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Life and Writing Update Autumn 2023

Hi all.  Sorry I’ve been quiet a lot, but a lot has been happening in my life, very little of it good alas.

One good thing however is that we got a cat! After a couple years of negotiating with our landlords, we finally convinced them to let us get a kitty. So please, meet Noodles!  She’s a 14 week old ragdoll/British short hair mix and has utterly captured my heart in the last two weeks.

The other news is that after nearly six months of medical tests, seeing every specialist ever (or so it felt like), and getting progressively worse, I’ve finally been diagnosed with ME/cfs.  I will link some information about it here.  It’s not something that is curable (at the moment! I have hope, I have to have hope) but at least now that I know what is wrong, there are things I can do to help prevent it from getting worse and maybe some treatments for the symptoms.  I’m still learning what my new normal is like and how I’ll be able to continue writing with this illness.

My main focus is Harper’s Tale and getting it ready for public consumption. After the Kickstarter is fulfilled and the book is released, I will likely be putting my main effort into my Patreon since it will allow me to have ongoing support and release small amounts of works in progress and art etc regularly.  I am going to be a slow writer for the forseeable future, there’s no way around it with this disease.  I refuse to stop writing (both for my career and for my mental health, I LOVE writing and I will do whatever I can to keep telling stories), but I recognize that my old ways of working will never work for me again and could actively harm me, so I’m going to find a new balance and a new way.  So if you want to see ongoing work, get chances to vote in on things like character names, see my terrible art, and generally are able to support me in an ongoing way, my Patreon is the place.

I wish I had better news, but it is what it is.  Harper’s Tale should be ready in the next few weeks at least, so there’s a little silver lining.

Thank you all for your patience and support and kind words over the years 💗


All About Patreon (and why you should join me there!)

I thought I would make a quick blog post explaining what Patreon is, why it is good to support creators you love there, and answer some commonly asked questions about it.

What is Patreon?

I’m going to borrow their own quote from them:

For patrons, Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator’s community and pay them for making the stuff you love. Instead of throwing money at your screen (trust us, that doesn’t work), you can now pay creators once a month or per thing the creator makes.  This means the creator gets paid on a regular basis, and you become a bonafide, real-life patron of the arts.  That’s right-Imagine you, in a long frilly white wig, painted on a 10-foot canvas on the wall of a Victorian mansion.  And imagine your favorite creators making a living doing what they do best all because of you.”

For us creators, Patreon allows us to recieve ongoing support from people who want more of our work, while getting a higher percent of the payout than any other option available short of you showing up to our homes and handing us cash (which you should probably not do, but thank you for the thought).

One of my main goals this year is to drive more support and interest in my Patreon, which means probably talking about it more than once every blue moon. Shocking, I know.  Writing novels takes a long time, longer for me now that I’m dealing with the ongoing recovery from almost dying in 2021, and it is nice to be able to show some work in progress, to interact with peeps, and generally have a means of ongoing support and ways to share my work in the long lonely times between book releases.

What do I offer on my Patreon?  Here are just some of the benefits you can get:

*Looks at works in progress (chapters, cut scenes, outlines, cover art etc)

*Short stories and ebook downloads

*Exclusive content available only to Patreon (like the formerly Kickstarter-only Jade & Alek story, which you can get by signing up at any tier at the moment)

*Acknowledgement of your support in my book’s backmatter

*Coming along on my learning to draw/make art journey (and eventually art things like commission spots and stickers etc!)

*Handwritten cute-AF notes mailed directly to you

*Frequent updates about what I’m thinking about, working on, learning about etc

*The warm fuzzies knowing that every time I finish a book, it was done with your help keeping a roof over my head and coffee in my cup

How do you sign up?

Go to my Patreon page here:  and choose your reward tier. Support can be month to month or you can sign up a year at a time at a small discount.

Can you cancel? When are you charged?

You can cancel any time. You are charged when you sign up, and then montly (or yearly if you choose that option) on the date you signed up (so you are not charged twice if you sign up at the end of a month, that day will just become your new pledge date).

What does my pledge do for you?

