July 10th Author Profile: Jennifer Soucy

Jennifer Soucy is a spirited New England girl who loves to explore both the world around her and the vivid realms within her imagination. Born and raised in Connecticut, she currently lives in Georgia after a stint in Las Vegas. She’s an editing assistant, 25-year veteran of the service industry, and a proud nerd whose various hobbies involve some combination of horror and fantasy.

DEMON IN ME, her debut novel, is an adult contemporary horror/dark fantasy. THE NIGHT SHE FELL, a contemporary adult dark fantasy/paranormal romance novel, also has a sequel due in Fall 2021. CLEMENTINE’S AWAKENING, a southern gothic/horror, was released by Silver Shamrock Publishing. THE MOTHER WE SHARE, a contemporary YA dark fantasy/horror, was recently released by RhetAskew Publishing.

Her best ideas are often inspired by deliberately inducing nightmares, translating those into tales which may occasionally encourage readers to sleep with a light on.

Follow Jennifer online:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads /
Instagram / Amazon

Author portrait by Georgia Geis
Follow Georgia @atomicnumber14

Jennifer, How do you come up with ideas for a project?

 
My ideas come from lots of places—previous experience, dreams or nightmares—though the initial seed usually sprouts from a “What-if” scenario. For instance, the first two books I wrote, The Mother We Share and Clementine’s Awakening, were both loosely inspired on previous life experiences. In TMWS, I include the origin in the Acknowledgments. My younger sister created a scary bedtime story (The Green-Eyed Girl) for her kids, which inspired me years later to dig deeper: What if the Green-Eyed Girl was real, and why might she really be stalking her victim/sister? In CA, I’d worked for nearly twenty-five years in restaurants, one time in a location we believed was haunted, but I felt the spirit was somewhat benevolent—at least toward some of us. So I thought to myself: What if a ghost did haunt a restaurant, but she became friends with one of the servers?
 
I guess in a way I’m lucky to have seen and done a lot of strange things. Combine that with a highly active imagination, and I’m fortunate enough to have more than enough ideas to play with.
 

After you have a new idea, how much research do you do?

 
It really depends on the topic. I try not to pick anything that goes way beyond my basic scope of knowledge. Not that a writer shouldn’t do that, but for myself I don’t like to spend a ton of time on research unless it’s absolutely necessary. I actually enjoy learning, so once I get sucked into a research wormhole I can be gone for a while.
 
To make it easier on myself, I write main characters who I find relatable. Their interests, occupations, strengths and weaknesses are all things I can identify with on some level. Even the story settings are usually places I’ve visited or lived in, that way I have some familiarity while writing the bones of the story.
 
Research is inescapable, even with those circumstances. For example, the Irish folklore in TMWS was complex enough I definitely researched the topic to brush up my existing knowledge. Certain locations require an element of research, too, especially if you’re a fan of mentioning key landmarks, streets, or even discussing weather on specific times of the year.
 
But again, I try to keep the research to something of a minimum to avoid distracting myself from actually writing. Worldbuilding and research are important and add value for the reader, but as writers we can’t ever lose sight of our end goal—finishing the damn story!
 

Do you research things throughout your creative process or just at the beginning?

 
I might do a little research during the beginning, often for information or setting a mood in my own mind, but often I find myself taking breaks at times during the writing to doublecheck things. In CA, for instance, an unexpected character appeared who ended up adding a lot to the narrative. However, she had a certain gift I’d only heard tell of but never really researched so I had to stop for a couple of days and do some learning. I think it was worth it in the end, even if I didn’t use everything I studied, and I hope the readers enjoyed that added layer.
 
What’s the strangest thing you’ve researched for a project (go check that Google search history)?
 
Oh god, if people could see my Google search history… I already told my boyfriend get ready to bail me out ‘cause anyone who finds it will think I’m a maniac!
 
I don’t know if this is necessarily the strangest thing I’ve researched for a project, but I had a question on my current WIP: Do cockroaches drink blood? Turns out, yes, they do—and they have a grand old time hanging around corpses, filling their nasty bellies (carapaces? Whatever lol). Keep that in mind if you see them poking around your house, crawling over your belongings, and you’re not sure if exterminating them is worth the cost. Do it!
 

