Doing What You Love: An Ebook

I’m thrilled to announce the release of the second book in my Writing Life series, Doing What You Love. Based on one of my most popular talks, this inspiring ebook takes a look at the things I’ve learned through the years about living a creative life. While the focus is writing, it also applies to other creative fields. Here are the details!

Write More and Worry Less

Write more and worry less! Move your writing and your passion from the edges to the center of your life as you discover:

• Why writing isn’t all about “talent”

• The value of taking creative risks

• How to embrace imperfection

• Ways to manage doubts and put setbacks in perspective

• Reasons to let your fear—and your joy—take the lead

• The myth of that one big break

• How to choose which advice to listen to—and which to discard

• The power of writing without apologies

• Why following your creative passion may be the most practical thing you can do

Acclaimed author Janni Lee Simner has spent the past quarter century writing books, short stories, interactive fiction, and nonfiction for teens, children, and adults. In Doing What You Love she shares down-to-earth strategies for how to get started—and how to keep going—living a creative life.

Doing What You Love is available wherever ebooks are sold! Order your copy now from:

Kobo and their independent bookstore partners
Barnes and Noble

New to the Writing Life Series? Order Doing What You Love and Finding Your Sense of Place together and I’ll send you a free e-copy of my creepy short story “Drawing the Moon!” Just forward a screenshot or copy of your receipt to before the end of July.

A Creative Conversation about Career Cycles

I had an amazing Creative Conversation with Janet Lee Carey about Career Cycles this week, where we talked about many of the things we often hesitate to discuss as writers:

At some point, it also hit me that there were no guarantees as a writer and that success wasn’t as simple as just being intense enough or doing any other one right thing. Anything I wrote could ultimately sell or not sell, find its audience or not find it. I had less control than I’d thought—and that was oddly freeing. If there were no guarantees anyway, I realized I might as well just write what I loved.


Support, just knowing we’re not alone with the ups and downs, that we’re not the only ones to invent and reinvent ourselves, is huge. We’re so afraid of admitting to struggles, of being seen as less than perfect. Again, it’s like if others detect weakness, they’ll realize we don’t belong, and somehow magically kick us out of this writing world. But no one can make us stop writing, and no one person controls the whole writing-verse anyway. It doesn’t work that way.

There’s a lot more–check out the conversation here! (And, along the way, enter to win a copy of the Bones of Faerie trilogy.)

Want to talk about writing in person? I’ll be at the Pima County Public Library’s Megamania event Saturday, July 9.

Kidlit for Kidlits panel
With Aprilynne Pike, Adam Rex, and Janni Lee Simner

When: Saturday, July 9, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
Where: Pima Community College Downtown Campus,
1255 North Stone Avenue
Tucson, Arizona

Megamania is essentially a mini-comicon run by the library. The full event runs from 1-6 p.m. and is completely free

Catch me at the Tucson Eastside Barnes and Noble Saturday, plus Library and Huntsman game news

Hope you’re all having a good summer!

I finished my residency at the Pima County Public Library at the end of May. Before leaving entirely, I blogged about my time there: Libraries remain a place of refuge.

Some writers came to me nervous about sharing their work and writing hopes. Others brimmed over with enthusiasm and the desire to discuss their projects. But every writer who came to me felt they had something precious inside them that they wanted to share …

If you missed me at the library, this Saturday (June 11) I’ll be at the B-Fest Teen Book Festival at Tucson’s eastside Barnes and Noble. Catch me there for a signing at 4:30 and a panel discussion on getting your book published at 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, the final two chapters of The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse are out, and the game has been getting good reviews. Here’s an article about the game in the Arizona Daily Star: ‘Huntsman’ tie-in a hit for Tucson game studio.

“I enjoyed how we were all working at the same time. I’d be there writing the story as the art is being created and the game design is being worked on and the programing is happening, and all those pieces would influence each other,” she [Simner] said.

Until next time, stay cool, keep writing, keep reading, and keep dreaming!

Two Free Things–a Game and a Workshop

The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse

The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse is now available on PC and Mac–and the first chapter is free! I worked as scriptwriter on this game with Desert Owl Games. Download your copy of Book 1 here and give it a try.

The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse is set in the universe of NBCUniversal’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which hit theaters this week.

Finding Your Sense of Place–Bringing Your Characters to Life

When: Saturday, May 14, 1-3 p.m.
Where: Children’s Meeting Room, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Tucson
(Although this workshop meets in the children’s room, it is aimed at adults and teens.)

Use setting and description to bring your characters to life and increase the emotional impact of your stories! Setting is about much more than providing a few scene-setting details and moving on. Discover why the descriptions that seem to get in the way of your stories are actually the most powerful tools you have to bring characters to life and make readers care about their stories.

This workshop is available free for the first time thanks to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records’ Writer-in-Residence program and the Pima County Public Library.

Talk with a writer—my March office hours

As part of the new Writer-in-Residence program in Arizona’s libraries, I’ll have office hours at Tucson’s Main (Joel Valdez) library! In March those hours will be:

Tuesdays: 10 am – noon
Saturdays: 2 pm – 5 pm (no hours March 12/Book Festival weekend)

For now, signups will be on a drop-in basis.

I’m happy to talk about most writing subjects, whether craft or business related, whether at a beginner or advanced level or somewhere in between. I’m also happy to look at a few pages of a work-in-progress, though there won’t be time enough for in-depth critiques.

So come by! Let’s show that there’s a demand in Tucson for this program and help encourage Arizona to continue bringing writers into libraries throughout our state.

And if you’re up in Phoenix, check locally for writers holding office hours at libraries in Glendale, Mesa, and Avondale.

Where I’ll be for … the next three months!

I’m honored to announce that I’ll be the Pima County Library‘s first Writer-in-Residence this March through May! This means, among other things, that I’ll have regular office hours a couple days a week when you can come to me with your writing questions, that I’ll be offering several free workshops this spring, and that the downtown Joel D. Valdez Library will become one of my writing homes away from home for the next few months.

The Writer-in-Residence program is a project of the Arizona State Library and includes writers-in-residence in several locations in Phoenix as well, all of whom will also have office hours and be running workshops:

– Avondale Library: Susan Pohlman
– Glendale Library: Amy Nichols
– Mesa Library: Bill Konigsberg

More details and my specific schedule to come soon!

Join me for my hometown con!

Aka TusCon 42. I’ll be there this weekend and hope some of you will, too.

The con is at the Hotel Tucson City Center at 475 N Granada Ave in Tucson. Here are some of the specific places you can find me!

Friday, 7 p.m.
Meet the Guests
Ballroom (Copper Room)

Saturday, 8 p.m.
Why Teens Are Drawn to Dystopian?
With Willian Herr, Janni Lee Simner, and John Vornholt
St. Augustine

Sunday, 9 a.m.
Finding Your Sense of Place: Emotion, Description, and Setting
A craft-of-writing talk with Janni Lee Simner
Garden Room

Sunday, 2 p.m.
Bring Back Your Dead: The Uses and Misuses of Killing Your Characters
With With James Breen, Seanan McGuire, Janni Lee Simner, Thomas Watson, and Colette Black
Ballroom (Copper Room)

Want to learn how to do origami? Be sure to also catch Larry Hammer in the Art Show room at 10 a.m. Saturday offering a paper-folding tutorial!

Find me at the Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival

From October 15-17 I’ll be at the Humboldt County Author Festival. I’m excited to be visiting schools Thursday and Friday—and I’ll also be part of a public signing with all the other Festival authors on Saturday. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi!

Saturday, October 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival—Book Signing
Eureka Main Library
1313 3rd Street
Eureka , California

Looking ahead, I’ll also be back at TusCon Science Fiction Convention Halloween weekend.

Friday, October 30-Sunday, November 1
TusCon Science Fiction Convention
Hotel Tucson City Center
475 N Granada Ave
Tucson, Arizona

It be great to see you either of these places!

Catch me on Arizona Spotlight today!

I speak with Mark Mclemore today on Arizona Spotlight! Listen here, or catch me on Tucson’s KUAZ 89.1 at 8:30 a.m. or 6 p.m. today (Friday) or 5 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). You can hear me reading from Bones of Faerie there, too.

ETA: Here’s an extended version of the interview, along with a link to me reading the opening to Bones of Faerie!

And this weekend, hear me in person at the Pima County Library’s MegaMania, where I’ll be on a writing panel from 2:30-3:15 p.m. with Jeff Mariotte, Marsheila Rockwell, and Tobias Wade. Here I talk to MegaMania about writing, reading, and libraries.

Pima Writers’ Workshop—May 28-31

The last weekend of May I’ll be speaking at Tucson’s Pima Writers’ Workshop about Finding Your (Sense of) Place As A Writer.

I’ll also talk about emotion, description, and how they’re ultimately the same thing. This is the single realization that most transformed my work and turned me into a professional writer, one that continues to inform my work to this day.

Other conference faculty include Cynthia Bond, Monica Drake, Mike Harvkey, Nicole Walker, agents from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and John Hawkins & Associates, and more.

Download a brochure for a full schedule and faculty list—and to register.

Here’s my schedule for the conference:

  • Thursday, May 28, 7 p.m.: Meet-the-Authors Reception
  • Friday, May 29, 2:15 p.m.: Finding Your (Sense of) Place As A Writer
  • Saturday, May 30, 11:30 a.m.-noon: Reading
  • Saturday, May 30, 2:15 p.m.: Writing Exercise: Creating Emotional Landscapes

Hope to see some of you there!