Q&A (and brownies) with J.J. Murray discussion

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message 1: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) Hello,

This is second group I joined on Goodreads. I refuse to let it just fade away, LOL. So I am attempting to juice it up again. In about 200 spaces or less, what has everyone been up too.

I am struggling with my stories, I need a paranormal henchman to attempt to kill my main characters before they join forces.

I am also taking a math class and an anatomy class. I working on getting a degree for my day job. I started this topic. LOL


~iMoiselleChanel~ (imoisellechanel) Hey Jo!

I know, it seems a little like this section is a little dead. I'm currently working on multiple stories (which probably isn't a good idea) and am having trouble with my most popular one (which gets posted on fictionpress.com).

I am attending classes online for my Bachelors degree and right now it's computer classes, which is right up my alley. Good luck with your story, and finding someone to kill your characters, lol.


message 3: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments HI guys,

I have been working. Looking for ways to get more active in church. I have been searching for a new used car and trying to give my living space a makeover (as directed by countless hours of Do-It-Yourself shows on HGTV). I am building things and everything!

I am working on a finished novel that was way too long and overwritten. Excited that it's flowing a bit more now that I am using feedback constructively.

I hope to have something to send out in a few months. That way I can avoid having to attend law school.


~iMoiselleChanel~ (imoisellechanel) How exciting to give your home a "makeover". I love doing things like that. Good luck to you, and I hope it comes out the way you like.

Congrats on finishing the novel too! Good luck getting it out. Be sure to let us know what it's called so we can be on the lookout for it. :)


message 5: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (johnjmurray) | 250 comments Mod
Sorry I've been silent, too. I'll try to be better posting at this site. I've been kind of busy ...

... taking over as acting pastor of a church. That's all I care to share now. Anyone surprised? I (sort of) am.

Just received word that CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE (the green one) will go out in mass market in March. Still no editorial word on my 2012 title (SOMETHING LIKE THAT). Yes, the wait for any kind of feedback on SLT is six months and counting.


message 6: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Thanks Chanel. It is called Ayiti and it ain't done yet LOL. I have toooonnns of work to do. I am praying for it to come out one day. :-)

I will check out your stories too on your website. After experiencing a horrible stage of writer's block, now that I've got ideas and desire to write again, I want to churn then out. I have a desire to start other stories because I can be impatient and follow through can be rough when I get overwhelmed with rewriting. I get stuck in a mode and it's hard to let go of an idea. But I came to realize that I have to put my all into the stuff I end up writing. I figure I have to be more organized and really learn how to write carefully. I would rather write that one exceptional piece of fiction than have a whole bunch of foolishness. It's cool how you can manage multiple stuff, Chanel.

Question: does anyone else have prefer writing multiple stories or is it better to focus on one at a time?


message 7: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Congrats JJ on Can't Get Enough... that's cool. So when novels get to the mass market stage, generally speaking, how does that really impact an author's sales?


~iMoiselleChanel~ (imoisellechanel) JJ, I am really looking forward to CAN'T GET ENOUGH... so it's great to hear that it's coming our way. Also, taking over as the acting Pastor of your church is wonderful. Congratulations to you on that. :)

I do have to say that I honestly don't like working on too many stories at one time. Because of where I post mine and who reads it (young adults) I feel they have a certain demand. I started with one, took a long break because I was stuck, and started another one. Both stories got popular around the same time and I am currently hopping back and forth between the two as well as continuing another idea for a new story. I like that I have all of these ideas, but working on them all kind of takes a toll...


message 9: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (johnjmurray) | 250 comments Mod
I get only get 8% of retail for mass market, roughly 64 cents per ... I know you didn't ask that, but that may have been your unspoken question.

I seem to sell more trade paperbacks than any other type for some reason, so by the time mass market comes out, the market seems to be tapped out.

BTW: I get 2% for every Kindle/electronic sale. No one is getting rich there ...


message 10: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Hey y'all

LOL@ the idea that I could ever have an "unspoken question."

