It is my pleasure to host a guest post from author Jennifer-Crystal Johnson! I thank her for having the courage to share her history and salute her for having the strength to get past the horrors of her past.
J-C: First, let me say a big thank you for inviting me & allowing me to share my thoughts on your blog! It is greatly appreciated and I certainly hope to provide value for your readers.
ELF: Topic/Question: What do you do to mentor others?
Fibers (Infiltration Trilogy, book #1) is my first full-length science fiction novel, but before I finished this book, I’d already been working on a number of other projects that aren’t focused on fiction.
When I was 17, I got married in hopes that I would be able to be a stay-at-home mom and write while taking care of my family. I grew up in a traditional family, and while I originally wanted to live in my car and play music across the country (yep... my life goal was to be a glorified musical bum, lol), those ideas changed when I got pregnant.
Unfortunately, my experience with being married involved a lot of manipulation, fear tactics, spousal rape, coercion, a loaded .45 in my face, and one extremely damaged soldier with PTSD, control issues, and a violent streak that I had no idea what to make of. From beating the hell out of our puppy to systematically wearing down my confidence and personality (to the point where my own mother didn’t recognize me when I visited), those three years were by far some of the worst I’d ever experienced.
So I left.
But then what? What do you do after that? How do you heal when you have an anxiety attack every time a man tries to show you affection? How do you work through the feelings of inadequacy and being convinced that you’re not good enough or deserving of being loved for real?
This is a topic that gives me purpose. Because of my experiences with domestic violence, I started the Soul Vomit anthology (www.SoulVomit.com, #PurgeYourSoul), where writers and domestic violence survivors can submit their work based on the theme of the book. The current theme open for submissions is Domestic Violence Reversed, which focuses on female abusers and those who are perceived as “unlikely” abusers.
Signaling left to change topics... I also help my clients self-publish. There’s a stigma surrounding self-publishing that really needs to go away and, unfortunately, is being perpetuated by scammers and people who think that throwing some half-assed content together makes them writers. Though this bugs me on several levels, the best way for me to contribute and help make things better is by focusing on those who strive to publish quality content. I offer complete packages for editing and self-publishing without touching anyone’s royalties, ever (vanity presses do a good enough job of screwing authors over that way... I don’t want to be part of the problem). It’s also my goal to educate people about self-publishing and the how-to’s of the book publishing process.
Although I want to create several online classes, for now there are some free video tutorials on my website that can help aspiring self-publishers get started =). Just visit www.NoBullSelfPublishing.com.
On that note, I hope you enjoyed this post and take a few minutes to check out my new novel, Fibers! Your feedback, reviews, and support are important to the authors you love, and I certainly hope that you’ll enjoy reading my book as much as I enjoyed writing it!
by Jennifer-Crystal Johnson
GENRE: Science Fiction
Anna Reynolds is caught up in the middle of a secret interdimensional government agreement... and she doesn't even know it.
There's a medical anomaly loosely dubbed Morgellons disease afflicting a number of people. Symptoms include open sores that produce colorful string-like fibers, fatigue, and nightmarish visions of shadowy figures. No one knows where it came from. No one knows what causes it. There is no cure.
When Anna begins having nightmares and waking hallucinations of the shadow people, her uneasiness about her condition grows. Enlisting the help of her doctor and some friends, Anna is determined to find out what's really going on and why Morgellons is such a mystery.
With her health declining and doubts about whom she can trust, is Anna doomed to become a slave to her condition? Or will she and her unlikely group of would-be heroes come through, saving her... and, ultimately, the world?
Not wanting to leave this cluster of strange unattended, she picked up the tweezers again and pinched the whole mess between the tips. Cupping her left hand underneath, she took it to a kitchen counter and turned on the overhead light.
Squinting her hazel eyes, she poked at the tiny mass with the tip of the tweezers, suddenly wishing she had another pair.
“What the hell are you...?” she muttered under her breath, trying to keep her breathing shallow so she wouldn’t accidentally exhale it away and lose it. She noted that her eye felt perfectly fine. A little sore, but not bad. She decided to get a toothpick from the silverware drawer and pinched the balled up fibers in the tips of the tweezers again. Just in case.
As she loosened the tweezers and brought the toothpick closer to the tear duct excretion, she watched the blue string she had pulled on stretch itself slowly toward the wood.
“No way,” she muttered, moving the wooden toothpick closer. She moved it left, then right... each time she moved it, the tiny string followed. She saw the red one poking out from the tangled mass, too, and she dropped the tweezers and the toothpick, stepping back and taking a deep breath as she cupped her hand over her mouth.
What is that?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jennifer-Crystal Johnson is originally from Germany, but was raised in numerous places. She has published one novella under her former last name, (Publish America, 2005 - out of print), a poetry book, (Broken Publications, 2010), and a collection of poetry, art, and prose called (Broken Publications, 2011). More recently, Jen published (Broken Publications, 2012) and (Broken Publications, 2015), both collections of short horror stories. Her poem, , was featured on Every Writer’s Resource’s Poem a Day site, along with two other poems. One of her short stories, The Huntress, was featured in Zombie Coffee Press (no longer online), and another short horror story, , was published on Every Writer’s Resource. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor as well as helping other authors self-publish their own books.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her three kids, three cats, and their puppy, Thor. Her domestic violence anthology can be found at www.SoulVomit.com and her publishing company is . She recently began creating video tutorials about how to self-publish, which can be found at . Last but not least, she recently started an anthology called Beneath the Veil of Night. Submission guidelines and links for the first three themes can be found on the Submissions page at www.BrokenPublications.com.
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