#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Brittany Tenpenny

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

My name is Brittany Tenpenny and I’ve been a New York Brittany TenpennyYankees fan for as long as I could remember. About a year ago, I had an epiphany after leaving Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won every home game I attended. And I mean every game, even the ones where the odds were stacked against them. It was then, as I descended the swirling concrete steps of the stadium, that my imagination concocted a story of a girl who became the good luck charm for her favorite team. What started out as a simple idea swelled into the first novel of a New Adult trilogy, The Wild Card.

Since the day she was born, Bobbie Jean Lewis has been lucky. She was blessed with a loving father and a baseball-obsessed mother who taught her everything about the New York Emperors, the greatest team in MLB. But what Bobbie never learned was that life–just like baseball–can hit back hard and luck is as fleeting as a two run lead. Stuck in a perpetual slump, Bobbie spends her teenage years riding the bench. Just when she is about to give up, the ghost of Emperors’ legend, Bobby Knight, recruits Bobbie and her friends to save a historic stadium and reverse the curse of the Emperors. Suddenly, Bobbie finds herself, and her team, on the fast track to the World Series–and into the arms of the man who could ruin it all.

I am hoping to spend JuNoWriMo hammering out a first draft. Writing a novel is, in a lot of ways, like playing baseball. Crafting a first draft is the training phase, revision is practice and the finished product is stepping up to the plate. I’m hoping that, for JuNoWriMo, I can knock it out of the park!

Connect with Brittany:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author – Shan Jeniah Burton

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

Shan Jeniah Burton: The Far Shore (Kifo Island Chroincles #5)

Photo by Sylvia Woodman

Hi, I’m Shan!

My life overflows with lovely chaos. It’s a crazy quilt I share with my chef husband, two endlessly fascinating homeschooled children who gobsmack me on a daily basis, and a cast of furry companions. I’ve lived and worked at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Everglades, and driven across the country three times. Now I’m settled on the same sleepy road in upstate New York where I grew up.

I’m particularly fond of language, dreams, photography, nature, history, music,storytelling, and fictional people with green blood and pointed ears. Combining several of these loves in my writing delights me.

For JuNoWriMo, I’ll be drafting The Far Shore, the fifth novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles an alternate near-future fantasy series in development.  Each volume explores the interwoven lives of three main characters on the island-wide, no-cost, private hospice resort.

I’m excited about completing this novel draft during JuNoWriMo , and seeing what it adds to the emerging tapestry of this series.

In this volume, a young girl with a secret; a young woman with an eating disorder; and a young woman who’s seen far more than her years suggest will attempt to find purpose and healing. Will they succeed, or will their demons destroy them?

Several real life story threads coalesced to create the basic premise for this novel including:

  • Several friends who’ve dealt with/are dealing with eating disorders.
  • Reading a novel about the child sex trade.
  • Personal experience with a volatile, abusive home environment.
  • A child of the 70s, I was intrigued by the anything-can-happen nature of Fantasy Island.
  • A passion for the ocean.

My goal is to explore the strength, adaptability, and grace of the human soul – its capacity for healing, for kindness, for selflessness, and for moments of transcendent beauty even in the midst of ugliness.

I don’t believe in happy endings, because that’s not how life really works. I’m a strong believer in growth, change, and better choices, and those will be major focuses of this novel. I tend to leave my characters in a better place than they began from, but it’s seldom a perfect place.

I’m excited to get writing, and see what will happen…

You can find me here:

Facebook: Shan Jeniah Burton, Writer https://www.facebook.com/Shan-Jeniah-Burton-Writer-120792371340651/

Twitter: @shanjeniah https://twitter.com/ShanJeniah

Blog: https://shanjeniah.com/my-prime-directives/

And, on my brand-new website:http://shanjeniahslovelychaos.com/

Pep Talk Week 2: 4 Tips to Succeed this June

Robert Chazz Chute offers his tips on how to succeed this June!

So, you’ve decided to commit to writing 50,000 words or more this month. Blood oaths have been sworn. You promised yourself, as God is your witness, you shall be a novelist! Heroes will sing your praises in Valhalla this night. As it was foretold in the prophecy, you shall write and you will finish to great acclaim. Beer, Cherry Cokes and champagne for everybody!

Good. Now that we’ve got the drama, grand pronouncements and the first flush of enthusiasm out of the way, let’s settle some priorities and expectations so you, too, can win JuNoWriMo and the love of your cold, aloof parents.

