Tag Archives: writing fantasy romance

Musings on being an author

So, I’m officially a romance author. I have written and published 9 full length fantasy and paranormal romance novels, 9 novellas and one short story. I also have an additional free short and free novella that you can only find in my newsletter, so really, that’s 20 books out the door since I very first published in 2012.


And in that time I’ve learned a tremendous amount.  One of the things I’ve learned is that I like to write in large chunks of time. In other words, I do best when I have more than one hour to sit and write. In fact, my preferred amount of time is at least three hours broken up into forty-five minutes of writing and fifteen minutes of movement. Usually housecleaning. LOL 🙂

This year I learned something else: my readers enjoy reading the books that I enjoy writing. You see, I wrote a short romance novella this year and for me it was a good experience, but a quickie. I had a lot of constraints I don’t normally have. I had to write in someone else’s universe. I had a book length requirement. And, I had a super short time constraint.

I burned through this novella in record time and frankly, it shows. For the very first time I’m getting four-star reviews that say: Loved it. Cute story, but predictable.



I always want my readers to be honest, and it’s tough to complain about four star reviews, but these hurt. They hurt more than the one-star reviews because these reviews are from my go-to readers, readers who love my paranormal and fantasy romances, readers who can’t wait for the next one and the next one and the next one.

So, I’m changing it up. I‘m going back to the drawing board.

While I enjoyed writing this book, it really wasn’t my thing. What is my thing? Longer fantasy romances with convoluted exciting plots and deep dark characters. I love writing them and my readers love reading them. 🙂

And I’m taking my time.

I’ve become a super fast writer, but that also means I need to go back and take my time over my edits. I’m going to give myself that time. Even if it means I don’t have a new romance come out until June. Yeah, you read it right. June.

So, what is the new series?

I’m going back to my roots: fantasy romance with a fairy tale twist.

My most popular books, the ones everyone loves to read and I love to write are the Tales of the Black Court so I’m diving back into Underhill and all the dark twisty fairy tales and dark twisty characters. And guess what? It’s going great! I’m loving these stories. I have the prequel rough draft already finished and I’m bursting with ideas for the next five books. I’m writing faster than ever and, better than that, I’m enjoying it.

And do you know what that means?

If I’m loving these stories, you will too!

So get ready for more twisted fairy tales with dark heroes and strong heroines. Get ready for bloodthirsty evil queens and magic and brand new fairy godmothers with a twist. And of course, romance. Did I mention romance? Fabulous fantasy romance with fast paced fairy tale happily ever afters because, after all, that’s what you and I both love…to read, and to write.



Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

Your Jessica Aspen Starter Library is waiting.

Click HERE to discover Jessica Aspen’s fast-paced world of paranormal romance

FB starter library no covers

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase. Myself and my coffee fund thank you! 🙂


Leave a comment

Filed under About the Author, fairy tales, Fantasy Romance, paranormal inspiration, Tales of the Black Court, Writer's Journey

The Slow Burn

Moonday Mania

a blog for struggling romance writers everywhere

Launched book 12 today (book 4 in my fantasy series, The Winter Queen’s Dragon). Romance, and in particular fantasy romance, is competitive so this time I tried to do all the launch strategies I could. I so want this one to jump on day one! To be number one on that fantasy romance list. Wouldn’t that be amazing? But, I’ve designed a slow burn launch by sending my announcement to my newsletter list in three batches, and doing social media on another day. So that day one jump is not likely to happen.

The idea is to show Amazon I have consistent sales, instead of a huge bump on day one. But as I look at my  trickle of sales this morning and my finger-grapping hold on the fantasy romance AZ list, I have to keep reminding myself—this is a long tail business. So it’s back to the grindstone. The good news is my early readers seem to love it. And maybe, that’s the one thing to focus on instead of sales: pleasing the readers. If I focus on that, instead of sales and launch days, then everything is a success.

I’m reading Derek Sivers book ANYTHING YOU WANT: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur . It’s this tiny book filled with lessons he learned launching CD Baby, a small business he started just to sell his own CD’s and ended up selling for millions. One of the things I love about this book is that he’s so not focused on making his business a million dollar business. Instead he’s focused on how to serve his customers, who, when he started, were mostly his friends.

What is your measure of success? Are you in control of it? Is it in control of you?

Okay, that’s not a direct quote from the book, but it could have been. What it is is my take on his book. If I look at my sales and try to go for the money, I’m a total failure. It’s true. I love my books, but they barely break even. It leaves me feeling like I’m clawing and scratching just to make a living writing romance. And it feels desperate.

But, if I focus on some of the things I’ve actually achieved, I’m a success.

My readers love my books. They really do! I get letters asking me when the next fantasy romance in the Tales of the Black Court is coming out. They don’t want to wait! And my free shifter book for my newsletter subscribers, Rogue Enforcer? That inspires letters too. People want more from me. More romance. More shifters. More fantasy.

I’m getting better as a writer. This is super important. It took me two years of edits and massaging to get my first fantasy romance, The Dark Huntsman, to where it is today, but The Winter Queen’s Dragon only took months. And my editor said it was the best one yet! That’s amazing. My reviews for all my romances are at least averaging 4 stars, and usually average higher. Romance readers love my books! WOOT!

