Jennifer Brozek | Wordslinger & Optimist! - Page 2

My Birthday Week

by Jennifer Brozek 8. December 2014 09:12

Today begins my birthday week. (My actual birthday is on 9 Dec, Tuesday.) Birthdays are important to me because, sometimes, I’m twelve. The Husband knows this and he left me a bar of chocolate and a little love note to kick things off. I won the world with that man.

As with most authors, what we really, really, really want for our birthdays is to be acknowledged in some way. I don’t need a gift from you but if you want to gift something to me, I’ve listed some little things out.

1. Like my Amazon author page. (If that’s still a thing.)

2. Leave me an Amazon or GoodReads or Barnes and Noble or DriveThruFiction review. Every single word helps.

3. Like my Facebook fan author page or the Apocalypse Ink Productions Facebook page.

4. Take a picture of one of my books with you or a furry friend or a fabric friend and send it to me.

5. Buy yourself (or a friend) a book from Apocalypse Ink Productions. If it is one of my books and you want a hard copy, I can even sign it for you. If it’s an ebook, I still believe I can sign it for you through authorgraph.

6. Gift yourself with the gift of editing from me.

And I hope you have a great week, too. Ping me on twitter and tell me about it. Send me puppy and kitten pictures. Tell me something awesome about your day.


Breaking Up is Hard to Do

by Jennifer Brozek 5. December 2014 16:32

This month I took a hard look at money coming in and money going out. The money going out exceed the money coming in. Thus, opening up my schedule to freelance editing clients. Then I went back to one of my rules from The Little Finance Book That Could: determine “wants” versus “needs.” A couple things immediately came to mind.

First, DVDs from Netflix. As much as I love getting them, I halved my Netflix bill by dropping that part of the service. We’re keeping streaming because the Husband uses Netflix streaming almost every single day. Thus, it is worth the cost.

Second, my Verio email/website account. This one is definitely a “want.” But it is also very hard to give up. I’ve had this account longer than I’ve known most of my friends—since 1994 when it was owned by a different company. Verio took it over in 2001 (I think). I’ve kept this account all that time. Over two decades.

But, I don’t really use the email or the website anymore. I have my own domain,, for the website and I use yahoo and gmail for my email addresses. The email address has been mostly used for the other accounts I’ve had for so long: Amazon, my bank, PayPal, etc… All these important accounts that, for the most part, I’ve already added 2nd and 3rd email accounts to.

In essence, my Verio account is like me having a paid storage locker filled with once needed books I never intend to read again, but it looks good on reference papers. Occasionally, I glance in it to make sure something important didn’t get lost there but otherwise, it’s useless to me. I’m just being a digital packrat. Or digital hoarder.

There’s a lot of emotions wrapped up in an email / web account I’ve had longer than all my nieces have been alive. At the same time that’s $300/year I don’t need to spend. So, I took a lot of time yesterday officially shifting the accounts to other primary email addresses I use on a daily basis.

This included a lot of swearing as my Live ID was also linked to the old email address. When I opened it up, it forced a merge with Skype which then locked me out of both. Yeah. Not fun. Luckily, the Husband was able to fix most of it remotely and finally fixed Skype by uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Now, I get to spend the next couple of weeks making sure that nothing important, that I’ve forgotten about, is linked to the Verio account and remind everyone (once more) to shift my email to one of the email accounts I actually use. Then, before the end of the month… I cancel the account.

It’s weird. It almost feels like I’m breaking up with someone. Untangling everything, dredging up old memories and forgotten lore. Having second thoughts then letting reason prevail. When I hit the “cancel” button, I can only hope that I didn’t leave something important behind to be lost to the digital void.


Bubble and Squeek for 3 Dec 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 3. December 2014 09:46

Article: An SFSignal Mind Meld on the Best Book Openings.
Interview: Wag the Fox interviewed me about Apocalypse Girl Dreaming

Podcast: Baen Books Podcast: BFRH 2014 11 21. Bryan and I talk about Shattered Shields.

Review: SF Crowsnest reviews Shattered Shields. It appears that the review, Kelly Jensen, really liked it. Awesome.

Review: Bookwraiths review of Shattered Shields. 3 out of 5 stars but really like it.

