Stretching in Several Ways

Stretching As a Writer

Ever felt stretched just a tad too far? That’s how I’m feeling lately. There’s always a trade-off in energy lost when you travel and disruption on both sides of a trip. October was a phenomenal month for which I am very grateful. I’m a good kind of tired, but I’m still tired.

As you may recall, I received an invitation to attend the Montana Humanities Festival of the Book as one of seven inspirational authors. I’m still a debut novelist until January, when WayFarer, the second book in my Tales of Faeraven series, releases. It was quite an honor and a little terrifying to be featured in an author panel alongside literary giants Tracie Peterson and Janet Chester Bly. In case you’re wondering, it went well. In fact, we are told that the book slam we indulged in during our panel stirred up a lot of interest. For the book slam each writer read two lines from the same page in her book to create a story. The result was hilarious. I laughed so hard I could barely read my lines. I’d love to do something similar again because it definitely connected us with our audience. Other presenting authors included historical novelist Miralee Ferrell, rising author Susan D. Hill, farm-fresh romance author Valerie Comer, and author Angela Breidenbach, our mastermind.

Getting to know everyone in our team prior to the book festival during a wonderful retreat meant a lot to me. I could have listened to historian Jim Peterson for hours. We had a lot of supporters who either prayed for us, contributed money to pay for our retreat so we wouldn’t have to, spent long hours selling our books at the book table, and looked after our needs as we flew here and there on a tight schedule. These people didn’t have their name up on any reader signs, websites, or brochures. They received little for their help but our gratitude. Most of them are fellow authors who unstintingly gave of themselves. They set an example in humility and were the real stars of the event.

If you want more on the book festival,  catch Tracie’s blog post, Missoula Festival of the Book; the Bly Books update, Janet Chester Bly Invited to 2013 Montana Festival; and Valerie Comer’s Humanities Montana Festival of the Book.

Inspirational author panelists at the Montana Festival of the Book
Here are the inspirational author panelists at the Montana Festival of the Book.  Last row: Miralee Ferrell, Janalyn Voigt, Tracie Peterson, Valerie Comer, Janet Chester Bly, and (seated) Angela Breidenbach.
Montana Book Festival team
The complete Montana Book Festival team
Jim and Tracie Peterson
Tracie Peterson and her husband, Jim, visiting with readers at the book table.

After the book festival, my husband and I said goodbye to Angie and her husband, who hosted us at their home, and set off for Robber’s Roost, Virginia City, and Bannack ghost town. I shot a lot of pictures but since returning home haven’t slowed down long enough to get them off my camera. November will be quieter, so I should be able to post some of them for you with an update about the trip soon. I’m excited to share my trip with you.

Career Decisions

You may also recall that in last month’s journal I was processing a tough decision I needed to make. I’ve been researching, plotting, planning, and writing a series of books set in the Wild West. Unfortunately, through several rounds of submissions, they’ve not found a home. The opinion of two editors at separate houses is that my stories are ‘too western.’ When more than one knowledgeable literary professional expresses the same opinion, I listen. I had the opportunity to ask Tracie about my project during the book festival, and she gave me advice that will help me rewrite to suit my market. But at this point I’ve lost my objectivity and just need a break from trying to walk what to me has become a tightrope.

Besides all that, I’m asking myself some real questions about my resources of time, money, and energy. It taxes all three to establish yourself in a single genre. For this reason, authors who want to write in multiple genres are better off breaking into them one at a time.  I made the call finally while lying awake one night. I’m going to back down on historical fiction for the time being. I’ve already broken into the fantasy genre with my Tales of Faeraven series. I’ll keep writing in that genre and concentrate on adding the romantic suspense genre. That doesn’t mean I won’t write historicals at some point. It’s a matter of timing.

The morning after I made my decision, my agent requested a proposal for a romantic suspense novel. My casual mention of a project I was thinking of writing in this genre had intrigued her. After I finish writing the final scenes of DawnKing (only a couple of chapters left) and complete my half-finished Elf Seeyer novella, I’ll plot the romantic suspense novel and write sample chapters for my agent’s review. I’m hoping to complete all of that in November and possibly a bit more on the romantic suspense novel.

Subscriber Gift

I’ve been planning to make available a free subscriber gift in November and have entitled my fantasy novella: Elf Seeyer. Look for a cover reveal at Fantasy Worlds soon.

Giveaway of WayFarer

My giveaway of WayFarer on Goodreads begins November 4th. I hope you will enter. You’ll be supporting me as an author by helping WayFarer gain exposure, and there’s always the possibility you could win a free copy of book two of Tales of Faeraven.
DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven 1)

Need a good book to read?

DawnSinger, Tales of Faeraven #1 by Janalyn Voigt

A headstrong young princess and the guardian sworn to protect her fly on winged horses to the Gate of Life above the Well of Light in a desperate bid to release the DawnKing, and the salvation he offers, into a divided land. Will they each learn in time that sometimes victory comes only through surrender?

Purchase DawnSinger today!

©2013 by Janalyn Voigt

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Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

As an author I love to escape with readers into creative worlds of fiction in three genres: medieval epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romantic mystery. My aim is to make this website an immersive experience for readers. Care to join us?

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2 thoughts on “Stretching As a Writer”

  1. Awesome article! And thank you for calling me a “mastermind”! Hmm, I must log that one into my journal 😉
    It was a wonderful experience for me and you are such a gracious and fun guest. I learned more than my brain could hold that week!

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