Nice to meet you, 2017. I want more from you.

Posted January 2, 2017 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 0 Comments

 

Hello, 2017.

I hope you’re good to us, 2017, because 2016 was a shitshow overall– I’m looking very pointedly at you, World at Large.

But it held some high points for me:

  • I published the conclusion of my YA fantasy trilogy
  • That conclusion was voted one of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2016
  • I had my best sales months
  • My romance novel was mentioned in a Huffington Post blog
  • I voiced a minor character in an audio drama podcast
  • I wrote an audio drama podcast minisode
  • I visited 3 new states and 1 new country
  • I accomplished the Goodreads reading challenge that I set for myself
  • I became a godmother
  • I trained for and ran 2 5Ks for the first time
  • I went to Disney quite a bit
  • I found a new gym that I love, which is helping me with my mental health in a big, big, big way that I just can’t overstate

 

I had some major lows, but also some amazing high points.

And now it’s time to think about 2017.

My guiding word for 2016 was “new” and I think it lived up to that. My word for 2017?

More

And to narrow that focus down a bit, I’ve outlined a few specific goals for the year:

  • Run a 10K
    • I’m going further than last year’s 5Ks. I signed up for my first 10K yesterday! It’s at the end of February. Stay tuned!
  • Publish 2 novels
    • I published only one novel in 2016, and I won’t lie to you, 2 will be a challenge. If you’ve paid attention to my writing speed over the past few years that I’ve been in this self-publishing game, you may have noticed that even 1 book in a year is often a struggle, but I have some fun ideas…
  • Narrate 4 audiobooks
    • Considering I’m midway through 2 audiobook productions and plan to also release Breathe In on audio myself, I think this is very doable. In 2016, I narrated 2 books. I’m doubling that this year.
  • Visit 4 new states and 1 new country
    • I already have the 1 country lined up– I’m going to the U.K. in March! I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve had this trip planned since late 2015. I have some ideas on what the new state trips will be but they’re still to be determined. Below is my updated “states visited” map after adding Tennessee, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania in 2016.

So that’s what I’m hoping to get out of 2017. How about you?

Finals of 50 Best Indies of 2016 – Last Day!

Posted December 16, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Hi all!

If you didn’t already know, Fall of Thrones and Thorns made it to the FINALS of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2016! Today’s the last day to cast your vote– you can vote twice in each category and I would so appreciate the help in getting a little extra exposure for my work!

You can vote on readfree.ly

(If you’re redirected to the main site, here are are some step-by-step instructions to get you to where you can vote!)

  • Hover over “The 50 Best Indie Books of the Year” on the top menu
  • Select “Nominate the Best of 2016” from the drop-down
  • Choose “Fantasy” from the genre choices
  • Scroll below the book covers to find “Fall of Thrones and Thorns,” choose the box next to it, and and hit “submit!”

You can vote twice, as well as vote in all the categories, so be sure to look around for your other favorite indie authors! ^_~ And thank you all so much for getting me and Fall of Thrones and Thorns this far.

We’re Here

Posted November 16, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 0 Comments

So. The election happened.

There’s no changing the results, but God, I hope we can change some things going forward.

So this is where we are. We’re here. Where do we go now? Well, a lot of people a lot smarter than me are telling us what we can do now, so I’m taking their advice.

For example:

In the book world:

You can buy and boost #ownvoices books. You can donate to We Need Diverse Books. You can signal boost. You can report trolls when authors who are marginalized or who dare to speak up are viciously attacked.

Here is a piece detailing the small hope that Democrats can take back the Senate majority, due to a run-off race in Louisiana.

You can donate to this campaign. You can volunteer for it. If you live in Louisiana, you can vote for the man on December 10th and encourage others to vote for him as well to restore some checks and balance to our overwhelming partisan upcoming administration.

Here is a piece about why calling your senators and representatives is the most effective mode of communication.

You can email and write them as well, but if you want your views to get the most attention, call them.

Some things I’ve talked to them about/things that are on my ever-growing list of things to talk to them about:

You can donate funds to the reputable organizations that protect marginalized people as well as the planet that we all have to live on.

I’m donating monthly to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and John Oliver has a good list of these organizations and more that can use our help.

You can make sure that when you shop on Amazon, you shop through Amazon Smile and select one of these charities or their local branches.

You can search for local charitable events or donation-matching days.

For example, I’m donating again tomorrow, November 17 through givemiamiday.org. Donations to a bunch of local charities, or local branches of national charities like ACLU of South Florida and Planned Parenthood of South Florida.

You can also sign some petitions…

Though remember that calling your representatives is a much stronger way to have your voice heard than an electronic signature in a mass of others.

