You get the picture. Everyone has those set of things/actions/sounds that drive them wild. This is just a short list but I opened up Pandora's box today. I needed to research more pet peeves for this awesome character I'm writing and I tend to incorporate my own... because they drive me crazy and are easy to write about...but I wanted something different. #Regrets
I stumbled upon the worst, cringe-worthy pet peeves I will not be able to unread. Since I'm a caring person... I'm going to share the top ten horrifying pet peeves I can't get out of my brain.
1. The feel of chalk. (cringgggge)
2. People who take home milk from the work refrigerator.
3. The sound when people clip their toenails.
4. People scuffing their feet when they walk.
5. Heating up fish in the communal microwave.
6. People biting their nails.
7. The sound when someone with long nails scratched their skin. (gahhh)
8. Loud swallowers.
9. Creepers at red light. The people who stare at you waiting for the line to turn. (Yikes)
10.When you think you know the flavor of the jellybean... and it's totally different and your mouth dies a little bit.
The first and last one get me the most... but now I have so much fuel and ideas for this character's pet peeves.
So, any of these one of your pet peeves?
How much do authors put tidbits of their life into their stories? There was a trend on Twitter awhile ago that dove into how much writers intentionally or accidentally put themselves into their stories. It got me thinking. Naturally, it's easier to write what you know, but what is true? Four major things stuck out about the three books I have out right now.
Restaurants: I clearly love food. Is that obvious yet? Every time characters go out to eat, drink, coffee, desserts (okay, they eat a lot in my books?) the place is based off a real location, I always change the name though... and almost all of the places are either based in Phoenix or my college town in the Midwest.
Jobs: Another "food" thing. Next book, I'm not writing about one damn food scene. That's my goal. But really, waitressing, education, technology, corvettes, landscaping, bartending... I've had a lot of odd jobs and these are fun and easy to write about because I know them. It is equally fun and challenging doing research on jobs I have zero experience with (like all the college or professional sports, but, it's definitely NOT a hardship looking up baseball and football players for hours...)
Sports: If you didn't know, my husband works for a MLB team and baseball is essentially a part of our household just as much as our dogs are. Due to the hubs' obsession, I've slowly turned into this baseball fanatic who can spout random stats and facts. I even started listening to radio broadcasts because I freak out if I miss a game. I'm that person now. We play on a co-ed softball team, watch MLB TV every day, and talk about players like they are our friends. It's totally normal.
In conclusion, my next book the characters won't eat anything and I'm going to have them hate sports just to challenge myself.
I published my first book in February 2017 and cannot believe it has been a year since I officially became an author. There have been tears of joy, tears of frustration, sadness, exhaustion, and just about any other emotion you can imagine. But it's all worth it. I'm lucky enough to have friends and family (and amazing husband) who support my insane ambition to keep writing. It's baffling to see how much I've learned in a year. Seriously... I had no idea what the heck I was doing when I self-published. I've been reflecting on the past 12 months and wanted to write out 12 things that I've either learned or realized since I entered into this beautiful, crazy publishing world.
1. The first draft is ONLY the beginning. There are so many steps after typing the end.
2. Editing could very well be the death of me. I'm getting marginally better, but it's comparable to pulling my own teeth out.
3. I am a 'panster' rather than a plotter. (This means I sit down and type the story as it comes--letting the characters decide where to go)
4. Less is more. There's no need to over-explain every detail
5. Reading your favorite genres is the quickest way to get motivation back.
6. Reading outside your favorite genre helps you grow (as a writer & a person!)
7. My day isn't complete if I don't write at least for twenty minutes. I get restless if I skip. It's not such a part of my routine, it's natural to make time for it.
8. I have pet words (who knew?) that I use TOO DAMN MUCH. I also cuss a lot.
9. The writing community online is amazing and so welcoming.
10. Self-promo is the definition of awkward.
11. There are pros and cons to both self-publishing & traditional publishing.
12. Never underestimate the power of a playlist--music means more to me now as a writer than it ever had before.
I'm excited to see how much more I'll have learned in another year from now. Regardless, I love being a part of this publishing world and am so blessed to have these experiences.
My story was a spotlight on Romance Junkie's website. Check out the post here!
From Innovative New Adult Romance Author—Jaqueline Snowe
A sassy bartender who’s seen it all wants nothing to do with the campus playboy— but when they are paired together in class, sparks fly. Can the player change his ways for the right girl?
Follow Jenna and Aiden in this enemies-to-lovers story.
LET LIFE HAPPEN
Re-Released in January of 2018. Let Life Happen, the first book in the Isaac’s Bar Series, was picked up by Liquid Silver Publishing and is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
Everyone has that one friend—the ridiculously hot one you swear you would never develop feelings for. Mostly, because it would end in heartbreak. When Aiden Chad walks into a room, people stop and watch him. Who wouldn’t stop and stare at the Sigma President with his chiseled jaw and perfect smile…and those abs. There’s something about a player like Aiden that makes girls say, “I can change him.”
On the other hand, Jenna Smithson has never been like most girls. Why would she start now? As a bartender at the local, college bar, she has seen it unravel enough times to know exactly how it always ends. For the first time in his life, Aiden encounters a girl who won’t fall at his knees or fall into bed with him. Instead, Jenna gives him a dosage of good, genuine friendship and treats him like a normal person. She calls him out on his shit and his charm gets him nowhere. And this, this makes him question his entire lifestyle. Her sassy attitude and foul mouth, combined with his attitude and humor, create sparks hotter than the Phoenix sun they live under.
Want to read an excerpt? Check it out here!
A note from the author:
This book is a love story to those couples who met in college, trying to figure out what they wanted to do in the world without a clue how to get there. The names of characters and places are made up, but the setting is all true to Phoenix, Arizona. This was an ode to a city I grew to love.
The hubs and I live in a city. You expect a little riff-raff now and again but the oddest things always happen to me when I'm alone.
A guy singing his heart out to me? Check.
Following my dogs around, guessing their names? Check.
Someone asking me to help buy underwear for them? Yup.
Aggressively asking for money and insisting I give them my credit card? Also check.
But my Monday started off in the most dramatic fashion.
I thought my car was stolen.
It wasn't-- and for the sake of not embarrassing myself too much, let's just say I parked somewhere unusual and forgot about it. So, I'm already running 15 minutes late (due to crying about the 'missing car') and cheer in delight when finally I spot it. I hustle to it, but someone else is running in my peripheral vision.
Hm, this guy must be running late too! I'll give him a sympathetic smile. I turn. I smile.
Mistake. I made eye contact with a vagrant and he now stood right to my car on the other side. He wanted me to take him to the bank. Like, he tried to get in my car and have me cash his check at the bank.
It was the most bizarre proposition I've experienced. I believe my words were along the lines of hell to the no. He got the picture and thankfully I never felt threatened, but weird, uncomfortable, confused? Yes. All of those things. He walked away and I sped out of there and made it to work only ten minutes late.
In conclusion, it was the most Monday of all time and I'm glad today was much better. Cheers to a happy hump-day tomorrow!
One of my main goals for 2018 was creating more of an online platform and updating my website--and it's finally done! I'm almost at the one-year mark since entering the publishing world (which is crazy to think about!) and with the awesome help of my husband, I made some necessary changes.
First-- I created a newsletter sign up. If this interests you, see the link to the right of this post. I promise I won't spam you!
Second--I have an awesome book banner as my headers across all social media! My amazing husband created it for me and I just love the look of it. He did a phenomenal job. I have to say, it was quite amusing to see him researching all types of romance book banners.
Third--I've been upping my social media game and have included my recent Instagram link on the top right. I held off on getting it for the longest time, but now I"m obsessed with it. I mainly post pictures of my dogs or drinks, but hey, I love it.
I've learned so much during the process of essentially 'rebranding' myself and will only continue to learn more. This writing adventure can be bleak, rewarding, and fascinating at all once so thank you for joining me!
I'll be the first to admit-- I refrained from getting Twitter back in college when ALL my friends got it. I still struggle with social media. I sort of have an Instagram, had Snap Chat for a week or two then deleted it, and fought getting a Twitter. Its 'just another thing to learn.' I also sound significantly older than I am, but its just my preference. But ever think about writing?
Grow your social media platform. Even if its awkward. Twitter is a huge resource and platform to meet other writers and get awesome tips. (If you're looking for agents-- they post tips all the time)
This list might be weak but its just a list of # or events on Twitter than I found extremely helpful.
