When a Man Loves a Woman (guest blog: Gina Wheeler)

Filed under: Jeff's Blog — February 14, 2017 @ 6:23 pm

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by Gina Wheeler

 

Hello dear readers!  Happy Valentine’s Day – a day which I personally enjoy, while also realizing its over-hyped importance.  But what better day to guest on my husband’s blog than today?   Jeff has shared with me many of your emails, and so I feel a deep sense of gratitude and responsibility towards you, his most supportive readers.

What kind of romantic is Jeff?  How does he treat his wife and kids – what is he *really* like?  How does a *man* write about relationships in the fantasy genre, as if he is some kind of rare oddity?

Allow me to include a childhood memory:  many times I used to sit at the dining table of my grandmother’s home, at the head of which sat her husband, my step-grandfather.  Eating a meal at their home was quite different from my daily routine.  Grandpa sat during the entire meal while he was served his food, or the food was passed to him to fill and refill his plate.  Condiments, drinks, salt…it was all handed to him as needed.  He sat like a sort of Hispanic king over the whole meal, and I admit that when I was young I was a little terrified.  I remember asking my dad in a whispered hush to be excused from the table even though my plate wasn’t completely empty – I wanted him to champion me in case my grandfather was displeased with my eating performance!

Memories of Jeff as a young man are far more pleasant!  His very young sisters once rushed out of the house to greet him when he came home.  He casually swooped them up in his arms and carried them happily inside.  It made quite an impression on me, both as an only child and as a young woman watching a boy act in such a tender fatherly way.  Another time I watched him bake cookies for his sister’s class, to pass out as her birthday treat.  Even though my own dad was a modern Hispanic and cooked meals, watching this teen boy bake cookies was another matter, especially since wasn’t groaning or complaining over the assignment but just took it as a matter of course.  (I later found out that he cooked breakfast for his family of ten).

As a young bride, I enjoyed the companionship of washing dishes together or cooking up our 2-person meal.  More importantly, we had the kind of relationship where we each spoke freely (and decidedly!) our opinions about all sorts of topics.  We were both college students and expanding our minds in the classroom, and at home with healthy debate and discussion.  I both expected and appreciated being his intellectual equal, and it was a relief to him that his wife didn’t expect to be “taken care of”.  I worked, went to school, and ran the checkbook.

Once the children entered the family and I stayed at home, I secretly wondered if he would ever express the attitude of “you just stay at home and have it so easy”.  To my relief, he never did – he jumped into the diapering and late night feedings (and screamings) because he knew he should as their father, but he was also laying the foundation of a close relationship with his kids based on active parenting.

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A few rare times Jeff has gotten a review that basically pronounces him a woman-hater.  I never got angry, but rather genuinely surprised.  I wished that readers could see the daily Jeff that I knew, who came home from work and then started setting the table right away, or helping a teary child with a math problem.  And I must mention the more tender actions as well: the personal letters to me and the children, the songs he’s composed or the thoughtful homemade gifts I’ve received.

I could go on and on of course…but I think you get the point and I don’t want to proclaim perfection.  Far from it – but we do have a living, breathing, equal and very loving marriage and family.  It’s those daily, almost quiet actions that displays a man’s true mettle, that demonstrates if a man really loves a woman.

 

Writing Craft: Finding Your Own Voice

Filed under: Articles — February 8, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

Finding Your Own Voice

(or, in other words, how to make characters feel real)

by Jeff Wheeler

 

Inside almost every work of fiction, usually on the copyright page, is a disclaimer that publishers put there to deflect potential lawsuits stating that the incidents and people represented in the work are fictional and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead . . . blah, blah, blah.

I’m probably not the only person who reads this statement and thinks, “Yeah, right.”

I think most writers usually come in two varieties: plot authors and character authors. Occasionally, an ambidextrous author comes along and can do both equally well. For me, I started out as a plot author. I’ve never struggled coming up with new ideas, new worlds, new politics. But I did struggle for many years making character-driven stories. It was my weakness as an author. So I tried to work on it. Here’s how:

One of the ways I try to make my books feel real is that I base my characters, or at least some of their traits, on real people I know. Some are so cleverly disguised that no one would ever know it was them. Some are deliberate tributes to people I know and admire. For example, in my Kingfountain series, the cook, Liona, and her husband, Drew, are dear friends of mine. They happened to listen to the audio version of The Queen’s Poisoner on a trip to Europe while driving to Hohenzollern castle (which I based the castle Kingfountain on in the book). They knew they had a cameo in the book and enjoyed their little tribute. Many, however, have no idea that they have been used as inspiration for characters in my books.

