I’ve read more gritty books than usual this year, and when I finish one, I need something light and fun to balance it out. So I was delighted when my writer friend, Kyra Jacobs, let me read her upcoming novel, BLUE MANHATTAN. I’m a big fan of witches, demons, and gargoyles. Believe me when I tell you, I hadn’t read any quite like Kyra’s before. The humor was a perfect blend with battles and power struggles. The protagonist tends bar, and the scene with supernatural customers coming in for a drink made me think of the bar scene from STAR WARS. I loved it.
But I’ll let Kyra tell you about it herself. I invited her here to help promote her book and to talk about writing. She surprised me by adding some nice things about me (blushing and trying to stay humble). Writing has its ups and downs, and Kyra–who works to be a positive person–has some great advice about that:.
Kyra Jacobs Guest Post
Hi all! Judi graciously invited me to pop by for a visit this week to help celebrate the release of my tenth novel, BLUE MANHATTAN. And honestly, whether she knows it or not, Judi had a lot to do with me writing this book…
You see, Judy was there when this whole Kyra Jacobs thing began. I’d just finished another draft of my debut novel ARMED WITH STEELE (I had at least eleven drafts of that book…couldn’t tell you which one I was on when I first met her LOL) and had joined a small local writing group that gathered once a month in the back corner of our local Barnes & Noble. I’m pretty sure her dear friend M.L. Rigdon was there as well, along with Shirley Jump and a few other wonderful authors and writers. Me, I was clueless and green and doing my best to be a sponge to all their wonderful advice. And Judi? Well, she just seemed so at ease with the whole writing process. And cool. I mean, she was writing urban fantasy before it really hit the genre scene—talk about a true visionary!
Okay, I may be getting a little carried away, but she definitely made a positive impression on me. Since then, I’ve loved being a cheerleader for her writing. I also love how she’s become a treasured one of mine.
This writing stuff? It ain’t easy. Doing that thing with the words and stringing ‘em together to build a story up from nothing (and pray it all still makes sense in the end) takes imagination. It takes time. Patience. Maybe even some honest-to-goodness skill.
But honestly? I think something that’s just as critical to have along this journey is a tribe you can count on. People who support you, who understand you, who empathize with you. People who cheer for you when you’re celebrating a success—no matter how big or small—and bring a spare tissue along when this writing gig has got you down.
Because it most certainly will sometimes, not gonna lie.
Yes, family and friends are wonderful support networks, but as most writers know, unless your family/friends are writers too, they don’t always GET us. They can’t fully understand the excitement you feel when you have that eleventh-hour plot breakthrough just before a deadline to your editor, or the frustration that’s beginning to eat you alive when you’ve hit a brickwall in your story for the umpteenth time and are thiiiiiiiiis close to shutting your laptop for good. They won’t fully appreciate why hitting 1000 words this afternoon (or 3000 or maybe just a really tough 50) might be something to celebrate, or how painful it was for you to trim those 5600 words from an overinflated genre submission.
But your tribe does.
They understand everything you’re feeling because they’ve likely experienced it at some point too. Our shared pains and joys and frustrations and elations are what bind us on a different level. Having a tribe gives you a safe place to vent, or to bounce ideas around, or to test out plot twists and watch for reactions. Priceless, is truly what they are, repaid in hugs and thank you’s and endless cheering from the sidelines.
Sure, the involvement of your tribe’s members may change over the years as some journeys wind down while others’ ramp up, but those connections and friendships can last a lifetime.
I’d be lost without my tribe—they know who they are, and each of them have secured a precious place in my heart. Judi and M.L. are certainly there, for all the wisdom and support they’ve gifted me with over the years, as are countless others. Some, I’ve met in person. Others, I’ve made connections with from across the country to even around the world, all thanks to the amazing technology that is the interwebz. Each one is a true blessing, and help keep me grounded when life starts spinning off-kilter. Their resilience inspires me to keep trying, keep dreaming.
So yes, Judi, in her own steadfast journey, has helped keep me moving forward with mine (and I’m certain that I’m not the only one, if the dedication of her regular, on-going local writers group is any indication.) Her bravery in trying different genres and rolling with the punches helped inspire me to give my imagination freer rein with BLUE MANHATTAN, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite stories. Will it sell a million copies? Eh, who knows. But one thing I do know is this: my tribe will be right beside me either way, and to me those friendships are worth their weight in gold.
Thank you, Judi, for being part of my tribe, and for all the support and encouragement you’ve graciously offered me over the years. And thank you all for sharing your time with me today. Stay safe, take care, and write on!
P.S. If you’re looking for a new wild and crazy fantasy romance, I’ve got you covered. 😉
Bartender Shayla Tempest wants nothing more than to stay out of trouble. Oh, and to kill the supernatural mob boss who’s stolen her sister. So, when Mauricio Hunter demands Shay deliver some “special package” in exchange for her sister’s life, this supe masquerading as a blue-skinned witch doesn’t hesitate to agree. Until, that is, she learns the package is one that’s completely off-limits for her kind: a human.
Computer programmer Jamie Knight just wants to finish debugging his latest app. But some douche bag named Mauricio has kidnapped his girlfriend, and now Jamie’s dodging dangerous mythical creatures in a race against time to pay her ransom. His only hope? One seriously stubborn witch who’s blue, scary powerful, and sexy as hell.
With an unexpected attraction brewing between them, this unlikely duo will break every rule in the supernatural underworld to complete their rescue mission. But something far more devious than kidnapping is on Mauricio’s true agenda, and the erlking will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Do Shay and Jamie have what it takes to thwart his plans without losing themselves—or each other—along the way?
Available now at Amazon.