Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Happy Release Day! A New Novel from Janice Hardy

Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

I’m excited to announce the release of my new novel, Blood Ties—an urban fantasy series for adults, and the first book of my new Grace Harper series.

This novel has a special place in my heart (more on that below), and I’m so happy that it’s finally out in the world. It's been a long journey to get here, and one I never expected to make.

Let me tell ya what it's all about!

On the run from beings that can’t possibly exist…

Grace Harper has spent her life on the run, ever since her mother’s unnatural death at the hands of creatures that shouldn’t be real. It’s hard to believe in vampires, but the things chasing her fit every legend she’s ever heard. She dubs them “Pretty Boys,” though their beautiful faces hide ugly appetites.

For twenty years, she and her father have stayed ahead of them, but for the last five years, their lives have been quiet. Grace has found a home, a life, and people she could even care about. She thinks the nightmare is finally over, but then a man shows up asking questions about a missing woman who’s somehow connected to her and her mother. He might also have answers about her mother’s death, if she’s willing to take a risk.

Before she can decide, she’s attacked by a Pretty Boy and barely escapes. If the Pretty Boys have found her, it’s time to run. Reluctantly, she prepares to abandon her life, possible answers, and the only friend she’s ever had.

Until they take her father.

Fleeing is no longer an option. To find him, she must face ancient secrets, creatures from legend, and an unbelievable truth that will shatter her world. But to save him, Grace has to do the hardest thing of all: stop running and start fighting.

Blood Ties is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats.

Amazon Paperback | Amazon eBook

(I’m playing with Kindle Unlimited on this one, so it’s Amazon-only for the next 90 days. It’ll likely go wide with distribution after that).

The Story Behind the Story

My husband, Tom (the “T” in the J.T. Hardy byline), first came up with an awesome “What if?” idea on a long car trip over Thanksgiving many years ago. We spent the trip hashing out the world and premise, and after we got home, I started the book—as a young adult novel, since that’s what I wrote.

I made it about 100 pages before realizing that was a mistake and set it aside until I could figure out what to do with it. Another book idea claimed my attention and I began writing that one (which did not go well, but that’s another story).

Fast forward a few years and through a bad period when writing fiction was making me miserable and I shifted to nonfiction for a while (long-time readers might even remember me talking about that dark time). Eventually, the urge to write fiction again finally returned.

Something randomly said brought the “What if?” idea back to light, and it dawned on me that it would make a great novel for adults. I actually wanted to write it, which was a positive step for me at that time.

National Novel Writing Month was approaching, so I decided to sign up and see if I could get a rough first draft done by the end of November.

I wrote 63,000 words and 80% of the novel.

But best of all—I had a blast and got my fiction mojo back.

When I first wrote it, it wasn’t about publishing. It was different from what I typically wrote, and it let me just be creative and have fun. I wrote it for my husband and didn’t care if anyone else liked it or even read it.

And a funny thing happened…

It was a pretty decent rough draft. It had some issues, sure, but after a few drafts over the next few years, it developed into a tale I was proud of. My husband and I discovered we enjoyed working on novels together, and he became a much bigger part of my process. Beta readers raved and asked for the next book. By that time I even had ideas for more books.

So here am I, five years later, and grateful for long car trips and fun “What if?” conversations with my husband. This novel took a weird, winding path to publication, but it was worth the trip.

There’s more to the story from the author/publishing side (another new endeavor for me), but I’ll save that for later.

What’s the book or idea that’s near and dear to your heart?

A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her novels include The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and The Truman Award in 2011.

Janice is also the founder of Fiction University, a site dedicated to helping writers improve their craft. Her popular Foundations of Fiction series includes Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a self-guided workshop for planning or revising a novel, the companion Planning Your Novel Workbook, Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft, your step-by-step guide to revising a novel, and her Skill Builders Series, Understanding Show Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), and Understanding Conflict (And What It Really Means).   
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  1. Congratulations, Janice! It sounds great!

  2. This I gotta read! You had me at "Devil Child." :)

  3. Congratulations, JT. Sounds like a WILD premise and a great collaborative effort for the two of you!

  4. Congratulations, Janice😀 The novel sounds great and I better push this up on my TBR list.

    The first YA novel I published has a special place in my heart. It was the novel I hadn't planned or expected. And it was the beginning of me dealing some personal issues...a matter that was a long time coming.

    Wishing you much success with this novel!!

    1. How nice! And what a win to have your first novel mean so much.

  5. Marcia Smart2/07/2018 10:26 AM

    Inspiring story for those of us in the process of writing our "idea" book just for the fun of it. There's light at the end of the tunnel. Congrats and thanks for ALL the inspirations you share with fellow writers.

  6. Congratulations Janice! Not a fantasy fiction reader, BUT your book sounds compelling. One I’d like to read. It may just hook me. 📚 Christine

    1. Thanks! I had a lot of non-fantasy beta readers, and a common comment was that it was accessible to non-fantasy folks. So I think it might be a "gateway fantasy" for new readers of the genre :)

  7. Congratulations!!!! [runs around room with pom-poms waving] Can't wait to read it!! My sis-in-law will want a copy, too!

  8. Thanks everyone! I'm really looking forward to writing more in this series.

  9. Congrats! I'm intrigued...Would love to hear about your path to publication.

  10. Congratulations Janice! I’m not a reader of fantasy but I just bought your book. If there’s any author out there I’m going to try in a genre I don’t normally read it’s definitely you. Your website is an invaluable resource to me and your content absolutely inspiring. Kudos to you.

  11. Congratulations to the proud mom and dad of this book baby. I just bought it, will read it and leave a review. I love the premise and am thrilled you are writing Urban Fantasy.

  12. Congratulations! Its sounds great. I'm so pleased you enjoyed writing it too. (I remember your posts from earlier.)
    I can't wait to read it. :)

  13. Congrats! I love urban fantasy!

  14. Congratulations. That's a fun story-behind-the-story.

  15. You've just made a sale in Australia. :) Looking forward to reading it Janice, and congrats.