Monday, June 18, 2018

Rain Falls on Malora

Rain Falls on Malora is now out, in both ebook and paperback.

This short story collection spans the entirety of The Malora Octet, from Mirren Kelta's story halfway through the Mayfly Requiem timeline to Sora Thula's story sixty years after Arrow of Entropy. Rain Falls on Malora expands the narratives of established characters such as Lucienus, Solace, Rabbit, and Vutan, as well as introduces new characters, including two of Bethel's children from the millenniums between Shadows of Absolution and Sand into Glass. I don't recommend reading any stories that correspond to books you haven't read yet because there is a lot of revealing information within them, both spoilers for the books and connections or events that were always in my notes but didn't make it into the final versions of the books.

I've also included character illustrations (color in the ebook, b&w in the print), and a selection of appendices that includes a Volle-Common translation dictionary and family trees (incomplete because one particular character shows up in multiple locations and makes it difficult to draw the trees by hand).

I started working on The Malora Octet in 2003, when I had an unexpected burst of inspiration between my junior and senior years of college and wrote the first half of The Crystal Lattice. I didn't finish that first draft for several years, but when I did, I knew I had to write more. Although I don't think I'll ever truly leave the first world I created, I think I'm finally done writing in it.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Little Bit of Magic

What feels like a long, long time ago, I wrote two little stories called "Lastborn" and "Facsimile". They were released on May 31, 2018 within the sci-fi anthologies Holding On By Our Fingertips and Infinite Dysmorphia by Kristell Ink/Grimbold Books. I won't give any specifics on the plots of the stories here since I don't want to be a spoiler, but I will say I'm proud of them and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Photograph by Aline de Nadai on Unsplash

I finally finished a project I began three years ago, and I'm in the last couple steps before publishing it. Rain Falls on Malora is a collection of eighteen short stories set within the world of The Malora Octet. Each story is told by a minor, non-narrator, or entirely new character from the series who hasn't been able to share their own version of events until now. The stories begin with the reveal of what happened to a certain missing character in Mayfly Requiem, cover the Echoes of Oblivion years and their aftermath, introduce you to a couple of Bethel's children who lived between the trilogies, and close with a narration by Sora Thula sixty years after Arrow of Entropy. I'm also including some original character illustrations, maps, family trees (this got way more complicated to draw out than I expected. Thanks, Bethel), a Volle-Common translation dictionary, and some recipes and poetry I created while working on the series.

I'm waiting on my print proof copy now so I can do final edits and fix any formatting errors. Hopefully I won't have too much trouble converting this file to an ebook. I'm excited to give this little treat to my long-time readers, some of whom inspired specific stories within this book. So, here's to the characters who finally get to tell the world their own versions of the truth: Mirren, Delora, Ariana, Summer, Sharo, Rastaban, Mirazen, Rain, Aurelien, Solace, Maple, Zoli, Ulali, Laira, Terali, Eliani, and Sora.

I hope to release Rain Falls on Malora in July. I'm in the process of moving to a different state, so between that and the setback I had with my repaired ulnar nerve earlier this year, I'm a little behind where I wanted to be. I had an ulnar nerve transposition in my right arm in September and I have some permanent damage from the hourglass constriction that lead to it, so I've had to modify how I type, hold a pen, cook, etc. It has been a long and painful process, but I'm getting there.

Photographs via UnsplashNathan Dumlao, Christian Holzinger, Christopher Campbell, Steve Halama,
Tess Nebula, Jing Ang, Ricardo Gomez Angel, Nate Reyfield, Aline de Nadai 

Oh, look at that! The weird things I do when on migraine meds... I wanted to make the chronological order of The Malora Octet a little more obvious and tie the entire series to Rain Falls on Malora visually, so I redid all of the ebook covers. I love seeing them all together. I've left the paperback covers alone since it takes more time to change them than I have right now. You can still find all eight books on Amazon.

Last, but very much not least...

I finished Faelost!

I'm also awaiting the arrival of the Faelost print proof. I like to use a print copy to do my final edits, and this one will take a little while. Why? It's long, 145,000 words, so it's by far my biggest book (Mayfly Requiem was *only* 130k). And, I have no idea what to write for the blurb without spoiling something major that happens just a few short chapters in. I'll have to think on that.

