Friday, March 09, 2012

Discoveries Week: Jessa Slade

Losing an editor is never fun, but you get over it; even if it's an editor you've worked with for half your career. It is a bit tougher if that editor also happens to be the only one you've ever worked with on the bestselling novel series of your career, but after you hyperventilate your way through the anxiety attacks, and stop waking up in cold sweats at 3 a.m., you can adjust. Mostly. The truth is that's the worst case scenario.

Unless, of course, that editor you've worked with for half your career on the bestselling series you've ever written quits a month before you restart that series. Then you're probably going to need therapy. Or just give me a yell, because that's what happened to me right before I turned in the manuscript for Nightborn.

I tend to make therapists cry, so I decided it would be more sensible to stop freaking out and do something to manage the disaster before it turned epic. I had to find a new editor for the trilogy; someone who could step in and handle a well-established universe of 13+ books, who would get me as a writer, and who would be enthusiastic about what I was doing. Aka the editor every writer wants. I also had to do this before I was shuffled off to another editor who might not be such a great match.

To cut to the chase, I did my research, put in my request, and was fortunate enough to be assigned to that editor. We've been a great match, and I can say with certainty that Nightborn would not be the novel it is without her.

Another author with a new title out in March is Jessa Slade, who has impressed me with her work since her debut novel in her Marked Souls series. Jessa is a wickedly talented storyteller who puts together the most absorbing characters and effortlessly brings them to life on the page. I also think she's one of the most original world-builders in the genre (and Jessa doesn't know this but her series is one of the main reasons I asked to be assigned to her editor.) To date my favorite Marked Souls book is Vowed in Shadows, but her March release Darkness Undone just landed on my doorstep yesterday, and from the first chapter I've read it looks like it might take the top spot.



If you'd like to check out Jessa's latest, in comments to this post name an author who you think has mad skills as a storyteller by midnight EST on Saturday, March 10, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner an unsigned copy of Darkness Undone by Jessa Slade, a signed copy of my very first Darkyn novel If Angels Burn, a hand-quilted fully reversible Light & Darkness book tote (designed and handmade by yours truly; here's a shot with the reverse side showing), a blue crystal bookmark pen, an eco-friendly blank journal, a writer's words mug from Author Outfitters and some other goodies. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

46 comments:

  1. Lynn, where did you get the tote from? Did you make it yourself? If so, could I arse you to put it up for sale in Etsy so that I can buy one... damn but I love this one!

    Adding Ms.Slade to my wishlist in Amazon, to research further. Since you vouch for her world creation ability and characters, I know with certainty I want to try her books. I am getting back my paranormal groove and having fun reading new-to-me authors.

    M.

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    1. Yes, I made the tote myself. You can see some close-up shots of the work over on my photoblog here.

      I also appreciate the request for me to sell on Etsy, but I never sell my quilted stuff. It's just a fun hobby. :)

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  2. An author I think has mad skills as a storyteller is Patricia Briggs - I've fallen in love with pretty much everything she's ever written. Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance.

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  3. clairecherven12:49 PM

    Am I the first to throw my hat in? Well, I also like the world that Shannon K. Butcher develops in her SENTINEL WARS series.

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  4. I gave in to the "Hunger Games" madness this week and picked up a Suzanne Collins. I had never read her work before, but oh, man...she drew me in completely. I'm itching to read the rest of the series.

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  5. I can't think of anyone in particular off the top of my head. I kinda got distracted by bag-lust from seeing the one in this give-away. So please, put my name in the hat. I'll do a better comment next time, I promise. :)

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  6. Wow, there are so many good storytellers that I read, to pick just one is hard. I'll go with a relative newcomer that some might not have heard of yet, Ben Aaronovitch. I just finished reading his second book in his first series which blends hidden magic with London culture in a dynamic, multi-layered way.

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  7. If I have to pick just one to name, I'm going to go with J.R. Ward; however, Kresley Cole and Larissa Ione are not far behind on my list in the storyteller skill department.

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  8. Hmm there are alot of authors that I think are great storytellers but I will have to go with J.R. Ward followed closely by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Stephanie Tyler.

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  9. Favorite storytellers: old school - Anne McCaffrey. Right now, though, I'm adoring Jill Myles and PD James.

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  10. There are so many great storytellers for me. They include Sandra Brown for her suspense books and Susan Elizabeth Phillips for her romantic comedies.

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  11. There's so many great storytellers I like. A few of them would be Anne Bishop, Jim Butcher, Charlie Huston.

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  12. Atropa3:48 PM

    Hmm. I think Jim Butcher and Neil Gaiman pop to mind first for me. There are obviously too many to list, but Jim Butcher's Dresden series and the Alera series both have me coming back to read them again, out loud to my husband. (I RARELY read books twice.) His character and story development are driving. And Neil Gaiman writes stories that have me musing over them years later even if I didn't "love" them. They stick with you in a Lovecraftian way. : )

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  13. So many...

    Nalini Singh, Jeaniene Frost, You, JR Ward, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole.......

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  14. A storyteller that has captivated my interest is Jacqueline Winspear. Your creativity is wonderful.

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  15. Lovely gift and post today. Storytellers are so talented and are to be admired. Anything that Ray Bradbury writes is superlative.

