Monday, March 5, 2018

Jenelle Leanne Schmidt on Writing // Guest Post + MINSTREL'S CALL Blog Tour & Giveaway

Hello, my Dragons! Today, I'm delighted to share my sweet blogger friend, Jenelle's, latest release -- Minstrel's Call -- with y'all! 💙



War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing...

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all...

Book I: King's Warrior: Amazon // Goodreads

Book II: Second Son: Amazon // Goodreads

Book III: Yorien's Hand: Amazon // Goodreads


It begins with an idea. This idea can come from anywhere, something I see, a line or phrase that pops into my head, a sudden "what if?" that I find compelling. King's Warrior began with the image of the sun rising over the pond across the street on one of those mornings where the weather has changed suddenly, causing steam to hover over the water. It made me think of a dragon emerging from his cave, and I had this sudden thought that such an image would make a great myth for a fantasy world in which the sun was called "the Dragon's Eye" in reference to an early belief that a great dragon soared across the sky each day and kept watch over the inhabitants of the world.

For me, it is often that the world comes first -- before characters, before plot, just this glimmering of a different realm in which a story could be told.

After the initial idea, I spend hours... and hours and hours... discussing this idea with my husband. He is my sounding board, my inspiration, my technical guru, the one who helps me tackle the nitty-gritty details of world building and plot strategizing, and in many instances, the one responsible for helping me break through any writer’s block I may be experiencing. Whenever I have a moment of, "Hmmm, that's a problem, how should I solve it?" I talk it through with Derek and we bounce ideas back and forth. Sometimes I will ask a friend or other family member for ideas, as well, if I feel like I'm stuck and not getting anywhere, or if I need a different perspective. One thing I've learned over the years is that the more perspectives and angles I can get on a story, the better it turns out.

Usually, the characters begin to emerge as I work through the idea, so I will generally take a little time to jot down notes about them: what they look like, who their families are (if they have family), their general personality... things like that. I always meet more characters once the writing starts, so I don’t try too hard to figure out every character that will be in the story... the ones that step in unannounced are generally the most fun, anway!


All through school, I was the kid who wrote the paper first (usually weeks early) so that I could hand in that dratted outline. I could never figure out how I was supposed to know what I was going to write, or in what order I was going to write it, before I had actually written the paper. I got a lot of As in English...

However, strategies that work well for one-to-ten page papers, are not always the best for 140,000-word novels, and I discovered after writing my first novel that neglecting an outline at the beginning meant a lot of work on the editing and rewriting side of things. So, now I generally have at least a loose outline of events that I want to see happen throughout the story. It remains "more of a guideline, than actual rules," but it is a helpful tool as I draft.

I do a lot of different things when I write. I don't usually draft to music, unless I'm struggling, and then I'll usually turn on some instrumental Christmas music, which has almost always proven to be an effective way of surmounting the dreaded writer's block.

Once that first draft is done, I tend to let it sit for a while while I work on other things. I find that coming back to a project with "fresh" eyes and brainpower is best, otherwise I get a little burned out on the story. Then I transition into editing mode! I have absolutely fantastic editors, and each one of them helps me hone my rough drafts into something presentable.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my writing process. Writing a book is not something I can do within a vacuum. For me, it really does take a village.


Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their four adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age, during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn't long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.


Jenelle has kindly offered to give away a dragon sword, a 252-piece Minstrel's Call cover art puzzle, and a signed Minstrel's Call paperback! This giveaway is open both internationally and to US residents. Should an international winner be selected, he/she will receive a $35 Amazon gift card in place of the sword.

Entrants may enter here, or through the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


MONDAY, February 26 = Welcome post from Jenelle + interview with Kyle Shultz + guest post for E.E Rawls

TUESDAY, February 27 = guest post for DJ Edwardson + book spot from Catherine Chant

WEDNESDAY, February 28 = book spot from CL Wells

THURSDAY, March 1 = book spot from Annie Douglas Lima + character interview with Kendra E. Ardnek

FRIDAY, March 2 = book spot from Bryn Shutt + newsletter release with Sarah Ashwood

MONDAY, March 5 = book spot from Dawn Roberto + guest post from Liv. K Fisher

TUESDAY, March 6 = ARC Review from Deborah O’Carroll

WEDNESDAY, March 7 = book spot from Nancy Moors + character interview with Kandi J Wyatt

THURSDAY, March 8 = author interview with Kendra E. Ardnek

FRIDAY, March 9 = book spot with Laurie Lucking + Tour End/giveaway winner post with Jenelle

Many thanks to Jenelle on sharing her writing process with us, and congratulations on her latest release! Dragons, don't forget to enter her giveaway and add Minstrel's Call to Goodreads!

Have you read any of Jenelle's books, before? What were some of your favorite childhood reads?



  1. Love this look at your process, Jenelle! Thanks for sharing with us, Liv! And my goodness, I just finished Minstrel's Call and IT'S FANTASTIC. <3

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting!


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