The End of an Era

Warning: a lengthy post, gif usage, many sappy feelings lie ahead

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The Final Advent has at long last been published. The reality of that still hasn’t quite seeped in for me. Why, you ask?

Turn back the clock to 2005, eleven years ago. For me that meant fourth grade in Mr. Leeland Looper’s class, Girl Scouts, and a crazy amount of playing make-believe.

Mr. Looper always gave us at least thirty minutes each week so we could write whatever came to us. (He was big on childhood literacy. Woohoo!) In those thirty minutes, something came over me and I wrote an eleven page story, the basis of what would become No Angels today. My parents encouraged my writing, and so then I expanded it to thirty pages. Then I wrote a second one, clocking in at 50 pages. You get the idea.

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Actual photo of me after finishing a draft.

Over the course of the next few years, I dreamed up plot ideas and character concepts and so on to flesh out my writings, and in eight grade I completed what would become today’s No Angels. In my sophomore year of high school, I completed Collapsed Cathedrals, and in my freshman year at university, The Final Advent. While all of the aforementioned have undergone a massive amount of editing and reconstruction, still the effort stands and boils down to one truth: working on the No Angels trilogy had been a constant in my life for eleven years, by my side from childhood to adulthood.

Now the last book has been published. I will never again work on No Angels.

It’s immensely satisfying to have seen this project through to the end, yet it’s also bittersweet. Finally I can release this story and continue down my journey’s road, but I would be lying if I said I won’t miss it. These characters have become my friends over the years. My own life story has been threaded into the pages. And now it’s time to move on. The phrase “thanks for the memories” has never been more apparent to me than it is now.

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Yet more actual footage of me.

I want to thank everyone who’s helped me reach this point, who’s helped me achieve my still-startling reality of completing and publishing a complete trilogy by age 20. Never in my wildest dreams could I have done it without the following:

JD Hinze – My dad, the person who introduced me to storytelling and fantasy in the first place. He read over eight (horrific) versions of my first book, but with each of his edits I learned and my skills grew. Without his belief in me and his fostering my abilities and telling me to go and just do it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

John Nagle – I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Nagle about eight years ago, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He was the first person to introduce me to the idea of independent publishing, and has offered his assistance and feedback in many of my efforts to this day. Without his suggestion and encouragement, never would I have taken the plunge into indie publishing.

Elizabeth Wheatley – Elisabeth Wheatley and I met at the Texas Book Festival a few years back, exchanged contact info, and have been writing buddies from then on out. We’ve beta-read one another’s novels, talked about story ideas, and supported one another since. She’s cheered me on and given me incredibly valuable insight for years, plus gave me the confidence and motivation to continue on my journey.

Intisar Khanani – Much like Elisabeth Wheatley, Intisar has beta-read stories of mine and given me great insights into the craft of writing. (Once she even mailed me a signed copy of her novel Sunbolt, which I LOVED.) Without these writing friends, it would have been near impossible to see this trilogy through to the end.

Matthew Bogard – I met Matthew nearly over a year and a half ago, and from day one I knew he was endowed with a sharp wit. I’ll admit to you (we’re close, right?) that we’ve also been dating for just as long. (Anecdote: I wiped the floor with him during a sparring match and he immediately asked me out to dinner.) One of my beta readers was too busy to go over The Final Advent, so Matthew volunteered in their stead. I was hesitant at first (it took him MONTHS to convince me to let him near it), but he ended up being fantastic.  Not only that, but he’s been an incredible source of support throughout my endeavors.

You – Yes, you, reading this right now, long-time reader or complete newbie who just stumbled across this post. Without the support of those in the background (especially my lovely commenters and like-rs!) I’d feel and be fruitless in my efforts, without support save those I’ve mentioned above. Knowing that my blog followers and readers are here makes everything worth it. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

For me the publication of The Final Advent marks the end of an era. And so, here’s to the next one, where ever it may take us!

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Find The Final Advent on Amazon.

TFA-Cover-Reveal Death overshadows everyone at some point, but for Liz Patrona that time comes far too soon. Word comes that Wily, her ruthless enemy, survived being thrown into the Black River and crossed into Geminus to usurp the kingdom’s throne. Now his sights rest firmly on her world. Knowing Liz is the only threat in his path, he curses her to die in one year’s time—unless she can kill him before the clock runs out. In the months she has left, she must travel into Geminus, forge precarious alliances with those who’ve survived Wily’s reign, and battle for her very survival. Yet what lies in Geminus may be more than she bargained for. In these foreign lands looms a sinister secret about her own past. Something that has been guiding her from her first breaths to her final steps.

In the long-awaited conclusion to the No Angels trilogy, Liz is pushed one last time to discover the bounds of how far she’s willing to go to protect those she loves—even if it means losing herself along the way.