When you write, do you try to stay close to the Actual Factual or are you fast and loose with Handwavium (a term used when a writer waves their hand at reality for sake of the plot)?

 
I’m a pretty imaginative person with a great respect for artistic liberty. My reading preference is also heavily rooted in horror and fantasy, so I’m cool with anything supernatural/paranormal. That said, there’s definitely a time where facts matter (although, there’s also room for a bit of handwaving once you’ve laid the story’s foundation).
 
Suspension of disbelief is hugely important in fiction, whether it’s a book, movie, or tv show. That doesn’t mean everything has to be rooted in solid fact, but plot features/situations have to be believable. For me, this goes back to creating effective characters and setting the scene. If the artist has created a believable, relatable character and world, then there’s a lot we, the audience, will forgive or overlook as the story expands.
 
But I would also add that PoV and genre/sub-genre matter in this discussion. If we’re in the PoV of a believably confused or unreliable character, we can swallow their mistakes or misperceptions with greater ease if the creator is doing their job. If you’re writing a story with sci-fi elements, for example, you will want some hardcore science facts mixed in with your fantasy elements. Sci-fi readers have certain expectations that must be met, otherwise they’ll never find themselves sinking into the story and suspending disbelief when the really wild things start happening.
 
Long story short, I guess it depends mostly on what you’re writing. Be flexible and adaptable, and definitely plan on including some blend of facts with your fiction to make it more robust.
 
 

Have you ever stopped reading a story to go look up how factual something was?

 
Hah, yes! I should say, I don’t necessarily recall the last time I did that for a book, but I’m terrible at this when it comes to movies and tv shows. I’m a huge history buff, so when I watch stories inspired by history I find myself Googling when the writers try to pull a fast one.
 
I drive my boyfriend crazy cause I’ll pause and Google, then cry, “I knew it! All lies!”
 
He always says, “Remember this is a movie, relax. It doesn’t have to be perfect.”
 
I guess that relates to what I said earlier, though, about blending facts and fiction. If you tell the audience right from the beginning this is based on or inspired by real events, then you’d better be ready to include some solid facts. Of course, in the books/shows I truly enjoy and get lost in, it only occurs to me after that I might want to see if any of it was possible or true—never while I’m under its spell, indicating the creator did their job by reeling me in. In short, I believe once we start detecting too much handwaving and artificial/unbelievable drama, we can’t just relax and enjoy the story, so creators beware!
 
 

Do you create with music, other background noise or complete silence?

 
I love music almost as much as books, so yes, I write to music. Part of my worldbuilding process for every WIP is building a playlist that relates to themes, characters, location, or other factors. I don’t play it very loud, as that might get distracting, but it keeps my conscious mind occupied so my subconscious can peek out and help during the writing process.
 
As an example, here’s the link for my Spotify playlists:
 https://open.spotify.com/user/8udiuswxmlm0xq55c2duyu1c4?si=ab6c5e8d86214038&nd=1
 
If you’ve read any of my books and want to see what helped inspire them, the music is like a behind-the-scenes peek!
 

Do you have any pet helper?

 
I wouldn’t call her a helper, but I do have a pet. Buffy’s our newest family member, a 7-month-old kitten. She’s kind of an attention hog at this stage of her life, so I find myself locking her out of the room when I write otherwise she races around and often stops to bite my toes or claw my legs. Maybe one day she’ll be more of a help, haha.
 

Do you create better at 5am or 5pm?

 
Definitely 5am. I enjoy my morning writing sessions as I’m a weird combination of awake and asleep still, waiting for the coffee to kick in. The sleepiness is nice at times because it keeps my subconscious in a sort of dream state, but one that I can access like a lucid dream. It really helps me get the words on the paper, allowing me to dance between real life and the world I’m creating on my computer.
 
I can also write late at night, but that mid-afternoon/evening is hard because I usually have to do other more mundane tasks which take most of my attention. I save those hours for working on other people’s projects or for doing basic stuff like cleaning and cooking.
 

Which team apocalypse are you on: zombie, asteroid, or alien invasion?

 
Great question! I think I’m prepared for each of them.
 
