I’m a Married Woman Now!

15337375_10154795436617264_2890215680535555652_n          On December 3rd, at 1:00 P.M., I married my best friend and the best partner a woman could ever ask for at the Catholic Church where I grew up, was baptized, and received my first sacraments. This year has been insane, what with all the planning, the moving, the preparing and just the general anxiety that comes with taking such a huge step in one’s life… and now that it’s all over, I couldn’t be happier. I told my husband (squee! Still so fun to say!) when we were beginning to come back from our honeymoon that I was just as excited to go home with him and be a family as I was to fly to Ireland and Italy for our

This year has been insane, what with all the planning, the moving, the preparing and just the general anxiety that comes with taking such a huge step in one’s life… and now that it’s all over, I couldn’t be happier. I told my husband (squee! Still so fun to say!) when we were beginning to come back from our honeymoon that I was just as excited to go home with him and be a family as I was to fly to Ireland and Italy for our 10 day vacation. (Which is saying a lot, considering the fact that we got to see the Pope as sposii novellii). This man has been my rock for the past four years. He encourages me to keep writing, to keep trying, even when I don’t believe in myself anymore. He helps me stick to my goals, and to my beliefs- even if he doesn’t share those goals or those beliefs. If I want to lose weight, he helps me do it healthily, even if he says he thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. If I start being lax with my faith, he reminds me to go to church or say the prayers I promised to pray, even though he himself is atheist. He makes me a better me- and he claims I do the same for him.

I am beyond excited to be starting this new year with a new husband. I’ll also be starting a new job, working as a youth minister at a church near me. This will fortunately free up a lot more time for me to be writing and promoting myself as a writer, as I will be getting a much more flexible schedule (and a lot of work-from-home projects as well). I’ll be writing more, editing more, scheduling more appearances and talks and just generally putting all of my time and energy into building the life that I believe me and my family are meant for. Just as I knew I was called to be my husband’s wife from the moment I met him, I’ve always known I was meant to be a mother and a writer. And with him by my side, I hope to be more faithful to those callings than ever before.

Here’s to a fruitful, enlightening, and beautiful Christmas season after this amazing Advent!

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New Review: “Well-Written Story”

Got a new review for The Thing About Apples by Goodreads user Batya7:

The Thing About Apples was a well-written story about a high school student who has undiagnosed Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder. She lives with an uncaring father and an abusive step-mother. The bright spots in her reality are her friends, a loyal, supportive circle of students who bring happiness to her tortured life.

Although I found the step-mother’s end story a bit unbelievable (I don’t want to write any spoilers), I really liked this book. I could put myself in her place, feel the veracity of the sensory difficulties she experienced.

Moreover, there is a positive message, how we should accept people for who they are, and not what we want them to be.

Thank you, Batya7! I am glad that the book was able to have you putting yourself in Ann’s shoes- this was something that was very important to me in writing the story in the first place.

If you haven’t read The Thing About Apples yourself, there’s still plenty of time to order your copy in time for the holidays from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher!

Five Star Review: Do Not Be So Quick To Judge

Got my first text review of The Thing About Apples on Goodreads, by reader Kathy Church. She says:

I have enjoyed reading this book. It is the story of Ann who has Asperger’s Syndrome. I have a friend whose granddaughter also has Asperger’s Syndrome. This has helped to me to have a better understanding of the way that people think and feel about other people. I would recommend this book to everyone. Please do not be so quick to judge those who may be different than yourself.
Thank you for enjoying Ann and her story, Kathy! One of the big reasons I wrote this book was to get this very reaction from readers.
Haven’t read it yourself? What are you waiting for? The Thing About Apples is available in paperback and e-book form from my publisher, Amazon and Barnes & Noble now!

Thing About Apples Giveaway: Complete!

Congratulations to the winners of signed copies of The Thing About Apples: 

Steven Ridgley

Kathy Church

Linda Gawthrop

Susan Doerr

Batya Moses

Your copies will be in the mail no later than the end of the Labor Day Weekend!