  1. You have made your writing a high priority this month. You matter and what you want is of value. We’re talking hopes and dreams here! No shame in such selfishness.

That affirmed, know that you will have to tell someone no this month. You’ll probably have to defend your writing time against the onslaught of several someones repeatedly. Fine. Do so. Your family, friends and enemies will still be around to suck the life out of you when you’re done your word count for the day. Put your writing session on your calendar just like you would an appointment for a colonoscopy. You probably wouldn’t look forward to a such a procedure, but you definitely would not miss such an important appointment.

Yes, your writing is just as important as meeting a doctor with a startlingly long air hose, a camera and a penchant for proctology.

  1. You are here for the writing and this will be fun. Not always, of course. If scratching out words were an easy  and endless gigglefest, everyone would be a novelist. There is a trick that will help you through the rough spots: just as with a bad movie, you can always fix your manuscript in post.

Write confidently. Write swiftly. Don’t look back. Push through to the end. Editing and worry is for later. The key to a great book is to start with a crappy one. There will be plot holes. You can fill those in another time. Too often, writers compare the wretchedness of their first draft to some genius’s finished work. Trust me, that so-called genius looks like half an idiot in his or her first draft, just like you and me. Relax into the inevitability of disappointment with your first attempt.

This isn’t baseball. In writing, you can take as many swings as you like until you hit a home run. Writing is a sport for cheaters. We keep our lousy attempts in locked drawers and the fans only see our triumphs in highlight reels.

  1. I guarantee you will have a ton of fun with this challenge if you resolve to stop being so precious about writing. We fetishize the act like some dudes dig the smell of leather when they’re naked. We talk instead of write. We develop elaborate rituals, light candles and demand everything be perfect before we can begin. We think too much about how hard writing can be. But wait! Remember physical labor? Remember that sunburnt summer you got a job as a roofer pouring hot tar and day after airless day was a heatwave full shimmering punishment? Or what about that summer retail job that was so bad you studied harder in September so you would never have to work that counter at the mall again?

The quiet solitude of writing combined with the social support of JuNoWriMo is heaven compared to those mundane horrors. Writing is play. Look around. Writing is everywhere. You can already write so don’t make too big deal of it. If you want to be a novelist, be a novelist and be grateful. Storytelling looks just like typing at first. After we learn more craft, we call it writing. Eventually, we call ourselves writers and it doesn’t even sound weird when spoken aloud. Your parents will remain fretful and unsupportive, sure. But hey, you knew Mom and Dad weren’t going to change.

  1. I know you probably think writing should be hard. I had a lot of false starts thinking that way. When I got into traditional publishing, I had a romantic view of the profession. Then I drove authors to signings where no customers showed up and the author blamed me. I attended literary parties hoping for witty repartee with great minds. Sadly, the number of geniuses in the publishing industry is no more nor less than what you’ll find among any random clutch of accountants, plumbers or dentists. Elite publishing parties are more about bon bons than bon mots. You’ll find ego, avarice and envy at those cocktail soirees, but surprisingly little material for your next book.

Freedom came when I let go of all those trappings and got to the core of what you and I do. We write. Creative writing is a meditative, hopeful act of faith. When the words are coming fast, a neural engine chugs along that changes the way you think and feel. You won’t know where the ideas are coming from but it feels magical. Writing is the only magic I believe in.

This is a great thing you are attempting. If you hold on to that, you’ll persevere. Congratulations on getting started. I hope you discover a great story along the way and end up with something you’ll love. Remember, you don’t have to love it all the time. Sometimes the only virtue in the exercise is that you made your daily word count so you don’t have to write more today. Fix it in post. Tomorrow, find the fun again. Repeat until complete. Write so much and so freely that you stumble upon the magic.

Throwing down words to build stories is addictive. Let’s get high on this wonderful drug. Once you crush this goal, you’ll probably find that 50,000 words was a great start. Most serious writers I know write at least 50,000 words every month. That’s how you know you must be victorious in JuNoWriMo. If mere mortals can complete this task or something like it twelve times a year, surely you can do it once. As your confidence grows, what once seemed difficult will become easier. This might even turn out to be your new day job.

But you don’t have time to read this. Write now right now.

