The Friday Poem: Book Reviews


Ink Slinger Update – 1/28/2020


Ink Slinger Update

I’m hard at work on the sequel to Earthbound, Firebound, and loving it! It’s so much fun putting the pieces together and sewing them up.

I have edited chapters 1 through 3. Perhaps some people would call it re-writing because there has been a LOT of chopping and rearranging. Sometimes I’m taking away as many words as I add, but I managed to add 1,000 words to the story over the weekend. (The words flow faster when they are new, this is about smoothing and filling in the mortar between the bricks.)

I’ve set up Scene and Sequel cards that have helped me see where I’ve got holes in my plot, or the action in the chapter doesn’t lay quite right, to ratchet up the tension.

Tonight will be all about rearranging chapter 4 to make it lay right, and fill in some gaps.

I’m also working on adding a bit more scenery description this time, without slowing down the action. It’s a balancing act.

I was concerned about how many scenes and chapters the book would have so I was counting and figuring, asking other authors how many scenes in their books. Then I checked the word count in each of my first three chapters. I averaged around 3,500 words in each so I’m not going to worry anymore, I’ll just keep writing.

Since cooking is one of my major creative outlets and recipes or descriptions of food show up in novels a good bit, I’ve started sharing a recipe on Sundays. I hope to continue that.

I’ve re-joined Twitter @MeloraJohnson so feel free to follow me and I tend to follow back. I’m enjoying it a lot more the second time around, perhaps because I know more people in the publishing industry and have more contacts to follow.


The Friday Poem: A Simple Haiku


Author Update: Book Release & Writing


I’m planning my next book, as you can see by the note cards. Okay, I’ve already written over 20,000 words of it, but I’m doing some MORE planning.

Last week was exciting, Earthbound was released on Wednesday and is now available for sale on all ebook platforms. My first novel. J And I learned that it only takes 14 sales to jump you from an author rank of 600,000 to 79,000 on Amazon. (I presume that is because there are so many backlist and older books that do not sell much or at all.) Then the trailer came out for my book on Saturday, which is so much fun! (Thanks to JM Robison, Fantasy Author.) And my author rank stayed closer to 80,000 than 600,000, but peaks and valleys are to be expected over time.

However, it’s past time to get back to that second novel. Over the weekend, I focused on two things – sending review requests to more book bloggers and reading back through what I’ve already written on the next book, Firebound.

During NaNoWriMo last year I made a solid start on Firebound, writing about 20,000 words. As I read back over them to get back into the flow of the story, I was pleased with the scenes I’d already written, and even more pleased with the planning on scenes that I’d forgotten I’d done. I have a pretty solid outline.

As I finished reading what I’d printed, I realized I was missing my first chapter. Where did it go? Had I not saved properly? Or did I write it in a different file during Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer of 2019?

Yep, there it was, another 2,500 words, that begin with the line, “I’ve decided to become a nun.” And she isn’t kidding.

Firebound is set about 6 to 8 months after Earthbound and is from the perspective of Ally’s best friend, Jennifer, who was burned in a car accident. (Caused by a demon, of course.) She has mostly recovered but a lot has changed for her.

I’m using the Scene/Sequel method to plan out the story from one scene to the next. It helps me keep a logical flow to the information as I move through the scenes.

Basically, the point-of-view character has a goal which someone opposes. In order to keep conflict moving the story forward, the character is either denied their goal or they achieve it, but with strings attached. In a sequel, the character reacts emotionally, reviews what happened using log and reason, then anticipates what will happen in the future based on several optional paths forward. Finally, the character makes a choice about what they are going to do, or their next goal, which leads to the next scene.

I’m still marketing on the first novel, but I’m jumping back into writing the second novel. I find my mind turning to it at bedtime and while I’m driving. This is the most fun part, the writing.

The Friday Poem: Temporal Horizon


Earthbound: Pre-release Sale


A Conversation with Melora Johnson, author of Earthbound

Thank you to Christy Jackson Nicholas for hosting me on her blog today!

Historical fantasy, time travel adventure, and urban fantasy

Today, I am hosting a fantastic newly published author, Melora Johnson! Her first novel is being published on January 15th, 2020 by Tirgearr Publishing.

Cover of Earthbound by Melora Johnson

Click here!

Thank You
I’d like to start by thanking Christy for hosting me on her blog and in her newsletter so I can reach out to all you lovely people who enjoy reading fantasy! And thank YOU for taking the time to read.

About Melora

My name is Melora Johnson and I live high on a hilltop in the countryside of Upstate New York. I’m a mom to one funny and sweet pre-teen girl and I’ve been married for almost ten years to my wonderfully supportive husband. I’m also a librarian in a small city.

I got a lot out of reading growing up – escapism, comfort, and learning. In college I learned that there was a term for it, “bibliotherapy.” I wanted to give…

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The Friday Poem: Moonlit Landscape in Gray


Writing Update: Angels, Avoiding Marketing, Writing, and Reading


The new year is here and my vision is clear. I’ve hit the ground running, for all the work coming my way is … hmm. That first line wasn’t meant to turn into a poem, I swear.

Poetry happens wherever and whenever it hits me — three new this week, so far. I find myself scribbling thoughts down on Post-its, index cards, and typing into the notepad of my phone or Kindle – whatever is convenient.

I’m also taking notes for that second paranormal romance book that I’ve started and itching to get back to work on it. There is definitely a guardian angel involved and one demonic bad guy is taking shape.

Mainly, I’ve been avoiding marketing the new book. It feels quite overwhelming when you get down to it. But, I managed to force myself to concentrate on it for short bursts of time until I’ve come up with a plan that looks more manageable.

Luckily, I have been doing several of the things my publisher recommends, due to a weekend workshop — The Business of Art, which I took through my local Arts council several years ago.

Now I have a long list, it has been prioritized, and I have been checking things off one at a time.

It’s time to get back to writing WHILE I market so that I actually have something to follow up the first book with.

Balance — work, home, marketing, writing. Oh, yes, sleep.

And reading, mustn’t forget that one. I’m listening to Neil Gaiman reading his book, Stardust, while I drive to and from work. His use of language and storytelling provides a very inspiring start to the day.

The Friday Poem: Notes of Longing