Showing posts from 2019

The original Mark of the Castle Outline

I was organizing my studio and came across this tattered old document.  As we’re coming upon the one year anniversary of Mark of the Castle, I thought it would be a perfect time to share the original outline.   As I completed each chapter, I would fill in the chapter number with a scribble of pen.  The yellow, green, and lavender backgrounds denote the three acts of the story.  I always had a solid path, but I wandered on and off it as the plot evolved.  I’m a very digital person, but sometimes I just need something physical to grip onto and reassure myself that I am moving forward.  This document was only ever intended for my eyes.  It’s not spell-checked, half-thoughts are scribbled, but this is as close to my brain as you can get. So without further introduction, this is the Mark of the Castle that could have been. :-) Click here to view the six page outline in full-screen mode.

Spring 2019 Q & A

Here are the top Q & A’s from this convention season: Is there a third book?  When is it coming out? Yes! There is a third and fourth book in the works.  I’ve moved past outlining and have written approximately one hundred pages as a skeleton draft for both books. This initial document is essentially a collection of arguments.  There are no transitions from chapter to chapter, sparse descriptions, very little setting other than castle or basement or mall.  This draft is a lot like a sketch, I can move things around quickly and trash unnecessary scenes without wasting time. When I wrote Mark of the Castle, I learned a harsh lesson on book release dates.  I couldn’t predict death, car accidents, depression, babies, or brain tumors.  So I’ll just say I’m progressing forward towards an undefined deadline.  Just stay with me, keep sharing your books, and I promise you there is more story to come. Will book four be the end of the series? Book four will be the end

Depression in Centernia

"Centernia is realistic fantasy."  This is a phrase that's been repeated to me many times during convention conversations.  Centernia hits on a variety of heavy topics...divorce, drug abuse, sexuality, economic imbalance...all wrapped up in a wild tale of magic and mayhem. I would like to analyze a few of these topics in greater depth, starting with depression.     *****Book 1 & 2 Spoilers Ahead***** *********** Nico is a character who experiences an inordinate amount of trauma.  At the end of Return to the Castle , his parents are dead, Misa is dead, he's been doomed to a life without physical intimacy and he's about to become enslaved in the Mines of Briken.  At the opening of Mark of the Castle , we can add torture, physical maiming, and an encounter with a Sinari woman.  He’s hunted by mages and he fears that returning home may put Teren in danger.  There's not much more that could be done to torture this man. Throug

Genericon 2019 Changed my Life

On Friday afternoon I dropped my kids off at my parents’ house, loaded up the car, and traveled I-90 with Octostar Creations for Genericon 2019.  We came back late last night in a blustery and rainy wind storm and I am still in awe of this weekend. I’ve been to Genericon in 2015, and 2017, it’s one of my favorite college cons.  This time was a very different experience. Very. Very. Different. It was my first returning con with Mark of the Castle.  The response was insane, to put it mildly.  I was approached by dozens of fans with stories I never expected to hear, from a mom who secretly purchased the book for her daughter and photographed her reaction to someone who had used the morality of Centernia as a topic for a college assignment.  I was approached by artists, aspiring audiobook narrators, and clusters of friend groups who had been passing around a copy of Centernia for years.  There were people who had bought it at other cons, including NYCC 2014, the year I launch

February 2019 Update

Two new releases of my artwork to hit store shelves within the past several weeks!  I have a collection of four unicorns available through Pacific Trading Co and the Dragon Valley Puzzle from Ravensburger.