Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Rejection, The Dirtiest Word In A Writer's Lexicon #writerwednesday #IARTG #amwriting

Without a doubt, a rejection is the most soul-crushing blow that can be dealt to a writer, its sting far worse than bookstore returns or one star reviews. Quite often they're also bewildering; you read the submission guidelines, crafted a piece especially for said guidelines, and stayed within word count and on theme, yet they still said no. What gives?

Adorable smile 
Sorry, no contract for you!

There are myriad reasons why a publisher chooses to reject a particular piece, and many of them have nothing to do with the writer or what's been written. For instance, when I read submissions for a mid-sized press, one particular imprint had eight slots for the coming year...and we got over one thousand submissions. You don't even need math skills to understand that I sent A LOT of rejection emails. Publishers are companies that rely on revenue, and once those initial eight slots were filled we just did not have the capital to take on more work, no matter how awesome it was. Was it discouraging, to both us and the writers? Yes, it was. It was also an opportunity for the writers to expand their reach and keep submitting, and for us as a publisher to surpass our sales goals so we could take on more stories. Remember, publishers WANT great stories.

Here are a few other reasons your work might be rejected:
  1. Your project is too similar to something recently published - Let's say you've written an awesome retelling of Snow White. We (the publisher) love it, but we just acquired a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (insert theme of your choice here). Unless we want to be known as the fairy tale retelling press, odds are we're not going to publish two retellings in one year.
  2. Your project is too long for the genre - My first novel was 177,000 words. Yup, it was a crap ton of words long, and the only reason I got away with that (by the skin of my teeth, mind you) was because it was an epic fantasy. Certain genres have generally accepted word counts, and epic fantasy is one of the few that can swing the occasional door stopper. Many other genres don't stray above the 80k mark, so if you're fielding a lot of rejections you might want to take a second look at your total word count.
  3. You live in a different country from the publisher - You know what they say, location, location, location! All kidding aside, when the writer is on one country and the publisher is domiciled in another, contract negotiations can get tricky. Many publishers circumvent the issue altogether and only sign those from their native country.
There you have it, a few of the million reasons why your work might get rejected. These points aren't meant to discourage you, but to encourage you to keep writing, hone your craft, and keep on submitting. The world needs nothing as much as great stories, including yours.

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free and 99 Cent Ebooks (including Gallowglass), And A Chance To Win A $25 Gift Card!

Click the link below to enter the giveaway, and then scroll down to check out over 80 books that are either free or 99 cents! *Always check the price on Amazon before one-clicking.



Monday, August 7, 2017

TRADITIONAL, INDIE, AND HYBRID, OH MY! #amwriting #publishing #MASFFA


Let’s face it, publishing is not like it used to be. Thanks to innovations in ebook and marketing technology, literally anyone can upload a book and become a published author in hours or even minutes—but not everyone wants to do that, and frankly, not everyone should.

Whether or not the relative ease of self-publishing is good for the industry is a can o’ worms for another post. What we’re going to talk about today are the three broad categories of authors that the rise in self-publishing has created: traditional, indie, and hybrid.

Disclaimer: for the purposes of this article, I’m referring to publishing a novel-length work. Practices differ for other forms, therefore I advise that the writers of such works research accordingly.

Read the rest of this article on the MASFFA blog: https://masffa.com/2017/07/24/traditional-indie-and-hybrid-oh-my/

Friday, June 23, 2017

First Reviews Are In For Gallowglass! Here's What They're Saying @Bellatrix_Press #amwriting #amreading #IARTG #PNR #urbanfantasy

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1

 The first reviews are in for Gallowglass, and man are they good! Here are some highlights:

 "I loved this book and Robert and Karina. There are secrets and surprises and an ending that did not leave me wondering “what happened”. Can’t wait for more in this series."  https://www.paranormalromanceguild.com/review-gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/

 "Gallowglass was a fun whirlwind read. I liked getting to know the characters and the world and I can’t wait to continue the story." https://bookbriefs.net/2017/06/12/mini-reviewexcerptgiveaway-gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/

"Love will be tested and I mean TESTED. After all is said and done, neither Robert nor Karina will question their love for each other….EVER! As for Chris, well his story took quite a surprising turn. A twist I didn’t see coming. BRAVO, Jennifer! At the end of the day…err book… it is apparent his binge drinking days are over and his life is forever changed. FOR THE BETTER!" https://www.superkambrook.com/2017/06/review-of-gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost.html

"I loved the sibling dynamic between Karina and Chris, the mythology of Robert Kirk and the faeries, the sweet and sexy romance between Karina and Robert, and the rich, detailed setting of Scotland. It’s a beautiful story and I highly recommend it."https://awellreadwomanblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/gallowglass-gallowglass-series-book-1-by-author-jennifer-allis-provost-parthalan-bookreview-iartg-urbanfantasy-bookblast-uf/

