fairy tales

All posts in the fairy tales category

Now Available for Pre-order: Prison Made of Mirrors

Published February 15, 2017 by Jennifer Loring

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Aithne is a warrior kidnapped from her homeland during a Viking invasion and forced to marry her captor. Shortly before the raid that claims his life, she becomes pregnant with a child whom she believes cursed. Spurred by the dark sorcery she learns from relics her late husband’s mother left behind—including a magic mirror—Aithne descends into a madness that threatens not only her child’s life but also the lives of everyone around her.

Exiled by her mother, Brenna is taken in by a clan of dwarves who treat her like their own. They soon learn that no one is immune to Aithne’s lunacy—not even the prince to whom Brenna was once betrothed. Brenna must face and conquer death itself if she is to save the land that rightfully belongs to her, and to break her mother’s terrible spell on the man she loves.

Pre-order for $2.99 at Amazon. Print version coming soon!

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5 Things Writers Can Learn From Reading Fairy Tales – Writer’s Edit

Published February 2, 2017 by Jennifer Loring

The simple structure, clear elements, and unadorned style of fairy tales are something all writers can learn from. After all, fairy tales have passed the test of time. They engage readers (or listeners) exactly because their simplicity makes for dynamic (and dramatic!) stories. Regardless of what genre you write, here are the top five things writers can learn from reading fairy tales.

1. Craft a strong beginning

The classic ‘Once upon a time…’ story beginning immediately creates a connection with readers. It is familiar, while at the same time promising a new adventure. These are four magical words for kids, and for many adults. And that’s the point right there: the beginning of your story should be magical. A strong beginning should:

Convey a sense of atmosphere (giving a clue to the genre and style of your story)

Establish the setting

Either…

Source: 5 Things Writers Can Learn From Reading Fairy Tales – Writer’s Edit

GUEST POST: 11 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before BY ANDI ADAMS

Published July 26, 2016 by Jennifer Loring

Why 11? Eh, cause 10 is boring. Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute and tell you all some of the hard and wonderful things I have learned so far about being an author (I’m sure there’s more to come). It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

1. The real work starts after the book is published. Of course, writing a book is hard. But that’s what we (authors) do. We write. However, once the book is finished and released out into the world, writers have to change their hats and become their own public relations team, which, for many of us, isn’t an easy transition. We know how to write. And generally, that’s all we want to do. But having to conduct the business end of writing and publishing is a very real (and sometimes intensely laborious) part of the job. This is the part that isn’t instinctual for many of us. It’s the part that can feel like work, but is necessary if we want to build our audience, promote our book and all the hard work it took to bring it to life, and continue our career as a writer.

2. Maintaining an alter-ego/pen name isn’t as easy as it seems. Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personality disorder and forget who I am supposed to be moment by moment. There are several reasons why I chose to write under a pen name, but I never thought about how much work it would entail to build an author platform from scratch without having the foundation of my personal social media contacts and formally published body of writing underneath me. It was actually pretty amusing to have to practice signing my pen name and not have it look like a third grader wrote it. Thankfully, I’m beginning to find my stride and learning to balance my personal life and my author life, but it’s taken a few months to pan it all out.

3. Author pay is downright pitiful. I don’t tell you this for sympathy. Trust me. Writing is a labor of love. None of us get into it for the money or the fame. I just think that it’s important to eradicate some of the misconceptions many people have about a writer’s life. The mistaken belief most people have is that all authors are making the kind of money J.K. Rowling is raking in. Okay, that may be a stretch, but the general public probably doesn’t know that most authors (especially debut authors) make a fraction of a dollar. On a ten-dollar print book, authors make about $1. On ebook copies, maybe just a little more. But the reason is because books cost a fair bit of money to edit, produce, promote, etc. And what many people also don’t know (I sure didn’t before becoming an author) is that third-party retailers like Amazon, Kobo, Nook take about 30% of a book’s retail cost right off the top. And a printer also takes their cut. It’s a lot of money flying out the door before the author even sees a cent. That’s one of the parts of the business that I personally found most shocking.

