Character Interview with Hutch & A’ris – Friday!

Mark your calendars, because we have a very special interview coming up later this week. You’ve got until Friday to read up on Hutch and A’ris, because they’re taking a break from The Dry Lands to come and talk to us for as long as it takes Hutch to drink a cup of rash. Which isn’t long. But hey, it’s Hutch, ladies. I’ll ask him to sip slowly.

These two are hilarious together, but I can’t promise they’ll behave.

Friday. Be there for their first public interview. #HutchnAris

Surviving the final proofing stage…

I’m married with two kids, three dogs and a cat. My house is never quiet or clean for more than five minutes. Schedules are hard to make and even harder to keep. Writing is something I do when time permits or when my children manage to stop fighting long enough to sit down and watch a movie. I’m used to fitting my work time around my crazy life, but when it comes down to doing the last proof of a book just before release, crazy takes on a whole new meaning.

The Dry Lands has met with the editor and three beta readers. And now it is back with me to finalize the version that will be released to the world. It’s inevitable that there will be something I will want to fix five minutes after hitting ‘publish’ on Amazon, but I’m doing my best to ensure my readers get a top quality book, yet the universe must align a bit neater than usual for this to happen by February 4th.

Monday has arrived. After waking up early to shower, I’ll feed my kids and homeschool them till lunch. There will be many times throughout the morning when I will put the puppy in check and demand she remove my shoelaces from her mouth. I’ll step on at least three of my son’s Matchbox cars, using long-forgotten muscles in my body to defy gravity (isn’t it amazing how such a little thing can bring you down?!). Surely my daughter will leave a pencil on the couch for one of us to sit on. Because this seems to happen weekly.

For everything I will be doing tomorrow – all before noon – there will be a constantly playing loop in my head of conversations between Hutch and A’ris, and the King and Kern. I’ll see images of Ernoth in the peanut butter and jelly spread at lunch. I’ll freeze at some point and ponder the plot twists and action scenes and wonder if they are good enough and my kids will wonder if I’ve had a seizure as I stare off into space.

Then Quite Time will arrive. The children will be fed, happy and ready to lounge in front of the TV for a bit while I go back to reading the last half of The Dry Lands. By the time dinner needs to be made, I’ll be close to freaking out because I won’t know if I’m spelling the word ‘the’ correctly. This happens every time I get to the end. My writer friends know what I mean.

Tuesday will be a repeat of Monday, with one exception – I’ll be finishing the book. So I can enter a place called ‘Formatting Hell’ by Wednesday. If you’ve never been there before, I suggest SPF 100 and a full bottle of your favorite wine, a healthy supply of chocolate and an empty house. Your mouth might let out more expletives than actual breaths of air, so having children around is just not advisable. I’ve done this before though, so I’ve got this. But I’m not promising I won’t lose my cool and give my computer a good lashing before the week is up.

The final proof is like a delicate flower garden. It must be tended, watered, weeded, and given the kind of attention that parents give newborns. Without this love and care, the final proof will not be the best possible version of the story it can be. I’ve my latex-free gardening gloves on, my sunhat and sunscreen. There’s a giant watering can at my feet and I plan on tending these flowers till the garden is a perfectly glorious mess. And then – I’ll share the bounty with you all.

If you don’t see much of me this week, you know what I’m doing. And I do hope that you are just as excited for release day as I am! Now. Back to work, I go.

Happy Week, Everyone!

Snippet Week – Day Five!

Friday – Snippet Week, Day Five!

Isoif was right — the girl was nowhere to be found in the woods. There simply weren’t enough places to hide. The cliffs dropped straight down to the marshy shore and there didn’t appear to be a safe place to descend for miles. His men must have missed her exiting the parklands and escaping on foot through the streets — it was the only explanation that made sense.

He opened his mouth to bark orders for them to retreat back to the patrol units when the lookout shanty came into view. A pale light was on inside, which meant someone was most likely there. Perhaps whoever it was would offer up a simple explanation for how two people could enter the woody park with cliffs on three sides and then vanish like the early morning fog.

He shoved a guard out of his way and thumped his heavy boots through the soft dirt toward the pathetic building. He could hear the sounds of his men falling in line behind him, pointing their light sticks ahead to illuminate the king’s path. It made the wooden building look even more unstable. If he pushed on one of the walls, he was certain the whole thing would collapse. A warning squawk from a bird pierced the cool, night air and the king’s steps wavered. He didn’t stop, but he drew his weapon. There was definitely someone inside the shanty.

– The Dry Lands, a Hutch and A’ris novel

Snippet Week – Day Four!

Thursday – Snippet Week, Day Four!

Her voice was demure and quiet, but Hutch still felt the sting of her words like knife slashes. “You’ve gone above and beyond what I hired you for. I’ll make sure you are paid when we reach the Wet Lands and then you can go on your way, back to whatever pained existence makes you happy.”

Silently, he slowly leaned back into his seat and took one last glance at her before throwing the scud into gear and lurching back out onto the gravelly road.

Pain, Hutch thought. She knew nothing of the word. Her experience with pain ranked about as high as his experience with pure happiness. The prospect of jumping on a ship and flying off the planet was becoming more appealing by the second. For the rest of their time on the road, Hutch told himself he wouldn’t even miss A’ris. That he’d been better off before getting involved in her quest to save the little rock no one in the universe cared about. For hours it was all he thought of. Being free to make his own decisions, and go where he wanted and be with women who wanted to be with him. He was getting there, getting ready to cut A’ris loose and let her live her life, however short it ended up being, while he rode off and lived his own.

When the glint of the Wet Lands bounced off the windshield the pit of Hutch’s stomach clenched. They were so close to the end of their journey together that the salt in the air could be tasted. And he cursed himself because he’d foolishly thought he could save her.

– The Dry Lands, a Hutch and A’ris novel



One of the hardest parts of being a writer for me is not being able to TALK about the story before its release. Most of us Readers enjoy gushing about plots, characters and twists to friends who are reading the same book, or have already finished.

“OH MY GAWD, I can’t believe he did that!” or “Have you gotten to the last chapter yet…hurry up!”

But I can never do this – unless it’s to someone who has no interest in reading the book – which wouldn’t exactly be the best person to dish out details to, would it? lol Spoilers, people. Spoilers.

So as I wrap up the 2nd draft of The Dry Lands, I’m in a constant internal struggle to keep my yap shut. Posting snippets is fun, and that takes a teeny bit of pressure off my brain – but I know how the story ends and I want to TALK about it. It’s 100x worse than reading a book your best friends have yet to read. Trust me. It’s like residing in Literature Hell until publication day. Just pure torture.