Blood Child

Questions Answers and Time Vanishing

So this week has been an adventure in what doesn’t not kill you eats your time up and you get to decide whether you want to be strong or not.  Strength comes in many forms and sometimes being strong is all about deciding not to be strong.

Monday during third period I began to feel awful.  My stomach started cramping and much to my embarrassment the only way to get any relief was to unzip my pants.  Thank goodness I had a long shirt to cover it.  It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. I had ingested something with gluten from an unknown source which happens from time to time despite my best efforts.  I made it through the day with the pain and discomfort, but going to work at night would have been torture. So I decided not to be tough and called out.

It was probably the best decision I made the entire day.  It allowed me to get rest and do a little research on how to help heal my stomach.  Broth, rice, bananas and toast (gluten free) have been my staples and allowed me to get back to work the next day.   I am still not a hundred percent and spent much of yesterday resting, but things are better.

I was able to get a much need question about Blood Child’s publication answered and will finally be sending the manuscript off to be formatted this week.  It is so easy to get distracted by little things allowing them to become larger than life.   Strangely, while feeling ill I was able to shut out some distractions and really focus on what needed to be done.

Now, it is Sunday night. I am sitting in the dark typing while friends of mine are sacked out on the sofa and love seat.

Life is full of strange twists and turns.  Sometimes things get away from you and everything still turns out for the best. You aren’t sure how, but they do.  Right now, my house is clean and I feel good about this week even knowing that I am going into it behind.  Honestly, I could ask for more out of life, but currently I know that what I have I earned and that feels wonderful.



Turkey Day Thanks…

Thank you!My Orlando family is small and so even with the day off, I am at home writing for a couple of hours before I head off to dinner. My contribution to dinner is some homemade cranberry sauce.  I have never attempted it before, but the recipe was simple enough. It sits in the frig awaiting its debut in three hours.

Simple is the theme of the next year for me.  In this time between Halloween and New Year’s, I like to take the time to evaluate the past year and make resolutions as well as test them out.

Blood Child
Coverart by Steven Warrick

I am going to embrace the K.I.S.S. philosophy and do what I can as I can and not complicate things that don’t need to be made more difficult. As I do that I hope to assume my regular schedule of posting here as well as work on my novel – My Dragon Friday. Blood Child should be coming out sometime in December if all goes right. There are so many things that I have learned from this process and one of those was that I spent way too much time worrying about things that I didn’t need to in an attempt to avoid making mistakes. There is no way to avoid making mistakes in life or in writing.

Thanks to Kickstarter and all of you, my first novella, Blood Child, will be published.

One of my dreams is going to be coming true very soon and it is because of you, dear readers, knowing that I had made a commitment to this blog and to you has helped keep me focused.

Thank you and Happy Turkey Day,


Darn you… Disney…

We have achieved Kickstarter success and descended into teacher hell.

The good, the bad and the what the hell have all blended into one.  My heart still leaps for joy when I think about the having the money to give Blood Child a professional touch.  It really is a dream come true.

Then I go to work and my desk is over flowing with papers to grade, lesson plans waiting to be written and new standards staring me in the face.

Today, I was schooled at school for my bad attitude on interactive journals.  I am tired. So incredibly tired that the happy, go team go facade that everyone has come to rely on, is cracking.

Two weeks ago in the middle of all of this Papa said he wanted to start drinking again and I loss it. Cried in a meeting on interactive journals because I just couldn’t see how I could do one more thing and face my father drinking himself into an early grave.

But this is where the real work to make my dreams come true begins.

This is where I prove to myself that I can do it.

That I can live up to the hype I have allowed others to spread.

It is time to be the me that others see and that I have hoped really existed.

Thank you for giving me that opportunity.

Because I really do believe that it is a blessing.

That is the only way to make it though this nightmare of the everyday to the world where dreams come true.

I just wish Disney hadn’t made it all seem so easy.



Last Sunday night, I penned a blog trying to fulfill a commitment to my readers and it came out all wrong.

I wanted to express my frustration at parts of my life.

But, the words they weren’t…..They were true, but still awkward. They were in that moment in time the truth, but not all truths need to be expressed.

And sometimes they just need to sit.

Wednesday, I wanted to quit my job. I was crying at work and the weight of my world was crushing me. The first paycheck of year which normally brings hope fell short and I was lost.  Luke and a walk around Lake Eola helped straighten things up a bit. They weren’t awesome, but workable. Not hopeful, but livable.