Robert Chazz ChuteA former journalist full of self-loathing, Robert Chazz Chute is now an award winning suspense novelist (still full of self-loathing.) He writes assorted apocalyptic epics, SFF and crime thrillers that would make your momma pee the bed. Learn more at AllThatChazz.com and love him, dammit! Since you’re climbing JuNoWriMo, you might especially like Crack the Indie Author Code.

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: RF Kacy

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

I have a confession to make. I am a creative writer.

There, I said it. It isn’t an easy thing for me to do. We of Eastern European descent don’t Art, we Work. When I was younger there was a cousin who was a musician, but he earned a pass because he played at family weddings for free.

Now, decades later and post retirement, I haunt corners of our modern-day salons, pen in hand, steeped in caffeine and sugary confections. I create worlds from dreams, solve problems of my own making, and spark the most unlikely of romances. I don’t consider what the market will support, nor what readers want to consume. Though I spent many years as a professional economist, now I write what I like and pass it on to whoever wants to share in my joy.

I have too many tales that I want to tell, and they rarely fit into any recognizable category. So, I try to amuse myself and the small circle of friends who stumble across my work. As a journeyman writer I write every day because the doing of the thing is what is important. But, I will try to explain my plans if you don’t expect too much.  Once I embark on a writing journey I refuse to follow even the most basic of navigational charts. In short, I pants for as long as I can get away with it.

So what connection do my ramblings have with JuNoWriMo?

This—my project for June:  Fatal Bequest is the second book in “The Megan Lark Mysteries” series where Megan and her maybe-could-be-sometimes-boyfriend, Neal Parker, pursue truth, beauty, and justice on a college campus. Oh yes, and they solve murders, or at least find themselves in the thick of the action. Think Nancy Drew meets Alfred Hitchcock at a party thrown by David Lynch, and you won’t be too far off… well, perhaps except for the David Lynch part. I put that in for you art film lovers.

Where did the inspiration for the stories come from? Maybe from decades of observing the study habits and mating rituals of college students. Maybe from forgetting to put on my tinfoil hat in the morning. Both the NSA and aliens have some explaining to do.

This will be my first JuNoWriMo, and I look forward to contributing to the group and helping to encourage others. Or I might decide to lob grenades filled with brownies and red wine, which I guess is encouragement for some, although my internist would disagree. Regardless, I plan to hold my head high and claim victory by the end of the month, even if I have to lie about my progress. Did I mention I am now a full-time creative? Or perhaps a full-time liar. It depends on your perspective.KacyCedarKey

I’m often found at RF Kacy (include the space) on the Book of Face and @RFKacy on the Chirping Bird platform. I pop up here and there in all kinds of forums, so say hello if you see me. Be sure to do it before the moderators realize I am there.

Good luck on all your projects, and until we meet at the great gathering (you know, in a real physical place), peace out!

  • Author email — Kacy@KazDigital.com
  • Facebook — RF Kacy
  • Twitter— RFKacy

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: MC Simon

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

The Writer’s Tao – MC Simon

Writer’s Tao

Two years ago, when I was told to consider the option of becoming a writer, all the cogwheels inside my brain started to turn rapidly.

Oh! Did I just say “rapidly”? Actually, a hurricane started up inside my brain. The storm met up with a volcano, and soon all my being was under fire.

“Why not?” asked my heart. “The man you love sees it inside you.”
“You should think more,” argued my brain. “You have a stable engineering career ; why should you bother?”
“But… what about the dream–my childhood dream? It was told that I was already a writer”, whispered my soul.

The soul’s victory came fast. The project manager residing inside my brain planned the details.
In a blink, the writer inside me was born.

After the first two published books, again my life turned to an interesting direction. Because of my passion for blogging, soon I started earning as a web content writer.

What’s next? Of course… quitting my engineering job to become a full-time writer.

But… there is one thing that was not mentioned above. My first published book is not the first book I started. My beloved unfinished novel, “Memories of an Arcturian” has been locked away, awaiting rediscovery.

But… I have great expectations now.

Because 2016’s JuNoWriMo starts.


“Memories of an Arcturian” is a blend of personal experiences in the corporeal life and the parallel dimensions of my dreams—dreams that started in my childhood. Do strict borders exist between these worlds? What are these boundaries?

What is true and what is fantasy will be up to YOU, the reader .

12-year-old girl has a revelation one day while at school and decides to run away from home. She wants to find her true family which she suddenly thinks it’s not from this planet. She takes a small luggage bag, writes a goodbye letter to her parents and leaves home. While walking the streets without having any direction she meets a mysterious beggar who finally convinces her to go back home. But they continue to meet almost daily. Until one day, he takes her on a trip.


