Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When Dreams Change

I'm a traditional girl in many ways. For years I dreamed of walking into a bookstore or a library and seeing a hardcover with my name on the front. As someone who loved to write since early childhood, I believed that to be the pinnacle of success for a writer. My name - in print - for all to see.

I'm 35 now and the world has changed. I don't browse library shelves; I load up their website, place a hold on a book that they may or may not carry (because they'll just borrow it from another library for me), and get an email telling me it's in. Then I pop into the library for five minutes, at the most, to pick up the book I put on hold. I don't spend time combing through the shelves. Why? There's simply too much to browse through. Fiction is shelved alphabetically, not by genre. I wish fiction was more like the Dewey Decimal System, where all nonfiction is shelved by topic.

I get my book recommendations from friends and family, colleagues and blogs, or by basic word-of-mouth. It's rare for me to be left wondering what to read next because I maintain a list a mile long. I will never, ever run out of books to read - which is a wonderful thing.

But as the "great" rejections from agents piled up, I began to get a little sad. What was I doing, spending two years writing when I was never going to make it? They kept telling me my writing was great, but that the market was too narrow for my work. Narrow? How can a world as wide-open as books ever be too narrow?

The more I thought it about it, the more I realized I simply want people to read my books. I don't have to be on a shelf in a bookstore for that to happen anymore. I don't have to be a New York Times bestseller. What I want is to put a smile on someone's face or make a heart pound just little faster.

I've been published regularly for years as a under my secret journalist identity. I've seen my name in print more often than I can count. You know what? It gets old. It does and I'm sorry if that upsets anyone, but the thrill of seeing my name in a magazine wore off within a year or so. If my biggest goal in traditional publication was to see my name on a hardcover book, I bet eventually that thrill would wear off too.

It's not about seeing my name in print anymore - it's all about sharing the stories I have. My goal is to entertain you, not to feed my own ego.


Monday, January 24, 2011


I've written the book, done my final edits and I'm awaiting feedback from my beta readers. Anathema is getting so very close to publication and I can't wait to announce a date!

In the meantime I still have a billion things to do. One of the final pieces I've been most excited to write are the acknowledgments. A book doesn't happen on its own, and if it does, then, um, perhaps you ought to let a couple people read it before you put it out there.

I began writing Anathema in January of 2009. It's been touched by many, many different people and I want to thank every one of them. It's a good thing I started a list of who helped when I began writing the novel. Yes, I am a creative person, but I'm also very organized.

Writing can be a very solitary profession, but if you reach out and connect with other writers you'll find not only your writing enriched, but also your life. There's nothing like having colleagues to whine to when the writing's tough. No one understands your literary ups and downs more than people who are riding the roller coaster with you.

So, no matter where you are in your writing process, keep track of those who've helped you along the way. I've made some amazing friendships and strengthened others through my writing. That, in itself, is a fantastic award.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Release Date Pending....

Everyone keeps asking me when my book will be out ... and I wish I had an answer. Soon is about the best I can do.

Since I'm new to the whole epub thing, I don't have a good gauge for how long everything will take. I'm currently in the midst of revisions and I hope to have those done within the next two weeks. Then there's formatting and other things that need to be done before I can release the book.

Some of you are really excited to read it - which makes me really excited too!!!! And maybe a little scared....

I'm going to keep you updated on everything I'm doing. But, for now, I'm mired in revisions.

Thanks for hanging out with me for a few minutes!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Anathema: Book Trailer & Contest Winner!

Today I'm one step closer to releasing my book! My book trailer is done and uploaded to You Tube. I also have a new name for my main character: Reychel. There were so many great suggestions and I thank each of you for participating!!! The winner is under 18, so I'm sending her the book and keeping her name under wraps. :-)

Here's my book trailer!!!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Last Chance to Enter the Contest!

I just wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to enter my contest. My main character desperately needs a new name and I want you guys to help me out.

Follow this link to the original post for all of the information on how to enter.

I'm going to announce the winner and the name on Monday. But it's not going to be just a normal blog post. Nope, it's also going to be the reveal of my book trailer!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cover Reveal!!!!!

Here's my cover. Isn't it amazing?!?!?!

And remember, if you want to name the girl in the picture, my main character, go to this post for details on how to enter & win!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Contest! Prizes! Sparkly Things!

Okay, maybe there won't be any sparkly things...unless you win and you want your prize wrapped in confetti.

When I wrote Anathema I named my main character Mina. Why? I knew someone with the name and I thought it was gorgeous and unusual. When I read Dracula this summer for the first time, I found out why Mina was such an usual name....who wants to be named after Mina Harker?!

Now that Anathema will see the light of day, I want my main character to have a new name. But I have no idea what to name her. (My husband probably doesn't believe this considering the extensive list of names I had for our daughter.)

