Jennifer Brozek | Wordslinger & Optimist!

Origins Game Fair Schedule 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 10. June 2019 07:53

I will be at Origins Game Fair this coming weekend, spending most of my time in the Origins Library and participating on panels in the Writing Seminar. The authors area will not be inside the exhibit hall. They decided to place us in the spotlight area across from the main entrance of Hall A. They have co-located the seminar room with the authors area so attendees will have one spot to go to listen to authors then buy their books.

   

Reminder: no shyness around me. Come say hello (unless I'm running to the restroom). Ask your questions. Get your books signed. There are some fabulous authors in the Origins Library this yere.

Thursday
1pm - 2pm | Career Expectations: What can you expect from a writing career?
How do you decide if you’re a success or a failure? | Mercedes Lackey, Jennifer Brozek, Michael R. Underwood (M), Robyn King

2pm - 3pm | Writing RPG Fiction: The nuts and bolts of RPG short story, novella, and novel writing. | Larry Dixon, Jennifer Brozek, Robyn King, Tracy Chowdhury, John Helfers (M)

5pm | Emberwind. Jennifer and the Embercrew will play Skies of Axia, streamed (hopefully).

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Friday
1pm - 2pm | Mercedes Lackey’s Fantasy Quarterly Magazine
: Even after many years and dozens of novels and short stories, Mercedes Lackey is still trying new avenues of publishing, including launching Mercedes Lackey’s Fantasy Quarterly, a brand-new fantasy digest magazine, in 2019. Join her and associated editors Jennifer Brozek and John Helfers and learn about this new venue for the best in original and classic short fantasy fiction. | Mercedes Lackey, Jennifer Brozek, John Helfers (M). 

3pm - 4pm | Networking: Who should you be talking to? And how? And when have you crossed the line? | Mercedes Lackey, Addie J. King, Jennifer Brozek, Gregory A. Wilson (M)

5pm - 5:30pm | Reading. Jennifer Brozek will read from BattleTech: Iron Dawn and Shadowrun: Makeda Red.

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Saturday
10am - 11am | Professional Writing Organizations
: What is SFWA and what does it offer? What about HWA? IAMTW? Which ones should you join—if any? | Cat Rambo, Jennifer Brozek, Aaron Rosenberg (M)

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Sunday
10am - 11am | Ask the editors anything
: Questions you were too afraid to ask when your story was on the line | Jennifer Brozek, Lucy Snyder, John Helfers (M)


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Cover Reveal and Early Release of Shadowrun: Makeda Red!

by Jennifer Brozek 8. June 2019 08:13

Shadowrun: Makeda Red is officially out at Origins Game Fair. This Shadowrun novel is part of the origin story for Rune Red of "Rune's Avatar Cafe" (my Casablanca homage) from the World of Shadows anthology. This cover was created by the marvelous Peter Tikos!

ON A COLLISION COURSE... It was supposed be a simple extraction from the Brussels2Rome party train. With an eclectic crowd, a willing target, and a lot of nuyen at stake, what could go wrong?

Everything—as Makeda Red discovers the hard way.

There’s more than one target on the train, and more than one shadowrunner team in play. When someone sabotages the tracks in the middle of the Swiss Alps, she’s forced to extract her client much earlier than planned.To complicate matters, other survivors are also fleeing the crash for their own reasons. One of them is trying to escape his corporate masters as well, and offers to pay Makeda to escort him to his safe haven.

A paying client is a paying client, and his corp won’t be looking for three people traveling together. Makeda knows it’s a risk, but one she’s willing to take. In the shadows, however, nothing and no one is what they seem. Before it’s over, this already complicated run may be Makeda’s last...

Amazon / Amazon ebook | Barnes & Noble 

 

 

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Declutter Monday, Round 2, for 3 June 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 4. June 2019 08:58

Now that we’ve hit the half-way mark for the year, it’s time for Declutter Monday, Round 2. Technically, that’s 1 July, but I have enough travel that I wanted to start this month and it’ll work itself out in the end.

Today was all about the clothing. I decluttered my drawers and my closet. Every single drawer, every single hanging item.

Thought 1: How do I have so much clothing still? I know I did a heavy round of clothing decluttering but I still had / have so much clothing it feels ridiculous. I got rid of 15 t-shirts, 5 sweaters, 4 shirts, 5 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of pants, 5 good quality bras, and 3 pairs of socks. I still have a lot of clothing. Some of it new. Some of it old.

