Whose Series Is This Anyway? by Janine M. Donoho

Mistborn Chronicles

Mistborn Chronicles

A comment from my MISTBORN CHRONICLES page:

Josh  Mar 08, 2014.@ 06:29:44    Is this sanctioned?

My first novel KALEIDOSCOPE began moving through the submittal cycle shortly before Danielle Steele’s book by the same name hit the shelves. Amazon.com alone now lists over 25 titles by that name. While mine received a slew of encouraging rejection letters, it will never see the light of day. You see, I’ve moved on and KALEIDOSCOPE served as a terrific lesson on ‘how to write a novel’.

Borne of Mist Book 1

Borne of Mist
Book 1

My complete and original epic fantasy series MISTBORN CHRONICLES started crystallizing in the early 1990’s while I studied for my biology degree. I wrote the first novel of my MISTBORN TRILOGY after graduation. If MISTBORN TRILOGY sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone—it’s out there. Thus my tweak to MISTBORN CHRONICLES when in fact, my series is a trilogy. Great minds? Perhaps.

When BORNE OF MIST, Book 1 of MISTBORN TRILOGY, was complete, my then-agent sent it to Claire Eddy at Tor. She wrote a heartening thanks-but-no-thanks, referring to another series in the pipeline that ‘was too much like mine’. Well, long story short, that series was listed as MISTBORN TRILOGY and has done very well.

I recently read the first two books of this other fantasy series, which has expanded from the original trilogy format. Contrary to Ms. Eddy’s comment, TOR’s MISTBORN world has nothing in common with mine in which:

A rapacious mage rips the veil between realities to pursue an escaped captive. Into a world innocent of magic and meager science, mysterious powers and creatures surge through the rift. This triggers events leading to earth-shattering changes to this world and others. Two Mistborn must learn to trust each other, developing tactics and strategies even as their evolving talents become paramount. Meanwhile a mage war escalates, promising to quench the spark of this world—and others.

Forged in Mist Book 2

Forged in Mist
Book 2

So please, potential readers, understand the way of the written word. Titles describe a fictitious world and invite you into them. There may be times when one novel or series’ title appears to mimic another. Consider another view.

It takes time to finish and edit a 340,000 word trilogy. Add in the years spent going through multiple traditional publishers, who insist upon single submissions, then hold your works hostage for 6-12 months before deciding it’s ‘not-quite-right for them, but please send any other work you have’. Consider an indie writer, winner and runner-up in multiple writerly contests, who decides to take her work to an alternative platform. Because really, what more does any writer want than to find those readers who love her stories?

Chosen by Mist Book 3

Chosen by Mist
Book 3

Then understand this proposition. We writers tap into an infinite river of creativity, allowing what comes to flow through us and onto the page. Some have dubbed this process ‘writing to the bone’ or ‘ripping open a vein’. We humbly offer this gift to you.

In answer to those readers who take issue with titles that appear to provide more of what they already love: why not try the new? Decide for yourself. What do you really have to lose?

Have other writers and authors dealt with this issue? What worked for you?

Really? Moderation in all things… by Janine M. Donoho

Our Immoderate Daffs

Our Immoderate Daffs

At various time this phrase has taken on political and religious fervor, but that’s not where I want to go. Instead I ask you, “Really? Moderation gets us to awesome?” Just sayin’.

Immoderate White-tailed Deer

Immoderate White-tailed Deer

Perhaps before Terence’s death in 159 B.C.E., life demanded restraint. If you start your life as a slave as he did, that could bank your fires. It might have led to his early death, too. Plus those Roman robes required sweeping gestures and a measured pace. Still it’s tough to feel ardent about moderation.

Granted self-restraint’s necessary in any number of arenas—when you’re a martial arts expert, cleaning a garbage disposal, teaching a child, dealing with fringe elements…. I get that. Transplanting my seedlings takes self-control, although I’m more driven by reverence for life. How cool is it that entire forests begin with a seed?

When it comes to other passions like dance, writing, reading, or artwork, I’m more of a full throttle woman.

Immoderate Mountain Bluebird Male

Immoderate Mountain Bluebird Male

Even when gaining competency, don’t you need to push yourself—immoderately? The sense of our firefly existence drives me. So many choreographies, stories and visual renditions percolate that I’d have to live another century or two to finish them. Besides how can anyone approach the work of completing entire novels or series unless your vision’s intensely engaged?

Thus let me modify Terence’s words to ‘moderation in those things necessary, exuberance in all else’. I don’t think he’d mind. His Woman of Andros (Andria) was a romantic comedy after all. As in most New Comedy, he relied upon frequent external solutions to smooth the path to resolution. Very soap opera, don’t you think?

Moderate Blue Grouse Female

Moderate Blue Grouse Female

So I leave you, dear reader, with another Terence quote that works much better for me as a world-building writer of fantasy:

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”                 

“I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”

With that you’re invited into my world with FORGED IN MIST, book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES, coming soon to an e-reader near you.

Immoderate Blue Grouse Male

Immoderate Blue Grouse Male


Snow Day by Janine M. Donoho

Doe in conifer parkWhat do you do on snow days? Seven inches of new snow fell overnight. Fresh pillows buffer the earth’s bones. In one of our conifer stands, a white-tailed doe lies along the leeward side.

I wish for a greater vocabulary for snow–like an Inuit’s. Then my poetic side could roll around in aniu or qanikcaq, Blue morningsnow-on-ground, and muruaneq, soft-deep-snow. Or I could make snow seraphs in nutaryuk, fresh-fallen-snow-on-the-ground.

This storm arrived after a thaw–so the YakTrax are back. Since the revision process of FORGED IN MIST feels stale, I’m treating myself to well-earned holiday. That means a sweet-and-sour reading combo of library books: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman and Al Gore’s THE FUTURE. Later I’ll strap on the Trax and it’s off to the luge course we go. Perhaps I’ll spike the hot cocoa afterward with homemade Irish cream.Doe leaving to browse

Then tomorrow I face my desk with renewed enthusiasm. On, on…

End of YakTraxia by Janine M. Donoho

End to YakTraxiaWhat does spring mean to you? For us the season of YakTrax draws to its annual end. The timing’s good; my Pro-Trax have sprung a few coils. The snow-laden roof will release the flying squirrel toy lost since December. Earth’s bones begin to emerge from beneath ice and our winter cave can use a good airing.

Connor racing to tall about the eagles' returnLast week a major melt began, punctuated by hail last night. Like the rest of our planet, we’re experiencing cockeyed seasons. This thaw arrives earlier than usual. Other than crafting sustainable choices on a personal level, what’s a citizen to do? I order more vegetable, fruit and flower seeds from Swallowtail Garden, then go for a hike.

Dependent upon temperament–or which leg of the ramble we’re on–our pack treads on either remaining snowpack or The boys of my packemerging soil. Both can be fraught with risk. Slush engenders a new dance step: one-step-forward, half-a-slip-back. The percussion of cascading drips from Ponderosa pines enhances our unique tempo. Meanwhile treading upon saturated moondust–yes, the yummy brown of my fave dark chocolate–gobbles an entire boot. Sucking sounds accompany language picked up while testing Naval ship systems. The boisterous aroma of fertile soils and emerging plants combines with this.

One of bald eagle pair on snagSongs of returning birds add delight. A persistent pileated woodpecker competes with local black bear on who can peck or gouge the most insect larvae from a downed pine. Later in spring the same woodpecker will perch on our metal roof at sunrise and broadcast his mating vigor–think jackhammer. Our whippet informs us that the mated pair of bald eagles has returned–Connor insists upon yelling at them. Then at dusk I hear the wicka-wicka-wicka of a Northern Flicker. Anticipation warms me.

Iggy in rotting snowNow my break’s over. Back to editing FORGED IN MIST, book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES. I’m over half way there–and spring comes.

Soulful Pack & One Outlier by Janine M. Donoho

Manny Kartouche' & Nina Sophia, puppyWho are your boon companions? When not writingConnor & Nina or playing with artful things, much of my life revolves around mine. I thought I’d share the nonhuman ones with you. Yes, you’re witnessing unconditional love.Chicken skin love with Mandy, Connor, Ziggy & Gilly Girl


Gilly Girl on lapExcept for Gilly Girl, who’s a cat, after all. To her, I serve as private groomer, comfy lap and she-who-feeds-me-scrumptious-stinky-foods.

Now onto daily edits of FORGED IN MIST, book 2Best garden helper ever - Mandy of MISTBORN CHRONICLES.

Moroccan Sighthound by Janine M. Donoho

Moroccan Sighthound SculptureI keep only those objects that captivate. Many come from my travels outside this country. Exquisite Moroccan, Egyptian and Turkish rugs; hand-painted papyrus, singular jewelry and textiles, handmade paper–you get the idea. Since all travels occurred via backpack and public transport, size mattered. Except rugs and kilims, which arrived via slow camel–or so it felt.

Mustafa & I in PemukkaleThis sinuous sighthound has remained a perennial favorite. Found during a circuit through Morocco from Casablanca to Marrakesh, she recalls heady scents of mint tea and pastry, the alkaline feel of the Sahara on skin and tongue, and the intricate amalgam that is Moroccan culture. The souks of either Essaouira or Rabat offered her to me. I give thanks.

A prolonged study of this sculpture along with lingering touches to her back and sides has refreshed me. Now I’m ready to dive back into my edit of Essaouira SoukFORGED IN MIST. This sojourn also serves as reminder to move other less cherished items along to new homes.

Later. Right now, I’m writing.

Greetings Well-Hung Sweetheart by Janine M. Donoho

Morning has broken 5Greetings Well-Hung Sweetheart. Yes, that’s the joyful porn spam greeting of the day. Remember when spam meant spiced ham with the ingredients of pork shoulder, ham, salt, sugar, sodium nitrite and water? And yes, Google spam automatically goes away after 30 days. What’s in my box can’t be good feng shui, though.

The Association of Feng Shui experts for this Year of the Snake warns that if you want to avoid misfortune–and who doesn’t–never, ever disturb the path of a snake. In a landscape populated by rattlesnakes, that goes unsaid. They also admonish against renovations or hole digging along your southeast property. Nothing about porn spam, but I still delete daily while laughing at its absurdity.

On another note, we’re into a pre-spring cycle of melt by day, freeze by night. Our northern exposure has developed into a stellar luge course and the western mountains inspire coralline mornings. Plus we’re still finding gorgeous critter tracks in the snow. Definitely feline, here’s either a lynx or cougar print beside my boot for reference.Probably Lynx We’re an exotic predator pack surrounded by native predators–very stimulating for a geeky biologist.

Now back to editing FORGED IN MIST…book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES.

Still Winter by Janine M. Donoho

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStillness and winter. Intermittent and distant traffic along the Crowsnest Highway in Canada offers the only false tone. Today a baby bird’s song–way too early–along with raptors voicing joy in snowmelt that bares rodent tunnels. Evenings and mornings fill with coyote song–shortly followed by our hounds’ response and perhaps the belling tone of a wolf. Icicles drip and plop as temperatures rise to mid-30s. Winter goes on here for about 2 months longer than many expect. So I take a cue from wilyRockhound whippet Connor, our rockhound who climbs to see what’s on the other side.

Now back to editing FORGED IN MIST, book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES.

Free Verse Gratitude to 1st Reviewer of BORNE OF MIST by Janine M. Donoho



5 stars dropped5.0 out of 5 stars E book, December 27, 2012

By Judith F. Reel (Smithville,Mo USA)
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is for Borne of Mist (Mistborn Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)

Great story line and well written. I have read this author on Fanfiction.net and that is why when I found out that this author wrote a e book I bought it.

Thank you so much for my very first reader’s review of BORNE OF MIST, Judith. You’re officially a pack member.

As I finish editing FORGED IN MIST, Book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES, I visited my Amazon site for an update. And there your review was–the equivalent of lightning bolt and plant root starter. Yes, a seemingly mixed metaphor even though both fulgarites formed by strikes and root starters can be rich in phosphorous–but that’s another story.

You see, we writers often write in isolation, impelled by story worms that drill into our brains and refuse to leave until we do their will. Then we offer our finished works to readers, hoping with little credence that someone will come along who gets the story. When that person goes even further and reviews with 5 stars dropped   …well, expect tears and crazy dancing.

The New DayNo longer quite so alone in the Okanogan Highlands. Thank you, my sweet, for both your interest in reading my story along with the added fillip your review bestowed. Joy to you and yours.

Fellow authors, how does a great review from a reader affect you? And Dear Readers, what compels you to write reviews?

Warmed by Gratitude by Janine M. Donoho

Fairy LegsWinter crept upon us with fairy legs. The snow pack resembles a polar bear rolling around to scratch its back, agitating flurries as it wriggles. So grateful for a snug home,Doe eating dessicated Maximillian sunflowers outside the dog yard curried winter squash stew bubbling in the crockpot—a keyboard that does my bidding. Outside the dog yard, a doe browses last year’s Maximilian sunflowers. Playing with the cover of FORGED IN MIST, Book 2 of the MISTBORN CHRONICLES before editing more copy. Thankfulness cradles me.





Icicles on icicles

Icicles on icicles

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27, 2015
The big day is here.

Newsletter signup

Join in and receive a FREE short story as my gift to you. Exclusive promos, book deals and contests available only to subscribers.

%d bloggers like this: