The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

OBSESSIVE By Isobel Irons: Trailer, Excerpt, and Free Books!

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, of course. I’m obsessed. Get it?
by Kristen

Today we have a guest, and she wants to give you stuff. Isobel Irons is my favorite new discovery of 2014. She writes gritty contemporary young adult/new adult that is so real you feel like you’re talking to your sassy girlfriend or you’re neurotic brother. Her voice grabs you by the hair and makes you pay attention. You don’t have any other choice. The Issues series is refreshing, funny, entertaining, and you can get OBSESSIVE today for free on Amazon.

Free doesn’t convince you? Check out the trailer and the excerpt below, then go get OBSESSIVE!



In first grade, I was officially ‘tagged.’

When my parents asked the school counselor what that meant, she explained that the school district had recently been granted funding for special, extra-curricular programs for students who fell outside the boundaries of what they considered ‘average.’ According to my test results, she said, I was ‘academically gifted,’ which meant that I was one of those kids who just naturally took to learning, problem solving, and following directions.

Two years later, in what was either a stunning coincidence or a sick cosmic joke, my little sister was also ‘tagged.’ Only instead of ‘gifted,’ Gen was labeled as ‘special needs.’ They spent the next five years trying to figure out where she fell on the special needs ‘spectrum’; if she was severely ADD or mildly autistic. Either way, Gen didn’t learn things as quickly as other kids seemed to, and unlike me, she couldn’t handle studying for hours on end.

One thing we did have in common was that we both got pulled out of class twice a week, in front of all of our fellow students, and taken off to our own ‘special’ classrooms. But I got to do complex scientific experiments, and Gen got to practice reading from her textbooks through different colored panels of cellophane. Apparently, seeing the words in yellow or blue instead of plain black and white was supposed to make it easier for her to retain facts. That was around the same time I started highlighting my homework—in addition to taking copious, meticulous notes.

Fortunately for me, because I had the ‘gifted’ classification, my excessive note-taking was chalked up to being an exceptional student. That was another thing the counselor told my parents about me. I’m what psychologist types like to call ‘exceptionally socially intuitive.’

If you ask me, that’s just a P.C. way of saying that everything I do or say is an act. A lie, custom tailored to whoever might be watching, to make sure no one ever figures out the true motives behind my actions.

But like most things about me, even that label is a lie. The truth is, I’m exceptional in the same way chameleons seem exceptional to the average, uneducated observer. For chameleons, blending into their surroundings isn’t exceptional at all. It’s not a magic trick, meant to impress or delight. It’s not even about showing off or attracting a mate. It’s about survival.

I read this article once, about a drug addict who kept his habit a secret from everyone in his family for almost 30 years. One thing he said really stuck with me:

“I was the world’s greatest actor, in the world’s worst play.”

I never thought I’d have so much in common with a junkie. But that quote pretty much sums up every waking moment of my life, up to this point.


Also, fun fact about this trailer: My husband Eli wrote and performed the song. So…that’s some exclusive “behind the scenes” info.


The Education of Intern Sara: Lessons Learned from Mr. Rogers and Twyla Tharp

The Art of Finding Your Ritual

There are certain words in the English language that just speak to me. They have a weight of their own. They don’t need to be used in any sort of dramatic or political way, they can simply be uttered and evoke something in me. The word ritual has always held that power for me. There is something alluring and charming about the concept of a ritual. I imagine this has more to do with the imagery that comes to my mind, than the act of rituals, as they exist in reality.

To me a ritual is an almost magic-inducing act. Something that involves an altar of some sort, a small but precious array of collected and displayed objects, and a summoning of something wonderful, be it inner strength or a magical creature from another realm. Imagine my hearts sorrow when I realized that when many artists speak of their daily ritual, they are not talking about a spiritual pre-show that gets them going but the very ordinary acts that precede their art-making.

The Research That Lead to “my hearts sorrow”

Most of the reading I’ve done for pleasure has been of the autobiographical, biographical, and in some cases, unauthorized biographical nature. Granted, the latter category often amounts to being a little better than an unabridged version of the National Enquirer, but when lured, the little reader inside me will take the bait. The biographies I favor are almost always about artists, usually musicians. I mostly read them because I am interested in knowing what it is that makes them special, where their art comes from and mostly why is it that they were the successful one? As of the last few years, I’ve been trying to find biographies that talk less about rock-star-debauchery and more about craft and how the artists got there. That’s all I ever really wanted to read about, but it’s hard to come by, at least with musicians. The dance world however gifted me with 3 wonderful books, all by the same artist. Twyla Tharp, a well-regarded dancer/choreographer (and now writer) wrote three great books, the first being an autobiography, Push Comes to Shove: An Autobiography, the second a book entitled, The Creative Habit and the last The Collaborative Habit Overall, 3 for 3, they were enjoyable reads but there was one thing that struck me from the three books and stayed with me for years. It seems to have been more powerful than even I realized because everyone I’ve spoken to about these books remembers the same thing. Twyla Tharp’s ritual.

It’s as simple as this. Twyla gets up at 5:30 every morning and hails a cab from her Manhattan home to her gym where she works out for 2 hours. Once she gets home, she eats 2 hard-boiled eggs along with her morning coffee. Next she showers. Lastly, she sets off to rehearsal. And she does this EVERYDAY and has for at least 20 years.

To be fair, I’m not saying that getting up at 5:30 is easy, not even for someone like me who LOVES the idea of waking up really early, I simply can’t do it. And we can all agree that it takes a great deal of discipline and dedication to get to the gym everyday and make a go of it for 2 hours. That being said, the fact that the simple banal act of getting in a cab is the key to her productive day is mind blowing to me.

This simple act of getting in the cab is the ritual itself. Once she has done this, the rest of her day is set to automatic pilot. That means as long as Twyla gets in the cab, she knows the rest of her day will go as she intends. And since she does this EVERY SINGLE DAY the chances of her breaking the habit are probably slim to none.

Ever since I read that book, I have been trying to get myself to get up at 5:30 to go the gym. No lie. There was something so genius about the simplicity of that ritual that it made me wish it was my own. And I tried, I did, but the truth is, rituals need to be of our own making. Something organic to us that brings us a sense of security and ease. As much as I love the gym (a habit that took me several years to create) and as much as I adore being up early in the morning, the 5:30 am gym habit was never meant to be mine. That being said this simple ritual made me think of other familiar rituals.