Thought 2: It was both easier and harder this time around. In the grand scheme of things, decluttering my clothing was easier—Does it fit? Do I like it? Have I worn it in the last 6 months? But, it was also harder. Last time, there was so much to get rid of, it was easier to toss something in the “maybe” pile. This time, I was working with things I mostly liked. Or thought I liked. Or wondered if it was insecurity talking. There were a lot of emotions tied up in the clothing. I’ve now got a sentimental/“work” (re: conventions) t-shirt drawer for t-shirts I just don’t want to give up yet.

Thought 3: Fighting the “just in case” syndrome. I’m a fat woman who is losing weight. I’ve lost weight before. I’ve gained it all back. I want to say this time is different. I think it is. But, the part of me that grew up poor wants me to keep some of the bigger clothing for “just in case.” I can hear my inner voice whispering, You like this. What if you gain the weight back? You’ll never see it again if you let it go. None of this is true. My style has changed. My needs have changed. If I regain the weight, I’ll deal with it then.

Thought 4: Weight loss is inconvenient for decluttering. When you are in the process of losing weight and your body is in transition, it’s hard to declutter. You don’t know where the new norm is. All you know is that half (or more) of your clothing doesn’t fit anymore. Old favorites don’t fit, look awful, are unwearable. Thank goodness my sister was able to save some of my favorite shirts by cutting 6-8 inches from the sides and sewing them to fit my body now. It ticks me off that some of the good quality clothing that was barely worn needs to go. It’s because of this that I think I need to give my closet a full year before I do another round of decluttering. I need to know where the new normal is.

Thought 5: Impatient to start. I’ve been thinking about Declutter Monday, Round 2 for more than a few weeks. In truth, I probably should’ve put my clothing last because of the weight loss and body changes, but I’ve been impatient to start an “official” round 2 for a while. I’ve thought about getting rid of random things in a haphazard manner and forced myself to stop. I think after this official round, I’m going to let myself declutter as I go…with the exception of clothing, of course. Maybe a monthly general scan? I don’t know.

One thing is certain. I’ve changed my viewpoint on how I look at my possessions. I’m more careful about what I bring into the house. I’m more thoughtful about what I have and how I use it. I know I appreciate my knick-knacks and the other things I’ve chosen to keep more. This is a good change for me.

A great picture of Mena playing, taken by Raven Oak.

 

 

 

 

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Bubble & Squeek for 17 May 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 17. May 2019 11:26

I'm writing, editing, traveling, and working on sekrit projects won't be secret for much longer.  Here's a Bubble & Squeek for you. Reviews, Releases, Podcasts, and Interviews.

•    Interview: With No Wasted Ink about BattleTech: Iron Dawn.

•    Release: Here’s the How2Read link for all the different stores you can get A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods

•    Release: Here’s the How2Read link for all the different stores you can get BattleTech: Iron Dawn.

•    Review: (Tor.com) Taking School Rivalries Seriously: Seanan McGuire’s “Away Game.” From A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods.

•    Review: A new review of BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident.

•    Podcast: ShadowBytes #3: Non-Compliant. And you thought being a shadowrunner in the 6th World was hard. Try being an office worker.

•    Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

I love it when my kitties get into the corner kitty condo.
Here's Pharaoh (top) and Isis (inside).

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Relearning the Same Lesson Over and Over

by Jennifer Brozek 30. April 2019 10:34

Back in August 2018, I decided to change my diet to see if everything I’d been hearing about wheat’s effect on joints and the stomach was true. I cut wheat from my diet. I tapered it off, then cut it out altogether. Much to my surprise, my knees stopped hurting when I took the stairs and my gastric reflux disappeared. I still have some acid tummy problems but nowhere near what it was. I also cut sugar from my diet because it gave me headaches.

For me, a lifestyle change means, “I don’t (usually) eat X.” If I really want it, I can have it, but it needs to be a special occasion or an unusual circumstance. For the first time in a long time, I really need to consider food on “indulgence” days because, now, if I eat wheat, my knees ache for 2-3 days after the indulgence and sugar headaches really depend on what else I’ve eaten.

I love bread and chocolate and ice cream, but they really need to be a rare thing. My sweet tooth is all but gone. I share sweet things because a little goes a LONG way. As for bread/wheat indulgences, I seem to need to relearn my lesson about once a month. “It isn’t that bad, is it?” Yes. Yes, it is. When standing up from a writing session hurts and my whole body is achy, I wonder why I need to relearn this lesson over and over. And part of me wonders if this is why I have had sore muscles and bad knees for most of my life.

It’s a hard lesson to learn that food I love the taste of hurts my body so much. I’m getting better at turning down pastries and, if I indulge, sticking to gluten-free options. Though, it is the choice of gluten free and an acid tummy, or sticking to my normal diet. I think I’m at about 50-50 right now and I just know to take something for my stomach in prep for the indulgence.