JJ, I was asking about the mass market because I always wondered if it was the equivalent to a tv show going into syndication in a sense. I guess I was asking if mass market is a marketing tool to give novels more exposure somehow.

Chanel it's great your stories are doing well.


~iMoiselleChanel~ (imoisellechanel) I think we all have "unspoken questions" a lot of the time. I know I really want to ask something more specific but I dance around it in different ways, LOL.


message 12: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) Wow! My last ditch effort on another group didn't go as well as this one. Thanks everybody.
I write on multiple stories, however try my best to stay with one.
I haven't thought of the moneyside of writing; I am stuck with the craft.

Also my evil henchman is only attempting to kill my main characters. I am stuck in an action scene.


message 13: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Hey everyone,


I do love writing and am grateful to be writing again, as well as learning how to write better. I ain't even going to pretend that I do not think about the money side to writing. I love to write but I want to publish my stuff one day and I actually want people to go out there and buy it! I don't want to write just for the sake of saying I did it. I would looooooooooove for my prayers to be answered in a way that would allow me to work/make a living doing what I love doing most. Imagine a life where you can do your passion full time as a career. I would be lying if I said I didn't fantasize about becoming a bestselling author who made enough money to do all the things I've always wanted to do, God willing. Shucks, it would be great to take care of folks I care about. However, I've been meeting more writers, especially on this site, and it seems that people are working three and four jobs to accomodate (sp?) their passion. LOL. I need to learn about the craft, which is first, but I want to learn about the business side of things too.

In response to Jo's comment about the evil henchman. I wonder if the fact that he is after your main characters might be a good thing? When we see that in action dramas, doesn't it keep the reader on the edge of their seats rooting for the hunted?


message 14: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I want to create great stories and be interviewed on the shows I listen too that interview authors. I sounds superficial but that is my dream. However I will be happy just writing on anything regularly. No grand accolades required. Just maybe some fan-fiction. LOL.

The scene I am working on is pinnacle for characters, I want it as exiting as possible. It is where my heroine and hero with sidekick decide to work together, for their mutual benefit. I believe Ogres, trolls, and other mythical henchmen have been done to death. I refuse to write about demons. So at the moment they are being attacked by darkness wedge in an alley and across the street. There is also a dimension doorway. Which only makes sense when you realize my heroine came from another dimension.


message 15: by Vacirca (last edited Sep 29, 2010 07:05PM) (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Hey y'all--

In response to Jo: your comment about wanting to be interviewed about your work is not superficial in my opinion. Years ago, when Edwidge Danticat--a Haitian writer-- was interviewed on Oprah after her novel made the bookclub, I promised my mother that I would be the second Haitian writer to be interviewed by the great Oprah. LOL. I was soooo sure of it! I never let go of that fantasy. Now, Oprah is leaving the show :-( but I still fantasize about doing readings one day or being interviewed about my work. I would love also to be the kind of writer that produces work that people wait on line at midnight to purchase one day...like J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Only I want to do Christian-based fiction for adults. LOL. I think it's healthy to fantasize because this is a career based on people's interest/opinion. It's completely relative like any form of art. I imagine it is difficult to work in a field in which your success is dependent upon other folk's enjoyment of the author's "product." That's why I appreciate this site where published authors like J.J. and others I've "met" give us a dose of reality to keep the fantasies in check, 'cause I can be a fantasizin' fool! LOL.

Hey, does anyone else want to share their fantasies about their writing careers?


message 16: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments One more thing: Jo, your story sounds interesting. Why do you refuse to write about demons?

I am still working on a novel. Rewrite is harder than the first draft for me. It has always been that way for me for some reason...even when I was involved in workshops. Does anyone else have that problem? Good news is that I am using feedback as best I know how and it is helping. Right now, since it is so long, I am trying to pick and choose what to cut out and what to leave in. I am trying to turn my character's long internal soliloquay's into dialogue with other characters and learning how to "show" not tell readers things. Problem is, I rarely wrote anything in first-person, which I find more difficult for some reason. I can be repetative, mainly because I forget I've already said something. I have that habit when writing, but thankfully not when I speak. lol.

