Jennifer Hudock

Do I Have What it Takes?

I’m having one of those mornings where I’m filled with indecision — where I’m questioning whether or not I have the talent to do my fantasy novel justice. I wonder if I’m capable of creating a world that’s believable and one that others will fall in love with — one that others can immerse themselves in.

When I look at the worlds that authors like Jennifer Hudock, James Melzer, Allie Burke, Nick Denmon and Will Entrekin created in their stories, I can’t help but think, Can I write a story like these, one that is filled with detail and that captures the world inside my head? Do I have the talent a story like the one I’m writing needs? And I just don’t know. And that scares me.

For me, it’s easier to write a short story. I truly am proud of the two I’ve published. But novels are not the same. I’ve completed two over the years: The Obsession and Without Wings. To say my earlier attempts were less than stellar would be an understatement. I think The Obsession has the chance to be great, but it needs a lot of work, so I don’t know if I’ll ever rework it. Maybe one day.

So I guess the only thing I can do for now is to keep writing and hoping that the end result is what I want it to be. If you’d like to read the beginning of my fantasy novel, you can find it here. It’s in the very early stages, so very little has been done to it. Its edges are rough and definitely need some work, so please keep that in mind when reading it.

Author Jennifer Hudock Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Over the past year, you’ve all heard me mention author Jennifer Hudock, aka Jennifer Melzer, on numerous occasions. She’s my friend, mentor, editor, cover artist and more.

Jenny and I first met back in 2008 while we both were working at Mahalo. Since then, she’s been there for me through many of the ups and downs in my life. She’s encouraged me to follow my dreams and never give up. She’s helped me to believe in myself and the gift I’ve been given. She’s played a significant role in where I’ve ended up. So when an opportunity arises to help her, I jump on it. I want nothing more than to see her succeed at her dreams. She’s an extremely gifted author, and I believe in her.

Today, Jenny launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the cover art to Jack in the Green, the highly anticipated sequel to The Goblin Market.

So please take a moment and watch Jenny in the video below as she explains why she’s raising funds. I hope that once you watch it, you’ll help her in her quest.

A Second Chance: The Cover

Good morning, everyone!

It’s a beautiful day here in southern Maine. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And I’m outside writing. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect day. (Well, the day will officially be perfect this evening when I’m devouring grilled ribs and chicken wings. YUM!)

Anyway, I wanted to share something special with all of you.A Second Chance cover

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been in an internal debate with myself over whether or not to share the cover for A Second Chance with all of you before the story is published. Half of me wanted to surprise everyone with it; the other half was so pleased and excited that it didn’t want to wait. I was able to hold off the little kid in me for a few days, but unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my inner child has won out. So here it, the cover for A Second Chance.

The original cover featured the name Second Chances, but with the name change and new scene additions, the story evolved into something new and beautiful. And as a result, I needed to have a new cover designed. I’m very pleased with how it came out since I feel it truly captures a very special moment in A Second Chance.

Before I close, I must give a special thanks to Jenny for creating the cover art for me.

Jenny, thank you SO much for taking the time to do this. You’ve been an amazing friend throughout this journey, and I’m truly grateful for all the help you’ve provided. I wouldn’t have reached the point I’m at now without your help and support, so thank you.

Finally, if all goes well this week, I will be posting an excerpt from A Second Chance, so please keep an eye out for it.

 

Writing Update – March 14

It’s been five days since my last writing update, and there’s definitely been quite a bit of progress.

You may recall that I mentioned in my last post that my editor thought I should try and get my word count for Second Chances up to 11,000, which is about 4,500 more than what I started out with. I actually broke 11,000 just minutes ago. Yippee!

I still have several pages of edits to go through, as well as one more readthrough and edit before sending it back to my editor for another editing session on her end. So, I’m hoping I’ll hit about 12,000 words by the end.

Other Changes

One of the ideas I’ve been playing with for about a week is changing the name of my story. I wasn’t sure that was the right move to make, at first, but I finally decided that it was necessary to change the title a tiny bit. I’m changing it from Second Chances to A Second Chance. I think the name change is a more accurate reflection of what the story is about.

I’m also having my editor create me a new piece of cover art. Some of you may remember the original cover art. If not, it’s right here ————->

The reason I’m having Jenny design me a new one is because of the additional scenes I’ve added to the story. There’s one scene in particular that I feel would make a great cover. I have a very detailed image in my head of what I want it to look like, and I’d really like to see Jenny make that happen.

I’m a huge, HUGE fan of Jenny’s coverart for her novel The Goblin Market. There’s something about it that speaks to me. And I know Jenny will create a new one for me that is just as great as that one. I have faith in her abilities.

One other area that I’m going to be working very hard on is promoting. I’ve seen what Jenny has done with guest bloggers on her site, as well guest blogging on other fellow indie author’s sites. I admire all the hardwork she’s put in, and I’d like follow in her footsteps. I’m actually hoping to have some fellow authors stop by here, including Jenny and maybe even her sidekick James. Who knows!

Other News

There are a few other pieces of news that I’d like to share before closing.

As I mentioned in the second half of my interview with Amanda Rosenblatt, I had the chance to talk to Josh Gates on Thursday night. If you’d like to listen to the show, you can find it here.

On Sunday, I made an appearance on a special voicemail edition of Podcaturday. It was a twofer this week. It was my first time stopping by, so I didn’t contribute much. However, I did laugh a lot, which is not hard since Jenny, Acadia and James are HILARIOUS! (If you’d like to listen in on Sunday’s edition, please visit one of their sites.)

I also had the chance to discuss my conversation with Josh, which is great. I’ll jump at any chance to talk about one of my favorite TV personalities.

And last but not, a new Destination Truth post will be up at The Superficial Gallery within the next day or so, so make sure to stop by and check it out.

Look, a Writing Update

After last night’s VERY successful writing session, I decided that I needed to take a few minutes this morning and write a quick update on the status of Second Chances.

As I mentioned in a previous post, things have been crazy busy around here. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on my personal writing. When I’ve had a few minutes here and there, I’ve tried to get in some editing, but it hasn’t been working out so well. I just wasn’t feeling what I was writing because I was so distracted and couldn’t focus enough time on Second Chances to really find my groove.

But last night was different, which is surprising since it started out kind of crappy. I had worked on Second Chances for a little while the night before and had actually managed to write 500 words, which doesn’t sound like much in the grand scheme of things, but considering my lack of free time lately, that was like writing a novel. So imagine how upset I was when I pulled up SC last night and noticed that all I had written the night before was gone. That discovery led to me cussing out my computer for a few minutes before I told myself to shut up and stop whining and to get writing. (Sometimes I just need to give myself a pep talk. LOL!)

For some reason something clicked last night, and I was able to whip out a scene that’s been bothering me. I was really worried about how it would come across to others. I didn’t want to sound preachy or like I was directing the scene at one particular group of people. I wanted it to resonate with everyone. So it was hard for me to find the right words. But last night when I started writing, I fell into that little groove that I love so much. The words just poured out of me, and I was able to finish that scene. Granted, it’s not perfect. I’ve got to go back through it today, hopefully, and add some bits and pieces, but I think on the whole, it’s what I was hoping for.

I still have a couple others scenes I want to add to SC. By the time I’m done, I’m hoping the final word count will be between 11,000-13,000 words, which is a lot more than the initial word count. From there I’ll do another edit on my own before sending it off to Jenny for her final runthrough. I want it to be the best that it can, and if that means it takes another month or two to get it there, that’s fine. The end result will definitely be worth it.

I have to admit, though, that I’m still nervous as hell about releasing SC on its own. The thought of anyone criticizing it upsets me because I truly do have some much of myself invested in it. But at the same time I know it’s just like letting your children grow up and experience the world. Even though it’s scary, you’ve got to do it.

So there’s my long-awaited update. I will update again soon.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for some great writing-related posts, head on over to Jennifer Hudock‘s website. She’s had a lot of fantastic guest bloggers stop by lately who have offered up some extremely helpful advice on self-publishing and being an indie author. If you’ve been struggling with your own publishing efforts, I strongly encourage you to read the guest blogs on her site because I think they’ll help you. I know they’ve helped me…A LOT!

Until next time, I love you. And happy reading and writing.

Second Chances Update

On the 13th of this month, I sent Second Chances off to my friend, author Jennifer Hudock, for editing. Before I hit the send button, I was scared, and I asked myself if I was prepared for whatever may come. This particular story means a lot to me, and I really want it to live up to its potential, even if that means a significant amount of work. But the thought of it being torn apart scared the daylights out of me.

There was a part of me that was also fearful that Jenny would email me back and say, “You suck! Stick to your dayjob.”

Yes, I know I was being a bit paranoid — okay, a lot paranoid, but it’s who I am. I worry all the time about my writing and whether or not people will like it.

This morning Jenny sent me back the edits for Second Chances. My initial fears were unfounded. As always, she provided me with some very valuable insight on what areas I could expand on that would take Second Chances to another level.

What’s great about Jenny is that she looks at more than just punctuation and grammar. She offers suggestions on additional scenes that can really help round out a story. She invests a lot of time into providing more than what most editors do. She’s professional. And she’s sincere. She wants to make each story that she edits that best that it can be. She understands that these stories sometimes come from places deep down inside and are often painful to write about.

I’ve said before that there is no one else I’d rather have edit my work, and that still stands true. I recommend Jenny to any of you that are looking for a quality editor who goes above and beyond normal copyediting duties. Believe me, you’ll get more than your money’s worth.

And Jenny, thank you SO much for being the person you are, who cares enough to provide the level of service that you do. I know with you on my team, I can’t go wrong. You’re more than just my editor. You’re my friend and personal cheerleader, and I’m very grateful to have you in my life. You’ve truly helped me become a better writer, and there’s not enough thanks in the world to express how much that means to me.

February 14, 2011 News Updates

I have a couple of new updates to share.

First, I finished editing Second Chances and sent it off to Jennifer Hudock for editing. There is no one else I trust more than her to edit my baby. I know with her help, we’ll make it the best it can be.

Second, after talking with Jenny about future projects, I decided on a couple things. I’m going to finish up another short story that is VERY near completion. I’ll then offer the new story, as well as Second Chances, as a doubleshot. Until then, Second Chances will be free for download. And maybe, just maybe, the doubleshot will feature a new cover that incorporates both stories.

The other project that Jenny and I discussed was the YA novels we’re both toying with. I’ve got one that is about 1/8 of the way finished, so there’s a lot to be done. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was a good storyline, but Jenny assured me it is, so we’re going to support each other through this new process — well, new to me.

The third update for today is that I officially launched my new site, Frugal Maine, early last week. I’m currently looking for resource sites to include in my blog roll on FM that would further help Maine residents, so if you think you have a site that is relevant, please let me know.

I also have to mention that my new site was mentioned on the latest edition of Podcaturday by Jenny, which was really sweet of her. Her, James Melzer and Acadia, from The Superficial Gallery, are all good friends of mine, so I’m tickled pink whenever they mention me.

Until next time, my friends, take care.

My Reading List for February 9, 2011

No matter what day it is, I always have at least several different pieces of reading material that I’m making my way through.

My current list as follows:

1- Jennifer Hudock‘s The Goblin Market

2- Linsly Donnelly’s Happy Go Local

3- Amanda Hocking’s Ascend (Part 3 of the Trylle Trilogy)

4- Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter

5- Penelope Fletcher’s The Demon Girl

I’ve been asked plenty of times before how I can read so many books at once and not get confused. I don’t have an answer for that because I don’t know how I manage. I just do.

What makes this ability incredible to me is the fact that when I was in transitional first grade, a grade between kindergarten and first, I could barely read. I was FAR below where I was supposed to be. I was shy and had a hard time interacting with others, and as a result, my reading skills were subpar.

