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Can An Introvert Be A Salesperson?

Introverts Can Be In Sales, Too!

Many people think of a pushy car salesmen or those that occupy kiosks in the middle of the mall when they hear the word “salesperson”. They tend to be outgoing, high-energy people who try their hardest to not take ‘no’ for an answer.

Honestly, they scare the crap out of me, an introvert with some social anxiety to boot. In fact, I’ve been known to fake phone calls just so I can walk past those mall kiosks to give me a lower chance of being approached about trying their latest hand lotion or their three for one customized toilet bowl coverings or some other crap I don’t need and definitely don’t want to talk about.

Extrovert vs. Introvert – What’s the Difference?

Most people are not strictly extrovert or introvert; we all have traits of both, it’s just how much of each that defines which we associate with more.

Extrovert

The main thing to focus on is what do you draw your energy from more, social situations or being alone? If you answer social situations, you are most likely an extrovert. Working better in groups, being able to bust out some wicked charm and persuasion, and feeling like you need to go out to another party just to have people surrounding you all night (my worst nightmare) are other traits of extrovertists. Your social networks are huge, and you tend to talk loudly.

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Surround me with peeeeeeople!

Introvert

Introverts quite literally need time to themselves over going out in groups. Many introverts are able to overcome this urge and still go out, but I am definitely not one of them. Sure, I go out, but then I need hours and hours to myself to recharge or I will become withdrawn – more than I already am!

As an introvert, you don’t often crave to have attention on you. Introverts tend to be more shy and are often talked over in conversations. That last one is from experience only, I’m not sure if it is fully true. I’ve gotten used to it. Heck, if someone actually hears what I say over others, I’m genuinely shocked…but because introverts tend to also be more creative people, I’m quick to recover and come up with something to say next. Even though I pretty much fear small talk. It’s a problem. I don’t meet many people. And I’m completely okay with that!

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Shut up and let me read in silence.

How I Manage to Pitch My Product Without Anxiety Attacks

There have been times – too many – when salespeople were too quick for me, and eye contact was made – and we all know what that means. They zeroed in so fast it was like they teleported right in front of me, their sales pitch already half out of their mouth before I could take a startled step back.

My anxiety peaks, I start to stutter as my brain flies to different ways to get out of the conversation without being rude, and I fail every single time. I politely listen to them and eventually end up finding some excuse that works, finally able to get the stranger out of my personal bubble only to find it’s been almost fifteen minutes and all I want is some ice cream, a book, and nice, peaceful silence.

So how is it that me, such an introvert that I need hours of “recharge time” after any social interaction, can attend a convention to sell my novels to complete strangers?

Easy.

If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, be it your books or the latest purse that somehow doubles as a hat, it will come naturally through your excitement.

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Do I want to go up to complete strangers who have never heard of my book and pitch it to them all while fearing I’ll stumble over my words or start sweating profusely or lapse into a made up language out of sheer anxiety? God, no.

But the second I start talking about the plot of A Grim Trilogy, or how my latest book, The Souls of the Lash, is set in the Wild West but happens at the same time as Grim in a different plane of existence…well, hell…I can’t shut up! Because that is the same passion I had when writing it, and it shines through me whenever I realize just how happy the story and its characters – and the fact that I even wrote and published novels – makes me feel. And even better: it’s addictive excitement shows so much, strangers I don’t even know get drawn in.

And there’s the sale.

You’re Not Alone

I’m a pretty big introvert and have had more success selling my stories to strangers in person in a single convention than I have online since my first book released in 2016. If I can do it, you can, my other introverted pals. You’ve got this. Draw upon the passion that fuels you, use that excitment your product gives you and pass it along to customers. You won’t get every single sale, but I promise you this: you at least won’t feel like running away and hiding in the bathroom (or closet, or car, or just leaving all together and going home – yes I’ve done them all) and will have the ability to at least pitch your product with a bit more ease than before.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find a way to get out of some dinner plans so I can stay home and watch Star Trek instead.

jenniferreinfriedlightbrownsmall

 

How Superheroes Have Changed

How Superheroes Have Changed Over the Years

Superheroes have been around for a long time. Since the 1930s – when the first Superman debuted – superheroes and, sometimes just as important, the idea of superheroes continue to grow and become more unique.

These changes are influenced by many things. More personal access to artists at comic conventions brings about better connections and a higher likelihood of ideas blooming. Easier publishing makes getting new stories out to the world in a matter of months now instead of years. Changes in technology greatly help the creation of comics and graphic novels as well as film and TV. These developments have also changed how superhero movies are influential.

Let’s dig a little into how superheroes have changed as well as answer some superhero questions:

  • What are superheroes?
    • Superhero vs. vigilante
    • Superhero vs antihero
  • What makes a villain?
  • How are superhero costumes made to look like their characters in the comics?
  • What is a good superhero for kids, and why are they important to children?

Superheroes In Fiction

The first fictional superheroes appeared in comic books (not to be confused with graphic novels), although many consider the gods of mythology to have been superheroes as well.

The idea of a superhero started with Superman, who had unbelievably strong superpowers and would use them to save the world over and over, protecting innocents and rescuing those in danger. Over time, his story, like so many other fictional superheroes that came after him, expanded a great deal, including adventure after adventure for the ever-growing number of fans.

Soon, superheroes made it to the big screen. These heroes and their countless villains were brought to life, delighting fans of all ages.

Today we are blessed to have such increased technology that these types of movies can be remade with high-quality graphics, allowing us to see aliens, superhuman strength, and even costumes with a mind of their own (such as Iron Man’s nanosuit) all as if it were really, truly happening. These advancements have brought superhero stories, which were mostly told in comics first, out into the light, bringing in new fans daily.

Superhero Costume Design

In the first years of superheroes in film, costumes attempted to be literal while also simple. While what the heroes in comics wore could often be complex, it was difficult to recreate that in real life.

Over the years, advancements have changed how superhero costumes are made and how they look. It is now possible to not only design more intricate costumes, but filmmakers can now use extremely good CGI to create some or all of a costume or character that wouldn’t even be possible in reality.

 

A Superhero Without Powers

There are many characters in fiction that do not have any extraordinary superpowers, such as DC’s Bruce Wayne (Batman), Marvel’s Clint Barton (Hawkeye) or Duncan in A Grim Trilogy to name a few.

These individuals may have some natural strengths that aid them while they battle bad guys, though. Some may have high intelligence, loads of cash, or the latest technology (or all three, like Tony Stark (Iron Man) to help create suits of armor and super intelligent AI to aid in battle.

So while they might not have superpowers, this doesn’t mean they are less of a superhero.

Superheroes, Vigilantes, and Antiheroes

We’ve discussed superheroes, but there are two other types of hero that exist – and often toe the line between superhero and villain. Let’s take a look at some of the characters from A Grim Trilogy to see the differences between the three.

Antihero vs Hero

Let’s talk a little about what antihero means. It refers to characters who try to help people and do the right thing, but lack important qualities that make the hero good. They are often referred to as “flawed heroes.”

Emma McRae and Isaac Krause are good examples of antiheroes. They are criminals. They work for a crime boss. But both were born into the life, and while they do know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, they feel they are doing the right thing because they know nothing else in their life.

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The first two Grim novels

When the events of Grim Ambition and Grim Judgment take place, they are determined to get out of their lives of crime. But they never turn fully around. Instead, all of their good deeds tend to be out of selifshness – especially seen in Grim Vengeance when they use Emma’s power to persuade the good guys to protect her and Isaac – saving their own lives instead of caring about strangers that could be hurt.

Antihero vs Villain

So an antihero is not a villain (at least not unless they turn into one later on). Villains are bad through and through. They are one hundred percent selfish, and often destructive. They don’t care who gets hurt in their path to winning whatever it is they set out to achieve.

A great example of this is Weston Alexander and his crime boss, Ivan Vance. Both choose the life of crime they live – they thrive in it. Alex enjoys hurting people. Vance sits back and orders others to do his dirty work while he revels in his money and the successes of his thugs.

An antihero may do good things that we might not think are actually heroic, but so do villains. There is a fine line between antihero and villain. Charlie Reed, for example, may think and feel like he is doing the right thing by tracking down and killing all of the Synths, yet it is not only for his own selfish needs but also harming others – the absolute wrong thing to do – but he does it anyway.

Antihero vs Vigilante

Finally, we have vigilantes. These are heroes just like Grim who takes the law into their own hands (other examples are Batman and Daredevil) to hand out justice in any way they can.

Shawn, his brother Jaxon, and his friend Cassie worked together to create the hero Grim to get vengeance on Ivan Vance’s crime ring after Cassie’s sister was murdered by Alex. In the process of going after Vance and his people, Grim also stops muggings, helps people in danger, and does many things a superhero would do. Grim uses his powers for good and for justice, but he ignores the law while he does, killing the criminals he comes across instead of making sure they land in jail.

Superheroes for Kids

The majority of today’s superhero movies are complicated and often violent. However, having the ability to grow up learning from superheroes can actually help shape children’s lives.

There are many versions of DC and Marvel superheroes that are redone for younger children, which can be found streaming on Netflix or YouTube. However, be sure you don’t overlook how many original superheroes for kids there are out there, too!

Watching the good guys fight evil is bound to make anyone cheer, but kids (and adults!) can actually learn a lot of life lessons from superheroes, too. They teach us to have good morals, to help others in need, to look out for each other. Superheroes may be fiction, but they show us why we need to be the good in the world we want to see.

We Need Real Life Superheroes

According to The Merriam-Webster dictionary, a superhero is defined as “a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers.” However, a superhero is so much more than that. And while those in fiction may have superhuman powers, there are many real-life superheroes around us. They are the protectors of the innocent. They are ones who put others before themselves. They are what this world needs more of.

So whether you have extraordinary hidden powers or you help others in need who can’t help themselves in some other way, how superhero are you?

My New Book Delves Into Deeper Connections

New Book, New Genre

I am excited to announce that my new book will be an exciting sci-fi novel! Just like before, it will tie into other stand alone fictions I’ve published in the past, such as my superhero crime thriller A Grim Trilogy as well as my latest new book, a Western thriller called The Souls of the Lash.

A Quick Author Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and even longer since I’ve released a new book. As you may or may not know already, in January my husband and I moved across the country. Eager to start a new life in our new city, we couldn’t wait to explore. However, bills must be paid, and we both soon started full-time jobs, limiting our free time to weekends.

In addition, I’m still in full-time school, so writing my new book has sadly been on the back burner for many months. However, just last week, inspiration hit me like a gust of wind, and despite having very little free time, I started the first few sections of my new book, which is yet to be named.

The Newest Reinfried Release

So why am I so pumped for my new book? Well, it is going to be super exciting because it’s actually going to reveal why and how the Wild West world in The Souls of the Lash had such connection and similarities to the 2016 world of A Grim Trilogy. If you haven’t read one or the other, though, that’s okay! My new book will still be a stand alone novel/series.

However, if you have read the Grim novels and Souls, I hope you picked up on some very fun similarities between the two, as they were all extremely intentional – and all planned to be able to lead up to this sci-fi novel I’m working on now!

Endless Connections

As a fun little taste of these connections, here’s an example: Did you notice that in The Souls of the Lash, Etta has a nightmare involving Johnny, who at one point is laughing maniacally, surrounded by the deadly creatures, while floating above them with eyes completely white? Almost as if he was controlling them in her dream?

It was brief, but fully intended to remind readers of good ol’ Jaxon and his wraiths. Which is also why they look similar … just like some other Souls characters look similar to ones in Grim. I mean, even some names are quite alike! Etta/Emma, Jaxon/Johnny, Shawn/Shane.

Yep, it’s all on purpose, and it’s about to all be explained! 

Comments, Reviews, and More

Whether you’re a brand new reader of my books or have been a fan since the first Grim book was released, I hope you leave me some feedback! I love hearing from you. Leave me a comment below, a review on Amazon for the books you’ve read, or tell me your hopes and dreams. Either way, share your story, because staying connected is important! 

And if you have any cool ideas, who knows, maybe they’ll end up in the new book! I’m also in the market for someone to help me design the sci-fi logo, so if that is right up your alley, leave a comment below and I’ll be in touch.

Stay tuned for more updates on my new book, the sci-fi that will take you on a wild, exciting journey with a new story, new cast, yet with some faint familiarity.

jenniferreinfriedlightbrownsmall

My First Podcast Interview!

Hi all!

I know it’s been a while. I ended up going back to school to finally earn a degree, something I wanted to do since I was 19 but was not able to until now. That coupled with a cross country move has basically taken up the majority of my time.

But don’t you worry, as fresh stories are a-brewin’!

In the meantime, check out the first podcast interview I did! I’m super excited about it, and plan on doing a few more.

I also will be having a fun surprise in the next month or so…stay tuned!

interview

Souls on Sale!

Calling all fans of thrillers! My latest book, The Souls of the Lash, released this year with fantastic response, and I want to spread some love to new and existing fans of my work.

Today through this Saturday (July 21, 2018) at 11:59pm, you can get your own signed copy at over a 30% discount (only $8)! This includes free shipping anywhere in the US.

Claim your signed copy now!

The Souls of the Lash description along with some seriously badass character art can be found HERE.

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Author Insights: Handling Rejections

Today’s Author Insights is all about that dreaded word: “no.”

I had the absolute honor of interviewing Patrick Tomlinson, author of the Children of a Dead Earth series and the upcoming novel Gate Crashers.

pst

Check out what Mr. Tomlinson had to say about working with a traditional publisher and how to handle rejection.

Reinfried: What inspired your first book?

Patrick Tomlinson: The first book I ever wrote started life as a few chapters of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fanfic. Later, it was cleaned up and scrubbed of any HHGG references and became its own thing, growing into a full-length novel in its own right. That book is now called GATE CRASHERS and just released through Tor Books on June 26th, 2018.

R: Once you were finished with your manuscript, how did you look for agents to pitch?

PST: With the best kept secret on the writing web: www.querytracker.net. It’s a search engine for agents and publishers. You can narrow your search down by agents currently accepting submissions, genre, a bunch of key factors. They rate agents with useful metrics like response time, recent deals, etc. Even if you don’t know a single person in publishing, you can get a list of your best dozen agents to target built in minutes.

Then once you’ve submitted your query, they keep track of who it went to, how long it’s been out, when it’s accepted/rejected, etc. They’ve gone to a subscription model, but for like $20 a year, it’s SO worth it.

R: I definitely wish I had known about that sooner! I’ll have to look into it for my next novel!

R: Many authors, myself included, get discouraged with rejections. How many did you receive, if you don’t mind sharing?

PST: Over two hundred.

R: What encouraged you to continue pitching regardless of receiving rejection after rejection?

PST: Rejection means nothing to me; it’s all a numbers game. The more submissions you send, the better your chances get.

R: What do you like most about working with an agent and traditional publisher?

PST: They do everything, freeing me up to do what I got into this to do in the first place: write books. I don’t have to worry about covers, formatting, copyedits, chasing payments, negotiating deals, knowing the ins and outs of audio, foreign, TV rights. I’ve got people for all that stuff. I just write, instead of having yet another full-time job.

R: Is there anything you dislike about the process as a whole?

PST: Not a damned thing.

R: What advice would you give discouraged writers?

PST: Toughen up. This ain’t flag football. Rejections never end for anyone. This never gets easier, you’re just presented with new kinds of obstacles and challenges.


I want to thank author Patrick Tomlinson so much for this insightful and encouraging interview! I highly recommend his books if you are a fan of sci-fi, mystery, and all around fun! I met him a few years back at GenCon and picked up a copy of the first in his Children of a Dead Earth series, called The Ark, and absolutely loved it.

