Book Trailer!

I think if you click the picture, it’ll speak for itself.

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Major shoutout to the cast: Rachel (Arliss), Zach (Philip), Kelley (Ilayda), Courage (Erik), Meghan (Elowyn), Courtney (Clare), and Josiah (Orlando). You can thank my friend Gavin for lending his mad piano skills to the music track. Rachel deserves major thanks for all the time she put into the detailed costumes. And did you notice that map cameo?

And finally, thanks to my tripod, which proved useless in almost every single take and decided to snap in half on the last shot. Rest in peace.

If you want to read about how I threw together this piece of art, check this out.

And, as if this short post didn’t have enough links in it already… Pre-order the book on Kindle so you’ll be ready when December 1st gets here!

Cartographer

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She sits across the table from me, making a few swift scratching movements with a simple Sharpie pen. But somehow those tiny strokes become rivers—mountains—cities. A delicate curve becomes a cliff-lined shore. A three-dimensional city rises from the paper, its three tiers swirling upward.

“So, I’m thinking I should do the city like this,” she says, pointing with the tip of the pen.

“Yes.” I nod. “But smaller. And farther away. Like…”

I start pointing at the page, she sets the pen to the paper and jots a few notes, and we’re off to a different city, another river, another road. Continue reading “Cartographer”

Life Lessons on Horseback

I often say that my whole life is just an extended research trip for my next book. And that’s true. Every experience, every new place—it’s all gotta be remembered and distilled in my memory for whenever I need it. Whenever I have to summon up that feeling and turn it into words on a page.

This is why I carry a tiny notebook around with me all the time. I fill it with everything. What things tasted like. What the air smelled like. How it felt in my blood, my bones. Lines of dialogue that pop into my head. Quickly scrawled maps that are illegible to anyone but me.

Because real fiction comes from real life. That’s why good stories are so powerful. They echo enough of “real” life—the way the world is—while still teasing us with what it could be. To write deep stuff, you have to live deeply. Then you have to think deeply. Your voice as an individual is unique, yes. But you have to make your thoughts fit into words that your readers will be able to feel.

Sometimes, though, I realize I need to research something after I’ve already written it. Continue reading “Life Lessons on Horseback”

The Worst Part of Writing a Book

I enjoy writing books, right? I mean why else would anyone devote years of their life (and thousands of words) to something they didn’t fundamentally enjoy? And let’s face it. Books are tough things to make and tougher to market. You take what’s in your heart, distill it into some white words on paper—or screen—and let your creation run wild. And people take their shots at what you’ve written.

But it’s worth it.

It’s fun.

Right? Continue reading “The Worst Part of Writing a Book”