I Finished My First Full Length Novel

Usually when I write these check-in posts I start with how much writing has changed my life and how much I enjoyed writing every day this past year, blah blah blah. (All of that is still true). But, this time around I felt something else. I felt…empty.

I sent my second of The One-Horned Heretic to beta-readers this week. For context, I have been working on this story since May of 2020. The story followers Hagador, a character that I have had in my unnamed grimdark trilogy plans for a while and when I sat down to write some of his backstory, this story came out of it. You could say it serves as an origin story for this vital character. It began as a short story, evolved into a series, was expected to be a novella, and then turned into an 84k word novel. My first novel. What a journey!

Halfway through 2021 I realized I took all of these stuttering steps because I didn’t think I could write an actual novel. I had these notions that I should eeeeeease into writing with a short story. That there is no possible way the first thing I publish would be more that a few thousand words.

Well. I was wrong.

But after all of that, all the transformation my story went through, all the support I got on social media when I talked about it or shared snippets, and especially after spending every day with it, I felt strangely lost after sending it out to betas.

It’s so personal, writing a book! Even if it has nothing to do with you, if it takes place in space or on a different world, it’s still something you worked tirelessly on. You chose every single word, you thought about it while you were at the gym or driving to work or while you were on a date. (If you are anything like me, you view the world entirely through a writer’s lens which can sometimes be distracting.)

I don’t have kids, but this felt as close as I’ll ever get to sending my kid to school for the first time!

I got past that feeling of emptiness and now I am full-blown excited to receive feedback and continue with a third draft. I have an October 22nd deadline with my editor so until then, I plan on reading, relaxing, beginning the editing phase, and continuing to do all the writerly things. Speaking of…

Some writely updates:

  • Social Media Marketing Booklet: At the beginning of the year, I took my seven years of social media marketing experience and began sending out one lesson per newsletter each month. Eight months later, I feel that it is in an excellent place to be a complete booklet with advice on graphic design, Instagram marketing, SEO, and more. It’s available for free to all my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here.
  • Newsletter Interviews: Instead of those lessons continuing, every few months or every quarter I will interview someone in the writing, publishing, and editing world which will be exclusively available via my newsletter. More on that to come!
  • Buy Me A Coffee: A few lovely supporters have given me some amazing critique work over the summer. Now that I am in a beta phase, I’d love to critique more! Check out my page for my rates and contact me if there is something more you’d like done than what I offer.
  • Writing Competitions: I plan to submit to the Los Suelos anthology and the NYC Midnight 250-Word Flash Challenge which will be my first attempts at short fiction!
  • FIYAHCON 2021: I’ll also be virtually attending Fiyahcon this September so if you are too, make sure we connect on Twitter.

Follow me on Instagram to stay in touch and up to date with my writing. I love connecting with writers and readers there.


A Year of Writing In Review

A year ago, like so many people, I found myself locked in my house, working, living, and existing all in the same space. I had a job I could do from home, but without a commute, a gym routine, errands to run and fun things to do on weekends, I had an awful lot of time on my hands.

That’s when I started writing consistently, though and started calling myself an author! I am very thankful for it. Like I usually do, I dove head first hard into it, throwing all my time, money, and resources at the best possible programs, websites, tools, and more. I made mistakes, I had successes, and this past weekend I assessed them to reorient myself moving forward. Here is what I learned.

I focused on the wrong book

My current book, The One-Horned Heretic, started out as a short story last year and I put all of my effort behind keeping it that way while I focused on what I had dubbed “the more important book”; book one of my unnamed grimdark series. It’s the series that I had toiled over for a decade but never started consistently writing. So while I was boxing The One-Horned Heretic into a short story series, I was working hard on this book series, considering The One-Horned Heretic “a throw away first story” that I could just “get out of the way”.

I was very wrong in thinking this way.

It took several months, beta reader feedback, and a friend slapping some sense into me to make me realize that I should respect this story for what it could be. So as of now, it is a 60k word novel and I am giving it the time, emotion, and effort it deserves. It’s currently in it’s second draft and I am doing rewrites and edits before another round of beta-reading this summer.