This is where I need YOUR help. Name my main character for me! I'll thank you in my book and you'll win a signed hardcover copy of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. It can't get more awesome than that.

Here's some info about Soon-To-Be-Renamed-Main-Character:

- teenage girl
- dark hair
-amber eyes
- shy
-doesn't always believe in herself
- she's been a slave her whole life

This is a fantasy story, so anything goes. It can be a real name or a made-up name. First name only.

All you have to do for each name suggestion/entry is either blog about this contest, FB it or tweet it - with a link to this post. Just one shout-out for each entry. (This means you need to help me spread the word by linking to the contest somewhere. I'd love to see lots of name suggestions!) If I don't know you, please leave contact information or send me an email using the link to the right. You aren't required to follow me on Blogger, FB or Twitter, but it's always appreciated. If the same name is submitted twice, I will go with the person who suggested it first. The same name spelled differently is counted as a different entry. I also have the right not to choose a name if I don't see one I like.

I'm going to run this contest until January 13th and I'll announce the winner on January 17th.

Good luck and thanks for participating!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Creating a Cover

One of my favorite aspects of going indie has been the control factor. Everyone who knows me will tell you what a control freak I am. When I was pursuing traditional (trad) publishing, I knew that I'd have little to no input on my cover.

What a bummer, right?

Don't you hate it when a cover totally misrepresents a book? The hair color is wrong, the clothes aren't even close and there have even been some books where the SKIN COLOR is wrong, like African-American main characters portrayed as Caucasians on the cover. That is so, so wrong.

I have a basic concept of where my cover is going and unless they're lying to me, my indie buddies agree with me - my cover is absolutely amazing. It's a black background (my favorite color, natch) and depicts a scene from my novel. It's fantastic and I can't wait until it's done so I can share it with you. It will be an amazing reveal (crap....sounding like reality shows again...)!

I've spent more time staring at the artwork than I should, really. I have to get back to revisions. None of this is worth it unless I have a book to share with you, right?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Using a Pen Name

I know what you're thinking - I'm e-pubbing and using a pen name. I'm obviously ashamed of my work. Right? Wrong.

For the people who know me in real life, I've been very honest about what I'm doing with books and the name I'm using. I posted about it on Facebook twice yesterday. Obviously I don't care if they know.

So why bother?

Easy. I've always wanted to be a superhero. Every good superhero has a secret identity. Oh wait a sec, I'm an author, not a hot chick with superpowers. Damn.

My real answers are simple...

First, I have a career as a freelance parenting journalist. I'd like to keep the two careers separate. My audiences could overlap, but if I'm being searched on Google for one, I don't need the other muddying up the results.

Second, I do a ton of volunteer work in real life. My real name is connected to that on the web as well. Just one more thing to pollute my search results.

Third, I like having a private life. Is that so wrong?

Wow, this reveal was a little boring, right? It's just something I felt I should get out of the way before moving on with my book-related posts.

I'm plowing ahead quickly and first on my list is cover art. I've discovered this amazing artist and I hope to employ her soon. In fact, I'm sending off an email today. This is where the book publishing gets fun! I have a great idea in my head and I hope it translates well to a cover!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

An Introduction

Hey world! Today a new writer, Megg Jensen, was born.

Okay, I'm not new. I've been around the writing block a few times. I'm a successful freelance parenting journalist, but I'm about to embark on a new adventure - e-publishing a YA fantasy novel.

Why e-pubbing? Well, two of my books have been shopped around to agents. For those who requested to see my  book, I've had nearly the same response each time: "Your book is amazing." "Such an intriguing plot." "You're a great writer."

Ultimately many of their responses came down to the same thing: "It doesn't fit on any list."

After hearing that more times than I care to remember, I decided that maybe my book doesn't fit in to the traditional publishing box. These agents admitted I was a great writer, and let me tell you, agents are known for rejecting writers without saying a word, much less a compliment. Did the rejections hurt? Sure, but they didn't have to tell me I was a great writer or that my book was well-written. Those tidbits bolstered my confidence. But where was I supposed to go from there?

My most excellent friend, Karly Kirkpatrick, e-pubbed her first book, Into the Shadows, in 2010. It's an amazing book - a book that went through the same wringer mine did. But guess what? People are reading and buying her book, which is all she ever wanted.

It's all I ever wanted too. I write because the voices in my head won't shut up. I publish because I want to share those words with you, the reader. If I can't fit into the traditional model, fine. I'm not really a traditional girl anyway - I'm accustomed to being the oddball.

I hope you come along with me on this journey (OMG, that sounds so like The Bachelor - *vomit*). I'm guessing it will be a wild ride. What's coming up? Posts on why I'm using a pen name, a teaser for my first book and info how to start the wild e-pub ride.