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Going Beyond The Story

May 26th, 2013 No comments

Extras From Girl With Broken Wings

 

One of the best and most fulfilling aspects of writing a novel is the ability to construct your own world and to inhabit the minds of different people. Placing your characters in a certain situation and moving them forward requires you to understand their motivations on a deep very intimate level.

I think there are plenty of talented authors who don’t heft the shovel and dig too deeply into their characters or components of the plot, but those books don’t appeal to me very much. I can tell when an author truly knows his or her characters, when they hear the whisper of their characters in their heads and see their characters living, talking, dreaming beyond the scope of the story. These are the same authors who build a vibrant, amazingly-detailed world. It’s not just because they are extremely imaginative (though they are that too, of course), but also because they are inside the world themselves.

The writing process for my Girl With Broken Wings series doesn’t start with a blank Word doc on my laptop. It doesn’t end there either. Every day my characters whisper to me, and I watch them move in the long stretches of time between action. I see the house they live in, watch them on the gritty rooftops where they wait to take their shot, feel the endless vibrations of their SUV as they cross the country, always hunting, fighting, delivering.

Of course, all of this background can’t possibly fit into the books. Instead, it must peek out in short clips before the action, in a casual remark dropped into a conversation or in a quick observation by the narrator. These tiny details are stiches in a much larger quilt that makes up the invisible foundation of a story.

I’ve written down a few patches of this quilt and listed them on my website under extras for anyone who is interested in going a level deeper into the world of Girl With Broken Wings. The extras include:

For all you writers out there, don’t be afraid to let your characters speak or to follow them around in your mind even when they’re off the clock. Observe them and allow them the freedom to move on their own without your guidance or requirements of the plot. Observe their world, and if it is gray and fuzzy, then populate it. Add a weird vase in the character’s house and then figure out why it’s there. None of this will likely end up in your story directly, but it will be there just below the surface, adding a deeper layer that readers will recognize and appreciate.

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Landing Has Landed

January 10th, 2013 No comments

Okay, a little forced, but I’m really excited to welcome Landing, the exciting second novel in my Girl With Broken Wings series. Here’s all the details:

 

Fighting evil isn’t only high-stress, no pay, and uncomfortable as hell most of the time, it also doesn’t turn out to be quite as black and white as Maya would have hoped. As a hybrid angel struggling to control her murderous appetite, Maya should know better than to expect simplicity.  With one half-brother still convinced that she’s an unstable threat and the other oblivious to the danger she presents, Maya struggles to find a balance between her diminished humanity and the darkness of the monster within.

The world gets murkier when Maya discovers a pair of angels who invite her into their lives. Now, she must choose between family or the promise of acceptance. The stakes grow higher when Maya’s greatest enemy returns. Vengeance may be within her grasp, but will Maya have to sacrifice one she loves to take it?

Landing is J Bennett’s action-packed, darkly-humorous sequel to Falling, and the second book in the paranormal adventure series, Girl With Broken Wings Series.  And yes, there will be plenty more Chuck Norris jokes.

Available as an ebook for $4.99 on:

Landing Cover Revealed

December 15th, 2012 No comments

You know you want more Maya, Tarren, Gabe, Sir Hopsalot and bad Chuck Norris jokes. I have bequeathed January 10th with the hefty duty of being the official launch date of Landing, the second book in the Girl With Broken Wings series.

I’m really proud of this baby. It features plenty of laughs, lots of action and maybe even a few tears. Maya will finally get her chance to confront Grand, her biological father and the one who turned her into a hybrid angel. She’s dreamed of vengeance ever since Grand murdered her boyfriend and took away her normal life, but how much is she willing to sacrifice to settle the score?

Only one month before you can find out. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the book’s official cover below, created by the fantastic Marcella Smith of Paradigm Design. If you’re not a fan on my Facebook page, please consider liking my author page. I don’t say this out of sheer vanity (though who doesn’t want more friends, especially friends cool enough to read GWBW). I’m doing a little kickoff event to support Landing and to introduce new readers to book one in the series Falling. If you want the details, you’ll find them on my Facebook page.

Alright, without further adieu, have a look at Landing, hitting the shelves of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords January 10th.

 

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Announcing Coping – New Novella in the Girl With Broken Wings Series Now Available

June 26th, 2012 No comments
cover of Coping, a novella in the Girl with Broken Wings series

Cover of Coping

Let’s make this short and sweet. I’m really excited to announce the publication of Coping, a novella in the Girl with Broken Wings series, which continues the story of Falling. Maya is back and determined to join her brothers in their fight against the powerful and malevolent angels. There’s still that little hunger issue of hers…but I’m sure that won’t be a problem!

 

Tarren and Gabe return as well, filled with scowls and doubt (Tarren) and Chuck Norris jokes (Gabe).

 

I’m really happy with how this novella came out. It’s fun and fast and centers on a big new mission that takes Maya and her brothers across the country from Michigan all the way to Poughkeepsie, New York, where they make a grisly discovery and Maya meets someone from her past.

 

At approximately 23,000 words, the novella flies by (Pun – broken wings, get is?) If you liked Falling , then I know you’ll enjoy Coping.  You can find the full description below, along with links to where the novella is available as an ebook for only $0.99. Can’t beat that price. Okay, it could be free, or, like, a penny, but come on, you know what I mean. It’s a good deal. If you do pick it up and like it, please take a few minutes and write and post a review. Good reviews make a big difference.

 

Thanks everyone for your support, and stay tuned for Landing,  Book Two in the Girl With Broken Wings series, which is slated for Jan., 2013. There also might be a little more grumpy Nathaniel (The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles) rising up later this year.

 

Description of Coping

This exciting follow-up to Falling (Book one of the Girl With Broken Wings series) finds Maya intent on joining her half-brothers in their secret war against the genetically-enhanced killers that call themselves angels. Still trying to cope with her new abilities and the hunger that threatens to overwhelm her, Maya may be more of a hindrance than a help to her brothers as they take on a new mission and make a grisly discovery.

 

Coping is a fast-paced novella that brings readers back into Maya’s darkly-humorous world where angels are not the good guys, the heroes don’t wear tights, and getting in over your head just means it’s Tuesday. Join Maya, Gabe and Tarren for more blood, bullets, and Chuck Norris jokes in Coping. (Approx. 23,000 words.)

 

An Example Of A Book Review Request Pitch

March 1st, 2012 No comments

Below is the template I use to pitch my novel Falling – Girl With Broken Wings to book review bloggers. I’ve had about a 15% success rate so far using this pitch, which I think is pretty good.

Personally, I think the pitch is a little long, but I always struggle to write short pitches. Also, it’s important to stress that this is only a template. I carefully review each blog I want to target and pay particular attention to the submission guidelines to make sure the reviewer excepts my genre and is accepting submissions. I then tailor my template to their blog, sometimes commenting on recent posts or something they wrote about themselves in their “About Me” section.

Lastly, when pitching, I usually try to come up with a clever and enticing email subject line. In this case, however, I’m sending a book review request to a book reviewer, so I opted for upfront and clear in my subject line.

 ***

Email Subject Line: Review Request: Falling – Girl With Broken Wings

Email Body: Hi [F Name],

I am a fan of [blog name] and appreciate your unique and witty reviews. I know that you are probably inundated with review requests, but I’d like to offer my debut novel for the pile.

Falling – Girl With Broken Wings is a paranormal adventure that will appeal to older teens and adults. From your previous reviews, I know you are drawn to strong and flawed characters. My protagonist, Maya, fits this bill. She is an unapologetically quirky narrator who holds grudges, usually bombs the witty comeback, and is mostly sure she isn’t a monster—at least not a full one. You can read a short summary of the story at the end of this letter.

The novel is approximately 70,000 words in length and is available as an ebook at most online publishers, including Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and Smashwords for $2.99. If you do choose to review my novel, I can provide a thumbnail of the cover and an eBook file in whatever format you prefer.

Additionally, I would love to provide up to five copies of the book for a giveaway if you’d be willing to host. Lastly, I am offering a pretty significant free sample of the book on my website, www.GirlWithBrokenWings.com if you or your readers would be interested in getting a taste of the novel.

Thank you so much for your consideration and for your support of authors like myself,

J Bennett

JBennett@GirlWithBrokenWings.com

About FallingGirl With Broken Wings

Maya knew something was wrong.  The stranger’s glowing hands were a big tipoff.

 

When the stranger murders Maya’s boyfriend with a single touch, drags her to an abandoned storage unit, and injects her with a DNA-altering serum, Maya prays for a savior.

 

Instead, the college sophomore gets a double helping of knight-in-not-so-shining-armor when two young men claiming to be her half-brothers pull off a belated rescue. Now Maya is swiftly transforming into an “angel”, one of the scientifically-enhanced, energy-sucking creatures her brothers have spent their whole lives trying to destroy.

 

Maya’s senses sharpen, her body becomes strong and agile, and she develops the ability to visually see the emotions of those around her as colorful auras…beautiful auras…tempting auras.

 

One brother wants to save her. The other wants to kill her before she becomes too strong. Maya just wants to go home.

 

Struggling to control the murderous appetite that fuels her new abilities, Maya must find a way to accept her altered condition and learn to trust her brothers as she joins them in their battle against the secret network of powerful and destructive angels.

 

Oh, and she’d like a few words with the one who changed her. Words, then lots of stabbing.