Update time! What have I been up to

progress update

 

It is about time I update you on what I have been up to! Because I’ve been busy! Things had slowed down last year, but for Black Friday I had the chance to obtain a Kindle Fire for a good price. That helped me to write more again, as I was not bound to my desktop anymore. Most of the time when I’m in bed already and can’t sleep I just whip out my Evernote and write a few lines. Makes me feel incredibly productive. 😉

If you’ve been following along you know that I wrote a Sci-Fi Novella in the “Blood in Space” Universe called “Enemy of my enemy“. The same universe now got a little more love from me. Jonathan Snyder is putting together a collection of short stories and I had the honour to add one of my own. It is called ‘Extinction’ and will once more return to the proud Atelak Warriors. This time though we witness an event within a different tribe that will later end up a story, used to teach children to not lose their temper. Why you ask? You can find out once the collection will be released. You’ll hear about that right here when it’s time.

I have also continued with the second book of my Ashwood falls Trilogy. The first 8 chapters are in its first draft and I am excited to continue with the story around Alana and Leandrus.

The very same universe gets a little more love in form of a short story I have started to work on as well. This short story will shed some light on Leandrus’ past and how he landed in the void he was pulled from. For this short-story, I am catching up on some fun Tudor-era research and am having a lot of fun with showing another side of our favourite demon of the series. Once that short story is done it’ll be a Mailing list subscriber exclusive, so join the list and you won’t miss it. 🙂

That was it from this side of the screen for now. How about you? What have you been up to? Want to share your current projects? Are you excited about something? Let me know down in the comments. Let’s chat. 🙂

 

Advertisements

50% off my books on Smashwords!

I am participating in a Smashwords sitewide promotion! Many many authors have enrolled their books in this promotion for discounts that will allow you to shop for a great number of books for little money! 

Both of my books “Sra’kalor” and “Kaleidoscope of my mind” are off 50% on Smashwords only until March 12th!

Sra'kalor Cover  Kaleidoscope of my mind

How does it work? You put your books in the cart and when you check out use the Discount code “RAE50” (without the quotation marks).

Come on over and grab your own e-copy!

Sra’kalor on Smashwords

Kaleidoscope of my mind on Smashwords

Smashwords Sale

 

Sharing a Quote

You are not alone

 

The actual picture is not made by me. Copyright lies by Konstantin Tilberg . I only increased the contrast a little and added the writing.  Thank you for sharing your work, Konstantin, with us and allowing folks to use it as base for their stuff!

 

Get Sra’kalor for 50% off for Black Friday Weekend!

It’s Black Friday and that means everyone wants to get some great deals! And I want to join in.

For this weekend you can get Sra’kalor (Ashwood Falls Part 1) for 50% off on Smashwords.

Sra'kalor 50%off

  • To get the great deal:
  • head on over to Sra’kalor on Smashwords. If you do not have an account yet, you should make one, they have a great variety of fantastic books!
  • click the buy button. That puts the book in the cart.
  • when you are directed to the cart, you see a little box at the bottom that says “Coupon code”, put this code into the box: YT84F
  • hit the “Apply Code” button on the right

Now you can check out and after completing the purchase you can download the book right away in different e-reader formats such as: mobi, epub, pdf and more.

Hope you’ll enjoy your little treat! Have a fantastic weekend!

4 of 5 Stars Review for Sra’kalor!

My dear friend Jonathan Snyder, a fellow writer and sounding board for my crazy ideas, has agreed to give Sra’kalor a try, even though it is not his kind of genre. One of the many things I like about him, is that he is very honest, so I am super excited that he gave Sra’kalor a 4 of 5 star rating!

I am not a big supernatural fantasy fan, but I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised in what I found in those pages. A good friend of mine asked me to read her book and it turned out to be a great suggestion! Jessica Werner’s Sra’Kralor, the first book in the Ashwood Falls series is a very interesting take on the supernatural creatures living in our world theme. It follows the story of Alana who has a mysterious ability that her family cannot deal with and when she turns eighteen, she is placed on a bus and sent to the nearby city of Ashwood Falls. If she thought her life could not get stranger, she would be in for a big surprise.

