicians say I can’t do, I will be offering “The Scrolls of Sion: Rise of the Dark Queen” for 40% off the cover price for the first week. That’s right instead of the $4.99 list price; you can get “Scrolls” for $2.99 with the use of the code provided in the brackets. (MU39L) Offer valid May 25th 2014- June 1st 2014.

Feel free to share this post. Get the word out. There’s a deal to be had.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434284

scrolls fFINAL 3

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Writing Process: The Halfway Point

A short while back a friend and fellow blogger invited me to participate a writing process blog tour. Shamefully, I never got around to answering those few questions, and acquiring two more participants.

You see, my writing process is not very well defined. I have never claimed to be an expert. I am learning every day and honing my craft as I venture on this journey. We all do. It’s a never ending process, learning.

For example, I thought of myself as a panster, a linear writer. When I wrote my last book, I sat down and passionately went from beginning to end without much thought to structure. I wanted to write out the story. I told it as it was in my mind, letting the characters develop as I went along with the storyline unfolding. I didn’t use an outline. Chapters were long, some covering years.

This novel is different. It has patterns, almost like a formula. I had to complete a fairly involved outline to manage the details, so now I am using that to guide the storyline. Basically, I am taking that outline and fleshing out the facts and the descriptions, adding the words. There is a distinctive rhythm to it. Chapters are 1500 to 3000 words (+/- 100 or thereabouts), so even the longest are short. It tends to run 1500, 3000, 1500, 1500, 3000, 1500, 1500, 3000, in alternating POV between the detective and the sidekick for the first half. I have become a plotter, maybe it is the nature of the work.

Now that the detective and his future sidekick are about to be together, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with word counts or POV. Primarily the detective’s POV, with the story continuing to be told in third person narration. Here’s the Scrivener outliner of what I have so far. The binder on the left is filling; the synopsis window on the top right corner holds the fish skeleton of the novel. As you can see, the green lines indicate lots of progress. I am about halfway finished by my best guesstimate at  fifteen chapters and 31,500 words.

halfwayoutliner

 

In the editor mode, I have the fish skeleton to refer to as I move along. I would show you my corkboard, but I have added some character sketches and profiles which would be spoilers, and I don’t want to ruin it for you.

Editorhalfway

 

I started this in November, put it aside in December in frustration, and did not pick it up again until May 4th. I worked on “Surviving Sister” for a few months, but did not make much progress on that story.

I don’t have a name for this WIP, but I’m thinking about something along the lines of “Leisure Lagoon and the Asian Moon” or “Alliance Lagoon”, “Paradise Saigon”, “Hot City Cold Case”, “Cold Case Hot Nights”, “Murdered Before Midnight”, “Cold Blood in Paradise”, “Cold Case Hot Play”, “The Jernigan Connection”,  “Naked Revenge”, “Naked Malice”, “Naked Evidence”…I dunno. I’m still playing with that. I want it fairly short. I am thinking of using the last three as series titles for the first three books.  It would work well for the stories I have in mind.

Any one of those make you want to read the book blurb?

My writing process is obsessive. I don’t know how the rest of you writers out there process the information for your books in your head, but I can tell you what happens to me.

I can sit down and write 3000 words naturally flowing one day, and struggle over one sentence the next. I am averaging about 1700 words a day. But the actual word count is not the struggle. The struggle is in my head. Despite having an outline, which has been extremely valuable (thank you Carrie Rubin), there is always something going on in my head. ALWAYS!

I write for hours, or I write for minutes, but all in-between (and during) there are thoughts about plot, exposition, character, conflict, motive, climax, resolution, setting, humor, seriousness, and so on, bouncing around in my mind. I write a while, I get up and pace, go smoke a cigarette, have a bite to eat, try to take a nap, go to the grocery store, drive across town…all the while thinking, thinking, thinking, of what to write next and how to write it. Then I return to the keyboard, minutes or hours later, and write. Now, consider there are two interconnected plots. Of course there is reading and revising…which goes on constantly…even with a first draft, because I cannot let it go until I feel it’s right.

It’s an obsession.

It never goes away. And when I am not thinking about this book, I am thinking about the next one.

So that’s my writing process. Later, I’ll tell you about my research process, which is also a part of my writing process, and is very deep, even for things that might seem quite shallow.