Flipping the Script: Embracing Change

8 Jul

I feel anxious. Actually, I am always nervous when I am on the verge of releasing a book. But this time, with this new book, my anxiety is different. It is not the typical pre-release “Will they like it?” jitters; this time it’s “Will they hate it?” I have to ask this question because I am doing something new, something somewhat unexpected. You can say, I’ve flipped the script.

Spell Final-CoverAs an author, my most popular works are a series called Wife 101. The series examines dating and marriage from a personal development and spiritual perspective. The series which includes, Wife 101, Husband 101, and the upcoming Couples 101, has been well received by readers. In 2011, I completed a short story titled Grave which was created from a thriller idea I had a couple of years previous. When Grave was published in 2012, those that read it, loved it and embraced its message. I never planned to write thrillers, but from this experience, I found myself being called to explore Christian fiction through thrillers. After my second short story, Vanity, was also enjoyed by readers, I knew it was time to take the risk and write a novel.

I decided early on to take on the pen name Janell which is actually my middle name. I felt my thrillers, although still Christian/Inspirational fiction, would have a different feel and message than the Wife 101 series, and I didn’t want to confuse readers who had come to love those books. Therefore, using a pen name would alert readers to expect something different. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to hide behind a pseudonym, so I try to make it clear that Janell is also A’ndrea.

My first thriller as Janell is called Spell and releases tomorrow. This should be a relief, and it is; yet at the same time, taking a leap of faith into a new genre is honestly…scary. As a writer, I feel myself being vulnerable again, similarly to the way I felt with writing my first book, except this time, people know me and have expectations for my work. It is in this moment that I can relate to authors and other creative minds who have tried something new, then had to wait to see if their”new thing” sinks or swims.

With this new book, I am having to embrace change, to be willing and strong enough to expand my territory. This also means that I must re-identify my goals. With the Wife 101 Series, my goals are to help singles and couples develop interpersonally, intrapersonally, and spiritually. With Spell and the other thrillers I write, my goals are to stimulate conversation about spiritual and social issues, and to get readers to ask questions rather than being comfortable with ignorance or complacency. It is important that I remember my goals because in order to know whether or not the books are effective and well received, I must be certain of the kind of response I am seeking. The Wife 101 series are semi-romance so I look for readers to walk away from the books feeling hopeful, motivated, and inspired. Whereas Spell is a thriller, so readers are likely to walk away somewhat shocked, unsettled, and ruminating about the ideas from the novel, but hopefully still inspired to be better people.

I am sharing these lessons and thoughts in this blog for a few reasons. One, to get it off my chest (hey, it’s a blog). Two, to prepare my readers for this new role and experience with my work. And three, to provide other writers who are considering a genre change with a look inside the emotional and mental experience of someone going through the process. Making changes are not always easy and not everyone will be in support of it, but like it is often said, to have something different, you must do something different. Be encouraged; despite the anxiety, I am super excited and very proud of this new book, and I believe that the messages it contains will be a blessing for those that need it.

Spell Synopsis

How far would you go for the one you love?

Donna Goodman never wanted to be a preacher’s wife. Nevertheless, falling in love with Pastor Walter Goodman was unexpected, thrusting her into a lifestyle that she feared most. Unwilling to accept the role of a perfect wife, Donna left Walter and his congregation behind.

Enter Tracy.

Beautiful yet damaged, Tracy Broussard wants one thing only—to be loved. Instant chemistry between Tracy and the separated Walter leads her to believe that her dreams are finally coming true. Quickly, she imagines herself as the new first lady and makes plans to be the next Mrs. Goodman.

 But when Donna abruptly returns and Walter chooses his wife over his new girlfriend, Tracy decides to take matters into her own hands. Armed with a book of spells and a vial of his blood, Tracy promises to use everything on earth and below it to change Walter’s heart.

 Ready or not, once the powers of darkness are channeled, Donna will have to either face death or risk the loss of Walter’s soul to spiritual wickedness in high places.

Find books by Janell at www.amazon.com/author/janell

Find books by A’ndrea at www.amazon.com/author/andreawilson

Visit the Janell Website at www.iamjanell.com

Visit A’ndrea’s Website at www.andreawilsononline.com

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