Archive for January, 2013

Publishing: Book Release – Goodbye and Do You need Money for Gas?

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

The Texas Ranger’s Daughter, February 22 release from Harlequin Historical


The Texas Ranger’s Daughter releases on Wednesday!

Release is a good word for this type of parting.  As an author, I want my book in the hands of readers and await their response to my latest work with anxious anticipation.  Who will write me to offer praise and who will write me to offer constructive criticism?  Will someone review this story on GoodReads, Amazon or B&N?  Who will mention this book to a friend?

In mind, this is actually the second release.  The first release comes when I send my manuscript to my editor.  This marks the moment when the story is no longer only mine.  It is the instant that it changes from a beloved piece of my imagination to a commodity to be prepared for market.  Now the art department is involved with cover design and my editor is involved with suggestions on how to improve the story.  There are production meetings and front matter to collect (the dedication & Dear Reader letter).  The back cover is drafted and the book is scheduled for release.  Finally, for me, there are revisions, copy edits, line edits and final author alterations to be made.  During this time, the book becomes a collaboration of many interested parties, and although it is not all together mine, I still have input and a chance to make some changes.

The second release , for me, is when the book is available to the public.  Anyone anywhere can pick up my story.  They can read it, throw it, review it, offer it to a friend, set it on a precariously high reading pile, tuck it away in their electronic reader, review it online, trash it online, recommend it online or, maybe, just maybe, add it to their coveted Keepers Shelf.  This is the highest honor a reader can bestow.

In any case, what they do with it is not up to me.  The book, my story, is not mine any longer.  Now it has a life of its own.  Though the parting is a little sad, it is good to see your stories leave the house and not have to worry about them moving back in or asking to borrow money.

This Tuesday, it is the time for me to wish The Texas Ranger’s Daughter  well, wave good-bye and turn my attention to the stories that are still living under my roof and in my head.

Promotion: Author Reading

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Available January 22, 2013

Sometimes you need to stretch your comfort zone. For me that would mean reading in public. I’m not talking about public speaking, which is scary enough. I’m talking about my own private terror–reading my stories to an audience, either live or virtual. I took the plunge this week by recording a short excerpt of my January 22, release from Harlequin Historical, The Texas Ranger’s Daughter.

I won’t tell you how many times I read those two pages.  That is between me and my webcam.  But I did have a few takes where I failed to be able to pronounce either my own name or the title of my book.  Things looked dismal, to be sure.  But I finally got something presentable and I have uploaded it to my website on the book’s page for The Texas Ranger’s Daughter and to my Facebook page.

I’m now recording a similar excerpt for Beauty’s Beast, the fourth and final in The Tracker’s series from Harlequin Nocturne.  This is an April 2013 release, which is good because I need some quality time with my webcam to get the next one right.  Do you think I’ll get better with practice?

God, I hope so!

Writer’s Life: Where I Write

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Jenna Kernan in her home office.

I have written in many places.  In my house, I’ve written in the basement during a hurricane, in the bedroom on my laptop and at the dining room table in the early morning sunlight.  When in motion I’ve used my laptop on trains, planes, automobiles and the occasional ferry.  In public places, I’ve written in hotel lobbies, airports, train stations, coffee shops and in my lawn chair at the beach.  I took my Alpha Smart to Alaska and when I was off the grid for a month, I wrote on that using the two batteries for power using an up-ended 5-gallon bucket for a desk.  But most often I write in my home office.

Panaroma of Jenna’s office.

I have two desks set at right angles.  One holds my desktop and various notebooks, the phone and the copier.  The other desk belonged to a friend of my fathers and is quite an old wooden war-horse.  It is nicked and scarred, filled with office supplies and even has a secret compartment.

Yes, that is, in fact, a white whale on my desk

The walls around my desk have some artwork that I enjoy, including some by family members.  I have a poster of the original artwork from my first cover, Winter Woman, above my printer as well as odd things like a raven mask made by an Inuit Indian.  My goals sit beside my monitor along with some Zuni fetishes and a quartz crystal I dug up at the Herkimer Diamond Mine.  My old battle-ax desk holds two scrapers fashioned by human hands and of unknown age.  I found both–one in a river in Florida.  One beside a river in Missouri.  I also have a soapstone grizzly bear and a wooden carved white whale on that desk.  Beyond that desk hangs a Cherokee war shirt made in the 1930s for the tourist trade and a drum upon which is painted the four directions.  I like to wack that drum now and again.  Behind me are my bookcases overloaded with books, photographs and other oddities such as my father’s turkey caller and the portrait of my pet hamster, Hubert, which my sister painted on a rock for my birthday.

Author Jenna Kernan behind her desk.

My sister says it is her favorite room in the house.  It’s mine, as well, because it is filled with a collection of art and objects that bring me joy.

So…that’s where I write.