I’ll let the below post speak for itself. Also, as you can see, I’ve officially got a Patreon for my writing! Not much there yet, but soon there will be. Feel free to share you thoughts there or here. Thanks and happy reading!
Hey everyone, been a while again, I know. My longtime followers are probably used to my lapses in posting content, but I still want to try and make better efforts to post more often. I’m hoping that this new idea will be the answer.
You may recall that I posted about several works that I published on Kindle Vella. Those were The Vampire’s Priestess, Requiem of the Gods and Argent Dynasty. I thought they’d be a good fit for the platform, but I was wrong. They really weren’t getting any attention, so I decided to have them unpublished from Vella. However, now I need to decide the best approach to share them. I want to note that I Love You to Death will remain on Vella for now, as that seems to have potential to perform well if given enough time and exposure.
I was considering posting the stories in full here on the site, in a post chapter by chapter, but I don’t think that would be the most efficient method. I’m also considering going back to Inkitt, since I already have many stories there. However, I also feel like I want to try a new free publishing platform as well. So I’m checking out Royal Road and I’ve also been tossing around the idea of Wattpad. Though I feel like I’ve heard that people can have their stories stolen on Wattpad. I’ve also been considering multi-publishing some stories across several platforms and seeing which offers the best engagement.
Ultimately, what I want is readers to actively take an interest in my stories and share their thoughts and feedback. Not necessarily formal story reviews, but even just engagement as far as a reader saying they loved a specific chapter, or they comment on what they think will happen. I think that my goal while exploring these sites is to determine which will allow this kind of engagement, but will also have enough reader traffic to get my stories noticed. I also wouldn’t mind there being an opportunity to get noticed by official publishers and get a book deal. Considering all of this, I’m leaning on just returning to Inkitt, since I’ve already got a small following there and other works.
I think I’ll spend a few days exploring and making my decision, then put my plan into action. Either way, I hope I can get my work out there for everyone to see and that they will be favorable to many readers. If anyone has suggestions or simply wants to share their thoughts on what option might be best, please feel free to let me know! Also, look forward to loads of new story content soon!
Hey everyone! This week has been an interesting experience for me as a writer. I’ve kind of been all across the board in terms of writing activities.
I revisited my fanfiction early last week and posted the first chapter of a short Genshin Impact series to Archive of Our Own. I’d actually written this chapter over the Summer, but doubted that anyone would be interested, so I kept it in the drafts. However, I became inspired somewhat randomly to revisit it, and decided that I would post it to the site after all. Since then, I’ve gotten a decent amount of likes on the chapter, so it’s nice to know more people like it than I expected. I have plans to continue the series, but I’m not going to rush it, and take it as I feel inspired to.
I also had a pitfall this week with my writing. I’ve recently released the first few chapters of my BL Dystopian Fantasy, Requiem of the Gods on Vella, after working on the drafts for the last few months. I was excited about releasing them, but then I realized that I hit a roadblock. While I know how the story will end, I’m at a loss of how to connect the dots from start to finish in the middle bit. It’s become so frustrating that I almost feel like abandoning the project all together. However, I don’t like doing that once I’ve already started. So, my plan is to take a step back and work on a new project for now. I’ll give myself time to refresh and come back to it eventually with a clearer mind. That’s something I’m slowly getting better at doing, rather than forcing myself and burning out.
I’m getting back on the incline now though, and have some positive writing experiences to share too. The first is that my Romance Mystery story, I Love You to Death, has had its first reader! This person read all 40 chapters and liked each one, which makes me very happy. This means they were willing to spend money on the token purchase required to read it in full. I’m so happy about this, and I hope that means the story’s future on Vella is moving in a positive direction. The only thing I wished I could’ve gotten, in addition, was a review. That would’ve been valuable feedback for me and others, but I’ll still take what I got as a big win. I hope my other works may be discovered more as well.
