Jenn Gott

Word Wrangler and Professional Daydreamer

Category: The Beacon Campagns (page 1 of 4)

Monthly Author Check-In: March 2018

Uh, so yeah. This is, technically,  April. In my defense, I spent the end of March wrapping up a draft of Whispers of the Ice, and I make no apologies about missing this Check-In deadline because of it.

What I’m Writing: Beacon Campaigns 4, 5, and 6, in various stages of production. Because yeah.
What I’m Reading: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
What I’m Loving: AJR’s album “The Click”

WIP Excerpt

They moved at a sedate pace, but steady, like the ticking of a metronome. Every step of this act had been scripted, every breath accounted for. Twice over, in fact. He knew that she knew that he knew. She probably suspected. The only thing left in play was which one of them had out-maneuvered the other, out-anticipated the other. Which of their traps were meant to be traps, and which were meant to be seen and avoided, thus leading to further traps? In his mind—and no doubt hers—there were plans layered upon plans, contingencies for every conceivable outcome. If she struck first, if he attacked from the left; if it happened in the courtyards, or the kitchens, or his bedroom; if he went with magic, if she went with bullets. The only thing neither of them considered was to let the matter lie. Concealed on Tol’s person, right at that moment, he had: three knives, two pistols, one rope (coiled around his leg), an old-fashioned water skein filled with lamp oil, a vial of poison, and a dead rat.

Early proof for color testing and eeeee, look at how pretty it is!

I’m going to keep this short and simple. March was super-insane-productive, and April is off to a start that is going to kick March’s ass. As mentioned, I wrapped up the most recent draft of Whispers of the Ice on… whatever last Tuesday was. The 27th. My goal was to finish that by the end of March, so I managed several days early on that one. I’m reworking four last scenes during the beginning of this week, as I chip away at my easiest edit notes. Then it’ll get another re-read, and the heavy lifting of structural edits gets into full swing.

MEANWHILE, Books 5 and 6 are taking shape. This series is heavily interwoven, so I’ve always juggled two books at a time. 6 got an early start just because it’s the end of the series, and therefore more important to make sure that the groundwork is laid early.

I do not yet have words to describe what it’s like to actually be crafting the final book—mostly because I just started it yesterday, with a 6,000 word burst of enthusiasm. Give me a while to sort myself out, and maybe I’ll start having Feels about it, but for now I am just itching to get to all of the really good, rip-your-heart out scenes. Which, if I am productive again today, should start as early as tomorrow, so… if you’ll excuse me, it’s back to work for this author.

Cover Reveal: Whispers of the Ice (The Beacon Campaigns 4)

Aaaaaaaaaand we’re off!

The last thing that Praxis Fellows expected was to ever return to her family’s home, but when Pon Lanali seizes control of Durland and danger looms behind every corner, there is no other choice. While Yandosia may not be Praxis’s favorite place, only the Fellows can provide a safe haven for her and Kaedrich Mannly.

Except that things at home aren’t quite what Praxis planned on. With the fate of the family company hanging in the balance, rivalries and betrayals become common ground—and now something darker is lurking, unburied from the deepest depths of the mine. How long can Praxis and Kaedrich resist being drawn into the quagmire of family politics? And just how much damage is Lanali doing to Kaedrich’s own home up north while the two of them are stuck under the ice?

For real, thank you for being so patient with this book. I know that it’s been a long wait, and I hope that you all will love it once it’s finally out in the world. I finally love it (and believe me, that’s not a sentence I was sure I was ever going to reach). I’m hoping for a late spring/early summer release date, so stay tuned!

Monthly Author Check-In: February 2018

What I’m Writing: Whispers of the Ice, The Beacon Campaigns #4
What I’m Reading: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
What I’m Loving: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and do I EVEN need to explain why?

WIP Excerpt

There were eight Fellows children. In a large family especially, every child has their role. So it was with the sons and daughters of Prawl and Prestina.

There was Prewish, the oldest. His job was to always be right. It was a heavy burden, and one that he did not shirk, even when lesser men might cave under pressure.

So in late January, I did something that I’ve never done before: I read one of my already-published books.

For people outside of a creative industry, this might seem like a strange—even absurd!—statement for me to make, but hear me out. Writers, well… we spend a lot of time working on/obsessing over our books before they’re published, and then once they are out the door, it becomes a whole game of marketing, and reviews, and marketing, and your friends and coworkers all buying a copy and swearing they’re going to read it, and more marketing, and there’s all these opinions flying around about the final product, and you’re trying to focus on the sequels but you’ve still got skin invested in the first one because we need readers in order for the sequels to sell, and… it all gets up in your head, is what I’m saying. I wrote The Lady of Souls more than three years ago. I forgot a lot of what happened in it. I even kind of forgot what level of quality the book is—I mean, I know it was the best I could write at the time, or else I wouldn’t have published it, but I also know that I’ve grown a lot as a writer since then; so does that mean that if I look back on it now, I’ll cringe and think it’s terrible? This is the fear that has been holding me back. I write a book, and then (creatively speaking) I run away from it as fast as possible, out of fear that it’ll disappoint me.

But. I mean, 2017 kicked my ass, and January was a month of recovery and reflection and spinning my wheels. Book four of The Beacon Campaigns has been a work-in-progress for a looooooong time, longer than anything since I first released The Lady of Souls. It was the Beacon book that I was half-working on when the election of 2016 hit, and it was also the book that I had the least clear vision of what it should look like, at the point that I started writing it. I knew what function it needed to serve in the larger narrative of the series, but not what shape it should fill on its own. All this combined to give me some major mental blocks to work through, and I ended up putting off finishing it far longer than I should have. To my Beacon fans: I’m sorry, you deserved better.

Soooo, like I said, I re-read The Lady of Souls. And then I read Fixing Fate. And then Heart’s Blood. And then everything that I had written so far on Whispers of the Ice, which was frankly like 3/4 of the book if I’m being honest. And what I found, far from being the outgrown mess that I had feared, was a series of books that I really really like.

This is all my long-winded way of explaining that I am back into full production mode, hard at work on The Beacon Campaigns 4, Whispers of the Ice. That’s going to be my next release, sometime in the first half of this year. It feels really good to be working this much, and it feels really good to be back in this universe, sharing space with these characters.

(If you’re a fan of the Hopefuls series instead, don’t worry, there’s plenty more planned for you, too. In the meantime, though, have you looked into the Beacons books? We’ve got girl heroes, a slow-burn f/f romance, and lots of snark and sass. 😉 )

Anyway, that’s where it all stands. Cover reveal is coming soon, and subscribers to my mailing list will get it sooner, so be sure to sign up for that. In the meantime, I’m going back to work. I’ve only gotten one writing session in today, and I’ve still got at least three more to go, so it’s onward and upward.

Monthly Author Check-In: September 2017

What I’m Writing: Whispers of the Ice (The Beacon Campaigns, Book 4)
What I’m Reading: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo—and it is just so, so good.
What I’m Loving: Several YouTube channels, which I’ll talk briefly about below.

WIP Excerpt

He expected the girl to panic, and plead for her life. Most of them did. It didn’t save them one way or another, but most of them did. And this one, so young, so girlish, so very very naive—if anyone was going to fall to their knees and blubber and beg, surely it would be her.

She didn’t, though. Oh, she was afraid, certainly she was afraid. She had paled underneath her lady’s tan, her heart fluttering so fast that Tol could see it thundering in her breast. Her eyes were wide and wet. When she spoke, her voice was small as a sparrow. But she did not beg.

“What did I do wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing,” Tol said.

“There must be something.”


“Then why?”

Tol shrugged. “Does it matter?”

“It does to me.”

“It won’t for long.”

First, a writing update:

September was the breakout month for my work-in-progress.

By this, I mean that I had finally wailed and gnashed my teeth enough that I was willing to admit that I needed help; so I stitched together everything I’d written for Whispers of the Ice, put in placeholder notes for everything that still needed to be added (spoiler: it was a lot), and gave the document to my husband.

A lot of writers choose to keep their first drafts to themselves—and hey, you do you, whatever makes you happy—but I don’t. Graeme sees the story in a linear progression, while I jump all over and write whatever I can get out of my head, whenever I can get it out of my head. This is great, except: well, sometimes the problems that I am trying to solve are way too spoilery for me to discuss with him, and though he tries his best, there’s just no way for him to offer practical solutions if he doesn’t know where I am going. So eventually I hand him a Frankenbook. Now I am back on track, with plans and goals and enthusiasm that comes crashing in one day and then disappears in the middle of the night but hey, at this point I’ll take it. Forward progress is forward progress is forward progress, no matter how it happens.

And yes, if you pay close attention you will see that I have jumped back to focusing on just the one book, rather than trying to juggle both series at literally the same time. Turns out that trying to hold two disparate universes in the forefront of my head at once is detrimental to the quality of my work (such a shocker, I know). On the other hand, with the breakthrough I’ve had on my WIP, this means that I am back to my usual power-writing method, so it really won’t be that long before I’m able to return to my superheroes.

Recently, I’ve gotten really sucked into watching YouTube videos that break down the techniques of visual storytelling through film and comics: Every Frame a Painting, Channel Criswell, Now You See It, Strip Panel Naked.

You guys, I cannot even begin to tell you how beneficial these have been to my writing. I realize that it may sound nonsensical—trying to apply visual storytelling methods to the written word—but studying a different form of storytelling has gotten me to think about stories in ways that I’d never considered before. Plus, it turns out that there’s actually a lot of tricks and tips that can easily be applied to prose as well as movies and comics, and I’m trying to craft some blog posts that delve into that in greater detail, but for now, if you’re a writer, just… do yourself a favor, and check these channels out. And if you’re not a writer, check these channels out anyway, because this stuff is seriously just so cool, and you’d never realize the kinds of things that are happening in your favorite movies. Art, in all its forms, is the closest thing that we will ever get to magic. So, yeah. Watch the videos, and be dazzled.

Sale Alert: Smashword’s Summer/Winter Sale, July 2017

Heads up, folks!

This month, my Beacon Campaigns books are going to be part of Smashword’s 9th annual Summer/Winter sale! For the entire month of July, at Smashwords, you can get The Lady of Souls for free, and both Fixing Fate and Heart’s Blood at half-off each. That’s three books for the price of one, so really, how can you say no? Simply click the links below, and enter the appropriate promo codes. Then download, and enjoy!

The Lady of Souls — Promo Code SW100

Fixing Fate — Promo Code SSW50

Heart’s Blood — Promo Code SSW50

P.S. If you buy the books this month (or even if you’ve already read them!), please consider taking the time to leave a review on your favorite retailer—not just Smashwords, whatever you like! Reviews are super-important for getting visibility on a book, and the more people see my books, the more I can afford to write for you all. Reviews don’t have to be long, even a single line saying whether or not you enjoyed it is a big help. Thanks!

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