Despite how busy and strange this month has been, I still managed to cross the Camp NaNoWriMo finish line for the fourth straight year in a row! It's hard to believe I've been at this, in a constant and dedicated fashion, long enough for it to theoretically be a college degree. This is, by no means, to say that I feel like I know everything about How To Be A Self-Published Author: that'd be impossible. I will say that there are probably a few secrets lurking in the practice of surrounding yourself with people and experiences which make you happy and/or inspired. (For the curious: those current experiences, for me, include watching the entirety of Twin Peaks, attending a community theatre performance of The Hound of the Baskervilles, helping a friend move, picking blueberries while there's still dew on them, and stepping up my artistic noodling away from the written word.)
Those of you with a sharp eye may notice that I've changed the Arts & Crafts section of my website and removed my link to my DeviantArt gallery, replacing it with an onsite one. Not only does it make it easier for you all to see my art, but it helps pave the way for my secondary creative venture: an arts and crafts storefront called Gifts of Awen. Some of it is related to Aviario, but a good deal of it will be more inspirational and metaphysical in nature, focusing on the intent of creating magical and/or peaceful art for small spaces. My first project for Gifts of Awen is a series of artist cards dedicated to the seven chakras. Here's a peek at the first two, which I completed last night:
My goal is to also create postcards and other prints of these, along with other small art designed to help people find insight, inspiration, and a moment of peace in a busy, cluttered world. Commisssions will also be available through the site: I have several slots currently open. If you would like to see what else I have up at the moment, I'd be honored if you'd join me over at the storefront. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will also see pictures of new pieces as they're completed and posted! This may also mean the return of The Author's Oracle ... only time will tell. For now, I'm headed back to my creative corner to chip away at The Proper Bearing and work on some more illustrations. I hope you all have a lovely week!
Life is like a hurricane around here. (Blame all the D23 Expo stuff this Disney girl has been seeing online.) I'm juggling a lot of great stuff: a short story and graphic novel project with fellow author and artist Julianne Black, the two novellas Nature & Nurture, and of course, my release preparation for The Proper Bearing. I'm also knee-deep in great books right now, so you'll have more reviews from me soon, too.
This is that funny little quiet lull in between all of it where I don't have a Big Thing to share, but I have a lot of Little Things. Mostly, though, I want to get you all excited about The Proper Bearing, which is coming out in just shy of two months!
My beta readers (or CPs, depending on which author lingo you prefer) have it in hand, but I could still use one more. If you're seriously interested in helping me make this a better book, please shoot me an email or direct message through the internet grapevine of your choice. I would ideally need it back with your comments by August 15th.
I have a front cover prepared, and will soon be working on the back. Cover reveal will be going down a month prior to release, on August 18th, so that'll be exciting. I have to say, this is my favorite cover so far, and I can't wait to share it with you all! Special thanks to my friend and fellow author Tim Savage for scoring me a photo for its creation during his recent trip to the UK.
I'll also be giving away a couple of prizes on the week of the release: my protagonist, the wonderfully bookish Nicholas Forsythe, has helped me brainstorm a few of his favorite things to give away to my readers, so that their escape into my world can be just that little bit more complete. I'll be sharing more details about that as time draws closer. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at part of that amazing cover ...
If the suspense is absolutely killing you, and you can't wait ... you can always go and pledge your support to me on Patreon! Patrons get to see the full front cover TODAY! I hope you all have a wonderful week, stretch those imaginations, and I'll see you all next Wednesday!
The more independent authors I meet, the more I realize just how diverse yet wonderfully alike we all are. No matter what the genre, no matter what our involvement in social media, our politics, our personal lives ... we all have stories to tell which we are incredibly passionate about. When an author's passion combines with a long-simmering desire to share those stories, the results often touch the heart: and Timothy Savage's debut, Davey's Savior, is no exception.
The eponymous Davey is a four-year-old growing up in Avila Beach with his single father, Sketch: and from the first chapter, we know they have secrets they are keeping from the community. Sketch goes out of his way to keep a low profile: it becomes clear fast that no one in Avila actually knows his full name. Davey's curious and outgoing nature is a dangerous counterpoint to this secrecy, and secrets begin to come to light when a whale shark is found washed up on the beach.
The owner of the local coffee shop, Anthony, is convinced that a blemish on the carcass looks like the face of Christ, and manages to make a photo of it go viral, drawing more and more people to the town. Among the visitors are a trio of Mexican nuns on a pilgrimage and a marine biologist, each with their own problems and challenges to face. As Davey and Sketch's secrets come to light, every one of them comes together in a climax I did not expect.
The novel starts out at a slow burn: Savage makes it very plain that Sketch and Davey have things to hide... big, potentially dangerous things. Aside from the discovery of the whale shark, this is the major thrust of the first third of the book. I admit that at first, I was frustrated by how much The Secret was dangled in front of my face: how often Sketch would fret and worry and obscure, despite any further clues to what he was hiding. I was so preoccupied with this that I missed the artful, tiny clues peppered throughout the story which foretold the climactic moments of the book. In retrospect, then, my frustration was negated, and I feel like I owe Tim Savage an apology for judging him a little in "stringing me along". What he did with his story is masterful: not just in its obfuscation of the plot twist, but in completely leading this reader in one direction at first, and then turning my expectations upside down in terms of theme, as well.
There were a few rough patches: notably the text conversations of Kendra, the marine biologist, which were a little jarring next to the prose, and some of the build-up between the whale shark's arrival and the furthering of the plot. But for those willing to forgive the novel its flaws, it has a fine reward.
When Anthony first hatches his plan to draw in customers through the miracle of the whale shark, readers may assume - as I did - that the titular Savior was meant to be Jesus Christ, and that the novel was about to take a heavily religious turn. The trio of nuns reinforced this ... but each character's own personal challenges eventually make it clear that this is not a novel about the saving power of Christianity, but the role of any form of faith in life. By setting the reader up and then dropping his twists and turns, Tim Savage makes them think right along with the characters ... connecting them to the book even more deeply. The book I found so slow to start was impossible to put down by the time I reached its second half. Davey's Savior is the literary equivalent of a log flume ride: you drift along for most of it, but the climb and the plunge at the end are so satisfying that you'll end up wanting to go again.
You can get your own copy of Davey's Savior here on Amazon. Tim Savage can be found most often on Twitter, and occasionally at his blog, Extemporalia.
I hope you've enjoyed my two cents this week, and that you'll join me again next Wednesday for whatever the moment brings!
Until next time, I remain your hostess,
How time flies, readers! Since last we spoke, I've started a new job and had my schedule turned upside down. This has wreaked havoc on my writing schedule ... and all the aspects of my online presence as an author. I had to stop and do some hard thinking, and forgive myself for falling so far behind, before I could make it over here to apologize to everyone else.
I am still working out my new author schedule - I'm thinking this blog will move to Saturday updates. I do know one thing for certain: I will be retiring the Friday at Charlie's newsletter and migrating those special previews to my Patreon account. I want to thank everyone who signed up for the newsletter: your support has meant so much to me in the past two years, and I hope you'll stick around. In the end, the fewer social media facets I have to manage, the more time I have to focus on the novels and art.
Please stay tuned - my next update will be a review of another colleague's indie novel, and you're all going to want to hold on to your seats!
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