fiction

Ill Met by Moonlight: Chapter 2

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The Cabin
[Project Oberon, Day 2, 1800h] The following scenes are now on display on the test room walls:
 
  1. A forest
  2. A cabin
  3. A lake
  4. A warehouse
  5. A school
  6. A baseball diamond

Each subject has been faced in the direction of a different scene to determine whether imagery seen during a state of unconsciousness can influence the dream experience. Subjects were shown the images three times for 0010s increments with 0020s rests. The scenes will be moved at random points throughout the study to gauge how the change of scenery affects the dreamer’s state.

[Project Oberon, Day 2, 2100h] The first trial has been completed. Photos of rats were shown to each subject three times for 0010s increments with 0020s rests. Reaction time varied by subject from 0025s to 01m36s. All subjects showed increased stress reactions. Subjects 315, 536, 325, 335 returned to stable heart rate by 02m55s. 526 returned to stable heart rate by 04m27s. 345 returned to stable heart rate by 06m35, which falls above the parameters of the study. Discussion as to whether subject 345 should be pulled from the study. Decision: as heart rate remained within normal range for someone of her age and overall health and dropped without medical intervention, subject is deemed safe to continue.

The second trial will begin at 0800h.


I scan the beach and debate between the boat and the cabin. The boat would allow me to explore the island and find out where exactly I am, but I can’t bring myself to go near that lake. Even the thought of it sends chills down my back.

I turn away from it and head towards the cabin.

As I approach, my steps slow of their own volition. Dark windows stare back at me and the door is slightly ajar. Although I know this cabin is in my own head, I’m leery about barging in. After that run-in with the rat-bear, I’m not eager to discover what else might be lying in wait.

The porch is draped with dried-out vines that cover the view of the lake. I’m not sure what’s worse—the creepy stillness of the water, or the dead screen blinding me from it. This whole place is off, like it was designed based on a magazine picture, but seen from all the wrong angles.

I reach the door and push it open, staying outside until the doorknob hits the back wall. Moonlight spills across the floor, revealing a sparse interior furnished only with a rickety kitchen table. Cabinets and countertops line the far wall. Some of the cupboards hang open, with small unidentifiable lumps within. Two windows let in a little more light, highlighting a single door to my left and confirming that the rest of the room is empty.

I don’t want to go in, but the thought that I might find something to arm myself with offers solid motivation. That rat-bear might be the only threat I face here, but I don’t want to take that chance.

Steeling myself, I step into the cabin. The air feels thick and close, though when I take a deep breath, I notice no change in the quality. If anything, I catch a whiff of bleach and sterile wipes. I wonder if I’ll reach a point in the next two weeks where I forget this is a dream, but so far all it feels like is a broken version of reality.

Nothing jumps out to grab me as I make my way through the room, but I keep my back to the wall anyway. If movies have taught me anything, it’s that the enemy can come out of nowhere if you give them the opportunity.

The window on the far wall is partially blocked by the same vines that cover the porch, but I can glimpse the lake beyond, and I swear there’s something skimming along the surface. I shift my position to better make it out, but by the time I have a full view, whatever it was is gone.

I continue my exploration of the cabin. The table is bare except for a thick layer of dust, and when I reach the cupboards, I discover the unidentifiable lumps are just old dishes. The rest of the cupboards are bare, and all I find in the drawers in terms of a weapon is a single wooden chopstick.

I leave it to continue its slow decomposition and am about to continue the search when a thud echoes from beyond the door at the other end of the room.

I curse myself for not checking first and leaving myself vulnerable, but now I’m stuck. To return to the front door would mean passing by that room.

Silence falls as I wait for the noise to repeat. At first, there’s nothing, but when I strain my ears, I pick up what might be a wheezing breath.

This is my dream, I tell myself. I have control here.

I cross the room, wince as a floorboard creaks under my heel, and pause outside the door. The breathing gets louder, a definite whistle on the inhale. Whoever it is, they’re afraid. I just hope there are as many weapons accessible in there as there are in here.

I debate whether it wouldn’t have been smart to grab that chopstick.

With no other reason to delay, I turn the handle and push the door inward.

Just as I take a step, a figure cries out and jumps in my face. I scream and jump backwards, creating space between us. My hands fly up as I prepare to use the same trick on my attacker as I did on the rat-bear, but they don’t come at me again.

My heart is racing, my chest aching with the speed of my uneven breaths, and I keep my hands raised as I take in the guy in front of me.

