A big hello to everyone. I'm going to get straight to the meat of this post, which is ultimately to let you all know that Autumn's Fall is not going to get published by April 29th. I've been trying really hard, and I'm finding that writing it - although it is happening bit by bit - is proving difficult. I know this is going to be disappointing for some of you, and I can only apologise and let you know that I didn't properly see this coming (although I knew something was coming).
My energies have shifted the past few weeks and I'm finding I can't quite write from the place I used to write before - at least not yet. I wasn't expecting it, but ever since I had the flu in December, I came out of it with an urgent need to make changes - like it detoxed my system - and this is also reflected in the other projects I've been manifesting - some of them old projects that had to be halted a decade ago, and some of them new ones. My original intention was to set up a foundation for all this new work (and this is still my intention), but in the process, I have rekindled a part of myself I very much let diminish and I am now reintegrating that part of me back into my life. I'll get to that in a minute - first, the books.
Autumn's Fall will get written because I can't leave a series unfinished. But I can no longer promise when this year it will be written, although I know I don't want to leave it too long because I want the energies of that series to come to a completion to make room for new stuff. Also, I have character cameo roles that I have promised people and this will be honoured. Because Autumn's Fall is on pre-order, I'm loathe to take it off pre-order, so I'm going to see if I can get away with pushing it back one more time and hope distribution platforms don't hate me for it - this time to a generalised date of 31st December. That doesn't mean the book won't come out until then, it means I don't have to worry about moving the deadline over and over again, when I currently cannot give you a fixed publication date - I would like it to come out way before December because, as I've said, I want to see it finished.
Fathom's Deep will also have to be moved back by default. With my life shifting the way it is, I am now considering writing Fathom's Deep as one long novel instead of a series. So, at least 125,000 words - about the size of Reign of the Wolf or longer. For quite a while, I've envisioned being able to write one book a year, with those books being longer and much more 'fantasy' based than my other books have been. Think Diana Gabaldon and George R R Martin, but more urban fantasy than those authors (I realise they take longer than a year to write a book, but mine won't be as long as theirs!). I feel that once I've finished Autumn's Fall, I can finally do this, and it will start with Fathom's Deep. My writing style will change a bit - I can feel that - because I'm already working from a different place in life than I was before the start of this year, and Fathom's Deep, being a brand new story, can mark the beginning of this brand new writing. I also like that it stars a character who has left her old life behind and is creating a new and better one for herself - it's perfect, really.
For the past ten years, I've written to heal. And obviously because I love writing, too (that goes without saying - I couldn't write books if I didn't love it), but I have written to heal. I've written my Otherworld ventures and all the things I've learnt; I've written my pain, and my joys and lows of becoming a parent and losing loved ones; I've written lots of things - of course it's all been wrapped in fiction. The stories aren't real, but the inspiration for all of them is based on very real things. This writing has come from my sacral and heart centres (I'm talking energy and chakras now, so I'm sorry if you don't understand, I'll skim through this bit quickly!) and now that energies have shifted, I'm working from the crown, third eye, and throat much more. And my sacral is relieved - I think it needed some time out! But this is what will lead to a slightly different style of writing fiction - it's not going to be a massive change of style from the reader's perspective, to be honest, but for me... I won't be writing to heal any more (I don't think) - not in the same way. I'll be writing to create, solely for the love of creation, and I am so looking forward to that.
I do apologise if this makes no sense to you. I'm doing my best to explain, but my explanations are not usually 'normal' because I do tend to live, work, and perceive the world from an energetic plane of existence, so I talk in weird terms!
So, this is where we are with books. Autumn's Fall will get written some time before the end of this year and it will mark the end of something for me. And Fathom's Deep will get written, probably as a long novel, which will mark the beginning of something for me. Following that, my aim is to write one long fiction book a year and then take it from there. I can't tell you what a joy that is to say because to be truthful, my passion for the writing industry has waned quite a lot over the past few years since it's become a bit of a rat race with the advent of kindle unlimited, ghostwriters, scammers, fake authors, and the lot - that's not why I started to write or publish independently at all. I don't want to get caught up in that mindless rush of chaos. It sucks the creative out of creativity, and I love writing far too much to let that happen.
