Guest Post — AE Jones is back!

We are delighted to welcome paranormal romance author AE Jones back to Through Heart Shaped Glasses. AE’s long awaited fifth installment to the Mind Sweeper series comes out next week! Today she talks about one of her inspirations.

How This TV Addict Became a Writer

I am often asked what influences my writing. A great question even if my answer might be a bit of a surprise. I do have a degree in English and I love all kinds of literature, but in all honesty, television is one of the major influences of my becoming a writer. Growing up, I was a TV junkie. You name it and I watched it. And when I didn’t like the way a show was written, I imagined a different ending. Actually wrote it out, so to speak, in my head. And that was the beginning of my ‘writing’. It wasn’t until years later that I started to create my own stories. Even now when I write my scenes, I see them in my head acted out like a TV show.

Where did my love of paranormal and urban fantasy and my decision to write in these genres stem from? That started with sci-fi shows which then morphed over the years into vamps and demons when director/producer Joss Whedon set the stage. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. Shows that were funny one second and dripping with emotion the next. And the humor was smart-funny and so ridiculously sarcastic that it made you laugh out loud.

Where did my love of humor, sarcasm, and angst and applying it to my stories start? See paragraph above re: Joss Whedon.

But one of the biggest influences of television on my writing is that I write series books. TV shows allow you to spend time with the characters who have become your friends and get to know them along the way. It’s not a snapshot in time. A perfect 90 minute rom-com where the hero runs through the airport to find the heroine after realizing (finally) that they are meant to be together. Well, this could happen in one of my stories, but I would have to add fangs and fur and, more importantly, these characters would be seen again in other books in my series. Just as I sat transfixed watching a show and wondering what would happen the next episode or next season (daggone cliffhangers), I write my books in a way that allows me to explore the character not only in one book, but over multiple books.

In my Mind Sweeper series I follow the life of Kyle McKinley, a woman who has the ability to manipulate memories. And that’s a great power to have when you work with supernatural to hide who and what they are from humans. For me, series books allow for the exploration of all kinds of relationships. Not just between the hero and heroine, but between the secondary characters as well. And not all of the interactions are successful or happy. They can often be painful. But the point is to allow the characters to grow, whether over one book or several.

On September 21st, Sentinel Lost, the fifth book in my Mind Sweeper Series, will be released. And in it, Kyle continues to grow and change as do the characters around her. And because I’m writing a series, I am able to delve into my other character lives as well. They want their stories told. And I will oblige them. Ultimately what makes a good book or a good TV show is characters facing conflict. They might not come out unscathed, but readers (or the audience) aren’t looking for perfection. They’re wanting to see these characters, who have become their friends, rise above it in the end.

So television has played a large role in my life as a writer, and I’m proud to admit it!

Sentinel Lost
(Book 5 in the Award Winning Mind Sweeper Series)

How many supernaturals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? For this particular case, way more than Kyle McKinley has backing her up.

When she stumbles upon a dark museum, missing artwork, and a dead security guard, Kyle and her team are thrust into a new mystery. One involving demons. But not your run of the mill demons—realm demons. Tougher, scarier, and banned from earth, they are escaping from the realm and wreaking havoc in Cleveland, Ohio, of all places.

Now the Feds have shown up, and Kyle has to deal with the one person she prayed she would never see again. Dalton. How can she keep the truth of their past from him without jeopardizing the case? Especially when the Key of Knowledge is part of the mystery. The same Key that almost cost Dalton his sanity and is now threatening hers. Kyle is just starting to get her life back together again with Griffin at her side. And now the Fates are forcing her to choose. But when a demon apocalypse looms on the horizon, her only choice is to embrace the Key to save the world, regardless of what it might cost her.

********************

AE JonesGrowing up a TV junkie, AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen, she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural—their angst and their humor. After all, life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

AE won RWA’s 2013 Golden Heart ® Award for her paranormal manuscript, Mind Sweeper. Mind Sweeper was also a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist for both First Book and Paranormal Romance.

AE lives in Ohio surrounded by her eclectic family and friends who in no way resemble any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

Find AE at:
Website: www.aejonesauthor.com
Twitter: @aejonesauthor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/aejones.author1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8190719.A_E_Jones

Find AE’s books here:
Amazon
Kobo
Apple

About Marin McGinnis

A lawyer in real life, Marin McGinnis feeds the more creative part of her soul by writing Victorian era romance and mystery. She's spent almost half her life in a tree-lined, unabashedly liberal suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She's been married to the same great guy for over 20 years, and has one teen-aged son. They all live together in a drafty old house with their two standard poodles, Larry and Sneaky Pete. While her very first book will languish under the bed, the next book, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next two books, Secret Promise and Tempting Mr. Jordan, are also available from Wild Rose Press. Marin currently serves as President of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Romance Writers of America and is hard at work on the next book. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Guest post – AE Jones: When the Beginning Isn’t the Beginning

Our guest today is award-winning paranormal romance author, AE Jones. AE Jones

When the Beginning Isn’t the Beginning

Writers have a number of commandments. Fundamental truths that apply to any type of writing genre or medium. The commandment I’m going to talk about today is this: a good beginning is imperative to the success of your story.

