Ask a Dame

Once again, the Dames are open for your questions.

Would you like to ask us something about writing or getting published? Something specific or general? Are you curious about our books or characters? Do you have a question for a particular Dame – or for as many of us that can answer?

The Question Box is open and we’re waiting to hear from you! We’ll take any questions as the basis for our posts over the next couple of weeks, so do feel free to ask more than one.

Happy Monday!

Dame Kaz

Image: © Feng Yu |


  1. Carina says

    Okay! This is great!!
    😀 I do have a few questions, so…:

    The first one goes to Jenna Black.
    -¿What happened with your Faeriewalker series? ¿Is it over, like, for good,
    or will it be possible for you to get back to it in the (near) future?

    Now a few more questions for all (or any) of you to answer 😉
    – How do you know when the idea you’re developing in your mind is more suitable for a trilogy or a series? I’ve always wanted to know what’s the difference between the two of them. And how do you know, or plan, which one will it be?

    I’m always trying to plot a series, but somehow, I end up discovering that what I have in my hands is, in fact, just a trilogy. What am I doing wrong? Not that I don’t like trilogies, I do, but I’m very fond of series, so I’d like to go for that first.

    – What does an editor do?
    – Where can you find a critique partner/group?
    – Do you really need beta readers? Where do you find someone
    who will read your work and won’t treat you like your mom would?
    – Do you think it’s possible to get published if your first language isn’t English?
    – Who do you go to for proofreading?

    And for the last question…
    -How do you spice up a little bit your main character? Without changing it completely, I mean. I’ve realized, while I was plotting, that a lot of my secondary characters have more “life” to them than my main character does. I like spending more time with them than I do with her.

    I’ve tried “firing” the girl, but the story won’t go anywhere without her, so she’s def. the main character, the one the story and the conflict happens to. So I’ve got to find a way to make her more appealing to me or else, I won’t be able to do anything at all.
    Any ideas on how to do that?


  2. Serena says

    😀 Yay, question day! Ok I have a few that I’ve been thinking about for awhile. these are to anybody who wants to answer.
    First off; what kind of job did you have been you were working and writing? Did your job effect your writing at all, like, were you to stressed out or busy at your job to get a lot of writing done?
    Did taking a major, or something like that, in writing in college help your writing?
    And finally; how do you find a good critigue partner? Did you meet your critique partner/group online or in person, and is there a big difference between online and in person critique groups?

  3. Serena says

    Sorry, i should look over/ edit my posts before I hit submit. Its *when’ not ‘been’ I don’t know what I was thinking. And a ‘q’ in critique not a ‘g’ *headdesk*

  4. Kristell says

    Hi Dames,
    I was wondering if you could answer (probably a stupid) question for me please?
    What programme do you use to type your novels in and how do you set up the page formats?
    I understand a lot of agents/editors require different things but is there a standard procedure that you use to see how the book/chapters are looking?

    Thanks for your help, your blogs are always so interesting to us amateurs!

  5. says

    My horror/paranormal short story was recently accepted for publication from Musa Publishing, and I was just wondering when to expect the ‘Oh my God, everyone is going to hate this!’ stage will kick in? Is it just before release, or sooner?

  6. Mandy says

    This one is for Dame Devon,

    Portland resident. Trying to place where Ally’s “Den” is. I know it is all fairly general, but for some reason I keep seeing the Den and coffee shop off of Burnside in downtown Portland. It is just where I pictured it. Was wondering which area you are seeing it in.

  7. Beth says

    For any Dame moved to answer:

    How do you approach revisions/second(+) drafts? Do you make them in the same document/file (i.e. edit the first draft so you still only have one file at the end), make a copy and edit that (so you end up with two documents at the end), open a brand new file and begin again with copy/pasting in pieces you’re keeping, other…?

    When writing more than one series/project at a time, how do you keep momentum up on each? Do you do a bit on each project every time you sit down to write? Alternate days/projects?

  8. Lizzie says

    What are the ways you get to know your main characters? How do you come to know their quirks, fears and histories sufficiently to start writing?

  9. Eve says

    I have a question regarding agents. Recently an agent read my whole manuscript and requested I do a rewrite and resubmit, but wouldn’t offer me a contract at this point (it took this agent two months to get back to me and I had to prompt for a response, agent indicated they’ve been really busy). Meanwhile, a second agent requested to review my complete manuscript on an exclusive basis (this agent only took a couple days to review my sample). In a business as difficult as this, is it best to stick with an agent that seems to believe in me but won’t commit, or is it better to try to find someone that will commit first? Most of the rewrites the first agent suggested make sense (though maybe not all), but no written comments were provided – only verbal. I guess I’m worried that even if a second draft pleases the first agent, they just wouldn’t really have that much time on hand to spend selling my product. How do you make such big decisions?

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