Writing Update: January 2016

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At long last, The Final Advent has been published! This brings the No Angels trilogy to a close, which is a bittersweet moment for me. (There’ll be an entire blog post on this later.) This is a huge accomplishment for me, and is a promising way to start off the new year!

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I’ve finally started drafting The Immortal! I plan for the first draft to clock in around 70k, and have already knocked out 6k. To be honest, while first drafts famously suck, I am having a LOT of fun writing it! I hope you guys will like reading it just as much. ;)

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The Stolen Sun

Still subbing away on this one! It’s at Tor right now, a place that can take months to respond, but hey, we’ve all gotta play the game at one time or another, am I right?

Where Gold is Born

Yep, this piece has already been published. I know. But! Since the previous place didn’t have exclusive rights over it (the window for their rights have since expired), I’m trying to squeeze another credit out of this one by subbing it as a reprint.

Heartless (WIP title)

My current sci-fi/horror piece! To be honest, drafting this one is . . . laborious. I feel like the story is quite literally dying under my fingers with each sentence, but that’s also how I used to feel about TSS, and look where that is now! I’m holding out hope for this one. I’m aiming for 6k for the first draft, and am at about 2k as it stands.

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Stay tuned, everyone! What progress have you been making on your goals?

THE FINAL ADVENT Release!

After years of drafting, editing, rewriting, and (of course) more editing, THE FINAL ADVENT has officially been published! Go pick up your copy today of the final installment in the NO ANGELS trilogy, where action, adventure, and intrigue abound. (Only available in eBook format for the time being. It should be available in paperback soon!)

Also, for those of you on Goodreads, add it to your list here!

Getting to this point has been such an incredibly long, toiling, and rewarding journey. Without the support of all those I know and love, never in my wildest dreams would this have been possible. Each and every one of you–yes, YOU reading this right now–have been invaluable to me, whether you’re aware of it or not. I’ll cut the sentiments short for now (that’s for a whole different post), but be warned: they’re coming for you!

Thank you so much for following me on my adventures thus far. With the No Angels trilogy wrapped up, it’s time that we take the next steps out into an even bigger, if mysterious, world.

Until next time!

My 2016 Writing Resolutions

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Read 30 Books

I know 30 books sounds like a meager amount to some, but hear me out. I’m in college full-time, will be drafting an entire novel this year, and will be spending 2+ months abroad with little-to-no access to personal reading material. I’ll likely end up reading beyond 30, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot by aiming too high.

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Publish The Final Advent

Okay, so this resolution is sort of a ‘gimme’ considering the book’s is almost totally ready, but it still counts! All I’m waiting for is one beta reader’s feedback, then a read-through with minor edits on my end, then bam! We are done!

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Draft The Immortal 

This resolution was actually on my list for 2015, but with how crazy the year was, it simply didn’t get done. I’ve already started drafting it–by which I mean I’m about 3 pages in–but I have a long ways to go. That being said, I’m SO INCREDIBLY excited to write this. It’s very different from the rest of my work, and hopefully will rip your hearts to shreds. <3

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Complete my Short Horror Story

I worked a bit more on the short sci-fi/horror piece in 2015, but I’ll admit it fell by the wayside as the year spun out of control. Still, I’m chipping away at the thing and am eager to see if anything will come of it! At the very least, it’s a good exercise.

Continue Subbing The Stolen Sun

This resolution is accompanied by a bit of good news! A few months back, I submitted TSS to the Writers of the Future Contest, established by L. Ron Hubbard. It’s an extremely well-regarded contest with big name judges, and tens of thousands of people have entered over the years. While I didn’t place, I received an honorable recognition, which thankfully is not the equivalent of a participation ribbon. Only about the top 5-10% of entrants earn an honorable mention in a given Quarter, which lets me know I’m on the right track! For me it’s at least a nod that I’m doing something right, if not a publication credit. So in 2016 I’ll continue plugging away and see if any publications will bite. ;)

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What are your 2016 writing and/or reading resolutions?

 

Cover & Blurb Reveal: The Final Advent (No Angels #3)

At long last, I’m proud to finally reveal the cover and blurb for The Final Advent! It’s been a long journey in getting here, but well worth it.

The Final Advent is the third and last installment in the No Angels trilogy, one that I’ve been working on for a long time now. In the days leading up to the release date (soft date is January 5th), I’ll be publishing some posts on my journey up to this point, what I’ve learned, and so on.

For the time being, check out The Final Advent‘s cover and blurb below!

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TFA-Cover-Reveal

Death overshadows everyone at some point, but for Liz Patrona that time comes far too soon. Word comes that Wily, her ruthless enemy, survived being thrown into the Black River and crossed into Geminus to usurp the kingdom’s throne. Now his sights rest firmly on her world. Knowing Liz is the only threat in his path, he curses her to die in one year’s time—unless she can kill him before the clock runs out. In the months she has left, she must travel into Geminus, forge precarious alliances with those who’ve survived Wily’s reign, and battle for her very survival. Yet what lies in Geminus may be more than she bargained for. In these foreign lands looms a sinister secret about her own past. Something that has been guiding her from her first breaths to her final steps.

In the long-awaited conclusion to the No Angels trilogy, Liz is pushed one last time to discover the bounds of how far she’s willing to go to protect those she loves—even if it means losing herself along the way.

Find the rest of the trilogy below:

No Angels

Collapsed Cathedrals

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Thoughts? Predictions? I hope you’re just as excited for this book’s release as I am. Comment below!

The End of Hiatus

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In February 2015 I announced that I was going to be taking an official hiatus, as things in my life were getting pretty stressful. I’d assumed that I would be back in a few months or so. Ha ha. Ha.

I’m going to level with you guys and be completely transparent. 2015 was the worst year of my life to date. My little brother unexpectedly passed away. I was diagnosed with a life long, semi-degenerative, incurable illness. (Said illness got much worse this year, so for a lot of 2015 I’ve been struggling to just stay afloat.) I developed chronic nausea so bad that I could hardly eat anything; I was hospitalized for a week; I randomly passed out; I fell down two flights of stairs and had an icebox land on me; and so on. You hopefully get the picture at this point.

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A summary of 2015

But now I’m back. While this year has been nothing short of a pain, I’ve learned how to adapt and make it through. I’ve had to focus in on what’s truly important to me, and writing is one of those things.

Thus, I officially declare my hiatus as over! And boy do I have a surprise for you guys.

The Final Advent will be released in January of 2016. (It’ll likely be ready towards the tail-end of December, but I don’t want to harm the book’s release my putting it too close to Christmas and New Years.) The cover is done, the formatting is largely finished, and all I have left to take into account is one beta editor’s feedback. The No Angels trilogy will finally be complete!

I’ve already started drafting my next novel, The Immortal, which I have high hopes for, and am also drafting a short, loose horror retelling of Frankenstein.

I’m so happy to be back at it again. When I’m writing, when I’m reading, when I’m doing ANYTHING book related, I feel a sense of ease and excitement all at once. Thank you guys so much for your incredibly patience in my absence; I can’t thank you enough for your support and kind words.

While 2015 was undeniably rough, 2016 is set to be the best year yet! Let’s get to it!

The Year Ahead: My 2015 Literary Resolutions

Okay, I confess. I stole borrowed this idea from Elisabeth Wheatley, but I just couldn’t help myself! (You can see her entry here.)

Here I’ll give you a run-down of what I hope to accomplish this year writing & reading-wise. It’s always good to know where one stands in regards to goal-setting, and this way you guys can know about it too! Feel free to kick my butt into gear if at any point this year you feel like I’m slacking. ;D

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Read 30 Books
I know this sounds meager, but it’s the minimum I want to read. I’m already close to finishing reading my 5th book of 2015, but sometimes life gets crazy and I wanted to allow wiggle room for that.

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Publish The Final Advent
Finishing all the necessary rounds of edits for, and then publish, The Final Advent. Funny thing is, this one’s word count has soared as I’ve edited it. Not usually how that’s supposed to work, huh?

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Complete Two Short Stories
Both of these are already in the works! One is a sci/fi horror piece that I’m estimating will be around 5k words, and the other is a modern day, speculative flash fiction piece. I would also like to have them fully edited and begin submitting to magazines by the end of the year.

Work on My Poetry
Did you know I write poetry? Yeah, most people don’t. To be honest I just dabble, but this year I’d like to shoot a little higher with it. I want to complete a couple of pieces and submit them to magazines, then see where it takes me from there!

Continue Subbing The Stolen Sun
I’m still subbing TSS to magazines, so my goal for 2015 is to keep trucking along on that front. Even if I try my hardest this year, that’s still not to say it’ll get published, but at least I’ll be putting in the effort!

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Draft The Immortal

This novel is ready to go! The only two reasons I haven’t yet started this project are as follows: 1.) I want to brush up on my writing before diving in (hence the short stories, which serve another function as exercises for me), and 2.) I’m focusing the majority of my energy on completing The Final Advent! I’m racing along (though whilst keeping a firm eye on quality) and want to continue at this pace to meet my early-mid-2015 deadline.

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Replot The Cradle
I already have a full on outline for this novel, but in looking over my outline have spotted some potentially fatal flaws in how the plot is staged. I want to toy with other ideas to use in the plot, define the climax more, and establish a really solid mood and theme before jumping in.

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Work on a Literary Journal
I’m set to be a preliminary reader for my University’s literary journal, Echo Magazine! I’m very excited about working with them, and am eager to see what other work opportunities with them arise.

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There you have it! What are your 2015 literary resolutions? Leave a comment below!