Whacking Out With Jennifer Hartz

I just have to say what it an honor it is to have Jennifer and Christina on my very first Whacked out Wednesday. It’s no secret how big a fan of Jennifer’s books. They are a total blow you away ride. So, before I get all mushy, let’s have Christina take over.

Before I continue sharing my conversation with the Future Savior, Christina Vaughn, let me remind you of the two GIVEAWAYS going on right now.  At the bottom of this blog you’ll be able to enter to win 1 of 4 autographed copies of FS1: Conception.  The other contest is attached to my Couples Of Meric blog… click the link below to enter:Image

http://jenniferhartz.com/2013/08/23/giveaway-countdown-to-fs5-revelation-day-12/

I have to thank my bestest writing buddy in all of the internet and beyond… the incomparable JMO!  First off, JMO is super awesome for letting me visit his blog today.  Secondly, he always has advice and is willing to chat when the writer’s block sets in.  Thirdly, he’s hysterically funny. And finally, he’s one topnotch writer.  Have you checked out his stuff?  Do it!  DO IT NOW!

Okay… if you didn’t get a chance to check out the first two parts of this blog be sure to do so:

PART 1: http://jenniferhartz.com/2013/08/26/interview-with-the-future-savior/

PART 2:  http://twentysomethingfictionwriter.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-future-savior-blog-tour-day-two.html

All righty then… now that you’re prepped and ready to go… on with the interview!

***SPOILER ALERT!!! THERE BE SPOILERS HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST 4 BOOKS OF THE FS SERIES***

My mouth opens and closes like a floundering guppy as I gawk at this strange woman sitting on my couch.  She told me her name is Christina and that she is the Savior of some place called Meric, but her most recent revelation is unbelievable.Image

“You’re telling me the man you were about to marry actually killed your father?” I finally manage to ask.

“That’s right,” she replies just as cool as ever.  “Shaw was under Leticia’s mind-control powers at the time and didn’t realize what he was doing.”

“So then you were able to forgive him?”

“Eventually…” she says slowly, “…you see, I could tell there were other things that Shaw was keeping from me.  I couldn’t marry him until he came clean with all his secrets.  And they were really big secrets.” (Check out FS3: Evacuation for this story!)

“Even bigger than killing your father?”

Christina just nods and a knowing grin lights up her face.

“So what did you do after you left Shaw standing at the altar?” I ask.

“I really wanted to hide away for months, but I couldn’t.  Things needed to be done in Meric.  Leticia was moving her army and I wanted to save my brother,” she replies.

“Save your brother?  Didn’t he try to kill you on two separate occasions?”

“Yes, but I just had to try… I would regret it forever if I didn’t try to talk to him.  Convince him that he was my brother.”

“Did it work?  Were you able to convince him?  Did you join you?”

“Hold on,” she says, “I’m getting there.  Before I traveled to Leticia’s home in the south to try and talk to my brother, Charis told us that there would be a massive sign in the south.  She didn’t tell us what the sign would be, but it was to act as a beacon.  The good people of Meric would go to the Xertic Realm –”

“The Xertic Realm?” I interject.

“Oh… right… well, King Xertic is a teenager who rules over a very wealthy kingdom in the south.  That’s actually were Shaw went when I thought he had died,” Christina explains.

I nod and do a quick check on my tape recorder.  It’s still working which is awesome and I hope I can get Christina to share some of these side stories — like more info about this Xertic guy — when she’s all done explaining this major plotline.

“Anyway, we were to head to Xertic’s, but the sign would also draw all of Leticia’s troops to the south as well.  The battle of good verse evil would eventually take place in the sands of the Marle Desert.  Right in between Xertic’s lands and Leticia’s lands.  I sent out ambassadors to talk to the different people of Meric and encourage them to join us.  Several groups went out, but I was able to keep track of them with my powers.”

Image“I bet that was weird, watching people,” I comment.

