Triggered & Ticked

“Why do you have to be so mean?” I don’t consider myself being mean. I’ve been writing  for a long fucking time. I published my first book in 2011. There, I was naive and stupid. Things I know now, I wouldn’t have done way back then. I haven’t been hardened yet, but I guess I’m a whole lot meaner than what I used to be. After following bad advice after bad advice, I’ve learned and studied my craft hardcore. That’s when I took all my nice little books off the shelf and they haven’t returned to the shelf ever since. Maybe they will, I don’t know. But in that hard work and studying, I read a ton of books. Not one book will ever be 100% perfect. I can find errors quickly. I look for that shit as a writer/reader. There are things that really piss me off. Here are the following annoying things that tick me off.

  1. Demanding me to retweet your books. I don’t retweet books that I haven’t read. There are probably over 10,000 authors on Twitter, begging people to buy their books. Normally when someone is that demanding, I unfollow and block them. Seems childish? Maybe but I don’t retweet books, I haven’t read. That’s false advertising and expecting me to give you a great review when I haven’t even seen what your book is all about. If you’re going to constantly come at me with “Why haven’t you retweet my books?” I’m going to say goodbye. See ya later.
  2. Failing to edit your books. A simple concept but so many “writers” love publishing shit and taking advantage of readers. I don’t enjoy paying $20.00 a book and finding out that you can’t tell the damn difference between your and you’re; pique, peek, and peak, and other crap that’s basic grammar.
  3. Going to author groups and being sucker-punched. The holier than thou types. The ones who claim they have a best-selling book, when in fact they either don’t list their books or they have even fewer stars than you do. But they managed to get their gang of writers who are just like them and they corner you. I tell new writers to avoid bitchy groups.
  4. Back-stabbers: Those are the authors that enjoy bombing newbies who just released their first book. These writers hide in their pathetic groups and wait for fresh meat. They don’t read your book but they’re the ones who enjoy giving you a one-star review. We’re in a competition with each other. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
  5. Begging me to switch books for a five-star review. I don’t buy, trade, or beg for reviews. But I get this all the time. “Will you give me a five-star and I’ll give you a five-star in return?” Yes, there are authors who do that shit. They take advantage of readers and thus looking all pretty with their endless five-star reviews. As a reader, you go to read it and you can’t understand their problematic books. This happens more with self-published books than traditionally published books.
  6. Retaliation reviews. I received a tweet that threatened to make my life a living hell, if I give her book a one-star review. She no less threatened to bomb all of my books with one-star reviews. I told her to have at it. If it makes you feel splendid, go for it. But I told her that I give honest reviews. I don’t blow smoke up a writer’s ass. Why would she threaten me unless she knows that her book super sucks? That’s a red flag for me.
  7. Bad writers giving bad advice: This goes with the whole group mentality. So many writers believe they cornered the market on selling books, when in fact they haven’t sold shit. These hide in a brilliant disguise. When they give bad advice, your own writing sucks. If you want the best advice, read other books. Study grammar books. Study how a story should flow. Don’t take some writer’s bad advice. And there are quite a few bad writer’s group.
  8. Shattering a new writer’s hopes and dreams. You tell them you’re a new writer. They go on these huge rants about how we already have enough writers. You have nothing to add. You need to pick  a new profession. This is where that thick skin comes into play. They have a few others that gang you in a group and make sure you know that you’re unwanted.
  9. Authors posing as editors. There are a ton of them out there. My rule of thumb is to meet them in person. If you can’t meet them in person, you don’t need them. Don’t hire them. Find someone who is local.
  10. Thinking you don’t have to edit your book, because your publishing company will do it for you. I don’t care what a publisher puts on that book. When you give me that advance review copy, it better look pretty. You’re the damn writer, check your shit before you send it to your editing team. Editors won’t catch, all of your errors. They make mistakes all the time. I couldn’t begin to tell you all the books I’ve seen that have switched to second person. I can’t get them when they have dialogue but I can get them if it’s in the main body of work. Missing quotation marks, failing to capitalize the first letter or word after a period, overkill on commas, overkill on em dashes. I spot that shit quicker than anyone. I will write a nice little note to their publisher, telling them what needs to be fixed. I don’t care. That shit should have been fixed before it was distributed to me. Word to the wise, it better be a clean copy. I dock stars for that shit. I don’t care if you have a contract or you’re self-published. By the time I read it, that book needs to flow like water. If I have to spend a large amount of time, deciphering sentences, there goes another star. I don’t have time to re-read the same sentence twenty times. I’ll write a nice little note stating the problems. It’s up to them if they want to fix their shit. If not, I hope they’re prepared to receive one-star reviews.

 

It may seem like I’m being a bitch. But I’m prone to blunt honesty. I can go to sleep at night, knowing I told the truth. Knowing, I didn’t scam people out of their hard-earned money. Not in this day and age. People are scared and they don’t know if we’ll wake up the next morning in another great depression. It’s our job to make sure they can drift away to a place in their minds. When we tell a great story, those readers won’t put that book down. They will thirst for more from you. When you put out a bad book, whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, you make all of us all look bad. Readers will become frustrated once they pick up book after book of poor quality.

  1. Have your friends and family members help you with self-editing after you ran through your work-in-progress a few times. It’s hard for writers to find their own mistakes. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes will help.
  2. Hire an editor. Make sure your editor knows everything about your book. That way they can give you advice on how to fix it. They aren’t going to write your book for you. You have to do that on your own.
  3. Find beta readers or reading groups from the local library. They should receive your book after it’s been edited. Not before it’s been edited.
  4. Take it back to your editor for a final draft.
  5. Give out advanced review copies on Netgalley for reviewers. This gives you free publicity and it helps out with your reviews. That way when you put up for sale, you have the reviews.
  6. Believe in yourself. Nobody is going to instill confidence in you. You have to believe in yourself. And everyone is going to receive a one-star review at some point. It’s how you deal with that negative review that will set you apart from the rest of us. Don’t threaten reviewers. Don’t type in something snarky. You will be called an obnoxious and self-righteous twit. Don’t respond to reviews at all. If you do, make sure you say this… “Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my book. I’m honored that you selected my book in the first place and I appreciate your honesty.” That’s it. It’s simple and sweet. You can buy more bees with honey than you do vinegar. Yes, that sounds trite but it’s the damn truth.

 

 

“Truth? You can’t handle the truth!”-A Few Good Men

Types of Reviews, You’ll Receive…

I thought I would bring this back to life. It’s been a while since I wrote a post like this one. Some of it will make you laugh and it’s okay to giggle-snort. Just make sure you aren’t reading this post with some form of a drink in your hands. So here you are, slaving away at your manuscript. You put your heart and soul into your manuscript/novel. Either you or your team put up for sale. Congratulations for making it this far! But I should warn you, you’re up on a huge stage in front of millions and millions… and millions of people. One of two things will happen to you. You’ll either receive bouquets of ruby-red roses and a parade in your honor… OR… you better duck. Be prepared to have rotten tomatoes and dog shit thrown at you. Being a writer is easy. But being an author is extremely terrible. You’re probably a first-time author. You’re pacing back and forth for one review. And then one day, it magically happens! Poof! Your very first review! Do you take a bow or do you cry in your pillow? And for any author who says he or she or they don’t read their reviews… they are all full of shit. The same authors who tell us not to read our reviews, have already read their reviews. And they even responded to those reviews *gasps*. Anyway, if you’re a new author, congratulations. Welcome to the highs and lows of writing blood, sweat, and tears. Be prepared for the following reviews. And yes, these are some of the reviews, you may receive. Tighten up your sphincter because either this will make you cringe or giggle-snort. Wouldn’t it be cool to name a character Giggle-Snort or Giggle-Farts? I call dibs on that. Ahem… without a further adieu… reviews you may receive.

