All Things Book (and not!)

I recently realized that the last time I sent any sort of update was five days before A Soul as Cold as Frost was launched. So, I’m shooting you a message to let you know all that’s happened since then, and what’s coming, and boy oh boy. Being a published author has been a real hoot!

The book launch of A Soul as Cold as Frost was phenomenal, so much better than I expected. My book became available worldwide, hitting the #1 spot on TWO best seller lists within hours of each other. Since then, it was nominated for the 2020 Indie Fantasy Book of the Year with Caffeinated Fantasy, has gotten 43 reviews on Goodreads with 83% of those reviews being 4/5 or 5/5 stars. I’m so proud of this book! Thank you to everyone who bought a copy and has supported me on this journey, and to all you churchy-folk who always boosted my confidence over the years by all your uplifting words. It’s truly remarkable to see how far this book has come from those early stages of plotting out this crazy novel idea I had about a girl discovering a Christmas-themed realm that carried all kinds of hidden gems about the Truth.

After being nominated for the 2020 Indie Fantasy Book of the Year, A Soul as Cold as Frost made it into the top ten and is now in the finals! (The winner will be determined by the number of votes, so if you’d like to vote for me, I would greatly appreciate it! Vote Here)

In other news, I’ve been avidly working on book #2 of The Winter Souls Series, called A Heart as Red as Paint. I’ve finally finished the revisions, and have just sent it off to six beta readers to get their feedback. From there, I’ll be rewriting it (again!) before I send it to my editor. (To see the synopsis of A Heart as Red as Paint, visit my “Books” page.)

In addition to starting the writing process of Book #2 of the Winter Souls Series back in December, I was also asked to participate in a collaboration project called Enchanted Waters, which is a collection of short stories by a handful of different authors, featuring mythical sea creatures. All profits of this project are going to Oceana to help support the health of our oceans and sea life. In this collection will be a short story that I wrote called Merrily, Merrily, featuring Zane from A Soul as Cold as Frost, during his life before he joined the Patrols when he was a pirate on the snowseas. Merrily, Merrily will also be available in a book of short stories I plan to publish in 2020, all of which take place in the realm of Winter. But for this year, the only place to get this story is in Enchanted Waters as part of our effort to raise support for Oceana. The ebook of Enchanted Waters is available for preorder for only $1.99! The price will be going up in March, so if you read ebooks, order your copy now. Pre-order Enchanted Waters on Amazon.com The paperback will be available the day of the book launch (I will keep you notified of when that is!)

In home life, I was pretty thrilled to learn that my son Chase was able to go back to school Monday (today.) I had his lunch packed, his clothes set out, his water bottle filled, and everything else imaginable. I even made a big “To-Do” list for today of everything I’ve been putting off for weeks since lockdown started, as my clingiest kid was finally going to be occupied elsewhere. But then, of course, we missed the bus this morning, because that’s just how we do things. My husband was gone with our vehicle, and my son’s first day of school turned into an hour-long scramble of me trying to figure out how I was going to get him there when I was home alone with no vehicle and three kids, one of which was supposed to be napping. So, to make a long story short, Chase was very late for school today, but he got there. Unfortunately, my youngest son, Austin (or “Austin-Mischief” as we call him at home) was pretty ticked that he missed his nap deadline, so after throwing plenty of snacks at my face and crushing a lob of playdough into the carpet, I spent my morning trying to get him to sleep and finally got him to go to bed about an hour ago at 1pm–thus why I’m able to write this blog post now.

Kids.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well and safe, and I’m sending out all kinds of prayers for random little blessings to fall on your lap today. You are so loved beyond measure, and the Lord has not forgotten your name or where you are.

Peace.

Preorder the ebook of Enchanted Waters

What really lies beneath the waves?

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Only 5 more days!

It’s a funny feeling, being this close to having my first book officially launched and out in the world. I’m pretty giddy. And I do weird things when I’m giddy, like making odd faces even when I don’t know it. My mind has gone to another place–I’m barely present. I’d make a good zombie for Halloween.

My whole marketing plan took a snotty beating this year with Covid 19 changing everything, but I’m not tossing in the towel. Instead, I’m tossing a last-minute hail Mary. I guess we’ll see how it goes!

Truthfully, this book almost didn’t happen. There were days where I remember lying awake in bed asking God what the heck what going to happen to this fancy new “career” I’d set out to start. Like, why this year? Why did I have to decide to publish a book the same year the pandemic hit? Why couldn’t I have waited another year or two before setting out to make this happen? If only I would have known.

Those were the questions I asked God over and over. But there are so many cool moments where it was so clear the Holy Spirit was in control–I’d keep you here all day reading if I tried to type them all out. It was hard, but now that everything is done, I feel like it was SO WORTH IT.

