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J F Penn Fiction Focus & comp; Tips for Screenwriters; Another Self-pub Success Story; One Week till Cover Reveal on my New Novel!
14 November 2013

save the date - nov 28th book launch save the date - nov 28th book launch save the date - nov 28th book launch

Extended Read it Write it Sell it segment from my weekly Friday QVC Blog –  click here to read it first

On this week’s QVC Blog my Book of the Week is JF Penn’s ‘One Day in Budapest’ – here she tells us more about it.J F Penn novels







Oxford educated, British born J.F.Penn has traveled the world in her study of religion and psychology. She brings these obsessions as well as a love for thrillers and an interest in the supernatural to her writing.


Over the last 5 years she's sold tens of thousands of books - both fiction and non-fiction. As J.F.Penn she is the bestselling author of the ARKANE series of thrillers. Pentecost, ARKANE Book 1 is currently available for free so do click the link and go get it now!


 'Desecration', is the eagerly awaited latest title, and 'One Day in Budapest' is a shorter novella which slots nicely into the series and is a great way to get to know the author. (more on my QVC Blog this week including a competition to win a signed copy.)




'One Day in Budapest' - is also huge in the US - on it's been a bestseller in Political Suspense, Conspiracy Thriller and International Mystery & Crime. As at 28 Oct 2013: showed 35 reviews with a 4.9 star average.


 Joanna’s site for writers, has been voted one of the Top 10 sites for writers three years running,  so I thought I'd find out some more from this accomplished author and all round good gal!



Author Interview - Joanna Penn, AKA J F Penn.



 - What made you write in the genre you chose? Was it based on the books you like to read yourself?


 I write across several genres, like most authors, and yes, they are based on what I love to read. I love kick-ass action-adventure, and the ARKANE series has been described as ‘Dan Brown meets Lara Croft’. Desecration has shades of crime and mystery, with a hint of darker supernatural, in the vein of John Connolly. My short story series, A Thousand Fiendish Angels, is based on Dante’s Inferno and was influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. 


My own voice comes through strongly, but of course, we’re all shaped by what we read and seek out for our own pleasure.


- What was the tipping point for you in achieving the self pub success you have - especially in America

I’m not sure there’s been a tipping point! It’s all about your own definition of success, and I have a long way to go in my journey. I’ve sold just over 75,000 books now, and I’ve been writing and publishing, as well as marketing, for nearly five years. I’d say it’s more about slow and steady progress every day - a thousand words written on the latest book, a lot of reading, maybe a podcast interview, a blog post or some social networking. Like any long term progress, it’s the little daily habits that make the most difference over time. Oh yes, plus patience!


How important are reviews? The ARKANE series have a lot of excellent ones! 


Thank you! I’m thrilled that people like the books, and I do think reviews are really important, for several reasons.


1.  Social proof. Readers want to know that other people have liked a particular book, and although a couple of reviews could be friends of the authors, books with 20+ reviews from reputable sources can demonstrate a book is worth reading. 


2. Curation. With so many books on the market, readers want to know what to read next. People are increasingly following top reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads, book blogs and twitter influencers in order to know what to pick up next. I read a lot of business and entrepreneurial books, 90% of which I buy based on recommendations from bloggers I follow. For fiction, I often find recommendations on Goodreads.


3. Recommendation algorithms.  Authors have to care about sales, as well as the craft of writing. We dont know exactly how the recommendation algorithms work on Amazon, Goodreads and the other sites, but they surely must include some aspect of review rating.


- What's next to be published? Give us a teaser?! 


Desecration was only just published this week, debuting in the Amazon US Crime bestseller list next to Michael Connelly. I’m not quite ready to write the next one yet, so here’s the blurb.


Death isn’t always the end.

 LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds.


When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie finds her own life entwining with the morbid fascinations of the anatomists, and she must race against time to stop them claiming another victim.


As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and the genetic engineering of monsters, they must fight to keep their sanity, and their lives.



 Wow! Congratulations to Joanna. Don't forget to check out her website for inspiring info for writers and readers alike.


 J F Penn
 or  twitter @thecreativepenn



And go to my QVC blog this week to enter the competition. (closes midday Thursday 21st)



Is Script writing your thing?

Mine too. I've been working with a fab screenwriter over the last year or so and learnt a lot. Now I have a little bit of news from me about scripts – I’ve just completed my first joint one – with professional screenwriter pal Mal, who’s been helping me with an idea I had for a TV series which is a cross between Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge! Early days for sure, but if anything comes of it I’ll let you know! However it’s generated this focus, this week.

Last minute places available on London Screenwriters’ Summit – it’s this weekend (16/17 but just in case anyone’s able to go – there are some fab writers attending. I went to a Syd Field course a while ago and it was great. Watch out also for the ones run by Robert McKee. Click here to find out more.

How to get your book made into a screenplay And here are some interesting guidelines if you’re wanting to find someone else to write the screen adaptation of your novel – useful advice! Click here to find out more.


As promised, Julie Cohen's Author Questions...

To help with plot, this is what Julie asked us on our writing retreat (See QVC blog for main report) -

- your main character - What's their biggest problem?

- Why is it their biggest problem (not history as to why it happened, more 'what impact it has on her')

- What's their secret statement of self-belief? Begins with 'I am...'

- Why?

- What's their biggest weakness?

- What's the worst thing that could happen to them?

- Who's the most important person to them? How are they affected by their biggest weakness?

- What's their biggest strength? How is it connected to their biggest fear?

Interesting stuff eh? More info from Julie at



FINALLY – another great success story from the world of self-publishing – this time from a travel writer, on how he managed to make the leap to becoming a successful self-publisher. More info here.


Best wishes for a great week ahead! Don’t forget to join me next week when my new novel’s cover will be revealed in full for the first time, in the countdown to publication date on amazon on 28th November!

Luv debs


Ps don’t forget to leave me a comment below on anything that appeals to you!


One week till cover reveal (22nd). Exciting! It's nearly here! 

Then launch is on 28th November. Do join me on facebook on our online party from 9am-9pm on 28th - there'll be competitions, signed books, festive fun and early Christmas jollity.

I've only done one of these before, but it means anyone can join in and 'bring' cakes (post pics of them!), 'bring' party guests (invite people by posting pics of them - who's your ideal date, for instance!) and find out more about me and three other fellow authors and our new novels. To get an invite, just 'like' my facebook page and leave me a message on the party strand at the top that you'd like to be invited - then when you get the invite just click and accept or join. Then it'll go in your events, so that on the day you just have to come across to the page - launching 15th - and voila! Party away! I do hope you can join me! Otherwise my new novel, Hawaiian Escape ( the prequel to Hawaiian Affair) will be launching on amazon - do let me know what you think of it! Just got to get off and finish it now! lol.


best wishes






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