*knock, knock* anyone else in da house?


message 17: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) Rewrites are difficult process, I don't have fun with them at all. It requires the writer to look at the pain-staking work with new eyes and fresh enthusiasm.
But what really irks me is the "show don't tell" mantra. It is like we still haven't learned since grade school.

I think writing in first person is limiting for the writer. The story can only be told from one character's POV. However some writers weild it well. I don't have that skill.

The reasons I don't write about Demons is a little superstious(forgive the spelling). If I don't mess with demons, they won't mess with me. It may sound crazy but that is the basics.

Also Vacirca, I think you are writing in a new an upcoming sub-genre good christian fiction is as hard as paranormal/urban fantasy fiction.
Popularity of some subgenres are flooded with mediorce books; it sometimes makes me angry or fuels my passion to write.


message 18: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments I hear ya Jo. Rewrites can be rough. They are publishing stories that just seem to be "finished." A lot haven't been the best piece of literature out there, but hey, I'm still learning myself. I read a whole lot to learn as much as I can. Plus I just love to read as much as possible. I just hope I actually have some talent, and if so, that I learn to use it for the purpose God has for me in life. And if He does, I pray He'll bless me to write a decent novel that will fulfill it's purpose.

My struggles are not only in the rewrite but in other areas. In my genre, I wonder how far to push things. There are rules for this genre of course. I wonder, for example, how to rewrite certain romance scenes that can make the reader feel gooey without going past the invisible line in CF where things are considered "unChristianlike," if you get what I'm saying. I hope to write stories that will strengthen other Christians but still draw in non-Christians. Where does the CF writer draw the line? I also see recurring themes in CF novels, especially CF romance. During this past summer, I am sure I've read about 5 novels where the heroine is struggling with a past aborton or whose husband is addicted to porn. I know the writers are writing about topics/issues/struggles that are prevalent in the Christian lifestyle. I enjoyed those novels but I want to write CF novels that have semi-original plots if possible.

As for show not tell, yeah, I am definitely in the second grade when it comes that LOL.


message 19: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I have never felt the inkling to delve into that genre. Reading a blessing and curse, I think for writers. I have read good CF books and I have also read CF books where the line was like the grand canyon and it sunk the book for me.

There are two ways of being an original writer; one way is to believe that nothing is original and the trick is to make an idea seem new/original.

The other way is that as long as you are writing a story it is original, because you are the writer and no one else in the world is like you so your story will be original.


message 20: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Those are excellent points Jo.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 68 comments Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been doing, 'something', not sure what. Time is flying by fast. I'm doing a lot of reading for challenges and stuff. Also gearing up for NaNoWriMo. I have a pretty ambitious idea that will span several books. I hope I can do something with it. I hope all are well.


message 22: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I am gearing up for nanowrimo too! I am also thining about the a unique weapon for one of my characters


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 68 comments That sounds interesting, Jo!


message 24: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) I missed the "k" in thinking. I realized that maybe a sword might be overdone. I kept thinking about the movie Ninja Assasin, the main character main weapon was the knife on a chain, not a sword eventhough he could use all weapons effeciently.

My first nanowrimo attempt did not go as well as planned. I still haven't given up though. The genre was general fiction, this time my genre will be fantasy. I don't want to over think it.


message 25: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Hi people

question to Jo and Lady, what is "nanowrimo?"


message 26: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) National Novel writing month or nanowrimo it is in November; You write a novel of any genre(I think) in 30 days for charity. It is a new original idea and can't be something you worked on before. They also have script frenzy in April.


message 27: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments sounds cool, Jo...so how is a charity benefited by the written novel?


message 28: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) You got me there. A writer can donate, also I believe there is matching funds or something. The charity goes to creative writing programs for kids and adults. There is a FAQ. I just like the idea of writing a story. I have a friend that is long time member and it inspired me.


message 29: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) go to nanowrimo.org


message 30: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments thanks Jo for the info.


message 31: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) this is super late but you are welcome.


message 32: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (johnjmurray) | 250 comments Mod
Kensington has accepted SOMETHING LIKE THAT (2012 title) finally and will be changing the title.

