First Update in a YEAR?!?

Good heavens to Betsy and tarnation and holy cow! Big off and ope all over this. 

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve updated my website with writing news. I apologize for the massive absence. I feel like I have an excuse — I did write, edit, and publish a novel in that time. Yes, you read that correctly! 

But first, some other news. I started a Teachers Pay Teachers store where educators can purchase units and other resources I’ve created. I mention this here because I most definitely use writing skills when drafting these products. I want to focus on educational games, specifically what I call Learning RPGs. Maybe EduRPG would be a catchier name? What are your thoughts? Anyway, these simplified tabletop role-playing games are usable in any subject/content area. All you have to do is provide the math problems/review questions/equations to balance, whatever you want the students to do. In order to solve the RPG quest, they need to answer the questions correctly. If you are a teacher, or a friend of a teacher, please direct them to my shop. My games are highly engaging and guaranteed to get your students excited! I write these for grades 7-12. I hope to have a wide variety of adventures up soon. Right now, my first game is a spy mission!

bugs

I need to get paid.

In other news, I have finished the first very rough draft of Retinue of Lost Ones, which I’ve been publishing on Wattpad. This story’s working title was I Was a Teenage Necromancer! It details the adventures of Shane Elliot, a high school student who not only sees dead people, but can tell them what to do. When a new girl comes to town, trailed by a mysterious but utterly malevolent spirit, Shane must find a way to help her. I look forward to moving into the editing stage. At that point, I’ll be looking for beta readers 🙂

I’m very excited to announce that stories I’ve written will appear in two new anthologies that should be coming out soon. The first story is “The Pearl,” written for the Iowa Writers’ House Writers’ Rooms anthology Writers from the Depths. “The Pearl” tells the story of a young woman who feels she has no way out of her life, and throws herself into the ocean. Beneath the waves, she finds a mystical creature that changes the course of her life forever. Awhile back I wrote a story called “A Mother’s Song” for an anthology called Unlocking the Magic, edited by the fabulous Vivian Caethe, who I worked with for Humans Wanted. Unfortunately, my story didn’t make the cut, but I managed to get it into another anthology with the same editor I worked with for Enter the Rebirth. “A Mother’s Song” follows the struggles of a court bard battling postpartum depression. Witches, Warriors, and Wyverns can be purchased here. 

In non-writing related news, I moved! My family and I left our 900 square foot condo for a 4,250 square foot former Catholic church that we are remodeling into our home! Yes, it’s a HUGE job, and it is cutting into my writing time, but this was an incredible opportunity that can’t be ignored! Once we have more of the renovations done, I’ll try to post some pictures. 

legendary

Last, but assuredly not least, my novel Legendary was released in November of 2019. At last, James and Arthur’s legendary love story is out there for everyone to read and enjoy. Copies can be purchased on Amazon, and I hope to have them in local bookstores soon. I’ll be doing a book signing at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines on 2/8 from 1-4. Legendary also earned a Kirkus starred review!

I am a published novelist. That is some bucket-list shit right there. 

Five Months and NO UPDATES?!? Sorry.

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted writing updates! Lots of great stuff has been happening, and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

giphy.gif

So, the biggest news is that the editor of Running Wild’s Anthology of Short Stories Vol. 2 asked me to write a novel based on my story “Idylls of the King.” I know, right? Major squeeeee! I immediately started on the manuscript. I worked with the editor to develop an outline, and she gave me some excellent suggestions.

The novel picks up eleven years after the short story, but the short story is also included within the context of the novel through a flashback. I spent a few months working on the manuscript, and I finished it in early June. Since then, I have had one beta reader look at it, and have done two full edits. A second beta reader has it now, and is currently leaving me comments to think about. I’m so grateful to Jill and Jason for their time and energy.

Once I get through a third editing draft, then I think I’m ready to submit the novel to my editor. My editor…*swoons* I have ALWAYS wanted to say that phrase. It makes me sound so professional!

In other news, I.O.W.A was a lot of fun. I broke even on sales, but I got to spend my time talking to the wonderful Randy Roeder and Brian K. Morris, and hang out with Alexandra Penn and Erin Casey too. They are all amazing writers, so you should check out their work!

I’ve also been hard at work on a few short stories. I found three wonderful anthologies I really wanted to submit to, so I wrote stories for them.

Unlocking the Magic (edited by Vivian Caethe, who brought us Humans Wanted)

Writers of the Depths 

Release the Virgins! 

I’ve already submitted for Release the Virgins! and I’m getting some beta reads and help from others for Unlocking the Magic and Writers of the Depths. There are such interesting themes for anthologies out there these days. If I get accepted to any, I’ll let you know.

I hope not to be away for so long, but working on “Idylls of the King” has really sucked up my time. But I’ll try to be better about keeping you posted.

Stay cool!