Did I waste a lot of time this past year beating around the bush with that? Could I have just figured this out sooner and had the book out by now? Maybe. But I learned a big lesson and you learn more from mistakes than successes.

I learned to write whenever

I used to think I had to sit down for long blocks of time to “stay in the zone” while I was writing. I still do this sometimes, like on the weekends I can get a groove going where the hours are flying by. But more importantly I learned that 40 minutes before work, 30 minute sprints every few hours throughout the day, and a spark of inspiration before bed are just as valuable.

This way, I can set a weekly word-count or chapter goal but have flexibility. I also think this will benefit me as a writer in the long run, being able to just sit down and write without a long prep period before hand to get in “the zone”, whatever that even is.

I spent money and time in the wrong places

This weekend I CLEANED. HOUSE. with subscriptions and nonsense that I didn’t need and it felt so refreshing.

Last year I built this website for my writing, which is vital and I’m glad I did it. But did I really need the $200 WordPress Business plan? Absolutely not, it was ludicrous that I thought I did. So I downgraded my website and simplified it to only the essential information.

I also said goodbye to Canva and Later and decided to spend less time making social media posts. I had been creating elaborate graphics every day, following prompts and spending a lot of time engaging with other posts with the intention of building an audience so that “when I publish, I have an audience to promote it to.” This is a good mindset to have, but I dialed it back so I can spend more time writing and less time creating a “future” audience.

I’m glad I took this time to review all that’s happened this past year. As I have said many times before, starting this writing journey, something I have wanted to do my whole life, has been so rewarding. I have learned so much, from fellow writers, seminars, books, practice and trial and error. A year from now I hope to reevaluate once more and see if I learned a thing or two again!

Follow my writing journey on Instagram to keep in touch and subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my WIPs and free monthly Social Media Marketing Lesson.


Putting My 8 Years of Social Marketing To Good Use

In addition to being a writer, I have worked in social media marketing and community management for the last eight years. Now that I have a product I want to sell, and a platform I want to promote, I have finally started employing these skills through my own social media platform as an author.

Viewing myself as a “brand” has been a hard thing to wrap my head around. I have worked with large brands before, from AAA games to satellite radio. Their reach is international and in the millions. I had always viewed my own personal social media as a place to just connect with friends, but ever since I switched gears and focused on growing it as a brand, I have met so many amazing people and accomplished what I wanted to: grow a community around my writing.

This got the wheels turning in my brain. I realized I can be sharing this knowledge that I’ve taken eight years to improve and perfect and share it with that community through my newsletter!

New Year, New Newsletter!

Now that it’s a new year, I revamped my newsletter. I realized I needed something that made it special. Something that was exclusive and useful. I haven’t published enough yet to justify offering writing advice, in my opinion. At least, I haven’t published enough yet! So, each month I’ll be offering social media, graphic design, and community building advice geared towards growing your author platform!

I will cover such things as:

  • How to analyze and understand your social media insights.
  • Simple graphic design principles like:
    • The Rule of Thirds
    • Chooses colors based on the color wheel
    • Typography
    • Composition for different social platforms.
  • The types of social media engagement and which is best for growing community.
  • How to use hashtags effectively.
  • And more!

In addition to that, my newsletters also include:

  • Updates on my works-in-progress.
  • Exclusive offers, like pre-orders and beta-reading opportunities.
  • My monthly additions to my Writing Inspiration Playlist on Spotify.
  • Recommendations on resources geared towards the fantasy, grimdark, and science-fiction genres.

Join my newsletter!

I would be happy to have you join my community of writers and readers! My newsletter goes out at the end of every month.


2020 In Review and My Goals For 2021

At the beginning of 2020, I was working a job that I hated. On my down time, which was more down than up, I would write parts of my story that I had been kicking around in my head for over ten years. Like always, I would start and stop. I would write random scenes with no real direction, and for some inconceivable reason, I was writing in Comic Sans because the internet told me it “boosts creativity”.

What a load of crap.