“Yeah, but also very helpful.  I got to see everything that was going on.  I learned that Leticia was forcing people to burn her mark into their flesh to show their loyalty to her.  If they didn’t take the mark, they were executed.  I also got to see some interesting romances developing.  There were a few romances bubbling in my own traveling group.  Of course, Shaw and I were on the mend, but I also got to have hundreds of laughs at my friend Drexton trying to woo Beliza, the Waterkin.”  (To check out Drexton and Beliza’s story follow the link — http://jenniferhartz.com/2013/08/12/countdown-to-fs5-revelation-day-6/)

“What about Shaw’s other secrets?” I ask.

“Right… well, we visited Bristol Fortress where the two Guardians Malcolm and Aladonna lived for a time.  While we were there, Shaw revealed that he was actually Malcolm and Aladonna’s son.”

“Whoa!  So Shaw was a Guardian too!”

“Exactly, he has a whole host of powers that he had been hiding for close to a century.  But now that everything was running full steam to the end, he decided it was time to show his true identity and start using his powers to their fullest.”

“Unbelievable…” I gape at her for a moment and then catch my bearings enough to ask another question.  “Were you able to make it to Leticia’s home and talk to Rayliex?”

Christina nods.  “Yes.  And I actually convinced him that we were brother and sister.  The bad news is that I didn’t get a chance to really talk to him about it.  Leticia burst in and started using her powers on us.  She tried to get us all to kill each other.  She even tried to get us to kill her own son.  In the end Charis showed up.  She used her powers to whisk Shaw, Rayliex and me through time.  She saved our lives, but sent us to a place I would have never expected.”

“What was the place?” I asked, leaning forward right on the edge of my seat.

Christina opens her mouth to answer me, but she is immediately interrupted by the clicking of my tape recorder.  I need to change the tap… unbelievable!

To be continued on Thursday, August 29th at the blog of Crystal Gomes (Just Another Book Lovin’ Girl) … Click the link below:

http://abooklovingirl.blogspot.com/

Learn more about author Jennifer Hartz and The Future Savior Series at the following links:
Jennifer’s website:  www.jenniferhartz.com
Twitter: @JenniferLHartz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFutureSaviorSeries?ref=hl
Amazon buy link for FS1: Conceptionhttp://www.amazon.com/Future-Savior-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0041HXOUG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Rafflecopter code — a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stud Monkey kicking off Something New!

Image

Is this thing on?

Thump!

Thump!

 

Well, I guess it is. Who am I? I think the important question is who the heck are you, and why did I just get freaking edited! Excuse me for a minute…

 

Jmo, when I agreed to do this flipping blog thing, you told me I’d have complete creative control. Well, does having you edit every frog smunching thing I type sound like complete control to you? And, what the freckling dog smack is frog smunching?

 

Stud, when I asked you to come on the Giggles to announce that Wednesday is going to be my attempt to open up the blog to new things you told me you had your Tourette Syndrome under control.

 

I lied. Now, sit in your recliner and dream of bacon and Princess Leia, you geeky washcloth.

 

Now, where was I? Oh yes, for you folks unfamiliar with fine literature, my name is Stud Lee Monkey, star of Mis-Staked, the valiant story of a Chimp and his vampire slaying virgin. Don’t ask me about the virgin bit. Breathred assures me it’s a lifestyle choice. The point is he almost slays vampires, and I tag along to make his life hell. Think of it as a comedic symbiotic relationship neither of us really wants. But, if you want my life story go buy the freaking book. Shesh, bananas and internet porn don’t pay for themselves. My cut of the book barely pays for one banana, and I have to steal internet like ninety percent of the world. All I got to say is thank you Mickey D’s for free WiFi.

 

But, I digress. J. Morgan is giving me an extra three percent to come on here and tell you about his new blog idea. Blah blah blah. Let me get on with that before Duck Dynasty comes on. I just love watching nature shows about rednecks in their natural environment.

 

Whacked Out Wednesday! is about giving all those voices living inside an author’s head their time to shine. Sure, they got whole books, but let me be quite frank, authors tend to screw it up. We literary giants never get to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, because our biographers put their own twist on things. In addition to that, coming to Wednesday will also be guest bloggers, snippets from WiPs, or just basically a rehash of what he’s already doing on Sunday. So, more or less starting this week, Jmo is going to let his brain children run off at the mouth. Well, according to this little memo Geek-boy just handed me, he’s handing over the duties next week. The lazy son of a biscuit eater.