  1. The small talk reviewer/out-of-time reviewer: He/she/they will often type these reviews. “This book is great,” “this book sucks,” “great book,” or “terrible book.” They never tell you why your book is good or bad. They don’t intend on telling you why your book sucked or was great. How is that going to help a writer? You either appreciate or loathe these types of reviewers. You love them because if they believe your book is great, they often leave a five-star review. You hate them when they leave you with a one-star review.
  2. The Mr/Mrs/Miss… Know-It-All Reviewer: This could go one of two ways. We will start with the good one. They will often point out your plot, your characters, your format, your sentence structure, your blurb, your book cover and anything else your book holds. If it’s really good, they will happily brag about your book. If they hate your book… be prepared for some petroleum jelly and tighten your sphincter. These types of reviewers are going to let you know everything you’ve done wrong with your book. And they will always wind up at the top of your reviews because they gave a two to four page synopsis for why your book was absolutely horrendous! And if other reviewers have the time, they will read that one review. This type of reviewer can either make or break your novel. I’m dead serious. They will even list examples of what you screwed up on. If you wrote redundant words, they will inform you without batting an eye. So, either these are already editors or other writers. Beware and tighten your asshole.
  3. The Airhead Reviewer: These are the types that usually type this… “This was an awesome book! I love this book so much!” But there is one tiny catch… they only gave you a one-star review. This happens to all authors. So, even if you did receive your first one-star review, you may have been bamboozled by the airhead reviewer.
  4. The Impatient Reviewer: This mainly applies to those who chose the task of writing a series. If you wrote a series… be prepared to receive this. “Oh man! I love this book so much! When’s the next one coming out? I can’t wait to see what happens to Jack and Jill!” At least they left you with the appropriate star power. But dammit! You just released that book yesterday and they want you to write the next book today! TODAY! Patience is a virtue. But in all seriousness, these are your fans. Love them, praise them, and make sure you respond to them. You don’t want this batch of readers to turn on you.
  5. Family Reviewer: You beg them not to buy your books. Guess what Grandma Jane did? She bought your erotic novel and now the poor thing had a heart attack. “Jen… you’re going to hell for that! I can’t believe you wrote something so vulgar! You need therapy!” Well, you warned them not to buy your book and they bought it anyway. And guess what they’re going to leave… that’s right… “Little Jenny did such a great job! She’s going to be just like Anne Rice! Such amazing talent and I’m so proud of my niece! Isn’t she great?” DELETE… ABORT… NOOOOOO! Oh, Christ! Aunt Nelly left a review! I’m dead in the water anyway. Pro-tip… don’t tell your family members you’re writing a book. Don’t even mention it. Just lie and say you’re working on a blog. Don’t invite them to the release party. Hopefully you’re an orphan. If you come from a large family like I do… prepare to die of humiliation. You begged them not to leave a review. But they did it anyway. And who makes their family members buy their own books? But if you have a large family like I do, you’re not going to send off a hundred books to your family members. It’s a cruel, cruel, world and you’ve got to make a living. And no, you won’t put them in your books! And if you do… make sure they are the first person, you kill off.
  6. The Spoiler Reviewer: This is usually a hate-filled review. They really hate you and your book. They hate you so much, they spoil your book for the rest of the crowd. And they usually title their nasty reviews like this… “Read My Review Before You Read This Shit/Tripe/Bullshit/Crap.” Such a nice way… hopefully, you can report them. They aren’t supposed to spoil your plot for you. And just read all the Fifty Shades Reviews, if you don’t believe me.
  7. SJW Reviewer: Be prepared for them. You know they’re out there. These can turn out like #2 & #6 on this happy list. These reviewers are counting how many diverse characters you have. If you don’t have enough diverse characters, they will let you know it. Be prepared to duck, if you have an all white crew. But here’s the thing they don’t see. We as writers can’t dictate who pops into our heads and who sits on the sidelines. They basically hate your plots.  Never mind the fact that they will never write a book. If they do, it’s going to suck major dick because they will try to please everyone. A book with no plots. Do you want to read that? Anyway to combat this… make sure you have a diverse group. If you don’t want to write in a diverse group, be prepared and I hope you bought some good anal lube. You’re going to receive a rectal pounding.
  8. Censorship Reviewer (AKA Ms/Mr Prudence): Never mind that your book is in its proper category… EROTICA. Never mind that you have ACTION & ADVENTURE checked for your book. These people must have wandered from the Christian site and couldn’t read the sub-genres. Who are these reviewers? The ones who hate swear words and sex. They will let you know your book is vulgar in their review. Never mind that they need their vision checked out. Many erotica writers often beat their heads against the wall. “This is so nasty! You need Jesus! You’re going to hell if you read this book!” Yes, that has happened. They will either leave you a one-star or a five-star by mistake. Grandma Judy… please get your eyes checked out before you read how Tommy slammed Rosie on the glass table, ramming his foot-long cock in Rosie’s ass. At least Rosie was nice enough to say this.. “Oh, God… oh, yes! Fuck me!” I’m just saying Grandma Judy… you may want to double-check your sub-genre selections before you click on the “Buy Now” tab. Snow blowing Jesus is not what you think it means. Chocolate Jesus isn’t a title you should be reading. And avoid this “Nun Gets Ordained.” It doesn’t mean what you think it literally means. We love you, Grandma Judy… we don’t want you to have a heart attack when Rosie gets hammered.