You can read more of his review on his blog “The Musings of the Crazy One” here. Head on over and check it out!

Sra’kalor Revision is out now!

As I have told you before, I have been working on a revision for my first book Sra’kalor, and it is finally out! I have taken comments and reviews to heart and improved my first novel.

SraKalor

The story is the same and has not changed, but many many grammatic and spelling errors have been fixed with the help of an editor, the lovely Emily Roller. I am rather grateful for her help, since writing in English is not as natural as it would be for a native speaker. I am excited and thrilled for this revision!

For now the updates are in place for the ebooks on smashwords and amazon. An update for the print edition on Lulu will come soon, since the test delivery usually takes a while. So head on over and grab your own copies:

Sra’kalor on Smashwords
Sra’kalor on amazon

And while you hopefully enjoy the first book, I will keep working on the second! Read you soon!

Jessica ❤

Sra’kalor – Revision in the works!

As you might remember from my last blogpost, there are exciting things at the horizon for me, all kinds of different projects. One of them, I can finally share with you!

Sra’kalor – which I have released in March this year – is undergoing revision! The fantastic editor Emily Roller, has been working hard on the novel and I have just received the final edit. That means that I will be able to soon release an even better Sra’kalor!

I hope that this will be really soon and I’ll be busy to make that happen! Stay tuned and get ready for the freshly edited Sra’kalor, part one of the Ashwood Falls Trilogy!

Let’s talk about … rewriting

Letstalkabout

Today I want to talk about rewriting. Now that is some scary stuff right there. You have a story in your mind, a poem, a speech – anything really – and somehow it doesn’t work out. I don’t know about you, but that completely blocks my mojo and it can happen that I stop writing for a while, breaking my brain on how to make it work.

Well, just recently, while writing on my first draft of the second part of my book series, I stumbled over that problem. I kept reading the last chapter I had written, but I was still blocked. So I did something that proved to be the first step in the right direction: I questioned what I had written. The reaction of Alana getting some news just seemed wrong, despite me feeling it was alright when I initially wrote it.

So what do you do in that situation? I don’t know what you would do, though I’d love to know, but I asked some friends. I explained the situation and asked them how they would react. The answers were eye opening. Only one of them told me what I have written, the others all had the an answer similar to another, but it was the opposite of mine. So I decided to rewrite the whole chapter.

It might sound strange to some, but that is an extremely hard thing to do. A story is like a baby to me as writer, so changing or even deleting it is tough. To be honest, while it is difficult I do know that it is for the best. It will make the whole situation more believable and I am excited for that and the added development it will provide. Of course I cannot tell you what situation that was, because that would give away an important part of the second book. It is important though, which I keep realizing and learning over and over again, to not be afraid to change things up, to delete scenes if needed, or to adjust them. I want it to be more realistic, so I’m getting on that. Cross your fingers!

What is your experience with this? I believe every writer had to go through that at least once, if not even more often. I’m curious to hear your stories, so share them in the comments. 🙂

Interview by Vanessa Kings

Vanessa KingsMy fellow author Vanessa Kings had me over for an interview on her blog “Vanessa Kings’ Books – Bring the fantasy back“. It has been such a pleasure, and she’s so lovely that I could have stayed a bit longer, but back I am. 🙂

How would you describe your writing style?
Chaotic creative. I have so many ideas all the time. I just write them down and hope to get to it. When it comes to a story I am writing on, I have a million notes written down, and am trying to sort them, so I can integrate them more easily. Though when it comes to actual writing I am the kind that begins and then goes in chronological order. I know that some people write a beginning, then an end and then the parts in between in no particular order, but I would confuse myself with that. I prefer following the story timeline but let it flow and see where it goes.

If you would like to know more about me, how I came up with the title of my book, who my favourite characer or my writing inspirations are (and more) come on over to Vanessa’s blog and have a read.