#MSWL Manuscript Wish List --> agents, editors, and publishers use this for concepts they want
#Askagent--> ask a question and hopefully, an agent answers
#Askeditor--> same goes, for an editor
#RWChat-- Romance Writers chat on Sundays 4PM PST, 7PM EST --> connect with other romance writers with various prompts
#chance2connect --Writing group of all genres for writers to connect on the first Tuesday of the month
#CPmatch-- want a critique partner? beta readers? Follow this thread
#Carinapitch-- pitch your hook to editors at Carina Press, an online imprint of Harlequin
#Pitmad--pitch your hook to agents on set dates-- if they like it, submit your query
#WIP (Work in Progress)
As I said before, this is just the surface of the Twitter world but it has helped me tremendously. I'm learning how to navigate in this publishing world and I wish I would've known about the benefits of Twitter years ago.
Know of any others and care to share?
Want to connect on Twitter? @jaquelinesnowe
I'm going for it this year. 2018. The year of the woman and the year I write down goals-- attainable ones-- and stick to them. I've tried, and failed, at keeping resolutions. I'm sort of a "go big or go home" type of person and I burn out. If I want to start working out again, I'll go too hard the first week and make myself sick, so I stop. If I plan to go to bed early, I'll fall behind on things which means waking up earlier and thus, getting the same amount of sleep. Forget giving up chocolate. I'll go three days without it and then have a low moment and accidentally eat an entire bag of M&Ms. As you can see, I'm not consistent. I'm a mess.
Thus, the list. I'm holding myself accountable. Ten things I'm working on this year. No excuses.
1. Practice Mindfulness. I've read quite a bit about it and it sounds fascinating.
2. Hydrate. I read women are supposed to drink around 91 ounces a day. I've had 34 and it's dinner time. No more-- 2018 is the year for more water.
3. Hiking. I love in the southwest and don't take advantage of the beautiful trails. I want to go 10 times this year. 10.
4. Join a writing group. This idea terrifies me (strangers commenting on my work-- yikes!) But its good to surround yourself with people who know the craft.
5. Finish 3 romance manuscripts (at least the first draft. A MS can take anywhere from 4-10 drafts)
6. Italian. I started learning in two years ago and I stopped making time for it. I want to get back to it.
7. Exercise. I won't commit to anything crazy but I need to make a valid effort to walk, jog, or run three times a week. I had a career change and won't be on my feet as much and staying active is a must.
8. Reading four books a month; 1 outside my comfort zone. I read at a pretty quick rate and can knock out the amount of books each month easily-- its the challenge reading outside what I love. (I'm a sucker for YA, thrillers, and romance.)
9. Finish a MS without romance. No one has to read it, but I want to challenge myself.
10. Better skin care routine. I know that sounds weird but I need to take better care of my skin. (Side note-- if you know any secrets or products that work great, let me know :) )
Well, now that its on the internet its forever. I must complete them, then. What about you? Do you have any New Year Resolutions?
The first to find the pickle gets the extra present. It meant a full-out war between my brother and I growing up. I am naturally competitive and hated the thought of losing anything, but the motivation for that one extra present was enough to have me get up early on Christmas day and search the tree for the pickle. The present wasn't extravagant. But it meant winning. I can't recall when we stopped doing the pickle, but at some point, it faded and now it's just a fond memory. Recently, I found out the pickle is a German tradition. If you don't believe me, read about it here.
Family traditions are fun because they are so different. One of my favorite traditions as a kid was hunting to find the perfect Christmas tree. My entire family would drive to a tree farm, play hide-and-seek through the lines of pine tress, and spend hours finding the one. There were always turkeys at the tree farm (and I have no explanation as to why they were there- but we expected it year after year) and we would all practice talking to the turkeys. To this day, I can do a pretty fantastic (and embarrassing) impression of a turkey. I blame this tradition.
I wanted to share one more tradition I was told about this week. At work, we got paired up with colleagues for an end of the year meal and we had to share crazy things our families did at the holidays. He shared the coolest idea. His parents would cut a ring from the bottom of the tree every year. They would each write out all the amazing things or milestones that happened throughout the year, the date, and then hang them up around their home. He said they had been doing it for 50 years- 50 wooden rings filled with memories all over his parents house! It blew my mind. That is such a cool, quirky tradition.
Do you have any crazy, sentimental, or fantastic traditions? Please share. Christmas is my favorite time of year.
I started reading romance in high school. Both my grandma's had stacks, bags and bookcases full of different romances and I was fortunate enough to share a passion with them. It wasn't weird to swap books. It was a unique situation where I could chat with my grandma about the characters, the emotions, the ending, and the quick escape into another world. I am a huge fan of lists. I make them all the time and as I'm making my way into the romance-writing world, I decided to create a list of the top 10 reasons I (and others) should read romance.
Because romance is more than just "smut."