Does that seem a bit too obvious? Maybe so, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If the story does not capture a reader within the first couple of pages (some say the first couple of paragraphs) they will put the book back on the shelf in the library or bookstore. Now that digital sample chapters are one-click away for readers, this truth is even more the case. The beginning needs to draw the reader in.

But hand-in-hand with the whole ‘good beginning’ mantra is another truth: beginnings are very hard to write. Well that doesn’t seem fair now, does it? So how about if we delve into some of the reasons why beginnings are hard to write. Because when we understand the why, we can then learn how to fix it.

  • Backstory. Both a writer’s friend and enemy, backstory is necessary to establish the reason why the characters act the way they do. However, that doesn’t mean that the first chapter should be chock full of what they have done in the past. With backstory we often fall into the trap of telling rather than showing. And telling equates to passive writing, which is not what we want at the beginning of our stories. Often for many writers (myself included) that first draft of chapter one is really a character analysis. If that is the case, then move that chapter into a folder marked ‘characters’ and start again. This time don’t give the reader paragraphs of hearsay or what has happened in their childhood, instead tease the reader with hints of the character’s life through dialogue and action.
  • Starting at the wrong place. This one happens a lot. Some of this goes hand in hand with backstory since as authors we have a misplaced belief that everything needs to be explained up front when it can actually be layered into the story later. Often it’s a matter of finding when the writing starts to ‘click.’ No one is going to immediately write snappy, full-developed scenes when they first sit down and start a new story. But maybe after a few pages or chapters, the story finally comes alive and starts to flow. Don’t be surprised if that’s where your story truly begins.
  • Trying too hard. There is a lot of pressure to write the perfect first line, first paragraph, and first chapter. When sitting down in front of our computer and watching that blinking cursor flash on that empty page, we panic. To help with that panic tell yourself that the first words you write, heck the first couple pages you write are a warm up. They will be re-worked or discarded before you finally have the ‘right’ beginning for your story. If you keep that in mind, typing those first words isn’t as daunting a task.

What I find often happens is that as the story progresses and the characters come alive on the pages, the beginning no longer fits with the rest of tale. Don’t be afraid to go back and rework those first scenes so that they are now in line with where your story has evolved. Any way to make those pages memorable means that you have a better chance of a reader NOT putting your book down until they read ‘the end’. And that’s every writer’s wish. Another commandment, if you will.

AE Jones’ newest release is a box set of two novellas from her Mind Sweeper series:

novellas 3d boxset copyThe Fledgling – A Novella

Vampire Jean Luc Delacroix has been alive for nearly four hundred years. Alive, but not really living. This changes when he meets newly turned vampire, Talia. Feisty and beautiful, Talia is the first female Jean Luc has been attracted to in centuries. But when he finds out she is also a bounty hunter who is interfering with his investigation of a supernatural serial killer, he pushes her away for her and his own good.

Bitten and thrust into the supernatural world against her will, Talia wants nothing more than to do her job. She doesn’t have time to deal with an overbearing, ridiculously sexy vampire. But Jean Luc and Talia butt heads on their single-minded crusade to stop a murderer. And unless they can set aside their troubled pasts and learn to trust each other, they may never have an opportunity to explore their true feelings. Especially when they face off with the killer.

The Pursuit – A Novella

Thirty years after their initial meeting, Jean Luc Delacroix and Talia Walker once again cross paths. After seeing Talia again, Jean Luc’s feelings reignite. This time he will do whatever it takes to make her a permanent part of his life. Talia learned everything she knows about love—and about being a vampire—from Jean Luc. And when she comes face to face with Jean Luc again, she wonders if her continued independence is as important as being with the vampire she still loves.

Before either can acknowledge their feelings, they are embroiled in a deadly case of a vampire draining humans. In the midst of an investigation that threatens the very foundation of the vampire nation, can Jean Luc and Talia finally find the courage to follow their hearts? Or will the killer destroy them first?

Buy links:
Amazon
iTunes
Kobo

You can find out more about AE Jones here:
Website: aejonesauthor.com
Twitter: @aejonesauthor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/aejones.author1

About Marin McGinnis

A lawyer in real life, Marin McGinnis feeds the more creative part of her soul by writing Victorian era romance and mystery. She's spent almost half her life in a tree-lined, unabashedly liberal suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She's been married to the same great guy for over 20 years, and has one teen-aged son. They all live together in a drafty old house with their two standard poodles, Larry and Sneaky Pete. While her very first book will languish under the bed, the next book, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next two books, Secret Promise and Tempting Mr. Jordan, are also available from Wild Rose Press. Marin currently serves as President of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Romance Writers of America and is hard at work on the next book. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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