After having only poked around the gaming communities on social media for years, I discovered the sprawling online communities of writers out there. It singlehandedly shifted the tide for me. Not only did I discover a support system of fellow new-writers, but I learned so much more than I ever expected about craft, story structure, and writing with heart. It changed everything for me.

Here are some incredible things that happened to me as a writer in 2020 and my goals for 2021.

Hagador’s Story

Somewhere around May, locked in my house with a ton of free time on my hands, I started re-outlining my novels and I had discovered a gap in Hagador’s backstory. If you don’t know, Hagador actually started as a character in my novels.

So when I realized this, I just casually started writing it out like a brain dump. That’s when I was struck by the biggest bolt of inspiration I’d had in a while. “I should write his origin story as a short story and publish it!”

The rest is history. It may have gone through and is still going through changes, but Hagador’s story will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first thing I ever published. It was the first story people who I don’t know have read. It’s the first time people paid money to read what I created. Thank you to everyone who is coming along with my on his journey!

National Novel Writing Month

At the end of August, it was a really harsh reality check finding out that I wasn’t going back to the office in the fall. The pandemic was still raging on, but I was well entrenched in my working-from-home/writing routine, so I realized around September that I should participate in NaNoWriMo!

I had tried and failed in the past and the reasons for that were nonexistent now; commuting to an office, no free time outside of work, and, oh yes, NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING.

Over the last year, I took it upon myself to learn about the craft of writing and story structure every day. I watched videos, I spoke to people online, I read books and articles, and I took notes. I owe all of my success with finishing 50,000 words in a month to the prep-work I did in October. If you are interested in reading more about that, like how outlining on giant cork-boards saved my life, I wrote about it in this article, “I Won NaNoWriMo! Here Are Some Things That Helped Me Succeed.”

“The Novels Of Undetermined Length and Titles”

That should be the title of my book!

I have made more progress on my novels this past year than I have in the last ten. Not to mention, I started sharing it with the world for the first time! I have a Pinterest Board with inspiration boards for all of the countries, characters, and cultures. At the beginning of 20202, I created this website where you can meet some of those characters and understand the plot and world I am building. I totally overhauled my social media accounts to make them author focused. Above all else, I started writing every day! I bought Scrivener to make my life easier and I changed my mindset; if I want to be an author, I can’t wait until I am one. I have to make it happen, and treat it like a job no matter what and if I work hard enough, I can turn it into a job.

New Writing Friends

Being secluded since March has been tough at times. I am very good at being alone, but there are times where it definitely weighed on me, but I am very grateful for the friends I’ve made online this year. Whether they were fellow writers or readers of my story, it is a community I am honored to be a part of. There are so many creative individuals out there and they inspired me every single day.

I also need to give a shout out to my editor, Christie Stratos! We began as high school friends, and just before I started seriously writing, Christie launched her own company, Proof Positive Pro, and it felt like kismet! I didn’t hesitate hiring her as my editor and I can’t thank her enough for being Hagador’s champion through all the forms his story has taken over the course of this year.

My Writing Goals For 2021:

  1. Publish The One-Horned Heretic as a novella, the format that it always should have been!
  2. Finish the first draft of my first book. I have an entire year ahead of me. I can do it.
  3. Write every day!
  4. Think of a new idea. I have been on this one concept for so long, I’d love to start another project.
  5. Grow my social media presence as an author by 100 a month (hopefully!).
  6. Read one book a month.

Thank you all for your support during this crazy year. You gave me the confidence to keep going, to keep writing, and to keep telling my story. What are some of your goals for 2021?

Have you joined my newsletter?

If you answered yes, I adore you. If you answered no, you have a chance to redeem yourself and gain my undying adoration. I send out updates twice a month, including news on my writing and the all powerful cat pics.


I Won NaNoWriMo! Here Are Some Things That Helped Me Succeed.

I can’t believe I did it; 50k words in 30 days! To say I am ecstatic is even an understatement. This is more than I have ever written for this book series and if you have been following my writing journey, you know that I have been working on this for a very long time.