  9. Mr/Miss/Mrs. Potty Mouth Reviewer: They’re mad at you! You better duck if I were you. You see these reviews on authors who chose to end their books on a cliff hanger. WTF? Where’s the next page? Christ… I have to spend another $10.00 on the next book to find out what happens to Jill? Fuck you! These reviewers will curse you out. Ask yourself this… do you really need to end your book on a cliffhanger? Do you think it’s wise to end your book on a cliffhanger? Especially, since, you’re a new author? I’m just checking you here. If you love one star reviews, be prepared for them. They are going to rain down on your head and the people will be pissed off at you. Most of the time, they can return your dreadful cliffhanger. Those who can’t, are going to swear at you. They will call you every name in the foul mouth dictionary. I hope you still have that anal lube. You’re going to be so… screwed. It’s even worse if you didn’t hire a professional editor and ended your book on a cliffhanger. Word to the wise, complete the entire book. Make sure if you do end your book on a cliffhanger, you print the next book in the series, the very next day. Cliffhangers are bad… mmkay?
  10. The Tech-Challenged Reviewer: I see this a lot. Someone dropped the damn ball! They can’t access your story because… 1. They screwed up. 2. They can’t figure their Kindle/Nook/E-Reader out. They will always leave you a one-star review. “I didn’t get the entire book! My copy was bad!” Instead of reaching out to customer service, they leave you a one-star review. They haven’t figured out how to return their copy. But here’s how you handle these guys & gals… you have to read your reviews for this one. You respond to their review and apologize. Remember, customer first? And you send them a FREE copy of your book. They already paid for your book. You give them a PDF form and send it to them. It isn’t that hard. Happy customer=happy reader.
  11. The Where-Did-You-Go Reviewer: This applies to authors who have series. They loved your first book. They ranked you all five-stars… they may even pester the living shit out of you for your next book. But… when you release the next book, they’re gone. You don’t know what happened to them. And you worry about them. If you loved their books, please follow them on their Facebook Author page and follow them on Amazon. That will tell you when their next book will be released.  We need them to come back. But people are impatient creatures. They may have simply grew tired of waiting. You can’t expect readers to stick around for ten years, waiting for your next book to be released.
  12. The Bad Grammar & Spelling Reviewer: These are extremely funny. These reviewers will turn into #2. But there’s only one huge problem with their reviews… they can’t spell and often write in lower case letters. They don’t believe in a dictionary, comma, or a period. Their review is often one long run-on sentence. Most of the time, you’re trying to decipher their negative review. I remember reading one reviewer from Fifty Shades. She claimed she was a school teacher. There was a huge problem with her review… she couldn’t figure out the correct they’re, their, or there. “I believe this book sucked to.” To where? Oh! You meant the word too! Ha! How dumb of me! These will always be a one-star review. They don’t know the difference between roll or role. Never mind they don’t understand the words pique, peek, and peak. These are often hilarious and other reviewers will blast them. You don’t need to respond to them. Just sit back and relax with a bag of popcorn.
  13. The DNF Reviewer: They bought your book. But for some weird reason, they couldn’t complete something they bought. Thanks for the coin! DNF stands for “did not finish.” But they automatically judged your book after reading only five pages. Did they even get past your table of contents? Thank them for the money because they blew it on your book. That makes your one-star review a little better, knowing they paid to read your book. Psst… between you and me… if I were going to pay for a $25.00 book, you better believe I’ll read that book. Money doesn’t grow on trees but to these reviewers, they must be wealthy.
  14. Freebie Reviewers: Never mind that you listed your book(s) for free for that Kindle Countdown program. They often type this in their reviews… “I’m glad I got this book for free because this book sucked ass!” Some countdown programs do work. Some just wait to ding your book anyway. They can turn into any of the numbers, I listed above. They will make sure to point out that they got your book for free. And they will make it known to all the readers on how your book sucked.
  15. The Negative Stars Reviewer: These will also be a one-star review. They often type this. “This book sucked so bad… I wish I could give it negative stars! Fuck, Amazon! We should be allowed to give out negative stars!” They can mesh with any of the archetypes, I listed above. They may or may not point out every single problem in your novel. Word to the wise: make sure your book is professionally edited.

 

These are just some of the vast array of reviewers, I have witnessed. The best way to leave a review is to find something positive in a bad novel and try to finish reading it. To writers, make sure you have a professional editor look at your work before you hit the “Publish Now” button. This will save you a ton of heartache and stress. And if you’re going to read your reviews, make sure it’s on a good day. If you drink and you’re allowed to drink, make sure you have a bottle of your favorite alcohol nearby. All work is meant to be subjective. And people seem not to understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction. If you want to become a writer, make sure you have a thick skin. And if you don’t have one, get one fast. If you cannot afford an editor, put your book up on Wattpad that way other writers can help you improve your skill. Learn from the masters and assholes. If you choose to self-published, be prepared to pay a lot of money. Editors and illustrators are not cheap. You can obtain a cheap one but your quality will suffer. You want readers to dock you because your story didn’t do anything for them. You don’t want readers to slam you for an unedited book. This isn’t a hobby… this is a game. If you treat it as a hobby, stick to Wattpad. Be prepared for other writers to come at you. There are some shady people in the industry. And if you do receive a one-star review, it isn’t the end of the world. Go read all the feminine cup reviews because those are hilarious. And furthermore, welcome to the club, fellow one-star! You made it when those suckers hit.

Epic Fantasy

I guess you could write it in one book, but what would be the point? The reason why I love this genre so much is because of its flexibility. I love fantasy in general. The entire genre is complex and offers many different avenues. There are so many sub-genres within fantasy itself. And I always look at people strangely, when they say they loathe fantasy. But I bet those same people have watched Lord of The Rings or Lion, Witch, and The Wardrobe. Harry Potter also qualifies as fantasy. You hate fantasy? What!?! Have you lost your mind? “Well Star Wars is a fantasy!” Um… no it isn’t. It’s called a Space Opera, which it fits more with sci-fi. Which, I love sci-fi, except for one tiny problem. I hate time skips, jumps, or time turners, or stuff like that. Anything that deals with time, usually leaves big gaping plot holes.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy kind of feeds each other. It’s normal to have a little fantasy into sci-fi and sci-fi into fantasy. Not always does dystopian mean it has to be sci-fi. You can put it in fantasy, too. I always prefer a good fantasy novel. But I do love sci-fi as well. There’s so much you can do with aliens, it’s insane. Maybe it’s because fantasy is normally dominated with tough masculine characters like Conan the Barbarian. That’s normal for people to think of that, when fantasy pops into their heads. But when someone says they hate fantasy, I’m taken aback. It’s like a sucker punch to the gut. There’s a little fantasy in every book. It blows my mind how people can hate one genre of literature.

I won’t get into the sub-genres of fantasy because there are too many to list! I chose epic fantasy because it gives me that flexibility of switching each book into another main character. Sure, I could have put them all in one book but I hate head hopping. So, each one of my books, starts off with a new main character. Epic fantasy normally has a large cast of characters and multiple main characters. The plots are extremely complex and there are multiple plots. You can get away with a lot of shit in epic fantasy. It does carry some sci-fi elements to it. You can have a romance plot, a sci-fi plot, a personal plot, anything you want. They normally carry a high word count and multiple pages. It’s like being on a wild roller coaster. You have corkscrews, hills, dips, and drops. That’s why I love this sub-genre so much. You could have a plot that is a mystery, romance, sci-fi, and multiple other plots. Normally this is told in third person but you can write it in first person point of view. For a while there, I was writing my series in first person and in present tense. I found that writing in present tense is extremely difficult to do. I switched it all to past tense. I like putting humor in mine. Not the offensive type of humor. Just enough to make a person giggle. And when I’m dealing with my characters, they all have a pretty good sense of humor. I do giggle at some of the things, my characters have done/said. It helps with the dramatic scenes. When you lose one of them, it’s hard to handle. I sacrificed many characters. Book 4, was/is the hardest one to write because something major goes down. I have cried and lamented over this book. I feel evil when I have to do something to shake it up.

There are tense scenes that leave my characters calling each other vulgar names. When your character is pissed, they say whatever comes to mind. For the most part, I have plotted out my plot lines for every book. The only thing I don’t know is what my characters say or do. They do it themselves. I give them a scene and they run with it. I give them a topic that is going on in our world, they take it and show me how they handle it. I don’t know what I wrote until I go through the drafts. And then I’m blown away. I really wrote all that? This is the legal way of being insane and getting away with it.

How do I keep my characters in check? For the most part, I memorize all of my major and minor characters. I know all of my contagonists, triagonists, and who is a dirty bird. It may seem like I’ve left plots open but those are filled in with the next book or two books down the line. I memorize everything. It also helps to keep a journal nearby.

What are some of the plots I like to use? I like a good mystery thrown in, romance, sci-fi, steampunk, erotic scenes, humor, sword and sorcery, action, adventure, crime, and anything else I can think of. They aren’t my major plots. I have one major plot that carries over from novel to novel. I won’t say what my major plot is. I have two of them. People normally can guess the first plot but they struggle with the secondary main plot. Nobody has yet to confront me about the secondary main plot. They have confronted me over the first main plot. I just giggle. They think it’s going to go one way and it goes another route. And then they wind up hating this character with a passion. All I can say is… read my tagline. Study my tagline. If a literary agent asked me what my series is about, I would answer with one tagline. That would be the shortest synopsis or proposal ever. And it only contains six words. “What is your series about?” I tell them what it’s about in six words. “No, really… what is your series about?” No, really… six words. I giggle all the time about it. How could it be so simple? I believe writers make their synopsis harder than what it needs to be. You should be able to explain your novel in one sentence. I can explain my entire series in one sentence.

