Plotter or Pantser

The age old question for writers. Do you plot? Or do you pants? Which is basically write into the mist.

I’m a plotter. I’m also a linear writer. I start with Chapter 1 and finish with The End. I don’t write chapters or scenes out of order. I don’t write a piece of dialogue because it just comes to me. I know how the story starts with the characters in place. I know some of the things that will happen to them on the journey. I know how it will all wrap up at the end.

Still, surprises do happen. Characters I never dreamed of make an appearance. Things will happen that make me wonder if the end will happen how I think it will. Ah, the joys of being a writer.

My best tool for plotting is posterboard, Post-Its, and a brainstorming buddy.

I love seeing the colors in my office. Blue for hero POV, Green for heroine’s POV, Purple for antagonist POV, Yellow for locations or details of scene, and Hot Pink for passion moments.

This plotting board was for Dangerous Shift, a shapeshifter paranormal romance that is still one of my favorite books I’ve written.


Jill James, romance writer

If it doesn’t belong to you…

don’t take it. I need to vent, people. At midnight I was on the phone to my bank to cancel a transaction I didn’t do and an hour on hold the next morning to get Barnes & Noble to realize I didn’t order a bunch of movies. Then I spent the day taking my debit card off websites and changing passwords everywhere. Grrrrr! Arghhhh! Now I’ll have to add a new debit card when it arrives and verify to B&N before I can order anything else. Maybe they should have made the POS verify who he was?!!!

My dad told me “if it isn’t yours, don’t pick it up.” It is such an easy concept, everyone should try it. If it’s not yours, don’t take it.

I’ve worked hard for what I have in life, you can’t have it. Simple. Try it sometime.


Jill James, romance writer

Little Moments

This year I want to enjoy the little moments of life. The beauty of the outdoors, the relationships in my life, and getting my body in shape to enjoy the moments of life for a long time to come.

Watching the snow fall for hours as it covered the patio and walls and fences was breath-taking. At midnight it was as bright as a coming twilight with the moonlight glimmering on the white, white snow. We just laid in bed and gazed out the glass door and it was mesmerizing.

Enjoy the moments, Jill

 

2019 – Happy New Year

For years I would do New Year’s Resolution. About February they were dust in the wind. Then my friend gave me a Wishing Pot. Each New Year’s Eve I sit down and open it up and read what my wishes were for the year. Some come true, some don’t, and some happened that weren’t in the Wishing Pot at all.

wish pot

This past New Year’s Eve I got my wish pot off the shelf and opened it up. Imagine my disappointment to find no wishes inside. The wish pot had still been packed away last New Year’s Eve after the move to our new house and it was months later that my office was finally in order and the little pot on a shelf.

 

 

But, now it has new wishes for this coming year. 1 writing-related, 1 health-related, and 1 personal. It is funny how I won’t think about those wishes until it is time to check them next New Year’s Eve. Happy wishes to everyone for 2019 to be all you want and need it to be.

What is your wish for 2019?


Jill James, romance writer

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Most times people take this time of year to kick the past year to the curb, glad to see it go. They are looking forward to a bright, shiny new year. Although, I will be glad to greet a new year, 2018 was very good to me. I published 3 books, I tried something new ( Kindle Scout), and best of all, celebrated my first year in my brand-new home.

Look back with fondness and greet the new year with love and a sense of adventure.

Happy New Year to all, Jill James

After Christmas Events

Now that Christmas is out of the way, I have a few things going on. Hope you will check them out.

Smashwords End of Year Sale

Again, I’m taking part in Smashwords Annual Sale. Go to Smashwords and check out all of the great books for bargain prices and even FREE! I have Love in the Time of Zombies set at FREE and Dangerous Shift at 75% off.


Twixtmas Takeover

This takes place on the Love in a Small Town Facebook page from December 26th to December 31st. Hence, betwixt Christmas and New Year’s we will be partying on the FB page with games, and prizes, and fun. I’ll be there on December 30th at 6 pm Eastern time talking about my Lake Willowbee Series and asking questions and giving out prizes. Join us at Love in a Small Town on FB.

 

 


Also, Book 1 in the Time of Zombies series, Love in the Time of Zombies, is on sale until the new year. I’m working on Book 4 to release early in 2019, so get caught up in the zombie apocalypse now for just 99¢ for Book 1.

AMAZON

 


Hope everyone had a wonderful holidays and is looking forward to 2019!!

Jill James, romance writer

Our Anniversary–for the house

In our family we celebrate our house anniversary–the day we moved into our house. In our old house, it was St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. So, no corned beef and cabbage for this Irish family, we had a nice steak dinner.

Today is the first anniversary of our new, built just for us, house. So we are having a nice steak dinner, red potatoes, salad, rolls, and wine to toast our first year here in Reno. Can not believe a whole year has passed since we got the keys and moved from our apartment with several inches of snow on the ground and soooooo cold.

Happy Anniversary to our home.


Do you celebrate in offbeat ways in your family?


Jill James, romance writer

Decisions, decisions.

A writer’s world is full of decisions. Titles, characters, plots, plotting or pantsing, 3rd person POV or 1st. My dilemma at the moment is what to work on next.

I have three W.I.P.s (Works In Progress) at the moment. Do I add to the Time of Zombies series with book 4 (Willa and Danny’s story) or add to Ghost Releasers, Inc. with books 2 and 3? (Andrea and Luke/Donna and Rafe) I’m loving each of these stories and excited to add to each series. But I can’t seem to settle down and just write.