Despite the stereotype of the starving writer/artist living in a garret, we creators don’t actually do that well when we are financially insecure (we’re human, after all).  Montly support, even small numbers, adds up and helps introduce stability into what is a very unstable profession. To you the money might feel like a drop, but many drops can fill a bucket.  (and if you are not in a position to support your fav creators with money, don’t fret! We love that you talk about our work, get our books from the library, review us, etc, this is a blog post aimed that those who might have a couple bucks they can contribute also).  The most productive and creatively satisfying times in my life have been when I didn’t have to worry about where the next month’s rent was coming from, and Patreon is a part of making that reality something more than an infrequent dream we all dream about.  Your contribution, large or small, is vital to bringing more art and kick-ass fiction into the world.

So that’s my pitch for supporting me on Patreon.

If you made it this far, enjoy the kitten!

Cute gray kitten with open book on blue sweater, closeup

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2023! I am writing again, which is good news.  Also good news for peeps who backed Harper’s Tale Kickstarter, the stretch goal Jade & Alek bonus story is available, so please go check your backer updates for how to get it.

If you missed out on the Kickstarter, don’t despair. There is still a way to support me and get to read the exclusive story! I have a Patreon that I am working on growing and doing more with this year as one of my goals, so it will be a great place to get sneak peeks, early chapters, see what I’m doing on my learning how to make good art journey, etc.  And right now you can get the Kickstarter exclusive 20sided story if you back at the $5 level or higher.  Click HERE to see my Patreon and all the options.  Signing up on a yearly basis gives a small discount too!

Plus I’ve opened up a tier on my Patreon to get a handwritten, cute note from me every month.  Because I love getting mail that isn’t bills or catalog spam, and I figure maybe other people might like it also. There’s no requirement to write me back, but I’m happy if peeps do.  I love stationary and stickers and all things adorable, so I’m hoping I can use that love to bring some joy into supporters’ lives.

So whether you want to just chuck a dollar my way cause you think I’m awesome, or you want to come along on my writing and learning how to make art journeys, or you want to get a nice cheery note from me… my Patreon has options.

In other news, Harper’s Tale will be available after the Kickstarter digital rewards are all fulfilled, so likely sometime in March.  After that I’ll have more news about what I’m working on next and how it is going.

Hope everyone is having a good start to 2023!

It’s Over 9000!

fox with a heart saying thank you

Yes I’ll continue making that joke. Sorry not sorry.

Anyway… Harper’s Tale the Kickstarter is over 90% funded!  Thank you to everyone who has contributed and is helping make this project a success. We’re super close to the most important finish line (though by no means the final line if we don’t want it to be!) and getting this project fully funded so it happens.  I’ve also tweaked the add-ons including a few signed paperbacks, as well as added a couple new levels including one for audiobooks.  So if you have already backed the project, make sure you take a look at your rewards and have them the way you want them, and if you haven’t backed yet… well, what are you waiting for? Even $1 gets us closer to being funded, and $5 gets us closer AND you’ll get to read Harper’s Tale before general release. How cool is that?

Thank you all again. Here’s the link:

Harper’s Tale on Kickstarter!

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, it has been a long, arduous, and nothing like linear recovery from almost dying last year. However, I have good news!  Harper’s Tale is finally in the last bits of writing/editing stages, and I’m running a Kickstarter so you can support the book, maybe make more books in the world of Twenty-Sided Sorceress happen, and get the novel before it releases to the general public (you can also potentially get signed paper editions depending on your backer level).

Why Kickstart the book? Frankly, my recovery has been long, slow, painful, and it has meant not being able to write for nearly a year. I’m back writing again but definitely not 100% (and might never be) the person I used to be.  My immigration and visa status depends on me doing this job, and this job only. I’m not allowed to take up any other work, nor am I allowed to take any benefits or support from the government (including any pandemic help).  Writing is literally what keeps a roof over my head.  Kickstarter will allow me to keep working on cool projects for all of you, while also making sure the support is there for the book (and other books if we hit the stretch goals) and ensuring I keep a roof over our heads.

Thank you all for sticking with me through this wild few years, and especially all the notes of support I got last year. They’ve really helped me keep going.

