So I haven't been posting much or tweeting much, which has led many to ask, "Melissa, just what have you been doing all these months while you were away?". The answer is writing, writing, writing. You may have saw in my other post that I finally finished Love Sex Magick. I entered it in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition last weekend. I have three very nice queries written (thanks to my crit buddies over at OWN) and a list of my top five dream agents sitting on my desk as we speak. I plan on getting those out the door this month and seeing if I can get any traction on the book.
I have also been working on a novella, or at least I thought it was going to be a novella. It seems to be stuck somewhere between a very long short story and a very short novella. Lucky me. Another something I won't know what to do with.
The last big thing I have been working on, (as you may have guessed from the title of this post) is my very own pet project, Wicked Jungle. This is a new website that I have been slowly putting together entirely devoted to paranormal romance readers and writers. I created it in response to some growing frustrations my friends and I were having about the limited publishing opportunities for new writers in the genre. When I first started writing I wanted to do short stories, in fact, everyone told me I should start there first and for good reason. Short stories allow you to hone you writing skills. You get to explore things like character development, dialogue, description and world building without committing a year or more to a project that, let's face it might not be too good. The only problem, I was spending all this time, writing shorts that no one would ever see. There were no paying markets in the genre. There were barely any non-paying markets.Sure I could post my stories on my own website, but how were new potential readers and fans ever going to find them?
I am a big believer in reader loyalty. I think the genres have some of the best and most supportive fans in the world. I believe that readers have the ability to help launch an author's career. If that person has been exposed to their writing and enjoyed it, they are much more likely to bookmark their web page or jot down the release date of their new book when it comes out. If most readers are anything like me, when they find a new author they like, they run out and get all of their books at once and pour over them like a crack addict in need of a serious fix. Okay, so maybe most readers aren't like me. But some of you are! The ones who are reading my blog are! The ones who search internet sites to get the latest news on their favorite authors are! The ones who go to very scary albeit fun conventions and stand in line for hours to get two books signed by their favorite vamp loving novelist are!
So to wrap this up, I was told the market wouldn't/couldn't handle a paranormal romance and urban fantasy e-zine because our fans wouldn't buys short stories, that they didn't want to read them, but I think that is complete B.S. I think the real problem is that the true fans of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy simply don't know where to find these great short stories! The genre is hot, people love it. Just look at the explosion of the paranormal in the last five years. Better yet, look at how many blogs and webpages there are devoted to nothing book paranormal or urban fantasy book reviews! It is crazy. The fans are out there. My goal...to provide a place where fans and writers can connect. Thus Wicked Jungle is born.
I encourage you to hop on over to www.wickedjungle.com and check it out. If you are a writer and you have something you'd like to share send me an email or check out our submission guidelines. If you are a reader, let me know what you think? What would you like to see most on our site?
We are slowly building up our library of great material. In the meantime please spread the word with your friends and followers. We have a fan page on Facebook. We have a twitter account. We even have a YouTube account! Yep, we're everywhere you want to be.