June #Giveaway: Free Book & $25 Amazon Gift Card

I love summer. The warm weather and long days make me want to go on adventures, have new experiences…and give things away!

This summer I’m doing a giveaway. Each month (June, July & August) I’m going to give away a free digital copy of A Shine That Defies the Dark and a $25 Amazon gift card. All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter link below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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My Path to Publication

As an aspiring author, I never passed a “How I Got My Publisher/Agent” article without scanning for a magic key. That one thing I was missing that would cast open the doors to the world of being a published author.

I cringed every time the interviewee said, “my journey didn’t come by traditional means”. I love a solid plan with clear direction. How could I possibly read, map and implement a plan of action based on happenstance? And so, I continued to query—and obsessively review interviews!

Then, one day, it happened. I received an offer of publication. How did it happen? Well…um, not by entirely traditional means.

My 2015 NaNoWriMo project was a young adult (YA) bootlegger novel. After revisions I began to query it and entered some on-line contests. In 2016 I was selected as an alternate and had the great opportunity to revise my manuscript and query letter with the help of two wonderful authors and an amazing editor. I’d become acquainted with one of the authors in online groups and the editor in another contest.

In the meantime, I met a local author who also worked for a small press. I went to her signings, asked endless questions at SCBWI events, and joined her book club (all of this was not nearly as stalker-ish as it sounds). Even though we became friends, I didn’t submit to her because I didn’t want her to feel I “expected” anything from her—except the information. During an online pitch contest she favorited my pitch and I submitted my YA bootlegger/romance to her. The publisher ultimately passed on my novel, but with good feedback.

A year later that publisher, Crimson Tree Publishing/Clean Teen Publishing, started a romance imprint. I was asked if I was still seeking publication for A Shine That Defies the Dark (I was!). I re-submitted my manuscript to the managing editor and—after a few changes to make my novel better suited for a new adult (NA)/adult romance—I received an offer of publication.

Getting the email of acceptance was a surreal experience. Although you dream about the moment, once it happens it really is like waking up from a dream.

So, for those of you skimming this article looking for the magic key, I’d say the important lessons I learned in my path to publication are:

  • Make real connections with people. Ask questions, support others, take an interest in their non-writing lives as well as their writing/editing/publishing/agenting.
  • Consider the advice/feedback you’re given. You don’t have to take it all, but you should consider it, especially if you’re hearing it from several people.
  • Reconsider your genre. With a few changes would your novel be marketable in another genre? I’d never considered my YA bootlegger novel to be an NA romance. And yet…
  • Query widely. Consider agents as well as small publishers.

The best of luck to all those who are still on their journey and a heartfelt “Thank you” to everyone who helped me along the way.

 

 

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Meet the Characters: A Shine That Defies the Dark

A Shine That Defies the Dark comes out in two days!

For fun, I thought I’d share some images and information that I put together about each character. These are images I used when developing the characters and, in my mind, these truly are the characters:

Ophelia Beaumont Breaux:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remy Granger:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmaline Beaumont Breaux:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eloi Granger:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sirus Granger:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dixie Bajoliere:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can get your digital copy of A Shine That Defies the Dark from all major retailers.

You can also get an autographed print copy from my website (available 12/14/17).

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A Shine That Defies the Dark Giveaway

 

A Shine That Defies the Dark releases in one week (12/5/17)! How can it be coming up that soon?

In celebration of the upcoming release I’m hosting a giveaway.

Enter now for a chance to win a signed copy, a flask, and a selection of 1930’s sweets.
Follow the link for the Rafflecopter entry.
A winner will be announced on 12/20/17.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is just days away.

What is NaNoWriMo, you ask? NaNoWriMo is a yearly event in which writer’s set a goal to write an entire novel (or 50,000 words) in thirty days. I know, it seems insane. I think that every time I make the commitment to do it. But I keep signing up.

If you’re wondering if NaNoWriMo is for you–if you can really do it–the answer is yes.

There are still a few days left to prepare. I’ve found my best NaNoWriMo time is when I think about my novel beforehand. I do some research, plan my characters, locations and the general direction I want my novel to travel. I usually start with a loose outline that includes plot points and twists I want to follow. Depending on the amount of preparation time I have, my outline may be far more detailed, but all I need is a “roadmap” to keep me on track.

Some people prefer to use the “pantser” method (ie- fly by the seat of your pants, no outline, make it up as you go, write with the wind). I have “Pantsed” in the past, and while there is something exciting about working like that, I find it easier to keep track and progress in a linear fashion when I have an outline. I’ve also discovered it’s easier for me to revise (and there is a lot of revision to come after November!) when my initial writing had structure.