Character Interview – Meet Tyler / Leandrus

Tyler / Leandrus Sra'kalor
Tyler/Leandrus
Last month I have introduced Alana from my first Novel Sra’kalor to you in an character interview. She was a little nervous and a little shy, but I am sure she has enjoyed her time here. Today I have invited …

Why have I been called here?

I was just getting to that, Tyler. As you have seen, I have invited Tyler to us today, so you can get to know him. Welcome Tyler.

The red eyes of the man eye her suspiciously, but eventually he nods. So what do you wish to know.

Why don’t you start to tell us a little about you?

He sighs, shoulders raising and falling. He does not sound very enthusiastic and hesitates, before finally speaking. You do know my name, I am a Mystic from Ashwood Falls and belong to the Circle.

From Alana we know that the Circle took her in. What kind of group is this?

He suddenly perks up and pays more attention.Alana? What has she told you?

Not much, that is why I am asking you.

The circle is a group of magic users: Mystics, witches and such. Someone saw her use magic and asked Zandra to take care of her. He fidgets on his seat. Were you the person that upset Alana?

I have only asked her a few questions, just like I do with you right now. You do seem rather protective of her.

His red eyes spark slightly, and a low growl left his throat, before he cleared it and opens his fisted hands to straight palms on his thighs. She is part of the Circle and with that under my protection.

Is that so? Fascinating. What do you think Leandrus would say about that?

His eyes shoot up, staring in disbelief. How do you… It appears that he tries to hold it together, the knuckles of his hands whiten, as he clings to the edge of his chair. I do not know who you are talking about.

My dear, I have written you, there is no way to lie to me. Why don’t you tell us about the real you?

He scoffs and shakes his head and mumbles. These writers all think they have it all figured out, times never change. He then raises his voice to a normal level. Well then. I am Leandrus, though the shell you view is Tyler. I myself am a demon.

And how did that union happen?

He sighs. I was summoned, like so many demons. But the person who summoned me did not stay. And not only that, they did a mistake and forgot to banish the body’s soul before starting the ritual.

And what does that mean?

Lady, please do not pretend. You do know what it means.

Very well, so Tyler is still here and does not only listen to everything, he also talks with you. How does that work in regards to Alana?

He grumbles slightly and crosses his arms in front of his chest. I do believe, you have asked enough questions.

But isn’t it true that she is your One? How do you think she would react if she knew that you are not who she thinks you are?

He raises from his chair and takes a slight bow.I will remove myself from this interrogation. Fare ye well, Lady. With that he turns around and leaves the room.

Mhm, that is the second person that leaves in the middle of my questions. I seem to have struck a chord, though. He did seem to react in a strange way whenever I mentioned Alana. If you would like to know what is going on between them, and why Leandrus refuses to talk more about this subject, check out Sra’kalor and find out.

And do not forget, that I do have a giveaway running right now, to win your very own copy of the book. All you will have to do is like our facebook page AND fill out the form. You can find it in the linked article, or at the top navigation bar of this page.

Until next time when we will meet another Sra’kalor character. Until then, have a lovely week.

Giveaway Raffle! Your chance to win your own copy of Sra’kalor! – ENDED

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST

 

I am super excited to announce a big giveaway raffle for 25 (!) ebook copies of Sra’kalor, the first part in the Ashwood Falls Trilogy!

giveaway raffle

Everyone entering the Raffle from now on until May 20th has a chance to win one of 25 copies in the ebook format of their choice. All you have to do is like my facebook page Journey of words and fill out the form. The winners will be chosen through a random name picker, among those who did both.

Yes, it is that easy 🙂 Here are the links to everything you need!

Facebook page: Journes of words to like!
Giveaway Form to fill out!

Please share this with your friends, the more the merrier! And good luck to everyone 🙂

Character Interview – Meet Alana

Alana1aToday I’ll have a special little post for you. I thought that, while it surely is interesting to get to know me, who writes all these stories, it would be even more interesting to meet a couple of special people. Over the course of the next few posts, you will get to know Alana, Tyler/Leandrus and Dracon, the main characters of my latest novel Sra’kalor.

