Collaboration is Key

Every book I write is a collaborative effort. I always try to emphasize that because there’s a perception that books are only crafted by the author. While that may be the case for some books, it is not the case for mine.

I ran into trouble trying to find an editor for The Blood of Kanta and the rest of The Wolves of Kanta series. I thought I had someone lined up, but it turned out that was for a sample edit and it would take six months after I approved the sample for a full edit. That was my bad, I misunderstood what I was signing up for. But I simply couldn’t wait that long.

I found Lara Zielinsky’s information on the Wide for the Win Facebook group. She was listed with high praise, so I reached out and explained my situation. Lara gave me a sample edit and worked out a schedule for me. She made this stressful situation so much easier to deal with. She not only put together a series style guide for me but also gave me wonderful feedback for The Blood of Kanta. She encouraged me to lean into the science more and not be afraid to go into more detail. I’m endlessly grateful to her for helping me out when I was in a dire situation, and for her incredible notes and feedback. I’m thrilled to have her for the rest of The Wolves of Kanta series!

Each cover was also carefully crafted. I worked with Harvest Moon Premade Cover Design for the entire Wolves of Kanta series. Blood of Kanta’s cover was especially fun to make because of the vials in her hands. I especially like the one that looks like poison–that was her suggestion! She was wonderful to work with each time I needed some graphic or had a question. I honestly can’t recommend her enough!

Finally, there’s the map of Kanta, which I intend to include for every book in the series. My sister, Kelley M. Frank, put it together after working closely with me on the look and style. She kept it simple but also added a lot of important places to keep the map relevant for the entire series, which I love. One of the best parts of having a map of the world while I’m actively writing the series is that I can reference it as I go.

Each book is a collaboration project put together by me and several creative professionals who are all far more experienced in their field than me. As much love as my books get, remember I could never do it alone.

Thank you to Lara Zielinsky, Harvest Moon Premade Cover Design, and Kelley M. Frank for all your help. I look forward to working with each of you again!

If you love their work as much as I do, go visit their sites below and give them some love!

Kanta Can Be Beautiful

The first of my maps have been revealed for The She-Wolf of Kanta (April 17, 2018) and it’s so beautiful! Radiant Crown Publishing has truly outdone themselves with the quality of these maps and I’m so excited to be able to share them with you!

Here’s just a short snippet of what it looks like. Click to see the full history and map!

The History of Kanta:

Kanta used to be a small city with big hopes and dreams. The people pushed back the wilderness and claimed the land for their own, creating a haven amid the old forest…

See the full map and history of Kanta!


Maps and Trains of the 1880s

So a few nights ago I did a whole bunch of research for my NaNo novel, a supernatural adventure tale set in 1880s New Orleans. I had to figure out of what kind of method they would use to travel from the location I left off in the last book, a city in Texas, to New Orleans. Now that sounds a lot easier than it actually was.

I knew they would be traveling by train. That much I had figured out, but the details were still nagging at me. How long would that take? What kind of seating does an overnight train have? Would they have their own little cubby hole or would they need to be mindful of people sitting close around them?

Considering the “special needs” of my main characters, these were very important facts to know. Luckily I have the internet, and there are all sorts of details if you have the time and patience to go sorting through it.

  • LA & New Orleans Maps – Louisiana and New Orleans maps for as far back as 1722, complete with one that shows just how devastating the fire of 1788 was to the city. I have a feeling I’ll be referencing this one a bunch.
  • Absolute Write Water Cooler – When is this site *not* on your resource listing? Some excellent resources and links here that really helped me pinpoint my research. Having a timeframe for train travel, and more importantly knowing what tracks were in use when, I discovered was absolutely essential.
  • Missouri Pacific Railroad Map – I hate to say it, but I don’t quite remember where I picked this image up from. It was early in my researching, and you end up following different links, you know how it is. I think it might have been from Central Pacific Railroad Museum site, but I can’t recall. Anyway, it’s a huge file, so I’ve linked it on the side.
  • Rails West – Another cool site that helped me get a handle on how long a typical train ride would be. Apparently it would take 7 days to go across country, but often there would be a stopover location for a day or two. This site also helped me figure out the sleeping arrangements in 1880s train travel: Pullman Sleepers.

The Pullman Sleepers were pretty fascinating, and how they were configured would greatly impact the storyline. Here is a good example:

Those large glass cases over the head? They fold out into beds, like so:

Kind of amazing to see the kind of close quarters you would have to take during that time period. We have a much different definition of personal space these days. Of course the really updated version looked far more like something we would expect to see these days:

Anyway that’s all I have for today. Just random interesting tidbits from my latest writing! You never know where it’ll take you, am I right?

Update 9/2019 – I noticed a lot of the images in this post were broken since they were posted on Photobucket ages ago. So I’ve transferred them over to my main site for hosting. This is one of my most visited posts on my site after all these years, so I’m hoping this helps!