Hohenzollern

Why do I and other authors do this? Because one of the crafts of writing is finding voices. Some people seem to think the author’s “voice” means the narrative flow of the story—who is telling the story. This is really easy to see when an author chooses to write in first person and the reader experiences the stream of consciousness of the main character. All that we see comes through their point of view. But there are so many other voices that need to be heard. The voices of the different characters are, I argue, what make the most difference. And even when an author chooses to write in first person, you can experience those other voices through the main character. It’s the different voices that make you fall in love with a story.

For me, the magic of a story—what pulls me into it—happens when characters in a story interact with each other. This is how I learn about them, their likes and dislikes, their personalities, their idiosyncrasies. This is what makes me want to root for them or despise them. Getting to know characters by bouncing them off each other is, to me, the most critical thing an author can do establish their voice.

What tends to happen, on the other hand, is that new writers try to create their authorial voice. They focus on stringing sentences together. Trying to impress their readers with brilliant similes or metaphors or unique descriptions. The more time I spend in the main character’s head, the less I’m interested in them or care about them. Instead, give them someone to spar with immediately. In other words, one plus one equals three. When you bring two characters together, you add more life to both of them than you do by focusing exclusively on the main character. It’s chemistry. It causes reactions. And I’m not just talking about two romantic leads. The chemistry happens when two characters share a page. Any page.

For this to work, it means that every time characters appear in a scene, they need to be distinct in some way. In movies, there are lots of “extras”—people that don’t have major roles to play, but they add emotional depth. Instead of trying to flesh out all of these extras with random details, I tap people I’ve known from work, church, family, friends—wherever I can find them. In fact, having a writer’s mind helps me when I meet new people because their mannerisms might make them perfect for a role as an innkeeper, a noble, a poisoner.

Let me be specific by providing an example. I think I really achieved a new level as a writer with my original Legends of Muirwood trilogy because of the character development. I really tried to get it right, compared to my earlier attempts. The beginning of the novel The Wretched of Muirwood takes place in the Aldermaston’s kitchen on the night of a terrible storm that threatens to flood the abbey. The main character, Lia, is in the loft listening in on a conversation happening in the kitchen between the head cook, Pasqua, and the Aldermaston, a stern man prone to bursts of anger. My main character, Lia, doesn’t even get to speak for the first bit, but we experience her thoughts as she listens to the two people who have basically raised her as a foundling talk to each other, and it’s through their speeches that we learn about them and we learn about Lia.

I based the Aldermaston partly on a historical figure, the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. His brooding photo is still on my laptop, and I would look at it when I wrote scenes with him. I learned about General Lee from Ken Burns’s wonderful documentary on the Civil War, which I’ve watched multiple times. Having the idea of him in my head helped me write scenes with the Aldermaston. At what point would he irrupt after maintaining his often-strained patience? Pasqua, on the other hand, was based on one of my mother’s good friends. Her real name is Pasqua, and I’ve pretty much channeled part of her personality in the book while taking many creative liberties. Most of the time I change the names to protect the innocent, but I just couldn’t think of a better name for Pasqua’s character than the real one! And I loved the maternal role she plays in Lia’s life throughout the series.

Some have wondered where the term “by Cheshu” comes from (which was used by two cantankerous hunters in both of my Muirwood trilogies). Well, I based Martin (one of them) off a minor character in Shakespeare’s Henry V, Captain Fluellen. I love the Kenneth Branagh version of the film, and Ian Holm played that character and nailed it. That inspiration became the ‘voice’ of Martin, and guess what—if you listen closely to the movie or read the manuscript, you’ll find the gruff captain muttering “by Cheshu” now and then.

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So many authors joke about taking revenge on people in their books. While I have done that too, I think it’s perfectly normal to find voices in the real world and incorporate them into fiction. The act of creativity is the mashing up of different existing ideas to create something new. All of my books have been inspired by other events, historical or mythological, that I’ve woven together to create new worlds my readers have enjoyed.

