Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Indie Author Interview

Yesterday I did my very first interview as an author.

What an experience, one that I almost missed out on. Laura Mae's tweet looking for indie authors to interview came across my screen I was supposed to be trying to sleep.
It was my phone that dinged as if I had a new message that caused me to pick it up. There was no new message. I went to Twitter to double check that it was a DM on there (sometimes the icon doesn't pop up).
Nope, no DM, but there was this tweet. I've seen similar tweets before, but I'd always been too nervous to respond. Maybe it was because of how tired I was, but this time I responded.

And boy am I glad that I did.

Despite my nervousness about doing this interview, Laura made me feel comfortable and I enjoyed myself. I had a lot of fun talking with her. Hopefully, I didn't sound too insane. A normal amount of insane was inevitable, of course.

I can't wait for you all to read it one Friday when it goes up on her blog. You can check it out at https://lauramaeauthor.com/the-indie-go-interviews/ and read all her past interviews of some wonderful authors!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Novel is Never Done

What comes after NaNoWriMo

Yes, there is life after NaNoWriMo. If you’re anything like me you’re feeling a little lost right now. You spent so much time dedicated to writing and now… you’re not.

Good News, Bad News

Good news is that life does quickly return to feeling normal as the holidays swarm us. Which, if you wanted to get in the habit of daily writing turns this into bad news. However, you just ran a writing marathon. Your fingers and wrists might be angry at you right now. You need to make up lost time with friends and family members. Take this time. Chill, relax. You deserve it.

Once your wrists no longer ache and people aren’t still surprised that you are, in fact, still alive and well, you can get back to writing if you like. And for those of you who are working hard towards publishing, this is the first step. You either have a good chunk of a first draft or perhaps an entirely finished first draft.

Now comes the Novel Draft Aftercare program. Editing, revisions and all the fun stuff. Believe it or not, NaNoWriMo doesn’t just end in November and you don’t think of it again for another 11 months. Nope, there are forums and events dedicated to what they call the ‘Now What?’ months.You can find those forums under the section like 'I Wrote a Novel, Now What?'

I’m not going to get into all the steps of editing and revision here but I want to give you some advice moving forward from this point.

There is no one RIGHT way

Say it to yourself a few times until you really believe it. Like with writing, we all have our own processes. Some of us take more drafts to get the story where we wanted than others will, but the one thing I can guarantee is that the first draft can always be improved. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is only the one way to do things. It’s simply not true.

Find out what works for you. Try different ways of editing. Try editing it right away or put it away and try again later. I know, for me, I am a strange one in that I don’t like putting space between me and my story before I edit, but almost everyone you talk to will talk about distancing yourself from your story. However,for me, I am fairly cut-throat with my novels. I love them, but I am willing to slice and dice for the best interest of the story. I am not the most emotionally invested person in the world.

Do what works for you, and if you don’t know what that is, then try all the methods and make up a few of your own.

A few things, though, that are nearly universal. Beta readers and critique partners are awesome. Another set of critical eyes on your story can really help you see the areas that you might have fallen short of your goals. I’m not saying you should, but I do highly recommend this process once you hit the point of “I don’t think I know how or what to edit in this story anymore”.

Okay, that’s enough. I have ice packs to put on my own tortured wrists here!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Standing on the Edge

You’re almost there, don’t look down.

As I sat alone thinking about what to sort of pep talk I can give you the day before NaNoWriMo ends, eating whipped cream straight from the can and drinking wine, I felt like the idea was right on the edge of my mind. Which is when inspiration struck.

Because, here we are, on the edge of the end of this crazy adventure. It’is so close we can almost taste it (and it tastes like whipped cream).

At this point in the journey there isn’t much I can say to you except to ignore all the words you’ve written. I’m being serious. Ahead, behind, on par? Who cares? I don’t and you shouldn't either. Take these last few hours and write. Write your hardest, as much as you can. Throw yourself into your story and see what happens.

Don’t look back, don’t think about the pitfalls of the journey, don’t reminisce on the great days where the words flowed like water (wine?) - just write.

Race for the finish line because it’s right there over that last little rise. Run for it with all your might. You can do it.

Go! Go! Go!

Stop reading this. Why are you still reading? Oh, because I put words here, is that why? Okay. I’ll stop now. I have writing to do too!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Take a Deep Breath...