Sale: Apocalypse Ink Productions is running a Winter Special. Code: WINTER2014. 20% entire order. If you ever wanted my Karen Wilson Chronicles, or Industry Talk... or Jay Lake's Process of Writing... or Ivan Ewert's Gentlemen Ghouls series... or Peter M. Ball's Flotsam series... or Dylan Birtolo's Sheynan series... now is the time.

Writers: I am now open to edit your work. Here are my freelance editor rates.

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Freelance editing rates

by Jennifer Brozek 1. December 2014 17:17

Give the gift of editing for your favorite writer or to yourself.

All prices include a Skype call if desired.

Short stories up to 7500 words. $35/hour. 2 hour minimum (Usually doesn’t take me more than 2 hours).

Editorial read on a novel. $35/hour. Average is about 10 hours. (This is not copy editing. This is a chapter by chapter analysis of the novel, looking for holes, repeated writing bad habits, and such.)

Novel copy edits will be based on word count or page count and the due date. The sooner you need the edit, the higher the fee. (Average is $1-3/page – 12 point, double space, courier font.)

Contact me through my contact form or ping me on twitter: @JenniferBrozek.


Freelancer Summary November 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 1. December 2014 09:35

Only one more of these to go.

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. Wrote 2100 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. Googlegroup posts. Personal blog post. (2100)





Answered pub industry email. Wrote 2200 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (4300)


Answered pub industry email. Skype Interview with Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcast. Client call. Blog post. Wrote 2300 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (6600)


Answered pub industry email. Editing for a client. Wrote 2700 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (9300)


Answered pub industry email. Editing for a client. Art notes for novella. Skype interview. Wrote 3000 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (12300)


Convention prep. A whole lot of it. Editing for a client. Layout proof. Wrote 2300 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (14600)


OryCon. Panels. Publisher meeting. Back cover copy of a book. Wrote 1700 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (16300)


OryCon. Panels. Publisher meeting. Shattered Shields release party. Wrote 1300 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (17600)





OryCon. Panels. Powell’s group signing. Answered pub industry email.


Answered pub industry email. Proofed final of Dreams of a Thousand Young. Editing for a client. Anthology admin stuff. Wrote 2200 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (19800)


Answered pub industry email. AIP Blog post. Personal Blog post. Editing for a client. Anthology admin stuff. Wrote 2500 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (22300)


Answered pub industry email. Baen Universe Podcast. Processed proof notes for FROST. Wrote 2200 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (24500)


Answered pub industry email. Processed edits on an anthology story and returned it to the editor. Anthology admin stuff. Wrote 2300 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (26800)


Answered pub industry email. Reoutline act four of NLML. Wrote 3200 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (30000)


Answered pub industry email. Article for Wrote 2400 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (32400)





Wrote 2600 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (35000)


Answered pub industry email. Invoiced a client. AIP Blog post. Reoutline act four of NLML. Reading at University Bookstore. Wrote 2600 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (37500)


Answered pub industry email. Wrote an SF Signal Mind Meld. Invoiced a client. Wrote 2500 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (40000)


Answered pub industry email. Contract negotiation x2. Author picture photoshoot. Wrote 3500 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (43500)


Answered pub industry email. Signed contract to be a special guest at the 2015 Gamehole convention. Signed contract to be a GoH at LepreCon 2015. Wrote 2500 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (46000)


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 4180 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (50180)


Answered pub industry email. Article for SFWA blog. Wrote 620 words on NEVER LET ME LEAVE. (50800)





Updated AIP store. AIP Blog post. FROST last minute details.


Answered pub industry email.


Answered pub industry email. Wrote 1850 words for Girls on Games chapter.


Answered pub industry email. Answered an interview.


Answered pub industry email. Answered convention survey. Blurb for a novel.


Answered pub industry email. Answered SFWA survey. Answered HWA survey.


Answered pub industry email. Back cover copy. Paid PA.





Answered pub industry email. Update AIP website. Wrote 101 words for Girls on Games chapter.


Thanksgiving Excitement

by Jennifer Brozek 29. November 2014 10:08

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

by Jennifer Brozek 21. November 2014 15:27

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.

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Bubble and Squeek for 18 Nov 2014

by Jennifer Brozek 18. November 2014 09:23

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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


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

The Nellus Academy Incident
YA Battletech
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| 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.