Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

It's Winter break here at Fringe Dweller. During the hiatus, I'll be spending time with my family and friends, and celebrating all the traditions that make this time of year wonderful. I sincerely thank you for visiting my blog. I wish you a truly blessed Holiday Season and a prosperous 2013. Seasons Greeting!

See you back here on Monday, January 7. And remember, Indigo Awakening would make a great stocking stuffer.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

CONTEST for In the Arms of Stone Angels AUDIO!

by Jordan Dane


I recently published a post on how I self-published the audio rights to my debut Young Adult book – In the Arms of Stone Angels – through ACX/Audible. The link to that post is HERE. The process has been effortless and actually fun. Picking out the narrator and being in charge of cover art and other production decisions expanded my industry knowledge too. I highly recommend the experience.

The award-winning narrator and voice actor, Michelle Ann Dunphy, is amazing and really brings to life my character, Brenna Nash. Whether you’ve read the book or not, hearing what Michelle brings to this project makes this audio book very special. I hope you will try it or donate a copy to your local library for others to enjoy. Croco Designs, the talented Frauke Spanuth, did the cover art.

I am announcing a Goodreads contest to giveaway TWO audio books in CD. The contest will start December 21, 2012 and run until January 15, 2013. Visit Goodreads contest giveaways to enter. Good luck!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Congratulations Goodreads Winners!


My Goodreads contest to giveaway TEN copies of Indigo Awakening ended December 15th. Congratulations to the winners listed below. Santa is on his way to deliver your book. Thanks so much to everyone who entered. Happy holidays!

1.) Melodie Platt - Canada  
2.) Linda Fisher - Ohio  
3.) Melissa Miller - Canada  
4.) Morgan Musselman - Iowa  
5.) Michael Rohmann - Kentucky  
6.) Angela Evans - Iowa  
7.) Sandi Harkness - Indiana  
8.) Patricia Garner - Florida  
9.) Katelin Deushane - Illinois  
10.) Jaime Smitte - Florida   

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oh, for the Love of Pajama Jeans!

It’s an excellent day NOT to be a turkey…or my pants. If I had been thinking, I would have stocked up on pajama jeans last year. Maybe I’ll correct that blunder on the most sacred day of the year – Black Friday. (For those who don’t know I come with a “prone to cynicism” warning label, I’m totally kidding.)

My sister Denise and her husband Chip are the brave souls who are hosting our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. So the first thing on my “What are you thankful for” list is that I’m not Chip and Denise. I dutifully made our family traditional recipe for Cranberry Chutney (Yummo) and made Dulce de Leche Cheescake bars for dessert – one of MANY treats we will have. (We all make desserts so none of us have to eat Dad’s undercooked pumpkin pies. Looooong story.)

I’ve been crashing on deadline, trying to get as much written on Crystal Storm (book #2 of the Hunted series for Harlequin Teen) before promo begins for my next release, Indigo Awakening, in December and the virtual tours in January. But I am determined to take some time off to enjoy the holidays and replenish the creative well. If there is any “writerly” or "life" advice I can share today, it’s that you should embrace all people and things. Enjoy them as if you were a child seeing everything for the first time.

So here is my game plan to make the most of my time off with the people I love and laugh with every day:

1.) The minute I walk into Chip and Denise's home I will turn off my cell phone and thoroughly enjoy the amazing smells coming from the kitchen. They are making THREE turkeys. (Yes, it sucks three times as much being a turkey at their house.)

2.) I’m going to hug absolutely everyone I see and take my time doing it, including One-eyed Jack, a visually challenged pug that snorts when you squeeze him.

3.) My ears will be tuned into every story and my chuckle box will be fully engaged because if there is another year ‘round tradition in my family, it is laughter.

4.) In my family, we have designated BUZZARDS. These are the few, the proud, the first at the bird. I don’t know who started this (totally ME), but the movement has been passed down to future generations. My nieces and nephews have learned the fine art of swooping in for the choice pieces (without leaving fingers behind) while my dad and Chip slice the turkey. Crispy skin is double points.

5.) I WILL NOT, under any circumstances, eat my meal in under 30 minutes. What is up with the rush, people? It takes hours to make (days even) and we finish as if there is a race & there’s a prize for being first done. (Of course if there IS a prize, forget what I said.)