We’re not done yet, but look how far we’ve come

Every year about this time I tell people to take a moment and look at their word count. Don’t obsess or even think about if it’s more or less or on par with where you wanted to be. Just look at it.

You wrote those words. That is all you.

It doesn’t matter if you are ahead, behind, or on par, what matters is that you have written words. You have done something incredible in these three weeks and you should be proud of yourself no matter what.

Now, take a deep breath. Hold it for a second and let it out slowly. It’s been a hard three weeks for most of us. Which means that is time to remind you about self-care.Which is why I want you to take a moment to take a good deep breath before diving back into your stories.

If you’re behind you probably feel like you don’t have time for this, but it’s important to make the time. Breathe with me and relax. As much as you want to make either the NaNoWriMo goal of 50K words or your own personal word count goal, it’s not the end of the world if you fall a little short. Take care of yourself first then worry about those numbers.

In the end, what really matters is that you made the effort. You wrote a lot of words.

Go you. 

Okay, time to get back to the writing for all of us!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ride the Rollercoaster

Time to sit back and enjoy the ride - even when it goes off the rails

Remember back on November 1 when I said that the weeks of NaNoWriMo tend to follow the same general track for most people? (If not read it here) Well, congratulations, you made it to week three. We’re at the halfway point now. In an ideal world, you should have 25,000 words by the end of today. Too bad this isn’t an ideal world. It’s scary as hell rollercoaster ride.
We all experience ups and downs in the writing process. You’ve been working yourself hard for two weeks here. You’ve written a lot of words even if you are nowhere near crossing 25K words today I want you to be proud.
Look at those words. Just look at them. You wrote those words in two weeks. That was all you and that is an awesome accomplishment. These are words that you may never have written if you hadn’t attempted to do NaNoWriMo.
If you listened to my advice in the above-referenced blog post, then you have been building a buffer of words for the days when the words don’t come so easily.

If you look to the right you will see my stats for 6 consecutive years. Some years, like 2011, I really needed that buffer. Not sure what happened, but I had some trouble going into week three. Some years I stated behind and picked up the pace. But in every single year you will notice that I have days where the words flowed like waterfall and days where I would have better luck getting blood from stone than words on the page.

We all have these days. Every year is a new kind of rollercoaster and I can never predict how my year is going to go. I've learned to accept that these low points happen. I hate them, but I accept them. I never beat myself up over the days where I just cannot make the words happen.
But those days where I can write? I write. When the words flow, I let them carry me away. Low days or high days makes no difference. In the end, I have written. Some years more than others.

This is me telling you that anything is possible. Ahead, behind, or on par - keep writing on. Not every day will go well, not ever year will go well, but you're squeezing out a few words. Focus on that. You are writing.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Benefits of Being Bad

How Terrible First Drafts Can Make You a Better Writer

It took me three attempts to end up with my first completed draft of a novel. Each failed attempt taught me something new about how to write. And I was excited when I finished the novel. So excited that I printed the whole thing off and started reading it.
It sucked.
If I am being honest, there were some great lines. A few nicely conceived scenes. I loved the characters, but the story itself has holes you could swim a whale through. Maybe a couple. In the end, I shelved that novel and some of those characters and scenes proved to be the basis for things that ended up in other novels.
I never focus on how bad this novel is because the important thing is that I learned a lot in this attempt. Lessons that have stuck with me over the years.

Being Bad is Good
When you let yourself be a terrible writer for the sake of finishing that first draft you learn the most important lesson of all. How to finish a first draft.
Awkward prose can be smoothed out. Rough scenes can be polished until they shine. Plot holes can be repaired. However, none of this can happen until that draft has been written.
We can only be good writers by starting out as bad writers. It’s a part of any learning process. You get better through practice, but you need to allow yourself to be a bad writer before you can be a good one.

You Got a Problem with That?
Not even joking here. Some people have a harder time letting themselves be bad for the sake of getting it written that I have encountered a lot of useful tricks over the years. I don’t use any myself
because I’m okay with being bad. Give some of these a try:
  • Type in a white font
  • Type in a font so small you can’t read it.
  • Turn off spell check features
  • Never read back on what you wrote
  • Type with your eyes closed.
  • Tilt your laptop screen to an angle where you can’t see it.
  • Write in unerasable pen if you're doing this by hand
  • Try using a program like 'Write or Die' or 'Written Kitten' to keep you focused on writing the words instead of the quality of what you're writing.
  • Word sprints or wars - engage your competitive bone to focus on writing faster instead of better. 
Got another suggestion? Leave it in the comments and help your fellow writers out. Editing is for later and now is for the writing.

