When I was 17, I wrote and rewrote my first book. When I was 19, I received a life changing offer from a small (and ever growing) publishing company to finally see the series I spent the better part of my teenage years working on in print.
After a lot of thinking and deliberating, I decided to get my first tattoo about a year ago, then enlarged it some tonight. (I’m kind of a wuss, so I like to do things cautiously and minimally.) This mark is the mark of the Council (a Darspinger) from my own books, ‘The Lost Realm Series.’ 
The thing is, this mark is more than just a symbol from a book. This is a mark that represents loss and grief, especially for those characters where my books are concerned. Because in order to grow, we have to stumble and count our losses along the way. Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve had this lesson handed to me over and over again, and in a thousand different ways. I parted with the town and school I loved to take a risk in a town and school I knew nothing about, left people I loved behind, quit my stuffy office job, lost a few friends along the way (figuratively), and lost a beloved family member as well (literally). But among all the chaos and pain, somewhere along the way, amazingly, I started to grow. 
2015 has been a monster of a year, to say the least. I know there’s still a little over a month before it’s finally over (thank goodness!), but I felt that now was an appropriate time–if there ever is actually an appropriate time to get profound on social media–to post some thoughts. Apologies to everyone for the monologue. Sometimes it feels good to get on my philosophical soap box and use my almost English degree to talk nonsense. 
What I’m really trying to get at here is that the new Star Wars movie comes out in less than a month, so this year can’t be all bad, right? *Prays Abrams really knows what he’s doing.*
*To those of you gloriously dedicated, awesome humans who read my books and have asked when the next one comes out, I promise that I have not forgotten about you. I’m working on a little at a time, around the time when I’m not in school, writing papers, or having minor mental breakdowns. It WILL get done, hopefully over my holiday break. As always, thank you all so much for your patience.


Review Us, Don’t Slaughter Us

So tonight I thought I would take a minute to address something that has been of concern to me lately. That’s right. People who deliver deathblows to authors in the process of “reviewing” them.

There are two types of people in this category:

1. The Executioners: These are the readers who review simply to criticize, the ones who rate -5/5 stars. “Is that even possible?” you ask. APPARENTLY SO. While they may have truly enjoyed your story, they read simply to nitpick, and nitpick is exactly what they do during the review/rating process. Keep in mind that many of these people are not actually editors, even though they may act as so.

2. The Assassins: Silent and stealthy, these are the people who know how to deliver and effective and deadly blow, and in the process, hide their true agenda with a sugar-coated, 4/5 star rating. You’ll find that many of these people seem to start out the review quite nicely, and then quickly lean in for a sarcastic, clean-cut kill. These are my favorite.

So what is the point of writing about this, you all ask?

I see hundreds of people everyday who review authors in one of these ways. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally 100% for people expressing their opinions and letting others know why they did or didn’t enjoy something. But there is also a fine line between reviewing and slaughtering.

This may come as a surprise to many, but authors have feelings too! We aren’t just robots who sit behind the screen day-by-day and type up our stories. The book that you’ve read in a perhaps less than a day and then just as quickly dismissed is the same book that took that author probably over a year of their life to write.

In a sense, it is their child.

Trust me when I say I’m not speaking solely on my behalf. Absolutely not! I have seen this in the case of many authors, and am sure they will be quick to agree with what I am saying. As I said: everyone is entitled to their own opinion. No doubt about that.

I’m willing to bet that most people wouldn’t be nearly brave enough to say half of what they’ve written behind their computer screens to another person’s face. It’s easy to say things when people aren’t watching, I know. But if you wouldn’t say it to that person’s face, then what on Earth would convince you to think it’s acceptable to write????

My point here: just try to find a better, less hateful way of expressing your thoughts!

Example: “I wasn’t much into this book because….I believe that maybe this should have been addressed…there were a few typos…”

And on that note: TYPOS HAPPEN. I am certainly not perfect, by any means–far from it–and am sure than pretty much every single author on this planet can agree with me. Please know that no matter how much time we spend on edits, in 99% of cases, there will probably be a stray typo that is missed here and there. In fact, I’m sure you’re finding typos as you’re reading this post right now.


It happens.

Don’t, however, mistake said typos for poor grammar. Believe it or not, those are two drastically different things.

So to wrap up this lengthy post before stepping off my soap box, authors aren’t perfect–Just look at me!–as much as we try to act like we are. The purpose of this is to simply remind every reader of that. As I’ve repeatedly said, you are all very much entitled to your opinions, and to the right to share your thoughts on what you’ve read.

Just be sure to think about what you say before you say it.

I’ll end this segment with sending out my love and gratitude to those of you who have taken the time to read this.

Please, if you have any thoughts or comments on this, feel free to share. I’d love to hear y’all’s take on this, either from a reader’s perspective or a fellow writer’s perspective. Just remember. Be nice!!! 😉