Hi everyone! Please give a warm welcome to author Jenna Zark, who has graciously agreed to grant me an interview (my first!). It was a joy to read Jenna’s books and get to know her a bit through this interview. I hope you enjoy as well!
A Note and Disclaimer: This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog on the Beat Street Series, with Part 1 reviewing The Beat on Ruby’s Street, Part 2 reviewing Fool’s Errand, and Part 3 featuring an interview with author Jenna Zark. I received free copies of the The Beat on Ruby’s Street and Fool’s Errand. I was not paid for my reviews and my opinions are honest and from the heart.
A Note and Disclaimer: This is Part 1 of a 3-part blog on the the Beat Street Series, with Part 1 reviewing The Beat on Ruby’s Street, Part 2 reviewing Fool’s Errand, and Part 3 featuring an interview with author Jenna Zark. I received free copies of the The Beat on Ruby’s Street and Fool’s Errand. I was not paid for my reviews and my opinions are honest and from the heart.
The words were etched onto a bench, just below the Ardbeg Distillery welcome sign. David and I had been walking around Islay and were a bit cold and soaked through after an attempt to climb a tower ruin only to scramble back down under an encroaching rainstorm. But the sun had come out on our walk back to our cottage. We approached the distillery sign and the words caught my eye: “Rest and Be Thankful, For You Have Arrived.” This simple statement felt like it was supposed to be fairly pleasant, innocuous even. But to me, it triggered something.
2018 was one of the best reading years for me, at least since college. According to Goodreads, I’ve read 15 books (soon to be 16), which spanned a variety of genres and included traditionally published books and indie books. I thought it would be fun to count down my favorite books of the year.
I met editor Joamette Gil at GeekGirlCon this past October, and when she showed me this book, I knew I wanted to dive in. Aside from the book’s beautiful cover art (by Ashe Samuels), the hook that drew me in was the common subject matter explored in this anthology. Power & Magic: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology, is all about magic. One thing I love about magic in fantasy stories is it’s ability to serve as a vehicle for deeper discussions about complex themes. As the title suggests, the main overarching thread that holds this anthology together is all the stories are about queer witches of color. But outside of that commonality, all the comics are very different. Some focus on themes of love and acceptance. Some use magic as a metaphor for mental health or connection to ancestors or forebears. It’s a rich collection and I love the various takes each artists/storyteller brings to the table. And, as you may have noticed, this is a comic anthology, so not only are the themes present in the story, but in the various art styles as well. This was a fascinating read for me, and I’m excited to review it for you all.
Last week I finished my fifth or sixth draft (it kind of depends on how you count) of my novel Footfall. While I’m trying to revel in finishing another draft, I also am trying to think ahead a bit to the next steps to completing this book. After all, my goal is to produce something I can get published (either traditionally or self-published), and it still needs more work to get to that phase. While I have a list of structural edits to make, one of the major things I need to get figured out is the worldbuilding. It’s not that I haven’t already spent time working on this world. I have! But, as I’ve been working on the latest draft, I realized there are some holes that need filled in, so to speak. So, I’ll share some of the things I’m doing to fill in those holes and, you know, have fun doing it. But first, I should probably cover a pretty important question many of you are asking.
Right, so last week I announced that I was doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year as a way to help me finish my novel. I mean, technically I’m not “doing” NaNo because I’m not trying to get to 50K words in one month. My novel is already over 50K, and I’m just trying to finish it. I need to write something like 30K this month (give or take a few thousand words, depending on how the story shakes out), and even 30K in a month requires a degree of discipline and some shenanigans to get through. After all, I have a full-time job, am trying to get back into running regularly, have a regular D&D campaign, this blog, and other stuff. So, what am I doing to set myself up for success and actually finish this thing?
Well, I’m glad you asked! Here are four things I’ve done to help me finish my novel.
This past Saturday I attended GeekGirlCon and I had such a blast. It was a good balance of panels and chatting with creators in the expo hall. I found myself feeling energized and inspired to tackle my own ambitions as a creator, and so I wanted to share what I did there and my takeaways with you guys. But first, let’s quickly cover what exactly is GeekGirlCon.
So, last summer I received feedback on my manuscript, Footfall, from a published author. It was great feedback, very helpful. But one of the items of feedback that caught me off guard the most had nothing to do with the content of my story, but instead how it was formatted.