Jennifer Brozek | November 2014

Thanksgiving Excitement

I spent the last week in Ogden, Utah, visiting with the Husband’s family. I must admit, it was an eventful trip—mostly, but not all, good.

Visiting with the In-Laws: I like the Husband’s family. We stayed with his parents. They are so cool. And his 93 year old Grandma Ruby who is spry and talkative. We crocheted together. We spent a day with Jeff’s sister and her husband, who are, unabashedly, our favorites. The four of us get along so well. Thanksgiving day gathered the whole clan and spouses to an amazingly good meal. Got to see both brothers and spouses and the new baby. It was a really good afternoon. Full and fun.

Illness: My pink-eye from a couple weeks back returned with a vengeance. So, I had to stay well away from people. Fortunately, my MIL had antibiotic eye drops that fixed things up and made it so I wasn’t contagious. Bacterial pink eye sucks.

The stress that induced it: my mom ended up in the hospital with viral RSV that caused pneumonia and a host of other complications and bad things. For a while there, I thought I was going to have to fly out from Utah to North Carolina. Mom is doing better now but she’s still in the hospital. So, I’m still worried. Dad caught a really bad cold and my sister has been the champion keeping everything altogether between updates, visits, and making sure Dad eats. I’m grateful for that.

Travel: Travel there was a piece of cake. It’s a 14 hour drive with stops. I always start. I usually go about 4-5 hours. Then Jeff takes the rest of it. Going, there was a tiny bit of slush in the pass that made me tense. Driving it in the dark (5am start), around curves, means I need to keep all my concentration on the drive and feeling the wheels against the road. But, all in all, it was a really easy, pleasant trip.

Coming home was another matter all together. Utah has a post speed of 80mph on the highways now. That’s fast. Even through the winding passes. There was no ambient light. No moon. There was no messing around. At 80mph, coughing at the wrong time could get you killed. After white-knuckling it for an hour, I decided I had faced my fear enough and asked Jeff to drive we got to Oregon. Then I would drive through Oregon and he would take over at Washington.

We did that. But, oh man, am I ever glad that we left 30 minutes before we had planned. I fought the wind for the last hour of Oregon. Then Jeff fought the wind from the border of Washington (through a dust storm even) almost to Snoqualmie Pass, he had to fight with rain, sleet, and snow. If we’d been 30 minutes later, it would’ve been so much worse. But we made it.

Added insult to injury: my iPod nano died within the second hour of the drive home. Fortunately, my Windows phone has almost all my play lists.

Oh-So-Flat: As an aside, I cannot get over how flat Ogden is. It’s a huge lakebed surrounded by mountains. The whole city is set up on a very regular and logical grid. You drive down one road and you can see for miles down the side streets. Coming from the Bay Area and the Seattle area, this both amazing and freaky. I’m so used to hills and turns and one-way streets. No wonder people from Utah have trouble driving in Seattle when they first get here.

When I type THE END

I've just typed "The End" on NEVER LET ME LEAVE at 51,000 words. But the book is nowhere near complete. When the novel hits "The End" for me, it isn't done. The bare bones have been laid. I have the shape of the story down and in my head.

But, I have a ton of notes that I've written myself that will add probably another 5K to the book. THEN there's the polish and descriptor adds so that I don't have talking heads in a white room. Here's some of the notes I left myself for NEVER LET ME LEAVE.

NOTE: Change floor to Level. Change “taser” to stun gun and describe.
NOTE: Figure actual, specific timeline for the book.
NOTE: Figure out when Carrie got the sedative.
NOTE: Mention the purse a couple more times.
NOTE: Figure out where stun guns and guns are for each chapter.
NOTE: Figured out where access cards are.
NOTE: Stairwells are black dark when red. Hard to get through. (find flashlights)
NOTE: Signs of eating and drinking.

While I'm adding these things I already know I need, I will mark certain spots to strengthen. Or that need a bit more an expert's advice. For example, I know just enough about computer programming to be dangerous. I broke software for a living before I became a writer. I need someone like The Husband to help make the technobabble not only plausible but real. Or get my friend, Joe, to help me with some of the stun gun details.This will add another 2000-3000 words.