Please check out the Kickstarter for Harper’s Tale HERE and feel free to tell friends, share the link with everyone you know, and I’ll be back with more news soon.

Tank you!

Update 2021

Hi, this is a hard post to write, but I’ve suffered a very serious health issue. I have blood clots in my lungs and part of one lung is dying. The road to recovery is months to years, and I am not entirely sure when I’ll feel well enough to write (currently in so much pain I can’t even read a book right now). I’m letting you all know because it means Harper’s Tale will not be out this month or probably even in May. I’ll try to keep y’all updated when I can start working again.

Bad Moon on the Rise is here!

Ready for more books in the world of the Twenty-Sided Sorceress? It’s here! Bad Moon on the Rise is the first book in a brand new series that is set in the same world but stands alone from Jade’s books.

Follow Alek’s sister Kira as she and her crew solve people’s problems and get into trouble!

Tiger-shifter. Bounty Hunter. Vigilante for Hire.

Kira Jones solves her problems with a big gun, and she rarely has the same problem twice.

But not all trouble can be stopped with a bullet, and some cases are more complicated than others…

Get it now for your Kindle HERE

Or click HERE for Kobo/B&N/iBooks

Or click HERE for Google Books

What About That Career, eh?

I want to talk a little about career stuff and how being a writer has been and might be going forward for me. This is some deep random thought bullshit getting into things that likely most of you don’t care about, so I totally understand if you look at the wall of text and nope out now. If you are reading this looking for news about Harper’s Tale or Bad Moon on the Rise, the only news is the same old which is Kira’s book is coming in October as scheduled (pre-orders are up!) and Harper’s book will come whenever I finish it but likely this year also (and if you can’t wait to read the first three chapters, you can join my Patreon here where they are posted).

This post is going to cover a few things. First, looking back on the phases of my writing career so far and why/how each evolved and changed. Second, I’m going to talk a bit about what I hope for going forward, and why that might look a lot different than the past. If I was a good essayist, which I am not, I would conclude with something pithy but brilliant, insightful and wise that gives hope for the future while showing that I’ve learned valuable lessons of the past, but I don’t (spoilers: only bad metaphors and maybe a kitten end this post) so there’s no feel good intelligent philosophical cookie waiting if you read through this, sorry.

I’ve been a full time writer for 11 and a half years, and I’ve been thinking a lot now that I finished 20sided about what my career has looked like and what it might look like in the future. The world, to put it mildly, has changed a lot in the last decade, and that includes the landscape and world of publishing. I’m a hybrid author, which means that some of my work is self-published and some is published by larger publishers who publish multiple authors (we call this traditional publishing usually, and I will in this post). This post isn’t about changes in publishing, either, other than how those changes and how publishing in general works might affect my career (at least as much as I can predict).

My career has definitely gone through phases, and I think it is important to talk about those to understand what might happen going forward.

Phase 1 was figuring out not even what I wanted to write but how to write at a level I felt like anyone would want to read. Most of this phase nobody saw (and it started before I quit my job to be a writer, so a lot more than 11 years ago). I started with short stories partially cause I was told that was how people broke into publishing (you write short stories first, get some publications under your belt, and then someone might want to buy a novel from you. I won’t go into how this advice wasn’t maybe the best and was kinda outdated even when I started, cause that’s a whole other blog post probably). The other reason I started with short stories is that they are very forgiving in terms of time investment vs craft exploration and learning. Short stories are not forgiving at all when it comes to if they are working or not, and that very rigidity in some ways makes it easier to learn while doing them, at least for me. When a novel isn’t working, sometimes it is the part you are working on, sometimes it is the opening or whatever, and sometimes it is because of stuff you haven’t written yet, and it can often be rough to diagnose on the fly, especially if you are six months in and thousands of words deep in the mire. With a short story, the most you’ll be tossing away is a few thousand words at a time if things aren’t working. They were a great learning vehicle for me, other than the tiny little detail where writing short stories didn’t really teach me a whole lot about writing novels.

