Life is fairly quiet in Chandler's world, mostly because all the action is happening in her counterpart's (Jana Oliver). Currently there are worker bees in my kitchen painting and putting in new flooring. And I've been "ridding out" all our belongings in preparation for a move out of the country later this year. Yeah, offshore. Like in Portugal. More info on that down the line.
Meanwhile, here's some great news! The U.S. Army has taken a major step forward and removed ALL restrictions for women to attend Ranger school. Last year two graduated. Despite some naysayers who insist that the Army dumbed down the requirements for women to attend, and graduate, the requirements have not changed. The women have to compete equally with the men. Not all of what it takes to be a Ranger is physical prowess, but also the kind of solid mindset and top leadership qualities that make these people the best of the best. It's a grueling test that most people never pass. Hats off to the U.S. Army for knowing that the biology of their soldiers is not an issue. Now those women who have the fortitude and drive will have a chance to compete against their fellow soldiers.
It appears that not only guys are enjoying whisky, but the ladies have found themselves a new drink as well. As a devoted lover of whisky/ey, I've been savoring this liquor for years.
For those of you confused as to why there are two spellings of the word, here's a handy guide from TheKitchn.com--
Here's a quick way to remember how some of the world's biggest producers spell their products:
Now you know how to spell it correctly and that it's a drink for us ladies, too. Win-win.
As I posted on Facebook, I've been quieter than usual as I've been finishing a manuscript Demon Trappers #6) which will be published under my "other" name, Jana Oliver. Now that it's off to the editor, I'll be here a lot more.
Over the next couple of weeks I'll be turning my attention back to KNIFE EDGE (Veritas series #4). It's quite switch from me to go from Atlanta in 2019, a town infested with demons, to rural Montana in 2015. This Miri and Neil's story and it's going to be hard to write, not because of them, but because of the subject matter. These two so deserve some love and hopefully, at the end of KNIFE EDGE, they'l find it. #VeritasSeries
Initially the Veritas Series was only available on Kindle, but now it's being rolled out across other stores. And right now, CAT'S PAW is FREE!!!!
Here are iBooks' links:
CAT'S PAW (Veritas Bk #1) - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1187657222
KILLING GAME (Veritas Bk #2)- http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1187743754
BROKEN DREAMS (Veritas Bk #3)- http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1187745122
I love Chicago because it's a very cool town with great vibes. It also has a reputation for being a dangerous town. 2016's crime stats are in and its' even worse news than in 2015: 762 murders and 3550 shooting incidents in those twelve months alone. Unreal.
So to balance that hideous news, there's a Facebook page that serves up Good News from the Windy City. Here's hoping the cops and governmental types can get a handle on the crime rate VERY SOON.
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a meaningful Kwanzaa. Hug your family, remember the good times. Love is the prime mover in this world. We need more of it.
Having a mall located along the river doesn't seem like a big deal to the average visitor, until something doesn't go right. In this case, an accident that could have been a disaster.
An article from the Washington Post reveals the men behind the coffins, those who show the last, full measure of respect for our fallen heroes. A poignant read. #SemperFi
While my counterpart (Jana Oliver) is working on another project, I'm conducting background research into my next mission report: KNIFE EDGE. This mission involves Miri Parkin (Alex's sister from CAT'S PAW) and Neil MacFayden (the former Navy SEAL) as they infiltrate one of the "troubled" youth camps.
There are legitimate teen camps and they're designed to offer structure and teach discipline to help mold kids into shape. Unfortunately, not all camps are legit, and in some cases these prisons are a literal hell.
During the time her brother was in prison, their aunt and uncle sent Miri to one of these camps, trying to curb her "defiant" behavior. Miri was sixteen at the time, and she had no one else to turn to for help. She has told me some of what she endured there, and some of that will be revealed in the mission report. I now know why she wanted to bring these abuses to light.