As I read stories that get submitted to Deep Magic, sometimes I think that the author is trying too hard to channel the voice of another author. This story feels like Dresden Files. This one feels like Harry Potter. This feels like Brent Weeks. It’s quite normal for a new author to try mimicking the voices of authors they admire. I did the same thing when I wrote my first epic fantasy Landmoor, and I encourage it for authors who love my Muirwood series who want to write and publish stories through the Kindle Worlds program. I’ve just discovered along my author’s journey that the more I made characters interact with each other, for good or ill result, the more interesting it made my books.

So here’s my advice in a nutshell. If you’re starting out, or even if you’re experienced as a writer, think about the kind of cast you need to reveal your main character to the reader. Think about the variety of people they will meet that will reveal different aspects of them. Someone they despise. Someone they trust. Someone they’re afraid of. Someone they secretly love. The interactions with these people will tell us more about them than just listening to them yammer on in their own heads. This means you’ll need to be a good people watcher. Find your voice by listening to the many voices that are already around you.

Sometimes, your best supporting characters might be people you already know. You’ll find your own voice if you listen to theirs.

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Article from the February 2017 Issue of Deep Magic

 

Cover Reveal: The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain book#4)

Filed under: Jeff's Blog,Novels — December 5, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

I’ve been waiting for days now to make this post, so I’m excited to do it now. As I wrote in the author’s note of King’s Traitor, as I was writing that book, I saw immediately another series in the world of Kingfountain. As you already know, the prequel novel The Maid’s War will be out in just a few weeks (January 3, 2017), and will include a print, Kindle, and Audible versions.

But the next book in the Kingfountain series will be coming out June 13, 2017. It is titled: The Hollow Crown and will include a new generation of heroes as well as familiar faces you’ve come to love. This may sound unbelievable, but my editor has enjoyed it even more than the original series. If you don’t want any spoilers, then don’t read the book description on-line. If you can’t help yourself and have to know, then by all means go ahead and read a snippet about it in the link above.

Here is the cover art that I’ve been dying to share with you.

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Pre-orders are also available for Book 5: The Silent Shield which will come out August 22nd. And if all goes well and I stay on schedule, the 6th and final book of the series will be out before the end of next year. Fingers crossed!

There will be an excerpt of The Maid’s War featured in the December issue of Deep Magic. Check it out here!

Sci-Fi Roots

Filed under: Uncategorized — November 15, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

I’m a fantasy author, but it may surprise you to know that my first love was science fiction. I still have strong memories and impressions dating back to 1977 when I was sitting in the Century movie theaters on Winchester Blvd in San Jose (which, incidentally, kind of looked like a trio of mini-Death Stars) and watching Star Wars. You know, the original. That was an event that shaped my love of the genre. So in honor of Rogue One coming out next month, I’m dedicating this blog to the science fiction favorites of my childhood and why I loved them.

