Thursday, February 28, 2013

Of Stubborn Muses and Forcing the Words

I've said it before and I'll say it again: my muse likes to torture me.

For months now, I've been working on Revival's sequel... And for months now, the words have made their way onto the page in a painfully slow trickle.

What's worse is that I want to write. I want the rush that comes with losing minutes, hours, and even entire days to bringing a new story to life on the page. There are very few things in this world I enjoy more than that feeling.

Only this time that wonderful "rush" was coming in fits and starts.

Before this week began, I was getting desperate... I'd started writing things that made absolutely no sense, narrative-wise. Entire pages that I knew would need to be scrapped later, just so I could trick my muse into offering up something worth keeping.

It, uh... Well, it was a bit sketchy there for a while.

I was all like...


...just so that I could put something down.

And my muse was all like...

(Because, apparently, my muse is Misha Collins.)

And I nearly lost it.

(Not me. Although I'm certain I made that face at some point.)

I was doing what I'd been taught. Write everyday, whether the words are there or not—eventually it will get easier and the words will be there.

Only, it wasn't getting easier and I hadn't found the words.

This method had always worked in the past. So why wasn't it working this time?

Clearly I needed a new approach...

So I just stopped.

I went a full four days without even opening Scrivener.

I read half of my TBR pile. I worked on other projects that I'd been putting off. I went to the movies. I went to the park. I had an adventure.

...And I didn't think about Book Two again until Sunday morning.

And you know what?

It helped.

I opened up the file on Sunday, spent half an hour easing my way back into the current chapter... And then I wrote 1,500 useable words before the day was out. Not exactly an earth-shattering amount, but enough so that I was happy.

As was my muse, apparently.

Since then, I've been on a writing high—for the first time in months, this project is back on track, and I couldn't be happier.

And in the process I learned that—sometimes—it's okay (and even helpful) to take a break.

Not to quit... Just to press pause.

Writing can be difficult at times, but it should always be enjoyable. If you aren't enjoying yourself, how can your readers? When it reaches that point, forcing the words may not help. 

So the next time you find yourself unable to force the words, just try pausing for a moment. Take a breath. Live your life.

...And then, when you're ready, try again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway for Revival!

Want to win a paperback copy of Revival? Just drop by Goodreads and enter the giveaway! There are four copies up for grabs!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Revival by Jena Leigh


by Jena Leigh

Giveaway ends March 23, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Of Coffee Thieves and Kenzie O'Connell

So I'm a little distracted these days working on Revival's sequel, but I thought I'd go ahead and share a post that was originally published over at Jenny's amazing book review blog, Supernatural Snark

For those of you who haven't had the chance yet to check out Revival (the first book in The Variant Series) Declan's sister, Kenzie, is here today to introduce you to the story and to give you an insight or two into their world...



Hi! I’m Kenzie O’Connell. I’m a Leo. I like coffee, computers, long walks on the beach and, well, more coffee.

…Aaaannd Jena’s giving me the stink eye.

Right. Sorry, Jena.

Can you blame a girl for trying? I spend most of my days under the obnoxious and ever-vigilant eyes of three brothers and our guardian, John Grayson. That much testosterone (and potential for public embarrassment) doesn’t exactly help a gal’s social life.

I’m supposed to be talking about Jena’s new novel, Revival, in which I have the starring role.

…Wow. Careful, Jena. Your face might stick that way.

Okay, so I’m not exactly the star of the show. That honor goes to my dear friend Alex.

She’s flippin’ adorable, you guys. No, really. You’ll like her. Personally, I love her. But that’s probably because she’s the first chick in ages who not only tolerates my brothers—she also knows our secret… And we know hers.

Y’see, my family’s a little… different.

Oh, who am I kidding? We’re not even human. Not technically. My family and I—we’re Variants. Every one of us has a special ability that we hide from the world. Agency rules. If we draw too much attention to ourselves, we’ll have them to answer to. Let’s just say that shadowy government organizations don’t take too kindly to show offs.

And Alex? Well, she’s got even more to worry about.

Her powers are unlike anything I’ve ever seen—and I’m not just talking about the effect she has on my idiot brothers. Her abilities put her on a whole new level of freaktastic. And if she can’t get them under control, we could all be in trouble.

…Is that good, Jena? Can I have my coffee back now?

What the crap do you mean you “sort of drank it”?

Oh. Oh, it’s so on.

Come back here, author-lady, before I go all Variant on your novel-writing self! I mean it, Jena! You owe me a coffee!


Coffee thief.

Don’t hold it against her, y’all. It was some awesome coffee… And she needs the caffeine more than I do right now. After all, she’s got all those wonderful, Kenzie-filled scenes in Revival’s sequel to finish writing.

I’ll consider it an act of charity.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Where to Find Revival!

Hey guys!

Apologies for the vanishing author act I've pulled lately... I wish I could say I spent all that time hard at work on the second book, but that wouldn't be entirely honest. The second book will be my focus for the next few months, but for the last few weeks I've been incommunicado simply because months of traveling and having adventures resulted in one very tired and rather sickly writer.

I won't get into details. Just know that I'm back now and that I've missed ya!

So, if you'll remember, my grand plan was to have Revival's wide release take place on February 14th. Except... It only sort of happened.

I don't want to bore you with specifics, so to sum up—the book WILL be available everywhere... Eventually. It's just taking a little longer than projected for the book to be approved and added to the various catalogs.

I'll update this list periodically, as the book is made available on different sites... But for now, here are the places where you can find an e-book copy of Revival, the first book in The Variant Series! All e-book copies are priced at just $.99!


Barnes & Noble