I love my life. I am making money doing something I love. Not many people can say that. Am I still struggling to get up that cliff? Yes. Do I want my job to make enough money to say it’s a living? Yes. And I’m getting there. I’ve doubled my income every year. That sounds amazing, right?

(Typically I follow that statement up with some disclaimer about what my income was the first year, but I think I need to just stick with the amazing part. I’ve only been publishing for a few years and while some others are rocking their way up the charts, most small businesses take five years to really get going. My small business is no different.)

Okay, so I’m no CD Baby. I can’t say I’m one of those romance authors who seem to appear out of nowhere and jump to the top. But I can say:

My readers love my books.

I’m getting better as a writer.

I love my life.

All of those are fabulous measures of success. And so what if the money is slow? That’s okay. I’m doubling my income every year, right? 😉

So I’ll get there. One book at a time.


the winter queen's dragon a fantasy romance by jessica aspen

 What’s a heroine to do when her dragon captor is not only her enemy’s best defense, but is also the man of her dreams?


Frozen for a hundred years the only thing on Siobhan’s mind is finding out what happened to her brother and vengeance on the queen who has punished them both. Upon gaining her freedom from the ice she finds herself the prisoner of the Winter Queen’s Dragon, Atavantador. But nothing is as it seems and when the dragon’s manservant, Doyle, turns out to be the dragon himself, Siobhan discovers that ending the queen’s reign may mean sacrificing her true love for the quest for revenge.

Doyle is hiding more than one secret from the queen, and all of them are worth his life. To keep the queen on his side he must play the game of dragon so well that no one guesses his secret—that beneath the Winter Palace lies the key to all of dragon kind’s survival, one of only seven queen dragon eggs left in the universe. And time is running out.

When the dragon egg’s hiding place is threatened Doyle finds himself caught between his heart and his loyalty to all of dragon kind. Can he trust Siobhan enough to tell her his secrets, save the egg, and still serve her lust for vengeance? Or will the attack on the palace destroy not only the egg’s chance of survival, but Siobhan and Doyle’s chance at love.

Love magic, romance and dragons? You’ll love THE WINTER QUEEN’S DRAGON.


 Buy now for 99cents (limited time offer)

Ibooks       Kobo       Barnes & Noble      Amazon

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

Leave a comment

Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania, The Winter Queen's Dragon, Writer's Journey

Three Reasons Why I Love Monday

Moonday Mania

a blog about monday


I think we’re seeing in working mothers a change from “Thank God it’s Friday” to “Thank God it’s Monday.” If any working mother has not experienced that feeling, her children are not adolescent.” Ann Diel

greenwoman on jessica aspen writesI love Mondays. Why? Because everyone leaves the house and I get to work writing my paranormal romances! Or edit my fantasy romances. Or work on the multitude of other tasks that go along with being a writer.

I’m very lucky because I get to work my day job part time, and that means the rest of the time I get to write romance, but that also means that I’m squeezing my writing into the small hours between the job and when everyone else gets home. That means I need to be efficient. Here are my working day rules and the reasons why I love Mondays.

1. Have a schedule and stay on it

If I don’t have a rigid schedule for what I’m doing then other things eat up my writing time. I can fix dinner, mop the floor, or run errands when the kids are home from school. Or I can do that stuff on the weekends. But I’ve found that writing is best done when I’m by myself with no one else around. Do I write when the kids are home on spring break, or sick? Sure. But I get much less done on those days. And I have to say, when writing a sexy love scene, those kids should not be home! So on the days when I’m by myself, writing is king.

2. Take breaks

I set my timer for forty-five minutes and write. No stopping. Then I set my timer for fifteen minutes and take a break. I get up from the computer and move. Sometimes I do some exercises, most of the time I get housecleaning done. This means that I am not sitting for too much at a stretch and it means that those forty-five minutes are very productive. Plus, if there is something that is not romance oriented that I really find is nagging at me and distracting me from said hot, love scene, say…cleaning the bathroom, I can get that done in my fifteen minute break and it’s off my list. Then I’m back to focusing on my sizzling romance.

3. Keep the writing days sacred

This is something I’ve struggled with. I now have one day a week (currently it’s Thursdays) where I don’t write and I don’t have kids or a husband at home. That’s the day I go for coffee with friends, run errands, make phone calls, go to the grocery. You name it, if it has to be done during the week it’s on Thursday. Making that simple change has upped my productivity by an amazing amount. No longer are my writing days broken up by appointments or driving somewhere. They are all for writing. And this way I have taken care of my guilt. The guilt of not writing. The guilt of not seeing my friends. The guilt of there being no food in the house. All because of Thursdays!

Do you love Mondays? Why or why not? What do you do that helps you with your writing time, or whatever it is that you do that isn’t about taking care of the house or family or pets? Do you make time for your pleasures?

I had such a tough time picking a quote for today, and there were so many good ones. Check out http://www.pinterest.com/explore/funny-monday-quotes/ and find some great pins about Mondays!


Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey