Chat With Me At Multiverse

Come see me at Multiverse this weekend!

This weekend you can attend a FREE virtual convention that covers everything from writing to fandom love. It’s a three-day con and there are going to be some amazing panels to watch. No need to sign up, just show up. They’ll have information going up soon on how to get on their Discord server so you can chat with folks in real time throughout the convention.

I’m going to be in a panel on Sunday at 1:00PM on Characterization: Crafting a Villain with some absolutely fantastic fellow authors. Panelists will be watching and commenting live on Discord in the #write channel. Come join our discussion on crafting villains!

In addition to the panel, I’ll have one-on-one mentoring opportunities available Sunday afternoon. Have you ever wanted to pick my brain on publishing? Or on writing? Or on whatever writerly problem you want? This is your chance! I’ll have 8 fifteen minute sessions available, Sunday afternoon after the panel. Pick a slot and you can chat with me on Zoom.

Here are all the main links you’ll need:

I’m super excited to get to chat with y’all one on one! There are also a lot of other folks doing mentoring too, including authors and editors. Some people will even be accepting pitches. This is honestly a fantastic free opportunity so make sure you take advantage of it!

Check Out the New Panel!

This weekend I got the chance to join some incredible authors in a panel for Next Chapter Con! We talked about the difficulties of balancing a day job with writing, how we got starting with writing and publishing, and what we have coming next.

I was so honored to be able to chat with these folks. They had such incredible insight and experience. It really made me miss being able to go to conventions again!

Watch the full panel below, featuring Dan Jolley, Bobby Nash, and Armand Rosamilia, moderated by Kenyon T. Henry. There’s also a special guest appearance by my kitty, Zoey, cause of course she wanted to be the center of attention haha!

Organization Ideas Using a Bullet Journal [#AuthorToolboxBlogHop]

Real talk, this week authors. I wouldn’t be nearly as productive without my bullet journal.

This weekend I’ve taken part in a panel with Next Chapter Con, I attended a meeting with our local Horror Writers Association Atlanta Chapter, I setup my next mailing list post set to come out September 19th, and chatted with some readers via email. That is a lot to keep track of for one weekend, and that’s not even everything on my to-do list.

A quick note before I begin. This post is part of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop, a series where authors help authors through all aspects of their author career. I highly recommend clicking on the image above and going to check out all the other amazing blogs in this circle.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about the benefits of using a bullet journal as an author, but looking down at my long to-do list and everything I’ve done this weekend, I think it bears repeating. Down to it’s most basic description, a bullet journal is a DIY to-do list to help keep track of goals, habits, lifestyle, etc. The beauty of it is that you can tailor it completely to your needs, unlike an organizer you buy and have to fit to your needs.

Above is a screenshot from one of my trackers. I used it when I got the first round of developmental edits back for Chosen, book 3 of the Stolen series. Now these are usually the edits that require the most changes for me. Sometimes they can require whole scenes to be removed or added, or even whole sections of the novel to be rewritten. I find this first stage to be one of the hardest parts of the editing process. Having a tracker in my bullet journal and adding a few cute stickers helps me to stay on track. I bubble in a circle when I’ve knocked out that many pages. I added a turtle at the bottom to remind me that being “slow and steady” is okay.

On this next example, I’ve listed out books that I’ve been inspired to write. (Sorry it’s blurred out, but there are some major spoilers on those pages!) Some of these may become future works in progress, some may never see the light of day again, but this is perhaps the most prized portion of my bullet journal. These pages actually came from last year’s bullet journal. I cut them out and pasted them in here, and then added more to one of the book ideas this year. It’s wonderful to be able to slowly build on these ideas as I get more inspiration for them, and bring the pages with me each year. I can slowly build on these concepts and return to them again and again. Right now I have four full pages dedicated to book planning.

You’ll also notice I’ve got tabs on the side of this bullet journal. I keep track of everything from Mailing List ideas, to wordcounts for works in progress, to my annual word tracker that I’ve included below. I’m a little behind on filling it out, but I’ll catch up soon.

Each year I change around the layout, add some sections I may or may not use, and get a better understanding of what I need to personally stay organized and on top of my goals. It certainly isn’t a perfect system, but it’s such a huge improvement from the stress and constant feeling of being overwhelmed that I had before I began using it. I can stay focused on my goals, encourage myself with my progress, and remind myself of why I’m doing this.

If you have never used a bullet journal, simply look up #bujo on Instagram, Pinterest, or Youtube. There are tons of ideas out there that might suit your needs. As an author, it’s been indispensable and I can’t even imagine how I would organize the multitude of things I keep track of now without it.

Here are some things I also track with my bullet journal which has made me very happy this year despite all the craziness going on:

  • Habit Tracker for cleaning, self-care, and productivity.
  • Movies and TV shows I’ve watched.
  • Books I’ve read.
  • Quotes I love.
  • Stories I have finished.
  • Music I love.

