Athena’s Daughters 2 – Guest Post from Janine K. Spendlove

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As part of the Athena’s Daughters 2 Kickstarter campaign, the authors and editors are doing a blog tour. Today I am delighted to be hosting Janine K. Spendlove here at acubedsf.

Janine K. Spendlove is a KC-130 pilot in the United States Marine Corps. In the Science Fiction and Fantasy World she is primarily known for her best-selling trilogy, War of the Seasons. She has several short stories published in various speculative fiction anthologies, to include Time Traveled TalesAthena’s Daughters, and War Stories. Janine is also a member of Women in Aerospace (WIA), BroadUniverse, and is a co-founder of GeekGirlsRun, a community for geek girls (and guys) who just want to run, share, have fun, and encourage each other. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Janine loves pugs, enjoys knitting, making costumes, playing Beatles tunes on her guitar, and spending time with her family. She resides with her husband and daughter in North Carolina. She is currently at work on her next novel.

Here she is to talk about writing science fiction and fantasy:

First off, I’m pleased as punch to have this opportunity to guest post on this blog, and even more so to get to co-edit Athena’s Daughters 2 with the very talented Maggie Allen. This is a project that we are both very passionate about and are thrilled by how strong this anthology is—every single story in it is fantastic, and Athena’s Daughters 2 runs the gamut of emotions and story lines. Most of the authors in this anthology have not been published before and I’m so happy that their voices will be heard. Please be sure to check out the Kickstarter for Athena’s Daughters 2 and pre-order your copy today!

And now, my blog post:

How I Write What I Write

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on various projects, to include putting together and editing Athena’s Daughters vol 2 with Maggie Allen, writing a graphic novel (a first for me, and I’m super nervous and excited), a military sci-fi retelling of Pride and Prejudice, and a somewhat secret project that will come to light this winter.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Weeeeell… I write in many different genres (aside from my fantasy novels, my last two accepted submissions were horror stories, and before that, military sci-fi). But, based on what reviews of my YA novels have said though, it seems that people are surprised/happy to see that my War of the Seasons trilogy deals with the reality of losing loved ones/the grieving process, and a romance that is gradual and “realistic” (not “love at first sight”), and not central to the plot of the story. Ultimately it seems the reoccurring theme in comments is that readers care less about the actual story I’ve written, and more about the characters and their relationships/entanglements (which, obviously, need a story). Guess I should work on making my actual stories better.

Why do I write what I do?

For War of the Seasons I had some grief and loss that I needed to work through. For most of my short fiction it’s either because a “what if” popped in my head or, again, I have some strong feelings about something I need to address (ie, my last mil sci-fi story was about PTSD, and the after effects of returning home from war – something I feel is infrequently seen in speculative fiction). And honestly, sometimes I write a story simply because someone asked me to.

How does your writing process work?

Ehhhh… I guess it depends on the story? But very loosely, it goes along the lines of:

  1. Idea or very generic subject pops in my head.
  2. I discuss said idea or subject with my husband and/or a few choice friends.
  3. Idea (subject is now an idea) bounces around my brain housing group for a while. This could be days or years.
  4. Research idea. Get more ideas.
  5. Idea bounces around brain housing group some more.
  6. Outline the story.
  7. Do more research.
  8. Start writing.
  9. Research.
  10. Writing.
  11. Research.
  12. Writing.
  13. Finish story & send it to choice friends for feedback.
  14. Receive feedback and do nothing for a while.
  15. Do not touch story for many months so that when I return to it I have fresh eyes. Work on other stories.
  16. Return to story armed with feedback and edit/revise.
  17. Edit/revise.
  18. Edit/revise.
  19. Finish, send back out for feedback, then edit/revise again.

So basically, that. Or some permutation thereof.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please be sure to check out the Kickstarter for Athena’s Daughters 2 and pre-order your copy today!

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