Even when I read these new releases or future releases, I can condense their book into one sentence. I guess that’s why I don’t bother reading the blurbs. Some authors love to write a lengthy blurb or none at all. I don’t bother with them or other reviews. I’ll decide for myself if I loved a book or not. Same with my series. If I figure that I’m doing the dreaded info dumps, I’ll cut that shit out. That is the major drawback of writing a series vs. a stand-alone. You have to explain shit from the previous book into the new book. And you have to make sure your timelines are just right. So many series have failed to have their timelines down. They can’t remember the months or the years, characters did shit. That’s the first thing you do, when you begin writing a series. You outline the entire timelines. I have my characters’ birthdays and when certain events happened.

Will I write another series? Yes. I have four other series planned after this series is completed. I just need to finish reading all the ARCS, I have downloaded. I always delete every ARC I have. This message will self-destruct. I don’t want another writer’s document on my computer or kindle any longer than I need it. I’ve read 17 ARCS. I’m about tapped out on reading. I still have 130 books left to read for the year. I still need to write my own series. Merge book 1 back together again and roll on. I’d like to have at least all the second drafts of my books done by the end of this year. Then I’ll do a massive edit. I’ll sit down and edit all the books at once and then release them. I should be passed April and I’ll retain the rights to my book. I don’t believe mine will ever be traditionally published. That’s okay, I can stick around with the self-published books. The problem, I need an editor. But I don’t want to pay someone who I can’t see eye to eye with. That’s like throwing your money away. I’ve already been through two editors. I’m beyond frustrated at this point. So, to keep my readers happy, I’ll keep posting my series on Wattpad. Wattpad gives me time to develop as a writer. I know my shit stinks. I don’t care to hear it or read my reviews. And I won’t put it up for sale without an editor. That’s like stealing people’s’ money. I don’t feel good about that. It needs to go through major edits by a professional editor before I stick it back on the shelf again. Many selfies love doing that, I can’t. My moral compass keeps me from doing that. And my illustrator has went MIA. So, I’m back to square one. All I can do is keep editing. And hope that one day, I can put my series up on that shelf again. I do have a theme song, playing in the background that only I can dream about.

Do I think it’s a great series? Yes! Is it something different? Yes! But the problem is that it’s about vampires. Not many, if any literary agents want to deal with another vampire series. You have so many of them out there. So, I call this my throw away series. I own all the rights to it. All I can do is work on being  a better writer for another series. But I love the characters from this series. It will be hard to write another series, when your heart is with one. I feel like I’m letting those characters down. Blame it on Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, and whatever else has to deal with vampires. The general public is maxed out on vampires. It’s even disheartening when literary agents state this in big black bold letters: NO VAMPIRES, ANGELS, OR FAIRIES PLEASE! That really hurts to see literary agents post that. There goes my entire series! And I’ve been working on this for years. I keep hoping that they will stop producing movies and shows with vampires. That way they could ask for vampires again in the future. I don’t see that happening. Not unless you’re Anne Rice or Bram Stoker. So, I’ll post this series on Wattpad and work on a few other series. One is an erotic-comedy (under a pen name), one is a high-fantasy series, one is a sci-fi series, and that’s about it. I have ten stand-alone novels that I plan on writing about. One is in horror, three are historical romances, one is a western-comedy, two are contemporary romances, and a middle-grade novel. I may work on a middle-grade series. None of my future series will be like this one or have this many novels in one series. I would say about three books each. Those I’ll query a literary agent except for my erotic comedy. That one will be self-published. Mainly because it’s really crude. But nobody will be able to tell it’s me that wrote it.

I plan on writing and keep writing. I need to improve my skill. Mr. Stephen King gave out good advice. To become a better writer, you have to read books. You don’t want a surgeon working on you, if they aren’t educated or trained. The same applies to writers. I want to be pinged for my story and not my writing ability.

 

Dear TWD, Grow Sutter’s Balls.

Do you know why I love Kurt Sutter so much? Because the man has balls. In fact, a huge pair. If you don’t know who Kurt Sutter is, he’s the one who created, wrote, and even starred in SOA, Sons of Anarchy. He played the character, Otto. Not to mention, Stephen King had a small role that was hilarious to me. Yes, the man is probably crazy but he knew what the fuck he was doing. He didn’t back down when the Parental Advisory Board came at him. “Your show is too graphic!” Sutter stuck two middle fingers up at them and still produced a pretty graphic show. Not to mention, he worked on The Shield and The Bastard Executioner. To settle his demons, he married the beautiful and talented Katey Sagal. You may remember her from Futurama, Married With Children, and various other shows. I get the man. I understand the message even though it did come off rough. Sutter is about to release a new show that focuses on the Mayans this trip. So, we’re shifting to a Latino show. About fucking time! Sutter, we miss you. Come back! The producer on TWD, doesn’t have a pair of balls anymore. Between Eli Roth and Kurt Sutter, they know their craft. They know how to feed us the violence, we’ve been missing in our lives. The Vikings seem pretty violent but not to the level of Sutter. I make Roth and Sutter the dual kings of violence.