Mr. Rogers’ daily ritual is one that I have always had such and affection for. I’m of the opinion that we all watched him, all loved him, and have all gone through the I’m-not-a-baby-I-don’t-want-to-watch-him-anymore phase. Despite the phase I was in at the time, his morning ritual of changing from his sports jacket to his zippered cardigan, and then from his leather dress-shoes to his comfy tennis shoes always intrigued me. ALWAYS. But why? Maybe I just liked the theme song? Perhaps I knew that the sweater and tennis shoes meant a trip to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe would soon follow? Maybe children really do crave structure? According to the program’s philosophy the consistency in the way he communicated with his viewers “creates a calm, safe place for preschoolers to visit.” Maybe that was it; maybe that’s what we all need? To create a calm, safe place, something that eases us into the task at hand. Or maybe, I was just a 3-year-old clothes-whore who wanted all of those fashionable colored zippered cardigans.

In my quest to find the answers, I was led to what is easily the least sexy, nerdiest, but-still-manages-to-be-interesting book on the subject of ritual and art-making called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work written/compiled by Mason Curry. It’s a wonderful little book that is largely a compilation of excerpts from interviews and biographies of creative geniuses discussing their work rituals. He covers everyone from Maya Angelou (a personal favorite of mine) to Albert Einstein to Pablo Picasso.

I’ve found one truth in all of the rituals I’ve read so far. NONE of these rituals were the least bit sexy. None involved altars, the evoking of magical creatures or anything that you and I would consider fun. They were all simple, every day tasks equivalent to hailing cabs, putting on cardigans, eating 2 hard boiled eggs… and yet, they got every one of these brilliant artist-genius types, to create their art.

Simple. Banal. Ordinary acts.

Author, Robert Fulghum’s book entitled, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten said it all in its title. Without our realizing it, before we even started elementary school, Mr. Rogers had already given us the key to being brilliant writers by teaching us to start our day by putting our cardigan’s on, one sleeve at a time.

To my writer friends, here’s to finding your banal, not-at-all-sexy but effective ritual!

Cover Reveal! IN STONE by Louise D. Gornall

TODAY’S BREW: There’s Cookie Dough Coffee in this world and I will consume it ALL.

By Julie

Our delicious friend, Louise Gornall wrote this killer book, IN STONE, and there’s GARGOYLES, so get it. It has this monstrously gorgeous new cover that I want to lick.

Book blurb:


Beau Bailey is suffering from a post-break-up meltdown when she happens across a knife in her local park and takes it home. Less than a week later, the new boy in school has her trapped in an alley; he’s sprouted horns and is going to kill Beau unless she hands over the knife. Until Eighteenth-century gargoyle, Jack, shows up to save her. Jack has woken from a century-long slumber to tell Beau that she’s unwittingly been drafted into a power struggle between two immortal races: Demons and Gargoyles. The knife is the only one in existence capable of killing immortals and they’ll tear the world apart to get it back. To draw the warring immortals away from her home, Beau goes with Jack in search of the mind-bending realm known as the Underworld, a place where they’ll hopefully be able to destroy the knife and prevent all hell from breaking loose. That is, provided they can outrun the demons chasing them.



About The Author:



Louise is a graduate of Garstang Community Academy. She’s currently studying for a BA (Hons) in English language and literature with special emphasis on creative writing. YA aficionado. Brit bird. Film nerd. Identical twin. Junk food enthusiast. Rumored pink Power Ranger. Zombie apocalypse 2012 survivor, and avid collector of book boyfriends.

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Diners, Roadtrips, and Stagenames: An Excerpt From NIGHT MOVES

Today’s Brew: I’m out of creamer, and I need more coffee before I go to the store.  How did this happen to me?

by Kristen

I thought today might be a fun day to share a little bit of NIGHT MOVES with you all. I love this excerpt.

I’m kind of obsessed with diners.I love that they’re always open, always quirky, and that you can always get anything you want.  We don’t have many close to my town, so it’s like a thing when I see one. It’s always my top choice if we’re looking for a place to eat. I should probably move to New Jersey. I’ve put diners into a couple of my books now, and this one is based on a visit Julie and I made to one last year.

Melanie and Erin aren’t in the best area of Milwaukee, because the never put night clubs in the posh areas of town. One day on my way to work, I was on the look out for a Starbucks, until I realized I was deeper in the ghetto than I’d been in a while. Suffice to say, no Starbucks. File that one under white people problems.

I based Erin’s character on some of the most fascinating people I know: traveling fetish models. These ladies are hitting the road on the road less traveled. What a way to truly take the world by the balls. They get to see the world, they get to do what they love, and be the person they want to be. We talk a lot on here about living life on your terms, and I think these ladies are an amazing example of that.

Enough of me telling you about this, just read it!!!


Either Ralph had a better opinion of Milwaukee than he did of Detroit, or he seemed to think that Erin and I could hold our own. Or he just didn’t care what happened to us anymore after last night. Obviously we weren’t safe from attack on the buses. Whatever his reason was, Erin and I were free to go off on our own.

“Can you believe after all the time we spent chasing after the band together, we meet up with each other here?” Erin chattered nervously as we walked down the busy road away from the parking lot of The Raven night club. “Think they have Starbucks around here?”

“Um, probably not.” Many of the stores in this neighborhood hadn’t been open for business in a long time. We walked past a nail salon, a Columbian convenience store, and a pizza place. “There’s a diner up ahead.”

“They’ve got coffee. Sold.”

The diner was strangely quiet for being so close to lunch time. We sat ourselves and waited a while for anyone to acknowledge us. Neither of us was ready to really talk yet. We spent the time waiting for a waitress to acknowledge us as we looked around at the dusty Americana cluttering the walls.

“Would you ladies like coffee?” The waitress finally surfaced, placing sticky menus down in front of us. Maybe she meant for us to sample previous customers’ meals before making a decision. I pulled hand sanitizer out of my bag and silently offered some to Erin.

“You have no idea.” Erin said, rubbing the gel together in her palms. “Keep it coming.”

“It’s going to be a minute. I need to brew a pot.” The waitress walked away without asking us if we wanted anything else. Erin and I were both at a loss.

“Shouldn’t a diner always have coffee? I mean, isn’t that the point of a diner?” Erin spoke rapidly. “Oh well, at least it will be fresh.”

