Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Silence is not always golden

I've been going back and forth with this post. I don't know where to start or how to begin. One minute I want to press publish. The other I'm pressing save and pushing my laptop away from me like it's a monster.

I'm typically very reserved and quiet. I watch from the sidelines. But I think that it's very important that I be honest with all of you.

An Autobiography in Five Chapters 
Chapter One 
I walk down the street. 
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 
I fall in. 
I am lost. I am helpless.
It takes forever to find a way out. 

Chapter Two 
I walk down the same street. 
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 
I pretend I don't see it. 
I fall in, again. 
I can't believe I am in the same place. 
But it isn't my fault. 
It still takes time a long time to get out. 

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street. 
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 
I see it there. 
I fall in ... it's a habit ... but my eyes are open. 
I know where I am. 
It is my fault. 
I get out immediately. 

Chapter Four 
I walk down the same street. 
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 
I walk around it. 

Chapter Five 
I walk down a different street. 


Even as I read over it I know it sounds a bit heavy handed. But I've been in a major rut. In more ways than one. I won't bore you with the gritty details but writing was one of them. I always take a break from writing after having a baby. I find that it clears my head and gives me wonderful bonding time with my new loved one. But this time, I got cocky because after Baby Read was a few months old, the words were not coming, at least not typed out. But they were there. I could just picture them floating in my head yet something was blocking them, making it impossible for me to catch them. 

At one point I pushed away all my WIP's simply because my heart wasn't into it.

I kept waiting for my spirits to lift. But that never happened. If my lack of confidence was the first clue then pulling away from my family and friends was a close runner up.

I pulled away from them intentionally. I felt like a siphon that was sucking up their energy. They didn't hang up the phone or end a conversation feeling upbeat. Instead it was the opposite.

I continued pushing them away, and tried to give my manuscripts everything I had. If my end word goal one day turned out to be 50, I had to learn to be okay with that. If it was 500. Even better.

But inside, I felt like I was losing it. The best way to explain it (and as I told my husband)  was that I was a walking contradiction. I knew I needed to sleep but I couldn't. I knew I should take a break and relax with the kids but my kitchen had to be spotless or I just had to run. It felt like I had to keep moving. This kept building and building up. Before long it became too much.

I have a husband who works long hours and five kids who depend on me. Push aside the writing, the words, the characters. My family comes first. I had to seek treatment and fast.

To be honest, I slightly cringe at the word treatment because that means that something was wrong. And I hate to admit that something is ever wrong. But something was.

In the end I spent two weeks away from my family in a facility similar to Fairfax. How apropos for the writer who created Fairfax. But this wasn't fiction. This facility was filled with real people. Real problems. It was reality where you were forced to confront your problems. In a way, there's a sense of freedom there because the people you're sharing a room with or walking past in the hallway all have problems. Who are they to judge?

Through treatment (and doctors of course) I realized I'm manic depressive and have panic disorder.

If you're like me, the first thing you picture when you think of manic is the two white masks, one laughing and the other sad. But I'm learning that it's so much more than wearing one mask for a few weeks, up to a few months. Only to switch it out for the other. What goes on behind the mask is the worst. It feels like your psyche is breaking and your so afraid that it actually will and it will be irreparable.

It's a situation that I never thought I'd be in or telling you about. But I think it's important to be honest to you. So if you've sent me a message, a text, comment, or tag and haven't replied. I'm sorry.

Slowly but surely I'm getting back into the swing of things.

And yes, that includes writing. :) But I'm taking my time. I could rush and give you all a book. But it wouldn't be it's best.

