Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Evin is out in the world! Here's where to find your copy.


Eva has never seen the Forest of Evin, but her fate and the fate of the Forest may be intertwined. Sinister forces seek to pull the Forest apart, and Eva may be the only one who can save it. Eva must travel between worlds to keep the Forest together—but the Forest of Evin thrums with power and the force tearing it apart may not be the only danger.

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:…/…/B01JUT8H56/ref=sr_1_1…
Amazon CA:…/…/B01JUT8H56/ref=sr_1_1…
Amazon AU:…/ref=sr_1_1…
Barnes and Noble (Paperback and Hardcover only):…

Be sure to leave a review of the book when you finish with it.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 28, 2016


The beta readers for project 2016 are starting to send me their comments, which means that it's time to start revisions.

Response to the project has been pretty positive so far. There's still some work that needs to be done, as I expected, but the reaction has been better than I expected and I might not have to redo as much as I had thought.

My relationship with my first drafts is complicated. On the one hand, they hold a special place in my heart. They represent my first steps into a world. They're the way I really get to know my characters. I'm able to experiment a little more in a first draft, since I know that there's plenty of time to go back and figure out what works and what doesn't.

On the other hand, I have to be a little detached from these first drafts. I mentioned in my post about beta reading that I don't assume that anything that shows up in the first draft will make it to the second. The cutting process between draft one and draft two is not unlike a George R.R. Martin novel--literally anything, anyone can go.

Normally, I don't mind this so much. Dropping passages may sting, but I'm usually able to find some way to keep a nugget of the passage. The original prologue for Evin got cut in the first round of revisions, but I was able to work parts of it back in in ways that served the story better. Characters might have lost some lines, but they still got to be present, even if only in passing.

Project 2016 is already a little different from Evin. It's been cooking longer, so I've had more time to work through the story and to pin down the characters. That's probably part of why the first draft is more cohesive on the whole than Evin's was. It's also going to be why making cuts will hurt more this time.

Reaction to project 2016 has been great. But there's one thing that the readers seem to keep pointing out. And if it's coming from multiple readers, it can't be a fluke.

It looks like one of my characters--one of these folks that I've lived with for years now--isn't going to make it to the next draft.

It's not the worst thing that could happen, I guess. The character in question is pretty easily merged with one of the existing characters, and meshing the two together will eliminate one character that's not pulling their weight while building up the one that remains. There doesn't seem (so far, at least) to be any major story issues with the draft, so the plot's not going to need a huge overhaul. As far as "back to the drawing boards" go, it's not a bad one.

But it's going to be strange. Like I said, project 2016 and its characters have been with me for a long time. It might be best for the story to say goodbye to one of them, but that doesn't mean that I'll like it.

I may find another place for the character to live. There's a lot in the world of the story that I haven't explored, and while I hadn't initially planned on spending more than one novel in this particular setting, the more I think about it, the more I think I'd like to come back. Maybe he can be fleshed out in another narrative. Who knows?

Cutting from a story is never easy, and I can't say that I'm looking forward to it. But it is a necessary part of the process--and I am looking forward to having a final, polished draft of project 2016.

Monday, August 22, 2016


I'm in that weird writing limbo again. Drafts of Project 2016 are out with readers, outlines for the next projects are still nebulous, and Evin is out in the world, so there's not a lot of heavy work going on as far as novels go--which is just as well. My day job has started back up, so I can use a little bit of a break. I'm still writing every day (barring a couple days where migraines made me useless), but it's low-impact stuff.

My focus lately, since I'm not at a point where I can bury myself in working on a novel, has been on trying to ensure Evin's success. I mentioned last week how readers can help with their reviews. (A couple of you have left reviews that have been very kind, and thank you for that.) And while word of mouth from readers and reviews on Amazon and the like are a huge boon, I know that I can't rely on you guys to do all of the work.

I have to figure out how to promote my book. But here's the thing:

I've never been really great at self-promotion. Generally, I prefer to let my work speak for itself. In other areas of my life, this works just fine. Need to know if I can act? Let me do an audition and you can see for yourself. Want to see if I can organize your paperwork? Give me a sample set to deal with. But Evin can't speak for me if people don't read it. I have to do the legwork and get it in front of people's faces.

It's a strange balance, trying to promote my work without being pushy or obnoxious or self-important. And I'm frankly not very good at managing that balance. I've sent out emails to people with whom I have pretty tenuous connections suggesting that they pick up my book or order it for their library. My Twitter, which has typically been the place where I talk about pop culture and politics has been doing double duty as an advertising account (again, my apologies to people who followed me for things like live-tweeting episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or observations about comics).

There have been a lot of emails and requests that have gone without response--which is not really out of line with what I expected. People are busy and may not remember the kid that used to hang out in the library ten years ago.

But there has been some forward movement. A couple of my emails have been answered, and there's the potential for some coverage for Evin and some events for me (as always, watch the Facebook page for updates on that). And Foundations has promotions assistants that are helping to get the word out.

So much of this publishing journey has been me sailing through strange waters. Through most of it, I've managed to find enough familiarity to not feel too adrift. With promotions though, I'm glad to have the extra guidance, because I am well and truly out of my depth.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


And so it's happened. My book is out in the world.

There's a part of me--the part prone to flights of fancy, the part that is most useful for writing and that gets SO IN THE WAY for every other aspect of my life--that expected immediate change in my life. Sales through the roof. Frenzied demands for my next book. The ability to, if not walk away from my day job, to at least be able to arrange my schedule comfortably.

But I'm a first time author published through a new and small (though growing, certainly) publishing company. The realistic part of me (the one that is, thankfully, louder most of the time) knew--still knows-- that I'm probably not going to be breaking any sales records. This isn't the book that changes my life, that lets me shed all identities but author.

The dream would have been nice, but I'm about where I expected to be. I'm selling copies mostly to people I know, though there have been a few people outside that circle that have picked up my book, and I've got a couple of book festivals lined up. I won't make the best sellers list, but maybe, when I go to agents and publishers with Project 2016 (which should be within the next month or two, if you were wondering), I'll have a modestly successful book behind me.

But even hitting that benchmark is going to take work.

I don't normally do calls to action on the blog. It's more where I work through my anxieties in the hope that maybe talking about my experiences will help me figure out how to deal with them--or tell someone else feeling similar things that they aren't alone. But frankly, I need some help. And if you've stuck around this blog long enough to be reading this, you might be interested in helping.

The actual point at which a book published by a small press is said to have had good sales varies--it depends on the press, on the genre, on the expectations at signing. I've seen numbers ranging from 100 to 1000 to 3000. Whatever the number is, it's pretty clear that I won't hit it if I'm just selling copies to friends and family. The book has to get in front of other people. This is where you come in.

Word of mouth is great. Tell whoever you want about my book! I have very little in the way of an advertising budget, so other people recommending  Evin is great.

The best thing that you can do as far as getting Evin out there is to review it. On Amazon, on Barnes & Noble, on Goodreads--wherever you have the option.

The reason is simple: the more reviews a book has, the more people see it. On Amazon, for instance, a book has to hit about 50 reviews before it starts showing up in the "people also viewed" or "people also bought" lists. If Evin makes it to those lists, the circle of people who might read it grows.

Reviews don't have to be sonnets or deep analyses of the work. A simple "I liked it" does just as much as a five-paragraph essay.

If you read the book, if you liked the book, do me a favor and leave a review. Getting to that 50 mark will open up so many more possibilities.

And if you wanted to know where Evin is now

Well, we've got a ways to go.

Thanks to everyone who's bought a copy of Evin so far. If you haven't snagged one yet, links to places to order it are in a list on the side of this page. Also, if you haven't already, check out my author page on Facebook. Not only will you be the first to know when new blog posts go up, you'll also get an early glimpse at some of the things I'm working on and news about up coming events (and there are a couple in the next two months).

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Evin comes out tomorrow.

And it all seems kind of unreal, even though the announcement is up on the publisher's website.

But I still don't quite believe it.

I'm essentially a ball of nerves doused in coffee even under the best of circumstances, so the prospect of this thing that I've created going out into the world has me feeling--well, feeling. Lots of things.

I'm excited. I've dreamed of being a "real author" ever since I figured out what an author was. This is the fruition of years of work learning the craft, piecing together the narrative, writing and rewriting. And this thing that I threw so much time and effort into has seen success. People who don't know me, who have never met me, have put their confidence in my work and are trying to get it in front of other people's eyes. I can't say that I'm not looking forward to adding published author to my list of accomplishments.

I'm also terrified. There is a part of me that is convinced that this is all a mistake. This part of me has been waiting for an email saying "Sorry, this was all a mistake" since I signed the contract back in May, waiting for something to indicate a loss of confidence from the publisher. And all of those nerves are nothing compared to the nightmare scenarios I've been imagining about readers.

It all comes back to one question I've been asking myself over and over: what if my book actually sucks?

I'm pretty proud of Evin. It's not perfect--no book is. It's not the best thing I could write now, but it was at the time that I wrote it. The handful of people that have already read it have reacted positively. And the publisher accepted it without asking for story changes.

But my imposter syndrome tends to shove all of that out of my mind. I convince myself that the book is going to fail. That I'll never be able to get anything I write taken seriously again.

There's no way for me to predict what will happen after Evin hits the figurative shelves tomorrow. It probably won't be as bad as I fear. It probably won't be as good as I hope. That I'll be a nervous mess through today and tomorrow is really the only thing that's guaranteed. But, if I make it through--and, if I'm being honest, I expect I will--then I plan to keep at it.

My first book comes out tomorrow. With any luck, it won't be my last.