Category Archives: My Novel

A Busy Year It Has Been


It has been a year since I had made my last blog post and what a busy year it has been. The last few semesters of college was quite tough, rough, and stressful, but I had survived them, receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology. I had also moved my work status from intern to full-time Assistant Curator at one of the museums located in Little Rock.

This past November my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, to which she had succumbed from this past August. Those several months was hard to endure, not only watching her suffer through this disease and the chemo treatments, but the family drama I had to suffer through during this time was really rough.

My daughter and I had also moved and I was quite happy that her transition to her new school was not as bad as it was when she transitioned from Pre-K to Kindergarten. Not only did we move into a new house, but she moved into a whole new school; this one being much, much smaller than her previous school, so that helped. There were a few rough days, and I know there are more rough days for her in the future, but all-in-all, she is doing well and has quite a support team to help her along the way.

During all that, I had finished up the last rough draft, the last edits of my young adult fantasy fiction and hope to have it published within the next month or so. I have found an awesome illustrator to work on the cover, to which I have seen and even though it isn’t entirely finished, I love the work she has done. (I plan on post a picture of the cover art once it is completed)

I had also written a few short stories and a novella, some of them were published and some of them are in the works of being published. All of my work can be found on this website: www.twistedcrowpress.com

To keep posted on when my young adult fantasy fiction novel will be published, or to keep posted on all future works, go to my Facebook page and click ‘like’:    www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferNAdams

There were some few road blocks, but I had managed through each one and am starting to get everything back on track.

~JA~

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A New College Semester Begins


books

Last week I visited the college bookstore to pick up my books for class. This time I was stunned to see how many books I had ‘piled up’ for four classes; eleven in total. Unbelievable isn’t it? Two classes require four books each, one classes require two, and one class, that I’m taking online, thankfully requires one. Three of the four classes, as you would’ve guessed, require a lot of reading. Online articles and several pages of one of the books must be read before the start of the next class day. I thought to myself, Wow! If I didn’t have enough to do outside of college, I wouldn’t mind sitting back and reading a little. But, my plate continues to pile up.

I’ve signed up to intern at the Little Rock Zoo, in the large ape enrichment program, a program which I love, as I am not only an animal lover, but it’s part of the wide range of Anthropology. Last semester, I declared my major, Anthropology, physical anthropology to be exact. It took me a long time to narrow it down to that field as there’s so much in anthropology that I would love to do, cultural, archaeology, primatology, forensics, just to name a few that interest me.

The other day, someone from my college admin requested that I join their work study program. I had used up my entire GI Bill before I started last semester, without knowing. Plus, I didn’t sign up for any scholarships, as the GI Bill was covering all cost, so I was having to pay out of pocket for my classes last semester and this semester. Looks like someone saw this and decided to give me a little help in paying for college. This isn’t the usual work study program that students sign up for. It doesn’t have to do with financial aid. Instead, I am going to be working in the anthropology department, since that’s what I decided to major in.

work

I continue my search for the right agent for my young adult fantasy novel. Several have said no, with a few that were so close to being a maybe. I stopped querying and decided to edit the first chapter, rearranging some paragraphs and adding more words here and there. I should have 60,000 words after I’m finished with the final draft.

It’s a start of a new year. I have three semesters left until I receive my bachelor’s degree. I continue to work on other writing projects in my spare time. And once I finish my final draft of my YA fantasy novel, I will begin querying again.

Wishing you all a happy hump day. Stay warm!

Searching for a Literary Agent


For the past month or so, I have been working diligently on editing my young adult manuscript. I found a wonderful editor, who taught me a lot about what is important and what isn’t, pertaining to certain characters, as well as paying attention to detail. (I’m still horrible with comma usage).

I had cut a huge section out of one area which wasn’t really important to the story; sometimes, too much detail is just that, too much detail and it has to be cut. I then added more here and there to help strengthen certain areas. I also changed a character’s name after seeing it closely resembled another character’s name.

After deciding my manuscript was finally polished, I began to send out query letters to literary agents in hopes of finding someone to represent me and my work. This can either be hard, or easy. I have a book called, ‘A Guide to Literary Agents’. Over half of the book is nothing but agencies and agents. I started out with a few, checked out their websites, then checked out each agent’s bio, as well as their submission rules. It’s crucial to follow their submission guidelines.

Though I’ve received two rejections so far, I’m not letting that bring me down. It just tells me that there’s someone else out there, I just have to find them. Plus, it also tells me that someone actually read my query letter; some agencies receive over 100 query letters a day, so they don’t have time to read every one of them.

If you are in the same boat as I am, searching for a literary agent, I wish you the best of luck, and remember to stay positive.

Here is a synopsis of my manuscript, it is a urban fantasy for young adults:

Eighteen year old Noelle Bailey didn’t believe in supernatural beings like werewolves, vampires, or Bigfoot. You couldn’t tell her sixteen year old sister, Anya, that, though. She believed everything she read or saw on TV. So, when her uncle told Noelle she was part shifter, she didn’t think anything of it. She never showed signs of being supernatural, so she thought he was just telling her a story. Then one day she had a premonition.