I only got into zombies after meeting my boyfriend twenty years ago, as he’s a huge Romero zombie fan, but I feel we’ve done well planning our response to a zombie attack. I’d say check in with us during the zombie apocalypse, but we plan to be long gone to avoid teaming up with bumbling people who will probably get us killed (like in all the movies/shows lol!).
 
As for aliens, I’ve always loved the notion of them since watching E.T. as a wide-eyed kid in the theater. My belief solidified during my teen years after reading Communion by Whitley Strieber, one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I’m so psyched with all these UFO videos popping up, and my fingers are crossed that we could learn more soon. Whether they end up being benevolent or monstrous, I just want to see them before I die (please, don’t kill me, aliens!).
 
Asteroid attack…yeah, not sure one can prepare for that. Although one of my favorite movies ever is sort of related to this idea. Melancholia isn’t about an asteroid but a rogue planet on an unavoidable collision course with Earth, and it’s seriously one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. The relationship between the sisters and how each slides along a spectrum of stability and mental illness the closer their world inches toward destruction touched my very soul. I highly recommend it for a lesson in quality storytelling and complex characters that really test the boundaries of our empathy.
 
 

You mentioned you are a 25-year veteran in the service industry, how has that helped you in your writing career?

 
It’s definitely shown me a lot about people and society, that’s for sure. When you hear the cliche “Truth is stranger than fiction,” trust that it’s a cliche for a darn good reason. People will never cease to amaze you—sadly, it’s often in the most shocking, deplorable ways possible. Of course, there are also amazing people out there with genuine compassion for others who are a treasure to either work with or wait upon. Working in a restaurant, you’ll encounter them all and everyone in between. It’s a wild environment, and you can never say you’ve seen it all. Once you do, a situation will arise and reset the whole game.
 
I feel surviving that many years of chaos has not only fed my imagination but also made me a better and stronger person. I’ve seen the best and worst of humanity, so it really helps when creating characters and putting them in unusual situations. Even after all that, I still love the industry. With the bad, there’s still so much good. The friends you make are like war buddies. You’ve survived the impossible together and forge bonds for life. You learn patience and endurance, which a writer definitely needs. Even though those years kept me from writing because I stayed so busy, I wouldn’t trade the experience.
 

You’ve lived in Connecticut, Las Vegas, and now Georgia. How have the places you lived influence your writing?

 
I love traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people. I also love exploring and learning about other cultures. Even in our one country, each region is so unique because of certain traditions and beliefs. Also each region has some pretty awesome legends and lore, which again have fed my creativity and imagination.
 
New England, the deep South, and the American West are all very different but I’ve loved them all even though each also has their downside. I think the times in my life I lived there also played a role. I spent my formative years in CT, a place rich in history (often very spooky history), so that left a mark. GA has been home for most of my adult life, with a lot of conflicts and obstacles but also triumphs. Las Vegas was a refuge at a time when I needed one, so I find that sneaking into stories, too, such as Demon in Me where the main character also likens the city as a haven where she could find herself again.
 

If you got to use some “Handwavium” and send younger Jennifer one note about writing, editing, or marketing, which would you chose and what would you say?

 
I would definitely tell younger Jennifer to study marketing. What a pain it is! The writing and editing always came somewhat easily as I did well throughout school in related subjects. Plus I credit a lifetime of reading with helping those tasks seem more natural and easier to accomplish. But marketing? I’m from Gen X, so I’m not a complete idiot with the internet and technology, but it still can be challenging. I know there’s more I can do, more sites to use as a platform, and I really need to work on building my newsletters, but it all feels really overwhelming. I wish I’d spent some time working on marketing in the modern age because learning it all now is definitely time-consuming.
 
You had several books released in the last few months, can you give us the run down and can you share what we can expect next?
 
So far this year, I’ve released two books: Clementine’s Awakening and The Mother We Share, the first two books I wrote in 2018. Yes, sometimes publishing works out that way where your books don’t always get released in the order they were written. Still, these stories hold very special places in my heart, and I’m so delighted to see them out in the world.
 
This fall, I plan on releasing the sequel to The Night She Fell which is called She Who Destroys. As for what comes after, there’s definitely plenty waiting in the wings but nothing I can confirm yet. I do know one thing, I haven’t stopped writing since 2018 so I promise there’s plenty of stories left to tell!
 