4. I’m pretty sure I’m on some sort of FBI watch list given all the crazy material I’ve researched while writing. Yeah, not much is off limits. The rate of a decomposing body. The deadliest undetectable poison. You know, the usual. My mom is pretty worried that one day I’m going to be hauled off to some secret CIA building for questioning. She talks about it often. But thankfully, I’ll probably be sitting next to a bunch of other writers in the waiting room. This is a big part of the job. To research wild things and write realistically.

5. Working from home is equally awesome and difficult. I don’t want this to sound like a complaint at all. I love working from home, in my jammies, on my comfortable couch. It rocks. I try to have a consistent schedule, but if something arises, I love that I have the flexibility to rearrange things if need be or take my work to a coffee shop if I want to get out of the house. But I’m not going to say that it doesn’t have its challenges. Distractions attack by the thousands. And there was a period of time this past winter when the weather was so terrible that I didn’t leave the house for almost two weeks. I didn’t see another human being for almost two weeks. I’m not kidding, the walls started to slowly cave in and I felt a little like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Which bring me to my next point…

6. A writing community is worth its weight in gold. Before I became an author, I valued my writing friends because we had a lot to talk about. We shared similar interests and valued many of the same things. But I never imagined that the writing community of which I am now a part, has become my lifeline. They are the best resources when I have a question about writing, publishing, research, marketing, whatever. I am friends with authors who are just starting out all the way to multi-published big wigs. And my network keeps growing and growing. The more conferences, the more writing workshops, classes, etc I attend makes that web of people increase. And then, as if by magic, this very solitary work doesn’t seem so lonely. I think the people (writers, publishers, agents, editors, publicists, etc) I have met have been the single greatest part of becoming an author. Without a doubt.

7. There are no specific work hours – all hours are work hours. Have you ever had a spark of genius hit right before bed? Or have a nugget of brilliance wake you from a peaceful slumber? Yeah, that happens a lot and many times, it can force a writer right out of bed to catch the idea before it skitters away. Inspiration may hit at 3am or 3pm. We writers tend to try to set aside specific windows of time to write, but sometimes inspiration strikes outside of those time slots and we need to jump on it before it escapes. And aside from the writing time, as mentioned in point #1, we have to make sure we spend time answering emails, managing social media accounts, and working on marketing and pr initiatives. That’s why being an author is considered a job. It isn’t a hobby, it’s work. And even though some people (friends, family, society, etc) may not fully understand the distinction, it’s true. Trying to develop a career as a writer is a full-time job that sometimes yields only part-time perks.

8. Finishing a work is so much more difficult than starting. I know, this is one of those “duh” moments. But I figured it’s worth mentioning. Nothing looks as fun and as glittery as a fresh new idea. Especially when you are in the midst of slogging through the middle of your draft and believing that your work is poo. Wouldn’t it be nice to just start something new, something exciting, something that isn’t torturing the junk out of you? Sure it would be. But being an author is about finishing what you start. Not every time, but most times. More often than not, an author’s job isn’t to start 50 projects and then let them just hangout on a hard drive somewhere. An author’s job is to work through a full plot, as difficult as it may be, in order to write a full manuscript.

9. Netflix is the devil. ::sigh:: My single greatest pleasure and source of temptation. When the writing gets hard I think to myself, “I’ll just watch an episode of whatever and then get back to work.” But then one episode turns into three seasons and I’m like, “Oh man, what happened?!? What day is it?! Have I even eaten today?!?”

10. “It’s never done, it’s only due.” This is a quote I have to remind myself of often. The tendency is to edit, and revise, and edit more, and revise and then it becomes difficult to let it go. Of course, no one can turn in a first draft and believe it’s ready for publication. But after a second, third, fourth, sometimes tenth draft, at some point, you have to just trust that you’ve put in your best work, and that it’s ready to fly free.

11. Hearing positive feedback never gets old. I am still humbled every time I see a positive review online, or receive a Facebook message or email from someone who says they love my book. It’s truly a feeling I can’t describe. Most authors (and artists, in general) spend a lot of time wallowing in self-doubt: This is terrible. Who’s going to read this? Who’s going to care? What am I doing? Does this even make sense? Even the best of the best experience this, but when it becomes apparent that your work has made an impact on even one person, that doubt begins to fade away. It’s a magical experience that I will truly never tire of.

8314065_origAuthor Bio:
Andi Adams writes, teaches, gets excited about performing random acts of kindness, invents words, and talks with strangers, as often as she can. She loves learning about the world, about others, and about herself, and uses that knowledge to write realistic fiction – everything from YA Fantasy to Women’s Lit. She has a passion for travel, for all things Harry Potter (of course!), and for her two dogs, who are also incidentally her biggest fans. The Girl in the Glass Box is Andi’s first novel. For a daily dose of crazy or to see pictures of her cute fur-babies, follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/andiadamswrites), and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/andiadamswrites/).

GLASS BOX FINAL1
A witch. An apple. A mirror. That’s all most people think of when they recall the story of Snow White. But the truth is rarely so simple. What if the Queen wasn’t born evil and the princess wasn’t always so pure of heart? Is it possible that these two women could have ended up in one another’s place?

The Girl in the Glass Box tells the story of Agrippine and Genevieve, two women who are not all that different, but who quickly learn through a series of choices, encounters, and devastating losses that the course of their fates can change in an instant. Through the influences of the people they love and lose, both are redefined as their stories head for a different sort of happily-ever-after.

http://www.fireflyhillpress.com/books–authors.html
https://www.createspace.com/6286950
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GNPPW0I/?tag=a-fwdnua-20#navbar
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-girl-in-the-glass-box
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124086064?ean=2940156795796

Release Day for Those of My Kind!

Published May 11, 2015 by Jennifer Loring

MyKindWS It’s here! Those of My Kind is now available from Omnium Gatherum as an eBook and trade paperback!

eBook: http://www.amazon.com/Those-My-Kind-Jennifer-Loring-ebook/dp/B00WTZCMU0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431295884&sr=1-1&keywords=those+of+my+kind

Trade Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5464521

Grimm and Grimmer Volume Two

Published April 11, 2013 by Jennifer Loring

GGvolumetwo From Amazon.com’s description: “In the second volume of our Grimm and Grimmer series of retold fairy tales, we present six new or established writers who bring together a collection of tasty treats.
Reading the original tales, you realise how many of those tales were simple lessons about behaviour and survival. Some were lessons we could still agree with; be kind to those who seem poor and dirty and powerless. Behave pleasantly to those around you. Keep your eyes open. Note what happens to others who have gone on this quest before you. Be brave. Be crafty.
In this anthology our six tales present alternate versions of these lessons. In Matthew Sylvester’s Death’s Messengers, a futuristic soldier makes a choice that extends his life. In Ed Ahern’s Happily Ever After, the stereotypes of Prince and Princess are subverted, just as ‘One Hundred Lost Years’ by Jennifer Loring teaches us not to judge a book by its cover. In Ready or Not by Nancy Brashear, we see a dark version of Hansel and Gretel, whilst Paved with Gold by Ed Fortune, shows us that all that glitters is not gold. And in Stewart Hotston’s Rumpeltrollskin, the lesson is . . beware a fool’s bargain. So step in and enjoy these brand new twisted fairy tales.”

The paperback version will be out soon, but you can grab the Kindle edition now for only $2.99!

The Next Big Thing…

Published December 12, 2012 by Jennifer Loring

Last week I was tagged by my good friend John Dixon, author of the forthcoming book Dissident from Simon & Schuster. Here’s what I had to say.

What is the working title of your book?
Those of My Kind

Where did the idea come from for the book?
About 18 years ago I had written yet another crappy novel (I was 19, sue me), and one of the secondary characters was a Roma woman named Tristan. Tristan was originally a man in the very first draft, but I had grown tired of writing male characters. Even though I eventually abandoned the book–which will be resurrected as the sequel to Those of My Kind–Tristan stuck with me. I needed to explore her story; she hunts demons, after all. What’s not to love? So fast forward to January 2011. I’ve just begun Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction program, and I’m floundering for a thesis idea. I’m one of those people who gets overwhelmed with too many ideas rather than not enough. Then it hits me. What better time to write Tristan’s story than now? So we go back into her past, discover she’s moody and stand-offish for a whole lot of reasons, and she has a companion whose natural affinity for witchcraft leads to Very Bad Things.