Until then, I want to leave you with a quote from John McManamy that rings true:

We excel at wearing the mask. We fool our friends, our loved ones, our colleagues, our doctors, even. Deep down inside, however, we are the crying clown, our souls in torment, our psyches in a thousand pieces.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sloan Brothers Cover Reveal

I am SO excited to share with you the new covers for the Sloan Brothers Series!! They were designed by Hang Le and I think she did an amazing job! To celebrate the new covers all three books are on sale for .99 cents! The Sloan's (Thayer, Macsen and Mathias) have a big place in my heart. With the first book, everyone is still in college. But as the series progresses, we slowly get to watch the characters grow up. I love how that progression is shown through the covers. :)

I know quite a few of you have asked about the final book in the series, Every Changing Way. As of now, I have no set release date. When I do I'll be shouting it from the roof tops. ;)

But, all right, all right. Enough talking. Let's get to the fun stuff — THE COVERS!!! 

Aren't they gorgeous?!? I hope you love them as much as I do!!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

What's in store for 2016?

At seven months pregnant, I'm slipping into that lovely nesting stage where I want everything organized and ready for the baby. Somehow, that has extended to my characters and their stories because I know that I'll be useless when the baby arrives. I go into hibernation and don't emerge for a good three months.

So to ring in the New Year's right I wanted to talk about what books will be published and what I am or plan on writing.

First up? 
UNHINGE releases in DAYS.
Nine Days to be exact. (But who's counting?)

That's terrifying to me because I tend to be more attached to the Fairfax cast than most of my characters. I'm obsessed with their flaws and the inner workings of their minds. They always feel so real to me.Victoria is no exception. Like Naomi, she feels trapped in Fairfax. She's starting to realize that she doesn't belong there. Yet in order to leave she has to uncover the past and find out what led her to Fairfax in the first place.

Her story, to me, was equally as heartbreaking as Naomi's but for completely different reasons. I remember when I first wrote about her in Unravel. Even then she was very compelling to me. Who was this beautiful woman, walking around in full make-up, pajamas and that fur coat? Why was she always humming to her baby? Why did she speak in riddles and always look like her head was in the clouds?

She was enchanting yet I knew that there was something gruesome in her past and I HAD to find out.

I'd be the biggest liar if I said Victoria's book was easy to write. It wasn't. There were so many layers to her story and I had to flesh out every single part. Even the parts that were extremely dark.

But I'm so happy in how her story turned out. I hope you all enjoy her story. And I hope you're excited to walk back down the halls of Fairfax!!

Up next?

Yes, he has a book. :) For the past year I've been outlining and working on scenes for his story whenever I had the chance. And while there's a huge part of me that is so ready to go back to the characters of Unravel, I'm also scared out my mind.
Naomi gripped ahold of my heart while I wrote her story. It's easy to connect with her but hard to detach from her. And she plays such a HUGE role in Lachlan's story.

There's not much I can say without spoiling the story, just that Unravel started it all. Unlock will end it.
Not the cover. Just an image that reminds me of Lachlan's story. :) 

I'm extremely excited to start digging into The Surviving Trace.
I love this story with all my heart. When I open up the manuscript or even do research, my pulse picks up because there's something so special about this book. There's many elements as to why. One being that at the beginning (seven years ago) this story and characters were once part of Unravel. About six months before I published Unravel I cut this HUGE chunk out. I'm talking 50k worth of words. (Yeah it's just a number but believe me, it kills a writers heart.) There was just SO MUCH already going on in Unravel. It would've been too much storyline.
But I couldn't delete this other half of the story. It had less to do about the amount of words but the worth of them and what they meant to me. So much about TST made my heart race and screamed at me to finish.
So I put it away, determined that at some point I'd open the manuscript back up.

Every day I work on this story I find something different to love about it. It's unique and that's a breath of fresh air for me.  

Fairfax stories present their own challenges, like not revealing anything too soon. And The Surviving Trace has the same vibe— I have to watch how I introduce certain characters or how a scene plays out. TST has mystery and suspense, but at its core it is nothing but a love story.

I can't wait for you all to meet Serene and √Čtienne!! (If you look through the first chapter of Unravel you will see the smallest glimpse of them. ;) )

2016 may not seemed horribly packed, but I like it this way. 2015 was filled with nothing but comparisons. Of me watching other authors publish, publish, publish while I was trying to finish just one story. I want to slow down and really appreciate my characters. I only have one chance to enjoy their stories and it's so easy to forget that.