The Story Behind BENEVOLENT


While I was halfway through writing Book Four of my Dream Waters Series, I was spending my downtime watching Supernatural on Netflix with my son and husband. I sat down to write one night after watching an episode and for some reason, I couldn’t get the show’s utterly endearing trench-coat-wearing angel out of my head. Thinking there might just be a story there, I abandoned my work in progress and started searching the internet to find out if Castiel was the name of an actual angel from the Bible. Allowing myself to get sidetracked that night ended up producing a story that’s near and dear to my heart for several reasons.

https://www.randomacts.org/

It’s definitely been an exciting journey taking my story from that first night of procrastination, through ten months of writing, beta reader feedback and editing, and on to the Supernatural convention in Cleveland where I entered BENEVOLENT in the Giving Back Tour’s Creative Quest.

Our convention weekend started with a bus tour of Cleveland with Rob Benedict & Jason Manns. (That’s me & my husband 4 rows behind Rob.)

The rest of the weekend was a blast!

To read the full story behind my story download the Preface to BENEVOLENT.

Writer’s Digest Awarded DREAM WATERS Honorable Mention for Fantasy Fiction

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that DREAM WATERS was awarded Honorable Mention for Fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer’s Digest Self-published e-book awards!!!

It’s such a tremendous honor for my novel to be recognized by a publication that has featured James Patterson, Andy Weir (author of The Martian), Alan Alda, and so many other notable writers in their cover articles.

DREAM WATERS won a Bronze Medal for Fantasy Fiction!

I’m thrilled to announce that DREAM WATERS won a bronze medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite international book award competition!

I’ll be traveling to Miami in November to accept the award and attend the Miami book fair, where all the award winning books will be on display in the Readers’ Favorite booth!

Benevolent—Abigail’s Playlist

I’ll be heading to Cleveland next month for the Supernatural Convention’s Giving Back Tour. The convention includes a Creative Quest —where Supernatural fans can submit an original creative work with a Supernatural / rock-and-roll theme.

I’m submitting an unpublished finished young adult novel that pairs with a playlist.

If you’d like to take a sneak peek at the playlist, click on the link below:

Benevolent —Abigail’s Playlist.youtube

Chasing After Your Dreams 

I had the pleasure of chatting with Fitz from 93.3 FM this week at his ROC Vox Recording & Production Studio in Pittsford, New York. 
He saw my books on display at Wegmans in Perinton, NY and reached out to me on Twitter, inviting me to record an interview for his “Positive Blatherings with Fitz” Podcast. 

Click the link below to listen to us blather about blocking out negative vibes, and chasing after your dreams!

Positive Blatherings — Chasing Your Dreams with Erin A. Jensen

My Busy Tuesday 

Yesterday was a fabulous day for this author. I gave a presentation at the library in Sodus, NY. Met some lovely fellow bookworms, and was touched to see some familiar faces in the crowd, who made the trip to listen to me spreak. 

My book blog tour stop also posted my latest interview, where I shared a few random facts—including one about my character descriptions that I wasn’t aware of until I was asked the question.

Check out the interview here:

Readeropolis.blogspot

And leave a comment on the Readeropolis post for another chance to win the $50 Amazon/B&N gift card at the end of my tour!

My Home Town’s Reaction to my Debut Novel

Today’s stop on my book blog tour features a guest post on my home town’s reaction to my debut novel.

My Home Town’s Reaction to my Debut Novel 

I still live in the same small town in Upstate New York that I grew up in. I’m a pharmacist at Wegmans Food and Pharmacy in my hometown—the same store where I worked as a cashier when I was a teenager. On any given day, I’ll see at least one relative, former teacher or old classmate during a shift. None of those people (including most of my family) had any idea that I was writing a book during the three years I spent working on my debut novel, Dream Waters.

