Please welcome author Jacqueline Piepenhagen to the blog today! Her writing experience runs the gamut, across both genres and mediums.
If you are interested in being a Guest Author, please check out this page.
Hello Sarah, my name is Jacqueline Piepenhagen but please just call me Jacki. In February 2013 I received a contract for a paranormal romance I wrote and this is when I decided to get serious. I attended a workshop to learn the ins and outs of promoting and publishing my books. I created a website where I can post on my blog as well as advertise my published works.
My website address is: http://www.artistofthequill.com where there are links to my author’s Facebook page, LinkedIn and Twitter and Google accounts.
How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).
I started my writing career after taking an online course for children writing in which had several articles published in children magazines.
From there I blossomed into writing my first 5 books. I am not the conventional writer that can only work on one book at a time. I find that I must veer off to focus on another topic before finishing anyone one manuscript. This is what I did in my early days of writing and continue to this day.
The first finished book was a specialty cookbook, titled OVER THE HILL COOK’N My Favorite Recipes, SOLAR COOKING /BAKING COOKBOOK. My husband and I self-published, printed and promoted it until we retired it a couple of years ago. The book was all the rage during the “going green” stages of helping to maintain a good environment. While living mobile in our RV we spent many days in the desert and thus came the idea of the cookbook since all I used to cook in was my solar oven.
I had at the time been working on a specialty poetry book titled HEAVENLY ANGELS AMONG US which is in paperback as well as e-book. It can be found through iUniverse, (www.iuniverse.com), Amazon and many of the other online book stores. What I had hoped to accomplish with this book was to acknowledge that Angels are a reminder and inspiration to all mankind that even in our darkest hours we are not alone.
I then wrote the first specialty poetry book on gold prospecting, titled LEDGENDS! & DREAMS! & REALITY Anthology of the Gold Prospector. In 2013 I decided to revise a second edition and it is currently published on Smashword (www.smashwords.com) in e-book format only. A devastating car accident took my lifelong dream of prospecting away from me but in return gave me a reason to live on and share my worldly adventures that most can only dream of doing.
In between I have written an assortment of poems that I randomly post on my blog. They can be seen on my website at http://www.artistofthequill.com.
Then came the day I decided to write my first erotica, paranormal romance, SWEET BLOOD. This love story is centered in the 21st century when an influx of bees arrived where we lived in the mountainous region of Arizona. My book is under contract with Keith Publication but a release date has not yet been set. I’m not a paranoid person, but my fear was legit for my blind Shih Tuz, Shah’kah when he and I were swarmed one late summer day. Thus the vampire story was born.
During the last two years I have been working on and off on a non-fictional WIP that is titled BLIND LEADING THE BLIND. There are tidbits and hints and humor living in a blind dog’s world. (I turn to this story when I need a break from my poetry, cooking and fantasy worlds.) This specific WIP is the life story of my little Shih Tzu, Shah’kah who was born blind. At five weeks of age I took on the challenge to give him the best life possible after he was abandoned by his mother. I wasn’t aware that there are no books written that define how to raise a blind puppy into adulthood. This is a heartwarming story to the trials and tribulations that Shah’kah and I endured, and we did it our way!
Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.
Now to my current WIP, which I have titled SAVAGE BLOOD. This is a 22nd century paranormal story that takes place in what is considered an utopian world when immortals and humans have no alternative but to live side by side until one very insane vampire arrives with his “new life” concept of designer blood. This rouge vampire has two agendas, one to secretively take over the immortal world and to destroy the last living human legacy to his birthright.
What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?
My writing preparation starts with a series of notations for possible ideas in one specific notebook. I use a general outline to build a profile for each of my characters, (which is not set in stone). Here is where I’ll put their descriptions, anything specific such as a speech impediment etc., are they villain or hero etc. A second outline profiles the story background, and connects the characters with avoiding predictable plots. Again always subject to change.
Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.
My first editing tip is:
- Edit when you’re not tired.
- Set the WIP away for several days. Out of sight, out of mind. (Here is where I will either take a break or work on another project.
- Go over chapter by chapter using spell check, grammar, punctuation check, the fonts and check the “little” word that are often interchanged. Example “or” “it” “of” etc.
- Ask for a Beta reader to assist.
- If I use pictures be sure the models are fright side up.
- Check which tense you’re talking in, present, past, future, as well as which person, 1st. 2nd 3rd etc.
- Read the manuscript aloud.
- Make a copy and read it silently.
- I do belong to a writer’s group where I have had many of my WIP critiqued before submitting.
Research is another challenge that writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?
When I find the need to do research I’ll first make a list of keywords and or subject matter before I head to the internet to search out Google, Bing, Wikipedia to name a few and or the public libraries. I have found that in some of my research I have had to send out letters, e-mails, make phone contact and make personal appointments to meet with professional people depending on what information I need.
If you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?
My marketing strategy includes but is not limited to promote my books on my social media site which includes my blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. I also do craft shows and Holiday Fairs as well as specialty shows such as Gold Shows and other Authors guest programs and posts. I am known to sell my softcover books on E-bay and Craigslist during the holiday seasons.
The least helpful I have found is getting people to visit my blog.
What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?
I have written in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. If I must pick a genre it would be poetry. The one major challenge I find in writing poetry is trying to express my feelings and emotions and yet keeping it easy to read and understand by others.
What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?
Best advice I can give to anyone starting out is your writing the quality and don’t worry about quantity. First impressions will speak for themselves.
What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2014?
My writing, editing, and marketing goals for the rest of 2013 is to put SAVAGE BLOOD and BLIND LEADING THE BLIND out there for the world to enjoy!
Finally, pitch your work to me in 1-3 paragraphs.
The year is 2235; it has brought our country into a dystopian society where humans and immortals exist together. Prostitution and slave trade has become a thing of the past. One insane immortal, Trollmax Bloodton surfaces on the east coast and brings with him a double hidden agenda. His diabolical scheme is set in motion as he continues to build his empire and introduces his new designer blood craze that will bring every immortal to their knees as he plots the takeover of the Immortal World. While he prepares for his first blood party, he sets in motion the termination of Jenny Morgan, who is the last living human that carries the pure Savage bloodline.
Dylan Savage, aka The Savage lives a secretive cloak and dagger lifestyle remembering very little of his past human existence except for flashes and fleeting sensations. He is asked to save the young human, Jenny Morgan from certain death and finds that his past life comes full circle answering all his questions to his lost human life. His dilemma, does he save his human daughter or kill his immortal brethren and save the immortal race?
Do not let fear stand in your way, reach out to fellow authors and writers for input. Stay tuned in – the literary world is constantly changing.