After that, the manuscript is put away until January. January 1, I open the file and I start from the top, polishing, adding, fixing, editing. By the time that is done, I will feel like I almost have a real novel in front of me.

Bubble and Squeek for 18 Nov 2014

Heads down on my novel, NEVER LET ME LEAVE. Have some links and podcasts and reviews and books!

Article: Writing Tips by Amanda Pillar. These are worth a read.

Article: Suvudu editor Matt Staggs asked for an article on anthologies. I decided to write about the little-discussed art of putting a Table of Contents together.

Interview: I was interviewed by Kindra Sowder for Horror Geeks magazine: Gamer Nerd and Wordslinger. Horror Geeks magazine is really neat. I like it.

Podcast Interview: Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing. Talking about Shattered Shields with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. The topics ranged from marketing to diversity to RPG books.

Podcast Review: Game on Girl by Regina and Rhonda reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. My Google alerts gave me this one. It's really a fun look at the anthology. Especially when they refused to name author names but I recognized who and what they were talking about.

Review: Attack of the Books Reviews Shattered Shields. The reviewer, Daniel Burton, really enjoyed the anthology.

ReviewPaul Weimer of SF Signal reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. 4 out of 5 stars. He enjoyed the book and asked some of the questions I asked.

: JAZZ AGE CTHULHU with my novelette, "Dreams of a Thousand Young." Visit Assam, India, where a British dilettante wakes up one morning covered in bruises and welts, with a dead man in her bed and no memory of what happened in the last 24 hours. Her only clue is a trashed invitation to the exclusive Black Ram Club.

Publication: Short run boxed set: Under an Enchanted Skyline. Apocalypse Ink Productions has joined Martain Cantina's boxed Urban Fantasy set. 8 novels and novellas. $0.99. From now until December 30th. Includes my mosaic novel Caller Unknown and fellow AIP author Peter M. Ball's Exile.

10 Things That May Or May Not Have Happened at OryCon

(7 of these did happen. 3 did not.)

I may or may not have fangirled at Steve Perry over his Matadora series.

I may or may not have managed to write 3000 words on my WIP.

I may or may not have had a panic attack at my Shattered Shields party.

I may or may not have fought with Timothy W. Long over a hanger.

I may or may not owe the success of the Shattered Shields party to the Husband and Katie Cord of Evil Girlfriend Media.

I may or may not have gone to the wrong Powell’s store for Authorfest SF.

I may or may not have lost a bet while at the convention.

I may or may not have threatened Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s life.

I may or may not have agreed to yet another project while at the convention.

I may or may not have made faces at Diana Pharaoh Francis while on a panel with her.


Also, happy book release day to me! CHICKS DIG GAMING is now on the shelves.


Come say hello to me at OryCon and Sci-fi Authorfest. Here is where you can find me.

4:00pm - 5:00pm, Jefferson: Strong Characters in SF

1:00pm - 2:00pm, Idaho: Freaking Me Out, Not Grossing Me Out
4:00pm - 5:00pm, Morrison: Fantasy vs. Science Fiction
5:00pm - 6:00pm, Lincoln: Urban Fantasy Made Real
7:00pm - 8:00pm, Hawthorne: Speeding Up Your Output
9:00pm - 1:00am, Suite 1570: Shattered Shields Release Party (You are invited. Yes, you.)

11:00am - 12:00pm, Lincoln: I'll Be Watching You...
2:00pm - 2:30pm, Grant: Jennifer Brozek Reading

Powell’s Sci-Fi Authorfest 8
4:00pm - 5:30pm
This is my first signing at Powell’s City of Books store! So, if you aren’t coming to OryCon, you can still come see me and a bunch of awesome authors.

Bubble and Squeek for 3 Nov 2014

Busy-busy writing. I will be at OryCon this coming weekend. Have some links.

Announcement: Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. February 2015

Article: John O'Neil writes about the Apocalypse Girl Dreaming in Black Gate Magazine as a "future treasure." Awesome!

Cover Reveal: Evil Girlfriend Media revealed the cover of Apocalypse Girl Dreaming as well as their 2015 Publication schedule which includes a project of mine I had not yet announced.

