Jennifer Shaw Wolf's Blog: Wolf Tales

April 23, 2013

On Friday I got my ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copies) for DEAD GIRLS DON'T LIE. I wasn't really expecting them so it was amazingly cool to open a package that I thought would contain my next round of edits and find a book with my name on it.


It's funny, I anticipated and fretted over every little step with with BREAKING BEAUTIFUL, but some of this second book process has snuck up on me, but guess what? Getting a bound copy of a book you wrote is just as cool the second time. Maybe even more so.

For me, this second book represented a lot more sweat and tears than the first one did. Part of it goes back to being busy with the launch of book one, part of it is because I know what it's like to have strangers (and even people I know!) read and review something I've written, and part of it's because when the book sold, I had 50 pages an outline and a glimmer of what it would become.

Despite trying to be more on top of the story this time; keeping notes on things like tattoos and scars and making copious oultines throughout the whole writing process, the story surprised me a few times. I hope it surprises you.

As a general rule, I don't like give-aways, but since I have a few advanced copies of this book, and because I'm so excited to share it, I'll make an exception.

Here's a little about the book:
Rachel died at two a.m . . . Three hours after Skyler kissed me for the first time. Forty-five minutes after she sent me her last text.

Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before. . .before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel’s text is the first clue—starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel’s death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth.


Entering is easy. Go to the original blog post, put your name and a way to contact you like an e-mail into the comment box.

Wednesday I'll do a random drawing from the entries I received. The winner receives a signed ARC of DEAD GIRLS DON'T LIE, some swag and maybe even a little chocolate.

I can't wait to share my newest child of paper.

DEAD GIRLS DON'T LIE is out officially on September 17, 2013. If you would like to review it, you can contact me and I will direct you to the right people at my Walker/Bloomsbury, my publishing house.
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Published on April 23, 2013 06:31 • 357 views

April 8, 2012

I feel like I'm in the last stretches of a marathon and I didn't realize how many hills would be at the end of my race. BREAKING BEAUTIFUL comes out in (checks official counter) nineteen days,and thirty-five(ish) minutes.


There is still so much to do! When I (naively) submitted my query almost two years ago, I didn't have any idea the amount of work that would be involved in making this book thing happen or how many different roles I would have to take on before my book even came out. I think everyone (me included) has this idea that an author sits around in his/her pajamas daydreaming and creating worlds of fiction. Then they submit their art to their editor, tweak it a bit (again in their pajamas), and then sit back and collect royalty checks.

A dream job, right?

Um, not quite.

I've had many jobs in my life, from waking up early to milk cows, to working with handicapped children, to electronic editing, but I don't think I've ever done anything that was quite this mentally taxing or required me to take on so many different roles. Except perhaps the mommy thing I've been doing for the last sixteen years.

(Incidentally, the "mommy thing" is another job that is often misunderstood and often done in pajamas, mostly because you don't always have the time or energy to get completely dressed).

In the last week alone I've played graphic designer, publicist, event planner, video director, mail-room associate, web designer, accountant, and blogger all while continuing to be a mom, and trying to complete my second novel for a May deadline.

To give you an example of what I've been up to, (including a few "life" things thrown in) the past week or so:

Monday: Answered e-mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Probably shouldn't do this.) Worked on the design for the poster to advertise my launch party. Decided on the number of books to be ordered for my launch party. Cleaned my house in preparation for the arrival of our latest Japanese exchange student.


Answered e-mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Sometimes a big lift, sometimes a downer.) Re-cleaned my house. Met with the librarian at my son's high school to talk about an author event in May. Went to conferences for all four kids. Went to a welcome potluck and met my Japanese daughter for the week, Mirei. Gave a presentation on disability awareness at my son's cub scout pack meeting.


Sent poster off to my agent, editor, and my publicist at Walker for approval. Worked on guest blog posts. Answered e-mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Maybe not healthy.) Directed my lovely voice-over actress, Brooklyn, as she recorded her part for my book trailer. Had her try on the red dress that I may or may not use in the trailer. (Depends on how it works out.)


Answered e-mail. Took the approved poster to Minute Man Press, a local printer. The nice manager there, Renae, showed me all my mistakes and told me how to fix them. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Okay that's kind of become a daily event.) Did some actual writing on SHARDS OF GLASS.