All this makes travel for conventions that much more exciting and inconvenient. I can’t just go get a burger and call it good. I need a burger without a bun and a way to eat it that doesn’t interfere with being on panels or at my dealers table. In general, we try to stick to gluten-free while traveling. Gluten won’t kill either of us, but it will make the Husband’s asthma act up and me hurt. Not something either of us wants while traveling. Family visits are less complex because both families have been informed of what we can and can’t eat.

Human bodies are complicated. Right now, I’m learning what that means and relearning lessons over and over. At least now, it’s like my parents taught me: Always consider whether or not the punishment is worth the crime. Critical thought is important. If you decide it is, then take your fate into your hands and go for it.

Just some thoughts I’ve been noodling over after date-night with the Husband. (And yes, it was so worth it.)

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Norwescon and New Books

by Jennifer Brozek 15. April 2019 14:18

This weekend, I’ll be at Norwescon in the Dealers Room. I’ll be located in the back right corner, next to the Girl Genius booth. That right there says it’s going to be a fun convention. I like hanging out with the Foglios.

I don’t have any panels this year but I do have two new books! The first is A Secret Guide to Fight Elder Gods—a Lovecraftian YA anthology with some of my favorite authors in it, including Seanan McGuire who will be at my booth on Saturday, 12-2pm, to sign that book a couple others she will be bringing with her.  The second is BattleTech: Iron Dawn—the first book in a new YA BattleTech trilogy. Now, this book is in the mail as I type, so it might not get there on the first day of Norwescon, but I’m hoping it will.

I will be at my booth all weekend. It’s a “no shyness” zone. Come by, say hello, buy books, or get your books signed. If you want to have a longer conversation with me, just keep to one side or the other of the booth so I can keep selling books while we have our conversation. If you want to meet up for a drink or a meal, ping me and I’ll see how my schedule looks.

See you at Norwescon!

 

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Iron Dawn now available for pre-order

by Jennifer Brozek 10. April 2019 09:26

BattleTech: Iron Dawn
Book 1 of the Rogue Academy Trilogy
Now available for pre-order!

 

GHOSTS IN THE DARK…

Jasper and Nadine Roux are cadets at the Ritza MechWarrior Academy; a dream come true for the orphaned siblings from the war-torn planet of Hoff. For the last six years, Emporia has been their home. Sponsored to the academy by the powerful Vogel House, both cadets are expected to excel in all tasks.

Their dream becomes a nightmare when the Draconis Combine comes knocking.

It’s up to the siblings to stop the renegade Seventh Ghost Regiment warlord when he lays claim to a piece of the Inner Sphere—starting with the Federated Suns’ planet of Emporia. The border world looks like easy prey, but this warrior of the Dragon is about to learn how wrong he is. After the few MechWarriors on the planet are taken hostage, the Sponsored and Blooded cadets of the Ritza Academy fight like they have nothing left to lose.

It’s a fight that will cost them more than they know.


Click here to view the full wraparound cover.

 

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Cover and TOC of A SECRET GUIDE TO FIGHTING ELDER GODS

by Jennifer Brozek 9. April 2019 08:04

To be released on April 15.
Edited by Jennifer Brozek.
Such a beautiful cover by Peter Tikos!

“Away Game” by Seanan McGuire
“The Icarus Club” by Weston Ochse
“Stormy Monday” by Chesya Burke
“Pickman’s Daughter” by J. C. Koch
“Us and Ours” by Premee Mohamed
“The Art of Dreaming” by Josh Vogt
“Visions of a Dream Witch” by Lucy A. Snyder
“The Tall Ones” by Stephen Ross
“Just Imagine” by Tim Waggoner
“Holding Back” by Lisa Morton
“The Mouth of the Merrimack” by Douglas Wynne
“The Geometry of Dreams” by Wendy N. Wagner
“Being Emily-Claire” by Jonathan Maberry

I had so much fun editing this anthology. Ya’ll are going to love it.

 

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Bubble and Squeek for 18 Mar 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 18. March 2019 10:38

My Bubble & Squeek list got a little bit out of control this time. Still lots of fun stuff to read and enjoy while I work on Rogue Academy 2, BattleTech: Ghost Hour.

Fun: Still Alive - Frank Sinatra Big Band Swing Version (The 8-Bit Big Band). I like this. (YouTube link.)

Fun: TVTropes page for the Melissa Allen trilogy. It still thrills me to have my writing dissected on the TV Tropes website.

