Friday, March 28, 2014


I have been writing since I read a poem in second grade that simply stuck with me. I always wanted to write something that would have the same effect on others. In the beginning I wrote poetry but it wasn't very good. I would just write lines that rhymed and were on the same subject  more or less. It wasn't until I heard the phrase "You write best when you write what you know" that my writing became something that other people cared to read.

When looking back at most of the later poetry as well as my short stories and even my novels the one main constant is emotion. I have written about break ups and make ups. Declared love and wondered about loneliness. I have asked for forgiveness and demanded separation. Emotions are always at the surface for me so I have found that many times they spill over flooding onto the page.

Because I am a romantic at heart many of my friends growing up pushed me to read romance novels. I never was able to get into them because the "Bodice Rippers" dominated the genre and made me hate reading. I tended toward suspense and true crime novels preferring the feelings of fear and curiosity to solve the mysteries. Yet in own personal life it has always been about love.

I am a dreamer and a romantic so I believe in soul mates. Sometimes it doesn't have to be the one you marry just the friend that gets you on a level no one else does. I have been very fortunate to have a few friends that are up on the soul mate level as well as having that love that swells my heart. It is the inspiration I get from the happiness and love that became the muse for the transformation of my most recent project.

I had decided to write a short story that was a twisted crime story ending with the main character being the villain instead of the victim that it is assumed from the beginning. I began my Nanowrimo story with the bare bones of the short story intending to simply extend it. I added details to the day by getting to know the characters better and understanding some of their motivations. As I got to know them drawing out the day I saw that my word count wouldn't be close to the requirement so I was going to have to get past the original ending but figure out a way to keep the main character the villain.

It didn't work. As I got past the point that should have established the crime she began to talk to me. She was good at heart so I wrote her that way changing her into the victim of the crime it turned out she actually was. As more characters were introduced and her backstory developed I began to feel for her and even though it surprised me I found myself writing the once suspense crime story into a romance novel. She became the main character in a genre I had once sworn I would never read let alone write. I couldn't be happier that I finally found a version of romance that I can share proudly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Difficult Scenes

Today I wrote a scene for my current WIP tentatively called Sharing Strength. For me it was extremely difficult facing the emotional turmoil he went through. He suffers from PTSD and though he does attend a support group he cannot accept that he needs the help.

He isn't the nicest guy in the world but he is troubled. He is a young soldier that saw front line combat along with his best friend. They are both in the group but he had no intention from the beginning of opening up. He struggles with the fact that his friend seems to be moving on and getting better but in doing so he moves away from him.

Brian Nickerson makes it a point to demonstrate that he is tough and self reliant every chance he gets but because the rest of the group has their own healing to do they decide to ignore his macho showings. I am still getting to know him as I write this book and I believe deep down he is scared and wants  help but is afraid to ask for it.

He is considered a secondary character but I learned so much more about him in the 2500+ words I wrote about him today and I am glad I got to know him better. He is an important part of the story and I cannot wait to share him and the rest of the group with an audience soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Upcoming projects

As my Cover Reveal is wrapping up, and I am happy to say went well, I am looking ahead. The official release date for Never Give Up is April 4th and that suddenly seems right around the corner.
I have spent so much time over the last couple of years dedicated to this book that now looking ahead the path seems shrouded in clouds of ideas. I have so many projects to work on and with the creative juices flowing, ideas are swirling like a vortex, surrounding me.

I catch snippets of dialogue here and a glimpse of setting there. I have a few that either have names or a basic outline but nothing beyond. These are simply because the title was too perfect or the premise of a story just wouldn't get out of my head. At this point the characters haven't introduced themselves to me so I am just sitting in the metaphorical bar waiting for them to come in so I can buy them a drink and listen to their tales.

I also have a book that is completed but I am now in the beginning stages of editing and beta reading. After that will come the revisions and editing and ultimately followed by my next publishing submission. I would like to always have one project at every part of the process in order to constantly be ready.

I need a book in editing and one being read, one being submitted and one being written. It is also a goal to cover a variety of genres so as not to pigeon hole myself. The one I have in beta right now is a drama young adult fiction called Breathe. It even has a romantic aspect to it.

Sharing Strength is a is a darker drama taking a look at the effects of and reactions to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Five strangers come together and attempt to understand and support each other through the trials they face. Will they overcome the disorder? Will they get along and become a stronger group? Will they all even survive the diagnoses? Find out in Sharing Strength.

I also have a slightly more paranormal series coming out called The 7 Deadly Syns. Sisters redeem their mother through channeling of dark powers and taking revenge on men that pretend to be good but are actually twisting their powers into more evil pursuits.

Along with these are a few short stories I am working on for anthologies and my personal favorite Rescue Me - Animal Anthology. This is a book dedicated to animal rescue, how we save them and even more how they have saved us. The proceeds from this book will be donated to a charity I am currently in talks with and cannot wait to announce the beneficiary. I am also accepting stories and poems and every contributor will receive a free copy.

Follow me on twitter @AuthorReneeJean or like me on facebook Renee Jean or my anthology Rescue Me- Animal Anthology.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The First of Many

Tomorrow is a day I have been waiting and working on for a very long time. It is the first step in releasing my novel Never Give Up. I will be revealing my cover which was created by my friend and co-owner of my publisher Pure Ice Publishing. She did a beautiful job and I am very excited to share it with everyone.

In a few weeks following the exciting reveal of the cover comes an even bigger and by far more frightening step, The Release. My novel will be available to purchase and my work will be out there exposed to praise and criticism. It is my first and therefore in a way my baby so the butterflies have already begun.

I began the process of writing the story eleven years ago but put it on the shelf for eight years because it wasn't ready to be written. I chose to use it as inspiration to complete the Nanowrimo writing challenge in 2011. It was incredible to see how putting the pressure on made my creativity come alive and took the story in an unexpected direction.

I started researching agents and publishers following completion and editing eventually finding and being accepted by Pure Ice. As with most authors that take the chance and submit their work I did collect a file full of rejection letters before finding my acceptance but that yes could erase a thousand rejections.

In 2013 I once again participated in Nanowrimo and finished my next project called Breathe. I have been in the process of editing the new book and am thrilled that now that I have opened the doors the creative ideas seemed to be flowing in. Once Breathe is edited and I get the review back from my beta reader I will be submitting that as well and hoping that Pure Ice enjoys that one as well.

As I opened my mind I have come up with numerous books and short stories to write and luckily as I have learned more about the current writing landscape I have found ways to help others and have them help me with our work. Some of the upcoming books do have more of a fantasy edge however I tend to write more emotional and realistic fiction. Years ago it was considered young adult though with the expansion of sci-fi and fantasy categories calling it realistic fiction and drama seems more appropriate.

I hope that everyone will join me in my excitement as I take the first of many many steps in pursuit of my ultimate goal of writing full time. Tomorrow I will be sharing the cover of my book on facebook and will post it here and link it to twitter as well.

Facebook - Renee Jean
Twitter - @AuthorReneeJean

Friday, March 14, 2014

Writer Life

I am feeling off today. I want to be excited that I have so many wonderful projects happening at the same time but I am also feeling a little sad. I have three anthologies I am currently working on. Two of them are being put together by others, Rock & Roll Saved My Soul: Random Acts of Kindness and My Life Would Suck Without You. Both of these are giving me the chance to tell shorter stories and be a part of collections. I have always enjoyed reading short stories and the Random Acts of Kindness is also a fundraiser for charity.

I was inspired by the charity anthology of Rock & Roll Saved My Soul volume 1 and decided to create one of my own dedicating stories, poems and pictures to saving animals and then donate the proceeds of the book to an animal charity. I know the organization I am hoping to partner with and am in talks with them but haven't gotten the confirmation just yet.

While working on those pieces I also have one full length novel I am editing for my beta reader and another I am currently writing. Both of them are important to me and the one I am writing is extremely personal as well so again I have things to be excited about. Yet the sadness and frustration lingers because I also have my debut novel being released in just a few short weeks and I noticed earlier that when asked about reviewing a group of books, mine seemed to be the only one that didn't get any offers.

I am aware that with the Twilight series, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings being out in the last several years and the constant influx of new Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories emerging, Young Adult is not currently the most popular genre. I do however feel it is still a valid one and I am hoping that I am able to find a group that agrees with me. I have so many ideas for books and I am dedicated to any course of action required to make it as a successful author, it is just disappointing when my first novel seems to be overlooked.

I will keep searching and promoting and hopefully I will soon find the audience that can't wait to read my stories.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Age of Writing

I never considered there to be an age to begin writing and until recently I felt that I was well within the average. yet, as I join writers groups and chat groups online I am noticing that at the tender age of 31 I am seemingly in the geriatric category. It is as if I missed out on a decade or more that I should have been pursuing this particular field.

I am astounded by the number of people I see that try to balance novel writing with either term papers, essays for high school or even junior high. I remember crafting short stories and poetry at that age but I do not remember pushing for a publisher. Researching submissions was the furthest thing from  my mind.

I do of course question if I had dedicated myself at that time would I now be farther along on this journey. In all honesty I am not sure. There is obviously a learning curve with the writing profession as there is with any occupation and with the continuing advancements in technology the learning never ends. I would certainly have a better understanding of the submissions process and a larger group of contacts had I begun earlier in life but I may not have known what to do with the information at that age.

Much of my writing has drawn on my personal experiences and been inspired by those I have met and things I have done while working to find my true calling. Many of these experiences have been difficult life lessons but they have made me stronger as a writer and as a human being. I am now in a place that I can say I want to pursue writing as an eventual full time career and I am mature enough to at least attempt to make a game plan for it to become reality.

I am able to multitask better and have an educated background to pull from in the pursuit of establishing and promoting the things I am passionate about. I definitely understand the importance of the contacts that I have made and enjoy finding ways that not only can they assist me but that I can also repay the favor. I may or may not be successful but I do believe that simply being passionate isn't enough and I am glad I waited until I had grown up enough to build support for my passion.