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  16. Anonymous5:04 PM

    C.S. Harris really captures my interest. I also enjoy Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, and Devon Monk.

    sandyl

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  17. If I had to only pick one my bookshelf would be a sadder place. Some of the mad props go to Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Jane Yolen, and Eva Ibbotson.

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  18. I've been hearing good things about Jessica Slade and she's on my list of authors to try. I'm a big fan of Marjorie Liu--fantastic storyteller. And I have to say Nightborn is great, great, great! I burned a batch of banana muffins because I just had to read one more page which turned into five more pages.

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  19. Agatha Christie is the ultimate storyteller to me.

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  20. Just one!? LOL... Right now I am reading Nicole Peelers series and loving it. For epic stories I would say Kate Elliott and McCaffrey for certain.

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  21. It's hard to pick just one, but I have to say Nora Roberts, especially writing as J.D. Robb. I always look forward to the next installment; she always tells a good story.

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  22. Anne V.7:21 PM

    Ilona Andrews always captivates me with descriptions of the location-if only my settings could be half as convincing as they ones this writing duo comes up with!

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  23. You're the second person who has really praised Jessa Slade's storytelling so I think I might have to try her. I still love to read Preston-Childs, either as a team or their own stories. There are so many though, I can't name one or two. So many reasons why my bookshelves have overflowed into great big containers and little boxes and drawers and...well, never mind.

    Mad props to the bag! It's awesome.

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  24. One story teller I don't see mentioned often is Terry Pratchett. ( My hubby LOVES his stuff....giggles like crazy when he reads his books! ) I also like Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare and I just finished Christopher Paolini's series.
    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer

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  25. Allison8:26 PM

    The tote is gorgeous!

    I'm seconding Charlie Huston. I'm still blown away by the fifth book of his Joe Pitt novels, and I know it's 90% because of all the dominoes he set up in the first four books. I'm probably sixthing Jim Butcher, and I have to say, Terry Pratchett is still my favorite storyteller in long and short form. Until him, I didn't realize you could have so much fun with short stories.

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  26. One author that I really love and that I think has great story telling skills is Larissa Ione. I love her books! A new series that I really liked the first book of is Katie Reus' Alpha Instinct. Seems like a great new series.

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  27. I love Patricia Briggs. She's a great storyteller!

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  28. Wow. That tote is gorgeous. The author that pops to mind is Clive Barker with his Abarat series. He's created this wonderful playground of a setting, interesting characters (which include the setting) and usually end up doing things with the characters I didn't expect. :)

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  29. love lovely tote. Some of my favorite story tellers are Nalini Singh, Shiloh Walker, Patricia Briggs, Judy Mays, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole, you and many more that I am forgetting. Just wondering any more scifi from you anytime soon. I love your paranormals but dayumn woman you rocked the scifi.

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  30. wow, what to say as my top "CANNOT put it down" author? I just read all of Gini Koch's Centauran series in one sitting. LOVED them. Now I'm rereading Linnea Sinclair's Dock 5 series for the third time. But I have to say, Stardoc was up there the highest. Truly mad storytelling for me!

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  31. Oh, wow, beautiful bag and journal.

    A great story teller? No surprise Suzanne Collins. Kim Harrison. Laurell K. Hamilton. Erin McCarthy

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  32. Stephen King and Nora Roberts.

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  33. Thanks for the recommendation, I will for sure check her books out. My favourite authors / storytellers: Jude Devereaux, Laurell K. Hamilton, CL Wilson. And a few hundred more :)

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  34. Riley H.4:10 AM

    No doubt, JK Rowling is a great story teller. I love that you can be any age and still enjoy her books. Judith Mcnaught and Jude Deveraux were favorites when I started reading romance. And recently, I've enjoyed discovering Sherrilyn Kenyon, you, Patricia Briggs and JR Ward. And just to add on to my infinite list, Neil Gaiman, Markus Zasuk and Scott Orson Card. I think it's time to add to my list :)

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  35. Jeaniene Frost for the fast-paced writing and Ilona Andrews for their world-building skills...

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  36. Thanks for the recommendation. You introduced me to Rob Thurman whom I would have never found on my own. I will give Jessica's books a try.

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  37. I love Richelle Mead's ability to spin a story! All of her series are evidence of some mad skills. :)

    Di

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  38. Jacquelyn Frank is an amazing author. And a pretty awesome person too. ^_^

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  39. It's really hard to even only choose a couple but I'd have to pick Dean Koontz and Nora Roberts.

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  40. I think Ilona Andrews has made skills. She and her husband have brought me into the UF world. They have created two wonderful worlds and their character dialogue is to die for. I have reread their books at least three times already..LOL

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  41. Fran Kane2:52 PM

    Yourself - I gave my sister your Darkyn/Kyndred series and she's loving them as I knew she would.

    Old favourite - Georgette Heyer and her Regency world.

    New find - Jessica Andersen, the Mayan Final Prophecy series.

    Great giveaway as usual and I love the tote!

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  42. My choices would be Nalini Singh and Keri Arthur. I love the way they spin a story.

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  43. Jacquelyn Frank, I love her Night Walkers series.I also love to read her blog and find out about other great authors.

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  44. Patricia Briggs & Jeaniene Frost are excellent story tellers!

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  45. Anonymous12:06 AM

    wowww, what a lovely gift always love paranormal romance and dark hunter by sherrilyn kenyon successfully hooked me from the start;), arethazhen(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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