What is happening to The Walking Dead? I believe their team has jumped the fucking gun on this one. Have you thought that maybe people stopped watching due to their favorite characters getting squashed? That’s the real reason, they stopped watching. There are no longer “Team Glenn” or “Team Abraham” shirts coming out. And for the Parental Advisory Board to come out and lecture adult programming is hideous. The Walking Dead was never made for a wholesome family show. Little Jane and Little Johnny weren’t meant to watch that show. Actually, they should be in bed for school. That’s why the show has always been aired late on Sunday nights. When will they stop monitoring other people’s kids? “But, Jen… the show is too graphic! They shouldn’t have shown that!” Um… have you watched Sons of Anarchy? Did you watch True Blood? How about the Vikings? Hey, I’ll even throw in Black Sails? Or even better, Outlander? You’re not used to watching violent shows? What rock did you crawl out of? Go back under your rock. Go watch the news, which has produced more violent shows over the years than any of these shows have. Go read the bible, which has violent passages. Yes, I’ll defend violent FICTIONAL shows.

Think how it would have been, if they bashed in Maggie’s head. The feminist groups would have come for The Walking Dead.

  1. You knew it was going to be a violent show. Did you miss the warning that scrolled on by, your television screens?
  2. It’s a show about the zombie apocalypse. Did you expect everyone to join hands and sing together?
  3. This is a show about surviving the zombie apocalypse. Deaths do happen. That’s true in everyday life. People shoot people. Did you expect them to hand gifts of love to each other?
  4. What part of “Mature Audience” only did you miss as that warning scrolled by?

 

“In this day and age, we don’t need violent shows!” Well, let me help you remove that tampon. What do you think other countries do? You know, where violence happens every day. You know, where kids are strapped with guns? If you want to complain, be blessed that you weren’t born in a country that knows violence all too well. Bombings, war, and the dead laying out in the street. They can’t shield their kids from that. I find it offensive that a Parental Board has the nerve to come at a show that has been and always will be geared towards adults. If you want to watch a show that doesn’t contain violence, may I suggest the Care Bears? How about Rainbow Bright? Let’s make it a sunshine and rainbows theme every day. Maybe Barney would help you out there. Do you need a hug?

As for the producers of The Walking Dead, you need a pair of balls like the ones, Kurt Sutter has. The man maybe demented and crazed, but we LOVE Sutter for it. He gives us, ADULTS what we need. I miss the man. And I can’t wait for his new show to air. Damn, we need someone who won’t back down from the censors. If Kurt ever raised up an army, I’m sure Stephen King and Eli Roth would be his generals. Hell, put me in the mix. My series isn’t meant for younglings either.

Sutter challenged me to go into that dark place. To pull out the worst nightmares. He challenged me to write some fucked up scenes for my series. Between him and King, I went there. I went to that dark place and pulled out some crazy ass shit. The level of violence starts in book 1, and I continue the path of destruction as my series progresses. Don’t expect my new book to be all happiness, lollipops, and rainbows. Shit gets serious in book 4. It will make people cry, what I have in store. This is a fear and a nightmare, written with power. What team would I want to be a part of, if a zombie apocalypse does happen? I want to be on Sutter, Roth, and King’s team. I’ll play with the men of evil, torture, and destruction. I may have ideas they never thought of using. My imaginary balls are in place. I sure as fuck, wouldn’t back down due to censorship.

I feel bad for the special effects team. They had special effects but now they’ve been castrated. They will no longer be allowed to show squashed heads or death scenes. They can’t use their creativity anymore like they used to. And that’s a shame! Way to go, producers and writers of The Walking Dead, now your show, has bored the rest of your loyal fans. They waited for violence. And now, we’re going to be stuck watching the Gummy Bears bouncing off the screen.

As for Kurt Sutter, please hurry up with your new show! We need more producers with balls. We know you have them. We missed your violence, demented beautiful mind, and your explosive scenes. We know, you will rejoin and make a powerful show this time. And this time, this girl plans on watching it from the start.

 

 

ARCS With a Vengeance

I’ve been nailed with a ton of ARCS (advanced review copies of books) the last couple of weeks. It’s nice to be the giver instead of the receiver of book reviews. How do you say to a publisher, I didn’t like the book? It’s completely messed up and wrong! But, you do it anyway because honesty is the best policy or some kind of trite thing to say.