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  1. Star Trek: it was a tradition in my house on Saturday afternoons to watch re-runs of the original Star Trek. I loved the cheesy fight scenes where Kirk always got beat up but still managed to win the fight in the end. Troubles with Tribbles always made me laugh. Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Some episodes were funny. Some were scary. I loved it when Spock nearly broke into a smile when he realized he hadn’t killed his friend Jim Kirk after all in a fight-to-the-death scene. Phasers set to stun!
  2. Star Wars: I can still remember feeling the movie theater trembling as the Star Destroyer went overhead. Light sabers were so cool, but I was afraid of them at first because one wrong move and you lose a limb. I favored Han Solo more than Luke (“Hoke religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid!”) and when he showed up to save the day as Luke was about to destroy the Death Star, I wanted to jump out of my seat and cheer.
  3. The Black Hole: this was a much-hyped Disney movie that I was so excited to see but it was actually very boring. I wanted to like it! I was incentivized to like it. The thought of a space station perched at the edge of a black hole was so cool and the special effects were not Star Wars level but interesting. Maximillian the robot with the helicopter blades was terrifying. I loved Vincent the floating droid.
  4. Lost in Space: not the lame movie but the original TV show! This is about a family that literally gets lost in outer space and visits strange planets. Great family dynamics and the robot was just funny and cool. The theme song was a favorite of mine for years. The villain/antagonist (Dr Smith) kept shifting from conniving to cowardly to pathetic. In fact, I think Maderos created the word pethet just to describe him. But I still remember the show very well. My brothers and I used to make paper characters out of the various cast members and play with them. There was no such thing as binge-watching back then!
  5. Battlestar Galactica: I mean the 1978 version. My favorite character was Starbuck, the smooth talking gambler and best friend of Apollo. This was Top Gun but with strange Egyptian-like jets. There was also some interesting religious symbolism woven into the story line (the Lost Tribes and other subtle nods that I appreciated). The Cylons were great baddies. Seeing the roving red lights on their helmets and the noise they made was akin to Vader’s mask. I loved the sound effects of the ships and the dog fights in space. And Starbuck, of course, who could never decide which girl he loved most.
  6. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Buck and Wilma, what else can I say! The chemistry between those two characters was amazing. I also loved the cheesy karate fighting that Buck would do, as if all martial arts vanished in 5 centuries of technology adoption. He was clever and funny and always breaking the rules. But he was a Virtus character, one willing to sacrifice himself for the good of others. Twiki, the robot, drove me nuts, even though the voice was dubbed by Mel Blanc. Scariest episode? The space Dracula guy.
  7. The Six Million Dollar Man: and also the Bionic Woman. Loved both shows. As a kid, it was fun pretending you could lift heavy objects or run super fast (but in slow motion) just by mimicking the sound effect they’d use. I was terrified by the Fembots, especially when their faces came off. And the all-time most intense episode was the Death Probe ones. Bionic man versus intelligent machine. Loved and feared it.
  8. The Incredible Hulk: I categorize this as science fiction, right? Bruce Banner always homeless and getting into trouble. Lou Ferigno with dusty green skin shows up to smash things and growl. I used to play The Hulk on the playground at school as a kid instead of soccer or kick ball.
  9. Star Blazers: my first venture into Anime. I can still hear the theme song in my head. The earth has been bombarded from space by poisonous bombs that are destroying all life on our planet. The faithful crew of the Argo go on a quest to stop the destruction and heal the planet. The best part? The ship’s most powerful weapon—the wave motion gun. Want one!
  10. Robotech: my second major foray into Anime. I liked the first season best and have been re-watching it on Amazon Prime lately. It’s about a race of giant aliens, the Zentraedi, who are seeking to reclaim a lost battleship which crash landed on earth. The humans have rebuilt it and use it to defend the earth against the invaders. The technology, called Robotech, enables them to built F-14 tomcats that can transform into battle droids. Cool stuff! My favorite part was the love triangle story between Rick Hunter, Minmei, and Lisa Hayes. They did a great job at character development, cheesy as it was. If you wonder where I get my twisted penchant for torturing my characters, part of it comes from watching this series.

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I’ve written in the fantasy genre for a long time. But I should confess that there are a few science fiction type novels stewing in my creative imagination and have been there for a long time. I used to work in Intel’s Research & Development factory in the 1990’s and saw what science could do first hand. But for an author crossing genres is risky. Some fans don’t want to follow along into a new frontier.

 

What about you? Was your first love fantasy or science fiction? Would you follow me if I took you on a different kind of adventure? Just askin!

 

-Jeff

Cover Reveal: The Maid’s War (Kingfountain prequel)

Filed under: Uncategorized — October 5, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

I’m super excited to share with you the fantastic cover art for my next book: The Maid’s War. This is the one I mentioned in my previous blog post. It is a novel I was inspired to write based on Ankarette, the queen’s poisoner, that so many of you know and love. I have ideas for more stories about her, so we’ll see how this one does before I consider writing more. She’s one of my all-time favorite characters and I loved coming back to her part of the story.

But for now, feast you eyes on the cover!

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This book will be published on January 3, 2017. There will be a Kindle, print, and audio version as well (narrated by Kate Rudd, of course!). She loves this series as much as you do.

You can pre-order it here:

Now, to clarify. This book takes place prior to The Queen’s Poisoner, which is why I called it a prequel. If you’ve never read any of the Kingfountain books, it is also a good place to start because it explains the mythology and magic system of this world. My personal view is that it should be read after The King’s Traitor and before The Hollow Crown. Let’s just say there is some unique information in this book that will be helpful to know before starting the new series next June.

