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BACK IN PRINT – Hero is a Four Letter Word

What’s that? You can now get a copy of this collection of short stories in paper? A copy of your VERY OWN? Yes! With the fantastic design and layout skills of Rodney V. Smith, Wattpad Star Extraordinaire and a man utterly generous with his time and talent, this short story collection is now available in

NOW IN PRINT – The Woman Who Fell Through Time

It lives! Many people have been asking when there’ll be a paperback edition of “The Woman Who Fell Through Time”, and I’m happy to say that with the help of the incomparably generous Rodney V. Smith (cover) and the time and talent of Brienne E. Wright (interiors), the novel is now available to buy in

WORDS FOR WRITERS – Do You Need That Prologue?

  Question: Do you agree with Brian Klems that agents don’t like prologues? Brian says only use one if it’s “out of time sequence,” which mine is (it’s also necessary to the story). He suggests, if a writer has a prologue, changing the name to “chapter one,” even if it’s out of time sequence. Would

INTERVIEW – With Trending WWWWandW

I had the great pleasure of getting to sit down with Trendingwwwandw a little while ago and talk about The Untold Tale, where I’d take tourists in Toronto, and my advice for new writers. You can watch the whole interview above.

WORDS FOR WRITERS – Narrative Conflict

Stories are, fundamentally, all about conflicts. In most stories, your Protagonist wants something – to change a rule in the government, to avenge a death of a loved one, to hook up with the cutie from band practice, to dispel a witch’s curse – and your Antagonist usually wants something that is in direct opposition

WORDS FOR WRITERS – Leaving an Agent

While I’ve spoken at length on how to get an agent, something I haven’t discussed is how to leave one when your relationship isn’t working out any more. I’m not talking about ragequitting  because you got told off for bad behavior, or because your book isn’t selling, or because you weren’t an instant and critical success. I’m talking about

READING – Ephemera Series

The amazing Ephemera Reading Series has done a wonderful job pivoting from an in-person celebration of literature in Toronto to a monthly online event.  There are over a dozen writers reading from their work, and musicians playing from their hearts on their YouTube Channel. I recently had the great joy to read in Episode 08:

ANNOUNCEMENT – Hero is moving to Wattpad!

Huzzah! My short story collection, HERO IS A FOUR LETTER WORD, is now available exclusively through Wattpad. The collection has been expanded to include more short stories. I’ll be uploading either one whole short-short story, or part of a longer one, each Friday. You can read the first story and add the collection to your Wattpad

WORDS FOR WRITERS – How Long Should it Take You to Write a First Draft?

Tweet from Katie Crabb: I am making sense of an idea document for a potential new project tonight, and thinking of all the research I would need to do, and all the things I would need to figure out, and it makes me think of seeing people writing drafts in like…a month and honestly?? How???

MENTORSHIP – I’m now available through SideBiz Studio

I’ve decided to open up a little shop on SideBizStudio! I enjoy working with authors so much in my Words for Writers series and during my Workshops, that I thought I’d expand my services to online video chat and shared document platforms. These are my current product offerings: Manuscript Review: $2 / page. Experienced author,

WORDS FOR WRITERS – In Conversation with Kisa Whipkey – Part II

J.M. Frey, author of THE SKYLARK’S SAGA, in conversation with series editor Kisa Whipkey. Join them as they discuss how the series was first acquired, the decision to split the first book in two, and why they love “enemies to lovers” and slow world-building so much. Warning – contains spoilers for book one of the

WORDS FOR WRITERS – How to Make Author Connections

We all know the importance of networking and community when it comes to the arts. Word-of-Mouth buzz is the most important kind of marketing your book or story can ever receive, which is why so many writers (whether they have a marketing team connected to their publisher, or they’re their own marketing team) spend so

ANNOUNCEMENT – I have a Talent Agent!

I am extremely excited to announce that I am now represented by Jennifer Fry and Carol Anne Prosje of Star Talent, Inc. as a Voice Actor! (If you’ve never heard them before, you can listen to my professional demo reels here.) Being a professional voice actor has been a dream of mine since I was 13 years

WORDS FOR WRITERS – In Conversation with Kisa Whipkey Part I

J.M. Frey, author of THE ACCIDENTAL TURN SERIES, in conversation with series editor Kisa Whipkey. Join them as they follow the series from idea, to how it was pitched and sold, through the editing stages and concept challenges, to final product. Warning – contains spoilers! Watch out for Jazz Hands! About the books: This book

“The Skylark’s Song” – Reading Videos

Yes! That’s right! With the permission of my publisher, REUTS Publications, I have spent the last few weeks reading my novel on camera for you! I’m in the middle of editing the videos now, and will start serializing them on July 13th. You can find out all about the duology here.   Bookmark this playlist,

WORDS FOR WRITERS: Prose vs. Screenwriting

Today’s question comes from a writer who wants to know the difference between how I go about braining stories for prose writing, as opposed to how I brain for screenwriting: Question from Oliver: If you haven’t covered it already, I’d be interested to hear what you have to say about how to switch headspace from Prose

Jane Eyre – Live Virtual Performance

I had the an incredible opportunity to join the Elora Community Theatre’s Virtual Playhouse for their Live YouTube rendition of “Jane Eyre” this week. This was an extremely ambitious virtual production, where each actor not only totally performed their part – each from their own home – but did so in full makeup, full costume,

WORDS FOR WRITERS: The Point of the Scene

As writers, we all know that books are made up of a bunch of scenes strung together to make a chapter, and a bunch of chapters strung together to make a story. But how, exactly, do you plan a scene? How do you make sure that the scene you’re writing is engaging, interesting, and necessary?

