Snippeting: Dun Lady’s Jess

posted on Wednesday

Dun Lady's JessDun Lady’s Jess…Not my first book by far–you’d have to go back to age 12 to find that one–but still, the ONE. The one I knew had the chance to publish–the first one that did. I can still remember the frisson of writing it.

And where did it come from? The idea of it? Well, recently I had the most wondrous opportunity to work on a new edition of JESS with an equally wondrous editor/author, Julie Czerneda. We wanted this edition to have all sorts of goodies–an introduction, a forward, the most keen cover, lovingly drawn graphics inside…

(Those are mine, by the way. The little dingbat. And if anyone’s ever wondered what Lady’s snaffle bit looked like, the one in the book…well, there it is.)

Anyway. And the introduction. Here’s a peek at some of it–because here, finally, I had the chance to talk about where the book started, and what it means to me.

Once upon a time I had a dream.

No, seriously. I dreamt of a man on his horse, carrying important information and running for his life. Running for their lives. They triggered a spell and ended up…

Elsewhere. And entirely changed.

So I wrote it, and it became another sort of dream—the one where you’re so in love with the story and characters that you want to share. Need to share. Are obsessed about sharing—!

Jess sold to the second publisher who saw the manuscript; less than a year later the book was on the shelves. Dream come true? You betcha. And the next spring, when Jess won the Compton Crook award for the
best “first book” of the year, I realized that what I’d wanted so badly—to find others who as I do about Jess and her world—was now a reality….

…Now here I am, years later, and I’ve found an editor who loves Jess, who has offered her a home with Star Ink Books. A home that will allow me to share the story and the people with a whole new group of readers…to share Jess’ heart.

Because when you come right down to it, that’s what Jess has taught me. While exploring her story, how she reacts to the changes in her life and the people she encounters…while watching her grow from a baffled young woman into someone with destiny…I learned about heart. About having it, and staying true to it. That the lesson applies when it comes writing, to reading…and to life. Having heart is how we grow, how we live lives we’re proud of and happy with, and how we fill our lives with people who do the same. And if I ever forget that lesson in the detailed trappings of deadlines and assignments and bills, Jess is—thank goodness—always there to remind me.

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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5 Responses to Snippeting: Dun Lady’s Jess

  1. I still remember being on the MacGyver list when your sister told us all OMG MY SISTER HAS A BOOK YOU SHOULD ALL BUY IT. It was, of course, this book. Yay for Dun Lady’s Jess! 🙂

  2. Doranna says:

    Angela–What’s the most fun is that I’m not the only one with memories about it!

  3. Lady Jade says:

    And for those of us who stumbled across Jess and consequently FELL IN LOVE….with both the book, the character AND the author: VIVAT!! VIVAT!! VIVAT!!

  4. Lady Jade says:


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