December 30, 2013

goals for 2014

2013 was a rather interesting year. As far as writing goes, I didn’t write as much as I would have liked or publish as many books as I wanted to, but I have the best excuse in the world for it: my beautiful baby girl. Between pregnancy hormones, a not-working brain in my last few months, and taking care of a newborn at the end of the year, publishing books just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I did manage to publish one book, the Chroniker City novella Le Theatre Mecanique, in April, a book I started at the end of 2012. That was before the hormones and the pregnancy brain hit. I also worked on the second draft of The Wizard’s Heart and began working on the third draft with my editor, but unfortunately, that revision just couldn’t happen while I was pregnant. My brain wasn’t in the right space. It didn’t work properly. So, I had to step away from The Wizard’s Heart. I had to step away from The Guild Conspiracy, sequel to The Clockwork Giant, for the same reasons. I think I was more disappointed about that than my fans.

October 23, 2013

writing revelations

I posted this on Google+ and Facebook, but I felt I ought to post it here as well.

I have come to the conclusion that I really ought to write and publish more books.

This seems to be obvious, but it kinda hit me today that if I want to make a career out of this, I need to have more stuff for people to buy. Two books does not a career make.

I also realized that I’ve been holding myself back ever since I published The Clockwork Giant. I managed to publish Le Theatre Mecanique only because I didn't fret over it until I considered it publishable. I went by a schedule. I wrote it. I edited it. I sent it to beta readers. I edited it again. I published it. I haven't looked at it since. It’s out there, and that's good enough for me.

October 11, 2013

let's do this novel writing thing

So, apparently, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I had no plans to, considering I am expecting a baby soon and don't know when I'll sleep, eat, or shower, much less write. But, I have a bad habit of committing to overly ambitious goals, so this is right up my alley.

I'm actually looking forward to it. The story I'm going to be working on is the middle-grade humorous fantasy I've been contemplating for a few weeks now. NaNoWriMo seems like the perfect time to bang out a first draft. My writing muscles need stretching, and if I do it right, I should have a lot of fun working on this one. I'm not plotting or planning anything out, and as I write this post, all I have to go on is a loose premise, some vague scene ideas, and a handful of unnamed characters, and that's all I plan to have come November 1st. If I get stuck while writing, which I undoubtedly will, I have a mantra that I'm going to print out and stick above my computer: think of the most absurd, silliest thing that could possibly happen... and do that.

This is going to be a fun story. It's going to be fun to write, and hopefully fun to read (when the day comes).

September 25, 2013


I really ought to update my blog more often.

Well, in case anyone is still in the dark on this, I've put all writing on hold. I decided that I wasn't in a good brainspace to edit The Wizard's Heart to the best of my ability. This was about two months ago. I don't regret the decision. Trying to work on The Wizard's Heart was needlessly stressing me out to the point that it was affecting my health and overall well-being. So I put the book aside with plans to pick it up again after my baby is born. My brain just wasn't where it needed to be in order to do the book justice.

June 8, 2013

short update and excerpt

Now that the Chroniker City novella Le Theatre Mecanique is out for the world to enjoy, I’ve turned my attention to other projects: the Persian-inspired fantasy, The Wizard’s Heart, and the second book in the Chroniker City trilogy, The Guild Conspiracy.

My priority right now is finishing the third draft of The Wizard’s Heart, a structured rewrite under the supervision of my editor Rebecca Blain. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this draft by the end of July and send it to beta-readers in August, and with their feedback, I should be able to publish the book by the end of September And maybe, in the next month or two, I’ll have a book description and cover up on the website.

As for The Guild Conspiracy, I have been writing a little bit almost every day, but with the need to get The Wizard’s Heart finished as soon as possible in order to maintain a 2013 release, I’m not going to be able to work on it consistently until The Wizard’s Heart is with beta-readers. However, I am making good progress on it. The story has been re-plotted, and I’m excited to continue Petra’s story. I hope to finish the first draft by the end of October, earlier if possible. I have a baby due in November, and I’d like to have the first draft out of the way before the tiny person takes over my life. Even with a baby on the way, I believe I’ll be able to stick to a 2014 release of The Guild Conspiracy, hopefully by next summer. I know it’s been a long wait since The Clockwork Giant released, but I promise that I am making progress, however slowly.

To follow my daily progress on my writing, be sure to like my Facebook page or circle me on Google+.

April 16, 2013

Le Theatre Mecanique release day!


Le Theatre Mecanique is now for sale!

$2.99 for ebook, $5.99 for paperback

From the author of The Clockwork Giant, explore another facet of Chroniker City and experience the drama of the world’s first fully-mechanical theater! 

Solomon Wade struggles to support his adopted family, the only one of his foster siblings able to work the grueling shifts in the subcity boilers. But he doesn't want to shovel coal for the rest of his life.

When Le Theatre Mecanique hosts open auditions for their upcoming production, he decides it's time to give his dreams a chance, but his lack of talent lands him a part-time position as the theater's custodian instead. Broom and dustpan in hand, he studies the actors during rehearsals, and with the encouragement of a budding young actress, he practices to improve his acting skills.

But when his younger sister's illness develops into pneumonia, her life depends on treatments Solomon can't afford. Leaving the theater and abandoning his dreams may be the only way to save her.

* * *

April 9, 2013

goodreads giveaway of Le Theatre Mecanique

Hey everyone! Just popping in to announce that I've listed a giveaway at Goodreads for Le Theatre Mecanique. The giveaway will run for a month, and five entrants will receive a free paperback copy of the novella. The giveaway is only available to residents of the United States (I can't afford to ship copies elsewhere!).

Enter below!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Le Theatre Mecanique by Brooke Johnson

Le Theatre Mecanique

by Brooke Johnson

Giveaway ends May 09, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

April 3, 2013

character worksheet

This was posted to a writer's community (Writer's Discussion Group) on Google+, but I thought I would also post here for more permanent reference.

So, a friend of mine is having trouble with her work-in-progress, figuring out the characters, her world, the plot—everything. And she’s trying to figure this stuff out while writing­. She’s pantsing. And that’s fine. But there are some things that you need to plan before writing, whether you’re a pantser or a plotter.

When starting a new project, you need to figure out your characters before everything else. You need to know them through and through, because the best stories are character driven. Your characters’ choices, their mistakes, their past experiences and relationships, their dreams all affect the story.

Over the years, I’ve pulled together a character questionnaire for my work, tweaking others’ character worksheets and creating questions of my own. I wish I had the original sources for the ones I stole. Now, this isn’t an eye color, hair color, etc. kind of questionnaire. It asks questions that will best reveal conflict for your characters, hopefully in a way that will help you craft an engaging plot.

March 4, 2013

writing and books update

I just wanted to give you guys a quick rundown of what's going on as far as my books.

I finished the first draft of the Chroniker City novella Le Theatre Mecanique a little over a week ago. It's about 35,000 words. I'm now in the sit-and-wait stage, but I plan to start editing this coming Monday, at the latest. That will take about a week, and then I will send it to beta-readers. Once they've responded, I will implement any suggestions they make and do one final pass of the manuscript. Estimated release date: April 16th. And here's the cover:

Next. Once the novella is published, I will start the second edit of The Wizard's Heart, my Persian-inspired fantasy novel. It's sitting just over 100,000 words (I think; it's been a while since I opened the document). So, that should take me a month, maybe a month and half to edit, meaning it should be ready for beta-readers by the end of May. They'll have two months to respond, so I should have all the feedback for it by the end of July. Once I have that, I expect it will take me another month to implement changes, fix anything they might have pointed out, and do one last proofread. So, if everything goes to plan, I should have it ready for publication by mid-September. No date yet, but I'll let you know when I have a more accurate time. And hey look, another cover!

And lastly, while The Wizard's Heart is out for beta-readers, I will be working on the sequel to The Clockwork Giant, The Guild Conspiracy. I need to spend about a week hammering out the plot and seeing what I can keep from the original half-draft, and then I can start drafting the rest of the book. Because I already have 42,000 words to work with, I don't expect that it will take me too terribly long to finish the book. Hopefullylike, it would be an effing miracleI'll finish the first draft in the two months that The Wizard's Heart is out for beta. It's a bit of a juggle, but I think I can do it. That means, once The Wizard's Heart is published, I can take a bit of a break from writing for a little while and let The Guild Conspiracy sit for another couple of weeks while I have a nice, relaxing break. That would put me starting edits sometime in October. Now, things will probably get in the way. The fall is always such a busy season for me, lots of traveling and such. So, unless I am a miracle worker, I probably won't have the book out by the end of the year. There is a chance that I can work some miracles, and I will do absolutely everything in my power to get this book out by the end of the year, but don't cross your fingers. You see how things worked out last time. >_<

In the meantime, I hope you're excited about the novella release coming up next week, and the fantasy novel release this fall. I know you're excited about those covers. 

Thanks for reading, and sorry for the silence. See you guys later.

Final note: no, the blog is not disappearing, obviously. I'm going to gear my posts more toward readers and fans instead of writers, and I'll update when I feel like I have a bit of information to share. Mostly, posts will be about major events in my writingstarting and finishing drafts, upcoming releases, etc. 

January 4, 2013

final post?

So, fact: I don't read my blog roll anymore. I don't care to. And I honestly never care to blog again.

With the advent of Google+, I have enough room to share my thoughts as long as they might be to people who actually engage with the content I share. In the days of Twitter, blogging made sense.

The blogiverse may be thriving elsewhere, but to me, it's pretty much dead. There's no interaction, no real reason for me to post here unless I feel like wasting some time.

So, this is a post to say that I'm probably never going to post here again. I say probably, because maybe sometime in the far future, I'll feel like posting here again.

All of my previous content will be here for your perusal, and you're welcome to comment on old posts (I do still check for new comments occasionally), but you won't be seeing any new content here, at least not for a long time. And to all of you who have been commenting here, I thank you.

If you want to keep up with me in the future, follow me on Google+ or Facebook.