Jump to content


Just Jemi


Cover Reveal for Tick Tock!

  Posted by Jemi , 15 January 2018 · 167 views

I am thrilled to be able to share the cover of Tick Tock, the upcoming IWSG anthology. Release date is scheduled for May 1, 2018 and I can't wait for this to be out and about in the world!

The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Release date - May 1, 2018
Mystery & Detective/Crime/Thrillers
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552

Isn't it great? I love it!!

(And apparently I didn't press Publish for this to go live this morning... #sigh #oops)



IWSG & Schedules

  Posted by Jemi , 03 January 2018 · 101 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

January 3rd QuestionWhat steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Am I allowed to cry here? Or laugh ... hysterically?

Yeah, my life is more than a little wacky at the moment and things like schedules for anything other than the day job are more than a little loosey-goosey.

That said, I do tend to write during the weeknights - after the rest of my Real Life has been dealt with. I can usually get in thirty minutes to an hour a night, which isn't bad. Because of family commitments, the weekends tend to be a write-off (yep, pun intended). The whole attempt-at-publishing thing has been put on hold for the past 6 years due to Real Life and its many demands. Instead, I've been working on improving my craft and learning (there's always SO MUCH to learn!).

I'm hoping to one day have an actual schedule and be able to push my way into that publishing world!

How about you? Do you thrive on schedules or do they make your soul quiver?



I Wish You

  Posted by Jemi , 31 December 2017 · 116 views

For 2018, I wish you...

Less hurry
More slow

Less take
More give

Less worry
More peace

Less rush
More time

Less hurt
More heart

Less struggle
More success

Less sad
More joy

Less lonely
More love

Sending hugs and hopes to all of my friends in the bloggyverse. 
May 2018 be kind to you and yours.



IWSG & BackTracking

  Posted by Jemi , 06 December 2017 · 119 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

December 6 question - As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Tough one. I'm one who prefers to look forward rather than backward. It was a very difficult year with several medical issues & dementia taking up huge amounts of our time and energy.

Writing-wise, I would wish that I'd been able to squeeze out more time for a rewrite that I put on hold at the end of the summer. My heart was full and I wasn't able to dig in with the energy & joy required. I haven't given up on the story, and with the input of an amazing crit buddy, I'm looking forward to that rewrite in the new year (after I finish up my NaNo project).

How about you? What writing projects are you looking forward to in the new year? Any rewind wishes? 



Phillipa Nefri Clark & From Shadows to Sunshine

  Posted by Jemi , 20 November 2017 · 213 views

Please welcome Phillipa Nefri Clark to the blog today!
From shadows to sunshine… my path to publishing
I was born with stories in my head, of that I’m certain. From a very young age, earlier than school, I read and wrote and drew. Cartoons, little stories, snippets of ideas. Often about horses and beaches.
Nobody nurtured me, not until grade four when my teacher saw what other people overlooked. He took pity on me and showed kindness in what was otherwise, by then, a difficult and confusing childhood.
Dad soon departed with my big sister, leaving me with a prescription drug dependent mother and two younger, disabled brothers. At fourteen, my mother changed my age on my birth certificate and sent me out to work. It was just after a teacher had met with her to discuss a writing scholarship. No more education for me.
I kept writing, late at night on an old typewriter. It was my happy place and driven by something I still don’t understand. I even wrote a novel and sent it to Mills & Boon. Somewhere, I have their very sweet rejection letter. 
A sense of obligation kept me supporting the family until at the age of twenty I moved to New Zealand. Such freedom! My new life was filled with performing arts as I wrote and performed songs, did theatre and some TV, and discovered screenplays. 
Six years later, home beckoned and after a few false starts, I found my husband to be and life changed again. Two wonderful sons, our mutual interest in showing dogs, a move to running our own business - all filled my life. Almost.
Writing still consumed me, one way or another. I wrote lots of expert pieces on dogs, a number of which were published around the world. I edited our own canine annual with distribution in fifteen countries. Doing the marketing for our business gave me plenty of copy writing opportunities.
Fiction kept nudging me and over more than a decade, I wrote bits and pieces of a book I’d named The Stationmaster’s Cottage. For a few years I played with scriptwriting again, writing five feature length scripts, one which was optioned for a while. Cottage was further developed in that format.
About two years ago I got serious. With my sons almost ready to find their own way in life, it hit me hard that I’d not pursued my one unwavering dream. Write a novel. Publish it. Part of my new resolve was fuelled from finding my big sister after some forty years apart. Although I never saw my father after he left, I have her back.
I wrote. Deleted. Started over. Fought every demon and one by one, sent them packing. It was cathartic to overcome the hurdles I’d made. Although fear filled me at times (and still does), I began to find the little girl inside again. I love horses and beaches. I am me, not the person my mother said I was. No education? No problem. That’s what a good editor is for.
With the draft ready to submit for publishing, I found the courage to phone an agent, someone I’d been referred to. One of her first questions was about my education. What qualifications did I have to be a writer? Achilles heel well and truly hit, I hid for a week. But I have a son who believes in reaching goals no matter what and he made sure I kept going, this time taking the indie route.
On Valentine’s Day this year, I published The Stationmaster’s Cottage. After a few hiccups finding my way around retailers, I went wide and have direct accounts with everyone except Nook. This morning, the book received its thirtieth review on Amazon. And this week, it got into the top one thousand books Amazon US.
Exactly nine months after its publication, its sequel, Jasmine Sea, has its release date. I’m definitely speeding up as a writer! My confidence occasionally slips, but there is a sense of fulfilment and excitement in my life like no other. 