And one last reminder before I let you go back to your draft-

Comparison is the Thief of Words
Don’t compare the words that you have put on the page with the images you have in your mind. Or to your favourite novels. Please, let this draft be bad. Let it be terrible and clunky and cringeworthy. Most importantly, let it exist.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


And GO!
Did you stay up until midnight just to get those first few words in? Not everyone does that, but I always do and I do it for a very good reason - life. Remember when I talked about that last week? Life happens to all of us.
For many people the first rush of creativity at the beginning of NaNo makes you want to rush to get those words on the page. Some people try to pace themselves. You do you, but if you’ve never done NaNoWriMo before or if you’ve never attempted a project like a novel then I’m going to give you a little advice based on how NaNoWriMo generally goes. As most veteran NaNoWriMo writers will tell you that for many the month will follow a general outline.
  • Week One is excitement - a new story! We’re writing. We’re creating. THIS IS GREAT!
  • Week two is hell - your novel sucks. The story sucks. You suck. This is the week where doubts often creep in.
  • Week three is distractions - you’ve been working hard and not playing. Your brain is looking for the shiny.
  • Week four is a mix of emotions - Excitement or panicked rush are common depending on how things are going. A lot of incredible feats of writing are accomplished in this week.
If you’re lucky you might not experience the rollercoaster as advertised, but week two and three tend to be where life gets in the way and people fall behind on their word count goals. This is when a lot of people give up. Don’t do that. You can do this. I believe in you so let me give you some advice.

Build a Buffer
While things are exciting and new, get that word count up there. Double, triple, quadruple your daily word count if you can. Build yourself a comfortable word buffer to fall into when things get rough.

Buffering Brains
Although not everyone has that initial rush. Some stare at that blank page in terror as it mocks them. They struggle to get started. Is this you? Is your brain looking a lot like a webpage that never loads? If it is you, I have advice for you as well.
Write a word. Just one word. Any word will do. Put another one after it. Now, try for another and another.
Part of NaNoWriMo is learning to turn off the inner editor that is constantly telling you how bad your writing is or how your prose is pathetic - or whatever yours says. Inner editors have their time and place, but that place is not when you're trying to write a first draft of a story because of one generally acknowledged truth of writing.
First drafts suck. Always. No exceptions. Some suck more than others, but no first draft is publishable. Editing is what makes a novel good. Right now, you just need to write that clunky and awkward prose. Use your crutch words liberally if you have to. Just write even if you write “My inner editor sucks’ over and over until they go away and leave you alone to write your draft in peace.

Okay, that’s enough procrastinating for you. Go put one word after another and start your novel!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The (Wo)Man with the Plan

Preparation is the key and it will look different for everyone.

Some people plan novels, some will plan meals, some will plan to trick others into doing their chores. No matter what, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you’re going to need some type of plan to get you through this insanity.

Novel Planning
Not everyone plans their novels and that is fine. Don’t ever let someone tell you there is only one right way to write a novel. Getting that out of the way, if you do prefer to plan your novel then get it done. Do your character sketches. Write your backgrounds. Do whatever you want to prepare yourself to write a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days.
You can do all the novel planning you want in any way you want.

Home Planning
I highly recommend thinking about this unless you are single and have servants to take care of you as you write, you need a plan here. Think about asking for help from supportive family and friends. Think about preparing freezer meals and slow cooker meals. Make a plan so that no one gets neglected - including yourself. Especially yourself. If you’ve never tried NaNoWriMo before then you should know that self-care during the gruelling month is critical.

Life Planning
School? Work? Life is a priority. Sometimes you can’t do much about life getting in the way of creativity. Do try to make sure you get the important things done in your life. Forgive yourself for those days when life doesn’t go as planned, but do try to make sure you leave room in your life for… well, life.

Other Planning
Do you like to write to music? Get those playlists put together. Anything you need to get through this month, think about it. Plan for it. Tendonitis? Make sure you have the items you need to be able to care for yourself to prevent a flare-up (because if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend at least one week of the month in a splint).

