Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.
And the 3 books are:
Damnation: Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days.
Newbie: The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it.Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life: Falling in love is easy in fiction--in high school, not so much.
I picked to focus on Damnation because I was lucky enough to critique several chapters and found it intriguing. I didn't get to read it yet but when I do, you'll find my Goodreads rating on the sidebar below.
The Spotlight for Damnation:
Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven. No sweat.
But when Cassie returns to earth during her three-week, mostly-mortal assignment, her old habits get in the way, (apparently habits don’t die when you do), the partners assigned to help her are anything but helpful, and it turns out the girl she is supposed to help is the only enemy she made on her first day of school. Oh, I’m so going to hell.
Things aren’t all bad—it helps to have a hot angel on your side. Mmm-Marc. Even though he’s all about heavenly business, Cassie would like to make it personal. Assignment with benefits.
Jo Noelle has provided us with the following guest post and giveaway:
Building Tension Through Questions
We’re looking at some ways to build tension in our stories and decided to ask a lot of questions to get us started.
Decide what the overall book question is going to be for your story. This is the overall premise you are writing to achieve. For Damnation it is:
v Will 17 yo Cassie Witlon earn amnesty from Hell in the next 20 days?
Then as you plan or revise each scene decide what questions you can plant for the readers to be motivated to learn the answer to. Here are some more we used:
v Will Cassie beat the deadline?
v Will Cassie escape?
v Will Cassie get distracted from her purpose?
These are a little cryptic but they become more detailed as we wrote the scenes. We need one question for each scene. Some authors describe this step as making sure your scenes have a "purpose" or a "goal." It's just a little easier for us to think in terms of answering a question.
Possible Sources of Conflict
v Incompatible values
v Grown up issues v. kid issues
v Role definitions
v Different relationship needs
v Personality conflict (motives and styles for dealing with people)