I noticed she’d already placed her menu aside. Granted, it was gross, covered in jelly and syrup. I had my old standbys at places like these. Chances were I’d order Eggs Benedict or a cheeseburger. I didn’t know if I could resist diner fries. Yesterday’s salad didn’t quite cut it. But Erin always used to take forever to make a decision.

The waitress returned with our coffees. “Have you ladies decided?”

“Yes, I’ll have a cheeseburger. Cooked medium.”

“I’m all set.”

“Really?” I questioned Erin. The waitress couldn’t care less.

“Yeah. I have some protein bars back at the car.”

“You can’t live off of protein bars!”

“Don’t give me a hard time, Melanie. I mean, I’m the one who should be grilling you. It’s just food. Who cares?”

I sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry.” I did have a lot of explaining to do. “So what do you want to know?”

“When I told you about Jamie, it wasn’t a surprise, was it?”

I shook my head.

Erin looked like she might get sick. She swirled her spoon around in her coffee cup vigorously. For such a protein bar aficionado, she certainly added a lot of sugar to her coffee.

“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” She whispered, eyes wide. I don’t know if she assumed I had anything to do with his death or not. And I wasn’t looking for clarification.

“I couldn’t. It was just too awful, too fresh.” I couldn’t look her in the eye. I just watched the whirlpool of caffeine following her spoon, concentrating on the motion so completely it made me dizzy.

“So what came first? That, or you being here?” Erin continued.


“Are you here with the band, or just here?”

“With the band.” I bit my lip and looked up at her. Finally her face lit up.

“Nice.” The Erin stamp of approval. “Which one? Adam? Josiah? Not Thomas, he’s too creepy for you.”


“No way!” Erin slapped the table, making the remaining coffee in her mug jump. We stopped for a moment when the waitress brought me my burger.

“Can I have some ketchup, please?” Why didn’t they just keep it on the table? Something about this place was off. I said a quick prayer to ward off Mad Cow Disease while I waited for condiments.

“Mel, you lusted after him all through high school! And he’s like, not even back on the market yet after the divorce.”

“You make him sound like a used car.”

“You know what I mean.” Erin piled up spent plastic creamer tubs like a pyramid. “Tell me how it happened!” Her question tapered off in a squeal.

I swallowed the rest of my french fry before answering her. “It just happened. We ran into each other and we’ve been together ever since.”

“Are you traveling alone? I mean, we could drive together.”

“I’ve been riding on the bus.”

“Oh.” Erin’s face darkened.

This was the perfect time to turn this interview around. “So what are you doing here?”

“I’m here to see Drake.” She leaned forward, speaking in a hushed tone and looking triumphant.

“Does he…know you’re here?” Something about her wording made me think she hadn’t made much progress from our fan girl days seven years before.

“Of course he does.” She looked insulted. Rightfully so, I guess. I mean, who would go to Milwaukee in the winter on a whim? “He’s just, you know. Busy. He can’t always have company. He’s got a business to run.”

Erin had drank the Drake Kool-Aid. “So I hear. How well do you know Drake?” Did she know what I knew?

She smiled. “Extremely well.”

“So then you know?”

She sighed. “That he’s never going to leave his wife. Yeah, Mel, I get it. He can’t. It would totally ruin his public image. And there are other reasons, too. But I know the real him, and I don’t care. I’ll take what I can get.”

I hadn’t expected that. “Everyone knows that. Have you noticed anything, weird about him, if you know what I mean?” It was still too surreal to just ask someone if they knew their lover was a vampire in the middle of a restaurant.

“Oh, that he’s a vampire? Of course.” Erin dismissed it like it was no more trivial than her not wanting anything for lunch.

“That doesn’t freak you out, even just a little bit?” I know I still hadn’t gotten over it, no matter how much I liked it when Ryder sunk his fangs into me.

“Um, excuse me.” A shy, skinny, middle aged man overwhelmed by a plaid wool jacket and a trucker hat approached the table. I felt confusion spread over my face as Erin looked up at him brightly. It was her attention he was after. “I just have to ask, are you Trixie Temptation?”

“Trixie Temptation?!” I mouthed at her as she nodded and smiled at her admirer.

“Oh wow, I love your work. You’re so beautiful.” The man gushed. Erin assumed her alter ego and nodded at him with a frozen smile. What the hell was going on? “Could I take a picture with you? My buddies will never believe I saw you.”

“Of course.” Erin rose as the man took out his camera. “What’s your name, sir?”


“It’s so nice to meet you. Maybe my girlfriend will take our picture for us?” She winked at me. Skinny Dwight ogled me, trying to figure out if he knew my ‘work’ as well.

I sighed, trying not to grimace. “Sure.” Erin put her arm around the man and I captured the moment.

Dwight kissed Erin’s hand. “Thank you so much for your time, Ms. Temptation.”

Then he was gone.

“What in the hell was that about? Trixie Temptation?” I practically shrieked.

“Shh!” Now it was Erin’s turn to look annoyed. “That’s my stage name.”

“Keep talking.”

“I’m a traveling model,” Erin explained. “It’s how I support myself while I’m out on the road.”

“What kind of model?” Erin was just a little bit of a thing with a pink streak in her platinum blonde hair, a nose piercing and several tattoos. Pretty, definitely, but not in an America’s Next Top Model sort of way.

“I do fetish shoots. Artistic Nudes. That sort of stuff,” she said casually. She had a way of brushing things off that anyone else would consider a bombshell.

“Porn?” This was just too much.

“Not porn. Nobody puts anything in me. I call the shots, and I know my limits. I probably make more money than you do at the bank. I didn’t expect you to judge me, Mel.”

Now I felt bad. “I’m not, but I don’t like to think of you selling your body just so you can support your Drake habit. I mean, that guy’s got more money than God, you’d think he wouldn’t want you doing that.”

“It was his idea,” Erin said, quietly, as she finished off her third cup of coffee. “And face it, Melanie, we’re all selling ourselves in some way.”


Night Moves on Amazon    Barnes and Noble     iTunes

Julie Gets To Be A First Grader: What Your Kids Are Capable Of Learning

TODAY’S BREW: Cinnamon Pecan. Sounds fancy, right? IT IS.

By Julie

I don’t even know where to start with how awesome this is.

