Jennifer's Journal


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

July Newsletter


Ever wondered what writers do when they aren’t actively writing? That is, when not actually putting words on manuscript pages? For one thing, they travel, planning business trips and vacations around their writing schedule. That’s why the newsletter is late this month: I’ve been away at our summer home in the mountains of Colorado. It wasn’t exactly a pleasure jaunt. Last fall, the power company replaced a transformer near the house. In the process, they created a power surge that took out our main circuit breaker, also the refrigerator-freezer, two TVs, the satellite receiver, a laundry room light fixture, the oven heating element on the electric range and every light bulb that was flipped on before the problem was identified. The past couple of weeks were spent replacing the appliances and having them delivered and installed so the house will be ready for company later in the summer. At least it was much cooler in Colorado than here in 100+ degree Louisiana.

Another thing that writers do while not writing, as I’ve belly-ached often enough here in the past, is revise work already completed. Since I wrote last, I’ve finished the first round of revision on Book #1 of my new medieval trilogy, BY HIS MAJESTY’S GRACE, due for release in 2011. After letting my two daughters read it for errors, I emailed it to my editor for her input. Once I have her editorial comments, I’ll do the final polish and send in the “official” manuscript in time for my September 1 deadline. This is a new process for me, letting my editor see the book before it’s completely done. Always before, I’ve just sent in my final draft. The editor would edit it and indicate whatever small problems she found. I’d correct them, and that was it until the AAs (which used to be called the gallery proofs or galley pages before computer-generated copies) arrived for my final check. I’m eager to see if the results are better with this different way of working.

Meanwhile, the proposal (synopsis), for the next book in the medieval trilogy will be due October 1. While in Colorado, I researched the historical incident involved, developed the story line and put a rough draft on computer. It comes to nine pages at present, a decent length for a proposal. Still, I’ll have to revise it several times, fleshing out the characters a bit more and possibly adding another plot point or two. At least, the major portion of the work is done.

I’m told I’ll be receiving the PDF file containing the AAs for TRIUMPH IN ARMS, my February 2010 release, at the end of this month. These will have to be read, notations for changes made, and then the file returned within a matter of days. It will be the last time I’ll be able to correct anything on the story, however. Whatever is in this file is what you’ll get!

Other than this, I’ve read the partial manuscripts for both of the books that I’m currently collaborating on with my two daughters, adding bits here and there and developing the plots. These are fascinating stories, and I can’t wait to see how they are received. I’ve also read the partial manuscript of the New Orleans historical begun last fall, before I was asked to set my next book in England. If I can find time, I’d like to complete this book before I get started on the second medieval manuscript. Time will be tight, as I have just nine months, or until June 1, 2010, to get my contracted work done. We’ll see.

Another thing I did this past month is to establish a Twitter page. I’m still playing with the concept, haven’t posted that much--didn’t post at all while away as Wi-Fi is not available at the summer house. Still, it’s a beginning. As plain Jennifer Blake was already taken as a Twitter name, look for me at:

Also, for those who have e-book readers and love a bargain, you can now download the complete 8-book set of Harlequin Presents books for July, a regular $30 value, for just $9.95. Check out this deal at: You can also download free e-book software at this site which will allow you to read e-books on your computer screen. The purpose here is to introduce you to buying downloaded books from this Barnes and Noble site, but that might not be a bad thing.

Happy Summer Reading!

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