Thanks to the guidance and support that I received in remedial reading, I was able to hone my skills. I went from being below average, to reading at a third grade level in a matter of weeks. By the time I was in sixth grade, I was reading at a 12th grade level. It was nothing to see me reading William Shakespeare while other kids were out playing football and baseball. I was, as the saying goes, a bookworm.

It was like once I flipped that reading switch on, I couldn’t turn it off. And it’s been on ever since, much to the dismay of my wallet. Although, I have learned how to curb my spending habit when it comes to spending money on books. It wasn’t easy.

My Pandigital Novel was a huge help in curbing my spending because I could download free books to read on it, as well as many that were $5 and under through Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Unfortunately, a couple weeks ago I was reading a story on it and I started to doze off. My Novel slipped from my fingers and hit my nose, resulting in a crack across the upper portion of the screen, which made the touchscreen no longer work. Since my mom and dad didn’t purchase insurance for it when they bought it for me, there’s nothing I can do about it. To say I’m bummed would be an understatement because I have no idea how long it will be until I can get another. ;-(

So tell me what you’re reading right now? I’m always looking for new suggestions.

Welcome to the Goblin Market: An Interview with Author Jennifer Hudock

After a crazy-filled week of sick kiddos and a sick momma (me), of which I’ll discuss more indepth in a later post, I’m back with a special treat for all of my readers.

My very good friend, author Jennifer Hudock was gracious enough to answer some questions that I sent her on her first full-length eBook, The Goblin Market. In the interview we also cover ePublishing and any advice she has for fellow writers considering the ePub route. (For those who don’t know, ePublishing, or ePub, refers to electronic publishing.)Author Jennifer Hudock

As always, I hope you enjoy this interview and will support Ms. Hudock’s dream and purchase a copy of The Goblin Market.

Q: It’s been awhile since your last interview here, so please take a moment to tell everyone what you’ve been up to since then?

J: Hi Nikki! I think the last time I was here we were talking about the Dark Journeys Short Story Collection. A lot’s been up in the meantime. I put out two anthologies for charity: Farrago: The Michael Bekemeyer Project and From the Dark Side: A Charity Anthology. I also just released my first full-length eBook, The Goblin Market.

Q: Just last week you released your first full-length eBook novel The Goblin Market. Can you tell us about it? How it came to be? What inspired it?

J: I was inspired years ago by the Christina Rossetti poem of the same name. I started tossing around an idea that crossed The Goblin Market with Labyrinth, and as I kept writing the idea grew wings and morphed into something original. Here is the full description:

Beyond the Goblin Market lies the remains of a lost and broken kingdom divided by war. The war has been over for centuries, but the kingdoms still stand apart, overrun by a creeping goblin darkness known as the Darknjan Wald. It has been written that only one holds the power to destroy that darkness and reunite the kingdoms, but she has no memory of her former life.

Meredith Drexler must save her sister, Christina, from the wicked goblin king, Kothar, who has kidnapped the girl in order to convince Meredith to uphold an ancient commitment Meredith doesn’t remember making. Sent Upland disguised as a human child, she has no recollection of her former faerie life, or her uncle’s promised marriage betrothal to Kothar.

When she ventures back Underground in search of Christina, every step Meredith takes brings memories of her forgotten past back to the surface. As the pressures of her former life entangle with her quest to save her kidnapped sister, Meredith’s predetermined fate is revealed. Will she embrace it, or walk away forever from a life she barely remembers as her own?

Q: What made you choose to go the eBook route?

J: I am a control freak. Self-publishing The Goblin Market gave me the opportunity to work hand in hand with my own editor, to choose my own cover art and it left marketing and promotion up to me as well. While the marketing and promotional aspect isn’t always easy, I would have had to do a lot of that anyway even if I had gone through a traditional publisher.

Q: Would you still consider publishing it through a publishing house if given the opportunity?

