Happy Holidays, y’all!
Just popping by to send you some cheerful, festive vibes! It’s certainly been a... year. A weird one, sure, but your support has kept me looking on the bright side, gave me the courage to take the leap and chase my dreams! A year ago, writing about death was a welcome escape from a dreary existence. Now, the project has opened up and become something that looks forward, something optimistic and even comforting. I’m still up the mountain, snuggled against the cold and getting my brood on, pushing to get the revised draft of Terminus to the editor by the end of January.
I’ll be posting more sample chapters and character profiles soon. In the meantime, check out this interview that I did with Christopher Lee for Indie Author Spotlight!
While Terminus finishes basting in editorial juices like a spooky holiday ham, I’d like to recommend some of the already-published Inkshares books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. I’ve met so many quality humans during this process and the vast majority of us are in the same boat – indie authors taking our first steps into the wild world of publishing. It’s all about supporting each other. Check them out and show some holiday love!
Sorcery for Beginners by Matt Harry
A 13 year-old boy finds an easy-to-read, how-to manual for magic. Now he just has to prevent everyone else from stealing it.
The debut novel from my awesome editor. Engaging and expertly paced, Sorcery for Beginners makes use of its unique textbook format to build an unseen world of magic on top of our own. It engages readers in a wholly unique way, following the adventures of a relatable case of characters, while humorous asides add magical context to real world events. I enjoyed it as much at thirty as I would have at thirteen!
The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
It’s the year 2147: a time of enduring peace on Earth. The Last War ended half a century ago. We can cure most ills, the air is pure, and teleportation is how we get around. Sounds great, right? So why does everyone suddenly want to kill Joel Byram?
You may have heard of this one. It was nominee for Goodreads Books of the Year and the film rights have been optioned by Lionsgate! Smart, charming, and fast-paced, Klein’s debut is a hell of a ride! Explores weighty questions of identity through a hero who’s chief skill is quick-thinking humor and an ability to manipulate the service machines that keep our world running. The overall conflict is delightfully twisted, but that would be a spoiler. Can’t wait for the movie, but everyone should definitely read the book!
The Last Faoii by Tahani Nelson
After her monastery is attacked and her sisters slaughtered, young Kaiya-faoii is left alone to fight back against a dark army and darker betrayal.
A great debut! Nelson has assembled a veritable army of sympathetic - and often tragic - heroes, that readers will gladly follow into the darkness. And it does get dark! War, family, mind control, the rift between the sexes, even the gods themselves... Nelson digs deep and the result is extremely satisfying!
The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz
Before the age of reason and science, magic ruled the world. Now, it’s coming back and if most of humanity gets wiped out in the process....well, sometimes you have to break a few eggs.
One of the most wonderfully strange and detailed worlds that I’ve visited in a long time. Weaves together strands of legend and history with a distinctly modern voice that left me both fascinated and cracking up.
The Last Machine in the Solar System by Matthew Isaac Sobin
He witnessed the end. Now he has a new mission. Hear his testimony.
This retrospective from a robot that witnessed the end of mankind is bittersweet and beautifully written, a great reflection on who we are.
Of course, I also have plenty of Inkshares books in the giant stack of to-read books by my bed. Can’t wait to crack these in 2018! Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn, A God in the Shed by J.F. Dubeau, Sunshine is Forever by Kyle T. Cowan, and Nemeton: The Trial of Calas by Christopher Lee.
Good stuff! I can’t wait to join their ranks and finally get Terminus into your hands! For now... time to get back to it.
Hope you have a great holiday and a happy new year! Cheers, y’all!
Thank you for your patience, everyone. This is a big update, but an important one!
At ease, Faoii. This isn’t really an update. Instead, I’m sending out a reminder to all of you other hopeful authors out there who are working for a dream but constantly feeling like you’re just spinning your wheels.
I get it. It’s not easy. It’s exhausting and soul-crushing and painful. It feels like you’re giving everything you have and that you don’t even have dignity anymore after all the times you’ve begged and pleaded and prayed just to get this far. Then you get another rejection or one hurtful comment or the hundredth "seen" notification on your messenger feed that will just sit there without a response for the next six months (assuming that person doesn’t just straight-up unfriend you for being annoying) and you realize that maybe you did have some dignity left-- because it just got crushed a little more. I know you want to give up. I know how hard this is.
Don’t. Don’t give up, okay? Because some part of you still thinks that this is worth it-- that’s the part that keeps convincing you to send out one more DM, one more Tweet. That’s the part that keeps encouraging you to write one more sentence. Sometimes only a single word, but it tells you to keep going. And that’s the part that people are going to see and respond to. Don’t let it die.
If you follow my Facebook or my blog, you probably know that I’ve been feeling pretty burnt out lately. Blades, my last blog post might have been a full-on mental breakdown. And I kept asking myself the entire time "who can blame me for giving up here?" After battling armies on all sides during the crowdfunding phase of things, I thought this entire book thing would get easier. But then I fell short of the contest I was going for, my health failed terribly at the end of my campaign, and I didn’t have any idea how hard marketing would be. Trying to get people to review or even share posts about your book is an insane battle all on its own, and you start to doubt yourself. Maybe no one is sharing because I’m not a good enough friend. Maybe I really can’t write. Maybe this entire dream was stupid. It’s mind numbing and heart-wrenching and terrible.
And it’s wrong.
I’m sorry I forgot that, Faoii. I’m amazed that it took the help of others to remind me of what I’m fighting for. What we’re all fighting for. But today I got an amazing letter from a fellow Inkshares author that you should definitely follow. And I (for probably the millionth time) got more encouragement than I deserve from this Inkshares friend who has picked me up and dusted me off after every single fall thus far. (Make sure to follow him, too--of everyone I know, none are more deserving of happiness than he is). And between the two of them, I remembered something that I tried so hard to put into words when I was writing an entire book that it’s ridiculous that I might forget it myself.
Keep going. We forget sometimes that even our hardest moments can be beacons of light for others. Standing to face our demons can sometimes give someone else just enough courage to rise against theirs. Facing and overcoming challenges means proving to others that it CAN be done. And so, while we face our own challenges in hopes of overcoming them and forging ahead to our own future-- do not forget that by rising up, you may also be helping others to do the same. This book is greater than you, now, and has been since the first day you chose to put yourself out in front of the world and declare it worthy.
I know it’s hard, these demons you face on and off your book’s platform. But, whatever you’re going through--don’t be afraid to tell the world that it’s happening. Some might come to your aide (and hopefully many will), but if they don’t-- that might be because they just needed someone else to be strong for a while. You can be that person without ever knowing it.
It’s not often write-in votes amount to anything when it comes to awards and elections. The most popular victor of such an outcome is Boaty McBoatface, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. I was going to send a follow-on email thanking you all for your write-in efforts, except YOU TOTALLY DID IT! The Punch Escrow is now a semifinalist for the best science fiction book of the year in the Goodreads Choice awards. Thanks to each of you for donating 4.8 seconds of your time and writing in the name of my book. As you can see, we made it into the semi-finals. That means The Punch Escrow is already recognized as one of the 20 top sci-fi books of the year!
Now, I have but one last favor to ask of you. As you can see, we’re in the semifinals, which means I need your vote again. BUT—I only need 1 second this time. You see that vote button under The Punch Escrow? Just click it, and you’ve done your part. It’s so easy to make such a big difference!
Thank you so much—this whole journey has surpassed my wildest dreams. I have no idea what happens next!