Today, I’m happy to host Jean Shorney and her newly released book Progeny of a Killer. Take it away, Jean!

Overloading Plots and Tangents

PROGENY BCWithout the steadying influence of my proofreader, I can become a wayward writer. That is I tend to write everything that pops into my head. I go off on tangents. For example Progeny Of A Killer began life as two stories (and two different genres). Basically the book was intended to be a terrorism thriller, which is what it became. Thoroughly focussed on that one theme, but there was so much other stuff going on in Aidan McRaney’s life. His problems with his young bride. Her insecurities that all the women he had previously dated were tall, sexy redheads or sophisticated blondes. Whereas Caitlan was short, with mousy dark hair, and barely twenty when he fell in love with her. Her hang-ups lead her, beneath the jealous influence of one of her husband’s ex girlfriend’s, to try and change her appearance, much to Aidan’s disdain.

So I needed to combat this. The novel was either a thriller or a Romance. There was only one option left to me. The novel needed to ‘rest’. ‘Progeny’ did just that. I left the draft alone for four months until I was ready to try again. This time I was ready to prune. Progeny Of A Killer became a terrorism thriller, with Aidan McRaney working for the underground Agency, infiltrating fellow Irishman Danny Corrigan’s lair.

Overloading plots are another problem for me. While writing one novel, other ideas spring up and I have difficulty keeping them in. The resting period helps, but there is nothing worse, than getting halfway through a story and you really want to start another. Should the time come when you have to force yourself to continue, then you need to either rest your book, or give up the story altogether.

Your book maybe your baby. You’ve spent  solitary hours writing it, but your best friend has to be a good proofreader/editor. There are some bad ones out there, who’ll charge you a fortune for their services. I was once charged over a thousand pound for a forty chapter book only to be told the editing was bad. Let’s just say I trust my proofreader more than I trust myself.

Coping with Rejection.

I was far more anxious at being rejected by a publisher than ever being rejected by a man. Let’s face it, the baby you’ve nurtured and loved those past few weeks/months/years, is finally sent into the outside world (well, at least in the form of an enquiry letter and three sample chapters). What about those enquiry letters hey? One I sent a few years ago, was discovered two years later, and replied to only after they moved offices. I did however succeed in grabbing the attention of an agent, which I’ll enter into more in the post on My Writing Journey. 

So how did I cope with knowing my  novel might have landed on the slush pile, was used to swat a persistent fly, or did not  fit into their lists?

I cried buckets. What else? But I was reminded of  the old song ‘Brush yourself off and start all over  again’. Like falling off a bicycle or a horse, you climb back into the saddle, while a few tears never go amiss.

Rejection doesn’t have to mean failure. Apparently Kathryn Stockett, who wrote ‘The Help’ now a major film, was rejected one hundred times. J.K. Rowling rejected fifteen times. The crime writer Raymond Chandler practically two hundred. Do we have that much patience? Thank God for self-publishing. So there are good independent books and bad ones but, it’s fair to say, I’ve read some traditionally published books that should have been put to better use in swatting the office fly than placed in a bookstore.

A short word on Self-Publishing and Marketing:

Although we are unfortunately swamped with the world, his wife and his cat, writing books, with the advent of self-publishing, at least we are all in with the same chances. The hardest part of course is marketing. Letting the world know we exist. A good, and I stress a good, publicist will help of course. This was certainly true for me, when sales of ‘Progeny‘ really skyrocketed in the wake of the e-book release. But there are some exploitive so-called publicists whose only interest is charging you six grand for a package that you know will never be recompensed in book sales.

Social  Media is an excellent platform, but blowing your own trumpet, as it were, too often can irritate rather than attract. Creating a web site is also an excellent vehicle for attracting people to your existence. Whichever way you do it, if you have a strong enough voice, folk will listen and (hopefully) buy your books.

Author PhotoAuthor Bio:

I live in a country village called Thatcham, in rural Berkshire, England. I am a widow with two sons and a granddaughter. My granddaughter also writes and is training to be a dance choreographer.  I love music, especially old Country, as I have since I was a child. I enjoy listening to Irish Country music, which I also write to. When I’m not writing, I work in a care home for the elderly with dementia. I enjoy watching movies and collect old gangster and horror films. I once owned over two hundred and fifty books on supernatural accounts, but was compelled to give them to charity shops as I had run out of room.

I own over five hundred movies, and enjoy old anthology series such as The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. My favourite writers are Elliott O’Donnell, Robert Bloch, MR James and HP Lovecraft. I also enjoy the Irish terrorism thrillers of Jack Higgins.

I would like to post an acknowledgement to the lovely Helen Treharne, @Tea_Talks on # Twitter for recommending  Rave Reviews Book Club, and for her continued support.  She’s read all my books to date. Bless her.

Link to Blog: https://jmshorney.wordpress.com

Twitter: @jmshorney


Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stalking-Aidan-JM-Shorney-ebook/dp/B00FL0I35S

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stalking-aidan-jm-shorney/1116997236?ean=9781909878662

Progeny Of A Killer

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Progeny-Killer-J-M-Shorney/dp/1910223050/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426852661&sr=8-1&keywords=progeny+of+a+killer

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/progeny-of-a-killer-j-m-shorney/1119687532?ean=9781910223055

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.


Thanks for 4WillsPublishing for presenting the tour and Jean Shorney for sharing her latest book. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process.

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Support Nonlocal Science Fiction–A New Kind of Sci-Fi magazine that’s Out of this World!


Here’s an interesting new idea for short fiction publication. Re-blogging on Archer’s Aim

Originally posted on Kylie Betzner:

Attention science fiction fans, Nonlocal Science Fiction is approaching critical mass and your support is needed to help it take off!

CoverReveal Recently revealed cover

What  is Nonlocal Science Fiction?

It’s a quarterly digital magazine published by 33rd Street Digital Press (a new independent publishing company) featuring short stories and serials from emerging science fiction authors from around the world–this world;) The first issue launches on March 14th!

What makes it so unique?

Nonlocal partners with its authors directly and offers them a share of the profits from the sale of the magazine rather than a per-word rate. Also, authors are involved in the marketing campaign which helps independent authors increase sales.

Who will appear in Issue #1?

Issue #1 promises awesome talent with stories by:

  • Valery Amborski (“Us and Everybody Else”)
  • Robert Paul Blumenstein (“Delivery to Venus”)
  • Dan Colton (A Thin Atmosphere, Chapter 1)
  • Daniel J. Dombrowski (“Mazep-fal”)

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Getting to the Heart of Character Development


Interesting insights about character development from Autumn Birt.

Originally posted on Guild Of Dreams:

– by Autumn Birt

Every story needs a unique idea (or at least a new spin on a classic!), but good character development can keep a reader going despite plot flaws far longer than a brilliant plot with flat characters. At least for me. And if you go by the comments and complaints out there, for most people as well. We write in a era of character driven novels.

The typical problems are stories with great ideas and cardboard characters. There are so many levels of poor character development: no interaction with other characters, speeches that are information dumps, no nuanced emotions. What is your pet peeve? Mine – have you ever begun a story where it felt like the character showed up the same time you did? A character who knows as much about the fantasy world as you on page one, but they supposedly grew up there?! Those…

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