The Dissection of Nhakira… Wow, dramatic…

Ok, so a few people have been asking me “who is Nhakira?” And, “where does her name come from?”

Let’s start in the birthing canal of a character… Sorry, that was a vivid metaphor… but fitting. As writer, I believe in writing with honesty. I want to create characters that say something I believe in – or stand against. I deliver a message, opinion or question inside my characters, and wrap it all up inside a cloak of fantasy, overdose of imagination, and trickery of magic…

So let’s strip away all the newness of my fantasy world, all the magic and spells, crystal staffs and evil bad guys…

Nhakira can be you.  She is anyone who is ‘stuck’ in life and want change. She is everyone who wants to ‘break out’ and be who they really are. She hides what she feels, underneath. She is the person fighting for liberty and equality. She’s the girl experiencing ‘first love’. She is the leader of a group that has to ensure success, and every person who has to face life’s challenges. She is the ambitious guy in a new job that has to outsmart others who have been in the game much longer. She is every person who has been discriminated against. She is the one that rises up against all odds to fight back.

Her universe is filled with magic, adventure, dark sorcery, rising of the dead, amazing creatures, demons, prophecies, secrets and enchanted kingdoms. But, her world is also a metaphor for our world. Everything in Nhakira’s story is a symbol that can be related right back to your world. Yes, as reader I want you to escape into her world and get away from your reality. Though, remember, her challenges are much more similar to your real challenges than you might think… But she overcomes them all through friendship, courage, love – and loads upon loads of ass-kicking!

“But she’s a slave, and I’m not a slave,” you’ll say. In some form or another, we’re all slaves to something, are we not? Some are slaves to their husbands and children. Quite a few are slaves to love – or the seeking of it. Many are slaves to work. I’m a slave to my passion and determination to write. Too many are slaves to materialism and money. And a precious few are slaves to bringing ‘good’ into this world… We’re all slaves to something. It’s both a negative and positive term, relative to application and interpretation.

Where does her name come from? Well… She gave it to me. Or rather, that subconscious corner of my brain that created her, made her whisper her name to me one night… Why exactly “Nhakira”… Not even I know. All I know for sure – is that Nhakira came with a unique message for everyone. Every reader will find a message, answer or inspiration they’re looking for in Nhakira’s story. Whether it’s just the seeking of fantasy, magic and fun – you’ll find it! If you want a darker side of fantasy, oh yes, my characters Mathus and Rothgylde will give you plenty of evil and even torture… Or, if you wish to find a few life lessons to ignite your thoughts, you will most definitely receive it through Nhakira, or Sal the Dreamcharmer – and especially through Lady Lalaigne, the ruler of a hidden kingdom…

Who did I write Nhakira for? Easy… I wrote her for YOU. The person reading my words, right here, right now… Nhakira has magic inside her, as do all of us, and she will remind you to rekindle your magic – and create a little for others around you too.

Enjoy her, and her journey. But I must apologize for Nhakira’s behavior through most of the trilogy in advance… She is sarcastic, complex, misunderstood, irrational and very stubborn! She has to be, because how else will we learn? 😉

Now, go experience her for yourself.

Much magic to you all!

Jeanine

Nhakira on Goodreads.com http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16003185-nhakira

US Kindle for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

UK Kindle for Amzon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

Advertisements

…Weird Writer Thoughts, Groats & Twitter Paradoxes

Ever wondered what goes on inside a writer’s mind when we cannot focus on the actual work we’re supposed to be writing?

It starts off with ‘The Stare’. Can be at a PC/laptop/tablet/phone screen, or even a typewriter or notebook. ‘The stare’ is just a glass-eyeball stare, quite vacant, reminiscent of a freshly botoxed face. Then the eyes slide sideways…

This sideways slide is the exact moment when it all begins…

Here I am… I can feel my eyeballs sliding. I blink at the tremendous ‘nothing’ going on inside my cranial cavity even though I spent the whole day yesterday moaning over the fact that I couldn’t write. My moan was duly heard in a combination of four-letter words. And not nice words either… #theshame

Eyeballs are still sliding like two recon hovercrafts. Roving, searching, scanning… [insert UFO sounds]

The hovercrafts reach the large windows… YES! Gateways to an outside world! A blip pings on the radar… [searching…searching…]

AHA!