I will be doing a Facebook Live event on Wednesday October 12th on the Deep Magic Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DeepMagicEzine/) to discuss Maid’s War, some Deep Magic news, and would love to have you stop by and ask questions.

See you then!

What comes after Kingfountain?

Filed under: Jeff's Blog — September 6, 2016 @ 12:58 am

Today is pub day for my novel, The King’s Traitor. Everything about the Kingfountain series has been a risk for me. Writing from the point of view of an eight year old protagonist? And a boy at that? Thwarting the love interest in book two and making everyone (including myself) cry? Imposing a gap of years between the action happening in all three novels? I know my publisher was scratching their heads at what I was thinking. But that was until they read the manuscripts and fell in love with the world of Kingfountain too.

As many of you start and finish the 3rd book of the series, you’ll be asking yourselves–what’s next? What does Jeff have up his sleeve?

I’m ready to announce just that.

While I was writing The King’s Traitor, I realized that there were more stories to be told in the Kingfountain world. It was like coming to the end of a tunnel and being able to see a huge vista ahead. I saw quite clearly where the story could go with another similar time jump into the future. A story that includes the cast you’re already familiar with while introducing the next generation and giving them the limelight. The idea for a 3-book story arc came to me while doing more research and crystallized around a new protagonist. I pitched the idea to my editor. He absolutely loved it.

So I’ve signed a three-book deal with 47North to bring you this new tale. Book 4 of the Kingfountain Series will be called The Hollow Crown. You can expect it to come next summer, followed by books 5 and 6 before the end of the year. The first book is already written and my early readers have all said they might like this new story even better than the first part of the series. I’m humbled.

Wait, there’s more news!

While writing in the Kingfountain world, I hinted many times about the most famous of all the Fountain-blessed individuals, the Maid of Donremy. In the back of my mind, I’ve had several backstory novels simmering and decided to write one, intending it to be only a novella. By the time I was finished, it was a full novel instead. I loved writing this story and set it from the point of view of Ankarette Tryneowy, the famous Queen’s Poisoner from book 1. She has been sent on a mission into the heart of Occitania to find the sword of the Maid and learns about her vivid history and how it is still tangled with her own realm. This book is called The Maid’s War and will be published this January as a bridge novel to tide you over until Book 4 is released. The first few chapters will also appear in my e-zine Deep Magic in December’s issue. It’s also a great way to introduce someone to the world of Kingfountain and its magic. I’ll announce pre-orders for both through my newsletter when they become available .

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(Fun fact: image of the Vatnajokull ice cave–an inspiration used in the Kingfountain books)

I hope you enjoy the finale of the first installment of the Kingfountain series. Hopefully the ending will leave you as satisfied as it has me and anxious to read more!

Until we meet again,

Jeff

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(Fun fact: this is a photo of Maude Adams, the American actress that inspired Richard Matheson’s novel Bid Time Return, which was became one of my all-time favorite films, Somewhere in Time. This is the picture that inspired my description of Ankarette Tryneowy in The Queen’s Poisoner.)

 

One Million Words

Filed under: Uncategorized — August 4, 2016 @ 9:48 pm

I created this blog 10 years ago to document my journey to publication. It’s really not worth reading chronologically, but I recently went back to a post I made on June 28, 2006. At that point in my life, I had recently shut down Deep Magic. I was also about to start writing a little book called The Wretched of Muirwood which I later self published. I had written nearly one million words up to that point. They were my practice words.

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And so forgive me for being a little nostalgic a decade later. Deep Magic is back with bold new stories and an awesome group of people working together to make it all happen. It’s a dream come true and I have to thank you, my readers, for reading the stories that come out of my imagination.

It was Terry Brooks who first taught me the “one million words” principle. It goes like this. After you’ve written your first million words, you are ready to start being a writer. It was true for me. If I ever write a book about my author journey and the craft of writing, you know that lesson will be there!

Last month marked another major milestone in my life. One day during the month of July 2016, I sold my first millionth book. It was probably a Kindle version of Landmoor, for all I know (wouldn’t that be ironic?). I’m still a little stunned and don’t like bragging, but I wanted to celebrate the occasion with you. So, to each and every reader and fan who reads this silly little blog:

Thank you!