 

What?! Another memo! Can’t you just send this crap to my iPhone?  

 

Okay, starting this week, guest author Jennifer Hartz, the amazing author of Future Savior, and Heroes of the Horde will be allowing her main character from Future Savior visit. That smacks of promo to this evolved chimp, but hey, they got to get it from somewhere.

 

Stud, just read from the script!

 

We don’t need no stinking script!

 

Okay, I have been insulted enough for one night. Before I jump in my limo to head back to Breathred’s dad’s basement, don’t forget to rush out and buy a copy of Mis-Staked available from Champagne Books in ebook and print. Before you ask, I don’t give autographs. You can pay for them at ComiCon like everyone else.

 

Night folks, and whatever you do, don’t name it after me.

Stud Lee Monkey, esq.

 

Some buy links cuz I really need that extra three percent

 

Ebook

 

http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&manufacturer_id=75&product_id=333

 

Print

http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&manufacturer_id=75&product_id=196

 

Amazon

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mis-Staked-J-Morgan/dp/1897445741/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377130683&sr=1-5

I’ve got an idea.

Where am I going?

 

It never fails that just as I’m getting neck deep in a Work in Progress, another amazing idea slaps me right between the eyes. I mean a really amazing idea! So, what’s an author to do?

 

In my case, I’m going to brood about it. Yeah, maybe not my finest idea, but when you’re writing on a deadline, it’s all you can do. Does that mean I’m going to totally forget about this new world my mind has unlocked?

 

Nope. This is all part of the creative process. What do I mean by that? Well, allow me to explain. Just because you have an amazing idea, that doesn’t mean it’s a GOOD idea.  

Amazing ideas are subjective at best. Ideas at their core are nothing more than fleeting glimpses of something with the possibility to become concrete. So, it’s up to an author to take that formless maybe and construct the framework of a story around it. To do that certain things must happen.

 

First off, you have to fully develop your character. Who is it? What has brought them to the point where a story is even possible? I’m talking history, here. Before every memorable character became someone you couldn’t forget, they had a life sometimes only hinted at. That’s the magical element called mystique, or as I like to call it the Wolverine Syndrome. Finally, what motivates them to do whatever it is you want them to do? That could be covered in history, but it’s always best to go ahead and state it without anything getting in the way. When you have those three things out of the way, it’s time to address appearances, and the detail stuff. Once your character is so firmly rooted in your brain you start talking to them at odd times, you’re ready to move on to stage two.

 

Where are we at? Does your character live in the ‘real’ world, or do you cleverly craft a fictional world that mirrors our very own? Just remember when you do that, it has to be believable. You have to know it as well as your main character. You wake up smelling it, seeing it, and depending on the genre, dreading to set foot inside it. This also includes any secondary characters you want to populate your character’s world.

 

Okay, time to move on to the hard part. Plot! What kind of crap are you going to throw at them? If it’s a series, really think this through. Do you have a continuing plot that will run through multiple books? Will each book be a one off? This is where you truly define the tone of the book/series, so be prepared to strain your brain. Subplots? If so, I heartily advise you to write a series bible to keep track of all the details that will slip through the cracks of your frazzled memories. Believe me. You’re going to need it, and don’t be afraid to notate the smallest of details, because they may come back to bite you later.

 

Mains? Wheres? Plots? What next? A villain! Or cruel situation to over come. There again, this might be covered in plot, but I stress this by saying it again. Define it separately, so it can very well stare you in the face. Take as much time on it, as you would your main character and world. The whole point of this is to fully convince your readers that YOU believe it. Because if you don’t, they won’t.

 

I’m not writing this to sound all knowledgeable, because I’m not. It took me a lot of mistakes, and I fully plan to make many more, to realize this barest hint of what it takes to become a writer.

 

Being a writer should be a learning experience. Each word, each line, each story should teach you something of the art of writing. You should constantly push yourself to be better than the last thing you wrote. Yes, even a word. The right word can make all the difference in conveying what you want a reader to know or feel in your work.

 

Since it looks like I have a lot of thinking to do, I’m going to graciously thank you for reading and go hide inside my own little world. Hopefully when I’m done, I will have molded it into something amazing.