Kickstarter: Not Our Kind. Tales of not belonging. $3000 to go in 6 days. I really would like to see this one funded. I'm very pleased with my story for this anthology. Help an anthology out?

Review: Chicks Dig Gaming. By Victoria Elisabeth Garcia in The Cascadia Subduction Zone magazine: "This piece [How to Design Games for Boys] is one of the book’s very best pieces. Lynnea Glasser’s “How to Design Games for Boys” is a knife-sharp satire of the sexist and fallacious assertions that are often made about why girls aren’t interested in games. Glasser delivers her first coup de grâce before the end of the first paragraph. Later lines about “trashy boys’ romance” and tribble-petting will likely make many CSZ readers laugh out loud. !is piece has the makings of an instant classic and seems destined to be read, quoted, and forwarded for years to come."

Review: Coins of Chaos by True Review. They appear to like it.

Review: Human Tales by the Geek Girl Project. They really liked it.

Freelancer Summary October 2014

Ever wonder what a freelance author/editor does? Each month of 2014, 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. It doesn’t cover my pays-the-bills work either. This is just publishing industry stuff. “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.




Answered pub industry email. AIP and JenniferBrozek Googlegroup posts. Contract negotiation. Freelancer Summary blog post. Wrote 308 words on co-written Lovecraft story. Submitted story to Jim Baen Memorial contest.


Answered pub industry email. Logged expenses for Context 27. Conversation with new editorial intern. Wrote 150 words on co-written Lovecraft story, edited it, and sent it back to co-author. Submitted novel for an award.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 850 words on Locus article.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote back cover copy for The Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls. Edited Locus article and turned it in. Poke authors who miss deadlines.





Answered pub industry email. Filled out convention survey. Edits on co-written Lovecraft story. Approved cover images for AIP books.


Answered pub industry email. “Tell Me” blog post. Outlined Shadowrun story. Wrote 47 words on the Shadowrun story.


Answered pub industry email. AIP Blog post. Personal Blog post. Wrote 578 words on the Shadowrun story. Cover art for anthology. AIP work for book bundle.


Answered pub industry email. Proofs on Locus article. Wrote 2419 words on the Shadowrun story.


Answered pub industry email. AIP PR stuff. Wrote 2805 words on the Shadowrun story. November releases PR work.


Wrote 253 words on the Shadowrun story, edited it, and turned it in. Blurb for a book. Updated personal blog. Joined


Answered pub industry email. Updated personal blog. Joined Horror Selfie.





Answered pub industry email.


Answered pub industry email. Signed Editorial contract. AIP Blog. New “Tell Me” Blog. Approved layout of Gears & Growls.  Poked artists with sticks.


Answered pub industry email. Bubble and Squeek post. Prepped Chimera Incarnate and sent it to editor. Poked artists with sticks. Outlined Nun story.


Answered pub industry email. Invoiced a client. Wrote 100 words on the Nun story. Book bundle contract.


Answered pub industry email. Emailed Book bundle resources to publisher. Approve book cover. Approve bookblock for AGD. Wrote 710 words on the Nun story. Anthology cover approval.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 1277 words on the Nun story. Convention survey.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 468 words on the Nun story.





Answered pub industry email. PR approval.


Tell Me blog post. Wrote 662 words on the Nun story. Apocalypse Girl Dreaming cover reveal.


Answered pub industry email. Personal Blog post. Wrote 1884 words on the Nun story.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 713 words on the Nun story.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 286 words on the Nun story and edited it.


Answered pub industry email. Final edits on Flotsam 2, FROST.


Answered pub industry email. Final edits on Flotsam 2, FROST.





Answered pub industry email. Sent FROST off to proofer. Valdemar story pitch.


Answered pub industry email. AIP blog post. Process feedback on Nun story.


Answered pub industry email. Personal  blog post. Process feedback on Nun story.


Answered pub industry email. NaNo prep. Wrote the OryCon convention card. Paid PA.


Answered pub industry email. Character studies for Never Let Me Leave. Process feedback on Nun story and added 200 words.


Answered pub industry email. Print OryCon convention card. Process edits for Dreams of a Thousand Young and turned it back in. Turned in Nun story.