He’s an inch or so taller than I am, about the same age, and stands on the scrawny side. Bleach-blond hair lies over molten-red eyes. His clothing choice seems even more bizarre than my own: an ankle-length duster over a pink T-shirt, jeans, and a pair of steel-toed boots.

“Who are you?” I ask.

“Who are you?” he shoots back, a pillar of creativity.

Seeing no reason to keep secrets from someone inside my own head, I answer. “Regan.”

There’s a flash of panic and confusion in his eyes, and I realise he might not know his own name. Is that weird when he’s supposed to be a figment of my subconscious?

“Josh,” he finally says, with a hint of relief in his voice.

“What are you doing here, Josh?” I ask. Is he supposed to represent some part of my unconscious? Someone I’d long ago forgotten, or even a symbol of my self doubt?

“I—I’m here for a study. I don’t really understand what’s going on. I’m supposed to be dreaming, but this all seems so… real.”

I burst into a laugh. “I guess I must be more thrown by all this than I thought if I need an outward projection to tell me this is messed up.”

Josh frowns. “What do you mean?”

“This is my dream. You’re in my dream. I’m the one in the study.”

He blanches. “That’s not possible. I’m me. I can’t be in your head.” I worry for a moment that he’s about to faint, he looks so thrown by my statement. “I remember my mother dropped me off at—at… I don’t remember where. And there were tests, and then I woke up outside. In the trees. I was attacked and ran in here, but I never woke up. Now you’re here, and you’re telling me I only exist in your head?”

The alternative is too farfetched to even consider.

Yet the confusion in this guy’s eyes… the fear. I don’t feel that afraid, do I?

“How is it possible we’re both in the same place when we’re supposed to be in some medically induced daze?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says. “But unless you’re the one in my head, somehow it happened.”

Did the researchers know this was possible? Is this all part of their study?

“What did you think of the rat thing?” I ask. If I’m supposed to trust my brain in this place, I need to know what’s real and what’s not. I bring the memory of that rat-bear to mind, the way I’d flung it through the trees.

But I don’t feel as horrified by it as Josh clearly does. His face has gone white, and he backs up against the wall. “You saw it too? It’s what made me run in here. It was closing in on me so fast. I swore it was going to swallow me whole. Is it still out there? If it is, I’m not leaving.”

His answer leaves me reeling. “It’s not possible.”

But what other answer is there? Somehow, my brain and Josh’s have crossed. My mind is no longer my own.

The room suddenly feels too small, too closed in. Even if I can’t feel the wind on my skin, I need to get out of here. I run out the door and down the porch steps towards the beach.

“Wait! Stop!”

I don’t listen to him. I can’t. I need space to think.

I reach the water and bend over, bracing my hands against my knees. Every cell in my body is urging me to fight, to run. I don’t like it here. I want to wake up. I grab a chunk of skin on the back of my upper arm and squeeze. There’s a sense that there should be pain, a vague psychological reaction, but I feel nothing and I’m still here.

Out of frustration, I release a yell over the lake.

“I don’t think you should do that,” Josh says, close behind me.

I don’t care. I shout again.

The creature jumps out of the lake before I can make out what it is. Water splashes against my face and the green mass zooms past me towards Josh. He grabs my arm and jerks me forward, blocking his path so the creature hits me full in the face, heavy and squelching. The weight shocks me into action. Raising my hands, I imagine the creature rising above the sand. I hear Josh’s gasp as my imagination channels the image into reality and the creature soars away, writhing and fighting against the force of my mind.

With an effort, I fling it out over the water, far enough that I still can’t make out whatever horrors might have greeted me on closer inspection, then let go. It hits the water and goes under, leaving only the barest splash before the surface goes still again.

I take a moment to let my heartbeat settle, but fury settles under my skin, a warm and uncomfortable layer. Slowly, I turn around to face Josh. “What the hell was that?”

His red eyes widen. “It was coming at me. You yelled and it came at me. I—I didn’t think I just…”

I glower at him, disgusted, then storm off towards the road. There’s nothing for me in the cabin, and I’m not about to stick around here and wait for that lake creature to come back.

“Wait! Don’t leave me alone here. Let me come with you.”

Josh is jogging after me, and he’s already wheezing. I stop and glare at him. How can I trust him when he just threw me to that monster? What would he do if we’re attacked again? As I’m already learning, not even my own mind is safe, and I don’t know how far these researchers will push it. I’ll need to stay alert and ready to defend myself. But how can I live with leaving him alone to face that monster?

I’m starting to get the feeling that these next two weeks are not going to be the forgettable experience I was expecting…

Continue to Chapter 3

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Coming Up

November is already shaping up to be a busy month. First, I’ve got the first half of the Invisible Entente finale edits coming in, so I’ll be focused on getting that cleaned up and on its way to go to beta readers in December; then, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year, aiming to complete the first draft of the new Andvell book by the end of the month. I’ve also begun another project, advocating for Canadian indie authors. I’ll be keeping those updates separate from my writing blog, but if you’re interested, you can check out Northern Words and follow for updates.

But the big news:

For a while now I’ve felt that it was time to get this blog going again from a writing standpoint. It’s been years since Greylands, and I’ve missed the real-time interaction with readers as we worked through that serial.

As a result, starting next week, I’m kicking off another blog-hosted story. This one won’t be a compilation of authors, but it will be a joint venture between you, the reader, and myself.

May I present: Ill Met by Moonlight, a choose-your own adventure series about a dream study called Project Oberon. Six subjects are put into a medically induced coma to test whether dreams can be manipulated and tracked by external conditions. The story follows Subject 315, Regan, as she navigates her way through the dream world, and you, dear reader, will help me point her in the direction you wish her to go.

How will it work?

On the first Monday of every month, I’ll post the next chapter. At the end of the chapter, I’ll post two options for you to choose from. If you’re signed up for my mailing list, you’ll receive the link to cast your vote for which option Regan chooses. The poll will be open for two weeks, which will give me enough time to write the next installment.

The first chapter is written and ready to go, and you’ll find it here next Monday. See you then!

 

It’s Giveaway Time!

As I was going through my books after all the outdoor events I did in July, I discovered a few that didn’t quite survive the rain and constant transportation. A few water stains and crinkles pages here, a folded cover there. These books are no longer pretty enough to be sold for full price, but is that any reason to cast them to the curb? NO! So I’m giving them away! Over the next couple of months, keep your eye here, on my newsletter, or on my Facebook page to see what books are up for grabs. While open, click the link to head to the Rafflecopter giveaway
This month: enter to win a signed copy of Evensong, book 1 of the Meratis Trilogy! If you haven’t already, dive into Andvell, a world of magic, dragons, and characters who will capture your heart.

After you’ve entered, head on over to my Facebook page and share your “shelfie” in the comments of the giveaway post!

The winner will be chosen on August 23. Good luck!

Book Release: Death at Peony House

The ghosts of Peony House have awoken, and you can finally find out why – Death at Peony House is officially available on Amazon!

peony_promoThis urban fantasy with a mystery twist follows the story of Daphne Heartstone, the sorceress and journalist first introduced in The Invisible Entente prequel novella that was released last month.

Eight months later, one of the most powerful sorceresses of her bloodline is now wary of her own magic. Losing herself to her power would bring Daphne back to the dark path she once walked, breaking promises to her family, and taking away her chance to build a solid life for herself.

But, of course, the best laid plans rarely happen as we want them to. One night, on a tip, Daphne heads to Peony House to dig up the next morning’s headline. Unfortunately, she finds herself facing the shadows of her past and has to find out whether she’s strong enough to stare through them without getting sucked back in.

Death at Peony House is available for $3.99 (less than a speciality coffee!) or free through Kindle Unlimited!

Grab your copy today

 

Grab a Free Novella

To celebrate DEATH AT PEONY HOUSE’s book birthday tomorrow, I’m trying to get as many people as possible to start right at the beginning.

To achieve that end, THE INVISIBLE ENTENTE prequel novella is FREE to download on Amazon until September 22.

entente_promo“If you’re reading this note, I’m already dead.  I find even more pleasure in the idea that one of you will soon join me.”

At the precise moment of warlock Jermaine Hershel’s death, seven strangers are transported into a magically sealed room with only a letter from the dead man to explain. If they want to go home, the way out is simple: discover the murderer — and kill them. Tensions rise as each stranger reveals their connection with Jermaine, but the puzzle isn’t so easy to solve. At least one of them is lying. In an unlikely alliance, they have to act quickly to unravel the mystery before the murderer acts first.

This 130-page locked-room urban fantasy mystery introduces you to the team of unlikely and reluctant heroes that make up The Invisible Entente.