The last four books I read, I was immersed with rich language and I didn’t want to put the book down, when it was over. Three were from debut authors that I deeply loved and had the wind knocked out of me. Those books were really fucking good. So good, I could imagine a movie coming from them. The fifth ARC, I’m currently reading, it has made my stomach churn. Not even off the twelve page and I already listed thirteen things wrong with the book. Make that fourteen now. I’m halfway through this book and my stomach is tied in knots. I’m literally disgusted with this ARC. I hate this ARC with a passion. I’m trying to find the good parts about it and I can’t find any.

Anyway, I plan on finishing these 40 something ARCS and seriously write my own books. The book I’m reading now, man… I know I can write way better than that. It isn’t to toot my own horn or anything. There’s just so many unanswered questions. It isn’t one of those joyous reads that make you feel something great. It leaves a curdle feeling in the pit of your stomach. How can anyone say it was well-written, when it isn’t? Wrong word selections and it jumbles up past and present tense. It’s poorly written and I can’t believe a publisher would risk money on that tripe. Maybe I’m overly judgmental and cruel. One minute the writer uses says (which is present tense) and then she flips it to said (which is past tense). It’s driving me up a fucking wall. Pick a tense and stay in it!

And lately, the current trend is time-hopping. Poorly labeled chapters and lazy named chapters of “then” and “now.” Yes, “then” and “now” as a chapter heading. I hate this tactic and ploy. It’s a trend! Just write the fucking book from start to finish! I don’t remember Agatha Christie writing time skips like this! This is the second book of “then” and “now.” Some writers can pull it off… others, it was a fucking mess from start to finish. I see this as a common theme with mystery and I hate it! Whoever thought this would be a good theme to do… it is annoying.

When will I return to my own world? I don’t know. I have to finish these ARCS and the dozens of books that’s already flashing on my Goodreads that I’m supposed to be currently reading. I’m sorry, Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’m stuck with today’s fiction and it is a world that either produces great novels or the novels, you want to erase from your mind. Incest is a very difficult theme for me to read. I hate it and I don’t care to read about it. It’s left me feeling sick to my stomach. I can’t put my finger on it, I just don’t care for it.

I’m trying to return to my own fictional characters. I miss them but we need a break. I’m 25,000 words in and it is epic fantasy. So, expect it to be a long book anyway. I have so many things to cover in book 4, it will take a while. My readers seem to want the first two books back together again. So, after I finish book 4, I will be rejoining books 1 and 2. After all, it is epic. It’s supposed to be a long book. I have to include world-building as much as I can. So, yes… it will be a while. But hang in there. In the meantime, go read other books. Flood your minds with other series. I’m slowly rebuilding my confidence after I allowed someone to take that power away from me. It won’t happen again.

I have a ton of cool things planned for my epic fantasy. I have a ton of battles to include, swords, sorcery, steam punk weapons and clothing, dragons, vampires, hellfire and brimstone, clouds, murder, and many intricate plots planned for my series. Expect sex. I didn’t want to include rape scenes but I had to go there. It isn’t a ploy tactic, it’s a destruction of two of my lead characters and I’ll rebuild them. If that didn’t happen, it wouldn’t give them the motivation to destroy their enemies. And boy, they have a ton of enemies flying at them. There will be a total of three rape scenes from the main story. I can’t get around it, even though I’ve tried. The story went there and I’m running with it. One is in book 3 which will be the new book 2. One is in the former book 4, which will be the new book 3. And one more… will be in the book I’m currently working on. She’s half in and half out of it. She doesn’t realize what she’s done until it was too late. I’m just trying to avoid writing about it, by reading other books. One thing I’ll never do… is go into graphic details about it. That is something, I won’t do. It just alludes to it. But what happens at the end of the current book… one of my main characters will be in deep shit. This is where shit gets thrown at my main characters. I’m throwing everything including the kitchen sink at them. This is proof that as a woman, you can survive the worst and still come out on top as a heroine. It’s just going to take me a while to get the girls from point A to point B. I’m a slow storyteller. The book I’m working on will be the downfall of my Team Enforcers. Everything will hit the fan. But, my girls will be transformed into strong women. When they get together… shit will hit the fan and they will be an unstoppable force.

Diversity Bingo 2017 Reading Challenge

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#DiversityBingo2017 starts on January 1, 2017, and this is definitely the challenge I am looking forward to the most in the new year!

The goal of the challenge is to cover all of the squares during 2017. Although I don’t have books chosen for all of the categories yet – and some of my book selections might change categories – I do have a few in mind already.

Diverse Reading Suggestions

MC W/an Under-represented Body Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

MC of Color in SFFAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

West Asian Setting – The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Black MC (Own Voices) – The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Indigenous MC (Own Voices) – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Non-Binary MC (Own Voices) – Every Day by David Levithan

Own…

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