6.) And an addendum to this pledge, I am extending these commitments to Saturday when my Dad is hosting a tailgate party for the Aggie game, a cabrito mexican dinner gorgefest. (It will suck to be a goat on Saturday. Spread the word.)

Okay, so that is my plan. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with the people you love, but know that at the top of my list for things to be thankful for is YOU.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pretty Boys Everywhere!

When I woke up this morning, this beautiful blue-eyed Aussie boy was the first thing I saw when I powered up my cell phone. HarlequinTeen Australia did an incredible job designing this cover. He reminds me so much of Lucas Darby. I also loved how they emphasized the word AWAKENING and tied the color to his stormy blue eye. In an instant, this cover tells a story and makes me want to pick up this book. Thanks, @HQNTeenAus for making my day!

If you have trouble seeing this image, here is the LINK.

Friday, November 9, 2012

INDIGO AWAKENING Virtual Tour Announcements & GIVEAWAYS

by Jordan Dane

Indigo Awakening Opt 200_opt (2)

I will be launching INDIGO AWAKENING (HarlequinTEEN) on Dec 18th. Because December is such a hectic month, I will be postponing my promotion (v-tours & signing events) until January, 2013. INDIGO AWAKENING is book #1 in the Hunted series and is available for pre-order now. You can be first to read it before the virtual tours start, but here are the scoop on the upcoming online tours.
The first virtual tour will be hosted by KismetBT and scheduled for Jan 7 – Jan 18, 2013. Tour stops will have my book giveaway at each stop to one lucky winner, PLUS an amazing Harlequin Teen grand prize pack awarded at the end of the 2-week tour.
Another v-tour will be hosted by YABOUND and held the week of Jan 28th. This will be a blast tour format, PLUS Harlequin Teen will be giving away a GRAND PRIZE gift pack of goodies at the end of this tour too. 
Here are a few other deets for the giveaways on these tours:

For anyone who has read an advance copy of INDIGO AWAKENING, you know that a silver infinity bracelet plays an important part in the story. Special bracelets will be given away on the virtual tour so the lucky winners will be part of Rafael’s street family. Rafe’s bracelet was in black leather, but I’ve added a white leather braid as my personal remembrance to you for being in MY family.
Infinity Bracelet Giveaway 71LV9cSQLgL__SX395_
Another cool giveaway is a music from the pop punk band, Archimedes Watchout. These guys are friends of mine and are mentioned in my book. Whenever they tour in Texas and come to San Antonio, they stay with us. My husband and I love the 2 AM knock on our door. Friend them on Myspace. Very cool guys.
Grp Shot

I also will have a special giveaway for the audio book of IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS with Audible and narrated by the award winning and talented voice actor, Michelle Ann Dunphy. She's amazing as Brenna Nash, my main character.

And I'll have uber-cool commemorative INDIGO AWAKENING bookmark swag, signed of course. Here are the front and back. The design is gorgeous. The color online is nothing like the real thing in your hands.
2x8_IndigoAwakening_front_FINAL 2x8_IndigoAwakening_back3_opt

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First Review & Goodreads Contest for INDIGO AWAKENING


@RachelFriars of Rochies Reads made a video review for Indigo Awakening, book #1 in the Hunted series with @HarlequinTeen. The book comes out Dec 18th. Rachel did such a fantastic job with it that I had to share. She’s so cool under fire. I would be a nervous wreck. If you have trouble viewing the embedded code below, go to this link:

I also wanted to share that I’ve got an exclusive book giveaway set up for Goodreads to start on November 1 that will run through mid-December. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to win a signed book. TEN COPIES!!! Click HERE to go to the Goodeads link. Good luck!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Self-Publish Your Audio Book

Sorry for the delay in posting. I just got back from the trip from traveler’s hell. I had a speaking gig in the beautiful Madison, Wisconsin, but the weather on departure day resulted in our flight being cancelled. It took us two days to get back. I felt like I was in a John Candy & Steve Martin movie, without the trains.

For this post, I wanted to share my recent experiences with creating an audio book for my YA debut, In the Arms of Stone Angels. My publisher omitted audio rights from my contract, which gave me an opportunity to try Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), a site from Audible that I learned about through the International Thriller Writers (ITW). Others  using ACX are: Neil Gaiman, M. J. Rose, award winning voice talent Tavia Gilbert, Tantor Audio, and Random House (a key ACX launch partner). ANY narrator with a home studio (or access to a studio) can be listed as a voice actor and audition for work.