Jennifer, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you’d like folks to know about you, your work, or your research process?


I just want to add that this past year or so has been difficult for all of us, some more than others. Be patient and kind. Treat people as you wish to be treated. Sure, not everyone will appreciate that and you may have to leave them behind, but plenty of people will be grateful for your sincere efforts. We’re all in this together, and it’s time to start moving forward again. Live, love, and always chase your dreams. Life’s short, so don’t waste a minute of potential joy.

Follow Jennifer on Social Media.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads /
Instagram / Amazon

Personal Update: It’s July 10th and I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed!

Happy July! I know we are a week or so in, but it’s never to late to spread some joy! The past week has been crazy and the crazy weather didn’t help. So what happened? My sump pump died and got about one inch of water in the laundry room—I jumped into action and replaced the sump pump, but while changing it I accidentally sliced my finger.

I was almost finished with installing the replacement sump pump when I cut my finger, so I wrapped a towel around my bleeding finger and continued to install the sump pump. My youngest son came up to me and said, “Dad, you’re bleeding”

I shook my head and responded, “I ain’t got time to bleed.”

print available @atomicnumber14


After I got the sump pump installed and most of the water cleaned up, I did go to urgent care. They patched me up with a few Steri Strips (did have a nice conversation with the Doc about stitches vs Steri Strips). I’m glad to report about a week later my finger is healing nicely!

In writing land, I finished the first round of edits on the two Novellas that will be published this fall (hurt finger cannot stop editing). Waiting to get some beta-reader feedback, but will have to send them off to editor for proofreading in August. 

Get ready and order your copy of Moonlight now (my novella, “Eve” will be in this along with any many other wonderful authors!)


Preorder ‘Moonlight: A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance Anthology’ is now available here.

Preorder Moonlight now!


My novella Eve, is about a werewolf named Eve (And yes, I did a science of werewolf episode). Eve is looking to protect her pact, to survive, and falling in love with a human is not part of her plan. As I mentioned, there is an awesome lineup of authors that I’m happy to be working with, so click the link and preorder Moonlight now

And, you read correctly, I said two novellas are being released this fall. The second will be in the Emerging Worlds Anthology. I am doing a post-zombie novella titled, “The Cure”. They promised the Cure would end Zombie and return life to normal, but nobody promised normal would be easy. I’ve wanted to write a zombie story for some time, and looking at post zombie life is fun. I just finished writing this one, but I will have to do a Rabbit Hole of Research on Zombies!!

As many of you know, my debut novel, “Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?’ was released on February 23rd 2021. I have paperback copies already available at my website, but I will soon have Hardback copies!!! Keep your eyes out for this. 

Also, Daniel Roche did a YouTube review of my novel: Go check it out here.

Hopefully, with COVID restrictions easing (folks are getting vaccinated which is good) I may be able to do book signings and other fun things, stay tuned for details! I do have books in the wild at Paul Henry’s Art Gallery in Hammond, IN and at the Green Witch Cafe in Highland, IN

And don’t worry, there will be a new issue of Rabbit Hole of Research on July 24th, the One Year Anniversary and I’ll be getting Sexy in Space again! If you want to read past issues, check them out here

Follow me online, and feel free to Email me with questions, comments, questionable science, or who you’d like to see interviewed.

Personal Update: June 26th 2016

This month has flown by, but there was a lot of activity. I had the pleasure of chatting with folks at the Juneteenth Celebration in Hammond, IN. I really enjoyed the conversations, the fellowship, celebrating the accomplishments of the next generation of young scholars, and overall excitement of the event. Cannot wait to do it again next year.

In other news my two novellas are ready to go off to the editor, I outlined a brand new novel, and I started writing the sequel to Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?

That’s right, I’m 10K words into it—I’ll keep you updated as I work on this project.

Here are a few images from the Juneteenth Celebration.
I had some great conversations and a few ideas for future Rabbit Hole of Research Episodes—Hopefully, I will be doing more events as the summer rolls along!