It’s time to take action friends. Because we’re heading down a very scary road if we don’t

 

October Mini-reviews

Posted November 3, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, Books / 0 Comments
October Mini-reviews

I read… kind of a lot this past month and I often miss book blogging because I miss talking about my reading! I don’t know if I’ll do a reading wrap-up every month, but I read some really cool stuff in October that I just had to yammer on about a bit. Here are my October mini-reviews of the books I read last month. Fiction YA Fantasy Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass is possibly my favorite on-going series. Possibly my favorite series. I’ve been in deep love with these books since reading an ARC of Throne of Glass. And Empire of Storms doesn’t disappoint. With each installment, Mass draws her readers further into the intricate world she’s created, unfolding more and more plot and whirling us around the twists and turns the story takes. I […]

NaNoWriMo 2016

Posted November 1, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, Writing / 0 Comments
NaNoWriMo 2016

Hey, friends! Here’s a very quick post to let you know that I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo 2016– also known as National Novel Writing Month again! I’m planning to write a total of the usual 50,000 words, but I plan to do that between drafting two short stories and starting the first draft of my next novel. You can follow along with me by being my NaNoWriMo 2016 buddy! My profile is here. Good luck, fellow Wrimos! I’ll see you on the other side~

Free Books for Trick or Treat Reads!

Posted October 31, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 8 Comments
Free Books for Trick or Treat Reads!

Happy Halloween, my friends! This year, I’m participating in Treat or Treat Reads, hosted by Patricia Lynne. What does this mean? It means that books are the candy this Halloween. There are a bunch of authors giving books away for free, including me! If you’re in the mood for some light New Adult romance, Now and Again is free. Or, if you want a YA fantasy short, you can grab Sisters of Wind and Flame. NA Romance Available exclusively on Kindle YA Fantasy Short Available exclusively on Kindle Sale ends November 1.  Grab more books for free! Keep hopping around the Trick or Treat Reads linky, below:

Reflections on writing prose vs. an audio script

Posted October 19, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in Writing / 0 Comments
Reflections on writing prose vs. an audio script

Pretty much all of the writing I’ve done has been prose– that’s how most of you know me, right? Former fanfiction writer turned novelist (with a couple of short stories thrown in for good measure). But recently, I tried something new. You see, one of my critique partners, Alex Brown, co-created an audio drama podcast called The Bridge that I am O B S E S S E D with. And The Bridge has a few mini episodes that stand apart from the main story arc. Alex invited me to write one. I was intrigued– because hey, this was sort of an opportunity to write canon fanfiction for a thing I love! But I was also nervous. I’d never written any sort of a script before. Still… I’m rather happy with how it turned out! You can listen to the […]

Questions to ask when you’re world-building.

Posted October 12, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, Writing / 0 Comments
Questions to ask when you’re world-building.

Once upon a time, I was a baby author, daunted by the task of world-building for my fantasy novel. The majority of my writing had been fanfiction. The stories I created were set in worlds other people had established. I had to think deeply about the world I presented in my Threats of Sky and Sea series if I wanted readers to believe my world-building; to truly immerse themselves in the world and story. As my friend Angel said, after reading an early draft of Threats: Do all of these world-building details need to be included in the book? Not necessarily. But should I, as the writer and world-builder, know them? Absolutely. A version of this post originally appeared on my old blog, Almost Grown-up, but with a completed series under my belt now and gazing off into the horizon at my next upcoming […]

Project Elemental Catch-up

Posted October 3, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 0 Comments
Project Elemental Catch-up

While I was writing the Threats of Sky and Sea series, I tried to steer clear of worlds and plots that I thought may hold a few too many similarities to mine. I avoided some books that held a great deal of temptation for me—in other words, I’ve missed out on a few Elemental fantasies. There were a few exceptions that I did manage to read. Some books and series introduced their… erm… Elemental ~elements~ later in the books/series when I was already hooked and couldn’t give them up, or I was assured by my critique partners, who had already read the work that the world and systems of magic were different enough from the Threats of Sky and Sea series that my writing wouldn’t be overly influenced. So, now that Fall of Thrones and Thorns is released and the […]

A letter to FALL OF THRONES AND THORNS on its release day

Posted September 27, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, Books / 0 Comments
A letter to FALL OF THRONES AND THORNS on its release day

Dear FALL, Wow. We made it. We did it. Can you believe it? …No. Me either. I said it with your predecessor, RIOT and I’ll say it again: sequels are hard. But I never expected you to be as hard as you were. You were like… like heading off to climb a mountain and discovering that I’d left my equipment at home. It was backtrack after backtrack. But, eventually, together, we found the proper tools. The proper mindset. We climbed that mountain. And today, you can look out over that vista and see the world, waiting to greet you. I’m going to miss your world. Your characters– Bree, Aleta, Caden, Tregle, Meddie, Liam, Elena… But man. Am I ever glad that you found your way from your world into mine. Love always, Your author Readers, you can now find Fall of […]