ACX provides a central location where authors, publishers, agents, narrators, studio producers, and other rights holders can match up projects to create an audiobook for distribution through Audible (and elsewhere) under two different royalty models.

Parties can create a profile of the project for others to see. Narrators can audition, audiobook publishers can express interest, producers can make offers, and rights holders don’t have to let their rights languish. Setting up a profile is easy. I started the project in July and listed my book. Within a short while I had narrators auditioning, but I waited to see if I could get an audiobook publisher or producer interested, since I had no experience with this.

Narrators can be their own producers. I could have been more aggressive about seeking narrators and sending them a message through ACX, but I waited to see what would happen. In October, Audible added a stipend incentive to my project, meaning they offered to subsidize a producer to create my book by giving them $150/finished hour (up to $2500) for a 10-hour completed project. This stipend flag brought more auditions and producers to my project. The stipend had a deadline so Audible could get my book by year end for the holidays.

Once I decided to be more proactive in pushing my project, I decided on a narrator who had experience, awards, and a solid producer to go along with her voice actor talent. The steps from there are all online. I extended the offer, based on a royalty sharing model with my narrator, so I wouldn’t have to shell out money. The Audible stipend helped entice the narrator and producer I chose. Royalty rates will vary depending upon whether you give Audible exclusive or no-exclusive distribution rights. You decide how this can work and set it up. For more details on how ACX works, click HERE. For FAQ, click HERE.
Once I extended the offer and the deadlines ACX wanted for the stipend, I got a standard agreement printed through ACX between the parties, and my narrator had her deadline for acceptance (up to 72 hours). I talked with my narrator on the phone to share my thoughts on my central character, to help her create the voice of my teen girl, sent my book in PDF for her to read, and a 15-minute narration came within 5 days for my approval. In 60 days, I will have a finished audiobook to approve, but Audible will also act as a quality control checkpoint. If you opt for Audible to be your distributor, your book will be set up for distribution through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. If you don’t give Audible exclusivity, you can distribute your audiobook anywhere you want to go.

I’m very excited to “hear” the voice of Brenna Nash, my character, through my award-winning narrator, Michelle Ann Dunphy. ACX has been very easy to use and I like the control aspects I keep with this project. I’m working with my German cover designer to develop the audiobook cover now. ACX is self-publishing for audio.

If you’re an author, do you retain your audio rights? How many of you like to listen to audiobooks? I love them for long road trips and for camping, listening to a story over a blazing fire.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Absolute Truth about My Muse—as Far as You Know


Every time someone asks me about my muse, I lie. (If you write fiction for a living, is it really lying?) I tell some people it is my two rescue dogs Taco and Sancho or I blame my weirdness on my peculiar rescue cats. There are days these aren’t lies exactly, but they’re not entirely the truth. Today I’m finally coming out with the truth, as best I can figure this out. My muse is a seven headed hydra with a flying horse body. There, I said it. And it looks something like this.