      
It was great talking about my book at the Juneteenth Celebration!
A number of readers have said one of their favorite lines in my debut novel is: “Sexual Chocolate Granny, the stuff airplane fantasies are made of …”

Sexual Chocolate Granny—Say what? Want to read more; still need a copy of “Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?” Buy Here

Thank you if you already picked up a copy. And a bigger thanks if you left me a review!

My werewolf romance novella, ‘Eve’ will be in the ‘Moonlight: A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance Anthology’ this fall; Preorder now available here

June Update

Where has the time gone? May zipped by and we are smack dab into June. I spent some time getting plants in the garden (tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants) and relaxed a bit and tried a new gin at 18th Street Distillery!

I was interviewed by fellow author Katherine Soto this month, you can read it here: https://buff.ly/3piJ357


        

In writing land, I finished the first draft of the two Novellas that will be published this fall. Also, I got three manuscript requests (two full and a partial) for my novel “The Cost of Us,” a cyberpunk thriller.

As many of you know, my debut novel, “Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?’ was released on February 23rd 2021. Still haven’t read it, go check it out here. Hopefully, with COVID restrictions easing (folks are getting vaccinated which is good) I may be able to do book signings and other fun things, stay tuned for details! I do have books in the wild at Paul Henry’s Art Gallery in Hammond, IN and at the Green Witch Cafe in Highland, IN.

Preorder for ‘Moonlight: A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance Anthology’ is now available here


Yes, I will have a novella in this anthology! The first draft of the novella about Eve who is a werewolf (And yes, I did a science of werewolf episode) looking to protect her pact, but finds love along the way. So, last episode I had a longer working title, but after some though I am leaning to just “Eve” as the title. There is an awesome lineup of authors so click the link and preorder now

And, you read correctly, I said two novellas are being released this fall. The second will be in the Emerging Worlds Anthology. I am doing a post-zombie novella titled, “The Cure”. They promised the Cure would end Zombie and return life to normal, but nobody promised normal would be easy. I’ve wanted to write a zombie story for some time, and looking at post zombie life is fun. I just finished writing this one, but I will have to do a Rabbit Hole of Research on Zombies!!

And don’t worry, there will be a new issue of Rabbit Hole of Research on June 26th, and I’l going to get in the weeds! If you want to read past issues, check them out here

Follow me online, and feel free to Email me with questions, comments, questionable science, or who you’d like to see interviewed.

March Update: Launch Day and Everything After

Here is a picture of me on release day morning for my debut novel, ‘Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?’ (still need a copy, click here). I didn’t know what to expect (like a ballon drop when the clock struck midnight or something), that didn’t happen, but it was exciting to get congratulations from friends and family.

It is often hard to take time and appreciate all of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that goes into writing, editing, and marketing a book. And after all this effort I was holding my breath waiting for reviews. Did I have a typo? Did I tell the best story that I could? Will people get all the twists, turns, and clever writing that I put into the story? Did I— I had to stop and enjoy the moment and accept the fact that my baby is out in the world being read. I finished my coffee, didn’t set anything on fire, and went to work.

By the time I got home, my wife and boys had planned a surprise dinner and carrot cake (my favorite). I also promised myself a glass of Writer’s Tears Whiskey. I have saved this bottle to open once my first novel was published, and I’ll not have another drink until my second (It was delicious). I was all smiles as I reclaimed some of my tears on this long journey from idea to 406 page novel! Cheers!

Launch day was very different than I imagined. I had planned to throw a party and sign books, but that didn’t happen (you know—Covid and all). I am still waiting for my books to arrive from the printer so I can sign them and send them to folks who would have been at the launch party book signing event (the delay is all Covid’s fault). I am sure many creatives had to change their plans and release their work in the electronic vacuum of Zoom congratulations. I am thankful for all the friends and family that made the day special.