I’ve also realized along the way that I’ve done a crummy job at keeping everyone in the loop. I love to send updates, but frankly, my memory is garbage and I keep forgetting to actually tell all of you what’s happening.

Well, here’s what’s happening!

Everything for the book is DONE. I’m so relieved to say that because there were so many last minute do-overs and there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I kept running out of time for everything. This book would have been finished back in July if the Covid pandemic hadn’t changed things, but it’s a part of life now. Everything just took way longer than they should have–so what? If there’s one thing I know–it’s that God’s timing is perfect. Yes, I have only a few weeks this Christmas season to sell a book that I should have been able to spend all year marketing and promoting, but I’m going for it anyway. In some ways, it’s a relief to only have to spend a few weeks marketing instead of half the year. I’m straight-up tired and I think I’m ready to turn off my brain for a while and spend time with my family this December.

My book launch is this coming Monday night! If you want to join the event on Facebook, here’s the link: Official Book Launch of ASACAF

As part of my “Hail-Mary last-minute-marketing weeks,” I’m attempting to put together an online Facebook tour, since physical tours aren’t exactly possible. I have a few fun gifts for anyone willing to help. (Visit www.winterpublishinghouse.com if you want to get in on that.)

Please keep me in your prayers this next few weeks as I try to get this book into the world. Unlike most books, mine has a very brief window for promoting it, since it’s Christmas themed (and no one wants to buy or read a Christmas book from January-September.) But, alas, it’s the choice I made! I’m a sucker for Christmas; can you blame me?

The last thing I want to let you know is that I’ve written a novella (which is a short story) that takes place in the realm of Winter–the universe A Soul as Cold as Frost is set in. This novella, called “Harmonies,” will be a part of a book of short stories I plan to publish in 2022, but I’m planning to send the ebook (or a PDF version) to all of my subscribers for FREE this November in honour of my book launch! So if you get a random link to a random book–just know it’s not so random!

Thank you for reading my update! Wish me luck at the book launch on Facebook this Monday night!

Funny Story

Well, friends, it’s happening.

I’ve dragged myself through parts of this process, and I’ve skipped like a giddy schoolgirl through other parts, but I’m so close to having everything ready that I can practically taste all the wintery flavours I’ve jam-packed into this book. I can’t wait for the world to have it, I can’t wait to talk about it with everyone who reads it, and I cannot WAIT to hold a paperback copy in my own hands–every author’s dream, I think.

This month has been another busy one–go figure–but I’ve set up my Author Page on Goodreads, and my Author Page on Amazon, and the formatting is complete for both ebook and paperback! Wahoo! If you were a beta reader or an ARC reader of my book, please leave me a review! It’s how author careers stay alive!

Through a fun accident, my ebook is actually already available for pre-order… *palm to forehead* and unfortunately I can’t take it down without suffering a penalty from Amazon. So, whatever, Merry Christmas! My ebook can now be ordered on Amazon.com/.ca and Chapters Indigo, and Barnes and Noble, and likely several other places but it would just be annoying for me to list them all and make you read through every one. If you purchase my ebook, it will be automatically delivered to your e-readers on November 2nd, 2020!

My paperback will be available for pre-order in August on the regular schedule, permitting I’m able to figure everything out to get it there – it’s still in the approval stage with IngramSpark. Please pray that this process all goes smoothly, since I’m clearly losing my mind with everything on my brain since I’ve already botched the ebook launch. Typical.

Anyway, that’s my funny story (obviously not that funny.) I’m currently trying to complete the paperback process, revamp my website, build a new website for my publishing company, AND… I’ve begun writing Book 2 of The Winter Soul Series! *high fives all around* And boy oh boy… there are plenty of surprises in this one!

Thanks for reading! You’ll hear from me again soon–either when the paperback is available, OR when I inevitably botch something else…

Nearing the Finish Line

Who has two thumbs and is almost ready to publish a book?

That joke would work a lot better if you could see me.

What a whirlwind 2020 has turned out to be so far! Can anyone relate? Oh wait, yes, of course you can, because we’ve ALL been trapped at home for months. So, this begs the question: how many of us glided through this quarantine with grace, and how many have transformed into crazy behemoths? If you’re like me, you’ve learned to plaster a wide (too wide?) smile on the outside, because your mind’s spool has already unravelled down to the core on the inside.

Let’s sing! *Ahem*

If you’re crazy and you know it shake your meds! *clink, clink*

On the book front, I realize I’ve owed you an update for a while, especially since I’m SO CLOSE to being finished the preparation process, but, well… kids. So. Yeah.

By the grace of God, who loves me a heck of a lot more than I deserve considering I haven’t particularly been a “graceful glider” through quarantine, I have spent these last months working through my manuscript that I got back from my amazing editor (Suzanne Carson – I highly recommend!), I’ve started a publishing company called Winter Publishing House (I have big plans for this *sneaky eyebrow dance*,) and BOOM, I just finished formatting my book today. Now I’m trying to amp myself up to do the book cover.

Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe next week. Or maybe never.

Probably tomorrow.

My goal, God willing, is to have my book uploaded on both Amazon and IngramSpark and available for pre-orders worldwide by August! Wahoo! It’s ambitious, but every single thing about trying to publish a book in 2020 is ridiculously ambitious. And on that note, I’d like to personally give a shout out to all the authors out there that are riding the same crazy train and have managed to do it anyway. And you know what? Anyone else who has managed to do literally anything at all in these last months, good for you. You deserve a pat on the back.

If you don’t follow my author page on Facebook (facebook.com/authorjenniferkropf) or Instagram (@authorjenniferkropf) well get on that because now that most of the gruelling work is done, I’m going to finally get my head on straight and focus on posting some consistent updates about my book as things happen. This is when all the exciting stuff begins.

Before I go, let’s just have a good old-fashioned prayer exchange, yes? I’ll pray for you (sending them out to everyone who has received this blog post) and you pray for me. I could sure use it to get through this homestretch.

Thanks for all the support, I know I’m blessed to have any at all. I’m beyond excited for you all to read A Soul As Cold As Frost, coming this summer!

Kropf out

A Merry Christmas to all, and to all…oh, whatever. Just read my book.

Here’s another update, swooping in at you from the gross off-white soggy-cloud skies that have been keeping the sun captive for way too long. Sunshine would be nice. So would being allowed to go outside in general.

I knew it was going to be a challenge to finish writing my book this year, and to finish the five hundred side hustles that go along with getting it ready to publish, but sweet buttery basket of buttocks, I had NO IDEA that 2020 would slap me the way it did. I’m pretty sure I even muttered some thought before I decided to hop off the cliff into the publication abyss that was something like, “I mean, what could go wrong? It’s not like the world will come to an end.”

I did it. I’m positive I’m responsible for the world shutting down.

Me and my big mouth.

Now I get to try and finish editing a book with kids telling me they’re hungry for snacks every three seconds, and blowing lactose-intolerant fart kisses around the house we’re all trapped in, and a baby licking my ankles, and all of them fighting over who hit who and why and how and when and *major snort* I’m not cut out for this.

The good news is, I’ve gotten close to being able to send my manuscript off to my editor (I’m pretty sure I said that in my update last month, but I lied then. I’m telling the truth now.) I’ve turned into a party girl, and by that I mean I party by myself with my laptop and blue-light glasses late into the night, because for a while the only time I was able to get away with really focusing was after all my kids fell asleep, from 8pm onward. But little by little I’ve gotten there. I’m finished working with my amazing beta readers, I’m finished with the rewrites, I’m just going through my LAST touch-ups so I can send this lengthy thing off to my editor who I’ve kept waiting for way too long. Once I send it off, I can take a breath for a while as my editor goes through it. (Then I get to go through it again myself, wohoo!)

It’s so much more work than I ever imagined. It’s a full time job, plus more. I’m trying to stay positive and send prayers to the people who are in the same boat as me, and especially those who are at home without jobs right now because of this turn the world has taken. Be blessed, friends! This will be over before we know it. And then we’ll all flood outside like the animals off the ark, and have a way more appreciative attitude towards all the things we took for granted before. Like Kelsey’s chicken fingers.

Keep me in your prayers, friends! (And I’ll keep you all in mine.) By the grace of God, I WILL finish this book this year and be a published author!

(And a special shout out to my brother Jesse who has read so many pieces of this manuscript and my rewritten versions to give me his feedback, I’m sure he wants to throw this book in a wood chipper by now. You and me both, buddy, you and me both.)

Kropf out.

Writing A Book With Kids (WABWK)

Is it just me, or when a parent decides to set out and do something non-kid related, it’s that exact moment all your kids decide to wind up and hoof you in the teeth? It’s as if they’re unanimously agreeing, “How dare you think of anything on this planet apart from us?”

My kids are my greatest treasures, but some days…

Some days they’re also the little turds who decide to raid your makeup cabinet and draw all over their body with lipstick three minutes before you need to leave for church, or dump an entire box of cereal into the floor vent to “hide it for later”, or rip off their diaper to sit and wait on the carpet for their diarrhea to come out. I’m certain they do all of these things, “just so mommy can’t write her book today.”

There is no good argument for why I should be allowed to complain after the years we spent praying for our children to come into this world so we could have a family. I don’t regret it, nor will I ever, but I can sure as heck rat them out when they’re being turds. It’s my own personal therapy.

It’s been a few fresh beats since I gave an update, but know that even though you’ve been experiencing radio silence about my upcoming book, there has been a whole lot going on at this end. There are mountains to climb if I want to see my indie book hit shelves this year.

