Guest Post Divine Scales Tour

November 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm 1 comment


Guest Post

I get asked a lot of questions about my writing process, so here’s a little inside peek into the writing life. I’ll use my current WIP (work-in-progress) as the example.

Tentative title: All for a Rose: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

I decided to write a Beauty and the Beast retelling for the first book in my spin-off series to the Blood Princes for two reasons. First, Beauty and the Beast is one of the more well-known fairy tales and I wanted to start with something familiar before I dove into the more exotic tales. Second, the prince I had in mind is a bit more monstrous than I usually write, and Beauty and the Beast just seemed like the best fit.

First on the to do list was to read the original fairy tale. If I don’t refresh my memory with the original fairy tale, I end up rewriting Disney. Disney did an amazing job with many fairy tales, but I’m trying to stay a little closer to the originals (mostly because I find them more conducive to the paranormal creatures I’m slipping into them). After I read the original tale, I make a list of all the major events, the symbolism, etc. I want to make sure my retellings are true to the original tales as much as possible, so all of the original elements that really define the tale have to be included. I then go through that list and write out ideas for what my own parallels will be.

Now, I have a tendency to lean more on one character than another. One character gets super-developed and the other sort of just reacts to that character. I have two methods for controlling that tendency. First, when I’m writing the first draft of the book, I make sure each character gets the same number of pages as I’m alternating povs (points-of-view). If one character is getting ten pages and the other five, I know that I need to put more work into the five page character. I also use the Snowflake Method developed by Randy Ingermanson. His method not only helps me write a lot faster by forcing me to plan things out, it also makes me think of each characters as an individual and give them each a conflict and a transformation to go through. If you’re thinking of writing a book, I highly recommend you check out the Snowflake Method.

Once I have my Snowflake Method, I start writing. I am balancing my writing career with raising a kindergartener (eep!), so I have to set reasonable goals for myself to make sure I stay on task. My current goal is to complete 2k (2,000 words) a day on my current WIP. I can write more than 2k a day, but setting my goal at 2k ensures that I can meet the goal even on days when I have little time or days when I really just don’t feel like writing. It’s important to set a goal I can meet, because it only takes failing one day to start that backwards slide. And it’s always nice to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting a goal. Mostly I write while my son is at school and sometimes after he’s gone to bed. Things will get trickier in February when my second child (a daughter this time) arrives. It is my sincere hope that she sleeps through the night sooner than her big brother did…

I write the book all the way through, usually in a hideous form that only barely resembles the final book. It’s very repetitive and almost all dialogue and facial expressions with a few body movements and just the barest mention of where they are. My critique partner calls this “shoveling sand into the sandbox so you can build a castle later.” A very apt description. After the first layer, I spend some time researching details (plants and animal of the region I’m using for inspiration, pictures to inspire character descriptions and clothes, etc.). Then I go through and flesh out the manuscript, adding details, removing repetition, strengthening plot and emotion, and fixing any plot holes I introduced during the first layer. At this point, I’m usually getting pretty tired of the book, so I pass it off to my first beta reader: my sister. My sister is a librarian, and probably the most well-read person I know. She is also very supportive and incredibly harsh. I always need to brace myself for the part where she tells me what she thought.

I take my sister’s feedback and apply it. Then I go to my Facebook group Sirens of the Black Stream and I ask for beta reader volunteers. I choose the first two people to respond (anyone after the first two gets put on a list for the next beta-assignment) and I send them the manuscript. They read it and give me feedback. If necessary, I do another round of edits. Then it’s off to my proofreaders. Once the typos are (hopefully) removed, I format it and upload it for sale.

Voila! That’s how books get from my head to your ereader. Questions?

About Divine Scales

DivineScales 500x750Title: Divine Scales

Author: Jennifer Blackstream

Genre: Fantasy Romance

A warrior with a hunger for sin . . .

Driven by a terrible hunger for the black souls of evil men, Patricio, divine executioner of the gods, patrols the kingdom with blood on his hands and ice in his heart. The families of his victims sing his praises–the result of a witch’s cruel curse that condemns him to be forever surrounded by false adulation. When the curse sours the first hint at romance Patricio has had since becoming the king’s heir, his rage is all consuming. Disgusted, he leaves the mermaid in the sea and returns to the palace…only to be shocked when she bargains for the legs to follow him.

A mermaid out of her element . . .

Marcela’s world has been turned upside-down–literally. Once a proud member of her father King Triton’s royal guard, she’s now the victim of an angel’s curse. Enchanted into false adoration bordering on obsession, she traded her tail–and her voice–to the sea witch for the legs she needed to pursue the object of her desire. In a cruel twist of fate, the very magic that gave her the means to pursue her passion also broke the spell that caused it. Now she’s in the angel’s arms, but how can either of them trust the desire churning inside them when so much magic has muddied the waters?

Trust isn’t easy when nothing is as it seems . . .

A mermaid with legs and no singing voice. An angel with a curse. A witch with a chip on her shoulder. The world is full of magic and mayhem, and for an angel and a mermaid, it will take more than a kiss to balance…the Divine Scales.

Author Bio

Jennifer Blackstream is a psychology enthusiast with both a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology. Her fascination with the human mind is most appeased through the study of mythology and folklore as well as any novel by Sir Terry Pratchett.

Jennifer enjoys listening to Alice Cooper, trying new recipes (to which she will add garlic whether it calls for it or not), watching television with her family, and playing with her woefully intelligent young son. She lives in Ohio.

Jennifer spends most of her time drinking coffee from her X-Men mug and desperately trying to get all her ideas written down before her son can find that all magical button on her laptop to make her latest work vanish.

To learn more about Jennifer Blackstream and her novels, visit her website at



Buy Before Midnight on AllRomance

Buy Before Midnight on  Kobo

Buy Before Midnight on Barnes and Noble

Buy Before Midnight on Amazon


Buy One Bite on AllRomance

Buy One Bite on  Kobo

Buy One Bite on Barnes and Noble

Buy One Bite on Amazon


Buy Golden Stair on AllRomance

Buy Golden Stair on  Kobo

Buy Golden Stair on Barnes and Noble

Buy Golden Stair on Amazon


Buy Divine Scales on AllRomance

Buy Divine Scales on  Kobo

Buy Divine Scales on Barnes and Noble

Buy Divine Scales on Amazon


Entry filed under: Enchanted Book Tours, Guest Posts. Tags: , , , .

Book Excerpt from The Vineyard Book Excerpt from The Age of Amy: Channel ’63

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jenny  |  November 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you so much for hosting me 🙂


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