Some Dark Turns

First a bit of news rolling in for the new year! If you want to be part of the Blog Tour for The She-Wolf of Kanta, be sure to sign up here with YA Bound Book Tours! The dates will be from February 5th through 9th and since this will be my first Blog Tour, I’m excited! (And nervous, but that’s a given, right?)

Next up I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my latest WIP. The tone this time is very dark though, darker than I think either of my other books, and that’s saying something! Let’s just say that I’ve started keeping track of monsters at this point, and they’re far more terrifying in text than just in my little doodles. Ya’ll seriously don’t want to see those…

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 33,511

Progress:
Everything is wrong, nothing has worked, and now Dahlia is once again in the Seeking, only this one has no rules.

Next Up:
Shaky safety, some bad decisions, and a few good ones.

Commentary:
Dahlia is turning into quite the survivor in this book, and I’m pleased, even though I feel a little bad with how terrible things are getting for her. That’s normal for any YA novel right, especially if it’s a horror novel? She’s very good at finding ways of escaping though, which is definitely a benefit to her here. I honestly don’t know what the outcome will be for her at this point, but I have a good idea where it’s generally going. Right now, I’m just letting her take the reigns and lead me, even though she’s not in the best mental state to do that right now.

Coming up, it’s time to come down off this adrenaline high and realize fully what’s happened. She’s been fighting off that realization for a while, but that never really lasts.

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Looking Back on 2017

Despite the political turmoil of 2017, it was actually a really great year for me. Even though I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed at work since I’m basically defining the new role I’m in, I’ve been able to make up for it in writing, cosplay, and trips.

In January I went to my first out of state Con in Alabama, where I met some amazing new cosplay friends. This was also when we debuted out first CMV and created Black Knight Productions Cosplay. I met even more great new friends at SeishunCon in February, and in April I got to debut a new cosplay: Luka Macken from Black Butler.

At the beginning of May, I was able to announce my first novella publication (that wasn’t self-published) with Radiant Crown Publishing. This was the first time I was able to successfully negotiate a contract that wasn’t for a short story (after having to get an attorney involved on a previous one – that’s a whole other story.) It was so refreshing to have a contract be offered that was so pro-author, and it’s been wonderful working with Olivia and her team so far. I’m looking forward to The She-Wolf Of Kanta coming out on April 17th!!

MomoCon came storming along in May, and Luka was welcomed by a much bigger Con. Plus we got to do our first panel of the year on That Butler, the Musical. Promotion for my novella kept rolling along and by this point I was doing interviews for it.

In June I got the chance to visit Mexico, Honduras, and Belize on a cruise. It was a blast! I had such a wonderful time, despite a few complaints about the cruise liner. As soon as we got back, we went to see Book of the Atlantic in theaters, and had that whole fiasco where the film reel was lost. 🙄 Long story short, once we told Funimation about it, they got a new showing put up for us. It was a few months later, but it was wonderful to see in theaters!

By the end of June there was a cover reveal and a giveaway for SWoK (making it all the more real!) and two beautiful maps for SWoK got released as well. By the time DragonCon rolled around, I had both Scarecrow and Pajama William T. Spears being debuted on top of us doing two panels. We did an encore of That Butler, The Musical and also did Black Butler: Upstairs, Downstairs.

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r the DragonCon hype died down, I created a unique Halloween costume I called the Black-Feathered Queen (that I never got the chance to wear 😢). I also finalized Seto Kaiba (sans coat) for AWA. He went over really well! Kelley and I did our first professional photoshoot with Fairyluna Photography and it was a wonderful experience.

Right before Thanksgiving I negotiated the second contract for the year: one for my debut novel Stolen which is scheduled to release from Parliament House Press in 2018. I’m super thrilled to be working with them and have learned quite a bit about marketing from them already. Like I said before, 2018 is going to be BIG.

Finally in December we got to go to Disney World again, which we always love regardless of how often we visit. Even though it was cold and we had some trouble at the hotel we stayed at, it’s Disney, so we got compensated. They even thanked us for pointing out flaws when we checked out. I also helped organize a family photoshoot with Fairyluna again, which only made us want to schedule more down the road.

All in all, I’m grateful for the new friends, the new experiences, and the new knowledge I found in 2017. If 2018 is even half as good as this year was (again, an exception for the political climate), I’llbe happy. I wish y’all the very best for 2018, and who knows, maybe our paths may cross – if not at a convention, then maybe at least in book form. 😉

Narrator for SWoK!

Y’all know I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. I’ve listened to several of them on my commute this year, from Stephen Kong’s IT to The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. So I was super pleased to find out that my awesome publisher, Radiant Crown Publishing, wanted to publish The She-Wolf of Kanta in audiobook format too!

I’m happy to announce that Kyra McFarland will be narrating the audiobook, and I honestly couldn’t be happier! She has a wonderful voice and does excellent voices to match the sound of the characters. I’m looking forward to hearing her bring my characters to life.

To learn more about Kyra, check out her website at: http://www.kyramcfarland.com/

Building that suspense!

So it’s been a little bit, I know. The holidays are always a busy time of year. Plus I went down to Disney for a week, and the prep and recovery for that always takes some mental bandwidth. This week at work is super tough though because I’ve got the writing itch bad!

I finally was able to carve out some time to work on this novel some more and oh my goodness, it’s been a wild ride! There’s been vandalism, lots of tears, reunions, and now this epic tragedy that’s about to unfold. I admit, I can’t wait.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 31,243

Progress:
Family reunions aren’t as pretty as we want them to be, and it sure does seem like secrets are being kept. Now the Ritual is coming up, but things are looking really unusual. What could be wrong?

Next Up:
The big turning point. For real.

Commentary:
Look at that – over 30k words on this novel! I’m so pleased!

I think I’m finally figuring out the various ways this could end and none of them are pretty. I’ll certainly need to figure out those details soon though cause things are getting down to the wire. I usually start writing with a Plan but then become a Pants writer partway through, and I think I’m seeing where I want it to go.

Dahlia has some major trouble coming up, and unfortunately this is only the beginning of more. I sometimes wish I could apologize to my characters for all the rocks I throw at them!

Also I was part of the Parliament House Press Author Chat on Saturday! Sure, I was riding in the back of a van on an 8-hour road trip, but I was able to answer a number of questions. Go check it out on Twitter at #ParliamentLitChat – we had a blast!

Finally I’m participating in #IGwritersDec over on Instagram right now. Each day I post something about my writing process that goes along with the list of prompts for December, whether that’s a photo of things I keep on my writing desk, an epic selfie, or my writing goals for 2018. Hope to see you there!

The curious things I keep on my desk!