Spread the word, grab your copy, and step into a version of our world where even the smallest coincidence might be a part of  greater, growing pattern.

Once you’ve finished, come join the party! Every birthday needs a celebration, and book releases are no different.

Tomorrow, from 4pm – 10pm EST, I’ll be hosting the Facebook launch party. Choose your favourite snacks and chat with a fantastic group of authors and have a chance to win some great swag. Hope to see you there!

The Invisible Entente has come to play

As I continue to my spontaneous BLOG POSTS ABOUT EVERYTHING streak, I figured I might as well take the time to blog about my new book release. Because, y’know, I have one. S’cool. No biggie.

NO! WAIT! DON’T WALK AWAY! I’m actually REALLY EXCITED about this book release, because it marks my first steps into official urban fantasy. I’ve played with the genre in private for years, but I’ve finally worked up the courage to slip into a non-epic genre and build castles in a new sandbox.

entente_promo

“If you’re reading this note, I’m already dead.  I find even more pleasure in the idea that one of you will soon join me.”

At the precise moment of warlock Jermaine Hershel’s death, seven strangers are transported into a magically sealed room with only a letter from the dead man to explain.

If they want to go home, the way out is simple: discover the murderer — and kill them.

Tensions rise as each stranger reveals their connection with Jermaine, but the puzzle isn’t so easy to solve. At least one of them is lying. In an unlikely alliance, they have to act quickly to unravel the mystery before the murderer acts first.

Don’t get me wrong – I love and miss my Andvell gang, but the Invisible Entente is a brand new kind of trouble. Supernatural and mythological figures trapped in a locked-room mystery, tempers being tested (and when you have the power to set fire on things with your mind, that can be dangerous), and alliances being formed.

This prequel introduces the characters I’ve spent the last couple of months with and launches the first in a 7-book arc as it goes through each of the characters and culminates in…well, you’ll find out when you get there.

These characters are witty, dangerous, powerful, conflicted — all the good things you want to see in a bunch of reluctant heroes — and I hope you fall in love with them as quickly as I did.

The novella (130 pages) is available through Amazon for 99c or through KindleUnlimited for FREE, so grab a copy, brew a cup of tea, and then leave a comment below to let me know who your favourites are.

Grab your copy now!

If you’re not sure yet, you can read an excerpt here

What’s next?

What is the title of your work in progress?

The Invisible Entente series

Book 1 – The Invisible Entente, a prequel novella

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to come up with some new content for my newsletter subscribers. I enjoy sending free short stories for my loyal readers. So I tried to come up with a new, exciting idea.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of Agatha Christie novels and over the winter, BBC’s Poirot mysteries were my go-to to pass the cold, dark evenings. The more I watched and read and studied Christie’s style, the more I realized I wanted to stake a stab at writing a cozy mystery. Who doesn’t love the round-up at the end where the spunky detective accuses everyone in turn, building up the suspense until she denounces the real murderer?

But I’m a fantasy author, and I didn’t want to step too far outside my genre, so I brainstormed ways to merge the two – and the IE prequel was born.

Currently, this novella is available for free for my newsletter subscribers, but in another month, it will be removed from the subscription bundle and will be available to purchase via my usual ebook/paperback distributors.

From there, as it seems to happen, an entire series revealed itself. Each of the characters introduced in this round-table mystery is getting his or her own fantasy/mystery novel.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban fantasy with a cozy mystery twist

What is a one sentence synopsis for your book?

Prequel: Following the death of a mad scientist warlock, seven murder suspects are transported into a magically sealed room and only six can leave.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published – and I couldn’t be more excited about it. My team behind this series is strong, and the results will show it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The prequel took me a couple of weeks, but each novel takes me about a month. The rest of the work comes during edits and early outlining.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

One of the elements I’m most excited to play with in this series is taking familiar creatures/characters from mythology and twisting them into new forms. Among others are a descendant of Vidar, the Norse god of vengeance and silence; a Gorgon-fae, the descendant of Medusa; and a sorceress from the line of Morgan le Fay.

Each character has a unique voice, and a unique perspective on the humanity they both live in and apart from. Each story touches on a different aspect of “otherness” and what it means to stand on the outside looking in.

I’ve got some really fun ideas for promo and can’t wait to get started.

Expected kick-off date: August 2016

 

The Year Plods Onward – March in Sum

Before we get too far into April, I guess I should take a look back at March.

