Jennifer Brozek | March 2014

Tell Me - Lucy A. Snyder (Jessie Shimmer)

Lucy is a friend of mine and I enjoy her short fiction, reading and publishing it whenever I can. I’ve also been published by Alliteration Ink with good results. So, this particular kickstarter has my double support. It’s a perfect way to get all of the Jessie Shimmer novels at once.

First off, I’d like to offer my thanks to Jennifer Brozek for giving me the chance to write about my current crowdfunding project. Courtesy of my new publisher, Alliteration Ink, the Kickstarter for my urban fantasy novel Devils’ Field is going on now and will end at 9pm EST on April 13th.

This is the sixth crowdfunding project that I’ve participated in, but it’s the first time that my work has been front and center. The other projects were four anthologies and one game, and I was just one of several contributors each time. The Devils’ Field Kickstarter has gone well so far, but I must admit that it’s been far more nerve-wracking than the others I’ve been involved with. Most of the others handily made their funding goals, but a couple didn’t. For those crowdfunding failures, it was easy to not take it personally. After all, I was just one creator among many; it didn’t mean the projects foundered because people were indifferent to my fiction, specifically. But now my novel is the main course, and of course I want people to be receptive to it.

So, it’s simultaneously exciting and queasy-making to see my work up on the public block like this. One might fairly wonder why I went this route. Why didn’t I seek out a more traditional publishing situation?

Well. Let’s flash back a couple of years: I was working on my Jessie Shimmer trilogy for Del Rey. I’d sold the trilogy on the strength of a finished first novel (Spellbent) and synopses for the next two books. I was working on the second book, which would be released as Shotgun Sorceress. It was already 65,000 words long and was due in two months … and I hadn’t gotten through half the narrative I’d described in the book’s synopsis. Whoops!

So, I had two choices: turn in a book that was wildly late and twice as long as my editor had expected, or figure out a way of gracefully wrapping up the primary plot threads, get my book turned in on time like a pro, and write the rest of the second volume narrative in Switchblade Goddess. I hoped that Del Rey would want more books past the original trilogy so that I could finish up the narrative arc I’d planned for the series.

Alas, Del Rey declined more books. My series did well – the three books earned out their advance, which 70% of standalone novels don’t manage to do – but none of the books were bestsellers. It was frustrating, but I was glad to have my work published by a very big house that was able to get lots of copies of my novels into readers’ hands. And I took some comfort knowing that writers such as Tim Pratt, Harry Connolly, and Carolyn Crane were also cut loose.

But I still had an unfinished series, and plenty of ideas for more books. At the very least, I wanted to write the novels containing the storyline I’d planned for the third volume in the trilogy.

Readers would approach me at conventions and ask me when the next Jessie Shimmer book would be coming out, and I didn’t know what to tell them. I knew I would write the books, but who would publish them? Most big houses are pretty reluctant to pick up a series that a different publisher started. I knew I could self-publish, but successful self-publishing involves a tremendous amount of non-writing work. I’d mostly rather be a writer.

I weighed my options while I worked on other writing projects, and I kept an eye on what my fellow writers with newly liberated series were doing. Harry Connolly and Tim Pratt both turned to crowdfunding, and Pratt’s Marla Mason series was resurrected as strong as ever thanks to highly successful Kickstarter campaigns.

When I got involved with Alliteration Ink as an anthology contributor, I was really impressed by what publisher Steven Saus did behind the scenes to coordinate the Kickstarter campaigns for What Fates Impose and Steampunk World. It seemed to me that he had exactly the skill set I was looking for in a crowdfunding partner. So, I talked to him at the Context convention, and we made a plan of action.

That plan is bearing fruit, and once the campaign reaches its funding, I’m going to get to work on that fourth Jessie Shimmer novel I’ve been promising myself and everyone else ever since Switchblade Goddess came out. If all goes well, the book should be out in late 2014 or early 2015, and I hope readers enjoy it.
Lucy A. Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, Switchblade Goddess, and the collections Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, Orchid Carousals, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger.

Bubble and Squeek for 24 Mar 2014

REVIEW: My anthology, Coins of Chaos, was reviewed by The Nameless Zine. They liked it.

INTERVIEW: interviewed me about The Nellus Academy Incident.

ARTICLE: FlickFilosopher wrote an article about the TARDIS Little Free Library I have in front of my house.

