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I'm the world's biggest homebody.
It's true. I can entertain myself for hours. Add to that the rush of knowing that if I write a story, I can launch it into the world and a bunch of readers will be entertained too...well, it's surprising I'm able to pry myself away from the keyboard at all.
The weird thing about that kind of self-perpetuating writing motion, though, is that eventually the well runs dry. Dialog starts sounding the same. Characters all start reacting to crises the same way. Plots and settings get predictable.
So I've begun making a conscious effort to refill the well. Once a week, I go somewhere cool for the specific purpose of gathering impressions and ideas. I take photos and journal at the site, and then come back and do a photo essay on the trip.
So far I've visited the famous taxidermy display at Cress Funeral Home, the Pendarvis Historical Site, Crazy Frank's, and a pair of abandoned houses.
It might seem extravagant to take a whole day each week to go on a field trip, but right away I noticed that the other six days flowed a lot better, and the writing was so much more interesting, that I'm thrilled with the payoff.
What about you? Do you take time to refill your well? Most of us give and give to our jobs, our friends, our charities and our families. Over the coming month, I challenge you to take a day and do something just for you, something you've always thought would be fun, to refill your well. It might seem extravagant, but it's worth it!
Specials at JCP Books
Enticing covers and slick blurbs are everywhere, so how can you figure out what to add to your reading list that you know you're going to love? If you're anything like me, a recommendation from a friend carries more weight than any other consideration. I probably wouldn't have picked up my all-time favorite books if it hadn't been for a friend telling me, "You have to read this!"
If you're a JCP Books regular, chances are you've read the PsyCop series. But have all your friends?
Blog, email, shout it from the rooftops! Turn your friends on to the series you already love!
This week's JCP Books special
I'm so confident I can hook you on the PsyCop series, I'm willing to throw in Among the Living free with the purchase of Criss Cross!
Among the Living & Criss Cross $4.99,
7/12/2010 - 7/18/2010
Go to JCP Books sale page
Want to make sure you don't miss any specials? Add JCP Books Weekly Sales to your newsletter subscription.
(Note, for security reasons you can only change your subscription from within your email program. If it gives you trouble, just email me at jcp.heat at gmail.com and let me know how you want it!)
Like Begets Like
New! You can *|facebook:like|* JCP News, and a link to the newsletter will post on your Facebook wall! Yay!
Upcoming Web Appearances
July 27 - Marketing your M/M fiction at ReviewsByJessewave.com
July 27 - Check out my LiveJournal; I'll be taking part in 1RE's blog tour
Sweets to the Sweet for preorder
The paperback collection of the first batch of Petit Morts stories is available for preorder at Amazon.com in the US. (It's got a pretty nice discount on it at the moment, too!)
Preorder international at
In stock in the US at Barnes & Noble!
Please leave a review if you enjoy the stories!
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You Picked It!
We've been gearing up for this story for months, and finally it's here: The Starving Years. You picked the characteristics you were looking for in your heroes, then the characters themselves, and then the plot type and the plot.
Readers are already so involved in the evolution of this novel, I figured a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of each part might be welcome, too.
Go to the story's page to check out everything: current installment, prior votes, current votes, and commentary
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The Starving Years, Chapter 1
The room was warm. Too warm. The air smelled stale and slightly ionized, as if the convention center was pumping pure oxygen into the ventilation system in an attempt to keep the Canaan Products, Inc. hopefuls from drooling onto their laminated all-day seminar passes, then keeling over and toppling out of their molded plastic stacking chairs.
Nelson Oliver filled in all the letter-O's on his glossy Canaan Products tri-fold brochure, then began filling in the spaces in the a's and e's. He was so far beyond bored he was practically in an altered state of consciousness.
The guy on his left with the name tag that read Randy in large, assertive letters, the guy who took up way more space than he needed, was actually asleep—really, deeply asleep. Even asleep, he managed to elbow into Nelson's comfort zone. A couple of hours ago he'd started to nod, jerking his head back up each time it drooped, and forcing his eyes open wide. Once they were through with lunch, a weird hodgepodge of sweet and savory manna samples they could potentially have the responsibility of tweaking, packaging and selling for the company's next big rollout, Randy finally gave in and let his full stomach usher his brain past alpha waves, and deep into a full-on theta sleep.
click here to read The Starving Years 1-2 (worksafe), and to vote for next month
Voting for next month's installment will be open until 7/25
On Getting Started
Starting a project always carries equal measures of excitement and trepidation for me. It's exciting because literally anything can happen without contradicting something that's been said earlier on in the story, or without a character seeming out-of-character. The sky is the limit, and when you start a story, everything you say is true—it's daunting, though, because it sets the stage for the whole rest of the story. If I say the sky is orange, then for everything subsequent, I've got to be careful not to talk about orange sunsets as if they're anything unusual, or to say someone's eyes are blue like a cloudless sky.
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PsyCop: Property (Paperback, contains Body & Soul and Secrets)
PsyCop: Partners (Paperback, contains Among the Living and Criss Cross)
Camp Hell: A PsyCop Novel
Among the Living - PsyCop Book 1
Criss Cross - PsyCop Book 2
Body & Soul - PsyCop Book 3 (2nd edition, 10/23/09)
Secrets - PsyCop Book 4
Camp Hell - PsyCop Book 5
Thaw PsyCop Short 1.1, FREE!
Striking Sparks PsyCop Novelette 2.1
Many Happy Returns PsyCop Short 2.2
Mind Reader PsyCop Short 2.3 - PDF ebook, FREE!
Stroke of Midnight PsyCop Short 3.1, FREE!
Petit Morts Ebooks:
Hue, Tint, and Shade
Slings and Arrows by Josh Lanyon
Moolah and Moonshine
Other People's Weddings by Josh Lanyon
Spanish Fly Guy
Channeling Morpheus Ebooks:
Heaven Sent: a Channeling Morpheus Short
Sweet Oblivion Ebooks:
Channeling Morpheus Paperbacks:
Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary (Paperback, contains Payback, Vertigo, Manikin, Tainted and Rebirth) - Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.jp, Flipkart, Amazon.ca
Sleepwalker creepy museum thriller - novella
Betweentimes funny standalone short
Sympathy standalone contemporary romance - novelette
Hemovore vampire thriller - novel
The Art of Dying paperback - novella anthology with Josh Lanyon
The Art of Dying ebook - novella anthology with Josh Lanyon
The Serpent in the Garden - m/f short
Verdant (PDF, HTML, Mobi, Lit) more formats at Smashwords
The Voice (PDF, HTML, Mobi, Lit) more formats at Smashwords
The PsyCop series, including the Crash shorts Striking Sparks and Many Happy Returns, can now be purchased in the Kindle Store.
Many Happy Returns (Kindle Edition)
Starlight (Kindle Edition)
Kindred Spirits (Kindle Edition)
Striking Sparks (Kindle Edition)
Any of the mobi ebooks on JCPBooks.com will also work on the Kindle!
Downloading direct to your iPhone or iPod?
Try the Smashwords tab in the Stanza app; many JCP Books, LLC titles are there--even some freebies!
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