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Wheeler HS 16-9

 

New short story & on-line writer’s seminar

Filed under: Jeff's Blog — June 22, 2016 @ 12:21 am

What an amazing month it’s been! I’ve re-booted Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Science Fiction, spoken to a huge crowd at a local charter school, became a Wall Street Journal bestselling author because of The Thief’s Daughter and will be teaching a fiction writing class for Writer’s Digest entitled “Raising the Stakes: How to Keep Readers Hooked on a Series”. It’s been a busy month!

First off, let’s talk about Deep Magic. This is a passion project of mine. We had a great launch and the reviews coming in are amazing. We’ve pulled together short stories from authors you know as well as those you’ll learn to love. All stories are without sex, gore, or swearing (AKA “cleanreads”). But that doesn’t mean we skimp on the plot, character development, or excitement. We’ve been inundated with story submissions beyond our wildest dreams. It’s hard saying no to so many excellent offerings, but we’re really trying to pick the best of the best.

For my contribution, I donated a story that has been a seed idea for many years. I didn’t think it was big enough to sustain a novel, but it was big enough to almost be called a novella. I’ve loved quest stories since my childhood and this is a spin on that style. I say spin, but I should say ‘twist’. The main character, Rista, is the daughter of a very famous yet humble man who everyone knows as the Beesinger because of his special magic. He’s the unlikely hero from a previous epic quest who saved the world from a deadly villain. When trouble comes knocking on the door of the homestead, he’s away on a journey. It’s up to Rista to rise to the challenge. This story is very personal to me because the two main characters are based on my own coming-of-age teenager (who read the story and offered her input) as well as a family friend, one of the best dad’s I know. I loved creating a new world and a new magic system just for this story. Who knows–maybe this will morph into something new in the future? Check it out in the June Issue of Deep Magic.

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Secondly – a shout out to John Adams Academy in Roseville, California! They invited me to come speak to grades 4-6 to a packed auditorium. It was a blast and during their campus event that night, I sold three boxes of books and could have sold more if I had them. What an enthusiastic group of fans. It was a great time and a wonderful experience.

Third – what a launch for The Thief’sDaughter! This book has a higher reader rating than any other book I’ve done and was on the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list. Best of the all, many readers liked it even better than Queen’s Poisoner, which is rare. I’m thrilled by the reaction and now the building enthusiasm for book 3 coming in September. If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, please do. Those pre-orders really help with the NYT, USATODAY, and WSJ rankings. You’ll find it here. I don’t know why Amazon is pricing is less than the first two books. But hey, I’ve not heard anyone complaining!

Finally — I was invited to teach a class as part of Writer’s Digest University. It’s an hour-long session on Saturday, June 25th. Even better, they will be archiving the classes so that people who can’t attend the live session and listen to it later and see my presentation and hear me talk about the craft of building tension. Writer’s Digest has pulled together some great authors for this event. Look it up on-line if you’re interested in attending.

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Link is here

I’ve also signed on with 47North for my next series, but I won’t be announcing that yet. Sorry for the teaser but…you know me, I like ending on cliffhangers! Stay tuned and while you’re waiting for my next book to come out, pick up a copy of Deep Magic. If you’re already a Kindle Unlimited customer, it’s part of the catalog so you can read it for free.

Happy summer!

 

Deep Magic is back!

Filed under: Jeff's Blog — May 6, 2016 @ 5:00 am

I’ve been giddy with excitement about this for months now and can finally share it. After a 10 year hiatus, Deep Magic is back! Ten years ago, we shut down the e-zine after a four-year run including 49 issues. In June, exactly ten years later, we’ll be re-launching Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Science Fiction. I’ve pulled together the original founders (myself, Jeremy, and Brendon) and we invited some new people to be on the team, like Charlie Holmberg! (many of you know…she’s quite famous now after Disney secured rights to her Paper Magician series). Also on the team and the ‘voice’ behind the Deep Magic social media accounts is Kristin Ammerman. We’ve been joined by an editor I’ve been working with for several years now, Wanda Zimba, as well as a cohort of spectacular First Readers who all jumped on the chance to be part of this.

