Spineless Classics

During my trip to the UK last year, I discovered a fantastic way to publish a book: as a poster.

Harry-Potter-and-the-Philosopher-s-Stone-_679090_h500Spineless Classics creates posters from the full text of a novel. Yes, that is the full text, in 4 pt font. You have to get close to read it, but it is legible. It’s not even difficult to navigate the white space. I’m not saying you should stand in your living room to read the whole thing in one…standing, but you totally could!

I already have this Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone one, but I’m thinking of getting another — or two! I love how they’ve combined text and white space to create a beautiful version of our favorite books.

Right now they have over 70 books available, from Austen and Dickens to Roald Dahl and L. Frank Baum. They can get expensive, especially with your longer books like War and Peace, but you can still enjoy the designs for free by browsing their site!


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Jenn: The First Adventure

alannafirstadventure

As part of our Medieval Studies unit in fifth grade, we had a reading project where we were divided into groups to read one book each of The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s about a girl who disguises herself as a boy so that she can become a knight. My group was assigned the first book of the quartet, Alanna: The First Adventure.

I fell in love. Alanna quickly became my favorite heroine. She didn’t take crap from anyone, including boys that were bigger and stronger than her. She dreamed big, and had the willpower to go after her dreams, even with society telling her to sit down and shut up.

We had a dress up day for the Medieval Unit. The other girls went as ladies; I went as a squire.

After I finished Alanna, I devoured the rest of the books. Then I went to the library and found Tamora Pierce’s next quartet, The Immortals. Today, I own all of her books — including her short story anthology, even though I don’t generally like short stories. And almost every year, I go back and read her entire library.

What keeps me going back after all these years? The characters. The plots. The world-building. The humor. The pure inspiration.

From her books I launched into the rest of the fantasy genre, with classics like Dealing with Dragons, Ella Enchanted, and The Hobbit. I’ve never looked back.

To say Tamora Pierce has influenced my writing is a huge understatement. She’s practically driven it. I learned that young adult fiction isn’t just for teens, that all magic comes with a price, and that there are many kinds of strength.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Book Magic Series: The Paper Magician

Paper Magician

I picked up The Paper Magician in Amazon’s Kindle First program because, at first glance, it seemed similar to The Narrator. Paper magic, book magic. I thought they would have some things in common. As it turned out, the magics in The Paper Magician and The Narrator don’t have much in common at all!

In Paper Magician, Ceony becomes apprenticed to Emery Thane to learn the secrets of paper magic. Thane teaches her how to animate paper animals, create illusions as she tells stories, and produce gales with a simple paper fan. The focus of the magic is on the paper itself. The spell won’t work if the paper’s folded incorrectly, and it’s implied that even the type of paper will affect the spell.

The focus of the magic in Narrator, on the other hand, is on the story. Elements of the story (characters, objects, etc.) can be drawn out of the story or dropped into it, with disastrous consequences in either case.

There are some aspects of paper magic that could be fun to use in Narrator. I like the idea of using illusions to illustrate the book you’re reading, although I’m not sure how I’d fit that into the story. I also never considered what would happen if a bespelled book got wet…hmmm…

I do have one similarity to Paper Magician. Ceony learns to make paper cranes, probably based on origami. When she animates them, they can scout for her. In Narrator, I have one instance so far of a folded paper bird that serves as both messenger and message. The recipient can unfold the bird and read their message, but then the paper will re-fold itself back into a bird.

I’d like to think that’s a pretty cool bit of magic, worth of The Paper Magician himself.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.