The flying horse comes from my love of anything HORSE. That love turned me onto reading as a kid in elementary school. I read every book in my school library that had a horse in it. I love westerns, but my favorite horse book was a fantasy with a flying one. I actually worked to buy my first horse and ended up with my family owning several. Noble creatures.
The first good-looking hunk (head) on the left is actor Eric Etebari who played the dark assassin, Ian Nottingham, in the short run TV show on TNT, Witchblade. I became so enthralled with his character of a noble assassin that I wrote fanfiction on the show for six months. When the show got cancelled, I could have shriveled up and forgotten about my writing, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me, as I look back. I made up my mind to write original stories after that.
Next to Ian Nottingham is Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker who flipped a light bulb over my head when he said that he wrote his non-fiction book doing it a page a day. I thought, “Hell, I could do that” and made up my mind to try. Zig isn’t a motivational speaker for nothing.
Next to Zig is Robert Ludlum (RIP), the master of espionage thrillers who wrote the Jason Bourne series and many other great spy novels. He amazed me with his style and pace. Even as a reader, he struck me with his amazing talent and still does when I replenish my writer’s soul by rereading books of his from my personal library. He made me a crime fiction author for life.
The Cyclops dude represents my crazy family. It takes a village to raise a writer and I was no exception. I still call my mom everyday and read her what I write in its raw form. My siblings are all very supportive. And my husband is my number one fan, but not in a creepy way like Kathy Bates and he axe. (In the book Misery by Stephen King, she used a turkey carving knife. Read it and you will never see Thanksgiving the same way again.) My husband clears the way so I can focus on my work every day and is my brainstorming partner when I need a level head.
The Grizzly bear is my memory of Alaska where I lived for ten years. My heart is still there. Whenever I get lonely for it, I contact friends I have who still live there, but I can also write about it. My books EVIL WITHOUT A FACE and ON A DARK WING are set in Alaska.
The dangerous looking woman on the right is my love for strong empowered women in the books I write. Even when these women have incredible emotional baggage, like my bounty hunter Jessica Beckett in my Sweet Justice series, they find a way to survive and thrive. Creating the right man to deserve them is a bonus.
But perhaps the most important muse is the one who reminds me why I started writing in the first place. The central woman with a book in her hand is YOU. With every book I write, I start a circle (my journey), but that journey is only half complete. It takes a reader to take that trip with me and complete the circle. Hearing from my readers, especially in the wee hours of the morning via email, can absolutely lift me to a higher place. No lie.
So as you can see, I am surrounded by my muse every day and it’s a seven-headed winged horse Hydra. Did you really think my muse was a puppy? Pffftt. Wiggly puppy tails and the smiley faces of my rescue dogs feed another (no less important) part of my soul, but my writing muse is a beautiful magnificent beast.
What about you? Do you have a hydra of influences in your closet…maybe wearing a jet pack?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crime Fiction Rocks at 2012 Bouchercon Mystery Conference!

by Jordan Dane


I’ll be attending one of my favorite conferences is coming up on Oct 4-7 in Cleveland, Ohio. Bouchercon is a world mystery convention that has been taking place annually since 1970. It’s open to anyone and is a place for fans, authors and publishing industry professionals to gather and celebrate their love of the mystery genre. It is named for a famed mystery critic Anthony Boucher. During the convention there are panels, discussions and interviews with authors and people from the mystery community covering all parts of the genre. There are signing events for people to meet their favorite authors face-to-face and get books signed. Bouchercon also has the Anthony Awards which are also named after Anthony Boucher. These are voted on by the attendees and given out during the convention. For more, click HERE. Guests of honor for 2012 include: Elizabeth George, Robin Cook, Mary Higgins Clark, Les Roberts, Librarian Doris Ann Norris, and toastmaster John Connolly.

Michelle Gagnon and I will be on a YA panel for the first time. I’m really looking forward to that. If you are attending, I’d love to meet you. 
12:15 - 1:05 PM Thurs, Oct 4, 2012
Grand Ballroom B
The Popularity of YA Books panel - How do authors appeal to young readers and keep them interested in reading? Book signing will be held in the dealer room following the panel. Joining Jordan will be Michelle Gagnon, Joelle Charboneau, Bev Irwin, and moderated by Keir Graff.

I’ll be on another fun panel featuring romantic suspense with Heather Graham, Lori Armstrong, C. J. Lyons, with Monette Michaels as moderator. We may have a mystery guest to round out our group. We’re still waiting to hear. Stay tuned.

3:50-4:40 PM, Friday, Oct 5, 2012
Location: TBA
"I used to love her, but I had to kill her” Guns & Roses Panel - Moderated by author Monette Michaels, stellar panelists Heather Graham, Lori Armstrong, C. J. Lyons, and Jordan Dane will discuss romance in thrillers. Hallmark doesn't make a card for "I'd take a bullet for you, honey" but our panel of bestselling authors share their titillating secrets on how they spice up their thrillers with Guns & Roses. (Door prizes and giveaways for those in attendance.)
Prior to the panel, Mike Bursaw will host a “Booze & Broads” signing event at Mystery Mike's booth in the dealer Book Room for the authors. Alcoholic libations will be served, a shot at a time.

HERE is the attendees list for 2012. Anyone else going to Bouchercon this year? Have you ever been? I’d love to hear from you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Get Immortalized as a YA Character Winner!

