Keystroke Blog is hosting a Meet Me Linky, a blogging extravaganza that highlights writers of many genres and focuses. So, as part of the challenge, this post will contain tales of my writing/life, featuring:
I am a Vermont-based writer who writes speculative fiction (that's fantasy, sci-fi, and all things supernatural and fantastical) for young adult and adult audiences. (I have other blogs & writings too, but I'm trying to restrict this to my fiction!)
I have four speculative fiction books out currently.
A little background
I always knew I was a writer, but that's not to say I was a good writer. Those early stories were really weird. For example, I wrote a story about a stamp that died when it was torn off the front of an envelope.
Mom: "Don't make him die. That's morbid."
Me: (with eight-year-old logic) "But Mom, when you rip a stamp off the front of an envelope, some of it gets left behind. How can a stamp survive that?"
Mom: "Okay. It's your story."
So the dead stamp story got printed up in the newsletter of our local homeschool magazine. I still cringe when I read it, but everyone has got to start somewhere, right?
Later on, for four years running, I placed in the top three of a story contest sponsored by a local library, so I thought I was super hot stuff.
Upon entering adulthood, I realized that the world of writing is a whole lot more competitive than the little local contests that I participated in. I faced rejection and critique which, while discouraging initially, helped make me more of a writer than ever.
For example, when a friend pointed out that all my young men acted like teenage girls, I got mad enough (at myself) to really do something about it. In 2015, after years of studying masculinity, I earned Silver Honorable Mention (top 50 internationally) in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest for a short story featuring a male main character. Apparently my male characters are more credible now.
Currently I'm working on a high fantasy series, a science fiction trilogy, an interactive serial fantasy where readers vote for the next direction of the story, and I'm editing a sci-fi novel to send to a speculative fiction publisher.
Why did you start your blog?
I began my fiction blog as a way to draw attention to my fiction (partially by offering free stories) and to begin building an author platform. It actually ended up being a game-changer for me personally, because it helped me to polish my craft, exposed me to the realities of internet marketing, and brought me into contact with some talented bloggers (see below).
My goals are pretty much the same now as they were when I started--exposure for my stories--but my approach is so different. Before, I doggedly pursued exposure. Now, I just enjoy collecting other speculative fiction lovers around me to share our mutual enjoyment of the genre, and it's much better exposure than my early self-promotion efforts. Plus, it's more fun!
Give 5 random facts about yourself.
Fact One: I'm not even five feet tall. People are fond of pointing that out, too. "Boy, you're short." If I'm feeling spunky, I might respond: "Really? I never noticed! Do you think I should tell my parents?"
Fact Two: Actor Michael Emmett Walsh once proposed marriage to me. I was taking the minutes at a board meeting in which he had an interest and I had no clue who he was. (Apparently I don't watch the right movies.) So when he had some input in the meeting, I asked his name for the record.
"Oh, er, anonymous."
I couldn't put "Anonymous" into the record, so I waited for a real response. After much winking and chuckling, he gave his name and I still had no clue who he was (though everybody else did). Then he pointed to my hand and said, "And seeing as you don't have a ring on your finger, I should point out that I'm available, miss." The whole room was in such paroxysms of laughter that it was a while before we could continue the meeting. For weeks afterward, people told me I ought to take him up on his offer. "And your face--it was so bright red! I thought I would die!"
Fact Three: I hike barefoot. I'm serious. Here is a video I put together all about it, featuring my family and our close friends
Fact Four: I love spiders. I really, really do. I think they're fascinating little critters that get far too much bad publicity. I even have a spider in the corner of my room that I named Bert. I put together a video about spiders too. That is why Astrid in my interactive series Azinae is a Spider, and why Imhalla's Answer also features spiders. I tell my family that someday I am going to make a T-shirt declaring myself as a member of the (fictional) organization called Arachnid Protection and Equality Society, or APES for short.
Fact Five: I can read Hebrew and Greek. That said, don't ask me to tell you what the words mean. I can take a stab at translating the Greek, but I'm totally lost in Hebrew. But friends get really impressed when you can sound out the words in a Greek New Testament, or when you sing a song in Hebrew. Plus, you can put interesting symbolic meanings in stories when you use Greek or Hebrew words as names for places or people.
Bloggers of Note
The Truth in Sea Glass - Written by a lovely young lady I know who is also a writer (but more in the modern/historical genre)
Gillian Bronte Adams - This girl has a humorous, whimsical style in her blog, and is also a speculative fiction writer. (I have yet to read her books, but if they're anything like her blog, they will be monstrously entertaining and thought-provoking)
JoJoisms - This humorous and honest blog is not about writing, but about chronic illness, something I am personally acquainted with and am passionate about bringing more awareness to
Other Blogs I Enjoy
Speculative Faith - Relevant and insightful discussions about speculative fiction as it relates to Christianity
Enclave Publishing - This Christian speculative fiction publisher offers free e-books, author interviews, and fascinating discussions on fantasy and science fiction
GoinsWriter.com - Jeff Goins shares his honest journey as a writer and offers new and developing writers insight into how to build their unique "tribes" and pursue their dreams
I'd love to meet you! What kind of stories do you like? Let me know in the comments below!