When starting Nation Novel Writing Month, I knew that my book wouldn’t be finished by the time November was up. I knew my story was more that 50k words, so I set out with the intention of using this as the kick-start I needed to begin treating my writing like a job even if I’m not getting paid yet.

Because of that, I learned and accomplished more in this last month that I ever have with my writing. Here are some things I did that helped me succeed:

Create a writing habit and treat it like a job.

I haven’t commuted since March, so at the beginning of the pandemic, I just slept in each morning. But I realized with no where to go at night keeping me out late, and no where to be in the morning, I started getting up to write from 6:00am to 9:00am before I had to sign on for work! It was the best decision I made. I wrote every single day during that time. Of course there were “off” days, so I would make up for it at night and on the weekends.

In addition, I set daily word goals. 1670 a day would get me to 50k in thirty days, so I made that my goal and adjusted accordingly when I exceeded it. Some days I was on a roll and would hit 2700 so then I knew that on the days where I wasn’t doing as well, I had wiggle room.

I don’t know if I believe in “manifestation”, but I do firmly believe that if you have a hobby, passion, or side-project that you love and want to turn into a full-time job, then you have to treat is as such. I worked on my writing every single day! It not only put me in a better position for success, but it also made me incredibly happy to do what I love on a daily basis.

Prepare! Prepare in whatever way works for you.

For me, that meant outlining. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my crazy process! Well, it isn’t crazy for me, in fact it is the opposite of crazy. It calms the crazy.

My writing process always starts out chaotic. I have notes everywhere; physical, mental, on my phone, on my computer spread across Word and OneNote. I do a huge brain dump of summaries and plot outlines, I write character arcs and backstories, and then when I feel like I’m in a good place, I create an outline on poster board that looks like this:

Each color is a different character, each card is a scene/chapter, and each orange post-it is either a question I need to answer, a “maybe” aspect of the story, or a plot hole I discovered while outlining. They are in chapter order, so now I have my book laid out in front of me! For me, it is incredibly helpful. Then, when I sit down to actually draft, I go card by card, chapter by chapter.

Invest in products that will help your craft.

This is me telling you to buy things!

For me, this meant Scrivener, and all of the supplies I used for my outlining boards. Scrivener was the most important investment. I had been using Word, which was fine for when I was casually writing and for my short stories, but once I moved onto this complex novel, that is part one in an I-don’t-even-know-how-long-anymore series, I needed to be much more organized.

I knew that when you finished NaNoWriMo you got a discount code, but I couldn’t wait anymore and purchased it early for $49 which is incredibly worth it. It’s also helpful for NaNoWrimo because you can set word count goals and track your progress much easier than in Word. The first day I started using it, I immediately saw a difference and I was hitting my goals faster and exceeding them.

I stayed positive and practiced self care!

It is very easy to feel overwhelmed when starting a project under a strict deadline. It’s also easy to be hard on yourself if you don’t meet goals you’ve set for yourself. Some days I couldn’t even get 100 words out, and some I would do 3,000 easily. On those “off” days, I would just tell myself that every day isn’t going to be like that. Every single writer in the history of writers has had those days. Sure enough, the next day or the day after, I’d be back to my normal self.

Likewise, it’s also very easy for writers to over-exert themselves. Some people might think it’s not possible since “all you’re doing is sitting”, but that certainly isn’t all we do. It’s important to practice self-care while you’re writing, like remembering to drink water, sit up straight, take standing and eye/wrist breaks, but also to practice self-care afterwards. I prioritized the gym, reading, and SLEEP after I finished writing for the day.

Have you joined my newsletter?

If you answered yes, I adore you. If you answered no, you have a chance to redeem yourself and gain my undying adoration. I send out updates twice a month, including news on my writing and the all powerful cat pics.


NaNoWriMo Check-In Plus Hagador Artwork!

What a week!

The first week of National Novel Writing Month is in the bag and I am very pleased with my progress. I have written every day and currently have a total of 25,585 words written which is ahead of the schedule and goal I made for myself to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month.

