JM Frey

thewriterjess

JM holds a Masters of Communications Culture from Ryerson and York Universities, as well as a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts from Brock University and a minor in Classical Mythology. She specializes in fanthropology: the study of media audiences and fans. She also appears in several documentaries and radio shows speaking on this topic. JM is also a professionally trained actor, voice actor, an award-winning vocalist, and a published poet and science fiction author.

RELEASE DAY – The Skylark’s Song

RELEASE DAY – The Skylark’s Song

Strap on your goggles and buckle up your jetpack, THE SKYLARK’S SONG is finally here!

A Saskwyan flight mechanic with uncanny luck, seventeen-year-old Robin Arianhod grew up in the shadow of a decade-long war. But the skies are stalked by the Coyote—a ruthless Klonn pilot who picks off crippled airships and retreating soldiers. And as the only person to have survived an aerial dance with Saskwya’s greatest scourge, Robin has earned his attention.

As a Pilot, Robin is good. But the Coyote is better. When he shoots her down and takes her prisoner, Robin finds herself locked into a new kind of dance. The possibility of genuine affection from a man who should be her enemy has left her with a choice: accept the Coyote’s offer of freedom and romance in exchange for repairing a strange rocket pack that could spell Saskwya’s defeat, but become a traitor to her county. Or betray her own heart and escape. If she takes the rocket pack and flees, she could end the war from the inside.

All she has to do is fly.

Filled with intrigue, forbidden romance, and a touch of steampunk, The Skylark’s Song soars in this new duology from the award-winning author of The Accidental Turn Series.

Pick up your copy of The Skylark’s Song in eBook and Paperback today!

 

Happy author is happy! Photo by Adrienne Kress.

 

The Skylark’s journey from concept to published page has been a harrowing one. The third full novel I ever completed, and the first one I ever wrote specifically with the intention of showing to my agent for publication, this novel has left me crying on a street corner in New York City, laughing and dancing in a white wig at a steampunk festival, filled with me with hope for my career, and filled me with despair. There are about seventy labeled drafts of this book on my hard drive. In the time that I’ve been working on this novel, steampunk has seen a resurgence, and an ebbing away again. The novel inspired a beautiful song of the same name by french band Victor Sierra, which ended up coming out years before the novel. So, needless to say, this piece of work has been a real . . . piece of work.

Maybe I should have given up.

Maybe I should have trunked it and moved on to the next thing. (I half-did, many times). But then we wouldn’t be here, would we, in a time when discussions around religious freedom are so important in the real world, and the themes and aims of this novel have finally crystalized for me.

This novel was conceived at the first—and though we didn’t know it then, only—Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition, which was, to date, one of the most fun cons I’ve ever been to. Two wonderful things came out of that weekend for me. (Well, three, if you count Professor Elemental taking a nap on my shoulder in the Green Room, which was pretty cool, in and of itself).

First, I was put on a panel with Dr. Mike “The Steampunk Scholar” Perschon, where we sassed and snipped and laughed together as if we’d known each other for years, when we’d actually known each other mere moments. Mike’s friendship has lasted beyond that weekend, and I treasure it daily.

Secondly, I accepted a drunken dare.

The thing you have to understand about a bunch of theatre majors getting together to put on costumes and drink for a weekend is that, eventually, somebody’s gonna start making up stories. Or dare someone else to do it. And somebody is gonna be stupid enough to accept.

Steampunk costumes come in stereotypes, and what we had sitting in the circle that night was this: a biomechanical assassin, a devious airship piratess, an aviator in a white wig (me), and a wily spy-mistress-cum-madam and her secretly clever mountain of a bodyguard-slash-lover.

The first incarnation of The Skylark’s Song was born that night, as I pointed to each character in turn and declared how our backstories were connected, conjuring the Saskwyan-Klonnish war out of wine fumes.

Through edits and revisions, the biomechanical assassin eventually became an enemy aeroship ace. The piratess became a devious friend of the cause. And everyone swapped skin tones because, even if all of us were (mostly) white, there was no inherent reason why the protagonists of a book set in a pseudofantasy land had to be.

The Skylark’s Song was the first (and only) complete novel I presented to my first agent, and the one that taught me that there is such a thing as the right fit in this industry. It was the first novel I presented to my current agent, as well, but we put it to the side because by then, it had been so worked over that we had to take it back about twenty-five drafts and figure out where it had all gone wrong. In the meantime, I wrote The Untold Tale, which ended up ballooning (in a good way) into a series. And in that time, the Skylark circled in my brain, coasting on the updraft,  waiting her turn.

What followed after was five years of realigning, recasting, changing the motivations, the appearance, the beliefs, and the core traits of the characters. One character was removed entirely, only to return as the love interest when my first agent demanded that there be one—a love interest who has switched sides so many times that I don’t think even he remembers who he’s loyal to, and has switched names so often that I barely remember what it was to begin with.

But here it is.

Finally.

From drunken dare to the book you now hold, it’s been a heck of a journey.

And it’s only half done.

Art by Archia

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JM FreyRELEASE DAY – The Skylark’s Song
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RELEASE DAY – The Accidental Collection

RELEASE DAY – The Accidental Collection

Something Magical happened today!

The forth and final book in The Accidental Turn series is now out in the world!

Happy book birthday to THE ACCIDENTAL COLLECTION

Forsyth Turn had no desire to be a hero, but that’s what he became. Bevel Dom has spent his whole life telling stories, never realizing that he was part of one of the most popular ones of all time. Kintyre Turn never thought he could be more than just a wandering hero with a sword, but he has reinvented himself as a compassionate Lord and a kind father. And Lucy Piper never believed that magic, adventure, or The Tales of Kintyre Turn ever really existed; but they do, and they have helped shape her life in ways she never expected.

Here now, for the first time in one collection, are all of additional stories set in the world of The Accidental Turn series – the shorts Home, Happiness, and Health, the novellas Ghosts and Arrivals, the prequel comic Ivy, and the exclusive new novella Magic, and short Pride.

As well, you’ll find all of the nursery rhymes and songs from the series, and the sheet music for Forsyth’s lullabye to Alis, For Calling Children In From Play, composed by the extremely talented Brigit O’Regan. And, er, performed by yours truly. Head here to check out the song on YouTube.

If you don’t have your copy of “The Untold Tale”, book one of the series, yet, you can also pop over to Voracious Readers Only, sign up for their newsletter and select “Fantasy” to get one.

Also, you can read my intro from and farewell to the collection right now over on my literary agency’s blog, Fuse News.

And of course, you can pick up your copy of The Accidental Collection in eBook today! (Paperback will be available at the end of the week!)


Art by Kelley Fesmire / Anotherwellkeptsecret

I’m sad to be saying goodbye to the world of Hain, and all of the lovely people I’ve had the pleasure of creating and getting to know in the last six years. What started as a vague idea and a monologue (see Pip’s Rant in chapter 11 of The Untold Tale), became a stand-alone novel. When Reuts Publications signed the book, it was with a request for a trilogy, and somehow opening the floodgates to the rest of this world and it’s characters created not just two more books, but a half dozen more stories.

And there are easily a dozen more that could be told in this world.

But (for now) I’m satisfied. This has been a wonderful adventure, completing my first series, and getting to dig my imagination into all sorts of different pies. But this also feels like a good stopping point.
I have enjoyed writing as Forsyth and Bevel immensely, had fun with Elgar though he was absolutely the most difficult voice to nail down, and getting to tell Pip’s tale has been an absolute privilege. I wrote my Master’s Thesis on Mary Sues and fan fiction, which I presented and made publicly available in 2009. Here we are nearly a full decade later, and I feel like the end of this series is that research come full circle.

As ever, thank you for being my Readers, for peering through the Veil of the Skies with me, and for trusting me to lead you through to the ending.

And hey, if you feel the need to write fanfic, cosplay, or create fan art or vids based on this series? Go for it. And let me know where I can find it when it’s done.

I think Forsyth would find it very appropriate.

JM FreyRELEASE DAY – The Accidental Collection
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COVER REVEAL – The Accidental Collection

COVER REVEAL – The Accidental Collection

The Accidental Collection, the fourth and final book of The Accidental Turn Series

Releasing July 3rd 2018!

You can preorder your copy of The Accidental Collection right here.

Once again, REUTS Publications and Publisher/Cover Designer Ashley Ruggirello has smashed this one out of the park. I specifically requested a purple cover because Pip’s magic, unlike the Viceroy’s, is violet. (The same color as a Mary Sue’s eyes!) It was also important to me to get the enchantment on this cover, because the third and final Accidental Novella – Magic  – is debuting exclusively in this collection.

Isn’t it pretty? I can’t wait to get a photo of the whole series on the shelf together.

If you haven’t had the chance to start the series, now’s the time. You can get a free copy of book #1, The Untold Tale, by signing up for the Voracious Readers Only newsletter this month and selecting “Fantasy”. You’ll also be automatically signed up for my newsletter as well.

For those of you who didn’t know, I have a past life as a musical theatre performer. Yes, I sang, danced, and acted my way across the boards in my youth. (And I still do so in community theater productions where I can, on occasion). But this means I love singing.

So when someone hooked me up with Brigit O’Regan, the famous YouTube Electric Violinist, you better believe that a song was going to come of it! In the process of building a culture and world for Forsyth Turn, I had the joy of getting to write a lullaby for book #2, The Forgotten Tale. Forsyth sings it to his daughter Alis in the opening chapters, and Brigit composed a melody that sounded exactly as if she had reached into my brain, plucked it out, and laid it gently on paper.  I also had a freaking hoot recording with Brigit – she’s bright, bold, and brilliant. And it was awesome to hear her go “yaaaaas!” every time I hit the high notes.

So without further ado, here is For Calling Children In From Play:

Lyrics:

Ah! The fields are dappled over, my love,
And the spring sings high and sweet!
Ah! The fairies flit and spin, my love,
And so it’s time for us to meet!

The sun sinks ever lower, my love,
It marks an end to play,
So come straight to my side, my love,
Now at the close of day.

Come not through murky forest, my love
Where trolls and goblins bide,
Come not oe’er standing pools, my love
Where kelpies wait and hide.

Come not through vasty deserts, my love
Where sun and djinn are cruel,
Come not through the icy wastelands, my love
Where reflections baffle fools.

Come not past cavern mouths, my love
When they issue smoke and steam,
For those are the homes of dragons, my love
Where they hoard things bright with gleam.

Heed not to the call of sirens, my love,
Nor any creature deep,
For they long to sing away children, my love,
To hold, to drown, and to keep.

Go not through the lofty halls, my love,
Made of fir, or ash, or pine,
For those are the realms of the elves, my love,
And to trespassers they are not kind.

Nor too, through the deep mountain kingdoms, my love,
Though the dwarves are a good and fair race,
They like not surprise from strangers, my love,
When they find folk out of their place.

Oh, the road goes ever onward
No end to sea and sky.
And Quests may call you forward,
But many go awry.
Just promise, heed my word, love,
Wherever that you roam:
Ensure your eyes stay on the route,
For that will bring you home.

When you come to me, my dear sweet love,
Come safe, come sure, and come true.
For adventures are all well and good, my love,
But home is now calling for you.

Come only to the parlor, my love,
Come only down the stair,
Come to the fire with me, my love
And sit with your family there.

Like the song? Want to learn it for yourself? You can download a copy of the sheet music – written, and transcribed by Brigit O’Regan – Right Here!

See you on JULY 3RD for the launch of THE ACCIDENTAL COLLECTION.

 

JM FreyCOVER REVEAL – The Accidental Collection
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