J. E. H U N T E R

A writer of young adult fiction specializing in self-publishing, creativity, and writing.

Apologies for my brief absence. Over the past couple of months, I was completely wrapped up finishing a draft of a large project. That project is wrapped up (or at least the third draft of it is). I hope to get back to it in the fall, but for now, it is summer. And for the season, I thought I’d share with you an update on my summer and writing life.

This summer I’m very lucky. I don’t have a boss or a day job—I’m just a writer. And, as I’ve wrapped up the project that has consumed my life for the past ten months, I’m also free to explore.

Exploring beaches this summer!

I’d have to say that one of the reasons I’m drawn to the writing life is the freedom to explore. As a writer of multiple genres, I often go where my imagination takes me. I’d say I generally have too many ideas. I’m easily drawn down the rabbit hole of things I come across that I find interesting. When I’m working on one project, I find it difficult to concentrate and blank out all the interesting distractions around me. Which is why I’m so glad it’s summer!

We’ve already gotten out and about a bit this summer. Exploring some new to us places. And this July and August we’ll be exploring more. I’m also hoping to begin the rewrite of the second Gemology Saga book, the draft of which I finished this spring and have left largely untouched. I’m also hopeful (though don’t really expect) to draft the third Gemology Saga book this summer.

I know there are many writers and writing coaches out there that say it is important to “write every day,” but I met a writer who once told me they take two months off every summer because in summer it is “impossible to focus on writing”. I have to say, I agree with both sides. My summer writing life involves me taking a lot of time off, but at the same time I keep doing things that are “writing related”, if not writing itself.

First, I read. I have so many reading plans for this summer. Currently I’m reading the Murderbot Diaries (I love Murderbot!) by Martha Wells. I’m on a brief break of reading nearly everything that Diane Johnson ever wrote. I read Le Divorce because it is one of the books recommended in Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and I absolutely loved it. This led me to order all the Diane Johnson books I could find. So I now have a nice stack beside my bed.

Second, I journal. I don’t journal every day. But if I skip a day or two my anxieties build up and I find myself needing to get back to the page. My journaling, however, is not fiction writing. It’s more life writing or planning writing.

Third, I daydream.

So, you can see I’m not writing fiction much. But I find by taking space in the summertime, my writing life is refreshed. What happens is new ideas begin to pop into my head. And then I start writing the new ideas down. And eventually, one idea grips me so firmly that it becomes my next project.

So, that’s where I’m at. This means that hopefully I’ll also get around to blogging—and vlogging—more. And will have more to share with you soon.

I hope you’re finding fun this summer as well.

JEH

I’m hosting a By Sapphire Light Goodreads Giveaway! I’m so excited to give readers the chance to enter to win a free ebook of By Sapphire Light. By Sapphire Light is the first book in my young adult steampunk fantasy series, The Gemology Saga! Contest entries opened today and run until May 15th, 2021. To enter, follow the link below and sign in with your Goodreads account. By Sapphire Light is a fantastic book for lovers of young adult fantasy fiction and authors such as Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Mass, or for anyone who loves steampunk and just can’t get enough—because, let’s be honest, there isn’t enough steampunk out there.

Forgot what By Sapphire Light is about? No problem. Here’s the blurb:

In the land of Yurdeh, gemstones mean life.

Starr Wandermer has spent her life gem hunting with her mother, Diamond. Yurdeh is a land on the brink of total destruction. Years ago, a meteor destroyed the land and covered the sky in dust, but it also brought the ability to charge gemstones. Each type of gemstone has a unique power, and Starr and her mother are searching for a gem that can clear Yurdeh’s skies.

When Starr’s mother is kidnapped from their new mining claim, Starr escapes capture with a single uncharged gemstone in her pocket. Starr knows she must transport the unidentified gem to the magical crater across the country. When Starr is followed onto the train, she discovers that the young heirs of BGMC—a corrupt corporation that would kill Starr to claim the gem—are on her tail. Starr evades BGMC with the help of Hinton, a dashing young member of a secret society. Together, Starr and Hinton race across the land in order to charge the gem, discover its power, and save Diamond before time runs out.

The By Sapphire Light Goodreads giveaway is for 100 copies of the book, so spread the word and good luck!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

By Sapphire Light by J.E. Hunter

By Sapphire Light

by J.E. Hunter

Giveaway ends May 15, 2021.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

 

 

Enter Giveaway

Hi All!