Releasing your first book is a terrifying process. You worry that people won’t like it, or that they’ll dole out harsh criticism of the work that’s so near and dear to your heart—or even worse, that no one will even read the book. That fear of rejection and criticism was the reason I kept quiet about the fact that I was writing a novel. If my husband hadn’t believed in me enough to send my unpublished book to the Manhattan Book Review, Dream Waters might never have seen the light of day. It was their glowing five star review that gave me the courage to take the plunge and share my book with the world.

If I’d had any idea how much support my book and I would receive from my co-workers, family and friends, I might have told them about the book years earlier. When they did find out, they became my first fans. They generously helped me spread the word about Dream Waters by sharing my social media posts, telling their friends and family about the book, even choosing it as their pick to read with their book clubs. After word of my new book spread from my pharmacy co-workers to the manager of our store, he approached me about selling the book in the store and doing a book signing there. The book signing turned out to be one of the most successful Wegmans had done, even topping celebrity book signings that larger stores in the chain had hosted. My first two books are now the number one and number two best sellers in the store, and the books are sold in multiple stores in the chain, all of which have hosted book signings that exceeded my sales goals. I honestly can’t thank my local fan base enough for the love and support they’ve shown me.

I may have daydreamed about that sort of success before I released Dream Waters, but there were a few things I didn’t anticipate while writing my first book. My books are intended for adult readers and when I began writing them, my husband urged me to include “adult scenes” because people appreciate a little sizzle in their fiction. He backed up his argument with examples like, Game of Thrones and True Blood. Unable to argue with success like that, I added a bit of erotica to my reading list in order to learn from the experts. Then I added a fair bit of sizzle to my first book. Don’t get me wrong. The sexual content isn’t the central theme of the story. I use those scenes to illustrate the dynamic between characters—employing the old “show, don’t tell” technique. What I didn’t stop to consider was that all of those supportive people in my life would be reading those no-holds-barred intimate scenes. When writing a scene like that, it never crosses your mind that your child’s elementary school librarian, your own kindergarten teacher, aunts and uncles, in-laws and co-workers might one day be reading it. Let me tell you, a sure-fire way to shock those people is to show them a side of you that they never imagined existed. (I do have two children, so it really shouldn’t have been that big of a shock, but it was.) I can only imagine what it must be like for actors when relatives watch their on-screen sex scenes.

Would I have done things differently if I’d considered the reactions of all those people in my life? Absolutely not. At its heart, adult fantasy is an escape from the dullness of day-to-day life into an adrenaline-fueled adventure ripe with magical creatures and unbridled passion. The reader doesn’t want the characters to hold anything back. Delving into the thrill of each heart-racing detail of their journey is what makes a story worth reading, and crafting a no-holds-barred adventure is what makes it worth writing. I’m all in when I write a story. I don’t hold back, and I won’t apologize for that because I’d be doing my readers a disservice if I did. Incidentally, once the initial shock wore off, many of the people I shocked became die-hard fans of my series. They just had to forget who’d written those scenes and lose themselves in the narrative, which—I’ve been told many times—isn’t difficult to do.

Then there’s my grandfather’s reaction to my novel. He didn’t get farther than the first few pages because the four-letter-words shocked the hell out of him. Surely his granddaughter didn’t talk like that. My aunt explained that “Erin doesn’t talk like that, her characters do.” Although, in all honesty, I’m glad he never made it past the curse words because I can’t imagine what he would have thought of the sex scenes. Some bridges are best left uncrossed.

Click on the link below to check out the rest of the tour stop & leave a comment for a chance to win the $50 Amazon / B&N gift card at the end of my tour.

Straight from the library/Erin Jensen

 

My Latest Interview 

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Danielle —one of my absolute favorite book bloggers —on her blog, Books, Vertigo & Tea. I first connected with Danielle early on in my writing career, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every interaction with her.

I was touched that Danielle took the time to come up with a personalized list of questions, specific to me and my books.

Check out our conversation and take a peek at her blog. I’ve added quite a few books to my want-to-read list based on her book reviews.

Books, Vertigo & Tea —Author Interview / Erin Jensen