WORDS FOR WRITERS: Marketing for Writers with No Marketing Budget

  Guest Post by Hayley Zelda Book sales have previously been heavily associated with traditional publishers putting books in bookstores and various distribution platforms with the hopes of landing on a bestseller list. In this new age of self-publishing and social media, there are so many new ways to promote books and drive sales. There

ANNOUNCEMENT – “A Woman of the Sea” is swimming over to Radish Fiction

Hello, friends and readers! Things have been pretty bonkers for me for the last five days! I’ve barely slept, but for VERY GOOD REASONS! Starting on June 5th 2020, I’m publishing A WOMAN OF THE SEA exclusively on Radish Fiction as “The Woman Who Fell Through Time”. You can either read the novel an episode at a

WORDS FOR WRITERS: Creating a Book Photoshoot

What is it? A ‘book photoshoot’ is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Think of it as a modern ‘glamour shots’ for your book baby: it gets all gussied up, put in a fabulous setting, and photographed under professional lighting and from the most flattering of angles. Book photoshoots – colloquially known

WORDS FOR WRITERS: The Importance of Your Author Headshot

A term taken from the entertainment industry, a headshot is an 8″ x 10″ professional photograph of an actor, taken with specific parameters, which is submitted to a casting director or producer in the hopes of booking an audition based on the first impression of their looks. Having a headshot-like photo of yourself as an

WORDS FOR WRITERS: What is a Hybrid Author?

Hello! Hi there! If you’ve gotten this far in Words for Writers, you might be wondering who the author behind all of these articles is. My name is J.M. Frey – I’m an agented author with several awards under my belt with six of my novels currently published in the trade-wide traditional manner with professional

Yet Another COVID-19 Blog Post

I promise you, I’m not here to talk about “living in interesting times” or “steps we’re taking to ensure the health of our customers and employees” or even to remind you to stay home and wash your hands. (But no, really – stay home and wash your hands.) I just wanted to remind you that

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How do writers get paid?

While we all became story tellers because we had something in our hearts we want to share, there are a lot of us writers who also want to turn this into a career.  There are likely lots of you dreaming of massive advances and comfortable (if not Rowling-levels) of wealth, so let’s break down where

2019 Writing Roundup

The new year is here, and with it everyone is talking about what they wrote this past year. The last quarter of 2019 was a brutal rollercoaster for me, emotionally and personally, so it’s good for me to have the chance to sit here and reflect on what I accomplished and the good things that

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How Do I Get An Agent?

I’ve talked about this in other articles, but I wanted to dedicate a full post specifically to getting an Agent. There are thousands of agents out there at any given time, but those thousands of agents are getting requests for representation from hundreds of would-be-writers every month. There’s massive, massive competition for the attention of

My Granny

My grandmother, Evelyn Alexandra Winer (nee Gilmour) was born in the middle of The Depression into a household which would, eventually, contain nine children and two cousins. She was just five when her mother passed away in childbirth, along with the baby, leaving the leaving the older kids to raise their younger siblings. The children

BOOK TRAILER – “The Skylark’s Saga”

Robin Arianhod grew up in the shadow of a decade-long war. When she’s shot down behind enemy lines, her arch-nemesis The Coyote promises that he’ll help her escape on one condition: she takes him with her. Find out more about the books |  Animation: Elizabeth Hirst | Music: “Skylark’s Song” by Victor Sierra “The Skylark’s Song” and

“The Skylark’s Sacrifice” – Bonus Epilogue

by J.M. Frey Warning: This short is very spoilery. Only read this if you have already finished both books in The Skylark’s Saga duology. Robin coughed and shoved her work goggles up onto her forehead, only faintly amused by the curl of dark smoke that puffed by her face. The edges of the black cloud swirled

AWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT – A Woman of the Sea

Holy, smokes, guys! This is absolutely WONDERFUL news to wake up to on my Birthday! I am absolutely floored and extremely thrilled to announce that my historical queer time-travel romance “A Woman of the Sea” has won a 2019 Watty Award for Historical Fiction! A big, big thank you to Wattpad, all the judges and

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How to Plan a Series

I know I’ve discussed this little a bit in other articles before, but I wanted to talk specifically about the process of plotting a multi-book narrative. And how to make the ending satisfying because, from an emotional standpoint, this is the moment both you and your audience has been waiting for – the time when

BOOK BIRTHDAY – The Skylark’s Sacrifice

The Skylark’s Sacrifice Reuts Publications, September 2019 Robin Arianhod is on the run. Trapped behind enemy lines, her only choice is to lose herself in the sprawling capital of Klonn. But hiding in the shadows is a disservice to the rocket pack she escaped with, and to the man she once considered foe. Instead, she’ll

WORDS FOR WRITERS: What Is a Street Team? (Guest Post)

THE STREET TEAM: YES, YOU NEED ONE by Jillian Boehme So, you’ve got a book to sell. Are you ready to sit back and watch your Amazon rank climb while you sip a latte and plan your next story? Planning the next story is a good idea (and so is the latte), but sitting back

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How to Create a Pitch Package

What is a Pitch Package? Also called a Bible, or a Pitch Doc, this is a collection of very specific documents and write ups, which you’ll need along the publishing and marketing journey. But why do you need it? Because agents, editors, publishers, and marketers are going to ask for it. The documents that you

COVER REVEAL – The Skylark’s Sacrifice

Book #2 of the Skylark’s Saga Duology is out in on September 3rd, so it’s time to share the cover! What do you think? I’m  utterly thrilled  by  how  amazing  it looks!Robin Arianhod is on the run. Trapped behind enemy lines, her only choice is to lose herself in the sprawling capital of Klonn. But

Appearance Announcement – FanExpo Canada 2019

Where to find me at FanExpo Canada 2019. Table: I’ll be selling and signing books alongside the Toronto Steampunk Society in the Community area of the convention. Find me under the escalators! Steampunk Writer’s Collective 1:00 pm in ROOM 717 Join local steampunk Authors Rebecca Diem, JM Frey, MJ Lyons and Editor Dominik Parisien as they answer

Appearance Announcement – Word on the Street

I am very pleased to announce that I’ll be doing a reading and Q&A with a fellow YA fantasy/sci-fi writer on the Across the Universe stage at The Word on the Street Book and Magazine Festival this year! Time and location have yet to be announced, but I hope to see you at the Harborfront on September

WORDS FOR WRITERS – How To Write a Synopsis

Having to write a synopsis is the single worst part of being a writer. THE WORST. I see you “tagged in a negative review on Twitter” and I raise you “having to condense 80k words worth of my beloved precious lyrical story baby into a summary.” Bad reviews happen, but they happen to you, they

Appearance Announcement

It’s a bit last minute, but I’ll be attending and reading at the Ad Astra Charity Tea, hosted by the Toronto Steampunk Society.  It’s happening Saturday from 3pm to 5pm. I’ll be reading from The Skylark’s Song and it will be available for sale from Bakka Phoenix Books at the convention, in the dealer’s room. I’ll

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How do social media and writing/publishing work together?

Today’s topic suggestion comes from author Tina Chan. Thanks, Tina! Okay, okay, so we’ve all heard it before – you need to get your social media in order if you’re going to be a writer in the 21st century. Here is something to keep in mind when you finish your book and start the process

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A Fond Farewell

Today has been a very emotional one for me. It’s been an emotional month, truth be told, filled with lots of exciting (and yet, scary) decisions. Sometime around October of 2018, I realized that I was more than just tired, and spread like too little butter over too much bread (to paraphrase a certain Hobbit)

WORDS FOR WRITERS – From Signing to Signing

Congratulations! You’ve signed with your first literary agent, and they love your manuscript! Huzzah! Bravo! Cheers! Mazel Tov! … now what? What happens next? Working with your Agent After you’ve had “The Talk” with your agent, and agreed to sign on as a client, one of the first things you will likely discuss with them

A WOMAN OF THE SEA -Posting Update

About the Book A proudly out bisexual, Jessie Franklin was supposed to be going on vacation to celebrate her graduation. Instead, she’s pulled from what should have been a watery grave by an intriguing British Naval Captain– the only issue? It’s 1805! Stuck in Regency-era England, Jessie is left with no choice but to enter

WORDS FOR WRITERS – Beta Readers

One of the most invaluable resources a writer can ever have is a second pair of eyes. Called a beta reader (like a beta-tester in programming), a secondary reader, or sometimes just a straight up editor, having someone else read through your work is an invaluable step in the editing process. This is important because

MAIL BAG – A lovely Thank You!

Occasionally, I have the great joy of opening up my email and finding a beautiful, heartfelt letter from a reader who has found my work and really connected with it. This letter came from a reader who has given me permission to share it. Please excuse me while I go die of happiness and sob

WORDS FOR WRITERS: The DO-ING Trap

A young writer reached out to me on Instagram last month looking for some guidance when it comes to Character Development. She said that she was afraid that she spent a lot of time describing what her characters were doing at any given moment, but was failing to reveal why they were doing the thing,

ANNOUNCEMENT – “The Skylark’s Saga” has been picked up!

There’s a saying in the military which is also particularly apt for the publishing business: “Hurry Up And Wait”. It means things can happen in an instant, all of a sudden, and need your attention now now now, and when the rush is done you just… wait. After a weekend flurry of emails back and

WORDS FOR WRITERS – When Is The Story Done?

This is a question that came in from social media, and I’ve been pondering the answer for a few months. I could say something glib like “When I’ve hit my publisher’s word count!” but of course, this question is, I think, more about when you know that you’ve finished telling the story you wanted to

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