Tag: Sequel


New Chapter

Excuse me. EXCUSE ME! MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE? I have a very important announcement to make. That’s right, raise a glass, mug, or chocolate bar high: I am done with graduate school.

MLIS Candidate for Graduation

After the week we’ve all had, I’m happy to be able to tell you some good news. I have officially finished my final project of my final graduate class. I am done. No more homework. No more posting at crazy hours, staying up past midnight working on research papers, eating way too much chocolate (okay, that will probably still continue), and getting way too little sleep. On December 18th, I will walk across the stage at UW-Milwaukee and official be a Master of Library and Information sciences.

And it really couldn’t have come at a better time. Because no matter what else divides us, words can always bring people together. No matter what kinds of walls people build, books tear them down. If you think you are so very different from your neighbor, read their story. Words have the power to bring people together, and it’s time I put mine back to work. If I can be thankful for one thing that came out of this week, it’s given me more motivation than I know what to do with. This whole ugly election cycle has at least given me a strong focus for the sequel to Seven Stones – which, at its heart, has always been about fighting stereotypes, finding your voice, standing up to bullies, and facing your fears.

Writing about Keilann has taught me a lot about myself – I hope reading about her story has done the same for my readers. As I continue her story, I know I will have more to learn and I am so grateful for that. Writing and reading make us more empathetic, compassionate, and understanding human beings. You simply can’t believe stereotypes once you get to know someone as an individual with the same hopes, fears, dreams, and flaws you see in yourself.

You want to make America great? Read a book. Celebrate our differences. Write your story.


Writing the Sequel, Word by Word

If someone asks you to write a seqeul, you say YES!

If someone asks you to write a sequel, you say YES!

After almost two years and three rewrites, I finally feel like I have a good handle on the sequel to Seven Stones. I have to admit that when my publishers first asked me about writing a sequel, I wasn’t sure about the idea. At the time (May 2013) I was working on the second book of a futuristic dystopian series (I have since put this and other story ideas on the back burner, but am looking forward to exploring them again someday). In fact, before my publishers brought it up, I hadn’t considered writing a sequel to Seven Stones. However, I have learned that if someone in the publishing business asks you to write a sequel you say, “YES!” So, I did.

I went home from that meeting exhilarated and excited. I just officially was offered a contract and Seven Stones was actually going to be published. I did a happy dance, ate ice cream, and got to work. I soon found out that writing the sequel was going to be a very different experience than the first book. There was a change of scenery, new characters to introduce, old characters to dust off, and–oh yeah–a plot to figure out. The entire manuscript for Seven Stones was written in a year. This manuscript has been written, shredded, rewritten, burned, and rewritten again in its year-and-a-half existence. Writing it has been an incredible learning opportunity. I’ve done more research for this upcoming novel, and have met some truly wonderful people who have shared their stories and their lives with me. I’ve experimented with new writing styles and ways to create inspiration (more on how I break through writer’s block in a future post).

Writing is funny. Usually, you hear about authors going on writing sprees early on in a novel and losing steam about half way through. 100 solid pages into this project, my creativity and motivation are finally at their peak. Thanks to motivation, determination, and a truly amazing support group, the sequel is shaping up into something magical. I love being back in the world of Seven Stones, developing and exploring the characters. Playing with plot. Dabbling with diction. Acing alliteration. There is a lot more work to be done, but I am eager to do what it takes to finish a first draft before the fall. That’s my personal deadline: September 1st. This blog has been and will continue to be a great source of inspiration for me, as well as a tool to keep me accountable for my writing progress. I’ll keep everyone posted and perhaps even tally how many words I write per week. That should keep me humble!

I can’t thank you enough for being here on this writing journey with me. Only a little over a month away from the release of Seven Stones!!!!