 

In this first part, I have the honor of Alana visiting my humble author blog; but before I’d tell you about her, why not let her do that. Welcome Alana.

The girl wiggles a little on her stool, a nervous smile playing around her lips, as she pushes a strand of raven hair behind her ear. “Thank you. I do not really know why I am here though.”

Well my readers would like to get to know you a little. So why don’t you tell us where you are from?

A look of confusion dances across her soft features, the golden eyes rolling upwards to look at the ceiling. “Uhmm, okay. ” She takes a deep breath, before she continues. “Well, I was born and raised in a small town called Oakdale Springs.” Her face lights up as her gaze drifts to an invisible area. “A sleepy little place, with picket fences and kids playing in the streets.”

And what has brought you to Ashwood Falls?

Her naturally tanned face takes a gentle pinkish hue. “There have been some… incidents.”

Incidents?

She swallows, trying to talk about the subject in a nonchalant manner, though she tried hard enough, to give the impression that there is more than she said. “Yes. Some things flying through the air, spontaneous fires… that kind of thing.”

That sounds like pretty strange circumstances.

A gust of wind washed through the room, sending papers flying as she blurts out “Well, it was magic, that usually is ‘pretty strange'”. Then her shoulders sag and she sighs. “Listen, I just never learned to control this stuff. So I put a few things on fire, and accidentally hurt some people. But I didn’t mean it. I cannot blame my parents for sending me away.”

You won’t be trying to set this place on fire though, right?

The smile on her lips seems a little sad, though she shakes her head ever so slightly. “I cannot promise it, but I’m trying. I met some nice people who want to help me learn control it. I actually will have a lesson with Tyler right after this.”

Who is Tyler?

Once more her cheek flush, as she avoids to look at anyone. “He’s one of the Mystics of the Circle, the group that took me in. Zandra put him in charge of my magical training.”

And Zandra is?

Alana’s smile grows and her eyes sparkle, at the mention of the name.“The leader of the Circle. She’s a lovely witch and really good with magic. I always have the feeling she knows what I’m thinking, it’s a little weird. But she explains a lot to me and is really nice.”

And Tyler, is he nice too?

As fast as the blush had left, it returns to the girl’s cheeks.The golden eyes roam nervously around the room. “Yes, he tries really hard to teach me, but it is not easy. He knows what happens when things go wrong. When I first met him, I accidentally made a heavy book slam right into him. I’m sure he does not want that to happen again.”

Did I just see you blush?

What had been a pinkish hue now turned into a bright red, and she fiddles her fingers, moving her hands from one position to the next over and over. “Ye.. no.. I .. uh.. I think I better go. Tyler does not like when I’m late. Thanks uhm.. it was a nice chat. See you around.” With that she jumps from the stool and hurries out without another word.

Well, that was a quick turn; it looks like I struck a chord with our young lady. I did not even get to ask where she sees herself in a year. Though if what we have seen and heard so far is any indication, she will either be a magical super hero, or buried under a pile of rubber that once was Ashwood Falls.

Let us hope it is the first. And if you would like to see more of what Alana is up to. Check out Sra’kalor, the first part of her three-part story and her life in Ashwood Falls. And stay tuned to get to know Zandra, Dracon and not to forget Tyler in the near future.

Sra’kalor now in Print!

You spoke, and I have listened! Some of you mentioned that you either do not like to read e-books or do not have a reader for it; or you simply prefer print books to e-books. I have checked out several options and now Sra’kalor is now available in print, though Lulu!

Lulu is a print on demand service, so you will always receive your copy press off the press!

Buy Sra’kalor as print copy on Lulu!

If you are not in the states, click the little arrow next to the flag symbol up top and then choose “change store” and choose the one you would prefer to buy the book from.

Author & Book Spotlight at “Read between the Lines”

If you do not know the book blog “Read between the lines”, you should definitely head over and check it out. The lovely Anna, founder and owner of the blog is an avid book reader and she is one of those wonderful souls that offer reviews, Author & Book Spotlights and blog tours for authors.

