Jennifer Brozek | Wordslinger & Optimist! - Page 2

Another First: An ABC Book for Little Mad Scientists

by Jennifer Brozek 25. July 2018 14:29

Sometime, long ago, I had the idea for an ABC book. It was dark, creepy, and awfully cute. However, I have no skill at art. Thus, A is for Apex sat in the "hiatus" file for years. Then I met Elizabeth. I liked her art style. I liked her. I thought we might work well together. We auditioned each other on The Prince of Artemis V, a comic book version of my most popular YA short story to date. We liked it and thought, why not do another project together. Rubbing my hands together, I asked, "Have you ever wanted to do an ABC book?" The gleam in her eyes was answer enough.

May I present to you, A is for Apex!

Learn the English alphabet with this one-of-a-kind book for the little ghoul in your life. Monsters, mayhem, graveyards, and a zombie named Oscar, mixed with a little bit of science, come to life in charming rhymes and illustrations. Each letter receives its own two page fun illustration to spark the imagination of you and your little ghoul. There are many details to be explored during every read.

This book is dedicated to all the little mad scientists out there, especially those who like the creepy stuff.

I hope you all love this book.

Amazon ebook, physical | Barnes & Noble ebook, physical
Release date: 1 August 2018

 

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Life Update

by Jennifer Brozek 18. July 2018 14:25

Life has been busy, busy, busy, but good.

Writing
I've finished Rogue Academy: Iron Dawn, polish-edited it, and turned it in. I feel accomplished and actually pretty good about the manuscript. Of course, now I’m in that “I finished a novel, now what?” flail. It’s not that I don’t have stuff to work on. I do. It’s the fact that it feels like I’m doing “procrastination work” – which is what writing flash fiction, editing, and outlining is while I’m novel drafting. I’ll shake my brain out soon enough.

What am I working on now?

  • Shadow Bytes – five pieces of Shadowrun flash fiction for a podcast.
  • Editing the stories for A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods Lovecraft anthology.
  • Prepping to write a Shadowrun novella, A Kiss to Die For.


What does my brain want to work on? After a call with my agent, a far future oceanic novella that I've been noodling over for about a year now. It might become a good Wit'n'Word writing group project.

Conventions
August – I have two major conventions coming up in August: Gen Con and WorldCon. I am a dealer at both and a panelist at WorldCon. I’ll find out this week if I have any panel things to do for Cat Labs at Gen Con. I’ve got my house/cat sitters in place. I’ve started my plans for packing. Gen Con will be more complex than WorldCon, but all of it is doable.

September – I’m participating in the North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference. I’ll be reading Friday night, 21 Sep, and teaching two workshops on Saturday, 22 Sep.

Household Stuff
Back patio – Our house is 30+ years old. We’re the second owners. We’re slowly making it look less like a 30+ year old house. The latest project is replacing the back red-brick patio with pretty grey paver stones. The Husband did most of the work. It’s involved and still ongoing. There’ll be a blog post about it soon. It’s not done because it includes replacing the deck stairs on the patio side of things.

Eating from the pantry – Twice a year, the Husband and I do what we call “eating from the pantry.” We don’t eat out. We don’t grocery shop except for fresh veggies and milk. We eat from what we have in the pantry and the deep freeze for the full month as a way of cleaning out the older / soon-to-expire dry goods. It’s also a way to save money. Of course, this means we end up with some strange meals by the end of the month. Bubble-and-Squeak for the win!

Kitties
All four of them are fat and happy. I’m sure you can see that from my Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to join us there.

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The Jennifer Award for June 2018

by Jennifer Brozek 2. July 2018 11:39

From now until I decide I want to stop doing this, I will be giving out a monthly “Jennifer Award” for the best new-to-me thing I read that month. This can be fiction or non-fiction. It can be an essay/article, a short story, a novelette, a novella, or a novel. It doesn’t matter when it came out. It only matters that this is the first time I read it and I thought it was the best thing I read all month. Yes, it is completely subjective and biased towards what I like to read.

The winner will receive a shiny digital badge and a $5 gift card.