Yesterday I spent a half hour talking to my son Bennett’s class about being an author, editing and revising. As if that isn’t cool enough, it wasn’t just like “bring your mom to school day.” This is actually in my first grader’s curriculum right now.

There is so much awesome about this, I can’t handle it. First off, what I love is that my son’s school is in the lowest income neighborhood in Plymouth, arguably and yet they have the most forward thinking curriculum I’ve ever heard of. It’s the most multicultural school in our large town as well. It’s also such a small neighborhood school that there aren’t even any busses that go to it; walking school only. So, all of our families, from different backgrounds, some of which don’t even speak the same language, feel like family. The teachers walk the kids into school in the morning, and dismiss them one at a time in the afternoon. Every teacher, no matter what the grade knows the names of our kids. It’s this intimacy that has helped make this advanced curriculum so successful so far, I think.

Bennett’s first grade teacher, Mrs. Albert, shares my amazement at the complexity of this curriculum. The kids are learning to not only write creatively, but are being taught to edit. The fact that “editing and revising” are words they know just flabberghasts me. They understand the importance of going back over your work to look for places to add more detail and to remove extra words and phrases that don’t contribute to the text. While it excites me to have Ben be even more a part of my writing process in this way, I can see the big picture enough to know that this is a lesson that means more in his life than just about writing. I have to think that this careful attention to detail about the written word is going to help these kids really think about what they say in life in general. To think harder about the quality of person they put out there.

After editing and revising their work for these points, the kids then exchange their work for proofreading. They’re learning that an outside opinion of their creative work and another point of view on something that’s personal to them is valuable. It’s much different than when I was their age and would write to be judged by the teacher on whether or not it was good enough. This gains them the approval of their peers, encourages openness about feelings and opinions, causes them to accept one another’s interests and open their minds to new ideas. When I was a kid I was overprotective of my writing, hid it from view, never shared it and thought for sure I would be openly ridiculed for what I  liked. If I’d had this kind of support from school, I don’t think that would have happened.

All in all, the point of teaching the kids about editing, revising, and getting feedback is so that by the time they go into second, third and fourth grade, they hand in quality work. That they own their creative process enough to not need the correction of simple things. This will translate into every aspect of their lives when it’s supported at home, I feel.


To be able to field questions about how I come up with my ideas and listen to how they come up with their own fiction was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. One little girl told me about how she sometimes pictures dragons with her when she gets ready for school, and she’s writing about it in her diary. I got to tell that kid she just made up an urban fantasy story just like I do. (She then turned to Bennett and said, “We definitely need a playdate. Your mom’s cool.”) Telling them how I edit and revise, how Ben sees me do it at home, and how I’m doing the same thing that they do was so much fun. They’re doing the same thing as me and I write books. Which means they can write books.

I got to tell them about how Kristen and I would pass a notebook back and forth when were not so much older than them, and how we’d write a line of a story one after another, making a whole story together. Now we still do it, and we both write books, and we love to get each other’s feedback. I had no idea it would become such a monumental part of my life now, make me so much me. They asked me if I know a lot of authors, and I had the extreme pleasure of saying, “yes, I do.” They thought that was amazing. I think it’s pretty amazing, too.  

Something that wasn’t even anywhere on my radar at their age was the publishing process. These kids GET IT. Weird as hell. One kid asked me if a company published my first book or if I did it. I got to tell him that  a company published mine, but that anybody that practices what they’re doing right now can self-publish a book, do the whole thing from the ground up. Anyone can be an author. What an amazing thing to be able to tell a bunch of bright eyed kids filled with creativity and love of getting feedback from their peers. I love that not a one of those kids was too shy to talk about what they write about, the things that they find exciting to read. That fear of acceptance was nowhere in the room. I love it more than I can say.

And when one little girl told me how when she’s in karate class, she imagines she’s in a book about karate class, I got to tell her that there was karate in my book, too. EVERY KID GASPED LIKE IT WAS THE COOLEST THING THEY EVER HEARD. So, mostly I feel like a rock star right about now.

It’s important to me to point out that the entire country is irritated by the cutting of programs in schools. I get it. But what we don’t look for often enough is the ability to integrate what we find missing in our school curriculum into the current curriculum. (Yeah, you do have a say in it, folks. It isn’t just about being on the PTA.) Not to mention, never in my life did I imagine that my seven year old would be learning about editing and revising. It’s not something I ever thought was missing from his education, but now that it’s there I see how incredible it will be for his class. Look outside the box, parents, and think of what might be beneficial to your kids that can be implemented in your school. Suggest it. Offer to go in and help out with it. Anyone can do this. When you show your kids that anyone can introduce something new and help, it makes them believe they can do it, too, and it shows them that you care enough to support them in it. It’s a little bit of “quit your bitching and make lemonade” philosophy. Being progressive is about losing some of the old and creating some of the new.

Yeah, I learned that from editing and revising.

The Ability to Stop, But The Choice To Continue

Today’s Brew: Pounding Wild Blueberry. Working two crazy shifts back to back today and tomorrow.

by Kristen

dog meme

My body loves being fat. I’m not saying that to be all Piss On Kristen, it’s true. The sales people in Lane Bryant and Torrid know me by name. Just because my body’s all about the fluff doesn’t mean my mind is. I realize I have to work harder to get to my goals, and what’s going to be good and healthy for me is going to be different than what another person considers to be the same.

The other night I found this cool tattoo while surfing Pinterest. Since we’re all writer and reader types around these parts, I thought it fit in to every facet of my life beautifully.

semi colon


The caption read: The ability to stop, but the choice to continue.

I never thought a semi-colon could be so fucking deep.

I’m going to try to explain how much I fell completely in love with this saying. Julie’d used a version of it in her review of Because the Night, and the line always stuck out to me. She referred to Tristan as “having the ability to be good, but making the choice to be dirty.” It’s kind of knowing right from wrong, and knowing that you’re going to have to make an effort to get the results you want, no matter what those might be.

I’ve talked about pole dancing class before, and how I when I started, I could barely get my feet up off the ground. Now I can get them up over my head, while hanging on to the pole. I can’t totally invert yet, but with persistence and the right attitude, I’ll get there. And yes, my size 14 ass wears booty shorts. Sometimes you need to put yourself out of your comfort zone to get to where you want to go. However, there are things I do better than the rest of the class, like splits. My brain got this stupid idea that it wanted my body to start running, so I figured, what the hell, I’ll try it. I can’t go very far, but it gets easier every time I try. Today I rollerskated for the first time in two years. I exhausted quickly, because I’m not use to using those muscles any more. But each time I lace up my skates, I’ll be able to do a little more.

So what the hell does any of this have to do with writing? Everything. The more you write, the better you get. I didn’t start from nothing doing these activities. I’d been doing Zumba for a year. I thought I was in amazing shape, and I found out otherwise. Sometimes I think I write something that’s awesome, and it doesn’t get that reaction. I need to make it better. And not everything’s going to be the same. Sometimes a draft of a book takes six weeks, sometimes it takes six months. Depends on which muscles I’m using.

A lot of us, and this totally includes me, have been struggling a lot this year with writing. I don’t know if it’s burnout, or rejection, or just not getting the results we desire, but I’ve noticed so many people reaching out and talking about this. This is brave. We’re all taught to put on a mask and pretend nothing’s wrong, and that we’re perfect at everything. But we’re not. And others can be quick to point that out. And it fucking hurts, even though we know that we can’t possibly be the world’s best writers, or athletes, or anything else. We just do the best we can.

The ability to stop, but the choice to continue.

There have been many days that I’ve thought long and hard about finishing the projects I have in progress, and then moving on to something else outside of writing. Those days aren’t pretty.

I have the ability to stop. But is that really what I want? To quit? Or do I want to rise to the challenge and make myself better? I have more stories in me, and some of you seem to like the ones I’ve told already. I’ve learned so much about myself through writing, that I’m not sure I can let that go now. So I have to acknowledge that every day won’t be perfect. Some days I’ll run the proverbial extra mile and others I’ll eat too much cake. Like with fitness, I have to put the bad day behind me and treat each day as a chance to kick some ass.

But I have to make a choice to continue. It’s not always an easy one, especially when I’m feeling really bad. It’s way easier to crawl deeper into my hole and congratulate myself for failing. That’s a place I don’t let anyone else into, because I’m pretty sure none of you want to see it. But it’s there, welcome me into its dark, airless pit of despair. I know we all have these places, and I know I haven’t made my last visit to mine.

If you love writing, or anything, you’ll make time for it. You’ll want to grow, and do what it takes to get to where you want to be. It’s truly all about you. With writing, we have to accept we’re all on different paths. Some people might write faster than me, get published before me, sell better than me, but that doesn’t mean what I’m doing is wrong. It’s just different. Some people don’t like my work, but other people do. I have to make the choice to listen to the positive or the negative, and move forward from there. The good so outweighs the bad.

I pay a little bit of attention to astrology. I don’t plan my day around my horoscope, but everything I hear makes a fuckton of sense. Today is the Full Blood Moon. It’s also a total lunar eclipse, and the start of something called a Triad, which I haven’t had a chance to explore, but it only happens every couple of decades. It’s also Passover, which the guy on the Today show thought made this lunar event even more significant. When Mercury is in retrograde, it loves to fuck up our lives. All of this unusual activity with the moon has got to be messing with our gravitational pull, our magnets, and our alignment. So what I’m hoping is once we pass this cycle, we can all come out of it feeling a little bit better.

You’re all fucking amazing, we don’t tell each other than enough. No one gets tired of hearing it, ever. I’m glad to have you in my life, and I hope you make the choice to keep going even if it’s hard.

The Education of Intern Sara: Lessons learned from the Undead Duo

Word Diet

I’ve always prided myself on NOT being “that girl” you know, the one who obsessively goes to the gym, eats only 1200 calories and gets upset over gaining 2 lbs.

Here’s the thing about suffering that kind of pride; sometimes it bites you in the ass. Turns out that your 30’s are not as kind to you physically as say, your 20’s or teenage years where all crimes against nutrition and fitness are forgiven.

Soooo… I realized that I have to do something and anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do things half way and even though I could preach about the virtues of moderation all day the truth is …

I’m all or nothing

Black or White

Go Big or Go Home

So, instead of working out a few days a week and eating a few extra salads I’ve decided

To. Be. That. Girl.

And you know what?

I. Get. It.

It’s not easy but it has been worth it (feel free to take bets on how long this life-long 1200 calorie commitment lasts). All of this talk about 1200 calories a day made me think what approach should I take for my writing? What is my word diet?

Do I write for several hours a day?

Do I write a chapter a day? How long is a chapter?

Do I choose a magic number? What is my magic number?

Not sure how to answer this question, I did what I plan on doing for as long as I can get away with it. I asked Julie and Kristen about their approach.

Here’s how they do it …

Julie’s word diet consists of 1000 words and she edits as she goes along. She sometimes stops in the middle of a thought because she knows that she has to finish that sentence the next day thereby eliminating any chance of writers block. She stops at 1000 words to prevent burnout. It works for her.


Kristen works differently. She prefers to write a chapter and is looking to complete a thought or idea. “If it ends up being 700 words, it’s 700 words. If it’s 3000, it’s 3000.” 

Since the theme of the year is “1200” I decided that a number goal would be the way to go. I pondered 1000 a day, did the math to see how long it would take to get me to 80,000 words and decided that I wanted to get there a bit sooner. I decided to change my magic number to 1500. The idea is to get these words downs as well as I can and then spend my “extra time” taking it to the next level. But unlike Julie who stops herself at 1000 words, I allow myself to keep going until I get tired. So my approach seems to be a bit of an Undead Duo Remix. In the almost 2 weeks that I’ve been writing I’m not only making my goal, most days I want to keep writing and get to about 2000 words a day. So the Undead Duo Remix seems to be the way to go. 1200 calories and 1500 words a day will get this girl to her goals.

Throwback Thursday–Undead Duo Style

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, of course.  Until this migraine takes a hike.

by Kristen

Before we can look back, let’s talk about the present!  NIGHT MOVES is now available in paperback! Proudly display vampire smut on your bookshelf! It’s a conversation starter, people. Imagine how much more lively your cocktail parties can be. You’re welcome.

Blogging twice a week has it’s challenges. You know that Julie and I are never at a shortage of things to say, but to put that gibberish into a coherent blog post is work, dawg. Throwback Thursday seems to have to come out of nowhere. Whatever, it’s probably been a thing for a while, but I’m blonde and I’ve only noticed it in the last few weeks. And it’s perfect for what I’m working on now.

