Is Your Book “Christian Fiction”?

No.

And yes.

No, my book is Fantasy Fiction. It is neither an allegory, nor was it written intentionally to be a witnessing or evangelizing tool, nor was it written only for other Christians. The story is first and foremost an adventure tale. It is first and foremost a story, written to entertain. (more…)

~ jenelle

What Are Some of the Themes in Your Book?

Unlike the previous two, this question is an easy one for me to answer. The themes in my book sort of unfolded naturally. In other words, I didn’t think up a bunch of themes and then try to write a story around them, I wrote a story, and the themes slipped their way in.

1. Good versus Evil – this is a theme that can often be found in fantasy fiction (as well as many other genres), the battle between the “good guy” and the “bad guy.” “Evil” in this case is a little bit more complex by the end of the book, as the “bad guy” is not just evil for evil’s sake: he has been surrounded by corrupt councilors who are only interested in attaining personal power, he has made some bad decisions in the past that have served to drive him to the brink of madness, and he has been consumed by a jealousy that has driven him to seek revenge where none was truly warranted. None of this excuses his decisions and actions, which just makes those actions all the more evil because he and others have attempted to rationalize his choices.

2. Revenge versus Forgiveness – not as big of a theme in the book, but it definitely plays a part. Is revenge ever okay? Is there ever a point where an “eye for an eye” mentality might be acceptable? Is killing in self-defense or in defense of others ever okay? These are questions that one of the characters deals with throughout the book.

3. Courage versus Fear and Timidity – all of the characters wrestle with fear at different points in the book. What is fear? What is courage? What are the traits of a courageous hero? The story seeks to give some answers to these questions.

4. Heroism, Nobility, Honesty, Strength of Character, Selflessness – these themes appear throughout the book in varying degrees. They are aspects of humanity that I think are important and they are aspects that we all see to some degree in our daily lives. These traits show up in my characters because they are important to me, and I think they are applicable. Although you may never have to battle a dragon or duel a Sith or struggle with whether or not to throw the One Ring into the depths of Mount Doom… you may have to decide between sharing your seat on the bus with someone, or taking a meal to a friend in need even though you are tired and don’t want to cook anything, or to tell the truth about something you did even though it is embarrassing, or forgive a friend even though they hurt your feelings.

5. Loyalty versus Betrayal. This is a theme that permeates the entire series, but if I talk about it too much I’ll end up sharing plot spoilers :)

I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, but those are the big ones.

~ jenelle

November

Two posts in one week, don’t you feel special?!

Happy November!

A special shout-out to my mom and sister on their BIRTHDAY! Happy Birthday!!!

Nanowrimo begins today! As does my participation in it for the first time ever!

I’m feeling a little lost, anyone want to give me some tips? (I mean, other than “write like crazy” I’ve got that part figured out!)

Happy November! It’s my favorite month of the year! (And it’s just a bonus that it’s National Novel Writing Month… November’s been my favorite month my whole life!)

~ jenelle

Book Signing

It’s official! I will be at the Barnes and Noble in Geneva, Illinois on November 20, 2012 from 5pm-7pm for my first book signing.

[try to picture me jumping up and down and screaming... and no, that's not what I'm actually doing, but it's often what I feel like doing]

This has been a process. In some ways it seems like it has taken forever, and in other ways it has all come together like lightning. The reason I haven’t been posting about it has been because I’ve been afraid it wouldn’t actually happen, so I reserved the right to wait until we had a green light from everyone involved and an actual date.

So, how did it all come together?

My dad, acting as my agent, has been contacting libraries all summer trying to get them to carry my book. We’ve been somewhat successful at this venture, though not quite as successful as we had hoped.

Then, at the beginning of August, my dad mentioned the idea of doing a book signing and whether or not I would be willing to do that. I told him I would love to do a book signing, but that I did not have the first clue about how to set one up, and that the mere idea of being in charge of setting one up terrified me.

A few weeks later, he contacted their local Barnes and Noble and began asking questions. The major hurdle to getting into Barnes and Noble is that I have done my printing through CreateSpace (which is owned by Amazon) which does not support a Standard Trade Discount or Returnability.

What does that mean?

Standard Trade Discount: a discounted price (usually 40-55% of the MSRP) that bookstores can purchase books for from the printer, so that they can sell the book at MSRP and still make a profit.

Returnability: the ability of the bookstore to send back any unpurchased books that they cannot sell. They have assured us that they never buy books with the intent to return them, but they will not purchase books they cannot return, this protects B&N from being stuck in a situation with product they cannot sell.

Because the Community Relations Manager at the B&N in Geneva was very excited about the idea of us doing a book signing there, she referred my Dad to the Manager of the Small Press Department for Barnes and Noble. She recommended that we print our book with Lightning Source, a printing company with which B&N already has a relationship and supports the Discount and Returns questions.

So, the past weeks have been filled with looking at their policies and getting answers to our concerned questions. When all our questions had been answered to our satisfaction (for example: LSI’s contract is non-exclusive, as is CreateSpace’s – making it perfectly legal for us to use both as printers for the same book), we went ahead and uploaded our files to their site, received a proof copy (which is lovely) and submitted a hard copy to the B&N CRM and got the go-ahead, along with date-time, on our book-signing!

Exciting things are happening, not the least of which is that the dream of seeing my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble is about to come true!

~ jenelle