13 reasons you’re not as successful an author as you should be — Jim Kukral

Indie Recon 2015 was last week. I watched and listened to a bunch of amazing authors, book designers, and industry people, but this video/speech by Jim Kukral resonated the clearest. I think many people are guilty of a few of these reasons. A couple hit close to home for me as well. Enjoy!


Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance author
off to go write the next book and to NOT play Candy Crush Saga. LOL

LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300Now available in eBook and paperback!

Is XYZ a good publisher?

“(Let me put on my writer hat) Okay, listen carefully! AFTER you get offered a contract is NOT the time to ask everyone you know, “Is XYZ a good publisher?” Do your research before you even SUBMIT to a publisher. They might say yes, you’ll be all excited, and that time is not the time to be checking them out. (In case you couldn’t tell, LOL, this is one of my pet peeves.)

“Make sure you check out a publisher before and after you submit. –Catherine Chant, author of Wish You Were HERE

Things are moving pretty fast in publishing land these days. The great publisher of six months ago could be filing for bankruptcy this month. A great tip-off is a website that was excellent when you submitted and today–not so much. My first stop is always Preditors and Editors before I submit.

“Look at their website from a customer perspective. Would you shop there? Is it appealing to look at? Is it easy to use? Are the book covers attractive or amateurish? How easy will it be for readers who don’t know you yet to find your book?” –Catherine Chant

These days anyone can throw up a website. Make sure a publisher has spent time making theirs inviting. The #1 question: would you shop there?

“Find out what they do for advertising, as well, or if they expect you to do it all yourself. If they do advertise, make sure they’re advertising to “readers” not just other writers, and that it consists of something other than just social media. If they do no advertising or if it’s just FB/Twitter, that would be a red flag for me.”  –Catherine Chant

Advertising is a big thing in publishing. If all they do is FB/Twitter, I can do that myself. A publisher, e- or otherwise has to bring something to the contract that I can’t do myself, or don’t want to do myself.

“Buy a couple of their books and look at the quality of the writing and the editing. Typos or other mistakes would be another red flag for me.” –Catherine Chant

I would also add, check their covers. Are they attractive? Do they make you want to buy them? Check new releases–how are they ranking on Amazon?

So, ask yourself what you require from a publisher and make sure they deliver before you sign on that dotted line.

Big thank you to Catherine Chant for letting me use her comments. You can find out about Catherine and her books at: https://catherinechant.wordpress.com/

Jill James, proud author with The Wild Rose Press and self.

Tops in the zombie genre

I’ve been on a ‘zombie apocalypse’ kick for a few years now. I love movies, tv shows, and books. Here are some of my faves:

dawn of the deadTop serious zombie movie: Dawn of the Dead
My favorite of the ‘of the Dead movies. It features a kickass heroine, Ana, played by Sarah Polley. That it takes place in a mall is just bonus points. The characters are well-defined and the seriousness of the situation is quite clear in the storyline.

zombielandTop funny zombie movie: Zombieland
If anyone can make the zombie apocalypse funny, it is Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisneberg. The whole idea of the rules of survival is awesome and so true-to-story. Added bonus of the appearance of Bill Murray.


walking dead

Top zombie television show: The Walking Dead
Like, duh!! This is some seriously good television. The writing is awesome, the actors are stellar, and the zombies rock!!


world war zTop serious zombie book: World War Z by Max Brooks
Brooks broke the mold with WWZ. This book and his survival guide should be must-read for any zombie fan. The movie was good by itself but nothing like the book. I have to get the audiobook!!


married with zombiesTop funny zombie book: Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
There is not a dull moment in this book or series. Sarah and Dave are a riot, dealing with marriage issues in the midst of the apocalypse. Petersen knows how to tickle a funny bone.


central outbreak responseTop new zombie author discovered: Central Outbreak Response: Genesis by RJ Kennett
Kennett is a new to me author and he had me from page 1 of COR: Genesis. It is both a homage to the zombie books that have gone before and a unique tale all its own at the same time. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the sequel.

patient zeroTop zombie apocalypse hottie: Joe Ledger
In the zombie apocalypse, I want Joe Ledger protecting me! Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry was my intro of Joe Ledger, a man who gives new meaning to the term: hottie!! Getting the newest Joe Ledger book this week!


Do you have any zombie favorites?

Jill James, off to go work on Time of Zombies series, Book 2!

MLB – Opening Day 2015

Baseball Equipment Laying on GrassBaseball!!! I love Opening Day. The season is new, the possibilities for greatness are infinite. Anything can happen. Any team could go all the way to the World Series. On Opening Day everyone starts with a clean slate.

I feel that way every time I start a new book and every time I publish it and put it out into the world. Anything is possible. Any book could be a best seller–even if it is only a best seller among all my other books. :) Love in the Time of Zombies is doing great and I want to thank each and every person who bought a copy. I hope you enjoyed my view of the zombie apocalypse.

I’ve enjoyed the ZA so much. hahahaha Now I am working on Book 2, Michelle and Teddy’s story. If you’ve read LITTOZ you know who they are, if you haven’t yet, check it out and find out who they are!!

Hopefully Spring has sprung wherever you are and you can enjoy the new season and the fresh start of growth, warmth, and renewal.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance


The Walking Dead Season 5 Finale

walking deadI love The Walking Dead. The writing is superb, the acting is stellar, and the zombies are ooey, gooey. LOL

Sunday was the season finale. The census on the loops and boards seemed to be 50/50 of whether it lived up to the hype or not. I enjoyed it a lot. I would have liked more zombie kills and maybe one or two (important) people dying. But the idea of ‘what does it take to survive the ZA’? was well-answered. Some people don’t deserve to live.

The episode also had a teaser of Fear the Walking Dead, this summer’s spinoff of TWD. It will show the beginnings of the virus that caused it all with a whole new cast in Los Angeles. Since Rick (the POV guy) for TWD was in a coma during the beginning, now we will get to see what it was like in the scary first days.

If you are missing zombies and all, why don’t you read Love in the Time of Zombies , prep for the ZA, and know that I’m working on Book 2, The Zombie-Hunter’s Wife.

Walk with the dead, Jill James