If you want to try NaNoWriMo the main things to keep in mind are:

  • Nobody judges. Its fun, its a challenge, its a supportive community of writers with a shared goal.
  • Don’t–I repeat, do not–edit your writing as you go. The goal is to get 50,000 words down. They don’t have to be pretty. They don’t even have to be spelled correctly. You’ll come back and make corrections later. You may spend months–or longer–revising this novel. Some people call this their “first draft”, some call it the “zero draft”. I prefer to use the Anne Lamott term “shitty first draft”. I even save my file as “.SFD”. To me, it’s the most basic way of owning and being okay with the horrible quality of this draft.
  • What’s most important is that at the end of the month you’ll have a completed (or nearly complete) first draft of a novel. Even if you don’t quite make it to 50,000 you’ll have a good start on a novel.
  • Save research for the revision phase. As soon as you go online to research something you’re going to get sucked into a vortex of lost time. Enter a place mark/reminder within the text, for example “Moss draped from the [find out what kind of] trees…”. (as a bonus…all those place mark words help reach the goal!).
  • Enlist your family to help you meet your goal. It’s one month. Meals can be easy, the house can be cluttered, the kids can watch movies or play video games and your spouse can freely watch whatever they want (for my husband it’s a month of all the sports he can watch!).

Most important is to keep in mind that this goal can be reached. On December 1 you’ll look back and realize what an amazing thing it is to have written an entire book in one month. And you never know where that book will take you. There are a number of best-selling novels that started as a NaNoWriMo project. My own 2015 NaNoWriMo project was A Shine That Defies the Dark, which is being released on 12/5/17.

For more information on National Novel Writing Month check out the NaNoWriMo website and, if you want to “buddy” up, look for me there.

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A Shine That Defies the Dark #coverreveal

 

A Shine That Defies The Dark 
Jodi Gallegos
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

 

Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Darkis a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.

After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.

Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.

When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.

 

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS LIST

 

Author Bio: 

Jodi is a YA writer, black belt, registered nurse and case manager for a busy home health agency. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

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Crazy, wonderful good news

Something amazing started happening in early August, and I’ve been so ridiculously busy with work and, well, life, and I haven’t had the chance to post about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been telling everyone who will listen, I just haven’t had the chance to sit down and type up a formal post about the fact that one of my dreams is finally coming true: I’m going to be a published author!

My 2015 NaNoWriMo* project, A Shine That Defies the Dark, is going to be published by Changing Tides Publishing on December 5, 2017. It’s a little bit crazy how it all happened, I’ll definitely post more about that soon. However, I’ve just spent three days updating my website, figuring out how to set up a newsletter and updating all my social media accounts so they all seem like they belong to the same person! I am NOT tech savvy, so it’s been a test to my level of determination (lucky I’m as stubborn as I am technologically challenged).

There are lots of goodies to come. I’m excited about the book release and I want everyone else to share in the excitement. There will be giveaways, and chances to score some extras (maybe a peak at a deleted scene…). Please sign up for my newsletter, so you can be notified of all the giveaways and fun events leading up the release of A Shine That Defies the Dark.

The cover reveal is scheduled for this Tuesday, September 27, 2017.

Also, and I just found this out about 30 minutes ago, my book is already listed on Goodreads and you can read the blurb here.

 

 

*For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November and the goal is to write a full novel (at least 60,000 words) in 30 day!

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Novel Writer’s Playlists

I cannot write in silence!

A quiet work environment causes my brain to send out little stimuli-seeking tentacles that grasp at any, and every, other noise in the world. Once I’m distracted by the guy with the leaf blower, the birds, the plane flying overhead, the lady walking the corgi and my own dogs shifting their position (noisily, I might add!) on the hardwood floor I’m far too distracted to write.

I’ve found that a well planned playlist keeps me in the “zone”. I set up a playlist for each of my projects and listen to them while writing. Each of the songs I add to my playlist helps me set a tone, be absorbed by my character’s world, or dwell on an emotion that’s crucial for the story I’m trying to write. Sometimes my novels, or some aspect of them, are actually inspired by a song.

For my novel A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK my musical inspiration & playlist go back several years to a trip my husband and I took to New Orleans. After dinner one night we asked the waitress for a recommendation on one thing we should do while in the French Quarter. She told us about Preservation Hall, a small venue on a cross street. “You probably won’t even see the sign. You’ll just see people standing against a building. Get in line behind them.” And so we did. And it was one of the most amazing live shows I’ve ever seen. It was a small place, standing room only, hot and humid and amazing! After the show (we stayed for all three sets) I bought a CD and set it aside, knowing I’d want that someday.  I used several of the songs on that disc for my playlist.

I also discovered a band called The Civil Wars. Several of their songs are very raw and gritty and had the perfect emotion for a character I was creating: one who was making very wrong decisions, but for the right reasons. Here is the link to Devil’s Backbone by The Civil Wars, which ended up being my “theme song” as I wrote.

A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK is set in 1930 in southern Louisiana. If you’d like to listen to the playlist I shared it to spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/22gnz77drieouoye7mjr6hzci/playlist/011GFzuXFwlNBLwxxTUFrQ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>My playlist for A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK (releasing Winter 2017 from Changing Tides Publishing).

 

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