Get your own copy of his newest book by clicking the image below. Thanks again, Mr. Tomlinson!

gate crashers

Author Insights: Beta Readers

It is often thought that an author writes a book, sends it to an editor, makes changes, then gets the book published. There are, however, many other steps involved.

This Author Insights touches on beta readers – what they are and why writers definitely need them.

What Is A Beta Reader?

A beta reader is someone who reads through your manuscript, often more than once, for errors in spelling, grammar, continuity issues, and more. They give honest feedback knowing that the critiques will better the story, its characters, and plot.

A beta reader needs to give unbiased, honest critique of everything they come across in the story. Often, authors need to have conversations about characters and plot, too, to brainstorm better ideas for both.

Do I Need A Beta Reader?

Yes. Hands down. Without a doubt.

How Do I Select My Beta Readers?

Ideally, you want a handful of beta readers not only because different people will give different kinds of feedback, but also because some will catch what others might miss. In addition, it is a good idea to have people you are not very close with be a beta reader. Friends and family members often tend to give biased feedback and do not want to hurt the author’s feelings which, in turn, can lead to the manuscript not being as strong as it could be

What It’s Like To Be a Beta Reader

I used a good amount of beta readers for everything I’ve written, from short stories to novels. For all of my Grim installments, I needed to use not only the same beta readers from one story to the next – it was a series that has many twists and reveals in later books, and I needed to ensure any continuity errors were caught – but I also needed to find fresh beta readers to see if the story was captivating enough.

I sat down with a small number of my beta readers and interviewed each about what it was like to be a beta reader.

Reinfried: What did you enjoy about being a beta reader?

Matt: I love reading and enjoyed seeing the changes or redirection each draft of the story would take.

Joshua:  Being the first to read a story is a great perk. I enjoyed sharing some of my experience with Jennifer that actually made its way into the story. I also loved being able to discuss parts of the story directly with the author to find out why she wanted things to go a certain way (insights other readers wouldn’t have access to).

R: What did you dislike about being a beta reader?

Katey B: It was sometimes hard to remember to not get totally lost in the story and to make sure to pay attention to continuity and flow.

R: Other than reading through the book in progress, what other tasks did you have?

Mandy B: I feel like I got to do a lot! I got to help proof character art, guide decisions in things outside of the book, be involved in upcoming unannounced projects, help design the beginnings of a graphic novel … the list goes on!

R: Why do you think beta readers are important to the progress of a novel?

Samantha Berezowitz: Having beta readers is like a restaurant using taste testers before they open – it’s important to learn people’s opinions before putting everything out there.

Katey B: It gives the author a fresh eye to look at the story. Writers spend so much time looking at the manuscript they get used to how everything looks and might become blind to potential errors or story flow issues.

R: Do you feel you had an impact in the book you were a beta reader for? 

AuBrie: Yes. As a beta reader I was asked questions as I read, both individually and in groups, regarding characters and story line. I felt those discussions were definitely taken into consideration when reworking parts of the story.

Joshua: I would like to think I did. Some of my experiences were worked into the book (Russian and firearms). It really connected me to the book and its characters.

R: Would you beta read for another book if given the chance? 

Matt: Absolutely. I love beta reading. I enjoy the story progression and seeing something you helped with come to life. My biggest regret is not doing it sooner.

AuBrie: Definitely. I love seeing the evolution of the story, and love being able to help in the development and flow.

A Solid Group of Beta Readers Is Crucial

As you can see, beta readers are very important to the progress of your story. Make sure you have constant discussions with each one, whether in group settings or individually. They will give you crucial feedback that will make your manuscript stronger and help your story flow even better than it did before.

Just remember this: do not take any critique personally! A beta reader is there to help you and to help your story; if they give feedback you don’t like, discuss it with them before you dismiss it or get offended. You need to be able to take criticism in this line of work, and remembering your beta readers want to see you succeed is something you need to always keep in mind.