I am very excited that she took time out of her busy schedule to post an Author and Book Spotlight post about Sra’kalor and me. I have just received the link and it made my day. It was totally worth being super nervous while answering the interview questions 😉

If you want to know more about me and the background of Sra’kalor, head on over to “Read between the lines” and read the full story. And while you are there, check out the rest of the blog too!

Now available on amazon!

I’m excited to say, that Sra’kalor, the first part of the Ashwood Falls Trilogy, is now available on amazon as well. And not only in Germany, where I live, but worldwide!

I hope that this will make it possible to bring the story of Alana and Leandrus to more of you, who did not have a smashwords account to get it for yourself.

You find it here: Buy at amazon

Happy Reading!

SraKalor

Fun with Wordle.net

A few friends of mine have been playing around with Wordle.net. It is a fun little tool that takes the words of text, websites, blogs and so on, and makes awesome graphic illustrations with them. Of course, I could not resist making my very own for my coming novel Sra’kalor. Here is the result after playing around with the various settings:

Sra'kalor Wordle

If you want to make your own you can play around with it here: Wordle Website And feel free to share your results in the comments. 🙂

Don’t be afraid to…

We all know that certain part of writing, when we have a story in our mind and know where it should go to, how it should look, which parts you want to include and what you want to achieve. And then when you write, you notice that it does not work. The character you started changed so much that you are not happy with them anymore, maybe even realize that the goal you were writing toward to is not the goal your characters want to reach.

Sometimes these things start to block the story and with that also your flow and inspiration. You might even stop to write and not come back for a long while. I do remember a point in my story, when I just did not know how to go on for about a month. I threw things around my head, dismissed everything again, thought of new things. And of course, how things go: I hated them all.
Just then I cut the last written scene out of the story, put it aside and suddenly things did flow again. At a later point I did include the cut scene again. This time it worked so well, that there was not only no blockage, but I had so many ideas on how to go on that I wrote the next 3 chapters in one go.

There are a few things that I have learned during my time writing, that might sound scary at first when you put so much into your story, but can help a lot if you hit a wall. And of course I want to share them with you.

 
 
Do not be afraid to…
 
Delete or change scenes
As I have mentioned before sometimes scenes you had in mind and though were great, might not work. Either they do not work at this moment in the story or they do not work at all. Cut them out! If you are not sure if you can or want to maybe include them later, save them in an extra file to put aside.

Maybe your scene only needs a little bit of a change to work after all. Turn around characters, change dialog, change actions. Try out, shove around, twist it. Your text is your story. There is no ‘This is supposed to happen.’ other than what YOU want.

Kill off or change characters
Your character did not grow into the person you wanted them to be? Maybe one of your characters got boring or they fulfilled their task and now are some background noise that is basically forgotten? You just do not know what to do with them anymore that gives them any sense? Maybe you wrote them in a corner and now they try to dig their claws into the wall, climbing up, but they glide down with a painful grunt, not able to get anywhere.

It can help to change them, their character, their story to bring you new ideas. Maybe add something to their backstory, that helps you to ignite that spark and a purpose for them. But be careful to keep it realistic, do not add something for the sake of adding. And if it does not work out, change it back or keep it if you like it. Sometimes the only thing that helps is to get rid of them. Kill them in a way that adds to your story, make them leave town, flee from the authorities, anything that makes sense. It would not be very satisfying for me as a reader to build up a connection to a character and then have him just stumple and fall down some stairs to break his neck. Also do not mention that they left just in a side note of a conversation. That is useless and frustrating. You might not have ideas for their story anymore, but let them have some pride in how they go.

I can hear ‘But they are important to the story. I cannot get rid of a main character!’. Yes, you can. It is YOUR story, YOUR character. There are plenty of TV-Shows and movies that DO kill off characters or get them out of the way if they got useless or if the writers needed a cliffhanger, or give another character a reason for a big step in their development. And the death of a comrade can kick off a lot of development for others. But as mentioned above, give it purpose.

Give your characters weaknesses
Ever read a book and thought that everyone in that story is so annoyingly perfect? Yeah, nobody wants that. While books are often used to shut out reality and dive into a fantasy world, that does not mean that your characters should not be human. Make them interesting, quirky, give them a character trait that makes them memorable. If they are perceived perfect from other characters, give them some flaws on the inside that they possibly try to hide from others. Give them demons to fight, maybe even literally if it fits your story. But don’t make them the best in everything, the prettiest, the most stable and awesome personalities. That would be quite boring.

Hurt your character
Sometimes it can be good for the story to injure or hurt your character. They are not immune to life. If they run into a bullet to save someone they WILL be hurt. Unless they are Superman of course, but you might not write about Clark Kent here. They can fall into comas, lose a limb, have permanent damage, or even only short time damage, lose their memory or fall into depressions. Try to research how those things work, what you have to watch out for. Research, talk with people, try to keep it realistic and not too much at once. Also again, make sure it is not just for the sake of hurting them, integrate it into the story, keep the flow. Just don’t think you cannot hurt them, just because they are main characters. Who knows, it might even make them more interesting.

Try new things
Ever wanted to bring in something that you think is crazy? Impossible? Do it! It can get boring to read the whole things over and over, to read something that has not been done a hundred times before would be so very refreshing. Not sure if it works? Try it! You have nothing to lose.

Ask friends for ideas
Yes, this is your book, your story, your blog. BUT… sometimes when you run into a wall a fresh perspective and a new brain can work wonders. Tell someone you trust about what is going on, maybe the whole story, maybe just the chapter or one scene, ask them for ideas. What would they do? Paint a picture of the character, ask them to see it through their eyes and what they think should happen, or could happen next. It may happen that they have no idea, or they do have one. Maybe they have many ideas. Maybe you want to use one of them, all of them, or none of them BUT got your own idea while they colored the picture you have drawn. It can happen that one idea sounds so weird that you instinctively think “That’s nuts and does not ever make a way into my stories”, but do not dismiss it that fast. You never know when it might be just what you need.

Only because it is your name on the cover, does not mean that you cannot get a little help from your friends (or even random strangers, you never know).

Put everything aside for a bit
I do not mean give up or trash it all. But take a break. Sometimes we are so in the story and so lost in a labyrinth of possibilities that we do not see anything but the wall. Put it aside, read a book, go take a walk, see a movie, dance, talk with friends, take a bath… do anything BUT thinking about the story. To get some distance can work wonders and refresh your spirits.

There are so many things that you can try, that I cannot write them all down here. But all of those things above have helped me in the last couple of years. Be it for short stories, roleplay evenings or my novel, that I am editing right now.

If you have any more of these tips please feel free to share them in the comments, I would love to hear about them! Who knows maybe someone out there is looking for exactly this tip after ramming their story car into a brick wall 🙂

 

The first step …

… of a journey is always the split second you decide to walk the way. It can be scary, it can be uplifting and exciting. The beginning can be everything you make of it, everything that you want.

The beginning for me was when my mind was filled with so many words, emotions and stories that all I could think of was to bring them to paper, preferably before my head explodes. I was a child, though I do not remember the exact age, when that happened.  Short two line notes were the start, later they grew to poems and after some time into short stories.

I cannot remember a time in which I did not write. Over the years that grew into love, into a need just like breathing. Written words help me to say things my mouth cannot form.

The stories grew, were filled with more color, scents and emotions until they were little cities living in my mind, filled with people who all wanted to tell me of their life. I wrote down many of them, most of them were rather short.

But now I have a deep and long conversation with a woman called Alana. She is telling me how her new life began when she came to Ashwood Falls. It is a story of magic, new beginnings, fears, love, strength and loyalty. A story pulling me in and granting wings to my imagination.

This is the story of Sra’kalor, the first part in the Ashwood Falls Series. A novel, soon to be released for several e-book formats through Smashwords.com.