I thought the anxiety had been released, but the strangest thing was the next day, self-doubt and imposter syndrome started to creep in. As I held a copy of my book in my hands I felt overwhelmed with dread that people are reading this thing. Is it a good book? Will people like it? Will they throw tomatoes at me? Why is my Amazon sales rank going up and down like a yo-yo? What, I’m 9th on the New Release Metaphysical Fiction list? Is that good? What does that mean? Arghhh—

All day Wednesday I was tormenting myself with these type of thoughts, even as the congratulations were rolling in. It all came to a head on Thursday morning as I was waiting in my car for my dental checkup and cleaning. My phone dinged with notifications that 2 editorial reviews from Readers’ Favorite had arrived. My heart thumped loud in my chest and the voice of self doubt was screaming between my ears, preparing me for one star reviews and negative comments. My trembling finger pressed the link and all the air in the car was sucked into my lungs—I saw the reviews—Both 4 stars and gushing with praise on the construction, the story, how the characters moved them. I had to stop reading the reviews because my vision blurred with tears, and, thankfully, I started breathing again. I wiped my eyes with the heel of my hand and the call for me to go into the office came—

Why was I so effected by this? I had dozens of friends and advance readers already tell me the story was good. My publisher and editors said the story was good. And I knew I had written and put the effort in to craft a great story I’d be proud to release to the world. But in that moment in the car, holding my breath, that was the sum of my anxiety—

I am still waiting for more Editorial reviews to come in, I’m not holding my breath, but breathing easy and getting started on the next projects—details on these soon!

Also, my mom read my book and sent me a text with her review of the novel (it has some spicy parts in there), but she really enjoyed it, here is part of it: “…found your novel intricate and sultry…With a touch of interludes of one’s mind…your novel…is mind boggling and Captivating… I couldn’t put it down till I reached the end…Congratulations!!”

And now I’m really breathing easy! Am I the only one that feels this way? Let me know, send me a note, I’ll write back!

Not to fear, Rabbit Hole of Research will be dropping on March 20th! Also, the back issues of Rabbit Hole of Research are posted on my website, and If you missed an issue (or you are new to my newsletter) go check them out here. They are a fun take on the quirky science in Fiction books and movies. And I’ll be back in March with an exciting new episode. I have gotten a few reader requests—plasma arrows, Independence Day, Tenet—I am making a list and checking it… You have an idea of quirky science in fiction, let me know


Personally, I never imagined that my writing career would start to lift off as it has, and I’d be worrying about marketing, Newsletters or launch dates for novel’s and stories. Thank you all and Hopefully one day soon we can all hang out and chat over beverages! Until then—

Follow me on the internet for updates: Social Links

Debut Novel Released on February 23rd 2021

The official release of my debut psychological technothriller novel, “Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?” is less than 2 weeks away—FEBRUARY 23rd!!

Preorder ebook version from major retailers around the world (only 99 cents, the price will go up after release):

Preorder Here

I will have paperback copies and bookplates that I will sign and ship off to you for sale on my website soon!

Keep your eyes out for a virtual launch party, where I’ll read an excerpt and you can ask me anything.

Check out my author website for preorder links, updates, events, links to my books and newsletter signup.

If you have read an advance copy of “Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?” —thank you for taking time to read it—You can start posting a review on Goodreads and BookBub, I’ll be sending a reminder email to ya with links to add your review.

I’m super excited to finally get my novel into your hands! Thanks for your continued support!

Picture of bookcover with illustration of a man’s face sith interconnected faces erupting from the top the title is in red brushstroke font that reads will you still love me if I become someone else? And author name Jotham Austin
Preorder Here

January 2021: Updates

Here is a picture of my desk when I turned the lights out on 2020– and 2021has started with a bang!

I was working hard to get you the next edition of the Rabbit Hole of Research, but it’s not quite finished. It seems I have a bi-monthly newsletter now, one with updates, promos and another traveling down the Rabbit Hole of Research. Next month there may not be a Rabbit Hole of Research offering, because a lot of my time is being dedicated to marketing efforts building up to the release of my debut sci-fi psychological thriller, “Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?

Not to fear, the back issues of Rabbit Hole of Research are posted on my website, and If you missed an issue (or you are new to my newsletter) go check them out here. They are a fun take on the quirky science in Fiction books and movies. And I’ll be back in March with an exciting new episode. I have gotten a few reader requests—plasma arrows, Independence Day, Tenet—I am making a list and checking it … well that’s a different story. LOL

Speaking of marketing, I have been reaching out to fellow writers and influencers asking for blurbs and endorsements for my debut novel. I’ve had two great interactions after sending request email out.