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Deep Magic will be a bi-monthly e-zine exclusively on Kindle and available worldwide through the Amazon store (tip of the hat to our friends in the UK, Australia, Canada, and many more countries!). The first issue is available for pre-order now. The links are on our website:

www.deepmagic.co (notice the URL is .co not .com — it’s not a typo!)

If you’d like to be on our mailing list (and I hope you do!), you can sign up through the website or on the Deep Magic Facebook page here: Deep Magic e-zine. Those who sign up in the next few days will receive a chance to win a copy of the Kindle version of my upcoming novel, The Thief’s DaughterI’m going to randomly pick from the list of those who have subscribed and will e-mail a link to the e-book which you can download to your device. 

What’s in store in the first issue? If you want to read gripping stories that doesn’t rely on sex, swearing, and graphic violence—you’ve come to the right place! In our first issue (which we’re labeling Issue 50 BTW), we bring you an interview with Brandon Sanderson (thanks to Charlie!). I’ve also provided an original short story of mine called ‘The Beesinger’s Daughter‘ especially for this issue. You will also find an extended sample of Charlie’s latest novel Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet which hasn’t even been published yet. We also have short fiction from Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Carrie Anne Noble, Steve Yeager, and Brendon Taylor. But we will have more than stories. We also have an interview with Harper Voyager executive editor David Pomerico. Oh, and a writing craft article by NYT bestselling author Anthony Ryan. As you can see, we’re bringing some pretty awesome stuff. We think you’ll love it so much you’ll want to tell all your friends about it on social media (and Kristin hopes that happens too!).

I really believe it was the experience of working on Deep Magic ten years ago that made me the author I am today. I’m passionate about this e-zine because I have a deep conviction that readers are hungering for more cleanreads and just don’t know where to find them. I also want to help other authors get published and paid professional rates. Deep Magic allows me to combine the two. I’m incredibly grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to see this vision fulfilled.

Now quit reading and stop by the new website!

www.deepmagic.co

-Jeff

 

Kindle First: The Queen’s Poisoner (my new book!)

Filed under: Jeff's Blog,Novels — March 1, 2016 @ 9:08 am

It’s finally here — the big secret I’ve been hinting at for months! When Amazon Publishing offered me the Kindle First deal for my new book last year, I was giddy with excitement but couldn’t talk about it openly. Here’s how it works. For Amazon Prime members, you get to select one free book a month through the Kindle First program. This is going on in the US, UK, and Australia for The Queen’s Poisoner. But it gets even better. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member and you still want to read it before the pub date (April 1st, no joke!), you can download the Kindle version now for a much reduced price. It’s a screaming deal for a brand new book.

The Queen's Poisoner

 

But the news is better still. This is also my first book that 47North is publishing it in Hardcover. They rarely do this but I’ve been pushing for it all along and they’re taking a risk to see how my fans react to it. So if you have *ever* wanted to own one of my books in hardcover, please order this one! Get the kindle version too. No problem. Oh, and for those who will ask about the Audible version–yes, the narrator of the Muirwood series (Kate Rudd) performs the voices for this new trilogy.

queenspoisoner-hardcover

This book will be followed on May 31 by the sequel, The Thief’s DaughterAnd soon to follow, on September 6th, will be The King’s Traitor. Yes, all three books are coming out a few months apart. I’m so excited! Here’s the cover for Book 2, all ready to go.

The Thief's Daughter

So what’s it about? This is a new idea that has been bubbling inside me for years and I break new ground in this series. It’s a new world, a new magic system, and the characters–I’ve just fallen in love with them. In this series, the main protagonist starts as a young boy in book 1 then becomes a teenager in book 2 and an adult in book 3. I’ve never skipped so much history between books before, never written such a young hero before, but it really works. My editors absolutely loved this series and thought each book got better and better, upping the stakes and making the situations our hero faces more and more desperate. This series is an emotional roller coaster. I think you’re going to love it.

I’m so glad that I can finally talk about the Kingfountain series. 47North really wanted to surprise you (my fans) in a good way with this Kindle First deal and discount. I even went to Hollywood in December to film some short videos introducing the book. You can find them on the Amazon page about the book.

Thanks for being patient with the big secret. I hope you enjoy my newest creation and are entranced by it as well.

Hope to see some of you at LDStorymakers conference in May!