Worlds, words, and more.

Photo by Shane Leonard.png I have one of my new favorite writers on the show today. Kat Howard is quite the wordsmith. I started reading her short stories which you definitely go check out. If you go to her site you can find them there. Her stories led me to her recent release Roses and Rot. Wow! I really love this book. It hits home in some ways but it also just mystified me. It’s one those stories where every line is tight and beautiful and the story stays with you after you read it.

Due to my inability to stop dissecting a character last night, horribly cliche dreams about being  hired to hunt myself, and my cat’s need to eat at 3 o’clock in the morning I did not sleep well. I’m making gradual strides to rid my zombie persona as the day carries on.

First off, I’m going to tell you all to go to the comic shop because there are awesome titles you should treat yourself to. I talked about Ladycastle last week. Delilah S. Dawson does an amazing job and it is officially out in stores out from Boom Studios. Vertigo/DC’s Lucifer is now in Richard Kadrey’s hands. Issue 14 is fun and dark and I love it. So it’s worth the grab for sure. Of course if you aren’t reading Monstress yet you should start. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda hit it through the moon. It’s dark and enchanting.

Next week I have Charlie Stross on the show. Then after that the show will be going on a hiatus for a bit while I bury myself in this massive rewrite. It was hard for me to decide to put the show on hold but my mind needs to be fully focused. I will for sure post dates and details when I have them. I appreciate all your support and patience.

Here are the links for Episode 49:

 

Adam Silvera and History Is All You Left Me

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First episode of 2017 starts with a bang. Adam Silvera is the New York Times bestselling author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT. He is on the show talking about his brand new release HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME. Adam gets into the journey of creating it, hurtles he had to get through, and upcoming tour dates. Before Adam comes on, I talk 2017 and Apex Publication‘s recent anthology, UPSIDE DOWN.

This episode is sponsored by Turn The Page Editing and LuLaRoe Rebecca Clark VIP

Listen. Share. Subscribe.

iTunes: https://goo.gl/XOWMcE
Stitcher: https://goo.gl/3Ho6XG
Google Play: https://goo.gl/5Ho3zN

Notebook in hand, it’s a new year

Well, I’m back in my real life. Holiday break is over. I dropped the kids off this morning missing the preschool days where I was their main gig for the first time in a long time. This feels like a good thing. The first few days off I had trouble letting go of plots and pitch letters. In the final days of my time off, my anxiety about getting back to it started to build. I was scared of facing responses to what I’ve pitched (short and long works) and was terrified of what I’d write next.

I woke up this morning at six before the house started to stir, got my coffee, and grabbed The Lord of the Rings (a book I can’t even count how many times I’ve read. Sometimes I just have to dive in again and get lost.) I took my time this morning getting back to my chair in my office in the back corner of my basement. As soon as I stepped into the bird-covered walls, I made a playlist on Spotify of kick-ass female music while I wrote down my goals and deadlines for January.

Now my mind starts to fill with inspiration, and I gear up to edit a short story I wrote before the break. My dogs sleep by my feet. I’m feeling good. It’s nice to be back. I guess this is part of being a writer (especially earlier in the career), but sometimes I spend time trying to convince myself I’m not a writer. My inner critic tell me to do something else. But, here I am in my chair with fingers slamming against the keys of my Macbook and I feel like I’m exactly where I should be.

Life is weird. I feel strange about everything most of the time. But, I’m lucky to have an amazing family I helped build and to love what I do for a living, even if it makes me feel anxious, vulnerable, and sometimes terrible.

Happy New Year all!

-J

Writing and The Vulnerable Mind

Episode 46 Promo.pngToday I have New York Times Best Selling Author, Richard Kadrey back on the show talking about the writing process, juggling projects, the importance of listening to instincts and learning to trust yourself. We get into the power of pen and paper, and leaning into the story’s flow. Richard talks about writing DC/Vertigo’s Lucifer and the upcoming Sandman Slim film. Richard and I also talk about the impact of finishing big projects and the vulnerable mind.
I had a great time talking to him! I hope you enjoy!
 
 
This episode is sponsored by LuLaRoe Rebecca Clark VIP. 

Writer’s Block: The Way of the Unicorn

We’ve all heard those terrible two words entirely too often. Whether it’s a question or a string of unproductive thoughts, if you are a writer these two words may bug you as much as they bug me. Which is a lot, so realize what you are coming along for. I don’t hate these words because I fear them, I hate them because they simply aren’t true.

I’m gonna switch from saying “we” to “me” because I’m gonna say some weird stuff here.
My inner-doubt can transform into a dragon following me down the rabbit hole as it burns my toes with his fiery breath. I’ve gotten a lot better at managing my negative thoughts when it comes to my work and what the hell it is I’m doing but they are there, and a weight to manage. From the conversations I have had with other writers, this is a common theme. Inner-doubt is part of the gig. Saying I have writer’s block is one of the nasty tricks our minds pull and is an inaccurate way to put it.
Try this instead: “I have some more world building to do,” or “I need to dig deeper into my characters.”
That’s the truth.
I used to panic when I’d suddenly come to a halt or get hung up a detail that could quite easily be the first thing cut during edits. I think I’ve mentioned this on my podcast or right here, but writing questions to yourself is an amazing tool for unlocking your brain.

Seriously try it.

What is Molly’s motivation?

She feels a moral responsibility to free all the magical rabbits from captivity.

What is the island’s power source?

Magic.

Why?

Because the island is inside a vortex in a hidden part of the ocean.

It’s fun and how I work out a lot of kinks. I’ve been talking a lot to other writers recently about the importance of trusting ourselves. It’s hard for me. I constantly suspect that I’m up to no good. If something is telling me it’s not right, or it’s awesome, I need to listen to it and not assume my mind is out to get me for some godforsaken reason. I have to write everything down on paper for that reason. My brain clicks in different ways with a pen to paper rather than fingers on keys.

Writer’s block isn’t real. Not being able to see what comes next just means you have more thinking to do. Take a walk. Do a headstand. Make a playlist. Walk away. I almost always get the best ideas while I’m vacuuming. Write down everything you think until you find something cool.

Writing and what it feels like

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Author, Oli Jacobs is back on the show talking about his new book, The Children of Little Thwopping. Oli and I get into inner-doubt, getting lost in words, the importance of literature, and the shear insanity of being a writer.
 
 
This episode is sponsored by LuLaRoe Rebecca Clark VIP. Enter code Too Many Words Pod to receive 20% off your next order!

updates and high hopes

Hey, everyone!

I want to start by saying thank you so much to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy of The Shadow Bearers. Rebecca and I really appreciate it!

Today on my podcast, Too Many Words, I talk with Rebecca all about The Shadow Bearers. What inspired us, how much fun it is building a fantasy world with a friend, and quite a bit more. You’ll get to learn more about us as well.

Do it up!

iTunes: http://goo.gl/0yXoZN

Stitcher: http://goo.gl/GlYWRa

More exciting news is that original artwork of Athea, Tag, Mayhem, and the locketts is in the works! So definitely keep your eyes out for that.

We are having fun getting new chapters ready for you to read. Both Rebecca and I are having so much fun working together. We are excited but also anxious to get in the Top 10 soon. We are in September, which means The Shadow Bearers is now in the second month of the Geek & Sundry Fantasy contest. There are a lot of great books, and we are excited to be a part of it.

10 more pre-orders unlocks Chapter 5: Drawn to Darkness

25 more pre-orders unlocks Chapter 6: Evil Alliances

Please pre-order your copy and tell a friend!

https://www.inkshares.com/books/the-shadow-bearers

Thank you so much for all your support and continued support. We can’t do it without your help!