Category Archives: Jana Blogs

Sunday Small Talk

Just a drive-by posting. I’m finally back in the states and obviously I didn’t write too much on the trip but I did noodle around with a post-apocalyptic story. I’m busy researching it now. It’s going to have to be me writing at my fastest though. Wish me luck.

I did get great news over the vacation. My Christmas story set in Saint Augustine has been picked up by Dreamspinner for the holiday offerings. That made me grin. I don’t write a lot of contemporary but I had fun with this one. More on this when I’m more awake.

And I came home to having to look over the proofs for Blood Red Roulette so that’s pretty exciting. I’ll need to do that tomorrow.

Sunday Small Talk

A day late. For a lot of reasons but mainly because a) I don’t have much to say b) I’m running around like a fool trying to get things ready for the birthday trip I’m taking. I leave Wednesday and I won’t be doing a small talk next sunday because I’ll be gone, it’s father’s day and my birthday.

My main accomplishment is finishing up the last edits on Blood Red Roulette. The only things left to do for that is the galley proofs and my marketing plan. Speaking of which it’s a little over 2 month to the cover reveal and boy are you going to love it!

The only thing I have for you otherwise is a ton of writing links, several for marketing that I really need to sit down and absorb.


How Much Really Needs to Be in Your Novel’s Opening Sentence?

Your Writing Sweet Spot

What’s Really Happening When You Think You Are Lazy

Hate Book Marketing? 4 Tips To Help You Change Your Mindset and Sell More Books

Purpose: The Missing Link Between Characters’ Motives, and Depth

Five Tips for Creating an Engaging Space Battle

What Writers Can Learn From the Roleplaying Concept of “Flavor”

Authors Beware! 6 New Writing Scams to Watch Out For.

Writing Your Character’s Inner World

4 Ways to Write a Better Antagonist

5 Ways Repetition Is Hurting Your Novel

9 Top Book Marketing Takeaways from BookExpo 2018

Think Small to Avoid Writer’s Block

My Best Marketing Tip Yes, true but this seems oversimplified to me. I’ve seen great books languish and total crap succeed wildly.

Giving Your Hero Sympathetic Problems

What to Look for in a Book Publicist—Plus Tips for Going It Alone

Self-publishing News: Amazon’s Latest Sledgehammer

The Opposite Of “Kill Your Darlings”

The Isolated Sentence Test

Write By Accident, Refine By Design

Five Things You Need As You Begin A Career As A Self-Published Author

Rainbow Snippets

This will probably be my last snippet for a couple of weeks. I’ll be on vacation in the Canadian maritimes with iffy internet and no time anyhow. It should be a great time.

I’ll be continuing with These Haunted Hills. I’ve skimmed over the fox hunting bit and now they’re back at Brendan’s cabin.

“There is something I probably should have mentioned before we trekked into the woods,” Joshua said as Brendan dug in a pocket for a key.

Brendan side eyed him. “Is it as bad as the possibility of possession by a ghost?”

“Worse. Ticks.”

Brendan shuddered. “Oh gross. Yeah, we should have thought of that.”

“We should use the bathroom mirror to check our backs for them. Tell me it’s not tiny.”

“It’s small but you can see most of your back.”

“Good because I thought it would be awkward if we had to check each other. Not that I’d overly mind but I should probably know you more than a day before I start getting naked and say check my ass for ticks.” Josh felt the fire of a blush swamp him.

Brendan choked. “That would be awkward yes.”

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Sunday Small Talk

I’ve been quiet again. I was racing the clock on a holiday story. I sent it in Saint Augustine Florida. I have to admit, I lived 3 1/2 years in Florida and didn’t like it much. I’m very sensitive to heat so that played a role. It was also the worst time of my life (after my surgical career ending injury). In spite of having great friends there without whom I wouldn’t have lasted there, it was rough for me.

That said, I loved Saint Augustine. I don’t really see me retiring to FL but I would consider St. Aug. Some of the research I did for the story included things that either weren’t there when I moved there in 2001 or I didn’t have time/money to investigate when I was there. Now I sort of want to go back. I think I’ll wait until the proposed Star Trek land is made and the Star Wars hotel (and hit Diagon Alley on the way).

It’s funny that I wrote a contemporary Christmas story (my holiday stories are often pagan) but almost all the holiday open calls are for ‘other’ holidays instead of Christmas. Mine was meant to be Saturnalia. That was even the file name. I researched it with a Llwellyn author. No dice. My brain’s a jerk.