What genre does your book fall under?
Dark fantasy. It draws on the fairy tales “Donkeyskin” and “Red Riding Hood,” as well as the Chinese myths of the jiang-shi and the huli-jing. But there is, of course, a strong traditional horror element as well as a literary one, because I love beautiful language.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
To be honest, I don’t really want it to be filmed. I think some of the subject matter that’s essential to the plot wouldn’t make it past the censors due to the characters’ ages, and to make them older would pretty much ruin the story. The things that happen to them when they’re young girls form the core of who they are as characters.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Battling both each other and the deadliest foe of their young lives, two demon hunters learn the meaning of power–and of sacrifice.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
That’s not an either-or proposition, since indie publishers often take non-agented fiction. And let me stress, since many people conflate the two, that indie/small press publishing and self-publishing are NOT the same thing. I will refrain from the self-publishing rant for now. But I do intend to get an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
14 months. Then I promptly gutted half of it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wouldn’t. Such comparisons are almost invariably false. I strive to tell my own story, and that’s all. I’ll let other people decide if it reminds them of something, but I don’t consciously try to make it similar to anything else.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Oh man. Aside from what I talked about above… fairy tales, African witchcraft, existentialist philosophy, Gnosticism, comparative mythology, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Robin McKinley’s Deerskin… I knew I wanted strong female characters with serious problems to overcome. I wanted to explore issues of sexual identity, religion, moral nihilism, all that fun stuff. Which path you choose if you’re young and have superhuman powers, and what happens if life has crapped on you one too many times.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I really wanted to break out of horror’s very conservative tendency to have a straight hero/heroine and the standard love interest. Three major characters are gay, while the villain is essentially asexual and derives pleasure mainly from feeding on the life essence of others. Also, female genital mutilation is something not usually discussed in genre fiction (or much at all), but it has a profound effect on one of the main characters.

Summer break, I hardly knew ye.

Published June 5, 2011 by Jennifer Loring

In a couple of weeks I will be starting my second term of grad school. I’m looking forward to it, but damn, I need a vacation. On that note, Zach and I have tentative plans to go somewhere in the fall. I’ve started saving up for it, wherever “it” may turn out to be. We’ve tossed around San Francisco and New Orleans as possibilities. I’ve been to NOLA 6 times already but never to San Fran. I wouldn’t mind a trip back to Seattle, either. My other idea was to take cruise either to Mexico to see the Mayan ruins, or up to Alaska for some whale-watching. All I care about is getting away from work and school for a few days. Mostly work.

Break, though brief, has been fairly productive. I don’t love the story I submitted for residency, but I had no new material. That will be remedied for January residency, as I cranked out two pages of a new story last night. Thanks to “The Universe,” Phil Plait, Ph.D and my obsession with the Degenerate Era of the universe, I’ve started work on a science fiction story about a synthetic human witnessing the beginning of the end. It’s the first thing not influenced by fairy tales (even my thesis uses “Donkeyskin” as the antagonist’s back story) that I’ve written in a very long time.

Tomorrow I begin working on my synopsis, which my mentor advised me to do during break so I could focus on my thesis once the term starts. I’d rather crawl naked through a pit of fire ants, but it’s due at the end of July either way, so I don’t have much choice but to get the thing done. I read a fairly decent book about synopses as my reading component for last term, which did give me a bit more confidence than I have had in the past when faced with this task.

I’m also working on a series of 15×20″ illustrations of Looney Tunes characters. Zach loves Looney Tunes and I thought it would be a cute gift. Marvin the Martian is already hanging on our wall; Wile E. Coyote and Michigan J. Frog are next. I still have a pile of drawings for which I need to do color studies, a 14×17″ Iron Man that needs color, Invisible Woman and Phantom Lady sketches that need to be finished… It is perhaps obvious now that illustration was my intended career once upon a time. 🙂 I will be posting examples on the Art page in the future (I just got the Photography page up, so bear with me).

We have the new turtle tank and will be moving the little green monsters in shortly. The new filter should be arriving tomorrow, at which point Zach needs to build a basking platform and we need to fill the thing (75 gallons, argh). On the bright side, they will have all the space they need to grow to full size, and I will have my living room shelves back so I can put out the rest of my toy collection.

On a final note, I’m hoping to get a new episode of my podcast up by tonight. It’s going to be a good one, so check it out!

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