Make ‘Be Prepared’ your motto and try to plan ahead. Oh, and very important:
You have no idea how many times I have heard the story of lost novels because someone didn’t back up their work. Use cloud storage, an external hard drive or memory stick. Use them all if you want. Just make sure you have a plan to have your novel accessible in multiple ways. Trust me on this one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Depths of Darkness - Behind the Scenes

First off: Happy Book Birthday to Depths of Darkness

Today marks the the very first day of my second novel in print and in eBook format. This blog post isn't going to be about selling you my book, but I will put some links at the bottom of the page for those who are interested in buying a copy for themselves.
Today, this post is about telling you a few interesting details about my long-awaited second novel that many of you might not know.

Before I do that, I do want to take a moment to thank Mrs. Y for taking the time to review the ARC that I sent her. Please read her detailed review here.

Prequel, Sequel

One of the things that Mrs. Y. addressed in her review and something that has been commented on by others is how odd it is to write a prequel as a sequel. There are several reasons for this, some obvious, some not so much.
  1. I love backstories. Every time I write a new story, the first thing I do is work on my character backstories. These can get ridiculously detailed, but I find that to write good characters I need to understand what brought them to where they are today.
    What this means is that even when a story is intended as a standalone or first in a series, I have so much backstory in my head (rarely do I write anything down about backstories) that sometimes a story sparks for what happened before the current story. 
  2. I started writing this book first. You read that right. I actually started writing this story first. It's been through multiple rewrites and often put aside in frustration for years at a time. My first attempt at Depths of Darkness was in 2009, the first draft of Road to Redemption came in 2012. Depths of Darkness has changed considerably over the rewrites, but the ending, beginning and overall plot have remained pretty much the same. When the idea for Road to Redemption came along and it fit so well into the world of La Port, that I ran with it and I loved it. 
Why did it take so long to write?

Well, as Mrs. Y so aptly put it - this is a dark story. It is a terrifying story in many ways and deals with darker themes than I usually write. I always knew what I wanted the story to be, but that many years ago I did not have have the ability to write it well. By the time I did have the ability, I found it to be a very difficult story write.
This novel deals with issues of addiction and mental health, these are both topics that hit close to home in my world. There are many scenes where I just had to step back and take a break from writing because it was too much for me. Child murders? My brain was desperately looking for a way to make the kids "less real" and I did play with not having kids as the victims. Unfortunately for me, as Mrs. Y also noted, these dark things were necessary for the plot to proceed properly.
There were moments where I just had to force myself through the writing session to finish this book. It was hard to write. I will not lie about that.

I almost missed my deadline. 

It took me four months longer to finish the last draft of this novel than I had predicted it would because I kept  putting off writing it. When it came to editing, it was the same deal. There were moments when I just saved where I was, close my computer and thanked God that I don't typically have nightmares.
Thankfully, the wonderful and talented Sarah Jane Pounds (Find her on Twitter ) was willing to work with me on rushing it through the last stage of edits. Without her hard work this novel wouldn't be nearly so good a book.

Any Other Questions?
Feel free to drop a note in the comments and I will do my best to answer the questions.

Purchase Links:
Kindle & Print US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J43XHTV
Kindle & Print CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07J43XHTV
Print CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1726830608

Also available on your Kobo device.

PS: Yes, I am already planning the next novel in this series. It is currently untitled.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


You’re taking the plunge… but what does that mean?

YAY! You did it!
You signed up to take part in this crazy adventure! You may be scared or worried or wondering - now what? Well, let me tell you there is a lot you can do. It took my shy self a few years to realize there was a lot more to NaNoWriMo than a profile and some writing.

Forums (https://nanowrimo.org/forums)
There are a lot of forums to be found on NaNoWriMo ranging from the general forums to your regional forums. In the general forums, you will find distractions, advice, help, and places to chat with other writers in the genre(s) that you write. I highly recommend taking the time to read any “Stickied” posts before posting in a forum to make sure you don’t step on any toes. Make use of them because there is a wealth of knowledge in the NaNoWriMo community that you can tap into here. Just remember the cardinal rule - don’t be a jerk. This is an international community and there will be a lot of people who may have various issues with communication. So be kind, be tolerant and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.
Regional forums are ones that are specific to where you live. If you’re looking for people in your local community to get to know then go in search of your region. Here you can find all sorts of events that are arranged by participants and Municipal Liaisons (also known as MLs that are hard working volunteers for your area). Some areas even have regional IRC chat rooms as well.