The winner for June 2018 is Daddy’s Girl” by Jennifer R. Donohue. You can read it now on Syntax & Salt Magazine. This is the kind of short story that I adore. The end was a gut punch. It was so unexpected and yet… unsurprising when I thought about it. The clues were there. It’s rare that I reread a short story immediately after I just read it, but this one I had to. The story was good. The craft was better. Well done, Jennifer.

2018
Jan: Godfall and Other Stories by Sandra M. Odell
Feb: “When We Fall” by Kameron Hurley
Mar: The Alastair Stone Chronicles by R.L. King
Apr: Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys
May: “The Soul of Horses” by Beth Cato
June: “Daddy’s Girl” by Jennifer R. Donohue

 

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THE END is a Sweet New Beginning

by Jennifer Brozek 27. June 2018 14:25

“The End.”

There are no sweeter words to write on the first draft of a manuscript. Today, I finished the first draft of Rogue Academy #1: Iron Dawn. It’s 84,000 words. Long for a YA novel, but it’ll break 90,000 by the time I’m done. I tend to add into my manuscripts rather than take out. Now that I have the whole story down, I know what needs to be added and where. I know what can be foreshadowed and what can be cut. It’s a beautiful feeling.

I’m going to ignore the manuscript for the next five days to get ready for and go to the Washington State Toy and Geek Fest. I’ll be there with Books & Chains as a dealer. I’ll take one day off to sleep/rest, then I’ll spend the next ten days fixing the novel before I turn it in on July 15th.

This won’t be the last time I see the manuscript by a long shot. It will need to go through a reading by the Cat Labs fiction editor, the BattleTech line developer, and the BattleTech fact checkers. I hope that’s only two iterations of edits. Then a final polish. Then proofing. There may be another iteration of edits in there. I don’t know. We’ll see.

I’ll take a couple of days off to sleep after turning in Iron Dawn. Then I’ll begin the next project. Two of them actually; both Shadowrun.

The first is five flash fiction pieces for a podcast project. The second is my Shadowrun YA novella: A Kiss to Die For. I’m looking forward to digging into both projects. I love Shadowrun and I love new projects. They’ll be a good brain palette-cleanser for when Iron Dawn is returned to me with edits/revisions and I can look at it with fresh eyes and a critical mind.

Typing “The End” is always just the beginning of any novel. A sweet one. It is also the herald of something new to work on.

 

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Science Space Summer Camp for Writers and Other Artists

by Jennifer Brozek 5. June 2018 10:23

I’ve been back from Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for two days. The first day was easily taken up with catch up work. Memories of the workshop flittered around my head like the cottonwood blowing in Laramie. Today is the first day of “normal” work. I’ve got a BattleTech novel to finish and I find all I want to do is read space opera and hard SF. I’m not going to succumb to the urge (yet). I’m delaying things by writing this AKA procrastination work.

I learned so much and had much of what I already knew confirmed. It’s nice to know I actually set up the Kember Empire almost exactly correct and I will always thank Yonatan Zunger for helping me with my SLING space travel via branes and gravitational waves. (Helpful to have once dated a theoretical physicist from Stanford back in the day.)

Even better, I got to talk to other authors about a space combat problem I knew I’d have coming up in Rogue Academy #2. Michael Mammay (author of Planetside) not only helped me work it out, he gave me a great idea on how to do it. That was one of the best things about this workshop: the caliber of people attending and the conversations we had in and out of class.

Our professors, Mike Brotherton and Christian Ready, were excellent teachers. Dynamic, playful, smart, engaging, and challenging. We got about a semester’s worth of cosmology science thrown at us in a week. Long days, too. Start at 10am and go until about 9-10pm every day with breaks in-between. I took 40 pages of notes. A lot of it was “Look up, X. It’s about Y if you need it.”

Also, I had the dubious honor of being interviewed by campus police because I didn’t go on the WIRO telescope visit due to personal biology.

*Everyone leaves for the WIRO telescope.*

Me: “I’m alone in a dorm building on a college campus. This is the beginning of a horror movie.” I sit in the 2nd floor lobby and read.

*20 minutes later, footsteps on the stairs. Campus security, teens doing walkthroughs. We startled each other.*

Me: “There’s the first tension breaker. Now I’m going to be murdered.*

*15 minutes later, lots of footsteps on the stairs. The teens and two cops come through, but don’t stop.*

Me: WTF?

*5 minutes later, all four of them come back to the 2nd floor lobby and surround me.*

Me: WTF?!

*For the next 10 minutes, I’m interviewed by the cops on why I’m there, did I know anything about the pot smell, and where is everyone else? I explain who I am, where everyone else is (at the WIRO telescope), and that, no, I don’t smoke. They want to know what I write (“Genre fiction with a high body count”), and I end up giving all four of them my author card so they can look up my books later. Then I explain they all scared the crap out of me. The teens apologize.

After they leave, I debate about calling either of the professors, realize they aren’t even at the telescope yet, and I haven’t been arrested for existing. So, no. I’d tell them tomorrow.*

Me: “Now I’m really going to be murdered.” I go back into my dorm room, close and lock the door, then call the Husband because I’m so keyed up. We talk, then I write for a while.


That aside, Launch Pad is one of those once-in-a-lifetime workshop that really opened my eyes. The science is mind-blowing, the education is mind-opening, and the experience is the kind of thing that you’ll remember forever. If you get a chance, you should try to go. It’s hard to get into. I had to apply multiple times before I got in, but it is so worth it.

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The Jennifer Award for May 2018

by Jennifer Brozek 4. June 2018 12:21

From now until I decide I want to stop doing this, I will be giving out a monthly “Jennifer Award” for the best new-to-me thing I read that month. This can be fiction or non-fiction. It can be an essay/article, a short story, a novelette, a novella, or a novel. It doesn’t matter when it came out. It only matters that this is the first time I read it and I thought it was the best thing I read all month. Yes, it is completely subjective and biased towards what I like to read.

The winner will receive a shiny digital badge and a $5 gift card.

May’s winner is “The Soul of Horses” by Beth Cato. It was first published in Clockwork Phoenix 5, edited by Mike Allen. This short story is available to read online right now from Mythic Delirium. I came across it while looking for something else. I don’t know what. However, it really stuck with me. It is a story about letting what you love go because you love it with all that you are.

2018
Jan: Godfall and Other Stories by Sandra M. Odell
Feb: “When We Fall” by Kameron Hurley
Mar: The Alastair Stone Chronicles by R.L. King
Apr: Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys
May: “The Soul of Horses” by Beth Cato

 

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Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop

by Jennifer Brozek 24. May 2018 16:15

The month of May has been made up of me writing on the BattleTech novel, bookended by travel. At the beginning of the month, it was Crypticon where I got to meet up with some of my favorite people, speak on panels, and sell books. The end of the month will be taken up with the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop.

The Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop promises to be a blast. For a week, I will be out of my routine. Two days for travel and five days of the workshop in Laramie, WY. The workshop days are full. The schedule looks really interesting. I can’t wait to go and learn. I like writing science fiction and it’s good to brush up on real world science.

I probably won’t be on social media much during the week. At least, not actively looking at social media. I might post pictures of where I’m at and some of the sites. I’ve never been to Wyoming before. This will be a new experience. My main fear is getting lost on campus. Seriously, I get turned around a lot. If I don’t actually know where I’m going, I’m the anti-ask-for-directions or go-the-opposite-way person. I suspect it won’t be too hard to get around, but it is the one thing I’m nervous about right now. (You can bet I'll post about getting lost if it does happen.)

I have to admit, I’m looking forward to pretending to be a college student for a week. I think getting away from routine and staying off the internet will be good for me. If I can manage it, I’m still going to write in the mornings before class. But I’m not going to beat myself up if it doesn’t happen.

What I will miss is the Husband and the kitties. He’s promised daily kitty pictures. I can handle that. If history is any indication, the kitties will miss me and spend all their time trying to glom onto the Husband. That will make his life interesting in the short term. (He will miss me, too, and has already said such.)

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Bubble & Squeek for 3 May 2018

by Jennifer Brozek 3. May 2018 10:17

This weekend, I'll be at Crypticon in Sea-Tac with Apocalypse Ink Productions and on panels. I'm going to have all of my new releases with me as well as some of the old favorites and my convention only book. If you can't come see me, I hope you enjoy the weekend.

Article: To Write the Good Fight over on Jimbo's Awesome SFF Reviews. I like to have a foot in game reality to write a ’Mech Battle. I do it with a little help from my friends.

Interview: +1 to Writing on TripleCrit. All about me as an author and an editor. This fun interview was all about me shifting between the different publishing roles.

Interview: I've got a new interview on MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape about my Arkham Horror novella, To Fight the Black Wind. I get to talk about my favorite scene in this one.

Interview with Loren Rhoads: 5 Questions for Jennifer Brozek. All about Arkham Horror: To Fight the Black Wind. This one touches on how my own dreams brought a bit of reality to the novella.

Released: Arkham Horror: To Fight the Black Wind has been released for almost a month now. Read the first chapter for free.

Review: From Jimbo’s Awesome SFF Reviews. It’s safe to say he liked BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident.

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Crypticon Seattle Schedule, May 4-6

by Jennifer Brozek 2. May 2018 08:55

Dealers Room
If I’m at not a panel, I will be in the Dealers Room with Apocalypse Ink Productions. I will have copies of my newest books, including Arkham Horror: To Fight the Black Wind and The Nellus Academy Incident. Come by and see me.

  • Friday 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 11am -7pm
  • Sunday 11am -5pm


FRI 5PM    Cascades 9        Start Writing, Stay Writing (Mod)
Have you dreamed of writing your own stories? Dying to get published? Maybe you are looking for tips to keep you moving forward? A panel of writers will share their favorite tips on getting started, staying motivated and improving your work. Panel discussion is designed for beginner or intermediate writers across a variety of forms like short story, novel and screenplay. This panel will provide a foundation for other writing panels and workshops this weekend.
James Gillen, Rebecca Brown, Jennifer Brozek (M), Julie McGilliard, Jerome St. Martin


SAT 1PM    Cascades 9        Jennifer Brozek Author Reading (Mod)
I will be reading from TO FIGHT THE BLACK WIND. Psychologist Carolyn Fern is searching for the cause of a patient’s terrible nightmares that leave her both mentally and physically scarred.


SUN 11AM    Cascades 9        Crafting Compelling Protagonists (Mod)
So often great stories also have great protagonists. A protagonist can pull audiences in or leave them out in the cold. This panel of authors will discussion what makes a compelling protagonist and how to craft one in your short story, novel, screenplay or other creative work.
Jennifer Brozek (M), Cat Rambo, John Lovett, Jerome St. Martin

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The Jennifer Award for April 2018

by Jennifer Brozek 1. May 2018 08:16

From now until I decide I want to stop doing this, I will be giving out a monthly “Jennifer Award” for the best new-to-me thing I read that month. This can be fiction or non-fiction. It can be an essay/article, a short story, a novelette, a novella, or a novel. It doesn’t matter when it came out. It only matters that this is the first time I read it and I thought it was the best thing I read all month. Yes, it is completely subjective and biased towards what I like to read.

The winner will receive a shiny digital badge and a $5 gift card.

April’s winner is Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys. This book is due out on July 10, 2018. I have it pre-ordered on the kindle, but Seanan was sweet enough to loan the ARC of it to me to read because I wanted it NOW. I look forward to rereading this one again on the kindle.

Like Winter Tide, Deep Roots has the same evocative, lush language that drew me into the “Innsmouth Legacy” story. It took a long time for me to read this novel—on purpose. This was a mental meal that I enjoyed one chapter at a time, putting it down so I could savor the story and the prose. And savor it I did. While Deep Roots didn’t have the newness of Emrys’ unique take on the Lovecraft Mythos, it expanded it in all the right ways. Deep Roots is a worthy successor to Winter Tide.

2018
Jan: Godfall and Other Stories by Sandra M. Odell
Feb: “When We Fall” by Kameron Hurley
Mar: The Alastair Stone Chronicles by R.L. King
Apr: Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys

 

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Latest Releases


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

http://www.jenniferbrozek.com/pix/Last-Days-of-Salton-Academy_200px.jpg
The Last Days of Salton Academy
YA Horror

(Out of Print)

http://www.jenniferbrozek.com/pix/NeveLetMeOmnibus200.jpg
Never Let Me
YA SF-Thriller Omnibus

Amazon | Barnes&Noble |
Permuted Press

http://www.jenniferbrozek.com/pix/NeverLetMeDieCover200.jpg
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."