Go figure.

My editor wrote: "No revisions necessary!"

That's a first.

Does this mean I'm getting better at this? Maybe. I still struggle with transition.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 68 comments Congratulations, JJ!


message 34: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Congratulations,man. That's what's up.


message 35: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) Yup, I agree with Vacirca and Lady, Congratulations.


message 36: by Eugenia (new)

Eugenia | 67 comments Well Congrats JJ. No revisions necessary, huh, must be nice.


message 37: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) Heeelllllooooo All!

I am just checking in on everything. This is the one group I try to stay active with. This is an update, I have been attempting to know my characters again. You know their motivations, their goals etc.


message 38: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (johnjmurray) | 250 comments Mod
Romantic Times has given I'll Be Your Everything four and a half stars!

Here's the link to the review:

Romantic Times Review of I'll Be Your Everything

In the meantime ...

I'm giving away lots of H. M. Mann Kindle titles (over 5,000 and counting) and working on Sisters of Grace, an IR romantic comedy that takes place at a country church in Alabama and features my first love triangle.

Having two sisters (in every sense of the word) fight over one man ... priceless.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 68 comments Congratulations!


message 40: by Vacirca (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Congratulations on your review. Exceptional!


message 41: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) Hello everyone!!!!!!
I haven't been here in forever. My laptop is a clunker, which means it is not as portable as I would like. So I stopped taking it with me and got a nook tablet instead. It has a goodreads app so I am using it. I have not worked as much as I would like but I am reading writing books genre specific. I am finding them helpful. What has everyone up too? Dish.


message 42: by Vacirca (last edited Apr 06, 2012 05:31PM) (new)

Vacirca Vaughn | 294 comments Jooooo!
What up though? How ya been? Happy Easter!

What have I been up to...hmmm. eating (I just decided I will start Zumba again tomorrow), writing, praying, and freaking out. Sending out queries and synopses to agents. Need an agent. Wrote a second manuscript since I am still wrestling with that over-300,000 word novel from 2 years ago. Not giving up on it. But did what I always said I wouldn't...put it down and tried something else. So sending out to agents. That novel synopsis stuff is frightening. I am long-winded and some agents want like 2 pages to explain a novel that's over 100,000 words (this one is over 130,000 and I am still cutting down stuff as I send out to agents). Some want 5 pages and some are saying up to 10 pages for a detailed synopsis (as opposed to what?)

And the "Christian" agents...or agents also want info on how work will glorify Jesus.

How do I know what to use for the synopsis, for the love of Mother Haiti? Every site, book, and expert has some type of advice that is completely different from the one before. Focus on plot, focus on character, don't give character background, do give character background, use secondary characters, be sure to omit secondary characters, yada yada yada! And lemme fall back from the rant about sample pages/chapters/esubmissions drama (attachment vs. body of email) cause they are all going green.

But I just got to bite the bullet. Time off from work is now ending. Since savings are finally tapping out, am looking for a job.

So Jo? How's work? How is your family? Did u start your book club?


message 43: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) It is great to read from you Vee. I agree the how-to books can be confusing, however they are also encouraging and optomistic. I have found that for every idea I come up with I can apply a new writing method to it. which means when the story is burning a hole in your brain, there is a technique completely different from what you used before thst can help.

work is fine, family is okay. My mom is coming back for the summer, which is very good. I didn't start the writing group. Life sutuations got tricky but I believe I can manage.

I will congratulate you on the writer part b section(getting your work sold). I am always so immersed in my story, I sometimes forget about the agents. They are a demanding bunch.


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