Monday, February 25, 2019

10 Tips for Writers: Slump Climb - The Writing Jungle

At times all we need
is someone to point the way, to motivate us when we’re feeling as though our
writing world is crashing down on us.
Here are some tips to
help you out of a slump.

10 Tips for Writers: Slump Climb - The Writing Jungle

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Interview with Janie Frianz

Today I have the honor of interviewing multi-published author, Janie Franz.

Janie, thank you for your time. Let's begin.

Who are some of your favorite authors?


Gregg Hurwitz, Zena Henderson, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Clive Cussler, and Nancy Springer, to name a few.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?


I wrote bits and pieces when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I wrote my first short story when I was 12. I continued to write little short ditties until I wrote the novelette, The Bowdancer. That generated my first full length completed novel, The Wayfarer’s Road. I wrote more and pulled out bits and pieces to expand them into full novels. However, before I was a published novelist, I did a lot of academic editing and non-fiction ghostwriting for clients before I became a freelance journalist.

What 3 words describe you as a person?


I’m honest, loyal, and talkative.

What 3 words describe you as a writer?


I’m seasoned, creative, and dedicated.

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?


I petsit/housesit and do academic editing and business ghostwriting. I also do as much dancing as possible, do gardening, see live bands, and explore ruins as I can. I also like good mystery, adventure, and sci-fi movies and I read when I can fit in the time.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?


I loved books all my life. Even though my mother only had a third grade education, she wanted me to have books. So at every book fair at school, I always got a bunch, even though we were poor. I usually bought books of short stories. I do remember reading a short chapter book called Blue Willow, a very sad story about a poor little girl and her love of a Blue Willow pattern plate. We had some at home. The book spoke to me because it was about someone like me who had a similar fascination with the plates. But her story was different because her circumstances weren’t like mine.

Describe your desk.


I actually have an office in my new rental with a new office chair and ottoman—and even a big table to use as a desk. BUT I still work with my laptop on my lap wit my feet outstretched, either on my bed or on the huge day bed I have in my living room that I use as a couch. I spread all my notes on either side of me. I have lots of pillows against my back and my butt never aches sitting there.

Who is the main character in Ruins Legacy?


Kate Ferguson

What’s her story?


In Ruins Legacy, she is an anthropology professor at a university in Phoenix AZ.

Where/when does the story take place?


Today. Arizona

How did the story come to you?


I wrote the first few paragraphs of Ruins Legacy right after I completed Ruins Artifacts, the second book in this series. But it took me six years to do the research I needed to do and let the story change during those years. I knew there would be a third book because there was another story to be told. As I know there will be a book four.

Who is your target audience?


Any readers. Surprisingly, I was pigeonholed as a romance author early on. The target audience for most romance readers are 20-40 year old women. Young men read my books. Women of all ages read my books. One of friends gave on of my fantasy books to young son. (She said he skipped over the love scene.)

What makes your book different from other similar ones?


I think my background in anthropology helped shape this book and my experience with some native people. Though I’m not a horsewoman, I do appreciate those who are and I respect horses. They figure prominently in this book. Also, there are some psychic and spiritual concepts in this book that are different from other books.

What do your fans mean to you?


I’m just happy people read my books and enjoy them. I especially appreciate when they write me about them.


Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?


Read everything you can and write as much as you can. I found that the more I wrote, whether non-fiction or fiction, the better I became at my craft. When I do academic editing, I have a different voice I am helping someone shape. It’s more formal and intellectual. When I do business ghostwriting, it is often personal as if speaking to someone one-on-one. When I do other types of virtual assistance, I have a very precise and technical tone. And when I write a novel, even they have different voices. My novels have a formal, high fantasy tone with more formal speech. My contemporaries are more informal where I draw from my experiences out in the wide world. So read. And write as much as you can, every day if possible.

Thank you, Janie, for your time and for the in-depth interview. Greatly appreciated.

Janie's next release is book 3 from her Ruins series:

Kate Ferguson’s life is crumbling around her as she is shoved out of her ten-year-old son’s life as he prepares for his testing to be the next shaman. Relegated to babysitting a pregnant woman she doesn’t even know in an unfamiliar place, she is bombarded by her son’s growing abilities and her own, dark secrets, strange revelations, spiritual trials, and an intriguing female ranch hand who challenges everything she knows.

Available at AMAZON | B&N | IBOOKS | KOBO |   

To celebrate, we are offering book 1, Ruins Discovery, at a super deal.
Now ONLY $0.99 for a limited time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Brainstorming a Novel Outline with Lea Schizas - The Writing Jungle

Registration ends tomorrow evening. Last chance to sign up for my Brainstorming a Novel Outline Workshop.

Brainstorming a Novel Outline with Lea Schizas - The Writing Jungle

Monday, May 7, 2018

Update on Muse Online Writers Conference

This is a post I added to the Muse Online Writers Blog, and since many of you have been attendees in the past, thought it necessary to add it here as well.


Morning everyone. Hope you have an awesome weekend. I'm coming in very quickly before power goes off again (severe winds had us in the dark since last night.) to give you a quick update.

I'm in the process right now of getting us a spanking new forum for the Muse Conference. Difference is this is now the Muse Online Year Round Workshop with free and some paid workshops with professionals to guide you. The forum isn't set up but I wanted you to please go to this link:

and sign up for my newsletter to have up-to-date info about upcoming workshops and forum news straight in your e-box in case you miss info here. The subscription box is to the right on homepage. 

The newsletter subscription is a 2 part process. Once you sign up you will get a confirmation email you must click on before the Thank You post comes your way. Please make sure to check your spam folders. Thanks.

Also, as a back-up, you can bookmark my The Writing Jungle site and go to the top menu and click on MUSE ONLINE WORKSHOPS where I'll be posting titles, presenters, times, and other info directly in there. It's blank right now so have patience. :)

Please feel free to share this with other writers so they're in the know, as well. Thank you.

Just letting you know this blog (meaning the Muse Online Writers Conference blog, not the publishing house blog) will be deleted end of May and all info about the Muse Online Workshops will be posted from now on directly in The Writing Jungle site and newsletter. No use duplicating in several areas. 

Thank you and looking forward to meeting everyone once again in our new forum.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Interview with J.D. Waye

We're thrilled to have with us today the author of The Shadow People series, talking about her third book in the series, Dark Ambitions. Thank you for your time, JD.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are too many to mention, but the authors that influenced this book the most are GRR Martin, Anne Rice, Frank Hebert, Mary Shelley, JRR Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, and Diana Gabaldon.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?
I’ve always been a writer. It’s kind of like breathing. You have to do it to exist.
When not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy spending time with my family; reading fiction and history; watching the magic of ideas being transformed into movies. And cooking. Everybody enjoys good food.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember my older sister reading The Hobbit to me, opening a door into that alternate world, and never wanting to close it again.

Describe your desk.
Well-lit, tidy, cosy, comfortable, with a few treasures.

Who is the main character in Dark Ambitions?
Chago Cordaro

What’s his story?
He’s a young man whose mind is filled with morals and ideals, having a hard time implementing them in the chaos of his life.

Where/when does the story take place?

1890’s Spain, France, and Andorra

How did the story come to you?
Sometimes a story emerges from a single image that starts it all:

Two shadows moving over tiled rooftops against a star-lit sky backdrop. One was chasing the other. Catching the criminal became an important goal. And I asked myself, who are these people?

Who is your target audience?
The epic fiction reader, paranormal/supernatural fan, historical fantasy reader, anyone struggling with the impact of emotional turmoil.

What makes your book different from other similar ones?
The struggles are all too human, but it’s a unique world.

What do your fans mean to you?
It is absolutely amazing when a reader connects to the imaginary world I’ve created. When they choose to invest their time and emotional energy.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?
Inspiration comes from the whole world around me – trees in the fog, coins in a jar, wind turbines on a hilltop, a blood-red full moon. They create a mood. And that mood generates a scene. Linked scenes generate a story. Everybody loves a good story.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?
Start with writing about what you know, where your passion lives. Learn the craft behind making a story appear effortless, while engaging its audience. And most important: never give up.

Dark Ambitions
Paranormal Historical Fantasy

A new recruit’s monster-hunting job threatens not only his life and sanity, but the lives of everyone he loves. 
Available at