Camp Nanowrimo 2021

April is the beginning of Camp Nanowrimo. It is a little looser than regular Nanowrimo which happens in November. In April, you set your own word count goal, you work on something already started, or work on several projects at the same time.

This month I’m working on finishing Ghostly Deceptions, book 2 in the Ghost Releasers, Inc. series. If I finish the first draft before the end of the month I’ll also work on Ghostly Perceptions, book 3 in the series.

I made a practice cover to keep me inspired during the month. This will not be the actual cover, I have a cover artist for that.

Do you do Nanowrimo or do you have any plans for April?


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

Cover Art Day

I love cover art day. It is the day I have the appointment with my cover artist to make a cover for one of my books. Today we will be working on the print cover for Zombies in the Grass, my newest release. Even though I have the ebook cover already, it is still exciting to see what Elaina Lee will do for the back cover, the fonts, and the colors. Since she did all my covers, she makes sure all the books in a series go together. Have I told you how awesome she is?!!

 

 


Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies series

Release Day!

Nothing is exciting as publishing your first book, but #21 comes in pretty close. The Time of Zombies series have been my most exciting books to write. I love zombies. Movies, books, television shows.

Zombies in the Grass was so much fun to write. Willa Zara is all gung ho, army, follow the rules and Danny Lopez is ‘they are more like guidelines’ let’s break them, especially when he doesn’t agree with them. The other zombie books took place in various places in California I was familiar with. For Zombies in the Grass I headed up into the Sierra Nevada mountains to Donner Lake. The husband took me on a photo opportunity there to get pictures for inspiration for the story. The place is beautiful. The lake is crystal clear. An idyllic place (except for the snow and zombies I put there.) If you get the chance, check it out.

I hope everything loves Willa and Danny’s story as much as I did.

Available today at Amazon, Apple, BN.com, Kobo, and Smashwords. Coming soon in paperback.


Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies 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

Just One More Week

When you start writing a book it seems like release day will be soooo far in the future you can’t even see it with a telescope. But as you near the release day it rushes forward like an avalanche and there is no stopping it.

Zombies in the Grass, book 4 of the Time of Zombies series is almost here. Just one more week. This is Danny and Willa’s story. If you’ve read the rest of the series there are some nice tidbits from couples of books 1-3 and the boys of Rogue Vantage. Along with the gang are some new people; good and bad.

I hope you will enjoy walking with the dead, Jill James

Preorder at $2.99, two weeks after release it goes up to the regular price of $4.99

ZOMBIES IN THE GRASS


Jill James, author of the Time of Zombies 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

Zombies in the Grass

She follows every rule. He breaks them as much as possible. Will they get on the same page to defeat the zombie horde?

The army is Willa Zara’s whole life. It has given her structure, discipline, and a family. When Danny Lopez has received one order too far, he deserts and takes the conscripted children with him. When danger strikes too close to the army base, Willa and Danny will have to decide which side they are on.

Opposites attract, or so the saying goes. What Willa and Danny have flashes like lightning starting a wildfire. Will it burn all in its path or lead to love in the time of zombies?

Zombies in the Grass is book 4 in the Time of Zombies series. Now available to preorder.

AMAZON APPLE BN.COM KOBO SMASHWORDS

Release Day is March 9, 2021!!


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

My Mistletoe Hero – Release Day

Today is release day for My Mistletoe Hero, the story I have in the boxed set, Christmas Heroes on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street

I enjoyed getting to know Tara Early and her boys, Joel and Robby. They live in Mistletoe Valley, a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains. My Mistletoe Hero is book 1 in the Mistletoe Valley series.

The story is about being a hero; not because you think you are, but because you don’t think you are. We all have the capacity of being a hero. We each can rise to the occasion and help others before thinking of ourselves.

I hope you will get My Mistletoe Hero and discover Mistletoe Valley!


Jill James, romance writer

Holiday Traditions

Every family has them. The things you must do. The foods you must eat. Even the order things must be done.

When I was first married, the husband’s mother and grandmother were in charge of Thanksgiving. Over the years that changed and now the sister-in-law does Thanksgiving and we do Christmas. Usually…

But this year is different. How many times have you had to say that in 2020?

With all the restrictions, it is not possible. I want to be thankful for what I have and not resentful of what we are missing. But it is hard! Everyone says, “skip this year so we can all be together next year.” Let’s be truthful, shall we?! Some of us will not be here next year, Covid or No Covid. It is a fact of life. And it hurts.

So, I will try to be thankful, but in my heart–I really want to spend time with my family!!


Jill James, romance author

A Month of Birthdays

November is the big birthday month in our family. There is the nephew, the grandson, and the daughter. We fit Thanksgiving in there too. LOL This year grandson’s birthday (#18) is on Thanksgiving Day.

There was a grandpa’s birthday in there too, before he passed in 2001.

Is there a month with lots of birthdays in your family?


Jill James, author of My Mistletoe Hero in the Christmas Heroes on Main Street author anthology

Snow 2020

The first snow of the season is almost magical. So fresh and clean. This one came overnight, so it was as bright as midday outside. It has been a long, dry year here in Reno. The snow was very welcome.

There will be more snow in Nevada (fingers crossed) but the first is the best.


Jill James, romance writer

The Thing – horror movie

I love horror movies. One of my favorites is The Thing. I’ve seen the original black and white version on Creature Features, a horror-movie show broadcast in the San Francisco bay area back in the 70’s. Late night Saturday movie watching with my dad is one of my favorite childhood memories.

My favorite is the remake with Kurt Russell. I believe he is the most underrated actor in Hollywood. The special effects in that movie are still excellent in this day of CGI overload. The movie took suspense to a razor-edged line. What is it? Where is it? Who is it??!!

Recently, I caught the remake-remake (LOL) with Mary Elizabeth Winstead who will always be Lucy McClain for me! (BIG Die Hard fan) It was very good. Winstead was tenacious and outstanding in her role. The CGI was excellent. But, I didn’t feel the tension and suspense of the Russell one. The creature was seen very early and very quickly they realized what they were dealing with.

So, I felt the missing suspense made it a good movie, but not a great movie.


Jill James, horror movie (really any movie) lover.

Nanowrimo 2020

Another year of Nanowrimo!!! I love doing Nano. This will be my 9th year, I think. 50k of words in 30 days.

I’m a little behind this year. I did editing on Sunday and other author stuff on Monday so I’m starting with 345 words.

But it doesn’t matter how many words you get. Not really. Just have more words at the end of the month than at the beginning of the month.

Onward and upward.

If you Nano, find me at https://nanowrimo.org/participants/jill-james


Jill James, writer

Evil Night

Evil Night: a poem by Jill James copyright 1997

Trolls and specters
haunt this witches night.
Rising moon the color of blood
beware the awesome sight.
Gruesome and evil,
too terrible to tell.
The Devil is coming!
Have you a soul to sell?
Unborn child
of a mother unwed.
Of this the carrion
will tonight be well-fed.
Angels of mercy
have no place here.
For their pristine souls
they had best beware.
For this eve is the night
that evil rules the land.
All will tremble in fear
of Satan's wrathful hand.

Happy Halloween!!