Saturday, December 28, 2013

Strange Year: A year in review

This was a very strange year for me.  First off, I became a father this year.  My beautiful, playful, hard-headed daughter Kerrigan Riley was born on January 8th.  I couldn't be happier.  She nearly One now and is running, bouncing, and climbing on everything.  Her strength and ambition is pretty clear already.  She gets most of that from her mother.

My wife completed her MPH program this year.  I am so proud of her.  Getting your Master's degree while being either pregnant or caring for an infant is close to impossible.  She not only completed it but finished early.  She continues to blow my mind with how amazing a woman she is becoming.

This year we lost our cat Chloe.  She was my wife's cat before we met but quickly accepted me.  We had a few incidents over the years, mostly due to her stubbornness, but we stayed close.  She was a great cat and we will miss her. 

We had another pet issue this year as well.  A week ago our dog Crutches hurt his back while I was taking him for a walk.  It ended up being a ruptured disc and caused both his hind legs to become paralyzed.  Yes, it was pretty scary.  We opted for surgery, despite the high costs, we couldn't lose another member of our family.  The surgery went well and he is back home and slowly recovering.  We are hopeful that he will walk normally again soon.

Ok, enough of the bad.  This year I rediscovered my love of writing and I am back at it harder than ever.  A new first draft should be completed within the next month.  I am looking forward to the editing process.

I also discovered some new authors this year and read some really great books.

Some of my favorites were:

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
Mockingbirds by Chuck Wendig
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Doll Bones by Holly Black
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaimen
The Eighth Court by Mike Shevdon
Black Feathers by Joseph D'Lacey

I am thoroughly optimistic about 2014 and excited to get some serious writing done.  And, of course, to watch my daughter grow and learn and try to be the best father I can be.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Back in the saddle again...

So after a very long and busy time period of my life I am back to writing again...  well I suppose I have been back writing for a few months now but this is my first blog entry in quite some time.  I am moving this blog over from my live journal because I felt I liked this platform a bit more and it seemed more assessable here as well.

For those of you new to my work (I am guessing there are a lot of you out there lol) I have two stand alone novels that are both available in paperback as well as ebook formats.  I first published Hobby-horses then straight jackets in 2004 and then did a rerelease Author's Edition in 2011.  It is a bizarre fictional story that focuses on the perception of reality and those who become lost in their own minds.  It is a blend of adventure and drama.  I also published a horror novel about a bullied teen girl who becomes influenced by a voice in her head to seek revenge on those who tormented her.  However, it turns out that there is more to this voice than she initially thinks.  Handstands for Alice was published in 2011 as well.

In 2012 I started writing the first book in my YA trilogy about a group of kids who believe there are real monsters and faeries all around us but when trying to uncover them they instead discover a world of the dead run by a creature called the Collector and his army of Death (literally the robed skeletons who collect the human souls in our world).  The first novel is titled The Bone Carousel and I was moving along quite quickly when things really started to get busy in my life. 

After a series of moves (two different locations in Richmond and then Blacksburg) my wife became pregnant with our first child.  I continued to write but it became more sporadic until the point where there was just too much going on.  I decided I wasn't getting the time I needed and I wasn't liking the way the novel was turning out so I stopped.  Only I didn't just stop working on The Bone Carousel, I completely stopped writing all together.  I know, I know, that is the biggest no-no of all.  A writer must write.  I tell all inspiring authors that the best advice I can give is to write everyday.  So against my own advice I stopped.

It wasn't until this passed summer (now living in Atlanta, yes we move that much!) that I found the time to really jump back into it, however, my head was full of ideas for other stories.  I needed to get these stories out of my head before I could return to the trilogy, so I started writing out these stories and realized I had enough to put together into a collection.  I was writing a book of short stories without even trying.  The majority of the stories are dark and violent, and pretty much of the horror variety.  I still have a bit of editing to do and so I will probably be waiting until next year, closer to Halloween to release it, but I am very certain it will be getting published in the near future. 

The passed few weeks I have been hard at work on the trilogy and I would say just a few weeks away from finishing the first draft of The Bone Carousel.  I haven't decided yet if I will continue on to the second book or edit the first but the way the story is flying out and I would imagine they will both be happening sooner rather than later.