And Now for Something Completely Different

keith-margos-murder-mystery-dinner-at-matteos-los-angeles-caI hate to admit it, but I think I need a break from Narrator. I haven’t written at all in the past few weeks, and I need to write something or I will explode. SO. I’ve decided to write an anthology of three murder mystery short stories. I’m hoping that writing this will help me in the Narrator department as well.

All of the stories will be fantasy (of course). Two of them will be related to series I want to write after Narrator. The first is set in an alternative 1910* England, where magic has been outlawed. I’ve already got a great mystery lined up for it. The second is a little murkier since my plans for this series have undergone many iterations over the years, so that’s definitely in the TBD category.

The third short story isn’t based on a future series, unless I want to turn it into one. It’s an off-shoot of the Supernatural fanfic I’ve been playing in my head these last few weeks. I specifically designed this “episode” to not rely on the Supernatural mythology so that I could easily turn it into an original piece. Again, great mystery lined up, if I do say so myself.

Now, why murder mysteries? I enjoy them, but never thought of writing one. Then when you consider that the Supernatural-inspired story is already a murder mystery, and my 1910 series is already a thriller/mystery series, the common thread is plain enough.

I’m also going to try putting my new technique idea into practice. Scrivener has a “screenplay” mode. My theory is that a) it will be easier to let the action flow, and b) it’ll help me curb my tendency to expand the crap out of my plot. Seriously, I always get stampeded by subplots. It’s ridiculous. So sticking to a 45-60 page screenplay should nip that in the bud, right?

Hopefully working on this anthology will begin to allow me to work on Narrator again, and I’ll just switch back and forth for a while. Wish me luck! *crosses fingers*


* What? No, I didn’t set it in 1910 so that a few books down the road I could set one on the Titanic. Why would you think such a thing?

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.

7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

castle ruins
At some ruins my friends and I stumbled upon just outside Pisa.

I’m doing an unofficial blog hop with my friend, Jennifer Loizeaux, based on a Facebook meme. So without further ado, here are seven random facts about me that you’ve always wanted to know. Or something.

  1. All through high school and college, I hosted Harry Potter birthday parties. Not Harry Potter themed parties for my birthday. Actual birthday parties for our favorite Boy Who Lived, every July 31. We’d make butterbeer and cockroach clusters, have scavenger hunts and triwizard tournaments, and play all sorts of games. I made a version of Clue, complete with moving staircases; my brother invented two pretty awesome card games.
  2. By age 5, I was reading the American Girl chapter books. By age 9, I was reading James Michener’s Chesapeake. Now, at age 27, I’m basically camped out at the young adult bookshelves.
  3. In ninth grade, I won first place at the science fair for the biology division. My project was trying to figure out if you could determine a horse’s genetics for coat color by looking at their offspring. Turns out you can, sometimes, but usually not.
  4. I have five copies of Hamlet. The original, a modern adaptation novel, a manga, a graphic novel, and the David Tennant/Patrick Stewart film adaptation. What can I say? I love him. (Oh, and I wrote a monologue for Ophelia in my college Shakespeare class. Maybe I can dig up a copy…) Edit: I stand corrected, I also have a choose your own adventure Hamlet. So six copies, then.
  5. For the past few years I’ve been slightly obsessed with the Titanic. I’ve been reading books, watching documentaries, listening to music that the infamous band would have played. National Geographic in DC had an exhibit when I worked just down the street, but it couldn’t compare with the Franklin Institute’s exhibit in Philadelphia. I even have a book planned that will take place on the Titanic. Get excited.
  6. I’ve loved archery since my first lesson in Girl Scouts. I joined the archery club at UVA (which sort of exploded in membership with the Hunger Games). I have a traditional longbow — and I mean traditional. There’s no shelf to rest the arrow, no bead on the string to consistently nock the arrow. It’s basically the best.
  7. I have a dream series, since I don’t know what else to call it, where I’m back in high school trying to find my classes and remember my homework and all that nonsense. It doesn’t repeat, I just dip back in a few days or weeks later. I haven’t been to my French class since the beginning of the school year, and I’m failing, so I’ve just been avoiding it every day by going to the library. I’m pretty sure I have a major calculus project due soon, so I’ll probably start avoiding that class as well.

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.