M.C. Simon is an author, SEO content writer, blogger, reviewer, project manager, engineer, happy mother and a beloved wife.  Find her on social media at any of these sites:

How to Have a Successful JuNoWriMo, No Matter What!

Honorée Corder, author of twenty books (and counting!) kicks off our series of JuNoWriMo 2016 pep talks with a plan to make this month a successful one.

HonoreeCorderHeadshotCongratulations on your decision to embark on JuNoWriMo! Right now I am sure you are filled with the excitement that can only come with a shiny new project. Executed well, in 30 days you will be the proud owner of a completed manuscript. And right now, you might be feeling invincible… as though not a thing or person could possibly stand in your way or take you off course.

I do hope that is the case, but I know better than almost anyone that just about the moment I 100% commit to something, at almost exactly that same moment the universe conspires to test me. (How rude!)

I want to help you get from June 1 to June 30 with finesse, style, and ease. Let’s go ahead and set you up for super success so that no matter what happens you will crush it!

Number one: the goal. If you’re like me the goal isn’t just 50,000 words, you have a story or outline already percolating in the back of your mind that comes with a title or even an ending. But on the off-chance you don’t have a specific goal, go ahead and set one. Something like: Complete 50,000 words toward my manuscript by June 30th, or, Finish Game On! The Ultimate Guide to Getting All You Want from Your Life and Your Work (my current WIP).

Write your goal on a 3×5 card and look at it twice a day: right when you wake up, and right before you go to sleep.

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: DJ Morand

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

My name is DJ Morand. I’ve been writing Fantasy short stories for going on 21 years now. I took my first stab at Science Fiction in 2014 for NaNoWriMo and published my first novel in November of 2015. After NaNoWriMo, I began writing a short story series titled The Legends of Vandor building up to my debut Fantasy novel sometime later this year.

For JuNoWriMo, I am heading back to my science fiction series, a Trilogy titled Infinity Verge. I am finishing book number 3 this June while putting book 2 out for publication. Busy busy busy! Ursidae: Infinity Verge 3 is the final book in my trilogy and the end to a harrowing journey for my characters.

A Secret Kept.

An Alien Threat.

A Daring Rescue.

As a captive of the Vald, Captain Abel Cain is being forced to attack his former allies. Controlled by his nanites and a sinister ship designed by the Vald, Abel must find a way to escape or watch everyone he loves die. The Vald are close to getting the information they want from Abel, and their murderous machines still roam the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Echo Shade fights to circumvent the Automated Defense Matrix aboard the Atlas. If she can break the code, she can find Abel and bring him home. But what kind of home will he be coming back to? The newly formed Eden Defense Force is building a fleet to contend with the Vald and their EXOs.

Fleet Admiral, Andromeda Clark, feels that she has been betrayed and sets out to destroy the EDF. Caught up in the politics and perceived betrayals, Andromeda forgets that other threats in the galaxy still exist.

DJMA_logo_2My ideas for the Infinity Verge trilogy came from a number of sources, namely my love of science fiction shows like Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. There is such an eclectic mix of ideas in these shows. The roguishness of Captain Mal in Firefly, the logical and yet emotional Spock, Luke Skywalker’s journey from farm boy to Jedi, and the overall galactic stage in BSG, are just some of the inspirations that birthed Infinity Verge.

I came up with the idea of Abel Cain, a roguish starship pilot who was at odds with himself, hence the name. Kodiak, the first book was an adventure from start to finish. By the time I finished Atlas (book 2), I knew just where I wanted to go with Ursidae (Book 3). This last book is something I want to get just write (pun intended), so I’ve been taking my time plotting it out and working on it a little at a time. I plan to have about 25k when I start JuNoWriMo and around 75-80k by the time I finish. 

Connect with DJ:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Shawn Contant

Meet some of your fellow June WriMos in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June. 

Hey there, everyone.  I’m Shawn.

I’ve been writing on and off since I was twelve. My first story ideas came from dreams I had. As I got older, books I read and things I learned became my inspirations. I typically write in the Christian, sci-fi, and young adult genres, sometimes mixing them together where I can.

I’m a life-long Trekkie so it’s probably no surprise my most major inspiration was Star Trek. The episode “MirI”, from the 1960s series, has fueled my imagination and muse for almost a decade. The episode features a world where adults have died off, leaving teens and children behind. I wondered what might happen if that happened in our world. That thought has led to what I call the After Adults series, which follows the lives of several young men and women after the death of all adults, and how their actions affect the reconstruction effort.

I use writing as a way to explore dilemmas of the heart and mind. To paraphrase William Faulkner, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” I’m also a fan of taking tropes and pushing them to their logical ends. Writing is a fun challenge and a personal journey. Words are really neat, not just in matters of etymology, but also the images and feelings they can evoke in the reader’s mind. Orson Scott Card is an inspiration because of his powerful characters and compelling plot in Ender’s Game. Another favorite of mine is George R.R. Martin because of the sheer detail and scope in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and the conflicted, morally grey characters he writes.

JuNoWriMo 2016

Tentatively titled A New Hero, my JuNoWriMo 2016 story is set in the same universe as my two NaNoWriMo novels The Red Eye Effect and The Ragged Platoon. However, it is set much earlier, just after the pandemic that wiped out everyone over the age of 18. Alex Caffey hides in the outskirts of his hometown as gang violence spikes. A group calling itself the Order of Friendship moves in, claiming to be interested in restoring order to the world. He agrees to work with them, first as a mechanic, then as a soldier in the Knights of Friends. For the next year, Alex travels with his fellow fighters defending those who can’t defend themselves, falling in love, and trying to figure out where he stands in the world. It’s an adventure for him externally and internally, one he never imagined taking.

I already have some of the story written, but much of it remains to be developed. I am dedicating this June to completing the novel, then moving on to others in the same world that help tell the larger story of survival, power, and social order.

Connect with Shawn:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Terrelle Shelton

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Wednesday and Friday through June. 

~

BackgroundTerrelle

I became a writer shortly after reading the Twilight Series. I began writing my very first story back in 2010. It was a story centered around an ancient blood feud between two rival clans from the 1800’s set in current day Atlanta, Georgia.  I never finished writing this story because I lost the notebook I was writing it in.  About two years later, I was watching an anime known as Fairy Tale and suddenly I got the urge to write again. This time I came up with a whole new story centered around two men who decided to work together to take over the world that they were in. This led to betrayal and all sorts of things. I started working on this book back in 2013, which I finished in my first ever NaNoWriMo. It was a lot of hard work, but I loved every minute of it. I write in the fantasy genre.

Terrelle’s JuNoWriMo Plans

For JuNoWriMo, I will be working on a brand new series called, Dragons And Gods. There isn’t much to say about this book at the moment because I am still working on the blueprint,  but what I can tell you is that is that one of the dragons named Dias will attempt to take over the realm of the Gods, which will spark a war between both realms. How will it play out you may ask? Well you’ll just have to wait!   I didn’t write anything before June started, but I did work on a blueprint so I had an idea of where I wanted to go. I plan on meeting the 50k mark during JuNoWriMo, but my ultimate goal is either going to be 60 to 65k.

Connect with Terrelle: 

Facebook | Twitter

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Kalen Williamson

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Wednesday and Friday through June.

~

Background Kalen

I always wrote growing up, and enjoyed writing whether it was a novel, an English project, or a poem inspired by my tumultuous emotions. I started writing as a career a few years ago. I am publishing an anthology, called Tapestry, this summer. It has various sized stories from flash fiction to novelettes linked together as an emotional journey.

Kalen’s JuNoWriMo Plans

This June is going to be hectic for me; it’s my first JuNoWriMo and I am going to be a sprint leader! I want to complete the finishing touches on Tapestry, and I plan to continue work on a novel I started a few years ago. While Tapestry is literary fiction, my novel is going to be Christmas, fantasy fiction. It’s about a boy who has learns the origins and meaning of Christmas when someone in the North Pole notices his bad behavior. There are some dark parts in the story, so i’m not sure if I would put it in the Young Adults or Adult category. I’ll have a better idea when I finish writing it.

There’s no title yet. I’ve been playing around with different ideas, but none of them seem perfect. I don’t recall if anything in particular inspired me to start down this path, but I love Christmas and stories about Santa Claus and how he came to be. Since it is a holiday story, I hope to have it written, edited, and polished in time for the holidays. I want to get most of the first draft completed during JuNoWriMo; however, the whole novel might take until the end of July.  I have not started a Pinterest board for this project yet, but I enjoy making them and will probably end up with one by the end of the project.

Connect with Kalen: 

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Blog