Category Archives: announcement
I completely forgot to update my blog when I released Reluctant Godmother #2! How silly of me.
I’m insanely proud of this book. My copyeditor, the wonderful Katie St. John-Shin, raved about it as she read it. My dad texted me this morning to let me know he’s halfway done, and wanted nothing more than to tell everyone he meets about it (except that he’s a trucker, and that talking to other truckers about fairy godmothers would be, shall we say, awkward). Oh, the warm fuzzies that brings!
The weft and wend of this story…it has so many threads to pull together, I often despaired I would do a clumsy job of it. I worried through the entire two years that I wouldn’t be able to pull off what I had planned. It tried many times to spiral out of control, to grow steadily larger until it finally topped out at about 180,000 words (pre-edits). I had pulled apart the structure of the first act so many times, I couldn’t remember what was where as I was writing the second half. For most of the final haul, I felt like I was flying blind. Had I left that part in? Did I mention this thing earlier? What was I forgetting? Was this character a jerk the whole time, or had I written it to gradually build confusion? The day my mom finished reading the first book and asked me if we’d find out about what was going on at the end in the next book, I about gave up (how was I supposed to write a decent sequel when I could barely remember the beginning of the second, let alone the ending of the first?!). Thankfully, I didn’t.
Because none of that is why I’m so proud of this book.
I started writing A Wand a Day in September of 2016 and finished almost exactly two years later, in September of 2018. Going back over my productivity tracker, I would write a few thousand words…then put it down for a month. Write a few thousand words, put it down for a month. And it’s no wonder. I got tremendously sick for two months in the spring of 2017. When I was finally feeling better, my mom ended up in the hospital. Then my son got sick. Then my husband needed a bone marrow biopsy. Then my cousin spent a month in a medically-induced coma. Then I got sick again. 2017 was not a great year.
2018 opened with tremendous stress, culminating in a sudden move to California in April. By the end of the summer, I was sick again, this time with breathing issues we’re still trying to figure out six months later. So, healthwise, it’s been a rough road. My stubborn refusal to let the book go is the only reason it’s available now.
But more than that, this book saw me through a complete transformation of self. If One Good Wand was hard to write because it dredged up all my insecurities, past troubles, and unresolved feelings, A Wand a Day nearly did me in.
In the course of the last two years, I lost both of my muses to interpersonal complications. Given that their likenesses form important parts of Tessa’s world, writing became a study in constant heartache. The Chisel’s behavior became a frustrating parallel that made me want to collapse on the keyboard every time he appeared on the page. Mueller wouldn’t talk to Tessa until last August, when I finally figured out a reason for his reticence. (Yes–August, in the last 30,000 words of the novel. Fixing their interactions was a whole edit in and of itself.) I no longer have my alpha reader and sounding board, either. So Tessa’s struggle throughout the book to hold onto a life that makes sense mirrored my own losses and fears (ironic, since I had planned her life that way in 2015). And that was the hardest thing I’ve ever put into a story, bar none.
As spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan says, “If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.”
Tessa Hargitay may have successfully pulled off her first fairytale ending as a press-ganged fairy godmother, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to accept the ballgowns,
beehives, and responsibilities that go with it. In fact, all she wants is a paycheck that pays the bills and gets her back on her feet in the Mundane world.
Unfortunately for Tessa, magic has other plans.
Between her witchy boss’s push to promote her to personal assistant and the Fairy Godmothers Union’s bubbly attempts to recruit her, Tessa’s plan to return to normal human life isn’t going so well. Add to that a spoiled princess she’d rather strangle than provide a fairytale ending for, and her life couldn’t be more complicated. (Except for the hunky men of magic wanting to heal her broken heart and the monsters hungering for her new power…)
One way or the other, she’s going to have to make a choice – Light or Dark, Magic or Mundane – before the beasts that prowl the woods and boardrooms of Colorado decide her future for her.
Buy a copy from Amazon!
Ohmigosh. I am SO BEHIND in updating! What can I say – life happened. Ain’t that always the way?
Since I’ve been a bad blogger, I’m going to make up for it with a cover reveal. Finally, I won’t have to squee over this beauty in private anymore! Woohoo!
Are you sure?
Isn’t it pretty?? The folks at Deranged Doctor Design are awesome!
A Wand a Day is a little darker, a little more outdoorsy (yay, Colorado Rockies!), and involves…well, I’ll let you guess which fairy tale princess-geek Tessa has to help to a happily ever after. ❤
(And if you can’t wait, go play my interactive story featuring a new side character from A Wand a Day: So You Want to Be a Fairy Godmother!)
Once upon a time, I fell into the Land of Frustration. I’d been trying to publish traditionally for six or seven years, and though I was drawing closer to a deal with every attempt, I was getting more and more discouraged. I hadn’t yet discovered the possibilities of self-publishing, so all I knew was that the internet was an untapped market. I wanted people to be able to read my writing (to share the fun!), and that was more important than any money I might make off of it someday. I decided, after much brainstorming, that I would present a story on Facebook in multiple parts. But what would make a fun, entertaining story? The answer was simple: Write the story that’s been dashing through my head for years, starring silly, over-the-top versions of a group of my old coworkers. Many of us speak fondly on all the shenanigans of the theatre days. Many of us married people we met there. Some of us formed lifelong friendships. I thought they would get a kick out of reading it, and I would certainly enjoy writing it.
But then I got into IP rights, Facebook policy, and other creativity-eating problems. Like, what if the people I was going to write about got upset? What if, in my quest for a good story, I hurt people’s feelings? Somebody has to be a villain, after all. The names are changed. The personalities are specific, but blown up, far outside of reality. Would that be enough? Or would I be setting myself up for a lawsuit before I even got my career started? Not really something I wanted to do.
So I erred on the side of caution and put it away. All for the better, really, because I came up with the idea for the 13 Colonies to fill the sudden gap.
But then last weekend, a few vocal old friends talked me into posting their characters’ introductions. In reading them, I discovered how sheerly awesome the story had been. The voice was…well, it was good. My stylistic choices show evidence of the evolution to One For All, but they’re lighter, more reminiscent of younger me. I loved it. I suddenly remembered why I was so excited about writing it. And, after posting those snippets, I was reminded of why I was so excited to share it. Because those vocal old friends loved it, too. And suddenly, my brain was alight with exultant brainstorming to make this happen. I called back from memory the original plan, the vague plot of the story (which I only got about two chapters into writing), and realized just how awesome it could be, right now. So I polled the friends who would be in it, and within two hours I had a majority vote for “DO IT!” Since then, the outpouring of excitement and camaraderie has been…well, kind of flooring. I’m actually kind of awestruck and pretty darn inspired. 😀 Now I just have to find what I did with my notes (which, in the mess of boxes, bags, and plastic tubs I currently call a home, is easier said than done)…
Without further ado, I am pleased to announce:
The Celluloid Files
When Annika Ambray inherits her aunt’s fortune, she doesn’t expect a million dollars. But earning it might not be worth the trouble, despite her aunt’s wishes. The town she’s been charged to save is more like the shadow of a long-forgotten Hollywood movie, and the people in it are just as strange and eccentric as her aunt. Apparently, they also have just as many secrets.
Annika has a year to breathe life back into Meadowhaven,
and the residents aren’t going to make her job easy.
Join the cast and crew of The Celluloid Files
each Friday, right here on my blog!
(Release Date TBA.)