Tag Archives: Jennifer Conner

Come on Down to UM&M!

Friday, June 6, 2014 ~ 5:00p-8:00p (and every first Friday of the month)

Uptown Mercantile & Marketplace / 816 Pacific Avenue, Bremerton, WA (no cover)

Join myself and other local authors at the First Friday partay that is UM&M.  Stop by and support your local artisans, not to mention an awesome and eclectic locally owned business! Meet artists & writers and score one of a kind art, signed paperbacks, food, wine, and listen to live music, all under UM&M’s fabulous warehouse roof! It’s summertime in the Pacific Northwest–come on down! 😀


Writing Process Blog Hop

The End BookToday I’m participating in the Writing Process Blog Hop, where you’re tagged by a fellow writer to answer some questions. In turn, you then profile 2-3 other writers to do the same.  The person who tagged me is the inimitable and always classy Charlie Ray (http://redroom.com/member/charles-a-ray). I interviewed Charlie a while back on Awesome Authors. You can blame him for what you’re about to read 😀

Question 1: What am I working on?
Currently I’m brainstorming scenes for the third as-yet-untitled Leine Basso thriller. It’s like old home week as I figure out which direction Leine and Santiago’s relationship is going to go, how to integrate Leine’s new line of work into the story, and re-introduce characters from previous books (if you liked Yuri’s uncle, you’ll enjoy this installment), all while keeping the suspense and action building throughout the book. Beginning a novel is all deliciousness and unicorns and mimics the first blush of infatuation: everything’s awesome and the possibilities are endless. Yes, I know that will wear off at the first hint of trouble, but as long as I blow something up I should be okay 😀

CFD_Cvr_2_200x300I’m also working with two different audiobook narrators: I’m excited to report that Melissa Moran has finished CRUISING FOR DEATH and the book is now in ACX’s capable hands.  Melissa also recorded the KATE JONES THRILLER SERIES boxed set and has been a lot of fun to work with–she has Kate’s idiosyncrasies down pat. Look for it in the next few weeks.

Kristi Alsip is in the process of recording BAD TRAFFICK, and I can’t say enough good things about her work. When I first heard her voice I KNEW she would make a great Leine Basso and, from what she’s done so far, she’s nailed it. Once the audiobook’s completed it will go to ACX’s sound engineers for approval and should be available next month.Night traffic

Question 2: How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I write thrillers, and there’s an expectation on the part of thriller readers that the books will be fast-paced and have a lot of action. Of course, I LOVE writing action scenes, so that’s no problem. What I think I do a bit differently is incorporate suspense and action and a likeable, kick-ass-but-flawed heroine with humor. One reviewer put it this way: “The humor serves as good balance to the fear and anxiety that [the character] freely expresses in the face of her predicament, providing a sharp and refreshing contrast to the typical stoic, grim-faced male hero of the thriller genre.”   Another difference: my female characters aren’t superheroes–in fact they are all too human–but they aren’t helpless women who need a man to save them, which is a particular pet peeve of mine. Why would I want to read about a woman who doesn’t know how to get herself out of trouble and who waits for the alpha-male to “save her”?  Yes, I have strong men in my stories, and yes, they help the heroine out occasionally, but I try hard to write female characters who are plenty capable themselves and know their way around a weapon. And explosives.

Question 3: Why do I write what I do?
DVBerkom_YucatanDead_200Growing up, I loved reading spy novels and watching James Bond movies, but always yearned for books and movies that had a female equivalent in the lead. When I caught the novel-writing bug I thought why not write what I’d want to read? My first female character, Kate Jones, went through several incarnations, moving from a smart ass Jeep tour guide in a humorous mystery to the current thrillers where Kate grows into a capable and dangerous enemy. She’s still a smart ass, though.

As for the Leine Basso novels, SERIAL DATE was in response to a twisted dream I had about serial killers and reality shows, and I needed to find a character to write who could go toe-to-toe with one of them. An assassin seemed perfect: they both killed people. The dynamics of having one of the characters (Leine) question her motivation for being a hired assassin and whether that made her different from a serial killer intrigued me. The second novel, BAD TRAFFICK, was in response to watching a documentary on child sex trafficking and I knew I had to write Leine into the story. I was torn though, as SERIAL DATE has quite a bit of dark humor and satire, and I wanted to try to keep the tone consistent in each series (okay, it didn’t work with Kate, but at least I tried). There’s nothing humorous or satirical about human trafficking, so the tone in that book ended up being more of a straight thriller. There’s still some humor, but only in Leine’s smart ass reactions to specific characters. Hmm. Do I detect a theme here?SDBookCover170x260_3_11_13