I have been following an awesome comic writer, Jon Parrish. I meet him at a comic con a few years ago, and there is a long story about the mystery of a truck with a ClusterF@#K sticker (ClusterF@#K is the title of one of his comics). Turns out it was my truck—mystery solved. I signed up for Jon’s newsletter and reading his musings was one of the inspirations for me to start Rabbit Hole of Research. Jon’s newsletter is like looking into the mind of a creative—the successes, the struggles and everything inbetween. Jon wrote back to me and passed along some good newsletter advice and his motivations, “a newsletter should inform, educate, and/or entertain, and I try to do one of these with every one.” Please go and check out Jon’s work and sign up for his newsletter: Secrets and Shadows

The second interaction from my promotional efforts was from Mary Mcann! Mary is many things, a talented poet and story teller, performer, radio host, pioneer of internet radio, voice talent on audiobooks, and supporter of writers like me. I meet Mary while I was living in Tempe, AZ (late 90’s early 00’s) and she inspired and gave me sparks of confidence that people would enjoy and want to hear my words. There is always a longer story, but not only did Mary give me a platform to share my words, but through a series of performances after that, I met Georgia, my wife!

It was exciting to reconnect with Mary after many years, and after a year with no Cons connecting with Jon. I am looking forward to getting their feedback on my debut novel (and the other folks that are reviewing my novel—thanks in advance). Got my first five Star review on Goodreads!!

Personally, I never imagined that my writing career would start to lift off as it has, and I’d be worrying about marketing, Newsletters or launch dates for novel’s and stories.

Thanks for reading! Stay Healthy and Sane!

Follow me on the internet for updates: Social Links

December 2020 Newsletter: Bugs, How Big Can They Get?


Movies/books like Them!, Eight Legged Freaks, Starship Troopers (book and movie), Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series (giant spiders), James and the Giant Peach (book and movie), Empire of the Ants, Invasion of the Bee Girls, the Wasp Woman, The Fly (1958 & 1986), AntMan (not the man in the suit, but there was a giant ant playing the drums) and many others have giant terrifying arthropods.


I know what you are saying, “Jotham, it’s holiday season, where’s the holiday Rabbit hole of Research.” Bah humbug. Lol. Okay, don’t throw any snowballs at me. You want a holiday tie in to giant insects, never fear the internet rabbit hole always delivers: Edmund Gwenn, best known for his role as Santa Claus in the classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, plays Dr. Harold Medford in “Them!”—Now that we have that matter settled, how big can bugs get.

So, I like to think there are three categories of giant bugs in fiction: 1) Human to insect experiment gone wrong—i.e The Fly; 2) assisted evolution (chemical, nuclear fallout, etc accelerates growth): Them! (A-bomb testing in desert), Let The Ants Try, by Frederik Pohl (a great short story combining time travel and giant insects); and 3) giant insects from outer space—Starship Troopers (a great mix of military satire and giant insects, “The only good bug, is a dead bug…”
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On a personal note, “Let the Ants Try,” originally published in the Winter 1949 issue of Planet Stories, was one of the first science fiction stories I ever read (and no, I’m not that old). It was in an anthology (i couldn’t remember the name) my dad was reading and he thought I’d like the story. I had forgotten about this until writing the newsletter. And the internet never fails: the anthology was edited by Robert Silverberg “Mutants: Eleven stories of science fiction” and yes I ordered it); back to the giant bugs—
***

So, should we be investing in giant fly seater technology or is giant insects just a fiction fantasy? Let’s go down the Rabbit Hole of Research and find out. Click here to read more

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December: Holiday Update

Happy Holidays!

Happy Saturday! Hope y’all are having a good day.

Before we get going, I want to take a few words and thank you all for trusting me with your time, reading my words, giving feedback and encouragement. Hopefully, I can continue to entertain you all. Have a Healthy, Safe and Happy holiday season.

It has been a long and crazy year, and the one thing I tried to do is maintain balance. For me that’s balancing my science research work life, writing life, and family life. Exhausting just writing it!
I was working hard to get you the next edition of the Rabbit Hole of Research, but it’s not quite finished. A number of things came up at work and family, and I didn’t want to send out crap. I would never send out anything that I didn’t feel was worth your time reading. I do put a lot of effort into the research and the writing of the Rabbit Hole of Research. I hope you have been enjoying then and the next edition should be ready next weekend, a nice holiday read.

