Take Care of Yourself

I’m getting a physical this month. I get one every year. It is easier to catch problems before they get bad than it is to deal with them when they are out of control. I still remember getting a lollipop if I was good at the doctor’s office. LOL

Do you get regular physicals?


Jill James, author of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series

Deadline Indecision

Today is the last day I’m able to make changes to my latest release. For better or worse, Zombies in the Grass is ready to go. I have this indecision with every release. Do I have any last minute check to do? Did I spell zombies right? Do I want to go over it one more time? NO! It is time to move on to the next story.

No more indecision. Start plotting Ghostly Deceptions and Ghostly Perceptions!

Zombies in the Grass releases March 9th, 2021! Enjoy!!


Jill James, author of the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series

Edit, Format, Upload, Oh, my!

There is a lot more to being a writer these days, or at least, a self-published author. A book is edited. Then it is formatted for ebook and paperback. Then it is uploaded to the vendors.

Once it is up (live) it is a constant watching to make sure it is the price you set, the blurb you wrote (also formatted right), and a myriad of other things, all while writing the next book.

Most days, I’m happy I’m doing this. This has been my dream for a long time, but on days I’m formatting for paperback books; not so much.

Thanks for listening to my rant. Off to format some more!!


Jill James, romance author and self-published entrepreneur

Lots of Birthdays

February is a big birthday month in our family. My dad’s birthday was in February. My brother’s birthday is in February. My Uncle Johnny’s birthday was in February. A nephew has a birthday in February. The son’s girlfriend has a February birthday. Lots of birthdays!!

Do you have one month that has lots of birthdays or anniversaries in your family?


Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies series

The End?

I was hoping to put The End on another book for this blog post, but I’ve got another chapter and a half or so to go. Then I can write The End on Zombies in the Grass, book 4 in the Time of Zombies series.

I was doing the Amazon Ads Challenge and although I learned a whole bunch, I only wrote 10k this week. So another day or so and the book will be done.

Zombies in the Grass is available on preorder and releases March 9th!!

She follows all the rules. He breaks as many as possible. Can they get on the same page in time to stop the zombie horde?

Zombies in the Grass

AMAZON


Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies series

The 5-Day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge

I had wanted to do Amazon Ads for a while, but was afraid to try. What if I lost a bunch of money? What if I couldn’t figure out all the ratios and ROI and other acronyms. Math is not my strong suit, which is funny since I went to college to be an accountant. LOL

So, when the Challenge showed up in my Facebook newsfeed, I decided to give it a try. Bryan Cohen is a great teacher. He walked us through doing an ad step-by-step. You bid small amounts of money and it wasn’t too scary at all. We posted our homework and got tons of feedback.

It is one of those things that you get better the more you do, so the steps are automatic and you remember them by doing them over and over and over. I loved that Bryan told us numerous times to recheck your bids before you pushed the last button. He gave helpful hints and explained how everything worked. I learned new skills with Book Report and Instant Data Scraper. And TONS of rewriting copy to make it exciting, relevent, and give it a punch.

I would totally recommend to all self-publishers to try the Challenge if you get the chance.


Jill James, romance writer and class taker.

Winter Writing

Winter is my favorite writing time. It’s cold and windy outside. Not as much to do but hunker down, get cozy, and write. January to March is my most productive time.

This year I’m finishing up Zombies in the Grass – book 4 – Time of Zombies series, Ghostly Deceptions – book 2 – Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, Ghostly Perceptions – book 3 – Ghost Releasers, Inc. series, and Stolen Shift – book 2 – Shifters of San Laura series.

Do you enjoy the slower pace in the winter? Do you get more stuff done?


Jill James, romance writer

Word for the Year

Every year I pick a word to be my word for the year. Something that symbolizes what I want to accomplish, what I wish and dream for the year.

This year’s word is Completion. This year I want to end 2021 with all my projects; writing and otherwise, completed. No lingering works in progress, no half-finished family trees for family members, no unfinished whatever I decide to start this year. I want to see my projects through!

Do you pick a word for the year?


Jill James, wishing you a Happy New Year!!

End of the Year

Sorry, no “2020 is the year from hell” jokes. I was just thinking about my personal and writing end of the year chores.

Years ago my husband made me Excel files to track sales, word count, and other stuff. I still use them. At the end of each year, I have to update and copy them to make new ones for the new year.

About this time of year, I contemplate. What did I finish? What did I not finish? What do I want to accomplish next year? I lay out what books I want to write for the new year. Are some in the process? Are some plotted? Are some just in the thinking stage?

My husband does end of the year stuff too, for the household. He cleans out his desk drawers. He puts some stuff in folders to save for tax stuff and some gets shredded. He grumbles, but by the time the new year rolls around, he is very happy with his clean desk and office.

Me too.

Do you do any end of the year stuff?


Jill James, romance writer

Another Birthday Over

Yesterday was my 57th birthday. Where has the time gone? As my MIL called it, my “Coronavirus” birthday, which means I only got to celebrate with my husband. We are still distancing as much as possible from the rest of the family to keep everyone healthy. (fingers crossed)

Still, I had presents, and a nice dinner out, and cheesecake for dessert.

Another happy birthday to me!!


Jill James, the birthday girl

Impressions

Over the years of your life, people, places, and things will resonate with you. Will leave an impression on you.

This last week was a hard one in the celebrity world. So many deaths. So many people gone. The one that made the biggest impression on me was John Saxon.

Most people remember him as Nancy’s father in A Nightmare on Elm Street, but Saxon had a long, varied career with movies and television shows for decades. The work of his that made the biggest impression on me was Planet Earth.

Planet Earth was low budget on special effects, but amazing in plot and dialogue. I did not know until I searched for the picture for the movie that it was written by Gene Roddenberry. I should have known with that great plot and dialogue. I haven’t seen it in more years than I care to count, but the movie has stayed with me for decades.

Saxon and a group of men are cryogenically frozen and awake to find themselves in the 22nd century. A world very different from their own and with women as the leaders of a community and men as slaves. Parts of it are funny, like thinking women could make babies without men. Parts of it are serious, of men being slaves and thought of as just brutes for labor and only good for making war. Since a great war must have happened between the time Saxon and men were frozen and they awoke, the women keep their men docile with a drugged wine to be compliant and not aggressive.

Intelligent science fiction that makes you think, my favorite kind.


Do you have a movie that is not necessarily great,

but it made an impression on you?


Jill James, romance writer and lover of science fiction movies

Comfort Reads

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

The other day on the internet I saw a post about watching shows that you know the ending–a comfort watch. In this time of uncertainty, people are turning to television and movies and stories they know the ending to.

Comfort reads. A book you’ve reread a dozen times, but you know the good guy wins in the end, gets the girl, lives happily ever after. There is no stress wondering if it all turns out in the end–you know it does.

I’ve been doing some of that myself. Binge-watching CSI-NY and The Newsroom. Rereading the Plantagenet books by Phillipa Gregory; The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Kingmaker’s Daughter, and The White Princess. Watching movies I’ve seen a hundred times and can recite the dialogue word for word.

There is a warm, comfortable feeling to know how the story goes and go along for the ride anyway.


Stay safe. Enjoy the comfort of your favorite things…..Jill James

Devolution by Max Brooks – book review

I loved World War Z. This book was different. The characters are not likable, but you are left with wondering what would you do in their situation. I’ve thought often that a generation is dying that still knows how to do things, make things. What will the next generations do if they can’t Google it?

 

The vision I got from this book was who are the humans and who are the beasts? When a person or an animal is pushed too far, what will they do to survive?

As I was reading Devolution I kept thinking of Jurassic Park. Dr. Sattler (played by Laura Dern) talks about nature and how it will fight back. Even plants will fight back to survive. A bear or a mountain lion is beautiful on a television show or in a zoo. Not so much when you are facing it on a mountain hike. When you go deep into the forest, you are in their world. You are the trespasser. Never forget that.

1/2  4.5 stars


Jill James, voracious reader