During my research I found this article from Cracked about a fourteen-year-old girl sent to one of these camps, and what it was like for her. Since in some states there is little regulation of these places, deaths and injuries do occur. Some camps do "gay conversion therapy", a professionally-discredited technique that is supposed to alter the kid's essential nature. Of then results in nothing more than torture. These are the kinds of horror that Miri has vowed to stop, which is why she presented a proposal to Veritas for this mission.
KNIFE EDGE will detail the dangers she and Neil faced while trying to expose the truth. I'm thinking my part in this part of the mission will be completed sometime in May or June 2017. I'll post updates as time permits.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pseudonym: nom de plume/pen name, alias
Short version: Chandler Steele is a pen name. The actual person behind the Veritas Series is me.
And Who Am I?
Jana Oliver. I’ve been in the publishing biz since 2001, been writing since 1998. My books have been published by small presses, big presses and independently. My most successful endeavor to date is the Demon Trappers, which is a young adult urban fantasy series and has been published worldwide. I’ve won quite a few awards, including ones in the mystery genre. In short, I’m not a newbie.
Why Publish Under Another Name?
Why did I create Chandler and keep her a secret? Much like J.K. Rowling (though my royalty checks are **considerably** less hefty), I wanted to do something new without any preconceived notions as to what the story might contain. Rowling knew her fame with Harry Potter colored readers’ expectations of her Cormoran Strike series, so she published as Robert Galbraith. These books are classic British mysteries, set at a different pace than the Potter ones, with not a jot of magic or the paranormal. Once her pen name was “outted”, reviewers complained that the Strike books weren’t anything like Harry Potter. Which was the whole point.
I’ve run into this issue myself as often my non-Demon Trapper books are compared to the series, which is much beloved. I understand the sentiment, but I wanted to have free rein. Chandler was “born” so I could write pure romantic suspense/thrillers, based on current events, stories that include adult language and (gasp) sex.
From this day forward, Chandler and Jana are one person. No more hiding that fact in Facebook posts or on Twitter, Instagram, etc. Chandler will continue to “live” in Chicago, writing her rom suspenses with hunky heroes and kick butt heroines (and blowing sh*t up.) Jana will continue to live in Atlanta and write spooky paranormal urban fantasy stories. They will happily co-exist as Jana and Chandler both like scotch and the occasional cigar.
The Other Reason I did This
This was an experiment, of sorts. I wanted to find out exactly how hard it would be for a new author to find readers in 2016, without using an existing network of friends and acquaintances. Tyra Burton (best buddy and university marketing professor) and I used many of social media’s tricks, tools and platforms in an effort to build readership. And found it was just as hard in 2016 as it was in 2001 because there is so much competition. In fact, we’re presenting a workshop on our findings today, complete with all the grimy details. We both learned a lot of new things, lessons that we will be applying down the line.
For Jana’s readers, you have two books and a novella you didn’t realize existed (CAT’S PAW, KILLING GAME and BROKEN DREAMS in the Veritas series). These are NOT young adult stories. Currently they are only available on Amazon and Createspace, but will be rolling out on iTunes, B&N, Kobo and GooglePlay in December, along with a boxed set. More details can be found at Chandler’s website (www.ChandlerSteele.com) along with some informative blogs that cover “ripped from the headlines” topics like domestic terrorism, what it’s like in prison, prostitution and drug running in New Orleans, what it’s like to be a sniper, etc. And yes, the next Demon Trappers book (VALIANT LIGHT) will be out in the spring of 2017.
For Chandler readers, well now you’ve got a lot more selection to choose from (www.JanaOliver.com). Twelve books are currently available, ranging from young adult urban fantasies, to paranormal murder mysteries, and an award-winning trilogy about time travellers in Victorian London.
Eventually Chandler’s website will be integrated into a section of Jana’s (once that site is completely reworked). From now on I’ll be doing events as both JO and CS. But I have to admit being CS has been a blast, mostly because I had the joy of writing books I’ve always wanted to write while running completely under the radar.
So it’s ALL GOOD!
Jana & Chandler