Newsletter | September 2018

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Hello everyone!

I cannot believe October is almost upon us. It’s insane how quickly time can pass! This month I’ve been going a bit mental as I try to multitask and balance several projects at once including final edits for Alarum (coming Oct. 30) and writing Solus while awaiting feedback from my beta readers for Carrion Crow. And that’s only the writing stuff I’ve been trying to stay on top of!

I am very very excited to share my latest novel Alarum with you all! This Saturday will be the official cover reveal (designed by my big bro) and this also kicks off a month of teasers and promo fun until the book’s release on October 30, 2018! (Be sure to follow my social media and if you want bonus excerpts join my Facebook group “Talismonium“)

For those of you who don’t already know, Alarum is the first book in a post-apocalyptic/dystopian series I’m writing called Walking Shadows. It comprises of five standalone novels, each with a slight genre twist/unique flavor. For instance, Alarum has the undertones of an American Western while featuring a young woman’s survival from childhood when the world she knew collapsed through to her early twenties when she finally comes to peace with her fate.

It’s quite different from my fantasy series, even in the writing style itself, so I’m hoping you’ll still love it! It was one of those stories that snuck up on me and flowed right onto the page. I’m sure people will have various opinions or criticisms, if I’d shown it to editors I’m sure they’d have suggestions and changes, but I chose to keep her story the way she told it to me so for better or for worse, I can’t wait to share her story.

I will say that there is some “adult language” in it. Not too much but enough to maybe not share with the kids haha. So if that’s something that will upset you then I’m sorry but while I wrestled with whether or not to “clean it up” in the end I chose to leave it. I talked to friends, family, beta readers, fellow authors, and the general consensus was be true to your characters. I don’t want to alienate anyone from reading this story that I love, but at the same time to water down my main character’s personality for the sake of appeasing the general masses felt wrong. It felt like a betrayal almost. As if she’d trusted me with telling her story straight and would hold me to that. So I apologize if you’re upset, but I just can’t take it out. I don’t want to. It wouldn’t make sense for the characters or the context anyway. But like I said, there isn’t much so don’t panic.

As far as book two, Solus, goes I’ve taken a pause in writing to finish these Alarum edits and make sure everything is finalized and ready to go for publication but I can’t wait to get back into it! I’m a planner, absolutely, but when I write most of that plan goes right out the window to my utter frustration. But I’ve found it’s often better to let the characters take the lead rather than force a plan to work.

For example, in Solus there is a character with little more than a name and vague description. She was only meant to play a fleeting role (I didn’t even bother fully forming a character background while plotting!) and yet suddenly I’m a third of the way into the book and she’s made herself utterly memorable. She deemed obscurity not good enough and demanded the spotlight while the woman I’d originally cast to be a leading lady has spoken barely two lines! She’s derailed part of my plot outline but honestly I’m glad. I love her! It was totally unplanned! And yet suddenly there she was stealing the stage and startled I stopped and realized that either I alter my outline to explain why she’s there or I figure out how to get rid of her. I really wanted to stick with my original outline but that girl is tough and won the fight.

Now as for Carrion Crow, the sequel to Crooked Raven, I am anxiously awaiting notes from my beta readers. While I feel oddly bold and confident in Alarum I am an utter anxiety-ridden mess when it comes to my fantasy series. I’m not sure why really (Is it the multiple POVs? The multitude of overlapping plot lines? The general complexity of writing anything in the fantasy genre??). But there are certain elements I know are frustrating in that sequel and yet I’m not sure I can or should change them if only because they make sense for the characters. Or perhaps I’m just overthinking everything and it’s fine haha. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!

Brief Commercial Break:
If you’ve read Crooked Raven it would be the biggest most wonderful gift if you could take one minute out of your day to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads! Reviews are what keep writers writing. Truly. Thank you!!

If you’ve finished reading Crooked Raven and are falling apart waiting for what happens next then sorry! But at least you only have to wait until March, so it’s not too far away. Most authors release one book a year and I’m attempting to release three a year but as an avid reader myself I know that even that isn’t fast enough sometimes. But I want to do right by you readers so I’d rather take my time and aim for quality over quantity when possible.

Lastly I’d like to briefly celebrate the season of FALL! My favorite season of them all! Anyone else love the crisp autumn sweater weather? Pumpkin spice? Hot apple cider? Trees with colorful leaves? I can’t wait for the south to finally accept the season and cool off so I can celebrate. Also with the end of summer the hurricane season will finally begin winding down. Hurricane Florence really messed up the coast and I’m so happy that my friends who still live in Wilmington were able to evacuate before it struck and with it brought all that horrible flooding. It’s been a nightmare for many but good ol’ NC is pretty resilient and will be okay. If you were affected then I pray you’re okay and recovering quickly!

As always, stay tuned…

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