Some days were super easy and I’d bang out 2,700 – 3,000 words in a day without even realizing it. Other days I’d sit and stay at my computer at 6am, the morning still dark, grasping at straws and squeaking out only 500 words. But I have been learning so much about patience, with myself and my story, that I am not worried about hitting my goal. I am updating my progress daily on Instagram so if you want to follow along, I suggest you follow me there.

Finished Hagador Artwork!

I have been working with an artist over the last few months to create a portrait of Hagador. It started as an attempt to create art for an eventual book cover when I compile The One-Horned Heretic into a paperback, then it turned into a, “well this just looks darn cool” type of thing, so now I’m not sure I will do with it! Either way, it is absolutely amazing:

Ta-da! I found Elisa Serio on Twitter while doodling around the #writingcommunity hashtag and her portraits caught my attention. I wanted someone talented and affordable, and Elisa was both. You can view her rates here.

Working with her was so easy! I had never commissioned a piece of artwork before and she was very responsive to all of my emails, especially since she lives across the world from me. She understood all of my very insane notes and translated them so well into the final image. I sent her The Price to read first and asked her to draw Hagador as she saw him, and this is what she came up with first:

Quite a journey from that to the final product, right? I had realized after this initial sketch that I wanted more than a bust of him, so after a few rounds of back and forth, we settled on the depicting the moment Hagador realizes he’s lost his horn. It’s the opening scene of The Price, so, it was very fitting!

Hagador is the main character of my short story series The One-Horned Heretic. The first two installments of the three part series, The Price and The Remnant, are available on Amazon for $.99 each!

Have you joined my newsletter?

If you answered yes, I adore you. If you answered no, you have a chance to redeem yourself and gain my undying adoration. I send out updates twice a month, including news on my writing and the all powerful cat pics.


Free Promotion for “The Price” and “The Remnant” is out now!

This week has been a crazy week! I have had so many new readers for The Price, thanks in large part to a free price promotion I am running which ends today. You can still grab The Price, part one of The One-Horned Heretic Series, for FREE until midnight tonight! Here is a recent review that made me feel all the feels:

And now, the most exciting news of today; The Remnant is now available to purchase for $.99! I am really proud of how this series is unfolding. Some of you who follow my blog may know that Hagador, the main character of The One-Horned Heretic, is a major character in my future novels that take place in Darkwerks. This story is a small part of his “origin” story. The first scene in particular of The Price was one that I had in my head for a long time. Once I started mulling it over more and more I thought to myself, “I should write this down! This would be a great story.”

Turns out, many of you thought the same thing! I love hearing people say that they couldn’t put it down or that they were almost mad that there wasn’t more yet. More is coming! I finished part three, the final installment of the series, and I hope to have it out by the end of 2020.

Now that it’s Halloween and my favorite month of the year is coming to a close, another exciting month is about to begin; National Novel Writing Month. Since I am still, for the most part, quarantining at home with no end in site, I am not going out for Halloween so I am spending all day finishing my outline for my first full-length novel! I will also be participating in another work-in-progress Instagram challenge throughout November. If you want to follow along, you can find me here! Happy Halloween and Happy Writing!

Have you joined my newsletter?

If you answered yes, I adore you. If you answered no, you have a chance to redeem yourself and gain my undying adoration. I send out updates twice a month, including news on my writing and the all powerful cat pics.


One Week Countdown to “The Remnant”!

It’s the final stretch! The Remnant comes out on Halloween and I am so proud and excited for this one. The Remnant is part two in The One-Horned Heretic, my grimdark fantasy short story series. Here is the book blurb and some more info:

I am especially excited for this one because we follow Hagador out into the world of Darkwerks. In part one, The Price, we follow him through a tense escape from an underground city. In The Remnant, Hagador will meet people from many different places and cultures while navigating a harsh wilderness while dealing with the aftermath of a very traumatic accident.

If you haven’t read The Price, make sure you pick it up on Amazon for $.99 beforehand! Here is a little bit about The Price:

Psssstttttt. Here’s a secret. If you sign up for my newsletter, you can receive a FREE preview of The Price, which contains the first three pages. If you enjoy it, then you can purchase it on Amazon!