In the meantime, since I am finding it hard to write my deeply emotional fiction while energies are in flux, I have been laying down the foundations for my other projects, and writing courses and workshops for my study centre, Between Fire & Ice, and I have been laying the foundations or my own private (spiritual) practice, which has involved some CPD (continuing professional development) as I've been out of the loop for a while, so I have been partaking in some study and research, too, in this field, to get myself up to scratch. I know it might seem like writing and this new (revisited) stuff are two different careers, but I don't see it as that at all. They are one and the same, and my writing has always been an exploration of the way I live my life (which is in part to do with these new-old projects I am bringing to the fore). Quite frankly, I'm hoping that living my life in full again will lead to some far out stories in the future!
Anyway, I shall end it there for now. I'd like to say a massive thank you to Lynn who has been holding the fort on my page with fab and funny posts, keeping you all laughing. I do still pop along two or three times a week and share things, too, but I am mostly off social media at the moment.
And thank you to you guys, my readers. I really am sorry for the change of dates (again). I thought I could get it all done, but I need to go with the flow right now, and wait to see where I land.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I will try to answer.
Lots of love,
I'm always in two frames of mind as to whether I should explain inspirations for my books. Some readers like to know and some do not. However, if you spend long enough on my Facebook page, some hints start to seep out. I'm not overly public with my life, but I do, on occasion, share information about those bigger life events that affect me, namely to do with my family and my daughter (and my cats!).
I think first it's important to mention that a story usually develops its own life, and is its own creature in many ways, independent from the mind that created it. I knew a long time ago that there would be a girl called Jasmine and she would weave a tale of her own. I knew it in 2012 when I wrote this sentence in The Demon Bride, from Lucifer to Mary (or Ymari):
“The jasmine is beautiful, isn’t it? The flower of the revolution. Can you smell it, Ymari? The scent of a new power rising?”
Right there. Jasmine's seed was planted right there.
What I never knew completely was how the tale would unfold, and what part of my soul I'd need to delve into to tell it.
Fantasy is a beautiful medium for an author because you can take any real life situation, and wrap it in a coat of a different style and colour to better explore it; to make truths easier to swallow, and sorrows a little less painful to heal from - for your readers as well as for yourself.
My daughter was diagnosed with ASD in 2016, and a lot of the inspiration for Jasmine's character and responses in Aftershock came from how I have experienced this entity that is autism; from how she tries to manage it and how we, as her parents, try to understand it better. Sometimes, it is a monster - an uncontrollable, destructive beast that sees no logic or reason. And sometimes, it's quite the enlightening lesson that teases it is so much more than we know it to be. What's the opposite of a monster? Perhaps something divine. Perhaps something that can lead us all into a future worth having.
But not without first traversing the darkness and battling all the monsters we hold within, of course.
The Witching Pen and Eye of the Storm series are their own stories separate from my daughter's and separate from mine, so Jasmine's story will take a turn my daughter's simply won't. I'm not writing about my daughter, which is why I was in two frames of mind as to whether to post this article at all. Rather, I am writing through the experiences I have had because of her "monster within" and using them as a tool to weave my hopes, dreams and fears into worlds far greater than the current one can be.
The reason I decided to post this, in the end, was because I think anyone who works closely with, or is a parent of, children with such needs as ASD will see the similarities in the story between the layers of fantasy; they'll see the traits. And at the end of the day, even though we all experience everything, including autism, so individually, we're fighting the same battles, and it's nice to feel a little less alone.
However, this is not a story purposely carrying any message outside of the ones for the characters. I was very conscious that I did not want to impose my own thoughts onto Jasmine's story (or with any book I write - I prefer to stimulate questions and debate because life is multi-faceted and there are at least two sides to all things). The thoughts are Jasmine's, Pete's and Claire's. I had to be a detached creator, writing from my heart, but letting every sentence go because the story does not belong to me - it belongs to readers. What you gain from it is for you alone and that's always the way it should be.
As an author, all I really hope for is that my readers are able to take away something from my books, whatever that something might be. Whichever pools of inspiration and experience I delve into when I write, I hope that in this respect I have succeeded, and continue to succeed.
Aftershock will be released on 30th October, 2018.
All information and order links can be found HERE.