2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Magic Thursday: An Offer I Couldn't Refuse

by Janni Nell
The email was unexpected. Would I like to write an Allegra Fairweather novella for an anthology to mark the second anniversary of Carina Press? I thought about it for – oh, at least a nanosecond. Heck, yeah!

One tiny problem: I had to write a synopsis up front, something I’d never done before until a manuscript was completed. Lots of head to desk action followed. How could I come up with a synopsis, when I never knew where a story was going until I wrote The End? Well, since the plots of the Allegra books are strongly influenced by their location, I decided that working out the setting was the first step. I began scouring the globe for inspiration. Nothing leaped out at me until I got to Spain. Inquisition, torture and mad monks – Bingo! I wrote a synopsis and it was accepted. I then had 3-4 months to write the novella. Seemed like plenty of time until I was bowled a bouncer – extensive edits for another novel. They took a whole month!

If you’re counting, you’ll realise I now had 2-3 months to write the novella. That’s not too bad, assuming you can actually follow your synopsis. Oh dear. The muse began to lead me astray. I’m a great believer in listening to the muse so I took hold of her hand and followed her down a very slippery slope. When we were done, I believed we had a great story, even if it didn’t quite match the synopsis. Anyway the deadline was upon me. I submitted the novella and held my breath.

My editor liked it. Okay, there was the small matter of coming up with a new synopsis, but the manuscript didn’t need massive edits. (Sigh of relief.)

Would I work like that again? Doing a synopsis first? Well, funny thing, I’ve just put together a synopsis and three chapters for a new Allegra novel. Looks like it’s the way of the future for me. Or maybe not. We’ll see.


Carina Press Presents: Editor’s Choice Volume II

Carina Press (June 4, 2012)
Order: Kindle | Nook | Carina Press

In honor of our second anniversary, Carina Press brings you four gripping novellas by some of genre fiction’s hottest voices! Explore interstellar space, get caught up in a caper, dabble in the paranormal and solve a murder aboard a cruise ship in this collection of stories reflecting the variety of our books!

Edited by Deborah Nemeth, this anthology includes:
DEAD CALM by Shirley Wells
NO MONEY DOWN by Julie Moffett
PYRO CANYON by Robert Appleton

Stories also available for purchase separately.


One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of Dance of Flames by Janni Nell.


  1. What a great email to receive, Janni! And LOL I so hear you on having to write a synopsis before the book is done. It's pure torture! Huge congrats on the release of Dance of Flames!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Christina. I'll have to stop whining about writing synopses before a book is finished. The synopsis and partial for the next Allegra novel has just been accepted.

  2. Congratulations on the release of Dance of Flames! It sounds like writing it was an adventure in itself.

    1. Hi Peta

      Thanks for stopping by. Yep, you could definitely call writing D of F an adventure. :-)

  3. What a great email to read, congrats! =)

  4. I've always thought writing a novel would be a lot of fun, but it just seems so intimidating with everything that has to be done. I admire anyone who can compile a great storyline in that short amount of time.

  5. Congratulations, Janni. Kudos to you for them seeking you out! Well done. :) And well done on successfully facing the challenge of stepping outside your comfort zone and writing a synopsis first.

  6. This is so cool, Janni. Congratulations. Looking forward to adding another Allegra story to my list.

  7. Well done on putting DOF together under pressure, Janni! The turnaround time on these novellas was tricky, I have to admit. It was a first for me too, the whole synopsis first thing! Luckily I had a story I'd been wanting to write for years, so the Pyro Canyon synopsis came together quickly, but even so, it was heart-in-mouth time until Deb gave it the green light.

    You're doing fantastically well with your Allegra series and I'm proud to be a part of this anthology with you.

  8. Hi Serix, writing is both fun and hard work. Despite the tough times, I can't imagine a better job.

    Hi Sandy & Eleni, thanks for dropping by.

    Right back atcha, Robert. Such a thrill to be included in the anthology with you, Shirley & Julie.

  9. HI Janni,
    What a fanastic offer to receive - even with a tight deadline that got tighter! And you must be getting good at synopses, even if your stories deviate a little :)

    Good luck with Allegra!