Relaxing with Luke ~ Photo Credit - Niki Rubi
Relaxing with Luke ~ Photo Credit – Niki Rubi

Today, I was dancing.  I am proud to announce that my Kickstarter project is now fully funded.  We are at 104%.  We have eight days left in the campaign. By making the goal early, we have time to raise extra funds for stretch goals and to do more with the publication of Blood Child and its marketing.  It also means that I can contract my desired cover artist and begin to arrange for other publication tasks to begin.It has been an amazing first leg of my publication journey.There is still time to contribute if you would like to get one of the first copies of Blood Child when it is published.  It comes signed.

Thank you for all of your support.  I am on cloud nine…

Me trying not to bounce off the walls of my classroom.
Me trying not to bounce off the walls of my classroom.

Writing Blood Child

Where to begin? The first sentence of any piece of writing is often the hardest. My first lines generally pop into my head and once I get it down on paper the story or blog takes off from there.  Since my process is so organic it is difficult for me to just take a topic and write about it.  I have done it, but it is a struggle.  That struggle can be incredibly rewarding at times.

Writing Blood Child was very much an organic affair.  The first line came to me as I was sitting in my living room after having just recently moved into my home.  The first day I wrote over a thousand words and the rest of the story came in flashes over the next year and a half. I knew it was going to be long, but I didn’t know how long.  The real work began when I started to combine all the flashes together.  Three-fourths of the story was written in the first year.

The last fourth just wouldn’t come. I would sit down to write and nearly always ended up working on something else; this blog, poetry and other story stories.  Some of those stories I really fell in love with like Little Girl Blue.  A semi-biographical story about a little girl who turns the colors depending on her emotions.

The novel which I started writing over two years ago, has been sitting in the metaphorical drawer since Blood Child took over.  Occasionally, the novel has donated characters to the novella which takes place in the same world.  The time difference between the two stories is about ten years, with Blood Child coming first.

Connecting the two stories was also very organic, I just found characters from the novel making appearances in the novella. The main characters of each story are different and at this point the plots of the two are not connected.  Having some of the same characters in the novella as the novel allowed me to both think about and write some of the characters’ back stories.  In this way the novella has really helped the novel have solid foundation although that was not its original purpose.

The way the final quarter of Blood Child came together through pure stubbornness taught me a lot about what it really means to be an author and writer. You can’t just write when you feel like it. You have to stick with it. And while it is ok to be distracted and follow your muse just go back, always go back and finish. Sometimes when you think you are finished. You really aren’t. I discovered that when I received my first critical feedback

So far my kickstarter campaign for Blood Child is doing well and I am feeling so blessed to have so many friends and readers taking part. There is still plenty of time to contribute!

KickStarting Murder

photo_49557_20110712Yesterday evening, I launched my first KickStarter Project to help cover the publishing costs of bring my novella, Blood Child, to life.  It is bit scary since all Kickstarter Projects are all or nothing affairs.   If I don’t make my goal of $850.00 then I won’t receive any of the funds pledged.  So any and all support you can give me whether it is pledging, sharing this blog or my other project related posts.  Spreading the word is essential if the project successful.

Brief Synopsis

Set in Orlando, Florida, Blood Child is the story of a young woman with two infamous ancestors and a young reporter trying to break back into the career he loves. Emily Bath, daughter of the self-styled Count Bath, survived the massacre of her brothers and twenty other souls at her father’s funeral. Count Bath was obsessed with the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory, who bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth.  Bathory was a distance relation of Count Dracula.

Everyone wants to know what happened to little Emily and as the tenth anniversary approaches they are hungry for the opportunity.  Ty Clark has just been given that opportunity.

Behind the Creation of Blood Child

Jack - My Creative Assistant
Jack – My Creative Assistant

I’ll be honest. Blood Child was conceived while I was drinking wine on my front porch. I wrote nearly a thousand words that first afternoon.  It soon became clear that I would have to finish it before returning to my novel, “My Dragon Friday”.

Writing isn’t easy for me, but it is my passion and compulsion. I have been telling stories to myself and my friends since I was a child. I have a learning disability called Dysgraphia which is one of the reasons that professional editing is vital for the success of this project.

The other thing that I really wanted to do was make sure that the wonderful folks who will be helping me get paid their fair share. So everyone from the cover artists to the editors will be paid. The work they do is invaluable and they deserve to be compensated.

This one is for you, Krista!
This one is for you, Krista!

One final note. While I was buried deep in my writing, my friend, Krista LaFave, was fighting for her life against leukemia. She is one of the people who inspired me to keep writing. She died a week after I completed the first draft of this book.  Blood Child is dedicated to her and her amazing family who allowed all of us who loved her to take part in saying good-bye.

Where The Funds Will Go

Funds will go towards the cover art and professional editing of the novel, first. Next, funds will go towards formatting text and promotional text and materials. The professional editing will be the most expensive part of the process next to marketing the project.   If extra funds are raised the money will go towards more marketing and promotion.  I would really like to be able to get a professionally designed website.

Again, any support you can offer is most appreciated.  To check out the full project, please click here. Folks that pledge to the project will get exclusive updates on the project and see the cover before anyone eyes.

Kickstarting Zombies

Stant Litore
Stant Litore

One of my favorite authors, Stant Litore, has begun Kickstarter campaign to help fund his latest project.

Here is it in his own words. If you can please invest in this unique project, thank you.

Whether you want to read about a zombie apocalypse in the Middle East in 1160 BC, or in second-century Rome, or enjoy the dark, brooding, philosophical horror of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah entombed with the undead in a dry well — The Zombie Bible has incredible stories to tell.

I began the series in 2009 and published the first novel in fall 2011.

I’m still struggling to break even financially with the series, given my daughter’s continuing medical crisis; she has suffered debilitating seizures since she was 11 days old. A moment of profound wonder and blessing in my life was the moment that her medical bills and my royalties began arriving on the very same day, allowing me to cancel out those expenses.

So far, this set of standalone, read-them-in-any-order novels includes:

  • Death Has Come Up into Our Windows – an Old Testament prophet trapped in a dry well with the ravenous dead.
  • What Our Eyes Have Witnessed – Polycarp has a Gift. He can bring rest and peace to the restless dead. But Rome might burn him for it.
  • Strangers in the Land – A zombie apocalypse in 1160 BC Israel. Four must stand against the dead…if they can first stand together.

Right now, as I write this, I’m wrapping up the fourth book, No Lasting Burial, retelling a New Testament story (you can read about it here), and I am deep into planning something amazing.

Now I want to do something even bigger. Something even more ambitious. Something daring.

This summer, I want to undertake my largest project yet — a project of a truly epic scope. A 700-1000 page novel in which one courageous woman will lead thousands of refugees from the ruins of zombie-infested Rome. This novel has quiet, intimate moments and panoramic set pieces grander than anything I’ve ever attempted:

  • The Colosseum converted into a refugee camp, defended by a small band of gladiators
  • The descent of an angel by night over Rome (and by angel, don’t think of a little cherub of wings. Think seraph. Picture a being of grace and beauty and unthinkable power, a being that might juggle supernovas like tennis balls).
  • A face-off with the Roman emperor while zombies blaze in flames behind his throne.
  • A desperate exodus down a road lined with tens of thousands of crosses, on which the Roman legions in their rage and grief have crucified the writhing, moaning undead.
  • A final escape sequence that will leave you awed. All I can tell you about it right now is that it is big.

I am very excited about this project. More than I can possibly express.

I have proven that I can deliver a moving, evocative, and thrilling novel that mashes up history, biblical stories and themes, and zombie horror. Now I want to take this to the next level. I want to deliver not just a zombie story, but a zombie epic.

But I need your help.

The fact is, I’m financially strapped. I’m caring for my 1 1/2 year old daughter Inara‘s special needs, which are considerable (though I am heartened by her incredible inner joy — for those interested, you can read Inara’s story and how her story is linked to The Zombie Bible here) and I need both time and funding to:

  • Undertake some ambitious research this summer and fall, while I continue outlining and sketching the key sequences of the novel.
  • Secure a series of retreats or a “sabbatical” during the winter 2013-14 and spring 2014 — time away to just write. There are 1,000 pages of story to tell, and for both my readers’ sake and my own, I don’t want it to take as long to complete as A Game of Thrones.

I want to ask for your help raising a $10,000 crowd-sourced advance to fund my work on this novel, and I want to invite you into the excitement of its creation.

Some of the higher-tier prizes you’ll find over to the right offer exclusive previews into the novel in the midst of the creative process — or even offer you opportunity to brainstorm with me. I hope you’ll check them out, and consider joining me in this adventure in a hands-on way.

But even if all you have is a dollar in your pocket, I’d appreciate your help. A kickstarter campaign is all-or-nothing; I have to make that $10,000 goal to receive any funding. And a dollar may make all the difference in helping make this unique novel happen.

To contribute to the campaign, click here.