Sarah Evans of Sarah’s Books & Life blog - Thanks so much for hosting my feature day for “Authors Are My Rock Stars” and my appreciation also goes to Rachel from Fiktshun and Patricia and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books for putting the whole fantastic tour together .

My publisher, HarlequinTeen, generously contributed two of my YA books (winner’s choice between IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS and ON A DARK WING) and those winners are:

Marty S
Emily S

Sarah will handle those giveaways through my publisher. Congratulations!
But the pick for one winner getting named as a YA character in my next HUNTED series book – Crystal Storm – is (drum roll):


All entrants’ comments can be seen HERE. As you can see, there were many responses that made it tough for me to decide, but Caila’s comment about a power being both a strength and a weakness – a double-edged sword that came with responsibility – resonated with me.

Crystal Storm will be coming out in 2013. Be on the lookout for Caila. Congratulations, Caila! I look forward to working with you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

How much of YOU do you write into your books?

  I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid in elementary school, but as I grew older, I wondered how authors concocted their stories and how much of their own experiences became a part of their fictional stories. Vivid scenes can put you into that moment with the characters. Exotic sights and smells can put you there, even if you’ve never been.  Now with each book that I write, I know the answer—at least for me. I feel like I’m treading on dangerous ground to reveal too much. I run the risk of pulling a reader out of my books because they may know where elements come from. But maybe telling some of my secrets might enrich a reader’s experience, like saying my stories are inspired by real headlines or true stories.  My first HarperCollins Sweet Justice series book, Evil Without A Face, had been inspired by a horrific near miss abduction by a young girl who had been virtually seduced online by a charming human trafficker. The girl had her computer only 6 months, a gift from her parents. The clever trafficker set up an elaborate scheme, involving innocent adults who he lied to, to trick this girl into leaving the US even when she didn’t have a passport. The FBI thwarted the abduction in Greece, minutes before the girl was to meet her kidnapper in a public market. The Echo of Violence (Sweet Justice #3) came from a real life terrorist plot to hold missionaries for ransom.  But those inspirations aren’t what I’m talking about. I’m referring to the small creative morsels that you pepper into your stories that are your secrets, no one else’s. So it’s confession time and I’ll start.  There’s a line in No One Heard Her Scream, my debut novel:  If she wanted to engage the only brain he had, all she had to do was unzip it and free willy.  I channeled that line through my character and didn’t even remember writing it, until one of my sisters asked about it. It came from one of my vacations when I visited Vancouver and took a day trip to see where they filmed “Free Willy.”  In my debut YA with Harlequin Teen, In the Arms of Stone Angels, I wrote about my 16-yr old Brenna Nash getting extra credit for dissecting a frog and earning extra credit for extracting the frog’s brain intact. Well, Brenna may have gotten the extra credit in the book, but I never did. I jabbed at that frog until it’s head was shredded. The brain popped out whole, so I asked for the credit. After my teacher saw the wreck I made, she only gave me a grimace and a heavy sigh. (There are quite a few more kid stories of mine in this book, but I'm stopping here.)  Sometimes I use real people that I know in my books as “fictional” characters. They know I’m doing it but they roll when they read what I wrote. I crack up too. The priest and Mrs Torres at the end of The Echo of Violence, for example. Yep, people I know. One of my favorite book reviewers for my YA novels entered a contest of mine and won being named a character in my upcoming release – Indigo Awakening. O'Dell shared some of his quirks in an email and after seeing that list, I thought he would make an odd villain. He can’t wait to read the book.  So now that I've given you a peek behind the curtain of Oz, is there anything you care to share about your own writing? If you’re a reader, have you ever heard or read stories about what elements have been connected to the real life of an author?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cover Reveal & Book Trailer - Indigo Awakening

I have seen the cover for Indigo Awakening (Book #1 in The Hunted series, Dec 18, 2012, Harlequin Teen) evolve through Harlequin's art department and it got better each time. Many thanks to the hard-working and creative people at Harlequin!

This cover was inspired by the first appearance of the mysterious Gabriel Stewart in Indigo Awakening, a runaway boy who rescues my brave girl, Rayne Darby, from a gang of thugs after they follow her into an abandoned zoo at night. Rayne is looking for her younger brother, Lucas, after he escapes from a mental hospital. Lucas is being hunted by a covert and fanatical church who hunts "his kind." Rayne could use Gabriel's help, but he has reasons of his own to refuse her.