Soul Divider, the band in NIGHT MOVES, is perfect for Throwback Thursday. They’re totally the kind of band I still listen to. I love any sort of pretty boy, tight pants, guyliner, loud guitar, cheese heavy rock and roll. Those bands didn’t just exist in the 1970s and 80s. I’m looking at you, emo rocker boys. Am I ever looking at you. Your vulnerable broken hearts, your hair flopping down in front of your eyes, those untied combat boots, and those rotten bitches who broke your hearts, making you turn poetry into song. Your loud guitar riffs and catchy choruses that somehow speak to my soul, even though we’ve never met.

We should probably meet.  You know, for research.

Soul Divider doesn’t even exist and I’m ready to take a road trip to go see them. You know, for research.

The other thing I love, in the vein (see what I did there? vein? vampires?) of old rocker dudes is when you can tell said old rocker dude has cut his long hair very reluctantly. That as long as they can get away with swoopy cut is totally hot. You can tell danger is bubbling just under the surface.

Okay. Enough of Kristen’s Cougar Corner.

I’ve put out three books in less than six months. People are still discovering BECAUSE THE NIGHT. Even if they knew about it, they might now just be picking it up to read. You guys have no idea how much you slay me when you start arguing over what characters you like best.  That’s something I dreamed might happen, and you’re doing it! Amazing. It means the world to me that people actually care about Callie, Blade, Tristan, and now Melanie and Ryder.

I’m now editing WE OWN THE NIGHT, and because that’s a story that Callie tells us, it’s like coming home to family. Callie’s a funny character. I had to really prep myself to dive back into this book. But once I’m in, she doesn’t like to let go of things. I know once I’m done going over this book eight thousand times to make sure it’s perfect, I’m going to have that same sense of emptiness that I did when I finished writing it. Working on this project is bittersweet for that reason.

I don’t like to let go of things, either, so I hear you, Callie. So much. And that’s why Throwback Thursday fits me like a pair of skinny jeans.




Writing About Rape and the TRUTH Behind The Darkness of Light

(Today’s post is through Julie but not of Julie)

I’m shaking as I put this up. Our very dear, incredible friend and author, Tammy Farrell gave us the privelege of sharing this story, HER story, and how it transformed into a monumental scene in her novel THE DARKNESS OF LIGHT. We couldn’t be prouder of her for this. Tammy, you’re a hero and a soldier, and we love you.


Writing About Rape and the TRUTH Behind The Darkness of Light

They say that if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing. Well, let me start by saying that writing this post definitely makes me uncomfortable. Reading it might make you uncomfortable as well. But I’m at a point in my life when I’m ready to start growing…

I think most writers will agree that there is no such thing as 100% fiction. We writers write from our own experiences. We use bits of dialog we’ve heard in real life, we relive our emotions through our characters and, more often than not, no matter how fantastical the story may be, we send our characters on journeys we’ve been on ourselves.

That is what I’ve done in my novel The Darkness of Light, and today I’d like to talk about the REAL inspiration behind this story; the REAL driving force that compelled me to write it.

I’m talking about Mara’s rape.

I want to tell you that I didn’t write a rape scene into my story for the hell of it. I want to tell you the truth behind the fiction. I want to tell you how writing this story was a soul cleansing experience that has given me the courage to unburden myself of my long kept secrets.

*Warning – There will be book spoilers and some triggering content ahead.

Although The Darkness of Light is a fantasy novel, many people don’t realize just how autobiographical this story truly is. I didn’t write this novel to become a famous author. I didn’t write this novel because I wanted to publish it. I wrote this novel because I HAD to write it. I HAD to tell Mara’s story in order to tell my own. In doing so, I was able to rewrite the ending; I was able to give her the strength and the power that I never had.

My hands are shaking.

Let’s start with a deep breath as I begin to uncover the line between fiction and the truth.

I was raped when I was 15 years old. I hate the “R” word. I always have. It feels so sharp to me, like a blade cutting right through my chest. After 16 years I can now write the word, but I still can’t manage to say it out loud without a shudder.

I remember who I was before “IT” happened. I was imaginative and idealistic about life. I felt different from others my age, but in a good way. I felt special, like I knew things others didn’t, like I had notions about life far beyond those of my peers. But, like my character Mara, I was also naïve. I was unafraid. And I was completely unaware of just how close danger lurked.

At 15 I had a boyfriend. Let’s call him “Max”. Max was 17. This was a fairly typical teenage relationship. We dated for several months, hung out after school, and thought we “loved” each other.

While my character Corbin (Mara’s love interest) is mostly inspired by my husband and other fictional characters, he also plays the part of Max, with high moral values, only there is one very important difference between Corbin and Max, which you will see later.

In my novel, Corbin and Malcolm are like brothers. They have a somewhat strained relationship, but throughout the first half of the novel, Corbin feels a loyalty towards Malcolm that blinds him from Malcolm’s true nature. Mara is suspicious of Malcolm right away. He makes her uncomfortable and while she knows in her heart he can’t be trusted, she ignores the many warning signs presented to her.

I made the same mistake. In real life Max had a brother that we’ll call “Ryan”. Ryan was older, 19 years old, maybe even in his 20s, I don’t quite know. I always had an uneasy feeling about Ryan. He was intimidating, large for his age. To me he looked like a full-grown man. He was known for being “tough” and his violent outbursts were well known around town.

The Truth vs. The Book

The Truth – One night in August 1998, I stayed out past my curfew. I thought I’d walk to Max’s house and hang out. We’d had a fight earlier in the evening and went our separate ways. I wanted to apologize and make up. I called Max’s house, he wasn’t home yet, but his brother Ryan was. It was dark outside, so Ryan said he’d meet me half way so I didn’t have to walk alone. I met Ryan at the park and went back to the house to wait. When I got there I discovered that no one else was home. Max’s mom was gone, and his other brothers were out. Immediately I felt edgy, but I wanted to play it cool, so I decided to stay.

The Book – There is a tragedy at Valenia. Corbin is enraged. Mara is devastated. When Corbin decides to leave in order to seek revenge, he and Mara have a falling out. She won’t speak to him. He leaves without resolving the issue, hoping to sort it out when he returns. Mara is left on her own with Rowan, Annora, and Malcolm, Corbin’s “brother”.

The Truth – It seemed like hours went by as I waited for Max to come home, but in that time, hanging out with Ryan wasn’t so bad. We sat in the living room, he on the couch, and I on a big chair, watching TV. We talked a little, and as time went on, I started to think that Ryan wasn’t so bad, that maybe I’d been wrong about him. I remember the phone ringing. Ryan answered it, gave a few terse responses and hung up. “Was that Max?” I asked.
“No,” he said.

Shortly after the phone call, I remember saying I had a headache. Ryan offered me 2 pills and a beer. I foolishly took both, not realizing what was to come. I don’t know how much time passed between taking the pills and the moment my head started to swim. I commented on how tired I was, how funny I felt, how weak I’d become.

The Book – After Corbin leaves, Mara is distraught. Malcolm tries to reason with her, to connect with her, but she shuns him. When she tries to leave Valenia, Malcolm attacks her in her room. He drains her of her power, rendering her weak and incoherent. She can no longer fight him. He has taken all of her power, leaving her in a drugged-like state.

The Truth – This is where time and reality becomes a complete blur to me. I remember feeling like I was floating, being carried to a darkened room. I remember trying to protest, to push him away, but my arms were like Jello, my eyelids heavy. The only thing I remember with clarity is me saying, “What about Max…” hoping this would be reason enough to stop him.

And I remember Ryan’s response. “Sshhhh. You’re my girlfriend now.”

The rest of this encounter comes to me like a vision, like I am out of my body, watching it from the corner of the room before everything goes completely black.

The Book – After Malcolm has taken Mara’s power, he wrestles with regret and his own devious desires. When he eventually gives into the darkest part of him, and forces himself on Mara, she comes to a moment of consciousness and asks, “What have you done, Malcolm?”… to which he responds, “You will be mine now.”

The Truth – The rest of the night remains a clouded mystery to me. I remember bits and pieces that are filled in with dark gaps of the things I don’t know.

I woke up the next morning in agony. Every part of my body hurt and my head pounded like the worst hangover you could ever imagine. It took me a few moments to gather my thoughts, when I realized I was in Max’s room, in Max’s bed. I felt an arm stretched out across me and when I looked over, I was shocked to see Ryan asleep next to me.

I racked my brain trying to figure out what had happened. Had I done this? Did I really do this? I started to blame myself immediately, despite what I already knew in my heart.

Moving as slowly as I could, I tried to slip out from under the arm across my chest. My movement woke him. I froze like a scared rabbit, but then took a deep breath and moved to get up. The arm across me tightened into a painful grip, pushing me back down. I said nothing. I was in a complete state of terror and confusion. I made one more attempt to sit up when he said to me, “Don’t fucking move.”

I didn’t.

The Book – Mara wakes up in agony. Every part of her body hurts. She’s powerless, and confused about what’s happened to her, and as she begins to put the pieces together, she is overcome with sickness. Malcolm comes to her room, smug and arrogant. He threatens to kill those she loves if she doesn’t do what he says. At first she refuses, but to her, his threats are too severe. She eventually submits to his demands and he assaults her once more.

After this she is disgusted with herself, blaming herself for what happened, for not fighting back. At times the reality of it is too much to bear. She lies on the floor shivering, trying to stop the thoughts in her head, and eventually she lets herself fall into a numbed state of anger. All that matters to her now is escape and survival.

The Truth – When I finally managed to get out of that house, and get home, I spent the rest of the day curled in a ball on my bedroom floor. I ignored phone calls. Max called many times wanting to know what was wrong, where I’d been. I couldn’t tell him. How could I admit what happened? How could it NOT have been my fault?

It was two days before I finally agreed to meet with Max…at the park, the same spot I had met his brother 2 nights before. It took me almost an hour to spit out what I had to tell him, and when I finally did, the look on Max’s face was enough to crush my soul all over again. He wasn’t angry. He didn’t call me a slut. But he was cold. I could feel it. Then he told me he believed me. He said he’d called the house that night, asking if I was there and Ryan said no. That was enough to convince him. And suddenly my heart became a little bit lighter. Someone believed me.

Then he pulled away from me. I could feel the coldness return. “Why are you being like this?” I asked.

I’ll never forget what he said…“What do you want me to do? He’s my brother.”

In that moment my entire body felt like it was being crushed. Max ended our relationship right then and there. I begged him not to, begged him not to leave me alone with this. But he couldn’t go against his family, he said.

That night I returned to my bedroom floor, where I stayed for the next few days, until the numbness finally took over.

The Aftermath – Eventually, I went to the police. I made a statement and agreed to press charges. But that’s when the threatening phone calls started, the harassment. I was under attack and I was terrified. When it became too much, I dropped the charges, recanted my statement and lived the rest of my high school years listening to the whispers behind my back. I held my head high, though. When I would pass Max in the halls, I’d keep my chin up, and give him a sad smile. We both knew the truth, but I came to realize that I wasn’t the one who should be ashamed, he was, and Ryan was. Ryan pushed me into the fire and Max was the one who left me to stand in the flames on my own. Ryan was the one who became my awful truth, and Max was the one who chose not to face the truth with me when I had no choice at all.

People have told me not to be angry with Max, and that I should consider how awful his situation must have been. But I’ve never been able to let that part go. Maybe that makes me selfish. But I can’t forget the feeling of being abandoned at my lowest point. I have never gotten over that. It’s a wound that has never healed.

Ryan got away with it, though life dealt him some hard blows. When I was in my 20’s, I began to hear rumors from other women in town, recalling how, in high school, Ryan was known for taking advantage of girls. It wasn’t a victory for me to know this, but it was validating enough to give me some peace.

The Book and rewriting the Truth – Mara is on a desperate search for Corbin. She has to save his life, and her own. But when she finds him, she can’t bring herself to tell him, fearing he will look at her with disgust and turn his back on her forever.

Corbin knows something is wrong, and when he finally gets the truth from her, he is overcome with anger. He leaves her side, screams into the air, pounds his fists on a tree…but when he hears her cries, hears the desperation in her voice, he comes back to reality, crawls to her and takes her in his arms. He soothes her, tells her everything will be all right, and vows to avenge what’s been done to her.

When Mara gets her chance to confront Malcolm, she is terrified, torn between her fear and her determination to get back what he took from her. In the end, Mara does get her power back and gets justice for what Malcolm did to her. But while she gets her revenge, the scars of what he did remain with her, the pain never truly goes away. She does what she can to become whole again, but she can never get back that piece of her that he took. As she says, “Scars are not the reminders of our wounds—they are the marks of our survival.”

