Tag Archives: novel

#Cover Sourcing #writerslife New Blog Post!

One of my favourite parts of putting together a book project is sourcing locations for the cover art, and promo images.

It combines my love of research, my love of Google Maps, and my passion for road trips. What could be better than piling into a car, coffee in hand, camera in bag, and best friend in tow?

The difficulty I had with this book, is that the environment of the region I live in isn’t great for my vision. I don’t live near an ocean. I live on the wrong side of the Great Lakes. The crags and the cliffs and the waves are on the westerly side of the Lakes, which unfortunately is in Northern Michigan. Not unfortunate because it is Michigan, but unfortunate because it’s several hours drive away.

So I have scouted a couple of locations that go in a circuit that will hopefully fulfill my hopes and dreams. Who knows?

The trend so far has been that art has approached me in the most unexpected ways, so I will leave my heart and mind open to possibilities and opportunities, and trust in the vision of my photographer.


Until then, loyal readers.



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#title vote

Sometimes coming up with the title helps me think, focus, and refine.

My problem though, comes from my need for symmetry.

I’d love to name the sequel to The Spark That Left Us in a similar format – but unfortunately, unless I am trying to translate a horribly grammatically incorrect phrase, it is giving me issues with balancing. Options are:


The Scar That Binds Us


The Scars That Bind Us


I am leaning towards the second one personally, as it is far more open ended.

What do you say, kind readers? I’ll allow suggestions as well 🙂



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And here she was, more intrinsically wrapped up within the strands of his life than he ever could have imagined.

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#spoiler alert

 “I met Addy about four days later. It hadn’t really sunk in yet. I hadn’t even realized what I’d done. Levina had showed up, so quickly. Put me to rights. And then I was saved in other ways, by Addy, by the marks, by the bunch of you. And I had hope again. Briefly. It wasn’t until after, standing on that hill, staring at the place where I had died, that I realized if I’d succeeded the first time, nothing could have ever been right again. Horrible, terrible things had happened to me, I’d broken in every way that mattered, and yet, the people in my life did everything in their power to give me that chance to breathe again. And nothing will ever take that feeling, that love, away from me,”

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Excerpt from the sequel … #spoiler alert

Felt like sharing some more of book 2, working title “Sparks Ignite”. This is unedited, so bear with me, I just really wanted to share.


“Why didn’t you tell me everything before, when we were here?”

The question hung heavy on the air, and I breathed in a long breath, inhaling the sunset, the golden light playing through my outstretched fingers, wind ruffling across my palm.

“Tell you what?” Mateo cocked an eyebrow in my direction before returning his focus to the road, the sunlight filtered between the scraggy pines, a flickering slideshow across his face.

I brushed the outstretched tip of a pine bud that nearly touched the window as we slowed to a stop. Why was there even a stop sign here?

“About the rest of this. About the past. About Rowan. The pull this place had on you,”

I squinted up into the trees, scanning the dark branches as Mateo pulled the van ahead once more, urging the lumbering vehicle back up to speed.

Mateo chewed his lip briefly, considering his thoughts.

“Would you have wanted to hear it? You knew nothing about this place, except it was where your world shattered. Why would I spring it upon you also that it was where your family was bent and broken before you were even born?”

I settled back in the seat, folding my hands together and staring back out the windshield at the twisting road ahead. The ground cover was becoming scrubbier between the trees, waving broad bladed grasses that glowed in the lowering light.

“I never thought I’d be back here. Never thought we’d end up chasing Reggie again, following him to the end of the earth. Last time was supposed to be just that. The last time, but here we are, and I wonder if it’d be different if I’d just known,”

Mateo sighed, clapped a hand on my knee before returning it to the steering wheel.

“That was a choice Reggie made. It wasn’t right, I’ll never say it was, just as Clara’s choice was never the right one. But you’re here now, and without either of them, so it goes to show, you know what they say about hindsight,”

“You’d think after all that, and all the problems that stemmed from lack of communication, you would have explained everything so it didn’t happen again,” I commented dryly, looking back out the window.