Today is a fantastic day here in Saskatoon, warm, sunny, and nothing but blue sky. So it felt like a great day to launch my VLOG. I’ve had this a ‘to-do’ on my list for sometime. And today I actually got around to record a ‘bit about me’ type video in my office, and now I have a VLOG! Now, I just recorded this on my phone and don’t have any special equipment, so I hope that the quality is okay. The video is up on my YouTube Channel, which is quite bare yet, but I’m planning to add more content over the next weeks and months.

I’m a bit nervous about the VLOG, to be honest. But over the past few months I’ve become addicted to YouTube and thought it would just be a fun, creative thing to make some videos and share a lit bit more about myself and my writing with the world. So, if you want to learn a bit more about J.E. Hunter, this is the place.

To get to my YouTube Channel, you can either click on my picture above, or you can find me by click this link here. On my channel, I hope to talk a lot about writing, books, and creativity. Is there anything you will like to see me record a video of? Do you have any burning questions about the Black Depths or Artifacts of Avalum series? If so, drop me a comment below and I’ll see what I can do.

JEH

For this weeks Creative Writing Prompt, I’ve decided to do something a bit different. The other week, in order to refresh my own writing and generate some new ideas and move past some minor writer’s block, I decided to go on a long walk in my home city of Saskatoon. Saskatoon has a great riverside trail called the Meewasin Valley Trial, which boasts all kinds of sights and sounds. I decided to capture some moments on my walk, and compiled them into this video montage for a special writing prompt. So on to the creative writing prompt this week (do one or do them all!):

  1. Describe the distinct sounds in each video clip.
  2. Write a story about a person on this journey. Where are they heading and why? What is at stake if they don’t get there?
  3. Describe the sights and colours in each video clip.
  4. Write a poem from the clips. How do they make you feel?
  5. Write about what you see and hear from the perspective of an alien watching the video feed from a far away planet.

Don’t forget, if you missed the last prompt, you can find it here. And, if you’re interested, here is a link to further information about the Saskatoon Meewasin Valley Trail.

Hi All! I’m so excited because today is By Sapphire Light book release day! This sun has even come out this morning in celebration. We had a huge winter storm yesterday, so the change in weather feels like a sign of good things to come for By Sapphire Light. I’ve been bringing this book together for almost two years now. It always feels good to release a new book out into the world after spending so much time with it. I just hope you all love it as much as I do.

By Sapphire Light is the first book in my new Gemology Saga, a steampunk fantasy series set in a gem powered world. You can find the blurb in my previous post here. As it is By Sapphire Light book release day, I decided to do a photoshoot. I had a fun time this morning taking some pictures of the book with my coffee. The cover looks fantastic this way, doesn’t it? My cat seemed to think so too, as he tried to cuddle right up next to it.

Currently, By Sapphire Light is only available on Kindle, as I wanted the book to be in the Kindle Unlimited Program for a while. I will be sure to let you know when By Sapphire Light is available on the other platforms. But for now, I hope you can enjoy it with a cup of coffee.

You can find By Sapphire Light on Amazon.com here, and on the Amazon Canada store here.

This week, I have a new creative writing photo prompt for you. I know, it’s been a while. I’ve just been so busy getting ready for By Sapphire Light to be released into the world. And now that it is, I’m ready to write some new things and I hope you are too! So, without further ado, here is this weeks creative writing photo prompt:

Write a scene where two characters are arguing, but write it from the perspective of this cat. Set your timer and write for ten minutes without stopping:

Need a sentence starter? Try: They just wouldn’t stop yelling about ____.

Missed the last writing prompt? You can find it here.

Looking for more prompts? I have a whole book of them available on Amazon here, Kobo here, and iBooks here.

By Sapphire Light almost here! The pre-order for By Sapphire Light is up on Amazon now and the novel will release on March 30th. That’s less than a week away! This week I’ve been tweaking the cover, and I’ve adjusted the final image. Don’t you love it!

By Sapphire Light Cover

I’m so excited to share this book with you. By Sapphire Light has been a long time in the making. This story was really a labour of love. I’ve come to love the characters so much and I hope that all of you will come to love them with me. Here’s what it’s about:

In the land of Yurdeh, gemstones mean life.

Starr Wandermer has spent her life gem hunting with her mother, Diamond. Yurdeh is a land on the brink of total destruction. Years ago, a meteor destroyed the land and covered the sky in dust, but it also brought the ability to charge gemstones. Each type of gemstone has a unique power, and Starr and her mother are searching for a gem that can clear Yurdeh’s skies.

When Starr’s mother is kidnapped from their new mining claim, Starr escapes capture with a single uncharged gemstone in her pocket. Starr knows she must transport the unidentified gem to the magical crater across the country. When Starr is followed onto the train, she discovers that the young heirs of BGMC—a corrupt corporation that would kill Starr to claim the gem—are on her tail. Starr evades BGMC with the help of Hinton, a dashing young member of a secret society. Together, Starr and Hinton race across the land in order to charge the gem, discover its power, and save Diamond before time runs out.

The pre-order for By Sapphire Light is up and you can find it here:

At the moment, I’m only going to release By Sapphire Light on Amazon so I can take advantage of the Kindle Unlimited Program for the first three months. After this, I’ll be releasing By Sapphire Light wide (meaning to Apple, Kobo, Nook, etc.). By Sapphire Light is the first book in The Gemology Saga, a steampunk adventure series. I’ve long been a fan of Steampunk and am excited to add my own take on this genre to the world.

And I certainly I hope you’re excited to read it!

JEH

Hi All! Welcome to March and my fourth update on my project: Writing 261,000 words in a year. This month my plan is to get back to drafting, in which case my daily word count should once again increase steadily. This year, I’ve been writing a lot stops and starts. Due to the handful of projects I’ve been working on this year, including By Sapphire Light, (which I hope to share with you all soon) my writing hasn’t been as steady as the year when I wrote 365,000 words a year. And I prefer writing slow and steady.

At the beginning of my writing year, I wrote fast because I wanted to feel like I was making progress. I often find I have an easier time finishing things if I work on them steadily. But this year I’ve so far only pushed myself to work in quick, hard bursts to get drafts completed before my ideas have time to sizzle out. And I’ve been finding writing so quickly stressful.

Starting February with Some New Writing Projects

Now that it’s March, I really want to get back to slow-and-steady drafting. Not so quick, not so likely to burn out—this is what I’m hopping. I’m currently at 165,500 words written this year. (Remember my year began September 1, 2020, when I switched to writing full time). I’m well on track to reach 261,000 words a year by September 1, 2021. Currently, if I was writing the 1,000 words a day Monday to Friday that I’d planned, it would be April 19th. This all means that I’m on track to write over 261,000 words this year! This is great, because that means I’ll finish the draft of several novels this year by only writing 1,000 words a day! Drafting only 1,000 new words a day leaves plenty of time in my day for rewriting, which my drafts desperately need.

When you look at a whole year broken down into such a small daily goal, a project like writing a novel in a year feels entirely possible.

Writing 261,000 Words in a Year – Update #4 – Word Count Spreadsheet

So, what am I working on this month? First, rewrites on my main project continue. My ‘drafting’ project becomes BGG, the sequel to By Sapphire Light. BGG is already 2/3 drafted, so I should have the complete draft of BGG done by the end of March. Lately I’ve been working on some new, small projects as you can see on my spreadsheet. The end of February has a few ‘word dumps’, which means I didn’t actually write over 13,000 words in one day, it means I did a poor job tracking what I wrote on what day throughout February. So, I ended up taking the entire word count of two new short stories and a new novella and placing the total at the end of the month. I promise to be better at my tracking in March! Check in for another update soon!

JEH

Young Adult Book Review of Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

I got this beautiful edition of The Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie in an Owl Crate box last year, because yes, I am a sucker for bookish goodies. Give me not only pretty editions signed by the author, and gorgeous smelling candles to go along with them. Anyway, I digress. I’m here to talk about Bone Crier’s moon, which I finally picked up the other week. And guess what, I loved it!

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Bone Crier’s Moon is a young adult fantasy novel that is full of unique mythology and world building. It circles around three narrators: Sabine and Alisse, two Bone Crier’s about to complete their right of passage, and Bastien, sworn enemy of the Bone Crier’s. I wasn’t sure I’d like so many narrators in one book, especially since they are all written in first person, but I found that each voice was unique enough that it flowed well. I enjoyed experiencing the story from all the different angles. Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the mix with French culture and language.

Bone Crier’s Moon is full of magic and weaves a rich, fast-paced, and enjoyable story. The romance was believable and star-crossed. The magic was definitely a bit on the dark side, so if you like light and sparkly magic only, then this might not be your thing. But if, like me, you like things to be a bit on the dark side, then this book is a good read. For more information, you can check out this book’s Goodreads page here. And don’t forget, you find my reviews on other great young adult books on my My Thoughts on Books page.

Have you read it? What did you think?

4.5/5 Stars

JEH