Gabriel has way to many secrets that could make things worse for her, not the least of which is his strange companion, Hellboy, and unimaginable psychic powers that could put a target on both their backs.

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only "the Believers" know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.

They are our future—if they survive…

I have a book trailer for my book. Enjoy and let me know what you think. I can't wait to see this cover up close and in my hands.

Indigo Awakening Book Trailer - If you have trouble seeing the video, here is the LINK.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Get Immortalized in a YA Book!

As part of the fab "2012 Authors are Rockstars" virtual tour hosted by Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books, I am offering a contest for TWO book giveaways PLUS a unique prize on my tour stop host, Sarah's Books & Life blog. By commenting on the blog, tell me what name you'd like to use as a possible character in my YA novel CRYSTAL STORM, book #2 in my HUNTED series--the psychic power you'd like to have--and convince me that I should pick YOU. Use your imagination. My cast of teen characters can be innocently good or wickedly bad. Contest will end when the month of August does. Check Sarah's blog for deets!

Winners for the two books generously provided by my publisher Harlequin Teen will be randomly picked and can chose either IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS or ON A DARK WING. You can enter as many times as you want.

Good luck!

Friday, July 20, 2012

5 TIPS on World Building from Scratch

By Jordan Dane

World building is a huge topic. I will only cover a fraction of it, but it’s a topic that’s been on my mind lately. Writing crime fiction thrillers, I mainly thought of world building as creating a setting that readers can relate to using all their senses. It can also be a world that can be its own obstacle for the characters I turn loose in it.

My brand slogan is “Take a front row seat to suspense,” which is a saying I felt related to the style of my “up close and personal” writing. But writing for the young adult thriller market has broadened my thoughts on world building. It’s stretched me. I’m working on a new YA proposal for a thriller series that will be set in the future, something I never thought I would do. Sci-Fi? Really? I’m faced with creating a world that doesn’t exist and I would imagine fantasy writers do this all the time. It truly amazes me, but now I’m testing myself too. I thrive on a challenge and this new idea has my juices flowing. I wanted to share my thoughts.

When developing a world that exists only in the future or in a paranormal fantasy realm, this is not the time to shy away from “over the top” thinking. The best tool in your author arsenal is actually a question - “What if…?”

Five Tips on World Building

1.) Take the familiar and give it a twist. A reader can more easily imagine the world you are trying to convey if you make them believe they have seen elements of this world before. Take known calamities, myths, or fairy tales and give them a new spin. Or use real hazards in our world and time—project them into the future with dire outcomes—and see how they might turn out. A dark Alice and Wonderland twist (Splintered by Anita Grace Howard, Jan 2013), for example. What if the world has taken a downward spiral from global warming or what if money is no longer a physical commodity? What replaces the power of money?

2.) Add a Heavy Dose of Human Nature. Basic human nature can transcend time and reality. Determine what matters most in the world you are trying to reinvent or create—and apply a human story at the crux of it all. That is good drama and readers will relate to a well told story with good solid conflict. A great example of a near future world is ASHES by Ilsa Bick. A teenaged girl, dealing with a fatal brain tumor, must survive a post-apocalyptic nightmare alone.

3.) Take a look back to see ahead. If your world is in the near future, say in 2025, you might take a look back at the same span of years (13 years) to see how much has changed and in what areas. (Compare 1999 to now. What’s changed most?) Or if you are creating a fantasy world, man’s history or mythologies can give you ideas on what to bring into that world. What if there is civil unrest in your world? Who are the players and why? What if a magical mythical creature exists in your world? What would it be and what are its powers?

4.) Paint a world by highlighting the elements that enhance your story most. As an author you might know every aspect of the world you want to portray, but are these details important to your story? It can be tedious to demonstrate your world building skills at the expense of pace. Make your key elements conflict with your protagonist’s goals or become an obstacle to challenge them. Think of your setting and world as a character and place as much importance on setting up a solid framework where your characters can thrive. Your world may have to survive a series.

