The first draft of our first novel was shockingly terrible. We’re not talking bad. We’re not even talking dreadful. We’re talking, rip your hair out, chuck your laptop out a window, scream at the heavens awful.
Jenna wrote the first draft when she was fifteen. It was near the beginning of her love of working out, and she liked to blare music while jogging on the treadmill. Her mind wandered as she jogged, and her music lit the spark of creativity. She began imagining a storyline and embellished upon it to pass the time. A month later, she had an entire novel in her head. The natural thing to do was write it down.
Fifteen-year-old Jenna was in writerly heaven. She had inspiration coming out her ears and words flying from her fingertips. What could be better, right? Basic knowledge of spelling, grammar, and sentence structure would have been nice. Teenaged Jenna finished writing the, then 60,000-word, novel in under two months. She went on her merry way and forgot all about its existence.
Enter Heidi, Seven Years Later
The friends were FaceTiming one cold, blustery March evening when Heidi mentioned Amazon’s big Storyteller contest and lamented the fact that she had a zillion great ideas and no motivation to write them. For the first time in nearly seven years, Jenna thought about that book she had scribbled down with such feverish ease. But Jenna’s computer had been taken out with a virus that had swallowed the novel whole. The girls moaned about this for a while before realizing Jenna had sent Heidi a copy some three years prior. However, this did not spark instant hope. Since then, Heidi had gotten a new computer and no longer had a copy of the book. But, true to best friend nature, Heidi never deleted emails from Jenna, and after a brief search, she was able to recover the nearly lost novel. If it weren’t for her, the story would still be in oblivion.
Jenna still had some reservations about sharing her work with the world, but Heidi wouldn’t hear any of it. She was convinced her best friend had written a masterpiece with a fascinating plotline and relatable characters. So, Jenna relented and agreed to Heidi’s plan to edit the book and format it for publication.
The girls examined the horrifying mess of a novel and nearly lost their nerve. The novel, lamely titled The Heroesat that time, featured the same characters and plotline as it does today. But back then, the story had terrible dialogue and missing quotation marks, atrocious and arbitrary paragraph breaks, bring-you-to-tears punctuation and spelling, and thousands of unnecessary rambling words and sentences. It also lacked visual descriptions of any kind and a certain special spark of intrigue. You see, Jenna had written the book as, brace yourselves, a non-fantasy novel!
Jenna and Heidi spent several months in early 2017 trying to get the disaster of a novel contest ready. Heidi did all of the early edits, proofreading and formatting that first draft into something resembling a book. Jenna read through every draft, eliminating excess words and rewriting entire chapters to achieve a better flow. The girls stayed up all night the day before the contest would end. It was only as they struggled with Amazon’s self-publishing platform, Kindle Direct Publishing, that they realized they had overlooked something big. The contest depended upon their book being bought while the contest went on. As they were entering their novel on the very last day of the contest, they hadn’t a hope of winning. The aspiring authors shut their laptops with snaps of finality and retired to bed.
The next morning, they were at it again. They had nearly an entire year to get the book ready for the next annual Storyteller contest. Heidi convinced Jenna to write fantasy into the story, which sparked an idea for a sequel. They tossed out The Heroesas a title and tried out Take Controlas an alternative. This idea seemed even worse than The Heroes, which sent them right back to square one. Hope came knocking in late July when Heidi dreamed up Eight Days of Hell. Jenna tried out Seven Days with Satanas a title for the sequel she was hard at work writing by this point, and this snowballed into an eight-book series called “Countdown”.
The young authors eventually threw out the countdown theme in favor of a series title with more fantasy/thriller vibes, “Curse of the Blood Moon”. Up until this point, the book had some supernatural creatures interspersed throughout but no overarching fantasy storyline. Thus, the curse was born! In keeping with this theme, they renamed their novel Blood Moon’s Fury. They still had ideas for seven more books, though. What to do with them? Write seven more books, of course!
Heidi happily set to work dreaming up titles, new characters, and cover designs for future books, while Jenna continued to write the sequel to Blood Moon’s Fury, Blood Moon’s Servant. Jenna spent the summer of 2017 writing and editing in her stifling studio apartment in Vancouver, as well as re-taking biochemistry.
It took a whopping two and a half years before Blood Moon’s Furywas ready for publication. Jenna, juggling university, work, and a social life, edited the novel over and over and over every chance she got. She researched writing and editing tips until her mind ached and reread the book so many times she is now able to quote large chunks by heart. Heidi, going through life transitions and working fulltime, reformatted the novel from first-person present-tense to the much more professional third-person past-tense. She continued to proofread every finished draft and meticulously formatted the paperback and Kindle manuscripts to match Amazon’s requirements. She also corresponded with a cover designer to create an exciting and engaging first image.
Now, with their new website launched and a physical copy of Blood Moon’s Furyat their elbows, both co-authors are ready to share it with the world. For a limited time, we are offering the eBook free of charge. Pick up your free Kindle copy today! Blood Moon’s Fury is available on thirteen different Amazon marketplaces in three versions so far, paperback, Kindle, and Braille. Heidi is creating a large print version for low vision readers, and Jenna is corresponding with an audiobook producer. Both large print and audio versions should be available within a month.
Thank you for reading our very first blog post. Our book is much more interesting than our lives, we promise!
Get cozy and grab a good book.
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