Sunday Morning Projects

Have you had a chance to check out my Instagram feed yet? I’ve been busy creating content and putting together puzzles so my feed is visually awesome. I just started my author Instagram last week because at first I was like “How can I talk about my books using just pictures?” – then I realized “You’re also an artist.” so…yeah, I forgot about that part of my life.

The truth is, I spend Sunday mornings – and by morning, I mean the wee-small hours of the morning – creating content and scheduling posts. In all honesty, it’s been incredibly fun and enlightening. It’s easy to talk about my books using pictures – and I have a great time creating the puzzles. It also really puts me in the zone to write (or edit, like I plan to do today).

Right now I have a few projects going on. I’m in the final edit of Jealous Magic, I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo (yes, I still try to do that every year), and I’m posting content all over the place. I think the posting spree is about wanting to keep my art skills sharp while I’m off being creative in a whole new way.

I’ve noticed something interesting, though. Not only is my author account getting more traffic, but my art sites are doing great (despite the neglect). That could be because they’re somehow linked, but it could also be because the more things you put out into the universe, the more things start to gel.

So here’s what’s coming up in October…

More Instagram puzzles about my books (They’re cool, so you should follow me!).

An announcement about how to grab an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Jealous Magic (I’ll post here, but you can also connect with me on Goodreads and AllAuthor.com).

More Pins for Jealous Magic because I want you to see what I pictured as I wrote the book.

And finally…the release of Jealous Magic on October 30th (Hint: It’s at the pre-release price of .99 cents right now). There’s a lot to do next month, but I’m so excited about all of this. While you’re here, why not sign up for my newsletter so you’ll know about all of the exciting developments and get notified of sales and upcoming projects?

So, I’m off to edit now, but thank you so much for reading my posts every week. I love what I do, and your constant attention to my posts, books, and other ventures really means the world to me.

Why killing one of my characters isn’t an option for me

I write fun fiction with characters I love. Sometimes I write those characters into seemingly impossible situations and even I don’t know how to get them out…like now. Dr. Arienne Cerasola has been in a basement for five days now and I have no idea how to get her out, or even what she’s supposed to do in that basement.

I’m tired of being stuck there. In my mind, Arienne and I are staring at each other expectantly, each one of us waiting for the other to make a move. I have options – like take her out of the basement, or never put her in there to begin with – but I really like the basement…but it’s getting a little old. In order to jump start this novel again, I went hunting for plot twists and came across the idea to “kill one of my main characters”.

I will never, ever do that. Ever.

I know, they’re fictional, and I know I could easily kill one of them off…but I feel like that would be betraying my readers. You see, I write FUN fiction. I want to give readers a wild and fun ride, but I want them to always trust that I will bring them back home in the end without a scratch. Killing someone they like would betray that. I’ve felt betrayed every time it was done to me.

There are a few characters that other authors have killed on me, and I don’t think I’ve really forgiven them. I remember being young and reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH…and nearly having a breakdown when the book ended and that was only because the author HINTED at something.

I’ve had the same reaction every time an author kills a character that I love. I keep reading the book because I hope they’re really not dead, but I am generally disappointed. (I’d like you all to note how carefully I’m avoiding naming the characters so I don’t have to put a spoiler alert on this post…but you probably have your own list). My relationship with an author who kills a character I love is forever changed because I don’t really trust them after that.

There’s one author in particular whom I usually love, but I started her latest book and she brought up the character I still haven’t forgiven her for killing several books ago. I have to admit, I read one page after she mentioned the death of the character I loved and I haven’t gone back to the book because honestly, I’m still a little mad about that. Just the mention of his name reminds me that she betrayed me…because I know she didn’t have to kill him. The decision seemed lazy and disloyal.

Even with the betrayal issue aside, I also know life is hard enough. I’ve lost people; we have all have lost people. In this pandemic, we stand to lose more. I won’t add to to body count by killing one of my fictional friends.

I’m not saying that killing a character is always a bad thing, I’m just not the author that does that. I’ve seen the death of a character move the story forward (J.K. Rowling, for instance, but note I said THE DEATH, I do not enjoy a complete massacre and I’m a little mad at her for a few of them). More often killing a character seems like a gratuitous death – like the author saying “see, there’s bad in the world…nobody’s safe.” Real life has taught me that well enough, thank you.

So I will continue to figure out how to get Arienne out of the basement – without offing one of her friends. I will continue to keep my stories light and fun. I like an emotional ride, but I’d much rather write books that make you laugh than cry.

So be warned…things may look dire at times, but I promise I will not kill our darlings.

Life’s hard enough.