I have the great pleasure of welcoming author Jennings Wright to the blog today. She has a brand new action/ adventure novel entitled Solomon’s Throne that is sure to knock your socks off! Today, she joins me at The Belle to talk about fan mail, being a control freak and her new novel.
I got my first piece of real, actual fan mail yesterday. A real email, not a comment on Facebook or Goodreads. I opened it and just stared at it, confused for minute. Me? You’re writing a fan email to me, and signing it “your newest fan?” Wow. I think it must be like the first time musicians hear themselves on the radio. It’s really pretty weird, to be honest!
My journey to becoming an author (with a fan!) was completely unexpected. That is not to say that I haven’t been writing. I’ve journaled daily for almost twenty years, have written ad copy, countless business pieces, taught creative writing to homeschoolers and in private school workshops, and even started a few novels and screenplays that didn’t go anywhere. I’d pretty much decided by early 2011 that I just wasn’t creative enough to be a novelist, and so wrote my first nonfiction book (to be published this year) in May.
I’d discovered a book called “No Plot No Problem” by Chris Baty. At the time I’d never heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, held each year in November), and didn’t realize that the book was basically how the event was born and how to write 50,000 words on a new novel in 30 days. When I read it, my first thought was,” Well, I can’t do that, but I’ll bet I can do it with a nonfiction book.” My husband was ghost writing for someone at the time, so we decided to do our own 30 day/50,000 word challenge for nonfiction. We both “won.”
But after that month, the thought wouldn’t leave that I could maybe, possibly write a really bad novel in 30 days. I mean, how hard could it be, especially if I expected it to be a real stinker? I already knew I could do the word count. And if it was really bad, at least I could say I tried, cross it off my bucket list, and move on. NaNoWriMo has a great forum community as well as local groups, so at the least I’d meet some fun people and we’d all suffer together. So in July, I signed up. I immediately regretted it, but I didn’t withdraw. Mostly I just smacked myself on the forehead and wondered what the heck I was doing.
In “No Plot No Problem,” Baty says that you can’t start planning your NaNo novel until a week before November 1. I didn’t realize the book was about seven years old and that people planned months or even years in advance; I just waited until the week before and then went into panic mode. I’d decided to do a treasure hunt, so I did a ton of research, staring off into space (aka thinking) and texting to my daughter in college with ideas, and started on Solomon’s Throne on November 1 with a revised goal. I was going to finish it, not “just” write 50,000 words. I had seven locations, figured an average of 15,000 words per spot, and calculated a total of 105,000 words. In 30 days. Crazy? Yep. But once my husband said he didn’t think I could do it, the game was on.
I “won” NaNo (crossed the 50,000 word mark) on November 12, and had finished the novel (88,651 words) on November 26, writing for 23 of the 26 days. It was exhilarating, exciting, amazing… And the most astonishing part was that, when I went back and read the draft (I do no editing at all when I’m writing) it was actually good! It needed editing, of course… But it was good. I was shocked.
Since then I’ve entered and won 5 NaNoWriMo events, including the now-defunct Script Frenzy, and written another novel in NaNo format without an official event. After some research, I decided that self-publishing was a perfect fit for me, and that first NaNo novel, Solomon’s Throne, was released in July, 2012. Its sequel, the Hoard of the Doges, was released in October, and a Christian historical romance set in the Civil War in September.
Indie publishing has been great for me. I love being involved in the cover design and the interior layout, holding my paperback in my hand, getting feedback from readers, and, of course, watching sales climb. It’s a lot of work, to be sure, and in things I’m not nearly as good at as writing. Marketing takes a lot of time, especially since I don’t stick to one genre. (I have two action/adventure treasure hunts, one Christian romance, and a YA sci-fi fantasy trilogy coming up in 2013.) I have to introduce myself to readers in each genre and basically start from scratch. But unlike a contract with a traditional publisher, I can write what I want to write, and the success or failure of the books is all on me. As a long-time business owner, I can deal with that. In fact, I prefer it.
There’s the little secret, I guess: I’m bit of a control freak!
About Solomon’s Throne by Jennings
An impenetrable safe is breached and a secret artifact is stolen. Containing information that could change the course of the world, its desperate owner sends Gideon Quinn, his head of security, and Gideon’s wife Rei, an art preservationist, to find it at any cost. What they discover is a clue to the lost throne of King Solomon, the real object of the theft. They are thrust out on an adventure that leads them halfway around the world. Following letters left by a Jesuit in 1681, they must weave through ancient sites along the Portuguese Spice Route, keeping ahead of a secret militant order that is determined to beat them to Solomon’s Throne.
Filled with fast paced action and having broad appeal, Solomon’s Throne is an ingenious treasure hunt adventure that sweeps the reader around the globe in a race against time.
About the Author
Born and raised in Rockledge, Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.
Jennings attended the University of the South and the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of script doctoring, business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit to Uganda.
Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She’s written four novels and a screenplay in less than a year, with more ideas on the drawing board. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer, and two children, and travels extensively.
Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Solomons-Throne-ebook/dp/B008NBRYV6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1351777545&sr=8-3
Print Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Solomons-Throne-Jennings-Wright/dp/0985784016/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1351777545&sr=8-3
Print Edition – CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3937851
My website is www.jenningswright.com
My writing blog is http://jenningswright.wordpress.com
My Twitter is @JenningsWright
My FB author page is www.Facebook.com/JSWwrites
My Independent Author Network page is http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/jennings-wright.html