Finally, I have finally taken the steps to start my spin-off sequel series for my Bound Trilogy! This has been in my queue for years, and finally, I’m starting it. I’ll share more on it soon once I release the initial chapters on Vella, but it’s basically going to be a long-running, open-ended series focusing on the Argent family and their daily lives. We will get a closer and more involved look into Argent Enterprises and the challenges of running such an empire. We’ll see the experiences Jenny has as a director of an animation studio. We’ll see the events of their children, that will shape them into who they will be as adults. All while tying them all together and introducing new experiences that will expand on the Bound universe. I am so excited about this project, and I hope others, especially those who have read Bound, will be excited too.
That’s a wrap on my week for now, and I just wanted to share. As a point of discussion, if you’re interested, I wonder, have you ever experienced starting a project just to lose interest along the way? How did you manage that? I’d love to hear about other experiences! Thanks for reading!.
To all my followers who have written work or some kind of literary content to promote, please share a link to it in the comments. Books, comics, web novels, visual novels, writing blogs, poetry, etc. are eligible! I’ll check out whatever you link and share it here as a feature on my site.
I’m committed to sharing content from other creators, and there’s no better place to start than with you all who have been following me for all this time. If you don’t follow me, no worries. I’ll have an open call for everyone at a later date, so no pressure to follow me unless you want to. Thanks!
I’m back once again and you may have noticed the site’s design has changed quite a bit. This is all part of my plan to become more active. I’m going to challenge myself to write more and publish a post every week. It doesn’t need to be my creative works per se, but just needs to be a post about something. It can be about how my week has been. It can be about something that’s on my mind, something to share or whatever else I think would be interesting to talk about. I’m just aiming to get something published at least once a week.
This can be harder than it seems with the busy schedule of my day job, and just life stuff, but I’m going to keep pushing myself to try. I want this year to become better than the year before and I want my 30th year of life to mark a change not just in this site, but myself as well. I want to look more positively at the future and change the things I can, instead of focusing on what I cannot.
As always, I am thankful to all of you have stuck around here through my long periods of silence and inactivity. I hope that I will be able to give you the content you signed up for and can maybe make more of an impact in the creative writing world as well by featuring more media from other authors. So let’s all strive to do our best, and I hope you’ll stay with me as we continue down this path. Look forward to exciting content coming soon!
Naomi Daniels thought she hit the jackpot when Adam McKinnis took an interest in her; becoming instantly smitten with his cool, alluring demeanor. She’s convinced he’s the one for her, despite the oppositions of her parents. She’s never been close with others or thought herself as very desirable, but Adam awakens her in ways she never imagined she could be and she finally starts to feel empowered. He is the catalyst to her sexual awakening as a woman, and she has no intention of going back to being that quiet, reserved girl again. Everything about Adam McKinnis is perfect.
However, small events begin to unfold, trickling down red flags to everyone but Nai herself. However, when Lukas Meyer transfers into Nai’s Aerospace Engineering program, he serves as the stone that will crack the glass house Nai and Adam share, as Nai struggles to manage her feelings. The fragile balance between love and friendship will be tested and Nai will finally need to take a closer look at her perfect partner.
Who is Adam McKinnis, and why is his name implicated in a string of serial murders and kidnappings? Could he be a murderer, or is there more to the story? Slowly, the secrets will be revealed and Nai will find herself in the middle of it all. Are things really as they seem, or is Adam innocent after all? Will she uncover the truth before it’s too late? Will she make it out unscathed, and will Lukas be able to save her if things go wrong?
I Love You to Death is a Romance Mystery Thriller with a killer twist! It will leave you breathless with its steamy romance and attractive leads, while the suspenseful moments will have you struggling to put it down. Check out the story that has had many readers hooked, as spoken by their own words in these reviews found here!
I love you to death is now exclusively available on Amazon Kindle Vella here and will be published in e-book format in the coming months. Now is a great time as any to jump in, as new users to Vella get 200 tokens free, which will get you to episode 14 of the story. Don’t miss out! Be sure to subscribe if you want to follow this story, as well as other content!
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted personally, I know. There’re many reasons for that, but ultimately the biggest is that I just didn’t have the drive to keep up the momentum of running the site. However, I’m back and I’m going to try and revitalize the site and myself. I’ve been writing a lot lately after taking an extended hiatus, and now I want to share my work with the world. That’s not all. I also want to get back into my original goal of sharing the indie works of my fellows authors. There’s a lot of quality works out there, and I’m eager to find them.
