Friday, January 18, 2019

Cover and Title Announcement: The Army of Angels (Lovelace & Wick Book Three)

Greetings, everyone!

Real talk: I am so thrilled that I can finally stop calling this book "Lovelace & Wick Book Three" on social media.

Presenting The Army of Angels, the third Lovelace & Wick book. This has been such a crazy project, and I'm so excited to share more about it with you. This book has adventure and robots and romance and inter-dimensional travel. Unsurprisingly, there are angels, too. (Who'da thunk?)

There's more info to come soon. In the meantime, check out my Instagram for random musings and lots of bookstagram goodness.


Monday, December 31, 2018

Settling in Marlowe, Mass.: Sneak Peek for 2019

Insert the obligatory "Apologies For the Lack of Posting" message here!

2018 has been a busy, busy year. If you would have told me when I was drafting The Last Temptations of Iago Wick that I was settling in for the long haul in Marlowe, Massachusetts, I would have been utterly delighted and utterly shocked. The second book in The Lovelace & Wick Series, Binding Dante Lovelace, came out in May, and if you're wondering why I've been MIA here on the blog, it's because I've spent most of my free time working on Book Three.

Book Three, which will have a cover and title reveal soon. I promise. 

Just this morning I began work on Lovelace & Wick Book Four, the last in the series. All that's there so far is a page and a half, and yet, it feels bittersweet.

Sort of.

When you're looking at the end of a series, it's only reasonable to question what comes next. In my case, my mind is always pinging about in every direction. I've considered and half-planned a lot of story ideas and concepts for the next series.

And I have one. Hold on to your hats, guys.

When I begin work on this new series, I won't be leaving Marlowe, Massachusetts. (Though, I will also say that we'll be visiting the City of Marlowe in a very different time period. Stay tuned.)

2018 brought me so many amazing connections with other writers and with fans of my own writing. It brought me so many opportunities--book signings and conventions. I got to see my books in a book store for the first time. I received fanmail, which I'm still not over. I traveled to Salem, Massachusetts, a town which--from afar--had so much influence on my own fictional world that it seemed an utter dream to actually go there. And I've been able to explore the world of Marlowe in more depth than I ever thought I would.

And so, I'd like to thank everyone reading this post. Thank you if you bought my books. Thank you if you reviewed them. Thank you for liking my social media pages. Thank you for merely asking "how's the writing going?" when you see me walking down the street. Every little interaction is appreciated and cherished and makes me feel like I might actually know what I'm doing here. (Verdict is still out on that.)

I've never felt so fulfilled and challenged and completely delighted by a project before, and I'm thrilled to be entering 2019 with a full slate. Here's hoping I see you there!

Have a happy new year, and a splendid winter,

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Five Facts About The Lovelace & Wick Series

Welcome, everyone! Today I wanted to share five facts about The Lovelace & Wick Series in the form of a video. Yes, that's right, you get to see my face, and hear my voice, and hear the half a dozen motorcycles that zoom past my house in the span of ten minutes.

And please, if you're an author and you want to do a similar video, consider yourself tagged!

Five Facts About the Lovelace & Wick Series from Jenny Rainey on Vimeo.

Sidenote: I cannot get over the fact that I'm wearing the same shirt in my Vimeo profile pic as I am in the video. I promise I own more clothing than that.

Thank you so much for watching!



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Breakfast with Dante: A Lesson in Letting Your Characters Lead the Way

I'm going to let you in on a secret:

When I started writing Binding Dante Lovelace, I didn't know Mr. Lovelace very well at all.

I sat down to really start working on the book on a bright and sunny January 1st. It was 2017, a year that would end up quite tragic for me personally. There was death and strife to come, but I didn't know it yet. I had a cup of Earl Gray and the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack, and I was determined to get to know this character. While I'd held many conversations with Dante in my mind, there's nothing quite like writing a character to understand them.