First off: HOW IS ALREADY APRIL?! (I have a feeling this will be a frequent message for the blog posts)

Second: It’s April, dammit, WARM UP!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. March.

Goal: exercise 20 mins a day (10 hours/month)

This one I seem to have knocked out of the park this month at 19h30 for the month. Most of this is walking now that I don’t need to worry (or at least, worry less) about falling and hurting myself. I should be using my standing desk more than I am during the day, though, so I’ll try to work on that.

(Psst. The more people who buy my books, the closer I am to getting the perfect sit-stand desk that will allow me to write even MORE while staying healthy. Win-win!) 

Goal: read for pleasure 30 mins a day

While the goal to get my exercise in as been great and super helpful, I think tracking what I’m reading and having reading being on my to-do check list each day has made a huge difference. I went from reading fewer than 10 books last year to (I think) having already reached that so far this year.

Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chodron is a book my dad got me. He offers courses in mindfulness and meditation, and is always trying to get me to slow down. (DOES HE NOT KNOW WHO I AM?! But really, he’s right). This book was an amazing read. Very quick, and one that I’ll likely pick up again going forward when I need a pick-me-up. Among other wisdom, I picked up two wonderful mottoes that I now have written up on my bulletin board.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

It’s right up there with “My father used to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast” from Alice in Wonderland (movie), but I find the statement stirring. At any point in the day, you can make a decision that could change your life. Even if you’re not aware of anything changing or moving, something in the background could be falling into place the launches you forward to get you where you want to be.

The other:

FAILURE IS AN OPPORTUNITY

It gives a whole new spin on something not working out the way you wanted it. You COULD see it as an ending, or see it as a new foundation to build your next step. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me with a lot of plans going awry, so this was a lesson I needed to read.

Other books I read:

The Secret Country by Pamela Dean. This one was recommended to me by a friend. She said it reminded her of the premise of my Meratis Trilogy is she was very right! It’s the story of five cousins who create a game over the summer…and then find themselves living in. But things aren’t quite as they imagined. I had some trouble getting into the language of the game (very classical fantasy) and the characters were distant but the story kept me engaged and I’ll be continuing on with the series.

And Then There Were None and 13 to Dinner (or Lord Edgware Dies) by Agatha Christie. That’s right – I went back to Christie, as I said I would. I first read And Then There Were None in high school, and the re-read lived up to my memory.

The Martian by Andy Weir. I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I’d heard all the hype about the novel and the film, but doubted I would be interested. I’m a fantasy girl, not a sci-fi reader! But it hooked me. I stayed up into the wee smas to finish it off and  loved every page.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded by David Day. This book was everything I wanted it to be. It looked at Alice from satirical, theosophical and mathematical levels and broke down the symbolism of every character and every speech. Did you know the shape of the rabbit hole Alice falls down matches the pattern of a Fibonacci sequence? And the feud between Carroll and Alice’s father, the Dean of Christ Church, was rampant all through the text.  A fascinating read and I recommend it for any history buffs who like digging deeper into the text.

Goal: read 1 craft book/month

Achieved! I read Susan Kaye Quinn’s The Indie Author Survival Guide and wondered how I hadn’t read it years ago. Concise, casual, and full of information on all the basics, as well as tips on marketing and production, which I hope to put into effect.

Goal: 2 social events/month

I squeezed this one in at the last minute, but I achieved it! First was my niece’s third birthday party, which was wonderful fun; then I had an impromptu breakfast with a friend I haven’t seen in far too long; and finally, two other friends and I went out to the opening of a tea room nearby. The Vanitea Room is a cute little place with pretty great food and reasonably priced tea service. The wait times ran on the long side, but it was packed because of the opening, so I would go back and give them another try.

What else have I been up to?

Editing. March was a full month of editing. Remember in my last post when I talked about learning through errors? Well March was a month of dealing with the consequences. The delay in Bladelore edits led to a rushed first draft of Death at Peony House, which mean that when I got DaPH back from my alpha reader, I had to rewrite a bulk of it. So I pushed through Bladelore edits to get it to a second beta reader, and then pushed through DaPH edits to make sure it got to my editor on time.

So I’m finally breathing. I mean, not completely easily, because I got the brilliant idea to jump into CampNaNoWriMo this year, so April will be spent drafting book 2 in the Invisible Entente series. But at least it’s light and something fun. I’m really enjoying this new series.

I promised all kinds of WIPpets and previews, and they are all coming. I’m going to start sharing the first chapter of Bladelore next week, for one thing. I’ll break it up into three sections and hopefully by the time the third section is up, the book will be in the process of going up for purchase!

*deep breath*

What about you? How did you pass your March?

 

 

Cover Reveal for Keri Lake: Backfire

It’s been a long time since I’ve hosted Keri Lake on this blog, and I’ve missed her.

But just because she’s been silent on the Raven’s Quill doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy!

Her stand-along dark contemporary romance Ricochet came out last year, and now, in June 2016, she’s revealing

Backfire-3D-book

No matter how unbreakable he may seem, every man has a weakness.

A year ago, my home became a bloodstained crime scene. That night marked the beginning of my hell—the same night I was tortured by my enemies and tossed into an underground prison to die.

They failed. I survived.

Now that I’m free, only one motive burns in my soul:  revenge.

Lucky for me, they think Jase Hawkins is dead.  Maybe I am. I’ve got nothing but a cold, merciless rage, and Black Betty, the sharp steel blade that never leaves my side.

Then she drifts into my life.

Lucia wants answers—so much so, she’s willing to fall into the darkness where my enemies lie in wait, to kill her for what she knows.

Or to take her for the depraved fantasies her body alone can rouse in a man’s mind.

Me?  I want her for the fire in her touch that feeds my addiction, forces me to feel what has become numb, but my appetite for bloodshed runs deeper than flesh.

For my own sanity, I’ve vowed to stay away from her. Because she’s my only weakness, an obsession that leaves me craving more—one that could make even the most steadfast plan backfire.

~~

Yum yum, am I right? If this is anything like her previous work, I can’t wait to greet the spring thaw with this steamy story.

But she’s not just offering the cover in this reveal, oh no. What a sneak peak at the prologue? Keep reading!

Backfire Prologue Teaser

 

Author Q&A: Kevin Nielsen

The last in this round of fantasy author spotlights is Kevin Nielsen, the author of the fantasy novel Sands! Based on what I’ve heard, it’s a stellar read, so be sure to grab a copy. A voracious reader, traveller, and dragon enthusiast,  Kevin has a lot to offer the genre.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Your hopes, your dreams, your favourite childhood idol?

Well, I hope to one day be able to make a living as an author – that and eventually become a dragon rider.  As I child, my idol was actually my dad, though David Eddings was a close second for a while there.

sands2. You have a project that just came out – what’s it about?

Sands is an introductory epic fantasy novel set in the Sharani Desert.  For nine months of the year, the genesauri monsters sleep.  The clans are safe and everything is peaceful and prosperous.  Then, like clockwork every year, the genesauri monsters wake up for three months and death and chaos reign.  The clans are forced to take refuge in the Oasis and live together in a tension-filled confined space until the genesauri once again return to their sleep.  But suddenly, everything changes.  The genesauri come early.  When seventeen-year old Lhaurel takes up a sword in defense of a friend, her clan leaves her stranded as bait while they run for the Oasis.  She is saved from certain death by a mysterious stranger who helps her discover that she holds a mysterious, uncontrollable power, one upon which the fate of all the clans rests.

3. Why should people read your work?

Honestly, Sands offers a lot in the way of a unique look at the fantasy genre.  From the environment, to the magic system, and even to the characters within the story, there is a unique twist on what one would typically find in a similar YA fantasy novel.  Sands has flying monsters, desert climates, a unique magic system, and a strong female protagonist.  What’s not to love?

4. Who is your target audience?

As many people as I can get to read it.  Due to the nature of the novel, I would say it is decidedly YA and up.

5. Of everything you’ve learned and developed over your projects, what are you most proud of achieving?

Honestly, I am most proud of having been able to recently publish with a traditional book publisher.  I’ve been working toward that goal for 15+ years and to have that process end and another one begin is a feeling of indescribable joy.

6. What is your writing process?

I am a signpost writer.  By that I mean that I pick five points (or signposts if you will) I want to hit within the novel and flesh those out to begin with.  These signposts always include the beginning, middle, and end of the book, plus any two points within those three.  Once I have those, the real writing begins, moving from signpost to signpost like a game of literary connect the dots.  Sometimes this means the revision process is longer, but it works well for me.

7. How can people find you?

I can be found at kevinlnielsen.com, on twitter at @kevinlnielsen, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorkevinlnielsen