Jennifer Brozek | Wordslinger & Optimist! - Page 2

10 Things That May Or May Not Have Happened at OryCon

by Jennifer Brozek 11. November 2014 11:19

(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.

Tags: ,

ORYCON 36 and AUTHORFEST SF 8

by Jennifer Brozek 4. November 2014 09:04

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

FRIDAY Nov 7
4:00pm - 5:00pm, Jefferson: Strong Characters in SF

SATURDAY, Nov 8
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.)

SUNDAY, Nov 9
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.

Tags: ,

Bubble and Squeek for 3 Nov 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 3. November 2014 08:48

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.

Tags: , ,

Freelancer Summary October 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 1. November 2014 12:28

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.

October

 

2014.10.01

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.

2014.10.02

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.

2014.10.03

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

2014.10.04

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.

 

 

Sunday

2014.10.05

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

2014.10.06

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

2014.10.07

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.

2014.10.08

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

2014.10.09

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

2014.10.10

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

2014.10.11

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

 

 

Sunday

2014.10.12

Answered pub industry email.

2014.10.13

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

2014.10.14

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

2014.10.15

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

2014.10.16

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.

2014.10.17

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

2014.10.18

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

 

 

Sunday

2014.10.19

Answered pub industry email. PR approval.

2014.10.20

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

2014.10.21

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

2014.10.22

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

2014.10.23

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

2014.10.24

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

2014.10.25

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

 

 

Sunday

2014.10.26

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

2014.10.27

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

2014.10.28

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

2014.10.29

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

2014.10.30

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

2014.10.31

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.

Tags:

NaNoWriMo 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 28. October 2014 15:18

I am gearing up to participate in NaNoWriMo again, officially, this year. I don’t participate every year. My thoughts on it have changed. When I first started, back in…uh…2006?

[I know I participated in 2007. I wrote THE LITTLE FINANCE BOOK THAT COULD back then. But I think I did Regresser’s Evolution in 2006. There’s a novel that will never see the light of day. But, I digress…]

When I first started, I looked at NaNo as motivation to finally finish a novel in a concrete amount of time. Now, I look at NaNo as a conveniently placed “get shit done before the end of the year” motivator. Thus, I don’t always traditionally participate. One year, it was “finish all of the contracted short stories” NaNo. Another, it was “finish this damn RPG sourcebook” NaNo.

However, when the stars align, and I have a new novel to write, and it is scheduled for the fall, I try to schedule it for NaNoWriMo. This year, everything has fallen into place and it’s time for me to write the next Melissa Allen book, NEVER LET ME LEAVE. The first Melissa Allen book, NEVER LET ME SLEEP, was written during the 2011 NaNo in 13 days. That will not happen here. Mostly because it is a bigger book with more principle characters.

Now. Some people love NaNo. Some people hate it. I use it as a tool. It is an artificial deadline and it gets me working to deadline speeds. Most of the time, I look at my NaNo draft as a 50,000+ word outline and my next draft is the real book. This is my recommendation to everyone. Your NaNo book is your detailed outline. Nothing more.

I know I will do well because this is what I do the rest of the year. Only, I need to make my words publishable words. So far, this year, I’ve written about 145,850 new words of fiction. Never mind the emails, contracts, editing, etc… I’ve done. That’s just under an average of 15,000 new words to be published every month of the year. Or 3650 new fiction words a week. Or an average of 521 new fiction words every single day of the year.

Obviously, I don’t write every single day of the year. To date, my least amount of words written in one day (when I wrote) was: 11 (Jan 14). The most: 4512 (Feb 21, Rainforest Writing Retreat).  The point is this: I wrote steadily and consistently to an average weekly word count. If I wasn’t writing, I editing but thinking about writing.

It’s nice to be part of the yearly writing mob scene because people who don’t really understand what it is like to write every day get a taste of it. Some people love it. Some people don’t. I’m going to enjoy my NaNo time and the fact that people, for at least a little while, understand what it is to be consumed by story writing.

I’m GaanEden on NaNoWriMo. Feel free to become my writing buddy.

Tags: ,

APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING Cover Reveal

by Jennifer Brozek 21. October 2014 10:48

This is my favorite book cover to date.

Cover art by Fernando Cortes.
Cover design by Matt Youngmark.
Published by Evil Girlfriend Media.
Introduction by Jody Lynn Nye.
Release date: 16 Jan 2015

 

Tags:

Tell Me - Donald J. Bingle

by Jennifer Brozek 19. October 2014 23:07

Don Bingle is a longtime convention buddy who is as kind as he is well spoken. I’m happy to let him tell you about the Frame Shop and why he, as an author, will never use you in one of his books.

---
Writing Characters to Fit the Plot

Every once in a while, I see a t-shirt that says “Be nice to me or I’ll put you in my next novel.” My non-writer friends think it is funny. Heck, a few writers I know have worn such shirts. Truth is, those t-shirts really irritate me. Why?

First, they disrespect writers and the process of writing. They suggest that writers don’t work and struggle and subtly mold their own creations; they just steal them fully-formed as they are walking by. This is a corollary to my irritation when I hear people—not just people, but authors—say that the characters simply tell the writer what to write and he or she just writes it down, like a scribe or personal secretary who takes dictation. Writing is simply not that easy; writing characters is not that easy.

Look, I’m not only a character, but I’ve played lots of different characters (about six hundred different characters) in classic roleplaying tournaments), from dwarves and elves and orcs to spies, princesses, occultists, librarians, paladins, thieves, mercenaries, monsters, pirates, artists, clerics, mages, kender, femme fatales, little kids, clones, and aliens (even sentient weapons and insects). So I know about getting into character and creating dialogue and actions that remain true to that character’s personality, abilities, and world view. I understand how certain behavior or dialogue may not ring true for a given character. But, that doesn’t mean it springs forth from the ether and doesn’t take any effort to create. Even if struck by sudden inspiration, a writer must craft an idea and word and place it so as to effective for his or her purposes in a story or novel.

Second, they misunderstand the relationship between characters and plot. When I was writing classic roleplaying adventures, one of the key components was building characters with the correct skills, equipment, abilities, personalities, and motivations to be able to take on the quest and, with difficulty, be able to handle the tasks necessary to succeed. On top of that, the characters had to have a reason to stay and work together, but enough conflict to make the group dynamics interesting.

The same is true in writing stories and novels. You just can’t drop your buddy, Bill, into whatever you happen to be writing. Your psychotic neighbor, Adriane, also isn’t a natural fit to be a mob boss or liche queen. The characters need to have motivations, quirks, flaws, personalities, abilities, and speech-patterns which are appropriate for the setting and story you are telling. Sure, everyone’s a product of their environment and their experiences, and there may be aspects of characters, turns of phrasing, physical features, personality quirks, flaws and phobias, and minor vignettes or small pieces of business (business in the theatre sense of identifying or defining physical movements) that are translatable into your writing project. But that’s different than wholesale incorporation of a real life person into a story.

Since my most recent project, Frame Shop is a mystery/thriller set in a writers’ group and I am, not surprisingly, in a writers’ group, this topic has been much on my mind. I confess that I hid much of this project from the group during most of the primary writing to avoid speculation about whether this or that character was, or was based on, this or that real life person. I showed the group action scenes or bits of dialogue between one of the writers and a hit man, but I never asked the group to review the scenes that take place at the writers’ group, itself. Even then, when I sent the full draft to a few beta readers who are in the group, cautioning them that I build characters with the characteristics needed for the story, the first responses I got were all about who they thought the various characters resembled.

For the record, none of them are meant to be anyone I know. Sure, some are of the same age or sex or artistic specialty or profession as people I know, but one or two superficial attributes does not a three-dimensional character make. To the extent the characters were based on anybody, I’d have to say they were all based on various aspects of me (including the hack writer, the aw-shucks NYSE best-seller, and the self-doubting, shy memoirist), especially the unlikeable ones.

So the next time you read a book or chat with a writer, give the author a bit of respect, because writing, especially good writing, takes some work. And, if you think you recognize a personality characteristic or quirk or bit of dialogue from real life, chalk it up to their ability to weave their experiences into credible, realistic fiction, not laziness and theft.

Some writers only write what they know, but plenty of writers make up most of what they write. As I put it in a bio once:  “[Donald J. Bingle] has written short stories about killer bunnies, civil war soldiers, detectives, Renaissance Faire orcs, giant battling robots, demons, cats, time travelers, ghosts, time-traveling ghosts, barbarians, a husband accused of murdering his wife, dogs, horses, gamers, soldiers, Neanderthals, commuters, kender, and serial killers. Of those subjects, he has occasional contact in real life only with dogs, cats, gamers, and commuters (unless some of those are, unknown to him, really time travelers, ghosts, demons, serial killers, or murder suspects).

Sorry, but no, you won’t be in my next novel.

Aloha.
Donald J. Bingle
Check out the Kickstarter for Frame Shop.

Tags:

Bubble and Squeek for 14 Oct 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 14. October 2014 09:03

Busy, busy, busy writing and editing. Here are some links for you.

Authorgraph: You can get a number of my books electronically signed by me.

Article: The Anthology Balance. I wrote an article for the Locus blog about the balance between diversity and what sells. Hint: diversity sells.

Review: Shattered Shields video review by Other Realms Book Reviews. This is a first for me. Kind of exciting. She liked it.

Review: Shattered Shields. This one is from 50 Book Challenge. Another good review.

Podcast: Geekerati interviews me and Bryan Thomas Schmidt about Shattered Shields and a myriad of other things.

Horror Selfies: Read more horror! It's good for your heart. Also, don't forget about All Hallows Read. Give a scary book for Halloween.

Tags: , , , ,

Tell Me - Derek J. Goodman

by Jennifer Brozek 13. October 2014 19:14

As a fellow Permutant, I'm happy to showcase a new endeavor by Derek J. Goodman and our mutual publisher, Permuted Press. I would love to have one of my books turned into a movie.

---
Hi, my name is Derek J. Goodman, and I would like to talk about the Kickstarter for the movie The OneStop Apocalypse Shop, based on my novel The Apocalypse Shift.

The one thing I get asked the most about the novel is if I, like the characters, have ever worked the graveyard shift at a convenience store. The answer is yes, I did indeed work for a year doing the night shift at a 7-11 in a seedy section of Denver. It is, without a doubt, the worst job I’ve ever had. I could tell you stories. But after a certain amount of time passed, I found myself actually growing nostalgic about it. Not because I actually wanted to go back and do it again, but because, unlike most of my jobs since, it was interesting. The idea occurred to me that if vampires, werewolves, and zombies had walked through that door, it wouldn’t have changed anything. That job would have been equally as crazy.

And so I came up with stories of the OneStop and the poor schmucks who worked there. The OneStop was in a special section of the city that tends to attract magical forces once the sun goes down. Most of the monsters that walk through the door are just minding their business like any other customer. They want Twinkies, nachos, doughnuts, Slim Jims, and Froztees. But every so often some mad power-hungry demon might come in for a quick bite on their way to destroying the world. The crew at the OneStop need to stop them. It’s part of their job, right up there with mopping the floor, keeping the coffee pots full, and ringing up the customers.

The Kickstarter is being run by my publisher, Permuted Press, who happen to have several really talented film students among their staff. The script will be by Ryne Driscoll and it will be directed by David Walker. I recently had the opportunity to talk to them in person and I’m confident that the project is in good hands. This is all around a great opportunity and I’m happy to be a part of it.

For further information about the Kickstarter and how to donate to it, you can go to the OneStop Kickstarer site. I really hope that other people will be as excited about this as I am.

Tags:

Not Our Kind

by Jennifer Brozek 7. October 2014 09:08

I usually like what I write. Then there are those stories that make me sit back and think that I’ve leveled up as an author. In my story, “Making Amends in Fanghan”, I’ve taken something relevant and inexplicable (to me) and given it an explanation that is both supernatural and plausible for the culture as I understand it.

I’m talking about the Ghost Cities of China.

Why would the Chinese government built beautiful cites—whole cities—that remain uninhabited? Why would they build more when there are several unoccupied?

You can read my answer in the Kickstarter NOT OUR KIND. I’m dead chuffed to be sharing a TOC with the likes of Alex Bledsoe, Erika Holt, Lucy Snyder, Maurice Broddus, Marissa Lingen, Tim Waggoner and so many more. I hope you join us for the ride.

 

Tags:

Latest Releases


Keystones

Book Three of the Karen Wilson Chronicles,
More InformationBuy Now.


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


Children of Anu

Book Two of the Karen Wilson Chronicles,
More InformationBuy Now.

Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is an award winning editor, game designer, and author.

 Winner of the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication, Jennifer has edited ten anthologies with more on the way. Author of In a Gilded Light, The Lady of Seeking in the City of Waiting, Industry Talk, and the Karen Wilson Chronicles, she has more than fifty published short stories, and is the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.

 Jennifer also is a freelance author for numerous RPG companies. Winner of both the Origins and the ENnie award, her contributions to RPG sourcebooks include Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage Worlds, and White Wolf SAS. Jennifer is also the author of the YA Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident.

  When she is not writing her heart out, she is gallivanting around the Pacific Northwest in its wonderfully mercurial weather. Jennifer is an active member of SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW.