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Does Prolific Equal Growth as a Writer? @JenniferLyon

November 25, 2017 by in category From Our Archives tagged as , ,

Posts from Our Archives | A Slice of Orange

 

We occasionally run posts from our wayback archives. This post from Jennifer Apodaca (Jennifer Lyon) was first published in May of 2006. We think it’s still a timely topic.

 

Does Prolific Equal Growth as a Writer? @JenniferLyon

 


This is such an interesting question. It leads to some obvious points; do some prolific authors’ books seem like the same book over and over? It can happen. It’s really hard to make every book different, and some similarities will come through in every book. Those are usually part of the author’s “voice” and her style. An M.O. (Modus Operandi) if you will.

One of the most amazing “stretches” for an author that I’ve seen is Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb. Those books are totally different from her Nora Roberts books. The voice is edgier, the plots are grittier, and the suspense is darker. Amazing. Do I think she could have done that in the beginning of her career? Doubtful, although Nora Roberts truly has a “gift” in writing. She may not appeal to everyone, but the woman can tell a story.

So can Stephen King. And he has done some serious growth in his career. Off hand, I’d cite THE GREEN MILE as an example. Stephen King takes risks, and sometimes the reading public doesn’t like the result. But his books are rarely the same thing over and over. I believe he’s grown in his career and he has worked at growing. He tries new things. He doesn’t let fear or reader and publisher expectations keep him in a mold.


I’m not so sure the same could be said for John Grisham or James Patterson. I love some of John Grisham’s early works, but somewhere along the way I just plain old lost interest. That could just be a coincidence. I thought A TIME TO KILL was truly a compelling book. I stopped reading James Patterson when he stopped writing his own books. Enough said there.

There are many factors that can come into play here, branding, putting out several books a year, publishers demanding similar books, the author’s comfort zone, reader expectations…they affect how we write. I’ve known very good authors who had to fight, and fight hard, to expand and grow in their work.

We don’t have a lot of control over all the factors that come into play, but we can control our comfort zone. To grow, we have to push the barriers on what we “know” we can do. For instance, my mystery series has certain built-in parameters. Although I strove to find ways to challenge my writing and keep my characters fresh, by the fifth book, I knew I was pretty much in my comfort zone. To stretch a little I wrote a novella in third person (my mystery series is in first person). Then I wrote an entire book in third person (THE SEX ON THE BEACH BOOK CLUB) with much looser parameters. Trying new things is the only way I know to really flex and strain the writing muscle to see how much it can handle.

Growth does not happen in a vacuum. It’s impossible. We must feed the writing muscle to grow it. Get out from behind the computer and live a little. We need friends who support our dreams, hold our hand when the writing gets tough and slap us around when we doubt our ability.

While I don’t think volume absolutely equals growth, I do think we have to keep writing to grow. It might be uneven progress, sometimes we’ll have to compromise to meet a deadline (this is a business no matter how much we might like to romanticize it!), and sometimes outside forces will prevent us from stretching as much as we’d like. But I think every book gives us the opportunity to grow in some way. The trick is to be willing to take the risk, invest the time and effort, and believe in ourselves.

What about you? What authors do you think have really grown? And which ones write the same book over and over?

Jennifer Apodaca
http://jenniferapodaca.com/
THRILLED TO DEATH hardback now
BATTERIES REQUIRED in paperback now


Jennifer Lyon

Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen has published more than twenty books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created the dark, sizzling, paranormal Wing Slayer Hunter Series, the emotionally sensual adult contemporary Plus Once Chronicles Series, and the passionately beautiful Savaged Illusions Trilogy. Jen has won numerous awards, hit bestseller lists on several sites, and had her books translated into multiple languages.

Jen lives in Southern California with her husband. Together, they raised three amazing sons, welcomed three lovely daughters-in-law and an adorable grandson. Jen loves reading, vacations at the beach or wine tasting, and making friends with any dog she meets. But her passion is writing about characters who must surmount impossible odds and make tough choices to prove themselves worthy of love. In the evening, her husband lures her away from the computer with a glass of wine and the company of the man who is her happily ever after.

Jen loves connecting with fans. Visit her website at www.jenniferlyonbooks.com follow her at https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlyonbooks and sign up for her newsletter here http://jenniferlyonbooks.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=073423e93d289ea062989ac07&id=7af76b3602

SAVAGED DEVOTION

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SAVAGED DREAMS

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Savaged Surrender

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SAVAGED VOWS

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Pick Six Interview with Author Jennifer Lyon

June 26, 2017 by in category Pick Six Author Interviews, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

Pick Six Author Interviews are occasional features on A Slice of Orange. We send a bunch of questions to the author who then picks just six of the questions to answer.  This month we are featuring a Pick Six Author Interview with best selling and multi-published author Jennifer Lyon.

Jennifer Lyon | Pick Six Interview | A slice of OrangeJennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than twenty books and novellas, won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

Jen loves connecting with fans. Visit her website at www.jenniferlyonbooks.com follow her on Facebook and sign up for her newsletter.

One: Do you have any writing rituals? Schedule?

Is coffee a ritual? I like to write with a cup of coffee. I don’t have a lot of other rituals, but I do like to write at my desktop computer in my office. I also have a laptop that I can use when necessary. For me, when a book is going well, I can write anywhere.

Two: What kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?

I’m neither. I’ve found that word or page counts don’t work for me. I become artificially focused on the numbers, instead of the story. I’ve learned that the first 100 to 200 pages of my book will be painful, slow and awkward. If I can just get through it, no matter how long it takes, then the second half usually goes much faster. For me, my trick is to show up at the computer and try. Some days are good, and some days are not. But what counts is that I keep showing up, and somehow, I’ve managed to write 25 books that way.

Three: What are you dying to try next?

I really want to write more Wing Slayer Hunter books (my paranormal series), and I want to tell the stories of the four other members of the Savaged Illusions band. Someday I’d love to try my hand at a really intense thriller too. I always have more books I want to write, it’s the time to do it all that’s in short supply.

Four: What are you working on now? Can you tell us about your next project?

I’m currently working on SAVAGED DEVOTION, the final book in the Savaged Illusions Trilogy. Justice and Liza finally get their happily ever after in this book! Writing this trilogy has been an epic rollercoaster ride for me, and I hope readers will love it as much as I do. It’s a rock star romance about the price of fame vs the power of love. SAVAGED DREAMS is book one, SAVAGED VOWS is book 2, and SAVAGED DEVOTION is book three.

Five: What’s the best thing about being an author?

I get to live realities I never would in real life. I’ve solved murders when I was writing mysteries, been a witch, fought demons and made an ancient dragon fall in love with me in my paranormal series, and now I’m living the life of a  rock star, and he’s falling in love with me too, LOL!

Being an author is a journey into a new and exciting world with every book I write, and ever better, I get to meet incredible characters who overcome huge obstacles to win against evil and find real love. The down side is that coming up with ideas is easy, but writing them into a compelling and emotional book is hard work that keeps me awake nights worrying and trying to find the best way to tell the story. Deadlines are brutal, and juggling writing and promotion is exhausting. But as hard as it is, I loved it and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Six: Do you listen to music when you write?

Usually the only time I listen to music while writing is to get amped up for a fight scene. Hard rock helps me get into that adrenaline fueled state I need to write the action scene. Otherwise, I like quiet. When the writing is going well, I “hear” the voices of the characters in my head. If it’s going really well, then I can’t type fast enough to keep up. When it’s not going well, I resort to wine over music 😊

On the flip side, I sometimes bake to stir my creativity, and then I have music going full blast in my kitchen. Music has a way of bringing out our emotional truths, and that in turn, helps me get to my character’s emotional truths, which many times will solve my writer’s block.

Bonus: If a spaceship landed in your backyard and the aliens on board offered to take you for a ride, would you go? Why or why not?

No, first off I don’t know if they have coffee. I mean…shudder. And secondly, I’d miss my family too much. However, if they had French bulldog puppies, they could probably lure me into their spacecraft.

Thank you, Jen for taking time to answer our questions. We think you should get that French bulldog puppy for answering a bonus question. 


SAVAGED DREAMS

SAVAGED DREAMS

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Series: Savaged Illusions Series, Book 1
Genre: Romance
Tag: 2017

How much will she risk for love? How far will he go for fame?

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