 

Happy Reading!

J. Morgan

Due to a whole lot of editing and writing, my blog idea for today just didn’t happen. So, instead of leave you hanging, I decided to give you a sneak peak of my current WiP, the third book in my Southern Werewolf Chronicles. Please bear in mind WiP, stands for not finished, but getting there. If by any chance you have not picked up the first two books in this series, I sincerely hope, you like this taste of furry love. Enjoy!

ImageThe Southern Werewolf Chronicles

Book Three

Were Love Finds You

Prologue

Being raised a true Southern Deb prepares you for a lot of crap, but being body jacked by your own inner bitch ain’t one of them! Mrs. Chaney, my third grade teacher, might whoop me for daring to use the word ain’t in a sentence, but under the circumstances, she can just bite me. After saving the love of my young life, I should be preparing for my wedding, the wedding of the century if you wanted my opinion. Instead, I was skulking around inside my own skull watching my furry skanky half run around like a heathen wearing my body. Good Lord, just yesterday she took me shopping for shoes at Wal-Mart. I’m surprised my head hadn’t exploded right then and there! Luckily, for me and my subconscious, I have an advanced degree in denial.

Of course, that wouldn’t save me from further degradation, if I didn’t figure a way out of this slice of hell. This, excuse the dead on expletive, bitch had stolen my life and nothing short of exorcism would stop me from getting it back. That didn’t necessarily mean I wouldn’t accept some Papal assistance if it was offered. Hell, give me a voodoo witch doctor with a chicken fetish for all I cared. Anything, as long as it got me out of this fix.

When I reluctantly agreed to give control of my body to my wolf self to save my fiancé, Nicholi, I never thought that she could really take control. Of course, my being totally ignorant of the whole Maegunous — or werewolf, for those not in the know — situation probably aided that screwed up assumption. See, until a year ago, I didn’t even know what I was. Sure, the once a month fur fest after a European one night stand sorta clued me in, but I had no idea of all the crap that went along with it. Nicholi, the one night stand in question, showing back up into my life clued me in on some of those. We had that entire Moonlighting thing going on for a while until a group of monster hunters showed up to toss us into each other’s loving arms. The day was saved, and I kindly allowed Nicholi to think he’d come up with the idea of marrying me all on his lonesome. Aren’t I just the most gracious person alive? Don’t answer that. My ego was too fragile to handle the truth at the moment.

That all should have spelled happily ever after, but my life had always been a soap opera. He had to go home to handle tribe business because he was Paxium of the European Tribes, or packs, of the Maegunous. That translated to high muckety muck in some circles. Werewolf ones apparently. Anyway, some buttwipes decided to kidnap him. Long story short. He’s safe, and I’d ended up trapped in my own ID. Great way to spend the month before the biggest day of my life.

Normally, I avoided prolonged flashbacks like a pitcher of unsweet iced-tea, but my current whereabouts had given me nothing but time to think. Sometimes, that’s a bad thing. Sure, I had my share of plotting my wolf’s horrific demise. A dull Lady Bic may have been involved sans shaving creaming. Gorilla Duct Tape could have entered into the picture, as well, followed by a rusty pair of catfish skinners. Those covered the first few days. After that, I went straight into remembering the last issue of Elle. My photographic fashion sense gave me a couple hours of false comfort. Then, it was back to murderous intent. That was four days ago. Murderous intent had become bored out of my skull real quick. Which was funny, because I was too freaking trapped in my skull to get out.

When had I morphed into some whining little snot? Probably, somewhere in my formative years when Big Daddy was spoiling me rotten and letting me have my way whenever I batted my eyelashes. That didn’t excuse the condition. It just explained my one flaw. You look for others though and things could get nasty. So, let’s not go there.

The worst part of this whole thing. Ms. Beoytch had more or less installed a flat screen in my, her?, head, so I could see what she was doing with my body. That was what hurt the most. I could see what the bitch was up to! Not one bit of it was a lick of good, let me tell you.