That's not to say I hadn't written him at all before--he had a supporting role in The Last Temptations of Iago Wick. However, all I really knew was:

  1. Dante Lovelace is a catastrophe artist, a demon who creates mayhem on Earth in order to corrupt and claim the souls of humans for Hell.
  2. He is Iago Wick's more level-headed partner/romantic interest.
  3. He collects taxidermy and death-related artifacts to decorate his house at 13 Darke Street and dresses completely in black.

We had a long way to go.

When I first started writing Dante in the first draft of Last Temptations, I had something very different in my head. A tall, dark, and debonair sort of demon who relished in the misery he caused and saw it as as much of an art as Iago saw his temptation of humans. There are shades of this in the first book, to be sure. Think Jason Isaacs. Think a villain you know is bad, but you still kinda love him.

And Dante Lovelace, quite frankly, looked me in the eye and said, "That's not me."

Well, I thought. Then, who are you?

I let him take the wheel more than I had ever done with a character before. I just had this sense that he knew better than I did.

After all, writers don't create characters, we just allow them to come out to play.

So, I began a habit that I still maintain: I promised to work on the manuscript every single day at 5:00 AM. My mind was clearer then, more open to ideas. And just as I did on January 1st, I would sit with a cup of tea (frequently Earl Gray) and just write. While I still had an outline, this book was definitely the most "pantsed" of all the first drafts I ever wrote. I just let the words and the ideas come. Nothing was too strange, nothing was too silly. Over tea and breakfast every morning, I let Dante show me his story.

He surprised me right off the bat in Binding Dante Lovelace when he showed me remorse. He showed me regret. He did not enjoy his work for Hell, not nearly as much as he said he did in the company of other demons. And in doing this, he suddenly seemed trapped, victimized and somewhat vulnerable. He was sympathetic.

More than sympathetic! He was nice. He liked cats and baking and writing love letters by candlelight! He showed me a yearning for something more, for a life beyond what Hell wanted for him. In a way, he told me, he was under Hell's control. He destroyed because they forced him to, and quite frankly, he was growing tired of it.

In his relationship with Iago Wick, he proved to be loyal and passionate. He worried about his lover when they were apart. He wanted more than love with Iago, he wanted a life with him.

Very simply, Dante Lovelace was very alive for a creature so focused on death.

The lesson is: shut up and let your characters talk! I had a vision in my head of what Dante Lovelace was supposed to be, but that wasn't who he truly was. Only when I let him run the show did I realize the tender-hearted character I was writing for. I let his every move and every word come naturally, and what's more, I fell head-over-heels in love with him.

I think writers and creators often get an idea in their head of what a character should be based on popular tropes or other characters. You might be writing a vampire and think, "People like Lestat! I'm going to write the next Lestat."

Don't let someone else's work or expectations hang you up--let your character lead the way, organically.

To go off on a bit of a tangent: this is why I'm not a fan of those big 1000-question character questionnaires. When you fill one of those out, you're forced (on the spot) to come up with your character's life. What's his favorite color? What's a traumatic event from his childhood? What does he dream about? Boom, boom, boom!

Your characters are alive. You wouldn't learn these things about a new acquaintance in rapid succession. Why should you learn them about your character that way? It's not organic, and it's not your character talking. You're deciding those things for your character, rather than them showing you.

As I said, I still get up at 5:00 AM every day to write. The first draft of the third book in The Lovelace & Wick Series is about 85% of the way to completion. It's a doozy, but it features both Lovelace and Wick equally in the main roles. Those demon husbands work quite well together, and as long as they're running the show, I'm happy to tag along.


Binding Dante Lovelace is available for purchase at Amazon.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Who's Who? in Binding Dante Lovelace

In the second book in The Lovelace & Wick Series, Dante and Iago are joined by some familiar faces and a whole lot of new ones. Here's a peek at some of the new characters, both good and bad, who have a role to play in Binding Dante Lovelace.

Beatrice Dickens--a witch.

In a book called Binding Dante Lovelace, it only makes sense that someone is casting a binding spell (or engaging in a bit of kinky fun, but we won't go there). Miss Dickens is our spell-caster! Beatrice is a headstrong, if not slightly naive, woman who promises her soul to Hell when she binds a demon to better her own powers.

Unfortunately for Mr. Lovelace, he is the lucky demon in question.

Zero Bancroft--a demon hunter.

This is not the sort of gentleman you want to encounter in a dark alley. Mr. Bancroft is a clever and ruthless hunter who has discovered new ways to battle minions of Lucifer. (In particular, he's quite tired of dealing with Iago Wick.) Bancroft has a plan to eradicate the world of supernatural beings... along with a good chunk of the human population. All for the greater good, he says...

Harry Foster--a scholar.

Mr. Foster is a dedicated scholar of the supernatural, and he's also Beatrice Dickens's sweetheart. Don't worry about the messy library and unkempt stacks of notes; just call it organized chaos.

Charlotte Cutter--a proper young lady. Sometimes.

Miss Cutter is a dear friend of Harry and Beatrice's from childhood. She may be offended by ginger snaps (too much flavor!) and act as quite the wet blanket, but don't let that fool you. She has secrets to tell.

Harriet--an automaton.

Every demon needs to stay informed. Iago receives his daily dose of gossip and information from Harriet, who roams the streets of Boston before reporting back to Mr. Wick.

Lucretia Black--a demon.
Lucretia would simply DIE over this outfit, if, indeed,
she had the ability to perish.

Not every demon enjoys working for Hell. Take Lucretia Black, who defected and abandoned her Hellish duties. Don't worry. She's kept remarkably (and fabulously) busy, and she'd be happy to tell you all about it over a glass of good bourbon.

Gregor Hawley--a demi-demon.

Mr. Hawley is proud of his demonic heritage. He can proudly claim to be 1/32 (or is it 1/64?) demon. Centuries ago, his ancestor got more than she bargained for when cavorting with a demon lover. *ahem* I wonder who that lover might have been...

Devorog--a monster.

Don't make eye-contact. Just keep walking. No... I take it back. Running. Just keep running! It's gaining on you!

You can get to know these characters, as well as catch up with some familiar faces, in Binding Dante Lovelace on May 24th.

Until next time!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Binding Dante Lovelace--Coming May 24th!

I am so happy to announce that Binding Dante Lovelace finally has a release date! You'll be able to download the ebook on May 24th, exclusively at Amazon.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Spirited Company: Old school seances and spirit photography

The Victorian seance is something that has cemented itself in our minds and media. After all, the spiritualism movement caught the attention of some very notable people of the era, from Mary Todd Lincoln to Arthur Conan Doyle. ACD quite famously disagreed with his pal, Harry Houdini, about the spiritualist movement in the early 20th century (they even made a very awesome but very short-lived TV show about it).

The spiritualism movement can be traced to mesmerism, the hypnotic therapy of F.A. Mesmer in the 18th century, but it's worth mentioning the Fox sisters, as well. These sisters claimed they could speak to the dead starting in the 1840s and helped spark an international obsession with spiritualism. Today, we tend romanticize the movement and use it in many books and movies and TV shows--heck, The Lovelace & Wick Series features multiple seances. At the heart of it, however, were charlatans taking advantage of a hopeful and sometimes grieving audience. Humans want so badly for there to be a way to talk to their dearly departed loved ones, and spiritualism provided both comfort and heartache to people of the time.

Today, however, I wanted to take a look at some of my favorite examples of Victorian and Edwardian spirit photography.  Most of these blots of ectoplasm and ghostly faces were either cotton/cheese cloth or smoke or overexposed faces in overlay. All the same, they're a lot of fun to look at.

(Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a visitor -- Source)

(Mary Todd Lincoln -- Source)

(Source--This link has a TON of cool photographs.)

Until next time!