The trees had faded away, replaced by dunes, the sunset momentarily blocked by the hillocks, their crests golden with sea grass.

A note of exasperation escaped Mateo’s nose.

“And when mariposa, pray tell would I have done that? When you sat catatonic on the hillside for two days, ignoring us entirely? Or how about when in a fit of rage you lit Levina’s house on fire, rampaging around with gasoline and matches? Or, oh this would have been perfect, when you refused to get out of bed for three weeks after the funeral? I’ve yet to figure out how you survived on stale pizza and gummy bears but I’m still of a mind to make Deke learn a lesson for it,”

I rolled my eyes. Deke had tried, he really had. But he’d lost someone too, and misery loves company. Especially when it boils down to darkened rooms and lazy fans, and sleeping for what only felt like days on end. I couldn’t handle the sun shining on another day that didn’t have my brother and my sister in my life. It wasn’t until Mateo had stormed in that day, sick of knowing I’d locked myself away, and dragged me kicking and screaming back into the light that I’d finally realized I did in fact have to keep on living. I did relapse a few times. I’m not going to lie. But that October was the end of it. I’d promised myself. Mateo smirked, hazel eyes gazing along the horizon, idly, then continued,

“What it boils down to, is there was never a right time, and as much as I love you I didn’t want to rip those wounds open again. You’re all I had left, and I needed you whole,”

Mateo slowed the vehicle down, signaling his turn toward the beach.

“At least I made sure to get anything useful out of the mansion before I toasted it,”

I sounded petulant. I didn’t care. I crossed my arms across my chest, rubbing at my elbow.

Another indeterminate sound escaped Mateo.

“I should have done the same. About thirty years ago,”

I chuckled, quiet and adrenaline driven. It sounded weird in the car, sounded weird as soon as it escaped me. We were almost at our, my, final destination.

“And yet unlike me, you resisted the call of arson, and you became a cop instead,”

Mateo shrugged resignedly, peering through the windshield for the cut-off to the parking lot, the sand drifting across the road in the high wind.

“It’s what she wanted. She needed someone on the inside that could work around the corners where they were blind. In exchange, you three were safe and provided for. Still provided for, thankfully. I can’t imagine where the bunch of you would have been, fending all on your own,”

I shifted uncomfortably. It was true that Mateo had ensured, through careful coercion and outright lies that Levina should ensure that a portion of her amassed wealth and fortune through her hundreds (thousands?) of years on this earth be allocated toward the only blood ties she had – us, but the thought of it still made me uncomfortable. It was blood money, however it was obtained. But as much as I liked to insist to myself that my freelance work was enough, and would be enough, with the addition of several more people to my home, I’d come to lean on the income much heavier than I ever had growing up. Keeping my head down and ignoring where it could have come from had always been the unfortunate truth.

“Point taken,” I muttered.

“Well, I’m sure eventually, the insurance money will come through as well, and then you’ll definitely be in a good spot, right?”

“As long as they never prove I was here, pouring gasoline on everything,”

The van slowed to a stop, lonely at the crest of the hill, looking down on the rushing blue of the ocean, the waves cresting and disappearing rapidly, a lone gull swerving away overhead. I worriedly ran my fingers through my hair, chewed my lip nervously.

Mateo engaged the emergency brake.

“Don’t worry, I erased all the gas station tapes,”

He threw a wink at my gaping mouth as I swiveled in toward him in disbelief, and clicked his seat belt open, hauling himself out the door, groaning from the cramped driving position. I stared at him through the window, appreciating just for a moment everything that he was.

Maybe I should forget about this. Just go home.

Mateo rubbed a hand across his chin, and shook his head, moving toward the beach.

I scrambled out of the car after him, and joined him where he stood at the top of the nearest dune, the wind whipping his clothes around his lean form, eyes narrowed against the brilliant glow of the sunset.

“Are you ready for this?”