Question 4: How does my writing process work?
First, I clean my house. Really. My husband loves this stage, since I’m woefully challenged in the domestic arts. Then I sit down with a notepad and paper and draw a timeline across the top of the page, putting little hash marks at the beginning, 1/4 point, midpoint, 3/4 point, and two near the end, labeling them: inciting incident, 1st turning point, midpoint, 2nd turning point, black moment, resolution. Then, I set to work brainstorming scenes, moving them around on the timeline to see where they fit. If I have trouble coming up with enough scenes to start writing, either I trash the idea, or I ask my husband and writer friends to help come up with scenes. Once I’ve got a good sense where the story’s going, I sit down to write (I use a computer and MS Word). I’m pretty linear, so I go from chapter to chapter, editing a bit as I go, until I reach the end. During this first draft stage, every two weeks I send sections to my critique group for their suggestions. Then I do a read through before sending it out to a dozen or so beta readers. While I’m waiting for their responses, I catch up on all the stuff I ignored while writing. Once the betas get back to me, I do one more read through incorporating many of the suggestions, and then send it off to my editor. At that point I usually have the title, so I work on the book’s description and then send that info off to my cover designer. Once I get the edits back I incorporate them, do another read through and publish.

Now that I’ve bored the bejeezus out of you all, it’s time to give a shout out to the writers I picked to continue the blog hop. All three are in my writing group and all are published in some form of romance (I’m the token heathen who doesn’t write in that particular genre). We’ve been friends for years and yes, I know where the bodies are buried. We’ll leave it at that…

Darlene Panzera writes sweet, fun-loving romance and is the winner of the “Make Your Dreams Come True Contest” sponsored by Avon Books, which led her novella, THE BET, to be published with Debbie Macomber’s FAMILY AFFAIR. The full length novel, re-titled, BET YOU’LL MARRY ME, released December 2012 and her bestselling series, THE CUPCAKE DIARIES, released its first installment in May 2013. Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her family and her two horses, and loves camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake.

Jennifer Conner  is a bestselling Northwest author who has published over forty works. She writes Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica, and has been ranked in the top 50 authors on Amazon. Her romantic suspense novel, SHOT IN THE DARK, was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests. She lives in western Washington in a hundred year-old house, blows glass beads with a blow torch (“which relieves a lot of stress and people don’t bother you…”) and is a huge fan of musicals.

Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective who writes time travel romances populated with 14th century knights, and thrillers featuring a nautical archaeologist and Turkish agent. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love for history and books. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and Northern Africa satisfying her passion for seeing the places she’s read about. A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris, Los Angeles, and now resides with her husband and five rescue dogs in the Pacific Northwest.

If you have a minute, please stop by and visit their blogs–they’ll be posting their own answers to the above questions next Monday. Have a great week!


Awesome Authors–Jennifer Conner

Today I’m excited to have prolific writer Jennifer Conner as my guest! Jennifer and I have known each other for years, ever since she left me alone on the fifth floor of a dilapidated old building during an earthquake here in Washington State in 2001…(okay, it didn’t exactly happen that way, but that’s what I like to tell people 🙂 ) She’s the person I credit with dragging me to my first writer’s group and urging me to get involved, jennifer connersomething for which I can’t thank her enough. And, she’s an all-around terrific person who gives buckets back to the indie community. So now, without further ado, heeeere’s Jennifer…

D: Hi Jennifer! Thanks for joining us. Tell us a little about yourself and what you write:

J: I’ve been a professional author for eight years. I write contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance and erotica. I have three full-length novels, 2 novellas and 30 short stories in print. I also help run an indie publishing company, Books to Go Now.

D: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

J: I’ve written since I was young. As I grew older, I wanted to feel passion about something. Writing was that for me. 

“…I like to write the length I feel the story should be…”

D: Tell us about your new short story, I’LL BE SEEING YOU THROUGH TIME in two sentences.

J: It’s 1942, the world is at war when Glenn steps through a time portal and  finds himself in 2013.  Can the Dimension Keepers find a way to reunite them, or will Glenn and Jewel be ripped apart by the fabric of time forever?I'llBeSeeingYouThroughTime1 HighRes

D: Love time-travel stories! What compelled you to write this one? 

J: In my mother’s old photos, I found a portrait of a young man my mother was engaged to marry. His destroyer was torpedoed in the South Pacific and he was killed. I wondered how different her life would have been if he’d survived and come back to her. I decided to give them a happy ending.

 

D: You have over 30 short stories available online. What do you like about the form? Dislike?

