Life, Pre-pub

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018


If you ask any writer (or artist [or human being]), they’ll say that 2017 was a rough year. Full of distractions and worry and dread. Yet despite all of that, we kept on keeping on. I’m not exception – while I wasted countless hours on what-ifs and not sleeping, the work still had to be done. And it got done.

But man, am I exhausted. Hopefully 2018 will be a little less emotionally draining.

But 2017 wasn’t all bad. Personally, it was pretty great. My highlights:

– Wrote the first draft of Book One
– Wrote the second draft of Book One
– Revised Book One
– Sent Book One out to betas
– Revised Book One based on beta feedback
– Sent Book One to my editor
– Revised Book One based on my editor’s feedback
– Turned in Book One (🎉🎉🎉)
– Hacked 20,000 words off of Book Two
– Going line by line, entirely rewrote Book Two
– 2/3rds way through first draft of Book Three


And that’s only the writing highlights. Outside of that, I also:

– Broke my personal 5k record
– Turned 31
– Took a baby to Germany and survived
– Attended my first conference (Sirens ’17 wot wot!)
– Dayjobbed the stuffing out of my dayjob
– Learned how to throw a proper punch
– Held back the tides of unwashed dishes and dirty laundry
– Kept a baby alive and helped her evolve into a toddler


Writing it out like that makes it seem as if I was riding the waves, but at the time it felt like I was drowning more often than not. 2018 should be better (and easier?) for a number of reasons, not the least of which we’ll have a toddler and not an infant who refuses to sleep more than 45min at a time (oh god never again).

2018 is actually shaping up to be pretty fun/exciting for me, personally. And maybe for you, at least come the end of the year. So what have I got going in 2018?

– Polish up Book Two
– See/reveal the cover for Book One (!!)
– Write, rewrite, revise, edit, & polish Book Three
– Hit up Tucson Festival of Books
– Sirens 2018 (!!)
– Bid farewell to my lovely desert assassins and start a new project
– Keep a small human alive


Yeah. Okay. No small task. But if I survived 2017 and all it entailed, I can certainly survive – even thrive in? – 2018.

May you let 2017 go and embrace the new year with hope and light. ❤

Book Reviews

2017 Books Of Awesome

After quite a few nights/days spent rocking a sleeping baby and reading a book, I thought I’d also rock my to-read list this year.


Turns out, sleeping newborns turn into not-sleeping infants turn into crawling, interested-in-what-you’re-reading babies. And if they’re not trying to pry the book from your hands, then you’re trying to pry the cat bowl from theirs.

In short, I quickly realized I wasn’t going to read as much as I’d like. While humbling, this was also freeing. Since I have so much less free time between baby, dayjob, writing, and well, generally keeping the house from descending into cat hair chaos, I was much pickier about the books I read. And – surprisingly! – I ended up loving almost all of the books I read this year.

Also interesting how this list is much more solidly fantasy than previous years… hmmm…

Because I don’t have as much time as I used to, I’m going to cheat and use/expound upon the tweet thread I already made for my #2017InBooks. Sorry/not sorry.

So here are (almost!) all those books, in no particular order, for you & for posterity & for a better year-in-review than I can ever do, in 140 (280?!) characters or less:

    • A Darker Shade of Magic* by V.E. Schwab – Fun! You’ve probably read this! I was late to the game but I can see what everyone was talking about. Pirates, magic, doom & gloom & good gay times. Honestly, the whole Shades of Magic series.
    • Hellspark by Janet Kagan – linguistic sci-fi will always always be my jam. What is sentience? What is language? Why is that spider-thing crawling up my leg?
    • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – timely YA insta-classic take on police brutality that pulls NO punches. We’ve got racism, riots, and class tensions with subtlety and nuance in >80k words.
    • The Nightmare Stacks* by Charles Stross – because Stross’ Laundry Files will always be my curl-up-with-hot-cocoa-and-Lovecraftian-nightmares series.
    • The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden – Demigods! South Africa! Robot revolts! Dik diks! Positive trans potrayal! Wholesale destruction! Need I say more?
    • Amberlough* by Lara Elena Donnelly – dear god I’m still having dreams about this book. Disturbing. Delightful. So gay. Do you like spy thrillers and cabaret and too-parallel politics? Then yes.
    • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – Stone magic meets astronomy with apocalyptic adventure and a mother-daughter relationship that friggin shattered me. This whole series is definitely core SFF canon now, by the way.
    • Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer – I honestly still don’t know what to think about the Ignota Terra series except that it’s a) full of intense worldbuilding and b) not even slightly what I expected. Did I mention it’s intense? It’s… intense. But rewarding.
    • Winter Tide* by Ruthanna Emrys – You got some social commentary in my Lovecraftian horror and I like it.
    • The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis – Airships! Explosions! Adventure! Snarky fops! No central romantic plot!! Honestly just a lot of fun and a great way to end the year.

* – Consumed in audiobook form.