 Have you read Gallowglass? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

 

Purchase links:

  Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM
  B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164
  Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4
  iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11

 Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

 After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

 In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

 As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

 Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Why I Write #amwriting #amreading #mythology #legends #Gallowglass #IARTG

TwoQueensOfHeaven 


 The image above is a copy of the first mythology book I ever read, Two Queens of Heaven by Doris Gates. I often tell the story about how I read all the available children's books in my local library, and the beleaguered librarian directed me toward the mythology section so I'd have new stories to read. (Actually, first I made a brief foray into horror. When the librarian learned I'd checked out Stephen King's It  she went on a mission to find alternate and age-appropriate reading material. Oddly, I am not afraid of clowns.) It made sense that out of all the titles available, I picked the one about goddesses. I was eleven or twelve when this happened, an age somewhere between Disney princess and adolescent crushes, and the stories about Aphrodite and Demeter both entertained and intrigued me.

After I devoured this book I moved on to Bullfinch's Mythology (I have never shied away from a book just because it was several hundred pages of tiny font - nay, I accepted those challenges with honor!) and learned that cultures all across the globe had myths and legends just waiting to be discovered. I made it my personal mission to read all of them.

These stories fueled my imagination, and I started writing my own takes. I penned a version of Pygmalion where the statue becomes human and rebuffs her sculptor, another where Persephone sneaks away from her overbearing mother to shack up with Hades, and more Arthurian stories that I can count. Eventually, I started working on a retelling of Tam Lin, the Scottish tale where Janet rescues her lover from the Seelie Queen... And that story became Gallowglass.

Gallowglass is available now and has been getting rave reviews. If you've read it, I'd love to know what you think!
Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1 Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

 After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Less Than Two Weeks Until #Gallowglass Releases! To Celebrate, Here's An Excerpt #amwriting #PNR #fantasy #urban

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.



 After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.
 In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.
 As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.
 Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?



 That's right, in less than two weeks Gallowglass will be available everywhere fine books are sold. Below are preorder links so you can reserve your copy today:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM 
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164 
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4 
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11 

As promised, the excerpt is below. Be sure to let me know what you think!