Now, that I’ve caught you up, how about helping me get out of this mess. Short of breaking down this fourth wall any further than it already is, I don’t see that happening, so sit back and get ready for the ride of your life. Things are definitely about to get hairy. Excuse the pun, but my biographer thinks he’s funny. Since he works for free, I’m stroking his ego and not telling him what a dufus is.

One more thing before I go, for continuity reasons, this chapter of my life story takes place before the events of Bite Marks Book One. Whatever that means. I so wish this guy would stop putting words in my mouth. It’s beginning to really cheese me off.

ImageIf you liked what you read, feel free to visit my author pages at either the Desert Breeze website, or Amazon to check more from me.

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/brands/J.-Morgan.html

http://www.amazon.com/J-Morgan/e/B0032R8BFE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Passion is in the eye of the beholder

Passion!

 

Huh? What did he say?

 

I said passion. You heard me right. I said the P word. Before you gasp, and swoon back in your chair, read down a few more lines. If the gasp still demands to be gasped, feel free to enact your God given right to swoon. But, passion is more than the emotion described in any number of ways. Today, I’m going to address it in terms that I use in relation to the word. So, here’s my definition.

 

Passion is the overwhelming need to do something to the best of your abilities. Throwing everything you have at something until every ounce of it contains a part of you in it.

 

To be a writer, you have to have passion. Not the emotion most people associate with lust of a fleshly sort, but a passion for what you do. You have to feel every word you put on the screen. You have to believe them with a certainty that makes them not only real to you, but real to those who plop down their hard earned money to read them. As a reader, I’ve read books where you can just tell the author is coasting through the motions because he or she just isn’t into it. I have paid my own hard earned money for that disappointment, so understand the pain of putting someone else through it.

 

We will all get those moments. It’s impossible to treat writing as a business and not get overwhelmed with the ‘business’ aspect of what we do. When we first start writing, if we do it for the right reasons, it’s because writing is something we love doing. The thought of doing it consumes us with a passion nothing else can compare with. Like any form of art, writing is an emotional release. We don’t just create a work of art. We create our own children that we have loved, nurtured, and when they’ve grown to the point we feel they can fly on their own, we let them go out into the world to either stand on their own, or fail miserably. We love them either way. I bet even technical writers do what they do because they feel passionate about the subject. Though, I’m not sure about those guys who write Algebra textbooks, but who am I to say what people love above all else. That would be like the weird calling the crazy… Well, crazy.

 

As a writer, I follow the most simplest rule ever. Write what you know. But, let me tweak that a little. Write what you love. To truly know something you have to love it, and to love something you have to truly know it intimately, know it to the very soul of it. That means loving the good stuff, the bad stuff, and yes, even the boring stuff.

 

When it comes to reading, I love Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I also like making people smile, so when I began writing, it was only natural that I’d write one of those three genres and insert smiles when possible. I like spy novels, but don’t love it enough to know everything about it. So, don’t expect me to write one. I know the limitations of what I am capable of doing. No, I leave the spy stuff to Tom Clancy. Though, you will find a certain political thriller vibe to some of my books, because that like is a personal experience of reading that will naturally seep into my work.

 

I sincerely hope when you read my work, the first thing that strikes you about my writing is that I feel passionately about what I do. But, how can you tell that passion is evident? Simple. If you have as much fun reading it, as I did writing it, you will know. If you become so immersed into the lives of my characters that you don’t want to leave their world, then I’m doing my job. By job, I mean having fun doing what I love.

 

Sure, they are times that I just don’t feel it. I experienced that on my third Southern Werewolf Chronicles. Instead of just writing a book to satisfy readers and my publisher, I stepped back and wrote something else. I would much rather make readers wait for a book, that force them to sit through a book that doesn’t even appeal to me. That’s passion about what I do, how I do it, and the conviction to say, I will not be less than I know I can be. I fervently hope that every writer feels that way.

 

I also pray I keep that fire of satisfying readers completely and to the best of my ability ten or twenty years down the line. I know that isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’m not the same person I was ten years ago that I am today. So, who knows who I’ll be ten years into the future? I could be a Smurf for all I know. The point is I want to be a better man and a better writer than I am now.

 

Above all else, I want to be even more passionate about my craft. Because, if I don’t love what I do, what’s the sense in doing it?