She rode with her uncle James, the town’s sheriff, to work. Before they could arrive, though, he received a message about a homicide that had just occurred. With no time to drop Noelle off, he took her with him. Though she stayed in the car, it wasn’t long before she knew the details of the homicide. The what, where, when, and how were entirely felt by Noelle from her seat as a premonition of the murder.

As James tried to put pieces of the investigation together, a part of his past comes back and he is painfully aware that he can no longer hide his supernatural abilities, even from himself. To make matters worse, another murder happened under James’ watch that both his nieces were a witness of. This murder caused Anya to be kidnapped by a rogue werewolf. One thing lead to another, as a doorway to Anya and Noelle’s future opened, pulling them inside.

Now that I am done with this manuscript and am in the query process, it’s time to begin working on manuscript number two, which is book two. Book two picks up where book one ends. So, yes, the manuscript I just finished it the first book of a series. I already have twelve chapters sketched out and three of those chapters are already typed up. Spring Break begins this Saturday for me, but I have plans to keep myself busy, busy in hopes of getting manuscript number two finished soon. It took me four years to have the first one complete and in first rough draft form, so I don’t want want it to take even half that time to complete this next one.

Creating My Characters


Some authors say that they add a little bit of themselves into their work, I tend to agree with that as I myself do the same. A few of my characters have a little bit of myself as well as their own qualities. In a way I think this helps build that character because you the author know that specific quality as it is a part of yourself. One of my characters is an avid runner. Before I injured my back I was an avid runner. I use this specific quality not only because I know it well, but it also becomes an important part of who she becomes later on in the series (yes, I have at least 3 books that will be in this story-line).

Another character in my novel is a die-hard fan of classic movies. I took this quality from myself. I love classic movies, Cary Grant, John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart. I love Gene Kelly more than I do Fred Astaire. I have a huge collection of Humphrey Bogart movies and a huge crush too. I also have Bela Legosi’s Dracula and several other Dracula movies; I love old horror films. I could leave the TV on TCM all day and be completely satisfied, but our network doesn’t pick it up.

Not all of my characters have all or part of my qualities though. Most of my characters are their own uniqueness. I enjoy creating each one of them. At first I had to write a list to tell me who is who and who does what, but after a while I get to know them really well.

A little history on the town called Prattsville


I thought that I would share a little bit of historical knowledge about the town that I’m using for my novel. I spent an entire day at the Grant Count Museum in Sheridan, Arkansas, going through the museum and thumbing through many books looking for specific information. My parents still live in Prattsville, so I tend to ask my dad if he remembers this or if he can go visit that for me. Most of the time I make the road trip (45 minute drive) and do a scenic tour myself.

The town that I’m using for my novel is called Pratt. It is a real town, though it was called Pratt’s Ferry named after John Pratt. It had a very small population in the 1840’s. Later in 1857 a post office was built, officially naming the town Prattsville; the post office is still in operation today. Pratt’s Ferry was still used to cross the Saline River until a bridge was built in 1913. Prattsville today has a population of 282. It’s located on Highway 270 and 291.

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Prattsville school was built in 1930, closed in 1994, and torn down in 2002. My sisters and I were students at Prattsville until it closed. The students were split between the two closest towns, Poyen and Sheridan; two towns that I also use in my novel. I re-built the school for my novel as two of the characters are school age.

Another place that I use is the restaurant that is still located in Prattsville called The Whippet. It was named after the school mascot. In my novel I changed the name of the restaurant just to be safe. But if you ever decide to visit Prattsville, be sure to stop at The Whippet and ask for their bowl of mixed beans, they’re the best! The Whippet also has a lot of other great items on the menu and the staff is wonderful and really friendly. They have a guest book next to the register for everyone to sign. I’ve noticed people from all over the world have visited there.

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A few other places that I use are the city hall and a Sheriff’s station. Prattsville has a city hall, but does not have a Sheriff’s station. After doing some research from the surrounding towns, I’ve come to realize that small country towns can have Sheriff sub-stations and that’s what I’m using in my novel. The main Sheriff’s station is in Sheridan (actual fact, which I also added in my novel).

Part of what I’m writing about


Characters:

The novel I’m writing is a Fantasy Fiction, with supernatural characters such as Faeries, Weres, and Shifters. I’m sorry I don’t write about vampires, not my forte, though I have read some books about them. I am a huge fan of the supernatural and read a lot of fantasy fiction. It seems like almost everyone has a way of describing their characters in their own uniqueness, while some writer’s supernatural characters have the same qualities, looks, styles, and what have you as other writers. I myself like to come up with my own characters styles and make them different and unique.