It is the business side of things, the objectivity and ability to set aside my ego, that I have and am still having to learn and I am grateful to all those that have stood by me from the moment my passion and love for writing sparked to now as I begin the business of building myself into a successful author.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rescue Me

I have contacted a few charities for my anthology. I am hopeful that I will be announcing the partner for the book very soon. There are so many deserving shelters, rescues and organizations out there that picking the ones to contact was extremely difficult. However I feel deep in my heart that I have found ones that speak to me and represent so many animals and their struggles.

I am preparing a few pieces myself and am looking for submissions of poetry, short stories and pictures that represent the love and compassion we share with animals. There is no length requirement and the tentative deadline for submissions is July 15th so that I can get everything organized and submitted by the end of August.

All contributors are being asked to donate their work but will receive one free copy of the book for your collection. As soon as I have official confirmation from the charity I will be partnering with I will post a link to their information. I am already looking into promotional events and a launch party. If everything goes well I will also be turning this into a series with additional charities to be announced in the future.

If you would like to be a part of this project please comment here or contact me through facebook Rescue Me - Animal Anthology or Renee Jean, or follow me on Twitter @AuthorReneeJean. If you are submitting for the book please include your name and contact information for thanks and your free copy. I am very excited to see the stories everyone shares!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Charity Writing

I have been talking with my cover artist about the incredible anthology Rock and Roll Saved My Soul she put together. I am feeling very inspired to create a charity book in a similar fashion. I would gather stories, poems, essays all involving one topic and then, once it was published, split the proceeds with a charity in that field.

There are several areas in my life that I have had passion for but one of the largest by far is animals. I would love to collect stories about finding and rescuing animals. How they touch our lives and events and charities that people have worked with. Things like losing an animal, searching for and reuniting with them. Fostering both as a temporary home and as a foster failure.

Pet adoption events and personal visits to shelters are great sources of inspiration. Also the loss of family pets and how you honor them and add to your family afterward. I have so many stories just from the few animals I have been fortunate enough to have in my family and have tried to be active with my local shelters and rescues. Once I go down to only one day job casino I plan to become even more active with animals.

One of the largest concerns that was mentioned to me was the difficulty of getting people involved but I am hoping that by reaching out not only through social media and writing avenues for those looking to write the stories but also talking to people involved in the animal and rescue world I can find those willing to tell their stories and perhaps have them ghost written if that is easier.

I ask anyone that reads this and may be interested in sharing your tales to comment or like my Author Page Renee Jean on facebook or you can follow me on twitter @AuthorReneeJean. Please share and help me help animals and the amazing organizations that dedicate their lives to improving everything for the voiceless.

Friday, March 7, 2014

This Summer

     I am very excited about this summer. I have been invited to attend and set up as a vendor and author for signings and sales at a Romance Novel Convention. While I never really considered the book to be a Romance, but instead more of a Young Adult, there is an undeniable aspect of romance in it. I will also be working on the marketing for Never Give Up through signings and promotional events.
    While I do everything in my power to build an audience for this first novel I have my completed Nanowrimo project from 2013 called Breathe that I am in the middle of editing and will hopefully be sending out for possible publication within the next few months after I get feedback from my beta reader.
     As all of that is going on I am also working on a number of projects simultaneously. I have my very emotion novel I am working on but because of the research involved and the extremely personal nature of the piece it is taking longer that expected. I have been participating in a few anthologies and plan to continue submitting to those as well as working to get my name out into the world further through contests and magazine / newspaper submissions.
     Besides the short projects and my current WIP novel I have also begun mapping out a series that will most likely contain eight books and there is a follow up to Never Give Up tentatively titled Sabrina's Story. I have been asked to do a charity book that I am looking into and have a children's series that I am building little by little. And of course I am still working on my poetry which was after all my first vessel for this voyage into the writing world.
     I look forward to the feedback that is shared with me regarding not only the projects I have and am writing but also anything my friends and readers would like to see from me. There is inspiration everywhere and I have been fortunate enough to find an outlet for my creativity and a wonderful group of people just like me that enjoy the imaginative realms. I invite any and all to travel on my journeys with me and feel free to give me ideas to guide new ones :-)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Teaser from Breathe

This is a short excerpt from Breathe, the story I am currently editing. Let me know what you think!

Breathe. Kelsey closed her eyes and let the hot water drizzle over her. The shower heating up she felt the steam engulf her and transport her to an isolated world. Even as her skin began to redden from the heat she blindly reached for the nozzle to turn the temperature up. It didn’t matter how high it was, she couldn’t feel it anyway. She was in shock. It had been an incomprehensible day and as the steam built up past her numb wet body billowing over the top of the shower doors, she inhaled deeply and reminded herself again; breathe.

            The tiny bathroom filled with thick moist clouds causing the glaring fluorescent to fade to an uneven haze. Kelsey leaned back allowing the scalding water to wash across her face, stinging her eyes, but still she felt nothing. Behind her unopened eyelids she began to see. The faces floated up coming into focus, staring at her. Faces she knew. Faces she would never forget. The fear, pain and disbelief mirrored there contorted them into horribly disfigured creatures watching her. Her eyes shot open and looked forward at the shiny tiled of the wall in front of her. She looked at it, through it, unseeing. The wall wasn’t there, all she could see were the faces.