Today I am so pleased to welcome Kelly Jensen to Joyfully Jay. Kelly has come to talk to us about The Complete Counting Series. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
A Story in Three Parts
When I sat down to write Counting Fence Posts, the first story for Henry and Marc, I had no idea I would be writing a series that would extend to three novellas and three short stories slotted in between. But I should have known. I should have figured that Marc would demand a voice, resulting in their second novella, Counting Down. And once he’d had his say, I knew I’d have to give them a happy every after, so I wrote Counting on You. And once I’d written that last story, I wasn’t ready to let them go, so I wrote a final short, Counting Out, which ended up around the same length as that first novella.
I love that this story became something more, though, and I’m equally thrilled that all three novellas are now available The Complete Counting Series anthology, because they should be read together. Marc and Henry’s journey from rivalry to love happens in stages, but each is linked by a common thread. No, it’s not that they tend to get stuck in places, though it’s definitely been fun to write that. It’s that both Henry and Marc are forward thinkers. They both have wanted more.
But though I love that all of their novellas can now be read one after the other, I’m equally glad that their story happened in three parts. Normally, when I plot a novel, I work on three separate arcs—one for each character, what they want, how they plan to get it, and what’s standing in their way—and one for the book as a whole, the journey that will either bring my characters together, or test them. Hopefully both. When I plot a novella, I shorten that process. I still work on what my characters want, but the main plot, if you will, becomes more of a conveyor belt. Something that’s simply in place to move everyone from A to B. What this allows me to do is drop my characters into the middle of a story and then pluck them back out of it whenever I want. It’s not the A to B that’s important. It’s what happens in between.
Basically, I go for more character depth in a novella, and over the course of this series, I delved pretty deeply into Henry and Marc. I got to know them really well. So well, in fact, that when I sat down to write Counting Out to celebrate the release of The Complete Counting Series, I didn’t even have to glance at my notes. I knew what they’d say, what they’d bicker about, how they kissed, and how they felt about each other.
I did have to look up the color of Henry’s eyes, though.
Each of these three novellas is a building block. They don’t really work together as a novel. But together with the short stories I wrote for in between, I feel as though I’ve given Henry and Marc something more complete than many of my other characters get, and I have a feeling that I’ll be tempted to keep writing shorts for them for a long time to come.
To read the short stories set between the novellas, visit the Counting Series page on my website.
Thanks for following the tour for The Complete Counting Series! At the end of every post, I’ll be asking a question. Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address). Every comment throughout the tour counts as an entry in my giveaway. One winner will receive $15 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store. Giveaway open internationally.
Q. If you’ve read any of the Counting Series novellas and short stories, which is your favorite? (If you haven’t read them yet, visit the Counting Series page on my website and pick a favorite cover.)
Henry Auttenberg and Marc Winnamore have an interesting approach to dating. Bare acquaintanceship gives way to a mutual attraction as Marc confesses he’s not exactly straight—while they’re trapped in a rental car on the side of the road during a Christmas Eve blizzard. Back in Boston, they try an actual date, only to spend New Year’s Eve locked in a basement, exploring every avenue of escape… and the deepening attraction between them
Then, after two months apart, their fledgling relationship held together by flying visits, phone calls, and text messages, a joint assignment in Washington DC serves up more togetherness than Henry and Marc might be able to handle. But the real test isn’t the assignment. When Marc finally lays his heart on the line, can he count on Henry to be there for him, in every way that matters? And can he do the same for Henry when Henry needs him the most?
Follow Henry and Marc’s journey from work colleagues to lovers, from roadside disaster to locked basements, to a final ultimatum in the three novellas of the Counting series: <em>Counting Fence Posts, Counting Down, Counting on You</em>
Buy links: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of eight novels, including the <a href=”https://kellyjensenwrites.com/chaos-station/”>Chaos Station</a> series, co-written with Jenn Burke, and several novellas and short stories. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.