I’m trying to write a post apocalyptic solarpunk but I’m not sure how well it’s going. wish me luck.

And I’ve decided to post writing links I’ve gathered from various places around the web, mostly from my friends.

How To Read, Edit, and Evaluate Your Writing With Fresh Eyes

Use Book Excerpts To Promote Your Book This one I do!

How to Spot Self-Publishing Scams This just came up, not as a self pub but an ‘indie’ publisher. Some of them are predatory too. Just google writer beware as well and check out the various websites that warehouse these jerks.


Book Marketing: How Smart Collaboration Between Authors Helps Sell Books – A Case Study I’ve been seeing this a lot lately. Let me add, please don’t send out a newsletter daily when you’re doing this

Book Production: Bookbinding Options for Print-on-Demand Self-published Books

Older Authors Refuse to Fade Away: May 2018 AskALLi IndieVoices Broadcast

The 5 Stages of Editing Grief OH do I know these well

Synopsis: Why All Writers Need One Even Though They Hate It Loathe is a better word

Rainbow Snippets

I’m busy trying to clean my apartment before heading to the parents for weeks (summer break). It is not going well.

Have a little more of These Haunted Hills Joshua and Brendan have arrived back at Brendan’s cabin and Josh remembered the foxes Brendan heard the night before. They’re out looking for signs of them (Josh is a fox researcher)

Joshua trekked off into the woods with Brendan trailing behind. They followed one of the paths for a while before Josh came to a stop. “We’re going to go off the path now. That way looks promising. Just watch your footing. Cell phones don’t work out here so good and I’d hate to have to carry you back.” Okay, he’d love to have his arms wrapped around Brendan but not in that way.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Rainbow Snippets

I usually have a professional conference to go to over Memorial Day but I didn’t go this year. I couldn’t stay at home for the family party as I had doctor’s appointments and work stuff to do here in Ohio. So I went to the Feast of the Flowering Moon pow wow yesterday and I’ll probably go hiking in the Hocking Hills where These Haunted Hills is set. I should be cleaning house and writing but we’ll see how it goes (I’m having a bad sugar day and moving seems like too much effort).

Picking up with the next chapter, in Josh’s pov. They’ve just arrived back at Brendan’s cabin after the ghost hunting in the hotel

Josh followed Brendan to his cabin. He’d never been out to this group of resort cabins before but the area was sweet. He wouldn’t mind shacking up here for a while even if it was practically his back yard. Behaving himself was going to be a problem. Seeing Brendan excited and a little scared had stoked something inside Josh. He’d been afraid meeting his hero would go just like the saying warned. He’d have hated it if Brendan had turned out to be an entitled asshole but instead it broke Josh’s heart seeing Brendan so sad. Something changed today and he had a frightening, probably angry ghost to blame. Of course he’d nearly lost Brendan when things got exciting. He’d been sure the man would have bolted had he been able to get out the door. Truth be told, Josh might have joined him but he’d never let Brendan know that. He needed to play it cool, be the wise ghost hunter and not flee like Egon and company in the library scene.

This is what I’m imagining the hotel looks like if you add another wing to it.
abandone hotel

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Rainbow Snippets

So it’s been raining for a week destroying two hiking trips and I’m pretty sure we’ll have to drag out the farm tractor to cut this grass. I’m in West Virginia at the moment cat sitting my brother’s clowder of cats while he and his wife are in some all inclusive resort. So far all the fur babies are fine but now that I’ve been here a week they’re used to me and are starting to act up. I had hoped to use the time to write but man it’s been slow going. (but I did have my SF novella picked up so that made for a happy week).

I’m still with These Haunted Hills. The boys are still talking beer.

“I do like beer, wine and whiskey too but I’m trying not to drink much, at least not alone.” Brendan rubbed his own arms, trying not to think hard on that. He had crawled into a bottle for a while after Connor died. He’d climbed out again quickly enough but he didn’t like to tempt fate much.

“I’m sorry. I should have thought of that.”

Joshua’s pained tone hit hard. “No, that’s fine. Don’t worry about it. I like that you don’t pussyfoot around me. Too many people do that since Connor died. I’d love to go to those microbreweries with you.”

And it’s been a while since I posted a picture and I think I might have shared one like this but here’s what Brendan’s cabin looks like.


If you’d like to stay, this is Hillside Cabin from the company Cabins by the Caves It’s one of the smaller cabins. It’s a lovely location with plenty of hiking to do (it’s about the one thing my area has going for it).

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!