5.) Color Your World. Every world has its own dialect, slang, food, clothes, and customs. “Borrowing” from fables, myths, and history can be a starting point, but don’t be afraid to develop something on your own. Invent a few words that will play a prominent role in your new world or perhaps take a risk by combining a known world with a fantasy/paranormal one. A reader will feel grounded in the world you are creating, yet feel you are bringing something new to the table. A good example of this is the old Sci-Fi TV show FARSCAPE. A present day astronaut gets caught in a wormhole and transported to another universe where he is the only human. Remember the word, “Frak!” Yep, another four-letter word starting with F.

For the sake of discussion—by the year 2025—what do you think would change most? What would be cool to have? What bad things do you think are looming if we don’t change our ways? Will we still use real money? Are we headed for a global society, rather than individual countries? Exercise your writer brain and throw out anything that comes to mind. In brainstorming a new world, you need to cut loose, think over the top, and have fun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Authors Are Rockstars Tour!

For deets, click HERE!

Phenom book bloggers Fiktshun & Two Chicks on Books are hosting an amazing virtual book tour during the month of August that will feature OVER 30 YA authors. Bloggers who want to participate can sign up on July 15th. Click on the link above for the deets.

Just when summer gets hottest, Fiktshun & Two Chicks on Books really know how to heat things up with more great summer YA reads. Jordan Dane will be featured on August 8th with book giveaways PLUS something special to be announced. Stay tuned!

Join in the fun every day in August. Loads of fun posts and giveaways from your fav YA authors.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Congratulations to the winners of my Aha Moments Contests. I had TWO contests going through June. One was posted on Goodreads and the other was run here on my Fringe Dweller Blog.

The giveaway is my first non-fiction writing book that focuses on the young adult market – ONE AUTHOR’S AHA MOMENTS. I hope every winner finds elements that will inspire their writing from the epiphany moments that I highlight in this book.
Therese Eckel
Maria Stanica
Carolane Vallee
Angel Lederhause
Josephine Jimenez
Fringe Dweller Blog Winners
Kai Wong
Vicki Hancock
Patricia Barraclough
Audrey Lawrence
Both contests are closed and the winners have been contacted. Thanks to everyone who entered. I wish you all the best with your own writing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Harlequins ‘More Than Words’ Awards Open for Nominations

Nominations are open for the Harlequin More Than Words Award. My publisher, Harlequin, is committed to honoring girls/women for their good works, celebrating their accomplishments and supporting causes that are meaningful to them.

Currently, Harlequin is soliciting inspiring stories of girls/women who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities. Five finalists, selected by the Harlequin employee committee, will be up for a public vote on October 18th, 2012.

The three recipients with the highest number of votes will be awarded the 2013 Harlequin More Than Words award, and the announcement will take place in January 2013. Harlequin will also make a donation of $15,000 to each of their causes. Their stories will be the inspiration for fictional short stories written by our Harlequin authors and distributed for free as eBooks—all with the aim of inspiring readers to turn awareness into action by encouraging them to become engaged and make a difference.

Those within the Harlequin family, including authors, are not eligible to submit a nomination; however, there are undoubtedly girls/women you may know who are making a difference in the community. We hope that you will encourage women in your network to nominate someone! Also, please feel free to share the news about our nomination phase with your readers via your website, tweets and/or Facebook pages. The nomination form is due before July 6th, 2012. For more information, visit

Reward the generous girls/women in your life by recognizing their amazing efforts.

Friday, June 8, 2012

An Indie Author’s Checklist – A Look Behind the Curtain of OZ (Post #1)

This is post #1 in a blog post series that I hope you will find interesting—things that I have learned on my indie author journey. Since I’ve been fortunate enough to be published by HarperCollins and Harlequin Teen, I can see and appreciate the differences in what I will be doing as I self-publish. I’m discovering what my houses do behind the scenes for authors on the e-book front and realize that when I become an indie author, I will have to make choices on how to expand my distribution and retail visibility—ways my traditional publishers did for me without me knowing it.

My first recommendation for any indie author is to do your research on what’s involved. It’s not simply writing a story, editing it well, spending some coin to format and cover it, and uploading it onto Amazon and expect readers to find you. You first have to put out the best book you can, because quality will help you build a readership. Secondly, there is a business side that detracts from your writing time and you must be aware of how time consuming this can be. You won’t be able to load your book up and have readers flock to find you. It takes time to build a virtual shelf of quality work and expand your distribution. That’s why I wanted to share my experiences so you can research what will work for you and not spin your wheels, trying to gain traction.

This series of posts are intended to jumpstart your research, but for the purposes of discussion, I will lay out the decisions I had to make as I began. I’d spent time researching and building service provider contacts. I already had an infrastructure in place where I had an online presence, blogs, twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and many other sites that I have grown my online presence. A new indie author would not start where I did. They’d have to catch up and that takes time and money to set up your promotional foundation. This post is not intended to start from scratch. I’m sharing my experiences, starting from a spot where I already had insights into the industry. I hope what follows will help any author build on their expertise.

For me, the process started with me making decisions on which service to upload my books into after I’d done my initial due diligence into self-publishing. I knew I would upload to Amazon and B&N. They provide comprehensive systems that make the process easy and their reach encompasses most of the e-books being sold today. So realize that if you upload to Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook, you are probably reaching 60-70% of the digital books being sold. In a quickly changing world, however, the shift in technology could change this dynamic, but for now I’m comfortable with my digital offerings being on these two sites. For many established authors, who want to step foot into the indie world, this might be enough. But it’s not enough for an indie author with dreams of finding another way to make a living and who might be starting from scratch.

A traditional publisher uses its name to aggregate digital books to retailers and provides the latest offerings in a bundle. They support and build an infrastructure to get their books into as many viable venues as possible, to get books into the hands of today's online readers. An indie author is on their own to figure out how to expand their reach and what to promote, but traditional houses have resources en masse with staff to support that effort. For an indie author to learn what works—and to grow what they know— they must navigate uncharted waters of Distributors and Retailers that are willing to allow self-published authors or small houses to have the same access as larger publishing houses.

I thought it would be interesting to break down what I’ve learned into five posts and create a future page of resource links on my FRINGE DWELLER blog for indie authors that I will maintain for myself and to share. My hope is to demystify the process of self-publishing so authors can make informed business decisions on how to get their work in the hands of readers directly. Ultimately, this will become a comprehensive “how to” book on author promotion that will cover various topics from branding and online presence, to press kits and resources, with practical tips on distribution. This indie process has educated me and will continue to do so.

But in doing this, I’m also realizing what my traditional houses have been doing for me and appreciate their efforts. I’m hoping to maintain a balance that works for me where I can still have projects through traditional publishers, but reap the benefits and gain experience with being an indie author for certain projects. Sustaining my online presence and growing my name recognition will hopefully be a benefit and a WIN-WIN for any house I work with as I self-publish. By expanding my reach, I can also give my agent more to represent.

Even authors who have no plans to self-publish can gain an appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes beyond your desk, your publisher, and your friendly retailer—because today's readers have many ways to discover books outside the brick and mortar stores.

Here are the bullet point topics I will cover in this blog post series:

1.) Introduction (Post #1)

2.) E-Book Retailers – A Checklist Place to Start (Post #2)

3.) Distributors & Library Sales (Post #3)

4.) Retailers with Volume Restrictions or Limited Access (Post #4)

5.) Conclusions & Introduction to My Resource Page (including review sites receptive to indie author books by genre) (Post #5)

Please share your questions and topic suggestions that you hope I will cover so I can target the focus of my series. I’d appreciate your input.

In the mean time, I hope you will indulge me in a little blatant self-promotion for my first ever self-published offerings.

120429 One Authors Aha Moments - Jordan Dane - FinalONE AUTHOR'S AHA MOMENTS (92-page POD, e-book) is geared toward aspiring authors and has an emphasis on the Young Adult genre. These writing tips may also be helpful to experienced authors and those who write other genres. My advice comes from my personal experiences on writing fiction for adult and teen markets and what has worked for me. Topics include: Young Adult fiction themes, voice, and characteristics; how to create characters editors look for & give them a unique voice; plot structure that even a non-plotter can love; how to hook your book; the writer’s life, goal setting, editing, book promotion and more.

My first anthology of short stories—SEX, DEATH & MOIST TOWELETTES (e-book)—is now available. It's a mix of stories from crime fiction noir to paranormal, with my brand of dark humor. As a teaser for anyone not familiar with my adult paranormal writing, I’m releasing DARK KISS (e-book) as a single short story from the anthology for a discounted price.