Archive for February 5th, 2008

My name is Jean Johnson, and I am a writing addict. (…”Hello, Jean!”)



How bad is it? I just got done writing the seventh book in my Sons of Destiny series, and you’d think after all that complex plotting and story-building, that I’d be taking a break. That I’d deserve a break. But no. My plot-bunnies for book eight are hopping like mad all around me, cute and fluffy and drooling for the opportunity to be written, even though I’m supposed to be writing this guest-blog entry about my fourth book. Which I will do now. *determined nudges plot-bunnies away from her keyboard*



*ahem* The Song, the fourth book in the Sons of Destiny octilogy, officially comes out today, yay! Even nicer, I was invited to guest-blog all about it, and–no, I’m not going to stop in the middle of this and write the back-history of the heroine for book eight; shoo!–I feel both honored tickled to be able to do so. For previous fans and new readers alike, you’ll love this book, because it has tender romance, drama, smut, pathos, humor, and enough plot to, well, choke a plot-bunny.



I keep getting asked, “Which of the Corvis Brothers is your favorite?” …but to be honest, I don’t really have a favorite. It’s too hard to choose; they’re all wonderful in their own way. Of course, the hero of the fourth book, Evanor, has something in common with me: we both love to sing. Now, I’m not a Song mage by any means, nor am I adept with a wide variety of instruments, but I do love singing, and I like the sort of classical and folk music that Evanor knows. And the things he does while courting his heroine, Mariel–who is also a Song mage, albeit a Healer–are things I personally love having done to me. Yep, I do like Evanor a lot. He’s not perfect; he has his flaws, even one or two he didn’t know, but he is a likable, believable man.



Actually, that’s what I love to write about: realistic circumstances. I know that sounds strange for someone writing a series that is fifty percent fantasy genre, and which is filled with magic and spells and strange beasts. But I’m not actually judging “realistic” from our universe’s standards. That wouldn’t be fair! It would be like judge an apple against a muffin, just because they’re both food. One is bready and has to be baked to be edible; the other is fruity and is fine baked or raw. Our universe has technology and a distinct lack of tangible magic. Their universe has plenty of magic, and only a little bit of technology as we in this universe know it.



Of course, the biggest problem with realism in another universe is that it has to be well-thought-out and consistent. Logical, even if that logic has its own rules. If you’re going to write in a fantasy or science-fiction setting, it should still be believable. Reader-friendly. For instance, I’ve never been fond of magical universes wherein a banished object simply ceases to exist. That violates the conservation of matter and energy–things don’t cease to exist entirely, they just transform into one or the other. But making it seem like an object has disappeared, by teleporting it to a distant location, or by bending light waves around it to make it appear to vanish, that makes sense. The modern reader is usually a logical soul, and wants things explained neatly.



On the other hand, realism also demands that no one person can do all, be all, know all. So not all mysteries can be explained within a book, at least not in the perceptions of a single character. At one point in the series, one of my heroines receives some information about an event, and draws a conclusion as to what caused that event…and her conclusion is wrong. That’s not what actually happened. But the only person who knows this is the reader, who has the benefit of reading the whole series and learning what really happened. Another example is the heroine of book eight, and the secre–HEY! I thought I told you to stop drooling on me! Shoo! Go on ! GET! *wipes drool from her toes, ewww*



…I apologize for that. Many writers these days talk about “plot-bunnies”, cute little story ideas that hop around…and then, when you aren’t looking, they develop teeth bigger than a Monty Python sketch, and bite you on the *censored*. Some of them bite really hard. Of course, my problem is that I have too many of the *bleeped* things. If it isn’t the plot-bunny for book eight attempting to cuddle up with my toes, it’s all the other plot-bunnies. There are just too many for me to fend off of my poor, drool-and-fluff abused body.


You see, I don’t have a few plot-bunnies. I don’t have a plot-bunny hutch, or even a plot-bunny queue. For a little while, I had a plot-bunny refugee camp, but *sigh*, they applied for city status, and are now firmly on their way to being a true megahopolis, Plot Bunny City. Sort of like New York City, only fuzzier–see? Even when discussing them, I can’t get away from all these vivid, imaginative ideas in my head!



On the one hand, I am looking forward to writing out the conclusion of the Sons of Destiny series. There are several secrets that have been lurking in the background since book one, The Sword, just a flick of a whisker, the flash of a tail, a hint of a hop here or there…and those secrets will now get to bound out into full view. On the other hand…once I finish writing the eighth novel…I’ll have to choose another plot-bunny to write about. And I have so many, I literally don’t think I will ever run out of plot ideas. Ever. (Trust me, I don’t need to hear story ideas from anyone else. I do not need more plot-bunnies!) So the problem isn’t what to write about next…it’s which to write about.



Thankfully, you don’t yet have that problem. You have five more books to glomp onto, snuggle, and drool over. Well, okay, mostly it’s the covers you’ll drool over. And no, I don’t know who those cover models are…but I’m first in line to find out, so nyah! But I digress…



The Song, which is finally available at most bookstores–yay!–manages to resolve most of the plots arcing forward from the first three books. When my editor, Cindy, first offered me a book contract for the start of the series, she suggested a three book contract. And there I was, blinking, dazed by all the numbers and figures and legal obligation stuff she was tossing over me…and all I could say at the end of it was, “Um…well…since the first four books are plot-integrated–book one sets up the plots for two and three, two sets up for three and four, three sets up for four, and four resolves most of the plot issues…it should probably be a four book contract, because if nothing else, the readers will want to have that much of a conclusion.”


Two point six seconds later–during which I could hear her brain popping its clutch, and then shifting gears–she said, “Well, I don’t have the numbers for a four book contract worked up–give me a moment and I’ll get those for you…” Color me gaaah? (Remember, lowly newbie author at this point, and mighty powerful editor just…just accepted my suggestion that quickly??) Suffice to say, she did offer me a contract for the fifth and sixth books, The Cat, which comes out in June of 2008, and The Storm, which gets released September 2008. And I’ve even been offered the contract for the seventh and eighth books, The Flame, which I just finished writing and which will hit the bookstores December 2008, and The Mage, which will be released March 2009…if I can get the plot-bunnies for it to stop drooling on me and let me relax for more than two days after finishing the exciting conclusion of Koranen’s tale.



No, not tail–tale! T A L E! Stop wriggling your nose at me; it’s not that cute!Okay it is cute. AAAUGH–plot-bunny drool, ewwwww! Getitoffgetitoffgetitoff!! *shudder…*



Now, if you’ll kindly excuse me, I feel I must go feed the plot-bunnies something other than my toes, before they get any worse. I thank you for the time it took you to read this, and the graciousness of my blog hostess in allowing me to write it. Please go check out my books, and if you like them, tell all your friends about them, so they don’t miss out on all the fluff, drama, humor, pathos, fantasy and romance I’ve wedged into The Song and its companion novels in the Sons of Destiny series.



…Does anybody have a wet-nap?



~Jean Johnson



***A note from the Blog Hostess (Wait, can I be the Blog Mistress instead? Sounds better to me! LOL)



For your viewing pleasure, a sneak Peek at the cover of THE CAT….

Say it with me ladies, YUMMMM! Am I right? 😉

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