IRC Chat
Not every region has this because it isn’t an official NaNoWriMo thing, but if you like IRC chat rooms then check out http://www.chatnano.net. This is server is maintained and run entirely by volunteers. Most regional chats don’t mind you dropping in to say ‘hi’ - truth be told you might be overwhelmed by your reception. It’s also a great place to find word sprints (sometimes known as word wars) to help get you writing in November.

Just a quick word, go ahead and fill out your profile and novel information. Have some fun with it. I’ve slowly been developing mine over the last 10 years and it really has changed a lot. Although I do like my current format.

Beyond the website
A lot of people wonder how much they can do before starting writing during November and the answer is simple. Whatever you want to do. You can do a detailed outline of any kind if that is your thing. Character profiles, storyboards, aesthetics, world building. Heck, some people even continue writing an existing novel (this is known as being a NaNo Rebel) and they count the words they write during November. This is an honour system. We are trusting you to be honest and only count legitimate words you write during November. Besides, why lie? The only real prize is the pride of
having written.

Prep Events
Lots of regions and even NaNoWriMo itself hold prep events. This is usually targeted more at the people that like to put some planning into their novels. However, if you pants your novels there may be a few ideas and suggestions on different ways to prepare for the insane month of NaNoWriMo. However, take a look around and see what fun can be found.

There are a bunch of  regions across the world that also take part in a little side adventure called The Wrimoverse. You can check it out here.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Important Announcement!

This weekend the official announcement was made on my young adult fantasy novel Feathers and Fae. I am so excited to show you the incredible cover and official blurb for this wonderful novel. (I may be biased in this opinion).

Emmett and Kami have always been best friends, but Emmett’s shadowy past catches up with him when a dark force chases them into the realm of Mythos. In this strange world, Kami is suddenly able to tell whether a person is being honest or not, and she discovers that everything Emmett has ever told her was a lie – even his name.
Despite this, Emmett needs Kami to trust him enough to get her back to safety as the dangerous journey ahead puts their friendship to the test. As dark forces close in on them, the web of lies Emmett has built begins to unravel and Kami demands the truth; a truth that will shake the foundations of everything she ever believed.

This title will be available from Kyanite Publishing​
 Release date: October 11, 2019

Please take the time to check out some of the other incredible titles that are available through Kyanite Publishing and more of their upcoming novels! 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The NaNoWriMo in the Room

You’ve heard of it, but what is NaNoWriMo?

The Basics

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November and welcomes writers of all stripes to write 50,000 words within the month. It’s not a contest, your prize is pride and 50,000 words towards a first draft. Over the period of thirty days this breaks down to 1667 words a day. Now if you want just want the basics then you should check out the FAQs (https://nanowrimo.org/faq) on the website. If you want an insider's view of how it works, stick around.

Not so Basics
I am going to say this once and I want you to take this to heart.


Yes, lots of people have published their novels (after significant editing) and many people use NaNoWriMo to help write the first draft of their novels. The goal of NaNoWriMo itself, though, is to have fun while challenging yourself. This is not a contest. This is not life or death. It is a personal writing challenge. In the end, all that really matters is that you tried.

NaNoWriMo is about the act of creating, not the perfection of prose. Everything can be edited (after November) except the empty page. NaNoWriMo helps you fill that page. It takes the ‘I want to write a novel someday’ into ‘I wrote a novel’. For many people, myself included, it is the thing that makes you realize that you can write a novel. There are a lot of aspects to doing NaNoWriMo besides attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days. One of the greatest things that you will find is the social aspect. It may strike you as odd that the social aspect is a key component to succeeding at NaNoWriMo for a lot of people. Writing is generally considered a solitary activity, but NaNoWriMo makes it a social one.

If you came here from Twitter, you might already have come to the realization that a community of writers can really rev the engine of creativity. They can encourage you on days when the words come slow and cheer you on when you’re having good writing days. Perhaps you’ve even taken part in a writing sprint or two. This is something that NaNoWriMo promotes - the aspect of a cooperative community among writers.

Have I convinced you yet?

