Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jeanne Bannon stops by with her take on writing groups and teases with a bit of her new novel, Invisible!

I’ve worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, mostly as a freelance editor. I started my career as a freelance journalist but quickly learned I could not earn a decent living in that line of work. I turned to editing and worked for a large Canadian publisher for five years. Today, I still work as an editor, but only do freelance work. This gives me the flexibility to do what makes my heart sing...write!

My first novel has just been released by Solstice Publishing. It’s a YA novel entitled Invisible. Just to give you a little taste, here is the blurb:

Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that...

For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.

Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counselor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish. Soon after, she discovers the roots of her new “ability”.

Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to control the new super power. The possibilities are endless. Yet power can be abused, too…

Then, when tragedy strikes, Lola must summon her inner strength, both at home and at school. She has to stand up for herself, despite the temptations and possibilities of her newfound super power.

A coming-of-age story that will warm the heart.

I’m currently finishing up work on a paranormal thriller tentatively titled Dark Angel. I actually started this novel two and a half years ago and wrote Invisible because I needed a break from writing DA. It only took four months for Invisible to pop from my head onto the page. If only all books were that easy!

Purchase links for Invisible:

My links:

Facebook author page:


Twitter: @JeanneBannon

Book trailer:

The value of a good writing group

As far back as I can recall, I’ve written. My life long dream has always been to be a published novelist and that dream has finally come true now, in mid-life. I’ve often wondered why I didn’t write that elusive novel earlier. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’ve lost count of how many novels I’d started and gave up on. But writing was hard work. It was solitary. It was boring. What was it that made the difference? The answer is simple. I found an online writing group.

Writing is a much easier process when you have like-minded individuals ready and willing to provide feedback. At first, when my writing wasn’t up to par, the criticism stung, but I never got angry with reviewers. In my heart I knew they were right and that the criticism was given out of a genuine attempt to help me become a better writer. I learned an awful lot from my writing group and credit those fine fellow authors with much of my success in not just completing my novels, but in making them the best they could be.

As well, knowing I had “fans” waiting for my next chapter made me to want to write. I had a purpose and reason to sit down and pen that next chapter. Someone out in cyberspace was waiting for it! Belonging to an online writing group has also provided me unexpected rewards. I’ve made friends with so many fabulous people. Friendships that will undoubtedly be lifelong.

Over the years I became a senior member of the group and was then in the position of doling out advice; becoming a teacher of sorts. I know I’ve helped others become better writers and that too was rewarding. Although these days with time at a premium, I’m not as active in my group as I’d like to be. However, I will continue to belong and participate when I can. They are my lifeline to advice, to friendship, to encouragement and to anything else I need to keep motivated.

If asked for writing advice, I would say the best thing for an aspiring novelist is to look around for a writing group. It doesn’t have to be an online group like mine. There are plenty of face to face groups out there, but the feedback and encouragement is invaluable…better than any workshop or course I’ve ever taken.


  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Penny!

  2. Totally my pleasure. After reading your take on Writing groups I am going to look for one to join. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. A blog every writer or would-be writer would benefit from! I look forward to reading 'Invisible'!
    And thank you, Penny, for taking a stroll over to my blog!