Category Archives: Writing

J.S. Wayne Unscripted Episode 3: The INGE voice and how to overcome it!

As many of you have no doubt already heard, I’m running a seminar at Coffee Time Romance and More this week. The topic? Overcoming perfectionism in writing! Of course, the INGE voice is the flipside of that coin. Instead of saying “It has to be perfect!” the INGE voice is what tells us our work will NEVER be good enough. If you like what you see here, check out http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=2094 for all the goodies from Day 1, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss Friday’s and Saturday’s posts! See you there!

Concept Cover For Wail Copyright 2010 by Bill Fish

Some Really Cool Things Happening!

An interesting thing happened the other night.

I was dragged out to the local watering hole to play poker. It beat sitting at the house alone, so I went. When we arrived, my business manager informed everybody that “Even Groomsmen Get The Blues” hadn’t won the LRC Best Of 2013 Contest….but I did get a mention in the Southern Utah Spectrum! She headed upstairs to play poker, and I ordered up a beer. A couple of minutes later, one of the regulars came over.

“So, I understand condolences are in order.”

I blinked at him.

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, I heard you didn’t win the contest your book was up for.”

Now it clicked. I said, “Well, I appreciate the thought, but look at it this way: For argument’s sake, let’s say there are twenty new contemporary romances released. Every day. That’s about 7,200 per year, right?” (It’s actually 7,300, but I figure that’s not bad for a spitball approximation.)

He said, “Okay.”

I said, “Now consider that out of those 7,200 books that released in 2013, my book was nominated as one of the top fifteen. On the planet. Now, I have two choices: I can either get mad because my story wasn’t tapped for the top slot, or the top three, or whatever…OR I can say my story was in the top 20% of the top 1% of all the contemporary romances released in 2013, as called out by these people. It was an honor just to be named, even if I didn’t win!”

He conceded I had a point, we finished our cigarettes while talking about the weather and the prospects around the tables, and then he went his way and I went mine. This little tete-a-tete got me to thinking, though.

So much of life is really just in how you look it. Sure, there are some parts of it that blow goats, and of course there are always going to be those moments when your inner child throws a screaming hissy because he/she wants the goodies and wants them NOW! On the other hand, there are times when it pays to take a step back and look at what’s ahead, instead of what’s behind.

And I gotta say, the view from the top of this mountain is going to be CRAZY!!

First, I completed Dusk in 32 days. I would have liked to get it done sooner, but between school and other commitments, that’s not bad going for 95k words.  Last night, I sent the full MS off to Changeling Press and an unedited copy to Cassi Reed, my winner. (One of the goodies I didn’t mention during the contest was the option to be written into the story as a supporting character. She was gracious enough to permit me to do this, and as one writer to another, I’m deeply honored by the level of trust she showed in me. Another of said goodies was that she would get a first look at it before anyone else did. This seemed only fair considering that she’s IN the thing!) This afternoon Cassi sent me an email saying she was two-thirds of the way done and very happy with the story, so I’m absolutely thrilled about that!

Second, the first installment of Dusk, entitled simply Dusk, will drop on March 13th, 2014, so mark your calendars. Part two, Dusk: Darkness Rising, comes out sometime in May, and the final episode, Dusk: Tides of Astaroth, is scheduled for release in July. I will update these as they come available, but the contracts are signed and Dusk is ON!

I really like the world I created with, and on, the fictional planet of Dusk. It’s a big, sprawling galaxy, big enough for all kinds of lizard-men and teddy bears with claws half a meter long, devious diplomats and malevolent military types, but small enough for two men and a woman to come together and make a bond strong enough to give them the strength to face  a catastrophe with galactic implications. I also got to put some of my newfound knowledge of geology to good use to explain how, exactly, a moon could be dark and still reflective. Finally, I got to explore almost completely new territory to me by considering how these people would meet, fall in love…and what pitfalls they might encounter on an alien world.

With all the press Gael has received so far, I’m looking forward to some really strong sales for the month of January. I won’t know for sure until the end of this month, but I’m feeling pretty good about the January payout…and I’m expecting something even bigger for February!

So, with all that out of the way, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve got on tap over the next several weeks:

Tomorrow I’ll be at The Romance Studios, talking about The Gael and the Goddess, giving a special sneak peek at Dusk, and talking about whatever YOU want to ask me!

February 19-23, I’ll be at Coffee Time Romance & More, giving a seminar on how to overcome perfectionism and give the poor story a rest! More on this as it gets closer to time.

ETA: February 25th I’ll be taking over the blog at TRS Blue…and bringing the heat with excerpts, commentary, and talking about what goes into building a sci-fi world from its component elements up!

March 7th, I’ll be at Love Romances Cafe’s blog talking about Dusk and the average “day in the life” of a writer! (And, on a semi-unrelated note, check out this great review of Wail from Helen at LRC!)

In the middle of March, I’ll be at Mary’s Menage Whispers, talking about Dusk and some revelations I’ve had about menage romance…and why it’s not as unlikely as some people might think!

March 13th, Dusk comes out. To celebrate, I’ll be holding a live chat on Facebook from 2pm Mountain until whenever everyone gets bored at my page. Be sure to follow me for the newest and latest as it happens!

March 20th, I’ll be taking over the chat room at Coffee Time Romance & More starting at 7pm Eastern. It’s going to be a great time, and I may even have some prizes on tap! I’ll add in the link closer to time.

So as you can see, there’s a lot of great stuff on the way, and my dance card’s only getting fuller. I’ll see y’all out and about on the Web. For now, it’s time for a well-earned victory beer!

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne

A Not-So-Fond Farewell to 2013

I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but I was about done with 2013 back in July.

Between any number of necessary, seminecessary, and unnecessary battles, the loss of loved ones, and my state of ongoing penury through most of the year, I felt like 2013 would never end. At a certain point I took something of a bunker mentality, hunkering down and waiting for the next explosion. If there’s an opposite for the phrase “Every cloud has a silver lining,” it applied to my general attitude for the second half of the year.

You want some of THIS? YOU WANT SOME!?!??!

This isn’t a bitch post, however. I made the choices I made and whether they were good, bad, or just calculated to get me through another day, I own them. Tonight, I’m thinking about all the things I’m looking forward to for 2014 and all the changes I have planned for the next year.

First, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve started doing freelance articles for Lifehack.org, in addition to my other freelance work. My first one drops at around 6am Eastern time, and this is the link: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-things-when-you-feel-lonely.html. I hope you’ll check it out and that you enjoy it!

Second, I’m really excited about my next book, Dusk. This is the one I ran the contest for, in which Cassi R. had the winning concept. One day after the contest ended, I’m almost 8k words deep and raring to go on this one! Hopefully the next 80k or so will go as quickly on average as the beginning did!

Third, I learned earlier this evening that I made the Dean’s List at SUU for the second time in three completed semesters and finished off the semester with a 3.65 overall. This is particularly sweet because someone told me around the first of November that with my (admittedly more than slightly crazed) schedule, I was “setting myself up to fail.” Guess it just goes to show that proper motivation, determination, and planning always trumps precedent. (Should you find yourself in a similar position, this is a life lesson worth taking away…on both sides of the fence.)

Term: Fall Semester 2013
Academic Standing: Good Standing
Additional Standing: Dean’s List
Subject Course Level Title Grade Credit Hours Quality Points Start and End Dates R
CSIS 1000 US Intro Computer Apps & Internet B+ 3.000 9.90
ENGL 1010 US Intro to Academic Wrtg (HON) A 3.000 12.00
GEO 1090 US How the Earth Works B+ 3.000 9.90
GEO 1095 US How the Earth Works Lab B+ 1.000 3.30
HIST 1700 US American Civilization A 3.000 12.00
MATH 0990 US Beginning Algebra B+* 4.000 0.00
NR 1010 US Intro to Natural Resources A 3.000 12.00
SPAN 2010 US Intermediate Spanish B+ 4.000 13.20
UNIV 3925 US EDGE Project Proposal:Creative P 1.000 0.00
Term Totals (Undergraduate – Semester)
Attempt Hours Passed Hours Earned Hours GPA Hours Quality Points GPA
Current Term: 25.000 21.000 21.000 20.000 72.30 3.61
Cumulative: 61.000 57.000 57.000 50.000 182.50 3.65

Fourth, I have a lot of new plans for this year concerning promo, social media, and generally trying to make myself more available to readers than ever before. This is largely due to the efforts of my new business manager, who beat me about the head and shoulders with a frozen turkey drumstick until I finally broke down and got a Facebook account for the first time in a year and a half. I’m also going to be making some changes to the way I manage my social media and promotional efforts, to see what really works.

Fifth, I’m taking a more structured approach to my scheduling. I need to work in some R&R on a regular basis, because I shaved the other day and JESUS! I’m getting in wrinkles in places I didn’t even know COULD get wrinkles! (Ladies of a certain age or above, feel free to snicker at me and mutter, “WE coulda tolja that, asshole.”) So I’m allotting myself so many hours a day for school; so many for work; and so many for writing. The end goal is to try to be off the computer and into my night by 6pm, 7 at the latest, and to block out one full day a week where it’s all about taking a little time away. Maybe I can even find out what’s going on with TV these days!

I’m SO there.

Things in the Land of the Spork aren’t getting any less insane, but I have high hopes that if I do this right, I’ll end 2014 a lot healthier, happier, and (please GOD) wealthier than I’m starting.

I hope you all have a safe, happy, and prosperous 2014. May it be gentler on ALL of us than 2013 was.

And as we look over our shoulders this one last time at 2013, I hope you’ll all join me in giving this abomination of a year the appropriate farewell, with the most fervent sincerity:

No, seriously, 2013. It wasn’t us…it was YOU.

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne

And The Winner Is…Cassi R.!

I asked, and you answered!

Out of 23 responses overall, the overwhelming winning concept was futuristic MFM menage with magick and an evil magician/nobleperson. I was quite pleased to see that the winning heat level was thermonuclear. (I DO so hate to disappoint…) Winners were chosen from the majority pool, using a pair of ten-sided gaming dice as the randomizer.

And the winner of the 2013 Choose My Story contest is…

CASSI R.!!!!

Cassi wanted to read a story including futuristic MFM menage with a thermonuclear heat level, magick, and an evil magician using a hapless alien race for their own ends. Luckily, I have just the thing in my back pocket…stay tuned for details!

Cassi, I will be in touch by email with your prizes no later than the 6th of January. You’ve won a $20 gift card to Changeling Press and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Thank you very much to everyone who participated, shared, Tweeted, Facebooked, and otherwise passed this around. I’m deeply grateful to all of you and hope you enjoy what I’m bringing this next round! (And, for those whose concepts didn’t win, take heart…I’m saving the responses for future reference, so just because you didn’t win this time around, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see YOURS in the near future!;)

I wish each and every one of you a safe and happy 2014, and all the joy and prosperity 2013 seemed to lack. Slainte, salud, skoal, cheers, and bottoms up, y’all!

The standings at the end of Day Two

First, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful 2014. As odd as this year has been, I sincerely hope next year is far less interesting! :)

With the seasonal rush to get to family and shopping, the standings for the survey haven’t changed all that much. Even so, I did promise to keep a running tally. So, with that in mind, here they are:

Medieval
9.09%
2
Modern
40.91%
9
Futuristic
50%
11
Total 22

Choose a pairing.

M/F
14.29%
3
M/M
14.29%
3
M/F/M
38.10%
8
M/M/F
19.05%
4
Other (please specify)
14.29%
3
Total 21

Choose a genre.

Steampunk
9.09%
2
Sci/Fi
40.91%
9
Paranormal
50%
11
Contemporary
0%
0
Suspense/thriller
9.09%
2
Western
0%
0
Total Respondents: 22

Choose a heat level.

Moderate (bedroom door is open)
13.64%
3
Intense (graphic detail)
36.36%
8
Thermonuclear (melts your monitor!)
50%
11
Total 22

Choose an extra.

Alchemy
13.64%
3
Magick
45.45%
10
Invention
9.09%
2
Computers
9.09%
2
Robots
13.64%
3
Other (please specify)
9.09%
2
Total 22

Choose a villain(ess).

Evil monarch/boss
22.73%
5
Rival for affections
4.55%
1
Jilted lover
9.09%
2
Evil magician/nobleperson
27.27%
6
Alien Race
9.09%
2
Evil Undead/ghosts/spirits
18.18%
4
Other (please specify)
9.09%
2
Total 2

So far, MFM futuristic menage, with a thermonuclear heat level and magick as the extra, seem to be the runaway favorites. There’s still plenty of time to make your voice heard, however…don’t forget, the contest runs until December 30th at midnight and the prizes only get bigger as more people vote, so pass the word!

For now, I wish you all the joy and happiness of this holiday season, a safe return to your various domiciles for yourselves, your friends and family, and a wonderful New Year!

Until next time,
Best,
J.S. Wayne

The Standings At The End Of Day One

I’ve certainly learned a lot in the last day or so about what readers are looking for by watching the survey I posted. With just over a week to go, I’m curious to see what’s going to win! But, here at the end of the first full day, here are the standings as they sit now.

Tune in tomorrow night for the latest, and pass the word around! Remember, I’m going to write what YOU want to read, so the choice is yours! :D

Choose a time period.

Medieval
10.53%
2
Modern
36.84%
7
Futuristic
52.63%
10
Total 19

Choose a pairing.

M/F
16.67%
3
M/M
11.11%
2
M/F/M
38.89%
7
M/M/F
22.22%
4
Other (please specify)
11.11%
2
Total 18

Choose a genre.

Steampunk
5.26%
1
Sci/Fi
42.11%
8
Paranormal
52.63%
10
Contemporary
0%
0
Suspense/thriller
10.53%
2
Western
0%
0
Total Respondents: 19

Choose a heat level.

Moderate (bedroom door is open)
10.53%
2
Intense (graphic detail)
31.58%
6
Thermonuclear (melts your monitor!)
57.89%
11
Total 19

Choose an extra.

Alchemy
10.53%
2
Magick
47.37%
9
Invention
5.26%
1
Computers
10.53%
2
Robots
15.79%
3
Other (please specify)
10.53%
2
Total 19

Choose a villain(ess).

 

Evil monarch/boss
21.05%
4
Rival for affections
5.26%
1
Jilted lover
10.53%
2
Evil magician/nobleperson
26.32%
5
Alien Race
10.53%
2
Evil Undead/ghosts/spirits
21.05%
4
Other (please specify)
5.26%
1
Total