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Category: Story-related background

Visualizing a Character

Visualizing a Character

By Jan S. Gephardt For a novelist, visualizing a character – bringing them into focus, learning who they are, and what makes them tick – is absolutely essential. Readers don’t read our books because they fell in love with the plot twists. They don’t seek out a book because they love murder, or war, or the scientific concept that makes a book “science fiction.” They read our books because they fall in love with our characters. At least, we writers…

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It Has to Make Sense

It Has to Make Sense

By Jan S. Gephardt Along with the rest of the world, I’ve been watching with horror as Mr. Putin’s army invades Ukraine. It appears to be a senseless act, mindless in its wanton brutality. I’d never get away with this in a story, is a thought that has frequently recurred. In fiction, it has to make sense. Putin was warned, and with each new development, he’s warned again. He had ample opportunities to turn back from this course. Now his…

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I Just Want to Write

I Just Want to Write

By Jan S. Gephardt Sometimes, I just want to write. Please understand. I love my job. At this moment in my life, I’m able to do the exact thing I’ve dreamed of doing my whole life. I write the novels I’ve always wanted to write, and I publish them the way I want to. As Chief Cat-Herder (today’s my day!) and Manager of Weirdness at Weird Sisters Publishing LLC, I get to do all the things. I’m a lifelong artist/graphic…

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A Pair of BFFs Talk about Writing

A Pair of BFFs Talk about Writing

By Jan S. Gephardt and Lynette M. Burrows A note from Jan to her readers: My longtime friend Lynette M. Burrows and I belong to some of the same writers’ groups, and first met through the Kansas City Science Fiction & Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS). We bonded over (among other things) our interest in writing, and we’ve been friends literally for decades. We regularly check in with each other to “talk shop” or be each others’ cheerleaders. Earlier this summer, I…

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The Road to Release Day

The Road to Release Day

By Jan S. Gephardt I feel as if I’ve been on the road to Release Day for most of this summer, but at last it’s here! We made it! A Bone to Pick should now be available in print and ebook formats through a wide variety of outlets! What’s it about? In case you’re new to this blog, here’s the book description. for A Bone to Pick: XK9 Rex is a dog who knows too much. Now his past is…

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Midnight Crop Inspection

Midnight Crop Inspection

A Short Excerpt from Chapter One of A Bone to Pick By Jan S. Gephardt “What is that dark thing in Bonita’s quinoa patch?” XK9 Shady Jacob-Belle dialed her vocalizer low, flattened her ears, and growled. Unease slithered in her gut. She drew back from the balcony’s railing. Her mate Rex had been gazing toward the starry nighttime sky-windows with a dreamy look on his furry black face. Now he crouched beside her in the shadows, tense and focused. He…

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The story of A Bone to Pick’s Cover

The story of A Bone to Pick’s Cover

By Jan S. Gephardt It’s way too late for this to be a “reveal,” but the story of A Bone to Pick’s Cover deserves telling. Because it was not an easy—or short—journey! Late update: I unfortunately timed this post just when Jody had retired her old website and hadn’t quite gotten her new one ready. If you’re reading this in late 2021, her links may not work. The Artistry of Jody A. Lee For most of my adult life it has been…

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Call me Irresponsible

Call me Irresponsible

By Jan S. Gephardt Call me irresponsible if you will, but I spent the day writing. Writing fiction, that is, not a blog post. Even though it was “Blog-or-Die Day.” Even though I had scheduled and set aside time to work on a blog post. Yes, even though I hate, hate, hate missing deadlines. The journalist/commercial graphic designer in me detests missing deadlines. But instead of blogging like I was supposed to, I spent this week’s designated blogging day writing…

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Real and Fictional Space Stations

Real and Fictional Space Stations

By Jan S. Gephardt I love both real and fictional space stations. Anyone who’s read my books, or the blog posts I’ve devoted to this topic will probably roll their eyes and say, “No. Really?” Yeah, really. You got me. I love the whole idea, and I’m endlessly fascinated by the many visions of what a space station—or space habitat—could be. Why? I’ve enjoyed science fiction for decades. When I was a kid I thought of sf books as “the…

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Almost There

Almost There

By Jan S. Gephardt To quote Red Leader Garven Dreis, we’re almost there! In this case, I mean we’re almost to the point where A Bone to Pick is available and ready to read. Almost. We’re close enough that I can at last announce a presale offer on Amazon, in both the US and the UK. I’m also almost to the point where Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) are ready to go out as review copies. I’ll send them to my…

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