 <<<>>> 

  Robert grabbed my arm. “’Tis one o’ the fuath,” he growled.
 “The who-ah?” I asked.
Foo ah,” Robert repeated, stretching out the syllables. “They are water demons that act as Nicnevin’s assassins. Like as no’, she has sent this one to collect me.”
“I thought you were her assassin.”
He ignored my comment, and said, “We must leave, lass. Fetch your brother.”
“Leave the tour?” I asked. “Can’t we just walk around to the other side of the ruin?”
“No. We must leave this place altogether.”
“We’re on an island,” I reminded him. “We have to wait for the ferry.”
“We canna,” he hissed. “’Tis no safe.”
“Um, okay.” I scanned the tour group; it was comprised of a rather harried looking guide, a gaggle of senior citizens armed with cameras and fanny packs, and my brother, the only individual under sixty. None of them looked to be likely candidates for a fairy assassin. “Where exactly is this fuath?”
“At the rear o’ that gathering.” Robert jerked his chin toward a white haired woman leaning on a cane who looked so frail, I worried the breeze would topple her.
“Are you sure?” I pressed.
“’Tis one o’ them, o’ that ye can be certain,” he insisted, his grip on my arm tightening. “The beast is wearing a glamour.”
I stared at Robert, the man I’d known for less than twenty four hours, who had claimed that I’d liberated him from centuries imprisoned within the Seelie Court. The man I had believed, until he started avoiding my questions. “You haven’t answered me. I thought you were her assassin?”
“I was but the deadliest of many,” he replied, then he spied Chris. “Come, we’ll collect Christopher and commandeer a vessel.”
“What? No!” I shook my arm free, and glared at him. “That little old lady can’t hurt anyone, and we are not stealing a boat!”
“The boat? Ye are concerned about a wee boat when a killer’s naught but twenty paces from ye?”
“This is insane,” I muttered. “Just insane.” I turned my back to him, rubbing my temples. Chris had been right; Robert was nothing but a gigolo, one who was now playing his part a bit too intensely, and I was his willing mark. I’d crossed half the world to get away from one man that had used me, only to run smack into another.
The tour group had noticed Robert’s and my argument, and a few of the old ladies were whispering about us. I smiled and waved, trying to impress upon them that everything was fine. The ladies lost interest in us, except the one Robert had labeled as an assassin. She was standing stock still, leaning on her cane and peering at me.
“Why isn’t she moving on?” I wondered. I glanced over my shoulder; Robert had stalked off toward the trees again, muttering to himself. “Robert, could you come here, please?” I called. “I think someone needs help.” All I could think of was that something of a medical nature was happening with the woman, maybe a stroke or a heart attack, and Robert—or whatever his name was—was a big guy, and could carry her if necessary. As soon as I called his name he returned to my side.
“Who is needin’ help, then?” Robert demanded. He looked past me, the blood draining from his face.
“Gallowglass,” a voice hissed. I tore my gaze from Robert and back to the old woman, who wasn’t looking so feeble any longer. Her eyes glowed red, and her mouth was packed with long, needlelike teeth, way too many teeth to be in such a small opening. I stood, mesmerized, as she kept opening her mouth, wider and wider until her jaw unhinged, her teeth growing longer and sharper with each passing second.
“Behind me,” Robert shouted as the woman sprang at us. She crossed the twenty or more paces in a single leap, landing like a cat on Robert’s chest. Then she screamed, a horrible, shrill noise that physically hurt my ears, and reared back to bite Robert’s neck.
I shrieked, certain this monster was about to take Robert’s head off, when he pitched himself forward, throwing his full weight on top of the much smaller creature and knocking them both to the ground. While the monster was still dazed, Robert leapt to his feet. He extended his arm to the side, and the claymore he’d carried the day before materialized out of thin air. Robert grasped the sword with both hands, and with a single swing he decapitated the creature.
I was shaking like a leaf, staring from the body to Robert. There was blood everywhere, black stinking blood marring the lush grass, some of the foul liquid having sprayed onto Robert’s chest. I hated gore, even the fake gore in horror movies and in cheesy Halloween displays. I swayed, certain that I was going to faint, when Robert caught me.
“’Tis all right,” he murmured, his arm about my waist. “It canna hurt ye now.” I pressed myself against Robert’s side, hiding under his arm and trying not to touch the bloody parts of his shirt. All of my doubts about Robert had ceased just as surely as that creature’s life had ceased. I would never doubt him again.
“What the holy hell was that?” Chris demanded.
I looked up and saw my brother jogging towards us. Behind him, the tour group was screaming and pointing at the man with the gigantic, bloody sword, and at the body at his feet. “Robert had to,” I whispered.
“Had to?” Chris repeated. “He had to kill a little old lady?
“Not a lady,” I said, shaking my head.
“Old man, whatever—”
“Chris!” I pointed at the creature’s head. “Look at the mouth.” He did, squatting down to get a better view. I stayed where I was; I already knew more than I wanted to know about that thing.
“Crap,” Chris murmured. Being that Chris considered such language beneath a man of his stature, I inferred that he understood the gravity of our situation. He reached toward its teeth, and I looked away. Did he have to touch it? He couldn’t tell just by looking at it that it was wrong? As I tried not to lose my breakfast I noticed an official-looking man striding toward us.
“About stealing that boat,” I began, then I turned to my brother. “Chris, we are going to steal a boat.”
Chris nodded. “Good plan.”
Robert grabbed my elbow, and we raced toward the dock.


<<<>>>

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Writer Wednesday: So, How Do You Write A Book, Anyway? #writerwednesday #amwriting #amediting #plotholes #timeline #authorsofinstagram

I do my fair share of events, which encompass everything from book signings to me teaching creative writing.  The question I'm asked most often is how one goes about writing a book.  Therefore, for the first time ever I present photographic evidence of my writing process:

  IMG_20170517_165600  
Glamorous, huh?

The larger white lined page is a timeline for the fourth Parthalan book, Golem...and it goes on for five more pages. The colored circles each represent a different character and the illegible scrawl comprises the main conflict in each chapter. Add to this the three smaller notebooks (full of character details and outlines) and the barest corner of my planner (to ensure I don't miss any deadlines), and one thing becomes apparent: in order to write a book, you need to do a lot of writing that will never make it into the book.

The moral of the story is that writers need to write lots and lots and LOTS of words before they generate the magic 80k or so that end up as a finished novel. There are no shortcuts, you can't get "lucky" and have your first uncorrected, typo-ridden draft picked up by a Big Five publisher (at least, none of the first drafts I've ever seen would be picked up), and you can't hire an editor to magically fix plot holes and continuity errors. There is no substitute for sitting in your chair and doing the work yourself.

Is any of this easy? No, it's not. But after you've done the work and beaten every last plot twist and character flaw uppity punctuation mark into submission, you will have done the impossible, and made your imagination real.              

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 3 Preorder here: http://amzn.to/2pXXvz3[/caption]