• Summer Reading Freebies

    My Latest Short Story Ready for Summer!

    Hello, my friends,

    My latest short story is here! Hurrah. I’m excited. There’s a chance I’ll expand on this idea, but as of right now this is what I’ve written and will let it swirl around my mind until I feel called to keep writing in the world of ocean kingdoms, empires, and merfolk’s life with the surface people. 

    The working blurb (as of right now):


    “Rory has a secret. A secret very few people know about.

    She is the daughter of the Kraken King – a sea monster. Masquerading as a human when on dry land she must keep up the facade in order to protect her family and others like her. On top of it all, she must keep human interaction to a bare minimum – except she has fallen in love with a surface boy. 

    When her true identity is threatened to be revealed she must decide whether to risk showing her true self in the name of love or break off her relationship with the hope of keeping her family safe.”

    ‘Beyond the Sea’ is part of a few free e-book group giveaways this summer. Please feel free to check out the other books in these giveaways as it will help out other indie authors like me. Click ‘Beyond the Sea’ cover to take you straight to the e-book download and/or click the giveaway banners below to peruse other titles.

    The cover for ‘Beyond the Sea’ was created by ‘Covered Creatively’ and I love it. Please check her stuff out. 

    Thank you for all your support.

    JT Harris.

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  • A Simple Plotting Guide for Writers

    Hello, book and writer geeks,

    Before I get to the plotting guide I would like to have a bit of transparency and full honesty: While I do have a few writers’ certificates from correspondence courses and have taken a handful of English and creative writing classes, I don’t have any major writing degree (maybe one day I’ll finish a creative writing degree, but today is not that day.) I am just a simple, geeky person with an inner, blazing fire for writing and creating that has been burning since I was a child. The desire to be forever learning my craft will never cease. 

    During my ongoing desire to write, learn, and tweak my writing process I have made a list of prompts to aid me in my plotting process. So, in essence, it’s kind of a plotting guide, if you will. If you are a pantser then this may not be for you. 

    A Simple Plotting Guide (A Working Process)

    This outline can be used as your personal cheat sheet or integrated into your own existing plotting guide to enhance your writing experience. If it helps with your plotting and story telling then I’m elated.  We are always students and the world is our classroom (so to speak) and I believe in growing together. By helping others we are essentially helping ourselves. I will do my best to share my knowledge whenever I can. Now, on with the guide!

    General Outline

    Working Title:

    Idea/ Premise:


    Main Character(s)/ Protagonist:

    Main Character/ Protagonists Goal:

    Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist:

    Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist’s Goal:

    First Act: Introduce protagonist and their problem and why they need to solve it – the inciting incident.

    Rising action:

    Falling action:

    Second Act: Add twists, trials, complications, or new problems arise.

    Rising action: Increase tention/character(s) make plan of attack.

    Falling action: Learning from mistakes, solving clues, surprise defeats, or feeling defeated.

    Third Act: Verge of giving up/ all is lost, finding resolve/ pep talk, new look on problem.

    Climax: Rising action/ tension peaking. Surprising twists, or reveals using what character(s) learned.

    Resolution: Facing fear, great victory, or the world changed for the better, etc.

    Chapter by Chapter Outlining (use for each chapter)


    Point of view character:

    Plot point:

    Scene descriptions: Use five sense/ create mood and atmosphere.

    And that’s pretty much it! It’s very simple and basic. There are plenty of plotting guides out on the net that go into more detail, but I would like to learn a bucket load more before I attempt something like that. I used an early rendition of this outline for my last novel then decided to tweak it and ended up with this one, which I’ll be using for a new novel idea that I will be writing very soon. (I do have a brief character outline as well, but that will be another post.)

    Until next time!

    Stay geeky and keep writing.

    A Writer's Journal: With Plotting Guide

    I love journals, especially for my writing projects. There is often a journal or two hanging around my working area (wherever in the house that may be).  Right now, I have four of them within reaching distance. While I don’t mind making up a plotting page on my computer it’s just not quite the same as pencil or pen on paper. Mmmm, stationary… my second biggest love next to books.

    Due to my love of journals, I created one that had the plotting guide featured in this blog post to make it easier on me and to help keep track of my story plots. There’s also the short character outline inside which I’ll outline that info in a near future post.

    If you like journals as much as I do and like to have a simple plotting guide then this journal is for you! I will be using this journal soon to help me outline a new story idea. (To buy the journal, just click the picture to take you to Amazon!) 

    I’ve rambled on enough today. I hope you all have a great, geeky day.

    Read. Write. Create. Plot!

    JT Harris.

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  • New Journals

    A Quick Note!

    Summer is almost over, (aww) but Autumn is arriving (yeah!) School has now returned and I feel like my schedule is back on track. Though I suppose that I could’ve kept a schedule going throughout the summer but I was either hunched over my computer writing my first draft to my latest novel (Prince Noralv: Edge of Shadows, Book Two!) or I’ve been going on family outings and gatherings. My summer has been full and I am grateful.

    Now with Autumn (Fall as some prefer to call it) on the horizon, I am so very in the mood for sweaters, books, stationery, fire in the fireplace, pumpkin spice everything, but most of all Halloween. Soon, my pretty, soon.

    My wish for you all is to have a fabulous end of summer and to embrace the pumpkin of autumn.



    New Journals!

    Do you love journaling? I know I sure do! I love putting pen to paper throughout my writing process whether I’m brainstorming descriptions or working through a scene in my story I always have a journal next to me. Plus, it’s great to be equipped with one while I’m out and about because I never know when an idea will strike next.

    For my love of stationery, I decided to make make a few journals. Some of the journals I’ve created have a plotting guide at the beginning and the others are plain lined paper.

    Please check them out here:


    There are lots of different styles to satisfy many different personality types and I hope to make some more in the near future. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there are other styles or ideas you’d like to see. I’m always creating.


    Free Short Stories Coming Soon.

    I’ve got a couple of new short stories that are coming together nicely and will be available for free to my newsletter subscribers.  If you are already a subscriber, thank you so very much.  The new short stories will be showing up in an inbox near you.


    Lost in a Dream is still available for free when you sign up for my newsletter but will be retiring soon.

    To get it while it’s still available please follow this link.






    Until next time, keep creating.

    JT Harris.

  • Hooked on Stories and a Giveaway

     The Stories That Started It All

    Every reader (that I know of) all remember that one (or two) story/series that sucked them into the world of reading. For me, it was two series’. The first was The Mandie Mystery series by Lois Gladys Leppard, a light-hearted mystery following the life of Mandie Shaw and the puzzles that she either stumbled upon or her curiosity that got the better of her. She and her friends became determined to figure it out which usually led to some sort of trouble and excitement. For a young girl (like I was) I truly fell in love with all of her lively adventures.

    The next series that enthralled me was the Cooper Kids Adventure Series by Frank Peretti. These stories hooked me on the action-adventure types. This story followed the lives of Jay and Lila Cooper as they went on archaeologist exploits with their father. It was like an Indiana Jones story but for kids. The description was phenomenal and just enough to make me feel like I was there. I was truly addicted and could not put these down. I devoured them.

    Since reading these two series’ I have been a book (story) fan ever since. I have made it my goal to create amazing stories of my own. Action, adventure, drama, and mystery, mixed with fantastical worlds, these are the stories I fell in love with and desire to create for as long as I possibly can.

    What are the stories that you fell in love with that sparked your passion for books and reading?



    February Giveaway!

    I’m getting super close to releasing my very first young adult fantasy and in the spirit of my excitement, I have decided to do another giveaway.

    The book I have chosen this time is none other than Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling! The reason for my choice is mainly for my love of fantasy but also, it contributes to my love for creative, world-enveloping stories that add to my obsession with books and reading. Amazing fun!

    For the chance to win Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter by February 21st then on February 22nd I will contact the winner via email. I will give the winner one week to respond and if I get no response I will draw another name. My subscribe button is in the sidebar of my website. (Don’t worry. I only send out one or two short emails a month.)

    Best of luck!

    JT Harris.

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  • Writing Process for Indie Writers

    Seasons greetings,

    May your winter holidays be merry and bright – even if it’s just chilling at home or at work.

    I have discovered that I like to research any topic that tickles my fancy and I like to organize it. I’m probably a word geek. Yes, a word geek ( or wordsmith, if you will). I can live with that. In my latest research binge and the love of organizing it I have conjured a decent list about the writing process from brainstorming ideas to publication. This list is not the only way to write or the One Great List to rule them all. This a launching point. Tweak as you will for whatever works for you. Everyone is different.

    The writing process (checklist)

    1. The idea
    2. Brainstorming (write all your ideas down – do not edit)
    3. Character creation, map your world, worldbuilding (keep collecting those ideas)
    4. Outlining (this is important, but not everyone likes to do this – to each their own – you do you!)
    5. Drafting (do not edit at this point – just write – this might take a while)
    6. Revise (this is the time to rearrange, add, or take out what doesn’t belong – stories have a flow, voice, and rhythm, find it)
    7. Find someone or a few people to critique your story
    8. Revise again
    9. Hire a developmental editor or a talented book-lover  friend to read your story (find those plot holes, things that don’t fit into your story, things that need more explanation, etc…)
    10. Start chatting about your book on social media (Soft Promotion)
    11. Revise again (some of you may start the editing process here depending on how your project is going – every process is different.)
    12. Find beta readers (more awesome critiquing!)
    13. Revise again (with feeling!) and/or self-edit
    14. Hire a professional copy editor (or another talented friend – I will recommend that you pick a different person to copyedit your work from the developmental editor. Everyone will catch different mistakes)
    15. Apply for an ISBN (if you don’t already have one)
    16. Write book blurb, acknowledgments page, and about the author page
    17. Hire a cover artist/ designer and someone who does interior formatting (Some of you are amazing at this already so you’ve got yourself covered)
    18. Promote your book! (Share book teasers, cover reveal, hit that social media pavement, etc)
    19. Send out ARCs! (Advanced Readers Copies) – (Ask for honest reviews in exchange for a free book – optional)
    20. Release your book!!!
    21. Celebrate! (you did it!!!)
    Thank you for reading!

    There you have it. My long writing process list. This list may go through a few tweaks in the future, but for now, this is what I have. I have learned a lot this past year about writing and publishing and I don’t intend to quit anytime soon.

    I hope you all keep creating into the new year. Much love.


    JT Harris.


    Photo on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/9b1f56″>Visualhunt</a>

    Photo on http://<a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/9b1f56″>Visualhunt</a>


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  • September Goals

    Hello, my friends. Happy September and welcome to autumn. (I love the fall!!!)


    September has come so fast and is already a quarter of the way finished. School is upon us! Our household is alive with books, art supplies, and imagination. I am still gathering my homeschooling bearings but feel like I will be in the groove this week and I am learning just as much as the kids are (maybe more).

    My manuscript has gone through a round of editing and I will be tackling another draft to clean up and fix things. My goal this month is to finish with my edits then move forward with round two. That’s it! One simple goal. A simple time-consuming goal. Hahaha! I can do this!

    So, with autumn fast approaching I am thinking of doing another giveaway. Perhaps something spooky in honor of Halloween. Any of you have favorite spooky stories? The origins of the headless horseman is one of my favorites. Perfectly ghostly.

    Thank you for hanging out with me.

    Until next time.

    Keep creating.

    JT Harris.


  • Taking Time For Myself

    Hello, Everyone.

    I hope everyone’s summer is, so far, full of adventure, even if it’s just the adventure of reading. My stress levels were high this August with trying to stay on target with my writing goal, among other things.

    My son was recently designated as being on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with ADHD, and a learning disability due to his ADHD. My husband and I were already anticipating this outcome and were emotionally prepared when we were given his designation. I have chosen to homeschool my children (and am feeling blessed that I am in a position in my life I can choose how he gets schooling) and I feel it was the best decision for me and my son. This will be the first year for my daughter to be in school so I have yet to decide if she would benefit from homeschooling or public school. For my son, though, it was too busy and overwhelming for him to be in a chaotic environment. There have been lots for me to learn this year and lots and lots of paperwork for me to do. In spite of all that, I still pushed myself to maintain my writing goal but was a tad past my deadline I set for myself. I am not disappointed that I didn’t finish right on time. The point is, I finished. I have completed another draft of my manuscript. Yeah, baby! (I may have had tears in my eyes when I was finished.) Breathe.

    Draft done! Time for celebration (and sewing). I truly believe in celebrating not only the big milestones but also the little ones too. Life needs those little victories. For those who don’t know me, I am all about throwing themed get-togethers (usually intimate rather than large parties). (From an Alice in Wonderland tea party to video game nights.) Such fun!

    Now that my draft is finished I will be taking a break from writing for about two weeks. That story needs some air before I tackle it again. (I’m not really breaking from writing as a whole but definitely a break from that story.) Do you find you need to take a break from writing – to those of you who write? A fresh, rested brain is needed before I tackle the next round of edits. I’m not sure how many I will be doing but more edits are in this story’s future.

    I wish you all the best for what’s left of the summer. May the autumn, whether you’re in school or not, be kind and gracious to you.

    Much love.


    End of Summer Reading!

    For those of you who like to read YA fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, and dystopian here is a box set with 25 novels on for $0.99 for a limited time. Now that I have some time to read I will be jumping on board and giving this a try. (More books for my ebook collection!)

    What are some of your favorite fantasy novels to read during the summer?

    Keep reading!

    JT Harris.



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  • Book Feature and Very First Giveaway!

    Hello, all you wonderful humans!

    This blog post is a bit different than some of my others but I’m sure there will be others just like it in the future.

    Today I am featuring the author Kristen Martin. I first discovered Kristen on YouTube, as I have found many a wonderful YouTuber, but she stood out to me because of her clear and informative videos. (I have watched many while doing the dishes or folding laundry. That’s not weird, right? *nervous laughter*) Anyway, her advice has helped me figure out which publishing path(s) I am most likely going to take. I think. (Really considering both CreateSpace and IngramSpark too.)  Thank you, Kristen, for being awesome!

    Giveaway time!


    Congratulations to Jen of Victoria BC! Winner of The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin giveaway.

    Now, I am very excited to tell you that you lovely people have a chance to win a signed copy of Kristen Martin’s YA novel, The Alpha Drive.

    For those of you who are curious what this book is about you can read the blurb here: https://www.kristenmartinbooks.com/product-page/signed-paperback-of-the-alpha-drive

    I encourage you to check her out. Truly fantastic!

    For the chance to win a copy of The Alpha Drive all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter by August 21st then on August 22nd I will contact the winner via email. (You can find the subscribe button in the sidebar of my website)

    Good luck!

    You can also check out Kristen Martin on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYyy_hiZRaSLGLOn62Nc4AA

    And you can follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorkristenm

    Thank you all so much.

    Happy reading!

    JT Harris.


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  • August Updates, Goals, and Upcoming Giveaway


    My summer hit the ground running. Before I knew it August came. My goodness, I barely realized it was July.

    July was full of exploration, family gatherings, crafting, and, of course, writing.

    I have a couple major goals happening in August. Straight out the gate, I am participating in a superhero walk for the International China Concern. I donated last year but couldn’t make the walk. This year I am donating and will be able to join in on the walk. The goal is that I have to make a superhero costume, really fast. (Lack of time at its finest.) Yes, I will be a superhero. Power Girl for the win!

    My next goal is finishing the tweaks for the ending of my manuscript because I have an editor lined up and ready to help strengthen my story. I am very excited. Having a deadline works wonders for me.

    And now my final goal for August will be setting up my first book giveaway! I am still working out a couple of details and will let you all know what, when, and how very soon.

    Thank you all!

    JT Harris.

    Blog Photo:


    International China Concern:


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  • Editing everything












    Well, it’s a long-time-no-post situation. Thank you for your patience.

    I am currently working on re-writing my story ending but may still choose an earlier version. Stories sometimes have a way of writing themselves (in a matter of speaking). Also, the website is going through a bit of a transformation so please keep checking back to see all the new changes. If you’d like to keep up to date and be notified of all the new content before everyone else I will suggest signing up to my newsletter! Sneak peeks and free content should be arriving fairly soon.

    Thank you and keep creating.

    JT Harris


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