If you missed an issue (or you are new to my newsletter) go check them out here. They are a fun take on the quirky science in Fiction books and movies.

I have been busy with other projects and marketing. Marketing is the thing no one talks about when you are writing your novel. But, building platforms, like this newsletter, Twitter, Instagram, etc, becomes very important as book launches approach. Also, marketing efforts take up more time than you think. The more you put in the more you get out. With that said I wanted to get this special edition newsletter off to you because I am working with some other authors to share our stories with our networks of readers. So please click on the links below and check out their stories.

Personally, I never imagined that my writing career would start to lift off as it has, and I’d be worrying about marketing or launch dates for novel’s and stories. 2021 will be a busy year with the two releases, January and February, and I will also be working on several new stories. I have been accepted into three anthologies:

1) Moonlight Anthology— A paranormal Romance novella— if you remember a few newsletters ago I was researching werewolves—“Finding Light on The Dark Side of The Moon”—released October 2021

2) Emerging Worlds Anthology—an after isolation novella—“The Cure”—released November 2021

3) Virus Apocalypse Anthology—a horror pandemic Anthology (yes a fictional story)—“Long Way Back Home”—released March 2022

Also, I have been working on a new novel, ‘The Cost of Us” that I will be querying to agents soon and a graphic novel script. And, as early reviews about my novel form Advance Readers come in, I have started to outline a part 2!

And you will be getting your monthly fix of Jotham via the Rabbit Hole of Research Newsletter. I have been contemplating also using YouTube, Twitch, TikTok or Podcasts to bring you more Rabbit Hole of Research. What do you think?

I know this year has been crazy, but are you looking forward to any holiday traditions? Email me and let me know!


This year we put 20 of our favorite holiday movies into a tin Star Wars can (5 movies each) and we have been randomly drawing them:

So far we have watched 5:

  1. Nightmare before Christmas
  2. Let it snow 
  3. A Christmas Carol (1951)
  4. Daddy’s Home (questionable Holiday movie, there was a Christmas in April scene, but…)
  5. Klaus

Follow me on the internet to see what other movies are on the list! Will your favorite make it on our list? Social Links

Where’s the Book?

4 drafts and the outline of Will You Still Love Me, If I Become Someone Else?

So, after I told everyone that I signed a contract to publish my novel—everyone started asking about how the book was coming along, and when they could buy it?

I’d say, “It’s with the editors … or I’m revising.” Their response was, “But, you signed with RhetAskew Publishing in January 2019, where’s the book?”

Frustrated, I’d reply, “It’s coming along I promise.” I love you guys but a lot goes into getting a book published (more than I realized and I was getting into the trenches).
..
I snapped this picture to show a bit of the editing work that goes into the novel after you sign a contract. There are four printed manuscripts in the photo, each representing a major round of editing and/or revisions. Based on editor’s suggestions, beta-reader comments. Since January I have read my manuscript over 7 times (I still get chills when I get to the last few chapters).


So, how’d all this happen, you ask? In January 2018, I started to send queries and hashtag pitches on Twitter—out to agents. Here are the stats: The book was considered a mismatch (I like saying this versus rejected) to 15 agents and 3 publishers. I had two partial request and 4 full manuscript request.


While the manuscript was being considered by the agents and publishers that requested it, I got that email! Late December 2018, RhetAskew sent the best Christmas present, an email offering to publish “Will You Still Love Me, If I Become Someone Else?” I was at work and asked a co-worker to read the email because I couldn’t believe it. Now, a year later, I’m only months away from a long time dream—2020 is going to be fun!

Recently, I signed another contract to have my Romance Comedy Novella included in a Box Set, coming December 2020!

The journey is long and at times arduous, but always keep moving forward. Please stay tuned as the books move closer to production, cover reveal, release dates, book launches, contests and more about the process.

If you want to be in the know, sign up for my newsletter!

Remember the three P’s of writing, Practice, Patience and Persistence! We’ll talk more about these!

Happy writing!
Cheers,

JRA, II