Thank you for reading! See you on Halloween!


NaNoWriMo Prep and Short Story Updates.

National Novel Writing Month is fast approaching and I am determined to finish this year. I have tried in the past but I had a lot of things working against me, all of which aren’t in play this year. I have a good feeling about it. Here are some things I am doing differently!

Changed up my outline format.

I have struggled over the years with deciding if I am and pantser or a plotter. I feel like I am a combination of both, especially since I didn’t outline any of The One-Horned Heretic and I flew through writing that series. It was the easiest thing I’ve written!

For my novels, though; they are complex. Not complicated! Complex. I have pay-offs that I have to plan books ahead of time so I definitely needed to outline. At first I started with a Word-doc, but that left me too much room to thought dump enormous paragraphs where I should be outlining with one-liners. Then I tried an Excel spreadsheet and it made my head hurt. Since I use Excel religiously at my job, I definitely don’t want to use it during my fun writing time too!

Finally, I decided on, at least for the first go-around, a storyboarding approach much like how Jenna Moreci uses. You can see below how I did it. Each board is one character, since my story is told from multiple perspectives. I wrote out each scene I know so far, and they are generally organized vertically as Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3. I was so stunned at how much better I was able to brainstorm! Now I can physically see where the plot holes are. I couldn’t visualize that in a Word or Excel doc.

Let’s not talk about the orange one…she is giving me trouble…

Established my daily routine.

Normally I would go to the gym in the morning, work all day at my desk and then sit in the same desk and work on my writing. I noticed that after sitting for eight hours, I wouldn’t get as much done as I thought I could even though I had a good chunk of time after work to write. I swapped my routine, so now I write in the morning, work a full day, go to the gym for an hour, and then write at night.

This was so important for me since now I will have a daily word-count goal to get to each day for National Novel Writing Month. I can split up my sitting-time and writing-time with my day job and the gym so I don’t get burnt out!

Releasing The Remnant before November 1st!

This was super important! I didn’t want to be thinking about my edits or my release at all in November so I can concentrate fully on my first novel. Now that I am releasing part two of The One-Horned Heretic on October 31st, I can market it throughout November, which is eons easier than writing or editing two pieces at once!

The One-Horned Heretic Updates

I am 100% on track to release part two, The Remnant, on October 31st. I can’t help but laugh at myself…part three is also finished! Having a complete story feels incredible. Part three is unpolished, obviously, and far from finished, but it was really good to get it all out of my head in time for NaNoWriMo.

As always, thank you for reading and following along on my journey! Check out all this other junk below if you want to read more:

“The Price” is out now!

Read my first piece of published fiction, Part 1 of The One-Horned Heretic, a dark fantasy series for $.99 on Amazon! Is anything even $.99 anymore? What a steal.


“The One-Horned Heretic” Part Two Cover and Title Reveal

It has been a minute since I had an update! I am very happy to say that the last few months have been incredibly productive. Not only have I been working consistently on my novels, but I am also finished with part two of The One-Horned Heretic Series an am super excited to reveal the cover!

This leg of Hagador’s journey continues my grim-dark/dark fantasy theme so it’s only fitting to release it on Halloween! I am very excited for this one, and excited to introduce a new character I think you will love.

In other news, I commissioned an artist to paint a picture of Hagador! I have bounced back and forth between where I want to use it. I was originally going to use it as a cover for part one, The Price, but I am considering using it for the paperback that will come out when I finish all three parts. I will be posting updates on the progress of it on my Patreon for those who would like to become part of my Patreon community!

Speaking of The Price, I redid the cover for it when I made the cover for The Remnant. Seeing it’s a series, they should all be the same style. Here is the new cover for The Price!

My thought process was that even though the underground entrance was a story element, it wasn’t enough of a story element. Not to mention the very teensy weensy Kindle thumbnail made it hard to see what it was! Now that is it superimposed over a book, which is Asakura’s journal that Hagador received hurriedly before his escape, it adds another story element and (I hope) sparks the question of what it is and what it means.

