It is the first day of November and so… NaNoWriMo begins

Posted November 1, 2017 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, Writing / 0 Comments

Happy November, and happy first day of NaNoWriMo to those of you who are participating!

I have fond memories of the madness of NaNoWriMo (also known as National Novel Writing Month). I’ve participated many a time, and won a couple of times– one of those times was working on the book that would become my debut novel, Threats of Sky and Sea. Although, in those days, I was still referring to it by its working title, Apparent.

I’ve used the energy of NaNoWriMo in the past as a revision month–what I called NaNoReMo. This year, I’m not participating directly, but I do have some lofty goals.

Namely, this one: I plan to finish this draft of Over Raging Tides (Lady Pirates #1) before Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

I’m shooting for this draft to be about 50,000 words, so I have approximately 20,000 to go.

Over Raging Tides will be released in March 2018, and as, I’ve booked some promotion and a slot with my editor, I am sticking to these hard and fast deadlines.

To that end, I’m kicking off November 1st with a goal of 3,000 words today. And I thought that I would share some tips I’ve found helpful, as well as wisdom I’ve earned from my time in the NaNoWriMo trenches.

  • One of the most common pieces of NaNoWriMo advices that you’ll see floating around, is also one of the most helpful: “Get the words down. You can fix it later.” Even when it isn’t NaNoWriMo, I find myself repeating these wise words. “Get the words down. You can fix it later.” That, my friends, is what revisions are for. But you can’t edit a blank page.
  • Turn off the internet and eliminate the distraction of social media. I like to use the Freedom app so that I can still google a piece of research, but sometimes shutting off your wifi will work just as well.
  • Write or Die is your best friend. Or, at least, it’s mine. When I’m stuck, there’s nothing like the threat of a screaming baby, screeching violin, or wailing alarm that gets me to put down some words, even if they’re terrible. See also, Written? Kitten! if you prefer positive reinforcement.
  • Similarly, part of the fun of NaNoWriMo is finding the community in it. In years past, I often met my word-count through word sprints that people on Twitter were taking part in. Even if your Twitter follow list isn’t participating in NaNoWriMo, try following @NaNoWordSprints and playing along there.
  • You know that saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy?” I’ve found it to be true. Celebrate your friends’ word counts as you celebrate your own, but don’t worry about how many more or less words they’ve written than you.
  • Take advantage of some of the special offers that NaNoWriMo offers to its participants. I started writing in Scrivener during the free trial offered to NaNo-ers (or Wrimos, if you prefer) and liked it so much that I used the coupon code I was offered when NaNoWriMo was over to buy the full version. I rarely draft in anything else now. In my opinion, its planning features and functionality for writers are unmatched, but if you’re interested in trying out other software, there are other offers available.
  • Finally…

It is OKAY if you don’t “win” NaNoWriMo. Any words you get down this month are words that you didn’t have before. You made progress! And that should be celebrated. No matter what.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo, or do you have other goals this month? What advice do you find helpful in meeting those goals?

Free Threats of Sky and Sea! – Mailing List Giveaway

Posted August 22, 2017 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 0 Comments

Hello, friends! If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list yet– and/or if you haven’t yet obtained an e-book of Threats of Sky and Sea, have I got a deal for you!

For five more days, Threats of Sky and Sea is available for free with your mailing list sign-up. That’s it! No strings.

So grab your copy, tell your friends to grab theirs, but hurry! This offer will only be available until August 26th, 2017.

Get your copy on Instafreebie here.


Translations, Narrations, and Progress, Oh My!

Posted July 28, 2017 by Jennifer Ellision in blog, IRL / 0 Comments

Hello, friends!

I didn’t want another several months to go by without updating you on life and books and work and such.

SO. What have I been up to?

Writing Things:

  • Progress on Lady Pirates is slow… but it’s progress nonetheless! I’m doing my best to puzzle out the plot with the aid of a 5-subject notebook, and I’m sharing teasers from said progress over on Instagram:

Well, it isn't Tuesday… but have a teaser anyway 😉

A post shared by Young Adult Author (@jenellision) on

  • I’ve also been doing a lot of research for this book… on everything from what pirates ate, to their officer rankings, to historical lady pirates like Anne Bonny

Book Things:

  • Translations of Threats of Sky and Sea are officially in the works! Look out for a Spanish edition first and an Italian translation after that. Other translations (hopefully!) to come!

Audiobook Things:

  • I’m finally wrapping up production in the next couple of weeks on the fabulous Elodie Nowodazkij’s One, Two, Three. It’s taken me a while to get this out after doing the narration of prequel One Dream Only (between bouts with depression and simply not having recording time/space), but I’m very excited that listeners will be able to see what happens to Elodie’s tortured ballerina Nata, who is fighting like hell after an accident that took both her father and (possibly) her ability to ever dance again.

  • Also wrapping very soon: production on S. Usher Evans’s Alliances (Book #2 in the Razia series). You may have noticed that I narrated Book 1, Double Life, and I’ve so enjoyed reuniting with Lyssa and other familiar characters in Evans’s sci-fi piracy world and I think listeners will love it as well!

Look out for both of these on Audible soon!

Life Things:

  • I visited my second state of the year! In a happy coincidence, I visited Wisconsin for some 4th of July fun the same weekend that my best friend since childhood moved to the state. We managed to meet up for an all-too-brief lunch, during which I got to meet her new baby.

Got to meet the BFF's little one and got the second new state of the year in the books!

A post shared by Jen Ellision (@dayinthelifeofjen) on

  • I’ve also taken in a few more concert, theatre, and sporting events, like:
    • Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias
    • Miami Marlins baseball games
    • Dierks Bentley
    • Finding Neverland
    • Cirque du Soleil: Ovo

It's always a good night for a musical. (Side note: possibly the most gorgeous set design I've ever seen? Wow.)

A post shared by Jen Ellision (@dayinthelifeofjen) on

I’m in a good place these days and looking forward to seeing what else the year has to offer! What are you looking forward to?

Remember Me?

Posted June 5, 2017 by Jennifer Ellision in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Remember Me?

Hey there, reader friends! It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I’ve had to step away from the internet a bit in the past few months. Anxiety and depression are A Thing that I deal with sometimes and, unfortunately, it was exacerbated a bit in the past several months by things like the Twitters and– well, keeping an authorly social media presence in general. Not fun and in ways I missed it, but stepping away for a while was what I needed. I’m feeling pretty okay these days though, so I’ve got a bunch to update you all on! Book Things: -Thanks to all of you, Fall of Thrones and Thorns was voted one of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2016! Not only that, but it was in the Top 20 of those books! Thank you! -The audio edition of Fall of Thrones and […]

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

Posted January 2, 2017 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 0 Comments
Nice to meet you, 2017. I want more from you.

  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 […]

Finals of 50 Best Indies of 2016 – Last Day!

Posted December 16, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Finals of 50 Best Indies of 2016 – Last Day!

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 (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 […]

We’re Here

Posted November 16, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog / 0 Comments
We’re Here

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 […]

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: