Book Interview

I did an interview recently for Pittsburg State University and their Alumni Book Club. The book Searching for Fire, a YA Fantasy book, was featured this summer as one of their selection. Here is the interview with Ruth from the PSU Book Club. It was my first interview for the book and I was a little nervous but it seemed to go quite well. I talked about publishing with Archway, which was a very positive experience, as well as inspirations and ideas and images for the book. Here is the video:

Books

I self-published 3 books to Amazon Kindle recently. The last book is my favorite and is a collection of children’s stories based on the true childhood adventures of my own kids. This book is called Summertime Adventures and is a short read, about 60 pages long on the Kindle. The writing reminds me of cartoons like Caillou or maybe Max and Ruby.

There are three children in the book called Jake, Lucy, and Danny. The children go on numerous adventures outside in nature, fishing with Grandpa, visiting an old Apple Cider Mill, picking raspberries in the sun, flying kites, and tubing at the lake. These adventures are definitely family-friendly and would make good bedtime stories. Check it out here. The eBook is $2.99 or you can view it via Kindle Unlimited.

Here also are the other 3 books available from J. Speer. Moment of Magic is a poetry collection and is $2.99 for Kindle eBook. Age level for this book, I would say is adult.

The Curse of the Sapphire Jewel & Other Short Stories is also $2.99 as an eBook on Amazon. This book is age level adult as well. There are 5 short stories in the book, each very unique in their storytelling.

The last book is published via Archway and is the most popular one. It is a North American action adventure quest and mythology story. It is very fast-paced and can be intense at moments with scary villains the heroes combat. This one has a 4.6 star rating on Amazon and some great reviews. I would recommend this one for 15 years old or adult age level. This one got a very positive review from Diane Donovan of Midwest Book Review in their December 2019 issue. It is available as paperback or eBook and sold on numerous sites online: Amazon, Archway, Barnes and Noble, Google Books, Waterstones, Foyles, Wal-mart, Ebay, etc. etc.

Here, below are the links to the collection of books and each one features a book preview section on Amazon you can read. Thanks for your interest and have a great day!

First Book Reading

We had a great time at the Joplin Public Library attending the Joplin Writers’ Faire. There were around 30 writers at the event doing readings and signings. We donated 2 books to area libraries and sold books as well. We bought a book by FC Shultz titled The Rose Weapon. It is a book about Vikings and dragons. We also bought a children’s book and a Vietnam true stories book by Ronald Mosbaugh. It was a great event. Thanks to the Joplin Public Library for their beautiful new building and wonderful hospitality. This was my first reading of Searching for Fire and it went really well. Here are some photos of the event.


eBook Promo

I have good news about the book Searching for Fire. We’ll be doing an eBook promo in a few weeks that will list on BookBub and Goodreads offering the book at a discounted price for a limited time. The usual price for the Searching for Fire eBook is $3.99 but for one month the price for Searching for Fire will be listed on BookBub and Goodreads at $0.99! This is to promote the book and give lots of people the opportunity to read it and maybe review it. I’ll let you know when the book promo goes active.

Searching for Fire got another good review on Amazon a few days ago! It is now listed online with Archway Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, Books A Million, Walmart, Ebay, and several textbook sites. Also, the book is listed on some overseas sites as well such as Waterstones and Foyles.

I’ve written to the local newspapers, the Kansas City Star and the Joplin Globe, to market Searching for Fire some more. I am planning to send the book to the Library Journal for an official book review. I wrote to a couple of independent bookstores and was happy to learn they might carry the book too in this local area! I wish I could attend the Kansas Book Festival this weekend in Topeka but will be busy in my hometown. We do, however, plan to attend the Ozarks Book Festival in October in Springfield, Missouri! We are also looking into some local events like the Maple Leaf Festival in Carthage, Missouri or even the War Eagle Fest in Arkansas or Pioneer Harvest Fest in Fort Scott, Kansas.

A local English teacher asked me to talk to her classes about writing and I might be working with the local public library in October on some writing activities for folks. There’s a lot going on this Fall in regards to the book Searching for Fire! I hope it all goes well.

Anyways, I will keep you posted about the eBook promo that will go out in a few weeks. Thanks, and happy Friday the 13th! My boss said today that it is Friday the 13th and also a full moon. This is the first time both have occurred on the same night in 28 years! I hope you have a fun evening planned! Thanks for following my blog. Good night!

My Name is Janea. My pen name is J. Speer

I am celebrating today. Today is a great day for me. My family welcomed a new niece into the world this morning. My 14 year old daughter passed driving school. And today, I received a package from Amazon in the mail…….one I have been waiting on for a few days now. I opened the cardboard box to reveal the first copy of my first published book. It is called Searching for Fire. The book is a young adult fantasy fiction story with lots of action and adventure. It is a North American odyssey with some dastardly villains and interesting plot sequences. It is published with Archway.

This story started out a long time ago. Over ten years ago, I used to write a great deal of poetry and short stories. I wanted to be a writer someday. I wrote a giant file folder full of work and I submitted to several publishing companies and online contests. I waited and waited impatiently and finally received one acceptance letter from a Boston company. But here comes the hard part……….I lost confidence in myself. I never sent my work in.

Lack of confidence………I have a feeling many other people who write have felt this. I wonder how many have thought to themselves, “I’m just not good enough. This is not good enough.” I know I did. I put the file folder in the back of a cabinet and life went on as normal for over a decade……..

At this point, you are probably wondering what changed?

A friend helped me.

It was January 2019 shortly after Christmas and I was kinda in the dumps…..considering the winter weather and just general life malaise. She invited me on Facebook to her new entrepreneur meeting. At first, I thought, “No, not really interested.” But I went.

The meeting started with 20 minutes of motivational talk and then she said each of the 20 participants had to stand up one by one and say what their dream is or had been. She said, “If you don’t have the courage to say what you really want to a crowd of twenty people in a room, how do you ever expect to manifest it into your life?” One by one, each brave soul got up and said their secret dream. I, however, was too shy and remained quiet.

I went home that night and sat in my mini-van in the driveway and thought for twenty minutes. Then, I went inside the house and opened that old cabinet and searched for the old file folder. I pulled it out from the back and sat down at the kitchen table to read. I had just assumed over the years, that it was not worthwhile. But I was wrong. Some of the poetry and short stories were quite good. I picked one short story, my favorite in the bunch……….and eventually turned it into a novel. I worked six hours a day for six weeks, writing after daily 8 hour shifts at the factory. During the day at the factory, I would go through every detail of the upcoming pages in my mind and then jot down my ideas as soon as I got home.

And that is the story of how Searching for Fire came to be. It is my first book and admittedly perhaps more a lump of coal than a polished diamond. But I truly hope it does well on the market and most of all, I just want people to be entertained and happy reading it.

Thank you for reading about my adventures with writing and I would love to hear from you too on your creative works. Keep writing! Keep creating! Keep being more!

Bless you,

J. Speer