Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Most businesses struggle to find footing in the early years, a lot because they don't know who they are at first or who they're meant to serve. Not the issue here. My business boomed so quickly that I (blessedly) didn't even have time to think about who I was or wasn't, something I feel so lucky to have experienced! And my clients have all been the right ones so far. 

All along I've bounced between two names, but that ends here. No more TJ Writeography (may you RIP). I'm dropping the photography aspects of the business and focusing solely on editing and writing, my two passions, under the single brand of Fictiffous, which was the blog I ran for a few years and had already tied to the business. Now I can focus on what I love best and build deeper relationships with my clients, all while reaching out to new ones.

Welcome to the new(ish) face of, well, my old face: Fictiffous!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

From one of my own...cover reveal! YA fantasy: The Tethering by Megan O'Russell

One of my authors with the small press I worked for was immediately picked up by another publisher--not surprising, her book is so good--and I am super excited today to be a part of her cover reveal with her new publisher!

The Tethering

by Megan O’Russell

Coming Late Summer 2014

All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.

Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover. 

When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?

Add The Tethering to youGoodreads shelf 
Follow Megan on Twitter: @MeganORussell 
Follow Megan on Facebook
Stay up to date on the latest news for The Tethering at MeganORussell.com

I love this book, and can't wait for the world to see it!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Entrancie No More

Last year there was a lot of debate about small presses, and I posted about it myself here. At the time, I was Senior Editor for an upstanding small press with a great reputation and promising sales figures. But even good presses come to an end.

It has since closed its doors, and not in the prettiest way. Slammed them, is more like it. Then nailed them shut. And boarded them over. And ran away with tail tucked, a fake name, and a lit fuse ready to blow the remnants. Nobody got paid. Not the writers, not the editors, not the marketing staff. Some authors still haven't gotten their rights back.

So. Yeah. I'm still not anti-small press. Small presses give voices to talented writers who might not get heard at the big houses. But please, do your homework. Don't let yourself get burned. Get an agent, if you plan to publish traditionally--the authors that made out the best were the ones whose agents negotiated contracts to protect them against these types of situations.

For now, I'm back to fulltime freelancing. Will I work for a small press again? I'd love to. You live and learn. And I definitely learned what to do differently.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

From one of my very own authors...A Stop on the Infinite Potential Blog Tour

I edited this one, y'all! And I couldn't be more proud. I remember picking this one out of the slush pile so long ago, falling in love with it at first line, jumping at the chance to be its editor once it got accepted--and now it's a shiny new book, hot off the presses!

And without further ado...

Author Q&A

What’s your writing process?

Hmm – there really is no process. I’ve often referred to my writing style as “verbal vomit” (sorry for the gross analogy)! When the story hits and takes hold, there’s almost nothing I can do to stop it. I have to capture all the words as they spill out. I’ve learned the hard way to capture the story when it hits – and have been known to jump out of bed in the middle of the night and jot down those flashes of insite – or risk losing the thought.

When and where do you write?

Hah! Good question. I have an office at home and I usually climb into it after work each night and most of the weekends. I refer to it as “the cave,” though it’s quite nice and sunny. Finding time is hard. I have a (more than) full time job, try to hit the gym 4 or 5 days a week, and am clinging desperately to what social life I had! Family always comes first, of course, but I will admit there are times I resent not curling up with my characters. My poor husband caters to my idiosyncrasies and never complains when I neglect him – though he has a right to!

Speaking of your husband, you’ve said he’s the inspiration for all your heroes. How and why?

Well, besides the fact that they are all tall, dark-haired, and incredibly handsome – all of my heroes are strong, gentle, and affectionate. They don’t super-impose their needs and wants on the main characters – instead they support and encourage the independence of the women they love. That’s my husband – and that inspires me. I don’t think it would have been possible for me to accomplish all that I have – personally, professionally, and as an author – if it were not for him. I’m one lucky gal!

Where do you get your stories and characters?