Podcast: Dire Multiverse, episode 3 – “Curiouser Still” Events take a heart-thumping turn when Ohmega, Kitty, and Lime just can’t leave well enough alone. Their curiosity lands them in a heap of garbage and carries them to the other side of the island in search of answers.

Podcast: ShadowBytes 02 – Chrome Holly. Except from DocWagon 19. Just a taste of some of the mysteries the High-Threat Response Team comes in contact with.

Review of me: Dreams of a Thousand Young. I love this. Can't tell if either reviewer actually liked the story (I think they did). The snark is strong within both reviews. Very spoiler-filled look at of my Lovecraftian novelette from JAZZ AGE CTHULHU.

Review of Captain Marvel: Captain Marvel is the Joyful Realization of a Woman Coming Into Her Power. I loved the hell out of this film and this article is a good summation of why. (Non-spoiler review.)

Shadowrun: Sprawl Stories, Vol 1 is out in trade paperback now! It includes DocWagon 19. Yes, I'm late to the party but, I have all year to celebrate Shadowrun's 30th anniversary.

StokerCon University: I will be teaching my “How to Pitch a Story” workshop at Stokercon in May. This was my standing room only workshop at WorldCon 2018. Thursday night.

 

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Rainforest Writers Inspirational Award

by Jennifer Brozek 11. March 2019 13:38

This year, I won the Rainforest Writers Inspirational Award for session three. I was surprised and pleased.

“Writing is hard. A writer needs assistance, encouragement, and ideas to help them put words on the page. This award recognizes those who contribute to the success of other writers.”

From the certificate:
“Each year, the members of the Rainforest Writers community gather to spend a few days writing, kibitzing, and talking the talk. While the stated goal of the retreat is to get some much needed writing time, this retreat also serves as an opportunity for writers to bask in the community of other writers and creatives. This communal event provides writers with the fuel and fire to go forth and continue creating.

“In light of this, we wish to recognize individuals who are notable inspirations to the member of the Rainforest Writers community. Being amazing takes effort, and we know such effort is not always an easy choice to make, and we appreciate your wherewithal to excel at such effort.

“The Rainforest Writers Inspirational Award is to be awarded to an individual from each session of the retreat. Nominations for the award will be submitted by the attendees of each session, and the final decision will be overseen by Patrick Swenson, the retreat coordinator and spiritual guru.

“This award will manifest itself as an artfully designed and rendered trophy/plaque/wall hanging thingy as well as a cash stipend. Fellow attendees may have some ideas about how the money should be spent. The recipient of the Inspirational Award may creatively observe such ideas as they see fit.

“The Rainforest Writers Inspirational Award is sponsored by A Good Book Bookstore, located in Sumner, WA.”

I’m so chuffed to win this award. It was so unexpected. One of my goals is to help and inspire other writers. To be awarded this by my peers is icing on the cake. Also, the cash was nice, too. It’s even better that this year’s award includes a carving of the pacific northwest tree octopus.


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Latest Releases

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Shadowrun: Makeda Red
Buy Now.

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BattleTech: Iron Dawn
Rogue Academy 1
Buy Now.

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A Secret Guide to
Fighting Elder Gods

Buy Now.


To Fight the Black Wind
Arkham Horror novella

Amazon | FFG


The Prince of Artemis V
All ages comic book

Amazon


The Nellus Academy Incident
YA Battletech
novel
Amazon | DriveThruRPG | B&N

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The Last Days of Salton Academy
YA Horror

(Out of Print)

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Never Let Me
YA SF-Thriller Omnibus

Amazon | Barnes&Noble |
Permuted Press

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Never Let Me Die
YA SF-Thriller Novel
Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


Never Let Me Leave
YA SF-Thriller Novel
Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


Never Let Me Sleep
YA SF-Thriller Novel

Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


DocWagon 19
Shadowrun novella
Amazon | BattleShop
DriveThruRPG


The Karen Wilson Chronicles
More InformationBuy Now.


Apocalypse Girl Dreaming
Fiction collection
Amazon | B&N |
Evil Girlfriend Media

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Jazz Age Cthulhu
Amazon | B&N |
Innsmouth Free Press


Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. She is the author of the Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her a Hugo Award nomination as well as an Australian Shadows Award for Grants Pass. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, and Predator. Jennifer is also the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions, and was the managing editor of Evil Girlfriend Media and assistant editor for Apex Book Company.

Jennifer has been a freelance author, editor, tie-in writer for over ten years after leaving her high paying tech job, and she’s never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to volunteer for several professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.

"I see story ideas. All the time. They're everywhere. Just walking around like normal ideas. They don't know they're stories."