Don’t have your copy yet? Head on over to the website to get your copy from the publisher, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Or use the contact form to get to me directly if you would like a signed copy of your own!

RELEASE DAY: The Thing About Apples

It’s here! It’s finally here! The release day for The Thing About Apples is here! Thank you so much for everyone who has gotten me here- my family, my friends, my fiance, and the wonderful family at eLectio publishing…

Head on over to my publisher’s website to pick up one of the first copies of this Snow White re-telling through an autistic lens. Buying the paperback ensures that you get the eBook copy for free!

And if you’re wanting a signed copy, feel free to pop on over to my contact page to let me know. I’ll be getting my author copies ordered in soon, and I’ll make sure to get one signed just for you!

wraparound

Women’s Fiction No Longer

I never really thought I’d start my writing career with ‘women’s fiction’. My favorite author was Terry Pratchett, my favorite mangaka Kaori Yuki and I loved magical girl animes and Princess stories. When I wrote my first sixty-page novel in fifth grade, it was a dragon story. In high school I became fixated on vampires and the occult, and recently went into a fascination with faerie lore.

But the story I got out first was women’s fiction- a story laid out in the ‘real world’ that revolved around a female character and some major events of her life. Even as a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, I intentionally left out magic because the story I wanted to tell involved how fairy-tale relationships would play out in real life.

Now with two books in that series published, and the third coming out this July, I’m beginning to wonder why ‘women’s fiction’.

Not ‘why write this instead of fantasy’ but ‘why women’s?’. And not ‘why write female characters’ but ‘why not just say you write general fiction?’. When I was convinced as a child that I was going to start right out the gate with dragon stories with big heroines, I didn’t think of them as ‘women’s fantasy’ just because the characters are female and might, on the off chance, appeal to women more. So why shortchange myself as a writer now?

Sure, the Once Upon A Reality series focuses on women. And it sometimes focuses on primarily female issues, such as childbirth, and female puberty. But so what? I spent many years in high school reading male coming of age stories or mid life crisis regarding manhood and those were never designated ‘man’s fiction’. And i learned from those stories, regardless of the fact that I was born female and identify as a woman. Men and women alike can find something to learn from Jolee, Lyn and Ann. Both men and women can relate to the likes of Adam, Gage, Phillipe and Hunter.

So I’m done personally designating the installments of the Once Upon a Reality series as ‘women’s fiction’. From now on, I will refer to them simply as ‘fiction’ and welcome all kinds of readers to delve into my characters’ lives.

And don’t forget- when you read, leave a review for me on Goodreads or Amazon, or email me or comment on the blog. I love to hear from my readers, no matter who you are or what you have to say!

It Begins: The Edits!

It seems like 2016 is going by in such a blur- I finish one set of tasks, only to realize that I’m about a month behind on the next ones and then I remember a totally different thing that I was supposed to do. I sure hope it begins to slow down a bit, or I’m going to have to finagle a bunch in order to truly savor some of the bigger moments this year. Like the release of The Thing About Apples happening in early July. At this point, that puts me less than two months away from having three novels published. Isn’t that crazy?

And so begins the buckling down towards the release. This past week I received the suggested edits from the wonderful people over at eLectio, and have been working on them over the weekend. I’ve got to tell you- I’m so grateful for the editors over there. I always feel like I’ve made something so precious when I hand in a final manuscript. But when they tear it to pieces, I realize that I could always push myself more. That it can always get better. And that’s what I want, book by book: to become a better writer, to be able to provide better stories that mean more to my readers each time. I really couldn’t do that without the help of eLectio, and all of the beta readers who took The Thing About Apples apart in the earlier drafting stages. They are just as responsible for the novel as I am, honestly, and I would have never gotten this far without them.

So today’s post is dedicated to gratitude: gratitude for all of the people who help me realize my dream and may never get recognized for it. For my parents, who supported me. For my fiance, who loves me even when I get into my crazy-stages of preparing the next novel. For my WeBook community and beta readers who help me shape the drafts past the messy draft stages, and for eLectio for believing in me and taking me to the next steps. I can’t wait to see what you guys think of this next installment!