COVER REVEAL #1: The Future Embodied anthology has revealed its final cover by the amazing Galen Dara. This has my story, "The Bathory Clinic Deal," in it.

COVER REVEAL #2: Evil Girlfriend Media reveals the cover for my anthology, Bless Your Mechanical Heart. The cover art is by the wonderful Larry Dixon!

COVER REVEAL #3: Baen Books has revealed the cover of my anthology, Shattered Shields, co-edited with Bryan Thomas Schmidt, by the talented Todd Lockwood.

I absolutely win the cover art game this week. I am happy dancing all over the place.

Mildly Crazy

Writers, by and large, are mildly crazy. We have voices in our heads. We see stories everywhere. We are affected by both. Case in point. After my shower, I was standing naked in the bathroom, combing out my hair. I heard a noise. I walked out of my bathroom to look down the stairs to see what I could see. Nothing but cats. Probably a cat making noise.

Back in the bathroom, this conversation ensued. It lasted all of 10 seconds. Maybe.

“You know, people in horror movies do stupid shit because they don’t know they’re in a horror movie. Like you just did… walking naked to the top of the stairs to investigate a strange noise.”

“Not in a horror movie.”

“Naked girls get killed first.”

“Not a girl. Not nubile. Not in a horror movie. I have 4 cats. They make noise.”

“The cat is always the ruse.”

I was starting to freak myself out. “Not. In. A. Horror. Movie.”

“That you know of.”

The strange sound of an unfamiliar truck* drives by in my quiet neighborhood. It is loud and weirdly menacing. Quick assessment. Garbage truck? No. Delivery truck? No. Neighbor’s truck? No. Assessment: possible danger.



“Fine. I’ll get dressed. I’m not going to die naked. Sneakers today, I think, too. Never know what you’ll need to run from.”

And thus, I quickly got dressed in jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. Because, you never know when your life is going to shift from the everyman story into a horror story. I’m just lucky, this time, I didn’t have a conversation like this at midnight and need to sleep with the light on.

*Saw the offending truck later. It was one of those big dump trucks for leaves, branches, and tree trunks. Guess a neighbor is getting a tree cut down. It was empty, thus echoing and strange.

The Taxman Takes

I adore my tax accountant but, crap, I feel like I’ve been beaten with sticks today. The worst part of being a 1099 (tax form) freelancer is the taxes. You get dinged twice on some taxes and, in general, it is hard on small business owners. We’re paying in the neighborhood of upper four digits this year and I’m a little freaked out. We can cover it but, when I saw the number, my first thought was, “Holy shit! We could buy a car for that.”

I grew up poor. I got in debt out of school. I fought my way out of debt to become debt free. I talked about all of this, and how I got out of debt, in my book, The Little Finance Book That Could. Getting out of debt is emotional as much as financial. So, while I’m freaked out right now, I know it’s a normal emotional. I also know we can handle this. We’ve planned and saved. Not easy but we’ll be fine.

But still. Beaten with sticks.

TARDIS Little Free Library Build Details

I’ve recently received a number of requests asking for plans and details on how our TARDIS Little Free Library was built. We don’t have formal plans. The awesome Husband was awesome and figured it out on his own with trial and error.

However, I’ve managed to pin him down and make him tell me what he can about the TARDIS Little Free Library, its dimensions, and what he did to make it happen. This is what he told me.

Building the TARDIS

-16" deep, 15.5" wide
-Height with roof support was 26.5" ( note, this is without the roof )
-The roof itself is 20" x 20" and has about a 4" rise from outside to center.
-The door height, so without supports, is 24"
-The width of the door is 13" ( which is also the width of the inside part of the sides and back, ie, width without the posts )

The walls, floor, shelf, and roof are all made with 1/2" plywood.

-I first cut the 2" x 2" squares, trimming corners of them out.
-The floor was cut of the plywood, straight sided square ( mostly ), and nailed / glued to the corner posts. Then the walls were cut to fit, fitting inside the pits of the posts that had been cut out, and glued / nailed together.

I used a table saw, wood glue, and a couple different nail guns to assemble it.

The roof was mostly trial and error, had a heck of a time getting it to fit right around the glass top that I had purchased at a garage sale.

The shelf was cut to fit the inside, and screwed in. You can't see the screws from the outside because the trim pieces used conceal them.

The door had weather stripping and silicon putty put on it to seal it against weather, and the door is made of plexiglass, with the trim pieces glues to themselves and the plexiglass. The plexiglass is just one big sheet on the inside of the trim pieces.

There you have it. Everything I know about the magic my husband did to build the TARDIS Little Free Library.

Freelancer Summary February 2014

Ever wonder what a freelance author/editor does? Each month, I’m going to list my daily notes on what I do. As I always say, being your own boss means you choose with 70 hours of the week you work. None of this talks about the random pub IMs, time doing research, time reading books for blurbs, introductions, and reviews, or short author questions. “Answered pub industry email” can be anything from a request for an interview, to contract queries, to reading anthology invites, to answering questions about dates… and the list goes on.





Bookkeeping on BYMH contracts. Weekly planning with the Shadow Minion. AIP Googlegroup post. Jennifer Brozek Googlegroup post. Wrote 250 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony.





Answered a questionnaire. Filled out information for a press release. Mapped out anthology invites.


Answered pub industry email. Tell Me blog post. Wrote Introduction to BYMH. Wrote 1177 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Blog post. Bookkeeping on BYMH contracts. Bookkeeping on Shattered Shields contracts.


Answered pub industry email. Proofed an RPG supplement. Wrote 1108 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony.


Answered pub industry email. Proofed 3 new essays for CDG anthology. Bookkeeping on BYMH contracts. Wrote 1482 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony.


Final edit polish on BLESS YOU MECHANICAL HEART full manuscript and turned in. Wrote 1630 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Bookkeeping on BYMH contracts.


Answered pub industry email. Approved cover art. Wrote 1370 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Signed 200 signature sheets for a book. Applied to become a Gen Con Industry Insider.


Answered pub industry email. Outlined the rest of Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Wrote 102 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony.





Answered pub industry email. Wrote 1700 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Read AIP submissions.


Answered pub industry email. Tell Me blog post. Wrote 1650 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Bookkeeping on BYMH contracts. Answered an interview.


Answered pub industry email. Approved cover art. Wrote 1800 words on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. Rough draft of Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony done! Read AIP submissions.


Answered pub industry email. Paid all of my BLESS YOUR MECHANICAL HEART payments. Sent out the 2nd wave of SHATTERED SHIELD payments. Edited 16 pages of KEYSTONES. Scheduled out the AIP 2014 book release schedule.


Answered pub industry email. Final polish and turned in Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony, complete at 20,350 words. Consulted on cover art. Read AIP submissions.


Edited and revised 3 chapters of KEYSTONES.


Answered pub industry email. Edited and revised 3 chapters of KEYSTONES.





Edited and revised 3 chapters of KEYSTONES.


Answered pub industry email. Poked a publisher about a contract update. Edited and revised 4 chapters of KEYSTONES. Read AIP submissions.


Answered pub industry email. Blog post. Writing list for Rainforest Writers Retreat. Invoiced a client. Read AIP submissions.


Rainforest Writers Retreat. Answered pub industry email. Bookkeeping on Shattered Shields contracts—got the last contract back in. Wrote 600 words on Valdemar story.


Rainforest Writers Retreat. Wrote 3400 words on Valdemar story. Rough draft done. Outlined 3 Salton Academy novelettes for Outbreak: Undead.


Rainforest Writers Retreat. Wrote 4500 words on Salton Academy novelette 1.


Rainforest Writers Retreat. Wrote 4030 words on Salton Academy novelette 1.





Rainforest Writers Retreat. Wrote 4060 words on Salton Academy novelette 1.


Answered pub industry email. Tell Me blog post. Polish edit 3 chapters of KEYSTONES. Final edit of Valdemar story and turned it in. Edited 47 pages of Sheynan novel #1. Read AIP submissions.


Answered pub industry email. Blog post. Polish edit 3 chapters of KEYSTONES. Wrote 500 words on Salton Academy novelette 1. Phone call with publisher. Edited 21 pages of Sheynan novel #1.


Answered pub industry email. Blog post. Polish edit 3 chapters of KEYSTONES. Edited 54 pages of Sheynan novel #1.


Answered pub industry email. Proofed an anthology story. Polish edit 4 chapters of KEYSTONES. Edited 52 pages of Sheynan novel #1.


Entered in all of the polish edits of KEYSTONES and turned in the novel manuscript. Fought with my down website for hours. Edited 33 pages of Sheynan novel #1.