Inside the Life (and Mind) of a Writer

Inside the Life (and Mind) of a Writer

I’m learning so much more about formatting today!

**That’s another way of saying I’ve been cussing a lot. But don’t worry. I won’t repeat the words. 😁**

I swear, someday I will get this down and it will be a piece of cake every time.

Speaking of cake…

No, sorry, must stay focused. (baking tip later)

What does all this mean for you?

I’m preparing to add my books (ALL the books) to other retailers. I want them in libraries. I want them accessible in other countries beyond what Amazon provides. I want them read by as many readers as possible.

Did you know my books have been read by readers in at least 11 countries? How cool is that?!

I strongly believe in my stories.

Many of you don’t know this, but I’m the pickiest reader. I don’t usually take book recommendations, especially if it’s for fiction. I don’t stalk the best seller lists for my next big read. I have a select set of authors I turn to when I want to raid the bookstores.

Which sucks because that makes me my own worst enemy.

How can I expect readers to take a chance on me when I won’t do the same?

But that’s not entirely true.

I have taken a chance. I *have* purchased paperbacks and discounted hardcovers (I used to subscribe to the Doubleday book club, and of course, I loved it!) by authors I had never read before.

That’s how I came to “know” John Lescroart, Phillip Margolin, Robert Crais, Linwood Barclay, and my all-time favorite Lars Kepler.

I *have* taken a chance on Demetria Lunetta, Alex London, Amy Tintera, and Ellen Hopkins, and I have not been disappointed.

So, I have taken a chance.

But is it enough?

I don’t know.

All I know is that I put my heart and soul into each book. And currently, I’m writing a book (one no one knows about yet) that will likely tear my heart apart by the time I’m done. It tears me up just thinking about one of the major events that takes place in the book.

I don’t do this because it makes me happy. I do it because writing is life. It’s what I live and breathe. Writing, telling sad stories that make me (and hopefully my readers, too!) cry, because there’s so much to say.

There’s nothing that pulls at me more.

I love creating spreadsheets. I love researching and hunting down pieces of information. I love analyzing financial and stock reports. I get a rise out of it. (I’m actually thinking of creating a household expense and budget tracker and I know I’ll have a lot of fun building it.)

But writing…that’s where my passion lies.

I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. But who is?

My writing (particularly with The Hexon Code series) can get a little dark. I mean, medical experiments on kids? What kind of messed up world did I create?

But I didn’t create it. It was already there. Waiting inside my subconscious mind. Fueled by bits and pieces of the news articles, books, and movies I’ve read or watched over the past nearly four decades. I’m not the first author to write about medical experiments.

In fact, my type of experiments aren’t even exclusive to fiction.

But honestly, that’s not what my stories are *really* about.

They’re about the characters. They’re about the emotions. They’re about greater themes like jumping to conclusions, living with consequences, or redemption. They’re about subtlety.

They’re so much more…

So, anyway, back to the whole thing about formatting.

I’m gearing up for some big changes in the next few weeks, and testing out the waters with a book I’ve written under another name. I’ll share details soon about when my futuristic thriller/drama novels will be available on other retailers!

**If you’ve managed to read this far, congratulations! This post got a bit long.**

Now, here’s my baking tip –

I’ve been baking mini fudge cakes off and on for the last few months (I don’t bake them often because, well, the sugar…), but I got to thinking. What would they taste like with fresh jalapeno pepper and basil?

So, I did something crazy. I minced jalapeno and basil, blended them into the cake mix, and baked it.

And you know what?

The mini cakes came out better than the original.

So, the moral of the story, don’t be afraid to try something different. You never know when you’ll stumble upon your new favorite *thing*. 🙂

Jody Calkins
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