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Sparks Fan Friday

Welcome to Fan Fridays – where hopefully, I can provide you with a little love each Friday

Just wanted to share a project I was working on with the lovely Svenja (http://svenjaliv.com/) for The Spark That Left Us.

I felt it really captured Deke’s haunted nature, and the amazing electricity that entraps him.

Hope this inspires you to give it a try!


Many many thanks to Svenja for working on this commission!


deke silver-blue

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Tale spin #amwriting There’s too many layers

The problem with fiction involving worlds of your own design, people of your own making, and implications outside the realm of possibility – is you can fall down your own rabbit hole.

You start seeing connections to other media.

You start wondering if you are replicating existing worlds.

You start thinking about alternate dimensions, everything you’ve ever read, movies that you’ve watched.

You start to wonder how much of it is your own, and you simply hope for the best.

It’s hard, in a millennia of writings, minds, movies, communications, to disperse the original thoughts among the learned ones.

The other difficulty – is sometimes you start believing it. And when you start believing it, you start seeing it everywhere.


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#writing : you can’t go home again

This has been an interesting chapter in the developing story of Sparks.

Currently titled “You can’t go home again”, it explores a team-up you wouldn’t expect – Deke and Mateo, a shared moment, and what happens when Deke returns to the scene of his original crime. It was quite a long time ago, when Deke woke up, when he realized something had fundamentally changed him, and I wanted to make sure that the audience also were taken back to those initial moments.

It’s a fine line, somewhere between nostalgia and bitterness. It’s a moment of tableau for the home, shuttered up since Aaron’s body was discovered, his homework still on the table and fruit still sitting on the counter, albeit it covered in a thin layer of dust and rotting away.

Someone will come now, it will be cleaned up. Aaron’s notes will be thrown into a garbage bag, maybe his textbooks will be donated. Deke has retrieved the few things he tried making a new life with after the tragedy of his youth – and another door is closed behind him.

I think the choice of Mateo, aside from his obvious law-enforcement tie, is a soothing one. Rick is frenetic, Connor is anxious. He’d never want Addy to see this place. That was the before him, the unrecognizable him.

He had confessed on that mountain that the old him was gone, and he was better for it.

So Mateo. Soothing. Respectful.

I felt this piece could be added as a respite to the trauma that Sparks is going to instill, the havoc that it’s pulling between our players.

And I’m okay with this.

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#writing the past can be hard

I’ve heard a few times now, that Deke’s flashback is one of the preferred chapters in The Spark That Left Us. He’s one of the few characters with an acknowledged back story, a history. Writing events currently happening to your characters is easy. You write it. It happens. You feel that little twist, since you’re responsible for that happening, whether they love or laugh or cry or scream. It’s you. All you.

But when it comes to writing the past, there’s a slew of consequences that follows. If I do this, how do they act now? If I say this, how does the ripple affect every other character in your story, what they do, how they react.

Additional issues, with the mythos that fills The Spark That Left us – is that no one can trust the construct of their reality. Then you end up in a situation where, do they know this even happened? Would they react differently if they knew it did?

So now, while writing (the tentatively titled) Sparks Ignite – although being set in the future, a year onward from the final events of The Spark That Left Us, there has been a backslide into the past, events that shaped where the characters were lined up in order to pursue the events of TSTLU, in order for them to understand what is happening to them now. And I am in constant fear of, what if something happens, something brilliantly important happens – and suddenly casts a shadow over TSTLU?


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2014 – onward and outward

This year has been a rip tide. A roller coaster. Whatever adventure term you want to give it, it has been.

The book was six months old in October when I finished the first draft. That’s the first thing people ask, once they get over their utter disbelief that you, yes you, wrote a book. How long did it take?

Forever, is my answer, as the calendar must be lying.

And are we ever truly done? Maybe. Do I want to sit down and go through (another, oh GOD please no) edit?


Does it need it? Probably. And the probably is the answer of the day.

As soon as you work a probably in there, the opportunities are endless. Seize them, will you?

2015 is the year. I can feel it. 2015 will be the answer, and hopefully, the release of The Sparks That Left Us.




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