Monday, August 20, 2012

Guest - Judi Fennell

Good morning! Today we have one of our favorites visiting - Judi Fennell, author of a fantastic series of mermaid books and now genie books. Judi will be telling us a bit about how she came to be a writer. I think you'll enjoy this ;-) Oh yes, there's a give away for Judi's latest book. See below to find out how to enter the drawing.

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When Did I Realize I Was A Writer and Why?

Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by today. The question is when did I realize I was a writer and why, and I have to say that I don't know that I ever "realized" it as an entity. I didn't think, "I'm going to be a writer when I grow up" when I was a kid. Writers were "those people;" the ones with the magic sauce that made people want to read their books. It was something "other people" did. Not me. Oh sure, I'd dreamed about seeing my books on the shelves, but it was really a possibility.

How wrong I was. But that was how I was raised: go to school, do well, go to college, get a job in an office and that was life. So I never thought about being a writer, I just did it. I've always written. I have my very first story, written on really big yellow paper in first grade about a raindrop falling from the sky. It was that paper that had the dashed middle lines on it at the bottom so you formed your letters properly, but had a big open space above the writing lines for the illustrations. That was the first. Then, in 4th grade, I wrote Cotton The Lonely Rabbit about a rabbit who was different than all the other rabbits and how she made friends. I got an Honorable Mention in the Caldecott Awards for that book, so I guess you could say at that point, I was a writer. But still, no one could actually do that and make a living, right?

From 5th grade I have a journal with a bunch of stories in it. There's Mr. Magical, a wizard-type dude who wasn't all that pleasant. Then there was the story about the zebra-striped alligators that live in the sewers, and another one about a unicorn. So, I guess I was refining my craft to the paranormal genre at that point.

In 6th grade I remember a combined English and Social Studies project where we had to create a country, and define it's imports and exports, its language and culture and the people who inhabited it.

So there's world-building.

We also had an assignment for English and Science to do reports on animals. If you did three, you got an A.

I did ten. So that's the start of being prolific.

In 9th grade I got my big break. Too bad I wasn't around to enjoy that first brush of fame and adulation. It was the ONE day in the entire year that I was out sick. My English teacher had given us an assignment to write a story. I can't remember specifically what it was, but I do remember the story. It was about a young girl who lived in a light house with her family, back in the days when they used oil to light the wicks. The motto (and title of the story) was: The Candles Must Always Be Burning. Sadly, they were and they caused a fire and everyone died.

Definitely NOT a romance. But there's the emotion.

The teacher read the story to the class without telling anyone who'd written it. It got the highest grade in the class and went into the school newspaper. Everyone, I'm told (since I was SICK that day!), was incredibly impressed and couldn't believe someone in our class had written it. I actually found out about it because so many of them called me after school that day. (This was in the days before texting and cell phones, so this was as viral as a bit of news could get.)

9th grade was also the year my good friend and fellow romance-phile challenged me to write a romance.

70 pages later, I had a finished manuscript. I still have it and it definitely shows promise, but an inexperienced fifteen year old didn't really have the life experience to write an adult romance, but I was on my way.

That way got derailed with college and marriage and jobs and babies. But then one day in 1997 a story idea came to me and wouldn't SHUT UP. Sometimes, that's just how it is with characters and stories. It got to the point that it'd be better to write the darn thing down than keep trying to shove it out of my head. So I did.

But I still wasn't a writer. At least not to me. Writers got PAID for their writing. I was just dabbling to keep the voices in my head at bay (said with all the tongue-in-cheek humor my writing is known for).

But then another story showed up. And then another. And then I joined a writers group. And went to my first conference. And had a pitch appointment (and my first rejection). And I kept writing.

All of a sudden, I realized that I actually COULD be a writer. That people DO write stories and get them published.

What I failed to realize until much later (I'd like to think it was before I sold my first book, but the memory is a little muddled due to the excitement of selling that first book) was that I'd been a writer from that very first raindrop story.

Because a writer writes.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember and I hope to never stop.

I hope you enjoy my stories. My third genie story, Magic Gone Wild, releases this month and I have a series of Mer stories - about mermen who live off the coast of NJ.

I also have a Once-Upon-A-Romance series (think It's a Wonderful Life with Disney for grown-ups), and a debuting series BeefCake Inc. about male dancers finding love in all the best places. The first book, BeefCake & Cupcakes comes out at the end of August 2012.

Visit my website: www.JudiFennell.com for excerpts, reviews, and previews.


MAGIC GONE WILD BY JUDI FENNELL – IN STORES AUGUST 2012

Every Time She Uses Magic Something Goes Terribly Wrong...
Vana wishes she hadn't dropped out of genie training. Now she's determined to get a grip on both her genie magic and her life. But the harder she tries to fix things for her intriguing new master, the more she drives him crazy...

Except There's Nothing Ever Wrong About Him...
Pro–football player Zane Harrison finally has control of the family estate and is determined to put to rest his grandfather's eccentric reputation. Until he discovers that behind all the rumors is a real, live genie who stirs feelings in him he's never known before. The more Zane tries to help Vana harness her powers, the more her madcap magic entangles his heart...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Judi Fennell is the award-winning author of six light paranormal romances, including a trilogy of Mermen-inspired love stories, and three genie-inspired romances. Wild Blue Under won the PRISM Award for Best Light Paranormal from the Paranormal Chapter of Romance Writers of America. A former corporate meeting and convention planner, Judi now writes full time around the hectic schedules of her husband and teenagers. She lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA. For more information, please visit http://www.judifennell.com.

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-- Lynda Again
    To enter the giveaway drawing, leave a comment AND send an email to me Lynda@LyndaKScott.com with Magic in the subject line and your snail mail address in the body of the email. Please send no later than Aug 25. I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, select the winner and she likes lots of names to choose from. So make her a happy kitten and enter the drawing ;-)
   Oh, and check out my review of her latest book, Magic Gone Wild http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-magic-gone-wild.html

   Have a Blessed Day!

8 comments:

Judi Fennell said...

Good morning!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Judi! Thanks for being here today!

annalisa said...

Really enjoyed reading about how you became a writer. Your books are very entertaining! :)

TOPSAIL246(at)aol(dot)com

Judi Fennell said...

Thanks so much, ladies. I'm so glad you enjoy them.

Mary Frances Roya said...

Really loved your story, reminds me of the old 'I dream of Jenie'. This one sound as just as much fun.
Keep writing so I can keep reading.

bn100 said...

Congrats on the book! Nice post.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

donnas said...

Congrats on the new release. Looking forward to reading it.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Congrats to Donna who won the copy of Magic Gone Wild! I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Thanks everyone for leaving a comment!