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Showing posts from May, 2011

Series Progression

I’m having a happy Monday (off work!) and I hope you are too.

Today I’d like to discuss fiction novel series. I heard a comment on Goodreads that series tend to get better or worse as they progress, which intrigued me. Since I’m writing my own fiction series (The Conduct Series), that comment also made me a little nervous. Will readers enjoy #2 and #3 even more, or will they think the story’s “jumped the shark”?

Obviously all we can do is our best job as writers, knowing some readers might love it and some readers might hate it. As a new author, I’m hoping subsequent novels will improve simply because I’m learning so much about writing as I go. I was pleased when Rachel from Oklahoma recently left this review on Goodreads for Bad Behavior (#2):

“I don't know how Jennifer Lane got all that story line into this book I'll never understand, but she did it. I really like that we get to see into Sophie and Grant's therapy appointments like we get to see their parole appointments…

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Thank you to Jessica Subject for bestowing this award! Jessica was so kind to read and review my novel, post her review on her out-of-this-world blog, and then interview me too.

First I’ll tell you a few things about myself:

1. I just made carrot cake cookies for book club and they turned out pretty well. I’m a big fan of carrots and other naughty veggies.
2. I’ve ridden in an old-fashioned biplane before, cruising the Chicago skyline.
3. My grandfather could golf his age (and I hear that’s not easy to do!)
4. I may be too old and out of tune to try out for American Idol, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending I’m an awesome singer hee hee.
5. I love books that make me cry, like Room by Emma Donoghue.

Now I have the pleasure of passing on the award. I’m aware some blogs are award-free and if you’d rather not accept the award, there’s no pressure. These are some super-sweet peeps!

1. Smash: http://www.smashattackreads.com/ I’m writing my first post using Windows Live Writer due to …

Tempt Me Tuesday

Fellow Omnific Publishing author Lisa Sanchez is always full of fun ideas, including her new meme "Tempt Me Tuesday". I had to join in!
Dude, that guy doesn't have a six-pack--he has a whole case!
We'll be sharing excerpts of our writing. Tuesdays are busy days for me at the "slave mill" so I'll post when I can.

Today's excerpt is from the third novel in The Conduct Series: On Best Behavior. It's my current work in progress.

Grant locked the door behind him and walked in the darkened apartment, keeping his footsteps light upon noticing Sophie crashed on the sofa. The glow of the television framed her relaxed body in muted blue light. Her head tilted back, resting on the cushion, and her long strawberry-blond hair draped in soft waves around her face. She’d propped up her feet on the coffee table.

Smiling fondly, he crossed over to the sofa and sat next to her, studying her delicate features. She hadn’t taken off her makeup, and he noticed slightly s…

Summer Lovin'

Yesterday it topped 90 degrees in Ohio . . . summer's just around the corner, yeah! What a better time for love and for the Summer Lovin' Anthology from Omnific Publishing!


On July 1st Omnific will release two anthologies that will benefit the breast cancer charity Save the Ta-tas. One anthology will be sweet Young Adult romance, and one will be steamy Adult heat. I'm rather prudish at heart (though you might not know that from The Conduct Series) so I chose to write a YA romance about college swimmers -- my peeps.

Titled The Swim Recruit, my story explores a blossoming romance amidst the fallout of homophobic bullying on a swim team. How do you do the right thing when your world's falling apart around you?

This was my first short story and my first try at first person point of view, and it was so fun! The anthology also presented a chance to team up with fellow Omnific authors, always an inspiring group.

Authors! Under contract or have a book out? Readers! Want to m…

How Authentic Should Fiction Be?

I'm fascinated by prison. The idea of being locked up, handcuffed, possibly assaulted, all beyond your will...it's terrifying. Not surprisingly, prison plays a big role in The Conduct Series, my romantic suspense trilogy. My favorite cons, Grant and Sophie, are just starting their parole at the beginning of the series.

As my friend Janine commented on a chapter from my work in progress On Best Behavior (The Conduct Series Book 3), the question about authenticity in fiction novels struck me. In striving to create authentic worlds for our characters, do we risk confusing the reader? How "real" should our stories be?

I have another friend who's a psychologist at a prison, and I recently consulted with her about life on the inside. She kindly shared some slang from the women's prison:

Inmate = "Offender"

Corrections Officer = "Police"

Other cell block = "Across the street"

When I wrote a female inmate telling my main character Sophie…

Good Enough

Happy Monday! I'm in Ft. Myers, Florida for a long weekend with my swimming buddy Eric, having a wonderful vacation. Yesterday we went to spinning class, attended church then a mother's day brunch with his parents, walked on the beach and swam in the ocean, golfed a few holes, then went out to dinner. A lovely day!

The pastor's sermon at church spoke to me. He discussed taking our God-given talents to do our best -- to do "good enough" for God. The sermon encouraged us to work harder, honoring our higher power by demonstrating excellent work with the skills and talents provided to us, whether it's Yo Yo Ma on the cello or a housekeeper cleaning the floor to a brilliant shine.

The sermon made me think about psychology and writing. I had a slightly different take: how can we be good enough without being perfectionists? I'm a hard worker by nature (though you might not know that since I'm on vacation right now!) and I can be rather hard on myself. My psyc…

Editing is Love

Today I'll share a few tidbits from the editing process of my first novel With Good Behavior. As a newbie author, I had no idea what to expect, but now I can firmly say I LOVE getting my books professionally edited! The process improved my novels somuch.

Omnific Publishing has three levels of editing:

1. Developmental Editor Jessica Royer Ocken first went through chapter by chapter, deleting non-essential paragraphs and making the words flow. This detailed edit took the bulk of the time. I'll return to her brilliance later.

2. Managing Editor Cindy Campbell looked over the manuscript as a whole, detecting inconsistencies and shaping it up. She made it purty!

3. Copy Editor CJ Creel polished the manuscript. Apparently I enjoy conjuring up legal aspects of my novels without considering their plausibility but luckily CJ's also an attorney, saving me from making Sophie's arrest totally unrealistic.

All three of these ladies are amazing at what they do. I spent the most tim…