Answered e-mail. Made a list of all the people I need to send my author copies to; friends, family members, bloggers, and a few charity auction winners. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (I have a million other things I should be doing, why does this keep creeping up?) Bought envelopes to mail them. Finally got some writing in. (Not in my pajamas.)


Answered e-mail. Cut the ugly white border off 1,000 (literally) swag stickers. Put books and swag into envelopes to mail. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Enough already.) Took my daughter, son and my exchange student to Seattle for some sight-seeing.


Relaxed with my family and played games with our exchange student. I don't work on Sunday, I need that day for church and family stuff and to mentally recharge.


Met with Jane, the owner of Fireside Bookstore, where my launch party will be held, to figure out where to set up tables and audio-video equipment. Got the name of the person at the restaurant next to the bookstore to see if they can do appetizers for my launch party. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Not because I'm vain or anything I just, you know, want to know what advance reviewers are saying.) Mailed off packages of author copies and swag. Made updates/changes to my website.


Worked on SHARD (again, not in my pajamas.) Worked on guest blogs. Stalked myself on Goodreads and checked all my Google alerts. (Okay, you get the idea.) Listened to a webinar about diet and MS with my husband. Put together a picture album for my exchange student as a good-bye gift.


Said a tearful good-bye to Merei. Went through all my loosely filed receipts to get everything ready for tax appointment at 4:00. Went back through bank statements and e-mails to figure out mileage and put expenses in a spreadsheet. Beat my head against the wall because I hate this kind of stuff. Swore to keep better records next year. Tax appointment. Trip to Trader Joe's to find non-gluten food for my husband's new MS diet plan. Did laundry and packed for family trip to Seaside Oregon (including shooting the final footage for my book trailer.) Didn't even have time to stalk myself on Goodreads and check all my Google alerts.

Wrote this blog post!!!

Whew! Not much of what I did this week could be done in my pajamas and not a lot was actual writing. So, I guess I'm still looking for that job where I sit around in my pajamas and daydream all day. In the meantime, I'll continue to be an author, the job I used to dream about, (and still love) even if it's more work than I ever imagined.
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Published on April 08, 2012 23:35 • 704 views

June 18, 2011

I'm so excited because FINALLY I get to show you the cover for BREAKING BEAUTIFUL.

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Besides being the very first cover for my very first book, (and in so many ways my dream come true), let me tell you why this cover is so near and dear to me...


This is how it happened...


In the beginning, my editor, Mary Kate Castellani, sent me some pictures that were beautiful, but didn't exactly work with the book's setting. She said, "This is the basic idea that we're looking at, but we have to find a photo that will fit."

My answer was, "We don't have to look for a photo that will fit, just tell David, (my amazing photographer husband), what you want and he can do it."

Her answer was, "YES!"

So... We got marching orders from the art department, I borrowed a fabulous pair of red shoes from my friend Susan, we packed up the photography equipment and some really big umbrellas, and went for a drive along the coast--searching for the perfect spot. (We have the advantage of living near the area where BREAKING BEAUTIFUL is set.)

To get the right shot, we had to deal with our crazy, unpredictable, (and by unpredictable I mean totally predictable, because it rains all the time,) Northwest weather. Of course, we got rain when we didn't want it, but we also got sun (amazingly enough), when we didn't want it. And then there was this HIDEOUS recreational vehicle that was parked in the exact spot we wanted to shoot from. (Seriously, this thing gave new meaning to the phrase "big rolling turd" from the movie RV.)

Two trips later we had a whole bunch of photos for the art department at Walker/Bloomsbury to look at. Luckily, they liked what they saw. YAY!

They picked a photo, worked their magic with cropping and adding titles and voila! I have a cover that is gorgeous and represents the story inside beautifully.

Thank you thank you thank you to my amazing editor Mary Kate and my publisher, Walker/Bloomsbury, for trusting us enough to do this.

It means the world to me that my husband; the love of my life, my soul mate, and my biggest supporter through all of this, gets to put his mark on my book as well.

AND THANK YOU to the my husband, David Wolf for his patience and support and for being such a talented photographer!

Read more about it at
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Published on June 18, 2011 08:33 • 253 views • Tags: breaking-beautiful, cover

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