And that’s what Mara becomes—a survivor.

In Conclusion

My hands are no longer shaking. Writing this post has been like taking a breath of much needed air. Over the years I have struggled with what happened, blamed myself, felt ashamed. But I’ve learned that I am NOT to blame and that I have NOTHING to be ashamed of. I am finally free from the weight of this story. I thought giving my story to Mara would free me from it. But it didn’t, it gave me the strength I needed to tell my own story, because now I’m not doing it alone. My story IS Mara’s story and her story is mine. We both share the weight of it, making the load much easier to bear.

While I wish my true story had more of a triumphant ending, I can’t change the past and I can’t dwell on it either. Instead, I was able to rewrite it. I was able to call out Malcolm for what he was. I was able to give Mara her power back. That felt like a victory to me.

One review of The Darkness of Light called the ending “Trite” as in clichéd, vapid, unimaginative, stale… I had to laugh when I read that. I’ve spent 16 years dreaming of that ending, wishing for it, desperate for it. That is the ending we all want for stories like this. If that is considered trite, then I am perfectly fine with it.

What’s Next?

A lot of my readers said that they found Malcolm to be an interesting character, and knowing the truth behind the story, you may be wondering why I chose to write the rape scene from his perspective.

I did it because I wanted to understand it. I wanted to understand why someone would do that. I needed to humanize the perpetrator so that he didn’t seem so frightening. In the years that followed my assault, I had to force myself to see Ryan as a whole human being in order to stop fearing him, because monsters are scary, and I couldn’t let him live in my mind as a monster any longer.

The next installment in the series The Embers of Light will have a stronger focus on Malcolm as he deals with his own demons and the consequences of his actions. It’s important to me to tell his story, and to give him the chance to repent, if he decides to.

I also want to study the aftermath with Mara and Corbin. What does this do to Mara in the long run, how does it affect her relationships and can she ever find it in herself to move on? Does she still fear Malcolm, or is she whole again?

There are more truths to come and more endings to be rewritten.
This, my friends, is the beauty of being a writer. We can unburden ourselves of our own truth and create a new story to live with. Thank you for letting me guest blog, thank you to all who’ve read my novel, and thank you for reading MY story. Mara and I are very grateful to you all.

*I welcome questions and I am always willing to speak with other survivors. You can contact me through my website at, you can find me on twitter @TamzWrite, or on Facebook at

In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, please visit for access to resources and support.

Switching Gears Between Projects

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, my beloved

by Kristen

Couple of fun announcements first: Please check out my new author website and follow me on Tumblr! I WILL Tumbl for you. Please get the 80s music reference. Please.

It’s well documented that I’m a blonde. It’s more than just a hair color, sometimes, it’s a state of mind. When Kathie Lee and Hoda retire, I would hope someone will have the good sense to hire Julie and I to replace them. Who better to take over day drinking and inappropriate behavior on network TV than The Undead Duo? I dare you to find a better pair. And then please let us all go out drinking together. I’ve already got my role on this new TV show all set up: the bimbo sidekick. Sometimes I can be the funny one, sometimes the serious one, sometimes the smart one, but god damn, I make a great bimbo.

Bimbos get distracted easily. Never have I found this to be more true than when I try to juggle multiple projects. I’m starting to feel like one of those tired old mammas who yells at you for whatever sin you’ve committed but then calls you by the dog’s name.

Of course, you know NIGHT MOVES is out, so I’m doing promo for that. People are asking questions about Melanie, Ryder, and the rest of the characters and I have to think of them in ways I might have not considered before. It’s awesome to see my creations through other people’s eyes.

I just finished up a book that is vampire free. It’s in the hands of beta readers now, and I anxiously await their opinions. Notice I’m not telling you anything about this book? I feel like there’s just too much right now, and I’m even getting confused. I’m a big believer in keeping it simple. You’ll know everything about it all in due time.

Now that the book that shall not be named is done for now, I’m diving into final edits on WE OWN THE NIGHT. I’m psyched about this, because I miss Callie and Tristan. This book has been done since December, and this is the longest I’ve been away from these characters since I created them. Getting back into Callie’s head space is refreshing, a little shocking (if you’ve met Callie, you know how she rolls) and a little like welcoming home a long lost friend. She’s just met Melanie and Ryder at the point I’m working on now, it’s a Night Songs reunion.

Editing is stressful! When I draft, there’s no pressure to make things perfect because there’s always going to be another draft, revision, a chance to improve. But this is the round of work with the spit and the shine. This is the one you’re all going to see. It’s got to be 100%. I also have to consider the best interests of the book when making changes. Julie is my editor, which is a blessing because 1. she knows these characters inside and out 2. if this book sucks, she will pay for it dearly in buying me alcohol to mask the pain and 3. we get to discuss the edits as she applies them. That’s a luxury not many people get. Sometimes, Julie will be like WTF about a scene, and I can talk her through it. It doesn’t mean we leave it like that. If Julie didn’t understand it, neither will you, but we can make the absolute right edit that is true to what I’m thinking and what she understands. It makes me much more confident about making changes to the manuscript.

I had a hard time walking away from WE OWN THE NIGHT when I finished it, because it closed the door on this story. With SEASONS IN THE SUN, it’s technically the fourth book with these characters and this story line. Callie and Tristan didn’t want to say goodbye, either. I wonder how it will be to pass it in and really come to THE END. I didn’t close the door completely on these characters, so they might make another appearance sometime in some form. I haven’t decided yet.

I do want to continue The Night Songs Collection. My original idea was to have it as a universe instead of straight line story, with characters that might connect in different points in their lives. Kind of what Sherrilyn Kenyon does, but my way, because I don’t like to follow rules ever.

So there will be more books. Book 4, which will have new characters but is in The Night Songs world, will be coming to you this fall. This will be my first totally self published project, and holy shit, am I nervous. Julie is editing in now. I’ve got an amazing cover artist working on the art for it. I’ve got the formatter lined up. Everything is pretty much ready to go. Once I’m done with WE OWN THE NIGHT, I move straight into edits on this one.

See why I’m not throwing around titles? It gets confusing, fast. I took the “keep writing” thing to heart. Now I’m finishing up these projects, letting a few of them come down the pipeline so I can breathe and not work on four books at once.

Then….who knows?

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