Oh, geez – stories and characters are all around us! Sometimes it’s something that’s happening right in front of me, sometimes it’s just an interesting person or conversation. I try and take ordinary events and people and place them in unusual circumstances, which means I spend a lot of time asking myself “what if?” and then following where it leads. I’m frequently surprised where the story does go, being a complete Pantser!

Even as a Pantser, you must have some idea where a story is going in order to write a complete trilogy. How do you do it?

I do have the story arc laid out in my head and I’ll usually scribble some general notes for specific scenes I want to include, but those are very rough and often won’t make it into the final version. I like to let my characters drive the story, and I like to put them in predicaments they have to find their own way out of. Book 2 of the Phasms trilogy (coming Fall 2014) was the perfect example of what happens when your characters come to life: Kelsi and Bryn ended up hijacking everything I thought was going to happen. The last scene in book 2 remains the same as I’d originally envisioned it, but everything between the beginning and ending was a complete surprise.

 Buy the ebook or paperback here

Infinite Potential by Barbara Garren

Kelsi always Knows when bad things are coming, but even she never thought she’d lose her husband at only twenty-three. Since he died, she’s been living her worst nightmare.

Her nights are filled with dreams of a Dark Haired Man, but her days are full of guilt, because the Man fills her with longing and confusion, promising to give her all she needs, all she wants, all she feared she’d never have again.

If only the dreams would stay in her head where they belong.

Kelsi starts seeing the Dark Haired Man in her waking life, shadowing her wherever she goes.  And when her mysterious new neighbor, Aiden Hardt, knows about the Man in her dreams, Kelsi worries she can’t trust her own mind.

He’s not what he seems.

But even Aiden’s cryptic words don’t frighten her as much as the way she feels around him. Kelsi must sort through her emotions and figure out what’s real before she can ever hope to have a normal life again.

About the Author

Barbara was born and raised in Southern California, but left to explore the world courtesy of the U.S. Navy. After traveling the world, she forced herself to live a humble life in in San Francisco, New York and Norfolk, Virginia. She now calls San Diego home and you won’t pry her out with a crowbar.

She would be the first  to tell you her husband, Henry, is the inspiration for all the romance, and the real Charlie - who is as cute as he sounds in her books - is a terrorist. When not working for the U.S. Navy, she can be found running, reading or writing. She firmly believes a well rounded diet consists of coffee, scotch, chocolate, popcorn and Luna Bars. In that order. 

She's a graduate of CUNY and Penn State - and manages to write a decent line here and there despite those burdens.


I hope you guys enjoy her book as much as I did. We're finishing up edits on book 2 right now and she's writing book 3, and let me tell you, this trilogy is like nothing you've seen before. I'm super excited to release it into the the wild over the next year!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Endre Blog Tour Guest Post: "Five Fun Facts About Me" by ST Bende

A couple weeks back I celebrated the release of friend and author ST Bende's Endre, the second book of The Elsker Saga, and today I have the author herself stopping by the blog as part of her blog tour! (Read more about the book here.) Welcome ST!

Five Fun Facts About Me

by ST Bende

Last time Tiffany was sweet enough to let me visit y’all, I shared five Five Fun Facts About Elsker. This time around, I thought I’d share five things about me. Here they are, in no particular order:

(1) I am a HUGE IndyCar fan -- something I share with Elsker’s Inga. I watch every race, squirrel away technical nuggets about the cars, and may or may not pick my favorites just because they’re cute. Does anyone else think cutie-pie British driver James Jakes looks like a certain Norse God we know and love?
(2) Imagine Dragons is my hands down favorite band. Like, ever. I have a playlist of about twenty-five songs I regularly write to, thirteen of which belong to The Dragons. Because they’re just that awesome.
(3)  I am a total geek. I love Star Wars and Marvel and The Big Bang Theory. And just like Sheldon Cooper, the only animal I’d ever want to be eaten by is The Kraken, because the last words I’d hear would be RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!! (Didja know The Kraken is Norse? Apparently it hangs around the coasts of Norway and Greenland. Cool, right?)
(4) I’ve read every Shakespeare play. Except King John. Poor King John. I’m sure it’s really good. Has anybody ever read that play? If you have, please e-mail me. I’d love to ‘meet’ you.
(5) I cried when I wrote a certain scene in the garden of Ydalir in ELSKER. The one that ends with the champagne -- that one. Because I knew exactly how scary that moment was for Ull. And I cried again when I wrote a certain scene in ENDRE -- the one in the church, where Kristia’s wearing her grandmother’s dress. Because I saw that scene through Ull’s eyes, and I knew that moment meant more to him than he would ever be able to articulate. I tell the stories through Kristia’s POV, but Ull and his deeply buried vulnerability constantly tug at my heart. I love that god soverymuch. 

Thanks so much for letting me visit again, Tiffany!  Now tell me -- does anyone share my love of Imagine Dragons? If not, what are your favorite songs to read/write to? 

Thanks for stopping by ST, can't wait to read Endre!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway! Endre by S.T. Bende

It's finally here...the sequel to Elsker!  

Sometimes, finding your destiny means doing the exact opposite of what The Fates have planned.
Winning the heart of an immortal assassin was a dream come true for Kristia Tostenson. Now she’s knee deep in wedding plans, goddess lessons, and stolen kisses. But her decision to become immortal could end in heartbreak -- not only for Kristia, but for the god who loves her. Because while Ull would do anything to protect his bride, even the God of Winter is powerless against the Norse apocalypse. Ragnarok is coming. And the gods aren’t even close to ready.

Watch the book trailer and then buy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

From a Review:

If you're looking for a different take on New Adult that has plenty of swoon-worthy moments, some nail-biting action, and a mythological world you can lose yourself in, this book is for you.”


“What do you want to know?” Ull lowered his sunglasses lazily and eyed me with a look that made my insides burn.
“Well,” I paused. “Uh… what am I supposed to do if I’m attacked?”
“You mean if this happened?” Ull launched himself off the chaise, wrapping one arm around my waist and dragging me across the beach. He cradled me in his arms and landed in the froth where the ocean met the shore.
“See? I’m totally defenseless?” I gazed up at him, my back pressed firmly against the wet sand. He hovered over me, supporting his weight on his forearms.
“I am afraid you are.” Piercing blue eyes locked in on mine. Between the depth of his stare and the heat from his abs, I forgot everything else.
“Um …” I bit my bottom lip.
Ull tilted his head to one side, a small smile playing at one corner of his mouth. “Now what did you want to know?”
“I--” I broke off as a wave washed over us. The warm saltwater lapped up to my waist then retreated, leaving a film of sand over my legs.
“You were asking me how to defend yourself?” Dangit, it was hard to focus with Ull’s dripping body pressing against mine. Yes, I wanted whatever it was I’d asked about. Self-defense, right. But there was something else I wanted more.
I bent my knee and twined my calf around Ull’s. I shifted my hips just an inch and stared into those endless blue eyes. They sparkled in the sunlight. My arms were trapped beneath his torso, so I turned my palms upward to touch the spot where his chest met his shoulders. It was so smooth, so firm, and so very, very warm. My eyes never left his as I moved my thumb along the line of his shoulder, down his biceps and down to the crook of his arm. I drew a slow circle inside his elbow and Ull blinked.
“Kristia,” he whispered.
“Yes?” I tried to reach up to stroke the stubble lining his square chin, but my arms were pinned.
“You are not trying to defend yourself.”
“So?” I raised my head and kissed his jaw. “Maybe I don’t feel like fighting you off.”
“Mmm,” Ull closed his eyes as I kissed my way up to his ear. “So if someone came after you, you would just let them do this?”
He swiftly rolled onto his back, forcing me on top of him. He shoved his fingers in my hair and tugged gently, pulling my head back. He kept the other hand just above the bottom of my bikini, firmly pressing my hips into his. I squirmed against the hold, trying to find a way out of his grip. Though I tactically had the upper hand, I couldn’t move.
“Well I wouldn’t let just anyone do this.”
“I should hope not,” he growled softly. He raked his teeth along my throat and paused at the hollow of my neck. “Because this could end very badly for you.” He ran his tongue along my collarbone. I shivered.
In a lightning-quick move, Ull flipped me onto my back and pinned my arms above my head with one hand. I gazed adoringly at the fierce assassin glowering over me. “And this. What would you do if someone did this to you?”
“Uh,” I blinked. If I told Ull what I really wanted to do right now, I’d turn every possible shade of crimson.
“Focus Kristia.” Ull stared at me. “What would you do if you were trapped?”
“I… uh… I’d,” I blushed. “You seriously want me to fight you off?”
“If you are so bent on going through with this little exercise, then yes. Give it your best shot. And then I believe, you promised to pay me for the lesson.”
“Gladly.” I narrowed my eyes and wrenched my arm as hard as I could. It didn’t budge. I tried again but it was futile.
“You are outmaneuvered and I am twice your weight. Try something else.” Ull commanded.
I threw my shoulder into his chest and tried to roll to one side.
“You cannot out-force me. Look at the difference in our masses. Think tactically, Kristia. What can you do that will debilitate me?”
My eyes widened. “You don’t want me to--”
“I want you to find a way to get me off you. Do what you have to do.”
I closed my eyes and raised a knee to his groin. Ull groaned and rolled off me.
“I’m so sorry! You said to--”
He raised a hand and waved at me, turning away.
“I’m sorry,” I repeated.
“That was good.” He rolled back with a grimace. “But if someone is bent on capturing you, they will come back for more. And quickly. Your next step should be to run.”
“If you want I can get some ice for--”
“Run, darling.” It was a threat. “Now.”

About the Author:

Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of McVities cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga (TUR, ELSKER and ENDRE). She is an audio co-host of #NALitChat, and helps compile indie new releases for the USA Today HEA blog. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day, pastries will be considered a health food.

Find ST on Twitter, her blog, or send her an e-mail. While you’re at it, introduce yourself to @UllMyhr -- when he’s not saving the cosmos from dark elves, he loves meeting new friends. Especially the human kind. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stbende or @stbende
Email:  stbende(at)gmail(dot)com


And of course, there's a giveaway! Enter here for a chance to win a gift card, bookmarks, and a copy of the book.

Hope you enjoy, and good luck to all!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Small Press Debate

Recently there's been a lot of conversation in the blogosphere on the validity of small presses in the publishing world. It's gotten so heated that pub peeps are arguing all over Twitter--and making interesting points on both sides. Because I'm both an agented writer aiming for publication, and an editor for a small press, both sides of the argument have drawn my attention. In case you've missed the conversation, I wanted to post links to some of the main points to get you caught up.

SFWA published this comprehensive post in their Writer Beware section a couple months back on evaluating the validity of a small press:
Small Presses

It started some conversation, but the most heated part of the debate began with this post from Beth Revis on Reddit listing the red flags for small presses that may not be on the up-and-up:
Some Small Presses Aren't Worth it

Beth's post caused riled-up small press publishers (and even some authors) to start defending themselves on Twitter. I won't name names, but you can read a slew of tweets from publishing world players and see some venom flying. Almost immediately, bestselling small press author Jennifer L. Armentrout put up this post on her blog:
My Name is JLA and I'm Published with a Small Press

Soon after, agents involved in the discussion began posting lists of specific small presses whose validity they could confirm, a useful addition to unpublished authors who were following the no-press-named debate online. For example, agency Foreword Literary, a new conglomerate of experienced agents, listed their favorites here:
Small Presses and the Interwebz

I think the moral of everyone's story is that there are some crappy small presses out there, and there are some great ones too, and each writer must do exhaustive research (starting by reading all of the links above) to figure out the best path for her particular manuscript.