Another thing I’m working into my novel is that these supernatural beings come from somewhere. I’m writing about portals, Faerie magic, and Faerie secret societies. I also talk about the difference between Weres and Shifters. I actually did a little research on these supernatural beings. I was curious where they came from, what they are, what the real stories say about them. It was more of a curiosity than me wanting to use this information as a reference.

Place:

The story starts out in a small town in Arkansas. Why did I pick that particular place and state? I’m familiar with it. I lived there for several years, so I’m more comfortable using it as a reference. To make it a little easier and mostly accurate, I went to the local museum and did my research on the town and the surrounding local cities; my dad went with me. I’m a history nut, so this was actually fun for me. Not to mention the curator was more than helpful. He walked me around the museum, pointing out certain things that may interest me, then he found several books for me to look at talking about the town I was writing about. My dad and I poured over these books, making copies of the more important pages. It was interesting reading about all the things that the town used to have, such as a tire store, to which my dad and I found the building still standing, but has been noticeably vacant for years.

Accuracy:

Call me picky, but I dislike reading a book and seeing something that is inaccurate, well, only if it’s major and not on purpose. There are a lot of books that have inaccuracies that are done on purpose, you can spot those instantly and see that they were done for a reason…those don’t bother me. I cannot think of any books right off hand, but I do remember a movie I saw that called sailors, soldiers. That irked me so much. I’m a sailor, not a soldier! I actually screamed that at the TV too. Sailors and soldiers are two different things and two different military branches.

There’s quite a bit in my novel that I didn’t know about, so I asked people I knew that would. For instance, I don’t hunt, so I wouldn’t know what type of gun would be used to shoot a deer. I have a few relatives that hunt, so I asked them. Since one of my characters is a Sheriff and there are a few murders in my book, I wanted to make sure that the tools that I use are up to date and also how I have my characters do things in a crime scene. I have a few relatives that were cops, and a sister in laws dad who is a cop, so I asked them to help me out.

The Next Big Thing


Jae at http://litandscribbles.wordpress.com told me about writing The Next Big Thing blog chain post. It is to answer a few questions about the book that I am currently working on. By doing this, it gives some sort of insight on what my book is about…hopefully. So, if you have a question that isn’t listed here, please feel free to ask it and I will try to the best of my ability to answer it for you.

Thank you Jae for the help and for the idea!!

What is the working title of your book?

Into the Realm of the Supernatural: Chaos This is the first book in a series.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I had a dream about it, then started writing the ideas down in a notebook and piecing them together. I think a lot of authors book ideas come from dreams, look at Stephen King.

As soon as I figured out how I wanted my story to begin, I start writing it. I use a large dry erase board to write down key information to help me write. Later I will add chapters that need attention on the dry erase board.

Whenever I am away from the computer I am always scribbling notes in my notebook. When I get home, I’ll type up my notes and piece the story together, adding to it as I go along.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Usually authors don’t have a say in who plays whom. I would pick Channing Tatum as the role for the Sheriff James Bailey. I think he would play a good uncle role for Anya and Noelle. As for Noelle, I would pick, Jennifer Lawrence. You might remember her from the lead role as Katniss from the Hunger Games. Noelle, is an independent, athletic young woman. She’s an avid runner and a great role model for her younger sister Anya. For Anya, I would pick, Scout-Taylor Compton. Anya tries to be a good teenager, but sometimes trouble finds her. She has a love for classic movies and even sneaks out late at night to watch a good black and white film at the cinema.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

(I honestly couldn’t think of a one sentence synopsis, so I came up with two short paragraphs)

Not much goes on in the little farming town of Pratt, Arkansas.  At least that’s what most of the 282 people who live here think.  Noelle Bailey, a local high school graduate, is one of those people who believe that nothing out of the ordinary or abnormal exists, especially in Pratt.  However, she soon learns that she is part of the abnormal.

James, Noelle’s uncle and Pratt’s sheriff, is trying to solve a chain of murders as a secret from his past begins to unravel.  His two nieces, Noelle and Anya, quickly notice changes in themselves as they get caught up in the events that occur, surrounding his investigation.  One thing leads to another as a doorway to their future opens, pulling them inside.  To complicate matters, the FBI arrive and request James’ to help in the unsolved mysteries.  He soon discovers that he has a more important unsolved mystery requiring specifically his attention most of all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will definitely use an agency. Self-publishing will be the last resort.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Almost three years. I’ll be starting on my second draft very soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I am not sure as most books are usually all vampires, or all werewolves, or all faeries, or a huge mix of all three. I don’t have any vampires in my book. I have a mix of mostly weres and shifters and a few faeries.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My Grandmother inspired me to keep working on this novel. I would put it down as I had to deal with real life and then she would ask if I was done with my book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I actually did my homework on particular things for the book; for example the sheriff’s job, Sheriff’s sub stations, forensics, types of hunting rifles, etc. I also used real towns, just renamed the businesses; I added a few buildings and rebuilt some old buildings that were once there, like the school. I kept most of the actual street names; though I added a few.

I find it important for the reader to see that the author knows what they’re writing about, instead of just adding words to a page.