I won’t make promises that the site will suddenly boom with posts, but I will try to be more consistent with my posts; hopefully releasing one at least once a week. I’m considering other ways to expand my literary reach as well, but those are going to be slower developments. Stay tuned for more and thanks to all who’ve been sticking around.
It’s my first work on Amazon’s new Kindle Vella platform. Check it out if you’d like!
It’s no secret that Darren Shan is my most favorite author, and The Saga of Darren Shan, a.k.a The Cirque du Freak series is my favorite of his works. What may not be well known however, is a character that I came to love dearly upon reading the saga. Debbie Hemlock is a character that makes her appearance in the third installment of the saga, and while she isn’t a central character, she is very important to the story, as well as to the saga’s protagonist Darren, as she was his love interest throughout most of the story. As the title suggests, this one is for her. I should note, this will contain very minor spoilers about her relationship with Darren, but nothing major to the story.
Debbie is described as being a pretty, kind-hearted, joyful girl with dark hair and skin in the novel. In other words, she is clearly considered to be black or at the least a person of color. As a twelve year old black girl myself when I first became introduced to her as I read Tunnels of Blood, I resonated with her. She became a fast favorite, and it made me absolutely elated when I realized that Darren was crushing on her and when they eventually fell in love. Darren is of course white, and so the idea that he came to love Debbie so dearly, to the point that even when they were forced to part and met years later, he still loved her. It may not seem like a significant point to many, perhaps it’s good if it doesn’t, but for that young black girl who knew even then that she had a preference for those of the lighter persuasion but wasn’t sure if such a love was ok or would ever be a possibility for her, it was everything. I dreamed that one day someone like that would come along and sweep me off my feet.
I’ve yet to meet that person as of this writing, but Debbie and Darren was my first positive reference to understand that it was perfectly fine to have such a preference and that it’s is something I can have and will welcome when that time comes. Their relationship became such a treasure to me, that I must admit that I cried when they had to part at the end of that installment, my hopes being dashed for a time. However, when they met years later in Allies of the Night, the eighth installment, I cried again. This time tears of joy that not only did Darren still love her and she him, but they even wished to progress their relationship fully when the situation was right. Of course, readers will understand why that didn’t quite come to fruition as hoped, but the difference is that there was still a possibility that Darren and Debbie could meet again in better times and under better conditions. It’s my personal belief that they did far beyond the very end of the final installment when Darren grew up.
So, you may wonder what significance the title of this post has to do with this candid confession of just what these two meant to me. Well, that is what I intend to address in the last half of this post. With everything going on in the world and the recent focus on racial injustice and inequality, I felt it was high time to address what has bothered me for quite a long time. That is the injustice done to Debbie Hemlock, most notoriously in the Cirque du Freak: The Vampire Assistant movie and even in the Japanese adapted manga. Both of these mediums erased her blackness and even her identity in the case of the movie. I do want to make it clear that the author had no role in these actions, as he was not given any influence on either adaptation. If he had been, things would’ve been different.
Let’s start with the manga because there’s not as much to say. Debbie in this adaptation was drawn to be much lighter than she was described in the books. Perhaps it could be seen as an artistic choice considering the audience, but there are many manga printed for the Japanese audience that have black characters. There could be more of course, but the point is that they do exist. Considering this was being adapted from an international work, one might think they’d try and keep things consistent, but they didn’t, and that’s unfortunate. However, this injustice while being as such, is not one that I take as heavily to heart, as it is a foreign adaptation and at the mercy of its publisher.
However, the CdF movie was not a foreign adaptation, as it was written based on the English release of the saga. To that end, they had no marginalized audience to adhere to, and were well within their bounds to keep every character true to the source material. Let me say, this isn’t going to be another post ranting about how terrible of an adaptation and insult this movie was to the series. It can speak for itself. Despite this, however, the biggest injustice they did beyond butchering the source’s continuity was not just changing her appearance, but quite literally nuking any semblance of her character. In the movie, they replaced Darren’s love interest with a girl named Rachel. It is quite obvious that she was meant to replace Debbie’s role. Rachel was a white character, which already does Debbie injustice by erasing her blackness. However, what made it unforgivable to me, was that she was also made to be a monkey girl, out of all the animals they could’ve chosen if they were insistent on making her one, which is something quite offensive to the black community, as it has historically racist undertones and has been used as an insult against blacks for centuries. This was an absolute slap in the face to me and all black girls like me who may have looked up to her.