I can’t wait to release this one! As a new author who is new to the self-publishing realm, I am learning a lot and experimenting a lot, so stay tuned with my updates because I may be releasing part two on more platforms! I suggest signing up for my newsletter and following me on Twitter to hear about updates!


Work-In-Progress Questions Answered.

The one thing I can 100% say benefited from this lockdown was my ability to speak to people in the writing community online. I never used to comment or engage with people on social media, which is ironic because it is actually my day job to do that. Maybe after doing it all day for one brand, I was just unknowingly too burnt out to do it on my own free time for my own brand.

I digress. The point is, I found the time, of which I had plenty since I was and still am home all the time! Because of this, I have met some really great people in the writing community and stumbled upon this #AugustWritersWIPChallenge which forced me to speak more publicly about my work in progress.

Now that we are halfway through August, I wanted to take a couple of my favorite questions and elaborate on the answers I gave on Instagram, giving my future readers a more detailed glimpse into my world!

What stage is your current work-in-progress in?

This is a complicated answer, which I couldn’t do proper justice explaining on Instagram, so here it goes!

I have two WIPs; The One-Horned Heretic short story series, and the novel series I am just calling Darkwerks which has been the working title for…well, forever. It will remain that way until an actual title comes to me. Probably in a vision via muse.

For The OneHorned Heretic series, I am chugging along beautifully. I published part one in July to excellent feedback and am currently experimenting with Amazon’s advertising platform to see if I can crack that nut. As for part two, I just finished the first draft! I’m going to sit on it for a little bit before I send it to my editor. I am aiming to publish it in September. If you hadn’t read it anywhere already, I plan to have at least three, maybe a four stories in that series which I will compile into a paperback after they are published! They take place in the world that Darkwerks is set in, but 20 years after Book One of Darkwerks will take place.

Which brings me to Darkwerks. Technically, the progress on this story goes back over ten years. I started working on the basic idea when I was graduating high school! That included outlines, random scenes that I had in my head, world building, etc. But I never sat down and outlined a book fully or started on a serious manuscript…until now *DRAMATIC MUSIC*.

I currently have as of this year when I sat down and decided to finally start writing the first draft:

  • a Microsoft One-Note wiki cookin’ where I am writing backstory, history, characters\ outlines, and all things world-building,
  • a three-book outline (THREE. BOOK. OUTLINE.) that I am editing on an almost daily basis as I work on the overall plot and tie-ins,
  • the start of book one written which I work on almost daily as well.

Big oof.


For most of the August Writers WIP Challenge I have been talking about Diana/Denawyn who is the immortal God Queen of Darkwerks and who most of the story follows. She has been alive for 7,000 years and doesn’t remember anything before then…oooooooo foreshadowing.

I like her story particularly because I am positioning her immortality as not a gift, but a very heavy burden, one that weighs on her every single day. On top of that, the burden of being a religious figure head and the political glue that holds the realm together also weighs on her. She grapples with the fact that she wants to die and would, at this point, give anything to be mortal, while also grappling with the unanswerable question; what would happen to the realm if she dies? They have only ever known her reign.

That being said, her fears come two-fold. One is that she fears that she will be trapped forever in a cycle that makes her endlessly unhappy. She watches her husbands and children grow old and die. When Denawyn finds herself in a war, many people, friend and foe alike, die at her hand and command. After 7,000 years of it, she is so deeply tired of it.

On the other hand, she fears what might happen to the realm if she dies. 7,000 years is a long time and she has build amazing things from nothing for Darkwerks, with advances in engineering, city planning, medicine, etc. because of her connection to the Gods that grant her knowledge. Without that connection, the people of Darkwerks would be left in the dark.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram to see the rest of my posts for the August Writer’s WIP Challenge!

“The Price” is out now!

Read my first piece of published fiction, Part 1 of a dark fantasy series for $.99 on Amazon! Is anything even $.99 anymore? What a steal.