A leaf.

It is stirring in the Cape Town winter chill *stir…stir* (dramatic)

I Tweet about this exciting LEAF. My fellow writer and weird-minded genius, Whelan, Tweets back that a whole civilization of Groats might be living on this leaf! I agree and I hypothesize that these Groats must in fact exist because the leaf looks vibrant, and I feel soooo anthropological and excited at this discovery!

I decide I shall name the first Groat I meet “Zorgg”. Even if it is a female Groat. I’ll quickly impress them with my beliefs on equality. That goes for androgynous name-giving too…

Groats also enjoy social activities like meeting at a local GroatVeeda for black liquid substances topped with goat foam. They too doodle thoughts onto their moleskins while sipping GroatVeeda liquid. But these are REAL dried moles’ skins, you see. Because Groats have not yet developed ‘book binding’. This is a developmental gift I as superior homo-sapien shall impart onto them. And then they will celebrate The Day of The Jen every 31st July…so proud…

12pm every day, Groats grab their lances and briefs to partake in a folk dance to celebrate multi-color polka dots that were given to them by the Groat god Santa Marchenkievitzitz. They then consume cupcakes – because cupcakes make them tipsy and rowdy, but happy.

…And this is the point where I realize I need coffee. Stat!

Which I shall do… Now. While I Tweet absolute nonsensical nonsensicalness to @whelanism… Hey – writers need Twitter! It’s a healthy inspiration pool where we can be weird AND creative AND it’s completely normal at the same time. Of this I am convinced!

What a paradox 🙂

Join me in the Twitter Paradox…

(I now like saying ‘paradox’)

@JenVinci

…paradox!

…paradox!

…really? You’re still scrolling? ;p

NHAKIRA “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
US: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

Indie-Writers? NO. Revolutionaries! And Readers, You’re Awesome…

Why do I say that?

Until very recently, when any writer self-published, it was looked upon as ‘vanity publishing’ or the burning label of ‘not good enough’ was firmly smacked onto the writer’s book with a resounding echo of FAIL. Bookstores would pull up their noses as if the self-published book was made out of bison mucus.

The stink and stigma of self-publishing has been as suffocating to writers as a gag that’s been forced into your mouth.

But that gag is coming out.

Thanks to Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc. Yeah sure I am not going to laud them in this blog. I AM however going to say that e-book distributors are paving the way for amazing talents to finally be read. YOU as indie publisher/writer, or even if you’re a reader and supporter of independent writers and publishers – you’re awesome and part of something huge.

Because with every e-book you download, or every self-published book you buy – you are placing a brick in a whole new playing field. And this is a very fair playing field where the game is becoming expediently equal, and in some cases, even tipping in our favor.

The publishing industry is the only industry where “doing it yourself” has been stigmatized. Did you know that? In ANY other industry, when you start up your own business – you’re an entrepreneur. A ‘leader’ even! But in publishing when you self publish – which is basically like opening your own business – you are stigmatized as ‘vain’ or ‘desperate’… How does that even work? It doesn’t. That false label is quickly fading.

No, we indies can’t compete in bookstores. Not yet. BUT, we CAN compete – and even WIN – online. That is where we’re kicking butt. Yeah sure I’m yet to release Nhakira’s first book. And yes, I’m going to have either lovers or haters of my character and how I write. But I know I stand a very good chance to at least sell online with the intent of selling damn well – I may even be able to go book-to-book with a few published “names” out there.
So you as a writer, running your career and books like your own business, guess what, you’re an entrepreneur. You’re breaking through a massive wall of “stigma”. And you – the reader and supporter – wield the hammer with which we writers are doing it!

THANK YOU to every reader who chooses to download, support or promote independent writers and publishers! You ROCK!!!

Much love –

JH

Nhakira “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
US: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

How To Kick Someone’s Car – And Like It!

Yeah OK first of all – do not go and kick someone’s car right this minute. Just hear me out first because I’m going to tell you how…

If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, you have every reason in the world to kick someone’s car! But only on paper though. Unless someone’s car kicked you first. Then the gloves come off dude! You take that sucker down!

We live in a society where we’re taught to be nice – and that’s good. Nice is good. Nice makes things nice… (wow that’s such a NOT very impressive linguistic sentence *slaps wrist*). Anyway! Every so often, we come across a not-Nice person. Whether it’s in a grocery store and there’s this big jerk HOVERING behind you as if his deep mucus-rattling breathing in your neck is going to make the queue go faster! That’s not nice. OR drivers… I cannot begin to count the amount of no-Nice driving I’ve encountered. Especially living here in Cape Town!

And that is when I kick cars. C’mon, we all get frustrated. Does not matter whether you’re the nicest human on this planet – you will have days where you’re frustrated, or tired, or angry, or sad or just in a friggin’ mood. You’ve had that, right? And we can go into “The Law of Attraction” here and actually see why, when you’re in a bad mood, will you attract scumbags in grocery stores and dumbass drivers. But we wont. Not for this blog.

What we will do is justify your imagination. And we’ll justify using your imagination to feel better about a particularly frustrating or enraging situation. And we’ll kick cars together! All on paper… Or like me right now, sitting in a coffee shop with my Macbook. I’m about to write violent things while having a flat white coffee… Somehow that sounds pathological…. Moving on!

When you’re having a conversation with someone…let’s say an arrogant or pompous someone – and this someone says something that either makes you feel infuriated or embarrassed. What do we normally do? Some of us might have a quip at the guy (or girl). But most of us will internalize and walk away, replaying the pompous someone’s meanness and feel unsettled… Now what you should do as a writer is to rewind that conversation. Go back to the exact moment when the pompous someone said the offending thing: now picture exactly what you would’ve done or said…DO IT! DON’T HOLD BACK! (I think 99% of what you’re thinking right now – will be considered criminal. So luckily you won’t physically do it. But WRITE IT.)

You as a writer have the power to be at least a version of a psychologist for yourself. You have the most cathartic tool in the world: the power to transform thought and energy into words and communication. You can take all that negative energy that arises from time to time – and shape the energy into a character, action, scene, message or story. Like a sculptor using clay, you use energy to make new things out of the energy inside you, or energies sent your way.  Bad or good.

So even if someone sends you really crappy energy – YOU change it into an awesome literally and figuratively ass kicking scene… I have 3 books coming out between now and September. It’s a trilogy – but I promise you, there are things I write in that book I would’ve loved to do in real life – but Nhakira does them, and she does it well, I’m proud of my girl… Some of its plain scary and I admit it too…

Thus, to summarize – when someone makes you angry… Don’t suppress the anger! Think up a scene in your writer-brain where you act out exactly what you would’ve liked to do!

With your writing abilities – you can change everyday annoyances, frustrations and enraging situations into tangible scenes on paper. That’s powerful stuff. Your readers WILL relate to those scenes, because those scenes will be things THEY thought of too and they will love you for verbalizing their desires… See what I’m driving towards here?

And yes, obviously the same goes for happiness, and happy thoughts! But we’re not writing about happy thoughts right now. No, we thinking about kicking cars and growing huge mech-warrior arms with which to pick up scumbags in grocery stores and shake them upside down until they cry and promise to wear stilettos! And we like it!

…Hey, I feel good for having written that whole mech-arm thing! This writer is officially frustration and headache free… 🙂

Stay awesome you reader you! 🙂

JH

6 Unique Tips For Writing… The “other” Tips…

No I am NOT going to list the Top 7 tips for being a successful writer… No I am NOT going to quote anyone OR punt my own books… No I am NOT going to sound all wise and sage-like.

But I WILL share certain tips which I personally use… And these aren’t really ‘tips’. They’re ‘things’ I do. Things you might be doing already – or if you’re not – you will because its FUN. And FUN is truly the Nr. 1 Writing Tip EVER.

TIP #1: Get out!

No I don’t mean ‘leave’ my blog, silly. I mean take your laptop/iPad/whatever tablet – and go to a coffee shop. Or a park. Or a restaurant. Or to a Magic The Gathering event, or a graveyard, or a lingerie shop (who knows what tickles your genre!?). I find the white noise in a coffee shop to be very writer-friendly. I order my favorite flat white coffee, open my Macbook, and TYPE. Awesome things then flow from these finger tips. And when my creative flow needs a break – I check people out. I love people watching. By observing your environment you actually create new ideas – you just don’t know it yet.

TIP #2: Also read the Great Greats

We’re in a world where we are blessed with amazing talents like Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, Kathy Reichs, James Herbert – and many many more. I personally find that reading the mental meanderings of the ‘Greats’ inspires me greatly. Yes, I do read William Shakespeare! I love how he used words like his own brush on a canvas that speaks. Lewis Carroll? C’mon – that’s just raw genius! The ‘Greats’ were there when our industry truly began growing its skin. The knowledge they shared in later works is precious. Their imaginations were unaffected by modern social media, thus I believe their stories and worlds were so much more part of THEM, their true selves. And I find that to be refreshing.

TIP #3: Tweet-tweet-tweet!

Twitter. It is a wondrous tool! NOT just for marketing. In fact, I use Twitter for everything BUT marketing. I literally Tweet stuff that just randomly pops up in my head. Most of it is pretty weeeirrrd but based on my Follower count – my Followers like my random Tweet-bursts. I won’t ‘sell’ on Twitter. I will however share my work and journey. And when my journey includes the release of a book – HELL YEAH I’m going to share that! I really am not on Twitter to push product, I’m there to interact, chat and learn – and yes, share my work. ALSO, Twitter is the ultimate linguistic gymnastics for any writer because you must say something funny, insightful or intelligent in just 140 characters… And WOW, some of the conversations on Twitter is sometimes ingenious in its random creativity!

TIP #4: Get weird

Yeah, I actually mean it. For some of us ‘weird’ comes easy. And when I say weird I actually mean – loosen up! Even better, why not meet up with a group of like-minded people on a regular basis. A group of creators and writers. I have an awesome group of creative friends. We get together for ‘creative meetings’ – but somehow it always ends up with chilli poppers, beer and lots of laughter! But – we always walk away with fresh ideas. And very importantly – we feed each other’s imaginations with intelligence, humor, creative blabbing, brain storming – and honesty.

TIP #5: Experience

Nah not the type of ‘experience’ employers ask whether or not you have during interviews. I’m talking life. New things. New places. New people. New food. Challenges. Thoughts. Treats. Books. Music. Cow photos (#joke). I thrive on new experiences! Some have been amazing, some [CENSORED], some delectable, some inspiring – even life-changing. A creator NEEDS experiences because you are constantly creating new worlds and universes, right? So go out – EXPERIENCE… But please, I’m not saying go swim naked in the mall’s fountain, or slap a hyena on its butt, or believe you can fly after drinking chai tea… Keep it constructive people!

TIP #6: Write with your organ

Hey, eew, what are YOU thinking?! I actually mean it in a most sincere way… Write from your HEART. Lately a lot of authors write for money. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I believe in writing a story and creating characters that are infused by tiny parts of you. And with that I mean – write with honesty. Believe in your stories, believe in your characters as if they’re real people in your life. Yes, you HAVE to write FOR  a specific target audience and niche. But keep it real. I’m a fantasy writer – but I promise you – there is truth in my fantastical worlds. The truth lies in the words… As long as you are congruent with your writing and intentions, your readers will pick up on it. And they will like YOU, the creator…

TIP #7: I like – big – BUTTS – and I cannot lie!

Heehee… Just kidding 😉 No, Tip #7 – WORK. Yeah, hard work. Writing is dedication, persistence and discipline. Yes you make it fun and I’ve given you awesome reasons to walk around and have coffee in various places. But writing – STICKING TO THE STORY – takes discipline. Writing your book is the easy part. The work that comes after that is the true bulk of your journey. Especially if you self-publish on Amazon and the like. Once you accept that you will be working everyday to achieve your goals – you’ll have FUN! You’ll be proud. You’ll be so excited… And you’ll absolutely love the journey as writer and creator…

Thanks for reading you awesome reader you 🙂

Jen Henning

http://www.jeaninehenning.com

Why will you buy my books? Because I think about Unicorns…

Why will you buy my books? Because I think about Unicorns…

Really! I DO think about unicorns… and Smurfs. And jelly-obsessed Orcs. And squirrels that fight crime at night in mini-Batman suits…

Lately I think about unicorns a lot. I’ve always thought about unicorns, mostly because I love magic – and I have a horse – and voila! Unicorn!

But this renewed unicorn-thinking could be 1 of 2 possible reasons. One – because I recently visited beautiful Scotland where the unicorn features almost everywhere! And Two – because I think outside the box. No, not even outside the box. I choose to NOT see a box – because to still be inside or outside a box – that’s still limiting, isn’t it?

And I do not want to be limited. I don’t want to think limiting or live limiting or act limiting or illustrate limiting or write limiting!

I cannot sit and attempt to write anything akin to Terry Pratchett, John Locke, Patricia Cornwell, Karen Slaughter, Paulo Coelho, JK Rowling – or the Greats like Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dr. Seuss etc etc. I can admire all these writers though for their talents and clever sales acumen…

But then I’ll go back to thinking about unicorns. And still write what I write. And no – I don’t write about unicorns. Not yet anyway. I MIGHT add a unicorn in a book I’m currently planning with dragons in it…Meh, we’ll see.

What I DO do though (love that; “DO do) – is write from the heart. I just want to tell you a story. I want you to download my book onto your Kindle, go to the beach, have a cocktail…or 2…or 3…or more… And still be able to read my book and not have to reread whole chapters cos I lost you in detail or saga twists.

I want you to have a giggle at conversations not really ‘apt’ for Fantasy. I want you to RELAX. I want you to forget about the war on CNN. Or how guilty something made you feel. Or about all the STUFF that bugs your brain. Hey, it’s all about you…

I want you to have FUN when reading my books.

Yeah sure I too have serious moments in my books. Heck, I ‘teach’ as much as fantasy-swear. And I absolutely have some subliminal social commentary. BUT, its all done in a fun way. I have weird heroes. Very evil villains. Almost over the top villains…Cos yes, I base my characters on people and situations I know or have heard of. How REAL is that? Very… And I share it with YOU. In a fun easy-read way… I do not limit my writing in trying to be the next big award winner of some big prize. I let my imagination go to strange places and bring back stories for you to read.

And all because I think about unicorns…and Smurfs… Smurfs still boggle me even though I collect them (feel free to send me Smurfs as ‘thank you’s’ for enjoying Nhakira so much! 😉 #joke …

I’m just a storyteller. I do not aim to win accolades. Yes I want good reviews though, but I will learn from the bad ones too. I just want as many people as possible buying my books and having fun with magic, adventures, odd characters, really evil bad guys… And some surprising soul-touching depth…Because a teeny bit of my soul goes into every character I create and I share it with you.

Maybe I’ll write a whole book about unicorn trials and tribulations later. Or, a world where unicorns are normal and wear suits, drink beer, text on Smartphones, read on Unikindles (how clever am I !? ) and ponder whether humans ever really existed… Now THERE’s a future best seller!

And with that unicorn thought – I bid you adieu for now! I have unicorns to think about…

Cheers awesome reader!

Jen Henning

PS: I owe someone unicorn eggs… o_O Not even joking…

NHAKIRA “Chosen” NOW Available on Amazon Kindle:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA
US: http://www.amazon.com/NHAKIRA-Book-Chosen-TRILOGY-ebook/dp/B0091JGKFA

Not just a writer – draws pretty pictures too…

Yep, that I do – I really do 🙂 (draw pretty pictures that is)

Although, ‘my’ pretty and a few other peoples’ ‘pretty’ might be a teeny tiny wee bit different. BUT nonetheless I love all my freaky little creations! Some of them are now available to be bought in various media for various fun things! Like iPhone & iPod (touch) cases and skins, Hoodies & T-Shirts, Laptop and Mac skins, iPad skins. My ‘bigger’ pieces are also available on canvas and framed prints.

Go have a look! Society6.com really deliver terrific products (that’s why I signed with them!) Le voila!  http://society6.com/JeanineHenning

Jen’s mini-freaks 🙂