Release Date Chosen!

Alright, everybody, get pumped: The Thing About Apples will be released on July 5th, 2016! That’s a little over four months from now, which means I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then to make sure that I’m helping my publisher release the best version of this work for you possible. In the coming months I’ll be posting a lot of updates regarding how the process is going (I’m always excited when it comes time to see the cover! eLectio does an amazing job with those). Don’t forget to get your copies of the rest of the series in time to catch up!

Acquisition Notice: The Thing About Apples

Sorry about the day-late post, but I figured that this would be more exciting than anything I could have drudged up yesterday: My third full-length fiction novel, The Thing About Apples, has been accepted for publication by eLectio publishing! We’ll be getting a release date set very soon, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Thank you for all of your support and well-wishes during this time!

Remember, you still have time to get your copies of the first two installments in this series, ‘Till the Last Petal Falls and To Dwell in Dreams, in paperback or in eBook format. Since it’s an installment series, each book is a stand-alone novel, but characters from previous books reappear in the subsequent novels, and it’s always fun figuring out how these very different stories end up being connected.

Why I Write: About Tattoos

In the second book of the ‘Once Upon a Reality series, To Dwell in Dreamsone of the most physically unique things about Lyn is the giant tattoo on her back. Besides being one of the more fun tie-ins to the original fairy-tale the novel is based in (Sleeping Beauty), Lyn’s tattoo is central to the story in how it highlights her state of mind and eventually facilitates her healing process.

This was definitely a case of ‘write what you know’. Tattoos can mean many things to different people, sometimes positive and sometimes not. I currently have two tattoos and nine piercings. For me, body modification gives me a way to take control of my own body, of my own future, even when it feels like control has been stolen from me. As someone who has suffered through physical, mental and emotional abuse, this means a lot. It’s one thing for me to tell myself that I feel fine, that I think I’m okay and that I’ve healed from what has happened. It is another thing entirely for me to endure the pain of body modification, to ‘sear over’ the past and start truly cleansed. It takes a certain level of dedication, intention, and perseverance. It costs money, time, and (in some cases) the opinion of other’s. It requires a promise: that I will not go back on myself, and the progress I’ve made in becoming myself, as long as that tattoo or hole remains on my body.

When I write certain characters, especially those who have gone through a huge life experience or are exceedingly certain of themselves, I tend to write them as characters who have body modifications. In the ‘Once Upon a Reality’ series, Lyn is the first openly modded character. You’ll meet more as the series progresses, and even more when I complete my current fantasy projects. In my experience, body modification is an avenue through which to claim yourself for your own path. As a Catholic, this also means claiming myself for my unique purpose; for my own, special vocation.

So don’t be surprised if you see more tatted and pierced characters in my upcoming books. In fact, I’d encourage you to really analyze at what kind of modification they get, when, and where. It’s as important as any of their other characterizations, and I would be disappointed if readers just wrote them off.

If you’re an author, do you ever write characters with body modifications? If you’re a reader, how do you perceive body mods?

New Review: ‘What it Means to Be Human’

Got a new five star review on my second novel, To Dwell in Dreams, from Raelee May Carpenter, author of Kings and Shepherds, The Lincoln High Project, and Liberation Song. 

 

I struggled with this book at first, because I kind of hated the main character (just being honest). But when I got past that, I realized how absolutely perfect it was. Rose has an incredibly understanding of what it means to be human and weaves this story, with its cheeky prose and surreal vibe, through so much grace. It’s positively stunning.

 

Thank you, Raelee! And it’s alright to be honest about hating Lyn- she was written as an unlikeable character for a reason. Believe me, I had a couple of coming-to-Jesus’ with her in my head, and she does become better in later installments, when the grace she received in To Dwell in Dreams finally has a chance to really sink in. I enjoyed having the chance to really showcase the kinds of life moments that go into making someone as hardened and bitter as Lyn, and illustrating through her story how even someone like her is still worth giving a second chance to.

 

If you’ve read To Dwell in Dreams, don’t forget to leave an honest review for me on Goodreads and Amazon. I love seeing how words I wrote are received by others- in both the good and the bad ways. And if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a copy today!

Progress: The Thing About Apples

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m sure celebrating, though not just for the holiday. After a rough writing period, I have finally finished The Thing About Apples. This draft has taken me the longest to complete, considering its length, and is in the most need of a thorough edit. I’m glad I pushed through it, though, as it’s easier to move forward with shaping this raw material than it is to try to bang it out right the first time. 

The schedule for now is that I’m going to leave the project for a week while I’m in Ireland, and then print out the typed draft to begin editing chapter by chapter. That’s thirty chapters to edit, many of them needing either a good bit more fleshing out or, in some cases, a complete overhaul. My plan is to finish the first edit by the summer, leave it for about a month, and then either edit it again myself or give it to my editor to see what edits he thinks should be made. Also waiting on my beta readers to finish their once overs on the project to add/act on their recommendations. So optimistically I should have The Thing About Apples ready for formal submission around the end of summer or beginning of fall. Wish me luck! 

Though I’ll be taking a break from this series after finishing this third book to work on more fantasy projects, I do have the next book planned. It will be a Cinderella story based around a teen mom, tentatively titled Walking on Glass.

What do you hope to see from either of these titles, readers? I’m always open to suggestions!

Ending the Year Right!

To Dwell in Dreams, the second novel of the ‘Once Upon a Reality’ series, made the ‘Favorite Books of 2014’ list of fellow eLectio author, Amanda Romine Lynch! I feel so honored- and motivated to keep chugging along with the third book, The Thing About Apples, which is currently in progress.

(And don’t forget, if you haven’t read To Dwell in Dreams yet that you can still start from the beginning of the series with Til the Last Petal Falls! Great way to start your year of reading in 2015!)

Five Star Review: “I Loved This Book”

Looks like I got a five-star review on Amazon and I didn’t even see it! Amazon reviewer TheBookPrincess writes that:

I loved this book.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t at first, because I found myself having a strong distaste for the heroine right away. But a few chapters in and I was hooked. I could not put down this book, and I loved the elements of fairy tale interwoven with the story set in the present day. It was an engaging, disturbing, and absolutely riveting read.

Thank you for the review! Remember, if you’ve read To Dwell in Dreams that I always appreciate any and all reviews whether they are posted on Amazon or Goodreads. If you haven’t read the second installment of the ‘Once Upon a Reality’ series yet, you can still get your copy and start the year off right with a good read by ordering a copy from Amazon, direct from the publisher, or you can always e-mail me to special order a signed copy.