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If you answered yes, I adore you. If you answered no, you have a chance to redeem yourself and gain my undying adoration. I send out updates twice a month, including news on my writing and the all powerful cat pics.


What You Give Up To Be A Writer

Writing has always been my end game. I never wanted children or my day job to be my legacy. I don’t see myself making something lasting out of working in social media marketing. What I want out of life is to create a world of stories that lives on after me. I want someone to pick up my book on a shelf (or pull it up on whatever tablet we are using in the future) and read my words, maybe even become inspired by them, or just lose themselves in it. I want someone to feel about my world how I feel when I read Tolkien.

This is no small feat. Writing takes more time than people think. It is a job in and of itself, which is why many of us work all day and then write all night. There are a lot of sacrifices to be made and I personally, have made many. Maybe they aren’t life altering, earth-shattering sacrifices, but they are noticeable and necessary to get the job done.

When thinking about writing an article on this, I thought to myself, “Would I actually be writing this post if it weren’t for quarantine?” This pandemic has given me a lot of free time which I turned into writing time. I have no commute. I work-out at home now. I work my day job at the same spot I write at. I wonder to myself, Would I have persisted in making these small sacrifices if I had a normal commute and normal job? Or would I have been too tired after work from a commute and just melted into a video game? Would I have said no to Thursday Happy Hour with co-workers to go home and write or would I have given in for some human connection?

Right now, that is what I have given up the most; human connection. Granted, I have no gym, Krav Maga dojo, bars, concert venues, dance studios, etc. to go to for my normal human connection because of the pandemic, but there are definitely some other things I have stopped doing that I noticed.

I realize sometimes I hadn’t looked my parents in the eye for a whole day because I wake up, work, leave my office only for the bathroom or the kitchen, rush back in and immediately start writing after work. (To be fair, it is nice and cool in there, so why would I leave?!)

I continue to live with them, giving up independence that I crave more than anything, just so I can a. obviously save money like a responsible human being during the pandemic, but also b. use some of that saved money to market my stories and books, pay for my website, my newsletter, etc.

My co-workers have virtual happy hour on Thursdays now, which I don’t go to because on Thursdays I write for the hour I have between work and drum lessons and then come right home to work on it again.

I go to the beach alone all the time. I get the most reading done on the beach, and I have hours of quiet, uninterrupted brainstorming time. I relish in it and I love it, but sometimes I also realize in those times how much time I do spend alone that I under normal circumstances, don’t have to.

Almost every night I played Apex Legends with either friends or random people online. I haven’t in months. This is more significant than people realize! As a gamer who has a competitive game that they play religiously, that has levels, accolades, rewards, and timed events, I struggled for a while to tell myself that in reality, it doesn’t matter. It’s fun and it’s a good way to escape every now and then, but in truth it ate up a lot of my time at night that I now spend writing. Because what is my end game? To tell great, lasting stories.

Besides human connection, I have changed some things about myself. I don’t exercise as hard as I used to so that I don’t feel like passing out right after and can stay up later to write. I can feel that I’m not as strong anymore, and this will definitely change once it’s safe to go to gyms (whenever that will be!). In the meantime though, I do a lot of sitting…a lot. Which I don’t normally like to do, but I’m certainly not getting a standing desk!

I am eternally grateful that I am healthy, safe, and have the ability to not only work, but also have time to work on my books. I can’t begin to describe how lucky I feel. I want anyone reading this to know that the hustle and the things you give up are worth it. Nothing worth doing is worth doing half-assed. I am an all or nothing sort of person, and it’s okay to be that way when it comes to saying “no” to things. It’s okay to tell something, “not today, I’m writing”. The small things you give up now will be worth it in the end.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my posts!

“The Price” is out now!

Read my first piece of published fiction, Part 1 of a dark fantasy series for $.99 on Amazon! Is anything even $.99 anymore? What a steal.

Have you joined my newsletter?

If you answered yes, I adore you. If you answered no, you have a chance to redeem yourself and gain my undying adoration. I send out updates twice a month, including news on my writing and the all powerful cat pics.