In many ways, Phase 1 lasted up until about 2014, so the first five years of me being full time (and a bunch of years before that, though I did write a few novels in this time as well). Phase 1 was turning into Phase 2 by 2014, probably the mix of those phases was 2011-2014, where I was still trying to get as many short stories done and published as I could, but also writing a novel here and there and still hoping for traditional publishing to somehow magically give me the money and acclaim I sought. My goals at this point were very simple: I wanted to be rich and I wanted to learn how to consistently write books that readers couldn’t put down and I figured that if I could master that second part, it would likely lead to the first. My ultimate goals was “Forbes list of most-earning Authors” but “consistently make six figures a year” was the smaller goal. Which a lot of people laughed at or shook their heads and tried to tell me wasn’t likely, but unlikely isn’t the same as impossible, and fortunately for me, I didn’t listen. Six figures a year seemed impossible as I headed into 2014 drowning in medical bills, on bed rest, and struggling with physical and mental health. I had already begun to have a sort of “you need to make a change because things aren’t working” epiphany in 2013, before I got sick, but there’s nothing like facing rock bottom to drive home that as lofty as my goals were, I wasn’t doing things that would work to get me closer to them.

I think at this point most peeps reading this know how that story goes. I decided to focus on novels, and to focus on self-publishing, which I’d been doing for years but with irregular output and a habit of writing something, and then writing something entirely different. So phase 2: just pick a thing and stick to it, was born. I’ve said this before, but 20sided came about because I made a list of all the things I loved to read about and then I figured out how to cram almost all that list (sorry, spaceships, no room!) into a single series. Turns out, somewhere along the way I had started more or less consistently writing books that people didn’t want to put down, and that I was right about how that would work out for me.

Phase 2 of my career has been focused on that one series almost entirely (I have a thriller pen name also, but almost nobody reads those books so we’ll just ignore all that haha). Finishing it, getting subrights sales like audio and translations sold, the unexpected but super cool print-only rights deal with a major US publishing house, etc. Twenty-Sided Sorceress got me to my six figure income goal (though getting there and staying there are different things, publishing income is a rollercoaster forever it seems, at least at my level) and brought me an audience that I’d been working for and trying to build for years. Book 10 is done, the series is wrapped up (ok, I know, Harper’s Tale, but it’s in progress and likely done and out in the next few months), and while I’m writing a spin-off novel in the same world right now, that’s part of what I want to talk about here.

Because we get the crux, what brought on all these thoughts about careers and phases etc.

I love Urban Fantasy. I love reading it, I love writing it, I’ve loved being able to play in Jade’s world and cram in references to every nerdy thing that has saved my life or helped shape who I am as a person, and I’ve loved sharing that world and those characters with other people. But I don’t think I can write nothing but Urban Fantasy, and nothing but Jade’s world forever (though I definitely have some plans for more in the world and maybe with Jade eventually). I’ve lived and breathed that series for six years.

I think I’m done for now, which are the scariest words to write ever, because I know that is what my audience wants and what keeps a roof over my family’s head and allows me to keep my immigration status in my new country etc. Which is probably why I buried them down here after a giant wall of text.  But I’ve been writing UF and Jade and almost nothing else for so many years that I feel like I need a real break, and that brings us to where we are now.

So what does this mean? It means I’ve been asking myself two really important questions: Who am I now as a writer and who do I want to be?

On the practical side, I will definitely honor commitments and Kira’s book and Harper’s book will both be released, because I’ve promised them and I’m already writing them and frankly Kira especially is a joy to write and I am excited to share her with readers. I have three more books in Six-gun Shifters planned out with lovely Gene Mollica covers already shot and paid for, but the decision of if I write them or not and how quickly will rest a lot on the combination of reader demand and my own desire to do so. I can say with moderate certainty that I won’t be writing more than one a year at the most. I want to deliver books that I feel good about and though that isn’t always the most financially sound decision in terms of speed of release, it is something I’ve always stuck to and I’m not going to start compromising on now.

But we have those two important questions. My focus is novels, and has been for a while. I miss short fiction, and I might do more of it for my Patreon, though I also hope to get back to finishing projects like Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division via Patreon in the near-ish future. But for the moment, longer work than short stories is where both my brain and the market in terms of “pays enough to keep lights on” are at.