J: I like to write the length I feel the story should be. That’s the fun of being with an indie publisher. I get to write the story ideas I have and make it the length it needs to be to tell a good story.

 

D: Many of your stories are about the protagonist overcoming hardship and/or disabilities. Why did you choose to go in that direction with your characters?

J: What fun are perfect people? I love good angsty characters. In my novel, SHOT IN THE DARK, Devan is a police officer who was shot and now walks with a cane. In my REGIMENTAL HEROES series, the men have PTSD after returning from war in an era when ShotintheDark 1400x2100they had no name for the disorder.

D: Do you ever include your own life experiences in your plots?

J: Of course. 🙂 As the writer’s creed goes, watch out or you’ll end up in my book! My Christmas novella, DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR contains many real life horror stories that happened when I owned my own catering business. Grooms with guns. Workers slipping and breaking their arm with 600 people waiting to be served.

D: Yikes. Reality is so much stranger than fiction, isn’t it? What are you currently working on?

J: I am working on a paranormal romance called Fighting the Fire, about a Native American girl who has uncontrollable powers and starts fires. Who else to help her other than a hunky fireman? 🙂 Also, I am going to start a series revolving around dogs.

“…Like most writer’s journeys, my road’s been rocky…”

D: Tell us about your road to publication. What words of wisdom would you like to impart to writers who are just starting out?

J: Like most writer’s journeys, my road’s been rocky. My words of wisdom would be, don’t let others get you down. Believe in yourself, and if you work VERY hard, you can become a good writer. Regimental Heroes Front

D: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

J: Richer and famouser 🙂  No, seriously, still writing no matter what!

D: Where do you see the publishing industry in 5 years?

J: I think the indie publishers who actually work with authors to achieve their success will displace the large houses. Self-Publishing will have better standards and higher quality work. Those that are ready will self-publish. And great stories will still be told. People still love a good book and read as much as they ever have.

D: If you could travel back in time (or forward) where would you go?

J: Victorian England if I could be rich and part of the elite crowd. But, with no modern plumbing, central heating, modern drugs or dentistry, it would have to be a short visit.

D: I hear that! Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Jennifer. Good luck with your new release!

Find out more about Jennifer by visiting her website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

And here’s a little taste of I’LL BE SEEING YOU THROUGH TIME: Book 2 of The Dimension Keepers Series:

It’s 1942 and the world is at war. It’s difficult, but engaged couple Jewel and Glenn know they must say goodbye. Tomorrow, Glenn is shipping out to the South Pacific. That is, until he stops by the Second Chance Bookstore on the way back to the base.

Suddenly, Glenn finds himself in 2013 with the woman he loves half a century away.

Can the Dimension Keepers find a way to reunite them, or will Glenn and Jewel be ripped apart by the fabric of time forever?

Excerpt


The NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop!

Fellow indie author Darcy Scott tagged me in the Next Best Thing Blog Hop, where you get to answer a set of questions about your current release or a work in progress (WIP).  (Check out her novel, Matinicus, a Blood Writes top 5 Best Pick Mystery!) And now, on with the show!

THE NEXT BIG THING…Blog Hop questions:

What is the (working title) of your book? BAD TRAFFICK

Where did the idea come from for the book? I was inspired to write BAD TRAFFICK after watching a documentary on child sex trafficking at my local community college. At first, I was going to write it as a standalone with completely different characters, but the idea seemed the perfect venue for Leine Basso’s next book. Besides, I really wanted to write about Leine and Santa again 🙂

What genre does your book fall under? Thriller/suspense with a romantic subplot.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Kate Beckinsale and Olivier Martinez.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Ex-assassin Leine Basso must race against the clock to find twelve-year-old Mara on the streets of L.A. before she’s recaptured by a group of vicious traffickers.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published. Released December 18, 2012. Here’s the link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Traffick-Leine-Basso-Series-ebook/dp/B00AQ8WV5I

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 4.5 months

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? The story is fast-paced and exciting with a touch of romance. It also deals with a twelve-year-old girl who escapes from a group of traffickers and is on her own on the sprawling streets of L.A. I’m not sure I’ve read anything exactly like it, but it’s along the lines of Taken (the movie).

Who or What inspired you to write this book? See the answer to the first question.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Ex-assassin Leine Basso and LAPD Detective Santiago Jensen first meet in SERIAL DATE, book #1 in the Leine Basso Thriller Series. BAD TRAFFICK continues where Serial Date left off.

I’ve tagged the following awesome authors to continue THE NEXT BIG THING…Blog Hop. Please visit their sites and give them some luv!

Jennifer Conner

Chris Karlsen

Darlene Panzera

Wanda DeGolier


%d bloggers like this: