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Monday, January 23, 2017


Good morning and good Monday, y'all. It's been a while, so I thought I'd check in with an official update. The good news is that I'm feeling better. The bad news is that it takes a long time to get over pneumonia, so I'm still exhausted, and still resting, and this is officially annoying. This is the first time I've booted up the computer in a week, so that's progress!

A few things:

  • I still haven't managed to get to the post office, which makes me really angry with myself, the situation, what have you. I promise I'll mail giveaway (and sale) books as soon as I'm able. I have a really terrible immune system, and I tend to relapse if I'm not careful. I'll be sure to let everyone know the moment I've got everything mailed.
  • Remember how I said Hellhound would be out by March 20-something? Stand by. That might have to be pushed back. Hopefully not by much - thus far, the writing has gone really quickly.
  • I've decided to publish the Secret Project I've been teasing under a pen name. I considered using one during the early planning stages of Walking Wounded, and now wish that I'd followed through with the idea. The Secret Project is very different from Dartmoor, and I think it best to set some clear distance between the two series. So I won't be sharing much in the way of teasers here on out; just know that when things are quiet on the Dartmoor front, I'll be working away on the other.
  • Speaking of Walking Wounded, it's still my favorite project ever...You should totally read it if you haven't...
  • One last quick thing...the Falcons are going to the Super Bowl!!!
Hopefully I'll be back to work soon. If nothing else, I can research from the couch.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Rec: The Captive Prince Trilogy

Writing as much as I do, I don't get nearly the reading time I'd like to have. So I tend to be a really picky reader. Book club selections and research materials for my own work dominate my reading list, but every once in a while I get to completely lose myself in something indulgent...that also happens to be really worthwhile. I have yet another cold (keeping score, I've been sick for a month and a half with various colds/flus/etc.) so I spent much of the weekend devouring the Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat.

I've seen this trilogy recc'd for a while in the comic fandom, and I've read some really smart commentary about it. Turns out, it was all well-deserved.

An easily-defined, tightly-boxed tale it is not. Here are my favorite aspects:

The Plot
The main storyline centers on the rightful heirs of two fictional kingdoms. There's been war between the nations before, and the uneasy truce is threatened my the machinations of two wannabe kings trying to outmaneuver one another and get rid of their respective princes: Laurent and Damen.

A love story, yes - and an emotional, complex, delicately-balanced one at that - but there is so much going on in this trilogy. From political intrigue, to sword fighting, to cross-country adventure. The author plays with big themes in a layered, effortless way: family, inheritance, brotherly love, legitimate vs. illegitimate heirs, forgiveness, honor, loyalty. All the relationships are complicated, the conflict multi-faceted. Truly a never-a-dull-moment kind of book, with a pleasing symmetry between the lives of the two main characters.

I LOVE the way the author uses dialogue. The way, as in real life, it's subtle, uncluttered, and usually hiding the character's true feelings. The language used by the characters manages to be eloquent without being pretentious. I love that the precise word choice delivers a deep emotional punch. The dance of tension and relaxation - but mostly tension. Really top notch.

The Characters
You know me; the characters make or break a story for me, and everyone in this trilogy is richly-drawn. Flawed, insecure Laurent hiding behind his cool arrogance and wicked tongue, and faithful, strong Damen struggling through his circumstances with more grace than any of us could lend to the situation. Supporting them is a cast of three-dimensional secondary heroes and villains, fleshing out a fantasy world that feels tangible.

World Building
There's no info-dumping here. The author paints us a portrait of her world through organic story-telling, rich with details, but never bogging down in unimportant minutiae.

The best books are the ones that seem to end too soon, and that's definitely true here. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Been A Long Ride...The Real Story of Fearless

Fearless is two today. Like all milestones in our professional lives, it seems those two years have passed both slower, and faster than they actually have. That contradiction: you run, run, run to get somewhere, and when you look back, can't believe you haven't come very far at all. But then there's the fact that Fearless is a whopping 738 pages, so maybe that's enough to count as progress all on its own. I'm a pessimist, I can't help it. But when I take moments, like now, to step back and look at the way this book has affected my life, it's staggering. It's...unbelievable, really, that a shy girl from Nowhere, GA gets emails from readers in Europe, and Australia, and Asia. Crazy to think that these characters have taken on a life of their own, and have touched people half a world away. I am humbled, and stunned, always, when I hear anyone say something nice about my work. It has been a busy, crazy, wonderful two years.

But the story of Fearless goes back farther than that, really.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Process

(The 'Bama fan in me is giggling at the title of this post)

I’m having a low-key, iced-in weekend full of writing and reading. At any given time, I’ve got three documents open on my computer, flitting back and forth between them, and, surprisingly, getting a lot done. I’ll admit to being inspired by a few of the questions I received on Facebook a few days ago, and decided to talk a little about process today.

Boring writerly crap ahead.

Or maybe not boring, if you’re curious about that sort of thing.