Pitfalls to Avoid: Mary Sue Characters

Dragon Soul Press

You: “Oh man, people are going to love my female MC. She’s a total badass!”

Friend: “Why?”

You: “Because she has all sorts of magic at her disposal, she can fight with swords, she’s got a genius-level IQ, and she’s beautiful. Guys just swoon for her, but she’s a virgin, saving herself for her True Love.”

Friend: Rolls eyes. “Of course. What does she do?”

You: “I’ve got a whole series of books planned. She’s from a fantasy world, but she’s transported to our world in the 21st Century. She then learns about guns while wielding magic. She has to fight Neo-Nazis, werewolves, evil corporations, and gives a speech at the U.N. on women’s rights. She doesn’t need a man to save her.”

Friend: Sighs…loudly. “That’s it? What’s her flaw?”

You: “Umm…flaw? Oh yeah, she was abused a lot by her parents. She doesn’t know how to love. She can’t…

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A Year’s Worth of Updates

Well, it’s been a very long time. Almost a year, in fact! Quite a lengthy stretch of time for someone who used to blog often for eight years straight. I can’t guarantee I’ll be back to the same amount of posts, but keep an eye on this space for upcoming news. For those who have stayed on as followers, thank you! This is an extraordinarily long post so grab the beverage of your choice and pull up a chair. Feet propped up? Here we go.

First up, Dragon Soul Press. After years of having the Fantasy Writers group on Facebook and publishing anthologies so foundling authors could gain publishing credits to help further their careers, a new traditional publisher was born. This happened shortly before I disappeared from this blog. I threw myself into work and have built DSP into an amazing publisher that currently caters to over 200 authors, growing by the day. You can view all of the titles on the website or follow the Facebook page for the latest.

DSP has been featured in Writing Magazine, UK’s largest and bestselling magazine for authors. DSP also appears on multitudes of other websites, such as Duotrope, The Horror Tree, and The Grinder. There are far more I’m sure we don’t know about yet, but each one is extremely exciting and a testament of how far DSP has come in a short time. Most new publishers find themselves closing their doors within the first few months. Thankfully, due to the amazing writing community and the fantastic team behind the publisher, Dragon Soul Press will be around for many years to come. Dare we say generations?

Second, J.E. Feldman. Though my own writing has slowed down quite a bit due to working two full-time jobs and having a very introverted life, I have still accumulated a whopping thirty-one publications as of this post. Six books a year is still a reality. I’ve been very honored lately to be personally invited to join multiple anthologies. I have also been getting so many co-authoring requests that there is now a carefully managed list of potential authors to team up with. It’s an incredible feeling!

As usual, I’m currently working on several different projects. At the forefront is a novel called Quest of Angels. I snagged the premade cover from Atlantis Book Design and the book immediately began writing itself. It shoehorned its way into my schedule earlier last year and is currently still undergoing a rewrite. Publication is tentatively planned for later this year.

The sixth book of the Witch Hunter Chronicles is coming slowly, but surely! It is still planned as a thirteen-book series and all of the covers have long since been acquired. If you haven’t caught up with this series yet, start the journey here.

I have taken a break from the Cassandra Avocet series because it didn’t gather as much interest as originally hoped and there are many other fantastical things to write. If readers want the third book anytime soon, they are welcome to petition for it sooner.

Considering it has been a long time since the second book of the Arbedenion Trilogy has been published and my writing style has drastically changed, I am seriously considering doing an entire rewrite and rebranding of the first two books. The overall series is outlined for at least twenty-four books and I would have more peace of mind updating books I wrote at fifteen. Since I can’t fit it into my schedule anytime soon, this could almost be considered a trunked project.

Other trunked projects include titles that may not be familiar unless you have been an excellent stalker:
Rogue PrincessDeath Gem of GarzaBattle for Nanbet | Deadly Prize | A Second Life Lived | Written with Love | Fallen Skies | Cursed | Queen of the Sea | Ember | the Godmother Diaries series | Veracity | Torn Between | Siren’s Calling | Misery | Once Upon a Dream | Ranger of Death | Blue Moon | Forgotten | Castle of a Thousand Dreams |

Now that depressing bit is over, let’s focus on what will be coming relatively soon:
Quest of Angels | Haven | Beastly | Tempted | Hunted (Witch Hunter Chronicles #6) | SoulGrace | Instinct (featured in Coffins & Dragons anthology) | Reign of Queens (anthology)| Revenge | Legend | Organic Ink: Volume Two (poetry anthology) | Exile | Decadence | Lost Love (anthology) | Lethal Impact (anthology) |

None of the above are in any semblance of order, except I would like to have Quest of Angels wrapped up and ready for release sooner rather than later. It isn’t nearly as old as some of the other projects, but it is the next solo release I am most excited about.

As usual, I could always use some beta readers for my work. If you’re interested, join my street team on Facebook. Believe it or not, The Dragon’s Den has still been active as I seem to spend most of my days on Facebook compared to all other social media. It’s where I interact with the most amazing people and feed my cover art obsession. With other 700 covers (honestly, I lost track shortly after that), my fingers may very well start bleeding from all the writing I am expected to do. With the DSP team growing, I will be reclaiming some time for myself and getting these projects done.

Speaking of which, I need to get back into writing articles for TSR Games and other sources. As you can tell, I have the “squirrel” effect when it comes to new projects. I want to attempt everything at one point or another, especially if it is able to benefit the writing community in the end. Patience is a virtue.

Third, real life. I went from being an IT analyst for Whirlpool to playing secretary again for the family auto body business. Things worked out for the better because their company ended up closing down the location after I left.

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Copyrighted © J.E. Feldman

We went to Alabama and picked up our beautiful little beagle. We’ve had her a year now and though full grown, she’s just under twenty pounds. She gets along most of the time with my male cat, but my female cat avoids her at all costs. My two hamsters died. Well, one died. The other kept wanting to be Houdini and ended up getting himself lost. Pretty sure he became a cat snack in the end. Lesson learned. No more tiny pets.

On a week-long trip to Alabama, I stayed at a gold camp with my mom. We had an amazing time and were outside the entire time. We chickened out and got a cabin so we had a/c since it was summer, but well worth it because we were well-rested for all the shenanigans. The picture you see is one I took while gallivanting in one of the five creeks. It’s photography worthy, right?

I’m planning on going again because while there are many other amazing places to go (and yes, I’ll get to them eventually), the camp was so calming and most importantly had limited WiFi capabilities so I was genuinely forced to not work. Don’t get me wrong, I still snuck off in town when we went to pick up a handful of groceries, just to make sure nothing had caught fire while I was gone. Everything was handled amazingly by the DSP team and I’ll always be extremely grateful for them!

While I put on a happy face for everyone and work nearly non-stop, it’s been extremely hard after the sudden death of my fiancé. I have PTSD that is going untreated due to lack of insurance and it’s still not possible to enjoy media entertainment that I used to adore (example is Fast and Furious and Transformers). I’m still unable to finish shows we had started watching, at times have anxiety while driving, and find myself catching my breath when I see motorcycles. It has been a little over a year and a half. Everyone handles things differently and should take all the time they need. I now speak from the experienced side of that.

To help cope and keep busy (I’m sure you think I’m crazy by now and can’t possibly have any free time left), I’m planning on joining a huge local Mustang group soon. I bought my second one earlier this year and am a little tired of hydroplaning around (because of all the rain, ha) and hunting down car shows on my own. I think it will be nice to have a bunch of gear-heads to hang out with again.

In the meantime, I have also been crocheting blankets of various sizes: from baby blankets to king-sized. Some people will be getting them for gifts this year (I know, spoiler alert) in time for the “cold” Florida winter.

Have you read any good books lately? I’m finally finishing up the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas since a new friend I met in a record/bookstore helped me out with some spoilers so I wouldn’t have a PTSD episode. Thank goodness for other bookworms, right? Other than the amazing new manuscripts and anthology submissions pouring in for Dragon Soul Press, I haven’t been reading anything new except for technical books so we can expand the business further for plays and television scripts. It’s all very exciting!

I’m also back in college; I originally finished in 2013. Taking three courses simultaneously and loving every minute of it. Yep, I’m one of those weirdos who enjoyed learning and excelled in school. It’s been extremely helpful in the long run!

There are actually more updates, but I feel like readers may be losing interest as this is already so lengthy. As I said before, thank you very much to those who have remained followers and who take the time to read this. Feel free to leave your comments below to be answered by yours truly!

Until the next post.  ♫dramatic music♫

Writing Updates

Another year is more than halfway gone. Despite many terrible events, it appears my life Just Keep Writingis back on track. This coming month is NaNoWriMo and while I plan to write quite extensively, I won’t officially be joining in the mayhem. If capable of pulling this off, I expect to have around 65k-75k words written in the span of a month across four books. To see the full list along with the cover reveals and giveaways, you’ll need to join my street team.

After those four books are completed, I will be ahead of my writing schedule and will continue surging ahead. By working on multiple projects at once, I am more capable of churning out a higher word count by switching between them as needed. With so many trunked stories from over the years, there is no way I’m going to be running out of material any time soon.

 

Writing Updates

The writing has been flowing quite successfully lately.

The word count for “Beastly” has been doubled and surpasses 6k words at the moment. It’s coming along faster than expected and a final word count estimate is coming into sight. It’s looking like more of a novelette as each day passes.

“Strangers from Enamyre” has progressed to Chapter Seven and came to a screeching halt again. Trying to quickly rectify the situation and get back on track. Rereading the two previous books in the series to help get myself in the proper mindset.

The “Shadows of the Abyss” anthology is coming along nicely. The official book cover was finalized yesterday. In the process of editing the submissions accepted and once those are finished and being formatted, a cover reveal/release event will be created on Facebook. The link will be provided here when the time comes.

Currently accepting submissions for three anthologies in the Fantasy Writers group on Facebook – Villain, Paranormal, and Dark Fairytales. All of the information for them is listed in the files.

Other than that, keeping up with writing blog posts here and for Pleasant Reads. Ensuring the author pages are updated and ready for the newest releases. Looking into putting up more book reviews so stay tuned for those as well.

Until then, happy writing!

Writing Updates

Let’s start with writing updates and links. Oh yes, lots of links, for I have been very productive in these last few months. Listed below are places I am contributing to, along with what exactly I contribute. Please take a look at each of them and give support, if you’re able.

  1. Mind Worth Fighting For – https://www.mindworthfightingfor.com/
    This website is run by a gal who is very dear to me. It’s a campaign against depression. It’s a non-judgmental place where you can get the answers and support you need from an amazing person who has taken the time during her own struggles to research and provide support here for others. Under the Team tab of this website, you will find me listed as Editor-in-Chief.
  2. Pleasant Readinghttp://pleasantreads.com/
    I came across a Facebook post requesting article writers and before I knew it, I was uploading my third post. This website has a lot to offer for readers and writers alike. This is where I’ll be posting How-To articles, book reviews, author interviews, and so much more.
  3. Steven Capps – https://stevencapps.com/
    Here you’ll find several helpful writing articles. Several of mine will also crop up every now and then.

This is sounding more and more like a resume rather than a blog article, so let’s shift gears here.

The “Shadows of the Abyssanthology and Villain anthology deadlines are today. Both have tentative publishing dates set for August. The Paranormal anthology deadline isn’t until the end of next month.

In between work and writing articles, I’m working on many of my own projects. The two currently on the forefront of my massive list are still “Beastly” and “Rogue Princess.”

Beastly” is to be published under my pen name Vanessa Bane. It’s a very new version of Beauty and the Beast, where the ‘Belle’ character is actually the beast. This story is flowing rapidly and it’s all I can do to keep up with the characters. I’m looking at a publishing date sometime later this year.

Rogue Princess” is a trunked story of ten years or so and will be published under my author name J.E. Feldman. It has been through some serious changes, including being melded with another story of similar caliber. Currently, this story has a 50/50 chance of being published this year.

There are so many other projects I currently work on and off right now, they are hardly worth bringing up unless a publishing date is near in sight. Everyone has been so excited waiting for “Strangers from Enamyre: Book Three of the Arbedenion Trilogy” to receive a publishing date, but as stated before, the book has been giving me hell to write and it has to be perfect. Even though it is staged for an eleven-book series at this point, many things need to be tied neatly into a bow before this book can end.

To keep tabs on the latest in writing, please follow these pages on Facebook.

J.E. Feldman – http://www.facebook.com/DragonQueen321
Vanessa Bane – http://www.facebook.com/VanessaBaneOfficial

Back in the Swing of Things

It has been a long time since the last post was made here, but things are going to be returning to normal. The reason for the delay were dramatic life-changing events going on in my life that were uncontrollable. For that, I apologize. I am returning with a new job, a new home, a new car, new publications, and an entirely new outlook on life. Most of the details are to come in the next blog posts, but for now, only the positive.

“Shadows of the Abyss” and the Villain Anthology deadlines are this Friday. We have received a decent amount of submissions for both. Once the open calls close, I will be working hard with my cohort to get both ready for publication.

“Strangers from Enamyre: Book Three of the Arbedenion Trilogy” will possibly need to be pushed back another year. This book needs to be perfect and it has been giving me hell to write.

Current projects as of this post are “Rogue Princess” and “Beastly.”

There is now a newsletter to follow for J.E. Feldman. The sign up is linked below, but I will have a proper introduction post in the near future.

As for everything else, you will just have to wait and see!

Newsletter Sign Up – http://tinyurl.com/JEFeldmanNewsletterSignUp

Big Book Signing in April

I have been waiting a few months for a big event happening this month at my local library. Several authors, including myself, will be hosting a large book signing event at the 26th Street South Manatee Branch Library in Bradenton, Florida, on Saturday, April 16th, from 9am to 3pm. I will be ecstatic to have you come out to see all of us there and to chat with you. It’s a little over two weeks away so mark it on your calendars! I will have copies of The Dragonscale, Shadow Blossom, Curse of the Heroines, Shadows of the Mind, and Hazardous available for sale.