J: It would depend on how well The Goblin Market was doing on its own. I know a lot of authors who are making far more than a traditional publishing house would ever dream of offering them for their work, so giving over their freedom doesn’t seem beneficial. On the other hand, I think as writers there is still a certain stigma attached to the notion of seeing your book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble.

Q: What are the benefits of choosing ePub over traditional publishing?

J: As I said above, when you ePub yourself, all of the responsibility for producing quality work that readers will actually want to pay for falls into your hands. While that might seem like an overwhelming amount of work, you also have more say over some of the little details a publishing house might try to control. You also get higher royalties for your sales, which is a nice bonus, especially if you’re selling as many eBooks as someone like Amanda Hocking.

Q: What advice do you have for others interested in ePub?

J: Take your time and hire an editor. An editor can help you get your work in the absolute best shape before you present it to the world. In a competitive industry, the poorly written sludge will eventually sink to the bottom of the pool.

Q: Now that you’ve released The Goblin Market, what’s next? Do you have any other projects coming out in the near future?

J: I am working on the sequel to The Goblin Market right now. It’s title Jack in the Green, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through the first draft. I also have a few other projects I am working on, but they’re still in the very early stages of development so I’m not quite ready to share details on them yet.

Q: And though I’ve asked it before, please let everyone know where to go to find out more information about you?

J: You can visit me on The Inner Bean, my official website. You can also follow me on Twitter, where I spend far more time than I probably should.

Q: And where can everyone go to purchase a copy of The Goblin Market?

J: You can get a copy of The Goblin Market for just $2.99 on Amazon and Smashwords. (Side Note: Earlier today Ms. Hudock posted tweeted that she has dropped the price of The Goblin Market to $.99 at Smashwords in honor of the Super Bowl, so head on over and purchase yourself a copy.)

*If you’re interested in having me interview you, please feel free to send me an email at nicole@nicoleireland.com. Thanks!

Giveaway News: Goblin Market PRINT EDITION

Goblin Market cover

Goblin Market was written by Jennifer Hudock

I have some very exciting news for those of you who love to read fantasy novels. My very good friend, author  Jennifer Hudock is holding one freaking awesome giveaway right now. And you can be a part of it.

If any of you are followers of Ms. Hudock, then you may have listened to her Podcast version of Goblin Market. This week she released the eBook edition and has set a goal of 50 sales by tomorrow night. Once she hits 50, she will be giving away five  print editions of Goblin Market — the only five print copies available. No one else will have them.

Now, I wouldn’t tell all of you to buy this book if I didn’t know how awesome it is. Jennifer is an amazing writer who creates worlds that are magical. Her words have the ability to transport you to another place and time, something not all writers are capable of. I’ve read many of her stories and love them all.

In order for the giveaway to happen, Ms. Hudock needs help from all of you. Once you purchase a copy of Goblin Market, please pass on the link to friends and family you know who would be interested in reading it. Also, please feel free to Tweet about it or post the link on your Facebook page. MySpace works too.

Goblin Market is currently available for purchase at Smashwords and Amazon for $2.99. Honestly, you can’t beat the price. And don’t worry, if you live in the UK, you can still purchase a copy through Amazon UK.

Here’s the great thing about purchasing it through Amazon, you can download a sample of the story. I guarantee that once you start reading it, you’ll want to buy it.

Once you’ve purchased the book, you’ll need to email Ms. Hudock a copy of your receipt at jennybeanses@gmail.com. You will then be entered to win one of the five print edition copies of Goblin Market. The receipt needs to say that it was purchased on 1/27, 1/28 or 1/29 in order to be eligible for entry. If the goal of 50 eBooks sold is NOT reached by the end of tomorrow night at 11:59pm ET, there will be no winners. So please, spread the word.

Goblin Market Description:

Beyond the Goblin Market lies the remains of a lost and broken kingdom divided by war. The war has been over for centuries, but the kingdoms still stand apart, overrun by a creeping goblin darkness known as the Darknjan Wald. It has been written that only one holds the power to destroy that darkness and reunite the kingdoms, but she has no memory of her former life.