I started in the shadows. Sometimes those shadows creep toward me but now I use them to power ahead. We all have our hidden fears, our reasons not to shine, but they can be replaced, or at least harnessed, to bring energy and light into our lives and writing
Phillipa Nefri Clark grew up around lonely Australian beaches with wild seas and misty cliffs. From a young age she wrote stories and dreamed of being a writer. There were many detours along the way as she trod paths as diverse as a travelling sales rep to singing and acting. Fascinated by film, Phillipa wrote five feature length screenplays, one which was optioned. Now living in regional Victoria on a small acreage close to a mountain range, she markets the family business a few days a week and writes the rest of the time. With nonfiction credits for specialist canine publications, she finally returned to stories with the release of The Stationmaster’s Cottage, a dual timeline romance, in February 2017. Her great loves, apart from writing, are her family of two young adult sons and her husband, their Labrador, music,  fine wine, and friends.
On the web:
Website      Facebook    Twitter     Author Page

Jasmine Sea: A River's End Love Story. Book Two
Sometimes facing the past is the only way forward.
Starting over never felt better. Christie Ryan adores the little cottage she’s renovating, the seaside town that embraced her, and Martin Blake, the man she longs to marry. Ex-fiancé Derek Hobbs is finally out of the picture, and there are no more secrets in her life or mysteries to solve.
Will the arrival of a mysterious woman who commissions a portrait from Martin under a cloud of secrecy break her after all? Unrest and suspicion remind Christie that happiness can be fleeting, and when the peaceful town is shattered by crime, her past is again thrust into the limelight.
With one chance and only minutes to save those she loves, Christie comes face to face with her greatest fear—and there is no way around it.
Jasmine Sea follows on from The Stationmaster's Cottage, set shortly after its stunning conclusion.
Buy on:

Enter to win signed copies on Goodreads!
Wow! I was covered in chills as I read this. Congrats to Phillipa on overcoming those hurdles and emerging from the shadows.

Facing our fears is always a challenge - and something I need to work on!

How about you - are your fears holding you back?



Remakes Blogfest

  Posted by Jemi , 13 November 2017 · 92 views

Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner.

Remakes – most of them suck. Now and then, one comes along that is as good as, if not better, than the original. And after all of the bad ones we’ve endured, we want to know about some good ones. 

On November 13, 2017, blog about your favorite remake: movie (or television show into movie and vice versa), song, or book – or all three! Post a YouTube video and links where we can find these treasures. Tell us why THIS remake doesn’t suck! 


Here we go!

In general, I am not a fan of remakes. If I've loved the original, I tend to not want to take the chance or trying the remake, because the new one so very rarely lives up to the standard. I can think of very few exceptions...

One of my all-time favourite Remakes is Battlestar Galactica! The remake was different in so many ways from the original - and it was SO GOOD!

For songs, the remake of Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence by Disturbed is amazing. Beautiful, haunting, and oh so powerful.

How about you? Fans of BSG or Sound of Silence? Do you tend to love or hate remakes?



Can You Visualize This?

  Posted by Jemi , 06 November 2017 · 101 views

I can't.

Here's some proof.

A couple of days ago (a few days into November), I realized something strange. I was working on my NaNo project and had accomplished my daily word count goal and had an extra thousand words padding the story. In all I had about 6500 words written.

For the first time in my life, I'd written an outline. This outline consisted of:
- character sheets for my main characters
- a story path for each of my MCs
- a path outline for the story (main outline)
- descriptions of 2 of the main settings in the novel

In all, I had over 6000 words written in preparation to write the story.

Altogether, that's 12 000 or 13 000 words.

As I was writing, I came to a part where my female MC takes off her helmet and tries to fix her hair. And that's when it hit me... I had NO IDEA what my MC looked like.

I didn't know hair colour, length or style. I didn't know her height or build.
I didn't know any of that about my male MC either.

I knew them as people but I wouldn't have recognized them on the street.
Of course, not recognizing people on the street is a special talent I have...

How about you? Are you a visual person? Do you know what your characters look like?




  Posted by Jemi , 01 November 2017 · 129 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

November 1 question - Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I adore NaNo! I first stumbled on it just as I decided to try out this whole writing thing. Since then I've written several 1st drafts with NaNo - and finished them all. However, I haven't published (or even queried) them.


I'm still learning and I know they're not quite there. I believe they're close - but not close enough. Not yet. Maybe one day.

This year, I'm trying NaNo again - but this time with a twist. This time, I'm going in with an outline. I'm a pantser at heart so I have no idea if attempting an outline before I write will be a good thing or a bad thing. I'm worried having an outline is going to make me freeze, but there's only one way to find out!

I'm going to need all kinds of chocolate and support. Hope you're all up to the challenge of making sure I don't give up!!!

How about you? Are you a NaNo-er too? Any plotting tips to help me think this might actually work?



KA Servian & Accents

  Posted by Jemi , 30 October 2017 · 169 views

Please welcome KA Servian back to the blog today!
I love your accent
Writing a character with an accent is one of those situations where research and careful thought are required. If you overdo it, you risk your character coming off like a caricature but if you don’t identify their unique speech patterns clearly enough the fact that they have an accent will be lost along with some of their personality.
Using accents as a device is not new. It appears in many classic stories. Bram Stoker used it in Dracula as did Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island. The poet Robert Burns was famous for it.
Irvine Welsh’s characters’ strong Glaswegian accents in Trainspotting add authenticity. "Ah'll huv tae stoap sayin' 'ken' sae much. These dudes might think ah'm a sortay pleb." (Welsh, 1993). Welsh not only spells the words out phonetically, he also laces his writing liberally with colloquialisms. This is a very effective device and gives his work a unique ‘voice’. However, unless you are able to handle this device with as much skill as Welsh, it is probably a good idea to avoid it.
In my first book, Peak Hill, one of my characters grew up in Texas so I listened to  online recordings of native speakers until I felt I had the hang of the accent. However, my developmental editor explained that a ‘less is more’ approach is best with accents and I’ve stuck to that principle ever since. Her recommendation was to identify that a character has an accent as soon as they are introduced to allow the reader to ‘hear’ the voice in their mind. This can be easily achieved by having another character notice and/or comment on it. Once that element of the character has been established, all that is required is to sprinkle their dialogue with a few clues to their manner of speech.
In The Moral Compass, the hero, Jack, is Scottish. I identify this by having Florence, the heroine, notice it when he first speaks to her. Then he uses certain words such as ‘canna’ instead of ‘can’t’ and ‘didna’ instead of ‘didn’t’. The reader is always aware of his accent but doesn’t have to decipher what he is saying.
However, there is one place in the novel where I decided to follow Welsh’s example and spell out a minor character’s dialogue phonetically. I did this because the character not only had a strong accent; she also had a speech impediment. I wanted to give the reader a taste of the difficulty Florence was having understanding the woman as she placed an order for groceries. After rattling off her shopping list and seeing that Florence did not comprehend her, the character stated: “Hornastly, yeew’d thunk Oi wes sparking Chionoise ew soimtheng.” My editor felt (and I agreed) that in this situation phonetic treatment of the dialogue was appropriate and necessary.
What experiences/advice do you have for dealing with characters with accents in your writing?
An overwhelming urge to create led Kathy to pursue qualifications in both fashion design and applied design to fabric which were followed by a twenty year career in the fashion and applied arts industries and a crafting habit Martha Stewart would be proud of. 

Kathy then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills she'd accumulated over the years—design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing and machine embroidery to name a few.  
Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Kathy’s first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from that manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016. 
Her second novel, Throwing Light was published in February 2017 and her third novel, The Moral Compass is due out in late 2017.
Kathy now squeezes full time study for an advanced diploma in creative writing around writing the sequel to The Moral Compass, teaching sewing and being a wife and mother.
K. A. Servian on the web:
Website       Facebook     Twitter     Instagram    Author Page  

The Moral Compass (Shaking the Tree Book 1)
Florence lives like a Princess attending dinner parties and balls away from the gritty reality, filth and poverty of Victorian London.
However, her world comes crashing around her when her father suffers a spectacular fall from grace. She must abandon her life of luxury, leave behind the man she loves and sail to the far side of the world where compromise and suffering beyond anything she can imagine await her.
When she is offered the opportunity to regain some of what she has lost, she takes it, but soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. The choice she has made has a high price attached and she must live with the heart-breaking consequences of her decision.

This novel is part one in the 'Shaking the Tree' series.
Buy on:
Amazon Kindle               Amazon Paperback

Amazon Aus                   Amazon UK 
Thanks for dropping by, KA!
You're so right! Too often accents are overdone and exhausting to read. I like the way you've worked with your Scottish characters.
How about you? Have you worked with accents in any of your novels yet? I haven't been brave enough yet!



The Emotional Wound Thesaurus & The Strength of Writers

  Posted by Jemi , 25 October 2017 · 185 views

Today I am happy to be part of Writers Persevere!, an event that authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are running for the next few days to celebrate their release of their newest book, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma. This book looks at the difficult experiences embedded in our character’s backstory which will shape their motivation and behavior afterward.

Because Angela and Becca have spent the last year exploring painful human struggles, they wanted to highlight a very important aspect of overcoming difficult circumstances: it can make us stronger. I promised to let Angela hijack my blog today, so please read on!
Hi everyone! When you set out to find examples of inner strength, you don’t have to go very far. Right here in the writing community we see it every day. Writers more than anyone understand the swirl of emotions as we work toward publication. We dream of making it and seeing our books in the hands of readers…yet doubt and frustration can be a constant companion. For us, there is a lot to learn, much to steel our nerves for, and unfortunately, a host of real-world problems that can try to derail us. And, even as we slowly move forward and grow, we can sometimes feel like impostors. This is a tough road.

But the fact that writers face this battle, day after day, and KEEP GOING…this should be celebrated! We need to be reminded that we are much stronger than we sometimes believe. We dream, create, and force ourselves to keep striving. Through the ups and downs, we persevere!

Have you encountered something on the writing road that made you question yourself? Have you faced an obstacle that required a force of will to get past?

If so, we want to hear about it! Join Becca and me at Writers Helping Writers from October 25-27th, where we are celebrating writers and their stories of perseverance. Stop in, and tell us about a challenge or struggle your faced, or if you like, join this event by writing a post on your own blog and share it using the hashtag #writerspersevere.  Let’s fill social media with your strength and let other writers know that it’s okay to question and have doubts but we shouldn’t let that stop us. 


We also have a prize vault filled with items that can give your writing career a boost, so stop by Writers Helping Writers. I would love for one of you to win something that will help you get closer to your goal!
If you struggle, remember to reach out to others. We are in this together, and by supporting one another, we cross the finish line together (and then keep going!). 

Happy writing!

Angela & Becca

Thanks ladies!! Perseverance is a necessary trait for writers. My life (like many other folks) is more than a bit chaotic and I need to dig deep to find the perseverance to keep at this gig. My progress is slow because I tend to write in chunks of 15 or 30 minutes. But that's all okay. I'm moving forward and gaining confidence and skills. I'm learning to jump hurdles. I'll be ready when the time is right.

How about you? Is perseverance important to you? Let us know - and remember to use the hashtag #writerspersevere to help spread the word!


Search My Blog