Jenn Gott

Word Wrangler and Professional Daydreamer

Category: The Beacon Campagns (page 1 of 4)

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.”

“No.”

“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!

Author Check-in, January 2017

I need to acknowledge, both publicly and to myself, that I really am not good at blogging.

I know: obvious statement of the year, right? I should know this by now. I have, after all, been maintaining on-and-off web presences in various forms and on various places around the internet since the dinosaur era, when blogs were called “online journals,” and we uploaded individual entries through FTP and linked together each page by hand. Never have I been good at it.

And yet, every time I try again, I swear that I will completely revamp all of my habits, that this time I will maintain a steady schedule, that this will be the moment that I finally step into my own. Only to fail and fail again, like New-Year’s dieters who try to change their entire eating and exercise habits all at once. Instead of being reasonable with myself, and acknowledging that the only way that I have ever managed to build or change habits long-term is by taking the tiniest, most gradual steps in the right direction. Eat fewer pizza rolls in a sitting, not none. Exercise for ten minutes, not an hour. We are, by nature, fundamentally lazy creatures who do not like change—so why is it, really, that we insist that the only meaningful changes we will accept are the ones that happen overnight?

With that in mind, I am going to try to publish one blog post a month, although I will happily accept it if I manage to make one every other month. There—surely that is not so lofty a goal that I will crash into the bar I have set for myself, right? And I know that I have a history of having publicly-stated goals backfire on me, so I know that I am taking a bit of a chance here, but I also know that I hate being one of those authors that just goes completely silent on all forms of social media for months and months and months on end with no discernible reason to explain it. This post, then, is for the readers like me: I am here. I am always still here, I am always still working, even when I am neurotic and shy and my introverted need for solitude and silence stifles my public responsibility to keep my own readers informed. Also, I’m sorry about that, I know how it sucks.

So. It’s a fresh year, a fresh start. Or so they say—I approach 2017 relieved to have the past behind me, but wary for the future. Both the fourth book of the Beacon Campaigns and the promised YA-standalone are still in active production, although (I’ll be honest), calling them “active” has been a bit of a stretch lately. I’ve been struggling to be creative at all ever since the election, something that I hesitate to admit here because, as a general rule, I try to keep politics out of this space. But the impact that this has had, even just on a personal level, is very real and it’s been very difficult to work forward from there. Not to mention that my part-time job swallowed me whole throughout the holiday season, and this year I was glad to let it. I’ve wrapped myself in a protective layer just to get through the last two months, but now I am standing on the edge of a brand new year—a terrifying, sprawling, twelve-month sea of uncertainty churning before me—and I know that I need to get back to work, but I am not sure how.

I will figure it out. Eventually. But for now… I don’t know. Just keep trying, I suppose, until something works, or until the sheer amount of effort creates its own kind of momentum. In the meantime, like I said, I’m still here. And onward we go, I suppose.

“Heart’s Blood” Release Day!

GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! “Heart’s Blood” is finally done, and is appearing NOW in all of the usual online retailers. Ebook and paperback are both out, and if they’re not up on your favorite bookstore yet, they will be soon.

I’m sorry that it took longer than I anticipated, and doubly sorry that I left you all in such a spot at the end of Fixing Fate—but what I am NOT sorry about is that I took the time to make this book the best that it can be. Believe me, if I had rushed it to meet my arbitrary deadline, you would not have gotten the book that you deserve. Heart’s Blood is far and away my favorite of the first half of the series. (In other news, yikes, I cannot believe that my series is HALF done already!)

So yes: thank you all for your patience and enthusiasm. Now go forth, and enjoy!

Cover Reveal: Heart’s Blood

Cover for "Heart's Blood" by Jenn Gott

Revolution is in the air

It’s springtime in Monfort, and unrest is stirring everywhere. Shops are closing, trust in the Crown is faltering, and support for Pon Lanali’s anti-magic rhetoric is growing by the day. But for Kaedrich Mannly, it’s all background noise: between classes at the academy of arms, work, independent studies, and a new batch of friends, there’s little time for such concerns—or, mercifully, for thoughts of Praxis Fellows to creep back in. The last thing that Kaedrich needs is an extra complication.

So of course it’s now, with the Academy Trials coming up, that Praxis appears unexpectedly. Alongside her comes news of mysterious disappearances sweeping the city, and soon the two of them are once again caught up in a tangle of secrets and danger. It has to be Lanali’s doing, but can they prove that before it’s too late? And more importantly, will it ever be the right time for the truth of Kaedrich’s feelings to come out?

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