Author: Jenn Lyons

Mirror, Mirror

So I turned myself to face me But I’ve never caught a glimpse Of how the others must see the faker I’m much too fast to take that test. -Changes, David Bowie Now that I’ve talked about how you shouldn’t try to make everyone happy, let’s talk for a minute about criticism. Now, I don’t mean reviews, although certainly reviews may contain criticism. Usually reviews are just critical, which isn’t the same at all. When I say ‘criticism’ I mean an honest appraisal of one’s work, made early enough to actually do something with the information. When an author sends a book off to a beta reader or a story editor, they are looking for critical feedback. This is about that, especially when someone tries to skip that step. We tear ourselves down all the time, don’t we? We succumb to the tiny goblin voices whispering insecurities into the dark corners of our souls. Writing is about ignoring that voice, and pressing on regardless. The problem with teaching yourself not to listen to that goblin who …

How to Find an Agent in 4 Easy Steps

So here’s how to find an agent, as far as I’ve been able to piece together: Step 1: Write a book. No, don’t just start writing a book. Finish it. Revise it. Edit the hell out of it. Then start on the NEXT book, because this whole process is going to take a while. Keep writing while you search. Step 2: Craft an excellent query letter and send it out to agents who would be a good fit to your work. Step 3: … Step 4: Land an agent! Okay, okay, so I admit it:  I have no idea. Really, I don’t. I know the first two steps are important, but I haven’t a clue what step 3 looks like. The fun plot twist? I now have an agent. So I should know. Right? RIGHT? I find the whole thing especially funny because I’d pretty much given up on the idea of finding an agent. I have on several occasions described the process of landing an agent as being akin to trying to find a date …

Cover Reveal: Making Shiva

So there it is: my cover for the second book in my science-fiction series. Here’s the stuff on the back: THE NEW GODS HAVE ARRIVED. Now that the Solar Independence War is over, retired war hero Mallory MacLain is busy partying away her career opportunities and ignoring her chances to better the universe through scientific discovery. When a cult of personality rises up around a new leader in the nascent League, Mallory is too lost to her own self-destructive urges to recognize the danger: she can ignore the politics, but that doesn’t mean the politics will ignore her. Now, with her research stolen, her reputation in tatters, and her most trusted friends turned against her, Mallory is sentenced to the most notorious prison in human-occupied space. What she finds on Sheol Station makes her question everything she believes about the destiny of the human race. With the League only just freed from alien rule and now on the cusp of becoming thralls to a new slave master, Mallory must answer the question of what she’s …

Manuscripts Sitting in a Drawer

So it’s been quiet… It hasn’t been, but I admit I’ve been pretty bad about blogging, so how would you know what insanity has been in my life? 2015 was a dead year in that regard. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, but nothing showing on the surface. Let’s chat a bit about what’s been going on, just between us. The first thing I want to mention is that the sequel to my science-fiction space opera, MAKING SHIVA, is on its final review rounds before an expected March publication. (I’ll post the cover here shortly.) I am anxious to let this one into the world, not only because it marks another advance in dear Mallory’s story, but because it also marks the last of the ‘old books.’ What are the ‘old books’ you ask? Well, many years ago, I got this idea into my head that I was going to be a writer. It was a bit of a lark, but I love books, love them to an embarrassing degree, so when …

Cover Reveal: Fractured Days

When I asked to help out with the cover reveal for the new book by Rebecca Roland (one of my fellow writers at World Weaver Press) I thought: absolutely! Rebecca’s a sweetheart, as well as an amazing talent. So a little about the new book: Malia returns home the hero of a war she can’t remember. The valley burning under the Maddion’s invasion, the fate of her late husband, the way she resolved the long-time distrust between the Taakwa people and the wolfish, winged Jegudun creatures–all of it has been erased from her memory. Malia hopes to resume training as her village’s next clan mother, but when the symbiotic magic that she and the Jeguduns used to repair the valley’s protective barrier starts to consume more and more of her mind, she’s faced with the threat of losing herself completely. A powerful being known as “the changer” might hold the solution to her vanishing memories. But the Maddion’s new leader, Muvumo, also seeks the changer, hoping the being will cure them of the mysterious illness killing off his people. Meanwhile, Muvumo’s bride …

Women of the Wasteland – Mad Max: Fury Road

It’s been many years since I watched the first Mad Max movie. Honestly, I don’t remember it that well. I recall it as a low-budget revenge tale in a quasi-dystopian urban landscape (unlike later movies, government and law enforcement still existed, society had not collapsed.) Max Rockatansky as played by Mel Gibson has such a strong accent he is almost unintelligible, and women are largely absent except to be rescued, raped, or killed at various points in the story. At no point in this tale do women have even the tiniest bit of agency — they’re victims, period. Most of the time, they don’t even have the dignity of proper names. My main impression of that first movie is how stunningly post-apocalyptic it was NOT. Where are the crazy outfits, the mad nomads in the desert? Mad Max isn’t a lone ronin wandering the wastes, he’s a highway patrol cop with a boss yelling at him to do his paperwork. I think it can be argued that the first Mad Max movie is a kind of cinematic prologue, an origin story, …

Before the Dark Knight: Gotham

In all the movies, in all the cartoons, in all the comics, never has anyone done as perfect of job of capturing why Batman exists. Batman exists because Gotham exists, and Gotham is the Heart of Darkness. The city depicted in this TV show is so corrupt, so morally bankrupt, so beyond redemption, that the creators of this show are answering a question I never even realized I was asking: why would Batman put on the cowl in the first place? What made him who he becomes?

New Release: Blood Sin

Zander Sin is the bad boy of rock-n-roll, known for his wealth, his temper tantrums, and his love of hedonism, but to K&R expert and newly born maran vampire Jackson Pastor, Zander Sin is something else: murderer, monster, and kidnapper. After Zander’s Whore of Babylon tour comes to Los Angeles, Jackson also learns that Zander Sin has a grudge with Jackson’s family that goes way beyond money or power, and stretches all the way back to ancient Rome. Zander may be on everyone’s hit list, human and supernatural alike, but when Jackson learns that Zander’s keeping his younger sister Monika prisoner, he finds himself face-to-face with the most objectionable of outcomes: being forced to help Zander Sin get what he wants. Even if it means Jackson may have to betray everyone he loves to do it. You all can rest easy. I am done publishing books for 2014. (I published 3 books this year. If you went back in time to tell 20-year-old me this information, 20-year-old me would have mocked you for telling unbelievable …