Updates and Excerpts and Agents, Oh My.

I’ve been negligent again, guys. I’m sorry.

conference
Conference ready!

I went to the New York Writer’s Conference in August and spent a weekend immersed in workshop after workshop on writing and publishing. It was glorious. It was eye-opening. It was, at times, pretty intimidating. I meant to come home and document my thoughts and reframe my newfound knowledge in a blog-friendly format, but then… I didn’t.

That isn’t to say I haven’t been busy. Between work, growing a tiny human, and, of course, writing my tush off, I haven’t had a spare moment to sit down and take a breather in almost a month. I’ve also been diligently binge-watching Game of Thrones ever since my husband and I jumped on the bandwagon back in July, and that’s obviously taken top priority over most other things. (The only reason I’m here now may or may not be because season 6 isn’t available on Blu-Ray just yet. The fate of Westeros is taken very seriously in this household.)

henry
Henry selfies are the best kind

Anyway, for those of you who have been following along on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you might have seen me dropping vague hints about my publishing journey in between the endless close-up shots of Henry’s beautiful bug eyes (Again, priorities).

Some pretty exciting things happened to me in New York.

Aside from learning a lot and brushing elbows with some pretty impressive agents and authors, I was able to participate in a Pitch Slam with lots of other budding authors like myself. The Pitch Slam was essentially an hour long speed dating session, during which you were given three minutes to sit down in front of an agent and pitch your novel in a coherent, organized manner.

It was completely terrifying, invigorating, and fun all at the same time. My knees felt like jelly and my tongue felt like lead, but somehow I managed to snag the interest of several literary agents on the floor. (Please picture me punching my fist enthusiastically into the air here, thank you) And with that, the ball began rolling. As soon as I got home from the Big Apple, I plopped myself down in my kitchen and nervously submitted my manuscript to all of the interested parties.

And then I waited.

In fact, it turns out that, in publishing, a lot of time is spent waiting.

Still, I’ve been anything but idle.

changing_tide_front

Last year I published all three volumes of Rogue Elegance in one monster-sized First Edition. After a fantastic launch party in Boston and a wonderful year of awesome feedback from readers, I’ve teamed up with my Publisher to re-release the three Rogue Elegance volumes as three separate, standalone novels. As a lot of you might already know, The Changing Tide will be available for purchase in the next several months. I couldn’t be more excited about this update, and I’m dying to get my hands on the final proof so I can approve it for publication and get it into the hands of readers!

In the meantime, between frantically nesting in preparation for baby Dowling and driving my husband and dog crazy, I’ve been finding time to work on something new.

After all, I’m not entirely me if I’m not writing.

While I wait for agent responses on The Second Death and I wait for final hard copy proofs of The Changing Tide, I’ve been dabbling in a little bit of Urban Fantasy. writer

Check out the brief excerpt below to meet my newest protagonist, sixteen year old Emory Claramond. You might notice something interesting about Emory at the close of the excerpt. I’ve decided it’s high time I write about a kick-ass, independent heroine who can’t hear. The literary world needs more people with disabilities showing exactly what they’re made of.

As always, thanks for reading!

The accident report says that my dad fell asleep at the wheel. It says he was overworked and overtired, and he drove off the road and into a ditch. The car flipped over. He and my mom were killed instantly by the impact.

I should remember it that way, too, but only because I’ve been told it that way since the moment I woke up in the hospital, an IV in my arm and my skull flap removed to allow my head to heal.

In my dreams, the memory is different.

In my dreams there is a man in the street. He doesn’t move. His thin frame is wrapped in a black funeral suit. His face is nothing more than a flat slate of skin where eyes, a nose, and mouth should be. I can tell he’s smiling at us anyway. I can tell he wants us to see him there, idling beneath the pale moonlight. I hear my mom cry out to my dad. The wheel jerks hard to the right. The car rolls across asphalt. There is a blinding flash and then excruciating pain as my world fizzles into silence.

Beyond the splintering glass of the windshield, I see the man squat down. This time, he has a face and it is the most terrible thing I’ve ever seen. This time, his crimson eyes stare right into my own. His ivory smile splits his face in half. It is the last thing I see before the lights of emergency sirens shatter the darkness. I do not hear them, of course.

I’ll never hear anything again.

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