As a writer right now, I am a primarily a novelist who writes Urban Fantasy for self-publishing. But I think I have more in me and I know that there is a larger world of publishing possibility out there.  I want to write bigger books (Kira’s first book will be almost twice the length the average 20sided novel, for example, so hopefully y’all like longer works) not just in word count but in scale. I want to write more epic fantasy, and I want to incorporate more romance elements. I think doing those things will be a fun stretch and challenge not just for my world-building skills but for my writing skills in general. I don’t want to stagnate or stay comfortable. I still have a giant list of things I love to read about and I think there’s room for that list to translate into more books, new work and a new-ish genre, or at least sub-genre. (Fantasy is my first and truest love and I’m sticking with it)

Obviously I want to keep paying my rent, but I think that fear of failure is how people (and careers) shrink instead of grow. I took a huge leap in 2009 when I quit my job to be a writer. I’ve taken other scary leaps in terms of what I chose to write or by jumping both feet into self-publishing and survivorship bias or no, those leaps worked out for me. My 2020 motto was BE MORE and while 2020 has been an unpredictable dumpsterfire of epic proportions for everyone, I feel like there’s still time for me to fulfill that.

So what is Phase 3? I have a trilogy idea that has kept me up at night, filled my dreams with scenes, and so far filled more than thirty pages of notes. It’s a scary project, with a bigger scope and more characters than anything I’ve ever successfully written. It’s epic fantasy with a heavy romantic component (multiple romances!) and going to require a lot from me as a writer in both time and (hopefully!) skills. I’m planning to give this project to my agent upon completion (of the first book anyway) and to take the huge risk that is traditional publishing. It might not sell. It might sell and then not sell to readers. It might not be the big series I feel it is with the scope and power to ignite a readership into fandom. With something new there is always risk. But I’ve always believed that without risk and trying new things, it is hard to grow. I am not the end stage of whatever writer me I envisioned. I’ve hit “career midlist writer making a living” goals but I still have the “Forbes list” stars in my eyes and while I know that reaching for the moon is often a fool’s errand, I’m aching to keep trying to fly.

Because some people get to go to the moon, so why not me?

I hope you’ll come with me on this new phase, this new journey, however it shakes out.  I promise I’ll keep writing stories that you won’t want to put down. I’m ready to take a bigger risk and to change and evolve, to stretch my writing wings a little further.

I’m ready to be more.


if you made it this far, here, have a kitten!

Two Releases!

Ok, they aren’t quite NEW releases, they are more re-releases in new formats, but  worth announcing I think.

First up is a fantasy novelette that is a retelling of the Norwegian fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon.  This first appeared in the anthology Once Upon a Quest, but now you can get it in its own ebook.

When her twin brother sacrifices his freedom to save their starving family, Lina embarks on a quest through a magical forest to save her twin and restore their family.

You can read West of the Moon for less than a dollar! Get it for Kindle HERE. Or for B&N Nook HERE. Or iBooks/Apple HERE. Or Kobo HERE.

The second not-exactly-new release is a complete volume collecting all six Gryphonpike Chronicles novellas. Now you can read the adventures of the cursed elf, Killer, and her ragtag band of adventuring friends. It’s out now in ebook and trade paperback (which makes a great gift for anyone over age 10, by the way).

Get the completed Gryphonpike Chronicles for Kindle/Paperback HERE. or for your choice of Nook/B&N or iBooks or Kobo by clicking HERE.

Happy reading!


That’s Right. Balancing the Scales is Here!

The wait is over! For real!

Read the final book in The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series:

Get it on Kindle Here.

Get it at iBooks/Apple Here.

Get it at Google Play Here.

Get it at Kobo Here.

Get it at B&N/Nook Here

And if you are sad that this is the final book, don’t be! There is still Harper’s Tale coming at some point this year, plus the next Urban Fantasy series I’m working on is already on pre-order for October and will be featuring Alek’s sister Kira! So you don’t have to leave Jade’s world just yet.  If you want to pre-order Bad Moon on the Rise (Six-gun Shifters book 1) go HERE for Kindle and HERE for iBooks or Kobo or B&N.

Happy Reading!