I understand that adaptations can and often vary from their source material. That’s nothing new and isn’t something to become unhinged over. However, the reason I say this is an injustice is because of all the things they changed in the adaptation, the plot, sequence of events, and personality traits, Debbie was the ONLY character to be completely erased and replaced with Rachel to be Darren’s love interest. For what reason did they need to change specifically her? One of the only black characters in the trilogy the movie was adapting? Why make Rachel white? Why make her a monkey girl? I may have still despised the movie anyway even if they had included her, but at least I wouldn’t have been left feeling like my favorite character who I came to idolize so much wasn’t even worth including.
Perhaps others will say it wasn’t intentional, or it was just a re-imagining, but be that as it may, it doesn’t make a difference to me even if this was the case. It was a tragic injustice what they did to Debbie, and so I want to bring this to light for those who may not be aware. I may be in the minority, people might read this and think I’m stirring up controversy over nothing, or perhaps they will simply not care. In whatever case, that isn’t what I care about. What I care about is the potential other black girls like myself who may have come to find a similar significance in Debbie and maybe even in Darren and Debbie’s relationship. If there’s even one person out there who might think, “oh yeah, this bothered me too”, then I’ll be content. Even if there’s no one in the end, I am content to be getting this off my chest at last. I am content from bringing awareness to racial injustice in a source that many are unaware of or may have never even heard of. I am content that the world will have a chance to see what a wonderful and amazing character Debbie is and how much of an impact she had on my life.
On this special day of Juneteenth, during a time where the world is being called to take notice of these racial injustices in every aspect of our society, for the movement that calls to make it known that Black Lives Matter now more than ever, this is my contribution to this moment. I can’t be out there fighting for our equality, protesting and marching with the righteous, but I can try to foster change in my own way. I can write these posts, I can continue to feature black characters in my own original stories, especially strong black women, and I can encourage others to support other black creators out there. I vow to make my work with the diversity I’d like to see and I hope I can inspire other writers out there to do the same if they are lacking or want to join the cause. The lack of accurate Debbie art and content in general is a bit depressing as well to say the least, so I’m hoping that I might be able to contribute some fanfiction soon about her and Darren’s alternative life together.
I respect the author, Darren Shan tremendously, and I am thankful to him for including diversity in his work. Every single novel or series he’s published has a variety of character types, blacks included. They are also often in positions of power, or are just overall kind and favorable people. He continues to be the inspiration of my work as an author. I still have a long way to go before I can ever hope to reach his status, if I ever can, but I know he’s definitely one of the most admirable authors living today. I’ll never forget when I wrote him a letter as that 12 year old girl, gushing over the saga and of course my love for Debbie and Darren’s relationship. I also asked him for advice in becoming an author. He wrote back to me and said that the best advice he could give to me was to just keep writing and love what I write. Don’t worry about meeting others’ expectations or becoming famous, but just write what I want to write and keep at it until it’s complete. Then start again. In a world where other highly respected authors of notable series use their platforms to foster hate and injustices of their own, Darren is a beacon of hope that such authors will not be the only inspiration.
Should there ever come a time when The Saga of Darren Shan might gain enough of an interest to be adapted again, perhaps by Netflix as an original series, I hope that they will do the series justice and I implore them to let Darren be involved in the production to some degree. Debbie deserves justice, and I will continue to pray that one day she will find it.
Credit to this Tumblr for the perfect featured image.
Some black writers and organizations to support:
So, I mentioned it in my About Me post, but I wrote a few novels. These novels comprise my Bound series, which has been through a lot in order to reach this point, but it’s finally in its final form. I will continue to keep it on Inkitt for a while to read totally free, but if you’d rather read it in e-book form or would like to support me, I’m going to post the links to all three books below. I really hope all who read it will enjoy it and if you do, please support me with a review! That is the best way to ensure my series’ exposure and I’d appreciate them most of all. Thank you and happy reading!