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Monday, January 30, 2012

Bewitching Blog Tours: Vala Agendas by JF Jenkins: Guest Post

Please allow me to welcome JF Jenkins as she speaks about something near and dear to every author's heart, I imagine.  Thank you very much for stopping by Fictional Candy, and best of luck with your release!

Vala Agendas
By J.F Jenkins
Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-year-old girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out she’s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.

All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus she’s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant that will reshape the order of the world.

Adjusting to a new school is difficult enough, but adding on everyone else’s hidden agendas is the icing on the cake. Cheyenne must learn to see through the lies in order to find her place — and possibly even love — in this new world.



By JF Jenkins
Today I was thinking about writing: what was popular, what sold well, and comparing that to what I wrote most of the time. I thought about the publishing business and the directions it was going in, and I was trying to decide how I wanted to keep moving in my career. There's the option of traditional publishing, self-publishing, and e-publishers. So many options. And I started to do the numbers game. What would sell best, what would get me the most hits and put me at the number one ranking on the big retailers.

I had to stop myself because not only was I getting depressed and jealous, but I started thinking about writing for the wrong reasons. I always told myself I wasn't going to become obsessed with numbers. For the most part, I don't check to see how many books a day I sell. There's a way to do it, but I don't want to know. I'll check to see how the rank is doing, if it went up or down or stayed the same, and if I have any new things up on goodreads. Beyond that, I try not to think about how well I'm doing because I don't want to get to the point where the numbers mean more than my work. Why? Because I don't want to forget why I started writing.

Tell the story, that has always been my goal. If people stick around to listen, awesome. If not, then at least I told it for my own sanity. Someone once upon a time tried to talk me out of this mentality, saying it was wrong of me to not want other people to read my work. I believe it was in “Little Women” where there was a scene about the budding author. Jo had just gotten published in the paper for the first time, and was celebrating her success. She shared it with her love interest and he said: “Vampires and corpses, is this the kind of thing that interests you?” She said, “No, but it's what people want to read about.” And he said something along the lines of, “Forgive me if I'm insulting you, but it makes me sad to hear you not write about the things that you are passionate about.” Again, it's a paraphrase, but the message has always stuck with me.

It's the motivation I try to keep when I'm writing. If I write about vampires and werewolves or whatever else is popular right now, it's not because it is popular. It's because it is what interests me. In my novel “Vala: Agendas” there is a character who is vampiric in nature. He sucks blood, woos women, and loves the night. He's not a stereotypical vampire though. When “Twilight” became popular, I almost scratched him out and changed the whole story because I didn't want people to think that I was trying to take advantage of a market.

I kept Denver Collins in my story because I loved him as a character. And that's what's important. That I love him and write him the way the story needs to be told.



J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis Minnesota with her husband, son, and two cats. She graduated from Bethel University in 2006 with a degree in Media Communication with minors in both writing and film. When she is not busy writing, she spends her free time playing games, reading, and spending time with her family.

Twitter: @jfjenkinstweets