This novel is one I wrote several years back, so when I hauled it out of storage, it was pretty dusty and needed some major polishing. The rewrite took the longest, weeks to be exact. But I got smart and started making lasagnas ahead of time to store in my freezer for the days I wouldn’t have time to make supper. Burning the midnight oil became my thing, and because of those late nights I finally finished the rewrite of my book so I could send it off to beta readers and get feedback. I’ve gotten heaps of valuable feedback from my readers and took plenty of notes. Based on all this golden advice, I get to rewrite sections of the book again. After hunting for the right editor and scoring a great one, I’ve booked in my manuscript with her for the end of March. I was confident in the date when I first booked it, but now I’m positive this deadline is going to creep up on me if I don’t keep pace. *Cue whip sound effect*

While I’m telling myself to stay focused on book revisions, I’m also betraying my own advice and working on the cover art. Someday soon there will be a cover reveal, but not yet. I can’t actually finish the cover art until I’ve formatted the book interior because, in Amazon’s graphic designer speak, “the page count will affect the length of the book spine.” That means, no diving into the grueling hours of formatting the book interior until I’m completely finished the manuscript (I have to finish my revisions based on beta readers feedback, then it goes to the editor, then back to me to revise AGAIN, then back to the editor for final touch ups, then I can format the book interior, then I can do the cover art). This is the part where some might cry, but you all know my more likely reaction is to laugh like a madwoman until someone’s coffee gets spilled.

It might come as a surprise, but I’m not even bothered by the challenge, or the late nights, or the kids crapping on the floor and running through it in bare feet. Even though it’s a whirlwind, and my kids are sanity-eating monsters, it’s life-changing for me to be able to navigate this publishing maze. I’m fully prepared to botch it the first time around, I’ll probably print it with the cover on backwards or something stupid like that, but I’m hoping all this hard work to blaze a trail through the publishing jungle will make it a hundred times easier when I go to do it again.

So far, 2020 is dragging me around like someone who wiped out on water skis an hour ago and the boat just keeps moving. With an audience.

I need to say a massive thank you to the three beta readers that have gotten back to me so far with notes, you have all been so amazing and encouraging. I’m overwhelmed by the valuable feedback and all the critiques.

Once again, I’m asking all of you reading this for your prayers as I kick down every new obstacle in this jungle. I will post other fun updates as they land in my lap.

Drop a comment if you have anything to say about this, or if you just want to heckle me in general. Bring it on.

Peace.

 

 

Can I be in your Shelfie?

Straight up, I have a lot of books. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to many of you. At Christmas, most of my presents are fresh printer-and-ink-smelling rectangles in tacky Christmas wrap, simply because I make it easy for my husband to guess what I want by constantly adding a pile of Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Quinn, and Kiera Cass volumes to my Amazon Wishlist, along with the random other authors I decide to obsess over. And don’t even get me started on my Bill Johnson collection.

With technology and self-checkout robots dominating society, I’m relieved that real books with paper pages are still a thing. Gone are the days where Christmas shopping was as easy as purchasing a CD, or a DVD that you knew someone liked. Now with Spotify and Netflix, who needs stuff like that?

And now here comes Kindles and e-books, rising up from the guts of the literary world with its robot tentacles to scoop up as many of us as they can. Some people love reading on a Kindle or their phone, and I’m sure that’s where the future is headed. But it’s just not my thing.

Don’t go dying on me book-lovers. We need our libraries to live on!

In the midst of the buzzing technology that runs this world, I find my happiest place is still sitting by the window in a plush chair, with a cup of something only slightly less hot than burn-your-mouth temperature, with all the other sounds turned off, holding open a book and getting lost in a great story. And since moments of rest are sort of God’s thing, something He holds high on the list of valuable things for your life, I hope some day I can be responsible for the story that brings someone else into a place of peace.

Because, really. After all these years of raising babies, it’s about time I kick-start my writing career, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, and now that I have kids of my own I want them to go on adventures and live a life with all the magic of getting carried away into other worlds. So please pray for me, friends! Shoot one into the air right now if you can. I need all the faith-fuel I can get as I start to send proposals to literary agencies. And you can bet your buttocks I’ll keep you in the loop as much as I can!

Now tell me, what kind of story would you want to read about?

  1. Parallel universes on the brink of war with a psychologically unstable (but hilarious) female lead that has totally fallen head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts.
  2. A chilly Christmas tale that forces an uncoordinated faithless female protagonist to face off with villains from old Christmas legends.
  3. A fairy-tale retelling with a twist that pits two sisters against each other in a dangerous competition to hunt down the greatest threats their historians have ever recorded.

Let me know! I’m sharpening my pencils to take notes…