Okay, I’m not really trying to convince you to take part in NaNoWriMo. If you came here because you were curious you might already be sitting on the fence about taking part. If that’s the case, let me tell you something. My first NaNoWriMo was back in 2008. I signed up to do it on October 28 with a vague idea for a story I really wanted to write. It took me over a month to decide to even do it from the day someone first told me all about it. The thought that finally convinced me to give a try was ‘Why not?’

Seriously, why not? Is there a really good reason not to try? I couldn’t think of one and that is why I decided to do. When you boil everything down - if you want to write a novel you need to write. A novel starts at a first draft and, most people will tell you that first drafts suck. They are meant to be bad because this is just you telling yourself the story you want to write.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Depths of Darkness is Available!

Depths of Darkness is my follow up novel to Road to Redemption and the second book in the Saints and Sinners Series. 

Iain was one of the best detectives when it came to strange cases that plagued the city of La Port. After the death of his family led to a breakdown, he was forced into retirement. Six months later he is dragged back in by the lure of a mysterious case involving the ritual eath of multiple children and he is quickly thrust into the dark, supernatural underbelly of the city.

As he strives to understand this dangerous new world, a demon is trying to tear it all part. Can he trust Ruby Champagne long enough to help her stop the demon from opening the seal on the portal or is he already too late?

Available for pre-order now on Kindle and Kobo
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J43XHTV
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07J43XHTV
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/depths-of-darkness-2

Paperback will be available on Amazon within several days of the release date for the book on October 23, 2018

This novel has been a long time coming for me. Road to Redemption was first published in 2016 and I have learned a lot about writing since that first novel. I've made several attempts at writing this story, but it took a good solid push over this last year or so to really make it happen.

This story verges more towards horror than the previous novel. I hope you enjoy this darker walk through the City of La Port with me.

And, thank you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#PWPoePrompts #BoostMyBio

Although I have been trying hard to find someone who is interested in Feathers & Fae (and I am still awaiting a few responses), I have decided that I will try to take part in Pitch Wars mentoring program. After all, there is still so much more that I need to learn - not just about the industry, but a writer should never stop learning how to improve at their craft.

So, without further ado, I present to you, me and my novel.

Who in the world is Crystal L. Kirkham?

Writer, graphic designer, parent to two pups and willing servant to feline overlady. Rumours say I have a heart in a jar on my desk. Rumours forget to mention the bottle of reader's tears right next to it.

All such things aside, let us start with a few facts.

- I am 37 years old
- I currently live in rural Alberta, Canada. My hamlet is home to less than 200 people.
- Most of my life revolves around my dogs, Treble (a standard poodle) and Nahni (an Australian shepherd), and my 19-year-old feline overlady, Missy (better known as The Princess).

My love of writing started when I was just a wee thing. I wrote a story about a caterpillar when I was in Grade 2. My teacher told me how much she loved it. I never looked back. I've always wanted to be a writer, but at some
point, someone convinced me that I needed to find a real job and save writing as 'something to do the side'. I tried to do that, meandering through college taking political science, then biotechnology and finally web technologies (web design). I never finished any of them.

And, at some point, I stopped writing.

When I was in my late 20's dreaming about writing but not actually writing, I was introduced to the concept of NaNoWriMo. On October 30 of 2008, I bit the bullet and gave it a try. I never finished that novel, but I crossed the 50K word mark. I haven't stopped writing since. Since then I have completed a handful of full-length novels, one novella and a few pieces of flash fiction.

Oh yeah, this is me:

So, this novel, what's it about?

I'm just going to back up and tell you something interesting about FEATHERS & FAE. It started as a NaNoWriMo challenge with friends. Three random, unrelated prompts were given to a few of us. Our story had to incorporate all three prompts. I received my prompts on noon of October 31st.
These prompts were:

And, yes, all these elements made it into the story. And, even after umpteen million edits, they are all a part of the story still.

We repeat, what is it ABOUT?

FEATHERS & FAE is a standalone young adult fantasy novel. However, there is potential for it to be developed into a series. Our story focuses on the friendship between Emmett and Kami, starting in our own world in the town of Blakely Grove. However, the story quickly takes you on a journey into the realm of Mythos. A place where all the creatures of myth and legend live.
While the focus is on Emmett and Kami, the story expands to include Jewel, a seer, and Bob, a yeti. It’s a fun cast of diverse personalities, wrought with secrets and lies – and a very handsome villain who will stop at nothing to reach his goal – destroying Emmett and Kami. Oh, and ruling over all the five realms – Mundialis, Mythos, Immortui, Anabasa, and Castus.

I am still trying to get better at writing synopses. So, forgive me if it doesn’t sound as enchanting as the novel is.

Emmett and Kami have always been best friends, but Emmett has a secret. Part of that secret is that he sees it as his job to keep Kami safe. Not that she makes it easy on him. When a dark fae chases them down, Emmett doesn’t hesitate to do what he has always done – protect her. In his rush to keep her safe they are transported from their quiet home in Blakely Grove to the realm of Mythos.

In this strange new world, Kami can tell when people are lying and almost everything that Emmett has told her since they woke up in Mythos has been a lie – even his name. As the lies and secrets pile up and the threat of the dark fae known as the Erlkrönig grows closer, she demands the truth. A truth that will shake the foundations of everything she ever believed.

What makes this novel special?

For me, it’s the characters and how their relationship changes and develops over the course of the journey that takes you from forest to peat bog to the frozen mountaintops. It’s a slow and deliberate reveal of the secrets that Emmett is hiding and the lies he tells to protect those with him. Although, you can be the judge of whether the lies did more harm or good in the end.

Pitch it, baby.

FEATHERS & FAE summed up in a single line?
When a dark fae from Emmett’s past chases him and his BFF Kami into the realm of Mythos, the world of lies that Emmett created begins to unravel and Kami is about to discover that neither of them are who they seem to be.  
And just for fun…
Here are a couple of aesthetics that might hopefully pique your interest a little more. These feature our key protags on one and our delightful villain on the other.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 15, 2018

I'm a Bad Blogger

If you haven't figured it out already, I am terrible at remembering to post in my blog. I suppose, most of the time, I don't think that I have much of interest to write here. I mean, I know I can talk about anything I want here. This is my space.

Except my life consists of work. Writing. My fur-babies.

So, like always, a bit of an update on where my writing is sitting. Since that is really what we are all here for. Right?

Feathers & Fae

I have queried several agents since the story has gone through multiple editing stages and other than the tiniest of tweaks, it is finished. I am really excited about this story. So keep your fingers crossed that someone replies to my queries. I've put in a lot of hard work on this and I would love to be able to get the story out there.

Depths of Darkness

I am still picking away at this story. I`m getting closer to have the first draft finished and then I will be pushing it through edits above everything out to have it ready to go for this fall - like I have said I would. I am not backing down now, but we are hitting busy season at work. This means I am lot more tired which can often translate into less writing.

Still, I am going to get this done. I promise. In the meantime, another little aesthetic for you.

Other Writing

I have made a few decisions regarding what is coming next. I have decided that I might put Tomorrow's Past on hold for a little bit, but I am still determined to write. It just needs a bit more time until I am ready for it.

I have alse been plotting a new YA High Fantasy series. So far I have 3 - 4 books vaguely planned in my head. As soon as Depths of Darkness is done, I will be looking into developing this idea more fully. It's not a type of work that I have seen before and I have yet to find a contemporary for this subgenre. I am thinking that it will be an incredible story.

Not to mention that those few I have trusted with this new idea have been even more excited than I have been about it.

I have a couple of other things that I am working on in the back of my head and I few things that have been lifted from slushpile back into the "I could work with this" status due to unexpected feedback and ideas. However, I will talk about those another time. Promise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

One Step Closer

I haven't forgotten about those few of you who read my blog. I've just been consumed with editing and writing and building up my social media following.

I've been working a lot with more knowledgeable writers than myself so that I can be a better writer and a better marketer of my books. I've been learning more about different aspects of the industry in preparation for going with traditional publishing for Feathers & Fae.

Speaking of which, after all these rounds of edits I have added at 31K words to the length of the original draft. That is... a lot of words. Right now I am waiting on one last read through from my incredible beta reader before I send it on to my just as amazing editor in early June.

I've been learning about creating novel aesthetics as well. As you can see, here is a little teaser for Feathers and Fae that I created. I haven't done a lot on this novel in regards to image creation, but it's been fun learning how to do this and other promotional type things.

I have also been hard at work on Depths of Darkness. I have been sincerely picking away that storyline, working out plot twists and all that fun stuff. I am hoping to have the first draft finished within the next 30 days or so and then I will be moving straight into editing and revision stage since I am expecting to release this novel sometime this fall.

Which means, of course, I have been working on promoting it within my social media accounts as well. I'm really hoping you all enjoy this darker story in the Sinners & Saints series.

Other than that, those that enjoy my work, I have now joined Ko-Fi which is a way for those who appreciate me and the work I do to donate a few dollars to help me out. Right now, that money is going to go towards helping me get a new laptop that doesn't shut down at random and inopportune moments. It would be nice to do my writing without fearing that I may lose it all if I look at my computer the wrong way. So feel free to...
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Other than all of that, I have been working on plotting out a new YA trilogy of a style that I don't believe has been done before. It's going to be exciting developing this unique world and characters. I wish I could tell you more about it, but until things are more set in stone, this fantasy series is going to remain on the side of hush-hush.

Friday, April 13, 2018

May I have a word?

I noticed that it's been about a month since my last blog post. Feathers and Fae has been completed and is soon to be shipped off to my editor and then to a publisher. YAY! I am one step closer to getting that book published.

So that means I have spent most of the intervening time working on other things.

And by other things, I mean I took a vacation to visit my family. They were surprised. My mom cried. It was awesome.

And I am working on Depths of Darkness.

No joke. I started from scratch doing a total revision of what had been written previously. I am pretty much at the spot where I ended the last novel, but I am 12K words ahead of where that previous attempt sat at and there is still a bit more of the old work to get through.

I also released the official and FINAL version of the Depths of Darkness cover.

Let me tell you, this cover makes me excited. I seriously get butterflies in my heart looking at it. It took a lot of work and some feedback from my glomp of writers, but I am happy. (Obviously).

Want to see it? Yeah, of course you do. I would never just wax on about something like this without actually showing you what it looks like.

 Do you like it as much as I do?

Anywho, back to the writing of this novel I go. It is scheduled to be released this fall, but I can't publish what isn't edited and I can't edit what isn't written.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Why would you want to be a writer?

Today I edited just over four chapters worth of Feathers & Fae. I was up and at my computer this morning by 7am. It's nearly 8pm now. Seems like a lot, doesn't it? That was my Saturday because Monday through Friday I work at a normal job to pay my mortgage and bills.

I'm sure you probably did something a lot more interesting. I drank coffee. I ate easy, but unhealthy food. My head and back ache. And I am worried that all this work will be for nothing. That no one will pick up the book and it will never be read.

It's silly right?

Except, it's not. This is what it means to be a writer. Not everyone is going to be Stephen King or JK Rowling. Most writers aren't going to have that kind of success. Putting in countless hours on a novel that may never see the light of day is a very real possibility.

So why do I even want to do this?

Because I am a writer. I can live with the weekends lost to unpaid work. I can live with crappy diet. I can live with the intense fear and insecurity because I would rather be doing nothing else. I am a writer. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Time Flies When You're Stressing Out

Sometimes - far more often than any of us would like to admit - life throws you a curve ball. My new year has been a bit of a curveball.

And you know what? That's okay. That's life. It happens. I can't beat myself up over that.

My truck broke down mid-road trip. I had to buy a car that I cannot afford. Seriously. No lie. The entire car payment is how much into the negative I go every month right now. You might see how that could be a little stressful.

And to be honest, the last thing on my mind was writing. However, I seem to be doing much better as I've been working through editing a couple of chapters a day on Feathers & Fae. I am really excited a about this. Of course, in the process of editing I also happened to realize that I totally glossed over something I had been hinting at for a couple of chapters previous. Oops!

Tonight I shall be working on correcting that slight omission. With luck I shall have this over to my incredible editor to look over it.

One last thing before I bid you all a goodnight and get to working on this novel - I would like to introduce you to the newest member of my family.

This is Nahni.

She is a 10 month old Australian Shepherd that came to me from a not so great situation.

It's been less than a week, but I would like to think that we are starting to bond. It's going to be tough goinng as she has never had the chance to be a real member of a family before. Even the stairs were new and scary for her, but that's alright. She's a smart little cookie.

I am eager to see how she grows over the next few months. Watch for more pictures of her on my instagram feed!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.... In my case, that means it is time to get writing!