Monday, September 27, 2010

Developing a Series: Jennifer Hartz Guest Blogs

Hi all! Today I'm excited to welcome my first guest blogger, Jennifer Hartz. As you all know, this week I've dedicated my blog to the development and writing of a series. Jenn is a fantasy writer and has a new series out, "Future Savior Book One: Conception". I'm happy to have her here. Please read on to see how she started writing and her approach to developing a series. She also has a treat at the end...a excerpt and her beautiful cover! No joke, the cover is amazing!! (Yes, double exclamations. Stop me if you can. Hee hee!)

While having a conversation with one of my students, I said something that would make my already busy life a heck of lot busier! We were discussing The Twilight Saga. As you know, most teenage girls love Twilight, I really enjoyed the books too, but we talking about how we were slightly disappointed with the forth book in the series. I eventually said, "I certainly can't judge Stephanie Myers because I haven't written a book let alone a bestselling mega smash series." This got me to thinking. I have always wanted to write a novel – it has been a lifelong dream – why not give it a shot. That day, while driving home from work, I started thinking about all of the books, movies, and TV shows I loved. I pulled out elements from all of these things that really captured my attention and slowly they morphed into my own fantasy realm.

For three months my daydreams continued as I drove back and forth from work. I have an hour and a half commute – three hours a day in the car – so my fantasy story really grew, and grew quickly. The story lines became more and more intricate and the personalities of my characters really started to take on lives of their own. Finally, summer rolled around and my fingers finally met the keys. Writing was the easy part since I had such a structured skeleton to work with. In the two and a half months of summer break I was able to write the entire 78,000 word novel that is now Future Savior Book One: Conception. I have the other four novels of the series completely mapped out in my head.

So what tips and tricks can I provide on how I plan to develop and write the remainder of my series? Well, I'm a big time "Plotter"… BIG TIME! There are two types of writers out there, Plotters and Pansters. Plotters are people like me who have to know exactly where the story is going. They plot and plan the entire novel – or in my case the entire five book series – before they ever touch a computer. Then there are pansters. These people have a basic idea of what kind of book they want to write and they sit down and write "by the seat of their pants". I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, "which kind of writer am I? Plotter or a Panster?

If you’re a plotter, like me, the best advice I can give is to complete your thought. As you start to dream up your story and you follow a plot line, follow it as far as it goes. Does it work? Does it make sense? Is it interesting? Do all of the loose ends tie up? If not, you've got to go back and take your story down a different line. As a dreamed in my car for three months, this is exactly what I did. My original daydreams about Future Savior were just awful ideas! The plot lines were weak and the characters were garbage. There were some sprinklings of good things even in those early days… those things are still in Future Savior today, but the rest was trashed and I followed my story down a different line until I got it right. Now, with the completed plan in my head, I couldn't be happier with the intricate story I've developed, the awesome fantasy world called Meric that I've created, and the characters I've grown to love.

So how do I plan on moving ahead with the rest of the series? I need to be diligent. I have a very busy life. I know that many people do, but my days are insane! Like I said, I'm in the car for three hours every day so right off the bat my hours are seriously severed. I teach, coach sports, volunteer at my church and, most importantly, I have a husband and a two year old son. So when I do find a few free moments I need to spend them writing. Not only do I have the Future Savior Series to complete, but I'm really excited about a new YA series that my brain has conjured up.

Here are some links where you can find out more about me and Future Savior:
Jenn Hartz' website –
Twitter link –
Facebook link –!/profile.php?id=100000624983529

Buy Links
Desert Breeze Publishing –
Amazon –
Barnes & Noble -
Find some other buy links here –

Please enjoy the following tiny snippet from Future Savior Book One: Conception, the exciting Epic Inspirational Fantasy by Jennifer Hartz.

"What about you? Are you married? Girlfriend?" I smiled at him with the pretense of easy conversation, but really I was terrified to learn the answer. What if he was married?

"No," he replied, "As a Watcher, my life revolves around the people I protect."
"I'm sorry. You've sacrificed so much just for me."

"Don't be sorry. This was the life I chose when I agreed to work for your father. I could have stayed a soldier in Commander Glontor's army, but now my work is exceptional. I get to protect the Savior of Meric." He gazed into my eyes for a long moment, squeezing my hand again.

I studied him even after he looked away. He was such a remarkable man, and yet there was still so much about him that I didn't know. What I did know had me completely enthralled. I was amazed that he would give up his entire life to look after me.


  1. Jenn,
    You are a busy girl. You sound just like me! I agree - you have to be diligent and manage your time wisely. Conception sounds great and I can't wait to read it!


  2. I could not put this book down! I even dreamed about it, the story is that good! Jennifer is a gifted writer, and I see from this interview, a very busy one also!

  3. Thank you Jennifer for being here today and providing such great insight into your writing style. almost makes me wish for a 3 hour commute so I could brainstorm!

  4. Oops...that was me in the Anon commment.