I had really thought to work more on them during Nanowrimo in November and into December here with all the presents shopped and wrapped and decorations done, but it just isn’t happening. I think I will write every December and every December I don’t. So the plans for the new year will be 3 books and several novellas.

Happy writing and reading, Jill.

Christmas ornaments

I love decorating the Christmas tree each year. Last year we were in an apartment getting ready to move into our new house so we didn’t decorate at all. We were in a new house with almost no furniture and didn’t have our decorations(in storage). We drove to see family and didn’t stay home for Christmas Eve and Day.

This year we got out everything we own for the holidays. It was fun to see the family ornaments after missing a year. The little ones of popsicle sticks and foam the kids and grandkid made over the years. The old ones passed down from generation to generation. The ones that represent a person or a place we’ve been. And the new ones we get each year to make the year.

My mother-in-law gets us a new one each year too. They are beautiful crystal and silver and bright. This is this year’s one!

Do the ornaments on your tree have special stories too?

 


Jill James, romance writer

Release Day – In My Dreams

Can’t believe it has been a month since the Authors of Main Street released Christmas Wishes on Main Street. Now it is time to release In My Dreams as my own new release. Juan and Jessie’s story was such fun to write.

Soldier Jessie Ortega wishes to go home for the holidays, but she never dreamed it would be as a wounded vet unable to walk. Physical Therapist Juan Montoya wishes he could help his best friend heal and walk again, but the damage may be more than he can fix. Sometimes you need more than just wishes to get a Christmas miracle. Sometimes you need a little love and magic.

 

Available on AMAZON for only 99¢

So, curl up in your favorite chair with a hot beverage of choice and settle in for a clean, wholesome, sweet, friends-to-lovers tale of Christmas wishes coming true.


Jill James, romance writer

Giving Thanks

Of course, we should give thanks every day for all of the people in our lives, our health, our bountiful riches, but sometimes we need a nudge, a reminder. For me, that is Thanksgiving. A day to sit with family and friends and reflect on all you have received in your life. Give thanks!

From my house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Release Day – Christmas Wishes on Main Street

Christmas is full of wishes and dreams and so is the newest boxed set from the Authors of Main Street. As our usual, we took a theme and each of us wrote what that meant to us…Christmas Wishes.

My story is In My Dreams. Wishes are powerful. Be careful what you wish for. It is Juan and Jessie’s story. A friends-to-lovers tale. I loved writing a story where they didn’t realize what they’d had in front of them all this time.

Seven sweet, clean and wholesome tales of the power of wishes at Christmastime. Enjoy!!

Available on AMAZON for just 99¢ or FREE with KindleUnlimited

Check out the other authors in the set!

Lizzi Tremayne

Carol DeVaney


Jill James, romance writer and believer of wishes coming true.

Who is ready for #nano?

Otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month or November for those of you who aren’t writing a book. I’m jumping in again. I’ve done it 6 or 7 years now, won once or twice. The idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

For this year’s book I was going to do book 4 of the Time of Zombies series, but once I got my series bible done for the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, I decided to work on books 2 and 3 instead while I work on the series bible for Time of Zombies and do book 4 of that series in December and January. Doing that, I should have 3 books ready to go out in February or March at the latest of next year.

So, for this year’s Nanowrimo I will work on Ghostly Deceptions and Ghostly Perceptions to go with Ghostly Intentions which is already available as an ebook. Once I have all 3 done and out, I think I will make them into paperbacks as well.

Are you doing Nanowrimo this year?


Jill James, romance writer (jill-james at http://www.nanowrimo.org  )

Never Forget

Originally posted September, 10, 2009 on my blog

Sometimes September 11th, 2001 seems like yesterday and sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago.  You find yourself dividing your life into before and after 9/11.

We had just moved into our new house a few months before the event and it added to the disorientation to be in what still seemed a strange house, in a strange neighborhood, and in strange times.

My son was still in elementary school and I spend the early hours unsure whether to send him to school or not.  Sure, we lived in an itty, bitty town so nothing would probably happen but I didn’t want him out of my sight either.  I remember he stayed home 2 or 3 days until the principal called the parents and asked them to please send the children to school so they could get back to normalcy.

Remember the date. Honor the victims. Salute our soldiers.

The best way to remember is to have a family plan for emergencies. Do you have a plan?

Jill James

Autumn is Coming

At least here in Reno, Nevada it is. Looks like in the 80s most of this week and in the 40s first thing in the morning. The trees are starting to turn orange and red. The sky is a vivbrant blue and wispy clouds scutter across the vista.

I love summer but it is awesome to live somewhere with 4 actual seasons. Loving it.

I’ll be putting out my September newsletter as soon as I have my newest book cover, so if you want to be among the first to see it, subscribe to my newsletter. http://eepurl.com/hvtn-/


Jill James, romance writer

The Meg – movie review

Meg by Steve Alten has always been one of my favorite books. When I heard the movie was out I was beyond excited. Most of the time, movies do not do the book justice. This time I was pleasantly surprised. The Meg (movie) is not exactly like the book but it is good on its own.

Jason Statham (he will always be Handsome Rob to me – The Italian Job) brings the spirit of Jonas Taylor to the screen, along with his own quirky personality. I loved the cute moments between Jonas and the little girl.

There are some scary moments where I jumped in my seat, the shark seemed so real and BIG!!!

The cast was excellent in portraying the excitement of scientific discovery and the costs that come with messing with nature. I would see it again and will definitely get it in Blu-ray when it comes out.


Jill James, romance writer and lover of movies