A bullet journal can be anything you need, whether for fun, physical and mental well-being, or for your author career. Do you have ideas on what you would use one for? If you keep one, I’d love to see pictures! I’m always inspired seeing how people use theirs.

Talk Show Appearance

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this week you can catch me on TV in an interview with Connie Hall-Scott on “The Talk with Connie!” talk show. It’ll be airing on her show between August 31st and September 6th.

It was so great to get to talk with her last week and we had a really fun conversation about werewolves, cryptozoology, and life as an author. If you live in the North Georgia counties of Gordon, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, or Murray, you’ll be able to watch the show at the following times:

WDNN – Channels 7, 10, 23, & 49.1
Mondays @ 9am & 10pm
Thursdays @ 2am & 5:30pm
Fridays @ 9am & 8pm
Saturdays @ 7pm
Sundays @ 6:30pm

WDGA – Channels 4, 13, 216, 43.1
Saturday @ 9am

After the show has aired, Connie will be uploading it to her Youtube channel, and I’ll be sure to share the link with you all!

I’m still in shock that I’ve now had a TV appearance, and I really appreciate Connie reaching out to me about this. I had a blast talking with her and I look forward to getting the chance to chat with her again!

Some Big Changes Ahead

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably already seen one announcement, but I wanted to make sure my website followers are aware as well. Things have been moving fast this past month, both expected and not so much, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize it all in a way that makes sense for you all.

First things first, let’s start with a beloved book from my backlist.

The She-Wolf of Kanta

This book was my first solo release, available in print so I could hold it in my hands. It’s very tightly written, fast-paced, and is also one of the most highly rated stories I’ve written. However one of the biggest criticisms I’ve received on it is that it’s too short, and I definitely agree. It’s a novella, at a little over 20k words, and while it’s a wonderful story on it’s own, I felt like there was more to be told.

So I felt it was time to pull it from Aurelia Leo Publishing even though it’s had a wonderful run there. Olivia, the owner, was wonderful and the book had some beautiful internal artwork included with it too. When the rights were up for renewal, I felt it was a good time for Mercy’s story to move on.

I’ve already outlined the anticipated sequel, The Blood of Kanta, a full-length sequel to the highly acclaimed novella. It’s a book I’ve wanted to return to for a while, but with my current deadlines with the Stolen series, I haven’t had the chance to. I hope that will change soon and I’ll get to return to the unique world of werewolves and Kanta.

If you want to see progress on things that I’m currently writing, make sure you subscribe to my mailing list. I send out emails on the first and third Saturday of each month, and I plan to show more behind the scenes inspiration and progress of my works in progress.

“The Impostor”

You may have seen some of the news going around about Filles Vertes Publishing recently, and I’m afraid it’s not good news. They had scheduled my short story “The Impostor” to release in Link by Link coming this December. However I just received notice that the publisher has cancelled this anthology.

Based on the information I’ve received, I’m not surprised this happened, but it’s still disappointing to have my story homeless. It was written for a very specific theme, so finding another anthology to take it will be a challenge.

This is honestly one of the struggles I’ve faced in being part of small press anthologies. Some of the small presses do well long term and some don’t, but this leads me to what I plan to do with “The Impostor”.

Making New Plans

Looking at all the stories I’ve published over the past ten years, and the stories that I haven’t published, I have a good amount of spec fic stories (fantasy/scifi/horror) available. I’m looking at publishing them together in an anthology as my first collection of stories. In the rudimentary table of contents I put together this weekend, I found around 7 stories that had never found a home, many of them dark and experimental, misfits who also struggle to find acceptance.

So that’s my plan, and “The Impostor” will be included in this anthology. I’m very proud of all of these stories and I really am looking forward to sharing them with everyone.

Oh, and while I was doing inventory of my writing folder this weekend, I remembered that years ago I actually wrote several short pieces that were the beginning inspirations for the Stolen series. The characters were slightly different then than they are now, but the emotions and the pain expressed in them are very much the same. So… those will likely be included too!

So while I’m disappointed at this turn of events, I’m also excited for what comes down the road. There are a lot of possibilities I see available, and I still have two book releases coming out over the next 7 months. (Oof!)

Thank you all for supporting me through all this and for listening to this little peek behind the curtain. One last bite of advice before I go.

I took part in the Self-Employment Productivity Summit run by John Edward Lawson. One of the big takeaways that he mentioned and that has stuck with me is that when you run a small business, you represent that business in everything you do. And being an author is a business. From chatting online to going to stores to managing a table at a show. Every action you take reflects not only yourself but the business too. As someone who grew up among teachers, professors, and state employees, it’s something I’ve known my whole life. But it does bear repeating during this time of COVID.

Keep your head up and keep being creative. Stay safe out there, folks. ❤