Turn On The Light

I know it’s been a while since I participated in the “We Are The World Blogfest”. The only excuse I have is that I’ve been working on my latest book, Broken. And prepping for all the events coming up in the next two months. You know, normal stuff. I always like to try to be part of it though because it’s a great way to remind myself that there are indeed good things going on in the world, even if it’s hard to see them.

This month I wanted to focus on a comedian known as Sammy J who made an amazing statement about a horrific tragedy. In his comedy series, Sammy J.’s Playground Politics, that is aimed at adults, he helps “children” follow the daily election campaign. He usually pokes fun at politics under the guise of running a children’s TV show. However this time, he dropped the humor.

He takes his time to answer a child’s letter in to the show. In it, the girl talks about seeing people crying on the news and not understanding why, but then her mother turned off the TV to keep her from being scared. However this only made the girl more terrified cause she didn’t know what had happened.

Sammy J tries to explain to the little girl what terrorism is and why bad people do terrible things. It’s honestly brilliant. I know this is aimed at adults and the letter from the girl may or may not be real, but he finds a great way to explain terrorism and hate crimes in such an inspiring way, that I had to share it.

Scrivener Tutorial Series

If you didn’t already know, I post new videos every Friday on my new YouTube account: Marlena Frank, Author.

This week I started doing something I probably should have done a while ago, started a tutorial series on Scrivener. Now I’m not doing this series because I’m being paid to do it or anything, I just love the software so much that I want to share it with other authors! (This is something that you actually see quite often in Scrivener circles haha)

I’ve been working in IT for over 10 years, and I’ve been helping people figure out software for even longer than that. When you’re getting a degree in Computer Science, you tend to have people ask you how to do things with computers a lot. So I realized recently that I could share my love of Scrivener in a way that would help other people. I get to show off features and methods that I use and love, and then hopefully I get to hear how other people use those same features. Which is pretty darn amazing.

So here we have Part 1, giving a basic introduction to Scrivener and where to get it. I also briefly give an overview of the Binder and how I use it to store several books in my current book series.

I hope you enjoy it!


April is Going to be BIG

If you’ve been checking out my Appearances page for this year, then you know there’s a lot planned for next month! In addition to my writing deadlines that I’m working on, I’ve also got three events scheduled! Two of them will be in Georgia, and one will be in Alabama.

Check out the Appearances page for details on locations and times!

Sewell Mill Storytelling Festival – April 6

This is the first year this free event has happened up in Marietta, GA, and it’s going to be a celebration of artwork and books! I’ll be selling copies of Stolen and The She-Wolf of Kanta there with my sister over at Morbid Smile. This is my first event of the season, and I can’t wait!

Alabama Book Festival – April 13

By far one of the biggest events I’ll be attending this year, I was invited to be a guest YA speaker for this free event! I’ll be on a panel YA Science Fiction and Fantasy fiction at 1PM in Venue A, the North Tent. I hope I’ll get to see some of you swing by!

This is the first out of state author event I’ve attended, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. However I’ll be around some absolutely incredible authors like Sarah Lampkin and Laynie Bynum so at least I won’t be going solo!

Copies of Stolen and The She-Wolf of Kanta will be sold at The Snail on the Wall, the official bookseller of the event. I’ll be bringing copies down with me that Friday, so if you’re looking for my books early, they won’t be there until the event.

Book Warehouse – April 27

Finally, I’ll be doing a book signing at the Book Warehouse in Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove, GA. I really loved the eclectic collection of books this bookstore had and they were super nice to help me setup a local signing event! I’m looking forward to seeing my local readers again!

Hardback Edition Copies

I knew a few have reached out regarding hardback edition copies of Stolen. I know my publisher is working on making them available for several recent releases, but I don’t have a date for when they’ll be available. Once they are ready for purchase, I’ll be getting a few copies to bring with me to the events above, but I have no idea when they’ll show up or how long they’ll last! Stolen will be my first book to ever be available in hardback copy and I’m stoked to see it in person!

I’ll also mention that since Amazon has taken over printing copies from CreateSpace, the copies I get can take some time to show up. The 50 paperback copies I ordered took about a month to get to me, and from what I’ve read online, that’s a pretty common phenomenon. So once hardback copies show up, I’ll be sure to let you all know! Make sure you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, cause I’ll likely post there about it first. The earlier you get your order in, the more likely it’ll reach you in time for an event so I can sign & stamp it for you!

Stolen Reviews

Finally, if you’ve read Stolen and enjoyed it, I would be forever grateful if you would leave a review over on Amazon or Goodreads! These are the best places to leave your love for my work, and even a few words saying that you enjoyed it is all that I need.

Thank you once again for the love and support of my readers! Without you, none of this would be possible!

Draft 1 of Broken Finished

Wow, you guys! I can’t believe I finished up the first draft of Broken! This was a tough book to write, both emotionally and logistically since it’s book 2 of a trilogy. On top of that there have been some very emotional events going on in real life which have only made concentrating on this book more difficult. A week or so ago I had to request an extension from my (amazing!) publisher and they were happy to grant it. I hate having to do that. I’m one of those students that always liked to have their work in early if possible.

Now I have a month and a half to get the edits done, which I think is no problem. I know the beginning especially needs some serious work, but I’m very pleased with the ending. One of the troubles of writing book 2 is that it’s tough to know where to end the book. That’s certainly been the problem here. I can’t wait to share this rollercoaster ride with you all! Now I just need to fix some places, fix some characters, and get this beauty delivered to my publisher!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
2/12 – 1,711
2/13 – 2,163
3/2 – 4,692 (!!!)
3/3 – 2,846 on Broken, 560 on Chosen

FINAL Word Count for Draft 1 of BROKEN: 67,485

Progress:
My goodness, this has been an emotional roller coaster for these poor characters. Then they end up facing one of the most ruthless and terrifying creature in the land, so you know it won’t get easier.

Next Up:
Starting Chosen with a very surreal encounter and some long-lasting decisions.

Commentary:
My gosh, you guys, I can’t believe the first draft of Broken is finished! I’ve been plugging away at this book since August 10, 2018, which means it took me 7 months to finish it. Considering that it’s the middle book of the 3-part sandwich of Stolen, I knew it would be a difficult project, but I didn’t realize how tough it would be. I’ve had a great time writing it, and I’m stoked to continue on in book 3, Chosen.

I can’t wait to share this book with you all! It’s definitely different from book 1, but it shares a lot of the same themes and ideas of course. That’s what you want in a trilogy, right? I’m so dang excited to finish up with fixing the structure so I can get it into your hands sooner!

Interview with Heather Kindt

Today I’m over on Heather Kindt’s website for an interview! We talked about my latest book release, Stolen, my novella, The She-Wolf of Kanta, and about what inspired me to start writing. It’s amazing what all you remember when you think back to what first inspired you to pick up the pen and put it to paper. It was a lot of fun!

Click here to check out the interview!
Click to check out the interview!