Faelost is the sequel to Cavelost, and it continues immediately where Cavelost left off, but it should work as a stand-alone story. It's told by Rin's second son, Tessen, who finds himself on an unwanted adventure following the hatching of his brother Shan's two stolen dragon eggs.

Oh wait, there's just a little bit more. I'm working on The Bacra Chronicles Book 3 now, Spellkeeper. I'm way into it and hoping I can keep up my momentum on it over the summer. Spellkeeper is the first time in over ten years that I've written a novel in third person (the last being the Echoes of Oblivion trilogy). There are four point-of-view characters for this book -- two from the previous books and two who are new. I'm not sure yet how many books The Bacra Chronicles will end up being, but as of now I know where books 4 and 5 need to go.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Keep Persisting

I have a Zazzle store! There are some kinks to work out (items only showing up in collections and not in the store list), but that should be taken care of by the print company within a couple days. Make sure you switch the content filter from "Safe" to "Moderate" to see everything. I had to go PG-13 on a the "Nevertheless, She Persisted" and "He Persisted" items so they didn't get flagged for language. Most of the individual products have multiple options for style, size, and color once you're on the product page. Let me know if there is something you'd like that isn't currently offered and I'll get it in the store for you.

For reference, the URL is:

This print store is a charity art project. All proceeds from the products will be split between two charities - The Trevor Project, which provides support to LGBTQ youth in crisis, and The Midnight Mission, a Los Angeles-based organization that helps people overcome homelessness. Both organizations help people through hard times and dark places and give them the tools to keep persisting.

If you want to know more about my art project and philosophy, I've given several interviews in the last week. There is at least one that hasn't been published yet, and I'll link that once the journalist finishes it.

Huffington Post

I have a lot more to say but I should have gone to bed two hours ago, so for now I'll leave you with this. It's my latest piece, "We All Belong", and the idea came from my five year old daughter, Lyra. She told me to "draw lots of different girls holding hands", so I did.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nevertheless, she persisted

I'm rather overwhelmed right now. A piece I drew this morning has gone viral on Facebook. If you happen to see this without attribution somewhere, it's mine. I drew it in response to Mitch McConnell's words in silencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren's reading of Coretta Scott King's letter, and for all the women I've run into who don't think they need feminism. It's amazing that something so simple can resonate with so many.

The original was missing the signature because I totally forgot to sign it, plus I didn't expect it to be shared further than by a couple friends. Facepalm for that now. I signed it and rescanned it this morning.
ETA: I'm being asked a lot about prints. I'm extremely busy today with kid scheduling and general life (curse you, narcolepsy), but a few friends and I are working on figuring out print options with the intent of any proceeds going to charity.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

We're not in Malora anymore

It was inevitable. I returned through the portal from Malora over a year ago, but I knew my wanderlust couldn't be satisfied until I discovered a new one to a new world. I dabbled with time travel for a while and returned to 1999 Michigan with Huron. Then I built a rocket ship and took my toddler to the Solar System's moons in my first children's book, Elora Goes to the Moons.

Then, one summer day, I found a portal I didn't know I was looking for. It was a shower epiphany, as many of my ideas are. I suddenly found myself transported underground, with no idea how I got there and no idea how to escape.

Thus, Cavelost was born.

I chose a strange route when I drafted this book. I wasn't sure if it was meant to be a short story or a novel, so I chose neither. I started writing it as a journal in blog format so my alpha readers could read each entry as I wrote it. Two and a half months later, I climbed out of that cave and into the starlight, and discovered that I now had an entire surface world to explore. One little project became an unknown many, and Cavelost was formatted and edited into Book 1 of The Bacra Chronicles.

I released Cavelost into the wild today in e-book format. The paperback will come shortly, since I needed to tweak a few things. The book is listed on Goodreads, so it would be wonderful if you added and reviewed it.

Now, back to work. I started Book 2, Faelost, for National Novel Writing Month. I finished the 50,000 word goal before the end of November, but that puts me maybe halfway through the story, so I'll just keep writing. Cavelost was told by a former mercenary named Rin Sylleth, and Faelost is told by her seventeen year old second son, Tessen. Faelost begins exactly where Cavelost leaves off. I'm not sure yet how many books will complete The Bacra Chronicles, but as of now I plan on a different narrator for each story. I already have plans for one narrated by Yana.