So, this post has more to do about life than writing. If you were looking for writing stuff, feel free to pass on. It's also rather long.
My writing community/family has suffered an incredible loss this past weekend. Jennifer L. Miller, mother of three, daughter, friend, author, passed away unexpectedly.
She was my friend. My first real author contact when I first published through Publish America. She and I had books come out about the same time and we connected through their forums and became fast friends.
We learned a lot about publishing, the do's and don't's. PA opened our eyes to what a vanity press was. Most people liked it, but we both felt as if we'd been scammed and honestly, it crushed us both. I encouraged her to write the rest of her story, but to her, I suppose it was tainted. Either way, we both persevered differently from that experience.
At the time, Myspace was huge and so we got on there to promote our books, then took a different direction and created Word Weavers. We both wanted to bring in authors who had talent, but didn't want to be scammed. We didn't offer money, we offered help and promotions and anything we could possibly offer to ease the pain of self publishing. She came up with the author trading cards and people loved them! It was a unique way of showing off your book, giving a synopsis and adding a link. We even had genre symbols on there. Word Weavers was author support and our family grew.
Later we thought it would be wonderful to do anthologies and we put out feelers and calls for submissions among our Word Weaver group. We had them singled down to genres. Horror and Fantasy became the most popular, so later on, it evolved into Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror anthologies with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.
Jenna worked hard on those, sometimes with little thanks or less sleep. She never made a dime, it was about showcasing the author, gaining them some exposure. Ladies and Gentlemen of Fantasy came back after awhile. Same thing; tons of work and little recognition.
Jenna made a huge impact with our group. Even though I went a different route, we still chatted, still worked on some things together and then my project kept me busy. No matter what, we'd always pick right back up where we left off. She was devoted to her kids and I watched them grow up online. They were her best friends. She was a shining star in our community and now her light has gone out. We're devastated. Her family is first and foremost in our thoughts.
I'm going to miss her very much. I'm heartbroken, I'm shocked, numb. Her work will continue on through all of us, though. We'll still keep her legacy going. For those who knew her, if you are on Facebook, we have a page for her and we're doing a dedication anthology.
Let's keep her light shining bright.