This Rollercoaster We Call Life
Thank you all for your patience and understanding over the last few chaotic months. Some of you reached out to me to express your sympathies over the passing of my brother last month, and I greatly appreciate it. Nothing will bring Rocky back, and nothing can make this easier on the many who loved him. Still, sometimes it helps to remember that we’re all in the same boat. Some die young. Some are dealt injustices that others never deal with. The rest of us are left to pick up the pieces and try to put the puzzle back together. Life is rarely fair, nor does it make sense most of the time, and it refuses to cave to our wills in terms of planning. Sometimes, bad things just happen and we are reminded how small we are in the world when we realize we are powerless.
Oddly enough, going through a lot of dark times in my life is what drives me to write such dark themes. I am obsessed with the fact that a life can drastically change in a millisecond due to decision-making (good or bad) or situations outside our control. I am an extreme optimist now, but there was a moment in my pre-teens when I tied a noose around my neck and took a step off a chair that I intended to be fatal. Thank the gods the suicide attempt failed (and this was as a result of extreme bullying in the early 2000s, so no need to be concerned now), but the fact remains: the same person who once decided life wasn’t worth living loves it now. That doesn’t mean I’m immune to negativity, of course; hell, losing two people I love dearly over the last year has put me through the roughest patch I’ve had in a while. But still: this idea that life can be both stunningly beautiful and outrageously cruel is one I often mimic in my books because it fascinates me. The unpredictability of life is what makes it worth living, even when things like loss, depression, and fear threaten our happiness.
I’m bringing all this up now to link it back to book news–which I know is what you’ve all been waiting for. I’m currently self-quarantining due to suffering some symptoms of the coronavirus, so it’s giving me a lot of time to game and plan. While putting an absurd amount of time in Farming Simulator 2019 (74 hours in a week, DON’T JUDGE ME), I’ve been outlining Of Monsters and Mutiny (Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy Book 3) and linking all sorts of pre-planned situations together. I re-read Stemming the Tide a few weeks ago and fell in love with it all over again. I love being inside Calder’s head. He’s so disturbed and traumatized that it’s interesting to explore. This is the second time I’ve explored severe PTSD in a main character; for those of you who are fans of mine only through the Six Elements series and/or universe, if you like my attention-to-detail when it comes to character psyche, I recommend trying my New World series (dystopian war thriller). That series is dedicated to the development of PTSD in an assassin who fights it off in her own head as she fights against an authoritarian American government. Whether she’s successful or not and how much it costs her is something you’d have to read the books to find out, but the New World series ending is my favorite I’ve ever written, so I’m biased. Ha.
Anyway, just know that Of Monsters and Mutiny is in the development stages. My releases may come out less often now, but I promise I’ll never become George R. R. Martin. 😛 Besides, like I said in my last post, I’m dedicating this book to Rocky, so it’ll be out before you know it. My brother loved hearing about Calder’s badassery and seeing him in artwork.
Seeking Cover Artists!
Speaking of artwork, I’ve had a hard time reaching my cover artist these past few months, so I’m on the hunt for dark fantasy artists whose art style is similar to that on the covers of Rise of a Necromancer and the Shapeshifting Seas Trilogy. If you are an artist or know an artist who is interested in developing book covers with me, send contact information, commission prices, and links to art portfolios to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do have timing requirements and other things we can discuss, but I’m super easy to work with and go above and beyond to support my artists. This offer will remain even if I get into contact with my existing artist–I often have too many requests for his schedule, so I’m always on the lookout for artists I can hire on a semi-regular basis (a few times per year). It should be noted that I will not only work with artists getting started in the industry, I kind of prefer it. I’d rather give work to a skilled unknown who needs experience, as long as that person is talented, honest, and professional. No cover design experience necessary–only the artwork is required, as I have a graphic designer who does the rest. 🙂
Follow Me on Instagram (Or…You Know, Don’t)
Last but not least, just tonight I started posting on Instagram if any of you are interested in following me there. Honestly, I joined the site years ago to get my daily fix of sparkly car porn and never planned on posting, but I thought, “Why the hell not?” I figure I’ll mostly be posting cats, memes, cats, book-related things, cats, vidya games, cats, and maybe the occasional travel photo if I ever can go anywhere again. *Shakes fist at sky and yells, “CORONAVIRUUUSSS!!!”*
I will not be posting anything political, but my sense of humor is so dark and inappropriate that I can’t promise not to offend anyone. In fact, I promise to be a good girl and cross a few lines. Within my first five posts, I’ve already insulted babies. That’s bound to offend somebody, but babies are sooo overrated.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned, stay safe, and wash your hands often, you dirty bastards.